Not many people are as productive as mums are, even if you were not overly productive before, once you become a mum you learn to be super productive due to the high number of tasks you have to complete daily just to keep the family taken care of while on top, you then have your work obligations.  Here are 10 productivity tips that might help work from home mum to stay on their desired daily schedule.

1. Set a schedule.

Good time management starts with scheduling. Set in advance hours you plan to work in your calendar and tasks you plan to complete daily. Use shared google calendar if you collaborate with partners or clients so your colleagues know your availability in advance. Tr to schedule and tackle your most demanding tasks, those that require the most focus and silence when you are most productive, focused and rested.


2. Get up before kids do.

Pick up to 5 tasks you want to do in the morning (ex.working out, cleaning the kitchen, doing emails, etc.) write them up and keep them on the fridge as a reminder until it becomes a habit you do automatically. My morning routine is waking up at 6am, getting dressed and making healthy breakfast for Anabela and myself milk for Arija, making the bed with Bela, taking our dog out for a walk and dropping Bela to the school bus.

3. Create a to-do list for each day.

Putting things you want to accomplish in your life or in your day on a paper makes it real, physical and it creates satisfaction and if you will even physically helps your body produce serotonin as you complete tasks you set for yourself to do.

4. Use tools efficiently.

Identify time wasters and try to automate as much as you can using technology and outsourcing services. For example, in Barcelona we have grocery delivery service application like Deliberry, prepared food delivery service from restaurants app - Deliveroo and courier app Glovo which delivers whatever fits on a motorcycle, like baby food from the pharmacy when it rains or you already put your kids to sleep and don't want to leave the house or some product samples to your client.

5. Follow a regular nap or rest time routine.

Routine created stability for your kids and kids feel safe and are not nervous when they know what is coming next in a day. Kids go through a lot of transitions as they grow, getting out of diapers, starting kindergarten or school, having routine and constant schedule smooths these transitions. Having a routine doesn't mean it has to be boring, you can be creative with activities you do with kids while staying on the daily schedule they know.

6. Establish a regular house cleaning routine & delegate them.

Recruit all members of the household to do age-appropriate tasks or if it makes sense for your family and your family budget, hire regular cleaning help. For most homes cleaning help 2-3 times per week for a couple of hours per day might be a huge time saver for a working mum. This makes sense especially if you earn double or more per hour then what you pay for housecleaning.

7. Hire a babysitter or organize playdates.

In Croatia, most people use the grandparents or family members for childcare help while in Western Europe that is not really the case. Luckily, now there is an app for that! :) Most people have a regular babysitter or a cleaner they got through a recommendation from friends or family. In Barcelona, we also have Nannyfy app which offers babysitter profiles from your neighborhood with ratings for each nanny, mostly students or women who babysit as a side job which comes super handy when you need urgent childcare. Playdates, done reciprocally, with school friends can be a free time slot in a day while kids play at their friend's house to do some extra work.

8. Break bad habits that kill your productivity.

We all know what I am talking about here. Check your screen time on your mobile. I am sure it happens often that you are cooking, get an email, next thing you know you are scrolling through Instagram for 15min and your bolognese sauce has burned. Turn off notifications as a first step and dedicate time on your to do list for emails. Multitask only when you absolutely have to, as it has been proven that multitasking slows us down by 40%. Clean out the clutter in your home office during the weekend and make sure there is absolutely nothing that on the work surface that takes your focus from your work. Finally, perfectionism slows you down and disables you to start or hit 'send' thus disabling you to get things done or even to start them. Done is better than perfect!

“Productivity is no longer about how efficiently you work. Productivity is about how much you accomplish.Chris Bailey


9. Take advantage of the evening hours.

I was never a morning person but I had to become one to make my day longer to be able to do all I have to with 2 kids and preserve my sanity. However, I still do my best work in the evening. It is an absolute must for me to have 2-3 hrs per evening to do the creative part of my work that requires more focus and working without pressure or to much stress.

10. Network professionally and personally.

Working from home might reduce opportunities from networking so you can join mumpreneur or women entrepreneur facebook groups in your city or networking organizations (like Girls Gone International, Costa Women or Lean In etc.), workshops, and events to have opportunity to pitch your business to new people, pick their brain about how to improve your services and potentially acquire new clients and friends. As a mum, you are probably anyways meeting parents in parks and on birthdays so you can use these opportunities to meet new friends or create your own power mum circle of like-minded parents or mums.




