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Episode 03: What does a Conscious Family mean?

You may be wondering why I have named my podcast the conscious family. So lets break it down a little bit. Conscious means having some kind of awareness. Many of us go through parenting pretty much on autopilot, unaware. We are doing the things that are parents pretty much did unless it was the few things we swore never to do that they did. Hence we may find ourselves many times saying WOW I sound like my mother!!! or Yikes I’m turning into my Mother!

Becoming a Conscious, Intentional, Mindful Family. Requires effort. Denay Barahona goes over 3 characteristics of being intentional which I loved and went over in my podcast. Go check out her blog and podcast at simplefamilies.com, she has some awesome content. The 3 Characteristics that she describes to becoming a intentional parent are: Reflection, Education and Strategy. As soon as she said these things I was like YES YES YES!!!! It just strung some positive vibes in my body so I decided to do a follow up podcast of how I apply these three aspects in my family.

Reflection: Always asking yourself where can I improve? What can I do better? Why do I think this way about this? Why do I do this in this particular way? Reflecting is a wonderful skill to develop. My husband and I do it regularly every week. We set a time aside to look at what went well during the week what didn’t and where we can improve.

Education: If you are a regular reader of my stuff this is definitely the ongoing learning that is not just done in school but forever and ever. Its the desire and thirst for knowledge. Whenever a problem arises I love to research. We are way blessed and have a million different resources at our fingertips. Lets use it and learn what we can and be empowered by education with all our choices.

Strategy: I called this implementation. There is no point in having a ton of knowledge on a certain subject and there is no application involved. In order to really learn something application is needed to have it embedded in you especially when it comes to learning new parenting strategies.

We need to be conscious about what we do with our families because we are always teaching and influencing them all of the time, whether we know it or not. Lets take some time to reflect on our parenting and family practices and see where we can improve on.

You are amazing, beautiful and awesome

 

xo Tracy


7 Topics to Discuss while Dating

Some of these topics may be hard to bring up especially during dating. But create an environment where you can discuss this openly and honestly. The more open and honest you are with these topics before marriage or serious courtship the less headache and heartache it will be down the road. Keep in mind that this is not the end all be all, opinions and views can change over years of being together.

Childhood Upbringing/Previous Relationships

How did your parents handle arguments? How did you communicate with your parents? How long before issues were solved in your home? What would you do different? What did you love about your upbringing? What were some difficulties in your previous relationships? Whether you realize it or not your upbringing has a massive part to play in how your relationship will unravel. Talking about what your families did and what you liked and didn’t like will help you and your partner know why you do the things you do and what things you want to change. Previous relationships also play a part if you came from a emotionally abusive relationship you may bring these emotions to your current relationship which may hinder your progress together. Talk and discuss ways you can start fresh with each other and not let the past affect what the bright future is able to hold for you both.

Faith and Core Value Beliefs

What church or congregation you want you family to go to? What values you want to instill in your children? What traditions you will be bringing into the home? What morals you wish your children to learn? Are you okay with your spouse having a different faith to you? With different cultures talk about the differences in beliefs and ways of thinking. Find a good mix between the two but don’t feel like all has to be set in stone right now.

Previous or Current Addictions

Have you viewed pornography? How often? To what extent? Have you been addicted to any drugs or alcohol or any form of medications? Knowing this may be able to help you understand your spouse a little better. If they seem to be going back down that track you have already discussed it previously and your partner may be able to help and give support during these times.

Finances

Do you have debt? How much debt do you have? How much are you willing to spend on a car? or shoes? How well do you save? Are we going to have a split or separate bank account? Talking about your finances in the beginning can save a lot of assumptions and headache down the line. Be open about where you are at financially so you can be there for each other and keep each other accountable as you both set goals together.

Autonomy & Boundaries

Do you like your independance? Do you enjoy doing hobbies alone or together? How often do you want to do your own thing? How often do you want to do things with your friends? Do you want a shared FB account? Do we share passwords for all email and social media accounts? Do we have a date night once a week? Do we go to our in laws one every other week?

