Easy Snow Cream Recipe

We first tried this “recipe” the week we finally got our first snow day that actually involved snow. For two days, my kids (and all the kids in the neighborhood) were outside 8-10 hours a day sledding, building snowmen, and making snow angels. One of the children suggested making snow cream and once the idea had…

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from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/13846/snow-cream-recipe/

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Twas the Week Before Christmas

Is this week an insane one for everyone or what!? The days leading up to Christmas always feel a little chaotic but for whatever reason they feel extra crazy this year. (Is this what having kids does to the holiday season? They make it wonderful but totally nuts?) If I’m being honest, it admittedly takes me a bit of effort to remember to catch my breath and savor this time of year when it seems like life is running full-speed ahead. I could really use an extra buffer week before Christmas arrives next Tuesday but since that’s not happening, I’m doing my best to roll with it and get as much done as possible while still taking time for the fun family stuff.

Fortunately our weekend was filled with a lot of holiday family festivities and it all kicked off on Friday night when we had some of our closest friends and their little ones over for a Christmas pajama party.

For the past couple of years we’ve stuck with an ugly sweater theme for our annual holiday party with our kids but last year we thought it would be adorable to dress our children up in matching Christmas pajamas this time around. It was so darn cute but one thing we didn’t anticipate was how much our little ones would love their matching jammies.

Chase got the biggest kick out of the fact that his friends and little brother were wearing the same pajamas he had on and now he keeps asking if his friends will be wearing identical outfits before we leave the house. Apparently matching is where it’s at when you’re three years old!

Saturday

The holiday-related festivities continued on Saturday morning when we made our way up to Mooresville to Ryan’s boss’ house for her annual Santa party. Every December, Ryan’s boss organizes an annual Santa party where she hires a local Santa to come to her home for an hour to take pictures with kids. It was such a treat to have access to Santa and not have to wait in a crazy long line or brave our local mall for Chase and Ryder to have the opportunity to meet him.

We weren’t sure how Santa would go over with our boys but their encounter went surprisingly well! Chase was pretty shy around Santa but managed to say a few enthusiastic “Ho, ho, hos” on his lap.

When Santa asked Chase what he wanted for Christmas, he got major stage fright and simply replied, “Yes.” I guess that means he wants something for Christmas, but Santa may never get to know what. (A firetruck is the only thing he’s asked for this Christmas so hopefully Santa will somehow get the memo, although rumor has it Aunt Leslie may have that one under control.)

When it came time for Ryder to meet Santa, we placed him on his lap and he stared at his face for the longest time. We thought for sure terrified tears were going to follow but the biggest little grin came out and he just sat there, happy as a clam on Santa’s lap.

That kid, I’m tellin’ ya. He has yet to meet a person he doesn’t instantly love.

We spent the rest of our Saturday doing some more holiday stuff. I finally wrapped up ordering our holiday cards (why does it always take me for-ev-er to make up my mind on what photos I want to include!?) and then we headed off to a pottery painting studio to get a little crafty with the boys for some surprise Christmas gifts.

Sunday

Sunday morning began with an early morning church service. It was the perfect way to begin the day and we rounded out the morning with a trip to the grocery store before heading home.

It was a no nap kind of Sunday in our house for Chase which actually worked out just fine because it was so gorgeous outside — 60s and sunny — and we were all itching to spend some time in the sunshine. We spent the majority of the afternoon outside and, after taking Sadie on a walk with the boys, we played at a local playground for a bit. Once we were back at home, we made Christmas cookies for Chase’s school party and ate dinner before curling up on the couch with some ice cream while we watched Elf before the boys’ bedtime.

The rest of my Sunday night was a great one and included some much-needed time with my small group friends. They came over to our house after all of our kids were in bed and we hung out for several hours and spent time catching up and exchanging holiday mugs as our own mini Christmas celebration. It was the perfect way to round out the weekend!

As for this week, yesterday was Chase’s preschool’s Christmas show and holiday party and today is his final day of school before he has a three week break. Three weeks — ah! We will actually be heading to Florida for Christmas on Thursday so I have a lot of laundry, packing and present-wrapping to tackle before we’re off. I hope you’re all having a great week so far!

