Why It’s Important to Nurture Yourself First

This phrase has stuck with me for several years now, “The grass is greener where you water it.” 

So many times we look at others and their lives, especially with all the social media “glamour” out there nowadays, that we wonder what it would be like to be in their shoes. The thing is, we don’t know their story, we don’t know what they went through to get to where they are. We cannot be anyone other than ourselves in truth but we can focus on nurturing ourselves and building our lives to be what we want and get what we want out of life. That’s where the truth comes in, that if we water our own grass we can make it the green we want it to be. If we are not taking care of our own selves and focusing on our lives then our grass will never be green and even if we were to go to another lawn, that grass would soon become dry too.

Look at your self and your life as your lawn – If you water it, feed it, take care of it, it will be healthy. If you feed it poison, allow it to be dug up, and do not give it the nutrients it needs then it will not grow, it will not flourish. This quote taught me to stop looking outward and to start looking inward. What was it in my life that I was missing? What was not fulfilling? Changes are never easy, but through reflection we can see how necessary they are. My journey has encountered much heartache and many hard choices but I came out at the other end a stronger, happier and better person. I’ve let go of toxic relationships, I’ve learned to forgive, and I’ve learned to make myself a priority. 

My tip to all is that the next time you are feeling down, beat-up, and sad – look inward – what can you change to work towards building a healthier and happier life for yourself? What can you water and nurture within yourself? Do not focus on what you do not have, take a good look at what you do have and work towards growing that. Before you know it, you’ll see things falling into place. You’ll see dreams growing in front of you. Focus within yourself and then project that out. We do not create true happiness from external circumstances, we make happiness within ourselves. 

12 Powerful Ways Meditation Benefits You

Meditation quiets the mind, opens the heart, and lets the soul speak. It is a place where we can find answers, heal our hearts, souls and minds, and a place where we can find peace away from the chaos of our worlds. 

12 Ways You Benefit from Meditation:

– Helps you with focus and awareness.

– Helps you manage stress and anxiety.

– Increases your energy levels.

– Clears you mind.

– Teaches  patience, discipline, and self-control.

– Can increase your creativity.

– Improves sleep.

– Makes you happier.

– Teaches you how to control your breath.

– Helps you manage pain better.

– Increases self-discovery and self-awareness.

– It strengthens your senses.

Meditation can come in many forms. 

12 Ways I Meditate:

-Sitting still for moments and focusing on only my breath-

-During Yoga-

-Art Journaling-

-Earthing-

-Laying with my crystals placed and listening to meditation music-

-Singing along to my favorite songs-

-Moon Bathing-

-Coloring Mandalas-

-Laying in the grass looking at the sky-

-Guided Meditation Series-

-Mountain Pose in the shower-

-Painting-

14 Reasons You Should Be Going Bananas Every Week

Bananas are an quick and easy go-to snack or addition…I love some in a bowl of cereal! 

Bananas fall onto the Power Foods list for many many reasons:

  • Most commonly known for being high in Potassium –
    • essential for good heart health
    • helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels
    • Potassium also helps you be more mentally alert
  • A great source of fiber (about 3grams per medium banana)
    • helps aid and regulate digestion
  • A calcium rich fruit
  • Low in sodium
  • Low Fat
    • Bananas do contain a type of fat called sterols though, which helps keep blood cholesterol levels controlled by blocking the absorption of dietary cholesterol
  • High in vitamin B-6
    • helps in the production of white blood cells
    • strengthens the nervous system
    • studies have shown it to help in protecting against Type 2 Diabetes
    • helps reduce swelling
    • Aids in weight loss
  • They are high in antioxidants
  • Bananas are high in pectin
    • Pectin helps with digestion and gently removes toxins and heavy metals from the body
  • Contains high levels of trytophan which converts to serotonin (the happy good feeling chemical in our brain)
  • Are high in magnesium
  • Higher in sugar with approx 14-15 grams of sugar per medium banana, but the sugars are of low glycemic value.
  • Contain fructooligosaccharides which act as a natural prebiotic
    • helps maintain good bacteria in our lower intestines
    • supports overall digestive health
  • Are a natural antacid
  • They help restore electrolytes to the body

So to sum it up they are a yummy treat that helps keep your gut healthy, your sugars in check, and give you energy!

