The Miracle of Gratitude

Hello friends! Happy Sunday!

fallfeat1

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.

gratitude tree

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:

4 Tips to Bring Gratitude Into Your Daily Life

Be sure to subscribe and follow the blog so you don’t miss out on any of the gratitude prompts. Leave a comment below and let me know you’re in for the challenge!

fallend1

Have a wonderful week friends!

 

Advertisements

The Best Family-Friendly Halloween Movies

jack

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.

The classics.

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!

popcornmovie

Enjoy!

 

 

Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus
My all-time favorite.

 

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

GHOSTBUSTERS
Classics.

 

IMG_20171012_171931479_1507900119437.jpg
The new Ghostbusters

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

BeetleJuice
A classic Tim Burton movie.

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.

 

Harry Potter

HP
I own all the books, but only a few of the movies.

 

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

 

HalloweenTown

halloweentown
Source

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.

 

Casper

casper
Source

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.

 

Teen Witch

Teen Witch
Source

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.

 

Goosebumps

goosebumps
Source

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

buffy
Source

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

charlie brown
Source

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.

 

pop2

 

Those are my favorite family-friendly Halloween movies. What is your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know! 🙂

September 2017 Favorites

Hello friends!

The end of September is here, which means it’s time for another monthly favorites post. Here are the things I have enjoyed more than other things this month.

 

Tone Brazilian Glam Body Wash

IMG_20170928_140002865_1506623736782[1]

 

I’ve been using this all month and I love it! It has a tropical, coconut-y scent that stays with you all day. It makes you feel like you are in the midst of a tropical oasis, even when it’s rainy and gross outside.

 

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+

IMG_20170928_140208132_1506623633458[1].jpg

My mother-in-law gave this mascara set to me and I really love it! This is a two step mascara and I apply it to the ends of my lashes, on top of my normal mascara. It makes my lashes look longer and makes my eyes pop!

IMG_20170902_121732974_1504369160793[1].jpg

 

SROMAY Chakra Bracelet

This was another gift from my mother-in-law. It’s made with lava beads and acts as a diffuser for multiple health and wellness benefits. You can put a few drops of essential oils on the black lava beads and the scent lasts up to 48 hours! I love this bracelet and it’s a perfect complement to my yoga practice!

20170829_183503_1504050465694[1]
Crowing on some books for #CrowOnShitTuesdays

ScentSationals Vanilla Bean Wax

IMG_20170928_140017842_1506623719988[1].jpg

 

My husband surprised me with this a couple weeks ago. I put a wax square in our wax burner, light a tea light candle, and our entire house is filled with the relaxing scent of vanilla. It smells just like vanilla ice cream! The scent lasts for a long time. I reuse the same wax over and over. And this brand is relatively inexpensive. These are $2 at Wal-Mart and they have a variety of scents to choose from!

IMG_20170928_140046816_1506623703223[1].jpg

 

Fresh Corn on the Cob

IMG_20170928_134832_603_1506623752598[1].jpg

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my latest Instastory – sharing the delicious corn on the cob we recently had. We’ve been all over the state this summer, but were only just able to visit our favorite Farmer’s Market. It might officially be Autumn, but the weather and the food scream Summer. Corn on the Cob is one of my favorite summer-time dishes!

Hair Slinky Hair Ties

IMG_20170926_165137038_1506460715268[1].jpg

I love doing yoga and fitness challenges on Instagram. Recently, my friend Kattie hosted a Power Yoga Challenge. I was selected as the winner! This hair tie was one of my gifts. Yes, that phone cord looking thing around my wrist is a hair tie! I received the powder blue one and a purple one. It was actually perfect because my hair is super long and I have a hard time keeping it in a pony tail with the traditional no tangle, no pull hair ties. This Hair Slinky hair tie is amazing! It’s heavy duty and keeps my hair up in the pony tail. When I take it out, it doesn’t pull on my hair, or rip any out.. which is a miracle! I love these! Every girl needs at least one! Check out Hair Slinky on their website for more info: https://www.hairslinky.com/

 

Sylvester the Gourd

IMG_20170927_174535175_1506623861724[1].jpg

When we were at the Farmer’s Market, I spotted this cool looking gourd. I just had to bring him home and make him a part of my Halloween/Fall decor!

