Thursday, November 14, 2013

Some Light Reading: A Link Round Up

 Happy Fall Y'all!
 Just Thought I'd share some favorite posts and articles I have come across lately :)
  • 5 reasons we don't homeschool: a well rounded reasoning behind homeschooling.  We haven't talked a whole lot about what we want to do when we reach that decision in our lives, but I am not taking homeschooling off the table (my husband is strongly opposed, hmmm...wonder why -that is a rant for another day).
  • How to build your housekeeping muscle 6 helpful 'how to' points to stick to when it comes to cleaning house.  I hate to admit that I do not clean like I would like to, but thought these were some good points to keep in mind.
  • Dale Cooper Thinks You Should Drink More Coffee I am probably showing my ignorance, but I have no idea who Dale Cooper is, however, I do love a good cup of coffee and drink a cup (or two, or three) daily. So, naturally I like to hear how good for me it is :)
  • 3 things I wish I knew before we got married: spoiler alert #1 = marriage is not about living happily ever after, shocker, I know. I am such a sucker for all of these marriage posts, its hard work, but so incredibly rewarding :)
  • Girl Talk: Only Runners Understand Loved these, I am not alone! :)
  • How to Look Rich LOVED this post, such a good reminder that class doesn't come from designer pieces or require big money to acheive. 
  • How Does One Get The Polished Look Similar to the above link, loved this quote:
  • You got rid of the impossible dream to be Grace Kelly, now get rid of all those lists that say you need X perfect pieces to be well-dressed. I’m talking about that crisp white shirt, that trench coat, that pencil skirt, and the little black dress. Yes, these are great pieces for many women, but not all women. You’re an artist, you’re a weekend warrior, your wedding registry was at R.E.I., you have more curves than Marilyn Monroe, you live hundreds of miles from a city and heck, it never rains where you live. 
  • How to Shop Sticking to Budget I always love reading blog posts about budgeting. So often 'shopping on a budget' posts are disappointing at best, but this was a good one.  One thing I do a lot is play 'would you rather' which often ends up going like this:
    • which would you rather have – that It Bag, or a sushi and sake date night with your mate once a month for a year? Which would you rather own – the perfect pair of black leather pumps, or six pairs of sandals from Payless? Which is more important, your morning Starbucks, or a pair of riding boots? Break down the price of the item and compare it to other items in your life.
  •  I also liked this quote a whole lot, especially pertaining to all of our Dave Ramsey talk lately.
    • A woman should get fitted for a new bra every year. She should have the perfect LBD in her wardrobe to be ready for unexpected social events. And she should be able to sleep well at night, knowing full well what is going on with her finances. The best accessory I acquired was getting out of debt – the best accessory any woman can wear is self-confidence, and confidence comes from being true to one’s self, feeling strong, and being financially solvent.
  • The World's Weirdest Fitness Tips & Tricks I know a few of these are legit, it would be pretty crazy if they all were, who knows!
  • 10 Foods Sold in the US that are Banned Elsewhere I love America as much as any patriot, but would argue we seriously fall short as a country in keeping our food, hygiene and pharmaceuticals safe.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How to Cure Your Sugar Hangover

I hate to admit it, but I have fallen off the eat for health bandwagon numerous times since Halloween.
From baking sweet treats, to filling our home (and fridge) with them and everywhere in between I have been absolutely failing in the "make good choices" department.

I thought I would explain the physiology behind my series of bad decisions, with the hopes that harping on them will help to turn me away from my sickening and fattening ways.

First, we must stop the cycle.

When you eat too much sugar, it enters your body & is converted to glucose, which enters your bloodstream.  Those simple sugars are easily processed, so there is A LOT of glucose entering your bloodstream very quickly. That increase in blood glucose (sound familiar?) causes your pancreas to create more insulin to help deal with the excess glucose in your system.  Unfortunately, that glucose is used up quickly, which causes a crash.  Your body is working on over drive to handle that sugar and once the sugar is all used up, it takes your pancreas a little while to decrease insulin production.

