Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012: My Goals

First of all, Happy New Years Eve! I hope everyone has an absolute blast tonight and remember to be safe! I hope 2012 is a great year filled with happy, healthy and fun memories for everyone.

Now on to my goals of the new year...

I'm definitely one of those people that loves making new goals and resolutions. Unfortunately, I am also one of those people that has a hard time keeping them. Looking back on my blog, I ran across some of my old goals. Here's a list I made in 2009 and I did accomplish some of them (I crossed out the things I've done in the past two years):

My Goals started in 2009:
1. Do not go on the Internet for one week. (These Internet goals are kind of impossible now due to the work I do...)
2. Use the Internet only an hour a day for one month. 
3. Graduate and receive my Bachelor's Degree from OU.
4. Write and publish a novel.
5. Collect 100 DVDs. (I now own 77, including TV series on DVD)
6. Get a famous writer or someone from a writing job to read/like my blog.
7. Get an apartment with Krissy.
8. Have 5 people recommend me a book and read them, no matter what they are. (Don't really remember if I have done this...)
9. Go on a weekend camping/hiking trip.
10. Go to Disney Land in Florida. (Will do in March!)
11. Visit Europe. (Spain, England, and France are my top places I want to go to.)
12. Do not buy anything for myself for one month besides needs (Try longer afterwards?).
13. Learn to tune a guitar.
14. Learn to play at least 3 songs on guitar.
15. Take a yoga class for at least a month.
16. Give up sweets for one month.
17. Really organize my clothes and sell the ones I rarely wear or don't need. (Could do this again though...)
18. Run in a marathon. 
19. Participate in a walk, bike ride, or run towards a cause. (Possibly diabetes).
20. Write a song and have someone write music for it.
21. Climb a rock wall. 
22. Donate and plant a tree somewhere.
23. Sew a blanket for someone.
24. Visit Chicago and New York City.
25. See one of my favorite comedians live.
26. Mail a secret to PostSecret.
27. Put together and publish a book of 100 blogs I've written.
28. Swim with dolphins. 
29. Meet Will Ferrell. 
30. Work on the "Life List" of goals with Kevin... some are included in this list.
31. Identify 100 things that make me happy and post them where I will see them frequently.
32. Take a photography class.
33. Throw a summer BBQ party.
34. Have my palm read.

Since then I've added some newer goals. For 2012 here are some additional things I'd like to do...

1. I'd really love to have a really healthy diet and get my parents on board with it too. Having so many sweets around my house is way too tempting sometimes.
2. I am taking a cake decorating class in January and that is something I've always wanted to do!
3. Take a Zumba class.
4. Regularly exercise: keep doing yoga at least once a week and work out at home (my parents have a treadmill, elliptical, and recumbent bike and some other work out gear which makes it very convenient!).
5. Save and earn enough money in 2012 to move into an apartment and be more independent.

Please tell me: what are your goals or resolutions for 2012?
Also, what would you like to see from my blog in 2012?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What did you Give or Receive This Holiday?

In the spirit of giving and receiving, I will share a few things that I gave and received this holiday season!

Gave:

1. A gift card for use at a casino nearby for my parents. They used it before Christmas for a little getaway!

2. A new yoga mat and metallic nail polish for one of my best friends.

3. An iPod Touch for my boy!

4. Boots for my cousins.

Received:

1. A new blender! I can finally make smoothies!


2. Social Network on DVD and a season of Glee.

3. Gift cards - Target, Starbucks, Victoria Secret, Barnes & Noble, etc. Yay for shopping!

4. A beautiful personalized snow globe from my boy!


Definitely a blessed Christmas! Tell me what you gave or received for the holidays!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Surefire Ways To Be An Amazing Friend

First of all, I hope you all had a wonderful, wonderful holiday! I'd love to hear all about it. Tweet me at @lrstewar!

