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Girlfriends

Girlfriends connects with women about the things that really matter: faith and family, work and relationships. As a writer, speaker, wife and mom, host Danielle Bean (DanielleBean.com) is a voice of encouragement, humor, and practical support for women in all walks of life. Danielle interviews a new guest each week and takes on topics that include fitness, time management, work, emotional health, homemaking, motherhood, marriage, parenting, and practical spirituality. It is in knowing our worth as women that we find joy in family living. Connect with Girlfriends to know your worth and find your joy!
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May 30, 2016

This week we are taking on the perennial topic of screen time and how to manage it. How do you set limits on your kids' consumption of media and digital content online, in games, in social media, in movies, and in music? We share some ideas for:

1. Controlling Time
I talk about ways i have in the past and continue now to control the amount of time my kids spend playing video games and watching TV, etc.

2. Controlling Content
I share that I really like using Safe Eyes for an Internet filter, but there are other options available. I also find that Kids In Mind is a handy tools for screening movies before allowing our kids to watch them. But no system is perfect! We need to be having ongoing conversations with our kids about the media and what our Church teaches about human sexuality and dignity.

3. Talking About It
Prepare yourself for having those important conversations with your kids! Theology of the Body resources are a great tool for parents in having these important conversations (and no, I did not know that my book was listed at the top of this page when I decided to link to it -- funny!).

4. What About You?
We moms need to control our own consumption of media and make smart choices about the kinds of movies we will watch, TV shows, music, and social media. How do you plan to limit your own screen time this summer and fully engage in your family relationships?

INTERVIEW
This week I share a fun conversation I had with Kate Wicker, my hilarious and humble friend who shares from the heart about messes, mayhem, and mother hood, as well as how we talk about our bodies and maintain good health. Kate shares some of her personal challenges and triumphs and the ways in which running and learning to care for her body have been part of her success.

If you would like to leave a review and subscribe on iTunes, I would be so grateful! As always, I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

SUPPORT

Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

Complete show notes and links at DanielleBean.com

May 23, 2016

This week I share five life lessons that I have learned from running that can apply to runners and non-runners alike.

1. You are stronger than you think.
2. Long term goals are the most important.
3. We all have a need for time alone.
4. Planning ahead makes a big difference.
5. Be more grateful.

INTERVIEW
This week I share a fun conversation I had with Mary Lenaberg, who blogs at Passionate Perseverance. Mary shares the good, the bad, and the funny from her perspective as a wife and a mom who is grieving the loss of her disabled daughter Courtney. You will not want to miss hearing about what Mary "shared" with the UPS man. !!!

Mary Lenaberg
Mary's website
Mary on Twitter
Mary on Facebook
Mary on Instagram

FEEDBACK
I share feedback from listener Amy who connected with me on Voxer. She shares about her happy marriage and mentions Alice Von Hildebrand's book again: By Love Refined: Letters to a Young Bride. Thank you, as always, for being here. Your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

SUPPORT

Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

 

Complete show notes and links at DanielleBean.com

May 16, 2016

This week we are talking about marriage again. This time, we are focused on "softening your heart" inside of marriage. What does that mean? Do you find yourself "hardening your heart" inside of marriage? What does that mean and how does it affect your relationship?

First, we discuss the idea of receptivity. Woman are uniquely gifted in being receptive inside of relationships. But do we sometimes reject this gift or deny it? Out of pride or defensiveness, do we sometimes close ourselves off in ways that hurt our marriage?

Next we talk about our habits. What kinds of habits do you have in communication with your spouse? Are they good or bad? Helpful or hurtful? We discuss ways to improve our daily habits to bless our marriages.

Finally, we talk about the idea of having a "Tabor Vision" of your husband. Do you see your man as God sees him or do you define him by his flaws? This concept comes from Alice Von Hildebrand in By Love Refined: Letters to a Young Bride.

INTERVIEW
This week I share a fun conversation I had with Bonnie Engstrom, blogger at A Knotted Life and co-host of The Visitation Project. Bonnie shares the amazing story of her son's miraculous healing at birth and how his story is part of the official cause for the canonization of Venerable Fulton Sheen. She is a beautiful and enthusiastic woman of many talents and you will love getting to know her.

CHALLENGE
This week's challenge is to examine your approach to your marriage in light of "softening your heart" as we talked about. Pick one area where you can improve, and make that change!

