What the HECK is a Fizz Stick? What’s All the Hype?

Chances are that you’ve seen, or at least heard about Arbonne’s Fizz Sticks. But what are they? And why is everyone raving about them?

In my previous post, Commited to 30 Days of Healthy Living, I discussed all of the benefits and goodness I experienced while participating in Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living Program. If you haven’t read it yet, you definitely need to check it out!

I wanted to go into more detail about the Fizz Sticks, because the truth is that I’m in love with them. I want to share them with everyone!!!

***I am not a doctor. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

What’s a Fizz Stick?

To be completely honest with you… it’s magic! Pure, healthy magic!!

They serve as a replacement for your morning coffee or afternoon energy drink. They help to temporarily promote alertness and reduce fatigue.

If you’re thinking of dropping coffee, or maybe just looking for a little boost, then these are definitely for you!

What Flavors Are There?

Currently, Arbonne has 3 flavors:

  1. Citrus
  2. Pomegranate
  3. Strawberry

There are also seasonal flavors that roll out. For this summer, Arbonne has Watermelon flavor! They will sell out FAST.

P.S. Strawberry is my FAVE!

They are delicious all by themselves, or you can create a drink of your own. There are literally endless possibilities!

Benefits & Ingredients

Includes botanicals like Ginseng, B Vitamins, CoQ10, and Chromium. Fizz Sticks contain naturally derived caffiene from Guarana and Green Tea to help boost energy. A little info on what those botanicals do for you:

  • Guarana supports energy
  • Ginseng root helps support physical capacity and performance
  • Taurine, an amino acid, supports energy
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that helps support energy
  • Chromium helps support healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range•
  • Riboflavin helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins to provide energy
  • Niacin helps support energy-yielding metabolism of macronutrients

Below, I’ve pictured the nutritional info. (Be sure to check that sugar content!)

Did you check the sugar? It’s only 2 grams!

I did a bit of research and looked up some popular energy drinks, and the amount of sugar they contain is insane! We’re talking 27+ grams. Yikes!

What Do They Cost?

For a box of 30 Fizz Sticks, the Suggested Retail Price is $55. As a Preferred Client, they cost $44. (Ask me what other benefits and discounts you get as a Preferred Client 😉)

Sounds FANTASTIC, don’t they? Get your Fizzies HERE.

Do you have any questions regarding Fizz Sticks? If so, please drop a comment below or email me at happyhealthyleilaniii@gmail.com! Talk soon xoxo

Committed to 30 Days of Healthy Living

Awhile ago, my friend invited me to try Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living Program. After taking a hard look in the mirror and examining my Quarantine self, I thought, “Sure, why not?!”

I was getting pretty sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, so I leapt at the opportunity.

Well, today I have officially completed my 30 Days!!! I wanted to share how incredibly and literally life-changing this program has been for me. With that, I present:

30 Days to Healthy Living Cover Photo groupBanner_image

***Disclosure: I am not a doctor. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This is just my personal experience 😁

What Is It?

Simply put, it’s a reset for your body. It helps to establish healthy habits. IT IS NOT A DIET, but a LIFESTYLE!

The goal is to help tune in to the messages that your body is sending so you can eat and drink more intuitively, while giving your body the nutrients that it needs to function optimally.

The program is also designed to support a balanced gut, which is more important than you think. So much of our body’s overall wellbeing is controlled by our gut, and supporting it will help optimize how we feel and look.

And lastly, the program is designed to help you feel more confident! Being well rested and actively working to reduce stress allows you to take better care of yourself. A positive mindset greatly impacts your confidence. Look good, feel good!

Essentially, you will be able to identify foods and products that prevent you from feeling your absolute best. So yes, some foods and beverages are eliminated: artificial sweeteners, alcohol, coffee (*GASP*), dairy, soy, wheat and gluten.

You may be thinking, “Pfff. I’m not giving up coffee. That’s absurd.” I feel you! I felt the same way! As a former coffee connoisseur myself, I wasn’t exactly excited about the elimination, but I have some magic words for you: Fizz Sticks. We’ll talk about that soon 😉

How I Felt Half-Way Through

Each and every day of the program I recorded what I was feeling, both mentally and physically. Here’s what I shared with Facebook on my 15th day:

FIRST OF ALL, Fizz Sticks 😍 I love them! I thought not drinking coffee was going to be a big issue for me, but no! Not at all! These little blessings keep me alert, focused, and energized.

I have been waking up, and just been… ready to go? No lag, no buffering of my life 😂 The first couple of days I thought that was so weird. Now I’m like, ok! Let’s get this day started!

I’m not starving like I thought I’d be. Before the 30 Days, I used to get hungry every two hours. So I’d shove a burger in my face, thinking that was what I needed. Ya, no.

