3 Tips for Staying Sane

The world buzzes around us. Traffic, chatting, digital media, and there’s always something that has to be done RIGHT NOW. If you’re single, you probably have a full-time job and an active social life. If you have a family, you’re usually busy working and dealing with family things. There’s very little downtime, and if you are lucky enough to have two hours to yourself, you either catch up on something or are too exhausted to enjoy it.

So, what can we do? How do we balance a busy lifestyle with inner peace and happiness?

Game organization

3. Stay Organized. Have you misplaced your phone or keys lately? What about left home without something important. Don’t worry, we’ve all done it. The trick is to stay organized and have a place for everything. If you have a purse or bag, place it in the same spot every day when you get home. Use hooks or baskets for keys, phones, wallets, etc. to ensure they are always where you left them. To help with memory and to-do lists, set calendar reminders, and send yourself emails and texts (my favorite).

Keeping things clean also helps more than you realize. I use chores as a way to stay active while working at the computer. For example, write for 45 minutes, then get up and vacuum. Proofread for 30 minutes, then do some laundry. I always straighten things up as part of my nightly routine, too. Waking up to chaos can ruin a potentially good day. Tip: If you have kids, encourage them to do the same. This helps them learn good habits and reduces your to-do list.

Ocean City, MD

2. Find ways to relax. Not everyone has time to regularly soak in a bubble bath or attend an hour-long yoga class. But you have to take a break. Hobbies are a great way to relax and do something you enjoy. However, they should not be stressful or feel like work. They should serve as a reprieve from the daily grind and make you happy. If you’re hobby starts to cause you stress, it may be time to try something else.

And to those who enjoy a drink or beer at the end of the week; there’s no shame in that (wink). Sometimes that’s the only thing you have the energy to do. Tip: Some things I do are: painting, reading, watching my favorite shows and movies, turning everything off and enjoying silence, and listening to music.

Nashville Comic Con 2014

1. Have fun. The most important tip I have, and I cannot stress it enough. We all need fun, and little things can give us great pleasure. It’s easy to say, “I don’t have time for fun.” Bull stuffings. You have an hour to not work or stroll through social media feeds for personal fun.

Some things I do include going to concerts and movies, taking little trips, visiting my favorite places around town, chatting with friends, running out in the rain, and trying new things. It’s a proven fact laughter reduces stress, releases endorphins, and works the abdominal muscles. Some doctors even say it’s equivalent to a mild workout!

Honorable mention (and often the hardest thing to do): Don’t be afraid to say No. If someone asks you to hang out, and you’re tired, take a rain check. If you want to spend an afternoon on the couch instead of visiting family, do it. We often worry too much what people will think, when at the end of the day, we have to answer to ourselves. They may be disappointed or irritated, but they’ll get over it. And if not, you’re probably better off without them.

Let us know how you stay sane in the comments section! We love to try new things too!

Please keep in mind what works for me may not work for you, but if you think about it, I’m sure you can find your own ways to stay sane.

Top 3 Favorite Movie Moms

Mother’s Day is here! It’s the one day a year kids take time to appreciate the woman known as Mom. She’s the cook, baker, laundry queen, toilet scrubber, chauffeur, gives a hug or smack, makes you laugh after a long day, and never stops working.

So, what better way to celebrate than to post my top three movie moms? After some research, I realized two of my picks were very underrate. Can you guess which two?

3. Helen Parr (ElastiGirl), The Incredibles

Every good mom is a superhero. We somehow make everything ok, even when we’re freaking out on the inside. We human moms may not be able to stretch our arms a mile long, but when wrapping our arms around our kid, it can certainly feel like we can.

ElastiGirl shows that even real superheros can make great moms. She transforms into a parachute to save her kids falling from a plane. She helps rescue her husband from the evil Syndrome. ElastiGirl is even kind of hot for an animated character. However, my favorite thing about her is she’s real. For example, after falling into the ocean, she threatens to ground her kids for a month if they don’t calm down. She’s sarcastic, cutthroat, and funny, but can cuddle with her kids. She’s a tough woman.

2. Frigga, Thor

Beautiful, smart, and fierce best describe Thor’s mom. I was very surprised she wasn’t on any big lists I saw. She’s a queen! Fridda’s (The Asgardian Frigga, goddess of marriage) role is small but mighty in these movies. She’s the voice of reason and tries to make men think before acting. In Thor, she never leaves her husband’s side when he’s ill and vows to protect. She trusts her kids to do the right thing and handle everything else, so she can be where she’s needed. In Thor 2, she sacrifices herself to protect Thor’s girlfriend and the rest of her family. She wields her sword as well as, if not better than others, and she pays the ultimate price. But we don’t expect anything else. When they send her body off to sea, I still cry. Her devotion to family and show-no-fear attitude reminds us nothing will stand in our way.

