Archives for January 2019

Hoarders Anonymous: Take The Step Towards A Decluttered Home

We’ve all been there. It could be a particular room in your house, or maybe your hoarding habit has taken over your whole home.

You may not think of yourself as a hoarder, but has that ever become a topic of contention between you and your adult children or grandkids? Do you have a box you’ve been keeping in case you need to use it, but haven’t opened it years? You’re not alone, we’ve all faced the daunting task of decluttering our house.

Staring at a pile of junk, knowing you have to throw away, organize, or otherwise clean the contents of said junk pile can be downright overwhelming. With anything in life, the best way to join ‘Hoarders Anonymous’ and declutter your life is strategically. You’re not insulting old memories by organizing your life. Think of it as making more room to have your grandchildren spend time with you.

Start Slow

Take a deep breath, you don’t have to get everything done in one day. Giving yourself enough time to take things slow, do it right, and little by little get it done will help you stay calm and focused on the task at hand. If you try to declutter a house or even just a room in a matter of a day you will likely end up feeling overwhelmed and you may not even finish. So start slow and move steadily to keep your momentum.

Stock Up

You’re going to need a few things in order to effectively declutter your life. A few of the essentials are: garbage bags (lots of them), cardboard boxes (to hold donation items), and cleaning supplies (decluttering can reveal some pretty gross things), a music playlist (for motivation), and a list. The list is to help keep you on track.

Plan, plan, plan

It may sound weird, but plan out how you’re going to attack the clutter. If you step in knowing exactly what you’re going to do, all that’s left is to do it. If you try to clean house and declutter with no plan of attack you can end up getting sidetracked or worse, not finishing at all. So before you start, make sure you write down which room you will start with. You can even get as detailed as to write down where in that room you’re going to start. Plan a day to go to a thrift store or donation box to get rid of the things you don’t want, or plan a garage sale. If you are getting rid of old appliances you can contact scrap metal buyers, who will buy and pick up items from your house. Planning really is the first step toward a decluttered life.

Get to It

Now you can get down to the nitty gritty. Start in one corner of the room and work in the same direction so you make sure you cover every inch that needs decluttering. Don’t leave a single drawer unopened.
If you don’t even know what you have stored, or where to find it then it’s not of any service to you.

Soon you’ll be able to open up your home so your grandchildren want to be in your living space. They’ll have more room to play and you may even open up space to set up a guest bed for them that didn’t fit before. These memories you can create now can be more rewarding than finding use for that 40 year old toaster oven. If you’re like the rest of us and you’ve let your life get cluttered beyond repair, don’t worry. If you start slow and move steadily, nothing is impossible to declutter.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

Healthy Grandma Status – Goals and My 15 Tailored Tips For 2019

This grandma has read and followed, (at least she thought), all the weight loss tips and tricks to successfully lose weight and keep it off.

Wait! Let’s back up a bit…

There are NO TRICKS to losing weight and keeping it off, however, rather (doable, researched, and realistic tips to place in your daily plan, and tweak accordingly.

 

 

 

I’ve decided to revisit those tips, and find out if they have been particularly updated, or any new and fun things that I can incorporate into my daily life and routine. While I’ve been extremely motivated these past couple of weeks; I’ve joined my local YMCA. Yeah!! Lol <3 PLUS, I’m doing an aerobic dance routine, first thing in the morning.

 

So now, I’m doing the research, asking questions, and working on tailoring a plan that I can realistically stay with and follow up with.

So, no! I have NOT read/researched/found and followed all tips and advice needed to lose weight and (keep it off; a future/new plan entirely). LOL

I’m so very tired of being on this Yo-Yo, roller coaster (DIET)!!!!!!! And, I know now, that a HEALTHY weight loss program is NEVER called a “diet.”

I’ve been on Weight Watchers, (however, not followed properly, and not categorized with crazy plans), Nutrisystem, and all types of “fad diets,” including the scarsdale and grapefuit diet LOL…only to gain all my weight back. Now the Scarsdale and grapefruit DIET was long, long ago!

Do any of you remember those?
Weight Watchers
deserves another look, maybe
? 😉

That’s not to say I’m NOT going to try a meal replacement drink or two. I happen to believe they are good choices (as long as you don’t drink them, and only them). Slim fast is one that comes to mind. In fact, I have a few in my fridge I intend on trying. I know they have a lot of good vitamins and minerals in them, and, so many nutrients that I don’t even know about! In addition, most meal replacement drinks have a ton of fiber; which we ALL need for weight loss, and weight loss maintenance.

