Winter Blues Can Be Left Unsung

One winter, I didn’t leave the property where we lived for 10 days. That’s right: 10 days! What was even a bit more shocking to me was that I didn’t realize how much it had worn me down until I had gotten away. That’s when I counted the days. That’s when I realized that I had been feeling down. Day by day wore me down little by little without me even noticing. It wasn’t that I didn’t go outside. I took the dog and kids out for fresh air every day. It was the fact that my world had shrunk. At first it was comfortable and cozy. Then it became oppressive and stifling.

All I needed was a place to go and people to see. I didn’t have to talk to anyone or do anything terribly exciting. I felt better just driving into our little town and reminding myself that there is a whole big world out there. Now I keep that turning point in mind and check on my activities and schedule on a regular basis.

winter blues

This time of winter tends to get us down, and sometimes we don’t even realize it. Here are 5 tips to help you beat the winter blues. You might struggle with them even if you are able to get out and around.

  1. Check your diet. Are your eating habits healthy? Are you getting all the vitamins you need? 
  2. Make sure you are getting some sunshine. If you can’t get it naturally there are lamps you can get that simulate the sun’s rays.
  3. Do some physical activity each day. It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out exercise session. It could be as simple as dancing around to your favorite songs.
  4. Try something new – maybe a new restaurant, craft, a library, store, park, hairstyle, spa, etc. Do something you like to do.
  5. Make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep – not too little and not too much.

However – and this is important – It’s a good idea to consult with a doctor if you have concerns. Remember that spring is just around the corner!

Parody Of Call Me Maybe: Call Mom Baby

When you were growing up, did your mom tell you, “Call me when you get there?” I certainly remember mine saying that. [It was BC – before cell phones.] Through the years, I’ve felt like it has taken me forever to grow up, but now that I’m on the other side of things, I can tell you my own kids are growing too fast!  Maybe that’s why this Call Me, Maybe parody has me cracking up…whatever it is I hope this helps get you ready for the weekend! I know it did me!

call mom baby

“Birthdays flying at me…Mom needs nighty nighty…” and other great lyrics are in this parody of “Call Me, Maybe” by Mamalode. I like how they use all age levels from K-5 through college.

I just can’t get enough of the hilarious parodies that seem to just come out of the woodwork on Youtube, share your favorite parody video in the comments!

Winter Sports And Why I Avoid Them

Winter Sports Videos

Winter is almost over and this is the time when parents start feeling a little overwhelmed and kids succumb to cabin fever.  Do you need a break from being indoors? There are lots of snow activities you can participate in. If you can’t afford the fancy places – improvise! I was surprised how many ways there are to improvise with winter sports. [just Google it]

Have you tried any of these winter sports?

  • Snowkiting
  • Snowshoe running
  • Skiing
  • Hockey
  • Sledding
  • Snowtubing
  • Ice Skating
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowboarding
  • Ice Fishing
  • Snowball fights
  • Building snowmen or snow forts
  • or of the varieties of many sports and activities listed.

I have decided to avoid all of them after watching this snow sports blooper video:

Really, they involve cold and wet and I’m fine here by my fire with a good book. :)

Share your favorite winter sport in the comments with us!

Make A Flower Out Of Plastic Spoons, Plates And Other Paper Products

There are so many uses for flowers – decorations, thank you notes, gift tags, etc. Here are some ways to make flowers out of ordinary paper products that we often have around the house.

paper products to flowers

We always have paper plates at my house, because I don’t like to do dishes. Now I know how to turn them into a cute flower.

If you don’t have paper plates – how about paper towels?

Just about everybody has regular paper that we use in the printer. That’s what she uses to make a flower in this video.

Next is plastic spoon flowers made over an open flame. Any pyromaniacs out there?

Of course I have to mention tissue paper flowers. My mother still remembers making thousands of tissue paper flowers for prom – and that was many years ago!

There are so many things you can use to make flowers – even toilet paper rolls – and you don’t have to buy anything. Have you ever made any of these flowers?

Stress Relief Through Organization

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute! This site is supposed to be all fun stuff for a break.

What’s this about organizing!?” Just bear with me for a bit.

I’ve tried this in my own life and I can say for sure that organizing your house will help with stress relief.

stress relief through organization

 

Just think about your day for a minute. 

(did you think about it?)

How much time do you spend…

  • …searching for things?
  • …helping your child look for things?
  • …looking at piles of things and wishing they weren’t there?
  • …feeling guilty because you ran late again?
  • …bouncing from chore to chore because you keep seeing other things that need taken care of?
  • …moving piles of things from one place to another?
  • …feeling bad that you forgot to do something?
  • …trying to figure out what to do next?

Once you have some organization in place you won’t have to use up all that time on those negative things! You’ll have more time to take a break and do something fun – like knit a felted lightsaber for a baby.

Now don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Ten minutes focused on organizing or cleaning out each day will produce good results in a week.

Start with what is on your mind the most or what you feel the worst about. Make a list and prioritize things. Sometimes just getting things onto paper – or in the digital cloud – will clear your brain, help you focus, and provide some stress relief.

Ruthlessly clean out anything you don’t need or love. If you haven’t used it in a whole year get it out of your house! There are lots of places that take donations; most Wal-marts have a Salvation Army box in the parking lot.

Do you realize that if you pare down clothes for your family you will spend a lot less time on laundry and folding clothes? It’s true.  I like to aim for 7 – 10 outfits for each of us; that makes it so much easier for the kids to pick out their own clothes and do their own laundry.

Toys are another area that are just so-o much easier to manage if there aren’t a zillion of them.

