Love, Anxiety and Hot Cocoa

Ever since my older kids were little, I have had a tradition of making them hot chocolate when it was cold out, especially when they didn’t feel good… Or when they just kind a needed that extra internal hug.

I absolutely love hot chocolate, I always have! and I love to add different flavors into my hot chocolate. I have to admit my favorite hot chocolate probably is when I add peppermint to it. Each of my kids liked something different with their hot chocolate… So I’ve learned to make hot chocolate with vanilla, ice cream, peppermint and even banana among other flavors… I know it sounds a little strange to have banana,  but trust me.. it taste better than it sounds.

Anybody who knows me, knows I love mugs, I collect mugs. I guess part of the reason why I love mugs so much is because I equate them with sitting down and having a cup of hot chocolate or tea or coffee and just enjoying myself or spending time with my kids.

We always had a tradition of having hot chocolate, before we opened our presents… I love having  little traditions like that.. and I love that one with my kids! I know that when they see hot chocolate it reminds them of those positive childhood memories.

Peyton and I absolutely love having hot chocolate together… As I’ve discussed many times my hubby is an oil guy, so he’s not always home. When it gets cold, Peyton and I have a tradition of sitting and having a cuppa hot cocoa and relaxing. Sometimes we just talk… Sometimes we watch TV together and sometimes we just relax. Although I love hot chocolate all year round, I especially love it during the holidays. There is something very magical to me about hot chocolate and Christmas.

There’s something very relaxing to me about sitting in front of the fireplace with the Christmas tree and mantle lights on, drinking a cup of hot chocolate… In one of my Christmas mugs… With two peppermint sticks in my hot chocolate.

I talk a lot about that I have GAD… General anxiety disorder in my blogs… Having my cup of hot chocolate is one of the ways that I help lower my anxiety during the holiday season.

I think we all have those little things that we do, or places that we can go that allow us to destress and calm down… And as silly as it sounds, hot chocolate is one of those for me. I know Peyton feels the same way.. there’s something very soothing to him about a cup of hot chocolate.

I’m including hear my favorite hot chocolate recipe… This is a very common hot chocolate recipe I know it’s out there in many places, so I’m not pretending it’s mine… But I’ve also added some of the changes that I do to it to make it different…all food disclaimers apply! : )

I hope you enjoy, and I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Friday! As always, thanks so much for following us on our 45 Awesomism days of the holidays… The support has been overwhelming and I really appreciate it, both Peyton and I do! We look forward to “talking” to you tomorrow have a happy national Cocoa day

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar… I add a pinch of brown sugar
  3. 1/3 cup hot water
  4. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  5. 4 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy) I usually do 3 cups milk and one cup french vanilla creamer
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ! teaspoon Almond extract or 1 Teaspoon Peppermint extract… this is my favorite

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar, water, and salt over medium heat.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly until smooth and bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat, and stir in the milk, do not boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into mugs and serve immediately.

Spread Kindness!

We have all heard the expression you can’t take care of others, if you don’t take care of yourself.

This is true for so many reasons. I think during the holidays it is especially necessary that we make sure that we take care of ourselves. We get so caught up in the gift buying, the decorating, the Christmas parties, the open houses, the events, Family coming to visit or going to see family etc. etc.…

I’m probably one of the few people who actually enjoys going to the mall at this time of the year or to stores. I find it In a way comforting… I know that sounds really strange but I do… Part of the reason why I love going to the mall and/ or stores that are packed, it allows me to spread kindness… I will smile at people, if people need help getting something off the shelf, I’ll try to help them etc.etc….. Showing Kindness, not just saying it!

We so often see people frazzled and stressed… Sometimes just a smile or a kind word or a positive affirmation  can make all the difference in someone’s life.

I find that when people are at their most stressed, doing the holidays shopping, going out an about…. dealing with the every day stressors of the holiday season… Spreading kindness and spreading Love by going to the mall and or‘s stores that are packed… and showing that you care is easier!

This isn’t to say that I’m not stressed, and I don’t have anxiety attacks during the holidays… I definitely do. I also know that when I go out and about and I do try to spread kindness… By smiling spreading a kind word etc. etc. it also lifts my mood.

I have to confess another reason why I really enjoy it when it’s so crowded, is because when stores, especially small businesses have customers it helps everyone!… This may seem silly, but I truly love when businesses do better, because it makes peoples lives easier. Sometimes people can pick up a full-time job… Rather than two or three part-time jobs and that allows them more time to be home with their family …

By looking at the positives in life… We can make our emotional and mental health better as well. Too often we allow peoples words or their lack of happiness to affect us… I know I was guilty of this in the last week or two… But then I had several people come to me and tell me how much I meant to them, and how my kindness got them through some of the roughest times.I decided I wasn’t going to let negative people pull me down, rather I was going to make sure, that I kept pulling people up.

I know for a fact my moods have direct connection to Peyton’s mood, as well as my other kids and my spouse. We sometimes don’t realize that our moods can and do flow over onto others, we come in contact with, as well.

I try very hard to be conscience of this… not always successfully… but I try!

So let’s all try real hard to remember taking care of ourselves is very important! because how we react and interact… spreads to so many!

Thanks for reading my blog!

Probiotics, Enzymes, Anxiety and Autism!

If you read my blogs or follow me on social media you know that I have GAD… And of course Peyton is autistic. You also know, that I will not promote products from companies that I do not truly believe in… I try every single product, before I even consider writing a blog about them.

Klaire labs has been around for approximately half a century and has an impeccable reputation… So when Klaire labs approached me about working with them, to talk about their products, I was excited. I love the way that they approach their products, they aren’t full of a lot of extra ingredients that we don’t need or want to put into our bodies… I’m a huge believer in using as many natural products, not only for myself, but especially for Peyton.

