Family Time

Family Time

Finding time to just be a family is sometimes more complicated than one would think. There is no denying that life can be a bit crazy at times. Trying to have everyone in the same place for dinner can become quite the task, not alone having a long stretch of good quality family fun. However, time together is so important in the development of our children. They need to bond with us and we need to bond with them. We don’t need to plan anything elaborate, just carve out some time to just be together without distractions.

I love spending time with my kids, honestly there is nothing that I would rather do. We are not an extravagant family, quite simple really. The things that entertain us are probably pretty boring to some, but we love every minute. Here are just a few that require little or no planning:

Treasure hunting

Whether on a hike, a walk on the beach, or just a stroll through the back yard, there is treasure to be found everywhere. My daughter especially, is my little “collector.” I can remember when she would go to daycare, she would pick up rocks on her way in and then want to give them to her friends. Now that we live at the beach, she has quite the collection of shells and other beach findings. It is super fun to see what you can find. It can be pretty funny and interesting to hear the kid’s thoughts about their treasure.

Have a backyard fire

Having a little fire in the backyard is fun way to just hang out and enjoy each other’s company. My kids have grown up around a backyard fire. We lived in the country for the first 6 years of parenthood. We would have a little bonfire almost every weekend when the weather would allow. Now that we live in town, we have downgraded to a small fire pit, but we still have fires as often as possible. The kids love to sit around tell stories, roast marshmallows, and just chill out. Fires can be very calming at the end of a long day. at Pexels

Drawing, coloring, or crafting

Getting creative with your kids can be a relaxing way for everyone to hang out. Both of my kiddos love art! They are pretty good at it too, (they put my artwork to shame). Sometimes, we will have a purpose in mind with our crafts, like gifting them or sometimes it’s just to see what we can come up with. Creating is such a great outlet for the family. It allows us to share our creativity.

There are so many great, easy ways to be together as a family. Simply ride bikes, take a walk, have a scheduled game night, movie night, cooking or baking together, anything that shows your kids the meaning of family. Togetherness will do wonders for their overall wellbeing as well as yours. Childhood goes so fast, so make time now so that you don’t look back with regret later.

9 Tips to Calm Your Mind

9 Tips to Calm Your Mind

Does it ever feel like you have a million voices in your head and chatter that just won’t stop?  Do you have trouble falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night, and start thinking about the “to do” lists or things that are going on in your life?  Hopefully, the following 9 tips will help you, whether it’s in the middle of the night, or any time of day, having a few tricks up your sleeve to calm your mind is essential to your well being.

  1. Essential oils Big surprise, right?  Any time of day essential oils can help to ground you and calm down your anxious minds.  During the day, I recommend carrying one of doTerra’s many roller blends, great for on the go.  Personally, I love to put a little inTune behind my ears at the beginning of the day and amazingly it’s still working at the end of a long day.  DoTerra has a variety of blends that will fit your taste and needs. In the evening, diffuse your favorite oil to help you relax.  Currently, my favorite oil for sleep is Serenity.
  1. Read a book-Let yourself get lost in a good book. When you are captivated by the words on a page, you can easily forget about the world around you and get lost in the story.
  2. Listen to music – I love listening to music, it’s a huge part of my life. Everyone has their own preferences, so put on whatever kind of music you enjoy, play it softly in the background or let it blast, whatever gives you the escape you need!
  3. Take a walk outside – Breathe in the fresh air, look all around you and experience the wonders of nature, notice how it makes you feel.
  4. Yoga – This doesn’t have to be an hour-long yoga session, just get up and do a few poses, your mind and body will thank you!
  5. Meditation – Breathe – Visualize, take an imaginary trip to your “happy place,” just be still and let go. There are also some great apps now that will walk you through guided meditations, I use Insight Timer and love it!
  6. Workout – Feeling stressed out? A good adrenaline release will calm the mind in no time.  It’s amazing how negative feelings can turn around after a good sweat.

    Burst at Pexels
  7. Take a warm bath – If you are at home and can escape to the bathroom, lock the door (if you have kids), turn on the tunes and take a long warm bath. This is a great way to relax your muscles and chill out after a long day.
  8. Get creative – Create. Whether you love to cook or craft, creating something gives your mind an alternative avenue.  Having something you love to do will give you a personal sense of accomplishment and feel good vibes!

Mindful Eating

Eating Mindfully

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Paleo, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, keto, whole30 – It’s easy to see how anyone can get overwhelmed with what to eat these days.  There are so many different theories on what works best.  I have tried most them.  They all have their pros and cons.  What I found they all have in common is that each one eliminates something.  All this elimination can be unhealthy and hard to sustain.

