We are officially 9 days in to August and this month seems almost over. This summer has been very busy and it’s crazy to think that school is about to begin again. As a parent I am not looking forward to another few quarters of distance learning. I am ready for our kiddo to get back to school and interact with others. School is balance between learning and social interaction. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, kiddo’s are suffering from the lack of social interaction. I have been trying my best to keep our kiddo’s as busy as possible this summer.
With that being said:
Goal #1: Prepare our First Grader for the First Grade
First grade is approaching quickly, with only a few more weeks left of summer break. I figured now is the time to start reinforcing workbook practice sheets in order to refresh our daughter on things she learned in kindergarten, as well as challenge her with some first grade work. I found these really great workbooks on Amazon. These workbooks are fun, interactive, and engaging.
I even considered purchasing some home schooling curriculum in support of distance learning. As parents we are going to need to supplement our children with additional learning resources in order to get through this distance learning. There is no way that we can simply depend on online curriculum to teach our children. Distance learning is an alternative but is not a replacement for classroom setting learning. Children will loose a lot of basic skills, writing specifically if we allow technology to be a replacement to physical “old school” learning.
Goal #2: Start Letter Writing
Since I have been a active bible study I have felt so encouraged to share the good news with others. I learn so much from each weeks bible study that I decided I wanted to start letter writing to others. This month I plan to first start out by writing letters to my close family members and friends. The purpose of my letter writing will be to provide words of affirmation, inspiration, and encouragement to others from a biblical standpoint.
Goal #3: Plan Family Worship
While hubby and I both attend weekly congregational bible studies, we also conduct our own personal bible study together. Something that we both want to do more of is plan our family worship nights with the children. Learning about the bible and biblical principles is important to incorporate in your family life. Children are like sponges and are so eager to learn. We have dedicated Monday nights for family worship and I will plan for this by picking out a chapter for us to go over in the “Teach Your Children” bible publication.
I am still amazed at how fast this year is flying by. Can you believe that it is July already? My feelings of disbelief of how quickly this year is passing by has really helped me to appreciate the little moments throughout my day… more than before.
I have vowed to be more present over the last few months which has encouraged me to dump social media. Since making this commitment I have had so much more time to do the things I love such as studying my bible and enjoying nature. It’s true that we make time for the things we want to make time for. And with a little more constructive focus on the important things in life, it can truly bring you more joy.
For the month of July here are my goals:
Continue No Social Media & Plan Less
The stress of managing social media is beyond real. The bad thing is that we honestly do not realize how consumed we are with reporting our life and staying up to date on the life of others. It’s so sad how social media can take away so much from our little moments and joys of life. Since eliminating social media I feel that I have been living in the moment and enjoying more of life.
A few weeks ago, my husband I and I planned a spur of the moment trip to the beach. Random unplanned trips is something we always would do before kids and it’s simply something we are passing down to them. These moments are worth every moment and memory. What makes it even better is that that we went to the beach in the middle of chasing a storm. Watching a storm roll through on a hot summer afternoon is an amazing thing to witness and watch.
Family Bible Study
Family bible study has become a important aspect of our family life. Reading the bible to learn and apply life principles are crucial for your spiritual life. It becomes even more real and important when you begin to see how Jehovah can change situations and simply bless you for following his instruction. Having witnessed and seen the power Jehovah working in my life has made it so important to make our family bible study a priority. As parents, it is even more fulfilling to watch how our children observe our practices and behaviors. As we conduct bible study, our children who are like sponges absorb everything that we discuss and watch. It’s a true blessing to see them so eagerly wanting to learn more about Jehovah.
Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.”
I absolutely love nature and it is very therapeutic. Making more time to be present in my life has allowed me to enjoy nature. Stopping to look at the flowers and greenery is a great way to slow the pace of life down around you.
Garden for the Fall Season
For my zone I am looking forward to gardening for the upcoming fall season. Fall season gardening includes: beets, carrots, kale, lettuce, and peas. I have challenged my husband to make me a raised garden bed this month. He is looking forward to this task.
