Author Archive

Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix in a Jar

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

DIY Vanilla Chai Tea Mix from MomAdvice.com

 

Are you as ready for fall as I am? As soon as the weather starts turning, I start thinking of all the things that I love about autumn. The crisp leaves, the cool air, my cozy slippers, flannel sheets, and warm drinks. In fact, sipping warm drinks with a good book is one of my all-time favorite fall activities.

My favorite warm drink is chai and I look forward to making this each and every year for our family. Is it your favorite too? I love to have homemade chai tea mix in a jar on hand for sipping or for sharing with a good friend.

I am sure you have seen that the drink mixes can be quite expensive, but mixing up a batch of this DIY Vanilla Chai mix for yourself can help to keep your pockets nice and warm with a little extra money. Most of the spices, dry creamer, and dry milk are already stocked in my pantry or can be found easily on the baking shelves at our local grocery store. The only additions I usually have to run out and get is the instant tea and powdered vanilla creamer. When I see a sale on these ingredients, I stock up so I don’t run out in the colder months. We tend to go through this mix rather quickly because it is such a hit over here.

To make the batch more smooth, instead of gritty, I process everything through my blender. I first mix all of the white ingredients in my blender (milk, sugar, creamer, vanilla creamer). I dump those in a plastic container and then I mix up all the brown ingredients (tea and spices). I pour this on top in the plastic container, seal the lid and give it a good shaking to incorporate or mix it up with a spoon. If you have a large food processor, you may be able to process it all together, but if you have a blender it is best to do this in divided batches.

DIY Vanilla Chai Mix in a Jar from MomAdvice.com

Not only is this drink mix wonderful for yourself, but mixing up a batch of this and tucking some of it in a mug would be a wonderful gift to give to someone special in your life. I often rely on this easy mix in a jar for a teacher or bus driver gift because it is always a hit. Who wouldn’t want a jar of that in their pantry?

If you are sharing this one with your kids, be sure to look for a mix like this.

You’ll have to trust me on that one since I have made that mistake a few times (*ahem*)

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do- please let me know what you think!

Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Mix up this easy recipe for Vanilla Chai to keep in your pantry to enjoy throughout the cooler months. This is also a great gift mix to share with family and friends.
Ingredients
  • Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix
  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 1 cup French vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 2 ½ cups white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened instant tea
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it is a fine powder. Add two-three tablespoons of mix to 8 ounces of hot water or milk.


Love this mix? Check out my hot cocoa mix with an ingredient that just might surprise you! You might also love this link to some of my favorite copycat DIY Starbucks Drinks or this great roundup of fall drinks- yum! What is your favorite autumn/winter drink? Do you have any recipes to share for your favorite drink mixes?

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial for Fall

Monday, August 21st, 2017

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

This blog was sponsored by Westcott. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!

I’m back to crafting today (all the jazz hands!) and I’m SO excited to share a fun apple wreath tutorial to freshen up your front door for fall, but I’m even more excited to share with you a secret that I’ve been keeping for the past couple of months.

Westcott, our sponsor today, has launched a new Mini Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue Pen.

A  hot glue pen, you say?

Yes!

Westcott Hot Glue Gun Pen

Let’s talk about the Mini Hot Glue Guns first. The Mini Hot Glue Gun comes in two versions, high temp (this baby reached up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit) and low temp (that can reach up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit).  What makes these a little different are the smart features that I’ve always wished my glue gun had and I know you will appreciate too.

This has a non-stick tip (!!!) and the nozzle changes color from blue to red so you know when it is ready to use. No guessing and burning yourself checking it anymore! It also has been ergonomically designed to help your hands stay comfortable for all your crafting time.

Westcott Hot Glue Gun Pen

Since I have so much joint pain, I haven’t been crafting as much as I used to. This new Hot Glue Pen though is incredible and helps with your precision and accuracy when you are doing detailed projects. This one also turns colors to indicate when it is ready and it offers a finger trigger right on top to help you dispense glue in a more controlled way.

I have joked that our entire house is held together with a glue gun so I was MORE THAN HAPPY to spread the good news about these new products! You can read more over here and also check out their new site for Westcott Creativators.

