Silliness is Always a Good Idea: 7+ Ways I Have Added it to My Life

Do you like to be silly? It can feel very vulnerable to be playful and silly but it can also feed your soul and support your inner child. Let’s face it, there is a little kid hidden deep inside all of us. Here are some examples of how I have added some more play to my life. Trust me, even if it feels awkward at first, before long you will be laughing and not giving a darn what others think when they see you being goofy.

1. A friend and I recently drove up Mt Baker in Washington State. Along the way there was a big silhouette of Sasquatch. I excitedly ran up to him to shake his hand. My friend was not there to judge me but did manage to grab a shot for Facebook. Perhaps the cars driving by thought my behavior was a bit odd, but what they think of me does not impact me in the least. It was fun and we had some much needed laughs.

2. I invited a friend over for supper and decided to make it a theme meal. We had an inner child party; complete with sticky alien party favors, corndogs, and dreamsickles for dessert. It was a fun way to spend time with a friend while letting our inner children play and feel nourished.

3. Yet another friend and I went to a theme park together. It was busy time of year, when there seemed to be more work than hours in the day. There were big tubes for the kids to crawl through, on, and over. We got down on our hands and knees and crawled around in the play area like children; giggling and released a lot of the stress that had built up.

4. We try to have a family dinner once a week. For a recent family dinner we decided to have a tea party, complete with crustless sandwiches and fancy china. The kids had a great time but so did the three grown men around the table. They sipped their tea, held their pinky out, and laughed big belly laughs. They were a great example to the teenaged boy and younger children at the table that it is okay to be vulnerable and yourself.

5. When going for a walk, if I happen across a child chalk hopscotch game on the side walk, I cannot pass by with out hop, skipping, and jumping my way through it. It’s just plain and simple, feels great to be a kid at heart.

6. When my kids were teenagers we lived in a small rural community. There was not a lot to do. One night we just decided to crank up the music and dance the night away in the basement. Dance is a wonderful way to release pent up energy and be as silly as you want too. Those around you may get a good laugh and you will have some disco disco fun!

7. When Emy and I go the the BWCA, we bring kid’s blowup tubes. We push them down around our middles like pink and blue tutus and float in the clean cool lakes. We chat and play in the water like carefree little girls. It feels great to be so free for a little while.

The amount of silliness you can allow into your life is only hampered by your imagination and bravery. Play Clue by candle light, wear something fun like a big floppy hat, pop silly poses with statues, go to the park and swing as high as you dare, finger paint, or anything else your imagination suggests. It is a great way to have fun, release stress, and get some great big belly laughs going.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your life be filled with laughter, as if by magic!

*photo was taken at our kitchen table

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12 Tips to Help Decrease Holiday Stress

It’s holiday time. Do you love this season or does it cause you stress? Are you worried about where all the money will come from to buy everyone that perfect gift? Are you worried about people not liking your gifts? I love the general good cheer in the air but with a renewed focus on our financial goals, the holidays can be a potential step backwards. Here are some tips to help you live within your means, enjoy the holidays, reduce your stress, and still show others you care.

Set realistic expectations for yourself – No one can be it all, do it all or attend it all. Be realistic with yourself, your time, your energy, and your money. Do not sign up for more than you can take on. In the past, I felt I had to be the best entertainer, prepare the yummiest meals, decorate until not a corner of the house was untouched, give the perfect gifts and attend all the events. Age and wisdom have taught me that is not only unrealistic but also unhealthy. Be gentle with yourself.

Make a budget– I love giving as much as the next person but buying someone a more expensive gift does not change how much I love them. Decide on a reasonable dollar amount to spend and stick to it.

Start saving now for next year– put a small amount into a Holiday savings account each payday so when the next Holiday season rolls around you will not have to go into debt to buy gifts.

Talk to people about gift giving– for years my brother and I would exchange gift cards in the mail. We finally spoke and decided to each get ourselves something from the other, rather than shifting money back and forth in the mail. Buying a gift for you may be causing stress for another, so by having a conversation, you may alleviate their stress and financial burden too.

