Recognizing what Lies Ahead: Productivity Hack using a Kanban Board

The art of making lists has been so helpful in getting me from A to Z. It's helped me stay on track and recognize what lies ahead. But I have discovered a new system. I love it because you can see your progress better than just crossing things off your list. It's called a Kanban Board.  Have you heard of it?  You can make your own or download the app Kanban Flow



This last week my guest on Rising Stories Podcast shared her productivity tip with me. She uses a Kanban board and raves about how it keeps her productive. 

Kanban boards, typically use sticky notes on a whiteboard to communicate status, progress, and issues. Kanban is the Japanese word for visual signal or card. 

I decided to look into this system. It was so helpful that I have decided to use it in all of the areas of my work, life, parenting and social goals. The concept is a board with sticky notes in columns that you move as each task moves in progression.


Let’s try using a Kanban board this week. Using a piece of paper divide it up in three sections. To Do, Doing, Done. I think this is going to give us so much satisfaction at the end of the week.

For larger tasks at work or a big overhaul/renovation use these sections: 





Include all of your tasks for this week. Everything from home chores, goals for kids, work tasks, and even social goals(make reservations for dinner with that couple ) If you like this concept then move it all to a larger board with sticky notes or to the app mentioned on the show. Set a timer and move through your tasks, finish one and keep moving. Research suggests that in an eight-hour day, the average worker is only productive for roughly around three hours a day. Let’s make those three hours count!


Beach Packing Menus

When we go on vacation we rent a condo on the beach. We have done this for many years, since our little boy was toothless and his big sister was waiting for her two front teeth to come in. They now have all of their teeth, thank goodness. But we are still vacationing together.
Throughout these years I have tweaked a list of items that are needed for our week's stay.

Corine Sandifer's Beach Packing Menus


Being that

A. I don't want to rush to the store to get essentials until mid week.

B. I don't want to pay beach resort prices for things that I can bring from home.

C Usually the supplies at each condo have been very minimal and not enough for a whole week's stay.

And so a beach packing list was born.

Some of these things you only need a few days worth, so why purchase  a month's supply at beach store prices, when you can bring just what you need, in small containers, from home.

This is  a great list that can be adapted to most condo rental vacations. The key is to plan your week's meals and to consolidate. I pack it all in a plastic storage tub and a small cooler. Here's how I do it.

Whether you are skiing, heading to the beach or hanging out in a rustic cabin, if you plan to cook at all or make any kind of meals in the kitchen, these items are a must. After you read this list, you may ask yourself, "Is she crazy? How am I going to pack all of this stuff and still have room for my clothes and beach chairs? The answer is in the TUB. I pack most of these items in a 30 gal plastic tub with lid. You would be surprised how much you can fit into one of these things.

Corine Sandifer Beach Menu Packing


In the Tub






old bay

italian seasoning

taco seasoning

a few rolls of toilet paper(I'm serious about not going to the store until mid week)

paper towels

paper plates

plastic cups

plastic utensils (when you take a small bowl of pasta down to the beach)


box of tissues

coffee filters/coffee/creamer/sugar

dryer sheets

laundry pods/or bag of detergent/liquid detergent in old squirt bottle or plastic container

clothes line with clips or small drying rack(for wet suits)

bar soap/or liquid soap pumps

clothes pins to close chip bags

dish detergent

dish soap

extra scrubber

a few small & Large ziplock bags (freezer ones hold up better)

extra trash bags ( since they take up little space I bring one for each day of our stay)

all-purpose cleaner wipes (once our condo had a glass table top that got gross after every meal)

big lighter (for grill lighting)

foil/parchment paper/muffin liners


all non perishable food items such as mac & cheese with cheese packets, crackers, can beans, non-melting candy, microwave popcorn, nuts, wine, pretzels, spices, salt, pepper, italian seasoning, pop-tarts,canned soups, Old Bay seasoning, rice mixes, pasta, cinnamon, sugar, oil, sugar, baking mixes (ie pancake, muffins, cookie),chips, taco seasoning

Corine Sandifer  Beach Menu Packing - Cooler


In the Cooler

Frozen lasagna for first night

Taco meat (cooked & frozen in quart size baggies)

Grilled chicken (seasoned, cooked & frozen in quart size baggies)

Cheese/sliced or shredded

3 sticks of butter(frozen)

Cooked bacon

Deli meat (just to get us through the first few days)

Here are some things I've taken in the past. Small container or milk, boiled eggs in a baggie, soup frozen in freezer bag, cooked pork chops frozen in freezer baggie and frozen alfredo sauce for pasta night. Do your research, if you can freeze it then do it and pack it.



Beach Gear


beach toys/sandcastle bldg items


aloe gel for sunburns


beach chairs

beach umbrella

floats/boogie boards/skim boards


Thought it might be helpful for me to post my beach menu for this year.

Saturday- lunch on road, dinner: Lasagna with raw veggies

Sunday- lunch:deli cheese, meat & crackers  dinner: at friends' house

Monday- lunch:Mac & Cheese with steamed broccoli  dinner: Nachos/Taco Salad (use taco meat)

Tuesday- lunch: soup  dinner: birthday seafood dinner out

Wednesday- lunch: quesadillas with any leftover taco meat or grilled chicken dinner: Pasta with salad or Pizza (take out or store-bought)

Thursday- lunch: sandwiches with chips and raw veggies  dinner: Indian chicken curry with rice and cucumber salad

Friday- lunch: leftovers or lunch out. dinner: catch of the day or buy shrimp to cook at home with baked potatoes and corn on cob.


I usually post a list of suggestions for all to see

Bacon, toast, pop-tarts, honey buns, boiled eggs, fruit, juice, oatmeal, granola, granola bars

If you would like to know what I pack to wear on the beach, check out my post on Beach Fashion Here.

