Morning Exercise Tips

Morning Exercise Tips

This post contains affiliate links.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time then you know that I started exercising about a year and a half ago.  I go for a run every morning and have been surprised at how easy it really is.  And that is coming from a woman who truly thought she would never, ever be able to stick with daily exercising.  OK, I thought I would never even start it in the first place…forget sticking with it.

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Today on my YouTube channel I share some of my tips for getting your workout done daily and I talk about some of my favorite products.  I am going to give you links here to what I use, but honestly there are probably a lot of great products that are similar.  My real message is just to equip yourself and get moving!

1. UP by Jawbone  - I like that it wakes me up and that it keeps track of my steps.  BUT I just got a new band called the Pebble Smartwatch.  I like that it also is a watch and I can look at my steps throughout the day.  So it just depends on what you want.

2. Lift Caps – I have shared with you before about how much I love these supplements.  You can read more about them HERE.

3. Essential Oils – I put on oils every day before I go out.  I use Valor and some kind of pick-me-up like peppermint or lemon.  Then I also put on an oils that will help with something specific I am dealing with.  Lately I have been using bergamot because it is supposed to help with grief.

4. Led Armband - so the cars that drive past can see me as the mornings get darker and darker.

5. Earbuds -Yurbuds and my very favorite earbuds.  I love them so much.  I can’t imagine not having my music when I exercise.

Oh and speaking of music, be sure to check out my workout playlists!

6. OtterBox - I love my Otterbox for keeping my phone safe while I run. I take it off and put it back on every morning.  I like to use a wallet style case for the rest of the day.

7. Wrap Sunglasses - It was a great day when I discovered that there are sunglasses made especially for people who are active.  They don’t fall off and they are super lightweight.

I get most of my workout clothes at Target.  I don’t have anything fancy, just simple and easy to throw on and go.

I really, really hope you will get up and start taking care of yourself.  I want to say that I rarely wake up and think, “Hooray!  I get to go workout now!”  I have to make myself do it.  I pre-decide not to let myself use lame excuses to skip it by only letting myself miss if there’s a time restraint (like I have to leave the house before 8:00).  I even did a short walk everyday last winter when I was sick.  I think it helped me get better more quickly.

I know you can find a way, even if you don’t have a road to walk on, to get some exercise.  You can do a DVD (here’s my favorite!) or dance around for 15 minutes.  Do it for your health….you are worth it!

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A Pair of Red Boots

A Pair of Red Boots

Last month when I was in Nashville with my favorite peeps from Tommy Nelson I got myself a pair of red cowboy boots.  It was a Friday night in the heart of downtown Nashville with drunk people, weird street performers and of course a LOT of music!  But I was with a big group of friends which made it fun and my boots will always remind me of spending that time with those amazing women!

I have never owned cowboy boots before so this seemed like the perfect time for me to get my first pair.  After I got them I wondered if I would really ever wear them.

So I decided to make it my mission to wear them for the whole month of October and force myself to find outfits to wear with my boots.  I’ve been showing what I am wearing on Facebook all month and so many people have asked where I get my clothes that I decided to do my best to remember and share the info.

This first outfit was an obvious choice.  A denim jacket (so in style right now) from Old Navy, the skirt is also Old Navy and the belt is from anthropologie.  The brown tights are from Target.

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On another day I wore this linen dress made by FLAX.  I have on the same skirt as in the above picture.

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Here I am wearing another Old Navy skirt (it’s the same skirt as above in a different color) and the t-shirt is from there too.  It’s called a 5/8 sleeve length and is great for covering up those pesky lunch lady arms.  The white top is from Target last spring.

 

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Here I wore another FLAX dress with a gray skirt from Target under it.  I got the blazer at Target last week and they have several great styles!  This dress looks a little “maternity” in the picture but it really is flattering in person.

