5 Ways to Naturally Energize Yourself

Hi there! Welcome back to Simple Life at Home. Today I’m giving you five (of many!) ideas to help you feel more energized, naturally, without having to depend on something like caffeine. Caffeine and processed sugars are very addictive and I try to avoid becoming dependent on them every day. These ideas are super basic, but they do actually help! Whether you’re at work or at home with your kids, you could benefit from this list.

Get Moving
I mentioned this first because I feel it is the most effective. A body in motion stays in motion! Taking a few minutes during the day to walk a little when you start to feel tired will help get your blood flowing. Or maybe avoid the slump all together and walk before you normally start to feel tired! Actually, any form of exercise will work. The natural endorphins your body releases will help you feel more awake. You could even go for a walk several times during the day, even if it’s only for a few minutes, to give your body the energy boost it needs.

Soak up the Sun
Going outside or even sitting in a bright, sun-lit room will help you boost your mood and energy. Getting outside in the fresh air and absorbing some vitamin D can help you feel more alive. So if you’re stuck indoors because of your job or if the hot summer days are keeping you in, at least open the curtains and blinds to lift your mood!

Drink Something Cold
If you’re feeling kind of tired, try making a cold glass of ice water. Water is the most hydrating choice, and drinking it ice cold will keep you from feeling as tired. If you aren’t a water drinker, anything that is ice cold will help. Just remember that staying hydrated is the best way to keep your energy levels up.

Eat Some Fruit
This is might seem silly, but hear me out. Fruit has natural sugars that will give you a little boost and a crunchy fruit like an apple would be a good choice! Grapes are another option and they contain a good amount of natural sugar to give you some extra energy.

Get Enough Sleep at Night
The final tip I have for you is more of a preventative one: go to bed earlier! If you’re used to staying up late every night, you may need to adjust your night routine so you can start winding down earlier. Try going to bed earlier and getting more hours of sleep to fight that afternoon fatigue, without having to chug a cup of coffee.

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Simple Ways to Save Money

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This has been something on my mind a little extra lately, especially since we recently became a one income family and welcomed our first baby this year! A recent news article I read said 8 in 10 Americans live paycheck to paycheck. This is a sad reality and it doesn’t have to be this way. Trying to save money every month or build a savings account can be a daunting task, but its 100% doable if you start making some small changes in your daily life. Saving money can be like second nature once you take those first steps towards your new spending and saving routine. Here are a few of my tips to help you get started.

Eat at Home More
I could honestly write a whole blog post on this subject alone. I listed this first because it is the biggest downfall for so many! Going out to eat will literally “eat” away your budget. Some argue eating out is more convenient and some complain that they don’t have time to make dinner. Put aside a little time one day a week and meal prep to save yourself time the rest of the week. Leftovers are so convenient, even more than eating out. Ultimately, eating at home when the food is prepared ahead of time is quicker than sitting in line at a drive thru or waiting for a table at a restaurant.

Resist Temptation
If you like to shop but you want to save money, stay out of the store! My husband and I love to browse certain stores just for something to do sometimes, but we end up buying junk that we don’t need. There will always be bigger, better, and newer items, but getting sucked into trends or trying to keep up with the Jones’ will lead you away from your goal to save money. When you do have to go in a store, ask yourself if what you’re buying is a need or a want: if you don’t need it, don’t buy it!

Shop Sales, Clearance, and Seasonal
If you do have to buy something, look for it on sale or on clearance. Big box stores run sales year-round and they have a pattern that they follow. Some stores run annual or semi-annual sales of which you could make a list of things that you want and wait until then when they are much cheaper. Also look for clearance items, such as clothing that’s last season’s trend or food that may have a slight dent in the packaging but is still healthy to eat. Shopping for food in season is another great way to save cash. This goes for produce and sales during the holidays when you can stock up on certain food items at a steep discount.

Ditch the Email Subscriptions and Ignore the Ads
Thanks to our ever-growing digital world, this is becoming a big issue. You visit a website, they get your email address, and then you receive something from them weekly, daily, or sometimes multiple times a day! They all have one goal in mind and that’s to try and get you to buy their product or service. They send you emails to advertise “sales,” and from the comfort of your own home you get sucked into buying something. Social media is also doing their own version of stalking you. Do you ever search for something on Google and later see an ad for it on Facebook or Instagram? If you’re trying to save money and find yourself tempted by the countless emails you’re receiving, you can unsubscribe from most of these companies at the very bottom of the last email they sent you, in the fine print.

