Fitness Challenge Update #2

FitnessChallengeUpdate#2
It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with losing weight and getting fit/healthy for some time now. Every year now for decades it seems, my new year’s resolution has been to lose weight. The saying that losing weight all starts in your mind and with your thoughts is spot on. I’m not sure why it’s taken me all these years to realize that losing weight is an inside job. But now I know, if you don’t sort out what’s going on with you on the inside, nothing’s changing on the outside.

My problem was/is I’m an emotional eater and if for some reason things weren’t going right or I was not feeling like I wanted, I turned to food. Food boosted my spirits and made me feel good. So in February or so I decided to give myself a fitness challenge of working out for 30 days straight. I actually did it and felt good but lost nothing. You can read all about it here and here.

I continued to watch what I ate, lost a few pounds and then gained them back with the exception of two pounds. Then in May some of the girls I work with were talking about this new diet. Curious, I asked what it was and they said it was called the 17 Day Diet. It didn’t seem extreme or depriving so I was willing to give it a go.
Change Your Mind Change Your Body
May 12, 2014 was my first day on the diet. It takes you through cycles with a transition day in between each cycle. Another reason I think this worked for me was because I wasn’t starving or feeling hungry all the time.  For the most part, you cut out flour and sugar. This gave me the jump start I needed and made me realize that I had a real addiction to sugar. Folks let me tell ya, after about a week I stopped feeling bloated and sluggish and felt amazing. Don’t get me wrong, the cravings were real. However, my willpower and motivation to get healthy and do right by myself, outweighed the need for that cupcake. By May 29th, the determination paid off by me losing 11.4 pounds. Seeing results and feeling the changes made all the difference. 

One thing I thought would be really hard, was giving up creamer in my coffee. I’ve been drinking french vanilla creamer in my coffee for a long time and I REALLY enjoy my coffee in the mornings. I knew I didn’t want to drink my coffee black so in the beginning I used 2 Truvia packets. My taste buds adjusted and I was fine without the creamer. Then I stumbled upon liquid flavored Stevia. Yum! I use English Toffee, Chocolate Raspberry, Vanilla and plain. They are really concentrated so you only need a few drops. A friend even mentioned she using it in plain yogurt to add flavor. Great idea right?
Fitness Challenge Update#2
After 3 cycles of the 17 Day Diet, I knew I was at a crossroads. I was really craving a bowl of frozen cake batter yogurt from Sweet Frog with pecans, chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate sauce. And after 41 days without cheating, I started feeling deprived. So guess what? I went and had the bowl of frozen yogurt with all the toppings. My craving immediately subsided and I was done. In the past, after having the ice cream I would have immediately felt defeated and said what the heck and continued to eat crappy foods. Not this time though, I had been at a crossroads and chose the right path.

Fitness Challenge Update #2
After May 29th, the weight still came off but at a slower pace. By June 17th, I was down 15 pounds then plateaued. July 4th weekend, we had friends in town and I had some carbs and it was crazy how my body reacted. Immediately, my stomach hurt and felt bloated. I felt really sluggish and just blah. I’m so thankful for that horrible feeling. Crazy huh? The reason is because right then and there I knew that those foods were so not worth that feeling. I would much rather eat clean than to have my body go through that again. The week after that, the weight started coming off again. As of July 20th, I’m so extremely happy, amazed, and grateful to say I’ve lost 20.8 pounds! Cutting out most processed foods, flour and sugars (not fruit) has transformed my life. I can’t explain how amazing I feel and how much energy I have. I now know without a doubt I will get down to a healthy weight and meet my fitness goals.

Here’s an example of what I eat in a day:

First thing upon waking: One scoop of Green Superfood powder in a cup of water followed by one cup of coffee sweetened with liquid Stevia (I’m using Sweet Leaf)
GreenSuperfood
Breakfast:
2 eggs cooked with about 1 tsp of olive oil, 2 t tablespoons of fresh salsa, fresh fruit

Snack: almonds

Lunch: large baby spinach salad with grilled chicken, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes & avocado with EVOO and fresh squeezed lemon juice (half a lemon) dressing

Snack: Kefir smoothie  (sometimes I’ll have this for breakfast) contains Kefir(plain) ( I use LifeWay), protein powder, a cup of frozen mixed berry fruit, matcha green tea
*Side note: at first I hated Kefir, it has the consistency of buttermilk but again just sticking with it after a couple of weeks, I grew to like it!

