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How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

"Televison has changed the American child from an irresistible force to an immovable object." ~Laurence J. Peter I was talking to my friend the other day and the subject was all about T.V. How much T.V. did you watch as a child? Did you like it? Was it entertaining for you and did you crave more of it? Of course I watched a little too much T.V. This was before they realized that television was not something that was necessarily good for you in large amounts. Don't sit too close or you can get cancer. Don't stare at it too long or you will freeze that way! Ha! That's a good one! I have to say that I am a true lover of television. I love my movies but I also love my T.V. What I don't like is how much T.V I actually watch. I wish I could just get rid of it! I can't seem to find the energy to stop. It takes a major effort to not watch my favorite shows. As my shows become older and they start to "go away" or get canceled I try really hard to not look for a new one in its place. If I remember to fast forward through the commercials (thanks to the invention of the DVR) I won't see those previews for the new shows. Maybe eventually all my shows will go away and I won't have any more to watch. Well, that is wishful thinking on my part. I am weak.

As for my kids? We have strict rules in our house about how much T.V. and Wii time they are to have each day. To be honest, it wasn't always like that though. I admit to having the television be a babysitter when I was cooking dinner or wanting to be by myself for a minute. It was helpful when my kids were really little. I don't know what I would have done without it honestly! Then when my mom told me that we didn't have a T.V. when I was a toddler I was totally shocked! How did she do it??!! Mind blown.

But how can we get our kids to watch less, do less and be less around all the electronics? Not just T.V.? Video games and anything else that keeps them from being active, being imaginative and being kids? Let's explore some things.

1. Know why it's bad for them

The first step to figuring out how you will take it all away is knowing why you need to take it away. T.V. can be entertaining, it can be educational and it can be pure fun! But you have to take it all in bits and pieces. Too much is not good. Too much has proven to be bad for your health as you exercise less and eat more and get less done! Who wants all of that? The first step to fixing the problem is to admit that you have a problem.

How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

2.  Put a time limit on it

In our house, we have so many activities going on that we hardly have time for television anymore. But on the days that we don't have much going on, there is a tendency to let the kids watch a little too much T.V. Our rule is that you have to turn it off by 6:30pm. This is two hours before their bedtime. This allows us to have a more successful bedtime routine too because there is nothing distracting them from doing what they are supposed to be doing which is getting their PJs on or taking a shower. So bottom line is set a rule that you can follow and have a reason to back it up. Put a time limit on it and actually set the timer. Nothing is worse than giving a time limit and letting it slide. That does nobody any good.

3. Make them work for it

Nothing shows appreciation more than a good work ethic. Chores for T.V. time. So crucial. Really works well around here. You set the rules. For every chore they do you can give them minutes to spend watching T.V. or playing video games- whatever the vice. In our house it's homework completed equals Wii time coupons. T.V. time is so seldom that it works itself out in the end. But long sortie short- make 'em work for it.

4. Cut it out completely

Some people need that complete cut off. Although it's hard, you can do it. Even if it is for one day a week to start out, you are doing better than yesterday. One day, you will forget that you wanted to watch whatever it was or play whatever it was. Then maybe you can work your way to more days at a time. Baby steps.

How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

5. Fill your time wisely

If you fill your time with other things, you don't have time for T.V. or games. Go on a hike or take your dog for a run. Get out and fly a kite. Read a book! Better yet, read an educational book! Shocking to think those are still out there. The possibilities are literally endless. Outdoor activities are great. Save T.V binge watching for rainy days. This is not the excuse you need to spend more time on the internet or social media. I said fill your time WISELY.

How to get your kids to stop watching so much T.V. | Placerville-Everyday-Family Photographer

Get my point? Take it away by a little bit or by a lot- you will be happier in the long run. Realize that it is not healthy for you and fix it. Keep it away. Pick and choose what is most important to you. Priorities are important. Let them be more about you and less about the things you have. Stay tuned for when I talk about what will actually happen to your kids once they watch less T.V.

Like what you hear? Take a look at some of my other posts on how important it is to be less busy and why they need you now- and not later. Contact me today to make some more memories and get those photos you have always wanted to decorate your home with. So fun and so necessary. Let me know what I can do for you!

Much love,

Heather

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” ― Lin Yutang Wait, what? I'm not wise because I am too busy? I can't believe it! No one told me being too busy would make me dumber. Unbelievable. Not really though right? The more busy I am the more I find myself being forgetful and careless and getting sidetracked. I'm sure it goes that way for everyone to some extent. There are really two kinds of people in the world, those that are good at multitasking and those that are not. Isn't it so true! And I don't mean to say that not everyone can multitask to some extent but it does take practice. Is that something you can be proud of? I would say that most people are proud of the fact that they can multitask, especially if they are super good at it. But is that something that one can really be proud about?

