|May 30th, 2013||Advice, Living|
Last night after work, Bryan and I went to Plaza Azteca for happy hour with our friend Andy. Andy’s moving to NYC on Friday so we wanted to get a happy hour in beforehand. Happy hours are always so amazing because you never know what’s going to come up in conversation. During this happy hour, Andy brought up a concept he had recently learned and started applying to his life:
There are a few concepts within this larger idea.
First, happiness is extremely objective. What makes one person happy may or may not make another person feel the same way. That being said, in order to find happiness you have to find meaning or purpose. So if you’re waking up everyday, going to a job you somewhat despise just so you can pay rent, have nice things and simply ‘get by’, you probably don’t have a meaning or purpose behind your actions. When it gets down to it, you’ll most likely see that it’s not fulfilling. The allure of having those nice things will probably fade when you realize in actuality you don’t find meaning in that lifestyle. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing what I’m doing?” If you’re answer is “I don’t know,” or “So I can get by and pay bills,” you have to also ask yourself, “Do I find this purposeful or meaningful?”
The second concept is that once you do find meaning or purpose in whatever you’re doing, you have to comprehend that not everything is going to be sugar and rainbows. There are going to be hard times. Times when you want to break down and quit. But you probably won’t quit. You want to know why? Because what you’re doing is giving you meaning and purpose in your life. And because every once in a while you’ll find true happiness.
The third concept is that since your meaningful life is going to be hard at times, you have to remember to snack on happiness. When you do find that things are going well and you are truly happy, ‘snack’ on it. Take it all in. Be proud of yourself, let people know how happy you are, reward yourself, and shine that happiness out to the world. Make your happiness count. Make sure that you’re aware of those moments, because those are the moments that will keep you going when the going gets rough.
I know this post is a bit deep, but it’s such a great way to look at life. I’m definitely keep this idea in mind moving forward, and I hope you all do too.
Talk to Me
- What do you think about this concept?
- Have you heard about snacking on happiness before?
- What is one change you want to make in your life to make it more meaningful?
|March 12th, 2013||Food, Living|
WAHOO. One of the best pieces of news I’ve heard so far this week – Whole Foods announced on Friday that all products in US and Canadian stores containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) would be labeled as such by 2018.
What are GMOs?
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (aka genetic engineering). Scientists merge DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that can not occur naturally or traditionally.
Are GMOs safe?
Most developed nations find GMOs to be unsafe. In nearly 50 countries, including Japan, Australia, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions on the sale of GMOs. In the US, the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same large corps that created them and profit from the sale.
Whole Foods’ Initiatives
In case you didn’t know already… Whole Foods’ private label products have been certified as non-GMO since 2009 and the store currently sells 3,300 non-GMO products from 250 brands.
Are you interested in knowing what foods are non-GMO at your local Whole Foods? Check out their list here.
Whole Foods is really leading the way for GMO labeling. Thus far, they have:
- invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in putting house brand products through third party non-GMO verification
- worked over the years to support organic agriculture to provide the largest variety of organic products grown without GMOs
- supported mandatory product labeling measures over the years – most recently including California’s Proposition 37 and Washington state’s Initiative Measure 522
- celebrated Non-GMO month every October
Talk to Me
- What are your thoughts about GMOs?
- Do you look for non-GMO products before purchasing?
- Random – Trader Joes or Whole Foods?
|March 7th, 2013||Advice, Living|
Typically in the mornings, I will wake up around 5:30AM and lay in bed until 6AM. After that, I spend an hour on my computer (because spending 9-10 hours a day at work on my computer isn’t enough). I use this time catching up on Youtube videos, reading blogs, writing my blog post for the day and clearing my head before the work day starts.
It’s on been lately that I feel like I could use my time more wisely. I’ve been having a bit of clarity these days on how I can be more productive and use the time I do have as down-time to really focus on what’s important to me.
I’ve developed a list of a few new things I want to be doing each morning. They are so simple and I like it that way, because if they are too cumbersome I probably won’t do it.
