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Why I’m Participating in a 30 Day Blogging Challenge

For October I’m making my mantra “Set goals and don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of reaching them”. I had some great wins in September which is just fueling me for an even bigger month in October. I want to finish up the year with a bang! 

Blogging Wins for September:

Hit 1000 Facebook Page Likes – Woot! Woot! – Actually exceeded my goal by 269 page likes

Hit my halfway mark for my payout minimum with Shareasale

Got an e-newsletter out every week to my subscribers

So this month I’m setting some higher bars for myself. I’ve joined a 30 Days of Blogging Challenge which means my goal is to get a blog post up and live every day – whew, this took some planning and prep but I’m game to make it happen.

Blogging Goals for October:

Hit 5000 views on my blog

Hit 1500 Facebook Page Likes

Get more weekly content up on my blog, and some more variety

Make $100 from blog income lines

Get one paid sponsorship

So down to the gritty with my real time thoughts of why I’m doing the 30 Days of Blogging Challenge

The surface reasons are of course to publish more content, build more traffic and expand my audience on my blog but layered under those there are the deeper goals I hope to bring out of this challenge. I want to use this challenge to not only develop myself more professionally but also on a personal growth level.

Growth Goals in October:

Develop more discipline and consistency in my tasks and schedule

Build better time management skills

Develop more clarity and confidence in my blogging style

Increase my commitment level to my blog and to my goals

Help myself get back on track to my goals and back in good rhythm

So here’s to a big month for me both professionally and personally – cause when you’re focusing and exceeding at something you love to do, everything else has a way of falling into place. 

 

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
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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. 

 Get signed up for weekly inspirational emails with tips and tricks for building a healthier and happier life!
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Winning With Rheumatoid Arthritis – Overcoming My Fear Of Failure

Adrenaline was coursing through my veins. I started my Fitbit too soon, I had to stop it. I was nervous. I was anxious. I was excited. One by one, clouds of emotions rolled over me. Here I was standing under an over cast sky on an early Saturday morning in June waiting for the announcer to yell, “Go!”. I stood still, holding my balance strong while being bumped around by runners rearing to take off just as much as I was. I was at the starting line of The Baltimore 10 Miler. Thoughts of doubt, thoughts of disbelief, and thoughts of pride circulated through my mind.

Twelve years ago I couldn’t have foreseen this race on my calendar. I wouldn’t have even entertained the idea of running a ten mile race. I had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age twenty. I cried when I learned of my diagnosis. All I could imagine in that moment was myself crippled and helpless by thirties. I found myself taking nine pills a day and a bi-weekly injection just to relieve the pain from the disease, spending my twenties in a mostly zombie state from the medications. I passed on activities with my friends and spent many of my days on the couch or in bed, too tired to even play with my son. I felt lifeless.

Four years ago, my life was shaken when I was let go from a very stressful and long job. I lost my healthcare benefits and was left unable to afford my medications. Though I didn’t realize it then, this was one of the best things that happened to me. This was an opportunity for a transformation. It was in those moments after that I woke up and realized it was now or never for a lifestyle change or I would wither away, drowned by the pain and the frustration of the disease.  I started practicing yoga twice a day. I gave up fast food and junk food and I started studying my disease. I started reading how to manage it organically. I taught myself how to eat better. I started using essential oil therapies. I meditated, and I learned my limits and how to schedule resting and recoup time into my weeks.

At the end of April of this year I committed to The Baltimore 10 Mile Race. I only had a few weeks to train. My mind was reminding me how tough this was going to be but in my heart I knew this was something I needed to do. I started running about two years ago but not consistently. I hadn’t run more than three miles prior to this. My training was slack and race day came upon me fast. I set a goal for myself to finish the race in two hours.

Standing at the start line I shook, this was really happening. The first mile was awesome. I knocked it out in ten minutes. I felt absolutely liberated. By mile five, I was hurting. This was a challenge, but I refused to give up. I was determined to finish. I told myself to let the fear and doubts go. I told myself that pain was temporary but conquering this was going to change me forever. I continued to push on, through mile six, seven and eight. I made it to mile nine and tears rolled down my cheeks. It all hit me at once. I was beating my disease, and I was beating my fear. Almost every muscle and joint ached. My knees and hips were stiff. Yet I pushed on still. This was it, one more mile…uphill.