Children

Do you see yourself having children? What if we can’t have children? Are you wanting or open to adoption? Who will be the stay home parent? Will you both be working? What kind of day care or education do you want your children to have? Will you be paying for college tuition? Children are a massive part of marriage and family life so let’s iron out some of the bigger topics.

Dream Life

Where are you living? What are you doing? Where do you see yourself? How do you vacation? What kind of home are you living in? What are things you want to accomplish? What things can you not live without? What things are you willing to compromise on? What things can you not stand in your current life?

Discuss these topics on a date night? Go through one each day take it slow and go into as much detail as you like. This exercise may take several weeks but as you do enjoy learning about each other and your views on life marriage and family.

 

 

 


Marriage Interview: Blessing Roberts

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What are 3 things you value most about your marriage?

Our Faith in God

Our AVIYAH – My baby, a beautiful chapter of our Marriage

Our heart for Our church, family and friends.

What has been the biggest adjustment for you being married?

Accepting the fact that someone is not always going to view life the way I do for an example if I say or see orange in a situation or a perspective I want my husband to say and see orange too but he does not see orange he sees apple lol

We come from completely different backgrounds growing up and being able to understand that were not the same or are not always going to view life the same way was a hug adjustment for me.

Your single days of doing whatever you want, whenever you want are over lol, when you get married you have priorities and when i don’t prioritise I tend to find the struggle become real.

What was the best advice someone gave you for marriage?

I grew up in Church and my Parents are Pastors well my Mum still is, my Dad has graduated to heaven. I sat in a lot of wedding ceremonies where my Dad conducted the ceremony and would share the word of encouragement for the newly wed couple and the guest – He would always say based on the scripture.

Genesis 2:24

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

When you get married you become one with your husband or your wife therefore when you fight and argue you have got to remember you are one, and when you decide to fight and argue you have decided to hurt yourself – and it is unlikely for someone to just randomly hurt themselves.

This is what I would always hear my dad say at wedding ceremonies- being young, to be honest it was something I would just hear about but never fully understood what my it meant. Now that I am older and married when I do have disagreements or are about to argue with my husband I would re-call what my dad use to say. I have to admit that when I don’t I apply this advice I find myself being sad or hurting because of an argument or something hurtful I have said to my husband. I can say that the day I made vows before God, family and friends I did become one with my husband and when there are ups and downs it is so essential to not hurt your husband or wife because you end up hurting yourself. When I say sorry or he does you find that the hurt you had is healed.

My mum would always say, always be quick to say sorry because you don’t want the last memory of you and your husband in this life being a bad memory but a good memory to remember forever.

For me my Mum and Dad have lived as perfect illustrations of what marriage should and shouldn’t be like- their lives together have been good advice since DAY 1

What have you done to get through your tough times in marriage?

There are different types of tough times in marriage.

It could be between you and your husband or wife or a season that you and your husband are going through it could be a season of praying for something we are in need of.

If it is between me and my husband

I like to get fresh air, quietly pray in my heart for help and good thoughts, do my very best to weigh the good times over the bad and know where I have gone wrong and to apologize.- ( I don’t always follow this order, but I try)

If it is something we are both going through and are in need of

We pray and fast and just trust that God is faithful.

What has been the most enjoyable part of being married?

Family time, time with my husband on a date or just chilling, talking or having a major hyena laugh about something– or going places with our daughter or just being together on our bed trying to converse with our baby. These have been the most enjoyable times of my marriage.

Being united in doing something together have always proved to be fruitful – successful.

Team work is what I have enjoyed a lot in marriage.

Any other comments:

I’m not perfect and my husband isn’t perfect either, which is why it so vital to know God because he is Perfect and no matter what our flaws are he is always willing to perfect our imperfections, and that to me is purely perfect.

I love marriage it is beautiful in God.

