Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Last time I wrote down 11 things that I was grateful for in my quest to reach 100! I took a couple of days to think about what I wrote and realized…this list could technically go on forever. So for today’s installment, I will continue with my gratitude list #12-25.

Gratitude List #12-25:

12. Having money to buy food to put on the table during these hard economic times

13. Have a library that I can borrow books from for no cost…unless they are returned late (i.e. fines)

14. Having my favorite grocery store (Trader Joe’s) be not more than 15 minutes from my home

15. Being able to watch TV and record shows to watch at a later time (i.e. DVR baby!)

16. Having great friends who are willing to help others out during a time of need

17. Being on bedrest (Wow, I am shocked I said that!) because it is providing me some time to think about life changes that I would not have spent the time thinking about otherwise

18. Being able to read about topics of interest to me – theology, homeschooling, education, current events, cooking, parenting

19. Having dishes that get dirty and need to be cleaned because that reminds me that I have food to eat and mouths to feed

20. Having utility bills to pay because it reminds me that I have a place to live

21. Having a Bible to read because I can use it to help me focus on God’s Word instead of having to do it all from memory or oral traditions as disciples did in the 1st Century church.

22. Being able to be limber, despite how ill I feel on some days (Rheumatoid Arthritis has not taken control of my life!)

23. Having a bed to make because it reminds me that I have a place to sleep

24. Having to discipline my son when he needs it – although it is difficult to do, I know that it is best because long term it will help him to stay on the right track

25. Having periods during the day of peace and quiet – the soul needs moments of rest

What are you grateful for?


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Last night, I had an epiphany! There are so many things to be grateful for regardless of how crazy things are going in your life and if you are anything like me…it seems like things have been doing some back flips! So, I decided that I would start a list of 100 things that I am grateful for, write them down over the next couple of days, and then see where it goes from there. I have to say that I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure I would be able to come up with 100 things, but I figure that by at least writing them down, I would be able to reflect on the good in my life when things don’t remind me of a bed of roses! Here it goes:

Gratitude List #1-10 (I thought I would start with something manageable…at least for me):

1. Having a wonderful, loving husband who strives to do his best to meet the needs of our family

2. Having an energetic and curious little boy who loves anything related to sports

3. Having another child on the way who is showing signs of being healthy so far…(I will continue to pray about that one!)

3. Having a place to live that I can take care of and call “home”

4. Having a way to bring in income

5. Having both of my parents

6. Having God’s Word to guide my life

7. Having a shower that has hot running water (there have been a few times where we have had to deal with cold water for a few days…not fun:()

8. Having the internet so that I can search out resources and information

9. Having a car that is driveable

10. Having a backyard where my child can play


11. Living in the United States (I have to say I am not that grateful when I focus on all of the bureaucracy that is apparent in this country, however I am thankful for the opportunities and resources that are available to us.)

Oops…I did say that I would start of with 10, didn’t I? It started to get a bit easier after I got through the things that were apparent and had to think a bit deeper. This is going to be an ongoing project!

What are you grateful for? I would love to hear about them!

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Manicure Tools: The cuticle clippers have a cuticle pusher on the inside.

As a teacher and a mother that doesn’t get a chance to go to the nail salon too often, I find that it is important to take care of my hand and nails. Once a week I like to take some time for myself and do an at-home manicure, which takes no longer than 20-30 minutes and is quite easy to do! It is also a great way to give yourself some much needed pampering.

The Weekly At-Home Manicure:

Manicure Tools – nail polish remover, nail file, nail clipper, buffer block, orange stick (cuticle pusher), cuticle cream, exfoliating cream, hand moisturizer

1. Trim and Smooth: Remove your old nail polish (if you have it on:). Wash your hands with warm soapy water and then dry. Trim or cut your nails to the length and shape you want. Then, use  your buffing block to smooth out any rough edges.

2. Cuticle and Hand Care: Moisten your fingers with warm soapy water and them apply cuticle cream to the tops of the nails. Soak your fingers in the warm soapy water for a few more minutes and then dry. Use your orange stick to gently push the cuticles away from the nail.  Scrub your hands with exfoliating cream for about a minute, rinse, and dry. Finally, lather and massage your hand lotion into your hands.

If you are planning on adding nail color, you can do it before you apply the lotion. Just make sure you give the nail polish enough time to dry!

