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My 10 Winter Essentials for Surviving the Blue Months

Let’s say I’m one of those types that thrives better in warmer climates…yet I live in the crazy-can’t make up it’s mind about weather state of Pennsylvania so come January it gets a little chilly around here. From January through March we get to enjoy the beautiful scenery of freezing rain and the occasional peaceful snow dump. Don’t get me wrong, I love snow, it’s beautiful – at first…then it turns into a slushy mess – and I’m just not feeling the so cold temperatures we get around here. I try and rebel so much against winter that I have flip flops with fuzzy soft sheepskin lining. But with all that said, Winter still comes every year so I make a point to survive and be happy about it.

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

My Winter Essentials:

1.  A cup of hot tea (when I say a cup, cups of tea) – nothing feels better than having a warm mug of hot tea between my hands when I’m feeling chilly and tea is so soothing and calming.

2. Fuzzy socks – let’s be real here, as soon as I get home the fuzzy socks come out of the drawer and on my feet they go!

3. Organic Coconut Oil & Lip Balm – the cold weather is rough on my skin and my face so I make sure to provide my skin and lips with lots of extra moisture. Coconut oil is amazing, it leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and it smells great. Just heat it up a little (it typically comes in a jar in solid form) and slather it on – note though, it can get messy so pour a little in your palms over the sink and apply a little at a time.

4. Beanies – I keep a beanie with me at all times. Always have to keep my head warm. I love my beyond Beanie alpaca blend hat – it doesn’t mess up my hair much either which is great for when I’m heading into the office. The best thing about beyond Beanie is that I am giving back with my purchase. Use promo code LROMBERGER15 for 15% off!

5. A great pair of boots – I think it may be a requirement to have a pair of boots in Pennsylvania. With the icy conditions we get, it is key to be able to stable yourself. But boots are also a great winter style trend. I am working on a little bit of collection of boots. I have my suede boots, my heeled boots, my wine colored booties, my every day booties, and my equestrian boots (which are probably my favorite because I can wear them with almost anything and they are super comfy!)

6. A good book – Reading helps me continue to dream in adventures during the colder months. I can’t get outside quite as much when it’s cold so reading gives me the opportunity to escape. I also love to use this time that I’m hibernated in the house to focus on self-development and growth and there are lots of great books out there to catch up on that. I’m currently reading “You are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero – this book is awesomely inspiring and motivating. Jen speaks in a very real tone which I find easy to relate to.

7. Leggings – I almost live in these during the winter. I wear them around the house with my fuzzy socks and a sweatshirt, I wear them with my boots and a sweater for lunch with my friends, I wear them with a sweater dress to the office…and of course I have my workout leggings for the gym. I’ve got a pair of leggings for everything.

8. My Sand Cloud Towel – this is super soft and is wonderful for wrapping up in when I’m sitting at my computer writing a blog post or curled up with my book. And it’s got that great bonus of going towards a good cause too! Shop Sand Cloud Towels and save 25% by using promo code RoLaura25

9. A comforting candle – nothing beats the warm glow and beautiful scent of a candle on a cold day – okay some things beat it but it’s pretty wonderful. (You can see a theme here) I love to light a candle and curl up in my leggings with my Sand Cloud towel with a good book…I’m telling you winter is a great time to cozy up and project yourself.

10. A cozy blanket scarf – this is a must have for me, and finding it is especially key to wear to the office…and in the office. They keep our office about as warm as a refrigerator!

As much as a winter person I may not be, I refuse to let the cold get me down, no winter blues here! I keep my arsenal of tools for joy and to stay cozy and warm and snug as a bug to keep a smile on my face…and I remind myself, “This is only temporary, Spring will be here soon.” <3

Check out some more of my favorite finds here – Winter Essentials

How to Build Self-Care into Your Lunch Break

Woohoo, rocked the morning! The mid-day mark has arrived, the work day is half over…this is usually where I start wearing down…don’t rush through lunch to barely slide through the afternoon. Keep your productivity up and stay feeling good through the whole day with these simple Self-Care routines during your lunch break.

