Two weeks ago, Cole and I attended our first self-development workshop based on the book the 7 Habits of Highly Successful people, written by Stephen Covey. The workshop was hosted by a local and successful entrepreneur named Dan Roselli who owns a community workspace in uptown Charlotte, named Packard Place. The workshop was free and took place for 3-5 hours each day for three days. We were also generously gifted the “7 Habits” book and workbook. Check out the website here and stay tuned for upcoming events!
On day 1 of the workshop, Dan asked us what we wanted to
achieve over the course of the week. My response was clarity and focus because
oftentimes I’m juggling so much and feel like I can’t keep my head on straight.
I really wanted to learn how to prioritize my time and thankfully that ended up
being one of my biggest takeaways from the week. Two other big takeaways were
creating a mission statement for my life, and the “emotional bank account”.
Pretty cool stuff! I’ll break it down below.
In order to create a mission statement, we really had to
narrow down what our core values are, how we enjoy spending our time, and
what’s of great importance to us. That’s the condensed version. From there you
can draft up a paragraph summarizing that information, and then condense it
down even further into a sentence or two. Your mission statement should fit
well into all aspects of your life, from career to personal. My mission
statement started as “to ignite and inspire positive change in others so that
they may live a life of joy, success, whole health, and peace, and live a life
in alignment”. I then narrowed that down to “to ignite and inspire positive
change in others, by living a life in alignment.” I highly recommend getting
the book or workbook so you can work through these ideas as well.
Once we narrowed down our mission statement and began to
formulate our ideas, we began to take a closer look at our roles in life. So
what hats do you wear in your daily life? Some examples are mother, wife,
friend, grandparent, chef, waitress, neighbor, father, sister, etc. It is
recommended that you choose up to 7 priority roles to focus on. My roles ended
up being mother, wife, actress, healthy lifestyle influencer/content creator,
Beautycounter consultant, self, and family member/friend. On a weekly basis,
these are the roles that I am trying to prioritize in my life, however each
week the order of importance in each role might change.
The concept of breaking my time and focus up into 7
dedicated roles was a huge lightbulb moment for me. I tend to want to give 110%
in each given role at one time, and that is not realistic or possible. Now I
can plan out my week in accordance to these roles, and here is a breakdown of
how I do it:
1. I think about and write down my overall intention for
each of my roles in my calendar. For example, in my “mother” role for the week,
I intend on being present with my children and spending a few hours of quality
time with them on their day off from school. As a “wife” this week I intend on
being a good listener while Cole is traveling on business, and I want to
dedicate one night to him without distractions. I continue you on with some
overall weekly intentions for the remainder of my roles.
2. Once that generalized list is done, I start breaking down
my week and blocking out time for each of the specific goals I have for each
role. For example, Monday, 1pm: take girls to Meg Art to paint pottery, Friday
8pm: put the phone away and watch This Is Us with Cole, etc.
Side note: I really enjoy keeping and writing in a personal calendar and the one that I use is called the Day Designer. I purchase it every year from Target and will link it here. If you aren’t into paper planning, you can type all of this into a calendar app of choice on your phone or computer.
Simpler than it seemed, right? Once you have an outline for
your week you can arrange as needed day by day, knowing what takes priority and
what does not. Whatever you do, write it down or type it in, otherwise, your
ideas are more likely to get lost and never come to fruition once the week gets
The last takeaway that I mentioned above is called “the
emotional bank account.” This metaphor represents the idea that our mind is a
bank account and people can either make a “deposit” and create good emotional
connections with you or make a “withdrawal” and leave you with negative
feelings or emotions. For example, if someone doesn’t keep their word, or is
flaky or has a bad attitude, that more than likely will negatively impact you
and your relationship. On the contrary, if someone keeps their promises, spends
quality time with you, or treats you with love and respect, they are more than
likely making some valuable “emotional deposits” that will impact your
relationship in a great way. This made me think about my actions or inactions
and how they might be affecting each of my relationships. I found it all very
Overall, we learned so much at this workshop and it was really nice that Cole and I got to enjoy it together. I’m mildly obsessed with self-development and personal growth and have been talking about it for years. I’m pretty sure Cole has rolled his eyes at me from time to time. LOL! However, he arranged for us to go to this workshop on his own accord and it proves a point that I have made to coaching clients and friends often: focus on improving yourself and the quality of your own life and those around you will rise to the occasion!
