Tag Archives: inspiration

Fantastic Friday: A Little Happiness

It’s not often that I share videos with the blogosphere. For the most part they end of being a time-suck. However, I received a video recently that changed the type of day I was having.

My best friend sent it to me and Mike and I watched it together. Now that we live in Southern California, where the sexy people gather, it has even more meaning to us.

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Friday by Design: Where In The World Is AHappyLass?

I love social media. There’s something awesome about the fact that I can take a photo of the gorgeous flowers on my dining table and project that image to all my friends and loved ones. I guess I feel that it’s another way of encouraging people to live a more optimistic, thankful, healthy life. Or to at least help them get in that mindset for the 10 seconds they’re looking at my flowers.

So I’ve made it even easier for you, my loved ones and fellow bloggers, to connect in different ways. Check on the panel on the right for all the sites you can follow me on.

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I hope you’re all planning a wonderful weekend. Love and a big smile – Ash

Mindful Monday: What’s Beautiful About You?

My sisters and I had a skype conversation last week. They had just been on a hike and, in talking to each other about what they want to do with their lives, they both became very inspired. They called me for some advice, “we want to help people (women especially) with their confidence issues, how should we do it?” They already had a bunch of great ideas and we worked over a few details. They will, hopefully, be starting work on their campaign in the next couple months.

Around the same time, I got an email from my mom. She sent me a link to this video. It made me cry, of course. Watch it. It’s three minutes you won’t regret using. Continue reading

Thursday Book Review: The Happiness Project

It’s time for me to give this book the space it deserves. I have written about it in two posts already (April Goals and Healthful, Happy, and Loving Project) so my regular readers know how much I love it, but let me give you some details.

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The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, is for every person of every type of life. If you think you can get more happiness out of your everyday routine, or if you’re just looking for a bit of motivation, read it!

Basically it chronicles a lawyer turned author’s year-long quest to make a happier life for herself. What I love about it is that she decided she already loved the pieces of her life: her kids, her hubby, her location, etc, but she wasn’t as thankful for them and she knew she should be. How many of us are guilty of that? It’s probably why you read this blog (and any other blog) in the first place. You are trying to improve your life without seriously changing it.

And we have all tried. Goodness have we tried. Personally, I set goals pretty frequently but rarely do they make an impact on my life. That’s because they aren’t tangible resolutions. That’s a key phrase: tangible resolution. It has to be a resolution not a goal because goals only exist until you reach them, resolutions are forever. And you have to lay out tangible steps to make these resolutions a reality. Otherwise they will never stick.

Commandments^ Here’s my list of rules for my Happiness Project.

And here’s and example of my resolution: I want to lower my overall stress and anxiety level throughout the day.

My tangible steps to reach that goal: I will build in a walk or breathing meditation, some quiet time, in the middle of everyday so that I have a few spare minutes to reset my stress-meter. And it’s working!

Basically, this book is an inspiration. Rubin spent an entire year figuring out how to make her happiness a reality. She researched and then she experimented. She laid out a plan and then went for it. The sheer determination and will power it took to keep those resolutions was massive, I’m sure.

I have recommended it to several patients and now I’m recommending it to you. Any self-analytical and driven person should read this book. Check it out from the library, buy it here, or just follow Rubin’s blog! And no, I’m not getting paid for this, there are just things in life that deserve attention.

And if you read my blog with any regularity, you’ll see me implementing these resolutions myself. Mine need some work but I’m on the right path! I’ll keep you all updated. In the meantime, have a stellar Thursday 🙂

Love and a big smile. – Ash

 

Friday Fun Times: Ice Skating!

Our lives were becoming stale. Wake up groggy and still tired, go to work, come home and eat dinner, watch tv, go to bed, repeat. It’s even boring writing it! So Mike and I decided to institute date night. For those of you that know us, you know that we didn’t go on our first date until we were 4 months into our relationship and living together. The whole graduation/moving to Illinois thing meant that we did things kind of backwards. SO, we have no idea how to date each other!

