Motivational Monday: The Story of Your Life

The other day I realized that everything and everyone has a story. Every dance you watch is telling a story, a book you read tells a story, every song you hear and out of all of those comes from a person who has lived their story and is able to share it.

Sometimes the reason that people can be so successful is because of the story that they have to share with the world. Being relatable to other’s can help people in so many ways. When it comes to my blog I have always told myself that if I can help at least one person with my content then I’m happy. My content is just a story of the world I live in. The way I see and have seen the world in just a short 31 years. I believe that because everyone has such a different view on the world, you should share what you’ve learned with others and be honest about it. By realizing the value in the story, sharing it can open many doors for you.

I believe that in life people just want to be heard, respected and loved. No one wants to be judged but by putting their story out into the world, but you will be. But by doing so you can connect on an emotional level with so many people. So, don’t be afraid to put yourself out their and share what you’ve learned because you don’t know who you’ll help in the process of sharing your story.

Motivational Monday: Don’t Compare, Be Inspired

Do you ever look at what someone else has and think, I wish I had that? Or, I wish I made that amount of money or had that car or that job or lifestyle in general? No matter what anyone else has, YOU can have a great life, too. It may not be exactly what the other person has, but you must work for what you want out of this life.

The simple fact of why no one should compare themselves to anyone is because no one is you. Even if someone else has had the same experience as you, that does not mean they are YOU. Every single person is on a different path than you. Even if someone else did the exact same things as you, that person still speaks and thinks differently.

You never REALLY know what the person you compare yourself to is really going through-their struggles, stress, etc. What that person’s life looks like to you or the outside world may be completely different behind closed doors.
Build your own life. Do things that make you happy and proud because you only get ONE life. Instead of comparing yourself to this person, ask them how they became successful-showing that you admire someone else’s hard work can be very humbling.

Tip: One of the things I love doing is following my favorite influencers on social media-specifically Instagram because they share SO MUCH about their life! They share everything from what they eat, workouts, other influencers/friends they love, to what they did to make themselves successful-even if it’s just changing their mindset.

No one wakes up one day and is successful, it takes time. We must realize that we are all on our own journey and be inspired by others to do the best we can ❤

Happy Monday! Follow me on IG & Facebook at @stylestomakeyousmile

Motivational Monday: How Small Gestures Make a Big Impact

Have you ever had a REALLY bad day, and someone recognized it and did something nice for you unexpectedly? Or have you walked into work and there was a nice note left for you written by a coworker and friend? Or have you received a text from a loved one that says, Have a great day!

It’s those unexpected small gestures that make a big impact on us. Even if a bad experience happened there are always ways to get through them. So, remember what those people who care for you, have done on a bad day or wanted to start your morning with a smile. Pass this on by doing the same for someone else. Send an I Love You text, especially to someone who is going through a rough time right now. Send a card in the mail to your friend who lives far away that says you’re thinking of them.

Remember, to do the same for yourself too, buy pretty flowers to keep in your home and put them where you’ll see them every morning before work, write yourself a note on pretty paper, keep notes from loved ones and hang them on a board where you can see them daily. Any of these will keep you remembering you are loved, happy and that you can make it through the week.

Motivational Monday: A Lesson in Quitting

This weekend I listened to a podcast called Goal Digger hosted by Jenna Kutcher episode 118: What Nastia Liukin Learned After Her Gold Medal. Nastia is a Russian American former gymnast. The number one takeaway I learned from this podcast was the lesson Nastia’s parents taught her in wanting to quit. Whenever she would have a bad day, she’d tell her parents she wanted to quit and her parents would say to her, Okay, but not today. I can totally relate to this feeling of wanting to be done with something when I’ve had a bad day, feel overworked, tired, mentally drained, etc. Once Nastia would have a good day her parents would say, Okay now you can quit. Have you ever told yourself you can quit something on a GOOD day? After hearing this on the podcast I realized this is such a great technique of reverse psychology. I’ve never thought to quit something on a good day. This goes to show what a positive and negative mindset can do for a person on a good and bad day.

So, the next time you want to quit something on a bad day, give yourself a break for the rest of the night, don’t focus on quitting, focus on bringing your mind elsewhere and staying present. And, when you have a good day, come back to the day you thought about quitting and this should make you realize if you REALLY want to quit. Everything you do will make more sense with a clear mind.

Have you ever told yourself you can quit something on a good day? Also, if you’d like to hear the entire episode from the podcast, visit iTunes and search Goal Digger.

Motivational Monday: Reality & Dreams

I spent the other night looking at photos from the past 5 years and found myself comparing my life then to what it is now. When looking back those years feel like a dream because my life is so different than before.

