Healthy Lifestyle

Paris, Oui?

For our upcoming Paris trip , I am keeping it simple. Practicing minimalism has been so impactful and eye opening for me. Owning less means making less choices (e.g. the dreaded “what should I wear today???!!!”)

I have minimized, donated or reused (a.k.a cleaning rags) most of my clothing. If I have not worn it in the last year it was “out of the closet” for me. That being said I still want to grab a few pieces for summer and for Paris to feel fresh, prepared and most important………Comfortable!

Here are a few easy simple pieces I am eyeing (that look like they would travel well inside carryon luggage!)

Have you ever been to Paris? Would love to hear your suggestions.

What is your packing style when you travel?

Merci mes amis!

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Healthy Lifestyle

Things lately

Watching

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I am NOT a television person at all. I very rarely watch. I would rather read books or blogs ūüôā¬† However, this month has been a bit different for me.¬† ¬†The Olympics set it off. I have really enjoyed buckling down with my parents (and aunt and uncle on one occasion) to watch the games.¬† This obsession started with a family trip to Canada a few years back. During our stay, the Summer Olympics were on. I filled my day with exploring and by the evening was ready to plop down and watch some action!¬† My dad and I spent many nights watching while in Canada.

So this year I was excited to do the same!  While it is not something I do every day or for long periods, I have spent an hour here and there watching with the parents (and dogs) . I get my fill the would read up on what interests me online. It works for me~

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I even got my students involved (and learned a lot ) with a fun project!¬† ¬†I had the student’s research specific Winter Olympic Sports, of choice (Skeleton, luge, figure skating, etc) and then decide WHO they think will take the lead and win a medal!¬† It was such a cool project and the kids really enjoyed doing the research, finding statistics and following to see if their predictions were accurate!

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This month I also saw TWO movies in the theater!¬† First I saw the latest biking movie Mamil. Middle-aged men in Lycra with my BFF ūüôā

Image result for middle aged men in lycra If you love biking, lycra or seeing middle-aged men in lycra, I recommend seeing it.  It is an Australian film which follows several middle-aged men (in lycra) through their journies and obsessions of biking.  Some great heartwarming stories, motivation, scenery, and dedication to the sport. Not to mention that YES, many cyclists do love competition BUT also love to wear their hearts on their sleeves. It was a great mid-week break to see something different. Here is information if you have any interest in seeing it yourself Movie info

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I also gathered a few girls together to see the new 50 Shades movie! Gah! I can’t believe I am admitting this.

I did not read the first two books but a friend asked me to see the first movie a few years back and I said: “Why Not”. I have kept up with the others as the became released.

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I figured I would give the book a shot and finally did read the 3rd book, Fifty Shades Freed. It was so frustrating. Half the time I felt like throwing the book (out the window) but then I was pretty quick to go pick it back up! I think what really drew me to it was the love story and trust that was built. I suppose I liked the “happy” ending and that a relationship that started off oddly, ended oddly, BUT showed that love and trust can exist ‚̧

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Yoga

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For me, I have difficulty finding authentic genuine studios. So grateful for the handful of special yogis and friends that are my “tribe”, and the few teachers I love dearly that have made such an impact on my life (You know who you are!!) .

Everyone has their own beliefs, issues needs and wants. Those change throughout our lives

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We change.  This is something I am learning to accept. I may not change as far as who I a really am, but I may change my thoughts, beliefs, and decisions and THAT IS OK!

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Find what you want and works for you apart this stage and point in your life. What will challenge you and make you grow? I am beyond grateful for the beautiful souls that I feel so connected to

For someone with a strong background with E.D., I tread very carefully when it comes to movement, exercise and “fitness”¬† Ugh , I hate that term.

It is such a trigger for me and I try to avoid it at all costs but realize that it is a positive thing for others. It is very easy for me to fall into unhealthy routines and patterns and push myself to a point of punishment and not enjoyment.

