Take a 5-Minute Vacation

One of the best ways to get and stay motivated throughout your day is to take short ‘reward’ breaks in between your many TO DOs.

Today, right after I folded a large load of laundry, I took a 5-minute vacation…I rewarded myself with an old ‘I Love Lucy’ video clip on You Tube.

Not only was this a nice and quick break, but it also made me smile! (I’ve seen the clip so many times, but it never fails me!)

Do something productive today. Then, take a short break to view this ‘Famous Chocolate Scene.’

Maria Gracia

1 Comment November 5, 2013

How Clean Is Your House?

We recently ran a poll on my web site that resulted in some very interesting numbers.

The question posed was…How clean is your house?

Here are the final results:

9% My house is so clean, you could eat off the floors!

24% My house is pretty clean, but you may see some crumbs here and there.

39% My house is clean in some rooms, and not-so-clean in others.

28% The word clean and my house do not go hand in hand!

Total Votes: 1229

Where do you rank? Comment and let us know!

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment October 28, 2013

Your Health is Too Important to Ignore

Breast Cancer Awareness Day is Monday, October 28th. This is the perfect day to schedule a mammogram if you haven’t had one in awhile…or if you never had one.

Prevention is a tough nut to crack. So many of us ignore it, and we instead deal with illnesses as they arise, but there are so many steps we can take to help prevent illnesses from taking root or getting worse.

In addition to mammograms, why not get your blood pressure checked, get a cholesterol screening, or schedule a colonoscopy?

I know…it’s tough to get excited about these sorts of things, but taking these preventative measures (and early detection) can give us the information we need to take charge of our health as much as we can.

Your health is too important to ignore!

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment October 25, 2013

Too Much to Read, or Not Enough Time to Read?

Do you have a) too much to read or b) not enough time in your day to read?

These are two great questions to consider as you reevaluate your reading commitment. First of all, don’t go overboard. If you are good about reading everyday, but you still find you can’t get through all your material, then perhaps you’re too ambitious. In this case, either increase your reading time or decrease your reading material.

Second, get creative with your reading time. Some opportune times to read are when you’re waiting for your kids to finish soccer practice, waiting for a dentist or doctor’s appointment to begin, waiting for a dryer cycle to end, or for a few minutes before you hit the sack.

Set a specific time to read each day, and make it part of your day-to-day schedule. Most people read here and there… when they have time. I prefer setting up a definite appointment, usually right before lunch. A good friend of mine always reads while enjoying her morning coffee.

While you’re setting up your personal reading appointment, also set up your time frame. Will you read for 15 minutes? For 30 minutes? Whatever time you set, set a timer, find someplace comfortable and well lit, and go for it!

Maria Gracia

3 Comments October 15, 2013

How to Load a Dishwasher…A Song and a 9-Year Old Demo

Anyone over the age of 8 can load a dishwasher, and start it when it’s full. If YOU are always the one who does this task, perhaps one of these videos I found will help you change your mind.

The first one is goofy…I’ll admit. But it’s SO refreshing to see a young man handling the task with no problem AND happily! It truly made me smile.

The following video clip is a nine year old boy doing an excellent demonstration on how to load a dishwasher. Obviously, he is perfectly capable at this age to handle the task.

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment October 8, 2013

Are You Decorated for Halloween?

The weather here in Wisconsin is starting to cool off, the leaves are starting to change color, and it gets darker earlier in the evening.

While I’m not a huge fan of cold weather (in fact, I’m not a fan of cold weather at all!), I do love the holidays and this just reminds me that Thanksgiving and Christmas are fast approaching.

To enjoy autumn more, I pulled out our fall and Halloween decorations, and invested an hour decorating the inside and outside of our home with my daughter. Now, it feels really festive and keeps us in the spirit of the holiday.

I store my holiday decorations in clear, lidded storage boxes–which I picked up at my local Shopko years ago. On all sides of the boxes, I indicate the holiday, and I stack these boxes in a closet specifically for storing decorations.

So, when it came time to pull out my Halloween decorations this year, they were easily found in two of these boxes…not here, there, and everywhere.

Not having to search for things makes decorating more fun, and much easier!

Are you decorated for Halloween and/or fall yet? Comment below and let us know!

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment October 2, 2013

My Favorite TV Shows

I’ll admit it…I LOVE watching TV and I do so each night as a reward for all I’ve gotten accomplished in the day.

Want to know my favorite shows right at this very moment?

Modern Family (Hilarious! I love the entire cast and the very real-life situations)

The Big Bang Theory (Fall-off-my-chair funny!)

Mad Men (My favorite drama…maybe of all time)

America’s Got Talent (I cannot believe how talented some people are. The season just ended. I can’t wait for the next one!)

Guiliana and Bill AND Cake Boss–it’s a tie! (Two of my favorite reality shows)

What are your favorites right now? Let me know.

Maria Gracia

1 Comment September 25, 2013


1 Comment September 6, 2013

Get Organized to Avoid Colds

I can’t stand it when I catch a cold. It’s exhausting and it is a major drag on my productivity. That’s why I always take preventative measures to avoid getting sick.

I’m not a doctor, but doing the following helps me remain healthy most of the time.

1) I wash my hands frequently.

The common cold virus is easily passed through your eyes and nose, so wash your hands throughout the day AND avoid touching the areas around your eyes and nose. (Ask someone to watch you and let you know if you do this out of habit. I used to touch my mouth all the time, until my husband brought this habit to my attention!)

2) I sneeze into a tissue or my elbow, and encourage my family members to do so.

When you feel a sneeze coming, or a cough, cover your face with your forearm. When you sneeze/cough into your hand you’re releasing the cold germs.

By the way, touch a doorknob and Whammoo…you’ve just spread your virus to some other poor soul!

3) Take Airborne or Emergen-C.

Airborne Immune Support Supplement with Vitamin C, Effervescent Formula, Orange, 30 Count

Emergen-C Super Orange, 30-count

As soon as I feel a cold coming on, I immediately take some Emergen-C. It’s a vitamin supplement mixture that seems to stop many of my colds from coming on. My husband swears by a similar product called Airborne.

(Of course, always read the ingredients and check with your doctor first to be sure this supplement is OK to take, and that it won’t interact with any medications you’re currently taking.)

4) Exercise.

Regular exercise is another trick to ward off a cold. Exercising not only strengthens your heart, but it boosts your immunity as well.

I find that the more I exercise, the less I catch cold bugs.

5) Drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, and eat healthy food.

Prevention is the key to avoiding colds and other infectious diseases. By getting the appropriate amount of sleep, eating healthy and drinking water, you are taking the necessary steps to overall healthy living.

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment August 23, 2013

It’s so easy to focus on the negatives

It’s so easy to focus on the negatives…the crowded subway, the traffic getting to work, your son not doing the laundry he was asked to do, your spouse getting home later from work than expected, the appliance that’s on the fritz that’s too expensive to get repaired…

I’m sure you’ll agree, there are negative influences all around us every day. They’re part of life.

That being said, it’s important to also notice that there are positive influences around us…perhaps the fact that your toll booth guy greeted you with a smile this morning, or your daughter did well with the school spelling bee, or your husband fixed that leaky faucet, or the sun is shining.

That’s why we always have Daily Celebration in my house. At the dinner table, we generally begin our conversation with the challenges, and discuss how we can work through them. But we always end our dinners celebrating all the GOOD THINGS that happened in our day!

It’s a wonderful way to unwind, to generate smiles, and help us all see and focus on the many blessings in our lives

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment August 9, 2013

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