Enduring All Things: August 2018

Friday, August 31, 2018

What I've been Reading, Watching, and Listening To {August 2018}

Hi guys! Once again, I'm writing this post about a week late. And I will back-date it again to be published on the last week day of August. I don't know why I have such a hard time writing these. I think it's just overwhelming when I write all the reviews at once. I need to write them individually as I read, watch, and listen to each item.

Anyway, here are my reviews for August. Enjoy!

Books:

The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines - 5/5 stars

So of course this is simply a memoir of Chip and Jojo's life together focusing on their business (which was their life) and it was fascinating. For whatever reason, I fly through memoirs of famous people I look up to. I finished this book in two days. That's always the case with this kind of non-fiction. Anyway, I was mesmorized by their story and certainly impressed by their values. And now I'm determined to "thrive rather than just survive" in every stage of life!

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - 5/5 stars

So believe it or not, this was my first time reading Anne of Green Gables. And I expected it to be good. But holy cow! It was incredible! I'm really not completely sure what to say about it because you all probably have read it or at least know the story. But basically Anne is an incredible little orphan girl and I learned so much from the book. I can only imagine the lessons I could have learned if I had read it as a child.

Also, the most recent medium I had consumed about Anne was "Anne with an E" on Netflix. I figured they had exaggerated some things for Hollywood and I guessed that some of the political/social issues addressed in the show would not be present in the book. But I had NO IDEA that the show added completely new characters that aren't even mentioned in the book. And HUGE side stories about certain characters spending years of their lives traveling. Crazy!

Oh and yes this book is about Anne from age 11 to age 16. It follows her life as she's adopted and goes through school. Therefore it is classified as a "juvenile" read. I am currently reading Anne of Avonlea which opens on Anne at 16 about to start her career as a school teacher. I'll be honest, I'm loving the story of this one even better as I can relate to her a bit more. The books will probably get better to me as the progress.

Manna by Marshall Brain - 3/5 stars

Ok so this "book" is 8 chapters long and completely published online. I probably shouldn't have given it 3 stars because in that rating system, I am comparing it to novels. I'm not really sure what to call it because it's not really a story. Marshall Brian calls it an "essay" on his website so I guess we can go with that. Anyway, it's set in the future when robots take over. I don't want to give too much away but it's certainly interesting and eye opening. I do think everyone should read it, just don't expect it to be incredibly entertaining. And it is only 8 chapters so you can read that, right? Oh and I don't recall any R-rated or even PG13-rated conflict, in case you're wondering.

Blog Posts/Articles:

Honestly, I read a lot of blog posts about the Marriage Bundle in August.

Also, this amazing gem of a post by Chelsea of The New Wifestyle: Are You Talented or Skilled?

And of course, everything Amberly of A Prioritized Marriage wrote all month!

TV Shows:

Twin Peaks - 5/5 stars

You guys, this show is the weirdest, most brilliant thing on Netflix! Okay I can't say that because I haven't seen everything on Netflix. But guys, Twin Peaks is amazing! It's old and creepy. It's set in the PNW. It has Kyle MacLachlan. What more can you want? We're so invested in what happens in this small town. It started with a single murder case and now there are crimes popping up all over.

Agents of Shield - 3.5/5 stars

Ok you guys. I love this show. Pearson laughs at me for that. I'll admit, it's not the greatest story or production ever, but... I guess I just love the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For whatever reason, I am very invested in these characters. And yes, the stories are getting a little ridiculous and outlandish. There's a reason there is only going to be one more season. They got a last minute renewal with only 13 episodes and it won't air until July 2019.

Anyway, what I care about is the people and the relationships. For one, they remind me so much of Harry Potter characters. When we watched the season 5 finale, I could not get this one part out of my head. It was so sad and it put me in a funk. I got super sad and mopey for a while and I think the show was a big part of it!

Stranger Things - 5/5 stars

Yes. We watched season 2 of Stranger Things. Again. Over the last weekend in August, because it's starting to feel like fall and we wanted to watch something creepy. Guys it was as good the second time as the first! But I'm guessing I don't have to tell you that. I hate that season 3 isn't coming out till next summer!

