Investing in My Self Care

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I did a few things for myself the past few days.

I rearranged my office so that I’m facing the window.  Doing this actually freed up some room in the rest of the office.  Somehow things aren’t crammed together.  I just love this space.  It’s so cozy and beautiful.  

After 6 months of “sitting on it,” I decided to join the Younique makeup family.  I have always pretty much been against direct sales, mainly those who sell “health and wellness” products.  It’s just helping the 60 billion dollar diet industry do evil things to women and men (see, pretty passionate about this).  I have been watching an online friend who is a black status presenter through Younique, and I’ve been so impressed with her and the products (and company).  I’ve been talking with her often about maybe joining one day.  Then I saw the Kudos this month and it was a quad palette (4 colors), a lipstick, and a mascara for a pretty good deal (expensive still, but much cheaper than normal).  I started talking with her about it and I realized for just a little more I could get so much more than that in the Presenter kit.  So, I bit the bullet and decided to order the Presenter kit.  Then I also bought an extra quad palette (because I wanted some specific colors), a lipstick, some brushes (concealer and blending brushes), makeup sponge, eye brow pencil, and a Booster Bundle (which has a concealer, foundation, primer, and setting spray).  Pretty much everything that I need to get started.  This wasn’t cheap, but I got 20% back and these things will last a long time.  Also I was using some of the income tax refund.  Now when I buy, it’ll mostly be from product credit and royalties from what I sell.  The main cost is the initial investment.

Come on over and visit my website!

The Presenter kit has these things in it:

  • MOODSTRUCK 3D FIBER LASHES+™ lash enhancer
  • MOODSTRUCK EPIC™ mascara
  • MOODSTRUCK ESTEEM™ lash serum
  • MOODSTRUCK PRECISION™ pencil eyeliner – Perfect
  • MOODSTRUCK® pressed shadow quad palette
  • MOODSTRUCK® pressed shadow refill — Agile
  • MOODSTRUCK® pressed shadow refill — Fervent
  • MOODSTRUCK® pressed shadow refill — Optimistic
  • MOODSTRUCK® pressed shadow refill — Slick
  • MOODSTRUCK SPLURGE cream shadow – Tenacious
  • YOUNIQUE™ angled shadow/sponge brush
  • MOODSTRUCK Minerals Lucrative Lip Gloss – Lovesick
  • Moodstruck Splash Liquid Lipstick – Stubborn
  • Royalty Exfoliating Mask
  • Younique Royalty Mask Samples (1 sachet of each mask, Oil Control, Detoxifying Exfoliating)
  • Touch Mineral Foundation Sample Card
  • White Status Charm
  • SAVING LASHES, CHANGING LIVES™ charm
  • ZenPrint Promotional Card
  • March 2018 Catalog
  • Welcome Card
  • Younique Foundation Card
  • Product Card
  • Business/Opportunity Card
  • Fast Start Card
  • Younique-branded, purple faux leather makeup bag

$294 value for $99

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I also got the quad palette and lipstick.  

Concealer and blending brush

Booster Bundle (concealer, foundation, primer, and setting spray) and brow liner

I also bought a makeup sponge from Walmart (suggested by my friend).

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And I bought a makeup mirror ($11) and iPhone stand ($15) from Amazon to do my videos in my office (this is also another reason I moved my desk… apparently lots of natural light is best).

I haven’t felt this excited about something in a long time.  I feel like I’ll have something productive to do with my time, I’ll learn something new, get free and discounted makeup, and maybe I can make a little bit of $$ to put towards my medical expenses.  I’m also just looking forward to investing in me a bit.  I had planned to go to the Business plan here on WordPress but decided it wouldn’t make any sense.  I decided to do this instead.

Also, this is going to help me learn to be more confident and come out of my comfort zone a lot!  I tend to hide a lot and I’m tired of hiding.  I will be doing lots of Facebook live videos, Instagram stories (I’ve been learning how to use this recently), sharing about products, and sharing how to use the products (once I learn!).  So fun!