We have been living in Barcelona for almost seven years now, we absolutely love the city and we consider it our primary home, although a life of a professional athlete is rarely located at only one country for an entire career, for us, it has been quite different for now.

We moved into our first home in Spain a bit more than 4 years ago when we planned on trying for a baby and when I started working from home we knew we needed a separate room for my office and another to be kids room. Plans change, so did ours, we decided to go for another baby and with a house full of kids and pets + home office situation, we needed a bigger home.

Ante who is passionate and quite talented when it comes to interior design and choosing a good real estate to buy at the right time found us a beautiful city home with 360 terraces around the house.



We started working on this new development property back in November and we did it from scratch. Although we knew what we wanted to get out of it, we hired an amazing real estate firm from Barcelona - Helvetic to help us build our dream home, for now, a family of five. As always, deadlines were tight, essentially we planned to move in before Arija was born although we knew it will be hard, we settled for a several weeks later move to get exactly what we want to be done, and done well.


A Helvetic team lead by a fabulous woman (not that I am pushing on the feminist side but it is so much easier to work on this kind of things with a woman, as women are definitely more practical and think about more intelligent details for every day living) who truly listened to all of our wishes and  followed our esthetics.

We went for very high ceilings and built all the furniture to measure (our measure, think 110cm high kitchen island), we wanted a whole lot of storage as we do not like things just laying around the house and we wanted to use all technologies available to build a smart and a very secure home for our family.


As we have in our other properties we made each bedroom into a suite so girls can be as independent as they can as they grow and we also added a small separate guest suite/apartment (not pictured here) for grandparents to have privacy when they come to visit.

Common areas like the kitchen and living rooms are designed in warm earth brown and cream tones, hardwood wooden flooring with touches of marble and several custom built glass drop chandeliers.


Anabela and I like more bright, pop, vivid colors so we both opted out for colorful details like her map of the world wallpaper and my office hot pink deco pillows and peonies wall stickers.

My favorite individual feature in the apartment is most definitely drop glass chandelier in the hallway.



Although I am not much of an outdoorsy type, I absolutely adore spending time on our terrace, I started planting avocados (yet to grow into a mature plant) and peppermint for those Summer cocktails on the terrace.  Also, I added some more herbs like rosemary and lemongrass which can be a great addition to bbq dishes.


A terrace is also a favorite place of our dog Papi who do not be fooled does not use it to run but rather to lie lazily on the sun all day. We built a little patio park with soft rubber flooring for Anabela which she absolutely adores and loves to invite her friends to play.


All in all, I feel like we built our dream home where we feel super calm, safe and comfortable in every way.




Are you a new mom who is currently on the journey of breastfeeding her baby? If yes, you might be quite familiar with the discomfort of wearing those nursing bras, God knows I am! Anabela I breastfed only 4 months and then due to severe Mastitis and not much milk we went for the formula.

This time around, I used nursing probiotics all through the last trimester to prevent heavy boob inflammations which I had while nursing Anabela and it worked just fine. First few weeks until Arija and I caught up with supply and demand part were rough and painful but now we are managing it just fine and I am nursing her on demand. This means she goes wherever I go and I breastfeed her whenever she is hungry, meaning even during conference calls with clients (no video luckily) and on the conferences.

Unlike ordinary bras, these bras have the tendency to adapt to changes that happen to your boobies while pregnant and nursing. 

However, if you are uncomfortable wearing your nursing bras, then you are not wearing the right ones. There are nursing bras that are actually comfortable and offer your nourishing breasts subtle support all day and night long (yes I wear them overnight cause my boobs are super painful when I go braless + leakage (yayks).



When it comes to selecting the best nursing bras, there are endless options to choose from. From sleep maternity bras and pumping bras to everyday nursing bras and bras with molded cups, there’s something for every new mother out there. 

Have a look at some maternity bras that are perfect for your nursing journey:

Sleep Nursing Bra: Sleep nursing bras tend to offer maximum comfort and support to your breasts while you sleep and lounge. These are ultra-soft and stretchable and even ideal for pregnant and nursing women seeking plus size maternity bras. Go for a cotton-blend bra in criss-cross design for added comfort.