SUPPORT

Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

 

May 9, 2016

Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

NOTES
This week we are talking about friendships. We discussed a little bit about the give and take of female friendships back in Episode 12, How to Be a Better Friend, and I heard form many of you asking for more on this topic. This is so important because our female friends can be a wonderful source of support and encouragement for us, but it does take some effort. Some ideas to keep in mind:

Know your personality type. Socialization comes easier to some of us than others. If you are painfully shy, recognize that this is something you will need to work on, and set some reasonable friendship goals. If you are naturally outgoing and at ease in social situations, you might consider that God is calling you to be more of an initiator in your friendships, to balance out the shyness of others.

Pray about it. Many of us say friends are important to us, or that we struggle to find friends, but how many of us bring this topic to prayer? God knows the support you need, he knows your loneliness. Go to him and ask him to help fill the desires of your heart. Trust that he will.

Consider how well you offer and receive help. This is what friendships are made of -- the back and forth of giving and receiving support form one another. But sometimes our pride gets in the way of us graciously receiving the help from others, or our insecurity prevents us from offering real support to others. Give some thought to ways you can improve your approach to both of these -- giving and receiving help.

Maintaining friendships takes time and effort. So once you've made a friend, how do you keep her? Friendships require nurturing. You can't ignore your friend for months because you are "busy" and then expect her to drop everything and pay attention to you when you are ready. It's ok to be busy sometimes, but recognize that if friendships are important to you, they are worth the time and effort it takes to maintain them.

Let me know your thoughts on friendship. I would love to hear your stories, struggles, and triumphs with female friendship in your life.

INTERVIEW
This week I share a fun conversation I had with Marybeth Hicks, author, speaker, columnist, and radio host. She and I discuss parenting successes and failures, and how we can raise our kids to be "geeks." I just love everything that Marybeth had to share, with humor and humility, and I know you will too.

SUPPORT

Girlfriends is on Patreon! Find out how you can pledge your support for Girlfriends at Patreon.com/Girlfriends

Complete notes and links at DanielleBean.com

May 2, 2016

This week we take on GOALS! How to set them and how to achievethem! Let's do this!

After a check-in on our previous topic of 3Do-able Health Goals for 2016, I recommend the following waysto approach setting and achieving goals:

1) Pray! It is so important to approach life'sbig decisions and goals prayerfully. Spend some time asking Godwhat he thinks you should be doing to grow in holiness each day andthen set your life goals accordingly.

2) Write down your goals. Somehow, goals becomemore real when we dare to write them down. this forces us toorganize our thoughts and be more precise with our hopes and dreamsthen just "Maybe someday ..." kind of wish-making.

3) Share them with someone. This step boothholds you accountable and gains you a partner in achieving yourgoals. Friends, family, kids, husbands can all support andencourage you if you let them them know what you are hoping toaccomplish.

4) Just do it! It sounds simple and dumb, maybebut sometimes we need a reminder that we can just begin workingtoward our goals. We need to give ourselves permission to beginworking right ow, instead of waiting for the "perfect time" whichnever will come anyway.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic of setting and achievinggoals. What are your goals in health & fitness, homemaking,relationships, work or spirituality? What helps you set goals andkeep on track once you do?

INTERVIEW
This week I share a fun conversation I had with Alicia Hernon, co-host of theMessy Parenting podcast. Alicia, a mom of 10, is a veteran whoshares from the heart about how to take small steps towardimproving your parenting and your marriage. She is a delight totalk to and I just know you will enjoy our conversation. Check outthe Messy Parenting podcast she creates with her husband Mike atMessyParenting.org

CHALLENGE
This week's challenge is to pick one of your goals and then workbackwards to smaller steps it will take to achieve it. Get it downto small enough steps that there is some action you can take twoardyour goal today. And then DO IT! Go you!

FEEDBACK
I share feedback from listener Tracy who adds her thoughts to ourrecent discussion on saying no and tells how much she enjoyedhearing from Minnesota Mom, Margaret Berg, recently. Also, thelovely Alice left a review at iTunes this week. If you have thetime, gothere and leave your review/subscribe to the podcast now. Thankyou!

Thank you, as always, for being here. Your encouragement andsupport of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for yourpresence here. God bless your week!

Complete notes and links at DanielleBean.com

Apr 25, 2016

This week we take on the tricky topic of splitting household chores between husband and wife. I share three different thoughts for ways to approach this issue:

1) Evaluate what is important to you, both personally and as a couple.

2) Talk about your priorities and make a plan to tackle the work that needs to be done AS A TEAM. Not me versus you. You are a TEAM and together you can take o anything!

3) Change your attitude. From selfishness toward generosity. Reflect on where those angry resentful thoughts are truly coming from and learn to reject them, first in your own heart, but then in your words and actions.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic and what the split of household duties looks like inside of your marriage. Are you focused on “fairness” and winding up resentful and unhappy? Or are you learning to “let go” and open your heart to the joys has planned for you in your marital relationship when you approach with a generous attitude of self-giving love?

