Health and Beautiful Living

Healthy Over 40 – Staying Fit When You Hate To Workout

When I joined the military immediately out of high school, I knew push-ups, running and marching would be in my future.  I tried to prepare myself by running a mile or two from time to time before I left for Basic Training.  The only thing my “preparation” did was reinforce the fact that I’d rather have a root canal without Novocaine than run.  Truly!!  Thinking back on my years in the military, I can honestly say that the worst part for me was the physical requirement.

Hate is a strong word.  But, I HATE to workout.  I am definitely not one of those women who says “sometimes I just need to go for a jog.” Or, “working out helps me clear my head.”   Not me!!  The only thing that clears my mind is nap!

Now that I’m over 40, staying fit is more than just worrying about gaining or losing weight.  I care about what I look like, but I need to get “moving” for my heart, my hormones, and my mood.  Read more here.   I need to stay in shape now even more than I did 20 years ago.  And, don’t even get me started on my metabolism.  I remember the “old days” when I could over-indulge on the weekend.  Then, on Monday, all I needed to do was drink a ton of water and eat a salad or two and POOF 5 lbs would fall right off.   Those were the days!!

So, what can you do when you know you need to stay in shape, you want to be fit, but don’t want to join a gym?  Here are a few of my favorite tips for staying fit when you hate to workout.

  • First and foremost, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty or shame you into doing a workout routine you hate.  Exercise and movement are important, especially as we age.  But, do it for you.  Your body will thank you and you’ll be glad you put in the effort.
  •  Do what you enjoy when it comes to exercise, just try to do more of it.  I hate to run.  Have I mentioned that already?  But, I enjoy a good walk.  Most of the time we make it a family event and even bring the dogs.  We actually walk more in our neighborhood in the fall and winter than in the summer.  Southern summers can be brutal and I hate to sweat.  We really enjoy getting out of the house when the weather is a bit cooler.  Especially after all the “not so healthy” holiday foods we usually eat.
  •  Find an “extra activity” to enjoy.  Our extra activity is bike riding.  Our daughter loves it when we all ride bikes together.   If that’s not an option for you, try a stationary bike. I’ve seen used bikes for sale at secondhand sporting good stores.   You can watch your DVR and ride at the same time.  Bonus!  Maybe there’s an indoor pool in your community, bowling or even skating.   You don’t have to spend a ton of money to work out or move your body.  Just make it a focus to find a different physical activity occasionally.
  •  Take extra steps.  When you go to the grocery store or the mall, park as far away from the store as possible.  It all counts, especially when the sun is out.  The vitamin D will help you stay healthy also.  (read more about the sun, SPF, and vitamin D here)
  •  Develop an easy workout you can do anywhere.  When I do work out, I do it at home.  My goal is 3 times a week.  My exercises require either small weights (5-10 lbs) or no equipment at all.  I do things that use my body strength (plank, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc.).  That makes it easier to continue no matter where I am.
  •  Fit it in when you can.  I do extra things all the time.  I’m constantly doing squats throughout the day.  Most mornings I do at least 3 sets of push-ups or the plank 3 times (60 seconds each time).  You’d be surprised at what a difference those two exercises can make for your body.

Does it all happen for me in the same week?  Nope!!  But, I try to do as much as I can, as often as I can.

The idea is to make staying fit a priority even if you’re not ready to run a marathon or try out for Olympics.  Just focus on getting moving as often as possible and do it for you and your health, not anyone else.

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For more great tips to help you look and feel your best, 

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Healthy After 40 Staying Fit When You Hate to Workout

Staying fit after 40 doesn’t have to be difficult. It just takes focus and small steps.

Parenting

The Secret To Talking To Kids About Sensitive Topics

Since we’re on summer break, the other day I asked my (almost) 10-year-old daughter if she wanted to go to the movies.   She took her time to answer. Thought for a while.  Asked what movies were playing.  Picked up the television remote.  Began looking for a movie on Netflix to rent and finally said, “haven’t people been hurt at the movies?”

Stunned!!!!

What are you supposed to say to that?  Talking to kids about sensitive topics can be tricky.  Where do you start?  And, how much information is too much?

As a general rule, we don’t discuss current events with her unless absolutely necessary.   I know some parents do.  I think you have to do what you feel is right for you.  We typically answer whatever questions she has as they come up.  This topic, however, has never come up.

With tv, internet, radio, etc. and your kid’s friends having tv, internet, radio, etc. you absolutely cannot have complete control over what they hear.   Until this summer, we had only skimmed the surface of “the talk”.  So, when she was at an extracurricular activity and got an earful about sex (by an 11-year-old), I was shocked and caught a little off guard.

