- Goodbye old friends. It’s not worth holding on to people or things that cause you to feel horrible. Unsupportive people are something that I’ve chosen to let go of. I’ve learned the beauty of focusing on things and people that add value to my life and make me feel great.
- Do what makes you happy. I’ve learned that, for the most part, I have the power to choose what I want to do in life, and what I want to spend my days doing. I don’t find going out to bars and drinking interesting or beneficial to my health—mentally or physically. So I simply just don’t do that. Instead I spend my time making memories with my close friends and family doing things that make me feel great.
- Things change & people change. Last year I had a friend hint at me that I’m ‘different’ or that ‘I’ve changed.’ Although, I don’t think she meant it in a positive way, I’m glad that she pointed it out, because I have changed and I’m happy I have. What would I be like if I didn’t continue growing and changing as a person? As I go through different life experiences, schooling, gain friends, lose friends, I change. I’ve learned so much so far, and I know I have a lot more to learn. I know that I have changed, and I’m sure I will continue doing so.
- Forget the naysayers. After I decided to become vegan again last year (I was vegan for 3 years previously) I had a friend who was adamant about me not being vegan. Instead of supporting my decision to pursue a cruelty free lifestyle, she just said ‘oh, you’ll be back to eating meat in no time.’ Although her unsupportive nature wasn’t surprising (this is the same friend who, when I told her I was engaged, replied with…’why, are you sure you want to be?’) it just made me laugh. People who try to bring you down are just insecure and are probably dealing with things in their personal lives and are projecting their issues on you. If someone tells you that you can’t or shouldn’t do something, just tune their negativity out, and do what feels right to you.
- Take care of yourself. Although I grew up with parents who were always focused on health, I feel like I finally captured the essence of what true health is and why it’s important to take care of yourself. Previously I would eat healthy and exercise to maintain a certain weight or fitness level. Although that’s great, I have also now learned the importance of feeling great. I like to eat healthy and exercise because it makes me feel better. I feel happier and more energetic. I’ve learned to eat the foods I love and find activities that are fun and enjoyable.
- Get regular hair trims. So in the summer of 2014 I made a huge mistake. (That I hope I never do again). I cut my hair short. Normally, this wouldn’t be such an issue, but having curly hair it was. It took me a few months, but after finding a wonderful hairstylist, I began getting trims every 10 weeks. Fast forward not even a year later, my hair has grown past my shoulders (6+ inches) and is super healthy. If you’re trying to grow your hair, don’t buy into the ‘not cutting my hair’ myth. I’m probably going to get a haircut every 10 weeks for the rest of my life. Haha 🙂
- Eat fresh fruits and veggies. There are so many fad diets out there, and at the end of the day you really can’t go wrong with eating nature’s best—fruits and veggies! They have tons of vitamins and minerals & are the ultimate fast food.
- Being financially independent and stable is awesome. The past couple years I’ve been working full time as well as going to school full time. I have to say that, although it has been challenging and exhausting, it has been awesome to be able to live on my own, pay for my own bills, and has been a great learning experience. Growing up comes with challenges and it’s not always easy going through the transition of being independent, but it is so worth it. Through the challenges, I have learned necessary life lessons of budgeting, changed my spending habits, and managed to take care of myself. It’s something that I’m proud of.
- Routine is great. I always thought that the idea of routine would be boring and terrible. In reality, routine isn’t so bad. I like waking up early and having my day planned out. When I get out of my routine, sometimes I feel a bit lost or unproductive. My routine definitely keeps me on track.
- Simple and minimal is key. Having so many possessions and materials can be overwhelming. Growing up I loved getting rid of things. This past couple of years I discovered The Minimalists and have realized that I don't need things to fulfill my life. Life is actually much more simple and easy with less things getting in the way.
- Do what you love every day. With the limited time that we have, I’ve learned that it’s important to make time to do at least one thing that you love each day. It can get tough with a busy work or school schedule, but doing a little bit each day can add up to a lot of happiness.
- It’s okay to not know the answer. Growing up, many issues for me would be black and white, but as I started maturing I would see a lot of grey area for different situations. When I was younger, I always had the answer to things. I thought I knew everything. But, turns out I knew I lot less than I thought. It’s okay to not know. Different experiences shape our perspectives & with time our opinions & thoughts change too. That’s OKAY. It’s okay not to have the answer right now.
- I will always be learning and growing. Throughout my 24 years I have learned a lot. But, it’s not to say that I’ve learned it all. As I continue to grow older & wiser, I realize that I still have so much out there to learn; about people, cultures, lifestyles, professions, and more. I hope that I’ll continue to be eager and willing to learn and grow as a person.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Life is truly too shot to get caught up in constant drama and negativity. Positivite vibes is where it’s at. Having a strong support system makes a huge difference when you’re going through things, need some advice, or just need encouragement. Surrounding yourself with the right people not only makes life a lot more enjoyable, but it creates a positive community you can be a part of.
- You can’t live your life for someone else. There will be people who tell you that you should go into a certain career or you should make a certain amount of money to be happy. In reality you know what’s best for you. It’s nice to get good advice from friends and family, but at the end of the day, they’re not living your life, you are! You need to make your own decisions and take responsibility for them.
- Apologize when you’re wrong. I used to be terrible at apologizing. (Ask my sister, she knows). When we used to get into arguments, I would spend hours, days, and (sometimes) weeks ignoring her and being angry. Many times, it was over very trivial things. Learning to apologize has helped me communicate my feelings and point of view in difficult situations and has helped to diffuse tension and end fighting. It's not worth it to stay mad for a long time. I've find that when I do something wrong, I'd rather apologize and start figuring out ways to solve the problem, than to just hold on to hurt feelings.
- This too shall pass. Even though situations can feel permanent, they’re truly not. When we're going through tough situations, it may feel like we will never get over it, but we will. Time may not heal all wounds completely, but it can ease the pain, fear, worry, sadness we may feel in a certain moment.
- Write about it. There’s something about taking your thoughts, feelings, and worries and writing them down that helps to sort out issues and reduces stress. When I write, I feel like I get a chance to express exactly what I’m thinking and feeling and it helps me gather my thoughts, especially if I have to confront someone or am in a stressful situation. It helps me to clear my mind, and think about how I truly feel.
- Try new things & keep an open mind. Being open to new experiences, people, ideas, cultures, and hobbies can not only increase our knowledge, but cause us to find something new we’re passionate about. Being so close minded, we can miss out on opportunities that come our way. If we can just keep an open mind, we might discover an open door that leads to a new friendship, career, or experience.
- Quality over quantity. When I was younger, I seemed to think that the more things I had, the better it was. More clothes, shoes, food, more things. The reality is that, other than having the basics, things don’t necessarily make you happier in the long term. Since then I’ve realized the importance of investing more in quality than quantity. It’s better to have things that are better quality that last longer, than just more things overall.
- Experiences over material possessions. When I look back at birthdays and holidays, I tend to remember the places we went versus the material gifts I received. My sister and I always talk about how much we enjoyed the fact that our parents took us on vacations to warm exotic locations. We reminisce about our experiences, the places we went to, the people we met, and the new things we tried.
- If I were in their shoes. There’s something about learning to understand another person’s perspective on a situation or issue that can help with dealing with problems in relationships. Our perspective isn’t always right, it’s just our perspective. When we learn to look at multiple point of views, we expand our thinking and increase our ability to relate to and understand others.
- Encourage instead of criticize. After reading How to Win Friends & Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, I’m learning the importance of encouraging and acknowledging the things people do correctly instead of focusing on the negatives and putting others down. This can be applied at work, school, and at home. When someone does something incorrectly, out of frustration, it can seem natural to get upset and to criticize. When you point out the things that a person is doing correctly, it encourages and enforces the good things that they do, so they continue to do what works.
- Love yourself. This sounds a bit cliché but, hey, it’s true! Loving yourself is truly the best thing you can do for yourself. When you love yourself, you learn to pay attention to your needs, your health, your goals and passions. When you learn to love yourself, it’s much easier to love others. There is nothing helpful about putting yourself down for your differences. Your quirks make you unique. We all have imperfections and unique qualities. It's okay to be different and it's okay to put yourself first.
- Rule out what you know you don’t want. Yes I’ve heard of the idea of not focusing on what we don’t like or want, but being clear on what you don’t want in a job, partner, roommate can help you figure out what you do want. Through the process of elimination, you could figure out what type of job you’d never take again or things you can’t compromise within a relationship. By finding out what you don’t want, it can slowly open up doors and ideas to what you do want.
- Make a list of what you are interested in and what you value. If you’re looking at career possibilities, think of skills that you have or want to develop that are necessary for that job. Do you like more hands on work? Physical jobs? That would probably rule out the typical 9-5 office positions. If you’re trying to reorganize your life, write a list of the top 3 things you want to make sure you do each and every day. Mine are writing, homework, and biking (or some form of exercise).
