Five Things I’ve Learned About Worrying And Why It Really Doesn’t Help

Feb 22, 2018

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Photo: www.nappy.co

Over the years I’ve been told that I worry too much. Especially, when I was younger. As I get older, I’m much better at taming that worrying beast. I think worrying is natural, especially being a mother. When you’re responsible for someone’s life, it’s more than likely you’ll worry about them. Your mind is constantly trying to confirm if you’re actions as a parent is right or wrong.  Life naturally causes us to worry about bills, our families, being successful and just about anything you can think of.

It requires a different way of thinking to change how you deal with worry and worrisome situations.  It takes time and maturity for the most part. As you grow and gain different life experiences, you realize worrying really doesn’t help you. There’s no benefit to it. You get better at learning not to sweat the small stuff, deal with the big stuff and you gradually figure out what is truly important. Some people do breathing exercises, others are great with self-talk.

Here’s what I’ve learned about myself when I worry,

  1. It causes stress and stress can affect my health. Without my health, I’m no good to myself or anyone else.
  1. At no time has worrying helped my situation. Not one time!
  1. The faster I am able to calm my emotions, I can use my brain power to figure out a solution. I actually spend less time worrying.
  1. Pray about it. If you believe in a higher power like I do, just leave it with him, her or the universe (or whatever). An answer will come. It may not be the way you expect but a solution will appear none-the-less.
  1. Worrying clouds my judgment. So keeping calm helps me think clearly.

The reality is, some people worry more than others. Like I said, I am naturally a worry wart but it’s getting better. For the most part, it’s easier said than done to tell yourself, “Stop, think logically and do not let this stressful situation get to you.”  Changing our mindset sometimes requires a bit of advice or guidance on how to do it. Through my life experiences, I’ve been able to deal with worrying a lot less. I’ve also learned a few tips and tricks from the book  “How To Stop Worrying And Start Living.” 

There are too many tips to list but here are my top three,

1.  One grain of sand at a time, one task at a time. I know we’re told that multi-tasking is a great skill to have but you simply can’t do two things at once. Well, at least not effectively.

2.  Let’s be content to live the only time we can possibly live: for now until bedtime.

3.  Discover the worst that could possibly happen, accept it and then use your time to improve upon the worst.

Worrying sucks just like any negative emotion we feel but if we can tackle it on head-on, I truly believe we’ll live a much longer, healthier life.

 

 

 

 

 

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My Top 5 Treat Yourself It’s Valentine’s Day Gift List

Feb 14, 2018

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Happy Valentine’s Day ladies!

Whether you’re kicking it solo today like your’s truly or you have a wonderful significant other to spend some time with, let’s celebrate with a little self-love and treat ourselves today. I don’t mean go break your bank account, or anything like that. But you work hard, so let’s take something off of your never ending wish list, shall we?

A little retail therapy never hurt anyone, especially today.

So, I give you “My Top 5 Treat Yourself, It’s Valentine’s Day” wish list…

1. Bond Aviator Frames

First up, the Bond Aviator frames by luxury eyewear brand Bôhten. Their eyewear collection has a classic yet modern-funky feel to it. Toronto entrepreneur Nana Boateng uses reclaimed wood from Ghana to create each piece.  Everyone looks cool in aviator frames but with pink lenses, com’n! I love them. The brand is launching their Bohten5 collection this summer.  The Bond frame is one of the first pieces that combine both wood and acetate materials.

Price: Not currently listed on their website.  A current pair can start anywhere from $150.00 or more.

2. VitaJuwel “Cupid’s Kiss” Water Bottle

The VitaJuwel water bottle (available at Ka-space concept store) is the mother of all water bottles. It’s not only pretty to look at but the Vitajuwel system infuses your water with carefully selected gem stones. The balance of the two, helps to release the stones energies and healing powers.  Different, right?  Each bottle has an exchangeable bottom piece (a gem pod) that holds the gem stones in place. You can exchange the gem pods to infuse your water with different gem stones. The Cupid’s Kiss bottle (shown) has a rose quartz gem pod that is said to release emotional wounds and trauma and to bring peace and calm.

Price: $160.00

3. Wear Your Words Bangle

Love & Light Jewels uses a number of gemstones and crystals throughout most of their jewelry collection. It’s hard to choose just one item to love but their Wear Your Words Bangle caught my attention. The simple, adjustable bangle is a stylish way to carry around the “If you can dream it, you can do it” mantra.

