Simple Self-Care Ideas To Try With Your Child

As adults, we often learn the hard way that we can lead healthier, happier, more productive lives when we prioritize our physical and mental well-being. Life is extraordinarily busy for many of us, and even when it’s not, it can still be stressful. Taking the time to decompress, relax, and regain a healthy perspective can do wonders for helping us function at full capacity.

It’s like that for kids, too. Children are under lots of stress and pressure these days. School, extracurricular activities, homework, family obligations — the list goes on. And parents, caregivers, and teachers are charged with helping them find balance. Here are some fun and effective self-care ideas to teach your child.

Keep Your Stress at Work

Stress is contagious. Even when we try to hide it, it can seep through and change the atmosphere around us into an almost tangible negative space.

If you are stressed at work, it is inevitable that the stress will worm its way into your home and change the routines, behaviors, and moods of you and your children. Be proactive about finding ways to reduce work stress by eating healthy foods, focusing on being present, ditching the perfectionist mentality, and establishing a home/work routine that prioritizes your children.

Start a Family Game Night

Very few things are as important as creating strong bonds within your immediate family. Those bonds will then promote communication, trust, self-esteem, and overall wellness.

Family game nights play an important role in building those bonds. They allow the family to connect regularly in a fun way! Look online for games that are both age-appropriate and require teamwork or friendly competition.

Get a Guided Journal

Journaling is an excellent way to release built-up emotions and to work through thoughts and emotions that are hard to express verbally. It may not come naturally to children to write in a journal independently.

Guided journals are a great way to get your children used to the regular exercise of journaling and communicating in that fashion. You may find that not only are there emotional benefits but also, as EverythingMom points out, your child’s reading and writing skills may improve, their creativity may expand, and they likely will start to become better at expressing themselves.

Encourage Physical Activity

The importance of regular physical activity to the human body is common knowledge, but most people struggle with finding the time or energy to get movement into their daily routines. Build these habits in your children now (you will benefit from this, too) by doing free YouTube exercises, going for weekly hikes, or taking nightly after-dinner walks if you live in a walkable location. The key is to be consistent. You and your children will notice the benefits of increased endorphins and serotonin by experiencing more energy and less stress.

Plant a Garden

Teaching your child to garden now will teach them lifelong skills that will affect their entire being. Not only will it get them much-needed time outdoors, but it will also do the following:

Practice Self-Care Yourself

You are the best role model your children have. They will mimic whatever they see you doing. Make it a top priority to take care of your own physical and mental health and you will see the benefits of them naturally doing the same. Kaiser Permanente advises starting with building the foundational routines in your life (food, fitness, and sleep) and there will be a wellness snowball effect throughout your house.

Conclusion

The industrial age followed by the technological age increased the busyness of lives across the world. At no point in history have humans been more exposed to activity and information. To combat the stresses that come with the hustle and bustle of life, take a proactive approach to prioritize and instill good self-care habits into your children. The ideas above can get you off to a wonderful start, but keep looking for other routines and habits that your children can personally benefit from to reduce stress and increase overall wellness.


Visit BRE HEALTHY for tips and resources on health, cooking, and wholesome living!

Written by Cassidy Gibson-Cooper, blog contributor and founder of parenting-central.com

VoyageUtah Interview

VoyageUtah, an online magazine dedicated to authentically sharing the stories of creators, emailed and asked if they could interview me about the beginnings of BRE HEALTHY and the mission and purpose behind the brand. I was so grateful for the opportunity to work with them and share my story.

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Today we’d like to introduce you to Breanna Halverson. Hi Breanna, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.

Hello, my name is Breanna Panter Halverson! I am a baccalaureate registered nurse, farm momma of three, and wholesome food, family, fitness, and farm blogger. I was born, raised, and am currently residing in Northern Utah. I am grateful to share the life experiences that have brought me to where I am today as the blogger of BRE HEALTHY. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a…

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Fun Family Day To Check On Our Horses On The Mountain and Play In The Sand At A Local Reservoir!

