Category Archives: Get Busy with Me

5 Reasons you NEED to take your vacation days

No one will ever accuse me of leaving any vacation days on the books. But according to statics I’m the minority. In 2016, Americans forfeited 206 million vacation days. A new study from Project: Time Off,  indicates we are likely missing out on much more, too. In late 70’s statics showed Americans understood the importance of getting away from the office. On average, we were taking off more than 20 days a year. More current statistics show it’s now down to just 16 days a year.

The first day of summer is 21 days away.  Top of your TO DO list today

I know what you’re thinking you don’t have time for a vacation. Find out why you NEED to make time, here with  5 benefits of using your vacation days.

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  1. Reconnect

Have you noticed you’re constantly pushing off dates with your hubby or canceling “girls night” with your best friends because of work or exhaustion?  When was the last time your kids saw your fun side?  The reality is these are the people you’ll be sharing this lifetime with, not your coworkers. Disconnecting from work when you get home in the evening is hard these days. Technology makes it easier than ever to check your emails from your home and that phone you never put down keeps you distracted at the dinner table. Load that family up and pitch a tent over a long weekend and get to know your family. Sure, work is important… hey we’ve got to pay the bills but you won’t regret the occasional day off to spend on the couch with your partner, lunch with your tribe, or a play date with the kids. Taking time off helps remind us that we are a person with interest and hobbies. Taking the time to remember what they are with the most important people in your life will help us remember why we go to work every day.

If you think ..

  1. Send the right message to your employer

Ever brag about “never taking time off?” You probably also find yourself skipping lunch, staying late or coming in early. Without realizing it your sending the message that you can’t handle your work load and your boss has noticed. If you overwork yourself, you’re just going to burn out, get sick, and eventually do a disservice to your employer, your career, and your health.

Thinking your workplace will shut down if you’re not there to “handle everything” sends a negative vibe to your co-workers.  Realizing you’re not as important as you think you are, keeps you grounded and appreciative of those around you.  So instead of burying yourself in another project hand it off to a coworker with confidence and schedule those vacation days. This message is clear.

“I’ve got this and everything is going to be okay while I’m gone.”

This kind of confidence will get your coworkers and your bosses attention in a positive way.

Sunset chaser

  1. Recharge yourself mentally and physically

The anxiety that builds when you work like a million days all in a row, is evident. It’s only a matter of time before your brain gives out on you. Ideas dry up, and routine tasks become painfully challenging. Honestly look back on the work you’ve completed, is it your best stuff? Taking even one day off from the daily grind can help you be more creative, innovative and actively engaged.

Work stress has a negative effect on you physically as well. If you’re routinely putting in 10-12 hour days, 7 days a week, your body will rebel. Irritability, fatigue, insomnia, inability to concentrate, memory loss, eye strain and the unattractive result from lack of sleep, dark circles, are all signs your working too hard. Without recharging your battery, prolong abuse can also become a more serious health concern including high blood pressure, weight gain, hair loss, depression, digestive problems, skin problems or much worse.

If you want to give your best to your career you need to take care of yourself. If you think your burnout is going unnoticed, your wrong. You can only fake it for so long. If you’ve started hearing comments from your coworkers like “are you okay?” and “You look tired” then your cover’s been blown. They are on to you and even the most innovative excuses won’t cover for your poor performance. The cure is simple, pencil in some time off. Your mind and body not to mention that coworker you snapped at, will all thank you.

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  1. Get inspired

Your creativity comes from your surroundings, if all you ever see are the walls of your cubical then it’s safe to say your inspiration will be limited.  You know the refreshed feeling you get when you take 10 minutes away from your desk? Imagine how you’d feel if you took a few days or even a week away. Even if your career isn’t in a creative field you need to fuel you spirit to be at your best.  You can’t be an interesting person if all you ever talk about is work. Have you ever endured a long-suffering story about someone’s coworker? Yeah that’s because all they have too share is what they’ve heard around the water cooler. You don’t want to be that person. Imagine the story’s you could share about your vacation to Greece or the Red Woods in northern California, and yes please pull out the photos. Inspire others to go on adventures. You’ll return to work rejuvenated and enthusiastic about life, because you actually have one.

blog post image perspective 5- 5 reasons

  1. Adjusting your compass

When was the last time you woke up in the morning excited about going to work? Is your day filled with routines that you perform out of habit?

Are you even happy at work?

