MIA – Week Four

Here we are, week four, the final post in my MIA series. Thank you to all of those who have been reading and reaching out to me as I have gone on this little journey through the month.

I have been reflecting a lot on why I started, what I wanted to be doing with the website, and where I am currently at in all areas of life. In some ways, I have certainly come a long way, in others, I think I maybe just tried too hard.

I believe I wanted to “do it all”. Outfit posts, business/product sharing, inspirations, recipes, etc. Which is all great, and I can do all of those things; however, I was trying to do it all at once, and at times, in a matter of a post a day. It all started off really well. I was able to reach people and grow a small following. I was even invited to be a guest on Local Lifestyles, our local morning TV show, which lead me to do an amazing and very fun photo shoot with Christy Lively Photography; the picture above is from that session.

I was able to get outfits together, find great businesses to share (which can still be found on my Shops I Love page!), and whipped up some great smoothies. I have learned that I should have taken my time in sharing though! I stated to realize that I was struggling a little to find something to share, what would people like, what would work, what wouldn’t?  I have taken so much time these last couple of months and learned how to plan out all areas of my life better, including my website.

I allowed the pressure of it all to get to me, and to make me feel like I HAD to post everyday. But, I don’t, it’s my site. I can post and share when I want to, when I have time. I can plan out posts in advance more, and create more “series” to help me organize my thoughts and help others.

I have started working on myself physically as well, and am starting to feel “better in my own skin”. I am looking forward to starting back into some Outfit Inspiration posts. I am hoping to have some fun food inspirations as well!

I want to hear from YOU though! What are some of the things I have done that you have liked? Is there anything you want to see more of, or that I haven’t done that you would like me to do?

Thank you again for being here, your support is wonderful!

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MIA – Week Three

 

Week Three

As time continued on, I was happy that I was able to find my way out of the Postpartum Depression. I also began to feel little more like I had a some control on myself and the “new normal” of adding second child to our family. We were finding a rhythm to our day, as well as a good nap schedule!

Coming out of this fog was a really great feeling. Our oldest daughter was doing great in school, and loved being a big sister. Mark helped out at home where he could, and I am forever thankful for his support and understanding. 

In June of this year, we had the chance to go home to Oregon to visit my family and our friends. Traveling with a 10.5 month old is about as fun as it sounds at times, however, we all did great and managed wonderfully on the flights.

We were able to do so much while there, and see so many friends. We stayed with my parents so we had a lot of family time. We also got to spend a few days on the Oregon Coast, which is my favorite place. We got to relax a little and just enjoy being a family of four. 

It was during this time that I began to think a little differently about the blog and gave myself some grace regarding it. I was a new mom, I had a family and a life that wasn’t happening in a screen. It was okay for me to take this time for ME, my daughters, and my husband.

I can be completely open and share that I was certainly struggling with my “post-baby body” and it was natural not to feel like doing outfits posts. I had to remind myself that it was okay to take a step back from everything, focus on what truly matters in my life. I had found my love of reading again, even joined my local Barnes & Noble Book Club, and was enjoying life with two beautiful daughters and wonderful husband. It is a very freeing feeling when you decide to give yourself time and understanding, rather than beat yourself up over somethings that are out of your control. It is okay to allow yourself space, to not feel like you have to try to do it all. 

It may have taken awhile, and I still have a long way to go, but at least I am starting to navigate this new area of life, of understanding and patience for myself. No one can do it all, not even me. 

Life Lessons You Need To Learn Before You Turn 30

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Life is a collection of lessons. We make mistakes. We surprise ourselves. We meet new people. We have new experiences. By the time you reach 30-years-old, there is no denying that you will have experienced a number of different life lessons. In this blog post, we are going to take a look at some of the most important lessons you should learn before you turn 30.

