Beautiful young woman with two boys on the daisy meadow on a sunny day. Happy family on summer sunset. Kid boy giving flower to his mother. Mum with baby and kid.

Most of us today are running so fast through life, it seems almost impossible to just slow down and calm down. The stress of our everyday lives can seem overwhelming at times. Here are some tips to help you slow down and reduce anxiety to enjoy life a little more.

Reduce Information Intake

We are being bombarded with so much these days. Emails, text messages, Facebook messages – it can all get to be too much at times. If possible, turn off the notifications to some or all of these apps to reduce the number of distractions during the day. Take time periodically to check each one instead of constantly being reminded of all the information you are being sent. Even better, allow yourself a period of time each day where you put your phone away and don’t even look at it. Crazy, I know. But it is a great way to disconnect for a bit and unwind.

Assess Your Workload

Check in at work and determine if all the extra work you put in is necessary. Can you delegate some things to take some of the workload off yourself? Look for ways you can cut back on your hours if overtime is cutting into your personal time on a regular basis.

Just Say No

When your days are jam packed, it’s ok to say no to the next request that comes in. Saying yes to everyone that needs something from you will not feel as good if it leaves you run down and overwhelmed.

Schedule Some Time for Yourself

This one is hard to do but so important. Be sure to schedule yourself some time to unwind every week or as often as you can. Whether it is a massage, a long walk or just a couple hours to read or do some adult coloring.

Take some time to figure out what exactly is making you feel overwhelmed and anxious and try to do something about that. Is it your job? A friend with too much drama? Whatever it is it might be best to reassess what is important.

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If you have not yet make sure to head to your local movie theater because Finding Dory is now in theaters. If you have not checked out my review of them film go HERE

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One of the most touching aspects of Finding Dory is the relationship between Dory and her parents. Her parents ( even though animated) portray a level of compassion that really is touching. You really do not feel like you are watching a animated film – but something happening in real life. When I was in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago I had the chance to interview Eugene Levy who was the voice of Dory’s Father – “Charlie”.

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We first had to know how was it to be part of Finding Dory he said “Didn’t take too much thinking to be involved in the sequel to Finding Nemo.”  When he first saw the film he said the first thing he thought was – “what a great, fantastic job they did! Just when you think you’ve got a handle on where the story’s going and then it just kind of opens up and then it opens up some more and just when you think you’re bringing it home it’s opening up some more and then it gets into such an adventure of it’s like an action. It turns into an action movie at some point and it’s so incredibly real. That animation is so brilliant!”

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In the deepest sense Finding Dory is about a child ( Dory) and her disability. We asked Eugene about his views of parents that raise children that have a disability he said “If you’re not at all familiar with that you would have no idea how much energy and perseverance and patience that it takes. I think parents that have kids that have any kind of impairment are doing the job, you know. If they pick up anything, you know, from this movie then that would be a wonderful thing.”

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Finally we just HAD to know how Dory’s fathers parenting style differed from his parenting style in American Pie

Well it’s, it’s all, it’s always great to play a parent who is that supportive and, you know, kind of life affirming. It was a different story slightly in American Pie where, you know, you have a discovery like I did walking into my kitchen and then thinking as the parent instead of okay, we’ve gotta do something about this, taking it upon himself thinking it must be something I’ve done or not done as a parent.”

If you have not yet make sure to check out the Finding Dory trailer below

Disclaimer – Disney paid for the trip and experiences but all the thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

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Chicken Fajita Pasta

June 23, 2016

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Make sure to add this recipe on Pinterest or Yummly.

Sometime you need a good skillet meal. If you did not know I love fajitas – I remember having my first one at Chili’s – I thought it was the coolest thing how much it sizzled. Because Eric does not like onions we do not really make fajitas but I wanted to find a way to get the flavors into a pasta dish that everyone in my family can enjoy.

What I really like about skillet pasta meals is how easy they reheat again. Though with this recipe I doubt you will have many leftovers.

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This is everything you will need – you can add in a 1/2 onion if you want – Eric HATES and I mean HATES onions so there was no way I could add it in . This recipe is a little different as well because I decided to not use my usual grape seed or olive oil – but coconut oil – I have heard great things about it. It really worked out well for this recipe.

