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Monday, January 19, 2015

Greening Your Beauty Routine

Taking care of my skin had become a real priority for me since I've entered my thirties. I've gotten into a great skin care routine that I love, but I've noticed how awful it can be for the environment. How many cotton rounds do I go through a year? Usually I'm using at least 2 a day (toning day and night) and maybe more if I use them to remove some stubborn eye makeup... so I'm looking at at least 730 cotton rounds heading into a landfill each year. And that's probably more like 800+. How many of us are there out there doing that? The numbers must be staggering. 

NO MORE!

I have found a fabulous Etsy shop that makes flannel rounds that you just throw in the laundry and REUSE! I love when I find earth-happy treasures - especially when they are beautiful!




Head over to GreenLittleNest.esty.com and get a set for yourself. You'll be taking care of yourself and the planet. How great is that?

(I have no affiliation with Green Little Nest and am not being compensated for this. I just LOVE her products!)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Did I mention the Midwest is freezing in the winter?

Yes, I live in the Midwest. And yes, it's freezing here. Which means there is no way that I'm heading outside to exercise. I've never been a fan of gyms. I don't like an audience. Nothing like bouncing along on the treadmill while your butt bounces along behind you. No need for anyone else to join in that fun with me. You're welcome. Not to mention I hate taking the time to drive somewhere to exercise and then the time to drive back. I don't have that much time on my hands. Which means that I must figure out a way to workout at home. So today I give you my top three workout videos to help you make it through the winter.

1) Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds Ultimate Collection. Really anything by this woman is fabulous - particularly for those of us who are lacking in the coordination department. This is a staple for me when I travel for work. I pack it in my suitcase and all I need are my sneakers.


2) Valerie Bertinelli Losing It and Keeping Fit. I'll be honest and say that I've only done the first workout, but it's a good one. It's only 20 minutes long and does a really nice job of helping me work in some toning exercises. Plus who doesn't love Valerie Bertinelli? 


3) The 30 Day Yoga Challenge with Erin Motz. This is such a great resource for people new to yoga. It gives you a taste of a bunch of different yoga poses from the easiest to some that I will never be able to pull off. But, the practices are only about 20 minutes or less in length which makes them the perfect way for you to work in some daily yoga into your world - all from the comfort of your own home and for FREE online!

http://www.doyouyoga.com/course/the-30-day-yoga-challenge/
Try out one of my favorites and let me know what your go-to-workout videos are as well.


Friday, January 2, 2015

2015... Lessons learned this far.

I've checked off two days on my calendar and am proud to say that I've managed to keep to my plan so far. Scoff all you like, but that is an accomplishment! I have a few reflections to share with you on my efforts thus far. Let's call it the top 3 things I've learned in two days of 2015.


1) I am out of shape. Embarrassingly out of shape. The kind of out of shape where you claim you have asthma so no one thinks all that panting is due to keeping your rear from falling off the back of the treadmill. 

2) My dogs love it when I do yoga - or as they like to call it: the-human-is-doing-that-thing-where-she-can't-stop-us-from-licking-her-face. 

3) No one drinks as much water as they should. You know why? Because no one has that much time to go to the bathroom. Seriously. Who has time to pee this much? Apparently me. Because that's all I've been doing for two days. 

This must get easier. I'll just be in the bathroom if you need me. Oy. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Authentically Connected

It's time to finally conclude my five-part plan with the last component: connections. In this area I want to focus on my relationships with others - my family and friends. Just as I want to take time to be by myself, I also want to take time to really focus on others. I don't just mean being in the same room, I mean put away the cell phone, turn off the tv, and really be together. This will give me the opportunity to enhance the relationships that I already have and to build new ones with those I haven't had the opportunity to get close with.


Quarter 1:
   - 30 minutes of quality time with my family each day.
   - Unplug for 1 hour each day.
   - Go to coffee with friends once a month.
   - Go on a date with my husband once a month.
   - Go to church twice per month.

Quarter 2:
   - 45 minutes of quality time with my family each day.
   - Unplug for 90 minutes each day.
   - Go to coffee with friends once a month.
   - Go on a date with my husband once a month.
   - Have a special outing with one of my daughters each month.
   - Go to church twice per month.

