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Counting Gifts

Counting Gifts/ HEALTH/ Spiritual

What Have I Done To Deserve Love Like This?

Driving through Monterey, sunroof open, coastal air in our hair.

I’m nestled into the passenger seat of my Karen’s car.

 

It is one of my most favorite places in the world to be.

She brings a soft blanket and pillow for my head, just in case I am tired after my early morning flight.

She brings nourishment in a cooler, just in case I am hungry.

 

“What have I done to deserve love like this?”

{Push Play On Song, Maybe Listen While Reading?}

 

She is my beauty from ashes friend, and I cannot help but think how tangible that is, all throughout this 4th trip of mine to California.

All 4 trips have been a gift, plane tickets and more paid for.

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Counting Gifts

Things I’m Thankful For | One Thousand Gifts

glass vase with pumpkin

Remember the post: The Most Simple Way To Boost Your Mood? I talked about counting the gifts and how it can lift the mood. It seriously does wonders!

Thanks to #Last90Days challenge that I have been participating in, I have picked up the habit of counting gifts more aggressively lately, and again…I’m amazed at how it is such a mood booster!

Thanks to this challenge, I went from daily listing just 3 things I’m thankful for and upped it to 10.

Listing 10 gifts a day causes one to pause and think for a minute on what is good…there are so many things!

Despite being a harder season for our family, there are so many great amazing things to be thankful for.

If you are in a hard season too, try listing the things you are thankful for. It helps so much.

These are some of the highlights of my lists:

 

Things I’m Thankful For | One Thousand Gifts

#1,157 – #1,197 

Change of seasons, from summer to fall.

Connecting with sisters.

60-degree mornings.

Early morning wake-up habit established.

Motivation & revelation.

8 years cancer free anniversary!

Continue Reading…

ANTI-PROCRASTINATION/ Counting Gifts/ Emotional Health

5 Things To Do To Thrive #Last90Days

stack of rocks for yoga

Rachel Hollis and her #Last90Days 5 Things To Do To Thrive challenge started today and Instagram was lit with people using the hashtag.

It was inspiring to follow along and see so many people wanting to live their lives in a purposeful way.

5 Things To Do To Thrive #last90days is a challenge that is meant to motivate and keep you accountable for finishing the last 90 days of the year strong.

Why wait for the new year to start? I love the do-it-now approach of this challenge.

 

5 to thrive image

{Image via Moms & Beyond}

HERE ARE THE 5 TO THRIVE

  1. Get up an hour earlier than you normally do and use the time for yourself.
  2. Workout at least 30 minutes a day.
  3. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
  4. Give up one food category you know you shouldn’t be eating.
  5. Write down 10 things that you are grateful for each day.

When my sister shared the challenge with me, I told her I was pretty much already doing those 5 things. I didn’t mean to be arrogant or boastful, but last June I started getting up 1 hour early.

Honestly the other 5 things just kinda fell into place, just by being purposeful with getting my bum out of bed! A snowball-type effect.

It is fun to have a challenge that will help solidify and zero in on these simple, already life-changing things that help me in my pursuit to live new, live well and live with purpose!

Want to do it too?

 

MY THOUGHTS ON 5 THINGS TO DO TO THRIVE

 

1. Wake Up An Hour Early

Rachel Hollis is quick to add that this does NOT apply to new Mama’s, or those in seasons of life where extra sleep IS caring for yourself.

BUT… if you find yourself saying, “I don’t have time to read” or “I can’t find time to work out” or if you know that things like prayer, journaling or meditation would benefit you more than sleep right now…then get on up!

I started doing this thanks to advice from The Miracle Morning, and after hearing it over and over from people like Brendon Burchard, Lewis Howe and Tony Robbins, it has been a goal on my mind that I wanted to pursue.

I have been doing it regularly since early June and it has been life-changing.

I’VE BEEN WAKING UP EARLY IN ORDER TO LIVE SLOW. A PURPOSEFUL SLOW.

I spend the early morning time doing things I already was doing on a regular basis, but now I am not rushed and have a head start…it has become my favorite time of day!

I get coffee, light a candle, journal, pray, use my Bible app and meditate. By doing these habits an hour early, the rest of my day is so much more calm, focused and productive.

I am getting up regularly at 6, and there was even one week in August that I got up at 5:30 to do some extra writing for a project, and goodness was THAT ever a productive experience!

I had no idea my brain could be so clear and focused that early in the morning, but it was and is. I will write more about this discovery in another post.

Not a morning person? My advice is to try it anyway…you may be surprised and find out (like I did) that maybe you are a morning person after all. It takes time to create a habit, 20 days they say…so try it.

