How I Habit Track in my Planner

Today I want to share with you something I’m doing in my journal/planner to help me become more mindful of some important areas surrounding my general health and well-being.

In my experience the most powerful tool you can use in areas of personal growth, development and behavioral change is mindfulness. I’ve written about mindfulness before (http://www.everydayjournalista.com/12-days-of-mindful-gratitude/). About how wonderful it is for helping us become more centered and present in our everyday lives.

I think that anytime you bring awareness to your feelings, thoughts and/or behaviours the more opportunities you have to not only create more meaning and value in your life but it can also allow you to identify areas that need more focus.

An area that I have wanted to become more mindful about for a long time is the amount of sleep I get. It’s an area that I have been deficient in for years and I know how important sleep is for my overall health and wellness. It’s when our body recovers, deals with stressors both physical and mental and it’s when our mind assimilates and rests from all the stimulation of our busy daily lives. I know all this to be true and yet I tend to feel like the next task on my to do list is more important than getting my 8 hours.

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Initially I was just tracking my mood using this beautiful mood mandala I created (Inspired by one I saw Boho Berry create). And while it was nice to look at and great at encouraging me to be more mindful of my mood and feelings throughout the day, it did nothing to show me any patterns or trends related to my mood.

In an attempt to convince myself that getting more sleep should be a priority I began to track both my sleep and my mood in a habit tracker in my planner. By tracking these two metrics daily I had hoped to find some relationships between my mood and the amount of sleep I was getting.

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I chose to track my sleep and mood on the same tracker using a separate line graph for each. This allowed me to clearly see each behavior on it’s own but also as they related to each other.

Again I found this layout nice to look at and easy to use. I was able to see more of a relationship between the two but I felt that visually it still wasn’t easy to identify patterns in my sleep and mood. During this month I also realized that I wanted to include the days of the week to see how that came in to play as well.

This is what I came up with.

mandala, mood tracker, habit tracking, everyday journalista, the everyday journalista, planning, Midori, TN, Journaling, Planner insertI’m really happy with how this tracker has worked for me and how it looks visually as well. It’s pretty easy to see a relationship here between my mood and the weekends right off the bat. I’m still trying to figure out the sleep piece but I think I see a pattern of my mood slipping following a couple of days of decreased sleep.

It’s been so much fun to do this tracker and it’s something that I continue to track each day of the month. The next step will be to see how my mood changes month over month and as the seasons change.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please do tag me @theeverydayjournalista if you post any of your tracking creations on Instagram. I would love to see them!

 

 

 

12 Days of Mindful Gratitude

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December is here! This is my favorite time of the year and I am super excited for Christmas!

This time of the year can go by in a blur for many of us as we get caught up in holiday preparations and plans. It can be as stressful as it is exciting, with so much going on it can be easy to lose focus on what’s really important.

Regardless of how you celebrate the holidays it’s a wonderful time to be with those we love and reflect on the past year. A really great way to do that is to keep a gratitude journal. Keeping a gratitude journal is a wonderful way to become mindful of all the things we have to be thankful for in our lives.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to do a gratitude exercise before I would highly recommend it. It doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be forever.

 

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Being a bit of a journal and planning fanatic myself, I take great pleasure in the practice of sitting down and writing about any number of things, including one thing I am grateful for each day. I create a pretty layout at the beginning of each month where I will try to take a moment each evening to jot down something (usually just one thing) that I am grateful for on that given day.

 

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If I miss a day I don’t beat myself up about it, I just carry on the next day. At the end of the month I have a list of things big and small that I can revisit if I’m looking for a little boost. But more importantly each of those days of the month I have taken a moment to shift my focus to the present and reflect on the positive in my life.

What will happen is that you start to become more present and mindfully grateful in the moments as they are happening. It’s such a powerful thing to be truly present and in the moment when something simple, good, happy, positive, or meaningful is happening.

 

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Now is a wonderful time to challenge yourself to 12 days of mindful gratitude. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

 

  • Start small: Maybe 12 days of Christmas Gratitude.
  • Start simple: It’s doesn’t have to be 10 things each day or an elaborate journal entry. Start with 1-3 things you are grateful for each day and see how your mindset shifts.
  • Of course you can get yourself a little journal and create a heartfelt entry for each day or
  • You can create one page and number it from 1-30. Then take a few minutes each day and jot down one or two things (big or small) that you are grateful for each day.
  • Another option if writing it down isn’t for you is to simply set an alarm on your phone titled ‘what are you grateful for?’ When it goes off each day just take a moment to become mindful of that question.

