14 Strategies to Raising Optimistic Kids

As a mother of four children I know first hand how it is to want our kids to have happiness, health, and an abundance of success. Even though we feel like we will need a little magic to accomplish this, know that we do have the power to bring these things about for our children by influencing the way our children think. A good place to start is by encouraging optimism in our children.

 

A positive outlook boosts your immune system and helps you to live longer. When you look on the bright side, you build up your resilience and achieve more.

 

If that’s the kind of legacy you want to pass on to your children, consider these strategies. They’ll help you to raise optimistic sons and daughters.

 

Steps for You to Take Yourself:

 

  1. Be a good role model. Your children will follow your example. The more you demonstrate the power of optimism, the more likely they are to pick up on your sunny outlook.
  2. Accentuate the positive. Make it a habit to focus on the upside of any situation. Transform disappointments and irritations by turning them into lessons. If a camping trip gets rained out, show your children how to be flexible. Pitch your tent in your living room and campout indoors.
  3. Show gratitude. Counting your blessings helps you to see the world as a friendly place. List the things you have to be thankful for regularly. You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to be grateful for what you have. Something I always tell my children is there is always someone worse off then you. No matter what you think you don’t have, focus on what you do have. 
  4. Choose empowering words. How often do you catch yourself complaining? Replace defeatist statements with positive affirmations.
  5. Be realistic. Optimism needs to be grounded in facts. Acknowledge challenges while you focus on solutions.
  6. Take action. Optimism also needs to be backed up by action in order to succeed. Seize control of your life and remember that you can handle anything that comes your way.

 

Steps to Take with Your Children:

 

  1. Set high expectations. Children build confidence by living up to the responsibilities you give them. Teach them to believe in their abilities to excel at school, play sports, and make friends.
  2. Encourage independence. It’s natural to want to intervene when your child is hurting. On the other hand, they grow more when you step back and let them fix their own challenges.
  3. Take risks. Reward your child for taking sensible risks. Give them credit for speaking up in class or trying to ski for the first time. Let them know you are behind them 100%.
  4. Leverage strengths. Notice what your child likes to do and what they’re good at. When they succeed at a task, help them to analyze what they did well, and how they can build on their achievements.
  5. Learn from experience. When your child has a setback, talk about what they can do differently next time. Help them see that their sadness or frustration is temporary.
  6. Engage in creative play. Feed your child’s imagination with activities that help them to express themselves and develop their skills. Build a theatre out of a cardboard box so you can put on puppet shows. Paint pictures and do crafts. Creative thinking stirs up hopes and dreams.
  7. Share affection. Studies show that children who receive plenty of love and affection feel more secure about their future. Listen closely to what your child has to say so they’ll know that they’re important to you. Hug them when they leave for school in the morning and come home in the afternoon.
  8. Give praise. Positive reinforcement will help your children to value themselves and develop constructive habits. Tell them that you’re proud of them for studying hard and being kind to their neighbors.

 

Optimists are made, not born. Positive thinking will help your children make sound decisions and deal effectively with the many challenges of life. Teaching your children to see the glass half full is a good thing.

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7 Romantic Tips to Show Your Spouse Your Love

Keeping your love alive & strong in a relationship is work. A relationship needs nurturing. Sometimes that means a grand gesture, and sometimes it’s a matter of paying attention to the little things. Otherwise, you may start taking each other for granted and drift apart.

 

Whether you’re newlyweds or you’ve been married for years, you can keep your connection strong. Try these romantic and practical ideas for showing your partner just how much they mean to you.

