7 Ways to Overcome Addiction Before Having a Baby

Planning a family is a joyous occasion in a couple’s life. If you’re going to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term without complications it will be imperative for you to start taking care of your health. Not only does this mean eating healthier meals, but it also means kicking bad habits. One bad habit in particular that could harm both you and the unborn child is the abuse of harmful substances.
Protect the Womb

Whether you smoke cigarettes, marijuana, abuse prescription medications or consume alcohol, it is essential to quit before you get pregnant. Your body will serve as the “home” for your baby over the next nine months. It will provide the necessary nutrients for the baby to develop before entering the world. When you’re abusing harmful substances, it can have a negative impact on the development of your baby and the quality of your pregnancy.

Ways to Beat Addiction

1. Rehab – Perhaps the most progressive way to beat any addiction is to attend a rehab program. Rehab is designed to provide assistance to those wishing to beat addiction. By abstaining from using harmful substances and participating in therapeutic treatments such as those described at crestviewrecovery.com, patients learn efficient ways to deal with life’s stresses and influences. Such resources are key in helping to prevent abuse in the future.

2. One Day at a Time – One thing you’ll learn about recovering from addiction is that it doesn’t happen overnight. Cravings, temptations, and circumstances will arise that can make sober living a lot more challenging. The trick is to remember the tools provided to you while in rehab and to take it one day at a time. Eventually, sober living becomes the easier choice.

3. Talk to Your Doctor – If you happen to be addicted to substances such as prescription painkillers it is important to speak with your doctor. They should know of your addiction so that they can closely monitor the type of medications prescribed to you in the future. When your doctor is informed, they can take the necessary precautions to help you heal from any physical ailments without the dependency on medications.

4. Kick Other Substances – If you’re struggling with drug addiction, you’re going to need to kick other substances as well. This can include drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or the use of recreational drugs. When consuming more than one harmful substance at a time you “amplify” the high therefore doing more damage to your neurological pathways. To truly beat an addiction you’ll need to rid yourself of all bad habits.

5. Avoid Triggers – Triggers are events or items that might tempt you into using again. You’ll want to avoid these by all means to minimize the chance of relapsing. Get rid of things like ashtrays, lighters, cigarette packs, and whatever else might remind you of your bad habit. If you need to remove certain people from your life in order to remain on the straight and narrow, you should do so as negative influences can easily trigger a relapse.

6. Find a Hobby – To please the “pleasure center” of the brain, it is ideal to find an activity that makes you happy. This can essentially create the same euphoria that your addiction once did. Whether you decide to start exercising or you join a book club. Having something to do that you enjoy will give you satisfaction, increase your level of happiness, thus decreasing the desires to abuse harmful substances.

7. Get a Sponsor – Accountability can often be a great solution for overcoming addiction. You can join a support group and work with a sponsor who will help you stay on the straight and narrow. From accompanying you to meetings to checking in on you throughout the week, you’ll find comfort in having someone on your side as you try to live a more sober life.

Give your baby the best start possible by beating addiction and remaining sober. The road to recovery will require professional and personal support but is a task that can be accomplished. Smoking cigarettes, using marijuana, abusing painkillers, and even drinking too much alcohol can lead to significant pregnancy complications. Removing the toxins from your body will ultimately give your baby the best possible start at life. When you’re free from addiction, it allows you to enjoy the journey of pregnancy. 


Domestic Violence: Spotting the Warning Signs and Getting Help

In the United States, domestic violence is a pervasive issue. In fact, over 10 million women in this country are assaulted by an intimate partner, each and every year. For these women, there is no easy answer. Victims who leave their abuse partners often have to start over from scratch, and, as a result of this type of trauma, many suffer from severe depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD and even substance abuse and addiction. For example, according to experts at Sandy’s Place, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, physical and psychological trauma are closely linked with addiction, as many victims use addictive substances to cope with the effects of violence. 

Thankfully, though, there is help for women caught in the cycle of domestic abuse. Keep reading for tips on spotting the signs of abuse, as well as information on seeking immediate help and support. 

