Category: Health & Wellness

The Best Black Friday Sales & Deals on Natural Products

Black Friday Sales and Deals

I’ve never understood the idea of running out early on holiday celebrations with family to go shopping for gifts for those same people. No judgement from me if that is your thing, but this year, why not have the turkey and eat it too? (Literally and figuratively). I’m doing my early shopping from the comfort…

Continue Reading…The Best Black Friday Sales & Deals on Natural Products

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/3674/black-friday/

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The Health Benefits of Gratitude

The health beneits of gratitude

How wonderful it is to have one day a year dedicated to gratitude and thankfulness! Many of us are well aware of the spiritual benefits of cultivating gratitude in our lives, but it turns out that these benefits can even extend to physical health! Gratitude Reduces Stress It is no secret that stress has a negative…

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from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/3462/gratitude-health-benefits/

How to Strengthen Hair with a DIY Hair Mask

DIY Hair Mask for Stronger Hair

With exposure to things like the weather, less than great water, hair care products, and heat tools, your hair can take a beating. I use plenty of homemade hair care products to keep my locks healthy, like this herbal hair rinse. But this strengthening DIY hair mask is a great addition to any natural hair…

Continue Reading…How to Strengthen Hair with a DIY Hair Mask

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/285661/diy-hair-mask/

‘Twas the Tuesday Before Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Eve is here! Did it creep up on anyone else!? Ryan, Chase and I are off to the airport to pick up my in-laws later this morning and we have a lot of fun stuff and good eatin’ planned while they are in town.

Yesterday blended Thanksgiving prep with usual toddler craziness and began a little later than usual. I opted to sleep in until 6:30 a.m. because I was randomly awake the night before from 1 – 3 a.m. No fun! I was so restless and tossed and turned like crazy until I gave in and ended up reading for nearly two hours. On the bright side I finished All By Myself, Alone and began reading First Family, another political thriller by David Baldacci, which I’m thoroughly enjoying.

My late start to the day meant a quick breakfast was in order before Chase woke up so I fixed myself two over-easy eggs with toast and remembered to snap a pic when I was in the middle of eating.

eggs and toast

I swear the minute you get out of the habit of taking food pictures regularly, it’s hard to remember!

Ryan headed off to work as I was eating and I said goodbye to him before sitting down at my computer to finish up yesterday’s Toddler Book Exchange blog post. After publishing the post and checking a few emails, Chase was up and ready for attention. He requested Cheerios for breakfast (he’s obsessed with the new banana nut flavor) and while he ate, I sat with him and we chatted while I sorted through a bunch of recipes I printed off over the weekend and made a giant grocery list to get us through Thanksgiving and the next few days.

thanksgiving grocery list

Since I’m always curious about what people serve when they have guests in town, I figured I’d give a rundown of our loose menu that I’m hoping will last us through Saturday afternoon when my in-laws head back to Florida. (All recipes I plan to follow are hyperlinked in case you want to check them out!)

Wednesday

  • Lunch: 1905 Salad + Rotisserie Chicken
  • Dinner: Lasagna + Garlic Bread + Salad
  • Dessert: Nothing Bundt Cakes (we’re celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday and chocolate bundt cakes are her favorite)

Thursday (Thanksgiving):

Friday:

Saturday:

Creating a master grocery list made me feel a little more organized going into the next few days so I felt like we had some time to spare for a little fun yesterday morning as well. I had plans to meet up with my friends Lauren and Jess for a boot camp workout while our kids played in childcare and it was a good one! It was a tripod workout we performed in groups of three that targeted our biceps, triceps and shoulders.

Burn Boot Camp Upper Body Workout

Our trainer also surprised us with some pop-up one-minute rounds of full burpees to spike our heart rates, too. Sweaty!

Once my workout was done and I said goodbye and Happy Thanksgiving to my friends, Chase and I made our return to Gymboree. We haven’t been to Gymboree in a while and he had the best time running around one of his favorite places!

chase gymboree 27 months

After Gymboree playtime, Operation Get Ready for Thanksgiving commenced and we popped into the grocery store and completely overloaded our cart before heading home. (Oh and before you think my child was an angel amid a Thanksgiving grocery shopping  trip that took a solid 45 minutes, peanut M&Ms were most definitely involved. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.) We arrived home, unloaded the groceries and played in the backyard with Sadie for about 30 minutes until Chase’s attitude told me it was clearly naptime.

thanksgiving groceries

While he slept, I showered, made myself lunch and picked up the Stitch Fix box that was waiting for me on our doorstep.

lunch

I haven’t had the chance to try anything on yet but from the look of the box, it’s going to be a winner! My stylist listened to my requests for comfy, casual apparel and everything looks cozy and functional but still very cute.

stitchfix november

I hope there are a few keepers in there! (Quick reminder: Stitch Fix is waiving their styling fee for the next 30 days so if you want to try it for FREE, now is the time!)