How about we take these for a test drive and craft up a beautiful diy apple wreath for your home, to share with a teacher, or a fun wreath to hang to celebrate back to school?

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

Supplies Needed

14″ styrofoam wreath form (or your own preferred size)

60-80 mini foam apples (I used 80 on mine to make it full)

24-30 feet of Mesh Burlap

Westcott Hot Glue Gun Pen or Mini Hot Glue Gun (low temp is great for gluing together plastic and styrofoam)

Hot glue sticks

1-2 Pins to secure on the back

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

 Directions to Make an Apple Wreath

1. Begin by wrapping burlap around the styrofoam wreath form. Once the entire wreath is wrapped in burlap, secure with a couple of pins to keep the burlap tight.

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

2. Heat up your Westcott Hot Glue Gun Pen and wait for the tip to turn red, to indicate that it is hot and ready. Begin securing these foam apples all around your burlap wreath, taking your time holding each of these to the burlap until they are secure. Be sure to tilt them in different directions, covering the entire top of the wreath. You can then leave the wreath as is or you can add another layer on top in between the first layer apples. I loved the dimension of two levels on this wreath so I added an extra round of apples to finish my wreath.

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

3. Finish by hanging your wreath on a door. I looped a little twine on the back through the holes in the burlap to finish this wreath!

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

DIY Apple Wreath Tutorial from MomAdvice.com

I hope you have fun making a wreath of your own, for yourself or for your favorite teacher! This is such an easy craft to make and can be enjoyed throughout the fall season. Thank you to Westcott for all the hot glue gun fun! I’m so excited to work on future projects with this smartly designed craft tool!

 

This blog was sponsored by Westcott. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site!

Amy’s Notebook 08.16.17

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Garlic Herb Chicken With Zucchini

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I’m always looking for new one pan dishes and this garlic herb chicken with zucchini looks like a weeknight winner!

8 ways to help after Charlottesville. Also, this piece was great on talking through it all with your kids.

I won’t lie, I could eat this every single day and be very happy.

Stumped on how to mix patterns in your home? I loved this guide to perfecting the pattern mix.

Oh, I needed this laugh today.

Three types of friends you might need to break up with. Great advice for a better #girlsquad!

Did you hear about this new app?

This is just genius- I love how people make the most of small spaces!

How to experience the total eclipse from your living room.

Small Space Movie Night

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Who needs a theater room? I love this idea for making the most of small spaces!

I had no idea that Amazon sold wine- here are 5 of the best affordable bottles!

I love, love, love colorful homes.

This is haunting, isn’t it?

I’ve been enjoying this book a lot.

I can absolutely see how this happens. In fact, I think it happens more than we realize.

“Start with what you have, not with what you want.”- I want to live like this always.

I think you should read this.

I thought this had some great advice if you are packing gluten-free lunches for your kiddos.

Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Chicken & Rice Bowls

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Put cheese on just about any veggie and I’m in. I love this spin on a good old-fashioned casserole.

Perfectionism, procrastination, paralysis- yes. This was a good read if you are in that awful cycle too.

This is your best defense against bad vibes.

I love these tips on adding removable wallpaper to a room.

Ohhhh, can’t wait to see this movie! And this one. And this one. And this one.

Putting together my capsule so I gathered a few of my favorite capsule pieces this year over here.

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

Small-Budget Crushes 08.15.17

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

purl-knit sweater purl-knit sweater (several colors)

reversible tote

reversible tote (several color combos)

grey cross back sweater

grey cross back sweater

beaded tassel earrings

beaded tassel earrings (several colors)

barre now wine later shirt

barre now wine later shirt

Jersey Knit Swing Dress

jersey knit swing dress

comfy tan cardigan

comfy tan cardigan

 

patterned-canvas-clutch

patterned canvas clutch

puff tulip sleeve tee

tulip sleeve tee

english saddle skinny belt

crisscross detailed skinny belt

double-faced plaid shirt

double-faced plaid shirt

gemstone necklace

gemstone necklace

not getting ready today shirt

not getting ready today, me either matchy-matchy shirts

miranda bib necklace

miranda bib necklace

roll tab sleeve tunic

roll tab sleeve tunic (PERFECT fall wardrobe staple)

weaving loom kit

weaving loom kit

 

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

 

 

How To: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

DIY Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com.