 

Romantic Ways to Show Your Partner How Much You Love Them:

 

  1. Display affection. Greet your partner warmly each time they come home. Hold hands at the movies or walking around the neighborhood.
  2. Write love notes. Create your own poetry or borrow quotations from Keats and Neruda. Stick Post-its with sentimental messages on the bathroom mirror or kitchen coffee pot. Put a love letter in your spouse’s luggage when they leave on a business trip.
  3. Shower them with gifts. Presents can be inexpensive as long as they’re thoughtful. Bring home a movie your wife will love or a new novel by her favorite author. Buy your husband his favorite dessert or drive across town to get the brand of salsa he prefers.
  4. Spring a surprise. Wake up early and serve breakfast in bed on an otherwise routine weekday morning. Send your children to their grandparent’s house for the weekend, and spend a couple of quiet days together.
  5. Laugh it up. It’s okay to have fun while you’re working on your relationship. Feel free to be silly. Sing songs from old commercials. Reminisce about the blunders you made on your first date or during your early attempts at parenting.
  6. Share your dreams. Talk about your plans and goals. Common values are even more important than liking the same pastimes.
  7. Arrange date nights. Take turns planning a date night each week. You need some couple-time away from the children and chores.

 

However you decide to plan your Valentine’s Day date, know that it doesn’t have to stop there. Nurturing a relationship takes time and work. Know that the relationships that matter will last as long as both parties put forth the effort.

How to Transform Your Life & the Life of Others

As the New Year is here, it’s important feel like we have a productive year. There are studies that show how helping others makes us feel like we have more time for ourselves.

 

In research done at The Wharton School, participants were divided into 2 groups. One group did tasks like writing to a sick child or tutoring at-risk students while the others were given busy work or told they could go home early.

 

Those who completed the prosocial activities perceived their time as being more abundant and spent longer working on additional tasks.

 

After a draining day at work, you may feel like crashing in front of the TV or focusing on your own to do list, try doing things for others & see if that will make you a happier and more productive person.

 

Here are some ideas to get started:

 

How to Give More Time to Others

 

  1. Call your parents. If you live too far apart to visit often, you can still phone your parents regularly. How about making it a video call so they can see you? Bring them into the new age of technology if they aren’t already there. I know it can be a little hard to transition for some. But show them how fun it can be. They will appreciate it.
  2. Volunteer in your community. Find a worthy cause that you want to support. You could sort cans at a food bank or deliver meals to senior citizens. Go on your own or bring along family and friends. Volunteering at your church can also prove to be fulfilling. I love it!
  3. Help a coworker. Notice when a colleague is under pressure. Ask them what you can do to help. Maybe you can proofread a document or return some of their phone calls until they have a chance to catch up.
  4. Greet a neighbor. Introduce yourself to the families who live next door. Say Hello in passing. No one practices this anymore. But, it is a nice gesture.
  5. Chat with a stranger. Say hi to that person who just happens to be photo bombing your family picture. My family sure did. We said hello & laughed with the person who photo bombed our family photo pictured above. 
  6. Read to your kids. Turn bedtime stories into a regular ritual. Take turns reading to each other and inventing your own tales. It is also proven to be great for their reading habits in school. You will spark a reader.
  7. Date your spouse. Set aside time to spend as a couple. Go out for dinner and a movie or take a stroll through an art gallery or shopping mall. Just time alone working on the relationship can go a long way.
  8. Hang out with your friends. Nurture your friendships with regular lunches or potluck dinners. Share laughter and deep conversations.

 

How to Be More Present in the Time You Give to Others

 

  1. Live in the moment. Focus on whoever you are with instead of dwelling on the past or thinking about the future. Put aside any distractions.
  2. Listen closely. Practice attentive listening. Nod your head and provide encouraging feedback. Ask pertinent questions and paraphrase what you heard to ensure you understand the message.
  3. Make eye contact. Meet the other person’s gaze. Let them know that they’re being seen as well as heard.
  4. Provide validation. You can accept what others say even when you disagree. Recognize that their feelings matter. Tell them they have your support even when you have different opinions.
  5. Show enthusiasm. Take a sincere interest in the lives of those who matter to you. Remember how much others have done to help you, from teaching to you to read to curing your illnesses. Care about their happiness and wellbeing.
  6. Hide your phone. If you’re tempted to check your phone, stow it out of sight. Turn the volume off for a while. Be present. Nothing is worse than seeing a group of people in a room together not conversing and all on their phones texting each other.

 

All it takes is a little effort on your end to show your family, friends that you care by giving them your time and attention. You will feel like a million bucks when you give time and attention to your relationships.

