Tag Archives: positive

What’s Cookin?

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What’s Cookin?

Hello! I have always enjoyed cooking and have fond memories of making anything and everything together with my mom. Cooking in the kitchen in my apartment is an entirely different story, though, because it’s so small and I don’t know about you guys, but I like having lots of room to spread out when I’m making food. I also don’t know about you guys, but I fell into a bit of a depression during the most extreme parts of the pandemic and that left me never feeling like even attempting to make home cooked meals.

The stress of working throughout the pandemic as well as a job that I wasn’t entirely thrilled with really contributed to my slump and it made it hard to do just about anything when I would return home from work. However, this past month has been a complete one eighty as I accepted a new position that I am in love with. Every day, I have come home so happy and both Johnny and I can’t remember the last time I would get off work in such an amazing mood.

Because of this, my love of cooking has definitely been reignited and I have been making meals several times a week for me and my husband to enjoy. Below are some of the favorite recipes that I have whipped up so far and it has felt great to have delicious meals to serve every night. Check it out:

This past month, I have made mac n’ cheese, veggie enchiladas, quesadillas, and pizza. I also used a super easy recipe for pepperoni bread for my non vegetarian husband that he is crazy about. When I began cooking again, I wanted to find simple recipes with limited ingredients as I only have one small counter space to work on in my kitchen. It has been a huge success and I feel proud of myself the entire time. In fact, I feel so happy that I normally will be singing or humming to myself as I chop veggies. This is a far cry from sitting on the couch in misery waiting for yet another air fried meal to cook!

Cooking dinner is a love language that I have learned from a young age from both my mom and grandma and I love being able to express that again. I really enjoy getting creative with the dinners I make now and while I’ll follow the basic recipes, I always try to doctor them up to make it even better. Our favorite recipe is, easily, the jalapeno popper quesadillas and it makes me feel wonderful when Johnny will request them every other night lol. 🙂

I am looking forward to all of the yummy meals that I plan on making and Johnny is looking forward to eating them. One of the last times I made dinner this past week, I told him that it feels good to feel like me again and I wake up every day now eager to go to work and come home to engage in one of my favorite hobbies again. Here’s to delicious meals for all! ❤

What are some of your favorite recipes? Who is the best cook in your family? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Reasons To Smile More Today

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4 Reasons To Smile More Today

Let’s be honest. We don’t always feel like smiling. There can be days when we don’t have a lot to smile about, especially when we are feeling stressed with life’s many dilemmas. And some of us don’t smile often because of dental reasons. Discolored or missing teeth can give us reasons not to smile, as there is always that fear of embarrassment.

But here’s the thing. We should never underestimate the importance of smiling.

If you’re struggling to smile because of life’s pressures, find moments in the day for light relief. Watch something funny, do something fun with a friend, and do anything else that will help you crack a smile. And even if you still don’t feel like smiling, smile anyway, as you and others will still experience the benefits.

But if you don’t like your smile? Well, it might be time to visit your dentist or you could buy snap on veneers if you are missing any teeth. You will then have more incentive to smile and your life will improve because of it. Read on to find out more:

There are health benefits:

Smiling is good for you, both physically and mentally. When you smile, endorphins are released and this can help to ease your stress levels. Studies have also shown that smiling is an effective way to boost the immune system, reduce blood pressure, and reduce physical pain. Of course, smiling is not a cure in and of itself. You should still see your doctor if you have any ailments. However, knowing that there are health benefits to smiling could give you an actual reason to smile more today!

It helps in social situations:

If you walk around with a permanent scowl on your face, you won’t do much to win people over to you. In fact, they might start avoiding you altogether. But if you smile more, you will appear more friendly, become more approachable, and dare we say it, even more attractive. Whether you’re trying to impress a work colleague, a first date, or your partner’s family, make the effort to smile more to win them over with your good vibes.

Smiling is contagious:

Smile and the world smiles with you! That’s a famous song title but there is actually truth in there. Research has shown that people will naturally feel the urge to smile when they see that expression in others. So, not only will you feel good if you smile more today, but you could quite possibly make others feel good too. Heck, you might even be responsible for a smiling epidemic, which is the only epidemic the world needs right now!

