RDeCewIn this day and age, most of our jobs don’t end when we leave the office. There is plenty of work to be done and we now have the technology to allow us to continue working even when out of the office. While we can be extremely productive this way, it makes it more difficult to achieve work-life balance. The consulting firm Accenture completed a study in 2013 that found “work-life balance contributed more to happiness and job satisfaction than factors such as money or titles.”

Livestrong recently had an article “15 Secrets to Better Work-Life Balance” that nails it when it comes to doing things that will provide you with the work-life balance you desire. Here are the top four secrets I’ve put to use and found most beneficial:

  1. Spread out weekend chores- Instead of pushing everything to Saturday and Sunday
    Stay tuned this fall to hear more from me about meditation!

    Stay tuned this fall to hear more from me about meditation!

    when I think I’ll have the time, I’ve started to do something each day of the week. It doesn’t take much time, and it helps when the weekend rolls around—I relax rather than dread all the chores I have lined up!

  2. Schedule downtime- I’m a fan of “To Do” lists so I’ve now added downtime for myself. It might only be 15 minutes, but it makes the world of difference with my stress level.
  3. Just say no- Since you can’t always control your workload, I’ve started to cut back on personal obligations. Instead of running out to meet a friend for coffee or volunteering an extra evening, I take my scheduled downtime for myself.
  4. Meditate- There are plenty of studies showing the benefits of meditation and you’ll never know how beneficial it is until you give it a try.

For more secrets to a better work-life balance, check out the Livestrong article that helped me manage my own work-life balance at http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011127-15-secrets-better-worklife-balance/.

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IOYC_Staff2013_alisonIn the past, when I would think of a “flower”girl, I would picture my favorite little one walking down the aisle with a basket of rose petals, perfectly tossing petal after petal all the way down the aisle.  Today, there are so many fun, fresh ideas that can take having a flower girl to a whole different level.  Check out some of the ideas below and see what your flower girl thinks would be the most fun.

BalloonGirl1. Balloons.  Not just your typical balloon – but large, colorful balloons like the one pictured here.  It’s a great option for outdoor ceremonies.

2. Bubbles.  This could be a bit daring – think of it spilling down the front of their dresses.  But, it can be quite cute if you want to chance it!

3. Pinwheels. You can find pinwheels of every size and color online or they look pretty easy to DIY!

BallGirl4. Pomander Balls and Garlands.  Still have the flowers, but in a fun, new and gorgeous way!

5. Signs and Parasols.  You can add sweet, cute or funny notes in all different shapes and sizes. BannerGirls

6. Sun Umbrellas. A classic and elegant touch for your outdoor wedding.

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IOYC_Staff2013_alisonFor all you grooms out there – past, present, and future – when it comes to your big day, all eyes are on the bride – the dress, the hair, and let’s not forget the adorable flower girl. As a word of warning to all you lucky fellas out there, if I happen to be attending your wedding, I will be watching you!

When everyone stands to watch the bride walk down the aisle, I’m probably one of the IMG_8288only people who takes a quick glance at the bride before turning my attention to the groom.  With each step shortening the distance between the bride and her groom, the facial expressions of the groom are truly priceless.  You see that initial look of, ‘Man I got this’ followed by a look of sheer panic – don’t deny it! But what gets me every time is the smile that the groom gets as soon as he locks eyes with his bride. You know in that moment nothing else matters in the world to him accept the woman he is going to marry.  And on that happy note, I need my box of Kleenex.

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