Backyard Bliss

at_the_topWe both enjoy our work so we tend to work a lot. We feel fortunate that we get to work side-by-side. However, just because we’re physically near someone, it doesn’t mean you’re really “together.” So this past weekend, we took our own advice and had some bigg down time.



marylynn I love garage sales because there are so many great bargains! So George drove, and I dragged him all over hitting garage sales.


georgeAnd thanks to Mary-Lynn, we followed that up with … yet more shopping.



We have these gorgeous, bigg, old trees on our lot, but that means there are a lot of limbs down after every storm. We had a fellow who mowed our yard and hauled the limbs away. But he had knee surgery this spring, and the gentleman who mows it now doesn’t do that.


marylynn That’s right. But here’s the thing … I have a love for fire! So I thought … why not burn these limbs? So we bought a fire pit! But there was something about the fire pit we bought that George really liked.


georgeYeah, I thought it was cool because it’s also a grill. Since I’m a purist, I like to cook with charcoal rather than gas. This way, we can cook on wood, which we get for free, and not spend money on charcoal!


Even hassles don’t create angst

We also bought a chain saw. Now, don’t be alarmed … this chain saw is about the size of a blow dryer! But when we opened the box, there were pieces missing. So back to the store we went. Then we realized it didn’t come with the oil we needed. Back to the store again.

It proved the theory a friend of ours has – no home improvement project is complete until you’ve made at least three trips to the store!

But it was our day off! We weren’t in a rush so we enjoyed the time together in spite of it all.

Backyard bliss

So last Saturday night, we sat around our fire as we listened to music and grilled some hot dogs … and okay, a few marshmallows! It was so relaxing … all on our own back patio.

We had backyard bliss. (Don’t confuse it with the song “Ballroom Blitz”!)

So we caught up by slowing down!

Even if you work with your spouse or significant other – and maybe we should say, especially if you work together – it’s important to have “together time” that’s not associated with work.

We wish we could say that we planned to do this, but we would be lying. We’re good at planning our business and work activities, but sometimes we struggle with planning personal things.

But now that we have our fire pit, it will be easy to walk out the door and relax! Not long ago, we talked about why it’s good to spend time in nature. For many of us, nature is in our own backyard!

So you don’t have to do a lot of planning. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. You don’t even have to go anywhere. Stay at home and have some fun!

marylynn Don't forget the bug spray…that was our 4th trip to the store!



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You may especially enjoy listening to today’s show. We had some fun with sound effects throughout, most which can’t be translated to print!

"We recently saw a study that showed that nature-based recreation in the US has declined about 25% in the last 20 years, after increasing in the 50 years before that."


"So we did our show today in the middle of nature – we camped out! We recorded the show in front of a nice fire while we roasted marshmallows."


Nature comes with benefits

Studies have shown that being outdoors has some incredible health benefits. In fact, even just SEEING the outdoors is beneficial. A little while ago, we saw a study that showed that hospital patients with a window recover much faster from surgery than those without. Isn’t that amazing?

This same study cited numerous sources that showed that spending time outdoors can lower stress and decrease mental fatigue.

Born to be wild

We’ve been talking about the benefits of being outdoors. Now let’s look at what the outdoors can do for one specific group of people – kids.

This same study we mentioned earlier showed that kids who spend more time outside pay attention better and are less demanding. It’s even been shown to reduce symptoms of Attention Deficit – Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

But going back to where we started, Americans are spending less time outdoors. Miracle-Gro, the garden fertilizer company, just conducted a survey. Nearly 70 percent of the parents who responded said their kids spend less time outdoors than they did when they were kids.

"My parents wouldn’t let my sister and me inside until it was dark. They wanted us to run off all that energy!"


"Now I know why Mary-Lynn brought me out here!"


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Give Your Kids the Marshmallow Test

By Bigg Success Staff

Bigg Success with Money


It’s good to get the whole family involved in the family’s finances – especially when times are tough. Get everyone involved in finding ways to save a little money here and there.

To introduce the idea, have a little fun with your kids (depending on their age) by replicating a famous experiment … the Marshmallow Experiment, to be precise. Of course, if they’re old enough, you can just tell them about it – or even better, devise your own test with something they would value.

The test

The Marshmallow Experiment was conducted in the 1960s by Walther Mischel at Stanford University. His researchers gathered a group of four-year olds in a room. A researcher set a marshmallow in front of each kid. The kids were told that the researcher needed to run an errand. If the kid didn’t eat the marshmallow before the researcher got back, the kid would be given a second marshmallow. However, if the kid ate the marshmallow, he or she would not get another one.

The results

Some ate their marshmallow before the researcher even got out of the room! Others had no problem resisting the temptation. Some turned their backs on their marshmallows. Others sang a song or distracted themselves in other ways. One kid reportedly even licked the table around the marshmallow!

The reward for waiting was pretty good – a 100 percent increase in marshmallows! Interestingly enough, ALL the kids expected a second marshmallow – even the kids who ate theirs!

The follow-up

The researchers tracked these kids in the subsequent years. They surveyed their parents and their teachers. They found that, in general, the kids who had been able to resist the marshmallows were better adjusted and more dependable.

They were more competent socially and more self-assertive. They were able to cope with frustration and stress much better. They embraced challenges rather than seeing them as a huge obstacle. They also scored 210 points higher on their SAT exams.


So consider giving your kids your own experiment. Help them understand that sometimes it’s good to resist temptation now so you can have even more tasty treats in the future!

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