Tag Archives: lifestyle

Take Your Second Chances

Four years ago to almost the day, my parents took my family and my sisters family to Florida for a vacation. We had been planning it for years.. At that time in my life, I had lived my entire life as a pleaser and couldn’t disappoint any of them. I hated having that feeling I was disappointing someone. However, I already knew when we got back to glorious Wisconsin, I would be telling my husband I wanted a divorce. No way to sugar coat that..It was not the trip of a lifetime.

And now four years later,I am divorced and happy. I mean I have my moments but overall it took the last 4 years to get to this point. The point of life where I’m happy about my choices and happy about the life I’m living. I had my 3 kids for spring break so off to Florida we were going… This was my second chance.

I was so excited for this trip but also so nervous… I had to do all the planning and be responsible for getting 3 kids to Florida.. And just hoping my son didn’t put a so-called weapon into his pocket and we will be hauled off.. It was a lot of responsibility for all of us. I had to rely also on my kids to be responsible and help out when I needed. Moments before we left, I thought am I crazy to do this.

But once the trip started, it was amazing. This trip probably meant more to me than they anyone will ever know… to my kids it was 8 days in the sun.. and to me it was my second chance. This was my second chance from 4 years ago. It just showed me how your life can change… How we make choices, how scared we are at that time, and how in time it does work out. I could have never imagined all of the changes as a person that you go through in 4 years with a divorce. I finally got to be the person I wanted to be…

4 years ago, I would have been the mom that had the lunches packed the night before, been yelling at my kids to be up by 7, to be at the beach by 8 am.. and I would not have relaxed for a minute on a vacation. I did not enjoy being that person. I would have made sure I was pleasing everyone, just not myself.

Today, I am so relaxed. I am not worried about pleasing everyone. I am not worried about trying to do a million things in one day. I am not worried about seeing every attraction in Florida in 8 days. I made choices that have made my happy.

I took this trip day by day. I let my kids sleep til 11 and I got to go for morning runs. I got to sit and drink coffee in the sun. I got to think about my life and my future. We swam, we laughed, we had ice cream everyday, we stayed up til midnight.. We got to drive to the beach at whatever time we got up…and some days we just hung out. I have never seen my kids so relaxed or just having fun. They were happy, really happy. I think we all worry about our kids everyday and then sometimes you look at them and know they are really happy. I got to sit and watch them and just relax.

So yes, we get re-dos in life and second chances. We get a second chance to do it again.. maybe different or better this time. Maybe things weren’t as clear the first time or maybe you didn’t have the confidence at that time….but in the end take your second chance.

-Snarky Divorced Gal

SNAP-Mood Change!

Did you know there’s a connection between the condition of your living space & your surrounding environment WITH your mood & your stress level? The connection happens unconsciously. You may not even realize WHAT it is that has you feeling OFF. A cluttered environment saps your energy, robs your creative flow, sucks out your positive attitude & steals your precious time. It slows down your productivity & outcomes and fills your mind with emptiness. And you ask “How’d THAT happen?’

Your living conditions could very well be the culprit to your boredom, upset, complacency, etc.

Living in, working in or just being in physical chaos… it changes your mood ** SNAP ** like that !

You don’t wake up and say, ‘my day is going to be havoc today’…it just happens. As you go about your morning you find yourself asking…. ‘Where are my keys?’ ‘What did I do with that letter?’ ‘Where is Johnny’s other sneaker?’ And before you know it, you’re behind schedule, talking to yourself and walking around in circles. You woke up in a good mood, ready to take on the day and ** SNAP ** like that you’re going down the rabbit hole.

And Sometimes it’s a lot harder to deal with the negative mood than the actual task of organizing your space. BUT the chaotic space will keep you there and make it even harder. Do you feel overwhelmed, burdened and stuck? If you can step out and start with one small drawer, one closet, one counter….. it very well could – if you let it – snowball you into another and another and another. And the next thing you know, you’re space is inviting, it flows better, and you’re happy. Allow clarity to replace clutter. Create a place for everything and put everything in it’s place Guess what…that’s better than half the battle…..it demolishes the battle. You find things in a *SNAP **.