Handmade happiness – there are so many beautiful handmade gifts that you can make to give others. Depending on what you are making to give, you may have to start early in the year to get them done, so not to cause yourself extra pressure to meet a short deadline. Do you knit, make “out of this world” fudge, write poetry or do cute crafts? All of these things can be very sweet and special gifts.

Initiate family gift exchanges – talk to family about drawing names for gift giving instead of a gift for everyone or agree on gifts only for people under a certain age. Be creative and communicate.

Make coupons for services– you can make coupons for gifts of services. Some ideas are, making a home cooked meal, shoveling snow, pet or child sitting, raking leaves next fall, painting a room in their home. Be creative and listen to the things they are wanting to get done. You would hate to hurt someone’s feelings by offering to fix something they don’t feel is broken. This isn’t about you telling them what needs to get done but rather doing something for them they have been wanting to get done.

Share the gift of time– talk to friends and family and ask about sharing the gift of time. Get together for a meal, a cup of tea, volunteer to help a local charity together or a visit to a favorite location. Set a date for after the Holidays and both promise to make it a priority. What better gift than the gift of time.

Meditate – the holidays can be stressful with commitments, planning, shopping, and cooking. Meditate to find your center and remain mindful in the midsts of the extra pressure you may feel.

Remember the reason behind this time of year– the holiday season means something a little different to everyone.  So remember what it means to you. Connect with that heartfelt space and take some deep breaths when you feel anxious.

Reach out for help – If the stress of this time of year seems overwhelming or loneliness is breaking your heart, talk to someone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-8255. If you are missing a loved one, find a support group or person who can hold the space for you and just let you talk. Support groups, AA or other similar programs are a couple of places you can go to find support when it all seems too much. Remember you are loved, even when you don’t feel like it and you are not alone, even when it feels like you are.

Have fun! Find the joy in this time of year. There is a lot of it to be had. Live in the moment and enjoy seeing loved ones you don’t always get to connect with. Notice the good cheer in the air, all the extra seasonal events and the generosity that seems to flow through humanity. Look for the good and you shall surely find it.

Wishing you a most happy and loved filled holiday season. Take a deep breath and enjoy all that this time of year has to offer you!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May your holiday season be joyous and filled with love, as if by magic.

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Introvert vs Extravert; How to Find a Healthy Balance

How do you get your energy? What do you do when your batteries are down and need to be recharged? When your Life has been stressful and you just need some down time, what do you plan? Would it surprise you to know that how you answer these questions will vary depending on your “extravert” verses “introvert” tendencies?

I am an introvert and I know this about myself, that when my batteries need to be recharged, I need time alone. How very “peopley” the world is makes me tired. The idea of going to a crowded place seems exhausting to me. (This is probably made worse by the fact that I am also an Empath, but that is for another blog). My husband, on the other hand, is an extravert. He needs people and social time to get him charged up. Getting together with friends, always sounds like a good idea to him. He is a happy, “the more the merrier” type of guy. He has never met a stranger and authentically loves people.

Because of this I sometimes think introverts get a bad rap. People imagine introverts to be socially awkward, shy, and not very friendly. This is simply not true. Those attributes can belong to introverts or extraverts. Whether you are an introvert or an extravert really has more to do with where we get our energy from. I am a very social person. I enjoy public speaking and have lots of friends. I enjoy doing things with my friends and lead a monthly discussion group/class. However, when I get tired, more time with others will only cause me to feel more worn out. It takes a lot of effort for me when I am being social. It doesn’t mean I don’t need these social event or don’t have fun when I am at them. The opposite is true; I do need and want them. But it’s all about the balance.

If you have friends and family that are the opposite of you, it is always important to respect and understand their needs. If being at the mall around lots of people feeds you and makes you feel energized, understand and respect that for your buddy, it may be different. Just as I have to remember that my husband’s needs are different than mine. I work to help ensure that, in our time together, we strike a healthy balance between being social and spending quiet time alone. I have to remember that my need for quiet time should not stifle his need for social time and visa versa. We both need to be fed energetically just in different ways. So listen to what your friends and loved ones have to say about what and how they need to recharge their batteries.

