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Hi. Today’s Life Hack is to “Cut Yourself Some Slack.”

As in: If you get completely overwhelmed with busy life and fun things and lots of people asking you questions all the time (hello, Essential Oils) and are still wholly committed to your 31 Days Blogging Challenge… BUT THEN YOU RUN OUT OF DAYTIME HOURS (what happened to that schedule I made??) and miss a day of blogging…

Then cut yourself some slack.

To be rigorously scheduled and self-disciplined is against my nature. Discipline and schedules are super helpful and really do train us wild, fun-loving types reign in our potential– but sometimes we just need to roll with what’s dropped in our laps and…


It would also be nice if those around us could cut us some slack too, yeah?

I thank you guys for humoring me in this blogging challenge and not firing me for missing a day. Or two. Please don’t tell The Nester (the challenge hostess). Shhhh….

Here’s a trick I employ when I fall short of my own, high expectations:

I start a mental list of things I’m super awesome at.

Por Ejemplo:

1. I am good at inserting spanish phrases into my writing without warning
2. I am good at being nice to people.
3. I am good at wearing big earrings.
4. I am good at using a laptop, an ipad, an iphone, a camera, and a PS3 simultaneously.
5. I am good at making chicken noodle soup.
6. I am good at gaining weight.
7. I am good at eating cookies.
8. I am good at talking to strangers. Don’t tell my parents.
9. I am good at wood working and making sawdust.
10. I am good at cleaning under my range less than once a year.

I mean, look at that list! Impressive!

So if I’m not very good at focusing on blogging 31 days in a row (look! something shiny!), then everything is still going to be ok. See point #7 above.

If you aren’t perfect, and you mess up, or you just have a bad day/week once in a while, then you are perfect for me.

Slack is cut.

See you lates.

p.s. I am sitting at the “tech bar” at McDonalds (sound fancy?) doing items #1, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8 ALL AT ONCE. Medal! I need one.

p.p.s. Charlie’s preschool teacher just pulled up to McDonalds. But Charlie is in preschool right now. This is about to get awkward.


11. Apparently I am good at pretending not to see people so they can pretend not to see me too.



Life Hack for Mediocre Moms So Far:

#1) Roles, Goals, and Dreams 

#2) Bite Size Your Biggies

#3) Do Different

#4) Read Something Weird

#5) Exercise Yourself

#6) Zero Dark Early

#7) Manage Your Moods

#8) The Power of a Good Thing

#9) Church it Up



Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms #9) Church it Up

by Angie on October 13, 2013

It’s late Sunday Night. It’s October 13th. That means I’m (still)posting every single day this month as part of a 31 Day Challenge.

Every day!? Including weekends?! And Sundays? I totally dig Sundays, but I’m not used to posting on them. What do I do on Sundays? I church it up.

I get dressed in my “Sunday best”, throw on some heels, do my hair AND make-up, then yell at my little minions to “GET DRESSED, BRUSH YOUR HAIR, FIND YOUR CHURCH SHOES, EAT SOMETHING QUICK, GET IN THE CAR!!” And we go to church.

Our church is only a couple blocks from our house. You’d think that would guarantee us being on time.

You’d think! Funny joke.

Charlie was restless this morning at church, so I pulled out my phone camera to distract him from throwing a paper airplane across the chapel.

charlie church

It worked. For 0.8 minutes.

If you must know, The Manchild and I were born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are “LDS.” You might be more familiar with calling us “Mormon.” We don’t go to church every single Sunday because that’s what our parents raised us to do. We do it because of countless personal experiences that have built our faith and testified to our hearts through The Spirit that we are in the right place. It’s a good feeling to know our Savior and what he desires of us. And to know that he wants nothing more than joy for us. And you, of course, silly.

Phewf! Now we are churchin’ it up on the internet! Blog Style! Not used to this. Sorry.

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about how much of our religious customs, practices, and doctrines overlap with those of other religions. We attended a baptism yesterday of one of Holly’s friends. (Our children receive a “baby blessing” in infancy and are baptised (make baptismal covenants and become official members of the church) at age 8.) Many of our non-Mormon friends and neighbors attended the baptism with us. One friend commented on how many of the words we use in our baptism service are similar to words she hears in her own Catholic church- and that the same principles were present.

