DIY Christmas Gifts

Hey everyone!  If you didn’t get all your shopping done on Black Friday or if you just need a few more gifts to finish off everyone on your list, I might be able to help!  I have a few simple ‘do it yourself’ ideas that would work great in gift baskets, as stocking stuffers or as gifts for everyone at work.  You might even want to make one of each for yourself;)  img_3937

Animal Winter Hat (aka: Toboggan or Beanie Hat)

My husband didn’t know what a toboggan was until last Winter when we were in Ohio;)  Both of us are sun lovers.☀️

This hat is so adorable, and I can’t wait to give it to my granddaughter.  I’m sure she will want to make some for her friends:)

What you need:

  • Yarn any color you like
  • Hat (spruce up your old ones, or find affordable ones at a local store)
  • Buttons
  • needle and black thread (for button eyes so they look like pupils;)
  • fabric glue
  • scissors

Step 1:  wrap any color of yarn around the palm of your hand 100x.

Step 2: tightly tie a piece of yard in the middle

Step 3: but the ends then shape them up until pretty balls

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Step 4: sew on eyes

Step 5: make an oval nose and put a 2 small dots of fabric glue to hold it in place

Step 6: make a wave for the mouth and use 5 or so small dots with fabric glue to hold in place

Step 7: admire your cute animal creation!  I hope you can tell this is a bear? LOL

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Makeup Refresher Setting Spray

I’ve tried many drugstore and expensive moisturizers, and this homemade moisturizer is my favorite.  You can also use it as a setting spray for your makeup and as a refresher spray during the day to give you a nice dewy look.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable glycerine (if your skin is dry you could use 1 tbsp)
  • a little under 3oz rosewater or purified water
  • 2 drops of vitamin e to extend the shelf life 4-6 weeks

*keep this in a cool dark space.

Make a body lotion by using equal parts glycerin & rosewater (or plain water).

img_3930Vegetable glycerine is great for any skin type; it’s a humectant meaning it helps to draw and retain moisture. It’s water-soluble, so it’s not a heavy oil, and it leaves your skin super soft.

Rose water also helps hydrate, revitalize and moisturize the skin giving it with that refreshed look. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness and acne.  Rosewater is especially good for mature skin.

Lavender Pillow Spray

Who doesn’t want to get a restful night’s sleep, so this would make a great gift for anyone:)
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Ingredients:

  • equal parts witch hazel and water
  • 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil

I wrote the recipe for each of these DIY sprays in the gift cards:

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These were so easy and fun to make.  Hope you enjoy this season of giving!

A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:25

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How To Get Past Self-Doubt

e70ac32b65a192c48a868b98692ab651What if I told you that believing in yourself is a concern of God’s?   Humility is a virtue, but there is nothing honorable about walking around defeated and insecure.  Philippines 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  How many times have we quoted this verse, but not really believed the words?

Self-doubt used to be a major factor in my life and continues to be in varying degrees, but I’m so much better these days.  I’m sure my being small , (one of my coaches used to call me half pint;), having a soft voice and being taught to be a good girl played a role in these insecurities.  God has been teaching me throughout my life that just because I might feel small that doesn’t mean I don’t have greatness inside of me.

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I believe we all have potential.  Romans 12:3 says He has dealt to every man the measure of faith.  The key is to expose yourself to people, challenges and opportunities that will draw out the greatness that is inside.

You can’t overcome what you can’t confront. TD Jakes

Steps to confront your fears and achieve your potential:

  • Notice the voices of self-doubt in your head.  The monsters inside your head aren’t so scary when you turn the lights on!  Understand that you might fail, people might judge you and they won’t always love you or your work.  That’s okay.  What’s important here is that YOU love YOU.
  • Do it afraid.  You don’t have to be perfect, that’s not what this is about.  It’s about you learning to believe in yourself.  It’s about who you become by confronting your fears and doubts.  Moses was one of the most insecure people in the Old Testament, but he was also one of the greatest leaders of all time.  One of the things that made him great was that he did things afraid.

In spite of his speech impediment, Moses stuttered his way to greatness!

  • Lean into the discomfort.   There will be opportunities presented to you that are not going to feel natural but YOU CAN push through.  When your mind screams no, let it have it’s temper tantrum, and just keep on pushing a bit beyond your comfort zones.

