The Best Thing I Ever Ate

There is a show on The Cooking channel which I love watching but anyway, the show is called “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. I can’t pick just one though. I’ve been eating for 30 years and I have so many favorite!


If these photos don’t make you drool even just a little then you’re not living your life right, I’m just kidding – I know you love your life. I hope you love your life because you only get one of them. Anyway, enough motivation because that is for another post. However you can visit “My Guide To Confidence In 6 steps” if you need a little self love at this very moment, or you can pin this post and come back when you have time to read it through.

The mocha pudding from a place at Carolina Beach that I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant. Look at it though, how can you not want to grab a spoon and devour it?! The mocha and the caramel are made for each other when it comes to this dessert.

9E3483B4-ACA9-4F60-A652-E2D25705B4EE

Chocolate Lasagna & Zeppoli from Olive Garden, don’t knock it until you try it! It’s so rich and the cream choose brings together the chocolate mousse and the thin chocolate layers of cake. There are shavings a top the lasagna to top it off and it makes it so pretty but you can’t wait to dig in. You can definitely share it with someone else became it is a little on the rich side.

C3678C2D-EEBC-44C2-930F-6B3BC62277F4

Roscoto wine is my favourite! It’s a sweet wine that pairs well with desserts so a glass or two with the chocolate lasagna. You can get Rosocto ate Total Wine, trust me if you like a sweet red wine then you’ll want to be all over this!
E19F2C83-6F84-4D42-BA1F-82107F6BACB7

Not Your Mama’s Banana a Pudding is absolutely amazing! When I first tasted it my mother and were in Savanah, the first time checking out the scenery and doing the tourist thing we decided we wanted to see what the hype was about Paula Dean’s restaurant. I found the recipe from The Food Network and I fell in love as well as every event I’ve taken it to.

574769B5-2B81-4AFE-808A-29C4CFF73A5D

I hope this post has satisfied your sweet teeth in a very cyber way, if that’s a thing. I hope you stick around because I may keep up and add on top this post as I find new favorites.

What is one of your favorite foods that you can’t wait to shovel into your mouth?

Let’s Blog Our Way to Better Mental Health

The history of blogs can be traced back in 1994, with Links.net considered to be the first ever blog. Since then, blogging has come a long way: from being a fad to becoming an industry; from being merely online forms of the traditional personal diary to becoming a repository of valuable information. But what makes blogging even more remarkable is that it is democratic – anyone can easily launch their own. As a result, blogs have now become a staple of the digital world.

In January 2019 there were already more than 1.8 billion websites. That’s a lot of websites. And as most of us know already, websites are typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose, ranging from entertainment and social networking, to providing news and education – or even mental health.

Blogs are essentially another form of website. At its core, a blog is a regularly updated website – typically managed by an individual or small group – that is written in an informal or conversational style.

D15A8582-018B-4E3A-8481-5C8C617ADCEA

There are blogs on virtually every conceivable topic, which makes blogging an effective tool to raise awareness about mental health. Indeed, the parameters of blogging offer the ability to show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood, and listened to.

With the ever increasing popularity of blogs, it makes sense that they should be adapted in order to improve the way people think and act about mental health. The exciting news is that across the world, people use blogs as a platform to share experiences, to increase awareness and understanding, and to offer comfort and support. It is comforting to know that mental health blogs are now being given recognition similar to that of the mainstream blogging niche. For instance, there are now awards solely dedicated for mental health bloggers such as the Mental Health Blog Awards.

Blogs – and the stories they convey – can show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. We can use it to challenge the status quo and change attitudes.

It might sound surprising to most people but there is a psychology behind blogging. An emerging subfield in psychology that focuses on the application of psychological principles and research in order to optimise the benefits that readers can derive from consuming blogs is known as ‘blog psychology’. A recently published article in the Psychreg Journal of Psychology explored the theoretical underpinnings of blog psychology, such as readers’ perception, cognition, and humanistic components in regards to their experience of reading blogs.

However, in spite of the popularity of blogs, its psychology is still emergent. There is definitely a huge potential to this subfield towards contributing to the discipline of psychology. Indeed, with the continued popularity of blogs, it is crucial that a specialised discipline be developed to encompass all forms of internet-mediated communication – specifically in blogs, such as the use, design, and its impact on mental health and well-being of its readers.