Friendships are so important. I don't know about you, but they bring so much happiness, laughter, fulfillment, hope and so much more into my life. So of course, maintaining your friendships is crucial. If you treat your friends like crap, you won't have any. Here are some friendship rules I try to live by. I'm by no means perfect and friends come and go... but these tips are always good to keep in mind.

1. Put your friends before yourself sometimes. There will definitely be times when a friend will invite you somewhere and you don't want to go. They will ask you a favor that you don't want to do. Or maybe they just need a friend to listen and you're "too busy". Now, don't let anyone walk all over you or take advantage and sometimes you'll need to say "no", but keep in mind a friendship has two sides. You can't expect your friend to do nice things for you if you don't do it for them!

So head with your friend to her doctor's appointment if she's nervous, go cheer your friend on at his basketball game, tag along when a friend wants you to run errands with them, etc. Doing something with or for a friend is sometimes the right thing to do. When faced with an invite that I don't want to do, I'll ask myself... would it mean a lot to this person if I did this? Would I just be sitting around otherwise? If yes, just do it. I bet you won't even mind running around helping a friend run errands because it will make them happy and you'll both share a laugh or two.

2. Be kind and send reminders that you cherish the friendship. There are so many ways to tell someone you care! Send a card 'just because', treat your friend to lunch, attend an event that is important to them (sports, dance recital, whatever...), send a quick Facebook message or text to say hi and the list goes on.

3. I've found that sometimes people just don't make plans. I'll get annoyed that I always seem to be the one to keep in touch with a friend or make plans or say hello, but some people just don't. I try not to put any meaning behind it and just be proud of the fact that I am a planner and put effort into my friendships. If you're a planner too, cherish it about yourself and keep planning! If you notice maybe you're a procrastinator or forget to keep in touch, work on it and let your friends know you haven't forgotten about them. The best day is today!

4. Lastly, read more. I found this great list of the top friendship qualities. I totally agree with all of them! They are just good qualities to have to be an amazing friend.

Tell me, in what ways are you a good friend? Or describe an amazing friend you have!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Here's my last post for a while so I can fully enjoy the holiday season...

I hope you all have a lovely holiday season and are able to spend your time with loved ones and simply relax!

Also, a very happy anniversary to my amazing boyfriend...tomorrow it has been 3 1/2 years since we first began dating. So cheers to lots of love this Christmas!


In the meantime, here are some of my articles about happiness to put you in a celebratory and happy mood for the holidays:

Tips for a Stress Free Holiday


10 Things That Make Me Happy


Come On, Get Happy


Happiness = The Little Things

And don't forget to enter the giveaway! It ends soon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thirty One Gifts Goodies

Recently, I hosted a Thirty One Gifts party. I've you've never heard of Thirty One Gifts, it is a catalog company that sells purses, totes, bags, stationary, etc. Very cute stuff! I've only gone to a few other parties, but I saw how much you can get for free and half off when you host a party so I decided to throw one. Here are the cute goodies I got!












Which ones do you like? Would you ever host a catalog party like this?

DON'T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY TO WIN A GREAT BOOK!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Guest Post: Best Holiday Nail Polish Colors


First of all, don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a great book! What a fun holiday gift for someone (or yourself!) :)

The invitations are lined up, the perfect dress picked and your hair is finally cooperating.  But don’t forget about your 20 closest friends: your fingers and your toes. Whether you go to a nail salon to have them pampered or if you are a ‘do it yourselfer’, these colors are sure to turn heads this holiday season.

1.     Icicle by China Glaze
This is your New Year’s Eve color. Think a Lady Gaga inspired silver foil, definitely a new twist on holiday tinsel. 


2.     Wrapped in Rubies by Essie
Just like its name, this color wraps you in a luscious deep burgundy color with gold undertones. A more mature choice for the perfectly manicured hand.


3.     Cocktail Bling by Essie
The color resembles the winter sky before the first fall of snow and the light shade of gray goes perfect with your winter wardrobe. How can something so neutral stop traffic?


