Hope can never be lost…

September 10, 2010

Hey everyone… I’m sure by now you’ve heard at least something about the wild-fire (Four-mile Fire) which continues to threaten Boulder County.  The fire started in an area I’ve been to for work and the home that I visited there is now gone a long with over 160 other properties over nearly 7,000 acres of land.  So far everyone is accounted for and we are no longer missing anyone from those areas.

My co-workers have been doing their best to re-locate the victims of the fire, and local home-owners and apartment communities have been very accommodating.

This picture captures only a fraction of the darkness in the sky and was taken Wednesday afternoon.  Up until yesterday the sky has been dark gray with smoke and ash since Monday.  It instigated such an ominous and overwhelming feeling and I’ve felt an intense anxiety from the very beginning.  I can’t help but take on the experience of others with extreme empathy.

After a full day of working in Boulder hearing so many personal accounts, and breathing in what will forever ruin that camp fire aroma, both Jason and I were ready to go home and pray for it to end.  No more than five minutes into our commute the universe granted a sign of hope.  Through the fields and darkness existed a beautiful double rainbow.

Take this for what you will, but yesterday I posted my new page 500 Square ft of Love which included this picture of my vision board which Jay and I made over three weeks ago.  For whatever reason, I included a picture of a double rainbow (which you can see more clearly if you click directly on the image).  Again, the purpose of a vision board is to focus your intention on particular goals, and positivity.

I now see the purpose of my posting that picture on my board was my request for hope.  Hope in my own life, and in the tragedy of the Four-mile Fire.  The fire has not yet been 100% contained, so I thank you for reading and for sharing your own positive thoughts for the families affected by it. ❤

Thank you, Ladies

August 23, 2010

Last week, I received a beautiful card from a wonderful friend.  Inside, was a note more valuable to me than anything else I can imagine.  It brought me peace and a lasting smile.  What more can you really ask for…? Inside, she thanked me for having been there for her when things were difficult in her life.  She thanked me for being who I am which was a reassurance I’ll admit… I really needed right now.

I immediately responded and mailed out a Thank You for her Thank You.  This actually isn’t the first time this has happened to me.  A friend from work left me a similar note on my desk the week before we all left for college.  I’ll never forget certain parts of that letter and the feeling it left me with… the feeling of having touched someone’s life without really knowing it.

I was lucky enough to have women in my life that shared this with me, but it makes me think:  If we all were able to realize the impact that we have on the lives of others, would it change how we view ourselves?  With all the turmoil we deal with on a daily basis, if your smile, laughter, and kindness can benefit others I’m willing to bet things might just feel better on the home-front as well.

I’m dealing with a lot of things I can’t necessary control right now.  It comforts me to know that someone’s thinking of me fondly and remembering how much I love them.  I wanted to do the same this week so here’s my next DIY project.

You will need:

  • 5 or more Thank You cards
  • 5 or more stamps
  • And a lot of love in your heart/pen.
  • Post its + Sharpie for Operation Beautiful notes!

I’m choosing to write thank you notes to five women who have touched my life and made me a better person simply having been in their presence.  I encourage you to do the same.  🙂

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It’s official folks!  I can finally close the door to my experience with The Twilight Saga.  Farewell Miss Bella, see you when the next movie comes out! 😉

Obviously, you all know I thoroughly enjoyed these junk-food reads and part of me is sad that I don’t have the option to pick up another.  But, there’s a larger part that is excited to move on to the next!

I started Eat. Pray. Love. recently and I’m IN LOVE with it.  She’s so insightful and honest.  I have so many “aha” moments reading her mini chapters, and my eyes well up when she introduces meaning to such simple concepts and complicated feelings.  I toyed around with the idea that I’d post about all my favorite Eat, Pray, Love quotes but there are just SO many!

I have to say that one uncanny coincidence appeared to me a few days ago while I was enjoying a chapter in the Italy section of the book.  She’s learning to speak Italian, a language which she finds so incredibly beautiful that it brings her happiness to hear it spoken even when she finds happiness in little else.  She often writes and translates little phrases throughout the chapters and she literally wrote several passages about “L’arte d’arrangiarsi” …the art of making something out nothing.