I want to argue today that while being good at multitasking is not necessarily bad, the need to do so is.  Why do we find the need to be such good multi tasking fools? I think it's because we are too busy. Too busy with school activities, too busy with home activities and too busy with work activities and too busy with life in general. I say it all the time and I know so many other people that do too. "I'm so tired." We all know this is code for: I run around too much. I need a break. I need one day to just sleep in until 12 noon. I need a vacation!

How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

Unfortunately a lot of us cannot do that. Besides those people out there that literally can't stop working those three jobs so they can pay the bills or those college students that are working full time just to pay for college, there are a lot of people out there that make the choice to be busy. Me personally, I love to be busy. I don't necessarily love being in the car all day long some days or labeling somedays "take-out only" days, But I enjoy being busy with my kids and their activities. Love seeing them do certain things and have fun. I'm sure that is why a lot of parents take their kids to soccer practice or dance class or piano lessons or karate class right? To see their kids succeed in things that they are never able to do themselves. And of course to see their kids have fun. Why can't we just stop at one or two activities throughout the year? Why can't we ever say no to the extra activities the PTA has asked us to accomplish. There is always something extra that can be done. Why do we have to do it and how can we say no to it? When does it get to the point of damaging our mental status where it will hinder our ability to do  every day jobs like loving our kids and just learning to watch them grow? Let's explore some ways for you to be able to lead a less full life. It's hard, but one eventually has to just say...

1. No

Just say no. If you have too much on your plate, then just say no. It's not your responsibility to take care of everyone else's needs all the time. Yeah it's very sweet to think that you want to take care of everyone yourself. You can do it! I know you can. But do you need to? "Can you paint this for me tonight so it's ready for the play tomorrow?" "Can you help me with my job?" "Can you do me a favor?" "Can you........." "Can you please......." It's never ending. I'm not saying cut out all volunteer work completely but man- pick and choose so you can leave not only a healthier life less busy, but a less complicated one. Just say no. It will be ok. Trust me. They will move on and get someone else - or not. Not much is life or death. You will know it when it is. ;)

2. Forget the extra curricular activities

Ok so not really ALL of them. But do you really need to be involved in baseball and piano and swimming lessons all at the same time? Let's just try for one thing a season huh? Trim down the fat y'all. You will be glad you did. Your house may even see you more often. And it won't get so lonely (or dirty). Why did you buy or rent your house- so you could spend as much time outside of it as possible?? Haha I doubt that. You have to realize that doing all these activities is a choice and not a necessity.

How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

3. Stop bragging about being busy

I know I do it. I don't really do it to brag about myself really, but just to let people know I'm frustrated with my busy schedule. But I do it to myself which is silly. Learning how to not put people on a pedestal for being busy will help you in deciding that it's not worth it to be that busy. Look at it as negative thing and you probably won't want it as much. There will always be that mom that can do a tad better than you on things. Live with it. None of us have the same talents and strengths. It is what it is. We have to work together to stop this cycle.

4. Schedule your relaxation time

Make sure that throughout the day or the week that you are making time for yourself to relax. It's crazy that we as a society are so busy that we need to schedule time to be un-busy on our schedule. What's that all about? Andy Griffith sat on his front porch almost every night relaxing after his crazy days with Barney Fife. And he didn't have to take Opie to baseball practice. I'm pretty sure he walked himself. Well isn't that ideal. Around here, even if I did trust my kid to walk to practice, it would be impossible as it's a 15 minute drive just to get there in a car! Sheesh! That's not ok! But back to what I was talking about, take your time with things and make sure that you schedule your relaxation time!

5. Revisit your priorities (your kids)

You know that voice in your head that is telling you that you need to do this for your kids? I don't know. There is some truth to it. They usually enjoy some activities but once it crosses that line of you doing this for you (and not them) then it's time to stop! And these "priorities" will see a lot more of you if they weren't so busy all the time. As for you being too busy? If you have a hard time with #1 then you need to rethink who you are doing those extra projects for and decide if it's worth not spending time with your true priorities. Just sayin'

How to lead a less busy life with kids | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

If you want to read more of my rants about being around more for your kids then please go ahead and read some of these other articles.  Summer can't wait and neither will I and How to be present for your kids and not social media I know it's my opinion but I like them because I wrote them!

And don't forget that you contact me really easily and schedule your next session! I can't wait to talk with you about all of my opinions. It's fun to talk shop too! Let me know what you want and I can work on it!

