Tag Archives: happiness

Happy Tuesday! 

I hope you’re all having a fantastic day so far and enjoying the week. I’ve been kind of scatter brained lately and fell off a bit on my early morning workouts, but I’ll jump right back on tomorrow morning with that so, it happens. I’ve been pretty on with my eating, except for this past weekend which was pretty off all weekend. Thank goodness I was able to just maintain my weight instead of gain so I’m grateful for that. I’m kicking it into high gear this week and really buckling down with my diet and fitness plans so I can keep on the right track. So with all that on my mind, I thought I’d better update with my goals for this month while it’s still semi-early in the month, though I’m a bit late in posting. 

Here’s Last Month’s Goals & How I Did: 

  1. Make More Money AND Save More Money. I actually got a raise in the new year (yay!!) and I am still working on saving a bit. I am on the right track, though, so I just need to stay on it. 
  2. Organize My Closet, Room & Bathroom Areas! I haven’t done this AT ALL. It so needs to get done, but I’d really like to purchase some organizers for this project and I haven’t been able to do that yet so when I do, it’s more likely to happen. 
  3. Stay Consistent With the Gym & Working Out 5-6 Times Per Week. I’ve been really consistent on going to the gym and working out if I wasn’t able to go so I’m happy about that!
  4. Stay Consistent With Healthy Eating. With my diet, I’ve been really on or just okay and rarely have I been just completely off. This weekend I did slip up a bit, but I was back on track by Sunday so I’m glad I have been okay with that. I’d like to keep on with this and be more consistent with making my lunch for the week.
  5. Lose 10-15 pounds. I actually did lose 8 pounds in the past month or so since January so yay! I know it’s not the 15 pounds I wanted, but it’s a start. 
  6. Be A More Romantic Girlfriend. I think I’ve been doing okay at this. We’ve been taking time to go watch films together and hang out a bit, but I would like to plan more things to do on the weekend as well.

My Goals for this Month:

  • Make My Lunches for the Week More Consistently. I have been pretty consistent where healthy eating is concerned, but I admit I’ve been eating out way too much this past week and it’s mostly due to my being too tired or too lazy to prepare my lunches for the week so starting clean this week with my lunches all prepared, I’d really like to keep on with making my lunches each week because it does keep my healthy eating on track.
  • Go to the Gym 5-6 Times Per Week ( 4 Times At 5 AM During Week ). I’ve been really good with this, but I just like a nice reminder. The only thing I really fell off with was my morning workouts. With daylight savings “Spring Forward” with the clock going forward an hour, it’s been tough.
  • Do More Fun & New Things With My Boyfriend. As I said, we’ve been going to see films together and hanging out, but I’d like to plan more things for us to do and I’d like us to go on a mini vacation sometime this Summer or something. Anyone have any ideas to recommend?
  • Organize My Bathroom & Closet. This just NEEDS to get done. I will be picking up the organizing boxes, dividers and shelving sometime this month and it WILL happen. 
  • Save Money. It’s still on my list and it will happen soon. 
  • Lose 10-15 Pounds. I know it’s ambitious, but I’m keeping this on my list because I really need to motivate myself with weight loss so I’m keeping it on here so it stays on my mind. 
  • Get Up At 4 AM Tues-Friday for My Morning Workouts. As I said above, my morning workout has fallen off and I’d like to get back to that so I’ll be going back to my 4AM wake up times this week and going on through this month. I really enjoyed the improved energy and focus I got from getting up earlier and getting my workout done first thing.
  • Spring Clean. This is just a general note to clean out my closet, clean out my bathroom and get rid of junk and clutter that’s been sitting around catching dust. 

What are your goals for March?

Let me know in the comments below!

Related Articles:

My Goals for February

11 Tips to Help Your Weight Loss & Fitness Goals

My Goals for 2013

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From fitspoholic.tumblr.com

I often feel that mindset has a huge impact on your overall success or failure, in anything, and many studies have shown evidence that how you feel about things does , in fact, make a big difference.

