name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : January 2017


6 Bible Verses for the Grieving Heart

I've turned to this old post after a rough week. Monday marked one year that I lost my brother. The grief hit hard - the anger most of all - so I dug into the archives. I thought if I ignored the day, it wouldn't hurt. Turns out, I didn't have a choice. But, I do know where to turn, and I am turning quite a bit this week. If you know someone who is grieving, share. Pray. Send hope. Thank you all for your love.

We had a great weekend - especially with my nephew coming to visit. He comes often, and we all love it so much. He's so great with my kids - his much smaller cousins. I am so thankful my brother raised such great boys. But, as the weekend ended, I suddenly found myself just sad. A few things had popped up over our weekend, and I guess I didn't realize their impact until the weekend was done. 

I have been wanting to write down the verses sent to us in the last few months. These six verses are the ones that help me on tough days, and I will read over and over for my grieving heart. 

When my dad died, I REALLY struggled with anger and turned away from my faith. I was so mad because I had always prayed for the safety of my parents, and this happens. When my brother passed in January, I knew I needed Him to mourn this loss but also mourn as I mothered. I could not turn away this time. 

Isaiah 41:1
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Romans 5: 3-5

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Psalms 46:10

He says,“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Phillipians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 4: 5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

1 John 5:13-15

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

Do not fear. Glory. Know. Rejoice. Thanksgiving. Peace. Trust. Believe. That's what I hear the most and what I yearn for as a year passes by, and the grief plays its tricks.

A friend suggested I take these and write them down - keep them bound or even hang them as daily reminders of God's presence. When I first wrote this post, I also explained them in my own words. Looking back at those words seems off now when we just need to hear God.

And I am listening so hard as this hard week closes.

Be blessed, friends! Thank you for your continued support as I navigate an uncharted road. The comments and prayers have been a blessing. 


Making Dinner Easy Again - With Hello Fresh

Disclaimer: The post is sponsored by Hello Fresh. As always, the opinions expressed here are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting Always A New Day!

The meal planning. The grocery store trips. The food prep. The cooking. And don't get me started on the clean-up.

Feeding your family can be tedious - throw in picky kids, and you might as well just pour yourself a glass of wine, pour them a bowl of cereal, and call it a day.

For me, I will take ANYTHING that makes dinner time easier which is why I loved Hello Fresh. They decide the menus, and you decide which of their plans fits best for your hungry family. A couple clicks later, and you have dinner plans for the week. From the ease of ordering to the happy plates that are made, I highly recommend making dinner easy again with Hello Fresh.

And stay tuned for how you can get a discount with your first box!

The Ease of Ordering

Hello Fresh has three menu options to try - Classic, Vegetarian, and Family. You can easily navigate their site (or there's an app for that) to see what's cooking for each plan and pick your shipment date. We did the Family Plan for 4 which gave us PLENTY of food for our little fam - leftovers, too!

The Quality of the Product

Each meal is organized into these convenient boxes - it's all there for you to get dinner on the table ASAP. From the garlic in its separate packages to the cutest little jars of honey, you will get the best products that come fresh and ready to cook.

The Kids Will Be Happy

After a long day, I do not want to fight over just one more bite or hear "I don't like that."  In fact, the kids were even more excited than this tired mom to open the delivery and help cook! For our spaghetti bolognese, this guy asked for my apron to get cracking on peeling those carrots.

And the result? Happy bellies and requests for more pasta, please! WIN WIN.

So next week, instead of loading up the kids and your grocery list, log on and get your Hello Fresh. And how about a little treat? Purchase your first box and use the code KIMR35 for $35 off your first box (first-time customers only). Just click the logo caption below and your world is about to get so much better!

It's the little things, my friends. I can't wait for my next box.

What are you cooking this week?


6 Running Tips For A Beginner {Including the Best Running Playlist}

This post has been updated from a previous running post.. New goals and new ideas included. *Affiliate links also used in this post*

In January 2015, I went for my first run. Ever. I ran, stopped, walked, and questioned myself. I really wanted to prove MYSELF wrong so I tried it again, then again. Suddenly, I kept running - mainly because I told myself for so long I would never be able to run. But, fitness saves me, and I love a challenge so I went for it!

As I ran more, I felt stronger - mainly mentally. It felt so good to run, especially at this point in my life. I signed up for my first run - a 10K in February of the same year. Since that race, I have completed multiple 5K races, another 10K, and I will complete my first half in March 2017. What is happening to me?!