Wake up to do something that you REALLY, really look forward to! This is key for me.

 

2. Workout At Least 30 Minutes a Day

By getting up an hour early, I found myself being able to fit workouts in and quite motivated to do so. The challenge to myself was to simply move my body every day.

I took a break from some cancer medication that I have been on, and my joints felt so much better, so I was extra motivated and thankful to be able to move!

I walk daily for at least 30 minutes, with a goal of seeing my Fitbit reach 10,000 steps by the end of the day. These walks are so enjoyable thanks to nature and podcasts and my favorite Voxer app.

I decided not to put pressure on myself to jog or run, simply because I don’t enjoy it. Because of this I actually looked forward to my daily walk and it became a habit.

I also have added yoga to my ‘move everyday goal’ as it is so good for my joints and learning how to breathe is so good for anxiety. This simple 10 Minute Morning Routine is a fav, and I am on day 6 of this 30 Day Yoga Revolution series on Youtube.

I am going to use the 5 to Thrive Challenge to go from 5 days a week to 7 days a week. Eek! Good thing I really love walking and yoga. Wish me luck!

 

3. Drink Half Your Body Weight in Ounces of Water Each Day.

This is easy for me. Whoo-hoo! So nice to have something in the challenge that does not feel like a challenge. I drink black coffee, matcha or herbal tea, and then it is water the rest of the day.

The key for me has been my inexpensive Bubba waterbottle because it keeps my ice from melting and has a huge straw which makes getting water in a breeze.  Easy to gulp gulp gulp!

It is 24 ounces, so if I refill it 4 times a day I’m pretty much there…especially if I count my herbal tea for hydration.

 

4. Give Up One Food Catagory You Know You Shouldn’t Be Eating

The food category I have been working on is all the white things. White sugar, white carbs –white pasta, white flour, white bread etc. I am great with this until the weekend.

I’ve made exceptions for pizza on Friday family nights (although we have been trying out cauliflower crust pizza the last few weeks) and date nights or social outings.

I’m trying to decide if I am going to give this up completely. I think if I commit to this, I will fail…just being real and honest.

I am good with committing to 90% giving this up, but leaving space and grace on certain family nights and social outings or date nights.

Those really only come on Friday and Saturday evenings, and an occasional extended family get together on Sundays (once a month), so 90% it is!

This is doable and already something I have been putting into place, although saying no to a fun Pumpkin Spice Latte during the week will take some discipline for sure!

 

5. Write Down 10 Things That You’re Grateful For Each Day

I started writing what I call lists of ‘gifts’ in 2010 when I was diagnosed with cancer. It changed me and made the fight bearable. I listed them in an ongoing fashion on this blog and surpassed 1,000!

I have been listing 3/day on a daily docket I use each day and gather them at the end of the week into my journal and reflect on all the amazing things I have to be thankful for.

I can up my game on this…but it bugs me that I only left 3 lines on the daily docket I made…now I wish there were 10! Guess I will need to re-design it.

By the way, I will be sharing this docket with you in the coming weeks. It is another simple tool that creates habits that bring about purpose.

 

{Pin It}

 


 

So there it is. My thoughts on the 5 to Thrive Challenge. I’m 90% in for 90Days. 🙂

How about you?

Let me know if you are participating.

I will share my progress with you and give glimpses of what I do on my Instagram stories. Find me @Amy_NewNostalgia

 

Counting Gifts/ Emotional Health

The Most Simple Way To Boost Your Mood

distressed, moody wall

A Simple Way To Boost Mood

A pen, paper and a resoluteness to find my thankful. This is the most simple way I have found to boost my mood.

I know, I know. You have heard it before, it is nothing new — make a list of things you are thankful for and it could change you. It has even been studied. It may seem simple. but sometimes the most simple solution can be the most profound.

Even in my hardest days of cancer and chemo, even in my darkest days of anxiety, choosing to find something to be thankful for and deliberately writing my finds in list form changed me and helped get me through.

Continue Reading…

Counting Gifts/ Emotional Health/ FAMILY

What I Learned {Winter Edition}

What-I-Learned-This Winter

My friend Michelle DeRusha wrote a What I’ve Learned post yesterday that was linked up to Emily Freeman’s What I’ve Learned link-up, a place where bloggers gather and share all the things, big or small, that they learned that season.

I was inspired and decided to visit some old Instagram posts to jog my memory into what I’ve learned this winter. I was overwhelmed by all that I have learned. Evidence of God’s gifts.

Here is What I’ve Learned.

1. I. Must. Journal. It is free therapy!

Using a journal to count the gifts.

Journals capture the gifts and slow my heart down. Thoughts exhaled.