Remember, it’s not always going to be kittens, rainbows and unicorns. Some days it may be hard to find something to be grateful for. It’s during those times that being grateful for even the smallest thing can spark real mindset change.

 

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Find the magic in everyday! Becoming mindful of positive things in our lives helps shift our focus onto those positive things. This in turn brings more positivity to our lives.

If you decide to give this a try I would love to hear from you :)

 

 

 

 

What’s Holding You Back?

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I have all these grandiose plans and ideas. So many things I want to do and be. I make lists and outlines and set goals. I get things organized, I get things started, and then… I slip or miss a deadline or there’s a delay or barrier to my progress… I start to loose momentum and before I know it I’m dead in the water!

Has this ever happened to you?

I become paralyzed by procrastination. The worst part for me is that I’m aware of it! I see that if I just start something, anything, I will continue to make progress and yet… I do nothing.

This blog is a perfect case in point. I have not posted in months and it all started with missing one deadline. When I tried to get back on track again I became overwhelmed with feelings of failure for not sticking to my posting schedule goal. Then I got stuck in the endless pit of excuses and reasons to not continue and I gave up! I quit.

My perfectionist personality would rather not do anything than do something less than perfect. I find at times that this ends up holding me back from not only trying new things but also from moving forward with goals or projects. 

Back to the blog…

Finally I came up with a topic for my next post. I took all my photos and had even started writing. Then as I was prepping to put it all together I was flooded with thoughts of doubt, uncertainty and fear of failure. I never ended up posting it.

And it got me to thinking… the only thing preventing my progress, my success, is ME!!

I recently heard a clip of Kate Winslett discussing that when she was young she was basically told that she would never get anywhere with acting. She didn’t let that or anything else distract or discourage her away from the path she wanted. It may have been true that she wasn’t that great at the time but she continued on and learned and developed and grew… she persevered!

What’s holding me back? What’s holding any of us back from achieving our goals? I believe it’s perseverance! Keep doing the work, keep moving forward in some capacity. It might not be great, it might not be what you would like your end product to be but it’s something, it’s a step closer to what you want, it’s progress!

So today I’m posting! It’s not perfect, it’s not ground breaking, but it’s something, it’s real, it’s progress, and with that I’m one step closer to my dream than I was yesterday.

 

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Anxiety- The Ripple Effect

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I write a lot about anxiety on this blog, specifically the generalized and separation anxiety that my son suffers from. What I have not really touched on is how this anxiety has affected the other members of our family and our family as a whole.

As heart breaking as it is to watch my son struggle with the constant bullying from his anxiety he is certainly not the only one in our home affected by it. The ripple effect of his worries impacts each person in our family differently as well as our family as a unit.

One thing I have learned over the course of dealing with anxiety and its associates (depression & OCD) is that they are extremely tricky and do whatever they can to sneak in and take over not only the sufferer’s life but also the lives of those around them.

As the parent of a child with anxiety I will often catch myself accommodating anxiety. It’s so easy to do and it often starts out as just a little thing here or there. Next thing you know you find yourself doing some ridiculous accommodation in an attempt to keep anxiety at bay, when the truth is, that is the exact thing that makes it stronger.

There were periods of time in the beginning when our family could not travel because of the impact it would have on my son. Anxiety had our family living in fear and it was running the show. I thought that we were trapped and that we would not be able to overcome the hold that anxiety had on our lives. I felt powerless and was afraid to fight back, that I would make things worse for my son.

In fact the opposite is true. For both my son and myself, awareness and education have been huge. Just the simple action of calling out anxiety or an anxious behaviour gives it less power. But the biggest thing for me as a mom was learning that pushing back at anxiety by allowing my son into a triggering situation, when done gradually and in cooperation with him, is actually the best way to fight back and beat anxiety. These two things have been huge in allowing my son to get back to being a kid and for our family to enjoy doing things together both at home and away.

It’s a daily effort and as with most things there are many ups and downs. Sometimes we are better at fighting against anxiety and sometimes anxiety starts to get the upper hand. My son truly is my hero. Each day he works so very hard to keep anxiety from creeping into his life so he can be who he is meant to be. I do what I can to try to support those efforts but anxiety in the everyday moments is often a battle he has to fight alone.

