health · quarantine

Supplements to take during Pandemic

Vitamin B, C and D.

Do you have these? I’ve noticed lately that these are recommended for those who test positive. I also know well before this these same vitamins were recommended to stay healthy and be taken preventatively. I take all three daily and will continue to do so.

Do you know why each of these are needed?

Vitamin C probably goes without saying, during the winter months especially.

Vitamin B is great for energy! Super B contains all the B vitamins you need.

Vitamin D is what you take in from the sun and is lacking in winter months. I read recently that 80% of those who tested positive had low vitamin D levels. Take a look at the graphs below of this correlation. Low vitamin D is also linked to depression.

I encourage you to add these to your daily supplements

natural lifestyle · quarantine · Uncategorized

Earthing: Getting dirty for your health.

During this time of quarantine, I try to stay focused on ways to give myself and my family every advantage possible: to be the healthiest, mentally stable versions of ourselves. Healthy diet and self-care have been a priority for sure. We have slowed down, are eating better and exercising more than we did prior to this time.

But I am always open and seeking other ways to keep us at our best in a time where circumstances would point to the opposite. I follow a gal on Instagram who mentioned earthing in a post, and that she found her info on NCBI, and I was intrigued.

What is earthing? NCBI explains, “Earthing (also known as grounding) refers to contact with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot outside or sitting, working, or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems, some of them patented, that transfer the energy from the ground into the body.”

Early humans walked the earth barefoot and even slept on the ground. Could this have given them a physical advantage over their modern-day, rubber-sole-wearing counterparts?

I also share the concern of many about the introduction of the fifth generation of wireless communication technology. The NBHI study gives us hope stating that earthing “essentially eliminates the ambient voltage induced on our bodies from common electrical sources.” 🌲❤️

After reading through the NBHI study on earthing, it does seem to show evidence that walking barefoot is more than beneficial. When we engage in earthing we are making direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Order up a serving of “sunshine, clean air and water, nutritious food, physical activity,” and add to that list…earthing. Research to date shows “it may be an essential element to the health equation.”

The past two days, I’ve experimented. I made a point to do simple outdoor tasks barefoot. Watering the flowers, checking the mail, having coffee. What I noticed afterward was not only a calming, but the nostalgia of that feeling of grass between my toes. And the realization that I am much more tender-footed than my ten-year-old self who could run across a gravel driveway unfazed. I have missed this.

Move over Lysol and Clorox wipes. Dirty feet may keep you healthy.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265077/

Edited to add:

After reading this study several years ago on the effects of wifi, I quit sleeping with my phone and using it as an alarm clock. And it also birthed a skepticism and concern within me about the effects of our electronic devices on our bodies, and ultimately the writing of this post.

 

kids · parenting · Uncategorized

Sidewalk Chalk Mosaics

Have you had a chance to make a sidewalk chalk mosaic yet? We love them. Every aspect of it is satisfying, from planning a design, to putting down the tape, coloring and maybe especially peeling off the tape for the big reveal.

My girls had been begging to do another sidewalk chalk mosaic ever since the rain washed away their last one. Thankfully, the Easter bunny brought them more chalk and tape. 🐇

Anna Claire, our ten-year-old, was very strategic about choosing the day to do it, watching the weather so that they would get the maximum number of days to enjoy it before the next rain.

Last time I did most of the tape work. This time the girls did it without help. We have learned you don’t have to be too perfectionistic about it. It will look good no matter what.

We have also learned it is wise to sweep the area or pick up any debris so the area is clean before you start taping. If you don’t, the tape won’t stick and stay put as well.

It is also worth mentioning that we did not use a template. I have read that others “combed Pinterest” searching for a template. You certainly could! We personally opted not to because we felt like part of the fun is creating your own design.

If you do create your own design, it’s helpful to decide what the outside shape will be, then just be sure to the smaller shapes you create inside are polygons: triangles and trapezoids look best. Lots of angles!

You can put in some additional planning if you want the design to be symmetrical. We opted for more abstract.