 

That’s it for this month! What things have you been enjoying? Leave a comment and let me know!

House Cleaning

The weather has been absolutely beautiful in Ohio. Sunny, blue skies, 90 degrees… definitely not Fall type.. minus the tree in our backyard that has been losing its leaves since late last month.

Of course, we have to find time to get out and enjoy this weather while it lasts.

Yesterday we took a break and went out. I checked on my houseplants that were bathing in the sun and went around the corner to check on my cacti.

That’s when I spotted this guy.

 

20170924_131209_1506273208047[1]

 

He was not having those leaves in his web. Even as breeze was blowing him back and forth, he was actively moving about the web and chucking the leaves to the ground. It was an amazing sight to see!

Real Life Science.

 

20170924_140401_1506276281284

 

On a side note: identifying spiders is no easy feat. I’ve narrowed it down.. I believe this is an American House Spider.. but it does kind of resemble an orb weaver.

Do you know what it is? If so, please tell me in the comments. 🙂

…Oh and yes, we named him. This is Charlotte the Second. (The first Charlotte was a labyrinth orb weaver that had a massive web in our front garden, right in front of a window. We had front row seats last month when that spider caught a fly in her web and was going through her spinning and eating process. Very cool!)

Vacation, Birthdays, and Big Foot

 

IMG_20170915_132245328_1505518462412[1].jpg

Hello friends!

What a wonderful week it’s been! Because it was my birthday last week, we took time off and had a little staycation.. which was perfect! Sleeping in is vastly underrated and it was so nice to not hear the Ghostbusters theme at 4:50am for a few days. haha!

The weather wasn’t too bad.. mid-60’s into the 70’s, a little sunshine, a little rain.. Perfect for lazy mornings and afternoons, lounging in pajamas.

I turned 30 and it was everything I thought it would be. We enjoyed a delicious roast and chocolately brownies; there were candles. I binged American Horror Story Season 3 (my favorite season thus far) and did some exercising.

Friday we took a trip to Salt Fork State Park in southeastern Ohio. It’s one of my favorite parks in all of the state. It was incredibly foggy…

IMG_20170915_081919623_1505756984586[1]

 

IMG_20170915_085614529_1505756869618[1]

 

IMG_20170915_083522701_1506039106736[1]

 

 

We had a picnic, met some new friends, did a little exploring…

 

IMG_20170915_132333274_1505607800997[1].jpg

 

IMG_20170915_102148310_1505492159118[1].jpg

 

 

IMG_20170915_102126601_1505614955175[1].jpg

 

IMG_20170915_102247240_1506040272464[1]

 

But alas, we did not spot Big Foot. We did, however, stop in at my favorite place in all of the park, Stone House.

IMG_20170915_164209148_1505614490686[1].jpg

 

 

We ate at Cracker Barrel in Cambridge, which is one of the best Cracker Barrels we’ve ever been to…

IMG_20170915_173226207_1505518304301[1].jpg

 

On the way home, we stopped at Dillion State Park. It was beautiful.

20170915_205752[1].jpg

While we were there, I spotted this free little library. How cool!

IMG_20170915_211222449_1506040041842[1].jpg

It was an absolutely amazing week with much needed rest.

2017-09-18-13-51-44[1]

If you are in the area, definitely stop by these State Parks!

Learn more about Salt Fork State Park: A Visitor’s Guide To Salt Fork State Park

Learn more about Stone House: A Trip to Stone House

Further reading: 5 Ohio State Parks You Need to Explore

 

 

 

 

 

July/August Favorites

Hello friends!

Here we are at the end of August already. Which means it’s time for another favorites post. I’ve combined July and August favorites. Let’s get started!

