Beautiful You: Spring in Your Step

Spring has sprung! Today it’s supposed to be about 70 degrees, and I felt it was the perfect time to bring along another “Beautiful You” post.

I came along this verse while doing my devotional yesterday morning:

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.” -1Thessalonians, 5:22 ESV

To be the most beautiful you, you have to live with a positive attitude. I automatically knew this verse would put a spring into my step. I mean, how could I not have a positive attitude after reading those nine words?

Living with a positive attitude will put a spring in your step. You’ll wake up feeling light, rather than burdened down. It’s not just about seeing the bright side all the time; it’s just being thankful. Even when you don’t think you can see a light at the end of the tunnel, all you need to do is remember those nine words, or whatever words speak to your heart. It could be a favorite passage from a book, a prayer, a meditation, a mantra, a song lyric, etc. What words put a spring in your step when you feel as if there’s nothing you can do to bring your shine back?

Be the most beautiful you today. 🙂

~Ashley

The Little Things

Today’s post is a quote that I repeated to myself throughout the day:

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. ~Robert Brault

Let this quote sink in. Think about the moments that have made you smile. Write them down. Celebrate them!

Have a great night:)

Ashley

Happy Valentine’s Day

Things I’m loving today:

This Twitter party today at 2:30 p.m. EST from Operation Beautiful.

This recipe for calzone hearts.

This card.

This song by Colbie Caillat.

Here’s something to remember for everyone:

Find something in every day that makes you smile, even just once. Capture that memory somehow. And remember it. No matter what day it is.

Today I’m thankful for all of the people in my life who love me, and I extend that love back to all of them.

And a little shout out to my boyfriend. 🙂

I hope you all have a wonderful day. I plan on eating plenty of chocolate.

So, here’s the question for the day:

Candy hearts: Love ’em or hate ’em? 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!

~Ashley

Daily Discovery: “Happy” Playlist

This song makes me laugh.

This song makes me cry. The good kind.

This song instantly puts me into a good mood.

And I only discovered it this week. Thank you, Pandora.

Take a moment to listen. It’s lighthearted and simple. It’s easy to listen to. And it says so much.

Share in the comments below what song or songs put you into a good mood 🙂

Here are a few more songs which have been on my playlist this week:

“Thieves,” She & Him
“Be OK,” Ingrid Michaelson
“Brighter Than the Sun,” Colbie Caillat
“Black and Gold,” Katy Perry

(Side note: I’ve been loving the She & Him station on Pandora. Instantly mood-lifting music.)

Have a great Saturday night!

~Ashley

Happy Holidays

I hope everyone has had a lovely holiday season. If you make New Year’s resolutions, what will they be for 2013? I’ve been thinking of a few, including a plan on reading more books this year. I love the new year (even though it takes me awhile to remember to write “2013” instead of “2012”).

I had a wonderful Christmas! We had two of them, one with my father’s family (a birthday surprise for him) and one with my mom’s family (our three cousins all got marshmallow guns, and yes, you can imagine the hilarity that began then). We had plenty of sweets, laughter, and of course, making new memories (and taking the pictures to remember).

As this new year rolls around, I really want to live in the moment. I spend way to much time worrying about tomorrow, the future, and even the past. So, even though it’s going to be one of my resolutions for the new year, I’m going start living in the moment now.

What are your resolutions for the new year? If I remember, I’ll share mine here. You should too!

Happy Holidays!

~Ashley

Recipe for the Season: Linzer Cookies

I have always wanted to make Linzer cookies. I see recipes for them each year, and every year I tell myself, “I’m going to make these.” And I never have.

Today I found the perfect cut-out with several attachments for the middle (heart, diamond, flower) and I cannot wait to bake a batch. I’m planning on using orange marmalade or I might buy raspberry jam.

Have you ever made these cookies? If so, what flavors have you tried? I’m thinking a chocolate one might be delicious, or even a pumpkin one?

Anyway, I hope you are enjoying your week so far, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving for those in the U.S. I cannot wait to make my pecan pie! I’ll share another family recipe here this week, and I’m sure you will love it.

Thanks for reading!

Ashley

30 Days of Gratitude

“Gratitude” : the state of being grateful : thankfulness.