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Lastly here’s what I wore this week.  As the weather gets cooler I am enjoying some tights.  Which, I am sorry to say, I don’t know where I got them because they are as old as the hills.  The skirt is the same one I am wearing above from Target (from last spring but there are lots of skirts there right now) and the top is by Free People (it’s available at Macy’s now).

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My philosophy on clothes is to have basics from affordable places then fill in with a few more expensive pieces.  I can mix almost all of this together in different ways and add a longer skirt here and there.  Since I like to mix it up, this works really well for me.

And that’s the story of my red boots.

I thought I might fall into not wearing them again after the month is over, but then it occurred to me that they would be perfect for Christmas!

 

Facing My Fears

Facing My Fears

Well, I finally turned in my first draft of my book.  It’s been one of those, “Be careful what you wish for” kinds of things.

I have always dreamed of writing a book.  And when I read books it seems so easy.  It’s also easy to sit in my recliner and watch the winter Olympics.  But not so easy to actually do.

It’s been more like an act of service than a living the dream.  But still very satisfying.

Last weekend while the girls and I were at the coast we decided to walk out on the dock across from our house.  It looked so nice from the balcony.  But when I stepped up to it I froze in fear.  It was a very long plank of worn wood with nothing to hold onto.  And by hold onto I mean grip with all my might until my finger ache.

As we started to cross, the girls were chatting it up behind me just skipping and enjoying the ocean.  “No talking. please,” I said,  “I need total concentration so I don’t die.”

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I inched my way across, not letting myself look at anything but the board directly in front of me.  “Don’t look up….don’t look around….” I kept telling myself. When I was a kid I had an extreme fear of water.  A few years of swim lessons helped, but I still can’t breathe when I watch a movie about someone underwater.  I would be the only person in the world to die from holding my breath in a theater while watching “Dolphin Tale 2.”

My friend who owned the house later told me, “If it helps, the water there is only about three feet deep.”

Nope.  That doesn’t help at all.

I made it across the dock, spent time on the pier with the girls watching the birds and talking about life and God’s goodness and then {cue horror music} I had to get back across.  I let the girls go first and after they were all the way across I just did it….one step at a time.  There’s definitely a metaphor for life in there somewhere.

Speaking of dread, today when I hit the send button on my book I felt that same irrational fear of death.  Why?  You can’t die from a bad book.  Wait, can you?

Wait.  Not that my book is bad.  I hope I hope.

Fear is a funny thing.  It doesn’t have to make sense.  God knew that we all would struggle with this.  I read somewhere that fear is mentioned over 365 times in the Bible.  Wowsa!  No denying that we are to fear not by leaning on Him!

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

I am learning a lot lately about what I am afraid of and how much I need to put my faith in God and God alone.  I walked all the way across that dock and back again.  I was so proud of myself and my girls clapped for me.  They knew I was petrified and it was a huge blessing to show them that I could do something that really scared me.

Although let’s not get crazy…..I still don’t know if I could have done it if anyone was talking to me.

 

How I Get Through The Hard Times

How I Get Through The Hard Times

Since sharing about our daughter leaving home I have been overwhelmed with phone calls, emails and messages of love and support.  Thank you.  Believe it or not, I did not expect that response at all.  God has spoken to me through each of you and I am indescribably grateful.

And there are so, so many other mothers who are going through, or have been through, the same thing.  My heart breaks for all of you.  I made a list of your names and I am praying for each name in the morning before I run.  You’re my new tribe.

Through this difficult time it is more important than ever that I take good care of myself.

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As much as I don’t feel like eating, when I do eat I am sure to make it healthy foods and not junk.  I am staying away from sugar and carbs and eating plenty of veggies.  And I am still taking my walk every morning and spending that time listening to praise music and letting God lift me up.  Part of me wants to not care about anything, but the prayer pulls me back to the truth…..that I am still responsible to take care of myself for not only me, but my husband, kids and the friends that God has so mercifully given me.

I am also using my essential oils like they are liquid gold.  They have been an invaluable help with getting through the shock and pain.  I wanted to share with you what I am using, in case any of you need it someday (but I sure hope not!).