I jumped on the kale trend a long time ago. I enjoy the coarse texture, it’s a green that actually fills me up. But I also know that a lot of people don’t necessarily love it. I personally think that’s because they haven’t had it prepared the right way, but to each his own. 😉
Kale is so nutritious and packed with vitamin C, iron, vitamin K, calcium…the list goes on. It is the superfood of superfoods so if you can add it to your weekly meal plan, your immune system will thank you. Add it to soups, eat it in a salad, and throw it in your smoothie. Just be sure to devein your kale first, which means you cut the thick stem out and just enjoy the leaves.
I made this Butternut Squash + Kale Salad for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it. Even my brother in law, who isn’t the biggest veggie lover, loved it! The butternut squash gives this kale salad a nice warm and starchy quality, and the acidity of the shallot and Dijon vinaigrette is my favorite. Add some high quality protein to this salad and you’ve got yourself a meal!
This butternut squash and kale salad is the perfect fall or winter salad. It’s packed with nutrients and is so tasty served warm or at room temperature.
For the Salad:
1 large head kale, deveined and chopped
1 large butternut squash, skinned and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt + pepper
For the Dressing:
1 shallot, minced
1/4 c balsamic or white wine vinegar
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 tablesoons coarsely ground dijon mustard
Salt + pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
While the oven is pre heating, start prepping your veggies. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop the butternut squash into 1 inch chunks.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
Toss the butternut squash in two tablespoons of olive oil and lay flat on the baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes, flipping once midway through.
After 30 minutes, shut the oven off but leave the squash in the hot oven for an additional ten minutes so that the squash dries out a bit. I also like to broil the squash for a few minutes so it gets a little crispy, but that’s optional.
While the squash is baking, devein and chop the kale and prep the dressing.
Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.
Toss salad with dressing and then toss in the roasted squash.
At the end of every year, I like to reflect on the last 364 days and survey all that has passed. Tonight, I’m looking back and wondering “What in the world just happened?!” Lol. I’m kidding, kind of, but wow, this year has been intense. I was challenged to either mend some unhealed parts within myself or to remain in my comfort zone. While it was emotionally exhausting at times, I decided to rise to the occasion and I’m so grateful I did. On the other side, I was greeted with deep transformation and personal growth.
Last January, unbeknownst to many of you, Cole was laid off
from his job. Cole is the breadwinner in our house and this hasn’t been the
first time we’ve experienced job loss. Cole is fantastic at what he does but
sometimes the sales industry can be cutthroat. In the fall of 2017, he found
himself in a precarious place with his former company. We anticipated a
potential lay off and sure enough, we received the call on a grey wintery day.
Even though we understood this could and probably would happen, it still came
as a blow. Cole took a moment to mourn the loss, like maybe a few hours, I gave
him the pep talk of pep talks and he got right back to work, this time job
searching. Thankfully he had built such a great network within his industry and
landed himself in a great position within a couple of months.
Once we made it over that hurdle, I found out that one of my
best girlfriends from childhood was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young
age of 33. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t believe that my beautiful
girlfriend, whom I considered a sister, was breathing these words. It couldn’t
be true, but it was. Something shifted within me that day, and I started
unraveling, unraveling in the best way possible.
Once Tricia successfully made it through her first surgery
and was on her journey to recovery and treatment, I was ready to focus my
energy on lifting my girl’s spirits and taking care of myself. After years of
being “strong” and helping others “fix” their issues, I was
beyond ready to work on my own. I was ready to eliminate unnecessary stress in
my life and prioritize my health and dreams. The transformation began.
