An Uncomplicated Life Blog

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Natural Stress Relievers

Summer for moms (or any work at home/stay at home parent!) is STRESSFUL. Here are some ways I'm managing the summer chaos…

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Stressballs at Walmart. This shop has been compensated by P&G and its advertiser. The opinions and text are all mine.

It's June so that means just about all of us are in full out summer mode! Sure, the weather is nicer. There are pool days. Cookouts in the backyard. But if you're a work at home, stay at home or just employed part time, you know that summer also means your kiddos are around a whole lot more... And that means added stress, less time for your to-do list, and a much bigger grocery bill! Even if you're not one of the parents I mentioned, you still have the stress of finding additional childcare in the summer. Prior to having kids, it was the most relaxing season to enjoy, but now that I'm a mom, it's hands-down the most stressful season because there's so much more on my plate to manage. Which is exactly why I want to share some natural stress reliever ideas with you.
Stressballs is an amazing new herbal supplement available only at Walmart and They're gummies in two different formulas to help you destress day or night. Best of all, they're drug free and non-habit forming*. Stressballs Day helps you focus to keep you on track to get that to-do list checked off. If you're one of those people whose mind loves to wander and you realize you've wasted hours without really accomplishing anything, this is for you! It's energizing without any caffeine because of the naturally energizing citrus flavor. They're so yummy, I have to make sure I just have two (am I the only one who LOVES gummies? Just give me all my vitamins in gummy form, please).

Have you ever laid awake, either thinking about what happened that day, or running through your to-do list for the next day - or maybe both?! Stressballs Night helps calm your mind so that you can SLEEP. It has melatonin in it to help you relax and your body-destress. Have you ever noticed when you don't sleep well, you're even more stressed just from the lack of sleep? That's how I work, anyway. It's like a compounding effect. Stressballs Night is great because it helps me relax and sleep without any next day grogginess. Interested in giving this new product a try? Click here to learn more and to purchase Stressballs.

One of my favorite ways to de-stress is yoga. Not only does it provide a physical outlet to "work off" some stressors, savasana at the end is a wonderful five minutes to have some quiet and refocus your mind. I've found that having just a few minutes of solitude (yes, even just a few minutes!) is crucial to being happier, more focused and less stressed overall. But what about those kids, you ask? Find a yoga studio with childcare and bring them! In my city, we have access to both full service gyms that offer yoga on their class schedule as well as smaller yoga studios, both of which offer childcare at a ridiculously low cost. Run a google search for your area and give it a try! You'll be amazed at what that hour will do for your stress levels.
Another big stress reliever? A hobby! Cooking and gardening are two of my favorites. I love making and trying new recipes. Now, I do this on the weekends when I have time to make a meal, and my husband is around to both a) help me eat it and b) can watch the kids so that I can cook in peace. Weeknight meals are never very elaborate and aren't the best time for me to try something new. The key is having the time (or, more accurately, MAKING the time) for me to spend some time trying new flavors or cooking methods and having fun. Gardening is my second, and fairly new, hobby. This one is fun to involve my kids in! We all love to spend time outside, getting our hands dirty and learning about how food grows in our vegetable garden. The kids love to look for worms and bugs (which I scream and run away from... And they find that hilarious) and I love to watch our produce grow, take note of things that work and make sure I don't do the things that don't work again.
Hobbies are great because they switch up your daily tasks and to do lists, making room for fun things. Yes, you usually have to MAKE time for them. But if you bump them up on the priority list as necessary to de-stress, even 15 minutes can make a big improvement in your happiness and overall stress levels. Not sure what you like to do? Give something new a try! Get a drawing pad and some new pencils and sit outside and draw what's around you; google wine tasting classes in your area to refine your wine palette; sign up for a 5k and begin training for it. The options are endless, so try different activities until you find something that really brings you joy and you find your mind more rested after doing it.
Stress is inevitable in life, and you have to focus on managing it so that it doesn't overwhelm you. I'm a big fan of natural stress relievers. I've found that taking time to practice yoga (or even just getting five minutes in a day to just sit quietly and BE), having time to play around with my personal hobbies and taking an herbal supplement formulated to help me be my best self and live my best life (thank you Stressballs!) have all contributed to me more effectively and naturally managing my stress.
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*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Monday, June 3, 2019

The Best Yoga Fashion Finds on Amazon

Amazon carries some AMAZING yoga clothes, most for less than $20 and with free try ons and shipping!

