Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Power of Gratitude







Picture it.

Sicily.

1912.

Hahahaha!

I love the Golden Girls.

Hello friends! Happy Sunday!

Today's post, as you can tell from the title, is about the power of gratitude. But first, coffee... and a little time travel.




It was 2006 or 2007. I was living in a cute little townhouse at the time. I had the evening off work and I was laying down, watching the evening news. Dateline or whatever world news show was on then. (Yes, I was living it up. Haha!) There was a special segment about The Secret. The movie had just come out and they were featuring three or four couples who took the advice in the movie to heart. I remember the one couple who had a tiny kitchen. On their fridge was an assortment of magnets and papers, but more specifically, they had a list of their biggest desires written out and displayed, front and center. The idea was that they would "manifest" their desires by willing them to be so from the Universe. I remember being fascinated with the story, but also rolling my eyes a little bit. "Yeah right," I laughed to myself. After the news was over, I promptly forgot all about it. 

Fast forward a few years.

It was an interesting time in my life. I was about a year into a new position at work, one that I had really wanted. It was a lot of fun, but I was trying so desperately to find a good balance between being a mom, a girlfriend, work, and school. I was at Wal-Mart one day and decided to browse through the books. I came across The Secret and The Power. I picked them both up to leaf through. They were both about $17, so I thought I would buy just one, but I was having a hard time choosing. The Secret looked enticing, but The Power had just been released. The book jacket explained, "to create anything, to change anything, all it takes is just one thing... The Power." That's a pretty good line. I was sold. I bought the book. I started reading it, but I had also purchased the Twilight series and was hooked on sparkly vampires. Once again, it fell out of my thoughts.

Fast forward a few more years.

Now I was at a crossroads. It was a rough period, full of uncertainty, and change. I was searching for a purpose and trying to figure out the future, like most 20-somethings. I had pulled out my copy of The Power. I borrowed The Secret from the library. I devoured them both. Some of it resonated. Some of it didn't. I had gotten more practical as I got older. I read a bunch of other things. Then, I saw Rhonda had a new book out: The Magic. From the first few pages, I was hooked. It was all about gratitude. Everything I read added up and made sense. It connected with some of the concepts I had learned in a few of my psychology classes in college. The Magic was different from the other two books. It was more practical, a guide: 28 days of gratitude practice. (This is what I based my 30-days of Gratitude challenge on.) It sounds cheesy and weird, but it changed my life. No, it didn't manifest the $100,000 or a new job in a different state. But it did help me change my attitude, my mindset, my perspective on life. And that change helped me make better changes overall in my life.... and it all started with a book. (Fitting, considering I spent the vast majority growing up reading.)

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I share the above tidbits to make this point: gratitude is powerful. It's not just generic thank-you's when someone does something nice for you. It's about truly being thankful for all that you have. It's enjoying the little things: the cup of coffee, a beautiful sunrise, a surprise visit from a hummingbird. It's about being thankful for the people in your life: your spouse, your kids, your family, your friends. It's about understanding that nothing in life is guaranteed, not taking anyone or anything for granted. Waking up each morning and starting the day with thanks for simply being alive; having another day to accomplish your goals, to spend time with your loved ones.

Gratitude is often the first step in changing your mindset. Only when you can appreciate all that you have now, will you be ready to receive more. 

It's not a quick fix. It's not something you do for 3-10 days and revert back to old habits. 

It takes conscious effort. Everyday. Somedays are easier than others. Somedays you might struggle to find the good. But it's there. There is always something for which to be thankful. 

After a bit, you'll notice your attitude shift. You'll start seeing the good within the negatives. Before long, you'll notice positives more so than negatives. 
The changes are subtle, but make such a difference in your life.

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a school... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes."
-Charles Swindoll


Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything. This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything.— Alan Cohen


The mind is everything. What you think, you become.