The secret to talking to kids about sensitive topics such as current events, sex, and death, is to first ask them a question.  “What do you mean exactly?”  Find out what they know and what they are looking for from you right now.

My daughter is not much different from most kids.  When they ask a question about sensitive topics, like in this case, most of the time they are looking for something a little more broad.  For instance, when she asked a while back, “what is sex?”  She wasn’t looking for all the details to include intercourse, the reproductive system, labor, and delivery.  So, I asked, “what do you mean?”  She said, “what does it mean?”  I gave her the biblical version of when a mom and a dad are married and they make a baby.  Since she hadn’t gotten the story from her classmate yet (ugh), she was perfectly happy with that explanation.  For the time being.

We have since moved on to male and female parts and how sex works.  (For now, she thinks it’s totally gross!)  We can graduate to “more” later.  Now, is not the time to discuss dating, safe sex, monogamy, etc.

Our daughter tends to be a worrier.  When she asked about the movies, I stopped and looked at her and said “some people have gotten hurt at the movies.  It’s been a while since it’s happened.  I will be there with you.  But, if you don’t want to go, we don’t have to go.”  She was fine with that answer and wasn’t looking for any further explanation.  Discussion over.

In other words, give them what they need at the time.  Be ready to give more details later, when they are ready.  When she asked about sex, she wasn’t ready for everything.  When she asked about people being hurt at the movies, again, she didn’t need all the details.  She wanted to know if she HAD to go and if she would be safe.

When grandma passed away, we told her as adults, we know that someday we will no longer have our parents here with us.  We told her we will miss grandma, but we don’t want her to be in pain anymore.  Now, we can smile and laugh about all the fun we had with grandma and all the goofy stories she used to tell us.  Occasionally, she will say something like “grandma used to give me ice cream when I wasn’t supposed to have it.”  Then I see her smile.

When your kids were born, you knew what they needed as babies.  When they were hungry, you gave them a bottle.  Later, they eat baby food and then solid food.  At another stage, you will teach them how to make their own sandwich.  Talking to your kids about sensitive topics is no different.  Find out exactly what they need at that moment.  Ask them.  They will tell you.  You will know when they need more.  Then, give them more.

We pray every day for the strength and the wisdom to be the parents we are meant to be.  It’s not always easy.  Thank God not everything that’s expected of us as parents will happen all in one day.

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Talking to kids about sensitive topics

Talking to kids about topics from current events to sex can be tricky. Here’s a secret that can help.

Health and Beautiful Living

Natural Product Review – July 2016

You could say finding natural products is a passion of mine.  I’m not obsessed, but if I can find a good, natural product that works, I’m happy.  If I can find a good, natural product that is inexpensive and works – I’m over the moon.

In my 30’s I started having allergic reactions to common products like antiperspirant and toothpaste.  Over the past few years, I’ve been “cleaning up” my personal care products (make-up, shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, etc.).  Not only am I concerned about the ingredients that are added to most products (read more here), but my skin breaks out in lovely red, itchy rashes.  It’s not pretty.  Eliminating all the additives and toxins has become a necessity.

There are some great brands on the market full of terrific products with “good for you” ingredients.  Most of them are REALLY expensive.  I don’t mind spending good money on some things.  But, I can’t in good conscience (and for the love of my wallet), spend a ton of money on every product in my entire bathroom and make-up bag.  Yikes!!!  Because of that, I’m on a mission to find great products that are cleaner (not a ton of toxic ingredients), that work and more importantly, won’t break the bank!!

Here are a few natural products I’ve tried recently.

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shaving Soap – I love Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap and thought I’d try their shaving soap.  I didn’t care for it at all.  It was too watery, so most of it was wasted in the shower and I didn’t think it gave a good shave.  I won’t be buying this again.

Kiss My Face Moisture Shave Lotion – It took me a while to get used to this.  It’s a lotion that works into a lather, so there’s a little bit of a learning curve.  I love it now.  2 pumps are enough to lather up and shave a leg and it gives a really good shave.  This is my “go to” shave lotion.  It also leaves your legs very soft.  I get my shave lotion here from Thrive Market.

Almay Eye Liner – I LOVE THIS EYE LINER.  LOVE LOVE LOVE.  While the Almay products are not really organic, several of their products have “fewer” of the toxic ingredients found in most eye make-up.  It’s inexpensive, easy to find (Walgreens and CVS) and less toxic than most.  Plus, it stays on until you take it off.  Definitely my new favorite.

Note – my “go to” eye make-up remover is regular coconut oil.  I keep a small jar in my bathroom for removing make-up and the occasional moisturizer.

