Decorating

Decorating Your Coffee Table.

Hello, my friends! I hope that your week has been going well so far! As I said in a previous post, I’ve been working on getting my home all clean, so that I can get to decorating it a bit more. One new addition to the living room is a coffee table! Yay! My aunt bought us one to be assembled, Bobby put it together, and I’ve been working on decorating it!

It’s such a fun process, and I love that I can decorate it so easily with pieces that I already have at home. I thought I would write a post with recommendations on what one can adorn theirs with.

Reading material. I currently have two magazines, Country Woman and Country Living on the coffee table. I also have a book about medicinal herbs. I think that coffee table reading is great decor, wonderful for any guests you may have, or if you’re wanting to gather in the living room, and take a break from your tv and phone. Magazines work great for this, as do large books. They take up a nice amount of space on the coffee table, and they’re easy to flip through.

Flowers. The flowers that are on my coffee table right now are fake flowers that I used in my wedding. I have them arranged in mason jars that were a wedding gift. Real flowers are, of course, always preferable, but sometimes ya gotta make do!

Coasters. The coasters we have on our coffee table currently are some really lovely ones made by a family friend. They look quite charming on our table, but they also serve a very practical purpose.

A candle or two. Again, charming AND practical. There is nothing more satisfying than sitting down to a clean home and lighting a delicious smelling candle. And they’re just so cute, too!

Framed photographs. I currently have a framed photo of Bobby and myself from our engagement photoshoot. It makes the home feel like it is truly YOURS and it’s a great way to display photos.


Table Runner. Again, I don’t currently have this on my coffee table, but I think that one would look quite nice. A thin one right down the middle would look wonderful, made in a color that calls back to the decor.

Seasonal items. I don’t currently have any fall decor on my table, but I may begin to add some in the future, but odds are, I won’t add anything until Christmas time. We shall see, my dear friends. Seasonal/holiday items are a lovely way to switch up decor.

I hope that I’ve given you some inspiration for decoration, and that you have a lovely rest of your day!

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

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Cleaning Chronicles

Resetting our Home for the Week.

Hello, my dear friends! A happy Sunday to you all. And what a cozy, productive Sunday it’s been. I usually try to get as much done on Sunday’s as I possibly can, but today I’m taking it a little bit slower, because I woke up feeling a bit ill. Bobby got sick right after the wedding, and as soon as he started getting around to feeling better, I began to feel sick.

That being said, we have been able to get things done. Such as grocery shopping! The older I get, the more and more I enjoy grocery shopping. My dear, sweet, HUSBAND (hehe!) does not enjoy grocery shopping as much as I do, but it must be done, all the same. Our poor fridge hadn’t been filled up in weeks. We didn’t go grocery shopping the week leading up to our wedding, and this week we just ate up our wedding leftovers, so it felt nice today to fill our fridge back up with goodies.

I made up a big batch of white chicken chili, one of Bobby’s favorites. I find that on a rainy day, when you’re feeling a bit sick, it hits the spot even more than usual! And whenever I make chili, there are always leftovers. I am of the opinion that leftovers are even more exciting than when you initially make a meal.

Even some tidying around the home got done! I cleaned out the fridge and organized it, and Bobby did some speed-cleaning. Speed cleaning is his speciality, and coincidentally it’s something I am absolutely horrendous at. I’ll start out cleaning the living room, get distracted, and end up in a different room, doing a completely different project. I fear my attention span isn’t the best. HOWEVER, I am a fantastic organizer. I would say that’s my strong suit when it comes to cleaning.

And to top it all off… watching Harry Potter 1 & 2! These two in particular are such cozy movies, perfect for autumn viewing. Rewatching them makes me giggle, because I remember watching them when I was younger and thinking that Ron, Harry, and Hermione were all so big, and now, they look like absolute babies!

I even got some reading done today. I’m so happy that I’ve gotten back into reading, and it makes me so sad that I went for years without reading for fun. I think I may make a blog post soon about what books I currently have on my bedside table. I always enjoy reading other people’s lists of books they plan on reading.

