Do You Need an Adult Recess?

Today is Mother’s Day and it is the day where I feel the least amount of mom guilt for sleeping in and saying no to the dishes in the sink. My Facebook feed is full of friends and family sharing their presents from their loved ones while I bask in the steam from my HOT (I know!) coffee.  I was tagged in an article that I am sure you have read about what mom really wants for Mother’s Day  and it speaks the truth, but really why is it that generally speaking Mother’s Day is the only day we feel less mom guilt when we know we need breaks and should take them guilt free?

 

The other day I was struggling. By struggling I mean, I couldn’t stay focused, I had a short fuse, and as far as I could see nothing was going to go right in the day. Nothing was done on my “To Do List”; instead it seemed to keep growing.

Parents need a breakI have mentioned before, Mom’s Balanced Life is a side hustle. It’s still in the growing stages. I am still working full-time outside of the home. As many busy parents know this adds another factor to the stress of the day. Let me mention we are also in the middle of potty training and anyone who has had to work a full-time job while potty training knows it takes its own toll on a parent’s psyche.

So here I was just about to lose my mind and I thought “I wonder how many other parents feel like this? I am tired of losing my s*** on my family and I am positive they are tired of me losing it” I took a mental note and made a checklist of what was eating at me. Was I hungry? Did I have enough coffee in the day? (I openly admit I a coffee addiction ) Am I communicating to my husband what I need? Are my kids going to die if I really hide in the closet for a minute? These are all legit thoughts that passed through my head.  I finally told my husband I was going to go soak in the tub; took a book, a beer and left my phone out in the living room.

BLISS! Seriously, pure and simple bliss. I spent 45 minutes locked in my bathroom with a steaming hot bath and getting lost in a crazy world that only Terry Goodkind (amazon link) could write. My beer was a tasty stout dark beer called Moose Drool (amazon link) and not looking at a screen or worrying about my Instagram, Pinterest, or email was just the reset I needed.

Besides Mother’s Day do you need an adult recess? Here are some symptoms of life overload and needing to take a step back or throw back an extra glass of wine.

Mom needs a breakYour normal amount of patience is shortened significantly

My temperament isn’t terrible. It could certainly use some fine tuning but that’s another story for another day. I am not talking about if you yell or not. I am talking about when your temperament is considerably different. Did the 5-year-old spill milk and you brought them to tears by your reaction? How about the teenager is asking a million questions and you can’t tolerate the sound of their voice? Maybe your husband is taking a few minutes to play on Facebook and you want to throw his iPhone? Every tiny thing is grading on your mind, life is more unfair than usual.

Any of these sound familiar? These can all indicate you need and must take a minute for yourself. Grab your keys and tell your partner you need 10 minutes to reset. If you are a single parent see if the neighbors or a friend can help you out for a little bit. You do triple the duty those of us in committed relationships so the least we could do is lend a hand when you need it.

You catch yourself hanging out in the car

Coming home from work or the store and you drag your feet to walk into the house. You tell yourself, just a couple more minutes and I will go in. You take a few minutes to play on your phone or just stare out the window, wondering if hiring a maid is realistic and how you can fix your finances to make this come true.

Hanging out in the car alone can actually count as taking a second for yourself. We are busy people; between jobs, kids, marriages, relationships, dreams and when you push yourself to burn the candle at both ends you are setting yourself up for a meltdown. If you are spending a few extra seconds in the car or the bathroom, don’t feel guilty. Take it as a sign you need to cut yourself some slack.

Tension Headaches or Migraines are familiar friendsAdult Recess

Stress-induced headaches are a tale tale sign of needing some self-care or a break from parentville.  Constantly, taking care of adult responsibilities and tiny humans take a toll on a person’s mental capacity causing tenseness in the muscles around your head and jaw to clinch, triggering headaches.

Find a way to relax these muscles; a massage, hot bath or chiropractic treatment can all help ease the pain and allow you some time to your own thoughts.

Headaches according to the Mayo Clinic  is the pain in any region of the head. They can happen on one, both sides and the pain can switch sides throughout a headache. There are varying degrees of pain, from sharp, throbbing or constant dull achiness.