Just yesterday, I saw someone I hadn’t seen in a long while and who I don’t particularly like and, not surprisingly, brought up a bad mood in me shortly after our interaction. I know that sounds really vague, but I prefer not to put my personal life acquaintances on blast so there it is, in all its vagueness.

Anyway, this person and I had a short conversation and then he gave me this look for some reason and I just instantly felt judged and what’s more, I felt pissed off about it.

Of course, I immediately assumed this person was judging me by my weight or outfit or whatever. I hadn’t put on much makeup either, so maybe it was that and then, I just stopped and did what any normal woman my age would do – I posted this on Twitter :

“I feel like as #women, we’re constantly judging ourselves and allowing others to judge us like we deserve it. We don’t. Be kind to yourself.”

If you want to see my original tweet, check here.

Old Nancy was at it again.

I don’t literally mean a person when I say Nancy.

Negative Nancy, as some may call her/him/it, is that little voice in your head that shouts out ugly, negative and often untrue things and will usually get louder and more believable if you let it.

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From fitfabcities.com

I thank God for all of the amazing bloggers and consequent friends I’ve made since I began blogging last March because I don’t think I would’ve been able to shut that b*tch up if it wasn’t for the support I’ve felt from the online community because I instantly thought, others must be dealing with this too – I have to tweet about it and hopefully encourage others as they’ve encouraged me.

Yeah, I’m lame. I think I might save the world with my words, but hey, I just might! 😉 Words are powerful things.

But this weird little epiphany got me thinking that we all deal with this negative self talk (as the self help authors have deemed it) at one point or another and it’s absolutely important to make sure you don’t let that voice of self doubt take over your life.

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From fitfabcities.com

I’ve learned that it can be hard to ignore at first, but if you make a conscious effort to stay positive and optimistic and know that you are supported, that voice will stay quiet and small.

What’s more than that is I’ve also found that the best weapons against this are gratitude, acceptance, optimism and sweat.

When I work out, I just feel better. I feel more accepting of myself and life and more positive for the future. In turn, I feel more grateful about everything and it just sort of snowballs.

So, amid my rambling, I guess what I’m trying to say is do whatever it is that makes you happy, content, determined, optimistic for the future, and grateful to be living. It doesn’t have to be fitness , though that’s what I enjoy. It can be crafts, art, travel, spending time with your children and/or friends, or meditation. Just find that thing that makes you feel good about life and don’t let the small doubts and fears about life turn into huge roadblocks on your journey to success, happiness and a fulfilling life.

As people, women especially but also men, we tend to be our biggest obstacle: we’re standing in our own way. So, remember to let yourself have what you deserve and also that, when God or fate of the powers of the universe (whatever you believe) close a door, they might just be opening several windows so don’t be afraid to jump when the moment arrives.

How Do You Deal with Negative Self Talk?

I’d Love to Hear Your Methods In the Comments!

Happy Wednesday!

So, I recently posted this image on Instagram ( Follow Me @StorybookBeauty! ) so people could see what my weekly workout routine consists of. Some people thought I was completely insane ( I’m looking at you F00dVentures! :-P) while others seemed impressed by my dedication to a fitness schedule. Personally, I’ve simply found what works best for me, given my work schedule and time constraints. I didn’t want to sit there forever going, I just don’t have the time, because I know that that would be a total lie. That being said, I also want to make time to live, sleep, rest, and enjoy myself so this is what seems to be working the best for me. It might seem like a lot, but actually, I feel like I have a LOT more time, especially in the morning. I can go work out, come home and actually sit down to eat a nice breakfast. I can make a few smoothies, put the finishing touches on my lunch and snacks, and leisurely walk upstairs for a shower. It’s nice. 

And, the most shocking bit of all? I actually enjoy getting up in the morning now!

Now, I know, I know, if you’ve been following me, you may have a bit of an idea of just how much of a not morning person I am. or was?  And you may be a bit shocked to hear that I actually enjoy getting up now. I know – it’s weird for me too.