And then, to finish the day off… a tasty bowl of caramel praline ice cream. Today was such a happy little day. I’m loving married life, my friends. A blog post talking about the wedding coming shortly! I know that I don’t post on Sunday’s much anymore, but today I found myself missing writing something fierce. More about that in my next post!

I’m so happy to be back blogging, my dear friends. I missed it a whole lot.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Cleaning Chronicles

My Daily Cleaning Routine.

Hello, my dear friends! And happy Friday to you all! The weekend is usually when I try to get my home in order, and when I try and do the majority of my deep cleaning, but I’m trying to start doing more daily so that the deep cleans are less intimidating when I get to them. If that makes sense…

I’ve been slacking a little bit on cleaning lately. Some days I feel super motivated to clean, and then other days I just want to stay in bed and rewatch Mad Men for the fifteenth time. And I think that’s okay. I don’t think we need to deep clean our homes every single day. That wouldn’t make much sense. HOWEVER, I do think that there are some cleaning related things we can do daily to make sure our home doesn’t get TOO messy. Below I’ve listed some that I TRY to do every single day.

Clean the kitchen! One of the chores that I did when I was younger was clean the kitchen. Every single day. My brother and I alternated, but the idea was to have the kitchen be clean every day. I kind of got away from it for awhile when I moved out, but I’ve begun to embrace the routine in my own home. Having a clean sink just makes me happy. It’s the little things… I don’t deep clean the kitchen every single day, but I try to make sure that the dishes are done, and the counters are clean. When I walk into a clean kitchen to make my morning coffee, it makes me feel ready to take on the day!

Do a load of laundry. This is, of course, not feasible for everyone, but if it is, I would recommend it. When I lived in my old apartment, there was no washer or dryer, so doing laundry was always quite a to-do. Now, I am blessed to have one in my apartment, so I’m able to do laundry whenever need be. HOWEVER, sometimes I let laundry get away from me, and then it’s been weeks and my dirty laundry starts giving me the STINK eye. (Ha!) I’ve found that if I do one load of laundry a day, it doesn’t get away from me, and another added bonus is that I have access to all of my clothes, which makes me less likely to get the shopping itch, because I have my fully stocked closet at my disposal!

Make the bed. Over the years, I’ve heard so many people rant and rave about the benefits of making your bed every single day, and I just kind of ignored it. And then I started doing it, and I realized that everyone out there was not lying! It really does make you feel good! And it makes you a little less likely to crawl back in bed and stay in your pajamas all day…

Clean off the bedside table. I do my best to not eat or drink in bed, but sometimes… I just want to cuddle up in bed, and eat some ice cream. If this is the case… sometimes you can end up with quite a few dishes on your nightstand, and you DO NOT want those to pile up, because if you let it get too crazy, they may start growing mold, which NOBODY wants. And if you do it every day, you’re making sure that it never gets to be too much of a project.

Put shoes where they belong! This is one that I am VERY, VERY, VERRRY bad at. I generally kick my shoes off wherever I happen to be, and it drives my sweet and patient Bobby CRAZY. And it’s honestly such a hassle kicking them off wherever, because half the time, I can’t remember where the heck I put my shoes. Which is not a great thing if you’re running late! So, make sure your shoes are where they’re supposed to be at the end of the day, because when you need them the next day, there will be no stress! This is definitely a reminder to future me as well…

Clean off the kitchen table. So often the kitchen table becomes sort of a catchall for random bits and pieces through the day. As I write this, mine is an absolute mess. My kitchen table has sort of become my unofficial sewing center, so it has been bombarded by various projects, and crafting scraps. So maybe I should take my own advice and actually tidy it up a bit!!! I think of the kitchen table as an extension of the kitchen itself, so it only makes sense to keep them both clean! A clean kitchen to make your coffee, and a clean table to drink it at!

And that’s that, my dear friends! I’m sure there are more things that I could incorporate to make my home even tidier, but as of right now, these are the main things I try to do! Everyone has a different home situation, so it’s going to differ person to person, but I thought I would share my routine!

