Surviving the 1st Trimester

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If you didn’t know, I am expecting! I am now into my second trimester and It is SOOOO much better than the first. If you are in your first trimester and feel miserable, I feel for you! I also want you to know it gets better. I promise! I was incredibly sick for the first 17 weeks. I threw up everyday. Most days all day. I lost about 20 lbs. I lived off of crackers, toast, and clear soda. Oh and that anti-nausea prescription, I threw that up too. So much for that!

With all of that said, I made it and you will too. That sweet babe you get in 9 months is worth it, and your body knows what it is doing. Hang in there mama! Here is some things that helped me!

  • Preggo Pops: I was worried the sugar in these would send me into the bathroom, but they did not! They had just enough sour to settle my stomach, slightly sweet to taste good, and had ingredients that are know to help with morning sickness. Order them ASAP!
  • Ginger Ale: I drank this everyday all day. Water wouldn’t stay down. I was terribly afraid of being dehydrated, but this liquid stayed down. While I wouldn’t normally suggest copious amounts of soda, in this case do it!
  • Sleep: I was extremely tired. I noticed my sickness was far worse when I didn’t take time to rest. It can be hard to rest because all the responsibilities are still there and you feel like why can’t I just do what I normally do, but I had to remember that my body was doing really BIG things in the first trimester. Listen to your body and take that nap, sleep in, and go to bed early when you can.
  • Ginger tea: Maybe ginger ale isn’t your thing. Try ginger tea. Sometime I was sick of drinking soda and tea was a nice change of pace. Ginger ale settled my stomach more personally, but ginger tea is healthier and doesn’t contain the sugar like the soda
  • Eat regularly: Do not get hungry! Hungry was no good. If I didn’t eat I would for sure find myself in the bathroom. Low blood sugar can cause morning sickness, so it is good to eat regularly to stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Talk about it: At one point I got the blues. I was really upset about how sick I had been. I love cooking and eating yummy food. I like getting dressed and feeling like a normal human. My house was a mess. The laundry was piling up. I was sick of crackers. My husband worked 6 days a week. I hadn’t showered in days. I was beginning to think I am not cut out for this. I knew women who had multiple kids, jobs, and housework who had it together while pregnant, and I was just trying to stay alive. It was really hard at first. I am so glad I talked to people who love and support me because I was feeling pretty bad about myself. Not to mention all the hormones! They tell you crazy things about yourself that just aren’t true. You are made for this. You will be a good mama. It will get better. Know that!

Hang in there friends! The first trimester can be tough. I never imagined that I would be so sick. I didn’t know of anyone who was as sick as me, and I definitely didn’t know anyone who felt down about pregnancy like I did at first. Your body is doing incredible things. Listen to your body. Take care of yourself. Reach out for help. It gets better. You will make it to the “middle magic”. Try some of these things. I can’t say you’ll feel 100%, but I can promise this too shall pass. Much love and many prayers to those who are also growing and raising children!

 

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10 Ways to Save on Groceries!

My household only consists of two people I feed everyday. My husband and myself. While it might only be two people, I am home most days now and eat every meal at home. When I first stayed home I found myself eating out, not having enough food for a decent meal, or not wanting to eat the same things over and over again. This cost me many $$$.

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So what did I do….. went to the grocery store. Bought ALL OF THE THINGS! Spent $180 on that food. We don’t have money for $180 to be spent on food each week so I can fulfill my cravings, not to mention that most of what I got was absolutely terrible for me. With that experience, I search for ways I saved on groceries in the past and new ones I could use going forward. I went from $180 in crap food to $50-$60 in groceries each week that made real meals, fed me and my husband 3 times a day + snacks (21 meals for two people), and it wasn’t complete garbage food. I think that is pretty darn good, so I am sharing my favorite and easiest ways to save on groceries!

