Thursday, April 30, 2015

Free Workouts #3

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Do you enjoy trying out new workouts? I know I do. It brings some excitement to the day and helps me feel energized.

Here are a couple new ones you might want to try.

Video #1: This video is just four and a half minutes long. It will give you a little more of a peak at T Tapp. I have been doing T tapp this week, each day and just love the way I am feeling. I will let you know if I lose any inches. Many people claim to lose a ton of inches with this program. I am doing the Basic Plus Tempo which is just 15 minutes a day. It looks simple, but if you really follow all that she says, it is quite the workout!

Video #2:  Here is a ten minute Tabata workout. Don't try this if you don't like jumping. And there are lots of push ups. But I need the push ups in my life right now. It is only ten minutes and I found it to be a nice break after sitting too long working on the computer.

Bonus Video #3: I can't leave you without something to dance to. Here is the song my 3 year old keeps requesting this week. Enjoy!

What are you doing to workout? If you sit for work, be sure to try and move every hour, even if it is just a couple steps!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

More Giveaways

Here are some of my latest finds that might interest you.

2-Qt. Le Creuset Moroccan Tagine GiveawayI have never heard of cooking with one of these, but I am intrigued to find out more. I didn't enter this one, but let me know if you have ever used a moroccan tangine before. I would love to here about it. You can enter here at Rasa Maylasia.

There is a pretty sweet "Body After Baby" giveaway with all sorts of gear. It is valued at $950. Check it out here. And hurry. It ends April 30th!

If you are into pinterest or twitter you can enter a giveaway over at Lovely Etc. for some great mason jars. I don't really enjoy either, pinterst or twitter, but that is a whole other conversation!

Don't forget about the great link up for many quilty giveaways and some other giveaways for craft items and sewing clothing are mixed in too. If you like to sew anything, you will want to check these out. Note the link changes for May I believe. I will post a new one in the next giveaways update.

This might seem silly, but I love this pepper mill. You can enter to win it once a day until May 22.

You can enter to win one of two $25 giftcards for Amazon to buy new sewing supplies here! But hurry. This one ends Saturday I think.

If you are in need of a mother's day idea, I have heard quite a few moms say that they like these hand stamped pieces of jewelry. Try to win a gift certificate for one here.

As always, please let me know if you win! Good luck. :)

President Trading Cards

My Love and I have started a new project over the last few weeks. We have been studying the presidents. To do so, we printed out these really cute president pictures on cardstock. Then we discussed what would be important to include on each card.

Here is what my beautiful 9 year old decided on:

                    * Full Name
                    * Birth date and date of death
                    * Location of birth and death
                    * Details of their family
                    * Something important the president did while in office
                    * Something interesting about the president

It is really fun to watch her getting excited about learning something new about each president. She gets to decide what is important enough to make it on to the trading card. And we both get to learn lots of new stuff as we discuss what she has found while researching and narrowing it down to the most important. It is also awesome to let my daughter have the lead on this project. She does the research, she decides what should be on each card and which facts are the ones that make it. Watching her work through this process has just been incredible.

I would love to laminate them when we are done!

I know I saved the link to where we printed our pictures from, but cannot find it for the life of me. So here are some more options to help you.

If you are not up to making your own, here is a premade template from PBS.

This set here is more like what we printed out. We just printed, cut and used the back to add our own info.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Grateful Heart: Week 3

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

                                                                       Philippians 4:6 

I lost my full time job on Sunday (yesterday). I got an email Sunday morning that stated my job had been eliminated and the school was being closed effective Monday, April 27th. And, just like that, everything we had been planning was gone. I am choosing to be thankful for losing that job. In all reality, I hated it. The job was sucking the life out of me. It was not my dream job and I had been praying for change and praying that God would show me what to do next. Although I am not sure what I am doing next, I know God has a plan for me. It was a particularly dark and stressful day Saturday. I broke down and begged God to help me. And then my job was terminated. So how can I be anything but grateful to Him for answering my prayers?!

Now, I am not going to lie. I am slightly concerned about the road ahead. But I know I can do it. I know God is with me and that He has a plan. These next few months might be hard and all that work to get out of debt might go undone, but I know that I am not alone. My husband and I started to dream of the things we could try now that this job isn't in the way. We can start building towards the life we truly want.

I wish I could say I have months of savings for a rainy day as this, but instead I am just going to keep praying. The Lord will show me the way.