Taking time away from the office can help you navigate where you’re headed and gain perspective. It can be scary to reevaluate your career especially if you’ve invested several years towards it. You owe it to yourself to take time off and open your mind to all the possibilities. Allow yourself to day-dream on the beach over a long weekend, what’s that dream life look like? You may find that a day off gets your gears turning and helps you focus more on the tasks that get you the results you’re after or maybe you need to change directions all together.

Teach your children

As a parent, we are always setting an example, good and bad, for our children. Of course, we want to instill a good work ethic but you also need to show them how to live a balanced and enriching life. What kind of message are we sending when we express guilt for taking the day off or consider vacation time as an indulgence?  Walking away from the computer, leaving the cell on vibrate or better yet turning it off and ignoring emails for a day or two teach a valuable lesson. Show them by example that they are a priority and that life doesn’t always have to be an urgent issue. Teaching them to appreciate down time will set them up for physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Less than half of America’s workforce use all their vacation days. If that’s because you just can’t afford to take a vacation don’t let that stop you from taking the time off.  You can “get away” without even leaving the house. Shut off your technology, turn up the heat, replace the recliner with a beach chair and schedule a marathon of beach inspired movies. Don’t forget to make yourself a pitcher of your favorite tropical cocktail.   Leaving your worries behind even for a day can prepare you to tackle anything that comes your way at work.

I started off the year with a request to my family. I asked that we choose a date, set in stone, for our family vacation. At the time the date we choose was rather random, but as the calendar began to fill up it was important that it was written in ink. This made it easier to say

“no, sorry I can’t that week I’ll be on vacation”

Equally important was putting in our vacation request at work six months early, since we all have careers and scheduling at the last minute can be problematic. Bonus: the anticipation of a vacation is good for the soul. We are all looking forward to our trip and even though some surprises have come up since the date was chosen, like the announcement of grand-baby number two, we’ve made a commitment and we’re sticking to it. Look for my vacation pics coming soon to the blog.

Conservation Champion

wanna-saveWhen I’m in budget mode I start thinking energy efficiency. There are some drastic measures that can be taken to reduce power cost but the easiest and most affordable way is to become a conservation champion.

One of my day jobs includes helping our members understand their power cost and how to save money while maintaining a comfortable home and I put all that good advice to the test in our home.

Energy efficiency… doing more with less energy. Saving money, improving the economy, helping the environment, improve national security and enhancing the quality of life are most commonly noted as the top five reasons that people, companies and governments choose to use energy more efficiently. However, if you’re like me it’s most likely just a way to keep your family expenses within budget.

There are over 100 million residences in America today and they collectively use an estimated 22% of the country’s energy. It’s important to know what your usage is and what it cost you. To do that you need to know what a Kilowatt is. When you use electricity to cook a pot of food for one hour; you use 1,000 watt-hours of electricity. One thousand watt-hours equals one kilowatt. Your utility bill shows what you are charged for the kilowatt-hours you use. A typical household consumes about 11,800 kilowatts per year. Knowing that, let’s get down to the number one reason you’re interested in energy conservation; saving money.

You may be under the impression that becoming an energy conservation champion requires a lot of expense and hard work. Not necessarily, if you are ready to make some changes start by completing an energy usage audit with your family. Ask yourself some very basic questions like, do you leave unnecessary lights on? Is the computer always in standby mode? Has your thermostat been set at  70 degrees all winter?  Has your family become accustomed to 20 minute showers? All of these lifestyle choices increase your energy usage. Imagine if each member of your family made a single energy saving change; that cost savings can really add up.


Start by raising or lowering the thermostat a few degrees. By setting the temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the warm summer months or lowering the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the cold winter months, you could save up to eight percent on monthly cooling and heating bills. Programmable thermostats make it easy to save by offering pre-programmed settings to regulate your home’s temperature.  I got ours on Amazon.

  • Air that transfers in and out of homes through cracks, crevices and holes can increase energy consumption. Test your home for air tightness. On a windy day, carefully hold a lit incense stick or smoke pen next to your windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches and other places where air may leak. If the smoke travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing or weather stripping.
  • Seal around pipe penetration coming through walls. Ensure weather-stripping around doors and windows is tight.
  • When your fireplace is not operating, its flue should be closed tightly.
  • Check the ceiling behind the cornice of built-in bookshelves for holes cut during construction.
  • Drop-down, disappearing stairways should fit tightly into the ceiling and be carefully weather-stripped.
  • Whole-house attic fans should be sealed tightly during the winter.
  • Make sure your outside dryer vent door closes when the dryer is not in use.
  • Check the insulation in your attic, exterior and basement walls, ceilings, floors and crawl spaces.

