Why You Should Make Time For Your Friends

We all have busy lives. Whether it’s a new job, new baby, ballgames or something else–it’s important to make time for our friends. Plus, it’s fun to hang with your friends. Laughing is good for your soul.

Here are 10 reasons you should make time for your friends.

  1. If you stop hanging with your friends, they will stop including you.
  2. When you really need them, they won’t be there. — Someday your kids will leave home and you will really need your girlfriends.
  3. Girlfriends are the best at listening and understand you. We all need friends to confide in and blow off steam with.
  4. It’s pretty boring reminiscing alone.
  5. Good friends know each other better than anyone.
  6. You need vacation partners! 😉
  7. You need a life outside your spouse/mama hat!
  8. You need a life outside of work.
  9. Laughter is the best medicine.
  10. Let’s face it…girls are fun!

TN Family Vacation Itinerary

Traveling to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area for vacation??? I have spent quite a bit time researching, reaching out to others for fun things they saw/great places to eat and compiled a fun-filled itinerary that I’m sharing.  If you are headed there soon, feel free to enjoy. If you have already been and see something I have missed that is a must, comment below.

Saturday

  • Drive to house — Sevierville TN 37876
    Sevierville to Pigeon Forge is 7 miles.
    Sevierville to Gatlinburg is 14 miles.
  • The Old Mill Restaurant164 Old Mill Ave, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863


Sunday

 

Monday

  • Great Smoky Mountain National Park – Gatlinburg is where entrance is (NC, TN)
    • Cade’s Cove (11 mile scenic loop) – find some short hikes as well
      Do Cade’s Cove in evening to see bears
    • Swim Hole – 2 options close to Cade’s Cove
      The Wye OR The Sinks
    • Abram Falls (part of Cade’s Cove Loop Rd)

Tuesday

  • Great Smoky Mountain National Park (NC, TN) – 107 Park Headquarters Rd, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN 37738-4102Walk the hike of Grotto Falls & Laurel Falls (look into rainbow falls)
    • Newfound Gap – NC/TN line
    • Clingmans Dome
    • Roaring Fork Motor Trail
    • Great Smoky Mountains Railroad scenic tour (NC side)
    • Picnic lunch at Chimneys Top Picnic and Chimney Tops Trail
  • Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen 131 The Island Dr #8101, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863


Wednesday

Thursday

  • Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park 3757 Thomas Lane, Sevierville TN
    10% off coupon available on TripAdvisor
    (“lite zip line” tour, ATV tour, swinging bridge, whispering winds covered bridge to make a wish, waterfalls, family outdoor games, trails and river walk)
  • Tanger Outlets 1645 Parkway Ste 960, Sevierville, TN 37862
  • Mellow Mushroom  2485 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

Wife. Mom. Boss.

It’s no secret trying to juggle those titles is a challenge. It’s chaos some days but it’s always fun. And I’m quite proud to wear all 3.

Today I’m sharing how I balance it all…

  1. I try to eat healthy. Do I every single day and never cheat? No, but for the most part I eat healthy and drink plenty of water. I love to enjoy a protein shake for dinner.
  2. I keep my calendar/schedule organized. Being organized is huge with handling all the events we have as a wife, mom and boss. Being organized = success. Those 2 go hand in hand. I have my own personal calendar, we have a family calendar so my hubby and kids know what we have going on and I have my work calendar. I schedule events/appointments in advance and they immediately go on the calendar so I can plan ahead and around events so I don’t overbook or miss an event at home or deadline at work.
  3. I keep a task list in a notebook at work and home. This list is always up-to-date with tasks I need to complete. Having these visual reminders is important and a huge reason I get so much done at home and work every day.
  4. I start my day with coffee. Yep, it’s a guilty pleasure and goes totally against my #1 but a mama has to find balance.  While I try to be good the rest of the day, I need to rise and shine with a coffee cup in my hand.  Find a small guilty pleasure and treat yourself.
  5. I take some time to myself. I try to every day but some days it doesn’t happen.  This one can be hard to do especially depending on the ages of your kiddos. I promise it gets easier if you have little ones.  As they get older they can entertain themselves to it’s easy to sneak in a book, bubble bath or they can work out with you, etc.
  6. My hubby and I are a team. We share the workload at home and the kids’ schedules which makes the mom hat wearing much easier. As our kids are getting older they are helping clean, do laundry and work outside so again mom hat getting easier. If you are overwhelmed, have your hubby fix dinner, schedule some doctor appointments, take the kids to practice, etc.
  7. I focus on the positives. I’m challenged in my job every day and I love it. Working full-time and doing photography on the side makes me quite busy and I have less time at home wearing my mom hat that I love wearing every day, too. Some days I feel guilty that I miss so much time with my kids and this is when I have to focus on the positives. I’m blessed to have a great job that I love. I have a strong work ethic and setting a great example for my kids. Our kids need to learn to work hard and how to take care of themselves, their home, their family. I’m also building a strong foundation to give my kids the best possible start when they get their wings and fly.  We are working hard to be able to pay their college for them so when they graduate and land their 1st full-time job they don’t have all this debt hanging over their head. We are doing a great job so we need to give ourselves credit.
  8. Indulge in some pleasures. One of my happy places is spending time at the lake. I am an outdoor kind of girl so I love summer. I enjoy spending time at the lake as a family. It’s great quality time together and it’s a nice getaway when I’m not at the office.
  9. Be thankful. I’m thankful for what I have, what I’ve accomplished, what I’m capable of and thankful for my family and friends. This is an area I am working on every day. I’m thankful but could I be even more grateful in all areas of my life, yes.  So I’m a work in progress.
  10. Last but not least, limit your time on social media. We all spend time on social media. It can soak up so much of your precious time with your family. Instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing on FB, IG, Snapchat, etc focus on your family sitting right in front of you. Catch up with family/friends, post your pics but then turn it off. My other suggestion is turn off your notifications. I do not have mine turned on that way my phone isn’t buzzing and I’m not side-tracked by seeing the notifications. I also try to catch up after my kids go to bed, at practice, doing homework, etc. (basically when they are busy) I’m not saying I’m never on my phone because I do check in with work from my phone as well. I just try to limit social media as I feel like that is optional. Finding balance between it all isn’t easy.