Quarter 3:
   - 1 hour of quality time with my family each day.
   - Unplug for 2 hours each day.
   - Go to coffee with friends twice a month.
   - Go on a date with my husband once a month.
   - Have a special outing with one of my daughters each month.
   - Go to church twice per month.

Quarter 4:
   - 1+ hours of quality time with my family each day.
   - Unplug for 2.5+ hours each day.
   - Go to coffee with friends twice a month.
   - Go on a date with my husband once a month.
   - Have a special outing with one of my daughters each month.
   - Go to church twice per month.

In what ways will you maintain connections in your life in 2015?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Authentic Self Care

In the fourth component of my five-part plan I want to focus on taking care of myself. Given my health issues, my hectic career, and the myriad of other responsibilities and commitments that I have, this is incredibly important. If I don't take care of myself, then I can't possibly take care of everything and everyone else. And so in 2015 I'm going to spend more time focusing on the care of Ashley!


Quarter 1:
   - Get a massage once per month.
   - Take a relaxing bubble bath once per week.
   - Spend time every morning and night tending to my skin, teeth, hair, and nails.
   - Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
   - Do something fun once a week.

Quarter 2:
   - Get a massage twice per month.
   - Take a relaxing bubble bath once per week.
   - Spend time every morning and night tending to my skin, teeth, hair, and nails.
   - Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
   - Do something fun twice a week.

Quarter 3:
   - Get a massage twice per month.
   - Take a relaxing bubble bath twice per week.
   - Spend time every morning and night tending to my skin, teeth, hair, and nails.
   - Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
   - Do something fun twice a week.

Quarter 4:
   - Get a massage twice per month.
   - Take a relaxing bubble bath twice per week.
   - Spend time every morning and night tending to my skin, teeth, hair, and nails.
   - Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
   - Do something fun at least twice a week.

What will you do to tend to yourself?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Authentically Mindful

In part three of my five-component plan, I'm focusing on taking care of my mind. This is a multi-faceted approach. I didn't want to just focus on stress-reduction or being more centered, I wanted to take a more holistic approach. So you'll see in this plan I'm focusing on growing my mind, calming my mind, and trying to give my mind some love. Just like the other parts of my plan for 2015, I'm taking this plan in quarters with the caveat that I'll adjust it as needed.


Quarter 1:
   - 15 minutes of yoga daily
   - 15 minutes of meditation daily
   - Read/watch/listen to something weekly that will foster my self improvement
   - Blog twice per week
   - Keep a daily gratitude journal

Quarter 2:
   - 20 minutes of yoga daily
   - 20 minutes of meditation daily
   - Read/watch/listen to something twice a week that will foster my self improvement
   - Blog twice per week
   - Keep a daily gratitude journal

Quarter 3:
   - 25 minutes of yoga daily 
   - 25 minutes of meditation daily 
   - Read/watch/listen to something four times a week that will foster my self improvement 
   - Blog three times per week
   - Keep a daily gratitude journal 

Quarter 4:
   - 30 minutes of yoga daily 
   - 30 minutes of meditation daily
   - Read/watch/listen to something five times per week that will foster my self improvement 
   - Blog three times per week
   - Keep a daily gratitude journal 

Are you ready to make your plan for 2015? How can you begin living your life more authentically?


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Authentically Nutritious


Facet two of my five part plan for 2015 involves eating well. Yes, the dreaded approach to nutrition. But in this approach, I want to take a simple, easy to follow approach. Perhaps that way I won't find myself falling off the wagon!



Quarter 1:
   - 64 oz of water per day
   - Only eat junk food 2 times per week
   - Eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day
   - Eat breakfast every day
   - Cut out all dairy

Quarter 2:
   - 70 oz of water per day
   - Only eat junk food 1 time per week
   - Eat 7 servings of fruits and veggies per day
   - Eat breakfast every day
   - Cut out all dairy

Quarter 3:
   - 74 oz of water per day
   - Only eat junk food 1 time every two weeks
   - Eat 10 servings of fruits and veggies per day
   - Eat breakfast every day
   - Cut out all dairy

Quarter 4:
   - 80 oz of water per day
   - Only eat junk food 1 time per month
   - Eat 10 servings of fruits and veggies per day
   - Eat breakfast every day
   - Cut out all dairy

What healthy eating goals do you have for the New Year?