Currently, I am working on a few sprouted seedlings: beans, tomato, and peppers. Not pictured includes: cilantro, mint, thyme, and basil. I do plan on re-potting these very soon. I am looking for a nice herb planter for all of my herbs. Something to keep them right outside of our kitchen for the remainder or the year. If you have any recommendations please leave a comment with a link.
Monthly planning will encourage you to celebrate even the “smallest” wins. What are your goals for the month of July? Share with me in the comments below; no matter how big or small. I am encouraging you to set some goals to smash this month.
I wish you nothing but success and prosperity for the month of July.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat. That’s just a few apps I can name that took away countless seconds, minutes, and hours out of my day. A typical morning for me didn’t begin with waking up and reaching for my bible or waking up and drinking a cup of water. I grew accustom to waking up and reaching right for my phone… opening each app… viewing and clearing notifications. From the moment I opened my eyes in the morning my time and attention was consumed.
It can be so exhausting trying to manage a social life on social media. Spending time drafting posts and taking multiple shots to get the best pictures. The majority of the time when I was out living life I was so focused on taking good pictures that when looking back at those pictures, I then realize that I wasn’t living in the moment. I was physically present… but not connected.
Life is about making memories and living in the moment. Pictures are for capturing those moments, but pictures can be destroyed. Memories are long lasting.
Erica @ Blog Life With Erica
I finally committed to deleting my social media on Sunday. Quitting cold turkey can be hard sometimes. I feel like it’s only natural when I reach for my phone to click to my social app folder and open up a app. But, it’s not there. Honestly, being three days in… I don’t really feel like I am missing much. I really wish I had made this decision early on, especially once 2020 began falling into shambles.
Anytime I opened social media it was overly consuming with negativity of the sad reality of a world we are living in. All of this negativity surrounding the current coronovirus pandemic, politics, and overall injustice is bad for your mental health. And I knew I had to change something if what I was seeing and reading on social media impacted my feelings.
Since deleting social media I have been able to take advantage of more hours in my day. I wake up and reach for my bible FIRST. I even have picked back up on my bible reading plan. And guess what? My husband is joining me on this journey of reading the entire bible. We have had so much more time to study in God’s word. And it’s connecting us even more.
And I can’t forget about how more rested I feel . This is just a quick little update for my friends, family, and readers who may be wondering why I am no longer on social media. Don’t fret- I didn’t delete any of you. I just deleted my accounts. =)
I love you all and will continue to blog on a more regular basis now that I have more time. Continue to follow me on here for updates.
Thank all of you for reading and continuing to follow me on my journey. I hope this post will encourage you to reflect on your time and whether it is being spent in the best way possible. It is crucial to live a balanced life. More life as Drake said.
June 12th commemorates the anniversary of the Supreme Court striking down state bans on interracial marriages, on June 12th, 1967. This was possible thanks to the love and fight put forth by Richard and Mildred Loving, a interracial couple from Caroline County, Virginia.
While, Virginia is known for the phrase, “Virginia is for Lovers” – that was not always the case. In fact, prior to the case Loving v Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) it was illegal to marry outside of your race and many people were jailed as a result. The couple who fought so hard for love, Richard and Mildred Loving were both sentences to a year in prison in 1958, all because they wanted to love each other. According to Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which criminalized marriage between whites and colored, the Lovings were guilty for love.
Thankfully, the Loving’s decision to fight on for love, pushed them to appeal their convictions to the Supreme Court of Virginia and their case was heard. On June 12, 1968, the court made a decision in the favor of Richard and Mildred Loving, overturning their convictions. On June 12th, 1967, the court struct down Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws, ending all race-based legal restrictions regarding marriage not only in Virginia, but across the United States.
This court ruling made it possible for my parents to marry legally and has made such a great impact on many other interracial relationships and families. Let us never forget, June 12th, 1967.
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope”
“Love is blind despite the world’s attempt to give it eyes.”
I truly enjoy writing down my goals on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis. I am thrilled by the feeling of accomplishment I feel once I accomplish a task on my goals list. Even if I am not as successful at accomplishing my set goals for the month, week, or day; having my goals written down are great reminders. Reminders of what I am doing well and reminders of areas in which I need to do a little better.
