Confidence: Superwoman, Starfish

Many people say “confidence is key,” and in many situations it is true. Every day you may be faced with challenges, decisions, and opportunities. And every day it is your confidence that drives you forward; that lets you face those challenges, make those decisions, and take chances on new opportunities. Without confidence, risks would never be taken and we would always be stuck in our own little circle of repetition.

Even when times are tough, having confidence can help guide you through. I personally feel that everyone should find their own inner confidence every single day in order to make it from point A to point B, or simply go to bed with a smile on your face. That’s where superwoman, starfish comes in!

As you may have heard, our body language can have a major impact on our mood. For example, it has been proven that if you smile you will begin to feel happier. When you smile, even if it is fake, your brain believes that it is a reaction out of happiness. It then releases more chemicals into the brain which actually makes you happy.

When you stand in a “superwoman” position, legs shoulder width apart, hands on hips, chest up, you begin to feel more confident. The superwoman position allows you to feel powerful and therefore makes you more confident. The “starfish” position does the same thing. In the starfish position, you stand firm with your arms and legs spread. Extending and opening your body is associated as a power position throughout many species. Think of it as claiming what is yours and reaching for everything around you.

If you stand in these positions for a few minutes every day, your mood will increase and you will feel overall more confident. I encourage you to start every day as a starfish, live every moment like superwoman, and fall asleep with a smile on your face. If you need more confidence in your life, try standing in these positions and see how it works for you!

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Ginger Detox

Hi everyone! Pinterest has always inspired me to try new things, especially all things health and fitness related. My Pinterest feed is full of crazy health fads that I always want to try but never quite get around to doing. Finally, I have decided to test out one of my Pinterest inspired tests: detox.

I have found so many recipes for daily detoxes so I decided to go with a simple, cheap one. The original recipe only had three ingredients: unfiltered apple cider vinegar, honey, and water. I tried this out for a day but even with the sweetness from the honey, the apple cider vinegar was a little strong. So I decided to improvise by adding pure, home made ginger juice. Ginger is great for your stomach and has a lot of other health benefits too!

I bought a ton of ginger for only 4 dollars. I pureed all of it (not bothering to peel it) in a food processor and then strained it over a bowl through a clean kitchen towel. I was hoping to maybe get a cups worth of juice but to my surprise I got a whole 2 cups!

I haven’t been using any specific measurements for each of the ingredients but in general I usually use a teacup that holds about 8oz of water. While the water is heating up, I pour 2 cap fulls (about 2 teaspoons) of the apple cider vinegar into the cup and then add about 4 squirts of honey. Then, I add a splash of ginger juice, pour the hot water over the whole concoction, stir, and sip!

The ginger juice is really strong so I only put a little bit in each batch of “tea” but just enough to mask the strong vinegar flavor. I have been doing this detox twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, for a few days now and it has been going pretty good! I haven’t noticed any differences so far and I’m not sure what to expect but I will keep you updated!

Transitioning Meditation

Hey everyone! If you have been following my hobby posts then you know that I began doing mantra meditation a while ago. Its been a while since I’ve done an update on my trial run of meditation so I thought I should let everyone know how its going.

Originally, I was supposed to do the manta meditation ever day for 40 days without a break in between. Unfortunately, I was unable to keep up with it. I only go around the beads every once in a while before I go to sleep , when I’m in a good mood or need a pick-me-up after a rough day. I haven’t completely given up on doing mantra meditation, but I can honestly say that I am not crazy committed to it either.

But I haven’t given up on it! Even though I haven’t been doing mantra mediation, I started another type of meditation and so far I have kept up with it. Holosync is a very easy type of meditation where all you have to do is listen to a tape. The “music” is basically the sound of rain with some bells dinging in the background. These sounds are specifically laid out to rewire your brain by affecting your brain waves. Holosync has been shown to increase your mood, relieve stress, and improve your life overall.

There are many levels to Holosync and the process goes on for years. I currently am on level one which you listen to every day for 6 months before upgrading to level two. I have been listening to Holosync almost every day except on the few occasions when I stay over a friends house. So far, I haven’t noticed any changes since I started listening to it because it takes years and years to show significant results. However, I plan on continuing to do Holosync because its so easy! All you have to do is listen to it while you fall asleep. Sometimes I even do mantra meditation while I listen to prevent my mind from wandering. If I continue to listen every night, I will be able to advance to level 2 by November.

Wish me luck!

Drinking More Water

Hello everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while but its finally time for another self improvement post!!

