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Warning! Hanging in There is Destroying your Health!!

 

Just “Hang in There!”

Warning! Hanging in there may be destroying your health!

Are you aware that stress may be killing you?

We are tough. We are strong. We are just hanging in there until it is a reasonable time to:

Leave the relationship
Go to the doctor
Quit your job or find a different one
Ask for help
Have that difficult talk 

Warning! Hanging in there may be destroying your health!

But are you aware that “hanging in there” can destroy your health?

Here’s what happened to me

I got married and suddenly I became a notch down on the totem pole. I absolutely loved doing things for my husband, taking care of his needs, making him happy and I always put his needs above my own. Then two years later we had a daughter together. The pregnancy was awesome and my husband was very attentive and generous with his time. Once the baby was born, things turned upside down. I swear, I had barely gotten home after being cut almost in half with a C-section and I was no longer given any grace.  I don’t know exactly when the thought process became such that I wasn’t important to myself anymore. Or maybe I just wasn’t as important as everyone else. My daughter, being a helpless baby,  was my priority and my husband ran a close second. 

You probably put yourself behind everyone else for many reasons. I know there are plenty of reasons for me:

I don’t want to inconvenience anyone else
I don’t want to be seen as needy or sick
Maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is
I don’t want to spend money that could be used on someone else
My family needs me so I can’t get down physically or emotionally

Why this is wrong thinking

I know you’ve heard it before but hear it again – If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else. It’s true, if you are a physical, emotional, or spiritual mess, you can’t expect to help anyone else in those areas. And the further down you get, the longer it will take to get out. Sometimes it even takes a crisis to make us realize that we are human and we need care as much as the next person.

Then it becomes a vicious cycle.  When you are stressed out (and who isn’t?), it affects your body in a negative way. I’m no doctor or scientist, but I know from experience that stress makes you sick. And fat… and grouchy. And causes a lot of other problems. Stress is one of the main factors in health decline because is affects the body in so many different ways… ways that you may not even realize

Good Stress

Back in the day – and I do mean way back in the day, stress was a good sign. It still is a good sign but in quite a different way. You see, back then, when people were hunters and gatherers, there were many things that were a threat to them. Suppose Dave was out hunting for the family’s evening meal when suddenly a bear appears out of nowhere.

STRESS!

Immediately the fight-or-flight response kicks in and adrenaline and cortisol course through Dave’s body and he has to make a decision to either fight the bear (and maybe get the evening meal!) or run like all get-out to save his own life.

That is the good type of stress because it let Dave know that he is in danger and and needs to act fast. When everything is over and Dave is safe, his adrenaline and cortisol subside and and his breathing returns to normal.

He’s good to go until the next time he sees a bear.

Harmful Stress

Dave was good with stress because it came and it went. It didn’t stay around forever beating his body up. These days, there is stress everywhere! Between family, jobs, bills, relationships, health, politics…. there is stress everywhere. This in turn leads to more problems and more stress. The assault of stress keeps us in a constant fight-or-flight mode, which affects the cortisol release in our bodies, which affects the adrenals, and it goes on and on.

In the end, we (notice I said WE) have extra fat, lethargy, mood swings – and that is just the beginning.


Do it now if you have been hanging in there for too long. Go ahead and

Leave the relationship
Go to the doctor
Quit your job or find a different one
Ask for help
Have that difficult talk 

Take a moment to evaluate what needs to be done to alleviate at least part of the stress. Make it a priority to find ways in your daily life to resolve some of the overshadowing issues because hanging in there could be killing you!

— JKMayfield

www.8 tipsforjob.com

Moist but Sturdy Carrot (and only Carrot) Cake

Have I told you how much I love buttercream?

This cake was supposed to be easy peasy. Let me tell you, I was in labor with my baby way less time than I had to spend on this cake! It looks simple and it should have been but it wasn’t. Here is a carrot cake (which I will give you the recipe for below) with cream cheese frosting. This cake was supposed to just have frosting, not fondant… that’s where the disaster came in.

