Lighten Up Your Morning

Lighten Up Your Morning

After talking this month about getting outside to play and changing your viewpoint, another area to consider making some “summertime” changes to are your mornings.  As the weather gets warmer earlier in the day, and the sun starts coming up earlier, it’s an easy time to lighten up and improve your morning routine.  (You don’t have a morning routine?  Check out this amazing course by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom and create a fantastic one!) I don’t routinely set an alarm clock in the summer months – I just keep my blinds open and the sun wakes me up – which is a wonderful way to start the day.  It also means I’m up earlier and have more time to enjoy the morning before my workday begins.  So, I get to add a few more fun things to my routine. To lighten up your mornings, try a few of the following ideas: Wake up with the sun or at least make your alarm a pleasant sound Head outside as soon as possible (this is easy as I have a dog that has to go out when I first get up!) Enjoy a glass of water or smoothie before your coffee Try 10 to 20 minutes of yoga or light stretching to slowly wake up your muscles and get out all the kinks Add fresh fruit to your breakfast Most importantly, don’t rush through your mornings.  The first hour or so of the morning can set the tone for the rest of the day – so make sure the feelings you invoke are the ones you want to cultivate all...

Ditch the Chemicals in Your Cocktails

I can’t lie – I love a good cocktail.  Especially one that has a variety of flavors and quality ingredients.  At this point in my life, I’d rather drink water than a chemical-laden, artificial-tasting, poor-quality cocktail. Since so many cocktails include simple syrup as a key ingredient to sweeten the drink, I felt it was critical to figure out how to make a better for you version.  Most recipes use equal parts sugar and water and you just boil until it becomes a syrup.  Easy enough, but I prefer to limit sugar when I can, so I figured I’d give it a try using honey – a little bit better for you and perhaps I could use less.  Turns out it was super simple.  So easy it’s sad that I didn’t start making my own sooner: Better for you Simple Syrup 2/3 cup honey 1 cup water Mix honey and water in a pan and heat at medium high, stirring constantly until completely mixed.  About 5 minutes should do it.  Do not boil.  Cool and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. This does change the taste of some of your cocktails, but since I like honey, I think the taste change is for the better.  Later this week, I’ll do a quick Google+ Hangout with recipes for a few of my favorite summer cocktails using this simple syrup.  So, make a batch and join me Friday, May 20th at noon for cocktail hour! Have you gotten your FREE copy of my 3-day Refresh?  It’s a great way to start feeling healthier and happier right away!  Get...

Do you need a new vantage point?

Recently I was reading an issue of Southern Living magazine, and I came across an article with some advice for landscaping.  There was a paragraph in this article about providing different vantage points in yard.  In other words, finding small spots in your yard to enjoy a different view or to invoke a different feeling. For some reason, that idea of a different vantage point got stuck in my brain.  I started to think about how we could and should often have different vantage points for our lives. Think about that for a second. How fabulous would it be to be able to view any aspect of your life differently?  Especially areas that trouble or stress you out.  Guess what?  You can totally do this. Let me give you an example: First Vantage Point:  “My evenings are crazy!  I’m so busy hauling kids around to their practices that I don’t have time to get ANYTHING else done.  Forget healthy dinners, exercise and a clean house – I spend all my time in the car and when we finally get home all I want to do is veg and then go to sleep!” Alternate Vantage Point:  “Wow, I am so lucky to have a flexible job that allows my kids to participate in sports they love.  And I can accomplish a lot of work, exercise or just relax with a book while they are doing their thing!” See that twist?  Same situation – different vantage point.  I know which one I want to see.  By coming at the situation from the second viewpoint, you’ll create a positive vibe and a...