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Find A Career You Love

A couple of years ago I was doing a lot of soul-searching about the direction I wanted to take with my career.  I was a chaplain for hospice, and my minister’s license and Bible college degree wasn’t meeting new requirements.  I needed to receive a Master’s Degree to continue working in the field.  Unfortunately, after crunching the numbers, I decided to explore other options.  This would be the start of a long journey of self-discovery.

It was tough letting go of the identity I had with being “Chaplain Sunshine,” and the fulfilling work of providing spiritual comfort.  Even writing about it now brings up a soul ache.  I will always be grateful for the special bonds I was blessed to make with patients and their families during such an intimate time.  This was one of those patients and families that became so dear to my heart.

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(I received permission from his daughter to share this.) 

This photo was taken on his 91st birthday.  He spent his life empowering and equipping underprivileged youth in New Orleans with skills to enter the workforce.  His daughter, Dr. Adrian Woods, shares his passion. She is the Director of Academic Programs at Xavier University.

At the end of the day, I had to pay the bills so I was determined to find a career that would provide meaning along with a good salary.  Since I loved hospice work so much I thought nursing would be the path, the only problem was I had this awful habit of fainting at the sight of blood!

In the meantime, while I was trying to figure out if nursing was going to be a fit, I had several side jobs just hoping that I would stumble into my dream job.  I mean it happens for some people like that, right?  Psalm 37:23 does say the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord

I was a server at Movie Tavern, took a job during the holiday at UPS, was a sitter for elderly patients in their homes, kept personal training . I don’t think I’m forgetting anything.🤔 Oh, I was a Starbucks barista for a day..Yes, A Day!  LOL

woman_kneeling_prayerIt was very humbling.  I was concerned with my image and that the people would think less of me if I made another job transition.

I needed to pull myself together and get a solid direction. I did a lot of journaling.  I asked myself hard questions and tried to listen to my inner voice.

It took a good year and a half for me to finally get real with myself and admit that nursing wasn’t for me.  I knew from my soul-searching that I wanted a career where I could share my qualities of coaching, compassion and knowledge to help others.  I applied for a 2nd time, for a health coaching position and this time I received the job!

I Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Every day I wake up and thank God that I get to do something that I love and that I help people just by virtue of being me.  I might not be preaching before a physical audience, but every day I stand at my “pulpit,” aka, standing desk, and encourage others to live healthy in every area of their lives.

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As a digital health coach, I’m on my PC most of the day, so yes I get to frump mostly;)  I build a bit more activity into my life by alternating sitting and standing.  In the photo with me is Sammy, the floppy dog, and Penny Wink, the guinea in the cage;)

One thing I learned from my Bible college professor, Les Bowling, is that it’s easier to steer a car that’s moving.  I definitely followed that advice very well, but I also needed to trust God to do his part.

We all go through things that take us to the ragged edge.  It’s hard to be patient and wait for things to work out.  There is a spiritual solution for every problem.  Allow yourself the time to look within yourself, discover what makes your heart sing, then trust the process.

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This in an affirmation I used often, and it might bring you hope on your journey.

There are people looking for the exact skills and talents I have to offer, and you are being brought together on the checkerboard of life. 

-Louise L. Hay 

Are You Ready For A Miracle?

This Summer I took an Insanity Live training class, and I was so inspired by the positive energy of my instructor that I wanted to share her story with you.  Erin Scott’s journey with weight loss offers hope that no matter how bleak it seems, it’s possible to change the entire trajectory of your life.

About 8 years ago Erin was depressed, well over 200 lbs, in one toxic relationship after another and in crippling debt.  In order to make ends meet and keep up with student loans she was working as a research associate, and also had two part-time jobs: scooping ice cream and serving coffee and the other waiting tables at an Italian brick-oven pizza restaurant.

The stress of that life was taking a toll on her and food became her comfort.  Life was spiraling out of control until something magical happened…

One day when she was gorging on a cheese calzone and sprawled out on her living room’s pull-out couch, a Turbo Jam infomercial for a home workout came on the TV.  In that moment desperation and opportunity met.  The fog lifted and clarity took center stage.

before_01162012 Erin knew she needed to change the path she was on.  She explained, “I was ashamed to step foot in a gym to make the change I knew I desperately needed.  As I was wiping cheese grease off of my face I heard the infomercial  voice over say, “never do a crunch on the floor again,” and that right there sealed the deal for me!  LOL!”  She went on to say that she couldn’t afford it, but she took a leap of faith.  That’s where the magic happened.