I am definitely still a novice (and in no way am I fast), but I wanted to encourage ANYONE who is thinking of hitting the pavement with these SIX running tips for a beginner. Stay tuned for some jams to get you moving, too!

1. Find A Good Training Program

I have this plan saved on my phone's home screen. I also used Hal Higdon for my first 10K. Since I am not an everyday runner, I complete a 2-3 warm-up walk then pray run. Usually, I go a mile then take a minute for a short, brisk walk before going again. When I followed this practice last time, I noticed my pace strengthened after each break. Research a nearby 5K for your first race then find a training plan. Having a goal for me was all I needed as motivation.

2. Start Slow

Really, just follow what your body says. Stop when you need to, breathe, then keep going. Don't worry about mileage - focus on time or a landmark. Set a goal for 20 minutes and see what you can do. Or, claim you'll make it around your neighborhood once before stopping. Everyone has to start somewhere. Even if your pace is slow (like me), you are still doing great!

3. Find Your Gear

I have used multiple running apps, but I do love Map My Run best. Here, you can sync up with other runners and cheer them on! Fitness has always been successful because of the encouragement I receive from others, so I like that I can share my progress. This app also saves your runs so you can see pace, mileage, and time over time.

My other favorite is my arm band that fits securely on my arm. I have tried running belts, but I like to be able to change music or check my status just by glancing on my arm. I'm also loving this headband - I have tons of fly away hairs, and I cannot stand when even one is hanging in my face. This Under Armour accessory fits perfectly to your head without being too tight.

Oh and my new kicks, how I love thee! After months of hesitation, I got fitted at a local running shop. I tried on over 10 pairs with the attention of a professional. These little beauties make me feel like there's a spring in my step - not to mention the comfort!

Belkin Arm Band // Under Armour Head Band // Asics GEL-Nimbus 18

4. Recruit Your Support System

I could not do this alone. When someone is at my pace, I like having them next to me. That is exactly what I did in February 2015. We both stopped at the same time without worrying about pace/place. We just wanted to finish - first or last, it didn't matter. But, on the flip side, if you have advanced running buddies, get their tips. When I run my half, I am doing it with my cousins and nephew They are faster than me, but the thought of them meeting me at the finish line will push me even harder!

5. Jam To The BEST Running Playlist

NOTHING makes me run faster than good tunes pumping through my ears. I've put together this Spotify playlist - RUNNING THE HALF. It's been my running jam this training session. There's a little bit of everything - from praise to rock to some dancing jams. A perfect mix for your run.

6. Know You ARE A RUNNER.

Just because I started running in my late 30s, I am a runner. Just because my pace is pretty slow (let's say advanced aerobic walking :) ), I am a runner! The things we can do with our bodies - no matter our age or skill - are pretty awesome. Kudos to all of us who use the benefits to running to make us better.

If you are a runner (from novice to pro), I'd love to hear your tips/advice!
Have a blessed weekend!

**See where I am linking up each week by clicking on the Mom Tribe page up top! I am excited to add  Momlife Friday Favorites to the fun**


40 Simple Things to Do Before Turning 40

In two months, I turn 40. Many of my friends (including my hubs) hit the big birthday already, and we are just in awe of this happening. We don't feel older (okay - sometimes we do). But, when thinking of all I'd like to do this year, I came up with a list of simple things we should ALL do. I plan to get cracking ASAP. It's time to celebrate being 40, fabulous, and FUN.

1. Do a solo photo shoot (see examples - crazy fun).
2. Read a classic novel.
3. Cook a family recipe.
4. Buy a fancy dress.
5. Watch a classic movie you've never seen.
6. Paint a room a bright color.
7. Write a letter to someone you admire.
8. Put a stamp on it and mail it.
9. Go camping.
10. Run a race.

11. Do a wine tasting.
12. Learn a new social media platform.
13. Sing karaoke.
14. Paint a picture.
15. Hang it in your home.
16. Pick a day to never leave the couch.
17. Binge watch Friends in its entirety. Or Felicity. Or Dawson's Creek.
18. Explore hidden gems in your city.
19. Volunteer.
20. Introduce your kids to your favorite movies from when you were their age.

21. Read a daily devotional.
22. Get up earlier.
23. Stay up later.
24. Make a 5 course meal.
25. Save for a fancy camera.
26. Learn how to use that fancy camera.
27. Realize your worth.
28. Stop comparing.
29. Teach yourself to knit and/or sew.
30. Reach out to a long lost friend.

