My 2017 Favorites

This year has definitely flown by, but I couldn’t have asked to spend it any other way! In this post, I thought I would just share with you some of the items that made it even better, and earned the title of…”the things I couldn’t live without”.

#1. Nalgene Water Bottle 

My Nalgene water bottle has been with me from day one. When I decided to start becoming more minimalistic at the beginning of this year, I cleaned out my ever expanding water bottle collection and decided I only needed to keep one, and this one filled the spot. I decided to start putting stickers on it to remind me of the places it has been with me this year. For example, the NASA one is from my trip to the Air and Space center in Virginia and a Bridge Day one contains the memory I have of Bridge Day at the New River Gorge in West Virginia.

nalgene

#2. Kavu Sling Backpack 

My Kavu rope backpack has come in so handy this year for my camping trips, day hikes, exploring around, and just running quick errands. It holds more than it looks and is so easy to just throw stuff in it and to be hands free! It is definitely something I couldn’t see my self living without.

kavu

#3. Polaroid Instant Camera 

If you love to document your life through pictures like I do, this is worth the investment. Polaroid instant cameras or any instant cameras are a creative, nostalgic way to preserve your memories. There is just something about having an instant picture of a special moment in time that creates a memory like no other.

polaroid

#4. Natural Deodorant

Natural deodorant was probably my favorite item of 2017. I know that might sound strange, but it is true! If you haven’t read my post about why you should switch to natural deodorant, I recommend it. You won’t regret it! They have made me feel just better overall-for the environment and for my health. Some of my favorite brands include: Toms, Schmidts, Pit Paste, and this all natural deodorant I bought from a local vendor scented rosemary mint!

deod

#5. Hippy Headbands 

These headbands have been through a lot this year and each tell their own story. One was gifted to me by a friend from Nepal, two others were gifted by my lovely friends, and others I bought on a beach. I wear one at least 3 times a week, and they just add a vibe to your outfit no matter what you are wearing. I love the unique/lay back/ adventure-like feel they bring while also doing a great job of keeping my hair out of my face when I’m doing things such as yoga or hiking.

headbands

#6. 365 Bible Verse Prayer Journal 

This journal has also been one of my staple items this year. Each page, for 365 days, there is a Bible verse at the bottom. I used this journal as a prayer journal. I have always had a hard time making sure I prayed every day, and also reading my Bible, so this journal was the best of two worlds. Every day, I would write down my prayers and read the verse that corresponded to that day. I highly recommend something like this if you struggle with getting your prayers and daily bible reading in! It is also very cool to track your prayers and to look back on where God has blessed you in your life.

365

I hope this inspires you to try out one of these items in the upcoming year! If you do, let me know, I would love to see!

Create a life of simplicity and your mind will become at peace.

May peace, love, joy, and gratitude be with you always.

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5 Days to Self Love: Day #3

Day #3 of Self Love

“What is one choice you can make right now that your future self will thank you for?”

Sometimes in our lives, we can get too “comfortable”.  There is nothing wrong with having a routine that you like, but when the people/ things in our life stop making us happy and we become numb to their presence, maybe its time to let go and focus on yourself and what you want out of life. We spend so much time investing our lives in other people and relationships, which is fine, but we need to learn that investing in ourselves is just as important. Remember that who you are in the future is a reflection of who you are today…

Here is a list of a few choices I think that my/your, future self would thank me/you for making:

1. Decide what your values are and live by them everyday.

“A person who has a strong set of beliefs and values is a happy and strong person. A person who does not have a clearly defined set of beliefs and values is tossed about in life like a tiny ship on an angry ocean.” Most of our values are pretty similar, such as being healthy, compassionate, appreciative, dedicated, believing in others, etc., it is always good to check in with your list and make sure you are sticking to them.

