4 Gifts I’m Getting My Kids For Christmas

*Disclaimer: I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but I wanted to give you a helpful tip in case you experience anxiety while purchasing gifts like I do.

Don’t know if you know this, but I deal with anxiety daily. I’m working on gaining and ridding myself of habits that will make it easier to deal with.

Sterling’s birthday is Thursday, so Dustin and I ventured to Target. After picking up some essentials, we figured we’d take a visit to the toy section. We split up to see what we could find.

Let me tell you what happened.

I started to sweat. Gross, right? I instantly forgot what Sterling likes and dislikes. They’ve got Thomas, Paw Patrol, Lego’s, Star Wars, and every other toy imaginable. I was throwing toys in the cart left and right. All I could think about was social “pressure”. You’ve got to get the latest and greatest, even if it comes with a $100 price tag. Don’t even think about batting an eye.

FOR ONE PRESENT. FOR ONE KID.

When I looked into the cart, there were plenty of things I didn’t want to purchase. I stood in one of the aisles for a moment and held each toy in the cart. I prayed over each one. I wanted my heart to tell me what Sterling would love. I couldn’t find a one that he would treasure for more than an hour.

While I was sweating, I had the 4 Gift Rule pop into my head. You’ve probably heard it.

Something they want. Something they need.

Something to wear. Something to read.

I was saying the jingle over and over, I just couldn’t remember the wear part. I couldn’t take it anymore. I walked over to the electronics section and used one of their iPhone’s on display to search for it. Found it here. I really like the focus put on Christ & the verses that they picked, so I made the 4 images below.

It’s normally floating around Pinterest closer to Christmas, but we’re using it for birthdays also. I felt freedom the second I decided to use this principle. Hopefully it helps you in some way too!

Keep on shining!

27 Lessons over 27 Years

I’ve never been big on rules. I don’t believe they are meant to be broken. However, I think that people limit themselves to believing it’s the only way to do something or be someone.

I had this thought that’d I’d try to nail down 27 lessons I have or am currently learning.

 

  1. Pray hard for loved ones.
  2. Pray hard for enemies.
  3. Make time. After all, it’s precious.
  4. Pick the few, not the many.
  5. Go with your gut.
  6. Do not harden your heart.
  7. Give yourself LOADS of grace.
  8. Love. On everyone and everything.
  9. Take the time.
  10. Speak up.
  11. Go against the norm.
  12. Take care of yourself. Believe in yourself. Fight for yourself.
  13. Take photos, but put my phone down. I’m in love with Artifact Uprising.
  14. Take a day trip. 
  15. Kindness is never weakness.
  16. Allow others to decide for themselves.
  17. Support others.
  18. Monday’s aren’t all that bad. Quit living a life wishing for Friday.
  19. Show up.
  20. Decorate with whatever sparks your heart.
  21. Use your story to inspire.
  22. Start anyway.
  23. Turn it up and dance.
  24. Trust until you’re given a reason not to.
  25. Hold your head up. Fight.
  26. Loyalty is everything.
  27. At the root of everything you do, stay kind.

 

Keep On Shining,

Chelsea

Selecting Our Meal Plan

Simple. Easy. Affordable.

That’s what we want our meal plan to look like.

ME 1

Dustin and I sat down on the couch Monday night and created our meal plan. Mind you, it’s nothing special. We aren’t a couple of geniuses.

The challenge is 30 days (with a few extra days tacked on since we started sooner). We didn’t want to come up with 30 different meals. We also didn’t want to have the same thing every day.

We split it up. 10 meals alternated every 10 days for 30 days.

Let me preface this by saying, this meal plan is what works for us. We tailored it around our work schedules. We work early. We see each other frequently for lunch breaks. After work we head to the gym and it’s usually 8p.m. or later when we arrive home. We don’t want to overload ourselves before bed.

We have already eliminated dairy for close to two months and will continue to. We haven’t eliminated meat. We plan to eat it once a day. We are looking to transition to a vegan-friendly diet sometime in the near future.

ME 2

We have a shake for breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, and a shake for dinner.

Our list:

  • Sautéed vegetables with rice and meat
  • Hamburger patty with cauliflower mashed potatoes
  • Chicken tacos
  • Homemade pizza’s (with cauliflower crust, garden tomatoes. YUM!)
  • Mozzarella, Tomato, with Balsamic Vinegar (my favorite!)
  • Zucchini Goulash
  • Steak Fajitas
  • Chili
  • Q’doba* (for those unfamiliar, it’s like Chipotle. This is the day we consider our cheat day. We don’t go crazy.)

As you can see, they aren’t recipes that are original to us. We chose meals that are easy to make. Having each meal repeating 10 days allows us to eat healthy while keeping it simple and interesting.

We don’t starve ourselves. We aren’t calorie counting but we do make sure we are getting adequate nutrition from various sources (I’ll go in to detail on this in another post). Every Friday during our challenge, we chose to “weigh in”.

This is not our main focus.

Building a healthy routine is the main focus. But for the curious ones, here ya go.

Chelsea: Day 1: 224, Day 5: 221
Dustin: Day 1: 346, Day 5: 336 (he killed it!)

How it’s working for me: So far, I feel amazing! I love structure. I love a plan. Choosing to better myself (in order to better serve my family & the world) has been a great experience so far. I’m motivated by challenging myself in the weight room.

How it’s working for Dustin: He isn’t feeling bloated anymore. Other than his seasonal allergies (we’re working to get rid of naturally) he feels awesome. He has joint pain that seems to have alleviated some. He isn’t as tired at the end of the day. He’s been finding natural alternatives to everything.

Don’t get overwhelmed with lifestyle changes. Do one thing at a time. Incorporate things slowly. Build a routine that suits your schedule, even if it isn’t what everyone else says. Keep your head up. You’ll start to see results of your hard work. It will pay off.

Keep On Shining,

Chelsea