INTERVIEW
This week I share a recent conversation I had with Diana von Glahn from The Faithful Traveler. Diana and her husband David produce a Catholic-themed travel TV show which is both beautiful and inspiring. Diana shares about their work as well as some her personal and professional challenges and triumphs. You will love what she shares!

CHALLENGE
This week’s challenge is to spend some time reflecting on what your thoughts and attitudes are toward household duties, and then spend some time in prayer. Open your heart to really hear what God wants to tell you for the benefit of your marriage.

FEEDBACK
I share feedback from listener Annie who adds her thoughts to our recent discussion on prayer. Also, three lovely ladies left reviews at iTunes this week. If you have the time, go there and leave your review/subscribe to the podcast now. Thank you!

Thank you, as always, for being here. Your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

Apr 18, 2016

This week's show comes to you from the ball field (near the port-a-potty!) and we are talking about saying "no" nicely. Why do we nee this topic? Because so many of us are so very bad at setting boundaries! We talk about some ways to prioritize your commitments and prepare yourself ahead of time so that you don't wind up committing to things you don;t value at the expense of yourself or your family.

We all need this topic! Just thinking things through ahead of time and being ready with a phrase like "Let me think about that and get back to you" or "I love what you are doing, but I just cant commit to participating right now" can be very helpful in the moment when you are tempted to say YES out of guilt or anything less than a real desire to spend your time on that thing.

INTERVIEW
This week I share a recent conversation i had with Minnesota Mom, Margaret Berns, whom I have known and loved online and IRL for many years. Margaret shares the good, the bad, the ugly and is unafraid to take on even the toughest of topics -- depression and sex. You know you need to hear what she has to say!

SHOUT OUT
This week's Girlfriends Shout-out goes to listener Carmen who wrote to share that, despite her hurt feelings and suffering a recent miscarriage, she is making an effort to spend more time alone with her husband in order to improve her marriage. A very inspiring small act of generosity and love during a difficult time. You inspire me, Carmen!

CHALLENGE
This week's challenge is to consider how you feel about saying NO in your life. What could use some work? Plan now for how you are going to say NO the next time you need to and prioritize your personal commitments in a way that lines up with your values.

FEEDBACK
I share feedback from listener Dena who asks for advice about kids owning/sharing toys, and from Erica in Orlando who shares her thoughts about Girlfriends. Thanks so much, ladies!

Thank you, as always, for being here. Your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

Complete notes and links at DanielleBean.com

Apr 11, 2016

This week we are talking about prayer. How has the way you approach prayer changed over your lifetime? How should we respond when it seems that God does not answer our prayers? What is the point of prayer? And what can we do when it feels like God is far away?

INTERVIEW
The inspiration for this topic comes from my interview with author Hallie Lord. Hallie's new book, On The Other Side of Fear, will be out this summer so she shares about that topic, but also about prayer and ways in which she experiences God's presence in her life.

SHOUT OUT
This week's Girlfriends Shout-out goes to listener Jen who wrote to ask for resources for marriage support for couples who are often far away from one another. She has been working on her relationship with her husband who is a truck driver and often is gone for long periods of time. We are proud of you, Jen, for taking those small but important steps toward softening your heart and opening yourself up to growing in love and sacrifice in your marriage. Great job! (And we will do more podcasts on this topic in the future.)

CHALLENGE
This week's challenge is to think about your prayer life. What needs improving? Are you in a rut? Do you need to seek some spiritual advice from a priest or get yourself to confession? Do you need to make greater use of the sacraments? Do you need to make greater efforts toward finding time for daily prayer? Decide what needs improvement, and then commit to making a small step toward that improvement this week.

FEEDBACK
I share feedback from Mary Lenaberg (from Passionate Perseverance) who is suffering from the flu. :( Also, listener Ginny checks in and Sarah Reinhard as well. Thanks so much for your voice feedback. It makes my day!

Thank you, as always, for being here. Your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

Complete show notes and links at DanielleBean.com

Apr 4, 2016

We are talking about ways we can survive -- and even thrive! -- when times are busy. Whether it's during baseball season (like us!) or other busy times, there are some simple ways to make sure you and your family make it through packed calendar days.

Lower your standards.
What can you let go of during a busy time? Homemade meals, housework, or kids' nightly bath times? Now is the time to accept the less-than-perfect in exchange for keeping sane.

Ask for help.
It can be humbling to have to ask for help, but there are people in our lives who can support us and pitch in sometimes, if only we will ask. It can even be mutually beneficial to ask for help from friends and extended family members sometimes. It may not take a village, but it does take many hands and helpers to raise a family!

