Monthly Goals: September 2018

I started September 1st off with a morning walk, it was only 2.5 miles but it felt great to let the fresh air fill my lungs and hear the birds chirping. I stopped into Target on my way home and picked up some Pink Lemonade drink packets and Olly Multivitamin Women’s gummies.

I’ve been in a slump this year. I haven’t been eating right, I haven’t been exercising, not doing yoga, no meditation. I’ve been feeling the effects of everything I’m not doing though. 

Finding out my dad was sick ((put dad post here) then him passing away only 18 short days later, this year has been filled with lots of tears, sorrows, and grief. I’ve tried to deal with it the best I can but I won’t lie, some days are just hard. 

I need to keep busy so I’ve decided to leave the part time job at the doctors office and took a full time job, my official first day is September 10th, wish me luck?! I do better when I’m on a routine. I loved freelance writing and would love to do it full time but it’s not healthy in the state I’ve been in this year to spend that much time at home. 

Monthly Goals: September 2018 #goals #SeptemberGoals #motivation #inspire #blogging #bloggers

Walk 30 miles // technicality that is only a mile a day, which seems totally doable. I’ll be moving around more at this new job than I did at the doctors office. 

Eat more fruits & veggies // I’ve rediscovered how delicious fruits are! I’ve tried new veggies and I need more of them in my life. Less processed foods and questionable beef. 

Read one book // I use to read two or three books a month, however now I’m down to zero. I’ll be adding this to my bedtime routine. It’ll be good to get out of my mind for an hour or two every night. 

Do more makeup // I’ve never worn anything other than mascara and eyeliner. I picked up BareMinerals powder foundation a year ago but have just started using it. I’ve switched to BareMinerals liquid BarePro Performance Wear liquid foundation (shop here to get 15% off your order), it makes my skin feel fresh all day even if I happen to break a sweat.

I think I might’ve fallen in love with makeup, I won’t become a beauty blogger but I’ll be watching a few tutorials. I had no idea it would make me so confident in myself. I was in a tornado when I was 3 which left me with broken blood vessels on my face, the BarePro Performance liquid foundation you can’t tell at all! It completely covers all blemishes and I’m grateful it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

Lose 5 pounds // I gained a lot of weight late last year and into this year, I won’t lie. I want to start a healthy lifestyle off this month by losing 5 pounds. If I eat right and move enough I know I can make it happen. Any tips and tricks you have would be greatly appreciated!

Hit 500 Twitter followers // I forgot how much fun it was to connect with others on Twitter. I started the month with 400 but let’s see if I can make it to 500. If you like what you see, please hit that follow button. 

Put together YouTube channel // I have an idea for a Youtube channel. I’m extremely shy when it comes to videos and photos so this may take a little time. I’ve never had a Youtube channel before so again, any advice?

** I do not receive any compensation for the link above. I just really love it **

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How Travel Feeds the Soul

After taking a long trip, you can come back a different person. There’s something about the experience that changes you. But what exactly is it? I’ve long claimed that travel is good for the soul. (It’s a good fallback when people ask you why you’re spending your savings on trips overseas instead of investing in property.) But researching it more has shown me some solid evidence on how travel can actually feed the best parts of ourselves, make us better people, and strengthen those aspects of our lives that give us lasting happiness.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

New Settings Force Us to Think Differently

A study recently published in the Academy of Management Journal posited that professionals who lived and worked abroad were more creative than their counterpoints at home. Why? Adapting to another culture than our own forces us to develop cognitive creativity. And that creativity carries over into parts of our life. We’re able to creatively problem-solve, as in the case of one study that found that students living abroad were 20% more likely to be able to solve a particular computer problem.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

Think about how many ramifications that could have in our daily life. Not only does it make us better at work. It also makes us better in our relationships, because we’re able to understand multiple points of view. We’re able to express ourselves better creatively, a practice that literally helps you physically and mentally heal.