I had to stop reading and consider the fact that perhaps everything really does happen for a reason and sometimes the universe

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decides to show you in tiny little ways.  And, its up to you to notice and believe in them.

I relate so heavily with her up and down battle with depression, loss, and search for self discovery after the wreckage.  I’m happy to have stumbled across her memoir.  I started the second part of her book yesterday (India) where she’s been talking a bit about how everyone who searches for enlightenment needs a “guru” and I believe that you’ll come across many in your life.

As of right now and for the time being, I believe I’ve found mine in the form of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Yesterday was amazing! A huge thank you to everyone who stopped by and checked out my site!  I’m so happy that I got to participate in The Operation Beautiful Movement this week on HTP and to celebrate – I picked up my very own copy of the book!  We drove into Boulder to a really fun Borders and walked around for a bit in the out door mall.

I’ve decided I simply can’t wait to start reading while I knock off the other two books on my Summer Reading List so I’m going to read Operation Beautiful each morning on my little porch and start my day with the encouraging words of positive and strong women from all over the country and world.

In my own journey, I’ve realized that how you start your day has a strong ability to impact your  outlook which can help you stay motivated in a positive manner when you face obstacles as the day goes on…

Affirmation of strength and beauty sounds like a great addition to any morning routine, don’t you think?

Other morning activities that help me start my day off on a positive note are:

  • Yoga
  • Taking the puppy for a walk.
  • Jogging/Running
  • Catching up on my girlie shows while Jay’s still sleeping.
  • Delicious coffee (compliments of the coffee fairy).
  • And of course, reading on my little porch. (*I found these little patio accessories on clearance at Target*)

Being outside really centers me in the morning.  Colorado weather is really interesting.  The mornings are SO crisp and cool and the mountain air is so refreshing.  From our porch you can even see our little piece of the mountain view.  (As I’m learning during my stint in “real estate” ….mountain view of ANY kind = HUGE selling point). 😉

What’s your morning routine?  What helps you kick start the kind of day you envision for yourself?

I want to start by saying that by writing my own blog and through the encouragement of reading other blogs such as these (Operation Beautiful and Healthy Tipping Point), I’ve found the strength to keep going this past year.

These two blogs have taught me an invaluable lesson.  Negative self talk is both unnecessary and within your control to extinguish completely.

I grew up surrounded by negativity and it weighed heavily on my own development and in many ways it still does.  I learned quickly not to listen to the negative talk of others, but didn’t set clear boundaries within my own mind.

Somehow I let the voices of those who should have been closest to me manifest into what I now know as Negative Self-Talk.  For years I let myself tear my own accomplishments, appearances, and goodness to pieces and never did I feel anything was worthy of anything better.

I’ve since made changes within in regard to my self image and living a healthy lifestyle in terms of nutrition and fitness is to thank for that.

However, I still have miles left in my journey away from Negative Self Talk….one that I’m sure will never truly cease to exist.

Positivity is something I strive toward with every fiber of my being and its comforting to at least know that much.  Every year of my life prior to this one has had me fighting a battle I’ll never win.  I can’t fight the negativity of my past, but only accept it and embrace that positivity I so desperately crave.

This year may have set me back financially for years to come, but I’m happily in debt to the clarity I have thus gained as a direct result of my physical and emotional journey across this country and through the depths of my own soul.

I am releasing my own demons little by little, day after day.  I can feel myself shedding the weight of my past rather than holding on to that which only serves to hurt me.

I have you my friends, the lovely and ever positive blogging world, and myself to thank.

Every day I remind myself I am a beautiful and capable person inside and out.  I make mistakes, but doesn’t everyone? I’m proud of how far I’ve come and I will continue my life as a survivor, never a victim.

This is my favorite quote and I think about it’s wisdom almost daily.  Her words make a great Operation Beautiful note!

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt (Including yourself….)


Afternoon kiddos… I just wanted to take a minute to ground myself and share a moment of clarity I had earlier today.  As, you know things are getting better for us (will be getting better for us), but because my job actually costs a lot of money in gas up front and I won’t be reimbursed until my first pay period which I still haven’t experienced yet – things are still REALLY tight.  So tight we ended up down to our final dollar once again.