4.     Holiday Glitter Trio by Butter
This special delight comes with three holiday colors: Chancer, West End Wonderland & Rosie Lee. Chancer is your deep, sexy red that will catch a jealous ex’s eye. Your West End Wonderland is a festive gold glitter and Rosie Lee softens the group with a light sparkle purple.


5.     Carry On by Essie
A more modern look with this flat deep plum/burgundy hue. Compliments any skin tone and you can share this one with all the ladies in your family.


6.     Bobbing for Baubles by Essie
Blue is not your traditional holiday color but don’t be fooled by this holiday outcast. Muted sapphire is perfect for fun, cold weather dates like ice skating and sledding or holding a cup of hot chocolate.


7.     Holly-Day by China Glaze
Move over Christmas tree green, there is a new color in town. A must have for your next gift exchange party. The emerald green has a slight creamy undertone to it that even grandmother would approve of.


8.     Only Gold For Me by Sephora
Chunks of gold, just what a girl wants! This flashy but classy polish screams party. Quick tips, you will need several coats for this one or for instant glam, add it as a single top coat to a dark color.


A splash of color never hurt anyone, so dive in toes first and your holiday look will be complete. You can find most of these colors online or at your local nail salon or drugstore.
Post written by: Mary Edwards is one of the contributors and editors for best dating sites. She is passionate about thought leadership writing, regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting and online dating community. She can be reached at edwardsmary936 AT gmail.com.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Princess and Her Garden Book Review and GIVEAWAY!


I got a chance to read and review (and give away!) a copy of A Princess and Her Garden by  Patricia R. Adson, PH.D. and Jennifer E. Van Homer, BS, MSC, CHIC. 

The book is a fable that shares a journey that can reflect the stage in anyone's life. Hint: this is a great gift for just about anyone!

The story focuses on a young girl searching for self-understanding and meaning in life. This beautifully told fable can reflect the stories of many women and men who feel lost in life because they've cared for everyone else and have forgotten about themselves.

Great bonus in the book: beautiful color illustrations and a guided journal where you can reflect on your own and create a very personal experience with the book.

To read more about the book or check out the inside, visit the website.

Today I have the chance to give away one copy of the book to a lucky reader! All you have to do is comment on this blog entry for a chance to win. Extra entries if you follow me and tweet about it on Twitter or Facebook

The winner has to be from USA or Canada only - sorry about that!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Finally Caved...

If you're into the blogging world, you've probably stumbled upon Pinterest at least once. It is an invite-only website and I was trying to resist another addicting website, but I finally caved.

So far I am loving looking at cute hairstyles, pretty posters with inspirational quotes, and the love between my favorite TV characters. 

Here's the link to my Boards on Pinterest! Share yours with me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Things I'm Lovin' Lately...

 Moody nails

 Baking and my first go with Fondant! I made little purses on top for a purse party I hosted.
 
 Starbucks Peppermint Mocha

 Christmas trees!



Weekends spent with wonderful friends! Especially for birthdays!

What are you lovin' lately? Please share!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Guest Post: Five Great Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

A wonderful and encouraging trend in our modern society is the "green" or ecological movement. So many people today are aware of, and concerned with, issues such as sustainability and recycling, and being good to the earth. This awareness can also extend to the beauty products we use, and here we'll list five of the very best choices:

First on the list is a very popular item in many cosmetic bags - Primer Potion by Urban Decay. Buy it because it works, and because it helps you look amazing; feel good about buying it because it's 100 percent cruelty-free and vegan!

Our next item comes from a company that has a well-established history of providing environmentally friendly products which are also perfectly gentle and provide excellent care for your skin. The Body Shop began in 1976 in the coastal town of Brighton, England, UK and very quickly became popular internationally due to their quality and ideals. Their line of facial care products that feature Tea Tree extract is especially popular among their fans. Try the Skin Clearing Facial Wash which reviewers rave about saying that it "tingles and refreshes, and does a great job of caring for oily skin without causing dryness".

