5 Easy Tips to Spending Less this Weekend

The weekend is coming let’s do what we can to spend less and nurture our relationships more. Below are 5 easy tips that will help you spend less.

If eating out on the weekend is something you normally do, try making a special meal inside. Use your slow-cooker throw in some chicken breasts, open a jar of pesto sauce, pour it over the top, and cook it on LOW for 6 hours. It’s great over pasta, rice, or mashed cauliflower. Open a bottle of wine and you have a special meal.

If you normally go out to a movie with the family, try having a family-read together. Get a book that you have been dying to read. If you have a family, make sure the book is appropriate for the ages of your children. After dinner, gather up all the pillows, throw them on the floor with piles of blankets, and take turns reading the book.

Family reading together

If you spend your weekends shopping, go on a nature hike or walk around your town. Spending some time outside helps you appreciate the simple things in life. Let your children take photos with your phone to see life from at their level.

Steps

If you’re looking for free entertainment, check with your local library. The library always has a board of free entertainment and talks. I found one at my library for a chocolate seminar that gave away free chocolates and coupons for factory tours.

beer-tasting-1

If you’re spending your weekend at a bar, you’re probably dealing with an alcohol rental factor, renting beer if you know what I mean. Have you ever thought about a beer tasting at your place with all your friends? Have them bring at least one bottle of a beer they haven’t tasted yet, a micro-brew maybe. Then have some snacks and you have a party. You can do this with Coffee, Teas, Wines, gourmet sodas, or even some healthy flavored homemade waters.

If we make saving money difficult, we won’t do it for long. Saving money while still having the finer things in life just means that we need to think out of the box. Let’s get creative about how we spend our time because that is what it comes down to. Let’s spend our weekends nurturing our relationships.

Wishing you wellness for a new day!

THE MORE YOU CHANGE THE LESS YOU FIT IN

I remember when I started talking with a therapist; twelve years ago is when I truly began to change the way I think and the way I act. Because of the job I had, I was not able to talk to my family or friends about the atrocities I witnessed nor could I fully process the information I was given at the time. Talking to a therapist helped me get things in perspective. I also learned much about myself. I became aware that as I was changing I felt I was no longer able to fit into the mold that everyone placed me in.

change

Change is good, it’s what we’re supposed to be doing so we grow in knowledge, in grace, and in understanding. The problem with change is that the more you do it the more people around you resist your change. The people in your life don’t want you to change; they want you to stay in that neat little box so they can control you. But that’s not how life works. We all need to change, not just a specific “chosen” few. Just because we don’t fit into someone else’s neat little box and conform to their idea of how we should be the rest of our lives doesn’t mean we are not worthy of changing.

I’ve spent many years being the person  my parents raised me to be, then I tried being the wife I thought my husband wanted me to be. In doing this I put my own wants, desires, and dreams on the back burner and never looked at them again. I acted the way people around me wanted me to act. I spoke in ways that people around me thought I should speak. But this year a profound change in my occurred.  I found my voice. The little changes that were stirred up inside of me from that first encounter with a wonderful therapist, began changing me from the inside out. I am no longer that shy person to put in a box and hide in a closet. I’m no longer that person who ignores injustice, even when it’s in her own family.

I don’t fit into people’s little box anymore. As a matter of fact I’ve grown so far beyond any box that sometimes I just don’t fit in, period. But life’s not about fitting in, it’s about changing. Life’s about caring for others enough to encourage and accept change in them. Many people in my own family don’t like who I’ve become (they can’t control me anymore), so they just go on to judge me and say “That’s not the real, Laura!” Well they don’t know who the real Laura is, because they haven’t taken the time to sit down and talk to me. If you want to get to know the new real Laura, call me, talk to me, because this Laura is in a constant state of change.

Change is good. The more you change the less you fit in, and the less you fit in the more you change. Don’t let the stagnancy of this world hold you down. Just continue the journey of changing to be the best version of you you can be.

Life’s not about fitting in, life is about being who God wants you to be.

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGHER

My parents never told me that life was a fun amusement park ride. Roller coasters is what my parents likened to life. Sometimes you’re going uphill frightful of what will be at the top and even more frightful at what will be around the next turn. Working your way up the hill, there is no pleasure except for knowing that you’ve done all you can and need to wait and see what life has left to offer. “When the going gets tougher,” my father used to say, “is when we really get to see what people are really made of.”