I am seeing that by fueling myself with good, nutritional foods, I am satisfied for longer periods of time and my body just performs better. Turns out, your body craves nutrients, not caloric intake! Duh, Ashley 🙃

I have energy. For everything!
My house is cleaner than ever… People, I fold my laundry AND put it away 😂 I do all the things that I’ve been neglecting. I even bother to shower and do my makeup! (I haven’t been, because I haven’t been going anywhere…) And the other day, I woke up and decided to go run 5K. Who does that??? Me. I do that 😎

I feel like I’ve done a 180. I feel better. I feel happier. I am SO pumped on the progress I’m seeing and am FREAKING EXCITED to see how I’m feeling after these next two weeks 😁😁😁

How I Feel on My Last Day

In a word: FANTASTIC!!! I am blown away with how truly wonderful I feel!

It’s quite shocking, and a bit embarassing, to see how much better my body performs after simply changing my eating habits. Shocking, because WOW. What a difference! And embarassing, because it was seriously such a simple solution.

Before my 30 Days, I didn’t feel good. Like, ever. And I just thought that was normal. Once I decided and committed to living a healthier lifestyle, everything has changed. Both my mind and body feel clean. I am so damn pleased with the results, that I am going to continue and complete another 30 Days 😁

I LOVE how I feel after the 30 Days to Healthy Living Program. I am so grateful that Arbonne has safe and effective products to support a healthy lifestyle and my holistic journey in wellness. I feel my mind, body, and skin have all improved because of it!

What Comes With the Healthy Living Kit?

Everyone starts with 4 core items, then you choose your flavors and select from 3 more options to fit your goals.

CORE ITEMS

  • Pick 2 Shake Flavors: Chocolate or Vanilla? Easy-to-digest, plant-based protein derived from peas, rice, and cranberries; making adding protein every day a simple part of any healthy living program. Start with 20 g of clean vegan protein to help make you feel full.
  • Pick 2 Fizz Flavors: Pomegranate, Citrus, or Strawberry? Helps promote alertness and reduce fatigue with botanicals like Ginseng, B Vitamins, CoQ10, and Chromium. Contains naturaly derived caffeine from guarana and green tea to help boost energy.

***I am IN LOVE with these!

  • Digestion Plus: Prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes help support healthy digestion and microflora. Key ingredients are chicory root, chamomile, and ginger.
  • Herbal Detox Tea: Support toxin elimination with hydration and a mild, caffeine-free herbal tea featuring milk thistle, peppermint, and dandelion. Supports your healthy living journey with an herbal blend that supports functions of the liver and kidneys.

PICK 2 FROM THESE 3

  • Body Cleanse: Help cleanse and detoxify your system with a gentle formula featuring aloe to soothe the GI tract and choline to support liver function. This comes in a fresh lemon ginger flavor 😊
  • Daily Fiber Boost: Boost your fiber intake with 12 g derived from grains, fruits, and vegetables in each serving to keep things moving. Remember that FIBER IS YOUR FRIEND! I loved this… literally no flavor, just added it to my morning and afternoon shakes.
  • Greens Balance: Balance your diet with a whole serving of fruits and vegetables in every scoop. I liked to begin my day with a mixture of the Greens Balance and Digestion Plus… I call it my Greens Shot 😉

HEALTHY

All items can be purchased invididually, but it makes much more financial sense to buy the ASVP.

Jumpstart your Healthy Living Journey NOW

I am so in love with the products, support, and the company, that ultimately, I chose to become an Arbonne Independent Consultant myself ❤️

Do you have any questions regarding the 30 Days to Healthy Living? If so, please drop a comment below or email me at happyhealthyleilaniii@gmail.com! Talk soon xoxo

Preparing to be Smoke-Free

I have some very exciting news to share with everyone! This month, I celebrated 100 DAYS SMOKE-FREE!!! I am beyond thrilled that I’ve gone this many days without smoking. I never thought I’d see the day!

I know that I was able to accomplish this achievement by first preparing to be smoke-free. This took a great amount of dedication and discipline.

My intention is always to help others. I hope that this post can help anyone who is thinking of, or actively trying to quit smoking cigarettes. I highly recommend you read this strategy!

I became a smoker 13 years ago, right in the middle of my adolescence. I was young and impressionable, as most of us are at that age, and needed something to pass the time. When I think back to the first time I put a cigarette to my lips, I’m transported to my old high school football field. There is a complete lack of peer-pressure, but rather, my own defiance and desire to rebel. I can very vividly see myself chosing to smoke. Sounds ridiculous, right?

Fast forward to now, when there is no one to defy, no true reason to rebel, and I’m still smoking. But why? Smoking had become so mindless, so second nature, that it no longer felt like a habit. It eventually just became a part of who I was as a person. I woke up to a pot of coffee and a pack of cigarettes; I smoked every hour on the hour, and loved every moment of it.

