Words of Affirmation


iamenough

We live in a world that is broken because we are a broken people. We became focused so much on ourselves we tore other people down in order to build ourselves up. As a result, this war of humanity made us just as vulnerable as the next person. We weren’t just the one dishing out the next blow, but we were also the one receiving it. When will we realize that we are just hurting ourselves every time we say or do something that is unkind? It’s time to think before we speak and think before we do. As we venture into a hope filled future, we must journey within ourselves to identify the pain and brokenness that makes us who we are. We have to acknowledge that we are more than that. So much more. It’s time to take back our true identity, heal and mend our wounds, and begin the process of growth and change in ourselves so we can end this war. Our destiny is defined by our values. Our values are defined by our habits. Our habits are defined by our actions. Our actions are defined by our words. I challenge you to start with words … words of affirmation that you will tell yourself everyday until they become actions, habits, values, and eventually your destiny.  Use the photographs in this post as wallpapers on your phone to remind you of encouraging truths every day. If you aren’t hearing these truths from yourself or other people in your life, know that I will be the one to remind you everyday … and so will God. The Bible is filled with these encouraging truths to remind us.

youarebeautiful

youarehealthy

youarejoyful

youareloved

youaresuccessful

youarethankful

 

Honey-Ginger Harvest Salad

So if I’m being honest, I’m kind of in love with the harvest salad from Quiznos. I decided to make it at home and switch it up a little bit.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 Can of Albacore Tuna (you can use chicken if you prefer)
  • Handful of Dried Cranberries
  • Handful of Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 appl cut up into small pieces
  • Romain or Spring Mix Lettuce
  • Honey Mustard
  • Bragg Ginger and Sesame Salad Dressing

After draining the tuna, mix it and the apple pieces in honey mustard.

You can add that on top of your romain lettuce, start tossing on the dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, and drizzle the ginger and sesame dressing on top. Voila! You know me, quick, simple, and delicious. That’s how I roll.

Do you like the harvest salad from Quiznos? What do you think about this twist on the salad?

My Favorite Place in the World

Despite my little heart’s longings, I haven’t had the opportunity to do too much traveling in my life. As a result, I’ve had to resort to meandering around my home state to find hidden treasures. I’d venture to say Cranbrook is my favorite place in the world … at least so far. There are just so many surprises that you can stumble across as you walk through the hidden trails in the woods.

A school, art museum, and science museum surround the nature and are decorated with statues of centaurs and cherubs, ageless ivy, and beautiful foutains. When you discover the tea house, you’ll feel as if you’ve walked into a European garden or perhaps even Wonderland.

Other surprises include a greek ampitheatre and oriental garden, but some of the most special are the little pieces of nature that you newly come across each visit depending on the season and time.

Maybe it’s a mushroom hiding in a tree hole or finally getting to share a piece of you with the one you love and demonstrate it for anyone walking by to see. Nothing could be better than that. Thanks for letting me share my little photo adventure with you. You can check out more of my photography from Cranbrook here.

Memory Lane

As I had previously mentioned in the last post, life has been a whirlwind. Just one of the many things that swept me up has been the passing of my grandmother. Deaths are not just emotionally taxing, but also mentally and physically draining. As I’m sure anyone who has lost someone close to them knows, there’s a lot to deal with and work through. I find it interesting to see how as I’ve grown older and gone through other losses, my coping mechanisms have changed. There’s definitely an unavoiable sadness when someone who has been there for your whole life is suddenly gone, but even with that sadness it’s become much easier for me to let go because I’m at a place where I can better understand the value of celebrating the life that person had and the joy in knowing that they no longer have to suffer on earth, but get to spend their eternity in heaven. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on memories and looking through pictures that have allowed me to transport myself to the past where I can share in the smiles and laughs once again that we once shared together.

There’s a sort of beauty in reading a wonderful book and getting to the last sentence of the last page of the last chapter. You close the book and sit there just thinking about all the time and energy you invested in sharing a part of your life with the characters in the book and joining them on their adventures. You almost don’t know what to do with yourself now that it’s over. You can move on with your life, maybe read another book, but you’re forever changed by the words. There will never be another chance to go through and experience that book exactly how you did for the first time. You’ll always know what will be coming next because your anticipation has been spent, but at least it’s there to remind you of what it once felt like. At least you still have the tangible words to reflect upon.