  1. Keep your staples stocked. In my pantry I almost always keep rice, quinoa, and lentils. They are all pretty cheap and add bulk to meals. They are also healthy! I also keep things like flour, sugar, a few spices we use on everything stocked all the time. If the store is having a sale, or I happen to have a coupon (Although I almost never have coupons) I might buy an extra. A few other things I try to stock: dried pasta, baking soda/powder, Beans, oil, vinegar, oatmeal, pasta sauce, and broth. By keeping these things stocked you can round out meals, add extra flavor, and cook from scratch which is $$$ saving!

  2. Look in your Fridge. When I go to the store and do not check out my fridge or pantry before I go, I usually end up with something I didn’t need or forget something I did actually need. It is so easy to open my fridge and see we are out of almond milk, but still have eggs. Except when I don’t do that I forget almond milk and bring home more eggs. This is also how I make my grocery list which I the MOST IMPORTANT thing I do to save money.

  3. Make a LIST. This goes hand in hand with checking out your pantry and fridge before you go. Making a list helps me to stay on track, and not buy the yummy looking pizza rolls when I don’t really need them in the first place. (But honestly, I love pizza rolls.) Also, this helps me to make sure I have complete and nutritious meals for the week. Otherwise I end up with odds and ends. I am  then running back to the store for chicken for stir fry, tomato juice for chili, and cheese for tacos because I didn’t think about any of that before I went to the store. Which adds up in various ways. From gas back and forth, to the other stuff I bought instead of the things I actually needed that will probably go bad before I use them.

  4. AlDI. I know this is a particular store, and not everyone may be close to one. If by chance you have one in your area, PLEASE GO! I once many years ago thought Aldi had poor quality, or expired food. That isn’t the case. Aldi has amazing food! Lots of organic and gluten free options, and usually has everything I need. Plus, the prices will blow you away! I get eggs for .99 cents. Avocados on special for .59 cents. Not to mention great meat prices. I bought meat from Aldi and from a big chain grocery store same day ( I forgot my list….), and my Aldi meat was fresher longer. I went to use the big chain meat, it looked slimy and wasn’t to expire in 4 days. Not my Aldi stuff! I exclusively shop at Aldi for all of my groceries. I always get great product and save tons of money!

  5. Plan Ahead. This has been hard since becoming pregnant. On the day I plan all  of the meals I chose sounded great, but come Thursday those meals don’t sound good because I have this major craving for Chinese take out or Mexican food. With that said, if plan for the meals I am going to eat I am less likely to end up eating out normally. I don’t end up with take out because I have meals I am looking forward to, or because I know I have what I need to make a yummy meal at home. Notice a trend?!?!? Planning is key! Makes all the difference.

  6. Skip the coupons. I am not against coupons. I use them. I especially love them when they are for clothes or shoes, but not at the grocery store usually. They usually take a good bit of time to cut, find, or print. They are also usually for a certain brand, a specific product, and I find that it isn’t usually on the things I keep stocked or use all of the time. Which is okay, because I could plan for a meal with X particular item, but I don’t know that the time and effort spent finding a coupon is worth the savings. I will say, if you are super savy with coupons and know how to get 10 jars of pasta sauce for a penny that is amazing! I just do not know how to do that, and don’t find coupons helpful items like produce and meat which is where the bulk of my money is going for groceries.

  7. Apps. Something I use in place of coupons is rebate apps. My favorite one is Checkout 51. I like Checkout 51 because they usually list brands and products I buy anyway, and they also have a general section where you can redeem rebates on products that aren’t a specific brand. For example, there might be a rebate for milk and it doesn’t matter the brand, if it is nut milk, cow’s milk, or some other kind of milk. It is easier than coupons for me because everything is in one place and you get money by just uploading your receipt. Also if you don’t redeem anything else, every week they have uploaded receipts for $60 or more are entered in $500 giveaway.

  8. Rewards. If the grocery store you shop at offers a rewards program join it. Especially if it is free! I don’t plan my shopping trips around coupons, rebates, or rewards, but rewards are great because it is usually as simple as swiping your “rewards card” or putting in a phone number. Like I said, I don’t plan my groceries around sales. I just don’t take the time to do that, but at checkout it is so easy to swipe my rewards card and usually I save a few cents to a couple dollars. Every bit helps, especially when it couldn’t be more easy!