One of the most cost-effective ways to make your home more comfortable year-round is to add insulation to your attic, including the attic trap or access door. To find out if you have enough attic insulation, measure the thickness. If you have R-19 or less insulation in your attic, consider bringing it up to R-49 in cold climates. If you have R-11 or less floor insulation, consider bringing it up to R-25. Jump over to the Home Depot website for tons of great energy saving products.

Plug home electronics, such as computers, printers, TVs, DVD players and gaming devices, into power strips; then, turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use. Computers, TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power. Head back over to Amazon and check out this smart energy saving surge protector.

Now take a look at your appliances, they account for about 13% of your household’s energy costs, with refrigeration, cooking and laundry at the top of the list. If you’re interested in making a small investment in you pursuit of energy conservation here are some things to consider. When you are shopping for appliances, think of two price tags. The first one covers the purchase price… view this as a down payment. The second price tag is the cost of operating the appliance during its lifetime. You’ll be paying on that second price tag every month with your utility bill for the next 10 to 20 years, depending on the appliance. If your lucky enough to be receiving your power from a cooperative you should contact them about energy saving appliance rebates.

When it comes to your household appliances maybe all you need is a little maintenance to trim energy usage. For example make sure refrigerator and freezer seals fit tightly when doors close. Keep outside coils clean. Dirty coils make your refrigerator compressor work longer to remove heat. Setting your freezer below 0° F uses extra energy as does setting your refrigerator below 37° F. Heating and air conditioning uses the largest chunk of your home energy dollar. Keeping it running “lean and mean” increases its efficiency. Have an HVAC technician check your systems to verify they are moving the correct amount of air. Heat pump and air conditioning systems should be checked annually to verify they are properly charged, strictly in accordance with manufacturers’ guidelines. Inside and outside coils should be kept clean and free of debris.

Say you decided to upgrade your refrigerator to one of those energy efficient models but you haven’t notice a big savings. In order to be assured you’re buying the most energy efficient model look for the Energy Star logo. Energy Star products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Properly disposing of old appliances is an important part of the energy conservation process. If you hauled the old refrigerator out to your garage and plugged it in, you’re not saving any money. Mistakes like this are very common.


Let’s talk lighting; by replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient halogens, CFLs or LEDs  you can save 30-80% on energy bills. That adds up to annual savings of $50 to more than $100. In addition, LEDs light-emitting diodes or LED bulbs are rapidly expanding in household use. Energy Star qualified LEDs use only about 20-25% of the energy and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. They come in a variety of colors, and some are dimmable or offer convenient features such as daylight and motion sensors.

Water heating is the second largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 18% of your electric bill. There are ways to cut your water heating bills. The first is to use less hot water; take short showers instead of baths and wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. The second is turning down the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F, third is to insulate the water heater, and finally, if your current hot water heater’s warranty has expired, consider replacing it with a new, more energy efficient model.

Windows can be one of your home’s most attractive features. They provide views, day lighting, ventilation and heat from the sun in the winter. Unfortunately, they can also account for 10-25% of your heating bill by letting heat out. If your home has single-pane windows, consider replacing them with double-pane, high performance glass, low-e or spectrally selective coatings. In colder climates, select gas-filled windows with low-e coatings to reduce heat loss. Windows with low-e coating on the glass reflect heat back into the room during the cold winter months. If you can’t make the investment in new windows right now, simply keeping curtains and windows closed tightly and locked will add up to significant savings.

Making small changes at home has proven to ease the pressure of high power cost, but being an energy conservation champion also helps improve the economy.  Unfortunately, a lot of energy is wasted. When we waste energy in our homes, we are throwing away money that could be used for other things. The typical U.S. family spends at least $2,000 a year on home utility bills. Investing in energy efficient appliances, windows or insulation is putting money back into our economy. Spending the money we save on family vacations or entertainment also contributes to a healthy economy.

Since we have more money available to spend it’s important to make sure we have a healthy planet in which to play on. It’s a no-brainer; when we use less energy, we save precious natural resources and cut down on pollution.  Because of energy-efficient technologies and policies the United States is now using 56% less energy. Investments in energy efficiency across the biggest sectors of our economy could decrease up to 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions annually – that’s equal to taking all U.S. cars and trucks off the road for one year.


