Share A Little Happiness

The world is filled with so much negativity. It is so hard to simply say yes to life when fear continues to show up. Every positive speaking person will tell you not to live in fear, but is that even realistic – especially with children? I’m constantly thinking about the world today, and the protection of my family. I do not have to list all the reasons that show up on the news or on my social media timelines daily that fuel these thoughts. But, I don’t let my constant thoughts keep us from living.

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Our Little One Giving Daddy a Flower – Photo Cred @goodfella_t1k


I’m hoping that everyone reading this post today has a feel good morning, day, and every day after today. There was no intent to post a really long blog with some self affirmations today. However, I wanted to leave everyone with a little happiness. Live in Faith and not Fear today and the next. We can not control what others do, but we have ultimate control over ourselves and our own actions. Faith, Love, Peace and Blessings. Share a little happiness today! Happy Monday everyone!

Stress Free Easter

Easter is truly a big deal! We are celebrating Jesus’ resurrection from the grave. His death and resurrection is why we all have been forgiven. So, why do we make Easter about so much more than this?! I admit our family buys into all the other fun stuff too: Easter baskets, Easter egg hunts, new clothes, big bows, and good food. But, the true meaning (same as with Christmas) is what matters.

This year, we truly kept it simple. I think this year, we only spent about $35 on Easter. Period! We got Leyah a basket with some fun things (and only like 4 pieces for candy), and we headed to the dollar store to get more fun things to make her a basket with more goodies, which totaled $24.

Later, we headed to the grocery store. I got coffee, wine, and pepper. Luckily, I had already done most of our shopping last weekend. There was plenty in the freezer and plenty in the fridge. No need to stress there! Easter dinner, DONE! $13.00 at the grocery store.

Lastly, what to wear? what to wear? Leyah has an excellent support system outside of Mommy and Daddy. Her Aunt Michelle bought her dress for Easter, and she was given another dress to wear by her Aunt Cat (you know, just in case she needed a wardrobe change). She already had shoes and bows, so no need to shop for anything. Mommy and Daddy shopped in our closets, and we were all set. I wore shoes that I had not worn since college. My mom commented on them, not remembering that she was actually the one who had bought them for me.


Now, here I am relaxing with what was left of the wine I bought, and I will actually be in bed before 12:00 am on a Sunday night. I do have a point to all this, and it is that “less is more.” This Easter was the most laid back, and stress free Easter we have had. Church was great, family was great, and the hubby and I even got a few hours to ourselves. Look at God working things out! I can’t say that next year will be the same. I did mention to my mom about stepping up and cooking dinner. Maybe she will forget by next year… doubt it. Either way, Happy Easter! #HeIsRisen

Little Skinnies: FitFabFun

Here I am two broken iPhones later, and you would think life could go on without a phone. I’m sad to say that I felt lost the last two and a half weeks without my phone. #firstworldproblems

However, over the course of this down period, I received two wonderful boxes of goodies. I received my FitFabFun Welcome Box, and it was definitely packed with goodness! I’ll mention the other box of goodness in a later post, but if you follow me on snapchat – you already know. I lucked up and signed up for FitFabFun during a promotional period. They had some special, and I only paid $25 for my introductory box. The box was packed, and everything was the actual size! None of that trial size mess from this box!

The GOODIES:

  • WREN 14kt gold dipped and black sapphire heart necklace
  • Passport to Beauty’s Tibetan Goji Berry Eye Serum
  • FRENDS “The Donna” Earbuds
  • GORGE “I’ll Make You Look Amazing” Daily Spray
  • COSMOBODY Co-branded Jump Rope
  • ZOYA Nail Polish
  • ORGANIC VALLEY Organic Balance Milk Protein Shake in Dark Chocolate
  • SHOPTIQUES.COM Gift card for $25