I have a great YouTube video talking about all of this as well, so if you want more thoughts head over and watch!

1. Peace & Calming – When it first happened…like the first hour….I was crying so hard I couldn’t breathe.  I was gasping for air when my husband found me and said, “You’re having a panic attack….you need an oil!”  I couldn’t think of what I needed, so he ran into the bathroom where I keep them out on a shelf and he grabbed the Peace & Calming (in my diluted roll-on bottle).  He handed it to me and I just started rubbing it all over my face and trying to breathe.  Within seconds my breathing settled down, I stopped crying as hard and I could think a little more clearly.

2. Valor, Tranquil, Joy and White Angelica – Once the panic attack stopped I still couldn’t think of what oils to use, so I texted my good friend and asked her advice.  She recommended these four.  James got them for me and I started putting them on….didn’t matter where….my wrists, neck, chest.  I don’t really remember.  I just had to get them on my body.  It helped a LOT.  After a minute of using them I stopped crying and was able to think.  I could feel my mind settling down and starting to cope.  After that I was able to go to talk with my other children and spend time with them.  I put both Peace & Calming and Valor in the diffuser and ran it all day to help the whole family.

3. Valor, Joy, Forgiveness – These are the three that I have used most over the past two weeks.  Valor helps me gather strength to move forward and deal with the emotional roller coaster, Joy helps me remember that there is always something to be thankful for and lifts my spirits, Forgiveness is known to help release hurtful memories and move beyond emotional barriers.  Boy do I need that one!

Sometimes, out of the blue, my heart will just start hurting (like physical pain so bad I once thought I might be having a heart attack).  When that happens I grab the Valor and rub it right where the pain is.  It’s been a balm for me.

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4. Lavender and Peace & Calming -  At bedtime I use these both on myself and in the diffuser.  It’s helping me sleep and not let the thoughts take over in the middle of the night.  I have also been putting it on the kids when they seem unsettled.

To sum up, I have used a LOT of Peace & Calming.  But there are many other oils that are great for anxiety and pressure.  When I am ready, I am going to try some of those.  But for now, while we are still dealing with the initial shock I am sticking to these.

When you sign up with Young Living and order the Premium Standard Kit  you will get Valor, Peace & Calming, Lavender and Joy.  I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had these on hand.  Having my oils right by my side, diffusing in the house and ready to use on my kids when they are feeling stressed and upset has been a blessing for us all!

Lastly, I spend a TON of time praying and reading the Bible.  There is so much comfort and wisdom there that I feel like I can’t get enough of it.

Thanks for stopping by!  Don’t forget there’s more info about this on YouTube.

I am not a doctor, these opinions are from my own experiences.  If you feel you need emotional support please see a physician and make wise health decisions.

Chore Ideas for Kids!

Chore Ideas for Kids!

Chore Ideas for Kids-2

This week on YouTube I am answering some follow up questions from another video about kids doing chores.  I am sharing how we manage a simple afternoon chore system.  We call it, “3:30 Chores.”  Every afternoon the younger kids (that’s the kids still in school) do a quick chore and it helps keep the place spiffy and gives them something to be responsible for. Here is an idea of the types of jobs I have on their 3:30 chore lists: Ages 2-5: pick up toys, dust, carry laundry, put silverware in the drawer, put pillows on the bed, wipe the table, folding washrags Ages 6-9: dust, sweep, wash the pet bowl, wash front door, wipe light switches, sweep porch, wipe doorknobs, clean under sofa cushions, windex mirrors, straighten books, fold towels, rake, water plants Ages 10-13: vacuum, fold laundry, cut up vegetables, mop, wash windows, get trash out of car, clean TVs, wash dining chairs, pull weeds, wipe off the fridge, straighten the DVDs,  wash sheets Ages 14+: dust ceiling fans, clean leaves from gutters, shake rugs, organize a drawer, straighten a shelf, get Sunday clothes ready, clean trash cans, wash one window, clean cobwebs, sweep under furniture, wash ceiling lights The idea is for these to be small jobs that can be done once a week.  Try walking around the house and just writing down everything that needs to be done.  Then divide that list into small bits, each taking only about 10 minutes to do.  Those would be the 3:30 chores in our house!  :)

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Upbeat Christian Workout Playlist

Upbeat Christian Workout Playlist

This post contains affiliate links.