Career lessons

Let’s start with your career. By this point, you may have had a number of different jobs and you will understand what you really want from your career. You will have learnt a number of lessons to get to this point. In fact, inc.com have a great post on the important career lessons that most people learn too late in life. This includes the fact that becoming a leader actually has nothing to do with a formal leadership position. Furthermore, humility goes much further than bravado, your reputation is everything, and you are not going to get anywhere by trying to take shortcuts.

Health lessons

We often take our health for granted when we are younger. However, with every year that passes, we learn that we need to respect our body. If we treat it well, it will treat us well. You have no doubt also learnt that coffee is great, but too much is bad. Other lessons you should learn by the time you reach 30-years-old include the following: physical activity is critical to personal wellness, lack of sleep is never a good thing, and you will crash if you have too much sugar.

Financial lessons

You will have probably learnt a number of different lessons about your finances by the time you reach 30-years-old. A lot of people will have gotten to this stage and have already had to cope with debt and paid it off. You can find out more about this at debtconsolidation.loans. Of course, this is the sort of lesson we hope that not everyone has to experience, but it is a reality for most people today. Other people will have fallen into the trap of overspending or not having an emergency fund available. These are all lessons we have had to learn the hard way but they help us to realise the value of having a budget and planning ahead.

Relationship lessons

Last but not least, some people will have had more relationship lessons than others. After all, naturally, some of us are more unlucky in the love department than others. Nevertheless, some of the key lessons that everyone should learn include that a real relationship is built on vulnerability, trust is not built through words but rather through acts, relationships and friendships are collaborations, and the most important relationship you can have in life is the one that you have with yourself.

So there you have it: some of the lessons you need to learn before you turn 30. Have you learnt these lessons yet? The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to live life to the fullest and ensure hurdles do not get in your way.

4 Ways You Can Change The World Today

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Change the world? Little old you? Ridiculous. What could you do? After all, you’re not Wonder Woman, and you don’t possess any super powers. You’re not in politics (we are assuming), so unlike the trailblazing AZ sec of state, you don’t have the platform to make a difference in the place you are living in. You don’t work for Greenpeace (again, we are assuming), so you don’t have a direct hand in protecting the environment.

So what could you do? Hmmm, lets see shall we…

You could be kind to the people you pass during the day. A smile, a kind word, a helpful gesture… these things are not difficult to do, and by doing so, you are promoting a positive outcome. And who knows? The people you are kind to may follow your example. Remember the movie Pay It Forward? An emotional weepie it may be (we are still crying after that ending), but the concept is valid. If you do something kind for another person, they may pass on that kindness through their behaviour, and so and so on. Before you know it, the whole world will be passing on kindness, and that’s thanks to the gesture started by you. Okay, in a perfect world maybe, but you never know how far your kindness will stretch.

You could help the people who are central to your life. To change the world for the better, we often need to start with the people closest to us, so think about those you can help today. Is it your mate who needs help with fitness? Is it a family member who needs a childminder/pet sitter/shoulder to cry on? Is it your neighbour who is too old to manage their chores? Is it your child who is struggling at school? So look at the people in your life. Do they need you? And if they come to you for help, don’t be quick turning them away. By making a difference to their lives, there will be a ripple effect elsewhere.

You could volunteer to help people in your locale. Perhaps there is a homeless shelter you could volunteer in. An environmentalist group may need help with litter picks. A church or community group may require help with children’s activities. Go online, Google search your local area, and get involved. There will be charity work you are suited to, and by doing so, you can make a difference to the lives of others.

You could help people on a global level. You don’t have to get on a plane to help those people far away from you. Think of the world we live in. Think of those people who are struggling in other countries. Think of the charities helping them. What could you do? You could join a charity on a local level to do good to those people far away. You may be able to donate money to a good cause. You might even share global issues with others online through social media or a blog, raising awareness to anybody willing to read what you have to say. Supergirl would fly around the world changing lives, but you can do it from the comfort of your armchair.

