10 Daily Health Habits

With a new month around the corner, I start to think about goals for myself and reflect on the previous weeks. There is something about the beginning of a month that is refreshing and exciting for me personally. With so much out of our control (especially now) I like to focus on what I can control in my day to day. Of course not every day is perfect, which is all part of the journey and is where I tend to learn the most. However, there are so many good things implemented in my daily routine that have now become second nature that I wanted to share. I will say some of these habits or routines took longer than others to build and get to a place where they became automatic. Time and consistency are always your friend when creating something new….as well as grace!

What are some healthy habits you implement day to day? I would love to know!

IMG_7512

1.Waking Up Before The House 

This has become such a sacred time for me. I finish teaching an hour before my son gets up to carve out “me” time. I started doing this once we moved, and I will never go back. I heard the motto “wake up the day, don’t let the day wake you up” and it really resonated with me about creating intentions in the morning and having that time.

2. Water

I have mentioned before I am a huge water drinker. I have a 40oz hydro-flask that I love to keep me on track since I only need to refill it a couple of times. Drinking water makes such a difference all around and can be something simple to implement. There are so many different systems to track your intake if that is a personal goal. I also bring my hydro-flask everywhere so it is a constant reminder to drink.

3.Vegetable With Every Meal

I have always enjoyed vegetables, but there have been many seasons where I was barely eating any throughout a day. I am now at a place where I implement at least one serving with each meal. It keeps me full and most importantly provides value to my health. I don’t follow any diet or eating plan but try to focus on giving my body nutrient dense foods.

4.Mind Fuel

This can look different for everyone, depending on personal preference. I like to listen to podcasts or trainings that are uplifting and educational. I also enjoy reading different books that are geared to self growth/development as well as journal (gratitude), practice affirmations, and pray.

5.Movement

This does not have to be an intense workout. Any movement is good for your body. I enjoy following some type of fitness program to challenge myself and keep myself accountable, but it can be whatever is best for you. Find what you enjoy doing and implement whatever that is!

6.Sunshine 

There is nothing better than getting outside! My son and I love our morning walks and look forward to it everyday.

7. Vitamins/Supplements 

This is such a personal thing since we are all so different in what our bodies need. If you are ever curious about any deficiencies, you can get blood work done and discuss with your primary doctor. Supplements can be anything from a greens powder to a collagen powder and can be completely tailored to your needs.

8.Making Your Bed

Although I love a made bed, I think the act of making your bed is what is more important than the bed itself. It starts your day with you accomplishing a simple task which can snowball into more accomplishments/productivity throughout the day.

9.Self Care

This does not have to be some elaborate thing that you only do certain times. Doing something for yourself every day is so important. It can be as simple as your skin care routine, to reading a book, to having 10 minutes of alone time.

10. Maintain A Learning Mindset

It is a journey, and we continue to learn, evolve, grow, and improve with trial/error and time. Try new things, challenge yourself, and be kind to yourself along the way!

Blessings,

Jac

At Home Toddler Hair Cut

My two year old is not a fan of getting his hair cut…like at all.  Many tears have been shed over getting his hair trimmed and each time I would pray we were the only ones in building. After a few visits I decided I was going to purchase some scissors and attempt them at home. I have now been cutting his hair for a few months, and he has done great! I currently only use scissors since his hair is fine (and he is freaked out by clippers)  but have ventured out with my husband’s hair.  I  wanted to share some things to consider if you plan on cutting your toddler’s hair at home and what has worked well for us!

IMG_7442

1.Find A Good Spot

I have tried a chair, on my lap, and the bathtub. My son prefers the bathtub because he isn’t too confined and I can quickly clean up once we are done. Test out a couple of different spots and see which place your child responds to best or prefers. If your child is in a chair, I recommend cutting outside so there is no clean up.

2.Provide Entertainment

Having your toddler distracted is key! I allow my son to watch an episode of a show to keep his head looking a certain direction and still. I have tried toys, books, etc, however his head would move too much or he wouldn’t keep it in a certain direction long enough which extended the whole process. Using his IPAD has worked great for us and is a special hair cut treat!

