Successful weekend

Hello!

I had a busy yet successful weekend in that everything I had to do went off without a hitch – amazing!

I’m happy to report that my Harvest bag that I received on Friday did not need as much prep time as the week before. There were a lot of things in this bag that really only needed a good soak and scrub – onions, asparagus, oranges, grape tomatoes, grapes, butter lettuce…I can’t think of what else was in the bag. I spent less than an hour taking care of my produce and most of that hour was just washing and drying and putting away. Easy peasy!

Saturday was my youngest daughter’s 13th birthday and she invited a few friends to go to the mall and then back to our house for a sleepover. I know, that sounds like a nightmare, right? But actually it was all good – we spent a couple of hours at the mall (where I treated myself to a little something at Sephora) and then we went to Target, picked up pizza on the way home, and then the girls spent the rest of the evening just hanging out and playing outside (it was a GORGEOUS day – sunny and warm!).

Sunday morning I had a bit of a dilemma: I could stay home with the birthday party or take my middle daughter to her last club volleyball game of the season. My husband was away on a sporting event of his own, otherwise he could have taken her (or stayed home with the youngers). I had told the 13 year old that I would make muffins for them when they woke up Sunday morning, but I also didn’t want the 17 year old to drive to downtown Tulsa by herself, plus I just wanted to be there to watch her play. So I decided that since my son was home (he’s 21), and the girls would probably sleep late, that I would go ahead and go to volleyball with my daughter. The younger ones would just have to make their own muffins (which they did). At the volleyball game (this was actually a huge regional tournament) there were several vendors there selling fun things and I bought myself 3 fun tshirts and 3 pairs of fun dangly earrings for a very good price. I don’t typically buy things for myself often but between my Sephora stuff and the tshirts and earrings, it turned out to be a “treat yo’self” kind of weekend! I had planned on taking the birthday party guests home when I got home from the tournament, but when I arrived home early afternoon, the guests had already been picked up by their parents, which was kind of a relief because it would have meant over an hour of driving for me. Win!

Sunday afternoon and evening I was WORN SLICK from all the driving and thinking and planning and activity from the weekend. I pretty much just sat on the couch and watched Naked and Afraid until it was time for bed (I love that show – anyone else a fan?).

And that was my weekend. In years past, I would have been a frazzled mess over all the activity but I’ve learned to make these kinds of activities enjoyable for myself too, and that has made all the difference.

 

 

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Don’t Forget the Fun

For the last few days I’ve been at war with my body image. Usually when this happens it’s because I feel like something is out of my control, and I direct that frustration towards my overly soft, chubby body, but this time I couldn’t really pinpoint what I felt I didn’t have control over. Our finances are fine (for the first time in a while), my kids are okay, marriage is intact…really I have no idea what brought on this onslaught of negativity towards my weight. The ONLY thing that’s annoying me right now is allergies – there’s so much pollen in the air and springtime in Oklahoma means the wind is blowing ridiculously all day every day (there’s a reason the line in the song is “where the wind comes sweeping down the plain” *sigh*). And when my allergies hit, there’s usually a little feeling of sadness that comes with it – so maybe that’s what was going on.

But as I drove to work this morning, I was scrolling through the Sirius XM channels and happened to stop on a new wave channel (read: 80s music). I heard some familiar tunes and then this song came on and for whatever reason, my sad little heart perked up and I sang my lungs out:

Sometimes God gives us exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.

I don’t know why this song did the trick – because of it’s bouncy rhythm? because it’s a fun memory from my early teenage years? because it’s just an excellent song for car-dancing???? I honestly felt a shiver go through my body and then I felt my mind shift into something more positive, and I realized that I have been missing a fundamental element of life in the last few weeks: FUN. I can’t think of anything I’ve done lately that was just pure fun, and after the last couple of rough weeks, I need a bit o’fun!

So I have to remember to build in some fun moments to every day – I need something to remind me that life is not just work and making dinner and beating my hair into submission…laughing and enjoying life are important too. And apparently, car dancing.

Friday Free-for-all: LocalFarmOK

Earlier in the week I mentioned that I finally have access to a local farm harvest delivery service (localfarmok.com) – I received my first delivery last Friday and I am in love.

 

Here’s what I got for $26:

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Celery, lettuce, broccoli, portobello mushrooms, potatoes, blueberries, pears, mandarin oranges, and also not shown are 3 cucumbers that I gave to my boss because cucumbers are the devil’s vegetable. I felt like that was quite a bit of produce for the money and can I just say that the taste of this produce…THE TASTE…I swoon over how good it all tasted. It was all so delicious.

How I felt all week:

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And this is a sample of what I made with all my delicious farm fresh goodies:

The first one is an egg scramble with peppers and onions with a sprinkle of cheese topped with avocado on top of a portobello mushroom. The second is a sheet pan dinner with turkey smoked sausage, broccoli, onions, and red & baby potatoes. I’ve also been eating salads all week with the lettuce. I think I’ve used up everything except the celery, which I keep forgetting to wash and chop. Maybe I’ll do that tonight.