So,  I tend to gravitate towards others when similar beliefs. For me,  yoga is supposed to make you feel good inside and out.  Yoga has helped me through so many aspects and struggles in my life.

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I love trying new studios and classes but always come back to what suits me. Now instead of judging studios, I just tell myself they are at a different point in their lives. This may work for them and be exactly what they need. I can still practice and take what I want from every class.

I think this will help me in my journey in my own path and when I am ready will help me form my own unique style that I can hopefully pass along to others as they have to me

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Travel

My moms dream has always been to visit Paris. She has been working on her French, exploring different places she’d like to see and dreaming away.

IMG_3469Well, we have finally decided to go for it. I am so excited to plan and go on our next adventure August 2018!

Flights. Check

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Accommodations. Check

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Now the fun stuff. Everything Else!

Biking

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Picnicking

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Markets

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Mother/Daughter Paris Activities

Eyeing

I have been practicing minimalism for the past year and really have enjoyed it. I feel so free and so much less worry about things to wear etc. I am really able to see consumerism for what it is. Things will not make you happy. Sure they can add to it but for me, happiness is less stuff. Less clutter.

Even though I love minimalism and have no desire to stop. I of course still do look. I will need a few things for the spring. Summer. And trips. However, I plan to donate or pass on one item for each new item. So here are a few things I have been eyeing recently

Caught the minimalism bug? Or thinking about it? Here are a few of my favorite places for ideas and good reads:

O.L.D. Podcast¬†–¬† I listen EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING.¬† Its a set of 5 podcasts in total dealing with health, relationships, finance and personal daily living.¬† ¬†The Personal Daily Living podcast features a minimalist Monday feature each Monday! Great tips and ideas

Becomming Minimalist

Zen Habits

Healthy Lifestyle

Southport, N.C.

Oh my, where do I begin.  I love to travel. The excitement of finding new places, doing new things and meeting different people. I am fortunate that I have the flexibility and desire to see new places. For me, that is what life is all about.

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The past two years have been challenging in many ways but yet so rewarding. ¬†I have learned SO much about myself and others. ¬†I had tried living in North Myrtle Beach for a bit and realized many things while I was away. ¬†It has given me an appreciation of all that I have in my life and all that I have to be grateful for. ¬†I learned that there is no “Magical” place that will make me happy. I am the only one that can do that. The place only adds to it. ¬†Changing states does not change YOU.

Yet, something about being back in the area really felt like home…….

The people.

I made some amazing friends during my short time there.  It was difficult for me to revisit the area because I was afraid of what feelings my pop up.

Sure enough, once I arrived those butterflies in my tummy quickly accompanied.  It was fear, sadness, excitement, joy, fun all mixed up into an unsettling feeling at first.

My first day I called my mama, practically in tears wanting to come home.  It had nothing to do with where I was physically, but more of who I was. That is what I feared.

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After a pep talk from my mom and myself, I ended up having the most amazing trip ūüôā ¬†I got to see a new place and even better had the chance to catch up with old friends

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I was finally able to enjoy Southport for the beautiful place it was.

Enjoy as I share some pretty incredible experiences.

The Stay

I booked the cutest little cottage in Southport through Airbnb. I will no longer stay at hotels. ALL of my Airbnb experiences have been phenomenal.

I arrived at the cottage right in the heart of quiet little Southport, to a lovely welcome

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My bedroom and private bath were absolutely perfect.  The bed was probably the best nights sleep I have had in the past 2 years!

The bathroom was FILLED with everything I needed and more. I will be honest, I spent a good half hour browsing, smelling and trying all the fun products! (I have some of my faves listed in this post)

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Each morning I awoke to fresh coffee AND had the option of Port City Java a quick walk or bike ride away. This comes close (if not equal) to my love of Wawa and La Colombe!

The location was perfect. Located in a quiet, residential area, within walking distance of bike/kayak rentals, downtown, and the waterfront.  The area was so lush and tropical and the back yard and patio was so enjoyable and relaxing!