Identifying the Signs of Domestic Abuse

In some cases, the signs of domestic abuse are obvious; in others, they may not be so easy to detect. What’s more, for women caught in the cycle of domestic violence, certain types of abuse may seem normal or acceptable. And, since domestic abuse isn’t always physical, it can be difficult to identify. However, by learning to spot the signs of domestic violence, women are better equipped to break the cycle of abuse and take back their power. 

Namecalling. Namecalling, or insulting a partner’s appearance or intelligence, is a strong indicator of verbal and emotional abuse. 

Extreme jealousy. Abusers are often jealous of their partners’ friends, family members, coworkers and, in some cases, even their children. 

Control. An abuser typically likes to control every aspect of their significant other’s life, including where they go, who they see, etc. 

Financial abuse. An abusive partner may like to hide money from their wife or girlfriend, or refuse access to bank accounts, cash and other assets. 

Isolation. Abusers often like to isolate their victims from friends and family members. 

Aggression. Before escalating to physical violence, an abusive partner may exhibit aggressive behaviors like threatening, punching walls, throwing things, etc. 

Sexual abuse. Spousal rape, as well as forcing a partner to have sex ways in which they did not give consent, are definite signs of domestic violence, and can be punishable by law. 

Spying or stalking. Abusers often keep tabs on their partners’ phone calls, emails, texts and other interactions. 

Any type of physical violence. Domestic violence isn’t defined by black eyes and broken bones; any and all types of physical abuse count as domestic violence. These include hair-pulling, choking, slapping, grabbing, pushing and other types of unwanted physical contact. 

Getting Help

Fear of the unknown keeps many women trapped in abusive relationships. These victims fear for their safety, and that of their children, if they should leave an abusive partner, and they often feel powerless to change their circumstances. Thankfully, there are many resources for women in these situations, a few of which are listed below:

Emergency services. If you, your children or a loved one is in immediate danger, call 911 and, with the help of police, get to safety. 

Domestic violence hotlines. The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233. Here, trained professionals can walk victims through the steps necessary to getting out and staying safe. 

Friends and family members. Trusted friends, neighbors and family members can provide emotional support, a safe place to stay, and other types of help.

Counseling. Counseling and support groups can help survivors of abuse gain the insight and coping skills necessary for building and sustaining self-esteem, emotional well-being and psychological health. 

Domestic violence groups. There are countless groups, programs, and organizations dedicated to stopping domestic violence. Check out a few here. 

If you or someone you love feels trapped in an abusive relationship, know that there are ways out. Reaching out and getting help, right now, can mean the difference in life and death. And with guidance and support from professionals and loved ones, you can break the cycle of violence, and enjoy a safe, healthy and happy life. 

7 Driving Safety Tips for New Parents

There’s nothing quite as harrowing as the drive home from the hospital after you’ve had a baby. Here is this delicate little life force that you’re about to put into a metal encasement that’s capable of easily going 80+ miles per hour down the road with other cars speeding all around you.

Traveling with children is never as easy as seems no matter how short the drive may be, and infants add a few more concerns for new parents. Get home safely with these driving tips!

Get Adequate Auto Insurance

Long before labor begins it’s a good idea to take a look at your auto insurance. Does it offer comprehensive coverage? What is the bodily injury liability limit? How high is the deductible? Now that you have another person to take care of you’ll want to make sure you aren’t on the hook for accident-related costs.

If your driving record was less than clean before you became a parent, you may need to look for SR22 auto insurance quotes. Drivers that were found to have inadequate insurance, a previously revoked license, past DUI or numerous tickets may be required to have this type of policy.

Research Car Seats

These days you can’t leave the hospital with a newborn baby unless you have a car seat to put them in. However, that doesn’t mean any old car seat will do for your precious baby.

New regulations that have expanded the use of car seats mean there are more options for kids of all ages and sizes. You’ll need to do a fair amount of research beforehand to find a car seat that is suitable for a newborn, can adjust as your baby grows and fits easily inside your vehicle. Once you find the perfect car seat, register it with the manufacturer so you’ll get a notification immediately if there’s a recall.

