01 // 16 // 2016: sleep, it’s important.

01 // 16 // 2016: sleep, it’s important.

Good morning! I don’t know about you, but I am super ecstatic that it’s Saturday. I LOVE Saturdays. It’s the one day a week that I don’t have to set an alarm, even if my body wakes up at 6:45 on its own. That’s okay though, I thoroughly enjoy Saturday mornings. Mornings are my absolute favorite. It’s quiet, calm, and provides a time to reflect on the week and find peace.

My freshman year of college I did a research paper on sleep and its importance. Through further study and self-experiment I have learned just how important it actually is. A lot of times we read something that claims to be a “health tip” and disregard it because, “how much of a difference can that really make? I think sleep can fall into that category sometimes. In my personal experience, I have found that getting not only a quantitative amount of sleep but a quality amount of sleep makes all the difference. I am constantly saying that every aspect of health is intertwined with every other aspect and sleep is no different. When I get “good sleep” it effects my perspective on the day, my diet choices, my motivation- you name it.

Some things I have started doing to help aid in quality sleep include:

{no electronics an hour before bed}

{reading}

{listening to the Relaxation Station on Pandora}

{Not eating after 7:30 pm}

Here is an article through Greatist (which I love) on 27 ways to sleep better.

http://greatist.com/happiness/27-easy-ways-sleep-better-tonight

I’ve also tried doing bedtime yoga which has been awesome. I’m on the lookout for more routines.

If you’re interested in the science behind why we need sleep and what happens without it, watch this video:

-Brooke

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01 // 10 // 2016: A New Meaning

01 // 10 // 2016: A New Meaning

I love writing. Always have. Especially when it’s something I’m zealous about. I’ve been trying to compose a theme for this blog out of my varied interests, and the one word that seemingly covers all of my zeal is health. There are hundreds of aspects of health, and it is what our lives ultimately boil down to. Our physical health, spiritual health, emotional health, and relational health are just the main ones we ponder. That being said, this blog is going to (slowly but surely) turn in to stories, encouragement, motivation, ideas, etc. on the aspects of health. I am still working on what the entirety of that statement means and will become, but as I continue, it will become more clear. Thank you to those of you who read. This blog is just as much for me as it is for my audience.

I shared earlier that one of my main areas of focus this year is taking time to relax and to live each day like the gift it is to me. I can not stress enough just how much this can change your perspective. One of the things I have learned in life is that one area of health has a huge impact on all of the others. When you are emotionally healthy it effects your physical and spiritual health. When you are spiritually healthy it effects your emotional and physical health, and unfortunately, the same is true of the reverse.

I started my day with yoga this morning, which for me is unusual as I have never been a “yogi”. I have tried here and there over the years but have never had the patience to complete a session nor the understanding of benefits. In my mind I always thought that I could be doing something much more productive like running or Insanity. I am slowly switching my perspective. There is a balance to everything that we do, the key though, is finding that balance wherever it may lay.

Here is the sequence I followed this morning from new up and coming company,  Greatist.

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver”.

-Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

 

01 // 09 // 2016: Learning to Relax

01 // 09 // 2016: Learning to Relax

Today was a relaxing day spent at home. It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed at home and not gone anywhere. One of my goals this year is to learn how to relax- and today was good for that.

First thing this morning I had to take a test… but I passed so it was a good start to the day I suppose.

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After my test I had my first experience with quinoa. I made a “Mexican Casserole” and let me just say…it was delicious! I usually don’t like avocado, but I added some to this casserole and it made it perfect. I’ve been trying to cut out meats recently, so this was the perfect time to try something new! I believe in eating whole foods. Sure, there are things out there that people rave about that say “fat-free” and “low-fat” but usually those items are filled with chemicals.. which are just as bad. EAT WHOLE FOODS.

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Another thing we did today was re-arrange the living room, and Parker was able to put up his “nerd board” as I call it above his desk.

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Looks good.

Oh- it also snowed today. We got a good three-ish inches and it was beautiful! Now we are back to binge watching the Flash (we’re on the last episode that’s current) and Parker is making a fire to end the night.

I know that these posts don’t necessarily follow a theme, but I plan on sharing some “deeper” thoughts in the near future. We’ll see where this takes us.

Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it is my intention to live every day to the fullest, worry less, and trust God more. I used to let anxiety and “control issues” run my life, but I am learning every day to live with the peace that surpasses all understanding. What a gift!

Here is a good reminder:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

-John 10:10

{Brooke}

01 // 06 // 2016: Spinach and Tech

01 // 06 // 2016: Spinach and Tech

Today is Wednesday! Yay! I hope that you all have been having an enjoyable week back to “life”.

