Rediscovery and Positivity While Staying Home

Right now we are living in an unprecedented time. With all of the changes and restrictions I want my next few posts to be positive and easy breezy. I am not going to school, I am not in my regular routine and I am trying my best to see or feel all the positive take aways from virus, restricted living.

In preparation for our containment or house bound lifestyle I did some food shopping. Most of us were stocking up on things we might need or want to make the foreseeable future enjoyable. Seeing that we are typically a prepared and stocked household, I did not need to involve myself with the TP frenzy. Thankfully. I tried to think of some fun and yummy things to buy.

My pharmacy was making and selling hand sanitizer.

I recently bought a case of chips for my child’s school. I made cute labels and popped a case of crunchy snacks in the faculty room for Valentine’s Day. Because I was so busy I ordered them from Amazon and because Amazon loves to remind me of purchases for reorder, these chips popped into my feed a couple of weeks ago. Perfect timing when you are dooms day food shopping.

I decided to grab another chip selection. Click, click, done! Mini chip bags were on their way. Upon their arrival I thought I might hear a comment to two from my hubs, because I am very sure he does not eat one of the flavors. I figured I would just eat them. Ever since going gluten free I love chips, so the sour cream and onion chips were going to be consumed eventually.

I have discovered a new love for this flavor. Before last week I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a sour cream and onion chip….but since our home stay I have had a few bags. This leads me to my first positive coronavirus take away.

Sour Cream and Onion Chips

I tried something that I wouldn’t normally eat. A reintroduction to something I thought I had an opinion about. This got me thinking about how I need to retry, redo or reexamine things in my life.

These are very deep, thought provoking chips!!!

It got me thinking…”What else am I closed off too?

So for the upcoming weeks I am going to try to look for the possible positives. Try to take time to reflect on how this current crisis is shaping me. Think of ways to make the most of this unwelcomed internment.

If you are at home and just chilling…maybe take a look at my site, read some older posts?! I always welcome feedback. You can follow and like this post , if you are so inclined.

I hope you are following the safety precautions and keeping yourself mentally and physically well.

Yogaversary

Summer 2019

Today is my Yogaversary!!! I started my path to self care and wellness one year ago. I am so surprised at how I have stuck with this. I have tried things on and off over the years….like most of us, but this is my jam.

I am happy to roll out my mat and do the work!

I post my feet on my mat before almost every class…honoring myself for showing up!

I love seeing my progress. I sometimes shock myself, because I was a workout serial killer. I would try something for a bit….and then I would let it die:

  • Equipment
  • Videos
  • Memberships
  • Classes
  • Programs
Photo provided by Vibe Yoga Lab

There was nothing wrong with any of these ways to get fit, except they didn’t feed my soul. I know many of the options out there are effective and people who are consistent look and feel great. I think the key to sticking with anything or having passion about something you do, is it needs to speak to you.

That first vinyasa class spoke to me and I still hear the call.

I love the yoga community I have found. I love cheering on others who grow and improve their practice. I am now practicing in a new place with different faces and the above statements ring true for my new classes. Feeling supported and pushed at the same time is essential for growth.

Photo provided by Vibe Yoga Lab

I almost thought that I was just going to do home yoga because my first teacher left. This was a bit heartbreaking, but I continued on. It almost felt like a break up, which I know seems a tad crazy to say, but upon reflection, I think it was a fear of loosing something that sparked something inside me I was totally unaware of.

The replacement instructor was lovely but nothing spoke to me or fed my soul, so I went searching….thank goodness I did. I did not give up looking for the right fit (instructor and class), even though I was nervous to try again, to be the new person in class or to open myself up to strangers. I have found my tribe-my vibe tribe.

First time trying this….it was for a challenge.

I can do hard things!

I love who and where I practice now. I hear what I need. I feel what I need to feel. I show up to class (in all kinds of weather) and I show up for myself. I even did a 15 day challenge, as I was recovering from the flu! I say this not because I think I am this amazing yogi, but because I am committed to myself.

January 2020….progress from the summer !

There is a January post if you are interested. I apologize for all the poses in pajamas. I was just not motivated to worry about how I looked. I was determined to get in the pose intagame…even if I did hack and wheeze between every attempt. I would never have done this with other forms of exercise before-that flu would have permanently derailed one of the above mentioned workouts.

