Top 3 Sweet Treats

I don’t know about you, but I love having a sweet treat after dinner. I have always had a sweet tooth and have enjoyed finding ways to make things cleaner/healthier over the years. There are so many amazing recipes and options out there that make you feel satisfied while curbing your sweet tooth. Here are some of my favorite go tos!

What are you loving right now? I would love to try it!

1.PB Yogurt 

Vanilla Greek Yogurt, PB, Honey, Vanilla Extract, Dark Chocolate Chips, Sea Salt (measurements to your liking/taste)

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2. Halo Ice Cream & Chocolate Chips

1/2 of ice cream sprinkled with chocolate chips (microwave 12 seconds to soften before scooping) 

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3. Baked/Home Good

This depends what we make, but there are so many good recipes out there with cleaner ingredients!

PB Cookies: 1 egg, 1 cup PB, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup sugar (350 degrees for 12-14 min)

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PB Balls:  2 TBSP honey, 2/3 cup PB, 1 cup oats, 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, 1/2 cup ground flax seed

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Blessings,

Jac

Gratitude During The Pandemic

If you know me personally, you know I write in a gratitude journal each morning. It is something I started last year that has been extremely beneficial for my mindset and perspective. I am able to immediately start my day in a positive head space focused on the good around me…even throughout a difficult season. It makes me feel grounded and helps me place my energy towards the things I am thankful for.

I wanted to share some of the things I am focusing on during this strange and anxious time in case it feels like there aren’t many things to be thankful for. I would love to know anything you are focusing on!

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  1. I am so grateful for my health. My body continues to provide for me and works easily and effortlessly on its own.
  2. I am grateful for the health and safety of our loved ones and God’s protection over them during this time.
  3. I am grateful for relationships and people.
  4. I am grateful to wake up every day feeling good and the ability to put one foot in front of the other.
  5. I am grateful to be able to move and strengthen this amazing vehicle I am given.
  6. I am grateful to spend this time with my husband and son. What a gift it is to spend my days with people I love.
  7. I am grateful for a beautiful home. I am blessed to be able to live here and stay safe while others are on the front lines.
  8. I am grateful for ALL of my needs met each and every day. I am never without food, water, shelter.
  9. I am grateful to be able to eat healthy food and drink clean water.
  10. I am grateful for my groceries being delivered directly to my door and the ability to use technology for my benefit.
  11. I am grateful for abundance in the day to day….from plumbing, electricity, air/heat, internet, cable, etc.
  12. I am grateful for technology and being able to stay informed and connected to others.
  13. I am grateful for my husbands job and continued income for our family.
  14. I am grateful for financial security our family has been diligent in saving and creating.
  15. I am grateful to continue working from home and connecting with others around the world.
  16. I am grateful for all our leaders and front line workers who are working day in and day out.
  17. I am grateful for all the entertainment at our fingertips….books, puzzles, toys, games, TV, etc.
  18. I am grateful for nice weather and fresh air.
  19. I am grateful for the reminder of what is important and what to focus on.
  20. I am grateful that God is in control and has a bigger and better plan that is more than I could imagine.

 

Additional Wellness Posts: 5 Daily Healthy HabitsWellness Habits 2019How I Practice GratitudeGetting Back Into A Wellness Routine

 

Blessings,

Jac

Favorite Toddler Books

I recently started a toddler series on my You Tube channel where I am sharing lesson ideas, early literacy, and activities to do at home (Jaclyn Bridwell). As a former elementary teacher (first grade) and current ESL (English as a second language) teacher, I am passionate about early literacy and early education. I truly believe we (parents) can build such a strong foundation of learning in the home while creating a positive support system for our children as they progress in their education.

I shared a video of why reading is so important for young children and how it promotes early literacy. Feel free to watch below.

I thought I would piggie back off of this video by sharing some of my favorite toddler books and why I love them. As I have mentioned my son will be 2.5 at the June for reference.

I would love to know some of your favorites or any books your toddler is loving right now!

1.Finger Puppets

My son loved these books when he was a little younger! They are short, simple, and interactive with the puppet. They are also a good choice if your child’s attention span is shorter.

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2.First Words

These are great books when your child is starting to  build their vocabulary! These were another favorite when he was a little younger because he could independently go through the books and name different objects or find the objects I read to him.

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3.Sandra Boynton

Any of her books are great for younger children. They all have a nice cadence to them and are fun to read. He has memorized a few and still loves reading any of her books!

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4.Gerald & Piggie (Mo Willems)

These were a favorite in my first grade classroom, and have become a favorite at home. They are extremely simple and silly (adventures of a pig and elephant). All books are dialogue (speech bubbles) where you can inflect and change your voice. He has loved them all!

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5.Biscuit

This was another series I had for my beginner readers in first grade. They are simple stories that are easy to follow along.

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6.Dr. Suess 

I am sure many toddlers love these books because of the rhythmn and rhyme throughout. We tend to stick to the shorter ones (or board books) because some can be too long and over the top for him at this stage. He thinks they are silly and fun to read!

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7.Interactive 

Interactive books are great to experience together. There are so many great ones from auditory (pop books), texture, pop-up/flaps, etc. It makes it engaging to them, especially if they are wiggly!

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8.Rhyme/Rhythm

We love any books that have a good rhythm to them or rhyme throughout. They are easy and pleasing to listen to and follow along. Here are some of our favorites!

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9.Personal Interests

My son loves anything that has to do with vehicles or Sesame Street. They will definitely be excited to read books about things they are currently interested in!

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10. Classics

We have loved all of the classic toddler/early education books and they continue to be favorites!