On the flipside, as we gave our friends an informal tour of the church building, it came to my attention that there are a few things we do differently. (Forgive me that I’m not going to discuss doctrinal differences here on this silly little blog. I’m not up for it on this lazy Sunday night. )

church holly

5 Things Mormons do Differently in their Sunday Services:

  1. We use bread and water for our sacrament. So instead of wine, we use water.  The water represents Christ’s blood that was shed for us and the bread represents his body. The are simply symbols. The exact food/drink we use is not the important factor. For that matter, I’d like to know why we can’t use Oreo cookies and Milk? Or Cinnamon Toast and Hot Chocolate? I mean– let’s fill the seats, people.
  2. Our Sunday sermons are taught by members of the congregation who are assigned/asked to speak on a given topic. Our Bishop, who is not paid and is a local member of our congregation (we call the local congregations “wards”), does not speak in every meeting. He presides over it and asks the members to share their testimonies and experiences in our Sunday Meetings (with a couple weeks notice, of course.) We are really blessed to learn and grow not only by listening to and being taught by one another, but by the occasional experience of having to pray and study over a topic that the Bishop has been inspired to assign to us. We definitely learn more as the giver of the talk than the receiver. Basically, our sunday service is more teaching, less ceremony than many other churches. Also, we don’t have any bands/percussion/instruments to jazz up our music. Just the organ and our voices. That is probably related to another point: nobody gets up and exclaims “hallelujah!”. No applause. It’s pretty reverent, with  the occasional toddler who yells, “I wanna a snack, dad!” injected.
  3. We attend church for 3 hours! But that’s sounds much worse than it is, friends. Our Sacrament Meeting is only an hour and ten minutes long. That includes 3-4 congregational hymns, partaking of the sacrament (bread and water), a youth (age 12-18) talk, and 2 talks by adults from the ward. We all attend Sacrament Meeting together as families. After that, we break into Sunday School classes by age group (sorta-the adults are all together, the kids are divided by age). Sunday School lasts 45 minutes. Then we change classes again. During the third block we divide by “auxiliaries”, ie. Young Men, Young Women, Primary (kids 18 mos – 18 yrs), Relief Society (women), and 2 separate Priesthood Quorums (men). That’s a bunch of Mormon Speak, y’all. My point is that we are at church for 3 hours, but it’s totally not torturous. In fact, it’s awesome. It fills my cup!
  4. Our wards are determined by geographic boundaries. When you move into a neighborhood, you know exactly where you will go to church, what time it will start, who your bishop is, and what boundaries you’ll need to be aware of in the event that you can’t stand your ward and want to escape. Choose wisely! Just kiddin’. (*wink) In fact, you can use this tool to determine exactly which LDS ward you live in right now. Sorta fun.
  5. Our wards are managed locally by non-paid,”voluntold” clergy who also have full time jobs and families to manage in addition to their church callings. We each have responsibilities within the ward to serve, teach, and help in many ways. Even though the wards are managed locally, every single congregation teaches the same doctrine, on the same schedule, in the same manner as the other congregations across the globe. You’ll be taught lesson #18 from the “blah blah” manual one Sunday, go on vacation to another state the next weekend, stop in to the local ward while you are there, and pick right up on lesson #19. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is indeed a global church (29,024 congregations and 14,782,473 members right now), so odds are that there is a local ward nearby your favorite vacation spot. Darnit. No Excuses. :-) Pack your white shirts and ties, boys!

Ok, so points 4 and 5 aren’t exactly “Sunday Service” differences, but they snuck themselves in there somehow and I ain’t turnin’ back now.

That’s all I’ve got for you today.

To summarize: in case you were wondering why I didn’t have a post up on Sunday morning, I was churchin’ it up. And I think you should church it up too. I feel like my state of mind is pretty elevated on Sunday nights because of the uplifting experiences I’ve had at church and with my fellow ward members on the Sabbath Day. Six or seven days later I’m in desperate need of a refill on my spiritual cup. I thank God for Sundays. I hope you can find an anchor in a good church community. Somewhere that you can feel grounded and lifted, find joy, and serve others.

life hacks for mediocre moms 300

And that’s Life Hack #9: Church it Up, Ladies.