#1. I am grateful for my ability to work.
#2. I am grateful to have a safe and stable home.
#3. I am grateful for my family and my friends. You are blessings with unique talents and personalities. Embrace them.
#4. I am grateful for my wonderful and kind boyfriend. He gets me.
#5. I am grateful that I can buy the food I enjoy eating.
#5. I am grateful that there are opportunities for me back to give back to others.
#6. I am grateful for my pug. She is my example of a self-less and peaceful life.
#7. I am grateful for all of my blog readers 🙂
#8. I am grateful for my faith. Without it I would have nothing.
#9. I am grateful I have lots of warm blankets for colder days.
#10. I’m thankful for my family, and how well we get along.
#11. I’m grateful for my parents who’ve taught me how to be a good person and to work hard.
#12. My sisters are the best,and I’m forever grateful I have them around. 🙂
#13. A little silly, but I really am grateful for coffee.

I noticed that Dennisse Lisseth, who runs the page Exceptional Living on Facebook, as well as her website Dennisse Lisseth, wrote in her newsletter the other day that she’s always wanted to do this but never made time for it. I couldn’t help but want to share as well, but thought a blog post which I could update each day would be better. I think you should join in too!

(Side note: I started following the Exceptional Living page about three months ago, and am inspired everyday by the motivational quotes and pictures she’d post.)

Have a great Thursday!

~Ashley

Happy Halloween: A Collection of Cute Things.

Hi everyone! Are you dressing up today?
Here’s a collection of some of my favorite and adorable Halloween-related things from around the Internet:

Recipes:

Homemade Crispy Twix Bars from Oh She Glows.

Pumpkin Cheese Balls from Betty Crocker via Pinterest.

Homemade Mounds Bars from Chocolate Covered Katie

Spiced Applesauce recipe from Emily Ellyn.

Pumpkin Designs:

Lace Pumpkin.

Pugs in Costumes:

Happy Halloween! I plan on watching a few Halloween-related movies: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Casper,” and of course, “Hocus Pocus.” Stay safe and have a great day!

~Ashley

Beautiful You: Facing Fear

What is fear, and how do you face it? I came across this article while reading Self magazine about two weeks ago, and wanted to share two of the tips, which can be found here.

Fear is defined as “a reason for dread or apprehension,” among other things, according to the American Heritage Dictionary. By dreading something, whether it be an event or confrontation with someone, you might begin to feel anxiety and want to make a run for it. But wait! Don’t run yet. Wait a minute.

I’ve felt this way before, especially back in college right before a big test. My weakness was math, and I was always afraid of taking math tests. On math test day, I’d be on edge. I wouldn’t sleep well the night before. I was scared.

But one day, I gave in. I admitted that I’d been doing my best and whatever outcome would be OK with me because I couldn’t handle the fear holding me back anymore. I admitted to myself that I was scared and then worked my way through the fear to the other side. And even though I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped every time, I’d felt proud because I’d conquered my fear.

One more tip that isn’t on here that I wish was is to change your perspective. Last year, when I was reading “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” one of the tips included in the book was to imagine that all the people and events stressing you out were trying to teach you something. By changing your perspective and opening your mind to consider that these people and events are trying to teach you something, you might find yourself less scared to face them.

To sum up, remember that when facing your fears to: change your perspective, remember that being scared is OK and the anticipation will be the worst part.

What other tips have you been taught, given, or created yourself to help face your fears? I’d love it if you shared in the comments below. Have a great night!

Ashley

Daily Discovery: Beautiful Pets from Operation Beautiful

Happy Monday everyone!

Last week, Operation Beautiful, a site dedicated to ending negative talk, had asked for pictures of dogs and a cute story about why they were special to us. I was hoping my entry wouldn’t be too late, since I took it Friday morning.

We had all three dogs at our apartment (my pug and both of my sisters’ dogs) and usually, taking pictures of my pug is fairly easy to do. Not that day. It took about twelve shots of all the dogs running back and forth, photobombing the camera, and thinking I had treats before I finally got a great shot and submitted it. Phew!

Anyway, I was excited to see, as I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed this morning, that Elsa, along with a few other absolutely adorable dogs, was featured on the Operation Beautiful Beautiful Pets post here. I highly suggest going over to the site if you haven’t already and check out the pets post, along with other posts.

I love Operation Beautiful and it’s mission, which you can check out here. And a huge thanks to Caitlin, who also blogs at Healthy Tipping Point for being such an inspiration.

I’ll leave you with the picture I shared, but I hope you go over to the site to check out the rest (you can click on the image and it will take you there):

Have a great day!

~Ashley