My husband Karson and I planned a family day to check on our four🐴 horses, Bandit, Scout, Shotgun, and Claire and visit the nearby reservoir for a beach day with our three children Ro, HH, and E. 👧🏼👦🏼👦🏼 The children were excited and looked forward to the family adventure day.

Getting Ready

Karson made delicious deli sandwiches 🥪 and packed food and drinks🥤for the day trip. I loaded the car with camping chairs, a big shade umbrella, and beach supplies. Karson grabbed some equine feed and supplies for our horses. Lastly, we loaded up the car with the children and made our way to our family property where the horses live for the summer.

Horse Check

We arrived and caught our mare and foal, Bandit and Scout. Scout was recently integrated into our extended family’s herd and we wanted to make sure he was in good health and injury-free. His mom Bandit is a good momma horse and has done a good job aiding him in his integration into the herd’s pecking order. Karson groomed them and gave them some mare and foal feed, as well as some fresh hay. He led them to the river for water and then let them go on their merry way.

Beachtime

Finally, we said goodbye to the horses, closed gates, and headed to the reservoir. Working with the horses worked up an appetite, and we enjoyed our lunch at a picnic table overlooking the water. Deli sandwiches at picnic tables taste extra delicious! We finished feeding our hungry bellies and walked down to the beach 🏖 . We set up our chairs, an umbrella, and a beach sheet and began our playtime. Ro and HH enjoyed playing in the mud with buckets and dinosaur 🦕🦖 figurines. They enjoyed playing with a lounge inflatble on the water too. Karson played country music on his Bluetooth speaker as we watched E play in the sand in front of us.

Blown Home

We enjoyed four hours on the beach until wind 🌬 picked up and threw sand everywhere, including our eyes. Consequently, Karson and I packed the children and our supplies up and headed back to our car. We washed up 🚿 at the picnic area spigot and changed the children into clean clothes.

Sleepy Beach Babes

On the drive home, all three children fell asleep. A long day of play wore them out. What a wonderful day spent with my sweet family. Until our next adventure!

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Looking for other fun activities to do with your family? Find ideas below!

Tips For Beautiful and Healthy Teeth and Gums

Did you know that having healthy teeth is important for total-body health and general wellness? The health of your mouth can affect your whole body! A healthy mouth allows you to speak, eat, and smile in confidence. Read these top tips for improving and maintaining oral health.

Brush Teeth

Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful smile! Brushing rids teeth of plaque, a thin film of bacteria that will lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. To maintain an odor-free mouth and pearly-white teeth, brush your teeth for at least two minutes each brushing session. Divide the time you brush your teeth by four, and spend that time on each quadrant of the mouth with a gentle, circular motion. Brushing your teeth is critical for your overall health!

Clean Tongue

With a tongue scraper or toothbrush, scrape or brush the tongue gently to remove odor-causing bacteria and film. Keeping the tongue clean prevents bad breath!

Floss Teeth

Flossing and brushing teeth go hand-in-hand for maintaining healthy teeth and gums! Floss at least once a day before you brush your teeth. Flossing removes built-up plaque, bacteria, and food particles. Be gentle with your teeth and gums while flossing. You miss cleaning 40% of your teeth when you don’t floss.

Mouthwash

Swish mouthwash around in your mouth to kill odor and decay-causing bacteria. Fluoride mouth rinse helps prevent tooth decay. Swishing with mouthwash can be an important part of your daily dental hygiene routine!

Braces

If you are currently wearing braces or corrective hardware, keep it clean and prevent damage to it. Wear bands and hardware as specified by the orthodontic team to ensure proper teeth correction and alignment.

Wear Your Retainer

If you have a removable retainer, wear it! By wearing a retainer, you keep your teeth aligned after teeth-straightening braces and procedures. If you have a permanent retainer, avoid damage to the hardware and keep it clean.