 

Memory lapses

Do you forget where you put your keys? How about looking for your phone while you are talking on it? Short memory lapses like this are another sign that it’s time to recharge your body and mind with a little self-care.

The primary reason the lapes happen is you are on auto pilot. Just going through the motions of day to day life and not being mindful of the world around you. Check out my Pinterest board on Mindfulness for tips on how to practice being more mindful and taking time out for yourself.

Procrastination

For the last two months, I have almost done nothing with the blog. To be totally transparent, I actually have hardly looked at it for over a month until last week.

My full-time job was requiring me to travel more lately, meaning less time with my family. I was feeling guilty and short tempered but I was also putting off items that I really loved and wanted to work on. Then I would get caught up in the cleaning of the house, homework for kids, dinner, and other daily tasks that didn’t need to happen right that second.

Are you finding your passions taking the back burner? The drive for your dream or other important to you items faltering? If you put off too much for you, it can create resentment for the life you are currently living.

Time for adult recess

If you don’t have a self-care routine then these days are likely to happen more often. You are not selfish for needing a few minutes to yourself.  My Pinterest board A Life in Balance is geared toward self-care, finding your own balance and what you can do for yourself.

What is your favorite way to unwind and pamper yourself?

photos are courtesy of pexels.com 

Tackling Baby Weight- update 1

Welcome to my journey in losing my baby weight!

If you are new to this story I suggest reading Tackling My Baby Weight and How to Rock Your Health and Fitness Goals. These two posts are precursors updates with me tackling my baby weight.

An honest note

Let me begin with how difficult the last two weeks have been. This is not a negative Nancy soapbox rant. This is real life and no matter how much we plan life throws curve balls and lemons at you.

We have had a series of winter storms hitting us almost back to back. It hasn’t been as tough as other parts of the country, but it has made commuting difficult and getting outside almost impossible. I had to rethink my exercise routine.  There have also been hormonal fluctuations, you know what I mean ladies. I had a few moments where I wanted to inhale a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups but managed to settle on two.  My mind also decided it was time to jump back into the deep dark hole of depression and I to be frank and honest, I am not completely out of the hole yet. However, I am closer to feeling a little less manic and a little more like me.

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Tackling baby weight after loss

I am laying it all out there folks. I refuse to put on a happy, everything is great and working out perfectly, song and dance for you. We live in a world where everything can (and does) change within moments. I decided to quit fighting the current I was on and attempt to embrace some of the chaos. Instead of letting all the lemons hit me at once I decided to make lemonade and add vodka! 🙂

Exercise routine- random

I haven’t been really focusing on getting a 20 to 30 min workout in. Instead, I have been focusing on getting up more while I am at my desk job, adding random bursts of exercise movements while cooking dinner or letting the dogs out to go potty,  using my giant toddler (weighing in at almost 40 lbs!) as a weight and play time as a work out. All these things actually have been working pretty good. I am less stiff after the desk job and I am able to combine a workout with mommy time! Two birds one stone!

Here are a few of my favorite combinations:

Cooking dinner- 10 reps of squats, 10 leg lifts (each side), 10 back kicks (each side)
Commercials on TV- plank for as long as possible, 10 push ups (currently I am still on my knees for push ups), 10 crunches
Kid bath time- 10 squats, 10 lunges (each side), 10 over head curls, 10 front kicks (each side)

PS- I do this in my hallway while watching kiddo play with toys. I do not tackling baby weight updaterecommend leaving children or doing workouts in the bathroom. 🙂

Goals- adding a yoga sequence to my morning. This is a great way to tone muscles, work on core and get focused for the day!

Diet

I did pretty good with my combine Whole30 and paleo routine……. for about a week. I failed to take my own advice; I didn’t plan. I was not following any sort of routine and fell flat on my face a couple of days last week. I was having difficulty with getting my act together. I regrouped and took note of what was going on.  I decided to eat mostly paleo and try for the strict Whole30 in March when I have the ability to go outside on those days when I would rather inhale a bag of cookies.

I am still putting milk in my coffee for now but it’s getting less and less each day. Meal planning has worked out better for lunches and dinners but breakfast is still a struggle. I am trying to find a few of those breakfast in a crock pot recipes that are lower in calories and don’t require a ton of prep. I will keep you posted on what I find!

