Are you dancing in the Rain?

It’s not Monday, but motivation is good any day- right?!

Do you find yourself dwelling on all the negative things you have encountered in life?

Are you allowing the storm to cloud your outcome, your growth?

 

We have to be willing to take control of our lives especially when things seem out of control! There will always be bad days;  you can also bet that you will experience a day worse than the bad once you had last week. Its about how you handle the unpleasant things & how you deal with the obstacle(s).

I know we would all like to pop out that easy button & just skip to all the joyous, fun, & easy times in life.

BUT in order for us to grow we need to sit through that storm; we need to embrace the rain, we need not to fear the thunder. In order for us to grow & blossom into who we are suppose to be we must dance in the rain!

 

10 day Smoothie Challenge

I recently participated in the JJ Smith’s Green Smoothie challenge. I honestly dont know why I do these things anymore.

I participated in the modified challenge/cleanse, so I only drank 2 smoothies a day & ate 1 healthy meal. You are allowed to snack on veggies and some fruits in between while practicing self control.

I was pretty nervous about the taste of the smoothies, but I actually enjoyed most of them & even walked away with a favorite flavor & runner up! 🙂

I didn’t drop a whahhpping 15 pounds or nothing amazing like that, but I am down 4 pounds…

That’s a start people!!

Aside from this week (because we are moving) I have been hitting the gym 2-4 times a week. I am either participating in class called XFit or  I am working out on my own, but using a lot of what I learned in XFit!

Its gonna be difficult missing the gym this week as well as coming off the cleanse. Once we get settled in I plan to give it one more go & see if I can loose 5 pounds instead of 4!! #goals haha 🙂

Anyone give it a try? If so, did you enjoy your results??

Good OL’ Life Test

I had an eventful and interesting Sunday. I was faced with a Test. This was no ordinary test!

There was no paper or pencils involved, just people!

There was no study guide to prepare me, just feelings!

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I don’t do well with surprise Test! & what I mean by that is I dont handle them well. I use the wrong emotions and actions when dealing with things I do not have the answers to or when dealing with things that are complex and requires strategy & procedure over a quick “yes” or “no”, “1,2,3” type of response. These Test make me nervous; I feel a lot of pressure when I am surprised by them! & then when my answers to the Test do not fit or work I become angry!

I do not see myself as an angry person, but over the years I found I hold a lot of anger. It would be easy to point the blame and say this and that caused me to be so angry, but that does me (or anyone else) no good & it is not 100% accurate! The fact of the matter is I have held onto anger & allowed myself to say “it is okay to be angry because someone hurt me or someone did me wrong”.  For years I made an excuse for myself to be angry & while I didn’t allow it to show on the outside it has slowly been eating away at me. & then when I have been faced with something I was not prepared for, I turned to the wrong emotions & reactions!

There is a point to this…haha..

I was faced with a Test yesterday; the test is similar in many ways to those I have faced before! I am not going to sit here and tell you everything changed, something clicked and I handled everything perfectly and I passed this test with flying colors!

I did do better!

I began to handle this Test with the same response I have always used. I began to respond with built up heated emotions… I mean who told this Test to come today anyways? As I said, I always find a way to justify….

But then I reverted! I didn’t have some type of deep realization about my inner self or nothing like that; I just stopped! I knew very well that the outcome is never good when my actions are from a bad place. I mean history has shown me that.

I have to take be willing to take these test and learning experiences rather than attacks! & to do that I have to change my response to them! It wont happen over night & it will not be easy, but I will get there!

 

“To create more positive results in your life, replace ‘if only’ with ‘next time’.”

 

Gender Specific Toys and Play

One of the many classes I am taking this semester  is Gender Psychology. There are many gender related topics, such as: Transgender, body language, pay gaps among men and women; sexual harassment in the work place, gender roles & so much more!

We have been asked to post our “favorite” gender topic or a topic we want to learn about this semester. My choice was Toys and Play/Gender specific toys. This is not a new topic to me; I have heard and thought a lot about this topic, but there is a lot to learn and consider. This topic hits close to home for me for a few reasons.

While reviewing the topic, I found myself falling into this loop and conforming with  Gender specific Toys; I did not do this intentionally! It is society, marketing and how we are raised that brings us into this closed loop idea! A lot of times we don’t think twice about the toys we purchase.

