Challenge Yourself to Pump Up Your Self-Care

Need a little boost in your Self-Care? Need to give yourself a little bit more love?

Here’s Five Challenges to give a try:

  1. 21 Day Self-Care Challenge from Brit+Co
  2. 30-Day Self Care Challenge from Brianna Fae
  3. 33 Questions That Will Boost Your Self-Care Routine from AJAEDMOND
  4. 7-Day Self Love Journaling Challenge from LiveStrong.com
  5. 30-Day Life Makeover Challenge (A Month of Affirmations for Inner Peace and Self Love) from KelseyAida

10 Posts to Read When You Need Some Advice for Life

This one is for my fellow bloggers (and everyone else too!) – Do you ever find yourself in need of a little reminder of your own best advice? When you’re feeling a little off, a little bit more vulnerable than other days and you think hey I totally wrote a blog post about that and I need a little kick in the butt…well I do so I thought “hey, this could make a fun, little round-up post”, are you with me?

When I’m feeling overly self-critical about choices I’ve made in my life: 10 Quotes that Help Me See the Silver Linings in My Mistakes

When I’m feeling a little lonely being a single gal: Why I’m Enjoying Being Single Right Now

When I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed: 12 Ways to Deflate Anxiety Naturally

When I need to add a boost of some extra self-care into my week: 55 Self-Care Activities to Add to Your Schedule

When my schedule has gotten super chaotic: How to Plan a Healthy Schedule when you’re Super Busy

When I need a some positive inspiration: How Powerful Core Beliefs Will Guide your Life & Happiness

When I need to love myself a little more: You are a Magical, Beautiful Being: 15 Affirmations for Self-Love

When I find myself feeling a bit judgmental: Why It’s Important to Let Go of Toxic Judgments

When I need a little help getting my finances back on track: How to Build a Budget for those that Hate Budgets

When my to-do list has gotten out of control: How to Build a Better To-Do List

12 Ways to Make the Most Out of a Rainy Day

How do you feel about rainy days? Do you find yourself feeling slumped? Do you put your activities on hold, stuck in a spiral of bummed out feelings? 

Rainy days don’t have to be bummed out days. You can embrace them, take comfort in the solitude and tranquility they can bring to you.

I love a good rainy day. A chance to slow down my routine a bit. To take advantage of the drops hitting the ground, reminding me to be mindful of what is brought to me in my life. I perceive rain as an opportunity for cleansing. As the rain washes the dirt from the road, I can take the day to refresh my soul and my mind. 

  1. Catch up on laundry – this is such a great day to get caught up on some of your home chores. You’re stuck in the house and have the opportunity to check some things off your to-do list for some peace of mind. Take advantage!
  2. Curl up and read a book.
  3. Stay in your pajamas and have a movie-thon or get a good day of Netflix binging in of your favorite show.
  4. Paint a portrait.
  5. Do an art & craft or a DIY project that you’ve been wanting to try.
  6. Clean up your computer files.
  7. Research and plan your next vacation – lift your spirits by thinking of how you’ll be enjoying the sunshine when it returns!
  8. Cook and prep your meals for the week.
  9. Have an at home spa day – take a long bubble bath, give yourself a facial, deep condition your hair, paint your nails.
  10. Have a game night.
  11. Spend some time on self-development – join an online development workshop, take an online course, journal.
  12. Meditate or do an at-home Yoga Practice.

How to not so Usual Spring Clean for a Spectacular Spring

The calendar says it’s Spring but I awoke to 4 inches of snow on the ground this morning…I have Spring Fever soooo bad! Snow or no snow, I’ve been getting busy with my Spring cleaning to get myself ready for an awesome Spring and Summer ahead. We all know the usual Spring Cleaning tasks – wash the bed sheets, draperies, shampoo the carpets, clean the windows…all that good, deep house-cleaning stuff you do as you get ready to open the windows – ah that is definitely in my top three of the favorite times of the year, the first time you open the windows for Spring. But (always a but right?) what about all the other stuff, you know some of the finer details? 