Thank you for reading, my wonderful internet friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Makeup Looks · My Favorite Recipes

My No-Nonsense Homemade Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday to you all! I can’t believe that every day is bringing us closer and closer to September! How the heck did summertime pass so quickly? Personally, fall is my favorite season, so I’m getting really excited. I can’t wait to start decorating for fall.

Today’s blog post is all about my mashed potato recipe. I’m sure it’s nothing new or too unique, but Bobby and I really enjoyed it when I made it the other day.

Ingredients Needed.

  • Four medium red potatoes. (You can, of course, use whatever type of potatoes you prefer, but red potatoes are my absolute favorite. And of course you can use more or less potatoes, depending on how much you want. This ended up making six servings!)
  • Earth Balance Vegan Butter. (You don’t need to use vegan butter, but Bobby and I love how the Earth Balance tastes.)
  • Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk. (AGAIN, you don’t have to use almond milk, but it’s just what we end up buying instead of other types of milk.)
  • Garlic Powder.
  • Kernel Seasoning’s Garlic Parmesan Popcorn Seasoning.

Okay, friends! Here we go. When I cook, I tend to freestyle it. I taste it and then decide if it needs more of this or more of that. SO, this “recipe” isn’t going to be very exact.

Steps.

  1. Wash your potatoes!
  2. Cut up your potatoes into evenly sliced pieces. I cut mine up pretty fine because I like my mashed potatoes to be very smooth, but if you like your mashed potatoes a little chunkier, I would cut them into slightly bigger pieces.
  3. Put a pot of water on the stove to boil.
  4. After the water has begun to boil, you can plop your potatoes into the water. I cooked them for about twenty minutes, which made them VERY tender.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked, I put them into my mixer.
  6. At this point, I began to put in some almond milk. I poured some in, turned on the mixer, and repeated until it was the consistency I wanted. I would say it ended up being around half a cup.
  7. After the almond milk, I put in about two tablespoons of vegan butter.
  8. I mixed it all together so it was nice and creamy.
  9. My last step for all of this was to put in some of the garlic powder and then the garlic parmesan seasoning. I alternated between the two until I got it tasting juuust right!

I served it with a protein and a vegetable and it made for the perfect meal! It’s nothing revolutionary, but I thought I would share it with all of you, my dear internet friends!

Thank you so much for reading, friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Eco-friendly

I Made the Switch to Reusable K-Cups!

Hello, my friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful, caffeinated Wednesday! Or if you are less  caffeine addicted than I am, I hope that you are having a wonderful Wednesday all the same!

I drink coffee every single day, one or two cups per day. Last summer I was able to ween myself off of drinking coffee, but here we are… there are certainly worse vices…

A vice related to my coffee drinking, but not a result of the actual act of coffee drinking… was using k-cups that WEREN’T REUSABLE. I had even tried to use a reusable k-cup! I bought one and everything, but it did not work! For whatever reason, it wasn’t compatible with my Keurig. And as guilty as I feel saying this… I just didn’t try to make it work or even buy a new one… until now.

Today is day one of using my reusable k-cup and I am NOT going back. I will say that it is a little bit more labor intensive, as you have to clean it out, but that’s really not a problem for me.

On the Midwest Mattie blog we are all about saving money AND saving the Earth. Making coffee at home is already better for your pocketbook and for the Earth, but if you are using a Keurig, I couldn’t recommend purchasing a reusable K-cup enough.

I’m trying to make changes in my lifestyle that are doable, and sustainable. It doesn’t do much good for us if we try to make too big of a change at once, and then ultimately give up because it was too much, too fast. And I understand the allure of going big or going home, but I think that going at a pace that works for us and will continue to work for us is the best way to go about change. And being HONEST with ourselves. Only we can know 100% if we are doing our best to be sustainable. People have different factors in their lives that may change their ability to make an assorted amount of change in their own lives.

Thinking about things that we do EVERY SINGLE DAY that we can change is important. Despite my best efforts, there are days when I get a coffee from a coffee shop and it’s in a plastic cup. And I always feel guilty when I do that, but it is not an every day thing. We will all make mistakes. We cannot be in complete control of our lives and our surroundings 100% of the time. We just can’t.  We have to do our honest best.