8 Tips to Improve Your Life This Winter: Part 2-Professionally & Financially

A couple of weeks ago we talked about ways to improve your personal life during the winter months that could surpass into the spring. Continuing with that same momentum you can make positive changes in the professional and financial areas of your life too.

Here is a list of ideas for your professional and financial makeover, and add some projects of your own.

Changes to Make in Your Professional and Financial Life:

  1. Learn new skills. Modern workplaces undergo rapid change at a moments notice. Continuous learning helps you to remain competitive. Take a class that will certify you for project management or a popular software package. Shadow another employee who has a job that interests you. Learning is always a good thing. It keeps your mind active.
  2. Attend networking events. Browse online or check the calendar in industry publications to find events that can help your career. Your employer may be willing to pay the expenses if it’s related to your current responsibilities.
  3. Reach out to former colleagues. When is the last time you talked with your former supervisor? Staying in touch keeps your network strong, so send them an intriguing article or invite them out to lunch.
  4. Tidy up your office. Banishing clutter makes it easier to think clearly. Develop a filing system that works for you, and clear off your desk at the end of the day. Starting your day at a clear desk frees up the mind & relieves the stress you may have put yourself through if your desk wasn’t cleared.
  5. Use your vacation days. Many employees fail to use their leave time even though studies show it makes us more productive. Plan an exotic adventure or a family getaway. You deserve to let loose and enjoy life. Relax. If you don’t want to go too far away, plan a staycation. Point is take some time out for you to relax. Use your vacation time. All work & no play makes for an overworked person. No Bueno.
  6. Update your resume. Keeping your resume current is a smart move even when you’re not actively searching for a job. It will be easier for you to track your accomplishments and think about your career path when you keep it current.
  7. Pay off debts. Becoming debt-free reduces stress and raises your future standard of living. Pay off your most expensive debts first and talk with a counselor if you need assistance. Your future self-will thank you.
  8. Increase your savings. Put money aside from each paycheck. You’ll feel more secure preparing for your retirement or your children’s college education. Save for a rainy day. Nothing is worse than having that rainy day hit & you are not prepared.

 

I am confident when you spend the winter taking steps to make changes in your life it will carry through into the spring. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

 

PC: @Canva

8 Tips to Improve Your Life This Winter: Part 1–Family Life

Does winter mornings make you feel like pulling the covers over your head? You can turn the last months of the year into a productive time of year. Leave hibernating to the bears while you spend the winter making positive changes in your life.

The possibilities are endless. Start with this list of ideas for your personal & spiritual makeover, and add some projects of your own.

 

Changes to Make in Your Personal and Spiritual Life:

  1. Meditate daily. Mindfulness helps you to feel peaceful and accomplish more. Set aside time each day for quiet contemplation. Even a few minutes a day makes a big difference in your life. I like to use this time to use as a spiritual awareness. Taking time to devote to reading my bible. It truly helps me connect & rejuvenate my spirit.  
  2. Eat more vegetables. Consuming more vegetables and fruits is one of the simplest and most effective changes you can make in your diet. Try adding one additional serving a day for a week and see how you feel. You may enjoy the feeling. I know eating those tired green veggies your mom made you eat as a kid may repulse you. But, trust me, our taste buds change as we get older.
  3. Limit processed foods. Replace processed foods with whole foods. You’ll avoid excess sugar and salt and unhealthy fats which are all together bad for our health when consumed in large amounts.
  4. Exercise regularly. Find a variety of activities that you enjoy. Buy a gym membership or go running in the park. Lift weights or play volleyball. The possibilities are endless.
  5. Sleep well. Give your body good quality rest and sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Darken your bedroom, and block out distracting noises.
  6. Manage stress. Stress can lead to chronic inflammation, among other things. Experiment with relaxation practices like yoga, massage, or listening to instrumental music to assist when stressful times arise.
  7. Enjoy family dinners. It can be difficult to carve out family time in a busy schedule as us mothers know all to well. Try to designate at least one night a week when you can sit down together and talk over a nutritious meal and increase to include more days as your schedule sees fit.
  8. Make new friends. Maybe you moved to a new city, or you find that you now have less in common with your old college buddies. Expand your circle by meeting others who share your current interests. Start a book club or join a neighborhood association. You’ll be amazed at how you will feel by expanding your circle with people who share the same interest as you.

