Happy Monday, Everyone! We’re almost wrapping up January and it’s been a wild ride already! Lately I have been doing a lot of soul searching or so to speak. As I’ve mentioned in my prior posts I’ve been working on living life with more intention, being more in the moment, which has helped me be more conscious of my time, my work, my thoughts, and just life in general. If there’s one thing that last years quarantine did for me it was the fact that I read a lot more. A lot of that credit goes to my book club ladies because I started to read books that were out of my comfort zone like suspense novels and historical stories. Some of my favorite books to read are personal growth books because they get me fired up to not only self reflect but to have and implement my goals and ambitions. Today I’m rounding up my top reads for personal growth in hopes that you will enjoy these too.
As I leave you with my favorite personal growth books I hope it inspires you to check out one of these if you haven’t already. And if you did, I’d love to chat more about them with you! I’ve heard many people say they don’t like to read books, if you’re one of those, have you tried Audible? Last year I started using Audible and now I’m hooked, I can’t sleep without listening to a good book. Although I still feel like there’s nothing quite like reading a book in hand and flipping pages which do you prefer a book in hand, kindle, or audiobooks?
I have had straight hair all my life I’ve never used a round brush or really needed a straightener. Earlier last year I was itching to get a perm but my older much wiser sister talked me out of it. Perks of being the younger sister, you can learn from four others who’ve made mistakes before you! In fact I love curling my hair so much I invested in the Chi straightener back in college just to use as a curler and I taught myself the technique of curling with a straightener. With my new found favorite hair tool the Chi Spin Curl styling my hair takes a total of twenty minutes tops (something my husband, Ali, appreciates A LOT)!
The Chi Spin Curl is automatic and has buttons to spin in two different directions. I know it sounds scary the thought of getting your hair stuck! But it’s amazing features have taken all those fears of mine away. I’m not going to lie I got my hair stuck in there the first couple times as I was getting the hang of using it but it was a breeze to get out. If your hair gets stuck the curler stops and gives you a repeated beep you can either press the off button and turn the chi off and it releases the hair so smoothly or you can unplug your curler and it also releases the hair with no damage or pull. It’s one of the most simple curlers to use. I have four sisters and two of them bought it immediately after they saw me using it. I’ll share a quick video tutorial on how to use it over on my instagram today!
Happy Inauguration Day, Friends! In honor of our first ever Madam Vice President I wanted to share three looks in a velvet blazer. There’s nothing quite like a chic blazer to make you feel like a real boss babe. This was my first and only blazer in my closet which later turned out to be the most worn and styled piece throughout Fall and Winter.
This casual, comfortable, and chic look is one of my favorites. It’s a great look for a date night, girls night, or even a zoom call. Not sure how many of us are dining out with the pandemic but still a look to keep in mind when this pandemic is all behind us! The velvet blazer here adds the perfect pop of color, the white bodysuit is a closet must have because it gives the perfect shape and can be worn with so many other pieces, and these AG black jeans are an investment but worth every penny! They are butter soft, very forgiving if you have a mommy pouch like me, and overall one of the best fitting jeans I own!
This outfit is one of my favorites because the white wide leg pants are the most comfortable and such a great fit! Before or after Labor Day… there’s no hard rule you can wear white all year long! I’d wear these white wide leg pants all year long! This bodysuit is the same as the previous one except in black, *Note: I have a lot of these because the shape/form they give you is amazing! These leopard booties are my go-to they add a pop to any outfit, especially the neutrals and I love them! if you ask me they are another great staple closet item and on major sale today at 60% off!!
These boyfriend jeans are ultra comfy! They have the perfect amount of distress in the denim and they fit snug and they are running on year two and still in great condition after many wears. I’ve had the hardest time finding a good pair of BF jeans but these have been a keeper because of their comfort and fit. They fit perfectly snug and add a nice shape too instead of looking loose. Ask me one Rolling Stone song and I couldn’t answer you because I’m the girl that loves a good band tee regardless so this one I snagged from Target for only $12!! Yes, Target, FTW!!! These shoes are a beauty, a golden goose look alike but from one of my favorite local boutiques, Woven, owned by a friend! I can’t link this exact pair but I’ve linked similar options here!
Do you take time out for self-care, a workout, a walk? Just YOU! No kids, no hubby, no siblings, just YOU!? I’ve struggled over the years with doing that especially last year. This year when I noticed it was affecting my mental health I made it a point to make sure I make myself a priority. As I treat each day with more intention I have been realizing how I have been postponing things on my to-do list for other tasks. But I’ve implemented a few hard rules for myself to make sure that I don’t do this and I make myself a priority. *Note: I’ve learned that prioritizing myself does not mean that I’m being selfish. I’m a mom, so naturally I have other priorities as well. But some key points I’ve jotted down that help me organize my day so that I can make sure that I’m living a fulfilled day for myself as well are the following:
What I’m doing to Make Myself A Priority
I have a daily ritual: Some kind of routine is key. I’ve been praying, journaling. and reading a book everyday! It’s given me a form of meditation, sanity, and helping me learn something new everyday.