After catching up on a ton of bills with Jay’s last check, we ended up with less than we needed wanted, and had to cancel a few fun meetings we had scheduled for the day in Boulder to save enough gas to get us through Friday of this week.

It was pretty disappointing at first.  The kind of disappointment where your tummy just feels like losing its cookies and you’re heart beats slower while your eyes well up just enough to prove how strong you are not to actually cry.

Okay, that might come off a bit dramatic…but in the past year we’ve given up so much to just to survive and we’ve made a large effort to enjoy life in the process.

Without giving away too many secret details, today was supposed to be about US and planning our future together.  -Well the start to that process anyway.

We could have let our empty bank account defeat us, but I noticed today that we have far too much experience in this matter to lose a fight that easily.

If today was supposed to be all about US, then money certainly can’t change that! Plans and meetings can be rescheduled and there’s plenty of time with which to do so…

  • It doesn’t cost me a cent to spend quality time with the man I love right from the comforts of home.
  • I’m not charged by the kiss, hug, or cuddle.
  • No over draft fees on taking my dog for a walk, or cooking dinner with my soon to be husband.
  • It doesn’t take a monetary value to prove to me that I’m the richest girl alive simply by loving another person unconditionally and who loves me in return.

I’m really proud of how far we’ve come in terms of our attitudes, perseverance, and positivity.  It’s not an easy task to hold on to that towel when it seems so easy to just throw it right in!

There are a lot of things I wish I could change and I’m haunted by many of them.  But, what gets me through no matter what the circumstance is trying to focus on what I can control and having faith in myself that I’ll find the means to rectify the rest if I never stop trying.

Oh, and obviously french bread pizza doesn’t hurt! Gotta love meals you can tweak into being healthy a dollar or so at a time!

This has been another after school special brought to you by our sponsors: The Recession! 😉

Hey guys! Hope your day has gone well …but in case it was sub par for any reason my next coffee recipe is sure to give you a fresh start tomorrow!  I came up with it in TX when I was school-sick for my cafe mochas, coffee shops, and friends.

I didn’t have a dime to my name during my Texas experience and actually, I still won’t until I get my min.wage pay check at the 1st of the month!  I’m not complaining though because A. I know I’ll be able to start catching up on bills very soon even with my tiny paychecks (money is better than no money) B. In the meantime, I can always passively look for a higher paying job, and C. If there’s a way to experience something that appears to be out of my reach…..I can usually find a way to recreate it for less.

The example here being “The Home-made Cafe Mocha!” It actually has potential to NOT go straight to your hips believe it not lol

My Cafe Mocha usually includes:

  • French Vanilla coffee grounds
  • Local honey
  • Chocolate (non-dairy in my case) milk in place of a creamer
  • And possibly the most important ingredient being Cocoa Powder! I usually do about 1/2 – 1 T depending on the size of the cup.

It’s so simple and inexpensive I really don’t know where my favorite coffee shops across the US get off charging $4+ dollars for it!  Since I’ve made my coffee experiments and discoveries, I guess you can I’m down to just being friend-sick.

In other news:  I feel the need to re-cap yesterday’s events post-Keurig Love Affair.  Let’s see….first there was work drama (yes, on my day off) …it was legit drama and a pretty unsafe situation so I won’t go into details here, but I was really lucky for having experience in this type of situation from previous jobs.  I handled it like a champ, it’s over, and I’m alive.  Moving on… :)

Next, we went to our previous cell phone provider to discuss why our cell phones had been disconnected two weeks after Jay paid our bill.  Well, needless to say no one knew anything in the store, no one knew anything on the out-of-state customer service line, and now we are in the process of pulling our bank records to prove that they in fact received our payment (but neglected to put it toward our bill thus shutting the phones off, and disconnecting our lines).  Fabulous.

Sometimes, it’s good to just know when to get out.  Which is exactly what we chose to do.  We’re going to take care of our end and see what happens, but honestly we live penny to penny as it is just for the basics of what we need so the fact that this major corporation has taken this money without services provided really upsets me, but there’s no need to dwell.  I’m just trying to focus on what I can control which is finding another provider and the proof that we were wronged.

