Happy Spring!

This post is dedicated to everything SPRING!! Wahoo. It is finally beginning to defrost, bloom, and become a world full of color again.

photo_background-fence_lgPLANT FLOWERS. My daughter just did a school project to help our local bee populations. She did an educational outreach program to 5 schools within our community. She handed out seed packets for the children to plant at their homes and school. Flowers are so good for everything. Get out and plant some flowers that attract bees. Bees help pollinate 1/3 of the food we eat. Don’t be afraid of them. Help them.

 

aHR0cDovL21lZGlhLmJlc3RvZm1pY3JvLmNvbS9HLzUvNTIwMjc3L29yaWdpbmFsL2Jlc3RfY2FtZXJhc19jb3Zlcl9pbWFnZS5qcGc=TAKE PICTURES OF THE BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS. You can’t help but be in awe of the beautiful blooms of spring.

 

photoGO ON A BIKE RIDE. I Love the wind blowing my hair and the feeling of the wind as you bike through beautiful scenery. Find a new place near you that will be perfect for that easy ride or a scenic, mountain experience. Find a place you want to ride and make it happen.

 

20140515-293054-kebabsEAT FOOD OFF OF A STICK. I laughed out loud as I looked in my rear view mirror and spotted a guy behind me stopped at a light and enjoying a giant skewer of meat on a stick. As he pulled up next to us, I told my daughter to look over at him. She began to laugh as she watched him lick and then shove an entire cupcake into his mouth. This guy was living the good life!! Here are 70 delicious foods on a stick!! http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/g2791/foods-on-sticks/

 

BBQSPRING IS A GREAT TIME TO BBQ! Here are a few links to some of the best bbq recipes out there…FOODNETWORK recipes http://www.foodnetwork.com/grilling/grilling-central-barbecue/best-backyard-barbecue-recipes.    ALLRECIPES http://allrecipes.com/recipes/88/bbq-grilling/ and COOKING LIGHT RECIPES http://www.cookinglight.com/food/top-rated-recipes/five-star-grill-recipes

 

picnicfor2GO MEATLESS for a bit. My husband is a meat man and I am a vegetarian, so our meals are always a mash up. My husband has been getting sick when he eats too much meat, so I have challenged him to give up the meat for a bit. I think it is a good thing for the body and gives your system a bit of a break. Spring is a great time to eat great salads, bbq veggies, and give your body a break.

 

picnic1EAT OUTSIDE. I love pulling out the patio chair cushions, putting up an umbrella and preparing for the sun!! Wahoo. It gets everything feeling right to pull up a chair and eat outside. Outdoor spaces open up and invite you to talk longer, breathe in fresh air, and enjoy the natural landscape. I also LOVE a good picnic. Who doesn’t enjoy throwing out a blanket, lounging under a tree and enjoying a yummy sandwich, good music or a good book, birds chirping, sun shining. Always a good time!

 

11127_Spring_Cleaning_800SPRING CLEAN. Spring cleaning is a perfect time to evaluate what you truly need in your life. Going through closets and clothes allows you to swap out cool cottons for heavy winter clothing. It also allows you to get rid of clothing you haven’t worn in the last year & donate them to someone who could use them. Clear out clutter to allow better things into your life.  Here are some quick Spring Cleaning Shortcuts from REAL SIMPLE https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/spring-cleaning-shortcuts/spring-cleaning-shortcuts-intro

 

1114-588x352LOUNGE. Take some time each day to just lounge. Have a special spot outside, in a hammock or lounge chair and read, take in some sun, watch your children play, breathe in fresh air, or just watch the clouds.

 

originalEXPLORE. Take some time to get out and explore places you have never been. Maybe there is a garden you have never been to, a hike you have always wanted to do, a scenic road you have wanted to take…begin to try finding somewhere to explore.

 

Enjoy SPRING!! HAPPY SPRING!!

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SPRING is a rebirth for the Mind, Body & Soul

 

199360-Colorful-Hello-Spring-Quote“SPRING is a time to find out where you are, who you are, and move toward where you are going.  ”  -Penelope Trunk

SPRING seems to breathe new life into everything. You walk around a store and see color everywhere, you walk out into your yard and see the first yellow daffodil’s that seem to sing SPRING.

Spring seems to wake up the soul and fill in the empty spaces with plans and projects, with new beginnings, with spring cleaning, with hope like a bud blooming on the trees outside the window. Everything whispers, grow.

Here are some tips, tricks and ideas to wake up the soul, stretch beyond, open spaces, and make room for the new ideas, dreams and soul seeking things you need right now!

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YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH. YOU ARE BEAUTY. INTELLIGENCE. LOVE. LIGHT. YOU ARE DIVINE. 