So, what do you think? Could you save the world today? By making even small differences, you can encourage others to do the same. And then, little by little, the world will be a better place! Something to think about anyway, but we hope you take action soon. And when we say ‘you,’ we are indeed talking about YOU!! So, put down your copy of Vogue, and get to work!

Clever & Contemporary: Bettering Yourself Quickly With Time & Modern Tools

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When your weekends consist of lying back, and binging on yet another boxset, do you feel that sometimes you need to be challenged a bit more? While we all have the best of intentions to expand our horizons, the fact is, we haven’t got all the time in the world. We have busy lives, full social calendars, and the task of bettering ourselves falls way down the priority list. So are there any way you can do this, but quickly?

Make The Most Of Your Netflix Subscription

Everyone’s got a Netflix subscription now, and instead of binging on 13 Reasons Why, why don’t you go for one of the many insightful, yet entertaining, documentaries? If you haven’t got Netflix, it might very well be worth your while, especially as internet providers like Suddenlink have Netflix as part of their package, you can look at their page for more details, but the fact is, as far as streaming services are concerned, Netflix is one of the best, because of the diverse range of programming on there. You want to learn about Bitcoin? You’ve got it! Want to diversify your musical knowledge? It’s there. Heard so many people talking about Blackfish? Netflix is where they got it from.

Learn While Commuting

The way most of us consume content now is through our phones. And while most of us absentmindedly scroll up and down through our Instagram account, if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, a subscription to Audible or even downloading a podcast is a cheaper option. If you have a long commute into your day job, it can feel like you’re wasting a lot of time. So, if you cannot read while you are on the train or the bus, this is the answer.

Pick A Long-Term Challenge

While you feel that there’s not much time to learn something new, is it because you haven’t picked the right challenge? If you’ve been considering learning a language, there’s a lot of dedication required. So, because it’s a long-term challenge, you need to put in the focus and effort in on a regular basis. So, set aside an hour or so a week and this will be enough to get you on the way. The big problem that we all have now is that no matter how many things we want to learn, there’s not enough time to do it in. And this is why picking one thing is going to benefit you much more. As we are spoilt for choice now, we can pick up one thing and try to learn it, but move on to something else the next week. Instead, choose one thing, and focus on that over a long period of time.

Finding ways to better yourself is easier than ever before, but it’s the act of putting in the hard work that’s difficult. This is why you’ve got to be clever with your time and your choice of activity. That’s why something like a 90 minute documentary on Netflix, a podcast for your commute, or a couple of hours work a week on something you care about will be great, not just for your skills, but your frame of mind.

 

Feeling Fabulous And Making the Most Of Your Weekends

Don’t you find that the weekends just go too quickly at the moment? You blink and it seems you miss them if you are not careful. Often weekends are there to ensure that you get the rest and relaxation that you need to help you crack on with the next week ahead. But they are also a great opportunity to do different things and really experience the world. So I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can continue to feel fabulous and make the most of your weekends.

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Do something to inspire you

Sometimes it is nice to do something that inspires you, and often things like going to a museum or an art gallery does exactly that. It gives you a chance to learn and expand your knowledge while also feeling inspired pin different ways. Websites like VirtosuArt.com can show you a great gallery to attend, however a quick search online will highlight some of the local attractions you have close to you. You may find that there are some great spots locally you don’t know existed.

Exercise and feel good

Exercising is a great way to spend your weekend and while you won’t’ be doing it all day everyday, there are aspects of activity you can do during the weekend that not only give you all the benefits of exercise but can also give you a fun activity and thing to do. Hiking, walking, swimming and running are all activities that can be enjoyed over the course of a weekend.

Catch up with friends and family

Maybe you want to socialise over the weekend and I don’t blame you. It is one of the only opportunities you get enjoy a later night than usual without the follow up of having to get up super early for work or other commitments in your life. Catching up with friends and family is a great way to spend your weekend.

