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.

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!

 

Nature does not hurry

I absolutely love a good cup of tea and about a week and a half ago I was making myself a traditional medicinal tea.

I was feeling a little bit under the weather and had a sore throat, so I decided to make myself a really strong cup of throat tea. On the little paper tag of each teabag there was a saying and this particular bag it said “nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. By LAO Tzu.

This really got me thinking… There’s so much wisdom in that saying, nature doesn’t hurry… a flower doesn’t grow overnight… a tree doesn’t grow in a day… There’s so many things about nature that are very slow and methodical… Yet nature somehow always gets it done.

Sometimes it’s not things we want to have done such as hurricanes, bad storms, floods tornadoes etc. but other times there’s so much beauty in nature, we have some of the most beautiful flowers… the clouds are just gorgeous!

I love to lay down and look at the clouds in the sky and try to find either animals or cartoon characters or pictures within the clouds…

I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve traveled into a lot of places in the world, and I’ve seen so many different parts of nature… I’ve seen lakes, I’ve seen Rivers.. I’ve seen mighty oceans I’ve seen mountains.. I’ve seen deserts… I’ve seen flatland’s.. I’ve seen Hill country.. I’ve seen unbelievably gorgeous Forests… And they all have one thing in common… they are there for our viewing, and for us to learn from, and for us to enjoy and for us to see.

The more I thought about that saying as I was sipping my tea the more I realized… I so often put myself on this list! I feel like I have to get this done, I have to get that done! Now there are somethings in life we have to get done.. like we have to pay bills on time, we have to make sure that we eat each day, that we take care of ourselves if we’re sick or just make sure that things are done!

We have to go to work, we have to cook or clean or do other Daily or weekly chores… I get that but there’s so many things that we put on our self each and every day that we feel like we are against a clock…

Or maybe we don’t vacuum the carpet today, maybe we put it off for a day or two… Instead of vacuuming maybe we go outside and sit and look at the clouds above… What is wrong with that? nothing!!

It allows us a time to mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally “ Grow“ I know for myself I need that time… I need that downtime. Time where I allow myself to refresh, to just relax to take life.. just one small step…

I have written other blogs about slowing down… Why run when you can walk… And I do try… But as I sat there with my sore throat drinking my medicinal tea, I thought to myself this “Could not have come at a better time… I don’t need to hurry… One way or another I will get it all accomplished”…

So my stress and my anxiety can be put on the back burner… And my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health will be put on the front burner… Because at the end of the day nature doesn’t Hurry yet everything is accomplished!

Sit Back and Relax!

Many people find a hot bath to be relaxing… it also can have awesome benefits. It can improve circulation as well as relax you, therefore providing a better night’s sleep. There are many products on the market that are made for baths… Lavender is a favorite as is eucalyptus of many. I love both of these as well as peppermint, lemons, sage, rose, and spearmint. I happen to be partial to bath salts. I know not everyone likes salts… and there are plenty of other products for them as well. I love designing my own fragrances for my moods. After much experimenting over the years, I have settled on this on as my favorite as it seems to be an all mood satisfier.

Here are steps of making lavender bath mints and mint tea as well as health benefits of lavender tea below.

Lavender Bath Mints Instructions:

  • Get an airtight container to store the mixture in. Otherwise, the moisture can cause itself to become hard rock
  • 1 1/2 cups of Epsom salts
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 25 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Mix them all together and put it into airtight container

 

 

It seems Lavender is everywhere these days, I personally think that is a good thing!  The distinctive scent makes it popular in soaps, bath salts, and other products. I actually have an all natural plant based Lemon and Lavender product line!  Please check it out my store for all the lemon and Lavender product!

Lavender tea is increasingly more popular these days, as well. Lavender tea has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to boost mood and enhance calm.

Awsomness of Lavender Tea

Lavender is one of the most frequently used for essential oils, aromatherapy rollers and bed sprays. It is also used as a bedtime tea. Lavender has calming properties that help to soothe the mind. In fact in Germany, lavender extract…known as Lasea, is approved as an anxiety and sleep aid treatment. This is extremely helpful for people like me, who have GAD… General Anxiety Disorder.

