I hope that each of you took a little time out of your busy schedule and relished the five Back-to-Swell Challenges proposed last week.
I hope your walks were long,
your to-do list is now a little shorter,
and that you enjoyed a dinner either made ahead, or made by someone else.
I hope your bath was relaxing,
and that whatever you chose to do for yourself on Friday brought you a smile.
Congratulations to the two back-to-swell challenge winners last week, Ally D. and Leslie T., who took the challenge to pencil in exercise daily, and motivated their friends to prioritize it alongside them. We have one more week of challenges to relish before we head into Thanksgiving.
With the tragedies in Paris so fresh, all of the moms I have spoken with this weekend feel this heavy sense of, "why?". It seems important to fill this week ahead with something we can control-- kindness, both to ourselves, and those around us. So, with that in mind, here are the challenges for the week ahead:
Monday, Challenge #11 - Plan a family dinner. In the same vein of penciling in walks last week, look at the week ahead and find at least one night when you can gather as a family. The power of family dinners should not be underestimated.
Tuesday, Challenge #12 - Prepare for the feast. Plan now, so that you can be present and relaxed next week. No one wants a stressed out mom. Here is how I have prepped and enjoyed the feast in year's past.
Wednesday, Challenge #13 - Make a big pot of soup, and share some with another family. Soups are easy to make in bulk, and have the power to nourish. Imagine how excited you would be to receive a container of homemade soup.... Here are a few of my favorite easy soup recipes if you're looking for inspiration:
- Beans and Greens
- Curried Lentil with Butternut Squash
- Chimichurri Rice and Bean Soup
- Farro-Chickpea Chorizo Soup
- Homemade Bone Broth
- Three Bean Pumpkin Chili
Thursday, Challenge #14 - Spend an hour organizing one area of your home and help some in need. I will leave the area that needs attention and the receiving donor up to you, but I am planning on doubling up on two areas and recipients:
- Going through our closets and gathering warm clothing my children have outgrown, or that my husband and I don't wear often, to give to Person to Person, a local agency that helps families with limited resources, and/or who are going through a rough patch.
- Organizing our pantry and gathering up staples that my children can bring to the food drive at their school.
Friday, Challenge #15 - Make a plan to meet a friend for a walk or coffee/tea, and share a copy of a book you've recently read and enjoyed. Look on your bookshelf for a book that's uplifted you, or inspired you, and pass it along to a friend who would enjoy it.
I look forward to hearing about how you tackle this week's five challenges-- including the soups you make, the areas you tidy, the people you help, and the books you pass along. To be a part of the drawing for this final week's "birthday presents", you may leave comments on the daily Facebook challenge post, or tag @swellmom and use the #backtoswell hashtag on Instagram.