How to stay pumped all through your work day:

1. Eat a healthy lunch – choose foods that are energizing. Lay off the heavy carbs that can make you tired.

2. Take a walk – get moving. If you can’t go outside, take a walk around the office.

3. Eat your lunch away from the computer – go to the break room, go out to restaurant, sit at a picnic table – separate your lunch from your work.

4. Drink water – staying hydrated will help keep you energized.

5. Meditate for 5 minutes – (or longer) – clear your mind so that you are level and prepared to manage the second half of your day.

6. Listen to an inspirational podcast or read – escape and re-motivate yourself.

7. Text a loved one – connect, communicate – bring the love into your day.

8. Check your to-do list, cross off what you’ve accomplished – this does two things: it reaffirms you of what you have completed already for the day and it mentally prepares you to plan for what still needs to be completed.

9. Watch a funny or cute cat (or dog or bird…) video – let go, laugh, de-stress.

10. Chat casually with a co-worker – but not about work! – the purpose of this is human connection, to relax, not to stress about the day…or vent to a friend if you really need to, get it off your chest so you can move on with your day.

The goal is to come back from your lunch break feeling refreshed and re-energized so you can rock your afternoon too!

Need some more inspiration? Check out these reads:

10 Benefits of Walking

How To Stay Motivated & My Top TED Talks for Motivation

How Meditation Benefits You

How to Tidy Up for a New Year

Christmas has come and is now on it’s way out…our thoughts turn to entering the New Year, the big 2017. Seen by many as a fresh start, a new chapter beginning. I find myself evaluating where I am in life and where I want to go in the upcoming year, what I need to do to get there, and of thoughts of kicking off with a fresh, new start. I start looking for ways to get things in order for the New Year.

I reached out to my pal Ilka for some tips on preparing for the New Year. She spoke of all the things we accumulate in a year’s time. Though we may not intend to, with our busy everyday lives things get stacked, pushed to the back, and collected. I take a moment just to look around and even though I am one that tries to do a clean-out each month, I can see the stacks of “go-through” stuff still sitting, the box of make-up I’ve been meaning to purge, and knick-knacks and books that have made their way into already filled shelves, so I’m off with Ilka’s tips in hand to do a quick New Year’s tidy-up this week…making room for my Christmas Gifts and new adventures and memories in the upcoming year. 

Here is Ilka’s end-of-the-year tidy up task list for getting ready for the New Year! 

Decluttering At The End Of The Year:

I like my home to be neat and clutter free. But over a year even my house piles up some stuff I actually don’t need in my life or things that are nearly used up. So for a fresh start in a new year, I like to use up and sort out all the thing I don’t need any more and begin the new year with a bare surface.

In these blog post, I share with you, my top tips and categories to declutter for the new year.

Beauty and skin- care

As we all know, beauty and skin-care products are most times only durable for a year or two. So we should have a good sort out and use up every once in awhile. I personally like to check my bathroom staples twice a year. The first time is at the beginning of summer and the second time is just at the end of the year. I make sure nothing broke, dirty or unloved stays with me any longer.

I also use the time to stock up my inventory. Toothpaste, body butter, shower gel etc.

Home

My home is quite minimalistic but over a year I collect a few thing which are not meant to be in my home. For example, stacks of magazines, cloth (that either are not in season anymore or which I don’t like any longer), or bits and bobs around the house.

I also have a look in my kitchen cabinets and use up stockings, which otherwise will go bad soon or sort out goods nobody eats.

Online

Oh yes. A huge part! At the end of every year, I go through my laptop and phone and file images, documents and everything else. I also ‘tidy up’ my social media:

Sometimes I delete a few images or Tweets

Adjust new bio texts and update my profile pictures

I clear the wall on my personal facebook account (I like it to be tidy)

And this year, for the first time, I will also declutter my WordPress. Yes! There are a few posts I really not enjoy and my media center is full of pictures I never used in blog posts. So I’ll clear it out.

