28 Days of Adding Happiness – 5 Strategies for Being Happier

28 Days of Adding HappinessI cannot believe that it has been almost 28 days already! I really hope that this blogging series has helped some of you and has in itself added some happiness to the world. It has been an incredible project, and I am so grateful for having the opportunity to work with Sarah and to create such a positive project in the blog community.

Throughout this project we have posted up things that make us happy, things that make you happy, and things that make others happy. We have shared positive links, ideas, projects, and posts with each of you. Hopefully each day you were able to look forward to the information and creative awesomeness that we wrote to the world.

The saddest part of accomplishing a big project like this though is that it will eventually and inevitably come to an end. At some point there is a stopping point, or a point in which we must move on to the next project or the next thing. As one of my last posts in this series, I want to NOT say goodbye. I am hoping that you will continue to join me here at my blog for positive posts that celebrate life and bring happiness to others. In the mean time, I wanted to share a few ideas/ strategies for being happier:

  1. Choose Happiness – Happiness is a choice that we make for ourselves each day. We can choose to me weak, sad, upset, or unhappy. Or we can choose to be strong, happy, kind, loving, and positive each day. It is our choice and that is what makes it so beautiful! Sure, there are tons of things that can drag us down each day, but if we wake up and say to ourselves, “Today I choose happy!” it’s going to be a huge step toward making that happen in our lives!
  2. Be Grateful – Without a sense of gratitude, happiness can diminish. We become bitter and sad. We can feel alone or grouchy. However, when we learn to be grateful, even the small triumphs, tokens, and achievements become something to celebrate. Be grateful for what you have, who you have, and what you are able to do. Being here on this earth is a blessing. Don’t forget to be grateful for that!
  3. Forgive People – Holding a grudge is such a heavy burden. It brings us down, handicaps us, and eventually defeats us. When someone is truly sorry, forgiving them will free up all sorts of time and energy in your life. You will no longer need to worry about your hatred, your bitterness, your sadness. You will have so much more time for positive, wonderful, and happy emotions. You will feel so much better!
  4. Accept Your Flaws – We are all flawed and that is one of the most beautiful things in this world. Being flawed is what allows us to connect with others! Think about it, if you were perfect in every way, you would never need others to make you feel complete. If you were perfect, you wouldn’t need anyone because you could do everything for yourself and do it perfectly. There is a reason that we have people in this world that are talented in Art or Science, or Math or Writing, and the reason is because we can’t do it all ourselves. Once we accept this, we can begin loving ourselves for our own strengths!
  5. Laugh – Laughter is healing. It gives us the opportunity to feel good. Laughter reminds us that every moment of life doesn’t have to be series. It gives us a chance to let go a little, and as a little extra bonus, it ensures that we smile. Have you ever laughed without smiling? I challenge you to try that! Laughter is a real medicine for sadness and the best prescription for happiness. Do it every day!


28 Days of Adding Happiness – Kale Chips that Taste Good? Oh, yes!

I just love Sara’s unique style! Her flowers are always so pretty. Wasn’t that flower frame she made with paper flowers, just stunning? I loved it!

This Labor Day weekend, how many of us overindulged in all kinds of yummy picnic foods like hotdogs, hamburgers, cookies, or chips? It’s so easy to do, especially when we are surrounded by friends and family members that are eating the same things. As somebody that regularily eats really healthy foods like fruits and veggies all day every day, I can understand how hard it can be to eat healthy in social situations, but I’m also here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be hard.

Two years ago when I switched over to a raw vegan lifestyle, I had a ton of friends that were actually very curious about the food choices that I was making, so I decided to have a dinner party and share my lifestyle with them. I went all out with fancy table clothes, real dishes and glassware, etc for 17 people! It was a ton of work, but I prepared 5 courses (3 of which had more than one option) plus, tons of appetizers for everyone to munch on while we waited for everyone to arrive. Yes, I might be insane! The best part was that everyone loved almost everything, and several people left with recipes so that they could make some of it at home.

One of the favorites that night were the kale chips. There has been a ton of chatter about Kale lately both in and out of the health food world. People are finally starting to notice it for the amazing nutritional value and for its awesome versatility. These kale chips were a huge hit, not only because they shocked everyone with their taste, but because everyone was interested in actually eating this healthy little plant and couldn’t believe how easy it was to prepare!

