How I Use the #LoveBlog for Self-Growth

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

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

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

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

Solitude; Let your toes burrow the sand from Sarah Nderi

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

What I love about solitude from The Blonde Pond

Balance from Sarah Nderi

When Life is Unbalanced from Belle Brita

The Six Dimensions of Wellness from The Blonde Pond

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

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

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

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

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

Is Self-Care Selfish from Mrs. Imperfect

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

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

10 Awesome Things I Do for Health, Happiness & Balance

Setting Healthy Boundaries: Simple Tips for a Happy Life

10 Signs of a Healthy & Happy Friendship

How Indulging in Your Guilty Pleasures Keeps You Happy

10 Quotes that Help Me See the Silver Linings in My Mistakes

Today is my final post that I’m co-hosting for the #LoveBlog2018…I’m sad to see it coming to an end. This is one of my favorite series to participate in. I love so much how the series helps me organize my thoughts and each year that I’ve participated I’ve found my writing becoming more focused and open…which I truly hope has been inspiring to you! Please be sure to check out all of the writers, there have been some absolutely amazing posts this year! Check out this year’s previous prompts and what’s still to come in the next few days at www.bellebrita.com. And make sure to stop by and enter the giveaway for this week! One lucky winner will receive a large cosmetic organizer in their color of choice (black, white, or gray) from Ellis James Designs. The giveaway ends on February 28th. US residents only. Learn more on RafflecopterBrita Long of Belle Brita will verify the winning entry before emailing the winner during the first week of March. If the winner doesn’t respond, she will start the process over again. Good luck!

Mistakes are something I find that my thoughts revolve around quite often. Naturally I am typically pretty hard on myself when I make a mistake. Maybe it’s being a Virgo or maybe it’s something else but I find it very easy to fall into a nasty judgmental and super critical state of mind  when it comes to me making a mistake…but that’s not healthy and I’ve learned that over the years that it causes more damage than it does motivation. There is a difference between learning from a mistake and beating yourself up for it…one lets you move forward and grow and the other beats you down and roadblocks healthy progress. When I find myself getting a little rough in my thoughts I channel my inner Bob Ross, “We don’t make mistakes, just happy accidents”, and I remind myself of how my mistakes in life have pushed me to be grow and to redirect to a better path made for me. I know that not all mistakes are as simple as that and I hold regret when my mistake has caused someone pain but what I am learning more and more to do is to search for the meaning in my mistakes, let go of the pain and focus on the lesson. Focus on how I can mend my mistakes, grow from them and become a better person and do a better job. Sometimes what seems like a mistake or an accident really isn’t that at all, it’s an opportunity…every time I made a mistake in my life, whether it was at work, a failed relationship or even spilled milk (silver lining – opportunity to the clean the floor right?), I learned more about myself, learned to love myself more, and grew more into the person I am meant to be. So no more beating myself up for making mistakes – we all make them – own them, learn from them and grow. 

“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” ~ Mary Tyler Moore

“Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.” ~ Billy Graham

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~ Scott Adams

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” ~ John C. Maxwell

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“Make bold choices and make mistakes. It’s all those things that add up to the person you become.” ~ Angelina Jolie

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” ~ John Wooden

“We need to realize that our path to transformation is through our mistakes. We’re meant to make mistakes, recognize them, and move on to become unlimited.” ~ Yehuda Berg

“Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom.” ~ Phyllis Theroux

“There is a fine balance between honoring the past and losing yourself in it. For example, you can acknowledge and learn from mistakes you made, and then move on and refocus on the now. It is called forgiving yourself.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Meet Your Hosts

Brita from bellabrita.comBrita 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.

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Alessia from theblondepond.com. Alessia is a lifestyle blogger, entrepreneur and post-graduate student in History from the best borough in London, up and coming Croydon. She’s a bit like Emma Woodhouse (Pemberley Digital version) and just about no longer the most eligible Catholic bachelorette, as she has found her Mr Knightley in sunny Derbyshire.

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Laura from dofivethingsaday.com. 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 every day by sharing her own experiences and stories.

