Greening: Goal Number Five

Right, so I have been thinking about my impact on the Earth and the environment. I know that there is more that I can be doing to better my little part of the world. I also know that there are things that I can be doing to live a healthier life.

I have already switched to almost all non toxic cleaning products. The only thing left is a switch in dish detergent.

In an effort to be less wasteful, I will be giving away/donating or selling everything that I find to get rid of while I am decluttering my home. I will also be trying to purchase items with the least amount of packaging.

Now…what to do about all of the plastic stuff used in the kitchen, that won’t break the bank. Any ideas? Please let us know in the comments section.

Shannon

Other Articles of Interest:

New Years Day

Goals for the New Year

Weight Loss and Nutrition: Goal Number Two

Mental and Emotional Health: Goal Number One

Weight Loss and Nutrition: Goal Number Two

Writing (or any number of other activities that could lead to possible income): Goal Number Three

Simplify and Declutter: Goal Number Four

Gardening: Goal Number Six

Spiritual: Goal Number Seven

Rethinking the Holidays: Goal Number Eight

Helping Others: Goal Number Nine


Simplify and Declutter: Goal Number Four

I need to declutter my home and simplify my life. , goalI always have so much to do that I cannot even think straight. It is no wonder that I am so stressed out all of the time.

So, my main goal here is to go through every room in my home (except my daughter Zowie’s) and declutter. I plan to be ruthless. That is the plan. I will let you know how this works out for me.

You see…I am a pack rat, and a sentimental person. I hold on to things because they once held meaning for me, or because I may use them…someday. I have to take stock of what is important, and work through each room, one at a time. Baby steps.

I also have to organize my life in general. I have umpteen projects in the works, and things never really seem to get done. So, this year, I plan to finish up old projects before beginning new ones.

Organized Home

The Simple Living Network

Share your tips or other helpful resources in the comments section.

Shannon

Other Articles of Interest:

New Years Day

Goals for the New Year

Weight Loss and Nutrition: Goal Number Two

Mental and Emotional Health: Goal Number One

Weight Loss and Nutrition: Goal Number Two

Writing (or any number of other activities that could lead to possible income): Goal Number Three

Greening: Goal Number Five

Gardening: Goal Number Six

Spiritual: Goal Number Seven

Rethinking the Holidays: Goal Number Eight

Helping Others: Goal Number Nine


Writing (or any number of other activities that could lead to possible income): Goal Number Three

So, my third goal deals with me finishing up some writing projects, editing them, and then attempting to sell them. This could be reflective of any hobby: Scrapbooking, decorating, organizing, crafting…Is there anything that you consider a very productive and enjoyable hobby?

Yes? Could you be making money from it?

This venture could be a side business, purely for a little extra cash. Or, it could turn into something full-time, depending on the need for what you offer.

Moral: If there is something you have always wanted to try to make a business out of, go for it! Give it a try.

Shannon

P.S. What hobby do you have that you would like to turn into a business? Let us know in the comments section. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

New Years Day

Goals for the New Year

Weight Loss and Nutrition: Goal Number Two

Mental and Emotional Health: Goal Number One

Simplify and Declutter: Goal Number Four

Greening: Goal Number Five

Gardening: Goal Number Six

Spiritual: Goal Number Seven

Rethinking the Holidays: Goal Number Eight

Helping Others: Goal Number Nine


Weight loss and Nutrition: Goal Number Two

So, my second goal this year deals with weight loss and nutrition. This is also related to my mental and emotional health. It feels good to lose weight. People I barely know, and some I have never met but who see me walking all of the time, comment on my weight loss. Now, I weigh 228 pounds, but I weighed 279 when I began my weight loss journey. That is a significant amount of weight loss. It feels good when people complement me regarding the weight loss.

Now, I am not going to set an actual weight goal. This would not be wise. If I say that I will lose 50 pounds, or even 1 pound a week, I am setting myself up for failure. These types of goals do not take into consideration the muscle that you are building while losing weight, or even that muscle weighs more than fat. I do want some muscle tone, but not a lot. Just….enough. So, my goal is to simply lose weight.