Get Outside and Play

I’m so happy that Spring is here and the weather has warmed up.  There is nothing lovelier than enjoying that first cup of coffee on the screened in porch before I jump into my day.  In addition to starting my day with fresh air, I really like to get outdoors and play!  Being active and exercising is so much easier when it’s fun – when it feels like playing. As kids, we naturally spent free time playing outdoors when the weather was nice.  These days, few things warm my heart more than seeing my kids outside after school playing kickball or wiffle ball, wading in a creek or riding their bikes – hair streaming behind them. When did WE stop playing? Why? What’s stopping us from starting to play again? Maybe for you it’s been so many years that you don’t even know where to start.  Maybe you feel like you don’t have time.  Maybe you just feel too “grown-up” to spend free time playing.  Regardless of your why, I want you to GET. OVER. IT. Think back to when you were a kid – what did you love to do?  What was your favorite kind of play?  Guess what?  I bet you can still do it – still incorporate it into your life and enjoy the benefits of fun, exercise and letting loose with play. When I asked myself these 3 questions, I realized that as a kid, I was always riding my bike, hiking in a nearby park or roller skating.  All three of these are GREAT forms of exercise and totally doable. Last week I dusted off...

Adore Your Wardrobe

Okay, I don’t think I have EVER promoted a program with an entire blog post about it before, but I recently finished this course myself and LOVED it.  It was a ton of fun, informational and one I can totally recommend! Since so many of you readers are busy moms like me – ones who have so much going on that there is little time for thinking about what you are going to wear – let alone being fashionable doing it, I think this course would be perfect! Although I have always tried to look nice, and used to be super into fashion (heck one of my first jobs was as a retail buyer!), lately I’d gotten lazy.  Mostly around accessories – it just seemed like too much work.  Sure, I usually planned my outfits the night before and didn’t default to workout clothes most days, but I certainly didn’t put a lot of thought into creating new outfits or adding fun accessories. This course is FULL of terrific information about what you should be wearing for your body type (and what body type you are!), as well as specific modules around jeans, tops, accessorizing, etc.  Really good stuff.  What turned out to be the most useful for ME was that I was excited about looking good again.  I had fun trying new combinations, adding those accessories (with a simple formula), and I LOVE the Facebook group.  Not sure if something is good for you?  Post a picture and get the expert advice and encouragement of the other members.  LOVE IT! This course is opening up again  – registration is...
April 2016 Book Reviews

April 2016 Book Reviews

April was Spring Break for us, so that meant lots of fun novel reading by the pool!  There was also a lot of reading on my kindle in the car too, AND cuddled up on the couch at home since it was COLD when we returned.  In other words, lots of great opportunities to read!  HERE is the list of everything I read, and below are my favorites: FICTION What a lovely book!  This one had been on my radar for a while and when I saw a $1.99 sale to get it on my Kindle, I snapped it up.  The book is written mostly as a series of letters Sam writes to her anonymous benefactor who calls himself Mr. Knightley.  Sam’s letters are personal, thoughtful and very introspective – something most people would write in a private diary.  Although I was pretty sure I knew how the story would turn out, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey to get there!  My rating 4.5 out of 5. The Hypnotist’s Love Story: A Novel was the perfect book to enjoy while lying by the pool, drink at hand.  The day before we left for Spring Break I realized I had a $10 credit to Barnes & Nobles that was going to expire while we were away.  Since there was no way I was letting that go to waste, I ran over on my lunch hour to try to find something I’d like to buy.  While browsing the paperback display I saw this novel, recognized the author and that I had enjoyed several of her previous books and picked it up.  Turned out...
Ready to Actually USE Essential Oils?

Ready to Actually USE Essential Oils?