-Buddha




For tips on how to bring gratitude into your daily life:Practical Gratitude For Everyday Life

For my tips and tricks on living your best life:
12 Simple Rules to Live Your Best Life

And to read a little bit about what I learned on my 30-Day Yoga journey this past January:
What 30 Days of Yoga Taught Me

Have a great week friends!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

5 Motivating Quotes to Help You Power Through Your Workout



Hello Friends!

Happy Sunday!

You know that moment, in the middle of your workout or maybe toward the end of a set, your muscles are burning to the point where you just need to stop because you feel like you can't possibly keep going.. 

That's the moment when you absolutely need to keep moving. Your muscles are changing. Your body is changing. Your goals are just starting to get within your grasp. 

"When you get tired learn to rest. Not quit." 
-Bansky


This past week, my workout has been intense. I did my Tracy Anderson workout on Wednesday. I woke up Thursday morning and felt like I had been hit by a truck. My muscles were so incredibly sore and I was so tired. -- This is how I've felt the past few days, but I've kept up the workout. I returned for more fun (torture) each day because change is happening. My goals are within sight. 
But make no mistake, it hasn't been easy. haha! 

At the moment when I want to give up and be done (lay on the floor for half an hour questioning my life choices) I do one of two things (or sometimes both) -- I lean into the music to help me.. meaning I tell those negative thoughts to shut it and focus on the lyrics to the song (this is especially helpful if it's a hard rap or rock song) and/or I give myself a little pep talk as I continue doing my reps.

So, today I am sharing my favorite motivational phrases and quotes that help me power through when the going gets tough. This really works for me and I hope it is helpful for you, too! 

**Let me be clear. There is a difference between muscle soreness because the muscles are working, and muscle pain because you are doing something wrong. Do not push yourself to the point of injury. If you are unable to keep proper form, you definitely need to stop. If you feel sharp, searing pain, stop. You do not want to get injured. Always consult your physician before starting a fitness program or if you have questions.**

That said, let's get started!








Have a wonderful week! 

<3 
-A

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Music You Can Move To





Hello friends!

Happy Sunday! 

Well, the Punxsutawney Phil has declared that there are six more weeks until winter...


Source


Haha! I love that movie! 

And it looks like here in Ohio we're due for more snow today and later this week. 

Joy.

But it is February. 

There's a saying: Summer bodies are made in the winter. There's nothing better on a cold, winter day than getting in a good workout! (Okay, that might not be 100% true... normally we crave those hot, filling meals and cozying up on the couch in front of the TV or with a good book... There's nothing wrong with that. I like to do that, too.) But, keeping active will help you stay on track to reaching your goals. When spring arrives bringing warmer temperatures and a wardrobe change, you'll be ready! 

So this week, I thought I'd switch it up a little bit. I'm sharing the songs that are inspiring me to move lately. 

Music is a huge part of my life: I always have music on; I'm always dancing and singing around the house and in the car... And I love all types of music.. depending on my mood and what I'm doing, I might be playing Johnny Cash, Dwight Yowkam, Tom Petty, Brian Adams, Fleetwood Mac, Guns and Roses, Aerosmith, Bad Company, Metallica, Bon Jovi... or I might have Drake, Britney Spears, Fiona Apple, Rhianna, Halsey, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, The Weekend, Katie Perry, The Chainsmokers, Nirvana, The Off Spring, No Doubt, Brothers Osbourne, Dustin Lynch ....  I think you get the idea. I have a wide range of music that I love. 

The following playlist encompasses many genres, but it's all music that you can move to.. whether you're at the gym, on the elliptical, the treadmill, lifting weights, going for a bike ride or run (kudos to you if you are doing that because it is COLD,) or like me, working out right at home, there's something for everyone. 

Feel free to follow me or my playlists on Spotify if you'd like! I am always updating my lists and creating new ones. If you have an awesome playlist on Spotify, leave the link so I can follow you! 

Happy moving! 






Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Favorites - 2018 Edition




Hello friends!

Here we are at the tail end of January. This month has been abuzz with activity -- From yoga to birthdays, extreme cold weather to 60 degrees.. Personally, I'd like to go back to that 60 degree weather. Despite being soggy outside, it was so nice to open the windows for a bit in January! haha! 

