Seven Habits for a More Productive Commute

How many of us commute to work and don’t use that time productively?  It is so easy to begin the day by complaining about the weather, the traffic, the line at the coffee shop, or countless other trivial distractions.

It’s time to change!  To begin to train your mind to start the day off strong, be mindful when that negative thought creeps in when you realize way too many people missed the lesson on how to merge in traffic, use a signal, or that the left lane is for the speedier drivers…no need to honk every time someone upsets you on the road!  When you begin to have those thoughts tell yourself “nope, not today” and refocus on a positive thought.

There are more productive ways to spend your time on that commute which will benefit you and those around you.

I challenge you to try at least one of these for a week and see how your day improves!

positiveSeven Habits for a More Productive Commute

What are you listening to?: Is it adding anything beneficial to your life?  Gossip radio?  What type of music?  Be mindful of what you put on—in what way is it helping you be a better person?  Try motivational speeches, sermons, TED Talks, educational podcasts, or music that is going to place you in the right mindset for the day.

Conversations with God: On my way to work is when I have some of the best conversations with God.  If I need to vent, ask for advice, pray, or just say thank you I use this time to do that.  Give it a try!  I was struggling with a choice I made that was not popular among others, so I asked God to take it and show me if I needed to approach the situation a different way—he was loud and clear that the choice I made was the right one.  It’s amazing when God speaks to you!

Think up blog topics: For us bloggers there are times when we go through a bit of bloggers block…this time spent in our car driving while our mind wanders is a great way to think up possible topic ideas to write about.  I came up with this topic while on my drive to work.

Pray: On your way to work pray for God to use you that day.  Pray for your family, friends, co-workers, students, patients…

Eat a healthy snack: Pack some grapes, carrots, celery, almonds, or healthy snack of your choice to munch on while driving…an easy way to start making sure you are eating right!

Think of something kind to do for someone that day:  Do you know who has a birthday coming up?  Who might need some encouragement?  Everyone can use kindness, so take that commuting time to think of someone and what is something special you can do for that person.  Maybe it’s sending them a card, bringing them in a plant to work to say welcome to the company, paying for the person behind you at coffee shop, or just simply think of a compliment you can give someone that day!

Affirmations:  What do you tell yourself before you even arrive to work?  It can have a huge impact on your day?  Are you already complaining that today is Monday and thinking about that annoying co-worker?  Stop that immediately and change what you say to yourself!  Try saying to yourself that you are excited for this Monday, excited for what the day will bring!  Never say negative things about yourself!  Tell yourself, “I am talented”, “I am creative”, “I am successful”, “I am positive”…

Share in a comment:  Like I mentioned above, I challenge you to try at least one of these for a week while on your commute to work.  I guarantee that you will notice a difference.  What one will you try?  What other habits are we able to do while on our commute to work? 

Crystal

Post inspired by The Daily Post, Daily Prompt: Honk

Motivational Monday: Inky Johnson “It’s Not Only About You”


Do your students need motivation?  Do you?  We can all use a bit more of a push once in a while!

Since I teach students who are considered a bit more challenging than most I’m always trying to improve relationships, motivate, inspire, and provide strategies they can use to keep motivated to continue to pursue their goals.

A few weeks ago we started to begin our week off with a motivational mini-lesson to bring more positivity to our week.  This isn’t some lesson to fluff off, but it will improve the environment in your classroom…and ripple outward.

Here is a free handout you can use with your own class to try this out.  I would love feedback from anyone who gives it a try.  My students are highly engaged, ask for more, and when I shared that I watch these types of videos when I’m in a bit of an off mood one student said she was going to start doing the same thing.

Inky Johnson Its not just about you

Watch Inky Johnson Video Here

Follow me to receive more motivational mini-lessons you can use in your classroom…and your own life.  More to come…

Crystal

 

 

29 Weeks Pregnant: Update

 

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29 Weeks Pregnant

How far along:  29 Weeks
Baby is size of a: Hawaiian Pineapple

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Maternity clothes:  Of course I’m still wearing them…couldn’t even squeeze into my winter coat when the weather took a plunge.  I have to support my Bills, so wear a non-maternity zip-up—love my comfy football Sunday clothes!


Sleep: Sleep has improved actually and my dreams are quite vivid
Best moment this week:  Starting to put the nursery together.  Craig put the crib together, put the rug in, and we started to organize everything—still a long way to go though.  A nursery blog post is in the works.
Symptoms:  Charlie Horses…in my legs and I had one in my arm for the first time ever!
I also had another laughing fit which was so random…I couldn’t stop laughing, I was crying tears, and it was at something that wasn’t even that funny.  I asked my doctor about it, but he said he’s never heard of it before (he ended up blaming it on the hormones).
Food cravings:  Chico-Sticks, milkshakes, Belgium waffles

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Belgium Waffle topped with with Aunt Vicki’s Fruit Dip

Food aversions:  Are these even a real thing?
Gender:  He’s still a boy
Name:  We still haven’t decided on a name
Labor signs:  None…not ready for labor signs yet
What I miss:  Being able to clip my own toenails
Milestones:  Officially a week into my third trimester!  My one hour glucose test came back slightly high, so I had to go in for the three hour test.  I also had my Rhogam shot and TDAP shot this week.
Bump:  Measuring right on track

 

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Crystal

The Daily Post Word Prompt: Gratitude
The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Rounded

What My Baby Shower Taught Me

This past weekend we had our baby shower to celebrate our little MVP, and I’m still astonished at all the love and support from everyone!