I’m honestly my biggest critic. I prefer to blame it on the stars. As a Capricorn, I am a real working bee and (unintentional) overachiever. I am ambitious, yet practical, organized, and goal oriented. You can talk my language if you are talking: money, business work, and/or achievement. As tough and stubborn as I am, I am all about celebrating my wins. And when I am done with one goal– I am always ready for the next.
For this month I found it challenging to pick out a new goal for the month. But, nonetheless no matter how big or small the goal I had to pick something.
Monthly Goal: Find Balance
With nothing else to do due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have had nothing but time to focus on me and my fitness journey. I have grown to love home workout routines and I have developed a love for daily walks. I have committed myself to walking 2-3 miles daily during the week. I also incorporate my home body workouts for at least 3 days out of the week.
However, I honestly have been struggling with finding a balance to my daily walking and home workouts. This past week I literally walked for about 8 days straight with no rest days; averaging 2-4 miles per day. On top of over extending myself with my home workouts 4-5 days per week.
It’s so easy to become addicted to working out, especially once you start noticing results. And I feel that I was becoming addicted. While, it’s great to commit to a solid schedule when working out, you must have rest days. Rest days just as important as exercise. Rest days is what helps the process of building strength, endurance, and muscle. For me, my workouts consist primarily on resistance training, which breaks down the body tissues. Rest days are crucial and are needed to allow my bones, nerves, and tissues to rebuild/ recover.
In a nutshell, no matter how much I feel like I can push through and just keep going in my routine; I still need to rest. Walking is low impact and for this month I will continue walking daily during the week. On the weekends I will not push walking, outside of my normal everyday activities. I am primarily still active on the weekends so that’s perfectly fine. During the week I will balance working out no more than 3 days a week with resistance training, allowing myself rest days in between.
We have made it through another yet another holiday… social distancing. What better way to social distance other than adventuring out into the great outdoors? There’s no better way!
This weekend was filled with a lot outdoor adventures and trails, both paved and unpaved. I have set a personal goal to walk/run 3 miles per day. And this past weekend has pushed me off to a great start.
Aside, from incorporating walking and running into my daily exercise routine I have been focused a lot on my diet. Consuming high protein and high fat. My breakfast, lunch, and dinner has remained consistent for the past week. For breakfast I will eat 2 boiled eggs and 2 slices of bacon. Typically, I will eat the same thing for lunch and add in some greens (kale). Finishing up with a Cobb salad for dinner. In the past week I have noticed so much improvement in my overall health and energy levels. The stomach bloat that I was experiencing is gone and I have not had any cravings.
Supplement wise, I have been using SNAP Keto Advanced Weight Loss Aid which is made from 100% pure coconut oil, MCT oils & BHB salts. This aid has really helped suppress my appetite and speed up my metabolism as I reset my body. Along with the Keto Advanced Weight Loss Aid, I also use SNAP Keto Detox which is a advanced cleaning blend that flushes out toxins and improved digestion. These supplements can be purchased together as part of the SNAP Keto & Detox Bundle (FREE Keto Meal Plan) included.
I initially purchased these supplements as a 30 day jump start to get back into the groove a ketogenic lifestyle. Honestly, I think I will be sticking to this supplement combo after 30 days. Anything that can curve my cravings is worth keeping into my regimen. I have been so disciplined and it feels great.
Home Workout Program
With gyms closed you may find yourself making more excuses than ever to not workout. Do not fall into the trap. There are so many programs available to you from home that can really spice up your home workout. I am currently on Day 8 of Total Body 21 (Round 1) 21 Day Program. With this home workout program by Total Body 21 I have gained access to workouts hosted by Leticia Gardner. Total Body 21 Round 1 is geared to train you to use effective fitness methods and diet plans in order to manage your weight and tone muscles. No equipment is necessary for this program. And it is designed to get you moving! With access to a new workout video each day, you have 21 days to break all your bad habits when it comes to your health and fitness. A bonus to this program are the meal plans that are provided to you, and many other resources. This program is tailored to help you develop new healthy habits for eating and incorporating working out into your daily routine.
If you would like to learn more about the Today Body 21 programs available, please be sure to check out their website: https://totalbody21.com/index.php. Trust me when I say that you will find a program that fits your needs and goals.
What is your exercise, diet, and home workout consist of? Please share what is working for you and what is challenging you at this time. We all can learn so much from each other.
