How to Set Realistic Goals for the New Year

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links*

The New Year always holds the promise of new goals, routines, habits, dreams. In 2013, only 8% of Americans successfully achieved their New Year’s resolutions. EIGHT PERCENT. Ouch

I think we can all figure out a couple of reasons as to why so many of us don’t keep our New Year’s resolutions…
We set unrealistic goals and unrealistic expectations for achieving those goals
 We don’t truly commit ourselves to achieving our goals and we try to tackle them alone

The first few weeks of the year, everyone has a new sense of life and how they want to start the New Year. Goals seem more attainable and we seem to have the entire year to tackle them! However, the weeks fly by and we start coming up with excuses and push our goals back…

“I’ll start tomorrow.”

“I’ll wait to start on Monday so I can enjoy the weekend.”

“I’m too tired.”

“I can’t do this.”

“I don’t have time.”

…and the list goes on and on. 

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Packing the Hospital Bag!

 

Hospital Bag

Packing the hospital bag.

I’d say this task was even more daunting than packing the diaper bag after the kiddo had arrived earth-side, and now, we’re going to be doing it all over again! I had no idea what my experience was going to be like, what things I’d need the most, what would comfort me the most, and add in “end of pregnancy” hormones… yikes.

Once we got to the hospital, I didn’t even use a ¼ of the things I had packed. When people tell you to only pack the essentials, they’re right. But, what ARE the essentials?! Obviously, the essentials are different for every person, but, I’d like to think that us mamas can agree on some things :)

So, if you are seriously stressing about what to toss in your hospital bag before that buddle of joy (or bundles of joy!) arrive, read on!

Plus,  I’ll be adding a list of top suggestions that all of you wonderful mamas submitted to me!

Printable PDF Version

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Top Essentials from Mamas Like You!

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Unwinding with Tea- it’s healthier than you might think! :)

Unwinding

If you got a chance to read my latest post, The Art of Marriage With Kids, you probably saw that one of our favorite ways to unwind each day is by having a cup or two of tea in the evening! It’s a nice way to relax together even if we don’t have a lot of time to do it! Plus, drinking tea (without a ton of milk and sugar in it) has more health benefits than you probably realize!

To make it even easier, we have this AMAZING electric kettle from Rosewill* that boils our water within a couple minutes. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and fast which is ideal when you’re trying to have some quick alone time with a toddler running around chasing the poor dog.

The kettle holds 1.5 liters of water and keeps the water super hot for a good long time! I forgot I boiled water one afternoon and when I opened the kettle hours later, it was still warm. The best part is that the outside of the kettle stays completely cool so there’s no chance of my clumsy self scalding my hand. It’s also really nice not having to use the microwave to boil a couple of cups of water and no need to get a pot out to boil water on the stove. This mama likes simple and quick! Plus, the less mess I have to deal with, the better.

My husband has also started using the kettle to boil water for his oatmeal in the mornings. It’s quick and easy and it has encouraged him to eat a more filling breakfast each day without having to sacrifice too many minutes of sleep each day! Winning all around! :) I would totally take this kettle to work to keep at my desk, but, I like having to get up to walk over to the hot water dispenser when I need it! If I took this kettle to work, I’d probably never leave my desk besides going upstairs to the bathroom because of all the tea I was drinking!

I know this kettle could be used for SO MANY things besides just hot water for tea and oatmeal, but, those two things are the most popular in our household!

Now, onto those health benefits that I mentioned earlier (thanks to Today.com!)…

1. Tea contains antioxidants. Like the Rust-Oleum paint that keeps your outdoor furniture from rusting, tea’s antioxidants protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee usually has two to three times the caffeine of tea (unless you’re a fan of Morning Thunder, which combines caffeine with mate, an herb that acts like caffeine in our body). An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg caffeine; tea contains only 30 to 40 mg per cup. If drinking coffee gives you the jitters, causes indigestion or headaches or interferes with sleep — switch to tea.

3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free, the same way a drain keeps your bathroom pipes clear. A 5.6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.

4. Tea protects your bones. It’s not just the milk added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compared tea drinkers with non-drinkers, found that people who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors. The authors suggest that this may be the work of tea’s many beneficial phytochemicals.

5. Tea gives you a sweet smile. One look at the grimy grin of Austin Powers and you may not think drinking tea is good for your teeth, but think again. It’s the sugar added to it that’s likely to blame for England’s bad dental record. Tea itself actually contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay. So add unsweetened tea drinking to your daily dental routine of brushing and flossing for healthier teeth and gums.

6. Tea bolsters your immune defenses. Drinking tea may help your body’s immune system fight off infection. When 21 volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the tea drinkers.

7. Tea protects against cancer. Thank the polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their cancer-fighting effects. While the overall research is inconclusive, there are enough studies that show the potential protective effects of drinking tea to make adding tea to your list of daily beverages.

