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Life is Short

Life is Short

I was so inspired by May’s notes in my Desire Map Journal from Danielle Laporte. I had to make a recording so that I can listen to it whenever I need to. Life is short. Let’s do it today!

My Reminders to Me:

  • notice how long her legs are compared to mine as my teen snuggles beside me on the couch
  • enjoy his silliness and funny sounds he makes when he’s being a goof – not many get to see that side of him
  • be grateful for his pocket dial because it’s another chance to say “I love you” today
  • put on perfume in secret spots for him to find later
  • grab a latte on the way to work just because I love them so much
  • have zucchini spaghetti again tonight because it’s sooooo good!
  • do yoga with my sweetheart, candles and incense quieting our minds from the day
  • leave my phone in the kitchen while I snuggle on my bed to read tonight
  • sleep without a worry or care, grateful for another day

 

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Self-care Sunday

Thursday evenings are often quiet evenings for me. My family is usually busy with other things and it’s nearing the end of the week, so things are settling down in general. The picture above was from my last Thursday evening.

I’m a big proponent of practicing self-care. I used to think that doing things for myself was “being lazy” or “selfish”. However, I noticed that the more I did NOT do for me, the more I was filled with resentment and anger and frustration. I thought I was being a good mother but would find myself yelling at my kids ALL the time – in a very unhealthy way. I would be secretly angry with my husband, especially when he was doing things he enjoyed doing for himself. This would build up inside until it would come exploding out one day out of the blue and the poor guy wouldn’t know what had hit him! I didn’t feel like I had time for making time for me. Who would take over when I had some quiet time? Wasn’t time for me selfish? I still ask myself those questions sometimes.

I’ve discovered that when I’ve just been going and going and going; rarely taking the time to re-charge, I am exhausted and feel like I can’t get anything accomplished. Headaches haunt me and I just don’t feel like myself. It’s then that I remember how much practicing self-care helps me. Better still, I now practice it more often so that I don’t get to that stage. I’m sure to schedule in time for me so that I’m able to be a better Mom, a better wife and a better person.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Sometimes, it’s curling up under my warm, soft blanket from my best friend that’s all mine and reading a book. It could be playing a game on the computer, quilting, writing or just sleeping a little bit longer than everyone else. My family supports me in this because they know how much it helps me. It’s a habit I want to make sure that they learn (especially my daughter) by seeing me do it.

I created a little download for you if you’re searching for ideas for practicing self-care. Click here to grab your copy (and share it with your friends!)

What are some of your ideas for self-care? What are some of the benefits you see when you do something for you? Leave us a note in the comments!

10 Things to Smile About

me and bruce-small frame

Don’t ya just love my big smile!? (He’s kinda cute too!) 🙂

10 Things to Smile About:

  1. Working with my best friend, my husband at a place like Health Street where I get to help people every day!
  2. Working with my best friend, my BFF at a awesome, fun biz like Simple Life Celebrations
  3. Having my kids on a little vacation away from me – makes them smile too! And we love each other that much more when they come home
  4. Feeling the grass between my toes
  5. Eating a handful of raspberries
  6. Listening to good music, running or riding, in the country on a warm, sunny day
  7. Hearing any kid laughing. Doesn’t matter if I know them or not, it makes my heart sing
  8. Finding a comment or a share or a note from a SLC fan saying that we helped in even just one way. That totally makes my day!
  9. Getting goofy texts from the gaggle of girlfriends that usually escalates into a vast array of emoticons and smiley faces!
  10. Curling up with a great book, a cup of coffee and a quiet morning with my loved ones near. Really, that is the best, don’t you think? 🙂

Now it’s YOUR TURN! Today, I think this is a fun idea for all of us to try and it’ll help you practice gratitude.

Thanks Mama Kat from http://www.mamakatslosinit.com/ for this great idea!

Write down at least ONE thing to smile about 🙂 in the comments below! Come on, you want to make my day don’t you? (see #8 above!)

Whimsy

Today, I am feeling whimsical. Remembering special moments and how much fun I’ve had in my life. Remembering to have fun every day.