To build muscle tone, I do a little with hand weights and ankle weights. I have other things that I do as well. I am not worried about my ability to do this.

To eat better, I will watch my serving sizes, watch the carbs and drink more water. I eat little meat, in general, and drink soy milk. I also like fruits and vegetables. However, the only cooked vegetables that I eat are really starches. The rest I eat raw. I am also going to try to avoid artificial sweeteners, as these are not really healthy.

I will be creating a fitness plan for myself, loosely, which will include dance, yoga/pilates/weights and walking.

Here are some links that may be helpful to you:

SparkPeople.com: I am a member here, and it has helped me a lot.

 

SparkPeople.com

Join the Web’s Only Nutrition & Fitness Program Just For Teens! Diet

WebMD: Healthy Eating and Diet Center

 

Wishing you all well on your weight loss journeys.

Shannon

P.S. Would you like to discuss your weight loss and nutrition goals? Feel free to start by posting a comment. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

New Years Day

Goals for the New Year

Mental and Emotional Health: Goal Number One

Writing (or any number of other activities that could lead to possible income): Goal Number Three

Simplify and Declutter: Goal Number Four

Greening: Goal Number Five

Gardening: Goal Number Six

Spiritual: Goal Number Seven

Rethinking the Holidays: Goal Number Eight

Helping Others: Goal Number Nine


Mental and Emotional Health: Goal Number One

As per my first goal for 2009.

I have not been doing well for some time, and recently began a course of medication for depression. I am under a doctors care, and am really working toward getting myself into a better place both emotionally and mentally. I know that this is an issue for me, and that is why I made my first goal of the new year one that deals with this aspect of my life.

How many more of you are having problems? I wonder at whether this is predominant or not. Are their a significant number of other single mothers out there with the same issues?

Today, I would like to offer up some links that may be of help, just in case there are others out there who are having problems as I am.

Single Mothers at Greater Risk for Depression

Depression.com

National Institute of Mental Health

WebMD

 

Shannon

P.S. Do you have any resources that you would like to share? If so, please post them in the comments section. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

New Years Day

Goals for the New Year

Weight Loss and Nutrition: Goal Number Two

Writing (or any number of other activities that could lead to possible income): Goal Number Three

Simplify and Declutter: Goal Number Four

Greening: Goal Number Five

Gardening: Goal Number Six

Spiritual: Goal Number Seven

Rethinking the Holidays: Goal Number Eight

Helping Others: Goal Number Nine


Daily Life for this Single Mom

Some of you may be wondering exactly what it is that I do all day. Do I sit around blogging all day? Watching soap operas? Reading?

No. I am pretty busy.

Here is a general list of what my daily activities look like:

Cooking: Yes, I bake my own bread, cook meals (even breakfast at times) and make a lot of things from scratch. This saves me money that I can use elsewhere.

Cleaning: Yuck! But, yes. Each day I do dishes, laundry, clean the bathroom, make my bed and various other things to keep my household going.

Homeschool my daughter: Yeah, well, I make lesson plans and do all of that stuff, but she is 16 and is mostly learning independently. She is a smart cookie.

Work: Yep. Right now, I babysit. I also homeschool my nephew while he is here. He is 11, so it takes a lot more of my time to homeschool him than it takes me to homeschool my daughter. I also keep this blog, which pays a bill each month.

Blog: Very important, and how I got the job of keeping this blog for you.

Exercise: Walking and other activities that are helping me to lose weight.

Volunteer: I help other low-income and homeschool families.

I have other interests as well. I read, scrapbook, write, walk, planning this years garden, budgeting, sewing curtains….

I am busy.

Why this post? Why would anyone care what I do? Maybe they don’t. There are, however, misconceptions that stay/work-at-home mothers may be a bit lazy. I hope that I have dispelled this myth successfully.

 

Shannon

P.S. Feel free to share your day with us in the comments below.

Other Articles of Interest:

A Few Resources for the Single Mother

The Life of A Single Mother: Busy, Busy, Busy


Goals for the New Year

Mental and Emotional Health:

I am obviously not doing well with this one right now.

I will be sure to take the time to do for myself.