Take care of yourself (and your relationships).
Sometimes the first thing we let go of when it comes to busy days is the acre we need to give ourselves. Whether it's proper nutrition, rest, or exercise we often put ourselves last when we get crunched for time. But when life gets busy you need to take care of yourself more than ever, so that you will have the strength and stamina to care for others. Also important is to remember to care for our relationships, especially our marriages, because these can get neglected and suffer if we are too busy.

INTERVIEW
In this week's interview I get to chat with Kathryn Whitaker who blogs at Team Whitaker. Kathryn shares beautifully about her triumphs as a mom of a preemie baby. She also discusses the craziness of busy family schedules and shares how her family once "pulled the plug" on EVERYTHING with wonderful results. Kathryn also shares her success with Fr. Michael Gaitley's book, 33 Days to Morning Glory.


This week's Girlfriends Shout-out goes to listener Renee who wrote to ask about handling an unruly 2-year-old at Mass. Hang in there, Renee. You are doing great, and you will get through this! :)


This week's challenge is to think about your family's schedule and discuss your outside commitments as a family. Decide together if the activities you are committed to are really serving your family's needs and priorities. Let me know how it goes for you!

FEEDBACK

I am still looking for questions for a fun new project I am working on related to the podcast. What do you want to know? About my life, my work, my opinions,? Ask me anything! You can leave questions here or email me any time. Thank you! If you have a moment, please fill out this brief form to share your opinion about Girlfriends. Don't be shy! It's anonymous, and your feedback is so helpful to me!

Complete notes and links at DanielleBean.com

Mar 28, 2016

This week, we are talking about ways to improve our marriages. My title is a little wrong because the ways I share for improving your marriage may not necessarily be "easy," but they are simple.

Give up negativity.
Do you tend to have negative interactions and conversations with your husband? It's an easy habit to fall into, but don't be a downer! Look for ways to have positive conversations with your husband and to avoid whining, complaining, and focusing on the bad stuff.

Be active together.
Think of ways that the two of you can share a project together when you have time alone. When we share tasks, common goals bring us together and make feel part of the same "team." Find a simple thing the two of you can work on together in a positive way.

Do more than your share.
Stop keeping score of who does what and what is "fair" with regard to household chores. Give up the idea that everything in marriage is supposed to be 50/50. It never will be and life is not fair! Give yourself the peace of mind and heart that come from letting go of fairness and looking to give generously inside of your relationship.

Use the power of prayer.
Praying with your spouse is a powerful way to grow spiritually and personally inside of your relationship, but even if you and your husband aren't there yet, you can use prayer to improve your marriage by praying FOR your husband daily. Also powerful are the small ways that we can offer up marital sacrifices and inconveniences for the benefit of our relationships. Grow closer to Jesus while praying for your husband and asking for healing in your marriage.

INTERVIEW
In this week's interview I talk with author/blogger Jeannie Ewing who writes and shares from the unique perspective of a mom with two beautiful daughters who have special needs. Jeannie shares from the heart about her experiences as a mom, her writing goals, and ways in which she had grown both personally and professionally over the years.

SHOUT OUT
This week's Girlfriends Shout-out goes to listener Claire who wrote to share about working on being faithful to a daily routine with regard to housework, meals, and caring for kids.

CHALLENGE
This week's challenge is to think about the ways of improving your marriage that we talked bout. pick one that speaks to you especially and focus on it in the coming week. Look for ways to improve your marriage, making one small change, each day this week. Then let me know how you do!

Complete notes and links at DanielleBean.com

Mar 21, 2016

This week, we are talking about the Communion of Saints, the power of friendships, and how to help those we love when they suffer.

Sarah Reinhard shares some touching feedback about how she supports a family member through a time of terrible loss and we talk about small ways to show love, friendship, and support to those who are suffering, even if we can't "fix" every problem they face.

In this week's interview, I talk with Michele Faehnle, co-author of Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina. Michele shares her struggles and triumphs as a mom and as new author, as well as ways she seeks balance between family and work opportunities. She also describes some special ways that you can participate in works of mercy, even if you are a busy woman with many responsibilities.

I also share a Girlfriends shout out, a challenge, and some fun feedback (and helpful!) from listeners. Thank you, as always, for being here. Your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

Complete show notes and links at DanielleBean.com

 

Mar 14, 2016

In this week's abbreviated version of Girlfriends, I share with you notes from my sick bed, as I have been suffering from the FLU this past week, and am still not fully recovered. Along with some silly observations, I do want to remind us all of the importance of praying for those who are chronically ill. Also, it is important to remember the power of "offering up" even our small sufferings and sacrifices, uniting them with the suffering of Jesus, so that they become infinitely worthy in God's eyes, and powerful in our own life.