Later this week I plan to blog about some of my favorite youtube fitness gurus that have and continue to inspire me. Please like and comment below if this is a topic you would be interested in reading more about.
Why do you eat food? Is it for satisfaction, nurture, or simply because you want to? The answer that you have for this question completely determines where you are in your health and wellness journey.
I have been in a place where I simply eat because I wanted to. Whether it was something that I loved and was addicted too (candy and soda) or I ate for satisfaction of a craving. Typically when we get cravings for food it is for food items that are high in sugar and fats. Ultimately, this will make maintaining a healthy and balance diet a challenge.
You may be wondering what causes food cravings? There are a few different factors that can cause food cravings such as imbalances hormones (leptin and serotonin). Generally, when you are craving something it your body telling you that something is missing.
Check out this food cravings chart provided by http://www.stepintomygreenworld.com to get a better understanding of your cravings, what you need, and what you need to eat instead.
As I grow in my relationship with food I have become more in tune with my body and the nutrients that it requires. My relationship with food is to eat to nurture. For the last week I have been eating a high fat and protein diet and as a result I feel full longer. This has completely curved my cravings for snacks.
Here is an example of what my daily meal plan consists of:
Breakfast: Egg Whites, Green Tea w/ Heavy Cream
Lunch: Ground Turkey, Sauteed Kale
Dinner: Ground Turkey & Cauliflower Rice or a Cobb Salad
Snack: Strawberries w/ almond butter or sunflower seeds (if needed)
Along with my planned meals I also drink 1 gallon of water a day. If I do want to enjoy something other than water I will drink tea (unsweetened) or green tea (unsweetened) w/ heavy cream. My biggest focus when it comes to health and wellness is to eat REAL FOOD. If you focus on eating real food, you really do not have to worry about consuming too many sugars or carbs. Real food is not processed.
If you are struggling with eliminating or reducing sugars or complex carbs out of your diet I would recommend for you to try to incorporate meals consisting of meats and vegetables. Refrain from any artificial or processed foods. This is the easiest and simplest way to get on the right track when it comes to living a healthier life.
Share with me your relationship with food in the comments below.
It has been about two weeks since my last post. I am back off of a hiatus. Have you ever found yourself feeling in a “rut”? Hold up, before you answer that question let me explain to you what it is to be in a “rut”. To be in a “rut”, is to be settled in a habit. Particularly a boring habit. It’s getting off track and growing comfortable in that habit.
An expression used to describe being in a “rut”, is having a wheel stuck in a groove in the road. This phrase is used often to describe a state of being. This phrase accurately describes how I have been feeling. And it’s been for no apparent reason, other than I simply didn’t feel inspired to blog. During the past two weeks I decided to take a slight break from social media.
Social media is a great way to connect with others but too much connectivity can cause a bigger disconnect in other areas of life. Do not allow social media to become a distraction to your life and goals.
Today I want to talk about distractions and how you can overcome distractions in your life. I really believe that distractions are what causes people to fall into a “rut”.
The average person is distracted or interrupted every 40 seconds when working in front of their computer.
Harvard Business Review
This means that basically when connected to social media or working from a computer, you can’t focus for a single minute before becoming distracted with something else. Once your attention derails, it can take up to 20 minutes to regain focus on your initial task.
Why do we cling to distractions? As humans our attention span is attracted to respond to elements that bring us either pleasure or fear.
The main way you can overcome distractions is by incorporating strategies that can assist with mitigating the distractions in your life. It’s all about setting boundaries and expectations for yourself.
Create a distraction free zone/ritual
Living in a world filled with distractions, the first step is to place limits. Create a distraction free zone. There are a few areas within my home that I have designated as my distraction free zone. Those areas include:
When I walk into any of the above rooms I do not bring any distractions with me [iPhone]. My iPhone is something that I would consider to be my biggest distraction. From pings or vibrations I immediately get the urge to reach for my phone to check my notifications.
During moments when I really need to focus time to a specific task I will utilize the do not disturb feature on my iPhone and/or simply leave my phone in another room; in order to reduce distractions. If working directly from your computer close out any unnecessary browsing tabs/windows and sign-out of all social media accounts. This will deter you from stumbling off task while working online.
