Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Importance of Validation

Validation. What is it? It’s getting feedback from others that “what I do and say matters to you or has helped you.  You think of me. You acknowledge my accomplishments. You appreciate ME."

In my recent blog post I mention the fact that it's OKAY to need a little validation sometimes. We all want to be the kind of person that doesn't NEED validation from others. As much as I believe our happiness and confidence should come from within, I also believe that it's OKAY to need a little love, positive words of encouragement and acknowledgment from others sometimes. We need people, God made us that way and we should embrace it. We can't be on this journey alone and still be our best. 


Validation provides us with something amazing. It gives us energy, makes us happy, motivates us to keep going. We don't have to wait around for others to give it to us though, we have the ability within ourselves to create that same kind of positive energy. Any validation from others is just icing on the cake. So when realizing this, we MUST do our best to provide validation for others and allow karma to take hold. The more we give, the more we receive. If we're not getting the validation needed, then we must take it upon ourselves to provide it. Not desperately seek it out of others. 

I've mentioned before that sometimes I get caught up in the comparison game. There are so many wonderful bloggers and authors out there and sometimes I feel so small compared to them. But God doesn't want us to compare. He doesn't want us to feel like we have to be a trail blazer at all times. Although there is already so much good content out there, I shouldn't feel like I don't have anything unique to add. What I need to remember is that although most everything I'm doing has been done before or said before, the difference is that it hasn't been done by ME! It's common messages paired with MY background and personality. That's what makes it different. I have to remind myself of this regularly. Satan is good at what he does. Just when we think we have it all together and confident in our pursuits, he's right there to say "you're no good so just give it up already". 


It seems like every time I start feeling down about my blog and wanna just throw in the towel. Then is when I'll receive a sweet reaffirming message from one of you telling me how much you've appreciated my blog, or how it's inspired or motivated you in some way.  Serving others is one of THE most fulfilling endeavors in this life. 

So your messages give me that needed validation, proof that what I'm doing serves a greater purpose beyond myself. I also think it's God's way of keeping us from giving up on worthwhile endeavors. His hand is in all things and I've witnessed this time and time again. So thank you for being my supportive group of friends that keep me from giving up.

February Challenge

14 Days of Loving Yourself


Thank you to my friend Heather who suggested that in honor of Valentines Day, we should focus on Self Love. I'm actually really excited about this and TOTALLY need to work on loving myself more.
To be completely honest, I lack confidence more than I’d like to admit. I struggle with self doubt due to the comparison game. I cannot seem to shake this one but determined to master it. I think most women can relate. One minute we're feeling so confident and secure, then in walks a beautifully flawless women and suddenly you feel like the ugliest women in the room. This is what I do to myself in the blogging world. 

February's challenge couldn’t be more perfect for this time in my life. I want to love and appreciate my own unique gifts and talents. I want to be inspired by the success of others instead of allowing it to bring me down or make me feel inadequate. I wannabe CONFIDENT!

“You should never be the smartest person in the room. There’s always going to be somebody who’s smarter to learn from — and that’s a good thing.”

"Your piano teacher was right: practice does make perfect. “The best way to build confidence in a given area is to invest energy in it and work hard at it,” says Schwartz. Many people give up when they think they’re not good at a particular job or task, assuming the exertion is fruitless. But Schwartz argues that deliberate practice will almost always trump natural aptitude. If you are unsure about your ability to do something — speak in front of large audience, negotiate with a tough customer — start by trying out the skills in a safe setting. “Practice can be very useful, and is highly recommended because in addition to building confidence, it also tends to improve quality. Actually deliver the big presentation more than once before the due date. Do a dry run before opening a new store,” says Gruenfeld. Even people who are confident in their abilities can become more so with better preparation."
-Amy Gallo

Do:

  • Practice regular positive self talk.
  • Say Exactly what you mean.
  • Stay away from negative people.
  • Let go of what you can't control.
  • Be honest with yourself about what you know and what you still need to learn.
  • Practice doing things that aren't always easy or comfortable.
  • Embrace failure! Failure IS success!
  • Stand tall and practice good posture.
  • Smile
  • Be grateful
  • Exercise


Don't:

  • Worry about what other people think.
  • Be a people pleaser.
  • Speak badly about yourself.
  • Give up!
  • Be afraid to say "NO".
  • Be afraid to say "YES".
  • Focus on whether or not you have the ability, instead focus on the value you provide.
  • Hesitate to ask for validation if you need it. It's OKAY to ask for honest feedback.
  • Be afraid to try new things.
  • Judge others, it's a reflection of what you think about yourself.


