12 Ways to Make the Most Out of a Rainy Day

How do you feel about rainy days? Do you find yourself feeling slumped? Do you put your activities on hold, stuck in a spiral of bummed out feelings? 

Rainy days don’t have to be bummed out days. You can embrace them, take comfort in the solitude and tranquility they can bring to you.

I love a good rainy day. A chance to slow down my routine a bit. To take advantage of the drops hitting the ground, reminding me to be mindful of what is brought to me in my life. I perceive rain as an opportunity for cleansing. As the rain washes the dirt from the road, I can take the day to refresh my soul and my mind. 

  1. Catch up on laundry – this is such a great day to get caught up on some of your home chores. You’re stuck in the house and have the opportunity to check some things off your to-do list for some peace of mind. Take advantage!
  2. Curl up and read a book.
  3. Stay in your pajamas and have a movie-thon or get a good day of Netflix binging in of your favorite show.
  4. Paint a portrait.
  5. Do an art & craft or a DIY project that you’ve been wanting to try.
  6. Clean up your computer files.
  7. Research and plan your next vacation – lift your spirits by thinking of how you’ll be enjoying the sunshine when it returns!
  8. Cook and prep your meals for the week.
  9. Have an at home spa day – take a long bubble bath, give yourself a facial, deep condition your hair, paint your nails.
  10. Have a game night.
  11. Spend some time on self-development – join an online development workshop, take an online course, journal.
  12. Meditate or do an at-home Yoga Practice.

5 Easy Ways to Listen to More Podcasts Everyday

I have come across some really awesome, kick-butt podcasts lately…it’s all the buzz right now, and with good reason too. There are so many powerful, amazing, inspiring, empowering podcasts out there! My Castbox subscriptions list is rolling with ones I am eager to listen to – and if I could sit around all day and listen to podcasts, I’m not going to lie, I probably would most days…but time doesn’t quite allow for that. With so many distractions already in the world, in my life, it can be a bit challenging sometimes to find times to listen to podcasts. 

  1. While you’re getting ready in the morning – I love to push play and connect to my wireless speaker and listen to an empowering podcast while I’m getting ready for the day. This is such an awesome way to get pumped up and ready to slay some goals!
  2. In the car on the way to the office – I have an hour commute to the office in the morning so this is a wonderful time to get one of the longer podcasts into my day. I’ll also occasionally pop one on while I’m running errands, just hitting pause in between of being in and out of the car.
  3. While you’re cooking dinner – Instead of turning on the TV for background noise, use this time to listen to the next exciting episode!
  4. At the gym – instead of hyped up music, I use this time to get some self-improvement tips in my mind. I tend to prefer music when I’m running but I like a good podcast while I’m lifting weights.
  5. Taking a bubble bath – wind down after a long day with an inspirational story.

Some Podcasts that are on my playlist right now:

The Lively Show

The Lavendaire Lifestyle

The Mindful Kind

Awesome with Alison

Your Kick Ass Life Podcast

How to not so Usual Spring Clean for a Spectacular Spring

The calendar says it’s Spring but I awoke to 4 inches of snow on the ground this morning…I have Spring Fever soooo bad! Snow or no snow, I’ve been getting busy with my Spring cleaning to get myself ready for an awesome Spring and Summer ahead. We all know the usual Spring Cleaning tasks – wash the bed sheets, draperies, shampoo the carpets, clean the windows…all that good, deep house-cleaning stuff you do as you get ready to open the windows – ah that is definitely in my top three of the favorite times of the year, the first time you open the windows for Spring. But (always a but right?) what about all the other stuff, you know some of the finer details? 

