My personality type is pretty type A and motivated by to-do lists, not about feelings and emotions. I was going through the motions of parenting, checking off what I thought I needed to in order to be “successful” at it. This book has helped me shift my mindset about my relationship with my child and what my ultimate goal is.
Love Centered Parenting is on the very short list of books I’ve already bought multiple copies and versions of to give to friends and to keep to re-read myself. I know I will be referring to it in the years to come.
I am loving podcasts. I know they’ve been around for a while but I only got into them in the last 2-3 years. I definitely have jumped in headfirst though. My podcast queue is longer than what I normally have time to listen to!
If you do not know how to listen to podcasts or what they are (radio shows on your phone), leave me a comment or message and I’ll help you out.
Podcasts are a great way to entertain yourself while cleaning, working or exercising. You can listen to podcasts for free on your phone or computer. I’ve saved a lot of money on audiobooks since I listen to primarily podcasts now.
The following are the podcasts that I never miss an episode of. These are my absolute favorites and first on my playlist.
Cultivating The Lovely
Jim Harold’s Campfire
True Crime Obsessed
The Crystal Paine Show
The Same Page
Aaron Mahnke’s Cabinet of Curiosities
The Bible Binge
Lighten Up With Melanie Dale
The following list are podcasts that I enjoy but don’t listen to every single episode. I skip the ones that done interest me and listen to the ones that do. These are my frequently listened to podcasts
The Mom Hour
10 Things to Tell You
That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs
The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey
Everything by The Parcast Network
I’m subscribed to just about every podcast by The Parcast Network. The following are my favorites but I suggest checking out their entire selection if you’re into weird or crime type of podcasts.
What are your favorite podcasts?
I recently finished “More Than Just Making It: Hope for the Heart of the Financially Frustrated” by Erin Odom of The Humbled Homemaker. Before delving into my thoughts about the book I want to mention that if you pre-order it before the release date of September 5, 2017, you are eligible for some amazing goodies. Some of the best goodies (in my opinion anyway) is the free gift package from Free Reign Farm, access to the first 3 chapters while you wait for the book and a printable gratitude journal. If you are going to order this book, pre-order it now to get all of these goodies plus a ton more! Visit MoreThanJustMakingIt.com for more details.
One of the hardest struggles I’ve faced while in poverty is the stigma. I love how Erin addresses the stigma she felt while in the trenches of barely surviving. She is honest with her feelings that she was above the stereotypes. She was educated and a hard worker. Then she goes on to say “None of it mattered. So instead, I told the truth.” That sentence gave me chills. I shared my introduction into poverty in an earlier post and had many of those same thoughts. And just like Erin, none of it mattered. Poverty is humbling but it does not define you.
The stigma of poverty is hard to rise above. Especially when our families and friends contribute to it. Sometimes, we contribute to it ourselves. I’ve heard so many comments from wealthier people about low-income families. Maybe you have heard the comments too.
“Poor people shouldn’t breed.”
“If you only worked hard, you wouldn’t be in this position.”
“Learn how to manage your money and you’ll be fine.”
“Poor people are lazy.”
“My tax dollars pay for your family.”
“How dare you enjoy any luxuries, you should be eating rice and beans. Meat is for the better people.”
These comments can hurt even the strongest of us. Every so often on social media, a picture of a fridge full of junk is posted beside a picture of a fridge with barely anything in it with the caption “The difference between a working class fridge and a food stamp fridge. Implying that those on food stamps can afford a fridge full of junk food.
I need to jump on my soapbox for just a moment. The idea that those struggling with poverty can afford a fridge full of food bought with food stamp dollar is absurd. Now, someone with food stamps may be able to stretch those dollars by using coupons and fill their fridge that way.
Social media often brings the worst in people out. Hidden behind their screens, they feel they can say anything they want, regardless of who they hurt. And yes, it hurts. Even comments by complete strangers can make you feel small.
What the people making these types of comments don’t realize is that they could easily find themselves at the other end with one major health problem or loss of a job. Yes, there are some people who abuse the “system” and that is sad. But, the majority of low-income people are hard working folks facing hard times.
Erin has a whole chapter in More Than Just Making It titled “Eating Well on a Rice and Beans Budget”. That chapter shows the reader how to stretch the money they have (whether it’s food stamp dollars or not) and feed their families well. Yes, it is hard work but it has great rewards.
What I love the most about this book is that Erin shares her story while giving hope to those still just barely surviving. She shares how she helped her family make it through hard times with practical advice and ideas. Throughout the book, hope is found.
If you or someone you know is struggling with poverty, this is the book for you.
Being poor is nothing to be ashamed of.