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bedroom

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backyard

Also, I made a pretty awesome reading buddy ūüôā

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To Do

Bike:

First, I rented the cutest mint beach cruiser bike for the week at Adventure Kayak.  It cost me $14 per day AND included bike lock, helmet, and basket!  They were super sweet, honest and so helpful!

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I biked EVERYWHERE

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Marina

Salt marsh walk

 

Kayak:

I also booked a kayak trip right away because I wanted to explore the area. Traveling alone, I felt it was probably not a great idea to go out on my own for my first time, so I joined a group.

I also booked a kayak trip right away because I wanted to explore the area. Traveling alone, I felt it was probably not a great idea to go out on my own for my first time, so I joined a group.

I also booked a kayak trip right away because I wanted to explore the area. Traveling alone, I felt it was probably not a great idea to go out on my own for my first time, so I joined a group.

I was limited with time and had an agenda ( I try to see and do as much as possible when I travel!) so I booked the first available early morning trip to Rice Creek.

I met the group and our two instructors about a mile from the creek. ¬†We took care of some paperwork and were on our way. ¬†Our guides took care of everything for us. They even gave a basic “how to” for those that were less experienced or had no experience. This kayak trip was definitely all levels for any age. Children and seniors would be fine!

Rice Creek is a blackwater marsh. It was absolutely STILL and quiet.  It was a 2.6-mile trip each way. Along the way our guides talked about the wildlife, history and the many trees were seeing (as well as cautioned us to beware of wasp nests!)  This trip was very relaxing and SLOW paced, very different from the adrenaline filled activities I usually seek. It was a MUCH needed break and pleasure.  Highly recommended for beginners, solo travelers or if you just want to relax

More pictures of rice creek here

Beach

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Caswell Beach at sunset

 

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Since I was already geared up to be on the water, I decided to grab lunch and check out the nearby beaches of Oak Island Beach and both were about a 10-minute drive from my “cottage”. ¬†Even on a busy 4th of July week, the crowds were NOTHING compared to New Jersey beaches! ¬†Oak Island was a bit more “Busy” and had some restaurants and shops, while Caswell Beach was very natural and quiet. ¬†(I saw this guy while driving along the coast)

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Ferry

There are two ferries from Southport. The first is the Fort Fisher ferry. It leaves Southport and departs for a 35 minute trip to Fort Fisher (there is a pretty awesome aquarium here!)  Quite affordable at $1 for pedestrians, $2 for a bike or $8 for car load (Yes , 30 minuteyou park your car on it). It is a fun and affordable trip for the family!

The other ferry (my personal FAVORITE) is the Bald Head Island ferry. ¬†This fe30-minuteride from Southport to Bald Head island. No cars on this ferry because……….No cars allowed on the island! ¬†Yup. Bald Head Island is only 7 miles in diameter but with 14 miles of pristine beaches. The island is incredibly beautiful. I highly recommend visiting (or staying if you can afford it) and taking a bike ride or renting a golf cart to explore the island. The beaches are breathtaking, the lighthouse is beautiful (108 steps to an amazing view) and the middle of the island is SO fun to explore (felt like I was in a jungle!!)

This ferry was a bit more. $22 per person round trip BUT so worth it. ¬†If you want to bring your bike, it’s an additional $23! (Ouch!)

Bald Head Island

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Lighthouse

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View from the top of the lighthouse in Bald Head

Ferry schedules

Lighthouses

Check out the history and the views from the lighthouses in Southport here
Porch Swings

Want to relax? Eat breakfast or lunch? Read?  Do it on one of the MANY swings overlookings breathtaking views in Southport.  One morning I decided to have my breakfast while watching the sunrise

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Yoga on the Dock:  Southport Yoga Dock

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You must check out an early morning or early evening class here. You can see and hear the waves below you while practicing! $10 for an hour class hatha style yoga.

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History

Take a self-guided historic walking tour of Southport (or bike it!)

 

SHOP

Every Wednesday in summer, Southport has a watefront farmers market!  I loved the setting (waterfront) and loved the vendors, food and fresh produce even more!