Here’s my Grandmother’s Banana Bread Recipe for you to try too : Throwback Thursday Recipe Post – Grandma’s Banana Bread

 

 

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

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. 

4 Reasons Salmon is a Top Pick for Dinner

The first fish I ate… Salmon…considered a brain food (oh that’s why I’m so smart!) 

  1. Is a great source of high-quality protein
  2. Contains Omega 3 Fatty Acids which have been proven to protect heart health, lower risk for stroke, improve blood lipid patterns and blood vessel function, and help reduce symptoms of immune and inflammatory disorders
  3. High in Vitamins A, B, B6, D, and Vitamin E (which is a powerful antioxidant)
  4. Also contains Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, and Phosphorus

Want a quick, tasty and healthy dinner? Check out my Low Cal, Healthy but still Tasty Salmon Recipe!

 

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

2017 Magical Manifesting Diary Review

One of the things I love so much about blogging is the opportunity to meet so many like and loving souls. I met Shan – I felt an instant connection to just in the little bit of time we’ve chatted. I feel like we are kin spirits, aligned in our journeys, with paralleled thoughts. She gave me the wonderful freedom of reviewing her 2017 Magical Manifesting Diary. It really is a magic-making book! 

I absolutely love the theme of this diary, adventure. That is my own theme of life as well, spread love and adventure all throughout your life.

The illustrations are wonderful, simple yet crafty. I truly enjoyed the positive direction of the planner. It is very motivating and uplifting. She keeps the instruction thorough yet simple and easy to follow. I really found myself connecting and relating to what shew was saying. This diary gently guides the reader into a wondrous world of thought and discovery. The poetry of the words make me follow my imagination, feeling like a little kid again filled with enthusiasm and ambition.

I love how she includes great spiritual tips, habits, and practices throughout the diary. They were spread out wisely so not to be overwhelming. This diary is set up perfectly to unleash creativity in anyone, positioning so many great images and space to color and doodle but in a way that creates balance between release and organization. Wonderful list of resources at the end as well for soul-reading throughout the year.

This is a great diary and I am very much looking forward to diving into it!

Get your own copy here – https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ErthnAustralia

And check out more beautiful things from Shan at – http://www.erthn.com.au/blog/ or on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/erthn

 

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My Guilty Pleasure – Shopping For A Cause – Winter 2016 Causebox Review

Why do I love getting the Causebox? Because it brings me so much joy to know I am helping support the world, helping to give a job to someone, helping someone get back on their feet…and I get really cool stuff to use in this beautiful life and show my support. I keep telling myself I am going to go minimalist and I do have good intentions and I have downsized quite a bit in my opinion but my struggle is that I love to shop…hmm, tough one, so my balance is by shopping for a cause, giving back with my purchases, shopping for support – this is my mental balance, and it feels good and fills me with joy. This season’s Causebox has amazing stuff too! I’ve only received two so far (just signed up in the Fall) but this is my favorite so far.

So without further ado, my review.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please reference my disclosure page. All opinions are my own. 

L’Occitane En Provence Shea Butter Hand Cream – This is beyond one of my favorite lotions. It is so velvety and easy to rub in and the scents from it are amazing. With the dry, cold air among us this is great to have handy (no pun intended!). The perfect size to tuck in my purse to have with me day in and night out. This cream has naturally derived shea butter that is hand-harvested from Burkina Faso in West Africa and provides jobs to over 17,000 local women.

 
Tribe Alive Scarf Designed by Erin Locchner exclusively for Causebox 
– I adore this scarf…helps that I am a huge fan and collector of scarves but this one makes me feel so much warmer knowing that I am helping support Indian artisans by having it. This scarf helps to provide fair trade wages and working conditions for 42 individuals in Jaipur and Panipat. The colors in this scarf are the perfect neutral and the scarf has an amazing simple texture to it. A great wrap for any season.

Inspirational Print by Courtney Pilgrim – These prints included in the Causebox always brighten my day! Abstract artist Courtney Pilgrim, who once was an elementary school teacher, created this beauty. “Everything You Can Imagine Is Real.” Seeing this at the start of my day reminds me that I can make anything happen.