Almay One Coat Mascara – This mascara didn’t do it for me.  I like my mascara to be buildable.  I want to use two or three coats and really define my eyes.  I found this mascara a little thin for my taste.  If you’re going for a very natural look this might work for you.

Note – I still have not found a good mascara with fairly good ingredients that’s relatively inexpensive.

Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Cleansing Gel – I’ve had a difficult time finding a cleanser that will take off my make-up and actually makes my face feel clean.  You don’t need a lot of this to wash your face and it really lathers well.  I like this one and I order it here from Thrive Market.

Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm – Honeysuckle/Caramel Daisy – These little lip balms are a little shiny (but not glossy) and have just a hint of color.  I have about 5 of them tucked all around the house and in every bag I own.  Definitely a favorite of mine.

PiperWai Deodorant – Full disclosure.  This deodorant is not cheap.  That being said, I’ve been looking for a deodorant (because I can’t use antiperspirant) that ACTUALLY works.  (I’ve tried no less than 50 brands in the past 5 years.)  This one works.  FINALLY!!!!  I’ve spent years being allergic to antiperspirant, having allergic reactions to new products and being sweaty and stinky.  So, believe me, I’m happy to pay for this.  Luckily, you don’t need much.  You can find PiperWai here.

 

I hope this natural product review helps you find a few affordable options.  Together we can clean up our personal care products, one product at a time.

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This post does contain affiliate links. I may receive some compensation for these links.  I do not recommend any products I haven’t used or tried personally.  Thanks for  your support.

Natural product review

Natural products can be very expensive. Here are few that work (and some that didn’t) and are a little more reasonably priced.

 

 

Dressing Your Best

Why Should I Bother to Dress Up?

Why should I bother to dress up?  I’m home all day and no one is going to see me.  What’s the point?  How many times have you felt that way?  If you’re like me, that’s most of the time.   It’s easier just to shower and put on something comfortable.  But, it’s important for me to dress up.  I need it and so does my family.

Jeans are my daily “uniform”.  I could wear jeans (and slippers) every single day.  However, I do like a dress from time to time.  I make a point to buy dresses and skirts for church and try to sneak in one or two casual dresses for my every day look.  I mostly add dresses to my closet to make myself wear them.

When I put on make-up, take a little time on my hair and put on a dress (or any nice outfit) I stand taller and have more confidence.  Granted, I’m not dressing up for the people around me.  But, I’m not going to lie, the occasional compliment is nice too.  Studies show that wearing the right clothing, perfume, and even jewelry can boost your mood, attitude and confidence level.

Truth be told, the older I get the more I need to get dressed up from time to time.  When I look in the mirror, I’m very aware of my age (well over 40).  I need to remind myself that even though I’m not 20 anymore I’m still attractive and vibrant.   Occasionally, I’ll put on a great pair of jeans, a nice top, and my favorite necklace.  Not go “all out”, but enough to make me hold my head a little higher.

Aside from my confidence level, my young daughter needs to see me in something other than a sweatshirt.  While it’s important for her to see me go into town once in awhile without worrying that I’m completely made up.  She also has to see me dressed from head to toe occasionally and feeling good about myself as well.    She needs to see me have pride in my appearance.  To carry myself differently.

As a wife, my husband needs to be reminded how great I can look.  He says I look beautiful either way, but I like to see his eyes light up when I’m dressed up.  The other day we were leaving for church and my husband looked at me and said: “wow, you look really great.”   There’s nothing better than that.

Sometimes, I feel bad.  He sees me more without makeup than with.  As women, we tend to spend so much time to look great when we’re dating and for the wedding.  Then, after we’re married we have every excuse NOT to dress up.  I hate going thru the trouble just as much as everyone else.  As a matter of fact, I think the best part of my day is when I wash my face right before bed.  My skin is oily and it’s the only time of the day that it feels good and clean.  Read about my skin care routine here.  

Even smiling can boost your confidence.  If I dress up and my husband smiles and flirts with me, I smile back and feel more confident.  It all goes together.  His smile makes me smile.

There are plenty of days of slippers, jeans and no makeup in my future.  But, from time to time, I need to take the time and invest in myself. It will definitely pay off for me and my family.

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For more great tips to help you look and feel your best, 

click here to sign up for my FREE 7-day course “Feeling Fabulous After 40”.  

 

Why should I bother to dress up?

Do you ever think it’s pointless to dress up and put on make up? Read this.

 

Health and Beautiful Living

Natural Remedies For PMS

“PMS is the best part of the month!”  Said no women ever!!!  Unfortunately, it does happen and it’s something that binds all women together.  Every woman has had PMS in some form or fashion.  Cramps, fatigue, bloating, cramps, irritability, tender breasts, and of course cramps.  No one wants to talk about it, but we all know it can be bad.   Painful one month.  Not noticeable the next.  Debilitating two months later.