Hope this has been helpful. I hope you have a great vacation and gain more time on the beach and less time in the kitchen.


If you have read this far, Thank you. I'd also like to share that I host a podcast called Rising Stories Podcast you can listen on Youtube or on itunes. 
















5 Ways to Have a Productive Summer: How the Working Gal finds More Time to Check off Her Summer Bucket


It’s Officially Summer!  Every year I make plans to squeeze out every last drop of these summer days. I need to be more productive at work so I can have extra play time. Here are 5 Ways to Have a Productive Summer. Get more time to linger longer by the pool and check off your summer bucket list.

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Seize the Dark Hours: Since daylight hours are priceless, start by getting those tedious chores around the house done before you go to work or after the sun goes down. Make it work for you, adjust your schedule to free up more daylight play time. Eliminate workday distractions: Remember your goal. If you keep your goal in mind for getting more play time, you can be more productive during office hours. Skip lunch and eat on the go if it means clocking off early.  

Plan for Fun: Summer Friday Plans are great incentives to light those productive fires at work. Power through your tasks and make sure you take small breaks. Use short breaks to check on those outdoor tickets, make a quick list of picnic items, plan your next summer weekend getaway. Set a timer. Keep it short and get back to the task at hand. Keep your bucket list full, list everything from great to small.  

Be spontaneous: Go ahead and take advantage of your free time. Ask three friends at the beginning of summer to be on your spontaneous call list. Agree to call each other for last minute summer fun. Knowing that if they can they will join in if possible. If one girlfriend can't make it go on down the list. Review your city's summer calendar and know what is coming up each week.

Eliminate those Distractions: Don't mess around, look at your day and remove anything that can be skipped or nixed. Set your timer when you need to work on something big. I like to listen to music that helps me focus. Make sure you get a good night's sleep and shut the door to stay on task. 


Keep your routines in place: Summer routines count more than other times of the year. Mostly because you want to be free from the mundane to spend on summer fun. Keep things in place, like menu planning, grocery lists, and choosing outfits for the week. Pack what you need for the next day on the night before. 

These tips should buy you some time and help you clear your head, make great plans and enjoy every week of summer. 

Grow Your Lashes & Drink some Starbucks

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I am so ready to start blogging again. Going back to my old Friday Favorites and sharing some fun things with you all. Every week I ask my guests what they are some of their absolute favorites. You can find those on the Rising Stories Podcast show notes. 


My favorites are going to be right here. 


This serum is the best around. It has made my lashes healthier and longer. It is a great product, plus it's inexpensive. I use it on my lashes every night and on days when I don't wear mascara. Love it.  

I love podcast and I am finding new ones every week. I love podcast that tell stories or teach you something. But I also love those that just entertain, like Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert. He interviews his wife Kristen Bell, Katie Couric, Anna Faris, Zack Braff and other fun guests. Take a listen. 



I am also loving my breakfast tacos made with the low carb alternative wrap from Joseph's bread. 

I am also loving my new found favorite drink at Starbucks. 

Strawberry Acai Refresher

So yummy and you get real strawberries! 

My oldie but goodie OPI nail polish: CAJUN SHRIMP


It is always a good choice for any season. It looks pink and coral all at the same time. Love it. 

I hope you enjoy these favorites. 

Simple Beach Vacation Menus

Going on a beach vacation for the cook in the family can be a juggling act. You want to feed your family healthy meals, you don’t want to eat out every meal and you want your prep time to be fast so you can enjoy the beach with everyone else.  

My simple beach menus along with my super packing tricks will have you back on the beach splashing around with your family in no time. If you are like me, you don't want to blow all of your vacation money on going out to eat either but you don't want to be a slave to the kitchen either. Who cares how fancy your condo kitchen is, you'd rather be at the beach with your family.  Buying expensive pre-made frozen meals at expensive beach grocery store prices isn't the solution either. So what is the solution?

Click here for my YouTube video on more packing tips.

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Planning and Low Expectations

Knowing what to pack and planning a few meals can make a huge difference. Much like my Simple Beach Packing post, less is more!  I don't plan meals for the whole week, keeping in mind that we will be going out a couple of times and then there is the occasional, "hey let's order a pizza tonight" I don't cook every night. This means planning 3-4 days of menus for our family is all I need to do. However, if you are like my friend Betsy who vacations with several families, you might want to plan more meals.


Strategically packing a small cooler and an 18 gal plastic tub is all you need to make your cooking time at the beach fly and save you from eating out every meal. In my small cooler I pack several quart size bags of pre-cooked meats, frozen flat, that I have prepare at home before our trip. Cooking, packaging and freezing just three entrees such as grilled fajita chicken, sliced seasoned pork loin, and taco meat will launch a number of dishes for your week at the beach. Quesadillas with fajita chicken, pork loin sandwiches, nachos with taco meat are just a few dishes you can prepare in a jiffy.

We like certain items that we cannot find in our beach town, so we make sure to pack these items. Also, the place where we stay for the week does not provide certain things like oil, salt, pepper, laundry detergent, extra paper towels, dish detergent & Old Bay Seasoning just to name a few, so we pack those things as well. I have gotten very good at packing it all in a plastic tub.

It’s amazing what you can fit into an 18 gal tub if you get creative and think outside the box (literally). Carefully re-packing mac & cheese into small baggies, snacks into smaller containers or consolidating can save you from several trips to the beach market. This will not only work with food items but works well for a weeks worth of laundry detergent or any item not supplied at your vacation rental.

In the tub I pack non-perishables:

Pasta, oil, dried fruit, favorite cereal, paper goods,  spices, peanut butter, syrup, nuts, condiments, muffin mix, and so much more. Like I said, our condo doesn't provide us with a week's worth of supplies, so we pack as much of those items as well.