I’ve identified my time wasters: I’m guilty of scrolling through instagram. Biggest problem of having a business on social media is that you can end up spending a lot of unnecessary time on social media. I’m trying to get better at this by focusing on setting times for when I should be on my phone. Because I don’t like to document my every moment to the public but at the same time I do like to share snippets of our daily shenanigans and something of value, daily deals, recipes, etc.
I’ve learned to give myself grace: Not everyday will go as planned. There’s no point in planning out my day by the hour and minute because random things always come up. And keeping track of my day by the hour will only get me more frustrated and rushed in any task I do. So I’ve allotted time for the important stuff, made lists, and I go with the flow of the day especially because I have little kids.
I’ve alloted time for the important stuff: A workout is important to me, so I schedule it! And I’ve started to make it happen! Journaling has become very therapeutic to me so I try to wake up before anyone does so its nice and quiet and I can collect my thoughts and write as I sip on my morning cup of coffee.
How do you give yourself priority? What are some things you do in the day to make yourself feel fulfilled?
Carrots are one vegetable I love. I love eating carrots raw, or steamed, or in my salad with ranch dressing. So naturally Gajar Ka Halwa is my favorite dessert. This carrot pudding dessert is sweet and made completely from shredded carrots. My mother-in-law makes the best Gajar Ka Halwa hands down. Last year she made an entire pot of it and froze it for me in batches. I pretty much finished that in weeks because I’d eat a pouch a day! Since I have changed up my diet I wanted to make the gajar ka halwa with less sugar and lactose free because I’m lactose intolerant. So the other night I attempted to make it on my own following my sweet mother-in-laws recipe! And it turned out scrumptious! Here is the recipe, I’ll write the substitutes I used as well for reference.
Gajar Ka Halwa Recipe
7 Medium size Carrots
3 Cups Milk
2 Tsp Coconut Milk
1 Cup Sugar (Substitutes: Brown Sugar, Stevia, or Splenda)
1/4 Cup Butter (Substitutes: Ghee/Coconut Oil)
5 cardamom seeds (elaichi) (Ground Cardamom- I recommended grinding them fresh it gives a stronger tasteful smell.)
1.) Wash and Peel Carrots
2.) Shred carrots (we use a food processor to do this or you can purchase a bag of shredded carrots from the grocery store)
3.) On medium heat boil almond milk and shredded carrots in a pot.
4.) When carrots have softened and milk has been dissolved add butter (Ghee or Coconut Oil) and stir on low heat for 4 minutes.
5.) Add cardamom powder and sugar stir until everything is well mixed
6.) Garnish with blanched almonds
Hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it I’d love to know how it turned out!
I’m making my return over here on the blog with some fun content to share. I feel like I do this every few months and then I disappear again. 2021 for me meant consistent planning and organizing not just my home but my thoughts, my business, and being more intentional. So if all goes as planned you’ll find a new post from me five days a week I’ll share a recipe, a fashion piece, or something of value! I’m all about better eating habits this year!
When I decide to bring a change in my life I like to ease into them. Going cold turkey was never really my way of doing things. And over the course of a couple of years I really had to kick some bad habits good-bye. For the first few weeks of January I have been focusing on my eating habits. Not for weight loss but because as a kid I’ve always had terrible eating habits and some carried onto adulthood. I grew up pretty much eating Dunkaroos (if you’re a 90s kid you know what these are!), fruit roll-ups, and Doritos for every meal. While my mother always pushed me to eat healthier I played the youngest kid card and found my way to eat more junk food than healthy meals. And boy did karma teach me, my boys are extremely picky eaters it’s always a battle trying to feed them healthy foods I’ll find JJ sneaking in Oreos from the cookie jar before dinner! They are still little so I figured it was time to make life changes in my home to instill better eating habits all around. When it comes to parenting a five and four year old these days you can’t preach what you don’t practice cause they will call you out!
Five things I did to kick my bad eating habits Good-bye!
1.) I cut back on my carbohydrateintake in my meals, this made me more intentional about what I was putting into my body. While I’m no health expert I’m not doing any kind of keto diet or low carb diet, I’m just not eating parathas for breakfast everyday anymore!
2.) I meal plan, this is something that has helped me plan out healthier meals and not run to the first thing I can resort to in the pantry and fridge when I’m hungry.
3.) I am reading labels on foods before putting them into my body. This has made me more aware of the good carbs vs bad carbs. I was having a lot of digestive issues and changing my diet has helped eliminate those.
4.) I eat more frequently in my day and I choose healthier snacks. I’ll eat an apple with peanut butter rather than munching on cookies. I’ve fallen in love with these Frozen Kind Bars, thanks to my sister! They are like a snickers bar but even better! And only 9 grams of carbs!
5.) I drink more water, I try to drink at least two glasses of water before eating breakfast. Keeping this hydroflask with me through my day has helped me keep hydrated throughout the day and it keeps my water chilled all day.
What are some things you are doing to improve your health this year?