My Gratitude List

It’s official, we are now into the thick of the holiday season. Mostly people fall into one of two categories – or possibly somewhere in between – either your house is decorated and Christmas music has been playing for weeks or you find this time of year challenging and stressful. Our culture has changed over the years with the inception of Black Friday (and Cyber Monday). More and more people have off of work the day after Thanksgiving, internet shopping is easier and more convenient than ever and the sales are starting up, it’s time to get shopping. Maybe it’s just me but I feel completely overwhelmed with it all. The anxiety of FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. I am in a constant struggle of trying to find the best deal for the perfect gift for everyone on my list all before I run out of time (gasp!). After Tori’s post on November being gratitude month, I have been trying to strike the right balance to enjoy the season and make the most of this time of year.

Here are a few things that I am grateful for:

  1. My essential oils especially Vetiver – the calming effect helps me relax after a long, stressful day.
  2. Coffee – ’nuff said
  3. Danielle & Rob – some of our best friends. They just moved across the country and we miss them already!
  4. online shopping, esp. amazon.com – srsly, what did we do before this??
  5. my mail carrier and all of the other package delivery people for being kind and considerate on rainy days – or any day for that matter!
  6. my husband for being a parent with me, shout out to all you single parents out there – you are amazing!
  7. The men and women who bravely and honorably serve our country – your selflessness and courage is amazing.

Don’t forget about your gratitude list – post on our Facebook feed, private message us or email us – what ever works! We will pick one lucky person by using a random drawing to receive a special personalized essential oil blend! The drawing ends at midnight on November 30.

Steeping in the Season,

Megan

Advertisements

miniThanksgiving Guide

It’s happening! Thanksgiving is upon us and all that comes with it. For some of us it can be a ‘charged’ time of year. Either dealing with family scenarios or FOOD. What to eat, how much to eat, what will they think of what I eat, staying sane… Let’s keep it simple. It’s a holiday, enjoy! And remember, “It’s progress, not perfection.”

Here are a few things bouncing  around my brain:

If you do want to stay on track, offer to bring a dish or two you approve of to share. I will be bringing this fall salad. And here is a handy serving size guide. No need to be confrontational with family and friends. All that needs to be said is, “I feel better eating this way.” It should be about spending time together!  I, for one, love my mashed potatoes and stuffing and will be having some without any guilt! (And the Pumpkin Pie.)

Kimberly Snyder (I have mentioned her blog before) has some clean eating Thanksgiving recipes. Even a pumpkin parfait alternative. There are so many resources to look up either on “the google” or (my fav) Pintrest.

I will, however, add a green smoothie to my day just so I know that I got a great dose of healthy goodness in. Take a pic and use #steepedinwellness; I would love to see what your drink concoctions entail!

By thinking of something to be grateful/thankful for each day this month has caused me to pause. Starting in December, I will begin a daily meditation practice. I have heard good things about Headspace. And they have a free ten day trial. Ten minutes of guided meditation a day for  10 days doesn’t seem too intimidating. Do it with me! I recently read that:

“Overwhelm is the lack of self care.” So self care it is!

We have all heard of (dum da dum dum)… Black Friday. BUT have you heard of Good Karma Friday? If you are in the Milwaukee area, check out The Waxwing on North Ave. A percentage of proceeds will be going to a local special cause, something to consider. And of course, Shop Small Saturday! I am looking forward to stopping by Permanent Baggage and Sparrow on my way home from work. They are having deal$!

I hope you are all enjoying the Gratitude Challenge; it’s kinda fun! Don’t forget to log ’em in at the end of the month. We will pick a winner!

That’s it! It’s a busy week so I don’t want to take up more of your time. Be kind to yourselves and enjoy the season 🙂

It’s Progress not Perfection.

Steeping in Wellness,

Tori

Unconventional

When we think of working out, we most likely have this image of traditional exercise that is ingrained in our heads. Maybe it’s spandex and Jazzercise or maybe it is Nike’s on the treadmill. Exercise can exist outside of the four walls of a gym. Most of us aren’t gym people – for whatever reason, it just doesn’t work for us. Although I enjoy a good group exercise class, I just never felt excited about a room full of treadmills or weights. I have found other ways of exercising  — workout videos in my basement, running outside with my sister or yoga classes at Tosa Yoga are really what work for me.

dancer

After a weekend getaway to Scottsdale, AZ this past week, I got to thinking, what would be some fun and exciting options for exercise. I had this question pop in my mind mid-climb on the famous (for infamous – depending on who you are) Camelback Mountain. My oldest sister Kristin used to lived in AZ and we had the opportunity to make this climb many times since then.