A couple years ago I had an abscess tooth, I had to go on some antibiotics that were very strong… I’m allergic to a lot of antibiotics, so I’m very limited in what I can take. This particular antibiotic absolutely ate up my stomach. My husband went and talked to the pharmacist and she suggested getting on some probiotics. I thought this was just going to be another so so solution. I was really wrong! the probiotics really helped my stomach. In fact they help so much, that I put Peyton on them, as well.

There have been so many studies done, that show a link between Gut health and brain health. I’m not a big fan of taking a lot of meds and I’m certainly not a fan of putting Peyton on meds. I felt safe with probiotics. We bounced around from different probiotics, as I didn’t really find one that I was particularly enamored with.

When Klaire offered for us to try their probiotics, I was excited. Both Peyton and I have been using them and I can tell you we absolutely love them. They work really well… And I really like that they are powder. We put them in water and take them at night. Peyton will swallow pills, but he would prefer to have things in powder form.

There have been many studies done, that link gut bacteria to emotions, as well as how we react to different sights, sounds and textures… Meaning if our gut isn’t healthy… it Can make our entire body unhealthy. Too often we don’t think about the connections between our Gut and our brain… If our gut has issues, it tells our brain and our brain then tells our body, that it has issues!

We also were sent a bottle of their enzymes… Both Peyton and I have started taking the enzymes, particularly Peyton. We absolutely love these! they really do help with food digestion. This in turn helps with energy… Because as we improve our digestion of our food, our energy can go up!

Both Peyton and I have severe anxiety, which can cause us to get stomach aches and feel sick to our stomach which is so not fun, especially around the Holidays.

Between the probiotic and the enzymes that is helping digest the food better, I have noticed a significant positive in my gut.. so has Peyton! I know this sounds funny.. but it’s true.

Food enzymes can help reduce acidity, which can help with healthy digestion, the healthier the digestion, the healthier we become!

I feel 100% safe and secure using their products, and if I didn’t, I definitely would not be using them, and I certainly would not be highly recommending them as I am. I have been a blogger for several years now, and I have never written a blog supporting a company, unless I truly believe in the company.

When it comes to things like probiotics and enzymes that are being put into our bodies, I’m particularly skeptical. I can 100% say that I truly believe in these products and I will definitely continue to use it with our family.As an Autism/GAD family our gut health is very important to us.

As we go through the holiday season and beyond… We tend to eat a lot of foods, especially sweets and such.. this is an especially important time of year, that we make sure that we do the best for our system… Our guts… So follow your gut to Klaire labs products…. I promise it will thank you…

Promo Code: 15SQIJX6 for 15% off (This code won’t be live until 6 pm today.)

Amazon Link: Klaire Labs: Children’s

Note: this blog is also available on Peyton’s website: Team Awesomism.

Pictures Of The Season

As we get ready for the World to start it’s Christmas Decorating… Let’s take a moment to look at the Beauty,Fun and Images of Fall/Autumn!

Beauty is everywhere…. If we take the time to look for things that make us smile.. we can and will find so many items… Here are a few of mine and Peyton’s favorite items that we have seen  ….. We have collected these from many places.

Hope you enjoy!

 

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”
— Anonymous

 

Hope you enjoy our Images of the Season! we’d love to see your pictures!

As always thanks for reading my blog! We have lots more awesome stuff coming between now and New Years Day! Hope everyone has a very Blessed Sunday!

 

45 Awesomism Days of the Holidays

We are super excited to be doing the 45 Awesomism days of the holidays!

As I have discussed in previous blogs… I have GAD, general anxiety disorder… And Peyton is as everyone knows well…  is autistic.

The holidays can be very stressful for everyone, but it can be particularly stressful for those who suffer with anxiety.

Nowadays… The stores start decorating for the holidays and pushing Christmas and Thanksgiving already in July… I kid you not, Peyton and I were in a store in July and they were taking down their Fourth of July items and putting up Christmas already!!

That can really add to the stress and anxiety of the holidays, because it seems like as it comes sooner and sooner it gets more and more in your head about the holidays.

I absolutely love Christmas! It is my favorite holiday… I have always really decorated every house I’ve ever owned to the max… Peyton loves Christmas as well, and as I get older.. I get less and less inspired to do all kinds of decorating.. dragging all the boxes out of the attic… Although we call ours a Texas basement because it is a walk-able attic, so it’s not as difficult… But dragging everything down, scrubbing down the house.. putting everything that was Up away and then putting up all the Christmas decorations takes a lot of work!

However; to see Peyton’s face be so happy and so excited, it’s all worth it to me!

I decided that this year I was going to do a 45 day long blog/video/pictures/craft/ideas/recipes/tips on my Website!.We will have everything in one place on our website… Also, we will have a dedicated Flipboard Magazine, A dedicated Pinterest Board… we will be having daily items on Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin!

I’m by no means an expert on helping lower your anxiety and/ or your stress… but I do know that with me, when I see tips that I can use, such as other peoples ideas.. it really does take a certain amount of the anxiety out of my life… So that’s what I’m hoping to do here! Just inspire people and help maybe lower your stress level, lower your anxiety by providing so many different things that can help you during the holiday seasons!

We will be covering Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day… as well as a few other surprises!

We have an Awesome Thanksgiving guest Blogger that you won’t want to miss his heartfelt Thanksgiving Blog.

I hope you enjoy our” 45 Awesomism days of the Holidays” and please share with your friends, family and anyone else that you think might benefit from it!

If you have any tips or ideas or would love to be a guest blogger, I would love to hear from you!

As always thanks so much for reading my blog and let’s get started…….. tomorrow we will start with a blog about some Thanksgiving tips

Here is a blog that I wrote a few years ago about the Stress I put on myself during the Holidays. Link: Traditions are made to be broken