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Making this recipe again I am going to increase the amount of sour cream I used. But overall the recipe is extremely easy and not too spicy. Perfect weekday meal.

This recipe is 4 servings.

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If you do make the Chicken Fajita Pasta recipe make sure to comment and let me know what you thought

Chicken Fajita Pasta
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 pound chicken breasts - cooked
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup prepared salsa
  • 1 Cup cup shredded cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons diced cilantro
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta - drain and set aside.
  2. In a skillet - heat oil and add in peppers. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in chicken. Cook for another 4 minutes.
  3. Add in fajita seasoning into the skillet.
  4. Add in sour cream, pasta, salsa and mix well
  5. Add cheese on top and let cook until cheese is melted
  6. Finish with cilantro and serve.

Recipe is adapted from HERE

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Real Simple® and InStyle®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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A lot of people think I cook constantly. The truth is I spend just as much time cleaning. Of course I blog too and answer to Watson’s every beck and call. I do these things because I love them. Well, the cleaning part I do because I like cleanliness, not because I get some kind of sick pleasure from the smell of ammonia.

Between the things that have to get done every day and the time I spend with my husband when he comes home there are a few fleeting but precious moments of “me time.” I have to use this time wisely, because “me time” can be wasted. I could stream something on TV and space out and then the moment is gone. Worse, I could sift through endless options never finding what I want. No thank you. I prefer the low tech way to unwind and recharge. I turn off all the electronics and sit in my comfy sofa a recent issue of InStyle, or Real Simple.

While I was doing my shopping at Safeway, I decided to pick up the newest Real Simple and Instyle issue. They were easy to find at the checkout.

One DIY I have found to give me relaxation is making succulent planters. They take only a few minutes to put together

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All you need are small containers (I even use antique tea cups), potting soil, and succulents.

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Add small amount of soil into the container then add the plant and you are done. I love succulents because they are pretty and you need to only water them every 10 days or so.

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There is something special about flipping through a magazine and gleaning nuggets of advice and tips about style and beauty. I like the interviews because they feel personal and not trashy. I like the way everything is packaged in one of these magazines because I don’t get information overload or get lost in a sea of links.

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My favorite thing about taking a break from the monitor and housework for my “me time” is that I get a chance to pause and take in new inspiration for the day or the week or the month. The things I read are like food, they nourish me and give me energy to tackle the rest of the day. I love these magazines because they are comprehensive lifestyle guides that challenge and educate me on topics I’m drawn to, so that When I put it down, I am more informed than I was before and I have new tools and ideas for bringing more creativity into my work and home.

You can visit your local Safeway and get $1 off PEOPLE®, Real Simple®, InStyle®, CookingLight® or Sunset® through JUST FOR U .


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PEOPLE®, Real Simple®, InStyle®, CookingLight® and Sunset®. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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Cute young woman lifting weights

Having a bad day? There are just some days that you feel like no matter what you do you can’t turn it around. But here are some ideas to help you try.

Tackle Items from your To-Do List

When I’m having a bad day, I like to make sure that I at least accomplish a few things. So I pull out my to-do list and see what is manageable. Even crossing off a few of the easier tasks, or one of the more difficult ones, makes me feel like my day was a success.

Do Something Nice for Someone Else

Doing something good to help someone else can do a lot for your own mood and frame of mind. Find a little good deed you can do and help make someone else’s day a little better. You will find that it helps your day end on a better note as well.

Turn to YouTube

Who doesn’t feel better when you watch a video full of cute kittens or hilarious kids? If your day isn’t making you smile, find some videos that will turn your smile upside down.

Treat Yourself

Whether you treat yourself with an indulgent dessert that you’ve been craving or you lay down for a much deserved nap, treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting but have been putting off.

Get Some Exercise

For some, exercise may be a bad word, but when you are having a bad day a little physical activity is sometimes the best thing. It doesn’t have to be a full blown workout. Even getting out for a nice long walk can change your frame of mind for the better.

Find Some Good Company

Sometimes what a bad day needs is a good friend to vent to or just have a good time with. Call up a friend and meet for a drink or dinner to help end your day on a great note!