Photographs. They are the visuals of our life. When we finally come to the last sentence of the last page of our final chapter, we can leave a trail that outlines our story: people we met, things we did, places we went. Not everyone can experience it firsthand and pave the way with us, but anyone can walk the path we’ve forged and left behind.

I’m grateful to my grandmother for being such a strong woman. She was fearless, humorous, and strong willed. I’ve inherited quite a few of her characteristics, but I hope to embrace the ones that made her strong in a way that carries me through life with my held high, firm in my beliefs and position, finding a reason to laugh even in the darkest times, and embracing independence. She was the true representation of a timeless beauty. I’ll forever cherish her memory.

Natural Kennel Cough Remedy

Have you ever had one of those weeks that sends you in an unexpected spiral of one thing happening right after the next and before you realize it you’ve been holding your breath the entire time and you have to remind yourself to breathe? If you have, then you can relate to the last week of my life that forced me into a bit of an unplanned hiatus. Well, my week began with me waking up to my chi-baby, Isabel, who you’ve probably seen little clips and snippets of on the blog, dry heaving (or at least I thought she was dry heaving). I pretty much had a panic attack because I had never seen anything like it before and didn’t know what was wrong with her. I found out that my other fur baby, Gatsby, was going through the same thing. After doing some research, I was convinced they had kennel cough since they had both been to the dog park a couple weeks prior and were exhibiting the same symptoms. I didn’t see the point in spending money to have them diagnosed when I already knew what was wrong with them and what they would need for treatment.

If you don’t know, kennel cough is a respiratory illness that can only be spread from dog to dog whether it’s by touching noses or drinking from the same water bowl. It’s very contagious, but has no effect on humans. It’s basically the canine equivalent to the common cold or flu. It usually starts off with an over excess of eye boogers and lead into a fever and a lot of coughing (which can sometimes sound and appear like dry heaving). If the coughing is bad enough, the dog may spit up mucous. It’s not life threatening, but the antibiotics you’d get from the vet to treat it will not cure it, they will just make the symptoms more manageable and less uncomfortable for your pet.

I figured I would try treating Isabel on my own with homeopathic measures first before I wasted money at the vet. After all, many vets suggested doing that first anyway. Hopefully these tips will be helpful, save you some money, and make your dog feel better soon.

1. Apply Essential Oils

I used 1 drop of Young Living Peppermint essential oil and  1 drop of Young Living RC essential oil. I rubbed it on the pads of her feet, on her throat, and chest. The peppermint suppressed the coughing and the RC helped her to control her breathing better.  Use a carrier oil to dilute the strength if you’re concerned the oil might be too strong for your pet. Isabel’s 6 lb and she did fine with 1 drop each and no carrier oil.

2. Diffuse Essential Oils

I diffused 6 drops of Young Living Thieves essential oil to help fight the illness, 3 drops of Young Living Purification essential oil to clean the air, and 3 drops of Eucalyptus Blue essential oil for calming. I diffused them with water in an enclosed room every two hours or so.

3. Home Made Natural Cough Syrup

You can mix 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of warm water together for a natural cough syrup. If they won’t drink it, you can use a dropper.

4. Throat Soother

Make sure your pet is eating and drinking. They need to have fresh water and soft food. You can warm up some chicken stock and pour hard food in to make it soft.

Isabel and Gatsby LOVE coconut oil. It’s really good for their fur, but will also give the throat a coating that will help with coughing. You can give your pet 1-2 tablespoons.

As a result of my week, I’m going to lead into a new short term feature called Isabel’s Corner for those that are interested in seeing Isabel’s cute little face more and hearing about our life together. If this feature is something you enjoy, let me know and I’ll continue doing it long term. :)

3 Ways to Add Pizazz to Your Bath

1. Essential Oils

Place a drop in each corner of the shower/bath and the steam will carry it through to uplift and calm you. You can also place 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil(s) in your bath water as well.

Some of my favorites:

2. Bath Salts

Making your own bath salt with epsom salt and essential oils is the most beneficial because you’ll know exactly what you’ll be putting in them with the benefits and you can customize it to your needs. Epsom salt baths are essential and help the body detox by removing toxins and replacing it with minerals. Mix 1-2 cups of epsom salt and 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil(s). It would be a good idea to also add a carrier oil like olive oil which also has health benefits and is good for your skin.

