25 Fabulous Fall Finds on Amazon

I’ve done a lot of the hard work for you! Here are 25 Fabulous Fall Finds on Amazon to get you ready for Autumn!

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25 fabulous fall amazon finds

Yay! It’s fall, y’all. I adore Fall. It’s my favorite season and I love to decorate and get into the Fall season. Today, I’m rounding up 25 Fabulous Fall Finds on Amazon. Many of these items I have personally bought myself and others are on my wish list for this year. I’ve done a lot of the hard work for you by putting some of the best items here in one place.

Click on the link or picture to purchase!

25 Fabulous Fall Amazon Finds

1. Fall Plaid Blanket Scarf

It wouldn’t’ be Fall without donning the perfect Fall accessory – a plaid Fall scarf. Sweater weather calls for it. This beautiful plaid blanket scarf is just a mere $12.99 and comes in a variety of plaid shades.

2. Fall “Hello Pumpkin” Doormat

There is nothing quite so pretty and inviting as a Fall porch. Make an entrance statement with this cute “Hello, Pumpkin” Door Mat. I love the look of layered doormats particularly with a black buffalo plaid mat underneath.

3. Fall Olive Wreath

If you’re looking for a more natural look, this Olive Wreath is beautiful and classy. I think it pairs really well with a Buffalo Plaid layered door mat. This one has some of the better reviews and retails for $49.99 and is Prime eligible.

4. Rae Dunn Inspired Mug

Rae Dunn without the price? Yes, please. This super cute “Sweater Weather” mug is not eligible for Amazon prime, but its only $8.95 and has FREE shipping. I totally bought one for my sipping my pumpkin lattes this year. You could also use it to decorate a Farmhouse tiered tray.

5. Buffalo Check Table Runner

It wouldn’t be a Fall dining table without a gorgeous black and white buffalo plaid runner. The best part? It’s under $10! They also have it in grey check, orange and black check and even red and black check for Christmas time. My dining table looks adorable with it!

6. Buffalo Plaid Throw Pillows

Yes, more plaid. Can you tell I love it? These cute plaid throw pillows come in variety of sizes from 16×16″ to 26×26″ and a variety of shades including red and black for Christmas. What’s nice is that they come as a pair and they are just $10.99!

7. Pumpkin Patch Pillow Cover Set

If plaid isn’t you’re thing, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. I found this super cute set of Fall Farmhouse Pillow Covers. It’s just the pillow covers (not the inserts) and comes in 18×18″ for just $18.99 for 4 different coordinating covers.

8. Wooden Welcome Porch Sign

I’ve seen this floating all over Pinterest and I love it. It’s a cute wooden “welcome” sign for the porch. Just lean it near the front door. So cute. It would look great with pumpkins and that Hello Pumpkin doormat. Just sayin! It retails for $59.99 which is the same price I’ve seen on Etsy.

9. Fall Burlap Bunting

Seriously, bunting is the quickest way to make anything feel festive. That’s why I love this Fall Burlap Bunting. You can hang it across your mantle, over your dining or entertaining area, even take it outside for Fall entertaining. Just $10.99 and Prime eligible.

10. Galvanized “Gather” Sign

I love my galvanized gather sign. It’s one of the first things you see when you walk through my front door and I’ve received several compliments. The sign measures 23.5×11″ and is $19.99.

11. Double Sided Letter Board

I’m in love with this double sided letter board, y’all! I love having mine up. Every day I put a inspirational quote, mantra or funny saying. It also makes a great prop for photos on Facebook and Instagram. This one has a rustic farmhouse look and comes with some modern calligraphy letters and letters in white and gold. So pretty!

12. Wooden Nesting Crates

These cute Fall nesting crates are great for all kinds of things. Obviously, you can use them for decor around the house and filling with Fall florals and objects. But they also make a great photo prop in Fall photos. Since these are white, you can use them all year round.

13. Resin Thankful & Blessed Pumpkin

How cute is this? I found this beautiful Thankful & Blessed resin pumpkin and I’m totally getting it! I love the beautiful gold modern calligraphy! Just $18 and Prime eligible.

14. Rustic Pillar Candle Holders

I love these rustic wooden pillar candle holders. These are so cute on a coffee table, mantle or even on your dining table. It comes as a set of 3 in varying heights and is $31.63 on Prime.

15. Copper Moscow Mule Mugs

I love my set of copper Moscow Mule mugs. Yes, they’re typically for an amazing Moscow Mule cocktail, but I’ve used them to serve guests all kinds of things like hot chocolate, hot toddies, and warm apple cider. They’re always festive and charming. This comes as a set of 4 and are the classic hammered style.

16. Warm Fairy Lights

About a year ago, I discovered how to decorate with fairy lights and these warm fairy lights are one of my favorites. These are waterproof so you can even use them outdoors for an occasion. I like using them on my mantle and twirling them inside my mercury glass pumpkins. So pretty! This is 33 ft (100 lights).

17. Crocheted Boot Cuffs

One thing I love about Fall? Boots!! And who doesn’t love some cute boot cuffs to go with them? These crocheted boot cuffs come as a set of four in neutral colors – black, grey, cream, and beige. They offer different sets too. Some have button accents, tassels and different crochet patterns. They stretchy so they work with both short and long boots. Adorbs! Just $15.99 for the set of four.

18. Hunter Snow Boots

Speaking of boots – it’s boot season and one of my favorites is Hunter snow boots. These boots are great not just for snow, but for wet weather. They have a rubber sole for slip resistance. I love the classic black, but I have to admit that the Hunter Green version is my favorite!

19. Orange Fall Throw Blanket

The hubby and I love cuddling up by the fire in the fall and having a soft throw blanket is a must. If you need to refresh your throw blankets we love this super soft orange throw blanket which comes in seven different colors.

20. Farmhouse Blanket Ladder

What a cute way to showcase those beautiful Fall throw blankets than with this gorgeous rustic farmhouse blanket ladder. Just lean against the wall with a favorite throw.

21. Buffalo Plaid Apron

One of the things I love about Fall is all the amazing comfort food! So why not look cute making it? I bought this beautiful buffalo plaid apron. Whether you’re entertaining or just want to protect your clothes while you cook or clean, this apron is adorable. It actually comes in seven different plaid colors and it’s just $13 on Prime.

22. Wooden Candle Lantern

Because you can never have enough candles going in the Fall, I discovered this cute neutral colored wooden candle lantern. This makes a great addition to any table or mantle. But this lantern is suitable for both indoor and outdoor decor.

23. Eucalyptus Silk Garland

Eucalyptus is such a versatile botanical. I love using it during the Fall. This pretty eucalyptus silk garland is beautiful on a buffalo plaid or burlap runner. Just add cream pumpkins and candles for an instant elegant Fall tablescape.

