Thursday, November 26, 2015

How to Live a more GRATEFUL Life!

What are you grateful for?

It seems most appropriate to ask this question around Thanksgiving. I wish I could say this was an organic thought strictly for the purpose of this post however, this question was anything but expected when it hit me. 

The thought actually snuck up on me as I was grabbing my regular grande iced caramel macchiato at Starbucks when, after taking a nice big delicious gulp I unintentionally muttered "thank you" out loud to myself. 

It may seem cheesy (the thought of me talking to myself, in my car, drink in hand) but really, how often do we stop to say these two little words? In that moment I couldn't help but wonder what else I was grateful for...or better yet..what else I have been taking for granted in my day to day life. What other blessings continuously enable me to continue the lifestyle that I have with the people that I love?

I wake up every day next to the man of my dreams, my adorable cat, in a cozy warm bed. I go make my coffee, sit at my laptop, browse and shop online until it's time for work. I zip around in a mini luxury sedan, doing as I please. I see my friends regularly, travel often, go out to eat almost nightly, and I completely satisfied?

Despite these everyday luxuries, I often find myself questioning my happiness and whether or not what I experience is {enough}. It is so easy to get caught up focusing on the {lack} and constantly comparing ourselves to others, desiring what they have & live. But who can blame us when we're surrounded by a world that constantly throws comparisons down our throat?  Take social media as just one of many triggers. Seeing other peoples pictures, cars, boyfriends, husbands, babies, homes, etc causes us to create subconscious comparisons all day long..and if you follow more than 10 people (I bet you do) multiply those triggers by 1000! Of course social media is just one example; there's our friends, co-workers, movies, magazines, tv, etc. 

How can we stay humble, grateful, and grounded with where we are and with WHO we are today?

I recently asked my husband this question and he thought it would be a great idea to create a video for his youtube channel based on this thought. He came up with a simple solution he likes to call the triple A's: Acknowledge, Accept, and Appreciate.

ACKNOWLEDGE: where and who you are {NOW}..that includes your career, friends, family, lifestyle, etc. 

ACCEPT: EVERYTHING that you've acknowledged. You can't change the fact that these have been a part of you, you can only change them going forward if they no longer serve you.

APPRECIATE: that which you have acknowledged and accepted because they have served you and helped you become who and where you are today. 

"Having gratitude doesn't mean you have to settle, being grateful just means you're so involved in the moment that you acknowledge the value that this moment is providing you and you immerse yourself in it" - Yahya Bakkar

I love that quote because it struck a cord with me..I did believe that being grateful for the {NOW} meant you had to settle..I perceived it meaning that if I was OK with how things are, then that meant things didn't need to change..which is completely not true. I am learning that in order to bring about change, growth, progress, etc..I HAVE to accept the now or else 2 things will happen. 1) growth will not happen at all, or 2) it will, but it will come with resentment of the past..which will ultimately cause me suffering in the future somewhere along my journey. 

Although its a great pick-me-up, it's not likely that a simple slurp of Starbucks will remind me of these things everyday; so I've come up with a simple list of tips to help me {and you} stay grounded and grateful throughout our every day lives:

1) when you wake up in the morning, realize how amazing it is just to be alive!

2) when you take a bite or sip of whatever food you're eating/drinking, think of those less fortunate who are hungry..and be grateful

3) tell a loved one how much they mean to you, despite how often you see them or not

4) forgive those who've hurt you in the past and appreciate the lessons they've taught you (by forgive I mean internally, for yourself)

5) this is a BIG one, when you see others post pictures of their things, loved ones, pets, clothing, cars, vacations, (the list goes on).. be HAPPY for them! Don't immediately compare you're life to theirs. If you are inspired, thats one thing, work toward a goal to achieve a similar lifestyle if that is what you desire..but please don't get caught up in the trap of {lack} You know, a lot of times people post pictures of their things because somewhere inside of them, they themselves feel lack and are seeking acknowledgement from others so that they can feel enough..remember that. (this applies to me as as well!)

I hope this has served you as much as it has me..Happy Thanksgiving my friends <3

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Deck the Halls!


I wanted to put together a collage of some charming Christmas decorations to help get you in the holiday spirit because believe it or not, its already that time of year! I love to decorate for Christmas, especially with items like the ones listed below. I tend to gravitate towards earthy, whimsical items (hence the non-traditional tree) and you can shop all of these items below! Enjoy!

Faux Snow Covered Tree: I live in an apartment, and like most apartment rules, I am not allowed to have a real tree. I personally love faux trees so it isn't much of an issue for me, especially with faux trees as cute as this one! Faux snow adds dimension and charm to a boring plain green tree! (HERE!)

HO HO HO Sign: I am a huge fan of light up letters..they add warmth and character to cozy spaces. Place them on the mantle, a sofa table or even hang them on the wall! (HERE!)

String Lights: The perfect way to dress up your outdoor space, use these around your deck or porch and create instant added charm. (HERE!)

Chalk Board Sign: These handwritten signs have become a new phenomena over the past year! Lean them up against your kitchen backsplash or end table and you"ll have an instant conversation piece that's oh so adorable. (HERE!)

Deer Head Mount + Wreath: I have been meaning to purchase one of these to hang above my TV console for a statement and added color. BONUS: A fresh pine wreath will leave the room smelling lovely! (HERE!)

Merry Christmas Pillow: I love all things embellished/bedazzled, especially pillows! Place one or two themed pillows and arrange solid complimentary pillows around for a super plush and comfy place to relax! (HERE!)

Burlap Stockings: I am a huge fan of burlap and own a pair of 'his" and her" stockings just like these (mine were from Homegoods). They are adorable! (HERE!)

Pom-Pom trimmed Ribbon: I just love the color/texture combo of this ribbon! Fun trimmings help make gift wrapping more fun! (HERE!)

Christmas Candle: Candles are my OBSESSION, I collect them and burn them all year round so for me Christmas candles are a must. With scents like "sugar cookie" or "vanilla snowflake" a nice candle will put be sure to put you right in the holiday spirit! (HERE!)

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