3. Bath Bombs

Obviously an easy go-to is just running to your nearest LUSH store, but you can also have fun making your own bath bombs. A Beautiful Mess has a tutorial that you can check out here.

Bonus!

Let’s not forget handmade soaps and delicious smelling body washes which you can find pretty much everywhere, but I’m absolutely loving the ones at Whole Foods right now.

How To Naturally Remove Moles

So you have an unsightly beauty mark that has been bothering you for years and not only is it in the most awkward of places, but who knows if the fate of this little imp is cancerous later on down the line? Instead of getting it surgically removed, you can remove moles and skin tags safely and naturally from the comfort of your own home.

Remember when I said beauty marks find themselves in the most awkward of places? Yes, well, mine happened to be located on the inside of my right boob just high enough that if I were to wear a top that had a lower cut it would smile at the world. It drove me crazy for years. It wasn’t a tiny little thing either. I tried this trick to naturally remove moles and it worked! I was blown away. There’s a scar in place of the mole, but I would take that scar over the mole any day of the week. Plus scars aren’t cancerous and they too can be helped.

What You’ll Need:

What To Do:

  1. Trim the cotton ball/round to make sure it is the same size as the targeted beauty mark you want to remove.
  2. Soak the cotton ball in apple cider vinegar (make sure it’s not dripping, but still is full of ACV)
  3. Use medical tape (medical tape will work better to lock in moisture, but you can also use a band aid) to tape the soaked cotton ball to your mole or skin tag. *Avoid getting ACV on your skin other than the mole or skin tag for prolonged periods of time – for hopefully obvious reasons. You can trim the cotton ball more if needed to manage how much of your skin is getting exposed to the ACV.
  4. Leave for 8-12 hours. I did this at night while I was sleeping so I didn’t have to keep it on during the day and that also allowed it to breathe. I did this repeatedly for about a week until the acid in the ACV ate away at the mole completely.
  5. I used both coconut oil and lavender essential oil to help with the healing process and to make the scarring less prominent.

You’ll notice that the mole (I can’t account for skin tags although I know the ACV will work for them too) will get darker and look worst before it looks better. You may also notice an itchy or tingly feeling and some redness around the mole from the ACV doing its job. It’s perfectly normal and part of the process – just keep chugging along.

Let me know how this works for you!

Embrace Your [True] Value

Whether it’s in the whir of rushing through a crowd of people or it’s in the quiet hum of my own thoughts before I fall asleep at night, there are still times when I get the best of myself – when my mind runs down dark paths of loneliness, doubt, and self-destruction. I wonder if my thoughts are right and if there is a truth to them. It’s the haunting reality that I’m not enough. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not skinny enough. I don’t work hard enough. That even with my best efforts, they aren’t good enough. That even at the best version of myself it’s still not good enough. And, yes, there is some truth to that. I will never be perfect. Knowing that isn’t the hard part. The hard part is still believing that I can get as close to perfect as possible and being disappointed in myself when I still fall short. This cycle leads me to devaluing myself. It’s not just with my own thoughts, but the ghosts from my past whose whispers still glide past my ears reminding me of their words that made me feel so insecure and sensitive to who I am both inside and out in the first place.

But I’m not the only one. There has to be someone else out there who feels the same way, who fights with her thoughts, and struggles with her self-worth, insecurities, and confidence

  • About 20% of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood.
  • Over 70% of girls age 15 to 17 avoid normal daily activities, such as attending school, when they feel bad about their looks.
  • 7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school and relationships with friends and family members.

Not only am I not the only one, but these feelings and thought process start at a young age. Devaluing one’s self and one’s life can, at an extreme, result in suicide which is the second leading cause of death from 10-24 year olds.

Regardless of your choices, ethnicity, weight, height, success, or even how YOU think or perceive yourself, let me tell you something …

Everyone at one point or another in their life struggles with insecurities, their self-worth, and confidence. That means you’re not alone in this fight. I’m not alone in this fight. But it also means that this is a fight worth battling because if so many people are going through it then we need to find a way to be victorious.