24. Burlap Ruffle Placemats

These sweet burlap ruffle placemats almost look like chargers. They are a beautiful addition to a Fall dining table yet versatile enough to use throughout the year. These burlap ruffle placemats come in three different sizes up to 20″

25. Thankful Wooden Pallet Sign

This lovely “Thankful” sign is great to nestle into your Fall decor. It’s roughly 24″ x 7″ and is on solid pine.

That’s it! Those are my favorite top 25 fabulous Fall finds on Amazon. I hope you have a wonderful Fall. Be sure to tune in late November for my favorite Christmas Amazon finds! Until next time.

20 Life Hacks For Busy Moms

Life on the struggle bus is rough, but there are some things that can make life easier. Here are 20 life hacks for busy moms.

20 life hacks for busy moms

Hey there, mama! I feel how busy you are. There is so much to do and not enough hours in the day. We’re always looking for ways to save us time and energy. Am I right? So today, I’m sharing 20 things, small hints and tips that have helped me in the past. Maybe some of these aren’t new to you. If so, congratulations on figuring this stuff out before me! But if you’re a struggling mama like me maybe these things will help you get through the day. Here are 20 life hacks for busy moms.

20 Life Hacks for Busy Moms

1. Disposable Placemats

I was first introduced to these things at Chick-fil-A. Then I discovered Amazon sold these in packs. These were amazing for me as a busy mom, which suddenly create any surface in a clean eating space when I was on-the-go. (Yes, even at restaurants. I don’t trust the rags they use to wipe down tables). I’ve always stashed these in the car and diaper bag.

2. Online Grocery Ordering

I’m a Texas gal and we have the best supermarket ever, H-E-B. That said, their online grocery ordering system has literally changed my life. First, I find myself buying less because I can see how much I’m spending when I add stuff to the cart, but I found it also stopped a lot of impulsive buys. Lots of grocery stores are following suit and getting into the online ordering game. Even Target, Wal-mart, and Sams Club now offer curbside or online pick-up-in-store ordering. If you haven’t checked out Shipt, they offer a delivery service from stores in your area.

3. Norwex

Let me introduce you to your new best friend – Norwex. Norwex is a brand of green cleaning products. It’s the best cleaning product you’ll ever use. Best of all, all you need is water. NO CHEMICALS! The special silver infused microfiber is designed to pick up bacteria once and for all. You’ll never go back to Clorox wipes again! All the products are enviro friendly because they are reusable and sustainable. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars over the last two years because I’m no longer using toxic commercial cleaning chemicals around my family.

But hey, don’t take my word for it. Just check out some of the amazing demonstration videos on YouTube.

You can purchase Norwex through independent sales consultants, directly through their website or even through Amazon. This was a game changer, y’all! Here are some of my favorite Norwex products.

4. iRobot Roomba

I admit. I was skeptical when my husband first suggested getting one of these. Certainly, I thought it would do a terrible job and have no real suction power. Boy was I wrong. My hubby surprised me with one for Christmas a couple of years ago and let me tell you – it’s impressive!

As it vacuums your house, it learns the layout of your house and will become even more efficient the more you use it. It has a downloadable app where you can schedule cleaning. I love to set it when I leave the house with the kids. I come back and the house is vacuumed!It has a soft rubber all the way around so it won’t damage the bottom of furniture. In addition, it automatically adjusts it’s height so it can go from carpet to hard flooring without any problems! It even detects stairs and steps. Also, it moves around objects that it bumps into. It’s self-charging meaning it heads back to the docking station when the battery is low. For the mama who doesn’t have time to clean, this is worth every penny!

5. Command Hooks on The High Chair

All you have to do is apply a large command hook on the back of the high chair and hook your bibs so you always have them at hand when you’re serving your little one.

command hooks

6. Potty Pads

Potty training is so much fun, I can’t wait to do it again with baby #2. I lie. Potty training is a nightmare and I’d rather have my head sewn into the carpet than do that again. That said, I found something that really helped. One of the hardest things to do is to get your toddler to stay seated on the potty. They don’t want to sit still and you’ll resort to anything, including bribery to get them to stay seated. That said, accidents happen.

I can’t count how many accidents we had early on. From standing up too early to simply not telling me when he needed to go, we had lots of pee accidents on our floors. Trust me, after you’ve mopped the floor for the fifth time in one day, these things will look awesome to you. It saves your furniture from urine and from you mopping all day long. Puppy training pads. Just put them under your toddler to catch accidents without all the awful clean up.

7. The Instant Pot

Maybe you’ve heard of the Instant Pot and don’t know what it is. Well, let me introduce this amazing whatchamacallit to you. It’s basically an electric pressure cooker and pressure cookers allow you to cook food very quickly and efficiently. It’s like if a microwave and a slow cooker had a baby. You get the amazing tenderness of a slow cooker, but 2 to 10 times faster than a conventional oven. Unlike a microwave it doesn’t dry out food or make it hard. What is really nice is it’s programable so you’re cooking things properly. Most of them also function as a slow cooker or just keep things warm as well.

If you’re looking for great recipes, take a look at my Pinterest board filled with loads of Instapot recipes.

8. Freezer Meals

I did this when I had my first baby and I’ve been doing it ever since. Freezer meals! There are lots of casseroles and dump dinners you can freeze and dump into the oven or crockpot on a busy night where you don’t have time for a lot of kitchen prep. Instead of eating out, you can still offer your family a home cooked meal. A lot of times when I make things like chicken pot pie, lasagna or enchiladas, I make two batches. One for that night and one to freeze. I can’t tell you how many nights they come in handy.

Take a look at my Pinterest board for ideas on Freezer meals.

9. Amazon Subscribe & Save

Make life easier with Amazon subscribe and save. If you are an Amazon Prime customer, this makes a lot of sense to do. You can automatically set up regular subscriptions to things you use all the time. Things like paper towels, toilet paper, Goldfish crackers, diapers, wipes, coffee pods, etc can be delivered right to your door on a schedule. Setting this can up saves you both time and money. Lighten your grocery load and let Amazon do some of the work for you!

10. Restaurant Busy Bag

Please tell me I’m not the only mamas whose kids suddenly decide to get fussy, moody, and full of energy any time we decide to have a nice dinner out at a restaurant. With my oldest son we struggled to enjoy dinners out. Then I decided to create a restaurant busy bag. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of busy bags. its just a bag you have full of small toys or activities that keep your kid busy by themselves. So I made one just for eating out and it was a life saver. You can see how I made ours here.

how to make a restaurant busy bag

11. Pacifier Clips

My oldest was so addicted to his pacifier. These things are so gross. They fall between seats, on the floor, etc. They get so dirty and you are constantly washing them off. Did I mention they get lost? Like all the time. But I found something that really helped. Pacifier clips. These little things helped us so much and minimized all the washing and hunting for pacifiers.

