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20 Easy Foods to Grow In Containers

Grocery shopping has gotten complicated. You never know what is going to be in stock, and ordering it isn’t a guarantee you’ll get it. So much of food shopping right now is hit or miss. One way to try to have a bit more control is to grow some of your own food. Growing produce eliminates some of the guessing game when it comes to feeding your family. No need to worry the store won’t have what you need in stock. You don’t even need to worry it will rot in the fridge before you use it. Just pick it as you need it. Along with easing part of the stress of food shopping, plants are really good for our mental health too, so why not try growing your food?

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I get paid a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Three clay pots containing green plants

We have done our fair share of gardening around here. I’ve had one growing north of my house, and I’ve grown in containers out front by the porch. My favorite method is container gardening. By planting in a container, rather than in the ground, you eliminate weeds and get more control over the plant’s growing conditions. Container gardening is accessible to most people. You can place your plants outside, on a porch or balcony, or find a good spot indoors for them instead.

I’m not going to go into the details and “how-to” parts, but here are some of my favorite resources for getting started.

7 Secrets For a Successful Container Garden

How Not To Kill Plants In Containers, 13 Most Important Things To Know

How To Get Started Container Planting

Burpee Garden Advice Center – Container Gardening

Burpee Garden – Gardening on a Deck or Patio

What Should I Grow?

I’m focusing on the plants I saw recommended the most often and as the easiest place to start. Vegetables and herbs are recommended the most often. You can grow fruits too, but they didn’t really come up in the “easy foods to grow indoors” search.

Easiest Herbs to Grow In Containers

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage

You can buy live plants at a local nursery, or you can stay out of the store and order some seeds. Burpee.com has good quality seeds, and they are still shipping. They even have a page with all the herbs they recommend for containers in one place.

Tomatoes and cucumbers cut up on a serving board

Easiest Vegetables to Grow In Containers

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Green Beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Chard

Again, live plants are a great option, and easier in many cases, but if you are wanting to limit your store trips, ordering seeds online is a great solution. Burpee has a page full of container favorite vegetables too.

Bonus Fruit

A small partially ripe strawberry growing from a mason jar

The one fruit I did see mentioned was the strawberry. Strawberry plants are pretty small to start with, so you can use a variety of containers (including hanging ones!) You can grow one plant or plant multiple. You are likely much better off starting strawberries from a live plant, but I know people have success with seeds also.

So, what would you start with? Herbs? Some Vegetables? I always have chives and basil growing in containers. Lettuce and zucchini are my picks for veggies. I might try cucumbers also. Oh, and I always have garlic growing in my yard. Comment below and let me know your plans! Or, find me on Twitter and share there.

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4 Powerful DIY Disinfectants That Actually Kill Viruses

Co-vid 19 has caused a shortage in disinfectants and sanitizers. Reasonably, most sources are directing their supplies to hospitals and healthcare workers. Unfortunately, that leaves most households wondering how we are supposed to protect ourselves and our families. Many turn to DIY products, but how do you know which of the DIY disinfectants actually kill viruses?

I’ve read and searched to find the best DIY alternatives backed by science that I could. Since we can’t buy what has already been tested, we should be able to feel secure in the home solutions we turn to.

Professional Recommendations

While doing my search I based my criteria on info from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

CDC article on cleaning and disinfecting

An article from the WHO on illness prevention and control concerning the co-vid 19 virus

Another CDC article on disinfection methods

So, cleaners need to be 70% alcohol to be effective and hand sanitizers need to be 60% alcohol. 3% hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant, and of course, bleach (at 4 tsp/qt) is another option. The DIY disinfectants and cleaners I discuss below all fit into these guidelines.

DIY Disinfectants That Will Kill Viruses

LifesCarousel.com has a fantastic post on this topic. She goes into detail about bacteria and viruses, the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, and then how to clean and disinfect effectively.

She lists 2 cleaners that should be effective according to the CDC guidelines (her rubbing alcohol spray and hydrogen peroxide spray). Both the rubbing alcohol spray and the hydrogen peroxide spray are both simple, effective DIY disinfectants, which is much appreciated. I love the sound of the other two, but I can’t guarantee they can be effective enough for this pandemic. I chose to share the rubbing alcohol spray recipe, but you need to go visit her site to get the hydrogen peroxide recipe. She has more to say on the subject, and it is worth reading.

