Monday, June 30, 2014

Why Not You?

Have you ever looked at someone and thought "wow, I wish I was more like him/her?"  Or, "they look so put together, I bet they have it all figured out."  How about "they have a great figure, I will never look like that."  Maybe it's this - "They are so successful, I could never be achieve that level of success."  My question for you today, friend, is this ~ WHY NOT?  WHY NOT YOU?

Who says you can't be more like that person you admire?  Who says you can't get it all figured out?  Who says you can't have a great figure & look like that person you wish you did?  Who says you can't be successful?  My guess is it is YOU.  You are the one telling yourself those things.  I know I was the one who told myself that.  No one was telling me I couldn't....I was telling myself that.  Did you know most things are learned skills?  It's true - if you study something long enough and try it, you can do it.  Will it be easy?  Probably not.  Will it be natural to you?  Maybe, maybe not, but you CAN do it.  Will you be just like them?  No, because God made you YOU for a purpose and a plan.  You can certainly glean skills and traits from people you admire and implement them if you choose, but you have to be you.  There is only one you and you are here to fulfill a great plan and if you are trying to be someone else, that won't happen, will it?

What if we changed the WHY to WHY NOT?  Why can't I be more like her?  I could see what she does, learn it and start to incorporate some of her best practices.  Why can't I look like that?  I could exercise, eat better, drink more water, get more rest....I can look like that, too.  Why can't I be successful?  I could see what he does, read more books, learn more, and start to change some things.  Do you see what is holding yourself back?  It's YOU.  You are in your own way, friend!  I know, because I used to be in my own way too!  It is time for us to get out of our own ways and to turn our "I can't _________" into "Why can't I," or "I can."  Joyce Meyer said once "success comes in a can, not a can't."  I love it!  


So, here's my challenge for you today, friend.  Take a chance on yourself!  Why not?  What have you got to lose?  Change the negative self talk, get out of your way and take a chance!  It could be the best thing you've ever done for yourself and those around you.  You've got this, friend!

I believe in YOU!

Melissa


Friday, June 27, 2014

Recipe time: Cookie Cake

This is a favorite healthy treat at our house! It's from a great blog, chocolatecoveredkatie.com.


  • 1/4 cup flour {we use Jules Gluten Free or King Arthur Gluten Free}
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2.5 tbsp xylitol or sugar of choice
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice {we do almond milk}
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-3 tbsp chocolate chips  {we use 2}
Mix all together.  Put in a greased mug and
put in microwave for 1 minute, 45 seconds. 

Enjoy!

{Chad & I usually split this & it's just 
right.....YUM!}

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The "American Dream."

What is the American Dream?   Is it a big fancy home filled with lots of lovelies and a luscious green yard ?  Is it a fancy luxury vehicle in your driveway?  Why do we have these dreams of all these things that we are too busy and too stressed out to enjoy?  What is the deal with that?  I've been doing some soul searching and have come to realize I really don't need or use a LOT of what is in my home.  So, why is it taking up space and adding to the clutter and chaos that I don't need or want?  MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION right there, folks!  I don't know.  

I have a new desire and a new dream to sell all of our things and start over.  I have new eyes now - the ability to see things for their purpose, their need, not because it's cute, on sale, I have to have it, etc.  I would be more INTENTIONAL with my buying.  But, my husband won't let me - shh, don't tell him, but I still think it's a great idea!

What is the deal with stuff?  Do we think it makes us look better?  Does it make us feel better?  Maybe, temporarily. Does it provide us with a sense of security?  Maybe, but it's a false one for sure.

I'm just done with stuff, folks.  Anyone else done too?  Let's do something about it.  I'm not sure what {sell everything?  Anyone?  Bueller?}, but I'm open to ideas!

Hugs 
Melissa

Mocha Frap? Yes, please!

I LOVE coffee!   Anyone who knows me know this.  I have a coffee addiction....shhhh, don't tell!  Well, I trust you will keep it a secret.  So, want to know how to make a healthy Mocha Frap?  Ok, here goes -

5 oz cold coffee

5 oz almond milk {or milk of your choice}
1 t honey
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
1 c ice

Put in a blender, mix and enjoy!


A healthy mocha frap....yummo!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Soda or Pop? Yay or Nay?

Who wants to guess what I'm going to say about this?  Let me give you some fast, fun facts on pop {or soda, whatever you chose to call it.....liquid crack?!}

Soda increases your risk of heart attack. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, published March 2012 in the journal Circulation, found drinking just one sugary beverage a day was associated with a 20 percent increase in a man's risk of having a heart attack over a 22-year period.

* Sugar drinks change your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight.

*Soda has possible carcinogens.  4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI, was found in Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi and Diet Pepsi. The compound is used in the brown coloring in these sodas, and has been shown to make animals sick.