12. Door Latch Cover

There are times when you might need to check on your little one face to face instead of using a monitor. I don’t know why, but my boys would immediately startle themselves awake no matter how quiet I was turning the door knob. Before the door was open they’d be standing at attention at the end of the crib. So much for the rest of nap time! That’s where these door latch covers are a godsend. Hook it to both door knobs and it holds the latch back so the door makes no sound when it’s opened!

13. Car Seat Lap Table

Okay, I found this when my son was about 2 ½ and it was a game changer for us on our road trips. This handy dandy disk straps around the car seat to turn it into a portable table. This was great for keeping his little hands busy. He could play, color, and eat in the car all without ever leaving his seat. If you spend a lot of time on the road, I can’t recommend it enough.

14. The Potette

One of the most nerve wracking things when you first potty train your little one is being on the road for a long period of time without a potty. Suddenly trips across town or road trips seem impossible. That is where the lovely Potette comes in handy. This awesome potty chair is completely portable. This is great for storing in your car for potty emergencies. Best of all, it comes with disposable liners. So you can throw their “business” in a trashcan when they are done. It’s a lifesaver on long road trips.

15. Rubber Band Baby Proofing

I too have spend lots of money on baby proofing products, but I’ve also learned that having some spare hair ties or rubber bands around is super useful. Slip rubber bands around cabinet knobs and other things so your baby can’t open it. My favorite use? For toilet paper. It makes is harder for them to unravel the roll.

toilet paper

16. Mattress Pad & Sheet Layering

I don’t know what mama came up with this one, but I could kiss her. I can’t even remember where I saw this, but early in my mom journey I came across this nifty little bedding trick. You layer your baby’s crib mattress with a crib sheet, then a waterproof mattress protector then another fitted crib sheet. If you have a terrible poop-splosion or vomiting in the middle of the night, you can whip these off in the dark and have clean sheet ready in a flash without having to turn on lights and wake your child up further.

17. Pacifier Medicine Dispenser

My little one hated taking medicine, but then who could blame him. Most baby and toddler medication comes with this syringe and you awkwardly squirt it into their mouth. It was always a fight until I found this. This is just an ordinary pacifier except it has a vial to dispense medication through it so it isn’t a traumatizing syringe. For mamas who are at their wits end, this might help. It did for us.

18. Mess Free Baby Art

I did this with both my kids when they were around a year old. Put a piece of paper in a large gallon zip lock bag. Squirt some tempera paint and close up the bag. Tape it to the high chair and let your little one smear it and mix it within the bag. I used to love doing this activity when I was busy making dinner. It kept my little one occupied and bought me a few minutes and I didn’t have to worry about a mess to clean up.

19. The Yeti

I’m an avid coffee drinker. Since I’ve been a mom, the Yeti has been awesome. First, as a mom, you rarely get to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee while it is still hot. But now you can keep it warm even if it takes you a while to drink it. The Yeti is the best hot thermos I’ve found. But here is the clincher! I’ve also used it to keep water warm for formula feeding and I’ve even kept chicken nuggets warm for my kiddo while we were out of the house. The Yeti is great!

20. Keep Your Fridge Clean with Bins

I’m gonna share a secret. I’ve finally figured out how to keep my fridge clean. I use bins. How many times have you opened up the fridge to discover something has dripped all over the fridge? It’s over all the shelves and somehow manages to find its way all the way under the veggie and fruit bins. Suddenly, everything has to come out and you are washing every crevice with hot soapy water.

I found these bins. Not only do they keep all my food grouped and organized but if anything spills it catches it in the little bin instead of escaping all over the fridge. Here is a sneak peek into my own fridge. It cuts down on how often I need to remove, soak and scrub the shelves and drawers.

That’s it. 20 Life Hacks for Busy Moms. I’d love to hear about the things that have helped you. Have you learned any tricks? Don’t forget to PIN this post or share with a mama who needs it!

5 Fall Printables to Help You Decorate

Decorating for Fall just got easier than ever with these 5 Fall printables to help you decorate now available in the My Beautiful Mess Etsy shop.

5 fall printables to help you decorate

I love Fall. It’s actually my favorite season. The crunchy leaves. Warm fires. Pumpkin Spice everything. Yes, please. Decorating for Fall is one of my favorite things. On September 1, I’m ready to throw the decor up. Thankfully, my husband talks some sense into to wait until the end of September!

I love making printables to decorate with. Printables are images that you can print at home and frame yourself. For larger sizes, you can email them to your local print shop (like Office Max) or photo center (Shutterfly, Walgreens, etc). Then you take them home and frame them. You can use them year after year. If something happens to it, you can always print it again. It’s yours to keep forever.

I make and sell lots of printables on my Etsy shop. Today, I’m sharing 5 Fall printables to help you decorate.

Farmhouse Pumpkin Patch

Farmhouse signs are all the rage and I’ve made this cute pumpkin patch sign just for you! I mean who doesn’t love a pumpkin patch sign. When you purchase it, you’ll get it in two sizes – 11×14″ and 16×20.”

Harvest Truck Pumpkin Patch

Here is a different take on the pumpkin patch sign – a good old fashioned pickup truck full of harvest pumpkins! When you purchase this sign you’ll get it in two sizes – 11×14″ and 16×20.”

Pumpkin Patch Printable

Buffalo Plaid Fall Words

These are the things that immediately make me thing of fall. Over the last few years, I’ve fall in love with text signs. So I’ve decided to make this one and now I’m sharing it with you! When you purchase this cute sign you’ll get two 8×10 versions. One in PDF and the other in JEPG.

5 Fall printables to help you decorate

It’s Fall Y’all

Who doesn’t love Buffalo Check? I’ve made this chic Southern style pumpkin sign. I have mine in a distressed wooden sign for a Farmhouse look. When you purchase it on Etsy, you’ll get two files to print in an 8×10″ – one in JPEG format and another in PDF.

It's Fall Y'all Printable

Take Me To The Pumpkin Patch

I love plaid! That’s why I made this cute orange buffalo plaid pumpkin patch sign with lovely watercolor pumpkins in fall colors. This cute printable is available in a landscape 8×10″ size in JPEG format.

Check Out All My Printables

From printable signs and planners to handmade cards. Take a look at everything on the My Beautiful Mess Etsy Shop.

Looking for more printables? Take a look at my FREE printable page and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog where I send out a FREE printable every single month!