Important Note: I have to keep in mind an awesome reason and huge motivator that I have for transpiring into healthy; and that is, my grandchildren. =)

Now those precious little ones are not my only motivators; although, they are high up there! <3 <3 😉 I have my other family members, and also, my friends. In addition…I have MYSELF!!

Losing weight is not all that I’m striving for, however; an overall, healthy and active status so that I can be more comfortable and actively thriving as and when I get older.

You know those golden years?

Well, if I am able to achieve my goals here, get to a healthy weight, and not have to be on tons of medicines, I’ll be able to live out those golden years…hopefully. So, going back to the golden years; my goal is; I want to be active and be centered in my grandkids’ lives. Period! <3

Short Version…2019 is the year this grandma is gonna get skinny!! Lol

15 of Tammy’s Tailored Goals and Tips — At Least My Take On Them

Eat Slowly —

I sometimes eat kind of slow; however, there are times I do eat fast, (if I’m real hungry). Remembering to eat slower is a good tip. If you eat fast, you tend to consume more calories because you might (think) you haven’t had enough or that you’re still hungry. Make sense? Another nice tip is if you eat more slowly, you digest your food better, therefore, making your system work more efficient.

Drink Tons of Water —

I think this speaks for itself. Although, there are many tips to point out. Drinking a lot of water is good for metabolism, it helps with hunger, and helps your system work faster. Water also helps with staying hydrated; especially for muscles while working out.

Switch to Dark Chocolate —

Dark chocolate is very good for your heart; that is a given, along with providing essential antioxidants to your body. It also, (helps) control hunger. Through the past couple of years, I’ve learned to like dark chocolate. It’s not better than the milk type, (my opinion), but it’s good that I at least like the type that’s good for you.

Eat Sorbet (in moderation) Instead of Ice Cream —

I love ice cream, LOL…Who doesn’t!? Actually, there are more people than you think that don’t like it. I certainly wish I were one of them. 😉 I’ve been eating sorbet (moderately). I’ve been told that it’s better for you than ice cream. Sorbet doesn’t have any fat. However, it has lots of sugar; and so, it turns to fat. I’ve researched it a bit, and, there are various opinions about it. Anyway, it makes me feel better to eat sorbet. Lol….so, if YOU have an opinion, or you have done extensive research on the topic; I’d sure like it if you shared your thoughts. I eat it every other evening. The other nights, I usually have a moderate sized bowl of sea salt popcorn.

So…if you DON’T like ice cream, you don’t have to worry, right?? lol 😉

Whole Wheat Bread Instead of White —

White bread has lots and lots of starch; which means it is high in sugar as well. Not a good choice when trying to lose or maintain weight. Also, with white bread; most of the good nutrients are lost due to the refined flour, and processing.

You are much better off eating whole wheat or whole grain due to its fiber content which aids with weight loss. It also has loads of vitamins and minerals that our bodies desperately need. Through studies, it is found that just by switching to whole wheat bread (alone) can ward off heart attacks, diabetes, high cholesterol, and, a host of other chronic illness.

Eat More Protein —

First off, fueling with protein gives you energy. That’s why it’s important to increase its levels while walking, running, cycling, and strength training…especially strength training!

Nuts, eggs, peanut butter, beans, lean turkey, beef, and chicken are all healthy protein choices. Fish is also a good source. High protein also helps with muscle loss and speeds up metabolism.

According to Health Line DOT COM, In one study of 19 overweight individuals, increasing protein intake to 30% of calories caused a massive drop in calorie intake.

Eat Veggies and Leafy Greens —

I need to step up my game in eating more veggies than I do. However, I do like eating fresh cucumber, fresh green pepper, fresh baby carrots, fresh/frozen broccoli, fresh/frozen/canned green beans, (if they are cooked right), beets, and potatoes. Ahh, that last vegetable can considerably slow you from losing weight; just like that white bread. A baked, (sweet) potato is a much healthier choice. I have one in my fridge. I’ll probably bake it this week sometime. A baked sweet potato is a first for me, so I’ll let you know how I like it.