Life

And by life, I mean my calendar. I love planning. This year, for the first time ever, I tried to function without an actual agenda and just use the calendar on my phone and laptop. Let me tell you, it did not work for me. I need to write things down, like actually write them down, with a pencil, on paper. Haha.

So at the end of every year, I buy a planner and start to map out my year. Some things I know for sure (like birthdays, anniversary’s, holiday’s … ).

Much love, Ilka x

All About Ilka:

She is a 25-year-old with an obsession for all things related to home and self-care. On her blog, http://ilkaeliseb.com/, she also publishes articles respective to her interests in style and design. IEB is kind of a lifestyle magazine for the everyday girl. Please be sure to check her out, her blog is beautiful and incredibly inspiring! 

Follow Ilka:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ilkaeliseb/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ilkaeliseb

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ilkaeliseb/

Pinterest – https://de.pinterest.com/IlkaEliseB/

2017 is going to be a magical year, I can just feel it! 

How To Not Freak Out In Christmas Crunch Time

Time is ticking…I’m feeling the pressure. I feel the anxiety creeping up, “Christmas is so close, I still have so much to do!” But this year, I’m not letting that get the best of me, no Bah-Humbugs here! 

My top 5 tips for keeping your cool when Christmas is so close:

  1. Breathe. It’ll all get done. Christmas is about time with loved ones, not checking off the to-do list. If you run out of time, get creative. Don’t have your best friend’s gift quite together yet? Schedule your best buds wine & gift swap for the week after Christmas. It still counts!
  2. Spread your tasks out over the next few days. Still have all your gifts to wrap? Wrap some each night instead of pulling an all-nighter. Don’t burn yourself out trying to catch up.
  3. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect to be magical. No time to bake cookies this year? Stop by a local bakery and pick up some sweet treats.
  4. Don’t wait until last minute to do your grocery shopping for Christmas Dinner. Go a few days before Christmas. And make a list of what you need before you go. Going early, you’ll miss the stressed-out, crazy last minute shoppers on Christmas Eve plus you’ve given yourself a few extra days cushion in case you forgot the hot cocoa for Christmas Eve cuddles.
  5. Take a moment each day to think of what you’re thankful for and why the holidays are meaningful. This will help keep your mind positive and focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is a time to celebrate love, family, and friends. It is a time for us to all get together and celebrate all that we have together. Don’t allow the busyness of that the holidays bring shadow that truth. Keep it cool and together this year so that you can truly enjoy the spirit of the holidays. 

Photo Credit: Anthony Machcinski https://www.facebook.com/PhotoByChinski/?fref=ts

 

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5 Powerful Steps to Reaching Your Dreams & Crushing Your Goals

As you get to know new people, you will find that we each hold our own story of tragedy and sorrow, we each have experienced challenges and trials that have helped shape us into the people we have become (or are becoming). Some stories are longer and more intense than others and some are shorter and more gentle but we each have our own. At the end of each story though, isn’t about what had happened, it’s what we chose to learn, what we chose to make of it all, what we chose to become from it. I recently met a beautiful woman through a Facebook Group named Kylie Travers, she has quite the story to tell, facing many challenges in the past several years, challenges that could have sent her spiraling down but instead she took her obstacles and used them to propel herself to a multiple international award-winning CEO, author, speaker and charity ambassador. When I reached out to her to guest post for www.dofivethingsaday.com, to share her story with all of us, she didn’t come back with a list of all of her challenges, she came back with a focus on action steps on how she became who she was meant to be. It reminded me of how strong we can be, on how if we choose to control and shape our perception then we can make anything possible. 

The past few years have been some of the worst and some of the most successful years of my life. I have gone from a homeless single mother of two to multiple international award winning CEO, author, speaker and charity ambassador, in under 4 years. During this time I also overcame Borderline Personality Disorder, started a new relationship, had paralysis issues for 7 months, a cancer scare, a few surgeries, moved across the country and helped my daughters overcome their learning disorders which were classed as extreme.