Simple Living

Simple Living

Over the years, due to my mental illness, I have had to simplify my life so much.

I have tried working so many times and can’t; I’ve tried homeschooling (many times) and can’t.

These cause severe anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.  Also, with my bipolar 2, I never know if I’m going to be able to function from one moment to the next.  I haven’t been stable for more than a month at a time for years.

Because of this, I am working towards getting disability.  I have a hearing soon and I’m using a lawyer.

Simple Schedule and Routine

Recently, I decided to get rid of a lot of things and truly simplify.  I organized well in order to keep things easy to keep up with.  I take one day at a time.  I try not to over-plan because I know that that usually means anxiety.

The only things on my plate are:

  • Time with family (though the kids are gone from 6:30 till 4:30 every day, so that means I’m alone a lot)
  • Self care
  • Bible study (personal daily and women’s once a week) and Church (a few times a month)
  • AA (twice a week, at one hour each time)
  • Counseling (sometimes) and kids’ counseling (every other week)
  • Coffee with friends (when I can handle it)
  • Cleaning (I have a daily routine that I keep up with so things don’t get out of control)
  • Cook/make simple meals
  • A few small hobbies as I can handle it (mostly blogging and baking)

That’s it.

Our kids also have very simple lives.

  • Chores (daily they make their bed, fold and put away laundry, and clean up their rooms and living room if they leave things there)
  • School (of course, they are gone a long time every day for school)
  • Homework (very little… reading for 20-30 minutes and math and/or spelling)
  • Play (they spend a lot of time outside and with friends)
  • Play games and read
  • Counseling
  • Church
  • Electronics, limited

Karis does choir (one hour a week), and Ethan does some mountain biking (a few races a year).  No large amount of time doing sports or other extra curricular activities.  This isn’t for everyone, but it’s best for our family.

Simple Planning

I basically just sit down with my Happy Planner the night before or the morning of and plan my day.  It tends to be a lot of the same each day and I’m good with that.  Other than that, I go by my daily/weekly routine.

Simple Eating

We typically eat a lot of the same things consistently.  I try to mix it up sometimes, but pretty much every meal I do is simple.  I use my instant pot a lot, and I usually make meals that don’t take very long.

I have a weekly routine to do some food prep so that things are simple through the week.  I fill my veggie tray to pull out for lunches and sometimes for dinners.  I sometimes make homemade Greek yogurt, but this time around I just bought some.

I try to buy some things that are convenience to be easy to use/eat.  For example, I buy already cut broccoli and baby carrots.  I buy some granola bars and peanut butter crackers.  I LOVE buying pre-boiled and peeled boiled eggs (I hate boiling and peeling them).  The boys just grab a bag and eat a few for snacks. And I eat them at lunches often.  Sometimes I buy pre-made salads but they are much more expensive than buying leaf lettuce.  So sometimes I buy leaf lettuce, tear/cut it, and add some bagged spinach to it.  I have taken a break from salads for a while, though.

I meal plan each week so that we all know what we will be eating.  It helps keep the guess work out of it, and I am able to do any prep ahead of time (like thawing meat, etc).

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We also eat in the dining hall when we can because it’s free, and I don’t have to cook and clean up.  Sometimes I can’t handle being in a loud dining hall, but I’m getting to where I can these days.

The Little Things

I try really hard to enjoy the little things each day.  I have learned to be content with what we have and where we are in life.  I am at peace with where we live and know that this is life from now on (unless God has us move on, but I highly doubt it to be honest).  I light candles every day, and start out with a good cup of coffee.  I have been slowly decorating our home (on a tight budget) because I want to enjoy being here.  Having coffee with friends has helped me to grow closer to others here and it has given me a ministry (other than AA).  I enjoy getting up in the morning now and watching the sun rise.