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I Am! ~Dr. Seuss. I couldn't resist. If you know me at all then you know I am a great lover of Dr. Seuss. I collect his books for my kids and I just love reading them, even today. I think this quote is so important. For those of you that may be in the minority and maybe have never read this story (are there really any of you out there?), it's about a guy named Sam trying to get this other guy to eat his green eggs and ham. He tells him to eat the meal in different places and in different fashions and the guy says no until finally he gives up and he actually likes the green eggs and ham! Go figure. I think most of the time our brain tells us we won't like something based on looks alone and not by the actual fact that we may like the thing we are staring at. If only our minds would get out of the way. That being said, kids and often times adults will have issues with eating healthy things. Whether it is a fruit or a vegetable or something else that is healthy, sometimes it's just not wanted. Sometimes it's ok to have food items that you won't eat as long as you are eating well otherwise. But in the case of some people (mostly kids), it's hard to get them to eat anything that may resemble normal food. Chicken strips or fries anyone? Macaroni and Cheese? There are so many things I want my kids to eat that I just know they will enjoy but how do I get them to eat them? These are the things I try and hopefully they will be helpful for you too.

1. Ask them how they want it

This may seem a little bit obvious but I think this is something that most people will actually forget to do! Just ask them. What do they want? How do they want it cooked? Or not cooked? With sauce or without? Whatever gets them to eat it. If they give you an answer then go with it and make it work. Then hold them to it. If they wanted it that way, they have to eat it that way!

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

2. Give them choices

Ok this one is another obvious one for me but sometimes we don't have the ability to give our kids choices. Especially when you don't want to make two meals. In our house they have to eat what they get and they have to eat vegetables off the plate. We are not always successful but depending on the night it works well! If I ask them what they want before we start cooking and both options are a viable addition to the dinner I am making, then what do I care? They are now excited to eat it because they were given the power to choose.

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

3. Spread out the love throughout the day

Give them options of good foods all day long, not just dinner time. The more often they eat things throughout the day off of the healthy menu the less they have to eat in one sitting like dinner. Carrots and ranch in their lunch sack and strawberries for breakfast. Lots of options and lots of ways to make it count all day long.

4. Involve them in the cooking

Some kids get really excited at the prospect of cooking something that they made themselves. This does many things for them. It tells them that you value their services and it helps them learn to love cooking. Get really into it! Buy a chef's hat and an apron for them to wear. My daughter will put her apron on just to get the chance to crack one egg at breakfast. Cooking becomes a chore when you are an adult but as a kid you think it's fun! Explore cooking with your kids and get them to love it. They love the process and therefore are more willing to eat what you are making together. They see exactly what is going in and they know they will love it. Better yet- if you grow your own vegetables, have them help you pick them from the garden when they are ready. Teaching your kids these life lessons are so important at a young age. It might take a little longer but truly they do get faster as they get older.

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

5. Hide them

Last but not least, you can hide the veggies in the meal. I do this all the time. Especially when the meal is the same color as the vegetable! I have grated yellow squash finely into macaroni and cheese, or even added butternut squash that was cooked and pureed. I have added lots of different veggies to spaghetti sauce. The red overpowers almost everything you throw at it within reason!  I have even added veggies to the meat when we make sloppy joes or hamburgers. There are tons of options for this. If you can't get them to eat it while knowing about it then you at least have to try to get them to eat it unknowingly. It's not sneaky, it's parenthood. Enough said.

Top five ways to get a picky eater to eat | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

I am a true lover of all things in the kitchen because I love to cook! Ya know what sounds like fun? Taking pictures of you and your family cooking together. It's an awesome experience to do it as a family so why not document it? And what better photos to display inside your kitchen then those of you all cooking together? See? There are tons of ideas floating in my head. If you have an idea that you would like to throw at me for a photography session then contact me today! I am up for "almost" anything. ;)

If you want to see more of my stuff then go ahead and take a look around and stay awhile. I love documenting my own life as well as yours. When was the last time you had a family photography session? Is it time you scheduled one?

Much love

Heather

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

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How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Ok so today I was thinking about why and how I have the motivation to take pictures of my kids every day. Well, almost everyday. People always ask me how I do it. What camera do I have and what lenses? But people seem to forget to ask me why I do it. Is it because they know the why behind my projects or that they can presume to know the why? Do I really talk about it all that much that people don't even need to ask me because they already know why I do it? That is entirely possible! The "why" is almost the more important question isn't it? Would you do it? Could you do it? First we must figure out the "why" behind taking pictures of your everyday life and then we must figure out the "how" to do it part next. My life is a series of activities that are brought on mainly as a result of my work related activities and my kid related activities. Don't get me wrong, I love my work. And as my work is something that is literally documenting everyday lives of other people, I find that I almost have a greater need to photograph the needs of my family even more. And I think I enjoy it more only for the obvious reason. It's my own family and my loves! What can go wrong with that?