If there is one thing that you take away, I hope you learn how to stop being ashamed of being poor. Learning that poverty doesn’t define your character is so important. Believe me, I get it. I’ve struggled with low self-esteem because of poverty. I wish I would have realized earlier that the amount of money I have is not equal to my self-worth.
We live in a wonderful age of information. Everywhere you go, there is information. You can even learn anything, at any time, with your cell phone. This is great but can lead to information overload. Which can be particularly harmful when talking about healthy living.
When you begin to research different aspects of healthy living, you will come across a lot of information. Some of that information is scary. You might learn that your favorite soap is full of toxins. Or, that the plastic wrap you’ve used for years has been recalled due to it causing cancer. This happens more frequently that you could imagine. It seems that people today are scared. Of everything. I’ve experienced “toxin anxiety” on several occasions. It seems that EVERYTHING is bad for you. I’ve had to stop researching and focus on “good enough”.
Melanie Dale, of Unexpected.org and author of “It’s Not Fair“, wrote a post about her New Year’s goals that really resonated with me. In it, she shared how she was going to focus on being mediocre this year. Seriously, read her post. And her books. She’s that awesome. My point (other than to get you to go read Melanie’s posts) is that you don’t have to be the best. You don’t have to make the absolute best decisions. Especially when it comes to healthy, natural living. If you change one thing, it’s still better. You can choose to do “good enough”.
I have a whole series right now called “From Toxic to Healthy” where I’m sharing what is working for me, right now, in my home. You might not be able to implement some of what I do. That’s all right. You do what you can. Other people can cut out so many other toxins and “bad things” from their homes that I just can’t right now. And that’s fine too.
When starting your healthy living journey, remember this: If striving to be healthy puts you into a position where you are making less healthy choices, stop, and focus on “good enough”. What do I mean by this?
You can’t stand the taste of tap water, even with a filter, so you drink your water primarily from bottled water. Then, you learn that some brands of bottled water have BPAs in their plastic. So, you stop drinking as much water. What’s healthier? To continue to drink the bottled water or not drink any water at all?
Not drinking any water.
Good Enough Choice:
Look for bottled water labeled BPA free and buy that or, buy a reusable BPA free bottle.
Find a pure, natural spring where you can gather your water in glass bottles that you’ve blown yourself.
Focusing on all the bad stuff out there can drive anyone insane. It is very important to make healthy changes slowly. When I first started on my healthy living journey (health nut bandwagon as others call it), I freaked out and wanted to change everything at one time. That wasn’t possible financially for me. And now, I’m glad that it wasn’t. I’ve learned that it’s better to do it slowly. Remember, healthy living isn’t just about freeing your homes of toxins. It’s also about making sure your mental state is good too. If you are stressing yourself out over being healthy, it’s counterintuitive.
I’ve recently posted about finding a non-toxic laundry detergent. I’ve received some feedback that some of my suggestions contain this chemical or that toxin. And, I’m all right with that. I need to be all right with making some “good enough” decisions for the sake of my sanity.
And remember, take everything you read with a grain of salt. There is a lot of information out there about everything. Some of it great information with real credibility. Other information if of the “fear mongering” type. Some information is simply incorrect. And others are just people’s opinions. You need to make the best decisions for your family and yourself. If those decisions look different than someone else’s, that’s normal. I honestly feel that healthy living has become a new way to “keep up with the Jones'”. Don’t fall into that way of thinking.
Now, go read Melanie’s post and tell me what you think!
I’ve been using Fit2B for a few months now and feel like I can give an accurate review. I initially signed up with them to help my diastasis but have benefited so much more. I use Fit2B all through the day now. No, I’m not stuck in front of the TV working out all day long. Many of these workouts do not take much time at all to complete.
Before I explain how Fit2B is helping me all day long, I wanted to tell you about the company. Fit2B is a gentle approach to fitness. This is such an amazing thing for me. I struggle with quite a few medical conditions and am not always (hardly ever) up to a strenuous workout plan.
There are different paths to take to personalize your experience. I was excited to see the “Tummy Safe Path to Great Abs”. I’ve bought different workout DVDs that promised me a flat stomach and was only frustrated with the results. I thought I was nuts because it seemed that my “mommy pouch” only got bigger and bigger. Turns out, it wasn’t in my head. Many of the workout moves I was trying to force myself into doing was making my diastasis recti worse. A diastasis is also known as abdominal separation. You can learn how to check yourself for one here. With Fit2B, I am happy to say that their “Tummy Safe” workouts won’t make your diastasis worse. They are designed to help strengthen your core and close your diastasis safely.
It costs just $15 a month. That is a lot cheaper than taking one yoga class or joining a gym. And let’s be honest here, I am not a gym person. At all. I am cheap frugal to the bone and feel that this is an excellent value. I would pay more for this if I had too. It is helping me that much.
