Apr 28, 2013

my Grandma's legacy of love

When I think of my grandmother, I think of a woman who was not only beautiful inside and out, but I think of her inner beauty that radiated to everyone she came in contact with throughout her lifetime. I still can't believe she's gone, because her light was so bright I never thought it would fade. The good news is, even though my grandma is now gone, her light still shines and will continue to gleam brightly. She left four beautiful daughters, including my mama, who are here to spread my grandma's legacy of love. These beautiful daughters have children and grandchildren who will never forget my grandma's love and will continue to spread God's love. As a granddaughter, I don't take this legacy of love lightly. This legacy means spreading God's love and never forgetting how much my grandma's faith meant to her and those around her...
I grew up as a little girl who always looked up to and admired my grandma. She was so polite, elegant, and shy, but she made such an impact by saying only a little but always meaning what she said when the timing was right. She wasn't afraid to tell others what she thought, but she did so always in a kind and loving way. Her God was her rock and after my grandpa died when he was only 66 I was amazed at just how much her strength in God carried her through. I admired her faith in God and aspired to be just like her when I grew up.

Being raised as a Christian, I knew how much my family's faith in God meant to not only to me and my family, but to my grandma as well. I felt connected to my grandma not only because of her enduring love and faithfulness to those around her, but because of her faith in God. I always loved talking to her about God and discovering what her latest favorite Bible verse was. We were also always swapping Christian books, especially the historical romance novels. My favorites that we loved to read and talk about were Christy, Julie, and the Love Comes Softly Series by Janette Oak. I loved that later we were able to watch the Christy books by Catherine Marshall come to life on television and then years later also watch the Love Comes Softly series as well.
Even though we lived far a part I never felt less close to my grandma. Because of our deep love and connection with God, I always felt an even more intense love and appreciation for my grandma. Whenever I spent time with her I felt closer to my Savior just because my grandma was near. She had the ability to bring the presence of God with her wherever she was. She was always aware of God and His presence and invited Him to be wherever she was. I always thought that was such a beautiful gift and today I too make an effort to think of God's presence wherever I am. She had such a deep faith that radiated from the inside out that touched my soul and everyone around her.
Even months before her passing my Uncle Scott would read the Bible to her, reminding her of God's love. Even though my grandma had Parkinson's I knew that He was taking care of her, and He never left her out of His sight and loving embrace. My grandma knew this as well and often spoke of God's love even though she was nearing the end of her life. I have no doubt that my grandma made an impact on the nurses and caretakers surrounding her in the facility and after she passed away my mama so lovingly told them that my Grandma had Jesus in her heart and accepted God's grace. My grandma never let a moment pass her by without letting someone know about God's love and grace.
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I will never forget my grandma and I will never forget her legacy of love. I will continue this legacy by spreading God's love, because that's what she would want me to do. I imagine my grandma now in heaven, with my grandpa and Jesus by her side. They are no doubt enjoying a beautiful day in the meadow talking about all about some of God's great mysteries that we don't yet know on this earth. She's walking the streets of gold and sending her love from heaven to her beautiful daughters who will always remember her lively spirit and journey of love.
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Thank you for your legacy of love grandma - I will never forget you and I will love you forever.

Apr 24, 2013

taking a break & she'll always be in my heart

Hi Ocean Dreamers,

I'm going to be taking a bit of a break from
blogging this upcoming week.
My grandma passed away a few days ago and
I'm going to be spending time with family
and my BK and just cherishing life.
I'll be dedicating a post to my
grandma soon, but wanted to say hi and let you know that
you can keep up with me on Twitter or my personal Facebook
{friend me if you want} in the mean time.
Feel free to catch up with me there
if you want to know what's going on.
Thank you to those of you who have
reached out with thoughtful wishes. xoxo.

Guest posters - please bare with me while I take a bit of a break.
I can still publish your post later on in a few weeks
or feel free to pitch your post to someone else.
Thanks so much for understanding.

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Apr 15, 2013

Thoughtful Tuesday - indulge in exquisite wine tasting at picturesque wineries in Italy


I've never really been a wine drinker, but I wouldn't mind a glass of red wine once in a while! I used to only drink white wine, but then I started drinking a variety of reds and developed a taste for red wine over time. Ever since then I've been hooked, but I'm such a light weight I hardly ever drink at all. Now - if I had the opportunity to drink wine in Italy, you better believe I would drink it there! After reading this guest article, I want to head to Italy and drink wine at a stunning location ASAP! 

