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A Day In The Life Of A MamaPreneur

Mamapreneur (n): a mother who is actively balancing her role as mother and as business owner.

Everyone has their own preferred noun to describe their role in life. For some it’s Mom, others Boss, others Woman, others Wife, and yet others Owner. But I prefer to call myself a “Mamapreneur”. For one, I have told my kids that they can’t call me “Mom” until their 10 because I want to retain the little kid Mommy/Mama identity. For another, I am definitely an entrepreneur but in an entire different fashion than the traditional sense of the word. No matter what you call yourself, anyone balancing life and succeeding even in some small part, is someone who is a success.

As we all know, you never know what goes on behind the scenes of someone else’s life. Let’s be honest, some days I don’t even know what’s going on behind the scenes of my own life! So today I wanted to share my little slice of life on a random Thursday. I do this not to highlight how hard I work or the difficulty of balancing my different roles. I share because I want everyone to remember that their life is unique and different from everyone else’s. No one is any better or any worse because they deal with different situations than the other person. And the more that we can embrace the fact that we are all together in this journey of life, handling it as best we can in our own way, the better we can be at being empathetic, understanding, and encouraging of others as they pursue their own version of a successful life.

Tales of a Peanut Day In The Life blog

Read about my whole day on the Alabama Women Bloggers blog!


Health, Personal

Movement Is Self-Care

Redefining Self Care - Tales of a Peanut - Strength CollectiveRedefining Self Care - Tales of a Peanut - Strength Collective

When you think of exercising, what emotions and thoughts begin to surface? Do you feel guilty? Hopeful? Excited? Or does it stress you out to even consider it? In the previous two posts we’ve established that self-care is about more than making ourselves comfortable. It’s about getting ourselves ready to keep going. To keep carrying the responsibilities, meeting the needs, and pouring out as the nurturers and caregivers to our families (and anyone else who has been placed in our path).

So when you think of exercising, is it an adder or a subtractor to your self-care?

Is exercise an adder or a subtractor to your self-care? - @_alisanelson Click To Tweet

Your body has 206 bones that are joined together by muscle and connective tissue. The head of your femur fits snugly in the acetabulum of your pelvis where it glides around giving you 6 different directions of movement. This is astonishing and praiseworthy. And that’s just one joint. You were designed to move — to respond to stimuli, produce force from within yourself, and effect change to your external world.

Self Care - Strength Collective - Tales of a Peanut

Somewhere along the way, this design was distorted. When we consider the link between movement and self-care, we have to address the messages we receive from media and advertising in order to make sense of our current beliefs. Only then can we pivot toward a more biblical approach to the way we treat our bodies and how we use them to interact with our environment.

Based on the products available and the number of times we are bombarded with the message throughout our day, moms are typically in pursuit of their pre-baby body (I’m staring at yet another article in Parents Magazine right now). Exercise and health become a right as we search for that piece of ourselves that feels familiar and a moment to call our own. Mama, these are not bad things. But please, as I write and pray, hear these words and feel the call of freedom: you can be yourself – familiar but new, comfortable but different – without the end result being your pre-baby body. The two are not equivalent. And those women you see who are thriving and thin? Don’t assume the former was born of the latter.

Self-Care - Strength Collective - Tales of a Peanut

Movement has many benefits. The most relevant at the moment is that when we steward our bodies well, all of our systems work together to function as they were designed. Activity induces our energy systems to work more efficiently and creates a ripple effect throughout our physiology. Resulting in fat loss for many. Other results that I’ve come across in my life and the lives of my clients are:

  • increases in energy, self-confidence, and engagement in life;
  • better focus and decision-making throughout the day;
  • better perspective on the body;
  • the establishment of a rhythm to the day; and
  • increase in self-awareness

Pastor Tim Keller says, “The main problem our heart has is not so much desires for bad things, but our over-desires for good things.” How we take care of our bodies is no different. Desiring health, ease of movement, or a slimmer waist are not inherently bad things. But when we step onto the yoga mat, throw on our running shoes, or set up for a deadlift, we are going to be operating out of our beliefs about our bodies and our lives. Is it a gift or a right? Are you a slave to your performance or are you free?

Are you a slave to your athletic performance or are you free? - @_alisanelson Click To Tweet

As important as breathing, our time of intentional movement is an inhale and exhale of Truth. The inhale – a slowing down to savor it and breathe it into every joint and tissue. Rising up in strength coupled with perseverance and hope.