Then, one day out of the blue, I was mildly calculating some financial numbers in my head, and came to the unsettling conclusion that I was spending more than $300 per month on cigarettes! I was completely dumbfounded. I stopped walking, let my jaw fall to the floor, and stared aimlessly at the sky. To say that I was shocked is an understatement.

For the rest of the day, I still continued to smoke, but now with a twinge of resentment. I was furious at myself. It was then that I decided to quit smoking. I allowed myself to smoke the rest of the night, and assured myself that tomorrow would be completely smoke-free.

Unfortunately, that plan did not work. I didn’t have my usual pot of coffee and pack of cigarettes to start the day, and by noon, I was a raging terror. To comfort myself, I immediately ran back to my precious cigarettes.

I began researching. I no longer wanted to spend the amount of money I was spending, but was struggling to detach myself from being a smoker. During my research, I found that there are higher success rates for people who allow themselves one week to prepare.

I essentially needed to fall out of love with smoking, which was, and sometimes still is, harder than I had anticipated. I was very much in love with smoking, but the benefits of quitting are overwhelming.

During my week of preparation, I continued to smoke. But these cigarettes somehow did not taste as good as all the other cigarettes I’ve smoked. These cigarettes were stained with failure and disappointment. I knew I was saying goodbye, and my body knew it, too.

On my phone, I have three notes that provided an enormous comfort during both my preparation for quitting, and my first weeks of quitting. I know they will be useful to you as well.

Note One: All the Reasons Why I’m Choosing to be Smoke-Free

Taking time to write down all the reasons why life will be better as a non-smoker is absolutely imperative. Sit down and truly assess why you’re choosing to quit smoking. There are no right or wrong answers, because they are your own personal reasons. Writing down my reasons awoke a lot of emotions for me. A few of my reasons included:

  • I will save $300+ each month
  • I will not let an inanimate object control me
  • I will run longer and easier
  • I will not have to stand in the cold
  • I love myself and value my life much more than cigarettes

The reasons why are infinite! Improved health, increased energy, whiter teeth, better breath, and that’s just a few.

Be sure to be as specific as you can in your reasons. In prior attempts to quit smoking, I’ve been vague with my reasons, and clearly, that didn’t work.

P.S. My favorite reason why, and the reason I think of when I feel a craving is the last one I shared with you.

Note Two: Implementation Intentions

Think about when it is that you chose to smoke. Do you smoke when you’re bored? After a meal? How about first thing in the morning with a piping hot cup of coffee? Once you have discovered which situations permit a cigarette, you will need to think of what you will do when faced with these situations as a non-smoker.

Implementation Intentions, to put simply, is an “if-then” plan. I’ll share with you some of my Implementation Intentions:

  • IF I am tempted to smoke first thing in the morning, THEN I’ll brush my teeth. Do jumping jacks. Practice yoga
  • IF I am tempted to smoke while driving, THEN I’ll stick my toothbrush in my mouth
  • IF I am tempted to smoke after a meal, THEN I’ll thank God for the nourishment that he’s provided for my body
  • IF I am tempted to smoke when I’m bored, THEN I’ll exclaim, “I don’t smoke!”
  • IF I am tempted to smoke when I’m stressed, THEN I’ll take three deep breaths and squeeze Po*

*Po is my squishy toy. He is a ninja panda that I named Po, because Po doesn’t let me smoke no mo

This tactic may seem silly to you, and honestly, it seemed silly to me as well. Remember that you are creating a plan that will help prevent you from smoking during specific situations that you are most familiar with.

I was most worried about how I would handle my new morning routine. No cigarettes with my coffee? Hardly imaginable. But because I had set a plan as to what my new morning routine would be like without cigarettes, it suddenly became more bearable.

I also stopped drinking coffee in the morning and switched to tea. That’s a whole different subject entirely, but it helped relieve the trigger of wanting to smoke with a cup of coffee 😉

Note Three: Anticipating Withdrawals

Finally, we have reached the ugly side of quitting. This is the part no one likes to talk about. It is necessary to know what your body will experience when going through a withdrawal. As long as you acknowledge what is happening, you can overcome. Knowing what to expect and how to handle it will definetly ease the withdrawal. I have provided some of the symptoms I went through, and what helped me:

  • Sweating – Drink water
  • Nausea/Cramps – Drink ginger ale or soda and bitters
  • Headaches – Eat a banana
  • Coughing/Sore Throat – Drink warm water with honey
  • Insomnia – Drink Sleepytime tea

If you are not using a nicotine replacement, your body will go through withdrawals, that is a fact. They don’t have to be crippling though. As long as you know what to expect, you will be just fine.

Nearly half of my existence has been surrounded by a cloud of smoke. Having gone 100 days without a cigarette is an odd, yet exciting feeling.

