Slow Down #2–get moving!

Yesterday was a typical Monday of school drop-offs and pick-ups, a morning meeting, lunch, projects, writing, emailing, homework, dinner…and by evening all I wanted was a big, fresh salad and a chance to sit down.

But my phone rang.

“Wanna go for a walk? It’s beautiful outside!” my mother enticed me.

I didn’t hesitate for long. I am, after all, trying to slow down this month. 

“Honey? I’m going for a walk!” I hollered to my husband.

So I laced up my walking shoes, put my jacket on and met my mom at the park between our houses and we set off for a brisk half-hour walk as the sun went down. “I’m so glad to have a walking buddy!” she told me.

fantabulous women slow down get a move on

The sky was brilliant. First it was pink and orange then eventually turned to an inky blue. The moon was what we call a “fingernail moon” and by the time I got back to my block the stars were coming out.

“I feel sorry for the people missing this,” I thought as I grinned up at the sky.

Then I realized that I am usually the one missing it. We miss a lot when we’re always rushing about, going from one activity to the next and never slowing down, don’t we?

I’m a “mover and shaker” but I almost never work out or even take leisurely walks–I tend to go full tilt then collapse. But, man, the fresh air, the tingling in my legs, the birds chirping and kids squealing, the scent of barbecue meat in the air…it was glorious. I need more of that in my life.

It felt good to move my body and get my heart rate up. It was nice to see the sky from a new perspective. The time chatting with my mom was a definite bonus, too. I’m so glad I didn’t tell her, “I’m too tired,” or “I have too much to do,” or “I just want to stay home.” I want to arrange my life so that, when the opportunity arises, I can always seize the chance to get out and catch my breath–even if it leaves me breathless.  

Slow Down Lesson #2: Sometimes slowing down means putting on your walking shoes and getting a move on!

How about you? Do you need to “get a move on” in order to slow down? Leave a comment or hop on over to the FanTABulous Women Facebook page to keep the conversation going.

Slow Down in March

Does your life feel a bit go-go-go with very little downtime?

Do you struggle to live in the moment?

Do you tend to feel restless if you’re not being productive?

Do you have to WORK at resting?

For me, that’s “yes” x 4.

I have grown a lot in this area but it’s something I continually have to improve on. I need a lot of time for R&R: “Resting & Receiving.” I have to make an effort to rest my body and receive God’s love, whether for it’s a few minutes every day or most of one entire day.

In fact, that’s why my word for 2014 is “beloved.” I have to set aside time to “be-loved.”

So much so that I was thinking about blogging about slowing down in March…when today happened.

What happened today?

Well, #1 it rained. 

fantabulouswomen rainy day march slow down

Our first rainy day in Phoenix in 70 days!

 

Blame it on the barometric pressure, an overly greasy breakfast or even hormones but…

#2, I felt “off” for most of the day. My ears were buzzing, my stomach was upset, my nerves felt frayed, my body felt weak…and I basically surfed the Internet, drank a lot of “Nourish Me” tea and shuffled around the house all day.

I felt restless in the afternoon so…

#3, I did some crafting. It was a nice way to pass the time and not spend it wondering if I was coming down with something. I got lost in what I was doing and enjoyed the cutting and pasting and color-coordinating. I sipped my tea while I worked and enjoyed the quiet company of my husband, too, along with the rain falling outside the window.

It was so relaxing.

Now I have cards on hand to personalize and send out.

march slow down fantabulouswomen.com

Cards ready to be stamped with the recipient’s initial.

 

And around 6:00pm as I was (slowly) bringing another pot of  ”Calming” tea to my craft table…

#4, I realized that I had slowed down today. On March 1st. So I knew I had something to blog about in March.

Here I was, wondering if I should consider slowing down in March and inspiring you to do the same and I found myself actually DOING it–and not even on purpose!

I can tell you that taking the day off to just take care of myself, do the things I enjoy and listen to my body was a welcome relief.

If I hadn’t felt crummy, I’d have finished cleaning out my boys’ bedroom, caught up on laundry, gone to the store, cleaned or who knows what else (and probably would have run myself ragged in the process!)–but I wouldn’t have just sipped tea, shuffled around and crafted! I wish I did that more often of my own accord but I don’t.

I needed a day to rest and I’m glad I took it.

SLOW DOWN Lesson #1: Listen to your body. When you feel like you need to take a day off–do it! Or…take a day off BEFORE you need it! 

I think the Slow Down topic is meant to be, so I wonder if you need to slow down, too?