I love eating buttercream but…

I’ve never particularly loved doing buttercream cakes, although it technically should be easier.  YouTube videos have played such a big role in my decorating that it’s crazy and I’ve tried every technique you can throw at me. Mine still come out looking like a 5-year-old decorated them but by God’s grace alone I am getting better. Not for this cake though. However, in the end, it turned out lovely.

Let’s just forget that I:

  • put the buttercream on 3 times total,
  • scraped it off twice,
  • made chocolate ganache that didn’t turn out
  • and finally said “Foot on it” and made fondant at 2 in the morning.

 

This was for my sister-in-law’s mother for her birthday. 4-dozen cupcakes in various flavors were made to go along. Look below for a delicious carrot cake recipe that I adapted from another baker at Gimme Some Oven. I loovvveee this website, she has so many yummy recipes.

First of all, I needed one that didn’t include pineapple and coconut, as I believe a carrot cake should be just that – a carrot cake. 

Furthermore, it had to be a carrot cake that didn’t have a lot of extra spices in it…  Carrot cake may be a spice cake of sorts but I didn’t want it to have cloves and all that nonsense covering up the beautiful cinnamon notes that should ring out right beside the carrot. This one is awesome because it has just the right amount of cinnamon and a little nutmeg besides.

And Finally!

Here is the recipe as I made it. I needed something that was moist but, most of all, wouldn’t fall apart when I tried to stack it – this one was perfect! I’ve included my stand-by frosting recipe, not the one I used on this cake, for obvious reasons. Nobody wants to frost a cake 3 times.

 

Carrot Cake
A deliciously moist, yet sturdy carrot cake.
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For Cake
  1. 1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 7 eggs
  5. 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  6. 3 1/4 cups flour
  7. 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  8. 2 tsp. baking soda
  9. 2 tsp. salt
  10. 1 tsp. baking powder
  11. 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  12. 1 lb. finely-grated fresh carrots
  13. (optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts and/or 1/2 cup raisins)
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. 1 8-oz box of cream cheese
  2. 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
  3. 1 tsp. vanilla
  4. 1/4 tsp. salt
  5. 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (use more for thicker frosting)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Or alternately, you can use two 9-inch round baking pans.
  3. Spread nuts on a large baking sheet and put in the oven for about 5 minutes. You should be able to smell a toasty smell when they are done.
  4. In the bowl of a large stand mixer, mix together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and mix until smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg) until combined. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the mixing bowl, and beat on medium-speed until just combined, scraping down the pan at least once to be sure that everything is well mixed. Then fold in the grated carrots by hand, and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.
  6. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Then bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove pans and let them cool on a wire rack until the cakes reach room temperature. Remove them and use a large knife or a cake leveler to level off the domed tops of the cakes so that they are level and even.
  7. Layer the cakes with the cream cheese frosting, and then frost the outside of the cake as you desire. Serve that day or store, covered, for up to 4 days.
  8. Enjoy!!
Laughter & Curls http://laughterandcurls.com/
 How do you like YOUR carrot cake? Personally, I also don’t like nuts in mine (I’m probably a purist, ha!) but this was a special request.  If you try this one, let me know in the comments how it turned out!!
 

Much Love,
Esmeralda Daphne

— JKMayfield

www.8 tipsforjob.com

5 ways to make your day more productive

5 things you should do in the morning to make your day more productive

Who wouldn’t want to be more productive with very little effort?

I know, I know… you are probably thinking that I’m just crazy for thinking you can add 5 MORE things to your already hectic morning. Believe me, I’m not here to put more on you, I’m here to let you know how these things can SAVE. YOUR. DAY!

I’m a mom who works full-time in the rat race. Someday I won’t but today I do. I get up and take care of business before I go and take care of someone else’s business, ya know?? So I really do get it… in fact sometimes I still have a hard time holding it together. At first it did seem like doing these things added to the stress but once I made them a habit, it’s a whole different card game.

