Just Breathe: How to Keep the Weight of Life from Burdening your Spirit

Just Breathe: How to Keep the Weight of Life from Burdening your Spirit

laurawatkinsyogaheadshotMany thanks to Laura Watkins for today’s post! Laura Watkins is a marketing manager who moonlights as a yoga instructor. She has developed programs for individuals with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury and has taught individuals from a wide range of demographics. She is also the former editor for the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability and a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise. Laura is passionate about helping others lead healthy, active and independent lifestyles. She is currently training for her first half-marathon since giving birth to her daughter Ava Grace.

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The other day I was listening to a friend share how her life has gotten so stressful that she’s had to increase her anxiety medication so that she can focus on her demanding job. Although she is going to therapy, has hired a maid and is exercising consistently, she’s completely overwhelmed. This woman is smart and successful. She has a darling family and a beautiful home in a nice part of town, and yet she can barely get through her day without having a stress-induced meltdown.

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Parental Paradox: Understanding our Love/Hate Relationship with Motherhood

Parental Paradox: Understanding our Love/Hate Relationship with Motherhood

Thanks to the talented Emily Pardy for today’s blog post! Emily is a counselor and founder of Ready Nest Counseling in Nashville, TN. Ready Nest Counseling helps couples prepare for parenthood by caring for their relational wellness as they transition through conception, pregnancy, post-partum, and infertility. Emily has written for multiple parenting publications including Thriving Family magazine and ParentLife magazine. She has her Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy from Lipscomb University and is the author of For All Maternity, a humorous memoir of her own journey into motherhood. Emily resides in Nashville, TN with her husband and three rambunctious daughters.

 

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Parenthood comes with many paradoxes. You may have tried and tried to conceive, only to instantly sense deep doubts or dread once the pregnancy test turned positive. You can pray all evening for your screaming baby to fall asleep and then miss them desperately a mere minute after they are tucked in bed. You might plan a getaway with your spouse in an effort to escape the humdrum of domestic daily life, only to find yourself filled with worries and anxiety steering your heart back home.

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Q&A With Danielle Leeke, Event Planner + Entrepreneur + Master Career Juggler

Q&A With Danielle Leeke, Event Planner + Entrepreneur + Master Career Juggler

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If you’ve ever wondered how to balance two careers and have a pretty amazing life all at once, look no further than Danielle Leeke. This influential juggler of careers owns San Francisco event planning and production company, On The Run Events, and is part-owner of The Brick Yard, an SF-based sports bar. Ink & Well has been lucky to call this lady a client, a friend, sometimes keeper of secrets, and ALWAYS an inspiration. This Q&A will motivate you to go for what you want. Even if what you want is everything.

Job Title(s): Owner, On The Run Events, event planning, and production company, and Operating Owner of The Brick Yard.

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Must Read Books for 2017

Must Read Books for 2017

LauraDickersonWe’re excited to share this post from Laura Dickerson with her thoughts on the must-read books of 2017. Laura spent more than 6 years in marketing, including a long stint at HarperCollins Christian. She now enjoys being a mom to her two-year-old daughter, Lillie Anne and baby sister Reese. She and her family make their home in Brentwood, Tennessee. Check out here book recommendations below!

 

With little ones running around, free time is a precious commodity in our house, but my goal for this year is to still be sure to carve out a little time to unwind, and there is no better way to relax than to snuggle up on the couch (or in the porch swing when warm weather is back!) with a book. Growing up I loved to read and after spending several years of my career in publishing, surrounded by wonderful books, I have grown to appreciate even more the beauty of getting lost in the pages of a book.

A really great book, whether it is fiction, non-fiction, or inspirational, is one that I will often read through as quickly as possible because I just can’t wait to find out the end, and then, wish I had read slower because it’s over. But the great part about that is then I am ready for the next one on my list. So…here we go, my top books for 2017 (though I’m sure there are some awesome ones coming that I have yet to hear about that will be added!):

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Savoring the Remaining Month of Winter

Savoring the Remaining Month of Winter

With the end of winter quickly drawing near, it’s tempting to shift our focus to thoughts of trips to the beach, longer days and all the new, spring fashions. I would like to invite you, however, to savor the remaining month of winter. To help, I’m sharing two new healthy favorites that I gleaned from my Whole30 journey(s). The best part about these two recipes is that they are easy, healthy and delicious. Hopefully, you will give them a try, and perhaps they will help you linger in winter mode a bit longer.

Mom Love is the Best Love

Mom Love is the Best Love

There are so many thoughts expressed every day on the web, TV, podcasts, and in the news about the challenges, the pros, the cons, the benefits, and the drawbacks of being a working mom vs. a full-time, dedicated to your little one, stay-at-home mom. Emotions run super high supporting both viewpoints.

