Looking for firefly facts? You’ve come to the right place! What’s fun about Fireflies? Well…everything! Here are some cool facts and information about fireflies. Plus I include ways to attract the firefly and how to safely catch them. Enjoy and be gentle! Be sure to download my free Firefly Fun Sheet!
Firefly Fact #1
There isn’t just one kind of firefly. There are more than 2000 species of fireflies in the world! That’s a lot of light.
Speaking of natural light, the firefly light is the most efficient light in the WORLD! Yep. Bug light is the best light in the world…natural light. The sun doesn’t count. Let’s face it, what other bug or animal produces its own light?
Actually, there are some other bioluminescent species that exist on this planet, however, most of them live deep in the ocean.
What else is cool about firefly glow? Not all light from the firefly is the same color. The glow can be yellow, green, orange, or blue! How cool is that? Way cool.
Firefly Facts #4
Their handy blink and frequency of the blink are how fireflies communicate with each other. I kind of like to think of them using Morris Code. They also use their light as a mating signal. Oo, la la!
Fireflies do not taste good. If I were you I’d cancel that side of firefly and stick with your kale. Fireflies are actually poisonous to some animals if they eat them. When the firefly is attacked they release a little blood. Ew. But the blood contains a chemical that creates a bigger taste and emits poison! It’s how they protect themselves.
Okay, this one is super important. Firefly numbers are reducing in the world. Some of this is due to climate change, but another reason is because of their habitats. The healthy living environments are being destroyed; not to mention, they are also being ‘harvested’ for their luciferase (their glow substance). Luciferase is used for scientific research for forensic tests and food safety. They do have a way to make this stuff synthetically, but people still kill these amazing bugs (beetles) for the natural stuff…
What can we do to save the fireflies?
We can make a firefly habitat!
Fireflies love to eat snails, worms, and slugs. Where there are snails, worms, and slugs, you’ll likely find fireflies. A garden is a perfect place for fireflies to enjoy life. Firefly larvae enjoy a good pile of wet leaves. It is suggested to make a compost pile of leaves and to keep the leaves moist throughout the year. The leaves will attract the slugs, and the baby fireflies will eat them as they grow. In the Spring, put some of the leaves in your garden as compost. Do this every year and watch your firefly population grow!
Fireflies also enjoy these plants: Passionflower, Morning Glory, Goldenrod, Asters, and River Fern. They also like trees! Good choices are Sycamore, Cottonwood, Elm, Bur Oak, Dogwood, and Trumpet Creeper.
How do we safely catch them?
We can catch them carefully. When they land you or when you gently catch them, simply put them in a glass jar with many holes punched through the top for oxygen. Place a damp paper towel in the jar to prevent them from drying out. Put a slice of apple in there for them to munch on. Please only keep the fireflies for 1 day. They only live for two-three months, let them be free and enjoy life.
Want the glow to last longer?
If you want the fun glow and blinking to last longer, first let the fireflies go, then buy fairy lights and put them in a jar. I personally love these lights. The solar-powered ones are pretty cool, I keep them up all year round. Super awesome for wedding table decorations!
That does it on firefly facts! Hope you learned something new. Thanks for visiting!
Need some fresh kid activities at home? There are three words that wreak havoc on a busy mom, “Mom, I’m bored”. Remember we’ve all been there as kids too. Bored is not a bad thing, but it’s a lot more fun when we can spark an interest in our kids and get them out of their funk. Here are 10 fresh ideas you can pass on to your kids and even teenagers!
Chores are not what they’re looking for…
Mom is great for thinking up solutions to boredom questions. A few ideas I like to rattle off to my son are: clean your room, organize your closet, dig a hole, read, vacuum the living room, wash windows, sweep the driveway…and the chore list keeps building. But chores are not what a kid wants to do when they are bored.
Outside fun to cure the ‘bored’!
During the pandemic the phrase, ‘I’m bored”, went from hearing it three times a day to 20 times a day! We, moms, get so sick and tired of hearing it. And yes, we can say to them to go outside and play; there is nothing wrong with that. They’ll find something to do in God’s creation.
In fact, the Outdoor Industry Association states in their study, “Reconnecting youth with the outdoors has become critical to the health of future generations and the health of our natural landscapes.” Getting outside is HUGE for our kiddos. Take a gander at these nature quotes and understand the power of the outdoors. Please encourage them to do so. To help you out I created a slew of printables for kids that encourage them to learn more about the outdoors and have fun doing it.
10 kid activities at home
1) Make them laugh.
When they say “I’m bored” reply with “Hi Bored. I’m Mom, how are you doing today?” Encourage them to read some jokes or to create three new jokes for supper time. Try to avoid the eye roll or a harsh reply. Instead, give them a tickle in their side and tell them you want a comedy show after supper. Reiterate their creativity and how funny they are. I created Lunchbox Note Jokes to get them giggling. These are fantastic Dad jokes.
2) Create a talent show.
Speaking of shows. My family enjoys watching talent shows on TV. Why not have your own talent show? Have your kids put together their very own talent show? They can do multiple talents and practice, practice, practice. Have them make a talent show sign, tickets, a curtain, and maybe even create a theme song or commercial! This is super fun. Kids can do magic tricks, dance, sing, do bike tricks, trampoline routines, swimming tricks, trick shots, drawing, card tricks, jump rope, chalk art, you name it. Golly, I want my son to do a talent show now!
3) Restaurant fun!
Have them play restaurant for real. This isn’t necessarily a chore. But have them cook dinner, complete with menu, table service, and multiple courses. They’ll need an appetizer, soup or salad, main meal, and dessert. If they aren’t old enough to cook, have them make a pretend meal and menu.
4) Get out the scavenger hunt on steroids
Get them busy with a scavenger hunt. There are many scavenger hunt printables out there, or you can simply create your own, it only takes a few minutes. If you have older kids I highly recommend my very own Scavenger Hunt Challenge! This involves a little bit of set-up, but it will keep them busy for three hours, yes 180 minutes. Personally, I found it very fun to watch. This is a fun teenager activity, seriously, it is! You can download this hunt by subscribing to my newsletter, you’ll find it in my Freebies!
5) Write stories or comics
Some kids love to read, others do not. My son is the NOT one. Instead of reading, have them create a comic book with pictures and bubble text. Give them ideas of what to write about by what your child likes. Is he/she into gaming? Pizza? Sports? Robots? Hunting? Cooking? You can get these blank comic books on Amazon to help guide them into making a masterpiece! My son made a whole series of comics about his superpower and his superpower friends. It was hilarious! To get the juices flowing read them their favorite children’s books. On that note, check out my new children’s book, INK!
6) Photography at its finest
If you want them off the gaming, turn on camera mode. Have them head outside and take pictures of what’s going on around them. You can ask for a gallery of photos that you all can review at dinner time. Have them take pictures of leaves, flowers, wildlife or bugs, or anything blue, yellow, or red. They can create a game with photos too; for instance, you have them take 10 pictures and you have to guess what they all have in common…like things that move, things that fly, etc. Don’t want them to have a phone in hand? We had gotten our son this fun children’s camera. It worked great and he absolutely loved it!