After sorting through my Stitch Fix delivery, I went into overdrive mode and worked for two hours before doing my best to check off other to-dos centered around preparing for our guests’ arrival (laundry, cleaning, etc.). Chase thankfully slept like a CHAMP which was awesome since his naps have been very hit or miss lately and when he woke up, we ate a snack and read some books together before he “helped” with a little bit of food prep for the next few days. 

orange peel smile

(Yes, I taught Chase the magic that is an orange peel smile yesterday.)

We stayed close to home for the rest of the day, coloring, playing outside and reading before Ryan arrived home from work and we dug into an easy dinner of chicken, roasted acorn squash and apple slices.

chicken acorn squash dinner

A few more last-minute chores and more playtime with Chase ensued before bedtime and I passed out before 10 p.m. after reading a little bit more of my book. I really hope you guys have a fantastic Thanksgiving and travel safe if you’ll be out of town for your celebration!

Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for YOU!

The post ‘Twas the Tuesday Before Thanksgiving appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness https://www.pbfingers.com/twas-the-tuesday-before-thanksgiving/

How to Form the Decisiveness Habit

By Leo Babauta

I’ve had several people ask me lately about what they can do about indecisiveness, and it made me realize that this is actually something I’m pretty good at: being decisive.

Making decisions can be difficult, especially when there’s no clear choice. But being indecisive, when you’re at the cusp of one of these tough decisions, can come at high costs:

  • Not taking action can cost you an opportunity, or cost money and time as you delay.
  • People waiting on you to make a decision can get frustrated.
  • You can feel stress about your indecisiveness, and stress about how you’re making people wait.

People who are plagued with indecisiveness generally know they don’t want to be that way, so I won’t belabor the point. It’s not fun, and I feel compassion for those who have this difficulty.

So how can we form the habit of being decisive instead?

It’s about recognizing what’s going on when you’re stuck with a decision, as it’s happening. And then deciding to go with a new set of habits around your decision-making.

Recognizing What’s Going On

Why do we get stuck making decisions? It’s one of our mind’s most common habitual reactions around uncertainty.

Let’s say we have a choice to make, about hiring Contractor A or Contractor B. It can be very tough, because we honestly don’t know which one will perform better, is more trustworthy, or who might screw things up for us.

So we have a lot of uncertainty. Our minds don’t like this uncertainty, so there are some things we might do to get away from it:

  • Do a bunch of research. This is one of the most common things we do when we feel uncertainty. We do an online search, read all about it, try to gain more certainty by gaining more information. There’s nothing wrong with this — in fact, in this decision, it’s probably a good idea — but it’s still important to recognize that we’re trying to get more certainty because we’re feeling uncertainty. At the end, we might have more information, but there’s still a lot of uncertainty.
  • Write out a pros and cons list. Or a cost-benefits analysis. Or some other kind of rational decision-making tool. I’ve made spreadsheets where I list different factors/criteria, then give a score for each one, and weight the factors so I can come up with an overall score. It was great. I still had uncertainty. These tools are helpful, but just recognize that they are a way to get away from uncertainty, and at the end, you’ll still have uncertainty.
  • Ask a bunch of people about their opinion. Or read a bunch of reviews. Again, this is not a bad idea. Just recognize that at the end of the day, you’ll still have uncertainty.
  • Put off the decision. This is the classic response to uncertainty — get away from the uncertainty, don’t think about it, delay. This often comes after some of the above strategies. And it doesn’t get you away from the uncertainty, because it stays with you, giving you stress.

These are some of the common ways we habitually deal with the uncertainty of a decision. But none of them solve the problem for us (even if the first few can be helpful tactics).

We are uncertain about:

  • What the best choice might be
  • Whether there will be negative consequences of the choice
  • Whether we’ll look dumb to others if we make the wrong choice
  • Whether we’ll feel dumb, or ripped off, and regret it for years to come
  • Whether we’ll be OK if we make the wrong choice

This last bit is the real heart of the matter. There is no “right” choice, but we worry that if we make the wrong choice, things won’t be OK. We might dream up disaster scenarios, and then get a lot of anxiety about those possibilities. But the truth is, for most choices, we’ll be perfectly OK. Let’s talk about how we might see that, and what new set of habits might be more helpful.

Creating a New Set of Habits

As we saw in the last section, we can’t get rid of the uncertainty around making a decision. We can do everything we can to research, delay, come up with a decision-making system … and we’ll still be unsure of what choice we should make. We’ll still feel anxious about it.

So we might just learn to be OK with that uncertainty, and get into the habit of making decisive decisions.