31. Go to the beach for a week.
32. Celebrate a holiday in a new location.
33. Rediscover your worth.
34. Go back to school if even for one class.
35. Set aside time for phone usage.
36. Be kinder.
37. Get on a budget.
38. Incorporate new ways to workout.
39. Appreciate your spouse more.
40. Hug more.

This birthday is a big one, but it doesn't have to be scary. Celebrate. Make necessary changes. Love each other. Realize we all are fighting battles. And just be you. A happy you.

I do not expect 2017 or life after 40 to be rainbows and butterflies, but I do feel a grace and a strength that comes with this milestone birthday. That grace and strength will help me through the rough spots. I have made it this far in a life of loss and worry; I am so proud of that and give thanks to my tribe and my God. I am pretty sure 40 is going to ROCK.

Stay tuned...

{And don't forget - if you want whiter teeth at ANY age - go enter the Smile Brilliant giveaway HERE.
Hurry! Contest ends this week!}


Nuturing Your Inner Artist: 4 Ways to Express Yourself

I do not see myself as creative - meaning I can't DIY even with a tutorial, and I am not that great at coming up with creations all on my own. When I had to think about what my type of "art" is - it has to be my writing. So though I am not good with a paint brush or a sewing machine, I still need creativity to create my words. I am SO excited Zara Lewis is back to share ways to find our inner artist - expressing ourselves is a key to mental wellness, and I love her ideas to find that expression.

Pablo Picasso once said that every child is an artist: the only problem is how to remain one once we grow up. While you may not be the next Van Gogh, nurturing your inner artist is healthy and many people use art creation as therapy. Here, it’s not about creating a masterpiece but rather about enjoying the process of self-exploration. Art therapy has its roots in the teachings of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung where creation is essential for clearing up the communication paths between the conscious and unconscious and overcoming inner conflicts. For busy moms, art therapy is a perfect opportunity to channel frustrations and learn to communicate more effectively about personal needs; it helps you sort thoughts and emotions, and de-stress. Our surroundings and habits affect us more than we’re aware of: here’s how you can create a positive atmosphere to express yourself.

Mind Your Environment

You must have noticed how certain spaces make you feel cramped, restless, or uncomfortable. Our surroundings have an impact on our mood and also affect our cognitive processes. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota has shown that small adaptions in our environments can significantly boost our creativity. A subtle noise in the background (between 50 and 70 decibels, which is the level of noise found in coffee shops) can actually help you focus on your creative work. And no, your kids fighting in the other room is not considered to be the optimal ambient sound we’re talking about. If you don’t have the opportunity to catch some moments of solitude outside the house, arrange your personal space so that it inspires you. Make sure your working area is not cluttered and that the overall room design is appealing to the eye. There is research suggesting that painting the walls blue or green will help you get creative.

Commit to Exercising

From great writers such as Thomas Mann and Henry James to philosophers like Søren Kierkegaard and Henry Thoreau – they’ve all used walking, exercising, or any type of body movement in order to overcome creative blocks. Science-backed data says it’s true: committing to a four-times-per-week workout regime can significantly boost your creativity in the long run. This way, you’re not just training your body but also your brain which becomes more flexible in finding creative solutions. Your training session helps your mind wander which is the recipe for success in art creation. If you don’t have the time to go to the gym, install your own at home and incorporate exercise into your daily routine. All you need is some commercial gym equipment, a bottle of water to keep you hydrated, and at least an hour of your day. Alternatively, you can try practicing yoga or go for a light jog in the neighborhood.

Find Inspiration in Other Artists  

When it comes to art creation, nobody’s a blank page. We are all influenced by many different complex factors: from the things we see and read to the music we hear, we gradually build our sense of aesthetics and become original by initially imitating others. There is nothing wrong with learning from the best: many modern artists proudly show their admiration for artworks from the past and then create innovative masterpieces that were born out of this collision. It is actually rather beautiful to explore these connections and understand their mechanisms. Discover what artists are there: being a busy mom is challenging but you should always focus on lifelong learning. It keeps your brain in shape and the more you know – the more likely you are to create. Reading books helps you explore different worlds and travel through time and space - without leaving your home. Listening to music can impact your hormonal levels (e.g. release serotonin or oxytocin) and possibly trigger the “a-ha!” moment you’ve been craving.