Hot water bottles and drug store pain relievers are a few of the more common remedies for PMS.  But, over-the-counter meds can bring side effects of their own.  I don’t like taking any medication if it’s not necessary.  Ibuprofen is my go-to pain reliever (as a last resort), but I break out in itchy rashes due to the “inactive ingredients”. Read about some of the ingredients and their possible side effects here.   So, I’m always on the lookout for natural remedies for PMS as well as general pain and healing.

Now that I’m inching closer to menopause and my daughter is getting closer to starting her “womanhood cycle”, I’m going to need several tools in my tool belt for both of us.

Here are a few of the natural remedies I have found for PMS.

Red Clover Tea – Red clover is well-known by herbalists as one of the oldest medicinal herbs.  In studies, it has shown to have anti-cancer properties, purifies the blood, lower cholesterol, and produce estrogen-like effects.  Read about red clover here and here.  It’s also shown to help with hot flashes and PMS. Red clover contains calcium, magnesium, niacin, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C.

Oil Pulling – I love oil pulling and swear that it’s the “cure-all” for everything.  Well, maybe not everything, but it can help with so many ailments that I could talk about it all day.  I’m constantly finding more articles containing research on oil pulling.  PMS relief is just one of the many benefits. Click here to read about it for yourself.

If you’ve never oil pulled, it takes some getting used to.  Most of the articles will tell you to use coconut oil (I prefer this to sesame oil or olive oil) and to use 1 tablespoon.  My husband and I have found 1 tablespoon to be too much!!  We use 1 teaspoon.  My advice is to try it with a very small amount of oil the first time and “pull” for just a couple of minutes.  Keep adding more oil and work your way up to the recommended amount of time of 15-20 minutes.  Keep in mind all the health benefits.  You can do it!!!

Clary Sage Oil – This little bottle of essential oil is a powerhouse of health benefits.  It’s mostly known for supporting skin and female health.  But, you might like it for so much more.  It can help with depression and mood boosting, muscle cramps and headaches, libido and sexual desire, as well as skin irritation and rashes.  A great article I read says it can help with gas too.  Read more about the possible benefits of Clary Sage oil here.   This is where I get my Clary Sage oil.

Maca Root Powder – I can’t say enough about Maca.  My husband and I have taken Maca Root Powder for years.  We’ve noticed benefits in ourselves as well as each other.  It can boost libido and energy, memory, and focus. Maca has been shown to help with male and female hormone health as well as erectile dysfunction.  It’s been shown to help with PMS, regulate women’s cycles, menopause, and women with PCOS, as well as help with Chronic Fatigue.  Read a great article here.    This is where I get the best Maca Root Powder  

Everybody and every body is different.  Hopefully, you’ll find one or two options that will work for you and give you some relief when the time comes.  And, unfortunately, it usually does come!!

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For more tips to help you look and feel great, 

click here to sign up for my FREE 7-day course “Feeling Fabulous After 40”. 

 

Natural remedies for PMS

Natural remedies for PMS that really work.

*This post does contain affiliate links that I may receive compensation for.  I don’t ever recommend a product I either don’t use or don’t believe in.  Thanks for your support.   

Life Lived Well

7 Subscription Box Reviews And Why You Need To Try Subscription Boxes

Do you enjoy running errands?  Neither do I.  I even hate the thought of them.  Driving all over town.  Going from place to place searching for the things I need.  Don’t get me wrong, I was born with the shopping gene.  But, driving all over the city for anything makes me crazy.  My solution: subscription boxes.  I get a lot of what we need delivered right to the house.  My husband says I’m single-handedly putting the UPS man’s kids through college.  I don’t know about that, but we are on a first name basis.

If you haven’t tried subscription boxes yet, I definitely recommend them.  Why?   They can make shopping and finding new products convenient and easy.  I love being able to get food, clothes, etc. that we would have bought anyway brought right to my door. Besides, have you ever shopped with a child, or two?  Enough said!!   The biggest reason you need to try subscription boxes is convenience!

You can find subscription boxes for clothes, wine, candy, underwear, and even socks (really).  There are boxes for the kiddos, boxes for the book lover and even boxes for your dog.  Check out http://www.mysubscriptionaddiction.com/ to search for boxes for every taste and price range.  You can read real reviews from people who subscribe to the site.

Here are some of the boxes we’ve tried.