Tell me…when was the last time you took it easy on yourself for an entire day? Could you use a day to just slow down and rest? Leave a comment or hop on over the to FanTABulous Women Facebook page to keep the conversation going.

 

5 Health Benefits of Massage Therapy for Taking Care of Yourself

Welcome Amy Hagerup, my guest blogger today!

Amy is a Facebook friend and knows how passionate I am about self-care so I asked her to share with us today.

Health Benefits of massage fantabulous women guest post amy hagerup

If you spend a lot of time working on your computer, you are putting strain on your neck and shoulders.  Out of necessity, your body might be leaning forward or your arms might be up a little higher than is natural for your body. Tension builds up as you concentrate on your work.

Since this scenario is true for me, I did my research.

Here are 5 of the many health benefits of massage therapy:

Getting a massage  . . .

1: Helps to pump oxygen and nutrients into your tissues and organs, improving circulation while reducing high blood pressure.

2: Relieves stress. Even one isolated massage can significantly lower your heart rate, cortisol and insulin levels, and increase endorphins – which help to reduce accumulated stress.

3. Promotes joint flexibility. As you get older, joints tend to tighten up, restricting your range of motion. Massage helps to keep your joints fluid and less prone to injury.

4. Promotes deeper breathing. One of the sure signs of anxiety and stress is shallow, constricted breathing. Massage relieves respiratory issues and trains the body to relax.

Having learned some of the benefits of massage therapy, I decided to invest in one. So off to a massage therapist I went.

After filling out my medical information and signing the release, I prepared for the lovely massage. As my therapist, Lori, worked on my shoulders and back, she pushed on the knots in my back to get them to release. (Hey! I thought this was supposed to feel good!) She worked faithfully each month on muscles with the skill of a trained doctor, explaining things to me as she went along.

After about a year of monthly massages, Lori told me that I had improved so much in my posture that my Dowager’s hump was gone! It seems that she had been able to discern the beginnings of my back humping like you see in an elderly person, but faithful massage and exercising had reversed it!

That is the fifth health benefit: improved posture!

Yes, massages feel really, really good (except when she is trying to get a knot to release), but the best benefit is what it will do for improving your internal health – and you might even avoid a dowager’s hump!

Have you tried massage therapy yet? Feel free to comment here on the FanTABulous women Facebook page.

Thank you, Amy, for contributing to the FanTABulous Women community! I think I need to go book a massage now…

amy hagerup picture fantabulous women guest blogger

Amy Hagerup is an author, educator, and coach who is passionate about helping others to grow in their faith, their health, and their marketing. A former missionary to Africa for 23 years, Amy teaches through her many stories to help bring change in her readers’ lives. Amy is married to her hero, has five children, three children-in-love, and 12 grandchildren.You can reach Amy at her blog AmyHagerup.com.

Artists’ Retreat to Globe, Arizona

Yes, I’m planning an Artists’ Retreat for May, 2014!

Consider this post your “teaser.”

First of all, this (to me) is an artist:

artists retreat globe, arizona fantabulous women definition of an artist

Not sure if you qualify?

fantabulous women artists retreat

I’m willing to bet that you’re an artist. Whether you paint paintings, run a small business, painstakingly choose your outfits every day, decorate your home or dream of someday “living your art,” art is in you and around you and you are an artist.

The premise is that artists need an opportunity to…

  • practice their craft
  • spend time with other artists
  • learn about other art forms
  • get away, gain a new perspective and rest
  • experience new sites, sounds and people to be inspired and invigorated!

This will be a two-day retreat just two hours east of Phoenix in the charming and historic town of Globe, Arizona. 

This one is for female artists only and is slotted for Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4 at the Chrysocolla Inn in Globe, Arizona.

There will be options for those who would just like to attend the Saturday conference as well as those who wish to stay overnight.

chrysocolla inn globe, arizona artists retreat fantabulouswomen

The Chrysocolla Inn, Globe, Arizona.

 I am planning the schedule, special guests, field trips and so much more but for now, here are a few things we have in the works! 

fantabulous women artists retreat globe, arizona yoga

Yoga in the garden.

fantabulous women artists retreat globe, arizona brainstorming sessions

Brainstorming sessions around this massive table overlooking the garden.

artistic journaling tabitha dumas fantabulous women artists retreat

Opportunities to practice your art.

chrysocolla inn globe, arizona artists retreat fantabulous women

Exploring Globe (this is the view from the Inn’s balcony).

fantabulous women artists retreat globe, arizona  accomodations

Beautifully appointed rooms with private baths with clawfoot tubs. This room overlooks the garden!

fantabulous women artists retreat globe, arizona

Exquisite food.