1. Spend at least 30 minutes in the morning doing a yoga video, my own sequence or meditating. Dedicating 30 minutes out of my entire day to focus on this is VERY important to me. I know the benefits of practicing yoga and have experienced them myself, so I strive to get back into this wonderful habit.
2. Start the day off with a glass of water and then a juice. I find that when I juice in the morning, I don’t even need my morning cup of coffee. I’m trying to get myself off of drinking coffee every morning and just having it once or twice a week – until I’m ready to stop drinking it all together.
3. Open the blinds to let light in. I always feel more refreshed in the mornings when I let light into my apartment. Unfortunately my current apartment only has 3 windows, so it’s never too bright… BUT I am moving in a week, so that problem will no longer exist!
I look forward to making these small changes in my morning routine!
Talk to Me
- What do you do in the mornings?
- What’s your favorite yoga video?
- Comment below and let me know your favorite organic/healthy living/wellness websites.
|February 28th, 2013||Advice, Living|
It’s been an overarching goal of mine over the past couple years to feel more positive and whole. You may remember from this post that this stemmed from a graduate school lecture I was in. My professor asked us to describe ourselves in 5 words or less. My response:
At times, I won’t lie, I sometimes go back to that place where everything is terrible and nothing is going right. Those are the times when I need to take a step back and be thankful for all the great things in my life. When I get up in the morning and my alarm is blaring at me, the first thing that goes through my mind some days is “I’m really pumped up to take on today.” Other days its “Ugh, one more day until Friday.” But hey! We can’t win them all. It’s all about balance and making sure that the positive thoughts outweigh the negatives.
In light of feeling amazing this morning, I thought I’d share with you some quotes I’ve been loving lately.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi”
“Follow your bliss.” – Joseph Campbell
“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland
“Let it come, let it go, let it flow.” – Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
Today is Thursday, but it’s actually my “Friday”, because I took a vacation day tomorrow for Bryan’s birthday! We have some fun stuff planned in the city tomorrow so I can’t wait for that! Today however, I do have work, but I’m going to try my best today to not feel overwhelmed and just take things as they come.
After work today, Bry and I are going to Trader Joes to pick up more oranges and other fruits to make juices this weekend! If you don’t have a juicer, I highly recommend the Breville one. (No I’m not getting paid to tell you that). I just really enjoy the one that we bought. Juicing has made me feel so much better! I’ll do a full post on the benefits I’ve personally found since juicing at a later time.
This is a random photo of a fruit salad I made last summer for a BBQ at my future in-law’s house. It reminds me that I can’t wait for watermelon to be back in season!
Talk to Me
- Do you have favorite inspirational quotes?
- What is your favorite fruit?
- Do you love Trader Joes as much as I do? What’s your favorite item to buy there?
|February 26th, 2013||Advice, Living|
Ugh. I feel like this is a problem that most people struggle with – getting enough sleep. I can’t function on anything less than 8 hours, although I have to most days of the week. Last night I went to bed with this terrible sinus headache that still lingered when I woke up this morning. Those are the worst. I realize that there are some things that I do that always help me get a better night’s sleep. Here they are:
1. Shut down your computer and stop looking at your phone at least 30 minutes before bed. The bright lights from electronics can keep you awake longer, and playing games on your phone before bed is addictive! I’ve spent many hours at night playing Flow Free (my favorite cell phone game at the moment), before realizing what time it was. EEK!
2. If you have to check work emails, do so a few hours before bed time and don’t look at them again. I’m serious. I always find that if I look at my work email right before heading to bed, all it does is stress me out. There’s not much I am able to do at 11PM that will save the world.
3. Take a warm shower at night. I’ve always taken my showers at night, but for those of you who don’t, I recommend it every once in a while. The warm water soothes my muscles and joints and helps relax my entire body before bedtime.
4. Don’t have caffeine after 2PM. I like to stop my caffeine or high sugar for the day by 2PM. Sometimes, I’ll have a cup of coffee mid-day, but for the most part I find that I sleep best when I cut out the caffeine early afternoon.