 

Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker in Red!

IMG_20170705_132322444_1499275533728[1]

A girl needs her coffee! My old coffee pot was a little worn… the heat plate had started to crack and my husband told me it was time for a new one. He got me this in early July and I love it! #1, it’s red! It just brings a nice pop of color to the kitchen. Second, it allows me to set the strength of my coffee.. which I’ll tell you.. is always on strong. 😉 I like my coffee black and strong. No ruining it with milk, creamer, or sugar.. yuck! It has a nice set up feature, like most coffee pots nowadays. I am not awake enough in the morning to put water and coffee in the pot and then wait. I set it up the night before. It turns on and makes my coffee for me about 15 minutes before I get up. Is there anything better than a full pot of HOT coffee waiting for you when you wake up in the morning? I think not. Also, it turns off automatically after 2 hours.. beeping to alert me that it’s doing so. All I have to do is turn it back on. The only downside to this coffee maker, that I’ve found, is that if the pot is not just so, it makes a huge mess all over the counter. Looking at reviews, other people have also had this issue. I’ve found a fix: simply turn the pot so that the handle is to the right. I haven’t had any problems with leaking since.

 

Tone Blissful Awakening Caffeine and Vanilla Blossom Body Wash

influenster-1501870241997[1]

I found this on sale at Wal-Mart and had to try it out! The yellow bottle and the word, ‘caffeine’ caught my attention. I love this and actually am almost out. It smells amazing.. like a vanilla, tropical vacation… and leaves your skin feeling fresh and soft. It’s a wonderful shower experience. I can’t attest to the energizing feeling… I like to take a shower before bed because my hair takes forever to dry.. but I loved it all the same! I was disappointed to see that the store was out when I went last week, so hopefully they’ll get more in because I need another bottle!

 

Fruity Pebbles

20170728_063025[1].jpg

I love cereal. Not as much as Matt on Big Brother 19, but I could (and do) eat cereal for every meal of the day! I typically eat Raisin Bran (Yes, I’m old) but once in awhile, I like to switch it up. Fruity Pebbles are a gem from my childhood. This box was gone in a few days because we all love it at my house! Yabba Dabba Doo! hahaha! Fun Fact: I don’t like milk, so I eat my cereal dry. Way more delicious!

 

Chapstick Aloha Coconut

IMG_20170828_100638323_1503929261426[1]

I am a chapstick girl at heart. I always have some tube or container of chapstick with me. Normally, I am not a fan of the Chapstick brand.. but Wal-Mart had 4 packs on sale for like $2… um, that’s a good deal! So, I picked out the package with 3 original tubes and this one. First, let me say, this is my new favorite! It smells like the beach – Coconut tropical vacation.. Calgon take me away! haha! It keeps my lips moisturized and hydrated.. what more could I ask for? I am hoping that they sell these individually because I would love to get more.

 

Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Conditioner

IMG_20170828_105301136_1503932022704[1].jpg

Most of you know I have really long hair. It’s thick, it’s heavy, and it demands a little bit of work to keep it looking nice. I need to use a deep conditioner or my strands get incredibly dry and stringy looking. I love this Suave conditioner because in one use, it hydrates my hair and leaves it soft and silky. Plus, it’s not expensive. I’m a huge believer in quality products at inexpensive prices. Sorry, I don’t want to spend $20+ on a tiny container of product that will only last me a week. No. Suave is amazing and doesn’t strip my color.

Plackers Flossers Sample Pack

IMG_20170728_110515860_1501254347642[1]

*I received this sample pack free in an Influenster MegaVoxbox I won from a Twitter Party. All opinions are my own.*

This sample pack came with three flossers that were kid-sized. So, these went to my son. He loved them! They had a fruity flavor and were small enough for him to use on his own. He really enjoyed being able to floss his own teeth, so we will be getting more of these for him.