7)Obstacle course to the rescue
Have them create an obstacle course. With American Ninja Warrior going on, this is super fun for kids. Essentially, sidewalk chalk can go a long way here. They can draw different jumps, hopscotch boards, cartwheel areas, and walk on a line. The kids can set up things to climb and jump over. If you have a play structure or live by a school or playground they can do things there. They can even pretend to not touch the ground as one of their obstacles!
If you have an older kid or teenager who can navigate a phone and a playlist, have them create a playlist for YOU! This can take them forever but it also helps them feel needed and special.
9) Puzzles and Printables
As I mentioned earlier, have them do puzzles. I created some amazing activity pages for kids that will keep them busy and have fun doing it. My activity pages include camping, fishing, fireflies, trees, sports, and more. They are fun to do as a family too! You can find them all here.
10) Start a business
Have them think of a business and plan it. They could start a coloring business, mowing business, flower arranging, baking, trick show business, LEGO building business, video making, practice being a nurse, toy cleaning gig, toy fixing, dog walking, swing-set testing, Hot Wheels cleaning, cookie baking, you name it. Make sure you have your kids write down their income and expenses so they can learn how to keep track. For more money management tips, check out this post!
BONUS IDEA! This has been one of my favorite kid activities at home EVER! Create your very own putt-putt golf course around the yard or at a park. All you need is a putter, a few golf balls, and a cup or a piece of yarn to make a “hole”. Seriously, this is fun for your toddler to teenager.
And don’t forget to camp in the backyard! What a fun activity for all your kids and your dog. Pop up a tent and roast some hotdogs on a fire. Here are some ways to camp more comfortable!
Wrapping up kid activities at home
There you go! Ten ways, plus a bonus, to answer the dreaded “Mom, I’m bored”. Remember kids are kids, they haven’t been exposed to all the fun things you have done in life yet. The best way to make kid activities at home a win is to be happy, thankful for their honesty, and to encourage their creativity. Be sure to check out some of my favorite family games and children’s books to read as a family!
Learn how to brighten a room for under $60. For most people, your home or office is where you spend the majority of your time. So it’s important that the room you spend a lot of time in makes you feel good. If you want to be a happier person, take a look around and brighten the room! I’ve got 8 great tips you can do today to transform a room for under $60.
The key to making these powerful yet simple suggestions work within a $60 budget or less is to do it yourself. There is greatness in DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects. For one, it helps your mind work more creatively. You simply have to pay better attention to what you’re doing, which makes your brain work a little harder and smarter. The second benefit to DIY is that it builds confidence. If you can make something happen with your hands and skills, it magically gives you more self-esteem! And the third plus with DIY is personal gratification. It’s okay to say “I did that!” When you transform a room, an object, or a landscape with a little sweat and hands-on, you’ll instantly feel fulfillment! We all need a bit of that in our everyday life.
Let’s get to work and make a space more cheerful! For where there is light, darkness can’t reside.
8 Amazing Tips on How to Brighten a Room
1 Clean up
First things first, clean up. Sure you can pay for a cleaning service to clean your house, but it can get pretty pricy. When you clean your own home, you not only get instant gratification, but you also get a workout! You might also find some things you misplaced, and you may even find money in the couch, pant pockets, or laundry. Do yourself a favor and take charge of your living space by cleaning it yourself. Cleaning the House: 5 Factors to Understand
2 Open the shades
Draw back the curtains. Natural light is healing to the soul. It improves your mood, helps your natural clock sync with nature, it helps us be more productive, and natural light even helps us focus. And the beauty of this tip is that it’s $0.00.
What if you don’t have a window? A great tip on how to brighten a room without a window is to get a nice size mirror. Its reflections mimic a window feel and actually make the room feel bigger than it is. A large mirror will go beyond our budget, so you must plan when you can go out and shop. Look for sales, smaller mirrors, head to the hobby store, or check out secondhand shops.
3 Buy yourself some flowers.
This doesn’t need to be a $40 bouquet. There are great flower deals at ALDI’s, Trader Joe’s, and even Costco. Don’t forget about your local roadside flower stands! You can get some amazing flowers for under $10. Why flowers? Flowers can help you know how to brighten a room in a pinch. They bring bright colors or softness into your home. A vase of flowers is welcoming and a lovely centerpiece. Grab an old mason jar and arrange a little sunshine for your kitchen island or end table. $7.
4 String lights
4 String lights aren’t just for Christmas. String lights bring light to the darkness. How to brighten a room without windows? You got it, string lights! They look kind of like fireflies! String lights are inexpensive for what they do. You can get your standard Christmas lights for around $12, if you purchase after Christmas you can get some amazing deals! I personally like to string them in a faux tree or along the fireplace mantel. You can also decorate around a window, line them vertically on a wall, or outline along the ceiling! There are endless options for string lights. There are of course the LED moving lights, those are fun, but they are not what I am talking about. I’m talking about the standard simple Christmas tree lights. You can get them in white too! $12.
5 Get some greens
Add some plants or faux greens. Putting a touch of green in your room brings the outdoors in. Even if it isn’t a real plant, there is something about green leaves that presents freshness and peace in a room. Plants can lower stress and anxiety, they can boost healing and energy levels, and plants have the ability to improve your mood. When it comes to indoor plants I struggle at times to give them what they need to thrive. So I simply head to a hobby shop and buy faux plants. I particularily wait until they are on sale. But if you can’t wait for sales, you can get some great faux ferns or pine boughs for under $14.
There’s nothing better than a coat of fresh paint. When some people think of cheerful colors they might pick red, yellow, orange, or purple. But in all honesty, simply go with white. If you want to know how to brighten a room with paint, especially without out windows, choose white! White is a canvas that anything goes with. If you like to change your mind about decorating, paint with white. White flows with the seasons and gives you a sense of cleanliness, freshness, and peace. If you need another color paint one wall with an accent color. Painting can be a bit more expensive, so it depends on the size of the room and the type of paint you buy. Let’s say 1 gallon of paint is $20. When you DIY, you’re saving even more money and honing in on a skill!
7 Add some tunes
Music is a great way to set the tone of a room. Play some music that will lift you up! Find your go-to tunes that will bring peace and calm to your heart. Music is essentially free if you have a radio. I know that’s old school, but it’s free. There are, of course, Spotify, iTunes, Sirius XM, and other music subscriptions, but when it comes to managing money know what subscriptions you have!
8 Wall prints
Need some simple yet powerful wall art? Head to Etsy and download some awesome wall prints. I personally like Scripture art. There is nothing more powerful than the Word of God. Displaying His truths sets the tone. When something feels off in your day, speak the Sword of the Spirit and command the darkness to flee in Jesus’ name! Seeing His promises daily helps you live out His promises, not to mention, memorize them. Just knowing His presence is with you is power and encouragement in itself. Why not display it on your walls? You can easily download scripture art or other prints off Etsy for about $2.50. Dig out an old frame from your closet and you’re good to go!