Graze – If you like snacking, this one is fun.  The normal subscription is once a week.  Once you receive a box, you critique it online.  They will send more of what you like in future boxes.  The snacks are non-GMO and no high fructose corn syrup.  We found the portions fairly small and we would have liked a little more control over what we received. For that reason, we stopped this one. But, if you want to spice up your snacks or lunch boxes, this one might be worth a try.

Dollar Shave Club – This box is tailored for the guys.  Great quality razors sent to your house every month at a slightly lower price than regular disposables.  (Check them out.) My husband loves the shave he gets from the razors and is a big fan of their shave products as well.  Once you buy the full razor (blades and handle), you only receive the replacement blades and any other products you choose after that.  Their website is so simple and easy to use.  I can’t say enough about this one.

Wantable – This was not my favorite.  I gave it several chances, but still no.  Wantable has a monthly box for accessories, intimates, clothing, fitness, and makeup.  I tried the jewelry box and liked it, but I didn’t need several new pieces of jewelry every month.  When I tried the intimates, I found that the sizes weren’t consistent and their idea of intimates and mine are very different (like leg warmers).  I tried their clothing box for two months.  The clothing was good quality, but both months I received pieces I specifically said I didn’t want.  My note to my stylist stated “no polyester” and both months 4 out of 5 of the items they sent were 100% polyester.  I also was not impressed with the responsiveness of the company when I tried to cancel.

Stitch Fix – Definitely one of my favorites.  Stitch Fix is a monthly clothing subscription box.  They have everything from jeans and shoes to jewelry and winter coats.  Just fill out a profile on their website.  You can even create a Pinterest board to link to your profile.  Your personal stylist reads your profile, any notes and special requests you might have for the month and sends you your specially curated box.  I’ve always had great luck with Stitch Fix.  Their items are a little higher than I might normally pay, but I realize I’m paying for the convenience and personalized service. They send 5 items and you get a good discount if you buy all 5.  Return shipping is free.  Other than occasionally going into some small shops in my area, I get all my clothes from Stitch Fix now.

Trunk Club – Like Stitch Fix and Wantable but for the guys.  This one was good and bad.  The customer service beforehand was great.  The personal stylist actually calls and has a phone conversation with you (my husband in this case) to determine exactly what items you’re looking for.  They send an email prior to shipment with the products they plan to send and you say yes or no about every item.  That’s pretty cool. We found most of the clothing to be good quality.  My husband tried it for a few months but didn’t keep many items. We found the prices pretty high and weren’t really impressed with the attention to detail with regard to season.  The last box (in June) contained mostly long sleeves and long pants and a thick sweater. We didn’t find the website easy to navigate either.  Not sure if he’ll get another box from Trunk Club in the future.

Blue Apron – If you like new restaurants and new food, I think you’ll love Blue Apron.  This is a “pay as you go box”.  When you sign up, you can see what menus are planned for the upcoming weeks and choose your menu for the week or cancel that delivery altogether.  You have 6 different meal options for each week.  Choose 3 meals in a box for 2 people or 2 meals for 4 people for $59.  Our daughter won’t try anything new, so we get 3 meals for 2 people.  We receive 3 nights of really interesting, healthy meals for the cost of going out to a nice dinner (or two).  The food comes chilled and fresh and has beautiful full-color photos with instructions.  We love Blue Apron.  We usually have a box delivered once a month.  A friend of ours is single and very busy and has a box delivered every week.  She cooks the meals (made for 2 people), splits them up and has a week’s worth of dinners.

Thrive Market – Thrive is an online grocery store featuring natural and organic products.  I started my subscription with Thrive Market when I realized some of the hard to find natural products I ordered from Amazon were actually being shipped from Thrive.  Heck, why pay the middle man, right?  A yearly subscription to Thrive Market is $59.  They don’t have fresh veggies and perishables yet.  But, I find so many things that are difficult to find anywhere else and the prices are so much better.

 

Subscription boxes are fun, can make your life so much easier and put fewer miles on your car.  Plus, most offer no long term contract.  If you don’t like it, cancel!!  You can’t beat that.  Try something new today, from the convenience of your own home.

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7 subscription box reviews

7 subscription box reviews. Plus, why you need to try subscription boxes.

 

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Parenting

What Are You Teaching Your Children About Lying

Every day is a new opportunity to teach our children.  Each new day brings new challenges and situations that mold their little minds.  Teaching opportunities aren’t always clear and made up of “sit down” discussions.  The opportunities often come in the form our behaviors and our reactions to day-to-day situations. Our kids are watching us to see how we problem solve and interact with people to know what they need to do now and when they are older.

Today, I’m asking “what are you teaching your children about lying”?

