Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How To Escape When You Feel Like You Can't

Shirt and Vest- ℅ Red 23 Clothing , Purse- ℅ Windsor

Let me paint a picture for you. Yours might be similar, but the details are just filled in with events that pertain to your particular season in life.

Reading emails to find that a large order for your company falls through, another company you worked with is trying to take advantage and pay you less than agreed on, you realize you have a couple hours to meet a really important deadline, ah, crap but you have a church event you are partially in charge of in just a couple of hours…
texts go off: is this person seriously telling me this right now? Oh my gosh I'm going to have anxiety if one more thing…
phone rings.
more emails come.
what are you feeding your kids for dinner? 
oh man, have I even eaten yet today?
My sons birthday party is in 3 days, and we're having a Halloween party the night before. WHY did I ever think that was a good idea?
more emails come in: aghhh, I forgot I'm leaving town next weekend.
and every weekend in November for work.
but we have so much to do… I'm not ready…

Okay, I just let you in on merely the past TEN MINUTES inside of my life/head.
I'm getting better at handling these types of instant life attacks, but don't always confront them with suave. I refer to them as life attacks because dang it, sometimes too much life happens way too fast and at the same time and who in the world knew that suddenly 10 things could go wrong at the drop of a hat? And in these moments, all I want to do is escape. I want to crawl under the storage space beneath my stairs or hop on a plane to Hawaii or turn everything off and pet my dog until my husband comes home with ice cream and a new outfit for me and tells me he'll fix all my problems.

But this is real life.
And a life attack is in the process of happening.
So none of those things are feasible or sane to do at the moment.
So here are a couple of the ways I escape the sanity for just a moment, until I am able to relax and continue saving everything in my little world from exploding:

1- Shut off your phone, turn everything off for a moment, and be still. There's a special thing that Buddhists do to live happy lives. They become very in touch with everything thats happening around them. They take in colors, focus on smells, listen to the airplane above or the lawn mower outside. Everything becomes a soothing experience because they use their surroundings to calmly experience life. This has been my number one go to method to escaping my stress, even if its just for a moment. Somedays, when I try extra hard to pay attention to everything around me, stressful moments will happen but I don't feel them as intensely because I've been careful to not get too distracted throughout the day. When you drive, look at the colors, letters, and cars that surround you. When you eat, soak up the colors, the smells, the action that you are doing. You might think I'm crazy, and I am in a lot of ways ;), but try this. It has helped tremendously.

2- Start a "locked away" email folder or note box. Have you just received a horrible phone call, text or email? Do you want to just tell the other person off and are so irate you don't even know what to do with yourself? I think that's my least favorite feeling…ever. Release your anger. Get everything out that you could possibly say. Write it down, allow yourself to go through the process of being upset. Address that letter to them, and then lock it in a box under your bed, never to be opened again. Sometimes you just need to unwind by expressing your most candid feelings, but a lot of times those feelings would destroy relationships if said too harshly. So, write it down, and lock it away.

3- Read an email, article, scripture, old text message, etc, that you know will brings you peace, happiness, and remind you as to why you do what you do. Read an old note from someone who you have positively impacted, go look at art your child has made at school, or focus on what you've done recently that has been of benefit to someone else. See, you're not so bad.

4- Pray. Ask God for peace. Ask Him how you can best handle your situation. Ask Him for more strength, more patience, more faith, and help. He'll give it to you.

And then, get back to doing the work that you were made to do.
You can do it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Some Thoughts About Marriage That Changed My Life.

photos by Tell The Birds

Mike is a very calm, go with the flow type of person. He gets things done, is incredibly smart, and is up for any shenanigan that I tell him we're doing. Last year the guy was a sheep for Halloween because I wanted to be Little Bo Peep so bad, so he did the walk of shame through the party for me. His love language is physical contact, and loves being right next to me. There is no sense of personal space for him.  If I was glued to him, he would love it.

I am not a calm by nature type of person. I am bossy, I have to be in charge of everything, and things stress me out. I get stuff done like a boss, but am on high octane most of the time so I have a problem with taking in my surroundings, sitting still, and just "being". I hate being touched too much. I get crowded and bothered and need my space and my own side of the bed.

We sound like the perfect match, don't we? 

I think that the reason I was drawn to Mike in the beginning was because we had the same core values, but I also loved all the ways we was different from me. I needed him to be different that me. Let's be honest, I could never be married to someone who is as stubborn and bossy as I am. It was like I found a person who was who I wanted to be, and he found someone who added a little sass to his life. The other day Mike looked at me and said, "I'm glad you're sassy, or my life would be so boring."

It breaks my heart with how high divorce rates are, how many husbands and wives feel like the other person just doesn't get them or care about their feelings, and how many fights come from a difference in opinion. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how marriage isn't 50/50, but it's 100/100. So, what I'm about to say won't work unless both partners put in their best efforts.