5. Take time before bed to meditate. I’d like to learn more about meditation in the near future, so I’m not going to offer my advice in this post, but there are lots of ways to meditate. Here are some great links:
Talk to Me
- How do you ensure that you get enough sleep every night?
- How many hours of sleep do you typically get?
- What’s your favorite bedtime ritual?
|January 16th, 2013||Live Fit Trainer, Living|
yesterday after work I had to stop by Target to pick up a few essentials, which turned into some other random items and before I knew it I spent more than I expected. Why does Target always do that to me!? Any one else have this problem?
As I was looking through the home section, I saw these adorable Valentine’s Day-inspired dachshund decorations!
I keep telling Bryan that I need to get a dachshund already so it will be acceptable to buy random dachshund decorations for our apartment. I think he doesn’t want to get a dog just on principle that I’ll be a crazy dachshund lady with figurines all over the place.
Live Fit Trainer – Day 7
Because I took a rest day on Monday (Live Fit Day 5) and Tuesday (Live Fit Day 6), I had to catch up on the Live Fit Trainer. This morning I did the workout I had planned for yesterday.
I grabbed my wine bottles and got at it! Luckily, I was able to do all of the workouts without much modification – minus the exercise ball crunches. For those, I just did regular crunches on the floor.
I’ll have time later to get the second workout done. I’ll be actually heading to the gym for this one! Thank goodness, because I really need to get some cardio in. I’ve been feeling rather sluggish this week – work has been crazy!
Talk to Me
- If you have pets, do you have themed decorations in your house?
- Do you leave Target with way too many things in your cart?
- What’s your favorite type of wine? (Random!)
|January 7th, 2013||Diary, Living|
Good morning! I ended up going to bed pretty late last night, but this morning I didn’t lay in bed as usual. This afternoon I’m headed to NYC for a meeting Tuesday morning. So this morning, I made sure to give myself enough time to finish packing and what not. This time I definitely did NOT over pack, because I knew I wouldn’t feel like lugging all of my stuff from the train station to the hotel. I’m pretty proud of myself.
In other news, needless to say, I haven’t begun the Jamie Eason’s Live Fit trainer yet. I talked about starting the program up again this month, but things have been hectic here and I haven’t had time to go to the gym. I have been doing some at-home workouts, which I’ll talk about later in the week.
Eating wise, I’ve been adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet. For a while I was doing really well, then the holiday season hit. I’m glad to be back on track again and feeling more like myself. I do want to pick up some supplements though and get some additional vitamins (biotin and b12 to be specific).
This is a short post, because I have to make sure everything is packed and ready to go. I’ll be so frustrated if I forget anything. I won’t be able to post tomorrow, because I have a really early morning meeting, but I’ll keep you updated on Instagram and Twitter with any random updates or celeb sightings – MK and Ashley please!?
Talk to Me
- Have you ever been to NYC? If so, what did you do while you were there?
- Do you travel a lot for work?
- What your favorite place in the US?
|January 3rd, 2013||Living|
Now that the holidays are over and everyone is back to work, I’m kind of glad there’s normalcy again. I’m not saying I don’t love the holidays – I could probably listen to Christmas music in July, but it’s good to get back into a routine and make new ones!
I like routines and I hate routines. I like routines that I can switch up just a tad bit every once in a while (does that make sense!?). For example, I love when I can get into a routine to go to the gym every day, but I hate when it gets boring so I like switching up my workouts.
Now that it’s the new year, I plan to develop some new routines. Whether or not I’ll be sick of them in a few months is a different story, but at least I tried.
Getting back into the gym at night. I told you in yesterdays resolutions post that I will be starting the Jamie Eason Live Fit trainer again. Last winter when I did the program, I was in the gym almost every morning. Although I do have more time in the mornings, I don’t go to bed at a reasonable time to wake up and start pumping iron. I like using my mornings to blog, clear my head, and get ready for the day. I was supposed to go to the gym last night, but I decided not to because I assumed everyone would be there because of the new year. I was wrong! When I went to drop off my rent check, there was only 1 person there!
oh the days of being tan I miss you.
