Feel Good Favorites ★☽ PART ONE

Good morning, loves. Sorry that I haven’t posted here in a while, my anxiety has been having a bit of fun with me lately and I just didn’t feel like writing. I nearly had a panic attack earlier this week for the first time in several months. On the upside, though, it was a powerful reminder to take care of myself to the best of my ability and show compassion towards others (because what’s the fun in loving yourself if you aren’t loving other people, too?). I’ve been doing my best to heal myself (medication of course included, I take it daily) and have found some things that seem to be working for me quite well. I hope my list gives you some inspiration on how to be good to yourself or simply serves as a reminder that you’re not alone on your journeys to self-love and personal growth. And for those of us recovering, I’d like to mention that no recovery is perfect; there will be relapses and mistakes and fuck-ups. That does not mean we failed. You can only fail if you don’t try again the next day!

1. The Nutribullet. I was blessed and lucky enough that my parents were able to get me a Nutribullet for my 20th birthday (!! Squeee!!). Not only is it super satisfying to see all the solid stuff turn into a smooth blend, but it’s added a bit of motivation for me to eat healthier and try new fruit/greens combinations. My personal favorite concoction so far is a banana, some frozen strawberries/blueberries, some fresh spring mix salad, lemon-flavored greek yogurt, and a touch of water. If any of y’all have this device or something similar I recommend that blend (and psst- tell me down below what your favorite is!).

2. The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. While I don’t agree 100% with all that she writes, I think her “Desire Map” is a simple but brilliant concept! I first snatched up this book at the library when I was browsing self-help books (yes, I’m THAT person) and I really enjoyed it. The only problem was that the second half of the book was a workbook and it felt imperative to complete that section in order to reap all of its benefits. So I was able to get my own personal copy and having been writing in it ever since. It’s a very good practice for anyone that’s trying to understand themselves better and, as the author Danielle puts it, create goals with soul. It’s certainly an interesting read.

3. A daily yoga practice. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned on this blog before how much I dig yoga. It feels energizing, restorative, and all around lovely. My goal everyday is to allow myself 30 minutes (at the least) to do some yoga. The ideal goal would be 60 minutes per day, but I’m having trouble committing to just half an hour so I’m still in the process. It’s awesome if you join some sort of class, but for me I enjoy it most when I’m by myself and I don’t have the time/money to attend one. I find the best thing that works for me is setting up my laptop near my mat and putting on some Youtube videos. I recommend a channel like DoYouYoga for everyone, especially if they’re beginners because the yogis are excellent at explaining how the positions should look/work. My go-to teacher on their is Erin Motz. I like to either watch a few of her videos from the 30 Day Yoga Challenge or just her 30 minute routine video. Wherever you go to practice, just do it! I promise it will help you with your mindset and health so much.

That’s it for today- within the next few days I’ll finish up the list with my other feel good favorites. For now, I wish you all the best of luck and am giving you all big internet hugs.

Loads of love,

Violet XO

A little inspiration for those learning to love your inner & outer self. ♥

Hey there, beautiful! I was enjoying having the house to myself- *ahem* karaoke time *cough* – and I came across the song “Try” by Colbie Caillat. It gave me absolute goosebumps, or as my poetry professor says, “chillbumps”. Suddenly I felt  a yearning inside- damn, I wish that songs like this had been around when I was a preteen, and I hope that my two nieces grow up to love themselves. I try my best to raise them as strong and confident girls but as an aunt who isn’t with them 24/7, I can only do so much. On the bright side, I can always work on raising myself. I’m still in the process. Maybe I always will be, but I’m kind of okay with that. As long as you’re learning, a day is never wasted.

And what better way to show myself love than to indulge in some inspiration and share with my Interweb fellows? Here are some passionate and incredibly positive videos for y’all on this Sunday morning:

♥ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXoZLPSw8U8

♥ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnDgSsWnwwE

♥ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODnMaf0rB4c

I’m also going to challenge you to do something~ Take out a piece of paper and your favorite writing utensil. Write down 5 things about your physical appearance that you love, and ten things about your inner self that you love. I know you can do it.

Much love and tons of good vibes,
Violet XO

Some things to brighten your day or teach you something new!