Dinner: Fresh fish or protein with 1 to 2 sides of veggies and on occasion, a sweet potato

*Sometime during the day-a cup of tea with 2 tea bags, sweetened with Stevia

FitnessChallengeUpdate#2

 

Creating a Brand Identity

Hey everybody! How is your your summer going? I have been busy behind the scenes here creating a brand identity for Design Love Inspiration.

Have you noticed some of the changes to the website? I’m in the process of taking a Skillshare class called Beyond the Logo: Crafting a Brand Identity and it has really helped me start getting the look and feel of my blog where I want it to be. Creating a brand identity is important to convey your personality, values and helps formulate a certain feeling or expectation. Good visual content allows you to be instantly recognizable. Here is a little snap shot or mood board for the new look of the site. What do you think?

Creating a Brand Identity for Design Love Inspiration

To create this, I started with a secret mood board on Pinterest to collect images that I loved and that I thought represented how I wanted the blog to feel and look. You can see all of them here. There’s still a lot left for me to learn and get the hang of, such as being consistent with colors and fonts on the site.

If you haven’t checked out the Facebook page for Design Love Inspiration, here is the link to the page. I updated it to match the new feel of the blog. It’s a great way for us to connect more frequently. I hope to see you there! 

 

A Day in the Life…

Happy summer! It has been a scorcher here for the past couple days with indexes of 103 and 105. Too hot for me! We also had a random, major thunderstorm last week that ripped our gazebo cover to shreds. The wind was fierce and scary! Besides that random gloomy bit, here’s whats been going on in my corner of the world.

Currently:

Reading:
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
This is a quick short read that has the potential to change your life, seriously.  Just from the first few pages, I was in tears. Once he hit on self-sabotage, I knew that I was meant to read this. Last fall I wrote a post, you can find it here, titled Defeating Self-Sabotage.   If you’ve read the book, I’d love to get your feedback and what you took away from it.

Wanting to try:
La Mer -”The Powder”. I splurged one year and bought a tiny little bottle of the La Mer moisturizer and it was like a little corner of heaven bottled up. It was so luxurious. Unfortunately, my budget at the moment doesn’t cover moisturizers that costs 3 digits. I would however love to try the powder. I bet it’s just as fancy.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Shimmering Body Oil -This looks and sounds so dreamy for summer time.

Thinking these are neat:
Fresh Paper by Fenugreen - Keeps fruits and veggies fresher 2-4 times longer

Loving this quote:

  SetyouFree

Want to eat:
Vegan Tacos

Drinking:
Green Superfood-one scoop with water, every morning. The lady at the health food store said she really liked this brand and this particular one and that she drank it every morning with water. Let’s just say I was about one second away from calling her at the store and asking why she lied to me! (jk) This was the grittiest, cup of yuck. But, it’s amazing how your taste buds adjust. I kept drinking it until finally, I actually don’t mind it at all. I drink it through a straw which seems to help. 
A Day in the Life

 Excited about:
Recent weight loss of 15 pounds and 7.5 inches in a little over a month! So super excited about this one. In the past week I’ve been able to wear pants I haven’t been able to get into in over 2 years! More to come..

12 Favorite Fonts

One could say I have a slight obsession with fonts. There are different sites you can use to find fonts, some for free and some you’ll have to shell out money for. The few sites I like to use for fonts are:
myfonts
dafont
Google fonts
font squirrel
Here are 12 of my favorite fonts right now.
12-Favorite-Fonts
Here are the links to each font:
1. Anna Clara  2. Bombshell  3. Cantoni 4. Icing 5. Adorn  6. Brannboll
7. Conspired Lovers 8. Frosted Illustrations 9. Heroe  10. Ride My Bike
11. Woolen  12. Jacques & Gilles

Which one is your favorite font?