When you shop for your daughter, nephew, son or niece, what do you buy? Do the girls get dolls, kitchen/cooking sets and a lot of pink? Do they boys get trucks, trains, and footballs? Can the girls play with the football and the boys play with the dolls? Should we make an effort to purchase Gender neutral toys?

I will not go into detail with my thoughts and opinions! I will say that there are many factors when talking about children and how they learn and grow and play is a BIG part of their development!

I am curious what you all think. Does it matter what children play with? Does play as a child have any affect of who they become as adults? Can your daughter play with trucks and your son play with the cooking set? Can one do it and not the other? Do you believe we need to incorporate more neutral toys to provide better balance and eliminate perceived gender roles?

 

I plan to  have a full paper with hours and hours of research on this topic soon! 🙂

I would like to know what you all think as well. I want to see all side of this controversial issue!

Motivation Monday – Dr. King Inspired.

In honor of today being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I thought I would locate one of my favorite quotes and post it.

I came across this quote my Freshman year in High-school. I was working on a Black History Month presentation; My teacher assigned who we would do the projects over.

I spent many hours working on this project; I was fascinated by everything I was learning about Dr. King. Yes, we learned about Dr. King as little kids & growing up throughout school, never in great detail! We were taught the basics, we were provided general information. When I worked on this project I wanted to REALLY include his work. I wanted to talk about the good he was doing, but the hate he receive.

I came across this quote and thought that this is exactly what has been happening for so long. We choose to fight Hate with Hate!

Look where that has gotten us!

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Let Dr. King motivate you! Let him motivate you to stand up for your beliefs. Let him motivate you to help your community. Let him motivate you to Love!

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.” – MLK

 

 

 

Let Us Inspire, Love, and Support – The #GirlLove Challenge

I was recently nominated for the #GirlLove Challenge by  Yecheilyah over at “Pearls before Swine.” Thank you very very much for the nomination! 🙂

I always feel really honored when someone nominates me for a blog award! I feel this way because I do not believe that I break out of my shell and connect with many other bloggers on WordPress and my level or skill at writing could be much better. So to still be noticed and presented with any nomination feels really good. 🙂    This would be the 1st I have heard of #GirlLove nomination/challenge, but  I did read up a bit to get a better understanding of the movement; I must say I absolutely love it!

I have been out of High school for about 4 years & I see more hate among women now compared to high school. In high school I always excused what I saw as “young women” not fully conscience of their actions or stilling growing into their identity; I cant make up an excuse for what I see now. Simply, woman choose to break other woman down because they feel threatened or like another women is competition. It should never be that way! Woman are strong, fierce, smart Beings – could you imagine Our world if Women used those skills to praise, build and support one another? Could you imagine the new level respect women would receive and feel!?

Before I get carried away, I will list  the women I choose to nominate for the #Girllove Challenge:

30 Tho

When I first started my blog, I stumbled across hers &  it immediately caught my eye. Her intentions for writing her blog & her daring actions at standing out in life made me look at myself with a different set of eyes. Her post make me want to try things I’ve been reserved about!

My Name is Elizabeth

This is another blog I came across when I first started mine a little over a year ago. I was drawn to Elizabeth’s blog because of her personal, diverse post about culture & race. The subjects she chooses to talk about are sometimes very controversial, but she navigates her words and thoughts with such ease and honesty. She writes beautifully! Also when reading her BIO last year, I learned that she studied Psychology. This particularly interested me at that time because of a school decision I was dealing with!

Loud Thoughts Voiced Out

I located this blog in the community pool I believe sometime early last year. I find that a lot of her post are easy to relate to. They are either things I have felt, thought or dealt with before. I especially enjoy reading her random entries. Some of them are inspirational, funny, simple, & relevant. You cant help but feel like you know her a little more after reading a few!

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I know the rules state to nominate 5 people, but unfortunately I don’t have 5 to nominate. (The women I have nominated may find it strange I nominated them, because of our lack of communication- so I apologize for that now.)

Also I follow many other women bloggers who are amazing writers, composers, artist and more.

All of these women inspire me in one way or another; whether its related to blogging/writing, school or real life experiences.

