Keep CALM. Eat Chocolate!

Hi you guys… Boy! So many changes happening. I feel like there are curve balls being thrown at me everyday. As I have said in other recent posts, I wanna keep as much continuity in our lives as possible. Being consistent in small daily habits yields big results in the long run. That I know is true whether you are making major life changes, or starting new diet habits.

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Full disclosure, these photos were taken a bit ago. Hayden was starting pre-school and I was making sure he was getting a probiotic and multivitamin everyday. Being exposed to new germs at school and adjusting to a new schedule can throw a toddler off!

We all know that our bodies absorb the outside stress in our lives. Stress from simple things like traveling to major life changes like moving can affect our health. If you’re feeling like anything is “off” with your body, TRY A GREAT PROBIOTIC—- sometimes something that simple with a lot of water can help tremendously. I’m reminding myself of this as much as reminding you!

Hayden gets his yummy probiotic after dinner. It helps keep things regular and moving, if you know what I mean;) Plus, he thinks it’s dessert!

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And for me, a morsel at night helps sleep. The probiotic, turmeric, calm… I’m eating all the good chocolates. I mentioned in my instagram stories recently that you can grab all of their flavors at Whole Foods now!! I was so excited Good Day Chocolate was in Whole Foods. I had to do some stories right there with Huck and Hayden. You can also get them all on amazon.

This brand has been a part of our lives for a while. If you’re new to this blog, check the posts HERE and HERE and HERE. We are real fans. Today I get to share the love…. we’re doing a fun GIVEAWAY with GOOD DAY CHOCOLATES because we just love you all that much!! They are making a generous variety pack for one of you to try all the different products. Make sure you LIKE THIS POST here on instagram and leave a comment here on the blog. That’s it! You’ll be entered. I’m really loving these giveaways. It’s a fun way to connect with you guys and give a little something back. It gives me joy. Hope you are liking them, too!

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Back to School- GIVEAWAY

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Start your kids off on the right foot!

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My boys are fans of Pediped footwear. And I’m a fan of the support the shoes give their feet. Huck and Hayden get very excited about these shoes…. we’re hoping you child will be, too. Pediped is GIVING ONE OF YOU A FREE PAIR of shoes to have your child fully “supported” going back to school (and in style). All you need to do is comment below on this blog post! YEP! IT’S THAT EASY. Let them know you have a child that would love a pair of their shoes. These shoes are so well-made, they hold up beautifully. Many of the shoes run $60, so this is an awesome giveaway. PLEASE, PLEASE leave your instagram, facebook or twitter handle so you can be contacted. I will be announcing the winner this week and will let you know via stories on FB and instagram. And will comment back on here on this post with the winner, too. You’ll need to provide the size and style you want, an email and address. ALSO…. DON’T THINK I’M LEAVING the MAMAS OUT… stay tuned for another shoe giveaway this week for from Rothys!!! Yay.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S EVEN MORE…. Pediped is having a fun BACK TO SCHOOL HUNT! Here are details below:

#PEDIPED BACK TO SCHOOL CONTEST: Starts Monday 8/5!
Kids heading back to school, but missing shoes from their school checklist? Follow along and join our pediped.com BTS Hunt to win a pair of shoes for $1! Two winners announced each day through August 9th. GO CHECK IT OUT! ENTER to win there, and HERE on the blog.

On a similar note, I mentioned recently in a post about Hayden (and thumb sucking) that one the reasons I believe Joel is so adamant about Hayden stopping the thumb is because of Huck. Huck started walking on his toes at a very young age. Even with doctors and therapists, stretching and excercies, the toe-walking became a serious habit that is extremely hard for him to break now at 7 years old. Huck is working hard to stop. His feet and legs hurt sometimes and it’s harder to find shoes that fit comfortably. Pediped’s brand is great and very helpful for our situation with Huck. They are sturdy and weighted. Finding shoes that help keep his heels down are paramount!

Good Luck, y’all.

xoxo

AAJ


Wellness begins in the Bedroom!

YOU GUYS…. I started August with this whole Wellness thing and I didn’t even know August is National Wellness Month. Crazy coincidence or perhaps there's a natural inclination this time of year to "tune up" our bodies. I'm planning on finishing the month strong: physically and spiritually (read all the way to the bottom for that part). Disclaimer: I'm slowly decorating the room, bear with me on that one. We're starting with the foundation of the bedroom: the bed.

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Today, I wanna talk about sleep. Sleep is a huge part of our health and wellness at every age. I just read that up to 75% of most children don’t get enough sleep. (1) New moms (on average) lose 700 hours of sleep the first year of their baby’s life. 

This is an interesting report about sleep habits in America and how badly they need to improve. Are we listening to our bodies? If our kids get better sleep, would that in turn help us? The National Sleep Foundation sleep released new standards increasing the number of hours most of us should be getting a night. 

