3 Moments of Joy

If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram(@alongftride) you know that most days start out with me writing down three things from the previous day that brought me joy. It’s a great way to start the day out on a positive and thankful note!

Today, I wanted to share with you my three moments from yesterday (Sunday):

1. I got in a great workout!

2. It was nice enough to have the windows open in the afternoon and let some fresh air inside!

3. My husband and I got a head start on a little spring cleaning!

Moments of joy don’t always have to be the big and extravagant things like going on vacation. While those moments are nice, for me, it’s always the little things that really add up the most for me!

What’s something that brought you joy yesterday?

XOXO,

Leah

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Mental Health Day

Happy Monday, y’all!

Today’s post is on the shorter side. After a long weekend of checking the boxes on my to do list, today is for mental health and self care!

With It being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I am lucky enough to have my sweet husband home for the whole day. Since this doesn’t happen often given my husband’s job in the Army, we try to take advantage of it when it does!

What’s something you and your significant other like to do together when you have time together?

XOXO,

Leah

Getting Your Health Back On Track

Cheers to my first post of 2019!! I hope your year is off to a great start!

If you’re anything like me though, traveling can take its toll on your health, in more ways than one. The holidays always seem to be the time where this hits me the hardest too. While I try to stay on top of things with a well-balanced diet, drinking lots of water, exercise, etc., it can still be hard to fight off those pesky colds off!

Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite ways to take back my health after getting knocked down!

It’s no secret that I feel my absolute best when I’m feeding my body well! For me, this often means whole foods; cooked, raw, frozen… You get the idea.

A few of my favorite snacks are baby carrots and cucumbers with hummus, roasted veggies, fresh fruit, and frozen grapes (they seriously taste like candy!). There have been days after traveling where I’ve been known to just eat trays of roasted veggies like it’s my job!

Along with feeding my body well is also staying hydrated! I love having fresh lemon and cucumber on hand to add to a big pitcher of water. It adds a little flavor, and I still get all of the benefits from it. You can really add whatever kinds of fruits you like!

I do throw in the occasional smoothie, juice, or tea to break it up too. Whoever said that variety is the spice of life was so true!! The more hydrated I am, the better my skin looks, the less headaches I get, and the less bloated I feel. It really is a win win!

If you’ve read previous posts of mine you’ll know that I’m all about treating myself, especially when it can help improve my mental and emotional health! After a long plane or car ride, there is nothing quite like a nice, hot bath with Epsom salt.

In addition to stretching, this really helps me get my muscles and joints feeling 100% again! There’s also just something so therapeutic about setting aside that time for myself to do nothing but relax! It’s also the perfect time to have a nice, hot cup of tea to sip on while you soak!

I’ve always been a big believer that mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health! If you follow me over on Instagram, you’ll have heard me talk about my love of journaling before.

Each day, I try to start the day off by writing down three things from the previous day that brought me joy. The beauty of this is that they can really be anything; nice weather, a hot cup of coffee, a dinner date, five extra minutes of sleep… The options are endless! It helps me keep the bad moments in perspective and to always remember that even what seems like the worst possible day had good moments in it too!

What are some ways you like to take care of yourself and get back to feeling well? Do we have any in common? Let me know down below!

XOXO,
Leah

Merry Christmas!!

Today’s post is short and sweet in honor of soaking up as much quality time as we all can this time of year!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I can tell y’all how thankful I am for each and everyone of you that has come along for the ride with me and supported me on this new adventure! It really does mean the world to me!

I hope your holiday season is merry and bright and that you are surrounded by so much love and light as 2018 comes to a close!

XOXO,

Leah

Counting My Blessings From 2018

As the days keep winding down until Christmas and the New Year, I’ve been thinking a lot more about 2018. It feels like the year flew by, but looking back there was actually so much packed into this one year!

My husband and I celebrated one year of marriage. We’ve worked to make our house feel more like a home, and we even go to host our first guests! We spent quite a bit of time apart, but we also had a lot of amazing moments together. I finally embarked on this blogging journey, and I could not be more grateful for every single one of you that reads my posts!