Leafy greens are very good for you; especially fresh spinach and kale. They are extremely low in calories; but high in antioxidants, good-for-you vitamins, and also, calcium. In some studies, leafy greens fight off certain kinds of cancer. The two weight loss user-friendly features I like the most are; they are low in calories and are extremely filling.

Always Eat Breakfast —

I enjoy my coffee in the morning; especially since I have my keurig. <3

I usually go until like…(sometimes) 11:00-12:00 to eat, what breakfast/brunch?! At least, I used to. 😉 That’s not good at all!! Since I’ve started working out, all that has changed. Exercising has literally forced me to eat breakfast quite early; as I’m out the door 8:00 – 8:30 for the gym.

We all know; at least most of us, that we have to eat BEFORE and AFTER strenuous activity. Right??

If you’re not aware of this, please, look it up. Going without eating (often), when you workout can lead to a huge drop in blood sugar, more fatigued muscles, feeling light headed, and so many other harmful things that will NOT be good for your health and will surely slow your weight loss considerably. Eat a healthy breakfast, and not a light one. Consume enough calories so that you can workout efficiently and your body can burn fat, and not store it.

Don’t Starve Yourself —

This is a biggie for me. I’ve had to learn from this one WAY too many times. When you starve, you’re not only starving your body; as you are also starving your hair, muscles, heart, brain, relatively ALL your organs. For me, I have to workout in order to lose weight. So, the muscle starving gets my attention big time. When you deprive your body of food and good nutrients, you ALWAYS make up for it when you start to eat again; and end up consuming a ton of calories.

Besides,…depriving yourself makes you store fat!

Don’t Leave Out Fat Altogether —

Not all fats are bad! There are good fats that will actually help you lose weight. Yes, that’s correct. The good fats are like dark chocolate, olive oil, flaxseed, some fish choices, and more. Maybe it stands to reason; if you want to trim down, don’t eat any fats. lol

If you load up on enough lean protein and skip the bad carbs and (bad fat, such as: potato chips, pastries, cookies, donuts…huh?? I LOVE donuts!) lol, and eat healthy fats, you will surely slim down faster. I’m actually still learning with this one. 😉

Weigh Yourself Daily, or NOT? —

I’m so bad on this. I HAVE to see my weight on a daily basis. Some think that it’s unhealthy to do so. For me, it just helps keep me on track when I’m being strict with myself. For a lot of people, (mainly women, of course) get discouraged when they find out they haven’t dropped so many pounds by a certain date. Well, the shedding of pounds depend on many factors. You may be holding water for some reason, or perhaps, a certain food had too many bad carbs, or contained a lot of sodium.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one. 😉

Workout Daily —

This is definitely a preference. Or, it could be that you simply can’t workout due to disability, or some other reason. If you do take part in regular exercise, you will lose much faster. However, correct form and endurance will make all the difference. If you are doing everything in your power to slim down and get healthy, (the right way), you should add some type of activity to your daily routine.

Strength Train —

Now, this is definitely a preference. Although, strength training is great for toning up your muscles and helps with getting rid of extra skin. IF…done correctly. I’ve heard so many times that if you do the training moves right, drink tons of water, eat enough calories, especially protein, you should be able to tighten up.

Be Around Others —

This is huge for me. Most of you know that I’m a shy person. I’ve gotten better over the years. A few social butterflies are still there. So, it’s important for me to be around people; especially people that need to (not only get thin), however, get to an over-all state of healthy. It’s good for the soul and motivation!

Fast Food In Moderation —

I love a good burger and pizza take out/delivery! I usually allow myself some form of fast food and/or (eating out) once per week. Once in awhile, twice per week. However, I try and plan for these days and maybe, workout more that day, moderately limit calorie intake, eat more protein that day, OR, all the above. The important thing here…(I’ve learned the hard way), DON’T starve on a particular day that you plan to eat out, or when eating foods not so healthy. That only makes you consume extra calories.

I hope you enjoyed a little bit of my journey; and also was able to benefit from my tips. <3

The Thing Is…

I refuse to HAVE to have knee replacements, hip replacements; or any replacements that are due to being over-weight. I also refuse to end up with diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. This grandmother is going to be there for her grandchildren. In addition, I personally want those (golden years) GOLDEN! I sure hope that’s possible. 😉 lol

Thank you for reading! ~~ Share your thoughts please =)

Sick Grandparents? How To Make Your Hospital Stay More Comfortable

 Hospital stays are a nightmare. We all know this. However, there are new advances being made every day to make out experience better.
 
