Fall In Love, Again

It’s been a rough 3 years, I’ve been misdiagnosed until about 7 months ago. The meds I was taking were actually making my bipolar disorder worse.

I’ve fallen out of love with pretty much everything including myself. I’ve felt so numb for so long that I didn’t care if I ate, got out of bed, or some days even shower.

I’ve worked deeply with my psychiatrist for the past few months to make sure I’m being honest. I want to get better because the shell I’m living in isn’t where I want to be anymore.

I don’t want to take medication but I have no choice, I can’t afford to lose another job, trade-in my 6th brand new car in 6 years, or stay in bed for days at a time.

Fall In Love, Again #mentalhealth #love #art #yoga #running #adventure

I broke things off with the (ex) boyfriend because frankly who wants to live with someone having crying fits, anger issues, financial binges, or a general dislike for themselves?

He’d been my rock all year but in a moment I decided to ruin it and then let it all go. So, I’ve taken it upon myself to be single, the rest of my life.

I may be feeling better with my fine-tuned medications but that only helps keep the vicious animal at bay, they don’t actually cure anything. I could still have an episode any time which can lead to sleepless nights, depression, or mania.

I’d love to find someone down the road maybe but it would have to sweep me off my feet to even be considered getting passed the moated concrete wall I’ve so carefully constructed around my heart, which will not be an easy task. With my luck, it would be a knight riding a donkey who likes Opera music (no offense if you like opera).

 

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I want to fall in love again with:

Reading – I would read at least 2 books a month and now I have a small stack sitting on my crowded bookshelf just waiting to have a crease in their spines.

Painting – Painting was something new I picked up before the worst transpired. I can’t draw stick people but I can make lines, shapes, and TRY to paint what’s in my mind.

Art – My favorite place is the art museum, I love everything about it. The unique pieces, sculptures made with methodical precision, the smell. That last one may sound a bit odd. There’s an endless pond in two spots on the property where I love to write and shady spots near the pavilion.

Running – I love hearing my feet hit the pavement, although Time has ticked by and I’ve gained weight so it won’t be as easy as those 7 minute miles I use to run.

Fall In Love, Again #mentalhealth #love #art #yoga #running #adventure

Writing – I had a freelance writing business that I let tank. I was doing great because it was paying the bills. Then I’d get into my moods and that stickiness doesn’t keep clients. Now that I’m feeling better I’m going to try my hand to build it once more. In the meantime, I’m going to pour everything into this little space. I’m hoping to monetize later but for now, I’ll be nurturing it.

Adventures – I went to the Tennessee mountains last month and although it was cold, wet, and rainy a friend and I found ourselves by the Chestoa river In the Cherokee National Forest. The water was flowing, the branches we’re dancing, and the sand squished under our feet. I felt the spark light my spirit and I craved more.

Fall In Love, Again #mentalhealth #love #art #yoga #running #adventure

What do you want to fall in love with again?

 

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Color Street Nail Strip Review: Glitterally Cannot

I’ve noticed these trendy little nail polish strips all over the place! I was skeptical but then I saw a couple of friends whose nails are gorgeous and colorful. They told me they were Color Street which are nail polish strips. 

That caught me off guard, I love getting my nails done but I give them a break every few months. I feel better about myself when my nails are done, like I have my life together.

Color Street Nail Strip Review: Glitterally Cannot

A friend of mine named Brooke decided to have a Facebook Color Street party, while browsing I couldn’t believe how affordable and cute they were!

 

I found solids, glitters, nail art, and even pedicure nail strips. I settled upon Glitterally Cannot as they are in the petite section, my hands are kind of small.
Color Street Nail Strip Review: Glitterally Cannot

Look how pretty they are! The pictures do not do the color justice, I absolutely love the color. The glitter is throughout the entire nail strip and what seals the deal is the strips aren’t rough or bumpy like you’d feel with glitter nail polish. 

The instructions are really simple too and they only take about 10-15 minutes from start to finish.
Color Street Nail Strip Review: Glitterally Cannot
To get started use the nail prep wipe to clear your nails of any oils then get started! You’ll then start by picking the right size for the finger you’re working on.

