I love thrift shopping! I love to find a bargain or something one of a kind and unique. I love paying low prices. It gives me more versatility and variety in my purchases. I'd like to consider myself somewhat of an expert on this topic, so I put together a list of tips to try as you thrift shop.
Assorted Opinions and Encouragements
Have you ever felt like you don't want to do ANYTHING? Like your bed is your BFF? You just want to lie in bed all day and...DO NOTHING. I call this the do-nothings and when I'm depressed I get it it bad. I hide in my room and well, do nothing. Simple tasks seem insurmountable. Doing a load of laundry seems like self imposed torture. Getting dressed and presentable seems impossibe. And making dinner? It ain't gonna happen!
But after going to therapy for my Post Partum Depression I learned some quick and easy tricks that can be just the ticket to get me out of a funk. Or at least help to accomplish something even if it's small. Because small things can feel really big when you're in the midst of the dark cloud of depression.
I'm sharing a few of the lessons I learned while in therapy because I think we all get the do nothings sometimes. And if you don't, then tell me your secret!
1. Make a list of the positives and negatives of a certain activity you're dreading. My example for this was waking up early. It's been a goal of mine for a long time, but man do I love to sleep. So I made the list! The positives far outweigh the negatives. Sometimes this is all the push you need to do something that you are dreading.
2. Make a list of pleasurable activities and plan one thing that brings you even a small measure of joy EVERY day. This might sound crazy because I'll be honest as a mom and a woman I find that I was rarely doing anything just to bring myself joy. That felt normal and maybe even expected but it doesn't have to be that way. I assure you it is not impossible to bring joy into every day of your life. Sometimes it just takes some forethought and planning. It can be something very small like painting your nails, going for a jog or indulging in a chocolate. Whatever works for you. Here's a look at my list.
This exercise is interesting because it gives you something to look forward to every day and surprisingly it can help you to get to know yourself better. I found that sometimes the things I thought I would enjoy weren't that great or things I thought would be just okay turned out to be right up my alley.
3. Make a schedule for every hour of your day. So not a regular calendar but and hour by hour break down of your day. (from the hour you get up to the hour you go to bed) Beside each activity record your anticipated feeling toward the activity or task. Go back and fill in the reality of how you felt. Did you really do what you had planned? If not what did you do instead? And don't forget how you really felt. To make this a little easier you can classify the topics into maintainence (things you must do) and pleasure (things your are excited to do) and next to it write a number from 1-5 how much of a pleasure or chore you are anticipating or was it really. Was it both?
These are just 3 of many ways to cope with symptoms of depression and I'll be totally honest with you, sometimes these just aren't enough to get me out of my funk or sometimes my do nothings are just too strong to even write a list. But if I can get myself to do these exercises, more times than not I feel so much better. Having a plan and something to look forward to really helps me. I hope that next time you are struggling with the do-nothings you can try some of these suggestions. Do you get the do nothings? What helps you to cope and overcome? Do you like my print outs? Well I have made them available to you for free! Just CLICK HERE enter your email and I'll send them right over to you! As always Stay Crafty!
As seen on Nandyzsoulshine.com
After having my second child my weight went pretty much back to my 'normal.' But after struggling with Post Partum Depression I've put on some weight. Part of the "problem" I guess, is that I LOVE food and I've been trying to find any ol' way to increase my happiness. Well, food fits the bill. It's like an instant gratification, an instant reward, a high five from my stomach.
A lot of times when you hear about weight, it's about how to lose it. And do I want to lose the pounds I've accumulated? Sure! BUT I refuse to become obsessed. I realize that some of my habits have become unhealthy and I'm trying to choose better. But, in the mean time, this body is my home. It's the body that cares for my family. The body that nourished and birthed two babies. The body that I've come to love and respect.
I don't want my kids to look at people and judge them by appearance or pounds. I want them to get to know the contents of their character. But how can I expet that from them if they hear me saying unkind things about my body? I'm banning the word 'fat' from my home. It's not a useful word.
I never want my kids to feel like their weight determines their worth. Because, IT DOESN'T! I'm still just as valuable now as I was when I was first married and 120 pounds. And I think the healthy wasy to lose weight is to love yourself and do it for your health.
I've grown to love myself and I've never been happier (or heavier) than I am right now. It's a learning process trying to find balance. I'm happy for those people that have positive body image AND work out 7 days a week. They should be proud of their hard work. But that doesn't minimize anything about my life or yours. I think we can be happy for each other and support each other through thick and thin. (literally) We need to stop comparing ourselves with others.
I don't "need" to lose weight to feel better about myself. That part of my life is behind me. I need to love myself and make healthy choices, so this body that has given me so much can continue to give. And I need to model positive body image to my children because the world is not always so kind.