Thankfully, we didn’t give in to how upset we were and we headed straight to another provider that would cost significantly less per month and they set us up no problem!  It was SUCH a relief because having a phone is very important to my current job and VERY important when trying to look for any other job.

I’m convinced that our day began to turn around the moment we decided to not give in to that initial negativity and decided to make a change rather than make a scene lol

After that, the rest of our busy errands went smoothly and things are really starting to come together.  The remainder of the month is still going to be penny-penny but that’s nothing new and I’m not afraid!

We decided we should really do something fun with our day off together after such a busy day and Jay suggested we use my Mum-in-law’s gift that she sent to me last week.  She’s so cute and supportive.  She sent me this card with a little note that told me to go see, “Eclipse,” and some mula.

So, that’s exactly what we did! It was so much fun- we had the theater to ourselves- and Jay really liked it ;-) ;-) Or, maybe he just really likes me…. either way!

Well, I’m off to fill my belly with some creamy pasta…it’s been a LONG couple of days.  Thanks for reading today’s massive post, I hope you have a fabulous night!

How do you cope in a high stress situation?  Do you feel like negative/positive energy has any effect on the outcome?  Positivity and redirection are my weapons of choice (even for myself).

I've got the golden ticket! 😉

The author of Lemons for Fools and my high school friend heard about my lack of coffee pot + lack of funds to replace said coffee pot and out of the absolute GREATness of her heart has sent me an extra from her home.  But, not just any extra – a Keurig!  I feel so fancy!

We have most of the country between us so I wasn’t sure how long it would take to reach me here in Colorado.  I’ll admit I’ve childishly checked my mailbox every day for a note from the post office.  My body mind and spirit have been craving a cup of coffee in the mornings for months and thankfully my own personal coffee fairy has come to the rescue!  Last night, when we got home from our longest day of the week, I found the “sorry we missed you” note in my mailbox!

Instant energy and excitement.  The note said I could pick up tomorrow any time after 8am, so obviously I was there waiting at 7:45 to claim my grown-up prize!  😉

Last week we picked up a little bit of yummy coffee in preparation.  I’m trying “caramel” flavored grounds!  I stood in line at the PO for quite some time mingling with all of the cute elderly early birds.  This adorable package was so much fun to accept and carry out proudly.

I fastened my new bestie in the passenger side – look how huge it is – and headed home to get started on my new Keurig love-affair.

I quickly cleared some counter space kicking the mini-food processor and toaster to the curb cabinet space.

I don’t know how this is possible, but I had never heard of Keurig products until my coffee fairy told me that she was sending me one!  IT…..IS…..AMAZING!

They brew one-cup-at-a-time which is incredibly perfect for me because I’m the only one in my house-hold who drinks it.  No more left over burnt coffee and messy clean ups!

This morning’s coffee included:

  • Caramel flavored coffee grounds
  • 1 1/2 T Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Texas Honey (haven’t finished up my local honey from Austin yet, I can’t wait to pick up some Local CO honey though for new state allergy purposes!)

It was incredible!  Ever since I fell in love with the infamous “caramel latte” I’ve wanted to find a way to recreate it at home for a matter of pennies rather than the RIDICULOUS $4+ dollars most coffee shops charge.  I’ve since mastered the “cafe mocha” -will reveal in future posts- and today I have to say I came pretty darn close to caramel coffee heaven.

I don’t think I can thank you enough coffee fairy.  This truly makes me so happy….I’m not even sure that I can fully describe how this has already improved my life in being able to start my days with something that I love.

Sometimes -most of the time- it’s the little things in life that make all the difference.  And for me this “little” thing is huge.  But even more important than having my own coffee in the mornings, knowing that there are people out there willing to help someone else so directly makes me feel empowered.  I’ve been through a lot in the past year and this act of kindness means the world to me.

I can’t wait to find a way to pay this forward and to personally thank my friend and coffee fairy 😉

Has anyone ever done something so special for you that it just made you heart melt?

How did you find a way to pay it forward and thank them?