I had a plan for today’s posts. I was feeling so organized. Then, I couldn’t find the stuff I needed. I was ticked off. I was disappointed. I was bummed. So I did yoga, had some tea and went to bed. Sometimes, you just gotta throw the plan out the window. Which is easy to do when it’s written on a paper napkin.

paper napkin

 

Just for today:

  • Read Calvin & Hobbes and remember your imaginary friend (I know you had one)
  • Revisit the inscriptions on your favorite books – my Nancy Drew hard covers given to me by my great grandmother at this time of year “for passing”; the year marked in the front
  • Smile and remember your favorite movie. Swiss Family Robinson. We sure loved to pretend we were them out in the treehouse
  • Drink a Margarita on a Wednesday afternoon. It’s 5:00 somewhere.
  • Sleep naked ’cause pj’s aren’t as much fun 🙂
  • Star Wars. That just never gets old. I still have my storm trooper figure I got for Christmas in 1977
  • Dance around like a wild woman while you’re doing dishes. Belt out a few lyrics. Makes dishes less boring and the kids embarrassed. Who doesn’t love embarrassing their children?
  • Get up in the morning and walk barefoot on the grass. Dig your toes in the dirt. Smile at the neighbors. Suddenly remember you slept naked…
  • Chew bubble gum. Remember that time it got stuck in your hair?
  • Sweet Tarts. Enough said.
  • Eat a DQ dipped cone – the biggest you can get and as fast as you can before it melts. Don’t share with anyone.
  • Wear a revealing outfit, kiss him like a hussy and “sassy-walk” away. See if he follows.
  • Sip coffee on the deck, even if it’s raining again. That’s why they made umbrellas.
  • Blast your favorite songs on the stereo. Leave the TV off and just rock out.

I’d love to see your whimsical list!

 

Summer Get Up N’ Go Pack

Fun Exploring

Summer is here! It is sometimes difficult to know what the weather is going to be like but it sure is nice to be ready if you decide on a last minute day trip! So most of us have an extra backpack kicking around – why not make up a bag so that when the weather and the timing is right you are all ready to go?

Here is your list of ‘ingredients’ to help make your adventure successful.

☼Backpack
☼Sunscreen
☼Bug spray
☼Small hand sanitizer or moistened wipes
☼Water bottles/water pack (1 per family member). Reusable is better for our environment!
☼A few small toys for the car ride (car bingo sheet, paper, crayons,
☼Small first aid kit
☼Sheet or thin blanket for picnic or rest
☼Small tissue pack
☼Light jacket or hoodie
☼Sunglasses and or hats (protect your skin and eyes)
☼$ in case of emergency (or an ice cream stop☺)
☼Camera if you don’t have one on your phone; good for capturing those special memories.
Don’t forget snacks. If you are hiking dried fruits, nuts, granola and sandwiches are easy to carry and not too messy!

This list can be tailored depending on what your trip is. If you are going to the beach substitute your picnic blanket for towel and for toys grab some bubbles and sand pails.

Most of all don’t forget to have FUN!!!

Summertime Fun
Summertime Fun

For more great summertime FUN ideas, grab your copy of Simplify: Summer for only $4.99! It’s jam-packed with ideas for making this summer the best EVER! Click to download your copy: Simplify: Summer

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

I love, LOVE hot spinach artichoke dip. To the point where I would eat the entire thing if my hubby would let me get a cracker in edgewise! The only trouble is that the original recipe has a TON of cheese in it: an entire block of Philly cream cheese + 1/4 cup parmesan + 1/4 cup romano + 1/4 cup mozzarella melting and gooey on the top! The health benefits of spinach and artichoke is completely lost in all of that dairy! Not to mention what all that dairy does to the pipes…just sayin’…plus it has mayo which just isn’t something I want to eat anymore (are there any “real” ingredients left in today’s mayo??)

