simple blog

A simple blog about seeking the Lord, savoring life and joyfully serving.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Mood Boosters For When You Are Feeling Down or Overwhelmed

With all of the change going on in our lives lately I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed and even a little down at times. I miss the comfort and security of my old home and routine. I absolutely adore my new house and I feel like I am finally settling in but sometimes it takes me a minute to adjust to a big change. Some of the things I have been doing lately to boost my mood are gravitating toward the things that brought  me joy in the past. Spending time alone with the Scriptures, journaling the things I am thankful for, listening to familiar music and watching familiar things help me greatly. I have compiled a list of things you can do to help you if  you are also going through big changes.

Right now:
Light candles, open widows, drop some bergamot in your diffuser and put on some light perfume (my favorite is (Soft Perfume Oil from Amazon).

Listen to tunes in the major key. Upbeat music is proven to lift your mood.

Wear something comfortable and cute; fix yourself up. You will feel better if you feel like you look nice.

Smile. Even if you don't feel like it. Just sit there like I am right now as I type this. Make the corners of your mouth turn up in a smile. Studies have proven that just the mere act of smiling will bring your mood up.

Clear your space. Do one thing that will make tidying up easier. Is it unloading the dishwasher so you can then load all the dirty dishes? Is it making your bed and tidying up your room? Just do one thing and it will get the ball rolling to creating a space you can be happier in.

Chew gum. Studies have shown that chewing gum relieves anxiety and reduces stress. The scent of the gum will also be a pleasant mood booster.

Drink a kombucha, the polyphenols, antioxidants and beneficial bacteria are known mood boosters.

Journal. Write down exactly why you are overwhelmed and what is bothering you. Pray for wisdom and rest in the Lord.
"Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God" Psalm 43:5.

Doing these thing on a daily basis will help your outlook to be peaceful and cheerful. 

Exercise. exercise releases adrenaline, endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. All natural ways to increase your positivity and reduce stress. These will also improve your sleep quality.

Eliminate sugar and processed carbs. These create highs and lows in your mood while also making you feel sluggish. 

Create Gentle, peaceful routines. These routines will help you feel secure, comfortable and to subconsciously know there is a steady rhythm in your daily life.  

Take a B-12/folate supplement if you find you are low in these areas. Calcium is proven to help with PMS induced depression.

 Drink Miracle Tree Tea. Miracle TRee Tea is filled with nutrients and antioxidants that are proven to help with depression. 

 I do hope some of these suggestions help you if you are in a season of change, if you are feeling overwhelmed or if you are down. Praying blessings over you today.
Grace & peace,
Adoring Family 

Friday, April 26, 2019

๐Ÿค“Five Friday Favorites๐Ÿค“

Hello everyone. This Friday Favorites Post is coming at you from my phone. Please forgive the format and typos๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผ‍♀️  
Linking up here
Five Friday Favorites 

  1. My first favorite is my new kitchen. We are settling in nicely and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my kitchen!! I’m so grateful to have plenty of space to work. After living in a camper for a year,  one can get pretty creative at mealtime. I’m still taking those skills with me here but it’s nice to realize that I actually have a place to set my cookie sheet when I take it out of the oven ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ‘

Still need to add a few things. I would also like to do some live edge wood shelving next to a stone hood.

We are doing a tumbled marble backsplash. I’m still trying to find someone to do the vent hood. 
I’m talking about creating a simple, luxurious home in this post. To me luxury doesn’t have to be expensive but means high quality and increased comfort. I’m trying to eliminate excess and only use what I love. To read more about how we built this home debt free, read this post. 

  1. I shared with you how much I love Tolkien and Lewis in this post.  I truly find comfort in their writings. I feel like they are part of me. I’m not sure if that makes sense but anytime you read something multiple times and truly love it, I believe it begins to make up much of who you are (that’s why I’m always telling my littles, Oh be careful little eyes what you see ๐Ÿ‘€). As much as I’ve enjoyed moving into our new house I still miss the old one and my routine.  This week I needed to find some comfort in familiarity.
 I have been listening to I see Fire on repeat. Have you heard that song? I enjoy Ed Sheeran  as much as the next person but this song is a beautifully written and specific to the 2nd Hobbit movie which makes it a favorite. I also enjoyed watching the Hobbit with my son. Of course the older girls couldn’t stay away. We enjoyed snuggling in our Kid Cave and watching the Deselation of Smaug (my favorite of the Hobbit Trilogy). ๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿง๐Ÿป‍♂️๐Ÿง™๐Ÿป‍♂️๐Ÿ’š

Did I lose you yet? Because if that didn’t, this might...