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Long before wine became customary in France or the Napa Valley, the Italians ventured into the fine arts of wine making combined with their own unique varieties. This ancient tradition of wine making thus ingrained itself into a significant part of the Italian culture. Being the largest wine producer in the world with over a million acres of vineyards, a trip to Italy would be incomplete without at least some wine tasting at exotic wine cellars and vineyards.

Whether it is a romantic vacation in Italy with your beloved or an Italian culinary vacations to experiment with fresh ingredients in local cuisines, you will surely find magnificent wineries within easy access of your lodging. Italy has about twenty major wine-growing regions, and over 2000 indigenous varieties of grapes.

Enjoy The Scenic Backdrops Of Vineyards

These endless rows of grapes on rolling hills can be visited on special day trips, wine and food tours, or Movimento Turismo del Vino annual events. If you plan on wine-estate hopping on your own, contact the winery to arrange a trip in advance. Famous wine regions include Lazio in Rome, Lombardy in Milan, Campania in Naples, Tuscany in Florence and Veneto in Venice.
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The Famous Tuscany Vineyards

The countryside of this famous city of Florence is where wine flourishes lavishly. Visit Brunello di Montalcino and Bolgheri, San Gimignano and Chianti for some delicious wine tasting. You will even get to enjoy wines made from Sangiovese, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon during your wine tours. Don’t forget to revel in the architecture, art and history of Tuscany while sipping wine.
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Ageworthy Red Wines At Piedmont

The aging red wines Barolo and Barbaresco along with a few white and sparkling wines make Piedmont worth a visit.  With fog settling on the valleys around the hills and an awesome cool weather, you can not enjoy enticing wines but also taste seductive Piedmontese white truffles.
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Venice Has More Than Rich History

On the north-east corner of the country on the Adriatic Sea, lies country Veneto famous for its wineries and vineyards. Invigorating wines of Valpolicella, including the Recioto and Amarone, are a must have when you visit Veneto. Other wines produced in this region include Soave, sparkling Prosecco and Bardolino.
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Make your trip to Italy memorable by meeting innovative wine makers, traditional chefs, and down-to-earth Italians, and devouring scrumptious traditional cuisines and enjoying lighthearted wine tastings.

Apr 11, 2013

Wishful Wednesday - talk Disney to me

It's Wishful Wednesday and sometimes all I wish I could do is lay around and watch Disney movies! I honestly have not watched them in the longest time, and if I had to choose my favorite Disney movie it would have to be Beauty and the Beast. Belle is also my favorite Disney princess. She's so sweet, she loves to read, and she falls in love with a beast. Okay, so I didn't fall in love with a beast, but who is kidding - any man can be a beast sometimes ha ha!

What Disney movie do you wish you could 
watch today if you didn't have to go to work?
I came across this fun Disney art on Pinterest and then found it's original sources on DeviantArt. What do you think? I think it's super creative - I wish I could do chalk art. It's fun how the artist incorporated each Disney princess. Also, she didn't go with the most "popular" princesses. She went with some that aren't even considered the original princesses, such as Meg, Alice, and a few others that aren't pictured. If you want to see more of this artist's collections of our Disney princesses go HERE.

Which Disney chalk art is your favorite?

If you could wish the day away with Disney movies,
which movies would you watch?


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Apr 9, 2013

Thoughtful Tuesday - Pacific Coast Highway vacation: visiting the coastal towns


Even though it is Thoughtful Tuesday & this post is more suited for Sea Foam Friday, I couldn't help but post it since I've been a bit behind on my Sea Foam Friday posts. ;) On this thoughtful day I thought I would reflect on how much I miss CA, and how I can't wait to be back there at the end of this month for a short visit!!! I've been to mostly all of these places listed below, but there are still so many more places to see! I can't wait; sunny CA is a beautiful place that makes vacationing in your my own backyard more than worthwhile - I feel like I'm in a new place everywhere I travel to in California. I love that. 