  1. Clean out Your Closet – Okay this one is kind of the usual and most of  us do it but I still put it on the list cause it’s a big one for me.So here’s the details of why this one is a top Spring Cleaning task for me (and I do this at the beginning of every season Summer, Fall, Winter too). First and foremost, it’s time to swap out and rearrange some clothes as I transition from Winter to Spring. Second, as I start getting back into my fitness mindset (out of what I like to call my “bear weight” because well I’m just going to say it, the extra keeps me warmer during the winter – being real here – and naturally I fluctuate a bit more during the Winter in my weight because I’m not as active being inside more), pulling out an visualizing my Spring and Summer outfits helps get me motivated. Want some tips on closet clean out? I wrote a kick butt post, Power Tips for an Awesome Closet Clean Out, that shares what I’m like cleaning out my closet (I go all in for the haul!)
  2. Clean out your Inbox – who wants to be sitting at their computer on a beautiful sunny day going through emails, not me! So I’ll take a little extra time now cleaning out the collection of promotional emails that have stacked up from the holiday season (don’t judge me, it’s been a crazy busy beginning of the year). Check out my Bringing Peace to Your Inbox post for tips on keeping it under wraps after you get it all cleaned up. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I’m totally plugging myself this blog post but man I got resources I want to share with you!)
  3. Clean out your health and beauty products – I don’t know about you but I’ve been adding some more color to my stash and getting ready to get my ‘fresh, Spring face’ on for everyone! Did you know that we should be rotating out our beauty products several times throughout the year? This helps keep bacteria from forming and keeping your face clear (you know how you wet your brush, dip it in your eye shadow, apply, and repeat? Unfortunately that could be adding some potential for bacteria to grow to – so swap out your products and clean your brushes girls!) I also take stock of moisturizers, vitamins and all the other good stuff I’ll be using up to make sure I’m stocked up and not hanging on to anything I don’t use that adds clutter…oooh and get some yummy new floral or citrus scents to bring in Spring with!
  4. Clean out your fridge and freezer – and not just for the clean factor but also for the ‘let me stock up on healthy vegetables and fruits’ so I can be successful working this “bear weight” off kind of mindset. Prep adds to success! Give this baby a good wipe down as you go through it too. Move over frozen vegetables and fruits, cause the fresh ones are coming in! Think grilling too – oh yay, my favorite!
  5. Clean up your finances – Saving up for a Summer Vacation? Gotta get those finances organized so you can stay on track…plus hopefully by now we’ve been able to bounce back a little from the holiday spending. I find myself on the go more during the Spring and Summer so it’s important for me to have a good budget and record of spending in place for myself that I can easily and quickly update. Here’s the budget planner I use (yes, another self plug but it’s a good one, I promise!) – How to Build a Budget for those that Hate Budgets – umm, like me, but this made it so much easier for me so I hate it a little less now.
  6. Clean out your books and magazines – this can be paperbacks/hardbacks or kindle format, whatever you got. Some laying on the beach Summer reading is ahead so get through your books and get ready. Have books you’ve never read? Move them to the front so they’re convenient to grab when packing…I’d tell you to get rid of the books you’ve already read but that’s not my strength. I totally see my books as trophies after I read them and I envision myself someday having a home with either a library room stacked floor to ceiling with shelves of books or a very long hallway with the same so I can’t back you up on that one but if it’s for you and it fits your fancy, then by all means, yes de-clutter away!!!

So back to my Spring Fever – on days like this when there’s snow on the ground (which I’m happy to report has been melting throughout the day), are the days I tuck inside with a good Yoga practice…but I’m biting at the chance to get outside for a great hike! So for now, I’ll focus on wrapping up my Spring Cleaning so when those warm days hit I’ll be ready to get out!

What kinds of unusual Spring Cleaning do you do? 

 

My Four Essentials for Beautiful, Self Spring Renewal

Spring is finally here! Which for me, means it’s time to get out of hibernation and get back at it! My Winter essentials vary a good bit from my Spring essentials. I love Spring because I love to be outside, surrounded by nature. Whether it be hitting the trails, laying by the beach or taking a stroll in the neighborhood in the sunshine, I want to be there.

Spring also means Summer is on it’s way, which means bathing suit weather. With that on my mind, I know it’s time to get back in shape and shake the Winter weight. With the busy schedule I keep, I find it can be hard sometimes to hit the gym everyday so I love being able to get a good Yoga practice in at home. MyYogaWorks has tons of classes for any level, for any time commitment which makes it perfect for me. I can squeeze in a 5 minute practice in the morning, or participate in a longer one on the weekends when I have a little bit more free time. Check their classes out with a 14 day Free Trial and see what you think!

With getting back into my Yoga Practice, I also will be getting back to running. With the weather getting warmer, I’ll be able to run the trails again by the river which leads itself to beautiful scenery, fresh air, and the wide openness of nature. I am need of some new running shoes though so those made it to the list. Found some picks on Reebok that I’m loving the color choices in.

                    

 Reebok Harmony Racer, $100                        Reebok Print Run Next, $80

Fresh, Spring Make-Up. I been getting my hair done, working towards that Summer blonde and updating my make-up bag. I recently started using Urban Decay Make-Up because I love the staying power it has, the boldness + it’s vegan and cruelty-free. I also love the products that Love Goodly has to offer. I also added some florals and citruses to my Essential Oils collection to help get me in the Springtime mood.