- On nights when I need to do freelance work, I will go to the library or Barnes and Noble. No matter how much I wish I could get work done at home, it doesn’t always seem to be the case. It’s my fault anyway… my bed is too comfy and I can’t focus. Being in a different environment usually helps my productivity.
Make my bed in the mornings. When we first moved into our new place, I made my bed each and every morning like clockwork. Since then, the routine has gone awry. I’m willing to bring that routine back into my life, because when a bed is made the whole room looks put together!
Haha, stock photography – clearly not me. (source)
Talk to Me
- What are some routines you’re looking to add into your new year?
- What routines have you had in the past that you don’t want to bring into the new year?
- Where do you go to get work done?
|December 19th, 2012||Advice, Living|
Bryan has had a cold for a few days now, so it was inevitable that I would be sick at some point. I woke up this morning with a terrible sore throat just in time for the holidays.
I have friends that swear by Zicam, so I’m giving it a shot. Zicam is a cold remedy that contains zinc and is supposed to reduce the duration of the cold. I took some a few minutes ago and hope that it works!
Directions (adults and children 12 years of age and older):
- For best results, use at the first sign of a cold and continue for an additional 48 hours after the symptoms subside.
- Spray 4 times in mouth at onset of symptoms. Spray on inside of cheeks, roof of mouth, and gums. Retain for 15 seconds and then swallow.
- Repeat every 3 hours.
- To avoid stomach upset, do not take on an empty stomach.
- Do not drink for 15 minutes after use. Do not eat or drink citrus fruits or juices for 30 minutes before or after use.
Some other ways I’m attempting to break this cold:
- Drinking green tea
- Getting more sleep
- De-stressing by doing a yoga DVD
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
I can’t believe that I’m getting sick for the holidays just when I have a few days off! Instead of enjoying it I’ll be battling this cold. NO GOOD. It could be worse…. I could have a fever. Right now it’s just congestion and a sore throat. I’ll count my blessings.
*FTC: I purchased Zicam with my own money and am not receiving compensation for this mention. All opinions, as usual, are my own.
Talk to Me
- How do you get rid of a cold?
- What’s your favorite flavor of tea?
- How many times a year do you have a cold?
|December 18th, 2012||Holiday, Living|
I’m very pessimistic when it comes to random acts of kindness on the internet. There are so many hoaxes out there and it pains me to know that there are people out there who make up these horrible stories.
So when Bryan told me about Dalton Dingus, I was hesitant to act. When he told me the story was legitimate, I did my own research and found that the story was in fact real.
So who is Dalton Dingus?
Dalton Dingus is a 9-year-old boy from Salyersville, KY, living with stage 4 cystic fibrosis. He has been sent home because the hospital cannot do much more for him. His goal is to beat the Guinness World Record for the most Christmas cards.
Although some reports state that Dalton already broke the record for receiving the most Christmas cards, spokeswoman Jamie Panas said that Guinness does not currently monitor a category for this.
However, Guinness does have an old record for this category. The last official time Guinness allowed for a Christmas card category was in 1992 when Canadian Jarrod Booth had collected 205,120.
Guinness is in touch with the Dingus family and is in the process of determining if a new record category can be made.
You can find more information about Dalton and his goal on these websites:
Bryan and I wanted to get involved and help Dalton reach his goal of a Guinness World Record. I bought a card this past weekend and yesterday we finally wrote a message inside to be mailed today.
It takes just a few dollars to mail a card, but I can’t even express how much joy it brought us to craft a message and seal the envelope.
If you would like to get involved and send Dalton a Christmas card, you can send to:
HC 62 1249
Salyersville, KY 41465
In a recent story for ABC, Dalton’s mother Jessica said, “Dalton has been doing really well the past three weeks. He is still very weak but improving. The cards give him something to look forward to. Something to get excited about,” she said. “The prayers are working.”
Talk to Me
- Have you sent/will you send Dalton a Christmas card?
- Do you typically mail Christmas cards to your friends and family?
- Do you receive Christmas cards from your friends and family?