I Can Do All Things…

This bible verse has been in my head for the last couple of weeks.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~Philippians 4:13

i can do all things

I’ve been struggling with my confidence, my self-worth, my world around me. I know part of this negative speak is because of the heartbreaking news I found out recently, but I know that’s only worsened my doubts, instead of created them.

I set out a few goals at the beginning of the month: making money, losing weight, and organizing my surroundings.

I’ve been making money steadily, hitting close to my goal. I can see myself making more, especially if I commit to writing, and moreover, submitting my writing.

Dropping Gaining Pounds

Because of my grief, I actually gained weight, then took it back off again. But on Monday, I started Les Mills Pump, a dvd workout series that uses weights. It’s probably the closest I’ll get to a CrossFit workout since having left my last gym this summer. I grabbed my weights and put on my cute, not so flattering outfit, carved out a little area and got to work.

Then stopped to tell my girls that they can’t walk through while I’m lifting weights.

Then started again.

Then stopped to move my girls out of the way.

But I did it. I finished.

Day 2 was a rest day, so instead I jumped rope for 10 minutes. Jumping rope is no joke. But I did it… well, I put the timer on for 10 minutes and rested when needed. I was proud that after five minutes, I just didn’t throw in the towel.

I decided to also get a pedometer, so, I’ll update you on how that goes. I’m thankful that I finally got my mind together.

Making Some Cash

I had a few ideas on how to make some money, without getting a job. First, I jumped on OfferUp, which I talked about a few weeks ago. For as much stuff as I had in the garage, I figured this would be the way to go. It’s not. At least not for me. These buyers are crazy. I’ve wasted a lot of time, but it’s inspired a piece that I’m working on.

Next up, mystery shopping. I’ve joined a series of mystery shopping companies and most of them take about an hour of my time between the shop itself and the survey (not including drive time). They are fairly simple, but the high paying ones are competitive. I managed to get quite a few. I’m not sure why someone would want to even waste their time calling a dealership for $2, but I’m sure someone does it, since the pay hasn’t increased.

Third, I sold a couple of spots on my blog and social media accounts. I really need to go down this route more since some of them are really easy (especially the social media shares). Granted, it’s only easy because of the work that I did before to build my social media account following and engagement.

I’m thankful that I managed to get really close to my goal.

A Closet Less Junky

Last year, I bought a closet for my crafts, which quickly became the junk closet. At the beginning of this year, I had to straighten it up just a bit since my husband wanted use of another closet that my crafts were actually inhabiting. That was it. Now, it’s fairly clean and organized except one area. I need a solution for temporary filing. I’m working on it.

“She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head,And whispered to her neighbor- -Winter is dead.”

I’m thankful to be able to get into my closet and see what’s there.

Being an Awesome Parent

This summer has stressed the need for flexibility and understanding in parenting. I’ve struggled, cried, and worried about how my children will grow up. Mom groups have saved me. I’m in two mom groups, made a couple of friends and go to a women’s bible study. It’s helped immensely. Plus, I came across this awesome picture:

10 Things Mom is Grateful For" by Moments a Day | aprilnoelle.com

For these things, I’m truly grateful.

Conquering the Writing World

As much as I want to grow as a writer, I haven’t done as much as I should. What I have done has landed me in a second anthology!

Lose the Cape - Never Will I Ever! (and then I had kids... | aprilnoelle.com

Being Me

Over the last year, I have questioned who I am outside of being a mother. I’ve struggled finding out where I fit in. Before SAHM-hood, I was the money maker (not particularly the breadwinner), but I brought in a pretty penny. Now, I’m accountable to someone else for every dime I spend.

 

2015-09-26-10-29-12_zpsauymryew

I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that others felt that I was all of these things. I mean, dependable and efficient, I’m all over it, but a leader, creative, kind? I often feel like I cut people off so quickly, but these colleagues see something completely different. I’m grateful to have them in my life, not just to be able to talk to them as adults, but also that they see something in me that I’m not sure I see within myself.

More gratefulness…

I’m grateful that my girls are growing up strong and secure.

I love that we’ve found a routine that makes it interesting and fun for me and my girls. As much as I’m a homebody, we go somewhere every morning, just to give them a different atmosphere and other people to play with.

I’m finally feeling better, making sure that I get things done, like write this blog post, as well as the other for this week. I have missed everyone and I’ve been so tired, drained and depressed that I really couldn’t post more than once a week. I finally feel like I can breathe again.

That’s all… please click on any of the following graphics and see what’s going on across the globe. Love you!

 

one word blog linkup

This week’s words are Mystery and Breathe.

Ten Things of Thankful
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“I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that…”
hosted by Kristi at http://www.findingninee.com and
co-hosted by Ivy Walker at https://unchartedblogdotorg.wordpress.com/ and 
Roshni from http://www.indianamericanmom.com/.
 

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Just Five More Minutes

I’ll have to give myself a SMH with this post. I started it last week, and never published it. My mind is feeling warped from sleep deprivation, but I will have to push through.


 

Life passes so quickly. Friends and family are here one day and gone the next.

Since moving to Florida, the funeral announcements seem endless. Few are surprising, as ages are progressive to say the least. The age of their death assumes a full life, one of fulfilled promises and destinies met.

That’s not always the case.

The shame of it all is that dreams die, “life” gets in the way of living, and excuses become the norm.

Deaths are followed by begging or pleading for scraps to bury their dead. Families come together and pay, if they can.

If they can’t, public pleas of need are broadcast through Kickstarter accounts, selling personal items, even selling chicken dinners on the street corner.

And that’s just a shame.

It’s a shame that, in a family’s time of grief, they have to worry about how to lay their loved one to rest.

It’s a shame that the family member didn’t have any type of insurance policy to cover the funeral costs.

It’s a shame that the lack of planning is prevalent in lower income communities.

It’s a shame that funeral homes and cemeteries have a reputation for gouging the grieving.

That can change… there is light.

The light isn’t sexy or even bright. It’s simple really… planning and foresight. Even moreso, there is light in the now, knowing you can make different choices today.

Knowing this, I am looking forward to my future, seeing my light starting now. My light is in seizing my present, making changes today that will affect our future. For that opportunity, I am thankful.