  1. I love Love LOVE geology and paleontology.  I enjoy identifying the three kinds of rocks and finding  fossils and petrified wood. I’m currently looking for a cabinet to display all of our beautiful and unique finds. I have a plethora of favorite rocks and fossils but I came across this one when we were moving and I wanted to share it with you.

  1. This week my husband’s company had a take your child to Work Day. My husband decided to take our three oldest to work w him. They had a wonderful time and learned a lot about the aerospace industry. 

  1. The last one is that our renters are moving into our first rental today!! I’m so thankful and excited. They are as well. They’ve been renting property for us for a year and living in a camper. Now they will move into the home we moved into after we were in our camper for a year. I’m so excited for their children to enjoy the space we have loved so well. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Thank you for reading.
Grace & peace,
Adoring Family

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

When Clutter Creeps In...

In 2015, I remember going through the painful process of trying Marie Kondo’s KonMari method. It was hard to make the decision to let go of things. I saved quite a bit in storage but got rid of about 50% of our possessions as we downsized from 2800 sq feet to 400 sq ft. We lived in a camper for a year and it quickly became clear to me what my biggest purchases are. Books are number one and clothes are second. Not too surprising since we are a homeschooling family and I’ve been a bookworm since I learned to read. ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ› I could always be found w my nose in a book as a kid and I’m thankful to pass that on to my little ones. If they express even a hint of interest in a book, I will buy it. Of course there are six of us and we all need clothes. Especially the growing little ones. We have been given a ton of hand-me-downs which I’m so grateful for. It did surprise me to see how much we accumulated in the process of living in our camper and then a small, 2 bedroom home. I was flabbergasted when I gazed at how much was left after we moved everything we wanted into our new home. When I went back to the old home, it seemed like new stuff appeared. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผ‍♀️๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผ‍♀️๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผ‍♀️ We filled up half of a garage w our left over items. I still need to go through these things...

Again I’m talking about Carrie Simple and the wisdom she shares in this video...

I lamented to her about all of the clutter that accumulated after my first big purge. Here is what she had to say...

“Let me say one thing to that discouragement: I actually am starting to see where my frustrations with minimalism lie. Particularly, it’s in the shaming of excess. It’s not intentional and it’s often steeped in all sorts of encouragement so I think the good of the message balances out most of the time. But I have dealt with that same discouragement SO MANY TIMES over the years, and it’s not helpful at all.

Seeing the excess stuff is not a loss for you- it’s a win! It’s not the stuff that is the problem- that stuff probably served a purpose that you prioritized in that moment, and that doesn’t have to be something you feel bad for. I think what is more important than simplifying is being mindful or conscious of our consumption, AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE DOING. By noticing you have more, and by making that move, you see excess. Learn from it, but don’t be embarrassed or ashamed by it. Count it as a win that you see it, because that’s really what this ENTIRE thing is about- being aware.”

I love everything about that message and asked Carrie if I could share it w all of you. This blog is a chronicle of our journey. It’s a learning process in so many ways. I’m thankful to share all of this with you and I appreciate your patience as I’m writing g all of my posts from my phone these days. Unfortunately, that makes editing near impossible once I’ve published a post so please forgive the typos ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผ‍♀️ they are not uncommon on this blog anyway๐Ÿ˜‹

I’m looking forward to sharing more of our simplifying journey with you. I’m so thankful to have gone through this before because I know how freeing it can be to have this weight lifted. I also feel the process gets easier each time I do it. I know it can feel painful at first but in the end, I know that these are all temporary things in our lives. I’ve seen things come and go and it’s much easier to get rid of the excess than it used to be. There is peace in less. There is joy in simplicity. There is freedom in letting go. 

Thank you for reading. 
Grace & peace,

Adoring Family

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Classical Education

 As you may know, we are a homeschooling family. We teach our children classically and hope to model the art of learning. We hope to equip our children with the proper tools needed to truly grasp what is presented, how to apply what they have learned or even how they learned it. The goal is for each child to walk away retaining what they have learned and with knowledge of how to approach the next subject.  The children are being taught to think outside of the box, are introduced to multiple subjects and are encouraged to relate that information to the next subject. The classical learning model equips our children with the tools and passion for life long learning.

