2015 New Year’s Resolutions

Be consistent. I got this from Gabrielle Bernstein’s video. I had an “aha!” moment when I watched that video: You can make great change just as long as you’re consistent. Being consistent makes it hard to give up the moment you “fail.” Being consistent makes it easy to make change because you are understanding that you’re human. It’s a way to acknowledge that you are ready for change. Change takes commitment.

Love yourself and others. Jesus said to love others as yourself. Work on loving yourself and spreading that love to others. This could be a simple as not participating in body-shaming of yourself or something else (yes, celebrities count too!). Be love to yourself and others by making a healthy meal and inviting loved ones to partake. Be love to yourself and others by making a commitment to focus on posting positive things on social media, such as an encouraging quote, story, or song.

Those are mine.

What are yours?

More general goals for me? I’d like to read more. I’d like to write more consistently on my blog, practice yoga and meditation daily, and continue journaling and writing poetry.

Happy New Year! May you be blessed.

Burning Candles, Early Mornings

Burning_Candles_Wallpaper_zi3hcIn the soft glow of the morning, I light one of my three candles sitting on my desk. I pull out my journal, begin to write, or just close my eyes and sit in stillness. The quiet of the morning appeals to me now, though just a few years ago the thought of getting up early for anything would have seemed impossible. And to enjoy it? Not a chance.

But now I love my early mornings, where I can get up calmly, relax, and linger. I can ease in to my work day with joy and gratitude.

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about living with ease (thank you, Tara Stiles). How we can create the right amount of space in our lives for the things to make us live with ease if we want too. The only thing stopping us? Being willing. So many times, we want things without being fully committed to being willing to do them.

I’ve made space in my morning to start it quietly, rather than rushing around, because thatโ€™s what I find lifts my spirits, eases me into my work, and opens me up to feeling grateful, loved, and worth it.

What space do you need to make in your day to day life that could help you live more at ease?

Burning Candles Wallpaper image from here.

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Beautiful You: A Challenge for Today

Good morning everyone!

Despite however your week may be going, I want to challenge us all today to do one thing: find and share one reason to smile! It might be having a cup of coffee with a loved one before work, a phone call, a bouquet of flowers, or picking up a new book.

I would love to hear what you find today that makes a smile appear on your face. By finding one thing to make you smile, or feel uplifted, I hope it helps you find even more reasons too.

To start things off, I found this gorgeous recipe for baklava from The Pretty Blog this morning while scrolling through my Facebook feed. I couldn’t help but remember a dinner date with my boyfriend where we tried out this new Greek place and ended the night in a park sharing baklava.

I look forward to hearing all the things you’ll be sharing! Have a great Wednesday!

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~Ashley

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Daily Discovery: Makeup YouTube Channel

Hi, everyone!

Today’s Daily Discovery is all about… makeup. ๐Ÿ™‚

I recently discovered Cassandra Bankson’s YouTube Channel, Diamondsandheels14 ,about a week ago and I love her videos. The reason why it’s an ingredient to my life’s recipe? I can’t help but smile when I’m watching her videos and seeing how happy and passionate it she is about what she does to help others.

Her videos are inspiring, positive, and worth watching.

In fact, it’s helped re-inspire me to get creative with my makeup. I’ve always loved makeup and I love to play around with it and play up my features. (I love my eyes- they’re my favorite feature.)

Anyway, if you love makeup, and as she says “if you like being happy,” check out her channel. I also love HelloGiggles’ Nails of the Day posts (especially the adorable tuxedo nails inspired by Zooey Deschanel).

Have a wonderful Wednesday night!

Ash

Daily Discovery: My Playlist

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since my last post, and while it’s not really a Daily Discovery, I thought I’d share a few songs that have been on my playlist. I work from home, so I go through quite a bit of music during the day. (I’m always looking for new music. If you have any ideas, share in the comments below.)