How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Why do I do it? Why is it important? And, why should you do it?

Well all of those questions are completely acceptable to ask but in all honesty they will be different for different people. I know for me, I want to take pictures of my everyday life so that we have a visual memory of our lives. I want my kids to know, when they get older and look back at these photos, that our lives are not perfect. Our lives are everyday messes and struggles and triumphs and joys. Documenting all the fun things with the not-so-fun things will help us remember that there are always going to be struggles in life and you will get through them eventually. When we leave these types of things up to our memory, sometimes our memory will fail. I don't want to take that chance. I want my kids to know they were loved and cared for and appreciated to the best of our ability. Please don't take this to mean that I think without this there is a loss in one's life. But for me, I not only want to do this for my kids, I need to do this for my kids. It's important to me.

So you decided that you want to do it too! How do you get started?

Ok so as I always tell the kids that take my beginning photography classes, it's not about the fancy camera or the equipment, it's about the ability to use that equipment to its fullest. Now, I won't go much farther than this other than to say that yes, better equipment will bring sharper and possibly- I dare say- better images, however it's all in the user and the ability and nothing else to make certain images great. But for the purposes of your own project, you could do whatever you like! Mobile smart phones now-a-days have really nice quality cameras in them and there are tons of places to edit those photos (pic-tap-go anyone?) and tons of places to display those photos (Instagram and Facebook?) There are tons of ways to get it done. It just takes dedication. And for heavens sakes please be forgiving of yourself if you miss a day. It's ok. No one will tell on you. There are no cameras in the sky looking down on you telling someone that you are a failure. No one cares. Place your own rules on your own project.

I have to warn you though that photography can be quite addicting so please don't blame me if you get sucked in! It's just a matter of time. (Psst. Don't forget that I teach adult beginners photography classes too!) For some basics you can go ahead and check out my series on how to take a better photos. There are some really great tips in there! Make sure to read all three posts so you get the full benefit.

Now, do your images have to be great to be worthy? Um, that is a big fat no. Take it from someone who has been doing a 365 project for a while now (taking a picture a day for an entire year) that you don't need to be great to accomplish your goal.

How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Now what do you do with all those pictures?

Unbelievably most people love taking the photos but then they don't do a thing with them. That just drives me crazy! Ok, so for full disclosure here I have dreams of doing things with my pictures too but I have a few excuses that are not the same as yours as to why it has not happened for me yet! But really, get those photos off your computer and into print. You won't regret you did.

Print them at your local store and place them in a traditional photo album. This, although to me the most boring way, is still a great way to get your photos in print. It provides a way for them to be seen everyday if you wanted! Isn't that the goal here anyways? You can always try printing an album, by month or my year or by week! It depends on what your dream for those photos are! Table top books make great discussion pieces when guests come over to visit. You can get these in so many places like Blurb.com or even Shutterfly.com. They may not be the most quality places to get your work printed but they get the job done and they are very inexpensive pending what you want included in that album. Put them on your walls!! Make collages of small prints and hang them proudly. All those embarrassing moments will never be forgotten if they are in print. Each time you walk by you can laugh or cry or just be sentimental. Photos tend to do that to people. Mushy mushy.

But what about those times you aren't that confident and you want a professional to do the job for you? Well, duh! That's where I come in to play! I can take professional portraits of your family that you will cherish for years to come. My clients never regret giving people quality portraits as a gift or having them hung up in their home.

How to take pictures of your everyday | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

And don't forget that from now until April 20th I am having a contest for free stuff so please don't forget to take a look at that while you are here! I love doing this for people and I can't wait to do this for you! Contact me today so we can schedule your complimentary consultation and talk about your dream session.

Much love

Heather

__________________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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How to survive your busiest days with kids | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Do less, with more focus. ~Unknown You know them. Those really busy days of the week that you dread and when you are done all you want to do is curl up in a ball and go to sleep? Yeah I'm sure we all have them. Whether you are a working parent or not, it's always hard to get through them. Sometimes its soccer practice or music lessons or homework. Don't forget the normal everyday stuff too like meal planning and laundry and chores. That list almost seems double for those that work outside the home but triple that work inside the home. Here are a few steps you can take to make those days easier. And if you get really good at it then you can even use these tactics on days that you aren't as busy so they even become easier! Meal prep seems to be the most daunting thing (at least for me) and also the most important so I took the liberty of suggesting more ideas under that area.

