Join me in my daily walk through the joys and struggles of parenthood. Share a word of encouragement or be encouraged. Cry a little, laugh a lot, but know it is all in divine order.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Motivational Monday - Finish Strong

Inspiration comes in many forms. Recently, words of encouragement came to me in the form of a bracelet that I received as a gift. The word inscribed on the small silver metal plate read, “Life isn’t about surviving the storm, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Were there storms that you weathered in 2018? Every trial you experienced made you stronger. You learned to dance in the rain.

Finish strong. As you close out 2018, give thanks for your many blessings, those that were small, large, and unexpected.

Make 2019 even better, expect amazing things to happen.

What great things are you anticipating in the New Year?

Monday, December 24, 2018

Motivational Monday - Live Your Best Life

Live your best life. Live your blessed life. Are your ready for your next chapter? Take some time right now to acknowledge how far you’ve come along your journey this year. Get ready to step into your blessings in 2019.

Get out of your own way. Evict the naysayers that are taking up space in your head. Celebrate the small achievements along the way to your goals. It’s your time.

Quite often we want to achieve success at something, but we come up with many reasons why it can’t be done. Don’t quit on your dream before you even start. Live your best life.

Think of one positive word, to sum up how you’re feeling right now. Don’t over think it, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Here’s my word…GRATEFUL.

Your challenge (and mine)…

Beginning with the first week in January 2019, come up with one positive word each week that will keep you inspired. Attach your words to a vision board, write them in a journal, or store them in a memo on your phone.

Make this challenge as creative or simple as you want it to be. This is your motivational tool. What will the next chapter of your life look like?

Live your best life.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Fun Friday - 5 Nutrition Tips from a Teen (for storing leftovers)

Photo Credit: Fine Dining Lovers

Just in time for Holiday gatherings and leftovers, is a story I wrote a couple years about what my son learned in his nutrition class.

 “Ma, what’s for dinner?”

My sixteen-year-old son held the refrigerator door open and gazed at the contents. “I don’t want leftovers today.”

“You can choose what’s in the fridge or you can cook something different,” I said.

My son proceeded to tell me what he learned in his nutrition class.

“My nutrition teacher said leftovers are not safe to eat after four days.”

This statement was all my son needed to hear to avoid eating leftovers. He even attempted to pull his brother in on his shenanigans.

“Donovan, remember when Mama would cook something on Monday and still try to get us to eat it on Saturday?” They both laughed.

Once my son recovered from his bout of laughter, he told me three tips he learned in class.

·         When storing leftovers, let them cool before putting them in the refrigerator. A drastic change in temperature before putting the food away can cause an increase in bacteria.

·         Wrap lettuce in a paper towel, then return it to its usual packaging to retain freshness longer.

·         Wrap the tip of an unpeeled banana with saran wrap if you want to keep it from becoming ripe too quickly.

·         Food shouldn’t remain sitting out more than two hours.

·         Leftovers shouldn’t be eaten after being in the refrigerator for more than four days.

And those are your nutritional tip provided by a teenager and his teacher. Do you have any nutrition tips share?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Motivational Monday - Reflections: A time for remembering

What seasons of life have you experienced in 2018? Take a few minutes to reflect – what were your greatest accomplishments? What were your challenges? What will you do differently in 2019?

There is a Bible verse that relays the spiritual purpose of “seasons” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-5.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to breakdown, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…”

Seasons come and seasons go, often we don’t take the time to enjoy the journey. Starting today, challenge yourself to find joy in every journey.

What will you do differently as you begin your journey into 2019?

Friday, December 7, 2018

Fun Friday - 12 Days of Christmas Fitness

Photo Credit: Fitness is Sweet

As you jingle jangle around, shopping for the Holidays and visiting friends and relatives, don’t forget to take time for yourself. Whiles you’re cooking, baking and decorating, why not sprinkle in a little exercise? Your body will appreciate you.

In the spirit of the Holiday, I’ve come up with a list of 12 exercises you can add to your routine. These are exercises that are led/demonstrated by coaches at the fitness studio that I attend. Disclaimer – I am NOT a trainer, do what your body will let you do.

Just to make this fun, I want you to sing the 12 Days of Christmas as you work through each exercise. You know the song…On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.

Here we go…

12 Day of Christmas Fitness
On the first day of Christmas, my fitness coach said to me - 1 Burpee Challenge
On the second day of Christmas, my fitness coach said to me - 2 Power Jacks and one Burpee Challenge

Okay, I think you get the idea now, so I’ll just list the rest of your challenge and leave it up to you to build them into the song.
3   Mountain Climbers
4   Squat Jacks
5   Plank Jack Burpees
6   Hammer Curls
7   Curtsy Lunges
8   Jack Knife Sit-ups
9   High Knees Leaping
10  Tricep Extensions
11  Bicep Curls
12  Sumo Squats

There you have it, the 12 Days of Christmas Fitness. Feel free to engage in all 12 exercises every day for 12 days. You will feel better just getting your body moving.

What exercises would you add to the list above?

Photo Credit: TeePublic

Monday, December 3, 2018

Motivational Monday – 3 Signs your fitness routine is effective

Have you consistently worked on your fitness goals, but sometimes wondered what’s the point? You leave home in the morning and its dark outside, you return at night and it’s dark. It feels like an endless cycle. However, there is a point. You’re getting stronger.

Do you remember the childhood story of The Little Engine That Could? He was a little train that had to carry out a big task. The little engine did a little self-talk. He said, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” Finally, he did. He reached his goal.

If you’re struggling with your fitness regimen, you may need a little self-talk. Don’t talk yourself out of success. When you put in the effort, you will see results. Below are 3 signs (I’ve discovered) that your fitness routine is effective.

1.      You can move your kitchen stove (to clean behind it) without assistance.

2.      Your muscles develop (not bulky, just enough to know you’re strong).

One day as I was stretching my arms, I reached around to my back, just under my arm and felt a knot. My mind raced, I thought, Oh Lord, I hope this is not a tumor or some other health ailment. I felt the other side of my body and it was a mirror image. I mentioned my episode to the fitness coach the next day and she said, “that’s from doing pull-ups.” As it turns out, I was developing muscles. I’ve never had them in that spot before. Now I know what it feels like to be strong.

3.      Your clothes fit differently.

Perhaps you feel a little extra space in your waistline when wearing a pair of pants that used to fit more snug.

Keep your fitness regimen if it works for you. If you become discouraged or reach a plateau, do something different to provide variety, but don’t quit.

What signs have you experienced that indicate your fitness routine is effective?