20 Ways to Find Joy in Every Day

20 Ways to Find Joy In Every Day
This is a list of 20 ways to find joy in every day that are simple and easy to implement.

1. Delight in the small things

2. Strike up a conversation with a stranger

3. Star gaze

4. Don’t take things personally

5. Complete small acts of kindness

6. Be a good listener

7. Explore new opportunities

8. Get lost in a book or magazine

9. Enjoy a good cup of coffee or tea

10. Call someone you’ve been thinking about -just because

11. Write a handwritten letter and mail it

12. Take a soothing salt bath

13. Go barefoot in the soft grass

14. Keep good company

15. Laugh and laugh often

16. Create alone time to just be

17. Pray or meditate

18. Trust your instincts

19. Write down your blessings

20. Spend time outside in nature

I hope you find a few on here that you can incorporate into your daily life. What else would you add to the list?

Friday Favorites

I’ve been so busy at my full time job that it left little time to post anything. I’ve felt so disconnected but at the same time peaceful to not be glued to social media. During this time I even managed to read three books and they were fiction! Usually my go to is non-fiction but it felt amazing to get lost in a good story. So it only makes sense that one of my Friday Favorites this week is a book.

Friday Favorites

1. Paint Chip Calendar from PaperSource -Isn’t this beautiful?! Each month is a different ombre set of paint colors.

2. I can’t get enough of Vance Joy’s song Riptide. It was set on repeat at work today for about twenty plays. There’s just something about it that I love. Every now and again there will be a song that I obsess over. What about you? Is there a song you can’t get enough of? Here’s the song if you haven’t heard it.

3. Hello perfume by Harvey Prince. This little gem came in this months Birchbox shipment. It’s got a subtle, manly, rich scent that I love but yet it’s still feminine.

4. The Vacationers by Emma Straub. A fun summer read for the beach or a lazy Sunday.

5. Life changing weight loss story. So inspiring and motivating. Proves if you want something bad enough, it’s possible. There is strength and willpower under all that fear.

 

Finding the Perfect Color

Finding the Perfect Color
If you’re trying to build a brand, logo, website or art work and need help finding the perfect color (or colors), the websites below will help you do just that.

The first site is Color Scheme Designer. I like this site because of the neat options it gives you such as the random palette generator and option to see what your selected colors would look like on a website! Pretty cool huh?

You may have seen palettes like the ones below all over Pinterest.  They come from the website Design Seeds. Two new pictures are added each day and it is the perfect place to find pretty color combinations. These two are favorites:

Finding the Perfect Color Finding the Perfect Color

The blog for Design Seeds is just as great. She creates mood boards each day around a color. The images are really beautiful. You can find it here.  

 This next one is my favorite. It is Adobe Kuler. You can save your favorite color combos and you can upload a picture and it will give you different themes of colors from the photo!

Finding the Perfect Color Finding the Perfect Color

Have you used one of these websites before or one like it?
 

Favorites -Get Crafty Edition

Friday Favorites didn’t get published yesterday (we had storms which made the internet sporadic)  so I’m following up today with some of my favorite links from this week. This week is a little special because it’s the “Get Crafty Edition”. Maybe one of these links will get you inspired to get crafty this weekend. If you do, I’d love to see it! Share it on the DLI -Facebook page.