Limit Sugar & Corrosive Acids

Harmful oral bacteria will feed on the sugars you eat and create acids that destroy the tooth enamel. Don’t let fruit drinks high in acid sit on your teeth. Rinse out your mouth with water after drinking citrus drinks, juices, and sodas. The high acid and sugar content of sodas damage teeth. If a substance can stain a white t-shirt, it can stain your enamel. Drinks like coffee, black tea, and wine will stain your teeth. As we avoid sugar and corrosive acids, we will maintain strong enamel that will prevent tooth infection, decay, and loss.

Don’t Chew Ice

Chewing ice can ruin your teeth and hurt your gums. Chewing ice can cause dental damage that often includes cracked/chipped teeth, tooth enamel damage, ruined fillings/crowns, and sore jaw muscles. When damage occurs, your teeth can become sensitive to extreme temperatures and are more prone to cavities and dental issues.

Drink Water

Drinking water helps wash out sticky and acidic foods. Staying hydrated with water promotes whole body health and vitality!

Don’t Use Teeth As Tools

Teeth are great for making your smile sparkle, not for opening packages! Only use teeth to help you pronounce words and chew food. Do not open, rip, or chomp down on objects with your teeth. You run the risk of breaking, chipping, or cracking your teeth. Avoid nervous habits of chewing on objects like fingernails, pens, and pencils. Save your smile!

Be Tobacco Free

Don’t smoke or chew tobacco. Smoking increases the risk of gum and tooth disease. Tobacco is associated with cheek, gum, and lip cancer. Smoking and chewing tobacco cause discoloration of the teeth.

Visit The Dentist & Orthodontist

Every six months or twice a year, visit your dentist to ensure that your teeth are healthy and free of damage and disease. During the bi-annual visit, the dentist and dental hygienist will do a deep cleaning of your teeth. They may do other procedures, such as x-rays and fluoride treatments, among others. Orthodontists can help with the prevention and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaw misalignment.

Have confidence in your smile as your take care of your mouth and teeth. Doing so will maintain your overall health. Impliment healthy mouth habits into your daily life to ensure your mouth and teeth stay healthy and clean. Keep smiling!

Looking for more health-related posts? Look here:

Daisy Heart

Cultivate Positivity and Gratitude In Family Life And Motherhood

Hello, busy bees! 🐝 Looking for ways to bring positivity into your home? Here are daily tips that you can implement to increase optimism and gratitude in family life and motherhood.

Positive Affirmations

A positive affirmation is a statement to challenge negative thoughts. To affirm positivity, state as a fact that you are already possessing the positive trait you are wanting to possess. As you say positive statements, you convince your subconscious brain to make the statements true.

The morning is a great time to implement this practice. Encourage your family to do this positivity exercise!

Reframe Negative Phrases

Throughout the day, reframe negative phrases to become positive. When you or your child is frustrated and says “I can’t do this”, rephrase by saying “I can do this!” The words we say to ourselves become true as a self-fulfilling prophecy. 🔮 You are what you say you are!

If we tell our children that they are bad, they will go along with our dialogue of being bad and be naughty. Build your child up by telling them of the positive traits they possess.

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. 

― Peggy O’Mara

Express Gratitude

Express appreciation to family members! When teaching thankfulness to our children, model the behavior by expressing thanks to spouse and children for positive actions and words.

Bedtime Reflection

Before bed, ask family members what their favorite part of the day was and what they are grateful for that day. This gratitude practice helps family members focus on the good throughout that day and for things that they can be grateful for. Gratitude helps us be happy! ☀️

Gratitude Journal

Whether you have a digital or physical gratitude journal, create a daily practice of writing the things that you are grateful for! 📒

Digital Blessing List

Boost your mood by looking at an easy-to-access blessing list on your phone. When life is weighing you down, reading the blessings that you have helps you see life through rose-colored glasses. When sinking into a negative mindset, reading through the list helps you to have a heart full of gratitude and positivity. The Trello app is a great resource for list creation.