Price: $20.00

4. Green House Juices

Green house has a number of cold-pressed juices, handmade nut milks, tonics, boosters and cleanses if you’re looking for a healthy way to get in your daily nutrients.  On my list for two reasons;  I love beets and their Deep Root Juice is mixed with beets, apples, carrots, celery and lemon and they deliver right to your door with their customizable monthly subscription service.

Price: $10.50 bottle, subscriptions vary.

5. Eye Shimmer: Pure Gold

I have a thing for natural colours and earth tones, especially with makeup. Many of my friends often tell me to add some colour to my already limited makeup collection. So, I bought a bold red lipstick. I know, different (insert rolled eyes here). Stone Line Cosmetic’s Gold Eye Shimmer caught my eye. No pun intended. Their cruelty-free brand is hypo-allergenic, fragrance and paraffin free. The line was designed with women in mind, who tend to break out when wearing makeup for long periods of time.

Price: $17.70

And there you have it. Five affordable to semi-affordable ways to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day. What’s on your wish list today? Any plans to treat yourself?

 

Here’s a few of my favourite things from last year! 

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Recipe: Gluten-Free Cacao Cranberry Loaf

Jan 17, 2018

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I’m not a lover of cooking. I mean, I don’t like long prep times to prepare meals. If I can spend less than 20 minutes in the kitchen to make a meal, I’m all for it. Anything beyond that, I get a bit antsy. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little (not really) Christmas breakfast took me at least one hour to prepare. Not including the slow baked ham.  So the holidays are an exception.

It’s a new year and with a new year comes new goals. My number one goal is to keep to a solid healthy eating routine. I don’t mean simply minimizing the amount of bad food that I eat but really making an effort to cut them out of my diet permanently. My number one priority is to eliminate all gluten.

In general, I’m conscious of what I eat. I very rarely eat white flour, drink pop, or fried foods. I drink lots of water, not always a full 8 glasses but I get up there. I do occasionally have a sugar and bread binge but eventually I get back on track. Since being gluten-free is my priority and snacking tends be a  weakness, I’ve decided the best way to control my gluten intake (especially when I crave sweets) is to make my snacks from scratch. I’m not sure how long the Betty Crocker effect will last. Remember, I’m not one for slaving away in the kitchen for too long.  But at least, I can feed my occasional craving in a fairly healthy way.

Enter in my gluten-free-cacao-cranberry loaf….

A personal recipe inspired by whatever I had sitting in my kitchen cupboard (mostly). It was only my third time making the loaf but it’s been a life saver for breakfast or as a quick snack. And the best part is it only takes 20 minutes to prepare. Like I said, 20 minutes or less and I’m a happy camper!

Bon Appétit!

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PREP TIME: 20 minutes or less

COOKING TIME: 30 – 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup of gluten-free flour
1 cup of brown rice flour
1/4 cup of flax meal
1 tablespoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar (1 cup if you want a sweeter taste)
1/4 cup of organic cacao bits
1/4 cup of cranberries (fresh, frozen)
2 1/2 cups of Almond milk (3 cups if you want to make the batter a bit thinner)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

INSTRUCTIONS
Mix the brown rice flour and gluten-free flour in a large mixing bowl with a fork. Then mix in the baking soda, nutritional yeast, flax meal, again continue to use the fork. Then mix in the cane sugar.

Once all of the dry ingredients are mixed together, add the milk, cocoa bits and cranberries and then mix everything together one last time. Let it sit for a few minutes and dust a bread pan or cake pan with a bit of flour and pour in the mixture. Put in the oven.

Let bake for 30 minutes or until brown at 275 – 300 degrees. To ensure the middle is cooked insert a butter knife or toothpick in the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean with nothing sticking, the cake is done.

 

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All Things Natural At The Textur’d Hair And Beauty Show

Oct 1, 2017

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I’ve worn my hair naturally mostly under protective hairstyles for a few years now. It just made things easier. But easier isn’t always better if you let a busy schedule and a non-existent hair care routine get in the way. If your natural hair isn’t getting TLC on a regular basis it will take a toll on the health of your hair.  Let’s just say, my hair is in need of TLC, a good hair care routine and a few good products to match. Coincidently, timing couldn’t be better. The  Textur’d Natural Hair & Beauty Show was happening right in my neck of the woods and I was able to catch day 2 of the event.

With over forty (mostly female) vendor’s, I looked forward to chatting it up with hair and beauty brands from Toronto and the United States. It was hard just to choose just one item from the variety of organic, vegan and naturally handmade products available. Almost all of the brands had a solution to maintain, repair and encourage healthy hair growth.