Let’s see how we did:
Cleaning – $0.00
Open the shades – $0.00
Flowers – $7.00
String Lights – $12.00
Faux plant – $14.00
Paint – $20.00
Music – $0.00
Wall prints – $2.50
GRANG TOTAL = $55.50
In conclusion to how to brighten a room
How to brighten a room can be done for less than $60. It’s a fun transformation that you can do in a day. And when you carry out the do-it-yourself mojo anything is possible and so gratifying, not to mention money-saving! Try these simple tips today and lift up your well-being in a bright and beautiful space.
Road trip essentials make the journey not only easier but more fun. What items are considered essentials? When it comes to road trips there are two things that make it great: being prepared and memories. I like to think of it as if I were on the road and got stuck, would I have all I need to get by.
Whether we’re going to Florida for Spring Break, heading to a campground across multiple states, or simply hopping in the car en route to the nearest metropolis, I’ve got a list you’re going to want to check…literally, check.
If you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of cat this post is not for you. But if you enjoy being prepared, but not overly prepared, this is the post you’ll want to pin or better yet download my Independent Road Trip Check List. For more great free downloads, sign into my Freebies!
Road Trip Essentials
1. Car Insurance and Registration
Check to make sure your car insurance and registration are current. There is nothing worse than getting pulled over in another State and you can’t find your registration or you happen to see that it expired. This happened to us. Ouch.
Sunglasses! Make sure you have a pair of sunglasses for everybody in the vehicle. Not sure your dog needs them, but everyone else should have their own pair.
3. Phone charger or USB Cord
Phone Charger/USB Cord. Now that paper maps are on the way out, and GPS on our phones are an essential app, make sure you don’t run out of phone battery. Need a USB cord? Check out this one from Amazon.
Umbrella. Simple, yet super important, especially if you’re changing a tire in the rain. Been there, done that.
5. Blanket, but not just any blanket.
Blanket. I always have a blanket in my car, specifically a Mexican blanket because they are super warm and durable. Not only it is there for emergency slide-offs, but the dog can sit on it, the kid and use it, or I can sit on it.
Water. When we road trip, we simply buy water bottles at the grocery store. It’s so much cheaper and easier to hand someone a water bottle when they need it.
7. Hand Sanitizer and Extra Face-Masks
Hand sanitizer and extra face masks. These two items are not only essential during virus outbreaks, but they help us tremendously in the Rest Stop bathrooms. The mask helps with blocking the smell, and the sanitizers give us a little extra germ protection. Hey, I found these awesome disposable black masks on Amazon.
8. Emergency Kit
Roadside Emergency Kit that includes Jumper cables and First Aid Kit. There is a kit that is easy to use. You can check it out here.
9. Portable Air-compressor
Portable air compressor. I love this thing. Not only does it help with tire pressure, but if you’re camping it’s great for basketballs, air mattresses, and beach floats. This has been so handy on the road and off! A portable air compressor is the way to go. No more searching for air!
10. Towel. Don’t use your blanket.
Towel. Unlike the blanket, the towel is great for unexpected spills or a quick dry-off running through the rain…when you don’t want to bother with your umbrella. It’s also great for Fido to sit on.
Tissue. I can’t count the number of times I’m using a tissue to blow my nose. Make sure you get some before you leave the house. Napkins or even a roll of toilet paper works well too. Another good one to add here is butt wipes.
Snacks. This is essential. Snacks save you money and they save you from gorging on your next meal. Some great road trip snacks include trail mix, grapes, cereal mix, popcorn, meat sticks, or celery sticks.
13. Paper and Pen.
Paper and pencil/pen. As a passenger, I’m always thinking of my to-do list or my next great idea. Have paper and pen ready to jot down your thoughts.
Road Trip games. If you have kiddos and don’t want them to get tech-neck, grab a few games. Of course, the Alphabet game is super fun for everyone. There are three versions. The classic version is to find the letter of the alphabet in any form. The second is more challenging, find a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet…good luck on Q and Z. And the last version is to find an object that starts with the letter…this is super hard. Don’t forget to add Corn on Cob Song Fun to the trip!
15. Snow Scraper and Mini Shovel (weather dependent).
Depending on where you are going, you better throw in a snow scraper, a mini snow shovel, and a small bag of kitty litter. When I was in college and traveling out to Colorado, I always had my portable mini snow shovel in my trunk, and I used it! You never know when you’re going to hit black ice and end up in a snowbank or ditch. Mini snow shovels work a lot better than your hands!
Weapons. Yep. I said it. At least carry a pocketknife or pepper spray, heck, get a taser. A pocket knife is good to have on hand for lots of reasons. Pepper spray buys you some time, as does a taser. As for handguns, it depends on your opinion of them, where you’re going, knowing what States allow them, having your permit, and understanding the safety of them. Be smart, not stupid
All in all.
That does it! It sounds like a lot but it isn’t really. Most of the stuff is already in your vehicle. It’s always best to be prepared, rather than getting stuck and depending on some creepy guy. The best advice I have to offer any road tripper is to simply be aware of what’s going on around you. Pay attention to the road, know what’s happening around you when you make a rest stop, and be safe. Use that head of yours at all times!
Camp more comfortable by asking yourself, “What’s the purpose of the camping trip?” This should be the first thing you do before you start packing. Are you going to lay in the sun at the beach, hike in the woods, rock climb, swim, fish, or relax by the fire? Knowing the answer to this will help you pack efficiently and wisely. In this post, we’re going to talk about shelter, sleeping, cooking, water, activities, hygiene, and coffee. Let’s reduce stress and get camping comfy style!
Why is getting out in nature so important?
First and foremost, nature heals. We are creatures who not only depend on nature for our survival, but it nourishes our souls and reduces stress. According to “Nature’s Nurture” by Wendy Helfenbaum, an article in the Costco Connection it says that nature decreases anxiety and negative thinking. It goes on to say that outdoor activity improves our mental and physical well-being and reduces high blood pressure. Nature even helps us learn better! There are so many positive benefits nature holds for us. This doesn’t mean you have spent hours outside to gain from it, but studies show that even 10 minutes can lighten your load. And all we need to do is open the door.
There is something about nature and embarking on a family adventure. Nature relaxes us and opens our minds and hearts to experience God’s beauty. Family camping is a popular activity, or simply doing a family outdoor activity together is fun like cornhole, volleyball, or a scavenger hunt!
#1 How to make camping more comfortable in the weather
The main issue with camping is the weather. Before you pack your first item, look at the forecast. The key here is to have a plan for the opposite…at least something to get you by, like an umbrella or stocking cap. We’re not going to let the weather get in our way of the “serenity now” experience.
My essentials no matter what kind of trip we go on include: a rain jacket, wool hat, dry-wick pants and shorts, wool socks, 3 pairs of underwear, 1 vest, 1 fleece or down jacket, 2 t-shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts, and I never leave home without my swimsuit. Of course, this packing list depends on how long you’ll be gone. With that said, it’s a good idea to pack a little pouch of laundry detergent.