I’m not a person who likes going through tough times, but then I don’t think anyone really enjoys tough times. Sometimes we just need a break from our own life and need some breathing room to regroup and enjoy what we have. The economic times we have now, are too much for people to take. It’s a whole new ball game then when my father said those words to me. He told me those words on my high school graduation day 32 years ago. Even though times have changed, and economic conditions are worse, the words are still true.

The more famous phrase goes like this “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” My father’s version says so much more. People who go through really tough times like those who’ve lost everything in Moore, Oklahoma become resilient in their fight to make the most of what they do have. They don’t let a moment go by without telling the people in their lives how much they love them. As times get even tougher we need each other more and more, it’s the people in our lives that help us get through tougher times.

Words Every Family Should Know

How do we get over our faults, our hurts, our disappointments, our lack of forgiveness and understanding?It’s really simple. When two people have a misunderstanding, both must be willing to listen without judging. There are three-word increments that can rectify every misunderstanding, but only when both parties are willing to listen:

I AM SORRY!

PLEASE FORGIVE ME!

I LOVE YOU!

These are not weak words, they strengthen relationships when said appropriately. They bridge the gaps between families. Tougher times are coming and families are being ripped apart when they need to stand strong against the mighty wind. Use these words often and your family will stay strong.

When the going gets tougher, where will your family be?

SERVING

I’ve said it many times, my business’ success is dependent on how well I serve my clients and customers. If I do a good job then I not only make a sale but I make a friend, and it is our friends who we serve the most. How many people do we serve in a day? A week? A month? Whether you think about it or not, we pay for good service more than anything else. The waitstaff who bends over backwards to make our dining experience the best and accommodates our health situations by finding out what is in the food will always get a better tip from me. Serving our brothers and sisters is another of April’s Action Steps to Wellness because it helps us to take a break from our own lives and puts the needs of others first.

Serving other people is not a platform to look for reward or fame, it shouldn’t be like our celebrities who are always serving organizations to get free publicity. Serving should come from our hearts and focus on the person we are serving not on how we look. It’s a blessing in my life to know that what I do makes an impact on the lives of the people I serve and that is reward enough for me.

When I serve it is a direct extension of who I am. I take myself out of the picture when I’m serving and it helps me focus on other people’s issues. It also helps me to see other people’s strengths and look for ways to implement them in my own life.

Serving

Here are some ways you can get involved and serve the people in your community, your church, and your family.

  • Volunteer at the local boys and girls club. Be a mentor to children who need a positive role model in their lives. 
  • Help out at the local food bank or food pantry. Anybody can write a check or donate food, but it takes a special person to physically help people in need.
  • Volunteer at a senior center to play cards, do crafts or just plain talk to the senior citizens or Silver Ambassadors. 
  • Sign up to read to children in your local school district or at a children’s hospital.
  • Make a plan to pray for each of your friends in real time and on social media, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Leave a short message on their page to let them know you’re thinking about them.
  • Send cards out to the people you know who are having a rough patch in life. Let’s face it we all fall into that patch from time-to-time and a card carries so much thought.
  • Call your family regularly and ask them if there is anything that you could do for them or find out what’s going on in their lives that could use some prayers.

These ideas just scratch the surface of ways you can serve people.

A serving attitude comes from a loving heart.

Do you have that heart?

 

JOURNEY INTO THE REAL YOU

Did you know that when you venture out of your comfort zone the real you emerges? We all have that comfortable spot on the couch like Sheldon does in the Big Bang Theory. Maybe we have a chair that’s only for us and everyone knows it. Each time I embrace life I venture out of my comfort zone only to find the real me.

JOURNEY

Five years ago my husband and I moved away from everything we knew, we left our adult children and the rest of our families to JOURNEY into the unknown of the Pacific Northwest. This was a career move since his field was drying up in the Midwest. I was terrified because I didn’t want to leave my sons even though they were grown and not living at home anymore. I didn’t want to be 2000 miles away from them, because I knew that we would grow apart and I didn’t want that. But I also knew that I needed to be a submissive and loving wife to my husband and follow him where ever his career took us.