Most of all, it gives us a welcome new perspective on our own lives, which is the foundation of most experiential rehab programs. New environments, new experiences, and new perspectives can all help us problem-solve trials and challenges in our day-to-day lives. We learn and practice new skills that greatly serve us in our future.

 

Travelers Are More Trusting

The world can be a scary place, right? Sometimes, the more we listen to sensational headlines, the more it seems like just about everyone is out to get us. However, when you actually take a step outside of your comfort zone, instead of reading about it in the newspaper, you’ll usually find two amazing truths:

  1. Most people are good
  2. You can handle this

Traveling automatically puts you in a vulnerable situation. Clueless about your environment, about the shortcuts and social cues that locals take for granted, about the resources, cultural norms, and environmental dangers, it’s easy to fall prey to scams, over-inflated prices, and petty theft. And if you like movies like “Hostel” or “Taken” you might start believing that a ticket to Europe is equivalent to a casting call for a horror movie.

But once you stay in a couple hostels, you realize this: the people who will actually steal your stuff are the exception, not the rule. And once you’ve been helped by a few friendly locals, you realize that most people will not hesitate to go out of their way to help someone in need. In fact, a couple weeks abroad will probably make you feel ashamed about how you treat foreigners in your own hometown. This doesn’t mean that you stop taking smart precautions, like keeping your phone secure, or keeping your hotel’s phone number handy. However, it means that you trust those precautions, as well as the people around you.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

And then there’s that second truth: You can handle this. It’s all about making a practice of overcoming fears. Traveling encourages you to step out of your comfort zone over and over again. When you do so, you usually find that you can handle those things that come your way. I’m not about to promise you that you won’t run into any challenges as you travel. However, once you get lost a couple times and then manage to get yourself out of a jam or two, you’ll start to gain confidence in yourself. And as you do, you become free from fear.

 

You Learn to Love the Small Things

Something that never ceases to amaze me about travel is how it helps us to appreciate even the most commonplace things. With a traveler’s eyes, I’m transfixed by everyday things, fiercely snapping photos of the town square locals walk past every day, awed by churches that they attend each week, stunned by a meal that is just a regular dinner to anyone else.

How Travel Feeds the Soul #travel #lifestyle #traveling #inspire

Because of this, it makes me start to think about those things that are unique to the place that I call home. I love watching how enchanted travelers are by the fat squirrels in London’s Hyde Park, creatures that to me are little more than a nuisance. I love talking to people about where I’m from as I travel, because it often sends them into a flurry of excitement, talking about their trip to one of the West’s National Parks. And when I come home, my time away has just made everything familiar that much more special. Travel makes me grateful for those things that I’m otherwise inclined to take for granted. And as you know, gratitude is one of the most direct routes to happiness and fulfillment.

Little Steps Have Big Impacts – Involving The Kids In Going Green

The statistics surrounding waste in our homes can be daunting; incandescent bulbs, for example, can use up to 80% more electricity than energy saving varieties. With a little investment any home can save huge amounts of money every year by being more ecologically aware; but is there a way to have a big impact at a smaller scale? What lessons can we teach our children that will help save our purses and the planet?

Little Steps Have Big Impacts - Involving The Kids In Going Green #family #recycle #gogreen #lifestyle

The Magical Shower

Showering uses around 20 gallons less water than a bath does, but it is estimated that around 20% of the water in a shower is actually just thrown away. By deciding not to have a bath you have made a big impact, but by letting the water run while it heats up you are contributing to over 200 billion gallons of water wasted, every year in this way. You can help by installing a low flow shower head to save water; but there is a difference the children can help with too. A simple bucket to capture the water that would be wasted while the shower is running is a nifty little trick. This water can be used on the garden or to flush the toilet when urinating. While you are teaching the children this trick, it is worth placing a brick in the toilet cistern to reduce its volume and to demonstrate the difference between a half and full flush.