Color Street Nail Strip Review: Glitterally Cannot
Once you’ve got your strip measured up take off the protective layer, next you’ll want to tear the tab off your strip, apply the nail strip to your nail (you can stretch it a little to fit longer nails), I used the stick shown to help get the bubbles out if I saw any and to really get it into the creases of my nails. Finally you’ll want to get off the excess and you do that by using the fingernail file and swiping down until you can pull off the excess strip. I find swiping down helps to preserve the strip on the tips of the nail too. That’s just my personal opinion though.

Don’t place the nail strip over your cuticle or on skin.

I thought I did pretty good for my first time, applying the strips aren’t a pain in the ass either. Although in the picture it looks like my real nail is exposed but I think that’s just the lighting because they’re completely covered.

See how pretty they turned out? I can’t wait to see how long they last and for $13 you can’t really beat it!

You can layer colors, glitters, and nail arts too. If you have an awareness that is near to your heart there is also a section for those too.

I believe this method will be the one I use for a few months until I get my nails professionally done.

I’m a part time virtual assistant and I clean newly built construction houses part time too. So I touch papers everyday and I wipe off counters and fridges which makes my hands pretty dry which usually leads to my nails chipping or cracking.

listening to the great things I hear I’ll be enjoying the Color Street nails for at least 2 weeks!

if you’re interested in trying your own but don’t have a rep you can see my friend Brooke!  This post isn’t full of affiliate links, I’m not trying to sell anything just giving an honest review… but for real, go see Brooke!

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How to Start a Journaling Practice: Tips, Tricks, Rewards & Challenges

This post has affiliate links, if you make a purchase from these links I get a tiny commission at no cost to you, you can read the full disclosure here.


For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to have a daily journaling practice. For some reason, this hobby has always held value to me. I’d envision myself curled up in the corner of a couch, writing in a beautiful journal, using a perfect pen that effortlessly highlighted the uniqueness of my penmanship, my thoughts would flow onto the page, over time notebooks would fill one after the other, and I would proudly display them on  a bookshelf somewhere. It’s a lovely thought, but in reality implementing a daily journaling practice is a little bit more…complicated. 

It took a long time but, finally, in 2015 I made my vision a reality: I began writing daily, and the notebooks and bullet journals did start filling up. I would like to share my journey to journaling in the hopes that it will help others cultivate their practice. So, keep reading! I’m about to share almost 20 years of tips and tricks, AND be totally honest about the rewards and challenges you’ll face along the way.

How to Start a Journaling Practice: Tips, Tricks, Rewards & Challenges

The Attempts

I attempted to become a diary keeper at least 10 times over my lifetime. The first few attempts were when I was a teenager, the majority of the attempts were when I was in my early twenties, and the last attempt (which was successful) was in my early thirties. Each attempt was met with a  brand new fancy notebook which would cost waaaay more than I am willing to admit  (I’ve had a fondness for fine stationery my entire life). 

As each day came to a close, I would write about it. I quickly realized that my day to day life wasn’t actually all that exciting. Exciting events accumulate over time, and an isolated daily page of writing doesn’t actually reveal all that much at the start.

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Remember: journaling implies handwritten. Truly getting into the details of your day using a handwritten medium is a time investment. Just filling one page, depending on the size of the notebook, can take upwards of 20-30 minutes.

The Realities of Keeping a Daily Journal

The First Reality: The Negativity Bias

Initially, starting a journaling habit is not nearly as rewarding as one would think. That is,  until you have a really bad day. Suddenly, you can’t wait to get home and write everything in your journal… to vent, to let it go, and have an audience that will always be on your side.

 On a bad day, I can remember picking up my pen and filling pages effortlessly. I’d write until my hand hurt and my letters became blurry from either exhausted penmanship or tears. 

When writing daily, there seems to be an involuntary pull to express the negative. Journaling is cathartic in this way. In my experience, I was always more likely to vent about a bad day than I was to brag about a good day. 

