Wellness Wednesdays: Gratitude in Action

Welcome to Wellness Wednesdays!

I had a different post scheduled for today, but this one feels more timely, more real. I posted on my Instagram account earlier today:

Breathe

“Got some good/bad news this morning. We’ve been working with a holistic MD for the past few weeks to get a better overall picture of Olivia’s health. Right now, I’m sitting in a parking lot, enjoying a Starbucks, trying to take deep breaths, and admiring the view in the backseat of my precious girl sound asleep. Things I know for sure: 1) Information is power: We have a much better understanding of how to support Olivia’s body- you can’t fix/deal with something until you have all the facts. 2) You are your child’s health advocate and most important example. 3) It’s never too late to hit the reset button.”

So, wherever you are on YOUR wellness journey, I invite you to take a moment and just breathe. Honor the facts and experience- it’s ok to be angry, sad, confused, overwhelmed, frustrated… curve-balls can quite literally feel like a punch to the stomach… But, they can also be beautiful opportunities to GROW, step out of your comfort zone, and inspire others. So, I’m working really hard on this cycle:

Breathe. Be grateful. Repeat.

I am so grateful to have a plan of action, deeper insights into our family’s health, and a whole arsenal of wellness tools. Our sweet girl is going to be just fine.

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Monday Musings: Words to Live By #5

Motherhood Inspirational Quote

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately about motherhood topics and sharing updates on Olivia. Our sweet girl is amazing- she is laughing, running, and talking up a storm. I have to pinch myself sometimes that we are at the point of having real conversations where she shares her ideas and opinions! For every wonderful moment, there’s also an opposite. Olivia is passionately independent, which means that temper tantrums occur frequently and everyday tasks often escalate into power struggles. Did I mention that nap time is almost nonexistent these days? Honestly, I’ve found myself more frustrated and disheartened with the realities of parenting than ever before. Some days are just plain hard

As this new week starts, I am so grateful that I can choose to hit the reset button… a thousand times a day, if needed. I can choose to focus on the moments of joy and embrace our present reality, which is one of GROWTH- she is testing new limits and exploring her world … I am a work in progress, stretching to meet her needs and become the Mother I know I want to be.

For all the Mamas with little ones: This is for the Tough Days.

Welcome to Monday Musings! Each week, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite inspiring quotes. For more words to live by, check out the archives.

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Monday Musings: Words to Live By #4

Words-to-Live-By-Energy-Flows-Quote

As a new week begins, my words of wisdom to you are to check your mindset. Are you grounded in confidence and faith that things are unfolding exactly as they should? Or, are you choosing to be swept away in the drama of life where complaining and blaming are your best friends?

I was recently listening to a video series where this quote (author unknown) was mentioned by Susan Ferraro. Love it! It all circles back to gratitude, friends! Focusing on abundance invites greater blessings into your life.

Welcome to Monday Musings! Each week, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite inspiring quotes. For more words to live by, check out the archives. This quote was created using a gorgeous frame from the Rhonna Designs App

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Gifts for Dad 2015

Father’s Day is right around the corner! What are you doing to celebrate Dad? It’s been so fun watching James and Olivia’s relationship blossom. Our toddler is quite the helper these days and very interested in Daddy’s house projects. I wanted our gift to him this year to capture a sense of “building” moments and memories.

I came across this PIN and absolutely fell in love with the concept! I bought a cheap hammer, found a Woodburner Pen (marked half off), and set to work!

Fathers-Day-Gifts-Building-Memories

Full project disclosure: Things didn’t quite go as planned. A quick and easy project quickly turned into 2 hours of fighting with the wood grain to make legible swirls. I wouldn’t chalk this up to a “Pinterest Fail,” but… man, oh man! I sanded. I retraced my outlines. And, I might have started to pull my hair out! I even burned my hand! (Thank goodness for lavender essential oil!) Believe me, I’m well aware that I’m missing a comma between “build” and “Daddy.” This project was definitely more time consuming than expected! But, I do think James will get a kick out the idea and effort that went into this handmade Father’s Day gift.

