Category Archives: Reference

26 Types of Journals to Keep

Just for kicks and giggles, I decided to see how many different types of journals I could come up with that a person could keep.  There is a lot of benefit to be had from keeping a journal – the regular type.  I’d imagine that you could get a lot of benefit from many of these.  This is my complete list.  Do you have any additions?  If so, feel free to add them in the comments.

  1. Time capsule
  2. Dream journal
  3. Exercise journal
  4. Food
  5. Memory
  6. Travel
  7. Response to specific event (i.e., birth, marriage, disaster)
  8. Gratitude
  9. Project
  10. Work
  11. Meditation or spiritual
  12. Planning
  13. Reading
  14. Dialogue
  15. Family
  16. Couples
  17. Prayer
  18. Health
  19. Art
  20. Ideas
  21. Diary
  22. Writer’s
  23. Thematic (i.e., on a theme such as values, topics you’re studying, et cetera)
  24. Parent-child
  25. Guided
  26. Recipe

journal 1

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April 2015 – Useful Websites

I am not affiliated with any of these websites.  I have simply found them in my internet wanderings and found them interesting or helpful.

Parenting/Household

Writing

Miscellaneous

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Resources for Special Needs Families – March 2015 Edition

This is a brief list of resources that I have found through my journey as a special needs parent.  I’ve tried to include mostly general sites, rather than those focused specifically on my daughter’s own health issues (epilepsy and autism), but there are a number relating to autism specifically.  Also, I should note that I am located in the United States and my sources tend to be as well.  However, I hope that the information contained in these resources can help ANYONE or provide ideas of sources for help in other areas. *In addition, I should note that I am not affiliated in any way with any of these sites.  These are just sites that I’ve found as I explored.*

  • Books
    • “Schuyler’s Monster: A Father’s Journey”  by Rob Rummel-Hudson
    • The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband by David Finch
    • Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid by Gina Gallagher
    • The Special Needs Parent Handbook by Jonathan Singer
  • Magazines
    • Autism Parenting Magazine
    • Parenting Special Needs
    • Exceptional Parent
    • Thrive Magazine

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December 2014 – Helpful Websites

This isn’t a long post as it is Christmas Eve, but I did want to share some helpful websites that I’ve found over the past month or so.  Now, many people are familiar with these already, but hopefully you’ll find something on this list that is helpful and new to you :-).  If you have suggestions for a list like this in January, please feel free to comment!  I’ll check out your recommendations over the next couple of weeks.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and happy holidays to those who do not.  I hope you all have a wonderful new year!

(I would also like to add that I am not getting paid or reimbursed in any way for any of these recommendations.  They are my own honest thoughts on these websites.  Your mileage may vary.)

  1. DIY Planner – this site is  an awesome source for planners.  They have different categories (such as Psychology, Reference and Time Management).  And SO many choices…if you can’t find something here, well, there’s no hope for it – you will truly have to do it yourself!
  2. Stone Soup For Five – I can’t remember how I found this one, but I think I was searching for information on bullet journals.  I love all things journals and journaling.  At any rate, that’s a good reason to check this blog out.  It is religious, is the “home of the Personal Legacy Bible Study Series”, and has a store.
  3. Yourtango.com – this is an interesting romance-advice-blog site.  It has sections on men, dating, couplehood, sex, and breakups, among others.  I recommend taking a little while to take a look at it.  I found some helpful information here on renewing my relationship with my husband.
  4. BlogLovin’ – This is an interesting way to keep up with multiple blogs.  Apparently, you can add ANY blog that you want to follow and keep up with all of the blogs in one place.  The appearance reminds me of Pinterest, with different posts appearing on one page.  I just thing this is a great idea.  You can also click to Find Blogs, Explore,  and just keep up with what’s hot at the moment.  You can sign up with email or with Facebook.
  5. On a completely different note, the American Psychological Association website has a lot of information on it that I think is valuable.  There are topics such as depression, ethics, learning and memory, race and stress, as well as links for Continuing Education, Divisions, Finding a Psychologist, and PsyCareers.
  6. Good Housekeeping Product Reviews – excellent source of information on many products that they test every year.  There are categories such as Beauty & Makeup, Appliances, Cars & Travel Products, and Health & Fitness.  They also feature “Recently Tested”, and seasonal items like “The Best Wines to Go With the Bird” and “Toy Awards: The Best Picks for 2014”.

