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Nico

Creating Yourself

How to Accept a Change of Direction in Your Life

Look back on the last year of your life. Did it unfold the exact way you expected it would?

Chances are, it didn’t. And that’s 100% okay and normal.

We know the whole “roll with the punches” and “life happens when you’re busy making plans”. The idea of while you were moving full steam ahead to attain a certain goal, good ol’ life decides to through a wrench in your plans.

You lose your job. A relationship is broken. Maybe a sudden death happens.

It could also be a realization of your own purpose.

No matter how big or small the curveball it, it will undoubtedly cause stress, anxiety, and frustration.

But what if we embrace the change, and use it to empower ourselves?

Photo Credit:Photo by Daniel Gonzalez on Unsplash

No one likes to feel out of control, especially when it’s dealing with their own life.

I just recently came out of a boxing match with myself, attempting to fight the reality of how things were unfolding in my life.

For some reason, I couldn’t let go of ideas of how things were supposed to be. I wasn’t ready to face the harsh truth that I had to step off of my soap box and go the direction that was best for me at this moment.

Are you scratching your head wondering, what the heck is she talking about? I can explain..

For the last couple of years, I have been in search of my life’s calling. My purpose. My reason for waking up in the morning.

I had worked many jobs, quit just as many, and finally realized that I am meant (meant, being the key word) to create and become a blogger.

With this new found knowledge, I set out to become a blogger.

Being fortunate that I could focus on just this, I found myself at home, in my Pj’s, staring at a blank screen with no inspiration.

However, I was determined to make it my career, so I pushed forward. I felt like if I turned to get a “real job”, I would be nothing but a failure.

Months went by of struggling to be a full-time blogger, which was also accompanied by multiple breakdowns because, after all, that was what i was supposed to be.

It took me up until a couple months ago to realize that maybe I wasn’t meant to be a full-time blogger, and instead use it as a creative outlet.

So, feeling defeated, I went out in search a full-time job.

Guess what? I don’t feel like a failure.

I have used this transformational time to realize that I am not a failure just because I took a step back.

Instead, I am able to write freely without having to worry about inserting a link to get a discount. I’m not worried about how many visitors come here. I am released from any pressure to make sure every word written down perfect.

It’s time to get intentional about your life, but also embrace a change of pace and direction.

This is not to say that you should give up entirely on what your dream life should look like, but rather enjoy the ride while you’re on it.

Create the space to let yourself live, and understand that nothing will ever be perfect.

Adventure

Benefits of Solo Travel While In a Relationship

Once you get in a relationship, there is a transition from being “me” to “us”.

But that doesn’t mean you have to completely lose yourself within that.

It’s wild how many people believe that you have to do everything with your significant other once you are together.

But what if I told you that’s not the case?

What if I told you there are benefits of taking a break from your “us” to go on a solo adventure for you?

                                                                                                                             Photo by Steven Lewis on Unsplash

My husband and I started off our relationship with a whole lot of long distance, and I’m a firm believer that if it weren’t for those experiences, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Lots of people were worried that we wouldn’t “make it” because we were apart from each other the majority of our relationship in the early years.

We are so much stronger because of the decisions we have made, and there will never be feelings of animosity or regret that we were held back.

When our careers took us to different locations, we went. Not a day goes by that I regret being on different continents or in different time zones.

Being in a relationship should help you grow with each other, but also be supportive and help you grow within yourself.

For me, I have always been a lover of alone time and pairing that with travel has opened up my eyes to so many different, and incredible experiences.

Take a look at what I have found out during my solo trips while in a relationship.

Benefits of Solo Travel While in a Relationship

You are in charge

I’m known to be on the go. When I say I want to be out the door at a certain time, I mean it. I hate having to wait for people. I’m pretty selfish when it comes to my time. So when I get to decide what time I will catch a bus, when I will eat, what time I wake up… it’s absolute bliss that it’s all on me. And I can do what I want when I want. You don’t need to consider what your travel partner is feeling like either. It’s time for you to be selfish!  My husband and I are pretty good with being on the same schedule, but being solo I can literally go whenever I want. No more waiting? Yes, please!

Alone Time

I love, love, LOVE my alone time. Ask anyone who knows me. I seriously jump up and down when I realize I will have a night to myself. That’s not to say I don’t love my husband and being around him- I just really enjoy being in my own head and spending time with myself. When I travel solo, I get to have as much, or as little, alone time that I need. Those are the times when I get my most thinking done.

