Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tastefully Simple Giveaway

A friend of mine sells Tastefully Simple and I have been fortunate that she sells the product to me at her costs. This allows me to keep plenty of it on hand to help with my cooking. I love the spices that Tastefully Simple offers and thought I'd use that product as my first try at giving away something for free.

I'm offering up a free 4oz jar of Onion Onion seasoning from Tastefully simple. Please leave a comment with your e-mail for a chance to win or send me an e-mail at E-mail addresses will only be used to contact the winner. I'll be drawing the nd contacting the winner on Sunday.

Thanks for entering!

Carving out Family Time

The universal complaint that I hear from women is there isn't enough time in a day to get all the things done that need to be done. The one area I personally worry the most about is spending time with the kids and husband. I'm on the run so much of the time that I feel I never really sit down and talk to them and let them know how important they are to me. Plus, as any mother of teenagers will tell you getting them to sit down and talk is almost impossible.

Mondays and Wednesdays are the most brutal for me (you'll find I will probably rarely write on those days) due to my daughter's dance and confirmation classes. However, I've also found that those are two days when I can actually spend some quality time with both my daughter and my husband.

My daughter's dance class starts at 5 on Mondays. I typically have my son take her to dance so I can get some running done before I need to pick her up at 6:30. She needs to be back at dance at 8:15 for her last class of the evening. Believe it or not, the time from when I pick her up and drop her off is some of the best time we have to spend together. I've found that instead of stressing about the hour and 45 minutes that we have to kill and trying to cram more errands into it, we drive to my husband's workplace and wait for him to be able to take a break. It's amazing what an hour in the car with nothing to do does to a teenager. Without the tv, computer and phones we get a nice chance to sit and visit. Something about a car is pretty freeing for the kids and they seem to want to chat about things. It's also nice for my husband since he works 2nd shift and doesn't get to see us to often. He really enjoys getting to come out to the car and visiting with us on Mondays and Wednesday, it helps him stay connected to the everday events in our lives.

I'm trying to learn to stop multi tasking and just enjoy my family when I get the opportunity. When in the car I really try to listen instead of going through the mental lists in my head. When watching our favorite TV shows that we recorded I snuggle with my daughter (she won't want to do that much longer!) instead of cleaning or going through stuff. Even something as simple as having my kids clean in the same room I'm in versus us each taking a room seems to loosen the tongues.

Let's all try to remember how quickly time goes by and enjoy each minute.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Taking Care of Ourselves

Today was my first day back at yoga since school started. I do have to say that as we were waving our arms in the air for five minutes I thought that I may had made a mistake in coming back. However, after I was done torturing myself for the hour I was really glad that I forced myself to go.

I don't know about the rest of you but I tend to put taking care of myself last on the priority list. A lot of the women that I talk to also put themselves last. I continually ask myself why but I haven't come up with a good answer yet. My husband certainly doesn't have this problem, going to the gym is something that he does every day. When we go away for the day he either goes to the gym early or we leave late. I, in the meantime am making sure everything is ready to go and the house is taken care of! I do realize that I'm the only one who can change that and I have been trying.

Last year wasn't a good year for us, my husband found out in December of 07 that he was losing his job. We were fortunate that he received a very good severance package and he was able to find a new job before the package ran out. While I didn't feel like I was stressed and over whelmed, my body told me differently. I had all kinds of symptoms that resulted in A LOT of tests and medical bills before I realized what the problem was. I resolved this year to take better care of myself and from March - August I did a really good job. With the start of school I have slipped but I'm starting to get back into the swing of things. I have found the following tips to be helpful in my search for a more healthy lifestyle.

1 - Let people know what you're doing. In the past whenever I wanted to diet and exercise I kept it to myself for fear of embarrassing myself. This last time I let everyone know! This way I felt more accountable about everything I put in my mouth for fear of what everybody was thinking.

2 - Do it with a friend. One of my co-workers would let me blab about what I was doing all the time and one day he decided to join me. Now we encourage each other to get to the gym. He's forcing me to get on the treadmill and do cardio while tomorrow he will be joining me for yoga (the last time he tried it he was VERY uncomfortable, at least now he knows what to expect). Encouragement from a friend goes a long way.

3 - It's not about the numbers. I do try to weigh myself everyday on Wii because I found this helpful for me. However, I don't let myself get worked up about the number because it's really about being healthy and feeling good about yourself. The number is a side benefit.

4 - Do what works for you. Some people can be really rigid and strict with their diet, I can't. I'm not always disciplined enough to make my lunch. I have found that completely cutting out soda and eating salads when I go out to eat is something I can live with. I don't beat myself up when I splurge, as long as it's occassionally.

5 - Be kind to yourself. So you didn't make it to the gym today, do better tomorrow. Beating yourself up about what you didn't do isn't going to make it better. Just make sure that you do it tomorrow!

6 - Know that the world will not fall apart without you. This is the one that I struggle with the most. I feel like I can't take a lunch because of all the work waiting for me. Yoga class makes me feel guilty because I get home later than I'd like to. I try to tell myself that I will be a better employee, wife and mother if I take the time to do this for myself.

I know this is all common sense stuff, but sometimes it helps to hear the message repeated over and over. It helps me just writing it, I'll try better tomorrow and won't beat myself up. I'll let you know over time how my revitalized self improvement plan is going. I'd love to hear from you as to what you are doing and if it's working for you.