- You don’t have to turn your passions or hobbies into your career. Have you felt the pressure to turn your love of music, dance, writing, yoga into a full blown career? The answer is, you don’t have to. Although I’m sure many would disagree here, but realistically it may not be the best option financially. Establishing a hobby and turning it into a career can take time. Lots and lots of time. It doesn’t mean that it should amount to an unstable life financially. Work while cultivating your passions for what they are—passions. Things that we love to do just because we love it, not because we have to for money.
- Focus on other areas. If you are lost in your career, don’t obsess over what you should do next. Maybe what you should do is absolutely nothing. Focus on other areas of your life. Your health and fitness, relationships, or hobbies. There is more to life than just one thing and one area. Although a career, or lack thereof, can cause a huge rift, sometimes taking the focus off of what you should do relieves the stress and pressure you put on yourself. It’s okay to just not know. It’s okay to say “you know what, I’m still figuring things out.”
- Keep an open mind. Try new things! It’s okay to learn that some things are just not for you. Trying something new and keeping an open mind can help expand your ideas and thoughts about a certain position, company, relationship, lifestyle etc. Sometimes we have a preconceived notion of what something is going to be like, and it ends up surprising us in a good way. Sometimes we’re completely right about something and it just goes into our “what you know we don’t want” category. Keeping an open mind can lead us to exciting opportunities we never previously considered.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the future and our 'goals' that we don't realize that we've accomplished and experienced a lot of amazing things.
That's why I want to start off this year by remembering my experiences in 2017 before going into what I'm looking forward to in 2018 (which is A LOT, yay!)
*Highlights of 2017*
Graduated business school
For those of you that don't know, Tony any I moved to the Las Vegas area in the fall of 2016. So when we moved, I was just finishing up my last semester of school (online classes). I finished my last class in December, so I started the new year off with my new degree! WOOT WOOT. Does anyone ever even say that anymore?
Took yoga classes regularly
I joined Life Time and started getting back into yoga again in November 2016. This past year I'm proud to say that I've been taking classes regularly and have increased my flexibility, muscle mass, and I just feel so much less stressed. In the beginning it was a struggle to get myself to the gym, but after a while it becomes almost second nature.
Relaunched my blog
In October of 2017, I started writing and posting on the blog again! I started this blog back in January 2016 and was pretty consistent for the first few months and just fell off the wagon. Although I look at blogging as something I'm doing for fun, I would love to be consistent at writing and sharing what I'm learning. It's fun to look back at my old posts and see where I was in that moment and just reflect how far I've come and how my writing has improved.
Got the job I wanted!!
My business degree was my 2nd degree. I first went to school for Theatre. When I was in school learning about acting, I LOVED it. I was 110% committed to it and couldn't see myself doing anything else. When I graduated I got an agent, started going on auditions and started to feel like something just didn't feel right. I was going through other things in my life too, but I just realized I wanted to go into a different direction. After moving back home to Illinois, I decided to go back to school for business and enjoyed it so much. Throughout school I had an idea that I wanted to go into social media marketing, so I did an internship during the summer to learn more and get some experience. Once I graduated I got a job as a Digital Marketing Coordinator (which I LOVED especially because my team was amazing) but realized I really wanted to specialize in social media. I then found the job I'm currently in, working as a Social Media Manager for a few brands and I LOVE it. It's exactly where I want to be right now.
Said goodbye to what wasn't serving me and hello to self-care
Saying goodbye to things, people, old dreams and ideas can be tough, but saying WHAT UP to the amazing things life has to offer us is oh SO worth it. 2017 was truly the year where I was finally able to break free from some pretty toxic friendships. I'm not saying that I'm better than anyone in anyway, but when you constantly feel like POOP after talking to your 'best' friends...well that's an issue. This year I truly realized that it's okay to say goodbye to friends that we love because we choose happiness and love over negativity. If you resonate with this in any way, I hope that you too can let go of whatever feels wrong to you and welcome what feels right.
2017 was filled with some great travel experiences as I visited my mom in Florida, my family in Illinois, friends in LA and then took a nice romantic vaca with Tony to San Diego for NYE. I have this love-hate relationship with travel because it can seem so luxurious, but can also be super exhausting. I also can't forget the trip Tony and I took to Bryce Canyon for my birthday! It definitely was one of my faves.
I'm sure I can think of a ton of more things that happened in 2017, but I'm going to wrap it up so I can get into what I'm SO excited and looking forward to in 2018. So let's get into it!
I'm looking forward to...
-My first yoga retreat!!!! Next weekend I am heading to Desert Hot Springs in California and joining Jordan Younger AKA The Balanced Blonde and Kelsey Patel for an amazing weekend of yoga, reiki, community and good food. AND a massage...of course.
-Taking my first Kundalini and Pranayama class in a salt room. So last Sunday I took my first Pranayama class with Cherishe at the Henderson Salt Room (if you're ever in the Las Vegas area, you MUST check it out) and it was such a great experience. I've never taken a Pranayama class before so I didn't know what to expect, but coming out of the class I felt like a new person. I felt super light, energized and full of love. Today I actually took my first Kundalini class with Susana and already I can't wait for the next one. I've never taken a Kundalini class, so I literally had no idea what to expect. The only thing I've heard is it can be a bit 'woo woo' and different, but it's an amazing experience. After the class, I can only say that I'm definitely going to continue doing it.
-Starting my Adobe Photoshop class at UNLV. My first class starts this Thursday! It's a 6-week course, so I'm pumped to be in a classroom and just learn more about photo editing.
-Taking my Reiki certification!!! So I don't have a lot of experience with Reiki, but I've been so drawn to it. I have gone to a few group sessions via Meetup and have truly felt a difference in how I feel afterwards. I haven't been able to attend sessions recently because of schedule conflicts, but I want to continue to learn and experience the awesome healing effects of it.
-Starting up something new with Tony. We have started rock climbing at Origin. I surprised him with a Groupon because I knew he had some experience with climbing. We took an intro class and had a ton of fun, so it's going to be something that we're going to do together! This past weekend we stocked up on some climbing gear at REI and can't wait to try it all out.
-Visiting home in May. In 2017 I didn't get a chance to plan my travels in advance, so this year I really wanted to get tickets to go back home so I could plan my trip a bit better. SO when I visited in December, I immediately bought tickets for 6 months out to visit again! Can't wait to see you sisterrrrr!
-Yoga teacher training. I've been contemplating taking a YTT for a while now and decided that this year is the year! I'm still figuring out the details, but I want to take the training in the fall. If you have one that you would recommend in the Vegas area...please let me know! I already have a few in mind, but I'm always open to suggestions.
-Anything amazing that comes my way. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a planner. There are many things that I have planned for this year, but I don't want to be too busy. That word just puts a bad taste in my mouth. I hate feeling like I need to do something or like I have no time to just relax, so something that I'm also looking forward to this year is just having no plans at all.
So now I want to hear about YOUR plans! What are you excited for this year?
What were your highlights in 2017?
I can't wait to read all about them!!Leave a comment
I set up a little space on the bed for my intention setting tonight before I head to bed. I placed my laptop on my Slate, lit my GoodLight candle, pulled up The Balanced Blonde's post from earlier today for reference, got my journal out, 4 colored pens and started writing!
I'm so excited to be setting intentions for this year and sharing them with YOU!
So let's get started...
1. To be FULLY present in what I'm doing and who I'm with. So I personally think that I'm pretty good about putting my phone away when I'm with a friend or at dinner (unless I'm taking a picture of my food). BUT I am pretty bad about being in the present moment because I'm either constantly caught up in the past or living 10 years in the future. (YES I did have my next 10 years budgeted out, but ended up getting so much anxiety from it that I decided to only budget and plan out a year in advance. LOL. I know I'm crazy. So today I took a yoga class at Lifetime and the teacher mentioned something about focusing your gaze on an object in front of you and actually looking at it. I feel like that relates to being in the present moment because I found that I wasn't really looking at anything...it's as if my eyes were glossed over and I actually had to consciously look at something to actually SEE it. I don't know if that's confusing, but it makes sense to me. When I'm doing something, I feel like I'm thinking about a hundred other things and playing out a hundred other scenarios in my mind, but if I just realized where I was in that moment, all of that would fade away.
2. Be grateful. I have to write a separate blog post about this, but gratitude has CHANGED MY LIFE. Like...a lot A LOT. What I've been doing is saying (OUT LOUD) the things I'm grateful for on the way to work in the morning and it puts me in such a good mood automatically. If I'm ever grumpy or tired, I list off everything and everyone I'm grateful for and I realize that I am so blessed and end up feeling like any issues I'm experiencing are so small. Being grateful has really changed my mindset and has helped me stabilize any feelings of sadness and anxiety.
3. Be + share my authentic self. So what I really want to accomplish with this one is just allow myself to be me. We've all felt self-conscious at one point or another, and I feel like it's so easy to censor ourselves from the outside world and people that we aren't super close to. This year I want to truly open up to people both online and in person. I have worked a lot on self-acceptance and I feel like I'm in a good place with accepting who I am, and I'd love to share more about myself with others.
