Anxiety and panic attacks are like my silent lifelong nemesis (but also, hopefully not lifelong). I have cursed and struggled with them for the majority of my life. In fact, the majority of the population either suffers quietly from anxiety or has had a few brushes with it at some point in their lives. I have a good 20+ years of panic attacks under my belt (I should get a girl guide badge for that, no?) I have figured out a lot of ways to help when attacks or anxious feelings come my way. Nothing is fool proof, but there are a lot of things you can do to prevent, ease or use to teach your self to to think differently. This is a doozy of a post, tons of information that I have personally found that really helps me – if it’s not your cup of tea, no worries (no pun intended) otherwise read on. READ THE FULL POST
The Sweet & Simple Life
This weekend alone with my husband was a fantastic one. Even thought it was really hard for me to be away from my kids, driving away after we dropped them off consisted of me trying not to cry like a baby. The first night I didn’t sleep a wink, not because I was worried I knew they were in great hands – but simply because I was without them. I haven’t had time alone with Chris for more then a couple hours in over 5 years, it always felt fine and like we didn’t need to get away – until we did. Not that I need time away from my kids, I don’t. But time alone with my husband is also very important and something I didn’t really realize I was missing in my life.
After this weekend, I promised myself that going forward I was going to make all our time spent together, much more intentional (among other things, more on this later). Without even realizing it, our regular nights together or dates were often spent floating a little on habit. Usually half our date/night is spent catching our breath and catching up on life, then once we are finally present with each other it’s also time for bed. Having a weekend away allowed us to sorta, have a night to catch our breath and then still have time to be with each other and present in those moments. It was more then a fantastic weekend because we got away, it was truly fantastic because I got to truly be with the man I love.
We talked and I plan on talking about it even more – probably more then I need too, I have a knack for that. After the past weekend I plan on making all our dates more than just a date and to stay overall more intentional with all the time I spend with him. Have real date nights at home, not just a night without the kids – because that’s often what they are like.
- Feed the kids and then order in food just for us
- Play a game of cards instead of watch tv.
- Save a movie for a date night, rather then watch it the first night we have it in hand.
- Just sit and chat with a drink no movie or tv.
- Go to bed early and just talk.
- Keep the phone and computers away (this is a huge one), maybe after a certain time because often we have some work to catch up on (or mostly me).
- Ask someone to babysit, and go out of the house more often (this will be hard for me, I’m extremely bad at asking for help).
I love love, that we are a family that spends the majority of or time on dates and adventures together. And I definitely do not want those to stop, I just really want to add in some frequent real dates with the person that I created this family with – and I think that’s just as important as spending time as a family.
PS. my bag, it came in the mail just a few hours before we left – and I had the whole weekend to say over and over again “I love this bag”. So I will for sure talk about it again, but in case you are wondering it’s from Tribe and it’s awesome.
I pride myself in my love for the simple and am constantly tooting my own horn when it comes to having saved time or money. I have a few tricks for making our lives a little easier, and I am always sharing them with family and friends – they aren’t innovative by any means, you might already love some of them yourself. I figured, if I’m already texting my family about how I never buy hand soap anymore I might as well make my life even easier and share everything in one space. So here we go, here are a few of the ways I like to make our lives a little easier, more little tricks (some might call them life hacks) to come in a couple weeks!
I found this blog post, via Pinterest and thought it was a brilliant idea. Basically, for every week of the year you save the same in dollars – Week 1 you save $1, Week 20 $20 and so on. It’s easy and pretty brilliant, the same as throwing your pocket change in a jar but a little more thoughtful process. I taped a piece of paper to my jar and just write the Week Number on the sheet once I’ve added the money – which should work out to be $1378.00 at the end of the year. My plan is to use this for our winter holiday fund, for presents, food, some get togethers and outings – rather then take money out of our regular funds, but you could use this for anything. *you can still start your jar for this year, it’s only week 10 so easy to play catch up.