Regardless of the setbacks and the rough days, I am happy to report I have lost two pounds and I am beginning to see my energy come back. Depression, while making life changes isn’t easy. If you are trying to make healthy changes and still struggle with the negative (i call mine “mean girls”) voices, take a look at where you can cut yourself some slack. Remember you are not a failure. You are great and you are capable.  These are two things I make sure to tell myself when I feel like I am slipping down that slope. We got this!!

I will continue to post every couple of weeks about this journey. It’s helping me be accountable and hopefully helping you find some peace in your own weight loss tale.

Week 3 Goals- Lose 7 lbs in the next four weeks. (seems small but I am juggling a lot, so I won’t make big goals when I am making lifestyle changes), continue to fit in random workouts through out the day, add in two walks a week, up my vegetable intake to 5 servings a day and to allow myself a judgement free zone in my headtackling baby weight plan

What seems to keep you from your weight loss or healthy goals? How can I help you?

How to ROCK Your Health & Fitness Goals!

*This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure page for more information

On my welcome page I explain I am a Certified Health Coach from the American Council of Exercise.  I also have a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Psychology. It’s a tad bit insane,  with all this education I have jammed into my brain, I haven’t done a better job honing in my own health.  I finally had an ah ha moment and told myself if I can’t do this then how am I supposed to teach others?  In December I gave this ah ha moment a voice and wrote my Tackling the Baby Weight post. Then… nothing from me. No posts no follow up, nothing.  I didn’t acknowledge my absence regarding this post until now.

I made a rookie mistake, I committed (quite vocally) to a weight loss program that wasn’t a program! It was a bunch of words I put together, attempting to push myself forward. I had no game plan, no end goal, no stepping goals, and no support. Plus, for me to even think I should take all this on right before the holidays!? I was out of my damn mind.

First things first, I apologize. I should have been more vocal about my non-commitment and about why I left that post just hanging in limbo. I apologize for me turning into every. single. New. Year’s. cliché…. Follow me down the rabbit hole of my (for real) getting healthy and fit journey.

How to rock your health and fitness goals

Back to basics

There are several ways to achieve your health and fitness goals, but these are the basics. To create a solid foundation, you need the basics. If you have taken a breather from fitness or maybe you want to eat better or possibly run a half marathon. All the steps laid out will help you achieve your goals. These will help ME achieve my goals too! Stick around; I will post my personal goals for the year. These are to keep me accountable and on the right road to health.

Choose a Meal Plan

I hate diets. I actually never dieted until a few months before my wedding.  This was before my Health Coach certification. I didn’t’ do as thorough of a research job as I should have. I chose the 17 Day Diet. I ended up losing about 25 lbs. However, by the end of the year I had gained half of that back. Following two pregnancies, it’s all back and then some.  The 17 Day Diet is not one I would recommend for long term weight loss. If there happens to be a small amount left to lose, hit a plateu and you have a firm foundation of health and workouts, then the potential for a short term plan will work.

In August of 2016 I took on the Whole30 challenge.  I loved the program, it’s tough and it’s not meant to be a long term program either. The purpose is to make you more mindful of what you are putting in your body and how you react to certain food groups. I needed to reset my sugar cravings and get a better handle on my eating habits. It is NOT a weight loss plan, but a bonus “side effect” of the program is weight loss. During my challenge, I lost a total of 8.7 pounds and 10 inches total.  I am sad to report that I didn’t follow the exit plan as laid out by the Whole30 book, I didn’t have the full Whole30 experience.  Since then, I have gained the weight back; hence the new health goals for 2017.  My choice combo for this round is a paleo based eating plan while incorporating certain rules from Whole30, including no dairy, beans, corn, or legumes. These plans require an abundance of vegetables, protein, and fat (good kind!).  The premise of both is more real food, less from a box and much less with added sugars along with other additives. Our bodies were designed to process food from its natural sources, not from packages or machine made.

Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound.  The acronym is used for goal setting in general and is an incredible outline for personal and business goals.  In 2015 the top two New Year’s resolutions polled by Nielsen.com was 1) stay fit and healthy and 2) lose weight. Together these two goals totaled up 69% of the resolutions. The problem with these resolutions and why so many people give up? They don’t follow the SMART goals guidelines.