Well, I think that is about it for today.  It is probably about it for the year as well.  Life will be pretty busy between now and the end of the year.  I wish anyone reading this all the best in 2015.

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52 Ways to Make 2015 Your Best Year Ever

  1. Set goals, not resolutions – or at the very least, combine the two.  It is great to resolve to lose weight, but in order to actually accomplish that, you need GOALS.
  2. Make self-care a big part of your life.  It is important enough to SCHEDULE it.
  3. Be present.  Don’t wish away your time.  Focus on where you are, WHEN you are.
  4. Be grateful.  Look around you and appreciate what you DO have.  Say thank you to people who help you or show appreciation.
  5. Resolve personal issues as soon as you can.  Give yourself a fresh start for the new year.
  6. Is there something that you are passionate about?  Get involved!  Find your cause and take part in whatever way suits you – letter writing, taking part in a walk, etc.
  7. Keep your promises both to yourself and others.
  8. Don’t compare yourself, your life, your possessions, or anything else to others.  You will be much happier, and you don’t gain anything from the comparisons.
  9. Replace a bad habit with a good habit.
  10. Take action.  Do something today to move yourself closer to your goals.  Take another action tomorrow…and the day after that.  Make it a habit to take small steps toward your goals daily.
  11. Do 30-day challenges.  Set a challenge once a month – 30 days of gratitude, 30 days of exercise, 30 days of frugality, 30 days of self-care…and see what a difference each makes in your life.
  12. Spend time alone to focus on your goals, your dreams, and what you REALLY want.  Keep a notebook of ideas, goals, etc.
  13. Develop a theme for the new year.  I used “Soar like an eagle” for 2014 and used it to motivate me to try harder and to stretch myself.
  14. Let go of things or people that drain you.  If it isn’t helping you, it is probably hindering.  Look at the people around you – are they supportive or are they negative?
  15. If you feel overwhelmed,  take a step back, say no to new obligations, and take care of yourself.    You will feel better after a rest and be more productive.
  16. Plan date nights – with your significant other or even yourself.  Try something new and different that you both have an interest in, or something that you’ve always wanted to do.  Do this at least once a month.
  17. Simplify.  Clean out a drawer, a closet, a room once a month or so.  If you haven’t touched something in six months, ask yourself if you really need it or if you can find another if you DO need it later.
  18. Take care of the world around you as well.  Recycle.  Reuse, where possible.  Donate gently used clothing.  Use lightbulbs that are longer lasting.  Use green cleaning materials to clean your house.
  19. Get up earlier.  Even if it is just 15-20 minutes, it should give you a little time to sit and enjoy your coffee, read an article, or write in your journal.
  20. Take a walk in the rain.  It can be very invigorating, romantic, and sensual.
  21. Enjoy a three course meal.  Do this by finding three friends, or couples, and having each bring a course.  Ok, yes, you should count yourself, so either have two friends or have a four course meal…LOL.  There you go – a large, extravagant meal without you having to do ALL of the cooking!  Fancy!
  22. Be a Bookcrosser (check out Bookcrossing.com).  Register one of your favorite books with Bookcrossing, write its number in the cover, then leave it in the wild for someone to find.
  23. Celebrate your accomplishments!  When you achieve a goal, CELEBRATE!  Make a big deal.  There is nothing like positive reinforcement 😀
  24. Forgive.  Forgive those who hurt you – but remember enough not to let it happen again.  I am not saying to forget what was done to you, but forgive for your own mental and emotional health.
  25. Stop being excessively nice.  When someone hurts your feelings, say so.  Mind you, you can do so nicely, but stand up for yourself.