And what about pain? It is the exhale. When the weight feels too heavy or the miles too long, you get to practice the physical manifestations of spiritual principles: Grace and Trust. As light penetrates the corners of your fear and doubt, you breathe out who you are in Christ. More than the number on your scale or on your clothes. A being clothed in the image of God called forth from the dust to bring glory and honor to the one who knit you together. That body that is too spent to go one more round is sustained by a Spirit than never wavers. He will carry you and he will fulfill his work in and through you.

Exhale Self Care - Strength Collective Tales of a Peanut

The work you do will reveal your weakness. And if your physical activity is about feeling ok about yourself and getting the results that make you feel worthy, that weakness will devastate you. Or, could it be that your weakness is grace? Given to push you toward the Spirit? The apostle, Paul, tells us:

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

The way you think about your body and your reaction to weakness and to strength are not isolated events from your identity in Christ. It is also not an area of your life that only brings in ideas of self-discipline and deprivation. Jesus as the Bread of Life and Living Water is for every crevice of who you are and how you spend your time. Let it be Him who fills you and defines your worth. Let it be Him who drives you to keep going.

To begin using your daily movement as another everyday approach to self-care, consider one of the following ideas:

  1. Write down ALL the ways you move your body right now. Then write down all the ways you enjoy moving your body. How can the second list make up more of the first? What is in the first that you honestly really don’t enjoy. (This is where I stopped attempting to be a runner).
  2. Choose something FUN and make it a new goal to either gain a skill or just do it more often. Handstands or tricky balance yoga poses, intramural sports, rollerblading, whatever makes you feel slightly silly but makes you feel that smolder of life in your heart. Giggling and playing around is not just for our daughters. Practice grace (because it is hard to be playful sometimes) and intentionally release any expectations that this has to produce a specific outcome other than pure pleasure.
  3. Invite a friend along as you go for a walk, try out a yoga (or Zumba) class, or hike through your local woods. Anything really, just do it with a friend. These are called active dates – coffee is great but there’s something about moving together that changes the tone of your gathering.
  4. Use that friend to start processing your current view of movement and of your body. That might sound a little scary but one of the necessary steps to changing your mindset is to realize that you aren’t the only one struggling. It’s actually all of us. You might have to make the first move but speaking truth over each other’s pain and insecurity and laying them at the feet of Jesus together brings unity. Love drives out fear – let yourself be loved.

Tales of a Peanut Divider

Free Printable Strength Collective and Tales of a Peanut on Self-care

Just like with Alisa’s last post, if you sign up for The Peanut Post you will receive a pdf printable with worksheets to go along with her posts. These pdf’s include action steps and encouragement to keep you on the right path to a lifetime of self-care. If you are a new subscriber the file will be emailed to you immediately after you sign up. If you are a current subscriber you can either resubscribe with this link to receive the file immediately or it will be delivered in the next issue of The Peanut Post.

As a list maker, I’m excited to print out this week’s worksheet and write down the ways I move now just so that I can then cross off the ones I want to get rid of! Does anyone else do this? What forms of movement are you looking to take on or get rid of this week to take better care of yourself? Tell me in the comments!

Faith, Health, Mommy Advice, Personal

Redefining Self Care :: Living Water

Redefining Self Care - Tales of a Peanut - Strength CollectiveRedefining Self Care - Tales of a Peanut - Strength Collective

I’m here this month to tell you that self-care, like so many other things in life, is a practice. We each have fall back habits that kick into gear when life gets busy and it takes energy to replace those that are detrimental with something more positive. I can’t pretend there is a quick fix. But I can tell you there is hope and a clear path to greater abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your busy day, week, and season. I come to you in humility – admitting that I need this just as much as you do – and pray that together we can grow in the everyday kind of strength that leaves us more capable of blessing those around us and abiding more deeply in our tireless Savior.

Last month I asked you to take stock of your reaction to hunger. Maybe that seemed like a silly question but this practice of checking in with yourself – looking at your emotional state, impulsive behavior, and how a biological event such as hunger affects both – is possibly the most important habit you could have as you take care of yourself.

How many of us have vowed to drink more water throughout the day only to remember when it hits 4pm and all we’ve had is coffee? This happens because we lose touch with ourselves. We get caught up in the worries and the tasks of our environment. For most of us, this has gone on for so long that we aren’t even really sure what that whole water thing is all about. Instead of identifying water as a need, which comes with self-knowledge and long-term thinking, we put it in the “supposed to” category.

