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30 Day Declutter Challenge – Week 2 – Kind of?

For January, I decided to do the 30-day decluttered challenge. In this challenge, you have 30 days to declutter items from your home. In this challenge, the day of the challenge pairs with the number of items you have to get rid of, so one day 1, you pick one item to get rid of and on day 30, you get rid of thirty pieces. So, in total, you will be getting rid of 460 things.

It has been a journey for me to downsize my material possessions. I’ve been doing it for over two years and still have a lot to go. What I want in my home are items that bring me joy and less work.

The idea was for me to be mindful each week to declutter things that I didn’t need… THIS DID NOT HAPPEN!

I found myself not having a lot of things to discard. It was a real struggle. I practice the one in/one out rule almost intuitively. I had to push myself back and be in the moment of what I was throwing away or donating.

I didn’t give up, but I modified the challenge to fit my requirements and needs. This means for me being mindful of what I discard but also making an effort to set time out of my busy schedule for this challenge.

I did not give up.

Instead, I became the turtle in the race. I am taking my time to finish rather than quickly make decisions that could affect me, in the long run, both emotionally and financially.

So as I had said in the first post, remember to repurpose, donate, sell or recycle your items. The worse thing to do is throw them out because they will end up in a landfill and then it becomes everyone’s problem.

Here are the next seven days of decluttering my apartment:

Day 9:

Declutter Food

Day 10:

Random Items for Declutter

Day 11:

Day 12:

Day 13:

Day 14:

For the most part, the items that I discard are going to be recycled or sold. However, it’s important to note that when you are doing to this type of challenge, that it is also a mindful practice. Please remember that there are many options to get healthily rid of your stuff. You may have a friend who needs a sweater or a homeless person who needs shoes. You may want to sell your favorite dress that you paid way too much money, and you can’t seem to part with it. Maybe the dress will be sold to someone who wants to look good for their big day. It is a much better use of the item rather than sitting in your closet.

Also to remind you that you should have fun with the challenge. If you truly love an item, don’t throw it out for the sake of the challenge or the status quo. This exercise intends to make your home a representation of you and your family.

#minimalist #minimalistic #minimalista #minimalistics #minimaliststyle #minimalistdesign #minimalistart #minimaliste #minimalistwallet #minimalistphotography #minimalists #minimalistzen #minimalisticdesign #minimalistlifestyle #minimalistliving #minimalistlife #30daychallenge #home #staystrong #family #step1 #2019 #30daychallenge #30daychallengeabs #30daychallenges #30daychallenge #30daydeclutterchallenge

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Featured

Self-Love & Meditation: Improving Mental Health in Daily Routines

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Aristotle had articulated this excellent quote with only 15 words, for a long time of my life, I didn’t believe him.

I struggled for having good habits in my daily life because I wanted to have my own rules of being not of others. I tried to create my world to live, my kingdom to be queen to myself.

Skipping the self-fulfilling activities such as exercising, meditating, yoga and making gratitude lists—we may disadvantage ourselves from the vitality that these unusual pleasant activities give to my mind and body.

Why Create a Routine?
Creating a positive daily routine is both a self-investment and a way to do your best for the rest of the world. It also provides additional benefits, such as giving you structure, building forward-moving habits, and creating momentum that will carry you on the days when you feel like you don’t have the strength to love yourself.

Don’t be afraid to try new habits and see how they work for you. If they leave you feeling energized and inspired, keep doing them…if they don’t, keep trying new ones until you find ones that do.

Optimize Your Mind

Get positive: Start the day with a mantra. Positive thinking helps manage stress and even improves your health.

“Today is going to be the best day ever!”

I start every single day saying that simple sentence (out loud) as soon as I get out of bed. And yes, I even tell myself this on mornings that have followed nights that were too short or mornings that I wake up feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

Be proactive: Don’t check your email first!
When you wake up in the morning, do you immediately check your email or social media accounts? If so, you’re starting your day off in reactive mode instead of proactive.

Start your days focused on YOU, and you will be in a much better state-of-mind to help others and get more accomplished all day.

Be Mentally Prepare: Visualize your success
Jack Canfield, the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, recommended that practice visualization 10 minutes a day to “harness the power of your subconscious mind.”

Just close your eyes and imagine yourself excelling and being the best you. Put yourself in situations where you shine, visualizing the best possible outcome.

Read a book
Reading can boost your intelligence, increase your brainpower. You may find it hard to find the time to read an entire book. You can just read only one chapter each day of a book of your choice.