I paired this engraved hammer with a free template from Mr. Printables. I couldn’t be happy with how it came together. Check out the dimension! James always admires cards that have an “engineering” aspect to them, so I know he will love the stair-step effect created with this printable! You can grab your free copy HERE.

Need a little more Father’s Day inspiration? Check out this Pinterest Board for the perfect gifts for Dad and take a walk down memory lane with the following posts (click on the headings for links)!

Father’s Day 2014

Super Dad Book

Father’s Day 2013

Father's-Day-Ideas6

Father’s Day 2012

Father's Day Card 2

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Monday Musings: Words to Live By #3

Words to Live By- Someday Quote

I spied this quote (author unknown) in a recent newsletter by the amazing Lisa Serena of Soul Insights. I couldn’t help but create my own graphic spin on these words of wisdom. My mind immediately thought of a question:

How often do we neglect our own health and happiness because of XYZ?

We promise ourselves that we’ll get to it someday. Or, maybe we think, “If I can just get through [blank], I’ll have more time/money/energy to focus on [blank].

What’s your “blank?” Is it getting in shape by releasing extra weight? Perhaps, it’s about making yourself a priority or carving out more time with your family? How can you lean into making these “someday” outcomes an everyday reality? It’s a new week so put pen to your paper and start living… dreaming… and embracing a life you consciously craft.

Welcome to Monday Musings! Each week, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite inspiring quotes. For more words to live by, check out the archives. This quote was created using embellishments from the Rhonna Designs App and a digital scrapbook paper from Snap Click Supply Co.

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Monday Musings: Words to Live By #2

Failureisimpossible

Is it really possible that we are entering JUNE?! The months of 2015 are truly flying by. I recently heard this quote at a graduation and thought it was the perfect way to usher in a new calendar month and the start of a busy summer season.

What if we all take failure off the table? What would that look like? Can we replace our fears with curiosity?

Cheers to an amazing, fun, and productive month ahead!

Welcome to Monday Musings! Each week, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite inspiring quotes. For more words to live by, check out the archives. This graphic was created with a digital flower element from Snap Click Supply Co.

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Virginia Bluebells in Bloom

I want to let you in on a secret…

Blooming Virginia Bluebells

… there’s an area at Shaw Nature Reserve that erupts into a sea of gorgeous blooms near the Meramac River.

Shaw Nature Reserve Blooming Bluebells

A carpet of delicate Virginia Bluebells layers the ground– it’s quite unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Virginia Bluebells Shaw Nature Reserve

This beautiful display is only around for a very short window of time. Just the cherry blossom season, its beauty shines brightly and quickly fades as nature reinvents itself.

We went in search of this beautiful display on Easter Sunday. It is quite a trek to get to their location. James checked his phone after our excursion and our hike clocked in at roughly 6 miles… over the bridge, across the prairie, along the wildflower path, and down a steep hill.

Shaw Nature Reserve Trail

When we arrived this year, the blooms were just about to burst open. The blossoms were a hit with Olivia since they are purple (her favorite color right now). It was just a bit too early to see them in their full glory. I bet that this weekend (April 11 & 12th) would probably be ideal if the area isn’t under water due to recent thunderstorms.

Spring Adventures 2015

I love discovering local, unique gems like this one. There’s just something magical about this place and event. It almost reminds me of an ephemeral secret garden since it’s off the beaten path and not many people know about it.

Another perk of visiting this time of year? Thousands of daffodil bulbs are in bloom!

Shaw Nature Daffodils

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Springtime in Paris Contest

Earlier this month, I saw that Michaels was having a fun contest centered on the theme: Paris in the Springtime. I’ve wanted to go to France and this gorgeous city for as long as I remember. I’ll never forget seeing the iconic Eiffel tower erupt in a dazzling display of golden light on New Year’s Eve 1999. For this project, I decided to create a DIY travel journal.

Paris DIY Journal

When I saw this Recollections Keepsake Book at Michaels, I immediately thought of the Eiffel tower’s beautiful sparkles! It was also the perfect size to throw in my purse or suitcase to document beautiful memories of the City of Light.