In a small cooler I pack frozen items that have been pre-made(by me) the week before and frozen flat in quart size bags. 

I also bring alone other items that will keep me out of the grocery stores until mid week.

I pack grilled Chicken, taco meat, sliced and seasoned pork loin, soups, and sauces. If you have more room add these frozen items as well, deli meats, butter, dips, cookie dough and burgers (such as Bubba burgers) repackaged out of BOX! Most of these items can all fit in quart size baggies and frozen flat.

Here is this year's vacation menu:

Pasta with chicken and Alfredo sauce (pre-made sauce)

Burgers with sliced homegrown tomatoes

Annie's Mac and cheese with a side of steamed broccoli (a family favorite)

Soup & Garlic Bread

Chicken Quesadillas (I like mine with a bit of Texas Caviar too)

Sub sandwiches with deli meats and cheese



We buy fresh seafood one night to steam or bake and serve it with roadside produce red potatoes and/or corn on cob.
This might happen more than one night for lunch or supper. :)

Chips and Texas caviar or home-made salsa is our "take to the beach for a quick snack" while we catch the last bit of our sunsets.

YO YO nights (you are on your own) & eat everything in sight night- usually the night before we leave we clear everything out of the pantry or refrigerator and have it for dinner/snack

We like to make a pit stop along the way for fruit and fresh veggies to go with our meals for the week.  

You can't help but go to the store to pick up a few things like eggs, milk, or fresh breads. But with the items packed from home, I am not in a desperate state. And I don't have to spend vacation time fighting the crowds when I really want to be sticking my toes in the sand.

I hope this makes you think before your next vacation and plan some meals to make your life easier at the beach or cabin. What are some staples that you like take to the beach?


I will be writing a post on making a list for this year's vacation tub, so make sure to hit the follow button at the top, so you don't miss the post. If you are interested in connecting with Corine check out her new PODCAST called RISING STORIES. Subscribe here.

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Each week I have a guest on the podcast and ask them what their three favorite things are and they share all kinds of things with me. This week I decided to start putting my favorite things down here because one I have at least three favorite things each week that I want to share with y'all and two I need to write them down so I don't forget them. 

The first one is Maybelline's Color Tattoo 24 hr Metal eye shadow. This one is in #70 Barely Branded. They have other colors but I love this one for highlighting and as a base. 

The next favorite thing is this awesome bath bomb I found at THE DOLLAR TREE! (Pretend my voice just went up high when I said this). On the Rainbow is the scent I bought. It is so fun. Try it. 

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The last time is of course nail polish. I love me some good nail polish. Especially when its a new fall/winter color like this one. It's OPI and it is a great neutral color that can go with whatever you are wearing. It's $10.50 on Amazon but if you just buy one color for the Fall/Winter and maybe one for the Spring/Summer you are set. Plus you all know that using a gloopy nail polish at home or at the salon is not cool. Do something special for yourself and get this nail polish to add to your fall wardrobe!

That's it! If you are reading this, please leave me a comment here or on a post so I know that you liked it and want to keep going. Leave me a heart or thumbs up, not just a like but an actual something in the comment box. Thanks and look for the next ALL THINGS GOOD AND WISE post. 





FPI's for the Business Owner who Wears Many Hats

As a small business owner you have to wear so many hats. Let's face it we have to wear just about every hat! It is hard work to work from home or out of a coffee shop. Sometimes you just don't have the resources to outsource all the jobs that it takes to run your business. We wear all of these hats:

General Manager. 

Marketing Manager. 

Advertising Manager. 

Publicity Director. 


Graphic Artist and Printer Liaison.

Mail List Supervisor.

Bulk Mail Expert. 

Order Fulfillment Clerk.

Shipping Clerk. 

Secretary and Customer Relations Service. .

File Clerk. 



Computer Expert.

Whew! I am exhausted just typing all of these.

One HAT that is not on this list is Personal Shopper. I dislike this hat because I have to really think when I wear this one. It requires memory and when you are a full on business owner, spouse, mom there's not much of that left after a full day at work. Am I right?! Here is method that I have developed for myself to keep my shopper hat on straight. 



  I make a list of FPI's, that's Frequently Purchased Items from each store to help me stay on track and not forget anything. I keep these lists in my phone in the notes app under each store name. I 

Here are two of my lists from a couple of stores. I don't visit these stores every week so when I shop there, I want to make sure I stock up on my FPI's

Dollar Tree List

Light bulbs (always need these)

Bar Soap 

Plastic forks 

Chicken stock (best deal in town, I stock up on these)




Dog treats

Decorations (so easy to grab some cute holiday decorations to brighten up your office or home)

Glass bowls

Reader glasses (they come in handy)

Ibuprofen & Medicines (no, they don't sell expired medicine here)

Greeting Cards

Balloons (party in the office, no problem grab a few $1 balloons & a card)


Toothbrushes (I stock up on these)


Trader Joe's List 

Coconut oil spray 

Napkins (nice enough to serve at a dinner party)

Cauliflower rice

Cuban Black Beans (so flavorful)

Portabella mushroom fries

Shrimp (Huge shrimp from Argentina, and they taste just like lobster, awesome price too)

Chicken fried rice (Love this easy meal helper, usually get two bags)

Rice crackers (these are the best. Found above frozen dessert sections)

Tiny peas (I love peas!)


