How to Live in the Gratitude Circle

November 26, 2014 by ldecesare

How to Live in the Gratitude Circle | MotherCircle.net Do you live in the Gratitude Circle?

It can be tough sometimes but it’s so worth it when I get there. I find that the more I give thanks, the more I have to be thankful for. The Gratitude Circle builds gratefulness from gratefulness. The more you count your blessings, the more blessings you have to count.

Looking actively for things to be thankful for multiplies those very things. By seeing them, we automatically increase them. I have a 5-year gratitude journal that I love, it’s a quick way to remind myself every day of all I have in my life and it helps to make gratitude a habit. Create a structure for yourself that builds thankfulness into your day.

In seeking out things to be grateful for, we initiate the Gratitude Circle and discover abundance in our lives. It’s as if there is an exponential growth when we consciously, mindfully choose to be grateful.

The Gratitude Circle also sweeps others into its pull. The smile you share, the kindness you pass along, the handwritten note you mail, all spread the Gratitude Circle in its outward ripples. The more grateful we are, the more we can share it with others just by the way we feel and live.

I strive and work to live gratefully each day and to teach our kids to do the same. I believe that gratitude is so important that it is one of the seven keys in my book Naked Parenting: 7 Keys to Raising Kids With Confidence. I feel that if we can live gratefully, it’s the secret to happiness.

Taking time to pause, smile, breathe, pray, hold hands, and be thankful escalates a positive cycle. Living within the Gratitude Circle reduces our stress and increases our well-being and How to Live in the Gratitude Circle for Thanksgiving and all year round | MotherCircle.nethealth. It leads to better sleep and a better quality of life. Being grateful keeps us focused on the positive and what really matters. Who likes a complainer? Living gratefully also improves relationships, the harmony within your home, and interactions with family and strangers alike. All of which serve to increase our well-being and lower our stress continuing the circle of gratitude.

Studies have shown that humans have a negativity bias, we can counter that by consciously concentrating on the the gifts around us. It’s absolutely not easy, and often downright challenging, to stay in the Gratitude Circle – but it feels peaceful when we can get ourselves there.

So this Thanksgiving, and every day thereafter, strive to step into the circle, be mindfully grateful and grow your own Gratitude Circle for you and your family.

I wish you many blessings and a Happy Thanksgiving!

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

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A Child Who Knows She is Loved

November 20, 2014 by ldecesare

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Thank you for reading and reviewing Naked Parenting.

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

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A child who knows she is loved can step out into the world with confidence.

Book Journeys

November 13, 2014 by ldecesare

BOOKJOURNEYSI’m excited to be speaking with Dr. Angela Lauria of The Author Incubator this afternoon on her Blog Talk Radio show, Book Journeys. Click this link to listen live at 3:00 pm EST today or for listening in after.

Angela is the creator of the D.I.F.F.E.R.E.N.C.E.  process for writing your book and she has been helping authors birth their books for over 20 years. You know I love the birthing analogy as a doula!

Almost two years ago I worked with Angela on my novel (which, after many rewrites, going through an editor, and more rewrites, is currently out with beta readers for feedback! YAY!) She helped keep me accountable and taught me so much about working with editors, book marketing and the world of publishing. I loved our sessions and I was able to talk through plot Blog Talk Radio, Book Journeys, Angela Lauria, help writing a bookpoints and structure.

Though we worked together on my novel, The Fork Book (a working title), today, we’re talking about Naked Parenting. For anyone interested in writing and/or publishing, Angela is a tremendous resource.

If you’re interested in a signed copy, send me a note here and I’ll ship you out one for your or for a gift.

Listen in here at 3:00 pm EST today. See you on Book Journeys!

Cut and paste this url if you have trouble with the above link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/book-journeys/2014/11/13/leah-decesare–book-journeys-author-interview

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

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Introducing Stempaks

November 10, 2014 by ldecesare

introducing stempaks, what is STEM, what is stempaks, STEM projects for kidsI’m thrilled to introduce you to Stempaks.

Just in time for Christmas, Hanukah and winter birthday gift giving comes Stempaks, “sparking curiosity through discovery and creativity.”

When you subscribe, on a month-by-month or annual basis, your kids will receive a package each month ready-made with projects for them to explore. It’s easy for parents to get as engaged in the topic as they want, or to let kids dive in on their own.

Stempaks is targeted to kids aged 5 – 10 and each month will feature a different theme or topic. This November is focusing on paleontology.