The moment I crossed the finish line was so much more than I thought it would be. In all of my life, I had never pushed myself that hard physically. The thoughts racing through my mind were chaotic. I was so proud, so happy, so relieved. I finished in two hours, 10 minutes, and thirty-six seconds. This event was truly a life changer. In that last moment crossing the finish line was the moment I knew from the bottom of my soul that I had made the decision to not let anything stand in my way of the life I wanted.

 

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How I Used Beauty To Create Freedom To Be With My Family: Interview with Amber, Owner of Youniquely Yours

Amber and I have been friends for several years. We spent part of our careers together in a very fast paced and stressful environment where we turned to each other to keep each other going. But this wasn’t a sustainable routine that was building the lives of our dreams. Many nights we would speak and share how drained we felt from the very long days. 

A year ago, Amber discovered she was pregnant with two beautiful, identical twin girls. This was her aha moment in life. She took the road to becoming a stay-at-home wife and mother. Now, I’ve known Amber for a bit, and let me tell you, she is a driver and a go-getter and I am absolutely am inspired by her. She is an amazing mother, wife, friend, and an all around beautiful person. We sat and spoke of her desires to find something she could do that would give her the flexibility of staying home but also something that she felt was of her own. Amber had started using Younique Beauty Products and she spoke so highly of them, it was as this had come to her at the perfect moment and place. It was such a natural process watching her start and build her business with Younique. I was really excited when I got the opportunity to chat with her about her success. (And bonus she shared some awesome Make-Up looks with us!)

Me: What are your favorite things about being an entrepreneur and running your own business? 

Amber: My favorite thing is being able to work from where I want and when I want, having the freedom to put my family first.

Me: What makes you so passionate about what you do? 

Amber: I love the products myself! I would not sell something I didn’t try, use and did not love. The products are naturally based, hypoallergenic, and are not tested on animals. Those are huge deals! Also, there’s Younique Foundation-a retreat for underage, sexually abused woman. The cause itself inspires me. With each purchase you are not just getting amazing makeup and skincare products, but you have the ability to change lives. Whether it’s a customer helping them feel more confident or someone who needs to get back on their feet.

Me: What was your biggest fear or challenge when you were getting started?

Amber: Failure! Not being good at it. I have never been the most outspoken or most forward person. I do not like having all eyes on me.

Me: But you’re doing awesome! I absolutely adore how you market your business and how you engage with everyone. You also always thank every customer every time they make a purchase and that is the sweetest, amazing customer service!

Me: And for a fun one, how did you celebrate your first business win? 

Amber: Dinner was on me! My treat since my husband is the bread winner in the family on regular basis.

Amber’s Top 4 Make-Up Looks

“Moodstruck Mineral Pigment for a Fun Look” 

FACE- Touch Glorious Face Primer, Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation in “Organza” and Moodstruck Mineral Pigment Pressed Blusher in “Sophisticated”
EYES- Moodstruck Mineral Eye Primer, Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palette 5 , “Vindictive” (on lid), Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palette 4, “Tender” (on crease and brow bone), Moodstruck Precision Liquid Eyeliner in “Perfect” (on top) and Moodstruck Mineral Pigment Powder in “Dignified” applied wet with Royalty Rose Water Toning Spritz to intensify color (under eye), Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara
BROWS- Moodstruck Precision Brow Liner and Moodstruck Precision Brow Gel over top to seal (both in medium)
LIPS- Moodstruck Precision Pencil Lip Liner in “Pouty” (full lip)

“Pretty Bold Nudes”

FACE- Touch Glorious Face Primer, Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation in “Organza” and Touch Mineral Pressed Powder in “Velour”
EYES- Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palette 5, “Vindictive” (on lid) with overlay of “Suspicious” (on lid and crease), Moodstruck Addiction Palette 1, “Elated” (on brow bone), Moodstruck Precision Pencil Eyeliner in “Perfect” (on top and bottom) and Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara
BROWS- Moodstruck Precision Brow Liner and Moodstruck Precision Brow Gel over top to seal (both in medium)
LIPS- Moodstruck Precision Pencil Lip Liner in “Plush” (full lip)

