Can Your Environment Influence Your Mindfulness?

I had such a wonderful time chatting with Dr. Rachel Haviland and Genevieve Kohn about your environment and mindfulness on Reclaim Your Health Podcast!

We touched on how to move and shift energy within your home.  Become more intentional about the function of our homes and how to tap into all of your senses to create the environment that is most in alignment with you!

Check out the conversation at Reclaim Your Health Podcast! 

Live Juicy!

 

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Yay!  Spring has finally arrived!!!  Well… sort of, for me there is still snow on the ground, however that itch to get some spring cleaning done has come!  Clearing out clutter, cleaning, and rearranging is a great way to move energy and freshen things up!  As soon as the weather warms up it's nice to get outdoors and enjoy, so it's a great time to get started.  

Although this can be a daunting task, taking one weekend to clear your schedule and GET IT DONE is the quickest way to knock that off your to do list!  Planning ahead and choosing a time and NOT committing to anything else will ensure you are able to accomplish the task.

Having three kids definitely contributes to extra things piling up.  I like to involve them in the process and when you can get everyone to pitch in it takes the load off yourself and makes “to stay or to go” decisions easier.  It's likely they have outgrown clothing so it's a great time with the seasons changing to clear out those extra’s that wont fit next fall/winter.  

Some suggestions to make the project more efficient:

  • Make a plan and determine what you want to get done.  Laying out your goals for the project will make it easier to assign tasks and to whom.  
  • Find out where your recyclable centres are located and hours of operation.
  • If you plan to donate any items select which organization you wish to donate to, their location and hours of operation.  Some organizations will come and pick up your items if you make those arrangements ahead of time.
  • Have your supplies on hand.  
  • Start from the top down so you don't have to clean things twice. e.g. ceiling fans, door mouldings, light fixtures, bathroom vents.  These tend collect dust over time so no sense in vacuuming the floors first and then dust your ceiling fans after.  
  • Meal plan and prepare ahead of time.

I like to use non toxic cleaners in my home for the safety of my kids and reducing the toxic load of what we put into our environment.  Commercial cleaners are composed primarily of water, chemicals and fragrances.  Some of these can aggravate allergies, cause skin sensitivity and pose poisoning risks to children (and pets).   A fantastic resource for determining the safety of products in your home is Environmental Working Group,  they rate the safety of just about every over the counter brand and product.  

Natural cleaners are inexpensive and quite simple to make with ingredients you probably already have in your home.  You will find many of them use the same base ingredients.  You can purchase spray bottles from your local hardware store, wash and reuse. 

A simple all purpose cleaner can be made with 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, the juice of one lemon and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.  Lemon and vinegar have germ killing properties so it's great for sinks, tables, and appliances. (Note - Don’t use vinegar on granite or marble.)  Since this recipe has fresh lemon in it you will want to use within a few days of making it, or store in the refrigerator for up to one week.  

In general, homemade cleaners shouldn't be made in large quantities because the don’t have stabilizers or artificial ingredients to extend the shelf life.  It's always a good idea test cleaners in an inconspicuous spot to ensure it's good to use on the surface you wish.  You can also play around with different essential oils to enjoy the scents you love.

Once your home has been decluttered, refreshed, and cleaned you will be able to enjoy your time outside in the warm weather tha'ts just around the corner.  Happy spring cleaning!

 

The Benefits of Meal Planning

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This is one of those tasks that can be easily overlooked, but by simply taking 15-20 minutes a week to plan out your meals can be a huge time saver in itself.  When you plan your meals ahead of time, it’s easier to make your shopping lists and meal preparations because you already have it laid out!  This way you are also less likely to cave and just grab some take-out!  

If you are creative like myself, you can make it fun and write it out!  Use different coloured pens or markers for each day of the week.  Take a snap shot of it with your phone so you have it on hand if you are heading out to the market.  I like to use a local organic food service for my groceries because I find it saves me time and is more efficient.

It’s a good practice to have your menu in sight so you stay on track and be mindful of what preparation needs to be done ahead of time.  I like to include my kids and ask what they would like see on the menu as well, it gets them involved and creates an awareness of the foods they are putting into their bodies.  So if you schedule a day to eat out you all have something to look forward to, but know they have had good nourishment the rest of the time and teaches them about that balance.  

Meal planning isn’t about having everything done perfect or creating strict timelines.  It’s simply using your time as efficiently as possible so us busy moms can focus on the things that matter the most!  

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Designing a Family Friendly Home

Managing a home that is inviting and kid-friendly isn't always that easy.  Kids are full of energy and would more often than not prefer to play and have fun versus keeping things tidy!  I have experienced this first hand.  However, there are systems that can be put into place so that your space can still feel "grown up" and beautiful, while being kid-friendly!

Nowadays open floor plans are much more common.  This is where thought and planning of storage and the layout of your home becomes essential.  It doesn't need to be plain and boring, this is where you can be creative!

Define some designated places in your home that's simple and easy for kids to put their belongings.  Using a bench with some pull-out bins in the entry for kids to tuck away their mitts, toques, sun hats (etc) and some hooks for coats and backpacks at a child-friendly height makes it easier for them to get in the habit of putting away their belongings and accessing them when needed.

Having lots of seating so that kids have space to spread out and ensure there is enough room when friends come over to play and hang out is something to take into consideration.  Bean bag chairs can easily be moved to various locations, ottomans can be multi purposed as seating or to put your feet up and can also be used with a serving tray as a coffee table.   Sectionals take up less space and generally provide lots of seating and room for kids to spread out and be comfortable for naps, movies and such. 

Choose upholstery that will stand up to the abuse that kids can dish out, as well as accidental spills - IT HAPPENS!  Choose durable fabrics that are washable.  Slip covers that can easily be removed and cleaned.  Leather is simple to wipe up.  

When choosing carpet or area rugs within a home, look for one that can take on high traffic.  Outdoor area rugs should also be considered to use indoors, they are much easier to clean and there are plenty of stylish ones available in todays market, they are generally more cost effective as well. 

When designing your child's bedroom think outside the box!  What activities or interests does your child have?  Creating a space that is not only functional but is reflective of them will more likely want them to keep it neat and tidy!

Choose a separate room or space to designate for play and creativity.  Keeping toys with storage solutions in one space will help to keep extra things out of their rooms and prevent it from being scattered all over the house.  Framing their artwork to hang in the space is cost effective and gives them a sense of pride that their work and creativity is important.  Even places such as the dollar store has budget friendly options so the investment is minimal.  It's also easy to change as they grow!

When we take our children into consideration when designing a space it ensures that us mama's (and the family) will have a beautiful, organized environment and will help to keep OUT the chaos so we can enjoy the beauty and tranquility in a easier way than most might think.

What areas in your home could be addressed to be more functional?