Garlic aioli Mustard

Chicken lime burgers

Angus beef burgers

Broccoli slaw

Cruciferous slaw mix

Brussel sprouts (in a bag or fresh on the stalk when in season)

Avocado's number one


Tomatillo salsa (I make my Easy Posole Soup with this jar)

Jar Pesto

spaghetti sauce(w30)

Organic flours

Coconut milk

Clarified butter


Two Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw wines)

Bread (pano & seed bread)

Kosher dill pickles

Shampoo (not the eucalyptus one, comparable to Wen brand shampoo)

Greeting Cards (always need these, great price at just $1)

Flowers & herbs  

Moisturizer with SPF

Tom's Toothpaste

Yes, all of these items are my frequently purchased items for these stores. I don't buy each one of these when I shop these places but I like to be reminded of the items just in case. I use to hate it when I would get home and forgot to pick something up that only that store sells, or I was "forced" to purchase another brand or spend more for an item that I could have picked up earlier. 

Develop your own FPI's

You can develop your own list of FPI's to keep you from going crazy when you wear the shopper hat. Do it now, imagine yourself at your favorite store and head down each aisle. Make the list and then check it off when you shop. You can wear this hat with confidence that you won't forget a thing with your FPI list. 



Guest Blogger Katy Brandt: Make your Yoga, a Practice of Exploration


Guest Blogger Katy Brandt

As a yoga teacher, I think about what I can bring to my students and how best to accomplish that. To me, personal wellness is where the journey begins and ends. For those of us who study yoga, we know there are secrets in the Yoga Sutras to guide us. And it is all about unity. ‘Yoga’ is translated as ‘to yoke’, or to create unity within the self by fully integrating mind, body, and spirit and then fully integrating with our world. If we can become accomplished as yogis, we accomplish this goal realizing the best that life has to offer to be whole as individuals and as members of society.

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In yoga, we study the eight limbs as a path to wellness and enlightenment, starting with the Yamas. The Yamas are simply five principles of self-discipline. I like to think of them as the first five commandments of yoga. They are Ahimsā (non-violence), Satya (truth), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (chastity), and Aprigrahā (non-greed). 

I don’t think it was an accident that when Patanjali took the time to record the basic tenets of yoga in the Yoga Sutras that the first principle he decided to lay down was the practice of Ahimsā. Non-violence, or non-harming, is so essential to our wellness as individuals and as members of society. Without it, we have chaos and, in short, we are not well. We are not connected within ourselves and to others. We have lost our way by not practicing our yoga.

So, what about this idea of Ahimsā, non-harming, in yoga? It sounds like it means we need to be kind to others and our earth. It seems to most to be an outward expression. And it is. But that is not the whole story. 

How can we be non-harming outwardly when we continue to harm ourselves? In our daily lives we continually do things to sabotage our own wellness. We work too many hours. We do not get enough sleep. We sacrifice time for ourselves in order to do things for others that are not appreciated. We do not eat like we should. The list goes on and on. And what is the result? A society of people who are barely functioning trying to keep up. We are tired and stressed. We are getting sick. Health care costs in Western society are skyrocketing. People are turning to prescription (and non-prescription) drugs to help them function. And it is just getting worse.

As we continue to neglect ourselves, we begin to neglect our society and our world. It is like a snowball. One small harm to ourselves builds into many and as we become unwell we start to lash out. Maybe that outward action is subtle. Something as simple as walking past someone in need or failing to recycle when we can easily do it. It all builds into a population that is suffering. We see it every day.

As a yoga instructor, the concept of Ahimsa is what I discuss with my students most. Many of us walk into the practice of yoga because we think it will be a path to heal … something. Whether it is stress, a general sense of being off balance, or a physical ailment, we are hearing that yoga is a part of the solution. So we begin to explore. We have an idea that yoga will be good for us and that it is good exercise. What we do not realize is that it brings a richness of practice that will infuse our entire lives. And so the journey of the practice begins as a place for exercise and maybe physical healing. What we find is a wellness that reaches deep to the soul and extends beyond the individual.

Does that mean we all have to practice yoga to be well? From my perspective, I would tell you that we do. But we need to be clear about what yoga is. We have already defined the word ‘yoga’ as meaning ‘to yoke’ or ‘to integrate’. It is all about being a fully integrated person mentally, physically, and with the world around us. The physical Asanas, or poses, are what we as members of society in the West recognize as yoga. The poses are just one part of the practice that will bring us to a fully integrated state. And really, they can be any kind of movement if we do it with full awareness of the body and mind. We have just scratched the surface of yoga and our potential by beginning to move with awareness.

So where do we start? Take your lead from Patanjali. Begin to practice Ahimsā. Do it first. Just as Patanjali put it down as the first of the Yamas, the first limb in yoga. 

If we really want to step onto a path of wellness, the first step is to make the decision to stop harming, or being violent to, ourselves. That is where healing begins and ends leading to wellness like we have not known before. We need to give ourselves permission to take time out, be a little bit ‘selfish’. It is okay to tell others no and protect our time. It is okay to get enough sleep and to eat well. And it is definitely okay to find a form of physical exercise that we can personally connect to that brings us a sense of calm and balance. 

Make your practice one of exploration. Get to know yourself. What are the things you need to help yourself feel like an integrated person connected to your world? Maybe it is time hiking in the woods, or a massage. Maybe it is just quiet time alone to read a book. Maybe it is taking time for meals and eating better food. Whatever it is, give yourself permission to let go of all your perceived obligations and do something that is just for you. You will be amazed at how quickly all the symptoms of modern life begin to ease and real wellness begins. Now you are beginning to practice Ahmisā at its strongest.

What happens next? As we give ourselves permission to stop harming ourselves, and we start to connect to ourselves as a whole person, we become calmer, less stressed, better rested, and … surprise… more able to extend those same feelings around us. Now we have the capacity for the outward practice of non-harming to the world.

Start with you, then move on to your family, your friends, your workplace, and the greater society. You will discover that you suddenly have more time to do the things you have to do as well as the things you have always wanted to do. And you do it with a richness of spirit that feeds everyone around you. And that snowball begins to build. We all will treat each other better. We will find the kindness that so many of us feel is missing. Our society and world will thrive. All because you made a decision to be non-violent.