I signed up for every other week delivery, but I’m thinking I might go ahead and sign up for the weekly delivery because I used up everything quicker than I thought I would. When you’re as health conscious as I am, you need to have a steady flow of produce coming your way. There can never be too much kale.

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I don’t think he believes me. 

 

 

 

 

Winning Wednesday

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I’m playing with a posting schedule in an effort to post here regularly as opposed to the hit-or-miss “schedule” I’ve been using for the last couple of years. On Mondays I’m going to write about some form of mental health (because I think it’s important to get a discussion of mental health out in the open), Wednesdays will be devoted to current wins: things I’ve done well, nice things others have done, things that have had made me happy (because I want this to be a positive place for readers to visit), and Fridays will be a free-for-all where I just write about whatever strikes my fancy (because…well just because I want to).

Since today is Wed-nes-day (will I ever be able to type that word without saying it in my head like that???) WINNING is the word of the day!

For awhile last year, I kept a notebook wherein I listed 3-5 things that made me feel good about myself – I called it my Daily Wins (it’s an excellent self-esteem booster – I highly recommend it) and I thought it would be fun to list some wins here on the ‘Pear.

  • My birthday was earlier in the month and I got to go visit my BFF in Baton Rouge. We spent one day in New Orleans and had beignets in New Orleans City Park, then saw Phantom of the Opera. It was so fun!

(Beignets at Morning Call Cafe – Open 24 hours for all your beignet needs)

  • Being with my BFF is like getting a shot of Vitamin Kickass. She builds me up and makes me feel like I am the smartest, funniest, prettiest, most magical unicorn of all time. She can make friends with anyone and has the ability to make one feel like the most interesting person in the room. She’s gracious and generous, and is quick with a laugh and a hug. And she will always be the best dressed woman in the room, guaranteed.
  • And in addition to being best friends, we are now Fitbit friends too! We decided that we both need more activity in our lives, so we have challenged each other to a Work Week Hustle. It’s perfect for us because we have about the same activity level, so it’s an effort for us to stay ahead of one another, but it’s not unmanageable. We are actually having fun with it, and I think that’s what will keep us going with it.
  • A local farm harvest delivery service is finally available in my area, so I signed up and got my first delivery last Friday. The food is so delicious, and I feel like I got a lot for my money. I’ll post more about it on Friday, but I’m so proud of myself for signing up for this and actually finding ways to use the produce.
  • My husband bought himself a bike. He’s been talking about getting one for years and he found out an acquaintance of his buys bikes, fixes them up, then resells them. He made my husband a good deal on a really nice bike and now my husband can ride to his heart’s content. I’m happy that he’s so happy about it. 🙂

With all the negative news that seems to permeate our lives, I think it’s a good exercise to take note of what’s going well for us. What are some of your Daily Wins? Write them down in a notebook or jot them in a memo on your phone, or list them in the comments below. Feel free to brag on yourself or just mention that nice thing that someone did for you. Whatever it is, take a minute to really notice it and notice how it lifts you up. Then go be the WIN in someone else’s day. 🌼

Mental Health Monday

Sleep…the final frontier of your day. There are many, many times I have slipped under the covers and given thanks to God for inventing bedtime. A whole entire chunk of time to do nothing but sleep? What a gift!!!

But what if you can’t turn your brain off when it’s time to drift away? It is so frustrating to be lying in bed unable to stop thinking all the thoughts. You can Google “how to shut your brain off at night” and get lots of really good articles, but I thought I’d share some personal tips on how I get my brain to just shut up already.

  1. Cool it down. I make sure my room is cool at night because sleeping in a too-warm room makes me SUPER CRANKY. Seriously, just ask my husband.
  2. Listen to my breathing. Sometimes if I can’t sleep, I can put in earplugs and listen to my own breath – it sort of sounds like waves ebbing and flowing on the shore, which relaxes me enough to finally drift off.
  3. Count sheep. Okay maybe not sheep, but I do count. I usually start at 100 and count backward, then forward again. If I haven’t drifted off by then I will…
  4. Get up and go drink some warm milk. Some warm milk with a little vanilla extract and a bit of sugar is like a hug in a cup. Makes me feel cozy and warm. It may be a myth that warm milk helps you sleep, but for me it breaks the pattern of trying to toss and turn my way to sleep and gives me a chance to reset my brain.
  5. Play mindfulness games. This one works for me when nothing else will. I go through the alphabet and list the first 3 words that come to mind for each letter. For example, A: aardvark, advance, apple. B: blender, bully, bike…etc. Sometimes I’ll do themes like animals or foods, but most of the time just thinking of the first word that pops in my head is enough – and sometimes it’s kind of amusing.
  6. Read something uninteresting. A coworker of mine who used to sell insurance said that if you ever have trouble sleeping, go read a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy. Three paragraphs in and you’ll be out like a light! Similarly, reading a textbook or just any old boring thing you have lying around will probably do the trick.

