Do you work out?

During my weeks of not blogging, I’ve had lots of photo sessions, I’ve been working on a few personal projects, and planning out some updates to my website (which will probably take a another few weeks to finish). Also I started doing yoga again.

I was talking to a photographer friend about how hard it is (physically) to shoot sometimes.. We got to talking about how much our bags and gear weigh, and how we can really feel sore the day after a session. Anyone want to take a guess on how much my bag weighs (with all my gear inside)? Or how much my camera weighs with the lens attached? I haven’t weighed either yet.. but I have to know now! 😛

To get ready for the spring rush, I started doing yoga again back at the end of March/beginning of April. I usually only do it once a week or so, with other random exercises thrown in another couple days a week. The funniest part of doing yoga for me, is how difficult it is to simply hold my arms out straight for extended periods of time. How is that so hard to do?! LOL. My biceps stay in pretty good shape carrying my heavy camera (and lifting toddlers sometimes helps too ) but my deltoid muscles apparently are non-existent! Until now, at least. I also signed up for another new adventure that took place a few days ago… I took an introduction to aerial training class over at Ascend Flow Arts. If you’ve never heard of this, don’t worry… I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago. My friend changed her profile picture to this amazing picture of her gracefully hanging upside down from a trapeze bar. When I went to the website she gave me, I saw more amazing pictures of people “dancing” from large pieces of silk fabric and posing on huge circle hoops in the air. Alternative fitness that looks like art? Yes, please! So I had no idea what to expect, but it was SO fun. But oh my goodness, I HURT TODAY. I want to take more classes.. so if you’re interested in trying it too, let me know! P.S. A note to others trying this (and a reminder to my future-self), if you don’t consider yourself a “muscular” person, or don’t work out seriously on a regular basis… don’t wear a belt the following day. For some reason that is one of the more troublesome parts of the day after- trying to get my belt undone and back on for bathroom breaks. Also opening & shutting heavy doors (aka car doors, fridge doors, etc). Pretty much anything that uses shoulder muscles and or “crelbow” muscles (thanks, Tammy for that wonderful word…) ;p

What are you doing on May 30th?? Come visit me in Pike Creek! I’ll have a vendor booth at the Pike Creek Reiki Mind, Body, Spirit Fest! I’m still planning out my booth.. I think it’s going to turn out looking really awesome so you should come see! I’ll also have a raffle and a giveaway going, so those are more reasons to stop by!

Also- May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month, and if you’ve checked out my Instagram, Facebook (or blog!) then you’ve probably seen tons of pictures of Miss Kylee Rose.. She has both cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy. I posted a blog showing a little more about what a typical day is like for her, you can see that here. And if you’d like to learn more about CF and the CF Foundation, you can do so (and donate ) here. I’m also running an Ava Anderson Non Toxic fundraiser this month, 20% of all purchases will be donated to the CF Foundation. You can check out the products here. If you’d like to make a purchase, please use party code #65729 at checkout. If it asks for consultant id, mine is 8216.




I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not a New Year’s Resolution person. But for some reason this year, January 1st seemed to spark some sort of ignition in my life. I can’t quite pinpoint it, but it’s now March 1st and the fire is still going (a good fire. Like a really powerful candle that lights darkness and leads the way. A really good fire).

Maybe it was the closing of a chapter in my life (college) that caused me to look forward and lay out some new plans and start taking action. I don’t know what it was but I’m loving the energy I have.

Anyway, on to my “word of the year”: BALANCE. Anyone who has had a conversation with me has PROBABLY heard me say “the key to anything is balance”. I’m finding it comes up in every aspect of my life, and as I move forward in various (somewhat similar) ventures in my life, I see it more and more.

A few examples:
I must find balance between work time and personal time. Everyone needs this, but entrepreneurs especially do. When you can work from home, at any time of day or night: you will. Self discipline is the only way to keep yourself straight (as I type this blog post on a Sunday night at 8:30… Hmm )

I must find balance between healthy eating and comfort foods. I went to a really awesome “kick sugar cravings” workshop on Wednesday and it was SO helpful as I’ve been trying to eat healthier for years but I’ve been failing pretty miserably and I know my body deserves better and more nutritious food (my body is, after all, working pretty darn hard to keep me alive every second of the day..)
At the workshop I learned a ton of valuable information, and some really crazy facts about sugar. And it spurred me to take REAL action and get going on my health food journey (but also be realistic and not feel guilty if I treat myself to ice cream here & there ) If you’re interested in learning more about the workshop, or need some personal guidance, I highly recommend True Food Wellness with Cosmia. She’s super sweet and very knowledgeable.