It is funny how many people actually apologize to me for not practicing yoga. They have all kinds of excuses from not being flexible to how busy their lives are. I used to think that their apologizing to me was so backward. After all, their lack of a yoga practice belonged to them, it had nothing to do with me. Now as I think deeper about Ahimsā, I realize how wrong I was. While the choice not to practice Western yoga is an individual choice, the real individual practice of yoga – being an integrated person – impacts us all. 

Go back to the basics of the Yoga Sutras. Come to your Yoga. Through Yoga you will find strength, power, and kindness, like no other. You will be fully well and so will your world. - Katy Brandt


Guest Blogger Yolanda Jackson: 3 Things To Do When Your Spouse is Pulling Away!


The clock strikes 6:00am and you roll over reaching for your phone to turn off that alarm.  You find yourself waking up to another day with the same task ahead of you.  You know that you must get yourself out of bed because “responsibility” in the package of little children are depending on you.  If you don’t move, they won’t move.  You look back and see that your spouse is still sound to sleep.  They get an extra 30 minutes of snooze time because their morning task are very much different than yours. 



Your feet hit the floor and you begin stand to stand up and barely sigh “thank you Lord”.  You are grateful for seeing another day, but as you make your way into the bathroom for your morning rituals you find yourself thinking how long will this continue?  How long will my life feel this way?  You are too busy to give it much thought or wait for God to answer you. 


So, you rush to brush your teeth and get on your robe to rush in and wake the kids for summer camp and day care.  Still not a peep from your spouse!  After three calls to the kids and knocking on doors to wake them up you make it to the kitchen just in time to get the coffee brewing and some oatmeal ready.    Now you begin to hear the sound of rumbling feet from the kids and suddenly they are yelling “hurry up”, get out of my bathroom.  You sigh again and then hear your spouse stepping in.  Stop it you two.  Brush your teeth and get your clothes on.  It’s almost time to go.


As you pack their lunch for the day and let Pettie (the dog) out to potty.  You check emails to see what may have come in and a quick dash down the Facebook Timeline.  You realize, oh I go to go.  You drop your phone and yell for everyone "breakfast is ready".    


The kids dash to the kitchen to eat; while you finish getting dressed.  As the tunes of Tasha Cobb play in the background you get a little more pep in your step.  That ‘Break Every Chain’ song always gets your spirit moving.  As you give your spouse a quick kiss on the cheek and good bye, you swiftly jump in the car ready to hit the morning traffic. 


Then after a full day’s work you fight the same old traffic giving yourself just enough time to pick up both of the kids.  Get home and what you planned for dinner no longer sounds that great.  Oh well, it’s too late to change plans.  Dinner is ready an hour later and your spouse hits the door from work greeting the kids with enthusiasm while giving you a short “hey” with barely in eye contact. 


Then it happens, the silent treatment.  Not one single sentence from your spouse.  But without hesitation, you decide to engage with conversation anyway.  “Hey Honey, were you able to speak with your boss today about the vacation time?”  They reply, “yes babe” as they continue flipping stations on the television.  Not for one moment do they extend eye contact or even look in your direction or even explain their answer further to you.  Deep down in your heart you know if you asked another question it will trigger the same old arguments and you just don't have the energy for it any longer.  No matter what you say or how you say it, they are not interested.  So, you just join the silence. 


This is the routine each and every day.  When will it get better you ask?  Why does my spouse seem content with this life?  Is there something else going on that I don’t see?  Do they still love me?

These are the questions in the mind of a spouse who is wanting more from their marriage, but receiving no help in return.


What can you do?


Here are 3 tips on what you can do when your spouse is pulling away: 

First:  You must realize that in marriage you will experience peak and valley moments.   This doesn’t mean you have married the wrong person.  It’s just the affects that life presents during your journey.  The key is identifying the season of your marriage and approach it with the mindset that “this too shall pass”. 

Second: Identify what your marriage needs now.  There six simple steps to having a more thriving and fulfilling marriage.  These steps are

Tilling the Ground

Planting in the Ground

Watering the Ground

Fertilizing the Ground

Pulling Weeds from the Ground


Third: Commit to the process.  In many cases we must allow time for the pain, hurt and emotions to process themselves out; while the good infiltrates itself in.


The issue most married people run into is that they don’t want this change bad enough.  They settle and soon become content in the dysfunction until one day they just can’t take anymore and the only rational option in their mind is “I’m out”.  Let us inform you now, that this is a dangerous place to be.  A wise person once said that “the grass is not always greener on the other side, its greener wherever you water it”.  Meaning that a great marriage is not going to happen magically, there is self-work and discipline to every great marriage. 


You must wake up and recognize the signs and step out beyond you to seek the support and help that is needed in order to break-free from this vicious cycle of an unfilled marriage.

Who wants that anyway?  Not us and we know certainly not you!


To quickly identify what you need to do in this season of your marriage connect with our community of Kingdom Couples and you will get our FREE guide “6 Simple Steps that Will Make the Biggest Impact on Your Marriage, Starting Now”.  Right in your inbox, you will learn this simple six step process that will give you extra insight to know what to do and when to do it in order to break-free from what’s holding your marriage back from thriving.    


Here's to your breakthrough!


Until next time.

Live in Peace!


Your Marriage Breakthrough Coaches,

-Billy & Yolanda


Stop Should-ing On Yourself by Alece Ronzino

I’ve lived most of my life by shoulds. Growing up, I was the all-American good girl. I did well in school. I went on mission trips. I moved to Africa when I was 19 to serve as a missionary. I did everything “right.” By the book. The way I was supposed to, expected to, told to. The way I should.

