Mommy Monday

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‘Tis the season for resolutions!

I’m going to lose twenty pounds!

I’m FINALLY going to finish my novel!

This is the year I take that European vacation! 

Resolutions are different for each person. However, I feel like there are a few resolutions that us moms desperately need to embrace.

  1. Exercise…and not just your body.

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Don’t get me wrong, being a SAHM is very rewarding, but some days when you’ve watched Frozen for the 900th time or read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? until your own voice is annoying you, you end the day feeling like you’ve had no intellectual stimulation at all. It’s so very important for you to exercise your mind! PICK UP A BOOK. Do a crossword puzzle. Download a trivia app or Tangrams! There’s even a study that suggests video games can help boost your memory and mental fitness! Watch a documentary on PBS/Netflix/Hulu or pop in your headphones and listen to a TED Talk. Do SOMETHING that gets your neurons firing. Even if you’re only able to do this once or twice a week, you need that time.

 

  1. Drink more water.

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Seriously. Dehydration is a serious energy and mood-sucker. If you’re dehydrated, your heart has to work overtime—meaning you can do a lot less physically—and you can get super cranky. Who has time for all that when you’ve got ankle biters to chase? Sip some agua and thank me later!

 

  1. Keep your kid’s bedtime firm and send them to dreamland EARLY.

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Kids that go to bed at a set time each night = more time for you to do what you want. Not only that, but research has shown that kids who go to bed at the same time each night (and earlier than their parents) are more physically fit, all-around healthier, and have better behavior than those who burn the midnight oil. Plus, a recent study came to the conclusion that earlier bedtimes for the kiddos affects mom’s mental health in a positive way!

 

  1. Stop Unnecessary Scrolling!

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Facebook.

Twitter.

Instagram.

Pinterest.

The various social media outlets are great for keeping in touch with folks, learning new things, and keeping up with news. They’re also huge time-sucks that can waste A LOT of your day if you let them. I get it; when the kids won’t stop talking about Minecraft or you’re eating lunch or the kids are playing outside, it’s so tempting to just open up Facebook on your phone and start scrolling. I totally understand and I’m guilty of it too. But this is a habit we need to try and break. Our kids deserve so much more than the back of our phones. Not only that, but social media can be addicting and its hurting our health. Seriously. Take a gander and this article from Forbes as well as this one.

 

  1. Be Grateful

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As SAHMs, we can sometimes get bogged down by the “woe is me” syndrome: “I’ve changed twenty blowouts today!”/”MY CHILD WILL NOT NAP!”/”I need out of this house!” and we can forget why we chose to stay home in the first place. A habit I’ve formed has been to think about three things I’m thankful for each day. I may write them down, I might text them to a friend, or I’ll just tell the Hubs. Either way, it makes me take my day into perspective and exercise having a thankful, grateful heart. And a grateful heart literally improves physical health and can improve your relationships!

 

  1. Spend More Time Outside

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Right now, I get it, this isn’t feasible. Well, today in Oklahoma it’s actually pretty nice, but I know in other parts of the country it’s snowing/blizzard conditions. BUT, when the weather is nice, go outside. It’s good for your kids and it’s good for YOU. So go catch some rays!

 

  1. Make Time for a Hobby

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I know, I know; I can hear you already: “Jessica, I barely have time to pee during the day and you want me to take up a hobby?! Are you on crack?!” Hear me out: there are so many hobbies out there that don’t take up a lot of time and can be done while sitting in front of the TV (like crocheting or knitting) and can improve your quality of life and reduce stress! Last year, Huff the Hubs bought me a banjo for our anniversary and I’ve been taking lessons once a week for a few months now. I. LOVE. IT. It’s a way for me to engage my mind that has ZERO to do with the house, the kids, or The Hubs. It’s just MINE. That’s part of the reason why I love it so much! It’s only thirty minutes a week, but man it’s awesome! Find your “banjo lessons”. Maybe it’s going to the gym or going for a run. It could be that you want to do a wine and painting class or start a blog. Find something that works with your schedule and make it happen!

 

  1. Eat a Veggie/Fruit a Day

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Moms often forgo nutrition for convenience. I ain’t judging! Been there, done that, have the t-shirt. But since we basically take care of everyone under our roof, we’ve got to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves. Even if you’re not a “health nut” or have zero intention of making any kind of health-related resolution, just TRY to eat a fresh fruit or veggie a day. Pick up an apple or a banana at 7-Eleven when you go in for a Big Gulp®. Grab one of those carrot stick packs at Walmart when you’re making a diaper run. Do something small that will impact your health in a big way.