4. Get lost in nature. I LOVE the outdoors. For those that have grown up with me, you know that I went to an overnight camp for a WHOLE month starting when I was seven. This camp made me fall in love with hiking, swimming in gross ponds, making fires from scratch, dancing and just includes my favorite childhood memories. We literally slept in open cabins in the middle of nowhere. When I'm in nature...I just feel like myself. So, this year I'd really love to schedule some outdoor time at least once a week. Plus, this time of year is the perfect time for hiking in the Vegas area, because once it hits summer it is too freaking hot. So...the time is NOW!
5. Trust in my intuition + listen to my inner thoughts + my inner voice. Although I feel like I am a pretty good decision maker (besides when I'm super indecisive - which, okay, is a lot) I feel like I have missed some key moments where I felt like I should have acted on something or not have done something and I dismissed my intuition. Looking back I'm always like 'ohhhhhh...that's why I had those feelings or those thoughts!' This year I'd like to truly listen to myself and make decisions based on my intuition.
6. Let go of things and people that don't serve me. No, I'm not dropping people who don't do things for me. For this one, I just want to let go of relationships that have been a struggle. My mom always tells me that people come in and out of your life and it's okay. We don't need to fight to hold on to something that just isn't there. This also holds for any goals, dreams, ideas, and material things too.
7. Use technology wisely. For those who don't know, I'm a Social Media Manager. Which means I'm on the computer/phone a LOT. Like...all day long at work. Because I also blog on the side, it means MORE screen time. After taking a much-needed vacation to San Diego with Tony (my other half aka cuddle bunny) I realized how nice it is to not be on my phone all the time. SHOCKER. It's nice to actually...you know...be present and live life in the moment. I want to carve out specific times in the day when I can spend some productive time online, so I don't always have to be checking my phone 24/7.
8. Learn to BREATHE through it all. I find that whenever I'm anxious, scared or nervous, I tend to hold my breath. Practicing yoga has helped me deepen my breath, but I want to continue to practice taking deep breaths whenever I'm in an uncomfortable situation or whenever I'm feeling anxious. I've already started to implement this and focus on breathing through tough situations and it really works.
9. Write daily --> journal + blog! Anyone else feels like they love writing, but when out of practice it just seems to be SO hard to get back into it? That's how writing has been for me lately. I feel like I've just been going through the motions, but want to break through and really make it a daily practice to put thoughts to paper.
Time for a little #transformationtuesday story!!!! On the left was me about 2 years ago when I hit my highest weight of 209!!!! Can you believe it!? I stopped weighing myself after hitting that number, but I’m sure it went even higher than that. Fast forward to the picture on the right, taken a month or so ago, I’m 40lbs down right around 170. Sustainable and healthy weight loss takes time and is different for everyone. I remember I used to gain and lose 20lbs in a matter of months in my late teens, but it also came with a lot of ups and downs with dieting...something I definitely do not recommend. As I had gained over 80lbs (staring at around 120 to 209) I knew I wanted this weight loss journey to be different. I put away the scale (for the most part), I began to eat healthy foods that I LOVED and I did the types of exercises that I enjoyed (like hiking and yoga). I’m still on my weight loss journey, but I learned that if I didn’t love myself at 209lbs, I wasn’t going to love myself any more when I lost weight. In fact I remember back when I was only 120lbs and I was constantly trying to get thinner (which now I don’t even know why). Regardless, if you’re on your weight loss or fitness journey, just know that you are beautiful regardless what people will tell you and it is worth it to be healthy. ❤️ . . . . . #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #weightloss #healthyweightloss #healthyweight #sustainableweightloss #health #fitness #healthgoals #fitnessgoals #fit #fitnessgirl #fitnessmotivation #fitgirl #curves #yogafit #weightlossstory #weightlosssupport #healthylifestyle #beforeandafterweightloss #healthiswealth #healthy #health #lifeisbeautiful #selflove #selfcare #weightlossmotivation #40poundsdown #beforeandafter
10. Move my body every day. You guys. I am so so so grateful for my body. For those who don't know I have a pretty big journey with weight gain and weight loss. Growing up I have always been in good shape and super active. Around age 21, I started experiencing severe depression, which with just how depression is and medications I was on, made me gain more than 88 pounds in about a year. Which is CRAZY fast. Never in my life did I think I would ever deal with being overweight. Literally, if you would have told me that just a few years back, I would have thought you were ridiculous. BUT life happens, and I gained a lot of weight. BUTTTTT I have also lost around 40 pounds VERY slowly in the last two years. I'm not at the same weight as I normally would be, but I feel like I'm in such a good place with my eating habits and exercise. What's interesting is throughout this whole journey I have gained weight, yes, but I gained a whole new understanding of what health is. With the help of Dr. Kelly Brogan (her amazing book - A Mind of Your Own), I have been on this amazing healing journey with the help of diet and lifestyle changes. Anyway, I'd love to go into more detail about this later, but moving my body feels SO good and I've learned to do the types of exercises that I love and that make me feel good.
11. Shower myself with LOVE. Self-love is so so so so SO important to me. I can't stress it enough. This past year, I truly have learned to love myself and it's something I want to continue to do forever. Growing up I always felt like I was never enough. Like I needed to lose weight (even when I was at a PERFECT weight), like I needed to put on makeup, dress up, color my hair or act a certain way to get people's approval. Look, there is NOTHING wrong with makeup or dressing up. In fact, I love both! However, it's really the intention you have behind it. Are we doing things for others or because it makes us feel great? Anyway, I enjoy makeup, but I don't wear it every day and I'd literally have people tell me that I NEEDED to wear makeup or I SHOULD dye my hair. The reality is, I don't need to. And those people that told me that I did were so insecure that they picked out every single one of my flaws because they didn't love themselves. I've learned that there is NO ONE...not one single person that can love us more than we love ourselves. If we don't love ourselves...how can we learn to truly love and care about others? This one is so close to my heart because learning to love and accept myself FINALLY has felt amazing and I just want to continue feeling this way.
12. Food to heal my body and mind. So as I mentioned before, Dr. Kelly Brogan's book has helped me overcome depression, anxiety and lose weight. I want to continue this healing journey by nourishing my body with healthy and tasty food. I really believe in eating food that you love. For me, I like to find foods that taste amazing to me, but are super healthy too. Some of my go-to's are avocados, blueberries, chicken, sweet potatoes, and zucchini. Eating a non-processed, gluten-free, dairy-free and low sugar diet has made me feel great, and it's something I want to continue doing in 2018.
Well...that's A LOT! But, what's interesting is that this list literally took me about 15 minutes to complete. All of these things just came to mind so easily and effortlessly, and I'm so excited to keep these in mind and journal about what I experience and learn this year. I also REALLY quick want to include that I didn't mention reading, but reading is something I want to put more effort into this year. I don't want to overwhelm myself with a huge goal of reading a ton of books, but I do want to read at least one book a month. I think that's pretty doable, don't you?
Now that you know me so well...I'd love to get to know YOU more! Are you setting intentions this year? If you are, let me know an intention you have for 2018, if not, tell me something about yourself!
2018 is going to be amazing.
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When you think of detox, what comes to mind?
The cayenne pepper, lemon and honey cleanse?
Sitting in the sauna for an hour?
I’m going to share some ways you can detox your way into the New Year without going on a liquid diet.
Social Media Detox
If you’re anything like me, then social media is a big part of your life. Whether you spend a lot or just some of your time on social media, it still finds a way to influence your life. We get bombarded with ads, - like those scammy detox teas (which are just laxatives…please don’t buy those and just do an enema instead…it’s cheaper LOL), fitspo, #relationshipgoals and so much more.
Something you can do to take a little social media vaca is either delete the social media apps on your phone or place them in a folder on your phone and put it on a screen that’s not easily accessible (so no home screen). Another thing you can do is turn off your notifications (I prefer to always have mine off).
Find that you’re feeling sad after scrolling? Why go through and unfollow any people or companies that no longer serve you. Hey…it’s OKAY. We change all the time and our Instas have to change with us.
'I'm so busy' Detox
Let’s be real, December is a BUSY month whether we want it to be or not. But, we’re in control of ourselves and our schedule. We can’t make every single party, and we simple don’t have to. You can say no to whatever invitation you want. Detox into the New Year by letting go of any events or engagements that are causing you anxiety and are getting in the way of your health and well-being. Take care of yourself FIRST.
We all have those people in our lives that have been there for…EVER, but if there are certain people in your life that constantly put you down, make you feel like you’re worthless, make you feel like you can’t be yourself…well let’s just say that it’s a problem. And the problem is not you. It's them. I’ve had my fair share of goodbyes this year, and don’t get me wrong, goodbyes are never easy. I also don’t wish any harm or anything like that to those that I let go of this year. I was just tired of feeling shitty. The reality is…when you hold on to relationships that aren’t working out, you’re keeping yourself back from making new friends. When I let go of friends that put me down, it allowed me to make space for new ones.