Nursing bra for larger breasts: These types of bras offer the comfort and support you need for your large busts. Made from soft seamless fabric, such bras instantly mold to the changing shape of your breasts while offering the maximum bra support. Pick a wire-free bra made from bamboo rayon for the ideal nursing experience.

Sports Nursing Bra: With a sportier look and feel, sports bras are meant to minimize bounce while wicking away moisture from your body. Such bras also reduce chances of breast pain and even prevent sagging. Something that will offer a little more support than usual bras!

T-shirt nursing bra: A t-shirt nursing bra is meant to offer a smooth look under thin fabrics while offering much-needed support and comfort to your boobs. Go for a flexible wire design as it will be less rigid than those standard underwire bras.



Adjustable nursing bra: Some bras are designed to allow new moms easily adjust the bra as their breast
size changes during pregnancy and after. The best part of these bras is that one doesn’t have to actually
open it to feed—simply undo the clip at the base of the bra straps.

Pumping bra: Pumping bras are designed to give all new moms a much-needed break while freeing
their hands for activities like book reading, changing diapers or scrolling through social networking sites.
These bras are generally compatible with every electric breast pump. What’s more? They are usually
designed with closure on the back to let you adjust them as per your cup size. Not to mention, pumping
bras are comfortable to wear.

Wire-free Seamless Nursing Bra: These bras are for those who hate underwires. Tightly knitted under
bands, large cups and side panels of these bras hold your breasts firmly without digging into the skin.

Strapless maternity bra: A staples maternity bra offers you the comfort and support as you wear your
favorite strapless outfits during pregnancy or even after the arrival of your newborn.

There! I did some homework for you so you don't need to in case you are looking for better nursing bras!

         
       
         
       
     

Three years ago to date when I was preparing to deliver Anabela I was researching a lot on how to prepare my dog Papi for a new, upcoming baby and I wrote this post with tips that were super useful for our family 7 Tips How To Prepare A Dog For A New Baby.

A dog is even more likely to get jealous if he is a male dog and if he has not been neutered or spayed. With Anabela Papi's adjustment was much easier than we expected but he was noticeably different, a bit sad for the lack of attention he got from us in first months when we hired a cleaner who then took him for his midday walk.

Papi went from being our 'only child' to having to share us with a very demanding baby, now a very active toddler.



A NEW BABY IS A MEMBER OF HUMAN 'WOLF PACK'

What was very important to us is to make sure Papi knows that a new baby is part of 'human wolf pack' meaning his 'new owner' and not his competition, a new little pet. This was particularly important for us when Anabela was starting to spend more time on the floor when we were strict about not letting Papi play with her toys and vice versa.

At one point Anabela started to interact with Papi and kept following him around the apartment, pulling his ears and tail, thinking he is another stuffed animal. We made sure we protect Papi physically and verbally so both of them know what is off limits, the only time they got in a small fight was over a toy when Papi scratched Bela's cheek a bit and we punished him for it by removing him physically from her and taking away his toys for a while.


THE SECOND BABY IN THE HOUSE

Now in preparation for the arrival of our second daughter, we are doing the same prep work with Papi (and Anabela) as we did with him three years ago. We also plan to bring the first hospital clothes our baby will wear to Papi to get used to her smell before we bring her home. When we do bring the new baby in the house, just as with Anabela we plan to let him smell her well on the floor from her car seat and with time get used to this new little human family member.


Shop dog training accessory: 


If you follow my Instagram you have seen that I enjoy making various educational and sensory motoric DIY material for Anabela.

When she was a bit less than 1-year old I made this quiet book for her.



I know it's not nearly perfect, I had to fix it a couple of times as Anabela plays with it sometimes a bit too aggressively. But she really, really enjoys it.



I put these pages together by sewing them together and filling with an additional cotton base, later I glued and sewed smaller elements on each page. If you don't know how to sew you can definitely make it just with using a glue gun and go for cardboard vs. fabric and felt pages and just glue the elements on regular cardboard pages.

Shop Tools & Materials:

I used materials such as felt paper, colorful buttons, pompons, pieces of colorful fabric, zippers and tools such as needle and thread, glue gun, sticky adhesive dots, binder rings, eyelet plyers and eyelets.



Since this one, I made a couple of more, more simple and easier to make quite books, this time I photographed the process and will share it with you in upcoming posts.