Potential theories of blog psychology may include the readers’ perception, cognition, and humanistic components in regards to their experience of consuming blogs. ‘Blog psychologists’ may also draw upon developmental and narrative psychologies and emerging findings from cyberpsychology. The theories and research in psychology could be used as the backbone of blog psychology and guide the discipline itself.

Conversations about mental health, psychology, and well-being play a crucial role in helping people feel better about themselves. Blogging gives people a chance to create these conversations. It allows people to feel more connected to the world outside their home through the internet.

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg.

He interviews people within psychology, mental health, and well-being on his YouTube channel, The DRH Show.

My Guide to Confidence in 6 Steps

Wow…This is my first guest blog!

When I first started blogging, the thing I was most excited about was having other people read my thoughts and hear my advice. But then, when I started writing, I was like ‘woah.. this means I am totally vulnerable to criticism!’

This, I’m sure, is relatable for so many people – not just bloggers! If you’re applying for a promotion and you’re asked to present to a group, you may feel vulnerable and insecure about your ideas in the same way.

Nonetheless to strive for what we want, we absolutely must remove ourselves from our comfort zone and remind ourselves of a few very important things.

For my first ever Guest Blog post, I’d like to share with you some advice on confidence. It’s something we; lack, build, lose and encourage. But how? And why?

2C4DA6A8-278B-4918-AE82-2984652748DC

Confidence is a feeling of belief or faith in someone that you can rely on. It is a mindset and ‘someone’ can be yourself or anyone else.

We are encouraged to be confident from such a young age, but the methods to attain it are often never mentioned. One seemingly timeless piece of advice is to ‘imagine everyone is naked’ when giving a speech – has this ​really ever worked for anyone?

So, since lockdown, I’ve chosen to take some time for reflection. I have reflected upon who I believe I am as a person. Some traits I am sure I can use to describe ‘me’

– such as organised and conscientious. However, when it comes to confidence, I can’t quite make my mind up.

It is so natural to be confident in certain settings over others. You may find that in the office you are comfortable chatting with lots of different people and have no trouble with being the centre of attention, thus, confident. However, when faced with your In-Laws, it may be a different story and you may feel less confident in your own abilities to hold a conversation.

 This is normal! We often find ourselves changing our persona depending on who we are surrounded by and our confidence may fluctuate depending on how comfortable we are in any given social setting.

You may be reading this and ask yourself ‘but how do I become more confident?’ You may be quite introverted and want to put yourself out there a little more.

Well, here are my tips on how to become a more confident person. Some may come across as blatantly obvious – but I feel it is important to remind yourself of these things. Others may be less obvious – I hope you make a mental note of these and remind yourself when needed.

Your goals surrounding confidence will differ, as will your reasonings. Nonetheless, I hope you find my advice useful! Here goes…

  1. ALWAYS Stay True to Yourself

It is so important and possibly my number one piece of advice for just about anything you want to achieve. In this case, you want to gain confidence. The most effective way to do this is be sure of yourself and what you stand for. You’re going to need to know what it is you want (I’ll come back to this later on) but most of all, you needtoknoww​hy.​Whydoyouneedtoportrayconfidenceinasocialsettingwith high profile members of a particular organisation? ‘​To make an impression, make yourself known and to put you in good stead for a career.’ ​Whatever the reason, you need to understand your motives and stay true to who you are and what you wish to achieve.

  1. Write Down Your Goals

A major factor in confidence is the belief that what you want to achieve can actually come to fruition. I know it sounds cliche, but you really can achieve what you set your mind to. The moment you start doubting this is the moment your confidence lacks and you begin to falter or deviate from your goals. So, by writing them down in an assertive way, you will be able to more easily envisage yourself achieving them.

