prepping for the new year, part 2

December 30, 2015 at 08:32 2 comments

welcome back to the second instalment of my attempt to help you be healthier in 2016, since all  new year’s resolutions point to “being better”. yesterday i shared the apps that i use to bolster my spiritual health.  today we’re looking at the brain!

mental health:

today i’d like to focus on mental health, because i really firmly believe that brains need to be worked out if you want to depend on them for any length of time.   i plan to use my brain for many years to come, so here are some of my favourite ways to pursue that goal.


Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 23.44.52 .pngone of my most-used apps is pinterest.  you probably already use pinterest and didn’t realize that you were working out your brain every time you open the app.  sometimes if i’m having a difficult time waking up (hahaha… “sometimes”…) i’ll open pinterest and scroll through the popular posts.  it just takes one picture of a  cleverly constructed toy to get the wheels turning and my brain stimulated.  i switch from passively staring at my phone, to wanting to DO ACTUALLY SOMETHING.  and that, friends, is what happens when the brain is working.  i get that toy-making may not be your ideal stimulus, but SOMETHING is, and that something is on pinterest.  creative spark, people.


Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 23.46.56 .pngi love duolingo!  bonus for my non-iFriends (who are probably not reading anymore by this point): duolingo doesn’t require an app. you can learn for free directly from their website.  the app is also free, and really convenient to use.  they have so many languages to choose from, that it may even be difficult to pick just one.  you might be quite settled in your english ways, but wouldn’t it be interesting (for the sake of your brain), to learn just the basics of your ancestral language?  check it out, and if you’re competitive like me, the social aspect of the app will be a great motivator as well.


Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 23.53.06 .pngi actually have a “be smart” folder on my phone.  inside i have duolingo, a few dictionaries, and elevate.  the free version of the app is all that i use.  it’s just a few games to stimulate different areas of the brain.  i cringe when it throws math at me, but at the same time i rejoice when i beat my high score in said math department.  you can pay to play more, but i find that playing through the free-allotment is really all that i have time for.


Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 24.10.35 .pngScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 24.07.36 .pngScreen Shot 2015-12-30 at 24.08.00 .pngaudible, overdrive, kindle… i read and/or listen to books on all of these apps.  kindle and audible have paid content, but overdrive is associated with your library card.  each city (around here, anyway) has its own online library that is yours to access from the comfort of your home.  best part- no late fees! they just take the book back when your loan period has expired.  i don’t think i need to tell you about the benefits of reading.  if you don’t think that you have time to read, then consider audiobooks as a way to get you through long drives, grocery shopping, or doing dishes. your vocabulary will thank you!


i have so many great games that i play on my phone that trick me into thinking with their clever graphics and catchy background music.  i like word games, derek likes puzzle games; we all like something different.  you may think i’m crazy to suggest playing games on your phone as a way to boost brain activity, but play a few levels of word brain or bicolor and then tell me i’m wrong!

if you have 10 minutes in a waiting room, you can pick up the germy gossip mag on the coffee table, or you can unlock your phone and fire some neurons.  choose the neurons!

i’ll be back later with my final new years resolution post: physical health.  again, i invite you to leave tips on this post– what do you use to keep your brain healthy?

(also, if you’re reading this on facebook, click on the link to go to my site, and you’ll be able to see the graphics that not only make the post look better, but will direct you to where to find each app.  thanks for reading!)

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prepping for the new year, iStyle prepping for the new year, part 3

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my life in pics

3 different types of wool and several froggings later- i finally have my finished star stitch pouch! great pattern by @allaboutami! mistakes aside- i'm happy to have a proper home for my tombows. swipe left to see pics of my creative kids joining me for a crafty afternoon!
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#sushi #butcooked one of the biggest and unexpected blessings of youth ministry, is having former youth kids turn into adults who invest in my own children. so thankful to have the amazing @sarahpowerscyr for a violin teacher.

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