Thank you so much for reading, friends!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Monthly Favorites · Uncategorized

My July Favorites.

Hello, friends! A happy Friday to you all! Can you believe it’s August already? My wedding is in two months! What!!! I’m so excited!!!

I thought that I would do a July favorites for this month, as it has been quite some time since I’ve done one! Here we go!

  1. Eyeliner! I’ve gone through many a phase with eyeliner. Middle school I was very addicted to black pencil eyeliner, messily applied to the top lid and bottom waterline. Then I moved onto black liquid liner in high school, and I went a little crazy with the winged liner there. And then, at the beginning of college, I did a little bit of brown pencil liner. And after that, I didn’t really do much with eyeliner. But for the past week or two, I’ve been getting back into liquid liner. I’ve had an Elf liquid liner in a navy blue shade for longer than I’d care to admit… but I’ve been putting a thin little line of it on my lash line. I thought it would look a little strange with my black mascara, but it really doesn’t!
  2. My kitchen table! I ordered this table a couple months back, but we finally had it delivered! I love this table so much, and I think it’s a very classic piece that we will have for many, many years. It seats six and has an insert that makes it quite a bit longer. We keep the insert in it at all times, so we don’t have to worry about storing it somewhere. (Ha!) I love how neutral it is, and that it will match whatever decor our hearts desire.IMG_3567.JPG
  3. L.L Bean Dress. This dress!!! I am so in love. It is so cozy, and even though I bought it only a little bit ago, it’s safe to say that it’s going to be a favorite for a very long time. Which is what I consider before making a purchase! And blue is one of my favorite colors, and one of the colors I think flatters me the most.IMG_3772
  4. Journaling. Although journaling is nothing new for me, I’ve been making an extra effort to make time to journal EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s such a wonderful way to work through problems you may have, or even to document the small joys in life. As much as we’d like to hope we’d remember all these wonderful memories, we can’t possibly remember every single day of our lives. And that’s where journaling comes in!
  5. Bar soap. I remember being a kid, HATING using bar soap. To be fair, the ones that foam and bubble are far more whimsical, but not as good for the environment, as I’ve learned. Bar soap requires little to no packaging, and can last you for such a long time! I love it!IMG_3767
  6. Brown Boots. I’m a fan of all things fall, and these boots just scream fall to me. And what’s even better is that they were less than ten dollars! Just like the dress I’ve listed, I foresee these being a favorite for many a year.IMG_3742
  7. Trip to Frankfort . This was such a wonderful day! I had such a lovely time going to Frankfort with Bobby’s family for the fourth. It’s such a cute little town, and being on the beach all day… pure bliss. I can’t wait to take another trip to the beach.IMG_3411
  8. Wedding bands. I was SO happy to find our wedding bands. And they are so beautiful, and so us. The fact that after the wedding, we’ll be able to wear them for the whole rest of our lives is so amazing! How blessed are we???IMG_3325
  9. Banana bread. Perhaps banana bread will be my claim to fame… although I cannot take credit for the recipe. Bobby LOVES when I make this, and I even made some for his boss the other week! And the smell of banana bread… is there a banana bread perfume? If so, I desperately need it.
  10. Anne of Green Gables! This book has been a favorite of mine since childhood, and I reread it for the first time in such a long time, this month. And no surprise here, I loved it just as much, if not more. A classic book that I think everyone should read. It’s such a lovely book to read when you want to fall back deeply in love with life.IMG_3604

Thank you so much for reading, my friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

Musings

Simply Summertime: Five Simple Living Activities for Summer.

Hello, friends! A very happy Monday to you all! Today I wanted to write a post that is slightly reminiscent to this one, but different enough that I thought it was worthwhile to share. I felt compelled to write this in order to provide some inspiration for summer activities that are simple and don’t include spending unnecessary amounts of money.