I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. Why put off until tomorrow what you could start today? Every day is really the best day to start working towards the future and best version of yourself that you can be! It’s not always about achieving the big things all at once, but also the building blocks that make them up.

As I sit and re-read through my journal where I write down three things that brought me joy each day or that I’m thankful for my heart is feeling so incredibly full, and I just have to share! In honor of the twenty-two days left of 2018, here are twenty-two things from the past year that I am so incredibly grateful for!

1. My wonderful husband.

2. Being wrapped up in love from family even though we’re hundreds of miles away.

3. My sweet Aussie pup and the absolute JOY she is in our lives.

4. One year of marriage in the books and all of the lessons learned along the way.

5. This house that we’re making a home out of. We may not own it, but it is just right for us. I definitely agree that love grows best in little houses like ours.

6. Good friends that have become family.

7. Lazy weekends at home with no one to see and nowhere to be,

8. Getting to explore this new state that we live in.

9. Date nights with my love.

10. Our cozy bed that we get to snuggle up in at the end of the day.

11. Coffee, all of the coffee.

12. Having my family a phone call, text, or FaceTime away. I’ve gotten home sick more times that I’d like to admit this past year away, but having a phone to connect helps make it seem not quite as bad.

13. Food in the fridge and pantry, lights, heat/air conditioning, and running water. I’m really trying to be better when it comes to appreciating these things that not everyone has access to!

14. Good health, both mine and my husbands.

15. The Army. As much as I hate it sometimes, it is not lost on me just how much my husband’s job provides for us. I will always be thankful for that aspect of it!

16. My job that allows me to work from where there is Wi-Fi.

17. Having money in our bank accounts. It truly is a blessing to have a safety net, especially when unexpected things come up.

18. All of the lessons that we’ve learned and have grown from in 2018.

19. Seeing just how far we’ve come this year. Looking every day, it didn’t seem like we were getting much closer to the big things we want to achieve. Now looking back over the months, it’s crazy to see just how far we really have come!

20. Realizing that I am capable of handling much more than I used to think.

21. My God. I know I would not be anywhere near where I am now without Him and His faithfulness in my life. The hardest times seemed a little easier knowing I was never truly alone.

22. This blog (and Instagram). It took a leap of faith, but I am so incredibly thankful for this chance to share a little bit of myself with y’all!

As the year draws to a close, what are you thankful for from 2018? Take the time and write them all out; the big and small things. I think it is so important to always remember just how lucky we really are and how much we truly do have to be thankful for and just how many moments of joy there really are in our everyday lives. Do we have any of the same things in common? Let me know down below!

XOXO,
Leah

Dealing with Holiday Anxiety

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The time of the year where we get to reconnect and catch up with loved ones, eat yummy food, and make great memories, but what happens when it’s also the most stressful time of the year for you?

I’ve struggled with stress and anxiety, especially during the holidays, for as long as I can remember. I was always the girl that needed several hours tucked away in my room after any kind of family gathering to decompress. I still am that way.

Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the happy things that the holidays bring. Some of my best and fondest memories involve them, but I think it’s important to talk about the not so great feelings the holidays can bring with them, and most importantly, ways to help make things better.

1. I’m a people pleaser by nature. I don’t like confrontation, so I try to avoid it at all costs. The biggest thing for me around the holidays is knowing and respecting my own boundaries. It can be draining between all of the travel and going from party to party and worrying about what to get people for gifts. The older I get, the more I’m learning that it’s okay to politely say “no” when I need to. It’s not being rude, just me taking care of myself!

2. God bless my sweet husband! When someone has been in your life for a long time, chances are that they’ve picked up on when you’re getting overwhelmed and anxiety is kicking in too. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a good support system in place. Having my husband there with me helps tremendously since I have that peace of mind that I have a safe spot to land. If there isn’t someone that is physically there with you, don’t underestimate the power of a quick text exchange! Even having someone to call or text when you need a break can make a big difference!

