Friday, May 22, 2015

Fit Friday - 3 Steps to Avoiding the Marriage Black Hole

Today's Fit Friday post is a guest post from the awesome Kelly Shores of Restoration Counseling located right here in beautiful Fortville Indiana! Ashley and I were just talking about this topic this week. Fitness isn't just about our bodies... it's a mind, body and spirit thing. It means balance in all areas of our lives. 

Our mama lives get super busy. She has three littles, and I have two. They keep us on our toes, and we most often end our days exhausted. A common mama story. In the middle of living these busy, and oh so important child rearing years of our lives, sometimes me time and us time suffers a bit. Kelly reminds us that we need to take time for our spouses too and make strong marriages a priority as well. Here's some fun pics to enjoy. Coach Man and I have been married 15 years this year, and Ashley and the Fortville Dad have been married 6 years this year. Cheers to many more to come for both of us! - Jenny
 
 

Making Your Marriage a Priority

As a marriage therapist I am seeing a growing trend with my couples that I am beginning to call the "black hole of marriage." What is the black hole of marriage you ask? It is the hole that couples get sucked into when they are in the midst of raising young kids. What seems to happen is these couples have wonderful intentions about raising the family together but work, kids, activities, and just life in general gets in the way. During this busy time in life I am seeing couple after couple putting their relationship on the back burner as they try to manage everything else in their lives.
 
But what happens to the marriage during this time? The relationship begins to fizzle and all to often by the time couples come to see me (several years into the "black hole") they feel like "two strangers living in the same house." As often as I see this it still makes me sad every time! It makes me sad for two reasons, first, this couple who was so in love and had such great intentions of working together as partners has grown so far apart they are both feeling alone and isolated. The second reason is that this is completely preventable!

Now don't get me wrong, I know that it can be difficult to make your marriage a priority in our busy, faced paced culture. My husband and I have two young kids of our own and often feel pulled in a million directions at once. It's not always easy, but it is doable and it is important!

3 things you can start doing today to make your marriage a priority:

1. When you both get home at the end of the day take the first 5 minutes for the two of you. This is usually a busy time of the day with dinner, homework, etc. But it is so important to come back together as a couple and reconnect for a few minutes. Kiss each other hello and talk about how your day was...then jump back into the chaos.
 
2. Take 20 minutes a day to talk more in depth and connect on a deeper level. For some couples this can be first thing in the morning over a cup of coffee, after the kids are in bed for the night, or before you go to bed yourselves. The key is to have dedicated, uninterrupted time to talk and connect intimately.
 
3. Date night...do I really need to say more? Taking time out for regular dates is hugely important for couples. It is a chance for you to reconnect and have fun together without the stresses of everyday life. I encourage couples to do date night once or twice a month (minimum). If you feel like it is too expensive try to find a friend to swap babysitting with and/or plan dates in. The key is to take time to have fun together.
 
If you find you are struggling in your marriage please give me a call. I would love to help you figure out how to get out of the "black hole."

-Kelly

Meet Kelly Shores and learn more about Restoration Counseling by clicking here. Follow them on Facebook as well. They often blog about helpful topics for mamas and families! So glad to have them here in our community. What a great resource!


*** New in 2015, advertising sponsorship available with Fortville Mama. Sponsor a single post or bring our viewers Mama Tip Tuesdays, Wandering Wednesdays, Artisan Thursdays, Fit Fridays or Hancock County Treasures biweekly blog series. Or why not be super cool and go all out and be our title sponsor? 

Email pamediasolutions(at)gmail(dot)com to learn more.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Top 3 Reasons to Eat Seasonal Local Fresh

We are overjoyed that the Fortville Farmers Market is back for another season. So many great local fresh options for our families! So many great vendors who put so much care into what they do. Will you be venturing out this evening from 4-7 p.m. for some local fresh at the Fortville Farmers Market?

You may think to yourself, why head out to the market just yet, it's not really prime season? No homegrown Indiana tomatoes, no sweet corn, no melons, no berries... Be patient my friends those are coming. Now is the time to enjoy the bounty of what is seasonally available right now in our own backyards. Things like fresh asparagus! And fresh leaf lettuce, green onions, flowers, herb and tomato plants, meats, cheese, eggs and honey! There are some great non-GMO herb and veggie plants ready for you to pick up right now from several vendors and then have your own fresh veggies by summer too!