 

 

What do you think about these “mom-o-lutions”? What would you add to the list? Share in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! I feel like we haven’t talked in so long! How’ve you been? How was your Christmas? Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, its time to start thinking about how you are going to make 2018 YOUR YEAR! Any plans? Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, I’ve got chu.

I’ve posted about this before, but I’ll do a little recap on how I like to do my resolutions list.

Write out “2018” vertically on a sheet of paper. Then, for the number two, write the two best things that happened in 2017. For the zero, jot down a habit you’d like to break in the new year. The one is for your one wish for 2018 (i.e., health, stability, find love, etc.) and the eight is where you list eight goals you’d like to accomplish over the next twelve months. Need help coming up with ideas? Here’s my list to help you get started!

 

2—The Two Best Things That Happened This Year

 

Adding to My Friends List

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No, I don’t mean on Facebook. I’m talking about real life, yo. This year I’ve really got to know some awesome ladies and have become super close with. It’s just nice to have some gal pals you can commiserate with, laugh with, and swap stories with who totally “get you”.

 

Teaching KidFit

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Last year was my first year teaching at my church’s Mother’s Day Out program. I enjoyed working with the Littles I taught but this year, instead of working in a classroom with the same kids all day, my co-teacher and I decided to shake things up and teach “KidFit” (basically P.E.). It’s so much fun! We get to see all age groups of kids AND we get paid to PLAY. How awesome it that?!

 

 

0–Something You Want to Stop in the New Year

 

Getting Unnecessarily Stressed Out

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Ugh. I do this so much. Something trivial will happen, I’ll freak out, and then later I’ll think: “Wow that really wasn’t a big deal. And now that I’ve had time to think about it, I’m super embarrassed about how I handled it.” This happens to me frequently throughout the day. I want to be more relaxed—especially about stuff that doesn’t really matter—because I think that will add to my (and everyone around me) quality of life. *takes deep, cleansing breath*

 

1—My One Wish for 2018

 

Health

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Last year I saw so many people I know and care for come down with terrible sicknesses and diagnoses. My wish for the New Year is health—for me, my family, my friends, and acquaintances.

 

8—Eight Goals for the New Year

 

Get Down to Pre-Huff the Tot Weight

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This has pretty much been a goal since I gave birth to HtT…four years ago.

 

Find a Literary Agent

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Again, this has been a goal of mine for YEARS. Last year, I may have sat down to work on my book and find an agent ONCE. O-N-C-E. I really want to become a published author with a literary agent, so I’ve got to actually TRY.

 

Practice Banjo Everyday

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For our anniversary last year, Huff the Hubs got me a banjo! I’m super excited about learning and I’ve been doing lessons now for about three months. As you can imagine, it’s hard to accomplish anything when you’ve got two little ankle biters running amok, so my practice times have been few and far between (especially with the holidays). But, it’s the time for resolutions and I’m ready to stick to this one!

 

Be Consistent with Tot School

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I’m prayerfully considering homeschool my turkeys. For many reasons, of which I won’t bore you with now. I have basically two years to decide whether or not it will be the avenue our family will take, so I’m trying to get a glimpse of what it would be like by creating—and sticking to—lesson plans for Tot School. This is a BIG goal of mine for 2018!

 

Wake Before the Kids

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This is a constant goal. I want to wake before the kids so I can workout, shower, read a devotional, eat breakfast, and pretty much get my head in the game before, as Huff the Hubs calls it, “The Krakens awaken”, ha!

 

Read One Book a Month

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Last year I read two books. TWO. FREAKING. BOOKS. That’s it. My sister has read NINE in the past two weeks. Yeah. If I want to be a better writer, I’ve got to be a better reader. This means I need to read so I can learn from other writers I enjoy (and even some I dislike)!

 

Blog Consistently

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The holidays really threw off my groove. I felt like I was doing okay with blogging and then bam! Thanksgiving hit and it was all downhill. I want to blog more consistently; even if folks don’t read what I post, it’s a great outlet for me!

