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5 Top Goals To Get Focused on Self-Improvement

September is National Self-Improvement Month and with a new season ahead of us it’s a great time to get setting some new goals. Here’s the top goals to set for yourself this month. *These are high level goals, over the next few weeks we’ll break them down more with tips, tricks, and ideas to soar to the top! 

1. Get Fit. A healthy body is a gateway to a healthy life and mind. It improves our overall happiness and helps boost our energy day by day. Find ways to add better eating habits and healthy exercise routines into your weeks consistently. 

2. Financial Organization. Set goals to build a budget and to stick to it, set savings goals. This goal is all about building more security and financial freedom into your life. 

3. Focus on Building a Healthy Mind. Daily affirmations and meditation are great ways to building a clear and strong mind and to help you manage stress better. 

4. Make “Me” Time for Yourself. It’s important to have time to yourself to decompress from the stresses of every day life. This helps you recharge and reflect for what’s going on and for what’s to come. 

5. Expand and Keep Growing. Never give up on your dreams. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and go for them. Take classes on topics that intrigue you, visit a new place, keep practicing that craft you love. 

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9 Reasons I Am In Love With Avocados

With warmer weather in the forecast, Spring finally here, I have been starting to crave those tropical feeling foods. When I was younger, I wouldn’t touch an avocado, fast forward to today and they are one of my favorite foods. Packed with super benefits, tasty, and a great combo to most dishes, avocados have become a staple in my diet.

Avocados are considered a SuperFood because of how high they are in nutrients and studies continue to find new health benefits of it.

Avocados are:

  1. High in healthy fats
  2. Contain no Cholesterol or Sodium
  3. Low in Saturated Fats
  4. High in Fiber
  5. High in Nutrients – Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Potassium (contains more than in a Banana)
  6. Also contain Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), and B3 (Niacin)
  7. Shown to help lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels
  8. High in antioxidants
  9. Some studies show it has anti-swelling properties that can help reduce symptoms of arthritis
  • Avocados are a great addition to salads
  • Make for a great toast
  • Can be an uplifting snack
  • And…well um guac…yum! 

Recipes to Try:

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Avocado Mozza Puffs

Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 

The Path of Art Journaling – Exploring My Growth

About a year ago, I started art journaling…I found it a wonderful release of the stress that the day had brought. Since then my mind has opened and the creativity and artistic nature of my personality has unleashed so much more. Today I sketch, I paint routinely, and I dive into free drawings with my pastels when I find I’m struggling to sleep. This #artthursday I took a look back at where I started adding art back into my daily routines…this shows that when we start with just a simple step it can unleash us into many wonderful places as we continue to move forward on our paths.

March 2016: So one of my bucket list to-do’s is to make an Art Journal. I’ve always thought they were so beautiful and such a wonderful way to be expressive. I have seen tons of great ideas online, you can check out some of my fave ideas on my Pinterest Board – Art Journaling.  I want my art journal to be fun, push the limits of formality and tradition. I want lots of color and funky doodles. I try not to conform to one set style or structure, just let myself explore and be free. I’ve found this a wonderful way to calm myself, a unique way to add to my meditations, a place to release. Some pages take thirty minutes, some take hours, some pages are part of one project, some a single thought.  I’m still quite a newbie and cannot compare to some of the beautiful creations I’ve seen online but my art journal is mine, not a following of any one else’s, my own creation, part of my artistic and spiritual journey… I’ll share as I go along, as I evolve and grow, hoping to inspire and stir ideas for your own…

I continue to grow more and more each day, some days I produce more art than others. Some paintings take months to finish and some I finish in a day. Each month, I find myself trying a new medium or a new technique. I have become more free in my expression and pushing past boundaries and limitations I used to hold myself to. I have opened myself up to seeing inspiration in so many more places and it has brought beauty to each moment in my days.

10 Signs of a Healthy & Happy Friendship

“I will text you 50 times in a row and feel no shame. You’re my friend, you literally signed up for this.”

I came across that quote the other day and I couldn’t help but immediately think of the friendships I have in my life right now. I have the greatest friends! 

The #LoveBlog2017 is back and today’s prompt is Friendship. This was such a fun post to write, thinking of all the wonderful moments I’ve had with my greatest and bestest friends!!!