Drinking enough water is something that I have personally struggled with my whole life. When I was younger I used to HATE drinking water because I would always get stomach aches. As stupid as it sounds, the problem  was that I wasn’t drinking it correctly. In fact, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized I should change the way I drink water. On the rare occasions when I would drink water, I would chug a cup as fast as possible. This would always make my stomach hurt and made me believe that water just wasn’t for me. I would do some sort of physical activity, drink a lot of water, and then find myself with really bad cramps. That is when I finally learned the secret to water; SIP!!

Even if you never went through the same water struggle I did, I bet you don’t drink enough! Every day you are supposed to drink 64oz of water to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Staying hydrated allows your body to naturally detox. Its also well known that drinking enough water improves skin, prevents headaches, and increases mood!

Even though I still don’t always get my 64oz every day, I have gotten a lot better at managing my water intake. One thing that makes drinking water easier is to get a cute water bottle or tumbler! Always having water available is the first step to getting closer to 64oz. If you keep water at eye level you are guaranteed to to drink more of it!

Another important step you should take towards improving your water intake is to cut out all other liquids. Although I was never a soda addict, I would have a Sprite here or some juice there when going out to restaurants or hanging out with frineds. Now, the only things I drink are water and decaffeinated green tea (which counts as water with added antioxidants). Even if your not drinking enough water, its a HUGE step towards improvement if you make water the only beverage in your life.

There are also lots of cute and helpful apps that are great for motivating and keeping track of water intake! Some of my favorite include “water my body” and “plant nanny.” Give one a try if your looking for that extra reminder to get some sips in.

So lets give it a try! Even though I have been working on my water intake for a while, I still have been struggling to drink enough. Try drinking more water and cutting out other beverages for the next month and see how it affects you! So start sipping!

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Sleeping on Your Back

Hi everyone! Its been one whole month since my last self improvement post! Have you managed to master perfect posture over the past month? If not, that’s  okay! I am personally still trying to work on my posture to actually perfect it. I have gotten a lot better at sitting with my feet flat on the floor instead of crossed. But between you and me, I still find myself standing with my weight unevenly distributed. Even though the month is over, I’ve noticed that I am more conscious of my bad posture and plan on continuing working on it.

Anyway! Now I have another new self improvement challenge for you: sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back is overall better for your body. It allows all of your organs to rest in a more natural position. When you sleep on your side you allow gravity to pull on all your insides in a direction they are not usually pulled. Also when you sleep on your stomach, you are putting all your weight on all of your organs and causing everything to be pulled forward. Not only does sleeping on your back improve what is going on inside your body, it also improves whats going on outside. If you are a persistent side sleeper, than you are not only letting gravity pull your insides to the side, you are letting gravity pull everything to the side. It’s been shown that people who sleep on one side have more sagging in their face. Also, if you prefer sleeping on one side more than the other, than that side will look slightly more baggy than the other.

I have been working on sleeping on my back for a while now and I’m finally getting better at it. Just the other day I woke up in the exact position that I started in for the first time! I noticed tat morning when I woke up that my stomach looked and felt slightly flatter because gravity was pushing down on it through the night rather than pulling it down or to the sides. Thats an added bonus! One tip I used to switch from a side and stomach sleeper to a back sleeper is to start slowly and build up. Begin by laying on your back each night for as long as you can until you absolutely need to turn over. Eventually your time will build up until you are able to fall asleep and make it through the night.

Also, I found that the temperature of the room was very important when trying to change my sleep position. Since you are changing your normal sleep routine, it is important that you make the rest of your sleeping experience as comfortable as possible.

For me, putting bulky head phones on prevented me from rolling over along with laying on my hands under my thighs right below my butt. I also found that sleeping with the blankets a little tighter arund me helped me stay in place.

Honestly this self improvement challenge is a really hard one and it may take more than a month to get it down perfectly, but I know you can do it! Try these tips for the next month and eventually you will be sleeping like a pro!

Continuing Meditation

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Hello everyone! If you read my recent post Beginning Meditation, you know that I recently decided to start doing mantra meditation. I’ve been doing it for about 2 weeks now and I should let you know, its HARD. I figured that mantra meditation would be a very easy form of meditation because rather than clearing your mind you are actually focusing on something. But I was wrong!

Sure I can repeat the same phrase over and over again 108 times easily. But the hard part is focusing on what you are saying. If you don’t pay attention to your mantra then you are not actually meditating! I have been doing my meditation right before I go to sleep and I noticed that while I was repeating my mantra, my mind was continuously wandering and thinking about other things. Because I am repeating the same thing over and over there isn’t a lot to focus on so I had to keep bringing back my attention to my mantra. Trying to stop all my thinking while my mantra was being repeated in the background like a broken record is definitely the hardest part of meditation.