Despite facing multiple obstacles, I have a life better than anything I could ever have imagined. Instead of focusing on ‘my story’ (which if you want to know more details about, you can find on my site), I want to focus on what I did to turn my obstacles into opportunities.

1.) Have an attitude of gratitude
As hard as it is when you face issues in your life, being grateful changes your perspective. Find something to be grateful for every day. I keep a gratitude diary where I write in it 3 things I am grateful for every day. Keeping an attitude of gratitude helps maintain a more positive outlook on life, which assists in problem solving the issues you face.

A week after my daughters and I left their dad (my ex husband), we were robbed of everything in our new home, including my underwear. At first, I broke down. It felt like too much to handle with what I had already faced leaving an abusive relationship, being stalked and assaulted.

I managed to pull myself together then wrote a gratitude list outing what I could be grateful for in that situation, what lessons I could learn from it and what opportunities might come as a result of being robbed. I managed to come up with quite a few things including the fact we were not home when it happened, it was only stuff and we had insurance, I hated everything I owned because it was remnants of my marriage, now I was able to replace it with insurance money instead of having to save up my own money and replace things as I could etc. As you can see, once I got into that frame of mind it became easier.

2.) Use affirmations and positive quotes
I used to roll my eyes when people suggested it, until I found myself crumpled in a heap on the bathroom floor sobbing my eyes out and the only thing that seemed to calm me down was repeating my favorite quote “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” by Carl Jung. I needed to believe that was true. I needed to know that despite being at rock bottom – abused, robbed and homeless, I could change my life.

I had my favourite quotes stamped on some bracelets for my wrists. I wrote quotes that inspired me in permanent marker on my mirrors (it wipes off with window cleaner) and I kept them as screen-savers on my devices. These constant reminders helped shape my thinking.

3.) Be clear on where you want to go
I have always had goals, but in this situation I got more strategic about it. I worked out my core values, created a personal mission statement, set goals in 7 key areas of my life (family, finances, career/business, travel, health, personal development and organisation), then using those goals I create a vision board.

I would spend time every day envisioning what my life would be like, looking at my vision board and actively taking steps to get me closer to my goals. All the planning in the world will do nothing if you don’t take action. Get clear on where you want to be, write your plan and go after it with pure determination.

4.) Meditation

I allocated at least 20 minutes a day to meditation, which I still do. It relaxes you, makes it easier to think and I notice it on days I don’t meditate. I struggle, have less energy and can’t think as clear if I don’t meditate in the morning. Not all mediation is about sitting there and saying ‘Om’. Find the method that works for you and implement it into your daily routine.

5.) Take care of yourself

I allowed myself to get too busy and overwhelmed running a business, doing public speaking, rushing from event to event, taking my kids to school, therapy and extra curricular activities. I said yes to everything anyone asked me to do and in the end my body decided I couldn’t continue. One morning I was getting ready and my back seized up. I thought I had aggravated an old spinal injury and asked my very new boyfriend to take my kids to school, assuming I would be ok the next day. I was unable to walk properly for 7 months. If I stood up or spoke at an event it required nerve blockers, pain killers and resulted in 4 days in bed after the event with excruciating pain and paralysis.

During this time a test came back positive for the cancer my mother died from. After a surgery it turns out I have a rare condition that presents itself the same way and I have to have annual surgery. I had surgical treatments for my spine and the whole year was stressful. My new boyfriend was my carer and immediately a dad to my kids instead of us being able to get to know each other slowly.

By not taking care of myself, I nearly ruined us financially (he was now unable to work as he had to care for me, and I barely worked because of the pain and issues) and nearly destroyed the relationship completely. I was unable to be the mum I had been and that broke my heart, seeing my kids play and having them be sad I couldn’t do things with them anymore.

Put yourself first. Exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, ask for help when you need it, outsource the cleaning or anything else you can to free up your time. Life is too short, don’t make it harder on yourself by overwhelming yourself.