Some great tips for your MIND. BODY. SOUL. HOME…balance is better

IDEAS TO NOURISH YOUR SOUL: Take time to be alone, to be quiet. Read–something that will enrich your mind and heart. (a few personal favorites: The Heart of Goodness, The Seekers Guide, Zest for Life, Wayne Dyer, The Untethered Soul) Write–journal things you are grateful for, begin a personal blog to express where you are in life & get feelings out, or write letters to yourself. Write to find your true voice, to set your feelings free and be able to understand yourself a little better on a personal level. Get Creative–what artistic avenue may help you tap into a deeper part of you. Do you have a hobby or passion that lights you up? Find some way to express yourself creatively [photography, painting, wood, collage, etc].  Get out in nature–take a walk through a park, look at flower petals up close, sit under a tree, touch the smooth lines of a pebble, listen to water, watch the clouds. Nature has a calming, soothing affect on us. Get in tune–listen to music that soothes and comforts through the rhythm and flow of the melody of music. It has a power and influence that you cannot over look. Music takes us to memories, it records moments within our lives. You can feel what feels right for you at a specific moment. Listen to what your heart needs. Breathe deeply–take at least five deep breaths and let go. LOL–share jokes, watch a comedy, be silly because laughter really is a great medicine for stress and releases hormones that help us feel better.

IDEAS TO NOURISH YOUR BODY: Sleep–make sure you are getting 7 to 9 hours . Stretch–to avoid soreness, aches and pains. Exerciseaccording to Dr. Mercola eighty percent of Americans fail to meet the recommended amount of exercise, which is 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity activity or 1.25 hours of vigorous-intensity activity each week…along with twice weekly strength-training workouts.  Drink more water–You are suppose to have eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals a half a gallon a day. Make one small change–switch out a soda for flavored water, eat an apple or try a fruit or veggie you have never had. Sun Me–Get out in the sun for a little vitamin D (at least 15 minutes) Try Walnuts–I keep hearing how walnuts are so good for you because they stimulate the brain and nervous system. Don’t eat so fast–This is a big one for my family. We ‘inhale’ our food. Chew, take your time and savor your food. Tap into your scents–lavender calms, Cinnamon reduces nervousness, Orange & Vanilla are an antidepressant, etc. Spray, light a candle, use infusers or oil, but use the power of the aromas.

IDEAS TO NOURISH YOUR MIND: according to HuffingtonPost here are 10 things that benefit our brains–Tired is better?–Your brain does creative work better when you’re tired. That is probably why many ideas often happen in the shower. Stress–can actually change the size of the brain (and make it smaller). Stress is very bad for the brain, so do all you can to avoid it! [ie: get enough sleep, eat healthy, limit alcohol and don’t smoke, exercise, try to have a good work/life balance] Multitasking— is literally impossible for your brain. When we think we’re multitasking, we’re actually context switching. That is, we’re quickly switching back and forth between different tasks rather than doing them at the same time. Research shows your error rate goes up 50 percent and it takes you twice as long to do things.  Take a nap–short bursts of sleep are actually really useful to improve memory, solidify memories, better learning, and more. Vision trumps–Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10 percent of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65 percent. Pictures beat text as well, in part because reading is so inefficient for us. Our brain sees words as lots of tiny pictures, and we have to identify certain features in the letters to be able to read them. Meditation can rewire the brain for the better–causes less anxiety, more creativity, better memory, increased compassion, decreases stress, improves memory skills… Exercise is good for your brain–there is a link between exercise and mental alertness, in a similar way that happiness and exercise are related.          Best foods to boost brainpower according to bbcgoodfood.com–Wholegrains, Oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, Blueberries (improves short term memory loss), Tomatoes, B vitamins, Blackcurrant (vitamin c), Pumpkin seeds, Broccoli, Sage, Nuts (vitamin E)

IDEAS TO FIND MORE PEACE WITHIN YOUR HOME: Your home should be a safe haven, a sanctuary for the soul, a place where you are lifted and renewed. Here are some ideas to create more peace at home. According to health.com  you need: Cut the clutter–“Remove anything that causes you stressful thoughts,” says Janice Sugita, author of The Feng Shui Equation. Add watercolors–“Certain hues bring on calm: Blue attracts creativity & prosperity, and green creates a feeling of new life in a room,” Sugita says.  Embrace space–an overstuffed room can make you feel tense, so leave about 2.5 feet of walking space around the furniture. Invite nature indoors–Open blinds to let in natural light, and place plants around the room, “Plants bring new life, growth and oxygen to a space, ” Sugita says.         Have specific times each year to de-clutter— Clutter can add feelings of tension & when you have space and clear out excess you have a more peaceful mind and body.    Energy drain--Make a list of things that drain you around the house & then begin one by one to take care of them.

I hope this post has helped you find ways to nourish your mind, body, soul and home.

It’s Spring, a beautiful time to renew

Peace to you.  -H

An Easter Aha!

ImageI was reading my young daughter a story of how the Easter bunny arrived into the folklore and magic of this holiday season. It was an idea that bloomed from the forest floor, Spring had arrived, but the children did not notice, so the animals of the forest decided there needed to be someone who would bring a little spring surprise to the children to let them know that Spring had come once again. Here is the link to the story if you would like to read it: http://www.fairystory.org/classic-western-fairy-tales/the-easter-rabbit.html

This reminded me of how everything yearns to be praised and appreciated. The forest wanted to see and feel the delight of the children dancing around the forest floor, smelling the flowers, enjoying the lush, green grass and the new birth that was in abundance. 

