I am excited a friend of mine introduced me to The Mom Summit! It is one week of 30 videos from moms sharing their tips and inspiration! You may recognize some of the names and companies from the video below. The Mom Summit is FREE and runs from March 31 - April 7! Be sure to check it out here: https://tt145.infusionsoft.com/go/momreg/MKHoughton/. Sign up today and watch 5 videos right now on how to save time, get your kids involved in the kitchen, and so much more! Did I mention it is FREE!!! Join today!
Some of you have followed my blog because of the "do it yourself" projects. Others, because together, we are learning to eliminate factory processed foods and go for a more natural approach. And still others because we are a foster family and you can relate or are interested in foster care/adoption. Lastly, some just because you are a huge support to me.
Last year when we gave up processed foods and Processed By Mama was born, I had no idea the path it would lead to. As I mentioned in a previous post, now that I am taking care of the inside of my body, I want to take care of the outside as well. I also learned (the hard way) from our first foster placement, self-care is extremely important. Self-care is significant for all of us and all of the stresses we face on a daily basis.
My new business and career as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant is a start at self-care and taking care of my skin as well as the skin care needs of my family, friends, and clients. If you are worried about skin care, about self-care, or about preservatives in the products we put on our skin on a daily basis, I invite you to be a part of a call on Thursday, March 6 at 7:30pm (Eastern Time) with my Sales Director, Beth Lange. She is going to help answer some of the questions I have as well as some of my clients have. One such question may be, "My pantry is full of non-processed foods. I want my makeup to be as natural as possible. How natural are Mary Kay products?" It might also be, "How can Mary Kay make a difference in my life?"
Again, I invite you to join in the conversation, Thursday, March 6. The number to call is 605.477.2100 - access code 424923#. It will be at 7:30pm, Eastern time. You can call from anywhere in the country, anywhere in your house (hide in the bathroom from the kids if you have to) or wherever you may be at the time.
Thanks for your continued support!
I learned something very powerful this morning. Recently I started my own Mary Kay Beauty Consultant business. To kick things off, I have sent out over 70 invites to people via postcards as well as Facebook invites and shares. I am the first to admit when I receive such an invite, if I'm not interested, I just ignore it. But not anymore.
This morning I opened my email to three messages from women at my kids school. All three of them are unable to make the party. However, all three of them wished me luck on my new business venture. Wow. Just the fact they responded at all made my day...even if it had to be a "no". Now, to be fair, when I posted the event on my Facebook page, I did have some people also say they were unable to attend. Again, acknowledgement.
Maybe it's being from the Pacific Northwest and not the South. Maybe it's just my personality. Maybe it's just me. I would not have responded if it was something I didn't feel I wanted or could do. I now know the power of feeling acknowledged, of feeling validated, of someone taking time out of their day and replying to a postcard I sent in the mail. And that makes all the difference in the world to me and my day right now.
Thank you to all of you who "respectfully decline"...although I do hope some of you will come to my party!
Almost one year. A lot has happened in that year. Our family totally revised the way we eat, I began more DIY projects, finding new ways to use recycled items, I quit my job, we became foster parents and now I have started my own Mary Kay Cosmetics business. Whew!
I started thinking about the difference I feel around our home. It seems more alive, more upbeat, and healthier than a year ago. Gone is the junk from our pantry and refrigerator. Gone are the trips to fast-food restaurants. Instead we have "Processed By Mama" meals and baked goods whenever possible, freshly packed lunches and fun alternatives to giving out candy during holidays as well as making sure we don't use food as a reward for good grades or behavior.
We have opened our home to those who need a family at a traumatic time in their lives. Our whole family has pitched in to make a difference in the lives of these children. But more then that, they have made a difference in our lives. They are the ones who have blessed us and taught us so much more than we could ever image.