There is much to smile about:

Life might be tough for you right now, so you might debate this point. However, you will improve your mood if you can find the positives in life, so look for reasons to smile. Be thankful for nature and all that exists within it. Be grateful for the joyful moments you experience with friends and family. Eat something that tastes good to you. And check out these other life moments that could cause you to smile.

So, smile more today, for all of these reasons. You will experience the benefits if you do, and so will the people around you.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Is It Worth It? Let Me Work Out Pt. 2

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Is It Worth It? Let Me Work Out Pt. 2

Hi! Last month, I posted about how I began doing a small daily work out to strengthen my upper body and thought I would do a follow up on my gains. When it comes to upper body strength, let’s just say that it would qualify under “needs improvement” my entire life because I have little to none, lol. This was further exasperated by the nerve damage in my arms from a car accident that Johnny and I were in in September of 2019 which left me hospitalized with an injury to my cervical spine.

I have never been overly concerned with working out as I mentioned in my original post and I’m not sure what inspired me to start but I am glad that I did. In April, I began doing twenty-five push ups and arm circles every day. At first, the push ups were a bit much but I am proud to say that I can now do fifty in a row! I doubled where I started from and I feel awesome about that.

While I can’t say that I notice any physical differences in my upper body, my arms feel stronger. On a normal work day, my arms are completely aching by the time I go to bed because of the nerve damage. It can be incredibly painful and on a day when I am typing a lot, my arms are sometimes out of commission by the afternoon. Since starting my daily work out, I have noticed that the nerve pain in my arms has gone down considerably and I am really thankful for that. I also feel like I have so much more energy in the evening now because I am not struggling through intense pain to complete any tasks.

After Johnny and I got our second COVID vaccine, we were both hit hard by the side effects and I took a break from my work outs as I recovered. However, trust and believe that as soon as I felt better, I began my routine again. I am looking forward to seeing and feeling more gains in my upper body strength and I am proud of what I have accomplished already! 😀

What are some good upper body work outs? What is your favorite form of exercise? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Is It Worth It? Let Me Work Out

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Is It Worth It? Let Me Work Out

Hello!! Despite not ever really “working out”, I am a fairly athletic person. In my youth, I figure skated for about ten years and had just gotten back into it a year and a half before the pandemic began. I also enjoy running and going for hikes. Throughout my life, I was never worried about the muscular lower half of my body from years on the ice. However, my upper body strength is a totally different story because I don’t have any lol.

This past month, I have been working at home quite a bit and had extra free time in between jobs. I don’t really know what inspired me to start a little at home work out routine but, I gave it a shot on one of my more low key days and have been completing my exercises every day since. In my apartment, I have been doing arm circles, walking my stairs, and doing twenty-five push ups – which I actually didn’t know I could do! Next, I plan on adding sit ups and increasing the amount to thirty.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of my body and that, in itself, is a huge step for me because I had an eating disorder in the past. But, I’d like to tone up the upper half of my body for the first time in my life and I know that I am not going to achieve the results I want just sitting on the couch. Even though my work outs are small and basic, I feel really good after I do them and it’s a nice feeling to have because I haven’t been able to skate for the past year.

I’m not trying to get a six pack or super jacked arms but a bit more toning and definition and I feel confident that I will get there even with a slow and steady approach. In the past, I never bothered working out because I got all of the exercise that I need on the skating rink but there is no better time than the present to try something new. I feel proud of myself and it was awesome to hear Johnny say that he was too and I am looking forward to lots of hikes together this spring and summer. 🙂

How do you work out from home? How would you go about toning your upper half? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

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Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

Families can be difficult and, sometimes, you’re going to argue. Usually, disagreements get forgotten and things go back to normal but that isn’t always the case as some families might end up splitting apart and not speaking, potentially for years. Dealing with estranged family members can be incredibly difficult and many people feel as though they want to keep things as they are and not speak to those people ever again.

