I think too much.
There I said it. I legitimately think too much. So much in fact that I miss the simple things in life because I’m day dreaming about what could be or what life should be. But, you know what — life is so so so good when you just stop thinking about it.
Nothing more true than this past week. I picked up Logan from school and took him to a park across the street. I stopped thinking about the drive home, the dinner I needed to cook, the bath and bedtime story routine I was in for soon and I played. I looked around at the tall palm trees and felt so lucky to be alive in that moment, so lucky to be able to feel free enough to run through a grassy field chasing my little love. We laughed, we smiled, and we were just being.
While I probably won’t break my habit of thinking too much in the super near future, after this experience it’s worth trying harder to achieve.
Put down today, tomorrow, and next weeks worries — stop thinking, see what happens.
I want to hear all about it!
You never know… you could find a “baketball hoot”.
Oh, you’re not? Well let me introduce you to a life changing support system for your health, fitness, and nutrition lifestyle. Going solo is never bueno when you embark on life changes. It’s always better to have a friend, and even better, a village.
Welcome to my village.
Also know as Tone It Up Girls.
Six years ago I wrote a post about starting a healthy lifestyle. Purging the eating out, ditching the soda, and keeping my mind and body healthy. The only thing I needed was a little bit of support. At that time the only person who read my blog was my best friend, I knew I needed more support. So I found Katrina and Karena and I instantly knew this would be a long-lasting friendship — even though we’ve never met.
I was one of the first groups of Tone It Up girls to participate in the Bikini Series challenge. It is an 8 week soul-searching, butt kicking journey that jump started my healthy lifestyle. I couldn’t be more grateful. To this day they are my go to source for amazing workouts that are fast (bonus for moms), and best of all — I’ve seen the results.
The 8 week Bikini Series started last Sunday, and I’m happy to report that week was every bit as exciting as the first time I tried it (this is my 6th one). I want to challenge you to try this out, you can start with the free method, and work up to whatever and however monetary wise you want too.
Come be apart of my journey on Instagram at TIU.MEG
As for my check in’s this week:
My favorite workout was:
My favorite healthy meal for the week:
Skirt Steak and Veggies (Similar)
My goals for next week:
- Up my cardio (I’m not killing myself like I did last year, I don’t want to burn myself out)
- Continue my supplement 500 (250 abs and 250 booty exercises of various kinds)
I was reading an email that started like this… “The thought of becoming a minimalist like you is giving me anxiety, but all of my stuff is giving me anxiety. What should I do?”
The last thing I meant was to make anyone feel that a minimalist lifestyle is anxiety driven, because it isn’t. It just takes one day at a time, and one small challenge at a time.
Which brings me to the 10 Item Purge Challenge. This challenge shouldn’t stress you out. What is should do is give you that visual and emotional proof that taking a small step makes a huge difference. Even if it’s as small as dry cleaner hangers and plastic bags (Look at the hot mess below) you’ll start to feel refreshed.
Take one hour and scour your home to purge these 10 items:
- Dry Cleaner Hangers
- Expired Makeup
- Take Out Menus (The paper ones, do you really need those with this thing called the internet?)
- Old Nail Polish (Dried up or older than a couple of years)
- Promotional Items (The freebies you pick up from fairs, etc. You don’t need 50 pens)
- Orphan Earrings
- Your Scrap Paper Drawer
- Chip Clips or any kind of bag helper
- Worn out shoes
Report back!! I want to hear all about it. Tag me on Instagram @violetsageblog and use the hashtag #10ItemPurge
A quick run to Target.
Did you just think of the 101 things you’ve bought this year during a “quick run”? Because I sure did, and I used to be the guiltiest person of adding too many extras to my cart when I went to any store.
Not only did these little things add up and ding my wallet, but these things also were superficial happiness and took up space in my house. When things take up space it takes up your time because you then have to clean, purge, clean, put away, etc.
Am I saying don’t buy things? Absolutely not! I still love to buy things, I just had to learn to control the pull. The consumerism pull to be exact. The one where I went to get diapers and ended up with Logan’s 56th t-shirt and another plush football.
Remember this tip? Look at your receipts. When I added up what the extra spending that didn’t matter at all to me after I had bought it, it was almost $200 in a month (guys, this is embarrassing to admit).
Knowing I was on this new quest to minimizing materialist happiness and turning it into experiences, I had an uphill battle when it came to consumerism. My weekends, lunch breaks, and some evenings were entered around shopping. Whether it was browsing online sites, walking the outdoor mall, or running for a necessity, shopping was my past time.
“Every time you spend money -You’re creating the environment you live in.”
Here were the two steps I took to dig myself out of consumerism and find focus with my time and money.
- Visualized my environment. I wanted to live in a clean house with sun rays beaming through my windows and my son playing with the basketball hoop in the kitchen. I wanted to drink a cup of hot chocolate and look around the room to see a “blog-worthy” post. Which meant one thing, I needed less stuff. Not only would less stuff mean less cleaning, but it also meant I could have a pickup ball game with Logan without the fear of tripping on legos.