Instead of identifying water as a need, we put it in the supposed to category - @_alisanelson Click To Tweet

The beautiful reason to drink water is that our cells need it to survive and carry out their functions. It sustains life and enables the chemical reactions necessary for you to read these words, throw your giggling babe in the air, and emotionally connect with your husband. When we fulfill this basic need for hydration, our bodies get to work the way they were designed.

It’s with this perspective that Jesus as Living Water speaks to our thirsty hearts, producing lush fruit despite the drought of the world around us. In John 4, Jesus approaches a Samaritan woman and through conversation establishes her need for the kind of water that permanently satisfies. She, of course, is tired of going to the well and jumps on board with that idea. We do the same thing right? We hear about this need for our own deep soul contentment and, instead of understanding the kind of help Jesus is talking about, we want five steps to no more nagging kids because that would be so very nice.

John 4-14 Tales of a Peanut Strength Collective

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

We, like the Samaritan woman, are unacquainted with our real needs. We feel a deep longing in the back of our heads and hearts so we go raid the pantry for chocolate. But we who have faith in Christ know it will never satisfy. Contentment requires more than a perfectly constructed moment in time. It requires opening our eyes to the Messiah who has come to show us what life is really all about (John 4:25-26).

We, like the Samaritan woman, are unacquainted with our real needs. - @_alisanelson Click To Tweet

Genuine self-care starts with questioning that hunger that sent you to the pantry or scrolling through social media. What’s really going on here? Where am I at emotionally? Psychologists call this mindfulness.

I call it keeping your brain on.

It’s tempting and automatic to shift into autopilot when the day feels a little too long. But remember how we defined self-care as the things we do to prepare ourselves to keep going? Numbing myself to the frustration and pain of pouring out all I have (and it never being enough) is not going to help me get ready for the next round. So what instead?

Keep Your Brain On Tales of a Peanut Strength Collective
Keep your brain on. Throughout each day, Christ invites us to drink deep as we abide in Him. He asks us to use his strength instead of our own. The fall of man gave us a predilection for doing everything on our own so we need to consciously step aside. Self-care doesn’t need to be a special day with no kids and a really good massage that we look forward to like our life depends upon it. Self-care can be five minutes of stepping outside to just be and check in on your internal environment.

Re-establishing a mind that is present in the moment instead of wandering through the past failures and future maybes allows us to recognize what identity we are operating out of – one that is sustained by Jesus or something else. When we see it, we can once again surrender to the One who is more than capable to deal with everything on our plate and choose to focus on what he has placed in front of us at this very moment. This is how we keep going.

It is possible to bring mindfulness to your entire day. Remember when I talked about practice? We’re going to start small. Taking care of ourselves and moving out of survival mode on a daily basis looks like actively engaging your mind and your heart in your current season. It might sound counterintuitive, but embracing your life as it is will save you so much energy. When you feel tired, overwhelmed, and stretched thin, don’t disengage. Reach directly for the Water that truly satisfies.

When you feel overwhelmed, don't disengage. Reach for the Water that truly satisfies - @_alisanelson Click To Tweet

There are a number of places to start in the pursuit of everyday strength. Being a woman and a mother who thrives no matter what is going on around her – clothed in strength and dignity (Proverbs 31:25) – can begin simply. The key is practice and a lot of grace. Here are a few action steps to get you going:

Wake up before your kids – even if it’s just 5 minutes – to be silent and orient your mind and heart toward Christ.

Set out water each evening to drink first thing when you wake. Use that time to remind yourself of the Living Water, and ask yourself “Do I feel satisfied?” Don’t be afraid of the answer, let it be and work to surrender whatever it is – joy or anxiety – over to Jesus.

Set an alarm for 3-4 times throughout the day (when you are usually relatively free) and take a 2-3 minute internal check. How are you feeling? Where are your thoughts and attentions? What do you need to surrender to Jesus so you can move back into the present?

Use your time while washing the dishes or folding laundry to check in. Breathe deeply and be totally present with your task. Don’t wander to your schedule or that instagram post that bothered you, just look at you and your current state.

Journal for a few minutes before going to sleep – fight the urge to flip through social media or email one last time and instead think through a few basic questions to set you up for the next day:

Where did I feel most satisfied today?

Where did I feel most chaotic? Empty? Dissatisfied with the present?

What thoughts were continually drawing my attention away from my present?

What is one thing I want to do tomorrow because it makes me feel happy and satisfied?

