Tuesday, September 16, 2014

TOS Review: The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner

  I'm an unorganized, homeschooling mom of two, who just recently started a photography business.  My days are filled with school work, extra-curricular activities, meal planning, cleaning, blogging responsibilities, photo-sessions, and image editing.  I've been having an extremely hard time juggling everything and most days end with me feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.  

When offered to review a new time management system, The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner, from The 7 Minute Life, I jumped on the opportunity.  

The 7 Minute Life is a time management and productivity company, whose goal is to provide management strategies to prioritize, organize, and simplify your life in just 7 minutes.


I received The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner, which is filled with many time management and productivity tools designed to help you organize your life and make more efficient use of your time.  

Age Recommendation: Adults 

Cost: $24.95

There is a 100% money back guarantee.  If you don't see a positive change in your life in 30 days of use, you may send it back for a full refund.  


What's included in The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner?

-The 7 Minute Daily is a 7.3" by 8.5" physical planner, consisting of 271 total pages.

-The first section of the planner is a detailed introduction of how to use the planner,  In addition, it walks you through how to prioritize your top values and establish goals.  There is a 12-minute video explaining more details of implementing the planner into your life.  

-The remaining pages of the planner is to be used for a 90-day time frame.  There are 90 "daily progress reports" consisting of a 2-page spread for each day.  For each day, there is a space for daily contacts, 5 before 11, connections, unfinished tasks, money spent, dietary documentation, appointments, voice mail messages, and thank you notes.   


How did I use The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner

-Once I received the planner, it took me a few days to figure out how to use it.  I watched the above video and the additional videos, read the introduction, and completed the activities within the introduction.  It seemed like a lot of preparation to learn how to use a planner. 

-For the first week, I tried to fill in every space, but quickly discovered, that I was spending way too much time recording everything that wasn't necessary for my lifestyle.  Afterward, I decided to simplify my daily progress reports.  I only filled out the "What I will do...5 before 11" and "7 Minute Connections" sections.     

-For my daily life, the "What I will do...5 before 11" section was very beneficial.   It is a simple way to make a prioritized list of the five highest-value activities and committing to finishing each one  before 11:00am.

One of my 5 before 11 lists... 

1.  Unload dishwasher.

2.  Wash and dry two loads of laundry. 

3.  Give dog heart worm medicine.

4.  Call refrigerator repair guy. 

5.  Complete 7 Minute Connections 

Even though these were small tasks, it did help me stay motivated to complete another five tasks the following day.  And, I really did enjoy checking the "yes" box at the bottom of the daily progress report after the question, Did I do what I said I would do today?  

-For my photography business, the "7 Minute Connections" section was a simple and helpful way to stay connected with clients.  I would list three people that I needed to connect with, such as writing a reminder email to a client, following up with a Facebook message from a prospective client, or sending out a thank you note after a photo-session.  

What did I like about The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner

-It encouraged me to take 7 minutes of my day to think about and create a written daily plan of action, then I was able to focus and complete those five tasks.  

-The "What I will do...5 before 11" section helped improve my time management and increased my daily productivity.  

-10% of all net profits are donated to a charitable fund, which provides water, food, education, and animals to people in need. 


Connect with The 7 Minute Life

Be sure to sail over to see what other Crew Mates had to say about their experience with The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner.  

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Natural Bridge and Monacan Village

The girls and I always enjoy our visits to Natural Bridge and the Monacan Village.  
In 1774, just prior to the American Revolution and writing of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson purchased the Natural Bridge and 157 acres of surrounding land for 20 shillings from King George III of England.  

It is believed that George Washington surveyed the Natural Bridge and carved his initials on the wall of the bridge.  The girls always remember to look for George Washington's initials.  The little white rectangle is a great reminder.  

"According to tradition, the Monacan Indian people called the Natural Bridge “The Bridge of God” after discovering it while evading an advancing enemy centuries ago. Today the Monacan Indian Nation and Virginia’s Natural Bridge Park have joined together to construct a living history exhibit, which is popular with education programs and visitors alike.  Guests have the opportunity to step back in time over 300 years to visualize what life was like in a typical Monacan Indian settlement. The exhibit is along the Cedar Creek nature trail, just past the Natural Bridge. Learn about cooking, tool production, pottery, basket weaving, gardening, and more."
The Monacan Village is an exciting area to explore.  The daily activities change seasonally, so my girls learn something new with each visit.  Over the last few weeks, we've been learning about the different Native American tribes throughout the United States, so it was great for them to see the settlement and daily chores of Native Americans that actually lived in our area.  