I became a mom in my 40’s.  I’ll be honest, being an LILM (late in life mom) has its advantages and disadvantages.  One of the biggest disadvantages is obvious.  I don’t have the stamina I once had.  I’m not “as young as I used to be”.  One of the advantages is the ability to see me in my daughter.  My husband calls our daughter “MD”.  Mini Dawn.  She acts just like me.  All the good stuff and the bad stuff!!!

If I were a younger mother, I think I would be a little more lenient about certain things.  Maybe a little more fun too (if you ask my 9-year-old).  I worry more than I think I would have if I were a mother 20 years ago.  But, that also means I think carefully about my words because I know I will hear them again, out of her mouth.

There have been times when I have been proud to hear her act like me and times when I have been absolutely mortified.  I’m reminded every day that I have to be cognizant of my words, behaviors and solutions to problems.  She is watching me and if I expect her to be a good and decent person, I need to do my best around her.

We all know lying is bad.  We were told as kids and we teach our kids that lying is bad.  But, what are they actually learning from us?

Have you ever called in sick to work when you weren’t really sick?  When adults lie about work for whatever reason, it sends a lot of messages to their kids.  The most important is that lying is ok, even if it adversely affects other people (boss and coworkers).

What do you tell people when they call you and you don’t call them back right away?  I usually don’t even give an excuse.  I just say, “I’m sorry I didn’t call you back”.  If I have a good reason I give it, if I don’t, I just stop talking.  Because, if we’re honest, we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. Sometimes the lie just happens because we don’t want to tell people the basic truth.  I didn’t make it a priority.

Have you ever ran late to an appointment and blamed it on traffic when the truth was you couldn’t get your rear in gear?  That’s me by the way.  I don’t ever give myself enough time to get ready.  I’m rarely ever late for anything, but you can bet I’m never the one sitting in the parking lot 15 minutes early!!   My husband and I have a running joke about leaving for church on Sunday mornings.  He’s pretty sure I’ll be literally hopping into a running car with slippers on, my coat, shoes and jewelry in hand.  (He’s usually right.)  But, I’m not late!!!

Showing up late to an appointment is rude, we all know that.  And we all know it’s even worse when we are the ones waiting on someone else.  We are all busy.  But, if you’re late for an appointment, be honest, lying just makes it worse.   The little ears we have in tow will have the opportunity to see us come clean about our tardiness rather than watch us squirm while we make up a tall tale.

Have you ever lied to your spouse about money?  About buying clothes and spending too much money?  “This old thing?  I’ve had this forever.”  My daughter is almost 10, she’s nowhere close to getting married but I don’t want her to learn early that it’s ok to lie to your husband.  She needs to see that we are a team in all that we do.

The cornerstone of our house is God.  Our daughter knows we need to be the people God wants us to be. However, I am aware that as the female role model in our home, no one will guide her actions and behaviors more than me.

I’m not a perfect parent.  By any means.  I have to remind myself every day that she is watching and listening and I have an obligation to be the best teacher I can be.   I make mistakes.  But, my hope is she will learn that lying is not acceptable.  Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus excluded of course.

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What are you teaching your children about lying?

What are you teaching your children about lying? What are they learning from your behaviors?

 

 

Life Lived Well

2 Reasons I Use Affiliate Links On My Blog

Have you ever been on a website, Facebook page or a blog post and saw an affiliate link?  (A hyperlink that brings you to a page where you can purchase a product.)   Maybe you wondered why the author put it there.  Or, you thought someone really had a lot of nerve if they “expect” you buy something from them.   I want to share 2 reasons why I use affiliate links on my blog.

When I started my blog I had no idea where it would go.  I still don’t.  I do know I’m having fun writing and learning.  It’s exciting to research information for new articles.  I love getting new followers or receive positive feedback on something I’ve posted.  That was the point after all.  I wanted to create a place for women to enjoy this “middle stage” of life.  A place for good ideas, maybe a recipe or two and a sisterhood for women over 40.

Blogging is a process.  On average, each article takes me 10 or more hours to create.  Researching, reading, writing and re-writing.  Painstakingly proofreading over and over (and still don’t catch every mistake).  Creating graphics is yet another story.  Do I take a picture or do I find a picture online to use?  Does this picture convey the right message?  The picture for Facebook has to be made a different size than the one for Pinterest and yet another size for Instagram.

Then, there’s social media.  Planning and curating pictures and posts that will stay “on brand”.  Each platform takes a different mindset and focus than the others.  And, of course, there’s the cost.  Yes, the cost.

Which brings me to 2 reasons why I use affiliate links  on my blog.