It is the little things we seek to be praised and appreciated for. I heard a powerful thought on a podcast recently with Sara Ban Breathnach, she was talking about how if we are created in God’s image, then He too yearns for praise and appreciation, (this was an aha for me) for us to notice the little gifts he grants us daily. He wants us to find wonder and possibility in every single day. To have gratitude for all that is given. 

This Easter I want you to ask yourself and your family—What can we do this Easter to bring our family together to celebrate and rejoice in His name, to remember the truth of the season, to be grateful for the colors, for the spring blooms that are beginning to pop out of the earth, to look up into the beautiful sky and see the hues, the warm sun, the colors that are echoed in the details of Easter. There are so many little details that Easter brings, tiny designs etched in lace, the chocolate bunnies that take us back to our childhood, the textures of grass gently tucked into a sacred basket, small eggs in a multitude of colors to remind us of the new birth of spring, a new day. 

A Easter Bunny may not seem appropriate for such a special holiday, but if we can see the symbol in a new light, a beloved creature that gathers details of a new day, a blessed day that is a gift from a God that loves us, as a reminder of His love, then we can embrace this cotton-tailed friend and see it in a new perspective…of Love, Wonder, Delight and a special offering to remind us of Him. We can then take this special reminder and give thanks and praise in all we do. 

So here are some additional ideas to gather your family together and make this Easter even more special…

Resurrection Eggs: Last Easter we did the story of Benjamin’s Box and had a hunt for resurrection eggs. It was a very special story tied into the special eggs. My family loved it! You can either make the eggs yourself (scripture quotes with small symbolic things held within a plastic egg–there are a variety of versions. Just google “Resurrection Eggs” & find one that suits your family) or there are also pre-done eggs you can buy (Amazon has a set by FamilyLife Publishing for $12.99)

Legend of the Sand Dollar: This year I am going to read The Legend of the Sand Dollar since we found many sand dollars along the coast this past summer.  I have not read the story, but I will let you know how it is once I receive it. It is an Inspirational Story of Hope for Easter. Bought it on Amazon along with a basket of sand dollars that I am going to give to my nieces and nephews after sharing the story. 

Easter Lily: gather your family around and explain the meaning behind the Easter Lily. There are many stories associated with the Easter Lily: One says the shape of the Easter Lily looks like a trumpet shape and is a symbol of God the Father calling his Son Jesus home. Another story said these Lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s agony. It is said that the lilies sprung up where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the ground in his final hours of sorrow. 

One personal interesting fact—this summer on our trip along the Oregon Coast down to the Redwoods we came across fields where the largest producers of Easter Lilies were grown. It was amazing, miles and miles of fields that then reached up into the forests of the mighty Redwood trees, filled with towering Cathedrals, protective boughs, breath taking silence and then you came out of the forest into a town that was dark, felt ugly and held one of California’s prisons. It was like polar opposites—Beauty, Light, Peace, Cathedral trees into a dark, ugly land.  Interesting.

Have a special meal: If you have a family tradition, then enjoy it. BUT, don’t be afraid to go out. Last year we were not home for Easter, so we enjoyed a beautiful brunch at a local restaurant. At first I couldn’t believe what we were doing, but I was happily surprised to see families together, some dressed up in their Easter best, enjoying their time together. We enjoyed every minute and every yummy, little detail.  The best detail—being together.

Spend part of the day in service: Serve Easter dinner at a homeless shelter, make cookies and share them with an elderly home, make fun, decorated, edible eggs and hand them out to the homeless, give an Easter Lily to someone who is elderly or in a home because of the symbolic hope and life it brings, maybe you can take someone who is alone a special Easter meal, have your child make a special Easter gift to give to her teachers at church & school. Make handmade Easter cards and send them to friends and family. 

Resurrection Cookies: I came across this recipe idea, so I thought I would add the idea for anyone interested in making them with your kids or making them and giving them as a special gift to someone.  Here is the link: http://www.motherhoodonadime.com/kids/resurrection-cookies-printable-recipe/

Make a Easter gratitude tree: I usually do this around Thanksgiving, but Easter would work too. Make or purchase a wire tree that you can hang the small, colorful wood eggs on. Have each member of your family pick a few of their favorite colors & with a small sharpie write something they are grateful for—a beautiful gift they can praise and appreciate for Easter. Gather everyone around and have them share each one before putting them on the tree.

Dress it up & remember: Usually Easter involves new spring dresses and new ties, so make sure you take a special moment with your family, find a beautiful spot in your home or yard and take a picture to remember the moment.  Then give every member of your family a piece of cardboard & have them write down 3-5 things that either symbolize them at this point in their life, a personal motto or quote or things they are grateful for. Have them write them down, decorate the cardboard & take single pictures of each person. You will see them & what was important to them at this point in their life. It will be a fun memory to cherish.

“For I remember it is Easter morn, and life and love and peace are all new born.”            -Alice Freeman Palmer

I hope you enjoyed these ideas. I hope they get you thinking of things you could do to make this Easter memorable. Have a beautiful weekend with your families.  -Heather