BDF1FE76-3916-4C69-9C73-168642FD7AE2

If you are creative, make your page colourful and pretty. If you are more pragmatic, organise your goals into; personal, relationships, work and exercise, etc. However you choose to write down your goals, you must articulate it in a way that sounds as though it is already your reality. For instance, ‘I will get a promotion’ or ‘I will save enough money for a house.’ This allows us to more easily visualise ourselves living our goals with confidence…

  1. Visualization

This is an age old technique but it is so effective and has certainly worked for me. To visualise your goals, you are imagining your life as though your aspirations are achieved. This makes the goal more realistic and allows you to see the good in what you want to achieve. Visualisation of your goals may motivate you to push that much harder for what you want. But not only this, it will help you grow in confidence to work towards what you want. It will leave you in no doubt about what and why you want your life to take a certain path.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid of Rejection or Failure

Part of growing in confidence is to strive for things, however, what holds a lot of people back is the idea of rejection or failure. This is totally understandable, however, it is something we must overcome to grow in confidence and achieve our goals. So, how do we do that? Although easier said than done, we must not be afraid of rejection by others or failures. To be rejected by a new employer or by failing to achieve what we wanted to, we are simply creating new learning experiences to carry forward to your next venture. For instance, you apply for a new job at a different firm.

You are successful in your written application but do not get the job after your interview. This is not a failure because you have gained invaluable application and interview experience for a job that you will get elsewhere at a later date. (Always try to receive some feedback in this instance, too!) One handy tip is to walk away from your interview and write notes and tips for your future self! Whatever form rejection may take, you need to remember that you’re still progressing towards your goals, and

 this experience will give you the confidence to do so in the near future. Don’t give up!

  1. Build Positive Relationships

I have spoken about this in my previous blogposts on’​ Protecting Your Energy,​’ however, it is so important to build positive and meaningful relationships. Why would we ever choose to be friends with people that try to knock our confidence? Please, please p​ lease s​ urround yourself with people that want to see you succeed and who help you along the way.

40C93CD1-E966-4C1A-A35A-6C1B97C6490C

This could be in the form of inviting you to coffee when the know you might be stressed about upcoming deadlines or simply dropping you a message to check in! Likewise, try to b​ e ​this friend to others. You’ll find the world to be a happier place when you build others up.

  1. Do What You Love (But Not Always)

My most ambiguous tip.. but an important one, nonetheless. Simply put, it is important to do what you love to build confidence because you are assured in what you are doing and passionate about it, too. However, you should always try to edge yourself out of your comfort zone. You never know … you might just find a new passion or fill your mind with new information, equipping yourself to achieve your goals!

Here I have only scratched the surface in what you can do to build your confidence. Simply reading this blog post will not help you, either. You need to internalise this advice and carry it with you. If you ever feel inadequate or under qualified, you need to remind yourself of these six steps. You are brilliant, you are valuable and you are confident.

Grace x

August Goals: I’m Coming For You August

May-July goals were a complete bust with the lock down, social distancing, and masks. So I’m not even going to try and report those, as there wouldn’t be hardly any thing there to write.

With a little more lenience I can deal with wearing the mask (I got really cute ones from Ken and I love them, you can even get a filter! I picked up this one and this one, so cute!

I’d like to do a little more traveling around local or near to local places but the friend and I are spontaneous so I have no idea when or where we are going. We have had a few adventures like trail rides & rock crawling plus a grueling hiking trip to Catawba Falls waterfall.

August goals

Miles: To hold myself accountable I want to track at least 10 miles (it’s in the triple digits here and all I’ve got is my neighborhood since the gyms aren’t open. I’m hoping to break that 10 mile mark though

August goals

Books: I hope to read at least one book this month. With all this free time you’d think I’d use it more wisely – I’ve watched a lot of I.D Network & Dr. Phil. I’ve got about 2 books I want to knock out by at least October.

Yoga: I’ve done a little but not as much as I should. I want to practice everyday and it’s not like it’s hard. I’ve just fallen out of practice, maybe explains why I’ve been so moody lately 🤔

Self care: I did get a manicure and a pedicure 2 weeks ago with my best friends whom we haven’t seen in months. With this pandemic it’s been hard to get out to do anything plus the salons were closed. I haven’t even taken a bath with a bubble bar in a few weeks, I’m running low on bubble bars but don’t want to hit up the mall and be around a bunch of people.