* Think diet pop is safe?  Try again! There is a link between older adults who drank diet soda daily and a 44 percent higher chance of heart attack and stroke.


* It affects your mind.  Scientists discovered BVO, a preservative and flame-retardant for plastic, in citrus sodas like Mountain Dew. The substance can cause nerve disorders and memory loss.

* Soda is connected to asthma.

* Soda can decrease your lifespan.  The high levels of phosphorus in dark cola have some researchers concerned it could shorten lifespan.

* Soda makes you gain a lot of weight!  Researchers at UT Health Center did a study that showed any diet soda intake (compared to those with no diet soda intake) was linked to a 70 percent waistline increase over a decade; those who drank two diet sodas a day were linked to even larger weight gain — a 500 percent waist expansion. 

So, when it comes to the carbonated beverage - whether it be soda or pop, I'm gonna go with a no!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Importance of Self Care



It seems to me that we live in a society that is

pretty good at beating others up.  As a result, 

we beat ourselves up too.  What do you say to 

yourself during the day?  Do you call yourself 

names like dummy, stupid, etc.?   Do you 

think that people don't like you or are you 

paranoid they are talking about you?  Do you

think you don't look as good as those around 

you or that you won't be able to look like 

them because it's not in your genes?  Those 

are lies, my friend and it's time to let them go! 

You can look like those people you admire, 

you just need to work at it.  You gotta watch 

what you put into your body - are you eating 

good, whole, clean foods that will fuel you, or 

are you eating crap?  Are you exercising and 

burning calories?  Get up, go for a walk 

around the block.  Get out and enjoy the life 

you've been given rather than sitting on the 

couch, wasting it away in front of the 

computer or the t.v.  See, a healthy life is 

the sum of a healthy mind + a healthy body + 

healthy food.  If you aren't taking care of 

yourself, how can you take care of those 

around you?  If you want to be the best YOU 

you can be, you need to invest and take time 

in yourself to do that!  You ARE worth it!



I'm sure you have all heard when you're on 

the airplane and the flight attendant says 

something like "in case of emergency, please 

be sure to put your oxygen mask on first 

before assisting others around you."  Some 

people hear that and think "how selfish!  I 

would want to help others before putting my 

mask on."  That is fine and good in theory, 

but the problem with that is you won't be as 

effective or be able to breath long enough to 

really help them.  So it is with life, you have 

to put your oxygen mask on first, then take 

care of those around you.  When your bucket 

is full, you can then pour into those around 

you.  Yet, if your bucket is empty, you're no 

good to anyone, not even yourself.   So, what 

are you doing today to take care of yourself, 

friends?  For more inspiration and ideas on 

self care to be the best YOU you can be, check 

out my site.


Blessings,
Melissa

Sorry, folks, we are closed!

In an attempt to have more balance in my life, I'm not going to blog on Saturdays.  On Fridays, I'm going to alternate between recipes that are clean/healthy and essential oil uses.  Two of my passions, so if I alternate those days, it should be the best of both worlds!  Thanks for understanding, friends!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Shield Essential Oil

This is my favorite when cold and flu season is here!  Shield Oil!  I diffuse it daily and put it on the bottom of my kiddos feet before they go to school.  At night, sometimes, I will also put it on the back of their necks.  If you're curious to know more about the backgrounder on it, click here.  It's also good to use when they have been around someone who is ill.


Remember, to get your essential oils and save 10%, click here and enter "Mel" in the code box.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"There's An Army Rising Up," or is there?

It's no secret I love worship music.  I really love Jesus Culture.  Several of their songs are my favorite, but one on the top of the list is "Break Every Chain."  Part of it says "there's an army rising up."  So, let's talk about this army, shall we?  Let's cover the basics of who, what, when, where and why.

Who is the army - the church

What is the army - God's people rising up into the spiritual battle we are in, day in and day out
When is the army - daily
Where is the army - all over
Why the army - because we are in a spiritual battle {Ephesians 6:12}

So, shall we have a state of the union regarding the army?  I am concerned about the army. Why?   It seems that we don't know how to take care of ourselves.  We don't know how to eat well, we don't know how to treat food as fuel for our bodies.  When we host events/potlucks/meals/etc., there aren't a lot of good healthy options there - they are lacking in fresh fruit or veggies, yet there are lots of heavy carbs, processed foods and desserts....oh, the desserts we have.  If you look around the church, does it appear that people are taking care of themselves?  Let's look at Daniel ~ this is where the Daniel Fast comes from.  Daniel 1 specifically talks about how Daniel and his men took 10 days to eat only vegetables and drink water.  What happened at the end of those 10 days?  "At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead."  {Daniel 1:15-16}  BOOM!  So, does today's army look like it's ready for battle?  Are we ready for battle?  We are in a battle.  I don't know if you're aware but we are.  The battle comes to us in many forms ~ the media, what we eat, what we hear, who we hang around, etc.  Again, Ephesians 6:12 tells us we are.