First of all… and stick with me here!…. You ARE going to need to get up earlier. NO, NO, NO!!! Please don’t leave because you will find that if you implement these things, your day will go smoother over all and you will be more sane in the long run. And I must add that there will be another post about things you can do at night to make the next morning go more smoothly. This is really the key to  making all of this work. So bare with me and let’s just try it! You don’t have to get it perfectly the first time but, I promise, it will come!

The trick is to get ahead and stay ahead.  These 5 things will help you do that!

We will start out with the simple and eeeaaasssse into the things you think you won’t be able to do… ever.

 1. Make the bed

This seems like a no-brainer to some of you, I get that. But as someone who was used to just getting up and getting ready as quickly as possible, I figured it could wait. For real! You’re just gonna get back in it when you get home so why bother?!

But guess what? The first thing you see when  you walk into your bedroom after a long day at work or running errands or taking the children to the ball game – the unmade bed. If you’re anything like me, the sheets are halfway untucked at the end of the bed so you have to make it back anyway before you can get a good night’s rest in it. So it makes sense to just take a few minutes right when you get up to make that baby back up. It also prevents you from getting back in it after you get out of the shower or whatever. I’m not judging, I’ve actually done it too. 

The best reason to make the bed though, is that when you come in and see a nice, neatly made bed, it provides a sense of calm to your evening. It’s one less thing you have to do in your exhausted state before going to sleep. And it’s easy! 

2. Make sure no dirty dishes are in the sink

Now I know you are really wanting to click on that X button at the top but hear me out. I didn’t say you have to wash dishes. I just said to make sure there are no dirty dishes in the sink. Who in their right mind wants to come home to a load of dirty dishes stacked up in the sink? Certainly not me. When I get up in the mornings, I usually do have a few dishes left from the night before. My husband eats at around 9pm, which is about the time I get in bed to go to sleep. (I’ll tell you how that’s possible in another post). So there are usually a few dishes. I either wash those few things or throw them in the dishwasher, depending on whether the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty or clean. I’m telling you!! I don’t have a lot of free time either! So yes, I do have dirty dishes and sometimes the clean ones stay in the washer for… a while. But if i get the dirty ones out of sight, the scenery is a lot more peaceful to come home to.

Doesn’t THIS, make you feel better…

Than THIS??

3. Put a load of laundry in the washing machine

I know you are sitting there thinking – Whoa! This is just getting out of hand!!

I swear, it’s as easy as carrying the load in the laundry room and putting it in. You don’t have to turn it on or anything. Just throw it in.

The reason for this is because it takes literally NO effort to turn on the washing machine. Or for your husband or child to do it (assuming they are old enough) for you. When you come home after all the other stuff you have to do, that load of laundry is already prepared to go. It’s just one load. ONE. 

It’s even easier if you have one of these sorting baskets like we have. We have a separate basket in the laundry room for towels and washclothes because I like to use this method to wash those. And I don’t like wet washcloths sitting on top of my other clothes either because it leads to mildew and stains and all sorts of nasty stuff that I just can’t tolerate. 

When I get home in the evening, I can just wash that load while I’m focused on something else. If I’m feeling extra feisty, I even put the soap and softener in that morning as well!

4. Sit still and drink a cup of coffee (or tea or water)

If you are thinking, “Duh, Jennifer, this is a time waster, not a time saver” then you would be wrong. Sorry, I call it like I see it. This is a tricky one because when we are short of time, we tend to deny ourselves. 

I’m not saying to drink coffee because of the caffeine (although that’s not a bad idea). I’m saying it because, as moms, workers, humans… we need a little quiet time to sit and plan and sort through the things in our mind and in our day. We need time to reflect. Don’t watch the news or read your social media. Just sit and meditate on the day and calm down before you go crazy! This is important but I bet a lot of you reading won’t think so. But just try it. I bet you’ll like it.