 

Sinful Shine Nail Polish – Rendezvous

*I received this nail polish free in an Influenster MegaVoxbox I won from a Twitter Party. All opinions are my own.*

This is not a color I would have chosen for myself, but I have to say, it’s become my favorite summer polish. It’s a gorgeous seafoam color and just perfect for summer! I only received step 1 in the voxbox, so the polish only lasts for about 4 or 5 days before it starts chipping… and that is without a top coat.. which is pretty great. I like to use two coats for a more pronounced color. It takes a little bit to dry and will smudge and crinkle up if you get impatient. But aside from that, I love it! I can see myself buying this after I use it all up.

 

Aussie Headstrong Volume Hairspray

IMG_20170728_102322550_1501251841593[1]

*I received this bottle of hairspray in an Influenster MegaVoxbox I won from a Twitter Party. All opinions are my own.*

I’m a huge Aussie hair products fan. This hairspray has not disappointed. #1, it smells like grapes. Second, the volume it gives my hair is quite impressive. If I wanted to recreate the gorgeous big hair that Axl Rose flaunts in the Welcome to the Jungle music video, I could… I love this stuff so much!

IMG_20170828_123856_802[1]

 

Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer

IMG_20170728_103911362_1501252812961[1]

*I received this bottle in an Influenster MegaVoxbox I won from a Twitter Party. All opinions are my own.*

This is such a great product! I’ve been using it since I received it and I love it! It actually is a time-saver. I just put it on after my shower, pat dry, get dressed.. boom done! It hydrates my skin and leaves it feeling soft and moisturized. Plus it smells like coconut. I love it! I saw an ad in one of my magazines for Jergens tinted wet skin moisturizer.. so it will basically give me a tan and golden glow.. I’m going to try that one next!

 

Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation #742

IMG_20170730_101822030_1501428874842

*I received this complimentary from Influenster in the Oasis Voxbox for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.*

Oh how I love this foundation! I’ve been wearing it every day that I put on make-up. It glides on your skin, blends easily, and gives you a flawless look. I have found that it gives great coverage from one application, but you can layer more to give you a little more coverage if needed. I wear it under my bare minerals. It makes me feel like a more elegant, beautiful version of myself. I don’t feel like a different person wearing this. It also has a pleasant citrus scent. I will be buying more of this. I really love it!

 

IMG_20170822_135352148_1503454146685[1]

 

And that’s it! What were some of your favorite things the past two months? Leave a comment and let me know!

 

How to Stay Sane When You’re Sick Part 2

20170818_171034_1503099872700[1]

 

Hello friends!

Have you ever had so much ambition that you pack your to-do list full of important tasks, you get your mind set on accomplishing all these things, and you are filled with excitement and a slight sense of pride.. thinking to yourself, “Yes. I am going to get so much done, and be ahead of the game. Completely prepared.” Almost feeling successful and accomplished. Like a real adult. ..?

And then.. you wake up feeling like you got hit by a train.

Oh the irony.

This was my week. But the worst part? Thinking I was better, thinking I was easing back in to everyday life… and then feeling sick again.

WTF? Are you serious?

And doesn’t this always seem to happen at the worst time? When you truly can’t afford to be sick?

Sigh.

I think we all can agree that being sick is the worst. And then having to “take it easy” days afterward is extremely frustrating.

It’s August.

In Ohio.

Come on.

Back in April I shared some tips in How To Stay Sane When You’re Sick  … for when you’re truly sick multiple days in a row.

I’m at the stage now where I am not sick, but I still have to take it easy, because if I don’t, I will get sick again. So, I thought I would share some tips that have been helping me in this stage of the game. They are simple and easy ways to deal with the frustration, and hopefully help get you back to 100% in no time.

1. Stay Hydrated.

Obviously. Drink water. Add some ice. Spruce it up with lemon, lime, watermelon, strawberries, whatever you like. Just be sure that you are drinking enough. I go through spurts where I love water and then where I just want anything but. I’ve been drinking a lot of ice water this week, so hopefully that flushes out all the toxins. #HydratedAF! haha! Just be careful.. As always be sure to consult your doctor about questions and concerns.