I began to uncover some deep wounds and heal some familial
relationships that were attached to them. I also learned about the importance
and necessity of boundaries in all healthy relationships. In short, boundaries
are personal guidelines that teach others what you are and are not comfortable
with. Boundaries teach people what your limits and tolerances are and how you
want to be treated. The tricky thing about boundaries is that you really have
to communicate them effectively through your words and actions. And sometimes
when you do, your friends, family members, co-workers, etcetera, will not like
them. Those that are meant to be in your life will respect them, and those that
aren’t will fall away.
Up until this point, I was someone who said yes without
hesitation, who over functioned with ease, and who swallowed any issues I had
so as not to burden those around me. The woman that is proudly walking into
2019 is a woman that says no with more ease and grace so that she can
prioritize the happiness and wellbeing of herself and her sweet family. She is
a woman that values herself enough to walk away from anyone that is treating
her unfairly. She is a woman that asks for help when she needs it and that
cares a bit less about the judgmental opinions of some.
I was able to take my focus off others and place it back on myself and my family,
I started seeing things even clearer than before. After dealing with two
periods of job loss in our household I had developed some scarcity issues big
time, meaning that I often felt like we never had enough so I would hoard
things. I would fill our pantry full of dry goods, buy excessive amounts of
clothing…perhaps my scarcity issue had turned into a spending issue. Spending
turned into a way to relieve stress and purge negative emotions. No bueno.
Although you might not have ever thought of this, finances are a big part of
health and while some areas of my life were glowing health-wise, this area was
suffering. On August 1st, 2017 we got our act together, consolidated all our
credit card debt and started budgeting big time. While challenging, it has been
one of the very best things that we’ve done as a couple and family and I
couldn’t be prouder. At some point, I’ll write a whole post on how we changed
our lives with budgeting. It has been a total game changer!
if all of that wasn’t enough, I also developed eczema this year. Does that shock
you with all that we had been navigating? Your body is so incredibly smart and will
grace you with a physical response to an emotional issue at times. It is ALL
connected, let no one tell you otherwise. I believe my eczema issues were stress
and dietary related, although no dermatologist could tell me that. Once I got
stringent about eliminating dairy and gluten and dealing with my stressors, my
eczema completely vanished.
2018 was filled with HUGE lessons, I feel so grateful to be where I am today. I
feel great resolve in all that we have worked through over the past year and
while difficult at times, there were so many things to be grateful for. It’s
important for me to be transparent with you on this blog, it is a safe space
for myself and for all that read and share. I will continue to fill my blog
posts with these little bits of wisdom in hopes that they will help someone
else. I’m an open book so if you ever find yourself in a rough patch, I’m happy
to lend you any guidance I may have.
we are hours away from a brand-new year and a fresh start which is so exciting
for me. My word for 2019 is “intention”. I want to put intention into
everything I do this year, from how I spend my time with others to how I show
up as myself each day as a mother, a wife, a safe beauty advocate, a blogger,
an actress…my word for 2018 was “surrender” and I think God really ran with
that so hoping for the same with “intention” this year. Haha!
you step into this New Year, ask yourself these questions:
1. What worked well for me in 2018?
2. What didn’t work so well?
3. What am I most proud of?
4. What do I want to do differently in the New
Reflect on this year and understand that your biggest challenges are always meant to be your biggest teachers. May your days be filled with blessings and joy! Happy New Year!! Xo
Last week was a busy one. Cole was in and out of the house for work events and travel and I had a booking on Tuesday morning followed by a bunch of Beautycounter training and planning for an upcoming event. Somehow, we managed to squeeze in a date night on Wednesday. By Friday night I was exhausted, but the weekend had just begun. I packed up overnight bags for me and the girls and was asleep by 10:30 pm – Saturday morning we would head to Breakfast with Santa at the Y and then head straight to Alpharetta, Georgia for Cole’s company holiday party.