I truly hope that you can cultivate a positive and grateful heart.

Your life is as good as your mindset.

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Marriage Prep Advice – Letter To A Friend

Fall Festivities And Autumn Activities

Happy Autumn! Are you ready for crisp air and cooler weather? I sure am! I love fall and the beautiful change of weather during this time of year.

The benefit of living in northern Utah is being able to experience the wonderful change of seasons. I am blessed to be local to many picturesque recreational spots as well as fun community events that feature highlighted activities of each season. So, as I sat down with my family and thought of the activities we wanted to take the children on these following weeks and months, these festivities are what made the cut:

Campout

In a tent or trailer, camp out for one night or several nights! Invite friends or family for a social time. All good things associated with camping are stargazing, campfire cooking, and hiking. Make sure you camp responsibly and leave no trace! On our overnight camp trip, we’ll additionally ride our horses and possibly target shoot.

Canning

To preserve the bounty from the season’s harvest, can bottles of produce! Whether you do it by yourself or surround yourself by family and friends, canning food is a wholesome activity that serves a wonderful purpose. Stock your food storage and ensure yourself with wholesome food to eat later!

Over the years, I have canned with my mom, pickles, tomatoes, grape juice, apricots, pears, peaches, apple pie filling, jalapeño jelly, and jams. Yum!

Caramel Apples

Whether you cut up apples and dip it in a delicious caramel sauce or make decorative caramel-coated apples, this activity leaves your mouth watering and eventually your belly happy. My personal favorite flavoring of the caramel apple is the apple pie caramel apple with layers of caramel, white chocolate, and a cinnamon-sugar sprinkle. So delicious!

Cider Wassail and Snickerdoodles

Enjoy a warm mug of cider and a hot snickerdoodle cookie on a crisp fall day.

Corn Maze & Pumpkin Fest

Corn mazes and pumpkin fests are fun family-friendly attractions. As a family or group of friends, navigate through a corn maze and pick out pumpkins to carve. Visit the tasty food concessions and hay slides and rides for an extra fun treat!

With my daughter’s preschool, we’ll attend a local Corn Maze and Harvest Festival. This year we plan to visit my family who lives in Utah county and attend Cornbelly’s at Thanksgiving Point with them. At Cornbelly’s, try the apple cider donuts and frosted apple cider. You’ll thank me later!

Fall Leaf Display

Take a drive, hike, bike ride, or walk to go and see the changing colors of nature this fall. Take in the beauty of God’s creations and enjoy the display of colors amongst the foliage. Take time during your nature walk to breathe in the crisp clean autumn air and listen to the crinkling leaves under your feet. If you want, bring a camera along for a fall photoshoot. A fun idea with children is to collect an assortment of colorful fallen leaves and craft an autumnal art piece.

Farmer’s Fall Market

Every Saturday morning, our city hosts a farmer’s market on its downtown historic street. Look through the farm-fresh fall produce and artisan foods and goods while listening to live acoustic music and participating in community activities. Grab a warm seasonal beverage as you stroll down the street and booths.

Football Game

Go to a football game or have a flag football game with your friends and family. Make this recreational activity a must this autumn season!

Halloween Party

Attend or host a costume Halloween party with your friends, family, neighbors, community members, or church congregation. Enjoy Halloween themed foods, trick or treating, games, and movies. Trunk or treats are also a fun option for younger kids!

Pumpkin Flavored Foods

Do you love all things pumpkin spice? I have a very select few favorite pumpkin-flavored foods, including my Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Along with my longtime favorite pumpkin pie dessert made by my mother, I also love Great Harvest’s pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

Homegrown Cooking

Don’t comfort food and fall go together well? I think so! Here are some of my favorite seasonal recipes from my blog that are perfect for autumn.