My skin is glowing, my energy is higher, and honestly, I feel powerful! I am proud of myself, and I am also proud of the part of me that chose to prepare for success. I have to remember though, that this is Step One, in becoming smoke-free. Believe me… I’m up to the challenge 😉

 

Have you quit smoking? Are you thinking of quitting? I’d love to know! Comment below!

How to Get Paid to go Shopping

Everyone wants more money, that’s a given. The myth is that in order to make more money, you need to work more. Eg: Longer hours at work, or picking up a second or third job. Which, of course, is highly admirable! But, I’ve been there, done that. All it did was make me exhausted!

I searched for ways to make money while maintaining a somewhat regular schedule, and continue my search whenever the mood strikes me. During my ongoing search, I have found a few ways to cash in from my everyday shopping 😀

As always, I have personally done the research on each of the apps listed below, and fully believe in each and every one of them. So as soon as you decide that you want to start getting cash back for purchases you intended on making anyway, you can immediately start getting paid. Enjoy!

 

How to Get Paid to go Shopping

Ibotta

IbottaI literally promote Ibotta to anyone and everyone. This laptop that I’m writing on? I paid for it with my Ibotta earnings!

There are two ways to earn cash back. Your first option, is to physically go to the store and purchase featured items.

Ibotta displays recommended retailers, (you know, places you shop at anyway), and provides products that are available for cash back. If you’re not loyal to a particular brand, this is an excellent way to test new products. Occasionally I find a brand that tickles my fancy, although it’s not always guaranteed.

I find that this also doubles as a shopping list. I simply add the offers I wish to cash in on, and voila! I access my offers, and everything I’ve selected is laid out neatly for me. Thanks, Ibotta!

Very minimal effort is required to redeem your rewards. All you do is take a picture of the receipt. Every once in a blue moon it will prompt you to scan the bar code. Really though, it takes no time at all.

Your second option is to remain in the comfort of your home and shop online. (Hell yesss!)

This is the option that really excites me. While I do enjoy getting out in the world and taking in new views, the online deals are where it’s at.

Want to get cash back from shopping at Amazon.com?
Ibotta does that.

Want to get cash back for going to a concert?
Ibotta does that.

Want to get cash back for going on vacation?
Yep. Ibotta does that, too.

Just make sure you visit these online retailers through the Ibotta app to get your cash back 😉

Online rewards take a little longer to redeem, and by longer, I mean 7 or so days. Each offer depends on the retailer that you made your purchase from. But who cares? You’ll still be getting money back!

Join my team and start with $5!

 

Dosh

dosh

Dosh is essentially the same as Ibotta. Similarly, there are two ways to earn money back: in-store, and online.

After you have linked your card, or cards, you can start earning money. It’s automatic!

When I first began using Dosh, I experienced a slight hiccup, and immediately contacted their support department. In order to prevent you from experiencing the same issue, let me share some advice:

Dosh is linked with the major credit card companies. Remember that when you’re making a purchase in the store, you will need to run your card as credit in order to receive your cash back.

I learned this the hard way, so I hope this helps you to avoid the same issue I ran into 😉

For in-store cash back opportunities, Dosh will show offers based on your location. It’s really quite convenient. It shows me how far I’ll have to travel to redeem my reward. However, I only allow Dosh to have access to my location while using the app, because honestly, I can’t think of a reason why they should have access to my location at all times anyway.

And now let me tell you my favorite part about Dosh:

Dosh offers cash back at restaurants!!! As someone who frequently goes out to dinner, these offers are fantastic!

Again, because the app uses your location, available restaurants will vary, but I’m looking at an offer for Pizza Hut right now, and I know y’all have a Pizza Hut somewhere in your general vicinity.

Join me on Dosh and start with $5!

 

Spent

spent

Spent is the newest addition in my cash back app family, so I am still learning how to maximize my cash back rewards available to me. For the time being, I am able to provide a basic description for how Spent works. As I continue to learn, I can update my post for both you, and myself!

So, just like Ibotta and Dosh, Spent has cash back offers for both in-store and online purchases. (Seeing a trend here yet?)

Again, you will need to link your card(s) to start earning cash back. Available categories to earn cash back include: groceries, eating out, travel, entertainment, fuel, and clothing.

You may be thinking, “Why, Ashley, do I need three different apps if they all essentially do the same thing?” To that, I’ll ask you some questions as well:

Do you ride with Uber or Lyft?
Spent gives you cash back if you do.

Do you put gas in your car?
Spent gives you cash back for that, too.

Do you have a Netflix account?
Hahaha, of course you do! Spent gives you cash back for your monthly subscription!

These cash back offers alone are what prompted me to join Spent. I am currently earning cash back from Netflix and iTunes. How freaking cool is that?!

I have noticed that the online purchases do seem to take a bit longer to redeem, but as I said earlier: Who cares?! You’re still getting cash back, so be patient, and it will come to you.

