Category Archives: Self Improvement

“You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.” -Geoffrey Willans

When you hear people say “I’m learning a new language” what do you automatically assume? Often times you think they’ll say Spanish, an Asian language, or maybe even Russian. For some reason, our minds don’t think of American Sign Language. Why is this? It is so important to learn, especially if you work in a hospital setting because you never know when someone will be in your care you is deaf.

Sign language has always interested me, ever since I was a kid. I remember I was in about 3rd grade when there were kids on the playground signing and I watched in awe. I learned most of the alphabet that year but that’s about it. It wasn’t until I was making my 30 before 30 list that I decided to really focus on learning some sign language.

Well, I signed up for two ASL classes and I am so excited. I can not wait to learn sign language. I know there is something that has attracted me to sign language, even if I don’t know exactly what it is right now. I just wish I had known how to communicate when I was on my mission because we knocked into a family who were all deaf and it would have been really cool to meet with them.

Why is it important to know ASL, though? I found a nice article title “5 Important Reasons For Learning Sign Language” and, though they aren’t all important reasons, they are good reasons.

  1. It’s all around us. Seriously, though. If you pay attention, you’ll see it in your every day life.
  2. It’s easy to learn. It really is, I’m enjoying how much I am learning from apps and other sites.
  3. It allows silence. This is a big one. Our lives are so full of noise, from music, to the neighbor’s lawn mower. Sign language gives our ears a break.
  4. It becomes exceedingly useful. Like I said at the beginning, if you work in the medical field, ASL is vital. What if someone comes in for an emergency and they are trying to sign to you and you have no idea what they are saying. You have to scramble to find someone who does know ASL and by the time you find someone, it could be too late.
  5. It is beautiful. Ok, this is not important but it’s true. Have you ever seen someone sign before? We always talk about how the romance languages are beautiful but to see what people speaking ASL can do with their hands to communicate is amazing. There are a few videos below showing people speaking in ASL.

I am looking forward to crossing off another thing on my 30 before 30 list. Of course, I will be keeping you all updated on my ASL journey. I may even decide to post some pictures on my YouTube channel, I haven’t decided yet. Let me know if you all would like to see that. For now, here are a few other article for you to check out:

  1. College Students Share The Importance of ASL and Deaf Culture in Today’s Hearing World
  2. The Benefits of American Sign Language
  3. American Sign Language

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you keep checking back each week for new posts. Comment below with your thought and feelings on ASL. Do you know ASL? What resources do you use? My resources are below. I use an android for my apps so check with the iTunes app store to see if they are available to you, as well.

  1. American Sign Language Phrases
  2. Signing Savvy
  3. The ASL App
  4. Spread the Sign App
  5. ASL American Sign Language App
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“Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself.” -Tyra Banks

meI woke up late today and had to rush to get ready to head to school with Zack. I have an interview later and I couldn’t find my brush and nothing was going right. I felt like I was failing everything. The was supposed to start off good, I was supposed to be excited about this upcoming interview. But instead, I was thinking about how ugly I was going to look because I had to rush. I was thinking about how I didn’t prepare enough so I was going to fail the interview. I was being all around negative and hateful to myself.

Have you ever felt like you hated yourself, for one reason or another? Where does it all come from? When does it all start? Babies don’t come out hating themselves, right? Is it taught? Is it embedded in our genes? Thankfully, I found several articles to help me understand all of this.

little 2However, I want to start by dispelling a myth that has changed the world. What is that myth? Well, many people today believe that girls get their negative self-image from dolls and cartoons they watch. For example, Dora the Explorer and other iconic kids shows used to be rounder in size (because they’re kids) but people were claiming their size was making their kids obese. Seriously? No, you want to know where I got my negative self-image? I got it from family, friends, and other girls who bullied me. It had nothing to do with Barbie’s unrealistic size. littleI never once thought, “I want to be her size, because it’s what’s pretty.” I saw Barbie as a doll, not as something to aspire to. I never once looked at the old Care-bears and thought, “Look at their size, I should eat more to be like that.” We need to stop blaming unrelated sources for the issues other females are causing. Unfortunately, I don’t see a way to fix it and it only gets worse as you get older. It turns from what other people are saying to you and about you, to what YOU are saying to you and about you.

