Gratitude is a powerful practice that can have a positive effect on your overall happiness and well being. When you focus on what you have and begin to truly appreciate everything in your life, your perspective will shift. This has a ripple effect. Soon, your attitude is transformed and you have a better outlook on life.
When life is good, it is easy to express gratitude. It comes naturally for most. Receiving a gift or winning a prize floods you with feelings of happiness and joy, maybe you get excited, and you feel appreciative and grateful. The challenge lies in practicing gratitude when life presents obstacles or times get tough. When a loved one is sick, you lose your job, or your life gets completely turned upside down in some other way, it’s easy and absolutely normal to feel anger, sadness, depression – any number of negative emotions. It is in the darkest times that gratitude has the most power.
Gratitude is a choice. It takes practice and conscious effort – every single day.
Practicing gratitude sometimes takes a lot of inner strength. But it is extremely powerful.
“Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything. This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything.” -Alan Cohen
You can’t always control your circumstances. But you can control how you react to them.
“Life is 10% of what happens to you, 90% of how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll
Now is the perfect time to start incorporating gratitude into your daily life. When you practice gratitude, you change your mindset. You shift your focus to the good in your life. Your attitude changes and you begin to feel happier.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” -Melanie Beattie
I’m very excited to announce the second annual 30 Day Gratitude Challenge. I hosted this last year on my official Facebook page, but this year I thought I would post it right here on the blog. It starts on Tuesday November 1.
Each day, I will post a prompt that will get you thinking about, and practicing gratitude. By the end of the month, you will have created a good habit, improved your daily mood, and quite possibly, will have transformed your life!
Don’t worry. This will not be time consuming. Each day will take approximately 5-10 minutes max. You don’t have to be at home to participate — That’s the beauty of gratitude: You can take it with you anywhere you go!
Gratitude doesn’t have to be a big to-do. You do not have to be religious. There are really no rules.
I’d love for you to join me on this journey! And.. why not invite a few friends or your family to join you? Share this post with everyone across your social media so that others can join us!
I also have a fun tradition I’d like to share with you.
Every year, my son and I create a Gratitude Tree. We go outside, collect some sturdy branches, and gather them in an antique teapot to create our tree. We start each November morning by writing down what we are grateful for that day and hang it up on the tree. Click here to learn how to make your own Gratitude Tree for your family this year!
I wanted to share this with you now so you can collect your branches while the weather is still decently warm. 🙂
For more on Practical Gratitude, please visit my article:
How cute are these little monsters? All you need are coffee filters, markers, construction paper, scissors, and glue or tape. This is a fun project that any kiddo can do, but I think I had more fun making monsters than my son did! Hahaha!
If you have some old books laying around, this is such a cute and fun craft to make! Younger kids will need a little help as you will need a utility knife for this project. It does make a bit of a mess, so I recommend covering your workspace with a thick piece of cardboard.
*Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own*
Hello friends! Happy Thursday!
I was recently selected to take part in the Maybelline Matte Metallics Voxbox from Influenster. I was so excited when I found out because this is my very first all makeup voxbox!
In case you were wondering, Influenster is a great website where you can discover new products, write honest reviews, create personalized lists of your favorite products or create wishlists, earn badges, participate in campaigns, and test out products for free! Anyone can join! I’ve been a member for a few years now and I love it! One of my favorite things is the app. Many campaign activities, such as social media posts, are easier using the app. You can upload your makeup or beauty looks now, too. I also love the scan feature in the app. When you are out shopping, you can scan the barcode on an item and instantly see reviews for it! It’s a life-saver!
The Maybelline Matte Metallics Voxbox came with two lipsticks. I received Molten Bronze #970 and Smoked Silver #978.