It’s time to get back on track with a more efficient, harmonious space AND the next thing you know… you have a more efficient, harmonious life!

 

Your God Girl,

Tracy

XXOOXXOO

What Is My Worth?

My  worth….

I’ve taken the last 5 weeks or so to really gather my thoughts and try to evaluate who I am and who I want to be. I have achieved very many of my life goals this year and yet still have to get out of my head with so many things.

The one goal I have not achieved is personal wellness. It’s not to be physically perfect or have the best diet 100% of the time. The goal is to feel good about myself and the decisions I am making. I felt like I lost myself at some point. There was a plan and then that plan went away. I didn’t know how to truly pivot and find a different course. I covered it up with life goals and making changes, none of those which truly ran deep and helped fill my soul.

There was a time when I thought I had a chance at having it all. I’m not traditional by any sense of the word and don’t need the white dress and wedding and regalia. Just a person to truly love me and that being all of me. I don’t know that I have ever really had that in my life, and I want to believe that I am worth it.

So I’m taking the rest of 2018, all of 2019 and devoting this time to myself. I need to live the life I want my son to model. I’m hoping that while being ruthlessly devoted to myself, I will end up finding the person who will honestly love all of me. I’ve decided to share my life and my process and my progress and my shortcomings on Instagram. Not for anyone but myself. It will be real and raw and hopefully amusing. I’d invite you to find me @getatit62 and try to get at your own goals this coming year.

I hope that all of you take some time this holiday season to love yourself, love others and look at what this past year has brought you and what you want next year to bring. Happy Holidays!

~Leslie

Letting Negativity Steal Your Joy

Negativity- what a nasty little critter. It can steal the joy of any situation and have you at odds with yourself and the people around you. The more excuses you make for negativity in your life the more it will multiply.  I am currently in a situation where I am surrounded by negativity quite often and I used to react to it with more negativity.  It just ended up compounding on itself and became unbearable.  Until one day I stopped reacting to the source of the negativity, I started to feel bad for that person. also instead of judging that person, I decided to declutter myself.  I did that by starting a daily gratitude list. Also Instead of engaging in negative things I just walk away. If someone is throwing a pity party I don’t enable and I don’t argue I walk away. If the news gets too negative If i can I shut it off I will, if not I leave the room and go listen to some peaceful music.  Not engaging in a battle of wills doesn’t mean you surrender to the negativity, It means you value yourself and your peace more.

Our life/reality is shaped entirely by how we look at and accept things. NO one else can feel the exact same feeling as us, our feelings are ours, same with our thoughts. We cannot change other people, and we can only change circumstances and environments so much. The one true thing we have control over in this life and can change is ourselves. When  you see something in someone else that bothers you, please take a moment. Stop analyzing that person and their behaviors, and instead reflect on yourself, why does that bother you? Why are you allowing that person to interrupt you peace? You may be surprised that negativity may be feeding off of your of insecurity or personality defect. The quickest and most surefire way to eliminate that situation is to work on yourself. Remember Negativity is the thief of joy, and it can only rent a space in your life if you allow it. Today I choose to be grateful. What are you grateful for today?

 

-Always be unapologetically yourself,

Ali

Who Will You Choose To Be?

When you wake up in the morning who do you choose to be? Most days I wake up and I choose to be the best version of myself that I can be. Other days I wake up and the weight on my shoulders feels so heavy I must force myself out of bed. Life is a balancing act, as I am sure you are all well aware of. We all have our struggles, but it is how we choose to deal with those struggles that define us.

After my first blog post I had a few people send me messages and ask if I should really be sharing such personal thoughts and feelings. At first, I began to doubt myself and if what I was doing was the right thing. However, the more I thought about it I realized that yes, it is the right thing. I shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed for what I have gone through and what I continue to go through. This is a personal blog for a reason, it is about my life and I choose to share it. You never know what another person may be going through, maybe someone will read this blog and realize they share some of my experiences.