I will work through my depression issues, and continue to see Nicole at the doctors office to be sure that the medication is working properly.

I will be who I am; be true to myself. My beliefs matter, and I cannot be happy if my only goal is to make everyone else happy. I have to be true to my own beliefs.

Weightloss/Nutrition:

I did not do too bad over the last year losing weight. I get many good comments from people who can see the results, even people whom I do not know but whom see me walking all the time. Much good praise comes my way from these people. I could have done better, but I am satisfied.

I will continue to lose weight.

I will build some muscle tone.

I will eat better: Watch serving sizes, less carbs, more water.

I will create a fitness program for myself for this winter.

I will try to avoid artificial sweeteners. I have taken time to research these things more deeply, and I do not like what I am seeing. Natural is best.

Simplify and Declutter:

I am such a pack rat. I may need help with this one. I have to decide what is important and what is not. Only keep what I know is needed.

I will simplify my life, even if it means a dreaded schedule! Too much going on…

I will go through each room (except Zowie’s) and declutter.

Writing:

I love to write, but never have enough time to do so. While simplifying my life, it is my intention to make time every week to write. Not just blog, but write stories.

To continue with the Single Mother blog.

To finish my book of short stories.

Finish stories.

Edit and retype where necessary.

Final edit and retype.

To try to sell some of my other short stories.

To try to sell some articles.

Finish outlines for other books that I am planning.

Greening Goals:

Use less plastic and replace some of the plastic items that we have.

Create less waste.

Purchase fewer products with plastic packaging.

Gardening:

Grow more of our own food organically.

Do more composting.

Start seeds early (outside) and cover for an extended growing season.

Learn succession planting.

Heirloom and Open Pollinated seeds, organic. I am begiining the switch-over from genetically modified seeds/foods to real, nutritious foods.

Spiritual:

Choose and area of study for the year.

Meditation.

Others:

Rethink what the holidays mean to me. Certainly not commercialism, materialism. I want to get away from all of that stuff, without feeling guilty about making purchases. Making things for people and creating less waste will be my goals.

Continue to help homeschooling and low-income families.

 

***

Have you thought about your goals for the New Year? Feel free to post them in the comments below if you would like.

Shannon

New Years Day

Mental and Emotional Health: Goal Number One

Weight Loss and Nutrition: Goal Number Two

Writing (or any number of other activities that could lead to possible income): Goal Number Three

Simplify and Declutter: Goal Number Four

Greening: Goal Number Five

Gardening: Goal Number Six

Spiritual: Goal Number Seven

Rethinking the Holidays: Goal Number Eight

Helping Others: Goal Number Nine

 

 


Creating the Perfect Baby Room on the Cheap

Okay, so your little one is just about ready to leave your room and move into his/her own. Is the bedroom ready yet? Do you know how you want to decorate it? Have you even thought about this yet?

Children have a tendency to grow out of themes frequently while young. So I am going to offer up an idea for decorating a baby girls room that will last her, hopefully, through the elementary years. The only additions to the room that you should have to buy later on will be a big girls bed and its linens, and possibly a desk and chair.

First, I would suggest a floor (possibly tiles) over a carpet. It will last longer, and you can accessories with throw rugs and/runner that can be thrown into the washing machine. This will save you money in the long run, not to mention a whole lot of time. I like the wood look, lighter shades, because it will go with about any color theme.

Then you will want to choose a color theme. For a girl, I would go with pink or purple, or a combination of the two, but I would also like to see some blues in the theme.

I would invest in a decent paint, and primer if necessary. You will want to choose a color, white is good, but you may also want to use a combination of colors to go with the color theme that you choose.

Once the room is painted, you will want to hang curtain rods (a basic white is good) and curtains to match your theme color. These can usually be found at thrift stores, as can bedding, which you will also need. The good thing about mixing colors is that you will more easily (and cheaply) be able to find what you are looking for free or cheap. Of course, fabric clearance sales are also a great option for those who can sew.

Now, the furniture necessary in the room will be a rocking chair or glider, the crib, a dresser and a book shelf to last through the years, and a table and chairs. These would be painted to go along with or match your theme. Found at yardsales and thrift shops, these may only cost you a few dollars each. For a girls room, I would consider some hanging shelves as well. Girls have a tendency to collect treasures throughout the year that are best kept out of reach, but within eyesight.