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Even native Californians have referred to Pismo Beach and its surrounding areas as “where God lives.” Those who don’t live in this great state may not realize the incredible diversity between coastal areas as you drive up or down the Pacific Coast Highway. There’s a good reason this highway is called #1. This is what makes the PCH and its surrounding areas such an incredible vacation location for you and your family. Take a week and explore the stretch of land between Central and Southern California, starting and ending in either San Francisco or San Diego. You’ll not only visit these great cities, but have the opportunity to stop off in must-see locations, including San Simeon, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and Orange County.
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Central California
Pismo Beach is a beautiful vacation location, which features a tremendous amount of activities that will be fun or relaxing for the whole family. Visit the local farmer’s market, orchid show, kite surfing expo, fine dining and wine tasting, art shows, monarch butterfly grove, and outdoor activities such as golfing, biking, horseback riding, scuba diving, or exploring tide pools, coves, and caves. The long pier and gorgeous ocean views will undoubtedly capture your imagination and offer the perfect setting to reignite some romance in your relationship.
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San Luis Obispo and Surrounding Areas
San Luis Obispo is just a short drive away, where you can visit some world-renowned wineries and enjoy the beautiful, historic downtown full of great shops, restaurants, and people. If you’re driving down to Pismo Beach from San Francisco, be sure to stop off at San Simeon and tour the Hearst Castle, commonly known as Xanadu, the empire of the late publishing maven William Randolph Hearst, on whom the film Citizen Kane is loosely and controversially based. His rare art collections, incredible gardens, and stunning home are sites to be seen. Travel just north of the Hearst Castle to Piedras Blancas, where you can view (at a safe distance) an incredible herd of elephant seals languishing on the beach.
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Southern California
Between Los Angeles and Orange County, Southern California also has a lot to offer in terms of nightlife, culture, fine dining, museums, and outdoor activities. Visit Disneyland or many of the great Los Angeles museums, including automotive, film, fashion, and art museums. The Getty or the Getty Villa are great museums to visit, as well as the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena, which is a great place to visit with kids. Enjoy clean, warm beaches and surfing, as well as dining at many of the locally owned restaurants.

About the Author: Sage enjoyed her comfortable stay at the Quality Inn Hotel in Pismo Beach California while researching Coastal California vacation destinations.

Apr 7, 2013

how to organise your living room according to feng shui - guest post by Amber


I hope you are having a relaxing weekend Ocean Dreamers! 

I always love learning about new decor trends, and Feng Shui decorating is supposedly a wonderful way to unwind and relax, especially on the weekend! Thanks Amber for a great guest post. So relax and enjoy and I'll see you back here on Monday for Motivation Monday! :)


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Feng Shui is a system for organizing a space in your home, and it claims it can bring joy, relaxation, wealth and health to the people living in such a space. To arrange a place this way is not hard and it does not require great work, reconstructions or finances. If you have tried everything else and you still feel tension in your living room, this is a great design technique  It will surely work, but in case it does not for you, it will do no harm as well.

It is important to know that the living room is the heart of a home and the space of a house or apartment. When you are making any changes to it, they will surely affect the other rooms and the spirit of the whole place as well. The first rule of Feng Shui is order, so get rid of the clutter once and maintain this regularly. It will not be wasted time if you spend an afternoon once or twice a month putting everything in order. After you are finished with that it is believed that you will attract the good and beneficial Chi in the house, this will only bring success and good things your way.

There is a special term called Bagua map that will help you organize the living room and choose the specific spots that will guide every aspect of your life. For example, the more elaborate Feng Shui furnishings and decorate elements can occupy the southeast sector of your home. This corner, when you add to it and make it look enchanting, will bring to the house not only luck but material benefits. It will be a source of good health as well.

The Southwest corner is responsible for the positive traits in your marriage, in case you are already married and have a family of your own. When you are still single, you can use this part of the home and the Chi to help you find your other half. Use the map and arrange each of the corners according to the requirements to fill your house with positive energy and health.

Be very careful as you place the lighting in the living room, as this in one of the most important aspects of the Feng Shui system. Remember that the bright light will bring the positive Yang energy inside the space. On the opposite dark corners and rooms remember that they will attract the depression and discomfort and pass it to the people living there.