A key is to be observational – not judgmental. Practice giving yourself grace and being vulnerable with yourself. When we are more present, we can face the difficulties and the joys head on, living more fully in each day. It may be a hard season, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be full of satisfaction.

It may be a hard season, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be full of satisfaction - @_alisanelson Click To Tweet


Thank you Alisa for your wisdom! I am definitely going to work on paying more attention to my internal temperature thanks to the questions that you’ve asked in this post!

Self Care Printable Tales of a Peanut Strength Collective

I have assembled a free printable file for download for those who sign up for my newsletter, The Peanut Post, from this post. You can sign up on the form below and you will be sent a link to download the file.

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Family, Personal

A Tribute to Mother’s – My Mom!

A Tribute to Mothers - Tales of a Peanut

I’m going to start this week on to the Mom that I know the most about….mine! Her name is Cindy and she is amazing! She is, of course, the person I want to call when something good happens, I have a question, or when I’m sick. She has always been there for me and has shown me how to sacrificially love day in and day out for the past 31 years. Without her help, support, encouragement, and advice, this motherhood thing would be way too much for me and I know that I would be failing miserably at it. So today I want to share some fun memories about my Mom and why I love her so much.

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You know those birth stories that you hear and you just cringe thinking about the Mom having to go through that. My Mom had one of those with me. Not only was I over three weeks late, but she was in labor for almost two days and signed the papers twice for a c-section without receiving one before I made my appearance. They said I was fixing my hair. To say she gave a lot for me from the beginning is an understatement.

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My Mom was one of those who did everything. Hand smocked beautiful dresses for me to wear? Check. Made me a genie costume one year for Halloween? Check. Went and bought us a dog without my Dad’s approval? Check. She was PTA President, came in to our classes to supplement math and science teaching, fundraised, planned and literally dug a fish pond and a garden in my elementary school courtyard, went on field trips, made my lunch every day until I graduated from high school, was the general contractor when we were building our house in Decatur. You name it, she did it. Those things that no one wants to do (like be a sponsor/chaperone for long choral trips, high school sororities, and more)…she did. Cart us around to numerous practices, rehearsals, youth groups, and more. And throughout it all, she was fun and made time to hang out with us and teach us the important things. You can’t ask for better than that.


It might seem strange to have a picture of her and my Dad in a Mother’s Day tribute post, but I think one of the best things she did as a mother was to show my brother and I that my Dad came first. She made her marriage a top priority and that’s something that I especially treasure now that I’m married. They say that the best thing a Dad can do for his child is to love their Mom but it can also go the other way. She showed me what it means to be a helper to a husband who works hard to provide, to support him at work and at home, to express opinion but still respect him, and to love him well.
Sept 02 Bid Day CG

As you grow older your relationship with your Mom changes and mine was no different. When college started I’m pretty certain that it was a hard adjustment for my Mom. She says that that’s when they started eating in front of the tv because dinner was all of a sudden a quiet affair. But never once did she make me feel bad for branching out and living my life. She was there to cheer me on anytime something happened and made multiple trips to Tuscaloosa to do things like pick me up from my lab to drive me across campus so that I wouldn’t be late for Serious Night during rush, sneak in to town to surprise me when I got inducted into The XXXI, and moved me in and out of residences every year without complaint. We became friends during those years and I’m so thankful for the way that she made that transition so easy for me in a time that can sometimes be fraught with landmines.

And these days she’s still there for me in any way she can be. It helps that we only live half a mile from each other, but she gives advice when the kids are sick, babysits whenever asked, lends me clothes that I then forget to give back (I’m bringing those leather jackets back…I promise!), and generally helps me keep this crazy life of mine together. I am so thankful for the way she loves my husband and kids and how much they love her as well. You’re the best Mom. Happy Mother’s Day!


4 Ways Hart of Dixie Got It Right

I’m going to stray from any type of regular content today because I wanted to write about one of my guilty pleasures: tv watching.

I watched the series finale of Hart of Dixie this week and I was fairly happy with the way the show ended. Over the past four years I’ve enjoyed watching Zoe, Wade, Lavon, Lemon, and everyone else have escapade after escapade in small town Bluebell, Alabama. Being a born and bred Alabamian (albeit from the north of the state not the south) I thought I’d share with you how I think Hart of Dixie got Alabama right.