Therefore, this week, I am thanking God for losing my job and all of the flexibility and options that this might bring. The Lord is good and He answers prayers, sometimes in the most unusual and wonderful ways.

5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
6 So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
                                                                       Hebrews 13: 5 - 6

8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."                         Joshua 1: 8 - 9

What are you grateful or thankful for this week? 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Getting Rid of Paper Towels

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I have a confession. My husband is an extreme paper towel user. He will grab 4 at a time for something that might need half. And then I go around having to pick them all up from everywhere. So I secretly have not bought paper towels in about a month. I did buy 10 kitchen towels. And he has not said a word.

The only problem was BACON. What was I going to do with the bacon? The hubby hates the idea of baking it in the oven and I really don't have a pan to spare just for bacon. Sorry. So what is a girl to do. Well, for now, I have been improvising between using a separate pan to let it sit on for a few minutes and coffee filters. But at some point I would like the coffee filters to go away as well. Poor hubby.... he is the one that drinks the coffee. And he has to endure all my crazy changes.

I think that one of those new hand towels will become a dedicated bacon towel. If you don't like those ideas, here are a couple more.

Paperless Kitchen

Whistle Pig Hollow

The Art of Simple

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Free Workouts #2

Image result for kettlebell 

Are you ready for another round of free workouts to try? I like quick short workouts that I can fit in at different points in the day. An hour long workout just ain't gonna happen at this crazy house. Students call me all day long, the kids are often needing something, you know how it goes. 

I have still been doing the kettlebell workout this week because I loved it so much. But I went out to find some new stuff too!

So here are my picks for the week.

Video #1: This is only 5 minutes and will really get you going! And I like how they give the little preview of which exercise is coming next so you don't lose time trying to figure what you need to do.

Video #2: Have you heard of T Tapp? More coming on this on the blog here. But I thought I would share a little preview of what it is right here. T Tapp is more than just a weight loss program, but again I will share more on this soon. For now, enjoy. And let me know what you think.

Bonus Video #3: Yep, we are still dancing over here! And here is one of my kids' favorites of the week to get up and get moving to. Hallelujah!

Huge Mother's Day Sewing Giveaway

My sewing machine is ready, I have been picking up supplies and even have a pattern picked out. So now it is just finding the time to start cutting all the pieces and putting them together. This will be my first quilt, and I plan to document the process so I can go back some day and see how far I've come. And hopefully anyone else out there wanting to quilt can see they are not alone in getting started. I am starting out with just some basic squares for the first one. But the next one I have planned has lots of hexagons and I am trying to find the perfect bee fabric and prints to make a lovely design.

Anyways, we are on a tight budget, so I have been entering giveaways to start building up some of the supplies I will need to get started. And there just so happens to be a really great one going on now. And there are 14 days left to enter. You can check it out here. Let me know if you win!!!

Any other crafty ladies out there? What do you like to make? I wish I could make stuff all day....

Monday, April 20, 2015

More Giveaways

EO Giveaway 

Here are some more of the giveaways that I have been eyeballing. I like giveaways that don't take a whole lot of time and have a prize I am actually interested in winning. Do you like entering giveaways?

My all time favorite giveaway going on right now is the doTerra essential oil giveaway. You can entire at two of my favorite blogs (and several others) Weed 'Em & Reap or The Elliott Homestead.There are several days left to enter this one. I think it ends 4/27.

You have until 4/25 to enter for this sweet Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. It is getting warmer out and I know I feel better about giving the kids ice cream, when I know what is in it.

There is a $450 Aloha giveaway on Hello Subcription for some interesting ways of increasing your  nutrition.

There is a really cool giveaway for Sweet Paleo and some kitchen gadgets, like a Blendtex blender. There are 13 days left to enter this one on Paleo Spirit!

And of course you can put your name in for some gift cards.
                   Here is one for $500 Amazon Giftcard.
                  Or the Determined Momma is giving away a $75 Amazon Card
                  Powered by Mom is also giving away a $75 Amazon or Paypal Card
                  Try for $300 Paypal here, just scroll to the bottom of the list for the free entry
                                          or follow some of the blogs for more tries if you want.
                  Hello Natural is giving away a $50 Visa Giftcard
                                           (and they have other giveaways going too.)

As always, I will add more as I find 'em.