 

fantabulous women artists retreat globe, arizona inspiring architecture

The Chrysocolla Inn is so charming–even the building itself is inspiring!

  I hope this entices you! I will sending out pricing information along with how to register, what to expect and so much more in the months to come.

The best way to make sure you receive all of the updates is to sign up for the Artists’ Retreat email updated. You’ll be hearing more from me soon!

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My status update to the world: Shut up!

Feeling overwhelmed and wondering how you can avoid becoming crippled under the weight of everyone’s competing expectations? “Join the club!” right?

fantbulouswomen overwhelmed tell the world to shut up

Literally buried.

You know how it is. The never-ending influx of competing information and conflicting advice, whether in your own head, online, in books, in your email in-box or in real life conversations.

Add more veggies to your diet. Don’t eat baby carrots—they’re just bad carrots shredded up and reconstituted. Oh, and watch out for contaminated spinach!

Kids have too many toys these days. What’s a birthday party without new toys???

Aim for getting in 10,000 steps every day. Organize your home according to specific tasks to cut down on wandering around in search of various items. Save time by accomplishing as many of your errands as possible in a limited area.

Take these supplements, cut caffeine and start a running and weight lifting regime. Supplements may or may not make a difference, coffee is good for you and regular gentle walks and yoga are your best bet.

I’m so tired of going on Facebook just to hear about whose kids are sick, who’s working out and what you’re eating for dinner. I’m so tired of going on Facebook just to see jokes, political commentary or pictures of cats. You don’t post enough personal stuff on Facebook…OR You post on Facebook too much.

Then it can get even more personal.

People assume that you’re a hippie because you breastfeed and let your kids sleep with you or that you’re a total “mainstreamer” because you bribe them with candy and put them in public school when neither title is entirely accurate.

One neighbor gives you dirty looks because you let the neighborhood kids congregate on your front lawn while another neighbor thinks you’re a snob because you don’t let her kid come inside to play anymore.

You’re expected to be the family travel agent, photographer, social media expert, peace keeper and event planner and then your family wonders why their thank-you notes are late (or nonexistent) and why you don’t have more time to spend on your housekeeping duties.

It never ends.

Dress sexier to keep the romance alive. Dress modestly to avoid tempting the opposite sex.

Relax! Get moving!

Take time for yourself! Take time to help other people!

Save money! Treat yourself to something new!

Travel more! Stay home more!

Aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! Just writing this list makes me want to jump out the window!

tell the world so shut up tabitha dumas writer

Aaaaaahhh!!

Ever feel like you just can’t win?

I have learned to mostly keep my opinion to myself but there are days when I want to send a status update to the universe that just says, “Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!”

I can’t be the only person left wanting to say, “Really?!?!” and bang my head into the wall. Is it any wonder that substance abuse is such a rampant problem?!

No woman can do it all, or be all things to all people. It’s one of the FanTABulous Women tenets: “Embrace the fact that no woman can ‘do it all.’” It goes perfectly with another tenet: “Celebrate what you’re good at and accept help when you need it.”

There are too many demands, too many competing opinions, too many people advising you according to their own agenda and too many voices in your ear to appease them all.

Even on my best day, I manage to walk out the door without my phone and end up broken down on the side of the road and hitching a ride home from a stranger. Yes, that happened a few months ago at 9:30pm after a long conference call and my phone battery was dead. I just needed peanut butter to make sandwiches for my son’s lunch the next day and should have been there and back in fifteen minutes.

My mom quizzed me on the lesson I learned from the experience.

“What?” I asked, rather than guessing. If I had guessed, it would have probably been “Stay home.”

She said, “You need to get a car phone charger.”

Oh, that. I’ll get right on that. Hmm, let’s see….yes, that is now #1,847 out of 3,922. Excellent.

So. What to do. For me, there are a few techniques that help me avoid resorting to taking up drinking or throwing in the towel altogether. I’ll be sharing them in the days to come because #1, I love sharing my experiences with others in the hopes that it will help them and #2, I believe this is a worthwhile discussion to have.

Do you struggle with this? Do you ever feel like you just can’t win? Do you need some new ideas for what to do when you just want to tell the world to “shut up?” Stay tuned…and hop on over to the FanTABulous Women Facebook page to keep the conversation going!

May I see your pajamas?

You work hard, I know you do.

At the end of the day, you deserve to relax and unwind.