1. Alabama vs Auburn

Much was made over the course of the series of Lavon’s illustrious football career at The University of Alabama. He even went and played in the NFL. And when AnnaBeth and Lavon date she is terrified to introduce him to her parents because…they’re Auburn fans. The rivalry was accurately depicted in my mind. Allegiances to both teams are born into you and to change sides is tantamount to treason, although it is done with more frequency than you would imagine. And inter-marrying does happen — has in my family in fact — and I tell you, it makes for some very interesting Thanksgiving’s!

2. We help each other

Bluebell often banded together as a town to help each other. They held a lot more town meetings than what really occur, but maybe really small towns still hold them as often. Your neighbors will bring you casseroles when you’re sick or have a new baby or they’ll send their son over to mow your yawn. The babysitter for your kids probably lives down the street. And you know that there are always a handful of people that you can call in a crisis and they’ll drop everything to come and help you out. Surely there are pockets of that everywhere, but that’s a way of life that’s taught from birth in the South.

3. Small towns are just that…small

Forget Kevin Bacon, you can probably connect everyone in my town with less than 7 links. Either their aunt was your cousin’s first grade teacher or that doctor treats my grandmother and is in my supper club. In some way everyone can trace back to a common acquaintance. And the only time you’re not going to see someone you know at Target? The one time you go dressed up, in makeup, and with your hair fixed. The other 99 times that you go in workout clothes sans makeup and with just a quick brush through? You’ll see your doctor, your best friend, your mailman, and your child’s dance teacher.

4. We are civilized

While Zoe Hart was in a bit of a culture shock when she arrived in Alabama due to the lack of Starbucks in Bluebell, for the most part, the show correctly showed that Alabama isn’t the backwoods of the country. We all wear shoes, drive cars, have running water, electricity, paved streets, and even the internet. While yes, some very small towns can lack amenities that big city dwellers would scoff at missing, Alabama as a whole has the same amenities as everywhere else. Some (maybe) surprising facts about Alabama for you: Both Alabama and Auburn rank in the top 125 universities in the country according to US News and World Report (88th and 103rd respectively). Billy Reid has his flagship shop and studio in Florence. We have world renowned Chef’s that call Alabama home. Cases in point: Chris Hastings (Hot and Hot Fish Club), Frank Stitt (Highlands Bar and Grille, Bottega, Chez Fon Fon), and Jimmy Boyce (Cotton Row, Commerce Kitchen, Pan e Vino, Galley and Garden). It’s contested by New Orleans but many claim that Mobile introduced the USA to Mardi Gras. The Alabama Shakespeare Festival is one of the largest in the world. And we have high class shopping in Alabama even if it’s not in the smallest towns. Calypso St. Barth, Tumi, kate spade new york, Michael Kors and others all have stores in Alabama.

And just as a sidenote…there were a few things that they got wrong as well. Citizens don’t typically parade around in full antebellum dress just for the fun of it although there are balls held and tourism groups that still dress as such. Sadly, the race divide is not nearly as picture perfect as portrayed in the show. Residents of the very small towns drive into a bigger one to go to the doctor as there aren’t very many (if any) one and two doctor practices that serve an entire town. And, while our police forces don’t contain the same numbers as those found in New York City, we also have more than one official monitoring our cities.

Overall, I loved Hart of Dixie and am sad that it has ended. It made me appreciate all that we have in Alabama even more. The community, the beautiful landscape, the traditions and heritage all make Alabama a wonderful place to live and I’m so glad that I get to raise my children here.

Did anyone else Hart of Dixie? If so, did the portrayal of Alabama cheer you or annoy you? I’d love to hear!


Charlotte, Family, Hadley, Personal

Papa’s Party

This year’s football season coincided with multiple family birthday’s. Papa’s happened to be on the day of the game with Texas A&M. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed spending it with our family celebrating Papa as well as the Tide.



On the way to our pre-game festivities we stopped in front of the new Alpha Chi house for a picture. This picture just shows two of the three front porticos. It’s gigantic and absolutely gorgeous on the inside and out.



I bought coordinating outfits for the kids back in the summer and had been waiting on it to be cool enough for James’ long pant one piece and Charlotte’s three quarter dress. There was some drama on one of the children’s part getting dressed but I’m so glad I persevered and insisted on the outfits because the pictures turned out beautifully!



Miss Lindsey stopped by to hang out and was so sweet to run around and play with the kids. I am so thankful that we still get to connect occasionally!



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Hadley and I ran home to feed her and then rejoined Charlotte, James, and Jason at the game. It ended up being a wonderful day all the way around!