  1. Admiring the flowers. I suppose that this one could work for spring as well, but I’m from Michigan, and you never know when these beauties will finally make an appearance. Appreciating flowers can happen all sorts of ways. You can find flowers in their natural habitat, or you can go to a grocery store to admire all of the beautiful pots of flowers they have. And maybe buy one or two… Or, see if anyone you know has a garden and would be willing to donate to your flower fund! I especially like the thought of that because then you have a patch of flowers that represent so many wonderful people that are close to you! My mom has a beautiful variety of flowers that come from many loved ones’ gardens.
  2. A picnic lunch. I absolutely adore picnics. I think they’re a lovely way to feel as though you’re eating out for much smaller of a cost! You may even be able to make a picnic lunch using food you already have in your kitchen. It’s a wonderful thing to do, especially when all you have are bits and pieces. A couple odd carrots, a handful of berries, and a chunk of cheese could be the base to an absolutely lovely picnic. And if the weather isn’t being kind, it’s also fun to have an indoor picnic! It’s the perfect rainy day activity. Rainy day picnics with a board game are such a wonderful way to pass the day!
  3. A scenic bike ride. Owning a bike is so wonderful because it can be put to practical use, when you have somewhere you need to be, or a leisurely purpose, when one has nowhere they have to be, but they just want to be out and about. You can look and see what sort of trails your town has, and take advantage of them. Some towns may not have such trails, but you could still bike all the same! You could maybe even sneak in an errand or two, especially if you have a nice little basket attached to your bike. Maybe a quick trip to the farmer’s market or to return some books to the library.
  4. An air-conditioned read. Speaking of libraries… I think that libraries, of course, are wonderful year-round, but there’s something about summertime library visits that are all the more magical. Maybe it causes me to reminisce of my summer breaks as a child, or maybe it’s because the air-conditioning in the library is such a wonderful refuge from the heat outside. Either way, this is one of my favorite activities to do in the summer. And once you have gotten your fill, you can continue your read under a nice and shady tree. How lovely!
  5. Wandering the Farmer’s Market. And speaking of farmer’s markets… I love a good farmer’s market. It’s so heartwarming to see so many hardworking individuals with so many wonderful things to sell. Maybe switch out getting your green beans from Meijer one weekend to buy a package of them from your local farmers. Or skip baking a loaf of banana bread to buy one from a local baker. I love making my own food, but I also love supporting local people as well. Bigger companies won’t care if you do or don’t buy one single loaf of bread, but for small businesses and local farmers, it will mean much, much more. I think it goes without saying that you shouldn’t spend yourself broke at farmer’s markets, but I definitely would suggest going and supporting your neighbors!

Thank you so much for reading, my lovely friends. I hope that your day has been wonderful so far, and that you’re able to take a minute or two today for yourself. A small thing or two that makes you happy!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Crafting · Eco-friendly

Sewing Stories: Reusable “Cotton” Pads.

Hello, friends! I hope that you are having a wonderful Monday so far! I had a lovely weekend, which was, of course, too short. A wonderful, simple, little weekend. Going to lunch with my friend Tenley at Ponder, wandering around an estate sale, and SEWING!

I’ve seen so many different DIY’s for making these little “cotton” pads, but I thought I’d share my experience. In everything I do, I’m quite utilitarian. Food? Tasty, but not pretty. Home decor: Useful first, cuteness last. (I know, shocking!) And sewing… As long as the stitches keep things together, I’m fine. Pretty stitching is not my top priority.

I find these pads to be pretty darn cute, but that’s mostly likely because I find everything small to be adorable. I’m sure that someone who is better at sewing could make these even cuter, but I think that all in all, they turned out pretty well! They did what they were supposed to do — remove makeup!

Materials Needed:

  • I used terry cloth. If you have any old towels that are getting a little dingy, you could use those as well.
  • circle stencil. This can be all sorts of things, get creative! I used a small glass, but you could choose so many different things. A cookie cutter, an old jar, or even the bottom of a shampoo bottle! Whatever you choose, make sure that it’s just a bit bigger than your desired size, because you’ll lose a little material from cutting and sewing.
  • Some paper, for said stenciling. I recommend reusing some recycled paper for this step! I used the paper that came attached to the fabric.
  • Pins, for two different steps. Very important!
  • Sewing needle, or a sewing machine. (I sewed this by hand. A sewing machine is on the top of my want list, though…)
  • Thread. I used a thread that was close to the color of my cloth, but it could also be cute if you chose a contrasting color!