Perhaps the one person most impacted by my son’s anxiety is his younger sister. She has been witness to all the worries and questions and fear and appointments and therapies.

Day in and day out she is being exposed to fears and worries that she would never have come up with on her own. I was truly naive to think that she could be immune to such a strong environmental influence. When she started exhibiting signs and symptoms of the same anxieties my son has I right away assumed it was a learned behaviour, quickly dismissed her worries and pushed her to move on.

When things proceeded to get worse I started to think both my children were going to struggle with severe anxiety. Then of course comes the guilt and self blame.

But what I have since realized is that it actually doesn’t matter whether the behaviour is learned or whether there is a chemical imbalance causing the behaviour because the resulting anxiety is the same and so is how you should treat it.

I started with the same processes I went through with my son, although this time I was a little more well equipped. I started calling out her anxious behaviours because, again whether learned or not, the anxious feelings and symptoms she was experiencing were very real. We worked through anxiety help books like What to do when you worry too much’ by Dawn Huebner (a great book by the way!). And finally I just continued to encourage her to push back against the worries as well as gently pushing her away from where her worries wanted her to go. I would say that she turned the corner about three months ago. My daughter is slowly returning to her adventurous, outgoing, and risk-taking self.

I won’t deny that she still has some of her brothers anxieties whispering in her ear, and those have and will effect who she is as a person and how she moves about her world. But I think by facing it rather that trying to dismiss it my daughter and our family are learning to show anxiety who’s boss.

In closing I just want to add that as difficult as illnesses like anxiety are for those who struggle with them they can and do have an enormous impact on those closest to them and on families as a whole. Each person living with someone with a mental illness is dealing with it too on some level and those feelings are real and valid.

Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my blog. I really do appreciate it:)

Please do consider leaving a comment or question if you have one.

 

Until next time …

The Everyday Journalista

A Mickey Mouse-tastic Birthday

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When my daughter came to me asking for a Disney themed birthday party I was not at all surprised. We visited Disneyland for the first time a few months ago and she has literally fallen in love with anything and everything Disney. Who can blame her, after all, it is the most magical place on earth ;).

We narrowed it down to Mickey Mouse from Disney which was great because there is just so much available from party supply stores and even the dollar store with the Mickey Mouse theme.

The following are some photos of what we came up with. Hopefully this will give you a starting point or some inspiration if you are considering a Mickey Mouse party for your child.

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyI painted this Mickey Mouse head on our front window. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out :).

roomIMG_5465Here’s a view from the inside. I just fell in love with these red and white polka dot balloons and bunting!

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyMore polka dots! We made these Mickey Mouse serving platters by attaching two smaller black plates to a bigger one. Easy peasy and the kids thought is was awesome.

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Another angle of the window.

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyThis back drop not only was amazing at helping to create the Mickey Mouse feel but I also used it for one of the party activities. We pulled the table forward and then I held a ‘photo shoot’ with Mickey, the birthday girl and all their friends. It was a lot of fun!

Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday

For the cake, I just baked two regular eight inch rounds and then cut out two circles from one of the rounds for the ears. Simple icing and then edged the cake with these super yummy white and milk chocolate Kit Kat bars. The kids could not wait when they saw it!

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyThis is a cake I did for part of the ‘family’ party we had the next day. But I wanted to show you the pinata that we used for the ‘friend’ party that is in the background. We were all so excited about the Mickey Mouse Pinata but I have to say I was really disappointed with it. As luck would have it the very first string that was pulled was the one that opened the bottom area up for all the candy to fall out. But nothing fell out! Each child had a turn and pulled the ribbons and… nothing. I finally had to grab the pinata and rip the bottom out more and dump the candy out. Then of course the chaos ensued :). I felt the pinata itself did not work as it was supposed to :(. Of course the kids still got the candy so I think they were fine with it, lol.

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyFor the goodie bags I found these neat popcorn type boxes from the dollar store. The kids had the candy from the pinata and we also filled them with a Mickey Mouse themed giant eraser, Mickey and friends pencil, tape and noise maker. The kids also took home one of these Mickey and Friends note books shown in the foreground.

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyOn the second day of birthday celebrating we had some family over for a Menchies Bar Party. My daughter loves Menchies! She is lactose intolerant and this is one of the ice cream/ fro-yo places she can go because they always offer a diary free option. I bot the Fro-yo, Sherbet and a couple of the harder to find toppings at Menchies and found the rest in the bulk section of my local grocery store. This was a ton of fun and I would definitely recommend it. Menchies was really helpful as well!

