10 Ways to Look Younger Without Cosmetic Surgery

October 31, 2008 · Filed Under Cheap Beauty Tips, Stay at Home Sanity · Comments Off on 10 Ways to Look Younger Without Cosmetic Surgery 

As work-at-home moms, we’re a busy bunch. With diapers to change, carpools to drive, houses to clean, and careers to build, it’s no wonder we may find ourselves looking a little tired! Just because we work at home doesn’t mean we should let our appearance go.  Taking time on your appearance will give you a spring to your step, helping you to accomplish more throughout the day.  Take back your pre-baby glow with these easy beauty tips that will erase years from your appearance.

  1. Take care of your skin. Use a mild cleanser formulated for your skin type in the morning and at night. Don’t forget to moisturize, and an SPF of at least 15 is a must to continue fighting the signs of aging. A skin care routine takes only minutes each day, but the benefits will last a lifetime.
  2. Apply concealer correctly. Dot concealer underneath eyes and apply as close to the lashes as possible, blending it into the inner corners of the eyes. Your concealer should be one shade lighter than your foundation, and you can add a yellow-toned concealer to cover particularly dark circles.
  3. Use a highlighter. Highlighting products contain light filtering pigments that give the illusion of lifting dark areas of the face, such as undereye circles, smile lines, and that little crease under your chin. Be certain to apply the highlighter below dark undereye circles, rather than directly on the dark area, to create the effect of brighter eyes.
  4. Avoid using powder foundation. These tend to accentuate lines. Instead, opt for a liquid or cream-to-powder foundation that matches the skin on your neck. An exception is today’s new mineral powder foundations because they are lighter in texture and formulated to benefit your skin.
  5. Make cheeks pop with blush. Avoid applying blush too close to the nose; press two fingers next to your nose as an approximate guide for where to end blush.
  6. Don’t be afraid to experiment with pretty, sheer colors. Avoid frosts and metallics that may draw attention to crow’s feet and lines.
  7. Consider using a lip primer. To make your color last even longer, apply lip liner and blend over entire lip area. This will provide a base for your lipstick to adhere to. Next smooth on a light coat of lipstick to each lip. For sparkle, you can finish the look with a complimentary color of lip gloss.
  8. Define your eyes. Though you don’t want to be heavy-handed with your eye liner, don’t be afraid to use it to its full potential.  Be sure you can see the line when your eyes are wide open.  You may even want to extend the line just slightly past the outer corner for definition.
  9. Splurge on brushes. The right tool can make a world of difference.  That’s not to say you need to blow $100 on a set of brushes used by the pros.  You can often find high quality makeup brushes designed for precision application at your drugstore.
  10. Take care of your brows. Manicured brows can really brighten up your face.  Most likely you can get a wax at your regular hair appointment, and the pain is minimal.
Say goodbye to the tired mom look by using some or all of these techniques based on your personal preference and daily routine. Choose a few for everyday or go all out for a night on the town! Keep in mind that implementing just a few extra steps to your beauty regimen each day can really make a difference in your overall appearance.

12 Tips to Get Things Done

October 31, 2008 · Filed Under Stay at Home Sanity · Comments Off on 12 Tips to Get Things Done 

As a work-at-home mom, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the number of things I need to do.  Mornings are spent rushing to get the older two kids out the door to school.  Once they’re on the bus, I’m feel ready to conquer the world and get to work.  Then the baby’s raging cries bring me crashing back to reality.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?  How can we, as work-at-home moms, be productive when the needs of our children must come first?  I’ve revised my daily routine several times since beginning my freelance career.  I don’t have it completely down yet, but I’ll share what I’ve learned as well as advice from some of my work-at-home friends.

  1. Keep a daily notebook. Develop a notebook system that works for you to record your daily to-do list along with reminder notes and organization tools like grocery lists and appointment reminders.
  2. Use an electronic management program. Some people prefer to do everything online.  There are lots of great management tools to help you keep things organized.  I use Gmail because its label system is easier for me to organize than traditional folders.  I also like 30 Boxes as my calendar.
  3. Multitask. I have a friend whose favorite time to brainstorm is when her kids are bathing.  I think that’s brilliant.    I take a book or notebook with me when I wait for the kids to get off the bus.
  4. Utilize your best time of day. Most of us are either a morning person or a night owl; use your best time of day to your advantage.  I’m kind of an odd ball, in that I do better in the afternoon.  When my husband gets home from work at around 2:00, I get busy until it’s time to go pick up the kids.
  5. Start early. No matter what your best time of day is, get started on tasks immediately.  Then reward yourself by taking some time to check your email or catch up with your favorite social network.
  6. Divide and conquer. Trying to do everything at once makes me feel scattered, so I allocate each day to a different task.  For example, I use Monday to do research and brainstorm topic ideas, and Wednesday is usually query day when I pitch my ideas to publications.
  7. Minimize distractions. It is so tempting to watch just one TV show or do one load of laundry.  Avoid that time trap by setting yourself a timer or resolving to stick to a set schedule.
  8. Take a break. Though you don’t want to get sucked into time traps, it is important to recharge your body.  Each day I sit down to lunch with my infant son.  We enjoy the uninterrupted bonding time while refueling our bodies.  Then I’m ready to get back to work.
  9. Delegate household tasks. Enlist family members to help with the chores and determine when they will be done.  Maybe you could work as a family to clean on weekends or tidy up a bit each night after dinner.
  10. Make family agreements. Your family must be involved in order to make work-at-home work well.  I’ve challenged my husband to do his job while caring for children and cleaning the house.  No traditional employer would expect so much, so why hold yourself to such unreasonable demands?
  11. Reassess. This is something I’ve had to do, and it can be tough.  Have you over-committed?  Consider whether one or two of your daily to-do’s can be dropped.  This will free up your time to tackle what’s really important to you and your business.
  12. Dress the part. Don’t work in your pj’s and bunny slippers.  Nothing kills my productivity more quickly than foregoing my shower and trying to get right to work.  When I look like a professional, I feel more professional.

These are a few examples to get you started.  Consider your personality and your family’s routine when developing your own schedule.  And remember that you may have to try several variations before finding a routine that works for you, so don’t give up!

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