There are two trails that take you from the base to the top and back in around 1-3 hours depending on your clip. Most of the climb is stepping up onto large boulders and the other third is scrambling on your hands and feet. The fresh air, the views and the exertion make this my ALL TIME favorite workout. How cool would it be to have this mountain in your backyard??? #jealous

My point – why can’t ALL exercise be something we (mostly) enjoy? Why does it have to be something that we loathe doing and find no enjoyment in? Well, my answer to that is – IT CAN & IT DOESN’T! Find something that you look forward to, something that interests you, something that drives you. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Whether it’s ballroom dancing, rollerblading, indoor rock climbing, ultimate Frisbee, kickball or field hockey, indoor crew, swimming, kick boxing, yard work, power cleaning your bathrooms, snow shoeing or hiking with the kids. The options and opportunities are endless. Find what works for you and make it your own and most of all…ENJOY!

Don’t forget about the November Gratitude Challenge!

Steeped in the Unconventional,

Megan

Gratitude Challenge

Did you know that November is Gratitude month? It makes sense with it being the month of  Thanksgiving. Usually, my family will go around the table and say something they are thankful for. But why not all month?

Derrick Carpenter of Happify Daily says, “People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. And gratitude doesn’t need to be reserved only for momentous occasions: Sure, you might express gratitude after receiving a promotion at work, but you can also be thankful for something as simple as a delicious piece of pie.”

We challenge you to write something down each day what you are grateful for throughout the month. At the end of the month you can submit your list for a prize! We will notify you on Facebook closer to the end date what the prize will be, so make sure you are following us!

Here is a tip: keep it specific. Don’t just say you are thankful for your family. Maybe say something like, “I am thankful that my husband volunteered to do the dishes tonight.” Or, “I love how soft my slippers are.” Become more aware of all the little things, and you may just start noticing more and more.

We are already a week into the month, so starting today, go for it!  Maybe share things around the dinner table all month long. Or if you’re dead tired at night, think of something in your morning commute or over breakfast. Just be present and I bet you will have a hard time narrowing it down to just one thing for your day.

Here is my list so far this month:

  1. I am so grateful we have such great friends and family that helped us unload endless boxes from our move.
  2. The colors of the leaves at our new house are amazing!
  3. We saw 3 deer this morning in our new backyard.img_7974
  4. Thankful my husband doesn’t think twice about watching W so I could go out for dinner with girlfriends. I had the BEST dessert…thank you La Reve!
  5. W and I got to watch Daddy play kickball on a gorgeous Saturday with our cousins…(I usually work)     fullsizerender4
  6. My egg bake souffle turned out great for brunch with my-In Laws.
  7. So grateful W was a super helper today at my prenatal check up.

I feel much better after focusing on all the POSITIVE in the day.

Steeping in Gratitude,

Tori

I Feel Awful!

 

On Sunday, our neighborhood had Trick or Treating. Which means kids, costumes, chaos! We had fun trooping around collecting the coveted candy. My kids are still on the fence with the ringing the doorbell/receiving candy connection but I know the inevitable is soon to come. Luckily my kids have pretty much forgot about the enticing candy hidden away on the top shelf of the cabinet but for the last three days, I have been struggling with the ever present sugar that has suddenly appeared in my house. I wish I had more self-control but sure enough, I gave in on the goods. I had my fair share and then some and felt awful on Sunday night, and the next day, the following day still. It hit me like a ton of bricks – SUGAR! I coach people all of the time who are addicted to sugar. I can appreciate and commiserate with the hangover of guilt and nausea that binging brought on. I don’t normally crave sugar but I do have cravings which are usually salty so I get it. But I feel sugar is dangerously different. The instant appeal it has on your tongue and the immediate desire for more is raging. I can feel the affects it has on me and sadly see the affects it has on my children immediately. The headache, fatigue, poor decision making skills, no motivation, and the list goes on!
candy-corn

I had enough and the candy has got to go! I have been thinking about this holiday and wondering how to make a new healthy tradition for my family. Every year we are going to fight an uphill battle with candy and sugar so starting this year – things are going to change! Here are a few ideas I have looked into to reduce or eliminate the sugar in your houses after the ghouls and goblins have left for the year:

  • Switch Witch: So apparently this has been featured on Shark Tank but the concept can be pretty easy. The day after Halloween, a witch comes to collect the candy and trades the candy for a toy, DVD, etc. that is JUST as appealing and fun.
  • Send it to the Troops: There are many organizations that are collecting the candy to send to the troops overseas to thank them for their service. Here are a few I have seen:
  • Dentists want to buy your candy! Apparently this is VERY common as we got a flier at my son’s school of a dentist offering cash money. He was then sending it to the troops as well. Ask around, you may be able to find a dentist who participates in the Buy Back Program
  • Throw it away – GASP! I know it’s very wasteful but consider the alternative.

Steeping through the holidays,

Megan