Lavender tea can help treat headaches caused by tension. The chemical compounds in lavender,have been shown to help to increase blood circulation. By delivering oxygen to the brain it helps with alleviating severe headaches.

Lavender tea can also help with digestion, and some believe it actually aids with body detoxification.

Lavender has been shown to help with anxiety and stress, by helping you reach a more restful sleep. Here is one of My favorite Lavender and Mint tea recipes

Lavender and Mint Tea Instructions:

Lavender – has antioxidants without the caffeine. It can calm anxiety as well as aid with digestive problems.

I am a huge fan of Mint tea… some of my favorite Mint Tea comes from Morocco.. but any good grade of Mint tea will do!

Step 1: Prepare
Add a quarter cup of fresh lavender petals and 1 cup of fresh mint leaves to a medium sized saucepan.

Step 2: Heat Water
Cover the lavender and mint with water and bring to a boil. Turning  down Temp  to medium and let the brew simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Taste it starting at 7 min to see if it is at the desired taste… if not let simmer longer

Step 3: Strain and Pour
Remove the mint and lavender using a strainer. Pour the infused water into a cup and enjoy.

General guidelines for brewing teas:

Each type of tea may have different guidelines, do need to check on each type. However: there are some general guidelines that work to make a great cup of tea, for beginners:

Bring  cold water to a boil in a tea kettle. When water is in a beginning boil, turn off heat and remove kettle. Pour hot (not boiling) water over tea and set tea from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The time is based on the type of tea. It using loose tea… strain… using bag tea.. wrap tea bag around spoon and set on side of cup. Tea is wonderful alone, but lemon, milk, cinnamon, sugar and honey can also be added. Be careful adding lemon and milk at same time as it can cause the milk to candle.

Fall destressing

A lot of people I know feel that summer is there time to unwind. They look at it is the season that they go on vacations, the days are longer, so they can go outside more, they can do more… In general the weather is better.

For me it’s very different… I find fall/autumn to be my most destressing/relaxing season of the year. There is something about the cooler temperatures… That really make me happy.

I also really love the food in the fall… I am a massive apple and cinnamon person. I love to make hot apple cider… When my kids were younger, I would always make it from scratch. I love having potpourri on the stove.. and candles in the house.

I really enjoyed baking so I love to make pies and cookies… And there’s something magical about this time of the year when you’re baking.

I also really love to make homemade soup and stews.

I always feel like this time of the year is the most cozy time of the year… It’s not hot out… And living in Texas that he can really get to you in the summer. It’s not freezing cold, where you have to worry about snow and ice like in the winter… And after a hot summer, it’s so relaxing to have a cool evening in the fall.

I also happen to be one of those people that when it’s rainy or cloudy or overcast out, I enjoy working more! I enjoy doing things around the house, I enjoy writing, listening to podcasts and music, there’s just something about it, that makes me destress more!

I also am a big hot bath taker… I’ve talked about this in prior blogs, how I love to take hot baths to relax… In the fall it’s fun to take hot baths… Even more so than in the winter, because in the winter when you get out of the bath, you get so cold quickly.

I love wearing sweaters and warm fuzzy socks… To me these are all very calming.. soothing… Destressing type things. We are all different, and we all have different things that help us with our stress and anxiety… Fall happens to be one of those for me.

Although, I wouldn’t be being totally honest… if I didn’t admit that from a sports perspective, the fall is much more stressful for me… 😂😂Because I am a huge college football, NFL and NHL fan… And since they all play in the fall… I do get a lot more stressed about my sports… But it’s a different kind of stress 🤷🏻‍♀️

I love the cool evenings.. I especially love it when it’s cool enough to put a fire in the fireplace… Of course my husband and I have completely different ideas on what is cool enough! 🤗

What are some of your favorite things about the fall? Do you find the fall to be more of a destressing time? or do you find because we’re going into the holiday season, to make it more stressful? I’d love to get your feedback on that.

Peyton also loves Fall… here is the link to his blog! Why Fall is My Favorite Season

As Always.. Thanks for reading my Blog and have an Awesome Day!

Lynne