Upbeat and Inspiring Christian Workout Playlist

For workout, house cleaning, dancing with the kids, long car trips. A Christian workout playlist you’ll love. #christianmusic #songideas #workoutsongs

In my quest to continually keep myself motivated to run/walk every morning….I try to add fresh new songs to my playlist.  Otherwise I get bored and my mind starts to wander and that leads to thoughts of sitting down and feasting on chocolate.

In case you are also weak minded and easily bored, I am sharing my new faves with you.  These links go directly to iTunes so you don’t even have to go find the songs for yourself.  How’s that for service?

1. Your Name Will Be Praised by Laura Story
2. Unashamed Of You by Chris August
3. So Long Self by Mercy Me
4. Live Through Me by Meridith Andrews
5. Beautiful Day by Jamie Grace
6. Lose Myself by Toby Mac
7. Overwhelm Me by Adie
8. Let Everything That Has Breath by Jeremy Camp
9. Constant by Francesca Batisttelli
10. Marvelous Light by Charlie Hall

That’s it….fun to run to and be encouraged.

I have other playlists that you will love….here are the ones from April and June!

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Getting Ready for Winter

Getting Ready for Winter

We are getting ready for a very busy season here with school and travel and holidays just around the corner.  I’ve been organizing and making sure everyone has clothes that fit and stocking the pantry and of course….making sure we have the essential oils we need for winter wellness! As we get into colds and flu germs all around us I want to be prepared for three things.  1. To AVOID the germs,  2. To have what we need on hand if we do get sick and 3. To keep our spirits up during the long, cold season. 1. Thieves, lemon, purification….these are all fantastic for warding off germs.  They keep the air in the house fresh, they boost our immune systems, they keep our minds bright. 2. Lavender, peppermint, DiGize (which is in the Premium Standard Kit for a limited time!), BreatheAgain….great for colds, stomach aches, coughs, sleeplessness, and so much more! 3. Valor, Sacred Frankincense (another only for a limited time!), Peace & Calming, Joy, StressAway…..need I say more? kit-post Thieves would be the Number ONE oil I wouldn’t go through winter without.  I keep it in the diffuser, I carry it in my purse, I clean with it, I rub it on the bottoms of all of our feet.  Thieves, Thieves and more Thieves. And since I really want you to be prepared for the winter, I am going to send anyone who signs up through me with a Premium Standard Kit a bottle of Thieves spray plus the Essential Oils Reference Guide that I send to all of my new Premium Kit sign ups.

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Be sure to follow me on Facebook for more info on these amazing oils!

 

Kids and Chores!

Kids and Chores!

Kids and Chores, tips and ideas from a mom of nine! #chores #youtube #parenting

This week’s YouTube video is about kids doing chores.  Uh huh.  That’s right.  I am talking about deep, dark subjects over there.

I have tried many different chore systems and all of them have their pros and cons.  But there is one thread that runs through any successful effort to get kids to do chores and that’s you constantly checking after them.

They need accountability, they need to have a clear idea of what is expected of them and they need an occasional refresher lesson.  They simply aren’t naturally going to succeed.

I use rewards for the younger kids, but by the time they are 12 they don’t get any “prizes” or payments.  The satisfaction of a job well done is reward enough.  That’s part of maturing….not expecting extra benefits for doing what needs to be done to keep the family running smoothly.  The reward systems when they are young are for teaching….not to be a lifelong practice.

To be clear….I still pay the older kids for some things, just not typical household responsibilities.  I never pay for kitchen work, cleaning, laundry, etc.  But I would pay them to do bigger jobs like work in my etsy shop, paint, yard work beyond basic mowing, cleaning out my car, and other jobs that I might pay someone else to do.