Thankfully, I don’t usually have trouble sleeping, but on those occasions when I do, it helps to know that I have tools that I can use to calm myself.

What are your go-to tips for those nights when sleep eludes you? Share in the comments below so maybe we can all get a good night’s rest tonight. 🙂

 

When The Label No Longer Fits

I have several labels I have applied to myself over the years, but the one that has been with me the longest is Sugar Lover. I didnt just have a sweet tooth, I had a whole mouth full of them. I wouldn’t just eat a cookie, I would eat as many cookies as my stomach could hold, and then I’d eat a few more. Sometimes, I would eat dinner just so I could eat dessert.

Yes, I was a sugarholic. Dessert was my love language.

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But over the last year or so, I find myself not enjoying the sweet stuff as much. I mean sure, as soon as I finish a meal my thoughts immediately turn to “what sweets do I have that would nicely complement my dinner?” because old habits die hard, but more often than not, confections don’t satisfy me like they used to.

Before I go further, let me assure you that I do still very much enjoy a decadent treat – last summer at the state fair, there was an artisinal chocolate bakery and I had the most amazing chocolate lava cake – seriously I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything so delicious in my life. And a couple of weeks ago, I found a recipe for the most perfect chocolate chip cookie – crispy edges with a chewy middle…we made 2 batches in one week – that’s how good they were. So I am still totally on board for gourmet or homemade decadence.

But as far as just any old store bought cookie? Nah. Not interested anymore. If I do have one, it’s just because I don’t know how to let go of being that person, not because I necessarily want the cookie.

It’s hard to let go of that label. It’s scary to become someone you’ve never been before.

And actually now that I think about it, some of my other labels are changing as well. I used to be a night owl but now I really like getting up early. I used to enjoy alcohol quite frequently…now I can take it or leave it (most often I just leave it because it’s not worth feeling so awful the next day). I used to be someone who always thought she was “less than” everyone else, now I know better (I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, I just no longer assume I’m inferior to everyone I meet).

So many changes! It’s like puberty all over again, but with fewer pimples and less angst!

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Jr High Jill had a lot of angst. And bracelets. 

I think my next step is to just accept that this is who am I now, and that it’s perfectly okay to be different than I once was. But man, it feels kinda weird…like driving some else’s car or sporting a new hairdo, but you get used to it I suppose. And just like Teen Jill learned to live beyond the big earrings and rubber bracelets, Grown Up Evolved Jill will live beyond the Oreos and Hostess snack cakes.

UPDATE: Oh my gosh look what I found!!

         And in color too!!

 

 

Why do you have ads, Jill???? Because I have kids, that’s why.

Not only will you see Word Ads on my site, you will also see Amazon Affiliate Links from time to time because I have 3 teenagers and dayum, they are expensive. Mama’s got to make some extra coin somehow. (I’m thinking that middle aged women shouldn’t use “coin” like that, but whatevs. I probably shouldn’t say “whatevs” either. Oh well.)

I can’t do much about the Word Ads, but I can kinda control the Amazon ads (I think), and I promise to make these ads fun and useful.

If you don’t already know, Amazon affiliate links work like this

(please note: this tutorial is mainly for my family members who probably don’t have any idea they can do this):

when you click on an Amazon link anywhere on my site, in any blog post, it will take you to Amazon and even if you don’t buy that particular product, but you buy ANYTHING ELSE for the next 24 hours, I will get a teensy commission on that sale. So if you’re going to buy something on Amazon, why not come here first and click on a link? You’ll be helping me out and you’ll get fun stuff from Amazon delivered right to your door.

For example, in my last post I mentioned macrame plant hangers. Guess what you can buy on Amazon right now????

http://amzn.to/2jssGES

That’s right! You can buy a macrame plant hanger of your very own! If you click on that picture, it will take you to Amazon where can purchase as many as you like. Or you can click around Amazon and purchase something else entirely and I’ll still get a commish on whatever product you buy. Easy, right?

Oh, and for my UK and Canada readers, it works for your Amazon sites as well. My affiliate link is also active on Amazon.uk and Amazon.ca. I have a few international readers because apparently my blathering appeals to peoples of all nations. Who knew?

I apologize if some of you don’t like seeing ads, and I hope the ads won’t be too obnoxious or distracting, but it’s either this or I go find a street corner and sell my wares there. I already have a full time job, and until someone is willing to pay me large amounts of money to read books, this will have to be my side gig for awhile.

Oh look! A link to books!

(I read this book recently and it was REALLY GOOD! Highly recommend)

Okay, sales pitch done and over. Thanks in advance if you decide to click on my links. I appreciate you!