Our No Spend Month: Two Weeks In.

Open Late Christmas

Hi there, my sweet sweet friends! I hope the first two weeks of 2018 have treated you well. I’m sure a lot of you are wondering how we’ve been holding up during our no Spend challenge. I’ll be honest with you, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it definitely hasn’t gone the way I planned. However, I’ve learned a lot these past two weeks and I’m looking forward to finishing this challenge on a positive note.

So what exactly went wrong? Well, the simplest explanation would be that we spent money when we weren’t supposed to. In the past, I probably would have just given up. I would have felt defeated, and probably would have never attempted a no Spend challenge again. This time, I decided to practice what I preach and just roll with it.

So here’s what happened. First, Walter had to have some blood work done (don’t worry he’s fine, I’ll be writing about this soon), so Tyler and I decided to treat him with a trip to the children’s museum. While we were out, we got lunch with my mother. Now, I could have used this opportunity to save money like I was supposed to. I could have easily told my mother that we couldn’t go to lunch because we weren’t spending money this month, but I didn’t. I chose to hang out with my mom instead of saving thirty bucks, and I’m glad we did it. Like I said, I could have easily said no, or we could have done something free but we didn’t. I’ve chosen not to beat myself up about. 2018 is all about being patient with myself.

Our second exception to our no Spend challenge was buying supplements for Walter. Recently we discovered Walter has some demineralization on his two front teeth. In order to combat this issue, Tyler and I have decided to try to remineralize his teeth with a homemade toothpaste, and some small changes to his diet. If you’re interested in our toothpaste recipe, and the exact supplements Walter will be on make sure you check back next week. I’ll be writing a post all about it.

If you decided to join us during our no Spend month, I’d love to hear how it’s going. Feel free to leave me a comment here or on my Instagram! I’ll be doing a full recap of the month, and going over exactly what I’ve learned from the experience at the end of the month. Make sure you subscribe so you get an email notification every time I make a post!

Until next time. I’m sending you lots of love, and all the positive vibes.

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Overcoming my Smart Phone Addiction

All the Joy of Plaid

Recently I noticed my son starting to act out. He would walk over and smack our television, or snatch my phone out of my hand. At first, this really irritated me. Then I took a second to think about why he had developed these new behaviors, he was acting out because he felt like I was ignoring him.

I know that this is a touchy subject, and I know that there are people who will think I’m crazy because I (kind of) gave up the internet for five days. Trust me, I’m not one of those people that thinks technology is evil and is destroying the world as we know it. However, I do believe it can turn us into people that we don’t want to be. I know that technology, my phone, in particular, helps me fill empty space. It’s the first thing I reach for when I’m bored, feeling uncomfortable, or just don’t know what else I should be doing. Honestly, there are times I reach for my phone for no reason, I just picked it up to mindlessly scroll through Facebook. I’m not trying to say that it’s a problem for everyone, but for me, smart phone addiction was truly an issue. That’s why I decided to give it up for a week (a work week of course).

I’ll be honest, I didn’t give my phone up completely. I’m too much of a baby for that. I still allowed myself some screen time, although it was extremely limited. I told myself I could still text, or call people. Mainly because I have a son, and if something were to happen to him I’ll need to be reached quickly. And, because I have a full-blown addiction, and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to function without my phone at all. I also allowed myself to access Youtube. If you’ve read my post about my autistic burnout, you’ll know that I consider Youtube one of my stims. It’s extremely important for me to be able to deal with my anxiety in a healthy way, and watching Youtube videos helps me do that. So, I allowed myself to continue to watch YouTube but only under certain circumstances. I could only watch it if my son was asleep for the night, or I couldn’t control my anxiety with another form of stimming. Other than that, I had no access to my phone. Now I’m sure you guys are thinking “what the hell, she didn’t give up much!”, and you’re kind of right. I could still text and call people and I could still enjoy Youtube. However, I didn’t allow myself access to Facebook, Instagram, or another form of social media. Some may see that as a small victory, and that okay.