Number three on the list is a line of beauty products available at Target by Sonia Kashuk who is a popular make-up artist and entrepreneur. One of the most frequently reviewed and highly rated items is her Lashify Mascara. A really fun/convenient special feature of this mascara is that is comes with a lash comb built into the handle, and of course we have to rave about the price - around $7 for a tube. Girls who love it rave that it creates length and volume, without being messy or clumpy, and it has incredible staying power while still washing off easily with soap and water. The fact that all of her products are safe for the environment and cruelty-free is simply icing on the cake!

Our fourth selection comes from another company with a great history of being dedicated to the environment long before it was a popular trend in the mainstream. Kiss My Face is proud of their motto "Passionately Natural - Incredibly Effective" and they provide a selection of products that demonstrate this. One of their most popular items is the Start Up Exfoliating Face Wash which features a delicate yet effective blend of certified organic herbs and essential oils that work to clean your face brilliantly, and the smell is amazing.

You can't be beautiful without a clean and healthy mouth, so, number five on our list is a toothpaste which works double-duty to keep your teeth, and the planet, happy! Once upon a time, Tom's of Maine was sort of a specialty store and you couldn't buy their products just anywhere. Thankfully, nowadays their popular offerings are easy to pick up in a great number of shops and mass retailers, and for reasonable prices. Again, eco-friendly and cruelty free are just two of the features of their products, and you really can't go wrong with anything from their line. One of their most popular toothpastes is the Whole Care with Cinnamon and Clove. Reviewers say "it's different from the traditional mint toothpaste, but in a good way! Very refreshing and leaves your mouth feeling clean and fresh".

We hope that these options give you inspiration (if you aren't already) to go out and try shopping with our planet in mind. You'll find that it's easier now than ever to select products which are effective and reasonably priced, as well. Good luck!

This post is by Stephani Rockwell, who is a freelance writer and content contributor for her site about dining tables.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

We Are Young!

Once again, this post is inspired by Glee. Last night was Sectionals and the other main story was focusing on doing the right thing and enjoying being young. I've been thinking about that lately: how much I enjoy being young. When I was younger, all I could think of was getting to the next grade, graduating, then getting a job. Now, I still don't have all the answers, but I am on my way. But at times, I focus too much on work or just sitting at home than having fun but I've been trying to go out and hang with friends more this year.

I think we all try to grow up too fast. We want to graduate high school so quickly and then college and then be on our own and we realize we missed out on some of the fun parts of just being a kid. So now's your chance. It doesn't matter how old you are, you're still young. You're healthy, you're fun and you have the chance to enjoy your life. Start today!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Guest Post: What I Learned From My Dog

You can learn immensely by merely observing your dog’s general disposition. There are a lot of things about these wonderful creatures that inspire you. Some of them are cited below.
 