I originally got my recipe from Carmella at her blog, The Sunny Raw Kitchen. She has a ton of yummy recipes, and I’ve used several of them. Check out her website, and try some of them yourself! Her recipe was found on another site called Raw Food Talk which is another really great source for raw food ideas. For more sites or more information about vegetarian eating, veganism, or Raw veganism, check out this previous post I wrote.

Here’s the recipe:

Chrissy’s Goddess Chips
Posted by Chrissy on Raw Food Talk

2 bunches kale, broken into large pieces by hand (preferably dino kale)

¾ cups sesame tahini
¼ cup nama shoyu
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water ~ more if needed
2 scallion
1 clove garlic
1 lemon, juiced
¼ t. sea salt
¼ cup fresh parsley

Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth to get a thick consistency. You may have to add more water. Pour over kale and mix thoroughly with your hands to coat the kale. You want this mixture to be really glued onto the kale.

Place kale onto a Teflex sheet, on top of a mesh dehydrator screen, and dehydrate for 4 hours @ 110 degrees. You’ll need to use two trays. Rotate kale occasionally to dry uniformly.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, HAVE NO FEAR! You can still create this yummy snack. Use your oven on the lowest setting and crack it open so that it doesn’t get quite as hot. Keep checking on the chips until they are light and crispy. They will nearly fall apart in you mouth when they are done.

If you try this recipe, leave me a message and tell me what you think, then head over to With Love Paper Goods tomorrow to see what Sarah has in store for you. Don’t forget to come back on Wednesday for another dose of Adding Happiness!


28 Days of Adding Happiness – Around the Web

Welcome back to Pretty Much! Did you absolutely love Sarah’s printable yesterday? I thought it was just darling, and I loved her idea of building happiness within her home by placing inspiring messages where her and her husband will see them most often. We all could use a constant bit of happiness in our homes everyday, so this is such a wonderful idea! I love it!

The Happiness ProjectToday, I want to share some really inspiring links with you. A while back I heard about a book called The Happiness Project. I fell in love with the idea of making small changes each month in order to make my life a little happier and perhaps a little more fulfilling. I read this book from cover to cover all the while taking tons and tons of notes. I took the information and research that Gretchen Rubin wrote about and created my own happiness project. Her book really has changed my life is a very real way. I feel that everyone should grab up a copy and read it. Even if you don’t end up doing your own Happiness Project, the book gives you a chance to reflect on what makes you happy and how you can change your life a tiny bit at a time.

Gretchen Rubin also has a website that she created for her project and continues to update regularly. In fact, she even has a blog! Not only did she write this book, but she also now has journals, print-outs, manifestos, and another book! I’ve picked that one up too, but haven’t had the chance yet to read it. I’m expecting that once I get back from my Walt Disney World trip, (Oh, did I forget to mention that I’m currently blogging from my vacation in WDW?) I plan to read that book cover to cover as well. It is titled Happiness at Home and looks just as good, if not better than the first book. It really ties into Sarah’s blog post yesterday about creating a happier home by placing inspiring messages around the home.

If you choose to read her book, I highly suggest checking out her website as well. The website has all sorts of lists, ideas, quizzes, and much, much more that can help you along your journey to happiness. Trust me, you deserve this! You can even sign up for various emails from Gretchen to include a daily happiness quote in your inbox! Oh, and she has yet another book coming soon!

Have you read any of Gretchen Rubin’s books? What did you think of them? Leave me a comment, and tell me what you thought. I’d love to hear from you! Don’t forget to visit Sarah’s blog tomorrow for another dose of Happiness as she gives some awesome Happiness tips! I love it!




Progress, Production, and Purpose (Getting Your email under control)


What happens when I bring up the topic of your inbox? You know, your EMAIL inbox? Yeah, that’s what I thought! You get a little freaked out, claustrophobic, and uncomfortable! I totally hear you.

But, Why does it have to be that way? I promise you that it doesn’t! I totally just said that out loud, and you should too. Ready? Let’s say this together:

“My inbox doesn’t have to freak me out, make me claustrophobic, or cause discomfort!” (You should tweet that!)

Together we can make progress, reduce your stress level, increase your production, and give your email box a purpose!