 

When you spend the winter taking steps to make your life more healthy, joyful, and meaningful it will carry through into the spring.

Alternative Ways for Taking Care of Your Family

As a mom of four, I am always looking for new ways of keeping my family healthy. I have been using different homeopathic remedies for my children since baby number one. Why? Most generic or name brand remedies are not for children under a certain age. I got tired of seeing my children ill because they couldn’t take any medicine. I usually would stick with the cough medicine after they were one because it contained honey.

Well, I was recently approached by a friend to see if I would be interested in coming to her essential oil class. She gave me a little information on essential oils and I said sure! Why not? I am open to hearing about new all natural ways of to taking care of my family. Of course, essential oils are not new. They have been around this earth even before what we called “traditional” medication.

I attended this doTerra© Essential Oils class and was blown away. I loved the idea of taking something all natural for things that were bothering me. I figure if God put in on this earth for me to use, then it should be used. So I tried them. I told my friend when I wanted to sign up and how. I wanted to give this a running chance to work. I won some On Guard Beadlets while at this party. I was happy and love to use these. They are safe to use for your children. When my family gets ill or shows signs of getting ill, my son eagerly wants to take some On Guard Beadlets to aid in his speedy recovery. Building up his immune system with these On Guard Beadlets.

I ordered some Peppermint Beadlets online. Little did I know I was going to love it. Some initial benefits for the Peppermint Beadlets are bloating, gas, indigestion. They can also be used for healthy respiratory function and clear breathing. I love them!! I have had issues for upset tummies and digestion. Now when I get an upset tummy I just pop one in my mouth and take it with some water, not that long after my tummy is feeling a lot better.

They also have Peppermint Oil that you can buy among other things. I have that on my list for my next purchase. Why? Because I now feel the need and want to fill my medicine cabinet with essential oils.

I wanted to share my new-found love for essential oils with you. As moms we have to lead the way to a healthy family lifestyle. Are there some products you love to use? Have you tried some essential oils?

If you are interested in trying some products for yourself or your family, you can click the link on my blog and go straight to my doTerra© Wellness Advocate page or click here on this post.

Please note: if you purchase from my site I will be paid a percentage. I am not an employee of doTerra©, I am an advocate for their products. They have not asked me in any way to write this post. I am writing this post to share my new-found love. I will be sharing from time to time new products from them I love in my journey for an overall wellness of my mind, body, & soul.

Declutter Your Home, Declutter Your Mind

When we think about spring cleaning it usually is wrapped around the idea of just cleaning out some of the noticeable things in our home. Do you ever think, maybe I should really clean my home? I should declutter the whole house. Start off the holiday weekend with a new prospective.

Well, I’ve been on a Mind, Body, and Soul rejuvenation for 2017.  The whole working on my mind and soul & spiritually came to me very easily. I have been reading more books and reading my bible on an ongoing basis. For my body, I’ve been trying to eat better along with squeezing in working out. That is still a task I am trying to defeat daily.

But, in this rejuvenation of myself, I really didn’t consider the whole “spring cleaning” idea until recently. I have been wanting to thoroughly go through my children’s rooms and get rid of a lot of toys and clothes they don’t use anymore and donate them to people who could really use them. I tried the “selling” them thing, but that takes up too much time and effort for me. I’d rather just give them to those that really need them.

I decided to take a whole afternoon to clean out my girls room. Wow!! They had a lot of toys that they have collected over the years. Granted, my girls are young, but if you include birthdays and holidays toys can really stack up. It took me a total of 4 hours to clean their room. Of course, by the end I felt so much better. It was a huge weight off my mind that I didn’t even realize was there.

