April 30, 2015

I couldn't live without...

Caffeine. There’s just something about it. That first cup of caffeinated liquid in the morning makes my heart happy.  I promise I have my best, most awesome ideas and thoughts during my first caffeine encounter of the day. It’s all dark outside and super quiet inside. Totally magical. Like maybe I could conquer the world, or do something with world peace. Anybody else like that? No? Just me?

This is me. I put off the work I want done awesomely until I get some caffeine. :)

Okay so that got a little out of hand; but I do like my caffeine quite a bit. That being said, here are my top picks.

Energy drink: Advocare Spark. I've written about it before, but it deserves another 800 shoutouts. (I'm not even getting compensated for this, I just love it that much) Favorite flavors- Mango Strawberry and Grape.

Little bottle drinks: Visalus Go. It only comes in grape, but I just so happen to love grape. This stuff is pretty amazing. NO jitters, no crash. Just feeling like a million bucks!

Coffee: Peets- CafĂ© Domingo. And Starbucks- Pike Place Roast comes in a close second. (Add a little stevia and coconut milk and it’s complete heaven.)

Now here is the most important question: what’s your favorite way to get caffeinated? Hook a sista up! Let me know what’s on the top of your list.

***Tiny disclaimer. I don't go super crazy on caffeine. I usually have 1 cup of coffee in the morning and somedays after lunch I'll have some spark or a go shot. :) Somedays just require a little more umph than others.

Have a great Thursday!

Linking up today! Find out what everyone else can't live without!

post signature

April 22, 2015

You know, Marvel and stuff...

Usually when you picture a superhero you see Spiderman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and so on and so forth. Right? I know that’s what I would picture. Actually I also picture the Hulk because my co-counselor has one of those huge cardboard cut outs of the Hulk right on his office wall so I’m like staring at it everyday.

Anyways, the reason superheroes are on my mind this week is because we’ve been running a school contest for our students to create their own Harns Marsh superhero. We did this for a couple reasons. We knew the teachers could use a go-to during state standardized testing because we all know that's enough to give anyone a full head of grays and also to teach the kids about Habit 7 of Highly Effective Teens: Synergize.

This is the video my co-counselor made to promote the contest.

And this is the worksheet we provided to give them some direction.

Pretty snazzy lesson, right? Lots of our teachers opted to do the contest and as we were getting our entries back, a thought crossed my mind. What if the traditional view of a superhero is totally wrong? What if it’s not someone who goes out and fights criminals with a cape and undies on? Or someone with a visible super power? What if the real superhero is the person next to you?

I think it’s you. ANY of you. And with that being said, you should know the 4 traits I think a super hero has. (And if anyone would listen to me they would think a real super hero has these traits too.)

A servant’s heart
Genuine love for others
Faith (and lot’s of it)
A smile (even when they don’t feel like it)

Obviously these aren’t the only traits a real life super hero has, but I think they’re a few of the most important. Are you any or all of these things? I’ll bet you’re a super hero. Tell me, what’s your super power?

post signature

April 16, 2015

I couldn't live without...

Being health conscious.

I guess I could live without it, but what kind of life would that be? For me, it wouldn’t be a life well lived. Why you might wonder? If you know me, you know that I tend to eat healthy and exercise frequently. I wasn’t always that way though. Growing up I rarely ate healthy. I was SO picky that my parents just gave up and fed me what I liked. Which usually had breading and was accompanied by fries. You can put 2 and 2 together and understand why I looked like this for most of my childhood:

I think this one was 3rd grade?

I don't know when this was. And I don't know that it matters. This is a GEM.
Go ahead, laugh it up. I look like I ate small children for breakfast. But really, my appearance did more than just make me feel fat. I was quiet, I had very little confidence, and I was super self-conscious. It was something that was constantly on my mind. I wasn’t just a couch potato growing up either. I played outside a lot and got involved in dance class and sports at a really young age. Weight was just something that I held onto. (Obviously my eating habits did NOT help).

Moving along. Once I relocated to Florida and got settled in, I joined a gym and finally started on my journey to figuring out what my version of healthy was going to be. Life-changing. Literally. Which leads me to why I can’t live without being health conscious.

1. My confidence has improved immensely. Only a few of my close friends and family have seen that long process occur.

2. I’m more productive. When I’m on a specific workout schedule I tend to stay more organized in other areas of my life as well.