Rubbing Alcohol Disinfectant

1 part water

1 part alcohol

(90% isopropyl alcohol or 160 proof or higher grain alcohol)

Mix in a spray bottle

Spray on the infected area and let dry

Her 5th suggestion is brilliant, and I think maybe overlooked. She recommends a steam cleaner for difficult to disinfect items, but also if you or a family member are the type to have easily irritated lungs. A steam cleaner eliminates the need for chemical disinfectants and so is easier on the lungs.

Now, I haven’t ever used a steam cleaner, but she recommended the Bissell Power Fresh Steamer.

 

Simply Well Balanced is written by a former microbiologist, Lauren Tingley. Her blog post, How to Disinfect Your House After Flu or Illness, covers preventing illness, what to use to disinfect surfaces, and follows up with a checklist of what needs disinfecting. It is a very thorough post and worth a read.

Her go-to disinfectant is the

CDC recommended diluted bleach

1/3 cup bleach to 1-gallon water OR 4 tsp bleach to 1-quart water

Mix carefully. Also, only mix what you are going to need for one day. More than that and you may have the issue of the bleach breaking down your plastic container and also the bleach breaking down itself to be less effective.

If you are looking for a disinfectant spray, OneEssentialCommunity has one that can stand in for Lysol since it’s so hard to find now. She discusses essential oils, but her recipe is mostly alcohol (and she even lists the types that make it effective enough), so it fits with the CDC and WHO recommendations. The essential oils are optional but give it a wonderful scent.

Go to her site for step-by-step instructions (with pics!) and more information about the essential oils she lists. She also offers a printable recipe and label, and instructions for how to use the spray.

Lysol Alternative

Fill a 16 oz glass spray bottle most of the way full with alcohol

(140 proof or greater (70%+ alcohol) such as Everclear or rubbing alcohol)

Add 1/2 tsp hydrogen peroxide

Add the following essential oils

  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 15 drops lemon essential oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Put on spray top and shake to mix well

Bonus: 2 Hand Sanitizers

AGardenForTheHouse shared this hand sanitizer recipe recommended by the WHO.

WHO Recommended Hand Sanitizer

1 cup 99% isopropyl alcohol

or

1 cup + 4 tsp 91% isopropyl alcohol

1 T 3% hydrogen peroxide

1 tsp glycerin

Enough water to bring the liquid level up to 1 1/3 cups

His post shares step-by-step instructions and a printable version of the recipe.

two people holding clear glass bottles


Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

LifeWithLoveBugs updated her post for homemade hand sanitizer with an additional recipe that uses 90% (or higher) rubbing alcohol.

LifeWithLoveBugs Hand Sanitizer Recipe

2/3 cup 90% or higher rubbing alcohol

1/3 cup aloe vera gel

5-10 drops essential oils

Getting the Ingredients

I tried to find options that you could still get the ingredients for. Isopropyl alcohol is pretty well not available now, but I believe you won’t have too hard of a time finding 160 (or higher) proof grain alcohol at the liquor store. Hydrogen peroxide is more scarce now as well, so you may need to shop around. I found some at Rite Aid (online). I hope it becomes more available again soon, but for now, I’d keep checking assorted stores online.

Aloe vera gel can be hard to find in stores (hopefully it will be more available this summer), but I found Fruit of the Earth brand Aloe Vera Gel on Amazon. I like that brand of aloe because it is alcohol-free (so no burning on your sunburn) and it is a reasonable price compared to most others. Plus there are no other ingredients to possibly mess with your recipe.

I haven’t had any problem finding bleach yet, but who knows if that will change. Any brand will work, no need to only buy Clorox. I do think it matters what variety though. The non-splashing kind may mess with the ratio of bleach to water that you are aiming for in this spray, so I would get the regular kind. I’m also not sure about using the bleach with fragrance. It may be extra irritating to the lungs.

I don’t have any particular opinions on which essential oils to buy. A few of the authors above have their own preferences, so you may want to check their posts to see what they have to say (again, because you already went and read them once, right?). I usually just pick mine up at Walmart, but I’ve ordered from Amazon too when I wanted a specific one that Walmart didn’t carry.

I hope these recipes help, and you feel confident in disinfecting your house. We all need more security nowadays, so I hope I was able to provide some.

If you are interested in other DIY cleaners, you can check out my post 12 Extremely Useful Spoonie Cleaning Tips.