If you are STILL READING THIS, I thought I’d share with you my very favorite talk from our recent “General Conference”, where the entire church membership came together to meet (virtually via the wonders of technology) and hear from the Prophet, Apostles, and other church leaders. We have General Conference twice a year, and the kids love it, because we watch church on TV in our jammies while snacking on Swedish Fish :-)

This talk is by Elder Dieter Uchtdorf. In this talk he teases a bit about all the time we LDS Church members invest in our wards and answers a lot of questions on-lookers (and some out-lying members of the church) might have. It’s such a good talk.

Watch it if you like chocolate. That should cover just about everyone. Except my little brother. Watch it if you like chocolate and/or if you are my little brother.

Catch these other Life Hacks in my 31 day series:

#1) Roles, Goals, and Dreams 

#2) Bite Size Your Biggies

#3) Do Different

#4) Read Something Weird

#5) Exercise Yourself

#6) Zero Dark Early

#7) Manage Your Moods

#8) The Power of a Good Thing

#9) Church it Up


Super Impressive “5k Everyday” Update

by Angie on October 12, 2013

Hiya, cuties. It’s Saturday Morning. That means it’s time for me to report on my “5K Everyday” workout goal for October (as part of our “Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms” series). I’m soooo excited to share my progress this week with you!


5k every day button

Sunday 10/6:

For me, Sunday is a day of rest. A literal “sabbath day.” I don’t usually plan any exercise into my Sundays. But why not get a nice stroll in on the Sabbath? So for my 5k last Sunday I walked with my grandparents. Half a mile with both of them, then another 2 miles with grandma as the sun set in beautiful Smithfield, Utah. If you are doing the math, you’ll find that 0.5 + 2.0 = 2.5. A 5k is 3.1 miles. I did not get in a full 5k. But I LOVED walking around the beautiful rural neighborhood my grandparents live in. And I love them, so that totally makes up for the 0.6 I was deficient.

Monday 10/7:

Grandma invited me to join her early morning water aerobics class at the high school pool. I recall riding a yellow school bus to that pool for summer swim lessons when I was 7 years old. I also distinctly remember almost drowning in that pool when I was 7 years old. It was scary. AND SO WAS WATER AEROBICS CLASS! (Just kidding.) Man, those old ladies are fit! I found water aerobics to be a really great core workout and also a challenge aerobically. I had a hard time keeping my face above water during some of the exercises, so the instructor kept chiding me, “Angie, are you trying to do this workout without a floatation belt?” Um. No. I was wearing one. I’m just really bad at this! Apparently. It was quite enjoyable to be out-performed by my 78 year old grandmother with a fake knee.

Anyhow, that workout replaced my 5k run that day. It was awesome and I’m glad I did it!

(Sidenote: I almost had time to meet and hug one of my earliest and funnest blog readers while in Cache Valley on Monday. We both got too busy, though, so we enjoyed a virtual wave as I drove past her town. Hi Kelly! Waving again right now!)

Tuesday 10/8:

I had to catch a flight very early Tuesday morning. That was fun. When I finally arrived in Virginia I was so tired and happy to be reunited with my little people (and hunky man) that I didn’t hop on the treadmill like I had planned. Actually, whatever. Just kidding. I didn’t really plan to run on the treadmill at all. I just knew the day was going to be a wash. Lame me.

Wednesday 10/9:

I got really distracted on Wednesday morning and my 30 minute scheduled run time got chiseled down to a fun little 10 minutes. Yes, I did run for a whole 10 minutes.

one mile on treadmill

I know that’s dumb, but its better than being completely sedentary all day. And bonus?? Even a 10 minute run makes me sweaty enough to require an early morning shower. So I showered Friday morning too! Small victories, buds.

Thursday 10/10:

I ran a 5k on the treadmill. It was slow and lame. I see a theme. Lameness.

Friday 10/11:

Hey! Back on the treadmill! But I only had time for a 2 mile run. 2 miles is greater than 1 mile. 2 miles is less than 3 miles. 1 < 2 < 3. I am really good at numbers. I’m starting to wonder when my original goal of “increasing my speed and intensity and getting back to interval training” in October is going to actually apply to my daily runs/plans/execution. It’s a good question.