Spring is a renewing period of time for me. A time when I get focused on my health and beauty as I prepare for the Summer months after being tucked away during the cold, Winter months. This is one of my favorite times of year because I kind of feel like I’m reinventing myself in a way. Out with the old, in with the new. Happy Spring!

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page.

How I’m Tackling My Fitness Roadblocks This Month

I kicked off my morning with some strength training and a good heart to heart about nutrition with my trainer. I needed to get real about my challenges and why I’m feeling stuck. I am feeling stuck because I’m getting in my own way but I needed to be real too – what are the realistic solutions to my challenges, my roadblocks? 

  1. I’m not eating enough clean and nutrient packed calories. I’m not getting enough protein.
  2. I am not eating breakfast.
  3. I’m not drinking enough water.
  4. I’m strength training but I’ve been slacking on cardio.
  5. I wasn’t clear about what my daily caloric intake should be.

  1. I’m not eating a lot of junk food.
  2. I’m doing something active every day even if it’s just crunches in the evening.
  3. I’m going to personal training for strength training weekly.
  4. I’ve cut back on sugar in my tea.
  5. I’m getting better sleep.

  1. Add cardio to my week, at least 3 times. – Get up and go for a walk/run in the mornings before work.
  2. Start drinking water right after my morning cup of coffee – replace some cups of tea with water – continue to drink it through the day by always having a bottle of water with me.
  3. Track my food in my Fitbit app – focus on getting set amount of calories that my trainer set for me each day – more nutrient dense foods. If I plan ahead I’ll be able to manage this better.
  4. Have a protein shake or protein/granola bar in the morning. – I’m not a big eater in the morning so choosing light foods but protein packed I think will be key for me here.
  5. Plan out a more balanced exercise routine for the week that includes yoga, upper body workouts and cardio in addition to my personal training appointments.

My biggest roadblock right now is time. I feel like I never have enough time to get it all in one day but with some planning ahead, boundaries and time management I can tackle this! 

 

Three Uncompromising Promises to Myself

Uncompromising

When it comes to taking care of yourself.

When it comes to your boundaries.

When it comes to your health.

This is when you should let your stubbornness shine. Making yourself a priority isn’t selfish, it’s healthy.

I will make my health a priority – learning to take time to rest.

I will say no when I need to.

I will love myself fiercely and stubbornly.

What will you choose to be uncompromising about this year?

5 Colorful, Simple Crafts to Cure Your Spring Fever

March is National Craft Month which I think is a perfect excuse to start getting in the mood for Spring! Crafting can be a great way to relax and unwind after a busy week. With Spring on the way, it’s time to add some color to your home. Get crafty, blow off some steam, and give into that spring fever!

Here’s my little ‘Springtime’ Crafts Wrap Up to get you started!

Add some warmth and color to your front door with a Front Door Mason Jar Vase from Craft Box Girls.

Sip your tea and countdown the days until the first bloom in this Watercolor Flower DIY Sharpie Mug from A Piece of Rainbow.

Add some words of wisdom and inspiration to your plants with the DIY Garden Charms from Hearth and Vine.

Spread color and joy all throughout your home by making these adorable DIY Rock Photo Holders from One Little Project.

Help the birds get ready for Spring too by making these awesome DIY Colorblock Bird Feeders from Handmade Charlotte.

 

How will you be celebrating National Craft Month?

 

* Photos and Project Instructions are intellectual and creative property of noted website/blog. I do not take any credit for the photos of the crafts or actual creation of the project idea.

My Typical Day vs. My Dream Typical Day

I don’t know if you’re like me but there are some times I find myself wondering what my fellow bloggers and colleagues typical days are like…what does it look like for them as they work towards their goals and dreams?

So I thought I’d share with my readers tonight what my typical day looks like…getting to know your blogger…

My Typical Day:

5:30am – wake up,hit snooze…5:35am – wake up, hit snooze…5:40am – wake up, hit snooze…5:45am – wake up, grunt, roll over, stretch, hit snooze…5:50am – wake up, hear mom’s dog running towards my room, sit up and prepare for being pounced…6am – get up, get coffee, sit on bed and practice mindfulness and by mindfulness I mean sit quietly and wait for eyes to finish opening fully…then I grab my phone and scan my work emails…this is how my typical days begin. They aren’t quite as glamorous as I’d like to report they are being a self-care blogger but hey they’re real and they aren’t so bad, they’re better than they were a few years back. Some mornings I even squeeze in a morning meditation.

