Thriving in January

Hiking in January = giant icicles!

Hiking in January = giant icicles!

Month #1 of 2015 is in the books.  And you know what?  2015 has been pretty good to me so far.  I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer today to talk about what made my month great.

Raspberry oatmeal cookie bars.  It’s one of those desserts that I love to eat but I’d never actually made.  I needed a quick dessert for a small group Bible study at my house and they couldn’t have been easier.  Any jam will work, but the tartness of raspberry balances out the sweetness of the cookie part the best.  (Why yes I’ve made this recipe twice in one month.  I didn’t eat them ALL myself, I promise!)

Sleep (more specifically, enforcing a bedtime on myself!)  Since my word for the year is Steady, I’ve been doing some brainstorming about things that make me feel steady vs unsteady in various situations.  I’ve come to the conclusion that almost everything in life is more manageable after a good night’s sleep.  My baby still wakes up once a night most nights, and I have to wake up around 5:30am on the days I commute, so it really is essential for me to go to bed at a decent hour.  My goal is 10:30, and I’ve made it most nights, even when I’d rather stay up and watch another episode of Friends!

Moisturize moisturize moisturize.  Fingers crossed, knock on wood, no whammies no whammies no whammies… I think I’ve managed to avoid the horrible dry skin and never-healing cracked knuckles that plagued me last winter.  Earth Science Almond Aloe SPF 15 face lotion + argan oil for the dry patches on my face + Aveeno body lotion + Made On hard lotion for my knuckles and cuticles + eos Sweet Mint lip balm is my winning combination.  (Wow… that’s a lot of stuff.  I swear I’m not really that high maintenance!)

Temperate Vortex.  I don’t think the warm streak we had mid-January has an official name, but 50s and 60s in January is AMAZING.  What a difference from last year!

Emergen-C.  Even with the warmer temperatures, there seem to be lots of colds going around.  It’s probably just in my head, but I’m convinced that a daily dose of Emergen-C makes a difference in staying well.

Cocoa almonds.  I bought a big bag of them in the Christmas clearance aisle, and they’re so good for a chocolate fix!  I know I probably eat more of them than I should, but it’s better than a handful of chocolate chips.

A Million Mutu Mama Workouts app.  I’ve written before about my diastasis recti, but I didn’t realize what a long road it would be to heal it.  I’ve been working on it for almost a year now, and at this point I’m convinced that there are certain exercises I will probably never be able to do again.  Even though I won’t miss doing crunches, it can be hard to come up with good modifications when I’m working out, which is why I love this app.  It’s pricey for an app ($8.99) but cheap compared to the cost of the full Mutu video system ($50-100 depending if you catch a sale) and it contains a lot of the same information, plus even more workouts and ideas for safe ab strengthening exercises.  Anyone who really wants to focus on core strength could benefit from this app, but especially postpartum moms who just can’t seem to get rid of the pooch.

Knitting.  I have a renewed love of knitting these days… it’s just so relaxing to hang out on the couch with a good TV show and knit a few stitches at the end of a long day, and I love seeing the steady progress and having a completed project at the end of it.  I feel like so many things in my life have to be done over and over (laundry, cooking, cleaning the kitchen, etc) or never have a clear end point (most of my work projects), so I love the fact that with knitting, when you’re done, you’re DONE — plus I have a new pair of cozy socks to wear!

Instagram.  You guys… I’m SO over facebook but I can’t completely quit it.  There are just a few groups and a few friends that make it worth it to stay.  But Instagram I just love.  Everyone I follow is friendly and positive and real.  (My username is skerner if you want to follow me — I’ll follow you back as long as you promise no political rants and links to depressing news stories.)

Snow day make-up days.  I get not one, but TWO holidays this winter (MLK Jr Day and Presidents Day) that my son has to go to school to make up snow days.  WOO HOO!  You’ll find me knitting and watching Downton Abbey.  And hopefully taking a nap.

The sun.  Have you noticed?  It’s staying light a teensy bit longer each night, and it’s making me so happy.  I know we have a lot of winter days ahead, but just seeing the sun stick around a few extra minutes at the end of each day gives me a lot of encouragement.

Gas prices. I won’t torture you with a picture of a gas station sign or a gas pump, but for someone who drives over 300 miles a week, gas below $2 has made a huge difference in my budget.

Styling wand. I have stick-straight hair. I know people who straighten their hair every day would kill for that, but honestly it gets kind of boring. I bought a styling wand for myself recently after consulting with some younger friends and my hairdresser about how it works. I am still learning how to use it, but it’s really fun to have some curls every once in a while!