Recycle Those Bags

It is a common problem. You plan to bring your bags for life with you when you go grocery shopping but every time you just plain forget. This isn’t your fault, you have so much to focus on, after all. The trick is to make someone else responsible. Children love to be in charge of something, no matter how small. A plastic bag is used for 12 minute on average and lasts in the environment for thousands of years. It is estimated that up to a trillion plastic bags are used every year globally. Make one of your children the bag monitor, make it their job to ensure you always have your recycled bags with you when ever you go shopping. Even if they forget themselves, the act of making them responsible will help remind you to prompt them.

Little Steps Have Big Impacts - Involving The Kids In Going Green #family #recycle #gogreen #lifestyle

Learn To Turn Off

Light bulbs left on are incredibly wasteful but this is just the tip of the energy iceberg. Making a game out of turning lights off is easy, but remembering to turn gaming systems off… Modern appliances being left on standby are responsible for $19 billion being wasted on energy bills every year. It is vital that children learn the difference between standby and something being truly off. This wasted electricity could be the difference between a fantastic visit from Santa Claus or finding a piece of coal in the stocking instead.

It is easy to focus on the costly ways to be ecologically friendly as a household but small changes can be just as important. Teaching your children about their carbon footprint at an early age can help to instill habits and behaviors that will set them up well for life.

 

Instant Pot Recipe: Pot Roast With Potatoes & Carrots

Instant Pot Recipe: Pot Roast With Potatoes & Carrots

I have always loved potatoes and carrots that were cooked with a roast, they were so good to me! I had the idea to use the instant pot and thought a roast would satisfy us both; and satisfy it did.

Instant Pot Recipe: Pot Roast With Potatoes & Carrots #recipe #instantpot #potroast #meal #weeknight

I love the baby carrots so I use them a lot rather than cutting up large carrots. I didn’t want the baby carrots to turn to complete mush so I added them into the instant pot 10 minutes before the entire meal was done.

Instant Pot Recipe: Pot Roast With Potatoes & Carrots #recipe #instantpot #potroast #meal #weeknight

This recipe is by far the best pot roast instant pot recipe I’ve tried (the carrots, potatoes, and onions filled me up and the boyfriend couldn’t get enough of the pot roast). I’ll be hanging onto it for as long as my little instant pot will help me out. I’ve loved using it this summer because the oven doesn’t have to be turned on. 

Ingredients
1 3-5 pound beef chuck roast (see notes for instructions from frozen)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound baby red potatoes
1 pound baby carrots
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons corn starch

Instructions

  • Turn on your instant pot and set it to “saute”. In a small bowl stir together salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Rub mixture all over the roast to coat all sides.
  • Drizzle oil in instant pot, wait about 30 seconds, then use tongs to place roast in the pot. Do not move it for 3-4 minutes until well-seared and browned. Use tongs to turn the roast onto another side for 3-4 minutes, repeating until all sides are browned.
  • Switch instant pot to “pressure cook” on high and set to 60-80 minutes (60 for a 3 pound roast, 80 for a 5 pound roast). Add potatoes and onions to pot; arrange them around the roast and pour beef broth and worcestershire sauce over everything. Place lid on the pot and turn to locked position. Make sure the vent is set to the sealed position. (If using baby carrots set your cook time 10 minutes earlier than the recipe time calls for, once the instant pot goes off so a manual realer then add in the baby carrots, cook the additional 10 minutes).
  • When the cooking time is up, do a natural release for 10 minutes (don’t touch anything on the pot, just let it de-pressurize on it’s own for 10 minutes). After 10 minutes, turn vent to the venting release position and allow all of the steam to vent and the float valve to drop down before removing the lid.
  • Transfer the roast, potatoes, onions, and carrots to a platter and shred the roast with 2 forks into chunks. Use a handheld strainer to scoop out bits from the broth in the pot.
  • Set instant pot to “soup” setting. Whisk together the water and corn starch. Once broth is boiling, stir in corn starch mixture until the gravy thickens. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

 

Does Your Family Need Implants?