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Pioneer Woman’s Baked Ziti

Pioneer Woman’s Baked Ziti is a meat lover’s dream. Two kinds of meat and triple cheese make this the ultimate Italian-American comfort food.

pioneer woman's baked ziti

This post is a sponsored post, meaning I have collaborated with Pioneer Woman in return for financial compensation and free products for testing purposes. This post also contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through a link I provide I may receive a small percentage at no cost to you.

Baked Ziti is one of our favorite dishes. It’s the ultimate in Italian-American comfort food. If you like the way lasagna is baked, you’ll love baked ziti. It’s similar, but without the tediousness of layering pasta. Served casserole style, it’s filled with zesty tomato sauce, Italian sausage and gooey cheesy goodness.

Today, I’m going to share Pioneer Woman’s recipe for baked ziti. This was the first time I’ve tried it and it was yummy!!! Ree girl, this was awesome!

The Pioneer Woman

If you’ve never heard of the Pioneer Woman, I pity you just a tad. Ree Drummond is a famous blogger who shares her life on a ranch in Oklahoma. On her blog, she cooks up some good ole’ eats that anyone can cook. These days she also has her own show on The Food Network. I love her down to earth writing style that makes you feel like her best friend. Be sure to follow her blog…after mine, of course!

Making Baked Ziti

Traditionally ziti uses ziti pasta which resembles small tubes, but I’ve also used penne pasta in a pinch and found it works just as well. In Italy it’s ziti al forno, which translates exactly to “baked ziti.”

I received a complimentary jar of the Rustic Bolognese sauce. It’s very tasty and reminds me of a homemade sauce, minus the hassle! I grew up on Prego. Over the years, I’ve used all kinds of sauces. I highly recommend trying Pioneer Woman’s new line of Italian pasta sauces which now come in the following varieties:

  • Marinara
  • Italian Sausage & Peppers
  • Rustic Bolognese
  • Four Cheese
  • Garden Vegetable

In the past, I’ve used a different recipe for baked ziti, but after today, I’m switching. This is a meat lovers dream! It calls for a pound of ground beef and a pound of Italian sausage! I’ve written the recipe to use ground Italian sausage because it is readily available to me at my store. If you can’t find it, you can always use regular link Italian sausage. I recommend cutting the casing lengthwise with a knife and then peeling off for easy removal. Then brown, like normal.

baked ziti

Pioneer Woman Baked Ziti

A delicious Italian-American casserole filled with zesty tomato sauce, cheese, Italian sausage basked into bubbly goodness.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bacon casserole, cheesy casseroles, italian, italian sausage, pasta, tomato sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs Ziti Pasta Uncooked
  • 2 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Chopped Onions
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Lbs Italian Sausage Ground
  • 1 Jar PIONEER WOMAN Pasta Sauce
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 15oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Shredded
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese Shredded
  • 1 Lbs Lean Ground Beef

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375
  • Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring frequently
  • Crumble sausage, then ground beef into skillet with cooked vegetables. Cook until ground meats are evenly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  • Mix egg, ricotta, and parmesan until blended
  • Drain pasta and spoon into a large bowl. Add pasta sauce mixture and ricotta mixture; mix lightly. Spoon into 13×9-inch baking pan sprayed with cooking spray; top with mozzarella.
  • Bake 20 mins or until heated through
pioneer woman's baked ziti
pioneer woman rustic bolognese

Pin For Later

Pin now for later! Also, don’t forget to subscribe so you can get great recipes delivered right to your inbox! If you’re looking for more comfort food, you absolutely need to try my Shrimp & Crawfish Étouffée and my Rich Fudgy Scratch Brownies. Thanks for reading!

How to Make a Restaurant Busy Bag

Has going out to dinner become a nightmare? Here is how to make a restaurant busy bag to tame your toddler while they wait for food.

how to make a restaurant busy bag

I remember when our oldest son was around one. Something changed. Going out to dinner started to get difficult. He knew being at a table meant yummy food was coming. By the time he was 18 months he was really getting cranky at restaurants. So, I came up with something that ended up being a life saver! A restaurant busy bag!

Its a bag filled with the necessary things like bibs, utensils, placemats, etc. Plus it had things to keep my little boys busy while we wait for food. I even kept a couple of snacks in there so in case they were inconsolable, I had something to keep their hunger at bay. Hey, mamas gotta do what mamas gotta do!

The Bag

All you need is carry style bag that has some compartments. A hanging cosmetic bag actually works really well for this purpose. See my examples below.

Items to Add

Here is a list of some of the things I put in our busy bag. You certainly don’t have to copy me. These are just ideas for you.

  • Mini slinky
  • Crayons
  • Coloring book
  • Card Game
  • Little People / Toy Figures
  • Hot Wheels
  • Small dinosaurs
  • Board book
  • Mess Free Color Kits
  • Travel games
  • Bib
  • Disposable Placemats
  • Clorox Wipes / Wet Ones
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Kid Utensils
  • Stain treatment
  • Snacks

I always keep some disposable placemats and bibs in the busy bag. I never understood why some restaurants bought hot plates to the kids. Also if you are like me and you don’t trust the rags they wipe down tables with…then this is for you! I also kept some kids utensils since my little ones struggled with adult sized ones. In addition, I kept some Clorox wipes or Wet Ones to wipe their hands or surfaces. I even kept a couple of stain remover wipes because accidents happen!

The rest is for them to keep their little hands busy. Really as long as it fits, you can bring it with you in the bag.

I always kept this in our car so it was ready to go. It was so nice when my boys no longer whined and fussed at restaurants. Now they have a distraction. Over time, kids will learn how to sit still and patiently wait at a restaurant. But until then, I hope this idea helps you like it helped us.

Thanks for Reading

Don’t forget to PIN this post for later and please subscribe to my blog before you leave! Looking for other things to do with your kids? Take a look at Usborne Magic Painting Christmas Cards and Fun Holidays to Celebrate With Your Kids.

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4 Books You Need to Read Before You Homeschool

If you are considering homeschooling, you maybe wondering where to start and how to choose curriculum. Well, I have some resources to help with that. Here are 4 books you need to read before you homeschool.

4 books you need to read before you homeschool

This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through one of the links I provide, I may receive a small percentage at no cost to you.

So you’ve decided to homeschool or perhaps you are still seriously considering it. Maybe you are looking for some direction. I’m a proud second-generation homeschooler, but even I, having been through the homeschooling process, don’t have all the answers. Even I wondered where and how to begin.