However, even though you feel like that in the heat of the moment, it’s something that you could come to regret later on. Many people find that when they become parents and they start thinking about the importance of family, they want to rebuild those relationships before it’s too late. If you have an estranged family member and you want to reconnect with them, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Forgive Them For The Past:

If you are searching for an estranged family member because you feel like you’ve got a score to settle, things are never going to work out. It’s important that you forgive them for the past before you reconnect with them so you are going into this process with a positive mindset. Many people are estranged from loved ones that have been in legal trouble, for example. If this is the case, you need to deal with the practical elements, like how to search for an inmate and set up a visit, but you also need to find a way to forgive them for the mistakes they made in the first place. If you are not ready to put the past behind you, meeting up with estranged family members will only make things worse for both of you.

Establish Clear Boundaries:

Putting clear boundaries in place will help you rebuild the relationship slowly and avoid conflict. You should make your boundaries clear from the beginning and what those boundaries are depends on the relationship and the reason for it breaking down. To start, you may tell them that you won’t tolerate lying if that was a big issue before. Sometimes, you may also need practical boundaries in place about what time they can call you or how often you will see one another. The whole process will be much easier if everybody has clear expectations from the beginning.

Maintain Other Family Relationships:

When you rekindle a relationship with a family member that you haven’t spoken to for years, it feels like you have to make up for a lot of lost time. It’s common for people to throw themselves into that relationship and neglect other family members without even realizing it. It’s important that you are aware of this and you take the time to do fun activities with the family and spend quality time with your partner so they don’t feel like this new relationship has taken over everything else. 

These are all important things to consider but the main thing you need to remember is that you must be patient. Healing old wounds takes time, but as long as you don’t push it, your relationship can mend.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Simple Tips To Improve Your Mornings

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Simple Tips To Improve Your Mornings

Hello! Every day seems like twenty-four more hours of the exact same thing: Wake up, work, relax, repeat. It can be hard to spring out of bed every day with a pep in your step when things are so monotonous but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. Starting your morning out strongly means that you have a better chance of keeping the momentum going all day, which can definitely help improve a blah mood! To get your day going on the right foot, keep the following in mind:

Don’t hit the snooze:

No one is more guilty of hitting the snooze button than me but I really am trying to work on this bad habit! Hitting the snooze button, even for just five minutes will already be pushing your morning back which makes the pre-work rush even more frantic. As soon as your alarm goes off, shrug off your blankets and get yourself moving. If you are feeling sleep deprived, it’s better to go to bed earlier than bank on those extra five to ten minutes every morning that leave you scrambling around the house so you can leave for work on time.

Have something to eat:

Some people are just not breakfast people and that’s okay – no one is saying you need an elaborate breakfast spread every morning. But, it’s important to try eating a little something before you start your day. We need the extra energy to help get us through until lunch time and your morning is really going to drag if all you can think about is how hungry you are. Have yogurts or breakfast bars handy at home so you can have a quick bite before work. You will have plenty of time to do so if you aren’t hitting the snooze!

Complete your normal morning routine:

I’m sure all of our morning routines have changed drastically since the start of the pandemic since there really is nowhere to be that requires us to get spruced up. I, myself, have tumbled into an unending cycle of leggings and hoodies. But, there is just something about completing your full morning routine, even with nowhere to be, that hits different. This might mean applying a bit of makeup, styling your hair, or shaving. Whatever it is, give it a shot. It will bring back a touch of normalcy to your day and it will be nice to feel totally work ready again.

Prepare things the night before:

Whether this be making your breakfast or lunch, prepping your paper work, or readying your outfit, it’s always better to do these things the night before. Leaving all of these random additional tasks for your work morning will only add time and stress as you start your day. Plus, if you do everything that you can to already be ready the night before, then you can hit the snooze button without it having such a negative impact! 😀

The tips above are all easy changes that you can start incorporating into your morning routine immediately so you can always wake up on the right side of the bed!

Are you a morning or night person? When do you normally get up in the morning? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

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Feeling Blah? Change Things Up!