2. Decide who you want to be.

If you are unhappy in your relationship, get out of it. If you are unhappy in your job, quit. What is the point in living your life dissatisfied? Figure out what you want, and get started. I know it won’t be easy, but if you don’t start somewhere, you won’t start at all. Deciding to finally make the change to be the real you can be tiresome but it will result in overall happiness in your life, therefore making yourself a better YOU in the future.

3. Achieve/ reward progress on the path to your goals.

Don’t rush your goals, but realize that some might take longer than others- even years. Keep track of your progress and reward yourself for making it a bit farther on your path.

4. Don’t back away from needed changes.

In order to achieve and gain what you want out of life, there are changes that will have to occur as you progress on your journey toward your goals. When you get to that point, understand that it is not going to be easy, but remember not to hesitate your decisions.

5. Choose well who you would take with you on your journey through life.

An easy way to ruin your life is by simply picking the wrong partner/ friends to share it with. You do not need people in your life who tear you down, make you feel worthless, or don’t believe in your dreams. They do not belong on the path you are taking and you will not do well with them constantly trying to divert you.

It is never too late to start making a change to better yourself  for not only in the future, but now as well. You will start to learn to love yourself and have peace, joy, love, and gratitude in your life for yourself and others.

May peace, joy, love, and gratitude be with you always.

5 Days to Self Love: Day #2

Day #2 of Self Love:

“Where in your life do you need to slow down?”

Maybe you have a trillion and one responsibilities on your shoulders and don’t seem to have time to try the things you want to do- like take that yoga class you’ve always wanted to do or simply just take a walk. Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew and it can be great at first but can get to the point where we are drowning in things that are simply drowning who we are as a person.

Learning to slow down in life and consciously choosing to do less allows you to internally focus on whats really going on and what really needs done in your life. Once you do that, let go of the rest. This allows space for yourself to breathe, leaves you at peace, and essentially develops self love.

Learn to be present. Once you have learned to slow down, you actually need to be mindful. This could be hard at first but it is worth it. Whenever you find yourself thinking about things you need to do, things that might happen, did happen, or could happen- bring yourself back to the here and now. Bring your focus to your present life and on the people around you.

Learn to breathe. Take a deep breath when you feel yourself getting stressed out or have too many things going on at once. Don’t put your body through that. Inhale the air, exhale the negativity, stress, and worries. When your breaths are focused, it allows you to be present and slows you down.

Prioritize your life. Enjoy the things that matter. Slow down.

May peace, joy, love, and gratitude be with you always.

5 Days To Self Love: Day #1

Day #1 of Self Love:

“Get rid of a limiting belief that you have about yourself or your abilities.”

We all have something that we think we are not capable of doing or accomplishing in our lives. We need to learn to shove those thoughts to the side and just try whatever it is we say we “can’t” do. You are able to do anything you put your mind to, although it sounds cliche, it is true. The only person or thing in the way of you accomplishing something is yourself and your brain. How do you know you can’t accomplish something if you haven’t even tried?

In my own life I can see small examples where I have told myself I can’t do something, such as in sports or when I tell myself I am going to fail a chemistry exam. Telling myself I can’t do those things initially just sets me up for failure anyways even if I could or couldn’t. Maybe if I actually tried to play sports and tried to learn chemistry instead of just telling myself I can’t, I would succeed and accomplish something I told myself I couldn’t do. Simply just eliminating the word “can’t” in your vocabulary when it comes to your abilities can really change the way you see yourself.

We were all blessed with different abilities, and I might never be good at sports, but that shouldn’t limit us to trying new things. Do not limit your abilities to just a handful when you are capable of so much more than that, you just have to try to figure out what those are. When you stop limiting your beliefs about your abilities, you will naturally begin experiencing things you never thought you could do and start gaining self love.

May peace, joy, love, and gratitude be with you always.

Dorm Room Smoothies

One of the greatest gifts I have ever received is my Nutribullet blender. Being in college and trying to eat healthy is just as hard as it sounds, but starting my morning off right with a smoothie every now and then really allows me to set my health goals for the day. If you are allowed to have a mini fridge or freezer and a blender in your dorm room I highly recommend it.