Ok, back to what I was saying in the beginning. First of all, I want to say that I found an amazing video that I will add below. I hope you watch it because it’s important and goes along with what I said above.

little 3Now, I found an article titled “The Psychology of Insecurity: Where Does Self-hatred Come From?” This answers many of the questions I just posed above: where does it all come from? When does it all start? Babies don’t come out hating themselves, right? Is it taught? Is it embedded in our genes? The article states, “Nobody is born with a gene for self-hatred – it’s an environmental and cultural development that comes from your place in society and your experiences.” This is so unfortunate that the people who are supposed to help us, only cause us to hate ourselves. But it’s not all because you were abused, the article also states, “You can feel insecure simply because your parents worked too much as a kid or had to divide their time among too many siblings. A child’s early identity formation is crucial, and if no one is around to teach them they are valuable, special, and loved, they can have a hard time feeling it later on.” The article ends with saying, “It’s difficult to pinpoint one underlying cause of insecurity. It can start in childhood or it can develop over time. It can cripple you mentally and emotionally, or it can simply make it hard to ask the girl at the bar for her number. But what really matters is that virtually everyone is insecure in one way or another. When you’re working to overcome to absorption of negative attitudes and beliefs about yourself, remember that almost everyone you know has gone through the same battle.”

This was such a blessing to find. Sometimes it’s a good reminder that other people go through this also. But how can I love myself again? How can love me the way I did when I was little? For this, I turned to another article titled “How to Turn Self-Hatred into Self-Compassion” The thing that you need to focus on, according to the article, is self-compassion. The five things they give are as follows:

  1. Talk to yourself the way you talk to someone you care about
  2. Recognize that beliefs do not equal truths
  3. Embrace the concept of “good enough”
  4. Consider turning to spirituality or religion
  5. If you hate yourself for mistakes you made, make amends

gmaLet me talk about these for a moment. First, talking to yourself as if you were talking to someone you love is a good way to look at it. I would never have told my grandma that she’s ugly or fat because I never saw her that way. I saw her as this beautiful, loving, strong woman, who could overcome anything life threw at her. How do I see myself? Definitely not that way…more like the opposite. Second, recognizing the way you believe as not being true is a huge thing. I know I’m not ugly but I tell myself I am. Why? Because other people have told me that I am. Third, how do we embrace the concept of “good enough?” The dictionary says, “adequately good for the circumstances.” We don’t have to be perfect, no one is, but we can do our best and leave the rest up to God. That brings us to number four, turning to spirituality or religion. The whole topic in sacrament meeting yesterday was self-esteem and self-love. One of the speakers said that when you know you are daughter (or son) of God, how can you hate yourself? This hit home for me. No matter who I am or what I do, he will always love me. Perhaps I need to focus on seeing myself the way he sees me? Lastly, number five, make amends for the mistakes you hate yourself for. This could be easier said than done. I am one of those people who lay in bed some nights and a thought comes to my mind, reminding me of what I did wrong months ago and how stupid I was. It’s hard to let go of those things. I think this relates a lot to my post about learning to forgive people who hurt us, honestly, because we hurt ourselves.

beautifulYou may be wondering why I am focusing on this today. Well, for one thing, it’s one of my 30 before 30 items that I need to check off and this helps me hold myself accountable. I’m not going to say that I completely love myself today but I’m working on it. Second, the topic in church yesterday made me want to post about it. I guess that’s how the spirit works, isn’t it?