   The Trivium of classical education is comprised of three stages, the grammar stage, the dialectic stage and the rhetoric stage. During the grammar stage, information is gathered and committed to memory for application in the latter stages. The dialectic stage introduces logical thinking and encourages questioning and discussion. The rhetoric stage allows the student the opportunity to apply knowledge acquired by expressing themselves persuasively through writing and speech. The Trivium provides the student with a style of learning designed specifically for their age providing ample opportunity for the child to flourish during each stage of learning.

   The integration of subjects gives the student a big picture outlook on what is being studied by showing how different subjects are related. Integrating subjects encourages students to transfer knowledge from one subject to another. It develops  a deep understanding of the material and allows the student to  master what they are learning. The integration of subjects mimics real life by enabling the student to develop a skill in one subject and sharpen that skill in another. It broadens the student's perspective and shows how God truly weaves all things together!

 He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

More on how we do what we do coming soon. In the meantime I am trying to get everyone settled in our new home while not falling behind in our schooling. If you have questions or need encouragement, please reach out to me on Instagram. Thank you for reading. 

Grace & peace,
Adoring Family

Friday, April 19, 2019

5 Fiday Favorites

Happy Good Friday to you!

We are happily settling into our new home and we completely cleared everything out of our old one. We have a crew in our old home touching up the paint and finishing up a few odds and ends so our favorite renters can move in next week. 

It’s not too late to host a simple Seder meal for your family. This tradition is a very special time for our family to come together and celebrate all of the good things the Lord has done. Click here for a Simple, Kid-Friendly, Seder.

Even with all of the moving and unpacking, I still managed to create a list of five Friday favorites for you this week...

Linked here Good Friday Favorites

1. Rapidlash Eyelash Enhancing Serum This serum works. Give it two weeks and you WILL see thicker lashes and longer length. Use it daily for the first month and then I switch to every other day to extend the life of the product. I have used this product along with the more costly alternative, Rodan and Fields, Lash Boost and I cannot tell a difference. They have similar ingredients and they both work great. Read more about the lash growing products I use in this post

2.Revlon Balm Stain in Honey Also, a go-to favorite. I have been using this product for 6 years and I still love it. It moisturizes and stains my lips. I use it under my lipstick so that when my lipstick does fade, I still have the color from the balm stain on my lips.

3Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sugar Polish

This body polish has been on my subscribe and save for 3 years. I use it as an all over body scrub. I usually use about a eighth of the jar at a time and massage it into my entire body and rinse. It's extremely mousturizing and leaves my skin with a supple glow.  It is an all natural product so it will go bad if you do not use it quickly or refrigerate. I also their sunscreen and I have a subscribe and save to the spray! This is the perfect time of year to exfoliate. If you do this once a week, you will feel like you've had a luxurious spa treatment for a fraction of the price.

4. My first bath in my jacuzzi tub ๐Ÿ›€ 

Oh my goodness, was this relaxing! The bubbles were amazing. I actually used my caldera sea salt and neroli dish soap from I was taught when I was a little girl that dishwashing soap makes the best bubble bath bubbles. I use caldera because it’s gentle and natural and is my new favorite scent!! I definitely felt like I was at a lux bed and breakfast. My husband was so sweet and made sure the kids didn’t come in (๐Ÿ˜†KK usually tries to get in the tub w me if the door isn’t locked and we still don’t have handles on our doors). I love, love, LOVE my tub! It’s actually a standard size tub w jacuzzi jets. I prefer a smaller tub. When we were in Martindale we had a large tub and it was nice but I always felt like I was floating away and it took forever to fill up. By the time it would fill up the hot water wasn’t as hot as I enjoyed. I’m so happy and thankful for this one, it’s perfect! 

5. Our Loquat tree is producing!

You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

Psalm 128:2

Loquats are one of my all time favorite fruits. They taste like a peach with a hint of a tropical flavor. Our tree is bursting with them this year! My children can usually be found climbing the tree and emerging with a bucketful of loquats to enjoy. 

Blessings from above.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!
Thank you for reading.
Grace &peace,
Adoring Family

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

5 Life Changing Fitness Rituals

Today I would like to share some of my favorite, life-changing fitness hacks. These 5 things have changed my health for the better. They give me increased energy, decreased bloating and reduce my joint pain.

