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20 Things That Make Me Smile

Happy Positive Thinking Day!!!

A good day starts with a good thought. Wake up every morning and think happy things to get your day going. To celebrate Positive Thinking Day I made a list of twenty things that make me smile. A simple trick but a trick that works – If you’re feeling a little down, think of something wonderful in your life. Gratitude is a gateway to happiness. Train your mind to see the bright side of everything. 

  1. Having breakfast with my son.
  2. Flowers.
  3. A good laugh.
  4. Talking on the phone with my mom.
  5. Having a beer and chatting life stuff with my best friends.
  6. A hot cup of tea.
  7. Snuggling with my pup.
  8. Getting my nails done.
  9. Brownie batter. Yum!
  10. Making my loved ones smile.
  11. Having my artwork in an art show.
  12. Looking at the stars in the night sky.
  13. Laying on the beach.
  14. When my favorite song comes on the radio.
  15. Dancing in the kitchen.
  16. A good Netflix binge.
  17. The sunset.
  18. Curling up under a cozy blanket with a book.
  19. A long hike.
  20. Crossing something off my bucket list!

“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~ anonymous

10 Positive Quotes for When You’re In a Rut

I get by with a little help from my friends.” ~ The Beatles

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster for me. From feelings of stress to excitement to anxiety to rejection to frustration, it was quite the ride, I was all over the place. Just a passing time in my life. We all have these times, these ruts, those moments – and it’s okay, we’re human. I allowed the lack of balance in my life in those couple of weeks to get the better of me. I became overly self-critical and frustrated with myself. In reflection, that was the time I should have been more patient and more forgiving with myself. 

Yesterday I let it all out to my friends. It was like a I opened a stuck pipe…it was amazing, full of release, full of realness, it was like an ahhhh moment. It’s okay to need to lean on others sometimes. It’s okay to be in a funk and need a little help getting out of it. I don’t know about you, but I can get caught up trying to be so strong that sometimes I forget that I don’t need to do it on my own. Being truly strong isn’t about being on your own all the time, it isn’t about being able to carry the world on your shoulders and being able to take everything thrown at you in stride. True strength comes from being open about your vulnerability, it’s being confident in being able to ask for help when you need it, it’s about being honest about where you are in that moment. 

I’m glad I had that spurt of a rut. I’m glad that I had that learning opportunity. Because in it, I learned to be stronger, how to be more me, and was reminded how much love already exists in my life and around me. Being positive, being strong, and being a good person doesn’t mean we never have bad days or even weeks. It means that we can turn them around and that we can see a positive opportunity and lesson in them. 

1.) “Believe you can & you’re halfway there.” ~ T. Roosevelt

2.) “No rain, No flowers.” ~ unknown

3.) “Even the smallest steps move you forward.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

4.) “Every bad situation will have something positive. Even a dead clock shows correct time twice a day. Stay positive.” ~ unknown

5.) “Life is tough, darling, but so are you.” ~ Stephanie Bennett Henry

6.) “Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.” ~ unknown

7.) “Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and become more comfortable not knowing.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

8.) “It’s okay to be a glowstick. Sometimes we have to break before we can shine.” ~ unknown

9.) “Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Never give up.” ~ Robert Schuller

10.) “Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises, maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it.” ~ unknown

 

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My 10 Winter Essentials for Surviving the Blue Months

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

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page

My Winter Essentials:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Being Powerful & Inspired: My Quote Wall & Making The Bed

I believe in surrounding myself with inspiration and motivation that fuels me throughout my day. I build my bedroom with the same idea. Every task I complete I want to inspire me…including making my bed… I am given a gift every morning that I awake. I am given the ability to go make my day any way I want it to be, the opportunity to make it an amazing day. I will admit some mornings are tough, sometimes the bed is too warm and the day is too cold, or I’m too tired and I know a long day awaits me, but each day I push myself out of bed.

I’ve been spending some time listening to Motivational Podcasts Every Woman Must Hear by TED Talks and some of the things I hear seem to be speaking right to me. It’s amazing how the Universe will put the message we need to hear right in front of us, all we have to do is be open to receive that message. One of the things that keep sticking out to me is that we can’t accomplish anything if we don’t set out to do it. I listened to one in particular on the way to work today that has really been ringing in my head  How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over . She speaks of how we condition ourselves to think everything is fine even when we aren’t satisfied. I spent the last year learning how to be more accepting of things in life, things beyond my control. I loved that I learned a great amount of patience through that and I learned how to not be angry (or not to hold onto anger) and that I believe has made me such a stronger and happier person but I think I also allowed myself to become complacent in some ways and that is a block. There is a difference between being accepting and rolling over and just letting things be. We must learn to create a balance between the two – allow ourselves to accept what we cannot change but to push ourselves to change what we can. Go after what you want in life!