In this week's interview, we talk with Maria Johnson. Maria shares humbly and beautifully from her experience as a teacher and mom for many years. She is such a voice of peace, empowerment, and wisdom, I just know anxious, young moms are going to cling to her every word. And speaking of words, you don't want to miss the bad one she makes me say, or the "insider" information she shares about her buddy, Pope Francis.

 

Find complete notes and links at DanielleBean.com.

Mar 7, 2016

Complete show notes and links at DanielleBean.com

This week, we are talking about ways to use the power of your words positively. I share three different ideas:

1) Use your words to encourage and affirm.
Words have the power to build others up in encouraging ways. Do we do that often enough? Look for ways to compliment and affirm and encourage others in your home, your family, and even strangers you might meet. The power of positive words can last a lifetime!

2) Use your words to ask for what you want.
Sometimes we don't realize the importance of speaking clearly about what we want and need. We do not have to be whiny or demanding, but directly speaking to loved ones and co-workers about your feelings, wants, and needs is so much more productive than hinting or (worse!) being passive aggressive or gossiping with others about your problems.

3) Use your words to teach and share.
We do this every day with our children, but are there ways you could do a better job sharing your perspective with your family and teaching your kids what it's like to be a wife and/or mom? Additionally, are there ways that you could share the truth with others or stand up for what's right in your family, workplace, or among friends?

In this week's interview, we talk with Simcha Fisher. Simcha shares beautifully, and with her usual sense of humor, about some of the ways she has triumphed in her motherhood and lessons she has learned from writing online.

This week's Girlfriends Shout-out goes to Sarah Reinhard, a past guest here on Girlfriends, who recently accepted a new position as senior marketing specialist at Kennedy Brownrigg Group, a communications company that focuses on the Catholic market. We are so happy for you and wish you the best of luck in your new adventure, Sarah!

This week's challenge is to think about the three ways of using words positively we talked about: to encourage and affirm, to ask for what you want, and to teach and share. Choose one where you think you have room for improvement in your life and and make an effort to step outside of your comfort zone and USE YOUR WORDS!

FEEDBACK
I want to thank listeners MrsShawn and MistyMornings for leaving reviews on iTunes this week. It is so helpful to have those reviews and so encouraging to me as I produce the podcast each week. If you can spare a moment to leave an iTunes review, I would be so grateful. Also, please be sure to rate and subscribe while you are there. It really helps me get the word out about Girlfriends.

I received some negative feedback this past week about the guests on Girlfriends as well as the segment transitions I use to introduce the segments on Girlfriends, and I would love to know what YOU think. If you have a moment, please fill out this brief form to share your opinion about Girlfriends. Don't be shy! It's anonymous, and your feedback is so helpful to me!

Thank you, as always, for being here. Your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

Complete show notes and links at DanielleBean.com

Feb 29, 2016

This week, we are talking about the temptation that exists, inside Catholic circles to discuss topics like breastfeeding, homeschooling, organic eating, etc. as if they are black-and-white Catholic moral issues, as if there is "one right way" to be a "good Catholic family."

Well, HOGWASH!

We need to be careful how we think about and talk about topics that the Church has not given us specific instruction about. When it comes to family life, there is room for a lot of diversity among "good Catholics."

When we judge others or when we buy into the idea that there is only one way, we hurt our relationships and set ourselves up to miss the joy that God intends for us to have in our motherhood. We also need to be careful to examine what our motivations are when we discuss these topics with others. Do we really just want to share something good and positive that works for us? Or is our pride involved? Do we want to prove that we are "right" and that we are "more Catholic" than those who make different choices?

In the end, we will find the most happiness in our vocations if we focus on our own specific calling. Each of us is uniquely called by God to grow closer to him, and that is going to happen in a variety of ways in different people's lives. Focus on your own work!

In this week's interview, I talk wth Katherine Barron of Catholic in a Small Town podcast. Katherine shares beautifully about her own experience of motherhood and some of the lessons she has learned along the way, parenting four boys and co-hosting a podcast with her husband Mac.

This week's Girlfriends Shout-out goes to Melissa Hix who emailed me to share a fun activity her family does to beat the "winter blahs" that we talked about last week. Melissa and her family had a family cooking competition last year, with some kids and parents cooking and other kids doing the judging, and now she is planning to do the same again this year. A super fun and family-friendly way to beat those seasonal blahs this time of year! Way to go, Melissa! Thanks for sharing with all of us. :)

This week's challenge is to think about the kinds of topics we discussed this week -- those hot-button topics -- and challenge an assumption you might be making about other people in your life with regard to those topics. Is there a person in your life you keep at a distance because of something you assume about them, based on their life choices? Or because of a judgment you think they may be making about you? Challenge yourself! Move beyond assumptions and labels and work on developing real relationships with people in your life, even those who make very different choices from you.