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How to Choose the Best Dating Site for You

Online dating industry is a multimillion dollar industry, but it can be extremely frustrating as there is just so many sites out there.  If you’ve decided you want to join the community but you don’t know where to start, or you are not new to the game, but you want to find a better dating site, here are some tips on how to find the best dating sites that are just the right for you. Here are some

What to Look For in a Dating Site

First of all, you have to know what you are looking for. There are so many dating sites out there that it can be overwhelming if you are looking for one but you are new to the whole thing. Deciding what exactly you are looking for can be crucial and can facilitate your search and save you a lot of headaches. But what exactly sets aside the best online dating sites from all others? One thing you might want to look for is the amount of registered people. The more people there are in a given site, the more likely you are to meet the one you are looking for. A large community is also a good indication that this is amongst the best dating sites out there. Another thing to look for is user-friendly sites. You have to be able to effortlessly browse through the site as you will most likely spend a good amount of time there. Some sites are paid, some are free to use, while others require a fee for some additional services. Are you willing to spend a couple of bucks in order to get some additional services, or you don’t want to invest money in such things. And while paid sites may offer more, the downside is the registered users are usually fewer. Some pay-to-use platforms are amongst the best dating sites in terms of features and quality, but the terrible population count makes them less attractive. The advanced search options are another important thing you should look for. Some sites allow you to sort people by marital status, or astrological sign, and this might be important for you. Being able to narrow your search can save you a lot of time and efforts.

Many Are Looking for the Same Thing You Do

Maybe you are looking for a short-term relationship, or you want to find that special one to spend the rest of your days with? Well let me tell you, you are not alone. And that is the beauty of it, there are all sorts of people out there, and chances are, you will find just what you are looking for, as long as you join the best online dating sites for you. Best wishes on your endeavours!

Sponsored Post by Bestdatingsite.biz


50/50 Relationships Don’t Work

If a mother applied the 50/50 rule to her newborn baby, most mothers would have ditched their baby within the first couple of days. Instead a mother whole heartedly gives her everything for the baby, her time, energy, body and love without expecting anything in return. The mother applies the rule of 100/0, she gives 100% of love with no expectations of something in return. (although newborn cuddles and smiles somehow is our reimbursement) So if a mother’s love is like this why do we turn the tables around when it comes to our spouses and even people around us.

The ultimate example of the 100/0 love is that of Jesus Christ. He gave His all for us and knew that some of us would not care but he did it anyways for everybody! This is the example of perfect love that we should strive towards. So why do we always expect that we need to get something in return equal to or of greater value to what we give and many a time expecting without giving?

I did the laundry so you need to do mow the lawn!

I changed the diaper twice it’s your turn now!

I am very guilty of saying these statements too often. If we looked at our marriage 100/0 these statements wouldn’t need to come up because both individuals are aware of each other’s needs and a simple “could you please could you do this for me I would really appreciate it” will go a longer way than “I did this so you do this….”Keeping score of who did what will always put a strain on any relationship.

Too often we look at relationships and marriage as a 50/50, where it needs to be fair and equal. Give and take. Yes to a certain degree that is important but can you imagine how powerful a relationship would be if it was 100/0 and both parties agreed to it applying this rule. Meaning both would put 100 whether or not they were receiving love or not. Of course this is the perfect world this can never be a reality right… Here is a cute story of 100/0.

I for sure need to work on this, because I am the recipient of such love. In my moments of stubbornness and pride I put 0% effort and give up while my husband is footing the 100%. I am so grateful during these moments because this is what pulls us through the difficult times if either one of us are still holding on and trying there will always be hope! Of course it’s not going to be 100% ALL THE TIME… but let that be standard. Lets all make an effort to put in 100% in to our marriage and family relationships. Put our score cards away and just give it our all.  We really can’t afford not to.

If this is something you are interested in or have more questions or ideas message me at info@ourhappytalk.com. I offer marriage coaching sessions for individuals that want to improve their relationship with their spouses, so if you would like a free session schedule a time with me today. Would love to hear from you!

 


Caribbean Getaway!