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. This post took me some time to do because a) I wanted to give you the best information I could and b) no one likes to admit they don’t love themselves. I hope you can check out the inner voice video as well as the song  and other articles I added below. Keep coming back each week for new content. I love you all and I hope this helps you learn to love yourselves as well.

8 Ways to Increase Your Self-Love by Elyse Santilli

A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love: Self-love is an action not a state of feeling good by Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D

“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.” -Roy T. Bennett

We all get stressed, it’s inevitable. Sometimes we don’t exactly know how to deal with it, though. That’s why am I writing today! I have been stressed a lot lately, between changes in life and school…it’s been insane. I actually have two short-term heavy classes that I decided to take to make life easier later. They actually just started last week and are eight weeks long, on top of my full semester course. But how do I manage the stress of this and life? Well, I did a google search to see what is said about overcoming stress and I will tell you what I learned.

In an article titled “Dealing with stress-ten tips” here are the tips and my thoughts on them:

  1. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Well, first of all, I already try to stay away from these. Why? Because according to research, coffee puts part of your brain back to sleep. Your brain needs water to get it working properly. Alcohol just impairs your thoughts. How am I supposed to deal with stress with a clear mind if I can’t even think straight? And nicotine? Well, I just don’t smoke anyway and never will. It’s damaging to your lungs. Anything you smoke is bad for your lungs, I don’t care who you are.
  2. Exercise. This is great! Get up and get physical. It gets the blood flowing and gives you a chance to clear your mind. If you can, I would suggest getting in nature to do any exercises. Go hiking (if you have an area to do so), go walk around your local park (just be safe), or at least go in your backyard (if you have one). Fresh air is good for you, physically and mentally.
  3. Get more sleep. Easier said than done sometimes, I know. But sleeping at a regular time each day helps our minds and bodies heal from stress we are facing. You’ll also see that you wake up in a better mood when you are getting the right amount of sleep.
  4. Try relaxation techniques. I have started reading a book called “Yoga for Weight-Loss” and it has such amazing yoga poses for relaxation. There’s many different ways we can relax, some people sit alone for a little while and listen to calming music, check here for music ideas. Some people do meditation, which is great for body and mind, which you can find beginner tips here. Find what works for you and stick with it.
  5. Talk to someone. I do this, every day. Whether it’s talking to my friends or to the cat, it feels so good to get it out. I even loved talking to a therapist when I was able to see one. Don’t feel ashamed of talking about how you feel.
  6. Keep a stress diary. If you feel really uncomfortable about talking to someone about your feelings, you may rely heavily on this. Make sure you put it where only you can see it so no one mistakes it for something else.
  7. Take control. This one will be hard for most of us. How do we take control? Isn’t this why I looked this up? Yes, yes it is. Following these steps will help you gain control!
  8. Manage your time. This one is hard for me. I spent all of Saturday being a bump on a log. What should I have been doing? Homework. Don’t get me wrong, I got what I needed to turn in that day done. I could have worked on the test that was due yesterday (I did get it done, don’t worry) or the essay due today, which I still need to work on. I’m not going to be a hypocrite and pretend like I know how to get you to stop procrastinating when I can’t even do that myself.
  9. Learn to say “no.” This is a big one. Let’s use me as an example. I have piles of work to do for school and I was invited to someone’s house yesterday after church. I had to say no because I knew I had homework due yesterday. If I had said yes, would I have gotten everything done in a timely manor? I would have gotten it all in but it would have been stressful and I would have been up late doing that.
  10. Rest when you’re sick. To some people this means lay in bed and do absolutely nothing. To me, this means do low energy tasks. When I am sick, I turn into a baby (terrible, I know) and I make sure I have medicine, liquids to keep me hydrated, and I just watch Netflix. I remember one time when I was sick I watched all the episodes of the original Magic School Bus then started on the new one. I can’t just sit there and do nothing. Of course, I also sleep, which is a good option, as well. You know what you can and can’t do, take care of yourself.