3.Purchase The Correct Tools

Definitely invest in some scissors, clippers, and comb. I also use a spray bottle to keep his hair damp throughout! It makes it so much easier having the right tools. Here is what I use!

Clippers (husband), ScissorsSpray Bottle

4.Start Small & Follow Their Lead

I was pretty nervous starting out so starting small and cutting only a little helped me become comfortable and used to cutting hair. I had to learn how long my son could stand there for me to do it and what worked best for him to become more efficient. His hair cuts now take around 10-15 minutes which is great!

5.Make It Fun

I like to make it a special time for him by watching a show and eating a favorite snack. It is something he now enjoys and a special thing we do together.

 

** I also recommend watching videos on cutting hair in general. This helped me so much not only for my son, but also my husband. You definitely become more comfortable each time and better with practice!

Blessings,

Jac

Exercise While Traveling

My son and I recently spent the last week at my parent’s house to welcome my brother’s first child into the world. It was so nice to have a change of scenery after being home the last two months! They live on a beautiful wildlife reserve, so it is always feels like a mini vacation when we go. I always plan to exercise or workout when I travel/vacation, however sometimes that doesn’t happen the way I intended (which is okay). While I was there, I started thinking about what I have learned over the years to keep myself moving with travel. I thought I would share my top five tips today!

 I would love to know what has worked best for you!

IMG_7215

1. Have A Game Plan

You do not have to have every single day laid out because that can be overwhelming and feel like a huge task (especially on a trip). However, having some type of plan will be extremely helpful in staying accountable with yourself. It can be a specific workout program you are following, something you created yourself, or classes you signed up for.

2. Take Advantage Of Where You Are

If you enjoy being outside, take advantage of where you are traveling to. Go for a hike in the mountains, jog on the beach, run the track around the boat. It’s so nice to move while getting fresh air and enjoying the place around you!

3. Choose A Good Time Of Day

Decide what time of day works best for you with whatever trip you are on. For example, if you have jam packed days, the mornings may work best before you exhausted at night. If your vacation is more relaxing, maybe mid-day or evenings are more desirable. Decide when you are going to incorporate exercise so you aren’t falling into the excuse trap each day.

4.Have A Buddy 

If possible, have someone join you! It is way more fun to exercise with someone else and gives you something to look forward to together.

5.Sign Up For Classes

If you regularly enjoy classes at home, find studios/classes you can sign up for while traveling (if applicable). When you pay for something, you are way more likely to follow through and classes are always a fun and different way to move or switch things up.

Bonus: Bring Equipment 

If you are traveling by car, bring some equipment if you won’t have access to any. I like to bring a heavy/medium set of dumbbells and resistance bands. Of course you can use your own body weight, however it is also nice to have a few things on deck.

 

 

What are some ways you stay accountable when you travel? 

Blessings,

Jac

 

Pregnancy Series: Recovery

I have shared some of my pregnancy journey and what I learned throughout each chapter. You can read those posts here: Initial Signs & First TrimesterSecond Trimester Recap, Third Trimester Recap,Birth Story. With my niece making her arrival in a couple of days (can’t wait), I thought I would share my experience with recovery and what that was like for me personally. Like I have mentioned, we all have such a different experience when it comes to pregnancy and birth, which is always something to keep in mind. Out of all of my experiences, I honestly wish I had been a little more prepared for the “after” or recovery phase, especially as a first time Momma!

3birds(76)

It’s so easy to forget everything a woman is going through after having a sweet newborn baby in the world. You can easily forget that the woman is personally recovering from something major and trying to heal her body, learning to nurse (if she chooses) and having her body change/adapt to provide for her baby, running on little to no sleep, navigating taking care of a precious baby that there is no manual for, handling a multitude of hormones, and so much more! You go through so much change overnight that it can feel difficult to navigate and adjust, which is okay! You are already everything that baby needs and with time you learn and gain confidence in your new role. .