Nothing expresses confidence more than a big, beautiful smile but for the 178 million Americans who are missing at least one tooth, this may be a difficult feat. The American College of Prosthodontics (ACP) notes that the problem gets worse as we age, with 30% of adults aged 65 to 74 having no natural teeth. Children can also lose teeth, due to causes such as accidents or injuries, or hypodontia – an inherited condition characterized by developmentally missing teeth. If you or your children have gaps you would like to fix, you may have thought about getting implants. In this post, we highlight important considerations that will determine whether or not this procedure can be the solution you are looking for.

Does Your Family Need Implants? #dental #mouthcare #family #teeth

Why implants are important

 

Families often consider implants because missing teeth can make individuals reticent to smile or embarrassed in work or social settings. However, there are important functional reasons why implants can be helpful. As stated by the ACP, “Losing even a single back tooth can cause surrounding teeth to shift and drift toward the open space, affecting the way you chew food making it more difficult to clean the area and it can all lead to bone loss.”

What happens when you leave an implant for too long

Placing an implant soon after losing a tooth will ensure that surrounding bone isn’t lost. Implants are not a cheap treatment, but they can help you save on health costs in the long run, since if you wait too long, you can lose bone, thus making a bone graft necessary. This procedure is considerably more costly, and there is no guarantee of success. Moreover, the five-year survival rate for implants fitted into your own, natural bone is 92% compared to 90% of implants placed into a bone graft.

Are implants always indicated?

‘Get a new set of teeth in a day’ is fast becoming a popular motto in some dental clinics, but you might be surprised if your dentist tells you that prior work is required before you or your child can have an implant placed. For instance, gum disease needs to be addressed to increase the likelihood of implantation success. Additionally, your dentist might recommend orthodontics to treat a misaligned bite, or other treatments before you are ready to have an implant placed. Sometimes, if the gap is small, the dentist might recommend doing nothing at all.

Does Your Family Need Implants? #dental #mouthcare #family #teeth

What is the minimum age for implants?

Children should be at least 15 (in the case of girls) or 17 (boys) to have implants since bone growth should be fully complete when implants are placed. If your child is younger or your dentist otherwise thinks it is a good idea to wait awhile, you may be recommended one or several options, including removable partial dentures, bridges, braces containing an artificial tooth, or space maintainers (to keep alignment just right until a more permanent solution can be provided).

Implants can help you or your older kids smile with confidence, but if for any reason the timing is not right or other dental work needs to be completed, then the wait will definitely be worth it. Your dentist will find other solutions that can help fill a missing gap. Eventually, implants can help you enjoy food and even sleep well, ensuring you do not lose vital bone or change your natural bite.

Tips for a Minimalist Home Office

Tips for a Minimalist Home Office

More and more American workers are working from home at least once a week, and it seems that the trend will continue. Whether you’re telecommuting to the office, or you’re working for yourself and you want to save on rental money, a home office is an important space, distinct from the rest of your home.

You want to be able to focus and be productive here. You want to have a space set apart from your other daily activities and from the distractions of other family members. You especially want all the tools that you need in order to get your job done available within arm’s reach. I believe that the best decor scheme for a home office is a minimal one. Minimal design can support all the things that you need the space to do, eliminating distractions and keeping you motivated and focused. Here are some tips for a minimalist home office.

Tips for a Minimalist Home Office #home #office #design #space #entrepreneur

Why Go Minimal?
Before we dive in, let’s take a moment and talk about what minimalist design really is. As this article explains, minimalism is removing unnecessary elements and winnowing a space down to its essential function. This doesn’t have to mean that minimalist design is devoid of any decoration or beauty, though. The real philosophy underlying the idea is that when we boil things down to their essential elements, we actually end up with something even more beautiful, since we’re able to see the bare lines that make up those things that we need.