If you’re a lucky grandparent, you may have a child or adult grandchild in town that can help navigate your hospital stay. In fact, they may bring many of the items listed below can make your entire life better, not just your time spent in the hospital.

 

Below are just a few pieces of tech that can make your hospital stay less of a pain.

Vein Finder

Nobody likes to have their blood taken. This is especially the case when you’re sick. Many people are hard pokes. This can leave you and the phlebotomist frustrated. If you have veins that easily roll, collapse, are deep or are dehydrated then ask for a Vein Finder. Vein Finders are a new tool that shines infrared light illuminating your veins to the nurse. This helps avoid guesswork. They are equipped in most hospitals, but won’t be taken out unless you ask or once the nurse if frustrated.

Light Control

Patients are in the hospital for a variety of reasons. Some people will be sensitive to light; some will not. However, it is important that every hospital is equipped with adequate light control. It’s hard enough to get a good night’s sleep in the hospital even before considering that the hospital’s bright lights will be shining down on your face. If you want to have a truly comfortable experience in the hospital, you need some form of light control. Certain hospital beds will even feature light control right there on the control panel of the bed. Often times there lighting can be turned off to let you rest, but it has to be done by a nurse. Don’t hesitate to ask about lighting changes to ensure your rest.

Communication Devices

The first item on the list is something that you won’t be able to bring with you. It should be installed in most hospitals already. In fact, most hospital beds have the button right there on the control panel. Being able to directly communicate with the nursing staff is important in maintaining some level of comfort in the hospital. Some hospitals merely have pagers – pagers that let the staff know you need attention. However, many hospitals are making use of two-way radio systems to ensure that the nursing staff can connect to each other and to those radios attached to your bed. Two-way radio installations in NYC, or in a city near you, are going above and beyond to ensure that patients in the hospital are treated properly and swiftly.

If you are having a hard time reaching a nurse when they are out of the room, don’t think twice about asking if they have a radio device that will let you communicate with them. Your voice should always be heard.

If you want to have a comfortable time in the hospital, you need to be able to communicate with your nursing staff directly and quickly.

Air Your Concerns

When one is hospitalized it is a very humbling experience. Not only is one basically unclothed, but you’re in a scary situation and at the mercy of medical professionals. While they are professionals, they are also human. Meaning, they also err. Shifts are long and they are often overworked. If you aren’t being heard by a nurse, or if you have a negative experience you should speak up.

If you are not feeling up to that confrontation, ask an adult grandchild or a child to speak on your behalf

 

It is much better to talk to a supervisor and have a nurse be changed than to feel uncomfortable during your stay and have that affect your healing. Communication is important and you should feel heard. If you have a legitimate complaint with the lack of attention or mistreatment from a staff member know you’re not over reacting. Ask for the nurse change. Chances are the nurse will appreciate it too.

Comfort From Home

Obvious examples of technology that make your hospital stay more pleasant are your cellphone and perhaps a pair of earbuds. Kindles can also be useful in the hospital, but the above items are much more necessary than even your cellphone and Kindle so you can read as many books as you want. You can download audiobooks on your cellphone and listen as you rest. You’ll never know how important adequate lighting control is until you’ve had it then forced to go without.

Bring your own pillow from home, or have someone bring it to you. Asking someone to bring you an electric blanket may help you stay warm in the cold hospital. Unless they are controlling your temperature, you don’t want to end up getting sick from the AC. This is something that will greatly increase your rest and result in better healing.

Family Time

A grandma is warm hugs and sweet memories. She remembers all of your accomplishments and forgets all of your mistakes.

 

Hopefully, you will have adult grandchildren and your children that can take turns visiting you. If your grandkids are small ask your children to have them bring pictures. You can even buy a box of colored pencils and a notebook at the gift shop so when grandkids visit they can leave you encouraging messages.

A gloomy hospital room can be lit up with children’s cards and drawings cheering up your spirit during a hard time. If you don’t have grandchildren nearby you can FaceTime with them. Hearing their voices, optimism, and get-well wishes will be a nice comfort during your stay.