Our Top 3 Reasons to Eat Seasonal Local Fresh

  • Prime flavor, quality and nutrients. It's just been picked and it is at its very best. Plus it didn't travel far at all to get to your table. The colors are bold, it's fresh, tasty and oh so good for you.
  • By going with what's in season, you get a great variety all year long! Fruits and veggies at their very best. What's better than a Harker Family Farms true summer peach? What about a Tuttle apple picked right from the tree in the fall? Yummy! Visit here to keep up on what can be found seasonally in your area at farmer's markets.
  • It really is budget friendly. Some people think buying fresh can be more expensive. The truth is buying fresh and seasonally is actually easier on the pocketbook. When items are in season there is an abundance and prices are lower. By buying seasonal fresh you save. You can also buy some seasonal items in season and can or freeze and save yourself dollars later on too! I love stocking my freezer with berries from summer for later smoothies and fresh herb ice cubes for fall soups.
 

May - September Artisan Thursdays brought to you by The Fortville/McCordsville Chamber of Commerce. Thank-you for your support of Fortville Mama and local family fun in and around Hancock County, Indiana. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank-you to the businesses that help support Fortville Mama. Your support is allowing us to make 2015 even cooler than 2014!
 
 
*** Advertising sponsorship available with Fortville Mama. Sponsor a single post or bring our viewers Mama Tip TuesdaysWandering Wednesdays, Artisan Thursdays, Fit Fridays or Hancock County Treasures biweekly blog series. Or why not be super cool and go all out and be our title sponsor? Email pamediasolutions(at)gmail(dot)com to learn more.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wandering Wednesday - A BSU Adventure

In honor of a late night funny man I adore, today's Wandering Wednesday is all about a family fun adventure to Ball State University.


Some of my best memories were while attending BSU. It's where Coach Man and I met. A fabulous college experience, a loving husband, friends that have stayed with me into adulthood and a love for fine "almost world famous hot dogs" are just a few of the things that I gained through my years at BSU.

Coach Man and I have been married 15 years as of this year. Crazy as it may seem...we had yet to take the Fortville Mama kiddos back to see where it all began until this spring.

They loved it! It's really just a hop, skip and jump away from Fortville. Plus Coach Man likes to take the scenic route through Yorktown so the kids had lots to see and take in as we drove. Our first stop was the Muncie Mall looking for Carter's Hot Dogs only to find it closed. Sad, sad day peeps. I really wanted one of those delicious chili cheese dogs! Nothing has ever compared. Oh well on to Plan B. Our other college staple - Greek's Pizzeria. Oh the garlic buttered breadsticks and crust. Heaven! It used to be a hard choice some Friday and Saturday nights between a slice of Greek's and a Hot Dog Man special dog from their adjacent corner carts.
 
 
 
Our second stop was a new BSU Village staple as my niece, a current BSU student, advises. It did not disappoint. Amazingly delicious cookies. Served warm and with milk if you so desire. The Fortville Mama kiddos give it two chocolate covered thumbs up. Plus this place delivers to students! Man do I wish Carter's had delivered all those years ago!
 
 
After dinner and dessert we drove around campus and showed the kids all the spots near and dear to our hearts. Where we had lived, where our classes had been, where used to take walks together...one of our favorites was by Benny, an iconic BSU statue really named Beneficence, and the Frog Baby Fountain near the library. So many great memories.
 
We ended our trip with a visit to our niece's dorm to see her room and meet her roommate. Wow a rush of memories. Yikes, those dorms are hot! This mama can't take that anymore. Plus yikes those rooms are small. Where the heck did we put all our stuff?! And I am certainly happy to have my own shower now and not have to carry around a little shower caddy and sport cute shower flip flops down the hall.
 
These two had the time of their life exploring college life. Might we have two future BSU students on our hands? Quite possibly! Looks like we need to get them some BSU gear.
 
 
My mama advice to you...don't wait as long as we did to take your kiddos down memory lane. It's fun to show them there was life before they arrived and that you weren't always someone's mama. College campus visits aren't just for high school seniors trying to decide which college to grace with their presence come fall...it's an adventure for young and old.
 