This month I hosted my first ever yoga challenge on Instagram! It was a lot of fun and I hope I get the chance to host again! 






But I digress.. 

Let's jump in to the point of this post -- things I've enjoyed more than other things this month! I love favorites posts and videos! It's interesting to see what other people have really liked, and sometimes something catches my eye and I test it out. 

Let's get started! 




Bill Nye Saves The World

Source

I grew up watching Bill Nye The Science Guy. It was one of my favorite shows! So, when I first heard that Bill Nye was coming back with his own Netflix series, I was excited! When the first season came out, we all sat down and devoured the entire thing in one sitting! Then, it was announced there was a season 2! Of course, we sat down and watched all the episodes. It's hard not to. Once you start the first episode, you just have to keep going. Classic Bill is back and better than ever! He has celebrities come on, panels of experts, fun experiments, and this season he has Bill Meets Science Twitter -- scientists from around the world have tweeted at Bill about what they do, and he chose a few to come on the show and talk about it. It's very cool! I highly recommend this show for the entire family!! 


Hair Sanity Rejuvenator

DISCLAIMER: I recieved this complimentary bottle to test and review. All opinions are my own.
This little bottle is full of miracles! You might have seen my review on the Hair Sanity 2-part system earlier this month. This was an extra gift to test and review. I loved it! Most of you know that I have super long, thick hair.. I didn't think I would get a full use out of this tiny bottle -- I ended up getting 4 uses! Yeah. It comes out as a thin liquid, but when you rub it in your hands, and then onto your hair, it thickens up to penetrate all of your strands. Leave it on for about 5 minutes or so, rinse, and style as usual. You're left with shiny, silky, soft hair! I love this stuff!! It's perfect for wintertime! 



MainStays Cool Mist Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser


This was a Christmas present and I am actually surprised by how much I love it! This little diffuser has made such a difference in the overall quality of our sleep. You just fill it with water, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, plug it in, turn it on, and let it go. You can choose to cycle through the colors, have it sit on one color, or just use the misting feature. The light takes some getting used to, especially if you normally sleep in a completely blacked out room. The unit turns off automatically when the water level gets too low. This is such a fabulous gift. Right now we only have lavender essential oil, but I am looking into getting a eucalyptus oil. I love the minty refreshing scent of eucalyptus!  If you don't have one of these, you might consider looking into getting one! 


Sand Cloud Mint Baja Towel



I recieved this towel from a giveaway Sand Cloud was having on their Instagram. It's huge -- 38x64 inches and it's made from 100% Turkish Cotton. I love this towel and I cannot wait for summer! I have big plans to take this up to the Lake, using it for yoga pictures, fun landscape shots, and laying out in the sun! I want to purchase a couple more so my husband and son can each have their own!

What I really love about Sand Cloud is that they donate 10 percent of every purchase toward protecting, rehabilitating, and preserving marine wildlife, protecting and preserving the world's oceans, and working on water quality issues. You can read more about their mission here. You can use my referral link for a discount if you are interested in shopping! :) 


Loreal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Repair and Protect Balm

DISCLAIMER: I recieved this product complimentary to test and review. All opinions are my own.


Isn't that a mouthful? haha! But seriously, I love this stuff! You might have seen my review earlier this month. I like to use this in place of my regular conditioner. It helps keep my hair touchably soft, and my red vibrant and gorgeous! I cannot say enough good things about this product! I highly recommend it! 




Well, that's it for me this month. What your favorite things? Share them in the comments! Also, feel free to leave a link to your post or video if you made a January Favorites. I'd love to check it out! 




Sunday, January 28, 2018

Life is a Journey: Check-in and Re-Evaluate




Happy Sunday!

Can you believe we're almost into February?

This is the perfect time to check in on yourself: reflect on how the year is going so far and reflect on your progress toward achieving your goals.

How are your goals and resolutions coming along? Are you still going strong? 

Have you been slacking a little or have you fallen off the wagon completely?

How are you feeling? Do these goals still align with what you want, or do you need to tweak them?