I do want to make it perfectly clear that I never intended to give up social media, or my phone forever. I wanted this experiment to be a learning experience for me, and it was just that. I learned a lot about myself over the last five days, and I’m incredibly proud and ashamed of myself all at the same time. I’m ashamed that I ever let my phone control so much of my life. I’m ashamed that I allowed my phone to change the way I interacted with my son. However, I’m proud that I was able to put my ego aside and realize when I had a problem. I’m also very proud that I didn’t slip up, not even for a second 😊. I’m hoping that some of you reading this will take my advice, and go on a technology detox yourselves. I think I could do us all some good, to step away from all our distractions for a little bit.

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So, here’s what I learned.

I can get a lot of Sh*t done without my phone.

This one actually surprised me a lot. I never realized how much time I spent staring at my phone. All this week I was able to get myself, my son ready, and be out the door ahead of schedule. That was something that never happened before. I would wake up, and immediately grab my phone and be stuck in a trance until about ten minutes before I had to leave. I would always complain about how I never had enough time to do anything when in reality I was just using my time to check my Instagram feed. If there’s one habit I keep from this past week, I’ll be not looking at my phone in the morning. Giving up my screen time in the morning alleviated a lot of the anxiety I felt throughout the day. I realized that having a smoother start to my day changed my entire attitude.

I Spend a lot of time curating moments.

Now I know I’m not the only guilty one here. How many of you find yourself trying to capture beautiful moments of your kid with your phone? Spoiler alert, the answer is all of you. OF course, you want to get that really cute picture of your kid, who doesn’t? You’re trying to capture a memory, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not telling you to stop taking pictures, or videos of moments you want to remember forever. I’m simply encouraging you to participate in some of those moments as well.  Let someone else take the pictures, or hell, get really wild and don’t take any photos at all. Be present. Live in the moment. Focus on the here and now.

I was able to make real connections with people again.

This is something that I really struggled with. I allowed my phone to put up a wall between me and other people. I’m socially awkward, and sometimes being around people makes me really uncomfortable. Therefore, I find it incredibly difficult to interact with people. Without knowing it, I used my phone to combat this issue Whenever I was uncomfortable or didn’t know what to say I would start scrolling on my phone. Not having my phone this week forced me to learn a new coping skill. I either interacted with the people around me or sat in awkward silence without using my phone as a crutch.

I had FOMO like a MOFO

This was honestly the thing I struggled with most. I’m a little embossed to admit that I actually had anxiety attacks because I was afraid of missing out. I no longer had that instant access to information the way I had before. It made me feel very disconnected from the world…at first. Then a realized that 99.9% of the crap I looked at on Facebook, or Instagram was pointless.

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I know that this isn’t for everyone, but I’m hoping some of you will decide to take back some of the power you’ve lost through your phone. I know that I’m going to make a conscious effect to keep my phone face down when I’m with others. I’m going to start making meaningful connections again, and I encourage you to do the same.

See ya next time!

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I’m Just an Okay Mom.

 

REAL MOMI haven’t posted in two weeks; sorry about that. I’ve been going back and forth with myself, trying to decide if I want to post this at all. However, I think it’s important to be honest with you guys. I think it’s even more important that I’m honest with myself, so here it goes. I’m not perfect. I’m not a perfect person, I’m not a perfect partner, I’m not a perfect mother and I’m okay with that.

So, to the moms who feel crappy  because their kid’s lunch wasn’t Pinterest worthy, or because they missed a parent-teacher conference, trust me we’ve all been there. To the mom’s who are about week behind on laundry and had to send their kid to the sitter’s wearing a dirty shirt, don’t freak out cause I’ve been there too mama. To the mom’s who have ever felt like a crappy mom just because they’re stressed and need some space, know that you’re not alone.

I know this post was short, I know this probably wasn’t what most of you were expecting.  So many people refuse to tell it like it is, especially when it comes to parenthood. It’s because people are afraid of what others will think. It’s because people are afraid of being thought of as a bad parent. Well, I’m over it. The truth is, being a parent can be the most incredible (and I mean truly incredible) experience, but sometimes it kinda sucks.