You can achieve anything you put your mind to. How have you turned obstacles into opportunities?

Bio:

Kylie Travers went from homeless single mum of two daughters because of domestic violence to multiple international award winning CEO, author, speaker, marketing specialist and charity advocate in the space of a couple of years. Through all her work she focuses on sharing practical advice on ways to make and save money, turn your obstacles into opportunities, practice gratitude, travel and create opportunities to improve your life and excel in the areas you want to.

Her areas of expertise are marketing, social media, blogging, finance and travel. Her company specialises in digital marketing with influencer programs, marketing strategies, training and consultations. Personally, Kylie likes to focus on public speaking, freelance writing or consults around finance, travel, lifestyle or blogging, along with being actively involved in charities that help end homelessness and domestic violence.

As a result, she has been the recipient of many awards, including The Plutus Foundation Service Award for 2015, Finalist Young Australian Of The Year, ACT, 2015 and winning Best International Personal Finance Blog twice, among other awards.


You can find out more about here at http://www.kylietravers.com.au

Social links: 

http://www.facebook.com/KylieTraversAus

http://www.twitter.com/KylieTravers_au

http://www.instagram.com/KylieTravers_au

 

*all images used in this post of ownership of Kylie Travers.

I Do Not Want To Be Finished…I Want To Be The Mess.

“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

I am a canvas of life, an amazing piece of art still being created, a creation that has the ability to transform into anything I can dream of each and every day. Just as paint starts in a tube and then becomes a magnificent blob of wet paint on a palette, spilling and pouring among the surface which it lays on until a paintbrush picks it up and splatters it onto the canvas, so fluid, so free – that is what I want to be. I do not want to be a complete statue in a museum, to be looked at in awe, not yet. I want to be the wet clay still being molded. I want to be the photographs still developing in the dark room. I want to be the uncompleted drawing. I want to be the ever-moving stage during the play.

Right now, I just want to be the process of the artist because when I do pass, I want to be the great masterpiece of my long, vivid life.

Sunday Reflection

Sunday – a day for relaxation, refreshment, and reflection.

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content”

zen garden

I find I do most of my reflection on Sundays… It seems the world slows down a little on these days. I usually get to sleep in a little, stay in the dream realm just a little longer which leaves me awakening with a sense of wonder and in thought. No office to rush to on Sunday mornings, nothing to derail my mind. I am in a peaceful moment, it is quiet in the home…gives me the space to think…

If you’ve been following me for some time, then you’ve seen my comes and go’s…I set goals, I plan, I blog and then I get busy and fall away. For awhile I would beat myself up for not sticking to my set routines but as I grow I come to accept my ways some. I have come to accept that even though I wish I could be, I’m not a super hero and I can’t be pulled several ways. I’m not saying that blogging and art and writing are not important to me because they very much are and are a part of who I am but I can only focus on so much at a time and to be quite honest I get very tired sometimes…no excuses, just facing what is. “Failure is nothing more than a chance to revise your strategy”. I won’t say I’ve failed because today I am still farther than I was five years, or even ten years ago. I am merely working out my “strategy”, what works for me. If being the blogger that comes and goes is what works for me now, than that is who I will be, like a mystery – what has she been doing, what is she up to…and I love mysteries. I’ve been out working hard, playing in my free time, and living life…so I shouldn’t beat myself up. I do want to get better at blogging consistently, I just haven’t found what works for me so I’m growing a little slower than other blogs but that’s okay. I am exactly where I need to be, where the universe needs me to be. I look up to the bloggers that do so well at blogging every week or every day, and I read and watch, and continue to learn.

Advice for me from me:  1. Set shorter timelines for my goals – 30 day Challenges don’t stick for me, try 15 days, or even just a week. 2. Be patient with my success, steps forward are still steps forward even if it’s just an inch. 3. Find a way to enjoy all tasks. Fill my schedule with things I love, and if I don’t love it and it’s mandatory – find something happy in that moment. – but make time to do more of what I love, don’t get bogged down with busywork all of the time.