These truths aren’t just ones I have to accept, but ones I HAVE to believe in completely. Someone can tell you something and you can agree with what they have to say, but if you don’t truly believe it then you aren’t going to allow it motivate you to make a change. These are truths that anyone who struggles with self-worth need to not just agree with or accept, but truly believe in order to be victorious in this battle.

Truth #1

I am not perfect and never will be perfect, but my level of perfection is not equivalent to my value. I know this is true because of truth #2.

 “For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day.”

-Galatians 5:17

Truth #2

There is no perfection in humanity which is why it took a man who was 100% human and 100% God and in His sinless and perfect nature was able to take my penalty of death upon himself and give me a life of freedom and redemption. If I were valueless, why would such a man choose to go through unimaginable pain, agony, and eventually die for me? His death gives me value.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

– Romans  8:28

Truth #3

My value is immeasurable as a result of Christ’s act of love. His love was the adoption seal that made me a daughter of the Most High King. By default I’m not just royalty, but a Princess. A Princess’ value is immeasurable.

“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

-2 Corinthians 6:18

Truth #4

I can never be too beautiful or too ugly, too skinny or too fat, too rich or too poor for God because regardless of my imperfection I AM enough. His love is unconditional and His love gives me value.

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:”

-Romans 8:35

 

Truth #5

And even though my beauty does not give me value I can be confident in knowing that I am the most beautiful creature on earth because I am fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image who has defined beauty Himself. 

I thank you, High God – you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration – what a creation!”

-Psalm 139:14

These truths have helped me to realize that my value is not found in my perception of what my value is or even in what other people’s perception of what my value is. My value is based on the truth of Christ. If that weren’t true, I would have no real value, but He is the reason this battle, I personally face and our society faces, can be won and why we can have victory to take back our confidence, laugh at our insecurities, and once and for all embrace our true value. I hope this can be an encouragement to you today. What ways do you overcome your insecurities? What are the truths you believe and live by?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:
http://dosomething.org
http://jasonfoundation.com/prp/facts/youth-suicide-statistics/

 

5 Ways to Live Healthier

1. Stay Hydrated

All those smart scientists and health specialists say you should be drinking half of your weight in ounces. There are free apps that you can download to help you keep track of how much you’re drinking and remind you how much more you still need to drink. Pace yourself throughout the day and if you don’t drink very much water as it is then don’t rush into drinking a ton of water super fast. Water will allow your body to detox and you may get a crazy bad headache as a result otherwise. Trust me, lesson learned.

2. Get AT LEAST 8 hours of sleep at night

Have you seen the studies that show what just one night of not getting enough sleep will do to your body? It’s really kind of scary. Sleeping is vital for our body’s natural healing process. We can’t function without it. And they weren’t kidding when they said you need your beauty sleep because just one night without your full 8 will make your eyes look baggier, dark circles will start to form, it will affect your skin, and certainly the way you feel.

3. Vitamins and Minerals

The reason you were sick last week, your hair hasn’t been looking as shiny, and you’ve been feeling kind of down in the dumps could all be because you’re lacking the proper vitamins and minerals in your diet. Create a habit of taking them first thing in the morning before breakfast to get them out of the way.

4. Keep a food and exercise journal

Whether you’re intentionally trying to eat better and exercise or not, keeping track of what you’re doing will help you to be more accountable and aware of what you’re putting in your body and what you’re doing to take care of your body. As a result, this awareness will inspire you to make better choices.

5. Avoid sugars and processed foods

We all know they aren’t good for us, but sometimes it’s just hard not to consume such delicious morsels. Although it’s probably ideal to cut them out completely, I understand the temptation. Try creating a challenge for yourself. After all, we could say everything in moderation, right?

Hope you enjoyed these 5 ways to live healthier. What are some ways you choose to live healthier?

What is Your Eye Shape?

These shadow applications will look best based on your eye shape.

(1: lightest color for highlight, 2: medium color, 3: darkest color for dimension)

Standard

Crease is visibly seen when eyes are open.

Hooded

Crease is hidden when eyes are open due to the overlapping of the upper lid.

Asian

Crease appears absent due to stretching of lid.

Close Set

Eyes appear closer together.

Wide Set

Eyes appear further apart.

Deep Set

Eyes are set back deeper in socket.

 

What is your eye shape? How does the color application for your eye shape compare to what you’ve done previously?