Hey! I don’t know about all of you but, some days, I just feel totally blah. The weather is gloomy, COVID-19 makes me so worried, and the state of the world is very stressful. It’s also easy to feel even more down and out when all of your normal activities with friends, families, and clubs have been postponed until safer times. I’m sure that all of us are itching for a big change and, until that happens, it’s up to us to keep ourselves positive and motivated. Small changes that you can accomplish, despite everything going on, can really help perk you up. So, how about trying the following:

Your Furniture Layout:

If you’re getting sick of being in the exact same living room or home office that you have been confined to for months, switch it up! Rearrange the furniture, hang up some new art work, or create a photo collage with all of the pictures that you’ve been meaning to get developed. It won’t be as nice as a complete change of scenery like going to the beach but it will make the space you’ve been stuck in different and that’s all that matters.

Your Hair:

Perhaps you’re not bored with your location but your appearance. I know that I desperately miss getting all dressed up but, since there’s nowhere to be, the concept of “looking nice” has been long forgotten. If you are interested in changing up how you look, then now is the perfect time to try that new hair style or color that you have always had in the back of your mind. If it doesn’t turn out exactly how you want, it’s no matter – your hair will be back to normal by the time it’s safer to be in public.

Your Perspective:

Whenever I am feeling blue, I try and think about all of the good things that happened to me even though I am at home. For example, last week I went grocery shopping and I told Johnny that despite everything going on I’m thankful that I have him, a fridge and pantry full of food, and a roof over our heads. It’s important to still remember all of the positive things that you have no matter how small they are. If nothing else, be thankful that you are safe at home and preventing your loved ones and perfect strangers from becoming sick.

Your Hobbies:

I think that all of us can agree that watching Netflix or your preferred streaming service is a universal favorite hobby right now. But, getting lost in TV every day is doing your mind and body no favors. Dedicate at least an hour per day to work on your mental and physical wellness. Take a walk around the neighborhood, meditate, or call a friend. I know everything is so monotonous right now but you have the tools to help break that cycle if you choose to use them.

Your Goals:

Creating new goals for yourself can be an exciting way to fill free time and it’s even better when you begin accomplishing them. Make yourself a dream board with all of the things that you want to achieve in the next year or so and work on making it happen. Once you have an idea and a plan, all that needs done is for you to carry it out. What will you be putting on your dream board?

Changes big or small always help me shake away the blahs and I hope that some of the ideas above help make you feel better too!

What do you do when you have a case of the blahs? What are you thankful for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Want To Improve Your Blog? Try The Following!

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Want To Improve Your Blog? Try The Following!

No one ever said that blogging was easy and writing throughout a pandemic is even more difficult when there is a huge lack of activities to write about. If you find that the stats for your blog are steadily declining as the days go by, the following tips might help to put you back on track. Let’s discuss:

Communication is key:

Like social media, the blogosphere is amazing because it puts you in touch with friends old and new. Your faithful readers want to communicate with you and it is important to be prompt when replying back to comments and getting a dialogue started on your page. Showing support to your fellow bloggers by liking and commenting on their blogs is also a great way to get yourself out there.

If you are still finding that views on your page are lacking, it might be worth checking out SEO Toronto to help improve your page’s position on search engines for better results.

Writing more frequently:

Writing during a pandemic is insanely hard and can sometimes feel impossible. But, as a writer, it is still essential to come up with content as often as you can. Your readers want to hear what you have to say, even if it is just a short and sweet post. It lets your viewers know that you are dedicated to your craft and entertaining them and it will make them even more eager to return to your page knowing that there is fresh content available.

Remember the joy of writing:

People blog because they love to write and, even though it’s hard, you have to remember the joy of writing every time you sit down at your keyboard. Writing is something that you found fun enough to dedicate an entire web page to and you can’t forget that! Blogging shouldn’t stress you out, so take a deep breath and get to work. Putting a lot of pressure on yourself can lead to even more writer’s block and that’s the last thing you need!

Take notes:

I am constantly writing down notes of potential blog posts throughout the day and I recommend to anyone to do the same. No matter how many times I tell myself I will remember what I want to write about, I rarely ever do (lol) which is why my notes are so handy. Inspiration can come from anything and as soon as you have an “aha!” idea, take note of it. You will find that you have a lot more to write about than you think. 🙂

Keeping up with your blog during the pandemic is a sure fire way to not only keep your mental health in check but keep your page running smoothly. Happy writing!