Gift-giving season is upon us and I am always looking for great gifts that don’t cost a lot, can be made in bulk, and will actually be used! Do you remember when we made Citronella Candles in our slow cooker for thoughtful hostess gifts for the cookout season? We are going to replicate that same idea, but with one of my FAVORITE fall scents…Pumpkin Spice!

Can you believe you can make candles in your crockpot? The first time I tried making candles in my slow cooker, I knew that I was hooked on a new favorite craft.

I am so excited to show you, yet again, how to make candles in your slow cooker and this time we are making easy Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles.

As a Pumpkin Spice everything addict, these are full of my favorite holiday scent and can be made with just a few inexpensive purchases.

FYI- I just want to warn you how good your house is going to smell so GET READY!

DIY Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com.

Supplies Needed

8 Pint-Sized Mason Jars

5 Pounds Candle Wax Flakes

8 6” Natural Candle Wicks

2 Jars of Pumpkin Spice Fragrance Oil

8 Bamboo Skewers (or you can use pencils!)

Slow Cooker

Food Scale or Postal Scale

Decorative Accents to finish your candles

How to Make Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

Directions for Making Slow Cooker Pumpkin Candles

1. Measure and weigh out 7 ounces of soy wax flakes for each mason jar in a glass measuring cup (be sure to tare your scale). It should fill jar to the top, and we will be adding more flakes after the first round melts down and creates more space inside the jar. Repeat the measuring with all of the other candles you plan to prepare.

How to Make Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

2. Add an inch or two of water to your slow cooker to create a water bath for your candles. Nestle the mason jars inside the slow cooker, place a lid on top, and turn it on HIGH for two hours. As the wax melts down, feel free to add more wax in the jars to the desired height. These will melt down to about half the size of your jar, so approximately 7 more ounces of soy flakes can be added to get a full candle like my pictures.

3. Once the two hours has passed, open the lid and add 10-20 drops of Pumpkin Spice fragrance to each candle (approximately 1 ml of oil). Using a bamboo skewer, stir each candle after adding the oil.  Turn your slow cooker off, then add your candle wick in the center of each candle. Take a bamboo skewer or pencil and wrap the top of the wick to the middle of it and allow it to help stand the candle up in the center.  Leave the candles in the slow cooker until the wax begins to harden. Remove them and then dry well with a dish towel.  Allow the candles to fully harden on your countertop.

4. The next day, trim your wicks and attach a little jute twine and thank you note for your favorite hostess.

How to Make Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

How to Make Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

How to Make Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles from MomAdvice.com

The best part about making these is how incredible your house is going to smell all day long as these cook and then cool. My kids thought I had baked pies all day when they got home from school.

What sad trickery I played on them with a slow cooker full of candles for our friends (#worstmomever).

I hope you have fun making this easy Fall craft for those you love!

This post contains affiliate links! Thank you for supporting the site with your purchases!

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It’s the 3 Little Things: Business Advice, Fresh Planner, & A Great Read

Friday, August 11th, 2017

vacation

Taking time off and stepping away from the grind of work this summer has given me time to reflect on how I have been running my business.

Blogging doesn’t always look like business, does it?

Actually, if I’m honest, I have no idea what it looks like to you.

This is my life’s work though and lately I have been reflecting on my business mistakes that have occurred these last few years.

At one point in my career, I got in over my head with my job and refused to allow anyone to help me because I didn’t think they could do the job as good as me (even though I was doing a terrible job). My email inbox was in the 50K region of UNOPENED messages, I wasn’t posting consistently, I had lost a sense of community, and I was doing a terrible job diversifying my income streams.

A magical assistant (here she is- she’s amazing!) swooped in and made all these issues disappear. My inbox was clutter-free, she helped me to get back to consistency, it freed up time to carve out community, she got my newsletter going again, and she encouraged me to find new avenues for income streams.

And then she needed to move on to a new chapter in her own life.

Yup, I lost this incredible person who was doing all the things for me and I was back to my old habits.