The weirdest part about this is (aside from the fact that I may actually be slowly turning into a morning person) that I think the most helpful tip I’ve been using to do all of this is that I have literally been sleeping in my gym clothes. Now, I’ve done other things to prepare myself and leave myself with literally no excuse so that I absolutely have to get up, but I know that this is one of the most helpful things I’ve done because I feel like it gets me into the mindset of working out and  cements my plans into stone (figuratively, obviously) because it’s like – If I don’t get up to workout, I am going to feel like I complete moron for sleeping in my workout clothes. 

I also think it helps a lot because, with the freezing cold weather we’ve been having, I am less and less inclined to want to undress and then change into gym clothes in the morning. It’s quite nice to just be ready to go. I don’t sleep in my sport bra, though, because that would be kind of uncomfortable for me so that’s the only thing I do change into in the morning, other than putting my shoes on.

Other things that I’ve done to prepare for waking up early include:

  • Setting 5 Alarms at 5-10 minute intervals of each other. Looks like this: 4:25 AM, 4:30 AM, 4:40 AM 
  • Sleeping in My Gym Clothes.
  • Leaving Running Shoes by the Door.
  • Prepping My Lunch & Snacks the Day Before.
  • Carrying a Water Canteen/Bottle.
  • Going With A Workout Buddy.
  • Deciding I Am Going to Do it , No Excuses.

Aside from sleeping in my gym clothes, I’ve been going each morning with my boyfriend’s cousin so it’s helpful to have a person there who is encouraging you ( or bullying, if needed LOL) to get up when you don’t particularly feel like it. Also, I think I’ve just reached the point where I decided this is what I’m going to do and that’s it. I didn’t give myself an out by saying or even thinking “I might do this” or “If I feel okay, I’ll do this,” because there’s too much room there for me to back out. I just firmly planned everything out as detailed as I could and organized everything toward that goal with no options to back out and I’ve been pretty successful in this plan thus far. I’ve only taken a few breaks midweek (usually around Wednesday) when I’ve gone to bed too late and just simply been too exhausted to go, but I’ve made up for the lost day on the weekend somehow or in the evening.  It does seem to be working, too, because I’m on week 3, going strong, and I’ve lost 6 pounds so far and find myself getting up every morning with less and less trouble every day.

If you’re like me and have trouble rising early, but really want to do it, then don’t give up! Keep trying different tactics and, if you’re really set on doing it, then you can and will.

And, if all else fails, just sleep in your gym clothes.

What do you do to get yourself up in the morning? 

I’d love to know your tips and tricks in the comments!

I am so excited to be able to review this DVD!

I was lucky enough to have this sent to me from the lovely reps at GAIAM and I’m so thankful because I love it!

First of all, if you’re looking for a super intense yoga type DVD, this is not it.

This is a super relaxed pace yoga DVD that focuses on stress relief, relaxation, balance, and finding your center.

There are 5 basic segments to the DVD which are all spaced in increments of 8 minutes each as well as a bonus segment which focuses on meditation.

Here is the Order of the Segments:

  • Lower Balance (8 Minutes)
  • Back Balance (8 Minutes)
  • Internal Balance (8 Minutes)
  • Bending Balance (8 Minutes)
  • Restorative Balance (8 Minutes)
  • BONUS: Life Balance Meditation (6 Minutes)

 I really love the arrangement of the segments and the pace of this DVD, not necessarily for a workout, but as a stress reliever and stretching type DVD, I really enjoy it.

Initially, this DVD comes off as hilarious because, honestly, Rodney Yee is a bit of a kook.

That being said, I think he’s onto something.

He’s very intuitive and the poses and stretches feel incredible, even if what he’s saying makes absolutely no sense to me (Seriously, if you try this DVD – which you should! – all I have to say is Pubis & Sacrum…I am too immature haha).