How to survive your busiest days with kids | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

1. Make sure you have a normal routine

Even if you have to "break" said routine on this busy days, having a routine in place will help make the rest of the day go smoothly. Making sure your kids get up on time each day (at the same time), eating breakfast, reading to school and getting to bed on time will all help with those extra added tasks when you have to add them. Routines make it so you don't have to think about the "normal" stuff and just focus on what you have that is extra. Now, making sure you get to soccer on time doesn't seem that bad. You may still be rushed but your brain and body will take it with ease.

2. Prepping meals in advance

Ok so this now we have all heard before right? Well as much as you think you don't have time to prep meals in advance for those busy days, you are wrong. You have to schedule that time and make sure you do it. It would be so much easier on all of you if you had a plan in place, and were able to execute with style on those days that you need it. There are tons of ways to do this. Take one weekend day per week or one slow night at home and choose what you want to make. Whether its a breakfast dish that you will freeze or its a dinner dish that you will have ready for the net day (or the day after), it will be one step further to getting that busy day in check. While prepping one meal - make double and freeze one. This for me is the easiest way to plan for extra meals. I don't find it takes that much time extra to chop up double the onions. This is prep times one and meals times two! Time saver! The cool thing is that once you start to do these things you will get used to it and they will become second nature.

How to survive your busiest days with kids | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

3. Use your crockpot

On those days that you won't be home to cook but you will actually be home at dinner, the crock pot is a great solution. There are also tons of recipes out there that you can prep and freeze to get ready for the crockpot making the day you use them super easy! Crockpots are great ways to get healthy meals when you are not ready to make a complicated meal at home.

4. Do your other chores in advance.

No one wants to be that person that leaves the dirty baseball uniform or dance leotard in the laundry and not have it ready the day of the big event. Make sure a couple days in advance that you are prepped for the busy day. Even if you have it all packed in the car with a list handy so you don't forget anything, you will better off. Make a list of things you can't forget the day of the busy day and that will prevent small things like water bottles and school books from being left at home.

5. Take turns to do the driving

Where I come from - it takes me at least 15 minutes to get to school, 40-45 minutes to get to dance class, and 30 minutes to the nearest big grocery store. We are always in the car it seems. On the busy days where driving is more prevalent try and find other parents going through the same thing. Carpooling is not only good for the environment but its good on you too. It gives you a break to get some needed things done and by taking turns with this it will be a cooperative movement for all parent drivers out there!

6. Take a deep breath

So there are days where you just couldn't get the crockpot to work and you ran out of your last frozen meal. You slept in and the kids were a little late to school or you ended up being 15 minutes late to guitar lessons. Take a deep breath. Nothing is life or death. Everything will be fine. Don't forget to forgive yourself. We are all human and we are doing the best we can.

How to survive your busiest days with kids | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

Take a look at my everyday life and you will know that it's not perfect! I am not perfect. Nor do I try to be. Stay tuned for more of my antics tomorrow and we can explore this everyday life together, with all of its struggles and bumps in the road.

If you would like me to document your everyday then please contact me and tell me what you think you want! I'm sure we can make it work! I love hearing people's ideas for sessions. Let's go have some fun together! Don't forget to check out my contest that ends April 20th. I can't wait to share some freebies with those that enter!!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

The first step to getting what you want is having the courage to get rid of what you don't. ~Unknown Clutter is evil. It does unmentionable things to your mind. Unknowingly you get sucked in. Am I right? When we look at magazines and pictures of our dream houses (I know I'm not the only one that does this!) they are all color coordinated, pretty and sophisticated. They always have fresh flowers but in the real world many of us don't have time to get a decorator to our house and stage our homes with all that neat stuff right? And if you are one of those people that always have fresh flowers in your home- I just have four words for you. I am completely jealous. Yep. But in most homes all that clutter just makes for a ton of dust. How do we get rid of all the unnecessary stuff? And how do we know what is good to keep, what is good to giveaway and what is good to trash?

Ok well, being that I am of the mindset we need to recycle as much as we can, it's important to at least try to give away as much as possible. You will be surprised at what people will want to keep for themselves. How does that saying go? Someone's trash is somebody else's treasure? It really is true! You never know what other people need certain things for and since we can find so many double uses for things nowadays- it's virtually endless what can be done. But back on track...how do you decide what stuff to get rid of? In my last post I decided to dive into the subject of decluttering and why it is good for you. There are so many reasons why we should declutter our homes, ourselves and our lives. But how do we get started? And how far do we take it?

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

1. Throw away all trash

My kids share a room. It's a really small room. We try to maximize on space with some organizing techniques but really there is no way around the fact that the room is small. Normally, I am in constant check with their room to make sure it is clear of trash. The hardest part about having a small bedroom is that everything is visible because hiding something is usually not an option. Not to mention that my kids are still getting the hang of hiding things from me. You never know what I am going to find in their clothes drawers! But the ONE THING I always notice above all else is trash. I will pick it up sometimes and other times I make them pick it up. The reason for this is two fold: 1. They probably don't think of the items as trash and 2. I don't want to fight with them about it! But no one likes trash. Grab an empty bag and get going. Things will smell better and while picking up you may even find things you can recycle or reuse. Think outside of the box with what can be considered trash!