Here is what I am discovering though:

The mistake wasn’t in handing everything off to someone to help me manage my time better.

My mistake?

I didn’t know how to do many of these tasks for myself.

I didn’t know how to send out a newsletter, I didn’t understand the changes and new strategies I needed to implement to keep up with my social media platforms, I had no ideas on how to continue cultivating my work here. Basically, I have felt a little lost at sea and I worried about the time and effort it would require to get back in the game.

I’ve decided this new school year is a new school year for me too. I started taking online courses to help manage different aspects of my business this week

Would it still be good to hand things off?

Absolutely!

Will I know how to do these tasks though and train the next person who takes the reigns moving forward?

Yes, yes I will.

This week, I’m thankful for a new mindset for my business.

This is the year of not working harder, but working smarter.

I’d love to talk about what goals you have for yourself as your children return to school! What do you hope to achieve this year?

Here are 3 things that are making me happy this week!

The Defiant Ones

The Defiant Ones

HBO has sucked us in with another incredible series. The Defiant Ones is an incredible 4-part documentary that explores the careers of Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine and their remarkable business relationship that ended up landing them a 3 billion dollar deal with Apple.

What I loved about their story is that they were two very unlikely business moguls that didn’t have the background or education to have had such successful careers. Iovine, for example, was known for flaking out on jobs and seems to be lacking the ability to follow through on tasks. Dre couldn’t even get the time of day with a local club owner to deejay in the evenings. What they didn’t end up lacking was a passion for music that, ultimately, ended up bringing the two together on some incredible deals.

This isn’t a feel-good story, this is gritty and honest story about the business mistakes they made and how they almost lost it all. It’s incredibly inspirational though to see that if you play your cards right, even the most unlikely people can become the most successful.

I really think you’d love this one- give it a watch!

Get to Work Book

A Fresh New Planner

I’m so excited to have a fresh new planner for the year! I can’t think of anything more motivating than a new start to getting back on schedule.  I asked what planners people were loving in our MomAdvice Book Club Chat Group and was reminded just how much I wanted a Get to Work Book last year, but never got around to purchasing it.

I’m not saying that this year though because I finally have one. I love that this allows space for goal setting and intentions (both for personal and professional). Each month has a great tear-out motivational print as a fun bonus. The pages are spacious and have thoughtful prompts to help you dream big. I can’t wait to get planning in this.

Also, if aren’t following Elise on Instagram, it’s quite the treat! She’s been a big source of creative inspiration for me.

Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

A Great Read

It’s been a busy week, as we start preparing for the new school year, but I managed to squeeze in a great book this week. Ginny Moon was such an enjoyable read from debut novelist, Benjamin Ludwig. Ludwig shares in his bio that he is the foster parent of a teen with autism and it is through his own experience (and fellow parents of autistic children) that helped him carve his character, Ginny Moon.

Ginny Moon had been taken from her neglectful mother and has been living with her new Forever Mother and Forever Father. When her birth mother starts creeping back into her life, Ginny will stop at nothing to get back to her mom and goes to shocking lengths to make that happen. When a new baby then is added to her Forever Family, Ginny becomes increasingly more of a burden to her strained foster parents and they must decide if this is the forever family THEY want. Ginny will stop at nothing though to get back to where she believes she really belongs and there is a pretty surprising reason why. It’s a real page-turner!

Ludwig really sheds light on the difficulties of finding adoptive families for teens of special needs and your heart just breaks for Ginny over the confusion of who her real “forever family,” is.

I won’t blab too much more about it, but I have a feeling you will really enjoy this one!

That’s what is making me happy this week- what’s been making your week?

This week I am…

women rise

Reading: I started this book and I am LOVING it!

Prepping: It’s time to prep the capsule wardrobe for fall. I ordered one of these skirts and I can’t wait to put it to work. I also have a box of goodies coming in from this shop- woohoo! Here’s ten bucks towards your first order, if you haven’t tried it before.

Netflix Binge Plan: Have you watched this yet? I can’t wait to dig in!

Can’t Wait: For this movie (!!!)

Inspired By: This list of intentions, especially the two hour phone break!