 
 
P.S. #ThanksDave Thanks for all the laughs. Thanks for being a BSU alum. Thanks for making Indiana even cooler. Best wishes for your next adventure. Maybe a trip with Henry to BSU?
 
 
 
A big thank-you to our Wandering Wednesdays series sponsor Indy Zoom Groom. Thank-you for your support of Fortville Mama and local family fun in and around Hancock County, Indiana. Your support is allowing us to make 2015 even cooler than 2014!

                         

 
Advertising sponsorship available with Fortville Mama. Sponsor a single post or bring our viewers Mama Tip TuesdaysWandering Wednesdays, Artisan Thursdays, Fit Fridays or Hancock County Treasures biweekly blog series. Or why not be super cool and go all out and be our title sponsor? Email pamediasolutions(at)gmail(dot)com to learn more.

Mama Tip Tuesday! Top 5 Money Saving Home Cooling Tips

Keeping It Cool Peeps

Budget friendly tips from a heating and cooling expert!

I want to kick off this post with disclosing that these awesome tips come from my husband, who has been a heating and air service tech for years now. He spends his days maintaining electrical, heating and air, as well as plumbing for 30 bank locations around metro Indianapolis. This advice is not fueled for advertising, but just great suggestions from a trusted source. 
 
As I was driving home today, I thought this would be a great time to remind everyone to service their AC. It's beautiful outside and a great time to open windows, but once the summer heat sets in and people find out that their ACs won't work when they need it the most equals the busiest season for heating and air companies!
 

These are the Fortville Dad's Top 5 Summer Ready AC Tips!

1. The Filter: Change your filter often! It's a small expense compared to paying for a service call. It can cause your AC to lose air flow and therefore can freeze up the unit. 1 inch filter be should be changed 1-3 months, 4-5 inch filter every 6 months. Change more often with increased foot traffic, pets or larger families.
2. Batteries: Yes, another small expense compared to a service charge. My husband has been out to homes that the only reason the system is not working is the batteries! If you have a digital thermostat that takes batteries, be sure to check battery life.
3.  Preventative Maintenance: Be sure to have your system cleaned and watch for small problems that could cause your system to malfunction. By keeping your system running as it should, it benefits from seasonal cleanings. Dust and debris can build up over time causing less efficiency. If your system is over 5 years old and has never been cleaned and checked, be sure to have an expert service it.
4. Don't Wait: If you sense something could be wrong, it is better and less expensive then it going out in the middle of the night when companies have to charge extra for after hours service. Also, do NOT wait till it gets super hot when it is more common for systems to break down. Another example would be your system not maintaining a set temperature. Turning the temperature lower will not do it any good. Also, if it does not sound or smell right call a trusted company.
5. Shop Around: Don't be afraid to get a second opinion, especially if something major is wrong or a system replacement is in order. Ask friends for references and check online reviews. Call companies and ask if they provide free quotes. If you prefer a certain manufacturer such as Trane or Carrier you can go to their website and they will provide you with local HVAC contractors that install and maintain their systems. Manufacturers actually send out customer questionnaires. Contractors have to maintain a certain grade to install and maintain their systems.
 
 
 
The Fortville Dad staying cool with his Fortville Mama kiddo and a chick friend.


May Mama Tip Tuesdays brought to you by local non-profit Lambswear, Inc. Thank-you for your support of Fortville Mama and local family fun in and around Hancock County, Indiana. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank-you to the businesses that help support Fortville Mama. Your support is allowing us to make 2015 even cooler than 2014! Make sure to follow them on social too.


*** New in 2015, advertising sponsorship available with Fortville Mama. Sponsor a single post or bring our viewers Mama Tip TuesdaysWandering Wednesdays, Artisan Thursdays, Fit Fridays or Hancock County Treasures biweekly blog series. Or why not be super cool and go all out and be our title sponsor? Email pamediasolutions(at)gmail(dot)com to learn more.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fit Friday - Taking Note of the Little Things

My new workout kicks. Yep, loud neon pink and purple shoes. Love them!
I'm three weeks into my journey with Toby at Blue Seas Fitness and Wellness Center in Fortville. I'm starting to notice little things, and I am overjoyed peeps! It's such hard work some days, it's sweaty and truth be told some days I just don't want to do it, but seeing visible changes that are oh so good for me are making me want to jump for joy. These little things help me realize that I CAN DO THIS and that I should have done it years ago!
 