Thank you, as always, for being here. Your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

Full show notes and links at DanielleBean.com

Feb 23, 2016

This week, after a Lenten check-in, we are talking about the Winter Blahs that we can all be prone to this time of year. For some easy ways to combat the blahs, boredom, and frustration of late winter, I share the following ideas:

1) Enjoy a guilty pleasure.
Think of something you have enjoyed in the past but maybe don;t make time for anymore, and indulge in it! Make time for a movie marathon, or a book club, or going through old photos, or whatever pleasant thing will switch up your routine and refresh your soul.

2) Go outside.
Getting some fresh air and sunshine will lift your spirits and give you a boost of energy. Find an outdoor activity to engage in with your family or make any excuse to get yourself outdoors, even for just a little bit this week.

3) Clean something you see every day.
So much about the "blahs" we feel this time of year comes from our surroundings, so switch it up! Super-clean and spruce up or decorate a space in your home that you see every day. Give yourself and your family something simple and beautiful to enjoy in your home. Then every time you see it, your mood will get a boost!

4) Take a trip.
If you can afford the cost of a small family trip, go for it! But there are also many things you can do that cost no money at all. Check out activities and places in your community where you and your kids and maybe some friends can see or explore something new to refresh your senses this time of year.

5) Make a mess.
There are many fun things we say no to or avoid because we just don't want to deal with the mess. Well, this time of year, say yes to the mess. Do something or allow your kids to engage in something that takes you a bit out of your "clean" comfort zone. Cooking, baking, crafts, sewing, and play-doh (here's a recipe!) are all great ideas. Make the mess and enjoy the lift in spirit you get from doing something out of the ordinary and fun.

In this week's interview, I talk wth Sarah Vabulas of CatholicDrinkie.com. Sarah shares from the perspective of a young, single woman living, working, sharing, and writing in the Church today. I am so grateful she took the time to share with us on this week's show.

This week's Girlfriends Shout-out goes to Brenna. Audra wrote to tell me about all about her and how awesome she is. Brenna is going through some tough times living with and sharing space with her in-laws while saving money for a house, and her charity and patience really inspire others. Way to go, Brenna! We are so proud of you, and your friend Audra loves you and is grateful for your example in her life. :)

I want to thank listener AMHancock for leaving me reviews on iTunes this week. The reviews help so much and are so encouraging to me! I would love it if you could rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes as well. THANK YOU!

And thank you, as always, for being here. Your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

Complete links and notes at DanielleBean.com

Feb 15, 2016

This week, we are talking about the power of positive thinking. In discussing the ways in which changing our thoughts can change our lives, we look at three main points:

1) Thoughts have consequences.
Thoughts are powerful. The way we allow ourselves to think can affect our emotions, which then in turn can affect our actions, all of which affect our relationships and our levels of happiness and satisfaction in life. But the good news is, we get to control our thoughts. We can make a conscious effort to change negative thoughts into positive ones, and to challenge and think critically about the ways we talk to and about ourselves.

2) Switch to gratitude.
When faced with a challenge, make an effort to look at the situation from the perspective of gratitude. Despite a negative situation, what can you find to be thankful for? Making this simple change can make a huge difference in your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Get grateful!

3) Be bigger than your problems.
When facing a problem, do you tend to feel overwhelmed and helpless? Making a small change toward having a more global perspective can help you see that you are not a victim of your circumstances and that you have more power in your relationships than you might think. Looking at the "big picture" can help you see that it's not always all about you and that sometimes people disappoint us or bad things happen, but it has nothing to do with us. We cannot always control our circumstances, but we have the power to choose how we will respond, even to very negative events.

In this week's interview, I talk wth Allison Gingras, radio talk show host from A Seeking Heart at Breadbox Media. Allison shares some inspiring thoughts about her ministry work, some marriage advice, and some ideas for taking care of ourselves so we can better care for others. Also, you will not want to miss when Allison reveals a secret hidden talent -- a first for Girlfriends!

This week's Girlfriends Shout-out goes to Beth Roche who wrote to share how her family is adjusting to her being home full time after leaving a full time job outside the home. Way to go, Beth! We are proud of you!

This week's challenge is to think about the things we discussed about positive thinking, and to catch yourself either thinking a negative thought or tempted to think a negative thought this week. Intervene in one of the ways we talked about instead, and then let me know how it goes for you. Tell me how you work at using the power of positive thinking in your life.