Overall, I want to know to take care of you. What works for one person may not work for you. If you have any tips to offer, please comment blow. I appreciate your comments and my readers do, too. As always, thank you for visiting and stay tuned next week!

“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.” -Marie Kondō

29920718_1802825500025840_1792278_nGood news everyone! I completed something on my 30 before 30 list! What did I complete? Marie Kondo‘s method of tidying up, aka “the Konmari Method.” It’s number 29 on my list and I am I’ve been wanting to do it for a while now.

First of all, you probably want to know what the Konmari method is and how I stumbled upon it. Here is an excerpt taken straight from the website: “The KonMari Method™ is a way of life and a state of mind that encourages cherishing the things that spark joy in people’s lives. Belongings are acknowledged for their service and thanked before being let go of, if they no longer spark joy. People are drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and optimistic.” So what you do is you go through everything (and I mean everything) you own, category by category, and touch each 30020583_1802825496692507_1848334969_nitem. It’s important to touch everything! If it brings you joy when you touch it, you keep it and if it doesn’t then you thank it and bid farewell. Marie Kondo’s method of organizing focuses on what we are keeping now what we need to get rid of.

I came across this method in a bullet journaling group I am in on Facebook. I don’t remember exactly which group it was but several people were discussing pages to create and keep track of their progress. Of course, all things organization interest me so I asked what it was all about. That’s when they referred me to her books, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. I immediately checked my library mobile app to see if they had the books and sure enough, they did. So I checked out the first one and from chapter one I was hooked. This was when I lived in a tiny 500 square-foot studio and most of our belongings were packed away in storage so I was unable to do the whole thing. Now that I have everything I own in one room, I decided it was time to get into it. And in the span of just a few hours, I was done.

30007435_1802825493359174_979829267_nSince my first encounter with the Konmari method, there have been more things happening for Marie Kondo. Just last year she released The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up. She saw how popular her book was, selling millions of copies world-wide, so she developed this book. There is also the mobile app. Unfortunately it is only for iPhone so I was unable to use it but I have heard great things about it. Now, just a couple of months ago, Marie Kondo announced that she is working on a reality show about the Konmari method. There is no release date or much of any information out there about it but it will be released on Netflix and the first season will have 8 episodes. I don’t know about you all, but I am super excited to see the show because I think this method is so healing, especially when you are going through a lot in your life.

I urge each of my readers to look more into the Konmari method and try it out. It helps to read the books first but it’s not required. I can garuntee that if you do this and complete it, your life will change. You will feel cleaner inside and out. Letting go of your physical clutter clears your mind, whether you realise it or not.

As always, I thank you for visiting my blog. If you have done or are in the process of doing the Konmari method, drop a comment below and tell us about your eaperience. Was it easy or hard for you? What category did you struggle with most? Did you learn anything about yourslef? I know I did!

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” -Bernard Meltzer

25319884_1756491134659277_1436553091_oToday I want to talk about a specific point in my 30 Before 30 list; forgiving those who have hurt me. Why do I want to talk about that specific point? Well, last week I went to my college to meet with a counselor to get my Student Education Plan done, which was a great meeting by the way. Anyway, I saw someone there that I always hoped to never see again. And it was at that moment that I realised that number 12 will be one of the most difficult things to accomplish.

No, I am not one to hold a grudge but this person in particular hurt me in a way no one else in the world ever could. How could I forgive this person? I mean, I was able to forgive the one person who hurt me more than anyone else in the world, my mom. Why couldn’t I forgive this person?

Who is the person I am speaking of? Well, his name isn’t important but he was a guy I dated a long time ago. He wasn’t my first love or even my first boyfriend but he lied and stole almost $600 from me then lied some more. He hurt me mentally and emotionally. He took something I could never get back. How could I forgive him for that? How could you forgive such a manipulative human being?

It’s been seven years and every single time I hear his name or see him, the same anger bubbles up from the depths of my soul. How do I let this go? Well, thankfully we live in the day and age of the internet so I looked up a few things to help me out.