Like I said in the beginning, I’m here to be honest with you guys. I’m not aspiring to be the greatest at anything, I’m just doing the very best I can. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point in my life. I’m finally comfortable enough with myself to say, I’m the world’s “okayest” mom…and I’m fine with it.

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Being Present

 

GUIDE (1)I usually try to post a new blog post at least once a week, but often life gets in the way. Things don’t always work out the way I want them to, and I’m slowly learning to be okay with that. So as much as I wanted to get a blog post up, it just didn’t happen. I won’t lie, at first, I stressed about it. Then, I decided to practice what I preach. I decided to be gentle with myself, to give myself grace, and to allow things to happen the way they happened.

Taking the week off showed me a lot about myself, and the things that trigger my anxiety. It also showed me that, like most, I make progress, and end up getting knocked three steps back. It’s no secret I’ve been on a journey of self-healing, and self-discovery. I’ve talked about it countless times before. Throughout my journey, I’ve learned to take the end with the downs. So, even though last week was filled with anxiety and negative thought, I’m choosing to put it behind me. I’m choosing to move on, to continue to grow, and to heal.

Of course, I wouldn’t feel like myself if I didn’t share some tips with all of you 😊. I hope you find them helpful when you feel like life is becoming too much.

  1. Stay in the present moment.

I know, I know, I talk about this all the time! I’m sure some of you are sick of hearing it, but it’s so important to remember. There’s no rule that says you must be doing a million things at once. If you can stay focused on what’s happening right now, you don’t have to be concerned with tomorrow just yet. Simply take one step at a time. Observe your current situation, and engage with it in a way that’s best for your wellbeing.

  1. Find beauty in every moment. Even the ones that suck.

I’ll be honest, I’m not the best at this. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in negative thought, but it’s so incredibly difficult to drag yourself out of it. I think the important thing is that I try my hardest to see beauty in everything. Don’t get me wrong, I have days where I’m a negative Nancy. However, I try to no allow myself to be consumed with negativity anymore.

There is beauty in breaking your arm, if you’re open to seeing it. Choose possibility, choose beauty, choose to learn, choose to have an open mind, and more importantly choose to have an open heart.

  1. Embrace the surprises in life.

This is my final tip, and probably the hardest thing for me to do myself. Try to go into every situation with as few preconceived ideas as possible. Allow things to just happen, and then roll with it. When we think we know exactly how something is going to happen, we cloud that experience with a ready-made attitude. Simply let life unfold, and give yourself a break from trying to have it all figured out.

A perfect example of me embracing life’s surprises would be this past weekend. I had planned to write this blog post on Saturday, instead, I ended up taking a little road trip with my mother, my partner, and Walter. I could have said no. I could have told my mom we were busy, and just stayed home. I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m so glad, I decided to roll with one of life’s unexpected moments. I ended up having a great time with my family, and I would have missed that opportunity had I not been open to it.

I’ll end things with some pictures from our spontaneous family road trip. Enjoy, and don’t forget to take time to actually live life!

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18 before 2018

 

blogger-photo-2249560_960_720Hi my sweet sweet friends! I’m so glad to be back. First and foremost I’d like to thank everyone who checked on me during my break. For those of you who don’t know I took a much need break in July to focus on my family and our big move. We’ve finally settled into our new place ( a home tour coming soon) and things are much less hectic than before. Also, I took this time to do a little site revamp. I hope you noticed 😉

This post is inspired by the lovely Lisa Jacobs You can find her blog post here.

Anyway, Today I’m listing 18 goals I want to accomplish before 2018. I created my list by writing down everything I wanted/needed to get done before the year ended. Then I organized that into eighteen major goals I’d like to accomplish.

A few things you should keep in mind while making your list

  • Do you have any unfinished business to attend to so you can end this year on a good note?
  • What needs to happen in order for you to accomplish your goals?
  • Don’t stretch yourself too thin. The objective here is to work on goals that are actually achievable RIGHT NOW.
  • Some projects just need to be let go of, so you can focus more on the things you want in your life.