My husband and I have embarked on a new body care line, starting with a foot cream and body scrub. We are pleased to announce our new product, a hand and body scrub:

Using Only the Best

 

Privacy is a value that I hold dear. As much as I let the world in, I keep a lot to myself. The fear of judgment and ridicule is scary and vulnerable. As I’m reaching outside my comfort zone, I know I have to be open and honest to let you, my reader in, for you to relate to me. I’m not snarky or funny, and I’m struggling to find comfort in just being me.

Today, I’m going to start letting that go, and it’s less for you than for me. Honesty, holds me back in my real life too. I know I make plenty of mistakes, but I fear sharing them.

Here, I’m going to put forth my goals, openly and honestly:

  • I want to lose 20 pounds this month. A lofty goal, but perfectly attainable if I do what I’m supposed to do. I’m currently 217 pounds, so I would love to hit the under 200 mark by the end of the month.
  • I need to earn $500 this month. I am traveling to California for the second time this year. I need to contribute substantially since I do not have an income of my own. I would love if you could show any support by listening to my podcast, choosing Exumas Isle as a product line, or purchasing anything from Amazon (bookmark it too!).
  • I need to get organized. Some look and see organization in my home, as everything is put away, yet I see a hot mess. I want to have everything in its place. I get so frustrated when things are in disarray. I also get overwhelmed and are slow to clean them because I find it stressful to do otherwise. Counterproductive, I know.

We’ve completed a dozen episodes of Run Your World, a podcast. We are finding our way and enjoying each step. I’m thankful to have a partner that has the same vision and is willing to put in the work to get us there.

As I understand all of the endeavors that I have thrown myself into, I have to be thankful for the opportunities that are around me, my ability to take them on and my willingness to do them.

To piggy back on that, I am very thankful that I have been able to focus, over the last couple of weeks, on making sure that my children sleep in their own bed for the entire night. We still have some hiccups, like last night when Butterfly decided at 2 a.m. that she did not want to go back to sleep. We are still making progress, in general, more recent nights are better than the previous.

This school year, I’ve embarked on homeschooling my preschoolers and so far, I’ve been successful. Every day, we learn a new word, a new sound. I’m thankful to have children so excited to learn. Even Butterfly, not quite two, is learning her alphabet and numbers by sight, her shapes and we’re working hard on her colors. Bee is working on reading, pronouncing each letter and delivering a complete word.

I’m surprised at how often we are being craftsy. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to let go of control, to be neat and clean and to avoid messes at all costs. We still have not, and will not, utilize play dough, but otherwise, we’ve made lots of art projects.

Bunny is another story, as he is entering middle school, my frustration level increases. Please pray for patience so I don’t lose it on him… again.

one word blog linkup

This week’s words are Light and Shame.

Ten Things of Thankful


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My Little Minions

Evidence surrounds us that school is back in session. My son is gone all day, and is considering which athletic teams he would like to join, I’m homeschooling my daughters and more than anything, my mommy friends don’t have children at home to visit. No more pool trips, alone at the beach and visits to the museum are no longer free. Structure-free days are gone and wake up times are earlier.

My little minions and I conquered a lot of our bucket list. Yet, the best part was that we kept busy… no aches of boredom or readiness to go back to school in this house. My son was ready to see his friends, but would’ve been content being home for a few more weeks. I consider that a successful summer. The memories have been set and hopefully will stay favorable in my kiddos mind.

Now that summer’s over, I’m ready to help my children learn and grow. I’m ready for field trips and coloring lessons, singing the alphabet song and circle time, and videos with counting and sight words.

All of that said, there are many things that I miss about the summer…

 

My Little Minions

Over the summer, I stretched outside of my comfort zone and ventured to the beach. I know a lot of people love the beach, including my children. I can’t stand the sand ending up in crevices that you didn’t know you had. The glee that my little minions showed their excitement anticipation of going was well worth it.

From South Florida Science Museum and Learning Center

Museums tend not to be at the top of my priority list, because as much as I like them, they are often price-restrictive and outside of our budget. With the aid of LAMP, we were able to go to Norton Museum, Flagler Museum, South Florida Science Center and Aquarium (twice), and Schoolhouse Children’s Museum and Learning Center (twice).

We spent hours upon hours in the pool, each improving our swimming techniques. My little daredevil, Bee, was excited to take off her flotation devices and managed to swim at least 20 feet across the pool. I’m imagining that if her brother was in the pool, she would’ve tried hard and swam farther. But alas, I’ll have to do with my “not quite four year old” swimming across the pool. I was so proud of her. She was a trooper and persistent.

Friendships developed and strengthened as the children became close with other families. We visited them and they returned the favor. Water play was a favorite, enjoying in the childhood play of warm weather and water from the sprinklers. Watching them play reminded me of the days long ago. If my only care was to run around letting the water flow though my hair and over my body in the dead of summer.

Family rolled into town. My children had an opportunity to spend time with them. Those days were not wasted, they were important and loved. My babies loved every minute and wished for it to never end.

We hosted our first home party for the Fourth of July, having received our dining room table which seats an additional eight people. I loved the space that each person had. No one searched for a place to sit, as we also acquired a patio table. Twelve seats in a month’s time, makes our home perfect for large family parties. I enjoyed myself, maybe a bit too much, as my husband points out. Labor Day is around the corner. I can make it up then.

At one particular museum trip, my daughter’s received beautiful face painting by Affordable Face Magic in West Palm Beach. The woman did a fantastic job. It dried quickly and didn’t smear until actual water was applied. Their constant desire to bury their face in my chest didn’t faze these designs. By the way, why does it look like we all have a mustache? These photos were taken by the museum itself.

I spent time with my son. My eldest is now a middle schooler. I’m happy and sad all at the same time. This week, he experienced his first real try out. I wanted him to make the flag football team with all of my heart, but knowing he was not someone who spent a lot of time practicing, I wasn’t expecting anything. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it. Broke my heart, but I couldn’t show it. We are taking the opportunity to have him practice so that next year or the next season, he can be a stronger candidate.