 

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Southport has many adorable shops and boutiques filled with such unique things! I wish I was not going the whole “minimalist” route so that I could have brought some treasures home with me ūüôāimg_4715-1

 

EAT

For as small as Southport is, the food is a BIG deal! There are so many wonderful places to eat! First and foremost you MUST visit the famous Provision Company.

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Serve yourself (this includes drinks, a.k.a. beer!) and seat yourself. You place your order (burgers, grouper sandwich, shrimp, etc) and they call your name when it is ready.  This place does get very crowded. If you are solo, you can grab a seat at the bar. If you have a larger group, you will have to put your name in for a table. The view and the food are pretty amazing! Well worth it!

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After my meal and my beer, I took my book and my bootie to the dock and plopped down for a bit to read ūüôā

Other highly recommended restaurants (reservations recommended)

Mr. P’s Bistro

Loco Joe’s

Live Oak Cafe 

Southport was a wonderful little getaway. It was so peaceful and relaxing, something we all need more of in our lives. I will definitely be back for sure!

Other fun stuff

From left to right

  1. ¬†How many miles is Southport from…..
  2. Found a Little Library ūüôā
  3. Bird watching
  4. Where some great memories were made (Where I stayed, Memory Lane)
  5. Leapin’ Lizards on my nature walk
Healthy Lifestyle, Travel

Four Faves for the 4th

Happy 4th of July weekend! I Cannot believe it is finally here!  it felt like a long (but great) winter and now, believe it or not, fireworks!

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I want to share 4 things I am currently LOVING:

ONE:

Pamper

Mama’s secret products are SO indulgent. I tried for the first time this week and I am hooked (and oh so soft and smooth!) Mama’s secret Dry Skin Healing Treatment is amazing! ¬†It was perfect for my after the sun (burnt) skin. ¬†It was so soothing and made me glow. I felt like this was the perfect companion to a gentle tan. ¬†I rubbed some on my arms and chest and was glowing. It lasted so long and really worked great on my dry spots (heels, elbows, etc) ¬†I am super excited to try the other products!

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Love this beach survival kit idea. Perfect idea for summer birthday gift!

 

Another favorite I discovered this week (which also happens to be a favorite of my friend, Meghan) is The Naked Bee Hand & Body Lotion.

it has a very spa-like scent to it. ¬†Made me feel so fresh, smooth and pampered! Not greasy and kept my skin hydrated while smelling so Ahhhhmazing. ¬†I used the Nag Champa scent which I felt was very “organic, earthy and aromatic”. ¬†I would love to try out the other scents to see which is my favorite. They offer this cool sampler pack on Amazon (Here) ¬†The Orange Blossom Honey definitely piques my interest!

 

TWO

Visit:  Southport, N.C. (travel blog will be up soon!)

This is the perfect and quaint little town for a romantic or single getaway. So much to see, do and ……relax! ¬† I love exploring and finding beautiful hidden gems, like Southport¬†(Southport is located between Wilmington N.C. and Myrtle Beach S.C)

 

From left to right (top row)

  1. ¬†Yoga at the dock (highly recommend) & Bike rental at Adventure Kayak¬†(Super honest, friendly and I received so many compliments on my “ride” Loved the color!)
  2. The street that my Airbnb was located on………indeed I have many amazing memories from “Memory Lane”
  3. Lee the Lizard (yup I named him) during my nature trek at Southport Marsh Walk . I learned so much about salt marshes and their importance!
  4. Southport Marina. Beautiful views, boats and nature trails
  5. The view at Oak Island Beach. Going?Check out Top Ten Things to do at Oak Island
  6. Best name ever for a pet store…..(Read Animal Farm) “Four legs good, two legs bad”Image result for four legs bad two legs good

THREE

Create

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I have been trying to get inspired with some creativity in my life. I do not watch much T.V., listen to music, or create. Most of my creativity comes in the form of movement (and not in a graceful sort of way) ¬†So I am trying to expand my creativity a bit and open up to some more things. ¬†I have difficulty “feeling” passion for things (like music) ¬†So I am so thrilled that during a recent bike ride with some old biker buddies, I heard this song (instrumental) that I cannot seem to get out of my head! I immediately “felt it :)Slow and small BUT….Progress

FOUR

Realization

This past week has taught me that I really need to allow myself to rest and relax.