 

“Everybody Loves A Red Lip”

FACE- Touch Glorious Face Primer, Mineral Touch Liquid Foundation and Concealer both in “Organza”, Moodstruck Mineral Pressed Blusher in “Sweet”, Mineral Pressed Powder in “Velour” with Touch a la mode Cream to Powder Luminizer in “Benevolent” (highlighting bridge of nose, top of cheek/below eye, temples, chin and cupid’s bow)
EYES- Moodstruck Minerals Eye Primer, Moodstruck Addiction Shadow Palette 1, “Sincere” (on lid), “Chipper” (on crease) and Touch a la mode Cream to Powder Luminizer in “Benevolent” (on brow bone), Moonstruck Precision Pencil Eye Liner in “Perfect” (on top and bottom) and Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara
BROWS- Moodstruck Precision Brow Gel (in medium)
LIPS- Moodstruck Lip Exfoliator (applied and wiped off), Touch Glorious Face Primer, and Moodstruck Mineral Stiff Upper Lip Lip Stain in “Sultry” (full lip – 2 coats-let dry in between)
“That Natural Look”
FACE- Touch Glorious Face Primer, Mineral Touch Liquid Foundation and Concealer both in “Organza”, Moodstruck Mineral Pressed Blusher in “Sweet”, Mineral Pressed Powder in “Velour” with Touch a la mode Cream to Powder Luminizer in “Benevolent” (highlighting bridge of nose, top of cheek/below eye, temples, chin and cupid’s bow) and the Sculpting Trio to contour (not necessary)
EYES- Moodstruck Minerals Eye Primer, Moodstruck Addiction Palette 3, “Smitten” (on lid), Moodstruck Addiction Palette 1, “Elated”   (on brow bone) and Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara
BROWS- Moodstruck Precision Brow Gel (in medium)
LIPS- Lip Bonbons Tinted Lip Balm in “Red Velvet Cake” (full lips)
As a Younique Products Presenter, Amber finds absolute joy in being able to help you find the Younique products that are the perfect match for you. Check out more of Amber’s great looks and get to know her at her Facebook Page – Youniquely Yours by Amber or visit her website to get your products to copy her looks or create your own great looks! 

How To Get Back On Track To Reach Your Goals & Dreams

I went eleven days without writing, without posting, without sharing my thoughts with you all. I wasn’t MIA, I was on a bit of a different path, a side street for a bit. I took some time and dove into my office life as a marketing manager, I took some time to sleep, I took some time to process the moons, to clean out my closet. I took some time to think, a lot of time to think…and now I am here, ready to go.

Restart

Sometimes we need to take some steps back, take a look at where we are, where we want to be, and what we need to do to get there. This helps us clear away the fog that builds up on our lenses, refocus ourselves to drive towards our goals, and to set adequate steps to take to reach those goals.

1.) Set concrete goals.

2.) Clear out the clutter.

3.) Write out the tasks that need to be completed.

4.) Schedule out tasks and routines.

5.) Focus on one task at a time.

I feel stronger, calmer, with a clear mind ready to move forward towards where I want to be. I have spent the last few days enrolling and starting my course for my health coach certification, editing my blog editorial calendar, cleaning out my planner, scheduling my fitness routines, and writing out my daily mindfulness tasks. 

My Goals:

1.) Get Fit Again – Not that I completely fell off the wagon, but I’m not where I want to be or where I know I can be. I scheduled exercises for every morning, set goals for packing lunches, and will be working more gym time into my week.

2.) Health Coach Certification ProgramClasses started this week, woohoo! To keep myself on track, I’ve scheduled class time with myself each week. 

3.) BloggingUpdated my editorial calendar, scheduled blogging time, spent my downtime getting ahead with some posts.

4.) Painting/Art TimePicked the upcoming art shows I want to apply for, wrote the deadlines on the calendar, and scheduled in art time each week. 