Personally, this summer has afforded me the opportunity to begin my novel, learning how to write and get paid, learn that I’m more than and can get paid for my work. I’m learning how to break my fear barriers and reach beyond.

one word blog linkup

This week’s words are Memory and Angry.

Ten Things of Thankful
Finish-the-Sentence-Friday-New-Pin-720-FUN-250-x-250
 

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Watch Me Whip

School started this week and my goal to initiate a schedule fell apart quickly as I attempt to find discount (or used) uniforms for Bunny, attempt to potty train Butterfly and find ways to keep Bee engaged in education.

When I say that this week has flown by, I cannot even believe it’s already Thursday. I’m working on very little sleep finding that my daughters don’t believe that they should have to sleep in their bed. This struggle has been going on all summer, walking them back to their bed several times. Sadly, it seems, that they will sleep better if I allow them to sleep in my bed for about 30 minutes, then return them to their own bed. When taking them immediately back to their bed, they sleep with one eye open trying to catch me before I leave. Leaving isn’t an option since Bunny has school and the crying (through our thin walls and door) will wake him.

All of that said, I am blessed to have many things to be thankful for this week:

School starting without a hitch. My husband and I switched driving schedules, me dropping him off and him picking up. This change has made naptime less stressful as I don’t have to plan around sleeping schedules to pick my son up.

What seemed an impossible task last year, proved simple this year, as everyone is up an hour and forty-five minutes before school starts and we’ve arrived at school with at least 10 minutes to spare every morning. My children and I are up and at them at 7 a.m. and out of the door by 8. No crying, yelling or screaming has hit us in the wee hours of the morning. Two thanks in one!

Last week, I failed to tell a story that significantly impacted the way our summer ended.

We woke early Thursday morning in order to meet a mommy who was giving away a lot of used uniforms for free at 9 a.m. about 20 minutes away. The morning went smoothly and we arrived about 10 minutes early. If you live in Florida, the heat and humidity have been torturing us early, so we got out of the car to walk around. Thankfully, the school was open, so we walked in to cool down. I promptly texted the mommy and received the reply, “I’m an ass, I’m on my way”. Only a few more minutes of entertaining my tribe before we can move forward in our day.

Those few minutes turned to thirty, then forty. When I contacted her again, she said she thought I was someone else and had given all of the clothes (enough for at least two children) to one other mommy.

Frustrated, I went on with our day. Since we had to travel to make the meet, I planned our day around this venture and hit up the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum & Learning Center in Boynton Beach. The kids played for an hour and a half before we were on our way to our next stop… a quick food run then to visit grandma at work.

What came to a head that day was something I certainly didn’t expect. We had been having various problems with our car and that day, in the middle of the street, the clutch decided it could no longer hold on. We coasted into the parking lot of an auto repair shop where the car pooped out.

I was completely unprepared in this heat with all three children, where, as soon as I discovered that this car wasn’t moving, my well potty-trained daughter figured that was the perfect time to pee on herself. She hadn’t had an accident in a good six months, I had no change of clothes and I was in a parking lot 15 miles away from home.

All of this leads me to my thanks. Longbottom’s Auto Repair was a savior. I was unsure of how we were going to proceed and couldn’t get a hold of my husband or mother-in-law. They let me sit there, no prying eyes. About 10 minutes later, I finally knew my next step, only to realize that my husband suggested we bring it to our local mechanic. They allowed us to sit inside the cool air conditioned area until the tow truck arrived and took a low pressure sales pitch. I appreciated their kindness and their ability to recognize that my stress level had gone through the roof. If you’re in the Lantana or Boynton Beach area, please stop by.

We’ve started homeschooling this week for my little two, Bee and Butterfly. They are anxious to learn and throughout our days, we have covered writing, art, sight words, colors and letters. Both of them have been very receptive, and encouraging each other to repeat and participate.

Yet, when all is said and done, educating them only takes a few hours of the day (they are not yet 2 and not yet 4) and the rest of the day is filled with various educational videos and free play. They can only enjoy the letters video so many times before they become bored.

For that, I am very thankful to Silento… a silly song, which can hardly classify as a song, in my opinion, as it only has enough words to fill up a short poem. If you were to remove the repetitive words, you’d be down to eight words.

For your reading please, feel free to enjoy the lyrics of Watch Me Nae Nae by Silento

You already know who it is
Silentó
Silentó
Silentó
Gonna do it for meNow watch me whip (Kill it!)
Now watch me nae nae (Okay!)
Now watch me whip whip
Watch me nae nae (Want me do it?)Now watch me whip (Kill it!)
Watch me nae nae (Okay!)
Now watch me whip whip
Watch me nae nae (Can you do it?)

Now watch me

Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh ooh ooh ooh

Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh ooh ooh ooh

[x2:]
Do the stanky leg (stank)
Do the stanky leg (stank stank)
Do the stanky leg (stank)
Do the stanky leg (stank stank)

Now break your legs (break ’em, break ’em)
Break your legs (break ’em dog)
Tell ’em “break your legs” (break ’em, break ’em)
Break your legs (break ’em dog)
Tell ’em “break your legs” (break ’em, break ’em)
Break your legs (break ’em dog)
Tell ’em “break your legs” (break ’em, break ’em)
Break your legs (break ’em dog)

Now watch me
Bop bop bop bop bop bop bop bop bop
Now watch me
Bop bop bop bop bop bop bop bop bop

Now watch me whip (Kill it!)
Now watch me nae nae (Okay!)
Now watch me whip whip
Watch me nae nae (Want me do it?)

Now watch me whip (Kill it!)
Watch me nae nae (Okay!)
Now watch me whip whip
Watch me nae nae (Can you do it?)

Now watch me

Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh ooh ooh ooh

Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh ooh ooh ooh

Now watch me yule
Now watch me superman
Now watch me yule
Now watch me superman

Now watch me yule
Now watch me superman
Now watch me yule
Now watch me superman

Now watch me duff, duff, duff, duff, duff, duff, duff, duff (Hold on)
Now watch me duff, duff, duff, duff, duff, duff, duff, duff, duff

Now watch me
Bop bop bop bop bop bop bop bop bop
Now watch me
Bop bop bop bop bop bop bop bop bop

Now watch me whip (Kill it!)
Now watch me nae nae (Okay!)
Now watch me whip whip
Watch me nae nae (Want me do it?)