Fatigue makes cowards of us all.
— Vince Lombardi, Football Player, Coach (Three time NFL championship)

What is your ideal bedtime routine? I like a bath with relaxing soft classical music, dim lights and lavender candle. Then, I moisturize, put on cozy jammies, crawl into a fluffy bed, lift my adjustable bed frame to reading height, grab my gratitude journal to jot a few thoughts down, as well as my One Line a Day for moms. Next, I grab a book and read. Finally, I turn on the fan, turn off the lights, kiss my husband good night and fall into a slumber. Now, does this actually happen?  Almost never…HA! Occasionally, but so rarely. Life is hectic and that is all a serious commitment. After the boys fall asleep, Joel and I are usually rushing to get work done, clean the kitchen, finish laundry and get to bed at a decent time. Hayden is up earlier and earlier these days. 

However, there’s many things we can do to improve our sleep. Some people have health issues that interfere (and I feel for you- this is very hard), but some of us can take measures in our own hands. I’m breaking it down to HOW, WHAT, WHERE.

HOW do you get ready for bed? Hours before?  Less caffeine after lunch, finish liquids earlier so you don’t get interrupted to go the bathroom, no phones or computers an hour before bedtime, wind our minds down, etc. Some of this falls under time management and planning. I started treating myself to two melatonin Good Day Chocolates for sweet treat after dinner. There’s also Pure Rest from Usana that dissolves under your tongue. Of course, with all supplements, please contact your doctor. I’m just sharing my ideas. 

Good Day Chocolate makes sleepy time chocolates for kids. 1 mg. of melatonin per chocolate. This could be something to bring up with your pediatrician if you have school aged kids not getting enough sleep. Please consult your doctor first. 

WHERE you sleep. Your bedroom!! What is the temperature? Can you dim the lights the hour before bedtime? Are you creating an environment conducive for sleeping? Noise maker? Black out curtains? (We don’t have these, but I’m looking into it). A while ago, I discussed getting an Awair in your bedroom to take note of dust, potential toxins, temperature, etc. Joel uses a decent size air filter that doubles as a noise maker. I like a fan on, too. In the kids' rooms, we use the Dome. I also started setting the "bedtime alarm" on my iPhone. It reminds me at 9:45 that I need to wind down. 

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WHAT are you sleeping on? My husband and I both have had issues with our backs. He was convinced the mattress was not helping his condition.  The experts recommend replacing your mattress every 7-10 years. I researched and researched different mattress and bed frames. I looked at reviews and pinterest for ideas. I visited sleep stores and tried a few out. I found Leesa and we went with it! But, lemme tell you what else we did… we got an adjustable bed frame! It’s like the updated, luxury version of hospital beds. And I CANNOT tell you how happy we are. My husband fully attributes getting more sleep to this bed. They kindly gifted us the Sapira California King Mattress. And we got two twin adjustable frames that connect. Check out my instagram post with a quick video. I LOVE reading in bed, writing, or watching tv (I know, some people disagree with this), while my back is supported and my legs are elevated. 

 

We are trying to implement some of the other above factors, too. It’s all a commitment and investment. Some investments are time, some are financial. But, if you have issues sleeping, your well-being is greatly affected. It’s worth taking the time to make it better. Leesa offers financial plans, too. And right now, there’s a significant discount being offered for Labor Day. NOTE: I’m not getting paid to talk about them, I’m just sleeping better! 

ps- as an added bonus, Leesa donates one mattress to every 10 sold; the company also plants one tree for every mattress sold. I just really appreciate that. 

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I jotted down the above a few days ago, but at church this morning, Rick Warren, our preacher and author of THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, talked about the importance of rest and sleep. So much of the sermon spoke to me, I wanted to share a bit in case it even speaks to one of you. One of my favorite passages is Psalm 23. David says, "God makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me besides still waters and restores my soul."  It's difficult to be spiritually and emotionally full when you are physically exhausted.

Warren gave us "hints" to know that you are running on empty:

1) Fear creeps in.

2) You find yourself running from things.

3) You begin to back out of commitments.

4) You make poor choices and feel indecisive.

5) You push yourself passed your boundaries.

6) Work begins to seem pointless.

7) You want to quit. 

8) You feel isolated and attacked.

9) You begin to compare yourself to others and feel bad about yourself.

10) You have a constant desire to "give up."

Warren mentioned several passages in the Bible where God commands someone to sleep and eat before making any decisions. The best example is Elijah in 1 Kings 19:5-7. I'm completely paraphrasing this fantastic sermon, but here are the three things to refill your emotional tank:

1) REST YOUR BODY

2) RELEASE FRUSTRATION. Find your small trusted group. Talk to God in prayer.

3) REMEMBER AND REFOCUS. GOD GIVES US HOPE.

Warren closed with an acronym for God's S.U.G.A.R.

"S" is for steadfast love.

"U" is for unfailing mercy.

"G" is for great faithfulness.

"A" is for always kind.

"R" is for Real Hope.

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I know this is more in depth that usual, but I felt compelled to include it. Even if you are not a believer in the same sense, much of this is just practical information. If you are interested in hearing the sermon: watch here.

How seriously are you paying attention to your sleep habits? Are you emotionally depleted? What is your number one nighttime routine to help you sleep? Here's to a great rest and refilling our emotional tanks. 

xo

AAJ

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