March 2020
Photo by Vibe Yoga Lab

I love this path I am on. It is exciting to think about where I will be next year. I am hoping, in this very interesting climate we are living in, that you are on a beautiful path of discovery. Doing something that is filling you up and keeping you motivated. Self care is important.

If you want to stay updated with my progress, you can check out my Instagram stories. I post weekly. It keeps me accountable and I love to promote my studio.

On a funny side note…when I was previewing this I laughed at the pictures, not the poses, but the outfit!!! I seem to love it. Haha. Those camo leggings. Anyways, if you enjoyed this post please like or follow me here on my page OR you can always check out what I am doing on my social media accounts.

Namaste.

Audibles Are Changing My Groove

How do you drive??? My new obsession, while I’m accumulating milage, is listening to books. I used to listen to a book every once in a while, via CD. I have know about Amazon Audibles for a while now, but I didn’t really embrace it until we decided to get unlimited data. Now I am an audio book eating machine.

Oh and I am getting nothing from Amazon…I am just genuinely pumped how this is making my work day better.

I first started with a book club book because I thought I could get those “pages” completed while I drive from school to school. I totally thought this was awesome mom juggling, but unfortunately our book selection was Where the Crawdads Sing. This book is a fantastic story, but not one for the school day. I found it to be a very emotional story. I was sort of bummed out going from school to school. I recommend this highly praised and purchased book if you are not a total over thinker like me. I let myself get lost in books and characters, sometimes to a fault, so my lack of desire to push play is no reflection on the text.

As someone recently pointed out to me I like being a problem solver, so giving up audio books was not an option. I needed to find the right stories for my stop and go school day. I have been selecting titles that range from sweet and sentimental Hallmark-ish stories to nail biting, gasping out loud thrillers. I am finding these types of titles fill my rides with pure delight.

I love this cover…makes me want to wander a museum.

The Dutch House was a fantastic book. I love the cover and once I pressed play, I couldn’t get enough. I was incredibly delighted to realize Tom Hanks narrates the book….he is the perfect voice to tell the ups and downs of this unique family. Being a sister to a younger brother I could very much connect to the characters codependent relationship and struggle for survival among adults who seems to make interesting life choices.

This thriller was very good. The two women who narrated this web of lies and deceit were perfect. I could not relate to either of these characters…well except for they are women, but regardless this was a book I could get lost in and it made the routine itinerant drive spicy!

I was on a thriller/mystery kick for a bit and this book did not disappoint. This was my first book by Lisa Jewell. I do not think it will be my last. I very much enjoyed the British narrator. It took me a few beats to get used to her tone, rhythm and inflection, but once I was channeling my inner Mary Poppins or Eliza Doolittle, I couldn’t wait to see where this story was going to go. If you enjoy reading about messy, less than perfect characters…give this a listen or read.

This was a light, quick chic flick “read”. I laughed, caught myself talking outloud and could genuinely relate to this modern day busy mom. Amy Blyer’s life is a tad different from mine, but I think any working mom can relate to the struggle to be super mom, super wife and still hold onto a bit of who you think your are or once were, before acquiring new titles. I really liked this book and was very happy to see I could pick up a free book from Kelly Harms.

Every time I see the cover I salivate and want to eat pie!!!

This was my freebie with my Amazon Audibles membership. It is a quick little novella. The story was not as funny as The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, but I kept listening. It tugged at heart strings, without taking me down a overthinkers rabbit hole. It took a day or 2 of driving to zip through.

I think because this is something I am loving and because I am pumped every time I listen to a new selection, I am going to start to post smaller posts…easier to read and digest, about my ever growing library. If you are a reader or a listener I hope you look for my posts. I’ll also take recommendations.

You can always like or comment to a post. And if you wanna follow me there is a link to follow as well. If you are reading this on your phone…scroll to the bottom. If you are on a computer the side menus have all the ways to connect, plus updates to my photo gallery.

Smonday

I saw this little pin and thought to myself this is a funny but true statement. I am not sure who thought of this phrase, but thank you. This is spot on for how I feel most Sundays.

Do you ever get a case of the Smondays?

I clearly do and I think I need to find some sort of remedy for this feeling. I know exactly when it starts to kick in…4:30ish every Sunday night. Just before the reality of making dinner. Just before I start the Sunday night routine. There is no getting out of dinner or the Sunday night checklist, but I started to think about how I could small changes, that might reset my mind and alleviate that Smonday feeling.