5. Read or write your Scripture for the day

This is the last on the list because it is most difficult and also most important. I don’t know about you but

I can’t go a day without Jesus!

If you don’t know His Word then you don’t really know Him. And if you don’t really know Him, how can you trust Him with all of the thing that happen in your day? To be honest, I usually do combine 4 and 5. That’s because reading or writing Scripture helps me focus on my priorities, which is what I’m trying to do while I’m sitting and drinking my coffee.

So, in my humble opinion, you are allowed to drink coffee (or whatever you drink) while you are completing step 5, which is essential. Am I clear on this?? Good.

In case you are overwhelmed with this…

Take heart, my fellow human. Life is hard and it gets busy. But you can do this!

If you are still with me at this point then Bless Your Heart! 

Whether you have a full-time job outside the home, or you are a WAHM, a SAHM, maybe even a dad… with some practice and patience, you can put these things into practice. No, it won’t happen over night. No, it probably won’t be painless. But it will be ever so worth it. And let’s not forget, none of us are a super hero. If you can’t do everything in a day, then you can’t. It shouldn’t be expected from you or anyone else to push beyond your limits and that is completely ok. Here’s hoping that you give these 5 things a chance and that you eventually find more peace and less chaos.

In this together,
Esmeralda Daphne

— JKMayfield

www.8 tipsforjob.com

7 Characteristic of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

7 Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship

Have you wondered if you may be in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship? So maybe the ideas you had of what marriage is supposed to be is far from what is going on in your home, behind closed doors. While you never expected someone to ride in on a white horse (or any color for that matter), you did expect him to be your protector, your provider, and your friend. Your best friend. 

But OH what a jackhole you are dealing with now!

Things may have started out well. He may have even been charming and made you feel like you could do anything. This is what we call the

1. Bait and switch

Covert emotional abuse rarely shows itself right from the beginning… No… because you would never put up with someone who introduced himself as a lying, foul-mouthed, SOB.

You just wouldn’t.

Instead, he sees you as a vulnerable but bright and classy individual – someone he knows will make him look good! So he puts on his best facade and woos you with his kindness and humor. Or maybe for you, it is his wit and charm or smarts. Whatever… it’s something desirable but far from who he really is. He does it until you are drawn in and think you’ve found someone who will never let anything bad happen to you ever again. And then… when he has you convinced, he sets the hook and reels you in. 

It isn’t long until things start to change drastically. Here are 7 things that may happen in an emotionally abusive relationship.

2. Isolation

7 Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship

This is different for everyone and for some it is to a much further extent. During the baiting phase, the abuser may not isolate you from family and friends. In fact, he may spend time with them, showing his just what a “great guy” he is and how much he cares for you. But gradually, while most outside people don’t even notice, he pulls you away.

  • To the extreme, he may forbid you to work outside the home or be on committees you were on previous to knowing him.
  • If he is more sneaky he will find ways to make it impossible for you to find time for outside activities. For instance, he may claim he’s too tired to look after the children while you go out. Or you may have a gut feeling that you shouldn’t leave the children with him… it just doesn’t feel right.
  • He make is extremely difficult for you to make it to activities that do not (but could) include him by asking you to do spur-of-the-moment errand for him.
  • When friends or family visit, he treats them like crap or his is so rude that it is embarrassing to both you and them. He may even go outside or shut himself in a room to show his deep displeasure that they are there. You never want THAT to happen again so you are hesitant to have anyone over. Ever. Isolation

3. Makes fun of your emotions

7 Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship

In the emotionally abusive relationship, the abuser will make fun of anything you feel. And it doesn’t matter what emotions are – if they don’t line up with what he wants at the moment, you aren’t allowed to have them. 