Marrying someone different than me has allowed my life to become more whole. His strengths make up for my weaknesses, and visa versa. There are things that each of us do that bugs the other person, and that's okay. We're different. You're goal in marriage shouldn't be to change your spouse. And, in fact, the only person you can change is yourself. If their are things they do that bother you because it's not how you do things, fix your tolerance. If you can't agree on activities or dinner or how to make the bed or what time of day the sprinklers should go on… it is okay. As much as I hate to admit this, I'm not always right. Don't tell my husband  I said that or his whole world will be turned upside down. But I'm guessing, that you're not always right either. It is okay to not always be right. I won't say the "w" word, because that just makes me uncomfortable, but allowing your significant other to help you fix your imperfections is what will help your love for them grow, bring you closer together, and build trust.

As people, we don't want to be hurt. We don't want to be vulnerable and left wide open to be exposed to someone else. But that's what marriage is, and that's what it is supposed to be. And when you find the right person, the scariness of it all turns to happiness and joy because it is reciprocated, and the two of you, together, become whole. I've met a lot of people who are afraid to be married. It's okay, I was unsure of the whole thing myself. But here's what I know:

1- Love takes work and when two people work together towards the same goal, amazing things happen. But expectations about what that goal looks like need to be very clear so that nobody is let down.
2- Imperfect people trying to perfectly love each other can be pretty messy sometimes. Forgive, communicate, say sorry, and realize that there will be bumps in the road. It's okay.
3- The parts of you that you are afraid to let anyone see, is what your partner needs to know the most about you. Going through life feeling like you have to deal with hard things on your own is lonely, scary, and pretty impossible to deal with. 
4- Life has more meaning when your focus is on someone else's happiness other than your own.
5- You are deserving of someone being absolutely, completely, head over heels in love with you.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Eat Fresh Challenge: 2 Easy Salsa Recipes

 It's been so fun cooking with the kids during my three week Colavita and Cooking Planit #eatfreshchallenge. Zoe loves being in the kitchen and got excited using ingredients that are new to her. Making homemade oatmeal pancakes was probably all of our favorite meal. Usually, we eat pancakes on Sundays and we'll use store bought mix and add in fruit. However, making the batter from scratch was so easy and made it taste a milling times better. I loved using the Colavita Fine Flour. It was very easy for me to work with, and I used in a lot of the recipes. It rose well while cooking my apple fritters, and was a really good batter. I also loved the Colavita Virgin Olive Oil. I used it in almost every recipe, and the smoothness of it made it easy to work with. I never use measuring cups, but they sure have been put to good use these past 3 weeks! I'm sure they were excited to have the dust washed off of them ;)

This week I experimented with salsa. We love salsa over here, especially when it uses so many fresh veggies and fruits. The top salsa was my favorite. It's Cucumber Avacado Salsa and was seriously amazing. My sister was laughing at me because I "don't slice an avocado right", and then I realized that Cooking Planit has a YouTube video on how to do it correctly.

I also made Roasted Pineapple and Strawberry Salsa. It was an interesting combo to put tomatoes and strawberries together, but it smelled so good! You can find the recipe here. I used Colavita Virgin Olive oil and sprinkled it on a cut up whole wheat tortilla and baked them to use as chips. The salsa would be good on tacos too, which you can find a lot of recipes for on Cooking Planit.

You can get 20% off of your Colavita purchase with code EatFresh20 at checkout, plus get free shipping on orders over $99. I hope this gave you some motivation to eat more fresh, it sure has been fun for us over here to switch things up and try new recipes.
You can see the other bloggers journeys by clicking over to their blogs below!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Double Braided Bun Tutorial

I teamed up with HC Cosmetology  and Talk Studios Photography to bring you this beautiful Double Braided Bun Tutorial. This would be so fun for a holiday party, or date night!

Each step coordinates in sequence with the pictures above. Make sure you tag your pictures @daily_braid #daily_braid so that we can see how your hair turned out!

Step 1: Section your hair half up, half down. In the front, make a distinct part and leave out the front of your hair, bangs, etc, so that you can braid it later. You should have an even circular part around your entire head.
Step 2: Create a high bun by twisting your hair around the base, and then bobby pinning it. Leave out  a thick section of hair from your bun, you will be braiding this.
Step 3: Braid the left out strand from your bun. Pancake out the braid by tugging outwards on the braid strands. This will create a fuller look. 
Step 4: Wrap your braid all the way around your bun, and then pin. If it overlaps, just tuck in the left over braid underneath so you can't see it.
Step 5: You will now be french lace braiding the remainder of your hair. Start in the front, and grab three small sections. Braid them together twice.
Step 6: Combine the first to strands of hair together, so now you only have two strands. Grab a small section of hair from the outer part of your hair to create a new third strand. Braid it into the rest of the strands to start creating your lace french braid.
Step 7: Continue this pattern all the way around your head. If you have longer hair that will require you to tuck some of your hair under the braid to hide it, then that's okay. We braided my left over strands and the tucked them under the front of my braid.
Step 8: Pancake out your braid so that it looks thicker.