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10 Awesome Things I Do for Health, Happiness & Balance

It’s Day 7 of the #loveblog2018! Today’s prompt is ‘Wellness’ and this is a topic that has become a huge focus in my life so I’ve very excited to be sharing my thoughts about it today. Make sure to check out my post about Guilty Pleasures’ from earlier in the season and all the other prompts from the series too at www.bellebrita.com. One of the reasons I love participating in the #loveblog so much is because it gives me (or pushes me more) to share my story in a more personal way. 

I grew up with a mom in the medical field and a dad in safety management so I guess wellness has always been a part of my life in some way or another but it didn’t really become such a main focus for me until I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia in my twenties. At that time my mindset around wellness wasn’t very well at all though. I felt like true wellness was going to be something that would always be out of my reach after being diagnosed. I thought I’m always going to feel crappy, achy, tired, and everything that comes with that. I felt saddened that I was in my twenties and couldn’t keep up with my friends. I was taking nine pills a day and a bi-weekly injection just to ‘survive’, just to escape the pain. I felt like a zombie most days and if I wasn’t at work I was on the couch or in bed. It wasn’t how I dreamed of spending a good part of my twenties. I carried on like this, having ups and downs, good days and bad days, some weeks better than others…side note – *this is a general overview, I still had good trips and happy days but overall it wasn’t what I dreamed of for myself. The energy I dreamed of having I couldn’t sustain. Everything was in spurts. I craved consistency. I craved to be able to express the energy that filled my mind in physical expressions and actions. 

The year I turned thirty, I lost my job. I found myself home and on the search…it turned out to be a huge blessing for me, it turned out to be an opportunity to change my life. The job I was working I had very long hours and it was emotionally and physically stressful on a daily basis (which I laugh because my first Rheumatologist had told me that the best thing for me was to stay away from stress – ummm, right.) With losing my job I also lost my Healthcare benefits and that left me unable to afford my medications (it sounds awful, but really it was a blessing in disguise). So I went off my pills and off the injections. I started working towards a complete lifestyle change. 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.

It took me about a year and a half to find a new job but fast forward and now I’m working at a job that even though can be stressful and have long hours (that seems to be a common thing in today’s world), I have the flexibility to work from home, I have a management team that understands I may burnout sometimes and need some downtime, and I have co-workers that get the idea of how important wellness is to me and they motivate and inspire me to stick with it. I’m naturally a Type A Personality so I always have a lot on my plate (i just don’t know what to do with myself if I don’t have a whole bunch of projects going on at one time) but I’m getting better each day at managing them realistically and being more forgiving of myself when I need to shift things or when I slip and I keep the focus on if I want to feel good then I need to continuously take care of myself. Today some of the words used to describe me is ‘energetic’ and ‘positive’ and ‘motivated’ and that feels good, they describe more of who I aspire to be. I owe so much of that to the idea of wellness, to the changes I made to bring wellness to be a reality in my world.

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  1. Daily vitamins – Women’s Multivitamin (currently loving SmartyPants for Women), Vitamin D supplements, and a Vitamin C supplement
  2. 30 crunches daily and participating in a 30 days plank challenge – I co-manage a local healthy lifestyles/fitness group at work called No Sweat York and we’ve committed to doing a 30 day challenge this month – check out our No Sweat York Instagram Page for photos and thoughts from our challenge
  3. A Greek Yogurt daily during the week at the office – Yogurt was something I just couldn’t get myself to eat except for one – I love the Fage Greek Yogurts with fruit <3
  4. Gave up eating out so much and am cooking healthier meals at home – helps keep my sodium intake down which helps with decreasing inflammation
  5. Personal Training at my gym for strength training – Legs one day, Arms another
  6. Making sure I schedule down time each week for lazy days, just to mellow out and recoup
  7. Washing my face every night with Alba Organic Make-up Wipes
  8. Scheduling my tasks out throughout the week so I’m balancing out my time better
  9. Journaling ‘one sentence a day’ to help keep my mind clear
  10. Participating in my #FebruaryArtChallenge for some daily/weekly art therapy to release stress

Wellness is about being well rounded to me, it’s about being real and honest, rolling with the punches sometimes and having balance in my life. That’s what keeps me feeling good, keeps me happier. Wellness is something that I am continuously working towards and adapting to fit into what’s going on in my life. It is not only about health and fitness physically but also keeping our minds and our hearts healthy. What does wellness mean to you? 

