How 30 Minutes a Day Changed My Life

I used to wake up exhausted.  I cried while on vacation because I was just so DONE! I was tired of the constant ON. While I love my kids, motherhood was hard…and exhausting.  Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my kids. But I felt like I could just never get a break.  I literally showered, slept, and went to the bathroom with someone at my feet.

I was in desperate need of self care but didn’t feel like I had the time, money, or energy to invest in myself.

There was always something that needed to be done, or someone that needed me.  It felt like I was asking for a lot and was nearly impossible. If you had asked me what I did for self care, I couldn’t give you an answer…and I’d probably have denied that I actually was in need of it.  And spend money doing it??…forget about it!

inside I was drowning but I didn’t want to admit it.

I felt overwhelmed and frustrated.  At times I thought I might have had postpartum depression but when I reached out to other moms, I found that I was just like the rest of them.  We were all struggling…frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted, and feeling like we just “had to get through this season.” But why should we be okay with just getting through it? Just getting by? Life passes so freaking fast, why would I want to miss any of it? Why would I be okay with “getting through” the season of life when my kids are learning about the world for the first time?

then it happened…

Let’s be real…my motivation was the 25lbs of postpartum baby weight, but I decided to start a workout routine.  It was only 30 minutes.  It was something I could do from my living room during a nap.  I could pause if I needed when life called (and I often did!).  I had a plan for my nutrition. And above all that, I had a group of other women all doing it with me. Those first few weeks weren’t glamorous AT ALL.  Trust me….I look back and wonder why I kept going…and I probably wouldn’t have had it not been for my community. But that first 3 weeks, sparked something in me that I didn’t know I was missing.  I realized that it wasn’t selfish for me to take only a small fraction of my day to invest in myself.  In fact, it was THE absolute thing my family needed me to do so that I could go through the day with a little more patience and a little more love (for them and me!).

but I can’t lie to you…

I’d love to tell you that my fitness journey has done the trick. It’s solved all my self-care needs.  But it’d be a lie. Because while fitness was the catalyst and still something that I so need as a part of my day….the true self-care came when I started to love on my soul.  Fitness taught me that I could push past my limits. It encouraged me to grow.  I had to expose the areas of my life I was most weak so that I could refine them.  It gave me an opportunity to believe that I could do something impossible… to be the best person I could be.  I had to love myself first so that I could in turn love those around me.  And taking action to achieve my goals was no longer a wishful thought….dreaming is beautiful and amazing BUT it’s in the action where we see our results.  I can wish to lose the weight all I want but if I don’t make the choice to work out and eat well, nothing will change.  I can dream of a different life…more calm and patience, more freedom….but without the action nothing will change.

I invested $160 and 30 minutes a day for 3 weeks….and it literally changed the direction of my life. I would pay $5000 for the gains I’ve received since I started. It’s no longer about what I weigh, or how big around my belly is…but about the strength and endurance I’ve gained for this one and only life! It’s that first step…that first investment into yourself and taking action that matters.

Take a step.  DO something that pushes you outside of your comfort zone.  Love yourself a little more. And if you need support in the process, #Nourished is where you need to be.

 

Keep loving yourself!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Breather on Unsplash

How to Divorce Proof Your Marriage When You Have Kids

Did you know that the divorce rate in the United States is nearly 40-50% of marriages? While I think that’s a crazy high number….I totally get it! Prior to having kids, every activity Joe and I did was pretty much he and I.  We had ample amounts of time to sit and talk.  We got to go walk together, we got to watch TV together, we vacationed together.  Life was pretty much work/school and then us being together.

Then rolls in parenthood….

It’s no longer just Joe and I. And while I have nothing against my dear children, their added dynamic completely shifted Joe and my relationship. Our conversations shifted from what we were feeling and how we were doing, to who needed to pick up what kid where and who was doing laundry. At the end of the day, we’re both mentally taxed and our conversations than revolve over the details of the next day.

But I don’t know if you’re like me, but I’m already looking forward to the future….

Some day my dear sweet children will no longer be living here.  I won’t be responsible for where to pick them up.  I won’t be juggling their soccer practice, homework, and daycare drop offs.  And it will be Joe and I once again.  Now tell me, if we spent 20ish years ONLY talking about the details of life, where do you think we’ll be when we no longer need to talk about those details?

But how do we connect right now?

Statistics show that time spent together substantially increases marriage satisfaction (click here for some deets on that). But I’m an introvert….and a night out isn’t always the most appealing to me.  I certainly crave the connection but the hassle of finding a sitter, going out, figuring out what to do….it’s not something I want to do on a consistent basis. BUT I certainly want the consistent connection.

In walks date night in box

For the last few months, we’ve been getting a #datenightinbox delivered to our door.  There’s no planning needed cause everything’s all in the box. (See pictures below to see the box we got this month).

We’ve been able to get silly together, talk, show each other gratitude, and make time to be intentional towards each other.  And you know me, I’m all about intentionality. Last year we set a goal to have a date night once a month, and being totally honest, we weren’t very good about it. Life happens. But going forward, 2018 is going to be the year we are intentional about connecting and spending more time together. Cause I want to divorce proof our marriage the best I can. I don’t want to leave our relationship to chance.

and the final key step

Whatever you do this year, be sure to show more gratefulness and intentional investment into your relationship.  Think positively about your spouse EVEN when he does something that drives you bonkers.  Your energy will shift when you become grateful for him….your conversations will shift.  Your actions will shift. And then…..you will seal your relationship for the long haul.