Okay, so now you want to know how that is even remotely possible. Well, take a deep breath we are going to get through this together. First though, I need you to do something for yourself. I need you to make a commitment to this process. I need you to set aside some serious time and commit to cleaning out your inbox….and…keeping it clean! You can do it! I know you can! I know it because I have done it!

Now before you start thinking that I probably didn’t have nearly the mess that you do in my email, I want to assure you that I had a crazy, wild, tangled up, serious mess! I’m talking about emails from 2014. Hello! 2004! I had folders that I haven’t touched in YEARS! oh, and don’t get me started on my duplicates! I had folders that were labeled “Important things to keep” & “Stuff worth keeping.” What the heck is the difference? I have no idea. All I know is that when I have to scroll endlessly to find a folder to put something in, I have WAY TOO MANY folders!

Alright, now that we are in agreement that I truly had a mess just like you probably do now, let’s move on to figuring out what to do about it.

Step One!

delete delete delete! I’m serious here folks. Start with the inbox itself. Remember how I asked you to set aside some time to do this? Yeah, well, you’re going to need that time right now. Begin at the top and just keep on going. If you have to take a break, then take a break, but DON”T FORGET TO COME BACK! Be honest with yourself. Are you really going to ever read this specific email? Does it actually have anything good in it? Is it a boring email that you signed up for and never even open because you are waiting for that day when you have time? Do you even know why you received the email to begin with?

As you go through each email, I want you to think about it. If you never open the emails to begin with, scroll to the bottom of the email, and click unsubscribe. I know it’s painful! But do it. It will feel so great when you are all done. Unsubscribe is your friend! Now delete the email. Believe me when I say that this will save you so much time and energy every single day. If it’s an email that you honestly know you are going to read, leave it alone or save a PDF copy of it in a desktop folder labeled “Things to Print.” We will come back to it when we start working through your folders. If you have glanced through it, and nothing sticks out as important, then go ahead and delete it. You’ll feel better. If you have looked at the email, and you know that you are going to use the info in it, you can either hold onto the email until we work through your folders or you can save a PDF copy of it to your desktop folder labeled “Things to Print.”

Continue going through your ENTIRE inbox until you have made a conscience choice for each individual email. Delete the ones you don’t need. Unsubscribe to the ones you never read, make PDFs out of the ones you need to print for reference, records, or other purposes, and only keep the ones that you absolutely must. These could include electronic receipts for items you have not yet received, correspondence with your wedding/event vendors, & anything that you might need to use later as proof of a conversation, permission, or consent.  (When I worked in corporate America, I would often forward email chains from my work email address to my personal email address because people were often pretty shady and I needed to cover my ass.)

I actually had emails in my inbox from my first husband while we were on-again/off-again & through our long and difficult divorce. Some were from one of my best friends/boyfriend, Ryan, who was killed when we were in Iraq together in 2007. I even had emails that I wrote to him after his death as a way to deal with the pain. I cried as I read some of them. It was literally a painful experience to go through all of that, but it was also pretty therapeutic.

Step Two!

First, congratulations for making it through step one. I know that was hard, but you did it! Good for you. Doesn’t that feel awesome!?! Let’s say this together:

“I cleaned out my email inbox, and I feel better already!” (You should tweet that too!)

okay, okay, step two… time to go through all the rest of your folders. this won’t be quite as difficult or painful as step one. The hard part is over. Now, I want you to do the exact same thing for all the rest of your folders. The catch here is that once you empty a folder completely, you are going to delete it. Yup, delete it! Just trust me, it’s for the best and for the greater good of your soul. If you can’t completely empty a folder, then, and only then, I give you permission to keep the folder. At least for now. Remember though, you are trying to make your life easier. You are going through these in order to reduce your stress level, increase your production, and give your email a purpose other than just collecting digital trash. Think of it as reducing your cyber footprint! I believe in you.

Step Three!

See? I told you the hardest part was over and that step two would be a lot easier. Good for you! You are almost done. How are you feeling? Do you feel like a superhero yet? Because you certainly should! Say it with me now:

I took control of my email because I am a superhero! (You know the drill, tweet about your progress – you deserve to brag!)