I hope you enjoyed this post and perhaps picked up an idea or two if you are considering a Mickey Mouse themed Party for your child. If you have any questions or comments you can leave them here or you can also find me on Instagram @theeverydayjournalista.

Hope you are having a Mouse-tastic Day! :)

 

 

Anxiety: 5 Steps to Help Your Child Push Back

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As an adult it may be difficult for us to understand what a child could possibly have to be anxious about. They don’t have a job or a mortgage or any of the responsibilities that we as adults have to balance. While this may be true child anxiety is a very real thing and something that plagues as many as 1 in 4 children.

Being a parent of a child with anxiety I know first hand how debilitating it can be and the impact it can have on other children in the house and the family unit as a whole.

Nail biting, lip chewing, shirt chewing, paper tearing, pencil biting these are just a few of the more subtle outward signs you may see in a child with anxiety. But the more serious and often more concerning signs are often the ones you don’t see.

These are the signs of the ‘Internalizer’. All appears fine for the most part on the surface but underneath, inside they are being pushed around by the bully that is anxiety.

Anxiety comes is many forms and is a friend to many other bullies; separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, performance anxiety, depression, and OCD just to name a few.

These silent enemies threaten to replace fun with fear, adventure with dread and curiosity with doubt. I have seen it physically attack my son with hives, stomach-aches, bed-wetting, and endless tears. I have also seen it attack his spirit creating fear, uncertainty, doubt, and sadness.

So many children and their families think they must suffer with these common mental illnesses or that they aren’t serious enough to warrant treatment. I could not disagree more. If anxiety and its gang of trouble makers is affecting your everyday life and the life of your child then help is definitely available and warranted.

The trick is to learn tools and coping skills that will allow your child to push back against anxiety. But how hard to push and in what levels and situations is something that is different for each child. Even more difficult is that what works for a specific child can vary greatly as they develop and mature.

There are many strategies and coping tools that can help a child with anxiety. The difficulty is finding what works best for your child. What works for one will not necessarily work for another. My son and I are in a continuous state of learning when it comes to how best to support him. The steps I list below are what is working currently for my son. This has changed and grown over the years and I will expect it to continue to do so. I share these in the hope that perhaps one or two may work for your child as you navigate through the options for coping that will fit your child.

5 Steps to Pushing Back Against Anxiety:
  1. Call Out the Bully

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It’s easy to mistake some of the symptoms of anxiety in children with unfocused and/or bad behaviour. Identifying your child’s anxiety and what triggers it is a huge step towards controlling it, but calling out anxious behaviours and triggering situations is just as crucial. Call out the bully, don’t let anxiety secretly push your child around. This isn’t something we do out in public or in the classroom but at home we talk about the day and any triggering incident has taken place we call it what it is and my son can then take back control of that moment. When anxiety peaks at home I do my best to call it as I see it. Naming anxiety and other secretive disorders like OCD immediately gives them less power. It’s empowering to the child and really is very effective in putting things into perspective.

  1. The Long Exhale

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Anxiety not only creates a mental response in the mind but also a physical one. A sense of panic, the need to run or escape is often described. This can lead to a racing heart and quick shallow breathing.

By simply becoming aware of their breathing your child can work to bring their anxiety levels down into a range they can cope with. This is easier said than done, especially for children. When my son was 7 and the idea of breathing as a skill was introduced it was a disaster. Bringing awareness to his breathing only made him breath quicker and more panicked as he tried to complete the breathing exercises.

At 11 years old he is now able to use this skill more effectively and I know this is one that will be huge for him in the future as well. It takes practice, during a non-anxious period to get the feeling you want to try to recreate when an anxious episode is triggered. I just encourage my son to focus on a long exhale. I don’t really put a number of breaths or seconds in and out as that seems to trip him up. Just slow long breaths.

  1. Channel Anxious Energy

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Another way to keep anxious energy from building or from coming out in destructive ways (lip chewing, nail biting, paper tearing or eating) is to use fidget tools. Anxiety has to have an outlet and most children and adults will naturally find one. Unfortunately these may not always be healthy or appropriate. Using a fidget tool like the ones I have pictured here are a great way to give anxious energy somewhere to go without being distracting or destructive. These have been really helpful for my son.