Are you struggling with negative thoughts about your body? Think about these suggestions:
- My body does not define who I am.
- My body does not define what I am.
- My body deserves my respect.
- My body is my home.
- My body is wonderfully made.
- My body is my own.
- I want my body to be healthy not just a certain size.
You guys, let's be kind to ourselves! Let's pursue healthiness and happiness. Let's empower and encourage ourselves and our friends. Let's spread love. Lets love our bodies even if we want to change them. And as always Stay Crafty!
Have you ever experienced a life changing event? Something so profound you will never be the same? I have and it has effected so many aspects of my life. To tell you about it though, I need to give you some background. When I was pregnant with my first child my sister-in-law told me 'Once you give birth you will feel like you can do anything.' But as it turned out I struggled with preeclampsia through the second half of my pregnancy and ended up having an emergency induction 4 weeks early. I didn't feel empowered. My nurse was terrible and told me to 'lay back and let her do her job.' My awesome Obstetrician was on holiday and my on call doctor was rushing through my delivery to attend another. I won't go into the graphic details but my body was not treated with respect. Even with my doula present, the staff treated me disrespectfully and even chastised me for passing out during my epidural. I felt totally out of control of my body. I felt violated and traumatized. I totally understood why some women prefer midwives and home births. Needless to say that experience did nothing to inspire that 'I can do anything' spirit in me. I secretly wondered what was wrong with me.
Fast forward to my second pregnancy. Although not complication free, my second was much easier. I wasn't as sick. I was able to enjoy my pregnancy a bit more even though I was dreading delivery. After my last experience I was frightened of those who were tasked with helping to deliver and of the epidural that I would surely want. I again had a doula and this time made through all of my child birth classes. A few days before my due date my doula texted to me she'd be unavailable today because another client was in labor. She gave me the number of a back up doula to call just in case. OH NO! I thought. What IF! Well what if happened. I was feeling hyper and restless and then I noticed decreased movement in my normally very active belly. I informed my husband that I was going to the hospital just in case (like I had several times before) and that he should just get some sleep this time and stay with our son because I was confident it was nothing. I picked up my mama and headed over. After a couple hours the on call doctor came in and said my Obstetrician was off duty! and she wanted to INDUCE. I looked at her and said NO! Then after some negotiation we decided to try a few other options. But, when I was checked it just so happened that I was already in labor. So I called my husband and my back up doula and told them to GET HERE NOW. Well after the drama of my last labor I was terrified of the epidural and decided to let the doula coach me through my labor as long as I could stand it. I went from a 4 to a 7 in an hour and delivered in the hour after that. Let me tell you drug free labor is NO JOKE! I begged for the epidural. I yelled. I moaned. I said I CAN'T DO THIS! But my doula and my family and supportive staff helped me through it. Well none of that sounds that positive does it? But, that experience helped me regain my confidence. In my body. In my strength. In my ability to overcome. I started to think If I can do that I can do ANYTHING. My sister-in-law was right. A positive birth where my body and thoughts were respected helped me see what I am capable of. I felt like wonder woman. That beautiful life that came into the world I helped to achieve that!
Here are some things I learned from my experience.
- I am so much stronger than I thought.
- Having the right support team makes all the difference in difficult times.
- Just because something is difficult or painful doesn't mean it can't teach a lesson or be of value
- Great things come from hard work!
- Women are amazing!
I try to remember what I am capable of any time I have doubts. Any time I think I CAN'T DO THIS! Any time I start to feel depressed I remember that I am strong. I am confident and one bad experience doesn't negate that. So be strong peeps. Be confident. You are amazing and don't let a bad day or a bad experience tell you otherwise. Surround yourself with people who love you, encourage you and help you through the tough times. Obviously, you don't have to give birth to feel empowered or like the rockstar you are! There are so many ways to feel good about yourself.
Have you had an experience that helped you realize what a rockstar you are? How do you stay positive in the face of adversity? What helps you maintain your confidence? Share your thoughts. And as always Stay Crafty!
Minimalism is all rainbows and sunshine on the internet right now. It's all over pinterest 'how to become a minimalist' 'why minimalism will improve your life' etc. I have to admit I was totally all over the posts. I really feel like less is more when it comes to many aspects of life. I've read so many posts on becoming a minimalist, only keeping what brings you joy, having a capsule waredrobe and embracing a very simple lifestyle. So I do really like some of the ideas behind these concepts.