I started reading a wikihow article (found here). The first part in forgiving someone is deciding to forgive, which I have. Under the first step it says the following, “Forgiveness does not mean excusing or accepting the betrayal. Rather, forgiveness is the act of freeing yourself of the anguish and anger that you’ve felt towards the person who betrayed you. Forgiveness means letting go of your grudge against the other person.” We’ve all heard that holding grudges just hurt us and it’s so true, we feel so much better when we free ourselves of those feelings.

Under part two, step one it says the following, “If you’re sad, ashamed, or angry about being betrayed, that is perfectly natural. Try to find positive ways to deal with these feelings. Accepting how you feel is an important step toward emotional recovery, which is the first step toward forgiveness.” All too often we don’t want to acknowledge the negative feelings we have toward a particular human being but we need to. I know that I have negative feelings toward him.

I really like what it says under step 10, “While the betrayal you experienced may seem senseless and random at the time, step back and try to give the experience value. Instead of thinking of it as a completely terrible event without any beneficial aspects, you could think of ways in which you might actually be thankful for it. The meaning you take from the misery of betrayal can bolster your emotional strength, which you can then use to forgive the person who betrayed you.” If that incident had never happened, I wouldn’t have some of the experiences I’ve had. I also wouldn’t have the knowledge.

It may seem weird but researching it helped me understand why this point is on my 30 Before 30 list. Yes, I put it there. But I didn’t know how beneficial it would be to me. But after reading the articles I found, which I will add links to them below, I feel better about it. I can forgive. There is nothing I shouldn’t be able to forgive.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog and I hope that if you are struggling to forgive someone that this has helped you. Read the articles and decide now that you want to set yourself free. And if all else fails and you need a laugh, watch the music video below!

Forgiveness After Betrayal

The Art of Forgiveness: 10 Steps to Handling Betrayal With Elegance and Grace

The Power of Forgiveness

When You Have Been Betrayed

How to forgive when you’re still mad

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” -Helen Keller

26994833_1771124659862591_1429434973_n          Life is full of surprises. Some of those surprises are good, some are bad and we never know when they are coming. The thing you have to remember, though, is that they happen for a reason.

Lately, my life has been twisted and turned upside down. When I felt like I was at rock bottom, it shifted and I fell deeper. I was talking to a good friend recently about my struggles and this is what he said to me,

26996560_1771124649862592_130041946_n“There’s always worse. You think you’ve hit rock bottom but there’s always lower. But guess what…You can keep going higher, too, Once you start climbing again, you’ll think you could never be happier but then things keep getting better.”

Those of you who suffer with depression, those of you who are battling life’s biggest challenges, those of you who are looking for the light in the dark….you are not alone. It seems like it will never end. It seems 26994720_1771124683195922_1436369907_nlike things will never get better. I promise you they will. Just stay positive. Trust me, I know it’s hard. I have difficulty sometimes, too. It’s even harder when I can’t handle my depression anymore and I have to just lay in bed and cry. We all fall on hard times but they don’t define who we are, it’s what we do in those hard times. Just know that you are loved and every battle has to end sometime, even if it feels like it never will.

This post may not help you at all but I know music can be powerful. I encourage you to listen to the following songs. Be strong, be brave, be you.

 

27140430_1771124653195925_550787904_o          As always, thank you for visiting. Please comment below if you want to talk through your struggles or if you want to give words of encouragement to someone who may be struggling. I hope you see just how strong you are and just how strong you’ve always been.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” -Robin Williams

Forget about my 26 before 26 list! Here is my new and improved 30 before 30 list…