The world we live in is full of beautiful, delicious, and healing food

When we choose to eliminate, we are depriving ourselves of some of the nutrients that help our bodies heal and grow.  I know that there are going to be a lot of critics out there, believe me I was once one them.  I have watched the documentaries and read the books.  I have bought into it all.  All of this in an attempt to try to heal my body and feel better.  Guess what, none of them really did that for me.  What is working best for me, is eating a wide variety of natural, whole foods in moderation.

It is important to eat mindfully

To listen to our bodies. To appreciate where the food has come from and what it is doing to help our bodies work efficiently.  I have always found food interesting.  I grew up on a farm, milking cows, butchering animals, harvesting grain, so I had a very first hand look at the processes in which food must go through to get to our tables.  When we take the time to think and care about where our food is coming from, then we can make the best food choices.

We are extremely fortunate today

There are now a growing number of ways to get healthy, organically raised food.  Local Farmers Markets being my personal favorite.  There are now so many local farmers who truly care about the food they are producing.  It’s so awesome to be able to meet the people who have grown the food you are about to feed your family. 

If there aren’t any Farmers Markets or they are hard to get to, most grocery stores now have a mass selection of organically and responsibly produced goods.  With all the meal delivery services out there these days, having organic meals delivered to your door is just a click away.  I have purchased meat from Butcher Box and am really impressed with their selection and quality.

As you are meal planning this week, make mindful choices.

Think about the food groups.  Include all of them.  Before you take off for the store, check to see if there is a local Farmers Market happening.  If there is, bring your family along, take time to talk to the farmers and ask questions, learn about your food.  As you prepare and consume your meals, think about the nutrients and what they are doing for your body.  Be thankful for the good food we are given.

“Let food be your medicine”


Life’s Tempo

Life’s Tempo

Wouldn’t it be nice if life came with a Metronome? Keeping us all in perfect rhythm?  If everything came into our lives with perfect timing? Unfortunately, it does not.  Life is full of unpredictable and surprising events.

We do our best to prevent our lives from feeling chaotic and out of balance, but sometimes we need a little help.  A couple of changes can make a big difference. If we can just slow down and say no to the unnecessary things in our lives, our bodies will thrive, because we feel more like ourselves and in rhythm with life.

Slowing down

My husband says that I am always in a hurry.  I honestly have been most of my life, but lately, I have really taken mindful steps and realized that all my rushing around only created stress and anxiety in my life.  It was not good for me or my family.

Recently, I stepped down from a leadership position at work and went from working 40 hours a week to 36.  Just those 2 small changes in my professional life have already made me feel calmer.  I am not saying you need to do the same, however if it will give you more peace in your life, I promise you, that stepping down from a little responsibility is totally worth it, you will feel more like yourself!

Hassan OUAJBIR at Pexels

The other day while I was walking my dog, I chose to slow down and look around more.  I was amazed at all that I had been missing.  I stopped for a moment and watched as two monarch butterflies played.  If I would not have looked up, I would have missed all it’s beauty.

Watching the leaves as they fall from the trees, or the birds as they fly in formation will give you so much appreciation for the immense beauty all around us.  I love the saying: “find calm in the chaos”, because in this crazy world that we live in, it is necessary for survival.

Slowing down the tempo is always a good thing.  It gives us time to analyze and look around to see what is truly important.  Let yourself embrace the little moments in life.

Whether it is time spent with family, or alone – embrace it, feel it, live in the moment.  Take a slow, sauntering walk.  Look up, you will be surprised at all the beauty around you.

It’s okay to say “no”

I had to realize that it’s okay to say “no” without feeling guilty.  I am by nature, a people-pleaser, (middle child syndrome, I suppose).  I hated saying no or disappointing anyone.  I wanted everyone to be happy.  If someone asked me to do something for them, it was always a “yes”.

I was never afraid of taking on challenges, so I’d say “yes” to all of them.  What a revolution it was, when I realized that if I wanted to be happy, it was time to put myself first.  It was time to pass on some of the challenges put in front of me.

Sometimes, putting yourself first and not worrying about what other people think is exactly what will set you free.

In today’s world it seems everyone is overbooked with nonstop activities and commitments.  If you have children, you know that it is hard to say no.  We are often torn between wanting them to be active and participate in what they enjoy and giving them time to just be kids.  They need time to be creative and time to just relax read a book (actually we all need that).  They will become stressed and anxious adults if we don’t teach them now to slow down, and that it is okay to say no.

Lead by example.  Be happy and calm instead of stressed and depressed. Laugh, play, draw, or just hang out with your children, they are amazing, with so much wonder and imagination.  Love life, and find beauty all around, so that your children may follow in your footsteps.

Maybe life doesn’t come with a metronome, but if you slow down, say no to being over booked, and listen closely, you just may hear the rhythm of life.