  • Clean out that file cabinet or desk so you can get rid of that stack of papers on the counter.
  • Do you really need 25 different cleaners for the bathroom?
  • Plan a menu to save money on groceries.
  • On and on we could go…

Once you start organizing and cleaning out you will be more relaxed in your home and not have to run around in circles trying to get everybody out the door in the morning.

If you don’t have to stare at piles of stuff you will be able to focus better on creative things or business – and that’s where the fun comes in! Remember that it doesn’t have to be done all at once.

Even baby steps will get you there and help you feel like you are conquering your house.

I know there are tons of articles out there on this subject and you could spend all day reading about what you should do.

So don’t just read about it.

Get off your keister and go spend 10 minutes organizing something! Don’t worry about doing it “right;” just do it your way. Believe me – you’ll be glad you did and you’ll have the side benefit of stress relief.

How do you relieve stress?  Are there places in your house that just have to be organized?

Funny Valentine’s Quotes

In honor of this most serious and romantic day, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite humorous Valentine’s quotes to brighten your special day!

being married

I love being married. It’s so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner

roses are red

Roses are red, violets, are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you. But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the sugar bowl’s empty, and so is your head. by Will and Guy in Washington Post

tied up Valentine's Day

I wanted to make it really special on Valentine’s day, so I tied my boyfriend up. And for three solid hours I watched whatever I wanted on TV.

 you take my breath away

My love, you take my breath away. What have you stepped in to smell this way? by Will and Guy in Washington Post.

your life movie

If somebody made a movie about your life…I’d rent it.

indiana jones treasure

And lastly a mostly sweet saying:

I feel like an Indiana Jones, because you are the treasure I am looking for.

Get In The Valentine’s Spirit With Romantic Movie Clips

movie clips for valentines day

I like cheesy romance. There I said it. In the afternoon when my brain turns to mush I can hide out in my room, put my headphones on, and watch some cheesy romantic videos on my laptop.

Surely, I’m not the only one…anyone? After I goe lost in Fantasy Land, I can put the laptop down and head back out to dishes, laundry, and more.  With a smile.

Here’s some that that make me smile or give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

First a short film from Disney:

The line from the classic Princess Bride: “Death Cannot Stop True Love.”

Of course I have to include something from Pride & Prejudice. But what scene to pick? I like the second proposal in the early morning light as well as the scene at the very end where she is “Mrs. Darcy;” but I think that my favorite is when they dance together and everyone else disappears.


.
This is a 6 webisode series. Very cute.

What’s your favorite romantic movie?

Craft Hand Made Memories

I had a Sunday School teacher that told us to color things the way they really are, but to a 5 year old that was more of a restriction than an encouragement. I didn’t purposely mis-color things. In my mind I was just making the picture pretty, and why couldn’t the tree be a beautiful purple?

hand made crafts

 

I hang on to that memory for times when my children are crafting and I think, “Why did they make that so silly?” To them it might not be silly; it might be beautiful. As the mom, I have had to learn to let them make their craft what they want it to be; to wait until they asked for help.

I also hang on to that memory for when I’m teaching 3-5 year olds. It’s more important for the craft to be created by them than for all the lines to be straight and the pieces to match perfectly. After one or two times of telling the 3 year old that he can’t cut he won’t even try the next time. It’s not always easy for me to let them present a glue saturated, crinkled paper to their parents; but the pride of creating is easy to see on their face. The parents would rather see something their child has obviously done themselves, rather than something the teacher stuck together. And wouldn’t you feel the same?

I’ve found that crafting with little ones is a whole different ball of wax. It’s not about the “oh so cute” end product. It’s about the journey, the time together, the talk & laughter, the learning, and the joy of creating.

So take a break from your life inside the lines, get a bunch of newspaper to cover the table, and let them craft away. You’ll make memories for years to come – along with a big mess, but you can clean that up later.

Do your children like to color outside of the lines of what we think of as “normal”?

Fun Music Videos To Delay Housework

Fun Music Videos To Delay Housework

I like to waste time on YouTube. Wait – let’s call it an escape, a break, or a stress reliever; they sound better. Except, usually when my computer starts to emit noise my children come running, “What’s that Mommy? I want to watch.” Oh well, at least it keeps them quiet for 3-5 minutes.

One of our favorite channels to go waste time at is The Piano Guys. Me and My Cello is my favorite because of the story portrayed in the video – especially when the cello loses weight!

This one is fun because it is five guys around one piano. Please forgive me for getting a One Direction song stuck in your head, but isn’t it neat when he takes the cello bow and uses it on the piano!?

If you have Star Wars fans at your house you’ve got to show them this Cello Wars video. Darth Vader plays the accordion!

You can even justify it a bit if your children watch with you because you are furthering their music education, right?

I’d love to know what some of your favorite videos are to waste time – I mean relieve stress. Leave a comment and let me know!

How To Relax When You Don’t Have Time

how to relax when you don't have time

What’s your favorite way to relax? I’m guessing a warm beach with a cool drink is high on the list, but  I’m thinking more along the day-to-day line. Do you like to read or crochet? Maybe reality shows or baking help you relax. Bubble baths and candles are high on my list.

If you think that you don’t have time to relax then you need to stop right now and rethink some things. You need to give yourself a little down time each day if possible – even if you can only snag 15 minutes in the bathroom with the door locked. [I’ve heard there are some really good noise canceling headphones.]

I love the tip in this video for getting some alone time:

A tiny bit of down time doing whatever you want will pay you back in so many ways. Your health will be better – physically and emotionally; and you will be a happier mother for your family.