So the next time you feel like you want to plan a way to reward yourself for a busy week, think if that is a night-in binge watching your favorite show or a night out at the local pub celebrating with a large group of people. Think about your friends and family members and how they seem to recharge. Finally, in your personal relationship, try an strike a healthy balance so that you both are getting what you need.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of finding the perfect ways to recharge, as if by magic.

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Summertime

Summertime in MN is an amazing time. We suffer through the cold winters of ice and snow and when summer comes, it feels like the whole world comes alive. The days are longer and it just seems like there is more time to enjoy the day. There are those who love the Minnesota winter and I must admit that the snow, when it falls soft and fluffy, is beautiful. The peaceful white snow covers the world like a serene blanket. For me though, Summertime is supreme.

I had lived in FL for 10 years and it felt like summer all year long. At the holidays I would plant poinsettias and red and white petunias in the flower beds. Sure, there were times of year that were less hot, but there was no snow or bitter cold. When I moved to Minnesota from Florida, I rediscovered the beauty of all seasons.

In the Autumn, I love the change of colors of the leaves. I love going hiking and feeling the crunch under my feet and the smell of autumn in the air, which I can not adequately described. It is the time of year when the crops are harvested. All the fruits of our labor are fresh and available.  Ripe for the picking.

The Spring slowly awakens after the long slumber of Winter. She stretches herself toward the rising sun and the days get longer. Splashes of color begin to make the world bright again. The promise of warmer days provides hopefulness.

I love them all and always look forward the the newness of the change. None of them can make my soul sing like the summer though. The sparkle of the sun on the lake water. The bright green of the grass. The peacefulness of kayaking down a quiet waterway.  Camping in the forest and sitting around a crackling fire in the evening. All of these things are part of the experience of Summer that I love so much.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May you find things in all season of the year and a season of life to love.

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Go Beyond Your Fears

Alligators, snakes, and turtles, oh my! I love to kayak! This is a love I share with my Adventure Sister, Emy, as well as with my husband. It is an activity that is infectious and when I share it with others, I soon hear they are shopping for a kayak themselves. It is a lovely way to experience nature by gliding smoothly through the water. I feel as one with the kayak and close to the nature all around me when out paddling. Now that I am spending more time in Florida, I want to be able to practice this peaceful activity all year round. After all, kayaking season in Minnesota is a bit short. 

One day, as my husband and I were traveling the backroads in Florida, I was looking longingly at all the little streams and rivers that were just waiting for us to kayak through them. I looked at the grassy banks and thought, I wonder if the Alligators bother the kayakers. Hmmm, I had not considered that this prehistoric looking critter might pose a treat. I calmly did , what I do when I have a question like that, I pulled out my trusty phone and researched it. It turns out that if you don’t bother them while kayaking, they wont bother you. What a relief! 

So what else might pose a threat? Well, another possible problem with kayaking in Florida is the snakes. There are 4 poisons snakes here and unlike Minnesota snakes, they don’t stay on the ground. They get up into the trees. I have heard stories of them dropping out of the trees into boats. Ick! Although I am sure they fall out of the trees at times, perhaps due to a strong wind, I am guessing they do not intend to fall into boats. It really seems like it would be a bad plan on their part. I wonder if these stories are more for the “thill” factor of watching the listener’s eyes widen than anything. 

So my husband and I purchased a second hand tandem kayak. We tested it by paddling down a stream with overhanging trees. It was a lovely paddle. Everything was so green and there were beautiful purple flowers along the shoreline. We did see some reptiles on our paddle in this lovely place but it was just was a big turtle and a baby turtle, sunning on log. 