This step is even easier. I promise! Are you ready? Alright, now is that time for creating. At this point, you are no longer destroying the countless number of digital files like a destructive giant crushing your inbox. It’s time to create something you can be proud of. I am giving you permission to create some folders. You may also re-name any of the ones you kept during step two. You can even combine folders when it makes sense to do so. Here is a list of the folders that I have in my personal email:

  • School – for emails related to school that I have not yet been able to turn into PDFs or print and file.
  • Digital Receipts – for receipts that I either need to print and file or receipts for products that I have not yet received in the mail.
  • Disney 2014 – yes I have a folder for saving everything about our upcoming trip to Disney World so it is all in one place and can be accessed from anywhere in case I loose any of the information and as proof of payments and purchases.
  • Life is Messy Bootcamp – Mayi Carles has an amazing e-course, but after my surgery I got way behind in the course. I have all the emails in one folder so that I can catch up with all of her awesome activities and drills as I have time. The emails contain links that I need.
  • PDF – If I know that I need to turn an email into a PDF and print it, but I don’t have time right that second, I put it here. Having an empty inbox feel so much better than having a bunch of To-Do tasks staring back at me.

So, now that you know what I have going on, you can decide for yourself what the best way to handle your folders will be. Although you don’t have to have only a couple folders, I don’t recommend having too many. When you have too many, that’s when you tend to make even more because you can’t find the one you thought you had. For example, I had a folder labeled “From Me” and another one labeled “Emails to Myself” and both contained emails from my corporate America work email accounts that I sent to my personal account in order to save my ass in case of emergency situations that came about because of shady coworkers, shady bosses, and shady business practices. I probably didn’t need two folders for that same purpose, but since I had about 50 folders, sometimes it just became easier to make even more folders and even more email clutter. Don’t let yourself fall into that trap!

Step Four!

Once again, you did it! Hooray for you! I hope you are currently standing with your hands on your hips in front of a fan so that your superhero cape can blow in the breeze. I bet you look like a bad ass, because that’s exactly what you are! You are awesome!

That step wasn’t too bad. In fact, it was kind of like a half-step. I don’t have any cool ideas for a tweet about that one, but if you come up with one leave me a comment and I’ll add it in. You should really think of one anyways so that you can tweet about your awesome progress. Yu totally deserve all of these bragging rights because man are you working hard! I’m proud of you!

Step four could be the easiest step of all, but it could also be the hardest. Step four is all about maintenance. You just did all of this hard work. I would hate for all of that time you spent to go to waste. It’s time to keep your inbox clean. Don’t worry. I know you can do it. Each day, take 5 minutes to go through your inbox. Delete and unsubscribe to any emails that you don’t read. Remember, Unsubscribe is your friend! Print any emails that you need to keep for reference or file into your records. If you have a folder called receipts like I do, make sure that you go through it about once a week or once every-other week to clean it out once you receive your products and are happy with them. If you think you might need that proof of purchase later, print it out or create a PDF. If you have a folder labeled Disney 2014, (that would be pretty awesome) delete it when you get home from your Walt Disney World trip. And, at least once a week, empty your trash can.

You did it! I told you that you could do it! Doesn’t it feel good to make progress, reduce your stress level, increase your production, and give your email box a purpose?Let’s say it together:

“Today I made Progress, reduced my stress, increased production, & gave my inbox a purpose!”(You should tweet this last one for sure!)

Go Fly a Kite

Do you have any more tips for cleaning out your inbox? If you do, you should leave me a comment. Tell me how this has changed your life. I love to hear from my readers. Don’t forget to share this post with your friends on Facebook, twitter, or any other social network.


Self Love 2014: Being a Vegan, Setting Goals, and Loving Myself

So, here is a crazy wild fact about me: I’m a RAW VEGAN! Yikes! Don’t stop reading yet. Just hear me out. I promise that I am not trying to push this lifestyle choice on you. Many people have heard of the American documentary film, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead that follows the journey of Joe Cross, an Australian, across America for 60 days while he follows a juice fast. I can relate to that man! I was a 246 pound 5’ 8.5” female. I’d gone to nutritionists, tried prescription weight-loss medications, tried exercising, counted calories, and still just could not get my weight under control. It kept climbing, my back, knees, and feet killed me. My feet themselves were so swollen that they looked like softballs wearing shoes! I had every symptom of low thyroid on the planet except that my thyroid levels were borderline normal so insurance would not cover the $400 medication. I was on several medications to treat depression, anxiety, back pain, sleeping problems, and I was getting close to needing a medication for high blood pressure. I was a wreck! Oh, and one more little detail – I was in the hospital! Besides my health, my relationship was suffering. Yup, I’ll say it – I hated having sex or being intimate in any way! I felt ugly, fat, and embarrassed constantly. It was bad, and I knew that I had to figure out something.