Independence

It is super important to not lose yourself when you get in a relationship. You need to continue being your authentic self, and if your authentic self is like me- you want to feel independent. Taking a solo trip will help you remember that you are an individual and can continue to explore by yourself. You don’t need to feel “trapped” or always feel dependent on someone else. If your significant other doesn’t understand why you want to go alone, you will need to talk to them about how being independent will help your relationship. Chucky and I are always supporting one another and understanding that sometimes you just need to take time for yourself. Traveling solo means you only have yourself to rely on, so you will learn to develop new skills such as navigation, transportation, and working through language barriers.

Meeting New People

For some reason when Chucky and I travel, people assume because we are a couple we don’t want to be bothered. However, when you are solo, people are more open to introducing and socializing with you. It’s sad to think about, but I understand because there are times when I do that, too! Being a solo traveler you meet other solo travelers who are just as eager and excited to meet new people as you are.

Forces You to Get Social

On the same subject as meeting new people, being solo forces you to get out of your comfort zone and meet people. I can easily rely on Chucky when we are traveling together, but when it’s just me- I have to go out and introduce myself or else I won’t get that social aspect from traveling. It’s especially important for me because I’m a pretty big introvert- so when I realize I need to make some friends and socialize, I have to be the one to do it.

Heightened Senses

When I am solo, I notice my spidey senses come out stronger than ever. I am always exploring with my guard up making sure I don’t get into any unsafe situations- so with that, I notice WAY more than if I were to be wandering the streets with my husband. I see more details of the areas I’m in, smell stronger, and see people who I wouldn’t normally notice. It’s crazy to think, but I seriously see a completely different world when I am by myself and it gives me a sense of appreciation for being able to bring all those visuals and senses home and in my writing.

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Ah yes, the good ol’ saying “Distance makes the heart grow fonder”. In this case- there is no better saying. As much as we love our significant others, sometimes we just need space. Traveling solo really helps with that because not only do we start to miss each other all over again, but there are some incredible stories we can tell each other and have new conversations to bring to the table. Sometimes just having the same old conversations about how our days went is nothing compared to talking about the time I had to hitch a ride to a community garden run by an ex- Buddhist monk. Am I right?

 

Next time you start to feel guilty about wanting to take a solo trip, think about the benefits that come from it. We should no longer need to feel guilty about expressing our individuality! Support one another and be excited!  You need to explore a little bit on your own. Anywhere from a day hike, to a weekend getaway, all the way to an adventure abroad. I guarantee when you come back you will be a little more grateful for one another.

Who else loves a solo trip? I would love to hear about it!

 

Creating Yourself

In a Rut? Tips For Getting Back on Track

I have recently gone down a rabbit hole of self- doubt, uncertainty, and total lack of motivation.

I would wake up and feel like it’s groundhog’s day- the same unproductive routine over, and over and over again.

I was stuck in a rut.

Sometimes we have these moments that creep up on us when we least expect it.

Instead of letting the negative feelings pull you down, learn how to pick yourself up- even when you feel like there’s no escaping.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash| Disclaimer: This post is NOT to help depression. I would advise seeking professional help if you believe you are suffering from depression.

 I don’t know about you, but I need things to be shaken up in order for me to fuel my creative juices.

Being stuck and feeling like you can’t claw yourself out of it is an awful feeling.

No matter the reason for you feeling this way- work, relationships, physical or mental health- it’s normal for us to have off days!

However, sometimes that feeling sticks around longer than you would like.

Fortunately, there are some simple things that you can do to help yourself get out of that “blah” mode.

Here are few things that I did to kick start my productivity and get my positive mood back.

How to Get out of a Rut

Exercise

No matter how tired, lazy, busy, or unmotived you are.. you need to get your body moving. There are so many benefits that you will gain from just a 30-minute workout. Not only will it help you physically, but it will also help with your mental clarity. Maybe there’s a big project at work that’s causing you to get in this funk? Try up-ing your physical activity level and see how you can start to break down the problems you are dealing with.

Journal

Journaling will help you dive deep to figure out what’s going on in your noodle. Are you frustrated, sad, overwhelmed? Without trying to find a solution, you need to figure out the root of the problem. It’s great to get in a habit of jotting things down to help in the long run because maybe this rut you are in was a compounding of multiple things happening that could have been addressed. I like to set a timer for 5 minutes of uninterrupted and unedited journaling. Unedited being key- you want to let the words and feeling flood the paper, not what you THINK you should be writing. You’ll be amazed at what you find.

