All in contributor

CONTRIBUTED // why you should be meditating

It's the start of a new year, a clean slate for self-improvement and the perfect time to finally start doing all the things we swore we would do last year (and likely the year before that too). Most new year's resolutions include becoming healthier, but we tend to focus on food and exercise while neglecting something very important – the health of our mind.

If you haven't meditated before, you're probably a little skeptical. You might think it's just for tree-hugging, kale-loving, free spirits. But would you think the same thing about someone who exercises by going for walks? No, you wouldn't. Meditation should be as common and as natural as going for a walk. And just like walking, meditation helps to clear your mind and it offers a plethora of benefits for your wellbeing.

CONTRIBUTED // how my family of SIX can afford to travel around the world

I always get asked this question: how can you afford to travel with the entire family as often as you do?

The answer: we make traveling together a priority.

Traveling together is more important to us than driving a new car every few years or living in a big house. Those are two of the biggest sacrifices that we've made in order to be able to take our kids with us when we see the world. But, there are lots of little things we do day-to-day that also allow us to save our pennies. It's not magic and there is no perfect solution for all but for us, it's choosing our 'rather factors' over more frivolous items that can add up.

CONTRIBUTED // when you find yourself at the hospital with your kids

I'm writing this as I sit in the hospital with my six-month-old son. We've been here for two days and they've told us we'll be here for a few more. What started as a tiny blister on his finger two weeks ago is now a staph infection that's gotten into his blood, requiring him to receive antibiotics through an IV.

I feel like a horrible mother. How could I have let this happen to him? I've been told by two doctors that there is no way to know exactly when, where or how this happened and to not blame myself, but mom guilt thrives in a situation like this.

you-can't-just-eat-one peanut butter bars

Who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate together? I've definitely been guilty of dipping a spoon in BOTH a jar of Nutella and THEN a jar pf peanut butter. Gulp. No judgement.

Our contributor Jill Hatch is here to share her amazingly delicious recipe for peanut butter bars so you can now make this sweet treat to have at home or for when company shows up. And hopefully, you make them last longer than a day, because I am warning you now, they ARE DEADLY DELICIOUS!

CONTRIBUTED // find direction by figuring out how you feel

I just heard this great quote from Steve Jobs:

You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

In my life, the dots have always made sense looking backwards. But trusting that where you are now, and that this is all happening for a reason that will make sense at some point in the future is a lot harder to get behind, particularly if you're at a crossroads and the path forward is no longer clear to you.

Here's the good news: even if you don't know how or where you are going in your life, there are some things that you can know, and that is how you want to feel in your life. And knowing how you want to feel can be a great starting point in giving your life direction.