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Wine appetizer set. Glass of red wine, French sausage and olives on black wooden backdrop, selective focus

I have talked to so many people who don’t think a Costco membership is worth the $55 per year. But if you buy just the 5 things below on a regular basis you will more than cover the cost of your annual membership fee.

Movie Tickets

If you are a regular movie-goer, especially if you are buying for the entire family, buying movie tickets at Costco can save you around 30% off purchasing them at the theater. You can buy packs of discount movie tickets or in some cases you can buy gift cards at a discount. That helps you save on tickets and on the concessions which can sometimes be more than the cost of the tickets themselves.

Gift Cards

You can also purchase discount gift cards to other places than just the movies. Restaurants, theme parks and more all offer discount gift cards at Costco. Such an easy way to save on places you likely will visit sometime during the year.

Car Tires

If you need tires, the cost of a set of 4 tires will alone allow you to recoup the amount you paid for your annual membership. After doing some price shopping the prices were significantly cheaper at Costco that at a tire store. Plus the installation fee that everyone charges was less per tire as well for more overall savings.

Wine

If you are a regular purchaser of wine, you can’t beat the prices at Costco. They are typically 10-20% lower than a liquor store. And they generally have a good selection to choose from for all price options.

Lunch or Dinner

Grab a meal at Costco when you are shopping and you can get some great food for cheap. Or take home one of their delicious pizzas to bake at home instead of ordering delivery.

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Bizaardvark premieres Friday, June 24 at 9:45pm, after the premiere of Adventures in Babysitting!

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There is a new show coming to the Disney Channel ( I was able to see the first episode and it is tons of fun) the show is called Bizaardvark. The show is all about accepting that we are all different and to celebrate those differences. I love this messaging and I really think it is important for young people to know.

We were able to meet the creators Kyle Stegina and Josh Lehrman. We were able to talk to the cast and check out the set as well.

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The show is about two tween girls, Paige and Frankie who are up and coming Vuuugle stars. Vuuugle is like youtube. The two girls make comedy music videos – the name of their channel is Bizaardvark.

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We were able to walk around the set which was a lot of fun – we also got to talk to the cast Olivia Rodrigo (“Paige Olvera”), Madison Hu (“Frankie Wong”), Jake Paul (“Dirk Mann”), DeVore Ledridge (“Amelia Duckworth”) and Ethan Wacker (“Bernard ‘Bernie’ Schotz”). These interviews will be in another post.

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We also were able to watch a rehearsal as well – which was pretty cool.

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If you have not yet check out the trailer for the show.

Disclaimer – Disney paid for the trip and experiences but all the thoughts and opinions are my own. Photos by Ruth of Viva Veltoro. 

 

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Chicken eggs in a carton box on a wooden rustic table

I love finding unexpected ways to make extra cash. I’m almost always saving up for something, whether it be holiday shopping, our next trip to Vegas, or something new for the house. Extra cash I make from things like this always go right towards that savings.

You might find it hard to believe that you can make money selling these things you would normally just throw out on eBay.

Old Makeup Containers

Once you are done with your makeup, clean it out and sell that empty container on eBay. M.A.C. brand containers are in high demand, for example, due to their Back to M.A.C. program where customers can turn in 6 empty containers for a free lipstick. Sweet deal!

Coupons

Just think about all of those coupons you get in the mail every day. What if you could make money from them instead of throwing them out? Well you can make $5, $10 or more from one coupon depending on the value and the store. So the next time you get one, do some research and see what it’s worth to someone else.

Magazines

Before you toss your old magazines out, check eBay. Some issues can sell for around $5 each! In other cases you can sell a stack of older magazines for around $2 each. Check it out. You might be surprised.

Egg Cartons

People who do arts and crafts are always looking for extra household items like egg cartons. If you use eggs start stacking the cartons away. Once you get a stack you should be able to sell them for around $2-4 each.

Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Tubes

Similar to egg cartons, these used paper tubes are in demand by people who do arts and crafts. Start saving yours up and you can make $0.25 each or even more!

Some of these items do not seem like you could make a ton of money, but each time you sell it adds up and over the course of a year can add up to a nice pile of extra cash from your piles of trash!

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