But the treadmill of striving is exhausting. If only I could do more… If only I could do better… For every should I managed to check off the list, more would get added in its place. It’s a vicious cycle of defeat.

I finally realized how badly I needed to stop should-ing on myself. And I discovered just how challenging it can be to get off that treadmill.

One of the ways I’ve found freedom from the shoulds has been by ditching New Year’s Resolutions. I used to make a long list of goals I’d like to achieve in the new year, but never managed to live up to them (or, at times, even remember what they were).

It only left me feeling like a failure.

So I began choosing just one word as I step into a new year. One word that sums up who I want to be, or a character trait I want to develop, or an attribute I want to intentionally add to my life.

And since it’s just one word, it’s easy to remember. I place reminders of it around my home and workspace, and I inevitably start seeing and hearing it everywhere, which helps me stay mindful of it.

One year, I committed to risk more—it forced me to step out of my comfort zone and do things I wouldn’t ordinarily do. Another year, my word was look—it gave me eyes to see divine fingerprints even in the darkest of moments. Yet another year, my word was choose—a daily reminder that while I can’t control what happens to me, I can always choose my response.

My one word isn’t another to-do list. It’s simply a guide as I make decisions, set plans, and go about my life every single day.

And I’ve seen these words shape not only my year, but also myself. They’ve challenged me, inspired me, changed me. Such is the power of intentionality.

I’ve chosen unapologetic as my One Word for 2017, and with equal parts trepidation and curiosity, I am anxious to see how it will grow me this coming year.

Will you join me in choosing one word for the year?
Maybe a word popped right into your head. Maybe you need to let the idea percolate a bit longer. Either way, more often than not, your word finds you. You’ll probably have a love/hate relationship with it. That’s okay. If it doesn’t scare you at least a little bit, it’s probably not the right word. So… Together, let’s stop should-ing on ourselves.

What do you want to focus on in 2017? Who do you want to be by the end of the year?

Once you’ve landed on your word, join us over at

  Alece Ronzino   After pioneering and leading a nonprofit in South Africa for 13 years, Alece now lives in Nashville, TN. She is a nonprofit strategist, a freelance copywriter/editor, an Airbnb host, and the founder of  One Word 365 . She blogs occasionally but candidly about the grit and glory of life. Follow Alece on  Instagram  and visit her blog,  Grit and Glory .

Alece Ronzino
After pioneering and leading a nonprofit in South Africa for 13 years, Alece now lives in Nashville, TN. She is a nonprofit strategist, a freelance copywriter/editor, an Airbnb host, and the founder of One Word 365. She blogs occasionally but candidly about the grit and glory of life. Follow Alece on Instagram and visit her blog, Grit and Glory.

How to Have the Most Organized Year of Your Life!

Do you find that your year goes by so quickly and before you know it the year is over? Do you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing in a year’s time?

You don’t have to squander another year. Just follow the ideas below for a better and bigger year. The key is to have a plan.

The best time to plan and set goals of the new year is at the beginning of the new year, but you can do this any time – it doesn’t have to be in January. All of the same tips & strategies will apply no matter when you start.

I’m going Calendaring!

I have all of my calendars out, along with school calendars, birthdays, vacations, holidays, city events etc… and adding them to my calendar.

I was inspired to do this from one of my podcast guest last year on episode #7 Jodi Vanderhoof. She plans everything on her calendars. She talks about it on the show. It’s a must-listen. 

Then just a few days ago I ran across a great video on calendaring. Click HERE to check it out. 

Just like the couple in the video the mister and I used to set a date after the new year to plan, dream and set our calendars. It was so much fun but somewhere along the way we let that go.

This year we are picking it back up and making things happen in 2017! We will set our focus on big things too during this meeting of the minds & calendars.

Goals in all of these areas need to be addressed during this time:

  • Financial
  • Spiritual
  • Family
  • Health
  • Career
  • Personal
  • Relationship
  • Vacation

Don’t forget to bring all of your other calendars to the meeting. This meeting doesn’t have to be with a spouse; you can have a meeting for one. Set aside a time to sit with your calendars, digital and paper, and add all of those important dates. Big things first.

Don’t forget to add birthdays, anniversaries, school events, parents' days at college, vacations, date nights, girlfriend time, and book club dates. All of these are important to us and if we don’t add them in now, time will slip away and it won’t happen. But this year we are armed and ready! 

Take advantage of the time you have now and make next year your best year ever.

How an Entrepreneur Survives the Holidays: 3 Tips To Keep Your Business Going

You know it’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays when you start seeing red and glitter everywhere you turn. When you own your own business, the stress can triple in size from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. I’m always tempted  to scale back in December, to let my business run on fumes. But this is not the easy way to get through the holidays. Since my goal  is to finish well this year, I came up with some tips that help me push through to the end of the year. Here’s hoping they help you, too.

  1. Don’t be an overachiever when it comes to decorating, baking and buying gifts. Keep it simple when decorating your office or home. One tree nicely decorated goes a long way. During the holidays I only bake for my family, so if my child’s school needs some baked goods, they will likely come from my local supermarket. Baking is hard work. I would rather spend the evening catching up on work, hanging out with my family, or resting than baking and cleaning up the kitchen at 10 p.m. I also have scaled back on decorating my home and tree. I found that a little goes a long way. I now take out fewer boxes from storage and decorate only one big tree. When you decorate with less, then you have little to take down and store again. I have enjoyed my sparse decorating just as much as I did my extravagant glitz from previous years. When buying gifts, keep it simple. Go with your gut and don’t overthink it. Using your lunch hour to shop online while chomping down your sandwich can save you lots of time.
  2. Schedule time to plan and dream. Sometime in December I set aside time to dream, plan my year, 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. The location of this meeting with yourself is important: I usually choose a warm spot near a window. A comfortable place with few distractions and interruptions is ideal.
  3. Keep your 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, and seize the day. 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 because you are in a jolly good mood. 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 because work has slowed down. If you catch them in their holiday jolly mood, you may actually seal that deal. I find it easier to tie up loose ends with my business in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Give it a try this year.