#2 Getting Z’s in nature
Sleeping matters. Take sleep seriously. When we’re tired, most of us tend to be a bit on the cranky side. Sleep can ruin our trip. Without it, our bodies fall apart, our minds get messed up, and we’re not fun to be around. Make sleep your priority. By making your sleeping area comfy, you’ll sleep like a rock. Take note of the area you’re sleeping on; whether it is the ground, hammock, bed, or picnic table…I’ve seen it…make it as comfortable as possible. If your campsite has access to electrical service and you want to block out the neighbors’ chatter, use a white noise machine.
During the night our temperature changes; to stay warm people generally pile on the blankets, but what you really want to do is to beef up what you’re sleeping on. The ground will sap your heat and energy, so think sleeping mat/s. If you’re in a hammock, think about laying on top of a couple of sleeping bags before you crawl into yours.
As for sleeping bags, they are great for sleepovers and hammocks, but when you’re camping at a modern campground in the dead of summer, you’re probably best served with sleeping on top of your sleeping bag then using a sheet and thin blanket over the top of your body. And don’t forget your precious pillow!
#3 How to make camping comfortable with meals
Cooking. Food is probably the next priority…assuming you’re bringing your own water. Typically when people think of camping they think of hot dogs. However, now a day, people are making gourmet meals! My rule is whatever floats your boat. I like things to be easy and already prepped. With that said, I spend an afternoon preparing our meals and planning our vacation menu. I get specific with what we’re having for each meal because when I’m camping I don’t want to be cooking or worrying about what we’re going to eat.
As for cooking equipment, this depends upon your camping shelter. Are you using an RV, 5th-wheel, camper, pop-up camper, tent, or just a hammock?
#3.2 Cooking in a tent
If you’re in a tent or hammock, you have more freedom to camp in places that don’t provide an electric and water service. This brings tremendous opportunity to camp in amazing, hard-to-reach, campsites with breathtaking views. Tent camping also forces you to simplify and keep things simple the whole vacation. With that said, cook more comfortable in a tent by getting a titanium pot and a camp stove. The pot will serve you in many ways. You can almost cook anything in the pot. Plus it boils water when you don’t have a water filter. And, golly, if you’re in bear country or if you get lost, you can use the pan to bang on it and make some noise!
#3.4 Cooking in a camper
As with all the other types of camping shelters, I mentioned before you will most likely camp somewhere with an electrical hook-up and have access to water unless you’re ‘boon-docking. Boon-docking is where you aren’t hooked up to anything except maybe a solar panel.
If power is on your side, I’d suggest bringing a Crock-Pot or an air fryer. Our 5th-Wheel has an over, but we use the air fryer instead. It’s cleaner, easier, and does things the oven can’t do. The air fryer’s capabilities give you more cooking options. The Crock-Pot comes in handy when you’ve had a full day and don’t want to cook when you get back to camp. Gosh! Don’t forget the grill! We have one of the skillet grills that you can essentially cook anything on it, including pancakes. And, yes, still have a titanium pot on hand.
#3.6 Our 5 quick camping meals we like
Chicken salad. I pre-make this at home and serve it with grapes and chips.
Mac & cheese with brats, hot dogs, or salmon patties. A side of spinach or broccoli is usually served with this. It’s also tasty to put potato chip crumbs on your mac & cheese!
Sloppy JoesThis is my favorite recipe. No mess, no fuss with the kids. I serve green beans, potato straws, or a store-bought salad on the side.
Pulled pork nachos. This is so yummy. I simply buy pre-cooked pulled pork (not the saucy kind), I then put a layer of corn chips, cheese (fake cheese in my case), the pork, and taco sauce. Pop them in the microwave then put fresh avocado and diced tomatoes on top. SO GOOD! Here’s a link to the recipe.
Burgers and sweet pot fries. We make the fries in our air-fryer. In fact, we’ve made the burgers in our fryer too! I add a side of spinach, green beans, broccoli, or grapes.
As for dessert, I either bring pudding and whip cream, homemade granola bars, stuff to make rice crispy treats, or premade cookie dough to bake a fresh batch. Of course, you have s’mores to fall back on. Heck, you could make cookie s’mores! Whaoza!
#3.8 Grab something for your lap and booty
A lap pad or cushion is a must when it comes to eating in a camp chair. Simply place it on your lap and eat. You can make your own lap/booty cushion by getting a foam cushion at your local hobby shop and sewing a small pillowcase for it. Wa laa! Simple, but VERY helpful! I handmake these myself. If you want one of mine, contact me through my Etsy Shop.
#4 Drinking water while camping
There is no joke about drinking water. Clean water is a must no matter if you’re in the backcountry or in a fancy campground. Please bring a filter. If you’d had Guardia or some other illness from water, I know you wouldn’t leave home without one. Plus, dehydration is no joke.
For our camper/5th-Wheel, we really enjoy the gravity-fed Berkey Water Filter you put on your counter or picnic table.
Of course, you can bring jugs of water, been there, done that, and frankly, that’s not fun. Jugs are heavy, and what if you run out of water? Now what?
Please do not drink from any body of water without first either boiling it to a roaring boil or putting it through a filter…note the titanium pot. Dehydration comes quickly if you get sick from bad water. The pot will seriously save your life.
#5 Camping activities for kids
How to make camping comfortable with kids? It’s a great idea to have some activities on hand for foul weather. When the weather is super nice, activities come naturally. The park system has great ideas of where to go and what to explore, so use those services. But if it’s rainy or cold you can still have fun!
First off, it is okay and healthy for your kids to play outside even if the weather isn’t ideal. I remember playing in the rain all the time! Just be sure when they’re done to warm them up and get dry quickly, there is no time for hyperthermia.
Bust out the board games. Here is a list of some of our favorite and top board games. This is something the whole family can enjoy and make memories with. If mom or dad needs a break from the littles, download my Camping Kit or Outdoor Activity Bundle before you leave. This will not only keep your kiddos busy, but if you get the bundle they’ll learn about trees, fireflies, and general nature. These activities actually help your child learn how to play outside!
If you have tweens who have a phone, they might have fun making trick-shot videos. My son did this video and was busy for hours! Here is a link to one of his videos while we were camping: David’s trick shot video.
#6 Hygiene while camping
Hygiene when camping can be tricky, especially if you’re in a tent. How do you camp more comfortable in this department? It kind of depends on how long you’re going to be gone. If you’re gone for a weekend in a tent, you can probably wait to shower until you get home. If you’re in a campground that has showers, by all means, use them, but please wear flip-flops in the shower, trust me on this. And most campers have a shower, so do what you will.
Going to the bathroom. Yep, we’re going there. With tent camping, you have three choices. The first choice is to walk to the bathroom if you’re in a campground. The number two option is to bring a pee bucket and pee in your tent with the bucket. I know it sounds gross, but if it’s storming outside, I’d rather pee in a bucket than hold it.
