Posted in Family Life, Positive Life

Boo to You

This is for sure the strangest Halloween I have ever had. Instead of thinking about all the things that aren’t or won’t….I am wishing you a spooktacular weekend!!

I hope you find ways to celebrate- if that is your thing. I wish you a batty good time. Throw on a scary movie, eat some candy and sip some cider.

I put a costume together for my mini me. I am usually making a scary something, but this year she wanted a game character. She plays a game called Among Us. I have no clue, but momma tries to deliver. I made a mask that she can wear with the costume…which is a cyan hoodie and pants. Pure comfort for a covid Halloween at school.

There is no way she can survive a day with this mask, but in spurts she can character up. She will supplement with a typical mask. We are just trying to make the most of things.

I am still loving my yoga skeletons. These will totally be put away in a few days, but they are totally fun. I think I need to find some yoga Santas or reindeer.

So thankful Halloween is on a Saturday. This is every teacher or parents dream. Last year I remember dragging myself and child to school. Sunday will be filled with football and naps!

We are ready to hand out some candy….at a proper distance and watch the jack-o-lanterns glow under a full moon. 2020 has been proven to be very tricky, hopefully we coast into November with only leftover treats!

Happy Halloween

Posted in Gluten Free Life, Positive Life, Teaching Life

Fall 2020 Vibes

October is almost over and things have been smooth. We all are in good health, school has been manageable and I have been able to enjoy some of the typical Fall things that bring joy. I know so many of us are over all the things that have been weighing us down, so this post is a hodgepodge of positivity.

Getting the pumpkins for the porch was very important. I love pulling up to my house after an exhausting day at school and seeing the colors of Fall. Fall is my favorite season, so I am soaking up all of its beauty.

I had to get all the colors this year. Typically I go with a couple of mums, but this year I felt the more the better. I thankfully found ones reasonably priced. I may love the look, but I am still going to be thrifty.

We are taking full advantage of the cooler temps. Walks are still important for our mental and physical health. It has been fun getting out and seeing what our neighbors have done to celebrate Fall or Halloween.

I have turned into a two cups of coffee a day person. I have only had a morning cup for years, but with the challenges this school year has brought….I need an afternoon pick me up. Of course I am going to enjoy my liquid sunshine in a festive and seasonal mug. Finding the joy in simple things.

Baking is something that brings me joy, relaxation and sadly unwanted calories. This was an apple crisp I made, gluten free of course. I think this one was a total success. I did what I always do for the apple mixture, but the topping is where I got creative and think was a total win. I used gluten free pancake mix! I substituted the flour for the mix. I would love to post a full recipe, but I am a toss stuff together kinda gal, so I apologize, but if I make this again…which looks very likely, I will post the process.

When I think of all of the changes I have had to make this Fall, how I am teaching, what I am teaching and who I am teaching….I have needed to stop and smell the leaves. I was taking the dog out and took a moment to take in the simple beauty of my side yard. Taking in these tiny moments have helped my head and heart. Being overwhelmed seems to happen daily-for some reason or another, but remembering to give myself grace and stop to enjoy all the things that are around me has helped with my anxiety and my focus.

There are so many things out of my control right now. I think this is true for so many of us. Making healthy choices is getting me through my masked up, sanitized days.

These are fun to use….I just divide up the boards and leave a few on my students carts. The game is spread out, so I am not spreading germs.

Pacing myself with what I am teaching and not forgetting the fun has been something I have been thinking about quite frequently. Remembering I am not able to use materials the same way was a but of a downer when I started in September, but in the last couple of weeks I have had to make a shift and bring on the fun. Books make me happy, so fee nee titles to read to my littles has be a simple solution to things I felt were beyond me.

My littles love Splat!!!

I am also shopping my TpT store. Being so overwhelmed and I forgot about an activity I made last year. Someone purchased it and it jogged my memory to print ant use with my kiddos. Looking at resources I used to take from school to school…out of my bag…is no more, now I am looking at how I can repurpose, adjust and reinvent myself. All the while keeping it fun for the kids and myself.

Halloween fun throughout the house also helps elevate some of the outside world stressors. I hope that as you read this it gets your wheels moving and grooving in a positive direction. Find the joy in what you can, wherever you are.

Posted in Family Life, Positive Life

Patio Views

Trying to decompress can be tricky for me. My mind is always going. This is why I try to be present when I am doing yoga. I also try to be less thinking and more feeling when I spend time on my back patio.

It was a beautiful day. The temperature was perfect, there was a breeze and all the forest creatures were out in full force. I didn’t capture all of God’s creatures that made an afternoon visit, like all the birds and squirrels, but did capture a few.

This one is very persistent and keeps coming back to eat my garden.
These two were waiting in the wings for lunch….and I could see more in the trees.
This furry guest was on a step…must be a thrill seeker.
More forest friends.
I think this is a woodpecker.

These visitors were a lovely distraction from thinking about the upstart of school. We have enjoyed the outdoors more than ever this summer. I hear that from friends and family too. I think being cooped up really effected people and once we had better weather people made the mose of their outdoor spaces.