I just finished this book, Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte. It was chock full of thought-provoking discussions about motherhood and the challenges of being a mom in today’s culture. Likely, it’s due to my season of life as a mom of a two-year-old with one on the way, but I feel like I’m forever tripping over the thoughts and opinions of others about the “right way” to do things.

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Your 2017 Home Office Facelift

Your 2017 Home Office Facelift

Feeling stuffy and sick of your workspace? We hear you! Today, we’re stoked to bring you some ideas for your home office from Caitlin Gury, an interior designer in NYC – currently designing co-living homes for Common Living. Check her out at caitlingury.com.
It’s that time of year again – that post-holiday, pre-spring time, that time when the skies are still grey and the days are still short and you spend your mornings wearing fuzzy fleece slippers but dreaming of sandals instead. And while I sit anxiously awaiting the change in seasons, I often find myself craving a home decor refresh; to rid myself of clutter (first physical then mental) and create a space in my home in which I can work, get inspired, and get s**t done.

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Rekindling Your Romance When Babies Change Everything

Rekindling Your Romance When Babies Change Everything

Thanks for the talented Emily Pardy for today’s blog post! Emily is a counselor and founder of Ready Nest Counseling in Nashville, TN. Ready Nest Counseling helps couples prepare for parenthood by caring for their relational wellness as they transition through conception, pregnancy, post-partum, and infertility. Emily has written for multiple parenting publications including Thriving Family magazine and ParentLife magazine. She has her Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy from Lipscomb University and is the author of For All Maternity, a humorous memoir of her own journey into motherhood. Emily resides in Nashville, TN with her husband and three rambunctious daughters.

 

Welcoming a new baby adds a lot of things to a relationship. Love, joy, and more patience than you ever knew you had inside you, all come with bringing a newborn into your home. All of a sudden you have a tangible representation of your love for one another staring back at your face, requiring constant attention. The sweet smell of a new baby can fill you with all kinds of wonderful feelings, but no matter how hard you try to juggle life, work, and relationships, there is one thing that precious bundle of joy can’t create for your marriage: Romance.

While it took love to bring your baby into the world, it’s ironic now that your baby seems to hold the power to extinguish that same spark.  No one ever has a baby to “spice up” their love life, that’s for sure. Nothing can kill the momentum of arousal quite like a cry of an infant in need. Parents are built with the intuition to drop everything and rescue their baby, so it’s only natural to push your relationship to the back burner again and again as your newborn takes priority.

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On Achieving Happiness

On Achieving Happiness

On Friday night at 8PM, I put Maddy down and shuffled into the kitchen. Although bedtime hadn’t been particularly tough, with each passing day my belly grows just slightly, making it harder and harder to put her into her crib. That one, seemingly simple task is my daily reminder of how much is about to change and how soon. And it’s not that I’m scared or even all that anxious, there’s just a massive list of things to get done in a very small amount of time, and watching The Bachelor while snuggling in my bed always sounds better than doing stuff after a long workday. So, on this particular night I decided to buckle down, make a list, and stress eat 15 cookies.

Pen and highlighter in hand, I sat down at the kitchen table and decided to scroll through Facebook, because making lists is boring and #Friday. As I scrolled, a photo of two old friends caught my eye. There they were, miles away at a trendy bar in New York City, all dressed up and laughing hard. I stared at the screen, analyzing their smiles, studying their body language, remembering what it was like to sit between them. After all, they weren’t just two people I was friends with in passing. These were people I once knew as intimately as I knew myself.

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Business Ownership and Baby Time: Making Maternity Leave Possible

Business Ownership and Baby Time: Making Maternity Leave Possible

When I was pregnant with Maddy, maternity leave was this magical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of pregnancy. No matter how stressful work was or how many meetings I had to sit through while Maddy tried to kick her way out of my body, I knew that I was working toward guaranteed paid time off to bond with my daughter. That knowledge alone was enough to get me through some really rough patches. I knew that if I just put my head down and powered through, I’d get to a place where someone else would be handling all my work and I could just focus on learning to be a mom for months on end.

This time, though, things are different. So different, in fact, that I went through a period of time when I thought my laptop would have to be on my hospital packing list. When you own a company, work freelance, or do some combination of the two, it becomes a real challenge to figure out how you’ll schedule birth and bonding in between all the client calls, meetings, and to-do items. That cozy feeling that everything will be just fine while you’re gone is replaced by a feeling of fear that everything you’ve worked so hard to build will crumble.

Let’s be real, that’s no way to welcome a child into the world.

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