I would really like to get all the benefits I can out of meditating so each time I do I try to improve my meditation habits. One thing that I found helped me focus on my mantra was to pay attention to the words I am saying out loud. Focusing on the pronunciation of the mantra gave me something to think about so I didn’t lost in other thoughts. Also, I tried saying the mantra out loud and in my head at the same time. Although my mind still is wandering, little adjustments like these really help to keep your focus where it should be. The last thing that really helped me focus was to take some deep breaths before I begin meditating. Before I begin, I try to calm down my mind and let go of whatever I am thinking about. I make a little agreement with myself that I will have plenty of time to think and let my mind wander after I am done with my daily meditation.

So far, I am really enjoying the meditation experience. Sometimes I am really tired and I don’t want to meditate, but I have found that I am a little more relaxed once I do it so I have been falling asleep a little faster. At this point, I wouldn’t call myself a professional, or even someone who can successfully meditate, but I definitely think I am getting there! If I keep working on it, soon meditation will be easy

 

The Secret to Healthy Hair

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Hi everyone! After years and years of living with frizzy, greasy hair I have finally discovered the secret to healthy hair! Nothing!

Its true. The secret to perfectly healthy hair is to let mother nature take care of it for you. I know everyone knows the general healthy hair mantra “Less heat! Less product! Thats the secret!”And it’s true that using less of these hair damaging materials will give you healthier hair, but I have found that taking it a step further and limiting the use of ALL things is the true secret.

I’m sure many of you have heard the “no-shampoo”fad that people have been begining to get really in to. And I also bet that half of you cringing at the thought of living with dirty, unwashed hair for long periods of time. But let me be the one to tell you: IT WORKS! Whether you have heard it a thousand times and refuse to believe it or this is your first time hearing about the no-shampoo routine, I HIGHLY recomend it to everyone! I have been washing my hair only once a week for about three or four years now and it has honestly completly changed my hair quality. In the years before I changed up my haircare routine, I used to have really bad friz that was impossible to mannage. I got into the habbit of wearing my hair in a pony tail every single day just to avoid the halo of stray hairs around the top of my head. I also suffered with having hair that constantly looked greasy no matter how often I washed it. A few months after switching from washing my hair every day to once a week, my hair had a entirely new personality!

When shampoo cleans your hair, it lifts up your hair cuticals on the hair follicle in order to get inside and remove any dirt or grease. This allows the shampoo to clean hair, however it strips away all of your natural oils and also leaves all of your hair cuticals open which creates more fragile and brittle hair. Washing your hair less allows your natural hair oils to stay where they belong and give your hair that natural shine and strenght! Also, when you constantly strip away your natural oils by using shampoo, you hair produces more natural oils to make up for the loss witch will cause your hair to get greasy faster.

Just to warn you, if you are thinking about switching to a no-shampoo lifestyle, it will be difficult at first. Instead of imediatly switching from washing every day to not washing for a week, try slowly washing less and less over time. At first, your hair will be very greasy since it will be replenishing your natural oils from your years of constant washing. But there is hope! After washing less and less, over time your hair will stay cleaner longer since it will not be producing any extra oils. Although it may take a few months, you will be able to go longer and longer without washing and looking like you don’t own a shower! I am able to wear my hair down for half of the week and then in some cute up-do’s the rest of the week. I also use a simple diy dry shampoo after the second or third day near my roots to avoid a major grease build up.

When I said the secret to healthy hair was to do nothing I wasn’t kidding! Besides washing, it is also better for your hair to brush it less often. Brushing your hair, especially when wet, can cause major breakage and lead to split ends. try leaving your hair natural more often and avoid the brush. Sometimes all you need is a quick comb near the roots and you have a simple, beach wave look. Just like giving up washing your hair every day, this also takes a little bit of time to see results. At first you might hate your hair after skipping your usual brushing routine, but over time your hair will show its natural waves or curls and will grow healthier and stronger!

I bet many of you are skeptical, but changing my hair care routine to “lazy and simple” is honestly one of the best dicisions I have ever made. My hair has never been more healthy!

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Beginning Meditation

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I’ve been inspired! Here we go again! I was scrolling through pinterest when I found someones plog post about mantra meditation. I have always wanted to be able to meditate but even the thought of clearing my mind seemed impossible. Mantra Meditation seems a little easier to me than just your classic “sit-there-and-clear-your-mind” yoga that I’ve attempted to try in the past.