Eat Well & Stay Hydrated 

When I feel myself starting to get into a rut, the first thing I straighten up is my diet and water intake. Sometimes getting into a better mood is just a simple fix of health. We need to fuel our body and mind with nutritious food that will power us through our days, not food that will make us sluggish and slow us down. Equally, drink that water! It’s key to stay well hydrated to help with your all over wellness. I can tell when I’ve been lacking in the health department when I start getting super unmotivated and LAZY. It’s not such a bad thing because it helps me stay on track health-wise!

Break Things Down

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. If you feel like you are overwhelmed with the number of things to do, try making small goals. It will seem less daunting and help reach what you are trying to accomplish. For instance, I was in a funk and couldn’t for the life of me finish a blog post I had started. So instead, I gave myself a small task of writing just a paragraph. All I needed was to write that. And when I did that, another paragraph. And then another. Same goes for the to-do list. Tackle a single item without thinking about all the other tasks that need to get done. Plan out your day and prioritize to be most efficient.

Get Social

Nothing is more therapeutic to me than meeting up with friends or family to just chat about life. I talk to my husband Chucky all the time about what I’m going through, and he is such a great support system. However, there are times where you need a different perspective and point of view. Grab a coffee with a close friend and just spill it all. Chances are, they will do the same for you and it will help both of you learn more about each other, as well as about what is truly going on with yourself. Socialization is key to happiness and getting yourself back on track.

Jump on the Podcast Train

I absolutely love getting fired up by listening to motivational or inspirational podcasts. Finding ones that fit exactly where I need help in my life at that moment- from getting that extra nudge for this blog, finding healing through spirituality, and even fitness motivation- there is always a podcast, book, or article that will help you. I recommend podcasts because there are literally no excuses to listen.. while you are driving, working out, or even showering. But if reading is your jam, then you do you! I am currently obsessed with listening to the Life Coach School Podcast by Brooke Castillo. She’s raw, real, and extremely motivational in helping us grow in many different aspects of our life.

Force Yourself

I acknowledge this isn’t really the advice you are looking for.. but every once in while you need to just eat that frog. Do that thing you don’t want to do AT ALL. The more you procrastinate, the more dread and stress will come from it. Just get’er done! Something I’ve been working on is getting the most important tasks done first thing in the morning. Knowing your hardest task is done and the rest of the day is smooth sailing is a fantastic feeling.

Get Some Vitamin D!

SADS, winter blues, or whatever you may call it- there is a reason these terms exist. We need some good ol’ rays of sunshine to help put us in better moods. So what if the sun hasn’t escaped the clouds in months? You can still benefit from taking a stroll on a cloudy day because the sun, believe it or not, IS behind those clouds 🙂 Just make sure to wear your sunscreen, even on the cloudiest of days.

Relax

Take a deep breath. It’s okay to not feel 100% all the time. You can’t always be Mr./Ms. Positive Pants. Sometimes these moods will wash over us and the only thing that will make us feel better is to realize that it’s okay to feel sad/down/unproductive/unmotivated. We all need breaks and maybe this is your body telling you to do just that. I have a hard time accepting that I’m stuck, but once I acknowledge it, I am able to take the steps to get me back on track.

We are all human, and life can be tough. Adulting is hard! So next time you are feeling in a rut, remember to follow some (or all!) of these steps to conquer your emotions.

 

Creating Yourself

My Journey to Becoming a Modern Nomad

It has taken a couple of years for me to realize that my “nomadic phase” wasn’t just a phase.

It is the way I want to live my life.

Constantly on the move. Experiencing different places. Exploring.

At first, I felt like I would have to  *eventually* settle down and start being an adult.

But what does that mean?

Just because my husband and I absolutely love being in different locations and not knowing where we are going to be next year, does that constitute as NOT being an adult?

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

Modern Nomads are people who give themselves the freedom to roam wherever and whenever they want.

In the last 6 years, my husband and I have…

  • Lived in San Diego, CA • Denver, CO • Fayetteville, NC • Palo Alto, CA • Cambodia
  • I traveled around South East Asia for 2 months, while Chucky was deployed in the Middle East
  • We went on a 4-month cross-country road trip visiting 15 National Parks
  • Backpacked through Europe for 3 months

It has been such an incredible and rewarding experience and the fact that I found someone else who loves this lifestyle as much as I do is so special.

Our Worlds Colliding

I had just graduated college and had recently gotten out of a relationship with a guy who wanted me to move in with him and start a family.

I was 21 years old, eager and ready to explore this earth, and had no plans of “settling down” in the future.