Movies:

Coco - 5/5 stars

You guys I knew this was going to be good. I mean it's Disney/Pixar. And I had only heard good things about it. Besides, I'm sort of obsessed with the Day of the Dead celebration. You guys, this movie was so good. It might be my new favorite Pixar movie! I'm so glad we finally watched it on Netflix.

To All the Boys I've Loved - 3/5 stars

This fun little high school drama, Netflix chick-flick was actually pretty entertaining. Of course, take it for what it's worth. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Get Smart - 4/5 stars

I watched Get Smart a long time ago. Probably when it first came out. But Pearson had never seen it so one night we saw it was on Netflix so we decided to randomly watch it. Anyway, it was hilarious and I enjoyed it even more this time than the first!

YouTube:

Sheila Gregoire of To Love, Honor, and Vacuum started a new video series called "Ask Sheila" where she discusses questions about marriage. I've enjoyed it a lot!

Pearson and I have been watching ALL the SNL on YouTube! It's our current favorite pass time!

Justine Leconte's videos about capsule wardrobes helped me to create mine!

This incredibly insightful video from The Gottman Institute explaining their concept, Bids for Connection.


Listening:

The Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia: Here we Go Again soundtracks! I forgot how much I love Abba!

Have you ever heard of the genre of music called Chap Hop? It's hip-hop/rap done by British gentlemen! It's hilarious and amazing!

What have you been reading, watching, and listening to lately? Have any recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

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All opinions are my own.
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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Why I Started Exercising for the RIGHT Reasons (and a Review of the #LuLaRoeJade Leggings)

Callie, the amazing LuLaRoe consultant behind Rocking and Roeing gave me a big discount on these leggings in exchange for a blog post and social media love. All opinions are mine.

Working out is hard, am I right? I mean we know we should do it. There are so many reasons to do it. To stay healthy, to stay in shape, to keep our body young, to get the blood pumping, to stay energized, to chase those endorphins, etc. And, of course, some people exercise to lose weight or look a certain way.
I've started to eat intuitively and I've let that mindset bleed into exercising too. I no longer work out because I'm supposed to or because I want to look up to society standards. I work out because it makes me feel good and my body craves it.
I'm currently on a journey to cultivate a healthier self-image and love myself for me, here and now. A big part of that journey is calling out diet culture and ignoring unhealthy "rules" and "standards" set by our society.

I mentioned this briefly in my Monthly Goals for August post, but I have been trying to eat intuitively for the food part of this journey. As for the exercise part, I'm just trying to do what feels good. There's not a title for it like "intuitive exercise" or "intuitive body movement" (that I've found, at least), but the concept is very similar to intuitive eating. And really, exercise is addressed in the book Intuitive Eating because it all goes hand in hand. It's all about being mindful and listening to your body when it comes to everything. Not just food.

Basically, I want to work out because it makes me feel good. I love the endorphins it gives me. I love feeling strong. I love feeling my body change and accomplishing physical goals. I am NOT doing it because society tells me I should. Or because I'm trying to look a certain way. 

Or at least that's the mindset I want to have. But changing to this mindset is easier said then done. Toxic diet and exercise culture is everywhere we look today. Society is constantly bombarding us with harmful ideas and concepts!

But anyway, I digress.

When I try to change my mindset and workout because I want to and not because I have to, it's hard to stay motivated (though I think it's always hard to stay motivated to exercise). Doing nothing is always easier than doing something. And since my new way of thinking tells me I don't have to work out today because of any rule or weight loss program, I simply don't do it more often than I do. So now I'm also on a quest to find some kind of exercise that I enjoy so much I would rather get up and do it than remain sitting on the couch.

And that's tough.

One thing I've discovered is that I don't do so well with HIIT cardio workouts. Really any cardio is just hard for me right now, in the shape I'm in. And I've actually developed exercise induced migraines when I do too much cardio that I'm not used to. So that's fun.
But I'm pretty good at weight training. Especially arm day. And I love how strong I feel when lifting weights (even if I'm still only using 5lb dumbbells).