Find Your Way to Relax

Creating helps you relax while being relaxed helps you create. But when you’re a busy mom with tons of things on your to-do list, taking a deep breath in order to unwind a bit seems like a huge task. You can start by shaking up your morning routine: simply by getting up half an hour earlier and savoring a cup of coffee in silence can make a huge difference. It lets you contemplate about the upcoming day and enables you to truly be present. Meditation and deep breathing exercises also work, along with spa treatments or bubble baths. And good news for wine-lovers: research says that moderate intoxication helps with creative problem solving and triggers the so-called “sudden insights.” As the famous French poet Charles Baudelaire said: with wine, poetry or virtue – be drunk! Inebriation with life supports you in finding inspiration everywhere.  

Art is something that cannot be fully defined but in the broadest sense – it is something that has the power to deeply move us. By creating, we are actually confirming the playful side of our being – the one we forget about in the busyness of our everyday. But we’re all artists of some kind: it’s what makes us human. Take these tips into consideration and ensure all conditions are there to get your creative juices flowing: it triggers a liberating feeling like no other!
Being in a creative rut can be daunting, but I love these tips to discovering and boosting your creativity. Though my art comes out in my words, I often feel lost and a bit stuck. I love learning new ways to let the creative juices flow!
Thanks so much, Zara, for sharing these encouraging words. You can also read her last Always A New Day post by reading my Best of 2016.
Share how you plan to nurture your inner artist this year. Let's encourage each other!


The Best of Always A New Day 2016

Blogging has saved me this year. From changing my focus after loss to sharing the true mama life I lead, my words are my therapy. These top 10 ten posts of 2016 are because of my family, my friends, and anyone out there who has clicked here to visit my world. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

1. A Mom's Heart - Connor's Story

I have to say I am SO happy that Lauren's words were my top post of the year. Connor is a remarkable little boy who has had quite the fight the last couple of years. His sweet mom's strength is evident in the words she shared for this post.

2. 25 Blog Post Ideas for Any Type of Blogger

Feeling a little blog funk this year made me brainstorm a list of possible topics I could write about on Always A New Day. These topics allow creative writing as well as a glimpse into a mom's daily life.

3. Why We Need To Talk About Mental Health

My dream when writing this post was for just ONE person to know it is OKAY to not be okay. I received many messages, texts, and emails about moms who needed to find a release from anxiety, stress, and depression. Some sought help; some have shared stories I never knew about them. I am relieved and honored to know people heard every word.

4. 7 Questions To Ask Your Kids After School

This one was for my big boy as he started another school year. So far, it's one of my top pins on Pinterest too. I love that people are using these stems to talk more with their kids.

5. Achieving Emotional Balance - 3 Ways To Get Rid Of Mommy Guilt

Thanks to Zara Lewis for this guest post. Just like the mental health post, I think many moms needed to hear others are drained, too, and how we need to find ways to recharge and remind ourselves how tough we are.

6. A Letter To The Mom Battling Anxiety

My Huffington post piece! I tried to get my "type" of anxiety into words - from the constant battles in my head to the fears I face daily. We are in this together, and I am thankful for the comments/support I received when sharing my heart.

7. How She Saved Me - A Letter To My Daughter On Her Third Birthday

Oh my little boo. From the feisty threenager that she is to the twirly-dress wearing girl - she has SAVED my family this year. I hope she one day reads this and hears every word - she rescued me in 2016. This sweet, carefree love is our saving grace.

8. 5 Ways To Handle A Threenager

And just as she saves me, she makes me a bit nutty, too. But, through this rough year, it's her crazy antics and spunky personality that bring me back to earth and shows me what's worth living for every single chaotic day.

9. The Definition of Friendship

Inspired by the loss of a beautiful friend and the words she shared about friendship, this post reminds us all what a true friend is and how we should treasure these relationships - through the ups, downs, and all arounds of adult life.

10. Family Style Guide - Fall Family Photos In Neutral

I LOVED putting this post together - mainly because it showcased my talented photographer and friend, Jennifer Spencer. She always takes the best REAL photos. Showcasing my little fam and our neutral clothing for the fall involved so many people, and I am happy with how the post turned out!

Thank you again for sticking with me in 2016. My mind is already swirling with all this blog will do in the new year. I am going to hang on tight and remind myself each day is precious. Every single click - even it's just a few - are so important to this anxious but thankful mom.

There is ALWAYS a new day. Let us find joy in each one.
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