  1.  Blogging costs money.  There’s the cost of creating and owning the website itself (www.justdoingmybest.com), styling the website, and keeping it running.  There are often costs involved in having a picture on blog posts.  It’s illegal to use random photos.  I stink at photography (sad face).  So, if I want to use quality photos I have to purchase them.  Are you on my Facebook page?  If you are, I’m glad!!  Have you seen one of my posts lately?  If you have, consider yourself lucky.  Their algorithm is set so that less than 6% of any reader (that has liked and followed a page) sees a given post.  (I’ll tell you how to fix that later.)  In order to make sure most, but not all, of my followers, see what I post, I have to pay money.  The more money, the more people see the post.  And that’s just Facebook.  Instagram and Pinterest have a different system.
  2. I hate ads.  I really don’t want to have ads on my page.  I may have ads at some point but not right now.  If I do include ads on my page, I want the ads to be for products or brands that go along with the essence of the site (health or natural products, clothing, etc.).  I don’t want anyone to be on my site and there’s an ad for dog food, diapers or vacation rentals.  That wouldn’t make sense.

Affiliate links are a way to earn money to pay for the site.  When you click on an affiliate link like this one (affiliate link) I earn a small (very small) percentage when you actually make a purchase.  It doesn’t cost you any more than it normally would.

I’m always looking for affiliates that align with what we normally talk about here.  Natural living products, cool clothing items or brands, any items or products that will make you healthier or your life easier.  Again, no diaper affiliate links for women over 40.

Not every link I place in a post will be an affiliate.  Some links will just be a way for you check out something I thought you might find interesting and I won’t get any credit for it at all.

Facebook Tip:  Want to see the pages you actually “Liked” and “Follow”?  You can do 2 things.  First, (from your phone) find www.Facebook.com/justdoingmybest .  Under the photo, you’ll see “Liked” and “Following”.  Click on “Following”, then click “See first”.  You can then prioritize who else you want to be at the top of your news feed.  Second, (from your desktop) find www.Facebook.com/justdoingmybest .  Click on the small arrow next to “Liked”.  In the drop down box click notifications “on”.  Boom.  You’re welcome!!

One last thing, if you’re on a page you like please like, share or comment as often as you can.  Why?  Because when you like, share and comment you do 2 things.  You tell Facebook what you want to see and you’ll see it more.  Plus, it’s very likely it will show up in a friends feed and that’s one person that will see (and hopefully enjoy the page) for FREE.  I personally, would be so grateful.

Hopefully, this helps you understand why you see affiliate links and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be encouraged to click and buy. (Smile).  If nothing else, I sincerely appreciate you being on this page and sharing it with friends.

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2 Reasons I Affiliate Links On My Blog

Here are 2 reasons I use affiliate links on my blog and 2 great tips to make your Facebook experience better.

 

 

Life Lived Well

5 Ways To Cut Back On Life Clutter

Cutting back on stuff or clutter brings peace to your home.  It makes it easier to enjoy the things you love.

When you cut back on life clutter it can bring peace to your life and help you enjoy the things AND the people you love.

What does cutting back on life clutter look like?  It’s the process of cutting back or eliminating anything that is keeping you from truly enjoying your life and the people you care about.  Unnecessary things that take up valuable real estate in your life make it difficult or impossible to actually enjoy your life.

We all get so busy doing things and acquiring things that we think we are supposed to do and have.  Not long after I turned 40 I realized that quality not quantity needed to be my goal.  I no longer need more, more, more.  The “more” was making me miss the world around me.

The “more” was also making me tired.  Trying to keep up and catch up all the time.

Cutting back on life clutter also means being aware of how you spend your time.  What’s eating up all your time and effort?  And, is it truly making you happy?  In my 40’s I also realized I can say “no” and the earth would still turn.  I don’t have to be all things to all people.  It’s ok to be choosy about the things that I agree to do and when I do them.

Here are 5 ways to cut back on life clutter.