  1. Rescue Remedy

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I love this stuff and have been using for years. The Bach Flower Remedies work in conjunction with herbs, homeopathy and medications and are safe for everyone. Rescue Remedy helps relax, focus and calm. We have recently moved from the drops to the pastilles so my son can have them at hand at school for those times when anxiety spikes. It has been a huge help! You can learn more about Rescue Remedy here: http://www.bachflower.com/rescue-remedy-information/

  1. Take a Minute

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This seems so simple but it’s one that is not always supported in the school system. Having the ability to just step out of an anxiety-provoking situation to ‘regroup’ can be huge towards avoiding a total meltdown or escalation of symptoms. Not only does this provide an opportunity to step away from the thing/situation that has triggered the anxiety it can also allow for some of the other tools to be put into action prior to rejoining the situation.

Thank you so much for taking time out of you busy day to read this post. My hope is that if your child or you struggle with anxiety you will be able to take away something helpful or encouraging from this post. I have also created a quick reference printable called 5 Steps Against Anxiety – Everyday Journalista 2016 you can print off.

If you have some tools that have worked for your child I would love to hear them as well.

Reflect Reset Refocus

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Christmas is my favorite time of year but by the time New Years comes around I am chomping at the bit to take my house back from the chaos that is Christmas.

Something comes over me and I literally end up attacking each and every room in our home. I take down all the Christmas stuff, clean and purge! It really is almost a cleansing experience for me. After, the house feels so sparse and clean and ready for the New Year. A fresh start.

I never actively plan this but as soon as Christmas is over I have this increasing urge to simplify and get back to basics.

This year was no exception. Hours, garbage bags and trips to drop off donations, and I’m looking forward to the year ahead.

For me, once I can bring some order to my environment I find that I am able to focus more effectively on the task at hand. Right now that task is 2016.

This is when I usually take some time to reflect on the previous year. What went right, what am I grateful for, and what do I want my focus to be going forward. I’m not really one for resolutions but I do set a focus for myself for the year ahead. I also have more recently started adding steps that I can take to keep focusing on my selected priorities on a daily and weekly basis.

In this post I have included the little worksheet that I have been using to document my yearly focus plan. I broke it down in to three main growth areas that are important to me for the coming year: Personal Growth, Professional Growth, and Social Growth.

These are obviously very broad but I break that down into a number of more specific areas I want to focus on. I will then go even further and specify between 1-3 goals that I will focus on. Finally come the steps I’m going to take to make my goals a success.

It may seem like a lengthy process but saying I want to spend more time with my family is one thing. What that actually looks like and how I’m going to get there is something else.

Some of these areas may appeal to you while others won’t. Feel free to print off the PDF below and complete it or reach out to me at everydayjournalista.com/contact/ and I would be happy to send you a version you can edit to your own goals. It’s best if you have your focus or goals at hand so that they remain front of mind and can be reviewed regularly.

Here is an example from a portion of my worksheet so you can get an idea of how I use it:

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As you can see these are not unrealistic goals. I make a conscious effort to set myself up for success. This will keep me motivated to continue for the long term. From here I can take the steps to success and build them in to my daily life. Some steps are just a continuation of things I already do or do occasionally and want to make a regular part of my life. Others will take more work on my part.

What I have done in the past is then transferred these action steps onto a sheet to create a checklist. This can be put on your fridge or in your journal to help you keep on track.

Here is a sample of what it looks like:

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It includes my priority of Personal Growth, my focus area of having a healthy body, a specific action that I will take to achieve my healthy body (I have provided space for three items here eg: 20min walk 3x’s per week), and finally I include an affirmation statement related to my focus to keep me encouraged and motivated.

If you are interested in this document visit me at everydayjournalista.com/contact/ and I would be happy to share it with you as well :)

I have been setting goals for years but in the past few years I have been deeply inspired by Fitness and Lifestyle Coach, Blogger and Host of the Fit & Vibrant YOU podcast Tanja Shaw. I would highly recommend checking out her website tanjashaw.com, the Fit & Vibrant You Podcast, or Ascendfitnesscoaching.com.

Have some fun with this. It’s a great way to reflect, reset and refocus for 2016. Great things are waiting you just have to decide what they’re going to be!

Everyday Journalista 2016 Focus Worksheet(2)

November Favorites

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I love birthdays! I love celebrating the day that my friends and family were brought into this world. Life is worth celebrating and no matter how many birthdays you have had it’s a great time to reflect and have some fun. I look at it as just one more opportunity to find magic in the everyday.