It’s tempting to save money by buying a used car seat, but this could be a dangerous mistake. Unless you know the complete crash history, you can’t be sure that everything on the inside is functioning normally.

Install Car Seats for Maximum Safety

SafeKids.org notes that 73% of car seats are not used properly. No matter how well designed a car seat is, if it isn’t installed and used correctly your baby can be harmed in an accident.

All newborns should be in a rear-facing position and tightly strapped in. If you can wiggle it more than an inch the straps need to be tighter. Check to make sure the seat belts don’t have any twists or kinks and are coming out of the correct slots. The belts should fit snuggly and the chest clip should be at armpit level.

If you’re worried about doing this on your own you can get a certified child passenger safety technician to inspect the seat and how it’s installed. SafeKids.org also hosts car seat events throughout the year that are free to attend.

Never Drive Drowsy

The dangers of drowsy driving have been a topic of discussion recently, and new parents are among the most affected. A State of New York safety guide points out that parents with newborns are often sleep deprived and that can make driving risky. Studies have shown that drowsy driving is just as unsafe as drunk driving.

Play it safe and don’t get behind the wheel if you are experiencing symptoms of exhaustion like:

· Not being able to focus

· Not being able to keep your eyes open

· Having difficulty keeping your head up

· Yawning frequently

· Experiencing disconnected thoughts
Make the Driver’s Seat a Device-Free Zone

The growing use of cell phones has increased the number of accidents on the road. Today, nearly a third of crashes are caused by drivers who are distracted by their phones.

Make a pledge to put the phone away while you’re driving. Go old school and look up the directions before you head out the door or have an adult passenger help you navigate. If you know you’ll be tempted to look at texts and calls while you’re driving install an app like LifeSaver that will automatically lock your phone during the drive.

Minimize Crying With the Right Seating Setup

A crying baby is another big distraction that can cause a car accident. You can’t always keep your baby from wailing away in the backseat, but a few tools can help reduce the risk.

Invest in a baby view mirror so you can see what’s going on, several pacifier clips so they don’t go lost and toy tethers that keep entertainment within reach.

Always Wear Your Seat Belt

There are two very important reasons parents should always wear their seat belts. For starters, it sets a good example for kids and will encourage them to always wear a safety belt. Secondly, it will protect you from injury during an accident so you can attend to your child. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re significantly injured and there’s no other adult with you to look after your baby.

Common Signs of Pregnancy Complications

Throughout your pregnancy, your body and your baby are changing. How do you know whether what you feel is a normal part of pregnancy or a cause for concern?

It’s best to communicate with your obstetrician at your prenatal appointments if you have any questions or concerns. Don’t ignore these symptoms because they may need immediate attention.

Heavy Bleeding

An estimated 20 – 30% of women experience slight bleeding during the first trimester of pregnancy. This may be due to implantation. Every woman will experience a different level of bleeding during this time. Light bleeding may not be a sign of any complications. Heavy bleeding however, may be a sign of miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. Call your doctor immediately if you are experiencing heavy bleeding.

Severe Abdominal Pain

Sharp pains or cramping in the abdomen coupled with heavy bleeding could signal an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is attached somewhere other than the uterus, usually the fallopian tube. This may cause serious complications for the mother, including complications with future pregnancies.

If you experience severe abdominal pain and have vaginal bleeding, call your healthcare provider immediately. Recognizing an ectopic pregnancy early is essential to avoiding extreme blood loss and ensuring the health of future pregnancies.

Your Baby Is Less Active

In order to understand whether there’s been a decrease in your baby’s activity, you will need to monitor your baby’s movements from the beginning. Some women will feel movement as early as 13 – 16 weeks into the pregnancy while others may not feel any movement until week 18 – 20. If this activity level decreases at any time, call your doctor. Your healthcare provider may want to monitor the baby through ultrasound.