I’ve been wearing the necklace, and have received several compliments. The Goji Berry eye serum has been incorporated into my facial care routine. So, we shall see. Luckily, I was able to try out the earbuds while in travel. They worked well, and helped me clear out all the noise of the airport while in route. I haven’t had a chance to try the daily spray, and the reality is that my hair is a touchy subject for me. So, I may not use this until I have no other choice. I like to stick with what I know when it comes to my hair, for now. I have not used the polish either. I felt the gray color was more a fall or winter color. The polish may realistically sit with the others until the colder weather comes back around. Who knows, maybe… maybe not… However, the jump rope is in my office. I take at least two breaks a day, and just jump rope! How fun is that?! This box won with the jump rope alone, because it definitely helps me stay a little active while at work. Lastly, the gift card! I had never visited Shoptiques.com before, and this little teaser motivated me to visit the site. The site was great, and I wished I had more then $25, but I will make it work, and get something to make my heart smile for the upcoming Spring t-shirt weather.

I did skip the Spring box. I cancelled, because I had to be sure I was going to love this service! And, I do! I will definitely be back on board in time for the summer box! Seriously, this box is worth $49.99 (shipping included).

Resolution Re-Start

The end of February is here, and by now, you are realizing that your resolution to (insert anything about working out and being healthy) is pretty much nonexistent. Trust me, I’m not the resolution type, but I had every intention on being more proactive when it came to working out and eating healthier. Thanks to Panera for providing me with a free bagel a day for the month of February, I’ve been on carb overload. And, let’s not forget the hazelnut cream cheese with that bagel! It is a must! I’ve been living on carbs and sugars all month… naturally, I haven’t been my usual self.

I started noticing changes when I started having a hard time waking up in the morning. I was always tired, and the usual coffee boost was just not enough anymore. I started to get frustrated with myself for being so lazy. But, I never changed any of the poor decisions I was making daily when it came to eating or physical activity.

Today, while I ran errands this morning with our daughter, I did notice a change. The past week had been one of my busiest weeks. But, I wasn’t as sluggish as I had been. I was waking up in the morning without so much effort. My daughter and I were both dressed and out the door both days this weekend before 8:30 am. That’s correct! We were in target on a Saturday morning before 9:00 am, and I had not had one drop of coffee.

The difference between this past couple of weeks and the others was that I had started to implement some small habits that I had not been doing before. I didn’t think much of these changes, but I  started them anyway thinking, “doing something is better than nothing.”

First, I started back drinking Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother in the morning and evening. I do not put a lot of effort into the measurements. I take a shot glass from our cabinet, pour the ACV in it, and then pour this wonderfulness into a glass of cold water. I drink this as I would anything else. I go about my morning routine while sipping on this drink. I do the same in the evening while making dinner. My hubby knocks it back in one shot, and drinks water after. It’s pretty bitter and strong stuff, so start small and go from there. I would advise diluting it with water and a little honey.

Next, I stopped drinking so much coffee. Seriously, I could easily average about one full coffee pot a day. I did not stop on purpose. I was just so busy that I could never get to the kitchen to refill my cup as much as I normally did.

I started back taking some key supplements that were helpful in the past. I know that people say taking a multivitamin is great, but sometimes your body needs a little more. My metabolism definitely changed after I entered into my 30’s. Knowing this, I started back taking 7-Keto with DHEA to help with my metabolism. I also added White Kidney Bean back to my supplement rotation to help metabolize all the carbs, fats, and sugars I was taking in. 

 

Finally, I implemented one of my favorite detox drinks. I drink a lot of wine from time to time. Sometimes I put some spirits in rotation too. But, I always feel the effects much worse than I did before when I have a little too much. This liver detox drink has been a go to for me, and it almost always has an effect within an hour or sooner. I drink this mid-day, and just sip on it while going about my day.

  
   
 Even though I haven’t been as good to my body as I should, I am taking these small steps toward being a little happier and healthier. This week, I hope to get back to it in the gym. I hope that these little tidbits help you guys get back on track for the New Year. It is only February! You’ve still got 10 months until the next New Year. Everyday is a new day to start all over. FYI: your skin will be amazing after a week or so of just drinking the ACV and taking a hair, skin, and nail supplement alone!