2. Take five minutes a day per room

Stop and think for a minute how long five minutes REALLY is. Like if you were to sit for five minutes and count the seconds- it would seem like that is the longest task you had ever been asked to do! It's like watching water boil.  IT TAKES FOREVER! Taking just five minutes will allow for time to pick up any trash and put knick knacks in their proper place is so huge. It may even allow for some deep cleaning especially once you have been doing this awhile. Things become a habit after 21 days and you start to declutter more often as you see it pop up!

3. Look at things from another perspective

All it takes is pretending to be my mother in law and my house will a bit cleaner because of it! If you imagine yourself as a guest who is going to look at your home and see what they see it may be easier to let some of these things go. Try to think of yourself as a toddler tramping through your house. What things can they reach and can you put them somewhere else or just let them go too?

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

4. Ask yourself, "Am I going to use/need this?" and "Why?"

Well doesn't that just say enough? People forget that there is a definite difference between needing something and wanting something. Can you distinguish the difference?

5. Become more organized

By putting all things in their proper place, you are not only organizing your life, you are decluttering and saving your sanity all at the same time. Get your kids involved in the process and they may actually help keep things that way. Sometimes it is not about what you have that is "extra", it's about how you are storing your things. And if it doesn't fit, then it goes. Period.

6. Avoid distractions while you work

Getting down and dirty with your task will help you in the long run. Don't get distracted. Work in small spaces for a short time so other things don't have the opportunity to creep in an bug you.

7. Not all family items are meant to be kept

This one is the hardest for most people. "But it was my father's!" There is a fine line between keeping something that was an heirloom in your family. I believe that all pictures of course need to be saved always ;) but what about other things? Small momentos from your families past are important to save. They may not technically be worth anything. And by that I mean monetary value, however, they are obviously personal in nature and need to be kept. I would say the only exception to this rule is if you don't have room for it. This is surely an individual decision but one that needs to not be taken lightly. I have room for my grandfather's piano in my house (barely!) but I still have room. So what about your own children's things? "But I want to keep her very first outfit she ever wore!" What? Bottom line, if you don't have room for it, the item needs to be scrapped- or get rid of something else so that it can take its place. Not everything needs to be kept.

8. Go all the way with it!

Haha! Another way to do things is to go all the way. True minimalists live in tiny houses (and I mean TINY) and they have lofts for rooms and live on lots of property so they can experience nature. In concept this is beautiful. I just don't know if I could do it!

Benefits of decluttering your life : Part Two | Placerville Everyday-Children Photographer

If you missed my first post about the reasons why we need to declutter and why they are beneficial to your health then please read it! It's so important to put our health into the equation. Also think about what we are teaching our children! Please cut the clutter!

One good way to make sure you have "good clutter" is to make sure it's all about you. It has to make you happy or else why have it? Do need an updated photo of your family? I bet you do! It's something we all tend to put off and then wish we hadn't. Contact me today and we can discuss the finer details of your upcoming session. See what I can do for you! Can't wait to speak with you about it!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes…~Henry David Thoreau

The one thing I think of when I think of clutter is all of my grandmother's knick knacks sitting on a shelf. My grandparents were wonderful people. They had a formal living room which I was allowed to play in however it all too often seemed boring when there was nothing to do in there. It held a nice couch and some chairs in front of this really big bay window that looked out into the front yard. I remember that my grandmother would put towels on the back of the couch and on the arms so the cat wouldn't rip the couch to shreds. This room also held my grandfather's piano which I lovingly have now in my home. It needs some major work and more often than not it ends up being a table of sorts to set things on as we enter the back door (but that is another story for another day as I am getting completely off track!) These shelves in which these knick knacks stood were probably made of glass and they probably looked really nice. I don't remember what they were exactly but I'm sure I never touched them! (Yeah right...) All I can think of now is why would anyone want to have that kind of stuff in their home? Why all the extra space and why make more work for yourself? The extra room to clean, dust and keep maintained. And for what? So no one can use it? Ok so let me just say I am not completely against having these sorts of things in your life. Knick knacks (quality ones) that you have purchased along your life travels, are fun to have. They give you memories and probably good ones at that since you kept the darn things. I still have a few knick knacks like this on my bookshelves at home and in my kitchen window. But you will not find many. I don't like dusting and inevitably these things require a little bit of maintenance. I am very low maintenance. So therefore my house is very low maintenance.