A Cruise in the Caribbean is officially ticked off my bucket list! Booking it 3 weeks prior to leaving and planning everything as we went is always a fun adventure for me! It was a much needed break for the both of us, and gave us more than sufficient time to miss our little munchkin.

Still working on our photography skills and should have probably picked better pictures but oh well will for sure be posting up more posts about this cruise and the fun lessons we learnt along the way! Enjoy watching this video highlights and our fun little announcement at the end!


Love YOURSELF!

You can’t give from an empty well.

There is a clear difference between being selfish, self centered and taking time to rejuvenate yourself. To me it’s the difference where one is the end in itself and the other is a means to an end. We woman have such a nurturing spirit that we always want to help serve and cater. Especially as mothers and wives we are always trying to support our children in their dreams and also our husbands in their goals sometimes we may forget about our own. Sometimes I even feel guilty that I have my own dreams and goals that I want to accomplish and am working towards.

But very often I have come across women who are burnt out and tired and exhausted because they are running around catering to those around them and have taken little to no time to look after ourselves feeling unappreciated for years of selfless service.

My Story

I had the mentality that if I take time to care for myself I am not being a good mother and all time should be to help my family. I shouldn’t dress up and put make up because that will mean I’m worrying and spending too much on myself and that is selfish. Sometimes I would even feel guilty for going to the gym because that is time away from my family although I would go in the morning before they woke up. Taking care of myself was the always the last priority, and any time should be used with husband baby even if that meant I was run down and awful to be with. It came to a breaking point where I just drove myself crazy being inside the house all the time with baby and my patience just wore thin with her, I would dread being at home all day long and be miserable when my husband finished work.

“It’s a not a luxury, it’s a must which you shouldn’t feel guilty about. Mums especially are good at shuffling themselves to the bottom of the pack and naturally looking after family and friends before themselves.” Lorraine Thomas, Chief Executive of the Parent Coaching Academy.

Things to Remember:

  1. Me Time isn’t selfish but it does allow you to share your whole self with those you love. If you don’t allow time to rest and refuel then what you give your family isn’t your personal best
  2. Self-care is an important part of motherhood. Whether its reading a book alone, going to the gym, or getting a pedicure, looking after your physical will help you feel better inwards. Your confidence will increase and help you feel like you have life by the horns! (even if it’s only for 30mins)
  3. Your children benefit directly from your personal growth. Growing your life allows you to share more of you with your children. Your children will be able to learn that they need some time out too.
  4. You don’t have to wait till bed time to have “Me time.” You can sneak it in throughout the day when baby is at the park I take my book along in case she leaves me alone for more than 5mins.

The biggest lesson I learnt is that I can’t be dependant on other people for my happiness. I am my own creator of happiness. I can’t expect my husband to make me happy all the time or my children or job or friends. When all is said and done and you have nothing left in the world the only person to make you happy is yourself and if you can’t make yourself happy who else will?

Be Amazing!

Love Tracylesieli


Intentional Marriages

WHITESMarriage requires constant work and effort but nevertheless can be the most rewarding commitments one can make in their lifetime. I don’t know how it is for some people but for me I had a lot of changes I had to make. I didn’t realise how selfish I was, I didn’t realise how prideful I was, how to communicate my feelings effectively and the list goes on all of this became so evident in our first year of marriage. I doubted my marriage decisions many a time and even if I was worthy to be married to anybody.  Not to mention I was pregnant 4 months later and was feeling self conscious about my self confidence kept declining not to mention a lot more hormones adding to the mix.  It was a very bumpy road and therefore we had to be very intentional about our marriage or it would literally fall apart. We both had a lot to learn and still do  but today I wanted to share some things that we did and currently do.