Hello, all! Happy Easter to those who celebrate it- I hope your holiday is filled to the brim with joy and good memories. Today I wanted to share some of the cool things on the Interwebs I’ve found recently. I hope you enjoy this list- I even included a few of my favorite things this Spring.

✿ http://galadarling.com/article/feeling-burned-out-ask-yourself-this-one-simple-question/

✿ http://mysticmedusa.com/2013/05/fenging-up/

✿ http://dangerdame.com/2015/03/30/how-to-be-magnetic-4-ways-to-rev-up-your-magnetism/

✿ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18169/how-to-stay-motivated-when-youre-not-in-the-mood-to-do-anything.html

✿ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18030/are-you-sabotaging-your-authentic-self-heres-how-to-stop.html

✿ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17999/walking-boosts-brainpower-4-other-reasons-to-exercise-every-day.html

✿ http://everydayroots.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bad-breath

✿ Pretty much any Dog Whisperer or My Cat From Hell episode, ever.

✿ http://www.seventeen.com/health/a29642/ways-to-be-instantly-happier/

✿ http://www.seventeen.com/health/advice/a21913/boost-body-confidence/

✿ Light or Pastel colors.

✿ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnT7ZDubj94

✿ Raising some gorgeous indoor plants.

That’s it babes- I hope you enjoyed the links and learned something interesting.

Much love from my house to yours,

Violet XO

A Confidence Booster: Power Poses

Happy weekend, friends! If you’ve traveled down the rabbit hole that is the self-help world, you’ve probably come across this phrase before: Power Pose. No, it’s not what superheroes do when they’re interrupting a dastardly villain’s evil scheme. Well, not exactly. Power Poses are positions of the body that evoke a sense of (You guessed it!) and power and confidence. Just as the mind can influence the body, the body can transform the mind as well- studies have shown that simply posing like the following…

Photos courtesy of Amy Cuddy's TEDxTalk.

Photos courtesy of Amy Cuddy’s TEDxTalk.

… can lower levels of the stress hormone Cortisol and make you feel more secure and confident in yourself. The pose depicted on the right is actually nicknamed the “Superman”, so maybe it really is a pose a do-gooder would strike before vanquishing criminals. Amy Cuddy did an incredible TEDxTalk about the subject and in it she shares the results of a study concerning the impact of strong-looking poses on the mind that she oversaw. I’ve given it a try myself, and it really does seem to work! Cuddy recommends remaining in a Power Pose for two minutes every day, or before any big or stressful event. It may just help you handle the situations better. 🙂

If you’re looking for a quick and easy boost in self-confidence, I highly recommend checking out her video:

Hoping all of your wishes and dreams come true. XO Violet

How To Help: Easy Ways To Help Others

A big part of discovering oneself and the path to self-love is loving others. Once you begin to see the good in yourself, it becomes even easier to see the good in others. Being comfortable with yourself assists you in being comfortable around others and looking at them through a wider perspective. And after all, we have more than enough love and compassion within us- it’s time to spread some of that joy and adoration around!

The world is a huge place, with thousands of issues that need to be solved and millions of people that need to be helped. Yeah, it’s pretty freaking overwhelming. A lot of us hesitate to help others because we simply don’t know how and where to start. What can I do? Where can I lend my personal abilities? How can I make any bit of difference?

Because the world needs us all to pitch in (and because I know from experience just how intimidated and lost one can feel when trying to help out) here are ten easy ways to help others. I hope this list helps you begin the process and get y’all in the habit of doing what you can! I know I’ll be doing the same.

1. Host a food drive and donate the bounty to your local food pantry or self-help pantry. Or, buy some non-perishable foods yourself and donate them.

2. Donate blood. If you’ve never done this before and can physically do it, do it at least once. I’m horrible with blood and needles- and the experience was pretty terrifying- but I pushed myself to do it just once. It’s okay if you don’t become a frequent donor; just one donation can help save up to three people.

3. Go on a Litter Walk. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this one before. Grab a friend or a relative and take a nice, long walk outside. Pick up as much litter as you can find and dispose of it accordingly. Recycle what you can, too!