Cook up a storm

Not all of us get the time to cook up meals from scratch during the week so use the time you have on the weekend to your advantage and really cook something up. Cooking can actually be very therapeutic as well so you may find that it is a relaxing activity as well as fun one.

Enjoy a pamper session

Again during the week we often don’t get much time in the evenings to ourselves, so a weekend is the ideal time to reinvest some time into yourself. It could be that you enjoy a pamper evening where you put on a face mask, give yourself a manicure or pedicure or even just enjoy a long soak in the bath with a good book. Bliss.

Paint the town red

Finally, why not go out and paint the town red? Or whatever colour you like. A night out may not be something you do too often these days, but a girls night out or a date night with your loved one can really inject the spark and happiness back into your life.

I hope that this has given you some inspiration on how you can make the most of your weekends.

Is There Something Holding You Back From Changing Your Lifestyle?

Many of us get to the spring and look at ways of making change since more, often the hibernation period of winter can allow us to feel comfortable and lethargic, as we choose to stay indoors rather than venture out or do things that are physical. However, now is the ideal time for that lifestyle change you and your body are obviously craving to do, but you feel that there is a stumbling block and something is holding you back. Sound familiar? I thought I would share with you some of the obvious reasons that you are not kick starting these new lifestyle choices. Hopefully highlighting them can help you to make some positive changes in your life and move forward.

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The people around you

One of the first things to consider would be the people around you. They can be the making of you but they can also be the ones that bring you down if you are not careful. Everyone will have an opinion. You might find that you have an opinion on other things, but if someone voices them to you, perhaps talking about your idea of more exercise or a diet change in a negative way, you may be less likely to implement that change that you want. While you may not want to get rid of certain people out of your life, the best advice is to take what people say on the chin, and carry on doing what you think is right for you.

Your physical circumstances

You guessed it. Your physical circumstances can really hinder your chance of change and more often than not this can be down to things like financial struggles. If you suddenly feel that this area of your life is holding you back it is time to take some positive actions. Sort out any debt you have and start repaying it, saving on your outgoings by switching providers for some of the regular bills and even look at investment options. Things like investing in cryptocurrencies has fast become popular and articles like litecoin vs ethereum could help you out. Investments can even include something more simple like a regular savings account or making plans for the future. Getting things like this in your life in order can also help you to move forward with the other changes you want to make.

Your home

Maybe you need to make some changes to your home. It sounds silly but there is a well known saying that states tidy house will give you a tidy mind, and it is true. Is your home feeling cluttered at the moment? Is it time to start the spring cleaning? Sometimes take steps in your home such as the jobs you don’t like doing, maybe decluttering and clearing the space, it can help you to feel more focused on the other things you want to change in your life. So simple, but many changes start at home. So I would suggest you begin there.

I hope that these tips help you to make the lifestyle change you need.

The Art of Appreciation, Self Love and Self Respect

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In this post, we’re going to look at the art of appreciation, self love and self respect.

APPRECIATION

It’s all too easy to focus on the negatives in life and so many of us take the good stuff for granted!

Think about how many green stop lights you notice compared to the red ones.  With a red stop light, particularly if you’re late and rushing to get somewhere important, you’ll get frustrated, tense and agitated to the point you really feel that red traffic light.  Meanwhile, all the green lights barely go noticed.

The same can be said for life.  Think about how easily we take for granted simple functions such as being able to walk, talk, see, and drive a car.  It’s all too easy to take the good stuff for granted, in that we fail to appreciate the positive stuff, until it’s taken away.

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone that you took for granted, or lived in an amazing country like Australia, but not truly appreciated what you have, until it’s taken away from you?

Today, so many people walk around with their heads down, with such negative mindsets, that the good in life passes them by.  In part, this could be an issue with self love and perhaps a place for the compassion project to step-in but it all just comes down to perspective.

