Lunch Bites: Tips and Tricks to Make School Lunches Simple

Your alarm goes off and after hitting snooze three times, you roll out of bed to realize you are late. You still have to get your kids ready, get yourself ready, make breakfast, pack lunches, and somehow make time for coffee. Does this sound like a typical morning? We’ve been there.

Packing lunches for your kids is a chore that must be done, but don’t you wish there was a way to make this task easier? Well, at least less time consuming during your hectic and rushed mornings. So today is your lucky day, LifeSquire is here to give you tips and tricks to make this necessary chore easier.

Make use of leftovers

You cooked that delicious dinner, so don’t let it go to waste. Use your leftovers to create easy to pack lunches for the next day.

Ask the kids

If you find the lunch boxes coming home full of food, chances are your kids aren’t enjoying their meals. Asking what they would in their lunches could help in the long run. They may tell you ten things they like to eat, but this will give an idea that they enjoy a variety of foods. If they tell you one or two things they like, then maybe they just need more of two basic foods.

Lunch calendar

Remember the days of getting the lunch calendar at school? You remember how excited you were on pizza day? Well, you can still bring your kids that joy by making your own lunch calendar. This will help you keep on track, and give them lunches to look forward to.

Stop the browning

If you child prefers sliced apples, you can keep them from browning after slicing by using a rubber band to hold the apple together.

Keep it chill

It is important that lunches stay cool, but instead of purchasing expensive ice packs, there are alternatives. You child will need a drink with lunch, so consider saving room in the lunch pail by freezing the drinks and letting them thaw until lunch time. Alternatively, you can freeze a wet sponge in a sandwich bag to use as an ice pack also.

Let them pick

Pre-package snacks and put them into a plastic container in the fridge. When it is time to pack the lunch, let the kids decide what snacks they want to take. A variety of options and the chance to decide will keep the kids happy and healthy.

Jazz it up

Kids love fun shapes. If your child is a picky eater and doesn’t want to eat what you provide, use cookie cutters to turn their lunches into a work of art. They may be more apt to trying new things if it is in the form of a fun shape.

Make lunches at night

Finally, consider making lunches before bed instead of early in the morning. Your time is often short, you are running around trying to get yourself and your kids ready, and you never know what you may face when the sun rises. Instead of potentially having to hand out lunch money, get those lunches packed before bed to make your mornings a little smoother.

Looking for easy to use lunch accessories?

Here are some of our favorite accessories:

Stackable Meal Prep Containers http://amzn.to/2wzyHCc

Rubbermaid Lunch Blox http://amzn.to/2vryiBC

Cool Coolers Slim Lunch Ice Packs http://amzn.to/2hOT0IC

Neoprene Lunch Bags and Water Bottles http://amzn.to/2vrGaDl

Bento Leak-Proof Lunch Box http://amzn.to/2vs2Sv7

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If you don’t have time to do the meal planning or lunch packing, let LifeSquire personal assistants do the job. We will make sure your coffee pot is set, so you’ll have rich caffeinated goodness in the morning.

 Disclosure: This post contains referral links and book bios from Amazon. LIfeSquire may be compensated in exchange for purchases made from links posted on this post.

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, LifeSquire Digital Media Strategist

Tunes to Fuel Your Summer

It's hot and hopefully you are spending as much time at the pool as you can. But what is better than a pool party? A pool party with awesome tunes of course. This is our official invitation to kick back, crank up the radio, and enjoy our playlist for July.

We hope you have enjoyed the tunes filling our airwaves lately, and if you have any ideas on how to make our playlists even better, send them our way. We are always updating the lists, so listen often. Also, follow us on Spotify.

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, LifeSquire Digital Media Strategist

No Need for Travel when You can Staycation

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Summer is winding down, and it is almost time to head back to school, but that doesn’t mean you have to cancel the fun. Oklahoma offers a lot of amazing places to plan your staycation. So pack the kids up, or steal your significant other away, for a weekend full of fun with our recommendations.

 

Museums:

One way to beat the heat is to stay indoors at one of the local museums.  The Oklahoma City Metro Area has a lot of great museums that will boost your knowledge and keep you entertained at the same time.