Here’s My 18 before 2018

  1.  Be Present

I made this the first thing on my list because it’s so important to me. So many of us are focused on things that just don’t matter in the long run. I’m letting go of that and channeling all of my energy into being 100% focused on the things that are important to me. My family, my friends, my self-care and all the little things in between.

2.  Start a Youtube Channel

This is something I’ve wanted to do for so long. Now it’s no longer on the back burner.

3. Monthly Dates with my partner

These have been practically nonexistent since we’ve had our son. Now I’m making them a priority.

4. Decorate for the holidays

This may sound silly to some, this will be the first year we’re in our own home as a family. I love homes decked out for the holidays, so this year I’m making it happen

5. Create a budget…and stick to it

This seems pretty self-explanatory.

6. Take more walks

I never spend enough time outside. I work full time, and more often than not I’m dead tired when I come home. Usually, the last thing I want to do is go for a walk, but spending time outside is so grounding and always relaxes me. So I’m planning to walk at least 15 minutes a day.

7. Reduce my mindless screen time

Recently I’ve noticed I’m spending a lot more time mindlessly scrolling on Instagram, or Facebook. I open the app to look one thing, and then 30 minutes go by and I’m still scrolling. I don’t allow my son to have screen time for this very reason. I didn’t want him to become addicted to it. Now I’m limiting my screen time, and spending more time doing the things I love.

8. Read a least one book

Again this might sound silly to some of you, but those of you with kids will understand. It can be incredibly difficult to find time for yourself, especially if you have a toddler like I do.

9. Start a bullet journal

Okay, if you have no idea what a bullet journal is, go google it now! One of my goals for 2017 was to get more organized. Well, that never happened, until now! Currently, I’m setting up my first spreads in my bullet journal, and I can’t wait for it to change my life 😉

10. Increase my content output

Blogging is something I’ve always wanted to do. I fell off the wagon for a while, but I’m excited to get things going again and to see where things take me.

11. Buy a coffee table for my living room

I mentioned this before, but we recently moved into our first family home. A super tiny one bedroom apartment. Just about all of our things were gifted to us, so buying a coffee table will be our first “big” purchase together.

12. De-clutter my wardrobe

Over the past year, I’ve been learning more and more about minimalism, and I’ve discovered that I have so many things I just don’t need. So the first major area I’m de-cluttering is my closet. If it doesn’t fit, I haven’t worn it in years, or it just doesn’t bring me joy I’m getting rid of it.

13. Take better care of myself

Becoming a mother is the greatest thing to ever happen to me. However, I feel like I lost myself to motherhood. I worried so much about my son I forgot about myself. My goal now is to take better care of myself whether that means I’m getting my nails done once a week, or just drinking a cup of coffee by myself. I’m making myself a priority again.

14. Listen to more podcasts

I LOVE PODCASTS! If you’ve never listened to a podcast seriously you’re missing out. The amount of information I’ve learned from podcasts is astounding. I’m absolutely obsessed.

15. Connect more to my faith

This is something I’ve struggled with a lot recently. I often make excuses for myself and say I don’t have time for faith. This lack of faith has directly affected my emotional well being and I’m ready for a change.

16. Create a gratitude log

I’ll admit, I’m a complainer. I often become hyper focused on the things going wrong in my life and it makes it impossible to see all the things that are going right. To combat this issue every day, I’m going to write down one thing I’m grateful for. At the end of the year, I’ll have an amazing list of all the good things in my life.

17. Spend more time with friends

I can be a pretty antisocial person. I find it hard to connect with people face to face and if I’m being honest people give me a great deal of anxiety. Because of this, I have a hard time showing my friends I actually care about them.

18. Gain at least 5 lbs

If you know me, you know for the last few months I’ve been struggling a lot with weight loss. I’ve started to feel really uncomfortable in my own skin, and in order to remedy this, I’ll be making a  conscious effect to track what I’m eating and to packing on the pounds 💪.

If I’m being honest I’m a little stressed about the sheer size of some of these goals. Nonetheless, I’m excited and ready for the challenge! What are some of the goals you’d like to accomplish before the new year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or tag me on Instagram @theholisticbee

xoxo

Destiny