Stay the course and don’t drop the ball (no pun intended). Scale back on the things that could be simplified or eliminated. Schedule a meeting with yourself to brainstorm and dream before the new year begins. And keep pushing through to the end.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year!

3 Simple Strategies for Sticking to Your Goals

My husband and I usually have a “meeting of the minds” at least once a year. We talk about the year and the new year to come. We usually head to a fun coffee shop or restaurant with pen & paper in hand. It’s easier for us to write it out. Then we can cross out, start over and highlight. I bring my vision board along, which has all of the fun personal stuff.

We lay it all out and hit all of the areas of our lives. Some of our topics include spiritual life, personal goals, work/career, family, school year, vacations, and retirement goals. Of course we start with the fun ones like vacations and personal goals. Once we have those set it’s easier to move into the harder ones that will help us reach the fun goals in life.

Why do we hold these meetings? We hold these meetings because we want to move forward and chase after a dream. Proper goal setting can take seem like a huge task, but a plan breaks it into small ones that we can reach. If one of us wants to go back to school and get a degree, we need a plan!

3 Simple Strategies for Sticking to Your Goals

  1. Set goals that can be measured and that follow along with your overall mission.
  2. Become aware of your obstacles and make a specific plan to remove or overcome them.
  3. Aim with purpose. Set a higher goal that includes others in your goal.
The problem with not having a goal is that you spend your life running up and down the field and never score.
— Bill Copeland

There are two fun acronyms that I share with my clients when they want to start a new game plan. Remember that you can begin anytime, it doesn’t have to be in the month of January. It can be July or September. Start anytime you are ready to begin fresh.

The first one is called GROW, which stands for:

  • G - Goals: What would you like to see happen with your spiritual life, family life or career?
  • R - Reality: What is or is not happening for you right now in your work place, personal life or home life?
  • O - Options: If you didn’t have any restrictions or constraints what would you be doing or not doing?
  • W - Way Forward: On a scale from 1-10 how confident are you of achieving these goals?

Because writing your goals out is a game-changer, write them out and try posting these goals where you can see them daily. Be careful who you share these with: on one hand they can keep you accountable but on the other hand they may rain on your parade. Remember that slow and steady wins the race.

How to Decide What Stays on Your Plate and What Gets Tossed

“I have so much on my plate. Something’s gotta give this year.” Each year I set aside time to evaluate and do an overview of how I spend my time. I know that I need to clean house and take some things off my plate. I wanted to evaluate carefully and choose wisely what needed to stay in my life and what needed to hit the road. So I decided that this year I was going to come up with a system to do just that.

I lay everything out on the table much like the concept described in Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Kondo suggests in her book that you take every piece of clothing you own and put it on the bed or floor. Next you pick up each item and ask yourself these questions.

  • Does it bring me joy?
  • Does it fit?
  • Do I wear it or is it outdated?

By using these tests you begin to eliminate and discard those items that do not bring you joy or serve you well.

This concept also works on things that have a place in our lives and commitments that fill our schedules: book clubs, projects, volunteer work, school, new job assignments, board memberships, church commitments, helping friends, PTA meetings, seminars, conferences, etc….

At the beginning of each year I evaluate what is on my plate and what responsibilities I have ahead of me. Here is the method for deciding what to keep and what to remove off my plate.

The SandiCor Method

TITLE: Take each task no matter how large or small and write each one on a sheet of paper/file or document. One page for each task.

Next add these questions to each page without answering the questions.

  • TIME: Note the time it takes to do this task/commitment. Is is monthly, weekly, yearly? What day of the week? How long will it last and what is your prep time and clean-up time?
  • POSITION: What is your position/responsibilities? What do you do for this organization?
  • COMPANY GOALS: What goal(s) does this group/company/organization have overall? What is their mission statement or purpose?
  • PERSONAL GOALS: What is your personal goal for being involved/participating with this company/organization? What do you want to get out of it? Is it money, knowledge, friendship etc…?
  • CONS: What are the cons? What are those things you must deal with in this position? What is the poop sandwich that you have to eat? What do you have to put up with to get to do the fun stuff?
  • PROS: What are the pros? What are the benefits to you? If it is a benevolence organization, first answer your benefits and then add benefits to others involved.

Once you have filled out each page with the task name, you can begin to evaluate. Start with the smallest consumer of your time, i.e. volunteer work or book clubs. As you move from the smallest to the largest responsibilities you are able to see how much time you are spending as a whole. This will give you more insight as you walk through your year. Knowing what is on your plate and how much time you spend on each event/job helps you make better decisions when faced with new opportunities.


Next, answer all the questions and ponder the importance of them in your life. Will it stay? Should it go? Does it have a timeline or a deadline? Touch the paper, review the responsibilities, job descriptions, etc… Meditate/pray/ponder on how you will spend your time for each task. Is it worth the time spent? Does it bring you satisfaction? Does it fill a void in your life? Does it bring you happiness or peace before, during, or after the task?

Do not move on to the next page/organization until you have answered all the questions for the first one. One by one dwell on the benefits and decide if it will stay or go. You may start a pile of “Maybe I will give it a go one more year” or “Heck yeah, I want to do this again.” Wherever you place your tasks make sure you think long and hard about what place it will take in your life.

Sign up for my newsletter here to receive the SandiCor Method Template for free.

The Biggest Challenge as an Entrepreneur and Small Business Owner

Hello Small Biz Owner & Entrepreneurs!