Saturday 10/12:

Like I said, it’s Saturday morning right now. I haven’t run yet. And it’s been raining for 3 days. Since The Manchild is home today, I could theoretically leave the kids here and get an outdoors run in. I’ve missed that lately.

I dare you to dare me to go outside and run really hard in the rain. Please? For the love of cookies, I need it!

See you tomorrow.


Hi. I’m a mediocre Mommy. But I’m applying a series of life hacks this month as I participate in a 31 Days challenge with The Nester and over 1500 friends. Ready for our next “Life Hack for Mediocre Moms?”

life hacks for mediocre moms 300

There is Power in Making Good Choices

Lately I’ve noticed something different about myself. I feel… empowered. I feel more confident and capable of making the right choices throughout my day.

I just lied. To be more exact, I’m feeling more capable of making the right time management and scheduling choices lately. Food choices? Not so much. I quite enjoy a good cookie. And I’m still (again?) addicted to my cute little (large, light ice?) Diet Coke.

My food issues shalt be addressed in an upcoming post. No worries. We’ll get there. Baby steps.

But I wanted to talk today about how a few good choices have snowballed into of a boulder of positive energy in my life. (Is that boulder rolling down a hill?… Towards the McDonald’s drive through window? Someone save the soda machine! Wait- don’t. Remove the temptation! I’m so conflicted.)

…We were talking about how positive choices lead to more positive choices.

For instance, when I force myself to sit down and plan my day and place tasks that are vital to “the greater good” first on the schedule, as a consequence I feel driven and empowered to get up early in the morning to accomplish those important items. I find clarity and purpose, which are powerful forces.


Knowing I’m committed to an early rise, I am inclined to lay my workout clothes out on the bathroom floor and set the alarm clock to an early hour without fear or cynicism as I get ready for bed. (ie, “Ha. I’m setting this alarm for 5:25, but we’ll just see how I feel when it goes off… None of that.)


When the alarm goes off, I look forward to the feeling I know I’ll have 45 minutes later, when I’ll be a sweaty, sexy beast. (imagination, people!)

If I am successful at squeezing in that early morning workout, the rest of my morning looks totally doable. Yes, I can shower in 4 minutes flat while the girls attempt go potty without falling back to sleep on the the toilets. Yes, I can pack four lunches in 6 minutes’ time while listening to an inspirational talk. Yes, I can get dressed in real people clothes before 9 a.m. Si se puede!

World, look at me! I’m doing stuff! I’m successful! I have clothes on!

It’s a good way to live, friends. Exercised and dressed and inspired before the neighbors spy me.

The momentum from positive choices creates a real power to keep on making them. When I conquer laziness and choose “better” and “best” over “good enough” I feel empowered.

Try it too? Start somewhere? Feel the juice coursing through your veins? You might like it.

And I like you.

The end.

p.s. As a side note: if you ever happen to snort at the exact same time as someone else, it will likely lead to an increase in snorting. Simultaneously, the “classiness” level in the room will decline and joy will increase. It’s another type of powerful chain reaction I would like to recommend at this time.

Catch these other Life Hacks in my 31 day series:

#1) Roles, Goals, and Dreams 

#2) Bite Size Your Biggies

#3) Do Different

#4) Read Something Weird

#5) Exercise Yourself

#6) Zero Dark Early

#7) Manage Your Moods

#8) The Power of a Good Thing

#9) Church it Up


Oops. I didn’t post yesterday. Forgive me. I actually did have this post entirely written yesterday, but I was traveling all day and when I got home from my 7-day trip, I just wanted to hold and kiss my kiddos. Instead of connecting to the internet and uploading this post, I was 100% mommy and wife and it was awesome. No regrets.

sam and mom on plane

Sam and I had a great trip to Utah this past week. She’s a cute girl who loves being in Utah with the Utah cousins. In her opinion, Utah is heaven and Virginia is a porta potty.

We are working on altering her perspective, since it doesn’t sound like much fun to (think you) live in a porta potty when in fact your life is pretty sweet.

On that note, tomorrow’s “Life Hack for Mediocre Moms” will be MANAGE YOUR MOOD. But before I can attempt to share with you how I’ve been managing my moods, and helping my family do the same, we need an Essential Oils 101 primer.