Yes, there will likely be a cost to whatever choice we make. That’s true if we make no choice as well — that’s a choice, and it has costs. Over the long run, the cost of indecision is usually worse than the cost of making a wrong choice, because we stress out about the indecision for a long time. The stress doesn’t make the choice easier, it doesn’t make us happy, it affects our health, it affects our relationships.

Instead, let’s just make a decision, and move on. Let go of the stress about whether it’s the right choice (there’s no such thing) and instead deal with whatever consequences we face. And learn to trust that we’ll be OK.

Here’s a possible set of habits around decision-making that will lead to greater decisiveness:

  1. Recognize that you’re feeling uncertainty. As you start feeling your habitual indecisiveness, notice that you’re feeling uncertainty , and that you’re chomping at the bit to get away from it. You want to get some certainty, or failing that, put off making the decision. You’re feeling some stress from this as well. The earlier you can recognize this, the better.
  2. Deal with the uncertainty with curiosity. Once you notice you’re feeling uncertainty, drop from your head into your body — notice the physical sensations of uncertainty in your body. Where is it located, and what is the texture of the sensation? Often it’s a tightness in the chest. Stay with this feeling for a moment or two, not worrying about the decision you have to make, but instead being curious about the physical feeling. Does it change? Does it move? Is it unbearable, or can you stay with it for a bit? Can you relax around the physical feeling?
  3. Get the info & evaluate as best you can. Now that you realize the uncertainty isn’t something you need to run from, you can just make the best decision you’re able to make. That might mean doing some research, gathering information, even asking for others’ opinions if you have time. Don’t let this delay your decision, but a bit of information doesn’t hurt. Just don’t procrastinate by trying to gather every single bit of info you can. Sometimes it’s just 5 minutes of research, or a bit more for a bigger decision. Evaluate the costs and benefits — what are the possible costs of making the decision? Are the potential benefits worth it? In the worst-case scenario, is it the end of the world? Can you deal with these consequences? Again, don’t take forever evaluating all of this, just give these things some consideration. Again, it could just be 5 minutes of weighing risks and benefits.
  4. Just dive in. Instead of staying at the edge of the water, wringing your hands and fretting about the uncertainty — dive in! You’ve already given it enough thought — make the decision, and take action. Pull the trigger. Let loose the bowstring. Get in the habit of saying, “Enough thinking, time for action!”
  5. Don’t look back — deal with what comes up. Now that you’ve made the decision, get out of the habit of second-guessing yourself, worrying that you made the wrong decision. Just follow through with it, until you can see the consequences — both negative and positive. Cherish the positive consequences, and take the negative consequences in stride. It’s no big deal — you can deal with it. It’s like surfing: are you going to bemoan the fact that the wave didn’t break exactly as you’d hoped, or are you just going to flow with the wave?
  6. See that you’re OK. Whatever happens, ask yourself, “Am I OK?” The answer is almost invariably “Yes.” With time, you’ll see that this habit of decisiveness isn’t so bad, that things generally turn out OK, and letting go of the worry is actually a relief.

That might seem like a lot of steps, but actually it’s just recognizing the uncertainty, dropping into your body and staying with the feeling in curiosity, gathering info and making the best decision you can, and then taking action and dealing with what comes up. And seeing that in the end, everything is just fine.

How do you build the habit?

By keeping this habit at the forefront of your mind for a month. Noticing as often as you can when your old habit of indecisiveness comes up, and then putting this into action as best you can each time. Replace the old habit with the new one. With joy.

And in the end, notice that you’re moving faster, you’re learning to trust your gut, you’re becoming more trustworthy to yourself and to others, you’re learning that you can deal with whatever consequences come up. That’s worth putting in some extra effort to form this new habit.

from Health & Wellness https://zenhabits.net/decisive/

Shaved Apple and Kale Salad with Pecans

Shaved apple and kale salad

Everyone knows that kale is nutritious, but it can be a little hard to swallow sometimes. Prepare it right though, and kale is a nutritious and delicious dish! This shaved apple and kale salad recipe has crisp yet tender kale and a sweet and tangy taste that appeals even to young taste buds. My kids are…

Continue Reading…Shaved Apple and Kale Salad with Pecans

from Health & Wellness https://wellnessmama.com/285712/apple-kale-salad/

Toddler Book Exchange Party + Maple Rosemary Roasted Nuts

Today’s blog post recaps a Toddler Book Exchange party I hosted in our house last week. My friends and I had so much fun swapping books for our little ones and snacking on delicious foods from ALDI. Thank you so much to ALDI for sponsoring this post! You may find the ALDI nearest you by clicking here.

