Monday, November 24, 2014

Road Tripping with Tots!

We have been here long enough that our car smells like sea.  I know, because I just cleaned it out!  Which got me thinking, it might be nice to quickly share a couple things so far.  We've been lucky enough to start our vacation pre-Holiday and now getting to midway in our adventure.  This might come in handy for anyone beginning travels soon!

On road-tripping with littles (ours are 6months & 2.5 years):
-->>pack with lots of reusable grocery bags or any bags you like to use- keep the ones you want accessible in the back seat.
-->>one bag for dry snacks (we like DIY granola, bars, fruit snacks, a couple apples & bananas)
-->> one bag for diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.
-->> have white noise available.  We couldn't live without it for our littlest!  easy-to-install as an app on your phones, we also have an on-the-go Giraffe with built-in-sounds, which takes up plenty of littlest's attention when she's not giggling at silly big sis!
-->>designate one bag for all kid books, baby toys, etc.  use sparingly, corral often.  We are finding that Josey is very imaginative and one or two things occupies her attention in the car.  Too many toys can be overwhelming!-->> reserve screen time for dire circumstances!  We have been too lenient with this - Jos has been asking for more & more....
ALSO, if you have an iPhone, are you familiar with the bottom-swipe command screen?  so helpful.  Try it!  Swipe up & ta-da, all arguments about forgetting headlamps, diffused:
If this is a new discovery to you, too-notice the other features. Top-to-bottom, L>>R:
Airplane mode: great for driving through spotty service as not to waste data/battery.
Wireless finder, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, photo-orientation lock.  The bar comes in handy for adjusting your screen in bright sun vs dark night, especially if yours doesn't adjust automatically.Whatever is playing will be the main command: music, white noise, YouTube, which it would seem our toddler likes to find on her own, etc.The bottom row speaks for itself :)Are you traveling for the Holidays this year?  Where??  What's your favorite secret or tool for travel? 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Cleanse & Some Additions...

Originally, it was all about balance.  Yin-yangs and such.

Where I am right now, is standing at the bottom of a see-saw.  I can feel myself needing to restore health, clarity, and fitness.  Some say it's harder after the second baby, to "bounce back".  It should be, right?  Giving more to more kids, and of course there's only so much time in a week...

Before motherhood, I was concerned with my mental health, wondering if I was bipolar.  Let's just say I strongly identify with my Zodiac sign, Gemini, and sometimes my emotions run like a rollercoaster.  Through reflection and conversation during that time, I vowed to watch my intake (nutrition), my exhales (exercise), and my self-talk.  Monitoring those things was a recipe for a more even-keeled Emily, which as a teacher and wife was important to me.

So I started running & making more salads with protein.  I sat at the piano and I sang more (I don't talk mean to myself when making music- my teachers taught positivity), I spent time with good friends.  I told those friends, that I needed to temper my mental state with time in the outdoors and good food.  I told them I believed another alternative could be a prescription, but because I'm me, I didn't want to go that route.

Right now, I can feel myself needing to step onto the right track, wellness-wise.  I need to keep stretching for more positivity and patience for Miss Josey Bean.

If you call and ask me, I'm going to say that we're good, because we are.  In the grand scheme of things, I consider us lucky.  In the day-to-day, I know I'd like to be in a better, healthier place and a more even-keeled mama & lover.  Using my intuition, I know that I'll find my groove again.

Here's how:

>> Wake up & drink a big glass of water!  Everyday!  (It's amazing what a difference this makes)

>> More yoga.  This just builds patience into my day.

>> Stop starting & stopping my day with Instagram all day long.  Save it for later!

>> Just. no. more. gluten.  Sure, there are plenty of articles naysaying gluten sensitivity.  No matter what people & science are saying, it's a trigger food for me.  Lately, I've been tired and sluggish because I've let it creep all the way back into my daily diet.

>>Strive for more cycles in life- creating rituals & routines to love together, like running with one girl or the other, like going to Morning Melodies at Coffee Traders, and sharing healthy meals.

>> Work balance.  I need to be carving out space for work blogging for Boat Co, and for finding another source of income.  Ideally, at least one source will be musical, so pianoing everyday (even just a little bit) needs to be part of the routine, too.