Anyway, so a lot of what he says has to do with conversations we’re apparently having with our bodies during these poses and stretches. While I think that’s a bit random, I really love them and they feel great. They are super stress relieving and calming to do and I felt incredibly relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards.

The only thing is that the he claims you should feel a silent conversation (or something) going on with yourself in some of these poses and that just doesn’t happen for me no matter how much I would love for it to! My mind is never quiet, silent, or anything nearing a dull hum. I just have too much chatter going on.

All in all, this DVD is wonderful and I think anyone could benefit from it, especially those who deal with a lot of stress, have a job that involves a lot of sitting, those that experience stiffness and muscle cramps, and pregnant women. It is truly calming, relaxing and rejuvenating while also allowing for a slow paced yoga workout that stretches and tones muscles.

Check out this DVD for $11.99 on Amazon – Here!

Otherwise, you can see  more Rodney Yee Yoga DVDs on Amazon – Here.

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the samples that were sent to me from GAIAM for review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own irregardless of how I obtain products.

Image of Bob Ross ; Credit – Wikipedia 
Source – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Ross

Recently, my boyfriend reminded me of an old childhood favorite – Bob Ross.

If you’re unfamiliar, Bob Ross was a famous oil painter who used to host his own TV show, The Joy of Painting, on the PBS network. I used to watch him off and on as a kid, right along with Mr. Rogers who I also watched right along with Wishbone and the Magic School Bus.

So anyway, my boyfriend is an art student and we often watch a lot of different artists online together, especially on YouTube, but what’s funny is we keep going back to Bob Ross’ old PBS segments because they are seriously relaxing, optimistic and encouraging which got me to thinking – I want my childhood optimism back!

Somehow, I feel like we’ve all lost this childhood optimism and curiosity somewhere along the way.

I don’t know, maybe every generation feels this, but the 90’s seemed to me a more optimistic time than the present, though maybe that’s only because we no longer have Mr. Rogers and Bob Ross or perhaps the fact that I am no longer a child.

Who knows?

So then I thought about how inspiring Bob Ross has been to me, not even because of his painting (though I like that too!), but just because of his philosophy and attitude in life. For instance, he had famous lines such as “If you believe, you can do it,” and “We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.”

In childhood, this never really made any sense to me. I simply enjoyed watching the show and listening to Mr. Ross’ calming voice, but looking back at the videos now, I am so moved, encouraged and inspired by it. I know a lot of people might look at it and mock it or maybe laugh and think it’s a joke, corny, or stupid, but I find it really touching, inspirational, optimistic, a little nostalgic and, most of all, uplifting.

After growing up and becoming an adult, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve lost a bit of my childish optimism to jaded sentiments, but each time I watch Bob Ross’ soft spoken painting advice, I feel a bit of that happy inner child returning.

Thanks for listening to my /rant.

For your troubles, here’s an awesomely composed Bob Ross’ clip mash up video that’s been autotuned into a really inspiring song & some of his famous quotes!

[Direct Video Link: http://youtu.be/YLO7tCdBVrA ]

Bob Ross Quotes: 

  • “We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.”
  • “You do your best work if you do a job that makes you happy.”
  • “…Gotta give him a friend. Like I always say ‘Everyone needs a friend.” [on painting more than one tree]
  • “…And just beat the devil out of it.” [on cleaning your paintbrushes]
  • “…In our world there lives a happy little tree over there.”
  • “You can do anything you want to do. This is your world.”
  • “The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe.”

ECO Swimwear Fashion + Accessory Pieces I’m Loving Right Now!

After reading a few blogs this morning, I was inspired to post on this after seeing my fellow blogger friend, Kajsa Anderson @KJAnderson via this post where she’s posted a bunch of lovely sportswear pieces. Thanks Kajsa, for the inspiration! ❤ I definitely agree with her that fitness is so important in life and what better way to get inspired than to look great while sweating it all out? One of my favorite ways to get exercise is through swimming, whether at the beach, lake or pool. I love to swim and Summer heat has allowed lots of chances for me to enjoy my favorite fitness past time. That being said, I love having different bathing suits and cover ups to wear so each time is fun and fashionable. I know, I know, summer is coming to an end since it’s already August, but actually, this is a great time to buy swimwear, especially ECO stuff since the majority of these styles are all on sale. So, I’m using that as an excuse to post all the styles I’m currently in love with! I hope you enjoy!