Amazon fashion is having it's moment, and I am HERE FOR IT. In Dallas, I get free same day shipping, next day max (if it's Prime eligible). If I don't like it, I simply send it back for free. And the styles that they now carry rival any Lululemon or Carbon38 piece but have a Walmart price tag. How great is that?! Yes, you have to do a little digging to find the really cute stuff but the good news is that I've done that for you in this post. I've rounded up the best yoga (or Pilates or Barre!) fashion finds on Amazon. And the best part? Most of these are under $20, and all of them are under $30. *Affiliate links used*

Long sleeve loose back
This is perfect to wear to the studio/gym when it's spring or fall, and perfect to throw on after a sweaty class if you need to run errands to overly-air-conditioned retailers all summer. Is that a thing in other cities? Because the air conditioning here in Tejas is NUTS. It will be 108 outside and 64 degrees in Target so no matter where you are, you're miserable. But I digress! This top is adorable for nearly every season.

Back tie tanks
Open backs with a tied waist are the thing right now, and I'm a fan. It allows you to show off the cute straps of your sports bra (two linked below!) but still cover your belly. It also allows a nice draft to flow during your heated flow so you don't get as hot. You get two in this order and there are a ton of color combos. Wining so hard.
Twisted strap sports bra
Many of the cutesy sports bras don't offer much support for larger chested gals, but this one does. It has wide straps (read: this one is comfortable) and a modest front (read: it will work for larger chests) yet still has style to it.

Back mesh tank
If you love back tie tanks but want a bit more coverage, this one is it. Instead of a totally open back, this tank has a mesh insert and a "muscle tee" cut that's more modest (but still cute!) than the tank listed above.

High waist capris
Who doesn't love a good high waist?! This one is listed as "control top" which is great if you're nearly anyone, but especially if you've ever had a baby. Or you want to pair it with a trending crop top without your belly hanging out.

High waist full length
I think I prefer full length pants over capris, even in the summer - as long as I'm going to a studio and then changing. If I have to be outside, I like capris better. Either way, these have flattering seams like one of my favorite high end brands (looking at you, Lululemon), but they're not $130 like those leggings!

Wrapped crop top
Perfect to pair with any high waist legging! It comes in long sleeves and short sleeves, both if which I find equally cute. The wrap makes it extra flattering. A lot of women at my studio will wear this to class over a sports bra, strip down to the sports bra for class, then put this on again afterwards.
There are SO many styles offered via that link! Mesh cutouts are surprisingly flattering. The angled cutouts and different fabric are slimming without being too revealing or losing the support of the legging. I have four or five pairs of mesh cutout leggings and they have yet to snag or lose their shape.

Keyhole back sports bra
This would be so cute under the back tie or the mesh cutout tank! It's a racer back style so there's still a good amount of support, but you get all the style of a skinny strap sports bra. I love all the colors it comes in, too.

Tell me these clothes don't rival Lululemon or Lorna Jane or any of the other high end workout clothes, right?! So great. And even greater with free Prime member shipping (same day, next day or two day, depending on your location), free try ons and free returns if you don't like it. 

Amazon fashion has affordable and cute yoga, barre, Pilates, workout and athleisure clothes for an affordable priceLike it? Pin it!

If you love the look of higher end yoga/barre/Pilates or athleisure clothes but don't want the high end price tag, you've got to get on board with Amazon Prime fashion! Free shipping. Free returns. And they have a try on period that's risk free, too. Not to mention, everything listed here is under $30 with most of it under $20! You can't even find that good of a deal in the sale section of Lululemon. Have you gotten on board with how awesome Amazon fashion is yet?! They've seriously up'd their game and I'm loving all the yoga fashion finds they now carry. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Summer Schedule

Happenings and musings as summer approaches

It made me laugh to write that title, because it's been hot here since the end of April and we've been out of school since mid-May, so "summer" has been happening here for ages, it seems. Or, you know, a few weeks. Anyway, with four kids aged 5 and under at home, the blog schedule is gonna change for a bit! More on that, what we're up to, and what I've been thinking and feeling lately - all about our summer schedule and a catch up post today.

