How Tea Time Helps Me Stay Connected

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It was more than 2 years ago my husband and I moved to the Midwest. We were excited to head to a new place but leaving family was hard. Now, they live about 12 hours away. With our busy schedules it’s hard to stay in touch with family on a regular basis. As 2018 is about to start I decided I wanted to spend more time with my family. Even if it is over the phone.

Yesterday, I text my sister and scheduled an afternoon phone call with “tea time”. We both asked our husbands to watch the kids while we went into a quiet room to talk on the phone. My sister enjoyed a hot cup of Chai tea while I grabbed an afternoon cup of coffee. We talked on the phone for almost 3 hours. (We did not expect it to go that long). It was great. I loved just talking to her about what’s been going on.

My sister and I always enjoyed drinking coffee and talking ever since I can remember. When we lived in the same city I would go over to her house and talk all day. We even liked going out for Starbucks and making a girls day out of it. Sadly, those moments are far and few between these days. Again, the distance and the fact we’re raising kids of our own can make it difficult to spend time together.

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As I get older, I find myself seeing the real importance of life. People. I would trade everything to have more time with my family and friends. I also know we are not promised tomorrow. I want to make the best of each day. Last year, I struggled a lot with depression and anxiety. I had very few people who knew. Even fewer who reached out to  see how I was doing. Now that I am doing better I want to make sure the people that I love don’t go unnoticed. It’s so important for us to take the time to see others. To ask how they are doing. To stop and schedule some time to talk with a friend or family member.

That’s why in 2018 I hope to spend more quality time with family and friends. Even if it’s over the phone. By scheduling an hour to sit and talk is important to me. I’m hoping to add more of my friends and family to this new tradition. As my husband and I journey into becoming foster/adoptive parents I know we will need support. We will need to have strong relationships around us. No matter the distance.

What are some ways you stay in touch with family and friends? Is there someone you need to reach out to?

Leave your comments below. I want to hear from you.

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A Budget Friendly Way to Eat Healthy on the Road

It’s time for a pit stop. You’re half way through your road trip but you need something to eat. So you stop at the first fast food restaurant. You wish there was a healthier option but you get your second burger and fries of the trip. After you eat the meal you feel yucky. Heavy. And you’re still not at your destination. Here are some ways my family and I️ save money and eat healthy on the road.

Preparing meals for the road trip and meals while on vacation cost us $50 for 3 people. We also bought enough to feed 4 other adults and two more kids. Yes, we shop at Aldi. (If you don’t you should.)

1. Planning ahead. This is the most important step of the process. It’s easy to throw random food in your cooler but having a plan is key. One thing I️ do is prep our meals. For example, if you know you’ll need dinner then plan a dinner that is easy to eat and carry on the road. Here’s what I️ did. I️ made a can of soup and put it in a big thermos. Then I️ made a few PB&Js for me and my husband. It’s simple but not as heavy as fast food.

2. Prepare Your child’s meal. My daughter gets hungry on road trips. Food is about the only thing that keeps her mostly happy. So when it’s dinner time I️ don’t want to stop and make a sandwich in a random parking lot. I️ want to pull it out and hand it to her. For my daughter I️ put Chicken, crackers, strawberries, bell peppers and a cheese stick in a plastic container with a lid. I also added a fork. It’s easy to feed the little ones. Especially in cars. It cuts down on the mess.

3. Lots of Snacks. Snacks can help you stay focused on the road. But filling up on greasy potato chips or candy is not the healthiest or the cheapest. For our trip I️ packed some bell peppers with guacamole. I️ like the individual Guacamole packs because it’s great for portion control and travels well. Another snack is carrots and hummus. I️ use these tiny containers I️ used to store my daughters baby food in. Now, they make containers for hummus or peanut butter.

4. Hassle- Free Transporting. There is food that needs to stay cold and there are the snacks and dry food. A great way to transport dry food without a ton of grocery bags is putting it in one large plastic tub with a lid. When you start to unload, it will be easier to move and get to.

My husband and I️ were in need of a cooler. We planned on buying one from Amazon for $25 but we didn’t have time. My husband dropped off some donations before we left. While he was there he found a cooler. For $8. It was the perfect size to put the turkey and other cold items in. Plus I️ hate styrofoam coolers because they squeak the whole road trip.

5. Milk for little ones. We always bring a full carton of almond milk for our daughter. But we don’t need all of it while driving. So I️ put enough for two cup refills in a mason jar. It stays tightly sealed and is easy to find. I️ just stick it in our cooler picnic basket.

6. Easy access. When you want snacks, the last thing you want to do is search for them. Instead, you can place them in a plastic container where they can be reached by everyone. It’s quick and easy. Not to mention safer when it comes to distracted driving.

What are some ways you eat healthyon the road?

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8 Ways To Not Overeat Thanksgiving Dinner

IMG_0275Thanksgiving is next week and I bet you’re already thinking about the yummy food. All while worried you may throw your “new eating lifestyle” out the window. Instead of worrying about overeating, here are some tips to take with you to Thanksgiving Dinner.

  1. Eat before: If you’re having a mid-day lunch or dinner, make sure you eat before. Don’t skip breakfast in hopes to have more room for food. It will cause you to gorge yourself later. Eat a healthy breakfast. Also a snack and maybe lunch depending on what time the meal is. That way you’re not regretting the amount of food you consume.
  2. Eat smaller portions: I use this tip in my every day life. Instead of grabbing the big dinner plate. Grab the small to medium plate. This will allow you to keep your portions small. Especially, if you want to taste everything available. So when your eyes are bigger than your stomach you can actually enjoy the meal. I would say do the same with desserts. You can still taste all of the pies but make sure to keep them at a small portion. Remember, a little goes a long way.
  3. Don’t stand near the food: A lot of times we all gather around the buffet of food and have conversations with our friends and family. So when someone else is talking you start snacking in between. Instead, take the conversation to the living room. Relax and enjoy time with your family.
  4. Go for a walk: A great way to burn off your Thanksgiving meal before getting dessert is going for a walk around the block. This could be great time to talk more with family you haven’t seen in a while. And get away from those driving you crazy. Include the kids as well. Maybe ride bikes together. Anything to get you moving while growing closer with your loved ones.
  5. Workout before the Thanksgiving meal: If the meal is later in the day then it’s a perfect time to grab a quick workout before you leave. It doesn’t even have to be long. A 30 minute HIIT workout would be great. Especially for all of those cooking Thanksgiving this year.
  6. Drink water: A good rule of thumb I follow is drinking water with my meal. Sometimes I’ll even drink a big glass before. That causes me to fill up quickly while maintaining my portions. You can always grab that glass of wine later. But for dinner stick with water. You will eat less and stay hydrated.
  7. Bring a healthy dish or dessert: This is a perfect way to make sure there is something remotely healthy at your Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, it’s the time where you eat all things unhealthy. But you can incorporate healthy foods that taste just as good. Maybe even bring a healthier dessert than Pecan Pie. That way you can share a new recipe with family and make sure something healthy gets on your plate.
  8. Enjoy your meal: Thanksgiving is about coming together with the ones you love. So don’t stress too much about the food. You can eat that slice of pie, but just be smart about it. Life is short. Enjoy the amazing foods that come with this holiday. As long as you use these tricks then you’ll find yourself happy about the choices you made. Not regretting every calorie you ate.

What are some things you do to make sure you don’t overeat on Thanksgiving?

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