The Second Reality: The Joy is in the Writing, not the Reading

One of the beauties of journaling is that as you write you truly begin to get a sense that your thoughts are flowing freely onto the page. The pen that writes is the conduit to your innermost feelings. As you free write it feels like there could never be any errors. Unfortunately, re-reading entries will prove this feeling false. Hand written pages are not magically highlighted with spelling or grammar errors. I know I have a tendency to leave out words when I handwrite. Sometimes reading my entries can sometimes feel like putting together a puzzle.
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The joy in journaling is the writing, not the reading. I don’t suggest never reading your old  journals, but I would recommend allowing a few months to pass before venturing backwards into your experiences. Here is an excerpt from my journal regarding an experience I had re-reading an entry: 

 “Looking back, it amazes me how fragmented this is! At the time, I remember feeling like I was being so in depth. It probably took me well over an hour to write this [entry] ! Writing 6 pages felt like such an accomplishment, but now all I want to do is edit!”

Giving yourself time before reading will allow you to gain perspective and hindsight about what you were experiencing and feeling as you wrote.

How To Get Started: 3 Do’s & 3 Don’ts

Lets start with the Don’ts:

  1. Don’t use an expensive notebook. Investing in something fancy will put pressure on you to have a perfect journaling practice. You will feel like you need to write neater because you want to maintain the niceness of the notebook. Censoring your handwriting censors your thoughts. Get an ordinary notebook. Don’t be afraid to be messy, cross things out and carry it around with you. The more used and tattered your notebook looks at the end, the more successful your practice!
  2. Don’t let filling notebooks be your end goal. This was a trap for me. I was too future focused. I created an all or nothing statement in my mind that if I was filling notebooks I would then be an avid journaler. Writing is meant to be an activity that connects us with the present moment, which can only be measured in progress (not success or failure). My first filled notebook took about 8 months to complete!  
  3. Don’t write about your day. All of my ‘start and stop’ attempts at writing occurred when I was only filling my pages with daily events. Using a structured style of journaling can increase your dedication to the practice. I had much more success using journaling prompts to guide me (more about that below). 

And now the Do’s:

  • Do find a pen that you love. If you are going to be writing a lot you should love the way your pen feels and writes. Personally, I prefer finer tip pens (0.7 tip is my ideal). Finer tip pens are less likely to smudge because not as much ink is expelled with each pen stroke. Thicker tip pens and gel pens are prone smearing and bleeding through the pages of your notebook. This will annoy you, trust me!
  1. Do keep your journal in sight. You may have the urge to keep your journal hidden to protect your privacy, but if it’s too well hidden you won’t be reminded to write in it. Store your journal in a place where you will encounter it. I kept my journal in a bathroom cabinet for almost a year because I would see it every time I needed to get toothpaste.
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  2. Do use specific types of journaling. As mentioned earlier, writing about your day can be a trap. There are many types of journaling and all of them do reveal insight into your life over time, despite not documenting daily occurrences. Here are a few different styles of journaling to try:
  • Line a Day: Simply write one line a day everyday. Short, sweet and to the point.
  • Morning Pages: A writing practice that takes place first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. Without happenings to dwell on, morning pages can reveal clarity about what you’d like to accomplish each day. Morning writing tends to also have a more positive tone should you choose to re-read your entries.  
  • Gratitude Journal: Write 1 to 5 things that you are grateful for everyday 
  • Journaling Prompts: Answering daily questions that may or may not have a theme to them. Pinterest is loaded with various types of journaling prompts. For 3 years I used the same monthly journaling prompts. It was fun comparing how I answered each question differently from year to year. This is my preferred method to journal.

Almost six years later, I am happy to say that I am still journaling. Sure, my practice ebbs and flows but ultimately I am committed to it. I’ve allowed my writing to evolve and I use different styles of journaling for variety. I have now filled 15 notebooks. Just as I envisioned, I display them proudly as I hope one day you will too. 

By: Cheryl Tobin

About the Author

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Cheryl is the author of the blog Spiritually Premeditated. She describes herself as a spiritual enthusiast, avid journaler and wannabe morning person. She relies heavily on coffee and oracle cards to get through the day. 

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Lazy Day Activities

Sometimes it’s hard to have a lazy day but when they do come around it feels awesome! I maybe a little weird about the things I like to do on lazy days but hey, to each is there own, right?

What do I consider a lazy day?

To me, a lazy day is a day to take some “me” time and just take a break from life. A little time to let everything else fall by the way side for a bit.

Lazy Day Activities - because some days you just need to

Lazy day activities:

Read a book – I like to think of myself like Belle from Beauty & The Beast. I do love my books of all shapes and sizes. 