I hope some of these tips will encourage you to make some changes, or maybe rethink some bad habits you have, to help you save more money. Don’t hesitate to leave any other money-saving suggestions in the comments!

Postpartum: Surviving and Thriving

You just had a baby. Your hormones, emotions, and thoughts are all over the place. You bring home your sweet little bundle of joy and are a bit overwhelmed. Postpartum is different for every mom, but one thing that all moms have in common after birthing a baby is that their lives as they know it have changed forever.

My first baby is now three and a half months old and I’ve learned so much in this short period of time. I’m responsible for another human’s entire well-being, my weight is still not where I want it to be, I have a different mindset when I wake up and when I go to sleep and, because of this beautiful baby girl, my outlook on life has totally changed. Below are some of the realities of, and how to get through, postpartum.

Priorities
Whether you’re a first or second time mom (or third, fourth, etc.), you have to prioritize your day so that it includes taking care of another human. Keeping a schedule in the beginning is almost impossible. But with each passing day, it becomes easier to create a routine. As baby gets older, they need your undivided attention less and less so that you can take care of other necessary and important things (i.e. house chores and spending time with your husband). And speaking of your husband: don’t forget about him…but also don’t feel guilty for spending a little less time with him because you’re busy taking care of baby (more about that below).

Emotional Struggles
This is one of the most emotional times in your life. Thoughts like, “I love this baby so much” and “What the heck have I done?” coexist in your mind and you probably feel a little (or a lot) guilty about thinking this way. This is normal! You’re not alone. Other moms feel exactly the same way and it’s important to stay strong mentally to thrive at this important season of your life. Avoiding the baby blues, postpartum anxiety, and depression is hard to do, but being intentional with positivity will help keep your mind from having the doom and gloom thoughts as much. Counting your blessings can help you change your perspective. I also found that prayers of gratitude to God for giving me my miracle baby, and asking Him to help me get through each day, was beneficial for me!

Physical Changes
This is a big one for many moms because we live in such a visual world. Every woman’s body is different before pregnancy and the way pregnancy affects every woman is different as well. Some women gain extra weight and hold onto it after having their baby, some have stretch marks, some acquire physical issues that you wouldn’t even guess were a result of carrying a baby. It can be difficult to accept this new body along with all of the other new things you’re trying to get used to! My advice on this is that you have to take each day as it comes. Don’t get caught up in what someone else looks like after having their baby. Back to pre-pregnancy weight right away? Great! But if not, don’t beat yourself up. Maybe you never will be? And that’s okay, too. Do what you feel is best for you with what you have. Struggling just to get up and take care of a baby every day seems like “no big deal” until you’re actually doing it and you don’t have as much time for yourself anymore.

Don’t Lose Yourself
Losing sight of who you are after having a baby is all too easy to do. Your new baby can’t take care of themselves, and even if you have a husband who helps you, you’re still the main lifeline to that child. And if you don’t have a spouse to help you, I would imagine it’s even more difficult. Remember to give yourself some “you” time. Whether it’s the five minute shower you take while your baby is napping or a quick coffee date with a friend while your husband watches the baby, whatever brings you joy aside from being a mom, remember those things. Try to find a little time for yourself every day!

Mom (and Wife) Guilt
Feeling guilty for taking care of your baby or yourself is not necessary. You shouldn’t do it! But reality is, you probably will anyway. Guilt for neglecting the baby to do house chores, guilt for neglecting your husband for taking care of the house and baby, the list goes on. This is inevitable for most moms and it’s something we need to stop doing. You can only do so much and spread yourself so far. Pat yourself on the back…you’re doing great!

The most important thing for you to take away from this is to remember you are important, you matter, you are your babies’ whole world and they need you! Stay healthy, stay strong, and don’t give up on being the best “you” for your baby. I’m trying to do the same!

Please feel free to leave a comment with some of your suggestions, or just to share your experience, for this both wonderful and trying time.

Life as a Mom

There is no single piece of advice that can prepare you for motherhood. No book has the answer, and as much as people offer their own insight of what to expect, it’s nothing you can really put into words. You really won’t know what it’s like until it happens. In an instant, your whole world changes and you are responsible for another life other than your own! It’s amazing and scary, all at the same time.