  1. Clean out Your Closet – Okay this one is kind of the usual and most of  us do it but I still put it on the list cause it’s a big one for me.So here’s the details of why this one is a top Spring Cleaning task for me (and I do this at the beginning of every season Summer, Fall, Winter too). First and foremost, it’s time to swap out and rearrange some clothes as I transition from Winter to Spring. Second, as I start getting back into my fitness mindset (out of what I like to call my “bear weight” because well I’m just going to say it, the extra keeps me warmer during the winter – being real here – and naturally I fluctuate a bit more during the Winter in my weight because I’m not as active being inside more), pulling out an visualizing my Spring and Summer outfits helps get me motivated. Want some tips on closet clean out? I wrote a kick butt post, Power Tips for an Awesome Closet Clean Out, that shares what I’m like cleaning out my closet (I go all in for the haul!)
  2. Clean out your Inbox – who wants to be sitting at their computer on a beautiful sunny day going through emails, not me! So I’ll take a little extra time now cleaning out the collection of promotional emails that have stacked up from the holiday season (don’t judge me, it’s been a crazy busy beginning of the year). Check out my Bringing Peace to Your Inbox post for tips on keeping it under wraps after you get it all cleaned up. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I’m totally plugging myself this blog post but man I got resources I want to share with you!)
  3. Clean out your health and beauty products – I don’t know about you but I’ve been adding some more color to my stash and getting ready to get my ‘fresh, Spring face’ on for everyone! Did you know that we should be rotating out our beauty products several times throughout the year? This helps keep bacteria from forming and keeping your face clear (you know how you wet your brush, dip it in your eye shadow, apply, and repeat? Unfortunately that could be adding some potential for bacteria to grow to – so swap out your products and clean your brushes girls!) I also take stock of moisturizers, vitamins and all the other good stuff I’ll be using up to make sure I’m stocked up and not hanging on to anything I don’t use that adds clutter…oooh and get some yummy new floral or citrus scents to bring in Spring with!
  4. Clean out your fridge and freezer – and not just for the clean factor but also for the ‘let me stock up on healthy vegetables and fruits’ so I can be successful working this “bear weight” off kind of mindset. Prep adds to success! Give this baby a good wipe down as you go through it too. Move over frozen vegetables and fruits, cause the fresh ones are coming in! Think grilling too – oh yay, my favorite!
  5. Clean up your finances – Saving up for a Summer Vacation? Gotta get those finances organized so you can stay on track…plus hopefully by now we’ve been able to bounce back a little from the holiday spending. I find myself on the go more during the Spring and Summer so it’s important for me to have a good budget and record of spending in place for myself that I can easily and quickly update. Here’s the budget planner I use (yes, another self plug but it’s a good one, I promise!) – How to Build a Budget for those that Hate Budgets – umm, like me, but this made it so much easier for me so I hate it a little less now.
  6. Clean out your books and magazines – this can be paperbacks/hardbacks or kindle format, whatever you got. Some laying on the beach Summer reading is ahead so get through your books and get ready. Have books you’ve never read? Move them to the front so they’re convenient to grab when packing…I’d tell you to get rid of the books you’ve already read but that’s not my strength. I totally see my books as trophies after I read them and I envision myself someday having a home with either a library room stacked floor to ceiling with shelves of books or a very long hallway with the same so I can’t back you up on that one but if it’s for you and it fits your fancy, then by all means, yes de-clutter away!!!

So back to my Spring Fever – on days like this when there’s snow on the ground (which I’m happy to report has been melting throughout the day), are the days I tuck inside with a good Yoga practice…but I’m biting at the chance to get outside for a great hike! So for now, I’ll focus on wrapping up my Spring Cleaning so when those warm days hit I’ll be ready to get out!

What kinds of unusual Spring Cleaning do you do? 

 

My Four Essentials for Beautiful, Self Spring Renewal

Spring is finally here! Which for me, means it’s time to get out of hibernation and get back at it! My Winter essentials vary a good bit from my Spring essentials. I love Spring because I love to be outside, surrounded by nature. Whether it be hitting the trails, laying by the beach or taking a stroll in the neighborhood in the sunshine, I want to be there.