Now I will be honest, when I opened the box, I was a little intimidated and scared. These colors in the tube are dark. The boldest I’ve gone with my lip color is red and the “wildest” I’ve gone is a darker pink-purple, that still looked like an everyday color. Count in the fact that it’s just been in the past year, year and a half, that I’ve really dived in and started wearing lipstick… you can start to paint a picture of how I was feeling. However, I always try to find the benefit in each situation. First, I was grateful to be chosen for this campaign. These are products that are sent to me, completely complimentary, and I get to share my opinion about them. That’s pretty awesome. Second, Halloween is just around the corner. I thought these colors would be perfect for it!
My plan was to create fun Halloween inspired looks, but I really surprised myself.
The first color I used was Smoked Silver #978. I did a smokey eye and liquid eyeliner, three coats of various mascara, and the lipstick. In the tube, the color is definitively dark purple with specks of silver, and an almost goldish sheen. I applied it to my lips straight from the tube. It was very soft and velvety, but the color was not as dark on my lips as I was expecting. It was a vampy purple-silver and really brought out the color of my eyes. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it actually looked on me. The color is a true matte, and feels good on the lips.
Smoked Silver, paired with a black choker, a chained choker, a black lace sweater, and with my hair up in a ponytail – I was living my childhood dream of 90’s witchy vampire girl. I was ready to walk on the set of The Craft for a role in the witchy squad, or onto the set of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and be the new chosen one (or a vampire extra haha!) I loved this look and loved the lipstick color!
Next up was Molten Bronze #970. Again, I was a little nervous about this color. It is a very dark brown with specks of gold in the tube. I set out to create a bronzed goddess look with this lipstick. I went to apply a metallic quartz eyeshadow to my eyelid for a little shimmer, and my brush still had a little bit of espresso on it. So my eyes instantly got smoked out. Oops. I went with it and ended up with a nice brown/bronze smokey eye. Then I applied the lipstick. Again, it went on smooth and felt velvetty on my lips. It was a nice bronzy matte color. As soon as I put it on, it completed the look. Once again, I had 90’s vibes going on (when you discover your true self hahahahaha!)… I tousled my wavy strands and ended up with a few different vibes:
Had I added a flannel and doc martens – 90’s chic grunge
Motorcycle boots and a leather jacket – Biker chick, or 90’s rock and roll chick (maybe heels instead of boots)
I added a cross necklace and went with 90’s vamp vibes, but as I was getting pics of my look, I realized that I looked like Madonna in the Like A Prayer video. (minus my long hair and darker eyes)
This was my favorite Maybelleine Matte Metallics lipstick color out of the two.
I was very surprised with this voxbox. I still cannot get over how good these lipsticks look on! I give these 5 stars out of 5. The colors are beautiful and truly matte. They feel velvety on the lips and after trying them, I think they would look good on everyone! I looked up the price at Walmart – they retail for $5.50, which I think is pretty comparable to other drugstore lipsticks. I recommend looking into this line and trying the lipstick out! There are ten colors total to choose from and I want to try Copper Spark #958 and Hot Lava #962.
Well that’s it! What do you think about the Maybelline Matte Metallics Lipstick line? Which color would you want to try or have you tried? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!
Fall is in full swing. The leaves are changing color and falling to the ground, school is in session, everyone is busier than ever, and the weather, with its up and downs, is leaving many people not feeling their best. Allergies, colds, the flu.. general aches, fatigue.. I think we’re all experiencing this on some level.
These are the times when people typically start to fall off the wagon. Life gets crazy, unexpected situations arise, we fall out of balance.
So this week, I wanted to share the three things I always do to motivate myself and get back on my A game. Let’s jump in!
1. Find Your Why.
When it comes to health and fitness goals, this is huge. You have to dig deep and be honest with yourself. Why are you doing this? But it isn’t just about exercise and eating right. Identifying your why applies to many different areas of your life and any goal that you set for yourself. Doing this creates the right mindset, which will help lead you to success. Motivation doesn’t last. Anyone can be motivated for a period of time, but eventually that energy fizzles out. Having a clear, concise reason for whatever you are trying to achieve will carry you through those times when you are unmotivated. You can return to that reason, remember why you are doing what you are doing, realign your focus, and get back to work.
