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Friendships Are The Best Remedy

Well hey there!! I hope this finds you well. As the wife of an amazing husband for 20 years, the mom of a very busy 17 year old boy, and the proud owner of 3 energetic dogs, I need a break at least once a week, if not twice. My choice of an escape is coffee with my bestest friend Becca. We make it a point to meet at least once a week to chat, pray with each other, and just escape the everyday routine we call life.
 

Making time for yourself is so important. Whether you are a stay at home mom, or a busy career woman, self-preservation is the life line we all need. It is such a relief to have that time with just yourself, or a friend to unwind and re-center yourself for your sanity. I use to feel guilty about taking time for myself, but the older I get, the more I learn that when you don’t take that time, you start to wear out very quickly and not only does it affect your family, but it also affects your physical and mental health. Living in Ohio, we have long winters sometimes so it is hard to get outside and brush off the dust.
 

Getting to your local coffee shop or winery can be refreshing. When the weather is nice and warm, taking walks, taking a jog, walking your dogs or taking your kids to the park can be just what you need to take the stress off your shoulders for just a little while. Making yourself aware of the fact that you need some time away, if only for an hour, is great. Take up a hobby that you can go to for that escape. Join a yoga class, join any kind of group that shares your interest.
 

Having a sitter lined up at least a week in advance is a good idea, that way, you more than likely won’t have to cancel your plans. Putting effort into time for yourself is so vital to the flow of your home life and even your work life. I can’t stress enough the importance of being happy and less stressed in your life. Get rid of the toxic friendships. Purge yourself of things that you know are not good for you, whatever that may be. I have lost many friends over the years because I chose to put myself and my family first. Don’t take on other peoples problems. While they may be your close friends, that will only cause more stress not only for you, but for your spouse as well. Life is hard enough with our own problems, let alone taking on someone else’s demons. I know that decision to break those bonds and friendships can be extremely hard, but once you are free of all that, you will realize how much more relaxed and happy you truly are.
 

Take time for your parents, your siblings, cause those are some of the most important people we can have in our lives. Put God first in all you do. Your relationship with God and Jesus is the stitching that sews it all together. Having a heart for Jesus and living your life for God will make so many pieces fall into place. Pray everyday. Read His word everyday. Praise Him for all the good things and even the storms in your life. We only have one chance at this crazy thing we call life… make the most of it.

When No Means No….. Parenting Like An Adult

We have all been there. Your child wants something at the store, or they want to go somewhere fun, you know…normal kid stuff. They will not stop asking. They keep after you, whether it means throwing a tantrum, kicking and screaming, or just simply being a flat out brat. You start to sweat a little, you look around to see who is watching, should you yell? Should you leave? Or, just give in to spare the humiliation. Yep, we have all been there. As the mom of a teen let me give a little advice……

1. Give limited choices.

Make them as acceptable as possible to the child, but eliminate any options that are unacceptable to you.

2. For young children or any child who is easily overwhelmed, an either/or choice works best.

Example: We have to leave soon, do you want to put your coat on yourself or do you want me to do it for you?
Give them the choice within their age range and something you know that they can handle doing on their own.

3. As children get older, choices can get more complicated.

Make sure that you are very clear with your pre-teen and teens on the consequences of their choices and actions. It is important to always stand behind them when they make that choice no matter how much you may not like it. Within reason of course…ex….school work, health, etc…

4. Choices can be used to help kids learn to manage themselves.

Example: We can go get ice cream as soon as you finish you finish your chores. Your choice, but I know you want that ice cream. In this situation, they can choose to procrastinate in their chores and take forever to get them done, or that lights a fire under them to get it done in a timely manner.

5. Choices can teach children consequences

My son is in theater in his HS. He always has a lot on his plate and the choices he makes effects that. If he chooses not to practice his lines, or not do his homework to practice more, there will be a consequence in one of those areas. As much as we do not like to see our kids struggle or fail at anything, letting them learn from their choices and learning that Mom will say no sometimes, makes them better all around!!!

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Make Date Night Great Again

I have been married to my wonderful husband for 20 years and things can tend to get boring. We go the same places, eat the same foods…blah,blah,blah….. No more. Here are some ways to give date night a twist!

 

Redo A Room

You might not be the best painter or decorater, but this is a great, fun idea to spend quailty time together!!!

 

Make Dinner Together

Find a great recipe you both like, go shopping together to get all the ingredients, and make the meal together. Put some music on, pour some wine and just enjoy the experience.

 

Make A Scavenger Hunt

Make this a really fun game. Whether it be in your house, or around your neighborhood, have fun with this one. The possibilities are endless.

 

Have a Game Night

Chess, checkers, Monopoly? What’s your choice? Whatever you choose, make it fun and make memories.

 

Go Get IceCream

Who says you can’t have dessert before dinner? After all, you are adults. Make your own rules and go share a sweet treat!!

 

Take A Hike

There is no better date than putting away the phones, enjoying the outdoors and most of all the company of your loved one.

 

Go Ice Skating

Strap on those blades and take your loved one for a spin around the ice.

 

Visit Your Local Brewery or Winery

Kick back and relax while enjoying some great local brew!!!

 

Take In A Local Art Gallery

Take a stroll through the halls of an art gallery or museum and learn about different cultures.

 

Campout!!

Lay under the stars wrapped up in a sleeping bag and just…breathe… and enjoy your spouse and just talk….

There are so many more ideas. Start your own tradition and make those memories.