1.Touch is important
Touch is important for any relationship to blossom. Hugs and cuddles are a great way to feel warmth, love, care and security in a relationship. This universal fact is applicable with pets as well. Dogs give us unconditional love. Dogs do know that a simple touch can do wonders and make one feel emotionally stable. In lonely times, an assertive and sincere warm touch from a loved one can certainly uplift your mood.
2. Always seize the opportunity to nap
Another thing that you definitely can learn from dogs by observing their behavior is the importance of sleep. We all have become slaves of our respective work and live a hectic life. There is little time left to relax because we do not seize every opportunity that comes our way. Dogs know how to relax better. They find a cozy place and comfortably roll on their backs every now and then to take a breather. Human beings must also keep sleep and relaxing high on priority so that they can work more efficiently without feeling fatigued or bogged down.
3. Be more accepting and don’t feel jealous
Sibling rivalry is a commonplace phenomenon all over the world. Older child often feels jealous and intimidated by newly born baby in the house because of loss of attention. However this is not the case with dogs. Even though you get to spare far less time for your pet when the newly born arrives, your dog does not feel jealous at all and is rather protective of the little one. He becomes the best attendant in the world and is always alert about any signs of restlessness in the baby. He also keeps an eye on all the guests approaching the little one.
4. Invent your own toys
Dogs and kids can be truly inspiring when it comes to ideas of having fun. It is not necessary that you have all the expensive gadgets and fancy toys in order to have fun. With little imagination, you can device interesting and more productive time-pass methods.
5. Don’t let your old age stop you from having fun
With age, your fitness level and physical strength may diminish but that should not stop you from joining in the fun. Old age brings with it a number of ailments like arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, muscular and joint pains, etc. but that should not limit your ability to play. As a matter of fact, it becomes more important to have fun so as to cope up with these conditions more effectively. You should limit strenuous exercises and opt for choices that suit you better. An aged and ailing dog’s behavior in this regard can be truly inspiring. Dogs, unmindful of physical constraints, always do find time and ways to play around a little.
Thus, having a pet is a great learning experience. If you have an open mind, interaction with your pet on a daily basis can surely make you much more evolved as a human being.
About the author: Bethany is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of gadgets. These days she is busy in writing articles on two varied topics like Noritz Tankless Water Heater and patio umbrellas.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ditch Your Phone and Live in the Moment

Recently, I went to a concert (City and Colour...they are amazing!) and I was amazed by how obsessed everyone is with their phones.

It was really cool though, just as I was pondering how many people had their phones out during the main band at the concert, the lead singer asks everyone to please put their phones away for just one song. He said that we get so concerned with documenting the memory, with videotaping or taking photos of the concert, that we don't even enjoy it. He expressed just the thought I was thinking and I thought it was really cool of him.

How often do we do this now? We don't enjoy experiences in life because we are so obsessed with documenting it, or texting someone else, or waiting for emails and Facebook notifications. I was amazed how many people were actually sitting there texting, ignoring the friends they came with and even the show they paid money to see!

So this is a reminder to myself and to everyone... be mindful with technology. Remember to share your experiences with real people and enjoy life. It is easy to get sucked into all the different technologies now and to think that is all there is to life. Next time you're out with a friend, put your phone on silent while you eat together. At a concert, take a few photos or videos, but make sure you spend most of the time just be in the moment and enjoy the concert.

What will you do to live in the moment and cherish your relationships and take a break from your cell phone and other technologies?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reminding you...

 
A reminder that you don't need to be perfect all the time. Be yourself and make mistakes. Everything will work out.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Find Your Joy: Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

It is that time of year again. The holidays. Thanksgiving is now over and Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc. are quickly approaching (I celebrate Christmas so I will mostly talk about that, but this can apply to all holidays!) Remember when you were a kid...how magical this time of year was? I remember waking up every day in December, wishing with all my heart that it was Christmas already. I knew that it wasn't, but I secretly hoped I would wake up magically on December 25th with the Christmas tree full of presents and snow falling silently outside. The holidays were so much fun, so exciting, and full of so much love.

Now the older we get, we run around with lists of presents to buy, errands to run, parties to host, cookies to bake, and the list goes on and on. We forget the joy and magic of the season and are stressed out by all those little things that must get done. There have been years when I get in a bad mood and become a Scrooge, just hope for the season to be over quickly, and scoff at all things festive.

So this year, please join me in finding the joy again. With Christmas a month away, use these tips to have a (almost) stress-free season and enjoy December!

1. First of all, take care of yourself! This time of year is also when people get sick more often. We spend more time indoors, get far too stressed out, and this puts a real damper on your immune system. Get plenty of sleep, take your vitamins, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and make time for yourself.

2. Make a to-do list. You'll get frazzled and stressed out simply trying to remember all the things you have to do or trying to get them done in one day. Make a list of all the things you need to get accomplished and set "due dates" for each one. Then you can determine which tasks need to get done first and get things done right.