Anabela has never watched too many cartoons. I try to use cartoons as the last resort when I am in a hurry or really need her to sit still, like while in the airplane seated for example or during long car rides. During my last two trimester of pregnancy, I have to say her cartoon time increased as I am less and less able to do things with her physically outdoors.

Until her second birthday, Anabela didn't know the names of many cartoon characters. Well...now she does! :)

Little before her third birthday (aka a few weeks ago), she became 'obsessed' with Peppa Pig and I noticed that she has a bit less patience, especially after most of the day spent in kindergarten, to do any educational activities at home.

This is why I use these materials as my 'jocker in the sleeve' for rainy days or cold weekend days and travels when I introduce them as a 'new toy' to play with. I will post here on my blog the art and educational materials I made or found through various free sources online periodically so you can also give it a try with your child if you want.

PEPPA PIG DIY EDUCATIONAL & ART MATERIALS

Coloring Pages

Even if you don't think you have a lot of time and if you are not too crafty, you surely can find time to just print out some coloring pages and give it to your child along with a box of crayons, this will also save you money spent on coloring books :)

USEFUL TIP!
I print out coloring pages and staple them together and I just keep them in the stroller and give them to Anabela to color with a small box of crayons while we are in the restaurant or cafe rather than giving her my phone to watch cartoons.

To make the coloring pages last longer, you can run the printed out pages through the laminator and have my daughter color these pages with removable coloring pens. Later I just wipe out the pages with wet wipes and reuse them :)


Counting Puzzles 

What you need to do with these is just print them out in color on A4 size paper, laminate it (as toddlers rip paper easily or spill over it) and cut it in strips following the lines, your child will put together each of Pepa Pig family members as a puzzle and at the same time remember how numbers 1-5 go in order and how they look like.

I did the same with English Alphabet Cards print, laminate, and cut.



Dress Up Game

This one is Anabela's favorite! What I did with this sheet is print it out, laminate and cut and then I used magnetic paper cut it into tiny squares (you can just buy a strip which you can glue without glue gun) and glued them with a glue gun on the back of the each Peppa's clothing piece and her body. Next, I used small metal toy cookie tray I got from Ikea and used it as a backboard to play dress up with Peppa. This game is really great for the car and travel as the small pieces have magnets and will stick to the metal cookie tray background.




English Alphabet Placemat 

As we are raising Anabela trilingual I try to make educational materials on all languages she is speaking. So, although we speak to her exclusively in Croatian (her maternal language, the language of emotion) she also speaks Catalan, Castellano, and English daily and in Fall she will start with Mandarine Chinese and Russian.

This alphabet sheet I found on one of the Peppa Pig sites while ago and I decided to print it in A3 format and laminate it to use it as a placemat while Anabela is eating.


We try to always have her set her table on her own and sit and eat. In our family meals together are super important and social so we talk to her about her day and if she is having that day when she doesn't feel like eating we play a bit with this placemat learning letters with Pepa. :)

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Depending on their age they will spend less or more time playing with it. I noticed Anabela grew into some things I made several months later and started playing with it most intensively so do not get discouraged if you spend time making these things and at first it looks like your child is not interested.

Shop materials & tools from this post:


Normally, I don't make much of a dough pastry, other than different types of healthy muffins for my daughter. For a long time, I was looking for a recipe for the really soft and dummy-proof dough which is easy enough to make and which I can then fill with salty or sweet stuffing. Also, I am not to good with making pretty shapes so I was looking to find something I can shape easily with no special pastry tools.

I found this great pastry recipe, I tried to make it four times with different stuffings to make sure I can recommend it to you guys with confidence. This pastry is made with milk and egg whites. I tried to make it with vegan substitutes and the pastry came out equally soft.

The quantity of pastry in this recipe yields about 16-18 rolls, depending on how small you cut it. I went with golf ball size pastry ball to form each roll.

HOW TO CUT THE DOUGH

In order to get the rib form of the roll on top, roll out each golf ball size pastry chunk into a rectangle and place a bit - 2 teaspoons of filling (fresh cheese, cooked ham, and mozzarella; jam; Nutella etc.) on one far shorter end of the dough rectangle, roll the sides so the filling doesn't leak out while baking.