Today on Periscope we talked about the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs.

My biggest challenge as a small business owner is time management. I tend to have so many ideas that pop up and I want to do them all. If you are a go-getter like myself, you engage them and venture in.  Soon you realize that you have all of these commitments and no time to focus on any of them.

My solution for this is a formula I developed to analyze and organize your commitments. It is a formula that will help you decide what stays and what goes. Where are you spending your time? Should you spend your time on that task? I am happy to send you this free tip along with my monthly newsletter here.

Focus was another issue that came up on our scope today, as was finding a solution to not having focus when we sit down to work. If you are like me, all of a sudden you realize that you have to organize the junk drawer or find that missing item.

My solution for this has been finding a quiet place away from distractions. Sometimes it’s not in my home office; sometimes it is at a coffee shop or the library.

When I am at home I try to burn a candle like this one in White Lilac or my new favorite thing: burning sticks called Palo Santo from Peru. They both help me focus to work and calm me as well.

Another great tool is an app called Focus@will. I have used this for years now and love it. This music is set to help your brain focus and better yet to stay focused. Try it out.

We also talked about one of my favorite books by Marie Kondo. No wonder I could not remember the name; it’s such a long one!!! It’s called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I’ve posted links to these items to make it easy for you all to find them, just click on the link to see them.

We ended our time today by talking about one of the most important things to add to your life and business. Developing a routine is so important when running a business. You should develop routines for when you arrive at your office, a routine for Monday mornings, after work routines, and weekly routines. You can customize your own routines to fit your schedule, personality, and work. For example, Amy mentioned that she cleans off her desk at the end of her work day. I like to clean out my laptop bag at the end of the day and file my things away. This helps me get ready for the next day when I need to add new files to my bag for the day’s meetings.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

It’s not about having time; it’s about making time.

What tips can you add to that have helped you work your business?

Aim and SHOOT!

Henry Thoreau said “In the long run, you only hit what you aim at.” So many of us go along our lives without aim.

”I want to be a good person," "I want to have respectful teenagers," "I would like to travel when I retire,” are just a few goals I’ve heard this week. Having a desire to aim for IT puts you 1/4 of the way there. But then you must mark your aim and move forward towards achieving it.

“Yes, I would like to start a business this year but I don’t know how to begin.”
“I would love to quit my job and stay home with my children.”
“I want to retire in Arizona; how can I make that happen?”

Finding clarity and a plan can be a daunting task, but here are a few questions that might be helpful.

Where would you like to be in 5 years?

What is preventing you from moving forward with your goal?

Can you explain your long-term goal on paper?

Where are you spending most of your time?

Do you know someone who can help you in reaching your goal?

These helped me reach certain goals in my life. I spent many years wandering, many months wasting time and countless days doing things I did not want to do. I needed to aim, and shoot for my goals.

If you want a different outcome then you need a new action plan.

Gain clarity

Make a plan

Move towards your goal

Focus your time and energy

Seek wisdom

Please let me know if you found this helpful!

The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
— Proverb

3 Tips for Growing Your Coaching Business on Instagram

In 2013 Instagram had 80 million users; just one year later that number grew to 200 million users. Everyone is getting a piece of that pie today. Businesses are using Instagram to promote, sell, and get followers. Many top name brands like Nike, Starbucks and Gucci are active on social media, including Instagram.

Even small business could benefit from engaging their potential clients on Instagram.

Engaging clients

Increase exposure

Gain followers

Increase engagement

So how can Instagram help coaches gain exposure and meet potential clients?

  1. Use Hashtags.
    Use Hashtags often. When posting, use hashtags that pertain to your niche.
  2. Interact with your community.
    Make sure you follow, comment and like other Instagrammers.  Find your target audience and interact with them by sharing tips and info.
  3. Have an Instagram Loop Giveaway with a few other coaches to gain more followers. Coordinate with other Instagrammers and purchase a high dollar gift card to give away. They enter the giveaway by following all collaborators and/or tagging their friends.

These are just a few tips on how you can use Instagram to create a presence for your coaching business. See what works best for you and your coaching niche.

You can find me on Instagram at

New Year’s Resolutions: Don’t Bother

Don’t make any New Year's resolutions until you read this.

So many of us make New Year's resolutions and have great intentions to complete our goals and dreams. A resolution is only as good as the resolve because, when the inspiration dies down and old habits return, the resolution reaches a point of dissolution.

Make a Revolution

Create a plan of action with steps and ways to succeed. A coach can help you do just that. Have you been saying yes to a lot of things that were not a, “HECK YES, I wanna do that”? Have you been saying no to things that you knew you were really meant to do? It’s time for a revolution.

4 Steps to Succeed in Your Revolution

1. Set a Target – Ask yourself if your goal is practical and a part of your overall life plan.

2. Steps to Succeed & Achieve - Ask yourself what you have to do and what you need in order to achieve your goal. Plan out your action steps.

3. Time Frame - We all work best with a deadline. Set yourself time limits to fulfill the steps you listed in number two.

4. Make Yourself Accountable This is where a coach comes in. Hire a coach to report your progress to and do follow-ups. A coach will encourage and motivate you to continue the revolution. Declare it publicly. What we pay attention to grows and thrives. This is what makes goal-setting, declarations, and resolutions a sound strategy.

Pitfalls to Avoid

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will only set the behavior and attitude change will come from within. For real change to occur in any area of your life or business you MUST actively interrupt your current environment. The bigger the goal or intention, the larger the disruption.

Don’t underestimate small environment changes. The simplest of changes can make all the difference.

People in your business or life are the biggest structure to retrain, dismantle, or get support from. You cannot design an environment that is conducive to your growth without including others.

Start Today: Plan for a New Year's Revolution, Not a New Year's Resolution!