Start with Saturday

I love Saturday. No alarm. Morning yoga. These two things make me happy and kick off the weekend with a smile. A cozy cup of coffee in peace and quiet is also a relaxing way to get my Saturday started.

While I was enjoying my bit of caffeinated peace and quiet, I started thinking what can I do on Saturday that I would typically do on Sunday. What chores or activities can I do a day early to mentally fake myself out.

Dinnertime

  • Pack backpack(s)
  • Laundry
  • Set out/plan outfit for Monday
  • Put stuff in the car for my work week
  • Tidy up my car
  • Laundry

I try to make a nice make a nice dinner on Sunday. I typically have more time and feel like it is a way to set us up for a good week, however this often backfires. Many a roasted chicken has had to listen to cranky conversations, a child who doesn’t want to eat the meal I have slaved over or it is eaten quickly because one of us is feeling pressured to do something in preparation for Monday!

Also, because I usually try to make it nice….because I enjoy cooking and setting a nice table, it has started to look and feel like our last meal. Zero pressure….right?

Last, we talk about the upcoming week. The upcoming activities, meetings, appointments and logistics in chauffeuring the child around for the weekend. It seems perfectly reasonable and a good use of time, but in reality I think it adds a cloud of stress over the dining table.

So, I think Sunday night dinners need a reboot.

  • No weekly planning pow wow.
  • No elaborate meal or new recipes…I have time for this in the summer.
  • No expectations-just eating

Sunday Night Chilling

Once dinner is over and cleaned up I think it is time to chill out. Whatever that might look like, my hope is it will feel amazing. Ending the weekend doing nothing or something fun with my peeps seems like heaven.

Possible Ways to Chill/ Decompress:

  • Game Night
  • Reading
  • TV
  • Watch a movie
  • Family walk
  • Workout
  • Baking
  • Crafts
  • Home spa treatments

My hope and wish is to get into a new Sunday routine and never have a case of the Smondays again. Nobody wants a case of the Smondays! Here’s to sensational Sundays. Sundays that sooth the soul and set us up for our week.

You can always email me, follow or like my post.

Leaping Foward

I can’t remember if I even thought about leap year four years ago, but as I am writing this I can say I don’t think I did. I am very sure I gave it a few seconds thought and was looking forward to March 1st.

Where were you four years ago?

My home and family are pretty much the same as they were four years ago. I take great comfort in knowing we are overall happy and healthy. We were and still are doing all of the things that young families do: work, school, church, activities, family functions, and planning for the future.

Even with all of our blessings and happiness, four years ago I was in a much different placeā€¦.mentally. I was sick all the time and very stressed. I spent alot of time being angry and frustrated with myself.

It is hard to be happy or support others when you can barely feel good about yourself.

Since the last leap year alot has changed. I am feeling great. My body and mind has gone through alot of positive changes and growth. Now that I know I have Celiac and how to live with it, I have alot more mental free space to focus on things other than how crappy I feel/felt. I still have days where I throw a pity party for myself….like when I smell and see something I can not eat, but typically I am becoming used to my new life style. This is a good thing….actually an amazing thing.

I am now moving-yoga.

I am now working harder-TpT store and blogging.

I have made new friends and connexions, while still staying connected to old friends.

I really couldn’t rank these three things in any specific order. They are sort of all equally important and significant at this stage of my life and they all sort of came about in the same window of time. There is a commonality they all share…something I have been thinking about alot lately.

Growth and Support

I have been trying to support the new friends I have made through new endeavors. I have been trying to support friends I have had for years. I now have the headspace to really think about how I can lift other people up. I want to be a mini cheerleader for all of the women I know who are making things happen in there professional life, as well as their personal life.

These lady hustlers are awesome. Some are starting new businesses, going back to school, and making mini shifts in their career. Others are growing their side hustles. I think it is very interesting how many women I know have a main job and a side job….which I suspect might bring them more personal fulfillment.

I find their risk taking inspiring.

I am loving this phase of life right now. I feel more open and ready for possible and positive changes. I am definitely looking before I leap this year. Not with fear or hesitation, but with a purposeful, conscious, and grateful heart.

I am excited to think about what life will bring until the next leap year.

Until then I am going to keep on this path of positivity. I am going to continue to promote and fly the flags of all the hard working women I know. I am going to try to keep myself open to new adventures.

Happy Leap Day!

I you like this post you can always officially like it, follow or share.