Spring also means Summer is on it’s way, which means bathing suit weather. With that on my mind, I know it’s time to get back in shape and shake the Winter weight. With the busy schedule I keep, I find it can be hard sometimes to hit the gym everyday so I love being able to get a good Yoga practice in at home. MyYogaWorks has tons of classes for any level, for any time commitment which makes it perfect for me. I can squeeze in a 5 minute practice in the morning, or participate in a longer one on the weekends when I have a little bit more free time. Check their classes out with a 14 day Free Trial and see what you think!

With getting back into my Yoga Practice, I also will be getting back to running. With the weather getting warmer, I’ll be able to run the trails again by the river which leads itself to beautiful scenery, fresh air, and the wide openness of nature. I am need of some new running shoes though so those made it to the list. Found some picks on Reebok that I’m loving the color choices in.

                    

 Reebok Harmony Racer, $100                        Reebok Print Run Next, $80

Fresh, Spring Make-Up. I been getting my hair done, working towards that Summer blonde and updating my make-up bag. I recently started using Urban Decay Make-Up because I love the staying power it has, the boldness + it’s vegan and cruelty-free. I also love the products that Love Goodly has to offer. I also added some florals and citruses to my Essential Oils collection to help get me in the Springtime mood.

Spring is a renewing period of time for me. A time when I get focused on my health and beauty as I prepare for the Summer months after being tucked away during the cold, Winter months. This is one of my favorite times of year because I kind of feel like I’m reinventing myself in a way. Out with the old, in with the new. Happy Spring!

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.

Three Uncompromising Promises to Myself

Uncompromising

When it comes to taking care of yourself.

When it comes to your boundaries.

When it comes to your health.

This is when you should let your stubbornness shine. Making yourself a priority isn’t selfish, it’s healthy.

I will make my health a priority – learning to take time to rest.

I will say no when I need to.

I will love myself fiercely and stubbornly.

What will you choose to be uncompromising about this year?

How to Make “Me” Time

I spent part of my evening today with the music turned up and dancing in the kitchen all by myself…and I was loving it. Last Friday, I enjoyed sipping a beer while watching everyone else buzz around me…I look forward to my time curled up on my bed with my laptop before I hit the sack every night…

Solitude: noun –

the state of being or living alone; seclusion

Some identify solitude as a lonely state but I find it a peaceful state. I’ve learned to enjoy my “me” time quite much. It gives me time to reflect, it gives me time to observe, and it gives me a place to remove all the screens that I put up to the world. Having solitude, ‘alone time’ or ‘me time’ is critical to living a well-balanced life and to a good self-care routine. For both introverts and extroverts (and ambiverts), it is a time to recharge and to reflect, and to relax. There was a time that I had a hard time finding time for my solitude. My schedule was so busy and not living alone can also make it a challenge but I found myself starving for it, craving that down time. It was a challenge I needed to find a solution to.

  1. Evaluate how you are currently spending your time. Take a look at your schedule. Do you spend time doing tasks that aren’t necessary or can be eliminated? What can you take out so that you have more open time?
  2. Schedule some alone time in your planner. Block off a little time just for you. Get up early before everyone else and claim that quiet time as yours, or set aside some time in the evening, whatever works for your schedule, plan on at least an hour to spend by yourself every few days.
  3. Make a list of things you can do alone. – reading, taking a bubble bath, coloring or painting, journaling…even just curling up and scanning Pinterest…whatever strikes your fancy!
  4. Get outside. Nature holds so much beauty and strength. It is a perfect place to find peace and solitude. Take a walk or go for a hike in the woods or take a solo bike ride along the river trail.
  5. Set boundaries. Say no. Don’t be afraid to turn down an invite if you’re cozied up for some down time. This takes a little practice but get into the habit of not overbooking your schedule. Allow time for you to just have chill time. Don’t feel guilty for turning down social activities to have some alone time.

 

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Hygge vs. Minimalism – What is best for me?

There’s so much buzz around Hygge and Minimalism. They both have beautiful qualities and benefits but which is best for me? What’s the difference between them?