I’m not going to lie. I have been calling on God more frequently to help me get through the day. Between feeding, diapers, and entertaining an active baby day after day, life as you know it can get away from you. Of course life will never be the same again, but if you aren’t careful, it is easy to completely lose sight of everything you are apart from being a mother. (I plan to elaborate more regarding post-partum in the near future)

With all that being said, I wasn’t sure how or when to come back to the blog. It’s been a few months since the last post and I havent been ready to share any of my thoughts about this experience (or anything else for that matter) until now. I hope to post on a more regular basis going forward! 😊

Why We Waited to Have Children

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My husband and I have been married for seven years this coming October. We love each other more than anything on this planet. We like to spend time together and do things, just the two of us. Some people asked us right after we were married when we planned to have children, and others have only tried to encourage us over the past few years. It never really bothered me because that’s the typical thing to do: you get married then you have kids. So I always answered with, “we aren’t ready yet.” We decided to wait for a long time and we wouldn’t change a thing about that. We wanted to enjoy as much as we could of our life together before adding to our family. That’s not to say that having kids soon after you’re married isn’t right or a good thing. It just wasn’t what we had peace with doing.

This past year was our year. My husband came home from his second deployment and we decided that we were finally ready! And God thought so too when that positive test appeared so quickly. I knew I wanted to be a mom my whole life. My husband and I are only children so we knew from day one that we wanted to have several children of our own someday.

There are many women who struggle to get pregnant, and we knew that was always a possibility and a risk we were taking by waiting so long. However, God’s plan is the ultimate plan for our lives and He knows what we need and when we need it. To the ones who are waiting to see those two pink lines: we believe that children are a gift from God. Stay faithful! Never cease to pray for what you want in life. God is hearing your prayers and knows the perfect timing for everything you need.

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.”
1 Samuel 1:27

This has been an awesome journey that my husband and I have been on together for the past nine months. We have struggled a little, celebrated a lot, and learned even more about each other than we knew before. And I know it’s only going to get better! We are SO excited and blessed to bring our little girl home soon to join our family!

Preparing for Motherhood: Some Encouragement

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I can’t believe I’ve already reached my 38th week of pregnancy! We will be welcoming our first baby into the world anytime now. It feels so surreal. When it comes to being prepared to be a mom, there is no perfect instruction manual or enough advice that you can be given. At least, that’s what I have been told.

I’ve read that there are going to be days that I feel like I’m not good enough or that I’m doing everything wrong. So what is the best way that I think I can prepare for motherhood? Expect to be less than perfect and accept that I don’t have all of the answers! Being a mom is something that I have wanted to be my whole life. I believe that God made me, like so many other women, for this awesome experience. I prayed that God would bless my husband and I with the precious gift of a child.

The reason I wanted to make this post is because we all have different thoughts and beliefs about motherhood, even before it happens to us. However, one thing that we all have in common is that we are expected to rise to the occasion and be the best that we can be. And that is all that you can do. Make the choice to be the best you for this new person that you gave life to and the rest will fall into place.

The Perfect Cleaning Routine

Cleaning house can be a daunting task for some women. I grew up with a mother who cleaned her house from top to bottom almost every single day. It seemed so exhausting! I wanted to find ways to make these chores seem like something I look forward to more than something I’m constantly dreading. The following tips have worked for me and I thought I would share them for those who need some extra encouragement!

  • Plan. Planning your cleaning as another part of your day instead of keeping it as an after-thought will lessen the stress of actually doing it. Pick a time that you know will work for you. Try not to leave your chores for the day until the end of the day when you are already tired, unless of course this is the time that you find works best!
  • Do a Little Each Day. I used to wait until the weekend and try to get everything cleaned at one time. This doesn’t work for me at all! I found that tidying up throughout the week meant that I dreaded cleaning a little less by the time the weekend came around. Maybe you still do most of your cleaning on the weekends, but cleaning a little bit each day will really help lessen the load for you later.
  • Comfy Clothes. This may seem crazy to some people, but I think being comfortable while you clean is important. I have found that I get more accomplished if I am in comfy clothes! Coming home from work and trying to clean in dress clothes wasn’t working out as well as if I changed into a t-shirt and sweat pants and made myself a little more comfortable.
  • Eliminate Distractions. Obviously there are going to be some distractions that are unavoidable, unless you have a certain time of day when you are completely alone. But simply turning off the tv can help you focus and minimize your time spent cleaning!
  • Light Candles. This is another tip that may not appeal to some people, but I already feel better about my house when I have candles lit and a nice aroma to enjoy! Lighting candles in the rooms that you are working in can help lift your mood as well.
  • Turn Up the Music. Listening to (and singing along!) to music can help me almost forget that I’m even cleaning. Every person has a different taste in music, but I personally need something up-beat to keep myself going. Create a playlist on your phone that is specifically for cleaning and jam out!