Consider how stressed people get about money.  You’ll often hear people saying how “broke” they are, yet, in reality they are probably way up in the wealthier percentile of earth’s society.  Unfortunately, we often compare ourselves to people who are wealthier, slimmer, more intelligent, more attractive and so on – meaning we suffer unnecessarily, as this perspective of negative contrast impacts our self-esteem and causes us to feel not ‘good enough’.

Whereas, when you shift your perspective to one of appreciation, you can flip that contrast around and realise that there are some people without a home, without a car, or even access to safe drinking water.  This, of course, isn’t a game of one upmanship or feeling better at others expense – it’s just a matter of gaining perspective and living in a state of appreciation for what you do have rather than for what you don’t have.

When you live in a mental state of appreciation, according to Rhonda Byrne’s bestselling book “The Secret” you attract more of the good stuff into your life.  There’s a saying within the book that says “what we think about we bring about” and “thoughts become things”.

Just like there’s a universal law of attraction there’s also a law of momentum.  Essentially, it’s a slippery slope in that the more you focus on how bad something is the more bad stuff you attract, and things start spiralling downhill due to the domino effect.  Similarly, when you focus on how good something is and really appreciate it (whether that’s falling in love with Sydney again or falling back in love with your partner) this creates an upward spiral where things get better and better.

Now that we’ve defined the importance of appreciation and being in a state of gratitude, let’s move onto a topic equally as important; self love and self acceptance.

SELF LOVE

In some ways, you could view self-love to be the same as self-esteem, however, self-esteem tends to be more about how competent we feel we are in terms of tangible output and how much we value the impact and contribution we make.  Self love, on the other hand, is more about self-acceptance and loving ourselves just the way we are.

Louise Hay, who is one of the world’s leading experts in this area of self-love states:  “Self love is a deep appreciation. When I talk about loving ourselves, I mean having a deep appreciation for who we are. We accept all the different parts of ourselves—our little peculiarities, the embarrassments, the things we may not do so well, and all the wonderful qualities, too.”

She goes on to explain that, many of us make self love conditional by creating unnecessary rules, such as that we will love ourselves WHEN we lose weight, get a better job, or drive a better car… meaning, it’s constantly being put off until tomorrow.  We put external conditions on our internal sense of self-worth, which is what creates unhappiness, as it’s like a carrot dangling in front of a donkey’s nose… it’s always just slightly out of reach.

Self love is an unconditional sense of love and acceptance for who you are, where you’ve been, what you have and where you’re heading.  It’s a sense of emotional security that allows you to recognise that you are good enough as you are!

SELF RESPECT

The last principle is that of self respect.  

A lot of the time, when someone treats us without respect (e.g. by cheating on you) we take it extremely personally; as if their behaviour is a direct reflection of our value.  Indeed, when we are treated without value by a person close to us we can feel like we have no value.  This is why so many people struggle with break-ups.

It’s understandable and normal to feel this way, but there are two points here – firstly their behavior reflects who they are, not who you are, or what you deserve… and secondly, in order for people to treat you with respect, dignity and consideration – you need to respect yourself.  Unfortunately, without even meaning to, people will treat you without respect and consideration; the popular term “they’ll walk all over you if you let them” comes to mind. That’s not to say you have to be militant in the enforcement of your boundaries; it’s more that you must have a healthy level of self-respect in order for people to treat you with respect.  

Remember, life has a mirror like quality to it, in that it reflects back to us what we feel on the inside.  If you don’t respect yourself – expect others to reflect this back to you. Similarly, as soon as you start treating yourself with respect the people in your life will either adapt their behaviour to this or leave your life and make way for someone that can treat you with the respect, consideration and dignity you deserve.

Do You Need Change or Just Greater Challenges?

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There will be a time in everyone’s career where they stare at the front door to the office and seriously consider just turning around and walking away. It is only natural to feel stuck in a rut at some point in your career. But commitments such as mortgages, family, debt, and all that other adult stuff force you just keep on through the drudgery.