Now watch me whip (Kill it!)
Watch me nae nae (Okay!)
Now watch me whip whip
Watch me nae nae (Can you do it?)

Now watch me

Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh ooh ooh ooh

Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh watch me, watch me
Ooh ooh ooh ooh
Crank dat

Each time I play the video for my girls, I notice the number of views climb exponentially. I couldn’t help but laugh, wondering if the number is increasing just for those moms like me who keep it on replay to keep my children dancing and entertained. My daughters have probably watched it no less than 100 times, learning clean modern dance moves, so I can’t complain.

watch me whip

I’m sure there are ten things to be thankful here. I have survived the first week of school and ready to conquer the school year.

How about you?

one word blog linkup

 

This week’s words are Innocence and Dance.

Ten Things of Thankful

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2015 Summer Bucket List {Things to Do with Family in Palm Beach}

Just last week, my husband asked me what I wanted to do this summer. Normally, we schedule one big trip. For most years, it was, well, coming to Florida to visit his parents (one of the many reasons we made this move). With now three children, those cross-country flights were getting costly.

Being a stay at home mother has its advantages, excess money is not one of them. Instead of taking one big trip, I would love to hit as many places this summer as I can. Since the summer can pass by really fast, I’m going to see how many I can blow through.

This will be my “go to” list of things to do with family in Palm Beach County. I would love to post updates on where we end up going! I don’t want this summer to go by too fast and miss a lot of fun.

This list is organized in order by city, then alphabetical. If I missed any place, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email – spiritedlife @ gmail.com.

PBC Pinpoint Kids

B

Boca Raton Children’s Museum – Boca Raton
Children’s Science Explorium – Boca Raton
Daggerwing Nature Center – Boca Raton
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center – Boca Raton
Sugar Sand Park – Boca Raton
We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym – Boca Raton

Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market – Boynton Beach
The Bee’s Knees Learn & Play – Boynton Beach
Schoolhouse Children’s Museum & Learning Center – Boynton Beach

C

Off the Wall – Coconut Creek
Tradewinds Park & Stables – Coconut Creek
Wow Factory Indoor Playground & Family Fun Center – Coconut Creek

D

Flamingo Gardens Botanical Collection & Wildlife Sanctuary – Davie
Kabooms Amusement and Party Center – Davie
Young At Art Museum – Davie

Splash Adventure Water Park in Quiet Waters Park – Deerfield Beach

The Girls Strawberry U-Pick – Delray Beach
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens – Delray Beach
Sandoway House Nature Center – Delray Beach

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10 Last Minute Mother’s Day Ideas Guaranteed to Make Her Smile

Mother’s Day can a joy because it is the one day of the year that we are recognized just for being one thing – mom. We are shown appreciation in many forms such as brunch, breakfast in bed, flowers, and many more ideas listed on the most recent “What Moms Want” list provided by the company trying to sell you something.

Although there are moms who want gifts that cost money, many also want things that are free (or inexpensive). Here are just a few last minute Mother’s Day ideas that would bring joy to moms everywhere this upcoming Sunday.

10 Last Minute Mother’s Day Ideas Guaranteed to Make Her Smile

1. Sleep In

Oh, the glorious days of sleeping in have long passed for a mom. Whether or not, we actually get up in the morning, we still hear every. little. noise. in the house. Sleeping in is more than just not being jumped on my a loving child or dad shhushing in the background, but also actual quiet. We would love if you would find some place to go in the morning, like an early morning park trip. Just leave mom a note next to her phone to let her know to shout out when she’s up.

2. Breakfast in Bed

Breakfast tends to be a regular appearance on these lists, but I want to expand the scope of this request. I would love for it not just to be breakfast, but every meal of the day. One day where someone else cooks everything. Don’t assume you know what mom wants, feel free to give her menu choices and some time. Maybe even plan a little bit and ask her the night before so that you can be ready the next day.  A mimosa or bellini is also a great way to make breakfast a little special for the woman in your life.

Menu
Mother’s Day Breakfast Menu PDF
Mother's Day Menu - seafood
Seafood Inspired Mother’s Day Menu | PDF
#MOTHERSDAY menu
Old English Inspired Mother’s Day Menu | PDF

Taking her out to a nice restaurant can be nice, but it can also be costly and busy. A common alternative is to take mom out for breakfast. Nothing says “I love you” like paying to be treated like cattle. If you do want to take mom out, find a reservation only place and be on time so you can easily sit down, enjoy your meal without the hassle of waiting or having a bunch of little kids around your feel.

Eating at home can be worth it if you take into consideration #4 below.

3. Eating a complete meal

Mother’s Day is the one day that I would also not like not to share the food on my plate with anyone.  I also would like for everyone else to be fed without the help of mom. Whether at home or out, I want to be able to enjoy every aspect of my meal without splitting it with a child or having to feed them their meal. Oh, and this counts for all three meals of the day, and any snacks in which may have been purchased “just for me”.

4. A Clean Kitchen

I’d like to also include the clean kitchen afterward. No dishes for mom to do when she does get up in the morning (or the next day). Let me also add that goes for every meal made this day. Mom would like the kitchen clean… not sorta clean, not mostly clean, but ALL of the dishes washed and put away. When she wakes up on Monday morning, her first assignment should not be to clean up from the day before.

5. A Clean House

A great gift would for mom would be a clean house, every room, ALL of the rooms, so she can feel like the rest of the year hasn’t been in vain. When mom spends most of her time picking up after everyone, it would be nice that one day she could saunter through her own home and not see anything out of place. This includes her room too. Take out all of the toys, clothes or other junk that’s cluttering up the corners of her room.

6. Gifts from Children and Partners

I love it when a gift has been thought out, not just from my spouse, but from my children. Take the time to find out what mom would like, and give it to her. Homemade cards are wonderful, but so is a piece of personalized jewelry that includes all of her children or representation of them, like this homemade bird’s nest necklace:

Bird's Nest Necklace

Green for Bunny, his place at the top since he is the oldest. To the right, in white, is Alexander, my son in heaven. Next is Bee, my girly girl all in pink, as she is next in line. Finally, is my Butterfly is light blue.