Set daily intentions
Setting daily intentions will allow you to have a clear understand and visual of what you need to focus on each day. Writing out your daily intentions is a great strategy that will encourage you to work with a greater intent, and focus on priority items.
Decide on the best time that works for your schedule in which you can make a list of your daily intentions. I personally choose to set my daily intentions the night before. This allows me to plan for the day ahead, while waking up with a clear understanding of what tasks I need to accomplish by the end of the day.
Tasks on my daily intention lists are only tasks of high priority. Any task that does not have priority should be listed on a separate list. I highly suggest to keep your daily intention list short. Maybe, commit to three daily intentions. You do not want to lose focus on high priority items that can potentially set you back on deadlines. Setting priorities for your daily intentions is crucial to your success in overcoming distractions.
Focus on difficult tasks first
Distractions often occur because we aren’t feeling challenged enough. Based off my daily intentions and task lists I find myself to be more productive focusing on difficult tasks first. Once I get into a groove, I begin seeing results. Results encourages me to keep working even harder.
If you are focused on challenging and difficult tasks you will not have room for distractions. Distractions only fit into your schedule if you make room for them.
The Distraction Equation:
busywork + less challenging work = greater opportunities for distractions
Sure, you can devote your day to working on a task. For example, looking ahead into your week you can declare Saturday as your day to declutter. Assigning a task to a entire day is a huge MISTAKE. This does not set boundaries or limitations. And often, this approach will cause you a great deal of anxiety to complete a task with no real bar set on the expectations of the desired results.
Instead, set boundaries. Creating deadlines will allow you to set boundaries and limitations. Rather than vaguely stating Saturday will be the day you will commit to declutter, set a timer and give yourself a set time to complete the task you have chosen to complete. For example, on Saturday I will spend 30 minutes decluttering each room in the house. Whatever, is not completed in that time frame will then be done next time. Limiting the time you give yourself will encourage you to really zone in and focus on the task.
My recommendations will not eliminate distractions in your life. But, you can use my recommendations as strategies to overcome the distractions presenting in your life. You have the ability to change and take charge over the distractions in your life. Now is the time to get out of the “rut” you have been in. If one of your wheels is stuck in a groove in the road- NOW is the time to step out and give yourself a push. The path is still set for travel- get your wheels moving- leave that “old” raggedy groove (bump) in the road behind!
A friend once told me that time is something you can never get back. So that means we must make every second and moment in our life count. Spend your life doing all of the things you want and enjoy. We cannot get back time missed. We will have enough time to rest and sleep when we die.
Carpe Diem (Translation: Seize the Day!)
This Latin aphorism is used to expressed the urge to make the most of the present time and give little thought to the future. For we do not know what the future holds. My plans for this month is to fully seize each day. This means being intentional with my time. I will not over consume myself with busyness or daunting tasks. I will focus on 5 things that I would like to incorporate into my daily schedule, in order to bring joy to my daily routine.
Walking is one of my favorite ways to distress. It’s something about being outside breathing in fresh air, feeling the wind up against your face that is so refreshing. Walking immediately boosts my mood. Particularly, I really enjoy early morning walks when the dew is still in the air. Daily walking is also a great way to maintain a healthy and balanced weight.
Here are some ways to stay motivated when committing to walking daily:
Set yourself up for success by setting simple goals. For example, committing to walking 10-30 minutes on your lunch break is a great start.
Make walking enjoyable. Listen to music or an audio book to past the time.
Vary your routine. Walk outdoors and switch up your routes. Find a local park or trail to walk with different scenery. Invite friends or family to join you on your walk.
Don’t stress over missed days. If you miss your daily walk- try again the next day. Remind yourself how much better you feel after walking. This reminder will be sure to motivate you to stay on track.
Commit to Self-Reflection
Self-reflection allows us to gain a better understanding of our emotions, strengths, weaknesses and driving factors. For this month I want to dive a little deeper into myself and I plan on doing this by keeping a gratitude journal for 30 days.
Writing down daily all of the things I am grateful for is important in order to focus my energy on appreciating and giving thanks to others. This is a great way for me to focus daily on the positive things in my life no matter how big or small.