Writing: A way to creativity
Spending time writing every day helps you become a better communicator, improves your ability to recall relevant information, and it also enhances your creativity. Write in a diary format, and you also have the added benefit of greater self-understanding.

Ways to Boost Your Body
Drink 9-13 cups of water a day
Exercise (MOVE!)

Even you can take a 10-20 minute walk. Do yoga, stretches, or dance
around your living room.
Get enough sleep: No less than 7 hours

Optimize your Spirit
Practice meditation: If the idea of “meditating” can be a turn-off, then think about it as spending some daily quiet time alone. Engaging in this daily practice has a lot of positive benefits. As a greater focus, better decision making and problem-solving skills improved memory, and an easier time managing hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder. Meditation also reduces stress, anxiety, and depression according to Harvard University studies, which are even more reasons to give it a try if you haven’t before.

Practice gratitude: Write what you’re thankful for in your life
If you woke up tomorrow and only had the things you were grateful for
Today, what would you have? Expressing gratitude at the end of the day for all of the blessings in your life, you do two things. First, you recognize that even though things may not be as you’d like, you are fortunate to have what you do. Second, the more blessings you are thankful for, the more you draw in or attract. It’s like they multiply.

Give to others
There is something extremely sense of satisfaction when you help those around you. It is not necessary to do huge acts of service/virtue. It can be even something as simple as opening the door for someone or giving a stranger (or loved one) a genuine compliment can make a significant impact on their day…and yours.

Once habits slowly start to take root into your daily life, you have the freedom to do so much more. You are not thinking of the small things but the greater picture. It’s important to find a routine that maximizes your inner strength and beauty. Sometimes there is a lot of trails and errors, but you have every moment of every day to try to pick yourself up and start again.

I hope you found this article helpful. Let me know if you have a habit that helps you and promotes self-love. Please comment below.

#healthyhabits #healthyhabitsstartnow #healthyhabitsforlife #healthy #selflove #healthyhabitsstartyoung habit #meditation #healthyhabitsareback #Healthyhabits4busymoms #healthyhabits2019 #sleep #routine #loveyourself

Cookie Recipe Featured

Chocolate Chip Cookie Monster

I am a huge cookie monster! Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite. You will definitely find crumbs all over my seat after eating these. It’s just one of those fun desserts that are simple enough to make and easy to eat.

Whenever I feel down, these cookies seem to help me refocus and bring me back to my happy place.

Please try the recipe below and release your inner monster!

Dry Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Wet Ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

In another larger sized bowl mix the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy.
Then add the vanilla and eggs to the creamy mix.
Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until well blended.
Finally, blend in the chocolate chips.

Cover the dough, and let it sit at room temperature just until it is soft enough to scoop.

When soft enough, scoop up 2-tablespoon sized balls using a cookie scoop or tablespoon and drop onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

The cookies should be a little thick, soft in the middle, crisp around the edges.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please let me know how it goes and it your inner cookie monster was set free.

#chocolatechip #chocolatechipcookies #chocolatechips #chocolatechipcookie #chocolatechipcookiedough #chocolatechipscookies #ChocolateChipCookieDay #cookierecipe #dessertrescipe #easyrecipe #mindfuleating #mindfulcooking #mindful #anxiety

Featured

Do you have too much pride?

I have too much pride.

I know this is my downfall. I keep everything bottled up and feel as though I can handle it myself. I wish I can say I am humbled, but most of the time, my pride gets in the way.

Pride can creep into our lives. It is a silent destroyer because it feels useful to accomplished a task. However, I need more of it. I have to prove to myself that I am helpful in the world and independent of others. My self-esteem never seems to get any better, but worse. I just can’t come to grips of letting pride go although I have gotten better.

I am not saying pride ins evil. It small quantities can be useful for us. It shows us the things we are doing right. It opens us to be humble of our accomplishment. It is a healthy emotion. What I am talking about it pride being used to protect yourself from dealing with what is not going right in your life.

I could give you a list of the obvious ways that pride can take hold, like being critical of others and caring too much for your appearance, but there are subtle ways pride can show its ugly head. Here are some ways to know if your pride may be unhealthy

1– Unable to accept helpful critiques
People who can’t take constructive criticism, tend to be blinded by their pride. They do not understand the benefit in what someone is advising them. Taking down the wall of pride may show that the advice may help shape them to be a better person.

2– Not being able to ask for help
It is terrific wanting to be independent. Unfortunately, it’s part of our culture to get an accomplishment without help. However, there are times we have to accept that some things are exceeding our ability. If you know you are in dire need of help but can’t make yourself ask for it, you might be dealing with too much pride.