Physicians are now offering women the option of non-invasive prenatal testing, which helps provide more information about the health of their baby. This information can help parents prepare to work with their physician to ensure the best care for themselves and their child.

Severe Nausea or Vomiting

To a moderate extent, many women experience nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy. Sometimes, nausea and vomiting may persist through the third trimester and may become severe. Severe nausea may make it difficult to eat or drink anything, increasing your risk of malnutrition and dehydration. If you are experiencing extreme nausea or vomiting, contact your healthcare provider for a solution, which may include changes to your diet.

A Persistent and Severe Headache

Persistent and severe headaches could be a sign of preeclampsia – a potentially fatal condition characterized by high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine. If you are experiencing these symptoms, your doctor will want to test your blood pressure and monitor for signs of preeclampsia.

Contractions Weeks Before Your Due Date

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines an early term pregnancy as being between 37 – 38 weeks and 6 days. The lungs and the brain are still developing during these last few weeks of gestation, making these weeks crucial for the organs to finish their development. If you experience regular contractions (about 10 minutes apart consistently) before your 37th week, call your doctor immediately.

Receiving consistent prenatal care can help reduce complications associated with pregnancy. Speak with your physician about which symptoms may indicate health risk for you and your baby in order to know when seeking urgent medical care is needed.








How to Effectively Organize Your Kitchen

Effectively organizing (or in most cases reorganizing) your kitchen pretty much starts and ends with your cabinets. If you’ve been busy and haven’t had time to check what you’ve got in your pantry or on your shelves, then prepare yourself to find a ton of expired products; jars of blackcurrant jelly from the time you wanted to make a marble cake, packets of flour from 2012; you get it. Chuck them out. Get rid of all the things taking up unnecessary space and donate the products you’ll never use (if they haven’t expired yet).

A Little Pre-Planning

Whether your kitchen is large or small, you have a walk-in pantry or a just a few shelves, you can still make the most of the space that you have. Check out some design magazines or websites for inspiration. If you have the luxury of more room and your storage space is visible, you could think about adding decorative baskets and arranging them nicely on the shelves, or hanging wicker baskets from the walls. If baskets aren’t your thing, then invest in some decorative storage tins, instead of just plastic containers.

If you keep all your produce out of sight, but you want to give your kitchen a makeover, you could invest in some luxury wooden cabinets, with intelligent storage organization inside. If your kitchen is lightly painted and spacious, think about choosing some beautiful dark cabinets that will really create contrast. But when you’re working with a small space, you might want to try lighter wood, or even lighter materials.

Time to Get Organized

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for everyone, as one woman’s system may not work for another, so group items together that make sense to you. You might want to keep all your baking goods and condiments in one place, for example, or separate items by sweet and savory. If you don’t have much space to work with, then try to keep the items that you use the most at the front and things like juicers that you may only use in summer, at the back.

Stackable Organizers and Mason Jars

Stacking organizers are great ways of making the most of the space on your shelves, by creating multi-layers. A great tip for using these is to build them high towards the back and gradually lower as you get to the front, like in a theater, so you can see the contents on everything. Mason jars are good for storing dry foods, like flour and cereal, and keeping them fresh. You can easily see what’s inside, thanks to their transparency and they look better than plastic bins.

You can even select the glass colors to fit in with the scheme of your kitchen and pick colorful covers. If your goods are out of sight and you prefer plastic containers, make sure that they are clear so you can easily see what’s inside and if you can find rectangular shaped ones they will be easier to store. Use labels so you write down or any particular cooking instructions.

Keep it Clean

Now that you’ve made all that effort to free up space and organize your kitchen, keep it clean. Enlist the help of your partner or other family members. Let them know where things go so that it doesn’t get disorganized and chaotic again and make sure all containers are wiped down before putting them away so you don’t start getting spills and stains on your nice, clean, organized storage system.