The last option is to go outside. For men, going outside is part of their nature, for women, it’s a bit more intimate with the ground and feet placement. I’ve heard of people hugging a tree and going, and others hover, yet my preferred method is to squat. Peeing outside will come naturally; you’ll learn how to aim and avoid your feet. Just don’t wipe with any kind of leaf, bring your own tissue and either put in a Ziploc or bury it when you’re done. My secret bathroom weapon that makes my camp more comfortable is the baby butt wipes, enough said.
#6.5 Ticks & Mosquitos
I’m not sure what the purpose of ticks and mosquitos is, but at least there are some species that eat them. How to keep ticks off you and how to stop mosquitos from biting you can be done with a few simple steps. First, bring your own bat and chicken to the campground, the bats will eat the mosquitos and the chickens will take care of the ticks. Now that would be a scene, wouldn’t it?
If you want to kill two birds with one stone, grab your handy bug spray and spray on your clothes if you use DEET. Deet is a serious chemical, please use caution in using it. Spray it on your shoes and clothes only. Do not use it on the skin.
Wear light clothing so you can spot the ticks easier. I can’t stress enough how much I dislike these bugs. It’s okay to have anxiety about this, I do! If you have a pet, protect them and yourselves by giving them their flea & tick medicine. Ticks can attach to your pup or outdoor cat VERY easily. Your pet can then bring them inside and then ticks can attach to YOU!
Tick season is April to October in most parts of the country. If you’re picnicking in the grass, hiking in the woods, or chasing your dog in the tall grass, please do a tick check every night before bed. Ticks like to hide by the hairline, near and behind ears, armpits, bellybuttons, the back of knees, in-between toes, and in the private areas. Look for little black dots.
If you have a tick on you, keep calm as much as you can. Carefully remove them with a Tick Twister or tweezers. Be sure not to squeeze the body, get as close to the head of the tick as possible and pull straight out. Be sure to wash the area with soap and water or rubbing alcohol. Put the tick in rubbing alcohol…this kills it. I recommend keeping the tick in a jar or freezer bag and putting it in the freezer…this is just in case you start to experience symptoms. While you’re at it, take a picture of it. The doctor can send the tick to the lab and test it for Lyme’s Disease.
Mosquitos are more prevalent than ticks, at least where I live. They like that sweet blood. Stay away from eating bananas. I know it sounds weird, but there is something about bananas and mosquitos. Wear long-sleeve clothing and spray the good old bug spray.
Natural ways to consider are using lemon eucalyptus oil or spray. They also don’t like tea tree oil, lavender, and peppermint. Smoke from a campfire helps as do the Thermacell devices. Honestly, there are so many mosquito tips and tricks out there. Just be smart. Cover your skin, use spray you are comfortable with, and don’t eat bananas.
There is nothing like a cup of hot coffee in the morning. For camping in a tent without electricity, use instant coffee. Just boil water in your titanium pot, pour in your cup, and mix. It certainly does the trick. Instant coffee has come a long way.
Camp more comfortable with your coffee in the camper. If you want to keep the mess at bay, simply spend the extra bucks and get a KeurigK-Slim. We tried the traditional coffee pot and the one-cup serving kind. Both worked, but we got tired of wet coffee grounds in the garbage and down the sink. Coffee grounds are hard to get out of the tank. We splurged and bought the small Keurig and use k-cups. Yes, it’s a little more expensive, but it’s a nice luxury while camping. If you’re peeing in a bucket, drink the good stuff.
Camping Comfortable Conclusion
Camping is meant to refresh and enjoy the outdoors, why not camp more comfortably? When you camp more comfortably, you’re likely to camp again. It’s not to cause stress or poison ivy on your butt. It’s a fact that trees help relieve stress and nurture the soul. Remember the great outdoors is good for the soul and mind alike. It’s those awesome sunsets, rainbows, thunderstorm clouds, and majestic scenery that attracts us to the wonderful creation God gave us to enjoy.
Planners aren’t just for adults, teens need them too! Get a daily planner for teens today and teach them how to manage their time and develop this amazing skill. Teens may think they know everything, but we can help them learn how to get organized. As you know, when you’re organized you feel better, you’re happier and nice to others. A simple planner might just help everyone get through the teen years.
In the 1700s the planner was invented by your very own Benjamin Franklin. And in 1984 the Franklin Planner was brought to our eyes thanks to Richard I. Winwood. One of our most valuable things on this planet is our time. How we plan our minutes determines the outcome of our lives. Let me be bold: No one is to blame, except for you, for how you use your time. A planner is a great tool to help you guide your teen in planning their days, know what to look for, and make this year a great one.
Two things that need to happen for a productive life
For you to experience an amazing, productive life there are two things that need to happen. The first is to know yourself to the best of your ability. When you understand who you are and where you want to go in life, directing your time becomes a little easier. And when your time is managed the way you like it, you are at peace. Understanding your identity isn’t an easy thing, we are ever-changing beings. I’ll give you some tips in a minute.
The second thing that needs to happen is for you to have a plan, at least something to go by. Organizing life starts on paper. As we all know, we can plan all we want, but the Lord directs our steps. Wandering aimlessly is straight-up stressful. Try traveling without a map…this includes your phone navigation. Think about a time when you were lost. Do you remember how that made you feel? Is being lost, the source of all stress? Hmm. Yet, there is one thing that keeps on ticking, time.
Teens and tweens struggle with time management, it’s okay, managing time is a skill they need to develop. The other thing that needs to happen in life is encouragement and positivity. I created a daily planner for teens to do just this. To focus on the good things, to give encouragement, inspire, and speak truth into their hearts.
Identity, how it orchestrates our day
Understanding identity is a HUGE thing right now. People are exploring what they like, who they like, what they believe in, etc. Identity is a controversial topic because it involves all the things people get mad about race, religion, sex, politics, vaccines… The crazy part is that we all want to be liked, so in some weird ways, we go along with the crowd even when we don’t want to. This creates a whole different ball of twine and a blog post, but my point is for us to understand who we are.
As the Bible says, we are to not conform to the pattern of this world, but instead, to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, for then we will be able to test God’s will for our life, his perfect, pleasing, and goodwill (Romans 12:2). In other words, seek your Creator to understand who He made you to be, then you will understand where you should go.
That was some fun theology, this is not to discourage you, this is to encourage you. Because when you think you have to do this life alone, that you need to figure everything out yourself, and you have to make every minute count, not to mention, keeping up with what everyone else is doing…give it to our Mighty God in Heaven. Ask Him, your Heavenly Father, to help you, direct you, open your eyes, and protect you. He will. I guarantee it!
In 2020, we faced a dead stop in life with the COVID pandemic. The time came to a screeching halt. Many of us went bananas, others went on an extended mental vacation. There were many things we learned while being at home, some things we didn’t want to know like how lonely we were, how much we depended on others, and how much we needed “me” time. Getting sick wasn’t the only fear going on, knowing what to do with our time competed for first place. To help you with your time there is one thing you can invest in: a planner. Yes, even if you work from home, a personal planner is a must!