  26. Ignore the Joneses.  Focusing on what others have does nothing to make our lives better.  In fact, it can dull the shine on our own lives.  Appreciate what you have and ignore the Jones’;  what they have isn’t your concern.
  27. Visit one new place a month!  Expand your horizons!  Look around the area in which you live; you might be surprised at how much there is to do.
  28. Try a new cuisine.  Talk to friends and get recommendations.  Read the restaurant reviews in your local paper.
  29. Join a book club.  Talk to friends about what you are reading, and ask about things they like to read.
  30. Learn a new hobby.
  31. Develop a meditation and breathing routine.
  32. Make a list of activities that you enjoy and do one per month – or more, if money and time permit!
  33. Keep a gratitude journal.  List 5 things every day.
  34. Keep a journal – even if just a line or two whenever you feel like it.  Explore different kinds of journals – one line a day, work, travel, reading…there are a ton of ways to keep a journal.
  35. Plant something.  Work in the dirt – it is a great way to relieve stress and ground yourself.
  36. Cut back on communications.  You don’t really, REALLY need to be texting in the bathroom, the car, while in the checkout line at the grocery store.  Try checking your email once a day, not as soon as you get a notification.
  37. Purge your stuff.  Donate, throw away, clean out things that you no longer use, haven’t touched in six months or more, or can no longer use.
  38. Take a deep breathe, leave yourself more time to get to work, and drive slower.  Racing through traffic can be stressful.  Make sure you don’t need to and you may actually enjoy your day more.
  39. Cut activities that no longer serve a purpose, or that complicate your life unnecessarily.  Free that time up to use doing things you truly enjoy, or to spend with family and friends.
  40. Get your finances in order.
  41. Accept your current circumstances, limitations, strengths, and weaknesses.  Acceptance will help ease stress and anxiety and allow you to move forward and make changes to improve things where improvements need to be made.  Accept that you will be making changes to your life gradually; much like losing weight, making changes gradually will make them more likely to stick.
  42. Get out into nature.  Literally stop and smell the roses.  Look at local natural wonders – waterfalls, beaches, mountains, streams, deserts all have their beauty.
  43. Pay attention to why you back away from something that originally really excited you.  Frequently it is fear.  Facing that fear and dealing with it may help you move forward with things that will change your life.
  44. If something isn’t working in your life, don’t wait for someone to come along and fix it.  Make a change yourself.  Give up complaining – and take action.
  45. Learn a new language.  The process of learning a new language and becoming familiar with a different culture can change you and your outlook.
  46. Start a life handbook.  My concept of this is that it contains tips on self-improvement, quotes that mean something to me, life lessons, and ideas.  It could even include dreams, goals, and more.
  47. Learn something new every day – a word, a fact, how to do something.  Look for lessons everywhere.
  48. Spend quality time with loved ones and friends.  Sounds so simple, but when you are with them really focus on them.  Interestingly enough, what you give, you will get back.  If you truly pay attention to others, more than likely they will respond.
  49. Give up gossip.  It is negative and will bring you down.  Focus on the positives instead.  Your outlook will think you for it!
  50. Remember that change can be good.  It can be scary but some changes are good.  Write down positive changes and focus on those when you are worried about upcoming changes.
  51. Try yoga.   Good for mind and body!
  52. Clean your desk and room – and keep them that way.  This will help you focus and will also reduce stress; clutter is, believe it or not, a source of stress.