I love hiking and am so glad that we have the hiking trails right outside our door.  We live on 1400 acres.  We try to take family hikes on weekends as we can.  It doesn’t always work out.  This is basically the only form of exercise that I like :-).

Our Home

I love our home.  It’s not very big (about 1300 sq ft), but it’s perfect for us.  The boys share a room, Karis has her own room (that is so fun and perfect for her), and our bedroom has a comfy love seat in it (that I got for $30 from a Thrift Store).  I have an amazing “bonus room” with my office area, a couple of shelves with books, a chair with side table and books, my guitar (that my brother gave me and I want to learn how to play), curtains (that were $20 for 4 panels), a fun rug ($30 on Amazon), and a bunch of art that I already had or got for $1 at Dollar Tree.  It’s my favorite room in the house.  I also have a succulent plant on the windowsill by my desk :-).

Our living room is so great.  The tree wall was here when we moved in.

I spent a lot of time working on the kids’ rooms recently and it’s so much easier to keep clean.

I love our kitchen and our food storage.  It makes me happy.  I spend a lot of time in there.

This is the view from our back windows/back porch.

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My office and bedroom are my sanctuary.  I just love them.

I just love life and feel at peace with where we are.  I am also excited about our future and what that looks like.

Grati-Tuesday, February 27th

Grati-Tuesday

Yesterday ended kind of rough so I wasn’t sure how today was going to go.  I had a lot of anxiety last night, and it was hard for me to get to sleep.  I woke up so tired, and I’m still very tired.  I had an 8:45 meeting, I read to the second graders at 10:00, a 10:30 meeting, I ate brunch, went to a few places just to pass the time, 12:00 AA, and now I’m in the library for a few hours while I wait for the kids to get out of school (Karis has choir after school).  I really could curl up on the couch here in the library and take a nap!  Probably wouldn’t be a good idea, though.

Anyway.

I constantly realize how great life is.  Even on the hard days and anxious nights.  Even when I’m really tired.

Just in the past few days, I have so much to be thankful for… in the big things and the little things.

Yesterday Robert and I got to have a lunch date (we ate amazing Chinese food).  He had to run some errands so we went to Lowe’s and Home Depot where I bought some succulents and a windowsill herb garden.  That’s not big, but it makes me happy.  We also picked up a love seat from a thrift store that is in amazing shape and only cost $30!

Last night we had my mentee over for dinner and it was so great to get to know her better.  We haven’t been super great at getting together so it was nice.

Today I had an amazing meeting with Levi’s teacher, and I got to talk through some things that have been bothering me.  I realized in that moment that a lot of it was just my anxiety telling me lies.  She told me a lot of positive things that I haven’t heard from her.  She told me all of the things that she does to work with him each day and how she teaches him coping skills (we’re working towards an ADHD diagnosis and maybe meds but we haven’t decided yet).

I read to the second graders in the library to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday week.  I read one of my favorite books (The Little White Owl) and it was so fun!  I miss reading to a class.  Actually it was two classes.  And I’ve listened to lots more people read to different classes today.  So fun!  I just love our school.

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Random library selfie.

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I went to brunch at my favorite restaurant and had an amazing (large) pancake, fried eggs, and some bacon.  Sooooo good.

I went to Family Dollar and got a couple of things and then went to the thrift store (called the Attic).  I bought this fun painting for $2!  I’m trying to decide where to put it in my house!

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All of these things may seem little, but they are big to me.  I am trying really hard to enjoy all the things these days.

The next few days I will be having coffee with friends, then this coming weekend Robert is off!  I’m always so thankful for family time!

I feel like most posts are similar, but that’s my life.  Each day is new and simple and amazing all in one.  I’m still having to take things one day at a time because I don’t know how long this will last.  I’ll just enjoy the “good” while I have it, however long it lasts!

Happy Monday: Would You Give Jesus a Chance?

