Saturday, April 28, 2012

Screen-Free Week: What to do... What to do...

Did you know that...

 On average preschool children in our country see nearly 25,000 television commercials? This figure does not include product placement...

 Studies have shown a link to sleep disturbances in young children and time spent with screens?

Facts like these are what makes me interested in "Screen-Free Week"...

Since I've been looking forward to Screen-Free Week, I've begun drafting a list of some fun things to do. Thought I would share a few ideas to jump start your minds on next week's challenge of finding entertainment screen free.

-Reading a book (and no, I didn't misspell "ebook")
-Board Game Night
-Dinner outdoors
-Start (or finish) a few home projects
-Paint a room in the house

We've started planning our next painting project. Maybe after next week I can post some results - once I'm in front of this screen again! :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Screen Free Week 2012: April 30 - May 6 2012

It is time. Time for liberation from the desire to sit down after work and check my email. Time to search my lovely cookbooks for a new recipe for dinner. Time to go thrift-ing instead of "rummaging" through several online sales... Screen Free Week is almost here!

This is our first year to commit for a full week of screen free (out of work time) life. And I couldn't be more excited about it. Our plan is to still use our screens as needed for work. (Obviously most jobs have requirements for use of screens - so it shouldn't change your productivity at work. Just once you get home turn it off!) We will also use our cellphones for their phone abilities in the evening. We are heading to a wedding that weekend where I plan to use my camera for the ceremony and celebration.  I just can't pass up taking photos during a friend's biggest day.

Image taken from Commercial Free Childhood's website

Main idea to take away: all you have to do is turn it off... turn off the TV, go for a walk instead of watching a movie, don't "Draw Something" for one week, better yet have your friends over to play
Pictionary or "Words with Friends", Scrabble in real life! It is a full week for finding enjoyment without using technology as the primal source. Technology is an important vehicle for communication, documentation, and research, but doesn't it bog down your evening?

This will feel amazing, it will be enjoyable, it will be liberating!

It can be easy for each family to make a plan that can work for them. I believe this because my husband is actually on board! We are not big media people, we do not have cable or satellite TV and we've already had many "No Technology Thursdays" in our house. However, there are several nights in a week where we have some type of screen on. Even my recent reads from the library have been via an ebook reader... yikes.

And don't forget:

Screen Free = Commercial Free! In my opinion that is a total win-win! We are exposed to too many commercials. One entire week without evenings full of repeated dog and cat food advertisements! Sounds enjoyable already!

If you want to learn more go to...

Also, tell a friend. Pass on the great idea of "Screen Free Week".  It might change a lifestyle of a family you love... for the better :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Inspiration: Camping

Over my spring break we went on a low key camping trip to the Hocking Hills area. Our friends shared in the excitement that the start to April would mean our first camping trip of the year! We all were ready for a good excuse to have a fire, drink some home brew, sleep outside, and talk late into the chilly, moon-lit night...

We may have even been inspired for a campfire recipe that we hope to soon share!

All in all we hiked some new trails, had great conversation, and ate some tasty treats... I'm already looking forward to the next trip :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Makes My Heart Sing

Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons in Ohio... some years they seem non-existent or just too short. I think this fleeting quality is something I cherish.

This year a very mild winter has led to a warm start for spring. The past few weeks have been crazy with ups and downs in temperature... I've been hoping for more of those sunny spring days as I've already put away my winter coat and pulled out my flip flops.

Something fun about a first spring in a new house - each day is a surprise with new flowers and plants popping up all around! I think that we should celebrate the flowers in between frosts. Because the truth is, we have no way of knowing what the end of spring or beginning of summer will bring.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Treading Water

Many times each year I find myself busy working away at several small goals in life. I often wonder if it may be too many goals at once. Whether it is getting a little bit extra done for work, or finishing a project at home... I can even get lost in typical day to day rituals. I lose sight of the bigger picture and my most important goals. This feels to me like treading water.

I think I've been treading a lot lately. I still enjoy my time and things are accomplished, however I can become overwhelmed with all I want to do and sometimes forget how to keep up. The truth is, that feeling of treading water just seems to creep up every so often in life. I've decided that it has been hanging around a bit too long this time.

This past week was a spring break from my job. An entire week off to have fun, catch up on life, and just relax! I needed it. I feel better already and am excited to not only keep up - but hopefully move ahead. I see initiative, goal setting, and achievement in my near future.

Here's to inspiration... it is time to start swimming again.