Of course, we are very short on money, so we have been exploring Peoria in a frugal way. Last Friday we went out to dinner (ordered only appetizers because they’re cheaper) then went ice skating! I told Mike that he had to arrange this one and, considering that he’s the romantically challenged of the two of us, he did a fantastic job.

There’s a rink right around the corner from us and it cost $6 each for ice time AND rentals. WOOHOO!

 

^ As far as I’m concerned, humans were not meant to have blades on their feet so I stumbled across the ice like a dancing baboon. Mike, however, is one of those people who is good at everything and he jumped on the ice and started skating backwards and doing turns and hockey stops and blah blah blah. I was slightly envious but also very proud of my man 🙂

‘Twas a great way to spend a Friday night. Cheap, cheerful, and sweat-inducing.

What do you do for a cheap date night?

Thursday Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

Yesterday I forgot to say Happy Halloween, so….HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I hope you all got lots of awesomely dressed trick-or-treaters. We got one (Darth Vader) and he looked very confused when we gave him dried fruit leathers. Haha.

Also, today I am on my way to my first ever business trip! Me and the three coworkers are headed down to Orlando, FL for 4 days for a conference on health, wellness, and leadership. I’m actually kind of excited 🙂

On a totally different note, here’s the post for today:

This recipe is grain-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free. Sounds disgusting right? WRONG. I had heard rumor of the awesomeness of Spaghetti Squash but this was my first experiment with the pretty yellow gourd. I decided, since it’s already in the name, to make Spaghetti and sub the noodles for squash.

Mike and I were a little wary but jeez it’s good! A little time-consuming because the squash has to be cooked for a while but other than that it’s super easy.

Ingredients (makes 3 servings):

1 spaghetti squash

1 can crushed tomatoes/tomato sauce

1 lb ground beef (grass-fed) or organic ground turkey/chicken

2 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp butter

salt and pepper

Instructions:

Cut the squash in half and cook at 450°F (230°C)  for 45 minutes. While it’s cooking, simmer the tomato sauce, beef/poultry, and garlic.

When the squash is slightly brown, take it out and go at it with a fork! It’s easier than it looks, I promise.

Mix the noodled squash with the butter, salt, and pepper.

Top with the cooked sauce and enjoy!

It’s a great evening meal because it doesn’t spike your insulin levels like normal pasta does. Keep those sugar and carb levels down before bed!

Smile, it’s almost Friday 🙂

Motivational Monday: Your Personal Victories?

Well good Monday to you my friends. I woke up about a half hour ago. Mike had already left for work and it was still dark out. GROSS. However, sitting here writing this post, I’ve realized that when you wake up in the dark, you get to watch the sunrise. PRETTY.

Yesterday was a very emotionally balanced and content day for me. I had a few personal triumphs and learned some new things about myself. I hope to carry this feeling with me throughout the week. If I can, I know my confidence and happiness will radiate off me and maybe help make someone else’s day. So here’s a list of what I’m happy about:

1. My 5 year old hardy favorite leather belt is officially TOO BIG! I hate scales so I never step on one. I just try to eat and live as healthy as I can and hope that maybe my body will follow. Well it is! I have lost some significant weight since I moved to Peoria and started living right. I’m stoked 🙂

2. I closed out one of my three credit cards today! YES! I have some major credit card debt and have been plugging away at it since I entered the working world. Today I finally got to see some of the fruits of my labor. 1 down, 2 more to go.

3. On Friday, I got my haircut altered a bit. It was feeling very 90’s soccer mom so I went in and asked for something edgy and fun, but also classy. She gave me a faux hawk! I love it so much and it’s helping me overcome my insecurity of having short hair. Only a really awesome, really fun chick can have a haircut like this so I’m just trying to embrace it. And it’s working!

Anyway, those are my personal victories to carry through the week. What are some of yours?