I like to be conscious of my spending. I like to try and have a clutter free home and I'd love to have a ROCKSTAR wardrobe that had only things I love in it. But, here's where they lose me. I don't have the urge to get rid of my stuff that I love, the stuff I feel nostalgic about or the stuff I'll use someday just because minimalism said so. I'm sort of a messy person. Most creatives are. So I feel like a giant cirlce trying to fit in a tiny little box. (picture Baymax shoving himself through that window)
Don't get me wrong I don't hoard stuff. (well maybe a little) I love to make stuff: crafts, crochet projects, paint, sew.. the list goes on. So all of those activities entail STUFF. Basically I'm trying to have closet devoted to my various crafts. (and failing I might add) I go through my stuff, especially my clothes regularly and purge what I no longer find useful, but a 10 piece wardrobe? It just isn't for me! Maybe I don't have that clear of an idea what my style is or maybe I just really like my clothes. I don't keep stuff I don't wear so I don't really see the issue with a full closet. I mean what else am I going to put in there anyway?
I want my house to be comfortable and homey. I want to snuggle up with ALL my throw pillows and have a throw blanket for EVERYBODY that comes over. I want black shoes and leopard print. Blue jeans AND purple jeans. More than 3 shirts and I want my kids to keep the toys they get from family! I DON'T want things to be the focus of our lives but I also don't want to ask minimalism's permission to buy a 'new' shirt from the thrift store. I don't want to count my clothes or my anything else. Basically I just want to live my comfortable life right here in the middle of minimal and messy. My stuff doesn't define me. I am greatful for what I have. So maybe I'm a little messy but my house is a comfy lived in home. Instead of minimalism, I'm going to focus on limiting my clutter and finding a place for the things I have. I'm going to clean out my garage and have a garage sale and organize that bad boy. And I'm going to work on not accumulating things that have no meaning or useful place in my life.
Here are some ideas that I am going to try:
- Go through my clothes and donate what I don't love once a month.
- Go through my kid's toys and donate what they don't play with 4 times a year. This is also a teachable moment.
- Have a garage sale once a year.
- Host a clothing swap with friends once a year.
- Go through craft supplies once a year and gift what I really will not use.
- Go through books once a year and donate some.
That's just a few ideas I'm going to try to declutter my life in an easier way. Do you have any suggestions for me to help declutter? Where do you stand on minimalism? Are you all in? Are you organized and carefree? Or are you like me and look at those amazing people in awe and laugh to yourself at the thought of your house going minimal? Share your thoughts and as always Stay Crafty!
Whew! Did that title get your attention? Well, I'm not an internet troll or one of those people that approaches nursing mothers just to say 'eww gross.' I even sympathize with that lady whose kid climbed in the monkey exhibit, like don't get me started.
There's been a lot of talk lately about mom shaming. Innocent phrases like 'Breast is Best' have become stigmatized by trolls who make it their life's duty to shame moms who choose formula. And I mean guys that's one of many examples. This article is not for those meanies who make it their goal in life to hate on other moms.
I have nothing left in me but respect and love for other mamas. I love you guys. You're strong. You're beautiful. You're amazing. But let's get real for a second. I know I personally have gotten caught up feeling angry with those random mean girls on the internet or in person. But, what's the point in wasting energy on that negativity? And If I'm completely honest with myself inside I'm not always kind. I have even judged other moms decisions with my friends. WOW that feels icky to admit. But it's the truth.
The thing is we all have our opinions on parenting our kids. We ALL have them! But if you're like me, half of the time I feel like I'm drowning, like I'm failing, like Why did I think I could mother other human beings? So why would I feel like I could judge other moms going through the same joyful struggle as me? The truth is I want to turn the judgement off! I want those automatic..."oh boy he's a brat" or "Oh no she didn't" to stop.
I'll be the first to tell you, I'm by no means perfect but I encourage you to seek this goal with me! Let's encourage, seek to understand, build up, empower and LOVE other mothers. This motherhood thing is HARD (they don't call it the hood for nothin) So, let's help each other out. Let's not waste our time with the mean girls. Lets walk away from the drama and choose to look for the good in others.
Unless a child is endangered, how does it really matter what I think of someone else's choices? I'm going to make an effort to build up my own family and do my best to teach my kids not to be mean to others for being different. I'm not going to shame the moms or the mom shamers because I'll be too busy spreading positivity.
Here are some things I am trying to think about when I disagree with a parenting style or think a kid is out of control.
- Is my way the only right way?
- Have I ever done something similar?
- Who made me the judge?
- Can I choose empathy?
- Can I offer an encouraging word?
- Can I offer practical help? (not a lecture)
- Does this actually effect my life?
- But did they die though? (lol, is this child in any danger?)
- Is it possible that this child has an invisible disability? My child does. And let me tell you it really effects what we can expect from him. I don't feel obligated to tell every person that looks at me sideways.
- My personal favorite: MIND YO BUSINESS
Let's be nice to each other! Embrace our differences where we can and IGNORE what we cannot. Offer a helping hand to a tired mama or a word of kind encouragement. You're beautiful! You're kind! You're a great mom! So spread the love and as always Stay Crafty!