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11 Essential Chores Your Kids Can Master

With the kids home there is more laundry, more dishes, more chores in general. Sudden changes in our routines have everyone stressed, but some sort of daily life has to carry on. Overwhelm sets in quickly. There is hope though!

Unless your kids are very small, there are definitely chores they can do to help ease the workload. It isn’t mean or unfair to expect your kids to contribute. In fact, it is beneficial.

So, give them chores with no guilt and know that you are making more self-sufficient adults.

I do use some affiliate links below which means as an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

 

Chores Your Kids Can Do To Help Out

 

Pick up after themselves — There is no reason most children over the age of 2 can’t do this with some supervision. Under 2 can still help you with some hands-on direction. Expect your older kids to not leave trash around, pick up activities/toys as they finish, and deal with any dishes too.

child playing with LEGOs

Laundry — All kids can help pick up any laundry lying around. Most can load the washer and move clothes to the dryer (with or without supervision). My kids start learning to do their own laundry as soon as they can reach everything they need. That’s about 10 years old for us. I insist on an adult handling the bleach until they are maybe 14.

Folding laundry is a chore that can be started with little ones also. Toddlers can pick out socks or washcloths to make a pile. Preschoolers can match socks, fold washcloths, and try folding their own pants (usually simple at that size). As they get older they get more coordinated and can handle more. If they find ways to fold clothes that is different than your method, don’t correct them. Let them problem solve and grow in their responsibilities. My 10 year old folds his shirts in a “weird” way, but he puts them away himself, and that’s all that matters.

Trash — All ages can help pick up any trash they find, and most will be able to gather the trash from cans around the house to put in the dumpster. Older kids, with enough strength, can take any larger bags out for you. Don’t forget to show them how to put a new bag in also.

Dishes — More time at home means a lot more dishes. (I’m not sure about those mathematics, but that’s how it goes.) Kids can bring their dishes into the kitchen after meals and even load the dishwasher. Start with their own dishes and slowly teach them how to load the rest. If you feel they have the coordination, start them on hand-washing also. Younger kids can start with plastic dishware and move on from there. Silverware is a good way to start also. Nothing will get broken, but it takes attention to detail.

Meal Prep — When doing the prep work for meals, get your kids involved. Kids can chop veggies, measure ingredients, stir, and more depending on what you teach them. Many parents find their kids are more willing to eat meals that they’ve helped make. It’s a good idea to make snacks and simple lunch ingredients available. This way you aren’t expected to stop everything to get a snack multiple times a day. It’s ok to let them listen to their stomachs and eat when they are hungry.

two children in large kitchen prepping food. One has dough draped in front of her face like a mustache

Wipe down/clean the table/counter — Schools are closed due to germs, so now is a great time to teach kids that we need to keep surfaces germ-free for cooking and eating. Once the other clean-up is done, they can use whatever method you prefer to get that countertop and dining table (or trays, whatever) clean and ready for next time.

Clean the bathroom sink/toilet — Are your kids trashing the bathroom now that they’re home all day? Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to add to your chore list. Make it their responsibility to wipe the toilet with a disinfecting wipe every time they go if they can’t be more careful.

Since my go-to of Clorox wipes are not readily available right now, I did a search for a good substitute. CleanMama.com shared a great recipe for DIY Disinfectant. This might not be the thing to use if you are wanting to kill the COVID-19 virus, but it should work great for disinfecting the toilet. The vodka is a great germ killer, and probably easier to find than isopropyl alcohol right now. If missing the bowl isn’t a problem, have a toilet brush available with a bit of soap for them to swish over the surfaces of the bowl once a week to keep it smelling fresh.

Bathroom counter/sink chores are just as doable. You can expect your kids to wipe up any water mess they make, and even do a once-a-week cleaning to keep it all germ-free and sparkling.

Vacuuming — Bigger kids can absolutely do the vacuuming and sweeping (if you have hard floors). Everyone brings in the mess, so everyone can take a turn cleaning it up. Swiffer sweepers work well to help them get the last of the pet hair or dust on those hard floors. I used to have a bigger kid sweep with a broom, and then a younger one would finish up with the Swiffer.

A vacuum on grey carpet that is covered with metalic confetti

Dusting — We are dealing with a pandemic that involves a respiratory illness. Keeping our house as dust-free as we can is going to give our lungs a break, so they are less irritated and more able to fight sickness off. Swiffer dusters make quick work of it, but microfiber cloths work just as well, as does a damp cloth. You might not want them to dust some more fragile knickknacks, but you probably have plenty of surfaces they can dust.