Zucchini Egg Waffle Breakfast
Homemade Tomato Zucchini Soup

The Zucchini Egg Waffle is a perfect way to use up leftover or overgrown zucchini. Zucchini Tomato Soup is one of my favorite soups of all time. I just love homegrown tomatoes in homemade tomato soup. Whether you use fresh garden tomatoes or canned tomatoes, sipping a warm bowl of soup is a perfect way to warm your soul on a cool autumn day.

Hot Roasted Cinnamon-Glazed Almonds is a perfect way to enjoy the autumn season! They also are a great gift to others!

Homemade Scones and Donuts

With the recent purchase of a deep fryer, I want to make homemade deliciousness in the form of donuts and scones. Hello sugary glaze and honey butter!

Oktoberfest

Every year, we as a family attend Snowbird’s Oktoberfest. We enjoy walking through the vendor booths, eating brats and sauerkraut, and riding the scenic tramway.

Pie Night

I absolutely love pies and want to learn how to make them! The thought of buttery homemade crust and warm pie-filling just makes my mouth water. Around the time of Thanksgiving, we as an extended family will have a pie night to enjoy each other’s warm company and pies.

Pumpkin Picking and Carving

While attending your local fall festival, pick out pumpkins or go to the local grocery store or garden center. Extra points for growing them yourself! Decorate your front porch with whole ones and close to Halloween, your carved jack-o-lantern masterpieces. A fun post pumpkin carving food is roasted seasoned pumpkin seeds. Have you ever tried them? So good!

Wildlife Conservation

Go hunting and/or fishing and harvest your own meat!

Every October, my husband participates in the deer hunt. Even bigger than Christmas, it’s my husband’s favorite holiday. The hunting crew travels via horseback. I’ve enjoyed going on the horse-ride and helping my husband spot deer. More than anything, I just enjoy being in the company of my horses and husband. I appreciate the naturally-sourced meat and outdoor recreation hunting provides.

Starting November, my husband will also hunt elk. I’m excited to continue to learn how to better prepare and serve game meat meals.

For fall inspiration follow me on Pinterest and for frequent updates, follow me on Instagram!

Homemade Tomato Zucchini Soup

Autumn’s Harvest: Hearty Tomato Zucchini Soup

Hearty Tomato Zucchini Soup is a perfect meal for an autumn harvest. Made from the garden’s bounty, this recipe is made up of harvested tomatoes, onions, zucchini, garlic, basil, and thyme. The soup is fresh, flavorful, and a feast for the eyes to look at with its deep red and green ingredients.

Local Agriculture

The garlic cloves I used in this recipe were from Sunnyfield Farm, a local garlic and sheep farm in Eden, Utah. Support of local farmers and growers is good for community economics and local commerce. SunnyField Farm Garlic is of the highest quality and free from chemicals and pesticides. You can buy garlic from their Sunnyfield Farm Shop.

Hobby Farmer

On the more than a half-acre lot that my family lives on, you’ll find a big garden plot, horseback riding area, garage shop, barn, grassed yard, and cozy farm home. In addition to our land, we have a lease on several acres behind our property.

On our pasture, we raise horses. We personally own three equines, a bay horse, Palomino horse, and one pony. The pony is a mix between a Shetland pony mare and Morgan stud. I think horses are such beautiful animals. I enjoy their company at our home and enjoy the care and keeping of our equines. My husband is naturally gifted in horsemanship and I love learning from him!

We raised a Charolais cross beef steer for meat a couple of years ago. I loved having our own pasture-raised meat in our chest freezer. Cattle are beautiful animals and I appreciated the provision of meat the steer provided us.

Within the next couple of years, I would like to try my hand at raising chickens. However, my barn needs cleaning and de-cluttering first. I want a very clean, sanitary, and organized environment for my young children and livestock to be in. And no, my children do not live in my barn, just play in there! ha ha. Clean healthy chickens make clean healthful eggs. Clean healthful eggs will go into our clean healthful human bodies. The health of our food chain matters!

