The Miracle of Gratitude

Hello friends! Happy Sunday!


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!


Have a wonderful week friends!



Get Motivated: 3 Simple Tips to Get You Back on Your A Game

Hello friends! Happy Sunday!

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.

Have a wonderful week, friends!




Facebook: CrimsnMacchiato

Twitter: CrimsnMacchiato

Instagram: CrimsnMacchiato

Pinterest: Alyssa



One Man’s Tale To Weight Loss, Weight Gain And The Barrier Determining Long Term Success

Check out this article from Doctor Jonathan – All About Healthy Choices




All About Healthy Choices

12521214053_d8b0285e8d_bCROPPED500How 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”?

fat-doctorHow 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.”…

View original post 831 more words

10 Ways to Start Your Week Off Right

Happy Sunday Friends!

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. 🙂


1. Move.

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.



7. Unplug.

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.


8. Smile.




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!


end photo


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.

Have a wonderful week friends!



Tone It Up 21 Day Fitness Challenge | #TIU21



The days are getting shorter, the air is cooler, and the leaves are changing color… it’s officially fall and time for the Tone It Up Fall Fitness Challenge!

I’m so excited! I’ve posted about Tone It Up before and whenever someone asks me for a little guidance in the fitness department, TIU is always at the top of my recommendation list!

I’ve been sick for about two weeks and I’m finally feeling better! So this challenge comes at the perfect time!

It starts on Monday (Oct. 9) and it will be 21 days of workouts, support from the amazing TIU community, delicious recipes, and a lot of fun!

Now is the time to set or reevaluate your goals and jump right on in! I’d love for you to join me in this fitness challenge!

Visit for more information and to sign up for free!

As always, I plan on keeping tabs with my own personal journey right here each week. You can also keep up with me daily by following me Instagram.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you are planning on joining the challenge! Let’s keep each other accountable! 🙂





Jump Back In: 8 Powerful Fitness Quotes to Inspire You to Workout!

Hello friends!

Happy Sunday and Happy first day of October!

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!


Let’s get started!


Don't limit your challenges.Challenge your limits.


Strength doesn't come fromwhat you can do.It comes fromovercomingthe thingsyou once thought you couldn't


The hard partisn'tgetting your body in shape.The hard part isgetting your mind in shape.


Fitnessisn't aboutbeing better than anyone else.Fitnessis aboutbeing better than you used to be.


Don't let the scale define you.Be active.Be healthy.Be happy.


Eatto fuel your bodynot to fuel your emotions.


If you want to get fityou only have to give awayone thing-your excuses.




For Success:

Get Fired Up: How to Stick to Your Fitness Program and Achieve Your Weight-Loss Goals

Getting Started with Working Out At Home:

Ditch the Gym and Workout at Home: A Beginner’s Guide 

My Favorite YouTube Fitness Accounts for an Amazing Workout:

Workout At Home: 5 Amazing YouTube Fitness Channels for Women

My Favorite Arm Workouts:

Best Arm Workouts for Women

My Favorite Ab Workouts:

Best Ab Workouts for Women

My Favorite Booty Workouts:

Best Booty Workouts for Women

For daily fitness inspiration follow me on Instagram



I hope this was helpful! Leave a comment below and let me know what your fitness goals are this month or your favorite inspirational fitness quote!

Stay tuned to the blog! Coming this month:

  • More Fitness Inspiration
  • Recipes
  • Halloween Decor Ideas
  • and much more!

Have a wonderful week, friends!


17 Influential and Inspiring Quotes from Franklin Delano Roosevelt



The 32nd President of the United States of America. The man who was elected to office for four terms. Arguably one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history. This week we reflect back on the wise words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together in the same world of peace.”

“Knowing what is right doesn’t mean much unless you do what is right.”



“Remember you are just an extra in everyone else’s play.”


“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” 


“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” 



“When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” 


“Men are not prisoners of fate, but prisoners of their own minds.”



“If you treat people right, they will treat you right….ninety percent of the time.”

“Above all, try something.”

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

“To reach a port, we must sail – sail, not tie at anchor – sail, not drift.”

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”


“Be sincere; Be brief; Be seated.”

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”

“Happiness does not lie the mere possession of money, it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”


“Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.”

“Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.”

Soul-Inspiring Wisdom

Hello friends! Happy Sunday!

Autumn is in the air – a cool, crisp breeze, foggy mornings, and the subtle changes in the color of the leaves.. oh yes! It is almost time to say good-bye to carefree sunshiny days and say hello to oversize sweaters and pumpkins.

Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.

In the spirit of the changing seasons, I thought it would be a wonderful time to share some soul-inspiring wisdom from Rumi.

Without further ado…

Raise your words,not your voice.It is rainthat grows flowers,not thunder.


Shinelike the whole Universeis yours.





Maybeyou are searchingamong the branchesforwhat only appearsin theroots.


Be patient where you sit in the dark.The dawn is coming.




This Universeis notoutside of you.Look inside yourself;everythingthat you want,you already are.




Be gratefulforwhoever comesbecauseeach has been sentas a guidefrom beyond.


Don't you know yet-It is our lightthatlights the worlds.




The beautyyou see in meis a reflectionof you.


Lovers don'tfinally meet somewhere.They're in each otherall along.


Giving thanksfor abundanceisgreater thanabundance itself.


Loveis the bridgebetweenyou and everything.




Be like a treeandlet the dead leavesdrop.




Just as the waterreflectsthe stars and the moon,the body reflectsthe mind and the soul.





30 Lessons Learned in 30 Years



Hello friends!

Happy Sunday!

The week I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived and I’m pretty excited about it!

Last year I wrote 29 Life Lessons in 29 years and I was pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of positive feedback I received.

I thought I would return to that format this week and share 30 Life Lessons Learned in 30 Years. I published it on Hubpages last week, and it may be moved to their niche site, HealDove. *Fingers crossed*

I love for you to click on over and read it. Some of the lessons are serious and heartfelt, others are comical.

I would love for you to leave a comment here, or there, and share some lessons you’ve learned in your life.

Have a great week friends!!


9 Uplifting and Inspiring Quotes

Hello friends.

Happy Sunday.

With so much going on around our country and around the world, I thought I would keep it simple this week, sharing some of my favorite uplifting quotes and words of encouragement.

Without further ado and in no particular order…


Train your mindto see the goodin everything.Positivity is a choice.The happiness of your lifedependson the quality of your thoughts.



We are allbroken.That's how the light gets in.



You have to stop thinkingyou'll be stuckin your situation forever.We feel like our heart will never healor we'll never get out of this impossible struggle.Don't confuse a seasonfor a lif



You cannot always control what goes on outside,But you can always controlwhat goes on inside



Don't think aboutwhat can happen in a month.Don't think about what can happen in a year.Focuson the 24 hours in front of youanddo what you canto get closerto where you want to be.



A diamondisa chunk of coalthatdid well under pressure.



To liveisthe rarest thingin the world.Most people just exist.



You either get bitter or you get better. It's that simple.You either take what has been dealt to youand allow it to make you a better person,or you allow it to tear you down.The choicedoes not belong to fate,it belon.jpg



Try,Try again.