I was grateful when several veteran homeschools recommended the following books to read before I jumped head first into educating my child. If you aren’t a teacher by trade, you may find yourself wondering if you are “qualified” to teach your child and if they will receive a similar education to that of public school. I tackle some of those questions in two of my other posts Debunking Myths About Homeschooling and Why We Homeschool.

These books are great for the new parent who is homeschooling. I consider them almost like a crash course in an education degree. If you don’t know what to teach your child, when, and how, these books will answer lots of questions. Here are 4 books you need to read before you homeschool.

The Well-Trained Mind

The Well-Trained Mind, has become an essential guide for homeschooling. One half of the authors is herself both a university professor and a product of homeschooling. Her co-author, her mother, was a school teacher. Together, they walk you through the fundamentals of classical education, based on the ancient model of learning. Even if you aren’t doing Classical homeschooling, I highly recommend the book for laying foundational framework in your homeschooling journey.

They offer a blueprint of learning, which includes a resource list of educational curriculum and sample routines. Even if you aren’t planning to teach in a Classical style I still think this book is an amazing resource because of it’s explanation of developmental stages and the progression of learning throughout the school years.

The Well Trained Mind is a comprehensive resource for both secular and Christian homeschoolers.

Duffy’s Top 100 Homeschool Picks

One of the first questions beginner homeschooling parents ask is how to select curriculum. There are so many choices out there all claiming to be comprehensive and complete. Even being the product of homeschooling myself, I wondered, just how do you know which curriculum is “the best.”

One of the best, most well-loved guides is Duffy’s Homeschool Picks. This is an amazing resource. I’d say the greatest benefit to homeschooling is not having a “one size fits all” approach to learning like public school. You can tailor the curriculum to fit your child’s learning style. This book is a manual for doing just that. Duffy’s Homeschool Picks gives in-depth review of well-known curriculum and provides a method for determining if it is right for your child. This has been one of the most invaluable homeschooling resources I’ve found.

Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning For Purpose and Peace

One of the most common questions I hear from new homeschool parents is “How do I plan my homeschool year?” It’s a common question and also a common complaint. When you first start homeschooling, it can be overwhelming. It can be hard to determine how much information can be digested in a year. Perhaps you worry if you are covering all the subjects your child needs or maybe you struggle with follow through.

Pam Barnhill has written a great book that helps with all those problems. She gives real solutions for the busy parent and offers a way to plan a structured, yet flexible homeschool schedule that works with your own personality and style. This book is great for beginner and seasoned homeschoolers alike. I also think it works for just about every homeschool style (Unschooling, Eclectic, Charlotte Mason, Classical, Traditional, etc).

Teaching the Trivium

I was actually going to include this as one of the top three books. The only reason why I didn’t include it is because of the strong Christian theme. I am a Christian homeschooler, but over the last few years, secular homeschoolers are rapidly growing in the homeschooling community. So because this book so so heavily steeped in Christian influences and the fact that it is specifically geared towards Classical homeschooling, it may not be for you, but I still think it provides invaluable information.

Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn have long been considered experts in the classical homeschooling niche. Here they easily explain the trivium (the three distinct phases of childhood learning). Using biblical principles as a blueprint and basis for teaching, they combine that with the ancient teaching of Greek scholars, which make up Classical education.

There you have it 4 books you need to read before you homeschool. Homeschooling is a journey for both you and your child. You won’t have all the answers when you start. In fact, the answers may change throughout your journey – that’s okay. That’s actually the beauty of homeschooling – the incredible flexibility! Good luck to you and your kids. It’s gonna be an adventure!

Cake Mix Cherry Cobbler

Dessert is easier than ever with the super easy, no-fuss, 3-ingredient cake mix cherry cobbler.

cake mix cherry cobbler

There is nothing quite as lovely as a homemade dessert. But after cooking dinner, I’m not always in the mood for getting back in the kitchen for dessert. Certainly, you can make dessert in advance, but busy days don’t always allow for that! Thats why I love this cake mix cherry cobbler!

This cobbler is pretty famous in my family. My sister-in-law has been making it for nearly two decades and it is always a favorite of ours. Lots of request it in lieu of cake for our birthdays.

Prep in Less Than 10 Minutes

This dessert is super easy to make. Ready for the best part? It takes just 3 ingredients! All you’re going to use is cherry pie filling, a ordinary box of cake mix, and a stick of cold butter.

I’ve been asked several times in the past if you can use other pie fillings. Absolutely! I’ve done this with blackberry, apple, and peach. Its always amazing and wonderful. So by all means, switch it up!

cherries

Serving & Storing

Cake mix cherry cobbler is best served warm. You can always serve it with ice cream if you desire. Frankly, I love this recipe for entertaining too. It’s such an easy thing to pop in the oven when you are busy getting ready and it’s always a crowd pleaser.

I’ve found it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. However, if you are looking to preserve the freshness a few extra days, I’d certainly recommend putting it into the fridge with a cover. In fact, I’d recommend always covering it.

cake mix

Cake Mix Cherry Cobbler

Dessert night is now easy with this super easy 3-ingredient cake mix cherry cobbler. Prep time is less than 10 minutes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cherry, cherry cobbler, cobbler, crumble, easy desserts, easy recipe, fruit cobbler, fruit dessert, quick recipe
Servings: 9

Ingredients

  • 2 21 oz Cans of Cherry Pie Filling
  • 1 Stick Butter Cold
  • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°
  • In a 9×9 baking pan, add the contents of two 21 oz cans of cherry pie filling (you may use other fruit pie filling if you choose)
  • Spread the pie filling evenly with a spatula
  • Sprinkle about 3/4 of the pie mix on top of the pie filling
  • Cut ¼" slices of cold butter and place on top of the cake mix until cake mix is fully covered.
    cake mix
  • Bake for 45 mins until golden brown and bubbly.
cherry cobbler

See? I promised you it was easy! Don’t forget to PIN this post for later. Also, please subscribe before you head out. Don’t forget to check out some of my other dessert recipes like Rich Fudge Scratch Brownies and Mini Chocolate Fudge Tarts. Thanks for reading.

Fun Holidays to Celebrate With Your Kids

Make the average day special with these wacky, fun holidays to celebrate with your kids.

Fun Holidays to celebrate with your kids

I’m always looking for a reason to celebrate and let’s be honest, celebrating is fun. I love getting my kids into the mix by celebrating fun holidays. I’ll be honest, most have to do with food! But a celebration wouldn’t be complete without food. Am I right?

This is a cute way to make ordinary days special for you and your littles. I’ve included some month long holidays as well as daily ones. Here are fun holidays to celebrate with your kids.