I was not a fan of the idea of having a shower at all, but my friend, Erica was particularly excited and immediately offered to be a part of planning it. Considering I have not had a baby shower in twenty years and that I gave every last baby item away I thought it would help us quite a bit and it would be nice for Craig being this is his first child (yes, twenty years…whoa…that sounds crazy).

As Erica and I were talking about it I told her that I wanted to be a part of planning the shower, but was unsure what people would think because I read many comments on the online baby boards that it was considered tacky.  Erica’s response was, “Since when do you care what people think?  Do what you want!” Lightbulb moment here!

Doing what we wanted was exactly what we did and I’m glad we did!  It was perfect!

 

What My Baby Shower Taught Me

  1. Do what you want (couples, kids, food, favors, theme, games, music, food, invite who you want, honor family members who have past away…)  

     

  2. You will forget what you registered for…possibly because he liked using the scanning machine a little too much

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  3. Someone will give you a gift that might make you cry

     

  4. If you try and give a speech you should practice before the shower day…and pregnancy hormones may cause water works41
  5. Something will not go as planned and that’s ok  We had a plan to take photos of every guest, but that did not happen.  I’m still a little bummed out about it, but I am thankful my son and Craig’s cousin were able to capture the moments that they did.
  6. Cupcakes are the easiest dessert ever 
  7. Homemade gifts are the best 

     

  8. Plan to take A LOT home 
  9. Having your man with you to open gifts is the best  68
  10. RSVP…I have a new found respect for it  I will admit I am terrible at RSVPing, but I have a new found respect and have promised myself not to be that person anymore.

 

Our shower was amazing…we loved seeing everyone excited for us and enjoyed spending the time with them! We are blessed!

Crystal

The Daily Post Daily Prompt: Enlighten 

 

26 Weeks Pregnant

Crystal

How far along: 26 Weeks

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Baby is size of a: according to my Ovia App he is the size of a butternut squash or a bowling pin…he feels more like he’s the size of a bowling ball though!

Total weight gain: I don’t want to talk about this, but doctor is happy (and baby is healthy)!

Maternity clothes:  Of course I’m still wearing them—not the most stylish clothes to wear, but they aren’t what they used to be.  I bought another dress to wear that I do love…I might wear it for the baby shower, but I haven’t decided yet.  Some clothes I feel fabulous in and others just make me feel not so great (like the oversize shorts and shirts I wear to bed)—superficial I know!me
Sleep:  I have quite a bit of difficulty sleeping…after laying on the right for so long I’m sore, so flip to the left, then after so long I’m sore again and flip…then I have to flop out of bed to use the bathroom…then he thinks its time to play and is kicking…then the alarm to wake up sounds.

Best moment this week:  Hmmm…Craig’s surprise date night to see School of Rock…the baby was rockin out to all the music!

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Symptoms:  Well no more heartburn now that doc prescribed me something.  Shortness of breath, back pain, and of course feeling baby kicking quite a bit—we can even see him moving!

Food cravings: I wanted a Thanksgiving meal, so that is what we had…soooooo good!!!  Apple Cider, Belgium waffles, and apple pie or apple crisp too!

Food aversions:  None

Gender: Boy

Name: Still no name…nothing we are both totally in love with yet, but we will agree on one eventually.

Labor signs: Too early for that, but I swear I felt a couple contractions while walking around the public market yesterday.

What I miss:  Laying on my stomach in bed or being comfortable just laying on the couch.  Bending over with ease is another thing I miss—if you come to my classroom and see highlighters on the floor it’s because I have stopped bending over to pick them up!

What I look forward to:  I was not a fan of the idea of having a baby shower at all, but I am looking forward to seeing people I haven’t seen in a while, celebrating our little MVP, and having a good time.

Milestones: Does the Bills leading the division count?  Maybe baby is good luck for them? (although as I’m typing this they are not doing so well…come on Bills…Super Bowl this year!)

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Bump: It’s more like a hump now…

 

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Crystal

Dear Absent Father,

I’m not sure if it is because I’m pregnant which has made me think about people in my past, but I’ve been thinking about an individual some would label as my “biological father”.  This is an individual who was in prison for some time while I was a child, did not raise me, stepped into my life for a minute later on, and after unveiling his character I decided it was safer to keep my children away from him.

I decided to write an unsent letter to him: 

Dear Absent Father,

As a young child I made up fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.  Wishing on every dandelion I picked…

Years went by…

I created more fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.

I knew I resembled you from what I had been told, so every male I saw with blonde hair and blue eyes I would think to myself, “could this be you”.  For years I did this…even as a teenager as a cashier at the local grocery store…imagine a young teenager wondering if each and every one of the blonde hair, blue eyed, males who walked through her line could be her father.