Feet up. Brain off.

I purchased a gas fire pit for my hubs, for Father’s Day. This is easy and smell free for a cozy night. No post fire shower required. I can not sleep on fire scented hair, so this is the perfect alternative for my prissy self. Also, it is easy to get going for those of us that were never a girl scout.

We still do a wood fire on nights were we need a s’mores pick me up. We have tried smores with the gas fire, but we love the taste of a wood fire, toasted marshmallow better. I love spending family time toasting and eating marshmallows, but I do not love the smelly, post fire hair. So we have a balance of woodsy fire and clean, easy fire pit nights.

I always set up a tray to take out. So much easier when everything is unwrapped.

If the bugs creep you, just cover up all of your fireside treats. I love using these silicone bowl covers. I have had this for years. I have two smaller ones as well. They were a gift and the have been fabulous.

Backyard afternoons and nights seem to be our jam this summer. We added an awning to our patio and this had made our outside time so much more enjoyable. I have loved morning coffee, yoga and just doing nothing.

This guy likes to fly between our yard and the neighbors.

We have really used this space. It is perfect for dinner or summer homework. Sometimes just being in a different space can change something tremendously. It has been easy to loose track of time and stop thinking about the world outside our door. A friend was over for a visit and said it felt like a wonderland. I’m glad she found a moment to take in the simplicity of the situation. I think we don’t realize how wrapped up we get in the hustle and bustle.

Afternoons reading and just sitting out looking at the squirrels prep for winter have been perfect this summer. Summer is winding down, but I think this will still be a family hangout as the temperatures drop and the leaves change. Anything that helps decompress and unwind is a good thing, so I definitely feel patio sweater weather will be a thing!

Posted in Positive Life

Shine Bright

The world is in a place of uncertainty due to the pandemic. America is definitely in a place of uncertainty and civil unrest today. This blog was never intended to be something to express political concerns or opinions….and with this post I am staying true to myself. So, no matter where you live or what political affiliations you have I hope you read on with an open mind and accepting heart.

I above all things promote positivity and compassion….love and peace….kindness and respect for all things living, so with my voice I am hoping and praying that people can come together, because what is happening in the streets is so far from anything I believe in. I have words, but at this moment I don’t have the words about what I am seeing and feeling, if that makes any sense. Violence is always difficult for me to process.

With this I say……

Choose to live in the light.

Be the light for others who are struggling.

Use your voice for the good.

Speak up for the oppressed and the powerless.

Educate, reflect and reevaluate how you participate as a citizen of the world.

To me everything here is just human….basic life foundations. These foundations need to be taught, promoted and internalized inorder to make real change. As a teacher I think I am doing ok at teaching and supporting my students. I need to do even more….we all can do more…be better. As a mother I know I do a solid job at teaching and instilling these basic fundamental principles, but I know I can do more, explain more and expose my child to more realities of the world. We always want to protect the children in our life, but age appropriate exposure to reality might help educate and foster a deeper understanding of real issues and struggles.

With the light comes the dark…we can not close our eyes and hope that everything will be ok. Let’s open ourselves up to being that bright light…and know there will be dark days where we need to shine our light a little more for others. It may be difficult, all the more reason to press on. It will be worth it. How could it not?

Be Well. Be Brave. Be the Light.

Posted in Positive Life

Shopping Local: Supporting Small Businesses

I think now more ever it is very important to shop local. Supporting small businesses in the community is essential.

Essential Items

Every Saturday we do a local produce box. I order it Monday and we grab it Saturday. Well, we don’t actually grab it, someone who is gloved and masked puts it in the back of our vehicle. It is a you get what you get kinda of situation. Every week is different and no substitutions. I like it. I have been getting creative with the weekly selections.

Essential for the Soul

When life gives you lemons….well or when you buy the two little cuties! These were a happy little must. A local store has really been using Instagram to promote their merchandise. These two caught my eye and I knew they needed a home.

The online ordering and curbside pick up was easy, germ free and stress free. They have made a home on a shelf that we all see everyday. Super cute visual reminder that we got this and there will be an upside.

Essential for a Sweet Tooth

These are heavenly. If you read my posts you know I am celiac. This gluten free bakery makes me happy. They had a promotion I jumped on. These little beauties were wrapped in plastic wrap and popped into our freezer.

I recently took one out for Mother’s Day and it was very good. So happy this store was able to stay open and provide GF options. I love baking, but I also love easy, so this fits the bill!

I ordered this cookie kit from another local bakery. These were not for me…sadly, because they were made with regular flour, but my people had fun decorating and munching a sweet treat. Cookies for days!

Essential Self Care

I ordered this really great facial kit from a local spa. Everything was labeled with complete and simple instructions. I love how I was able to order and she dropped it off on my porch. So many small businesses are going the extra mile to keep customers or get new customers.

Essential Messages

This is a tee I ordered from a local boutique. I think this message is very important right now. So many people are trying their best. The owner of the shop had these designed by a local tee shirt maker and then she posted them in her store.

I love this message….and I truly believe miracles can happen everyday!