Use the prompts below to participate in the challenge. Be sure you’re all set up on Periscope because some days you will be doing a Periscope video. Always use the hashtag #wannabeconfident so that we can connect with each other that way. If you have not done a Periscope before then be sure to introduce yourself and post your username in the Wannabe Balanced Facebook group.



1. Love Letter to Self (read daily)
Write a love letter to yourself. Be very detailed and write it as if God is saying these things to you. After all, God is the greatest source of love and we should be opening ourselves up to receive his love on a daily basis. So be sure to read this letter DAILY!

2. Periscope: What are your Gifts and Talents? I want to hear what you know to be your God given gifts and talents.

3. Pamper Yourself, take a long bath with candles, give yourself a facial, manicure, pedicure, or go get a massage. Just do something that makes you feel good about yourself.

4. Go for a walk while saying positive affirmations. It’s always a good idea to be alone in nature and give yourself some positive self talk. Notice the beauty and thank God for all he has given you. Praise yourself for the challenges you’ve overcome, or the choices you’ve made that turned out to be a really good thing. Give yourself credit for a job well done and at the same time, thank God for guiding you and giving you the strength to endure.

5. Periscope: Tell us about something you did that you're really proud of.

6. Every time you look in the mirror today, give yourself a compliment.

7. Cultivate a morning routine that includes alone time with God. There’s nothing like the peace you find in the quiet hours of the morning. My day goes SO much better if I can wake up before the kids and have a little quiet time with God. I thank him for increasing my understanding and ask him to guide me as I go about my day.

8. Periscope: What gives you purpose? What do you enjoy doing that gives you great satisfaction and fulfillment?

9. Exercise hard today! Push yourself extra hard to recieve the euphoric feeling that comes after a job well done.

10. Periscope: Share a healthy habit you'd like to incorporate into your life. Could be something as simple as drinking an extra glass of water each day, or adding a new super food to your diet.

11. Enjoy the sunrise with positive affirmations. The sunrise is one of the most amazing things to witness. Most the time I’m too caught up in the book I’m reading, or my journaling that I don’t even look up to take it all in. 

12. Periscope: Share a recent "Tender Mercy". What kinds of little miracles have you witnessed in your life within the last week? Are you noticing all that God is providing for you? A lot of times God answers prayers through the voice of another person.

13. Listen to happy music and dance. Oh how I love listening to music. It’s an instant pick me up. I’ve kind of created a ritual in my house. I love to turn the fire place on, light a candle, and play some music. It instantly lifts my spirit.
14. Happy Valentines Day!!!! Share a picture that best describes “LOVE”. 

Please share this, heaven knows we ALL need it. Let's help each other reach greater heights of confidence and self love. 
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Make Your Own Kefir

How To Make Milk Kefir

You all know about my new found fermented food craze because I'm always talking about my love for KOMBUCHA. Of all the cultured food and drink I have been experimenting with, Kefir is by far the easiest one to create. Basically all you need is some Kefir grains, you can buy them on Amazon, and milk. I know many people experience discomfort when consuming dairy, myself included. So although I do drink Kefir, other than that, my diet is basically dairy free. I never have any problems when I drink Kefir, the reason is because it's lactose free because the bacteria has eaten most of it. 

Kefir has much stronger probiotic benefits than your typical store bought yogurt, PLUS it is practically sugar free. Usually yogurt from the store is packed full of sugar, and most yogurts are pasteurized, which means that most of the enzymes and helpful bacteria have been killed off.  I read that Kefir has 30-56 strains of bacteria, and store bought yogurt has less than 10. 