Am I the only one that gets super anxious and overwhelmed when my space gets cluttered? I feel like clutter is a direct result from simply having too many things. Getting rid of things that we don’t use or wear can make room for creativity, peace and NEW things! Not sure where to start? Why not start with makeup? Our skin is the largest organ of the body, so it soaks up everything we slather on it. If you’re not changing up your makeup at least every year, (mascara every 3 months) you should be!!! Makeup has an expiration date just like food. If you’ve been experiencing any breakouts…maybe it’s time for some new blush.
Do you put yourself down? Do you think you’re not skinny enough, pretty enough, worthy ENOUGH to follow your dreams? Well let’s just stop right there. You ARE beautiful, inside and out, and you DO deserve amazing things. In fact, you deserve to live your life to the fullest and to be living out your dreams. Let’s stop telling ourselves that we can’t do it, and let’s start being our biggest supporters. After all, I always say that at the end of the day, YOU are your biggest supporter, and no one else can love you more than you love yourself.
With the New Year comes new ideas, goals, relationships...a new YOU! Before you try to add a bunch of new things to your to-do list, think about what you need to get rid of first.
What’s one way you plan on detoxing your way into the New Year?Leave a comment
You guys, I can't believe it's already December! I know everyone says that, but these last few months have FLOWN by.
As you all know, I love sharing what products I'm currently using each month and new ones I'm trying out, so I'm super excited to share this month's favorites because it includes some of my STAPLES.
1. Manuka Honey
I've been using Manuka honey for YEARS. I remember being in college, when money was super tight, but still making sure I budgeted in my honey. Manuka honey has antibacterial properties and doesn't taste gross if you accidentally eat some. (I do it all the time, okay don't judge me).
2. Dr. Bronner's Soap
Dr. Bronner's is another one that I've been using for years. I switched over to it once I started using natural products, and haven't looked back since. The peppermint is my favorite for summer because it's super cooling (especially if you live in Vegas like I do). Whenever it's not summer and 120 degrees outside I like to use the tea tree oil one because it's great for taming any blemishes you may get on your skin.
3. Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil
Continuing with the Dr. Bronner's products (can you tell I'm obsessed) I have to recommend their coconut oil for cooking and skin (just not for face). So I found out about this product when I went into Whole Foods and asked an employee for a recommendation and she suggested this one! I didn't even know that Dr. Bronner's made coconut oil, but boy was I glad I decided to try it out that day. First of all, I don't know why but this brand of coconut oil just seems super creamy and rich to me. I personally love the taste of coconut oil in cooking, so if you don't like the taste, I would go with a different version. I also use this for shaving and whenever my skin gets dry (like now during winter time). *I buy one for for the kitchen and one for the bathroom. Let's all practice good hygiene.
This one's a recent fav of mine, but I am absolutely in LOVE. When they're on sale at Whole Foods or Sprouts, you can bet I'm grabbing a few. Not only are their elixirs super tasty, but they have some great health benefits too. Depending on the flavor you get, they include maca, turmeric and reishi. They are also sweetened with coconut sugar, honey and stevia. Next time you're at the store, check these out!
5. John Masters Organics Face Serum
This is also a new one, but a good one! I have been wanting to find a face serum for a while now, so when I sampled this at Whole Foods, I was super excited. What I like about this serum is that it's not too thick or thin and it doesn't clog pores. A little fun fact about Whole Foods...always ask to sample the product before you buy it! That way you get to test out how your skin reacts to it before you spend the moolah.
6. Calia Shampoo & Conditioner
I found out about Calia through Holistic Habits and decided to get a bundle to try out the different types. So far my favorite is the Hydrating shampoo and conditioner. I'm even considering getting the big 2 gallon jugs!
So what I love about Calia is that their products are hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly. They also contain NO sulfates, DEA, sodium, propylene glycol, and do not test on animals! WHOOO.
Have you tried any of these products?! If so, what's your experience using them?
If not, what are some of your December favorites? Let me know!
*Links to products*
Want to try any of the above? Here's where to find them:
Manuka Honey: I love the Trader Joe's brand, but you can find it at Whole Foods, Sprouts & online!
Dr. Bronner's Soap: Whole Foods & http://amzn.to/2AqGoQR
Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil: Whole Foods & http://amzn.to/2BRgtOj
Rebbl: Location Finder
John Master's Organics Face Serum: Whole Foods (get that free sample!) & http://amzn.to/2Aqj9X9
Calia Shampoo & Conditioner: Their site! (I recommend starting with the bundle so you can mix & match & try a few different ones to see what you like).
I thought it would be fun to start a “sharing my soul” series where I talk about what I’m currently doing, reading, feeling, eating, etc. You get the picture! Here we go…
Currently I’m reading Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I’ve been a huge fan of her since high school (my favorite movie is the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley) and I recently joined a Jane Austen book club on Meetup.com. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m not going to be able to finish reading it for this upcoming meetup (I joined late) but I hope I make it to the next one.
Listening to Taylor Swift.
Her new album, Reputation, recently came out and I’m SO excited. Sadly, her music isn’t available on Apple music yet so I have to wait a week or two. BUT I have been loving her new songs that have already been released, so they’ve been on repeat. My favorite one so far is Call It What You Want.
Watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Who else?! 43 days.
Thinking about making videos on YouTube again! In the past I've made a few videos on travel and other random ones, but was never consistent because I really wanted to focus on writing and my blog. Who knows...maybe 2018 will be the year?!
Feeling like I need to relax more. Especially with the holiday season coming up...anyone else?
Loving yoga so so much. I feel like this one will probably end up on every "sharing my soul" series because yoga is everything. I feel like a new person after class. This past Friday I tried Bikram yoga for the first time, which was taught by my amazing friend Stacy. I'm also planning on completing my YTT in the fall of 2018...can't wait!
Wearing a lot of jeans and tees because my new job's dress code is CASUAL. I love it.
Eating sugar free, dairy free and gluten free. I feel like this helps me manage anxiety, depression, my mood, my appetite and has helped clear my skin. Has anyone read A Mind of Your Own? Because it's amazing and changed my life.
Drinking Dandy Blend! I keep it at work and have it first thing when I get to the office. It's a great substitute for coffee since it is CAFFEINE FREE but it still has that bitterness to it like coffee.
Hbu?? Comment one (or more) of what you've been doing lately!Leave a comment
October in the Las Vegas area is my favorite time of year so far for many reasons, but mainly because of the weather. Summer used to be my favorite back in Illinois because winter lasts about 6 months and is depressing, dreary and downright freezing. I realized that it's the opposite here in Las Vegas. In Illinois, people travel in the winter to escape the cold. In Las Vegas, people travel in the summer to escape the heat.
This month I wanted to share some of my favorite items, many that I've been using this past year, some that I just found in the last few months.
Red Apple Lipsticks are gluten-free, paraben free and cruelty free!
I’ve been using natural makeup for years now, and what I love about this brand is that the hues of their lipsticks stand out. Many times, natural makeup may seem bright-colored on the packaging and pictures, but once you actually try it out it ends up looking like you’re not even wearing makeup at all. Although they do have natural-looking lipsticks, their brighter lipsticks actually look like the pictures! What’s great is they show the lipsticks on models with different skin tones and base lip colors, so you’re able to compare and get a realistic idea of what the color would look like on you.
Red Apple Lipstick also has this newsletter that they send out, which tells you how to apply lipstick (the real way) and how to match up colors depending on your base lip color.
When I visited Florida this past July, I went shopping with my mom for heels, but couldn’t find anything. Then she suggested we just check out Target, and I found exactly what I needed. Cute and comfy nude heels that work well with any outfit.
I got my Hydroflask water bottle this past summer and I couldn’t be more happy with it. I’ve gone through many water bottles, and have to say that this one beats them all. It keeps my water cold all day long, which has been a life saver with this summer being a hot one here in Vegas.
I have to admit that every weekend I slip into a T.J.Maxx to see if there’s a unique find (which there always is).
My family has always shopped at T.J.Maxx because of the great deals there. I love their clothes and shoes, but today I’m sharing these two cute, pale pink notebooks I found. At first I found one, and then couldn’t pass up on getting a smaller look-alike because it fits perfectly in my purse. 😀 I use it to write down any ideas or thoughts when I'm on the go.
Last, but not least is this natural deodorant. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with natural deodorants. I’ve found some that have worked for me, only to find out that they stopped working a month into using them. I’ve been disappointed countless times and have heard “you need to try this one” from many whole foods employees and bloggers. But, you just have to keep trying until you find one that works for you. I found out about this one from Dr. Kelly Brogan and have been using it since.
That sums it up for my October favorites! I love hearing about good finds and natural products, so if you have any you’d like to share, leave a comment!Leave a comment
Getting up early can be a struggle for many people. If you’re up late the night before, you’re tempted to hit the snooze on your phone and sleep in just 5 more minutes (which turns into 10). But do you really feel more rested after sleeping an extra 10, 15 or 20 minutes? Sometimes when I hit the snooze, I’ll wake up feeling drowsier (and crankier) than when I woke up the first time. Waking up early can benefit both your health and can give you more time to do the things you love in the morning!