Buying just a few things from local places or even online etsy shops has made me feel like I am helping out a small business. It is very easy to shop from bigger online retailers….and don’t get me wrong I do, sometimes that’s needed, but don’t forget about the little retailers and entrepreneurs. Buying small and local has made me feel good and hopefully helped those businesses during this very odd time are living in.

Posted in Positive Life

Bring On The Spring

I haven’t been super motivated to write this past week. Times are strange, I miss my typical routine and the weather has been iffy. However today is looking up!

The weather is beautiful and it was easy to head outside for fresh air and sunshine.

I have some ideas I am working on for school. Distance teaching has been very interesting. It has been an adjustment, but I am trying to roll with it! My hope is this week I will post my new resources and strategies for distance teaching and itinerants.

Until the words hit the page…I am wishing you a week of peace, positive vibes and productivity. Remember we are in this together and there is strength in numbers!

Posted in Positive Life

Sunshine and Crafting

The sun is out! Thought I would try to motivate myself and finish a project I started….well purchased a while ago. These are organizational bins for a little crafter I know. My mini and I shopped for the items in February, when we could push a cart in peace and safety.

Today we finally added the vinyl labels. She picked the font and colors. I used my Cricut to cut them. That might be one of my favorite techie items.

Now that these are packed and ready they just need to be dropped off!!! Seeing that we can still do drive bys and leave something on a porch, I figure it is now or….June when we can take them over.

These should help keep him organized and busy!!! Finding things to do can be a struggle these days. Kids need things that are not screen time.

I hope you are finding ways to fill all of the home time.

Posted in Positive Life

Tell Me Something Good

30 days. 30 days of social distancing. It has been an experience and it continues to be an adjustment. One thing that seems to be a weekly take away is people need people.

A small message can mean so much. I have been trying to reach out and be present with my tribe. Some people I naturally communicate with more, but for people I would typically see at my schools and places I frequent I am making a concerted effort to check in.

Ways to Check-in

  • Text
  • Call
  • Video
  • Meme
  • Pictures
  • Group thread
  • Email
  • Card
  • Letter
  • Care package

Be that person who makes an effort to connect.

I know it is tough to be positive, to be present, and to be productive when you are staying safe and staying home. Maybe you can’t be that ray of sunshine everyday, but if you can…shed your inner light on your tribe, your people. Doing good feels good. You’ll be feeding two souls at once.

Something to consider. I hope you are well. I hope this makes you stop and say hmmmmm??

Posted in Positive Life

5 Ways To Cope With Being Inside Right Now

Since work and home are not exactly normal these days I am trying to find a balance in how to make this the time positive, productive and peaceful. As a mother and a wife I am looking for things to do and ways to stay grounded for my people and myself. In this post I really wanted to focus on the five things I feel are working and pulling me through these weeks.

Reorganizing

In my last post I shared my newly reorganized closet. It took up some time to do and now when I step in, to put on a clean pair of yoga pants, I feel calm and can see everything. I am not getting dressed for work everyday, so putting things I am wearing, at home, in easier places to reach has been a help.

However fast or slow you go….you will get there and what gets done gets done.

I recommend starting small. Try one cupboard or drawer. Maybe that junk drawer needs a tidy. Even just rearranging the refrigerator can help. Seeing things the same day after day can be mind numbing. Switch up what your looking at.

Yoga

So many of us are finding ways to get fitness in. If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know yoga is my jam. I have been doing my own home practice and hopping online to take a classes from my teacher. This has been great for my mental health more than my physical. If yoga isn’t your thing maybe search to see what local gyms or studios are doing to keep going forward in this bizarre time.

This speaks to me on so many levels……

Netflix and Chill

I am trying to take this time at home in daily bits. Some days I have the energy to clean and organize. Some days the only thing I want to lift is the remote and a snack to my mouth. While trying to resist the snacks I will indulge in a bit of binging. Time clearly goes by and seeing that I was a bit behind on watching TV- finding the silver lining here, I am happily catching up on suspense and drama.

Here are a few things I am watching ….

  • Outlander
  • Jack Ryan
  • Harry Potter Marathons
  • Ozark
  • Key House
Chips and TV it is!!!!!

Walks

This has become our family exercise. We try, weather dependent, to get out and walk. It is basic, we are blessed we can still do this simple activity and it seems normal. It is not unusual for us to get out and walk together. My hubs likes to make sure he has gotten his steps in, so he is usually the catalyst for this time. We typically just do 1-2 miles in our neighborhood.

These messages of hope keep me looking forward.

Since this staying in, staying home and staying safe situation has become our new normal, we have been trying to kick it up a notch. I think many other people have been too. I have always thought we lived in a quiet and dull neighborhood, but with this current situation I have seen more people out than ever. Families with kids, couples, dogs and even a cat are getting as much fresh air as they can. Step counts are up!

Daily Connections

This is the thing that I think is important. So many of us are attached to our phones. We mindlessly scroll Instagram or Facebook. We use our phones to do work-emails, research and video calls/meetings.

I am choosing to stay as positive as I can…there will be crap days for sure, but they will pass and I can breathe knowing that.