Last, this is how I’ve found balance with juggling all 3 hats and living my best life. You just have to find what works best for you and makes you happy.

Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what we do consistently. — Marie Forleo

Women in Heels

120 technology leaders at Norex’s International Roundtable this week … only 20 are women. We need more leaders in heels! I must share some wise words by Kasia Gospos called the Manifesto.

Leaders in heels are extraordinary women.

Leaders in heels are passionate. We are energetic and curious. We love life and actively craft it to create happiness and reach our dreams.

Leaders in heels are creative. We celebrate individuality. We are the change agents. The trailblazers. We have a desire to advance culture and create a new reality.

Leaders in heels are innovative. We embrace technology and a new way of thinking to create, connect and push society forward. We are shaping the way we live, work and play.

Leaders in heels are confident. We know who we are. We’re not afraid to be ourselves. We don’t follow trends; we create them.

Leaders in heels are determined. We are focused and persistent. We push through fears to make our dreams a reality. Failure is just a pathway to success.

Leaders in heels are kind. We are ambitious and driven and we use our power to empower others. Together we can shake the world.

Make your mark.

Be a leader in heels.

Mom role? Dad role?

I grew up in a home where my dad handled the outdoor work and mom handled the cleaning and cooking. Well until us kids were old enough to help. We seemed to have roles based on our gender. The boys went outside with dad and us girls helped mom inside with the cleaning and cooking.

The boys were older so as they started to move out, I jumped on moving outdoors and helping with the grass cutting or helping with the hog market over cleaning or cooking. I value the life skills I learned on taking care of our home outside and inside.

Today, as I raise my kids there are no gender roles. The girls don’t just work inside the house and the boys don’t just work outside. There are no tasks that are only for men. Women can cut grass and weed eat, too. There are no tasks just for women. Men can clean a house, do laundry or cook the meals, too. My kids are learning all life skills on caring for a home and family. My kids are learning the value of teamwork. In our home we work together to accomplish the work. You do whatever work needs to be done whether you are male or female, inside or outside the home.

We are a team. Some days I cut the grass because my hubby is taking our son to baseball practice. Some days all 4 of us are outside getting the work done. Some days I handle the laundry. Some days my daughter handles it. Some days it’s all hands on to clean. Other days it’s half of us getting it done or 1 of us if the rest are busy. We both handle scheduling. We both make money. We both work together on our our financial goals.

All days we tag team and share the load of work, home, kids, our lives.

Someday our kids may see we function a little different than some families. I know a lot of mom’s that handle all the cooking. In our home, my hubby does unless he’s not home then I step in. Most days I handle the laundry to even that out. I know a lot of homes that the mom isn’t outside cutting grass either. I also do photography on the side so the kids see the extra hustle I put in for that as well. I’m proud of how we are raising our kids. There is nothing a woman or man can’t handle or can’t do just because society has labeled some roles as a mom role or a dad role.

We are teaching our kids life skills. Male or female (mom or dad) they need to know how to handle all these tasks on their own so they can take care of themselves (and not depend on another) in the big ol’ world.

My hope is as they go out on their own someday they never feel pushed into a certain role because of their sex. I hope they both grow into independent adults that can and know how to take care of themselves. I also hope and pray each of them when they do find someone, they find someone raised with the same work ethic that equally helps in and outside the home.

10 questions to ask yourself…

10 questions you should ask yourself to stay in “check”…

1. What about myself do I like the most? The most important goal in life is inner peace. Accept yourself and accept yourself as a whole…not just the parts you like the most.

2. What aspects of my life do I wish to see a change in? Now work on those…

3. What am I grateful for? Practice gratitude daily…thinking about what we are grateful for allows us to practice on the positives vs negatives.

4. Am I happy doing what I am currently? If no, can you make a positive change so you are happy.

5. What are my fears? What is holding me back? Now face your fears so you can move on.

6. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years? Write those goals down to hold yourself accountable.

7. What would your 90-year-old self tell you to do? No regrets is the goal!

8. Do you remember anyone you weren’t so fond of 10 years ago? Does it matter now? Let it go and move on.

9. What sets you apart? We are all unique in some way. Be proud of your unique self.

10. If today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it? Now live each day with that mindset because we don’t know when that day will come.

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