I have the kind of friends that could see me at my ugliest moments and still would tell me I’m beautiful. I have the kinds of friends that will be brutally honest with me, even when sometimes that’s convincing me that I’m wonderful. My friends don’t tell me my dreams are stupid, crazy sometimes, but never stupid. They encourage me to live without fear and to not hold on to what-ifs. They ask a lot of questions and take time to listen to my answers to gain a deeper understanding of my wacky brain. They see me as a dreamer working hard to make my dreams a reality. My friends are my biggest fans and my greatest cheerleaders. They also always hold out a hand to help me back up when I fall and they help me brush off the dust so I can shine again. I have the kinds of friends that can get a deep belly laugh out of me at any time, in any moment. And they never let me shed more than three tears without a smile crossing my face again. I have the kind of friends that you will spend a lifetime loving. The friends that make you proud to be yourself and from where you’ve come from and how far you’ve grown. I have the best kinds of friends. 

Friendships are like any other time of relationship. It is important to surround yourself with positive people. Pick healthy friendships to harvest in your life.

Besides the obvious having fun, lots of laughter, there are some key points that are a must in a happy and healthy friendship:

 1.) You can be yourself around them – You feel comfortable in your own skin around them. You don’t feel pressured to meet certain standards or act a certain way. It just feels natural being around them.

2.) They’re honest with you and you’re honest with them – They can tell you how they’re feeling and you can tell them how you’re feeling without judgement or question. They share their honesty with you respectfully and with care as you do with them.

3.) They’ve seen you at your worst and still love you and believe in you and they tell you that!

4.) You don’t feel a need to compete with them. You are both helping each other thrive and be at your best.

5.) You can disagree in a healthy manner. Being good friends doesn’t mean you always share the same opinion but it does mean that you are respectful to each other and about each other’s opinions. You either agree to disagree or if the friendship depends on it, then you work towards a healthy solution or compromise together but you don’t let fires burn.

6.) There’s no jealousy or possessiveness. A healthy friendship allows you to have other relationships. It means you can have time apart and spend time with other people without jeopardizing your friendship.

7.) You trust each other. You can count on your friend not to gossip about you, speak ill about you or share your secrets.

8.) You respect each other’s boundaries.

9.) You each nurture the friendship. You stay in touch even when things get busy. Maybe that just means a quick text or a Facebook shout out but you make sure to touch base.

10.) You’re there for each other. This doesn’t mean in an on call 24/7 kind of way but you know you can always count on each other when it’s really needed.

Friendships can come easy but they still take work to keep them healthy. Focus on building the right ones.


Meet Your #LoveBlog Hosts:

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Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.

 

Blog//Twitter//Facebook//Instagram//Pinterest//BlogLovin

Charlene is a 20 something wife and fur mamma living in Ohio. She uses her blog, “Enduring All Things” to inspire young wives to keep God first and their husbands second in everything they do.

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Laura is a big dreamer, full time marketing manager, blogger, and part-time artist. She aspires to inspire people in their everyday lives and help them to live towards their dreams and making the most out of their lives. She has been blogging for about 6 years now, more recently finding her glorious niche’ of sharing her stories and thoughts of life and daily inspiration.

Meet Your #LoveBlog Sponsor:

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Sisters Kayla and Victoria run VDazzled, an etsy shop featuring beautiful wire wrapped stud earrings. Are you looking for the perfect sparkly gift for your best friend, sister, or bridesmaids? Check out the wide selection of beads and colors of VDazzled earrings, available in 3 sizes. VDazzled is a sponsor of #LoveBlog2017.

#LoveBlog Link Up!!!


Enter the #LoveBlog2017 Giveaway!

The #LoveBlog2017 giveaway starts 02/01/2017 and runs through 02/28/2017. While we love our international readers, this is limited to US residents only due to legal restrictions. To learn more about all the sponsors, check out Belle Brita all month long!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

14 “Me” Dates For Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can bring controversial feelings to many singles but it doesn’t have to. Love comes in so many forms and in so many areas of our lives. Valentine’s Day is about celebrating that love in all places. 

This year will be the first Valentine’s Day in a bit that I’m on my own but that doesn’t mean I won’t be celebrating the holiday this year. I’ll be diving right in to the celebrations even so, actually this year I’ve decided to make Valentine’s Day about me and the self-love I am continuously cultivating in my life.  

1.) Light some candles, grab a book (My choice this month is “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert) and hop into a relaxing bubble bath.

2.) Take a cooking class.

3.) Send yourself flowers. Include a special self-love message on the card. My post You Are A Magical, Beautiful Being: 15 Affirmations For Self-Love has some ideas for you <3.