Throwing it Back:  Which one are you? Totally, Claudia! I’m all about that unicorn life, are you?

Listening: To this podcast over the weekend. They always have the best book recommendations.

Have a wonderful weekend! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!

Amy’s Notebook 08.09.17

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Grilled Caprese Zucchini source

This grilled caprese zucchini looks like a great way to put summer produce to work.

What happens when you say, “call me,” in response to emails you receive.

I think you should read this.

Now this is a ruffle sleeve I can get behind.

Love the addition of Greek yogurt to yield a juicier turkey burger- must try!

This bad habit is the reason why you can’t focus. I loved this passage, “Much like slow food, slow living is the world’s response to fast living, and its gospel encourages finding enjoyment outside of online life, urging participants to take the time to truly consider their relationships with others and the world around them. As the movement grows, FOMO is inspiring an opposite reaction of its own: FOBO – fear of burning out.”

Turn a bottle of rosé into four weeknight meals.

I love peeking at what other people are reading this summer. I added a few of these books to my library wish list!

Why not just give people money? I’m a big fan of no-strings attached giving.

Tiny House Kitchen

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This tiny house kitchen is dreamy. I refuse to give up on my tiny house dreams!

Are you an HSP too? I could identify almost 100% with these.

20 dinner ideas you can prep & make-ahead on Sunday.

Love this idea for this app- LOL!

Excited to finally dig into this read- it looks like a fantastic escape.

My husband has strong feelings about this font.

How to quickly become happier with these ten tips.

Want to add a little style to your bookshelves? I found this post really inspiring.

Paper Chain Wall Hanging

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Do you remember making paper chains in school? This is the coolest paper chain display I’ve ever seen.

Want to raise kind kids? Check out this idea!

How to throw away the memories our kids leave behind- love the bin idea for time to process.

Really geeking out about this movie news.

I loved hearing your tips on this topic. Sometimes just hearing, “me too,” brings relief, doesn’t it?

I’m agreeing with with a lot of these selections on the best books of 2017 (so far!).

I am always on the hunt for the perfect white tee- what a great guide!

I still have a few of these tucked away from my note exchanges with my hubby. Just might need to pick that habit back up!

Let black kids just be kids- a compelling piece I shared with my family this week.

I really need to pick up a tea habit. I did not know the benefits of this tea.

We are starting to get quite the hat collection over here so I loved this diy hat rack for small spaces.

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo

Small-Budget Crushes 08.07.17

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Essential Leggings

lou & grey essential leggings- just $10!!

Rescued Tote

rescued tote

Striped Poplin Shirt

striped poplin shirt- use coupon code FFSALE for 40% off

Felt Letter Board

felt letter board

brown leopard dress

brown leopard dress (loads of cute prints on sale)

Tasseled Poncho

tasseled poncho (several colors)

The Future Is Inclusive Tee

the future is inclusive tee

brit+co planner

brit+co planner

haircalf leopard belt

haircalf leopard belt- use coupon code FFSALE for 40% off!!

bookworm bag

bookworm bag

Bell Sleeve Embroidered Tee

bell sleeve embroidered tee

crossbody bag

crossbody bag (several colors- great price!!)

you got this wall planner

you got this wall planner

crepe pleated joggers

crepe pleated joggers

peel and stick clothing labels

waterproof peel and stick clothing labels

Vintage Cotton Tee

vintage cotton tees ($10-15!!)- no coupon code needed

toms booties

my favorite booties- so comfortable!!

 

Work Hard & Be Nice Tee

work hard & be nice tee

Side Slit Tee

side slit tee

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links that help our site! Thank you for supporting me! xoxo 

5 Natural Ways To Stop Anxiety Quickly

Friday, August 4th, 2017

5 Natural Anxiety Remedies

Do you struggle with anxiety? When we met with the specialist to talk about my diagnosis, she asked me this very question. Embarrassed, I responded that I did.  She quickly assured me not to be ashamed of my anxiety because it is often a symptom that goes along with all my other health issues.

Anytime there are big changes in my routine, it often sends my anxiety into a tailspin. Big things like discovering you have a connective tissue disease definitely sent me spiraling. Little things though, like the start of each school year and doing allthethings, can also send me down the tunnels of anxiety.