A Grateful Heart: Week 2

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                                                         Photo Credit

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

                                                                                     Philippians 4:6 

This week I want to say an extra thank you to the LORD for helping me to transition from working in a classroom to working online. It is amazing how he has answered my prayers and allowed for me to stay home with baby #3, still help students, and continue to provide for my family. Working online is kind of scary. At any time some of my jobs could just disappear, but for over the past three years, I have been able to successfully pay my bills and feed my family. There might not be anything extra, and sometimes the numbers don't even make sense, but somehow it always works.

What are you thankful for? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Free Workouts #1

Image result for kettlebell 

Do you work from home? Depending on where you work and what kind of work you do, you might be doing A LOT OF SITTING! Yep, I'm yelling, but not at you. I am a little fired up because I went from a job where I was on my feet all the time to sitting on my big ol' butt. And I. don't. like. it.
Nope. I used to be so active. I was the crazy teacher all over the room, making sure I looked at, talked to, checked on every student every class. Now I teach online and write curriculum. So when I help someone, it is on the computer or over the phone. I have found some creative ways to stand while working, but I still do too much sitting. My work day is way too long as well, which is a whole other topic...

So to make sure I get up and moving, I have started incorporating short videos and movements several times a day. And I have been taking the dog up and down the very very long driveway. This usually takes about 10 minutes as well. I am all for getting up every hour and moving. It is a really good idea not to sit for more than an hour. I have even heard sitting being called the new smoking. It is BAD.

I want to share two free videos each week with you so you can get up and moving too. And keeping the videos new helps from getting bored. I will try each video and use each video before sharing with you.

So here are this week's picks:

Video #1: This one is a great way to start your day with a HIIT workout. You will get sweaty! So just be warned. And it is only 10 minutes long. Everyone can fit that in!

Video #2: Here we have a 5 minute kettlebell video. It feels great to do and I didn't get super sweaty. So this is a good one to fit in during the day.

Bonus Video #3: Yep, I said I would share 2, but don't forget that dancing is moving too. And it is a great stress reliever. My loves and I like to dance to music everyday. Here is one of our favorites. You can't help but be happy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Activites for those that LOVE or HATE math.

math ideas to help my kid 

Hate is such a strong word. And sometimes I think that maybe so many people would not hate math if they were just taught math in a different way, shown the beauty and usefulness in math or if they could build more of their natural number sense. Anyways, I got an email the other day with a new post from KidsActivitiesBlog. It has such fun ideas for math activities at a ton of different levels. You can check it out here. It may be called 25 Activities for Kids that HATE Math, but I think that those that LOVE math will like these too!

Being Present and Mindful

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I just wanted to share a link to this awesome article that Chris Kresser shared recently. I just love everything in it. I hope that you do too. I especially love what he writes about being present with our loved ones and not distracted by phones and other nonsense! Let me know what you think in the comments.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My Depression Medication

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I was recently reading a post on Facebook  and it was all about the side effects of someone's newest depression/anxiety medication. I was kind of surprised at all the people that I knew that were chiming in on what they take/took and how they were or did react to it. I guess the idea of popping a pill never really occurred to me. And that is not because I have never been depressed or never had anxiety. And this post is in no way trying to bash their decision. I know these people posting are trying to do what they think is best for them. And I know that they just want to feel better. I was just so surprised that they were willing to trade the chance and not feeling depressed or anxious for what was happening instead. And it wasn't pretty...

And the other thing that really alarmed we was the fact that when I google natural depression remedies, the first choices give some pretty bland advice. I see things like "set a schedule, eat right, get enough sleep, etc." And although these are not necessarily bad things to suggest, they are not real suggestions and they don't get into what might be really happening in the body. And they don't give specifics! This is my body and I know that God created it to work just they way he intended. There has to be something better than this random list and popping a not so happy pill.

I am not a doctor. And I am not pretending to be one here either. Let's just be clear on that. This is all my opinion. But to me all these medications for anxiety and depression are just bandaids. They are not helping to fix what is causing the problems. And from those lists of side effects and the things my friends were posting, it sounds like these pills create even more problems.

I have been in a bit of a slump lately. Stress and some of the directions life has me headed really had me all out of sorts. Depression, anxiety, these are very real things in my life. But I have noticed that there are some things out there that work and don't involve any side effects. Here are the things I do when I start to feel myself taking a slide into Debby Downer territory. And really, I try to do these all the time because they just make a healthy, happier me.