Specific

When setting any goal it’s important to be as exact as possible while outlining your objectives, but it’s even more important for health and fitness goals.  Turn “I want to be healthier” into “I want to play with my kids and not get winded”, “I want to break my sugar addiction”, and “I want to participate in a Cross Fit competition”. See how they have a focusing point?  Right now if you “want to eat better” make it specific, cut sugar out or add extra protein in.  Being precise aids you to have more of a real grasp on the goal rather than it being a fleeting thought.

Measurable

Measurable goals keep you on track for success. The how you will be assessing your aspirations is just as important as the actual measurement. If you are increasing the number of servings of vegetables eat day; will you keep a daily food journal, use a food tracker app, or hope for the best? I don’t recommend just hoping for the best. 🙂  Weight loss goals should require more than just a scale for keeping track of achievements. The scale doesn’t do an accurate job on its own for being a reliable tool. Water weight and hormones can throw off the scale by up to three pounds.  I will be using measurements coupled with the scale.  Looking to gain muscle? Having body fat percentages would be a great way to assess your progress.

Achievable

This is probably the toughest part of goal setting. We want to dream big and I highly recommend reaching for the stars. However, make sure your goals are obtainable. Stepping goals (not an official name 🙂 )  are the small goals leading up to the big end goal.  Should someone have 100 pounds to lose and loses 15 pounds a month, those pounds lost will add up to the final 100 pounds lost. We all know 100 pounds can’t be lost all at once.  Having these small goals give you the wins. Keeping you from setting yourself up for major disappointments and therefore giving up. You take one small success at a time and continue moving forward.

Relevant

This is the second toughest step. Relevance, this goal means more to you than what you will be sacrificing. It is the intrinsic motivation which pushes you ahead.  I am not a morning person; I finally gave up working out in the early morning because as much as I wanted to lose weight but when that alarm rang at 4 am, I simply couldn’t get up. It didn’t mean enough to me to get up and out of bed. I have accepted the fact I don’t want to sacrifice my mornings. I have made my adjustments and created a workout time after I get home from work before dinner needs to get going.  I don’t become resentful to my goals and I can continue sleeping during my early mornings. 🙂

Time Bound

There needs to be an ending to your story.   This is the final supporting key to the S.M.A.R.T Goals Guidelines.   The ending has to be set for you to begin. If you know you want to be able to run that half marathon in the fall then you have a reason to start training.

yoga gear

 

Get moving

*Make sure any exercise is within your physical ability and if needed please see a medical professional for medical clearance.

The risk of chronic diseases is significantly reduced in individuals who get 30-60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity a day. If you are just starting out, begin with small increments of 20 to 30 minute at an intermediate level. If you have been working out regularly, make sure to shake up your routine.  Getting moving is more than adding 60 min workouts each day.   You have to alternate your entire physical routine; going to the spin class doesn’t warrant eating junk food and still sitting most of the day. Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the amount of energy burned just to keep your body functioning. The majority of your calories (think upwards of 70%) are burned just keeping you alive! Working out is definitely a good start; be sure to add other forms of physical activity. Working a job where you are sedentary, adding short walks from 5-10 minutes every hour will add up! Taking the stairs, parking farther from entrances, yard work etc. Even cooking and cleaning burn calories! Meal prepping and extra cooking, since you’re eating out less, creates more dishes; three birds one stone!  This is a helpful article for incorporating more exercise into your daily life.how to rock your health and fitness goals

Gym memberships run specials most during the beginning of the year. Daily Burn is online fitness workout streaming, Betty Rocker creates her own amazing workouts and has so many tools for eating better.  As always Amazon has a selection of terrific workout at home videos, everything from the expensive Insanity Base Kit, Jillian Michaels’ Body Shred to a more pocket-friendly Total Body Tone and everything in between.

Know your boundaries

Also known as, plan for obstacles. This is not to say planning for failure, Plan for curve balls. Ask yourself (be bluntly honest!) How will you handle National Donut Day at the office? Dinner out with a client? Girls/Guys night out for pizza and beer? First, do not hide from social situation.  Hiding can lead to resentment and more likely to drive you off your ledge. Plan! Most dining establishments have online menus to assist with planning. Check out ingredients of items before your dining out event. Ask yourself if one beer or one glass of wine is permitted on your new meal plan. Talk to people who can offer support for your new health goals. They may be very respectful and be inspired by your own journey!