 

2. White dishes make me giddy.

Timeless white square dishes

A sweet Christmas gift from my Mom-in-Law. You can never go wrong with timeless white dishes! I love to add color with napkins or flowers at the table.

 

3. I prefer real fruit snacks to artificial food snacks.

snacks in white dishes

Snacks! Some naughty, some nice!

 

4. Red and Green are NOT my favorite Christmas colors.

Golds and sparkly silvers as Christmas colors

Golds and sparkly silvers are my favorite Christmas colors!

 

5. Sitting across from my teens with my man eating food I didn’t have to cook is my new fav.

Family Sushi Date

Lunch and a Movie Family Date. Loving this slow week between Christmas and New Years!

 

6. Making homemade yogurt in the Instant Pot is a breeze. 

Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt

Tower of homemade yogurt from the Instantpot.  This batch has maple syrup and vanilla in it. I left the consistency thinner and it is even better than my favorite store brand.  Natural probiotics!

 

7. Natural probiotics and seeds are amazing for digestion, and I’m obsessed with yogurt.

Homemade Instant Pot Yogurt

These little jars of homemade yogurt have been my breakfast, keeping me full well past lunch time! A little trick I’ve learned is this: use just a spoonful of Trader Joe’s Flax & Berry Dried Oatmeal Pack to act as a granola and add a bit of sweet. I also add the Trader Joe’s Ancient Seed blend. So delicious, filling and good for you!

 

8. I’m officially a superfood junkie — Gogi berries, Chia, Flax, Hemp.

I can't get over the deliciousness of #yogurt made in the #instantpot I love it topped with organic maple syrup, #gogiberries and chia/hemp seed mix. This keeps me full for hours and my gut happy with all those probiotics!

I can’t get over the deliciousness of homemade yogurt!  I love it topped with organic maple syrup, gogi berries, and chia/hemp seed mix. My gut is full and happy!

 

9. Even in the winter, just 5 minutes in nature gives me life. I must get outdoors.

 Icicle ice storm

The sun is out and our 2 -day ice storm is melting all beautiful and shimmery! I took my DSLR out for a walk today to try and capture the wonder of melting ice. I wish I could have captured the sound of ice cracking and icicles landing in pieces on the ground. Magical!

 

10. Donut cakes will never get old. So easy. So yummy! Unpack and stack!

Donut Birthday Cake

Colsie’s Sweet 16 donut cake.

 

11. Crafty projects are so much better with the help of a friend. I need to ask for help more often!

Hexagon tiles and washi tape

It was a wine and washi tape kind of night! Thank you to my sweet Renee friend for helping me with #ifgathering2017 decoration prep.

 

12. Peeled grapefruit is worth it. Every. Single. Agonizing. Second. It builds patience. It tastes amazing.

peeled grapefruit

Peeled a grapefruit for the first time ever. Have you heard it’s a thing?  It was delicious!

 

13. When sitting inside, look up and out every once in a while. I might just see this!

Beautiful clouds

The clouds above my house right now.  “GOD’s strong name is our help, the same GOD who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:8

 

14. That if I push into the hard, I will get glimpses of eternity. 

All The Way Home by Jill Briscoe

“…But my cross, Lord, I will carry, Home, Lord, home, Lord, ALL THE WAY!” I have a hero who carried his cross all the way home to Jesus. His bride told me “he made it all the way home to Jesus this morning, all the way home.” There was much cross-carrying done in this beautiful family the past year and a half. Watching them has changed me. {hand lettering by my Avery}

15. In the hardest moments, God reveals himself, for he is always present. Nothing can separate us from his love.

Church and steeple

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8

 

16. I need light. Sunlight, twinkle lights, fairy lights. I may even buy this happy light!

Twinkle lights sunlight

I have a thing with light. Give me all the string lights, sunlight, & twinkle lights! “For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness. This God- his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:29, 31

 

17. Moments are fleeting. 

She is a flurry of activity...opening letters from colleges, looking for car keys and a lost glove, shoving feet into snow boots all while talking on the phone to her boyfriend. I snap this photo of my Teagan, capturing the moment before she's gone. Here today gone tomorrow. #iblinked #17yearsold #myjoy

She is a flurry of activity…opening letters from colleges, looking for car keys and a lost glove, shoving feet into snow boots all while talking on the phone to her boyfriend. I snap this photo of my Teagan, capturing the moment before she’s gone. Here today gone tomorrow. #iblinked

 

18. Difficulties, when handed in trust to God, bring peace. 

Lessons of trust come wrapped in difficulties. Be steadfast, the payoff is peace. "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

Lessons of trust come wrapped in difficulties. Be steadfast, the payoff is peace. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.”
Isaiah 26:3


Thanks for reading what I’ve learned. What have you learned this season

Did you enjoy this post? If so, you might enjoy following me on Instagram, as these photos and captions are all from my Instagram account.