I must remember balance when I speak with someone with varying viewpoints of my own. Saturday night I helped my doTERRA team host an essential oil workshop to six magnificent ladies. Afterwards, I was chatting with a really sweet woman who I have a lot in common with. She has been eating healthy and living very naturally (minimal toxins in her household) for years. I LOVED talking with her. But my heart broke a little when she told me that she frequently encounters people who ostracize her for not feeding her children junk food. (I’m going to let you reread that again)… I’m sorry, but WHAT?? She said that people act as if she thinks she is better than them.. For feeding her children healthy, nutritious foods. She doesn’t restrict them from trying junk foods (although they’ve eaten so well their entire life, that they don’t like the taste of junk food)… She doesn’t force her way of life down anyone’s throats, or tell anyone that they’re poisoning their child… She simply wants her children to be healthy, and she helps in any way she knows how!!! This honestly upset me that she experiences such adversity over such a simple thing. And then I started thinking.. My recent lifestyle changes have been the result of over 5 years of self-education (in my free time). Not everyone makes the time to educate themselves about things like I have… Nor are they interested in doing so (that also makes me sad- but I have to remember that I can’t control anyone else’s interests, nor should I try.) When I talk to people, it’s very easy for me to get over-excited and emotional when I discuss things I’m passionate about. It happens more often when I’m talking to like-minded individuals, but when I’m talking to someone with a different viewpoint (on any topic), I have to remember that just because I’m passionate about what I believe in, doesn’t mean that my stance is any better or worse than theirs (I think I’m pretty good at respecting others’ opinions, but I still like to remind myself every so often to keep balance in mind). They may have been through their own circumstances that have led them to where they are today, but we both have ideas that may be valid and wonderful… And most importantly: we can learn from one another.

I could go on and on about other times “balance” has come up in my life.. But I’m pretty sure you get the idea.

How a Movie Changed my Life

It was about five years ago that I watched “Super Size Me” during a film in one of my first classes at Wilmington University. After seeing the movie extra, called “Smoking Fries”, I vowed to clean up my eating habits and cut WAY back on fast food. Aside from the occasional McFlurry, or fries from places like Five Guys (I feel like those are a step up from fast food joints), I haven’t had actual fast food since that day.

Shortly after that, I met Mariclaire Schultz, the owner of Blue Sky Chiropractic. Doc MC is such an incredible woman: strong, intelligent, independent and inspirational. She has helped me tremendously on my continued journey to live a healthier, more natural lifestyle. Now, I have to mention that I am FAR from perfect in the health food department. I mean seriously, you wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but bacon cheese fries are my favorite food… With ice cream and/or cake or cookies being a close second. However, something I have figured out over the years is that BALANCE is the key to pretty much everything in life.
Food is one of those pretty obvious things we deal with. You know before you eat greasy fried food that you’re going to feel terrible afterwards. But we do it because we like the way it tastes and because our brains tell us that we want it (gotta love those pesky chemical reactions that control our lives). But then there are other crazy symptoms that we don’t even know are symptoms… For instance: body odor. (This blog just got weird, right? LOL stick with me.. I have a pretty crazy story here…)

So it was probably about two or three years ago that I decided to start cutting back on other bad things like the sneaky chemicals that are in just about every product we use everyday… One of the first things I tried was natural deodorant.

A little back-story before we get into my first experience with natural deodorant… I was using either Secret or Degree clinical protection for years because I felt like it was the only thing that would keep me from having terribly stinky armpits at the end of the day. And I was working at a DESK. Seriously, even with that “CLINICAL PROTECTION” stuff, I sometimes still had to reapply when I got home, or before bed so I didn’t have to smell stinky. And I had some in my car.. And at work, because ohhhh if I forgot to put it on, I could definitely tell, and there’s nothing more embarrassing then having to go into a meeting, scared to move your arms for fear of an odor lingering out…

So fast forward back to my first natural deodorant test. I think I only gave it a few days because, well, to put it gently… It just didn’t work. And I didn’t want anyone to smell me. So I gave up for a bit.. Then I ended up stumbling upon a Pinterest recipe for a homemade deodorant with all natural ingredients… And the reviews were really good! Then I found a second recipe that also had great reviews and similar ingredients. So.. I tried them both out! After the first one, my armpits were a little green (too much lime essential oil, maybe? Lol) and the texture was a little sticky from the beeswax. So I decided to slightly modify the second one with some ingredients that liked from the first. It took a little tweaking, but after the first week or so, I no longer had to apply twice a day! And then something crazy happened… If I forgot to put deodorant on, I couldn’t tell!!! So I threw out all the crap deodorant with aluminum and other terrible chemicals, and I’ve had beautiful, non-stinky armpits ever since!

More recently I discovered that styling products (specifically styling mousse) commonly has propane and butane in it (as well as other terrible chemicals). Well, I don’t know about you.. but I am NOT comfortable with that being on my head! So a quick browse through the hair product section at Newark Natural Foods and I found a product (Giovanni brand) that came in a foam pump bottle, and it works great! And a wonderful little side effect of using a NATURAL product? My acne is about 95% better. I guess my skin wasn’t too comfortable with the chemicals either..

Now I’ve finally decided that if using natural products can clear up acne and body odor… what other symptoms do I face almost every day that I could clear up with natural living? I’ve decided to become a doTERRA Wellness Advocate and an Independent Consultant for Ava Anderson Non-Toxic to find out exactly that. If you’re interested in cutting out chemicals, let me know how I can help you. I’ve been SO happy with my results so far… I’m excited to see how my quality of life continues to get better!

*P.S. I’m copying these old blog posts over from my old blog.. so unfortunately a lot of them will be missing the pictures that were originally posted 😦 Sorry!*

1/12/15 – A reader sent me this note for any other male readers: “Sam’s Natural makes excellent all natural deodorant and Burt’s Bees Super Shiny Shampoo is good and cheap. Been using both for a while and they work great for me.”