3. Set aside time for joyful activities with your friends and family. Don't just get together at holiday parties or for holiday dinner. Walk around the nearest downtown to see the lights, go for a carriage ride, make some dates for hot chocolate and a holiday movie, etc. Remember the joy of being a kid excited for Christmas!

What are your tips for a fun and stress-free holiday season?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Muppets are a Hit!


I mentioned not too long ago that I was so excited to see The Muppets back in theaters! I remember as a kid, waiting up for The Muppet Show, anxiously awaiting my favorite characters and the catchy tunes. Add one of my favorite actors, Jason Segel to the mix and I was just like a kid again.

My boyfriend graciously agreed (well lost a bet and had to take me, but I think he would anyway... hehe...) to take me to see the movie even though it is not his favorite type of movie to see.


I definitely loved it! Between the song and dance numbers, the silly jokes (some more for the adult crowd), the celebrities, all of the muppets, and my nostalgia... it was a perfect mix of funny and sweet.

My only complaint was it didn't feature much of my two favorite Muppets, Rizzo and Pepe! Even if you've never seen The Muppets in a televsion show or movie, I think you'd still be caught up in the happiness of it all.


Because after all... The Muppets bring the third best thing in life: laughter. :)


What do you think? Will you see it? I am hoping to go buy The Muppet Show on DVD now!

Mahna Mahna ;)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


Enjoy your holiday and don't eat TOO much! ;) Tell me, what are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 21, 2011

More of my Favorite (Lush) Things!

If you're no stranger to me or my blog, you will know how much I am obsessed with Lush products recently. I love that most of their products are totally natural and fun and love to try new products! Here are some of the ones I've tried lately:

Angels on Bare Skin:

This is a cleanser that is very different from anything I've tried to wash my face. It has become one of my favorite Lush products! All you do is pick out a piece and roll it up in your hand (you don't need much). Then get it really wet and rub it out in your hands and then all over your face. My face has been really clear and super soft since I've been using it.



Tea Tree Water Toner:

I usually use this after I wash my face and before I moisturize. It feels really refreshing and I think this would be amazing in the summer to fresh up your skin! I'm not sure how well it really works, but it feels nice and I haven't' really had any acne.




Skin Drink Moisturizer:

My skin gets really, really dry in the winter so I thought I would try their most heavy duty moisturizer. Right now I usually only use it at night because it appears a little greasy when you put it on, but it has really worked for me so far! My skin hasn't been dry yet, but really soft and nice.



Each Peach (Two's A Pair) Massage Bar:

Now the name is misleading, I almost didn't smell it because I don't like the smell of peaches but it has an amazing citrusy smell! I am in love with how this smells. All you do is warm it up in your hands and rub it on your body for a nice lotion. It doesn't feel as moisturizing as other lotions, but the smells really stays on.

Snow Globe Soap (Christmas special):

This smells amazing - very citrusy much like the massage bar above! I love using this in the morning to wake up in the shower. Their soap is great, lasts long, smells great. I am just sad they don't sell this year round!





So tell me, what are your favorite Lush products if you've tried any? Do you want to try any of these?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Yoga Journey Continues….And Heats Up

Last time, I shared with you my new yoga journey and how I am trying to make yoga a habit in my life. Last week I hit a bit of a speed bump and didn’t go for a week. My friend Lauren, who I have been going with, started a new job, so we could no longer go during the day and had to reschedule when we go. It started to seem like a bit of a hassle. But finally this week, we scheduled a time to go and stuck with it. Unfortunately, all the night classes at the studio we’ve been going to are either Intermediate or Advanced. Yikes.

We headed to the studio at 7 p.m., feeling as if it were much later (thanks Daylight Savings!) and were nervous about our first Intermediate class. At times, I struggle with Beginner still! How was I supposed to handle a harder class? We now know the teacher decently well and she assured us that it was harder, but if we were struggling we could go into child’s pose.

