10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs!

The cold, ice and snow seem to have a strong grip on us this year here in Michigan and in many other parts of the country!  So if the weather is getting you down, I thought I would offer a helpful list of ways to distract yourself from the frigid temperatures and stir craziness of this winter.  So grab a hot cuppa something, browse this list and hopefully you will find something that inspires you and jolts you out of the Winter Blahs!

1. Haul out those old summer vacation photos, whether they be on your computer or in a photo book, and snuggle up on the sofa for a trip down memory lane!  Just looking at those photos of warm weather fun will bring a smile to your face and is a guaranteed feel good activity! Here is photo from my album of Little one enjoying the summer    4-H Fair!



2. Get your “reggae” on!  Tune in to some tropical music on Pandora or another on-line music station, close your eyes and dream of the summer days that will eventually come around again, or get up and DANCE to it! Here is one of my personal favorites!

3.Hop on Pinterest and do a search for Spring or Summer Fashion!  It is like window shopping, without having to leave your house or spend any money!  Here are a couple of my favorites:



4. Bring out the board games!  A good old fashioned game of Uno, Candy Land or Dominoes will distract you from the howling winds!


5. If the temperature permits, bundle yourself up and go for a walk.  The still, soft quietness of a winter day can give us a feeling of calm and peace. (Picture by Jules)


6. Follow that walk with a steaming hot cup of chocolate!  Go ahead and indulge, dark chocolate has been proven to offer some health benefits!  Here is a recipe for “Healthy Hot Chocolate”

7. Try to enjoy the TIME  these winter days give us.  Time with our families, to read a book, make a home cooked meal, watch a movie, do a craft, complete a project, or to just “be”.


8.If you’ve looked at all of the summer vacation photos, move on to home movies!  The kids will love watching themselves when they were “little”.  Maybe you could even record some new movies!


9. Doing something for someone else in need will ALWAYS make you feel better!


10. Finally, make a list of five things you are thankful for!  The cold, winter days won’t be able to keep you down if your mind is on the blessings in your life!


Hope you found something on the list to brighten your day!



Just “Say” It!

This weekend I attended a Memorial Service for my dear cousin Marilyn.  It was a difficult, but beautiful day where her memory was honored and friends and family gathered to say good-bye.  She was such an intelligent, graceful, kind woman and will be missed by all who knew her.

Her eulogy was filled with many details about her life and the wonderful woman she was.  As I was listening, a couple of things that were said stayed in my mind well beyond the Memorial Service.  One thing her daughter shared was that her Mom always said you should say nice things to and about people while they are alive and not save them for their funeral.  What words of wisdom! How often do we think about making that phone call, writing that e-mail or letter or paying someone a visit and then never do it because “life” gets in the way.  What are we so busy doing that we miss these opportunities to express our love and admiration for others?   I suspect no one would ever regret taking the time to say something nice to another person.  I personally struggle with slowing down and consciously making an effort to do this.  I want to try to live by Marilyn’s words and “just say it”, whether  it is  through a phone call, an e-mail or a personal visit.

Another thing that was shared about Marilyn was her ability to really make people feel special and listened to when they talked with her.  My Little One had only met her a couple of times and when she heard of her death, she knew exactly who I was talking about and was very sad.  You see, although they had only spent a small amount of time together, Marilyn made my Little One feel special and loved just by taking the time to listen to her.  What a special and unique quality and one that I would like to emulate in my own life.  What a gift to stop and really listen when someone is talking, to make that person feel special and heard.

My cousin Marilyn loved the Lord and has moved on from this world to her heavenly home.  She has left a legacy of love and wisdom and I am so blessed to have known her.






15 Minutes



What can you accomplish in 15 minutes a day?  Do you have a list of things that you have always wanted to do, but never seem to have time to tackle, such as organizing your house, , learning how to knit, paint, sew or speak French?  The list could go on and on.  These are just a few of the things I’ve heard others say they want to try or I’ve thought about myself.

Two years ago, I really wanted to chronicle our adoption story.  I had kept a personal journal and a blog throughout the adoption process, but I really wanted to put it all together in a story that I could one day share with Little One.  I kept putting it off because it seemed like I never had a chunk of time to sit down, gather my thoughts and write.

One of my New Year’s resolutions that year was to spend 15 minutes three times a week writing.  It took me two years, but I kept my resolution and completed our story-all 92 pages!  So although 15 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time, it adds up!  Even weeks when I was super busy, 15 minutes was always doable.  The feeling of accomplishment I had when the project was completed, motivated me to keep up my 15 minutes of writing.  Who knows, maybe one day I can write that Great American novel!

What about you?  Do you have a dream you have been putting off because you don’t have time?  I challenge you to commit to 15 minutes a few times a week to make it happen!  Just 15 minutes!