- Plan for something bigger. When you’ve got a big financial goal, the “extras” won’t fit the bill. This year I planned on mini-weekends and then a couple of larger weeks away. With already achieving our trip to Zion, and having two more bought and paid for. It’s been a no-brainer!
Remember, the difference between experiences and tangible items is the length of happiness it provides. For me, experiences outweigh the slight discomforts I had when transitioning to buying just one more cute thing.
Breaking News: Traveling with Toddlers is Fun!
One of my favorite things to do is to travel with my little man. Experiencing a trip from his perspective is much more enjoyable that from mine. Unless it is wine country, and then it’s me only little man, sorry.
As a family we spent two days at Zion National Park in Utah last weekend. Traveling with toddlers doesn’t have to be hard. It can be easy, as long as you keep snacks on you at all times. They can turn into wild beasts if their tummies are not full at all times.
The trip started with checking into our home for the weekend; Cliff Rose Lodge. The lodge is a 5 minute walk to the entrance of Zion National Park. Their rooms are so quaint and they come equipped for families. We staying a double queen (I put pillows under the bed sheet so Logi wouldn’t roll off), but they also have one-three bedroom places. The staff was accommodating, and they were so nice (the free cookies helped too).
A few tips for this lodge:
- Pack a swimming suit – The pools are heated!!
- There are cute fire pit areas, but you need your own wood.
- They have three play gyms for toddlers (the free-standing ones with slides, a climbing area, etc.) that are fun to play with the little ones.
- Bring bug spray!!! It’s right on the river.
- Breakfast is free! It’s not terrible, but it is basic — so if you have any picky eaters they had: Waffles, Eggs, Bacon, Potatoes, Burritos, Cereal, and Yogurt.
- There is a cute beach area that they can play in the sand, but watch them around the water because it moves quickly.
- They do NOT sell water bottles here. In fact, they are very eco-friendly. Bring cases of water if you want them. There are refrigerators in the rooms.
Hiking in Zion itself was an amazing sight. We did a little bit of research (I can’t over research, or it’s no fun because I’m stressed if the plan changes) and found out that hiking the Emerald Pools Trail would be best for us.
Once you pay ($15 per adult, Toddlers Free!) you have full access to the park and the shuttle system. The shuttle system was awesome. They stop at all of the trails within the park. We stopped at stop 5 which took 10 minutes to get to from the start of the shuttle service.
Logan was ready to hike, and by hike he wanted to sit on my shoulders for the whole hike. This is how we roll people, this is how we roll.
The Emerald Pool Trail has three levels (lower, middle, top) — We stuck with the lower because as you started to go higher it frightened me because the trails got narrower, and the drops were “death upon falling” kind of drops. A couple of people had strollers, but I don’t recommend it. Wear them if you have too, because it gets crowded and tight in some places.
We took the journey up a little ways past the lower pool just to get a better view. It was so so so worth it. There was an area that you could sit 5 people comfortably on the rock while I let Logan go behind us (we were a human fence). He thought it was a cool stage, and danced for people as they walked by.
The view was breathtaking, and walking through the narrow rock, or as Logan called it — the car wash was unexplainable.
My Tips for Hiking in Zion with a Toddler:
- Wear them, or carry them if they don’t want to walk. Strollers make hiking tough.
- Bring extra water and Gatorade. Every one was good with water, but carrying Logan — I needed more.
- Sunscreen. It may sound juvenile, but a lot of people were complaining that they forgot sunscreen, and we had let a family with three kids borrow ours.
- Wear light layers — it can be cold in the morning, but then it heats up real fast.
- Bring a backpack that snaps over your chest.
- Fill that said backpack with cliff bars for the littles. They are not heavy!
- Stick to the trails — don’t let them destroy plant life.
- Put a hat on them. While Logan would take his on and off, when the sun was at it hottest he never touched it.
- Stick with these trails: Emerald Pools, Pa’rus Trail, The Grotto Trail, Archeology Trail, or the Weeping Rock Trail. Everything else is too intense for a toddler.
- Eating at the lodge is basically your only option unless you carry food in, or go back to the hotel. The lodge (see previous post about health) has pizza, burgers, ice cream, and sodas. It’s not the best — but when you have a hungry toddler screaming at you, you’ll give them pizzas (am I right?).
On the last day we walked (it’s not really a hike) the Pa’Rus Trail, which is the picture above. It reminds me of a stroll on the boardwalk. It’s level ground, and most of it is paved. It runs along the river and the campsites. It’s a great place if you have a stroller or bikes.
I want to encourage you to take trips with your little ones. Logan’s first trip was when he was 3 months old. I never regret taking a trip with him. What he gains far outweighs a couple of tantrums or schedule tweaks here and there. Something about showing Logan the world gives me so much joy. How about you? Do you travel with your kids?