Allow some flexibility into your schedule and your routines. Allow yourself to be forgiving of yourself if you slide or miss a task. Keep your goals in eyesight, write them down and post them where you see them frequently. Celebrate your successes. 

Now go kick butt and make the magic happen! 

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. 

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

My Bucket List

During my 2017 Goals & Intentions Planning, I sat and revisited my Bucket List…this has been growing and transforming over the years realigning me with what I feel is a purpose in my life. 

Let’s start by taking a look at what I checked off at my 2016 Bucket List:

Make a bucket list. Have some paintings in an art show (woot, was in three this year!), paint a self-portrait…okay so I didn’t do too much checking off in 2016 but I did still have some amazing other adventures – rode in a bi-plane, went to Chincoteague, VA, smashed a car (like in a car smash event, not in a crash kind of way – which was surprisingly invigorating!) to name a few.

2016 became about finding myself again, a year of discovery and a lot about building strength and healing and that’s what I needed. I set two very key words for myself for 2017 – Completion and Adventure; action words. 

 I broke off  my Bucket List into two groups: Things to Happen This Year and Long Term Things.

Things to Happen In 2017: 

Run three 5ks.

See a broadway show in NYC. (This one is already booked – seeing Wicked in March, so excited!)

Own a boutique/art gallery. (Plan on launching my e-boutique this year.)

Make a dream-catcher.

Go to a Pittsburgh Penguins game.

Finish writing my fantasy novel and publish it.

See snow on the beach.

Become a Certified Life Coach.

Try rock climbing.

Go on a cruise.

Take dance lessons.

Publish an article on Elephant Journal.

Visit New Orleans.

Have artwork in five shows.

Make a Christmas Song album. (Because I love singing Christmas songs lol)

Go on a hot air balloon ride.

Learn to belly-dance.

Long Term:

Go horseback riding on the beach.

Go in a sensory deprivation tank.

Catch a marlin.

Become a Certified Crystal Healer.

Go on a mission trip.

Visit Thailand.

Visit an Elephant Reservation.

Go to a World Cup Game.

Visit California.

Visit Colorado.

See The Northern Lights.

Visit a monastery.

Go on a mural tour trip.

There’s a lot on there! I chose to set high goals and make long lists because I expect to gain a lot of life. We were put here to explore and experience and I intend to get as much as I can out of life. I may not make all of these in a year or even in the next five years but I’m okay with that. If I don’t at least set the intent then I’ll never try and I’ll never know. I believe in reaching for the moon, and even if I fail I will still fall among the stars! 

“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” ~ Dr. Edwin Land

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#sundaydinner & 2017 Goals

I spent the day by myself but not alone…kept tucked away at home most of the day with my pup but it was not short of anything but an amazing day. I love the New Year so much (I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before). A day spent reflecting, planning, and dreaming of reaching my goals in 2017. Sunday dinner was nothing fancy today, but still special to me. I have to be honest, I was going to hit the drive-thru at McD’s but then Perkin’s brightly lit sign yelled “eggs!” to me…I enjoyed a quiet dinner for one in a comfy booth – I went all in with the Hearty Man’s Breakfast tonight, heck why not? I’m living it up! While waiting for my food to come, I sat and read through everyone’s fun New Year’s post and came upon something so exciting I almost cried – Julie V at Hello Peaceful Mind posted 12 Secrets From Experts To Be Happy And Successful which I am so delighted to be able to be a part of! Such an awesome way to start the new year! Today was also the launch of ’31 Days To A New You’ – my 31 day healthy habits challenge and email series, my first interactive series on my blog. A great start to the year, here’s what I have in mind for 2017:

 Health: Become more fit by eating healthier and exercising regularly. Become stronger and more energized.

Finance: Build better financial stability. Pay off debt, save to buy a house in 2018, spend less.

Career: Continue to grow blog and features on blog, create a source of income from blog, launch e-boutique, keep painting and creating art, get into more shows and sell more paintings.

Bucket List: Travel more, get certifications as a Crystal Healer and as a Life Coach, finish writing and publish my novel, take dance lessons, have more adventures!

Heart, Mind, Soul: Read more, learn more, deepen my spirituality, get back to daily meditation and yoga.

 

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