I continued to create more fairytales.  Send more dandelion wishes…

You decided to make that step and introduce yourself…it was nothing close to that fairytale I created, what I wanted, or what I expected, but I opened my heart.  I opened it because I had yearned for so long.  I just wanted to be wanted.

I’m an observant woman, and hearing about your upbringing and where you came from I understood you didn’t know how to be a father.  You didn’t know how to raise a child.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt.  I accepted you for you, left the past behind us, and began to build a relationship.  It wasn’t perfect.  I couldn’t call you “dad”.  I had a dad who raised me, one who earned that title, one who also didn’t know how to raise a child, but he did it without batting an eyelash and Lord knows that man shed some tears dealing with me as an ungrateful, hateful, teenager.  It also hurt him when we began to build a relationship, but he knew I needed to find me.

I needed to find me…

Did I find me?  I thought I did.  For years I had to build me.  Encourage me.  Support me.  Protect me.  Provide for me.  I had to because you were not there like you should have been.  Maybe in a way you are a part of my success because I don’t need a man to do those things for me.  Now I just don’t know how to allow one to when he wants to.

Every now and then I wonder…how can you sleep at night?  How many children have you denied (or have you lost count)?  How many raised in poverty?  How many have seen those bars like you?  Taken the path like you?  Do you feel any sort of guilt?  Remorse?  Regret?  Shame?  Do you feel sorry for yourself?  Angry?  Does it even weigh on your soul?

I try not to judge…I really do…even as I type this I try to understand, but I just can’t…

For years I asked myself, “why don’t you want me?”

Sadly, I’ll also admit that every time I hear your favorite song, “Simple Man” by Lynard Skynard you come to mind.  A person’s favorite song usually says a lot about who they are, so I have thought many times why you feel such a strong connection to it.  After listing to it a few more times I ask this…

Do you think your mom would be proud? God?

Are you proud?

Crystal

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Fall in Love with Fabfitfun

 

Some women buy manicures, pedicures, and massages to pamper themselves.  One way I like to spoil myself is with the Fabfitfun subscription box (click link to sign up and receive a discount).  I enjoy receiving the box in the mail and it usually arrives on a day I need some positive vibes.  I’m hoping the mailman realizes the coincidence and understands that I’m not some crazy stalker as I wait for him to deliver my box!

If you are looking for a thoughtful gift item for that special someone this would make an amazing surprise!  Items are a mixture of skin care, hair care, make-up, beauty, fitness, and even jewelry related items!  I haven’t been disappointed with a box yet!

 

I just received my box today and these are the items that came with my initial thoughts…

 

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Mer-Sea & Co. Cozy Wrap:  This looks like it might be my favorite item of the box.  Feels thick, soft and of high quality!  This will be perfect for the cooler weather on the way.  As a teacher my classroom temperature fluctuates, so I will be keeping this in the room for those moments I need a little warmth.

I purchased an extra…not sure if I will give it as a gift or hold my first giveaway. Hmmmm….decisions decisions. 

 

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dpHUE ACV Hair Rinse:  This is another item I know I will love!  Every once in a while I rinse my hair with apple cider vinegar to clean it and bring back shine, so I’m sure I will love this item!  I can’t wait to give it a try!

 

Cotext wire heart ceramic jewelry holder:  This is a cute item, but honestly I don’t have much space on my vanity for it.  I’m sure other Fabfitfun members will be looking to trade something for it, so that is what I will probably do.  Trade anyone?

 

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DECO Miami Cuticle Oil (Lavender):  I am a huge fan of lavender and take care of my nails, so I’m excited to give this item a try!

 

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treStiQue Lip Color: (Matte)  I don’t wear lip color often and when I do it’s usually lighter shades, so this will be a change for me to try.  I have a couple darker colors, but haven’t found one that is a fit for me yet.  I’ll be giving this a try to see if this is the one!

 

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The Jetset Diaries Beanie:  I will either gift this item or trade it.  I have a black beanie already in a higher quality, so I wont be needing this.

 

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Private Party Gym Bag:  I received the “Gym & Juice” bag in my box.  Since I have been slacking on going to the gym and I don’t need a bag because I change at home I will be either gifting this item or trading it.  I like it, but have enough bags as it is.  Cute item though!

 

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Whish Beauty Renewing Mud Mask:  Since I love mud masks I’m sure this will be a much loved item from the box!  My skin is so much cleaner and softer after, so I will be trying this sooner rather than later.

 

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MYTAGALONGS Hot & Cold Gel Pack:  I’m sure being pregnant this will find quite a bit of use!  I’m not hoping for a migraine to try it, but I’ll be pulling this out if it does.

The Cottonelle fresh wipes will either go in my guest jar or to one of the kids for their sports bags.

 

There you have it… a quick review of the items in the Fall Fabfitfun Box!   It isn’t my most favorite box FFF has sent out, but it is well worth the money—I have items I wouldn’t normally purchase for myself to try which I think is one of best parts about receiving them.

Sign up here to receive a discount code if you are interested in pampering yourself or someone you love!

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Share in a comment:  What is your favorite item in the Fall box?  What item do you think you would enjoy most?

Crystal