An admitted perfectionist and people pleaser with anxiety?

Yep, it is often the reason why I suffer from sleepless nights and stomach aches.

This year I have really been working on my responses to things and have been finding natural remedies to curb my anxiety symptoms. I wanted to share them with you today because they have helped me so much.  Here are 5 things I’ve discovered can stop my anxiety quickly.

mark-twain-quote

Working through the “then what” scenario

I shared that this year I decided to see a counselor to help me get my life back on track. We talked about changing some of my routines and habits to reduce stress and help me be more productive at my job. As a people pleaser, I find it difficult to let people down in my life. He worked with me on talking through these situations and now I use this trick when talking myself through tricky conversations or scenarios I might be faced with.

For example, my body’s new limitations made working and lifting food at our food pantry hard to do. Instead of admitting that it wasn’t a good fit for me, I continued to do it and flare up an elbow issue that I had. I told my counselor how it was causing strain, but I worried that I would let the director down.

Him- Why can’t you tell her that you can’t work the food pantry?

Me- I made a commitment and I know that there aren’t a lot of people to help. I love doing it, but it is causing pain.

Him- What do you think she would say if you told her that you couldn’t work the food pantry?

Me- Well, she will probably be very disappointed in me. She will think I’m a flake. I told her I was going to do something and then I didn’t do it.

Him- Do you think she will be angry?

Me- I don’t know.

Him- What if someone told you that they had an injury and couldn’t do a job for you?  What do you think you would say?

Me- I would be disappointed that I didn’t have help.

Him- Then what?

Me- I would tell them I’m sorry they are hurting and I understand.

Him- Then what?

Me- I would probably find someone else to help.

My initial reaction is everyone will be angry with me if I change a routine or have to bail on a commitment, but a lot of times these scenarios never happen. Of course, as soon as I told her that I couldn’t do it because I had an elbow issue and was starting physical therapy she told me she would miss me, but COMPLETELY UNDERSTOOD. She graciously said she would be happy to have me back whenever I felt better.

Really?

It was NO BIG DEAL.

Working through the then what, then what, then what helps me guess what might happen and put away irrational fears about situations in my life, but it also helps me prepare a response ahead of time for the changes I make that are healthy for me. You can’t plan for everything, of course, but it has helped tremendously.

The stop sign trick

Joanna Goddard, from Cup of Jo, shared a really great trick that she learned from her therapist that helped her with anxiety. Her therapist told her that when her spiraling thoughts started that she should start visualizing a stop sign.

A small switch that is completely free?

Sign me up!

This week, for example, as we prepare for the new school year, my anxiety really starts to ramp up. I will lay awake thinking about the physicals I forgot to schedule, the new bus schedule, the school supplies we haven’t bought, the uniforms…. Once the floodgates are opened, the anxiety of the upcoming year starts pouring out.

Now I have started to use this tip once my mind starts going and it does, truly, help interrupt the anxiety routine.

I didn’t get the school supplies… STOP SIGN

I forgot to schedule physicals… STOP SIGN

I…STOP SIGN.

The 7-second rule

One element of my anxiety is saying the wrong thing in social situations. I will be having a great day with friends just talking and enjoying each other’s company- all in all, a perfect day. On the drive home though, my mind starts thinking again about EVERYTHING I said. Did I say too much? Was that wrong of me to say? What if their feelings were hurt? Why did I share that?

It goes on and on.

I read about the 7-second rule though and I have started to apply it to my life. I’m generally (*ahem*) good people and I try really hard to say the right things. I would never intentionally hurt someone with my words and the things that I typically worry about, I’m pretty sure no one else is replaying over and over again in THEIR mind.

Only allowing myself 7-seconds to replay things has changed this routine of replaying the night over and over and over again in my head to a mere few seconds. I also try to extend the same grace to other people and even share the tip with them when they apologize to me for something they have worried about. Seriously, 7-seconds and moving on.

Stop looking for it

I have a BAD habit of looking for things to become anxious about- do you do this too?