Healthy Living Q&A

July 10, 2010

Hola!  I have to tell you I was worried trying to come up with a topic for tonight’s post.  I was feeling pretty drained from work + the heat BUT not to worry because tonight’s post is entirely inspired by some of you!

Lately, I’ve been getting a few messages asking me about healthy living, fitness, and life-style changes vs. dieting.  I could probably ramble on and on and on about these topics, so I think I’ll do just that!  I didn’t entirely intend on this space being used as a “food blog” but I don’t like labels anyway!

I’m going to try to include more of my personal food and fitness choices in more of my posts since I’ve realized there’s interest!

So, be prepared to see more smoothies, baking, vegetarian alternatives, and healthy substitutes in every day meals.  I’ll admit though that at times our budget allows for mostly pastas, rice, and potatoes all paired with an assortment of veggies.

But, in the spirit of Making Somethin Outta Nothin – it’s truly less expensive to eat whole and healthy foods in times of financial trouble.

I’m not kidding!  Frozen fruits + veggies, boxed (whole) potatoes, boxed brown rice, and whole grain pastas are truly what have gotten us through this past year.  But, we were able to eat healthily during the hardest times which made us stronger, happier, and able to persevere.  There were times that Jay’s mother would get upset thinking that we weren’t eating, but there were very few times I actually worried about food.  The above ingredients go A LONG WAY! 🙂

Okay, short and sweet tonight folks.  I think I may even fall asleep on the ride home.  NOT to worry! Jay and I carpool and I will be calling the passenger seat!

Have a great night everyone, + please post any comments, requests, or questions that you may have!

A Smoothie Jumpstart!

July 8, 2010

I don’t think I mentioned this before, and it is in no way a pleasant thing to share.  But, I experienced a bit of food poisoning last Saturday and my body is still playing catch up!  -which includes various other unpleasant things.

So, that combined with the fact that I neglected to feed myself yesterday until about 7pm encouraged me to start today off with a stellar smoothie.

My smoothie contained:

1 banana

1 cup spinach

A handful of frozen mixed berries

½ cup orange juice (loads of pulp)

½ cup vanilla almond milk (side note: supah tahget gave me three months of almond milk coupons which will make my milk roughly 50 cents a week…I feel like I’m in the 1950’s or something – just a healthier version haha)

All of that nutritious goodness was definitely a shock to my somewhat empty system, but long-term effects are what I’m after.

I had a natural peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread for lunch this afternoon, and apple sauce with cinnamon for an afternoon snack.  Last, but not least Jason and I are rocking the Morning Star veggie burgers tonight for din probably with some mashed potatoes on the side.  Ta – da! Today’s somethin’ outta nothin’ recipe for a damaged and slightly neglected digestive + immune system.

You’re never at your best if you neglect what your body needs.  Last night my body needed rest.  Today, gave me a fresh start at taking care of whatever goes on inside.

I have some stomach issues that I usually can control entirely with what I eat.  I don’t take any medication (thank fully… still no health insurance in sight lol) and it feels so empowering to know that most typical stomach issues especially are within my control to fix or at least manage.

If my ulcer is acting up (and nothing crazy is currently at my doorstep) it’s usually because I’ve OVER-indulged in something that aggravates my body to the point where it lets me know pretty aggressively 😉

If I’m experiencing some anxiety, I know that all I have to do is step outside with my pup and take a walk or run releasing endorphins, clearing my mind + perspective, and calming my heart rate once I recover from the work-out.

So many things that seem hopeless are in our control to change and I think sometimes we fail to see that when we are most overwhelmed.  I refuse to fall victim to the hands I’ve been dealt in life because nothing is irreversible.  Am I right? Acceptance for the things I cannot change, gratitude for the people and things that I have present in my life, and drive to continue trying every day despite obstacles are my ingredients for personal relief inside and out.

On that note – Jay’s about to close up shop for the night.  I’m hoping to take the pup out for a little stroll while the master chef grills those veggie burgers.

Thanks for reading – Love you all.

Has zero health coverage or some other event in your life instigated a new way of relating to an issue?  I actually enjoy non-emergency alternative solutions to various mental and physical health.  I prefer the natural approach to modern medicine in most cases, especially when it rules out a quick fix and gives me options for changing my lifestyle.