I was almost getting really sick of my phone and I definitely think a daily timeout is healthy, but another thing I find to be helpful at this time is making sure I text or call atleast two people everyday….and not about work. I want to know how they are doing and possibly hear something funny. I have had a few great conversations lately, that made me laugh and remember why I love my tribe. Normally we are to busy to invest that amount of time, but we have time, so I’m using it!

Ways to Connect

  • Text
  • Phone call
  • Pictures
  • Group threads
  • Video calls…whatever format works for you. Facetime, Skype or Zoom.
  • Cards and letters
  • Send a gift or package
I see you. I know you are doing the best you can….keep doing that.

However you are getting through this time, I hope you are doing well and able to see the light at the end of this tunnel. Take time to breathe and do what feels right. If you feel like a mass purge or just sitting and hibernating know both of those things are okay. We are all in this together and there is no right way to feel or react. Be well and stay safe.

Posted in Positive Life

Reorganizing and Reevaluating While Being At Home

How many of us are trying to make the most of this very weird time off??? I know as I am walking in my neighborhood, to get a daily dose of air and steps, and while out I see the curb loaded with trash on garbage night. People seem to be taking advantage of the hours at home and are filling them with mass purging.

I know we have things in our basement that need to find a new home, but seeing that we are living a life of social distancing, none of the places we typically donate to are currently taking donations. With that reality we had to pump the breaks on purging, but reorganizing is still very doable. There are many areas in my house that I am reevaluating.

Are you reassessing things in your home?

I am not a professional organizer, but there are a few rules I try to follow when reorganizing. Questions to keep me going.

When was the last time I used this??

This is a question I first ask myself. I am a bit of a saver by nature, but as I have gotten older I find it is easier to part with things because I try to take the emotion out of things. If I haven’t used it in over a year I think about how likely I will use it in the future. If I pause and hesitate too long….time to rehome!

Sometimes this can be difficult if I think about who gave it to me or when I got it. There is that emotional part. I have learned that I need to stop and really think about how important it is to hold onto an item. I struggle at times because I know if someone gave me something they put in thought and care…that is the tricky part.

Reality Check

No matter who bought an item, including myself, I try to think about the need, the purpose and the value it holds in the grand scheme of my house and life. If I can not find solid, nonhoarder reasons -I need to let go. Hiding things in a closet, drawer or cupboard is not giving items a purpose or value. Guilt is not a reason to keep items. I am sure I could fill a page listing items I currently have or clung onto for this reason alone! It is okay to make room, release and move on from “things”.

Who could use this??

This is another question I ask myself or my people. I love passing things onto friends or family. As I have stated in previous posts I very much like variety, but our walls can’t contain all my phases and style mood swings. We pass on kid stuff all the time. It makes us feel good knowing we could give away things we enjoyed, and we hope they bring joy to friends as well.

Donate or Sell?

When getting ready to purge we often have this common conversation: Do we still need this? Who can use this? Do we donate? Do we sell it?

I can say more than 99% of the time we donate or give away. I know people who are very good at selling items they no longer need or want. I think it is great how they use different online outlets to post and sell. I am actually a little envious of how they manage it, but to my core I am not that person. I know I am not going to take the time to photograph, post, comment and set up a pick up. It is just easier to box up and donate. However if you do want to sell there awesome options online and local consignment stores.

Ignoring the Basement and Opening Closets

One of the easiest places to start reorganizing or purging is my closet. I am terrible at keeping it looking tidy and reorganizing happens biweekly, but a purge is another story. I did a massive overhaul 2 summers ago and it was liberating. I think most of us hold onto clothing items because we think:

  1. I will fit this again.
  2. I got this on sale.
  3. This was expensive.
  4. I could wear this again.
  5. What if I “need” this.

All of these statements we tell our selves can be true. You might wear it again or fit into those sale pants, but what are they doing for you now? Taking up space? Adding to physical and mental clutter? Stressing you out?

If you are ever like me and do the I have nothing to wear or I hate everything in my closet battle, it is time to reevaluate. Time to take a hard look at what gets worn and what gets removed. Seeing that many of us have extra time at home these days it is a perfect opportunity to edit closets and drawers.

Keep, Toss Or Donate

My closet is no different than other parts of my house I ask myself the same questions and start to refold, rehang or pitch items. If I know I really love a piece, it fits great, it is still in good condition or it is fairly new, it stays. Items that hit these categories are easy to keep physically and mentally, it is the items I pause on that go in piles on the floor.

  1. Garbage
  2. Donate
  3. Storage

I am sure professional organizers would agree with the first two, but wonder why a need for storage. Well, because. Because I still do battle with myself over items and don’t want to part with them. I get a storage container and pack them away. I have a basement and space isn’t an issue, so I carry down my questionable pieces, however I do set a time limit. I give the bin 1 year. If I don’t think about it, look for something or revisit the bin-that is my answer. Time to donate.

Once all of these steps are completed, my hope is I feel better, lighter and have a sense of accomplishment. Sort of seems silly in the grand scheme of things, but it works for me! Hopefully I can look in my closet and easily select something to wear…no more closet battle.