I want to thank listeners MissyBarry and Squint1978 for leaving me reviews on iTunes this week. The reviews help so much and are so encouraging to me! I would love it if you could rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes as well. THANK YOU!

And thank you, as always, for being here. your encouragement and support of Girlfriends means so much and I am so grateful for your presence here. God bless your week!

More detailed show notes at DanielleBean.com

Feb 8, 2016

This week, we are preparing ourselves for Lent, and so we discuss some creative ideas for ways to add prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during the 40 days between now and Easter.

I really encourage women and families to add small things to their daily routines to set Lent apart from the rest of the liturgical year. To get you started, we share dozens of ideas on the themes of Pray, Fast & Give.

In this week’s interview, we talk with the awesome Sarah Reinhard. Sarah shares some inspiring advice for trusting in God more, and also tells us a hilarious story of something crazy she recently did at a junior high school basketball game. Sarah is always a joy to talk to!

This week’s shout-out goes to Christine. Christine’s friend Georgianne wrote to tell me about how Christine, a single mom, recently completed coursework and became certified to become an elementary school teacher. Christine has worked hard and made many sacrifices to plan a better life for herself and her children. So congratulations, Christine! We are so proud of you!

This week’s challenge is to think about the themes of Praying, Fasting & Giving that we talked about (as well as some of your own) and choose one small thing to try in each of these categories this Lent. Let me know what you choose and keep me posted on how it goes for you!

Thanks SO MUCH to listeners Samjmj, Frustrated basketball fan, Melissajo, Motherswagyolo, and Semper Paratus for reviewing Girlfriends on iTunes this week. I would love it if you would consider doing the same, rating and/or reviewing Girlfriends in iTunes to help me get the word out about this new podcast.

More links and detailed notes at DanielleBean.com

Feb 2, 2016

This week, we are talking about some simple ways to make meal planning easier. Do you plan your meals or fly by the seat of your pants. Do you dread hearing the words "What's for dinner?" at the end of a long and tiring day? This is why you need a plan!

Some of the benefits of meal planning include reducing stress, saving on your grocery budget, making conscious choices about your family's nutritional choices, and having more regular family dinnertimes.

My tips for meal planning are:

1) Commit.
You need to commit to the idea of planning meals ahead of time in order to make it a reality. Planning ahead takes effort in the moment that pays off in the long term. It's worth doing, and you need to make yourself take that first step!

2) Start Small.
It can be overwhelming to try to plan an entire week's worth of dinners, so start smaller than that. Just plan 3-4 meals, or even 2-3 plus one night of leftovers. Once you find success in the small steps, you will be ready to take on more if you want.

3) Get inspired (and make a list!).
Ask your family what they like to eat most, browse your favorite cookbooks or go online and find new recipes you would like to try. Once you are inspired, save the recipes using whatever method works best for you, and then make your list. I like to use Google docs for my lists, but you should explore your options and do what you like best.

4) Just Do It.
Once you've committed and you have a plan, you need to follow through with making your planned meals a reality. Take small steps and build on your success. Remind yourself of your long term goals and make the effort right now in ways that will pay off in the end.

This week's Girlfriends interview is with Rachel Balducci from Testosterhome.net. She and I have a great chat about motherly milestones, insecurity in friendships, and she shares a hilarious story from the set of The Gist on CatholicTV.

The Girlfriends Shout out this week goes to Melanie Klein and her friend Meghan. Meghan helped Melanie get the help she needed for her postpartum depression a year ago. Melanie is grateful for her support and so happy to be doing so well today. Way to go, Girlfriends!

This Girlfriends Challenge this week is to just plan 3 meals for the coming week. Get inspired, make your list, and JUST DO IT! You can do it! We got this. :)

Thanks SO MUCH to listeners Franciscanmom104, Homegirl3000, nneinas, Deadelass, and Gaemarie for reviewing Girlfriends on iTunes this week. I would love it if you would consider doing the same, rating and/or reviewing Girlfriends in iTunes to help me get the word out about this new podcast.

And thanks, as always for listening. I'm so glad you're here! Know your worth, find your joy!

More detailed notes at DanielleBean.com.

Jan 26, 2016

Are you a yelling mom? In this week's episode, we talk about how to handle negative emotions. We all get angry and we all get frustrated sometimes, but the ways in which we express these feelings can have a lasting impact on our families and relationships. Instead of yelling, complaining, whining, and crying, lets discuss positive outlets for negative feelings.

First, it's important to assess your life and get a perspective on whether you have a fallen into a bad habit with regard to expressing negative feelings.

It's also important to look for appropriate ways to vent and have positive outlets for physical, creative, and emotional energy in your life. With proper balance, you can avoid becoming overly frustrated and angry and stop lashing out at others unfairly.

It's also important to talk about what our long-term parenting goals are, and whether or not "yelling" is moving us toward them. As hard as it sometimes is, getting our kids to listen and obey the first time we tell them something is a worthwhile investment of time and energy that pays off in the long term.

This week's interview guest is Karen Edmisten, a mom, wife, author, and convert from atheism. Karen shares some of the beautiful ways that God has touched her life and shaped her motherhood and writing career over the years.

And finally, this week's challenge is to approach the coming week with a greater sense of awareness of the ways that you respond to negative emotions in your life and in your relationships. Pick one time when you are tempted to respond in a hurtful or unhealthy way and replace it with a positive intervention. Go you! We got this!

See more detailed notes and links at DanielleBean.com

Jan 18, 2016

This week we're talking about "Doing it all." Do you do it all? What does that mean? Does anyone really do it? Of course not. But sometimes it feels like we do.

No one can do it all, but many of us busy women are doing MANY things. So many things, sometimes, that we are exhausted. When looking for balance in our daily lives, it is important to consider all the things we do and prioritize our time. Among our many responsibilities -- personal time, prayer time, marriage, parenting, and work -- how can we figure out how much time is reasonable for us to spend on each?

Well, the answer to that question is going to vary from person to person. In this show, I walk you through the thought process of determining how to best balance many responsibilities, using some ideas I got years ago from the book A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot.

We each need to decide how our time ideally should be spent each day, and then comparing our ideals to the ways in which we are really spending (and sometimes wasting!) our time each day. By making a thoughtful, prayerful, intentional plan for the ways we will prioritize our responsibilities, we can not "do it all," but we can do what really matters. With God's help, we can do all the great and wonderful work he is calling us to do each day.

In this week's interview, I talk with Jennifer Willits, the awesome mom, author, radio personality and podcaster. Jennifer shares some touching moments from her family life, as well as some hilarious ones. You won't want to miss her chicken wings "recipe" for success!

Also featuring the "Girlfriends' Shout-Out" and our weekly challenge.

Thanks, as always for listening. I'm so glad you're here! Know your worth, find your joy!

More detailed show notes at DanielleBean.com

Jan 12, 2016

In this week's episode, I share 3 practical, "do-able for anyone" health goals we should all consider setting in 2016:

1) Consciously change or expand your idea of what foods and activities you "enjoy."

2) Limit something that is a bad habit for you. 

3) Try something new. 

We got this!

This week, we also interview author, and radio and TV host Teresa Tomeo (TeresaTomeo.com). Teresa shares some of her journey from secular news media to reverting to her Catholic faith. She also passes on some of her mom Rosie's awesome advice. Don't miss what she has to say!

This week's Girlfriends Shout Out goes to Anna Mitchell of the Son Rose Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio (and EWTN) based in Cincinnati. Anna is an inspiration to women working in the media and balancing excellence in radio with a busy family life. Way to go, Anna!

Finally, this week's challenge is to think about the health goals we shred in this episode, come up with a plan for each one, and then share them with someone. Our goals become real when we say them out loud and share them with other people. So let's hold ourselves ourselves accountable!

Thanks, as always for listening. Know your worth, find your joy!

Read more show notes here.

Jan 10, 2016

In this episode, we take a look at some of the ways in which jealousy and competition hurt our relationships with other women and damage our self-esteem. We are not meant to discern our self worth in comparison to other people, and yet so often we do exactly that. We always lose the comparison games we play with other people inside of our own heads, and yet so often we are tempted to engage in them.

Why do we do this? What are some ways we can overcome jealousy? How can we stop hurting ourselves with competition and make positive efforts to improve our friendships?

This week we also talk with author and founder of CatholicMom.com, Lisa Hendey. Lisa shares with us some of her personal stories and takes part in our lightning round of fun questions so we can get to know her better.

Finally, I give a "Girlfriends Shout Out" to a worthy listener, and I offer you a challenge for the coming week. We got this. Know your worth, find your joy!

Read more show notes here.

Jan 8, 2016

 

In this episode, host Danielle Bean introduces the Girlfriends podcast. Find our more about the schedule and structure of Girlfriends, and learn how to send your feedback so the show can better serve you and meet your needs.

Women have unique gifts and strengths with which we care for the people we love and encourage and affirm one another in our important work as wives, mothers, sisters, and friends. You are meant to be a blessing to the world. Let's learn more abut the ways in which we can build one another up and find joy in our unique capacity for compassion, sensitivity, generosity, and love.

Every woman deserves to know her worth and find her joy!

Read more show notes here.

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