Sick, Fat, and Nearly Dead

On March 2, 2012 I decided the time was now. I woke up and made some juice for breakfast…and a snack, and lunch, and a snack, and dinner. The next day, I woke up and did it all over again. I did this for 4 days. I lost 10 pounds, and my eyes looked so white and so bright. I had a ton of energy! After 4 days, I woke up and drink nothing but water all day. I did this for 3 days. My energy was through the roof and I had lost another 5 pounds for a grand total of 15 pounds that first week. Slowly I eased back into eating, but it wasn’t the same kind of eating that I was used to. Instead, I ate as a RAW VEGAN! These are the sorts of things I ate:

Dried Pineapple

Hummis stuffed peppers and strawberries

What is a raw vegan? Simple! A raw vegan eats nothing but fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and sprouts. The catch is that you don’t cook anything by conventional methods. You heard me right – everything I ate was raw! Now, when I tell you that I don’t cook anything by conventional methods, I mean that I don’t use my oven because it heats food to a temperature that begins to destroy the nutrients within the food. Occasionally I use my dehydrator to “cook” food though. Providing I don’t heat my food above 105 (there are a few different conventions on this temperature ranging from 105 to 118,) all those nutrients stay in tact and provide me with all kinds of good stuff to keep my body healthy and full of energy. So that’s the gist of it. Trust me though, there is so much more, and I DO NOT advise anyone to try this type of extreme lifestyle without doing the research. I will provide you with links to some of my favorite sources at the end of this post.

So, back to my story. I was loosing weight. I was feeling great. Life was awesome, and I was even able to start going to the gym where I entered & won a contest for loosing the most inches during one month. I was on top of the world. Of course life throws a wrench at you whenever you feel like you are on top of the world, and drags you back down the mountain kicking and screaming. On July 14, 2012, I left for Afghanistan. I had 2 ½ weeks to prepare for this trip, and I was not thrilled. My biggest concern was my new lifestyle. I had lost 50 pounds and I was feeling amazing. The last thing I wanted to do was deploy to a war-stricken place where the food offered was anything but raw. Without much choice I did it though.

For the next year I attempted to do what I could to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I learned to eat bell peppers because that was one of the few fresh vegetables that I could count on. I learned to avoid most of the fruit available because it was either not ripe or so ripe that it had mold beginning to grow on it. I drank 8 bottles of water everyday. I ordered as much RAW food powders, canned black beans, and canned peaches & pears as I could from Amazon, but by the end of my time there, I was eating eggs, bread, rice and other processed food because it was about all I could count on. My weight was up and down the whole time between 170 and 200. (The first time I hit 180 was a huge celebration for me!) I just could not find a balance. It was so frustrating to me that the Army would rather give their soldiers 5 different kinds of pie to choose from and 3 different kinds of ice cream to choose from along with the fried EVERYTHING than give them healthy options that would boost their energy and keep them fit for battle. What a horrible mess!

Before and After loosing 66 pounds!

Moving on to July 3, 2013: I came home, and this time it was for good (I had been home in February for a month and a half.) At that point, I was mostly eating as a raw vegan again, but something in my brain had clicked during that year away and I found it to be nearly impossible to eat 100% fully raw. My weight remained at about 185, and I still felt pretty good. I wanted that willpower back though. This was one of the hardest times for me though when it came to being stressed out. I had less than two months to plan my wedding. Yup! I was engaged in May of 2012 and had out down the deposit on all of our wedding vendors before I found out I was deploying. To top it off, I was doing everything by hand! I had less than two months to letterpress our invitations suite, make a flower girl dress, make programs, make welcome bags, make this, make that…basically do it all. My fiancé was in Afghanistan [from May 2012-November 2013 with a month home for the wedding], so he was no help, and my family all lived on the other side of the country so they couldn’t exactly help very much either until they flew out the week before the wedding. Luckily I had a neighbor friend that was able to help me a few times!