The furniture arrangement has to start with the specific placement of the sofa. It will be put on the best and most comfortable spot of the living room, because it is the most frequent place people will gather. Use the other items as guards who will protect you from the bad Chi.There are many and different techniques that can be applied when organizing your living room, so you can enhance the energy flow in it.

There is another popular method in Feng Shui for attracting positive energies and it is related to placing an aquarium in it, so it can be like a blocker for all the negative “Sha Qi”. It is very interesting that corners are considered for a source of bad energy and by having an aquarium in your work space or home office you can significantly diminish all of these negative vibes and find it way easier to calm your mind and focus. The most important thing when undertaking any sort of space re-arrangements is to find a way that will make you feel happy and perceive your home as your sanctuary.

Bio: Amber Collins is a professional freelance writer and dedicated Feng Shui writer. She loves writing about any daily activities part of most women' lives such as cleaning and home organizing, so as for ways for enhancing the quality of life. Her story of following her passions by re-arranging her Brixton home and making it cozy and lovely place to live, so as writing about it, will inspire you. Her present article is dedicated on best Feng Shui techniques for organizing the living room. 

Apr 4, 2013

TV Thursday - remembering Carrie & Big from Sex and the City

Lately I've been watching Sex and the City (again) and every time I watch it (again lol) I am more and more reminded how much I love this show. If possible I wish there could be a Sex and the City for every decade because that's how much I love it and I wish it never ended. The good thing is I know it will never go out of style. The characters are timeless and so are the revelations they uncover.

Before I dive into how much I love Carrie and Big, let me just say how much I still can't get over Carrie's endless style and fashion. From Carrie's devotion to Vogue on the show and everything else that went into the show that inspired SJP's style, everything she wore was truly amazing. I loved everything she wore, from clubwear dresses to the most stylish of shoes! Her Carrie necklace was definitely one of my favorites too.

But I digress...being the hopeless romantic that I am I love Big and Carrie's love story. I like how their relationship unfolds. In reality on the TV show Big really isn't a likable character; he strings Carrie along without willing to ever commit. Even in season 6 when he has a heart problem he seems like he is going to open his heart, only to close it again. Mr. Big seemed like he was going to be forever a bachelor...

In fact, this time around during watching SATC if I have to be honest I actually really would have liked Carrie with Aiden. He was the "more suitable choice," (not to mention super sexy), but Carrie's heart was a bit more wild and I think she was in love with Big all 6 seasons long. All along her heart belonged with Mr. Big. I'm just so glad that he finally came around in the season finale of season 6 and told Carrie: "Carrie, you're the one!" "Oh come on and kiss me you big cry baby" she happily replied.

There's hope for men who can't commit because sooner or later they will hopefully realize that when they find a great catch, they shouldn't let her slip out of their fingertips! In this case Big was lucky enough that Carrie was willing to wait; her heart was secretly hoping for him to change all along. Of course I think part of this was because it's Sex and the City - Carrie needed to date to make the show! However, with the continuation of the story with the movies I was completely satisfied because I felt like it did a wonderful job creating more drama and romance with Big and Carrie's relationship.

Sure, their relationship was never perfect. But whose is? Many may think Mr. Big was not a suitable choice for a husband. But what fun is Mr. Perfect? I personally like a man with substance (i.e. someone who has thoughts, ideas, isn't perfect, but still gives me butterflies). That's why I'm so happy that I have my Mr. Big (aka my Big Kiddo). I can't wait to live happily ever after like Big and Carrie. :)

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Have I mentioned how much I love that they can laugh together?
I think that's such a wonderful trail to have in a relationship. :)
I love Big and Carrie. 


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Apr 3, 2013

Wishful Wednesday - the best wedding reality shows in 2013 (guest post)

Sometimes I wish I could get married on national TV, but then the introvert in me quickly silences that thought. However, it sure would be fantastic to have a network television pay for my wedding one day! Here's a fun guest post for Wishful Wednesday by Michelle that talks all about wedding reality shows - I have some TV to catch up on and some weddings to watch! :)
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It's a monumental year in television for weddings. The Sitcom's cutest couple, Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt from NBC's "Parks and Recreation" tied the knot and Barney and Robin made it official on "How I Met Your Mother." On the other side of the aisle, reality television is all around us. Reality shows like "Real Housewives" are always giving us the grim realities of marriage (more than 10 divorces across all the seasons), according to www.direct.tv. So, shows that give us a more charming and optimistic view of matrimony, even if the road to the end of the aisle is rocky is always welcome. Just like 2012, this year will be full of the top wedding reality shows ranging from sweet brides-to-be to angry bridezillas.