I thought to myself, what if someone new came into my life and looked through photos of my past? While I realized they’d know more about my past without any explanation from me, I also realized what happened then doesn’t define who I am now.

Every experience and challenge has shaped me into who I am today. This is the same for anyone, we are not who we are yesterday if we choose. But that’s the key, we have to choose who we want to be-that’s our reality. Defined by our experiences and left to dwell on the past? Or take the lessons from the past and move on, keep going and stay positive.

So, what days will you choose to have?

What to do When Your Meal Goes Unplanned

You know those nights where you have dinner all planned out then something happens and your “planned meal” goes unplanned? The tomatoes you planned to put in the pasta aren’t good, you planned a fun night out but it got cancelled or you just weren’t in the mood for the meal you planned? Whatever your situation is, try to selvage any food you have in your kitchen to make a meal work.

Here are my tips on what to do when this happens…

Tip 1. If you’ve already begun cooking dinner and one ingredient is bad, mix in something similar. This literally happened to me tonight-hello post inspiration! I was planning on making pasta with chicken and tomatoes and found that most of the tomatoes I had bought three days ago went bad…so instead I replaced them with spinach and mixed it into the pasta. Cooking with fresh ingredients can be challenging because you don’t know how long the food will truly last-I have trouble using avocados all the time because if I don’t check on them regularly to see if they are ready to eat they can go bad pretty fast.

Tip 2. There have been many times where I will take out chicken to unthaw it and think it’s going to be ready to go the next night but turns out it’s not. When this happens my whole dinner game is thrown off. Also, the opposite has happened where I’ll forget to take the chicken out of the freezer to unthaw then I have to wait until it unthaws for dinner the next night. So what then? I’ve learned this year that it’s best to keep the freezer stocked full of food you can cook on the stove in less than twenty minutes such as turkey and chicken burgers. These are perfect substitutes when things go unplanned because you were planning on cooking anyway.
Tip 3. There is ALWAYS something in your kitchen you can cook for dinner. You might need to be creative-try mixing ingredients, looking online for inspiration (search for recipes where you already have most of the ingredients), cook something simple like pasta but make your own dressing. Or try my favorite, have breakfast for dinner-this can be anything from eggs on toast to an omelet with cheese and veggies. Don’t overthink the recipe and don’t get overwhelmed, as long as you’re grocery shopping on a regular basis and stocking up on food like pantry or frozen foods, you’ll always have something you can substitute when dinner goes unplanned.

Tip 4. For the nights when you thought you weren’t going to be home but your plans changed-instead of running out to the grocery store to buy food (since you were planning to spend money anyway on dinner) see what you have in the kitchen that you can cook up quickly. My mindset when this happens is that I’m not in the mood to cook because I was planning on having a fun night out, so if I can quickly cook up something in the microwave, in the oven or even make a sandwich I will. If all else fails, do what my grandmother would do and have a bag of popcorn! She always said that a bag of popcorn counts as dinner!
Tip 5. When you had a meal planned but you aren’t in the mood for it. This happens to me when I’ve made a big batch of something like pasta, and have eaten it for the past three days, it means it’s time to eat something else! Mood and cravings are everything when it comes to food, so ask yourself what are you REALLY in the mood for? If you can’t quiet figure it out, just make something that comes to mind or if it’s something you have in stock make that instead.

Do you have any solutions to unplanned meals? Let me know in the comments or on social media! @stylestomakeyousmile

How I Stock My Kitchen

When I go grocery shopping each week, I normally have a list of items to buy, but what I’ve come to realize is that I can add value to my shopping trip and stock my kitchen if I buy at least one extra item from the list below. This is helpful in case there were ever a time when I couldn’t run to the grocery store like getting sick or having a busy week.

Below are lists of items I stock up on:
Freezer-Organic chicken and beef and turkey burgers, pizza, vegetables (you can get bags of these for under a dollar at certain stores), fruits-strawberries and mixed berries, vegetable rice/quinoa and Greek yogurt pops.
Fridge-Water, Almond milk, yogurt, eggs
Pantry-Cereal, peanut butter, soup, pasta, tuna, cereal bars, rolled oats.
Other-Apples, oranges, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers

Stocking up on these items means I will always have a full kitchen. It also means I’ll never run out of ideas on what to cook. While I might buy something one week, it means I can eat it when I’m in the mood for it later on. None of these items listed costs more than $10 total, so it won’t break my budget. For more information on budgeting read: How to Stick to a Weekly Food Budget When you give and take on your budget it all comes out the same-stock up on one expensive item one week-like organic chicken-then next week stock up on frozen vegetables.

How do you stock your kitchen? Let me know in the comments below or on social media @stylestomakeyousmile