Right before the long holiday weekend my washing machine broke and gave me a fun little flood. I’m pretty sure the girls had some secret plan to create as much dirty laundry for their mom as possible in the few days that followed. One peed on the couch and instead of telling about it she got up and moved to another couch cushion…great now I have not one, but two cushions soaked in piss. While I am cleaning up said piss the other child is hiding in the corner pooping in her new Minnie Mouse underwear. I know you have been there moms, caught in some parallel universe of should I yell, cry, laugh…maybe a combination of all three?!? Sorry kid but those underwear are going in the trash and you can both sit on the floor because we don’t have couch cushions!

Circling back to my very first post about my birthday, I did indeed indulge in some yummy treats. My best friend surprised me with my babysitter for Friday night, and that is no small feat as my sitter is hard to book #mybestieisbtterthanyours! If you are a parent with small children and you find an amazing sitter, hold on to them because good sitters are hard to find <3 So…. we have some ladies’ night shenanigans planned for the evening, stay tuned for how that turns out.

I choose to laugh, to smile, and to live with intention without fear of judgement from others. People will always have an opinion about you and how you live your life. But the key words there are that it is your life, you get to choose how you live it, who you let into it and who you kindly (or not so kindly) show the door to. Let’s be honest here not all people who are in your life deserve to be in your life, weed those people out even if you have to drag them kicking and screaming out of that damn door. I choose to be in control of my life and future, I choose to be humble, I choose to be the best mom that I can be! Who do you choose to be???

 

Remember, hugs are always free!

xX Tamara xX

Make YOU a Priority!!!!!

Making yourself a priority is difficult. Most days “I don’t wanna”—it doesn’t really matter WHAT it is, I just DON’T WANNA.  This morning about two hours ago was no different…I needed to get up and work out and then I have to clean this entire house, write this blog post, clean my desk and oh yeah…LAUNDRY…freaking never-ending laundry.  So there I sat on top of my bed, drinking coffee, doing some work and thinking about how I did not want to do ANYTHING that I have to do today.  This day is pretty much like EVERY other day for the last 20 years…or more.

If I was RUN by my feelings then absolutely nothing would have been accomplished over the last 2 decades and I would likely be an epic failure…the GOOD news is that I am NOT run by my feelings, in fact they have little to do with my actions.  Apathy comes from giving into the voice that says “I don’t wanna”.  As I said last weekend in my blog, we are like our own breed of Special Forces…The Warrior Moms…we don’t have the luxury to give into “feelings”, we simply must PUSH THROUGH THE BULLSHIT and accomplish what there is to be done.

Back to me this morning…as I am sitting on my bed contemplating all the things that I have to do, a text comes in from one of my friends here and she says “I am getting ready to go walk the hills”—we often walk together as there are SO many hills around our houses and it makes for a really good cardio session.  I quickly decided that walking with her would be more fun than the elliptical so I threw on some clothes and went out to meet her…I must say, it was a little BRISK out there!  (By the way the picture is from the brook this morning down the street from my house…getting to look at that makes being cold worthwhile:)

In the course of our conversation she was telling me how she keeps putting taking care of herself last and that she cannot seem to commit to a schedule for getting her cardio done etc.  She has 4 kids and more often than not puts herself last as I know MANY of us do.  That has got to STOP.  If you go down then everything comes to a halt, so it is well worth you MAKING the time each day to take care of yourself.  Your health is not something to screw around with, trust me…I am watching some friends and family members suffer the effects of years of not taking care of their psychical well-being and their quality of life is not as good as it could be.

Watching what you put into your body and making the time to walk or workout or do yoga or pilates or SOMETHING will pay off for you in SPADES as you age…PLEASE people start making yourselves a PRIORITY.  You are a warrior and in order to keep pushing through the bullshit that comes at you daily you MUST take care of YOU!