1. 30 Grams of Protein for breakfast.

Wait as long as possible to eat breakfast and then have a high protein breakfast of 30 grams of protein. Foods that are high in protein will stay in your stomach longer thus creating that full feeling for an increased amount of time. You will find that your hunger will be kept at bay for a good portion of the day and your cravings for carbs will decrease.  

2. Lift Weights Only Twice a Week

80/20 Rule of Productivity (the Pareto Principle) This rule states that 20 % of the cause yields 80 % of the effects. So 20 %of your effort will get you 80% of your results. It essentially working smarter, not harder. While I aim to do some sort of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) on my rebounder at least 5 times a week I still like to build muscle by lifting weights.  I believe two days a week is the minimum effective dose to build the muscle I desire to keep my body strong. If I can schedule two days a week to strength train using the heaviest weights possible without injury and lift to the point of muscle fatigue then I will build muscle. My body has plenty of time to repair itself during rest days and rest is actually when the muscle is built so be sure to feed the muscle platy of protein and supplements (see below). Please work up to your desired weights slowly to avoid injury and stop when you feel fatigued. Strength training is another great way to build bone density. I do want to caution you to please follow this plan at your own risk. I do not want you to do something that will make you uncomfortable or risk injury. To read more about how to apply the Pareto Principle to other areas of your life and achieve maximum results w the minimum effort click here.
3. Drink small amounts of water throughout the day instead of large quantities at once.
If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you already know how important cran-water and getting my daily water intake is to me.

My SIL's mom gave me this water bottle from Amazon. It makes it so easy to get my daily water intake in. The times of day are marked on the bottle as a reminder and refill once. It is better for your pancreas when you sip water in increments. It is best to drink about one cup (8 ounces) of water at a time. Any more and your blood volume will increase which sets of a chain reaction that eventually sends signals to your kidneys and you eliminate all of the water before your body had a chance to absorb any of it. Of course I add a splash of cranberry juice, so refreshing and detoxing (read this to learn more).

4. Rebounder

 There are a vast number of reasons why rebounding is superior to other forms of exercise, even running. NASA has concluded that “Rebound Exercise is the most efficient, effective form of exercise yet devised by man.”  


This study was conducted in order to provide NASA's astronauts with the most effective exercise program to reverse the Osteoporosis which occurred in as little as 2 weeks in space (where 15% of bone mass was lost). Studies conclude that rebounding achieves a total body workout which challenges core muscles, quickly builds muscle and bone density and reduces joint stress by 80%. Metabolism and fat loss are increased. Oxygen uptake improves along with more calories burned per minute. Workout and rehab time are decreased. 
I have taken Catalyst by Advocare supplements and let me tell you, they work. BUT I find them to be incredibly pricey compared to what I can get from Amazon. So I did the research to find what the active ingredients are and now I get the same products for half the price. They last me a lot longer than the one bottle of Catalyst. Remember, this is MY regimen so it may differ from yours but I have found the combination of these supplements to work well for me. I usually take these before each meal and will  eventually taper off to once a day. 
Here's what I take and why they work:
"Our BCAA formula boosts your natural protein synthesis to maintain your lean muscle mass while burning fat. The basic equation for this is: 
Muscle mass = rate of protein synthesis - rate of protein breakdown 
Therefore the higher your protein synthesis, the higher your lean muscle mass, strength and fitness. Simple."
-Raw Barrel
NOW Foods L-Glutamine 1,000 Milligram, 120 Capsules
Promotes Cell detoxification and improves metabolism.
"Glutamine is considered to be a conditionally essential amino acid, which means that under certain circumstances, the body may require more Glutamine than it can produce. In the body, Glutamine functions as a major nitrogen transporter and is critical for the maintenance of healthy nitrogen balance. Glutamine also acts as the primary fuel for the rapidly growing cells of the immune system and GI tract."
-NOW Foods  
When I am taking these supplements I notice a dramatic difference in the way my body burns fat as well as improved muscle tone & decreased bloating.

I love sharing what works for me in hope that I may be helping others. Please do remember that these are fitness hacks, not medical advice and I am not a medical professional so please use these tips at your discretion. 

Grace & peace,

Adoring Family

All of the opinions and words on this post are written by me. I originally shared this post for Fluster Buster but all opinions, research and words presented here are written by Adoring Creations.