And a last minute blogging thought – stop trying to write the perfect blog post – it just blocks me from writing at all. If I want to share I sketch I drew, share it. If I have a quote to share, share it…and if I have a whole post of thoughts to write then by all means, share it. Be yourself in your blog and your tribe will find you.

*Artwork is a page shared from my art journal.

#BeBold

We must remember to be bold in all areas of our lives. 

Be bold in love,

be bold in making your goals,

and be bold in facing your fears.

BeeBold

 

What I’ve Learned About Myself.

I know I say it all of the time but it’s true, life is a journey, a string of lessons, a never-ending growth process…Here’s my list of self lessons (I love lists!) #listchallenges

  1. I cannot let my blood sugar drop too low or I become ultra cranky…I am that Snickers commercial in real life ; )
  2. I need a little structure and routine in my life to stay organized and feel level.
  3. I need some alone time at least once every week, every two weeks stretching it, to recharge or I burn out.
  4. I’m connected to the weather.
  5. I’m always on the go, and I don’t know any other way.
  6. I control my emotions, nobody else.
  7. I can create my own happiness.

“The core of your true self is never lost. Let go of all the pretending and the becoming you’ve done just to belong. Curl up with your rawness and come home. You don’t have to find yourself; you just have to let yourself in.”  ~ d. antoinette foy

7 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

What does it mean to complete self-discovery?

Wikipedia states: the term “journey of self-discovery” refers to a travel, or series of events whereby a person attempts to determine how they feel about spiritual issues and priorities.

Just a month ago I viewed the world from a different shade. I was a workaholic, spending 10-12 hours a day in the office and then at least another 6 hours out of the office worrying about work. I felt stressed out, exhausted, and even overwhelmed some days with life in general. I sacrificed time with my family, missed my son’s sports games, and barely had a social life to go to work and still not live up to the corporate set standards. My job had become my life, and it was sucking me dry.  I was the girl that kept telling herself that if I kept working like a dog I could earn enough money to eventually be able to break off and do something I love…let’s face it, that was just a vicious cycle. I’ll be turning 31 this August and I was still where I was two years ago career wise. My blog had sat inactive for seven months and I hadn’t posted anything in etsy.com for months either. I had become stale. Then I lost my job…

This was a revelation for me, a release from an imprisonment I had put myself in many years ago. The opportunities are endless for me now. I have the chance to make a career change, a spiritual change, and to change myself. During my first few weeks “off” I did a lot of reading, inspirational and motivational reading, I started blogging again, I started practicing yoga, I visited my Grandfather more, I made time for connecting with people…I started redesigning my life. I started my “journey of self-discovery”.

Everyone’s journey of self-discovery will be different, just as we are each individual and unique. I believe that self-discovery, self-reflection, and meditation are truly components we need to complete in order to really find happiness and our true path. I feel this is a constant process, the world will always be throwing us twists and turns but if we can really get in touch with ourselves than we can lead an open and fulfilling life no matter what comes at us, and learn from each experience.

I visited a site called www.psychcentral.com and they give you specific questions to ask yourself, dig deep and find your inner truth and purpose kind of questions.

  1. “Who am I?” –  what makes you unique, what defines you as an individual?
  2. “What do I need right now more than anything else?” – are you truly taking care of yourself? Spiritually, Physically, Emotionally?
  3. What meaning can I draw from this experience?” – what is the silver lining? What is the lesson from the challenge?
  4. What feeling do I most want to have in my life?” “What do I want to be doing more of in my life?” “What do I want to be doing less of in my life?” – what do I keep doing or keep in my life that doesn’t make me happy, what am I lacking that would make me happy?
  5. What am I resisting, or attaching to?”
  6. “What are my gifts? How can I share them with the world?”
  7. “How can I celebrate each day, or the moments of my life?”

Sit down and ask yourself these questions, are your answers in line with how you are living your life? Mine weren’t, but I’m changing that.

 

Knowledge comes from study, Wisdom comes from experience.