Here’s what I can’t get enough of:

This Kiss, Carly Rae Jepsen
Hurt So Good, Carly Rae Jepsen
Parking Lot, Nelly Furtado
From This Valley, The Civil Wars
Ready or Not, Bridget Mendler
Song Away, Hockey
Some Nights, Fun
Are You Satisfied?, Marina and the Diamonds
One Thing, One Direction
We Are Never Getting Back Together, Taylor Swift
She Wolf, Shakira

When I’m working, I love music with a happy and upbeat feel to it to keep my mood up. It also keeps me feeling energized. I’ve also noticed that in the summer, I’m in the mood for music with a catchy beat and lighter lyrics, if that makes sense. Carefree and energizing, happy and (though I’m not a huge fan of the heat and the sun) would be perfect for a day at the beach.

Here are a few albums I’m excited for:

Christmas in the Sun, Colbie Caillat
Babel, Mumford and Sons
Red, Taylor Swift
ARTPOP, Lady Gaga
Anything by The Civil Wars

Christmas in the Sun was just announced, and I love Colbie’s idea behind the album: what about people who, around the holidays, don’t get snow? I completely understood when I read this, because I where I grew up, I remember it snowing maybe twice while I lived there before moving north for college. And only once was the snow actually falling on Christmas day (and it didn’t stick around). I love this idea for a holiday album and I cannot wait.

I fell in love with Mumford and Sons sometime last year. I can’t remember. But I love their music, and I love how their songs are inspired by literature.

I’ve never been Taylor’s biggest fan but I do enjoy her music. But with the release of We Are Never Getting Back Together I’m interested in her pop sound, and looking forward to seeing if she continues it or if the rest of her music will still have a little country in it.

I’ve been a fan of Lady Gaga since The Fame Monster, and am highly anticipating what she’ll do with her upcoming album.

And last but not least, I could go on for days about how much I love The Civil Wars, but then this post will be even longer than it already is. But if you haven’t listened to their album or any of their music yet, please add them to your playlist. I will say though that their album, Barton Hollow, is perfect. Completely perfect. And that’s all I’m going to say. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What music has been on repeat for you lately?

Days 5 and 6 of Poetry Challenge

Hi everyone! I’m taking a moment to catch up and share today and yesterday’s poems for the poetry challenge.

#5
If I lived in the forest I’d be scared of twilight
because when that moon rises, I can barely see it
and it’s so dark, so dark, that I feel suffocated
isolated, a deer– the target–and
though he sleeps in the bed beside me,
it is quiet, too quiet, and I’m
afraid of hearing your voice
dancing through the trees
my cottage isn’t built for three
But walls mean nothing to you.

#6

Time was not kind before he knew it– it had gone
and fighting to get it back
he realized
no time machines exist here
time only continues to move
forward,
one direction,
only memories living in the past
in the pages of a book
in photographs on smartphones
but time keeps moving on
and the fight keeps going on
we keep moving on.

You can check out my other poems here.
And make sure to stop by and read all the other poetry that’s flowing over on Francesca’s blog here.

An Untitled Poem for Day 3

Happy Monday everyone!

Today for the poetry challenge, I found my inspiration in the picture Francesca provided with her own poem.

Here’s my number 3 poem:

Untitled

If wishing on stars actually worked I’d have millions of books
and long flowing hair
I’d live in the forest, surrounded by magic and
love without fear
but I sorely reminded
that in the morning
the wolf is still in my room waiting for me
to try and start my day
locked inside its belly
unable to escape

but one evening, those stars began to fall
and I wished on the very first I saw
and woke the next morning
alone–
the sun shining.

The poetry is flowing on Francesca’s blog. Here’s day three: http://loveinthetimeofglobalwarming.blogspot.com/.

You’re Beautiful

Even when you think you aren’t. After a rough day, a stressful day, or simply a bad thought running through your head.

Take some time to breathe and remember, you are strong and beautiful. And that bad mood, bad day, rough patch or negative thinking will pass. Focus on the positive surrounding you- feel its energy.

Stay strong and keep smiling:)

Happy Wednesday!

~ Ashley

I found this image today and thought you’d love:

Never Good Enough

Ever felt this way?

You’re not alone. I’m sure anyone you talk to would mention that at one time or another, they have felt this way before.

Some things to remember: Stop comparing yourself to others. Be who you are. Never stop trying to accomplish your dreams. Be the best person you can be. Express the beauty that is yourself.

And paint the world with it:)

Happy Sunday!