3 Tips for Surviving the Holidays while Running your own Business

My life is full, I own a Coaching/Consulting business and I have a busy family. Sports, appointments, school events, carpool, and responsibilities at home fill my weeks. But during the holiday season my to do lists seems to triple in size. There is always a temptation to scale back in December, to let me business run on fumes. Since I want to finish well this year I came up with some tips that help me push through to the end of the year.
Coaching Business, Brentwood Life Coach
1. Don’t be an over achievers when it comes to decorating, baking and buying gifts. I only bake for my family, so if the school needs some baked goods they will come in a plastic container from the local super market. Baking is hard work and I would rather spend the evening playing a game or hanging out with my family than baking and cleaning up the kitchen at 10pm at night. I also have scaled back on decorating my home and tree these last few years, I find that a little goes a long way. I have enjoyed my sparse decorating just as much as I did my extravagant glitz from precious years.
2. Schedule time to plan and dream. Each week in December I set aside time to dream, plan my week and gather my thoughts. This helps me find balance and keep the right perspective. When I don’t take the time to do this I feel frazzled and waste time doing things that aren’t part of my plan. I sit with my planner, to do lists, short term and long-term goals, and my favorite beverage. Where you have this meeting with yourself is also important, I usually choose a warm spot near a window. Choose a comfortable place and with the least interruptions.
3. Keep the routines going  When everyone is out shopping and attending parties the tendency is to go off schedule with your work day. But don’t, stay on schedule, keep those regular hours. When you attend a holiday party, don’t blow off the rest of the afternoon, you may find that you will be more productive after a fun party. I do my best work when I am feeling festive. Set up those appointments you have been putting off all year-long. Meet those people who have been busy week after week, chances are you may catch them with more time during the days leading up to Christmas. I get more done in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Stay the course and don’t drop the ball (no pun intended). Keep pushing through and lean in to your business.
 It will pay off in the end.

Putting Christ back into Christmas: How one mom turned her mediocre Christmas back to a Christ-centered Christmas

Today I have a guest writer. She is a wife, mother, survivor, servant of The Lord, friend, and a overcomer. I know you will enjoy reading about how she took her pain and made something beautiful.

Mediocre Christmas

Growing up in South Jersey with a single mom and two other sisters, all we had to live on was welfare money. All my days growing up I never knew of a job that my mom had. My mom struggled with drug and alcohol issues. And so our Christmases were very simple. It wasn’t a big event and many of our Christmases just went by, then there were times when it was drowned in booze or other stuff. We learned how to deal with whatever the season brought us. All that mattered was that I had my sisters with me.

Advent idea, Holy Experience


But my life and Christmas changed when a short visit turned into a forever visit to my aunt and uncle’s house. Being that my mom and sisters became homeless while I was visiting, they thought it best that I stay to live with my aunt and uncle. The separation was more than I could have imagined. It was then that I learned how to cope by pretending. Pretending not to feel or care became my normal state. This went on for years and years: In fact all my Christmases were “pretend” I tried for so long not to remember, not to feel sadness. I just continued to do tradition the way I had always known, but it hurt.
 Years Later
Years later I became a believer in Christ.  Being new to the faith, I had no expectations about any of the holidays. But what I saw was that Christians didn’t really celebrate Christmas that differently from how everyone else celebrate. A few of the things I did observe was that much thought went into giving gifts to so many people: teachers, friends, mailman, just everyone and anyone. What I didn’t see was what was important. I did not see other families surround their Christmas around Christ. They may sing the right songs or tack on the Bible story of Christ on Christmas morning but that was pretty much it. And it seemed that the only time you see or hear of God was at Christmas time throw in with all the hub bub of the season. Much, of what people did was a strong focus on the tree and the ornaments. Ornament memories, memories of family members who have passed on, a child’s first ornament etc…. As years pass by all of this was too much for me. I wanted more God centered Christmas and less of people and stuff. It was completely unfulfilling and so void of anything that really matters to my faith.
So my heart cried out for something different but I didn’t know how to do Christmas any differently  because our culture tells us this is what how we do it.