Tips for a Minimalist Home Office #home #office #design #space #entrepreneur

Minimalism works so well for a home office because it eliminates frippery and distractions. One of the biggest challenges of working from home is getting distracted by other things. We tend to start thinking about some project or another than needs to get taken care of in the house, or we might find it harder and harder to resist the call of that video game when we’ve hit a stalling point at work. Minimalism strips the room of those distractions and gives us a space apart, where we can simply concentrate on work. So here are some tips for making it work for you:

Remove All Clutter
Your first step is to get rid of any and all clutter. If you have a room dedicated to being a home office, odds are pretty good that that space gets used for a lot more. It might also be a TV room, a storage space for old photo albums, the dog’s favorite napping place, etc. However, if you want to really make it a viable office, it needs to be that and only that. Take all the extra junk that you don’t need to work, and put it in the garage, a storage closet, wherever else. Removing all clutter can also mean getting rid of unnecessary furniture, decor on the walls, and even books in the shelves. In fact, you might not even need a bookshelf, unless you like having certain books for reference. You’ll know which items are actually fueling your productivity, but be honest with yourself and stick to the important things. This link has some more tips for creating a good study space.

Visualization Space
I think that no office space is complete without a visualization space. Sometimes we need an area where we can sketch out our ideas as they’re formulating. It can also be a great way to keep track of tasks, projects in progress, and to-dos for the day. Your visualization space might be a large whiteboard, a chalkboard, or a corkboard. In any case, it’s the place where when your eyes drift away from your workspace, you can refocus on your overarching goals instead of getting lost in a daydream.

Tips for a Minimalist Home Office #home #office #design #space #entrepreneur

Minimal but High Quality Furniture
One of the major benefits of minimalism is that when you cut down your decor to its essential elements, you’re usually more able to invest in quality for those essential elements. If you have a room free of fussy extra items, you can instead identify those things you really do need, and go ahead and buy high quality. So, get yourself an office chair and a desk. Invest in a computer, and any extra tools you need, like a supplemental table, seating for visitors, etc. Get high quality that will last a long time and serve you well.

Tips for a Minimalist Home Office #home #office #design #space #entrepreneur

Take Breaks Outside the Office
We all need breaks during the work day. However, many people make the mistake of thinking that this justifies a putting TV in their home office, or distracting projects that have nothing to do with work. If it’s something that you can do while brainstorming for work, then go ahead and include it. However, if it’s something that completely pulls you out of the working mindset, save it for outside the office. You know what? It’s better for you to stretch your legs and take a walk around during work anyway. Just make sure that you set a specific time for your break and get back to work when the break is up.

My Guide to a Bedtime Routine

My Guide to a Bedtime Routine

We all know how important sleep is, but too few of us actually get the high-quality sleep we need. Working at a doctor’s office, I need as much sleep as I can get, so I make sure to set aside some time to relax before bed every night to ensure that I get the best sleep I can. To help inspire you to do the same, I’m sharing my own nighttime routine.

My Guide to a Bedtime Routine #sleep #routine #daily

 

1. Shower/bath
I start my routine every night with a shower about an hour and a half before bedtime. It helps me relax and feel clean when crawling into my sheets. Typically about once a week, I’ll treat myself to a 30-45 minute bath with a scented bath bomb. In the winter, I’ll go out for a 30 minute walk or jog then come in to take a warm shower before crawling into bed. It makes me warm and cozy which creates the perfect sleep environment for me.

2. Skin care routine
After my shower, I wash my face to clear it of the makeup and dirt that might have accumulated on my skin during the day. Washing with warm water helps open my pores to make sure the soap can do its job most effectively. Then, I apply my facial toner and moisturizer, liquid spray tan to my legs, and moisturizer to the rest of me. I prefer to use lightweight products that smell good so I don’t feel sticky after my regimen.

My Guide to a Bedtime Routine #sleep #routine #daily

3. Practice some self-care
To unwind, I make sure to set aside some time after I’m washed to just relax. After a day spent on my feet, I like to give myself a five minute foot massage. Next, I turn off all blue light devices, including my cell phone, laptop, tablet and the TV to make sure that my sleep doesn’t get disturbed. I’ll then sit at my desk and do some writing. I like to jot down my to-do list for the next day and spend 30 minutes journaling my thoughts. I try to write everything down I’m thinking, from random thoughts to things I’ve been pondering all day, usually with a little perspective splashed in there to help reflect on the day.