So over the three weeks some of my changes - body shape changes (I'm noticing differences in my tummy, ankles and booty!), new gear (I bought a good pair of workout shoes, a sports bra and workout clothes. Investing in this new healthier me.), more energy (I took the kids to Conner Prairie this week and didn't a sit down and rest break!), food choices (I'm starting to think about the food choices I make daily. Who wants to have to work out more for a donut?! Plus I shouldn't have it any way due to the gluten. Silly girl.) and my overall health is improving (I'm noticing little things. I have PCOS, autoimmune issues and a gluten allergy. The workouts are making a difference in all three). I'm ecstatic! Okay I hate pics of me, especially in my workout gear and my hair pulled back, but here ya go folks - the raw me. Thanks for staying on the journey with me and cheering me on. -Jenny
 
 


Okay folks here's Toby with some wise Fit Friday thoughts for this week. Enjoy.

It’s easy to stare at the big picture of shedding those unwanted pounds and inches, but don’t forget to stop and enjoy all the little things along the way. It’s these small and subtle details that help you stay on the right path; that make you feel empowered and able to continue your journey.  You have all heard the saying “stop and smell the roses” and it is a perfect example of taking time to appreciate those “little things”
 
Let’s talk about what some of those “little” things might be that may get overlooked if only the big picture or end result is the sole focus.
You will gain more energy.  A regular exercise routine can boost the amount of good endorphins that are released and even lead to doing more once you leave the gym like cleaning your house or working in your garden.  That certainly beats the feeling of flopping down on the couch and losing the motivation you just gained.  A good mixture of healthy nutrition and an exercise regimen will lead to less ups and downs with your sugar levels eliminating those crashes that you may already be experiencing and in turn, provide you with more true “awake” time.
 
You will have better self-esteem and gain more confidence.  When you make the decision to turn to a healthier lifestyle, that is the first step and shows confidence in yourself that YOU CAN DO IT!  From there, you feel better about yourself when an exercise gets easier or when 10 minutes on an elliptical doesn’t seem like an hour.  You feel more confident talking about your journey and the things you’re doing with others around you and you’re able to talk yourself into going to the gym even when you might not really feel like it.  This is your inner self talking and it’s because you’re gaining ground that it’s speaking to you on a positive level.
You will notice clothes fitting differently.  Maybe it’s another notch down on your belt or maybe it’s a pair of shorts you couldn’t fit in last summer that now slip on.  “But,” you say, “the scale hasn’t moved.”  Who cares, your clothes are fitting better and those inches trimmed off are just as important as those pounds.  Maybe you feel like wearing a shirt without sleeves or you found the perfect dress that now swooshes when you walk.  Take notice of these things as they are just as important.
 
You will be a better example to your children.  With all the new things you’re trying; new exercise routines, new meal planning; new ways of staying active, you are saying to your children “this is the life”.  You are setting them up to be healthy and successful and, in turn, allowing them to take control over their own health and be a trendsetter for others around them.  If you become more active with them, you’re time becomes even more priceless and being able to spend more time with them (without being tired) is what we all really want anyway.
 
Your overall health will improve. Many medical issues, like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers are a direct result of being overweight or even being underweight with little or no muscle tone.  Reinventing your lifestyle with healthier eating and exercise regimens will certainly cut down on your risk of future health problems and make any current health issues better.  It might be as simple as your doctor saying your blood pressure is better or your cholesterol numbers are now under control.  This may not seem like a shining moment, but it is!
Every person who makes the decision to change their lifestyle will encounter stumbling blocks.  In a weight loss journey things like genes, endocrine disorders, medicines, mental health status and stress levels can all play a role in how quickly or slowly things change so being patient and enjoying the little things along the way is very important.
 
Don’t let your journey seem like an endless task. Be proud of yourself and remember that success equals more success, so build on the shining moments that light your journey’s path and never look back.

-Toby


This Fit Friday post is brought to you by Blue Seas Fitness and Wellness Center. Thank-you for your support of Fortville Mama and local family fun in and around Hancock County, Indiana. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank-you to the businesses that help support Fortville Mama. Your support is allowing us to make 2015 even cooler than 2014!