All of these chores are just a part of running a household. Your kids are going to need to know how to do all of this to care for their own home as an adult anyway, so let them start now. It will ease your load, make them feel involved, and teach important life skills.

 

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21 Teen Approved, Awesome Activities for Being Stuck Home

Teens can be harder to entertain when you are stuck in the house. I asked my kids for ideas and the 14 year old had the most input for me. So, here are my “teen approved” activities to suggest to your teens when they have run out of ideas.

21 “Teen Approved” Activities

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1. Make a music video or movie
2. Practice origami
3. Learn to cook their favorite meal
4. Movie marathon (at home or online with friends) There are more than a handful of apps to choose from for this.
5. Make cards to send. Friends, family, isolated neighbors, and even people living at nursing homes are all great options for this.
6. Grow something. There are so many options. Seed kits, regrowing produce at home, propagating from plants you already have and I bet there are even more options. Growing things is so satisfying, and it is proven to be good for our health (mentally and physically) to have plants in our living space.

7. Make a tote out of a t-shirt

8. Create a photo journal or blog

9. Make friendship bracelets

10. Sort clothes to donate
11. Write – a poem, song, play, story, or start a novel

male presenting person writing in a notebook with a ball point pen, in front of a laptop

pic from pexels.com

12. Create a website (learn to code!)
13. Make a bucket list of everything they want to do once it is safe again.
14. Watch makeup tutorials and learn a new technique
15. Read to kids they know over video chat.
16. Make playlists. Create the perfect playlist for during shower time, to play while cooking/baking, to work out to, or the ideal list to help them relax and fall asleep. Theme options are practically unlimited.
17. Play board games. Drag out the old favorites or design a new one!
18. Make jewelry
21. Learn graphic design. I found a lot of resources with a quick search on Pinterest, but the free course offered by Kimmi Kinsey caught my eye. I’m going to suggest that one to my own 14-year-old. She is really interested in doing graphic design for a living.
I know teens can be especially resistant to suggestions, so I hope a few of these pique their interest. Remember, nothing lasts forever and they’ll be out doing their own thing before long.
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Ultimate List of Online Boredom Busters (Over 50 links!)

People are sharing great links everywhere to online boredom buster activities. Online classes, virtual tours, free showings, e-books, and so much more. It’s really very impressive all that is available. Since it is being shared mostly one link at a time over multiple platforms, I decided to make an ultimate list of sorts to share. So, here are all the resources I’ve been seeing offered online.

{Edited to add over 19 new links!}

Kid Focused Resources

I’m sure most of these could be enjoyed by all ages, but if you are specifically looking for online boredom busters with a kid focus, these links are for you.

Online Educational Stuff for Kids

Here is a collection of free online learning resources for children.

Free Online Resources

PlayPennies shares Joe Wicks’ YouTube channel which holds daily kids’ workout/P.E. classes.

Best selling author, Mo Willems, is teaching kids drawing on YouTube.

Whale experts have launched a free virtual marine biology camp.

And here is an entire list of educational companies offering free subscriptions while people are dealing with school closings due to the virus.

Science World’s IMAX movies about dinosaurs and Egyptian mummies are free to watch at home now.

 

The “NASA At Home” website, full of educational content such as science-themed e-books, podcasts, and videos. Kids will love the science experiments and might even find a virtual tour they like. NASA has even developed an app that allows you to take control of a NASA aircraft.

Stories and Live Readings

The YouTube channel StorytimeOnline has celebrities reading children’s books.

Audible has stories for kids and teens while school is out.

#OperationStoryTime has more authors hosting storytimes online.

Watch astronauts read stories from space!

Here are some Spanish children’s stories read by native Spanish speakers with slow audio. You can read along in Spanish or English.

LeVar Burton is airing livestreams of himself reading on Twitter every Friday.

Michelle Obama is hosting live storytimes online for children also.

 

Virtual Tours and Live Cams

Here is a cool Northern Lights cam.

Explore National Parks with virtual tours.

Cincinnati Zoo has a Facebook live home safari every day. And they have resources for activities to join along.

Monterey Bay Aquarium has live streams of their animals available.

The British Library has made their exhibit “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” available online.

Online classes and tutoring

Students from Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley give free tutoring to K-12 students.

Khan Academy has free online courses and classes for all ages. They currently have free daily schedules for kids 4-18 to help keep them learning.