 

Don’t give up!

You started on this health voyage for a reason, don’t let a slip up prevent you from continuing. Jillian Michaels said it best “Try not to say ‘I’m a failure’, instead ask ‘what can I do better?’ ‘What did I do wrong?’ then re-approach”.  One cookie doesn’t derail your entire eating plan. A package of cookies each week? Take a good look at what needs to be adjusted in order to avoid temptation or stress eating triggers.

Most of all, don’t give up if there is a set back. Reset, re-evaluate, and move forward. You got this!

I have an awesome Pinterest board full of health information, everything from exercises for post pregnancy belly, to arms, legs, and of course eating well. Check it out and follow me!  Check out these amazing resources from Stupid Easy Paleo and the Whole30 website.

TMI Time. 🙂 Well not really TMI but we are getting personal. Here are my personal health and wellness goals. 1) Lose 40 pounds by October. 2) Lose 25 of those pounds by June (for my birthday!) 3) Walk every hour at my office 4) Four workouts a week 5) Less processed foods-follow meal plans and form new food habits.There they are!

You have a cheerleader, because hey I am on this journey too! I will post every other week regarding meals, what’s working, what been tough, and updates on my goals.

Let’s do this! What are your health, fitness, or wellness goals for this year?

 

 

5 Life Lessons from my Toddler

5-lessons-from-a-toddler*this post contains affiliate links, see disclosure for details

 

My little man is 2.5 years old. He is about the size of an average 4-year-old. He is currently growing out of his 3 T clothes faster than I had ever imagined. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by his size. I am a tall momma, 5 foot 9 to be exact and daddy is 6 foot 3, so we created a small giant with our gene combination. He is the sweetest thing in the world and my father has so graciously nicknamed him the tornado. But this last year he has taught me so many things.

After losing our other son last year I wasn’t sure how I was going to get up every day. There were moments when I just wanted to crawl into a dark hole and even just a few weeks ago I still wanted to do that. If it hadn’t been for Mr. E and my step son C, I am not sure if I would have found the strength to crawl out of bed.  Toddlers have a way of being difficult. They are stubborn and very emotional tiny humans. Mine is no exception. He is for sure bull headed and he sure as hell knows how to get his way. But this past year he has taught me more than just patience. He has taught me more lessons than I could have ever dreamed. Continue reading 5 Life Lessons from my Toddler

How to Feel Grateful, When Life Feels Hard

How to feel Grateful when life feels hard           I have talked  only a tiny bit about losing my baby boy last year. It is a story I plan on sharing here but I want to make sure I share his story when my heart is as ready as it can be.  His first birthday just passed and with this week being Thanksgiving, it felt like the perfect time to talk about being thankful.  Finding gratitude during a time when it’s REALLY difficult to be thankful. It’s hard enough to pull your heart out of the darkness on regular rough days. You know the ones where you put your keys in the wrong place and can’t find your shoes. But the days when life really seems to be throwing you a million curve balls, those are the days are when being grateful can really help pull you up. Continue reading How to Feel Grateful, When Life Feels Hard

How Writing Can be Theraputic

It’s early in my blogging relationship and I wanted to write for a purpose. I wanted to get all the voices in my head out and give them a place to feel at home. This blog is the one of the best places for it. For as long as I can remember I have loved the art of writing. I wrote songs when I was first able to form sentences, later I realized I had ZERO talent generating a song that was lyrically sound. Later, I began toying with poems and when I get more comfortable here I may share some here. My high school career began and writing projects became a little more in depth. That’s when I was thrown to the wolves. My papers were torn to apart regarding grammar and flow.  My senior year I dropped my creative writing class because I didn’t want to suffer through more criticism.   Continue reading How Writing Can be Theraputic

How to Handle Being Overwhelmed

As noted in my post last week , I was over the whole being an adult thing. Yup, this mom basically gave up on fulfilling her “chore” list and took a night off. I didn’t do anything glamorous or even venture out of my own house. This lead into a week where we were put into several situations that caused me to be super overwhelmed. So I did some digging around andoverwhelmed and how to handle found a couple of sources I liked for noting what happens to you when you are overwhelmed and how to handle it. I will insert a few of my own tips and tricks for you as well. Continue reading How to Handle Being Overwhelmed

No AdultingToday

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This post originally was going to be about finding your personal balance. Balance is unique to each person. Including (but certainly not limited too) how to add that workout to your day, being more diligent with meditation or tackling that pile of laundry in a more “efficient” way.