25319884_1756491134659277_1436553091_o

  1. Read at least 30 books
  2. Learn to let go of the past
  3. Love myself again
  4. Go white water rafting
  5. Grow out my hair
  6. Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  7. Take a cooking class
  8. Finish and publish my book
  9. Fall in love with life
  10. Go backpacking for a week
  11. Revamp my personal style
  12. Forgive people who hurt me
  13. Do something that absolutely terrifies me
  14. Learn a new skill
  15. Get and keep a job I enjoy
  16. Visit a state or country I’ve never been to
  17. Let love happen
  18. Get a cat or dog
  19. Find God again
  20. Keep up with my blog
  21. Go to a concert
  22. Learn some sign language
  23. Find beauty in the mundane
  24. Get in touch with old friends
  25. Learn to enhance my beauty
  26. Meet with a chiroproctor
  27. Brighten someone’s day
  28. Learn yoga
  29. Follow Marie Kondo’s rules for tidying up
  30. Be positive, always.

If you made it all the way through my list, you probably have questions. Let me give you a little background on how and why I came up with these items, one by one.

  1. I’m sure many of you know by now that I love reading. I always have a goal to read a certain number of books in a certain amount of time. I never reach that goal. For example, for my 26 before 26 list, I had a goal of reading 26 books. Insane, right? 26 books in one year is a far reach for me and I know that. It was crazy to make that goal. You may think that 30 books before I’ 30 is a big goal as well, but I’m giving myself 5 years! I’m counting the books I already read this year, because why not. Just so you all know, I finished 7 books this year so far.
  2. Learning to let go of the past is something that we all need to do in life. Some of us realise early on that our past holds us back. For me, it took a long while. But I figured it out! Better late than never, right?
  3. Self love is vital. We can’t get far in life if we don’t love ourselves. I’ve been feeling down about myself, the way I look, everything. It’s unhealthy and I want it to end.
  4. White water rafting is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager but never had the chance to do. I will be doing it in the next 4 years, though. No excuses.
  5. Growing out my hair kinda goes with self love. It makes me feel better about myself when I have long, healthy hair.
  6. My weight is my main source of low self-esteem. I don’t feel good when I look at myself in the mirror. I’m overweight and I know that. But I am ready to make a change.
  7. I want to take a cooking class because, well, why not? It’s something fun to do in the community.
  8. Finishing my book is something I’ve talked about for YEARS. And I do mean years. Maybe 5 years? Probably more. It’s high time I stopped saying it and just do it.
  9. I want to love my life. People say that there is nothing about life to love but oh are they wrong. I want to love the life I live. I don’t have to love what’s going on in the world but I do want to love what I do, say, feel, experience. I want to feel optimistic in all things.
  10. If you check out the Wilderness Girl tab, you know that I was supposed to go backpacking this past summer with my best friends in the whole world, Michaela. But I landed my job at Universal so that didn’t happen. Instead, We pushed it back. Well, it will happen and I can’t wait for it. Maybe this summer? Who knows!
  11. I have a personal style board on Pinterest of things I would love to wear but I hate shopping for clothes because I feel so ugly in so many things. I hate most of my wardrobe but I don’t want to but new things because I want to lose weight first. It’s a never ending cycle…or it was. I’m breaking that cycle this year!
  12. I have held on to pain for too long, I need to let it all go.
  13. We’re supposed to do something every day that scares us, right? Well, what about the things that absolutely terrify us? I’m doing that sometime in the next couple years.
  14. I want to learn a new skill, I’m not sure what that skill is yet but I want to learn it!
  15. I loved my job at Universal so much, unfortunately it just wasn’t in the cards to keep it. I am on the hunt for a job I enjoy just as much, if not more.
  16. Like most people, I love to travel. I want to visit a state, or country (Canada?) that I’ve never been to because why not?
  17. Let love happen. Don’t force it.
  18. I want a cat or dog so bad. I love them, I miss my cat Socks so much.
  19. Finding God again is one that may have thrown people off. This one I can’t really explain without going to personal and I just can’t do that today. In another blog post maybe. But not today.
  20. Keep up with my blog. I’ve said it time and time again. I’ve failed, time and time again. I am determined. I started off strong this year, though so I’m improving!
  21. I’ve gone to one concert, Raven Symone at the Fresno Fair. I want to go to a big concert, like Imagine Dragons or Taylor Swift.
  22. Sign language is a very powerful language. I want to learn so that I can comunicate with people who are hard of hearing.
  23. I think there is hidden beauty in everything and I intend to find it.
  24. Have you ever told someone that you’d keep in touch and then never do? Well, I have and I want to keep that. I am determined to keep in touch with them.
  25. Enhancing beauty isn’t all centered around makeup. It’s also about how you dress, how you carry yourself, everything.
  26. I have issues that I would like addressed by a chiropractor. It’s pretty self explanatory, I think.
  27. Who doesn’t want to brighten someone else’s day?
  28. I have friends who do yoga and I want to learn.
  29. I started the Marie Kondo rules but never finished because so much stuff was in storage. Then I just gave up.
  30. Always being positive is probably the hardest. I am trying, though. That’s why matters. I want to be an optimist not a pessimist.