And you have become pretty darn good at hiding them…

Until you are ready to explode…

But if you do explode, or cry, or laugh, or whatever the case may be, he’ll declare that you are crazy and need to get some kind of medication, which he will then say means you are weak, which means that….. and so on and so on. Any type of emotion means you are

  • Trying to get attention
  • Weak-minded
  • An F’ing Crybaby
  • A Drama Queen

Of course emotions are normal but around him, it’s just best to keep them to yourself.

4. Shows Compassion to Others but Never to You

7 Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship

In the emotionally abusive relationship, this is possibly the worst of all games played by the covert abuser. If you had a terrible day, are sick… get hit by a bus… anything really… it’s your own fault or you probably deserved it. It’s definitely not as bad as you are making it seem. Furthermore, if you are sick or tired, you have to hide it and carry on with your daily tasks as if nothing is wrong. However, if anyone else has a problem, he rushes to the rescue. Especially if someone important is watching him. He does this regularly in front of people that you both know so they will see how compassionate he is. This is to feed his ego and also to ensure that you are discredited if you ever complain that he doesn’t act compassionately toward you. This leaves you wondering what you could possibly be doing wrong that he is so caring to everyone else, but withholds his love from his own significant other.

5. Regularly Dishes out the Silent Treatment

Let’s just pretend that you haven’t learned yet that he is never wrong. 

Or maybe you haven’t learned every single thing that upsets him (which changes from day to day).

So you flippantly comment on how the sky is beautiful and blue. But he knows it is obviously gray (because, after all, he knows everything, you stupid idiot!). And not understanding that gray is such an important color on that particular day, you comment that you are almost certain that the sky is blue. (Since you JUST came in from outside, you remember the vibrant cloudless color was definitely blue).

But whatever… it doesn’t really matter to you and you go on your way. A short time later, you speak to him again and he barely acknowledges that you spoke. Or he may not acknowledge it at all. Or he may even yell out something at you and retreat to the other room. Whatever the case, he doesn’t speak to you again for sometimes hours. Sometimes days. Just depends on what his needs are and what’s on his agenda.

You will come to know how his particular Silent Treatment works. At some point you may be grateful for it. Whatever the case, his shenanigans will leave you flustered and walking on eggshells, trying to avoid annoying him the next time.

6. Belittles the things that you Hold Dear

In the emotionally abusive relationship, the abuser will make sure that you know how negatively he thinks of your life. This could be anything but it is most likely some type of value. He won’t do it obviously, he’ll do it in a way that leaves you unable to respond directly to him without looking crazy. He may be talking loudly on the phone to someone… loud enough for you (and probably even the neighbors) to hear.

He’ll pick that thing that you love and talk negatively about it. It may be something you believe in, such as your religious preference. It could be a family member that you like to hang out with. Maybe it is your profession or some way you contribute to the community. 

He’ll say it with words that are dripping with sarcasm and hate. And if you respond in any way, then he’ll accuse  you of eavesdropping.

7. Unwillingness to discuss ANYthing

7 Characteristics of an emotionally abusive relationship

When you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, you have a surface relationship with few conversations. This is because he knows that there are hidden things that he doesn’t want to come to light.

For instance, he won’t talk about money because he doesn’t want to see how much the bills are and he doesn’t want you to know how much he spends on things that are only for himself. That’s if he even lets you have control of any of the money. But if you insist, he’ll make you out to be a money-hungry gold-digger who doesn’t know how to budget properly. 

You can’t talk about your relationship because you will never be good enough, sane enough, thin enough, talented enough to have a good relationship with anyone – not even him but he somehow puts up with it. He’ll twist it and turn it until you are so confused or angry that you give up the idea of ever talking about your relationship again.

Get Emotionally Abusive Relationship Help

You see, the abuser uses tactics (even more than this list!) to control the person he is with with and every situation that arises. It’s NOT you, even though you may feel like you are going crazy. Please realize that you are not alone! There are many others that share in your feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. There are groups that you can reach out to and counseling programs that are available for those just like you. If you are interested in more info, please send me a message or leave a comment!

 

 

— JKMayfield