January

Monthly

  • Hot Tea Month
  • National Hobby Month
  • National Soup Month
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Braille Literacy Month

Daily

  • 2 – Buffet Day
  • 2 – Science Fiction Day
  • 4 – Trivia Day
  • 6 – Bean Day
  • 6 – Cuddle Up Day
  • 8 – Bubble Bath Day
  • 9 – Word Nerd Day
  • 12 – Marzipan Day
  • 14 – Organize Your Home Day
  • 14 – Dress Up Your Pet Day
  • 15 – Strawberry Ice Cream Day
  • 17 – Benjamin Franklin Day
  • 17 – Kids Invention Day
  • 18 – Thesaurus Day
  • 19 – Popcorn Day
  • 22 – Hot Sauce Day
  • 23 – Handwriting Day
  • 23 – National Pie Day
  • 25 – Opposite Day
  • 27 – Chocolate Cake Day
  • 29 – Puzzle Day
  • 30 – Croissant Day
  • 31 – Backwards Day

February

Monthly

  • Black History Month
  • National Cherry Month
  • National Grapefruit Month

Daily

  • 1 – Bubblegum Day (First Friday of the month)
  • 2 – Groundhog Day
  • 2 – Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
  • 3 – Carrot Cake Day
  • 4 – Thank Your Mail Carrier Day
  • 5 – Chocolate Fondue Day
  • 7 – Send a Card to a Friend Day
  • 9 – National Pizza Day
  • 10 – Umbrella Day
  • 11 – Make a Friend Day
  • 13 – World Radio Day
  • 14 – Ferris wheel Day
  • 14 – Library Lovers Day
  • 17 – Random Act of Kindness Day
  • 19 – Chocolate Mint Day
  • 24 – Tortilla Chip Day
  • 26 – Tell a Fairy Tale Day
  • 27 – International Polar Bear Day
  • 28 – National Chili Day

March

Monthly

  • Red Cross
  • Social Workers Month
  • National Peanut Month
  • Irish American Month
  • National Craft Month
  • National Nutrition Month
  • National Women’s History Month

Daily

  • 1 – Peanut Butter Lovers Day
  • 6 – Dentist’s Day
  • 7 – Alexander Graham Bell Day
  • 11 – Johnny Appleseed Day
  • 12 – Girl Scout’s Day
  • 12 – Plant a Flower Day
  • 14 – Pi Day
  • 14 – National Potato Chip Day
  • 20 – International Earth Day
  • 23 – Puppy Day
  • 25 – Waffle Day
  • 25 – Pecan Day
  • 30 – National Doctors Day
  • 31 – National Crayon Day

April

Monthly

  • National Kite Month
  • National Poetry Month
  • International Guitar Month
  • Lawn & Garden Month
  • National Pecan Month

Daily

  • 8 – Zoo Lovers Day
  • 9 – Winston Churchill Day
  • 10 – Siblings Day
  • 11 – Barbershop Quartet Day
  • 12 – Grilled Cheese Day
  • 13 – Scrabble Day
  • 13 – Peach Cobbler Day
  • 14 – Dolphin Day
  • 15 – Haiku Poetry Day
  • 22 – Jelly Bean Day
  • 25 – Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
  • 26 – Pretzel Day
  • 27 – Babe Ruth Day

May

Monthly

  • Asian American Month
  • Foster Care Month
  • National Barbecue Month
  • National Hamburger Month
  • National Salad Month
  • Pacific Islander Heritage Month
  • National Bike Month
  • National Photograph Month

Daily

  • 1 – Batman Day
  • 1 – May Day
  • 1 – Mother Goose Day
  • 2 – Baby Day
  • 3 – No Pants Day
  • 3 – Space Day
  • 4 – Herb Day
  • 4 – Star Wars Day
  • 5 – Cinco De Mayo
  • 6 – National Nurses Day
  • 8 – National School Nurse Day
  • 10 – Clean Up Your Room Day
  • 11 – Astronomy Day
  • 11 – National Train Day
  • 12 – Limerick Day
  • 14 – Dance Like a Chicken Day
  • 15 – Chocolate Chip Day
  • 21 – Talk Like Yoda Day
  • 24 – Scavenger Hunt Day
  • 28 – Hamburger Day
  • 31 – Macaroon Day

June

Monthly

  • Candy Month
  • Aquarium Month
  • Rose Month

Daily

  • 1 – Say Something Nice Day
  • 4 – National Cheese Day
  • 6 – Drive In Movie Day
  • 6 – National Yo-yo Day
  • 7 – National Donut Day
  • 8 – Best Friend Day
  • 9 – Donald Duck Day
  • 10 – Iced Tea Day
  • 11 – Corn on the Cob Day
  • 12 – Red Rose Day
  • 15 – World Juggling Day
  • 18 – International Picnic Day
  • 21- National Selfie Day
  • 22 – Onion Ring Day
  • 23 – National Pink Day
  • 26 – Chocolate Pudding Day
  • 27 – Helen Keller Day
  • 29 – Camera Day

July

Monthly

  • National Blueberry Month
  • National Hot Dog Month
  • National Ice Cream Month

Daily

  • 1 – International Joke Day
  • 7 – Build a Scarecrow Day
  • 7 – Chocolate Day
  • 9 – Sugar Cookie Day
  • 15 – Gummi Worm Day
  • 20 – Space Exploration Day
  • 21 – Ice Cream Day
  • 21 – Junk Food Day
  • 23 – Vanilla Ice Cream Day
  • 24 – Cousins Day
  • 26 – Uncle & Aunt Day
  • 28 – Milk Chocolate Day
  • 29 – Lasagna Day
  • 30 – National Cheesecake Day
Fun holidays to celebrate with your kids

August

Monthly

  • Family Fun Month
  • National Golf Month
  • National Picnic Month
  • Peach Month

Daily

  • 2 – Ice Cream Sandwich Day
  • 3 – Watermelon Day
  • 4 – Friendship Day (first Sunday in August)
  • 4 – Sister’s Day
  • 9 – Book Lovers Day
  • 10 – National S’mores Day
  • 11 – Son & Daughters Day
  • 12 – Middle Child Days
  • 13 – Left Handers Day
  • 16 – Tell a Joke Day
  • 17 – Thrift Shop Day
  • 19 – World Photo Day
  • 22 – Be an Angel Day
  • 26 – Dog Appreciation Day
  • 30 – Frankenstein Day

September

Monthly

  • Chicken Month
  • Classical Music Month
  • National Piano Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Little League Month
  • National Sewing Month