2. Yoga and/or Stretching

If you are able to move about and sitting on the couch is driving you crazy.. move a little. Roll out a yoga mat, put a blanket or towel on the floor, or just use your carpet and go through a yoga flow. If you want some guidance, I recommend Yoga with Adriene or Bad Yogi. Both are great and have a variety of YouTube videos to choose from. If Yoga isn’t your thing, just do a little organic stretching. Your body and your mind will thank you.

3. Take Breaks

This is the biggest one for me and I had to learn it the hard way. But, I can still get things done if I designate an amount of time for a task, and then rest for a bit, alternating this sequence all day. It’s been working, and as hard as it is for me to truly relax, it is actually nice to schedule the time to sit and wind down. It’s a win-win. I’m getting tasks accomplished, while still listening to my body and avoiding getting sick again. (Hopefully)

4. Netflix and Chill

So what do you do during that rest time? Binge a few episodes of your favorite TV Series or watch a new movie (We just watched Pete’s Dragon). I love Netflix because of the variety. It’s come a long way in the past few years. Or, you could catch up on your DVR list.

5. Catch-Up

If TV doesn’t sound good, grab the magazines that have been sitting on your table since you got them in the mail, curl up on the couch or in a chair, and relax. Or lose yourself in your favorite book. You can’t go wrong with reading.

6. Hot Tea or Coffee

Why not enjoy a hot beverage while you read or watch TV? I love Yogi Tea – Echinacea is great for when you’re sick. Kava if you’re stressed. (And seriously, this whole ordeal is stressful so a cup of Kava sounds amazing!) Or have some coffee. You can’t go wrong with coffee. 😉

7. Spa Time

Last, but certainly not least, have a spa hour or two. Enjoy a luxurious shower, a bubble bath, Epsom salt soak… whatever you fancy. Cut some cucumbers for your eyes, use a conditioning mask for your hair, try a face mask, paint your nails.. Go crazy. Chances are taking a little time to pamper yourself will help you feel better. 🙂

So that has been my week. What do you do to stay sane when you’re sick or when you’re trying to get better? Leave a comment and let me know your tips! 🙂

Road Trip Adventure and New Additions to the Family

Hello friends!

Happy Saturday! I hope you are all enjoying a relaxing day.

This past week we took a little road trip. Sometimes you just need to climb in the car, roll the windows down, and cruise.

IMG_20170809_180207_541[2].jpg
Enjoying my #freesample of Red Bull Summer Edition Grapefruit from Smiley360.

It was a beautiful day, sun shining, blue skies, 80 degrees.

IMG_20170809_133600_363[1]

We visited with family all day and came home with four beautiful plants.

Meet Francine.

IMG_20170810_143656353_1502390949859[1].jpg

A spunky spider plant. She has four new starts growing, so once she has acclimated to her new home, I’ll be able to clip them and have new plants!

 

Meet Agnes.

IMG_20170812_084826496_1502542216776[1].jpg

A peace lily. Just a gorgeous plant that has made her home on our dining room table.

 

Meet Ebenezer.

IMG_20170811_135655828_1502541780379[1].jpg

I was humbled to receive Ebenezer. He is a Christmas Cactus that is right at home in our den, in front of our 1970’s world map.

And Tyrion… a 4 ft. Candelabra Cactus. You don’t get to meet him just yet. We need to re -pot him first.

And those are the newest members of our family.

IMG_20170809_201457_002[1]
The Gorgeous Sunset

MegaVoxbox Reveal | Influenster

IMG_20170726_171514392_1501250490008[1].jpg

 

*Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster. All opinions are my own*

 

Hello friends!

A few weeks ago I attended an Influenster Twitter party. It was a lot of fun and I brought a lot of sass. Well, it paid off! I won a MegaVoxbox! I was pretty excited!