I am the type who has an entire ritual that involves taking off my jewelry and clothes, performing my daily skin care routine and in the winter, the addition of extra lotion, fuzzy socks and lip balm.

fantabulous women night time routine cute pajamas

Cleanser, moisturizer, hand salve, foot cream and lip balm. Aaahhh.

Oh, and I put my pajamas on. If I’m lucky and I have the next day off, I can leave them on all night and until at least lunchtime the next day.

Every woman needs a cute pair of pajamas. You should feel good in them and they should make you smile. You should be able to heave a contended sigh when you put them on every night. Plus, you never know when you’ll be invited to a pajama party!

These are mine. Pink, turquoise, flannel and owly. Soooo soft.

fantabulous women cute pajamas

Yes, cute pajamas fall under the “self care” category. Any time you do something that is just for you, it’s self care. Although, admittedly, the people around you will probably appreciate your cute pajamas, too.

Dare I say…show me your pajamas and I can see how well you take care of yourself?

OK, ‘fess up–are you wearing cute pajamas tonight?

How To Maintain Your Happy Weight

In the past ten years, I’ve been a size six up to a size sixteen and right now, I’m smack dab in the middle.

I’ve been underweight and overweight and I know what it’s like to struggle with both.

I also know that even “underweight” and “overweight” are relative terms.

Of all the hang-ups women have, weight seems to be the most common, the most frustrating and the most debilitating. The bottom line is, my wish is for every woman to find her “happy weight,” a weight she is happy with and can live with long term.

happy weight fantabulous women

I have certainly learned a few things over the years and have, over all, been able to maintain a weight that I am happy with.

If my “secrets” can help someone, I’m happy!

Here they are…

Tab’s Top Ten Stay-Slim Secrets! 

1. I try to add a serving of fruits and/or vegetables to every meal. I add berries to my breakfast cereal, add carrot sticks to my sandwich at lunch, have a veggie with dinner most nights and end most days with fruit. I look at every meal and go, “What fruit or veggie can I add to this??”

I’m not a big fan of veggies, so I TRY to eat a salad every day and I load that baby up with all sorts of goodies! I know I need the vegetables and I know I don’t gravitate toward them like I do to fruit, so I try to make sure I fit them in!

I will also admit that I keep V8 in the fridge to have when I just can’t get veggies in any other way.

2. My grains are whole grains. More and more products are being introduced with whole grains. I eat whole grain Cheezits (yes, Cheezits are my weakness), whole grain mac & cheese and of course whole grain pasta, bread, cereal, crackers…even tortillas! I eat virtually NOTHING with white flour. This helps with blood sugar levels, keeps me feeling fuller longer and keeps the fat from migrating to my middle.

3. I’ve cut a LOT of the sugar. From my morning coffee to my former “ice cream every night” habit, I try to only eat sugar as a special treat and even then, it’s something small. I sometimes just end the day with a Dove dark chocolate, or crumble a low fat cookie into my yogurt…just a LITTLE sugar here and there, NOT the “sugar-all-day” I use to do. There’s a million reasons to cut sugar….my favorite is that it cuts calories.

4. I don’t drink many extra calories. My doctor had me on JUST water for a month and that’s when I dropped another 5 lbs. Fruit juice was a habit of mine and I didn’t shy away from soda. Now it’s only flavored water (NO sugar) or tea. Period. And I drink a LOT to stay hydrated. I live in Arizona, after all.

5. I keep healthy “easy” foods on hand at all times. Lettuce, almond butter, tomatoes, popcorn, etc. is always available so when I get hungry, I have something good to grab.

6. I eat almonds every day. Seven is the common recommendation. This is especially good between meals, to stabilize my blood sugar. I keep a stash in my purse, too, in a resealable snack bag. When I feel peaked, I grab the almonds.

chocolate almonds fantabulous women stay slim secrets

7. I pack healthy snacks when I leave home. Raisins, trail mix, granola bars, etc. so I’m not tempted to buy fast food or candy bars while I’m out and starving.

P.S. My favorite “on the go” fast food snack is the chicken Caesar wrap from Wendy’s. It’s got lettuce, cheese, a tortilla and a LOT of good chicken–and it’s $1.50.

8. I sleep a LOT. I try to get seven hours minimum. During pregnancy and postpartum, I try to get closer to eight. I know this is a lofty goal for many people, especially working moms or moms of babies. But getting good sleep is critical to keeping your weight (and stress levels!) down. It helps your metabolism and your hormone levels, among other things.