7. Intimate Time with Her Partner

I know the guys are getting excited about this one. Please note that this may or may not include sex. Intimate time may be cuddling, a foot rub, or a couple’s bath, but it could be a great romp in the bedroom. For this one, you’ll have to ask her to find out what makes your woman happy.

8. Listening Children

Well, maybe obedient… ALL. DAY. LONG. No whining, complaining or ignoring. A day when mom can say “Jump” and everyone responds with “How high?” instead of the typical responses of:

“Why?”
“In a minute.”
“But mom”
or my favorite as Bunny gets a little older – pure silence and pretending I didn’t say anything.

We don’t want to have to ask twice or to “remind” you that you were doing something. Please note, I’d be happy to utilize a bell to make sure that I’m not ignored

9. A Quiet House

“Quiet” may or may not mean total silence, that really depends on each mother. What I’m sure all moms will appreciate is that it definitely means NO fighting, arguing or complaining. It also means that your television or computer isn’t louder than mine. You may, however, cuddle up with me and watch something I want to see.

10. No errands

I get it, you forgot something for Mother’s Day, but you have to remember, it’s OUR day. Don’t ask us to run to store to pick something up or the alternative, watch the kids while you go pick it up. Take the kids, give us the break. Or if you don’t think that’s the best plan, we can “run errands” without the kids the entire Father’s Day.

Bonus: Getting an Uninterrupted Bathroom/Shower Break

This bonus is one that you could give us regularly… time to go to the bathroom or take a shower without a little one knocking on the door, busting in or in other ways trying to get in on our time in the bathroom. For those stay at home moms, many of us contend that we don’t even get a shower daily. For real, that would be super nice!

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West Palm Beach CrossFit: The Community

I’d like to say that I could lose weight on my own and be the best me all by myself.

In reality, I need help. In reality, I can’t do it alone. In reality, I haven’t been able to do it alone.

After introducing you to Crossfit, talking to you about the price, and what Crossfit is, I’d like to end with the community.

In short, the community is AMAZING.

From young black men to older white women, this place has a lot of diversity. There are super fit people and people who have never worked out. We all do the same workout.

I knew I felt this place was different on my first visit. The trainer, Dana, introduced me to every one there (except those few in the “workout zone”.

CF The Community

In Reality, I Need Support

Working out is not fun to me. I am competitive, but sometimes workouts are really hard. I have been known to walk out of a class when I feel it’s just “too hard” for me, if the burn is a little too much.

But not here.

Every time I even try to slow down, I get cheered on from others in the class and those about to take the next class.

“You can do it!” 

“You’re almost done.”

When is the last time a classmate (someone that is not already your “friend”) in spin or other workout class cheered you on when you slowed down. I cannot remember a time that it’s happened.

 

In Reality, I Need Accountable

One thing about CrossFit is that you do workout outside. Often, you’ll be asked to run a distance between 200 to 400 meters. Obviously, that’s not always in the “view” of the trainer.

I admit, I have been known to walk. Have I mentioned to you that I hate running. It’s literally my least favorite exercise.

I haven’t been able to walk for long. Someone has always been there to say, “Girl, you know you can run, even if it’s just a little” or something like that.

When I’m doing the modification of the modification for pull-ups, they let me know that I still have time to get one more in.

When I’m doing burpees, I am encouraged that it’s just a few more.

I’m okay with it. In fact, I like it. I end up doing way more than I ever thought I would.

 

In Reality, I Need Friends

In our workout yesterday, we did 400 meters of walking lunges. Yep, that’s a lot of lunges and super far. We ended up in four clumps of people. I was in the last clump.

In this last clump, we dutifully took each step slowly around the building and we chatted. We chatted about life and things and that last quarter which should have felt like complete pain, instead was manageable.

Whether or not we’ll become friends outside the gym, I don’t know, but inside, we are the bestest ever!

 

My West Palm Beach CrossFit Gym. If you decide to drop in, let them know I sent you! 🙂

CFBGInobox

 WebsiteFacebook | LinkedIn | Twitter

getfit@crossfitbgi.com
561-296-9444
Address: 7231 Haverhill Business Pkwy, Suite#205, West Palm Beach, FL 33407

Come linkup and join us weekly for The 1 Word Blog Linkup hosted by The Golden Spoons, Blogitudes and Confessions of a Mommyholic on Wednesday Mornings at 6 am EST.
This week’s words: Offensive & Reality.

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How the Obsession with CrossFit Workouts Can Benefit You

CrossFit is too expensive huh? A CrossFit membership can be anywhere from $100 to $200 dollars a month.

Yep that much money. Let it sink in.

Having gone to multiple CrossFit gyms, believe me my mind was right there with you.

Where in the heck am I going to get up to $200 a month to go to the gym.

Yet after going this last month, I totally think it’s worth it and let me tell you why.

 

Note:

This post is for people like me.

I’m someone who needs a little push to get going, and loves to workout with friends. This post is also for those who have hired a trainer and not being able to afford a trainer is what’s holding you up.

CF Fees and the Workout

Fees

Let’s break down the fees:

On average, CrossFit costs about $150 to join. You may or may not have an initiation fee with a CrossFit, although I have not seen one.

On average, other gyms require an initiation fee of up to $99 (or as low as FREE on a promotion) and monthly fees cost from $10 to $50 a month.

I know you can do basic math. After one month, you’re pretty much even. But remember, this post is for people like me. I’m not stopping at just basic membership. I’m getting a personal trainer.

From my recollection, a personal trainer has cost from $25 to $50 an hour depending on how long you decide to commit. In general, two sessions won’t cut it, so you’re looking at at least eight (for a month). That’s the low end, so you’re looking at an extra $400 by the end of month ONE. I’ll even do this math with the lower amount $200 by the end of month ONE.

Here we stand: CrossFit: $150, Gym: $350. That’s absolutely ridiculous!