Chris came up with this or read it somewhere. When the kids aren’t listening (which is often over here), we often have to resort to counting – so they know we’re serious. When we get to the end of the count if what we asked isn’t being worked on, there is consequences usually a lost privilege – sounds tough, but it’s really not. I always counted to three and it had about a 60% success rate, then Chris starting the 5 count. It works much better for everyone, no more “2, 2 1/2, 2 3/4″ trying to slow things down and give them some more time – five is just the right amount of time. *I asked Harlow to give me her best grumpy face, flash ahead to the teenage years.
I always keep my ginger in the freezer in an air tight bag (a jar would also work). I always have fresh ginger and it never ever goes bad. When I do need to use it, I just grate it on the smallest grater (my trusty ikea grater) easy peasy!
Not only are they delicious, but a huge time saver in the morning. I snagged this picture from MISE EN PLACE a 30-day cleanse e-guide by Oh Dear Drea – it’s technically a cleanse guide, but it’s so much more totally a must buy even if you aren’t technically the cleanse type. It’s packed with tons of easy to understand nutritional info and super yummy recipes, I’m currently obsessed with the three overnight oats recipes in the guide (including ‘Very Berry’ in the picture), which have totally changed up our usual (yet still delicious) recipe from Oh She Glows. It only takes a few minutes of prep before bed and then all you have to do is pull your bowls out of the fridge, if your kids wake up way too early like mine this will be a lifesaver when you’re not fully awake at the butt crack of dawn.
I have a few more tips that I hope to share in a couple weeks. I’d love to hear from you guys, do you have any things you do to make life a little easier? Would you mind sharing, or even contributing?
Last year I made a vow, that I would only buy items that were needed and avoid the wants as much as possible. My spending habits needed a reset, our budget needed a kick in the butt and I needed to jolt feelings of discontent far out of my mind.
I felt like I was stuck in this place were I thought I needed things, but really they were just things I wanted but told myself I had to have them. Those new boots needed to be in my closet, because I didn’t have a pair with buckles like that. In my head I was still working in fashion full time, even though I had technically left it to be home with the kids. It’s actually pretty exhausting, feeling like you constantly want or need some thing. Because the thing is, there is always going something – you make the purchase of that bag you’ve been coveting and instantly there is something else that fails at the top of your need/want list. It’s an exhausting, expensive cycle.
Since I wasn’t working full time, and Chris held the title for main breadwinner (still reigning title holder) – I needed to re-think our finances. I haven’t always been the best with money, and working in the fashion only made that worse. Before setting the NEED ONLY rule, I tried making a family budget and the list of items I thought needed to be on there (but were really just wants) was pretty long and made it so confusing. I wanted to learn to live below our means (I feel like living below your means, should be one of life’s golden rules), and always stay one step ahead – so that life would hopefully (eventually) would be a little less stressed out and a lot more simple and beautiful.
There is nothing wrong with wanting things, it’s impossible not to. But the thing is, when you are always wanting and wishing it has a tendency to breed discontentment inside of you. That feeling of constantly wishing and wanting, can put blinders on preventing you from seeing the amazing things that are in front of you. Discontentment, is a gross and ugly feeling – I have been there ( I can actually think of 4 really stand out times where this gross feeling had a pretty big stab at me) and I didn’t want it in my life anymore. Changing what I wanted and how I saw things, needed to happen.
Yesterday I went grocery shopping meal plan and list in hand, marking down each item and how much it cost as I put it in the cart (I’ve turned anal retentive with my grocery shopping). I realized how my entire outlook on shopping (even the basics) have changed, how I get a rush from hitting my grocery budget (as opposed to the rush of buying a ton of food we didn’t need, and often had to toss cause it was never eaten and was probably pretty unhealthy). I actually get a great feeling when I think there is something I want, only to find reasons why I don’t need it. It’s like I have conditioned myself to think the opposite way, instead of thinking of the reasons why I need to buy those boots (because they are just so cute) I think of the reasons why I don’t need them, and 99% of the time I walk away feeling better not buying them. It’s been a crazy shift and only recently have I seen the long term (and hopefully forever) effects my shopping rules have had….