Optimizing your quality of life can be accomplished when you become a conservation champion. The power of feeling good about lessening your environmental impact on our planet is just the beginning. The results of the small changes you make are endless. Your home is more comfortable because of the heating or cooling changes made, your appliances run more efficiently and you have more money in your pocket because of it. Now is the time to turn your family into conservation champions. Complete a household energy audit and start a project list of small changes that you can make. Whether you take simple steps or make large investments to make your home more efficient, you will see lower energy bills. Over time, those savings will typically pay for the cost of the improvements and put money back in your pocket.

Spring Obsession- Blush

PINK5 INEXPENSIVE WAYS TO ADD IT TO YOUR SPRING WARDWROBEI’m going crazy for pink this season, particularly blush. A few weeks ago I noticed I was instantly attracted to the color pink. I assume this was because we are currently beginning our 8th month of winter and I was subconsciously seeking spring.

But as the rest of the world is welcoming this glorious season I see that I’m not the only one who’s crushing on pink. This key neutral is perfectly paired with navy, green even last season’s hot color-red. Here is how I’m refreshing my closet with my new obsession. incorporating

just 5 key “blush” items into my wardrobe.

  1. It all started with a stroll through Target when I eyed this cute little clutch.51573461 My sister is the clutch queen (she inspires me to travel light) I thought Oh.. I could totally see myself stepping into spring while toting only my essentials in this cute little bag. I was surprised at how much stuff I was willing to go without just so I could carry it.
  2. My next love affair is with these cute little booties in blush.IMG_0823 Around these parts it’s likely I’ll still be stepping over puddles and dodging snow piles so a spring bootie is very practical. I found them on  I’ve worn them with my olive jeggings, my wine colored slacks and they are awesome with denim.
  3. Literally snatched this pretty cardigan IMG_1181up on my way to the checkout counter. Can you say impulse buy? No regrets- The best part of having a color obsession is you don’t have to over think the purchase. You know you have room in your wardrobe to make this piece work repeatedly. The cardigan is perfect over a navy blouse and I wore it with my floral cherry tunic and of course if you slip on the booties it pulls it all together.
  4. I found this beautiful scarf IMG_1179 while I was in Paris. I originally bought it for my sister but just couldn’t part with it. (I bought her a different one) The light feel and feminine nature of it was why I fell in love in the first place and now I’m pulling it into all my outfits. If your not able to jet over to Paris this spring to pick one up then your next best option is Amazon. I have this very classic navy blazer but when I add the soft pretty Paris scarf it doesn’t have to be all business. And it has the opposite effect when I wear it with my super comfy distressed skinny boyfriend jeans in grey wash that I picked up on sale at Maurices.
  5. Every spring wardrobe needs a girly dress and this one fit’s my obsession perfectly. IMG_1183When I needed a dress for my daughter’s baby shower I found this beauty on Amazon. of course I had to hem it (short people problems) but it’s to die for comfortable and makes me feel pretty. Yep my booties and pink cardigan look great with this but I like it better with grey. The pink/grey combination is a classic elegant look and I just happen to have a short little grey sweater with pearl buttons and grey suede mules  that scream Easter Party.

Rest Easy During the Time Change


You might think losing an hour in your day would wreak havoc on a busy gals schedule; but making these 5 adjustments helps me fool my circadian rhythm into thinking nothing’s changed.

rest1. Rest in a pretty place. My husband hates that I make the bed everyday. He will say.. “ugh. I just got it the way I wanted it and then you go and put it all back together.” Little does he know I’m doing him a huge favor. Crisp, clean sheets, fluffy pillows and a warm blanket are essential factors in a good nights sleep. In preparation for the time change give your bed a bit of attention. Flip the mattress, fresh sheets and change out the heavier winter bedding for something light. Give the heater a break, allow for cooler temps during the night to promote a better nights rest. Consider relocating fido or fluffy to a bed of there own. Remove any clutter from the room and go ahead and hide the remote, distract him with a little snuggle time, he will thank you for it later.

2. Anticipation. It’s not like we don’t see it coming. Clear your calendar as much as possible for the days just prior to the time change. Plan a cozy movie night for Friday, skip the cocktails and go ahead and fall asleep a little earlier than usual. The extra sleep during the days leading up to the lost hour will make all the difference as your body adjusts to getting up earlier on Monday morning. Weather permitting, get outside over the weekend and soak in some sun but don’t forget your sunblock. My favorite is

Herbalife SKIN™ Protective Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen 30 mL Aireless Pump

This is also a great time to start an A.M. exercise routine. Working out releases serotonin which plays a vital role in your sleep/wake cycle.