Journal – nothing is better to me than feeling pen on paper. The way the lines flow onto the page creating words to be read (or not – its my preciooooous).

Diffusing – I love my essential oil diffuser, it’s great and keeps me happy! With so many scent combinations you can’t get bored, there’s even different ones that act as mood enhancers.

MUSIC – this is actually one of my all time go to’s. I love listening to the lyrics that resignation or the rhythm behind the words. Have a bad day? Music. bored? Music. Bad day? Music. You get the point. I have a different playlist for all my moods. I listen to everything from zen, country, R&B, and drum & bass. I just love it all! If you have a song, drop it in the comments.

Valentine’s Day: Must Do’s For Single Ladies #Valentine’sDay #selfcare #selflove

Painting – I’ve fallen out of this recently but I’m getting back into it. I love the freeing feeling I get while splattering the canvas multiple colors or simple brush strokes.

Drums – yes, I play the drums and play around on them. They’re a huge stress reliever when I need something I bang on or throw sticks at. If you’ve noticed with this noise making instrument you can either have a plan or go at it alone. I memorize the songs I play since I’m still trying to figure out how to read music.

Crystals/meditation  – I believe in the power and healing properties that crystals have to offer. I Just sit or maybe lay with one or two in hand and meditate or clear my mind of everything. I have quite a collection but I do have my favorites.

Aerial yoga – I absolutely love these classes! Who doesn’t want to twirl around in huge stretchy soft ribbons suspended from the ceiling? I will say it was a disaster the first few times.

Walking/running – I mentioned in my goals for this year I will be walking/running 1,000 miles, I have a year to do so but I’m hoping to finish in July. Of course I’d want to finish early. I’m so impatient (with everything)!

What’s your number one hands down favorite thing to do when you get time to have a lazy day?

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Homemade Apple Cinnamon Pop Tarts

Breakfast really isn’t my thing, I can’t have something that heavy on my stomach that early in the morning. I’ll have a slim fast smoothie or grab a pop tart.

Pop tarts remind me of the summer days as a child, we’d have them anytime really. Since we always had at least 4 to 5 friends a piece over (my twin brother & I) there was always someone there.

Mom had the goods
Mom kept us a huge snack bowl too that always had granola bars, fruit snacks, and other assorted snacks.

When you opened the pantry doors and saw those 5-6 boxes of pure pop tart variety goodness you got stars in your eyes.

I’ve been thinking lately of how awesome it would be to make a few homemade pop tarts.

I was on a mission, I made them and they were gone within 5 minutes. I’m glad I was able to snag half of one!

Homemade Apple Cinnamon Pop Tarts

Homemade apple cinnamon pop tarts

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1/4 cup apple pie filling with cinnamon & sugar, divided
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1  tablespoon colored decorating sugar, or as needed

Directions:

Step one: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step two: Unroll the pie crusts, place on a lightly floured work surface, and roll the crusts slightly with a rolling pin to square the edges. Cut each crust into 8 equal-sized rectangles. Place about 2 teaspoons of apple pie filling in the center of 8 squares, and spread the filling out to within 1/4 inch of the edge of the pastry square. Top each with another pastry square, and use a fork to crimp the squares together, sealing in the jam. Use a knife to trim the pastries, if desired. Move the filled pastries to the prepared baking sheets.
Cut our pie crust for homemade pop tarts

Apple cinnamon filling

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Step 3: Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are lightly golden brown, about 7 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheets.

Frosting:
stir together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl to make a spreadable frosting. Spread the cooled tarts with frosting and sprinkle with colored sugar.

The pie crust makes the little tarts flaky and brown perfectly. The pop tarts have a slight crisp to them before the war center hits your tongue. 

Another perk of using the pie crust instead of making a crust from scratch is well just that! There is no mess to clean up, extra prep time, or extra hassle if you find yourself rushing and almost out of time.

Homemade apple cinnamon pop tarts

I’ll definitely be making more and I’ll also be trying different flavors. I didn’t add frosting to these because I didn’t want them too sweet. Next time you can bet whichever I decide to make there will be frosting!

The frosting reminds me of toaster strudels, remember those? I’ll still eat them now. Everyone I think of vanilla frosting that’s what I think about.

If you made these homemade pop tarts, which filling would you choose??

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