American Banjo Museum

Skeletons Museum of Osteology

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

National Cowboy & Western Museum

Harn Homestead

Oklahoma Railway Museum

Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum

Science Museum Oklahoma

 

Adrenaline Rush:

Maybe a racing pulse and a pounding heart is more your style. Oklahoma has a few places that can make your heart beating. Take a trip to any of those places for your adrenaline rush.

Riversport Adventures

Frontier City

Whitewater

iFly Oklahoma City

Climb Up

 

Beer & Wine:

If you want to go on a bit of a road trip to get a feel for Oklahoma wines and beers, you will be in for a treat. There are so many great adult beverages produced in our state, and here are a few of our favorites:

Summerside Vineyards

Sparks Vineyard

Vernost Wine Co

COOP Ale Works

Mustang Brewery

Twisted Spike

 

Romantic Getaways:

Maybe you need a little time away with your significant other, but you don’t want to travel too far. Consider taking a long weekend to one of these local romantic getaways.

Quartz Mountain Resort

The Artesian

Arcadian Inn

Stone Lion Inn

21C Museum Hotel

 

Family Fun:

If you are looking for a little family fun, these places often have events that will keep you coming back for more. Check their calendars, so you will always know what is going on.

OKC Zoo

Myriad Gardens Events

Oklahoma Aquarium

Orr Family Farm

 

Outdoors:

Maybe being in the outdoors for hiking, swimming, or camping is more your speed. Oklahoma has a lot of beautiful parks for to fulfill all of those needs.

Turner Falls Park

Chickasaw National Recreation Area Oklahoma

Alabaster Caverns State Park

Wichita Mountains Wild Life Refuge

Beavers Bend State Park

Robbers Cave State Park

 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, LifeSquire Digital Media Strategist

Let LifeSquire do the Hiring Work

As a business owner, manager, or entrepreneur you often find yourself surrounded by a diverse group of people that work together to conquer goals and help the business grow. These people often have specialized skills that are an integral part of your company.  But, some positions may be overlooked, the executive assistant, receptionist, and administrative assistant.

These positions aren’t just for answering the phone and filing your paperwork; instead, these positions enhance your productivity and create strength where there are weaknesses. They can help with staff morale and keep everyone motivated. They bring the calm to your busy workday.

Another important part of your staff, if you have kids, is your nanny. This person is in charge of your child and caring for them when you are working or otherwise busy. Your child’s nanny plays an important part of your child’s life, so it is important to get the very best.

So you may be thinking to yourself, I am already super busy working and spending time with my family how do I create more time to find, interview, and hire the support staff I need?

The answer is: You don’t have to, LifeSquire can help. We have successfully placed administrative assistants, receptionists, and nannies for busy people who just don’t have the time to do it.

How can we help?

LifeSquire is now offering services for hiring the support staff that you may need. Here is a brief overview of what we will provide:

• We will advertise and recruit potential team members. We will even make use of our own social media connections if necessary to find you the best candidate.

• After we receive resumes, we will sort through them and provide them with extra questioning.

• Once we have received the questions back, we will determine which candidates qualify for our personality survey. The LifeSquire personality test was crafted by a psychologist specifically for our needs. We also have them take the Gallup StrengthFinders test.

• We will comb through the results again, and if we feel like they are a potential candidate, we will bring them in for an initial interview.

• If we still feel like they are a good fit for you, we will provide you with the information you have collected, and we will schedule a time with you to introduce you to the candidate.  

• A full background check can be arranged as well.

We also offer our own assistant training, so that your new employee is ready to go if you’d like that feature. If you decided to go with this feature, your employee would also have access to us for referrals and help, and he or she would also be able to attend further training classes we offer to our personal assistants.

Our goal is to provide you with a qualified candidate all while you stay focused on your goals. We truly believe that life awaits, and this is just one more way we can help you.

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, LifeSquire Digital Media Strategist

Beat the Heat with the LifeSquire Summer Reading List

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It’s the end of June and we are about to reach Defcon 5 in the temperature department. It’s getting hot y’all. One way we have found to beat the heat is to get lost in a good book.