E-Learning offers curriculum-based learning for K-6th for free.

Courses4you.com has a list of sites that offer free courses for kids online.

David Attenborough is teaching geography online.

Author and illustrator of the Captain Underpants books, Dav Pilkey, is offering free drawing lessons and readings of his books thanks to the Library of Congress.¬† While you’re there, check out the large variety of other activities the Library of Congress has to offer.

Activities

Danielle Deen from deenadventures.com has 100 suggestions of what to do with your kids during quarantine.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

Make a cardboard dome as a fun project to keep everyone busy.

I wrote this post: 21 Teen Approved Activities For Being Stuck at Homes recently. Included is a nice mix of online boredom busters and offline activities.

Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels 

Online Boredom Busters for Adults

Again, this stuff is really fine for all ages, but adults may have a bit more interest.

Stuff To Watch

Binge watch every episode of Julia Child!

The Met is airing encore performances for free daily.

Playbill has 15 Broadway plays and musicals you can watch from home.

London-based concert hall Wigmore Hall “will be sharing exceptional performances, masterclasses, talks and more from past events at Wigmore Hall” until its planned reopening April 14.

Pink Floyd is streaming full concerts weekly on YouTube during the pandemic.

Cirque Du Soleil is offering free shows since their tour was canceled. Check out their site and see what they have to offer.

Looking for some nostalgia? Hasbro has made the first 15 episodes of GI Joe: A Real American Hero available on YouTube.

Online classes and tutoring

This is an old post, but ClassCentral shares links from 190 universities sharing 600 free online classes.

MoMA is offering free online art classes. This is an amazing opportunity.

Dr. Jennifer Delora, the owner of Access Deaf Consulting, is offering free, online ASL (American Sign Language) lessons.

Learn how to make homemade pasta from an actual Italian grandma. Nonna Nerina usually runs pasta-making workshops in the countryside north of Rome in Italy, but since the pandemic closed everything down, she had to cancel all her classes. Now, with her granddaughter Chiara, Nerina has taken her classes online.

 

Online/Virtual Tours

Winchester Mystery House is offering free virtual tours. Horror fans and ghost hunters both will like this one, but history buffs will find it fascinating too.

Image by Viktoriia Bondar from Pixabay

Visit 6 Italian museums online for free and get your culture on.

The Haunted Museum in Mapperley has launched a live stream so you can visit while they are closed due to the pandemic. Check out thehauntedmuseum.co.uk to do your own ghost hunting.

How about a 3D virtual tour of Ramesses VI tomb? Check out the tour and the amazing work done in this tomb.

If you are a lover of architecture, you may be excited to learn about these virtual tours of 12 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. These beautiful, inspiring builds are a nice change of scenery.

Lovers of the movie The Dark Crystal will want to check out this tour. The Center for Puppetry Arts gave a virtual tour of the Dark Crystal exhibit, and it can be accessed on their Facebook page. They are also offering assorted digital programming.

Another great tour for horror fans is this one of Dracula’s Castle. This is the actual Bran Castle in Transylvania. Yes, that one, that inspired Bran Stoker. Check it out and see another piece of history.

Pitt Rivers Museum, in Oxford, England, is closed due to the coronavirus, but still available to browse virtually. This 136 year-old Victorian museum hiding within another museum is full of all kinds of curiosities and you can wander each aisle and display with just a click of your mouse.

E-books, Readings, and More to Read

Patrick Stewart is reading Shakespeare online for his fans.

Online academic resource JSTOR has over 6,000 e-books and 150 journals available for free.

Activities

Ifitbringsyoujoy.com had a great idea and listing out 35 hobbies you can learn at home for free.

A lot of gyms are doing online classes right now.

Can’t go to the gym? Check out these online classes, apps

And Finally

These two are full of links for both adults and kids. Lots and lots of links. It will take a while to fully explore what both have to offer.

Openculture.com has a compilation of links to free coloring pages, ebooks, movies, online courses, audiobooks, and more. Be sure to check this one out.

This is the link directly to the free coloring books from 113 museums offered by openculture.com.

 

There are so many options out there, and I plan on adding to the list as I come across more info. Don’t worry, I will keep you and your family informed of all the boredom busters I can find.

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Challenging Myself (and You) to Not Give a Shit

A recent goal in my life has been to “not give a shit” what other people think. In many ways this is easy for me, but there are still some areas this doesn’t come natural.

