5 and 5

5 Things I’m Going to do More and 5 Things I’m Going to Say No to in 2018

 

 

 

5 Things I’m Going to do More

 

    1. Meditate

 

So why meditate?

It is proven to reduce stress, depression, helps regulate mood and anxiety disorders. It increases grey matter in the brain according to a study done at Harvard. It improves your focus, attention and ability to function under stress. And the list goes on and on . If you’d like to learn more,this article contains more information on meditation along with the sources for the things I just listed.

I really love meditation, but it’s sometimes hard for me to find time to do it. I’m committing to do it more this year because I feel It is a great way to center yourself and feel re-energized and relaxed. It really helps me to calm down and take a breather. I’m usually running around the house all day trying to accomplish everything on my to-do list before bedtime. And that’s no small feat when you are constantly picking up after 3 little kids who need  juice and snacks every half hour. Its a good way to pause from the craziness and take some time for yourself.

If you don’t know where to begin or how to meditate there are many apps and websites that can guide you in mediation, my favorite iPhone apps are Headspace, Simple Habit and Calm. I’ve also found that if you’d rather not commit to paying for an app, Podcasts are really helpful too! There are tons of guided meditation Podcasts! One of my favorites is Meditation Oasis!

 

 

 

 

2. Thrift Store Shopping

Let’s be real, I already do this quite a bit. When you have a big family like mine or you have a somewhat limited budget or even if you don’t, this makes your money go so much further.

So I’m going to start going once or twice a week and try not buy any full price clothing at all, if I can help it. Maybe you think that’s a little extreme, well let me explain. Think about this: Department stores charge ALOT for baby outfits, shirts , pants, you name it. But once you buy that expensive item, unless you plan on wearing it forever you have instantly lost money. Why? Well primarily because you will never ever be able to get that $25 back for the same clothing in the resale market. It wont happen. Even if the tags are still attached ,people will not pay you full price. What you more commonly have is once your child wears/ grows out of an outfit, you either donate it or you try to sell it at a garage sale or on a Facebook for sale site. 9 times out of 10 you wont be able to sell it without it being dirt cheap. No one will pay you close to what you probably paid for it. Everyone pretty much knows this but we still buy expensive clothes, myself included. There are exceptions, like specialized clothing that is not common. Clothing for a special event ect. But even most of that stuff you can find at thrift stores if you look hard enough.

The main area where thrift shopping makes the most practical sense is when you have kids that grow out of their clothes so so fast. And you know what? You can find some pretty cute, even name brand stuff at thrift stores. A little secret….. I found all of last years Christmas outfits for me and the kids at thrift stores and spent a total of $30 for my outfit and the 3 little kids outfits. I bought one of my daughters dress for $4 and it was a beautiful white and gold dress from The Gap! This is one area where it pays to be frugal.

“I’m gonna pop some tags, only got $20 in my pocket…..”

 

 

 

3. Pamper Myself

This year I’m going to give myself permission to get pedicures regularly.  Its one of my favorite ways to pamper myself. In the past I felt it was too expensive or selfish to spend my money or time on it. Boy, do I disagree with that now. I realized that I deserve to treat myself. It’s perfectly ok. It actually makes me a better mother and wife if I value myself enough to take the time to do things I like to do. So I’m gonna be ‘picking my color’ anytime I want.

 

 

4. Read Actual Books

I don’t have a ton of time on my hands, with 6 kids, my Etsy shop, my in home cake shop and my eBay store, but there is always a small amount of time you can find to read a real book. There’s something about turning the pages and reading a physical book that I really enjoy. Maybe its because its nostalgic or  maybe its the sense of accomplishment when you turn the page and move to the next. Whatever the case, I currently don’t do this enough. I’m going to spend more time with them, you should too.