When November hits I start to shift into Christmas mode! It’s also my birthday month so between the excitement of starting the Christmas season and the fun of celebrating my birthday with friends and family there have been no shortage of favorites for me this month. Here are just a few things I was loving in the month of November:

From the Kitchen

Coconut Milk Beverage by So Delicious in Nog and Mint Chocolate

November Favorites, Monthly Favorites, Baking, Christmas Baking, Rolo Cookies, Gingerbear Cookies, Coca-Cola, Flowers, Quik Pik Flowers, Birthday Flowers, Ipsy, Ipsy Glambag, Dogs, Corn Starch Dough, DIY doll food, Crafting, Lise Watier, Lancome, Lancome Foundation, So Delicious Nog, Coconut Milk NogWe’ve been loving both these yummy holiday coconut milk treats from So Delicious. I personally prefer the Nog, but my kids loved both the Nog and the Mint Chocolate Coconut milk. A great alternative for those who are dairy free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Baking

This is a favorite time of mine every year. I sit down and create my baking ‘wish’ list for the holidays. There are some that are a given and make the list every year. Then I also try to add a few new choices to try out on my friends and family. I don’t always get everything on the list made but our family really enjoys helping and sampling during the process :). 

I LOVE baking! It’s a wonderful time to create something with love and a time I love spending with my children as they love to join in.

Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday

 

Beauty Obsessions

Teint Miracle Foundation by Lancome

I purchased this foundation at a beauty event I attended at the beginning of November and I have been wearing nothing else since. It has really buildable coverage and I feel like it leaves my skin with a really healthy glow.

November Favorites, Monthly Favorites, Baking, Christmas Baking, Rolo Cookies, Gingerbear Cookies, Coca-Cola, Flowers, Quik Pik Flowers, Birthday Flowers, Ipsy, Ipsy Glambag, Dogs, Corn Starch Dough, DIY doll food, Crafting, Lise Watier, Lancome, Lancome Foundation, So Delicious Nog, Coconut Milk Nog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnifix by Lise Watier

I also bought this at the beauty event I mentioned above and I have to admit I felt like it was a bit of an indulgence when I bought it and that it wouldn’t be something I would use much. Boy was I wrong. This stuff is awesome! It really does help my make up stay put all day and of course it has an amazing smell as it contains white tea. I have been really happy with this product just as I have been with my previous Lise Watier purchases.

 

November Favorites, Monthly Favorites, Baking, Christmas Baking, Rolo Cookies, Gingerbear Cookies, Coca-Cola, Flowers, Quik Pik Flowers, Birthday Flowers, Ipsy, Ipsy Glambag, Dogs, Corn Starch Dough, DIY doll food, Crafting, Lise Watier, Lancome, Lancome Foundation, So Delicious Nog, Coconut Milk Nog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November GlamBag from Ipsy

I know, not again, but I can’t help it. I love Ipsy! This months fun galactic bag and awesome selection of beauty products make me giddy :). I just love getting a chance to sample all these great brands every month. Michelle Phan knows what we beauty product lovers want and Ipsy delivers month after month. Love it!

November Favorites, Monthly Favorites, Baking, Christmas Baking, Rolo Cookies, Gingerbear Cookies, Coca-Cola, Flowers, Quik Pik Flowers, Birthday Flowers, Ipsy, Ipsy Glambag, Dogs, Corn Starch Dough, DIY doll food, Crafting, Lise Watier, Lancome, Lancome Foundation, So Delicious Nog, Coconut Milk Nog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wearing it Out

Fluffy Cat Sweater from Urban Behaviour

November Favorites, Monthly Favorites, Baking, Christmas Baking, Rolo Cookies, Gingerbear Cookies, Coca-Cola, Flowers, Quik Pik Flowers, Birthday Flowers, Ipsy, Ipsy Glambag, Dogs, Corn Starch Dough, DIY doll food, Crafting, Lise Watier, Lancome, Lancome Foundation, So Delicious Nog, Coconut Milk Nog

Who can resist a fluffy cat sweater? I bought this sweater about two years ago and not only do I love it but I always get numerous compliments whenever I wear it. It’s so soft and cozy, has these awesome golden cat faces on it and it’s kind of over-sized so it’s that perfect mix of comfortable and put together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tanya Time

Flowers from Quik Pik

Got these for my birthday and as usual Quik Pik did an amazing job. This ultra trendy little flower and gift shop always makes me smile with their use of beautiful flowers and unique design and style.