But wait, your trainer is only a couple of times a week and with your busy schedule, you pretty much only make it into the gym on those two days. Occasionally you can get a third, and on the really great weeks, you can get a fourth.

One month isn’t enough for the results that you want to achieve.

Let’s think realistically. Three months, you’ll get the entire gist of what your trainer will do for you and you’re completely ready to tackle it on your own.

By the end of three months, you’ve spent $750. We’re talking low-end. It could easily be over $1000. It’s ridiculous!

At CrossFit, $750 gets you about 5 months!

Not definitive proof that you should consider CrossFit, but keep reading.

The Workout

Results Centered

CrossFit is centered on the idea that there’s a “Workout of the Day”. It’s a workout that everyone in the gym does that day. The times or totals are written on a public board. Everyone can see everyone’s results. If you are competitive by any nature, knowing how everyone else stacks up is helpful to see where you “should” be. Since I’m new, I put my self at the top of the bottom third (I know, a little complicated) as my goal. Hopefully soon, I will push myself to be at the halfway point.

The gym is centered on the idea that you come in on your own time and just get it done. If, for some reason, you don’t “get it done”, they are quick to upsell you the ability to purchase sessions with a personal trainer. One gym boasts:

5 Reasons to have a Personal Trainer

  • Mix It Up with Cross Training. Trainers use a variety of effective workouts based upon your specific goals
  • Teaching vs. Showing. Instead of only showing you how to use exercise machines, a trainer will teach you principles of exercise that will stay with you for the rest of your life
  • Set-A-Pace.Through professional guidance, trainers will teach you what pace and intensity level is required to get into great shape
  • Turn Weaknesses Into Strengths.Trainers have the opportunity to see where your weaknesses and strengths are, to develop a program specific to your needs
  • Accountability.Trainers provide necessary accountability and motivation to maximize results

I agree! 

Personal Trainer-like Atmosphere

That’s why I’ve paid for SO many personal training sessions and invested in myself.

That’s also why I can’t go back, at least not right now.

With CrossFit, I can get that experience every day of the week!

The trainer at CrossFit BGI is looking over me at every step, pushing me harder and keeping me accountable for all of my actions.

“You Do Your Best You, April”

You just can’t walk into a CrossFit gym and not push yourself.

Last week, I went to the gym with my friend, who had not only regularly works out, but works out with a trainer. I allowed her to guide me through the workout process and see if she’s learned something that I didn’t. Although we did a lot of things, I can’t say I pushed myself.

On the first day, we did an arm workout. Three quarters of the workout focused on triceps, one quarter on biceps. On the second day, we did a leg workout.

Besides my triceps burning for three days, I felt nothing throughout my body. Since I had always known her to workout, I was somewhat disappointed that we never lifted more than 10 pounds, most of the time using 5 pound weights. The push-ups weren’t even girl push-ups, they were kneeling women’s push-ups.

I don’t know if it was the competitive spirit in me, but after working out for most of our adult life, I thought she would be at the point of doing men’s push-ups, and possibly enough for a dozen or so. In our series, I did 10 men’s and 20 women’s push-ups, while all of hers were modified. I also thought she would be lifting heavier weight, not doing the minimum.

Getting the Most out of Each Workout

I point this out to say that the way the CrossFit program works, the trainer would limit allowing you to do less than your capability, allowing for injuries, excess weight or other problems you may have. You get guided workouts will you go in and actually get a work out where you are strengthening, toning and conditioning your body.

Cardio consists of three to five minutes of running, rowing, jump rope and jumping jacks ~ not twenty minutes of it. After going last week, I remembered how much I hated just running, stepping or cycling for “warm up” cardio.

A lot of the CrossFit workouts utilize your own body weight, not requiring you to lift heavy weights to see and feel results.

Because of its trainer-like atmosphere, you will learn new techniques and workout new muscle groups that you probably never even considered to help you get stronger. They will make sure that you do every exercise correctly to avoid injury. As someone with bad knees, strained from former volleyball playing, I occasionally get strong pangs in my knees. It certainly doesn’t help that I have gained so much weight over the years. But with guidance from the trainer, I have no knee pain. If any exercise even starts showing any kind of pain, it’s modified so that I can complete the exercise and learn to get to the level of others.

Conclusion

Ultimately, what I feel is the biggest strength of CrossFit is that they are results-oriented. There is not ONE person in that gym that doesn’t have a story to tell about the progress that they’ve made since they arrived.

Overall, if you are self-motivated, you can do well with a regular gym and it can be cost-effective with promotions. If not, check out your local CrossFit, even through Groupon. Each CrossFit is different, so check out a couple in your area if you can.

Check out last week’s post of CrossFit: Welcome and Childcare and come back next week for CrossFit: The Community

 

My CrossFit Gym ~ please mention April Grant if you decide to try it out:

CFBGInobox

 WebsiteFacebook | LinkedIn | Twitter

getfit@crossfitbgi.com
561-296-9444
Address: 7231 Haverhill Business Pkwy, Suite#205, West Palm Beach, FL 33407

 

Come linkup and join us weekly for The 1 Word Blog Linkup hosted by The Golden Spoons, Blogitudes and Confessions of a Mommyholic on Wednesday Mornings at 6 am EST.
This week’s wordsFORGOTTEN & RIDICULOUS.

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Losing Your Beauty with these 10 Behaviors

Almost every day, I’m reminded that growing up does not equal more confidence, calmness or control. I don’t only mean for others, but for myself as well. Often, it takes effort to make small changes to alter my overall attitude.

Sometimes, the small changes are easy. There was a time when my son would ask me for something and I would realize an hour (or more) went by before tending to his needs. One day, he expressed how he didn’t like it when I didn’t pay attention to him. So now, when one of my children ask me for something, I respond, then I actually do it within in the next few minutes. I finish the thought or the sentence, then tend to them.

Losing Your Beauty

How has this made things better? First, they only ask me once. When I respond, they sit down and wait patiently for me to do whatever. Second, there are a lot less distractions. Once they get what they want, they’re on to the next play thing. Third, they are confident that I will help them with their needs, not their wants. They often forget the things they “want” by the time I’m ready to get it. Then, I give them a kiss and go back to what I was doing.