We also had better chalk this time, “much more pigmented” (the words of Madeline, my six-year-old) and we loved the names of the colors: Macaroni and Cheese, Mauvelous and Granny Smith Apple, to name a few. We have decided we would like to be hired by Crayola to choose the color names!

A new box of chalk is so satisfying

For this project you will need:

Uncategorized

Movies to watch with kids during quarantine

So many parents have been reaching out on social media about what to do with their kiddos during this time.

It can be hard to find movies that are fun for the family without any inappropriate language or violence. I am starting a list here that I will build on and add to. While they aren’t educational, quite a few are based on books and I find my oldest often wants to read the book before or after watching. These are safe and enjoyable and we are all reaching for that right now. I hope these bring joy to your home as they have to ours. Feel free to share any you’ve discovered in the comments.

  • Stargirl (Disney+)
  • Jinxed (Netflix)
  • Hop (Netflix)
  • A Dog’s Purpose (Amazon)
  • Bridge to Terabithia (Netflix)
  • Because of Winn Dixie (Disney+)
  • Wonder (Amazon)
  • Freaky Friday (Disney+)
  • Aladdin (Disney+)
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Amazon)
  • Scales: Mermaids are Real (Netflix)
  • Wonder Park (Amazon)
  • Trolls: World Tour (Amazon)
  • Onward (Disney+)
  • Mrs. Doubtfire (Amazon)
  • The Parent Trap (both versions Disney+
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Disney +)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies (HBO – free 7 day trial)
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass
  • BFG (Netflix- be sure to check out this BFG Dictionary and word search. So fun!)

Bonus – Shows/Series:

  • Just Add Magic (Amazon)
  • Odd Squad (PBS Kids)
  • Kids Vs. Food (Amazon)
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix – mine loved the SERIES. The movie, not so much.)
  • The Healing Powers of Dude (Netflix)
  • Good Luck Charlie (Disney+)
  • Stuck in the Middle (Disney+)
  • Muppets NOW (Disney+)

(FYI: I’m a parent of two girls, ages 6 and 10 so this list will apply more to that subgroup.)

essential oils · health · natural lifestyle

DIY Thieves

DIY Thieves.

Last week, I did the unthinkable. I ran out of Thieves. 😭 And this is NOT the time to be without the king of immune system support oils!

Obviously I ordered more, but until it gets here, I had to get creative. I realized that not only do I have all of the ingredients to make my own Thieves, I realized that Young Living is giving most of these to their customers this month as promos for hitting different spending targets. They are giving us the gift of health!

How accurate this is, I’m not for sure, but all four recipes that I was able to find online generally had this ratio:

2 drops rosemary
3 drops eucalyptus
4 drops cinnamon bark
7 drops lemon
8 drops clove

I kept this ratio but multiplied each number times 5 and placed in an empty dropper bottle to make a synergy or mixture. I did not add any carrier oils. This way, I can simply add 4-6 drops of the mixture to our diffuser. And it almost smells just like our wonderful Thieves!

Notice I said “almost.” Rest assured when my bottle of Thieves arrives I will be going back to it. I’m no Gary Young over here! But if you’re ever in a pinch, this is good to know about.

I won’t be wasting this concoction. My family really likes it so it is going to be the “Thieves” for our kitchen diffuser.

Raise your hand if you have Thieves or something similar in your wellness cabinet!

foodie · health · quarantine · Uncategorized

Changing Your Perspective on Food

What is your relationship with food? Do you eat to nourish your body? To bring you joy? To comfort you? To satisfy your hunger? If you’re like most people, you probably answered “yes” to all of the above. Me too!

However, as I’ve gotten older and cared more about my health and feeling good, over time I can honestly say I have shifted to eating more for these two reasons: to satisfy hunger and to nourish my body.

I think part of the reason we struggle as a culture with our food relationship, is that during phases of our life, we have placed too much focus on the other two reasons: we reach for food to bring us joy and to comfort us.

The greatest shift can happen for you when you stop (and this is the magic sentence, hence the boldface) stop choosing the foods you eat for the taste factor and choose them for how you know they will make you feel.