The post Twas the Week Before Christmas appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness https://www.pbfingers.com/twas-the-week-before-christmas/

Training in Uncertainty

“We are always in transition. If you can just relax with that, you’ll have no problem.” -Chogyam Trungpa

By Leo Babauta

I’ve been training in uncertainty for a few years now.

I realized that the people I coach and teach are just like me: we feel shaky, scared, anxious, uncomfortable when we are faced with massive uncertainty, when the ground is pulled out from under our feet.

This shakiness is the cause of our procrastination, hiding from overwhelming projects, running from discomfort, and putting off exercise, healthy eating, meditation, writing, reading and all the other things we want in our lives.

And so, if we can train in uncertainty, we can get good at life. We no longer need to fear groundlessness.

What does it mean to train in uncertainty?

It means to constantly yank the rug out from under your feet.

When you get comfortable with something, you have to give it up. When you think you know something, you have to toss it out. When you walk through life with concepts, you have to let those concepts go and see things with fresh eyes.

Most of us walk around thinking we know things — think about how often we think we know how everyone else should act. Training in uncertainty is letting go of the certainty that we know how everyone else should behave, and having no concepts.

Most of us walk around thinking we know what things around us are. We barely glance at the things we pass. Training in uncertainty is tossing all that out, and seeing things for the first time, full of curiosity.

Training in uncertainty is pushing into discomfort when you want to run to comfort. It’s going to an event that scares the crap out of you. It’s setting aside time to write every day even when you want to run like crazy from the writing.

And then when you think you know something about training in uncertainty … you throw that out too. You keep throwing everything away, and know nothing.

What you’re left with is just impermanence — constant flux. Groundlessness. A deeply interconnected world, without separation.

Train with me, in my Fearless Training Program. We’ll have the ground pulled out from under us together.

from Health & Wellness http://zenhabits.net/uncertain/

Gifting the Household Project To Do List that Never Gets Done

Sharing a glimpse into two recent (and incredibly simple!) household projects we completed — updating our fireplace from brass to black and swapping out all the doorknobs in our home to make them look a little less dated. Thank you so much to Lowe’s Home Improvementfor sponsoring this post!

Is all of your holiday shopping done for the season? If so, you’re way better off than we are in our house! I admittedly always find myself scrambling and purchasing gifts for friends and family up until the last minute but sometimes it takes a while for inspiration to hit and for me to really feel like I have a great gift idea for my loved ones.

Fortunately I am done shopping for Ryan’s gifts this year which is a relief because sometimes he’s the hardest person for me to shop for, despite the fact that he’s not overly picky and doesn’t have lofty high expectations. I just put pressure on myself to make his Christmas special every year because I love giving him gifts that make him smile, especially when it’s something he might not think to get himself.

And that’s where the gift idea I’m sharing today comes in! You know those home improvement projects or simple home updates you’ve had on your household project to do list for years? What if you gave your spouse/roommate/friend/partner a jump start in completing one of your projects? That was one of my gift ideas for Ryan this year!

Throughout the nearly 15 years we’ve been together, we’ve prioritized experiences over material gifts in our relationship and now that we’re parents and homeowners, our gift-giving preferences have shifted again. Experiences always reign supreme but home improvement-related gifts rank pretty high up there for the two of us. We’ll often gift each other something for our home — my Cyber Monday purchase of the Nest Learning Thermostat for our house was actually one of my early Christmas gifts to Ryan — and find that home improvement projects or home decor updates end up making us happier in the long run than some of the more random trendy gifts out there.

I was recently approached by Lowe’s Home Improvement about holiday gifting and I could not have replied to their email faster if I tried. (For the sake of transparency, Ryan works for Lowe’s so we’re obviously a Lowe’s-loving family, but I was actually approached for this partnership by Lowe’s unaware of our family’s affiliation to the company.) I was so excited to receive their email because a gift idea I already had planned for Ryan was the perfect fit: Updating our fireplace and all of the doorknobs in our house to get rid of the ’90s brass that’s bothered us sine we moved into our home. I initially planned to give Ryan a brushed chrome doorknob for Christmas with the promise of updating the other knobs around our house and hoped to surprise him with a revamped fireplace. Basically, I wanted to give him two simple household updates that have been on our home improvement to do list forever but, for one reason or another, just never seemed to get done.

