Let That $h!t Go

So much to do, so little time. That saying is so true and I know we all feel it. Summer has faded into Fall, despite what the temperature may feel like in your area. Here in Jacksonville it’s still hot as a mother (oh wait, I’m a mother! Ha, I am too kind!). Since my job revolves around looking forward and sharing new trends, it makes time go by way too fast. It’s October already and the Christmas scented candles are already selling like crazy! My daughter is about to be 16 months old and with every milestone I feel like she is getting closer and closer to having her own family. Ok, that may be a bit far off, but still time flies.

My goal every day and my prayer every night is that we live in the moment. Of course I pray for a bright and healthy future for us and our world, but the moments are so much more dear. I get caught up in what could be and what will be that I tend to forget about the present. I forget that my squirmy little girl’s tantrums are something to absolutely adore because she is living loud and feeling and learning and growing. I forget that my car breaking down gives me a chance to practice patience and not be all “woe is me.” It’s the universe giving me a lesson in basic math by problem solving and figuring out a work around for my life. I let my reflexive thoughts get the best of me when something doesn’t go the way I planned instead of being thoughtful and selfless. I forget that the future just might not be.

What I notice around me is that most other people do the same thing. The more social our network is, we see more people in our network suffering. Suffering from depression, health complications, grief, anxiety, being over worked, lonely, too busy or too social and putting important things aside, or even acting like none of this exists and pretending everything is perfection. I also notice that a lot of people just want to laugh to take away some of this suffering.

My husband says I’m addicted to my phone and he’s probably right. I play mindless games when I’m not motivated to read at night or get extra work done or blog like I am now. I check my email constantly. I scroll through Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn just to see what everyone’s up to and to make sure I’m not missing out – on what? What could I possibly be missing out on that’s not right here in front of me?

You want to know what would take away some of the suffering? Self care. Whether it be talking to a therapist or life coach or following your own advice that you often give to others. Maybe, going for a drive and stopping in somewhere you haven’t been for a cup of coffee. How about closing your eyes and breathing in and out deeply for just 5 minutes? Giving someone a compliment or even a hug – chances are you both need it. Take some time for yourself and give your time to others, most importantly your close friends and family. We are given a very brief time on this earth.

Its so hard to be thoughtful about each moment because our lives are happening and we are constantly being interrupted by one thing or another. It’s up to us to shut those interruptions out and not let them get in the way of what is important. Shut the door in interruption’s face and don’t feel bad about it. Interruption does have a way of pulling you towards it so make a conscious effort to go the other way and use your energy for the good of your life instead. We have so many things in our lives that we don’t need and they add zero value. It’s like Marie Kondo says in her book the life-changing magic of tidying up, “does it bring you joy?”

Apply that same thought to non- material things that surround you. Anything that doesn’t bring you joy, let that $h!t go.

Can you pick five things off of the top of your head that you know you would be better off letting go? I can think of more than that.

Showing Off on Social

My life looks like pure magic lately! It looks like everything is so fabulous lately, and really when I look at the big picture I hate to say it, because I don’t want to make you jealous, but it really is!!  I mean, I get to do soooo many fun things!!!

With that said, I have had some really bad days recently.

We were in a car crash on Easter and have been down to one car for about two weeks now because of several things going on with the insurance and the multiple vehicles involved. No, it wasn’t even our fault!

I am constantly playing catch up with work and I feel like I will never be completely caught up but am doing the best I can. To top that off, my laptop (which I just payed off after 2 years) just crashed. It has my entire life on it I feel like and doesn’t help work a bit. After compiling document after document to become more organized with work, I have no access.

As soon as I think I have it all kind of together my daughter gets sick. Do you know that a 10 month old sick baby girl needs more attention than a fine dining restaurant ridden with rodents? Well, now you do.

My debit card fell into the river after I bolted out of the car to check on my daughter after the crash. We all know how it feels when we have to change cards. You have to connect the dots and figure out everyone who deducts a payment for a bill. Sometimes it’s seriously a mystery and then you get a phone call or an email and ding ding ding, lights on!

Wait, so why do I think my life is so fabulous? Because it is!!! It took me a lot of time, grief, and growing up to realize it. My life is completely unreal and perfectly imperfect. Sometimes something hits me in the face and I impulsively want to scream out, but I make sure to become aware of my emotion and raise my gratitude towards God for my beautiful life. I have the most amazing husband who loves me to no end. I have a beautiful step-daughter who is probably one of the most grown up teenagers I’ve ever met and much much smarter than me. I have a baby girl that is incredible and lights up my life every day. Plus, the amazing family and friends that are near and far away bring so much positivity to my life. That, is what life is all about. The small things are pretty stupid in the grand scheme. It’s time to dumb the dumb things down.

