Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stress, food and our bodies

A couple of months ago I began following a blog written by Min, who is a registered dietician.  Her blog is titled MJ & Hungryman.  I'm learning so much from her blog!  And it's not only info about food.  She also shares information about stress and anxiety, cortisol and gratitude.

That's just a few of the topics that she talks about.  She also share recipes, links to additional information and recommends books.  I've not read any of the books, so I can't personally recommend any of them.  Anyway, she is a wealth of information and I love her writing style.

I'm sharing a few links to some individual posts that have really spoken to me.

Gratitude - A natural way to fight stress and axiety
How to reduce cortisol naturally

4 Healthy ways to handle food cravings

All of these post are well worth the few minutes it takes to read them.  Truly useful information that is easy to read.  I hope you'll click through and check out Min's blog.  :)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Christmas Cards already!

Well, since it's must be time to get started on my Christmas cards.  Right???
*********Edited to add*******
Ack!  I can't believe I created and posted my card making post to my personal blog, instead of to my card & crafting blog Procraftinaion.  Wow.  Oh well, I can't un-publish this post.
Hope you like the change of topic!
Here goes.

I know.  Most people don't want to think about anything to do with winter right now.  But, since I send out quite a few Christmas cards I HAVE to start early!

I got my inspiration for all of these cards from several cards designed by Maile Belles.  Her clean and simple, yet elegant style, always manages to inspire me.  Love her cards!
HERE is a link to her blog.
And HERE is a link to the post that inspired my first group set of cards.

These last 2 photos are closeups of some of the cards above.  Maybe you can see a bit better, the card stock layered triangles I added.

Next is a set of cards, all using the same Christmas tree die set and the same sentiment.  I just changed up the placement of the patterned papers on the trees.  I used a combo of score tape and foam tape to layer the sections of the tree, to add some dimension.

These cards were such fun to create!

Thanks so much for taking a look,

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Guilty of "busy" again

In my previous post I talked about "busyness".  I also talked how I was working on not pushing myself to be so busy.  Well, that's still a work in progress.  Friday was an extremely busy day for me.  It began with an early morning walk, about 4 miles I think.
I hurried to eat breakfast, got myself ready and headed out to do our shopping.  Lots of stops.   Home around noon and ate a quick (but healthy) lunch.

Then the real work started.  We did a week's worth of laundry.   I did food prep, cooking, etc ALL afternoon.  Yes, I have my breakfast and lunch foods ready for the coming work week.  But.  I was worn out.  Exhausted.

Yup, I did it to myself again.  Pushing myself to "do".  I usually do some of my food prep Friday evening and the remainder on Saturday.  But, I had invited a friend (who is also my cousin) to come over on Saturday to do some stamping (paper crafting...usually greeting cards) with me.  Oh, and I still hadn't done any house cleaning, since nearly every work night last week was "busy".  Guilty again.  :(

Can I not practice what I preach???  Yikes!

Anyway.  On Saturday morning I made the decision that whatever cleaning my hubby and I could get done, would be enough.  Hey, the floors got swept and mopped.  That felt like "good" to me! 
Once I told myself to stop and realize "enough is enough", I relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the day.

While I waited for my stamping buddy Cheryl, I finally sat down and relaxed.  Watched a bit of TV with my hubby.  Browsed some stamping blogs for card ideas.  I was relaxed and ready to create when Cheryl arrived.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh.   I had a wonderful time creating and talking....really talking (about lots of stuff) on Saturday.  Those hours of conversation and creating were good for my soul.  I love creating, but I love it even more when I get the chance to spend time creating with a friend (or 3 or 4 when I get the chance!).   I felt so happy, calmed and re-energized.  I'm still smiling now, as I write this post, early Sunday morning.  :)

Do what brings you joy.  Oh, and while you're at it...remind me to do the same.  Often.  Okay?


Friday, July 3, 2015

Busy is a choice

I'm usually writing about recipes or activities relating to a healthy lifestyle.  The topic of this post was planted in my brain a couple of days ago, during a conversation with my friend Kris.  I was telling her how busy I usually am on Saturdays, doing my meal prep for the coming work week.
I told her that sometimes I feel this sense of resentment that I "have to" spend so much time cooking.

Well, guess who puts the pressure on me to do that meal prep?  Me.  I got to thinking about the pressure I put on myself to do so many things.  Going, doing, joining....always busy, busy, busy.
I catch myself sometimes comparing others lives to mine.  Is my busy more important than yours? Am I busier than you?  Does that make me more important than you?

Those are NOT thoughts that I want in my brain and that is NOT what God wants for me, either.

On a regular basis, I've had to stop and re-evaluate my priorities.  I don't want to be so busy that I can't enjoy life.  So busy that I don't see and enjoy all of the blessings that surround me.  All of the beauty that surrounds me.  So busy that I don't have the time to do the things that bring me joy.

About a year and a half ago, I made the decision to step down from a card challenge design team that I was a member of.  It was something that I enjoyed.  But, since I had adopted a healthy lifestyle, much more of my weekend time was spent on food prep (cooking from scratch, using mostly whole foods) and distance walking.  Something had to "give".  It was actually an easy choice to make.  My priority had to be my health.  I haven't regretted the decision for a minute.

I'm gradually finding ways to pare down the time I spend in the kitchen.  Hey...I finally bought a food processor!  My husband had given me the nickname Chopper, because I spent SO much time chopping vegetables.  Oh my goodness.  That Cuisinart is awesome!  Why did it not occur to me to buy one a year and a half ago?

Ok, back to the subject of busy.   I've read two articles recently that talk about this subject and those writers say it all, much better than I can.
Taming The Busyness of Life
Everyone is Busier Than You
I'm sure I'm not the only one who can relate to this subject.  If any of this relates to you, I hope you'll read these articles.  They're so well written and both gave me a lot to think about.

I don't want to be so busy that I get to the point that I'm don't have joy in my life.  So busy that I'm not creating joy in my life and joy in the life of others.  I need to stop, be still and find joy.
I have to make time for the really important things in my life.  I (and you) don't have to "do it all".

Just one more graphic; this one really spoke to me.  Exactly when I needed to hear it.

Find joy!