 

 

Little Skinnies: Little Boxes = So Much Happiness

Hey there everyone! It has been sometime since I have blogged. I’ve been in thought about what I truly want The Skinny Plus to be, and hoping to develop a good brand as I continue this journey. 

A colleague at work gave me a great idea, and this post is the start of my “Little Skinnies.” Little Skinnies are small snippets to give each of my readers a look at a great deal, a quick recipe, and anything else that maybe note worthy in a short post. 

I’ve been sharing this wonderfulness from Walmart Beauty that gave me a little bit of happiness a couple of weeks ago. Walmart Beauty now has Beauty Boxes; similar to those by Essence, Birchbox, Allure, etc. 


The best thing about the Walmart Beauty box is that it is FREE! You only have to pay a $5 shipping fee! 

   
    
 The box had a lot of little goodies that warmed my heart. Some of the items I put to the side for travel. The sample sizes are perfect to take on the go. So, head on over to the Walmart Beauty Box site, and get yourself a little bit of happiness in the mail… Well, in about two weeks.

A Little Motivation

Your Body Hears

My intentions for the New Year were to be more dedicated to blogging. It’s still January. However, I do feel that I have fallen behind. My hope is that this little page of mine can be a little piece of positivity for someone out there. This blog is a space to share what little wisdom I’ve learned in this short life of mine, and a space for me to reset.

Today, I truly needed a reset. Have you ever just had a day where you wish you could just rewind and start again? The problem with wishing for something like that, is that nothing would really change. We are who we are, and if we don’t change the person, the end result will ultimately be the same. You may think you would choose door #2 the next time, but you wouldn’t.

Then, there comes a day when you actually want to pick another door. You want a different outcome, and the only way to do that is to change something. Change is you becoming different in some way. Change can happen in your attitude. Change can happen in your eating habits. Change can happen in your efforts to work out. Change can happen in a number of ways, but we all have to change to grow. I’ve chosen to really start back working out, and to change how I respond to things that I ultimately can’t change. I have been so sluggish lately, and I’ve gained weight… enough to make me uncomfortable. Honestly, I’ve looked at myself and have said some pretty bad things about this body. I can preach body positivity all day long, but if I am unhappy, I have to do something about it. I would suggest the same to anyone else.

There is a clear difference in being happy in your body, than being unhappy because someone else made you feel that way. Most of the time, women are simply unhappy because we are constantly comparing ourselves to what some other woman, ad, magazine, or man has said is the picture of beauty. That unhappiness is unhealthy, and sometimes we let these things do a good job of making us feel insecure in own perfect bodies.

My need to change comes from an evaluation of myself, and a comparison to my own standards. And, today was the worst. I had so much on my mind. I had to motivate myself to do a 30 minute workout. The 30 minute workout was by far one of my worst and slowest. Everything just seemed to be off.  I got off the elliptical and started beating myself up from that point forward. I kept thinking, “why didn’t you do an extra 10 minutes? Why didn’t you go harder? You will never lose this extra weight?” I kept thinking all the negative things, and totally forgot about the positive.

I forgot that I was actually blessed to see another day. I forgot to be thankful for my little family at home. I forgot to be supportive of myself in the fact that I actually did go workout, instead of just turning around and having another day of drinking wine. I forgot to think on the good, and I let my mind focus only on the bad. And, honestly, I forgot to love myself today. We can have all the good intentions and want to change for whatever reasons in whatever areas. But, change will never be permanent, if you can’t love the person you are trying to be. Love yourself today, and everyday! I hope this is a little motivation for someone.

Little Hands = Little Blessings

When it’s time for our little girl to go to bed. We sit on her floor, we hold hands, and we pray. This is by far one of the best moments of my evening! I am sure you all can image how hard it is to get a 2 year old to sit still. But, most every night, she sits, takes my hands, and prays. Her sweet, “Amen, ” warms my heart, and brings a spirit of joy at the end of whatever day I may have had. It is in those moments that I find peace, and it is in those moments that I realize that this little girl is our blessing.She is truly our gift from God (Psalms 127:3).