When I chatted with Lowe’s about my idea, they were on board and our phone call simply prompted me to get started on our home improvement projects a little sooner and complete them before the holidays rather than after Christmas.

I ended up making a trip to Lowe’s with Ryder while Chase was at preschool a couple of weeks ago and picked up everything I needed to update our family fireplace and change the brass detailing to a more contemporary matte black. I had Ryan unwrap the gift — high-heat matte black spray paint, a plastic painting drop cloth and painter’s tape — and included before and after pictures of a fireplace I found online that went through a similar update. After he opened my gift, I told him I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and was going to tackle the fireplace update for him as an early Christmas gift and he was pumped! When I say we’ve hated our fireplace since day one, I mean it! We both thought it was just the biggest eyesore so this update was much-needed and ended up feeling like a huge gift to both of us. I just wish we would’ve done it sooner!

Here’s the BEFORE:

And here’s the AFTER:

I used the morning of the first snowy day of the year in Charlotte when it was sleeting outside to take apart our fireplace (it was shockingly easy the whole frame just popped off in two pieces) and laid down the plastic drop cloth in our garage and got to work.

From Brass to Black Fireplace DIY

It took only three coats of the high-heat spray paint to cover the brass (I waited about 30 minutes in between coats just to be safe) and by that same afternoon we had a revamped fireplace we finally LOVE!

The fireplace update was part of our bigger plan to update our living room and I wanted to share some before/after pictures of that with you guys as well. (Note: This is not part of my Lowe’s collaboration — just something we’ve been working on!)

BEFORE:

AFTER:

BEFORE:

AFTER:

It’s absolutely still a work in progress but that’s the update so far! We had the room painted Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams, swapped out our beige couch and loveseat for a white one and two chairs (thanks to your IKEA recommendations!) and bought a new rug for the space over Black Friday weekend. Hooray for a much-needed refresh!

When I mentioned my idea for updating the brass doorknobs around our house to Ryan, he said he would happily take over that particular project thanks to a handy little tool we picked up during a prior trip to Lowe’s: The Dremel Cordless Screwdriver. You guys, this thing is basically Ryan’s dream tool and made replacing all the knobs around our house (yep, even closet knobs and bathroom knobs) a breeze. It is so easy to use and easily cut the door knob swap project time in half thanks to its ability to quickly remove and drive in screws with the light push of the screwdriver. If tools or any sort of home improvement-related gift is on your radar, Lowe’s is awesome because they price match everything, so you’re always guaranteed to get the lowest price from them.

(Chase clearly wanted in on the action.)

We replaced our brass knobs with Schlage Chrome Door Knobs and here’s a peek at the before/after of one of our downstairs coat closet door.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Brushed Chrome Door Knob

These two simple home improvement projects have been on our to do list forever and I’m so happy they’re finally complete. We absolutely love the way they look in our home and they truly feel like the kind of gift that keeps on giving because we’ll enjoy them every day in our house. Up next: Figuring out what we want to hang above the mantel now that we are okay with people looking at our fireplace again!

The post Gifting the Household Project To Do List that Never Gets Done appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness https://www.pbfingers.com/gifting-the-household-project-to-do-list-that-never-gets-done/

214: Using Mindset and Personalization to Make Lifelong Health Changes With Dane Johnson

Dane Johnson is a new friend of mine who just happens to be a board-certified holistic nutritionist, the founder of Crohn’s Colitis Lifestyle, and the co-founder of the nonprofit eFundYourHealth. As you can imagine, it’s hard for us to run out of topics to talk about. I’ve heard about a lot of incredible health transformations…

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from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/podcast/dane-johnson/

Dear Moms, Let’s Simplify Christmas (& Enjoy It) This Year!

Let’s face it, while the movies portray images of happy families laughing around the kitchen table or in front of the fireplace during the Christmas season, often moms end up more stressed out and busier than ever. I know I fall into the trap, and each year I have to try again to stay focused on…

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from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/130653/simplify-christmas/

Are Food Allergies on the Rise? (& What to Do)

I have some natural remedies that I keep on hand for seasonal allergies, but food allergies are in a different camp altogether. While seasonal allergies are annoying, food allergies can be downright deadly. And it seems like more and more families are being affected by them. What Is a Food Allergy? Food allergies occur when the body produces…

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from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/398093/food-allergies-in-children/