November Favorites, Monthly Favorites, Baking, Christmas Baking, Rolo Cookies, Gingerbear Cookies, Coca-Cola, Flowers, Quik Pik Flowers, Birthday Flowers, Ipsy, Ipsy Glambag, Dogs, Corn Starch Dough, DIY doll food, Crafting, Lise Watier, Lancome, Lancome Foundation, So Delicious Nog, Coconut Milk Nog

 

November Favorites, Monthly Favorites, Baking, Christmas Baking, Rolo Cookies, Gingerbear Cookies, Coca-Cola, Flowers, Quik Pik Flowers, Birthday Flowers, Ipsy, Ipsy Glambag, Dogs, Corn Starch Dough, DIY doll food, Crafting, Lise Watier, Lancome, Lancome Foundation, So Delicious Nog, Coconut Milk Nog

 

Here are a couple of other things that made me smile this month. The first is my very own Coca-Cola!

My son saw this and just had to get it for me for my birthday! That boy knows me so well :).

 

 

 

 

November Favorites, Monthly Favorites, Baking, Christmas Baking, Rolo Cookies, Gingerbear Cookies, Coca-Cola, Flowers, Quik Pik Flowers, Birthday Flowers, Ipsy, Ipsy Glambag, Dogs, Corn Starch Dough, DIY doll food, Crafting, Lise Watier, Lancome, Lancome Foundation, So Delicious Nog, Coconut Milk NogThe other is a little craft my daughter and I did. We made cornstarch dough and created some little food items and a couple of boxes of tissues for her Ever After High and Barbie dolls. It was so fun!

I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my favorite things from November. If you have any questions or would like me to do a more detailed post on the recipes I baked or the cornstarch dough please leave me a comment above. You can also find me on Instagram @theeverydayjournalista. I would love to hear from you :)

 

I’m Anxious About My Child’s Anxiety

Anxiety, Children with Anxiety, Parents with Anxious Children, My child worries, Anxiety,

I’m a worrier. I always have been. I worry about letting people down, I worry about getting in a car accident, and of course I worry about my children, a lot. These worries are there but they don’t prevent me from taking things on or driving my car or from encouraging my kids to try new things (for the most part). I am able to cope with my worries and function in my life. But what happens when those worries start to take over? When coping becomes a struggle and it keeps you from doing or trying new things.

This is what happens to both my children to varying degrees. Sometimes it’s simple apprehension about going into class in the morning. Other times it can be crying about the possibility of something bad happening, or picking anxiously at their fingers to the point that they bleed. Anxiety has many faces, sometimes you see it, and sometimes you don’t.

Anxiety is a constant presents in my home. Sometimes I forget it’s there and for a while it almost feels like my children are carefree and ready to face the world. Then something will happen. Sometimes it’s an event like a simple power outage or a conflict with a friend. Sometimes I have no idea what triggers it. But like a sea monster rearing its’ ugly head our entire family feels the shift as one or both of my children get dragged under into a period of fear, insecurity and uncertainty.

As a mother of children with anxiety I constantly struggle with knowing how much worry is okay and when it’s time to step in. I get that the world can be a harsh place and that we need to teach our kids to deal with those ups and downs, whatever they may be. But what happens when your child can’t cope? When is enough, enough? When does it become more harmful than helpful?

I certainly don’t have the answers and for us anxiety and coping levels are constantly in flux. There are times when it feels like all the work we are putting in is paying off and then other times when it feels like we are right back at square one.

As adults there’s often so much we don’t know about people. Many of our friends and family, co-workers, and neighbors only know a small portion of who we really are. I think the same can be true for those who struggle with anxiety. Due to social responsibilities and expectations, or misunderstanding and lack of support at home anxious children can often end up internalizing their worries. Hiding the struggle they’re really facing.

Teachers may see a happy functioning student each day in the classroom. Meanwhile, the child is suffering on the inside, and what comes out once they return to an environment they feel is ’safe’? For my children that decompression at home can range from tears and anger to purge talking and hugs.

Each and everyday my children go to battle against anxiety. I do my best to help them feel loved and secure but it’s a battle they have to win on their own.

Thanks so much for sticking around to read today’s post. It’s quite a bit more serious than a lot of my posts but something that I’ve really wanted to write about. I just feel like there is still so much about anxiety that is misunderstood or not seen. If you have a child who struggles with anxiety they are definitely not alone and neither are you.