Happy Monday

I have been trying really hard to not sleep during the day.  When I do, I will take an hour long nap instead of a 4 hour nap in the morning and a 2 hour nap in the afternoon.  Now, even when I don’t sleep well the night before, I try to wait till bed time to sleep.  This worked out so well last night.  I fell asleep at 9:45.  Of course I woke up at 4:10, but I kind of dozed back off till my alarm went off at 5:20.

I am starting to love early mornings.  I get that time with the kids, drink coffee, do my Bible study (currently doing a She Reads Truth Lent study), and spend some time praising Jesus through song.  I also get to see the sun rise over the hills.  We have a fantastic view from our house.

I love this song and have listened to it over and over this morning.

I also just LOVE this song.  It’s a great reminder that we are loved and He has a plan.  Have courage.  Sometimes we have to wait for something, but He will be glorified through His plan.  He wants good for us who love Him.

I’m a little behind in the She Reads Truth Lent study, but I’m okay with that.  It’s not about being perfect but about drawing near to Jesus and spending time with Him.  In turn, He teaches me about Him and His plan.  Today’s study was very relevant for me coming out of a season of darkness.  Check it out!  The Plagues Continue.

If you’re turned off by all things God/Jesus, I pray that you would give Him a chance. While I was in the darkness I was bitter and angry towards Him.  All of a sudden He gave me peace and joy.  He reminded me that He is in control and that despite the hard (that happens because of sin in the world), He truly does want good to come.  Sometimes we have to wait, but the good eventually comes “Miracles happen when you fix your eyes on Jesus.”  And honestly I wouldn’t appreciate the good without the hard.  He has taught me so much over the past several years.  I love others better.  I have less judgment.  I’m stronger, I have more courage, I am able to be vulnerable, I have grown so much, I am able to be there for others, and I just want to share Him with others.  My family is also stronger.  We have grown together.

Today I pray that you would give Him a chance.  He loves you no matter what you’ve done and what you’ve been through.  He loves you just as you are (I mean, I’m an alcoholic and He loves me).

Have a good Monday!

Scared to Hope

scared to hope

I’ve been feeling good for about a month now.  My “feel good” time started out really strong with lots and lots of energy and motivation.  I really thought I was hypomanic but wasn’t sure.  I just kept going with it.  But also, when I started feeling good was just about 3-4 days after I started a new med.  I hoped that’s what was making me feel good.  Again, I wasn’t sure.

A month later, and I’m still feeling good.  This is just odd because I typically don’t feel good for very long.  Either I am struggling with severe anxiety, I’m hypomanic, or I’m depressed.  Just “feeling good” isn’t super common.  Sure, I have my good days, but this has lasted continuously for a month.  I can remember one day where I felt “down,” but it was because I was really tired and slept a lot.

Previous to this, I was pretty miserable.  I was pretty depressed.  I was sleeping all day, every day.  I wasn’t sleeping at night.  I was anxious.  My house was a complete disaster and there were always piles and piles of laundry.  I felt like I had no purpose in life and didn’t know what else to do with myself.  I just felt like that was my life from now on.

Part of this is because I put my kids in school and the homeschooling season is just over for our family.  Part of this was because I was so, so tired all the time.  I also have hypothyroid on top of my other issues.  Then I was just in a bad cycle of not sleeping at night and sleeping all day.  It’s hard to get out of that.  Now if I don’t sleep well, I try not to go back to sleep, and I end up sleeping better the next night.  If I do sleep during the day, it’s for like an hour, not 4 hours.

The hard thing for me right now is that I’m scared to hope too much.  I don’t want to assume that I’ll feel good consistently if that’s not reality.  I mean, everyone has bad days or “down” days, and I can handle that.  It’s the debilitating depression and severe anxiety that I cannot handle.  Well I guess I can handle it, but I really, really don’t want to.

I do have hope in Jesus, but I am also aware that He has never promised us an easy life and I know that perfection won’t happen till heaven.  In the mean time all I can do is take one day at a time and enjoy the good days.