During this very odd and unique time finding the good in everyday can be a struggle. Finding mini projects helps me cope with this new, unwanted, restrictive freetime. I am moving on to my mini’s closet next and then maybe some cupboards and drawers that have been begging for a reboot.

I hope you are finding positive and uplifting ways to get through this time of staying home.

Posted in Positive Life

Neighborhood Sunshine

Since many of us are staying in, staying home, and practicing social distancing there have been a lot of changes happening. Like I stated in my last post…I am going to look on the bright side, so because I am walking the path of positivity I have been taking real walks in my neighborhood. It is not like I don’t normally walk in my neighborhood, but it is a bit more regular these days.

I’ve seen alot more people walking too. It is nice to see families out. Dogs and kids are getting their steps in. One thing I have seen is so many chalked sidewalks and driveways. I love how kids and adults are coloring my world.

My hope is if you are out and about….6 feet away from strangers or even friends, that you are seeing colorful creativity. We decided to get into the chalk game too. I sort of wish we could have had a Poppins moment, but this is our new reality-no carousel races and tea time with penguins are happening anytime soon.

However, we got this. We can get through this blip on our timeline. Seeing people’s positive pictures and phrases puts pep in my step. It gives me hope that maybe after all of this is over there will be a long lasting effect of community and kindness. An appreciation for simple, basic joy.

If you are inspired to color your outside world I would recommend chalk paint. We only had two colors, but after using it we want to make more colors. It was easy and less messy. We especially loved how it was vibrant and a bit more long lasting.

This was a gift….thankfully we rediscovered in the crafts!
  • Chalk powder
  • Water
  • Foam brush

This could totally be a diy project. Crush or grind up colored chalk into a powder. Add water. Our store bought was very liquidy. I would think maybe a 2 parts water to 1 part chalk.

Whether you use traditional sidewalk chalk or try some chalk paint I am sure any cheerful pictures or messages will be welcomed and uplifting to those who walk by. We are in this together, stay safe!

Posted in Positive Life

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.

Posted in Positive Life

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.

Posted in Positive Life

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

Posted in Positive Life

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.

I find choosing these options are easier if you are on a computer, but if you are reading from your phone scroll down to the bottom.

Posted in Positive Life

Saying Good Bye to 2019

The new year will be here in days. Well the new calendar year. I personally count the years of my life is school year calendars, so this year still has a ways to go. With this being said, I still reflect and try to look forward to the new year.

Looking forward is an easy process for me. Everything is unknown. I sort of like not knowing what will be.

This year has brought many happy changes. My hope is 2020 will be peaceful, positive, productive and phenomenal!

Blogging

Goals for 2020

  • Continue writing
  • Improve my skills
  • Hone my voice

TpT

Goals for 2020

  • Create more resources
  • Improve a few
  • Expand

Yoga

Goals for 2020

  • Keep going to class
  • Practice more often

New Friends

Goals for 2020

  • Continue to connect with these ladies
  • Support
  • Fly their flags

Book Club

Goals for 2020

  • Keep reading
  • Listening
  • Making meetings a priority

Family

Last but not least. 2019 has brought us even closer together. May we continue to be a happy little family.

I’ll always pick these two!!!

Wherever we go, as long as we are together, life will always be an adventure!

Happy New Year to you!!!! May all your goals be fulfilled. Whoot…whoot….2020!!!

Posted in Positive Life

Merry Christmas: Time to Recharge & Reconnect

Teachers on break or anyone else on a holiday break….do all the things that reboot your soul.

I am taking some much needed family time to recharge and reconnect. This fall has been hectic…filled with extra bumps and potholes in my itinerant road.

I am wishing you a joyous and peaceful holiday. May you take time to breathe in all of life’s blessings.

Posted in Positive Life

50 posts…I had no clue!

I know I have just started on this blogging journey, but it was a happy surprise to get this notification!!!

I am going to keep on writing and sharing. I want to thank all of you who follow and read my weekly post.

It really means a lot that you take time to give my posts a read.

If there is ever a topic or question you think I could shed light on, add my two sense or explore contact me.

Posted in Positive Life, Teaching Life

10 Reasons to Love Fall If You Travel for Work

Cooler Temps

I love the summer months, but the heat and running around aren’t always that enjoyable. I prefer not to be a sweaty gingerbread girl!

A Drive With A View

I love it when the trees start to turn. That is a total bonus driving around all day. A beautiful view can make a long day fly by.

Students Schedules

Once the leaves start to turn and the pumpkins are out I feel like the kids start to settle into their schedules.

Daily Caseload

It takes me about a full month to feel like I know where I am going, who I am seeing.

Long Weekends

I love how there are two long weekends in the fall. We try to take advantage of the scenery and plan family time. Also, people seem to look forward to mini brakes.

Happy Teachers+Happy Students=Happy Me

Pumpkin Spice is Back

Either you love it or hate it. I love it!

The Christmas Crazies

After Thanksgiving I feel like the kids start to progressively amp up for Christmas, so I love the few months focus.