Some totes for organizing toys can fit under the crib.

Shannon


Important Things to Consider when You are Expecting

When you are expecting a baby, you are living off the excitement of that situation. It can seem like you are on a natural high sometimes, though it can also leave you with other feelings as well.

A lot of mothers-to-be have a hard time coping with their emotions. They wonder if they are doing everything right. If they will make good mothers. If they will feel a natural bond with their newborn.

There is a lot to consider during the period of time in which you are expecting your baby, and this article is not meant to cover them all. How could it? I am not you. You will consider different things than I would.

I am going to discuss a few subjects that I feel are important for a mother-to-be to think about. Especially a single mother-to-be. Afterall, you may be in this situation on your own. That would mean that you may not have anyone to help you to consider everything. The subjects are as follows:

  • Breast feeding: I gave birth to two daughters. The first one I did not breast feed, the second I breast fed for about six weeks. My first daughter had a lot more health problems early on than my second. Breast feeding really does help a child health-wise. It also saves huge amounts of money.
  • Cloth diapers: This will also save huge amounts of money, as well as our environment. It takes an incredibly huge amount of time for diapers to breakdown in the landfills. This is not good for our wonderful Earth. You may also find that your child has less diaper rashes. Many brands of diapers used to irritate my first daughter.
  • Reusable baby-wipes: A really good use for those baby washcloths. This will also save you a lot of money.
  • Hand-me-downs: Great invention, as are yard-sales, clearance sales and thrift shops. Check them out. This could literally save you thousands of dollars.
  • Education: Yes, you should begin to think about this now. Think about and thoroughly research all of your options from daycare on: Montessori school, classical education, public, private, charter, online, homeschool, unschool…
  • Character/morals: Live how you want your children to live. Decide what character traits and moral and ethical issues are important to you, and learn how to teach them.
  • Holidays: Ask yourself this – What is the most important part of all of the different holidays? Is it family? Then maybe you want to stop the influx of material possessions coming into your home at this time. Say that you want your child to have one toy at Christmas, and one at her birthday, which you will choose to buy. Have others buy clothes, but only if needed. You can always choose to ask give them a size bigger to get. Maybe a book. Maybe a game. Maybe a gift of time. Or maybe a savings bond.

Shannon


Single Mothers and Depression

I have been having it pretty rough since summer but, especially over the last month or two, I have noticed a change in me. One that I am not happy with. It seems to me that I am in a full blown depression.

Now, I have always had bouts of depression. I can usually pick myself up and deal with them. However, this time I just can’t seem to do it. I just can’t seem to dig myself out of that hole. And, it is interfering with my every day life. This is not good.

I had a doctor appointment yesterday and spoke with Nicole about my concerns. I decided that I would go the medication route, at least for a while. She gave me a prescription for an anti depressant, and wants me to see her again in six weeks.

That led me to wonder: How many other single mothers are having issues with depression? When it gets so bad that you can’t lift yourself up anymore, what do you do? Are there natural remedies that work? If you have any answers to these questions, or tips in general, or even your own stories, please post them in the comments section below.

Maybe you don’t even know that you are severely depressed. I have certain symptoms that I cannot shake for the life of me:

  • Severe stress
  • Wanting to cry, always
  • Feeling blue in general
  • Testiness
  • Easily annoy-able/agitated
  • No patience

If you have these symptoms on a regular basis, you may want to talk to your doctor about your options. Our children deserve parents who are basically happy and who are not constantly biting their heads off (sort-a-speak).

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Shannon

Other Articles of Interest:

Single Mothers and Depression Part 2: Two Weeks After Beginning Medication

Single Mothers and Depression Part 3: Happiness and Creativity

Single Mothers and Depression Part 4: Feeling Chipper Today

Single Mothers and Depression Part 5: Some People will Still Bring You Down

Single Mothers and Depression Part 6: Keeping Busy, Keeping Happy

Single Mothers and Depression Part 7: The Six Week Checkup


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