4. Prepare for the morning
Even though I only wear scrubs to work, I like to pick out my clothes for the next morning the night before. It helps save me those extra few minutes to move slowly or sip my coffee and leaves me pretty carefree once I climb into bed for the night.

5. Meditation/Yoga
To round out the evening, I usually take 15 minutes to do a little meditation and my bedtime yoga routine. It helps me rest my mind and clear it of all the stress of the previous day. I always feel rejuvenated and at ease after dedicating just a few minutes to this.

My Guide to a Bedtime Routine #sleep #routine #daily

 

6. Say goodnight
When I finally crawl into bed, I tell my cat goodnight, turn on my ceiling fan, and I’m out like a light. I’ve been getting some of my best sleep in recent years, and I’m sure that these few extra steps that I take for myself are an investment in my sleep, and therefore, overall wellness.


I hope some of my routine has encouraged you to carve out some extra time before bed just for yourself. Whether it’s stretching before getting into bed, investing in a cozier mattress, or listening to a sleep playlist, I’d love to hear what tricks you use before bed to get better sleep!

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family

Did you know that, on any given day, more than one in every three American children will eat fast food? Our bad eating habits seemingly start much sooner than we might think – as early as in our toddler years according to researcher Victor Fulgoni. Until about 9 months of age, our diets are pretty balanced, consisting of breast milk or formula, baby cereal and mashed up fruit and vegetables. At 10 months we are generally introduced to our first bite of cake while our first birthdays open up a portal to a land strewn with sodas, candy, potato chips, chicken nuggets, pizza and a whole array of other overly-processed foods. Judging by our early start at eating junk food, it is no wonder that we inherently find it difficult to make healthy food choices as we grow older. Luckily there is still a chance to become a responsible adult and parent, making small changes to your eating habits that will soon see your family following a healthier lifestyle without kicking up a fuss.

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family #healthy #eating #family #lifestyle

Set a good example for your children

As adults, we are required to set good a good example for our children, regardless of how hard it may be at times. Leading by example is one of the most effective ways to get your children to follow a healthy diet as children are naturally prone to copying their parents. Resist the urge to drink countless glasses of soda in front of your children, opting for a homemade lemonade or ice tea instead. Pack a healthy lunch for yourself for work and offer the children something similar for school. If everyone in the household is on the same page as healthy eating is concerned, it will be significantly easier to make permanent changes to your lifestyle.

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family #healthy #eating #family #lifestyle

Don’t buy what you can make yourself

As convenient as it is to reach for the nearest bottle of ketchup or a tub of yogurt, it is not the healthiest option for your family. Even seemingly healthy store-bought foods are often riddled with hidden ingredients that are not nearly as healthy as the manufacturers make them out to be. When you prepare your own meals from scratch you have complete control over what ingredients you use. You may be surprised to find how easy it is to whip up a batch of homemade yogurt or prepare your own healthier take on corn dogs or chicken nuggets.

Ensure you have healthy snacks in the house

While it is fairly easy to eat healthy at meal times, snacking is often a whole different ball game. Make sure there are a number of healthy snack options available to indulge in while watching TV, firing up the BBQ or to take along on a family road trip.  Instead of potato chips, buy a packet of pretzels and bake a batch of oat cookies rather than buying a box of Oreos. Investing in a popcorn maker and an air fryer will go a long way in enabling you to make nutritious and delicious snacks any time a craving rears its head.

While it is of vital importance for you and your family to follow a healthy diet it is also important to not expect all the changes to happen overnight. Be patient with both yourself and your family, auctioning one small change at a time. Before you know it, you and your loved ones will be leading a healthy lifestyle without even sparing a thought for the unhealthy eating.