Meal Plan, Week of February 26-March 4

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Like I said in my post yesterday, I have a lot of food, and I’m trying to find something new to cook!  I also have two instant pots and try to make most things in there.

As usual, my breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are in a list to choose from.  My dinners are specific for the day.

Breakfasts

Lunches

  • Sandwich 🥪 , veggies 🥕, and crackers
  • Boiled egg 🥚, salami or summer sausage, veggies 🥦 and hummus, and Triscuits
  • Leftovers
  • Soup 🥣
  • Wraps

Dinners

Snacks

  • Triple Zero Greek yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Clif bars
  • Granola bars
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Apples or bananas and peanut butter
  • Pretzels and cookie butter

Next week, most lunches and dinners will be in the dining hall.  Can’t wait!  It saves us so much money and time, and it is a great way to get to know the staff

Prep for meals

  • Veggie tray
  • Move frozen meat to the fridge
  • Make breakfast casserole
  • Thaw steel cut oats
  • Bake bread (only because we love it!)

I buy pre-cut veggies when I can and already boiled/peeled boiled eggs.  I know it costs a little more and it’s worth it at this point.  I may go back to prepping these things eventually.  I’m also probably going to reduce the amount that I make Greek yogurt.  It hasn’t been turning out!!

My Plan for the week

  • Monday- Robert and I will go to town to pick up the love seat and maybe have a lunch date.  We are making dinner for my mentee.
  • Tuesday- I’m reading to Levi’s class, AA, lunch, library time, then a birthday party for a little one here that’s turning one.
  • Wednesday- Bible study at noon (at my house), and I might have a friend over for coffee.
  • Thursday- Day at home, then AA at 7:00pm
  • Friday- Rest day, and I might have a friend over for coffee.
  • Saturday- Family day
  • Sunday- Church, lunch with the pastor, counseling, maybe the park

As you can see, Monday and Tuesday are my only busy days this week!  That’s much different from last week!

Also, daily chores will happen and my schedule chores will happen.

I hope you have a great week!  What are your plans for the week and for meals?

Self Care Sunday

relaxitssunday

Usually on self care days, I still do some chores.  The reason is that having a clean house is self care for me.  I like to keep up with everything so I don’t get behind and start to have anxiety and depression.  I mean, anxiety and depression still happen (hello mental illness), but if I can prevent it, I will try :-).

So basically that means keeping up with the daily chores: one load of laundry (from start to finish), sweep/vacuum, make my bed, pick up things that are laying around (and the kids will clean up their things), and keep up with dishes.

I need to do a bit of food prep.  This means cutting veggies for my veggie tray, and I will make an instant pot breakfast casserole.  It won’t take very long.  I also need to make dinner.  Pasta and sauce in the instant pot and steamed veggies.

The self care things that I’m doing are: sleep in (till 9!), morning meds (buspirone, lithium, propranolol, lipitor, lexapro, and birth control that I take for my moods) and supplements (B-complex and Vitamin D3), blog (self care and meal plan), plan my week (in my Happy Planner!), and maybe nap :-).  I am trying to drink more water so I have that with me through the day.

I also hope to play some games with the kids.  I might go for a short walk.

Typically we go to church on Sundays, but when Robert works (every third Sunday), the kids and I stay home to rest and play.  I have worship music playing all day.

What are your plans for self care today?