First, the blog schedule. For the summer (June through Labor Day) I'm dropping down to one post a week, publishing new content on Mondays. Of course I'll be around on social media (be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook!) but blog traffic slows wayyyyyyy down in the summer months. Plus, I've enrolled in a marketing course which I'm SO excited about! I haven't done any "professional development" type things since 2015. I was literally 36 weeks pregnant with Otto the last time I went to a blog conference. I'm so pumped to get back in the saddle of learning and then taking those skills and applying them here. There will probably be exceptions to the new Monday's only schedule, but that's the plan. I'll pick back up again in the fall after Labor Day when ALL OF MY KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL! Oh my word y'all, I'm going to have the house to myself three days a week from 9-2 again. I'll be able to write and take photos without crying babies in the background. I'll be able to brainstorm at home again. I can't even... But until then, I'll be rounding out the summer with posts on Mondays.

I'm actually pretty excited for the slow down. I'm a mom to four kids. I'm on my last babies. I want to pull back so that I'm fully present and able to enjoy them. In the fall, they start preschool. This is the last time they'll be at home full time, so I want them to be my focus and the blog to be secondary. Even though I LOVE blogging and working, I know this phase of life is fleeting and I should slow down and enjoy it.

A weird side effect of blogging only what I personally enjoy for the last few months has been a surprising realization that I actually really like being at home and doing homebody, homemaking stuff. I'm looking forward to a slower blog pace to really focus on some new hobbies, including gardening and crafting. It will be fun to slow down a little, spend some time doing these outdoor summer toddler activities, and just enjoy life until the busy fall season hits.

Unless I'm just totally kidding myself and will have absolutely no time for such things. That's probably more accurate! But a girl can dream, right? I should have time to pursue personal interests with four kids at home, don't you think? Ha! What will more likely happen is we'll be up to a whole lot of what I wrote about in this post

On a personal note, I actually have some fun travel planned! We'll be here in Texas for the bulk of summer while my two older boys go to a summer camp. Then in August, before Henry starts kindergarten - and that starts Aug 15 down here in the South - we'll pack up my big ol' Yukon Denali XL and head down to the coast of Houston to rent a beach house for a week. My sister, her husband and son will fly in from Boston and my folks will fly in from Savannah, and we'll spend a week together on the beach as a family. My kids are already talking about how excited they are for it! I am too - I'll get to see my nephew and sister, be by the ocean, and enjoy family time with my mom. And we don't have to get on a plane! (Just a quick 6 hour drive, hahaha! Ahhhhh... Hopefully all goes well and is painless.)

Then in September, I'll be headed to NYC with my best friend from high school to go wedding dress shopping. I haven't been to NYC since 2009 so a full 10 years later... I'm excited! I also haven't left the state of Texas since early 2017. That's the issue with having all these babies. You never escape. But I will. Soon. And am so excited to be a part of my BFF's big day and fun event and to see NYC again (and remind myself why I live in Texas, because condensed cities like that are cool for a weekend, but drive me absolutely insane for any longer than 2-3 days.)

Come October, the twins turn one so we'll have a birthday bash for them/us, and I turn 35 four days later. One of my to-to's this summer is plan a trip for just me and my husband to celebrate the milestone birthday. Where should we go? Wine country in Oregon? The coast of California somewhere? New Orleans (my fave city)?! I need to get on trip planning, stat.

That's how the summer is gonna go around here! A nice slowed down pace for the summer before the insanely busy fall we have planned with travel and birthdays filling our time before the holiday season starts. I can't wait for the slowed down pace, hot weather, and maybe - just maybe! - some time in my slower summer schedule to do some hobbies. Anyone have any fun summer plans?