As 2021 came to be, life seemed completely the opposite of 2020. There was a new super speed! Traffic got heavy, people got rude, and many of us tried to fit as much as possible into our days. Were we trying to make up for time lost during the year before? Did we have different priorities? The year 2021, was a transition year and we were trying our hardest to get back to “normal” as much as possible. And now we’re all cranky and have headaches. My planner was definitely full, yet it was a true life-saver in staying sane.
What to look for in a planner
There are a lot of planners out there that not only address our day-to-day but also have journal prompts and inspiring quotes, etc. Planners have come a long way since the 1770s; in fact, planners started out as journals. However, depending on your needs, we should be careful of what kind of planner to get; some can be time-consuming, stressful to keep up with, and distracting. Many planners look beautiful and fun, but I worry some people may get too focused on filling out their pretty little planner instead of living life and making things happen. Planners are a tool to keep you focused and sharp.
Download this daily planner for teens today
With that said, I created two downloadable planners in PDF format that is simple and essential to anyone’s life. I prefer the downloadable planner because you can print as many pages as you like! Both Simple Living planners come in three sizes so you can find a fun binder and put your own spin on it…which is great for making it your own.
The Simple Living: All You Need Planner PLUS. This 25-page simple planner PLUS is a great way to kick off a new beginning and to be strong and successful throughout! I absolutely LOVE this planner because it feeds my mind, energizes my goals, and makes me feel good! This planner is like your personal life coach. It’s filled with healthy mental goodness that anyone can benefit from no matter what age. It has all the same great pages as the first planner, but with bonus pages suited to feed the mind and creative spirit. Designed for a daily planner for teens or tweens but so good for a planner for mom or grandma. Feel the love through this planner, truly a game-changer.
Wrapping the planner up
Using a planner is an excellent way to get the most out of our time, but choosing the right planner is what will make or break you. Start the New Year on the right foot and allow happiness to penetrate your heart. It all starts with your time, organizing, and utilizing it well.
How to comfort hurting people can be confusing, so much so, that we end up doing nothing. Doing nothing isn’t the answer. We weren’t put on this planet to go through hardship alone. Let’s pull up our boot straps, open our heart and our arms for those who need to lean on someone. Learn my 6 simple ways to know how to comfort hurting people.
Step #1 with how to comfort hurting people: awareness
I admire people who can share openly what’s going on in their life; I’m not talking about people boasting about themselves, I’m talking about people who genuinely reach out for help. Why? Because it makes me feel human and gives me a chance to help in some way or form.
It takes courage, confidence, and bravery to open up and expose our hearts to the world. As I said earlier, we weren’t made to go through storms alone, so why do we try to keep it quiet and pretend everything is “fine”? Pretending is going to help people heal; it’s just going to cause more issues down the road.
When a friend needs comfort online
Recently, an old high school classmate of mine was going through a difficult situation. She had a choice; keep it to herself or share it. She chose to share it on social media, not for sympathy or attention, but because she needed help getting through the storm. I admire her for putting her stuff out there, especially on social media where 90% of the posts are only good things that happen in people’s lives.
My heart went out to her and her family. I knew I wanted to respond but I didn’t know what to say so I thought about it and responded to her the next day. She felt alone, you could read it even though she didn’t say it. And that struck a chord in me. Whether it was emotions, hormones, the Holy Spirit, or a soul connection, I started weeping for her broken and confused heart.
I thought back to my storm I endured years ago in my personal life, and how alone I felt. From experience, I knew the best thing I could do for her was to reach out to her, pray for her, and give her a promise that I would. Prayer really does change things, and just knowing that other people are praying for you helps you put more trust and confidence in the Lord.
I believe my friend posting the updates about her situation was meant to not only keep everyone informed but for her to know who was sitting by her.
When a neighbor needs a little comfort
“As soon as you start thinking about the needs and burdens of others, and what you can do to alleviate them, or how you can bless and build up others, you begin to establish a new identity for yourself – your true identity.” –Matthew Barnett, The Cause Within You.
A while back I was talking with my neighbor. It started out as a friendly wave across the street, then she started walking toward me. I was in a hurry but knew I had to adjust my plans. She had to get a load off her shoulders and I understood the importance of a listening ear. She needed comfort in knowing someone would listen to her.
After she was finished she looked really exhausted. Knowing what to say to comfort her was hard. I thought about suggesting ideas for solutions, but she didn’t ask for a solution so I just listened and told her I was really sorry she was going through all of this. She didn’t want advice, she just wanted to be heard.
6 ideas to comfort hurting people:
Send them a card in the mail
Pray for them
Just let them know you’re thinking about them
Listen to them
Step #2: put yourself in their shoes
The next morning I tried to put myself in my neighbor’s shoes and asked myself if I were feeling down, what would make me feel a little bit better? This is so incredibly important and powerful. In fact, you can live with this perspective with whomever you encounter throughout your day.
Buying something for my neighbor is what I wanted to do. A gift in delicate situations doesn’t have to be big or super expensive, it’s to bring them comfort and to remind them that people are thinking of them. On this particular day, I didn’t have any flowers in my garden, so I sent to the store and picked out all sorts of colorful carnations. They are inexpensive but have a lot to say. So if you’re on a budget go for the carnations.
When I got home, I arranged the flowers in a mason jar and went over to her house. A soft knock on her door was all I did and she opened it immediately. I handed her the flowers and said, “Just thought you could use these.” No other words were spoken, yet her eyes got glossy. She kindly said thank you and I left.
Wrapping up how to comfort hurting people
Comforting hurting people doesn’t have to be awkward, it doesn’t need to be confusing, or worse ignored. Tough stuff is tough. Remember the two steps: be aware of what’s going on, and put yourself in their shoes. When you know the person well, you will know exactly what to do. Yet, if it’s an acquaintance, a simple jester of a card, flowers, or even a heart emoji will do. Keep your ears on them, shut your mouth, and allow them to process and heal in their own time.
Some people are born smart, others learn how to be smart. Being smart isn’t an amazing test score, that just says you can take a test. Being smart is how to navigate through this world with the intent of making it a better place. We are reminded of stories of people who become self-made millionaires with only a high school diploma. How to be smart has nothing to do with your GPA. But it does have to do with skill and navigation, not to mention aligning your passion with your work. So how do we learn this and how do we teach our young children?
How to be smart
A skill every child and adult can develop is how to learn to be aware of their surroundings. We are naturally born with instinct; however, if you really want to succeed in life, you must learn how to pay attention. With phones, electronics, and puberty, learning how to pay attention is hard for a kid. It’s also frustrating for a parent!
This life lesson of being aware of our surroundings can enhance our ability to succeed in communication, life skills, and survival in many different situations. I’ll teach you how to help your child and yourself become more aware of using your eyes and ears and how sight and sound play an important part in how to be smart.