Here are some ECO Friendly pieces I’ve been loving!

Simply Maaji Swimwear – Aquashell – $92.40 USD

Simply Maaji Jewelry – Teal Seashell Necklace – $63 USD

SAV Summer – Oriental Affair Pant – $68.60 USD

Maaji Swimwear – Sand Ruffles Touch Short – $63.75 USD

27oz Klean Kanteen Bottle

Classic Kleen Kanteen – $19.95 USD

Simply Maaji Swimwear – Aquadeep – $92.40 USD

Malai Swimwear – White Orchid Romper – $73.60 USD

Simply Maaji Swimwear – Aquasuit – $105 USD

Malai Swimwear – Purple Floral Crochet Beach Bag – $150 USD

I’m so surprised by how lovely these sustainable items are!

What do you think of the ECO clothing movements?

How do you get in fun and fitness during the Summer ?

DKR Workout: Super Simple Exercise Using Only Your Body Weight

Alas, those are my feet. I don’t know why I’ve bought into this whole barefoot running thing, but I really love these! They make running fun for me, but if you do try them, be prepared to have some soreness. They really seem to work out my legs a lot better than just wearing normal tennis shoes, but maybe that’s psychosomatic. At any rate, I like these – I have the FILA Skeletoes that are basically cheap knock off versions of the original Vibram Five Fingers, which are super expensive. I bought these for $30 USD and Vibram cost upwards from $60- $100 USD. I bought mine at Kohls, but they are also available at Big 5 or online (Click here for online) for those not in the USA. For Vibram Fiver Finger shoes- click here.

Anyway, picture explanation aside, I alternate wearing these and my Nike tennis shoes when I go running, walking or jogging, which I do with my boyfriend in the evenings at least 3 times a week. We go at least 3 miles, but usually we complete 6 each time so we’re getting in anywhere from 9-24 miles per week which I think is really great.

After we return from our walking, jogging, or running etc., I have been trying to get in some strength type workouts in to support the running and burn more calories.

Here’s My Current Lineup of Exercises: (I am doing 2-5 sets of each):

  • 20 Squats
  • 20 Lunges
  • 20 Burpees
  • 20 Tricep Dips
  • 20 Push Ups
  • 20 Crunches
  • 20 Scissor Kicks
  • 20 Bicycle Crunches
  • 20 Ballet Style Left Lifts in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th position
  • 20 Knee Ups
  • 20 Arm Circles
  • 1 Minute Wall Sit
  • Plank, Side Plank and V Up Obliques for 10 Seconds Each
  • 40 Jumping Jacks

I just started this and so far I am only able to do 2 sets of this as the workout is quite long. Sometimes, if I want  to do 5 sets, I’ve been alternating with a shorter version of this list just to mix things up, but I like it so far!

Anyone have any good workout tips or exercises they find to be really effective?

I’d love to hear them!

Words To Live By – Compliments of Christian D. Larson via Brittany on Pinterest

Special thanks to Brittany Allen, whose pinterest I found this on, and also to Christian D. 

Larson for writing such truly brilliant and moving words. I hope you enjoy them!