If we aren't taking care of our bodies, what are we doing to our minds?  Did you know that what we eat and put into our bodies affects our minds?  I'm living proof of that.  A few weeks ago, I had some wheat and dairy the night before, as well as some high fructose corn syrup, lots of other ingredients I don't know what they are, where they come from or how to pronounce them, but I ate them anyway.  It tasted good, right?  It wasn't good for me but that was ignored at the time.  The following day, I ate some pretzels.  You may think they are healthy because they are low in fat and calories, right?  WRONG.  They are processed, contain a ton of salt, they have wheat {which is a no no for me} and they are carbs.  I made poor choices for my food intake, which then in turn, affected my body and my mind.  My family would say I wasn't a pleasant person to be around.  Looking back, they were right.

Did you know that in a 2007 study by James Cook University, researchers discovered cocaine-addicted mice actually preferred sugar-water as a reward over cocaine? This intense euphoria from sugar consumption can be a powerful driving factor in us reaching for it often and obsessively.  Not good!  Who does this sound like?  Let's see ~ it's sneaky, sublte and steals, kills and destroys.  You got it......{John 10:10}

Church, it's time to step up and become aware of what we are putting into our bodies.  What are we accepting as "normal" for our health and our childrens health?  Why are we doing this to ourselves?  When we aren't taking care or our bodies and our minds, we are NOT effective.  We are also not ready or prepared.  How can we fight a battle and win if we are not effective, not ready and not prepared?  We can't ~ we will lose every time.  And, that my friends, is what the devil wants from us.

It is time for the Bride to rise up and start taking care of Herself.  We are children of the Most High God, we are Royalty, so why are we continuing to treat ourselves like crap?  Is that right?  No.  Your body is a temple, so are you treating it that way, or are you treating it like a trash can?  Wake up church and start taking care of yourself so you are effective!  We already know who won, but we still have to fight!  There is a battle to fight and it's time to RISE UP!  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Dang it!

I learned a lesson the hard way again, this week.  Have you ever done something in the past and said you wouldn't do it again?  Yeah, me too, but I did it again.  {Isn't that a song title?  Anyway....}  For some reason, I have this cycle - when I feel like crap, I eat like crap, which then leads to me continuing to feel like crap.  Duh.  Just stop eating the crap, right?  Why is it when I feel so bad I make bad food choices?  Frustrating.  So, I leave you with this, because I need it too!



Monday, June 16, 2014

You Put What Where?

So, what are you putting in your body?  
Are you giving yourself safe, powerful foods or are you giving yourself poison?
The choice is yours friends.
I hope you chose health and enjoy your life!



Sunday, June 15, 2014

H.A.L.T.?

Have you ever had one of those times/moments/experiences when you are angry and don't know why? Here is something I heard that has helped me figure that out:  H.A.L.T.  Ask yourself - Am I:

Hungry?
Angry?
Lonely?
Tired?

If you answered yes to one or any of those, that could be part of the problem!  It's amazing how angry I can be when I'm one of the above.  Thank goodness, it's temporary! Take a step back, access where you are at and do something about it!  Maybe you need to eat?  {In my house, we say that when we are hangry, LOL!}  Talk with someone about your anger?  Talk with a friend?  Sleep?

One part of self care is being in touch with yourself, your feelings and what you need.  Stepping back and using the H.A.L.T. method is one way to do that!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Saturday: Recipe day!

Hello, happy Saturday to you!  I hope your weekend is off to a great start so far!  On Saturdays, I'm going to focus on a recipe for y'all to enjoy.  Since doing the 21 Day Fix, I have changed my eating habits and have learned to enjoy some new foods along the way.  Before the fix, I wasn't a big vegetable eater.  Like, I maybe ate veggies once/day.  Now, I eat them three or four times/day.  The one recipe Chad and I both really like is a veggie mix from the 21 Day Fix cookbook.  It's super simple and super great for you too!  Here ya go:

Ingredients:
*1 tsp. olive oil
* 1/4 c of chopped asparagus spears  {I used green beans instead because we had those on hand}
* 1/4 c of chopped red bell peppers
* 1/4 c of chopped carrots
* 1/4 c of chopped onions
* 1/2 t. Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning....yummo!

Directions:
Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat, combine asparagus or green beans, pepper, carrots, onions, and seasoning.  Cook vegetables in skillet, mixing frequently for 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp tender.  