A fun way to get started
“Shh…walk softly on the dock, we don’t want to scare the fish,” my dad instructed. It was a summer morning. The lake was like glass, not a movement of the wind. Today, at seven years old, I was going to learn how to fish. And the most important fish skill of all: awareness. Some fishermen would argue with me and say patience or the type of bait is more important, but truly it comes down to paying attention. For instance; how do you know what bait to use? How do you know where to fish? Because you are aware of how the fish responds.
We got into our boat, started the motor, and trolled to our fishing spot. My dad whispered instructions on how to bait the hook. He showed me how to adjust the bobber, and he demonstrated how to be quiet watching for signs of a hungry fish.
I wasn’t just learning how to fish; I was learning how to become more aware of my surroundings.
What exactly does it mean to “be aware”?
Wikipedia explains it like this: Awareness is the ability to directly know and perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns.
As the world drives to go faster, it’s hard to take it all in, but knowing what to look for can make you a heck of a lot smarter than others around you. The trap we get ourselves into is that we get so focused on our to-do lists, phones, and work that we forget to stop and look around to see what’s happening in our relationships, our children, and our overall path in life. And we wonder why nothing is changing.
There were two major events that helped me understand how important it was to be aware of my surroundings. One was fishing. The other was when I endured a rare sickness.
How being sick helped me
How to be smart doesn’t always come naturally; it is a skill that can be learned. When I was pregnant with my son I had a rare pregnancy disease that robbed me of energy, joy, and time. My body suffered, so much so, the tiniest movements made me vomit. For months on end, I was nauseous, weak, and dumbfounded that this was happening to me. Not only that but my body was snatched of nutrients and vitamins, so much so, my body was actually eating itself. Have you ever heard of muscle wasting? That’s when your body eats itself because you’re not getting enough nutrition from food…in which food wasn’t staying down. It was extremely difficult for others to understand what I was going through, especially if they had been pregnant before without having issues. Just remember everybody is not the same.
However, this is how my sickness helped me. While going through this torturing sickness I noticed the love and compassion of others. Never had I paid attention to it before because I wasn’t the receiver of it. My awareness of how powerful a card was, how impactful a visit was, how humbling a listening ear was, and how a small smile from a stranger made me feel gave me joy, it gave me hope, and it taught me what really matters in this world.
Not only that, but I also became more aware of the power and reality of spiritual presence. My faith grew stronger every day I suffered; I became more aware of His grace and protection. But I had to seek Him to get it. If I hadn’t endured this suffering my eyes would have missed these little gems of light in our broken world.
How to be smart with your eyes and ears
Open your eyes
You probably were thinking you’d get a list of sudoku puzzles or crossword puzzles to make you smarter, yes those games will exercise your brain, but they don’t teach you how to love or sense that others around you are dying for a “hello”. With that said, open your eyes and learn how to look for things. This can help your kids and your teens for that matter.
The simple exercise helps us to pay attention to even the smallest details. Do you know those “Hidden Picture” games in kid magazines? Or the Where’s Waldo books? These games are great exercises for enhancing our skills of paying attention. I would qualify myself as a Master Finder, not only in these games but in finding things around the house and in the store. Having the challenge to find something gets me going. This may sound silly and childish, but these games work at helping you become smarter.
Lately, my tween son is in that phase of asking me where everything is. My answer varies from, “It’s your responsibility to keep track of your own stuff” to “If you can’t find it, you can’t have it.” When in fact the item he is looking for is literally right in front of his face. I’m not trying to be mean by not helping him find it, I’m trying to teach him the skill of looking, to be aware.
How to be smart at finding things
Tip #1: when finding certain objects whether it be inside or outside is to look for a piece of the object, not just the whole thing. Rarely is the entire object going to be visible? Look for a part of it. This technique works for fishing and hunting too.
Tip #2:envision yourself finding it. What reaction will you have? Will you pause and whisper to yourself that you found it or will you yell in excitement? Visualize yourself finding the object.
Tip #3: Lastly, but firstly, pray to God in helping you find whatever it is that you’re looking for. He knows exactly where it is, so why not ask him to help you find it? Most importantly, listen for his ques and hints of where to look.
Seriously these tips work. And it not only applies to finding objects, but it helps you to know how to look for things or pick up on cues from others. It’s all in the details.
Use your ears
Like using your eyes, use your ears too. Ears come in handy when it’s dark or when you’re lost in the woods. I know this is obvious and basic, but life is fast and there are some things we just plain forget to tell our children. Have you heard the lesson about listening for the road when you’re lost in the woods? How about listening for a car coming when you’re riding your bike on the road?
When talking with others, listening is key in becoming smarter. In fact, if you shut your mouth and let the other person talk, you’re already smart. People who talk a lot generally have lower self-esteem. Just know that gives you an understanding and a direction in how to navigate the conversation. While you’re listening to others talk, ask them questions, be curious, they obviously need something, and having you listen to them is just what they might need. This, folks, is smart. Help your friend get out what they need to and help them come to their own conclusion in solving their problem.
“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”
― Roy T. Bennett
Tips with listening
Tip #1: If you’re in a strange place, unplug the earbuds. Pay attention to the sounds around you.
Tip #2: If you’re having a conversation with someone, listen to what they’re trying to tell you. There is more behind the words they say. Like when I was enduring the sickness. People understood that what I was really telling them was that I felt alone and needed comfort. Be aware of what they’re really trying to say, then act on it.
Tip #3: As in fishing or hunting, use your ears for clues of where they are. Is there a splash in the water? Are there leaves rustling or twigs snapping?
Wrapping this all up
Be aware of the peace that is offered daily by nature, the kindness that is freely given by others, and the small blessings that are awarded without reason. This, my friends, is how to be smart. I encourage you to stop and look around; for I know you’ll be amazed by what you see and find and to build this skill as much as possible, for it will help you in more ways than one.
There have been recent conversations in our home about what it means to ‘work hard’. Different generations have different definitions, and I get that, but I think we can all agree that hard work takes four things: integrity, sweat, humility, and sacrifice. In this post, you’ll learn 4 tips on how to work hard.
When I put an image of a hard worker in my head, I picture the Brawny Man in the red flannel shirt with sleeves rolled up. Another picture is Pa from Little House on the Prairie; again he had his sleeves rolled up. Why do I associate rolled sleeves with hard work? It seems I’m not the only one. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, roll-up-your-sleeves signifies a person is ready to work.
Are your kids missing out?
When I was a teen I was taught to work first, then play. I also was taught that having a job was important and that you had to work for what you wanted. There has been a lot of chatter about different generations not knowing how to work hard. This is concerning because there is a lot of happiness and gratification in putting in a hard day’s work! When it comes to knowing how to work hard, think of mental health management.
Working hard gives me pleasure. I feel good about myself and I love the feeling of accomplishing something. At the end of the day, I can say with a smile on my face, “I put in a hard day’s work!” But are some generations missing out on this natural high?
