Early to bed, early to rise. Makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
We have all heard the adage "early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."...but how many of us live it on a daly basis? I for one can say, not me! As I mentioned in my previous post, I have never been an early riser (unless you count nghtly unplanned awakenings at 3 am). That being said, there is something about the early morning hours that is attractive to me. I would love to be awake to watch the sunrise, have time for meditation, prayer, and yoga to get myself centered before the hustle and bustle of the day. A few years ago, I was the coffee gal at my previous church. I had to arrive early to get everything set up so that my fellow church goers could enjoy a cup of joe before the service. Thankfully, I lived in walking distance to the church, which was helpful. Though it was a constant struggle to peel myself from the bed, I enjoyed the serenity of an early Sunday mornng walk. Most times, it felt like the world was all mine. The streets were so quiet and I could be alone with my thoughts on the walk to church. I think this is how my love of walking started.


The Sordid Tales of Obstructive
Sleep Apnea (OSA)

I'm sure the picture to the left doesn't look very glamorous, and I am aware that talking about and showing pictures reflecting obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) just isn't sexy. Marketing people have figured out that sex can sell just about anything - except for this. Well, if they have, I haven't seen it done. Real talk about health is never deemed sexy, but it could save someone's life. I am a pretty private person but I want to share my story. Maybe it will help someone else on their journey with OSA, or prompt them to talk with their doctor.

In November 2011, I went to my doctor for what I thought was a cold or a sinus infection. I figured she would give me some antibiotics and send me on my way. But she didn't. And because of that, I am confident that she saved my life (or at the very least helped improve the quality of my life). She told me that she didn't think I needed a prescription, and "as long as you are sleeping well at night, you should be fine." What she didn't know is that I have rarely slept well my entire life. I go through periods of insomnia, periods of frequent nightmares, and on rare occasion, periods of restful sleep. I knew this wasn't "normal," but I just figured it was something I would have to learn to live with. I usually take it where I can get it. I told her about my history of poor sleep patterns, and she referred me to a sleep center for an overnight sleep study.

Today I took some time to get some much needed rest. After church and brunch with a good friend, I posted up on the couch with my blanket, pillow, and laptop for sleep and a movie! With as much as I need to do around the house and with crafting, it was great to have some down time. While browsing one of my favorite blogs, www.moneysavingmom.com, I came across a post featuring the ebook Early to Rise. I recently completed the ebook What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (book review coming soon), and I wondered how this book would compare.

I was excited to learn that this ebook is a bit longer and "meatier." The purpose of the book, from what I can tell, is to learn how to wake up earlier in the day to lead a more productive, enjoyable life. In addition,
www.moneysavingmom.com author Crystal is hosting a challenge for the month of March. The objective is to take thirty-one days to work at waking up earlier (and going to bed earlier!). I have never professed to be a morning person, but I know that I am not as productive with my days as I would like. I am single wth no children -- I should have tons of free time right? Um, well, it doesn't really play out like that. One of my goals is to be a better steward of my time and I think this challenge will be very beneficial. Crystal will post daily updates on her blog during the month of March to discuss her progress/challenges, and others can share their progress as well. I know that it will be a challenge for me, as I already have a sleep issue that leaves me sleep and energy deprived, but I plan to put my best foot forward and give it a shot! If you're interested in joining me, sign up for daily emails at www.moneysavingmom.com.

My biggest challenge will be to consistently keep my PM routine in order to get up early. There always seems to be a phone call, text message, movie/tv show, or something I just have to get online for that keeps me from being consistent. In my research on creating healthful rest, I've learned that it is best to put away computers, television, and other electronics at least one hour before bedtime. Having a smartphone and frequently sleeping with my computer in the bed pose a huge issue to restful sleep. It will be difficult to break these long-standing poor bedtime habits, but I remind myself that the return will be great -- a night of restful sleep, arising in the morning ready for the day, and a productive and energy filled day. All of these things work together so that I can fulfill my purpose and goals each day!

    What do you think your biggest challenge will be with rising earlier? Are you a night owl that is now a morning person? I'd love to hear about your experience!! Any advice for those of us who struggle getting up in the mornings? Leave your comments and tips below!!

Hey y'all! So I realize I have been a bit MIA lately, but it's with good cause. I am excited to say that I officially launched my side hustle of Sunshine Cards and Coasters last weekend! Thanks to some supportive friends and colleagues, I have finally taken the next step after talking about it and dreaming about it for such a long time! I am so excited, did I mention that yet?! :)

I make handmade, custom coasters with felt/cork backing using festive scrapbook paper or beautiful color/black and white images. You can send me specific images you'd like to use or I can find some for you. The most recent ones I made featured Marvel, Cape Town, South Africa, Butterflies, and Lions. I've even made coasters representing a fraternity.  Message or email me for more information on materials and pricing.

In addition to coasters, I continue to make specialty handmade cards and envelopes. I do standard cards (thank you, birthday, sympathy, cards for expectant parents, etc.). If you have any special requests please let me know.

In the coming weeks, I plan to add pictures to my online website for purchase through the use of PayPal, and I plan to create an Etsy account as well. If you're looking for that special gift for yourself or a loved one, something that's unique and can't be found in a store, then you're in the right place! Not local? No worries - I will ship your items to you! Want to commemorate that special occasion, and have a useful item too? I'm your woman!

I will be posting more pics and such in the next few days so stay tuned!!!