My daughter loves their kid programs. She also does quite a few of my workouts alongside me.
My core is getting stronger since beginning this program. I can feel a decrease in my diastasis!
How Fit2B is Helping Me All Day Long
I go through the PMS Routine every morning. It helps my pain greatly. If you suffer from chronic pelvic pain or monthly menstrual cramps, I can’t recommend this enough.
I’ve mentioned before that I have endometriosis and adenomyosis. Keeping my pelvic floor in good shape is essential for managing my pain. I use Fit2B’s Pelvic Floor routine at least three times a week. It takes less than a half an hour to complete.
I also try to get in a quick 10 -15-minute workout that focuses on other areas. There is an excellent selection of different workouts to choose from that can be done in 10-15 minutes.
When I’m ready to go to sleep, I usually do some light stretching or one of their relaxation workouts. But, I really enjoy their Bedtime Mediation. It helps relax me enough to be able to sleep.
For the first time in my life, I’m truly excited to workout. I’m not in extreme pain afterward. Even on my hard days, I can do one of their routines. Have you used Fit2B before? What is your favorite workout with them?
Hannah Pad uses only organic cotton on the fabric that touches your skin. This is wonderful for those wishing to remove toxins from their life. Plus, this makes the fabric so comfortable.
The sample liner option.
The normal cost for liners starts out at $11.99. Medium pads start out at $18.99. Overnight pads start out at $22.99. Shipping is free with orders over $99.
Variety of Styles & Sizes:
There is not a variety of styles with Hannahpad.
Variety of Prints:
There isn’t a large variety of prints.
I did not do an absorbency test on the liners.Learn more about my absorbency testing in the post “What You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Cloth Pads”.
One of the most comfortable liners I own.
What I Didn’t Like:
The only thing I don’t like is they are one of the more expensive companies.
Shipping was very quick. I had no other experiences with customer service.
This is one of the more expensive options. I am not sure if I will order from this company again due to the cost. I am very pleased with the liner I received. I suggest signing up for their sample before placing a large order.
Credit cards are evil. That’s what everyone says, right? I’ve even said it myself. I would hear about “those people” with thousands of dollars of credit card debt and immediately jump to the conclusion that they must not be good at managing their money. Or, they were shopaholics, living far beyond their means. Well, life has a funny way of showing you when you’ve been a judgmental dingbat.
That’ll Teach Me to Judge Someone Else’s Financial Situation
Last winter, I was in a bad place financially. Brandon, my other half, had major surgery with several complications. While he was in the hospital, our only vehicle completely and utterly died on us. After the hospital stay, he required home nursing and several doctor’s appointments with costly co-pays. At that time, I was unable to find a steady job. I had costly prescriptions of my own to pay for. Not to mention, bills still needed to be paid.
What About Savings?
Everyone should have an emergency fund, right? It’s great if you have one but know that it is possible to quickly go through the fund when an emergency strikes. It got to the point where we wiped through all our savings, even after cutting every possible expense. It was then that I decided to start using my credit cards. This is the part of the story where I should tell you what a horrible idea that was and how much I regret it. But, I can’t do that because I don’t regret it.Having access to the cards allowed me to get the prescriptions I needed, helped to put food on the table, paid for co-pays and kept the lights on. For a few months, we were pretty much living off of credit cards until I was able to find a job.
Why I Don’t Regret the Credit Card Debt
I don’t regret having the credit card debt. I can’t, knowing what how much it helped us. That being said, I want it gone. We are now in a better position and have been aggressively paying down the debt. My goal is to have it paid off by the end of the year. When I added up the total amount, I was shocked. Not at how much it was. No, I was shocked that I didn’t regret it. I see the debt as something that truly helped my family when we needed it the most. And for that, I’m thankful. (and for the fact that I didn’t have interest until the last few months!)
Why Am I Sharing This?
I’m not sharing this to encourage you to take on huge amount of credit card debt. I am sharing this to let you know that sometimes, it’s ok to have to use credit cards when there is no other choice. I can blog about emergency funds and savings accounts (and I do encourage that) but the truth is, not everyone is able to live that way. Sometimes, it’s impossible to build an emergency fund when you are barely able to keep food on the table. If that is where you are at right now, know that you aren’t alone. You will pull through this. Do what you need to do for your family and ignore what everyone else (even me!) has to say about saving money.
Have you ever had to use credit cards to survive? Were you able to pay off the debt?
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers. Hope everyone is enjoying a delicious dinner and reminding themselves of all they have to be thankful for.
It’s been forever since I’ve updated. I’ve been dealing with a lot of family drama. (On a happier note, I’ve also moved!)