All that being said, we all have extra things in our lives that we probably don't need right? I hope that if you were to look at your house today you could pack a small box to give away to goodwill or maybe be able to put some old clothes in a bag that you don't wear anymore. What's the rule? If you haven't worn it in six months you should get rid of it? What? I can't afford to have that kind of spending budget on clothing. I keep all my clothes until they have literally fallen apart. But I am getting off subject again. We all probably could do a little bit of "cleaning up" in our lives. Knick knacks, clothes. old toys, and other items that get little use in your home could probably get some use somewhere else just fine.

Why is it important to declutter your house and the life around you? Well studies say...wait. I'm not going to tell you what studies say. I am not an expert. But these are my reasons for keeping a decluttered home and maybe they will make sense for you too.

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

1. Less chores

Let's face it. The number one reason I don't keep a ton of stuff is so I don't have to clean it, wash it, dust it, dry it, iron it (who irons anymore anyway?), step over it, you name it. Keeping less stuff in your life is really a nice thing when you think about it. It's less work to keep everything in check when you have less stuff. Believe me. It's true!

2. Less stress

Yep. The more things you have to worry about the higher your stress level gets. It just makes sense. The more you see in view, the more you have to think about physically and the more you can get distracted. The more distractions the higher the stress! I know so many people that live off this kind of stress. Nope. Not for me. Let it go.

3. More time for me

The less time I spend cleaning, washing, dusting, drying, ironing, insert your annoying -ing here...the more time I have to spend with my family and the more time I have to pamper myself. That's a fact that you cannot argue with. I dare you to try.

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

4. More money

Say what? Simple. The less you buy, the more money you have. The more you give away or sell- the more money you have. Need I say more?

5. More appreciation for what you have

The less you have, the more you appreciate it. It's amazing how a minimalist view can give you more appreciation for what you have. You may even learn new ways to use old things that you hadn't thought of before. And think about what your kids will do when you get them to focus on the most important things in their life. It might be a game changer. When you have a lot of stuff you become bogged down with too much to do that you become bored. Weird huh? It's a little counter intuitive. It just goes to show that money really can't buy happiness. Teaching your kids this lesson at a young age just might make their future a little brighter. They can keep these experiences in their heart and use them wisely once they become adults. What a gift that would be.

6. Helps you stay focused and organized

This one is a no-brainer. Once you have less in your life to worry about you can more easily take the things that are most important to you and organize them better because of the simple fact that you have less items to organize. This will help you stay more focused and in the long term this will make you happier. It's a win-win. Just take my word for it.

7. Frees you up to do other fun things

With less to worry about, you have more time on your hands to focus on the important things in life. Want to actually get through that book you have been reading for over a year? What about finding time to actually exercise? Ok I do realize that there are lots of people out there that actually exercise daily or multiple times a day. Can you come over to my house and give me some motivation? I may need it. And now that I have more free time we can work out together! YAY!

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

I could go on and on and on. But I won't. However it is really important that you take these things into consideration when you are thinking about buying that new really cool item you want. (Yeah, tell that to my movie collection...) Nothing is better than good ol' fashioned family time. Think on that one.

Benefits to decluttering your life: Part One | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

So how do we do this? How do we declutter so we can have all these great things in our lives? Well that's for another post so stay tuned for How do you declutter your life: Part Two. It's coming. You know you want to read it.

In the meantime go ahead and hop on over to some other posts that may interest you. My Kids Were Here is a blog circle I joined way back when and I just love looking at old photos of my kids and their lives. After all, aren't they what I am living for? Take a look and tell me what you think.

And when you are done make sure to send me a quick message telling me all about the photo session of your dreams! I can not wait to hear from you!

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville Everyday-Family Photographer

How is it that every time I get some free time I spend it on Facebook or some other social media site? Is it that I am so tired that I need that time to just be in my own moment and actually feel like I am doing nothing and zone out? I choose to believe that but then the activity becomes addicting right? Whether you are a Facebook junkie or twitter fan or pinner of things you inspire to or an Instagram user, you are in my boat. I find that I spend more time online when I have more things to do around the house. It's almost as if I am trying to ignore my duties at hand. Social media is a way for me to "check out". I think to some extent we all have this type of problem. Now, it doesn't have to be social media that is our vice. What about T.V.? You know-it's so important to be able to catch up on your favorite show right? Isn't that how Netflix gets business? The idea that people will spend hours a day just binge watching a show they have never seen before. I have totally done that. The show Bones was my vice for a good two weeks. Every day I was watching that non-stop and yes, being a very bad mom (wife, stick in other term here) in the meantime.