Coming soon

Be on the look out for a guest blogger/writer who will be sharing how she (amidst grief and pain)has brought the real meaning of Christmas to her home. A triumphant story not to be missed.


10 Thanksgiving survival tips: A Life Coach meets Foodie/Cook guide to Thanksgiving

42 items I can’t live without

Don’t know if this will be a good thing or a wise thing, but here goes. I usually forget my grocery lists, and I like to shop at a few different specialty type stores. These stores are not close to my home. So going to these stores and coming home without items that I “can’t live without” or can’t get anywhere else, brings me much pain.

pinterest, aldi, trader joe's, dollar tree, saving money, grocery list

Don’t Forget

So I have developed a small system of master lists that I keep on my phone. I keep them in my notes section on my iPhone, but you could use a lists app, like Any.do or Task. You can even make a google doc and keep it on your sheets app. Wherever you want to store it, make sure it is with you when you go shopping.

My Lists

These lists are not exhaustive lists. They are lists of things that I always buy at these stores. They are items that are great deals, or items that I cannot get elsewhere. Here are my lists to give you an example of what I am talking about.

Trader Joe’s

*Dog food


*brussels sprouts

*Tuscan Pane bread



*French liquid soap


*rice crisps


*baking powder

*orange chicken

*cookie butter

*Blondie brownie mix



*canned beans

*canned cream of mushroom or chicken

*canned soup


*dog treats

*maple cookies (seasonal)


*baking items ie; flour, sugar, oil, baking soda, salt, spices

*cheeses, eggs, milk & butter (stock up items)



*maple syrup

Dollar Tree

*chicken stock

*light bulbs


*graham crackers


*dryer sheets

*greeting cards

*bar soap & body wash

*toothbrushes & floss

*mailing supplies



*over the counter generic medicines

*foil pans

trader joe's, aldi, dollar tree

I keep adding more items to these lists as I discover more goodies. So if you have something you think I should add to the list please share it with me. Happy Shopping.






What is a Life Coach?

Thought I would share a bit about what I do when I am not squeezing out a blog post here and there. I am a certified Life/Business Coach. I bet you have heard of one but you don’t really know what they do. I must say that more info can be found on my website at Brentwood Life Coach.  But here is what a life coach can do for you. 


Life Coach you will uncover hidden mindsets that are keeping you running fast but getting nowhere, identify the energy drainers that are weighing you down, be inspired and motivated to move into the beauty of balanced living. One thing is for sure is that everyone needs help along the path of life. Tiger Woods, at the top of his game, still seeks his coach to help him improve his skills and stay on his game. A similar bond exist between the life coach and the client. Statistics show that you get more results if you hire a personal trainer than trying it on your own.

The same goes for hiring a LIFE COACH, you will make huge strides towards your goal with the accountability of a Life Coach.

Here are some stats on what coaching can do for you.

  • A higher level of self-awareness: 67.6%
  • Smarter goal-setting: 62.4%
  • A more balanced life: 60.5%
  • Lower stress levels: 57.1%
  • Self-discovery: 52.9%
  • More self-confidence: 52.4%
  • Improvement in quality of life: 43.3%
  • Enhanced communication skills: 39.5%
  • Project completion: 35.7%
  • Health or fitness improvement: 33.8%
  • Better relationships with boss or co-workers: 33.3%
  • Better family relationships: 33.3%
  • Increased energy: 31.9%
  • More fun: 31.9%
  • More income: 25.7%
  • Stopped a bad habit: 25.7%
  • Change in career: 24.3%
  • More free time: 22.9%
  • Increased profitability of business: 17.1%
  • Started new business: 12.9%
  • Empowered employees: 11.0%

One more stat. 96% of people who have hired a coach are satisfied and would repeat the process.


Sprout goodness

The the other day I made the most amazing brussels sprouts ever! I coated them with a bit of maple syrup and then some salt and pepper. Then I threw the whole stalk on the grill and they were delish. They looked a bit charred but it was sweet and savory slap to momma good. Soooo yummy. Here is the before and the uber good after.