Mental health: This is one that’s really taken a hit! My bipolar triggers are through the rough so I have rough days instead of one or two days. Some days I’m so anxious I feel like I’m crawling out of my own skin while other days I’m so depressed I can barely get out of bed (would explain the lack of blog posts).

August goals

Social media/blog: I really would like to build my following, I’d love to make money from this blog one day. After I get back into the swing of things I’m going to offer sponsors for $5 a month, I’d love to have you! More info on that as it gets closer.

There you have it, my goals I’ll be setting out to accomplish given in this pandemic no one really knows.

I just want to get your perspective as a reader on a few things though:

  1. How’ve you been during this entire thing?
  2. What are the blogging secrets you use?
  3. What would you like to see on Balanced Mochas?

Chasing waterfalls

I know TLC told us not to go chasing waterfalls but but but.. they’re so beautiful!

Last week there was a few adventures, a friend and I had a few days off so we decided to make the most of those days.

We packed our bags and headed 4 hours to Asheville in the western North Carolina Blue Ridge mountains.

 

B7EC6851-F8D2-4F74-9240-AB68B144963A
I love Asheville, it’s such a vibrant city. There are trading companies, chocolatiers, old factories that house local artists, historical architecture, and the beautiful Biltmore Estate (very intriguing couple with an 800 acre estate).

These waterfalls are gorgeous but the photos don’t do them justice. I’ve decided to break them up into two different posts as there is a lot to be said about each beautiful fall.

938E8910-696F-4325-8D38-9BF3E9208C14

First up we have Catawba Falls, which is my favorite!  Catawba Falls consists of two different falls but is one collective fall. There is a hike up to a second waterfall at the top of the mountain.

The 100 foot tall Catawba falls is located 26 miles East of Asheville. In 2012 the U.S. Forest Service opened a parking lot for hiking the waterfall trail in Pisgah National Forest.

There is a footbridge so no rock hoping is required to access the waterfalls allowing visitors to enjoy the falls even when the water is high.

There is a dam and stone fountain that was used as a power generator in the 1900’s but from the trail you can see a waterfall as well as the dam.

4D48EB57-27B3-4033-8CCB-0CD125272BCE

Upper Falls of Catawba

The hike is not for the faint of heart though. The hike to the top is only about 2 miles but you use 3 points of contact (both hands and at least one foot engaged on a root, rock, mountain side or anything you can grab onto to keep you from falling) pretty much the entire time. This falls is very dangerous if you’re not a skilled climber or hiker.

3F3DE0C7-02FF-4C99-952E-E7A0CABDBA77

The trail leads to the 100ft lower falls, with many spots to rest and take photos of the lower falls from different angles and points of views.

This trail is only half a mile but it’ll kick your butt as there are step rocks, slippery mud, narrow trails, this beast wall, and not to mention completely uphill the entire way in high altitude.

A2ADBD9D-AA45-4D87-A762-6A69EDA191C8

I got a little road rash myself, it happens when your sliding down a narrow trail in fear for every bone in your body, ya know it happens?

1D30CE7B-6F05-4B3F-872C-188F0EF896AB

Once you’ve reached the upper waterfall after a strenuous hike (with a few cuss words sprinkled about) you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

The water is so cold, pure, and crisp when it touches your skin it sends chills down your spine. Once you get use to the coldness of the serene water pooling from the rushing falls above you’ll enjoy yourself.

We took a little time to enjoy the scenery, take in the smells of nature, and even splash around. We built a few rock structures that we were proud of too.

BF474940-133F-4F03-BFF0-E8481323D591

I decided to take a breather so I sat my butt i front of this huge boulder rock for a bit. A friend decided he was going to Jenga our rock formations while I relaxed. I saw something slithering out of the corner of my eye to turn around to see a snake swimming 4 inches away from me! I’m deathly terrified of snakes, point blank, end of story!

525C651D-DDD2-4F98-8C38-AC6534A7012A

After shaking and trying to catch my breath for What seemed like forever I finally got it all together, however I didn’t see where the snake went so I didn’t get back in the water on that side.

We had a lot of fun and slept great that night. If you find yourself in Asheville, at least check out the lower falls unless you’re an experienced hiker then definitely check out the upper falls.