2. Give Yourself A Push.
Sometimes we need a spark of inspiration to get us going, to help us realign that focus. In these instances, I like to seek out inspiration and tips. I’ve mentioned it numerous times, I love Pinterest. It’s such a great resource, you can find just about anything on there. You might create a vision board for each goal you have, to make you laugh when you’re feeling blue, or to organize your life (that’s the next step!) I also love YouTube as a source of inspiration and humor. I subscribe to a few YouTubers who make me laugh, but I’ve also recently been interested in the self-help, life coaching section of YouTube. I absolutely love Tracy Hensel. I came across one of her videos last week and I was hooked! I like to pull YouTube up on my laptop when I’m doing my household tasks. I get to laugh or learn new tips while I get my chores done. Win-Win! Another great source of inspiration is your local library. Pick out some inspiring books to read, whether you choose a hard copy or an ebook.
3. Get Organized.
This is my favorite tip and the one that always helps me feel the most empowered. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and frazzled when there are piles of clutter around, or when you know you have a bunch of tasks to complete, but you don’t know where to start. Being organized is one of the keys to success. The first step is to create a To-Do List. I love writing my list down on paper, but you could use your computer or your phone. Whatever works best for you. Write everything down that you need to accomplish. Once you physically see it on your list, it automatically starts to feel more manageable. Be sure to add any household tasks to your list. Clear the clutter around you in your home, in your office, in your car, wherever you are each day. Then tackle your list, one thing at a time. It is helpful to tackle the big things, or the tasks you dread the most, first. Get it done, cross it off, and move on to the next thing.
Well, I hope these tips were helpful to you. These are the three things I do when I feel like I’ve fallen off and lost my balance. They always help me realign my focus and get back on my A game. 🙂 Let me know what tips you have for finding motivation in the comments below.
And if you have suggestions for what you’d like to see in upcoming inspiration posts or for anything else, please let me know! You can find me across my social media, which I will link below.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! I love decorating the house with my son, while listening to a Halloween playlist or watching one of our favorite Halloween inspired movies.
Growing up, I loved spooky, scary movies. The scarier the better! Now that I’m a little older, I enjoy tamer, less scary options.
With that in mind, here is my list of favorite family friendly Halloween movies. Whip up some popcorn and grab a few sweet snacks, and settle in for a fun family movie night!
I love this movie! I saw it in theaters when I was 4 and it remains one of my all time favorite movies. We watch this throughout the year, but once October arrives, we have it on repeat. This is a perfect family friendly Halloween movie. It is not too scary and has a lot of humor.
After his family moves to Salem, Mass., Max, his sister, and their new friend explore an old abandoned house. Max accidentally frees three evil witches who once lived there. With the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches’ spell book and prevent them from becoming immortal.
This was my favorite part when I was little…
Ghostbusters is a beloved classic. An all star cast, interesting story lines, and humor throughout make these movies a must-see. We watch them throughout the year, but they are perfect for Halloween time!
GhostBusters is about a team of scientists, who after losing their positions at a university in New York City, decide to become “ghostbusters” to wage a high-tech battle with the supernatural for money. They stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, a doorway that will release evil upon the city. The Ghostbusters must now save New York from complete destruction.
In GhostBusters II, the scientists return once again to battle the forces of evil in New York City. An ancient tyrant sets his sights on Dana’s baby as the new home for his wicked soul and puts the three scientists back in business. The quest quickly goes awry, landing them in court. But when the ghosts turn on the judge, he issues an order allowing the Ghostbusters to get back to work.
And the new version is just as good! Hilarious cast and fun for the whole family! Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth team up to save Manhattan from an invasion of spirits, spooks, and slime.
BeetleJuice is another Halloween classic! It has all of the elements of a Tim Burton movie, with a lot of humor added into the mix. Michael Keaton is hilarious as BeetleJuice, and is joined by amazing actors to create a fun, unique story.
After the Maitlands die in a car accident, they find themselves stuck haunting their country residence, unable to leave the house. When the unbearable Deetzes and their teen daughter Lydia buy the home, the Maitlands attempt to scare them away without success. Their efforts attract Beetlejuice, a rambunctious spirit whose “help” quickly becomes dangerous for the Maitlands and innocent Lydia.
