Tuesday, August 19, 2014

4 Ways Not to Measure Your Happiness.

Shirt- c/o Howling At The Moon, Pants- c/o Joe Fresh, Shoes- Piperlime, Purse- Kate Spade, Bracelets- Threads

I get it because I'm right there with you. Our journey through life can get hard, and all of us crave the feeling of happiness. That's why we're here, right? To feel happy. In order to feel happy, we also have to know what it feels like to experience its counterpart. And that's part of life too, to overcome, get through, and grow up. 

I think a lot of people struggle with happiness because they gage it wrong. The more articles I read on popular websites about what really makes people happy, the sicker I feel. 4 things I have found to truly be no measure of true happiness, are 4 things that I commonly read about that claim to make you happy.

Here are Four Ways Not to Measure Your Happiness:

1- By the things you have- Do you have 100 pairs of shoes? Do you have 1 pair of shoes? If you are truly a happy person, that number won't matter. It won't matter what you have, or what you think you need… happiness can not be bought, and that is a concept that we have forgotten. We look at pretty images online, see outfits tagged on Instagram that could fund a college tuition, are constantly told we need more, and what's new is even better than the original. Listen, things don't change who you are as a person. They don't change your inner core of happiness, and if you think otherwise, then you are merely giving yourself an excuse as to why you aren't happy in the moment. Don't compare what you have to what others have, and don't think one way of living is better than another and therefore only one type of person can be truly happy. Count your blessings, and don't focus on material gain. Bigger is not always better… and, in fact, it will never be better if you aren't happy on the inside. 

2- By basing it on future events- I've met so many people who say something along the lines of, "when this happens then I'll be happy", or "if I was married, or done with school, or had a better job, or blah blah blah blah blahhhhhhhhh." Shoot, I fit into that category as well. We all look ahead, we aspire to be and hope to have, all the while forgetting the blessings in our current circumstance. The problem with always looking to the next thing, is that nothing is ever good enough, and you find yourself chasing your tail in a game that never brings true fulfillment. What's happening in your life now? If you feel like theres nothing, then create something. Create memorable experiences with your family, learn a new skill, do something to improve your life now. And then enjoy it.

3- By focusing on yourself- So many articles are written about what you need to do for yourself, or how you need to spend time pampering yourself and escaping life. I would like to suggest, it's not what you can do for yourself, but what you can do for other people that will bring you true joy. Service is the true joy giver. Spend a day lifting someone else up, and then tell me that you still feel terrible. It's merely impossible. If you live a life engulfed in only benefiting yourself, then I question you, are you truly happy? I won't be easily convinced that you are.

4- Discrediting the little things- ice cream. pool days. little kid giggles. fresh sheets. clean water. new friends. crazy adventures. learning experiences. days off. the ability to work. teaching your children. spreading kindness. There are so many little things that if we just took a second to recognize, it would be impossible to feel unhappy and ungrateful. Gratitude and happiness go hand in hand. Give yourself credit for the little things, give God credit for giving you those things, and find happiness in them.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Breakfast On The Go Smoothie Recipe

Happy Monday!
I've been really sick the past 2 weeks, and have had to get creative with how to get food in my body...
I've been concocting smoothies left and right and wanted to share this one with you.

-Handful of spinach
- 1 large banana
-Handful of strawberries
-Cup of apple juice
-5 ice cube
-Half a packet of cran-rasperry CocoaVia
(CocaoVia ® comes in two convenient forms: Vegetarian capsules and single-serving powdered stick packs)

Blend it together and enjoy! This will supplement your breakfast and is a great way to start your day. I just started using CocoaVia. You can purchase it here or find a store near you and more recipes here.

 Cocoa flavanols are powerful phytonutrients, or plant-based nutrients, naturally found in cocoa beans. Scientific studies demonstrate that within a few hours of consuming a product with cocoa flavanols, the cocoa flavanols enter the body and start to support your cardiovascular/circulatory system.  Although all chocolate is made from cocoa beans, not all chocolate or cocoa-based products contain cocoa flavanols. That’s because cocoa flavanols can be easily damaged by heat and humidity. You can read up on more benefits here. Get 20% off your purchase with code ChocLovers20.

It's giveaway time! Create a unique CocoaVia® recipe and share it in the comments to enter for a chance to win a CocoaVia® prize pack! The prize will include a CocoaVia® prize pack that includes two month supply of Co-coaVia® capsules and two boxes of CocoaVia® Dark Chocolate and Fruit Variety stick packs.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

3 Things That Country People GET.

Shirt- ℅ Mason & Belle, Pants- ℅ Mason and Belle, purse- ℅ Windsor, Bracelet- Threads

Mason and Belle is giving you $20 off your order with code "SPLOVESMB20"!