If you’re like me, you’ve probably watched countless morning routine videos on YouTube. A lot of times these videos encompass exactly what my ideal morning would include. I’d get up well rested, meditate, do some light stretching, shower, get ready for the day, make a healthy breakfast, have the time to sit and enjoy it and clean up afterward. Does my morning really look like this? Well…not yet! I watch these videos mainly for inspiration, but when I do wake up earlier, I feel exactly the way I do when I watch the videos. I feel productive, excited for the day and like I could truly enjoy my morning before heading off to work.
Sometimes we do need some extra rest and sleeping in is the answer. However, I’m going to share why waking up just thirty minutes earlier is beneficial to your health and why you should be doing it.
Time to eat breakfast
Waking up a little earlier than usual gives you time to make your favorite breakfast. You can whip up some scrambled eggs with avocado or try some gluten-free pancakes. Waking up just thirty minutes earlier will give you the time to make a homemade meal in the morning instead of grabbing something on the go. Studies show that those who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight than those who skip out. Fueling up in the morning is important because it will give you the energy you need to start your day. Who knows, maybe you’ll have enough energy to skip that morning coffee run on the way to work too!
Time to go for a walk or practice yoga
Ever find yourself saying that you wish you had time to try morning meditation, time to read or even go for a quick walk before work or school? If you head out around 7 am and usually wake up at 6:30, you don’t have to overdo it and try to wake up at 5. If you wake up at 6, it will give you time to do a 10-minute meditation, 10-minute walk, and a 10-minute yoga flow. Or you can use those extra 30 minutes to snuggle up with your favorite book and a cup of hot coffee or tea in the morning. Whatever it is, you get to dedicate those extra 30 minutes to doing something that you love, whether it feeds your body or your soul.
You’ll be more motivated throughout your day
If you struggle with getting and staying motivated, this one’s for you! This study found that morning people are more productive than late risers. Waking up early will help you check off the daily tasks you have on your list, and help achieve both short and long-term goals. Timing is huge when it comes to this. Think about it. If you are running late to your first appointment, it shifts your whole entire day, making it impossible to stay on time for the rest of the day. But, if you start your day early, you will be able to not only make it to those appointments, but you'll probably have some extra time to spend however you'd like whether it's focusing on self-care, running errands or scheduling in a lunch with friends.
I've always been the type of person who likes extremes. In this case, I usually would wake up too early, which would leave me tired by early afternoon or I would wake up 10 minutes before I had to make it to class, which would cause me to rush and be stressed out first thing in the morning. Coming to this compromise of waking up just thirty minutes earlier was not easy for someone who likes extremes, but it was extremely beneficial. (See what I did there). It allowed me to start having a morning routine and helped me to incorporate some of the things I loved doing first thing in the morning. If you're like me, you may struggle to get out of bed in the morning and may feel overwhelmed by the thought of waking up early. Next time you set your alarm, there's no need to set it three hours before you normally get up. Set it just thirty minutes earlier than you normally would, and see how you feel. You may need more time in the morning, but waking up just thirty minutes earlier is a great start.Leave a comment
Before I get into how I grew out my hair, let’s start with a little hair history...or hairstory. I’ve gone through many phases with my hair. Many of us probably have. My first phase began when my hair started to transition from straight to sort-of-wavy to full-on-curly when I was around 12 years old. I didn’t realize I had curly hair, unfortunately, so I experienced a few years of some awkward hair stages.
At 16 I decided to dye my hair black right before Halloween with semi-permanent hair dye, with one issue. It didn’t turn out to be semi-permanent. It was completely permanent.
It ended up not being as cool as I thought it would be (BIG shocker) and I had to strip my hair and dye it as close to my natural color as possible. That ended up with my hair being a sort of orangey-blonde. It wasn’t too bad until I got full highlights. Although my hair looked great, it was very short lived and ended up breaking and giving me what hairstylists call a 'chemical cut.'
After these struggles, I did manage to get my hair back to my natural color and healthy.
But, after a huge life change I decided to change it again and get bangs, highlights and a bob.
I know what you're thinking. Why would I do that when I had so many hair struggles and when I finally got to a place where I was happy with my hair?
I have no FREAKING idea.
That's not entirely true. The truth is that sh*t happens in life and I felt like I needed a change. I guess I just had an instinct and went with it.
Let me just tell you...it was one of those instincts that ended up being wrong.
However, this led to my search to find a way to grow my hair out as fast as possible and learn how to keep it healthy.
Fast forward two years later, my hair is healthy, a lot longer than I thought it would be and once again back to my natural color.
With my struggle of growing curly hair and getting it healthy, I have found what works for me and wanted to share the things that helped me grow out my hair.
1. Stay away from tools
No, I don’t mean douchey guys, although stay away from those too. ? What I mean is stay away from hot tools like blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons. I’m not going to lie, I do get a blowout when I get a haircut or for special occasions. But that’s about five times out of the whole year. Yep, you read that correctly, only FIVE times. I recommend staying away from hot tools the majority of the time when growing out your hair (and really for the most part if you’re trying to maintain healthy curly hair) because it causes a lot of damage. Curly hair is already drier and more sensitive than normal hair. It’s more prone to breakage and when hair breaks, it gets shorter. And we don’t want that…not at all. I think this also helps to find a healthier and more manageable way to style hair every day. Realistically, using heat on curly hair regularly will not help get those beautiful, tight, frizz-free curls we all want.
2. Be realistic
Please learn from my mistakes. If you have curly hair, a short-layered haircut probably isn't for you. (Okay we always have that one person that can rock it okay, I’m not talking about you <3). After the stripping and coloring my hair went through, and after I got it back to healthy and normal, I decided to go out again and get a full head of highlights AND a bob.
I wasn’t being realistic with my hair type or honest with what I was willing to put into styling my hair when I made this decision. I based it on a picture I saw on Pinterest. Sadly, I’m not kidding. (I LOVE Pinterest, just not for making snap hair decisions). I saw a cute curly bob and thought hey I want to look like that. I didn’t take my type of curls into consideration versus the model’s, my styling options or face shape. The cut and style ended up looking cute for about a week. Then I just looked like a poodle. I was Fluffy reincarnated. (Fluffy was my real-life poodle growing up that I guess my subconscious was trying to channel).
3. Put in the work & be patient
I know. What we really want is to find out how to grow out hair FAST. Although adding in vitamins like biotin may help with faster hair growth, patience is key. When I committed to growing out my hair and keeping it healthy, I got a realistic consultation from my (awesome) former hairstylist. After seeing my hair and hearing about my goals, she recommended that I get a tiny trim every 8 to 12 weeks. I settled on 10 weeks.
For the past 2 years I have religiously scheduled and received a trim every 10 weeks, and the results have been amazing. Seriously. When I started this journey, I thought I would just try it out and go back to growing out my hair like I have in the past. My hairstylist and I were both shocked at how fast my hair was growing.
Just as a disclaimer…it really depends on your hair and your goals when you decide to get regular trims. Since my hair is dry and more brittle than ‘normal’ hair, getting a trim helped it grow because it decreased the chances of it breaking. I would get regular trims either way, but you may not have to get it every 10 weeks. That’s just the timeline that's worked for me.
4. Keep it tame and keep it healthy
Once you have decided on a plan, stick to it. Get your regular trims. Wash your hair regularly, but don’t overdo it. Moisturize your hair by doing masks. My current hairstylist recommends using coconut oil as a natural hair mask. My favorite brand is Dr. Bronner's. It’s simple and inexpensive! Just add in melted coconut to your hair, massage it into your scalp and leave it on for an hour or two. I usually do this at home when I have a few chores to do or in the steam room when I'm at the gym. This mask may take a few washes to get out of your hair, but it leaves it soft and shiny.
5. Don’t beat yourself up
It’s fun to experiment with hair. I’ve actually been thinking about getting subtle balayage highlights for over a year now (I’m REALLY thinking it over this time ?). Whatever you decide to do with your hair, just know that no matter how it turns out, your hair will grow! It may take time to get back to your natural hair color and desired length, but it’s possible and just takes a little time. If a haircut or color didn’t go your way, it may really REALLY suck, but it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget.
Bottom line, if there’s something you want to try out, go for it! Sometimes you need to change up your hair to find the right style and color for you, and it can take time. You may also just need to experience a bunch of different things before settling back to something natural like me. 🙂
If you’re still reading, thank you! You've made it through the entire history of my hair. I hope you found these tips helpful and learned from some of the terrible hair decisions I've made. If you have any hair tips, please share them in the comment section, I'd love to read them!