'My Fair Wedding' (WE tv)

Wedding planner David Tutera caters to the needs of celebrities as he plans every little detail of their dream weddings. The show premiered in 2008 and spent two seasons in New York City but now features weddings in Dallas, Los Angeles and others. Do you think your sister has demands for her significant day? America's top celebrities require everything to be perfect and keep Tutera on his toes. This is a thrilling watch to see the inside details of what it actually takes to plan a successful wedding.

'Say Yes to the Dress' (TLC)

One of the most popular wedding shows happening right now, "Say Yes to the Dress" follows the happenings of Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan and their sales associates as they help clients find the perfect dress. If you think this is just a show about brides-to-be buying clothes, think again. A wedding dress is considered the most prominent financial decision concerning the crucial day, and these ladies spend thousands of dollars to look utterly perfect. Since the show first premiered, its popularity spurred a series of spin-offs like "Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta" and "Say Yes to the Dress Bridesmaids."
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'Bridezillas' (WE)

These are the brides you don't want to mess with. Running for a strong nine seasons, "Bridezillas" shows the other side to the ladies who micro-manage every last detail of their memorable day and refuse to tolerate anything that might stand in the way. The show started with stereotypical spoiled, upper-class women who threw fits like it was "My Super Sweet 16," but now the show features more everyday women who show the same frustrations and panics as the girls from season one. The lesson? Well, this show might make you feel better about you're own meltdowns because they're petty compared to what goes down on "Bridezillas."

Celebrity wedding specials are also an excellent source of all the beauty and chaos behind the scenes. Sure, weddings like Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries may be short-lived, but they're high-priced and extravagant matrimonies make for exciting television and a chance to add to that "wish list" of wedding details in the future.

About the Author: Known by her friends as the DIY diva, Michelle is always coming up with new and creative ways to decorate on a limited budget.

Apr 2, 2013

Thoughtful Tuesday - it's never too late to spring into action! (an update on my New Year's goals)

It's been 3 months since we made our New Year's goals! How are you with following through on your goals? Mine are going pretty well. I've definitely been springing into action with my exercise and diet. I've felt healthier and more motivated these last three months than I have in quite some time and I know it's because I've finally made up my mind to do something about it! There are some other goals that I had in mind at the beginning of the year, such as reading more and spending more time with God. Here's a brief update on my New Year's goals and how they are going for me. I also will be mentioning how I can improve them. I hope my updates also encourage you to spring into action as well because it's never too late...

Exercising 5 Days a Week 
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I've been fairly successful at making enough time to exercise every week and not only have I seen an improvement in how my body feels and looks, but how I feel emotionally too! Exercising is not always enjoyable for me, but it gives me a relief from my daily work schedule and it also relieves stress if I am having a rough day. I've had to make some adjustments since I used to be a runner in the past, but I've found a bunch of classes that I really like and that motivate me to be and stay fit. Some of the classes I've taken and love are Pilates, Cardio Kickboxing type classes, Yoga, and Zumba. Some are really tough, but I welcome the challenge.

Eating Clean & Healthy Foods
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I've always liked junk food a little too much. The old Sierra used to eat cupcakes, chocolate, chips, and everything else that's really bad for you. However, I've been doing so much better! As soon as I cut out the food that was making me gain weight I started feeling a lot better about myself and not to mention I have been losing weight. It's been a slow start but I finally feel like I'm getting a handle on my diet. I had to drop the sweets completely because it's all or nothing for me. Sometimes I do have a small snack but I try to limit it so that I don't go back to my old habits. Now my diet consists of chicken, veggies, fruits, seafood, whole grains, and taking my daily vitamins. I know I can continue to improve but I think I'm off to a great start. I only hope I can stay this motivated and continue to eat healthy and also lose more weight.