 

Save More Money

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When Christmas came around, I sadly saw my checking account was not as plentiful as I had hoped. Why? Because, Target Dollar Spot. And Chick-Fil-A. And Starbucks’ cake pops. And Chick-Fil-A. And Chick-Fil-A. (Seeing a pattern?) I’ve made up a personal savings plan for myself (I even made a spreadsheet in Excel, woot!) and I intend to make it rain…in the safety of my account.

 

What about you? What are your resolutions? Share in the comments below!

Try It Tuesday

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We’re three days into the new year, how ya doin’ with your resolutions? What?! ALREADY? Come on, guys! Jk, jk… I know its tough to stick to resolutions. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips, tricks, and apps to help you stick with it!

One thing that has helped me in the past to actually keep my resolutions was to stop calling them resolutions. Instead, I call them goals. It may sound simple (and a little trite) but it honestly took some of the pressure off and made me want to achieve them even more.

 

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The next thing I do is make a plan. Benjamin Franklin said, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail” and boy, did that kite-flying Founding Father know what he was talking about! Saying, “I’m going to exercise three times a week” is a great goal, but do you know how you’re going to accomplish it?

“Well, no, I’m just going to do it.”

Yeah, well, hate to break it to ya but you’re “just going to fail”.

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When do you want to workout? In the morning so you’ll get it over with or in the evening to help you de-stress? Pick a time a stick with it. What kind of exercise are you going to do? For how long? Make a plan, get organized, and you’ll be more likely to stick with it. (There are a lot of great resources out there to help you get fit. Personally, I really like Jillian’s 30 Day Shred to kick off the new year. Its only 20 minutes a day and it works!)

People make all kinds of resolutions and have a hard time sticking with them because of lack of accountability. But, thanks to technology, you can have accountability right at your fingertips! There are many apps that can help you plan and achieve your goals! I’ve blogged about some in the past, but here are a few new ones:

 

HabitBull

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Have a lot of goals this year and don’t feel like having a ton of apps to help you keep track? HabitBull is basically a “catch all” for your goals. You set the goals, determine when it is considered successful, and track your progress! I downloaded this app and its pretty awesome!

 

Elevate

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Do you want to strengthen your memory or increase your focus in 2017? There’s an app for that, too! Elevate is a daily “mind-strengthening” app filled with games designed to help you focus and train your brain! After all, if you’re going to get your body in shape, might as well work on the ole noggin, too!

Gratitude 365

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Want to be more positive in the new year? You should definitely try it! Studies show that by being grateful for the things we have, we improve our immune system, lowers anxiety, and even makes our hearts healthier! The Gratitude Journal 365 app is an awesome way to keep track of the things you’re thankful for. You can add photos to your lists, password protect your journal and back them up to your computer so you can print them later!

 

You may say, “That’s great and all, Jess, but my New Year’s Resolution is to spend less time on my phone.” I’ve got an answer for THAT, too–the K Safe.

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The K Safe (aka, The Kitchen Safe) is a time locked container that you drop your phone, TV/gaming remotes, cookies, candy–whatever it is that is tempting you–into for a specific amount of time.  Once you’ve placed the tempting item into the safe, set the timer, and go about your business. There’s no way to hack into the safe until the timer counts down to zero, so there’s no way to cheat! If you’d rather not spend the $49.95, you can always make your own version like I did! (Mine only cost $2.50!)

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What are you hoping to accomplish in the new year? What do you do to make it happen? Share in the comments below!

Fan Girl Friday

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Happy Friday, boys and girls! Another end to another week! Kept your resolutions so far? Yes? Good job!

If one of your resolutions was to flaunt your fandom, then today’s FGF is made for you!

 

Even though I’ve only caught two episodes of the Peter Capaldi season, I still consider myself a Doctor Who fan. And when I saw these BEE-YOU-TEE-FULL rings on Etsy, I did the biggest of nerd squeals:

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This “his and hers” wedding set (sterling silver and tungsten carbide bands) are less than $120! For the SET! Perfect for Whovians about to travel the galaxy as Doctor and Companion.

 

Make your bathroom routine more patriotic with this set of Captain America towels!

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This 3-piece towel set is available from the folks over at Think Geek! Perfect to keep your super hero super clean!

 

Bad spellers of the world, UNTIE! (See what I did there?) I love to write—clearly—and I love any kind of accessory that shows that. That’s why I am totes going to buy this adorable purse from ModCloth:

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This next find isn’t so much related to a fandom, it’s more just a way to spruce up your workspace with a little fun and flair. Plus, it’s a practical organizational tool! May I introduce the Keyboard Pirates from Monkey Business:

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These little guys stick in your keyboard (while still allowing you to type) but hold up reminders so you don’t forget to mark all your To Do’s off your list!