So how do we get away from that? How do we break the cycle? They say it takes 21 days to break a habit. But where do we start? How do we get away from those vices? I would actually rather spend this extra time with my kids. But how do I do that? Let's see if I provide some insights for you and then ultimately take my own advice.

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

1. Take your smart phone out of the equation.

Are you like me? Do you need your phone by your bedside when you go to sleep? Do you use your phone as an alarm? Do you have the urge to check all your accounts as soon as you wake up and then just sit there for too long- which makes you actually late in the morning. Those of us with children know that there is nothing worse than making an already short morning shorter when the adults don't get up on time. I do this at least three times a week or more. So how do we stop this? We have to take our phone out of the equation. Don't let it sit by your bedside. Go buy an actual alarm. They are totally inexpensive and easy to use! Don't get caught up in the idea that it will only take you a minute to get your "social media fix". It doesn't ever work out that way. 5 minutes will always turn into 15. Am I right? Take the phone away. Trust me, you will be better for it. You will get up on time and you will actually get things done and leave the house on time. No more rushed mornings. (Hey, I can dream can't I?)

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

2. Schedule me time.

This one is huge! Scheduling time for yourself and making you the priority over all else sometimes has its perks. Getting a mani-pedi or doing some shopping (clothes or even groceries- you pick) is such a benefit to the soul. We all know this internally but we often don't do it. Why? Lack of time right? Think of the time you had spent on social media of choice today. Think about what you could have done to get yourself recharged instead of being a slacker. Yep. A slacker. Don't have money to recharge at the spa? Go for a walk and be by yourself. It will help you so much in the long run. I don't really need to quote any resources for this. We all know it to be true. And this "me" time will keep you off the media sites. Period. And when you are more centered and happy you are happier around your kids. Win-win.

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

3. Schedule kid time.

This one is so important. Our kids don't want much in life. Depending on your child(ren) and their age(s) I can guarantee you that they want to spend time with you. Ok, so maybe your teenager would rather spend time with their friends and your middle-schooler may feel like you are more embarrassing than anything else. But I have to say that down deep they still want your appreciation, they still want your time and they still want you to be with them. For every child this will be different. And obviously this will vary greatly by the age of your kids. It doesn't have to be anything special. We are not talking about spending a ton of money on something that you can't afford. I am not talking about buying your kids things that they think want. Spending time is all you need. Coloring for 15 minutes with your preschooler, taking your teenager to the new movie you both want to see, or just having a ten minute conversation at dinner time about their day. All of these things are proven to make better families, better relationships and a happier life. That is what we all want right? Once you actually schedule the time and you make the commitment to turn the phone off or leave it in the drawer until later- you will see that it becomes a natural thing. It's not hard, it's just that you need to make it work for your life and make it a routine.

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

4. Schedule your social media time.

One thing that can really help is to schedule the time you will allow yourself to be on your favorite social media of choice. Whether it's an hour or something else every day- schedule it. Obviously it will change day to day based on our activities but if you actually schedule it and commit to not being on those sites until that time you will be a lot happier. Think of all the things you are missing when you are on social media for 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there. Honing down on the time you allow yourself to be online will allow for more productivity throughout the rest of your day.

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

5. Cut it off completely.

For some people the need to cut off the social media completely is something that is necessary. There are a ton of ways that you can block the websites from coming into play. Cutting things off cold turkey is really hard. I know I couldn't do it! But some people that know themselves know that they may need this to get rid of the habit. Can you imagine the amount of free time you would have to get stuff done if you take away the time sucking problem all together? Wow. Unimaginable for me. No words. But  if this is something you need then please go ahead and take a look at these sites to help you do that. For Mac users you can try Self Control and for PC users you can look into Cold Turkey. Other sites like Barracuda may be what you need.  Also, for iPhone users, there is a way to turn off some websites in the settings panel. Some of us who have no self control need this option so they can actually get the work done. It's sad but true. I am one of those people. I may need to check some of these options out more closely. ;)

How to be more present with your kids and not social media | Placerville everyday-family photographer

Bottom line? Take a look at how much time you spend on your favorite social media sites, decide if it is worth the time spent and if you don't like hat you see please take steps to change that! It's so easy to decide to be present with your kids and stay away from the online ickiness. Oh who am I kidding. It's fun! But everything in moderation right?

Want to learn a little bit more about the way I think? Try out Summer can't wait and neither will I and Creativity and Me. Both posts are worth a read and may even help you through some tough times too.

It is my specialty to give you images that you will enjoy from day to day. Photographing your everyday is what I do best. Whether you like more of a posed session or something less structured it can be done! I specialize in getting you what you want out of your session. Contact me today so we can discuss things!

Much love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

Facebook

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