For example, I had a terrible nighttime routine of checking Instagram and Facebook right before I would go to sleep. I would, essentially, look for things to be anxious about and then try to go to bed. Social media, for me, has ALWAYS been a trigger, but it is also a necessary part of my work.

Yet, let’s be honest,  it is not a necessary part of my work to start scrolling at 10PM.

Now I turn off all social media in the evenings and keep normal “business hours” with my time. I also don’t go hunting for things to be upset about (another REALLY bad habit) on my feeds. In the morning, I seem to have the ability to distance myself more from things that cause me anxiety and I can apply that ol’ stop sign rule when my thoughts start spiraling.

Peace Over Worry

Get involved in an anxiety interrupter

I am sure you have heard that yoga is helpful for anxiety, but it isn’t necessarily the movement that helps my anxiety. It is the fact that it is a mind interrupter.

When doing yoga, the instructor is guiding us through movement with directions and oftentimes isn’t demonstrating the movement. I have to think really hard to stay with the flow of the class and remember one pose to the next. I become so focused on moving through poses that I can’t let my mind spiral.

Anxiety interruption also happens when I go to dance class because I’m so focused on following the movement that my brain doesn’t have time to think about anything else. When all my brain cells are dedicated to one thing, there are no brain cells to contribute to my irrational worries.

I have been looking more for healthy anxiety interrupters like this in my life. Walks with husband around the neighborhood, a good book, podcasts, volunteering, a documentary, doing things (and being present) with my kids are all good examples of good things that have helped interrupt my anxiety routine.

Of course, do not be afraid to talk to your physician or a therapist about your anxiety. You don’t have to suffer alone!

Natural Products/Services That Also Help My Anxiety

Calm Now Supplement (I take this in the afternoon)

Natural Calm The Anti-Stress Drink (great bedtime routine)

L-Theanine (I used this with great success before taking the Calm Now supplement)

Calm Meditation App (the sleep stories really help me in the evenings)

Epsom Salts (I buy them in bulk) with 5 drops of lavender oil for a nighttime bath

Sleepytime Extra Tea

Kill News Feed Plugin

Facebook Unseen

What YOU Say Helps

T. says, “I read somewhere when in the middle of an anxiety/panic attack is to tell yourself I can anything for 10 minutes. It’s what got me through a 6 hour drive just hours after we were involved in a car accident that totaled my car.”

J. says, “I  was on medication for anxiety/depression for years and found that while it helped the anxiety, it was affecting other areas of my life so I went off them and started looking for natural options.

I do a lot of the things you talked about in your article, especially the interrupter. I use exercise, and I was thinking that it was the exercise itself that was helpful, but I think it is also the interrupter. I often do a workout on my lunch break at work and it really helps me to shut off the stress of the morning and get back to a more neutral head space.

I am also a creature of routine and habits, which is great for organization and generally keeps the anxiety manageable, but when things throw the routine off, it is often extremely difficult to deal with. Sometimes I get worries that play on a loop in my head, like when I’ve texted my son who is out somewhere and he doesn’t text back when I think he should and I start imagining the absolute worst and it won’t stop until he either texts back or gets home. If my husband is home, I can tell him specifically what is in my head, what the specific worry is and he helps me to break it down and either get rid of it or at least lessen the anxiety a bit.”

H. says,“I replay my conversations or what I post in my head all of the time, like you! When my anxiety gets out of control I have meds, but one time I didn’t have any on me and I was having a panic attack and luckily my husband happened to be with me and he told me to get outside with him and go for a walk. That interrupter (like the yoga you mentioned) really calmed me and stopped the attack from happening. Interrupters are really good for me. I found that coloring in the adult coloring books helps a lot too. I really try and go more natural unless it gets to a point where I can’t control it.  I also use Tulsi Tea and it helps, but it could probably be a placebo thing, but I don’t care!”

M. says,  “I have been trying to get into a routine of meditation. Just 10 minutes a morning. I have been using the app 10% Happier. I love their logical approach and the concept of ‘just begin again.’  Since I have been doing it I’ve noticed that when my mind starts racing later in the day, or even when it wakes me up at night, if I take 30 seconds and focus on my breath it really does reset my brain. I think it is the same idea as the interrupter.”