3– Disregarding the advice
This behavior plays with number one. Its source is assuming you have all the solutions. You don’t require or perceive the worth of other viewpoints. If you believe you can be prosperous and succeed in your intentions without the help of others, you may have too much pride.

4 – Talking about Yourself
It’s OK to tell people about your life, as long as you are listening to them and not over-talking or waiting for your turn to express how much better you are compared to them indirectly or directly. If you hear yourself talk about your achievements, your illnesses, your background, degree, or financial status, these are all signs of too much pride.

Pride can sneak into your life in different complex ways. Our culture can sometimes treat humility as a weakness. Humility is a beautiful gift that allows us to be open to people and the world. If you find yourself in one of these thought processes, try to think about it differently and put yourself in someone else’s shoes. You might see that you have more to offer the world and will hopefully help boost your self-esteem and confidence.

#toomuchpride #confidence #ego #myhappyplace #therapy #blessed #droptheego #justgivein #isaidwhatisaid #whodat #2019 #standtall #smile #selflove #selfgrowth #patience #ittakestime

Featured

How to Make Co-Parenting Work

Co-parenting between the separated parents means that both have to share the responsibilities of children’s upbringing. Parents, who decide to do this, must cooperate to make it work. Following the co-parenting plan can be a
good start. However, saying it is easier than doing it. Problems will always rise especially in the case where parents haven’t resolved their internal conflicts.

The most common problem arising is that children keep seeing the ongoing battle between parents after the separation process. It’s unfortunate for the children because it will harm them psychologically. If you experience this problem, use a holistic co-parenting – which consider the arrangement of the co-parenting and the emotional aspect of all parties involved – to solve it. Here are the steps to do it:

Lose your fear
The reason why you keep fighting with your ex is that you still hold pain, as the result of the separation, within you. The pain derives from fear or trauma.

Can you see it now?

So fear or trauma is your conflict’s source. Now that you’ve found it, you have to lose it.

Here are the simple steps to do it:

  • Let all your fear out by writing them down.
  • Deal all your fear one by one.

For example, you’re afraid that you can’t handle the car’s matter which your ex usually did it for you. To lose your fear, go to the mechanic and learn how to deal with it. Once you manage to do it, you’ll gain confidence and fear no more.

Remember past fear and how you’d overcome i

This path down memory lane will make you think, “Hey! I’d overcome my fear. So I’ll be able to deal with this separation too.” This thought will strengthen you.

Cry out loud

Crying will help you in the process of losing fear. After that, you’ll feel relieved and see clearly. Thus, you’ll build positive communication with your ex who will likely give positive feedback for it. Once you do this, you have started a healthy co-parenting.

Ask your friends and family’s support

The process of letting out fear and afterward will take times. You’ll go through the ups and downs of the process. During the time, it’s better to ask for support/help from your friends and family.

As an outsider, they’ll be able to see your problem rationally. Therefore, at times you feel down, they can make you better and help you back to the track where you need to be to do healthy co-parenting.

However, if you think that your friends or family can’t help you due to whatever reasons, get the experts’ help.

Discuss the co-parenting in detail and make the win-win solutions agreement. Conflicts can also happen because of other aspects of co-parenting which are the kind of parenting style which you and your ex use in raising children and the financial matter. Therefore it’s important to discuss both in details.

During the discussion, let out all your thoughts of how you want the arrangement to be. Let your ex do the same. If both of you have differences, find the win-win solutions. So no one will be dissatisfied. Therefore no conflicts arise in the future.

Then make the agreement proved by the court. It’s an important step to do in a holistic co-parenting. This way you, your ex and most importantly your child will get all the deserved rights legally. In the case of unwanted events happen, the law will protect you.

Get me time

The next process you need to go through is that you must get your own me time. Spare time to do enjoying activities such as doing your hobbies, hanging out with your friends, meeting new people, traveling, etc. Do it while your child is with your ex.

Doing fun activities will refresh and relax you. You’ll get positive energy which will make you happy. Suggest your ex to do the same while your child is with you. That way, your ex will be happy too. The act of supporting your ex in term related to co-parenting is necessary also.

Because if your ex is in a healthy emotional state as you do, both of you can make your child happy as well. And this is the core of a holistic co-parenting.

Evaluate the co-parenting you’ve done

If conflicts still happen after all the efforts you’ve done. It’s time to evaluate the co-parenting arrangement. Asking the experts’ help is one thing you and your ex can do. They can give an objective evaluation, help both of you to figure out what’s wrong, and give alternative suggestions. After this evaluation, both of you may have to make a new decision about the co-parenting and repeat the above steps.

