Saturday, August 1, 2015

Restorative Yoga - Child's Pose with Pillows

Sometimes we just don't have time for all the things we need to do, especially when it comes to health and wellness.  It could be a full time job just to keep up with the recommendations - weight training, cardio, yoga, meditation, etc. I do not do a full yoga class every day, but I do try to get ten minutes of "something" in everyday. I think we can all find ten minutes in our day for some yoga, stress relief, or meditation.  Many times I will add something to the end of a more traditional workout.  Today's suggestion is child's pose with a bolster or pillows.

I purposely chose a link that shows the pose with pillows as I realize most people don't own a bolster.  There are some other great postures with pillows here as well.  You can also use blankets.  Use as many pillows and/or blankets as needed to feel comfortable.

No fancy meditation technique is needed.  Just put on some soothing music.  I recommend spending 5-10 minutes in this poses, switching the position of your head half way through.   I highly recommend resting for the full ten minutes.  At a restorative yoga retreat I attended, they stated that it didn't matter which restorative pose you did, the key was the ten minutes.  It takes our bodies that long to really relax.

Take ten minutes this week to try it.  Let me know how you feel after trying this!

Saturday, July 25, 2015


books home decor shabby

This week try to find some time to read.  I try to disconnect from technology and TV for at least 30 minutes before bed.  I find this relaxing.  I choose to still read real books.  I find that the light from my I Pad keeps me awake.  There is research behind this.

coffee magazine pretty

My ordinary person/real tip this week is Read What You Want!  It is Ok to read fluff.  This includes magazines like People.  I have found two great apps for magazines that include FREE reading material.



I still read books, too.  Here is what I am currently reading.

Better Than Before - from the author of The Happiness Project.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - since I'm going to Savannah soon.

At the Water's Edge - from the author of Water for Elephants.

I wrote about some of my favorite books here.

Here's another tip for you avid readers.  I like to keep track of what I want to read in Goodreads.
Then, to save money, I reserve books from my local library.

coffee magazines home decor pretty

Monday, July 20, 2015

Essential Oils

One way to make your life a little less ordinary is to use essential oils.  You will be surprised by how a little essential oil can change your mood in just seconds.  You can inhale essential oils, apply them to skin when combined with an oil like jojoba, or use a diffuser.

You could spend hours trying to research the best essential oil companies.  Remember, this blog is about making small changes, so I am not going to overwhelm you with all of that information.  I will tell you that from my research, I chose to order from Rocky Mountain Oils.  I have also used doTERRA.  For the sake of ease and price, many times I will just go to Earth Fare or Whole Foods and buy Aura Cacia.

Here is how I use my oils:
I love my diffuser!!!  I don't even remember what brand it is, but I bought it off of Amazon. This might be the one.  For use on your skin, mix with an oil like jojoba, or I have even heard of mixing with vodka for use as perfume.  I have not had luck with this, as the scent seems to disappear quickly.  For that reason, I usually buy a premade rollerball from the store.  You will find them by the essential oils at your health food store.  My current scent is Dharma.

So, tip for the week - Try an essential oil!  I'll post another time about the benefits of different oils.

Surviving Ordinary

I took a break from blogging to start a new teaching job.  Blogging was fun for me, and I've decided to start again.  When I asked a friend what I could give to people through a blog, she said tips on "surviving ordinary".  I found that interesting.  I had just seen this quote from Brene Brown:

"When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary.  I see the fear of never being extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose." 

My friend and I read a lot of online content, and much is about lofty goals of finding your passion or making major changes in your life.  I think all this social media, that I enjoy so much, has made me feel guilty for feeling ordinary.  My friend and I started talking about a blog that was more down to earth, and more realistic.

So, with everything out there why should you read this?  I hope to give you a weekly simple tip to try.
That's it.  One tip - once a week.

Check out my first tip.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Am I Becoming a Foodie?

I find it funny that many of my posts have been food or recipe related.  Up until recently I hated to cook.  Recently, I've had some time to experiment, and cooking hasn't become so scary.  When I was younger I also was probably over the top health conscious, and didn't really enjoy food.  Now, one of my favorite pleasures is enjoying a good meal out.  Age has taught me balance.

Here are some of my latest food favorites:

Christmas Whiskey Lemonade Light - a family member made these at Christmas.  Mix whiskey, light lemonade, and diet lemon-lime soda to desired taste.  

Our pork chops were pretty thick, so I seared them and them put them in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  I may try this on the grill next time.

Today my husband and I went to Amelie's French Bakery for lunch.  So yummy, and so cute!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolution - Meditate

I don't really make New Year's Resolutions.  I do more of a year end review and evaluation of life.  I wrote about the process in earlier posts. This year I have more of an actual resolution.  I want to finally commit to a daily meditation practice.  I have meditated on and off for a few years, but have struggled with consistency.

I found a great graphic describing meditation.  It keeps it simple, and is great for beginners and kids.  

To keep myself consistent, I made weekly sheets to record my time meditating, along with other goals

How about you?  Any New Year's resolutions or goals?  Anyone want to try meditation?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cutout Cookies Tips

I made cutout cookies for the first time.  Thanks to tips from the internet they didn't turn out half bad.
Tip One - chill the dough - I chilled mine overnight.
Tip Two - divide dough into smaller sections - this allowed me to keep dough chilling.
Tip Three - parchment paper is the best thing ever!  I rolled the dough between two sheets - no sticking!  It was also great for baking and decorating - easy transfer and clean up.
Tip Four - use an easy cookie cutter.  I remember my mom making reindeer and there were always limbs lost.
Tip Five - use a ziplock bag for decorating.  Put icing into ziplock, twist bag, and cut a small bit off of corner.

Cutout Cookies
1 1/3 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tbl milk
2 tsp vanilla
4 c all-purpose flour

1.  In a large mixing bowl beat butter.  Add sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Beat until combined.  Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined.  Beat, or stir in flour.  Divide dough into four sections and chill overnight.  I wrapped mine in plastic wrap.

2.  Roll a section of dough at a time.  I rolled mine between two sheets of parchment paper.  Roll to about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with cookie cutters.  Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

3.  Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

4.  For icing I just mixed powdered sugar with milk until I got the desired consistancy.