*** New in 2015, advertising sponsorship available with Fortville Mama. Sponsor a single post or bring our viewers Mama Tip TuesdaysWandering Wednesdays, Artisan Thursdays, Fit Fridays or Hancock County Treasures biweekly blog series. Or why not be super cool and go all out and be our title sponsor? Email pamediasolutions(at)gmail(dot)com to learn more.

Farm to Table Series! Technology in Farming

Technology is wonderful, isn't it?

It's a little mind-boggling to think about all the modern day conveniences that have become second nature. Our power was out not long ago in order to switch over electrical at our house. I didn't realize how much I use technology every day. From my computer to my smart phone and my blender that even has a technology within it that programs different drinks. Just think about all the technology within the TV as well, that allows me to stream movies, music and YouTube. I use my iPad to display dinner recipes, write blogs, talk to friends, watch videos, play games and the list goes on.

Dairy Farmers are just like us city folk and utilize technology in their day to day routines! Farmer Sam Schwoepee has implemented technology as a tool to become more efficient in every day work, communication and record keeping. As I've written in this previous post, the ladies' milk is not easy to come by. Farms are a precious commodity to all of us. After all, farmers put fuel in our "tanks".


Speaking of tanks, what would you do if you were driving your tractor along and all of a sudden something goes wrong and you're at a standstill? Meanwhile, your grain truck is waiting for you to finish harvesting the field, and you don't have time to take it to a professional. So you type in your tractor's make and model in your smart phone and trouble shoot your problem and you are back up and running. For today's farmer, their smart phones are an awesome mobile tool can also be used for preventative maintenance and ordering parts right from the fields. It's such a time saver to have a part shipped directly to you! 
 
 
Did you know farmers can stalk their cows? No sneaking up or scaring required! (You may be kicked!) If you've noticed tags on a cow's super cute ears, you will find a series of numbers. These numbers are almost like a social security number for cows. Farmers can track birth dates, genealogy, when bred and due date, and how many breedings, how many gallons of milk she produces and when it's time to dry up. Sam tells me that her cows could be sold anywhere in the world and they could be tracked back to her. Pretty cool huh?! More info here on how Sam registers 100% of her herd.
 

Who knew technology could be so simply MOOvelous on the farm?! Rural life may seem to move at a slower pace and be simpler to us city folk, but there is so much amazing technology that goes into that glass of tasty milk on your breakfast table! Next time you enjoy an ice cold glass of delicious milk toast all those innovative farmers out there who are finding ways to revolutionize dairy farming.
 
Disclaimer: I am a Farm to Table Ambassador for Indiana Dairy and this is sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 
 
Follow Indiana Dairy Farmer Sam and her family's fun dairy adventures via Twitter or Instagram, and check back with us over the next few months as we get to know Sam, her farm and her milking beauties even better.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Artisan Thursday - Artisan Eats at the Fortville Farmers Market

Come Hungry Peeps - Enjoy Dinner at the Farmers Market


This Thursday's Fortville Farmers Market is going to be delicious! Chef Bryan of Creative Catering will have scrumptious bites available featuring local fresh ingredients from vendors like Nana's Herb Garden, Miller's Produce, Fair's Farms and Produce, Harker Family Farms, Hidden Acre Farms, Brawner's Greenhouse, Chaplain Farms, Grammy's Berry Patch, Blue River Natural Foods, Annabelle's Garden and Goose the Market.

Check out this Thursday's #EatLocal Menu!


May - September Artisan Thursdays brought to you by The Fortville/McCordsville Chamber of Commerce. Thank-you for your support of Fortville Mama and local family fun in and around Hancock County, Indiana. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank-you to the businesses that help support Fortville Mama. Your support is allowing us to make 2015 even cooler than 2014!
 
 
*** Advertising sponsorship available with Fortville Mama. Sponsor a single post or bring our viewers Mama Tip TuesdaysWandering Wednesdays, Artisan Thursdays, Fit Fridays or Hancock County Treasures biweekly blog series. Or why not be super cool and go all out and be our title sponsor? Email pamediasolutions(at)gmail(dot)com to learn more.