It was obvious that he and I would not work out. My hopes and dreams were to travel and live in different places, become a Peace Corps volunteer somewhere remote, and be wild. 

Meanwhile, in another universe, was a man from Indiana who grew up daydreaming about living in a rainforest with nothing but a loincloth and a knife (joking.. but not).

He, too, had been in relationships where the girls could not fathom leaving their hometown. Chucky’s ticket out to California was by way of the Navy.

He knew being an active military member meant moving around constantly, going on deployments, experiencing the world, and having change be the only constant in his life.

There was no way he would be able to have a relationship, or even find someone willing to be in such a crazy and unconventional lifestyle.

Until we found each other one night at a bar in San Diego.

Deciding this Life Was For Us

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

Since Chucky was in the military, we had no choice but to go where the Navy took us.

That was the start of our nomadic adventures.

We became pros at moving, minimalizing our things, and being spontaneous because we really didn’t know where we would go next.

It was thrilling!

I then got accepted to become a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cambodia, which was a dream come true.

With that came the whirlwind of me moving to another country, Chucky getting deployed, and our lives being lived out of backpacks and suitcases.

The crazy part was? We both flourished in that lifestyle.

We wanted to make this the way of life, not just a phase in life. 

Making It Work

Unfortunately, Chucky and I are not made out of money.

However, we still make this lifestyle work for us. And that is because we WANT to live like this.

Chucky ended his military career and does get a little bit of money from the VA.

We saved A LOT by reducing our spending, eating in, opting out of some fun trips our friends asked us to join.

It’s all about shifting your priorities if you want to make it work out. 

We are living intentionally by deciding the nomadic lifestyle is what we want, and we make plans accordingly.

Our Road Ahead

We have taken the last year to learn about ourselves individually and as a couple.

It is super important to make sure both of us are on the same page at every moment because this lifestyle isn’t for everyone. 

Chucky has been in a super intense coding school gearing him up for a remote job (hopefully). If he doesn’t get a remote job, then we are open to moving to a couple new cities.

As for me, I am slowly falling into the digital nomad category by chugging along on this blog. I’m enjoying every step of the way learning a lot about myself and my passions.

Together, we are open to where the road might take us in the next couple of months. It might be van life, or it might be us living in a studio in a city, or even a cabin the mountains.

The possibilities are endless. 

I want to hear from you!

Are you currently a modern nomad? Have you ever thought about it? I would love to know all about the journey you have been through or are currently going through! Comment below 🙂

 

 

 

Creating Yourself

Self-Care Routines to Adopt for 2018

Hello, 2018! As cliche as it is, I really find something special about a brand new year.

New beginnings. New opportunities. New You.

New self-care routines.

Cleansing your mind, body, and soul is extremely important to your physical and mental health, and what better time to do this than the start of a new year?!

Self-care is important to rejuvenate ourselves to be the best possible versions we can be.

How can we give 100% when we are only feeling about 20%?

Read on to find the best ways to dig deep and really create the most balanced you for the start of the new year.

Self- Care Routines to Adopt in 2018

Mind

  • Be constantly learning by reading books on topics you always wanted to learn more about or watching youtube videos.
  • Read inspirational books that will help you feel the urge to create and be the best you can be (read my post on 5 Inspirational Books You Need to Read Now)
  • Play games that will make you think such as chess or sudoku
  • Get a hobby that you can really delve deep into because chances are you will have to further your education for most hobbies to get better
  • Have conversations with your loved ones about topics that will create a discussion

Body

  • Find a workout that you truly enjoy doing, and commit to doing it 5 times a week.
  • Stretch! The most overlooked activity by far, but super important to help your body release tensions. Plus it feels amazing!
  • Eat foods that nourish you. Preferably a plant-based diet, but if that’s too much, start by incorporating more greens into your diet.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. I will NEVER say cut it out, because BEER, but moderation is key!
  • Relax! People are always running around and never truly sit and relax. Draw yourself an epsom salt bath and just breathe.

Soul

  • Find time in your day to meditate. Even just 5 mindful minutes can help tremendously.
  • Write a couple things you are grateful for in your gratitude journal every day. Even if you are having an awful day, being grateful for a warm cup of coffee or your dog will help shift your mind to a most positive way. At least for a little bit. (Read my post on How to Use Journaling to Manifest Your Dreams)
  • DayDream. Dream up how you want your life to look. And make it happen.

Creating a routine of some, or maybe all, of these items will set you up to be a super balanced and in tune with yourself.