I’ve learned so much lately about natural ways to, as a mother of 4, take basic healthcare into my own hands. It’s time for me to stop being selfish and start sharing my experiences with you. I think of each of my blog readers as a dear friend. If you were sitting at my kitchen counter there is no doubt we’d have a conversation about my “oil box”. So let’s dive into it right now!

I started experimenting (in secret) with pure therapeutic grade essential oils almost two years ago. I was so annoyed at first that they actually work! ha! I didn’t want to change the way I do things. I was perfectly content jaunting off to my friendly neighborhood pediatrician with the kids at regular intervals.

Back up.

Are you familiar at all with what essential oils are? Have I lost you already? Do you know anybody who uses them? I’m still learning about the oils, and I’m no expert, but I’ll try to tell you what I’ve learned so far.

what are essential oils

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are found in every living plant. When you take a part of that plant (roots, leaves, bark, sap, fruit, etc.) and either steam distill it or cold press it, very small amounts of a pure oil can be extracted from the plant. These oils are volatile aromatic compounds that not only smell unique and lovely, but can have various therapeutic and medicinal properties. The oils can be diffused and inhaled, applied topically to the skin, or (if processed at the highest purity and quality standards to match certain chemical standards) ingested.

There are MANY types/brands/qualities of essential oils available today. The FDA does not regulate essential oils, so it can be difficult to know how pure an oil on the shelf at a health food store actually is. Even when the bottle says, “100% pure essential oil” it can actually be diluted with carrier oils and contain other ingredients.

My Favorite Oil Company Carries the Purest Oils Available

Some of you might be brand loyal to an essential oil company like I am. I respect that. I’ve decided to buy my oils from a specific company, and I invite you to email me if you’d like me to tell you more about them. AngieEssentialOils@gmail.com. They are the largest distributor of therapeutic grade essential oils and their potency and purity standards are the highest in the world. They source and process them for absolute purity and chemical and therapeutic consistency. Basically, my fave oil company is an oil snob and won’t compromise. (I can write a whole post on the process that they go through to get their oils if you want me to. Let me know.)

My favorite oil company goes to great lengths to source their oils from very specific regions of the world, because where a plant grows can greatly effect it’s chemical make up (and thereby it’s aromatic and therapeutic properties). Frankincense from Egypt is different (chemically) than Frankincense from Oman.

frankincense resin

Let me give more specific examples: my favorite oil company buys their lemongrass from a specific rural, mountainous region of India, because the oils derived from the lemongrass grown high in those remote mountains (by native generational farmers) is the very best lemongrass oil on earth. It would be cheaper and much easier to get lemongrass oil in the U.S. But it’s not an option for this oil company. Purity and potency are the priority, so the lemongrass must be from India.

Another example: the absolute finest lemons in the world (by taste, smell, and chemical qualities) grow in certain regions of Italy. The lemons there are very expensive. But the Italian farmers in that region have been cultivating a specific breed of lemon for several generations and share the high quality standards that my favorite oil company requires. Buying lemons from Florida would be much cheaper, but the essential oils produced from those lemons would not meet the highest purity and quality standards. (Again, please email me at AngieEssentialOils@gmail.com to learn more about how to get oils from the company I trust).

My favorite oil company has very specific quality requirements for their oils that are determined and revealed via gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (whoa! science in the house!) I said earlier that the company carefully selects it’s growers. When a vat of oil arrives from the growers, it is tested for purity and quality. If the batch does not meet the stringent purity tests, it is rejected and shipped back to the farmers. The oil quality is tested several times throughout the bottling process to ensure purity end to end. (If you want to know more about the tests the oils go though, I can write more. Let me know).


My Issues with Network Marketing/Direct Sales

Once the oil is bottled, it is ready to be sold. That’s where I got hung up, personally, by many essential oil companies, including the one I LOVE. My favorite oils come from a network marketing/direct sales company. Their oils are shared person-to-person, and purchased via wholesale memberships. For example, my brother told me about the oils and I signed up to be an “independent product consultant” so that I could buy the oils at wholesale price for myself. My brother is my “upline” enroller and the people who shared the oils with he and his wife are “up” from him. If and when I share the oils with friends of mine, they can choose to either buy the oils at full retail price from me (expensive idea), sign up for their own wholesale membership (many perks and discounts), or become a preferred member and receive a smaller discount and less perk$. Perk$, as in- you can make a small commission off of the oils bought by those IPC’s and preferred members “under” you.