I was very caught up in rules as a child, but as an adult I don’t do well with being told what to do, or even more so, what not to do. I know what I want done, and I don’t really care if anyone else approves. Don’t get me wrong, if the rules are keeping people safe in any manner, I’m going to follow them, but I’m not going to blindly do what I’m told.

I Need to Not Give a Shit I’m Misjudged

I hate being misunderstood. In any situation, I don’t mind if people disagree with me, but I want to feel they understand my position. So, it has been hard to let go of being concerned about judgment based on misinformation. I mean, judge me all you want, but do it based on the truth. Another truth though is that I have no control over how people go about judging me, and it isn’t even my business. It is all on them.

"Don't take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinons and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering. - Don Miguel Ruiz

People base their opinions on life experiences and whatever info they come across. It isn’t my job to correct the conclusions they have formed. I can provide more information, but I can’t make them pay any attention to it. I can’t make them listen. And most of the time it isn’t worth it to even do that much.

Remember, people who are judging and talking about you apparently have very little going on in their life if they have time for that nonsense. If you are going to waste any time on them, pity them and move on.

I Struggle to Not Give a Shit While Fat

People have many opportunities to misjudge me. It’s the same for everyone. On a daily basis, this doesn’t bother me much, but one way it does is my weight. I’m fat, and I know how most of our world perceives fat people, especially fat women. Rude, hateful people make this very clear on social media quite often. Often enough, in fact, that I avoid posting body positive and fat acceptance topics sometimes because I’m not ready to deal with the backlash.

I also avoid some life experiences because I worry about what others will think based on my body. Do you understand? I’m letting other people limit what I do! In reality, their opinions don’t matter at all, because their assumptions about me are wrong, and none of their thoughts change anything in my life. My thoughts, opinions, and truth all stay the same.

If I’m happy and confident in what I’m doing, why should anyone’s opinion matter to me? If I don’t plan on changing my actions based on those opinions, they don’t need to affect me in anyway.

All the hateful comments and behavior are nothing to my knowledge of how harmful dieting is, what my body has been through, and the security I have that I’m doing what is right for me.

Your opinion is not my reality. Dr Steve Maraboli

My ability to not give a shit needs to expand and grow so I can live my life more fully as myself. This is a beautiful bit of self-love and self-care that is desperately needed.

Some Steps Toward “Not Giving a Shit

1. Realize that everyone judges (even you)

You aren’t going to escape from judgment. It is very important to me to pass as little judgment as possible, and yet I still tend to do it sometimes. The fact is, people are going to judge, but you don’t have to let it affect you.

2. Acknowledge the fact that you aren’t as important as you think.

Hear me out. You are a valuable human, no doubt, but maybe people aren’t paying as much attention to you as you think they are. Perhaps a big chunk of that judgment you think you are receiving isn’t even there.

3. Some things are out of your control.

We have our sphere of control, our sphere of influence, and then there is the sphere where we have no influence or control. Most things in life are out of our control, and we will all be much happier if we realize this.

Other people’s opinions of us are out of our control. We can control how much effort and learning we put into making decisions, but once we make them, the rest is usually out of our control. If something is eating at you, think of these spheres, and if it’s out of your control, let it go and work on not giving a shit.

4. You aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Not everyone is going to like you. That’s okay! Like that one saying, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who hates peaches.” Who cares? You can change everything about you in an effort to try to be liked by everyone, and it isn’t going to work. Instead, work on being the best, most authentic you possible.

5. Be authentic.

Speaking of authentic, always act that way and you leave nothing to condemn. People will absolutely still try, but what are they really judging? If you are honest, don’t lie, and make as well-informed decisions as you are able to make, there is no room for objection. I find that leaving nothing for me to question about myself makes it much easier to not give a shit what other’s may think.

So, are you with me? Let’s make 2018 a year of not giving a shit what other people think!

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Let’s Scrutinize Our Support System

Self care isn’t something only done in isolation. Alone time is nice, and can be healing, but many parts of our self-care requires a support system. Your support system might include any number and variety of people, and it will likely change over time. This is an excellent reason to evaluate your support system regularly by asking yourself these three questions.

Who do you have?

Make a list of everyone in your life who you can depend on for help in some capacity. This list may contain:

  • family members
  • friends
  • co-workers
  • acquaintances from clubs
  • church members
  • health care providers
  • counselors
  • or even online support you have found

Include anyone you know you can call on when you need something.

