Monday, January 25, 2010

Leisure Time

I'm reading an article from yesterday's The Washington Post Magazine which suggests that people, specifically mothers, have more leisure time than we know. The article is called the Test of Time. Instead of finishing the article, I decided to stop pretending I had said leisure time and get to work since it gave me a good topic to discuss on today's blog.

When I first began reading, I was skeptical. How could anyone have 30 to 40 hours of available down time per week? But once I realized the data was based on time studies then I knew it was entirely possible. As it is, many of us don't even realize how we spend the bulk of our time, let alone know how many leisure hours we have. I believe this is true because I worked as an industrial engineer for several years performing these types of studies. There'd be these whole departments of people working everyday on the same issues. Since they did the job daily they thought they knew for sure where their time went. Surprisingly they did not.The results were nothing short of fascinating. I've thought once or twice to perform a study on myself, then gave up saying, "I don't have time."

That's one main point of the article. We have the time if only we'd take it. There are some who even revel in the helter-skleter flow of our busy lives. Even if this daily hustle isn't the way we want to live, we go on with it anyhow and then complain. Sort of like a badge of honor. Well, I for one am tired of the complaints. All in favor of leisure time everyday raise your hand. Or better yet, just take take a stroll around the neighborhood when the mood stirkes. The other stuff can wait.
Many Blessings,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

I have a dream...sounds like a very simple statement, but boy does it say alot. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that one day people of all colors and nationalities could stand together and be counted as equal. We have made much progress since his speech, but there is still so much more ground to break. I think seeing Barack Obama being sworn in as President is definitely a large part of it all.

What is your dream?

My dream is that one day Polly & Meek will be a household name known for promoting positive messages for families through published works such as our books, calendars, gift cards and portraits. My dream may not be as profound as Dr. King's, but it is mine nonetheless.

We must not give up on our dreams. Sometimes it may seem like they are not coming true or that they are too far fetched to ever come to fruition, but lets not be discouraged. Good things happen to those who are faithful and work diligently. Speak your dream into the atmosphere and confess that you will realize it, that you will put forth the effort and do it all to the glory of God!

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Many Blessings,


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cutting Back on Television

If you're like most parents then you know how conveinient the television can be in your household. It will hold your child's attention when it seems like nothing else can. Still, what we hear is that too much TV is bad for kids and that it leads to higher rates of childhood obesity. I was once an advocate for using television as a learning tool. Then I found out that even though a particular show may be educational, a child's brain still needs a creative outlet. So I gathered my courage and once school started last fall, I cut viewing time to a minimum.

The first day of no TV, I thought I'd die. I'd grown used to the background noise and the kids actually sitting down for 20 minutes or so at a time, depending on the show. But when they asked to watch something I said no. Then I realized I had to help fill their void until they could auto pilot their own play without TV. If you are in the same boat, here is a list of good things to do to balance your little ones out.

1. Go outside. You'd be surprised what a daily outing will do for you and the kids.

2. Make cake...or cookies, or meatballs. Whatever you're cooking, they'll want to help. After they've help make a dish they usually eat whatever portion you put on their plate.

3.Stock up on art supplies like construction paper, watercolors, crayons and markers. Make these items easily accessible. Kids will keep busy on their own.

4. Go to your neighboorhood library and check out picture books for preschoolers and chapter books for older kids. Once you read the stories a few times, they'll seek them out on their own. Also try out books on CD. Get a set of $1 headphones and teach them to enjoy quiet time.

5. Go to storytime or craft time at the library. There are normally live shows and other entertainment for kids and adults to enjoy. Most of it is free.

6. Encourage imaginitive play by providing play clothes and accessories for kids to dress up in and pretend. You can even give them some things from your closet. Their imaginations will do the rest.

7. Play-doh. Need I say more? Be sure to set rules or use a plastic mat around their play area. Play-doh in carpet is no fun.

8. Let the kids help sort laundry, fill and start the washer or fold clothes. The more involved in household duties they become, the better for everyone.

9. Do at home science experiments. This one is my personal favorite and the kids' favorite. Check out a science book from the library or go to Pick a grade level to see different ideas.

10. Set a small amount of TV time and stick to it. Let your child know that they can watch a little at whatever time you specify. After that time is up, turn the set off and put the remote away.

I hope these tips are helpful. If you have more to add to the list, please leave a comment.

Many Blessings,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year's Resolutions!

It’s the fifth day of the New Year and all I can think about is my resolution of holistic living. Now unlike a lot of people who feel that making resolutions is a waste of time and have given up on doing so, I am still a believer that we need to write our plans down so that we can see them, measure ourselves against them and redefine them as time goes on. So as December 2009 was winding to a close, I did not hesitate to speak into the atmosphere my resolution.

My goal of holistic living extends into all facets of my life…from healthy cooking and eating, to wise shopping and positive thinking. I plan to live a life with minimal stress and chock full of organic goodies. I plan to exercise and declutter my home, to seek out foods that are grown free of pesticides and additives and meats that are humanely treated and free of hormones. I want healthier foods altogether. I will be eating less processed foods and more healthy ones like the wonderful baked chicken at Boston Market, the delicious burritos at Chipotle and the totally organic goodies at Trader Joe’s. I will be mindful and knowledgeable about what I introduce into my body and the impact it will have on my health and well being. In the words of that Kaiser Permanente lady I want to ‘live long and thrive’.

So what about you? What is your New Year’s resolution? It’s not too late to decide you want to have one. What’s more it is never too late. You can make a resolution at any time and for any reason. I challenge to do so.

Have a blessed and prosperous New Year Everyone.

Continued Blessings,