Hygge

Hygge is a danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or a moment as cozy, charming and special. It’s the art of creating joy and comfort in one’s life. Embracing hygge is about creating a warm and cozy lifestyle. It promotes appreciation, a certain simplicity and about not only recognizing the present moment but also enjoying it. Think the quote, “Relish in the moment,” but up a few notches.

Minimalism

Minimalism is about living with less, living with the essentials, only the things that bring you joy. It teaches you to remove distractions from your life so that you can live your life with full intentions. Quoted from Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist “minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we value most and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” Through minimalism you can discover clarity and freedom.

So which is best for me? I see value in both lifestyles. I see a sense of simplicity in both. I’ve been trying to work towards minimalism for a little over a year now and have really been struggling with it. Although I am able to embrace some of the thought patterns of minimalism I find that I struggle with limiting the amount of items that bring me joy. I find joy in so many things and in so many areas of my life. As an eclectic individual I have several hobbies and many interests creating a bit of a stock up sometimes. I do believe in removing the clutter and the chaos and I believe in utmost organization because I find I function better in a clearer, cleaner environment but as much as I respect the minimalistic lifestyle I’m not sure it fits who I am purely. I find myself at home looking toward hygge. Cozy is one of my top five favorite words. I am finding that I am falling in love with all things hygge. I don’t want to abandon all the values of minimalism but I think a more honest path to my true self is to build my home and my life with a hygge mindset. Looking back, I’m glad I took an attempt at minimalism and I grew as a person and learned a lot about how I work in the world during my journey but as we grow we also shift so here’s to 2018 learning all about hygge. <3 

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How I Elevated My Self-Care & Wellness Routine with the Yogi Surprise Box

The smile that jetted across my face when I came home after a super busy day at work and saw my Yogi Surprise Box sitting on the table lit up the kitchen. I immediately grabbed the scissors and cut open my box to see what was inside. As I opened it up to see what was inside, I thought, it was like the good folks at Yogi Surprise knew the kind of week I was having. I started pulling everything out like a little kid tearing through the tissue paper at Christmas! This box was hitting my extra self-care needs in every way this week! How do they pack so much goodness into one little purple box? Is the suspense killing you yet? Let’s take a look of what’s inside!

Warning: I am super excited about this box.

What’s Inside the Yogi Surprise Box?

The first thing I pulled out of the box was this beautiful blue scarf from Rising Tide. I am an avid scarf collector and lover (see what I’m saying about the intuition of these folks?!) so this was a perfect reward after a long day. The scarf is super soft and the colors are exquisite in my opinion. Maybe because my favorite color is blue, maybe because they remind me of the ocean but I love this scarf and am very much looking forward to adding it to my wardrobe. The company that the scarf came from is Rising Tide, a company focused on assisting creating products that help improve the living standards of the low income artisans from developing countries and they also donate a percentage of all their sales to country-of-origin charities and NGOs, such as the Santi School Project in Nepal. How awesome do they sound?! There’s not much that beats an awesome fashion product that gives back!

 

I absolutely love that they add these little inspirational cards and thoughts to the boxes. They prompt me to slow down a little and take some time to just be mindful. This box included thoughts of Gratitude, reminding me, even in super busy times of my life, to sit and remember what and who I am thankful for and blessed to have in my life. On the back of each month’s card, they also share a short yoga sequence to practice. These cards are wonderful to pack for a trip too so I can always take my practice with me.

This little buddy is the perfect item to add to my wellness kit. Compact for on the go and easy to use, the WalBall is perfect for a gal on the go. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia and am a busy, workaholic, fitness junkie and I have found that massage is a fantastic and natural therapy that helps relieve my pain many times but let’s face it trying to find the time (and budget) for appointments or lug around bulky massage equipment is tough. The Walball works great because it lets you focus on specific trigger points which are key in flare ups for me. I love that it sticks to most surfaces too so I can stick it to a wall and adjust my pose to hit the spots I need to. Plus with a message on the package like, “Attention: This product is intended for use by people that use their muscles, or plan to use them. Use of this product on muscles that remain unused may lead to the desire to use those muscles more. Be awesome, use your muscles.” how could you not love it?!