These moments at night help me to reflect on who I am. This little blessing is influenced by me in every way. Every emotion I show, and every word I say in her presence is a moment she will remember or imitate. I’m a reflection for her. A reflection of what she will see a woman as. My actions and mannerisms, though it is cute now when she copies me, will be more permanent as she gets older. These moments at night help me to be a better reflection for her. When we pray, I reset. I reset my thinking, and remove all the negative insecurities that I have let into my mind throughout the day. I remember that God has made me wonderfully in His image, and I say the same words to my daughter.

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Sometimes it takes the smallest acts to bring us back to our core. People say that meditation works wonders, and I believe in taking some time to quiet our minds. However, it takes more to overcome insecurities and negative emotions that may present themselves when we least expect it. Knowing that my little blessing is tied to my actions, has helped me overcome most all the insecurities that were once present in my life. I have changed a lot for her, but it was truly for me and my growth too.

Find your little blessings in life that make you feel like your most confident you. It is in the small things that we find our greatness.

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Jumping in 2016 – One Day at a Time

Another year is about to begin, and a lot of us are probably thinking one of the following:

  1. I totally failed at every resolution I made last year.
  2. This year is going to be my year!
  3. I’m going to get fit, eat less sugar, lose weight, workout more, drink less, cut out breads, and cut out any other food that would deprive your body of something that it may crave.
  4. New Year and a New Me!
  5. I’m going to spend more time with family and friends.
  6. I’m going to start a business or something!
  7. I don’t make resolutions
  8. New Year’s Day is just another day

I don’t think I got every single thought you all maybe having, but I think I covered most. The reality is that New Year’s Day is just another day, but is symbolizes so much more, because it seems to bring about a new beginning for most of us. It is the start of another 365 days for us to accomplish something big! This is true, but to accomplish something big, we have to do small things. Remember that each day is a new day, and can start the beginning of something big.

I wish each and every one of you peace and blessings this New Year. However, my hope is that each of you wake each day in 2016, and treat the new day as if it is the start of a new year. Each day you accomplish something good, leads you into the next with a more positive outlook.

The best way to bring in the New Year is to be the best and most stylish you, you can be! Start by looking into a super cute Jump Suit for your festivities tonight. I must admit, with a 2 year old, I will not be doing much this evening. However, this jump suit, would be my go to tonight! In fact, I may just wear it in our home, as the hubby and I sip champagne! I have loved this jump suit since I got it in the mail from Eloquii. I simply paired it with a belt that I have had for years, and the perfect outfit for a night out came together! Check out their other jumpsuits here: Eloquii Jumpsuits.

Jump Full

 

Jump Close

Jump Multiple

Photo cred: My hubby – Terrance Glenn (@goodfella_t1k – instagram)

You’re Gonna Be Great… Hopefully…

I really wanted to have an excuse for a shopping trip this weekend. But, I kept reading and seeing everything under the sun that had to do with family, working moms, becoming a parent, and all those other things that give you warm fuzzy feelings inside – and bring life into prospective. I do not have a clear perspective on life, but I do know that becoming a parent really forces a person to figure out what is really important and what is not. Number One: The child is always the most important! Sounds crazy, because we read and see tons of articles and videos that say take care of you, the marriage, your health, your career, etc. Those things are not wrong. You truly have to take care of you to be the best parent to your child.

I saw a post on LinkedIn by Betty Liu, News Anchor – Bloomberg Television. She wrote about what helps her be a “happy, balanced working mother.” I have read this article at least 5 times since Friday. I keep reading it, because of this one line: “I have near zero guilt about being a working mom.” It just baffled me that someone actually put it out there for people to see. Then, I realized, I totally feel her on this! I wanted to just give Betty the hands raised in celebration emoji x5! If you just saw the sentence without the rest of the article, it may seem so harsh. But, read the entire post, and then you’ll get it (This Crazy Thing Helps Me Be a Happy, Balanced Working Mother)!

