Thriving Thursday

Thriving Thursday Weight Loss

 

Every Thursday this month, I’m going to be discussing various New Year’s resolutions along with tips and tricks to help you (and I!) achieve those goals. This week, we’re talking about health and wellness!

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Now, I’m not just talking about losing weight. I’m talking about all-around health. Maybe you want to try to drink more water in the new year or make one meal a day the epitome of health or you want to start hitting a certain number of steps per day. Whatever your goal is, start small and make a plan.

 

Nutrition Goals

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There are a ton of apps that you can use to track your nutrition, such as: Sparkpeople (that’s what I use), My Fitness Pal, and My Diet Coach. Water tracking apps like Plant Nanny make drinking water actually fun! This app gives you a virtual plant that you care for through how many cups of water you drink in a day. Its basically a Tamogachi with added health benefits! You can even find some great printables to help you stay on track here and here!

 

 

Taking Care of YOU

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If you’re wanting to make self-care a priority in the new year, Aloe Bud is great for that! It sends reminders throughout the day to get up and move, reach out to a friend, and helps you celebrate small victories. Another app called #SelfCare lets you pretend you’re able to stay in bed all day! Throwing mindless scrolling to the wayside, this app helps you take breaks throughout the day and just relax!

 

 

Mental Health

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As someone who has struggled with anxiety, depression, and OCD most of my life, anytime I find new, healthy ways to cope I’m totally onboard with. Apps such as HelloMind, Calm, and Headspace can help you make great strides if you struggle with anxiety or panic disorders and help you achieve some peace! Plus, never underestimate the power of simply writing out your thoughts/fears/worries/blessings in a journal.

 

Whatever your health and wellness goals are for 2019, I hope you achieve them and celebrate the fact that you are working to be the healthiest in body, mind, and spirit that you can be! Share your goals in the comments below!

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Thriving Thursday

Thriving Thursday Friendships

 

This month, every Thursday I’m highlighting goals I have set for myself this year. Last week, I talked about saving money consistently throughout the year. Today, I’m going to talk about another goal: be more intentional with my friendships.

Motherhood (heck, just adulthood) can be isolating at times. You’re either working your tail off at your 9-5, doing chores around the house, or spending time with your nuclear family. And, of course, there’s other things going on like sleep, hobbies, exercise, etc. How are we also supposed to maintain deep, meaningful friendships when we barely have enough time to sit down and eat a healthy meal?!

Its really difficult for my girlfriends and I to sync up our schedules because most of us have kiddos and chances are, those kiddos are in sports, dance, or some kind of extracurricular. While Christmas shopping on Amazon, I found these awesome friendship postcards and HAD to buy them!

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My goal is to send a friend a postcard every month, just letting them know, “Hey, I’m thinking about you and I’m so glad we’re friends even if we don’t get to see each other that often!”

There are other ways to show your friends they’re on your mind, too! Blogger Christie Zimmer has some awesome printables in her freebie section and one is titled: “10 Minutes to Celebrate a Friendship“. Print it out, fill it out, and mail it to your buddy! Maybe pop a $5 Sonic gift card in there so they can get a slushie? Or a $5 Starbucks card so she can read over your paper while she enjoys a caramel machiatto in the school pickup line! By taking just a few minutes out of your day, you can let others know how treasured they are.

And, honestly, it isn’t that difficult if you think about it. With Facebook, Facetime, texting, and Snapchat there are a ton of ways to stay in touch. We may not always be able to be in the same room with one another,  but its very important to let your gal pals know how much you cherish them and their friendship!

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Thriving Thursday

Thriving Thursday Saving Money

 

Welcome to the inaugural Thriving Thursday! This idea came about when I started thinking about resolutions for 2019 and how I wanted to talk about some things that have worked for me in the past, mistakes I’ve learned from, and maybe offer some help/direction for anyone else looking to make positive changes this year! Each Thursday in January, I will be discussing some of my resolutions as well as tips and tricks to help you (if you’ve made similar ones) and also check in throughout the year to keep up with progress!

Among the goals I have set for myself for the next twelve months was to consistently save money and cut down needless spending. Last year, I gave it a try and I feel like I did A LOT better than in years past, but there’s always room for improvement.

In December 2017, I found a year-long savings plan that would help me save money throughout the year without making the BIG deposits during the most expensive months of the year (November and December).

I actually did pretty well with this! That is, until the summer.

I decided not to work during the summer months at the Mother’s Day Out program where I teach during the school year because I wanted to be able to have the freedom to go and do things with my kiddos/visit with family as much as possible. It was a fun summer, but I felt the pinch of my purse strings quite a bit.

This year, however, I’m determined to complete this challenge!

Here is my savings plan:

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I know it doesn’t seem like much, considering what most households are able to save with two, full-time incomes, however for a stay-at-home-mom like myself, this is will come in very handy!

Do you have a money saving plan? What are some resources you use? Share in the comments below!

Mommy Monday

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Last Thursday, Huff the Tot was running a slight temperature and not really acting like herself. After some encouragement from my mom to take her to the doctor (okay, she basically told me to; but I’m glad I listened because…) we had her tested for the flu. Guess what?