Paris DIY Journal Embellishments

I embellished the front with elements from the Trinkets Collection by Project Life, a die-cut image of The Eiffel Tower created by my silhouette machine, and punched flowers. In terms of design, I opted to almost everything flat and avoid additions that might “catch” as this journal was shuffled between suitcases/bags {no double-sided foam tape, no rhinestones, & no ribbon}.

Paris DIY Journal Supplies

James and I have been so fortunate to travel to a number of amazing places in the past: Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Aruba, Barbados, Hawaii, and the list continues… A common theme I’ve noticed: If I don’t write down a snapshot of our day while we are on the trip, it is 10x harder to remember an accurate timeline that captures daily adventures after the fact. In the past, I’ve taken a small little notebook with me and scratched down details I didn’t want to forget. The problem? I haven’t had time to do anything with them! What a messy collection of memories!

Travel Journals

This beautiful on-the-go journal solves my issue! It will allow me to capture all those candid moments and effectively start the documenting process immediately.

To prep this little book for journaling, I sprinkled decorative elements throughout its pages. Here’s a sample:

Paris DIY Journal Pages

Why the “keys”? …No, it isn’t in honor of The Pont des Arts {although I would have loved to have seen this tourist spot before glass panels were installed}. Instead, it symbolizes getting off the beaten path and discovering Paris through the lens of a local. I look forward to not only visiting the top 10 list of iconic attractions/museums, but also seeing fun landmarks that might not necessarily show up in a guidebook.

Paris DIY Journal Cover

My goal with this project was to create something worthy of capturing the ever-evolving beauty and grace of the city. I can’t wait to fill in the pages someday.

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Monday Musings: Words to Live By #1

Happy Monday!

State of Mind

How are you greeting this week? Optimistic for all the wonderful adventures ahead? ….Or, are you already feeling pulled down as you consider everything on your enormous growing to-do list?

If so, shake things up and listen to this 4 min meditation by Terri Cole. Wishing you a week where everything falls into place!

 Welcome to Monday Musings! Each week, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite inspiring quotes. For more words to live by, check out the archives. This graphic was created using a gorgeous embellishment from the Rhonna Designs App

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Hello, 31

Once you’ve hit your 30s, you’re not a day over 29, right?!

birthday31

When I think about this past year, I’m overwhelmed by how much our little family has grown! Olivia is running these days and talking up a storm. I feel so fortunate to have James by my side as we’ve learned new lessons in parenthood {ahem, new levels of patience!}.  When I think about this year, these thoughts come to mind:

…growing as a family… meeting an insane amount of work deadlines… striving to find balance… developing new skills in dealing with toddler tantrums… learning lessons on taking care of my health… attempting to juggle it all and feeling like I’m always short… laughing with family and friends… working with a talented team managing store products at The Dating Divas blog… being fascinated by the current scope of research on essential oils…

I came across this article recently: Tips to Help Millennials Find Meaningful Work. I agree with so many points of this article, especially their focus on how our generation wants/needs to make an impact. Have you found your purpose-driven career? For me, teaching essential oil classes has become a passion area! When I help connect families to tools that will help them on their health journey, I feel like I’m giving back. I’ve gone from being completely skeptical to actively teaching about these natural health solutions because I’ve seen firsthand the difference that they can make in my own family, as well as countless others.

The company that I’m working with offers so much more than just a set of products to enhance your health- their sourcing practices, commitment to education, focus on philanthropy, and generous compensation plan are all visible pieces of their integrity and heart. I’m really excited to see where this journey takes me throughout the rest of the year.

birthday31-2

So what’s next? I’m still chipping away at my 30 During 30 List… So many of these items relate to a lifestyle I’m trying to create– savoring the present moment {however beautiful, chaotic, and messy it might be!}, being a good mama, carving out time with family & friends, and focusing on my own health goals.

I saw this video and thought it was a powerful reminder of the impact our words have in creating our self image.

I’m going to work on being kinder to myself this year. We are all works in progress.

…and that’s ok.

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