Those who are around me for much time at all are surprised at how easily I can say “no thanks” to a big bowl of ice cream or to donuts. It’s because I’ve learned I’m lactose intolerant and I’ve spent many a day doubled over in a ball on my bed, with the sharpest imaginable pain in my gut due to eating dairy. Same can be said for gluten. I have slowly evolved to the place where I care more able how I will feel for the rest of the day than a few brief moments of “yummy.”

When I have weak moments and give in to either my own cravings or into peer pressure of what those around me would prefer to eat, I always regret it. Physically, and sometimes also emotionally. Our physical health as you know impacts our emotional health, and vice versa. So before I choose what I want to put in my body, I try to always ask: is this the best thing I could be eating right now? Am I eating it because it is yummy? Is that the only reason? How will I feel after I eat this?

Another catalyst that helped me make the shift, was learning that the “food on the aisles” are loaded with preservatives and some of those include additives that make you crave more of that food. Some of you reading this may feel betrayed by the food industry and angry to learn this – I know I did. These are the packaged foods: boxed, canned, frozen. A good rule of thumb: if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, don’t eat it.

This is why I suggest to folks to shop the perimeter of the grocery store: meats, seafood, dairy (we do lactose free), fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts. The good stuff, the healthy stuff, is always on the perimeter, not in the aisles (this is generally true, though there are some good foods to find in the aisles.) You need to eat real food.

What I wasn’t expecting, is that once I cut out the junk food, I stopped craving it. Now I pretty much crave real fresh food. Then I read a quote that pretty much summarizes this idea: “what you eat you crave more of. ”

So if you eat junk, you crave more junk. When you eat real food, you crave that. The hard part is making the shift. When I cut out junk food, it wasn’t easy. It helped that I was pregnant, and my primary goal in life was to provide the healthiest possible environment for my baby to inhabit. I had a greater motivation and something outside myself that helped me have the willpower to make the change.

It also helped that my mom had been diagnosed with Alzheimers and my research to help her benefited my whole outlook. It was then that I learned about the terrible effects of artificial sweeteners.

And later still, when my oldest child was diagnosed with migraine headaches, my research to help her led me to my knowledge of food coloring and sugar. Both of these are migraine triggers and I would recommend cutting these two out to anyone who suffers from them. Even further research of food coloring led me to how  it effects those with ADD, and I learned sugar consumption lowers the immune system.

I realize these aren’t popular schools of thought and may even be unwanted because they don’t line up with how you would like to eat, but if you are aware, I promise your outlook on how you eat with shift and YOU WILL FEEL BETTER.

And in the face of a worldwide pandemic, as we are right now, you need to be reaching for every possible advantage that you can to increase your wellness and immune system so that you are resistant. Eat for your health, friends. You are what you eat.

 

 

adventures with kids · clarksville · kids · quarantine · Uncategorized

Our Second Week of Quarantine: “Spring Break”

I know we are like so many who have mourned (or are mourning) the loss of our spring break plans. We had so many fun adventures planned! But instead of being sad, we got creative and found ways to make the most of our time.

I felt like the girls deserved a week off – no school work. If it was going to be their spring break, quarantine or not, I was determined to make it the most fun I possibly could for them.

Neighborhood walks are the best medicine.

We went for a walk almost every day. It is amazing what being outdoors and taking in the vitamin D does for the body. Loving some sunshine after rain almost every day last week! Madeline asked for a horse, and I remembered a couple of stick horses I had bought way back, stuck in the closet and had forgotten about. I pulled those out and she has loved riding her hobby horse all over the house and outside.

Meet Diamond. 🐴

All of the rain delivered lots of growth in the beds so I weeded and prepped them while the girls played outside. Lots of bike and scooter riding, basketball, and badminton. Sidewalk chalk, bubbles and jumprope were favorites too. They enjoyed these simple pleasures so much.