3. Whoever planned the holiday season to happen right when cold and flu season happen wasn’t planning too well. With that being said, I really try to be mindful of my physical health as well as my mental and emotional. Have you ever noticed how your anxiety seems so much worse when you’re not feeling well? I know I have! This time of year, it’s so important to try and make sure to get enough sleep, eat foods that nourish your body, and stay hydrated to combat all of those illnesses that are going around.

4. If you’re like me and the holidays kick your anxiety up a notch, chances are that you already have a few tricks up your sleeve for when you can only take a few moments to yourself. It’s especially important around the holidays to know which of your coping skills are the most effective for you. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve found a spot away from all of the noise and commotion to take a few good, deeps breaths in. No, it doesn’t magically fix everything, but it does help for the time being. For the times that taking deep breaths doesn’t work, I check in with my husband to.

5. If I got to choose between playing with my niece and nephews over another “what are you doing with your life” talk with adults, I’d choose the little ones all day! At holiday parties, most kids are just thinking about playing and having fun, not having deep conversations about life. Join in on their game and tap into their easy and fun energy! This can also be applied to pets! It’s no secret that petting a cute puppy can help reduce your blood pressure, elevate your mood, and in turn release endorphins.

At the end of the day, you have to take care of yourself first! There is nothing selfish or rude about it; it’s just something that needs to happen, and there really is no time like the present! So this Holiday season, remember to be kind to yourself too!

XOXO,
Leah

25 Fun Winter Date Ideas

I love everything about Christmas time; store fronts decorated with sparkling lights, snowmen, and snowflakes, mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows, getting to see family and friends, and all of the festivities that the season brings.

While I love going out to dinner or a movie with my husband, we can go on those kinds of dates anytime of the year. As we get older, quality time spent together is that much more important to us and all the more special!

Today, I’m helping you get a jumpstart with 25 things that should be on your bucket list this holiday season!

1. Decorate the house and fill it with the holiday spirit!

2. Bake and decorate holiday themed cookies. This is a tradition that is still going strong in my family!

3. Attend a tree lighting ceremony.

4. Go skiing or snowboarding, even if it is just on a hill by your house!

5. Drive around to look at Christmas lights and decorations. Some neighborhoods really go all out!

6. Unleash your inner child and have a good old fashioned snowball fight.

7. Make homemade ornaments. They can be as simple or intricate, uniformed or sentimental as you want!

8. Binge watch all of the Christmas Movies!

9. Make homemade hot chocolate mix. Another tradition in my family, and it will always be one of my favorites!

10. Have an indoor picnic. Spread out a big comfy blanket, have the candles or fireplace burning, and enjoy!

11. Make peppermint bark, or any kind of chocolate bark for that matter! There’s no limit to the combinations you can create.

12. Make and decorate a gingerbread house! This is a lot easier nowadays since you can buy the kits at the store.

13. Build a snowman complete with a scarf, buttons, and a carrot nose!

14. Roast s’mores over a fire. If you don’t have access to a fireplace, there are some great indoor s’mores kits too!

15. Go on The Polar Express train ride. To find the one nearest to you, a simple Google search will do!

16. Make all of the winter comfort food; soups, casseroles, breads, etc.!

17. Volunteer at your favorite charity or organization. If time is limited for you, donations are always appreciated, especially around the holidays!

18. Take Christmas pictures to document the end of another year and to be able to look back in the years to come.

19. Go for a carriage ride on a snowy night.

20. Make a pillow and blanket fort. This would be a great place to watch all of the Christmas movies from too!

21. Bundle up and go window shopping. I’ve found some of the best and most unique Christmas gifts this way!

22. Go ice skating. I am by no means a great skater, but something about it just makes me think of the holiday season!

23. Host a game night! Sometimes there’s nothing better than good food, good company, and playing good old fashioned board games.

24. Make snow angels! I’ve loved doing this since I was little, and now that my siblings have little ones, it’s fun to keep the tradition going with them.

25. Dance around the house to Christmas music. Nothing puts me in the holiday spirit more than the songs I’ve been listening to all my life!

What are your favorite things to do during the holiday season?

XOXO,
Leah