Little did we know, they turn up the heat a little more in harder classes along with more movements and harder poses. In the first 20 minutes, I was already dripping with sweat and slipping and sliding all over my mat during Downward Dog. My head was buzzing with annoying thoughts designed to disrupt my yoga flow:

“I don’t think I’ve sweat this much EVER!”

“I’m supposed to do THAT?”

“It smells like my boyfriend’s dirty hockey gear in here… yuck. And I’m supposed to breathe deeply in and out?”

At times, when moving from the floor to sitting or standing, I got really dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out and almost left the room, but I am glad I stuck it out.

Even with all the distractions in my head, I went with the flow and enjoyed most of the class. I realize that my favorite parts of yoga are when you are given a set of movements and poses and are able to do them on your own flow. I can challenge myself as little or as much as I want, I can go as slow or a bit faster if I desire and everyone is at their own pace and not paying attention to anyone else. I definitely felt like I got a better workout and even though I couldn’t do some of the poses very well, if at all, I tried and focused more on the ones I could do well.

For now, I think I will stick to the Beginner classes for the most part. When I feel the need for a really good workout or get to the point where I need more of a challenge…back to sweating I go! On another note, I got another Groupon for a new studio…If I use all the classes it will only be $1 per class! Awesome! I got one of my other friends to buy it too, so I have another yoga buddy.

If anyone is interested in starting up yoga, try our 21 Day Yoga Challenge. It is a great start that you can do at home for free!

Until next time,
Lauren

See my original article on ASKinyourface.com.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I am not a girl that can ever be defined...



Today I am just sharing one of my favorite songs right now! Enjoy! I might take a little break from blogging, but keep looking out for new posts soon. xoxo

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Muppets are Back!

Today I am bringing you a sneak peak of the new "The Muppets" movie! I am so excited to see this! I used to wait all week to watch "The Muppets Show" and I can't wait for the new one to come out. Anyone else with me?

P.S. Happy 11/11/11! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My New Yoga Journey

I’ve been interested in yoga for a while. You can read on and on about the benefits: increased flexibility and strength, better balance, a calm mind, less anxiety and worry, and much more. I always found it interesting that a workout could seemingly be so good for you in both body and mind. Being someone who suffers from anxiety and worry, I thought yoga had to be worth a try. I started going a few years ago and never really stuck with it. There are always a million reasons to stop doing something and I found if I couldn’t get any friends to go with me, I simply found reasons to stop going. Always in the back of my mind, I felt guilty that I had paid for classes and never used them, so I would go to the occasional class. 

A few months ago, I was finally motivated to go. I enlisted a few friends to go with me at least once a week so I could finish up my paid classes at my local yoga studio. Not long after, a fantastic Living Social deal dropped into my inbox. 10 yoga classes for $20! Looking at prices of local studios, this was an amazing deal. The yoga studio wasn’t one I’d ever heard of, but it was only about 20 minutes away from my house. One of my friends, coincidentally also named Lauren, wanted to join me and was just as excited about the deal.

Now about halfway through my 10 classes, I find myself getting hooked. At times, waking up at 8 am so I can eat and get ready before heading to a 10 am yoga class just makes me sleepy and dread going. Once I am there, it isn’t always easy either. I can’t even count how many times I’m standing there in a pose I deemed impossible before she finished explaining it, swearing in my head words I’d never say out loud, just wishing we could move on. As I stand in the warrior pose, my bent leg shaking like I’m having some sort of seizure, sometimes I feel like I don’t belong here.