Sidewalk chalk and bubbles

The girls asked to do some school work, which I hadn’t planned on, as I said, with this being Spring Break. But if they are wanting to learn, I am never saying no to that. Madeline working on ixl and AC worked on science fossils diagram.
AC found a recipe for Nutella fudge, and had been talking to us about it, writing it all out and begging for the ingredients to make it for several days. Larry got everything for her and helped her make it over break and she was over the moon. And her fudge was amazing. She seems to have a natural knack for cooking just like her dad. If we can just train her not to lick her fingers!

Watch out! This girl is going places. Everything she cooks up is amazing.

I had read on social media that many folks do Takeaway Tuesday. So many restaurants that we had been wanting to try have made the shift from dine-in to curbside and take-away, so we took a drive and picked up Nicholetta’s southern chicken salad and a calzone from Caprizios. We also did a curbside pick up of art supplies from Michael’s. It is so great that they offer this option! I ordered a giant pack of markers, some water color paper and a Frozen II jewelry making set for Madeline.

Nicholetta’s for the win!

It was a rainy day so we did washable marker designs on the watercolor paper and let them sit outside in the rain for a tie dye effect. AC was missing her friends so we let her call one of her best friends which she needed and loved. Madeline made one of her friends a necklace, colored her a picture and wrote her a letter. Both girls have enjoyed writing letters and receiving them. They discovered hangman and have become obsessed with the game.

Rainy day art!

Hangman!

When we were out getting Nicholetta’s we had noticed something we never noticed before – our favorite ice cream shop, Golly G’s has a drive through! So the next day, we hit the Golly G’s drive through for ice cream then took it with us to the park to enjoy outside. We hiked Spur Line Trailhead, which is a lesser known path. I like that you run into very few if any people. It is pretty with lots of flowering trees and the girls love crossing the bridge.

Spur Line Trailhead – downtown Clarksville

This was our “big trip” for break, but I do think we social distanced well and followed guidelines. AC had been begging to go to Five Daughter’s Bakery in Nashville and it was near the top of her bucket list for spring break. Well, when I was looking over our would-have-been-plans, Five Daughter’s delightfully stood out to me as something we could still do. They did online ordering and curbside pick-up so minimal human interaction. We got our 100-layer-donuts and took them with us to devour at Radnor Lake, another bucket list item. I told the girls awhile back that it was Taylor Swifts favorite park and they have begged to go there since. I thought it was doable since we would be close by and wanted to do a nature walk anyway. It was breathtaking. None of us were expecting it to be as beautiful and charming as it was. We will most definitely be back! When we got home I cut back monkey grass in our front bed while the girls blew bubbles and did sidewalk chalk.

Radnor Lake – our new favorite place.

To wrap up break, we had a rainy day, and treated ourselves to a spa day: charcoal soap, facial scrub, mask and foot bath. This could be habit forming!
Finally, I took Madeline to our small country store down the road (she calls it “the honey store.”) While we were there she discovered the little free library and found a book on butterflies. It was windy and I quickly remembered our kites I had picked up a week ago. It ended up being the perfect day for flying them.

Little Free Library

Kite flying success

Uncategorized

Our First Week of Quarantine: Homeschool Life

Required school closures and quarantine have evoked fear and panic in some, but to me it is an opportunity to experience life at a slower pace. There is a part of me (and probably you too) that has yearned for to be free from rushing around and schedules.

I have often told my children stories about what life was like when their dad and I were their age. We had time to run and play and be creative, to really be kids. A silver lining of this quarantine has definitely been the chance for them to sample what that’s like.

We LOLed when she finally guessed her card and had to say “I am nuts.” 😁

When our schools first made the decision to close, we eased into this, not really understanding how serious it was for us to stay home. Right or wrong, the first few days we kept hair and doctor appointments, and took the girls to the grocery with us. The talk of toilet paper shortage became real for our family when we were down to two rolls and my husband was unable to find any at our stores here. I drove to the next town over and chuckled at my own excitement when I scored a big pack of t.p. and paper towels.

Score!!!