A few months ago, I wrote a small post about my mother’s suicide attempt. What I didn’t share was the events leading up to that day. After talking to my sisters, I realized that growing up, we all had the same mentality about keeping family affairs quiet. I wish we didn’t. I wish that we would have opened up to other adults in our life. Maybe, we could have found some peace.
I am sharing my story with you today in hopes that it will open your eyes to what some children deal with on a daily basis. No one truly knows what goes on behind closed doors. Today, I invite you through the door to my past.
I have two older sisters who tried to shield me from the majority of my mother’s episodes when I was younger. However, they both moved out before I became a teenager.
I don’t have any good memories of my mother from childhood. What I remember isn’t good.
I remember being told that my father didn’t love me enough to want to see me (in reality, she made it impossible for that to happen).
I remember her shuffling me around from one home to another because she couldn’t hold down a job. When I was in 4th grade, I went to three different schools, in two different states, in three different homes. Overall, I was in 9 different school districts. I know military families who moved less than we did.
I remember her not being able to keep enough food in the house due to her prescription pill addiction (that would later lead to a suicide attempt).
I remember being forced to sit beside her in church and pretend we were such a happy family when our home life was a nightmare.
I remember being told to “hide and don’t make any noise” when the local Rent-A-Center people knocked on the door wanting payment.
I remember so many things from my childhood that make my skin crawl now as an adult.
But for me, the real nightmare began when I started high school.
The summer before 9th grade, my mother made the decision to move back to her hometown. At that point in time, we were living 12 hours away. Things were good for about a month and then the mental breaks began happening again. One night, she woke me up, convinced I was on drugs. After threatening to kill me if she found any, I tried to leave the house. At that point, she called the police. I was drug tested (negative result if anyone cares) and was promptly placed into a group home facility for a month to wait for a court date. When I read the police report, I was shocked and hurt by the lies my mother had told. This was when I began to realize just how abnormal my home life truly was.
After that incident, I missed a lot of school. There were so many nights she would keep me up for hours on end ranting about “the people coming to get her” or how “my friends were all going to kill her one night”. Pretty much every conspiracy theory under the sun, I heard about. It was a living nightmare to be home with her.
When I was 16 years old, she began acting more bizarre. We would be going to the grocery store and she would suddenly head a different way. She began to insist on her previous involvement in the occult or the involvement of her family members. There were countless nights she wouldn’t come home from work until the middle of the night. Looking back, I believe she was under the influence of drugs but I didn’t realize that then.
One night, she came home, telling me she crashed the car into a statue in town. She then promptly left again only to return hours later banging on the neighbor’s doors. We lived in an apartment building and it was around 2 in the morning. I finally gained the courage to call the police on her when I found her screaming in the hallway because no one would answer. The officer that night was truly an angel. He stayed with me and walked me through how to call a mental health caseworker, helped me write the report and gave me a ride home after admitting her to a psychiatric center.
After that, I moved that night in with my eldest sister 4 hours away. As soon as my mother was released , she moved to the same town. It has been utter hell, to say the least. I’ve personally have had to have her committed 6 different times. The police picked her up multiple times and her psychiatrist committed her once as well.
After all of this, she refused to continue treatment. Instead, relying on drugs. There are countless horror stories I could tell you about. That time she left the gas on with my newborn baby around, that time she pulled a knife on my sister or that time she told my other sister how she wished she’d have had an abortion with her. But, I don’t have enough time to type it all out.
When I found her in April, she was completely unconscious, pills strewn about. After going to the hospital, it took 15 hours for her to be stabilized. My family and I then realized we were not only dealing with mental illness and a perioral problem, we were also dealing with a drug addiction.
Rehab and psychiatric care have not helped her in any way. There has been constant drama. To the point where I had to leave work earlier and call off to handle it. Threats against children were made. At one point, she woke up 2 of my nieces and had them cleaning at 3 in the morning. I remember her pulling stuff like that when I was growing up.
It made me sick.
It got to the point where I had to say “ENOUGH”. I made the decision to estrange myself from her. And thankfully, my sisters seem to have as well. We are all trying to sort through the nightmares of our childhood together and figure out how much to share with and shield from our children.
I CANNOT deal with it anymore. It is not healthy for me or my family to be a part of the manipulation and drama. Therefore, I’ve made the decision to completely cut myself and my family out of the drama. It is healthier for us to handle it this way than to deal with the constant manipulation.
Please know this, if you have a family member that is completely unstable, you can choose to help yourself and walk away. I see it all the time, people stay in abusive relationships or friendships because it’s what’s normal for them. Don’t do that. Choose a healthier life for yourself.
I know that you might want to help your family, but sometimes, people just don’t want to be helped.
There are so many people who have shared their stories of abuse as a child. I hope I’ve opened your eyes to another type of abuse. One that can continue on even after children are grown.