What does excess insulin cause? It makes you hungry quickly, but more importantly, it makes you crave more and more sugary foods. Aha! There it is, its not you just being "weak" there is a chemical component to it.

The key to interrupting this vicious cycle is to resist the impulse.  Try to fill your diet with things that are more difficult for the body to digest and will help your body level things out.  Protein, fiber, and even good fats are where you want to look.  These will curb your hunger without continuing the depressing sugar craving cycle.

Not only is your blood sugar out of whack, but the bacteria and yeast living in your body are also thrown off.  Both love feeding on those simple sugars, and when they are in the body in excess, those colonies flourish.  Stopping the sugar helps this, but probiotics to restore the balance and put the yeast and bacteria back in check are also helpful.

So, application:
1. Eat good protein, fiber, and fats
(think veggies, lean meats, and legumes)
2. Up the water intake.
The water will help you to flush that excess junk out of the blood and fight dehydration. (Thank you kidneys!)

I loved this article (this post was pretty much a summary)
And the book Skinny Bitch is another that skimming always helps me get back on course!

Summing things up:

I need to get my act together before these cute little guys arrive on the scene!


Happy Tuesday!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Bringing in the Holidays with You've Got Mail

Here it is, apparently now my annual whimsy nostalgic You've Got Mail blog post.
I love it, somehow it just puts romance and excitement into the holiday season.
I picture Kathleen Kelly in all of the hustle and bustle and her relaxed, smiley disposition throughout the movie.  Her femininity and transparency is what I most love.
I conclude all over again that I want to be Kathleen Kelly when I grow up.
Someday ;)

"People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened."

Happy Weekend!

Halloween, Holidays, and Hospitality

In a world where excuses are so simple to make, I am attempting to avoid them all together. In my diet, exercise, academics, relationships and most of all spiritual life.

An attempt to eliminate excuses manifested itself last night in the way of hospitality.  In our life right now, we had every excuse in the book to avoid opening our home, but we stepped out of our comfort zone and did anyway.  The results were so refreshing.

We opened our little one bedroom to ~15 guests last night for a night to celebrate Halloween and carve some pumpkins! In my usual fashion, it was an under-photographed event unfortunately (something I would also like to work on).  The menu I set out was:

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
(Not my picture, obviously)

With sour gummi worms, candy corn, and hot apple cider :)

Everyone brought all sorts of other treats and ended up being one big sugar high.
Despite all of our poor dietary choices, the night was exactly what I needed to re-charge my batteries and get out of my whiny I'm-so-ready-to-graduate rutt.  Not only was it a good night, but it was very clear the Lord was teaching me through it.

We went to Chipotle for dinner as Pumpkin & Pi for some boo-ritos :)

I love entertaining.  I dream of having a beautiful home someday because I dream of opening it to others, welcoming them in, and showing the Love Christ has afforded our family through the love and joy we impart.
I dream of my home someday being a comfortable place, not a perfect place, but a safe place.  A place where people can come and know no fronts or Kevlar necessary.

I felt convicted that "someday" is now.  We could sit around our whole lives planning for "someday." Right now we have been so blessed with a wonderful location and sweet home.  Small and busy are two terrible excuses not to take the plunge of entertaining that I feel the Lord has put in my heart.  Life will always be busy and while the size of our home might not always be my insecurity, there will always be some insecurity the enemy will sneak into my head.

While this sounds slightly dramatic and pretty insignificant, it was a big step for me.  My husband was not on my page at first. He graciously agreed to move forward with my proposed plans however, and in the end, we were both glad things happened as they did.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that 1) excuses are exactly that, excuses and 2) hospitality is like anything else, it requires practice and the longer you go without doing it, the easier it will be to believe those excuses.

I read this blog post a sweet friend posted on Facebook yesterday and wanted to share it also, with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it reminded me of the blessings in my life and to thank the Lord for them every. single. day. because things can change so quickly. I am so challenged to "consider it all joy," even the situations that seem less than ideal. Please keep that sweet family in your prayers, they have stood strong in such adversity.

Happy Friday!