3. Close the curtains. It might be tempting to take advantage of that extra hour of sunlight on Sunday evening but for the first few days close the curtains and trick your body into thinking it’s bed time already. Just the right amount of daylight and dark is vital to maintaining your circadian rhythm.

hide4. More bathroom time. Go ahead and hang that do not disturb sign on the bathroom door. Take a bath, give yourself a facial or an at home pedi treatment. Whiten your teeth and condition your hair. All of these will help promote a sense of relaxation and allow you to fall asleep more quickly.

5. Record it. Put that DVR to good use.I know it’s tempting to stay up late and watch all your t.v shows but if your favorites don’t come on until late in the evening go ahead and hit record, you be happy you did when you get to skip over all those pesky commercials, plus you’ll want to go to bed earlier over the weekend and catch up on extra zzz’s.

Daylight savings time doesn’t have to interrupt your busy schedule. Making a few adjustments like the ones mentioned can set you up for success. Bonus… you’ll be rested and ready to enjoy those long summer nights ahead.



Get Busy with me in 2017


A new year almost always brings new resolutions. It’s natural to want a fresh start, to dream big and make it the best year yet. Setting ourselves up for success means taking a careful look at where you’ve been and where you want to go and then putting everything into motion. For me success planning for 2017 started about six months ago.

It was July 2016 when I realized I I needed more time to myself. As a busygal I want to get the most of each day and I was; but there always seemed to be more I really wanted to do and obviously there just wasn’t enough time in the day. Prioritizing was where I was lacking. Taking stock of what I really wanted to do and making time for it needed to become my #1 priority, bu with so many commitments I knew I couldn’t just walk away. So I declared 2017 to be “all about me” and set my plan in motion.

Part of living an Actively Engaged Life is feeling fulfilled at the end of the day. So I started recruiting people to fill some of my community commitments and said “No Thank You” to new opportunities that didn’t fit on my “me” priority list. “Future awareness is one of the trickiest concepts to teach and also one of the toughest to learn. It is the essence of true time management” Leslie Josel.

For the past 7 years my world and family life had been led by my commitment to our local Relay for Life event. I’d worked my way into the Event Lead position, which was responsible for the local event. We’d raised a great deal of money for the American Cancer Society with our small local event and in order to keep up that trend it required a great deal of time and dedication. Recruiting the right people to serve on the committee, motivating and inspiring them to fulfill their commitments and then there’s all that fundraising. Somewhere along the way I was recruited to lead on a broader scale by volunteering as the ACS Area Lead, helping to inspire and motivate Event Leads in the Northern Territory which included Northern Nevada and Idaho. Then I was promoted to Territory Lead which broadened my area to include Alaska and Oregon. Needless to say it required a major time commitment. Here’s the thing, once I resigned myself into finding others to fill this role people stepped up. Trust me, this wasn’t easy but it’s important to let others feel the excitement of a job well done and taking pride in their success can be very fulfilling. Over the next six months I slowly let go and watched others rise to the occasion. Here’s where the balance comes in. I’ll still have my personal Relay for Life Team, we will raise money and be a part of the event. Giving up my role doesn’t mean I have given up on the cause, it was just time to let someone else take the lead.

bye-bye-gym-1The Gym- my nemesis. From the day their doors opened I was a member. (we only have one gym in town and it opened about 8 years ago) and during those years I have given a lot to that place. Mostly time and money. My addiction has varied over the years from going there every night after work for an hour or more too driving by and waving as my monthly membership dues were being withdrawn automatically from my checking account. I’ve gone full out (yes I blacked out while on the treadmill and fell off and yes the security cameras caught it all) I’ve hired personal trainers, took yoga and spinning classes and embarrassed myself in more than one cardio class. But during all that time one thing I never did was lose weight, at least nothing that I was able to sustain or even brag about. So this year I did the opposite of what most people do at the start of the new year. I quit the gym. Yes, I’ve already started dreaming about what I’ll do with the extra money but what’s more important is I have a plan of how I’ll be keeping fit in the new year. It includes trying new things like being brave enough to put on a swimsuit and taking advantage of modern technology. Later this month I’ll share my full wellness plan for 2017.

lets-slow-downThe word busy has a reputation as being a negative word and I’m out to set things straight. We move so quickly through life. Work, social media, commitments and obligations all come at us at a rapid rate and we call this a busy life. It doesn’t have to be like that. We can take control of all of those distractions and get busy living the life we’ve always wanted.

Thanks for

Getting Busy with me

Christina xoxo