Earlier in the month, I shared a post on why I love Young Living Essential Oils.  I also held a Google+ Hangout to share my favorite oils – the ones I use every day along with HOW I use them.  Just in case you missed that session, I recorded it and am sharing it below – so check it out! Want more oily goodness?  Check out my Facebook page – I’ve been posting a little bit about each of the oils included in the starter kit each day.  If you decide to get started and order a kit, this will give you some great ideas on how to use each one! If Young Living sounds like the oil company for you, check out more info on this page or contact me.  The group I work with has SO. MUCH. KNOWLEDGE.   Any questions you have – the answers can be easily found within the...
5 Easy Ways to Live a Little “Greener”

5 Easy Ways to Live a Little “Greener”

In a nod to Earth Day this week, I thought I’d share a few easy ways to live a little greener – and as a bonus, most of these ideas are also healthier for you! Reusable bottles – this is SO simple to do.  I keep all our reusable bottles in the wine rack above our “drink station” so it’s easy to grab a bottle, fill it up with water and go. Oils for scents versus store bought plug-ins.  Almost daily I run a diffuser or two with a few drops of an essential oil and water.  Better for the environment (less packaging and chemicals) and still leads to a delicious smelling house!  A mix of Thieves and Cinnamon Bark is my current favorite. Paper scraps.  Next to my desk I have a big basket for recycled paper – scraps left over from cutting out something I printed, sheets that only had one side printed on them but the other side is blank, etc.  Anytime I need a piece of paper for a quick list, note taking or the kids want a sheet for drawing, we grab from the basket.  Less paper use = more trees for our environment. Buy used.  Not everything obviously, but if you need something, why not first see if you have something already that will suffice, and if not, consider buying it used – often you’ll save money too! Buy local.  This is a favorite of mine – especially when it comes to food.  Buying local eliminates the need for food transportation and as an added bonus the food is fresher and tastier.  It’s...

Looking for a New Yoga Mat?

Yoga is something I am passionate about.  I do twenty minutes of yoga almost every morning.  Why?  Because when I’m consistent, it keeps my shoulders loose, I have less pain, and feel healthier and calmer all day long. At home, sometimes I use a yoga mat and sometimes I don’t.  However, if I take a class at a gym or when I travel I always take a mat with me. There are so many yoga mats out there, and they all look pretty much the same, so it’s difficult to understand the differences.  Yet, there ARE differences.  If you are looking for a new mat, HERE is a great resource to help you find the right one for you and for YOUR practice. What I love about this site (Reviews.com), is that they do intense research.  When they looked at yoga mats, they researched and tested over 30 different mats, spent over 50 hours researching and consulted with yoga professionals. Along with suggestions on the top mats for purchase, the reviewer goes through what you should look for in a mat and gives a more in-depth review on her top picks. So, if you are in the market for a new yoga mat, check out The Best Yoga Mat from Reviews.com.  I’ve bookmarked it and when I’m ready to treat myself to an updated mat, I know just which one I’ll buy! As a wellness coach for Professional working moms, I know how hard it can be to fit something like yoga into your schedule.  When we work together, we will figure out what is missing from your life and how to make your...

I’ll Have the Salad Please

“Is it smart/healthy to order a salad for my restaurant meal?” This is a question I often get from my clients – so I thought I’d answer it here on the blog for everyone! My answer?  It depends. Don’t you hate that answer?  Me too, so I’m going to go into a lot more specifics and even share a .pdf cheat sheet for you at the end of this post. A salad can be an excellent choice for a meal.  Especially if you can do a little customization.  What do I mean by that?  If you think more veggies, more color and less fat, you are well on your way to a healthier salad. When you are ordering a salad in a restaurant, here are some things to add and avoid: Your salad base:  make sure the salad has a variety of greens – the darker green the better.  If it has spinach or kale as part of the greens, that’s a bonus.  Or try adding cabbage as a lettuce alternative – it’s fun to change it up! The colors:  the more colorful your salad is (a variety of different colored vegetables included), the healthier your salad.  Aim for at least three vegetables in different colors (ex:  carrots, cucumber and red peppers). Extras:  fruit is a great addition to your salad as are nuts & seeds (in small quantities); beans are fantastic – full of fiber and therefore filling without lots of extra calories or fats.  Go easy on the meat and olives, these items should be a garnish, not the main part of the salad. Cheese:  If you love cheese...

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