Katie says, “I take a magnesium supplement before bed that has really helped me with sleeping. Since I started taking it, for the first time in years I am able to fall asleep easily. Another thing I’ve noticed is I get significantly fewer headaches taking magnesium. In general, getting on a vitamin routine has helped in a lot of ways. For example, I found out I tested low for vitamin D and that had a correlation with my stress too. Taking omegas and B12 has helped managing moods when I’m stressed.

Another trigger for me is if I am not drinking enough water or eat meals too late. My husband is really good at letting me know that I need to eat or drink something when he can tell I’m getting stressy and it’s a nice gentle reminder to take care of my physical needs but also “check myself” on my emotional state. It works well for us because I know he is doing it out of love and not to poke at me.

I love my essential oil diffuser with lavender or other calming blends in the evening in our bedroom.

I have moved the FB and Instagram icons off the front page of my phone and put them in a separate folder on a page I have to scroll to at times to help break the habit of getting on just because I pick up my phone.”

Another J. says, “I’ve had success in managing my anxiety with various herbal tinctures and elixirs, which I always fear makes me sound all “woo-woo crazy”, but I’m so much more consistent about taking them than sipping tea. They’re fast! :) My favorites are Motherwort (<– the real workhorse of the bunch!), Borage Flower elixir (calming and mellowing), Milky Oats tincture (<– also a great one for dulling intense responses), Wild Rose Elixir (awesome for brightening mood and promoting optimism), and Skullcap tincture (my go-to for stopping racing thoughts in their tracks at bedtime.)”

A. says, “One thing that my therapist worked with me on was journaling, which I use not only as a way to get my thoughts out, but as a way to keep myself organized. When things get chaotic and disorganized I can always feel the anxiety start to ramp up.”

 

5 Natural Anxiety Remedies

If you liked this article you might enjoy my natural ways to relieve joint pain article! I’d love to hear from you some natural ways you have found to reduce anxiety in your life?

Amy’s Notebook 08.02.17

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

DIY Wood Faux Paneling

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I’m so inspired by this inexpensive diy wood faux paneling project to brighten up a room.

We are trying a meal delivery service this month so this piece was really interesting. Have you done one before? Would love to hear your thoughts!

The one thing Airbnb hosts wish you wouldn’t do.

What to say to a grieving friend- I needed these tips.

We have more time than we think. Loved this quote, “Rather than saying you don’t have time, use the phrase, “It’s not a priority.” Not only will you feel less guilty for saying no, but it will remind you what your priorities are.

Ten clever camping tips- bookmarking if I ever go camping (unlikely).

15 easy ways to update your home- we have a lot of little projects like this still left to do.

Are you an abundance thinker or a scarcity thinker? Good food for thought!

Elevate Your BBQ

 

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I love these elegant ways to elevate your next summer gathering.

Here are some great tips on choosing the right protein powders for your morning smoothie. I had no idea that Target sold this protein powder now. Has anyone tried it?

Oh, I’m afraid we are THOSE neighbors! Love these backyard distractions so people won’t hate us.

I’m so sad to have missed this while we are in CA. Check out the Color Factory! Whoa.

I love this idea of running a cruelty-free blog. Particularly this passage, “Here is a good method: If you have a criticism of us you feel compelled to write then pretend that an 8 year old, someone who is just learning how people should behave in the world, will read your comment out loud in front of you. If that makes you uncomfortable then perhaps rephrase it. I think this is probably a great way to go about life, actually.”

Be Happy

Working on the good-hearted ways to respond to people in my life.

I just snagged this thriller from the library and I’m excited to dig in! Did you see the nine books I read in July? I think you’d love them!

I’m inspired by this zero-dollar savings hack. I need to do this!

I loved following this creative project. She always amazes me with the depth to her creativity.

Ugh, I have no idea how to get the right balance on this with my job. Do you like “real” feeds or “inspirational” feeds? I struggle with being authentic AND real.

A thoughtful approach towards shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

I finally got this on vinyl and it makes me unbelievably happy.

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration! Please note, there are affiliate links that do help support our site- thank you! xoxo