One of my favorite parts…
Addams Family and Addams Family Values
The Addams Family movies are classics from my childhood. “They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysteriously spooky..” My entire family gathers around the TV to watch these two films. Full of humor and weirdness, they are sure to delight people of all ages. The best part? The Addams Family is on Netflix!
Addams Family – When a man claiming to be Fester, the missing brother of Gomez Addams, arrives at the Addams’ home, the family is thrilled. However, Morticia begins to suspect the man is a fraud, since he cannot recall details of Fester’s life. With the help of lawyer Tully Alford, Fester manages to get the Addams clan evicted from their home. Gomez realizes the two men are conspiring to swindle the Addams fortune and that he must challenge Fester.
Addams Family Values – Gomez and Morticia are celebrating the arrival of a baby boy. But siblings Wednesday and Pugsley are not happy about the new addition, and try their best to eliminate the infant. When nanny Debbie Jelinsky appears to keep the kids in line, her presence leads to an unexpected treacherous twist.
I am a huge fan of Harry Potter! I own all of the books and have read each of them several times. While in most cases, the book is better than the movie, I have to admit that the movies are pretty good. These are movies that are great to watch year round, but are also fun around Halloween time.
When he was a baby, Harry Potter’s parents were killed. He was sent to live with the Dursley’s, his aunt, uncle, and cousin. At age 11, Harry Potter finds out that he is a wizard and is invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While at Hogwarts, Harry finds out that he is famous in the wizarding world and learns secrets about his family. So begins a 7 year adventure and battle with the evil Voldemort.
There are eight total movies.
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part I
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part II
Oh the days of the Disney Channel Original Movies! There are many good ones! The HalloweenTown movies are among my all time favorites and I love watching them around Halloween time! All of the movies are fantastic, even Return to HalloweenTown, when they recast the part of Marnie. Your kids are sure to enjoy the magic, weirdness, and fun of HalloweenTown!
HalloweenTown – After learning she is a witch, Marnie helps save a town full of supernatural creatures.
HalloweenTown II – Marnie and her grandmother, the famous Cromwell witch, try to stop a villain from permanently transforming trick-or-treaters into their costume characters.
Another classic from my childhood. Casper is a great family Halloween movie!
Casper is a friendly ghost who peacefully haunts a mansion in Maine. When specialist James Harvey arrives to communicate with Casper and his fellow spirits, he brings along his teenage daughter, Kat. Casper quickly falls in love with Kat, but their budding relationship is complicated not only by his transparent state, but also by his trouble-making apparition uncles and their mischievous antics.
I was introduced to this movie as a teenager and it instantly became one of my favorites! I completely related to Louise, who was the typical nerdy smart girl. How I wished I had a Madame Serena in my life and a beautiful talisman necklace!
High-school nerd Louise Miller learns from psychic Madame Serena that she’s possessed with magical abilities that will begin working on her 16th birthday. When the prophecy proves true, the teenager uses her new powers to get what she’s always desired: popularity. After getting back at some bullies, the young witch casts a spell over hunky jock Brad Powell. But Louise soon learns that getting what you want isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
And I have to add a video of one of my favorite scenes.
I’ve read all of the Goosebumps books and I loved watching the TV series. When I saw Jack Black was starring in a Goosebumps movie, I had to see it. My family and I really enjoyed this movie and now it’s on our list of favorite Halloween movies to watch each year.
Upset about moving from the big city to a small town, young Zach Cooper finds a silver lining when he meets his beautiful neighbor Hannah. The teen is surprised to learn that Hannah’s mysterious father is R.L. Stine, the famous author of the best-selling “Goosebumps” series. When Zach accidentally unleashes the monsters from the fantastic tales, it’s up to Stine, his daughter and Cooper to return the beasts back to the books where they belong.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This is one of my favorites. A classic early 90’s movie, eventually turned into a long running TV series (that I also loved.) Plenty of humor, but the vampires can be a little scary for younger children. This movie is probably best for Tweens and up.