My Guide On Prepping Your Home For A Fast Sale

Moving house is perhaps one of the most stressful experiences that you can go through as an adult. There’s so much to think about and very little time to get it right. Particularly, if you’re trying to sell while the market is still hot. You’ll have a limited time to get the house ready for the market and find the perfect buyer. A fast home sale isn’t easy, even when the market is great. That’s why I’m giving you this guide to help you out. Hopefully, using my advice, you’ll be able to get your home sold after being on the market for less than a week. Believe it or not, this does happen. You just need to take the right action straight off the bat.

As soon as you think about selling your home, you need to start getting it ready. You should do this long before you ever think about talking to a real estate agent and putting the sale sign up outside. Depending on the state of your home it can either take a few weeks or a few months to prep it. Let’s look at some of the most important things that you’ll need to do to get a fast sale.

Don’t Let It Be A Fixer Upper

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You might have heard that some people love buying fixer uppers, and this is true. But it doesn’t mean that you want to sell your house as one. A fixer upper tends to sell at a price well below what it should actually be worth. It doesn’t have any serious issues. But it’s in a bad enough way that an estate agent knows they won’t get it off the market for a good price. If you want to sell your home fast at a great price, you’ll have to fix it up.

You might think your home is in great working order. We all like to think this about our homes. But once you start looking around it, you’ll be surprised how many issues you find. This is perhaps because you have been living there for a long time. You’ve grown accustomed to having these little issues with your home. In a way, they give your house a character and make it feel like the place where your family belongs. But you need to remember when people buy a home they are not looking for a place that feels like home for someone else. They’re buying a dream, a fresh start, a picture perfect piece of real estate.

The fixes you’ll need to make to your home could be anything. Your garage door might be slightly crooked and stiff when you try and open it. A garage door repair cost is surprisingly cheap when arranged online. Don’t worry, unless your home is in a complete state of disrepair you won’t have to spend a fortune getting it ready for sale. Look to spend at most a few hundred on the repairs of your home. Once you’ve made all the repairs it’s time to think about the next issue for your property. You need to consider what it looks like from the street.

Make Sure It’s Eyecatching

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Some of you might have guessed that I’m talking about curb appeal. It’s crucial that your home looks absolutely incredible from the outside. Don’t forget that in a great market, your home probably won’t be the only one on sale. Essentially, you’ll be competing with other sellers for the attention of the buyers. One way to put your home ahead of the curve it’s to spruce up the exterior. You can start by thinking about the garden. You should have already improved it with a few necessary repairs. But now it’s time to think about making it look beautiful.

Again, I wouldn’t recommend that you spend a lot of money doing this. Same as before, look to spend a few hundred on the curb appeal of your property. Although you may find adding more expensive features adds incredible value to your home. For instance, adding a unique sculpture would certainly catch the eye of a number of buyers looking for their next family home. Or, you might want to think about adding some exotic plants. New shrubbery in your garden can make your home look beautiful. Particularly, if it’s rather colorful. Perhaps, you can add a winding stone path, leading to your front door through the garden. Remember, you’re trying to make your home a dream come true. It’s these little things that are going to make your home look picturesque.

By now, your home should be looking quite stunning from the outside. But we can’t forget about what happens when the buyer walks through your front door. They need to be impressed and instantly fall in love with your home. You shouldn’t give them time to find the flaws. If you make the right style decisions, they won’t bother to look.

Interior Style Choices

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We need to think about the interior style of your home quite carefully. I suggest you look for the features in your home that you don’t like and look for ways of hiding them. For instance, it might be that some rooms in your home are quite cramped. But don’t forget this could be due to your personal style. If you’ve got a lot of furniture and accessories, you might want to put some away and save the space. As well as this, you can consider repainting the walls a different color. White walls will make a room look bigger, no matter how small it is. Add a few pieces of furniture and you will get buyers to picture themselves living there.

Or, some places in your home might be quite dark. Add a few lights around the place and make sure they’re switched on but unobtrusive. The buyer should not notice that it’s the lamp providing most of the light for the room.

I hope you found these tips helpful. If you take my advice, I guarantee your home will be off the market fast, sold at a great price. Good luck finding the perfect new home for your family.