  1.  Volunteering for everything.  Whether you choose to volunteer in the community, your church or at your kids school it helps so many people.  However, when saying yes to volunteering make sure the project or program speaks to your heart.  Don’t spread yourself too thin.  When I say yes at my daughter’s school it’s yes to bringing in supplies, cookies, or helping with field trips.  I do not volunteer for the year-long position of “room mom”.  When our family does volunteer work we make sure our daughter is involved.  She needs to see us involved and we choose only local projects.  I want her to see ways to help the people or causes in her local area.
  2. Social Media.  There’s so much out there.  Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope, oh my.  The list grows constantly.  Social Media is a fun way to see what’s happening in the world and what your cousins and college roommate are up to.  But, it’s a time sucker.  You don’t have to be on all the social media platforms.  Find a couple you really enjoy and forget about the rest.  Find a good time to check it, get caught up and then forget about it the rest of the day.  Facebook tip: since the posts on Facebook get more personal (your phone number, pictures of your kids, your birthday, etc.) only become friends with people you would give the keys to your house.
  3. Clean up your apps.  The apps on your phone take up valuable data.  They also clutter up your screen.  They make it hard to see the things you really want when you want them.  If you don’t use an app, delete it.  If you haven’t used it for more than a month, delete it.  You can get it back out of the “cloud” if you change your mind, but uncluttering your apps is like pulling weeds.  Suddenly you’ll see all the things you really enjoy and need.
  4. Take a Friend Inventory.  We all have friends that are tiring.  You know the ones I mean.  They take a lot of effort and offer nothing in return.  Friends should make you happy and support you.  If you’re doing all the “heavy lifting” in any of your relationships, it may be time to move on.  Read another article on friends hereOr this one.
  5. One in one out.  I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on house clutter at least a little bit.  We downsized our home a while ago (read about that here).  When we moved into a smaller house we decided we would adopt a “one in one out” policy.  We don’t bring anything into our home unless something similar gets thrown away, donated or sold.  Our child is painfully aware of this policy and is reminded every time she absolutely positively MUST have a new toy. (Smile)  We also go thru the house in summer and right before Christmas and make sure we are donating clothes, books, toys, and anything else that’s not needed or nailed down.

Life clutter wastes time and energy.  I’m sure we can all add more to the list.  This is a good start on cutting back on anything that makes it hard to see what’s really important.

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For more tips to help you look and feel your best, 

click here to sign up for my FREE 7-day course “Feeling Fabulous After 40”.

5 ways to cut back on life clutter

Get time back for your life and your family. 5 ways to cut back on life clutter.

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Recipes

Coconut Milk Chai Creamer

Tea is the “go to” drink at our house.  Hot or cold.  In hot tea we like a bit of creamer.  Creamer intensifies the flavor and makes the drink silky and smooth.  Today, I’m sharing with you my super healthy coconut milk chai creamer recipe.   This recipe has the ability to change your life and your health.  Really.

We try to stay away from traditional dairy so coconut milk is our creamer of choice.  And we like it a little spicy. In addition to creamer in tea or coffee, coconut milk is one of my favorite ingredients.  I buy it by the case and make sure I’m never without.

When buying coconut milk there is a BIG difference between the cartons in the dairy section and canned coconut milk.  The way to remember which is which is to think of the carton as a beverage like regular milk (only dairy free).  It’s usually watered down and has other ingredients including sugar.  This is NOT what you would use for cooking.  Canned coconut milk is an ingredient.  It’s thicker and can be used as a base for smoothies, recipes and sometimes in place of half and half in soups, etc.  Read more about the different types of coconut milk here.

My chai creamer calls for canned coconut milk.  This little can is a health powerhouse!!  Depending on what side of the “fat” fence you’re on, coconut milk is either evil because it’s full of fat or it’s healthy for you because it’s full of “good fat”.  I’m definitely on the side of the fence that believes in good fat.  Read about the benefits here.

Buy a good brand of coconut milk.  As with anything, you have to read the ingredients to make sure you’re getting a healthy version and a BPA free can.  I buy this brand.

In addition to the health benefits of the coconut milk, there are mighty spices in this recipe as well.   Cardamom is one of my fav’s.  It’s benefits include gastrointestinal protection, cholesterol control, aphrodisiac and may help with erectile dysfunction.  Cinnamon is used in many cultures to help with diarrhea, menstrual cramps, digestive problems and colds and flu.

Anise star is antimicrobial, antiviral and has antioxidant properties.  It’s a great digestive aid and helps with female hormone issues, helps produce milk for lactating mothers, and increases libido. Ginger helps reduce gas and is a digestive aid. It boosts bone health, helps relieve pain, and aids in relief from nausea.  Wowza!!

This creamer is spicy and yummy and could keep you healthy!!  So let’s get started.

  • 1 can coconut milk (I use this brand)*
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1 anise star (look for broken stars, they are often cheaper).  You can substitute 1/8 tsp ground anise
  • Heat on low just enough to let coconut milk get creamy and spices to marry.  Store in the refrigerator and shake before adding desired amount to your coffee or tea.

I hope you enjoy this coconut milk chai creamer as much as we do!!

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coconut milk chai creamer

My super healthy coconut milk chai creamer recipe. Spicy, clean and yummy.

*This post has some affiliate links.  I may receive some payment for these links.  I choose to offer affiliate links instead of having advertisements for products you don’t care about or want to see.  Thanks for your support!

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