Find time in the day to create a new rhythm that will help you slow down and really listen to how you feel or what you need in life.

Your body and mind will thank you.

 

Do anyone of you have something to add to the list? Comment below!

 

Minimalism

Gift Guide for Minimalist Chefs

I absolute LOVE cooking. I also love having a neat kitchen where everything has its place and it doesn’t feel cluttered. Minimalism makes perfect sense in the kitchen because it helps ease the already stressful event that happens in there 3 times a day (… or more if you are like me 🙂 )

To create a minimalist kitchen, it is important to invest in items that will help make it easier to find things, as well as clear up counter/cabinet space. Focus on items that have multiple purposes, and of course, sustainable for the environment.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash |This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links

Minimalists love things of function, and that’s exactly what the list has.

If you are trying to find the perfect gift for a minimalist chef in your life, take a peek at the items that I have that make life SO much easier.

Magnetic Spice Rack

The Gneiss Spice Everything Spice Kit was bought by my sister as our wedding present, and I’m still beyond thankful for this. This magnetic spice rack is the bee’s knees. Like, seriously. We live in a condo that has limited space, so we put the spices on the side of our refrigerator, and immediately saved space on the counter and in the cabinets. They come with so many spices, but if you want a different kind you can order empty glasses and just fill em up with whatever you choose. Each spice has a sticker to put on the bottom for easy searching, no more pulling out every spice jar hoping it’s the one you want! I like the fact that it encourages you to go in and fill up the jars, instead of throwing out your old plastic spice jars and buying new ones. Not only is it super eco-friendly, but they look awesome displayed in the kitchen!

Magnetic Knife Holder

Magnetic Knife Holder is another perfect way to clear up limited counter and drawer space. I keep not only my knives on it, but a pair of scissors and our can opener. It’s SO much easier to just see exactly what you need right in front of you.

French Press

Another gift we received was a French Press from Chucky’s brother. We use this every.single.morning. It’s now my favorite way to wake up because it’s almost meditative. The French press is so small, which was something our big ass coffee maker was not. There are multiple dual purposes for this guy; you can make coffee or tea in it, and you can use it in your house or camping! This french press has gone with us from California all the way to Maine and back and has brewed the most amazing coffee. Another feature is how eco-friendly it is- you don’t need to buy any filters for it or plug it in. It’s a win-win in almost every aspect.

Cast Iron Skillet

Have you ever tasted desserts or meals made in a Cast Iron Skillet? There is such a distinct flavor in it that no ordinary pan can create. That’s why this is on the list because every chef should have one in their kitchen. I like making fajitas and other types of smoked flavored dishes, as well as baked apples and delicious treats. I love that we can use it on the stove, in the oven, and over a campfire! Just make sure you don’t wash it with soap, rather rubbing salt on it to get it clean.

Hopefully, this gave you a couple of gift ideas for the minimalist chef in your family!

Anyone else have staple items in their kitchen?

 

Creating Yourself

How to Use Journaling To Manifest Your Dreams

Imagine this: dreaming about how you want your life to look like, and BAM- that’s your new reality.

Unfortunately, dreams don’t come true that fast but that’s not to say this can’t actually happen. I can tell you about multiple instances where I have literally dreamed up a situation and then a couple months (or years) later I am living that exact dream. To this day I still get goosebumps realizing that I literally created the life I want to live.

And guess what? You can too.

I use journaling as a tool to help manifest everything that has come into my life thus far.

That is the beautiful thing about writing things down- it makes you really think about what you want, how you want your life to look,  and what your biggest and scariest dream are.

Once you put it down on paper, you can then let the universe work it’s magic to draw it in. I know some people get a little squirmy with using the words such as “universe”, so we can say positive vibes instead 🙂 When you send out positive vibes, it will be a domino effect and create lots of positivity around you and soon you start to see your world shifting toward what you want.

In order for all of this to happen, it starts with how you journal.

Here are some tips for writing the most powerful journal entries to help you get closer to your dreams.

5 Steps for Manifesting Your Wildest Dreams

1. Set Intentions

In order for everything around to start clicking into place, you need to write down exactly what you want. Your intentions are to help you dive deep into yourself to figure out what your dream life looks like. Overall, what type of life do you want to live?

2. Write in The Present Tense

This is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you are NOWHERE near where you want to be. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and seeing all the acne on my face and noticing every fat roll on my body and  writing “I have clear, beautiful skin and a fit body.” Did I at the moment? Absolutely not. But I wanted it so bad, that I knew I had to write things down as if I had them already. You need to write everything in the present tense to get yourself in the mindset that you have these things already, or you are doing the crazy things you always wanted to do. Writing “I wish.. If only..”, sends of negative vibes, and we are trying to do nothing by positive thinking here, folks!