-XO, Noelle

It’s A Win!

It’s a win!

I’ll be totally honest…sometimes doing the right thing to get to your goals can literally suck the life out of you. As someone who’s had Hashimotos Thyroiditis since I was 8 years old I now struggle with more than just my thyroid because I was put on synthroid at such an early age and it has degraded my bones. A lot of people who know me know I’ve been dealing with slipped discs, degenerative disc disease, & arthritis over the past few years. Two years ago I was having to do physical therapy just to function without pain (I am very anti meds which makes a lot of doctors dislike me or see me as a problem). Plus my TSH had creeped up over 7 (higher is actually lower & it should be between a 1.5-3) even on Armor Thyroid & I wondered if I would even be normal again on an even functional level.

Fast forward two years later. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of the negative people and stressors in my life, gotten a divorce, exercise, & limit my processed food intake. I’ve also lost a lot of weight-maybe not the quick fix way that’s popular these days but it’s been a slow and steady trip and in all honestly I’m still not at my goal weight or energy level. I still struggle with being motivated to get up, get moving, & out the door some mornings I’ll admit I drink a ton of coffee to function and be cheerful on the phone. But I’m working on myself-I’m just not speedy. Hopefully I’ll be there someday.

But….I did hit a huge goal this week….I hit single digit pants sizes. It’s an 8. Progress & I’m a functioning adult taking care of my boys and able to move without pain. Ironically this wasn’t with the huge weight loss I wanted (I weigh myself twice a day) but I noticed my pants (10s & 12s) were literally falling off-so I ran out one kid free night to find some pants. It’s not perfection but I’ll take it.

~Bethany

You can follow Bethany on her blog at https://fake-it-until-you-make-it.com

Girl Boss

Me? A Girl Boss?

Picture a woman sitting in her cubicle at work, maybe you. Her chin rests in her hand as she stares blankly at her computer monitor. There is a thought bubble over her head. How would you fill in that thought bubble? What is she thinking?

Maybe something like, when will it be payday? Or, I can’t believe my jerk boss took the credit for my work…again. Or maybe even, somebody help me, I’m dying a slow death here.

If you’ve ever had those thoughts cross your mind (and really, who hasn’t?), then at some point you may have also thought about starting your own home business. The upside seems incredible: work within your passion, control how much you make, help people. Okay, okay – the upside is incredible.

But starting a home business also has a downside: a huge learning curve; lots of up front work for a return that comes later –  sometimes much later; setbacks; expenses. You get the idea.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seriously consider starting a home business. In fact, as a business coach, I definitely think you should! We live in such a beautiful, digital age right now that the barriers to becoming a business owner are much lower than they used to be. But it’s not for everyone.

The question is, is it for you? Let’s find out with a little yes or no quiz.

 

  1. Are you extremely dissatisfied with your current situation?

You basically have to be, in order to convince your mind that it’s okay to change.

 

  1. Do you have an idea? Are you passionate about it?

It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged business plan. Not yet. But an idea does help ?. And you need to love that idea so much that you’ll be willing to do even the parts of your business that scare you (like sales calls or meeting with a potential buyer)

 

  1. Do you have support?

Family, great friends, a coach or mentor…find people who will brainstorm with you and cheerlead you when you hit a low point.

 

  1. Do you give up easily?

I don’t want to call names, but girl, if you’re a quitter, then running a home business isn’t for you. Most people quit just before the reward.

 

  1. Are you in the middle of personal upheaval?

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start a business, just maybe not right now.

 

  1. Do you have an appetite for learning?

Then Yassss!!! ‘Cuz you are gonna need it. Luckily, there are so many resources these days, from YouTube to FB Groups to paid courses. I don’t want you to worry for one minute if you feel like you don’t know everything you need to know to run a business, because absolutely everything is find-out-able!

 

  1. Do you understand risk?

Some business models require more risk than others. For example, opening a brick and mortar shop would require much more capital than working from home writing and selling e-books online. Be sure you know what and how much you’re willing to risk before diving in.