“Upline.” “Under.” “Commission.” “Wholesale.” “Members.”


Maybe network marketing companies don’t bother you. But they have bothered me in the past. I never attend a “home party” for a company. Ever. Be it Mary Kay, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Usborne Books, etc. I sorta detest that whole “come to my party and buy stuff so I can get free product and make money off you, my dear friends” set-up. I won’t deny the quality of the products sold by those companies. And sometimes I’ll order product from a friend who sells them (via the catalog or just by stopping by their house), but I don’t go to the parties. They don’t feel party-ish when the sales lady let’s me pick a “prize” from the “basket” and the prize = I get to throw my own party next week!

mary kay party

My husband hates these types of companies passionately. He detests the thought of the people “above” you making money off of your purchases. And how some people in these companies begin to see their friends and fellow church/community members as business prospects. Relationships can really be ruined over the poor business practices of well-intentioned, but socially inept direct marketers. Amway, anybody?

This reason alone is why I’ve been using the highest quality essential oils in secret for almost two years. I was just plain old annoyed by the company structure, gosh darnit!

But. It is what it is. And I’ve done my research. I’ve listened to the executive team of the company and vetted them personally. These pure therapeutic grade oils are unlike anything you can buy at the store. If you had to choose between a $4 bottle of lavender essential oil and a $21 bottle of lavender essential oil, both sitting on the shelf at Whole Foods, which would you buy? Probably the $4 one, right? Me too. And it would smell pretty nice. And be diluted and impure. It would not have the therapeutic qualities that the $21 bottle had. But how were you supposed to know? The shelf on the store just didn’t teach you enough.

That’s why these oils are best shared person-to-person. They need to be shared with education and experiences. Once you sign up for your own wholesale membership, you can buy them for yourself whenever you want and you don’t need your “upline” to help you– BUT you could rely on your “upline” to help you if you needed help/information/advice.

I, however, tend to rely on Google searches or a book called Modern Essentials to help me learn more about the oils and how I can best use them.

And to address the concern about the people “above” you making money off your purchases or your own sharing of the oils… I’ve decided I sorta like the idea of people who work really hard to share the oils and teach their teams about how to best use the oils making some money. Work hard/share a lot/mentor your team = get some money. It seems fair. My favorite oil company is structured in such a way that only those who are actively sharing and working in the business are making good money. You can’t sit at the top of a group and do nothing. That would be like a pyramid scheme and that’s dumb.

With my favorite company, the magical thing is that the PRODUCT is the strength and the life of the business. Even if there were no business opportunity associated with the oils, we would still be ordering them EVERY SINGLE MONTH because of the value they have added to our lives. That’s the secret to a good network marketing company. Products that sell themselves and stand alone in their value!

Dare I say that I might prefer a network marketing/direct sales structure better than I like the way corporate america is often set up. In many corporations the minions work long hours, knuckles to the grindstone for the same $/hour each day, but the executives make the big money profits and bonuses.

And honestly, if an individual was looking for a way to make money, I can see how being an active, hard-working consultant could be a really smart choice. Sharing the oils with those around you isn’t really “work” anyway. It’s kind of ridiculous how easy it is to talk about the oils with those around me (and I’m not even trying). In fact, now that I’ve “let the cat out of the bag” and told a few friends about the oils, people seek me out and ask me questions about the oils everywhere I turn (much to the annoyance of my husband, ha ha!)

Authenticity of My Oil Experiences

My experiences with essential oils are real, authentic, and not driven by dollar signs. I hope you don’t mind me talking about the oils from time to time on this blog. Seeing as how this blog is titled “Angie in the Thick of It,” I figure I can talk about whatever I’m “in the thick of” or what I happen to be thinking about/doing on any given day. Right? The oils topic was bound to come up, folks.

You are going to learn from me that using essential oils is a green, holistic, natural way to care for your family and home. The oils are extremely intriguing and the “books” are filling up with valid “experiential” and “experimental” evidence to prove their potency and value in the realm of natural health.