wedding pictures

Needless to say, a raw vegan lifestyle was not a top priority for me at that time. After the wedding, came the honeymoon. Our honeymoon was so magical and it took place in Walt Disney World! How could I possibly go to Walt Disney World on my Honeymoon and not eat whatever I wanted to eat? Despite walking around everyday all day long, I still managed to gain 20 pounds on my honeymoon! You heard that right! 20 pounds! That’s just insane. The sad part is that once we returned, I still could not find the willpower I needed to return to a raw vegan lifestyle, and the weight stayed put. Finally in November my husband came home from Afghanistan for good. I was pretty excited to have him home and thought that maybe having him around would give me the encouragement I needed to get back on track, but of course it did not. Instead, the holidays came and went while I gained another 10 pounds! I couldn’t say no to chocolate covered strawberries-you can find the best ones at Shari’s Berries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

That brings me to the here and now. It is the end of January, I’ve been diagnosed with a cardiac condition called Posteral Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), I weight 210 pounds, and I just can’t get that weight off. I am so ready to get back on track though, so I’m starting over.  Next week I am going to begin again. This time I really have to be careful about juice fasting. It is supposedly not a wise thing to undergo with a diagnosis of POTS or while taking a Beta-blocker, so I won’t be able to juice fast, but I will incorporate juicing into my daily regiment. I’m going to make this happen!

Not only am I going to return to a highly raw vegan lifestyle, but I am also going to incorporate some other Self Love habits into my life. I feel that some of the best ways to incorporate Self Love into our days is to take care of our bodies and our minds. This includes all of our organs (skin included) and all the aspects of our minds from our thinking brains, to our spiritual wellbeing and even our relationships with others. Here is my Morning Self-Love routine:

**When I wake up in the mornings I have a Self Love routine. The routine gets me on track for a positive day. I begin by oil pulling. Oil pulling is a practice of slowly swishing your mouth with oil for 10-20 minutes on an empty stomach at least once a day. There is quite a bit of scientific controversy surrounding it, but I find it helpful. I’ve personally noticed an increase in the level of oral health. If nothing else, my teeth are whiter and feel way smoother. Supposedly it also helps to pull toxins from your body.

**Next, I drink lemon water. Lemon water can be very alkalizing. It is important for our bodies to be in an alkalized state of PH balance in order for them to be healthier and fight disease. By drinking lemon water, I not only get the benefit of starting my day out in an alkalizing way, but I also get to check off two boxes on my water log (see my Etsy shop for planners and goal workbooks). My goal is to drink half my body weight in ounces of water per day. By keeping a water log I can easily keep track of how much I have drank and how much more I still need to drink.

**Next, I go for a walk. My husband and the dogs go with, so this ends up working on personal relationships by spending some quiet time with my family. We walk for about a half hour – sometimes more and sometimes less. Even when I really don’t want to do this, I always feel better after some fresh air and some time with my man.

**After our walk, something I will begin implementing next week is exercise. Due to my diagnosis of POTS I have found it very difficult to exercise regularly. I often get sick, dizzy, and nauseous. As with any new exercise program, it is important to start off slow, so that is exactly what I will be doing. Starting slow is better than not starting at all!

**The last step of my morning routine will be my consumption routine. This is the part where I consume some yummy fresh juice, some delicious fruit such as a couple bananas or oranges, and my daily vitamins. Again, there is controversy amongst the raw vegan community as to whether you should or should not add vitamins to your daily regiment. As for me, I have found that it is best for me to take them. I take a raw brand that I love called Garden of Life. Many of the vitamins are vegan, but some of them only hold up to vegetarian standards. I’m ok with that. Do what works for you! It might not be traditional to take them, but I think everyone should do what works best for them. Isn’t that what health is all about? I take their Vitamin E, B-Complex, Vitamin D3, and Zinc. Within these vitamins, I also get my Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Selenium, Folate, Biotin, and Probiotic & Enzyme blends. Again, this is what I do, but it may not be what is right for you. I suggest consulting with a doctor or a specialist to determine what works for you.

My favorite tennis shoes for walking and running

How is all that for self-love? I am telling you that this year is the year for self-love. I’ve been striving for it in all areas of my life. I am taking better care of my health, I am starting to MOVE my butt, I am cutting out things that don’t make me happy –there will be lots more on this subject as soon as telling you will not get me into trouble, I am learning new things, I’m starting things that bring me happiness and contentment such as my new business, Pretty Much, & lastly I am working on my relationships. This is going to be a fantastic year! I am so excited!