Taking a few minutes to check in and re-evaluate can make such a difference in your life.

If you have been working hard and sticking to your goals.. Awesome! Keep it up!

If life has gotten in the way and you've found yourself slacking a little or a whole lot.. You are not alone! Think about your goals and adjust as necessary. 

If you need help with goal-setting, I highly recommend checking out Tracy Hensel on YouTube. Tracy is a life coach and makes lifestyle, beauty, and wellness videos each week. Recently, she did a three part series on goals. It is worth checking out! 

Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint.




Embrace the challenges. Constantly edit your life.

Paul Coelho says it best, "Maybe the journey isn't so much about becoming anything. Maybe it's about unbecoming everything that isn't you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place."

There is no time like the present. Make a commitment to yourself. Figure out what you want.. fitness, finances, work-related, school/education, following your dream.. whatever it is.. and go for it!

Start today.

Wake up.

Kick ass.

Repeat.


Let's do this.



February is officially going to be the best month ever.  


<3

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ignite Your Inner Fire: 7 Amazing Fitness Quotes to Get You Moving This Week




Hello friends!

Happy Sunday! 

We are entering our last full week of January.

Already.

I don't know about you, but I am excited to move forward.. each day brings us a little closer to summer.. beautiful warm sunshine, cerulean skies, puffy white clouds, ice-cold lemonade, Lake Erie, picnics, grilling... oh yes!! 

Haha! 

I might be getting a little ahead of myself there. 

This might be the time when you've missed a workout or two. You're getting tired. You're sore. And when you feel like that, it's easy to skip that exercise session.. making promises that you'll do it tomorrow or in a few days when you feel better. When you start making excuses, it gets easier to keep coming up with more reasons why you can't. 

It's okay. I think the vast majority of us have been there. But let's start today to recommit. With that in mind, I wanted to share some fitness inspiration to help give you that little push.

Ready?











Now go workout!
Have a great week friends! 
-A

Thursday, January 18, 2018

L'OREAL Paris ElVive Color Vibrancy Repair and Protect Balm | Influenster Voxbox Review




*Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own*


Hello friends!

Today I wanted to chat about a new hair product I received from Influenster to test out and review. 

In case you were wondering, Influenster is a great website where you can discover new products, write honest reviews, create personalized lists of your favorite products or create wishlists, earn badges, participate in campaigns, and test out products for free! Anyone can join! I've been a member for a few years now and I love it! One of my favorite things is the app. Many campaign activities, such as social media posts, are easier using the app. You can upload your makeup or beauty looks now, too. I also love the scan feature in the app. When you are out shopping, you can scan the barcode on an item and instantly see reviews for it! It's a life-saver! 

Interested? Click my reference link to sign up and get started today! http://www.influenster.com/r/1073568




Onto the good stuff...

I received the L'OREAL Elvive Color Vibrancy Repair and Protect Balm. When I first opened the box to see which product I would be trying out, I was hit with both déjà vu and excitement. The vibrant red container called out to me and looked just like a L'OREAL product I had used many times in the past. (I even wrote a little review on it last January) I loved that product and purchased it many times throughout 2017, until about late summer when I couldn't find it in any of the stores near me. Well, L'OREAL revamped their product and I was so happy to receive this because I knew it would work on my hair! 

I wasn't disappointed. After that first use, my hair was soft and silky, just as expected. 




This product helps strengthen hair fiber and helps preserve color vibrancy, which is key for us ladies with red hair. But, anyone who colors their hair should use this product to keep their locks looking beautiful! 

While this product is an in-shower deep conditioning hair mask, I use it every time I wash my hair, in place of my normal conditioner. My hair is l o n g and needs all the moisture it can get, especially now in the winter time. Using this product regularly helps keep my hair looking and feeling gorgeous! 



Here, you can see just how long my hair is.
haha!

I highly recommend this product and as soon I see it in a store, I'm purchasing it. I love this stuff!

Overall, I give this product 5 stars out of 5 stars.



Well, that's it! Have you tried this? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!