So what's next? I have started my own business. As much as I feel good on the inside, I also want to feel good on the outside. It's important to take care of the inside of our bodies, but now I want to take care of the outside, my skin. We have control over the food we eat, but we don't have the same control over the harsh elements our skin endures on a daily basis. I am hoping to make a difference in women (and men, too). All of this inspired by my teenage daughter who needed to learn basic skin care. A daughter who makes speeches protesting the use of Photoshop to promote beauty, rather than see a person for who they are naturally. A young woman who has natural beauty and is learning healthy ways to use that beauty in her daily life, rather than enhancing it to be something she isn't.
Inside out. It's amazing how different we feel physically, mentally and spiritually just be taking some time to work on the inside and now the outside.
Another wintery mix is on it's way to North Carolina today and tomorrow. With all of that, we also have my daughter's 14th birthday and Valentine's Day. What a perfect trifecta to add stress to any mama's week!
As it was just confirmed this week our kids classes were actually going to pass out valentines, I guess now would be the time to get them done while we are stuck at home. Since we do not do candy around here, I go on the search for candy alternatives. Last year was a success with glow sticks. I'm going to use this one again, only in a different classroom. If you're looking for other options, here are a few sites I've found. Some of the ideas are repeated, but still some great ideas out there!
"Yesterday marked the start of the second chapter in our foster parenting journey with the placement of a 10 year old with our family. The first chapter was a very up and down roller coaster. Lets see what the second chapter brings."
The above quote is from my husbands Facebook status last Tuesday. On Monday, February 3, we began our second placement with a 10 year old boy in the 4th grade. So far so good.
After our Munchkins (first placement) left in December, a foster mama mentor of mine asked me, "What did you learn?" At the time I couldn't really answer the question, but after some considerable thoughts, here are 18 thoughts I came up with:
1. I need to take time for me...exercise, coffee with a friend, etc.
2. Eat less carbs! It was amazing to me how I would easily pick up an "easy to go snack" that wasn't the greatest for my health.
3. To prepare meals ahead of time.
4. To prepare meals for the week ahead.
5. Chew my fingernails less. Anxiety sucks! Kind-of goes back to #1 in taking time for me and having my nails done.
6. To plan a date night/outing with my kids.
7. Play outside.
8. Stop & color.
9. Everyone in the family needs something.
10. Resources are important.
11. Journal, journal, journal.
12. To work outside the home or not?
13. Pray more.
14. Have "patience" in my pocket. (This is a family saying.)
15. It's not about what I want...do what I can in the time we have. (This has to do with the "system".)
16. I cannot worry about the progress (or lack of) of the bio-parents. I can only focus on and help guide the child/ren.
17. To say, "yes", when someone asks to help.
18. Continue to read and educate on children with special needs such as the effect of neglect, etc.
We definitely played outside more when the Munchkins were here. I learned how the throw a football, although not very well, but I now can toss one around with my kids. They were young (4 & 2 years old), so there really wasn't much time for me to experience self-care. But I have learned it is something very important, not only as a mama, but as a foster mama.
So far our new placement has been like one big play date/sleepover. The kids are playing games, playing outside, enjoying one another and getting along. The house is louder. However, I now have kids all in school during the day, so self-care has more of a chance this time around. I have tapped into the resources available for someone "L's" age. I have decided now is not the time to work outside of the home. I have started a journal. I have meals prepared in the freezer.
One step at a time. One day at a time. One prayer at a time.
Thoughts from guest blogger & almost 14 year-old, Abby Houghton...
Have you ever looked at magazine covers in the store? Do you notice the effects and details changed to the pictures? I do! I believe magazine advertisements send unhealthy signals. Things that support this theory are straight facts, my personal experience, and legality of retouching the photos.
According to the American Medical Association, photoshopping these pictures and selling them to the public is dangerous. It makes people feel bad about themselves, and that they have to be just like the models in the picture. Nearly 50 percent of girls under the age of 6 are already worried they are fat. By the time these girls get to age 17 or 18 they are completely unhappy with their bodies. Seriously? It’s unattractive and unhealthy to make your waist smaller then your head! To top it all off, ten million women in America suffer from eating disorders. Most of these behaviors come from the magazine pictures that are 100 percent retouched. Perfect isn’t something any of us were made to be.