At the moment, Spent does not offer a referral program, but I see that it’s in the works. So while I’m unable to provide you with a cash incentive to join, I am able to provide the link for you 😉

Join Spent! 

Additionally, I have spoken to the support department for each of the apps, (I have questions, you know?) and was pleasantly satisfied with the responses I received. Each one of them responded to my request in a timely manner, and efficiently resolved my issue.

I enjoy using all three apps, as it greatly expands my options to earn cash back.  Each app displays unique offers at particular retailers. While Ibotta promotes specific products to purchase, both Dosh and Spent allow you to earn cash back on any purchase you make, so long as you’re at the recommended retailer, of course.

See? Options! I love it!!!

At the same time, I have seen a few repeat offers that are available within all three apps. Make sure to compare rewards before you commit to one specific app. This is essential in order to maximize your cash back earning potential.

What apps do you use to earn cash back?
I’d love to know! Comment below!

Related:

 

 

 

3 Must-Reads for Self Empowerment

Learning to be a better person and grow often means stepping outside of your comfort zone. For me, my first step in better connecting with my inner self was to step inside of Barnes & Noble and head to the Self-Help section.

Self-Help sounds so daunting, but I was ready for a change. So I decided, comfort be damned! It’s time to learn and grow!

Below, I have included a few of my favorite empowering books. They’ve each had a great impact on my life, and I know they will for you, too!

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
by Mark Manson

Reading this book was what I considered my first official step towards personal growth.

I was not quick to purchase this life changing book, as it solidified that I needed help. I previewed the book several times before taking, what felt like, a giant plunge. Yet, I was ready for a change. So I bought the damn thing, and accepted the fact that sometimes, we all need a little help.

After 17 pages into the book, I was absolutely in love. I was smiling like an idiot! Who knew I needed read these magical words?!

The very first chapter teaches us Bukowski’s “Don’t Try” attitude, saying that we are what we are, and whatever happens, happens.

“In life, we have a limited amount of fucks to give. So you must choose your fucks wisely.”

I am so grateful that this was my first Self-Help book that I’ve read. I had always imagined that Self-Help books were extremely slow and painfully dull, but this was quite the opposite.

Manson’s writing style is very in-your-face, with a no bullshit attitude, which made my reading this so much more enjoyable.

 

You Are a Badass
by Jen Sincero

Much like my failure to commit to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, it took me nearly a year to read this! I had seen it advertised everywhere, and always wanted it, but always came up with an excuse as to why I shouldn’t buy it. Fear can be so crippling, can’t it?

Luckily enough for me, I have an amazing group of people around me. While visiting a friend’s house, the bright yellow cover caught my eye. Enthusiastically, I ran to the bookshelf, and squealed with excitement. I asked her if I could borrow the book, to which she laughed, and said, “You’re a dork. I bought that book for you and you left it at my house.” Like I’ve said before, friends who recommend books to you are the best kind of friends.

Additionally, that very same friend gifted me a You Are a Badass Talking Button for Christmas. I’m basically surrounded by badass-ery, which is totally fine with me 😉

Reading this created a spark inside me; a spark that I thought had died out long ago. I became inspired and hopeful and overall, (at the risk of sounding corny), EMPOWERED!

I’ve also praised Sincero’s other book, You Are a Badass at Making Money, in my previous post Top 3 Finance Books (So Far). Be sure to check it out!

 

The Magic of Thinking Big
by David J. Schwartz

As I have just finished this masterpiece, my mind is still buzzing with all the positivity and power that lies within it’s pages.

During my reading, I actively applied the lessons included towards my day to day life, and saw incredible results! I noticed positive changes in my personal life, work, and relationships. Everything just started clicking!

How you think determines how you act, and I am now fully committed to only thinking big. I only expect great things for me, and this book taught me that that’s exactly what I’m going to receive. And that’s the Magic of Thinking Big 😉

“Think doubt and fail.
Think victory and succeed.”

Most of this book spoke to me, and I took a lot of notes while reading. One of my favorite sections was the power of smiling, and how to harness that power. I have also mentioned the a few benefits that come from smiling, in my previous post, 10 Effortless Ways to Improve Your Days. Be sure to check it out!

At the very end, (pages 300-302), there is a recap of all the lessons included throughout the book. I highly recommend you read the entire book though, as you don’t want to miss out on any of the magic!

What are some of your favorite self empowering books?
I’d love to know! Comment below!

Related:

10 Effortless Ways to Improve Your Days

I recently read that Seattle has the 2nd most depressing winter in the United States. And then I got to thinking… How do I keep myself from being devoured in the Seattle downpour?