But that is the best part of yoga: knowing you will always belong no matter what. You do what you can. It is a practice where you push yourself, yet you may rest if you’re not able to do something just yet, and you can even close your eyes if you feel that you are comparing yourself to the seasoned yogi next to you. In yoga, there is room for improvement always. No one is perfect at it. At times I feel silly and punish myself. Why aren’t you more flexible? Why are you sweating in this beginner class? Why, why, why! I have to force myself to stop asking “why” and just enjoy my practice. Who cares if I can’t do certain yoga poses perfectly yet? At least I am there, trying and learning and doing something positive for myself. Just getting myself to go to yoga is already a win in my book.

One of the reasons I love yoga is that it is a workout, but it is also a way to relax. I love hearing the poems or saying that teachers often talk about during class. One of my favorites is one I heard last week:

Be mindful of your thoughts because they become your words. Be mindful of your words because they become your actions. Be mindful of your actions because they become your character. Be mindful of your character because that becomes your destiny.


This quote really resonated with me. Would I have ever heard it if I hadn’t gone to that yoga class? Perhaps yes, perhaps no.


Yoga is teaching me to be strong and not give up. There are times when I give up when a yoga pose hurts too much, but each time I do it, I know it will get easier. One day, if I keep at it, I will do the poses I now deem impossible with ease. Getting there takes time and effort, but I think it will be worth it.


Until next time…Namaste,


Lauren

See the original post on ASKinyourface.com!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Make Time for Friendships

Recently, I had a friend ignore me for months because she "needed a break from friendships" because of her busy schedule and life. I completely understand how busy people can be and how friendships can take a beating because you simply don't have time. But I personally think that you have to take the time to maintain friendships, no matter what. Friendship is one of the best things about life, so why take it for granted?

1. Schedule friend time like you schedule your appointments. Even at your busiest, when you see something in your schedule or calendar, you know it has to be done. Sometimes, you may not feel like hanging out with friends when there are a million things to be done, but once you're there and having fun, you'll realize how much you needed that time to recharge.


2. Don't make blowing off someone a habit. Most people are pretty understanding if someone has to cancel a friend date because of work, illness, or an emergency. But if you make a habit of cancelling plans and blowing people off... unfortunately, you're sure to be friendless in no time.

3. Take the time to do nice things for your friends, even if they live far away and you don't see them often. Make sure you talk on the phone, Skype, send notes on Facebook, pay for lunch every once in a while... the little things that mean a lot in friendships.


4. Be available. Often times, you really need your friends when something happens. Be available via phone, text, whatever and drop everything if a friend really needs you.

5. Reevaluate friendships and realize everyone makes mistakes. You will get busy and put off calling that friend and your friends may do the same with you. Small problems can always get worked out. But big problems, like when you feel like your friend doesn't care about you anymore and they won't talk about it, it may be time to let go of that friendship. Trust your gut.


What are your tips for maintaining healthy friendships?

Friday, November 4, 2011

How to Deal with Difficult People

I've found in my 22 years, that even if you're the nicest person in the world, you won't get along with everyone. Conflicts arise and people are stubborn. Sometimes arguments happen where both people think they're right and the other person is wrong and no one ever wins. I've had to deal with people who won't see my point of view and just ignore me when the friendship gets tough.

So how do you deal with these difficult people?

1. When I find myself getting in an argument with someone, I try to slow down and see things from their point of view. Even if I don't agree with the point of view, I can usually somewhat understand where they are coming from.

2. Be nice. When someone is rude to you, simply be nice back to them. This is definitely easier said than done. When a friend or even a stranger spouts a rude comment back at you, your first reaction is to react and be rude right back. Next time you find yourself in this situation, try something like: "I'm sorry you feel that way" or "What can I do to help?". Basically try to say something that won't make a bad situation worse.

3. Know when to give up. Sometimes you can be as nice as you can be, try to understand their point of view, offer solutions or explanations and the person is just going to be plain mean or stubborn. At this point, it may be time to walk away from the person. Sometimes it happens at work and you can't stop talking to the person forever, but you can excuse yourself to take a breather and get away from a bad situation at the time.

How do you deal with difficult people at work or just simply in life?