How lovely is this bag?! I love how simple it is and you could switch it up with different quotes, designs and ribbon for the handles. This would make the perfect gift for someone because you could really customize it for them. I can’t wait to try it. Also, check out their website, it’s a little gem worth bookmarking. **Alice&Lois-DIY Tote Bag**
Weekend Links-Get Crafty
This idea has been around for awhile. You can really let loose and get creative with this idea. Have you ever done this? My question is, does the marker eventually come off? After putting the design on your cup, you’re supposed to put it in the oven on 350 degrees for 30 minutes and leave in there until cool. **Luna Lighting**- Gold Polka Dot Mugs**
Weekly Favorites-Get Crafy Edition
Even if you don’t have kids, I think these are a cool idea to dress up your fridge. **Inspired By Charm-DIY Gold Magnetic Alphabet Letters**
Weekly Favorites-Get Crafty Edition
I L-O-V-E this idea. I’m all about keeping it simple and I think  this one is right up my alley. There are so many color/glitter combos for these that you could really get crazy creative! What color/glitter would you use? I’m thinking turquoise paint for the jar and silver glitter. **Lily Shop-Glitter Dipped Mason Jars**
Weekly Favorites-Get Crafty Edition
These are so cool! Again, super simple and totally unique. Would make a great birthday gift. **Love and Cupcakes Blog-Glamouflage Coasters**
Weekly Favorites-Get Crafty Edition

 Which one do you want to try?

 

Free Fun Glitter Print

Today’s post is short and sweet. It’s a fun glitter print for you to save, share, print or whatever you like.  Bob Marley’s song inspired this print, if you’re a fan, you’ll love it.

Free Fun Glitter Print
Here is the song from Youtube to keep this theme going. Are you a Bob Marley fan? If so, what’s your favorite song? I also really love Redemption Song. Enjoy!

 

I’ve been on a glitter kick here lately, I just can’t get enough so I see a lot more fun glitter prints in the future. If you have any special requests, let me know.

The print download does not have the watermark.  Here’s the link for you’re free print! ~We Be Jammin’

The Importance of Self-Reflection

The Importance of Self Reflection
Do you practice self-reflection? Defined, self-reflection is careful thought about your own behavior and beliefs. This isn’t necessarily an easy feat as it requires strength, compassion and courage to do so. Sometimes we may uncover things that we aren’t so proud of or low points in our journey and other times we may surprise ourselves by what we’ve accomplished or overcome.

For me, I know major changing points in my life have been times when I’ve been told no or doubted. All it takes is for someone to tell me that I can’t do something and I’m off to prove them wrong and of course prove to myself that I can. Self-reflection allows you to uncover what has worked for you and what hasn’t.  It’s all too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life and not take time for yourself. This is really the only way to know if we are going in the right direction.

If you’re ready to have a self reflection session, I would recommend at least an hour of time somewhere quiet and in a space where you feel comfortable. Grab your favorite drink, a notebook, pen and your ready. Some nice, soft soothing music may also be helpful. I find Jim Oliver’s music perfect for this purpose. If you have Spotify, you can find him by entering his name in the search bar.

Here are some questions to get you started on your self-reflection:
(Here’s a link to download & print the questions-Self Reflection Questions if you prefer)

1. Who am I?
*If this one stops you in your tracks, keep asking yourself over and over, Who am I?, WHO AM I? The answer will come.

2. Am I the person I want to be?

3. What are the contributing factors throughout my life that brought me to where I am today?

4. Am I a victim or victor? Am I taking charge of my life or letting outside circumstances control me?

5. Am I living up to my potential?

6. Is where I am now, where I want to be?
*If so, how did I get here, what did it take? If not, what do I need to do to change my direction?

7. Where have I been?
*How has this made me into the person I am today?

8. Where am I going?
*Is this where I want to go? Am I headed in the right direction?

9. What are my priorities?

10. What do I spend the most time on?
*Am I spending my time on the right things/people?

11. How would I describe my life right now?
*If the description isn’t what you want, right down your ideal life.

12. What are my strengths? What do I do well?

13. What are my weaknesses?
*For each weakness, write how you can work on them, even it’s simple, small steps.

 14. What is one thing I can do right now to improve?

15. Am I loving and being loved?
*If not, what do I need to do to change this?

16. What am I grateful for?
*Am I counting my blessings everyday?

17. What is most important to me right now?

18. How would others describe me?

19. What is working well for me?
*Why are these working well?

20. What is not working so well?
*Make a plan for each of your listed items and give yourself a change or follow-up date to have changed what’s not working well.

21. What are the triggers that have changed me for the better?
*How can these be incorporated for future goals?

Each time you answer these questions (honestly) you can see for yourself how you’ve changed and what still needs tweaking.

 

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