Don’t be afraid to ask your family to send you videos and clips to cheer your spirits. Knowing you have a team of cheerleaders will help you fight through your infirmity.

Nobody likes to go to the hospital, but I hope these tips will help your next stay become more comfortable.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

A Grandma’s Tips for Starting Life on Your Own for the First Time

My entire life, my grandmother told me I could do whatever I set my mind to. Tori Bowie ~~ Via Brainy Quotes

Those of you who are young and about to begin the process of building your own life might be experiencing a wide array of emotions right now. In some ways, there is nothing more thrilling than carving your own path through life; in other ways, it’s one of the most terrifying processes you’ll ever take part in. In trying to find your footing, it’s normal to find yourself feeling lost, confused, or discouraged.

 

 

To help you make your way, here are some tips from folks who have had a few decades’ experience with living independent lives as adults.

Build Lifelong Skills to Properly Take Care of Yourself

While you may have built some of these skills (like doing your laundry and cooking basic meals) before moving out of your family home, it’s important that you dedicate some of your time to building other skills that you’ll use for the rest of your adult life. Make it a priority to become good at budgeting; learn how to alter or fix your torn or ill-fitting clothing; teach yourself how to do basic repairs around your home so you don’t have to call your landlord or shell out money for a professional every time something goes wrong. Reach out to people in your life who have skills you don’t, and ask them to teach you. You may not need all of these skills every day while living on your own, but you’ll be immensely grateful for the knowledge if and when problems should arise.

Take Your Finances Seriously

When you get your first full-time job, it might seem like you have more money than you know what to do with. It can feel all too easy to throw a little more cash toward buying new clothes, decorations for your apartment, meals out at restaurants, or tickets to the movies. But if you aren’t careful, and if you don’t allocate your funds properly, those little purchases can add up quickly, and you might find yourself surrounded by all of fun new things you bought as well as a small mountain of debt.

Make sure you’re taking care of your financial necessities first, like contributing to your savings, paying your monthly bills, and purchasing the things you actually need before any of your paycheck goes toward those fun purchases. You should also put a portion of your income each month toward reducing any outstanding debt, like credit card payments, paying off your student loans and, if necessary, refinancing those loans to lower the monthly cost.

Sure, building a financial cushion and consolidating your debt is a bit less exciting than buying Taylor Swift tickets, but practicing responsibility with your money is an essential part of being an adult and building a sustainable future for yourself.

Have Patience

When you’re young, it’s normal to want your life as an adult to begin immediately, to feel as though everything ought to fall into place perfectly and all at once. Unfortunately, as nice as that would be,
that is rarely how life works. It might take more time than you would like to get the apartment you want, to gain momentum in your career, or to meet the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, and that’s okay. While the world we’re living in now is an expectant one, and while people often demand instant gratification, real life doesn’t always meet our expectations or demands.

Life is often chaotic, unpredictable, and unfair, but there is always an opportunity to learn a lesson from your experiences, and every experience brings you one step closer to where you’re ultimately meant to be.

Believe in Yourself

As the Liberace quote goes, “Nobody will believe in you unless you believe in yourself.” And it’s true! You are your own best cheerleader and your own best advocate– to build yourself up in the eyes of others, you need to build confidence from within and make others see the talented, intelligent, self-assured individual that you are.

You have skills and knowledge to offer, and you need to carry yourself in a way that, without arrogance, relays that information to the people you interact with both personally and professionally. You deserve to take up space in this world, and you deserve to succeed in that space. Internalize those facts, and own them.

With hard work, determination, and persistence, you can do whatever you set your mind to!

Do What Makes YOU Happy

This, along with believing in yourself, is arguably the most important thing to keep in mind as you venture into the world on your own. You are your only true lifelong companion, so it’s essential that you
make your own happiness a priority, especially while you’re first starting to build your life.

Having the skills and the self-reliance to keep yourself alive is important, but so is making sure you’re actually living. Pursue your passions, whether as a hobby or a career; sing and dance as often as possible; take a road trip with your favorite people; eat chocolate every day, — do whatever you can, whenever you can, to cultivate joy. You’re young, so make the most of your youth, but don’t ever fully grow up (after all, you’re only as old as you behave).

Leave plenty of room in your world for silliness and laughter– the world is often a dark and serious place, and you must never allow that to consume your view.

Good luck starting out, and enjoy the ride!