It doesn’t matter if you are broke, busted and disgusted, Providence does not discriminate.  When your opportunity clock goes off and you respond with action something miraculous is going to happen.

Erin’s weight loss journey started with working out in her living room.

She didn’t respond with excuses, instead, she seized her opportunity to transform herself.  Along with doing the Beachbody home workouts, Erin also followed their nutrition program and lost 50 pounds. “That was just the start,” she said. “I gained so much more confidence in myself. I was able to come off of my anti-depressant medication, and I began to eliminate those toxic relationships in my life. I began to see light again, after being in such a dark place for a long time.”

I regained my sense of self-worth. I’m in the best shape of my life.

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Erin’s weight loss journey helped bring her life’s purpose into focus.  She realized that she wanted to share her passion for health and fitness.  After going through all of her struggles and coming out on the other side, it’s her desire to inspire others to reach their potential.

These days Erin is loving life and she attributes who she has become to her faith in God.
966815_10151832823437895_242294320_oErin’s advice if you’re stuck in a rut, unhappy with your career, love life, and body:

  1. Be honest with yourself about what you want. What do you REALLY want?
  2. Pray.  It’s easy to get so stuck in our own heads and it serves us well to talk to God openly and with as much vulnerability as possible. In that process, you might start to see options that you hadn’t considered before.
  3. If prayer is not your jam then seek out wise counsel from knowledgeable people who can point you in the right direction.
  4. Be humble.  Trying to figure it all out on your own seems like the easiest way. It’s not. It can actually be the most difficult–and it’s a more prideful way. Take a step back & work with someone you like and trust to guide you and have enough belief in yourself to see it through.

Erin is a fitness educator, Team Beachbody Master Trainer, coach, group fitness instructor, and owner of SillyFit Inc.  Read mor1609944_10152130998347895_3618979090057837505_ne information about Erin @ http://sillyfit.com

Just Be

My upcoming wedding has prompted me to focus in on what’s really important and what I really want.  You see it’s easy for me to get crazy excited about ideas and put my axe to the grind and go after them.  The thing is, I soon realize I’ve spread myself too thin and all those grand ideas, well, they fall to the ground.🙈  I’m sure many of you can relate to this predicament.  Passion and whimsy are beautiful but if left unchecked, they can lead to our own demise.

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So here is what is helping me to focus—

It seems as though most of my life I’ve been trying to be better, be more, and be different because I’ve felt like until I reach some elusive standard of success, I’m not good enough.  Pushing and pressing have been my MO (I am an Aries; I have the little horns for a reason;) LOL

Lately, I’ve been taking a step back and asking myself, ‘what needs to be different?’

What needs to be different about you and your life right now?

Do you find yourself wanting to be a good wife, friend, employee, dad, Christian, student, etcetera, etcetera?  All these things are good desires, but when you can’t just be you miss out on how perfect you already are right here, right now.  The key is to catch yourself ‘shoulding’ on yourself.  Then step back and ask yourself, ‘What needs to be different?’

Becoming self-aware will allow compassion and clarity to come rushing in to fill the space you’ve created in your heart.

be still

You are good enough without needing to do more good deeds, work harder, get more degrees or titles.

You are enough.

You are a child of God.

May Fitness & Wellness Faves

IMG_2876I love to share so I’m excited to tell you about some of my favorite products!

1. Foam Roller  

You know that strangely relaxing feeling when you crack your fingers or toes?  LOL  Well this foam roller cracks my back in the perfect spot!  It’s heavenly-:)

Foam rolling is like a deep tissue massage and it helps loosen up the fascia that surrounds the muscles.  This relieves muscle tightness and helps me recover faster so I can continue having great workouts.

2.  Coconut Oil 

I put a lot of effort into eating healthy and exercising so I don’t want to then slather on body lotions that are laden with chemicals.  Our skin is our largest organ, and it absorbs everything.  I keep this jar of coconut oil in my bathroom and apply it just like lotion after my shower.

3.  Skin Brushing

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Skin brushing is a great way to help aid detoxification. It removes dead skin cells, improves circulation and helps eliminate toxins by stimulating the lymphatic system.

You can find skin brushes at most stores.  Look for ones with natural bristles.

Tip: Always skin brush before a bath or shower while the skin is still dry. In circular motions, brush toward your heart — up the arms, legs, and abdomen and down the shoulders and chest.