4. Purchase gently-worn clothing from thrift stores (i.e. pants, jeans, shirts, sweaters, coats, etc.) and new socks from a nearby store. Donate them (along with any gently-used clothing you want to give from your own closet) to your local homeless shelter. Another thing they are always in need of are basic hygienic items, such as travel-sized toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, plain chapstick, deodorant, etc.

5. Make blankets and distribute them to those who need them, be it at a homeless shelter, a local church’s charity, or the elderly couple down the street that have come down with a cold. An easy and efficient way to make blankets can be found here: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Fleece-Tie-Blanket.

6. During the winter season and when it snows heavily, volunteer to shovel your parents’, grandparents’, or neighbors’ driveways. This can be a rough time of year, especially for those with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

7. Visit an animal shelter (or even your closest Petsmart or Petco) and find out if they need anyone to volunteer their time, effort, and love. Even if all of the custodial duties are fulfilled, they may want someone to take the animals on walks or just spend an hour or two playing with them. If all else fails, you can always donate cat/dog food, toys, litter, treats, etc.

8. Sign up on DoSomething.org. This is a reputable and incredible website and organization that is specifically meant for helping people find ways to help others. I highly recommend it! They have a large variety of causes and campaigns, from animal rights to helping Syrian refugees. If you do only one thing on this list, do this one. And make sure to find a cause that suits your needs and talents. (:

9. Spread kindness around your school or workplace. After learning about operationbeautiful.com, I spent most of my high school days writing positive and inspiring notes and posting them all around when no one was looking. I still do it to this day because I’ve had friends (who didn’t know it was me, at the time) who found a note or two and kept them in their room or something because it made them feel so good and happy about life and themselves.

10. Lastly, help out around home. Do your normal set of chores quick and early in the day so your guardians aren’t stressed about it. Help them when they go grocery shopping and put away the produce for them. Pick up things that are too heavy for them to safely pick up. Do the chore they like the least so that they have one less item on their To Do list.

I hope this helped you get in the mood of helping others and spending your free-time wisely. Let me know in the comments section what you do to help others. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Much love,

Violet XO

When surrounded by stressful people.. -_-“

Good morning, internet lovelies. How was your weekend? What’s the weather like where you are? I hope that these past few days have been whatever you wanted them to be and you had nothing but positive moments. As for myself, this weekend has been hell (as is every weekend when my brother and his family stay over). These people are the opposite of my parents and I- we like quiet and calm, we stick to a normal routine/schedule, and we go to bed at a decent hour most of the time. My brother and his family, on the other hand, are consistently late (3 hours tardy to their own wedding, hello), loud and obnoxious at most hours of the day and night, and they thrive and feed off of petty drama. Every single time we’re in contact they cause problems and in short they’re just very disrespectful to themselves and others. I love them, because they’re my family, but I hate what they do with their time. Most of the time I can distance myself from them since they live in another state now and can no longer pop over uninvited every week. But on weekends such as these, I have no real choice in the matter.

So what does a person do when they are unfortunately surrounded by drama-fueled, stressful people?

To be honest, I’m still figuring the whole shebang out. But I can share my tips with y’all that seem to work with me; I will share them because I know shitty, negative people are a part of life a lot of people deal with and we need all the help we can get.

1. Garner alone time for yourself. This is especially important when the Negative Nancy’s happen to live in your humble abode. Carve out time to be spent by yourself, whether that means holing yourself up in your room, going outside for a long walk, listening to your iPod, etc. If you want to survive this, you need some You Time. Otherwise you’ll not only stay stressed, but you might become increasingly resentful towards your loved ones for encroaching on your space- anger does not do the body good.

2. Be positiveIt’s ridiculously easy to fall into a disgruntled trap of feeling annoyed and angry at the universe for doing you this disservice. It’s totally fine to feel angry or upset in general, but be very careful not to wallow in it- both your mind and the universe are listening to you. When you focus on what you don’t want/what you’re upset about/how terrible you feel for too long, the world is going to grant your wish. And no, it’s not the wish that these people go away that will be granted, but your feelings and thoughts that will be repeated and brought into the world. For example, when you get caught up in feeling shoved around by whomever is being a little shit, you’re going to find more instances of the situation occurring and you’ll only become more irritated, and sure that the universe is out to get you and your life is miserable. Instead, focus on what you desire to feel- free, firm, at peace, whatever you’d like. It’s the same sort of sentiment, except you’re actively choosing positive words and thoughts. This is the kind of wish you want granted.