Making A Family Emergency Plan

While we all don’t want to think about something terrible happening, it is a reality and the more prepared you are the better. I am going to give you some tips and ideas on how to prepare for the worst……

First thing…. Make an emergency family binder.
Using a sturdy binder with envelope dividers or sheet protectors to hold your various documents and include copies of your most important papers.

Ask yourself this question: Would I be frustrated, angry, or devastated if I lost this item in an earthquake, flood, or other emergency situation? Those items or documents that you think you definitely would need in or after a disaster situation are the documents you need to put in your binder.

 

Here's a list to give you some ideas:

  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Social security cards
  • Copies of your credit cards front and back
  • Homeowners insurance policy
  • Auto insurance policy
  • Life insurance policy
  • Bank statements
  • Retirement statements
  • Internet passwords (banking, personal, work etc)
  • Immunization records
  • Utility statements
  • Work/tax documents that would be difficult to replace

CASH – keep a variety of small bills on hand.

This is a personal choice but I recommend storing the originals IN your family planner and store photocopies of them in a filing cabinet. Also scan them to get digital copies (put them all on a thumb drive) and give to a trusted friend or put in a safe deposit box.

If your house burned down or was flooded it would be so relieving to know that you don't have to go through the hassle of replacing those documents. If you already have a waterproof and fireproof filing cabinet or safe you may choose to just put copies in your binder so that you can have the information on hand in an emergency but know that you can return home and find the originals intact at a later time.
Have a meeting place for those emergency situations. Make 2 different places. One around your own home, and one at a familiar place not to far from your home. This could be a neighbors house, park, school, etc…..

Put emergency contacts into all phones for all family members. Make the contact name start with I.C.E. which stands for In Case of Emergency… that way if a first responder needs to use your phone to contact someone for you, the will know that number is for emergencies. Make sure all family members know where all the documents are kept. Teach your children how and when to call 911…… ALWAYS make sure you have working smoke detectors in your home. Keep at least 1 small fire extinguisher in your home and make sure all family members know it’s location. Make sure to keep extra batteries on hand along with a few flashlights. Buy a few portable chargers for when the lights go out and always keep them charged for those emergency situations.

These are some of the best ways for you and your family to be prepared when the worst happens.
Stay safe!!!!!

Ivory Ella

Elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They have characteristic long noses, or trunks; large, floppy ears; and wide, thick legs. There are two species of elephant. The Asian elephant and the African elephant live on separate continents and have many unique features.

How can you tell the difference between the two?

It is said that you can tell where an elephant comes from by looking at the size of his ears. African ears are like a map of Africa and Asian ears smaller like the shape of India. African ears are much bigger and reach up and over the neck, which does not occur in Asian elephants.

Why do some elephants have tusks and some do not?

One of the key differences between African and Asian elephants is the tusks. All African elephants, male and female, have tusks whereas only some Asian males have tusks. About 50% of Asian females have short tusks known as tushes – which have no pulp inside.

How many elephants are left in the world?

At the turn of the 20th century, there were a few million African elephants and about 100,000 Asian elephants. Today, there are an estimated 450,000 – 700,000 African elephants and between 35,000 – 40,000 wild Asian elephants.

What do elephants eat? And how much?

African elephant populations remain endangered. Elephants eat roots, grasses, fruit, and bark, and they eat a lot of these things. An adult elephant can consume up to 300 pounds of food in a single day.
Did you know that an Asian elephant is pregnant for 18-22 months and an African elephant is pregnant for 22 months!!!

I am proud to partner with Ivory Ella and help save these amazing creatures. I personally have quite a few items from Ivory Ella and 10% of their sales go directly to saving the elephants worldwide!!!!! Click the link below to browse their store and make a purchase that counts!!!

Pet’s Are Part Of Our Family

If you are anything like me and my family, then your pet’s are a big part of your family and lifestyle. Did you know that petting a dog is actually proven to reduce stress? It releases a chemical in your brain called Oxytocin, which, helps you relax. Now, don’t get me wrong, dogs can be a huge handful and responsibility, but the benefits far outweigh the bad.

 

My family has 3 dogs. Our beagle, Scruffy, and our 2 Black Lab sisters, Ariel and Zelda.

Our beagle is 13 years old and our girls are only 6 months old. This blog I am doing is going to be the adventures I have with my awesome dogs. I will be telling funny stories, while also telling you great products and other things I use with them and how good they are or how not so good they are.  So, the best place to begin is of course….at the beggining…..

 

Scruffy came into our family 13 years ago. His brother lives across the street from us which is always fun in the summer when the windows are open. The howling wars are afoot in the neighborhood. He has been a great dog. As with most dogs, we have had our fair share of ups and downs, from house training, chewing everything he saw, to searching the neighborhood when he would escape the backyard. The years have flown by and he has become such an important part of our family. Life would not be the same without our Scruffers in it.

 

Now….insert 2 brand new Black Lab girl puppies…. June 2017. Oh my, what a challenge this has been. 1 puppy is alot of work, let alone 2…. And two very different personalities. Ariel is my calm, love on you kind of puppy. Zelda, on the other hand, is what I like to call ‘my problem child’  She is polar opposite of her sister. Very high-strung, likes to play bite, and steals the chew bones from her sister and brother.  As much as they drive me up a wall, I already could not picture us without them. Knowing they have a good, safe, warm home makes me so happy.

 

So, those are my puppies in a nutshell. As I continue this blog… many more stories will emerge. I will also be blogging about other subjects as well, so no worries to you non-pet owners out there!!!! Thanks for stopping by….

 

Until next time…..

          Kristy