9. I move around a lot. Not house to house….I mean that I’m not a couch potato. Now, don’t get me wrong….I do NOT work out (but I want to someday!). BUT, I NEVER “sit around” and I watch almost zero television. I do almost everything standing up and I move constantly. Dr. Oz backs this up! It burns calories and keeps your heart pumping more than just vegging on the couch.

I have a “gathering table” (taller than average) in my dining room so I often stand there to craft, go on the computer, etc. I also walk or pace when I’m on the phone. It aaalll helps!! AND…if I’m not on the couch vegging, I’m avoiding the mindless snacking, too!

10. Protein!!! At every meal!! I try, at least.

a. I often buy chicken and cook it up all at once, half with a mild seasoning (maybe lemon pepper) and half with a more exciting seasoning (like chipotle). Then I use it all week to top a salad, make a tortilla wrap or add to pasta.

b. I also keep one of those packets of tuna or salmon in the fridge for a quick sandwich or to top a salad.

c. I keep a supply of soft-boiled eggs in the fridge, too, to grab when needed. Yes, I salt mine.

Feel free to message me with questions!

What do YOU have to add it this list??

Ten FanTABulous Summer Sun Tips

I know you are busy and there is a lot of information out there about protecting yourself in the sun. Let Tab, your personal beauty consultant, help.

Here are 10 Summer Sun Tips for my FanTABulous Women:

1. Look for products labeled “Broad Spectrum.” This prevents against damaging UVB and UVA rays. Skin cancer is so vicious because it occurs at the deeper levels of the skin and takes a long time to show up on the surface. Broad spectrum protects the top level and deeper level, to avoid a visible sunburn as well as damage to the deeper levels.

2. An SPF of 30 or 50 is recommended for most people on an everyday basis. You are being exposed to harmful rays even while inside your house or vehicle! P.S. Higher than 50 isn’t proven to offer any extra protection.

3. NO sunscreen is waterproof. You will now see them marked “water-resistant” and they will also have the time listed that you can expect to be protected. For example, in the photo below, the SPF 30 says it is water-resistant for 80 minutes.

4. Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun exposure to allow the product to penetrate the skin.

5. Wondering how much to apply?

FanTABulouswomen.com ten sun tips shot glass one ounce sunscreen

6. If you are spending the entire day in the sun, re-apply every two hours (for an SPF 30) and after towel-drying. If you are going down a water slide or going in and out of an inner tube repeatedly, be aware that you are rubbing your sunscreen off in the process, so be sure to reapply to places like your belly or the backs of your legs.

7. Don’t forget about your ears, the tops of your feet and your scalp. Wearing a hat helps protect your ears AND head. Plus I know you’ll look FanTABulous in a hat! Mine looks like this one (the brand is Scala, I got it from Steinmart for about $20), only mine has pastel colors and is utterly FanTABulous.

FanTABulouswomen.com Scala straw hat for summer

8. Layer products. If you use a facial moisturizer that contains sunscreen, be aware that it will evaporate unless you ‘seal it’ with a primer and foundation. The newest Mary Kay foundation primer now has an SPF 15, which adds yet another layer of protection. Sweet!

If you need moisturizer AND sunscreen, the jury is out on how to best layer them (there are many determining factors, including the formula of each product) but I would err on the side of caution and apply the sunscreen directly to your clean skin, let it penetrate for 15 minutes then apply your moisturizer on top.

9. Buy an after-sun product, too. I advise my customers to put the Mary Kay After-sun Replenishing Gel (pictured below, left) in their fridge so it is extra-cooling when applied after getting out of the pool, ocean or hot tub. Aloe is also nice if you get a little too much sun or if your skin just feels parched. With aloe, the more pure the better and go for the clear variety.

fantabulouswomen.com summer sun tips

10. Avoid sun exposure from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. when you can and try to wear protective clothing. Don’t forget your sunglasses!

I would love to supply you with the PERFECT Mary Kay products to help you enjoy your summer!

I will have my summer sun products with me at my Women of Faith in Business and S.E.V.E.N. meetings for you to sample and purchase. If we don’t cross paths during the week, call me to schedule a 15-minute consultation so we can assess your needs and you can try the products. Or, if you are in need of a facial and a summer color makeover, visit my Mary Kay page for information about taking advantage of the FanTABulous Royal Treatment Makeover.

How will YOU be spending YOUR summer? How do you plan to protect yourself from the sun? Please share in the comments or on the FanTABulous Women Facebook page.

Copyright Tabitha Dumas, online and in-persona image consultant Gilbert Chandler, Arizona. All right reserved.