As a blogger, I receive an influx of email requests to review items and I delete the great majority of them, but something stempaks package, science for kids, math projects for kidsin the email from the founders of Stempaks made me reach out to them. Not only are these young entrepreneurs innovative and creating a product that encourages family learning, but one of the founders also served in the military. From the first phone call, I had a great impression and love the concept of this product, I immediately agreed to not only be a beta tester but also to serve as an adviser because I believe in what they’re doing.

When our package arrived, the kids couldn’t wait to open it. Our dinosaur kit came with eye goggles and a face mask which went right on as the kids read through the materials to see what they needed to do.

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stempaks, science projects, dinosaur activities, paleontology

Decked out in their protective gear, they transformed into archeologists and little by little excavated dinosaur bones. They took it very seriously, brushing away the dust and being cautious not to harm a fossilized bone.

goggles and mask, STEM projects

With a focus on the STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math, the Stempaks kits are an engaging way to empower kids in these key areas. Click to read about why STEM education is important for everyone.

Conveniently delivered to your door each month, Stempaks supports the activities with additional ideas for digging deeper. For example, in the paleontology pack, other projects included making dinosaur bones, both craft and edible, and creating dinosaur feet and Jurassic eggs.

Check out Stempaks and let me know what your kids discover! As the kids play with the dinosaur skeleton they built from the bones they excavated, they’re already looking forward to what will be in next month’s Stempak!

dinosaur activity, stem activity, STEM for kids, teaching kids STEM

dinosaur bones, dinosaur fossils, discovering dinosaurs, learning about dinosaurs, dinosaurs for kids

archeologists, paleontology for kids, learning about dinosaursdinosaur bones, dinosaur activities, stempaks, STEM activities

 

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

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Parents Set the Tone for the Family

November 5, 2014 by ldecesare

parents set the tone, parents set example, culture in family,

Parents set the tone for the family.

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

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Woo Hoo – Liebster Award!

October 30, 2014 by ldecesare

mothers circle liebster, blog awards, liebster award image, what is a liebster awardThank you to Deborah Shelby of Prayerful Mom for this recognition. I have to admit, I hadn’t heard about the Liebster Award until Deborah nominated me and I am honored to accept.

Deborah and I connected through Top Mommy Blogs and she graciously allowed me to guest post on her blog about 10 Tips to Teach Kids About Volunteerism.

I am thrilled to accept this Liebster Award nomination for Mother’s Circle. The spirit of the Liebster is to introduce my readers to other bloggers and in the tag-you’re-it style, I had to answer some fun questions from Deborah, tell 11 things about myself, and choose other bloggers to nominate, and give them my own questions to answer.

So here goes!

11 Things About Me

1. I speak French, I loved it through school and continued in college. When I lived in Bordeaux one summer, I started dreaming in French and forgetting English words when I called home. French opened the door to amazing opportunities for friendship and learning in my life. Click to read about my French Friendships.

2. Since I didn’t want to give up studying French in college, I added it as a third major. I get teased about that every time someone learns I graduated with three majors. Typical over-achiever.

3. Continuing on that theme, my whole life, people have teased me. I learned to laugh at myself young. Still, whenever friends from different parts of my life get together, I end up the butt of the jokes. It’s unifying!

4. I love the beach. Toes in the sand, sun beating down, salt on my skin.

5. After giving up tennis as a kid because I looked more like a ballerina than an athlete, I started playing as an adult about seven years ago and I am absolutely hooked. I love to play and to watch!

6. I’m married to my best friend for 20+ years. I couldn’t be luckier. The story of how we met is unique: I moved in with him and his roommate as strangers to fill a vacant room for a month. We started dating after I moved out, but were engaged only three months after our first date, only six months after first meeting.

7. No surprise here, but my three kiddos are the center of my world, the beating of my heart. I could not feel more blessed and grateful!

8. Since I was 6 or 7, I wanted to be a writer. I’m almost ready to submit the manuscript for my first novel to agents … exciting and scary all at once.

9. We have a pet bird, a cockatiel. Anna is always saying with awe, “It is so cool that we have a bird.” And I agree! Piper is so snuggly, sweet, and what other kind of pet can say, “I love you” and a host of other calls and songs?

10. I love flowers. Gardening and cutting flowers for inside make me so happy, I try to have flowers or flowering plants in the house year round.

11. I can only drink decaf. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I do love the smell and the experience of sipping a hot cup, but give me a fully loaded cup of caffeine and I’ll be buzzing, talking faster than usual, and on overdrive for days! A morning cup of coffee can actually keep me up at night I’m so sensitive to it. No triple shot espresso’s for me. :-) This, incidentally, is also something that friends tease me about.