A Boy and His Beary

Today was a fantastic day. I had coffee with a good friend, I hosted Bible study, Robert and I had a great late lunch, and the day ended around our table eating amazing food talking with new friends about God and His plans. It was so neat to see how God brought us to where we are, and I love sharing our story. The kids all played and had so much fun (lots of kids in our small house, and it was fun and energetic!). Sadly it all ended by Ethan shrieking and running in the kitchen with his Beary who was covered in bright res lipstick 💄. He was devastated. Beary has been with him since he was born, through the good and the bad. He cuddles her most nights, especially when he’s really struggling with something. I frantically asked around about the best way to get lipstick out of a stuffed animal and my friend told me 409. Then I had to find some (we are far from town and I wanted to try something tonight). I found some and Robert soaked her with it. I then threw her in the washer on hot. Unfortunately the lipstick didn’t come out completely, but she’s better than she was. I reminded him tonight that even though she won’t look the same, she will feel the same and that’s all that matters. He then fell asleep pretty easily because by this point it was way past his bedtime. We also determined that Levi and his sweet friend just wanted to make a “scary scene” and didn’t realize it wasn’t washable. They both felt real bad (Levi was crying a lot). I’m super sad that the boy that Beary belongs to will be 10 in 4 months. This having growing kids is so hard.

Rainy Wednesday, February 21st

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It’s not spring, but it feels like it.  It’s raining and it’s supposed to rain all week long.  I like a little bit of rain.  But a whole week of it is a bit much.  It makes me feel down.  I love sunshine and birds singing.  I love being able to open my windows and feel the breeze.  I love being able to step out my door and go for a hike (have I mentioned that we live on 1400 acres with lots of hiking trails?).  Right now it’s 37 degrees.  Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

Anyway… enough complaining.

Yesterday was long and exhausting, but it was so good at the same time.  At the 12 step meeting we had four people (we’re not calling it AA anymore so addicts feel welcome as well (there are a lot of addicts in our town), but we are still using the Big Book).  This is great for the beginning stages and in a very small town (1100 people).

Then I had lunch with my friend that started this meeting with me.  She’s so great.

I hung out at the library for a few hours as I waited for the kids to get out of school and I got started on my outline for the “My Story” posts that are coming up.  I chatted with the wonderful ladies in the library (we have an amazing library and school).  The kids got out of school and then Karis had choir.  The boys finished their homework and played on the computers in the library.

Then we came home, had dinner, and I went to a baby shower for one of my dear friends.  It was beautiful and amazing.  I’m so thankful for our amazing community here at camp.  I don’t want to be anywhere else.  It was “Magnolia” themed.

I got home late which meant I couldn’t get to sleep till about 2:00am.  Not fun.  Luckily my wonderful husband took care of everything this morning (getting the kids ready and driving them to the bus).  I don’t know what I would do without him.  My friend was saying we need to clone him because he helps out so much.  Hehe.

On another (positive) note…

I have been blogging for like 10 years (at least).  I have focused on sharing it with my family and friends and have kind of gotten frustrated that it wasn’t getting out “there” for people to follow and like.  Yesterday I chatted with a wonderful blogger friend that gave me some tips for getting more involved in the community.  I just didn’t know about all of the options out there to connect!

Most importantly I didn’t know about the WordPress Reader.  Hello?!  Where have I been?  This is amazing.  I am able to search and read blogs about things that I am interested in and in turn people read my blog.  I read some great blogs yesterday about anxiety, depression, bipolar 2, alcoholism/sobriety, and more!  I’m so thankful that she pointed me there.  Oh, and it’s on the WordPress app as well.

Come over to the Home of the Croslands Facebook page.  I hope to start doing live videos soon.  I’m a little nervous about it, but I think it will be great!

 

On this Rainy Wednesday I will be having coffee with a friend, hosting a Bible study at my home, and making dinner for new friends that recently moved to camp.  I’m making my instant pot carnitas.  We will also have instant pot pinto beans, Spanish rice, and chips and guacamole. Yum.  These people have been amazing so far, and I’m so thankful that they are here.  They have 5 kids and my kids feel so connected to them already.  They are great kids.

Sorry that these posts have been somewhat scattered these days.  I hope to really start focusing in on specific things.  In the mean time, I hope you enjoy just getting to know me, my struggles and things that I enjoy, and my life here at Camp Eagle.

Happy Wednesday!