This week’s giveaway is brought to you by Callie Richards, LuLaRoe Fashion Retailer. One lucky winner will receive a fabulous LuLaRoe outfit in the size(s) of their choice. The giveaway ends on February 14th. US residents only. While Callie will consider your style preferences, she cannot guarantee any patterns or colors in your outfit. Enter to win here: http://bellebrita.com/2018/02/winter-date-night-outfits/ Brita Long of Belle Brita will verify the winning entry before emailing the winner during the third week of February. If the winner doesn’t respond, she will start the process over again. Good luck!

Meet Your Hosts

Brita from bellabrita.comBrita 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.

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Amritha from joinmeintransit.com. Amritha is a travel and food blogger offering travel, dining and healthy recipe guides for vegetarians who love to vacation. Her mission is to guide others in creating meaningful life experiences with friends and family through mindful travel, vegetarian food, and an active lifestyle.

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Laura from dofivethingsaday.com. 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 every day by sharing her own experiences and stories.

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How Indulging in Your Guilty Pleasures Keep You Happy

Guilty Pleasures.

I’m sitting here eating my third piece of cake this weekend thinking about what I want to write for my #loveblog prompt, guilty pleasures. Yes, third piece of cake. Saturday it was a rollerskating birthday party for my son’s step-cousin with a gorgeous unicorn cake with amazingly delicious fondant and icing, Saturday night it was the fried cheesecake I finished off for my son after his birthday dinner, and tonight it’s the slice of Oreo Blizzard cake to belatedly celebrate my son’s birthday from last week. Yup, I did it all, dove right in. I can’t say I won’t feel the affects of it when I step on the scale tomorrow morning but I’ll say it felt good to let loose this weekend and gobble it up! Guilty pleasures don’t have to be life ending, actually I think it’s healthy to have some guilty pleasures, whether it’s just on special occasions or it’s something that you can make part of your weekly routine, it’s important to have some of those that you can indulge in, something that makes you feel good. I think having a (healthy or not-too-bad) guilty pleasure is good for you. Maybe it’s long, relaxing bubble baths, or allowing yourself to buy that expensive bag you’ve had your eye on for a while (saving up for it of course – I’m not suggesting you skip paying a bill to purchase it), or having that dessert once in awhile, it’s important to allow yourself to have things in your life that really bring you joy. We call them guilty pleasures but do they really need to be? Do we have to feel guilty about something that brings us pleasure? (Now all this goes with saying that it’s not something that is destroying your life…I’m going to be frank here, if it’s harmful to you or others then it has lost its shine and it’s stepped past the boundaries of just being a guilty pleasure.) I’m the kind of person that believes that our lives should be lived with passion, pleasure and joy. We should be setting out to do things that feel rewarding to us, that make us smile, that bring light to our eyes.

I drink way more hot tea than I probably should in one day – like 8-10 cups per day is kind of my normal.

I can Netflix binge for days on if I didn’t ever have to leave the house.

I have a bit of a collection of paintings I’ve done filling corners in my bedroom and I’ll keep on painting and stacking them up.

I love brownie batter…so I just don’t keep the mix in the house too often…like I’ll mix it up just to eat the batter, I am perfectly happy skipping the cooking part.

I collect quotes like it’s nobody’s business…they’re in all of my notebooks, scribbled in my planner, taped on my wall…anywhere I can write or stick a quote I will.

I kind of like the word sh** – maybe it’s because I was a Navy brat and well it was my first word, in context from what my parents have told me (my toy wasn’t working so out of frustration I slammed it down and yelled “sh**”)…it’s just stuck I guess, I’m sorry…come on, it could be worse.