 I started my ‘go natural’ journey last year and it’s been a bit of a challenge to replace some of my products…like perfume. I tossed all my bottles of chemical filled perfumes earlier this year and have been using essential oils such in scents like Sweet Orange and Lemongrass which were great for the summer but as the air has gotten colder I’ve found myself craving some more classic “perfumey” scents. Well Yogi Surprise has come through. In this box, I discovered Pacifica AromaPower Micro-Batch Perfume Oil. Their products are 100% vegan and cruelty free. With this perfume oil I get the benefits of aromatherapy, crystal therapy and also get to smell like a princess. The perfume oil came in this beautiful jar with a ball roller to control how much I put on so I don’t overdo it.The scent is called Breathtaking with notes of cardamom, vanilla, pepper and warm scents and is infused with rose quartz. Rose Quartz is a stone that aids in love, including self-love, trust, compassion and feelings of peace.

 I try and keep a handful of coins for parking meters and the occasional desperate vending machine run around but I’m not very good at having a place to keep them. Currently they’re thrown in cup holders in my car and loose in my desk drawer…which is a little out of character for my usual super organized ways. In classic colors and a chic design, this hand-dyed and eco-friendly coin purse from Batik Boutique will help me have a place to collect my coins and to help out the world giving me a little bit of a warm and fuzzy feeling every time I use it. The Batik Boutique features items handmade by artisans from Malaysia which sales from these products helps provide skills training and economic opportunity to women from low-income backgrounds.

 

I am always looking for the perfect pick-me-up snacks for the afternoons at the office when my blood sugars start to drop and the afternoon sleepies start to kick in. This Rickaroons Coconut Energy Bar is the perfect treat to indulge in. Keeping the spirit of the season in a pumpkin spice flavor, this snack had just the right amount of bites to enjoy with a cup of hot tea.

With the winter weather wreaking havoc on my skin the past few weeks, I was super excited to find this Jivana Treatment Oil in my Yogi Surprise Box this month! Jivana is an Ayrvedic Skin Care line that produces products with natural balancing properties and ingredients. I started using my treatment oil a few days ago and can already see a difference. It’s great for acne, dry skin, and even razor burn. The oil provides soothing relief while helping to balance my skin and bonus it smells amazing.

This box has definitely stepped up my self-care and natural wellness routine. I can’t wait to see what comes in my next Yogi Surprise Box! Want to get your own? Check it out here: Get Your Box and because I think you’re amazing, use promo code yogilove for 15% off your box!

 

All opinions are my own. This post was sponsored by Yogi Surprise in which I received compensation for my review. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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How to Care for your Face after Halloween

Halloween brings lots of fun – candy, party, creative costumes – but it also brings some havoc on  your face with all the heavy Halloween make-up. This year I went as a “jail bird”, it was super cute but it also meant my face was layered with face paint. By the end of the night I could feel my face was feeling all the oils it had been soaking in.

Step 1: The Night of Make-Up –

Immediately wash the make-up after getting home. I was exhausted, getting home late after dancing the night away but I knew I couldn’t leave the goop on my face overnight. Costume make-up is much heavier than daily make-up. I always keep make-up wipes on hand, these are great to be able to grab and wipe the make-up off when I’m feeling so tired. Follow up with a facial toner to remove any oils or dirt that wasn’t caught with the facial wipes.

Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes with Cotton Extract, Amazon

Teddie Organics Rose Water Facial Toner, Amazon

Step 2: The Morning After –

I woke up, my face still feeling tired from carrying all the heavy make-up the night before. I washed any lingering make-up off with another make-up wipe and then grabbed my facial mask. A good detoxifying mask will help clean out anything that got stuck in your pours and help rejuvenate your skin. I like a good charcoal mask. Leave the mask on as instructed and then wash off with warm water. Follow up with a rich facial moisturizer.

Poppy Austin 100% Organic Clay Mask, Amazon

Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask

Alba Botanica Hawaiian, Aloe & Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer, Amazon

 

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.