Something happened to us when we moved out away. We opened up our hearts and brought more people in. We learned to stand on our own and lean on each other when times got tough. That was 2008 and we all know what happened then. My husband along with thousands of other people lost their jobs, companies collapsed and families who were separated by miles were also separated by lack of money to make trips back to see each other. What money we did have went to pay our bills because in our case my husband lost his job right when I was starting college.

Many times family told us to move back, at least we gave it a chance. But we decided to stick it out and find a way to continue where we were. Granted it’s been very difficult emotionally to be in a place where we don’t get to see family but once a year or once every two years.  It’s not easy, but as we journey on this road we are constantly finding out who we really are. We are closer to each other and closer to God.

Take the time to JOURNEY into the real you, get out of your comfort zone, learn to experience life instead of just going through on auto-pilot. Yes the story of our journey is not the most pleasant, all the time. Yes we don’t get to spend time with our family the way we’d like, but we’ve made friends who fit into our family and we’ve fit into someone else’s life who needs us most. We’ve journeyed into the unknown and found the adventure of a lifetime.

Do I still miss my sons, their wives, and their children? Words cannot express how badly I miss them, how much I think about them, and how much I pray for them.

DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT & GO AFTER IT

I was drinking my mocha protein shake this morning and thinking about what life would be like right now if I didn’t give up so many times in my life on a project, on my weight loss goals, or on building my business. So many times I’ve gone through this cycle where I make a decision to do something, do it for a month and when it gets difficult I stop. Because I want to avoid the pain. But you know what? I’ve encountered more pain from stopping than if I would have continued. I’m not sure about where you are in life but I can say this for myself, I need to DECIDE what I want and go after it! I need to push through the obstacles that may come along to derail me.

When I’m working out I push through the pain of lifting heavier weights because I know it’s the only way my muscles will get stronger.  If I can push through the pain in other areas of my life I know I’ll become stronger. When we let pain rule our lives we don’t want to get out of bed and face the world. But that’s not a life I want to live.

Do you?

DECIDE

A favorite quotation.

After you make a decision to do something or not do something your life will change whether for the better or not; the choice is yours. DECIDING to lose weight and get healthy is one of the top decisions a person makes in life along with getting married, changing careers, going to school, moving to a new city, starting a business, having children. We make decisions every day but do we actually make the decision with the momentum of moving forward in life or is our life so out of control that it’s making the decision for us?

If you want your life to be different in 6 months, then you need to DECIDE what it is you want different and work like everything depends on you to accomplish it, but pray that God helps you accomplish it by carrying you when you need help. We can’t do this on our own. We all need help from time to time. But we need to DECIDE what it is we want. Do we want more time spent with our family, the family feud to stop, more money in your pocket, better health for you and your family, a bigger house, bills paid, vacations, school funded, etc? If you don’t DECIDE what you want you don’t know what your starting line is.

Remember it’s not going to be easy. But when you lay your head down at night and go over the things you did that day, it will be fulfilling. Knowing that you did whatever you could do to help make that decision come to fruition.

DECIDE what you want!

GO AFTER IT!

DAY 22: PUZZLED

Have you ever put together a puzzle then looked at it and just took it apart to do again sometime in the future? Our lives are similar to those puzzles but they are never finished. If our lives were finished what would be the point to waking up each morning?

Puzzled Laura

When you take a puzzle out of the box, do you just start putting the pieces together? “No!” You work through a process that makes puzzle building easier. You turn over all the pieces so the design side is up. Then you separate the edge pieces from the rest because if you have the border done it’s easier to to work on the inside.

Our lives are like these pieces. When making a puzzle we try the different pieces to make sure we get the right one. In our lives it would look like this. The border is our family. If we have a solid family life then we can fill the inside easier. But some of us don’t have that solid border or there is a rift in the family. These are times when we need to try every mean possible to bridge that gap with our church family or our friends. When we have people supporting us it’s easier to work on the rest of our lives.

Some puzzles we can finish in a couple of hours. The bigger the puzzle the longer it takes. Our life is that bigger puzzle. Some pieces fit right away some don’t and need to get changed frequently. This comes to every part of our life. Health, education, faith, humor, fitness, wellness, feelings, and careers are just some of the pieces we try to fit together to complete our lives. We taste different foods before eating an entire meal of it. We research health remedies before taking them. Our days are filled with piecing tour lives together that makes sense to us.

My wish for you today: May your days reveal the beautiful pieces of your life!