So often in life we hear stories or thoughts occur to us of all the: “what if’s”.  What if the snakes would have been raining from the trees? What if they gators were hungry and aggressive? I read in a book once, many years ago, “Why walk, we might fall?”. We can stop ourselves from doing anything if we let our fears become larger than our dreams. If you truly want to live the life of your dreams, you must boldly push beyond your fears. I am not saying be careless, but do some research. Check the facts. Have a plan to counteract the “what if’s”. And then go fo it! After all, the only reptile on your battle may be turtles! 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. I wish you the life of your dreams, today and everyday. 

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I Am Proud of You!

I am Proud of you! Do you hear me? Yes, I’m talking to you! I am proud of all you have accomplished. Just think where you were at a few years ago. Now look at you! Look how far you have come. It may seem like baby steps to you, but every one of those steps forward is a step in the right direction. Even f you take 2 steps forward and 1 step back, that is still one step forward. It doesn’t matter if those steps have taken place in the last week or the last 20 years. The speed of your forward progress is up to you. It is not a race to the end. 

  • Think about the things you once struggled with but now you can cope with well. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about how you have matured in your response to those you do not agree with. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about all the magic things you have manifested in your life, even if they were small. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about how you have matured in your opinions. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the new ways you have found to take care of yourself, so that you will have the stamina to better help others. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have stood up for the underdog. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have brought improved order and peace into your life. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the meditation and/or exercise practices you have started and started again and maybe will start again. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have helped your community. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the smiles you have shared with strangers to brighten their days. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have shown your body, you love it, as is. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the times you have said what you meant with love. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the times you have excelled with determination. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the things you have done, that you once said you would or could never do. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the new adventures you have gone on and will go on next. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have heard Spirit talk to you and the ways in which you have answered. I am proud of you. 
  • Think of the all the times you have pushed on, even though you have felt very stressed or overwhelmed to do so at times. I am proud of you. 
  • Think of the ways you have supported your friends and family. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the healthy boundaries you have set, even if you have to reset them from time to time. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about how you have inspired someone else. Even if in a small way. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the things you have learned about yourself. I am proud of you. 
  • Think of the ways you have shown, expressed, and felt gratitude. I am proud of you. 
  • Think about the ways you have given and received love. I am proud of you.

You are doing great! Yes you are. There are always ways to continue to grow and  improve yourself. Just by you are reading this, you are making forward progress. You are walking your path to being your best version of you. Look back over the decisions you have made. See how you have progressed over the years, months, weeks, days. There is progress there to celebrate. You are moving toward living the life of your dreams and I am so very proud of you. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I wish you a lifetime of success and many things to be proud of yourself for. I love you and I am proud of you! Blessings! 

4 Unique Stays

My husband and I recently traveled to Seattle. Instead of the usual hotel stay we decided to try Airbnb. For anyone who hasn’t heard of this, it is when people like you and me rent out our homes, campers, boats, yurts or other interesting spaces. It’s like the Uber of hotel rooms. As we looked over our options for a place to stay, we ran across many unique and wonderfully quirky spaces. An idea was born. Not only would our trip to Seattle be an adventure but also where we lay our heads down at night. 

So I set off perusing the Airbnb app, looking for the anything but ordinary places to stay. We decided to move around where we stayed, not only to make it convenient to the days activities, but also try as many cool spaces as we possible could! 

We had four very different experiences while we explored the Seattle, Washington area. 

The Beacon Hill Airstream:

Our first two nights were in this beautifully refurbished Airstream camper. 30715905_10216350833787397_3367843483548123136_nThe Airstream was located in a backyard that was masterfully landscaped. IMG_7360A hot tub made it seem like a very extravagant stay.IMG_7446 The beautiful deck that surrounded the Airstream would be a lovely place to hang out on a sunny, lazy afternoon, (our two days there were quite drizzly). The very thoughtful host also welcomes you to eat any ripe items in the garden. IMG_7367Included was a guest book on the kitchen table that showed the remarkable transformation of the Airstream from start to end.IMG_7362 The kitchen was well equipped and made this much more than a mere camping experience. String lights gave a festive feel to the yard and deck that surrounded the Airstream. 