Related:

This year, I adopted a few new habits to help keep me in a positive state of mind as I’m facing the dreary weather that is rapidly approaching. These little tricks have greatly helped me so far. I know they can help you, too!

effortless ways to improve your days

1. Wake Up and Immediately Start Moving

It’s too damn easy to wake up and lay in bed for a few hours. I’ve found that by hopping out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off, I’ve already rewired my brain towards a day of productivity and overall well being. My very first action of the day is to walk down the hall and brush my teeth.

2. Morning Affirmations

I’ve written and displayed my personal morning affirmations near my bathroom mirror. I spend a good portion of my morning getting ready, so I found this to be the best place for them. I read my affirmations aloud every morning. It’s a mini-pep talk that inspires and motivates me to have an incredible day. My favorite:

fearless + morning affirmations

The best thing about affirmations is that they are yours. Get creative with your affirmations, personalize them to fit you. It’s your pep talk, after all.

3. Make the Bed

It’s simple. Too simple, really, but incredibly effective. I’m not going to elaborate. Just make your damn bed. It’s one small task that you’ve completed before you’ve even left the house. Look at you go, you task-completing badass! 😉

4. Drink Water As Often as Possible

Water is essential, I’m sure you know that by now. Personally, just the act of drinking water makes me feel better. It’s cleansing, refreshing, and is so important for overall health. And hey, if you’re feeling extra healthy, throw a cucumber or two in there.

I was gifted a Simple Modern water bottle from an old boss (bless her), and now I’m able to drink water continuously throughout the day.

Sidenote: I am in LOVE with this water bottle. At my current job, I’ve recommended it to everyone. Six of my co-workers have purchased one for themselves.

5. Smile at a Few New Faces

This one is usually the toughest for me. Making eye contact with strangers? Geez, it makes my palms sweaty just writing about it! However, I make sure to at least try. Smiling at a few new faces gets me out of my head (where I usually am), and helps me feel like I’m spreading joy. Smiling is contagious, and you never know who just might need to see a friendly smile.

6. Express Gratitude

A few years ago, my family and I decided to participate in a Grateful Challenge. It wasn’t very formal, just a group text where we would each list at least 3 things we were grateful for that day. I found that even on the hard days, I was always able to find small things that I was grateful for.

ThankfulI found this picture (left) many years ago, and cherish it dearly. It definitely puts things in perspective, and helps keep me humble.

For example, this Happiness Genius (what I’ve decided to call the author of this grateful gloriousness) over here:

“I am thankful for the taxes I pay because it means that I am employed.”

Well, listen. I’m going to be completely straight with you. This is not something I that ever thought to be grateful for, but this Happiness Genius may be on to something.

As I’ve always said, “I’ve learned, and am still learning!”

7. Reach Out to a Loved One

Because I’m a reasonable distance from a lot of my family and friends, I’ve made it a point to reach out to at least 2-3 of my friends and/or family each day. Knowing that I have people who care about me, both near and far, leaves a positive impact on my day.

Technology has made it vastly accessible to get in touch with just about anybody, and I’m all for it. I know that we all get busy, but I also know that it doesn’t take much to send a text or leave a voicemail and let someone know that I’m thinking about them.

8. Spritz Yo Self

A quick spritz of my favorite body spray or perfume does wonders for my mood. It’s a instant moment of bliss that leaves a lasting impression. My go-to scent right now is Very Sexy by Victoria Secret. It makes me feel… well, sexy! I also recommend Hawaiian or tropical scents. Those are especially helpful for me when it’s gray and gloomy outside.

9. Give a Compliment

The best way to have a great day is to help others have a great day, too! It is so easy to compliment others and requires little to no effort at all. So many people are walking around with their own insecurities (I know I do!), so why not help them to feel good about themselves? Helping others feel happiness will always improve your day.

10. Dance and Sing Whenever Possible

Imagine you’re stuck in traffic. (A horrible thought, I know.) Now, imagine your favorite song comes on. Ok, now it doesn’t seem so bad. You start tapping the steering wheel. The lyrics are flowing out of your mouth. Before you know it, your shoulders are moving back and forth; your foot can’t resist tapping along to the beat!

That’s the beauty of music. If you’re in a funk, put some music on. See how it transforms your mood. It makes even the most mundane of tasks (i.e. traffic!) a bit more bearable.

So do the damn thing, and remember to dance and sing along the way.

 

What are some ways you improve your day?
I’d love to know! Comment below!

Related:

Top 10 Reasons to Run

I fell in love with running in 2014 after my very first 5K. Perhaps it was because I was experiencing this with my family, or perhaps I fell in love with the warm sun kissing my face every stride of the way.

Whatever the reason(s) are, I feel so passionately about this freeing exercise that I want to share these good feelings with you.

1. It Gets Me Moving

When I first began recreational running, I’ll let you know that I was not fast… I was a slug. Actually, a slug may have been faster than me. Huffing and puffing was not my idea of a rewarding workout. Nevertheless, it got me off my ass.