1. Sunlight and Vitamin D
That beautiful sun that we were all taught to hide from is actually healing. There is tons of research that shows that low levels of Vitamin D are linked to depression and sadly even dementia. And you can get some sun exposure in a smart way. Just because you are outside, that doesn't mean you have to fry yourself. In the winter I do take a liquid form of Vitamin D and a K2 vitamin to help keep my levels up

2. Magnesium oil 
I would have to say that magnesium oil is my best friend. All the many things that I could write as symptoms go away or at least as less when I am using magnesium oil. It doesn't take much and you can make it yourself. This one is really, really worth trying. I think the oil form is the best because your skin soaks it in much better that if you take it in pill form. And don't worry if you are itchy when you first start using it. That does get better. And I have noticed that when my diet does not consist of ingredients that bother my stomach, I am not so itchy. So when I do get itchy it is a reminder to stop sneaking those things that bother me.... like gluten (unfortunately.... cause I really love fresh bread...) And this leads me to number 3.

3. Repair your leaky gut.
If you are eating a typical American diet, chances are your guts are a mess. And even if you are not, if you have a food intolerance your guts could still be a mess. And there a bunch of other reasons your guts could be a mess too. Maybe you don't show other symptoms besides the depression, that you have noticed, but it definitely could be all starting in your guts. Some researched and doctors are saying that depression is considered an inflammatory disorder. Yes, it all comes down to inflammation. I seem to be reading this all over the place. Inflammation, inflammation, inflammation....) So the key here is to get rid of the foods or somehow fix the other issues that might be causing the leaky gut and then heal those guts. I know that is easier said than done as I am still trying to do it!

4. Sleep
The importance of sleep really needs its own post or series of posts. But seriously, sleep is important. And I am not talking about 5 - 6 hours. I am talking about not watching that TV show at night and getting your butt in bed for 8+ hours. We really love to talk about how little sleep we got. I know I was the queen of it. I was proud that I could work until 3 am and get back up at 5 am and do it all over again. And I did that for WAY TOO LONG. And now I am here. Broken. And trying to fix the awful things I did to my body. I have a long way to go on this one, but I am working on it. And you really should too. It doesn't cost a thing. And the magnesium oil mentioned in #2 will make easier for you to calm your mind and get restful sleep.

Just be sure to put yourself in a good position to get good sleep. It might not be as easy as just hoping in bed at first. There are lots of tips out there for getting better sleep. Here are some that I like.

5. Eating Fat
Yep, I said. I LOVE FAT. Now, don't start going crazy on me. I am not sitting here eating a Big Mac and smiling. I am talking about good fat, like coconut oil, grassfed butter, avocado.....  There are lots of people looking to eating healthy fats to make happy brains and happy people. You might want to check that you are getting enough Omega 3 Fats as well. I try to get mine through cod liver oil but have been looking into maybe using krill oil.

6. Good Exercise
Sadly, I really hurt my body in my over exercising days. Constant cardio for hours and hours a day was killing me, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't exercise at all. There is a lot of research out there showing that exercise works better than the typical anti-depressant pill handed out at the doctors office. In fact, there are studies showing that Zoloft worked about as well as a brisk 30 minute walk, but the people taking Zoloft were more likely to have recurring depression, where the people walking were not.

For my exercise, I am now concentrating on HIIT and yoga or Pilates to help clear my mind and give me that little pep in my step again. I love the HIIT because it takes such a little amount of time to make a big impact and I love the others because they relax me. I also love to walk in beautiful places, soaking in sun and fresh air. This really helps clear my mind and help me feel like me.

7. Stress Management
This one is still something I am working on. I am very very very far from perfect. Did I mention that I am not perfect. Nope. I make so many mistakes it is almost comical. And staying stressed out when I know I should trust in the Lord is one of them.

And I don't know about you, but I feel like these are all really connected. If I do some of them better, others get better too. If I exercise, sleep well and eat well, my stress is way down. I feel like I can handle the day. However, I know that I need to keep growing and bettering myself.

One of the things I would like to do more that I think would help is journaling. Because I am choosing to sleep instead, I have been writing down three things that I am thankful for each day when I wake up. It takes less time and helps me focus on the good right as I am starting my day. And as I pray at night I also like to thank the good Lord for specific and general things as well. I think it is important to sometimes be specific to really open our eyes to all that is good in our lives. I have also been working on deep breathing. More on that and stress management to come.

Do you suffer from depression or anxiety? What are you doing to help feel like yourself again?

Photo Credit