When I transition into something new, I react, with FEAR.  I was terrified of the newness and change to my routine yet I pushed through it and ended up having the most amazing time with some wonderful friends I have made over the years.  I realized so many things this past week about myself and others.  The ones that stand out the most:

1.  I have the most amazing support group of friends and family

2. ¬†Fear, doubt, anxiety, loneliness are only feelings. They will pass when you open yourself up to allow change to come in. ¬†The things we fear are exactly the things we need to be challenging ourselves with. I had some great conversations this week that really allowed me to see myself and the good in others ‚̧

Healthy Lifestyle

Just another UN-Manic Monday

I had the most wonderful weekend. I am in love with this weather!  (knock on wood) I feel like we are finally having a spring! This weather is perfect weather to get outdoors.

Things are changing! I am as well. I used to dread rainy days and weather. I lived for days of sun and tanning on the beach. No longer. I would much rather spend a¬†day in the mountains taking in the scenes, BUT that does not mean I no longer like the beach. I think I am just a bit “beached out”, possibly from SC? Not sure.

I am not going to give it much thought and just accept that I currently like the mountains and the cool weather…….tomorrow I may change my mind, but for today, I am happy

This weekend I hiked at Trexler Preserve in magical Lehigh County.

I describe it as a 1,108 acre “terrarium” ¬† that was founded by General Harry Trexler as a way to protect endangered bison and elk at the turn of the 20th Century, pretty special!

I really was hoping to catch a bison or two (ok or 50) but no such luck. (Sorry Dad) NO worries, another trip, because I will be back!

Some highlights from my trip….I cannot take credit for most of these amazing photos, that goes to Bill and Dave. They are pretty professional with the iPhone! ¬†I definitely need some iPhone pic taking classes!

 

One of the many beautiful flowers

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So many bridges

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The rain felt amazing….
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I felt like a miniature walking around in a terrarium 

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Breathtaking views…

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Apparently, this is always like this and cars enjoy riding through….

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ahhhhh

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Did you know groundhogs can climb trees and hide from predators? Yup, neither did I until I spotted this little guy……Way to go bud!600_461632154600_461632182600_461632295

stunning

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Ants

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Information about Trexler

This blog, puts mine to shame. I give credit where credit is due. Wonderful recap and photos!

What is your favorite place to hike?

 

Since I began this post with “Change” I want to end on that note. Let’s continue to promote change all around ….lovely post!

I LOVE this so muchI LOVE this so much.  Not only for mothers of boys but for everyone. 

 

Healthy Lifestyle

Friday Fave’s

Happy Friday and Happy (lllllloooonnnnggg) weekend!

A few of my favorite Friday feelings

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ONE

Make yourself uncomfortable!

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Gah, this has worked for me YET again!! ¬†(Suprise) ¬†I have been putting off a book for a while now because I just thought “I will totally ¬†HATE that book because it is so out of my usual”. ¬†My routine. My normalcy. ¬†My comfort.

A small yet significant reminder that I need to do things I do not really want to….like read Kindred by Octavia Butler (first sci-fi written by a black woman!)

Woah. ¬†I thought……. “Sci-fi MEH!” however I am 100 pages invested and am having difficulty putting it down. It is NOT the sci-fi I had envisioned. It is amazing and so, so good! Loving it, and loving stepping out of my comfort zone, even in this itty bitty way

TWO

Infographics.

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What an awesome approach to teaching! (Interested? Click here!)  I love giving my students the option to create an infographic to express themselves! (sort of like a graphic novel!)

I love this (feminist) one I recently came across. YES!