{This serves 1 and is 1 green container on the Fix.}

Lavender Essential Oil Uses

I'm somewhat new to using Essential Oils, but I can say that when I use them, I am impressed with the results.  Lavender is very versatile and I think the most user friendly for newbie oil users.  How can you use lavender?  I'm glad you asked - 

* Insomnia -  Lavender is VERY calming, so I will diffuse it 99% of the time in our diffuser at home.  You can also apply to the bottom of feet to help with insomnia. 

* Fabric Softener - Place a few drops on a wet rag and put in your dryer.


* Cuts - Place some drops of the oil on a cut and it will cleanse and disinfect.

* Bug bites {Hello summer!} - Place the oil right on the bite to reduce swelling.

* Sunburn {Hello summer as well!} - This will soothe the burn and take away discomfort.

* To relax - Smelling some lavender oil will help relax and calm you.  A lot of times I will hold the bottle right up to my nose and breathe - true story!



To get your essential oils and save 10%, click here and enter "Mel" in the code box.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How far can $1.25 go?

My kiddos have been at a Vacation Bible School at a local church this week.  It's been awesome to come in a little early to pick them up and see them worshipping Jesus.  They always end with a time of worship and prayer.  They also have been collecting money for children in India who don't have clean drinking water.  I was shocked to learn that $1.25 will give a child in India clean water for ONE YEAR.  I thought it would be a week, maybe a month, but a WHOLE YEAR.  ONE DOLLAR and TWENTY FIVE CENTS.  The same amount I spent on the one child's at the Dollar Tree yesterday.  One dollar for a cheap, crappy, junky toy they don't need.  REALLY.  Or, one dollar to make a child's life in India better for a YEAR.  It's a no brainer to me, folks.  Next time my kids want to go to the Dollar Tree, we are putting that money in a jar to see how many kids we can give clean water to in India instead.  Or, every time I want a latte, I will put four dollars in and support four children for a year.  Lets' see, one drink for me that will be gone in 30 minutes or less, or giving a child clean water for a year.  That's what I call a great ROI, friends.  Who else will join us?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Curbing That Sweet Tooth?!

Anyone who knows me well knows I have a MASSIVE sweet tooth.  Oh boy.  Like I could eat a whole bag of Sweedish Fish in one sitting; I couldn't eat just one little mini candy bar; I could eat 1/2 gallon of ice cream solo {Eek, I'm embarrassed to admit that!}  So, you get the pic ~ MAJOR sweet tooth here.  Not good, friends.  Not good.  Especially for someone who wants to be a good role model that walks the walk and talks the talk to her kiddos.  {It really wasn't fair for me to tell them they couldn't have candy, then sneak into the laundry room and eat some, was it?  Really?  Yup, I was that mom.}

So, I signed up for a program in February called the 21 Day Fix and it was AWESOME.  Life changing.  It made me realize just how much sugar I actually ate and all the junk I put into my body.  The program happened to come with a super food drink called Shakeology that I was supposed to include with the program.  Of course, I chose chocolate!  HELLO.  I do have a MONSTER sweet tooth, after all.  After a few days, I was hooked.  I noticed my sweet tooth cravings were diminished.  I felt better.  I had more energy.  I was probably nicer to be around?  {Ask my husband and kids about that one.}  My current fave is Salted Caramel Chocolate.  Delish.  And, it's pretty too!  See?



How Do You Treat Yourself?


So, what are you doing to make sure your stomach isn't a waste basket today?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Decide. Commit. Succeed.

In February, I joined an online challenge group called the 21 Day Fix.  This group was focused on better eating, portion control, and exercise.  Each day, I pushed play on the DVD player and was greeted by the company logo as well as a scrolling text that says "Decide.  Commit.  Succeed."  It didn't hit me that it said that until a few weeks ago.  {Yes, I'm still exercising daily and see the same text daily.}  I've been thinking about that a lot lately.  The more I think about it, the more I like it.  It's true - think about it.  What happens when you decide to do something?  You make a decision in your MIND to do it.  If you change your mind, what happens?  You don't follow through.  What happens if you stick with your decision?  You commit.  When you commit, what happens?  You see results.  You succeed.  It's a very simple concept, yet it's life changing.

What if we approached everything in life this way?  What if we made a decision to get married, we committed to our marriage ~ went on consistent date nights, marriage retreats, invested in the relationship ~ and then we succeeded?  What if we made a decision to raise our children, we committed to it and did what we needed to do {digging in, connecting and getting needed resources} and then succeed as parents?  What if we did this for ourselves?  What if we decided to be the best we can be?  What if we committed to that and did the hard work it takes to see results?  Then, we would succeed.


What would we be life if we were successful because we made decisions and committed to them?  How would we feel?  How would we think?  What would we be like if we decided and committed to success?  I think we could be a powerful force in the world and make a HUGE impact in our world.  I encourage you to make a decision today, commit to it and then succeed.  You can do it!  I believe in YOU!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I love this quote!


So what are you doing today to change YOUR thoughts?