 

PS- If you’d like a discount code on Date Night in Box, click here and use code: ONEFREE to get a free box on 3, 6, or 9 month subscriptions.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Perfect Gifts for the Mom with Young Kids

Alrighty, we all know that moms usually aren’t the focus of Christmas. We love to give to our kids and others around us. But we love to feel valued too! These have been some of my FAVORITE things this last year and think any mom with young kids in your life will love these gifts this Christmas.

Copy of Copy of Gift Ideas

  1. Instant Pot I never thought I’d need this. It was just one extra kitchen tool. But I was sooo wrong. It has replaced so many other kitchen tools (crockpot, rice cooker, yogurt maker, etc) that it has actually resulted in less clutter and ease. And let’s be real, we all need some easy meals (hence why we love using the crockpot). But have you ever noticed that sometimes crockpot meals just meld together and turn to mush?? When I use the pressure cooking setting on my Instant Pot, it doesn’t turn out that way. But you still get the melt off the bone sort of juiciness.
  2. Roomba Vacuum There have been mixed reviews regarding a robot vacuum because it does take some extra prep work (i.e. making sure no cords or toys are on the floor). BUT with 2 dogs and 3 kids, there is NO way I can keep up with the floor as often as it needs.  So while it may not be 100% effective, I can run it multiple times a day and tackle the ongoing floor mess without having to sweep non-stop.
  3. Bravva Mop Same goes for this one. This has become sort of a nightly routine.  Kids go to bed, toys are off the floor and away, and I turn the mop on and let it do it’s thing.  Then it frees me up to do things I want to do.  Every so often I still love to go through manually and do a mop job with my manual mop but this is so easy to keep up with.
  4. Canon Rebel Let’s be real….I love photos! And Mixbook often gets lots of my business printing up those photos into beautiful photobooks. I love my Canon 6D and loved the versatility (and pricepoint) of the rebel when I first started capturing moments. And our kids grow sooooo fast, we want to capture those moments.
  5. Date Night This is totally new to me but I’m super excited about it. My  first date night is on it’s way to me. It can be so hard for couples to get a night out, or even plan a date night in. So you can make it a priority by having those dates delivered right to you on a monthly basis. They have a Kids Night in and Faith Night in too!
  6. Beachbody on Demand This is THE way to go for fitness and sanity for a mom with young kids. No worries about child care and moms can not only feel better physically, gain more energy, but also create some space for a little self care.
  7. Massage or Pedicure: This always goes a long way with a mom of young kids! Especially if they don’t have to arrange childcare to go!
  8. Brazen or The Miracle Morning or Present over Perfect have been 2 of the most life changing books for me!
  9. Lipsense This stuff is AH-mazing! It’s lipstick that stays on all day long. It makes any mom feel dressed up and yet still totally kiss and snuggle proof.
  10. Wine Club I’m not a huge alcohol drinker but I do love relaxing with my hubs after the kids are in bed and drinking a nice glass of wine. (Discount for Black Friday weekend is 4 pack for price of 2!)
  11. Amazon PRIME OMG! I’m guessing every mom already has this but if she doesn’t it has been such a lifesaver for me. So many times I’ve ordered diapers or diaper cream or whatever and had it at my door the next day without having to load 3 kids in the car. It’s been especially helpful when we get sick and I try to not leave the house. (And the link gets you a discount on the monthly membership…like $5.99 for qualifying members).
  12. Kindle Paperwhite I admit this is one that I do not have but being that I love reading and spend so much money on books I would totally get this one!

And whenever shopping online, make sure you use EBATES. Not only do you get cash back but they’ll search for any coupon codes for you. It’s super awesome!

What would be on your wishlist?

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DIY Paper Bag Hardwood Floors

I love DIY projects and before kids, my hubs and I remodeled our first house. Like down to the studs sort of a remodel. But after kids….Let’s be real! Time is just not there. So we’ve been living for the last 6-7 years with half completed projects. But this last month we got all amped up to get some of these projects done. And while I’m being honest, the daily tasks of the household really went by the wayside BUT we made some major progress.

So here’s my most recent project. I had a carpeted front porch that I scraped clean of all the carpet a few years ago and it’s been plain concrete since. But we got a new door and I couldn’t leave it!

 

So….I did a DIY project and am so happy with the way it turned out.

Want to try it out?

Ingredients Needed:

  1. To start, I painted the lighter color on the strips of craft paper and let it dry.
  2. Paint the second color over and follow the instructions on your faux grain tool to make the wood grain. (I had to experiment with this a little bit so give yourself some extra strips to play with.IMG_1352IMG_1357IMG_1359
  3. Once they are dry, mix together 1 cup glue and 3 cups water. Dip all your painted strips into the glue mixture till completely wet.
  4. Mix 1 cup water and 1 cup glue together and paint mixture onto your floor surface. (PS-make sure your floor is really clean before you start this process)
  5. Lay down the strips of paper on the glue and use a squeegy tool to smooth out all bubbles.IMG_1348IMG_1350IMG_1349
  6. Continue process till floor surface is covered and let dry.
  7. Paint a layer of polyurethane over the floor following can directions.
  8. Continue with 8-10 layers (per can instructions).
    1. Tips! Clean each time you do a layer. I had to sand out some bugs and hairs and such. I even got a dirty foot print that I didn’t notice till it was already under polyurethane.
  9. Step back and admire your beautiful floor.

What do you think? Have you tried it? Would you try it?