*Side note: 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! Interested? Click my reference link to sign up and get started: http://www.influenster.com/r/1073568

I was pleasantly surprised on Wednesday when I discovered a box on my doorstep! My MegaVoxbox had arrived!

Today, I thought it would be fun to do a reveal of all the goodies that were inside! Let’s get started!

IMG_20170726_171734305_1501103889016[1].jpg

 

Aussie Headstrong Volume Hairspray

IMG_20170728_102322550_1501251841593[1].jpg

The first thing I saw when I opened the box was this hairspray. I love Aussie products, most of them smell like grapes! This has a max hold, plus volume (80’s Axle Rose, Welcome to the Jungle, eat your heart out hahaha. True story: 10 years ago we had an 80’s day at work and Axle’s hair in this video was my inspiration. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures to show you, but it was pretty epic.) This one has Australian Aloe, Jojoba Oil, and Sea Kelp in it. I’m pretty excited to use it and see if my curls last when my husband rolls all the windows down in the car. I’ll get back to you on that. 😉

 

Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer

IMG_20170728_103911362_1501252812961[1].jpg

I’ve already used this and I love it! You just put this on after your shower, pat dry, and you are good to go! It smells fantastic, like coconut, talk about beach vibes! It keeps my skin hydrated and soft all day! I will definitely be purchasing this product!

 

Sinful Shine with Gel Tech Step 1 – Rendevous

 

I’m a big fan of the Sinful Colors nail polish! It’s inexpensive and quality nail lacquer. This color is pretty and I always see ladies wearing it. It isn’t a color I would have chosen for myself, but I was excited to try it out. It’s very different from what I’m used to (If and when I paint my nails, I stick with reds and pinks normally.) and I love it! It’s perfect for summer.

I painted my nails Wednesday evening. I used two coats of this color, no top coat. My polish hasn’t chipped, yet. That’s pretty good.

 

Plackers Flossers Fruit Smoothie Swirl

IMG_20170728_110515860_1501254347642[1]

Flossers are a great invention! We love them in our house. We usually get the mint ones. These will be perfect for my son. And, truth be told, I’ll probably test one out, too.

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water Sample

IMG_20170728_111056078_1501254811155[1]

I’m excited to test this out. I’ve seen many reviews and blog posts about the magic that is micellar water. I can’t wait to see how it works for me!

 

And that’s it! 🙂

See you guys soon!

-A

 

 

 

 

 

Waking Up to Negativity | Saturday Morning Coffee Chat

Hello Friends! Happy Saturday!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend thus far.

Last week, I woke up to some rude, mean comments on a few of my Instagram pictures. Now, this wasn’t the first time I’ve experienced this, nor will it probably be the last time I experience this.

It’s par for the course, right?

Admittedly, I was annoyed for about 5-10 minutes, mostly in trying to figure out who the person was and why he or she was commenting.

But the truth is you’ll never truly know why. And honestly, it doesn’t matter.

“People will love you. People will hate you. And none of it will have anything to do with you.”
-Abraham Hicks

The internet is a great resource and for the most part it’s a pretty great place. There are plenty of people who are kind, supportive, and encouraging. People who are friendly and helpful.

But there is that percentage of the population who feel emboldened and empowered with anonymity. Sitting behind their keyboard, they thrive on negativity,  taking every chance to tear others down.

Cowards.

Negativity is commonplace. It is easy and cheap to be mean. It takes little effort to type out a derogatory, rude comment.

But those words live on forever – both in cyberspace and in the minds of the people affected.

As children we were taught that words can’t hurt us.

But that was a lie.

Words are powerful.

“Words so innocent and powerless as they are standing in the dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

Life is short. We only get so many trips around the sun.

Why waste your time and energy making someone feel bad, when you could spend it lifting people up? It takes the same amount of effort to be decent, but has much better consequences.

There is enough negativity in the world.

Don’t be common.

Be kind.

Be remarkable.

Be a light.

Encourage. Support. Love.

And if you cannot be nice, it’s probably best to just be silent.