8. Tea helps keep you hydrated. Caffeinated beverages, including tea, used to be on the list of beverages that didn’t contribute to our daily fluid needs. Since caffeine is a diuretic and makes us pee more, the thought was that caffeinated beverages couldn’t contribute to our overall fluid requirement. However, recent research has shown that the caffeine really doesn’t matter — tea and other caffeinated beverages definitely contribute to our fluid needs. The only time the caffeine becomes a problem as far as fluid is concerned is when you drink more than five or six cups of a caffeinated beverage at one time.

9. Tea is calorie-free. Tea doesn’t have any calories, unless you add sweetener or milk. Consuming even 250 fewer calories per day can result in losing one pound per week. If you’re looking for a satisfying, calorie-free beverage, tea is a top choice.

10. Tea increases your metabolism. Lots of people complain about a slow metabolic rate and their inability to lose weight. Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that you can burn 70 to 80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of green tea per day. Over a year’s time you could lose eight pounds just by drinking green tea. Of course, taking a 15-minute walk every day will also burn calories.

 

*Crunchy on the Weekend sometimes receives complimentary items to review on the blog. The items marked by asterisks above are products that I have received complimentary in exchange for my HONEST review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any other factors. I decide which items I will post reviews of and I will never recommend an item that I wouldn’t use myself. My reviews are just that- my reviews. If you are unhappy with an item that I have reviewed on my blog, I will not be held liable. If you have questions, please contact me at crunchyontheweekend@gmail.com.

 

 

 

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The Crunchy Mamas Natural Beauty, Skin, & Wellness Products + Giveaway!

As a part-time crunchy mama, I am always trying to find alternatives to our every day products, especially when it comes to things we put on our skin!

I love finding companies run by fellow crunchy mamas who feel the same as I do about the products we use. Even better? Natural and chemical free products for a reasonable price. With kids, it’s hard to justify forking over a ton of money for the natural alternatives to our beauty and skin rituals. Believe me, I get it! We have enough expenses with kids as it is :)

I was so excited to find this amazing company, The Crunchy Mamas, run by two mamas based in Oregon. Not only are their products great, so are they! Some of the nicest mamas you’ll ever have the pleasure of knowing.

When we connected, I couldn’t wait to try some of their stuff!

When I received the goods, of course I tried them IMMEDIATELY ;)

Her Pit Natural Deodorant, Mint Lip Balm, & Honey-Lemon Lip Balm
Her Pit Natural Deodorant, Mint Lip Balm, & Honey-Lemon Lip Balm

Now, I’ve tried pretty much every “natural” deodorant out there and none of them have ever worked for me. I’m serious, you guys. Like, I want to smell as good as the next person and I have nothing against the previously tried deos, but, I’m pretty sure they were made to do the opposite of deodorant. I was way more self-conscious and felt way smellier when using said previous deos. So, I was a little skeptical to try out ANOTHER natural deodorant.

MIND BLOWN. I was completely shocked by how well the Her Pit Deodorant works. You only use a pea sized amount for each underarm and it smells so good! We went to our local rodeo and it was HOT out. Like, sweat as soon as you walk outside, hot. I wore the Her Pit all day and never had to reapply and I smelled good all day. My family appreciated that I smelled good all day after wearing natural deo ;)

What’s even better is the ingredient list- seriously so simple and effective!
“organic unrefined coconut oil, organic cocoa butter, organic shea butter, redmond clay, arrowroot powder, baking soda (aluminum free), vitamin e, organic lavender essential oil, organic sweet orange essential oil.”

YES. That’s it!

Next, I tried the lip balms (not at the same time, promise).

Mint Lip Balm & Honey-Lemon Lip Balm

I’m always cautious when using mint lip balms because every time I do, my lips are not happy. This was NOT the case with the lip balm from Crunchy Mamas! For once, my lips were happy and tingly- not swollen and ouchy! Plus, the mint smells so refreshing without being overpowering. These mamas have got their mix down just right! This minty delight is a perfect lip balm for summer’s hot days!

The Honey-Lemon lip balm is AMAZING as well! Subtle scent, but, still potent enough to smell delicious. You kind of want to eat it…but, you shouldn’t ;)

Both lip balms go on super smooth and keep your lips hydrated for a long time before reapplying is necessary. These lip balms have become my new favorite and I am crazy picky about lip balms!

The ingredients in these lip balms are just as great as the deo!

  • Honey-Lemon: organic unrefined coconut oil, beeswax, raw honey, organic lemon essential oil
  • Mint: organic unrefined coconut oil, beeswax, organic peppermint essential oil, organic rosemary essential oil, organic spearmint essential oil

Seriously you guys! How amazing do you feel when the stuff you put on your skin, face, and lips is this natural and clean without tons of chemicals you can’t pronounce?


Since these mamas are so awesome, they’re letting us do a giveaway with the above products!

Enter and you could win:

(1) Her Pit Natural Deodorant

(1) Mint Lip Balm

(1) Honey-Lemon Lip Balm

The giveaway is running from Wednesday 7/29/15 through Wednesday 8/5/15 and you can enter below or through our Facebook page by clicking here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclaimer: I received the above products to test and review at no cost to me in return for my honest and truthful opinion. All opinions are my own. Products provided for giveaway will be sent to a randomly selected winner by Crunchy on the Weekend at no expense to the winner.*

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