Monday, September 9, 2013

The 5-Minute Fix

We have been on a major unintentional sabbatical. But life throws you curves and you just have to go with them sometimes. I am super excited though, because I have been jotting down topics I want to share, and I have some goodies. So, I am excited to unveil some great topics in the near future, stuff that interests me anyway (and if it interests me, there has to be someone out there that wants to read about it, right?).


Today's topic is gratitude. Such an important topic. I think it is so important to develop an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude can make unpleasant situations bearable, it can change your perspective, it can help you to have hope, it can make you more charitable, it can help you to handle stressful situations, it can help you to be more focused on what really matters, it can help you achieve your goals... I could go on and on, it can really help fix so many of life's little issues. 

Funny enough, this topic came to me by surprise. A surprise e-mail in my inbox from Dr. Sara Gottfried. For those of you that don't already know who she is, she is a Harvard trained MD and New York Times Best-Selling Author of The Hormone Cure. She is coming to an event that I am helping put together for work, The Waldorf Wellness Weekend, so I am on her e-mail list. 

[Side note... I just LOVE when two things collide in your world, and you start to see connections to things in totally unrelated parts of your life come together. Kismet.]

Continuing on... so I got this e-mail from her. This is a clip of what it said:

Today, I want to start by sharing a practice that didn't fit in my book (because my editors kept me on a strict page limit). It's a powerful way to turn the corner on feelings of stress and overwhelm - and start feeling happier and more positive - in 5 minutes or less.

It's called What Went Well.

This simple exercise only takes 5 minutes - and when practiced for just one week, it has been shown to improve happiness up to 6 months later!

My friend Jo Ilfeld, PhD. shared it with me because there's a ton of research behind it. And since we're both working moms, we really appreciate how fast and efficient it is.

She calls it a 'happiness intervention,' and it has its roots in Martin Seligman's work, who is the father of Positive Psychology.

Here's what you do:

1. At the end of today, sit down with your journal, iPhone or any piece of paper. Write down 3 things that went well during your day and why. You might write that you had a nice visit with a girlfriend, or that you had fun singing the latest song with your child.

2. Repeat this every night for one week.

That's it. Simple, right? But the data from Professor Seligman show that when you do this for one week, it raises your happiness levels. And that happiness stays with you -- people in his study were still happier 6 months later!

So... what went well today?  

So, why did I love that I got this e-mail? First, of all because I believe that it works. I believe in the power that gratitude has to change our lives and our perspectives for the better. But I also loved it because I happen to do this already and not only do I do it, but I have a specific gratitude journal that instructs me to do this very thing; write down 3 things that went well or I am grateful for. Do I do it every single day? No, I most certainly get busy and forget a day here or there. But when I do it consistently I notice there is an improvement in my outlook on the day and in life in general and I notice I handle things better as a result. 

I also thought it was interesting that both the e-mail and my journal each mention writing down 3 specific things. It interests me that they both mentioned the number 3 specifically. I'm sure there is some scientific explanation as to why 3 is the magic number in this scenario, but for me it is the perfect number because it stretches you to find multiple good things within a day but is not so vast that you can make a laundry list of every little thing. Three things and you want to make sure to get a good variety listed without too much repetition (although my family is almost always involved in my gratitude journal is some way). 

I hope you are doing something similar to help you keep your perspective positive and focused on things that really matter. If not, now is the perfect time to start! I'm even going to share with you a little treat to make gratitude journalism even more rewarding... FREE journal cards from Miss Tiina. Miss Tiina is without a doubt a favorite of mine in the design realm and these journal cards are no exception! You will fall in love instantly as I have! Plus, a free printable quote fav from me. Enjoy and have fun implementing this 5-minute fix!

Have a 5-minute fix of your own to help you stay focused and positive? Please share!  



Monday, May 13, 2013

Book of the Month: Safe Haven

I must preface this post by saying, it has been sitting in post vacation* for quite a few months... like maybe five (but who's counting). So, if you are thinking this seems odd, because the movie just came out on DVD, then that's why. Better late than never... that's what I say. :)

One of my goals this year is to get in one new book each month. You might be thinking, geez don't go crazy now with those lofty goals (hint of sarcasm). BUT, it is seriously a challenge to find uninterrupted free time where I can kick my feet up and do something just for me. Even showering (which I consider a basic right and quite mandatory) has to happen these days at night once the kiddos are in bed or super early before they wake up. So, the luxury of reading time is quite rare and something to strive for these days.

Well, the other day I saw a preview for the movie Safe Haven, starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel. I am a Nicholas Sparks fan anyway, but I got super excited and decided I would make that book my January read. I read it quite quickly because it was suspenseful and entertaining and kept moving at a good pace. It was also very fascinating to get the perspective and thoughts of someone who is abusive and of someone who is being abused. Creepy fascinating, but still very interesting. 

For those that have neither read the book or seen the movie (although both were basically the same, there were many small details that were different) the book is about a girl who is in a physically abusive marriage and finds a way to es-ca-p-e (pronounced like in Nemo) and tries to start over somewhere new while being haunted by her past life. I won't say much more than that, but of course it is a love story and the best part is the twist ending. I L.O.V.E.D. the twist. 

Did you read the book? See the movie? Did you enjoy the twist as much as I did?