Depending on the birth, you will have a different recovery experience physically. Thankfully, our hospital had awesome nurses so they helped me A LOT as I tried to move around. Just remember….your blood volume increases when you are pregnant so it has to normalize after. Gravity is not your friend when you stand so having your partner help as much as they can is nice (or staff members). You will probably be sore for a few days/weeks depending on your situation and ice packs/medication help. You don’t have to be a super mom during this time because you can easily overdo it. Your body definitely needs that recovery time. Our nurses quickly showed me how to do everything myself so that I immediately felt comfortable using the restroom on my own and gave me all the materials to bring home (they will monitor the first time, especially if you had a catheter). You definitely want some cheap/different undergarments to use as well as recovery products.

Every time the nurses came in to check me, they would look at my vitals, ask about pain or any specifics I was experiencing, as well as check on swelling in my legs/feet. I also asked a million questions which is also OKAY. They are there to help you, reassure you, and provide valuable knowledge and insight. I also had a lactation consultant come a few times in our hospital room to observe/help as I was learning to nurse. Take advantage of those resources! You will initially produce colostrum and then have your milk come in a few days later which is such a strange and surreal feeling. Nursing is a whole other ball game that I will share more on later!

3birds(86)

For the most part my physical recovery was pretty easy, which I am extremely thankful for. I felt stronger with each day and was able to do more. I also had new Momma friends which helped a TON in seeking advice during an unknown time and asking if certain things were “normal”. I did call my doctor a couple of times from home just to make sure nothing was out of the ordinary. The emotional side is a tough one to navigate because it is so unique to each person and can be a totally different experience. With time, the emotions and hormones do balance, you do begin to feel normal, and there is so much help and support if you are in need of something more. Becoming a mother is such a humbling experience full of firsts. People truly want to help!

What were your recoveries like? Anything that surprised you? I would love to know!

Until next time…

Blessings,

Jac

Positive Self Image

I was listening to something the other day about how we treat ourselves, and it made me think about self image and how we can create a more positive one, no matter how young or old we are. I truly believe knowing yourself, appreciating yourself, and loving yourself are so important and create such a joy centered life. We have the ability and power to become who we want to become if we allow it and work towards it day in and day out.

I wanted to share some ways I have found myself building my own self-image and what I think is important to keep in mind. I would love to know any of your thoughts!

3birds(65)

1. Self Talk/Affirmations

What we say to ourselves is so important. We have the ability to fill ourselves up with positive self talk and affirmations each and every day. Never underestimate the power of your mind…it can alter so many things.

2.Grace

No one is perfect and we will all fall and make mistakes. Recognize those mistakes as an opportunity to grow and learn…then move forward! Give yourself the grace you deserve and probably give to others easily.

3.Supportive/Uplifting People

I once heard you become who you surround yourself with. There is nothing better than being with people who support, encourage, and lift you up throughout all of life’s ups and downs. Choose those who make you a better version and let go of those who don’t.

4.Live Your Life For You

You are on your journey. Do what makes you happy and live your life for you, no one else.

5.Avoid Comparison

I’m sure we have all fallen victim to comparing ourselves to others but it really is the thief of our joy. We are all created differently and perfectly in God’s image with our own set of gifts and abilities. Learn to love those differences and appreciate them in others. Always remember, your beginning may be someone’s middle or end.

6.Do Things You Love & Fuel Your Spirit

Find the things that bring out the light in you and make them a priority.

7.Accept Areas Of Improvement

Accept yourself as a flawed being and recognize the areas of struggle or improvement. Decide if those are areas you want to grow in, but don’t let them define you.

8.You Are More Than Societal Expectations

Your value is not based on anything society has told you it is. Your identity lies in your heart and spirit.

9.Take Care Of Yourself 

Your life is not a dress rehearsal. Make yourself a priority and take care of yourself in the ways you need it. Be kind to your body, mind, and spirit.

10.Love & Be Kind To Others

Love and kindness are contagious. Spread it as often as possible.

What are some things you try to focus on?