 

A Family that Journals Together…

This past Christmas I received a gift card for Chapters from my Mom. This was one of my favourite gifts because with the end of December comes the New Year and with that a new journal for me :). Let’s just say I’m quite particular about my journal. I am the Everyday Journalista after all ;)

I always find myself drawn to the all the beautiful journals at the bookstore. Shelves of books that keep all our thoughts, feelings, lists, dreams… our everyday, bound together with an inspiring design or encouraging word. There is something just so amazing to me about that. I have decades worth journals! Many different layouts, styles and designs, and yet I am always on the hunt for that next ‘special’ book.

Anyway…

After purchasing my journal of choice with my gift card I had a little money left. So I kept looking. I was making my way through the shelves when this book caught my eye and I knew I had to take a closer look.

Q&A a day, Journaling, The Everyday Journalista, Everyday Journalista, Family Fun, Parent Child Relationship,

Just as the title so clearly indicates this is a book of questions that you ask your kids. Everyday of the year has a page that is divided up into three sections. The idea is that you will go through this book with your child each day of the year and answer the questions. Once the questions have all be answered you start all over with the same questions, and do that over 3 consecutive years. So, for instance, every November 20th you will ask the same question. Over the 3-year period you will be able to see and share with your child their answers as they grow and mature.

This is such a cool idea! In my ‘everyday’ journal I’m constantly writing little things my kids say and stories they share in an attempt to capture who they are as people today and how that changes and develops over time. This book allows you to really see and enjoy that process in the best possible way and the kids get to be a part of the fun as well.

Needless to say I did not look at another book that day and we have been filling it out for the last 9 months. The great part is you can really start these types of books any time of the year.

Now, I want to be honest and tell you that we do not always get the chance to fill it out everyday but it’s no big deal. We just get caught up the next time. No pressure :)

It has been so much fun for me to listen to the answers my children come up with and to watch them as they contemplate the answers to questions like:

  • When were you brave?
  • If you could fly right now, where would you go?
  • Would you rather travel back in time or go to outer space? Why?

The variety in the types of questions is great and often ends up sparking a lively conversation.

Q&A a day, Journaling, The Everyday Journalista, Everyday Journalista, Family Fun, Parent Child Relationship,

Now this book is marketed towards one parent and child, but I have adapted it to suit my two children quite easily. Each evening I just draw a little line down the center of the page and before we start our bedtime story we spend a few minutes talking about the day’s question. If we are sharing story-time together I make them take turns on who answers the question first. My kids are very different and are not likely to copy or be influenced by each other’s answers but I like to give them equal opportunity to take the lead in answering. The other rule is that you are not allowed to say an answer you think the other should give. It gets pretty funny sometimes :)

I cannot say how cool I think this is and how very much my children and I have enjoyed going through it together.

I have personally enjoyed it so much in fact that at the beginning of summer I was once again perusing the journals at my local bookstore when I came across this…

Q&A a day, Journaling, The Everyday Journalista, Everyday Journalista, Family Fun, Parent Child Relationship,

Yes, that’s right! It’s a Q&A a day for couples! This book is essentially the same as the kids version in that you are presented with one question each day that is repeated once per year over the 3 years of the journal. It is different in that both you and your spouse have a designated spot to answer each question…red lines for one and blue for the other under each day.

So since July 1st my husband and I have been filling out our little journal. Once again we have not been able to complete the question every single day. But we just catch up when we can and it’s been a lot of fun so far. It’s almost like having a little note you’re passing back and forth. I fill out my question usually at some point during the day and then place it on my husband’s bedside table. He usually will take a few minutes with the journal before bed at night.

Q&A a day, Journaling, The Everyday Journalista, Everyday Journalista, Family Fun, Parent Child Relationship,

It’s been a lot of fun answering questions like:

  • What’s your partner’s favorite beverage?
  • What do you need to throw away?
  • If your partner were a superhero, what would he or she be called?

And more thought provoking questions like:

  • What keeps you grounded?
  • Trust feels like ________
  • What’s the prevailing theme of your life?

I think it will be really cool to revisit these questions over the next three years. Re-reading old answers and adding new ones.

I’ve other Q&A style books like this out there as well. There are versions you can complete just on your own, as well as one line a day journals.

Whether you are an avid journaler or have never journaled at all the Q&A a day journals are a great introduction to journaling as well as a great way to connect with your children or partner through journaling.

 

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