At LifeSquire you can almost always find our noses stuck in a book when we aren’t helping our clients. So whether you are heading to the beach, have a long road trip, or are just hiding from the sun we highly recommend picking up one of these reads.

Disclosure: This post contains referral links and book bios from Amazon. LIfeSquire may be compensated in exchange for purchases made from links posted on this post.

Pets and Peeps Love Music: LifeSquire June Playlists

Music can change the world. While LifeSquire may not be a world of its own, but it sure has changed us. In fact, it has even changed the people and pets around us. Yes, pets too.

Last month we posted our very first playlist, and it took off like a wildfire. We were listening to it nonstop (that's an understatement) and then the people around us couldn't help but want to know what all the fuss was about. It was like they popped their headphones in and were just as hooked as we were. This inspired more.

We had already planned the monthly playlist, but when our significant others and pets heard the first one they wanted in on the deal too. They wanted to share their love of music with us and you too, so the masterminds at LifeSquire created two playlists this month. Talk about a bonus!

We hope you have enjoyed the tunes filling our airwaves lately, and if you have any ideas on how to make our playlists even better, send them our way. We are always updating the lists, so listen often. Also, follow us on Spotify.

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, LifeSquire Digital Media Strategist

11 Things Personal Assistants Do Better

To say that you love your job and to mean it is two very different things. To be a personal assistant is to love your job. The best personal assistants absolutely love what they do. There is a thrill in providing service for others, there is pride in accomplishing multiple tasks a day, and there is a love for being a support system for others.

Being a personal assistant is a demanding job that will keep a person on their toes, but it is a crucial role to fill. There are just some things a personal assistant can do better, and we want to share those things with you.

Scheduling mavens

If there is one thing that personal assistants are professionals at, it’s time management. They not only make sure they have time to complete all of their client’s tasks each and every day, but they also schedule appointments, travel, and service appointments regularly. They can keep track of when your pet needs to see the groomer, when your child has to be picked up from school, and when your car needs maintenance. Sure, they may use planners to keep them on track, but you can’t slide an extra meeting into a busy day without them noticing. And when they see it, they will make sure you can fit that meeting into your schedule easily.

Organization masterminds

We’ve all found ourselves in a disorganized and cluttered home from time-to-time. Life gets in the way, you get super busy, and the house tends to be the first thing knocked off of the list. But for a personal assistant, organization always tops the list. You may not even realize your bookshelf is a complete mess, but your assistant will. Your assistant will come in, put their organization skills to work, and in no time it will be organized by color and probably height too. If there was a degree in home and life organization, our assistants would have it.

Continually adaptable

Change happens constantly, and we expect it. Personal assistants have to accept change in their day-to-day job. There will be days that everything will go perfect and there will be days that are a total disaster. Either way, they know how to handle the situation. They also go into every job knowing that the client’s needs are ever evolving and what they initially thought they would be doing could be instantly pushed to a later date. They love that no day is ever the same and that it will always provide a challenge. Things can change at a moment’s notice, and they are always prepared for it.  

Planning pros

No matter what you are planning, personal assistants will help you make it happen. If you are taking a huge family vacation, they will work out the details of the trip. If you are planning a birthday party or a huge gala, they will make the contacts to get everything just the way you want it. You could also call them miracle workers. They understand that it will be difficult for a client to give up the control of planning, but with the constant communication your personal assistant will provide, you will know everything is being done to your liking.

Bring smiles to faces

Personal assistants are born with a service heart and feel great satisfaction when they make their clients happy. They often go above and beyond what is required to ensure this happens regularly. Sometimes an assistant may show up with a client’s favorite treat, other times they will do a project the client didn’t expect them to do. They anticipate the wants and needs of the client so that their service is always better than anticipated.

Lifesavers

A personal assistant may be the one person that always has your back. Did you forget to order the wine for the girls’ luncheon? Your personal assistant will be there to save the day and make sure the girls don’t run out of their favorite wine. They come through for you on things you may have forgotten and often save the day.