For Buffy Summers, nothing is the same after she meets Merrick Jamison-Smythe. Merrick tells the teen that he’s been sent to train her to fight vampires, and he proves himself by displaying his supernatural powers. Buffy is a quick study, and soon takes fellow student Oliver Pike under her wing, repeatedly saving him from fierce bloodsuckers. But, when a very dangerous vampire gets rambunctious, she must go to war again.
And my favorite part, the “How Funky is Your Chicken” cheer.
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
It’s just not Halloween without Charlie Brown. This beloved classic usually airs on TV in October, on ABC. We never miss it!
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a 1966 American prime time animated television special based on the comic strip, Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.
Those are my favorite family-friendly Halloween movies. What is your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know! 🙂
How many times have you read stories where people stated, “until I saw myself in that picture, I never realized how serious my weight problem was”?
How many times have you heard doctors say, “you’re in remarkably good health” even though you know in reality you’re overweight, sedentary, depressed and likely taking multiple prescription medications? If your doctor resembles the picture above, do you think his opinion may lack credibility even though you want to believe him?
The following is a story many of you will relate to:
A 57 year old man (we’ll call him Mr. Smith) weighing 377 pounds was driving to work when he began to experience right arm numbness. He wasn’t overly concerned because a month earlier he had his annual physical exam that revealed NORMAL blood pressure and NORMAL cholesterol findings. Mr. Smith interpreted these two values as a “clean bill of health.”…
If you are like me, you have a bunch of boxes laying around. My utility room cupboards are full of folded up cardboard boxes. It’s an organized chaos. I blame my affinity for keeping boxes on moving so many times. Boxes are expensive. Why pay for them when you can get them for free… and why throw them in the recycle bin if you might need them again? Also.. Pinterest. Enough said.
I have quite the collection of Influenster, BzzAgent, and Smiley360 boxes from the various campaigns I’ve participated in the past year. My son loves to use them for his little treasures, creating creatures, and various crafts. A couple months ago he turned an old BzzAgent box into a Perry the Platypus which was pretty neat.
I thought it would be cute to upcycle my latest Influenster box into a secret treasure box for him. With Halloween coming up, I thought why not transform it into a cute monster? (This is what Pinterest has done to me. haha!)
So, I looked through my crafting supplies and got to work!
Gift wrap or old gift bags (anyone else save these from year to year to reuse?)
Cardboard Egg Carton
Sticky Velcro Strips
Get an old box. Any sturdy box with a lid will work.
Pick out some gift wrap and wrap up your box. I cut an old gift bag and used that to wrap my box. If you are using an old Influenster box, be sure to open your box and wrap the top, leaving the flap open. (You will want to cut the two side pieces that slide into the box first.) If you are using a box with a removable top, go ahead and wrap the lid.
Using a pencil, draw some teeth on the flap and carefully cut them out. Wrap a piece of white paper around the teeth, securing with tape or glue. Once dry, cut the paper to match the outline of the teeth. You could also just paint the teeth white or whatever color you wish. If you are using a different box, have fun cutting teeth or a mouth out using construction paper, card stock, gift wrap, or extra pieces of cardboard. Then secure it to your box using tape or glue.
To make the eyes, cut out two or three individual shells from a cardboard egg carton. Draw pupils in the middle with a black sharpie marker and secure them on top of your box. I used sticky velcro strips to ensure that the eyes stay and don’t fall off. You could use glue or tape, whatever you have at home.
You can use this as a “Secret Treasure” box or display it as part of your Halloween decor!
I shared this post back in January, but it’s never too late to start working toward your goals. There’s no set rule that says you have to wait for New Years, or even for a Monday, to begin taking action. If you are always waiting for that “perfect moment” or for the “perfect time,” you’ll never start. We have 12 weeks left of 2017. Imagine how much you can achieve if you start today. The time to begin is now.