I also wanted to add that I adore these illustrations. I find them on Pinterest and she has an Instagram page as well.

@callyjanestudio

Love Crafted

I love how we as a society are now promoting kindness.

February is the shortest month and quite possibly the sweetest. I adore how many hearts and messages of kindness kiss the halls of my schools. Love, kindness and friendship are very much in the air.

I am often inspired by the teachers I work with and what I see when I am hustling in and out. Seeing teachers promote kindness and allowing students to be self reflective is wonderful-but it started to make me feel like I needed at incorporate a little of that into my plans.

Lovebug

I had my students stick ripped pieces to the heart as they listened for prompts related to their goals. I love watching how they placed the pieces and which colors they selected. Sometimes asking them to be creative or free with choice is difficult for them. I too love routine, order and strive to provide clear expectations for my students-which I must do, because they were shocked we were ripping the paper…gasp.

We all were stepping out of our comfort zone.

These are completed by my students.

I am trying to slow sessions down and incorporate more creativity.

I include myself when I say this, but we (teachers) put alot of rigor into our lesson plans and can get caught up in the data. There is alot expected in a day. I know my students are working harder than their hearing peers, so I need to design well paced and designed activities that are not a “drill and kill” style. I also see that the way my students internalize language is often literal, so they just want to be told what to do.

Creating lessons and activities at the primary level, that allow for free choice are vital. My goal is… free thinking will connect and support them when we ask the “why” questions and ask them to infer or predict. Skills that are essential as they grow as learners.

I want them to take risks with their answers, be brave and confident in their knowledge.

Who fills your heart?

I loved these. Of course the teacher was focused on the writing piece….which is obviously important, but who and what these children drew is what captured my attention. Everyone should have a full heart.

I had high hopes for doing more crafty or artsy activities with my littles in February, but it did not work out. The week before our winter break was filled with schedule changes and I think my love of children’s literature overshadowed crafty activities. You can read about some of those activities in a previous post (Valentine’s Lessons and Activities). I know I was hitting goals and planning engaging activities, but I need to try harder to get the creative, risk taking juices flowing!

March is a new month…days away and I am gearing up this week to infuse some thematic craftiness into my plans. I will be connecting any and all activities to children’s books-of course, pulling out some of my favorites and looking for new ways to use them. Maybe if I have time I will create new ideas and post them to Teachers Pay Teachers.

Trying to grow and keep things fresh.

If you like this post or any of the others on my blog you can always follow me and you will be notified when I put up a new post.

Thanks for reading!!!

Winter Blues and Semi-Green Thumbs

Living in the northeast is great because we get four seasons and I wouldn’t change that. However, winter is not my favorite season and somehow it feels like the longest. I do my best to push through every year, but it seems like every winter….the older I get…I reach this point where I need something to push my soul through to spring.

This winter I decided I needed a little green in my life. My mini and I bundled ourselves up and headed out to get some new plants. Nothing fancy, I am not Mrs. Green Thumb.

We looked around and decided to try succulents. I have never tried to grow or care for, but they seem to be the Instagram rage, so why not. We only grabbed two. At this point we figured it would be kinder to just experiment with one each.

We selected an aloe plant too. I have never grown one, but my gut was telling me to get this spiky, green beauty. Fingers crossed it does well and I eventually need to give it a bigger home.

We next selected pots for our mini collection. I love color and always gravitate towards it, but the universe and garden center had a better plan for me….white. I already had a white pot at home that was once the keeper of a mini rose bush and was not long for our home….sadly. So, keeping with this fresh and neutral palette was very easy. We selected containers for our succulent friends and headed home to pot them up.

Planting them up was very easy and quick.

  • Fresh bag of soil
  • New pots
  • Small pebbles
  • Water

We filled the bottoms with a small amount of pebbles for drainage. Popped in the plants and added some water. Super simple and super fun.

Ta da!!!! Here is our little green collection. It felt good to get a little dirt under our fingers after feeling suffocated by mittens and gloves. Now we needed to put them somewhere. This probably took the longest.

We decided to place them on the hearth. I sit in this room every morning and have my coffee. What better way to start the day then to gaze upon some greenery.

My hope is this little bit of Mother Nature will trick my brain into believing spring is really around the corner, giving Old Man Winter an eviction notice.

This was a lovely way to spend a cold February day off from school.

What gets you through the winter blues???

You can always drop me a line, like this post or follow my page.

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