That’s a small change. One that you can make today or the next time the situation happens. Granted, it does take practice to make it easy to do, and it does get easier.

What about the big changes, like altering your attitude or changing your behavior? Losing our beauty to our negative behaviors not only effect ourselves but the others around us.

Do You Do Any of these 10 Behaviors:

Behavior One: All or Nothing Allison

Allison sees her behavior as black or white. Once she determines that she’s messed up one piece, everything is in the gutter.

Behavior Two: Blaming Barbara

Barbara finds that everything needs to be someone’s “fault”. The cause cannot be circumstantial and when she can’t find fault with someone else, then she turns it on herself.

Behavior Three: Over and Over Olivia

Olivia rolls negativity from one event to the next, finding fault and failure everywhere. She never feels successful because she’s always waiting for something to fail.

Behavior Four: Not a Big Deal Naomi

Naomi has false humility. She belittles her efforts and doesn’t see any benefits to her actions because “everyone can do it”.

Behavior Five: Shoulda Sharon

Sharon puts a lot of pressure on herself based on what she should’ve done and thus places these high expectations on others.

Behavior Six: Drama Queen Jean

Jean blows everything out of proportion and thus takes the smallest action and attributes a large meaning.

Behavior Seven: Psych Out Sally

Sally only believes the worst in others. She doesn’t rely on anyone because she doesn’t believe they will come through.

Behavior Eight: Bad Mouth Brandy

Brandy likes to talk about people, calling everyone names, including herself.

Behavior Nine: Emo Esther

Esther is lead by her emotions, not thinking reasonably or rationally about situations and her negative perception is the reality.

Behavior Ten: Negative Nancy

Nancy only notices the negative part of a situation. She completely discounts any positive part because the negative outshines the positive.

I have to say I’ve been guilty of several of these, especially Shoulda Sharon. I create impossible requirements and standards for myself and thus also expect the same of others. Over the years, I’ve become more compassionate in understanding other people’s situations and realizing that some people don’t want to change. I don’t say that to judge, but some people are in the frame of mind to do things differently and others don’t.

Regardless of the way they feel, I can’t make them. I’ve had to learn how to be ok with it instead of beating them over the head with it. I used to constantly wonder why they never had a positive response to what I was telling them and jump to it. Because we all know that when someone tells you to change your way of thinking over and over, you just wake up the next day and do it, right? Of course not. So, I had to stop.

That’s only the most prominent, I also suffer from many of these other behaviors. What about you? Have you been guilty of losing your beauty? Which of these stop you from being your most beautiful?

 

Come linkup and join us weekly for The 1 Word Blog Linkup hosted by The Golden Spoons, Blogitudes and Confessions of a Mommyholic on Wednesday Mornings at 6 am EST.  This week’s wordsLUCKY & BEAUTY.

This post was inspired by Essentials for Godly Living – Session III: Changing Your Behaviors to Get What You Want

References: Prov. 23:7

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Faded Are the Dreams of the Past

Faded

Faded are my illusions of balance.
Not faded are the constant needs of my children.

Faded is the idea that happiness is consistent.
Not faded are the pains in my stomach from my children using me as a playground.

Faded is the concept of “me time”.
Not faded is the requirement to give: of myself, my time and my talents.

Faded are the memories of my son, Alexander.
Not faded are the faces of Bunny, Bee and Butterfly who are in my face all of the time.

Faded are my dreams of independence.
Not faded are my dreams of interdependence and growth.

Faded are the effects of Happy.Calm.Focused.
Not faded is my determination to get my podcast off the ground.

Run Your World 2

This is just right now, today. Tomorrow is a new day.

 

Come linkup and join us weekly for The 1 Word Blog Linkup hosted by The Golden Spoons, Blogitudes and Confessions of a Mommyholic on Wednesday Mornings at 6 am EST.  This week’s wordsFaded or Calm.

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How to Be Happy. Calm. Focused. #Review #sp

Disclaimer: I received a free product in exchange for this review. All opinions and stories are my own.

Are you often confused about which day it is?

I am. As a stay at home mom, my days often run together ~ Monday through Friday are the same day, with a night time nap in between shifts.

But this last month, things were different… a lot different.

When you feel like you’re in a constant state of losing your mind or being confused about how the area that you just cleaned up is a mess again, you are constantly looking for remedies that will correct the issue. I jumped at the opportunity to review Happy. Calm. Focused.  I was so surprised by its effect, that I can even break down the different parts of the supplement.

Happy Calm Focused Bottle

Happy.

In our house, each day is a little worse for the kids as mommy gets more and more tired. Bee desperately needs a nap, but refuses almost every day since she was about two and a half years old. Every day, after three, Bee’s attitude goes downhill, and she is already my most attention-seeking child. By Friday, I just want to tear my hair out. Literally. Having no hair would mean I could bang my head against the wall without softening the blow.

What makes it worse is that on Friday, my husband comes home later than any other day of the week. He goes to church where they host their bible study on Friday nights. So, instead of getting my husband at a cool 6-6:15 p.m., I’m lucky if I get him home by 8. Did I mention this was Friday night?

By the second week of taking Happy. Calm. Focused., I was planning things for us to do together. We rented movies, we played games and we ordered in. I wasn’t frustrated at all, I looked forward to us being able to chill all night and have some fun. Big Hero 6, Candy Land and Uno were some of our favorites.

What was the best part, for the first time in this school year, I forgot that Friday was coming and was happy to see it when it arrived. I found myself laughing and smiling with all the hiccups during the week.


Calm.

Story one:

Because of Bee’s daily meltdowns, we have developed somewhat of a ritual.

Butterfly gets a very comfortable nap lasting between an hour and a half and three hours.

Butterfly wakes up in a great mood, hungry and ready to play.

Bee is hungry, but nothing i good, except for a sugary treat or even meal. I refuse.

I start packing up the car to pick up son, packing up snacks for all of the kids to enjoy together on the way home from school. It’s the only way snack time works where all of the children feel like they got a full snack.

Bee starts crying over something… normally how her sister touched her toy or the right show isn’t playing on television.

I tell her it’s time to put on her shoes so that we can get her brother.