What's your hairstory?Leave a comment
I am the type of person that is always busy, always on the go, always trying to better myself, always…WORKING. Working is not a bad thing. In fact, we all have to work to earn a living and provide for ourselves and our families. However, working too much can cause some issues. Hear me out. I am all for striving for excellence, financial stability, and “getting things done.” But, what about fun? Ah, this three-letter word. F-U-N. This reminds me of that Spongebob song that starts with F is for friends who do stuff together…remember? Just me? Okay before I go on a tangent, I have to say that although people may think (or just tell me) that I’m fun, lately I have rarely felt like I’ve been having fun or I am fun. Now what does it mean to do something fun? Well, it means to enjoy whatever you’re doing. It means that you’re having a good time with whoever you are with doing whatever. People have different definitions of fun, and well DUH, people are different so of course they would have different ideas of what is fun and what is not.
The reason I’m writing about fun is because I feel like it gets lost in between all of our responsibilities. Fun gets lost in all the work, chores, cleaning, errands, cooking, working out, EVERYTHING! And it doesn’t have to. Life can be enjoyable. Life can be fun. I titled this post ‘Fun First, Work Later’, because with the never-ending list of things we need to do, the solution I’m calling for is to put all of that on the back burner and focus on fun. Now I know what you’re thinking…
That’s easy for YOU to say, you don’t have kids
You don't have my job
I have so much to do
That’s impossible for me
Sure, it may be impossible to drop everything you’re doing, especially say if you have kids, but I’m not really talking about those super important things that you have to do like feed your kids, go to work, things like that. I’m talking about the list we have either in our minds, in our phones, or on paper that is a never ending to do list, and if that list isn’t complete, then we can’t do anything we enjoy. Can anyone else relate?
This has been my struggle for a while, and I feel like I'm just starting to break through it...just a little bit. Since I have been incorporating more fun in my life and choosing to put some of the fun things first, before my work, I've experienced some noticeable benefits. I have experienced an increase in energy, feel happier and more fulfilled, and interestingly enough, feel like I have more time now.
I shared a similar concept in a past post where I mentioned that you should do things that give you energy. I noticed that as I started to do things that I actually liked doing like going on a hike, treating myself to a smoothie at Whole Foods, taking extra time to chat with my friends and family, indulging in some cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies, I started to feel good. When I was finished doing some of the things that I enjoyed, I felt like I had enough energy to take on the rest of the day that would normally be filled with homework, errands, cleaning, etc. I was pretty skeptical when it came to setting aside things I really needed to do in order to have fun. I remember being in high school telling my mom that I don't have time for fun because I had to do homework and go to extra curricular activities. Looking back, it makes me a bit sad that I prioritized getting stuff done over truly enjoying life.
Do something you enjoy, even if it is just for a half an hour, and it can make you feel just a little bit happier and more fulfilled. Next time you do something you enjoy like taking the time to get a morning walk in or taking a bath at the end of the day, pay attention to how it makes you feel. Does it make you feel anxious and stressed out? Does it make you feel relaxed? Pay attention to how certain activities make you feel, and start choosing the ones that make you feel good, and keep doing them! I've made the mistake many times thinking that once I complete everything on my list, only then I will be happy. This is a tricky game to play because getting all those things done didn't really ever make me feel happier, it just made me feel a bit relieved...that is until I came up with another list of things that I needed to accomplish the next week. If we don't add in the things that we enjoy to our everyday lives, the reality is that we will never have time for them. Make time for things that you love. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
The last benefit that I experienced from adding in more fun into my life and prioritizing it over work was that I actually felt like I had more time. Did I really have more time in the day? Well, no...the day still consisted of 24 hours and that didn't change...so what did? I think the combination of added energy and an elevated mood caused me to be more productive. It no longer took me as long to do the work that I needed to. I somehow had the energy to clean, and to clean pretty quickly. I was becoming more productive, and was truly surprised. (Of course, I'm not always productive, and that's okay too!) This one was a nice surprise...I started realizing that I was able to fit more into my day, both things that I enjoyed and things I just needed to get done.
Learning to incorporate fun back into my life has brought me a number of benefits. Although I'm not perfect, and work does take priory over fun in my life many times, I am continuing to change my behavior and lifestyle and am continuing to see benefits. Do you make time for fun? What do you do to add in fun into your everyday life?Leave a comment
I love social media. I really do. I think there are major benefits it brings like connecting to people from all around the world, staying in touch with family and friends, sharing inspirational and important content, bringing awareness of current events and issues, education, and more! The internet, in general, has allowed us to expand businesses, education, and connection. However, with the vast amount of benefits, there are also some negatives that have crept in. These negatives include spending more time on your phone and computer, comparing your life with others, cyberbullying, and taking in too much information to the point of feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
Some of us already spend a great deal at work typing away at emails, updating spreadsheets, researching, and analyzing data. This requires us to be tied to our desks, computer, phone, and email. When do we get a real break? On lunches, many of us take the time to talk on our phones, text our friends, check our Facebook, update our Snapchat, and it just feels like a never-ending cycle. When do we get some down time from our texts, emails, Snapchats, Instagram stories? When do we get to put down our phones?
If I were to answer this honestly, I would say very rarely. I personally use my bath time to catch up on my daily YouTube videos. I guess the only time I truly get to disconnect is when I go somewhere and leave my phone behind. Yoga classes, hiking, while driving (don’t text and drive!) and when I consciously put in the effort to just put my phone down. But, let me tell you, out of the 24 hours in the day, it’s usually just for an hour or two.
I did an experiment a couple weeks back where I deleted the social media apps off my phone and something interesting happened. Whenever I had a spare minute I found myself instinctually grabbing my phone and checking any messages I had or going to Instagram. The issue I encountered was that the apps I was so used to checking weren’t there anymore. It was a bit surprising to me because I didn’t realize how attached I had been, not just to my phone and internet, but to social media.
I remember talking my good friend, Leslie, about how hectic my life is and that I don’t really feel inspired. At the time, I was working full-time, attending school full-time, and I was completing a social media marketing internship. I was pretty proud of being able to do so much, but I really had no social life or energy to do much else. During our conversation, she had said
of course you don’t feel inspired, you don’t have time to live life!
If I was doing all of these things, what did she mean by me not having any time to live life? I guess the idea of living life can be subjective because we live our lives every day regardless of what we do, but my personal idea of living life involves being present in each moment and, to me, living life is synonymous with enjoying life.
I just recently moved across the country with my fiancé and have learned a thing or two about the importance of slowing down and ‘living life.’ It first started with getting sick. I tend to usually get sick right around vacation time, which not only sucks, but has taught me that I don’t include enough rest days throughout the work week and I can do a better job of incorporating some self-care into my life. My body has become so accustomed to getting sick during my time off because that’s the only time that I truly take to just rest and not plan or keep myself busy with endless projects and ideas. I’m sharing this because it stems back to our use and overuse of social media and the internet. If we’re always connected, it doesn’t give us much time or space to disconnect. With work, school, family, friends, hobbies, and other responsibilities, the use of social media can cause overstimulation and anxiety. One of the things we can cut down on, for us to have time and energy to go out and live life, is social media.
Social media is popular for a reason. It’s fun, exciting, and inspiring. But, if we give it too much time and energy, it can feel like it’s taking over our lives. After realizing the attachment I have to social media, I began to consciously decide when to engage and when to disconnect. Some of the times I like to leave my phone behind, as I’ve mentioned, include when I’m at the gym and hiking. These usually include a given period of an hour or two. I have also noticed the benefits of putting down the phone when spending time with others, grocery shopping, and eating dinner. I know these may seem like typical times when people shouldn’t have their phones or be on them, but many of us have become glued to our phones even when surrounded by friends and family.
By consciously putting down our phones, it allows us to be open to our surroundings. It allows us to take in our environment and connect with people face-to-face. It allows us to live life and be present. Although I’m not giving up on social media, I’m learning to make the decision of when it’s time to take a step back from it and take a step forward into reality. Connecting with eachother online is amazing, but connecting with people in person, and most importantly ourselves, is life changing.Leave a comment
It's getting closer and closer to winter, which means it's also getting closer to CHRISTMAS and New Year's!
If you didn't already know, I just recently moved to the Las Vegas area and I'm excited to experience a winter with no snow, no dirty slush, and no freezing weather (I moved from the northwest suburbs of Chicago...so you can only guess how brutal the winters are).
The last couple of months have been full of travel, getting sick, more travel, school work, and job hunting! This last week has finally slowed down and I'm in my last term of school!!! I'm currently taking my last class and am finally finished in 5 weeks. I can't believe it. With things slowing down, I wanted to share some of the little things that have helped me in the last couple of months, and made my life a little easier and more enjoyable.
I remember when I was studying Theatre In Los Angeles and briefly dated a musician. I was SO excited I had just purchased a glass water bottle from Whole Foods. I recall him laughing at me and telling me that it would break "in like a week." And...well it did. Exactly a week later. I was so bummed because not only was it expensive, but I had literally just bought it. Anyway, I'm telling you this because I was a bit skeptical about buying another glass water bottle, but I promised myself (again) that I would take extra good care of it, and since it was the same price as the other choices, I bought it. After using it for the last couple of months, I have had only positive things to say about it. I know owning a water bottle isn't really the biggest deal, but I like that it's sturdy, is made out of glass, is protected by rubber incasing, and is PINK! It's worth looking into if you're in the market for a new water bottle!