How to Make Sure You Get the Right Mortgage for You

If you’re buying a house, making sure you buy the right house for your needs is so important. However, that’s not the only important part. Making sure you have a mortgage that’s right for you is important too. You’ll likely have your mortgage for quite some time, so don’t underestimate how important it is to find the right one for you. These tips can help you:

Use Your Credit History to Look Good to Lenders

Make sure you use your credit history to look good to lenders. If you don’t currently know what your credit history looks like, find out. Look at ways you can improve it. Sometimes, there can be mistakes on your credit history through no fault of your own. Fix these, and then look at other ways to improve. Are there debts you can pay off? Maybe you could take out a credit card, make a few purchases and ensure you pay them back on time. Whatever you do, make sure your credit history looks good to lenders. It will also help you to have a copy of your credit score for them to look at before you agree to do anything with them, as to many checks on your score can affect it too.

Know What Kind of Mortgage You Would Like

There are two kinds of mortgages; interest only and repayment. Make sure you know which kind you want. Bear in mind that having an interest only mortgage may not be an option for you anyway, depending on your circumstances. Plus, if you do want that option, you’ll need another plan in place to pay back your debt. With a repayment mortgage, you’re paying back the money borrowed and interest together. That’s usually the best option to go for.


Fixed or Variable Rate Mortgage?

With a fixed rate mortgage, you’ll know exactly how much you’re paying each time you make a mortgage repayment. Variable rates were once cheaper than fixed rate mortgages, but now fixed rate mortgages seem to be the cheaper option. Plus, you have the security of knowing what you’re paying out. However, it still depends on which deal is the right one for you.

Save a Lot of Money

The more money you can save up towards your deposit, the better the deal you can get. It shows lenders that you’re capable of putting money aside and makes you look more attractive to them.

Work With a Company You Can Trust

Working with a company you can trust is a really important aspect of it all too. Fellowship Home Loans could offer you a mortgage in keeping with your beliefs and ethics. Being comfortable is essential during the home buying process.

Making sure your mortgage is right for you isn’t always a simple task. You’ll need to do lots of research to find the one that suits you. It could take time. Don’t rush it! Then you can focus on finding the perfect property in the perfect location.


5 Ways to Be More Active During the Day

I have been very fitness focused as of the past year. I have been trying to workout more and watching what I eat. But I will admit, I go through phases and I get lazy. I slack a bit and then I feel like I’m starting over from scratch.

I am very fortunate to work people that are also health-conscious. Working with people that pay attention to what they are eating is a good motivator for me to do the same.

A few of my friends at work have been raving about Chobani; and a few have recently become obsessed with Chobani Simply 100 and Chobani Simply 100 Crunch.


About Chobani Simply 100

That’s why we created Chobani Simply 100®, a range of delicious, naturally sweetened Greek Yogurt products full of flavor and satisfaction for 100 calories. Made with only natural, non-GMO ingredients, Chobani Simply 100® is an ally in your weight management journey by empowering you to reach your goals in the right way.

I decided to pick up a few flavors of Chobani (with the help of the kids of course) and we have been really enjoying giving them a try.

We also decided to each add something to our daily routines to get a little bit healthier.

Simple things — like taking an extra 100 steps a day, eating 100 less calories, adding some or in the kids case — choosing to play outside for 100 extra minutes a week instead of watching TV.

I decided to include a quick workout or activity that would burn 100 extra calories each day.


The first few days were rough … but I’ve been liking adding in the quick workout in the mornings before I start my day.

I have also been trying to be more consciously active during the day. It’s not always easy, so I figured I’d share a few of the things I’ve been doing.