And that is my list of 52 steps.  I hope it helps, and I hope that you enjoyed it!  If you have additions for a future list, please feel free to comment!

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Self-Care (for Sanity’s Sake) Through the Holidays

The holidays are here, whether we are ready or not.  It seems like the year just started, but it is almost over.  The holidays, while they can be wonderful, are tremendously stressful.  Don’t let them be – there are things that you can do to put the joy back in the holidays and keep your sanity.

 

NOTE: I also want to say at the outset that if you suffer from depression, please talk to someone – a friend, a family member, a coworker, or anyone that you trust.

 

  • Eat healthy meals before going to parties.
  • Moderate your caffeine and alcohol intake – too much of either will leave you feeling bad later, and also dehydrate you.
  • Get enough sleep.  Go to bed earlier than normal at least once a week.
  • Evaluate any “obligations” that you are facing.  Just because you have done something in the past doesn’t mean you have to continue.
  • Family can be stressful.  It is important to spend time with people that you ENJOY, family or not.  Also, recognize that old patterns reappear under stress, so be aware of that in interactions with family.
  • Say “No” – and mean it.  Remember that NO can  be a complete sentence – you don’t have to explain.
  • Take short breaks to fit in a walk or other forms of exercise.  Not only will it help with possible weight gain over the holiday, it is an excellent stress reliever.
  • Watch how much you spend, to avoid making the start of the new year a more stressful one.
  • Make sure your routine stays the same, or as close as possible.  Keeping a regular routine makes rest/sleep easier, and also helps keep you in balance.
  • If you have stress management techniques that you use in other circumstances, pull them out and use them. Find what works for you and stick with it!
  • Prioritize.  Look at your activities and do what is most important to you.  Don’t worry if less important things don’t get done.
  • Take a time out for yourself – away from noise, stimulation, and things that need to be done.  They will still be there in five, ten, fifteen minutes.
  • Relax and be present in the moment – not worrying about the future, not worrying about what happened in the past.  Enjoy the family around you.  Enjoy the smells of the holiday.  Enjoy the sounds of the holiday.
  • Simplify.  Cut your to-do list in half.  Send fewer cards.  Exchange fewer gifts.  Say NO to a few occasions.
  • Stay flexible; things can change at the drop of a hat so be ready to change.
  • If you have too much to do, delegate.  Ask for help from those around you.  You do the best you can; remember that.
  • Don’t bake six types of cookies if two will do!
  • Laugh.  Hang on to your sense of humor and take care of it.  Look for the funny in life – there is plenty of it out there.  Find some funny websites and look at them first thing in the morning, or any time you need a giggle.
  • Let go of the “ideal” Christmas and enjoy the one around you.
  • Do non-materialistic things with friends and family.
  • Be aware of your breaking point and step back before you reach it.  Step away and take a break.  Avoid those things that push you close to your breaking point, even if it is family.  There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Chose your battles; ask yourself, “Is this worth a fight?”
  • Keep expectations realistic.  Don’t look for a Brady Bunch Christmas if your family tends to be more boisterous.

If you get stressed, stop and ask yourself, “Is it worth this?  Am I doing this to myself?  Is there something that I can do to make this fun again?”

 

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10 Good Sites for Thanksgiving Information, Ideas, and General Sanity-Saving Tips

Garfield-Holidays

A Great Thanksgiving Planner

This planner starts with a two weeks before and breaks down various tasks that should be completed within each time frame: one week before, the Monday before, and so on.  It is enormously helpful even if you aren’t quite that…organized.  I know my own weaknesses and I know that I won’t do all of these things, but I still admire the detail.  I highly recommend taking a look – I think it could inspire you to make your own planner.

Mary Organizes Thanksgiving Planner

This is a very nice blank printable that you can fill out yourself.  The blog entry describes the intention of each section and is very helpful. It has sections for each course of a meal, area for shopping list of things you can buy a head, one for perishables to get the day before, and so on.

Cat Christmas

Holiday 7-Week Planner

This lovely list will help you spread the tasks surrounding both/all of the holidays out a bit so that you can actually catch your breath and spend some time with family!  What a concept!

Need to know how much to make for Thanksgiving?

That is a great printable for you, if you are in doubt as to how much food you need for your crowd.

A Girl and A Glue Gun has some terrific ideas listed – with credit given to other locations that she found some of the crafts.  One of the cutest is “Roll a Turkey” – you roll dice and for each number, draw a specific part of the turkey.  Kids should LOVE this one!

Buzzfeed is quite a source of fun, merriment, and…who knew, Thanksgiving tips.  Here is a fantastic list of 17 Life-Saving Thanksgiving Tips.    I had never seen a number of these and think they sound like they would make a big difference.

Car Hacks, Tricks, and Tips provides all of the above for those families traveling by car over the holidays.  Some of these ideas (like silicone cupcake molds in drink holders to make cleaning easier) are all-season and things that I had never thought of; I highly recommend taking a look at the list.

Erin, from My Frugal Home, has a very handy list of how long specific Thanksgiving leftovers stay good.  That is enormously helpful.  I’m going to go print my copy now and put it on the refrigerator!

Country Living Magazine is a source for a lot of helpful ideas, recipes and the like.  Thanksgiving is no different from the rest of the year.  Go take a look at these!  Tips from Country Living!

Smart Savvy Living has 10 tips to keep your Thanksgiving organized and help you stress less.  Some are obvious – make lists – but if you follow these, it WILL decrease the stress and help you have a more enjoyable holiday with the people you care most about.  Isn’t that the true point?

I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Fall Leaves

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