Since taking Happy. Calm. Focused. I’ve been able to enjoy her retorts:

Straight refusal: I don’t want to put on my shoes.

Lazy refusal: I don’t want to go to get my brother.

Transportation refusal: I don’t want to get in the car.

But my ultimate favorite is:

Being reasonable: It’s ok, I’ll stay here.

She’s three. Not happening.

Also around week two, I was calming her down, because I, myself, was calm. I would talk to her, sing to her and find things that occupied her mind. It didn’t stop her meltdowns, but it slowed them down because I was willing to be calmer with her.

I also yelled a lot  less. I think one to two times throughout the rest of the month instead of at least once a day.

Talk about impressive.

I wonder if the kids appreciated it.

Story two:

I don’t talk about my extended family a lot here and I don’t particularly plan on starting. But I think this is pertinent to “Calm”.

There’s been an issue that I’ve wanted to address with my mother… for a long time. Think years.

I never did because she’s, well, my mother.

Plus, who am I? Where do I get off saying something to her about something that I think she did wrong, but more importantly, something I think she could start to correct if she really wanted to.

On this particular phone conversation, she said something that completely set me off.

But in a totally good way.

I relayed my point in a clear, and kind way.

A way where she was willing to listen, and not just get defensive.

A way where she heard and changes have started to be made.

Maybe it’s just me being more mature, but I don’t see me being able to have done that just a month before.

Happy Calm Focused Review - HCF Review

Focused.

Have you realized that often your short temper is not a reflection of your anger with the person you’re talking to, but about something else entirely?

The third week, my mind opened up and I was angry. Like truly angry. As much as I was frustrated with Bee’s behavior at home, Bunny’s behavior at school (a story for another day), and Butterfly’s refusal to leave me alone at any part of the day, I found myself actually angry and I couldn’t figure out why. I was confused… at first. 

Then, it came to me. I was pissed off at my husband. Why isn’t really relevant to this story, but I was angry at something he was doing… more so, something he wasn’t doing.

It had been hiding beneath all of the other things that had been going on and I was taking it out on my children.

Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t like I didn’t know it bothered me, but I’m a strong believer in picking your battles and finding the right time and place to address them.

I figured that this issue would just go away, like most did, because I can often overreact.

Not only did it not go away, but it became more pronounced. Whenever something along this subject was mentioned, I could feel my ears perk and my mother bear senses spike.

I addressed it.

I felt GREAT!

I was focused and multiple issues didn’t confuse this one.

 

Happy. Calm. Focused.

So, what is this supplement that I’m talking about… that made such an impact in such a short amount of time?

HCF is a brain supplement that claims to fed your brain the euro-nutrients to support the increase of key “feel good” neurotransmitter levels responsible for helping you feel happy, calm and focused.

This all-natural supplement is to be taken in three pills per day on an empty stomach.

I’m terrible at taking pills, so I also found a big difference in my willingness to want to take this on an empty stomach every morning. I looked forward to it because my days were just going so much better.

It boasts of a high Vitamin B12 amount. Although I’m sure that it’s a contributing factor, I’ve taken B12 shots and I’ve had more energy but I didn’t think clearer.

 

Final result: I love this product. I will be ordering this product to keep all of us happier.


If Mom is Happy, Everyone is Happy

Come linkup and join us weekly for The 1 Word Blog Linkup hosted by The Golden Spoons, Blogitudes and Confessions of a Mommyholic on Wednesday Mornings at 6 am EST.  This week’s wordsConfused or Wonderful.

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5 Secrets to Changing the World Now

Since the last #1000Speak post, I thought about a time that I was an aggressor.

1000Speak - Voices Are Strong

 

When I played volleyball, either my junior or senior year, our coach allowed a junior varsity player to play on the varsity team. I’ll be blunt. She sucked. At the varsity level, you have certain expectations of teammates, one of which was being able to serve the ball overhand. She couldn’t. Really, she couldn’t play.

Why was she on varsity? Because she worked her butt off.

But we didn’t understand. Our childlike minds were angry that we had her on our team instead of someone better.

We would make comments to her, which weren’t nice. I can’t remember what we said.

Our coach abruptly stopped us when he told us in no uncertain terms that we were to question his decision to put her on the team, and that any words must be kind or unspoken.

This speech was one that adjusted not only our words, but our hearts. She was part of our team. Let me repeat that. She was a part of our team. She wasn’t an outsider (not to say that would’ve been ok). She was a part of us and if we hurt her, we hurt us.

Can I tell you a secret?

When you hurt someone else, you hurt yourself.

We are connected, in one way or another. Even driving down the street, when one car drives recklessly, it leaves the rest of us to make different decisions to avoid accidents. The reckless driver can also cause everyone else to get angry which as we know is contagious.

Can I tell you another secret? 

We can all make the change to be better people.

You Must Be the Change You Wish to See in the World - Mahatma Gandhi

This #1000Speak crowd does not see the world as others do. The creators believe that a few, 1000, can start a movement that will change the world.

Three more secrets to changing the world:

You only have to be yourself. Most people who have changed the world were ordinary. Gandhi, King, Tubman, and Washington were all people who wanted to see a difference. They often were the one person ready to step out in front of the crowd and be the face of the cause. They were still just one person… one person who got together with another one person… and so on to become a great group of voices.

These people know that there is a price to be paid to do things differently. Sometimes, speaking up opens you up to ridicule, like the cause that we’re discussing here – bullying. Other times, the price is friends, careers, and even family.

These people who have people. They are not alone. That is what #1000Speak is about… coming together and making our individual small voices, one large roar. We are not alone, because we have each other to make this change.

 

By the way, years later, with the invention of Facebook, I did apologize and she’s super successful and beautiful.

Come linkup and join us weekly for The 1 Word Blog Linkup hosted by The Golden Spoons, Blogitudes and Confessions of a Mommyholic on Wednesday Mornings at 6 am EST.  This week’s wordsSECRET & MORNING.

 

This post was partially inspired by the series Transformers: Age of Illumination by Pastor Todd Mullins

References: Acts 1:8, Acts 17, Romans 12:2, Romans 4:13

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