So I am in the last five weeks of my schooling (#almostdone #soexited #graduate) and this past semester I ordered one book on Amazon via Amazon Student Prime and one through my school. Let’s just say the one through my school came a little late…and the one I ordered from amazon came just in time (TWO DAYS to be exact). If you’re a student, you can sign up for the free student trial using your school email. DO IT! I am so glad I did. For the past year I have been renting textbooks instead of buying to save some money, and whenever I get the chance, I make sure to use Amazon Prime. When the class is over, you just print out the mailing info they provide, and you send it back to Amazon for free!
For those of you who know me know that I am vegan. To try to get more balance in nutrients when I make smoothies I add a scoop of this protein powder. I find that when I use it, it keeps me fuller longer, and you can't really taste it either! I use it when I make pancakes too 😀
If you already have reusable grocery bags, you're definitely helping to eliminate a form of waste with avoiding paper bags and plastic! However, if you find yourself still using plastic bags when shopping in the produce aisle, this might be a great substitute for you! I noticed that when I would purchase greens, loose veggies, potatoes, beans or rice, I would still be using plastic. These reusable produce bags are great because they're able to carry things like rice and beans, and are sturdy enough for bigger items like sweet potatoes! I recommend using them because they are fairly affordable and come in handy during each grocery run. (Not to mention the fact that they help reduce PLASTIC).
I have been using this for the past year, and I found out about it through Markus Rothkranz. Calm is a magnesium supplement that naturally helps you relax and de-stress. Magnesium also helps your body to absorb nutrients better. This product is vegan and gluten-free, and tastes yummy! (I have only ever tried the orange flavor, but it's my favorite). If you're looking for a natural way to relax, I would give this a try!
If you have tried one or more of the products above, let me know your experience and if you would recommend them. What are your October favorites? Let me know in the comments.Leave a comment
1. Limitless on Netflix. I am seriously so bummed that this show was cancelled (hoping it will come back) but this show is just the perfect mix of comedy and drama in the crime and investigation TV category. I watched the whole 22 episodes in about two weeks. Generally, I gravitate towards lighthearted comedies in both TV and film, but this show isn’t over the top with drama or gore. You should check it out! And I’ll still be here hoping for a second season…
2. Mimi Ikonn’s The Bingo Theory. I have been following Mimi on YouTube for a little while now and I love her positivity, energy, and just overall outlook on life. Her relationship with Alex (her husband) is adorable and seemingly effortless, so when she came out with a book on relationships, I just had to get it! It’s a nice easy and light read, and the book includes good information on balancing different aspects of your personality and characteristics. If you’re looking to find more balance in your life and relationships, I suggest reading this!
3. Emmy's Chocolate Chip Macaroons. Lately I have been on a raw food kick and I am loving it! This being said, I have been checking out Wholefoods to see if they have any yummy raw food snacks that I can have when I’m craving something sweet and junkie. These chocolate chip macaroons are delicious! They do have added sugars, but the ingredients are fairly simple, and they just melt in your mouth. I highly recommend checking these out if you’re looking for a healthy-ish treat! They’re also gluten-free! (And of course, vegan)
4. Brad's Raw Cheddar Chips. Just like I get cravings for sweets, I also crave that salty, crunchy food too. Since I have been trying to eat mostly raw, I have been avoiding eating pasta, gluten, bread, and pretty much any kind of processed, floury, foods. I don’t have a dehydrator (yet), so I currently don't have any substitutes for these foods. These raw cheddar chips are a nice substitute because they just pretty much taste like chips and can be eaten with guacamole or salsa. They are made with veggies that have been dehydrated. In the future when I get a dehydrator, I’d love to try to make my own, but these are so good for now!
5. Omega Juicer. I actually gifted this juicer to myself this past Christmas (haha). But I don’t juice much during the winter months. Especially with how cold it gets here in Illinois. Summer months are the time where I just CRAVE juice. I am currently in the process of editing my green juice recipe for YouTube, and when I finish it, I will link it here. Juicing is great if you’re looking to clean up your diet or cleanse, and is also a great way to get your greens in!
These are my 5 July favorites! Let me know if you have heard of any of them, and what you think in the comments. What are some of your favorites?Leave a comment
Do you put your priorities first? When I would think about my priorities, I used to think that I had them all set, and I would have answered that question with an “of course, yes!” But, the reality was, I was not putting my priorities first. In fact, I wasn’t focusing on them at all. Not only have I experienced a shift in my priorities lately, but I also realized the importance of focusing on them and putting them first. After all, the Merriam-Webster definition of priority is “something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first.” The typical priority I’ve had (or claimed to have) would have been my health. It would make sense because if you’re not healthy, it can affect every other area in your life from relationships to your job. Health is a great priority to have, but although I claimed it as a priority in a past, I didn’t start treating it as such until recently.
How I made health a priority
So simple…yet it took time. I began to put my health before everything. I began to put it first. This meant that the money I had to spend was being spent on good quality, organic (when possible), produce. This meant that I began to take care of myself and focus on getting exercise in each and every day. This meant that I went to bed early most of the time, regardless of what other people wanted me to do. It can be difficult explaining to others that putting yourself first and focusing on your health is something that is important and essential to you. I’ve had people call me selfish, question why I didn’t want to go out partying or drinking, and encourage me to keep up my previous bad habits. But, it’s okay if people don’t recognize the importance of your priorities. After all, your priorities will be different than theirs. And that’s okay. We’re all in different places in our lives, and we are all free to choose what is important to us.
The setbacks I experienced
When I began to put my health as my priority (for real this time) I began to experience setbacks. These setbacks included having a tough time breaking past previous bad habits, establishing good habits, being consistent, and having my priority go to the backburner. It’s okay to experience setbacks, and it’s natural for it to take time to form new habits. As my mom says, do things “little by little.” A little bit goes a long way. Once I started to consistently remind myself that health is important to me and because it is important to me, I have to consistently do things to contribute to good health, I began to experience breakthrough. I would prepare healthy meals for work beforehand, or I would think of healthy lunches I could grab on the go. I would make sure that I would get in a walk each day, even if it was only 10 minutes. I would constantly read and take in information that was positive and uplifting. Something that would encourage me to keep going and would bring me motivation.
The results have been amazing. I feel like each day I am becoming more and more focused on my health and putting it first. Sometimes I would get caught up in my priorities having to be my job, school, cleaning, or just getting 'stuff' done. Although those are things that I do need to focus on and work on, there are things that are much more important, like my health, for example. I mean, if I wasn’t healthy, how well would I do my job, or schoolwork? I’m sure my performance would suffer. When I continued to actually maintain my priority, I saw improvement in other areas of my life as well. I slept better, so I felt more rested throughout the day. My energy increased, so my productivity increased. My mood got better, so my relationships improved. It’s crazy what can happen when you truly make your priorities…your priorities! My takeaway from this is that I hope to continue to put my energy and focus on things that are important to me and to truly put them first. Not only do I feel much better truly putting my priorities first, but it has positivity influenced many other areas of my life. What are your priorities? Do you truly put them first? I’d love to hear from you!Leave a comment
Someone that I look up to recently told me to “do things that give you energy, and do those things first before anything else.” This came up when I told her that I felt like I haven’t been getting everything I need done, and I felt like I didn’t have time or energy to do things that I loved, and even needed to do.
Do things that give me energy?
So, what about the list of things I need to get done? Cleaning, cooking, homework, organizing, and the list goes on. What actually gives me energy? I had to think about that for a while. Since I’m in school full-time and work full-time, I didn’t feel like I could even think of anything that gave me energy…except sleep! She clarified this for me and said, “what do you love to do, and what excites you?” Well that’s simple! I love writing. I also love making (and eating) healthy food. I love walks. I love being outdoors. I love taking pictures. I love hanging out with positive people. These are the things that give me energy. Naturally my next question was how am I supposed to make time for these things when I have so many other things to do? Her reply was, "do those things first, and you’ll have the energy and motivation to do the other things you need to do.”
She was right
Honestly, though, I was skeptical. I didn’t really believe that if I did the things that I loved and excited me, first, that I would truly have the energy or motivation to clean, do my homework, organize, etc. But, to my surprise, I did! The thing is, when you are doing things that you love to do, it makes you happy. It gives you this buzz. This excitement. It gives you energy. This was the energy I needed, and this was the energy I had finally found. I started with reading. I began to read more about the topics I’m interested in like health, relationships, and self-love. This motivated me to start writing. As I started writing, I had more ideas and I started taking pictures. I got the chance to go on vacation and travel to Florida to visit my mom and go to the beach (which I love) every day, twice a day even! I then started walking more, and waking up earlier, so I had more time to do the things I loved. Then something unexpected happened. The motivation and desire to clean and organize my apartment came to me! I was seriously so surprised, but also excited because I haven’t had motivation to do that for, well, a long time. 😀
The waiting game
The truth is that I was constantly playing the waiting game. I would wait to do the things I loved until I got the list of ‘things I needed to do first’ done. But, the funny thing is that list was a never ending list and I never got to do the things I loved, the things that gave me energy, excitement, inspiration, and motivation. Although I was skeptical in the beginning, I started to do more things that I loved and it gave me life. Literally. It breathed life into me.