Let’s start the week off right by taking action, being proactive, and achieving our goals! This is a small list of things that you can do to set yourself up to have an amazing Monday and a productive week! You could do all of them, or you could mix and match. Make it work for you! For best results, try incorporating three of these each day this week. 🙂
Find some movement every single day. It could be something simple, like go for a walk. Go for a run. Try a new fitness class. Put some music on and dance around your house. At the beginning of the year, started the day with yoga. It allowed my body to stretch and my mind to focus. Yoga really helps set the tone for the day. Nowadays, I like to get my Tracy Anderson workout in first thing in the morning. I know that my days are pretty full and if I wait, I most likely won’t get to that workout. Doing it first thing ensures that I stay on track with fitness goals. Plus, working out in the morning comes with many health benefits, including feeling accomplished before the sun has risen. But honestly, any movement is good. Your body and your mind will thank you.
2. Be Grateful.
Each morning find something for which to be thankful. It could be something as simple as your hot cup of coffee. This is a great habit to develop. Also, you can find things to be thankful for throughout your day, or you could go through a gratitude checklist of all the things, and the people for whom you are grateful, before going to sleep each night.
For more on practical gratitude for everyday life, click here.
3. Drink a Glass of Ice Water.
We all know it’s important to drink water. Staying hydrated is a key component in staying healthy, having beautiful skin, combating hunger cravings, and so much more. I like to keep a glass of water with me at all times, even when I’m out and about. This bird cup has a lid so I can take it on the go. Many times I will use my Blender Bottle. I love reusuable cups versus bottled water. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it’s also wallet friendly.
4. Eat Breakfast.
It is the most important meal of the day, after all. 😉 Seriously, though, eat a little something. Consider it fuel for your day. It doesn’t have to be a 5 – course breakfast.. eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, etc.. although those foods are tasty. Have some toast, cereal, oatmeal, even a Pop Tart. (Once in awhile.) Whatever you would like. It will help you focus and give you the energy you need to make it through the morning.
5. Pause. Reflect. Update.
For many people, Sunday is a relaxing, chill day. Others use Sunday as a “meal prep” day. This is the perfect day to sit down and think about what you want to accomplish this week. Write it down on a piece of paper, a post-it, or in a notes app on your phone. Then go crush it!
6. Read a Book.
Go to the library and pick one out. Dust that novel off the shelf that you’ve been meaning to read, but never got to. ..And no. Sorry. A magazine doesn’t count for this one.
Put your phone down. Shut it off and let it charge. Get off the internet. Go outside and play. Read that book. Play a board game with your kids. Whatever. Just step away from the electronics for at least an hour. I know it’s hard, but you’ll survive. Promise.
9. Enjoy a Snack or Treat.
Go ahead. Enjoy a cookie or a brownie. Have some chips or cashews. Savor the taste and enjoy your treat or snack. If you love peanut butter, check out my Peanut Butter Cookie Crispies recipe here. Just be sure to give some away… these cookies are addicting and if you are like me, you might just eat the entire batch.
10. Go to Bed Early.
Seriously. Get some sleep. You’ll feel better. You’ll look better. You’ll be more ready to tackle your to-do list. You’ll have more energy. Just do it and enjoy!
What are some things you like do to start your week off right? Leave a comment and let me know!
Stay tuned because next week, I will be sharing some tips on how to find motivation to get up and get things done.
The season of comfy, over-sized sweaters, boots, and hot drinks is upon us! Now is the perfect time to revisit our goals, edit and revise as necessary, and then jump back in with both feet! This is true especially regarding our health and fitness goals.
As much as it pains me to think about, Christmas is only weeks away. Just imagine for one moment: if you start today, how amazing will you look and feel by Christmas?
If you set small, manageable goals, you will already be headed for success into the new year! Now that is something to get excited about!
This week, I’m sharing some of my favorite powerful quotes that will help inspire and motivate you as you begin working on your new goals. In addition, I’ve linked some articles for further reading that might be helpful in guiding you to a starting point or to give you some fresh ideas!