Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Balancing act

Balance, it's such a challenge--and a necessity--to find it in life. We need rest, yet want to be productive; we want to spend time socializing with friends but we also need quiet moments alone; we want to be healthful and watch what we eat, but still enjoy the tasty treats at restaurants and parties...
I think balance is the key to a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. I believe in the motto everything (or almost everything) in moderation. And that also means moderation in moderation!

Sometimes you need to let yourself break free of all the restrictions and just be. And then there are others times we must be extremely disciplined and determined. Each season in our lives calls for us to practice and develop different characteristics. But finding balance can give us the peace and clarity of mind we need to be our best.

What helps me stay balanced? A little bit of everything of course.

Try to incorporate at least a little bit of the following into your balancing act-- and experiment with things that can help you maintain your level head.

Productivity and activity

Day planners...

Ecojot eco nature agenda made out of 100% recycled materials

Stylish wake up call...

Croc alarm clocks from Williams Sonoma Home

Rest and relaxation

Kiehl's products...

I especially love the Soy Milk and Honey Body Polish. They are a very natural company that is concerned about giving back and helping underdeveloped communities.

Zero 7 CD
U.K. soul music from London--kinda jazzy with an electronic vibe--
but sooo relaxing

Try their Simple Things album available at amazon.com

Family time Create traditions within your family for holidays and special events and make it a priority to do things together. Whether the activity is cooking a meal, baking cookies, carving pumpkins, or playing boardgames, make family time fun and everyone will look forward to being together. The best family memories are those created when you are doing something unique.

Family Game Night

Familyfun.go.com has some great suggestions for creative game and theme-night ideas including bowling pin derby, group storytelling and blackjack using jelly beans.

Spending time with friends is a key component in keeping my scales from tipping. I NEED girlfriends who can relate to my womanly perspective. Whatever stage in life they may be in, I love learning from their experiences, identifying with their frustrations, and encouraging each other with supporting words and wisdom. Plus, girlfriends are just FUN! They make me laugh at things and remind me not to take life or myself too seriously.

Host or schedule a regular Girls' Night (or Boys' Night if you are a male reader--but you'll have to come up with your own ideas:) and try themes such as:

Pedicures and dinner--I just recently went to a place called Pretty Nails and got an hour long pedicure with girlfriends for only $25! We went for sushi afterwards.

Book club-- I know not everyone loves to read but it's a good excuse to meet regularly and you may really enjoy the book selection!

Cocktails and Cupcakes party-- is there anything better?

The Sweetheart Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces Ketel One vodka 1/2 ounce Calvados1 ounce apple juice2 lemon wedges (about 1/3 lemon)1 teaspoon grenadine
Combine the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Squeeze the lemon wedges into the shaker and discard the rinds. Add the grenadine and muddle vigorously.
Strain into a chilled martini glass, and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Highlands Bar and Grill, 205/939-1400, http://www.highlandsbarandgrill.com/.

But really, you don't need a reason or a theme to call a friend and spend a few hours together.

"Me time"... for a healthy mindset

Environmentally friendly journal made from 100% recycled materials and Bessence Candles, soy-based wax candles packages in recycled materials.
$40 for 4 votives

Little indulgences

"Let them eat cake!!!"

Have I mentioned I love cake? Well I do. In fact, I just baked one for a dinner party I'm going to tomorrow night and it's taking all my willpower not to steal a piece. I cheated and used a mix: Pillsbury Low Sugar Yellow Cake mix. It's easy. It's fabulous. It's low sugar so it's not that bad...right?

Let "them" eat chocolate too!
These truffles come from Fran's Chocolates in Washington. The chocolates have been listed in all of the following magazines: Oprah, Gourmet, Food and Wine, and People. You can order from the website http://www.franschocolates.com/

Little indulgences should always be pretty...Crate and Barrel wine glasses; $2.50 each

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