 

 

 

5. Think More Before Responding

I’m going to be real with you, this one is going to be a real challenge for me. I usually respond quickly in most all situations. Whether its jumping to conclusions or telling the kids no, before actually thinking about why I’m saying no and if I should. Or overreacting when the baby falls down or when the kids are being naughty. I need to chill out this year and take a moment to process what is really happening before I respond. 9 times out of 10 I make a situation worse with my unthoughtful response. This year I’m going to give myself time to work through situations and allow myself to feel my feelings and access the situation before responding. You can pause and reflect before responding, no one is forcing you to respond right away. Wait, unless you have a 14 year old like mine who demands an answer NOW and wont let up till she gets one. But even she can wait. You will feel better with yourself and your response after some thought.

 

 

 

5 Things I’m Saying No to This Year

 

 

 

1. Underwire in Bras

Seriously, I’m so done with bras that have underwire. I dislike them so much! I discovered while nursing that instead of buying an ugly nursing bra I could just buy one with no underwire or remove the underwire from ones that were cute and I liked. Side note: I am super picky when it comes to bras. After putting one on for the first time, I know immediately if I like it or not. If I don’t like the way it feels I simply will not wear it, even if I make myself try . I’m picky picky picky. So anyway, once I realized how much more comfortable it is to wear a bra with no underwire,I decided to not go back ever. Even after I’m done nursing. (If you wear underwire while nursing it can cause mastitis. I had it once and take it from me you DO NOT want that.) I realize some people need it for support and that’s fine, but I personally do not.

The Bras pictured above are all bralettes from http://www.aerie.com . They are cute right!? Rue 21 has some really cute ones too! I’m actually wearing one for Rue 21 right now! They have a deal were you can get 3 for $18. That’s super cheap! You know me I love a good deal. Also, let me just tell you, they are EXTREMELY comfortable! I can hardly even tell I’m wearing one. So bye bye underwire, I wont be missing your digging and constricting. At all. Ever.

 

 

 

2. Tampons

I have developed a strong aversion to these nasty things. If you still use them I apologize. I don’t want to offend you at all. I just can not stand them. Here’s why, taking an excerpt from a HuffPost article ( link here ) written by Dr. Joseph Mercola. He states that according to a book written by Andrea Donsky, founder of Naturally Savvy and co-author of Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart, there are numerous potential safety hazards associated with tampons. Such as:

  • Conventional tampons contain pesticides: A whopping 2 billion is spent annually on pesticides to spray cotton crops.
  • Conventional tampons probably contain genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). According to the USDA, 94 percent of all U.S. cotton is genetically engineered.  Find the source here.
  • Tampons and pads with odor neutralizers and artificial fragrances are virtually a chemical soap, laced with artificial colors , polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene and propylene glycol (PEG), all of which are linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness and infertility.”

Not only that, but in order to get the cotton white it needs to be bleached. With CLHORINE BLEACH! Which can create something toxic called dioxin and also other disinfection byproducts such as trihalomethane. Studies show that dioxin collects in your fatty tissue. According to an EPA draft report, dioxin is a serious public health issue and there is no “safe” level of exposure! Reports show that even small trace levels of dioxin may be linked to: Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs- Immune suppression- Abnormal cell growth throughout the body and hormonal and endocrine system disruption.

That’s some scary crap! That alone is enough reason in my mind to discontinue tampons immediately. But that’s not the only reason I hate them. Reason number 2, they are so extremely uncomfortable! Am I right? I rather ice skate on razor blades than wear a tampon. Real talk.

Reason number 3 ( yes there’s another reason) They are damn expensive!! $10 for a box that may or may not last you what? 2 cycles? Not even that long if you have teenagers like I do . No. Just no.

So whats my solution? Well you may have read my previous blog post :Top 10 Must Haves for 2018. #1 on the list is Thinx Period Underwear. Here’s the $10 off link if you missed it before :$10 off. They are seriously life changing and I can not live without them! But I also use Menstrual cups and so do my teenagers. 