My Goals for August

So I originally did my first goals post in July (see that post – here) after being inspired by both HealthyFrenchie and F00dVentures posts on their goals. Thanks again to both of you! Your posts always inspire me. 🙂

Here are My Goals from July & How I’ve Measured Up This Past Month:

  • Run 10 miles a week or More. I’m so surprised because this is the goal I thought would be the most difficult, yet it’s the one I’m actually completing for the most part. Although, I’m not always running, I have been at least walking or jogging 2-5 miles a few times a week. 🙂
  • Get My Crunch Gym Membership. I haven’t yet done this, but for now, running seems to be enough and I’ve gotten such awesome ideas from HealthyFrenchie’s workout posts like this one and this one that I think I can actually do my own workouts at home for now. Still on my list though!
  • Eat More Greens and Things. This one has been so so. On some days, I’m eating a bunch of greens and others I’m not eating enough. This is still on my list because I know I can get more greens into my meals and certainly need them.
  • Save More Money. I’ve actually saved some money in my box of tricks! Yay! It’s not much at the moment, but the fact that I’m taking steps to do it makes me proud anyway. Still on my list.
  • Meditate DailyI have not done this at all haha. Between work and blogging, I forgot all about it. Keeping it on my list though.
  • Stay Positive, Take Time for Myself and Smile More Often. This has been something that I am taking steps towards, especially by reading inspirational quotes and working on seeing the big picture that is life, how beautiful a place that life is, etc. I think I’m making progress here. 
  • Stay the Course & Don’t Give Up. I haven’t given up yet and I’ve been pretty consistent with my workouts and things! I’m pretty proud of that, but I think I’ll be keeping this one on my list for a long while. 

Goals for August!

  • Keep Running 10 miles or more per week. In the beginning, I don’t think I wanted to run at all. I convinced myself that I hated running, running hated me, and that I would not enjoy it, but to be honest with you, I love it now. Running makes me feel good. It helps me get rid of the clutter in my head and the stress and all the weight of the day. I’m not a fast runner and sometimes I have to walk it, but as long as I finish, I ‘m happy. I can’t say it’s been easy going, but I do think it’s worth it so I’d like to keep doing it.
  • Save Money. This has been pretty difficult to start up, but I have managed to put away some money so that’s a start! I want to keep going with this until I have large amounts of cash in my box and in my bank.
  • More Greens and Fruits and all That Jazz. I’ve been shopping at the farmer’s market a few times, but since moving I got a bit thrown off. The market isn’t the same so I’ve gone back to my other one and I’m trying to figure out how to maximize my food without killing my wallet. It’s a work in progress, but I think I will be better over time so I’d like to get a lot of my veggies, fruits etc. at the farmer’s market and avoid the store as much as possible. Whole foods!
  • Meditate Nightly and Relax. I’m just not a morning person. I need to come to terms with that so I figure I’ll probably just do this at night before bed. That’s my goal anyway 😉 .
  • Stay Positive, Take Time for Myself and Smile More Often. This actually had a nice effect on me this month to be mindful of it and help me stay positive.
  • Stay the Course and Don’t Give Up! Same as above, this is just a nice reminder.

What are your goals for the month of August?

Inspiring Quotes on Beauty and Confidence!

Sometimes, it can be really difficult for me to see myself in a positive light. As a woman, I am my biggest critic and it’s no wonder. As women, we are raised by mothers who were raised by their mothers to high expectations that we are not only expected to meet, but actually exceed and we are therefore always coming up short, at least in our minds.

That being said, I really want to promote positivity and happy, healthy minds and body images here on Storybook Apothecary because it truly is so important to love yourself as you are, accept yourself for who you are and what you look like and not compare yourself to others.

With those thoughts in mind, here are some quotes on beauty and confidence that I have found especially inspiring and optimistic today! I hope they inspire you to laugh, live and love yourself just a little bit more.

Enjoy ❤

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. – Eleanor Roosvelt

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. – Helen Keller

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
– Dale Carnegie

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.- Norman Vincent Peale

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning. – Mahatma Ghandi

For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.  – Sam Levenson

When someone tells me “no,” it doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it simply means I can’t do it with them. – Karen E. Quinones Miller

What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail? – Eleanor Roosevelt

It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness. – Leo Tolstoy

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. – Confucius

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. – Elisabeth Kbler-Ross

And lastly, just a quote I really like! :

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months. – Oscar Wilde