And I have always enjoyed pilates. Especially Blogilates (Cassie is the best and she has a lot of FREE workouts on YouTube).

And I like to do yoga when I'm feeling stiff or sore or just when I want to feel good without too much effort. My friend Jessy just told me about his awesome channel YouTube channel, Yoga with Adriene, that looks like a lot of fun. I'm excited to try it out.

Anyway, in the past, I've tried all kinds of strict workout programs. When I say strict, I don't necessarily mean hard. I just mean there was a schedule to stick to. I've tried the 21 Day Fix from Beachbody a couple times as well as the 21 Day Fix Extreme and a couple other Beachbody programs. I've also tried to stick to Cassie from Blogilates' monthly workout calendars in the past.

The problem was, I would stick to these schedules pretty well for a week or two but then I'd miss a day or two for whatever reason. And with my type-A personality, I would have to go back and catch up. I'm not the type of person who can skip days of anything and just jump back in where I'm supposed to be.

So now, I'm letting myself just do whatever feels right that day. No more schedules. No more cardio on Mondays, arms on Tuesdays, legs on Wednesdays etc. I'm throwing out the rules and focusing on one day at a time. And so far I'm "exercising" a lot more often than I have been the last couple months.

OH! And guess what! I found a form of "cardio" that I might just sort of love. I still get somewhat nauseous when I do it, but it's more worth it.

It's trail running.
Of course, I'm not really trail running at this point. I am not in that kind of shape. I've been walking/running some trails near my apartment.

Pearson and I have gone hiking a lot this summer now that we live in the North West and it's been amazing! I love the outdoors. I love the sights and smells. I love the fresh air in my lungs. And I love the good tired feeling I have after a good long hike.
So I decided to start walking trails around here for exercise during the week. And sometimes I feel like running for a minute or so and then walking for a couple minutes. It's sort of like the couch to 5K programs you may have seen. But I'm not following a program. I'm just doing what feels right. Running when I feel like it and walking to catch my breath.

But anyway, that's enough of my babbling. The point of this post was to encourage you to workout because you like the way it makes you feel. Not because you're supposed to. And to find a workout that you enjoy. Don't just blindly follow the schedule of the exercise program you purchased.
The other point of this post was to tell you about these awesome Jade athletic leggings from LuLaRoe. My girl Callie, of Rocking and Roeing, ordered them directly from the warehouse for me. Aren't they great? I love the color and love that they make working out bright and fun!

I usually wear a 10 or 12 pant size and I got a large. If I'm being honest, I probably could have gone with a medium. These slide down around the wast a bit and they even bagged in the crotch when I wore them around the apartment. I thought I was going to be pulling them up the whole time I was on the trail but I wasn't. Despite their being slightly too big, they still stayed in place even while running!
I was told by another member of the Rocking and Roeing VIP Facebook group that the Jades that are full print (like mine) have a lot more give. LuLaRoe also has some that are mostly compression fabric with only printed side panels. In a pair like that, I'd probably have to go with a large.

Anyway, overall these leggings are a hit in my book. I'm excited to wear them on the trails until it gets too cold. And then I'll still wear them for yoga and pilates inside of course. Oh and as an added little bonus, they have a perfect little pocket on the inside of the waistband for my car key fob!
What is your favorite way to move your body? What motivates you to work out?
Thanks for reading!

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Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
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Friday, August 24, 2018

3 Ways Improve Your Sex Life After Kids

Today I have a guest post for you guys an a topic that's both tragic and very important. It's a topic that doesn't get talked about enough. Capri from hims created a graphic with some astounding statistics (see below). And she agreed to write this piece to accompany it for you readers today. I hope you find it helpful!

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Once you have kids, your life will instantly change. Your life will head in a new direction and you find yourself caring for someone else more than you ever thought. Many of your old habits and hobbies may get lost in the transition into your new direction. With all of the changes that are about to happen, your sex life does not have to be one of them. Try these ways to hold on to what you have.