Daily

  • 5 – Cheese Pizza Day
  • 6 – Read a Book Day
  • 7 – Salami Day
  • 9 – Teddy Bear Day
  • 11 – Make Your Bed Day
  • 12 – Chocolate Milkshake Day
  • 15 – Make a Hat Day
  • 16 – Guacamole Day
  • 17 – International Country Music Day
  • 17 – Constitution Day
  • 18 – Rice Krispie Treat Day
  • 19 – National Gymnastics Day
  • 19 – International Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • 21 – Miniature Golf Day
  • 21 – International Peace Day
  • 23 – Checkers Day
  • 24 – Punctuation Day
  • 25 – Comic Book Day
  • 26 – Love Note Day
  • 27 – Native American Day
  • 28 – Good Neighbor Day
  • 30 – Hot Mulled Cider Day

October

Monthly

  • Cookie Month
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Seafood Month
  • National Pizza Month

Daily

  • 1 – International Coffee Day
  • 4 – World Smile Day
  • 4 – Taco Day
  • 5 – Card Making Day
  • 5 – Do Something Nice Day
  • 6 – Ocktoberfest
  • 6 – Mad Hatter Day
  • 16 – Dictionary Day
  • 18 – Chocolate Cupcake Day
  • 25 – World Pasta Day
  • 30 – Candy Corn Day
  • 31 – Magic Day

November

Monthly

  • Native American Heritage Month
  • National Adoption Awareness Month
  • Aviation History Month
  • Peanut Butter Lovers Month

Daily

  • 1 – Author’s Day
  • 3 – Sandwich Day
  • 4 – King Tut Day
  • 8 – Tongue Twister Day
  • 10 – Vanilla Cupcake Day
  • 11 – Origami Day
  • 13 – World Kindness Day
  • 14 – Pickle Day
  • 16 – Fast Food Day
  • 17 – Homemade Bread Day
  • 23 – National Adoption Day
  • 26 – Cake Day
  • 28 – French Toast Day
  • 29 – Square Dance Day

December

Monthly

  • Bingo Month
  • Write a Friend Month

Daily

  • 1 – Eat a Red Apple Day
  • 2 – Fritters Day
  • 3 – Make a Gift Day
  • 7 – Letter Writing Day
  • 9 – Christmas Card Day
  • 10 – Dewey Decimal System Day
  • 12 – Gingerbread House Day
  • 14 – Monkey Day
  • 17 – Wright Brothers Day
  • 20 – Ugly Sweater Day
  • 24 – Eggnog Day
  • 28 – Card Playing Day

Looking For More Ideas

Are you looking for more fun holidays and ways to celebrate with your kids? Take a look at some of my holiday / seasonal bucket lists.

Christian Journal Prompts

Looking for a new way to spend some spiritual quiet time? Try these Christian journal prompts to help explore your Christian walk.

christian journal prompts

Spiritual Journaling

Hello friend. I hope you’re having an awesome day. Today, I’m sharing some Christian journal prompts that I hope will help you fine tune your relationship with Christ. These are some of the topics I’ve written about in my own journal this past year.

I like to think of Christian journal prompts as a personal assessment about your spiritual life. So many times we are just trodding along not even realizing they we are off track somewhere. Using these journal prompts help me to stop and evaluate just where I am on my spiritual walk.

I will add one disclosure though. The Bible should be your guide through this. My degree is in Psychology and journaling can often be associated with that because Psychology is all about finding answers within yourself. But that isn’t what I’m promoting. I’m asking you to listen for God’s voice with scripture as your guide. Personally, I like to pray before I do spiritual journaling. Ask God to reveal His will for your life and ask Him to impart wisdom.

Christian Journal Prompts

  • Describe a time in your life where God has rescued you. Do you believe He’ll do it again?
  • Write a scripture that brings you peace. What is God saying to you?
  • Describe a time where you believed God spoke to you.
  • Write a prayer of surrender to God.
  • How can you be bold and courageous for the Lord.
  • Be still. What is God telling you now?
  • How can you serve God better?
  • How can you be a light to others in a dark world?
  • Describe a time when God used a bad situation for your good.
  • What do you feel God is asking you to change?
  • What do you imagine heaven will be like?
  • When do you feel most distant from God?
  • How are you hurting others with your pride?
  • Ecclesiastes tells us there is a season for everything. What season are you in right now?
  • Write out the lyrics of a Christian song or hymn that brings you joy.
  • Write a scripture that brings you joy. How can you apply it to your life?
  • Describe a blessing that happened this week.
  • Write a Psalm of worship to God.
  • Do you find it hard to apologize? If so, why?
  • The bible specifically speaks of joy, not happiness. In what way are they different?
  • Are you self-righteous about something? What can you do about it?
  • What are the character attributes you think a Christian should have?
  • When you get offended by something how does your pride react?
  • Pick a bible character. What can we learn from his/her life?
  • What do you need to confess to God?
  • Write a letter of forgiveness to an enemy.
  • Is there something that you haven’t forgiven yourself for? How can you receive the healing of the Lord?
  • Write 5 scripture verses that make you feel strong and courageous.
  • What does forgiveness look like?
  • If you are struggling though something, what do you think God wants to you to learn?
  • List all the needs God is currently meeting.
  • What do you love most about your church family?
  • What does God say about pride (see the scriptures)?
  • Describe someone in your life who exemplifies humility.
  • What are your God-given gifts and talents? How can you use them to advance the Kingdom?
  • Who or what do you need to forgive?

Before You Go

Don’t forget to PIN this post for later. Also, take a look at some of my other scripture related posts.

10 Healthy Ways to Cope With Stress

Are you struggling to manage your stress levels? There are ways to help you manage it properly. Here are 10 Healthy Ways to Cope With Stress.

10 healthy ways to cope with stress

Pressure has a way of finding us. It doesn’t matter if you are working or not – in fact, being out of work can actually be quite stressful. Throughout life, we will be forced to endure stressful times and situations. But there is a way to way to manage it on your own. Here are 10 healthy ways to help cope with stress.

Set Boundaries

In my twenties, I was working 60-hour work weeks at an already stressful job. It really began to take a toll on me. I ended up having a nervous breakdown and when I discussed it with my therapist he asked me who was to blame. “Well, my company of course. They force me to work all these hours.” But as he pointed out the fault was mine for not having set boundaries. In a sense, I never said “no.” I just kept taking whatever crap they threw at me. We decide when enough is enough.

Boundaries clearly set how much of something (or someone) you will tolerate. Boundaries are essential to staying healthy. They keep you honest about your limits and they stop toxic people from having intimate access to your life and your emotions.

It’s a shame, but sometimes you need to set boundaries on people too. I don’t think people always mean to be toxic, but there are people out there who are overly critical, jealous, and petty. People who are constantly overstepping their welcome in your life. For these bullies, you need to set some serious concrete boundaries. You’re in control of who you let in your life. It may mean cutting someone out of your life or at least an area of your life. You don’t need to apologize for it. Choose peace. Learn to say “no.”