Taking Less Medication = Glowing Skin
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A few years ago I was hospitalized for acid reflux (I had internal bleeding) and I had to take medicine to help me get better. I was thankful to have a great doctor who set me on a positive course of recovering and I thankfully did not have to deal with any medical negligence that happens a lot these days when you don't find the proper health care. I won't go into a lot of detail about this, but I think our health care needs some serious reforming. There are a lot of doctors who do not care about their patients and I think it's pertinent in our society for doctors to care because not only do younger people depend on it, but the elderly do too. Thankfully their are outstanding companies who can help us with medical negligence and other issues that arise, such as pryers-solicitors.co.uk.

Anyway, thanks to a great doctor and a positive mindset to take less meds, I am now medicine free (except for the occasional Advil before and during my monthly as well as allergy pills sometimes). I feel like my body is a lot healthier and I feel great too. My skin has also vastly improved, which tells me there's usually something I'm allergic to in my medicine. I'm certainly not against medicine because I know many people who suffer from anxiety and other health issues who need it {it's a blessing but definitely has side effects}, but I'm happy to be free from medicine for the time being. It makes me feel happy and healthy and besides, I've always been sensitive to medication so this is a good thing for me.

Reading More & Spending Time with God
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This is the one area I need more discipline in. Since I write and read a lot for my own business, I rarely make time to read on my own time. I have several amazing books that are collecting dust on my bookshelf and in the past I was participating in the amazing Bible Study series She Reads Truth. Try pulling up the hashtag and keyword #SheReadsTruth on Instagram and you'll see some amazing photos. I am inspired by people's Instagram photo journaling so to speak and how their faith in God is being used as a witnessing tool.

I can't wait to finish some books soon. I've had a horrible habit of beginning to read a book only to put it down a week later. Starting now a new New Year's goal is to finish a book and not switch to a new one if it gets a little boring. I need to read the book from start to finish!

Pay Only with Debit & Live Permanently in CA
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This is getting long and I could go on and on, but another goal I have is to pay off all of my debt (I'm getting there!) and move back to California permanently. I admit being a traveling gypsy is fun (after all I get to see my favorite pup Tikko), but I miss being in CA all of the time. I call CA my home but in reality I have three homes - Arizona (where my aunt and uncle live and I puppy sit), Utah (where my immediate family lives), and California (my home for the past 10 years, where my friends reside, and where I met my love BK). I know by paying off my debt, paying only with a Debit card, and moving back to CA hopefully in the near future I'll be an even happier lady!

How are your New Year's goals going so far? 

Do they need some revising or 
do you need to get re-motivated? 

There's no time like the present! 


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*Disclosure: There is a company link in this post that I am affiliated with.

Apr 1, 2013

Motivation Monday - smoothie love


Hi Ocean Dreamers,

I hope you had a wonderful Easter! I did a bunch of relaxing and 
spending quality time with family. I can't believe it's already Monday!
Oh, and happy April 1st!

It's Motivation Monday and one thing that always
inspires me to stay healthy is delicious smoothies. 
If I'm craving some sweets I always turn to fruit
and sometimes what's even better is a delicious smoothie.
My smoothies are fairly simple - I make them out
of fresh fruit, about a half a cup of almond milk,
and sometimes I pour a little bit of cranberry juice in 
there to help with my digestive system. 
I also like to use a tablespoon of powder, and
since I'm allergic to dairy I go for superfood blends 
{I love superfood blends by Philosphie
 Also, occasionally if my fruit isn't that fresh
 I use a fruit sweetener but only a little bit. ;)
Then I put it all together and
use my Magic Bullet to blend! I'd love to buy
a juicer at some point but I need to save
up some $$ first. 

If I don't have fresh fruit I use pre-made frozen smoothies. 
I love the Jamba Juice smoothie packets 
that you can find at most every grocery store
 and believe it or not they are really low cal. 
They are also very tasty!
However, they do have some dairy but
not enough to upset my stomach thankfully.

My favorite fruits for smoothies are:
strawberries, raspberries, mango, and pineapple. Yum!

My goal is to drink more smoothies this week -
I got a little burned out on them while I was
in AZ but now I think I'm going to have
some more while I'm in UT!

How do you make your smoothies and
what's your favorite kind of smoothie?

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