3. Be as Detailed as Possible

What would your typical day look like in your dream life? How early do you wake up.. or do you sleep in? Do you go out to eat every day or a couple times a week? Not only is it super fun to come up with little details, it also helps you truly decide what you want. I once wrote about living in downtown Denver in a cute 2 bed 2 bath condo… and about 3 years later, that’s where we are living now. Write it down and watch these things come to life.

4. Believe

Believe. Like REALLy believe you have it already. Write about it makes you feel, how you look, where you will be, etc. As you write out all of them, sit back and breathe in your dream life. Let the emotions wash over you. It’s okay to cry a little bit too. I have had some powerful journaling where as I sit and believe that I am doing what I want to do, I can’t help but get emotional with all the excitement and happiness I am about to bring into my life.

5. Take Action or Wait

Let the universe help you, but also help yourself. You cant say you want to get your dream job, and then sit and wait for them to call you. You have to actually apply with your amazing resume and cover letter, it’s up to YOU take the first steps toward it. There are some things you can set out and let happen naturally, but the majority of the time you need to actually take steps and meet the universe halfway.

6. Reread and Rewrite

Reread your journal entry every day to remind you of how bad you want it. ANd if you realize that some of the aspects don’t fit what you want anymore, go ahead and rewrite your story. And that’s what it is- your story. You decide how you want it to look and end

Final Thoughts…

I was never one to believe in the power of positive writing and gratitude journals, but time after time of my “wishes” coming true, I can’t help but preach that this actually works. There are times you get exactly what you want, and times where life leads you down a different path. Just take it, because who knows what other amazing things will happen from there.

Who else loves to journal? Would love to hear about it!

 

 

 

Creating Yourself

5 Inspirational Books You Need to Read Now

The other day I was reading, and every two minutes I would poke my husband in his arm to signal him to take off his headphones.

“Can I read this passage to you? I promise this is the last one.” I would ask, knowing that he was busy and didn’t actually have time to hear it.

I would read it, and be all giddy telling him how much it spoke to me, and that I’m ready to make changes according to what I just read. I would then apologize and tell him I won’t bother him again.

And then another powerful sentence would come up, and there I was, poking his arm “for the last time”.

This Post Contains Amazon Affiliate Links |Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash

There’s no better feeling than finding a book so powerful, you can’t help but yelp with excitement every time you turn the page.

Inspirational and self-improvement books have been my favorite to read lately, because they really give you something to practice while reading them, and well beyond the time you have finished. I give credit to the following books for getting me to where I am now… writing a blog about creating the life you want to live!

The following books not only help you look inwards to find your power, they also help set a fire to get you to where you want to be. I came up with this list of my favorites, all of which attack this subject in their own unique ways.

5 Inspirational Books You Need to Read Now

1. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert 

 

This powerful book walks us through the hardships and triumphs that Elizabeth has gone through, with fantastic tips and tricks to follow your dreams, no matter what gets in your way.

 

 

 

2. Discover Your Destiny by Robin Sharma 

A transformative fable that takes you through the 7 steps of enlightenment.  It focuses on living your dream life, even if you feel like you are at rock bottom. I pretty much highlighted the entire book because every page had a great message on it. Read this if you are feeling lost and uncertain about where you are heading in life.

 

 

 

 

3. The Secret By Rhonda Byrne

I don’t think any list of inspirational books is complete without The Secret. This was the gateway book for me to explore more about the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction. Everyone should read this book at least once to realize how powerful your thoughts can be, after all, thoughts become things.

 

 

 

 

4. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

If you are in need of a book that will set a fire within you as well as make you laugh along the way- this book is for you. Jen focuses on many topics with the book from meditation, spirituality, to actual actions you need to take. She mentions the “Big Snooze”, meaning everyone is just sleeping through life and gives us the tools to wake the hell up.

 

 

 

5. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

 

Sophia is hilarious, witty, and raw. She walks us through how she went from a dumpster diving rebellious young adult to being the queen of her own vintage empire. I have this on the list for those trying to start their own business and have nothing but doubts. Sophia spells it out plain and simple- you can be a #girlboss no matter where you come from.

 

 

 

Final Thoughts 
Each individual book will help you learn how to follow a path to your greatest life. Everyone needs a little guidance in their life, and this will be the perfect place to start.