3. Lastly, gratitude is the attitude. It’s an easier life for us when we remember all of the things we are blessed to have. I may have had annoying and rude people in my house, but in order for that to happen I must have a home- a roof over my head, walls shielding me from outside annoyances, etc.- so I am grateful. It’s an interesting spin, right? Try a similar exercise with your current problems and you may discover your burdens are a much lighter load than your blessings. Writing down a gratitude list or praying about what you’re thankful for is also very effective and calming. To be grateful is to be given a new, greater perspective on your life.

I hope these little tips help you when you feel overwhelmed by stressful people. Let me know in the comments if they helped or if you have any life-savers of your own!

Making Resolutions & Goals Stick: Putting In Your Intentions!

Hello there, cupcake! ‘Tis Monday again, and for some of you it’s back to school or work after a brief holiday break. Now more than ever- if you truly want to stick to your resolutions or goals- is the time to strengthen your foundation. This foundation will be the core of your desire and willpower to power through your goals, step by step, and achieve what you might alright be thinking is impossible. But if you really want success for yourself, you need to mean business. We’re five days into the new year, and in the words of Neil Patrick Harris’s family holiday card, it’s time to “Make 2015 your bitch”!

Many times when we fail at achieving a certain goal we set for ourselves, it’s because we start off with a shaky foundation. A weak foundation will only make you more likely to crumble, and you’re honestly too awesome for that shit. Keeping resolutions is hard enough without the extra pressure to sit still and let your hard work deteriorate. It’s all too easy to just think, There’s always next year. But like I said, you are a rad and beautiful and all-around-lovely person- you CAN achieve what you personally believe is success, whether that means eating less junk food, flossing once a day, complimenting yourself and others once a day, etc. Your goals don’t have to be massive or world-altering. After all, the best and most powerful way to change the world is to first change yourself.

Here are a few things that will help strengthen your foundation; all of them fall under the phrase “putting your intentions into” things. 2015 is your year!

You gotta inspire yourself. No one is going to do it for you. That’s right- the muses won’t whisper in your ears every day, nor will you have constant “A-ha!” moments. That is on you. You can’t just wait for inspiration to find you, it just doesn’t work like that. The way people stay inspired and their desires stay aflame is because they motivate themselves. Don’t wait for inspiration to come to you- go out and find it. Make an Inspiration board on Pinterest that you can look at every morning, set up a playlist with motivational tunes that get your passion all fiery, look up TEDxTALKs that relate to your mission, etc. Your goals and journeys are your own, and so is your determination to get things done.

Symbols, symbols, symbols. There’s a reason why so many people are finding a place in new-agey spirituality- as humans we absolutely adore symbolism. We love hidden meanings or just that meaning is placed within something. Something about symbolism attracts us, calls us. You can use this to your advantage! Create symbols that correspond to your desire/future achievement/goal/your end result and then use them as often as you can. For example, let’s say your long-term goal for 2015 is to find harmony within yourself and your world. You find that certain colors, greens and blues, make you feel calm and at peace. You also find pictures of the Yin-Yang and peace sign relax you and put you at ease. You might even perceive a certain animal as the picture of harmony within the self and the world. Once you know what symbols work best for you and your cause, use them every damn day. Paint your nails teal, wear shades of blue, find a pendant with a Yin-Yang or peace sign charm, find an animal totem that fits your description, draw those symbols on your wrist, etc. There are so many possibilities. Use these symbols in ways that you will constantly see them and be reminded of what you’re working for. Put intention into how you decorate yourself and your environment.

Lastly, write that shit down. Oftentimes, when giving advice, successful people suggest journaling, writing every day, or just having some sort of creative outlet to express your desires/how the journey is going/what it will be like when you accomplish your goals. Writing things (or drawing things) down is a way to help remind the brain what you are doing and why. It helps the resolutions stick in your mind, and it is by far the easiest way to put your intentions into something. Keeping an art journal, a diary, or a daily blog (hehe) will help tremendously.

I hope these tips help you along the path that you’ve chosen to walk! Let me know what your goals are, or what you do to put your intentions into what you do. Wishing y’all the best of luck! XXOO