2. It Pushes Me to do Better

After my first few runs, I thought I was quite the badass. A good run will always give you that feeling 😉

During the beginning of my running adventure, I celebrated the completion of running one single mile, “Oh, look at me, I ran 1 mile today.” There’s nothing wrong with running one mile; it’s one more mile than I was used to running in the past, but I suddenly found myself wanting more.

After speaking to some of my runner friends, I found that they were easily running five miles a day! The competitor in me thought, “Ok. Time to step it up. I can run five miles too.”

With that mentality, I made the decision to become a better runner. One mile was once an accomplishment, and for that I’m proud, but I wanted to be able to run further. Even now, I find that I am constantly working towards running further, faster, and better.

3. It’s a Community

As with any hobby, you find like-minded people who share the same interests as you. When you run the same trail religiously, you’re going to run into a few familiar faces! Why not make friends with them?

4. It Clears My Head

When my thoughts are spiraling, and I’m unable to articulate, I force myself to put on those running shoes. It’s far too easy to let my thoughts get the best of me, but by “running away” for a little bit, I’m able to quiet my screaming mind.

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5. It’s Free

Ah, yes. My second favorite F word 😉 It costs absolutely nothing to go out and run. Unless you run at the gym, in which case, you’re paying for the membership. Even still, what’s it cost? A dollar a run? Still a damn good deal, if you ask me.

6. The View

I do my best to run outside as often as possible. It’s a great big world we live in, after all, and I’m excited to explore as much of it as possible.

I loved running in California… Running alongside the ocean while the sun set is my definition of bliss. As an added bonus, I was also graced with a beautiful tan.

The view in the Pacific Northwest is a wonderful sight. With large trees and lush green forests, nature is overflowing out here. I’ve learned to take different routes on each run, as it allows me to see more of this wonderful place that I live in.

7. Endorphins

This is a given. Exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. Everyone wants to be happy! Running improves my mental well-being, as well as my overall physical health. Sounds like a win-win to me!

8. Health Benefits

There are many, many reasons why running is so great for your health. Running increases lung capacity, joint strength, and strengthens your immune system. Among other things, running is one of the healthiest exercises out there.

9. Runner’s High

Do I need to say more? If you haven’t experienced it, I’m telling you right now that you need to get out there and try your damnedest to achieve it. Runner’s High is absolutely euphoric.

10. I Feel Like a Badass

Running gives me a sense of empowerment. It makes me feel like even if everything around me is falling apart, I have this one thing that I can always turn to that will leave me feeling better than when I started.

As you can see, there are so many reasons to love running. It also doesn’t hurt that Achievement pays me to get out there and run around.

 

What are some of the reasons why you run? I’d love to know! Comment below!

 

Related:

Top 3 Thriller Books (So Far)

October has arrived! And you know what that means… Halloween is right around the corner!

Because of all the glorious ness that is upon us, I’ve been inspired to share my Top 3 Thriller Books (So Far). Enjoy!

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Haunted: A Novel
by Chuck Palahniuk

This was my first experience reading Palahniuk, and I was NOT disappointed! Palahniuk is a brilliant author, and well versed in many subjects. I cannot wait to read more of his work.

Haunted includes short stories from the different characters who are “trapped” inside a writer’s retreat.

Each story grew more and more grotesque. If you’re looking for something that will twist your stomach, and shift your view of reality, read this.

 

Final Girls
by Riley Sager

Absolutely amazing! I was suspicious of every single character. Even the main character, Quincy!

Final Girls follows Quinn, a single survivor from a horrific massacre that occured at Pine Cottage. She unwillingly becomes part of a “Final Girls” club, which includes other survivors of their own terrifying bloodbath experiences.

Since that terrible night, Quinn has resorted to a simple life, hidden from the world. It’s only after the suicide of the first Final Girl, and an abrupt reunion with another Final Girl, that Quinn has to relive the horror that took place at Pine Cottage.

Incredible, and perfectly written. Final Girls had me plowing through, desperate to find the truth.

 

The Woman in the Window
by A. J. Finn

I didn’t bother putting this one down. I have a tendency to read stories about women who drink themselves into oblivion, and I can honestly say that this was one of my favorites!

It starts off interestingly enough: An agoraphobe, Anna, watches the lives of her neighbors though her window. Seems creepy, so I already like where this is heading.

She witnesses a murder at her neighbor’s home, and after a frantic 911 call, her reality quickly spirals. The police don’t believe her story; her neighbors think she’s mad; and she truly can’t trust anyone.

There are several twists, and harsh revelations. To be honest, most of my reading was done with my jaw on the floor.

What are some of your favorite thrillers?
I’d love to know! Comment below!

How to Survive Seattle Winters

As the seasons are changing, I’m reminded of my first winter in Seattle.

Transitioning from sunny Southern California to rainy Seattle was a bit of a culture shock. However, I was determined to prove to myself that coming here was the right move. Rain or shine, I was going to thrive in my new environment.