 

Do any of you have a go to book for inspiraiton? I would love to hear about it! 

Minimalism

How Minimalism Helped Clear Up My Skin

I know what you are thinking- Nico, isn’t minimalism all about owning less stuff? What does that have to do with skin?

Yes, and no. Minimalism is the art of living with essentials that bring you joy, and eliminating all other items that you don’t need and/or cause you stress.

This can mean decluttering your home, to eliminating toxic relationships, all the way to being intentional about the products used in your personal care routine.

My husband and I have been minimalists for about 4 years now, and I would never have thought that I would get out of it as much as I have. Namely- my skin clearing up. Even as I type this I’m laughing because it was something so random and amazing that happened due to minimalism.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links. 

 Now, I’m no doctor (shocking, I know). However, it’s not a coincidence that growing up I struggled with acne, and once we started paying attention and living intentionally through minimalism- my skin cleared up.

Here are the habits that occured through minimalism, which in turned helped my skin.

Reducing Skin Care Products

I remember I used to be a product JUNKIE. I spent thousands of dollars (no exaggeration) on products claiming to clear up my skin or reduce scarring, or worst- brighten my skin! My skincare routine consisted of washing, scrubbing, toning, moisturizer, spot treatment. Ah, just writing this makes my skin crawl. Once we adopted minimalism, I took a good hard look at all the products cluttering up my bathroom and decided enough was enough. I started looking at labels and realizing that I was putting, pardon my french, toxic shit on my skin. So not only did I have a ridiculous amount of products, those products had a ridiculous amount of chemicals in them that I needed to give up. So that’s how I ended up with my skin care regime that I have been using for 4 years now. The following are in my bathroom now:

1. Dr. Bronners Soap: Used for washing my face, body, and makeup brushes. This stuff is THE soap to use if you care about what you put on your skin and the environment. I love the lavender, eucalyptus, and non-scented ones. You can purchase from Amazon here.

2. Jojoba Oil: Yes, I use oil on my face. No, it doesn’t make me more oily or break my skin out. Jojoba oil is known for being very similar to your skin sebum, so it naturally moisturizes and helps with age spots and mature skin. It’s slightly oily (duh) when you first put it on, but it soaks in nicely within 10 minutes. This is my knight and shining armor. I like the Plant Therapy Brand found on Amazon here.

That’s it. Those are my only two products that I use now. Talk about opening shelf space and saving money!

Using Less Make Up

Makeup is a touchy subject for me. I believe that makeup can be used as an amazing tool to enhance your face and used as self-expression. However, it can also be used to cover up and mask your face- which is what I used to do. This can be a vicious cycle. You break out, slather your skin with foundation which clogs your pores, which in turn makes you break out. I realized that I was using it as a temporary fix for my skin problems. I was seriously SO uncomfortable in my own skin, I wouldn’t leave the house with foundation on.

I attempted to stop putting so much on, because maybe the makeup was actually doing more harm than good, and I wanted to get rid of as much makeup that I could. I took baby steps from wearing liquid foundation and powder foundation to only powder foundation. And then putting it on every other day. Now, I use it to enhance my face when I feel like getting dolled up. It’s really liberating. And again, makeup is EXPENSIVE, so not wearing it every day = it lasting longer= not having to spend tons of money on it!

(Disclaimer: All makeup brands are different and have different ingredients in them. I now pay very close attention to make sure all my products are derived from plants and are all natural.)

Being More Organized Helped With Hygiene

Alright, I’m going to sound like a nasty girl for a little bit, but bear with me. When I was living my non-minimalist lifestyle, I let a lot of things fall through the cracks. Like hygiene. Now before you judge too hard, I know a couple of readers out there are probably going to read this and immediately think “oh shoot, that’s me”. So here it goes…

  •  Neglecting to clean makeup brushes weekly
  • Not swapping out pillowcases and towels frequently
  • Forgetting to wipe down items like phones or keyboards

Now that these tasks are part of my weekly routine, it’s crazy to think my life wasn’t like that. Having time to actually think about these tiny, but important, steps has everything to do with minimalism and being able to think clearly.

Cleaning Up My Diet

Minimalism has altered my way of thinking and now I question everything. Do I need this? Will this bring me joy? Will this add to our health and well-being? I also apply it to the kitchen and what we put into our bodies. I won’t go too in-depth here about our veganism journey (look out for the post on Why We Chose to Become Vegans soon), but I can tell you this much- it is a serious game skin changer.