Flu A. 

Yep.

My reaction:

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Thankfully, it hasn’t been *too* bad. She seems to only have the coughing/fever part of the flu which is great. But still, Huff the Hubs and I haven’t gotten a whole lot of sleep and I’m so scared that we’re going to get it. So I’m a wee stressed.

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I wish I was one of those people that did NOT eat when they were stressed. But I’m not. When I’m stressed, I like to eat everything in sight. And, to be honest, I was even doing this for a few days before she got sick. I kept seeing how many folks at the Mother’s Day Out program were getting the flu/had little ones with the flu and I was legit panicked. Like, “eating-all-the-kid’s-leftover-Christmas-candy” panicked.

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Soooooo…..yeah, my New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier and get back into shape has sort of fallen by the wayside. And, statistically speaking, I’m sure a lot of you have let your resolutions go too–whether it be to lose weight, get better sleep, or save money. Research shows that most resolutions lose their steam by February. But that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost! You can still get back on track–and so can I! I’ve rounded up some great tips to help you (and me!) reach those goals!

 

Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

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I’m really bad about this. I beat myself up whenever I have the slightest hiccup in getting to my goals, whether it be through my own choices or circumstances. I fixate on the fact that I screwed up and start to get into a pit of melancholy. Sigh. Instead of saying, “Ugh! I can’t believe you did this! You’re never going to achieve {insert goal here} because you’re worthless!” tell yourself: “Hey, its okay. Let’s pick ourselves up and do better next time.” Or, you can just watch this scene from Batman Begins to help you.

 

If You’re Not Seeing Any Progress, Maybe Its Time to Reassess Your Goal

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Maybe your goal of saving $300 a month isn’t working because you don’t have a set budget. Or maybe your goal of working out five days a week isn’t feasible because of other things going on in your life right now. Some of you may say, “Well, if its REALLY important to you, you’ll MAKE time.” And while that is true, you’ve also go to look at facts. If you’re on a tight budget as it is, don’t make yourself sick by setting an enormous goal amount of money to save. Start small and slowly build over time, then find the amount that works for you without making you eat canned chili for dinner every night. The same goes for working out. Instead of saying you’re going to workout for an hour every single day, shoot for 20 minutes, 2-3 times a week and build on that over time.

 

Think About Why You Made These Goals in The First Place

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Why did you want to start waking up earlier? So you could get more done before the kids woke up? Why did you want to start eating healthier? So you could be around longer for your family? Why did you want to save money? So you could take that big trip you’ve always wanted? Think about the reasons behind your goals and let that motivate you!

 

Get Started

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Like Nike says, “Just do it!” No matter how hard it is, just put one foot in front of the other and move. Keep that $5 and put in a jar on your dresser. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Eat an apple instead of that doughnut. Just make it happen! I know it can sometimes be hard to begin, which leads me to my next tip…

 

Get an Accountability Partner

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I know its a lot easier for me to make excuses to not do something when I’m the only person dependent on it. But, when I know someone else is expecting me to show up, its a lot harder for me to flake. So when I made a running goal, I enlisted my sister (and vice versa). It was a lot tougher for me to say, “I don’t want to run” to her than to myself. And, nine times out of ten, she would say, “Too bad. Get up. Let’s go.” (ha!)

 

There’s An App For That

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Want to drink more water? Try Plant Buddy! Need help stressing less? Maybe Pacifica could be helpful! Need guidance with workouts? 7 FIT gives short, concise workouts you can do anywhere! Want a better night’s rest? Sleep Cycle can help you count some zzz’s! There is pretty much an app for any goal you can think of–just peruse the app store and you’ll see!

 

Do you have any tips that have helped you get back on track? Share in the comments below!

 

Mommy Monday

Mommy Monday New Banner

 

 

‘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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One of my New Year’s Goals for 2017 was to try out new hobbies. I use the term “new” lightly because, as a mom, I don’t really have time for hobbies.

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One of the hobbies I wanted to try out was woodworking. My dad is a master craftsman and has made some pretty incredible things:

 

So I knew he could show me the ropes. I’ve been wanting to build something that could show off mine and Huff the Hubs’ Lego minifigure collection. Right now they’re balancing haphazardly on the bookshelf–in prime range of a toddler who will not be named–and are constantly being found on the floor with several limbs missing. To save the Lego men and women from this disastrous fate, I called upon my dad to help a girl out!

 

I had a really great time learning what all of the tools’ names were, what they did, and how to use them. I also enjoyed when Dad cut most of the wood so I would not lose any fingers, haha!

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After we planned, measured, measured again, cut, nailed, stapled, painted, and covered the display, it was finally finished!

 

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(Yes, the shelves are level; its just the fabric. It got a little stretched, lol.)

 

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And no, that is not the extent of our minifig collection, they’re just a few of my faves! I definitely think I will be doing some more projects with my dad–I really enjoyed this one! Now, if I can get it hung up without it falling off the wall, THAT will be an accomplishment!

 

Are you working on any projects? Have you made a goal to try out a new hobby this year? Share in the comments below!