They seem intimidating at first, but they are actually so easy to use. They are food grade safe. They are cost effective , because one lasts a long long time.  Also, you can wear it for up to 12 hours! And the BIGGEST selling point? Well, for me anyway… you can NOT feel them!! Like at all. Put it in and forget about it. It is so nice!!

If you try to buy one at Target or Walmart you’re going to spend at least $35 for 1. I’m thrifty Mifty, so I don’t purchase mine there. Instead, I buy mine on Amazon! Guess what !? It’s half the price of Target or Walmart and you get not one but two cups!! Great deal!! I also bought an awesome cleaner on Amazon that is optional but to me its a must have. I just love it! Makes it super easy to clean your cup. You’ll find Amazon links to the products I use below, click on the link and get you some! You will not regret it!

Duchess Menstrual Cup 2 pack

Lunette Menstrual Cup Wash

 

 

3. Saying Negative Things about Myself

I’ve really been thinking about this and how much of an impact negativity has on  my life and well being. All too often I find myself  putting myself down, “I look fat” ,”I’m so stupid” ,” I am dumb”. Without even thinking! I’m not doing it anymore. Yes. maybe I’m not super skinny, but I’ve had 6 kids and that’s ok. Sometimes I forget stuff, that doesn’t make me stupid or dumb. And you know what? I don’t want my kids to hear me say this stuff about myself either. I want them to have only positive things to say about themselves.

I recently read an answer to this Question on Quora : “What is the Single Insight that Most Changed Your Life?”  A man who is named Jay Bazzimotti posted an answer to this question and it was so thought provoking that I re-read it often when I need some motivation to be positive. I’ve included the link to it here . Please take the time to read this. I’m serious you will be glad you did.  Its a story about a business man (Jay) who’s co worker is always positive even after he was out of work for awhile after something terrible happened to his child.  Jay, the author of this Quora response asks him when he gets back to work, how he is doing and the co worker says “I’ve never been better.” Jay says” how are you REALLY?”and here is his response: (there is strong language)

“Now you listen to me,” he said softly and I held my breath, “You listen to me. You don’t know jack shit about me or my life. You only think you do. I am going to tell you something and you better goddam remember it. Your attitude sucks. I’m surprised they tolerate it here. I sure as hell wouldn’t. Your attitude is everything. It makes your life. You think things are bad? Well let me tell you something, pally, they could be a lot fucking worse. A lot worse. You’re standing there in your shirt and cheap tie and you’re pissed because you didn’t get your way in some meeting? Well get out there and start digging sewers and tell me how much that meeting meant today. And maybe after digging sewers you get laid off and find yourself living in one and eating from a dumpster. You don’t know shit. I’m telling you this, this one time, and I will never speak about it again ever, so you better listen up hard, buddy. When someone asks you how you are doing there is only ONE answer. That answer is ‘I’ve never been better.’ And you live your life as if it’s true because I am telling you this lead pipe truth — no matter how bad you think it is right now — it can ALWAYS be worse. Much worse. So wake up and change your attitude. Right fucking now.”

There’s more to the story so click on the link and read it all. It is so profound that I remind myself multiple times a day that, “I’ve never been better.” And you know what? Just saying and believing that changes things. It really does. An attitude of gratitude and positivity will change your life. Its not easy to always stay in this mindset, it takes dedication and practice. Especially if you’re like me and you’ve trained your brain to talk negatively to yourself for like your whole life. It wont change over night, but progress is better than staying in your negativity and falling prey to the deep dark hole that comes with it. Trust me. No matter what you’re going through right now, you’ve never been better.

 

4. Judging Others so Much

No one likes being judged. Judging them does not define who they are, it actually defines who you are. Despite our best efforts we all judge others to some degree – its in our nature to do so. Its sort of a survival instinct to access others to see if they are a threat. Not all judgements are bad or hurtful but most of them are. And those are the ones I want to stop.