 4.) Go to a yoga class.

5.) Visit a museum or an art gallery.

6.) Have a personal wine and paint night – Pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a blank canvas, some brushes, a Pinterest image or tutorial (Here’s some inspiration – Pinterest – Art Project Ideas & Inspiration), and pick your colors!

7.) Take yourself out to a movie or go see a play at your local theater.

8.) Dress up and head out to a fancy wine bar. Toast to you and all your magnificence!

9.) Have a puppy and me date – Take a long walk with your pup, get some special treats for him/her.

10.) Make yourself a fancy dinner, set the table, light a candle, and play some soothing music.

11.) Put on your favorite tunes and dance like a fool in your living room!

12.) Have a movie marathon in the comfort of your pj’s.

13.) Go for a hike. Make it a photo tour. Take in the beauty of the nature around you.

14.) Visit a bookstore – Pick up some books and curl up with a cup of coffee in their cafe.

How to Turn an Unmotivated Day into a Productive Day

Do you ever have those days where you just can’t seem to get motivated? That was me today. Maybe it was the rainy weather or the becoming calmness of finally shortening my to-do list but the drive just wasn’t there. I managed to get my blog post socialized (thank goodness I wrote it last night!), I forced myself to shower and to do my daily exercises and I started with the most tedious task from my to-do list for the office, Facebook Posts. And let’s just say thank you for the frozen potato skins in the freezer or I might not have eaten today (yeah that unmotivated!) 

Have faith that you can rock your day still! 

So I had to push myself a little and I did that by starting with the simple (even though tedious) task to get my groove going. Wrapping up the day I am happy to say that I got through it and with a bit of a list completed too! 

  • Finished my laundry
  • Set up Google AdSense on my site
  • Knocked off about six things on my to-do list for the office
  • Plumber came and fixed our gurgling drains (hopefully no more plumbing issues this year!)
  • Socialized my #LoveBlog post like crazy
  • Jumped into some Facebook Group participation posts
  • Did a quick wipe down of my bathroom
  • Went to my son’s basketball game
  • Wrote and scheduled my blog posts for the rest of the week
  • And scheduled the socialization for my posts for the rest of the week

Not too shabby for an unmotivated day! Push yourself to get moving and then be satisfied, an accomplishment is an accomplishment, no matter how big or small. 

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A Story of Loss and Finding

On the Monday he had texted me crying, I dropped everything and ran to him. A month prior he had told me he needed space because he didn’t know what he wanted. The whole drive there my body was shaking from the anxiety that filled it. I didn’t listen then, but that was my intuition telling me not to go, but instead I pushed on…six days later, I sat at home once again heart broken. 

It wasn’t that I was losing him that hurt the most, maybe it was the disappointment that I couldn’t save us, maybe it was the disappointment in myself that hurt the most. I loved him but I knew we weren’t the best fit. I mean I’m Sally Freaking Sunshine and he’s well Bah-Humbug. But it was the rejection that hurt so much. It was that he didn’t, or couldn’t, love me back the way I loved him. The truth was he drained me, but I stayed with him because I loved him. I loved every one of his broken pieces intensely and purely. I stayed even though I was exhausted, hoping that he would pull himself up eventually. I had looked at him differently than I had at any other man. When he was ugly, through my eyes I saw beauty underneath it all. When he cried, his eyes turned a vibrant blue shining the rawness of his emotions onto me and I fell deeper in love with him. He was telling me he was leaving because he was in love with another woman but I still couldn’t find anger towards him. All I could feel was hope for him still, hope that he would find his place and his peace. Sorrow and hope both filled my heart, it was an immense confusion of feelings inside of me. The agony of my loss, and the wish for his happiness. The darkness of rejection from him from the love I wasn’t getting back from him mixed with the relief from the burden and pressure from being under his thumb for so long. A sense of disappointment that he didn’t rise to meet my love but also freedom from the discomfort of the same trial. I had become lost in our relationship, in him. We  had been walking next to each other but on different paths for so long. 

He told me when we broke up that I had been too good to him. I didn’t understand that at the time. How could you be too good to someone you love? What I was learning though wasn’t that I was too good to him, it was that I wasn’t being good enough to myself when we were together. The love I just gave to him wasn’t enough. I wasn’t being fair. I believe that love can take us many wonderful places but I now know that love must also be fairly given. It isn’t enough to just love another person, I must match that same love to myself. I needed to love myself as much as I had loved him. I needed to feel the same deep hope for my life as I did for his. 