The truth is, my guilty pleasures can vary from day to day or week to week, it depends on what presents itself, it depends on how my day is, or what’s happening in my world. Sometimes after a long week, my guilty pleasure is turning my phone on silent, staying in bed and disappearing from the world for a bit. And I’m okay with that, sometimes I need that to recharge. I need to give into my guilty pleasures now and then, I need to allow myself that freedom, that flexibility to be me and only me.

What guilty pleasures do you have? How often do you allow yourself to give into them, to enjoy them?

Tonight’s post was prompted by my participation in Brita’s #LoveBlog2018! I am so excited to have the opportunity to participate again this year! This series has opened some wonderful thought processes for me in which I was able to learn more about myself and tell my story to my readers in a new light. Check out this year’s prompts here

Meet Your Hosts

Brita from bellabrita.comBrita 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.

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Laura from dofivethingsaday.com. 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 every day by sharing her own experiences and stories.

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Ivana from provocativejoy.com. Ivanna is a registered nurse who loves expressing her creative side. She enjoys thrifting, learning about sustainable living, and anything purple. She writes on Provocative Joy about living unconventionally, and loves to inspire people to realize their potential to be world-changers.

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Setting Healthy Boundaries: Simple Tips for a Happy Life

Boundaries. This is something I give a lot of thought to, something I’ve quite struggled with in the past – in relationships, in friendships, with family, and at work. It’s led me to feeling drained and burnt out many times. I know setting boundaries with those we care about can be tough, in fear of letting them down, but if we don’t it can lead to complete exhaustion, and even resentment. 

Setting personal boundaries is a very important aspect of taking care of ourselves and in building strong, healthy relationships with others. Boundaries are also key in keeping our lives balanced and keeping ourselves strong, physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you eat junk food too many days in a row, your body feels it. If you work too much overtime consistently, eventually you will burn out. If you are giving so much to everyone else, when and what are giving to yourself?  

Learn what limits you need to set (and stick to) in order to keep yourself balanced, healthy, and happy. I have learned that before I commit to something, I stop and I ask myself is this within my boundaries? Don’t be afraid to ask your night-owl friend not to text you after eleven because you have to get up early in the morning. Be honest with your boss if you’ve reached the total workload you can handle. Need some alone time? Then rain check on girls’ night out. Be honest with your partner if it bothers you that he teases you in front of your parents. In the end, being able to communicate your boundaries honestly will earn you respect, make you feel stronger, and will keep things more level for you – you’ll be happier you did! 

 


Another great link up for #LoveBlog2017! Today’s prompt was ‘Boundaries’. Why are boundaries so important to you? How do you stick to them?

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.

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Laurisa is one-third of an incredible team of women at Total Addiction.  Their mission is to encourage, uplift, and minister to other women. They collectively blog about their addictions to fashion, beauty, life, positivity, inspiration, and most of all, Jesus. When Laurisa isn’t at Total Addiction, you can find her at home with her hunky husband and their four delightful offspring.

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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.

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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!

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Dandelion Wishes & What They Do For Us

Wishes make me think of dandelions…like when we were young and we would grab as many as we could gather in our hands and blow the seeds around and send out the simplest wishes. Wishes are magical sparks that dance around our mind like sparklers. They are the easy breeze that blows through the leaves. They are the little blocks that make up our dreams. Wishes are like little fairies skipping through our imagination.

wishes: plural noun : desires or hope for something to happen

Our wishes change as we grow. When I was little I wished to grow a mermaid tail and I wished for wings. As I grew older I wished for a family. Now as I pursue my life goals, I wish for success and drive. My wishes become dreams which become goals which become building blocks for my life. I find that having wishes keeps me feeling alive and keeps me motivated. I still wish upon shooting stars, I still make a wish each year on my birthday, and every now and then I still grab a dandelion. I believe that to keep dreams alive we must keep our wishes alive. Wishes can give us perspective, they can give us hope, and most of all they give us the magical spark we need in life. 

I wish to be surrounded with vibrant colors.

I wish to have great adventures in life.

I wish to fill my life with love.

I wish to own a boutique and art gallery.

I wish to be an author.

I wish to be an artist. 

I wish to be the mother that my son can look up to for inspiration. 