  •  God First: Putting God first has immense power. When you put God first you have the desire to be patient, understanding, forgiving and helps you put things in perspective. Take a look at the blog post which I dedicate to this topic. Includes praying and reading together often like everyday! This can help you before problems occur. Reading the scriptures and praying together enables you to have strength to have your priorities in order. 
  • Love languages: The wonderful book by Gary Chapman. I did a video about this forever ago. But understanding each others love language really helped me understand how I can show love to him. In fact reading any books on love and marriage can help propel your marriage.
  • Self Time and Date Time: We need alone time. I didn’t realise this until recently but we need time to ourselves individually or doing something that you enjoy. Sometimes that might be with just the girls or the boys. And date time you need to make date night a priority with you two alone to keep the fire blazing!
  • Recognize the underlying problems: Sometimes because your spouse doesn’t want to go to your parents house isn’t because they don’t like them but because they don’t feel they spend enough time with you. Try digging a litte deeper to find out what the real problems may be.
  • Communication: Can’t get enough of this one. Words, Tone, Body language have a big impact on our communication especially in the most sensitive time. Be aware of what you are communicating to each other. Pay attention to your body language because it may send messages you don’t want them to take the wrong way.
  • Calming Techniques: This is the hardest area for me. Letting your husband you just need some time to think it over is better than just storming off. Before you let your top blow off try counting to 10 , taking deep breaths or any other calming techniques. The best time to talk is when you are both level headed.

Marriage is a journey full of ups and downs. Enjoy the ride as you grow closer each day. How are you being intentional with your marriage? I would love to hear some of your tips. Comment and share if you found this useful.

Thanks


Our Intentional Parenting Techniques

I want my child to be….. responsible, kind, hardworking, courageous, well mannered, independant.. and the list can go on right. No we can’t choose what our child will become but as parents we do have influence in how they can develop these attributes and values. Th

Yes another post on being Intentional because I believe this life needs to be lived intentionally! And especially when it comes to raising children.  Lots of people just leave it up to nature to take its course with their children. In many cases that’s great and other cases we can’t just take the back seat we need to be conscious and aware of what are children are learning, how they are learning and how we can leverage their experiences without getting in the way. Growing up my mum always always said learning begins in the home! Not at school or church it’s in the HOME! And it begins from the moment they are born. (CRAZY… right) Do you know what you are teaching your child each day? Are you aware your child is constantly learning from you with or without your consent. If so you might as well be aware of what you are teaching them right? Being intentional means you are involved and not sitting on the bench. We all have our own things we believe it is important for our children to learn and we know or have access to ways we can teach our children in the home.

Today I just wanted to share ways we are being intentional with our daughter within our own home.

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  1. Eliminating “NO” – Using positive parenting methods we have not been using the words “No” with her. We would use the distraction method majority of the time or if it wasn’t such a big deal just let her explore until she learnt for herself the consequences of something. So if she was playing with something that could fall and it wasn’t dangerous I would just let it fall so she could see the consequences. If it hit her toe she would feel the consequences. This has made her extremely aware of the consequences of things that she does. There is an exception to no or stop is when she is doing something that can kill her like running out on the street. There are so many more other vocabulary that we can avoid with our children and replacements that are better for them.
  2. Minimal Screen Time – I am extremely intentional with this. I probably allow baby to watch 30mins of Signing Time or Nursery Rhymes like every 2 days on my laptop. So in about a week she watches a screen about 3 times. This has so many benefits that I share more about in this post.
  3. Minimal Toys – After reading a book about simplifying parenting by…. I realised Baby room has so much clutter. I decided to take out majority of her toys in her room and only leave between 5-10 toys to play with. I also minimised her books so she wouldn’t have so many books everywhere. This has helped with a cleaner and less cluttered room. Every couple of months I switch out her toys.This also helps her focus on playing with one thing at a time. Instead of just going in there and throwing everything around. I grew up where there were little toys and we had to use our imagination and creativity and looking back I loved it so I want the same for her.
  4. Encourage Creativity – So big for me!!! I want my baby to figure out and learn on her own. Find her way of doing thing she doesn’t have to do things my way. Even though it comes with lots of frustration from her but the joy on her face once she gets it is priceless. This also requires a lot of patience from me and to hold myself back especially when I want to just save the day.
  5. New Experiences– My husband and I love to take baby to learn and explore new environments. Taking her to the park to feed the ducks, to the zoo to the pet store, to see animals. We want to give her plenty of opportunity for experiences. In the future we hope to be able to take our children on adventures in different countries to see different ways of living and how people live.
  6. Comfort Zone – We love helping our baby explore her limits and feel fear and learn to deal with it. We love seeing her at 14 months climb up to the highest slide in the playground and slide down by herself. We love helping her see she limits herself and she is capable of hard things if she puts her mind to it.
  7. Affirmations – I want my baby to develop positive views of herself and others. In the morning after prayer we read affirmations to help her and me to start our day with positive thoughts. I am hoping that this will be instilled into her subconscious and will influence her in other aspects of her life. IMG_4758