We found out schools would be closed for one week, then we would have spring break. We wondered if we would go back to school after spring break, so we continued with school work: writing assignments, projects, ixl and checking Google Classroom. So many educational sites offered free access which has been wonderful. We had a homeschool experience. My girls took to homeschooling right away. They wanted time to read books, write, and do some online work, but loved the freedom to pursue their own interests, have choices, and to be able to move and talk throughout the day. We did math on white boards, and made a leprechaun trap for St. Patrick’s Day.

Homeschool.

I thought about what school would look like as a teacher and wondered what resources students and parents would need that I could provide. We were asked to pick up personal items from our classroom. When I went in I felt sad looking at the empty desks wondering when I would see students in them again. We all worried about students on free-reduced lunch who received FUEL (a bag of food given weekly by schools). We wondered how they would be fed and were proud of how our district and school responded to meet the need.

P.E. class has looked like going on walks. Getting outdoors has been a challenge some days due to cooler temps or rain, but when we were able it was wonderful. Going for daily walks bring joy. One day we walked a trail by the creek and the rain poured. We all got soaked but the girls didn’t seem to mind. Being outside is really important for all of us during this time. We need the fresh air, and Vitamin D.

Creativity and board games have served us all really well. The girls made dresses out of paper towels for their Barbies, we did watercolor and all kinds of art work. Lots of games played: checkers, Guess Who and Connect Four have been favorites.

The girls made dresses for their Barbies out of paper towels.

I have so much gratitude for the time we have and want to get it right. I want to love on these kiddos, make sure they feel safe and help them enjoy these days as much as possible.

Don’t let her sweet face fool you. She is a tough opponent at checkers!

 

Uncategorized

Be Wellness-Minded: What You Think About You Bring About!

All media seems focused on one thing: Coronavirus. Not recommended friends. I am intentionally avoiding social media like the plague (pun intended) and so should you.

We must take it seriously, and we must change our habits because of it. But the WORST thing we could do right now as a collective consciousness and talk and think about this scenario 24/7.

We know that what we think about, we bring about. Right? So then why in the world do we all want to beat the drum of something unwanted and give it more energy?

Instead: Let’s focus on the POLAR OPPOSITE. What do we want? Wellness.

Here are my quick ten wellness mindset practices:

  1. Think and speak thoughts of wellness. Visualize you and your family as well.
  2. Make it your habit to practice supporting your immune system. For specific tips and practices check out my post on immune system boosters.
  3. Stay off social media to the extent possible and avoid CNN and FoxNews. My dad used to refer to the news as “the bad news.” The older I get, the more I see he was right.
  4. Stay calm. We do need to stay home, to flatten the curve. But don’t panic. People get worked up in numbers and blow things out of proportion. This only contributes to the negative energy and attracts the unwanted.
  5. Be proactive. Do things you should do anyway. Wash hands. Avoid shaking hands and other unnecessary physical contact. But not to the extent of anxiety.
  6. Stay positive. The more upbeat you are, the higher you are vibing, the less at-risk you are of attracting unwanted. Focus on positive aspects as much as possible. Make lists if needed.
  7. Self-care. If you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be any good to anyone else. Have a nice cup of tea. Give yourself a facial or mani-pedi. Take a bubble bath. Read a good book.
  8. Meditate. I questioned myself if this should be number one. Why? One of the biggest stumbling blocks for most of us is negative thought. And what is the best way to get off that wagon? No thought. In other words, meditate. Negative thoughts and feelings are such a big component to this whole situation if we are honest. If everyone could take a big deep breath and clear their mind, we could put a brief stop to this collective panic and get a grip. For REAL.
  9. Gratitude. Honestly, when I was watching Oprah Winfrey as a teenager and she gave the advice to keep a gratitude journal, it changed my life. I practice it with my children. I have them tell me five things they are thankful for when we say prayers. I want the best possible thoughts in their minds as they drift off to sleep and their brain goes in to recharge mode.
  10. Prayer. If you believe in a higher power, ask for what it is you want and ask big. Our God is in control and those of us who take rest in Him can rest easy.