Every time I look out at a crowd I think, “Wow.” Every one of us thinks we’re so important and we each have things and emotions and needs that we think are so important as well. Sometimes, you just have to step back and look at the big picture.

I notice that when I do, I’m nurtured with blessings that I didn’t even know were going to exist. Some of those blessings I share on social and some of them I keep for myself. Xo Julie Ann

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and….

 

Ohhh, you already know that song. Got it. Well here are a few of my favorite things this week (well, that I’m talking about this week. They are actually my favorite things all of the time and I want to share)!

The first one I’m going to talk about is Skinny & Company. I LOVE this brand. It is the only chemical free coconut oil on the market. It is not even comparable to your store bought organic brands (even your Whole Foods approved brands) because it is just that much better. A whopping 19% of the ingredients don’t even have to be listed on the labels of those brands. Do you want diesel fuel going on your skin or into your body? I don’t and that’s why I am a huge proponent of Skinny & Co. and want all of you coconut oil lovers to get on board with it. Not only do they make the cooking oil which has an added digestive enzyme in it, but they also have a beauty segment with balms and cleansers that have essential oils that serve a purpose. For instance the clarifying cleansing balm helps with skin issues like acne while the rejuvenating balm has anti-aging properties. Since this is such a high grade coconut oil your skin soaks it up and you can automatically notice a difference. Trust me and try it by clicking on my link below.

Coconut Oil – 16oz
from: Skinnyandcompany.com

My favorite products are the pure baby, peppermint oil pull, Coconut Oil (for cooking), Rejuvenating cleansing balm, and Lavender deodorant.

 

Next, if you’re expecting (a baby, that is) or still learning the ropes as a new mommy check out the Mellow Mama on youtube. Most of her philosophies on child rearing are right up my alley. I’ve watched her episodes from the beginning but I just recently binged on the ones I missed like the new season of Game of Thrones had just been released. She really embraces everything that being a mother is. She shows her vulnerable side and is strong at the same time. She chooses a path and sticks to it, even if people don’t agree with it.
With my daughter Cosette, I’ve chosen to do some things that I get weird looks for. It doesn’t matter though because I choose to do these things because she’s my only daughter and I only have this one chance to raise her. I want to do it in the smartest way possible. I used to think the only thing I was or am good at is being an actor, but now I know I’m good at being a mom too. I don’t judge anyone and their choices in raising their children. I believe that most of us do the very best we can. I’m not super strict as I believe some things are ok in moderation. I feel that if I were super strict that she would rebel later on. When I am strict, even though she’s only 8 months old, I explain to her why we are making a certain choice whether it has to do with food, trying to play with something that can hurt her, etc…
I want her to want to make healthy choices and good decisions. I believe that the more I teach Coco good values and how to live in a healthy and happy way that it will follow her into adulthood. It’s what I’ve tried to do in my own life before becoming a mom. I can’t change anyone’s opinion by writing it on facebook, I can lead by example and hope that someone learns from it.  The Mellow Mama puts a lot of things into perspective and often I find myself following her lead or thinking about something important that I’ve never taken into consideration. Oh and her real name is Kaitlyn! Follow her on instagram @themellowmama and click here to subscribe to her youtube channel.

Finally, this week I want to mention My Serenity Kids. Click here to check out their website. I learned about this brand of child friendly pouches on the Whole Mama’s podcast. Take a listen to that too if you have the time! Often I buy baby food from the store to keep in the diaper bag or to send with Coco when she’s at daycare or at her Grandparent’s and sometimes when I’m lazy and don’t have the best dinner prepared I’ll give her one too. Lately when I’m in a bind like that I just cut an avocado in half and that’s been the perfect solution. However after learning more about My Serenity Kids, I found that the amount of sugar that are in the baby pouches appropriate for Cosette’s age is unreal! Plus it’s hard to find any pure organic veggies or protien options. You’d expect that it would be easy but it’s not. The only way to give your child a healthy option is to puree it yourself or give her real foods when baby led weaning (which is what we are doing). Here is where My Serenity Kid saves the day. All of their combos are packed with protein, have no additional sugars, and are super baby/kid friendly. They are paleo approved and are the best option when you are in a pinch. They are now available in some Whole Foods markets, but if you go online and get a bundle there is a huge savings. Coco has tried all three flavors and loves them. They are grass fed and pastured meats mixed with organic veggies and healthy fats. Breast milk is the best milk and the most nutrient dense at this point for us (as we are willing and able – I know it’s not an option all of the time), but these are great options. Here is link to their about-us page so you can take a look yourself!