If conflicts still happen after all the efforts you’ve done. It’s time to evaluate the co-parenting arrangement. Asking the experts’ help is one thing you and your ex can do. They can give an objective evaluation, help both of you to figure out what’s wrong, and give alternative suggestions. After this evaluation, both of you may have to make a new decision about the co-parenting and repeat the above steps.

It seems tedious to do so but parenting – co-parenting or not – is a life’s time work. Just keep in mind that it’s for your beloved child. That way you’ll feel the hard work of co-parenting is worth to do.

#coparenting #parenting #divorce #blendedfamily #love #family #dad #children #kids #mom #son #marriage #stepparents #stepmom #daughter #bonusmom #stepson #familycourt #stepdaughter #stepkids #stepparenting #child #stepparent #bonuskids #bonusdaughter #bonusfamily #relationship #stepchildren

Featured

Forgiveness: You Have a Choice

Forgiveness is a powerful act in the human psyche. If we continue to think in an unforgiving way, we will always have resentment. If we are continually having angry and resentful thoughts, we will never be satisfied and find pleasure.

When we forgive, we are excusing ourselves. If we hold on to our negative emotions and try the justify our negative processes as the way out, we will be stuck in our own prison of shame, anger, and doubt. It is very telling in those situations that we believe we are trying our best to get out, but nothing is working. If you are feeling stuck, maybe you should ask if there is something that you have not forgiven.

When you do not move willingly with life in the present moment, it usually indicates you are leading from the past. Holding on to unforgiveness will consume the present moment. It’s only in the present that can you create your future. Your thoughts and words are powerful, so to not forgive means that you will be bringing your negative emotions into your future self.

When you blame another person for how you feel, give your own power away. You are putting the security for your emotions to someone else.

There is a difference between forgiveness and acceptance. Forgiving someone does not mean that you condone their behavior. The act of forgiveness takes place in your mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person. The truth of forgiveness lies in placing ourselves free from carrying the pain. It is a way of releasing yourself from a negative mindset.

Forgiveness does not mean allowing the painful actions of another to continue in your life. Sometimes forgiveness means letting go. When you forgive and take a stand to your emotions, it helps to set a healthy boundary. When you let it go, you free up some headspace to think of thoughts that make you feel stable. This new headspace may allow you to pay attention to the present moment and give you enough room to create a more positive construct for the future.

You have a choice.

#forgiveness #peace #love #spiritual #life #believe #hope #mindfulpractice #forgive #soul #compassion #wisdom #spirituality #trust #mind #worry #meditation #calm #faithful #destiny #guidance #meditate #thankful

Banana Bread Featured

Yummy Banana Breakfast Bread

I had some time to spare and a few ripe bananas. I thought I would share the recipe that I use when making banana bread. It is super easy and is a great snack or part of your breakfast.

Whenever I get overwhelmed or need to focus, I find cooking does that for me. I loved cooking since I was tiny and experimented with all kinds of ingredients to feed my brothers and sisters. Sometimes the food came out fantastic and other times….well, not so much.

There is actually a movement for this type of therapy, which I will reference below that states:

Cooking and baking are pursuits that fit a type of therapy known as behavioral activation. The goal is to alleviate depression by boosting positive activity, increasing goal-oriented behavior and curbing procrastination and passivity.

If the activity is defined as personally rewarding or giving a sense of accomplishment or pleasure, or even seeing the joy of that pumpkin bread with chocolate chips making someone else happy, then it could improve a sense of well-being,” says Jacqueline Gollan, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.”

So, if you need a pick me up, please try this recipe.

Dry Ingredients:
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar & 1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Wet Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. To a large mixing bowl add, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
  3. Combine and blend well together and set aside
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, add 4 very ripe bananas and mash well with a fork until it looks like paste
  5. Add butter and room temperature eggs and combine all together with a fork until it is well-mixed.
  6. Combine wet and dry ingredients together and mix well
  7. To a greased loaf pan or use parchment paper (it’s up to you)
  8. Pour batter into pan
  9. Distribute evenly and press down on the mixture to remove any air bubbles
  10. Bake for 40-50 min (test with a toothpick around 40 min and it comes out cleanly, remove)
  11. Let cool on a wire rack

Eat and Enjoy!

What’s your favorite breakfast recipe? Do you enjoy cooking?

Please let me know.

A Road to Mental Health Through the Kitchen: https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-road-to-mental-health-through-the-kitchen-1418059204

#bananabreadrecipe #bananabread #banana #sundaybaking #baking #nondietapproach #bakingrecipes #bananarecipes #nondiet #bananabreas #therapy #depression #selfove