In our garden plot this 2018 year, we grew: zucchini, corn, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, and cantaloupe. The planting season was right in the middle of our move into our new home, so we planted our garden late. For watering, we used an overhead sprinkler. Therefore, our garden produced plants well, but so did the weeds. The large garden’s weeds got too much for me and I fell behind on the weeding. There were many mistakes on my behalf with the garden, however, gardening is a personal journey of trial and error and finding what works for your garden and lifestyle.

Now I know more about how I want to plant my garden next year. Next year, I will plant only one zucchini plant, half the amount of tomatoes, two cantaloupe plants, two spaghetti squash plants, and add in butternut and acorn squash into the mix.

With the large number of tomatoes and zucchini we grew, I wanted to create a recipe that I could use up the tomatoes and zucchini with. With that, the Hearty Tomato Zucchini Soup was created!

In addition to the tomato zucchini soup, my zucchini egg waffle recipe is another tasty recipe I enjoy this time of year!

Hearty Tomato Zucchini Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts (128 ounces) stewed tomatoes OR four 28 ounce cans of stewed tomatoes plus one 14.5 ounces can
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 2 medium-sized zucchini
  • 2 garlic cloves – Sunnyfield Farm Organic Garlic
  • 2 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. Chop or shred zucchini and mince garlic. Sauté zucchini in olive oil in a frying pan. Once the zucchini is tender, add garlic and continue to sauté until garlic is aromatic. Once finished, remove from heat and do to next step in the recipe.
  2. In a blender, blend the onion and tomatoes. Pour purée in a big soup pot. If you want a chunky tomato soup, leave one quart or can of tomatoes unblended.
  3. Add sautéed zucchini and garlic to the soup pot.
  4. Add spices and seasoning to the soup, including chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, thyme, and basil.
  5. Simmer soup for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let each serving cool down in a bowl. Enjoy!

To spice up the meal, you can sprinkle cheese on the soup and/or add grilled chicken chunks. It is also great served with grilled cheese sandwiches!

Resources

Sunnyfield Farm Website

Utah State University Extension: Yard & Garden (favorite Utah resources for garden and food preservation)

Refreshing Raspberry Almond Smoothie

This Raspberry Almond Smoothie is a personal favorite of mine because I love the flavorful combination of revitalizing raspberries and delightful almonds. This raspberry almond smoothie is naturally sweet, savory, and super satisfying. You can enjoy this tasty treat any time of the day!

Ingredients For Adults

  • 1 cup milk of your choice (cow’s, almond, soy, rice, coconut, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 drop of almond extract
  • 1/2 of a ripe banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Ingredients For Children

  • 1 cup vitamin D whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 drop of almond extract
  • 1/2 of a ripe banana
  • 1 scoop of kid-specific vanilla powder

Extra Smoothie Add-Ons:

  • Shredded zucchini
  • Chopped spinach
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Chia seeds
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Hemp seed
  • Etc.

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in your high-speed blender and blend until creamy!
  • Enjoy!

Sweet & Simple Cinnamon Glazed Almonds

Nothing screams summer rodeo and fair food like warm cinnamon glazed almonds! These sweet, nutty, and crunchy morsels are so fun to pop in your mouth as you enjoy summer festivities. Whether you enjoy them in your backyard as you host a summer barbecue or take them on-the-go when going summer adventuring, they are a perfect snack!

Thanks to my momma Elizabeth, who gave me both the nut roaster and recipe, I am able to share it here on my blog with all of you! On the subject of loved ones, this is a perfect treat to gift. We’ve taken the almonds to new neighbors and plan to give the roasted nuts as Christmas treats to family, neighbors, and friends. The options on who you can give them to are endless! Anyone for any occasion!