On the other end of the dough, rectangle cut 4-5 lines with a very sharp knife but stop before the edge. Roll the dough from the filling side towards the cut side tucking the sides in as you go. At the end twist the form inwards a bit to form a roll.




Yield: 16-18Pin it

Super Soft & Delicious Easy Pastry Rolls.

Super soft, dummy -proof pastry rolls with dough made with milk and egg whites, dough raises for 2 hours however it takes only 15 minutes to bake them.
prep time: 2 hour and 15 minscook time: 15 minstotal time: 2 hours and 30 mins

ingredients

  • 400 ml / 1.6 cups of warm milk
  • 180 ml / 0.7 cups of sunflower oil
  • 1 pack of dry yeast (2 & 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 tbsp / 1 soup spoon of sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 900g / 31.7 oz all purpose flour
  • Linen seats / sea salt / sesame seeds (optional toppings)
  • 2 egg yolks (to brush the pastry rolls)

instructions

  1. In large pastry dough add warm milk, oil, sugar, egg whites, yeast and mix it / beat it with an egg beater.
  2. Slowly add flour and salt, hand knead the dough slowly. It will be soft and sticky, that is how it should be.
  3. When the dough becomes the more compact place it on the floured surface and hand knead a bit more. 
  4. Brush the large clean bowl with oil and oil the dough a bit with your hands, place the dough in the bowl, cover it with nylon wrap and let it rise for 2 hours on a warm spot.
  5. Place the dough on floured surface and cut it in equal pieces (about the size a bit larger than a golf ball). Roll out each small ball of pastry into a rectangle. 
  6. Fill one far shorter end of the rectangle with filling (I used fresh cheese) and tuck in the sides so the filling doesn't leak out during baking. 
  7. Make 4-5 cuts in the middle of the dough on the other far end of the rectangle but stop before the edge. 
  8. Warm up the oven to 190C / 374 F. Line the baking dish with baking paper.
  9. Roll the dough from the filled side towards the cut side while tucking the sides in a bit.
  10. Form a roll. Place it on the baking paper lined the baking dish. Brush the pastry rolls with egg yolks and sprinkle with optional topping of your choice, I used linen seeds and salt.
  11. Bake the rolls in the oven for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.




This is my go-to recipe for homemade bread. My family loves it and asks me to make it often. It is truly dummy proof recipe so if you have never made bread before, you can start with this recipe with no fear of failing.

I got this recipe from Croatian cooking facebook group which I follow, the recipe author's name is Rajka Sunajko and it has become legendary for how easy and simple it is to make, it tastes like old school grandmas bread baked in clay and it stays fresh for a couple of days.

This bread is crispy from outside and soft from inside. The most important parts of the preparation process are:

1. Leave the bread dough to rise for a minimum of 4 hrs, ideally overnight.
2. You should not forget to use the clay or glass casserole dish with a cover and warm the whole empty dish together with the oven before adding risen dough to it.

I hope that you enjoy making and eating this bread as much as I do!


Yield: 6

Grandmas Homemade Bread Baked in Clay.

This bread is crispy from outside and soft from inside. The most important parts of the preparation process are:

1. Leave the bread dough to rise for a minimum of 4 hrs, ideally overnight.
2. You should not forget to use the clay or glass casserole dish with a cover and warm the whole empty dish together with the oven before adding risen dough to it.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 40 minstotal time: 50 mins

 Ingredients

  • 3 cups of flour of your choice
  • 1.5 cups of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 pack of dry yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)

 Instructions

  1. Spoon mix together well all of the ingredients. No need to hand knead the dough. The dough will be liquidy, that is how it should be. 
  2. Cover the bowl with the dough with the nylon wrap and place it in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or ideally overnight.
  3. Heat the oven to the maximum heat. For my oven that is 250 C / 482 F along with the empty covered clay dish.
  4. Carefully take out the empty, covered heated clay or casserole dish out of the oven and line it with baking paper.
  5. Spoon out the dough onto a baking paper, cover and place it in the oven, leave it to bake for 30 minutes on maximum heat.
  6. Take off the cover off the dish and reduce heat to 200C / 392 F, leave it in the oven baking on this lower temperature for another 10 minutes.
  7. Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool a bit before serving.


the favorite

We have been living in Barcelona for almost seven years now, we absolutely love the city and we consider it our primary home, although a ...

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