Here’s what you do for the #GirlLove Challenge:

  1. Tell your followers who inspire you, a famous woman who may be dealing with negativity on a daily basis. 
  2. Tell your followers who inspire you in real life, a woman you always interact with.
  3. Tag five women bloggers who you love. Compliment them and tell them why you love them, and comment under their latest post with the link to your #GirlLove post!

 

Even if you do not blog, make video post, or anything related to social media,please take the time to show your love and support for another Woman. #GirlLove

 

 

Graduation Time

Around roughly 10am on Friday, December 11th, I walked across the stage with about 100 other students to receive my Associates Degree of Arts in Psychology.

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I believe that most people associate graduations with BIG achievements or even milestones. When I moved to Texas I noticed that every time you changed “levels” (for lack of a better word) there would be a graduation ceremony. For example Kindergarten to 1st grade would have one; 5th grade to 6th grade would have one; 8th grade to 9th grade would have one; and then of course  12th grade seniors would have the most anticipated graduation ceremony!

I don’t think there is anything wrong with these celebrations! We should let the children/young adults know we are proud of them for doing well in school.

So why is it as the time lead up to my graduation, this year, I lacked excitement!? Instead I compared myself to others who were receiving their Bachelors Degree or even their Masters. I was really beating myself up because I have been in school about 4 years- just as long as someone receiving their Bachelors degree, yet I was not. I felt like I was so far behind and I was just receiving a consolation prize or something! I constantly belittled myself and felt like I had accomplished nothing. As I look back I was being very ungrateful; I can see that now.

I had to really look at everything I have been through while being enrolled in school; I had to consider changing my major right at the very end, working full time and becoming a mother during the Fall Semester last year (2014). I had to stop being so hard on myself! I am not trying to create excuses; I know there are people who have had to overcome more hardships than I could even imagine!

So yea, by now I expected to be enrolled in TJC’s Dental Hygiene program and working towards my Associates, possibly Bachelors (I knew that program was coming soon). But that is not the path I went down & instead of dwelling on what has not gone as I planned, I needed to realize how very blessed I am for having the opportunity to walk the stage and receive my Associate Degree! I have family and friends that have been supportive since day 1; after having my daughter the support continued! Not everyone has that type of support system and love!

I realized that Friday was the 1st step towards many more accomplishments. I have many more goals to achieve & I am sure that will come with obstacles. But it is all possible.

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Whats next for me?

Well, I plan to head over to the local University in my town to receive my Bachelors in Psychology. I start class on 01/18/16. I have not completely decided what I want to do in this field, but I am leaning towards forensic or counseling Psychology!

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”

-Earl Nightingale

Today is a New day… 12/7/15

Yesterday I made the decision to stop being lazy and get back to my “fitness routine”.     *clears throat*

I have been thinking about how much I have been slacking the past few months; but that’s all I was doing…thinking about it. I kept telling myself that I don’t have the time or I needed to study, etc.  It was not until yesterday that I made up my mind.  I received a gentle nudge (more like violent shove down 100 flight of stairs ending in a face plant on hot coals) from a very very close family member! She helped me say “okay- enough is enough!”

Isn’t it amazing how brutally honest family members can be while showing love & being supportive…. haha

So as I mentioned before I did the 21 day fix, I am not doing that again! While I did have good results I know am not going to follow it to the ‘T’. However I learned some cool work outs that I plan to continue using.

After the 21 day fix, before I entered my slacking stage, I simply worked out 3-5 days a week. Everyday that I worked out consisted of leg work. I rotated ab work every other day, of course depending on if I worked out 3, 4, or 5 days. As for cardio I walked (power walked of course) 45 minutes to an hour.  I didn’t track how many miles that I completed; I just tried to keep my heart rate under 140. Also my walking usually consisted of pushing a stroller. If that means anything…

As for eating, I did not pig out and eat junk food all day and I don’t do that now. However I did take into consideration the type of foods I ate! For example I would chose grapes for a snack over chips. I completely cut out fast food, with the exception of salads from McDonalds. I drank water and green tea through the day & drank a soda or two on the weekends only!

These days I just kind of eat & drink whatever and maybe get 1 work out completed each week.

 

Yes disgraceful, I know!