If you are not already doing this, why don’t you give it a try!

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Arthur Cundy, a friend of our family, has a website called www.arthurcundy.com. He has several videos on Web Design and being more productive in your work. After watching the video mentioned below, I felt that he had some great ideas about goal setting that I can apply to my own life. I hope them can be beneficial to yours too!

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In my quest to learn more about being disciplined as I had stated in Organizing Methods Are Not One Size Fits All, I happened to stumble upon an article called How to Be Consistent & Get Stuff Done on www.workawesome.com. This article really made me think about why I am not as consistent as I need to be in various areas of my life, therefore affecting my level of discipline. I will share what I feel my issues are and how I plan to change them so that I can improve in this area.

1. Not Understanding the Power of Consistency: My mentality about consistency has always been just that it is important and that I need to do it. However, I have taken the time to understand the power that it can have in my life. This power is the ability to complete things that are started. I usually have great plans, but things get difficult to stick to without being able to see what the finished product will look like. Having a true understanding of consistency helps you to know that long term work will pay off.

2. Being Speedy Instead of Persistent: I’d like to believe that I have a A-type personality, because when I set my mind to do something, I am driven. I enjoy setting deadlines in order to meet goals. I also will do my best to work very hard at what I set out to do. While these are wonderful traits to have, I tend to work too hard, attempting to meet deadlines and with that, have a tendency to feel burnout. I have decided that this can no longer happen, so I am learning about the importance of being persistent. Persistence is when you continue working at a task even when the initial reason you started it has passed. For example, when someone is persistent about exercise, they may have initially started because they wanted to lose weight, but after a period of time has passed and the weight is lost, they still continue because the ultimate purpose has surpassed the original (i.e., exercising for health reasons). In my case, I need to set a shorter time frame on a daily or weekly basis for working on my goals. Then if I do this small bit each time that I plan it, I will be more likely to keep doing it and not burnout.

3. Making Excuses for Why Today Doesn’t Work: Have you ever heard your alarm in the morning go off…and just wanted to shut it off completely, getting back to what was important… sleep? This was me this morning! The alarm sounded like the most annoying invention ever created and if there was a hammer on my nightstand, I would have smashed it. Instead, I turned it off, telling myself that I was going to get up in 5 minutes…which turned into 25 minutes. Then I dragged myself to the bathroom to wash up for the day and stared in the mirror, reassuring convincing myself that the plans that I set out to do were going to happen! Today was different though. I wasn’t about to let my mind and body control what I had set out to do. Excuses were not going to work today! This is the internal battle that we sometimes must have…not  allowing ourselves to come up with excuses as to why today doesn’t work! As I stated before, persistence is key, and it won’t happen if we don’t take to time to make our plans a routine and natural part of day-to-day life.

4. Being Influenced By Inconsistent People: When I was in high school, I remember having 2 really great friends who truly helped me to be consistent with studying. They were a really great influence. They (in addition to my parents) helped me to see that studying and reviewing material every night really pays off, especially when you need to prepare for an exam. In college, I also had some great friends who were consistent about working out (dancing), studying, planning get-togethers, and meeting at the library for focus groups.  This was a great benefit to me since there was plenty of accountability. Now, I am at the point in my life where a lot of the accountability is left up to me. Indeed, I have friends that I talk to about different areas of my life and in those discussions, natural accountability occurs. However, it is not the same. For example, if  I come up with an excuse for doing the laundry when I had planned, it does inconvenience the family a bit, but we come up with other outfits to wear for the day. No big deal!  If I had planned to go to the gym with a friend, but she couldn’t make it that day because something came up, I had to make a decision as to whether I was still going to go or not. Then you have those conversations with acquaintances about gym visits and it “seems” like a lot of people…the common statement is, “I had planned to go, but this week has been so hectic”. In these cases, it is not intentional that I end up being surrounded by those who are inconsistent, however, it does mean that I need to make more of an effort to associate with those that are less likely to make excuses! In addition, I need to be open in talking about my own inconsistent areas so that I can get the help and advice that I need.