Nail Polish in L.A. Smog by Lauren B. Beauty – I love nail polishes but I hate all the awful chemicals most of them contain, but this polish saves the day. I love this muted gray color too, perfect for the Winter. A passionate nail-polish lover herself, Lauren created a line of vegan- and eco-friendly products. Her products are never tested on animals and contain no harsh chemicals. Lauren B. also donates part of her proceeds to their non-profit partner Chrysalis, an organization that helps create pathways to self-sufficiency for the homeless, helping them with second chances to rebuild their lives through employment. What a great cause!

 

Krochet Kids INT’L Gift Card – Krochet Kids International empowers women in Uganda and Peru by providing skills, education, and resources to help their artisans rise above poverty. Each item is hand signed by the woman who made it. There are so many items to chose from too, for men, women, and for children. I think the “Wild and Free” tee may be on my shopping list! https://www.krochetkids.org/shop/wild-and-free-tee/

Leather Clutch by Parker Clay – Handmade in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Parker Clay makes all of their products by hand in Ethiopia. This clutch was made exclusively for Causebox. It is a premium leather product, made by hand out of some of the world’s finest leather. This clutch was created even during a declaration of state of martial law by the Ethiopian government. This clutch holds such an amazing story. “This clutch is a representation of resilience, strength, pride, and hope.”

Trees For The Future 2017 Block Desk Calendar – A multi-functional keep forever desk calendar. Once the calendar pages are used, the block can be used to show off photos (and inspirational prints!). The wood was sourced from reclaimed Fender guitar overages and each block was created in Los Angeles and finished by hand. For every block made, a tree was planted. Causebox partnered with Trees For The Future to plant trees in their Forest Garden Program providing essential gardening resources and education to families in Sub Saharan Africa. Their program helps provide sustainable food sources, livestock feed, products to sell, wood for fuel, and a 500% increase in annual income – Wow, that is awesome! Trees For Future also provides training, mentoring, seeds, and nursery supplies to families and farmers. I am so excited to showcase this calendar and inspiring, do amazing good piece on my desk this year!

Causebox asked us to pick our favorite item this season…at first glance, I was sure it was the scarf. But after reading the wonderful stories behind each piece it became evident to me that this was a tougher choice than it appeared. I love each item in my Winter Causebox. Each item adding joy and inspiration to everyone of my days. Knowing that by shopping my Causebox I am helping to support so many communities makes me feel empowered myself. We can make a change in the world. Get your own Causebox here – Learn More About CauseBox

 

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi

My Angel of Strength

“Angel of Strength”

She is always here with me, walking beside me and pulling me up when I need her.

She helps me see beauty in every moment, even in painful ones.

As I get ready to enter into the New Year, I sit and think of the blessings that came out of 2016, the challenges that made me tougher, and the joys that made me see clearer, and the new beautiful friendships I have acquired.

I can feel the magic of 2017 creeping in my bones and am filled with enthusiasm to jump into the new year, a year for more growth and discovery and transformation.

“Angel of Strength”, mixed media, Paintings by LAR.

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! 

A Snowy Holiday Photo Shoot With Anthony Machcinski

Our first lay of snow of the season in Central Pennsylvania, and I had a photo shoot scheduled… what’s there to do, other than have a blast? There is nothing better than shooting with a photographer that is up for an adventure. So off we set to explore Hershey, PA for a day filled with unexpected props, quirky random sayings (I’m notorious for that), and an afternoon filled with laughter and purpose. 

Our first stop checked in at an old building foundation for a little tree pose practice. I must tell you, it takes a little balance to get into tree pose on a cinder block with a slick of ice on it…but I think we rocked it.

Next, we were off to the park at Chocolate Square. A beautiful little park filled with lights and lots of Christmas cheer. Feelings of being like a little kid again arose from me filling the park with our laughter and joy of the season. 

A quick wardrobe change and a little powder to my nose…

And then we were back out braving the cold for some fun fashion shoots. 

It was a cold, snowy day but it was a magnificent day for a photo shoot with Anthony Machcinski! 

Be sure to check out more of his work at PhotoByChinski and you can surely look forward to more adventurous shoots with him and I.