1. Mrs. Molly Weasley, Harry Potter series

Hands down No. 1 in my book and also not on any major lists I read. This woman has seven children. Seven. She cooks, cleans, dresses, advises, lectures, screams, cries, hugs, and laughs. She expresses what every good mother feels. Unconditional love.

Fiercely protective and unbelievably supportive, Mrs. Weasley always comes to the rescue. She welcomes Harry with open arms, becoming his surrogate mother while taking care of her own children. She fights alongside them, provides for them, and never complains. You never hear Mrs. Weasley say, “I’m so tired…I’m so under appreciated.” Instead, she’s most known for this scene:

“You – will – never – touch – our – children – again!’ screamed Mrs. Weasley.
Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backwards through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did.
Molly’s curse soared beneath Bellatrix’s outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart.
Bellatrix’s gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge: for the tiniest space of time she knew what had happened, and then she toppled, and the watching crowd roared, and Voldemort screamed.”

Mrs. Weasley kills Bellatrix. Applause.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms – those who have kids, dogs, cats, mice, plants, etc. – and get some rest. We only get one day a year!

3 Favorite Teen Movies

Teen movies are my second favorite movie genre behind horror – especially good ones. They’re fun, funny, and make me feel a little younger. In good teen movies, there’s no crazy puke scene, and it’s not overly dramatic. There’s always a guy, and the rewatch value never diminishes. For this post, I focused on teen movies with strong male/female leads, instead of girl teen movies. All of us teen movie fans know there’s a difference.

Here are my picks for the top three teen movies:

She’s All That – Freddy Prince Jr., Rachel Leigh Cook, 1999

Zack (Prince) makes a bet that he can make Laney (Cook) prom queen, and of course it all blows up in his face.

Why it’s special: She’s All That is funny and has a ton of people in it, including Paul Walker and Dule Hill. Its plot feels a little generic (popular guy has to transform social outcast), but Laney plays a strong cynical, mature-for-her age teen who just wants to be a part of something. It has all the traditional things: mean girls, a-hole guys, and Usher as a school DJ (you had Usher as a DJ too, right?). The movie has its gross parts, like a nasty pizza scene in the cafeteria, but it doesn’t go overboard or feel cheesy. Some also scenes pay tribute to the show The Real World, which helped launch the reality TV show genre.

The soundtrack: One of the reasons Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer became so popular, and there’s a cool freestyle beat-box scene that I can site verbatim.

Extra: One reason I love Psych so much is many She’s All That cast members did a Psych episode or served as a major character. They must love the movie as much as I do!

10 Things I Hate About You

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10 Things I Hate About You – Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, 1999

Also the same year, 10 Things is a ’90s version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Patrick (Ledger) gets paid to take Kat (Stiles) out, and it the “sh$% hiteth the fan”.

Why it’s special: This is tough for me because 10 Things is much better written and has some of the wittiest dialogue I’ve ever heard. The acting is better, the story is stronger, and there are a ton of people in it as well. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a big part, and Larisa Oleynik, who also did a Psych episode, plays a believable Bianca. What makes this movie is Patrick and Kat’s relationship; they have chemistry you seldom find in teen movies, and you assume they may be good friends in the “real” world.

The soundtrack: Opens with Joan Jett. Enough said.

Extra: If I were fairly reviewing this movie, this would be No. 1, but I had to judge it on how many times I’ve watched the movies as well. I’ve watched She’s All That several more times.

Can't Hardly Wait

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Can’t Hardly Wait – Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry, 1998

Does it say something that all of these were in the late ’90s? This plot is about Preston (Embry) trying to win Amanda’s (Hewitt) affection one last time before everyone goes to college. There’s no money involved, and most of the movie occurs at a party.

Why it’s special: For a party movie, Can’t Hardly Wait is creative and feels a little more real. Instead of taking place at some ridiculously awesome school with a beachfront view (like the two others), its setting is a smaller town, and you never see the school. The acting isn’t awesome, but it’s good, and you believe Preston is desperate to tell her how he feels. Her girlfriends are typical teen girls (support you to your face, talk about you behind your back), and the movie includes all teen stereotypes, such as the dumb jock, geek squad, an angel stripper.

The soundtrack: The geek of the school performs Guns N’ Roses’ Paradise City. Any soundtrack with GnR automatically rocks.

Extra: Seth Green makes this movie. He’s a major/minor character and young, and if you’re a Green fan, you must see it.

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, and if you haven’t seen these teen gems, you should!