 

  1. Do you need cold, hard cash today?

Okay, then go make it. Sell homemade bread or salsa, walk some dogs, babysit for another mom. Then, when your immediate need has been taken care of, go ahead and start your business. Nobody needs that kind of pressure.

 

  1. Do you have people skills?

If I struck up a conversation with you in a line at the grocery store, how would you respond?

 

  1. Can you summarize your business idea in one sentence?

If not, you’re not yet totally clear on what it is you want to do. Work on it, it will come.

 

If you answered all ten of these questions correctly (and I think you know what the correct answers were!), then guess what? You definitely qualify as a potential girl boss! Don’t quit your day job just yet, but stay tuned, we’ll walk the path together. In the next installment, I’ll pass along a super helpful secret  in the form of 5 things successful side-giggers do every day.

 

Love ya,

Lecia

Want to start a business but not quite sure what you could do? Click here for a FREE brainstorming guide from Lecia – Finding Your Unique Gifts.

5 Steps Helping You Find Your Love Again

True love and soulmates, one of life’s greatest life goals. But, achieving it is easier said than done. The concept of love seems pretty simple between everyone, but our needs and expectations can easily get in the way and ruin a perfectly good relationship. Here are 5 steps helping you find your love again, these are based on my personal experience, but hopefully they be of some help to you.

  1. Go Through A Heartache.

    I know that sounds kinda crazy, but when you think about it. You need to be completely broken from love, in order to find what true love really means. I think having your heart broken is one of the worst experiences I went through. It was different when it was a boyfriend/girlfriend thing rather it being a divorce. When it’s over, it will be over. If it’s worth saving, you may give it a go. But failing to see it’s worth letting go can be unhealthy physically, mentally & emotionally.

  2. Grieve & Let Go.

    The more you grieve, the better off you are. When you hold it all in and not grieve at all, it will eat you up and you can pick up some nasty addictions and go on a total destructive path and that’s no good. Make sure you have a good support group of friends and family you can trust, that help makes the grieving process a lot easier. Let’s not forget, it’s okay to not be okay, but don’t stay at ‘not okay’. Once you’re able to let go of them, you can finally move on to better.

  3. Get Your Life Together.

    That’s right, easier said than actually doing it. Me, I lost everything I had and had to put all my stuff in storage. I live in my parent’s spare room, I work a minimum wage job, I got a couple hundred to my name and that’s it. I don’t have my life together, however I do have goals, I am better off than I was a year ago. I know what makes me happy. I enjoy life, even if it’s going slower than I wanted it to. Don’t let your depression take over your life, but don’t over work yourself. Take a shower, do a load of laundry, smile more.

  4. Live Your Life.

    I know it seems silly, but this is your time to find new hobbies, new activities, something. Don’t stay indoors all day. Go out, make friends. Join a gym, be active. I like going to parks and going on walks, reading books now relax me, I always ignored it before. I like baking and doing DIY projects. Going out with friends and being social. Finding happiness is the first step of self love and self worth.

  5. Let Love Find You Or Put Yourself Out There.

    Yep, that’s right. You can join the support groups, dating websites, the old fashion way of just putting yourself out there. But it’s best to follow these steps, you can’t go from step one to step five. You must start from the bottom, rebuild your life and learn to love yourself all over again. Or you can sit back and let love find you, as you enjoy your life as a single person. This step is always what you want to make it.

I am some where between step three and step five. I am in the middle of getting my life together, but at the same time I am living my life and putting myself out there to find love. I’ve been single for over 4 years now and I am a totally different person than I was then. But I learn something new everyday. I am still single, but I am happy at being single.

 

Natalie is a single mom of four, writer & chef. She lives in North Carolina with her teenager daughter. Her life consists of faith, live music, good food, family & adventures. Follow Natalie on her blog, https://calmtheforkdown.com

Just a No-Bake Cookies Failure

I just inhaled three no-bake cookies that I had to scrape off the waxed paper with a spoon but I know you aren’t judging me. You get it.