So…I was determined to figure out a way to make it healthier yet still delicious. No cheese and no mayo (so vegan) yet still devour-this-now-it-is-awesome good. Well….I did it!!

spinach dip

 

The primary ingredient is a separate recipe (at the bottom of this post) of a cashew “soft cheese”. This is a little expensive to make, but Philly cream cheese isn’t cheap either. I also always like extra garlic in anything I can put extra garlic in, so I add chopped garlic pieces to the dip just before putting it in the oven. My recipe uses nutritional yeast which is an excellent source of vitamin B12 (and makes everything cheesy good without the cheese!) It also uses avocado which is a good-for-you-fat instead of all that cheese (the cashews are good fats too).

Here’s a quick Simple Life Gal trick too: I mix the entire thing up in a Pyrex bowl so that I can just put it in the oven after it’s mixed. This way, only one dish! Simplify, Simplify!!

If you’re in the mood for more recipes, Krystal created a great eBook “Spicing Up School Lunches” – add your email address to our list (up there in the top right corner of this page) and get access to it for free! And don’t forget that our other ebooks (Click the Products page) are full of Simple Life Gal tricks and tips! Get all three for just $9.99 (regular price $14.97). And if you like this Simple Life Gal recipe, you will LOVE the amazing (yet simple) Filet Mignon dinner we share for your “Date Night In” in our Simply Sexy Date Night Package ($19.99 for the entire package that includes recipes, ideas and workbooks to bring that spark back to your marriage!)

steak dinner

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 cup cashew “soft cheese” (see below for my recipe for that)
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (I would rather use coconut oil because of the high temperature, but it is a short cooking time so olive oil is OK here)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (if you don’t know what this is or where you can get it, visit me at Health Street)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or fresh if you have it)
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 1-14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped spinach (if using frozen, thaw & drain first)

Mix all ingredients together. Transfer to oven-ready baking dish. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes until bubbly & slightly brown.

Cashew Soft Cheese

This is a vegan “cheese” replacement. It isn’t cheese, but I don’t know what else to call it. There are a ton of recipes out there using nuts to make “cheese”. This is how I made mine this week:

  • 2 cups raw (or at least unroasted) cashews
  • 1/2 cup alkaline water (we have a special Santevia water system that alkalizes our water. You can use regular water too)
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (yes, REAL lemon juice! not the stuff in a green bottle!)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar – this is so good for you! (if you don’t know what this is or where you can get it, visit me at Health Street for this too!)
  • 1 tsp chopped onion (or onion flakes)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients in food processor and blend (you’ll have to stop and scrape down the sides as you go) until creamy. You won’t need all of this for the artichoke dip, but you can use this on pizza, as a “cheese” dip or wherever you’d like! Use within 2 days.

Our Badass Meal Plans have the meal plan, recipes, AND grocery lists! Click the picture of the badasses below to subscribe!

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Hotel Sex

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Yep, I said it…the “S” word…oh my….it’s a controversial topic it seems. Personally, I think, if people talked about “IT” more, there would be less cheating, less “hang-ups” and waaaay more healthy relationships! If we made “IT” a priority and not an obligation in our marriages, it would change our family life. I know this because I’ve done it and “IT”…often….

So many of us only have “good” sex when we go away to a hotel. Which is only a few times a year! (eek! maybe even only ONCE a year…I don’t even want to think about that!) We barely touch each other at home; we’re just too “busy”. Intimacy? That was for when we didn’t have kids! How many of you each “do your own thing” in your marriage? Or, worse, don’t do anything at all? Your lives revolve around the kids and work and the house and that’s about it. YOU are not a priority and frankly, neither is your marriage. I know this. Been there, done that. Still there sometimes. I’ve heard (and SAID) all the excuses why this happens:

  • “The kids are so much work”
  • “I’m too tired at the end of the day”
  • “I just want to veg and watch tv”
  • “I don’t feel like it”
  • “I am not sexy enough” or “good enough”
  • “When I lose weight, we’ll do it more”

Friends…they are EXCUSES. I just couldn’t take it anymore – the excuses caused US and ME nothing but heart-ache. Yes, it still happens sometimes, but not as often because I really did not want to wake up and say, “Who the heck am I? Who is this person in my bed?” (If he’s still IN the bed!)