Anyhow… wow. There was your Essential Oils primer lesson. I sorta feel like I just had quite the in-depth discussion out loud with myself. Are you guys okay out there? Did I ruffle any feathers? Make anybody mad? Peak some curiosities? Do you guys need some oils to calm yourselves (me) down?

Ah. That’s tomorrow’s post.

Email me at AngieEssentialOils@gmail.com to talk to me more about oils, ok?

If you have any general questions you want me to address, lay them down in the comments. Tomorrow we’ve got “Life Hack for Mediocre Moms #7: Manage Your Moods” coming your way.

Peace Out. -Ang


Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms #6) Get Up Early

by Angie on October 7, 2013

early to bed early to rise

Early to bed, early to rise. Makes a man healthy and wealthy and wise?

I should try that.

Instead I tend to operate on a “Late to bed, early to rise. Makes a lady cranky and worn out and prone to illness,”

Could somebody make that rhyme for me? I’ll pay you in hugs.


We aren’t talking about going to bed early today. Just about rising early. About rising in the “dark early” hours.

Remember when I hammered out my most important roles, goals, and dreams last week? Then divided those larger roles into tasks and hammered them into my schedule? Several important realizations came to me during that exercise. One of them was the absolute necessity of rising early to accomplish a few things.

If I don’t get up early, then my day begins in an annoyed rush. The to-do items that bring me the most balance, peace, and clarity are forgotten and pushed aside.

What are those MIT? Most important tasks?

1) Exercise
2) Scripture/Prayer Time
3) Shower/Dress/Make-up Time

If I can muster enough self-discipline and commitment to do those 3 things FIRST in my day, then I have the energy, focus, and state of mind to greet the kids with the right speed and attitude (be a blessing to them and start their days right too) and then move forward with important tasks as soon as they head out the door school.

If I sleep in, then I’m stressed from the first “get up!! time for school! time to learn and get some knowledge!” (which i quote from Finding Nemo in my most annoying voice every morning). Once they are off to school, I often spend the next couple hours just trying to see straight, get in a workout, find a way out of my jammies, and decide what day it is.

So I guess I need to be a morning person. I sorta think you should be one too. That is- if you want to be a tad bit better than mediocre.


Being up and moving before the sun rises makes a huge difference in my days/weeks/life in general. It makes me feel like a Sunrise Warrior. A SUNRISE WARRIOR!?

Can somebody make up a rhyme about being a Sunrise Warrior for me? Perhaps a song or a rap?

I’ll pay you in hugs and weird faces in the dark early hours.


P.S. Grandma invited me to join her for early morning water aerobics this morning. There is a first time for everything. (Remember my advice to “Do Different?” I’m taking it!)  The (old-ish?) ladies there were amazing! They were so cheerful and energetic. The workout was actually quite a challenge for me and I left worn out and impressed by that group of women who already have excellence figured out. It happens at zero dark thirty.

life hacks for mediocre moms 100


Rushing to Take Time

by Angie on October 6, 2013

I got pulled over by a Utah Highway Patrol Officer yesterday. Apparently I was speeding down the mountain as Highway 89 dropped me into Cache Valley. I couldn’t help it. Coming through Sardine Canyon is like coming home to heaven for me.

I was born in Providence, Utah and raised in the Valley until I was 10 and we moved to Wisconsin. My mom’s parents lived in a white farmhouse just 2 blocks away from our home– just past the merry-go-round and left at the underground house. My dad’s parents were just a few blocks further than them, up the hill from the blue-roof church.


That there is the house my parents built. I remember the wallpaper and the cats who lived under the old car in the backyard. I remember hiding my sloppy joes (ick!) in the bathroom garbage can and being caught.

I came to Utah this week to spend time with my grandparents. I just really like them, that’s all.

Meet Grandpa (mom’s dad):

gpa white

Meet Grandma (mom’s mom):

gma white

And Meet Grandma (dad’s mom):

gma hess

Grandpa is an excellent carpenter. I get my love of wood-working from him.

Wanna know what he builds?

gpa white casket

GORGEOUS Caskets. For himself, for grandma, for their friends and neighbors. My grandma does the interior upholstery/stitching.

casket 2

And that (sorta) morbid hobby (which he feels peace about and enjoys very much) might be related to why I came to Cache Valley this week. Although I’m in denial about the inevitable end of each life, I feel pretty strongly about spending time with these 3 special people while they are still happy and healthy.