Okay, friends! Here we go!

Step One. I used my stencil to make a circle on the piece of paper. I suppose some people may be able to free-hand this, but I wasn’t taking any chances! Once you’ve traced it, cut it out!

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Step Two. After you cut out the stencil, pin it to the fabric. I also pinned the fabric to itself so that it wouldn’t shift at all, as shown in the below picture.

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Step Three. I cut out the circles two at a time. You could do more or less, depending on how thick your fabric is.

Step Four. Depending on how thick you want these to be, you can do varying layers of fabric. I chose to do three.

Step Five. I sewed all three of the pieces together! There are so many ways that you could go about this, but I just sewed all the way around the little circle, nothing fancy. If you want to speed up the process, you could definitely use a sewing machine.

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Step Six. Remove any loose strands and snip any excess fabric.

Step Seven. Remove your makeup! Yay!

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Thank you so much for reading, my friends! I had such a fun time with these. They were SUPER easy to do. And they worked like a charm, too!

Happy crafting!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Monthly Favorites

My Game Night Favorites.

Hello, friends! Happy Wednesday to you all! I thought today I’d write about some of my favorite games to play. I have a previous blog post that details the importance of not only community, but game night as well. I really enjoyed writing that post, but I failed to mention my favorite games to play on game night! I feel like people don’t often make posts about board games, so I thought I would fill that void! (Although I’m sure that many lovely people have written posts about games, I just haven’t seen them!)

  1. Scrabble. Ah, a classic. I am TERRIBLE at this game, and I mean TERRIBLE. Regardless, I really enjoy playing it. I am a horrendous strategist, and the second I see a word that can be played, I play it. I think that this game is also really wonderful for younger children because it teaches them new words and helps them work on their spelling. I remember playing various word games with my mom and being blown away with how many words she knew. And by the end of the game, I knew the words, too! It’s a great and sneaky way to learn, even for adults!
  2. Cover Your Assets.This is a game that is fairly new, as far as I know. And oh my goodness, is it fun. It’s a quick-paced card game that is sure to bring out the competitive nature of everyone, but in a fun way. (Notice that Monopoly failed to make this list… I get very competitive.) And it’s super easy to pick up on, which I like. There are plenty of games out there that I can’t play because I can’t figure them out. (I’m ashamed to admit that I still don’t understand how to play euchre… I know, I know… How dare I call myself Midwest Mattie, right? Maybe one day…)
  3. Chameleon.As of right now, this game is probably my favorite. I’ve tried to explain this game to many a person, but my words fail me. You’ll just have to trust me on this one. Or you can read the instructions and reviews for it. That works as well. Another fun and silly game that is sure to be a favorite at any game night.
  4. Scattergories. This is probably the game that I played the most as a kid. My mom, brother, and I played this one all the time. It’s also wonderful because it really stretches your brain muscles. Which I think is really important. I remember trying to argue to my mom and brother that Kim Kardashian could be considered a historical figure, but they shut me down on that one. Fair enough.
  5. Uno. I don’t think that this one needs too much of an explanation. I think that most people have probably played this. I know there’s a bunch of different versions, but I just have the classic one. I think this game is so great because it just brings out the silliness in everyone. Especially when a Draw Four is played. And the most tragic — when one fails to say uno and they’re required to pick up the stack. Ugh!

Thank you so much for reading, friends! I hope that you enjoyed this post, even if it’s much shorter than usual. I’d also like to hear your game night favorites!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

A Journey into Self-Love

Healthy Living Through a Child’s Eyes.