Problem solvers

We aren’t talking about math homework when we say that assistants are problem solvers, although I’m sure helping with math homework could be worked into their schedule. Instead, personal assistants tend to make the impossible possible. They go above and beyond to make sure their client’s needs are met, and everything is done correctly. Assistants are the ones that make sure the cake gets ordered and delivered on time, they are the people who search all over town for the contractor needed to do a particular job, they are the ones that project manages your household or office. And when a problem comes up, personal assistants create a backup plan and quickly execute it. They do all of these things to keep their client’s lives as normal as possible.

Mind readers

A client could almost think their personal assistant is a mind reader. And truthfully, a good personal assistant does just that. They can anticipate the needs of their client’s without being told. Have a big trip coming up? It is likely that your personal assistant will have your luggage out, products you needs for your trip ready, and itineraries printed before you even think to do those things. That’s just one example of the many things you’re thinking, but don’t have to vocalize to your assistant. They also know how to read their client’s facial expressions. This allows them to know when the best time to approach a client is. They aren’t in the business to pester, so they have to know when the timing is right.

Knowledge seekers

With a variety of jobs comes a wealth of experience. A personal assistant craves the change, but also the knowledge they need to fulfill their tasks. Whether it is learning a new software so that they can work in their client’s office or it is learning how to trim a rose bush, personal assistants seek all of the knowledge.

Pet lovers

If you want a person that loves your pets as you do, you won’t find anyone better than your personal assistant. They are there to not only love and snuggle them but to help you take care of them. Does Fluffy need a vet appointment? Your personal assistant will make sure she is taken care of. They want your pets healthy and happy too.

The errand bosses

Whether it is making a list and heading to the grocery store, going to the post office, or returning purchased products, your personal assistant has you covered. They spend their work day doing the things you don’t have time to get done or the things you want to give up so that you will have more time with your family and friends. If you feel like your errands are overtaking your life, consider hiring an errand boss.

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If you are looking at all of these things and thinking to yourself that you could use someone in your life that can fulfill those needs, reach out and contact LifeSquire today. We have the personal assistants that will make your life easier.

 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, LifeSquire Digital Media Strategist

Music Feeds Our Soul; LifeSquire’s May Playlist

LifeSquire Playlist

Recently we were sitting in our weekly staff meeting, and as the LifeSquires were packing up their things and preparing to leave for the day the topic of music came up. The personal assistants were discussing new albums that came out recently, songs that kept them motivated, and how music can calm an otherwise chaotic day.

As I was listening, I couldn’t help but think how music can turn the darkest day bright or provide motivation when you think you have lost it all. It was then that I decided to create a monthly playlist of songs that LifeSquire personal assistants jam out to while they are fulfilling their client’s needs. Below is the playlist for May. We hope you enjoy it.

Like what you heard? Follow us on Spotify (spotify:user:lifesquire) so that you never miss a playlist.

 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, LifeSquire Digital Media Specialist

8 Healthy Habits for a Relaxing Life

Relaxing LIfe

Ever find yourself living a 24/7 routine? I think we all have been there. Between meetings, phone calls, deadlines, family life, friends, entertaining, ball games, and trying to get at least a few hours of sleep, there isn’t much time left for personal time. Instead of taking a little time for peace and quiet, we often find ourselves pushing forward and trying our hardest to succeed at this thing called life.

While this may seem like the plan to success, it can lead to a lot of negatives. In fact, not taking the time to relax will increase your stress levels. As your stress levels increase, your health, your behavior, and your mood can be affected.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit.” 

If you let your stress go unchecked, many aspects of your life start to feel the pain. But when you are stressed, how do you fight it? The key is to relax. Here are some tips on how to improve your quality of life by relaxing:

Schedule time to relax

You add meetings and business trips to your calendar, so why not add relaxation time? If you do not add relaxation time to your schedule, it will most likely never happen. Try to schedule a few times a week for reading a book, a nice long bubble bath, gardening, watching your favorite television show, or anything else you find relaxing. While it may be difficult to add extra tasks to your schedule, you will not regret it.

Get some fresh air

Do you spend your lunch break indoors in a break room? Consider taking your lunch outdoors. The fresh air and Vitamin D will improve your mood and happiness levels. If you have extra time after your delicious meal, try adding a walk to your routine. If you tend to skip your lunch break, consider adding outdoor time after work. The fresh air and exercise will be good for you. Have a pet? Spend some quality time with them. You might be surprised how good a pet can make you feel.

Do the bad stuff first

Create a to-do list at the beginning of your day that includes all of your responsibilities. Once you know what you have to do, start with the tasks that you are least looking forward to completing. Getting these tasks done early will ensure that your day will only improve.

Meditate

One of the best ways to clear your mind is through meditation. It allows you to improve your concentration and increase your self-awareness. Meditation will help you find your focus so that you can have a productive day.

Automate your bills

Take another task off of your to-do list by automating all of your bills. Set your utility bills, car payment, mortgage, credit cards, student loans, and any other bills you can to auto-pay. Eliminating as many tasks as possible will be a large weight off of your shoulders.

Take care of yourself

Dress well, get your hair done, and treat yourself. Doing things to take care of yourself will boost your happiness three-fold. Have you heard that saying, when you look good, you feel good? It is entirely true. So make sure you schedule those salon appointments, trips to the mall, and that pedicure you’ve been wanting.

Get a massage

When your stress levels get out of control, one of the best things you can do is get a massage. There is something about a massage parlor that is instantly relaxing. Maybe it is the music, the fresh smell, or the anticipation of the massage, but there is something to be said about the parlor. Once you get in the room and your massage starts, you will feel the tension in your body and the stress melt away.

Take up a hobby

Doing or learning something you enjoy will reduce your stress and better your mood. It also makes scheduling you time a bit easier. Pick out something you enjoy doing or want to do and find a local class. Not only will you have a great time, you will also meet new people and learn a new skill.

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If you find yourself unable to schedule time to relax, it is a strong sign that you need help with your daily tasks. The good news is, we are here to help. LifeSquire personal assistants can help you get your tasks done so that you have more time for relaxing. Remember, life awaits.

Also from LIfeSquire:

 

Post written by Deaven Cavnar, LifeSquire Digital Media Strategist.

Spring Cleaning

Spring is in full bloom, and if you’re anything like us, that spring fever has brought on the urge to do some serious spring cleaning!   Now is the perfect time to begin purging clothes and household items and to get organized.  Here at Lifesquire, we’ve put together a list of our favorite spring to dos:

 

Bedroom

·      Go through closets and drawers. Toss or donate out of style items or things you haven’t worn in a year or more.  My general rule for clothes is that if I need to make up an elaborate scenario in which I might need that item, I will likely never end up wearing it.

·      Toss or donate old bedding, blankets, and pillows.

·      Purge your makeup drawer.  Here’s a helpful guide to makeup shelf-life.

 

Living Room/ Study

·      Things like books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs can all be donated or sold to stores like Vintage Stock or Half Price Books

·      Schedule a carpet and upholstery cleaner

·      Test smoke detectors throughout the house and change batteries as needed

 

Kitchen

·      Go through your pantry and fridge.  Toss expired items or donate items you know your family won’t consume before their use by dates.

·      Phase out and replace chipped dishes and bowls

·      Clean the oven and the dishwasher to ensure they’re in top working order. 

 

Yard & Flowerbeds

·      Clean out flowerbeds and plant new blooms

·      Program your sprinkler system

·      Schedule a mowing service and/or dog waste scooper service

·      If you have dogs, walk your fence line to look for possible escape spots

·      Schedule pest prevention treatments

·      Schedule a pool service to get your pool ready for the summer

·      Book an AC tune up and change air filters.  Efficient systems mean savings on your electric bill this summer

·      Check weather stripping on doors and windows.  This will help keep that hot summer air out and reduce your cooling bill. 

 

 

The longer days and warmer temps are glorious, but they are also an indication that storm season is soon to follow.  After your family has made a storm plan you’ll want to be sure you have all the necessary supplies in your shelter or safe spot.  Some items you should definitely have on hand are:

·      flashlights/lanterns with spare batteries

·      water

·      blankets

·      weather radio

·      first aid kit

·      shoes

·      non-perishable food items

·      pet food / baby food if you have either in your household

And be sure to register your storm shelter with your local storm shelter registry.

 

 

Feeling overwhelmed? Give us a call!  We’d love to help you get your home Spring ready.