Health Benefits of Kefir:
  • Enhances digestion
  • Treats yeast infections
  • Promotes well-being
  • Helps lactose intolerance
  • Supports immune health
  • Reduces asthma symptoms
  • Reduces allergy symptoms
  • Eliminates constipation
  • Promotes deep sleep
  • Acts as a natural antibiotic




What You'll Need

Ingredients
1 cup milk, preferably whole fat 
1 teaspoon active kefir grains 

Equipment
1 pint-sized glass jar
Cheesecloth, paper towel, or clean napkin
Rubberband
Small strainer (preferably plastic, but metal is ok)
Storage container with lid

Instructions
Note: Avoid contact between the kefir and metal both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your kefir and weaken the grains over time.

1.               Combine the milk and the grains in a jar: Pour the milk into a glass jar or cup (not metal) and stir in the kefir grains. 



2.              Cover the jar: Cover the jar with a plastic lid, cheesecloth, or a paper towel, and use a rubber band to hold it in place. 

3.              Ferment for 12 to 48 hours:  Leave the jar out on your kitchen counter or pantry for a day or two. When the milk has thickened (looks like drinkable yogurt) and tastes tangy, it's ready. This will usually take about 24 hours at average room temperatures (between 68-72 degrees F); the milk will ferment faster at warmer temperatures and slower at cool temperatures. 

4.             Remove the kefir grains: If you'd like to use the Kefir right away then place a small strainer over the container you'll use to store the kefir. Strain the kefir into the container, catching the grains in the strainer. 



5.              Transfer the grains to fresh milk: To make your next batch of Kefir just stir the grains into a fresh batch of milk and allow to ferment again. This way, you can make a fresh batch of kefir every day. To take a break from making kefir, place the grains in fresh milk, cover tightly, and refrigerate.

6.              Drink or refrigerate the milk kefir: The prepared milk kefir can be stored in the fridge for many months but it's best to consume it within a week for optimal probiotic benefits. 

Second Fermentation

Like Kombucha, Kefir can also undergo a second fermentation that improves the nutritional value as well as the taste. This process can be done with any fruit or spice. Basically all you do is add a flavor of choice then allow to sit at room temp once again for just a few hours then place in the fridge until ready to use. I like to add some fresh or frozen strawberries with a bit of cinnamon. 

There are endless ways to be creative with Kefir. My kids and I love making Kefir smoothies, and I have lots more fun ideas I will share with you here on the blog. Stay tuned...




Thursday, January 28, 2016

Revitalize Your Hair

As you all know, I'm obsessed with anything healthy and natural, and even more obsessed with Green Tea. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out about this incredible hair care line that has it all. All natural ingredients, infused with green tea, smells amazing and leaves my hair feeling healthy and beautiful! Check out www.tea42beauty.com to find out more about these incredible products and to purchase some of your own. Don't you just love the packaging? So cute right?


"Over the years, caffeine has gone from merely something that gets you out of your jammies and into that Warrior’s pose, to a remarkable champion in the beauty cause. Because of its energizing capabilities, it’s a common ingredient in many replenishing cosmetic and beauty products. Caffeine invigorates the body in such a way that it helps deliver crucial vitamins and nutrients to skin cells and hair follicles, thereby rejuvenating them and promoting production of healthier, stronger hair.
One of the most antioxidant-rich sources of caffeine is tea. While it comes in all kinds, some caffeinated, some not, what all teas have in common is their healthy influence on the body. These beneficial effects have made it perhaps the most universally beloved beverage all over the world. Uniting these healthy teas with our pure, signature caffeine and combining them with tried-and-true elements like humectants, antioxidants and DHT* fighting ingredients, Tea42 has created a powerful synergy in every bottle that treats a multitude of hair types and encourages renewed youth and vitality by nourishing the scalp. A healthy scalp equals healthy hair!
Just like you can visit a tea shop and select a flavor that fits your mood or health cravings, we invite you into our blend bou-tea-que to peruse a variety of infusions we’ve created using tons of tea-inspired ingredients and our own potent caffeine. Join the revolution and let your hair drink in one of our custom, targeted creations. The results will feel so good, you’ll want to put the kettle on and brew up a lather every day!"
*DHT – dihydrotestosterone – a hormone that can come in contact with hair follicles. It can lead to nutrient depletion and shrinking of the hair follicles causing thinning, brittle hair.

Here's a picture of my hair after using the products. My hair feels so healthy and with the root spray I felt that it gave me lots of volume. Drinking my KOMBUCHA of course:).