 

Well, since I did make up my mind last night it would have only been right to get back on track today. I would have to say I’ve done okay, so far. My breakfast was not the best choice, but I have been chugging water today, no sodas! 🙂

To keep myself accountable I think I am going to keep track of everything again using Myfitnesspal. I absolutely love that app!!  At the end of each week I may post my work outs and foods & every two weeks post my progress (no pictures, just data- haha) but I am not sure yet!

I’m sure I can stick to it this time around, I just have to stop making excuses! 🙂

You know any fun work outs,healthy snack options, or just have any suggestions, please feel free to share!

 

Motivation Monday…. anyone?

I know we all have those days/weeks where we need a little motivation. Whether you are needing an extra nudge to complete that last mile, homework assignment or just to get through the day. So every Monday (or every other Monday) I will post a motivational quote, picture, story or all of the above. #MotivationMonday

Cliche? HAha, yes very! But maybe someone will take something from it! Someone may find some use from it 🙂

The 1st post to start of this “tradition” is below:

motivation monday # 1

This may apply to people in different ways. Some may find this as a fitness inspired quote, but it doesn’t have to be.

How do you interpret it? How does this motivate you? What are you trying to accomplish?

Me? Well I could provide you a list. However when I read this quote I instantly thought about school. I had been working very heard towards getting into the Dental program since Fall 2011; when I was finally accepted I was unable to attend because I had to put my family 1st. (Ehh it sounds bad when I say it like that…) I was unable to find a job that paid what I make now; Sure I could have accepted a pay-cut. It would have been worth it after I obtained my degree, right? Believe me I considered it; but after weighing all my options it did not seem like a feasible option at the time. I want to provide for my family and attend school, not struggle and attend school.

Am I making any sense?

After declining the offer to start Dental school I have really been on the fence about not continuing school and just trying to make the “best career” I could at my current job.

This quote was just a reminder for me!

Yes, I am tired, very tired of feeling like I’m spinning in circles with school, tired of feeling unaccomplished, tired of no results.

Well, I will be walking the stage December 11th with my Associates on Psychology. I am very aware that my career options are limited with an Associates in this field, so I am already enrolled to start working towards my Bachelors in January.

I am tired, but I have not stopped because I am not DONE!

Keep pushing, it gets better!

-Michelle A

 

 

***Photos/quotes used in this blog post are not mine/created by me, unless I state otherwise. I locate these on Google image and post what appeals to me that day.***

1 down 17 more to go

Well I knew the day was coming, but I didn’t realize it would creep up on me so quickly. While I’ve been away we celebrated my daughters 1st birthday. I absolutely never want to plan another party – haha, seriously!

I was an emotional mess the week before her 1st birthday. Mostly because I felt my baby was no longer going to be A Baby, but also the stress of planning a good party is overwhelming. Of course I am the “do it yourself person” so I refused to ask for help although it was offered many times.

I would just like to share some photos of my little one during her birthday celebration!

The Birthday Girl

The Birthday Girl

We held the celebration at the play area at a nearby Church!

Kenzy, her Dad, & Grandmother. You can feel the love in this photo!

Kenzy, her Dad, & Grandmother. You can feel the love in this photo!

Hide and Seek in the play house...anyone?

Hide and Seek in the play house…anyone?

UH- OH

UH- OH

Run, run, as fast as you can!

Run, run, as fast as you can!

I used Etsy for 90% of the decorations.

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Kenzys 1 year timeline!

Kenzys 1 year timeline!

Time Capsule!

Time Capsule!

So the #1 started to fall on the Cake started to fall and was mistaken as an Elephants trunk. HAha, I was a little upset.

The Cake! One Word - Delicious!

The Cake! One Word – Delicious!

She was not really feeling her personal Cookie Cake.

She was not really feeling her personal Cookie Cake.

Well, you cant forget the gifts!

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Must have been a good conversation

Must have been a good conversation

:)

🙂

A lot of family and friends came out to help us celebrate! All in all I believe it turned out pretty well.

Kenzy's grandmother and Uncle

Kenzy’s grandmother and Uncle

My best friend, her son and I

My best friend, her son and I

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Kenzy’s Great Aunts in black, Her Aunt in white and Older Cousin

:)

🙂

Num-Num!

Num-Num!

Thanks for letting me share this Even with you! 🙂

- You have the world to grow & the love of your family behind you every step of the way.

– You have the world to grow & the love of your family behind you every step of the way.