At the Trading Poft, they recognized many of the trinkets that were traded by the Europeans and Native Americans.  

In the Men's Workshop, they learned about how the Native American made axes and bows and arrows.  

Not only did the Monacan Indians trade with Europeans, they also traded with the coastal Native Americans.  They used the received shells as a communication device.

The girls enjoyed exploring this little area.  It had many treasures, including toys that the Monacan children would have played with.  

They were able to easily recognize the round house and the long house.  The Monacans' used round houses as their living quarters and the long house for special gatherings and ceremonies.  

They were thrilled to see and watch the female Native American.  They loved her outfit and quickly requested one too.  They were a little surprised to find out about the women's daily chores.  

 After thoroughly exploring the Monacan Village, we continued to explore the Cedar Creek Trail. 


Friday, September 5, 2014

Birthday Girl!

The birthday girl requested homemade chocolate chip scones for breakfast.  After spending this summer watching Liberty Kids, she is obsessed with American History; therefore, requested  American-theme decorations. 

We skipped school for the day and spent the entire afternoon at the splash park with friends!

She was extremely patient and waited until after dinner to open her family gifts.  

She was thrilled with her Book of North American Birds!  Bird-watching has become a favorite hobby of hers. 

If you're watching birds, you need a window bird feeder.  

And, binoculars too!  


Happy 8th Birthday, Izzie!  

Friday, August 22, 2014

TOS Review: Happy Kids Songs

My girls, ages 7 and 5, love music, whether they're singing and dancing along to a favorite character's theme song in our living room or a popular song on the radio, they are constantly singing.  It seems like once the lyrics go in, they are easily remembered and repeated.  So, I'm always monitoring their music and trying to find wholesome age-appropriate music for them to listen and sing along too.

This summer my girls have been enjoying the music from Happy Kids Songs.  Happy Kids Songs produces adult quality music that is entertaining and age-appropriate for younger children.

There are 8 different albums to download, each containing 5 songs.

Cost:  $4.95 per album or $0.99 per song

Recommended Age: 3-8 years old

  We received the following downloadable albums to review:

Friends & Sharing (Set 1)

The topics on the Friends & Sharing album includes, essential ingredients of friendships, tools for reaching out to others, making sure to include others, being happy with friends, and dealing with saying goodbye.  A sample of each song is available.

Happiness & Attitude (Set 5)

The Happiness & Attitude album has songs related to being thankful, positive thinking and giving compliments, paths to happiness, handling frustration and limitations, and being together and apart.  A sample of each song is available.  

Manners & Character (Set 6) 

The main topics on the Manners & Character album are the value of honestly, rudeness and manners, appreciating differences, consideration for others, and honoring other perspectives.

In addition, we received the physical book, Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands-On Activities to Build Character, Social and Emotional Skills.

The soft-bound workbook consists of 125-pages, including a lyrics page and a coloring or activity page for all 40 Happy Kids Songs.  In addition, there are numerous lessons, including activities, such as crafts, movement, drama, games, and discussion topics.

Cost: $12.56

Recommended Age: 3-8 years old

*Receive free downloadable pages of lyrics, coloring and activity pages for all 40 Happy Kids Songs by signing up on their mailing list via e-mail.*


How did we incorporate Happy Kids Songs?

-After downloading the songs, I reviewed all songs and decided which ones were most appropriate for my girls.  Most of the songs had a catchy beat and had a good message for young children.  However, there were several songs that I did not find appropriate or beneficial for our home; therefore, my girls were unable to listen to those particular songs.  Once I decided which songs were a good fit for our family, I simply burned the songs on a CD.  

-After reviewing the songs, I wasn't sure how my girls were going to respond.  My girls love music, but they are very picky about their music.  They listened to the Happy Kids Songs, while free playing and while in the car.  They enjoyed many of the songs, but found some songs a little too childish.  


What did I like about the albums from Happy Kids Songs?

-The songs were age-appropriate for younger children and the themes were directly related to common issues for the age group of 3-8 years old.  However, several topics were questionable with how they were presented.  I would highly recommend parents to preview the songs first and decide which songs are appropriate for your children.

-The variety of music was refreshing.  Each song had it's own style.  There were adult and child soloists, children's chorus, and a wide range of instruments and styles of music.

-You can create your own custom CD for your children by downloading and burning only the songs that you want.  This is extremely beneficial.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/happykidssongs

Twitter: @howsyourfam

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/4DrMacMusic

Be sure to sail over to see what other Crew Mates had to say about their experience with Happy Kids Songs.

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