I wish every night for a good night’s sleep.

I wish to stay healthy for a long time.

I have many wishes and each day I add a new wish, and each day I keep working towards making my wishes come true.

What wishes do you have and what are you doing to make those wishes come true? 


Today’s #LoveBlog2017 prompt was wishes. This prompt spun me back to childhood memories <3

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.

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Tayler is a motherhood and lifestyle blogger at The Morrell Tale. She loves raising her kids, Rhys (2.5 years old) and Evelyn (1 month old). She also writes about her time as a teacher, her Mormon religion, books she’s read, and recipes she and her husband have created.

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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.


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!

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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.

 

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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.

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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!

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Dear Grandma,

When I sat down the other night to write my post for #LoveBlog2017 I was tasked with writing for the prompt loss. We experience many forms of loss in our lives. Loss of relationships, loss of time, and loss of loved ones. I read many wonderful posts from bloggers about their losses and how they’ve dealt with their grief and one thought kept cycling back through my mind.

About three years ago my Grandmother passed away, just two weeks shy of thirtieth birthday which was a pivoting time in my life. Her death hadn’t been expected and threw my family on quite the spiral. I found myself sitting in a coffee shop one afternoon writing this letter:

Dear Grandma,

I miss you. Yesterday I turned thirty and I am feeling myself faced with a life challenge; a challenge of love, of faith, and of finding happiness. I desperately listen for your words of wisdom, to lead me down the right path. You were more than just my Grandma, you were my friend and my safe haven. I would look to you for strength, for inspiration. I miss having you here to hold me, to tell me it’s going to be okay, not to worry, to lead me to pray. In my heart, I know you are still with me, forever in my heart. I’m sure you have become a beautiful angel, watching over us all. Even though it hurts so much that you are gone I know that through faith and prayer we will stay together. Grandma, please hear my prayer and be with me, give me strength and the wisdom to make the right choices. Help me live up to be the Granddaughter that you deserve to have and to follow in your soft footsteps ever so gracefully. I will always miss you, I will always love you, and I will never let you out of my heart.

Sincerely,

Your Granddaughter, slightly lost without you but not without hope.

I revisit this letter a few times throughout each year since she’s passed. A year later my Grandfather also passed away, again about two weeks shy of my birthday. I miss her and my Grandfather both so very much. Time does heal things and both myself and my family have come a long way since their passing. The imprint that they had on our lives remains and for that I am ever so grateful. Without my Grandparents influence I wouldn’t be who I am today. When my Grandfather passed I almost unconsciously went into hoarding mode with a lot of their things that remained. In a way I think I thought that keeping all their stuff would keep them here with me. This year I have started going through the collection of items I had taken into my possession. I know it’s time to let go of those material things, for those items are not the memories or love of my Grandparents. Their spirit and love still remain with me, in my heart. I will always miss them but I am allowing the cycle of life to be what it is and to accept it. In loss also comes growth.

The Purpose of Memories

Memories……

We carry so many with us, it makes me wonder where they all stay. Some locked away only to be recalled by a certain spark. Some that bring strength, some that bring joy and just the slight smile, and some that still sting like the prick from the sharp edge of a dagger. I would not return any of them though, for they make up a part of me. 

I still remember the steadfast words that my grandmother told me while I sat by her hospital bed, “Everyday just do your best and that will always be enough.”  – This brings inspiration and purpose to every one of my days. 

I still remember the Fourth of July night that my mother and I sat on the porch with glasses of wine laughing about our trials of life and watching the fireworks. – This brings a smile to me every time. 

I still remember my first kiss under the play set on the playground. – This brings a memory of a sense of discovery. 

I still remember the first time my son told me hated me. – This brings strength and courage to me. 

Our memories are part of our story, they shape us and they remind us of where we’ve come from and what we’ve learned. 

Memories……

Some cherished, some painful…but all a part of us and that makes each one so beautiful and so powerful. Each one of our memories provides us a lesson in our lives. 

“Sometimes you will never know the value of moment until it becomes a memory.”

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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. He had betrayed my love yet 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.


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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.

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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.

 

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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.


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