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Keep Reading,

Jac

Quarantine Self Care

Like many of you, I am sure you are in a few weeks of self isolation or quarantine. Our family started the week of March 15th, so we are currently in our fourth week. Now that my son and I have a new groove and rhythm to our day, I have started to focus on my personal needs during this strange time. I recognize I am able to set the tone and energy for the day, so it is extremely important that I am filling up my own cup. My priority is to continue to make the days happy and joyful amidst the heartache, anxiety, and unknown.

I like to be mindful of all components of heath and wellness when taking care of myself. I think each area is so important and creates peace and balance. I thought I would share some simple things I am doing to take care of my physical, mental, and emotional health. Although there are more, I think these areas are extremely important during this season.

 I would love to know how you are taking care of yourself during this time.

1.Physical Health

Valuing our health and bodies is so important! They are the vehicles that provide for us throughout everything and I am appreciating mine more and more. I have continued exercising 5 days a week and maintaining our “normal” eating habits/meals. I know that movement and food will alter how I feel, and I want to feel good during this difficult time (as well as relieve some stress and provide nutrients/fuel). I am taking as many workouts I can outside, which has felt amazing, as well as playing outside as much as possible. We are still trying to eat as many fresh foods while working with what we have (or what is available) as well as remain diligent with our water.

Exercise, nutrition, water, and sunshine are ways I am choosing to take care of my physical health. 

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2.Mental Health

Our mental health is also so important. I truly believe that our mindset and thoughts radiate throughout our bodies. Mental health has been challenging, especially in the first couple weeks of adjusting to our new “normal”. I really had to figure out how I could maintain a good head space and recognize what I needed to do to create that.

I have chosen to focus/read only a couple of news sources a day so my mind isn’t completely overwhelmed. I have been more diligent in my personal development in the mornings (sermons, faith training/courses) that I listen to after I teach so I can start the day in a good mental state. I have also continued to journal (gratitude) which is always a good shift in perspective as well as pray, pray, and pray some more (allocated quiet time with God).

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Selective news sources, personal development, gratitude,and prayer are ways I am choosing to take care of my mental health.

3.Emotional Health

What we are feeling and personally experiencing is also so important to acknowledge and take care of. Even though we are all connected through this hardship, our reality and day-to-days are extremely different from one another. I am sure many of us are experiencing emotions/feelings we have never been through before, and that is okay.

During isolation, continuing to make connections is necessary. We are so blessed to have technology and to be able to have “virtual happy hours” with our friends or a family hangout with our loved ones. I am continuing to take advantage of technology to stay grounded with others. I also wake up early (and finish teaching an hour before the house wakes up) so I can have quiet time/me time. I think this is so important as a parent to have time to just be.

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Connections and quiet time are ways I am choosing to care for my emotional health.

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during this time, and finding ways to take care of themselves. Sending all my love.

 

Blessings,

Jac

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I wanted to share an easy dinner recipe that has quickly become one of our favorites. My husband and I love any recipe where we can get a good amount of vegetables in. We recently took my mom’s chicken tortilla soup recipe and jazzed it up to make our own. You can take the base recipe and then add any vegetables or spices! This is also great with beef if you prefer that over chicken. We like to cook it on low in the crock pot all day. You can also add Spanish rice at the bottom of the bowl! It is a great recipe to make your own!

What have been some of your favorite meals during this time at home?

Base:

  • 2 Cups Shredded Chicken
  • 2 Quarts Chicken Broth
  • 1 (14.5oz) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 (10oz) Rotel
  • 1 TBSP Ground Cumin
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • Salt (to taste)

Additions:

  • Zucchini (1 large)
  • Squash (1 large)
  • Carrots (3-4)
  • Onion (1 large)
  • Frozen Corn (bag)

Toppings:

  • Avocado Slices
  • Sour Cream
  • Tortilla Strips
  • Shredded Cheese

 

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@bridwell_wellness

Additional Recipes: Taco CasseroleSummer Smoothie

As always I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe.

Blessings,

Jaclyn

At Home Workout: Upper Body

Many of us are trying to be creative in our workout routine while we find different ways to move at home. I recently shared two different workouts you can check out here: Full BodyLower Body.  I thought I would share another 30 minute at home workout that is focused on upper body using dumbbells.

How are you moving while at home? What have been your favorite things to do? I would love to know!

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Exercise Demo: Upper Body Demo

Hope everyone is finding ways to move! Stay healthy and safe!

Blessings,

Jac

Easter Baskets 2020

Last year I shared our family Easter baskets here : Easter Basket Goodies. I wanted to share our baskets again this year, in case anyone needs some last minute ideas of things to order. I actually had them done before we started social distancing, so I have only ordered a couple of things to finish mine ( I will share once complete). Of course having an Easter basket is not what it is about (especially right now), however I love traditions and creating fun memories as a family.

Are you doing baskets this year? If so, what are some of your favorite goodies to put in them?

Basket One: Toddler 

  • Water Color Pad
  • 2 Easter Books
  • Chalk
  • Bubbles
  • Play-dough
  • Topo Chico
  • Mini Kit Kats
  • Chick-Filet Gift Card (we normally do a weekly date there)
  • Sunscreen
  • New Swimsuit (this was my husband’s family tradition)

Basket Two: Husband 

  • Golf Gloves
  • Cookbook
  • Favorite Coffee
  • Coffee Mug
  • Sunscreen
  • New Swimsuit
  • Beef Jerky, Fruit Snacks, Gum
  • Panera Bread Gift Card

 

 

Hope everyone has a great week!

Blessings,

Jac