>>Take it one piece at a time.  I tend to look big-picture and get overwhelmed by all the can-dos, should-dos, and how I'm not doing them.  Instead of getting overwhelmed, my intention is to utilize the time I have wisely.

I love writing goals, releasing them from spinning in my brain.  Sharing with others gives a bit more credibility, too.  Do you have any November goals?  Do share!

***Also..... notice the NEW HEADER here?!  What do you think?  I decided to FINALLY share our commissioned piece the phenomenal Courtney Blazon!  She drew the piece before Eliza was born, and we just love it so much.  You'll be hearing more about Courtney here as our Grows Feature coming up.

***And.... our first official SPONSOR is Starry Knight Design!  If you're not familiar, check out this Grows Feature from earlier this year.  Melanie's leather apparel is AMAZING and readers of this blog get a whopping 15% off with the code PLMG.  Check out her Etsy- she has countless designs for newborns-kiddos, and even some great accessories for adults!  Thanks, Melanie!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

On Intuition

James is a Winter child, he's taught me to love the upcoming season (yes, it was snowing today in Whitefish!) so much more.  During our first Winter living together in a cute, Missoula basement apartment, we went Downtown to a Ski Event at Sean Kelly's.  Plenty of schwag to be had, and it was time to get *stoked* for ski season.  The big item they were drumming up was a snowboard with "Kokanee" written on it.  Crazy as it seemed, soon after we walked in the door that night, I KNEW I was going to win the snowboard.  Not even that I wanted the thing.  I just KNEW I was going to win it.  Over burgers and beers, I repeatedly stated: "I'm going to win that snowboard."  Hours later, at the end of all the raffles, they called my name.

Scrolling through email a month ago, I noticed goop, you know, Gwyneth Paltrow's hip newsletter?  The title:  Trust the gut, drew me right in.

A great line from the article:

"Intuition makes the sliding doors, choose-your-own-adventure a little bit of a smoother sail, as we're more inclined to go through the right sliding door."

That sounds nice, doesn't it?  Intuition is rarely as easy for me as it was that night at Sean Kelly's, just buy a raffle ticket & wait to hear your name.  No, I tend to second-guess it often.  What's your intuition like?  Do you notice it?  Do you overthink or follow your gut?

My therapist, Elizabeth, helped me through some challenging times in Middle School and High School.  We'd often discuss the connection with individuals who have disordered eating to intuition.  Many of us tend to be people-pleasers, who end up compromising a strong feeling, something we know in our gut, because are influenced by outside factors.

When we act against our gut or intuition, it creates an icky feeling, an imbalance.  Many of us try to fill it up with the wrong fillers.
/Happy Belated bday to the photographer of this favorite photo!
Anders Olson

Do you know what I mean?  Hole-filling?  When you just need something, so you fill up?  It can be attempted through emotional eating, shopping, substances, the media, etc... but it always feels worse than making an effort for the good stuff- like going for a hike or talking with a loved one.

After I read this goop article, I read it again.  Nothing spoke to me as strongly in months.  Intuition's something that Jill, the intuitive from the goop article, says grows as women experience motherhood.  I thought, at the same time, intuition can be really hard to hear in this day in age.  We wake up to our iPhones, we go to sleep with them.  How are we supposed to get in touch with ourselves with so much extraneous influence?

The next day, one my favorite Instagram feeds, Alpine Baby Co. posted a raffle for a pair of Adventure Leggings.  I saw the word raffle, and I had that same feeling.  So I bought a ticket, and I commented "#feelinlucky"!

Low and behold, soon after, there was a congratulatory email in my inbox, and now Eliza has this adorable new pair of Adventurer Leggings!

Photo via Alpine Baby Co.

If you're struggling with intuition, Elizabeth said one thing to do to help can be to write down (or at least take mental notes) of those times you follow it and end up with a good result, or when you don't.  Either way, it's recognizing the existense of this powerful voice we all have inside us.

Examples: going to bed early, working out, passing a slow car on a two-lane highway at the right moment, instead of hesitating and getting stuck forever, the voice that tells you to stop procrastinating, ok... you get the idea.

The snowboard, after I repainted it for my brother

This subject of intuition simply facinates me.  I'd love to hear from you--- have you had {{good/bad/indifferent?}} experiences with intuition?  Do you think using it can help us create better experiences?


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