3. And most importantly to me, I feel good when I eat clean and exercise. Mentally and physically. I’m also a sufferer of chronic migraines; so eating paleo-ish has dramatically decreased the frequency of my headaches. Major score for me!

So to round this out today, here is my own transformation. Anyone who is interested in swapping recipes, paleo hacks, or starting a health journey of your own e-mail me! I’d love to hear from you!

Linking up today with for Lauren and Lauren & Pursuit of Pink for things we can't live without.

Pursuit of Pink

post signature

April 10, 2015

5 things you should know about middle schoolers.

Or maybe you shouldn't know. I feel like this could go one of two ways. You could either think these are hysterical (like me) or feel really sad for the future of our country (also like me). Either way here goes!

5.  They are really excellent spellers.

4.  They are knowledgeable about technology.

3. They pay VERY close attention in U.S. history.

2. They love a good, classic movie.

1. (And my favorite) They're really understanding.

DISCLAIMER: the answers you see here are from a small sample of students who were placed in a behavior intervention group; it's not representative of my whole school. I may or may not have exaggerated just a little on the statement of feeling 'really sad for the future of our country'. I did not however exaggerate on thinking they're hilarious.

Oh and Happy FRIDAY!

Linking up today, check out some other 5 on Friday posts.

post signature

April 09, 2015

I couldn't live without...

In the last few months I have re-discovered how much I love to read. #NERDALERT. When I was younger I read constantly, you would NEVER catch me without a book nearby. Once I got to college it started dwindling off a little because… well… college happened. I had to study and when I wasn’t studying I was doing college-y type things. During my master’s program I barely had time to finish the assigned reading, let alone think of reading for fun. So, honestly I think in the years following my graduate work I forgot how much I loved to read.

Fast forward. My co-counselor and I have a binder that we use to stay organized each week. The front page in the binder is where we write down our lifelong dreams and goals. One day I found myself writing down “find something I love to do”. I am a natural “hobbyist”. Yes, I made that term up… I think. So, I’ll make up the definition too. It’s someone who’s good at hobbies or has lots of hobbies. For example: I like to paint wine glasses, make jewelry, coupon occasionally, play softball, cook, read, etc. The list just goes on and on. But out of that list of things that I can do or like to do, what did I love? I wasn’t really sure. Until now.

Reasons I can’t live without reading:

Words interest me. (So so nerdy).
I find it relaxing.
It allows me to just be still. (Something I struggle with constantly).
I enjoy the quiet time.
I love the smell of old books.
I love the atmosphere in an old book store or the library.
It brings me peace.
I like to imagine the characters in my head.

All that being said. Over spring break I read 3 books. It was glorious. One of them I wanted to tell you about called “Until You’re Mine” written by: Samantha Hayes.

I started this book because I saw some good reviews on it. I LOVE a book that just reels me in and keeps me wanting to read non-stop. This book did it. It was interesting, the story is told through different characters, and I never even imagined the ending… at all. You know sometimes how you’re like “yeah this person probably did it..blah blah.” Not in this book.

I don't want to spoil it so here is a link to the book. I highly recommend it. However, if you are currently an expecting mother…you might wait until you've already  given birth. That’s all.

I received this book from blogging for books for this review.

Linking up today with for Lauren and Lauren & Pursuit of Pink. Check out what they can't live without.

Pursuit of Pink

post signature


April 06, 2015

I've got sunshine

Literally the last week of my life has been pure sunshine (granted there were a couple rainy days, but they were amazing too!) More mush. I know I promised ya’ll I’d steer clear of the mush, but give me a break; I finally feel like I am becoming an adult. We even bought a new oven (what what!?)

Anyways, I couldn’t be more grateful this Easter (a day late) for what I’ve been guided to. To this beautiful life I live. To a job where my heart’s passion of helping can be fulfilled. To being surrounded by only people who love and support me. I feel lucky, but I know it isn’t luck. It’s the ultimate sacrifice that was made for my life to be a better one.  I attribute all this peace and happiness to my faith in the Lord. May he continue to provide me with a path, and the wisdom to make the right choices on it.

And here my friends, is the real sunshine. The amazing, relaxing, gorgeous scenery full of mostly sunny days from our honeymoon. In order the pictures are from Phillipsburg, St. Maarten,; Basseterre, St. Kitts; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Labadee, Haiti.

Mr. L and I had an absolutely great time. We can’t wait to plan our next trip to more places we’ve never been. What’s your favorite destination for a vacation? (We tend to lean towards tropical places so keep that in mind with your suggestions).

post signature