  9. Make meals go farther. This kind of goes with planning, but it is worth sharing! If you can take one meal and use leftovers, or save something from the meal to complete another it saves money and usually time too! My favorite way to do this is to make a whole roasted chicken one night for dinner. Save the bones/meat and make soup. Or we eat all the meat and just make broth because it is a kitchen staple. Either way, if I can take something we were going to throw away and make it purposeful for a second meal, its like free food! I have a recipe here for making broth from bones.

  10. Farmers Market. This is my favorite way to save money! Going to the Farmers Market is fun, supports local families and farmers, and saves money. If you frequently shop at the farmers market, you will probably get to know the people you always buy from. It is not just a great way to make a friend, but it is also good for saving money because they can tell you which is the best deal, some might cut you a deal, or they can guide you to items in season which tend to be easier to find and cheap. I also like the farmers market for special items that can be really costly t the grocery store. Fancy goat cheese spread, speciality breads, and organic products are plentiful at the farmers market and are much cheaper because you are buying straight from the source!

  11. BONUS!!!!! I hated this when I heard it because in my mind ALL of the good stuff is in the middle, but shop the priemeter of the store! It is usually much much much healthier, gives opportunity to make meals from scratch, and it is usually where you save money. Boxed and prepackaged meals are not good you and usually cost extra for the packaging, prepared product, and chemicals that keep its shelf life. I once had someone say you could take care of your body now with healthy food, or pay the cost of healthcare and medicine later. While it might not be right now specific savings on groceries today, I know one medical bill could buy me groceries for a month or years depending on the cost. Healthy is ultimately money saving!

 

 

3 Things That Transformed My Relationships

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I am usually pretty happy, outgoing, and can be quite social if I choose to be. While these sound like characteristics of a extrovert, I am definitely a introvert. It doesn’t always work in my favor. I need alone time. I need quiet time. I need time to recharge after being with a lot of people. But my biggest struggle with being an introvert isn’t any of those things, it is making meaningful connections and relationships with people.

I don’t think I am socially awkward. It isn’t the talking or connecting with people that is hard, it is making meaningful ones that lead to strong friendships and relationships with people.

My husband is great at this. People almost always love him. They like being his friend. He keeps friends forever and makes new ones no problem. While it is a piece of cake for him, it isn’t that easy for me. However, I am on the road to being more intentional and not being afraid to put myself out there to make those meaningful relationships and connections with people.

I have three things that are currently and have already transformed existing relationships and are helping me to build new ones with less fear. I genuinely hope they help you to create stronger relationship you currently have, develop new ones, and transform the way you interact with people wherever you fall on the spectrum.

  1. Read The 5 Love Languages. This book made ALL of the difference in my life. It is by Dr. Gary Chapman. I read it when I first met my now husband. I thought we had a good relationship. Sure, we fought and argued sometimes, but doesn’t every couple? Yeah. People fight. That is normal, but you know what decreased significantly after I read this book? FIGHTING. I honestly cannot think of a serious argument we have had since then. I can’t say this book will or will not do that for you, but I can say it helped me to understand, appreciate, and love my husband better. After reading this I found that my husband showed me love all day everyday, but before the book clued me in I was missing it. Yes, this book is geared towards romantic relationships but the principles can be used with your children, your family, and friends. I promise!

  2. Reach out. I do not do this enough. I know that. I get caught up in housework, appointments, and daily tasks. I forget to reach out. Ask how someone is doing. Wish them a happy birthday. Let them know I have been thinking about them. It isn’t that I don’t want to do these things, or that they haven’t actually been on my mind. It is that I don’t slow down to take the time to do it. With a little planning, and I mean very little, I am able to get out a birthday card. Remember they have a big interview coming up. Wish them luck. Ask how their vacation was. Let them know they are on my mind. I put reminders in my phone. It might seem like a task or chore by doing it this way to some, but it helps me to stay on top of it and to let others know I really care even though life is sometimes busy.