Improving Your Staff’s Work From Home Experience

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Improving Your Staff’s Work From Home Experience

Working from home has become the new norm amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While some have taken to it like a fish to water, others are still struggling with not being at the office every day. If you are managing a staff that is working from home, it’s important to do what you can to keep their overall work experience a positive one. You could start with the following:

IT support:

Working from home can turn into a nightmare if one of the programs that you use crashes. Having the best IT support for your staff is a must so that your employee’s can get their tech problems solved quickly and stress free. It also might be a good idea to offer tutorial videos for new programs and updates for those who are not super tech savvy.

Checking in:

Remember the good old days when you could simply pop into an employee’s office to give them updates or shoot the breeze? It’s definitely not the same over email and instant messaging but it’s important to continue a rapport with each of your employees. They are looking to you for guidance during these unsettling times and it will be nice for them to know that they can still come to you for help or just a quick chat!

Offering for staff to continue to work from home:

So many of my friends would love to continue working from home post pandemic and I am sure that countless others feel the same way. A lot of employees have found that they are much more productive and comfortable when they are doing their job in their own space. If some of your staff is interested in continuing to work from home, giving them that option might be a good thing to consider.

A weekly just for fun meeting:

It is probably really difficult for some of your employees to not be around their coworkers when they are on break or have a spare minute. It’s a wonder what a little social time can do to improve your mood during a work day! Break up the day to day routine by offering a a fifteen or so minute Zoom meeting just for fun. Your employees will enjoy hearing updates from all of their work friends and will be in a much better mood for the rest of the day.

Hate it or love it, working from home is here to stay for a while longer. Use the tips above to continue to help your employees succeed and feel their best during these crazy times.

Hosting A Fun Family Game Night

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Hosting A Fun Family Game Night

Many of us have exhausted a range of activities in the midst of societal lock down. We’ve baked, we’ve cooked, we’ve tried foreign cuisine, we’ve read, we’ve relaxed. So, it’s understandable if you’re feeling restless or irritable once your options for activities have been depleted. Not being able to ‘get out’ and enjoy the warm weather (by virtue of it being winter) also limits us a little more. You shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling irritable, as a lot of people are – myself included!

But what’s best for when you’re feeling irritable? To us, playing games and having fun with our family members can really help. Games help us act creatively, to compete in safe settings, and moreover, to have fun and a laugh. Hosting a fun game night with the family can be lovely then, and perhaps a weekly tradition.

But what sort of game nights could you have with the family? Your board game collection is a great place to start or you could order a couple of games online for something totally different. Why not also consider some of the following options?

Word & Quiz Games:

It can be fun to test your general knowledge or show off your Words With Friends skills with a word game. My personal favorite word game is Scrabble and using a descramble words tool can help you buff up before the games begin. Memory games, general trivia, and even games like timed ‘random Wikipedia journeys’ can be a great idea. These games will help you get a brain workout by the end of them! And who’s to say they aren’t competitive?

Video Game Parties:

If you have any video games consoles and games that offer cooperative play, you will be in for a blast. Four play Mario Party can be phenomenal, for instance, helping you enjoy a range of mini games across a players board, building stars, and dunking on others as you go. You’re sure to have fun with Mariokart, Keep Talking, And Nobody Explodes to show you what friendly competition is all about. We would also recommend Human Fall Flat and Fall Guys if you’re looking for something comical and cartoonish.

A Homespun Talent Show:

It can also be a wonderful idea to enjoy a homespun talent show, one that helps you feel connected, appreciated, and able to express your silliest joys. Perhaps you and your partner can do a magic show for the children, while they can lip sync and play air guitar to their favorite song. It sounds very silly, and it is! The goal is for everyone to be grinning from ear to ear. You can all judge and score each act and work up to the semi finals and finals over the course of a weekend. It might be a bit of work, but the outcome will be well worth it!

With this advice, we hope you can enjoy a fun game night with the family – and no doubt end up having a ball. You will feel much better afterwards too! 🙂

Featured Image By: Pexels