 

THREE

Are you up for the challenge?

If you find yourself seeking approval constantly, it may not be a terrible day to do a little “detox” of your own. No judgment, I get it, Its hard!

Sometimes it is so hard to just be in the moment and feel those uncomfortable feelings. It is so easy to distract ourselves from our lives and our challenges, by turning to social media. It is an easy fix, but not doing much for your own personal growth

Four

Still not ready

From the ages of 16-33 I was pretty much in a relationship at all times. Most were unhealthy. I was not at a point in my life where I was able to be myself. I put all of my energy and focus into my partner, and completely ignored myself.

The past few years of my life have been SO freeing. I am finally focusing on myself. It is hard. It is uncomfortable. It is challenging. I have many of my own judgments and misconceptions that I am trying to work through. Many feelings I felt were “wrong” all these years, that I am finding out are NOT. Many areas I am finally starting to accept, whether I like it or not. ¬†I am happy and content just being. Living. Learning. Meeting interesting people and finally allowing myself to be me. ¬†I am also accepting that everyone will not like me and I will not like everyone, and that is OK!

FIVE

Happy!!!!!!!!!!!

Breakfast. Makes me so happy! ¬†Seriously, it is my favorite meal of the day. In fact, I could eat breakfast foods every day for every meal. Some breakfasts from around the world…..

Russia:  Griddle Cakes

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Poland: ¬†Breakfast spread (don’t forget the fresh bread and jam!)

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France:  MMmmm

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South Africa:  Porridge

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United States:  Pancakes!

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Sweden: Droooolllll

Welsh: Cheesy toast ūüôā

Thailand:  Dim Sum

steamed buns

Or check out this infographic!

 

20 Breakfasts From Around the World to show how cultures affects our food choices. Something to use for the provocation?:

Healthy Lifestyle

Saturday Saves

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y! ¬†This week FLEW by! I feel like things are really speeding and going/growing fast. ¬†The weather (Winter to summer, where is SPRING?), the flowers and grass, my hair! ūüôā

Here are five of my feelings, finds or fears from the week!

ONE

Fear: ¬†I still fear to being….me. Speaking up, being honest, being my TRUE self. What is it that I fear? Hurting others. I constantly put my own feelings and thoughts aside because I worry about hurting others. ¬† Yet, I would be the first to tell others NOT to do this and to put themselves first. ¬†It’s about time I start listening to that smart lady suggesting this….ME!

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My fear stems from anxiety. ¬†Worry about hurting someone else’s feelings or coming off as a ……..b*tch. ¬†Yet keeping my feelings to myself and not getting them out, is hurting more than helping. ¬†I need to continue to be honest with myself and others, no matter what the outcome is!

Something I am currently fearing? ¬†Letting go and allowing myself to be more of my “feminine” self. I have very masculine qualities. And no, by this I do not mean a mustache. ¬†I am very strong and determined. Independent. Direction. Focus. Productivity. Go, go, go. Those are masculine qualities. ¬†I want to be able to surrender more. Flow. Gentle. Affectionate. ¬†Accepting. Emotional. Allow more femininity and softness into my life…….IT IS HARD! ¬†I guess I can start by giving myself some ‘cred. ¬†I have come a long way and really eased up on myself in many aspects of my life. ¬†One example? ¬†Being able to walk away from things at work. Not worrying about others opinions and following what I feel is right and true has really given me peace.

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Read about diffusing your own conflicts at work here .

TWO

Wow. How powerful is this?

THREE

BOOKS!

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Loved it!

This and this

 

Hated it!

#annoyed

 

FOUR

This looks amazing!! Perfect summer dessert

FIVE

24.  The number of days until the last day of school

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4.  The number of weeks until my parents set off for Alaska

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0 – the number of wake up’s until Tina’s birthday (Happy Birthday!!!)

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5 ¬†the number of coffee’s I drank today…#stillnotawake

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2  days to relax

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8 ¬†the number of hours I plan to sleep…..