We are very intentional with what we put in our bodies in the sense of whole grains, fruits, and veggies. We make it point to keep out all the crappy junk food (although we do love our cereal). This helps with our organization- the fruit goes in the fruit basket. Veggies in the fridge. Nuts and grains in mason jars.

What started out as a 1-month challenge morphed into our lifestyle for the past 7 months. I just look at how we used to eat as nothing more than a messy spread of junk. Don’t get me wrong- we were healthy. But now we are EXTRA healthy 🙂 And my skin is seriously glowing.

Having a New Outlook

Minimalism is so beneficial in many ways. Freeing yourself from what you think you need, to just having or doing the things you want is an incredible feeling. I owe my change in thoughts to this lifestyle because I realized that I don’t need a lot to be happy. I can be content with very little, and explore a lot. This has helped me step away from the mirror where I used to scrutinize every inch of my skin and body, and just live! My attitude toward beauty has changed- less is more. Fewer products. Less time spent criticizing myself. More time living a happy, natural, life.

Final Thoughts

Being a late- 20’s woman, I know how hard it is to not let your skin rule your emotions. However, I hope you are able to incorporate one, if not all, of these changes to see if it will help you. We are all such beautiful, unique individuals, and I can’t wait for everyone to have the confidence to just enjoy our days not being concerned about our skin.

Creating Yourself

3 Quotes to Help You Conquer Your Fears

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Hello, Wild Tribe! Today we are going to talk about an uncomfortable topic- our fears. We are all humans, and everyone has some type of fear holding them back from reaching their true potential.

For me, I have a plethora of self- crushing fears that do nothing but create a wall. A wall that, in retrospect, can be lowered by my own thoughts. But because I spin things up, and make things seem impossible to conquer, I look at all the wall as being concrete and rooted- nothing can tear it down. If you are nodding your head thinking “Yup- I do that, too!”, then thank goodness I’m not alone 🙂

It’s easy to let fear take a hold of our thoughts, but it’s up to us to quiet the little guy. I have had three types of fear wash over me in the last year; fear of the unknown, fear of other’s opinions, and fear of failure. I was able to take all those fears, and see them as a positive thing due to three powerful quotes I stumbled upon within that time.

Read on to discover the best quotes for these fears you might encounter, as well.

 Fear Of Unknown

 There’s a reason why the term “comfort zone” exists. It’s where we feel safe, secure, and at ease. But what happens when you step out of that zone?You enter the  twilight zone of the unknown. Where everything is new and scary because you don’t know how to navigate it. Maybe you are trying to start a new career, but feel like there are so many skills you need to learn- and it’s overwhelming. Or it could be a new adventure that is waiting, but you aren’t sure how things are going to turn out so you decide not to venture down that path.

“Don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from experiencing a life greater than you have ever known.” -Jeff McClung

Your life can change drastically if you just take that leap of faith. Wouldn’t it be silly to know that the only thing stopping you from reaching your dream life is yourself? Look at the unknown as endless possibilities waiting for you to unleash.

 Fear of Others Opinions

This was/is my hardest fear to date. It took me a long time to start up this blog, and actually tell people about it, because I was worried it wasn’t what people would like. Instead of reaching goals for myself, I was looking around to make sure the goal I was trying to reach was acceptable. Same can go for those living “unconventionally”, or just trying something you wouldn’t normally do in general.

” Care about what others think, and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu

Trying to live your life for others will not get you to where you need or want to be. You need to listen to where your heart and passions are taking you- and go! Chances are, the people you think would have judged you, will actually be your biggest cheer squad. And if not- then who cares?

 

Fear of Failure

Ah, the holy grail of all fears. It’s completely normal to be scared of trying something new, starting a new career, or adventure. It’s scary not knowing if things will work out or not.

“What if  I fall? Oh darling, what if you fly?”

We never know what will happen unless we try. So what happens if you fail? You dust yourself off and be thankful you gave it all you got because you now have a learning experience. It’s better to live life with no regrets and laugh at the times things didn’t go as planned, instead of regretting not trying at all.

Fear is a completely normal and natural part of life. What’s not normal is using fear to stop you from achieving whatever it is that you want. You literally have control over your own fear!

 

Final Thoughts

So I encourage you all to address what is scaring you and find the courage to break away. We will never know how truly amazing your life could be if you don’t take that leap. Apply for that position you think is out of reach. Quit your job if it is not fulfilling you and travel. Sing a song in karaoke. No matter how big or small your fear might be, you will thankful you put yourself out there and be amazed at where life will take you.

So let’s hear it, what are YOU afraid of?