Helpful Tips:

  • Buy fruit in bulk and freeze it in individual zip lock baggies to create your own fruit smoothie combinations. I used blueberries, strawberries, peaches, bananas, and raspberries. This is also a plus because then you do not need to add ice.
  • If you are allowed to take fruit from your dining hall, do it. Almost every time I eat a meal at the dining hall, I make sure to check the fruit section for bananas before I walk out. I take at least 2 whenever they have them, let them ripen, and then chop them up and stick them in my baggies.
  • For milk, I use Silk Almond Milk. I recommend using the little individual containers rather than the big one because once you open it, it is hard to use it up. Where as with the little ones, you can use one whole one for one smoothie.  FullSizeRender-10Next time you are craving a smoothie, try this! It is simple, easy, and could be a great addition to your healthy lifestyle journey.

May peace, joy, love, and gratitude be with you always.

Simple Foods for a Simple Life

So, what is a “simple food” you may ask? In my definition, a simple food is one that comes right from the food pyramid. All vegetables, raw or cooked, fresh meats (lean), poultry, seafood, eggs, some dairy, whole grains, and fruit are all considered “simple foods” and “required foods” to maintain weight and to make sure you are getting all of your daily vitamins and minerals in your diet. What makes them simple is their lack of numerous processed ingredients and simple preparation methods. It also simplifies your shopping trips when you only focus on buying those simple foods.

As a college student, it can be rough trying to make sure I eat simple and not engulf in all of the chips, pizza, and fried chicken that is put in front of me and hold me down. But, with choosing simple, nutrient dense foods, I feel better, healthier, and happier and you will too! (remember to eat a variety and in moderation) Here are a few of my favorite simple foods that I think you will enjoy as well!

May peace, joy, love, and gratitude be with you always.

Here is my Simple Foods for a Simple Life list…

FRUIT                                              

  1. berries                                                                                         
  2. avocado
  3. bananas
  4. apples
  5. lemons/limes
  6. oranges
  7. pears
  8. cherries
  9. peaches
  10. nectarines
  11. watermelon
  12. cantaloupe
  13. honeydew
  14. grapes
  15. mango

VEGGIES

  1. cucumber
  2. celery
  3. carrots
  4. peppers
  5. squash
  6. pumpkin
  7. zucchini
  8. tomatoes
  9. green beans
  10. spinach/ lettuce/ kale
  11. broccoli/cauliflower
  12. asparagus

PROTEIN

  1. lean turkey
  2. grilled chicken
  3. shrimp
  4. tuna
  5. salmon
  6. black beans/ kidney beans/ chickpeas
  7. lentils
  8. nuts/seeds

GRAINS

  1. whole grain bread
  2. oatmeal
  3. brown rice
  4. quinoa

DAIRY

  1. skim milk/ 1% milk/ almond milk
  2. cottage cheese
  3. cream cheese
  4. cheddar/ provolone/ Swiss cheeses

OTHER

  1. cinnamon
  2. maple syrup
  3. pumpkin pie spice (duh)
  4. kombucha

 

 

Vegan Cherry and Blueberry Oatmeal Recipe

This vegan, berry cherry oatmeal is the perfect fall breakfast and is only 6 simple ingredients!

Time: 1-2 minutes

Serving Size: 1

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup of oatmeal (instant or old fashioned) and your preference of water; the more water, the more watery your oatmeal. I used enough to cover the oatmeal evenly.
  • 3 Cherries cut in half (your preference)
  • Handful of blueberries (your preference)
  • 1-2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • Handful of pecans
  • 2 tbs. Organic maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Put your oatmeal and water in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes and stir.
  2. Add the cherries, blueberries, and pecans.
  3. Sprinkle the cinnamon and drizzle the syrup.
  4. Eat and enjoy!