I’ve learned that when you want to be critical of someone try and catch yourself before you speak or put another person down. Try to turn your thought into a positive one or at least a neutral one. Try to see the situation from their point of view as much as possible. After all we don’t know what someone may be going through. We don’t know every aspect of their life, we don’t know the reason for their behavior. Why not give others the benefit of the doubt? We are all struggling in some way. Some people are just better at hiding it, but its there.

Its helpful for me to remember when I feel critical of some one that we are more alike than different. They are like me, they love their family, want to be happy and they make mistakes, just like I do. A lot of times we so easily judge people that do the same things we do. Things that we may not like in ourselves.

One of the best ways to stop judging people so harshly is to feel good about yourself. If you feel good about your parenting , appearance, attitude, lifestyle for example, you have no desire to judge someone else’s parenting, you have no desire to make fun of someone else’s appearance. When we are critical of someone it is usually because  we want to feel better about our own insecurities. I’ve done it, we all do it sometimes. I used to do it way more but its still a struggle. The more secure I become in myself the less I feel the need to do this, and I’ve come a long way but I still have a long way to go. Its not going to happen overnight but I’m trying and that’s what matters. Progress, effort. I remember how it feels to be judged and I know I don’t want to make any one else feel that way. I know that focusing on my own life, my goals and positivity makes me less likely to judge others. Judging leads to suffering, and guess who the recipient of that suffering is? You.

So join with me and judge less in 2018. If I can do it you can!

 

5. Caring too Much About What People Think of Me

I’ve had a hard time with this one in the past. I have a strong desire for acceptance. I want everyone to like me. I used to think that was possible. I thought if I just tried a lttle harder, or did this or that, I could make people like me.

This past year I came face to face with the fact that some people just don’t like me. For no reason.

I was really hurt to find out, quite bluntly, that a few people I thought didn’t have a problem with me, actually did.

I thought they were supposed to like me, so they would. But they don’t. Their explanation stated that they just don’t like ME.  Not much of an explanation at all. Maybe its the way I talk or walk or act, but there is no real tangible reason. I’ve never done anything to them, I’ve always been nice to them. I realized they were never really that friendly to me, but I thought that the more they got to know me the more that would change and they would be nicer. I never would have dreamed that they just plain didn’t like me , and there was nothing I could do about it.

At first I thought, well fine. If they don’t like me, I’m not going to go out of my way to be nice to them, I’ll just treat them the way they’ve been treating me. Crappy. I was hurt and felt rejected, so I reacted in anger. But you know what I realized? It’s not ok that they aren’t nice to me and don’t like me for no reason, but my reaction to it wasn’t ok either. I came to a place where I realized that not everyone is going to like me, there’s nothing I can do about it. And that’s ok. It’s part of life. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. I’m not defined by anyone’s judgements of me! Boy was that a freeing truth to accept!!

Instead of letting it continue to make me mean and bitter, the reaction I decided to have was to accept that they don’t like me and to just to be nice to them anyway. It was hard at first but got so much easier!

I know they don’t like me, that’s ok. They are entitled to their own opinions.  What isn’t ok is to treat me badly for no reason, but still, there is nothing I can do about that. I can’t change the way they treat me. The only thing I can change is the way I react to it and the way I treat them. That’s all that matters to me now, how I react, how I treat them. So I’m nice to them whenever I see them. I treat them how I would like to be treated regardless of what I get in return. I don’t care if they like me or not. It doesn’t matter to me. The only thing that matters to me is my actions. I want to go to sleep at night knowing I was the best me I could be. You know what happens when you do that? A weight is lifted from you. You feel better. The feelings of rejection and anger go away when you decide to stop caring so much about what people think of you and focus on what you know to be true about yourself. I’m a fun person, I’m creative, I’m a good mom, wife and friend. I’m loyal and I’m nice. That is the definition that matters, your definition of yourself. Like I said earlier – when someone judges you they don’t define who you are, they define who they are.

So if you don’t like me, I don’t really care 🙂 And you shouldn’t either.