My typical day at the office (after an hour commute) entails lots of conference calls, lots of emails and some campaign planning and building for the local newspapers I manage marketing for…of course each week includes some extras like event planning and form, templates and process creating among some other varieties that come with a marketing position (that also captures some customer service and retention management) – my position wears a few hats most days. I like my job, actually most days I like my job a lot. I work with some pretty awesome people, have a great boss and am able to have a good bit of creative outlet in my position as well as feed my need for project management but…it’s not my dream life, not yet.

Somewhere between 5pm and 6pm, I wrap up at the office and start on my hour trek home. So the perks of having a daily commute are: get some good thinking time in and if the radio is cooperating I can jam out for a good hour. Some days the drives are good for phone chats. The cons: it sucks up two hours of my day (which I commonly say are loss productivity – cause I’m a nerd like that) and it can be pretty tiring by the end of the week.

I get home somewhere between 6pm and 7pm usually and I sit and have dinner with my mom and we have our “gals time” watching a funny Netflix show – right now we’re on the ‘The Mysteries of Laura’ (we wrapped up ‘Grace & Frankie’ a couple of weeks ago…I’ll share my list of Netflix/Amazon shows I’ve binged through later this week!) – and catch up on our days together. My Mom usually heads up to bed about 8-8:30pm and then it becomes my time.

I grab a cup of hot tea and hook my pup up with a bully stick or tendon to get her settled. I’ll fill my diffuser with fresh water and drops of my Young Living Essential Oils to fill my room with mellow and focusing scents (aromatherapy is a daily thing for me).  Keeping up with my routines that I committed to in writing in my Commit30 Planner, I wash my face, take my vitamins (a Women’s Multi, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D are my staples), power through 30 crunches quick and my newest addition, get in some stretches my personal trainer taught me or a quick yoga routine, switch Netflix or Amazon back on and then I grab my laptop and plop on my bed…this is my time to work on my dreams and goals!

I’ll get lost in my various projects for the next couple of hours – it could be building social media posts, graphics, workshop lessons, writing blog posts, or even socializing my content. Believe it or not, the time will fly by. These things may sound a bit tedious but they are love to me…this is me building my business, working on making my dreams come true…this is where my passions are coming to life.

About 10:30-10:45pm I’ll close up my laptop and start to unwind. I like to unwind by sketching, painting and reading.

My goal is to for my pillow to hit the sack about 11pm but some nights I’ll be totally honest it’s not until about midnight by the time I’m settled.

So there’s my typical week day in my current situation…now what does my dream typical day look like? Here’s what I foresee in my future:

My (Future) Typical Day:

5am – wake up, no snooze, get up out of bed, stretch. Grab a cup of coffee and sit by the window for some mindfulness time to just sit and take in the morning. I’ll sit and record morning thoughts in my journal.

5:30am – Morning Meditation.

6am – wake my body and spirit up with a morning yoga practice.

7am – shower and get ready for the day.

7:30am – make breakfast and start with reviewing emails (blog and business emails!) and review my to do list and write out my plans and tasks for the day.

8am – start into my blog and business tasks – whatever is planned for the day – writing, workshop planning, coaching, etc.

11am – hit the gym for some weight training.

12pm – lunch.

1pm – back to some blog and business tasks.

4pm – wrap up my day. Start/Knock out some home tasks and chores.

5pm – get a run in.

6pm – Cook dinner.

7pm – Evening relaxing – maybe some tv time, some painting or sketching time, whatever strikes my fancy that evening.

9pm – Reading time.

10pm – bedtime.

I think it’s important to be able to visualize a typical dream day, realistically, what would it look like if you met your goals and made your dreams a reality? That would be – will be – my typical day – maybe that day would be by the beach, maybe some days will be full of adventure and business and blog tasks will be in the evening, but what I truly want is the freedom to make up my own day and my own schedule and do it all while serving my passions and purpose. 

What would your dream typical day look like? What will your future look like?

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page.

How I Use the #LoveBlog for Self-Growth

This was my second year co-hosting the #LoveBlog. Each year I’ve discovered more about myself through the challenge and have expanded on my writing. The prompts are thought-provoking and motivating. I absolutely love reading the other participants points of views on the topics and seeing other perspectives. It is such a growth opportunity! 