Arts & Crafts

Arts and crafts is probably my way of relieving stress but it is for many others as well. Art can be used as a form of free expression where emotions might be displayed. But it is also simply a way to relax. Art often has repetitiveness like brush strokes (painting), scribbling, making loops (crocheting/knitting). Repetitiveness can be relaxing.

Don’t worry. I hear some of you. Some of you might not think you’re creative and that doing art actually causes stress when it doesn’t look the way you want. Even if you aren’t artistic, something soothing like adult color books may be helpful.

Exercise

In my youth, I loved using exercise as an outlet for stress. I know lots of people who prefer running for getting out stress or anxiety. For me, I loved kickboxing style aerobics. There was nothing more therapeutic to me that pretend to beat the crap out of something! Yoga was always a great way to feel centered and balanced again. I found it particularly relaxing to hear my own breath.

I remember there were times that doing it by myself was very relaxing, but I also recall that sometimes, doing it with a group was also a stress-buster. We sit afterwards and talk and that was always a nice way to finish that time. When you’re stressed go beat up a punching bag or pound some pavement. That can sometimes help.

Go Outside

As I write this, it is Texas summertime with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees. And while I think braving the excessive heat can be depressing, I still think that being outside can reduce stress. I love to wake up before my kids and sit on my porch with a cup of coffee. I sit there and watch the sun come up and pray over my family. It’s refreshing to be outdoors.

There is something therapeutic about being outdoors. It doesn’t have to be long. Just a few minutes can be refreshing. You may not realize it, but being cooped up indoors can add to stress. Enjoy some tea on a porch, take a walk, go to a beach, take a camping trip, but spend sometime getting reacquainted with the sunlight and air. The change of scenery will do you some good.

Journal

I think journaling will always be one of my main ways of coping with stress. We are emotional creatures. Part of growing up is learning self-control over emotions, but as adults we either have adult sized tantrums or we pendulum swing over to bottling them up entirely. Really we need to process those emotions and get them out, just in a healthy way.

That’s why I recommend journaling. It’s non-destructive and yet it still allows you to say what you’re really feeling. More often than not, journaling has also helped me explore and figure out what I’m feeling. I’m always a little surprised when unknown feelings, fears, and thoughts begin to surface. I’ve learned a lot about myself!

I know there are a lot of people out there who hate to write. I understand, but I still encourage you to give it a try. Although, keeping a paper journal is custom, these days, there are so many electronic alternatives. I personally love the Day One app. It’s available on the App Store for both devices and computers.

If you need some inspiration to get started, take a look at some of my journaling prompts.

Letter Write

This might be a new concept, especially if you aren’t a journal junkie, like me, but I chose to include it separately from journaling because I think it holds a lot of merit. Something that has always helped me, is letter writing. This is similar to journaling in that you will be writing out your thoughts – just in a different way,

Instead of writing to yourself, write to whatever or whomever is upsetting you. Haven’t you ever wanted to tell someone off? There’s always the same problem with doing that – consequences. You always risk permanently severing the relationship or situation if you do. So in this instance you’ll be writing it for your own benefit. Sometimes what causes stress is simply the bottling up of emotions.

Use paper or type it out. Tell off whatever or whomever is upsetting you. Don’t hold back. Tell them how you really feel. Rip them a new one! Get it all out. Then you can do one of two things: destroy the letter or mail it to “God” via the post office.

Talk to Someone

Talking something out can be incredibly helpful and therapeutic. It can give us an opportunity to hear some of our thoughts out loud. I’m an avid advocate for professional therapy (duh, my degree is in Psychology), but it’s because I think it is incredibly helpful to talk things out. You hear yourself express feelings you might not have realized were there and you get constructive feedback.

I would caution you. Confidants should be chosen wisely. Some close people in your life, may not be the best ones from which to seek advice. I have two criteria for choosing a listening friend: they have to be able to listen to me (hearing me out and constructive feedback) and they have to have their own shit together. Yes, I cursed. I did that on purpose. That’s because everybody has shit in their life – the muddy, icky crap that is hard to clean up and deal with. But some people are doing a great job at handling it. Don’t go to someone whose own life is a screw up. You don’t want their advice.

Good places to start? A trusted elder, a pastor, a professional counselor, a parent, a sibling, a close friend. Nobody has it all together, but go to someone who has some semblance of it, someone who will impart wisdom.

Hug It Out

As human beings we were designed to be loved through touch. When moms and babies hold one another, pheromones are actually released. The same is true for adults. Ocytocin is released thereby reducing blood pressure.

Sometimes, when I am an stressed I have to recalibrate my human touch experience. Stop and ask yourself. “How long has it been since I cuddled with someone?” Or maybe even more specifically, “how long has it been since someone cuddled with me.?” That may sound sappy and saccharine, but what you’re looking for is meaningful touch.

The human touch can be powerful. If you don’t have someone to hug it out with, I strongly recommend getting a massage. Massage isn’t just about applying pressure, it’s about receiving human touch which in turn, relieves tension in muscles.

Positive Self Talk

Can we be honest for a second? We stress ourselves out a lot of the time. Meaning we have a habit of predicting catastrophe in our lives even though it may be without any merit.

We may find ourselves fantasizing and worrying over things which may never happen. We might be overly critical with our performance or hold ourselves to overly rigorous standards or ideals. Perhaps, we may be pursing perfectionism and give ourselves little grace. In short, we may be adding to our own stress. This is where we need to recalibrate our own actions.

Here is what I mean when I say positive self-talk

  • Imagining / role playing the positive outcome
  • Telling yourself to remain calm
  • Telling yourself things will work out
  • Focusing on gratitude
  • Nix harsh self-criticism and self-doubt
  • Spend time in prayer or calming meditation

Pray or Meditate

Prayer or meditation can be a great way of relieving stress. Prayer can be a way of practicing both meditation and talking it out. I recommend also spending some moments in silence and breathing in and out deeply. Give yourself permission to set your troubles aside for a moment and relax.

I know some people are weary of meditation because of racing thoughts. When I first started to practice meditation, I found myself struggling to focus. My mind would get distracted and go off on mental tangents. That is where guided meditation can help. These days there are apps and websites that can help you focus by listening to someone else’s voice instead of your own.

Storms Don’t Last

I think it’s very important to remember that storms don’t last. Stressful times don’t last either. Eventually something will change the status quo and ease the tension. If you find you’re struggling to manage it on your own, there is no shame in seeking out professional help.

Thanks for reading, 10 Healthy Ways to Cope With Stress. Before you go, share or pin this post and please subscribe to my blog.

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