TALK IT OUT

Let each other know how you are feeling and what you are going through. When you are having a hormonal imbalance, suffering from exhaustion, or wishing to have your previous body back, you aren’t going to be feeling like your old self. Talk with your spouse and allow for open communication. You will be able to understand one another so much better. You may both end up having the same thought on an idea or totally something different. Psychology Today says you should ask questions and never assume to you know the answer. Compassion and appreciation towards each other will help get your intimacy back on track.

STAY CALM AND CARRY ON

Being a new parent comes with many stresses and it can difficult to make time to relax with your partner with so many new responsibilities. When you do have a few moments of down time, it is important to clear your mind and focus on mindfulness. Before you are able to get some alone time with your partner, try and relax your mind. According to Healthline, here are some of the best apps for your to do short meditations, anywhere from five to twenty minutes long. Meditation can help to lower your anxiety, improve your sleep, and bring on a positive mood. These will allow both partners to be physically and emotionally present while bringing back intimacy.

KEEP UP WITH YOUR MAN
Men experience changes when kids are brought into their life. Often their testosterone levels can drop off, which can make it difficult more them to be able to perform. This can put a strain on a relationship when they are trying to get their sex life back on track. Eat This recommends a diet with spinach and red peppers as they help to open up blood vessels and encourage blood flow throughout the body. If you are consideration medication, check out what you can expect if you are open to this possibility of going the Rx route. There are different alternatives for how serious the issue is to you.

All in all, kids should be the start to a brand new life for you. With that, you should certainly be allowed to keep some of your old habits and activities. Talk with your spouse rather than avoid the situation. Be compassionate towards each other and you will be well on your way to enjoying your special time together.

Capri is a health advocate that focuses on body confidence for both men and women. She loves to run, read wellness articles, and can be found on any beach at any time.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Monthly Goals for August {2018}

Happy August, Friends! Can you believe it's August? I know I say that every month... And I know I say that every month too. But geez. The months fly by faster and faster all the time. I'm not to mad about this one though. August marks the end of summer and the beginning of my favorite season ever!

I'm so excited to experience my first PNW autumn! I know to expect a lot of rain and that there are a lot more evergreens around here than anywhere else I've lived so I might be disappointed in the fall foliage. But I don't care! Bring on cooler temperatures, football, and all other things that come with the season!

In reality though, I think I'm at least a month to early to be talking about autumn... So lets just move on to my goals, shall we?

How I did in July:

Spiritual:

  • Work through this month's lesson and bible reading plan on the SHE Refined program. I'm super excited for this!

Physical:

  • Stick to a healthy diet, only eating out on the weekends
  • Try the SHE Refined program juice recipes once per week.
  • At least do the 4 SHE Refined workouts for the month every week

Mental:

Marriage:

Blog:

  • Publish all the posts I have planned for my Anniversary Series on time!
    • Technically this didn't happen BUT in light of my grandmother passing right before our anniversary trip, I think I did well enough to count it. I didn't do any work during that entire week and I still got almost everything done.

Home:

  • Put up curtains
  • Get the picture for our one still blank wall printed and hung up
I actually did really well on these goals. I completed more than 50% of them which is more than I've done in a long time! I'm pretty proud of that! Here's to doing it again this month!

Resetting in August:

Spiritual:

Physical:

  • Eat intuitively.
  • Walk/run a trail somewhere at least three times per week.

Mental:

Marriage:

Blog:

  • Promote The Dating Divas' "Marriage Bundle" (Which I contributed to)
  • Implement the 10 Day Marriage Challenge I've been planning.

Home:

  • Put up curtains
  • Get the picture for our one still blank wall printed and hung up
  • Cook dinner at home 5 times per week
  • Buy new living room furniture!!!
As you can see, I've changed my eating goals to eat intuitively. I have Emily @BodyPosiTherapist and Tiffany @mindfulcounseling to thank for that. I'm working on changing my relationship with food and getting out of the "diet culture" mentality. It's a process that will take a while but that's a story for another post.

I think this goals are doable and I'm excited to get back into more of a routine this month as summer winds down.

Do you set monthly goals? Share your link in the comments or just tell me a few of your goals! Let's support each other!
Thanks for reading!

Follow me on social media:
Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links. 
If you click on a link and make a purchase, I might get a little money. 
All opinions are my own.
Continue reading »
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