Through participating in the #LoveBlog, I expand my ways of thinking and discover new views on the world, relationships and life. I am pushed to spend time for deeper thoughts and self-discovery. I am inspired to make my writing style more personal and connected. And the deadlines organize me to be more disciplined with my time.

Today I wanted to share some of my favorite posts from this year’s link up. I am looking forward to next year’s #LoveBlog!

Some of my favorite Posts from #loveblog2018 Link-Up:

Solitude; Let your toes burrow the sand from Sarah Nderi

Intent vs. Impact: The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions from Belle Brita

What I love about solitude from The Blonde Pond

Balance from Sarah Nderi

When Life is Unbalanced from Belle Brita

The Six Dimensions of Wellness from The Blonde Pond

When Your Self-Care Routine Looks Different from Enduring All Things

Love & Wellness: Secure Yourself Before Assisting Others from Join Me In Transit

Self-Care: Lessons from a Chronic Illness from Belle Brita

7 Guilty Pleasures That I’m (Mostly) Not Ashamed Of from Provocative Joy

Why I Don’t Feel Guilty about the Small Pleasures in Life from Belle Brita

Is Self-Care Selfish from Mrs. Imperfect

Round-Up of My Favorite Posts (That I wrote) in the 2 years of #LoveBlog:

The Truth in the Vulnerability of a Break-Up: A Story of Loss and Finding

10 Awesome Things I Do for Health, Happiness & Balance

Setting Healthy Boundaries: Simple Tips for a Happy Life

10 Signs of a Healthy & Happy Friendship

How Indulging in Your Guilty Pleasures Keeps You Happy

How to Use a Quarter Life Crisis as Positive Motivation

So I was going to write about my favorite Netflix and Amazon shows tonight but I’m not…I’m still going to totally write about them (because Netflix binging is seriously like one of my favorite things) but I’m going to write about it another night. Tonight I want to talk about my mid-mid life crisis. Like seriously, I want to quit my job, shirk all responsibilities and runaway to a little remote beach village.

Realistically for me better titled as what EliteDaily.com refers to as my 30’s-Life Crisis. My mind is filled with wonderful, crazy ideas of things I want in my life still. But I know I’m coming to a point where I may run out of time to do them. I am restless. I want more out of my life. I’m not unhappy overall but I am feeling a bit stale, not at my best yet. I don’t feel as if I’ve reached my full potential. Honestly, I’m starting to feel the sting of getting older. I am craving something bigger, some more magic in my life. Perfectly quoted from EliteDaily.com, “You’re young because you still dream big. You’re old because failing is no longer an option”.

According to an article on HuffingtonPost.com, this time in our lives “gives rise to a desire to change, finding an exit plan from the current situation, and rebuilding your life”. Well that’s pretty fitting for my life. When I turned thirty, I started focusing on making life changes to lead a happier life. Over the past few years I’ve made substantial changes to routines, wellness practices and my perspective on life. I’ve hit the road running kicking into this year by making launching my business and growing my website a top priority. I’ve put my dreams in very close view to work towards making them a reality. Daily I think of my motivators and how I want my life to look like in five years or even in the next year. What I want to be doing, how I want to feel and who I want to be around.

I recently read that many people go through a mid-life crisis because they don’t go after fulfilling their dreams. I am only halfway there. I have my moments when I think about how I wished I did things differently in my twenties and how maybe I could be sitting with my toes in the sand today instead of working the 9-10 hour office days I do now but would I have a different frame of mind if  I would have gone down a different path? Would I have still learned the lessons I did along the way? In the end of my thought process I realize I wouldn’t be where I am today with the definite conviction of what I want in my future.

I’m choosing to use my mid-mid life crisis as a wake up call, as motivation to go after my dreams and my goals. I’m choosing to look at it as I’ve learned many lessons on my journey (and still have more yet to learn) and those will help me be successful. A crisis can be an opportunity to prevail.

  1. I made a list of all the things I love to do and the goals I still want to accomplish, things I want more of in my life.
  2. I made a Bucket List. Actually I made a lot of bucket lists, I created a ‘Bucket List Notebook’ that can keep growing!
  3. I created a game plan. And I researched what I needed to do to accomplish my goals.
  4. I created a rough time line – allowing some flexibility to bend with the curve balls life throws you.
  5. I started with one step…and I keep working at it every day.

“Follow your passion. The rest will attend to itself. If I can do it, anybody can do it. It’s possible. And it’s your turn. So go for it. It’s never too late to become what you always wanted to be in the first place.” ~ J. Michael Straczynski