The Best Day Ever

I opened my business, Pretty Much, to decorate weddings and events. I want to be the reason that other people are happy!

2014 Monthly Calendar

You can find help with planning out your goals at my Etsy Shop. This shows a page from the 2014 Monthly calendar

Goal Planning Workbook on Etsy

You can get your year-long goal planning workbook at my Etsy Shop too! It will give you all the tools you need to set some self-love goals for yourself

So, about those links that I promised:

You can check out my Raw Vegan Pinterest board which also has recipes for non-vegan and non-raw foods

Links to general healthy lifestyle websites:

Mind Body Green

Live Strong

New Nostalgia

Links to Vegetarian websites:

Vegetarian times

Links to Vegan Websites:

Vegan Cuts

Oh, She Glows

Kris Carr

Links to RAW Vegan websites:

This Rawsome Vegan Life

Choosing Raw

Fully Raw

Raw Kristina’s YouTube page

I really hope that some of this information inspires you, makes you think, or at a minimum helps you to get to know me a little bit better! If you have questions, please email me! Hello (at) PrettyMuchonline (dot) com.

What kinds of things are you implementing into your life this year to show yourself some Self-Love in 2014? Leave me a comment!

I would also like to disclose that I am not a doctor and I am in no way trained in the medical field. This post contains information about what I feel works in my life. Please consult with your doctor before beginning any type of new lifestyle or diet.

One Little Word for 2014: MOVE

Let him that would move the world, first move himself. -Socrates

I told you about my tendency to lay claim to multiple words each year for my One Little Word (OLW) project in this blog post. I also told you about how I was suddenly hit with the notion that I only needed one word for my OLW project this year. This year my OLW is MOVE! So why move? Oh, I am so excited that you asked because that’s exactly what I wanted to talk about in today’s blog post!

First things come first so I better start with the “official” definition of MOVE. According to the big bad search engine, Google, there are quite a few explanations of the word. I’ll only share with you the definitions that really apply to my goals of movement this year. Here you go:

-go in a specified direction or manner; change position.
-change the place or position of.
-change one’s place of residence or work.
-change or cause to change from one state, opinion, sphere, or activity to another.
-influence or prompt (someone) to do something.
-take action.
-make progress; develop in a particular manner or direction.
-(with reference to merchandise) sell or be sold.
-an action that initiates or advances a process or plan.
-a player’s turn to make a change of position.

Alright, so now you are wondering how these definitions of the word Move will apply to my life. Oh wow! Move will apply to my life in so many fantastic ways. This year will be full of changes and movements.

First, I will be moving my butt and getting back in shape. In order to do this, I will be returning to a diet (read: lifestyle, not fad) that works for me. It gives me energy, keeps me feeling positive, and even makes me feel centered and balanced in this crazy world. With that energy I will hopefully be able to physically move my body. I am working on walking every day – I would love to do two walks, but we have to start slow. I also want to start doing more strength training.

A second way in which I will be moving deals with changing my career position. I have opened my own business, Pretty Much, and I want to grow it and grow it like a beautiful garden that blossoms with flowers and gives life to amazing healthy foods that nourish me. This business of mine will nourish my soul and my mind by giving me a way to use my creative energies each day, making others’ dreams come true, and giving me a positive way to support my family. There will be a lot more on this subject later this year. Promise! You can help me with this by helping me “move some product” over at my Etsy shop!

Thirdly, I will be moving my mind. I have been going to school for so long. Every time I physically move locations across the United States, I loose credits in my schooling. It can be so frustrating! This year, I am back at it though with an online school that can travel with me. It will be my second full semester at the Academy of Art University. I’m looking forward to the ways my mind will stretch and the things I will fill my brain with. I absolutely love to learn!

In all of this, the basic plan is to move forward in my life, to make good choices, to be happier, healthier, and more content with what I am doing. I am choosing to make mindful choices and always keep the idea of progress in the forefront of my mind. It’s my turn to move my chess piece. It’s my turn to become something better. It’s my turn to influence myself and start moving in the direction I want to end up in.

What is your One Little Word (OLW) this year? Leave me a comment!