Your Health is important.
Over the weekend we were at Zion National Park. It was a blast, and the fresh air with a mix of vitamin D was exactly what I needed. But, something else happened.
We were at lunch inside of the lodge, and a couple in front of us were visiting from outside the US. Since the line was long we started to talk to them, and what they said blew my mind. The menu was a mix of American favorites: hot dogs, pizza, burgers, ice cream, and french fries. No where could you find the kind of fuel food you need for hiking in Zion. The woman said to me “How can anyone be healthy with menus like this?”, “I don’t know what is worse, hiking on an empty stomach or a bunch of bad carbs and saturated fat?”. They’ve been on a round robin of all the “It” places to hike in Utah with Zion being their last stop. They shared that they were feeling sluggish and sitting in front of the TV sounded like a good rest. But this wasn’t normal for them. They loved being active, but something about the American Fare was weighing them down.
I never thought anything of menus like this because it’s normal for me. And, those of us who go to places where there isn’t anything else you create a work around. You get a burger and wrap it in lettuce instead of a bun, some water, and grab trail mix from the gift shop. But, these tourists were beside themselves not being able to have something to re-fuel them on the menu.
Which made me start digging into some stats. Did you know:
More than one-third of adults are considered to be obese. More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity. Almost 3 in 4 men and women are considered to be overweight or obese. And, what is even worse is that our habits are turning into our kids habits. The percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 kids now considered overweight or obese.
This frightens me. Straight up frightens me.
When did un-healthy become the new norm? Why are people turning a blind eye to their health, and their family’s health?
While everyone has a different way of approaching things. This is what I do. I keep it simple by eating fruits and vegetables for the majority of my day. I mix in lean proteins, and lots of water. We also joined a health club, not a gym, a health club. This allows for Logan to take classes while Wes and I workout, and then when we are done we can all swim in the pool for a while.
I’m also a Tone It Up Girl (Instagram – tiu.meg) — which makes living healthy easier. The community that is online is like having your own set of cheerleaders. I’ll be your cheerleader, because I believe that your health is important and it has to be your top priority.
So I want to challenge you to make your health a priority.
Share with me your thoughts! How do you stay healthy? What do you like to do? What do you like to cook?
This top may be my favorite spring/summer purchase. You see, minimalism is now a solidified part of my life which includes my wardrobe too. Before I made these life changes, I would buy an outfit because I wanted someone to comment on my blog post, or pin my outfit.
I wanted to be cool in the cyber world.
But, I just don’t fit into the mold of a Gal Meets Glam or Kendi Everyday. I found myself buying clothes that were not quite me (checkered tops..oye vay) just to impress you guys. And my bank account felt it. During the six months I took off from blogging I took time to reevaluate and let minimalism jump into all parts of my life, I decided that my wardrobe would be the hardest. But, guess what — it was the easiest AND the most liberating.
Now my closet, and any piece that may find a home in my walk-in has to fit in. There are no rebels here. After some soul searching, I always came back to a neutral palette of black, gray, cream, and navy. Guess what! Everything in this color scheme goes together — we are talking like Peanut Butter and Jelly go together (this is serious). I felt classy, sophisticated, and pulled together. So why fight it?
Find who you are. Then go with it.
While out shopping for the glamorous things in life (paper towels and detergent) I noticed this top out of the corner of my eye. It called to me, and I am so glad I listened. The minute I held it, I thought of about six outfits that I could pair it with. It has everything I look for: fit, color, material, and versatility. When I brought this baby home, I went crazy. As you can see from the above pictures. This top is nothing short of being able to mix in for casual wear to work wear. It’s a keeper!
p.p.s Target didn’t sponsor me to do this — I legit just wanted to post about the world’s most versatile shirt.
p.p.p.s Having a minimalist wardrobe means I can do things like this. I’m never going back.
BY LETTING GO, I GAINED MORE.
THERE IS NO OUT, UNTIL YOU ARE AWARE.
Las Vegas may not have the worlds best hiking, but we sure have some amazing sites to see. Red Rock Canyon usually captures most of the travelers and tourists in town, but what you may not know is just seven more miles away is a beautiful and tranquil pond, wild burrows, picnic areas, and old pioneer fort areas. It’s called Spring Mountain Ranch, and you won’t see too many tourists when you visit. During the months of Feb-Apr, and Oct-Dec our family loves to hike. We don’t do much, because well — Logan likes to be held 95% off the time. If you follow my fitness on Instagram (@ tiu.meg) you’ll see Logan’s role in my fitness journey is extra weight.
The entry fee is $7 for locals, and $10 for out-of-state travelers. No matter how many people you have in the car. It’s a great place to take toddlers, babies, dogs, and a picnic lunch. We’ve gone for the past couple of weekends because Logan keeps asking to throw rocks into the water, and sometimes you just need to take a few clean deep breaths.
p.s. Follow me on Instagram – @violetsageblog