Not just a vendor showcase, several workshop facilitators shared their unique knowledge on everything to do with natural hair, body and skin care. Nutritional Consultant, Trisha Smith, discussed natural remedies and the connection between digestive disorders and the various effects on the hair.  Certified Shea Butter Technician, Kedar Waterman, discussed the many healing properties of premium grade Shea Butter and it’s benefits.

I ATE whole wheat roti, coconut curry chickpeas and quinoa salad courtesy of Chic Peas Veg, a plant based catering company.  I CHATTED with Ndija Anderson-Yantha,  a natural hair advocate and author of “What are you going to do with that hair?” A non-fiction book encouraging young girls to celebrate and love their natural hair. And I BOUGHT, (with so many wonderful products to choose from) En’tyce Your Beauty’s Herbal Temple Root Gro to help with thinning edges. And Muthaland Secrets’  Three Leaves Special Body Bar to help tone and purify your skin. It was a great afternoon fill with positivity and love for all things natural!

My haircare brands wish-list to definitely try,

What do you use in your natural hair?

 

 

 

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5 Basic Photography Tips That Helped Me Take Better Photos

Sep 22, 2017

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I have a slight addiction to stalking beautiful looking Instagram profiles. Seriously, I do. You know how you can get lost on Pinterest for hours? Yup, like that. I can look at any number of individual profiles for hours taking in the quality of the photos, the layouts and everything that makes the images visually appealing. I often wonder if everyone online has a dedicated photographer on speed dial. Cuz I sure don’t.

So, what do you do when your photography skills are very limited? You get inspired and you learn “how-to”. I challenged myself to stop the point, shoot, click and hope for the best tactics. And learned a few basics to help me spruce up my photos.

(2 pieces of white Bristol board, iPhone camera 5s, Snapseed app for editing)

 

TIP #1 INSTAGRAM IS YOUR PORTFOLIO USE IT THAT WAY

I’ve taken a good look and studied the Instagram profiles of a few influencers that I admire. They all treat their profile as a secondary blog or showcase a body of work of some sort. It’s their portfolio. It helps promote who they are and what they do. Because of this, their images have a consistent tone, style, or colour scheme and quite often each photo aligns with their brand. As I work towards creating a seamless looking profile, I get lots of inspiration from online influencers ThisRenegadeLove, TheMattieJames and Kwame Delfish.

TIP #2 YOUR IPHONE AND A GOOD EDITING APP WILL DO

If you’re just starting out (and for the purposes of Instagram) you don’t need an expensive digital camera to take great looking photos. I use my iPhone 5s camera (yes, it still works) and the SnapSeed editing app to help me enhance and adjust my images. Snapseed and VCSO (another recommended app) are absolutely free. Take some time to learn each editing feature. I’ve made the mistake of trying to accomplish a look rather than learning how to use each feature to eventually get the look that I really want.  I often use the white balance, tune image and rotation features to customize my photos.

(iPhone Camera 5s, Snapseed editing app)

 

TIP #3 NATURAL LIGHT IS YOUR FRIEND

Natural light is everything. I’ve heard it time and time again, from the various photographers that I’ve worked with. I take advantage of the natural light that shines through the largest window in my home. When I shoot things like accessories,  I’ll take photos in the early part of the morning. Extremely sunny days can often create a shadow of the object you are trying to shoot. To block or minimize the appearance of a shadow, I often prop a piece of white Bristol board (folded in three parts) behind the object that I’m shooting.

TIP #4 STAGING THE PHOTO BACKGROUND CAN BE SIMPLE AND AFFORDABLE

For affordable photo backgrounds make a trip to your nearest dollar store and pick up two pieces of Bristol boards. Lay them on a flat surface, place the object in different positions and start shooting until you have something you like. It’s the easiest most cost efficient way to create clean looking photos. For a pop of colour, use brightly coloured Bristol boards or your brand colours.

Fabric works the same way. Purchase the ends of textured or print material from your local fabric store to use as your photo background. Furry materials, rugs or a fluffy white comforter often adds a soft touch to the photo. Be careful with very busy prints, it can distract from your primary object.

TIP #5 TAKE A CLASS

If you’re not one to learn on your own, a beginner photography class can get you off to a good start. I’m not saying take an entire certificate to add to your already busy life but an online tutorial course can teach you basic editing skills, photography styles or photo processing tips.  Skillshare (an online teaching platform) offers a large variety of simplified courses in almost any industry.  The best part is, each course is developed and taught by individuals experienced or currently working in the field.

Have any other tips to share?

 

Cheers for now!

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