If you have a 30 before 30 list, share with us below what you have. As always, thank you for visiting my blog. Until next time!

“There are only two choices: keep it or chuck it. And if you’re going to keep it, make sure to take care of it.” ―Marie Kondō

tidy          I recently finished the book titled “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. It has truly inspired me. If you haven’t read it, you should! You can find the book here. It is an easy read and very detailed. I even began reading her second book “Spark Joy.” Which you can purchase here. I’ve also seen it at stores such as The Container Store, Michael’s, and Barnes & Noble. I checked the book out at my local library via Amazon so if you don’t want to purchase looking at your library would be a great option.

The thing that sticks out about these books is that we not only clean up and get rid of stuff but the whole thing is about WE KEEP WHAT MAKES US HAPPY. Let me repeat that, we only keep what “sparks Joy” in our lives. Sometimes that means that we have to get rid of something we were gifted many years ago and have held onto it for one reason or another even though we never use it and we barely even enjoy looking at tidy2it.

Another thing that sticks out in this process is to go at it by category rather than by room. This is contrary to most of what we’ve heard which is why it sticks out to me. Marie Kondo maps out 5 categories: clothing, books, paper, komono (miscellaneous), and sentimental. First you gather every clothing item and place them on the floor (or the bed, as I did) and physically touch each item one by one to see if it sparks joy. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. Then you do the same with the rest of the categories. There is a great printable here. Another blog to reference can also be found here.

Here are a few comments from others I spoke with who have done this method:

“It has been great for my mental health. Less anxiety triggering crap. Something I’d mention is that KM is very much a middle class privilege. To be able to throw out perfectly good clothes just because they’d don’t spark joy is something I am very grateful for.” -Nicholas

life’s too short to be surrounded by items you don’t love.” -Robin

“Drastically reduces your interest in shopping when you only buy things you really like and know you need a place to store it.” -Blair

“Definitely brought a sense of calm and tranquillity to my home.
Feels so peaceful in the bedroom especially” -Victoria

“Getting rid of books was/is the hardest part for me until I realized that this was a metaphor for my life. Holding on to stories that in many ways defined me felt safe. Making space for new books also meant making space for new ideas, new line of work, new friends. I see now that not only do you need to make time for new things to come into your life, you also need to make space.” -Maria

“I found the ‘wasted money’ hard to get over. At first I wanted to sell everything as I spent good money on items. I bagged up 8 bags in my first clothes KM but don’t have time to photograph and list items. I took the plunge and donated and chucked them and the relief of things being gone was instant and made me feel lighter. 28 bin bags later and I’ve not regretted not selling anything. I’m always interested to read how people overcome the ‘wasted money’ thoughts.” -Kerrie

I encourage everyone to give Marie Kondo’s method a shot. It may just change your life. If you have done this before, comment below with how it has helped you. I love hearing personal stories. I just started the method so I’m not done yet but it has really helped me enjoy living in our little studio.