Hello, friends! It is Friday! HOORAY! Some weeks just seem to take the longest of times, and for whatever reason, this week has felt that way. This is a post that has kind of been forming in my mind for awhile. I’ve realized that many people, myself included, do not spend as much time outside as we used to. The busy lives we live can make it somewhat difficult to do this. I began to think of this in relation to how we handle exercise. Two different events helped me come across a little epiphany.

Number one: an Easter round of Eenie Einie Over. A game which NOBODY seems to know about. Anyone outside of my family ever play it? I’ve looked it up online and it seems like more people call it Annie-Annie Over.  Anywho. It’s been a game that my cousins, brother, and I have always played when we get together. We played a round on Easter for the first time in years and years. We used to play this game for hours and I don’t remember getting half as winded as I was during Easter. As adults we don’t often do physical activity just for the fun of it. Our activity is calculated into calories, sets, and reps. Or our activity is planned within an inch of its lifeat 10:00, we’ll take a hike, but I have to be back at 1:00 so I can do this and this and this. Which may be a slight exaggeration, but honestly, it’s pretty true to life.

Playing Eenie Einie Over made me realize a couple of things.

The first being how out of shape I am. YIKES.

The second being that I miss playing outside like I used to. It’s fun to be outside and to exercise. To make the conscious decision to allow ourselves to channel our inner-child and be silly and explore the world around us.

We often view exercise as a punishment for not looking the way that we want to, instead of it being fun and allowing us to be thankful for all our body can do. Everyone has different abilities, so what we’re thankful for WILL differ person to person.

I know that many people will disagree with me on this, but I don’t think the gym is the best place or way to become fit. I think that it can be utilized in a way that makes it quite beneficial, but I also think there are many other ways to get exercise.

Number two: On Wednesday, Bobby really wanted to play basketball, so we bought a basketball and went to the park. Something so simple, but we were able to get moving and have fun. Working out doesn’t have to be rigid. For me, I don’t ever want it to be. I know that there are some instances where it may need to be, but I just want to suggest that we start thinking like children again. When not busy, run outside and explore your surroundings. Revel in the world around you and what you’re able to do. Healthy living is so much more than what our bodies can or cannot do, it’s also about what’s going on inside.

Spending time outside allows us to care for ourselves physically and mentally. Walk trails, smell flowers, play a game or two.

Summer is (finally) coming and I’m so ready to take advantage of the beautiful weather. I get giddy when I think of all the hiking trips, camping adventures, and canoe rides I have in the future. Being able to exercise like a child, really allows us to regain a relationship with our mind, our bodies, and the world around us.

As a child, I loved being outside. I still do, but often I feel as though I need to plan out my time outside, but I don’t! And neither do you! Walk out your front door and ask your inner-child what they want to do.  Our hearts long to feel what they once did, we just have to listen to them. Sometimes when I get outside, I  just can’t help it — I want to skip, I want to twirl. Obviously, this is not always a possible thing, but listen to yourself! Really listen!

We have such an innate connection to the outdoors, we just can’t help it! I think that by listening to ourselves, we’re able to strengthen our relationships. If on a hike with yourself, you’ll be able to strengthen your relationship with your body, by giving it exercise. You’re able to strengthen your relationship with the Earth, by surrounding itself with its beauty. You’re able to strengthen your relationship with your heart. Listen to what it tells you. Oftentimes, we don’t let our heart speak with us, because it feels things that we may not want to focus on. Feelings aren’t always practical, which can be hard for us.

Spending time with others in nature is a great bonding experience as well. One that I don’t think you’d quite get if going to the gym. Have you ever tried having a conversation with someone while both being on the treadmill? Nearly impossible, haha! Being surrounded by beauty allows us to be more vulnerable with not only ourself, but others.

In conclusion: listen to the heart you had as a child. Allow them to explore the world, to learn, and to make relationships with others. It’s all too easy to ignore them, as the business of adult life grows louder and louder. Listen to your body, too. What does it need? Listen to yourself and be conscious of the splendor the world provides us. Sometimes, feeling small in the world is what we need. Not unimportant in the world, but just small. Our worries aren’t always life or death. A childlike perspective is sometimes all that we need.

I hope that you are having a great day! And a great weekend to boot!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae