Oklahoma is Awesome 

Check out these amazing hiking trails in Oklahoma! Get outside today! 
https://bestthingsok.com/hiking/

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The Great Outdoors Makes You Healthier

National_Mall_-_walking_path

You’ve heard everybody say  “get some fresh air”, “get your vitamin D”, etc. It is actually true that the great outdoors can prevent illness and aid in the healing of diseases.

According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the closer you live to nature, the healthier you’re likely to be. The study took an objective look at 345,143 Dutch people’s medical records, assessing health status for 24 conditions, including cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological diseases. The records were then correlated with how much green space was located within 1 kilometer and 3 kilometers of a person’s postal code. And what did researchers find? People who lived within 1 kilometer of a park or a wooded area experienced less anxiety and depression than those who lived farther away from green space. – Source

This concept does not have to be complicated, and you don’t have to be super adventurous to enjoy the benefits of nature. Simply walking outside instead of on a treadmill does numerous things for your body. According to Everyday Health walking just one hour a day reduces women’s risk of breast cancer by 14%, reduces osteoarthritis by reducing swelling and inflammation, and reduces Knee injuries by strengthening cartilage. Walking helps in reducing your risk for diabetes by lowering your blood sugar by 24%,  lowers you blood pressure, and cholesterol! Being outside was actually more effective (in some cases) in combating depression  than the leading anti-depressants. This reduces stress which allows your brain chemistry to stay balanced. Walking outside has also shown to decrease brain degeneration, lowering your risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Check out this awesome article published by Age Matters for more details!Before there was technology and healthcare advances, people used sunlight to cure certain types of diseases. In the 1800’s tuberculosis was cured by a process called Heliotherapy. This used sunlight to fight bad bacteria and increase vitamin D. Heliotherapy was used to cure common infections and skin diseases, but when penicillin was discovered in the late 1920’s, heliotherapy was forgotten.

This information is vital when raising children. With technology being such a profound aspect in all of our lives, children need to learn how to disconnect, and go enjoy the great outdoors! It is very important that kids know how to leverage technology and  stay educated/ up to date with it, however being able to go outside and disconnect from a loud world is important as well.  Students that played outside for 30 minutes before school sessions reportedly tested higher than students who didn’t. This study showed that these same children decreased their risk for ADHD and anxiety disorders as well! Kids that play in the dirt and in trees build natural antibodies which aids in the prevention of certain allergies and builds their immune systems. The younger this takes place the healthier they will be as adults. Help your kiddos stay healthy by giving them play time outside!

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks – John Muir

 

*Oklahoma City HOT Spots for 2017*

I was born and Raised in Mustang, Ok just about 15 miles southwest of OKC, Ok. It’s a great place to live, and many underestimate all of what Oklahoma City has to offer. Here are 4 places that make Oklahoma City Great! 

  • Riversport Adventures Parks Adventure awaits at Lake Overholser, Lake Hefner  and Downtown OKC along the Arkansas River. At each park you can experience kayaking, zip lines, white water rapids, & several other thrill rides. With day passes and season passes available you can find something fun for the whole family. Check it out here

    • Arcadia lake and trails In the north Oklahoma metro area in a town called Edmond holds Arcadia Lake. This is home to amazing bike trails, historical Route 66, and the Landmark Round Barn! You can also catch some food and beverages at the world famous POPS off of Route 66! This restaurant has a drink selection of over 700 different soda pops. Some flavors including butter popcorn, and dill pickle are just a couple a flavors you have to choose from. People from all walks of life traveling through can come here to experience one of the great places of OKC.

     

    • Red Rock Canyon State Park- this park is located 1 hour west of Oklahoma City in a town called Hinton. Many adventurers seek out this park for its beautiful scenery, rappelling , and moderate hiking trails! This was home to the Native Americans during their winter camps, and nothing screams Oklahoma Red Dirt louder than Red rock canyon. Click here to book your next stay!

    • Bricktown Water Canal – This amazing water taxi takes you on a guided boat ride throughout the heart of downtown OKC! In this entertainment district you will find fun for the entire family, Including a putt putt course, bowling alley, movie theater, and of course the OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER. This is truly a one of kind treasure to OKC that has been named the  Greatest Rebirth in state history. Click Here to see everything Bricktown has to offer! 

    Oklahoma City is an amazing place  to make memories! Make 2017 your most memorable year yet. 

      #makepositivitylouder
      -Caitie Brown

      Exciting New Things

      With the growth of the Think Outside blog there are some exciting new things in the works! We are developing a Facebook page where you will have better access to daily adventures and video content including Facebook live. I will be interviewing some cool people who have created a great life of adventure and will have some insight on how being adventurous has helped many aspects of their life. In the first 5 weeks we have reached over 63 countries and continue to reach more and more new readers! Thank you to everyone following our journey. Living a passionate life is truly contagious. We can’t wait to take you along for the ride. 

      Let Them Be Wild at Heart • Raising a Good Man 

      Being a mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s also the greatest thing I’ll ever do. The only thing I’ll never get right, and the one thing I will inevitably screw up! With all the uncertainties parenthood gives you, it does give you one certainty you can not ignore. 

      You’re raising the future. 

      You’re raising the future student to a teacher, the future tax payer to America, the future husband to a woman, and God willing, the future father to a child. It’s not an easy task and it can be quite intimidating! Don’t let it stop you from raising a good man. 

      Sometimes as a mom I overthink this process which is mistake # 1! Men don’t think as much as women, it’s proven, go look it up! So when my son does something I’m worried about him doing…. I THINK. I think about what could go wrong, how he could get hurt, what are other people going to think of this, or how this will turn him into a heartless serial killer… STOP ! Yes you need to be safe and use common sense, however, boys need to have reckless freedom that will make them courageous men! Let them be wild at heart. Allow them to dream while they are boys, fight the bad guys, and love their mommas. Don’t stop their imaginations. It’s just dress rehearsal for the real show. A little boy who does this is going to grow into a good man!  I’ve stopped analyzing all the toys he plays with, and I have stopped worrying about him idolizing Darth Vader. Darth Vader has an awesome voice and a cool light saber. If I were a four year old boy that would get my attention too! 

      Men need 3 things in life. 

      1. A battle to fight 

      2. An adventure to live

      3. A beauty to rescue 

      Boys need to climb trees, build fires, shoot guns (with adults supervision of course), and break bones. We are raising the future, and where there are strong men, there are strong marriages, strong families, and strong children. Let them be wild at heart.

      Resources 

      Click here to get your copy of Wild at Heart by John Eldridge 



      Caitie 

      •OKC Riversport Adventure Parks•

      Oklahoma City, Ok just got a lot cooler! Riversport Adventure Parks are now open on the weekends, & the locations include Lake Overholser, Lake Hefner, & Downtown OKC. We traveled to Lake Overholser and paid $29 for all day unlimited kayak, paddle boards, zip lining, rock walls, & bike rentals. With no wait on any of the excursions, our family had the time of our lives!


      Paddling in our kayaks surrounded by the beautiful scenery on a peaceful canal was really amazing! Caidon loved being on the water. We  got to see several turtles, snakes, and ducks while kayaking, and we had complete freedom on our pace and destination. It made a perfect day! After the kayaks, we headed to the rock wall & zip line where several activities were available for the whole family.


      It was great to get outside and try some new and challenging experiences. I loved that Caidon got to see his parents and “MIMI” (grandma) be adventurous. He can’t wait until he is big enough to try all the fun things we did.

       


      Getting to go out and enjoy life is something I take for granted! I’m so blessed I discovered my passion, and even more blessed I get to go & live it. Sharing these moments with my family means the world. Oklahoma City has grown exponentially since I have moved! It’s become one of my favorite places to create lifelong memories with my little boy. To have the Riversport Adventure Park at all 3 city Lakes is really remarkable! For a reasonable price and various packages you are sure to have an adventure of a lifetime! I encourage everyone to go outside and start making memories today. Be sure to go to the Riversport webpage for all the details. Adventure awaits in OKC!

      ❤ Discovering Purpose

      One of the best things in my life is that I have 5 little people who call me Aunt Caitie. It’s a huge blessing in my life. I want to give them joy and wisdom like my aunts have given me! Sharing my passion with these kiddos has been amazing and I hope I can keep doing it as along as I can. From the time they were little till now, we have shared a bond through the great outdoors.


      This past weekend I got to share my passion of hiking and my newest hobby Morel Mushroom hunting! Dressed in their newest hunting apparel and a backpack full of their favorite junk food we hit the trails.


      Greenleaf State Park is beautiful! Just 1 hour SOUTHEAST of Tulsa is the home of a quiet lake and a massive 17 mile hiking trail. With beautiful views of Greenleaf Lake and the Arkansas river, these kids were entertained the whole time. Their imagination took over as they climbed the rocks, played hide & seek, and raced to find the lake! First one to find the mushrooms was the lucky winner of $20. Luckily for me the day was a bust so I got to keep my $20 haha! Seeing Caidon play with his cousins is always a joy. Watching them find animal holes, catch tadpoles and run after frogs is the coolest thing. Hearing my nephew get excited about telling his friends about our adventures puts a smile on my heart. Knowing that these little people are going to carry a memory of me throughout their lives is a great motivator for me to do all the things I’ve ever dreamed of doing. I want them to see me as the awesome aunt who went on crazy adventures and was a fantastic storyteller. I want Caidon to see his mom as courageous and passionate about life. This is why I will take them on as many adventures as I can! Teaching them to love God and his creations is the single most important thing I will teach them. Taking them on these hikes helps them become brave. Climbing the hills, walking through the dirt paths not knowing what’s on the other side is a great lesson in taking risks. In life they are constantly going to question if they are on the right path, but if we teach them faith and create confident decision makers,  life will be more of a fun adventure rather than a survival course.

      Greenleaf state park was a BLAST! Take the family today. I cant wait to take them on our next adventure. My newest nephew just turned 1 so He and I are going to have many years of bonding over a camp fire ahead of us! Companionship is an important element of adventure, and being with people you love is a great way to experience any adventure. My heart is happy knowing I will have an impact as a Mom and an Aunt. Showing them how I lived my passion will help show them how to live theirs. Helping them become self-aware of what they are passionate about will help change our family tree and shift the family dynamic in positive light. When you live your life doing what you love you will inspire people in ways you never thought possible. You are not just an Aunt/Uncle, parent or friend. You are a life changing inspiration waiting to fulfill a God Given purpose! Start discovering your passion and go live your life.

       

      Books That Changed My Life & Inspired the “THINK OUTSIDE” Blog


      I am a BIG fan of books! This surprises me as an adult because I hated reading as a child. I was told throughout my school years that I wasn’t the best reader, and it wasn’t my strong point. I formed a complex and by 9th grade I had lost all confidence on ever being good at it so I just did the bare minimum to get through. Sadly, this is how a lot of kids who struggle with reading in school feel & they carry it throughout their adult years. Some may never pick up a book again after graduating. According the Iris Reading, 72% of Americans read a book last year with the average of those people only reading 4 books over the course of 12 months. Of those 4 books 3 out of them were considered Fiction books and read for entertainment purposes. What this indicates is people are reading, however they aren’t reading to grow & self-educate. They are reading for pleasure. Adults don’t like to be challenged, or change their way of thinking so they stay away from the dreaded “SELF HELP” or “PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT” section and are perfectly content in their way of life. I was like this too, especially since I had such a negative outlook on reading because of my school days. The thought of reading was painful to me.

      Then in 2009 I moved out, had gotten married and realized “I don’t know  S**T about life!” I didn’t  know anything about marriage, finances, eating healthy, or work life! I was scared and realized I needed help. Everyone at my local church were great coaches and had some amazing tools to give me. Tools are great, but if you don’t know how to use them they wont work for you. The most common tool given to me was books. Every response to my questions or concerns sounded something like this; “Have you heard of the this author?” or “Have you read this book?” I knew then that if I wanted my life to be different I had to read. The average millionaire reads an average of 12 NON-FICTION books a year. This is not to say that if you read you will become rich tomorrow, but reading non-fiction books can change your way of thinking, and when you change your way of thinking, new habits take place. New habits create a new you over time in a slow manner. Change is uncomfortable, however its in the changing of myself where happiness shines through. I don’t like to eat healthy, but I like the way I feel after I change my eating habits. I’m happier. I don’t like to exercise, but I feel more energized when I do. I’m happier. I hate waking up at 5 AM but when I do I get more done. I’m happier. I don’t like this discomfort of change at first, but discomfort is only temporary. Push through the discomfort and find your way on a Road Less Traveled. Here are the books that changed my life and inspired this blog! 

      • Crush ITGary Vaynerchuk Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses. You can find it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon
      • Divine Direction – Craig Groeschel Is your life story reflecting the narrative you want others to see? God is dedicated to the wonderful plan he’s laid out for you. The reachable and powerful steps in Divine Direction take you there one step at a time, big, or small. This is available at Amazon & Mardel Books
      • Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey Your step by step guide to financial freedom. This is the book that started our entire journey! Check this one out at Dave Ramey’s Website or Amazon
      • The 4 Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss The 4 Hour Work Week explains what a lifestyle entrepreneur is and why you should want to become one. It teaches you how to “kill” your job and design a life, the 80/20 rule and how it increases productivity, how to replace your dreams with goals, and more. I recommend the Audio Book here or purchase hard copy at Barnes & Noble
      • Folks, This ain’t Normal – Joel Salatin Joel has been featured in the popular documentary Food Inc. In this book Joel recognizes the need for self sustainability and the benefit to working outside to do work that matters! This book influenced my love for the land and respect for our animals! Pick up your copy at Polyface or at of course…. Amazon lol. 

      If it weren’t for books my life wouldn’t be where it is today. My marriage would be over, my finances would be a wreck, being a mom would be next to impossible, and my passion would be undiscovered.  Reading will change your life! By changing one life at a time we can change the world. Literacy is a gift and a powerful tool that every person should be practicing. If you or someone you love is illiterate please see Reading Horizons for information on helping adults read. Change starts with you, then pay it forward. 
      -Caitie 

         

        Oklahoma ROCKS! •Osage Hills State Park

        Today was nothing short of amazing! An Oklahoma must see. We took a day trip to Osage Hills State Park, just 1 hour north of Tulsa in historical Bartlesville,Ok. I had never been to this park and honestly didn’t know what to expect. It completely took me by surprise. As we took to the trail, the serene peacefulness was immediate. Nestled between 2 Hills lays an incredible river, flowing above a rock bed. The peaceful roar played in the background as we sat by the river to eat lunch under the trees. 


        In the midst of this adventure we came across animal tracks in the mud anxiously awaiting our encounter with the wildlife that calls this 1,100 acres home. Then in the brush stood our first encounter. An Armadillo! We took ADDA off her leash and it was off to the races! They both scurried off into the woods until ADDA gave up and lost graciously to the wild monster haha!  ADDA enjoys the hikes and it’s nice to have it be so quiet where she is free to roam! 

        The rock formations add a unique quality to the park. Adding some fun climbing opportunities to your hike and giving younger kiddos a break from just walking. They even formed some awesome 20-30 foot cliffs off the side of the river, making this a hike one to remember. 


        Oklahoma is really a beautiful place! I take for granted that these amazing natural treasures are yet to be discovered by some Oklahomans. Our total hike was 3.5 miles and it took us about 3 hours to complete, including our sit down lunch. With cabin sites, RV hookups, and tent sites available,  this is sure to be a great place to make memories! Spend some of your 2017 at Osage Hills, it’s truly remarkable. Click here to get more info on how you can experience it yourself. Say yes to adventure! 


        -Caitie Brown

        Unexpected Beauty

        God gives you gifts in unexpected times and places! Tonight after lighting a fire and turning on the radio, the Oklahoma sky turned as Spring storms rolled in from the south. People ask me what my favorite thing about Oklahoma is & without hesitation it’s the sunsets.


        I don’t live on an acreage or on a hill. I live in a very typical suburban neighborhood, and this pic above looks like a million bucks. Listening to peaceful music and watching my son play under the trees was perfection. Then God allowed him to play under a rainbow. 


        Even though this night had all of those beautiful elements, the best one was who God allowed me to spend it with. My parents and my husband were here to share it with me! It’s true that you can experience the adventures of a lifetime, but if you have no one to experience it with, it’s not the same. Companionship is one of the best elements of adventure. Even if it’s as simple as a beautiful sunset in your backyard, make it an adventure, and make sure you have people to experience it with. 

        Our life can live on in the memories we create with others. 

        -Caitie Brown

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