Well now that I’ve gotten a bit off track in my tangent of motivation and podcasts… I made a decision to surround myself with things and thoughts of inspiration and motivation a while back and I began to build my quote wall. My quote wall lies right behind my bed. Each morning that I push myself out of my warm cozy bed (winter is not really my thing) I in turn get to make my bed and inhale in all the beautiful words I have put among myself. It is invigorating and amazing how my eyes always seem to fall upon the right quote at the right time. Some days, in those moments that I may be feeling challenged, I will come sit on my bed facing the wall and just breathe and let the quotes flow into me. My quotes come from all over, an eclectic collection for each day, for each challenge, that spoke to me in any such moment…

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“I’m scared of failure all the time, but I’m not scared enough to stop trying.” ~ Ronda Rousey

“Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” ~ Dalai Lama

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up with more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

“Go for your dreams, and don’t let anything hold you back. Keep going no matter what it is you want to do in life.” ~ Layla Ali

How To Keep Joy In Your Life

My ex says to me, “You just want to go and be seen all the time.” His comment really irked me. It made me feel as if he was implying I was a show-off which doesn’t really fit my personality or my values and it bugged me. The comment stuck with me, it kept nagging at me and I kept analyzing it over and over. Driving home from the grocery store, laying down to sleep at night – I’d think of it. Such a simple comment that had become ever-so annoying to me, sticking in my mind. Last night it hit me, he was right – in a way.

I do want to be seen, and I want to be recognized not because I’m proud but because I eagerly want to be a part of this world. We should all want that, being together brings us joy. We were created to connect and to unite and to help each other. And yeah, I want a part in that, a chance to be part of something great, a part of our great humanity. But to understand that I had to change my perspective of his comment. After thinking that out I made a list of my rules for keeping joy in my life around the thought of how we should be living in this world, as part of this world, rules I live by every day. If you want to be truly joyful, you need to shine your light where ever you go, let that bright ray of sunshine from in you fall upon the world! 

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.

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.

How To Not Freak Out In Christmas Crunch Time

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

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

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

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

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

 

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5 Powerful Steps to Reaching Your Dreams & Crushing Your Goals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.) Meditation

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

5.) Take care of yourself

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

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

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

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

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

Bio:

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

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

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


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

Social links: 

http://www.facebook.com/KylieTraversAus

http://www.twitter.com/KylieTravers_au

http://www.instagram.com/KylieTravers_au

 

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

10 Healthy Nighttime Habits for a Good Night’s Sleep

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  1. Wash your face. Remove all the make-up and oils from your face and hydrate your skin with a lightweight moisturizer.
  2. Drink a glass of water. Drinking a glass of water before bed helps cycle toxins out of your body.
  3. No electronics half an hour before bed. Turn off the tv, put down your phone. Create quite time, take away the extra stimulation to your brain.
  4. Light an incense or candle. Calming scents can help us relax. Pick a cozy scent such as Tranquility or Lavender.
  5. Write down your to-do list for tomorrow. Get it off your mind so that when you lay down to sleep the thoughts do not continue to race through. Need some tips on building your to-do list – check out How To Build A Better To-Do List.
  6. Journal or Brain Dump. This has similar effects as writing your to-do list down. It gets all the racing thoughts out of your mind and onto paper. This gives you a chance to process the day so that you can let go of your worries for the night. Write about your grand ideas for the next day, write down your sorrows, whatever is on your mind, let them transfer to your journal.
  7. Read. I always have multiple books started. Fantasy to escape reality, Self-Growth books to strengthen my soul. Currently I’m reading “Altar of Bones” by Philip Carter and “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero.
  8. Yoga. This can be as simple as one pose. Legs up on the Wall is a great one for before bed – Legs Up The Wall Pose
  9. Meditate. Meditating prior to bed helps clear thoughts and worry out of your mind so that you can have a restful sleep. Check out How Meditation Benefits You for why it’s the bomb and some ways I work meditation into each of my days.
  10. Keep calming and healing crystals by your bed. I know this one may be a little too voodoo for some but I find crystal therapy very healing and enlightening. Choose crystals such as amethyst and rose quartz for self-love and emotional healing.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please reference my disclosure page. All opinions are my own.