How did January treat you?  Do you have any secrets for avoiding getting sick in the winter?

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19 thoughts on “Thriving in January

  1. The gas prices have put a smile on my face too! I’ve been saving over $30 bucks a month so far with the current prices as they are – it’s wonderful! Sleep is always awesome so glad you’re getting some! I’m on the fence about joining Instagram because I’m not much of a photo taker – I suck at taking images lol I hate FB though and am definitely over it although I also can’t seem to brace myself to close it. It’s just there.. Would you recommend it for someone whose not big on much forms of social media? lOl Have a great weekend Sarah! -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted…28 on the 28th: Today is My BirthdayMy Profile

  2. I loved this post as my first read this morning Sarah! Your positive attitude is contagious! I’m going to look into the app you talked about. I’m with you with FB out and Insta in! I’m pretty sure I follow you but will double check. I love the shot of you guys hiking! Very pretty. Cocoa almonds ARE the BEST and I’m excited for your knitting day off! Have a great weekend!

  3. I feel the same way about IG vs. FB. I’d much rather look at everyone’s happy pictures than have to see one more political or religious rant (I get them from ALL sides. Pro-religion. Anti-religion. It’s ridiculous).

    The low gas prices could not be making me happier. I saw gas for $1.99 the other day. I haven’t seen it that low in something like 8 years. It feels like a raise!

    Cocoa almonds sound delicious! I keep seeing them in the grocery store but I don’t pick them up. I should do that one of these days.
    Jana @ Jana Says recently posted…This week in: Traveling, Baking, Celebrating, and moreMy Profile

  4. Sleep is super essential to me too! We have similar schedules (10:30pm bedtime, 5:45am wake up for me) so yes, I need to enforce a bedtime. I’m trying to not get really sick right now! I think I caught my husband’s cold but with TONS of water and that aforementioned sleep, I think I was able to prevent anything major happening *crossed fingers*
    Nina recently posted…Reaching Blog Milestones: Here’s to 600 Posts (plus a Chance to Win a $20 Macy’s Gift Card)My Profile

  5. I have noticed the sun – it makes me happy! And then Daylight Savings will mess things up again for a little while. But it will be spring by then, so I won’t care.

    Cocoa almonds? Like Almond Joy bars but healthier – yum!
    Danaf recently posted…On emerging from my caveMy Profile

  6. Books – I’m doing well in my book reading as well! I just updated my 2014 reads and I can’t believe I read 11 in 2014!!

    Sleep – YES. Even though I try to go to bed earlier, it’s always between 11pm-12am. Nevertheless, I still choose to wake up happy, so that’s helpful! Plus, I think I’m buying an espresso machine, so another reason to look forward to the weekend :D.

    Winter – I’ve also been enjoying this “mild” winter. I mean, last year was horrid!

    Sun – I’m loving that it’s not dark by 5pm anymore!

    Unfortunately, no way around not getting sick but I’ve been guzzling water. Also helps keep skin and hair hydrated :).
    lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…Page Turners: Eat Pray LoveMy Profile

  7. Yay for snow days! I tried that wand & gave up b/c I couldn’t master it. I should give it more practice but for now, I’ll stick to my regular curling iron. I also tried using my straightener to curl & for the first couple of times it was awesome & then afterwards the curls wouldn’t stay. I may be hopeless at hair styling. 🙂
    Danielle recently posted…A Paper Craft With Eeny – Picture Frame CardMy Profile

  8. I love Instagram too. The best part of Facebook is the pictures and of course that’s all Instagram is. You did have a fabulous January! I can’t believe how warm it was some days. It was in the 40’s or even 50’s when I was in STL last weekend. Crazy! Are you getting the snowstorm we are now?
    jan recently posted…Snowtorious BIGMy Profile

  9. I love your “Press Your Luck” reference in there!! Totally enjoyed it.
    We’ve been staying well too, and it seems miraculous with all the travel and viruses out there. Knock on wood it lasts.
    The gas prices are really amazing. $1.90 here today. Whoa! Snowstorm here too, though. Booo..
    And I’ve absolutely noticed that extra minute of sunlight each night…
    Tamara recently posted…The Long and Winding Road.My Profile

  10. Sarah, have you looked at Katy Bowman’s information on diastasis recti? She has a lot to say that is different from the conventional advice on women’s health (she’s the “no more kegels” lady). I’m curious how your prescribed therapies compare to her suggestions.

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