I typed those two sentences nineteen times because my 10 year old is staring at me talking about megalodons and hunks of meat.  Honestly, this isn’t even weird.

The list of things that I can’t cook is very small. Sitting here now, I’m realizing that really the only things that I can’t cook are things that require patience.  The patience to watch things boil, to time it just right so that everything sets and melds and does whatever it’s supposed to do to turn out perfectly.  I didn’t get that gene.  I got the ‘you can always add enough butter, salt and bacon’ gene.  One gives you perfection and the other gives you something that’s a little bit different every time you eat it, but it’s always good.

Speaking of patience, lately I feel like the little bit that I did have is going fast.  I’m tired and more than being tired, I just don’t feel appreciated like basically every mother who ever mothered.  I’m exhausted.

Dad was in the hospital for over a week and he came home the day before the 4th of July.  On the 4th, I had a military retirement party for my ex.  Yes, I’ll go ahead and repeat that.  On the 4th, I had a military retirement party for my ex.  Moving on, that day I don’t think I sat down all day long.  I was tired- physically and mentally.  I was flaring and in pain- because fibromyalgia is like your least favorite relative who consistently visits at the worst possible time.  I was stressed- because… life.  But throughout the day, I was also the only one who could consistently be found, in the kitchen, just plodding away, getting it done.  It seemed like every time I looked for someone to ask them to do something, they were lying in bed.  I found myself wondering what I always wonder when I feel overworked and underpaid.  What would happen if I just laid down?

We know the answer to that, right?  I mean for starters, none of our guests would have been eating when they got here…

Moms, well women, keep the world turning.  We are the taxis, the nurses, the makers of makeshift critter enclosures.  We are the nurturers, the caregivers, the chicken soup makers.  We are the hunters and gatherers of backpacks, shin guards, lost permission slips…

We are supposed to do all of this without losing our shit.  When we repeat the same request 47 times and become unglued on the 48th repetition, they look at us like we are crazy and knocking on menopause’s door.  We are supposed to manage the home, a career, the children, the aging

parents, the extracurriculars, the bills and keep track of everyone’s everything so we can recall at a moment’s notice where you left your keys and we are supposed to do this with a pleasant disposition and a smile and no need to nap.

You really are the reason we drink.  Those Mother’s Day liquor store jokes aren’t really jokes.

Even though we do all of this and manage to keep everyone alive, clothed and mostly intact, for some reason, we are also masters of guilt.  Somedays we love every single moment of wiping noses, digging under the front seat for that super important Pokémon card that has turned up missing and cooking dinner that doesn’t get eaten because today you are a yogurtatarian.  Other days, we don’t.  We want to go on a week long vacation, BY OURSELVES, to a place where no one asks us for one mother-bleeping thing, where we can either sit by a pool guzzling fruity drinks until we forget we even have children, or lie in bed binge watching Netflix until check out time, as long as no one makes that decision but us.  And we feel guilty for wanting that.

I literally think women are broken.

On the 4th, I listened to my ex and my teenager do their typical, “Mom is so dramatic” schtick.  “I was just lying down for a minute, and Mom came in there about to have a breakdown.”  I take care of everyone.  Everyone.  Even my ex.  Who takes care of me?

That’s the lesson here, Ladies.  I take care of me.  I do.

STOP.  FEELING.  GUILTY.

Take the nap.  Take the trip.  Eat the no-bake cookies with a spoon because they taste just as good that way.  If stuff doesn’t get done, it doesn’t get done.  No one will die but maybe they will see how much Mom does to give them this life.  Maybe more than seeing how much Mom does they might actually see how much of us we give away.  We do it because we love them but we don’t have to be martyrs.  I need this lesson, too.

Let little Billy find his own Pokémon cards, but keep on kissing the boo-boos.

<3 LA

You can see more of LA at https://sweeterinthesouth.blog/