So, we started talking. Yes, talking. Actual quality time talking about what we dream about, what we need, what we love, what we don’t love. Not about kids and bills and work and CRAP! About US! About ME! About HIM! We spent REAL time together with the 7 Days of Sex Challenge that was more than the sex. It was about real intimacy. It was a challenge to spend focused, open time together! This challenge opened the doors to our beginning to understand what WE are as a couple. We’ve come a long way baby! ;P

Oh yes, I hear the excuses again: “We don’t have time!”  “The kids are always around” “He doesn’t understand me” “I’m exhausted”. Yeah, well, keep making excuses and you’ll wake up one day when the kids don’t need you anymore and you’ll wonder what the heck happened….

STOP IT! Please! Take IT away from the HOTEL! Make IT a priority! IT is more than sex. IT is:

  • Kissing him passionately in the hallway while the kids are watching TV and continuing on to the laundry – that’s going to make him think!
  • Talking about your dreams and listening to his while you’re driving and the kids are plugged into their DS games or a movie
  • Sneaking up behind him and throwing your arms around him while he’s making coffee
  • Sending him a sexy text message in the middle of the day (or email or even a note in his lunch or in the truck)
  • NOT doing HOUSEWORK when the kids are away at sleepovers! What are you thinking!!?? This confuses me when you post that on FB?? Get off FB and away from the vacuum and get BUSY!! Take every opportunity that comes your way. You don’t know when it will come around again! Walk out to the garage in nothing but a housecoat – you’ll get his attention!

  • Taking a holiday day or sick day and STAY in BED with each other! You are allowed you know!
  • Snuggling up on the couch and watching TV if you must – rub or scratch his back while he sits beside you
  • Exercise together and play footsies while you’re supposed to be trying to do sit-ups! LOL!
  • Make it a priority to have a conversation for even just 15 minutes every day. You can find 15 minutes. Even if it has to be on the phone. And it can’t be about the kids, bills or the van broke down or anything like that. REAL conversation
  • Find a way to have a date night (click for ideas) – even if it’s just a candlelight dinner in the kitchen after the kids are in bed. Try something!
  • Do SOMETHING together. Anything. Even just once a week or even once a month. Be a TEAM
  • Lock the door and be very quiet if you have to! 😉 5 minutes if you have to! Get IT where you can, whenever you can!!

And the other thing – YOU have to start. Don’t wait for him. Take the lead. Tell him what you want. Tell him what you need. Don’t whine about it, just have a conversation. If he doesn’t hear you the first time, try again. Try something other than talking if that’s not working. Surprise him! Start something, even if it’s just a back rub on the couch. Pay attention to him. Pretty soon, he’ll pay attention to you too.

We’re still learning. It is not easy and it does require work. And yes, you will have bad times and heartaches – you are both human beings and nothing is ever perfect.

Most of all, it requires you making “US” THE priority; over the kids and over work and over everything else. The US is that important. If IT meant enough for you to say I DO, then it means enough to work at IT….Way, waaaaaay beyond the Hotel Room…

Need some ideas for reconnecting with your spouse? Check out our Simply Sexy Date Night Package – it’s FULL of ideas are resources!

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[By the way…I highly recommend everyone to watch the movie “Fireproof” as a couple – it will change your relationship]

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Computer Tip – Change Your Gmail Background

I’m a sucker for pretty backgrounds. I don’t like to stare at the white space around my screen. I change my desktop background often – usually to some sort of nature picture or inspirational message. It is just part of creating my creative space.

My email is the same. The plain white background of my Google gmail is just too “quiet” for me. Currently, I have a mountain theme (because I love the mountains) as the background. I have helped many people with their computers, and I’ve noticed the plain white and I’ve wanted to show people how to change it. Here are step by step instructions to change your gmail background if you want:

  • Open your gmail
  • Click the little “gear” icon (top right corner)

  • Click Themes
  • Select any theme listed by clicking on it – your background will immediately change.

 

  • Play with the colors and themes until you find one that suits you.

What about you? Do you like to have a clear background or do you like to “jazz” it up a little? Let us know in the comments!

I love to help people be more productive (and have more fun!) with their computers/technology. If you have computer organizing and how to questions, please Contact me!