*Post Vacation = where blog posts go to get some rest and relaxation before they make an appearance. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Try Something Thursday

I based last week's menu off of recipes I found on Pinterest, and I just had to share our favorite recipe of the week! Our favorite recipe came from:

Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad

This recipe was fresh, healthy and oh so yummy. I couldn't stop eating it! This is the perfect recipe for something light and refreshing and the best part is that it makes a ton, so you can serve a large family or have plenty of leftovers for the next day!
Thanks greens and chocolate, you hit it out of the park! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Valentine's Day Favorites

Valentine's Day (or Single Awareness Day) is right around the corner and it will be here before you know it. Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays (I love anything to do with hearts and romance). I am excited to see Safe Haven (by Nicholas Sparks and Starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel in theatres on V-Day) and will be reviewing the book in a post this week.

I am a huge Nicholas Sparks fan and was so excited to find out that I would have an excuse like V-Day to use to convince my hubby to take me to see it. (He loves chick-flicks too, but he probably wouldn't easily admit to it.)

I put together a treasury last year with some of my favorite Valentine Day inspired items and loved it soooooo much, I just had to re-share.  

'Heart on My Sleeve' by LizzyandJanes

A collection of just a few of my favorite 'heart' inspired items.

nesting heart bowls in ...
Earring Studs - Mint gr...
Heart stacking rings se...
Wedding Gift, Personali...
Free shipping. Love Str...
Un-break my Heart Hand ...
Carved Heart Tree Perso...
Glitter Heart Cake Pick...
Love art print poster -...
wooden hearts shabby ch...
Metal Art Geek Heart Em...
Heart Rainbow Cloud Mob...
Plantable Seed Paper He...
OVERSTOCK - 50% off - H...
There are so many fun ideas for Valentine's Day floating around and I've collected more than my fair share on my Pinterest board, so I will try and share some of my favorites with you next week. Speaking of... I am in love with Origami Owl living lockets.
They have tons of adorable charms that you can choose from to customize something truly unique for your loved one (hint, hint). This makes the perfect Valentine's Day gift. Thoughtful, unique and fun!
And last but not least, I just have to share with you two great giveaways going on, on some of my fav blogs. (Yes, I already entered and there is nothing that says Valentine's Day more than 'sharing the love' and telling you about something I would want to know about if the roles were reversed.)
The first is from Pick Your Plum:
The second is from U Create and Fancy Pants Designs:
What are you looking forward to most for Valentine's Day?
Happy Wednesday!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Can you ever just be whelmed?

I am excited to introduce you to my new bundle of joy. He shocked the socks off of us and came about a month early (I was due on Christmas day.) I had plans to get everything done for the holidays in advance and somehow I was still unprepared.

If you read about my Christmas Activity Advent, I customized it to work around us having the baby and then he came early and threw it off anyway, so we went with the flow and had fun anyway.

We wrote letters to Santa and took them to Macy's (they donated $1 for every letter recieved to Make-a-Wish.)
We decorated a gingerbread man.
We made cookies, went to see Santa (no pics, because it was a traumatic experience), drove around to see Christmas lights, read Christmas stories, opened a special Christmas ornament, and lots more. Christmas must have been a hit, because when I ask my almost 2 year old what kind of birthday party she wants, she says she wants a Christmas party with Santa bringing presents.
We made it through the holidays and as I've been recovering (worst recovery to date, not for the faint of heart) I have also been working on getting our house packed up for our big move into our new home (21 days... but who's counting). And if anyone has every packed with a toddler in the house it goes something like this... you pack two items into a box, your toddler takes one item out AND scatters the items throughout the house so you are more disorganized than when you started. Needless to say, the process is patience-inducing and taking a lot longer than originally anticipated. It's just a good thing that I am a super organized mover. In fact, next week I will be sharing some of my tips and tricks for creating an orgnaized move.
Between the two kiddos, interrupted sleep, packing for the move, keeping up our Etsy shop, taking care of my church responsibilities and handling my typical stay-at-home mom tasks such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, bills, etc it can be a little overwhelming. It also takes some time to settle into new routines. For example, me showering has moved to nights after the kids are in bed.
So, as we get our routines established and join the outside world again, slowly but surely I will be getting back to a regular routine of blogging. Just when I was feeling super frustrated with everything, I was reminded by someone dear to me of why I love to do this, and that reminder was exactly what I needed to fuel me and get me excited to share all that 2013 holds in store for Lizzy & Janes.
So, thanks for hanging on with us through the good, the great and the overwhelming and happy (late, yes I know) 2013!
P.S. Shout out to those that think of the awesome movie quote from 10 Things I Hate About You when reading the title of today's post!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Free Printable: 2013 Daily Planning Page

Happy almost New Year! We have a free printable for you that we hope you love, or at the very least are inspired by. Enjoy!
I am a list girl. I love to work off of lists. I have several notebooks where I write tons of things down I need to remember (good thing too, because with a newborn and almost 2 year old, I am lucky if I remember what I had to eat for breakfast, that is, if I was lucky enough to get breakfast). Last year I created my own daily planning pages and had them printed and spiral bound.
This year, I put together a perfected version of my daily planning page and this time, I am going to put it together a quarter of the year at a time (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec). The reason I decided to do it quarterly versus yearly, is because life changes and your needs may change as far as what you keep track of at a certain time, and by doing it quarterly, you can customize it for your needs during that time frame. Plus, a whole years worth of pages is quite thick (about 2", double sided).

For Personal Use Only. Thanks. 
Last year I also inserted a weekly menu and grocery list into my planner. This year I plan on including a monthly calendar I can glance at for major events and important dates. The goal is to make it something that works well for you, keeps you organized and saves you time.
Happy planning!
Leave us some love. We'd love to hear your tips and tricks on how you stay organized or plan to stay organized in 2013!