Study a New Language
I really would love to learn French. I am inspired to learn this language as traveling to France is on my bucket list under places to travel. Studying a new language can be a daunting tasks but with practice I believe that it can be a fun new learning experience.
I am not a big fan of learning through reading. So, when I learn about a app called Duolingo I decided that I would set some time aside to focus on learning a new language. For this month I plan to withdraw some of my time from scrolling social media and instead open Duolingo to practice my French.
I have heard so many good things about Duolingo, which is a fun and interactive way to learn a new language. With Duolingo you have access to personalized learning and receive immediate grading. One thing that I really like about the Duolingo app is how you earn rewards. You earn virtual coins that unlock new levels as you master new words, phrases, and grammar. I am all about making learning fun and this is a great way for me to work on studying a new language for this month.
Pay It Forward
Have you ever had someone pay for your coffee or morning breakfast? This has happened to me on more than one occasion and it’s a great feeling. Paying it forward is when the recipient of an act of kindness does something kind for someone else rather than simply accepting the good deed.
Something as small as paying it forward for the next person in line a great way to brighten someone’s day. To freely give to someone without any expectation of it being repaid back. You never know how your good deed can change or impact someone’s circumstance for the better. This month I am planning to pay it forward for someone else whenever I am in the drive thru during the month of May. I am challenging YOU to do the same!
Meditation should be performed on an empty stomach. It is recommended that meditation is performed at least four hours after eating, making morning meditation the best time to practice since you are still fasting. Each day during the month of May I will wake up 10 minutes earlier to stretch and meditate for 10-15 minutes.
My morning meditation will begin with stretching for 2-5 minutes before getting out of bed. Maybe a cup of tea to get me settled and comfortable. I will observe my breath and speak words of affirmation. Acknowledging all thoughts that cross my mind and releasing all negative thinking back into the universe. Ending my mediation with prayer before I step out into the world.
I hope reading my May goals have inspired you to work towards accomplishing something great and positive this month. Focus on you, so you can give back to yourself and others through kindness and gratitude.
What are you goals for the month of May? What strategies are you using to help accomplish your goals? Comment below 🙂
After seeing countless ad’s on Instagram for Hubble contacts I decided to take Hubble up on their current offer, first box of Hubble contacts for only $1[click here to take 30 second FREE quiz]. It’s not too good to be true. I only paid $1, no additional fees for shipping and handling. My order arrived in a little under one week from placing my order.
My contacts arrived nicely packaged. Hubble is known for providing affordable daily contact lenses. What sold me on this brand is that Hubble contacts advertise that they provide both all-day comfort and sharp vision. I have tried multiple contact brands over the years, Acuvue, Air Optix, Bausch & Lomb, and Dailies just to name a few.
They all have been similarly uncomfortable and caused me to have frequent eye dryness. After multiple attempts at wearing contacts I had given up on wearing them, due to the lack of comfort in the brands I previously tried. Yet, Hubble was convincing enough for me to give contacts a try again.
I have been wearing Hubble’s daily contacts since Sunday. Each day I wear them on average between 8-14 hours. Immediately on the first day when I put them on I noticed how they fit so precisely and are so comfortable that it is easy to forget that I even have them on. I really like that these contacts are made out of a hydrogel material, containing 55% water content, UV protection, and a thin edge. These contacts are perfect for anyone who engages in extended screen time.
Hubble was created to offer people high quality and affordable lenses. I am so thankful that I decided to give Hubble a try. Now, I am able to toss my overly worn monthly contact lenses that I shouldn’t be wearing. Did you know that over wearing your contact lenses can cause severe eye damage? But, sometimes over wearing your monthly contact lenses is a reality due to cost. With Hubble, this bad habit does not have to be your reality.
Hubble makes it easy by providing you with a daily contact lens subscription. You never have to worry about anything, just sign up and in a few days your contacts will be delivered right to your door. It’s hassle-free and if you are like me and care about your environment. Rest assured that Hubble packs their contact with 100% recyclable materials.
Share with me in the comments your experience with wearing contact lens. What do you look when comparing different lens brands. Is comfort a concern for you? Have you tried Hubble before? Comment below.