Here are my questions from Deborah:

Q. If you couldn’t be yourself, but you had to live someone else’s life, whose would you choose it to be?

A. This is such a tough question for me because I love my life and am happy being me. I’ve been pondering this and as much as I want to play along, I cannot think of anyone! A famous tennis player or author, maybe, Oprah, with her influence and ability to give and give, but everyone has their struggles and pains to go through along the way to their successes, and I’ll just keep mine, my life’s been pretty great. :-)

Q. Are most of your goals wants or needs? Name one.

A. Wants for sure. I have the luxury of being able to pursue my lifelong goal of writing and have consciously reprioritized my life over the last three years or so to be able to write more. Loving it! It’s a want – but in some ways, writing also feels like a need.

Q. If money were not an object, would you prefer to be a stay-at-home mom or have a career outside the home?

A. Hmmm, both. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for sixteen years and I loved it and wouldn’t trade that time for anything. During those years, I was available for my kids but have also run a doula and birth/parenting education business, founded a non-profit, wrote a book, and volunteered countless hours like so many moms do, but it was all on my own time schedule. I have just started a new job outside the home. It’s returning to event planning, a job I loved before leaving for babies, and I’m thrilled and excited to be jumping back in. So the answer is kind of BOTH!

Q. What is your favorite charity or cause?index

A. The Kampala Children’s Centre for Hope and Wellness – click to read all about this project near and dear to me.

Q. When you think back to your childhood dreams for your adult life, did any of them turn out like you imagined?

A. Being a mom was tops on my list and I’m living the dream. Writing was another constant growing up, and I’m forging ahead on that front, too, after life took me in different directions for awhile.

Q. Would you rather live in a house just a little too small, but always have cash for all the incidental things that come up? Or would you rather live in a large and spacious home, but money would always be tight?

A. ACK – I hate debt, so the former, for sure. Cozy and debt-free, though those wants and desires for more are always lurking, tugging, and tempting!

Q. What character trait do you like best about yourself?

A. I’m sensitive and feel deeply which I think is what makes me thoughtful and empathetic. (And seriously tearful at times, another point of getting teased!)

Q. What is the most important lesson you hope your children take away from what you have taught them?

A. Love yourself. Everything stems from self-love, then you can give of yourself to others wholly and generously. You can accomplish anything with the confidence that self-love inspires. Love and value yourself.

Q. What is your favorite activity?

A. Traveling. Take me anywhere in the world! One of my favorite trips was to Vietnam and Cambodia with my mom.

Q. Where would you go on your dream vacation?

A. Oh so many places to choose from. My dream vacation would be with my family and I think I’d pick somewhere I haven’t been though a ton of favorite places around the world are popping to mind. Right now, maybe a cruise through Alaska, I also really want to do an African safari. Better keep saving …

Q. What is your favorite holiday?

A. CHRISTMAS by far! I love family being together, attending church all season and especially on Christmas Eve wishing our church family a Merry Christmas. I love the season, the giving, the generosities, the spirit of community and kindness. I love writing cards with notes, reaching out to friends, I love selecting and wrapping the perfect presents and having the house decorated, the tree glowing with white lights. I love our Christmas elves and the kids faces in the morning, I love a leisurely breakfast and lingering together, stepping over piles of wrapping paper. Oh, I’m getting excited just thinking about Christmas!

My Nominees for the Liebster Award

Reading With Robin

Rock Paper Snips

A is for Adelaide and …

 

Questions for My Nominees

Q:  Why did you start your blog?

Q:  What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you?

Q:  What is a piece of advice you’d like to share?

Q:  What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing it? Would you still want to?

Q:  What’s your biggest fear?

Q:  Who is your hero? Why?

Q:  If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?

Q: What do you value most in life?

Q:  What are you really really good at?

Recap for Liebster Award Nominees

I hope all my nominees will accept the Liebster Award. Remember that to accept the award, you must do all of the following:

  • Thank and link back to the person’s blog who nominated you.
  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Create 11 new questions for those you nominate.
  • Nominate 5-11 of your favorite bloggers and link them in your post.
  • Contact them from their blog page and tell them.

Thanks again Deborah of Prayerful Mom for nominating me for a Liebster Awaliebster-award-rules-ird!

And I thank you, dear reader, for visiting my site. I’d love it if you’d leave a comment.

I’d also be very grateful if you’d click the banner below to vote for me. (Only once per 24 hours will count.) It can help my site’s rank at the greatest blog directory ever. Thank you!

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

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