Here, I have provided some products that helped me. I know they can help you, too!

Surviving Winter While Indoors:

Until you’re brave enough to brace the cold, you may be indoors for awhile.

Sun Lamp

An absolute necessity, since the sun rarely makes an appearance. This gem was recommended to me from a few different co-workers.

This lamp simulates the sun’s natural light, provides some vitamin D, and even boosts your mood.

I put this in the corner, and set up a reading nook. Even as I write this, I can feel the warmth on my face. It truly feels like you’re soaking up the sun. #ILoveLamp

Kindle Fire

The constant downpour and dreary weather had me feeling a little down. I knew no one, so I re-Kindle-d (pun intended), my love for reading and sat underneath my sun lamp.

You have the option to purchase books from the Kindle store, or download a library app and check out ebooks. They download straight to the Kindle, so you are never without a book!

The Kindle Fire can also function as a tablet, which is an added bonus.

Fuzzy Slippers

My house is entirely hardwood flooring. And I will have you know that hardwood floors do not provide any insulation whatsoever!

These slippers saved my toes from freezing off. I loved the feel of faux fur on my bare feet, and found extra comfort when I also wore these with thick socks.

Heater

An obvious one 😉 I brought this bad boy into every room with me. If you haven’t guessed by now, I don’t like being cold. This magical device allowed me to keep California temperatures in my Seattle home.

Surviving Winter While Outdoors:

Remember to layer up! It’s cold out there.

Umbrella

Ella, ella, ella, aye! (Thank you, Rihanna!)

I learned very quickly that an umbrella is crucial to surviving Seattle winters. In Seattle, it rains an estimated 150 days per year. Yikes!

To compare, let me tell you that super sunny California gets a whopping 36 days of rain per year.

So believe me when I tell you with no exaggeration that this was a huge culture shock to me. During my drive from California to Seattle, I caught my first glimpse of the non-forgiving rain. It just kept falling!

Rain in California is brisk, and light. Rain in Seattle is brutal. It takes breaks for no man (or woman). Seriously. An umbrella is essential.

Winter Coat

I moved out here with one single coat. Yes, you read correctly.

My Northface, which I love dearly, was simply no match for the weather. So I upgraded to this beauty on the left, and am absolutely thrilled.

I chose a longer length, to help shield my unsuspecting legs from the drizzle and provide extra warmth. In addition to my thermals that I wore underneath, my legs remained dry and unphased.

I love, Love, LOVE the faux fur hood, (which detaches), because it helps keep my ears warm. And if for whatever reason I’ve forgotten my trusty umbrella, I have the hood to protect my head from the rain.

Trust me, it’s always raining.

 

Rain/Snow Boots

I brought with me my Beach Feet boots, which I whole-heartedly believed would keep my feet warm and dry through the day. I’ll tell you right now that was I wrong.

I came to this realization when I had gotten out of the car, was standing in the parking lot, and wondered why my feet felt wet. The reason my feet felt wet because they were wet. The soles of my boots were completely worn out! I remember thinking, “Oh, for crying out loud! This rain is attacking me from all angles!”

It’s a bit funny to think about now, but at the time, I was quite frustrated.

So I purchased my very first ever rain/snow boots. I fell in love with these boots because they served their purpose, and kept my feet dry. The length is perfect, as it also protects my legs from the rain. The rubber design keeps them waterproof, which, I obviously care deeply about.

 

My first winter here was emotionally difficult, but these simple things helped me through it. I knew if I persisted, I could make the best of my new habitat. I’m predicting this winter will be a breeze 😉

How do YOU survive winter?
I’d love to know! Comment below!

 

I Chose Me

Recently, I made the decision to end a childhood friendship. Initially, and naturally, I hesitated. But today, I feel empowered. Today, I feel strong.

Our friendship was intense. He was, at one point, my rock. However, our relationship slowly but steadily became less reliable as we grew older. After many years, I ultimately found that I was not a friend, but merely, an object.

The real problem here, is that I kept allowing this type of behavior to continue. He would call, and I would come running.

“What you allow is what will continue.”

He has made several attempts to contact me, and immediately, I would panic. (This is not a normal response when a “friend” reaches out to you.)

Finally, I chose to cut him loose. This type of “friendship” does not put my mind at ease. It does not make me happy to hear from him. And with these realizations, I chose me, first.

Growth is incredibly difficult, yet unbelievably gratifying. It is painful to let go of someone you once cared for, yes, but I urge you to take a step back. Ask yourself the questions you’ve always been afraid to ask.

You do not need to keep anyone or anything that keeps you from feeling your absolute best.

Today, I feel empowered. Today, I feel strong. These feelings of freedom and liberation all came from simply cutting out the negativity.

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Cheers to growth!
For you, and for me.