I was so ready to get back to work after having our daughter, I was almost ready to run back to work! I even got the, “we weren’t expecting you back for like a few weeks,” from a person at our corporate office. The best me, was and is a career driven me. If I’m not working on something, I kind of feel lost. I’ve since changed jobs, and moved into a role that requires more leadership, more time, and is overall ten times more demanding. And, I did it knowing full well that maybe our future will hold the opportunity for another little one. *gasp! I’m sure there are women that try to plan their careers around their family planning, and sometimes that just can’t be done. We plan, and God is like: “No, I totally have something better for you. But, while it’s happening, you won’t think it was better. But, in the end, you’ll see! Thank me later!”

I am not saying I never have any guilt, but I don’t feel like I have the same amount that I hear women talk about. I love my munchkin, and wouldn’t trade her for anything. She’s really too little to understand now, but as she grows, I do want to explain to her why mommy works. I hope that she feels empowered, and knows the importance of working hard to achieve whatever success she is working toward. I hope that as she grows, she sees that you can truly have the best of both worlds. Sure, there are and will be compromises. But, if you are sure of what you are doing, and are happy in your choices, you will not be left with a feeling of guilt or anxiousness at the end of the day. Side note: acceptance of what is, is a good meditation mantra. If you don’t meditate, try it!

I’m truly grateful. I am grateful that I do have a wealth of resources around me, which make it easier to try to take on the world (my little world). I have a husband who is loving and supportive. We are both just trying to figure it out, and trying to be the best parents we can be. We both have dreams and professional goals. Our baby girl has not one, but two, sets of grandparents within a 15 mile radius. We operate on a schedule. Naps and bedtime are routine. I have learned to relax, and I know for sure that what I do maybe the best to someone, and the worst to someone else – as said in the video in this blog. As with this post, it maybe the best to some and the worst to others. But, I just hope that it puts a working mom’s mind at ease.

In the Midst of A Self-Hate Attack Storm with Nothing to Wear!

I was in the midst of a real rut last week, and felt like I had nothing to wear! I went to the closet and looked, and looked, and looked some more… I just kept flipping through each dress, skirt, shirt, blouse, etc. until I just gave up. I had to make a decision! Our baby girl will only sit quietly and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so long while mommy gets dressed in the mornings.

I was in a dark place, some of you may know this place, where you are feeling so down about your body and appearance that you just can’t see the good right in front of you. I only had nothing to wear because I was in the midst of a self-hate attack! It’s hard to pull out of a self-hate attack. How can you pull yourself out of something that you think is true in that moment? I felt like I didn’t look like the image of myself that I had idealized in my head. The funny thing is that I couldn’t tell you what image that was! I just kept looking in the mirror and thinking, “this looks horrible!”

The mind is a powerful thing. Your thoughts have the power to make you believe that you just aren’t good enough some days, and they have the power to make you believe you can take over the world some days! Normally, I have more days where I believe I can take over the world, than the days like the one I was having last week. Finally, I took a step back in the mirror to just see me. I had on a dress that I had worn earlier this summer. I looked back at a picture of myself with the dress on, and tried to see what made today different from a month or so ago… I had gained weight. I hadn’t noticed it in my day to day comings and goings, but I had gained about 15 lbs, and all of it seemed to be in my belly. So, the dress that once looked great, looked horrible because of my bigger belly.

I don’t know about you, but once I know the root of an issue, I can handle any problem! It was like my rut was over! I went back to my closet, picked up a black ASOS skirt that I loved, and just slid it over the dress to see what the end result would be. Like magic, my mood instantly changed and the day could go on! My belly was no longer the focus, and my outfit was complete – just in time too! I had a little munchkin standing at our bedroom door within seconds of the Hot Dog song ending.

I hate that I went to that place of self-hate with myself, because I am constantly trying to promote self-love and body confidence. I guess it was necessary for me to see something I needed to change. If being the best you, means re-shifting back to a more active and healthier you, then do it! I know that is the case for me. I have worked out on and off about 3 times a week, but I can’t say that everything I have put in my body has been in moderation… everything that I have put in my body has not been good, either! I’ve been feeding my body junk, and in turn I have been feeling less than myself. I know that I can change that feeling now, and simply slide a little black skirt over my troubles, until I get it back together!

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