At 6:15 am on Saturday, I lay in bed wide awake, scrolling through social media for a little while, before deciding I should bundle up and get groceries for the coming week. We were expected to get a bunch of snow between Sunday and Monday and you never know what that could mean out here. It for sure means that school will be closed, and grocery stores may be too. It definitely means all the bread and milk will be gone ;). If you follow me on Instagram and happened to see my InstaStories on Friday, then you already know that I don’t take the Charlotte weather forecast too seriously. Originally from New York, having lived in Montana for three years, I just can’t imagine the snow out here being bad.
I already knew that I had pushed myself a little too hard last week. Self-care was pretty much non-existent, as I skipped all my workouts and drank a little too much wine. I could feel soreness in my neck and shoulders and like I might be coming down with a cold. I swiped my nose with Zicam and dropped little Oscillococcinum pellets on my tongue, which I swear by. My awesome girlfriend Ananda hooked me up with Fire Cider and I was ready to power through our weekend. Fire Cider is an amazing natural tonic made with apple cider vinegar, honey, and a bunch of other things and has wonderful medicinal purposes. Mama was ready.
Breakfast with Santa was adorable as always, the girls enjoyed some pancakes before hitting up the craft table and visiting with Santa. Eva asked Santa for a Litter Critter toy house and Lyla asked him for a real live ball python snake. What in the world?! She glanced up at me while I gave Santa the eyes on that one. Not even a chance. We can’t even take care of the one pet we have, never mind the fact that that said pet would eat any other pet that came into our house.
Next stop, Atlanta, for Cole’s company Holiday party. I loved that his company invited families to attend the party. The party was at a venue called Main Event. We bowled, played a bunch of arcade games, ate, laughed, and had a wonderful time. On Sunday morning the girls enjoyed some time in the pool and jacuzzi, and this is where the self-judgment came in.
We had already had such a fun trip, and this pool time was icing on the cake. We all got suited up, but I wasn’t sure if I’d really get into that pool. Maybe the jacuzzi but I just wasn’t in the mood to get wet and cold. I knew the girls were going to beg me to go in, and I could already feel the guilt creeping in before they even asked. Cole got into the jacuzzi right away while the girls got into the pool. Our girls quickly made friends with two other little girls and they all went from pool to jacuzzi, splashing around having the best time, while I observed from a lounge chair.
While sitting on the lounge chair, I also observed the parents of the two little girls that had made friends with our girls. They sat at a table, wearing plain clothes, with papers sprawled out. They were working on something and it seemed understood that they definitely were not getting in the pool or jacuzzi at all. Their girls didn’t even bother asking them. And I wasn’t judging them, I was simply observing them and thinking ‘I wonder why they seem so confident, just sitting there working, while I sit here questioning whether or not I am a good mother if I don’t get into that pool?’ I wasn’t judging those parents, but I was judging myself.
I ended up getting in the jacuzzi for a little while and the girls didn’t seem like they were any happier than when I was watching them from the lounge chair. The truth was that we had the sweetest little getaway, and whether I got into that pool with them or not, was not going to make or break our weekend. We had so much fun just the night before and yet there I was wondering if I was a Mom that had fun with her children. The thought of it sounds so silly as I’m typing this, but, at that moment, at that pool, I was ultimately questioning my enough-ness as a mother over something so small and insignificant.
It made me think of this blog, it made me think of my readers and the stories and lies that we tell ourselves. It made me think of how we downgrade our hard work and the effort we put into motherhood and all the other areas of our lives. I don’t know how to undo this habit, but I do know that the more I’m honest about it and call myself on my own BS, the better. And I hope you can do that too. I hope that you can see through your own storytelling and know that the deep truth is that a small insignificant inaction does not negate all the multiple and consistent actionable steps you take every day in the right direction.
