Early Mornings Make Me Happy

That first sip of hot coffee, a cuddly blanket with a warm kitty curled up at my feet.  Add in my current reading material, and THAT is the perfect way to start my day.  Once I have a few moments of easing into the day in that manner, I am ready to do some yoga or pilates, work on a personal project and get ready with plenty of time to spare. How I love a great start to the day. Getting up early to enable such a perfect morning routine is a struggle for me, but the days I am successful are ALWAYS better days.  I’m more productive, less stressed and just plain enjoy life more. And since enjoying life and creating a healthier and happier life is exactly what I promote here, I thought I’d share one of my favorite resources to help you create a better start to YOUR day: I’ve taken the online course myself and gleaned quite a bit of useful information.  This time around, Crystal is doing a live version – for extra motivation.  The class starts April 9th and registration ends then, so if you think you need a little push in improving YOUR mornings, sign up soon!  I’ll be participating and I’d love to have you join me!  Go check it out HERE. What makes up the perfect morning for you?  I’d love for you to share in the comments!...

Create a Special Day

Feeling a bit overwhelmed lately?  Too busy to have fun or enjoy yourself?  Then this is exactly when you need to create a special day.  There are three steps to the process – all of which are fun and will immediately improve your mood. Look at your calendar and pick a date you can take a few hours away from everything that SHOULD be done.  Ideally take a whole day off.  If your life is anything like mine, this date might be a few weeks from now, but you CAN make the time.  Block it off on your calendar and if anything comes up, simply say “Sorry, but I can’t do XXX on that date, I already have something scheduled.” Now spend some time between your chosen date and today dreaming. What do you enjoy?  What fuels your soul?  Grab a notebook or open a folder on your phone and jot down your ideas.  Need some inspiration?  How about time in a coffee shop reading?  Browsing stores?  Taking a long and relaxing bath?  Going for a walk in the woods?  A lovely lunch alone or with a friend?  A movie?  Working on a hobby you love but can never get to?  Once you have your list, think realistically about how much time you have blocked off and pick a few things.  This planning time can be almost as fun as the actual day!!! Enjoy your special day. The great thing about this day is that it’s tailored just for you – it’s full of things you love and enjoy.  By the end of the day you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to plunge back into the...
Tuesday Challenge – Enjoy some green tea!

Tuesday Challenge – Enjoy some green tea!

This week’s challenge is relaxing and enjoyable!  I love those, don’t you? This week I challenge you to enjoy some green tea! In the summer I consume lots of water, but come fall I start craving something warm and comforting.  Although there is nothing like that first sip of coffee in the morning,  much as I’d love to, I just can’t drink it all day long.  So, Thank You Tea! Green tea is a great beverage to enjoy when you need a break, need something to warm you up, or just need a little pick me up.  It does contain some caffeine, but not as much as coffee, so many people who are sensitive to caffeine can still handle green tea. Green tea is actually made from the same leaves as black tea, but it has less processing than black or oolong.  With green tea, the leaves are just dried or lightly steamed versus fermented.  Thanks to this minimal processing, the antioxidants are more potent. Speaking of those antioxidants . . . Green tea is full of flavonoids (antioxidants) which numerous studies have shown to benefit our health.  These antioxidants may help fight cancer (as several studies have suggested they can regulate and inhibit cancer growth), fight heart disease (the flavinoids in green tea may improve the flexibility of blood vessels so they are less likely to clog).   I’ve even seen studies that allude that green tea can assist in anti-aging. Although these are legitimate studies, I have to caution you that I’m not a doctor and certainly can’t prescribe tea as a cure for cancer or heart disease! ...
An Easy, Healthy After School Snack!

An Easy, Healthy After School Snack!

As soon as my kids walk  into the house afterschool I start hearing the complaints “I’m hungry” or “I’m starving!”  I don’t want to feed them junk nor do I want them to fill up and not eat their dinner.  So, my solution is usually a little snack plate. It’s a very simple formula (versus actual recipe) and can be manipulated to whatever you have on hand.  This is also a great way to use up bits of food left over from lunches and dinners. Fruit + Vegetable + Healthy Fat/ Protein Just to prove how quick this is, I decided to time today’s snack.  I started at 3:48 and had two plates of goodies completed at 3:51.  So even with a few more minutes to clean up, this wasn’t very time-consuming.  Plus, while I had the veggies and fruits out, I went ahead and cut up and packed part of tomorrow’s lunch before I put them away! Here is what today’s snack looked like:  1 peach, peeled and sliced, small slice of watermelon, a few cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden and a few pieces of grass-fed sharp white cheddar.  Simple, healthy and filling.  The fruit andveggies are full of antioxidants and vitamins and the healthy fat from the cheese will help keep them full until dinner is ready. Any fruits and veggies would work – mix it up everyday for variety.  If you don’t have cheese on hand, yogurt, hummus, nuts or seeds would  be great protein/ fat options.  This snack could also be prepared ahead of time and enjoyed in the car or on the...
How to connect and save money!

How to connect and save money!

“Tea for two, and two for tea” . . .  are you singing that song yet?  I know, irritating isn’t it? Yet there is some real truth in that little ditty.   Taking a few minutes in the middle of the day to “break for tea” is a great way to connect, relax and interact. I push water as our drink of choice, but every once in a while I’ll bring out my specialty teas, select a favorite, pull out the mugs or tea cups, grab a few treats and we’ll have a little tea party. The kids love it if I surprise them with one after school,  or pull out all the stops on a rainy or snowy Sunday afternoon.  Since I often pick up interesting teas on sale or even on vacation (a great inexpensive souvenir), I have a nice variety and this little treat costs very little to pull off. Tea also has some health benefits.  Tea contains amino acids, antioxidants and minerals.  Much better for you than a soda! Sitting down with your family (or even just by yourself) over a hot cup of tea is a great way to relax, do something good for yourself and enjoy a special moment in the day without spending a fortune in time or money. Don’t forget to check out my new e-course “Menu Planning Made Easy.”  It’s a great way to save money, time and improve your health each week! In less than an hour, you can be a menu planning PRO! Shared on Life as Mom...

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