DONUT CAKE

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Counting Gifts/ FAMILY/ Leaving A Legacy/ Spiritual

Top 11 Posts From My Heart In 2016

TOP-FROM-MY-HEART

From My Heart Posts In 2016

What do I mean by “from my heart?” These are posts that go deeper than a recipe post or a DIY post.

These posts are my favorite to write, and also some of the most well received by all of you, which makes this heart of mine so touched and happy. It is clear I often write from my heart when hardship hits, as there are posts on suffering, anxiety, grief & tragedy. But, I also capture meaningful life moments in posts on amazing family memories, this wonderful life I get to live, and my Todd.

Amy from New Nostalgia |Top Posts From The Heart

Saturday Morning Musings

Oh my. I must write more posts like this–the ones where I just sit across from you all with a warm cuppa and just chat about life. It is therapeutic, and you are all so dear to just allow me to share. It also captures the fleeting seasons of life, as this post was written just last summer, but life rhythms have already changed so drastically. Time for another Saturday Morning Musing!

Read more here.

 

Amy New Nostalgia Family |Top Posts From The Heart

A Family Update

Posts like these are so fun to look back on. I’ve talked about how this blog is my recipe binder, my memory keeper, my cancer journal & a place to connect with such a great and caring community.  It has certainly become something very special to me and my family over the years. It is especially comforting as a 2-time cancer survivor that my words and our memories are in a place where my 3 girls could easily access them and know the things I think about and am passionate about. This post captures the personality of my teens in this season of life. I don’t write as often about my girls now that they are teens.  It is a delicate thing, letting their stories be THEIR stories & not over-sharing. But once in a while…

Read more here.

 

Relief From Severe Anxiety |Amy from New Nostalgia Top Posts From The Heart

How To Find Relief From Severe Anxiety

Whoa. Reading this post about a year after writing it was…whoa. It brought back many memories of struggle. It reminds me how far I’ve come and how many prayers have been answered.

Read more here.

 

Top Posts From The Heart at New Nostalgia

I Am A Sinner If Its Not One Thing Its Another

This is the post where I write raw all my feelings of shame and failure as a Mom and wife, and then LYSA TERKUERST, one of my all-time fav writers and amazing woman of God, comments on it. She told me that the post was powerfully and beautifully written, with a few more sentences of wisdom that made my year. Yeah, that was a pretty amazing. Take a peek at her comment in the post!

Read more here.

 

Alison Rush Art |From The Heart New Nostalgia

Enter Into Others Suffering

This post is about my beautiful friend and amazing artist, Alison Rush. I want you all to know her. I will be going to her home in just about an hour and wish you all could come with me to meet her. She is pure joy.

Read more here.

 

Severe Anxiety Symptoms |Top Posts From The Heart

Severe Anxiety Symptoms

As I reread these posts on anxiety, I feel like they just might be some of the most important ones I have written. As much as I wish anxiety was not part of my story, reading comments and remembering the emails I get in response make it worth it. Sharing a bit of my very personal journal and journey has brought so many of you to share yours with me, too, and that makes it all worth it. I received an email from a teenage reader on Christmas night that shared her own anxiety story and thanked me for this post. Yes, it is worth it.

Words from my journal, here.

 

On Grief |Amy from New Nostalgia |Top Posts From The Heart

When Grief Hits

“… I also found myself in a pool of sadness, swimming in grief. Anxiety and depression can often go hand in hand. I am acquainted with anxiety, but never of that severity & had not experienced it accompanied with depression. Deep sadness was a new experience for me. Together anxiety and depression are a brutal duet that brought my life music & happiness to a halt. It was survival time. I was a survivor learning what survival really meant…”

Read more here

 

Help in Suffering Amy from New Nostalgia |Top Posts From The Heart

Help In Suffering

So often a song will spur a writing. That is what happened in this post. It is a cry out to God of help and thanks and praise.

Read more here.

 

Love Wins | Amy from New Nostalgia |Top Posts From The Heart

To Be a Part of Love Winning

I wrote this in response to the Orlando shooting and tell of the time my own sister was caught in a deadly mall shooting.

“I want to feel others pain. I want to have ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart that cares enough to stop for a moment and just listen and absorb, to mourn with and feel with. I want to enter into pain with others because this is what love does…Evil creates pain. Love enters into the pain. Love wins.”

Read more here.