Cinnamon Glazed Almonds

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole raw almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Supplies Needed

  • Nut Roaster
  • Heat-resistant spatula
  • Non-stick baking tray, parchment paper, or silicone baking mat.
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions

  1. Spread almonds evenly in the bottom of the pan.
  2. Pour water, sugar, ground cinnamon, and vanilla over the nuts.
  3. Turn crank handle to mix the nuts and ingredients together.
  4. Place pan on the burner and turn to medium heat.
  5. Stir continuously and slowly, allowing the glaze to keep coating the nuts. It is normal for the almonds to slide around at first. The nuts will begin to tumble as the glaze thickens.
  6. As the glaze begins to thicken, you will feel more resistance as you stir the almonds. When all the liquid evaporates from the cinnamon sugar glaze, it will quickly change to a crystalline coating. Remove the pan immediately from the heat.
  7. Using a heat-resistant spatula, immediately spread the glazed almonds on a non-stick baking tray, parchment paper, or silicone baking mat to cool.
  8. Separate the nuts with a wooden spoon as needed.
  9. Wait for nuts to cool so you don’t burn your tongue. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Glazed Almonds Ingredients
Cinnamon Candied Almonds
Cinnamon Glazed Almonds

Marriage Prep Advice – Letter To A Friend

A little while back I had another woman reach out to me and ask:

“What are some things you wish someone would have told you before getting married? I’ve headed that direction and just want to be as ready for marriage as possible.”

My Response Was:

First thing, is that life does not get easier once you are married. If you are trying to run away from problems by getting married, it doesn’t help. Life is amazing with a spouse, however, with marriage comes responsibility and a lot of sacrifices.

To start off, every couple’s relationship is so very different. What I will share is what has worked for my husband Karson and me. Something about me is that I am a slow-moving gal. Before I make decisions, I like to take my time and plan the heck out of it. When I move forward with decisions, I am very thoughtful and reflective so I know I am making a good one.

Girl, that fact that you are asking questions and looking for advice is awesome! I think it is so helpful to be prayerful about these things!

Time Spent Dating

Karson and I dated for about a year and were engaged for a couple of months. I liked dating Karson for that long because I was able to see him through all seasons of the year (deer season included!) and see that he was the same person I met on day 1 that he was on day 365.

Take the time that you feel is best for the two of you, which could be either shorter or longer. However, I feel that it is good to be with that person long enough for the infatuation phase to simmer down. The “in-love” feeling is wonderful, however, after it is gone, you can really see who your boyfriend is and if he will still lasso the moon for you.

Working Through A Disagreement

I also think it is good to work through a major disagreement with your boyfriend before you get married. Don’t make up a disagreement obviously, however, be forward with things that you have issues with. Marriage will not make issues disappear. There will be disagreements throughout your whole marriage and if you learn that the two of you can communicate and work through a problem and become closer because of it, that’s wonderful.

My first year of marriage was a breeze because Karson and I learned to communicate well while dating. We have been married for six years and we still get along so very well. I have not regretted marrying him once. I knew him very well and knew what kind of man I was marrying.

Same Goals

We view money, parenting, politics, and religion similarly. Obviously, marriage can work when you have disagreements on certain things. However, it has been nice that both Karson and I are very hard-working, frugal, and self-reliant people who work really hard and make sacrifices so we have financial freedom. We both have the same goal of raising respectful, kind, faithful and competent children. We view politics the same so that obviously makes life easier. To have a virtuous and loyal husband is such a blessing.

Marriage Prep Endnote

I also feel that it is good to keep personal matters just between you and your spouse. Obviously, if there are major marital issues, it is good to get help. Church bishops, counselors, therapists, and family members can then become involved if you can’t do it alone. However, if I were to confide in my mother about things that my husband did wrong, she might hold on to his problems because she doesn’t have the healing marriage bond with my husband like I do. That can cause unneeded tension in family relationships. Does that make sense?

My favorite marriage books are The 5 Love Languages and Covenant Hearts.

I hope this helps! I am happy that good things are coming your way!

Love,

Breanna

Here is another letter to a friend about Postpartum Health and Fitness.