Try Something New

This is the time of year I try a new method of data collection, lesson plan format, try out new manipulatives and give myself grace for a learning curve.

Cozy Layers

The weather in the Fall is perfect for cute light weight jackets, scarves and booties.

Fall Fun

People often get out during the weekend for apple picking, pumpkin picking, football games, hayrides, festivals, Halloween parties, trick or treating and Thanksgiving. These are just some of the ways to enjoy the weekends of Fall…. before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season takes over.

This type of fun is often centered around family and friends! Care free fun makes for a better Monday morning.

Posted in Positive Life, Teaching Life

Growth Mindset for School and Home

It seems like positive phrases and quotes are everywhere. Teachers are really making an effort to put positivism, self reflection and encouragement up and around their rooms. I think this trend is here to stay.

This was in a middle school hallway

Everywhere I go in see things that are inspiring…uplifting or just make me think. People say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I think a few words printed on a wooden sign or bulletin board might be just as or more impactful.

Saw this in a school.

Schools aren’t the only places trying to get the “word” out. Positivity is popping in just about every store. Try to shop without seeing some message ment to inspire.

This hung in my mini’s locker.

I really love this trend.

This greets visitors when they enter my house.

I feel like theses mini messages are creating a new mindset for all the little people walking around. My hope is that the more they see and read…the more the messages marinate in their being.

We have been living by these words for years!

My house has many peppy, thoughtful messages for an improved mental health. Momma needs a boost somedays. I need a reminder when my day or mood seems like it is in the toilet.

My personal mission is to be more observant of the messages around me. Be more mindful of how those messages resonate with me.

These I found online. I thought these would be perfect for the middle school students I teach.

I made these mini notes to let me students know how awesome they are. They are the perfect size for the square sticky pockets. They are post it note size, so east to staple or tape in agendas, desks, lockers and folders.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mini-Notes-Positivity-and-Encouragement-for-Students-4715415

Posted in Positive Life, Teaching Life

Back to School Selfcare for Itinerant Teachers: 5 New Strategies to Reduce Stress

Starting back to school can be an incredibly stressful and busy time. Getting children or students back into the groove can be exhausting for parents and teachers. Being both I find that September is a potluck of emotions. I love getting back to teaching, my students and a routine. I also dread the schedule, the planning and the balancing act between school and home. September seems to go by slowly and quickly….when I am in it it seems like I am treading in molasses, but once it is October I feel like it was over in a blink. This is why I think selfcare is so important for the first couple of months.

This years start up I told myself I was going to make time for myself. Little things can make a huge difference and seem less daunting. I tried to think of the top five things that make my day stressful and then tried to brainstorm ideas to alleviate that stress.

Waking Up Earlier

I am not an early bird, not when I was a kid or even as a new mom. I am a night owl. This isn’t always the best sleep habit for a school schedule, so this summer I tried to have a bed time. Going to bed at 2 am is a hard habit to break come Labor Day. This summer I stuck to this self induced rule with consistancy. Much to my surprise it wasn’t that difficult and made for a better transition into going back to work.

I also realized I have to stop the morning routine I have had for years.

  • Shower
  • Get half ready
  • Get child up and ready
  • Breakfast
  • Finish getting ready
  • Sucking down a luke warm cup of coffee at lightning speed
  • Grab everything by the door
  • Leave maybe on time

It was just a mad dash every morning. Probably some panic, yelling and forgetting. This is not a great way to start the day, so I decided I need to get up earlier and develop a new order of operations.

  • 1x snooze
  • Coffee, Instagram and Texts in a cozy chair
  • Wake up child
  • Get child ready
  • Breakfast
  • Get myself ready
  • Leave on time

So far this is working. We are getting out the door on time and less racing from task to task. My mini is also taking time after breakfast to chill for a bit while I am getting ready.

Yoga

If you read my blog or follow me on Instagram you know I love yoga and I try to keep at it. I have only been practicing since March, so I am no expert, but I have discovered it is my jam and I need it to function.

Getting back to work and balancing home takes alot out of me in the beginning and working out would normally go to the bottom of the to do list, but this September I told myself I need to keep at it. I have been trying to head to a class at least once a week and try to fit in home yoga two times a week.

So far it is happening. This might be the most consistent I have ever been-with fitness. I recently tried a new class and it was awesome, however it did take effort to get there. It was a Saturday…could have easily skipped it. It was a farther drive…another reason to put it off, but I didn’t and I am happy I did. Feeding the body and soul keeps me a sane momma.

If yoga isn’t your jam….find and do what works for you.

  • Swim
  • Bike
  • Hike
  • Power Walk
  • Fitness Class
  • Weights
  • Cardio
  • Spin
  • Pilates

Down Time

Being an itinerant teacher I am in the car multiple times a day. I told myself I was going to use this time as a time to recharge. These are a few ways I am staying happy during my between, school drives.

  • Audible Books
  • Music
  • Positive phone calls
  • Silence

Being mentally consumed by your caseload and co-workers all day can be draining. I know all to well how easy it is to get wrapped up in the negativity or not let something go, but this transition times allows me to be fresh for the next student at the next school.