  3. Let go of fear. This one I need more help with than the rest. The book gave me practical tips and brought me to the light, reaching out is as simple as making time, but letting go of fear is easier said, than actually done. I for some reason am so afraid of rejection that probably doesn’t even exist. I am terrified to join new groups or clubs on my own. I usually wait for an invite instead of inviting others to do things with me. I am so scared of being told “I can’t come.” “I am busy.” “I have other plans.” Or worse, showing up somewhere alone and being the one who knows nobody. I am slowly saying no to fear. My word for 2018 is FEARLESS. It is my mission, because I know that beyond my fear is meaningful and strong friendships if I can just let go. I have a couple scriptures I am using to help myself, but I by no means claim this to be the thing I rock at. It’s a work in progress, but I identify the need and that is transforming in itself.

Here is my encouragement:

‘This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”’ Joshua 1:9

‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.’ 2 Timothy 1:7

‘For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’ Isaiah 41:13

‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. ‘ Philippians 4:6

 

Faith Friday: How Music Changed My Attitude

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Back at the start of the New Year I committed to listening to only Christian music for the whole month of January. Everyone around me was setting goals for things like personal health and achieving more at work. I was coming out of some sorrow in my life (A story for another time), and I was wanting to grow my faith. I found that by listening to positive, faith-growing, spirited music my heart and attitude took a shift.

I am the first to admit I have a bit of road rage. Slow drivers, truckers in the middle or left lane, and that one car in heavy traffic that can’t just stay in their lane. They all drive me CRAZY! You know what else drives me crazy, people who stand in the middle of aisle on a Saturday at the grocery store. Anyone else feel their blood boil when these things happen? While I might never say anything to these people, my face, my heart, and my attitude usually says it all.

This is where I didn’t expect music to change me.

With just a simple month of music, I found myself more joyful, patient, kind, forgiving, and loving towards people.


Galatians 5:22-23 ” But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things!” NLT.


By changing one simple thing in my life and shifting it towards God, it made me more of the things He calls me to be. Galatians spells out what the Holy Spirit can produce in our lives, but I just needed to open that area of my life to allow for that kind of fruit to be produced. I cannot serve or love others when I am too busy being upset about why they don’t move faster. Honestly, there isn’t anything on Earth that having a bitter heart is going to change, but we have all seen kindness, extra patience, and self-control change the world. My motto has always been “Leave people and things better than you find them”. I find that with the simple change in the music I listen too, I am more able to embody my motto and Christ’s heart.

Sometimes I would turn on that radio in a moment of boiling blood, and the Holy Spirit would gently break me down, calm me down, and quiet my angry heart. If you find yourself struggling to keep your cool in the front seat, maybe the aisles of the grocery store, possibly at work, or with your spouse and children, I encourage you to find some positive, faith-filled music. It has made all the difference in my attitude towards others, especially in those moments that my flesh is annoyed and angry.

My prayers go out today for anyone struggling with a bad attitude like myself. It can be hard to overcome those emotions when they are all too real in the moment, but I really believe that this change allowed me to become more of what God intended for me. It allowed the Holy Spirit in my daily life, and allowed me to see others in a new light. I also believe that it can do the same for you.

If you are looking for some good song to get started, here is a few favorites:

“You won’t let go”- Michael W. Smith

“Fear is a liar”-Zach Williams

“Holy Spirit”- Francesca Battistelli

“Oh come to the alter”- Elevation Worship

“Do it again”- Elevation Worship

“Touch the sky”- Hillsong United

“Point to you”- We Are Messengers

“I just need you”- TobyMac

My favorite radio stations:

K-LOVE Radio- They have local stations all over the U.S. You can check here to find yours!

The Message- If you listen to SiriusXM radio try out this channel! XM 63.

Need a good daily devotional for women? Here is my favorite!