It really showed. By the end, I gave my girls their new rules for their room. The continuing factor/standard, keep your room clean and neat. lol. My girls were so happy to have what they felt like was a new room. They even planned a sleep over in their new room. Of course, it was with their siblings whom camped out on the floor. They turned it into Camp Henderson.

I was happy they were so happy. Appreciative of the work I did, they were ecstatic to be helping out other children whom were less fortunate. Two birds with one stone. I was able to release the mind clutter and help continue my girls on a good path of giving back to others.

If you think about the whole mind, body & soul connection, it is very strong. We don’t even realize how much sometimes. If you are trying to accomplish things in your work life, home life, and personal growth, it is hard to get anywhere when you have a space that is consumed with too much. It doesn’t leave you any room to be creative.

So, that’s what I’m doing. Removing the clutter, giving back to those in need, in order to continue to grow and do all things creative. Won’t you join me on this journey? Have you already started on your own personal growth journey? Remember this, if you’re no learning, you’re not growing.

What Happens When You Have Faith in Yourself?

The timeless question, what happens when you have faith in yourself? The answer everyone is wanting to hear. Well, I am here to tell you. When you have faith in what you can do, you actually start doing it. You are able to start putting action to those words, “I have faith in myself.”

It can be hard for some to fathom the idea of not believing in oneself. But, it is hard for some people. I have known from time to time some who need a little reminder when things get tough. To believe in yourself is an amazing thing that we often take for granted. Doing what you thing you’re supposed to do out of obligation or out of necessity. For instance, getting an everyday job it’s great for some people. But, when you see someone in agony because they have to go to that 9-5 that they really don’t enjoy and doing it out of obligation. It can be heart breaking.

What makes it heart breaking is to have desires to do other things and to not actually follow through with trying to do what those desires are or to even explore the possibility of making changes for you to do them. 

Exploring oneself with those intimate desires that you have is worth all the pudding. I believe you have to give it a shot. You may never know what will come of it unless you try.

It is like one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible.

 

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen. Hebrews 11:1

I have stepped out in my faith in the Lord. Growing in his word daily is something I love to do. Reading the Bible for myself has helped me grow individually as a person. I have found that it helps me in my everyday living. It has given me a confidence that I have never had. I can’t speak on everyone. However, I know how it has helped me by believing in Him.

Yes, like so many others, different people have their interpretations of the Bible and that is for themselves to interpret. I am not here to go in to deep discussion on your faith in the Bible. But, I can tell you what I believe. What I feel as a society we should have more faith in the Lord and ourselves. Ultimately, it is your decision and how it would benefit your individual life.

In my everyday living, I stepped out in faith to try something different. Something I longed for as a child and never had the confidence to even think that me, I would be able to do. Wow. Right. I love to help others and I love to write. Hence, the lifestyle blog, the book for moms hoping to come out soon. I have different ideas that I can’t wait to explore. All because I have faith in myself.

What a concept right? Lol. It’s all apart of my Mind-Body-Spirit transformation for 2017.

What are you longing for? Are you looking to build in faith in yourself? How are you going about doing it? Let’s talk. Keep up with my Instagram for my inspirational quotes from the Bible.

#mbs2017

Isn’t Spring Break Irresistibly Fun?

My favorite time of year. The flowers are blooming. The sun is shinning and my kids are out on vacation! Not your usual spring break excitement. But, if you are like me, a parent with kids in school, they too get a spring break. It is our job to make sure it’s just as fun as any other break from school is.

Think about it. If you were on spring break from college, you want to relax, have some fun with your friends and do any and all things that do not represent school. Well, that’s why I always feel compelled to get my kids moving for spring break.

Never really considering this would make their time memorable when they were younger. As time went on, I realized that I have to be bold in helping them create memories of a lifetime.

Whether or not we go away for spring break or stay near home, I try to make their time fun and memorable. Some fun things that we like to do while we are on spring break are going to a local museum, the zoo and others.

I have always like to go to the museum. I love that my kids enjoy this with me. Some museums can be a little boring for younger children. I try to take them to one that is full of kid fun activities and exhibits.