To be honest, I didn’t feel like adulting. I didn’t feel like I wanted to get up to even make my kids breakfast or situating the dogs before taking off for my full-time in an office.

So here we are, me hosting a blog on “balancing” out life and finding out what works for you and not writing about it. In my welcome post, I said I wasn’t going to sugar coat it here and I am not going to preach perfection on this site. Perfection is a player in the insecurities we face as women, moms, wives, etc. We are BLASTED with images, documents, movies, and anything else that is aimed to trick our brains into making us believe we aren’t enough.

Summer

I felt like a failure, not feeling the writing bug. Not pushing myself for the dream of being able to have a creative outlet.  All these and various other you suck phrases repeated themselves in my head determined to force me to throw in the towel.

While I wasn’t in the mood to really do major research or actually write at all, I still chose to find my voice. I found a tiny bit of inspiration from this quote “Art is, for me, the process of trying to wake up the soul. Because we live in an industrialized, fast-paced world that prefers that the soul remains asleep.” – Bill Viola. I must share my art, even if it’s just the ramblings of a tired cranky mother.  I had to grab this  “I don’t wanna” attitude for more than pouting.

 

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I rationalized if I am having these thoughts running through my head, then maybe you are too. We really do live in a world where the world prefers us to remain on auto pilot.   Our days are more hectic than they were just 30 years ago.  With the advancement of technology, our lives have been pushed to being burned out and overstimulated. We as a population are more tired, more stressed, and in many cases overworked.    The majority of the world works on computers, whether in offices or in homes. Phones and tablets are used during down time, to play games, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Our brains are being hit almost all the time, from the moment we wake up (because how many people don’t use their phones as an alarm?) and yes, I realize I look like a hypocrite being someone who is an author on a blog; something that requires quite a bit of screen time.  But because we are inundated with a constant stimulus, it can drain us dry. Then when we are using our phones during down time and trying to prop our feet up; we get down on ourselves because “so and so” baked cookies with their little ones and “so and so” traveled with their WHOLE family to Europe for ten days! Then that little whisper in the back of your head you didn’t bake cookies today, you didn’t even cook dinner OR why can’t you look as put together as she is? And the list can go on and on.

No-adulting-moms-balanced-life

Time to mellow out on the negative criticism and to just chill out. It’s okay to take a breath and really just try not to lose it on your noisy kids who are making a bigger mess in the living room or to get irritated that your husband played on his phone while you tried to fold laundry.  It’s okay to put down said laundry and have a glass of wine, while your noisy kids attempt to read you a terrible story about the puppy with the spot. The amount of pressure we put on ourselves is overwhelming and it’s time to give ourselves a break.

For my break, because I knew if I did one more thing for someone else or if I had to deal with a money issue one more time; I was going to go postal on my family.  I did the following: I turned off my phone (OFF not vibrate) for the entire night, I had a beer in the shower (yes, it counts as therapy), locked the door to the bathroom (keep kids out during a shower), and then I read stories to my two-year-old.

Personalized Books

The laundry sat on the floor, the dishes were done by my husband, and we had something out of a box for dinner. But you know what? No one died, no one was in tears and to be honest, I felt like I could be a better mom and wife after just those small things. I was able to focus on the here and now and enjoy the small amount of time I have with my family.

Here is your permission to lean back, unwind and refuse to adult today. The dishes can wait one more day and the laundry can still be worn if it’s not folded. So pour that glass of wine (or two) and tell yourself how much YOU HAVE DONE and how much you rock and how much you really mean to those noisy kids and the husband playing his phone in the corner.

What is your favorite way to “unadult”?   PS- this is not me in the photo below, but I think I might have to try a selfie this way!

 

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Photos courtesy of pexls.com

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