So how does one overcome these feelings of exhaustion and lethargy and bitterness and every other negative word you can think of? There are options for everyone out there to get back on track and fall in love with work again, whether it be through change, challenge or something else.

CHANGE?

If you have worked at a particular company for a while, then you will naturally start to feel bogged down by routine. You know who will ask you what, you know how the week and month will go. It is all very similar. When this occurs, it might be time to change careers.

A lot of people now change jobs every year or so due to lack of potential for advancement or problems with making more money. You might think that having so many jobs on your resume may put potential employers off, and it might for some, but for many, it shows ambition and drive to better yourself, which is one of the most attractive qualities to have in an employee.

CHALLENGE?

But if you don’t want to risk leaving your job, which is understandable in the current climate, then consider seeking ways to make yourself a more valuable team member. Too many people complain about not being challenged at work but don’t do anything to change this. Don’t be that person.

If there are opportunities to further your skills, then grab them before it is too late. As the workplace evolves, the lines between industries become ever more blurred. One option is to apply for an online supply chain management course, which can provide you with broader responsibilities and shows a determination to progress in your company. Take the chance and start feeling challenged yet again.

ESCAPE?

You can either choose to escape your business altogether or merely just take some time away. Mental health issues can come about at any time, regardless of how you felt before. Sometimes, you just need a break. Discussing this with your employer may seem scary, but they would rather have a healthy, happy employee than one on the verge of burnout.  

Starting your own business combines both change and challenge and can provide you with the opportunity to feel alive again. While it can be risky, doing proper research into your chosen market will make the transition more comfortable, and you might just end up conquering the world.

BEST FOR YOU

The decision is entirely up to you. You are the one responsible for maintaining and improving your happiness and satisfaction in your career, and so only you can achieve this. Whatever you decide, you need to go into it with one hundred percent determination. Forget the fear and worry not about what might go wrong, staying positive during the tough times is the mark of a powerful person. You are that person.

How To Love Yourself More: Tips that will Rocket your Body Confidence

If you are constantly battling your own thoughts and emotions when it comes to your body confidence, then you will understand how draining this can be. You will also understand how hard it can be for you to stop those thoughts and think positively about yourself, and this is because you genuinely believe that what you are seeing is true.

Stop the Fat Talk

When you talk with your friends, you may tell them that you look fat. This encourages your friends to say that you’re not and that they are fatter than you. Even though this is a joke, it can hinder your own body confidence and it probably isn’t helping your friends either. For this reason, you need to stop the fat talk while also trying to keep the conversation on morepositive topics. For example, the new clothes that you have bought or even what you did at the weekend.

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Take Action

If you are unhappy with your body and workouts aren’t working consider going to thebest liposuction surgeon you can find.  If that isn’t an option for you then think about the things you don’t like about yourself. If you hate your thighs and hips then try and think about something positive instead. For example, maybe your hips and thighs allow you to hula-hoop better than everyone else, or maybe they allow you to take part in a Zumba class and really get your groove on. When you start talking about your body in a positive way, your mind will eventually follow.

Make Notes

If you want to make a change then you need to break the habits that you have now while also creating new habits.  You will want to take a month or so before you do this so you can really get it into your head about what you want to do. If you can’t change the way that you think because you think that you are lying about yourself then try and talk to a friend. When they pay you a compliment, don’t just brush it off, instead, write it down and then tape it onto the mirror, When you start getting compliments from people and you put them into writing, you will quickly see that everything that you are saying about yourself is not true at all.

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Believe in Yourself

When you get a promotion at work or when yougo to the gym and you shed a lot of weight in a week, be proud of yourself and know that you did that all on your own. You also need to be happy with what you have achieved. If you are constantly focusing on what you haven’t done rather than what you have done then this won’t do your body confidence any good and it will also make it much harder for you to move forward with your positive thoughts. For this reason, you need to believe in yourself and you also need to know that other people believe in you as well.