Kara’s Journal and No Spend month, week 2

snowmanluminaryNote: in the past I’ve been linking up to The Simple Woman’s Blog. You should still go there for some great daybook writing prompts. This week, though I decided to put my own spin on it. Also: there may be affiliate links in this post. Thanks for your support!

As we start the week … This time of year can be hard on me mentally, with the darkness and the cold, and my tendency is to hibernate. However, I think it’s important to strike a balance between time at home and also fighting off cabin fever by making sure we do get out and about a couple of times, too, even just for a walk around the block to stretch our legs and observe the winter world around us (temperatures permitting).

I am thankful … for electricity. Some pretty severe ice storms came through last night and I know many don’t have power currently. When the wind howls and the weather brings a hazardous coating of ice to everything, heat and light are blessings.

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The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle


Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle. You should know that while I did purchase this bundle for myself, I have not personally read every ebook or taken every ecourse included.

In December 2013 I turned 40 and I decided that 2014 would be my year of being BRAVE. My family is very important to me, but I was not taking very good care of myself and it affected how I cared for them.

Instead of spending all of my time and energy caring for other people, I started to put myself first in some areas and concentrated on doing things that made me happy and on breaking habits that were destructive to my physical and mental health. It was a year full of changes that required a little courage on my part, because putting myself first isn’t something I’m used to.

I started exercising again (and re-discovered my love for it) and I started making a better effort to get more sleep at night. I began journaling again, taking more time to read, and I started to pay more attention to the food I was nourishing my body with. I took some of the same love and care I’d been showing my family with all of these years and began to apply it to myself.

Oh, and I also dyed my hair green (but that’s another story).

It was a life-changing year for me, full of joy that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t been willing to be brave and face the changes that needed to be made in my life. I want to continue with that momentum in 2015.

What about YOU, my friends? Are you where you want to be?

How many times have you “tried harder” to improve your health? How many times have you “tried harder” than the last time, only to fail again?

Here’s a secret: Trying harder has never been your issue.

Instead, you should be trying different. Trying simpler.

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Kiddin’ Around in December and our Holiday Book List

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever | SimpleKids.netNote: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

We’ve been having a pretty slow December so far, and I’ve mostly been staying away from the computer, but I want to make sure that I sit down and write some things down so that I can remember them. After all, this blog is probably the only baby book my youngest kids are going to have.

So, without any further delay, welcome to Kiddin’ Around, where I share different activities, games, crafts, and links the kids and I have loved as a way of sharing the fun but also to help me add these moments to our family memory bank.

Right now my kids are ages 3, 6, 8, and 12 or preschool, kindergarten, second grade, and seventh grade.

Here’s how we have been kiddin’ around:

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Half Price Ebook Sale!

ZeroTwoSALEFriends, I’ve got some fun news if you’ve been thinking about purchasing my ebooks: the other collaborators and I are hosting a Half-Price sale now through December 5!

This means that for the next few days you can pick up

for half off of the usual price!

SALE3to5

Just enter the code for each one and you’ll receive your discount at check out.

Thanks and thanks for supporting me and Simple Kids!

 

The Ultimate Christian Living bundle 2014 (and why I made a promise to myself to read every day)

Faith makes all things possible, LOVE makes it easy | SimpleKids.net

Note: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

Who among us doesn’t want to lead a life worth emulating? One of the things I find myself thinking about often is what kind of example I’m giving my children. What kind of life do they see me living?  What kind of attitude do they see me projecting? How do they see me taking care of them? Taking care of myself?

I want them to see a happy mom who loves her kids, has a close marriage, a fulfilling writing career, and a close, faith-filled walk with the Lord.

Beyond that, there are things I want for myself and my faith – true happiness, time to feed my soul, finding ways to be the best me that I can be.

And I don’t want those things to just be images that I project: I want those things to be true.

But, I struggle.

And I imagine some of you do, too.

I know that I don’t have to tell you that balancing life’s priorities is overwhelming at times. The pressures of work, the need for financial stability, the demands of parenting and the resulting strain on marriage can leave us weathered and weary – wondering what really works in life?

Words have always been a solace to me. Words are how I feel I best communicate and words are how I feel I best receive messages and meaning.

When I first started to crawl out from under the depression that I battled for far too long, one of the things I realized that had been missing from my self-care routine (which is a joke to even type as there wasn’t any kind of “self care” to speak of going on during that time) was that it had been a very long time since I had read a book. Me, the girl who has loved books since she was a child, hadn’t turned in a page in longer than she could remember.

This year I made a promise to myself to make more time to read. And while that has meant that sometimes my kindle and my bookshelves and my library bag has included some fluff and some mental “junk food”, it has also meant I’ve been making an effort to make time every day to read books that feed my soul.

This week I’m sharing some authors whose words might be a help, to you and to me, as we strive to find that balance of faith, love, and happiness.

The team at Ultimate-Bundles.com called in some best selling authors, leading experts and professionals to address the most common challenges faced by families and individuals today and created the Ultimate Christian Living bundle.

I’ll be purchasing my own copy of the bundle and I’m pleased to tell you about the sale today, too in case this is something that some of you have been looking for as well.

But friends? Whether or not you feel that this bundle offer is the right thing for you at the this time in your life, I hope that you’ll make time to read every day. Find words that feed your soul and give yourself the gift of a few stolen moments every day to take a time out from parenting and the world and lose yourself in words that lift you up.

You deserve that. You’ve earned that time.

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