In my previous post I talked about the book, Cold Tangerines. I finished it this evening, and again I encourage you (especially if you’re a woman) to read it. It’s one of those books that you can easily finish in under a week, yet it’s packed full with encouragement and relatable material.

Tonight has been a very relaxing and enjoyable evening at home. Parker and I decided that it would be a no t.v. day (my favorite kind of days). There is so much more time in the day when you don’t binge watch The Flash-which is what we have been guilty of doing a few days last week. I started a new novel titled, Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger.

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I tried a new Recipe (Spinach Balls with Basil Pesto Dipping Sauce) and it was DELISH! 

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Oh- and while I was on Pinterest in search of mroe recipes I look over and this is what Parker was doing…(slideshow)

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I’m still not exactly sure where all of the parts came from. All I know is that he went around the house for about an hour or so collecting an arrangement of old phones, ipads, computers, controllers, remotes, keyboards, etc. Looks cool though. He’s not finished with it yet I don’t think, but like I said,  kinda cool!

To end today’s post I’d like to share with you a video that makes me laugh hysterically every time I watch it. I don’t laugh at most videos on the internet, but there are a few I find entertaining. I’ve started a folder of them on my computer to watch when I need to laugh. So far there are only four videos (compiled over years.. like I said, it has to be hilarious for me to save it).  Here is one. While I realize this may not make you laugh whatsoever, I enjoy it- so laugh anyways.

{Brooke}

01 // 04 // 2016: {cold tangerines}

01 // 04 // 2016: {cold tangerines}

Today I went to one of my favorite places- the library. I am definitely a hard copy type of person. I LOVE technology and it can be VERY useful, but I would always rather take paper notes, journal with  a pencil rather than a keyboard (which is ironic given my current method of delivery), and read books in a tangible format. The library has a certain way of calming me and bringing about peace in a day that is otherwise filled constant hustle.

Here is one of my finds today:

(I’m already on chapter six)

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This book is all about living every day as if it were a gift/to the fullest rather than constantly “waiting for your life to begin”.

I’m going to share with you the synopsis on the back of the book, and I highly recommend that you borrow or purchase it at some point.

“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift”. 

“Cold Tangerines is a collection of stories about God, and about life, and about the thousands of daily ways in which an awareness of God changes and infuses everything. It offers bright and varied glimpses of hope and redemption, giving us room to breathe, to break down and break through, calling us to our best possible lives”. 

There is just something about books. I challenge you to turn off the t.v. before bed and read for thirty minutes or more instead. I think you will enjoy it!

{Brooke}

January // 3 // 2016:

January // 3 // 2016:

Yay! We’ve made it three days into the new year. Most of you are getting ready to return to work and/or school and that can be really daunting after the holidays. {Remember to make the most of every day and to keep an eternal perspective}. Our pastor shared today about how we should aim to thrive in our daily lives, not just “hang on” or “survive”.

On a semi-unrelated note:

Parker and I really enjoy doing puzzles together, it lets you relax and spend time together, all while accomplishing something. (Or sometimes getting frustrated and quitting three times before you make any progress). Nevertheless we enjoy it. We bought two #StarWars puzzles this holiday season and have so far completed the much simpler one. HOWEVER- we became frustrated when we were robbed of our victory.

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The puzzle of almost completion.

…DO YOU SEE IT?!?!? We are always very careful to keep all of the pieces together because of the obvious fact that losing them is less than difficult. ONE PIECE was missing. It DOES NOT exist.

We are slowly recomposing ourselves after this difficult time and working on a new puzzle pictured below. This one is 1000 pieces, and each piece is an individual scene from the Star Wars series. Needless to say, it is also trying. I realize that the previous couple of paragraphs have not lined up with my initial comment of “puzzles are fun”, but they are…in most aspects…

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I hope that you all are able to enjoy the rest of your Sunday! I will see you tomorrow (figuratively, of course).

{Brooke}

Documentary:

Documentary:

In general, I enjoy reading all of the New Years posts however I think that bettering oneself should be an ongoing process and take place during the remaining 364 (or 365) days in the year. Please don’t misunderstand me, this time of year is a great reminder to reflect and to plan, and if you are one who has made a “resolution” I wish you well in your discipline and so forth!

When Parker and I reflected on the past year it was nice to be able to put a picture to a memory. Having said that, I would like to use this platform to document the year before us. It is my personal preference and opinion that the internet does not need to know everything about my ongoing life, but it will be neat to document a piece of it.

Today’s documentation is something I am proud of not just because it involves weight loss, but because it represents an all around healthier version of who I am in multiple aspects of my life.

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 “…and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth”. 

Ephesians 4:23-24