Hydrate

Drinking enough water is something I think many people struggle with or make a priority. Being itinerant I struggle with getting enough water in for two reasons:

  • Forgetting my water in the car or a school.
  • Making time to make a potty stop.

Both I am trying to remedy this year.

  • Bought a new cup only for water that I can leave in the car and rinse at school.
  • Not just pushing through the day. Mentally acknowledging I am a priority.
  • Stopping at each school if needed.
  • Finding all the fountains with the filter systems.

Treat Yourself

I love me some pumpkin spice coffee….however this can turn into a daily sugar issue, so I am only treating myself once a week. I have a low stress caseload, so a daily treat isn’t needed. My waist line thanks all my beautiful students! However I have had years where I need a daily treat. It doesn’t have to be calorie conscious or cost anything. Sometimes it was making time for trash tv at night or a weekly manicure.

Anything that makes you happy and motivates….do it! Fill your bucket, make time for yourself. If you are empty and cranky you aren’t rocking it out everyday. Selfcare is not selfish.

Posted in Positive Life

Climbing Mt. Acceptance: Making Peace with Myself on the Way Up

I recently was on a lovely family vacation. We traveled to the Adirondacks for some mountain air and togetherness. All of these things happened and more. It was just what we needed. One of the days started out beautifully. We hiked and hiked and hiked. My husband had seen online there was a covered bridge near by that he wanted to check out, so we drove a short distance to find this restored wooden bridge.

Everything was picture perfect. We decided to climb down to the water. It was a day full of nature and adventure. We took some fun pictures and were just about ready to head back to town, when I decided I was going to push myself out of my comfort zone and be brave.

Back story- I am not the biggest animal or bug lover. I appreciate, I respect, I even think are cute, but from a distance. I have tried over the years to get over these fears- even therapy. Some situations have improved with age and effort, but then I have moments when irrational fear puts me into a full panic attack.

So, with being in all of this glorious nature, I felt like I could do something that would test my fears and hopefully help me get over them or at least one. I decide to take off my shoes and socks and stand in running, fresh water. This was shocking to my husband, but I was feeling good. Feeling like I can do this. He took a few pictures. I look happy. He warned me it could slippery, which I was fully aware of and accepting.

What’s the worst thing that could happen?

I would get wet…oh well. Wet pants is no big deal. As I am about to step to dry land…I slip.

I fall into the water.

I am laughing.

Before the fall

I get up and look down at my self. Everything seems ok. I wipe my back side and then see my hands covered in this small, rice sized black stuff. At first I think it must be river dirt, or plant debris.

It moves.

I panic….of course. I rinse my hands in the water…struggling to get it off. Then all I can think of is what is all over my ass.

I start to hyperventilate. Not for dramatic effect-pure horror.

I run and climb back up into the parking lot, to the car, opening the back and procede to rip off my creepy, crawly, yoga pants.

Yep! Pantsless in a parking lot. Thank goodness I had cute, black underwear on. I also had this foresight to take a beach towel that morning and pop it into the car. I was thinking this might be needed for our daughter-never imaging I would be driving back to our hotel wrapped in a Hello Kitty beach towel.

On the drive back I calmed down, caught my breath and started to do what I always do when I recover from a freak out.

I apologize. I want everyone I upset to be fine. I don’t want my irrational fear ruining the day. I am proud of myself for not crying.

We get back to our hotel quickly and I parade through the lobby in my pink, kitty, towel sarong. No worries. A quick shower to wash away the panic attack and let’s go on with our family fun. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who can stand at the sink and rinse the crawlies off your favorite pants and not make one comment to make you feel incredibly stupid. Not even “I told you it was slippery”.

The day was not done. Our plan was to get in some mini golf and that is just what we did. It was perfect. While we were there we ended up talking to a man working the counter. He was a ray of sunshine and positivity. We had the polite, small chit chat you do when on vacation, but then an extra layer was added. He shared a bit about himself and how he landed in the Adirondacks. My take away was his soul needed whatever the mountains could give him. He was choosing happy. This got me thinking about my earlier experience.

What was the universe trying to teach me?

Why do I have to get over these fears?

Do you have to be brave and push yourself?

Who are you doing it for? You? Or others?

On our drive to Whiteface Mountain, the next day, I was still thinking about these questions. Why? Why couldn’t I have just gotten wet? What is the take away ?

We parked and I was ready to enjoy the day. I climbed that mountain. Fearless. Not a worry. I loved it. I can do it without a second of hesitation. When I got to the top I looked out on everything- green and magnificent and was happy. There are people that can not and will not climb ragged rocks and stand on top of a mountain, but I CAN.

I have decided that it is okay to be scared. Fear can stop you from doing stupid things. I know it can hold you back too. So many quotes out there, but I think sometimes it is ok. I am not going to shut myself up in a bubble and never try to stretch myself outside my comfort zone, but I am not going to force myself to do things that are too much or ignore my inner voice.

I am not going to apologize for my perceived short comings.