Mason and Belle is making me nostalgic for a little getaway to the country. The first time I ever experienced real, country living was for 7 months in the back woods of Kentucky. Accents so thick I just wanted to pinch everyone's cheeks off and drink lemonade on peoples porches that I didn't even know. Which, I was often invited to, because people in the country are friendly, and have time to be together, and aren't caught up in the rat race of life. 

I'll never forget the first county fair that I went to, where I also experienced my first funnel cake.
Why had life been holding out on me for so long?
And deep fried oreos… And horses and dirt roads and you guys! I need a trip to the country!

3 Things Country People GET Better Than The Rest Of Us:

1. Life isn't about being in a hurry- I'm always in a hurry, and I am not a patient person. At first, when I was in the midwest, I would get so frustrated with the lack of hustle and bustle that there was. It took me a while, but one day I realized, this is beautiful. This simple, full of gratitude for the little things type of lifestyle is what everyone needs. I'm happy there's people who value slowing down.

2. There are no strangers- I've never felt so welcome in homes of complete strangers as I did in the country. They don't care who you are or where you come from, they'll give you the shirt of their hard working backs. Some of my most treasured friendships where found there.

3. Family first, everything else… second- They do things together. They spend time outside and teach important skills to their family. They hold highly their relationships and if anyone messes with anyone in the clan… they better watch their back ;)

Mason & Belle is NEW and is an online only brand and shopping destination (the only site out there that caters specifically to the country girl who loves fashion). Mason & Belle is a country lifestyle inspired young women’s apparel brand that reaches a specific niche by exuding a country girl’s point of view, combining fashion right style with down to earth attitude. It is strongly visual, 100% digital, a brand that speaks directly to a young country gal who identifies herself with country tastes, tones and values.

Monday, August 11, 2014

To The Robin Williams' of The World:

A few years ago I was making my same, daily drive.
I passed the elementary school next to the freeway, and saw something very long hanging from the only tree that the desert had to offer. I double glanced, to make sure it was what it seemed to be.
It was a man, hanging by his neck from a rope. 
Immediately I started to cry. The whole scene was very overwhelming and it really impacted me. I became obsessed with the news for the rest of the afternoon, trying to learn about what happened. A recently divorced, father of two girls, hung himself in an affluent part of Phoenix where he lived.
I felt sad for him, for his family, and wondered how long he had been suffering to make the decision that it would just be easier not to live. I wondered if anyone ever reached out to him, if he had close friends, and if this was a complete surprise.

Today when I learned the news about Robin Williams, I was in complete surprise. A man who was known for his comedy and who made his way into the hearts of people and families across the world was suddenly gone. Mrs. Doubtfire was the first movie I ever saw that had a bad word in it and I replayed that tape over, and over again. I always made sure to see the movies that Robin Williams was in. They were sure to be good, funny, and something about that man just lit up the screen. He seemed happy. He was open about a recent alcohol addiction that he was battling, and was seeking treatment to overcome it. He had a wife, kids, fame, money… everything that looks really, really good from the outside. Robin Williams would be the last person I would ever expect to want to end his life… I think we all feel that way which is why the news today has been so shocking.

Robin Williams represents thousands and thousands of people who battle with depression, mental illness, and addiction. I would imagine that it's very hard to put a number on the amount of people who battle with these things, because most of them seem to have it all together from the outside looking in.

I can't help but think what went wrong? Could anything have stopped him? How did he get to this point? I don't think that these are questions that answers will ever be found for, nor is it right to pass judgement and speculate. So I won't do that. But here's what I will do:

To all of the Robin Williams' of the world,
I hope you know that you are very, very brave. 
You are also loved, prayed for, admired and thought highly of by a lot of people in your life.
And while I can't fathom the amount of torture and seclusion you must feel within yourself every day, you're not alone. The demons you face are real, and your struggle is valid. I'd like to think that somewhere along your journey the light will shine down on you and answers and help will come. Darkness can't last forever, but while you're in it, know that you are not alone.

I've been trying to think what can I do? I know there are people in my life who battle with these things, and people I know who I wouldn't ever even imagine fight this war. My only conclusion is to just be there. Sometimes it's scary to have conversations with people when they don't recognize they need help, but it's a lot less scary than the potential outcome. While I may never fully understand the turmoil and pain that accompanies depression and mental illness, I know it is real, and that my job is to show up and keeping showing up with my love, support, and endless open arms.

RIP Robin Williams

And may peace find all of you who experience darkness on a daily basis.
I have so much love for you all. xoxoxo