 

 

I can’t close out today’s Fan Girl Friday without mentioning the trailer that’s got everyone talking (and no, I don’t mean the one with Mr. Grey). Did you see the Ant-Man trailer this week?! If not, here it is!

What do you think?

 

Happy fangirling!

There’s An App For That!

Alright people, now that the hub-bub of the holidays are over (and it’s a Monday, and we all know diets can’t start on any other day of the week) we can officially start working on our New Year’s Resolutions!

 

It seems like the toughest part of keeping a resolution past February is lack of accountability. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard (or said):  “Well, I would go to the gym/save money/eat healthier, but I don’t have anyone to go with me/know where to start/have motivation.”

 

Thankfully, there’s an app for that! And by “that” I mean all of your excuses-ha!

 

Sparkpeople

Used For: Weight Loss, Healthy Living

Price in App Store: Free

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This is one of my FAVORITE apps! I’ve been using this site for over 5 years now. It’s similar to MyFitnessPal (which I’ve also used) but SO much more user-friendly. You can track your calories eaten, fitness minutes, calories burned, and water drank! And, you can sync it with your FitBit! (A little shameless plug: I used this app when I first started trying to lose weight and it helped me lose 35lbs!)

 

Good Budget

Used For: Money Management, Budgeting

Price in App Store: Free

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Huff the Hubs and I are all about Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps and implementing the Envelope System. The gist is you pay in cash for everything you purchase because it has more of an emotional connection to you. You also separate your money into envelopes labeled “Groceries”, “Gas”, “Food”, etc.  But, it’s not for everyone. Some people hate carrying around envelopes and others don’t like toting a bunch of cash in their purses because they like the convenience of debit/credit cards. Thanks to the Good Budget app, you can still utilize the Envelope System without carrying caboodles of cash! Just note the amount budgeted for each category and then track where you spend! Super easy!

 

Coach.Me

Used For: Wellness, Healthy Living, Relationships

Price in App Store: Free

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This app is an all-over-the-board-motivator! Whether your resolution is to stop complaining, start working out, or learn to play the piano, Coach.Me is there to help you achieve your goals! There are tips, forums, and plans to get you motivated, moving, and feel great—inside and out!

 

 

Are there any apps that have helped you? What are they?

Try It Tuesday

I am so jazzed about today’s Try It!

 

It encompasses so many areas that I’ve been wanting to work on, that its like, the ULTIMATE Try It!

 

As you may remember, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to try and find more ways to “go green”. I’ve also caught the upcycling bug ever since my highchair experiment. AND, as part of my August detox, I’m trying to find ways to cut needless spending. So today’s Try It Tuesday is a combination of those things!

 

I have a ton of nerd shirts that don’t really fit me anymore and I’m super bummed because I LURVE them. I’ve been looking for a project that will allow me to keep them, and as I searched Pinterest, I came across this and did a Kermit arm flail of excitement:

 

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Its upcycled, reusable t-shirt bags!

 

They are SUPER easy to make too!

 

Here’s what you need:

~an old t-shirt

~scissors

~sewing machine

~straight pins

~plate

~pen/pencil

 

First, grab your t-shirt and lay it out on your table, smoothing it flat. Then, cut the sleeves off. When you cut, be sure to leave the seam in tact (though cut as close as you can) because these will be your handles.

 

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Next, grab a plate, flip it upside down, and place it at the top of the shirt (around the neckline). Slide the plate so that the top seam hits the middle of the plate. Trace the plate on your shirt. Then, cut along the line you just made (this is the opening of the bag).

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Turn the t-shirt inside out and pin the bottom of the shirt.

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Sew a simple line at the bottom of the shirt, closing up the hole.

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Remove the pins and turn your new, upcycled bag right side out.

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You guys, this project was super, super easy! I am not a seamstress by any means and I did it! It seriously would’ve taken me about 5 minutes if I didn’t have to keep stopping to take pics and chug Diet Coke®.

 

I’m all about donating used clothes to Goodwill or your church’s Care Center, but if you have some shirts that have sentimental value (and you don’t want to make a t-shirt quilt) I highly suggest this!