One of our favorite museums is free to get in and full of different exhibits. Although, some exhibits do have a small fee for entry, it is still worth the price.

I like to say living in California everywhere you go is going to cost. If the venue is free to get in, you are paying a small fee for parking. It’s just the way of life here in Cali. Sad but true statement.

Some families like to venture out on spring break and go on a fabulous vacation for most of their time off. I say, hey if that’s how you roll, awesome!! Make those fabulous memories either way. Spending time with the family is what counts. Our kids are only young once, we have to cherish every little moment given to us.

Be blessed! Have a great spring break! I know I will enjoy our staycation!! Check out my IG for my fave staycation pics.

 

WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE YOUR FAVORITE BAND?

concert

Do you remember growing up and you heard a sound from a new group. A group that absolutely took you to your happy place? A place where you were dancing around like a wiggly worm. Hopefully, it was a wiggle worm with some rhythm. If it wasn’t, who cared!

You were young, full of energy and no cares in the world. As long as you had fun, that’s all that mattered. Right?

That is exactly how I felt about one particular R&B group, New Edition. I can almost remember the day I first heard them. But, I can’t. I do remember my continuing love of their sound. The lyrics, the melody, the boys.

Ha. Yes as a girl, who can deny the good-looking men in a group. Boys at the time of their stardom, it didn’t matter to a girl like me.

new-edition-80s
1980’s (Photo Credit: 93.9 the beat.com)

With Top Hits like

“Candy Girl” 1983

“Mr. Telephone Man” 1984

“Cool It Now” 1984

“N.E. Heart Break” 1988

“If It Isn’t Love” 1988

“Can You Stand the Rain” 1988

With others in between, the group separated and went on to different paths. Which spawned solo careers for Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill. Last but not least the group BBD which was formed of Ronnie DeVoe, Michael Bivins and Ricky Bell.

New Edition (Photo Credit: Live Nation)
New Edition (Photo Credit: Live Nation)

In 1996, the group came back together for a “Home Again” album. I was so excited. A loyal, I had to go out and purchase their CD. Being grown men, this album had their “grown and sexy”  hits like “Hit Me Off” and “How Do You Like Your Love Served?”

Too grown and sexy for me at as a teen about to turn 18. Who cared. Those were my men. You couldn’t tell me anything different.

In 2016, New Edition set off on tour with Baby Face. I was not going to miss this concert. New Edition had been to town prior to that. I missed that concert. Like anything else in LA, you have to jump on it immediately. At that time, I didn’t jump on it as fast as I should have.

 

new-edition-2016
My Husband & I at NE Concert 2016

Eager to attend, I grabbed my tickets for my husband and myself and I was off!! I was not prepared to feel the way I felt seeing my childhood boy band crush. I felt like I was a little girl all over again. OK, only in the sense of crushing on guys like I did when I was a kid.

Luckily, my husband didn’t mind a bit. Although, he probably would if I was face to face with any one of the group members.

img_0612
Episode “Hollywood At Last” (Photo Credit: I Love Lucy Pinterest)

 

 

Married and all, I would probably pull a “Lucy.”

You know, get all silly crazy behind a celebrity. Like pictured to the right. Lucy excited to be in Hollywood goes to the Brown Derby to see if she can spot a celebrity. Low and behold she spots her favorite actor Bill Holden.

But seriously, I don’t get that crazy.

I do enjoy attending a good concert from my favorite band.

New Edition has some exciting news. Their story will finally be told. Next week, New Edition’s story will be told on BET starting on Tuesday January 24th . In a three-part edition that will run Tuesday through Thursday.

You will believe my DVR is set to record.

The most exciting thing I find about listening to your favorite band is the reminiscing. Going back in time through song. A lot of memories can be link to a song. For example, your first kiss. What song was playing when this happened? Your first date with that special someone. The first time you met your future spouse. The song that reminds you of your grandmother.

Songs can be linked to all sorts of emotions, including the sad ones. The thing to remember is the joy that comes to all people through song. No matter what genre is your favorite, songs all produce an emotional connection between the artist and the listener.

How do you remember your first love of music?