Who are you missing?

Is there someone missing from your list? Maybe you would like to call them, but you aren’t sure they are willing to help? Just ask them. Yeah, it’s possibly going to be awkward, but then you will know if you can depend on them or not. This is much better to know ahead of time instead of being let down or even avoiding getting the help you need in a crisis.

Maybe there is a type of help you need, but just don’t have the right person to call. For example, someone to help with housework or decluttering, someone to grocery shop with you, someone to enjoy your hobby with, someone who can hold your hand at medical appointments, or even just drive you there and back.

Once you make a list of openings you have, you are ready for the next question.

How do I find them?

Simple answer, but not an easy process. Depending on who you are looking for, there are many ways to go about finding the friends or help you need.

Support of any kind can be found in support groups both in real life and online. Meetup.com is a great way to find an existing group or start one of your own. The library or local health department might have a bulletin board with adverts for local groups too. You can also check with your doctor’s office or counselor and see if they know of any.

My library holds meetings for different hobby groups, so that may be a good source to check. Community centers, local colleges, Craigslist, Facebook, and a Google search may all be good ways to find local hobby groups.

Finally, ask around! Co-workers, friends, etc may have suggestions for you.

After all of this, hopefully you have a decent list of people as your support system. Keep this list in either a visible spot or someplace where you know where to find it. Now the important thing is to remember to use it! It is ok to ask for help, even though it can feel wrong at the time. Once you get used to asking it feels more natural, and you can just appreciate what a well-developed support system can do for you.

The author's name, Leigh, in red script, to the left with a coffee cup to the right.


Journal Prompts for Self-Acceptance

Sometimes you know exactly what you want to write in your journal, and sometimes you need a little help to get going. Journal prompts come in handy for times like that. In this post I’ve got 11 journal prompts for you to use when working on self-acceptance.

  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my values?
  • If I wasn’t afraid, I would _____.
  • What does my inner critic tell me? How am I wrong?
  • 10 things that cheer me up are …
  • If I could tell my past self anything, I would say _____.
  • What am I proud of?
  • My best personality trait is _____. Why?
  • Tape a picture you love of yourself into your journal . Why did you pick this one?
  • 10 interesting facts about myself.
  • What three words would my closest friends use to positively describe me?

If you like this idea, let me know and I can make more lists of journal prompts.

New here? Wondering why you’d want to journal? Curious but not sure how to get started? Check out these links and see what you think.

Journal Writing – 5 Smart Reasons Why You Should Start Doing it Today 

8 Ways to Use a Journal For Self-Care and Beyond

7 Electronic Alternatives to a Paper Journal

The author's name, Leigh, in red script, to the left with a coffee cup to the right.


My Favorite Posts from 2017

I’m writing this later than I meant to, but I really liked the idea of a round-up of my personal favorite posts, so I’m cranking it out anyway.

We are going to start this list with the 2017 blog post that got the most views. This Lazy Woman’s Guide to Housework was incredibly popular with you all! If you enjoyed that one, you’ll likely enjoy 12 Extremely Useful Spoonie Cleaning Tips also.

Next up is Resource Roundup: Over 25 Amazing Sources for Info on Self-Acceptance and More. I love this post! It took a ton of work, but there are just so many great links, it was well worth it. I look forward to making another similar post this year.

I felt 12 Signs You Have Low Self-Esteem and 7 Ways to Overcome Low Self-Esteem were a great complimentary set of posts. If you haven’t yet, please check them out, and share them on Facebook and Twitter! Or, maybe, Pin them for later.

The Fundamental Key to Happiness made the list since it’s a great post to get the main idea of my blog and why I’m doing this. (My Inspiration For This Blog pt 1 and pt 2 gives more insight.)

The Value of Selfies was really fun to write. I’ve never felt like selfies were a bad thing, and what I found supported that. Give it a read and see all the benefits from selfies!

5 Myths About Body Acceptance makes the list because I feel it is a very important message. Getting the word out about body acceptance is critical, but fighting the lies and misunderstandings is just as crucial.

Finally, I’m adding 38 Things I’ve Learned So Far in My 38 Years. It was fun to share so much about myself with you all. If you would head over to that post and leave a comment telling me something you learned in 2017, that would be awesome! I’d love to hear from you!

The author's name, Leigh, in red script, to the left with a coffee cup to the right.