 

FORCED REST | Top Posts From The Heart |Amy New Nostalgia

Forced Rest

I write about a hero of mine. I just saw this precious man yesterday and life has not gotten any easier for him or his family since writing this post early last year. They take it day by day not knowing what each day will bring. Yes, he is my hero, and so is his sweet family.

Read more here.

 

My Love |Amy from New Nostalgia |Top Posts From The Heart

Let Me Tell You About My Todd

Last but not least, my personal favorite post from 2016 because it is about my very favorite guy. How fun that you all liked it too!

Read it here.

 


Well, I have had all the feels reading back over these 11 posts from my heart. THANK YOU for reading and allowing me to share. You all are so dear to me and so very very gentle with my heart.

Counting Gifts/ FAMILY

New Nostalgia Most Popular Posts on Content 2016

new nostalgia popular posts content

It’s been a great year of sharing at New Nostalgia! I am so thankful to call this little place in cyberspace home. I’m so thankful to YOU for making it possible by reading my words. I love doing these end-of-the-year roundup posts consisting of the most popular content of the past year.

In January, I will be posting the Top Recipes of This Past Year, the Top Home Living Tips, and the Top Posts From My Heart, so keep checking back to see what resonated the most with all of you!

If you want to see the most popular posts of 2015, you can check them out here, and 2014’s are here!

 

Top 10 Most Popular Posts of 2016

A Pinnable photo of sloppy Joes

30 Minute Sloppy Joes

Who knew that the very underrated Sloppy Joe would be so very, very popular on New Nostalgia? This recipe has a ton of repins on Pinterest and is now loved by many. It makes my heart happy because it is my Mom’s recipe and has brought much comfort to me over the years– as only recipes from Mom can!

Get the recipe here.

Kitchen-Savings-Tips

Kitchen Savings Tips

If you want simplicity, efficiency and ways to save money in the kitchen, then this post is for you! Freezing lemon slices, making your own taco seasoning, and using cloth napkins are just 3 of the 7 great tips.

Read more here. 

pumpkin pie pin

Perfect Pumpkin Pie With A Secret Ingredient

This post has been popular, but went crazy popular the day before Thanksgiving when everyone was making their Perfect Pumpkin pies! There are actually 2 secret ingredients in this pie, and a fun story about how the recipe just keeps on giving.

Read more here.

MESSY-ROOM-PIN

Teenager’s Messy Room

This was one of my more controversial posts. Parenting can always bring on different opinions and I welcome them! I love looking back and seeing glimpses of my girl’s room, and how much it changes as she grows up, even in just a year’s time!

Check out what brought the controversy here.

SEVERE-ANXIETY-FACE

How To Find Relief From Severe Anxiety

Whoa. Reading this post about a year after writing it was…whoa. It brought back many memories of struggle. It reminds me how far I’ve come and how many prayers have been answered.

Read more here.

18 Things You Need To Throw Away

18 Things You Need To Throw Away

I want to go on a decluttering spree after reading about all that can be thrown away. It is amazing how many things we really can get rid of that are just sitting around and taking up space and our energy. January and February are great months to declutter, making spring cleaning a breeze!

Read more here.

CRANBERRY-CHIA-JAM-PIN

Cranberry Chia Jam

The photos in this post make me realize how far I’ve come with photography this year! I’m really trying hard to create beautiful images for you and improve my photography, and I think it is starting to pay off. I so want to go edit that chia jam photo so that the white table is well…white, instead of that yellow/grey hue.  I will leave it and celebrate improvement over the past year! Oh, and this jam? It’s so my jam. Delicious!

Get the recipe here.

amore-pin

DIY Pedicure Routine

It was fun to share my professional “cosmetology past” with you all in this DIY Pedicure post. I love getting a professional pedicure, but I usually skip it and do it myself to save money. Follow the exact routine outlined in the post for the perfect pedicure!

Learn how here.

SEVERE-ANXIETY-SYMPTOMS

Severe Anxiety Symptoms

As I reread these posts on anxiety, I feel like they just might be some of the most important ones I have written. As much as I wish anxiety was not part of my story, reading comments and remembering the emails I get in response make it worth it. Sharing a bit of my very personal journal and journey has brought so many of you to share yours with me, and that makes it all worth it. I received an email from a teenage reader on Christmas night that shared her own anxiety story and thanked me for this post. Yes, it is worth it.

Words from my journal, here.

amy-todd-winter

Let Me Tell You About My Todd

Last but not least, my personal favorite post from 2016 because it is about my very favorite guy. How fun that you all liked it too!

Read it here.

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What was YOUR favorite post at New Nostalgia in 2016?

What type of posts would you like to see more of in 2017?

Top