I do many things everyday that scare other people.

  • I drive over bridges
  • I can see a spider in my house
  • I can tend to an injury
  • I can climb a mountain

I can do a lot of things!

I think my universal take away is it is OK to have fears. It is okay to say no. It is okay to find your happy and embrace what you can-for right now.

My fear of many living things will have a downside, but I am okay with that. I am probably never going to a petting zoo, snorkeling or letting a hawk land on my hand. I am good with all of that. As long as my people enjoy life and they do what makes them happy I am good sitting out. I keep trying and every time something puts me into a panic. And I think the biggest thing I realized is I am not trying for me, I am pushing myself to make others happy. I have zero desire (not stemming from fear) to swim with the fishes!

I am accepting these limitations. I have hope I might not always have them and I will still think about trying because I believe in personal growth, but only if I want to. If not-no apologizes needed. I accept that this is me.

Accept yourself….all of the things

Find yourself….enjoy the journey

Listen to yourself….your inner voice is probably right

Love yourself….let your quirky light shine

Think of all of your “CAN DOs”!!!

Drop me a line. I would love to hear from you.

Posted in Positive Life, Teaching Life

Staying Connected To Your Tribe

Schools out for summer!

Every summer I typically have a project to do list or goals. The school year gets too hectic and I put many things off in my head for summer vacation. This summer was no different except for the things to catch up with were my peeps.

I decided that projects can wait, but friendships can not.

This connecting looks very different for each friend, but I have made a solid effort to make time. Make new memories. Make myself a priority.

Texting

We all do it. It works. It is fast.

No matter how far a friend is-a text is a text. I love that out of state peeps seem like they are in my backyard. Getting pictures via text always makes me happy and allows me to feel part of someone’s world. Seeing shoes she is shopping for, vacation pictures or what’s for dinner gives me the feeling of having a backstage pass. Sometimes this is all we have to stay connected to those far away. For as much as I would like to toss my phone, some days, I am grateful for the speed and efficiency it provides. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Bitmoji

Who ever invented these is brilliant. I love getting and giving. They are typically funny and to the point. No need for words here. I love when I receive one and a friend has tweaked the outfit or hair. I change mine with the seasons. Do you change yours up?

Phone Calls

This was my teenage jam. The phone! As a busy working mom not so much, but I have a few friends that this is the way we stay connected. It is usually in the car. Busy working moms multitask. If the backseat is full the conversation is PG, but if it is empty let the colorful adjectives fly free. Filter free baby!

Somedays the conversation still needs to happen in the driveway or an extra lap around the block…because if you get out of the car you might as well just hang up. And sometimes these driveway chats are long and necessary.

Email

Back in the day I loved seeing what messages were in my daily inbox. Long ones. Short ones. This was really all I had before texting. I love it when I get one now that isn’t something I should buy or a bill pay reminder.

A new friend crafted the most thoughtful and supportive email this summer. She was just being her lovely self, but that email made my week. When your in a funk sometimes the smallest kindness can pull you out. Set you back on your path. Email is often deeper than a text. I think the layout and size allow for more, so you often get more words and thoughts than from a text.

Something to consider if you have alot to say or share.

Meet Ups

These are obviously my favorite. Nothing beats seeing a beloved friend. They don’t need to be complicated or fancy. Just spending time is enough.

Some of my favorite ways to hang:

  • Tea/Coffee
  • Manicure/Pedicure
  • A walk
  • Someone’s house
  • Shopping
  • Lunch
  • Brunch
  • Crafting/Creating
  • Yoga

Sometimes they are a group or one on one. However they happen I know I need this time. Hanging with my gal pals does something for the soul.

I love family time, but there is something special that happens when you just get to be yourself for a bit, not mom the multitasker or super wife.

However you keep up with your tribe, keep doing it.

This is necessary to be the best you.

If you lost a member along the way, reconnect if it is worth it.

Sometimes it happens and sometimes it was ment to happen. We all evolve.

Be brave and make a new friend.

This can be scary at any age, but if you see someone you think might be an awesome addition to your tribe….say Hi!

If you feel like dropping me a line or an email-awesome!

Posted in Gluten Free Life, Positive Life

Cookies Can Always Help

So I recently posted about living gluten free. Maybe you read it…maybe not. Check it out if you have time! I just wanted to add a quick extension story.

These cookies!!!! I have had them for a bit. Tried them…and somehow did not appreciate them fully. So good. The box is now empty. Completely not helping the fitness cause, but sometimes it is necessary. Maybe it is my current mood or maybe they are a great GF Girl Scout substitute.

School has 1 more day. I am ready for summer. I have wished my students well and I clearly am in need of some sugar! I bought these at a local grocery store. They were not crazy expensive. Total win! Finding something I think tastes good and I can justify the cost is a struggle at times.

As you can see I am still looking for the “ups” to this new foodie adventure. Happy snacking! Happy night owl snacking! Being a night owl is a totally different conversation. I love how an idea forms.

If this little snippet was mildly entertaining drop me a line. If you have and delicious suggestions I am always open to new GF things I can try-leave a comment.