The Private Redmond Cottage in the Woods:

IMG_7602This cute little A-frame cabin was located at the edge of the tall woods on a beautifully maintained price of property. The main floor made a comfortable living space with a efficient makeshift kitchen (provided breakfast) and relaxing couch. Games and books were provided, to make for a relaxing rustic vacation. I wrote a blog sitting at the kitchen table with a beautiful view of the forest behind. IMG_7626I thought what a great writers getaway this would be.IMG_7609 The bed was located up a ladder into the loft with tIMG_7616he forest right outside your window, at the head of the bed. We slept soundly and well with the cool breeze coming through the open window and the sound of rain on the forest floor. At this cute little hide away the bathroom was outside in the old garage. The bathroom was modern with a heated floor, so running over to the garage to use it, was not a hardship. The garage was my Marty’s favorite part of the stay. He loved all the old antiques they had stacked everywhere inside. I loved that they had fresh flowers.
IMG_7606 There were hiking trails in the woods, that we did not get to take advantage of due to time, that I would love to go back and explore sometime in the future. IMG_7608

The Devils Mountain Yurt: 

I had never stayed in a yurt before so I was very excited about this stay. IMG_8044I must say this Yurt was so beautifully decorated it easy tops the list of most romantic stays! IMG_8027Battery operated candles circled the inside of the space and to make beauty convenient, they were operated by remote control (just aim at to turn on or off).IMG_8034 On this stop we were treated with homemade banana bread and a basket of goodies. There were two chairs to relax in. Lovely touches everywhere made it very comfortable. A throw blanket, shawl, and a bathrobe were provided to enhance our comfort. There was an outhouse style bathroom updated with a hot water running shower and a composting toilet. String lights lite the way the few steps from the yurt to the bathroom. There was a skylight in the top of the yurt and on a clear night I imagine the stars and moon would be visible through it. The weather was cool, during our time there, but a heater in the yurt kept us warm and comfortable. IMG_8028There was a small fridge and a camp stove to provide a functioning place to prepare meals. A large basket was proved to put dirty dishes in. This was then left at the side of the main house so that you didn’t even have to wash your own dishes! IMG_8040
There was also a lovely outdoor space with chairs and a hammock for lounging away the afternoon. Not to mention a small babbling brook close by. IMG_8037Unfortunately, it rained on our stay, so we could not take full advantage of the resting space, nor could we enjoy a warm fire in the fire pit provided by our hosts. This was such a dreamy stay. 

The Seattle Adventurer’s Bungalow:

This space was so beautifully decorated and well thought out. It was such a fun space for our final night on the trip even though the bungalow contained only a bathroom and  sleeping room. There was a refrigerator, hot pot, and coffeemaker in the space and a trip across the backyard would lead you to the kitchen, in the main house, for any cooking needs you may have. IMG_8070There was a large door on the side of the bungalow that could be slid open to open into the outdoor living space. Reclaimed wood was used on the accent walls and stained various shades to create a beautiful look. 30703994_10216372155040415_5089529043099844608_nOld license plates covered the door to the bathroom and gave a fun explorer feel. 30741170_10216372142200094_3194382003709411328_nThe light fixtures were unique with combined pulleys and Edison bulbs to give the room a warm and cozy feel. 30739467_10216372129879786_4623854807533223936_nThe outdoor living space consisted of a covered patio which became an open air living room with an overhead heater and and string lights. I could picture myself cuddled up on the sofa, sitting there, reading a book. 30729395_10216372155280421_3908979246533443584_nThere were extra blankets and a fan provided to make for a very comfortable stay. We opened the window and let the spring air refresh us while we slept. It was such a beautifully thought out space with cute touches we really enjoyed our last night of our trip there. 

All of the neighborhoods the Airbnb were in, felt safe. All of our hosts were thoughtful, kind and welcoming. We will totally travel with Airbnb in the future. I know now that there are other funky fun finds out there that will feed our free spirited travel style. My hippy, gypsy soul loved this trip. 

Thank you for reading my blog. Journey on my friends. I wish you a lifetime of fun and adventure. 

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