In this break-up I found truth within myself. In my vulnerability and in my sadness I learned a most valuable lesson, that I needed to love myself more. This was my opportunity to love myself fiercely, to love all my own broken pieces purely and fully and to put them where they were meant to be. In that dark moment of loss, I found my own shining light. I found myself again. 


I am so very excited to be able to co-host some of this month’s prompts in #LoveBlog2017  You can check out Brita’s Intro Post to see all upcoming prompts for this month.


Meet Your #LoveBlog Hosts:

Blog//Twitter//Facebook//Instagram//Pinterest//BlogLovin

Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.

Blog//Twitter//Facebook//Instagram//Pinterest//BlogLovin

Jessica Lynn is the driving force behind Jessica Lynn Writes, a site about life as a pregnant, new, and toddler mom (currently expecting baby #3), military musings as an Air Force wife, and all the joy, laughter, and hardships life brings along the way. On JLW you’ll find tales about her journey around America, as well as good eats, fun crafts, real-life stories, and more.

 

Blog//Twitter//Facebook//Instagram//Pinterest//BlogLovin

Laura is a big dreamer, full time marketing manager, blogger, and part-time artist. She aspires to inspire people in their everyday lives and help them to live towards their dreams and making the most out of their lives. She has been blogging for about 6 years now, more recently finding her glorious niche’ of sharing her stories and thoughts of life and daily inspiration.


Link Up!!!

Enter the #LoveBlog2017 Giveaway!

The #LoveBlog2017 giveaway starts 02/01/2017 and runs through 02/28/2017. While we love our international readers, this is limited to US residents only due to legal restrictions. To learn more about all the sponsors, check out Belle Brita all month long!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Celebrational Thoughts Of National Serpent Day

Today was National Serpent Day…On this special day I am reminded of the great power that this animal represents for us in our lives bringing about healing and change, growth into a new beginning. It brings forth great self-awareness and spiritual guidance leading to an awakening of our life force, nudging us forward to our destiny and abundance.  It symbolizes the shedding of an old life and old habits and unleashing great personal power. It gives us the ability to sense our surroundings more sensitively so that we may navigate through our lives in a more purposeful and intentional manner to make wise decisions in our direction. 

The serpent reminds us of the power of change and transformation. Even though change can be difficult and at times messy it is necessary for our journey. Even if it may cause discomfort, just as a snake sheds its skin we must also shed things to grow. Change will in the end make us stronger and more vibrant as we are meant to be. 

              My pup with her new snake toy

Feeling Stuck? 20 Ways To Get Rid Of Creative Block

We’ve all been there, as an artist, as a writer, as a blogger…creative block sometimes gets us. I get it at least once every few months. I know there’s awesome things there waiting to burst out but I can’t get the door to open. So I kick into gear on busting down that wall and getting those creative juices flowing again! 

1. Read – Dive into a fantasy novel, drift off into a good story.

2. Revisit your work – Look at old paintings, read old blog posts, review & edit the novel you’ve been working on.

3. Meditate.

4. Visit an art gallery or museum.

5. Take a nap – Dreams can be wonderful inspiration.

6. Get outside – Explore & surround yourself with nature.

7. Take a Class.

8. Listen to music.

9. Have a spa day – Sometimes you just need to relax & take the pressure off.

10. Research something unusual – There’s all kinds of crazy topics out there that can spark something in your mind.

11. Spend time with friends.

12. Scope out Instagram & Pinterest for ideas.

13. Cook – Try a new recipe or get cozy with a family classic.

14. Participate in a sketch or photo challenge.

15. Travel – Take a mini vacation or go for a day trip.

16. Just scribble or splat some paint on the paper – Let the chaos of the mess lead your artistic ways.

17. Drink some wine – Not something to overdo but a couple of glasses of wine can help you let your barriers down.

18. Pick a word & journal about it – What does that word mean to you? How does it inspire you?

19. Exercise – Go to a Yoga class, go for a run, get your Zumba on.

20. Clean & reorganize your space.

Inspiration From The Streets

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, making mistakes, and having fun.” ~ Mary Lou Cook

Where would art be if we didn’t have artists that pushed the limits and broke some rules?  I have a secret love for street art and graffiti. It takes some gust and some big inspirations to create art like that, big scale and bold colors up for the whole world to see. 

 

From a simple smiley face to a city poetry garden to a grand message, these pieces of art are one of a kind and hold their ground. Go explore, there is art all around us!