 

 

If you’re wondering what chore systems we use, there are two that I like.  The first, for younger kids, is I Did It Myself! And for the whole family I love the book Managers of Their Homes by Teri Maxwell.  It’s been around for a long time and I have tweaked it to fit my life, but there’s some great info there.

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If You Don’t Mind…..

If You Don’t Mind…..

I may have a problem.  Like I need counseling and possibly shock therapy.  I love books.  I have shelves full of them in every room and when someone offers to send me one to review I simply can’t resist.  #bookaddiction

But I realize I have not told you much about all of the writing that’s happening right under our very roof. #mykids

Besides writing a book myself, my daughter Grace has written 4 books and the first three are available on Amazon.  #true

1. Firmament: Radialloy is about a young woman who lives on a starship.  If your teen or young adult likes sci-fi this is a fun adventure!
2. Firmament: In His Image is the second in this series (with the third coming out very soon!) and follows the same main character.
3. Never is a clean, wholesome, family friendly western with slightly more mature conflicts.

She also has a blog where she reviews books and it’s always nice to find clean books for our kids to read.

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My daughter Patience also has a blog that is for budding photographers.  She’s really good at encouraging you to love your family and follow your passion.  Your photo-driven kids would love this.  #itisprecious

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And, if you don’t mind me telling you, my oldest son is making an album of songs that he has written.  He has a website that tells about his vision and he is also wrapping up a fundraiser to help get it made.  #hemakesmyheartmelt

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Not to be left out, my daughter Hope is writing a graphic novel (kind of like a faith-based comic book) and my other daughter Faith is starting her own jewelry line.  Those are still works in progress. #iamconstantlyamazed

I really don’t mention all of their accomplishments much because I don’t want to be braggy.  But just this once….I had to say it.

Thanks for letting me.  #proudmom

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Our Boys’ Attic Lego Loft

Our Boys’ Attic Lego Loft

A great room for boys and their Legos! #legos #boysroom #kidsroom

In my Summer Home Tour I showed you my boy’s loft bedroom.  But I thought I’d show you it again with a little more of the details.

A loft room for boys and their Legos!

This room is so small, but we only keep the Legos and two beds up there, so it works.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

There are mattresses on the floor at each end of the room.  We got new mattresses and I am surprised at how comfy it is.  I went to Target and got the dorm-bed-in-a-bag kit.  They were happy to have matching bedding and it didn’t cost me much.  I added a couple of accent pillows.  Doesn’t every guy want throw pillows?

A great room for boys and their Legos!

I decided to add red because I found these AWESOME red metal lockers at IKEA (my happy place).

A great room for boys and their Legos!

The fence looking thing is the rail that you used to be able to see through from below.  But with the room makeover we put luann in front of it so they have more privacy.  To make the best use of the space we built a white shelf at each end of the lockers that faces the beds and one in the middle to hold all of their Lego books and manuals.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

It creates one long surface for them to build their Lego creations.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

On the opposite side of the room is the only wall.  With one weird shaped wall you have to get creative about how to use it.  We built shelves that were completely fitted to the wall and filled them with containers for the….you know what…..Legos!

A great room for boys and their Legos!

Most of the containers I got at IKEA.  Duh.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

If you’re wondering what the wooden thing on the floor is….that’s the door to the room!

The boys have organized the Legos how they want, which is basically not organized at all.

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 I left empty spots on the shelves for them to put some of the things they’ve built.

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I even added (again, IKEA) little lights on each end of the long shelf for them to hit when they need light in the night.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

The whole room was done with 1x8s, paint and 1x2s for the brackets!  It took some measuring, but we got a lot of storage in a small space and it doesn’t feel cramped because the middle is completely empty except for the seat cubes.  They need a place to sit while they build.

If you like attic spaces, I’ve found some more really cute ones over on my Attic Makeover board on Hometalk!

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