Mantra Meditation was just something I stumbled upon while scrolling through pinterest and I got some basic info on the general idea. Basically you have to choose a mantra for yourself and repeat it over and over. Your mantra can be about anything but it should be something important to you. It could be anything from “I want a new car” to “I want to become a stronger person”. Once you have decided on your mantra, you begin your meditation. First you have to get a set of 108 mala beads. Mala beads are often used for meditation and its basically like a necklace of 108 beads. You go around the necklace and for each bead you say your mantra. Sounds easy, right? Well, theres a difference between just saying your mantra over and over and meaning it. If you want to see actual results in your life

After reading about it, I’ve decided I’m going to give it a try! You have to do 40 days of meditation and if you miss a day you have to start over. I think its going to be difficult but I plan on sticking with it for the 40 days. I always rush into new hobies and get supper ambitious so I am going to try and hold off on buying $100 mala beads!

About a week after discovering mantra meditation I finally found the perfect mala beads. I got them on etsy for about $50. I felt like I was waiting forever for them to come in so I could get started and they finally came in yesterday! Im so excited!

I’ll keep everyone posted on my new phase and hopefully will make it through the 40 days! Wish me luck!

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Self Improvement: Posture

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Hey everyone! I’ve decided to start a new little series about self improvement. Now I know everyone is all about the “health craze” that has been going and I absolutely agree that people should be healthy. But I also believe that not everyone needs to make drastic life alterations and change their entire lifestyle to be healthier. My goal is to develop new habits to better my own life one piece at a time. It takes 21 days to develop a habit so once a month I will try to improve one new thing about myself. Although each little habit may be minor, together they can have some major impacts on your lifestyle. So I hope everyone will join me in trying to develop new habits (or break old ones) to overall become better, healthier people.

So my first little challenge that I think everyone can improve on is better posture. Not only am I talking about sitting up straight, Im talking to everyone out there who puts their weight on one side when they stand.

Having a better posture helps reduce back and neck pain caused by muscle strain from slouching. Sitting and stannding up straight also helps work out your core and allow better blood flow through your body.

For my job at a local Japanese restaurant, I end up doing a lot of standing. I’ve recently gotten into the habbit of turning my feet inwards and putting my weight on the outer sides of my feet. Now I know everyone says that good posture is better for you and no one listens, but I know standing like this can’t be good for me. So I encourage all of you to flatten those feet with me. For the next month, try standing with your feet parallel to eachother with your weight balanced between both legs. At first this will be difficult but standing with my feet wider (about hips width apart) is really helpful for keeping my weight ballanced. The farther apart you have your feet, the harder it will be for your to put all your weight on one side. Trust me your hips will thank you.

Now for the hard part, sitting up straight in a chair. My biggest advice for mastering sitting up straight is to flatten your feet on the floor. I have a habbit of crossing my legs which causes me to sink down in my chair a little. I can usually sit with my feet flat for a few minutes before it gets uncomfortable. For some reason, when I sit with my feet flat it makes me feel like I need to get up and move around. If you feel the urge to cross your legs try getting up and walking around to loosen your legs up and try again. Its better to take breaks without reverting back to your old sitting habbits. But if you aren’t in a place where you can just get up and walk around try tapping your feet! Even though most people tell you not to tap your feet, its been shown that any movement is better than no movement. Not only will you be working on your posture, but also be burning a few extra calories from all the walking and tapping you’ll be doing.

I’ve been trying to work on my posture for the past few days in preparation for this post and its honestly really hard. But trust me! If we keep it up, and work at it we will get used to it! Let me know in the comments below any tips you have for mastering good posture!

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The End of Bread

Hi everyone! I just wanted to do quick post following up on my bread adventure. Sadly, I have not made bread again since the first time. Although I enjoyed the whole process, it is actually really hard to fit the timing into my schedule. Making the dough requires that you let it rise for a certain amount of time over and over again. Even if I do get a good starter going, part of me is avoiding the 15 minute knead. I’m not sure when I am going to make bread again but I definitely plan on it. Part of me feels like it’s really cool and rewarding to say that you made bread from scratch with only the most basic ingredients.
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 I definitely plan on picking up bread making again! Whether its in a few months or in a few years, bread is something that I don’t want to give up. Even the not so perfect bread still looks beautiful as you can see above. Now I have the right to say I MADE THAT! And I am so proud of it.