How are you being intentional with your children? What are you teaching your children? What do you want your children to learn and become? How do you incorporate these into everyday activties? Would love to hear your thoughts!


Intentional Living for Mothers

IMG_3121smallDo I consciously make an effort to teach my child something each day? Do I know what I am teaching my child today? Most people are not aware that whether they are trying to or not they are always teaching your children. So instead of teaching your children unconsciously and unknowingly you may want to help yourself by being conscious about the messages you are sending to your children.

Unknowingly my parents taught me that I can lie on certain occasion, when they told me to tell them that my parent’s weren’t home or to tell the movie clerk I was 5 instead of 8. Unknowingly my parents taught me to be creative with things around the house when the didn’t buy fancy toys and gadgets to keep me busy. How effective could my parents teachings have been if they were conscious about the actions they did. How much of a better influence could they have been if they knew what they were teaching me. This is why I feel that we all increase our consciousness in all that we do.

So how can you be intentional and conscious mothers? Here are some ways I have used to be an intentional mother you may even doing this without realising which is great! Keep in mind this is just a guideline you also need to feel what is right for your family and how to apply it into your circumstances.

  1. Understand your own personal core values and have a vision of what you want your children to become. (without trying to live your dreams through your children) Understanding your children’s unique talents and gifts and helping enhance those and develop those which they struggle with.
  2. Know what you want to teach your children. (Empathy, Kindness, Forgiveness, Sharing etc Prayer)
  3.  Throughout the day create situations which will provide your children an opportunity to use and develop that attribute. Create them intentionally so you are aware and prepared to help your children in those situations.
  4. Focus on a attribute or topic for at least a week. Giving a decent amount of time for you to be able to see the fruits of your labor. Repetition is the key to developing a new skill or attribute so be patient and Don’t expect results overnight.

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Here is an example of what I do with my child to practice conscious parenting. Your methods will be different because your values and things you want to teach your child will be different from mine. Being aware of what you want your child to learn will help you implement different activities you want them to do each day. They will be a little tricky to get use to at first but the more you do it the more natural it becomes for both of you.

My daughter is 14 months. Core things I want her for her to learn:

  • Creativity – I let her watch a show every other day so she has little to no screen time. I give her time to explore outside on her own and find things to play with.
  • Positive Self Image – I have affirmations in her bedroom that I read with her every morning. I wrote them on her mirror so she loves looking at herself and doing actions with them.
  • Faith – I pray with my daughter before getting her out of her crib each morning and before she sleeps. We also pray before we eat and although she doesn’t know why we do this we do this to form a habit and as she gets older will start to understand why we do it.
  • Independance – I allow her to sit at the adults table and when she is done to put her dishes in the sink.
  • Manners – I emphasize please and thank you if ever she wants something.
  • Calming Techniques – We practice taking two deep breaths whenever she is throwing a tantrum. Just give her some time (ignore) her until she is ready to talk to us.
  • Alphabet Recognition – each time we pass the alphabet on the fridge we say and sing ABC.

What do you consciously teach your child? What are some things you teach your child? How do find the balance between always teaching and having a break? Share and comment below would love to hear your thoughts!



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