But…I need to get those things done
Yes, it’s true. There are deadlines. There are bills. There are things we really do need to do. I continued to go to work each day, and I continued to do all of my homework, and turn it in on time. But, I also made sure to do something I loved each day. Start with one thing, and work your way up from there. You’ll see how much of a difference it makes. The reality is, I had the time, I was just spending it elsewhere. Before work, if I got up an extra hour earlier, I had time to go for a walk. During my lunch time, I had time to go out and grab a healthy meal. After work, I had time to write. Waiting to have the time or energy, or waiting for the ‘list of things I need to do’ to run out doesn’t work because the list never ends and we never seem to get more time. The time is now.
What do you LOVE to do? Do you do something that you love each day? I’d love to hear from you.Leave a comment
May 16 I'll be 24! I've learned that I don't like doing things that are necessarily extravagant for my birthday. As long as I'm just hanging out with my favorite people (aka Tony and family) I'm happy. Last year was filled with ups and downs. I went back to school to study business, started a blog, lost touch with friends, reconnected with good people, and learned a lot along the way. As a tribute to my last 24 years, here's a list of things that I've discovered, learned, and came to appreciate.
We’re told from an early age to “follow our dreams, passions, and interests” but interests change, and dreams can die out. What advice is left for those of us who are unsure of where we fit and what our next step should be? Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you are unsure of your next phase of life, are a bit lost, or questioning where you belong.
Questioning our next step in life is natural and essential to getting closer to what we want or need. Whether it is figuring out the next phase of a career, schooling, or relationship, it can take time to a get to a place where we feel is right. A step in any direction can help us find what we like or what we know we don’t want. Sometimes standing still and turning our focus on other parts of our lives can help us relax in order to make our next move. Have you ever felt stuck in your career or relationship? What steps do you take to figure out your next move? Let me know in the comments section!Leave a comment
It can be difficult to find inspiration to create, try something new, make life changes, and continue to do the same mundane things in life when we know it can amount to something greater later on. Inspiration isn’t always a sure thing and can come to us just as quickly as it leaves us. We don’t always need to be inspired to continue to do things that we love, or things that we have to do each day (e.g. school and work), but being inspired does add to our creativity and ability to enjoy the, sometimes, boring aspects of life. When I’m out of inspiration here are the places I look to for help:
Nature: Just going out for a short walk in nature always helps me gain inspiration. Nature has a way of relaxing you, clearing your mind, giving you energy, and just making you feel great.
Books: Reading new information, or looking over old information always helps me gain knowledge and generates new ideas for me. I’m currently reading How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This book has inspired me and is continuing to inspire me to learn how to relate to others at work and in my personal life. I'm learning about the benefits of listening and connecting with others. I'm also learning about the negative effects of criticism and how to combat giving criticism by praising good work.
Films/Documentaries: Films and documentaries are great for learning about something that we may not be able to experience firsthand in our day to day lives. My two current favorites are Cowspiracy and The True Cost. Although about two different topics, these films both educate viewers on the importance of our decisions, and the impact that we can have on our environment and others. Definitely worth checking out! They have both inspired me to think before I make a purchase and to realize how the types of food I choose to consume affect the environment.
Visiting new places:
Although I haven't traveled for a while, (a year to be exact) I can think of places I've visited that have impacted my views on life, gave me a different perspective on things, and have influenced and inspired me. I can't believe it's been that long, but five years ago I traveled to Belarus to visit my family. Many times when people have asked me what my background is I normally would have said Russian because it's the most familiar Russian speaking country to most (and I speak Russian), but I'm technically Ukrainian and Belarusian. When I visited Belarus, I got to spend time with my wonderful grandmother that helped raise me up until I was about seven years old. We got to catch up on life, talked about the past, future, and just spent time doing cool things like picked flowers and later dried them out in the sun for tea. I met some family friends that told me about their struggles in school and fears about being able to support themselves afterwards. It was interesting to learn that, although I live in a completely different country, I have the same struggles, fears, and interests as others. I also came to appreciate a lot of the things I take for granted. Visiting Belarus created so many lasting memories that I treasure and think about all the time.
Friends and family: Whenever I am feeling like I just want to give up with school or take a break, my family always does a great job in inspiring me and motivating me to keep going. Although I enjoy learning and overall love my schooling, it's not always easy or exciting to do homework after a long day at work. School gets monotonous just like everything else in life. My mom, specifically, always reminds me of the advantages of continuing my education and the future benefits.
Inspiration is truly all around us. There are times where inspiration is easy to obtain, and there are other times where we have to work a little bit harder to find it. I hope this gives you some ideas. Where do you look for inspiration? Let me know on Twitter or leave a comment! 🙂Leave a comment
So lately I've been thinking of ways to be more productive as well as just happier. I’ve noticed that I tend to complain when I’m getting up early in the morning and throughout the day simply because I'm a bit tired. Other times I complain when I’m feeling overwhelmed with being in school full time while working full time. I've been thinking of ways to minimize my complaining. I've started a gratitude journal, and since then I haven't really seen much of a change. So I underwent an experiment where I made a conscious effort to not complain the entire day. When we complain, it really doesn't make a difference. It doesn't change anything. Instead of complaining I decided to see if I could change the circumstances. If I was tired, I’d go to asleep earlier. If I was rushing in the morning, I'd try to wake up earlier to give myself more time. If I was stressed, I'd find activities to help me relax. You get the picture.
No complaining makes for a more productive and enjoyable day. Instead of just thinking and talking about things I didn’t like, I started to think of ways that I could change them. I made a plan that was realistic and feasible for me, and I stuck with it. I had been overwhelmed with school assignments lately, so instead of complaining about how I’ve been procrastinating on my homework, I bought a planner and I wrote out assignments that I needed to complete for each day of the week. This way I had little to do each day, but by the end of the week, all my homework would be completed.
Many times, I especially find myself complaining about how little time I have. I don’t have time to cook, work out, write, and the list never ends. Once I stopped complaining about how much little time I had, I started to figure out how much time I did have. I made a list of the top 5 things that are the most important to me right now, and how much of each activity I could fit in each day. Once we determine our priorities, it becomes easier to focus on them. I then began planning how much I could realistically fit into my schedule each day.
Complaining is not only negative, but it is counterproductive. From my experience, the more I complained, the less I got accomplished, and the worse I felt. Once I began to substitute my complaining with actions and solutions, I became more productive, and I felt happier. Life doesn’t always have to be perfectly planned out, and many times it’s not. Creating daily plans that center around activities that are a priority can help with decreasing procrastination and increasing our levels of productivity. Shifting our focus from complaining to creating a strategy to solve our problems can have such a positive impact. Do you find yourself complaining a lot? What are your tips on minimizing complaining and becoming more productive? Leave a comment and let me know!Leave a comment
Today I felt kind of stuck. I looked through my bedroom; closet, shelves, bathroom, and I couldn’t find anything that I didn’t need. Well, sort of. I’m not completely getting rid of all the things I don’t use. There are some things I’m waiting on, like school books, to get rid of once I graduate. I think I’ll probably resell them or donate those. I don’t need to get rid of things just for the sake of getting rid of them, right? Of course not. That would just not make any sense. I thought I was finished, but as I walked around the apartment and opened the coat closet, I noticed a stack of boxes on the top shelf. One of them was a box full of old pictures. Memories. I didn’t want to get rid of these, but I didn’t want to keep them in a box that I never opened or looked at. I remember reading about the minimalist’s scanning party post where they simply found a way to store their photos electronically. Most of my photos are already on an external hard drive, but not my childhood photos. So, in addition to simplifying my life by reducing the amount of stuff I own, I’m going to begin scanning old photos, letters, and notes that I have boxed up or in photo albums sitting around on a shelf. Therefore I won’t have to necessarily get rid of these items that have value and memories, I just won’t have them taking up space in my apartment. Is that cheating? 🙂
This challenge was a short, but helpful one! I learned the importance of making intentional purchases, getting rid of extra or unused things, and the benefits of not being so attached to things! How were your experiences? Did you get rid of a lot of things, or a little? Did it change the atmosphere of your apartment or room? Let me know!Leave a comment
Going through stuff can be exhausting and emotional. I got rid of a lot of bigger items today and I focused on freeing up some shelf space in my room. To be honest it's not really filled with a lot of stuff. I do, however, have some paperwork from school and books and old letters from friends. Going through sentimental items can be difficult. Not only is it emotional, but it brings you back in time to that moment. All these feelings can be overwhelming. I haven't rid my shelves of all sentimental items, but little by little I'm weeding out things that I never use, let alone look at. They just sit on my shelf, and sometimes my cat chews on them. As I continue, I’ll probably revisit sentimental items to see if I really need or want to keep them. What items do you keep around, but never seem to use? Let me know in the comments section!Leave a comment