Scars are beautiful, and your imperfections tell stories. For example, I have a small scar on the side of my forehead from being hit with a horseshoe. I’m pretty sure no one else in the world has a story like that one! Also, I have a friend with scoliosis, an abnormal curving in her spine. You don’t even notice, but it tells a story and it is something that makes her who she is. I don’t wear makeup every day to impress people or “make a statement”. I certainly don’t have surgery to make myself the perfect picture. All that matters is my personality, and the way I treat other people. Rather than retouching a picture, make it perfect with the scars and stories.
So why do magazines do this? It’s a marketing scheme. The companies want people to think “Hey, I should look like that!”. If none of the photos were retouched and they were all left to the plain beauty they were, the sales would drop. All anyone ever wants is to be better, be looked up upon, and have no scars. A magazine called Verily has a strict no photoshop policy, and they use beautiful scenes with real woman in their pictures. Proves you shouldn’t have to retouch to have a selling magazine. So the pictures with scars do exist, just not enough.
In conclusion, don’t let magazines fool you. The mindblowing facts, my experiences, and marketing are why I believe this shouldn’t be happening, and why maybe someday it should be outlawed in the United States. As Marilyn Monroe once said, “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than to be absolutely boring.” Society can do better than this. Find out what’s on the inside first. What’s your story?
I love scented candles. But when finances don't offer such the luxury, I go without.
Then I found this. They labeled it a "Cheap Fall Air Freshener". I like to think more of it being a "Spice Fragrance for Your Home".
It was so simple:
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
(imitation vanilla extract works fine too)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
(I had whole cloves I freshly ground, but it's not necessary)
Put in your oven for 1 hour at 300 degrees and you have a lovely scented home.
I actually left mine in the oven for 2 hours...the house smelled great! I think it's perfect for those times you want to freshen up the house a bit...either for yourself for for guests. I plan to do it over the remaining of our holiday break to add to that something special this time of year.
I love white lights outside our house at Christmastime. It brightens up the neighborhood and is something I always look forward to when driving home at night. The light gives me a warm feeling during the cold and sometimes gloomy days of the beginning of winter.
This year we are blessed with the addition of an outside tree donated to us by Methodist Home for Children. Unfortunately we cannot have a real tree in our house (my husband is allergic), so we were able to put it to good use on our porch.
Having two new little ones this year has brought a refreshing sense of discovery during the holiday season. They were outside helping every step of the way...something they probably have never experienced before. It brings such great joy to watch their faces light up with each Christmas addition to the house.
In the end, the house is all lit up and will be until Epiphany, January 6, as for tradition says it helps light the way for the Wise Men to come to the Baby Jesus. It's also a nice excuse to keep the lights glowing for a few days longer.
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It is a day for remembrance, to give thanks for all we have, and for many of us, family traditions.
Our table is set. It is a mish-mash of elements, all stemming around tradition. The dishes belonged to my Auntie Twila who died of cancer several years ago. The silver and stemware came from my mother-in-law from antique stores around New England. The crocheted tablecloth also came from New England, but draping it over a solid colored tablecloth comes from years of watching my mother drape the one her mother made for each and every holiday or special family meal.
The food will also be a mish-mash of traditions. Although turkey will be served this year, as it is every year, this is our first from a local farm in North Carolina. There will be mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing (made two ways...in the turkey and out), sweet potatoes and squash. A side dish made from a recipe from my great-great-great aunt will be served as well. Afterwards some of us will enjoy pumpkin pie, while others may have a slice of apple.
The football game is on while kids run around outside playing football. Appetizers are on the counter as we await the large dinner that takes longer to prepare and make then it does to eat. Toasts will be made and thanks will be given and tonight everyone will go to bed fed, warm and knowing another family tradition has been celebrated.
Ritual and tradition are important for anyone, especially our little ones. I learned what I know from my family as they learned from family before them. My children will pick up pieces of our traditions and hopefully pass them along to their own families. Elements and pieces of each of us will be carried on in some way.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.