5. Not Being Consistent With the Happy Face Method: In the article How to Be Consistent & Get Stuff Done, Scott H. Young explains how a man used a calendar to help him keep track of every time he exercised. When he exercised, he would color a red triangle in the box for the date. The times that he missed would be obvious because the boxes would be missing the shape. He called this the Red Triangle Method. I have a method to that is quite similar, but involves using colorful Happy Face stickers in place of the triangles. I especially remember using this method when I was in my senior year of college at Cornell University. Each time I studied as I had planned, I added a sparkly sticker to my calendar. I have to say that academically, it was one of my best years. I also used this method last summer when I was working out consistently. I put a sticker each time I completed my cardio as planned and one X across the box for the days that I did strength training. I was able to meet my weight loss goals that summer. Now, it is just a matter of applying this method to other areas of my life  and being persistent/consistent with it. I truly believe that it will work for the short-term and the long-term. There is nothing like having a visual of your accomplishments!

Quotes to Think About:

“I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows.” -Drew Barrymore

“Let your character be kept up the very end, just as it began, and so be consistent.” -Horace

“The secret to success is constancy to purpose.” -Benjamin Disraeli

What areas do you need to be more consistent in?

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I have found that with the busyness of life, it can be very easy to neglect taking care of yourself. So, in the spirit of learning more about how to keep this body of mine running in tip-top shape (which at the present is having some difficulties), I have decided to challenge myself with a Taking Care of Yourself Regimen. Throughout this process, I will share the things that I am doing to give myself the much needed care that has been put-off for too long!

Let me begin with my facial care routine that I am re-instituting. I say “re-instituting” because I used to follow this routine on a daily basis and had very few acne problems. Since, I have neglected what I know, I have had to have many dermatology appointments. This must come to an end!

The Daily Facial Care Regimen:

1. Make sure to wash the face twice a day with face wash (not soap). At this point in my life, I truly believe in Cetaphil. It is not too harsh and drying like many other facial cleansers I have tried…and believe me, I have tried many (wasted a lot of money too)! When I am washing my face, I just put the face wash on and rinse with warm water (no washcloth needed).

2. Apply toner after washing the face. When I apply it, I like to use a small cotton ball. I just make gentle sweeps across the hair line and around my T-zone (forehead, both sides of my nose, and my chin).

3. Moisturize twice a day. I happen to have very dry skin, so I like to use Cetaphil Sensitive Skin Moisturizer and 100% pure shea butter for the day. At night, I like to use Aveeno night cream. It is amazing how my skin soaks up the moisturizer so quickly, without all of the shine (which I truly dislike).

4. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen. I don’t like to use sunscreen too much, so I haven’t been really consistent with it. However, this will change. I have the sunscreen that I got from Trader Joe’s that is SPF 15 and is not too heavy. I also feels silky smooth and does not leave a white residue.

The Weekly Facial Care Regimen:

1. Apply a face mask for 20 minutes once a week. Currently, I am using a deep cleansing clay mask that has antioxidants. It dries rather quickly and I can do it while I am deep conditioning my hair (which I will discuss in a later post).

2. Steam the face for 10 minutes once a week. I like to put boiling water in a bowl and pour a little bit of vanilla extract into the water to make it smell nice. The fragrance is also very relaxing. I also make sure to wrap my hair with a towel so that I won’t sweat out my hairdo.

3. Exfoliate the skin once a week. I prefer to steam and then exfoliate which only takes about 15 minutes total. I am presently using a blemish and blackhead control apricot scrub which is oil free. I can do this while I am deep conditioning my hair the second time during the week.

What I am finding, is that these two routines don’t take as long as I anticipated they would. I really should have been doing them consistently all along! If you are not already doing this, why don’t you give it a try!

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I have to say that if you have been eating meat for most of your life, it can be hard knowing what kind of meals to cook that are vegetarian. Therefore, I thought that I would suggest some tasty meals that are quick and easy. In a later post I will write the recipes for some of these meals.

1. Vegetarian Chili
2. Vegetarian Stew
3. Pasta Primavera
4. Ravioli with Marinara Sauce
5. Stir Fry with Brown Rice and Tofu
6. Brown Rice, Corn, and Black Bean Burritos
7. Roasted Root Vegetables
8. Tofu and Sweet Potato Burrito with Lettuce, Tomato, and Sauteed Onions
9. Veggie Burger, Mashed Potato, Mushroom Gravy, Corn, and Green Peas
10. Vegetable Fajitas, Black Beans, and Rice

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