Last Wednesday night, I had a handful of my girlfriends over for a toddler book exchange party! My mom actually inspired the party when I was talking with her about how Chase absolutely loves some of his books and then never shows even the slightest bit of interest in others. We read lots of books in our house every day and will often go through phases where certain books are Chase’s favorites for a week or so and then he’ll move onto a new favorite but he’ll still enjoy reading his old favorites for a long time.

And then there are the reject books. The books he never got into that just fell flat from day one. When I was explaining this to my mom, she suggested swapping books with girlfriends who have kids of a similar age and the Toddler Book Exchange Party was born!

Toddler Book Exchange Party

I texted some of my usual play date buddies about the idea and everyone was immediately on board. I knew from the beginning I wanted the party to be laid back and casual, so I opted for a simple spread of appetizers, snacks and wine and invited everyone over for a couple of hours of chatting and book swapping!

The rules for the party were simple: Bring a book, take a book! I had loose guidelines to bring around three books but more or less was fine and you could leave the party with as many books as you brought to the party. The book exchange ended up being SO fun and also oddly interesting! I was shocked when some friends brought books Chase LOVES (like Go Dog, Go) because they fell flat with their little ones and it just proved once again that every child is different and what works for one kid doesn’t always work for others.

book exchange

As for the party food, ALDI saved the day! I got everything for our book exchange party at ALDI, from the wine, stuffed olives, grass fed cow’s milk cheeses (did you know ALDI sells Kerrygold!?) and Specially Selected Hand Rolled Goat Cheese Logs to the crackers, hummus, caramels and flowers!

ALDI Party Food

specially selected olives

I used a handful of the ingredients to put some homemade touches on a few of the dishes, including a goat cheese blackberry dip (made with one container of Specially Selected Crumbled Goat Cheese + 1 teaspoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey + 1 half-pint organic blackberries) and maple rosemary roasted nuts.

blackberry goat cheese dip

blackberry goat cheese

More than one of my girlfriends requested the recipe for the nuts, so I wanted to be sure to share them here as well since they were so tasty and EASY to make!

Rosemary Roasted Nuts

Maple Rosemary Roasted Nuts

Maple Rosemary Roasted Nuts

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Makes sixteen 1/4-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Southern Grove Pecan Halves
  • 2 cups Southern Grove Unsalted Raw Almonds
  • 2 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil, melted
  • 3 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Pinch of SimplyNature Organic Cayenne Pepper
  • Stonemill Pink Himalayan Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to thoroughly coat nuts in the oil, syrup and rosemary.
  3. Pour onto a large baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with additional salt if desired.
  4. Roast for approximately 25 minute, flipping the nuts regularly to ensure even roasting.

Maple Rosemary Roasted Nuts Recipe

I served the nuts along with Southern Grove Roasted Pistachios and Southern Grove Roasted Cashews (can you tell I’m obsessed with ALDI’s bulk nuts!?) and had someone comment on my Instagram Story about the party telling me the nuts would’ve looked really awesome on a big slab of butcher’s block with an assortment of cheese, berries and dips.

Book Exchange Party Spread

I love this idea (how fancy, right!?) and always think the deconstructed cheese/snack spreads look so pretty without looking too formal. So now a big butcher’s block is on my Christmas list! (Any tips on where to find something like this?)

I also selected an assortment of red, white and bubbly wine from ALDI to serve and every bottle I chose was under $10.

ALDI Wine

Ryan and I have really enjoyed ALDI wines in the past (their Outlander Cabernet Sauvignon is my personal favorite – it was a 2017 Chefs in America Masters of Taste Gold Medal winner – and I love their Villanella Pino Grigo) and I couldn’t resist picking up a bottle of the Arosa Sweet Sparkling Moscato Rosé because it seemed like a fun, festive option that I knew my fellow sweet-loving wine friends would enjoy. I added a bottle of the William Wright Reserve Pinot Noir to my bottle because it received 90 points and a Gold Medal at the 2017 BTI World Wine Championship and the 2017 Chefs in America Masters of Taste Gold Medal.

Here’s a glimpse at my snack plate from the evening:

snack plate

And if you think the two Specially Selected Sea Salt Caramels on my plate are the only two caramels I ate all evening long, you’re definitely mistaken. They’re way too good and way too addicting!

I truly had the best time at our Toddler Book Exchange Party! Everyone left with full bellies and some new-to-them books to try out with their little ones. Success!

Question of the Day

Have you ever been to a swap/exchange party?

I would LOVE to host a clothing/accessories swap/exchange party with friends and think it would be a blast and a great way to refresh your wardrobe without spending any money!

The post Toddler Book Exchange Party + Maple Rosemary Roasted Nuts appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

from Health & Wellness https://www.pbfingers.com/toddler-book-exchange-party-maple-rosemary-roasted-nuts/