As always, thank you for stopping to read my blog. I hope to hear from you in the comments. I enjoy your feedback. If there’s something specific you want to hear about, let me know.

“Running is nothing more than a series of arguments between the part of your brain that wants to stop and the part that wants to keep going.” -Unknown

Have you ever heard someone say or even been the one to say any of these words: “I’m not
a runner.” “I hate running.” “I just can’t run.” Well, then you’re like a lot of other people. Even Hal Elrod told himself he wasn’t a runner but just started running one day because he had tried so many other things. I am one of those people. And as crazy as it is, for me to hate running, I just signed up for a 5K and it’s happening next month. I know that I am going to have to push myself for the next 7-ish weeks but I also know that it’s possible. The 5K that I signed up for is the Bubble Run. One of my friends got me to do it with her and my husband volunteerruned to do it with us. I’m excited but also nervous. If you want to come watch, it’s at the Angels Stadium. There are 2 races and we are in the 9:00am race.

So, how does one prepare for a 5K when they have always hated running? I’m glad you asked. There are actually a lot of tips on Pinterest. Sadly, the site is down so I am unable to link them to you right now but there are also plenty of tips when you put “couch to 5K” in Google. In my search, I even found an app for Apple and Android phones called Couch to 5K. I have a Samsung so I’m glad it’s not exclusive to Apple, as I’m sure some Apple users are glad it isn’t exclusive to us either.

Another really cool thing I found in my search is this couch-to-5k PDF, (at this link). For this particular training, you want you allow yourself 9 weeks but almost everyone has a different time frame.

Lastly, another helpful site for beginners might be found here. Running For beginners is a great site for anyone. It has so many great resources and training tips, even for me.

I want to see any tips from my readers who have done this before? How did you feel when you crossed the finish line? Did it make you want to do more? Please share your experiences below.

As always, thank you for visiting and drop a comment below and follow me for more content. Have a great day!

“The human body is the best work of art.” ―Jess C. Scott

Today I want to talk about something that everyone has to do: getting dressed. I know that. if you’re like me and many others, you would love to just stay in your nice comfortable pajamas all day. But, of course, for some reason we can’t. There’s almost always a dress code anywhere you go, unless the place you are going is called Wal-Mart.

Recently I watched a free 3 step video course in fashion and how to dress right for me and how to find MY personal style. This course was offered by Dean Street and I felt so excited dean street.pngto go out and try to find things that really fit me. I am one to usually wear jeans and a t-shirt out because I wanted to hide my body. After the videos I was inspired to actually look for things that I really thought were cute.

One things Hilary, from Dean Street, suggested is to go on Pinterest and make a personal style board. With that board, look up celebrities that you like how they dress. I know what you’re thinking “Why would I use celebrities for inspiration, they get all these fancy clothes and it’s just not attainable.” All I have to say is WRONG. Look for the way the dress on an everyday level, not for the red carpet. For example, I found that I love Reese Witherspoon’s casual look, mixed with a little extra color and Disney flare with cute high heels or Toms. Feel free to look at my personal style board for any inspiration, as well as Hilary’s page on Pinterest because she has so many things you can look at.

I know that you might be thinking that it’s all just a waste of time, money, and energy but I just want to tell you that it really helped me look at what I WANT to wear versus what I currently wear. Yes, wearing my jeans and t-shirts are nice but I don’t want to wear them every single day. I mean, seriously, I would really love to wear dresses every day. Not like the ones I wore during my mission because I know I was not very fashionable then, but like what I saw at Unique Vintage. If I had the money I would shop there all the time!

To end this post, I want to tell you that you should wear what you want. If that’s yoga pants then do it. If you are obsessed with wearing neon colors, you do you. You are always going to face someone who looks down on you for what you wear, whether you’re 90 pounds or 390 pounds, you should wear what you want not what society tells you to wear.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. Take care!