Today’s post isn’t a “Life Hack.”

It’s just a note from me to you. About rushing down the mountain to make time count. Maybe you should do it too? I’m glad I’m here.


It’s the first Saturday in October, buddies! And that means we’ll start a new Saturday theme-within-a-theme. It’s called: “Let’s watch Angie’s fat jiggle while she tries to get back into shape.” >>don’t hold me to that name. it’s a working title<<

life hacks for mediocre moms 300

Since we are talking about Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms this month, you knew we’d have to talk about exercise eventually, right? Unfortunately, we lazy ladies need it. Exercise ought be a non-negotiable part of each day, but it can be very hard to form that habit. (This is coming from a very lazy lady who can go months without a good sweat. I know. I admit it. But I want to do better and that’s why we are here, right?!) Any mommy who desires to be half a degree better than mediocre simply must prioritize her workouts. Exercise of all forms is wonderful for the mind, body, and family.

Life Hack #5) Exercise Yourself!

I’ve decided to take the advice of one of my favorite running buddies named Miryam. She told me to at least run a 5k every day in order to keep my legs moving, even when not training for a race or working on my endurance or speed. I always do what Miryam says. (NOT.) She’s the furthest thing from mediocrity, therefore she’s the boss of me. So here’s how I’ve been doing… I ran on 9/28, 9/29, and 9/30. I was preparing myself so well for a perfect October goal! pre runs But in October cute little Angie has had a few problems: Day 1: I had 30 mins set aside to run before I had to get ready to catch my flight to Salt Lake City. 100% commitment to run. But my husband decided to leave for work a half hour late so that we could talk before my trip. I chose him. It was the right thing. Day 2: I had gone to bed extremely late on the night I arrived in Utah. Like, around midnight Mountain Time. (That’s 2:00 a.m. Eastern time!) But with my 100% commitment to running a 5k everyday in October I was up and running alongside the mountain at 5:15 a.m. Without a map/GPS plan I thought I would simply run 15 minutes out, then 15 minutes back. That ought to cover a 5k, right? At my 15 minutes my inner ears were hurting terribly. It was just a bit cold that morning and my ears weren’t happy about it. Does that ever happen to you? Pain in your inner ear when you run with them un-covered? I had to walk back the distance. But gosh it was beautiful. And the pain subsided just as I got back to the house. Day 2 = Success. 5k (technically) accomplished. Day 3: Having gone to bed extremely late the night before (again), I slept in a bit too late on day 3. So I only had 15 minutes to work out. I was 100% committed to working out before rushing out the door to my conference. I did an ab workout off YouTube. Ouch. I think my head is too heavy for my body, because when I do crunches my neck muscles are much more sore than my abs for DAYS afterward! Day 3 = Sucess-ish (because at least I worked out in the time I had available, instead of saying “i don’t have time to run a 5k. I won’t do anything at all.) Day 4: Having gone to bed extremely late the night before (what the crap is my problem?) I felt like death when I woke up. I decided I would have to run later that night. But, alas, later on I arrived home extremely late. Honestly. Day 4 = Total Failure Day 5: Boom. Ran a 5k on the treadmill just as I woke up. It was slow. Really slow! The altitude out here is killing me. But I did it! Day 5 = success. 5k oct 5   I know I’m running slowly. It’s okay. I’m re-beginning. We’ll see how fast I can get by the end of the month. Maybe fast enough to run with Miryam again? ;-) Summary so far: I’m trying to meet my goals in a different environment. On a trip. At the mercy of others to transport me home each night. I feel good about my efforts and am giving myself grace on the days where things don’t work out. I think that on Sundays I will try to walk a 5k with somebody I love. A different kind of exercise on the day of rest. Maybe tomorrow I’ll walk with this guy:

gpa white

That’s my grandpa. Grandma is sitting across the room from us hand-sewing a baby blessing dress. I’m happy.

This has been Life Hack #5: Exercise Yourself

P.S. I fear this post has many errors/typos, but I’m headed to dinner with Grandpa and Grandma. I like them more than I like perfect posts. Check you guys tomorrow!

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