Blessings,

Jac

Being Productive At Home

Even though we are 40+ days in with staying home, I feel like it can still be difficult at times to find a groove in maintaining productivity (especially during these circumstances). Although I am used to staying home with my son, it is definitely a different experience and challenge not being able to do our normal activities. I have had many mental check-ins and reflections to maintain a joyful attitude throughout this time while feeling productive in specific areas.

Today I wanted to share ways I stay productive in our home. I know each person and situation is extremely different, however hopefully some of these tips can work for you. I would love to know anything you do to stay on track!

productivity

1.Map It Out

This depends how you like to think about things, but I think it is so helpful to chunk out  tasks and then break it up from there into smaller goals.  I like to do a monthly “brain dump” where I will write down everything I want to accomplish that month. From there I map out weeks, and then create daily goals. It helps to not feel overwhelmed and to make things realistic. This can be done with your children’s school work as well as work projects.

2. Create Realistic Expectations

Once you map out your jobs/tasks, create realistic expectations for yourself in the day to day. The worst thing to do is create an unrealistic list where you are stressed, overwhelmed, or feel like you failed/won’t catch up.

3.Have A Calendar/Tracking System

Writing things down is so powerful and keeps you accountable and on track. I like to keep a large desk calendar where I can cross/check things off each week, however each person works different. You can color coordinate a large calendar for different to-dos such as “work, school, personal, home” so it is visible on one system. Find some type of tracking system, and stick to it!

4. Write A Daily Non-Negotiable List

These are your top 2-3 items that you will choose to get done that day no matter what! It can be anything from working out to making your bed. Whatever is your highest priority, write it down and think of it as an appointment that can not be cancelled.

5.Make Your Bed

When you make your bed, you are starting your day accomplishing something. It sets the stage to continue accomplishing tasks and being productive.

6.Create A Routine

Having some type of routine at home can help with staying on track and being productive. When there is no routine or structure to the day there is no motivation or accountability to stay focused. This looks different for every family and every situation. Play around with different routines and see what works best!

7.Set An Alarm

It is amazing how much you can get done when you set an alarm and wake up before the rest of the house (especially kids). Having an hour to yourself to work, exercise, pray/meditate, or have alone time can be such a motivating force to continue a productive flow throughout the remainder of the day.

 

What are your go-tos to maintaining productivity at home?

 

Additional Resources:

Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Maintaining A Tidy Home

5 Tips To Stay Motivated

Goal Setting: Top 5 Tips

Blessings,

Jac

Toddler Favorites: Educational Materials

I recently shared some of my favorite toddler books and series. You can check that out here: Favorite Toddler Books. I thought I would continue sharing some of my favorite items for my son. Today I wanted to share some educational materials that we have loved and been using non stop. Stay tuned for other items!

What is your child loving right now? I would love to check it out!

Puzzles

We love puzzles and have a block of our day that is dedicated to puzzles and books. I like to have variety to continuously switch things up and make it fun. I have really enjoyed the Melissa and Doug brand. We use the ladybug letters and alphabet puzzle in our letter lessons, so we tend to do other puzzles during our “puzzle time” to have some variety. Here are are few of our favorites!

Ladybug Upper/Lower Case: Ladybug Letters

Alphabet: Upper & Lower Case

Who Am I: Who Am I?

Alphabet Materials

We have been doing alphabet lessons and using different materials throughout those. Here are some materials I like to use to reinforce letters (in addition to puzzles). You can also check out how I introduced the alphabet below!

Popsicle Letters: Upper & Lower Case

Bath Letters (uppercase): Bath Letters

Magnetic Letters (lowercase): Magnetic Letters

Sheet Protectors: Dry Erase Pocket Sleeve

Number/Counting Materials:

We have also been doing number lessons and using different materials to reinforce number identification and counting. Here are the materials I like to use for those lessons. You can also check out how I am teaching my son below!

Bath Numbers: Bath Numbers

Puzzle: Number Matching

Bears: Bear Manipulative

Letter/Sound Introduction Lessons:

Number/Counting Introduction Lessons:

 

Hope everyone is staying healthy and safe!

Blessings,

Jac