ONLY BUY WHAT YOU NEED.
- when you are shopping, buy more timeless essentials and less trendy items. you want your closet to slowly be full of items that can be interchangeable when styled and don’t go out of style each season. trends are awesome and fun, and you can’t not take part so when possible buy the most wearable version of your favorite trend you don’t need to take part in every one.
meal plan! buy what you need and maybe an extra easy fall back meal or two, for those nights you don’t want to cook – so instead of going out or ordering out, you have the fall backs to go to.
ONLY BUY WHAT YOU LOVE.
- this has been my steadfast rule, since forever. if you are iffy about something, put it back. if you know you are going to think about it for weeks or months to come if you don’t buy it, then you should probably get it. sometimes, something is super awesome and you might love it on other people – but when you try it, you don’t love it on yourself…put it back. eventually your closet will also be filled with things you love, and things will automatically be versatile and easily styled together.
TRY TO ONLY BUY ITEMS THAT FIT INTO BOTH RULES. but this isn’t always going to be possible, but if it is – major bonus.
We still dress stylishly, but more focused and our closets are full favorites (or are slowly getting there). We eat healthier, less junk also means smaller grocery bills. I use these rules when shopping for the kids and for Chris and I. When the kids need pants (or anything else), I don’t just buy whatever because they need them – I look and buy what we love (and need) so it will get the most wear and use. Instagram, Pinterest and blogs have a bad reputation for breeding discontent in people – but it’s all how you view the beautiful content, it’s not the contents fault (or the content creators) if it stirs those feels up. The only Joneses you need to keep up with are the ones you tell yourself too, so unless you know an awesome couple named The Jones you can probably get rid of them all together.
*an old picture from the Fall, and the weather looks dreamy in it!
I have no get up and go, I’m sleepy and dozy and my brain just doesn’t seem to be functioning at full capacity. I thought for a second that I was getting sick, until I realized that I have a bad case Seasonal Affective Disorder. Which is just the fancy was of saying I got the blues; the cold cold winter blues. The lack of sun and the extreme cold temperatures this winter (and today) have pushed me into singing the blues, much more the usual. Yesterday, Harley and I swam in the winter blues and totally embraced it. Today though, I’m determined to kick it in the butt and shove it out the door. I have things to do, people to see and dragging my feet has already gotten a little old.
- VITAMIN D – I made a rookie mistake by not supplementing with vitamin D all winter long, I’m Canadian I should know better.
- DAILY EXERCISE – for me it’s yoga and I find the key during these extra bluesy months is not missing even one day – the day I decide not to practice will always be the day I feel at my worst. A daily sweat and punch of endorphins are the icing on the cake to a daily exercise regime, in grey times like these.
- COMFORT FOOD – but in a healthy form (since heavy unhealthy comfort food, might make you feel worse) sometimes giving into a craving and making yourself feel comforted in the short term might actually have a longer effect.
- BREAK THE SILENCE – during the winter we seem to be home more; silence is nice, relaxing and usually so welcomed. But sometimes it can add to the bluesy mood, in a not so great way – turning on some music can do wonders for changing the mood.
- TAKE IT IN – in the summer we tend to be more active, always out and about soaking up the outdoors. The winter is the time to take in all those slower activities you might not have time for in the summer – and remind yourself to enjoy it while it lasts. Grab a book, have a bath, knit a scarf (maybe knit me one too) – come summer these things might not sounds as enjoyable.
- CHEER UP SOMEONE – do something nice for someone else, do something to help break someone elses winter blues – their smile might just lighten your clouds too.
- GET OUTSIDE – even for a second and especially when the sun is out. Sometimes I’ll find a reason to go to the store, even on the coldest days – just so we can get some fresh air and some sun on our faces, even if it also means my face is frozen.
- STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER – however draining florescent lights can be, I’m pretty sure the computer/ipad/phone are much worse. If you are already in the whomp whomp mode, spending too much time on your electronics is only going to do the opposite of helping.
- CLEAN HOUSE – a pre-spring cleaning; a sparkly, organized and fresh smelling home always does wonders for my mood. Though this trick is easier said then done, I know.
It is crawl back into bed cold today – but I bundled up and dragged my tired butt to yoga and then for a walk later with Harlow. I need to find that happy medium between giving into the crawling back into bed feelings and fighting them – yesterday I fully gave into them, so today was a good day to fight. Do you have any tips or things you like to do to fight the winter blues? And tell me, do people in warm temps get a taste of the winter blues?
I think I should have a PhD in not sleeping, or at the very least an honorary degree. I often feel like I am the title holder of the worst sleeper in history. I am good at a lot of things (a jack of all trades if you please), and also very bad at others – but sleeping, well sleeping is that one thing I am the worst at, in life. Like my tone deaf singing sounds like like an angel serenading someone compared to how badly I stink at sleeping. But I feel like it’s something I can’t actually complain about, since I feel in order to complain you need to place blame, have a reason or have a semi decent story to tell — my usual story “UGHHH I was up all night just thinking about not sleeping, and thinking some more” sounds so beyond lame, though true. When my kids were newborns, the never sleeping made sense – like I was already prepared and seasoned for it – and I suddenly had my reason. I’ve been trying to find ways to reduce my waking hours for like ever, I’ve found a few (and I’m always still searching) but maybe some of my tricks will help you. READ THE FULL POST
I try my best not to heavily influence my kids, since I know it happens regardless. I want them to choose their own favorite colors, cartoon character or even favorite clothing items, you get the drift. They still could really careless about what clothing they wear and are always ecstatic about what is laid out, I’m sure it’s probably just for now. I have to be totally honest though, I am really not a fan of the whole Disney princess thing (or barbies for that matter) for many reasons I won’t go into. But mostly because I myself am a tom boy and don’t full understand the allure. I know I know I probably (and did) like them when I was a kid, which is why even though I’m not a fan I try not to influence. If Harlow decides she’s a princess and only wants princessy stuff, then I will do it all with a smile on my face – because anything that makes her smile also makes me smile.
Recently she came up with this list, her “5 favorite girls” with no help from me might I add. 1.Princess Leia 2.Ariel 3.Fiona (from Shrek) 4.Mommy 5.Lakey Peterson (pro surfer).
Her list just put a huge smile on my face, because it’s close to a list I probably would have made as a little girl who had a bff brother too (but also, I would smile at any list she would have come up with because it would have come from her) . With no extra influence from me and probably a lot of natural influence from her brother – she’s a well rounded pink princessey, tom girl, tough girl (as she likes to call her self).
*What you thought those teeny tiny toddler sized bunny slippers were for Harlow?
Chris is in the middle of his busy season at work, he leaves too early for me to hit the yoga studio at my regular butt crack of dawn class (and comes home way past my old lady bedtime) – so I practice at home, till things settle back to normal-ish and I can get back into my studio routine. Like I said before here and here, yoga around kids is not the most focused, calming or strengthening (does that word even make sense?) way of practicing but it sure is cute and great in it’s own way (slash take what you can get). The kids really like to pose along, and many times I stop mid practice to watch them because usually I can’t stop love laughing (laughing cause they are so cute and then I get heart love pain). They are my favorite little copycatters, and I hope the keep copy catting me for a long long time (expect for my bad behaviors, look away kids!).
That last photo is one of my very very favorites, in life (this one is also near the top). A few weeks before I did an unassisted headstand for the very first time (ahh!) but asked my husband to spot me as I was a wee bit scared (my IG shows my proud peacock moment). I asked King to move a bit to the side since I didn’t want to hit him going up or down – he so sweetly told me he was making sure I was safe just like Daddy did. Melt my flipping heart, he is so my little King.