  1. Park a Little Bit Farther Away from the door. This is something that I always try to do, even in bad weather. I try to park in the back of the parking lot so that I can get some extra steps in on the way into and out of the store.
  2. Take the Stairs When it’s an Option! Always, always, always take the stairs. I know. It sucks taking the stairs when you are with kids or carrying packages. But the slight inconvenience is outweighed by the health benefits.
  3. Get up and Move. I know that this one seems pretty obvious, and I usually only need to remind myself of this on the weekend. But really, get up and move around. I know that I enjoy being lazy on Sunday just as much as the next gal, and mid Netflix binge is not really when I want to get up and do anything. BUT I also don’t want a butt the size of Texas, so I in between shows I get up and move. I pick up some dirty laundry, do the dishes, do some sets of squats, or even just pace around the room for 5-10 minutes. Just get moving!
  4. Buy a pedometer. This one is slightly different from the other tips as it includes a bit of an upfront cost, but it is worth it. Setting daily goals for your steps can help motivate you to move more each day. And it can help you track your activity so you know what times of day you need to be more mindful about what you are doing.
  5. Add in a Quick 100 Calorie Burning Workout. There are some super easy workout moves that you can do, that will only minutes, and will burn an extra 100 calories! Ready for it? Just do 50 jumping jacks, 40 crunches, 30 burpees, 20 squats, and 10 push ups.

Hopefully this inspires you to get moving and burn an extra 100 calories a day!

What do you do each day to be more active??? Tell me in the comments!

Starting Over

Starting over isn’t as easy as everyone makes it out to be. It’s actually really, really hard.

And I’ve been failing miserably at it for over a year now.

Sure, I have a new job. I’m a single mom with two kids doing the best that I can. I’ve been on a few dates, and I’ve tried to meet some new people. I’ve tried to forget the past and just focus on the future.

But I still live in a house that I shared with my husband. I still use the things that we purchased together on a daily basis. I walk through the rooms and I am bombarded with memories of both happy and sad times spent together here.

I suck at starting over because I suck at letting go.

I think that you have to be able to let go to start fresh. And I’m unable to do that for so many different reasons.

I can’t throw out all of my possessions and start over with new ones like I would like to. I just can’t afford it. And even if I could, I still live in a house that we shared and the memories of that wont go away unless I move — which I am not in a position to do right now.

See my dilemma?

And honestly — even if I could move and start over with all new things, my heart still holds on. There are so many things I still hope for, things that I know are impossible, but again — letting go is hard.

So what do you do? How do you just let go of things that you had your heart set on for so long?

I want to start over. I want 2016 to be a year where I really grow and where I’m really and truly happy.

I don’t want to be stuck like I was all last year.

I know what I need to really move on … I need real answers and real reasons and truthful conversations. I need closure that I just haven’t gotten yet.

So I guess that is where my head is at today….

A Better Way to Paint

My kids love to create. They are always drawing, coloring, building … and attempting to drag out any and every pot of paint we have in the house.

Now it’s not to say that I’m not okay with them painting, it’s just that I like to supervise the activity. Painting is so messy. Their clothes get dirty, the table turns into a mess, and whatever else they touch with paint on their hands ends up ruined by the time I find the paint spot.

Not any more.

When the opportunity arose to check out Kwik Stix, I was immediately interested.

kwik stix

A paint stick that dries in 90 seconds, doesn’t need water, and looks similar to a crayon so you don’t need paint brushes and the mess that comes along with them.

Count me in!!

When the paint sticks arrived, I couldn’t wait to open them.

They remind me of elementary school art class and drawing at my aunts house when I was little. Specifically of the cray-pas “crayons” that were available in both places. And these were my favorite things to draw with as a kid.

In short — these Kwik Stix are awesome. They are a very comfortable size for little hands to hold, and big hands just the same. The color goes on smoothly and I love that within a minute and half the picture is completely dry. The kids can hang up their work immediately or they can fold it up and mail it to a family member.


The colors are bright and super vibrant. I really like that the tubes look like they will last for a long time. The kids have been drawing with them almost non stop since they arrived and we still have a lot left.

Storage is easy, and they are mess free enough that we can take them with us to use in the car or at gramma’s house.

All in all, the kids were super excited to get the okay to paint whenever they wanted, and I have been very happy with the severe decrease in mess.

Visit the Kwik Stix website to learn more!