In a study by Vanderbilt scientists, they discovered that people who were willing to work hard had higher dopamine levels than those who were not keen on the idea. Remember dopamine is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy and good. In other words…a University of Connecticut researcher, John Salamone states, “Low levels of dopamine make people…less likely to work for things. So this work-hard-bit has to do with your brain.
Teach how to work hard: 4 Tips
Make realistic attainable goals.
This is a small example; my young son was shooting hoops. He wants to be a great basketball player, so I said he couldn’t come in for dinner until he made 5 shots in a row from where he was standing. I gave him a realistic goal, one that challenged him, and one that would give him great pleasure. So what happened when he made his goal? He jumped up and down and cheered! But along with a goal plan, know what trips you up. Learn more about how to get unstuck. Need a little help in making goals? Check out my free printable on how to make attainable goals in Freebies.
Focus on your dreams. What drives you?
If you want it bad enough, you’ll naturally work hard to get it. How bad do you want “it”? That diploma, that promotion, that certification, that house, that small business, that weight loss? Ask yourself what motivates you. Believe in yourself that you can make it happen. Reach for the courage and confidence that will help you to keep moving forward. First and foremost, learn more about yourself, when you understand a little bit more about who you are, and what you identify with, then being motivated is a lot easier.
Exercise and eat healthy foods.
Getting your body and brain in a healthier state is an amazing way to perform and to know how to work hard. When you feel good, you do better…in everything. A healthy body and a clear mind will give you more confidence, wisdom in decision-making, more energy, and you will have more creativity. It’s not just weight loss, but it’s eating a cleaner diet, getting to know Jesus, and feeding your mind with positive things. You are in control of what you put into your body and mind, you have the ability to heal, to exercise, and work hard on the things that matter to you. Reduce stress in your life and get your vessel, the only one you get, ready to make things happen. Be strong and keep moving forward!
Simply having strong moral principles, being honest, knowing what is right from wrong, and following through with commitments will help you live an amazing life. It’s hard work to have integrity, but when you do the right thing you again trigger the dopamine. Keep your promises, it will pay off.
Wrapping up how to work hard
Let’s hold each other accountable to use our talents, gifts, abilities, and morals to work hard, make a difference, be driven to be part of the bigger picture. My hope is that you take these four tips and weave them into the lesson of how to work hard. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to roll up your sleeves.
Have you wondered how to start volunteering? I’ve got 4 great tips to help you succeed with your helping hand. But first, let’s reminisce. Have you caught yourself saying, “Oh, someone else will do it.”? We all know volunteering is essential for our charities, religious organizations, pancake breakfasts, environmental cleanups, and schools to name a few. And we all know we SHOULD volunteer for something, right? But why at times (not all the time) do we see volunteering as a daunting task?
Here’s an interesting volunteering scenario
Let’s say you’re at…a magic show. The stage backdrop is black, the fog machine creates mystery, and the magician stands with a power pose and says, “I need a volunteer!” Eyebrows raise. Hands pop up. Voices chirp, ‘pick me, pick me’!
Let’s say you’re at…church. The stage backdrop is black, the fog machine softens the ambiance, and the Pastor stands with a power pose and says, “I need volunteers”. No one moves, some eyeballs roll, and then…there’s a cough.
A little different isn’t it? Many people use the excuse of time. “I don’t have time”. I’ve used it, I’m guilty. But is that really the case? I wish it was…but if there’s something you REALLY want to do, you’ll make time for it. So what gives? Let’s start with the logical answer: Interest. If you’re not attracted to the task at hand; you’re not going to raise your hand for it.
Tip #1: Just say ‘No’?
Just say no. We don’t want volunteering to create stress! Well, friends, this is when you can practice it. Say what? I’m not encouraging you to NOT volunteer for stuff; I’m cheering you on to volunteer for stuff you ENJOY. Let me explain: if you don’t like the outdoors, then don’t volunteer to plant trees. If you aren’t a toddler-time kind of person, then don’t volunteer in the kid’s wing. If you hate the smell of pancakes, then don’t volunteer at the pancake breakfast. It’s okay! They don’t want you there. No one likes a grumpy volunteer or worse yet to hear how much you hated it.
When you enjoy a task at hand you do a better job, you have fun, and you make in difference in more ways than one. Now that’s rocket science, people. Having an interest in what you’re giving your time and attention to creates joy. BUT WAIT, there’s an exception to this ‘no’ thing: if you don’t know if you’ll like it, then totally do it! What a great way to test it out.
Tip #2: Get to the volunteer destination
Do you ever say, ‘when I’m there, I’m good”? I have had dozens of experiences where I didn’t want to go but was grateful after I got there. But even when I’m volunteering for something I know I’ll enjoy, I STILL have to make an effort to hurdle the couch, forgo the beach, and ignore the ‘to-do’ list. How to fix this obstacle? Think about the end first. Ask yourself, “How am I going to feel when I’m done?” I bet you will have more courage and confidence! Then focus on that.
Another way to look at it is to put yourself in the receiver’s shoes and ask yourself if you were them, how would you want to be treated? Would you like someone to not help you because they were into their Netflix series?
Tip #3: But I’ll be all alone…
I have a hard time pampering this one because I’m an advocate for embarking on the unknown without knowing anyone. Why? Because you learn a tremendous amount about your character when alone. Questions like ‘who am I?’ and ‘who do I want to become?’ get an opportunity to plant a seed in you. It’s like searching for a piece of a puzzle. You know the piece is somewhere on the table; the hard part is finding it. But when you do find it, a small flutter happens and you get to see a little bit more of the big picture. So here it goes friends, “Suck it up and go.” Who cares if you go solo, there are people there in the same boat.
Have fun. Remember who you’re working for, the Big Man upstairs. Help with a smile on your face. Nothing is worse than seeing someone help you in disgust. How does that make you feel when a grouchy person is helping you? I just wanted to remind you of that.
Also, this is super important. Go in without expecting a lot in return, you may not even get a thank you, just prepare yourself for that. They are grateful, they might not know how to show it or say it.
4 reasons why volunteering is so important
There are a number of reasons with a bunch of explanations behind them, let’s check some out:
Assist those who need it…the less fortunate, the disabled, the elderly, and the young.
Create connections. Network.
Experience wellness. Studies have shown that volunteering helps boost self-confidence, personal satisfaction, and even helps combat anxiety.
Career enhancement. Want to try a new career path before jumping headfirst? Volunteering gives you a taste without any waste. It’s a way to get your foot in the door.
Everyone deserves a smile, a thank you, and a helping hand. Seeing appreciation from the faces of the people I help is priceless and brings wealth to my heart. Be a success, and challenge yourself to help one person in the next seven days.
Wrapping up how to start volunteering
To sum up how to start volunteering, you just gotta start somewhere. Without volunteers we DO get divided, we do fall. Think about those events at church, school, or the community center. It’s the volunteers who are the real Musketeers. Next time you hear the word ‘volunteer’, stay tuned to your instincts and pay attention to what you enjoy. Say ‘no’ when you need to and ‘yes’ when you want to. You’ll make an impact on not only the people you’re serving but on the bigger picture.