4.  Sombra

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This stuff is amazing!  I first got introduced to it when I was at a powerlifting meet.  I was minutes away from going up for my deadlift and a teammate put this on my lower back.  Talk about loosening up tightness!  I also apply it to my neck and traps after a day of working on my laptop.  It melts away the tension.

Tip:  make sure to wash your hands good after applying.

5.  Kindle

I can be a worry wart, so I have trouble turning down the volume of my thoughts so I can relax.  Reading positive books to start my day and having some good fiction books to read at night does wonders for me.  Here are some of the books I’m reading.  I just finished Goodkind and Hunter’s books so I recently started Dawn of Wonders and it’s been a good one.

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6.  Therapy Kitchen Hand Lotion in lemongrass, lime and bergamot 

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I have dry hands because I’m always cleaning something and washing my hands.  I have this lotion on the kitchen counter so I can easily use it after washing dishes and when I’m on my way out the door.  It smells so good!  I picked this up at TJ Max for $5! Love that store;)

7.  Essential Oil Diffuser by Deneve  

It’s truly my favorite thing for relaxing and cleaning the air in my home.  It is so easy to use and has a lovely bubbling sound that is soothing.  I have one on my nightstand that I put about 5 drops of lavender essential oil and a second one that I use in other areas of the house.  This is the link where I purchased mine: http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Oil-Diffuser-Deneve®-Aromatherapy/dp/B00L9NR672?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00

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8.  Insanity Workouts

If you are getting bored with your workouts or have reached a plateau, this is a workout for you.  It’s challenging but doable.  I love how it combines athletic movements with good music and an overall total body workout.  Click here to find an Insanity Live class in your area: http://www.insanitycertification.com/about-insanity-classes  If you are in the Mandeville, Louisiana area, I teach this class at Anytime Fitness @5:30pm 😊

I would love to hear if you have tried any of these and what your thought are about them.

❤Healthy Justice

Keeping The Fight When You Want To Quit

While I was working out in the gym, I had a conversation with a friend who had recently experienced the deaths of his best friend & sister within a week’s time.  Even with his obvious heartbreak, he was getting through his workout with commitment.  Seeing his inner strength toward suffering reminded me how important it is to keep the faith during the storms of life.

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Live long enough & you will have the battle scars to prove that your character has been tested.  There are some fights in  life, some setbacks & struggles that leave you wondering, “Will I ever come back from this?”

-a failed marriage has taken the fight out of you

-a lost job and you had to move back in with your parents

-the death of a child or spouse has you broken & numb

-people you thought would be there for you have let you down.

On the outside you can appear to be the strong guy, but on the inside you’re Minnie Mouse.   This is the most challenging fight of all, the fight inside, in our minds.  It’s the self-defeating thoughts we think that strips us of our power.

It’s never about what “they” say about you that makes you feel defeated.  It’s what you say about you that brings your defeat.

Put the past behind you.  Your past doesn’t have to dictate your future.  Today you have the opportunity to get it right.  “When you hold on to your history, you do so at the expense of your destiny.”  TD Jakes

  1. Don’t Quit

            Make the decision that no matter what you will not quit.

  • Take quitting off the table. Quitting is not an option. When you feel overwhelmed with worry or fear, tell yourself, “I got this.”
  • You didn’t survive everything you have been through to drown in shallow water.  Don’t give up because the moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens.

       2.  Keep Moving

When I was healing from a loss in my life there were days when I had to tell myself over and over, “one step at a time.”  The thought of going through a whole day was enough to make me want to go to bed and pull the covers over my head.

            Keep consistent to your routines.

  • Like my friend, it was his routine to come to the gym & he stayed true to that in spite of how he  felt.  There is a comfort in routine that keeps us anchored.
  • Move your body even if you don’t FEEL like it. Feelings come and go that is why you must make the decision to not quit, and trust that the good feelings are going to come. The sun will shine on you again.

       3.  Rise Above

            Fight & pray for the struggle to transform you into a better version of yourself.

  • Rise above the pain to become someone stronger, nobler, wiser, braver, more beautiful than the old you.
  • Rise above the self-doubt and same old stories that leave you feeling like a victim. Tell yourself a new story where you are experiencing success, love & happiness.
  • Perception is everything. See yourself as a conqueror and speak your destiny into existence.

Romans 4:17  Call those things that be not as though they were.

Fight the Good Fight