As I sit here typing this blog while my children happily play outside in the snow with all their neighbor friends, I’m reminding myself of all the amazing ways I show up as a Mother to these two beautiful girls every day. I’m reminding myself that they will have a hot meal on the table tonight and a hot shower before bed. I’m reminding myself that tonight I’ll rehearse lines with Lyla for her school play so that she has the first ten scenes memorized by Thursday. I’ll remind myself that I’ll sneak into gymnastics practice 15 minutes early so I can watch Eva in her element. I’ll remind myself that even if I didn’t, I’d still be enough for these girls. And that even if I didn’t get into that pool, I’m still a fun Mom.
Last Saturday I reached out to my Beautycounter consultant friend, Sarah, to place an order for cream blush. I’ve been using the products for years but have yet to try them all. My skin seems to be getting dryer as I age and I’m hoping that cream blush will give me the dewy, fresh look I’m longing for. Lol. I’ll keep you posted on that. For those of you that don’t already know, Beautycounter is effective skincare and cosmetics without harsh chemicals. Their products are safer than most and absolutely gorgeous. Their mission is to “get safer products into the hands of everyone.”
A thought crossed my mind mid-text and literally flew out of my fingertips as I asked Sarah, “Oh and I may be interested in becoming a Beautycounter consultant, can you please tell me more about that?” One week later and here I am, a brand new Beautycounter consultant.
I’m no stranger to the MLM game. As some of you may know, two years ago, I distributed herbal supplements and became a team leader with a company called It Works! While I enjoyed my time with It Works!, my perspective and beliefs surrounding whole health shifted dramatically when I began my studies with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I could no longer sell quick-fix solutions to health and wellness, while I learned that long-term lifestyle changes were necessary concerning weight loss, stress relief, body image issues, etc. I stepped down from my role as an It Works! Distributor and into my role as a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.
The following year, not 1, but 3 women that I know and love got diagnosed with breast cancer. One being my aunt (who is in her 60s), two being one of my best childhood girlfriends (33 years old), 3 being a dear girlfriend from college (34 years old) and all I could think was ‘What in the actual fuck is going on?’ Excuse my language, friends. But this has rocked my world a bit and all the emotions and cuss words have come out a lot.
I’m a health coach, I’m not a doctor, and I have no idea how these women developed breast cancer, but I have my suspicions and so do they. I suspect that chemicals cause cancer and that we introduce chemicals into our bodies often by eating conventional foods and by using products that are indeed toxic, unbeknownst to us. Of course, we do. We buy what’s on the shelves in the grocery stores, we take the birth control that our doctors prescribe, and we use skincare products that we find online or buy from other direct sales companies to support our girlfriends who are trying to make a living. If our government approves it then it should be safe, right? Well, it’s not. And the sad truth is that many of us are not educated on these issues. I surely wasn’t until I began my studies as a health coach.
While Cole and I have made lifestyle changes over the years, we aren’t perfect obviously. We don’t eat foods that are solely organic all the time, or use products that are 100 percent natural either, but we do better today than we did years ago, because we know better. Knowledge is power, right? As someone who cares so much about my own health and the health of my loved ones, I feel a burning desire to be part of a movement that spreads education on whole health, and that inspires women and families to make small, yet conscious decisions daily, to improve the quality of their lives across the board: mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially, etc. Beautycounter will now be a piece of that puzzle.
As for me, I’m nervous, eeeek! I’m nervous to take on yet another venture, I’m nervous to fail at it, I’m nervous that I won’t be able to be the best mom and wife that I can be, as my plate continues to get fuller and fuller but as I’ve heard time and time again, “If it scares you, then you should probably do it.” So I’m doing it, and I’ll figure out the rest later. My philosophy is that risk is essential to growth and that no matter what happens something positive will come from all of this. I also intuitively feel called to pursue this, and that’s important to me.
I’d love if you would check out my Beautycounter site linked below and let me know if you have any questions! Cheers to growth and trying something new! Also, if you are familiar with Beautycounter, what are your favorite products and why?