My Life

10 Things I’ve Changed to Improve my Happiness

Happiness is created from your own thoughts, words, and actions. It does not mean everything in life is perfect, it means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections. It is more than just a state of mind; it is a choice you make.

This year I have been focusing on my personal growth. I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and exposing myself to the endless opportunities life has to offer. Lately, I’ve been feeling AMAZING and I am loving every second of it. I feel so strong and filled with positive energy. I wanted to share 10 things I’ve done that have improved my self-worth and increased my own happiness in hopes it will inspire you to explore yourself and find more joy in your life. Enjoy!



1. Forgive & Let Go

We have all been hurt before in one way or another. Shit does in fact hit the fan for each of us every now and then; but don’t get stuck hanging there. Learn from the past, but also leave it there. It does not define the person you chose to be today. Let go of all that doesn’t suit you and forgive those who have damaged you. There is no reason to hold onto to something that is gone. Life only moves in one direction. (which is forward)

What I did for myself: It meant letting go of the person who I think people perceive me as. (sounds confusing) I get so caught up in the negative aspects on my journey of life. I think of that time I made that one bad choice or the embarrassing mistake. I used to worry about those single incidents and the impressions they left on those around me. But in all reality, you can never let one day or choice define who you are. you can’t control (or know) what other people are thinking, saying, or doing. I decided to let go of all the judgements I was creating of myself and others. There is no point to get caught up in what other people think of me, it serves zero purpose in defining who I am.

2. Stop Limiting Yourself

Stop living in fear and saying, “I can’t”. Easier said than done, but remember that life has SOOO much to offer. How are you ever going to experience it all if you don’t step out of your comfort zone or take the chance on something different? The possibilities are endless! Create your own path and don’t follow the crowd. If there is something you are passionate about, you have every right to go for it.

What I did for myself: “I can’t” was always my go to statement whenever my comfort level was challenged. I used to think that I wasn’t capable of achieving anything great, but I was very wrong. It all starts with clearing the mental block that holds you back. One day, when you choose to say “I can”, the barrier breaks down and doors begin to open. The feeling of trying something is so much more rewarding than refusing to step outside the box. I am constantly working towards changing the limitations I mentally create for myself. I can do whatever my heart desires if I work hard.

 

3. Sing & Dance It Out

Music heals the soul, gives the body a tingle sensation, and increases joy in many people. But why are people so shy and timid when it comes to feeling the beat in every day settings? It doesn’t matter if you can’t carry a tune or dance like a professional; music is meant to run through the body so just let it.

What I did for myself: I know I suck at singing, and I know I get the words wrong. I know my dance moves are not up to par, but I don’t ever let that stop me from surrendering myself to the music. I used to get embarrassed and not sing in front of people. I used to get secondhand embarrassment for those types of people who just break out in dance in public. But now I am one of those people and let me tell you it feels amazing to just vibe out to your favorite jam whenever the hell you want too. Let it happen people, I know we all want to live our lives like a musical.

4. Create A Mantra

Mantras are an amazing tool for reminding yourself that you are capable of anything. Creating a statement to mentally refer back too in times of doubt, stress, fear, and anger does in fact make a difference in the way you think during those weak moments. It’s not selfish to remind yourself that you are an amazing person who deserves nothing but love and happiness.

What I did for myself: I freaking love my mantra. I tell myself it all the time, even when I am feeling like a bad ass. My mantra is, “I AM ENOUGH”. This statement ignites a fire in my soul and makes me feel worthy of all the great things life has to offer. It’s my “go to” reminder that mentally eliminates the pressure I put on myself. My mantra reminds me that I don’t always need to do more in order to be happy.

 

5. Get A Little Sweaty

Release what ever is holding you back not only mentally but physically. The human body works best  when you take care of all aspects of it. (mind, body, soul). Surrender your emotions to whatever activity you enjoy. Let the toxins physically sweat out, let fresh oxygen flow through the body, and push yourself a little further. The after benefits of “getting sweaty” leaves you feeling refreshed!

What I did for myself: I make time to get “sweaty” weekly because I know I am an emotional person and sometimes it’s a lot easier to work through whatever is going through my head in the physical form then to just sit around and let it gather up mentally. I love the natural high I receive from an intense circuit, hot yoga, and even a neighborhood jog. Something about just creating a space to work hard and take care of my physical body makes me feel like a warrior. I feel like physical activity helps me strengthen my mental health.

6. Eat The Right Foods

Like I’ve said in previous posts, what you put into your body reflects what comes out. It is crucial to fuel your body with Whole Foods like fruits and veggies! It’s really important to limit your sugar and artificial food fillers intake. Now a days, there are endless resources to find foods that are better for your body. I’ve learned that small changes make a huge difference and that everything is okay in moderation. Eating right shouldn’t be stressful because it is a lot easier than you think. You just need to put the time in at first and the body adjusts so quickly! You don’t realize how shitty some foods make you feel until you cut them out and start feeling better.

What I did for myself: I recently have been limiting my processed food intake. (I’ve even been eating less lucky charms!) I also have elimited dairy from my diet, which has made a huge difference! I bloat less, have more energy, and just feel lighter. I also try to only eat out once a week. This way I am forced to prepare meals and take them on the go. My next step is to create more vegan friendly meals to increase my vegetable intake in yummy and creative ways.

 

7. Spend Time Alone

You can still be a “people” person and spend time alone. Spending time alone is actually a very relaxing activity that makes you a stronger person. Spending time alone doesn’t mean sitting in silence staring at the wall. It can be driving with the music off, reading a book in the corner of the coffee shop, folding your laundry with your bedroom door closed. Alone time is when you create a space to get lost in thought, where you let yourself become creative. Taking the time for sit in quietness all alone is very powerful. It can be difficult sometimes, but once you let go of wanting to control the situation you find peace and quite very easily.

What I did for myself: When I spend time with myself, the craziness in my thoughts calm down because I block everyone else out and just focus in on me. It’s not a selfish thing to do, but it is so important for my sanity. My favorite alone time is when I am in my room with my essential oil diffuser on and the lights dim. Another way I enjoy my alone time is when I’m out in public alone. I can almost do everything and anything by myself; I love going shopping alone, to the pool alone, and even to the local Starbucks alone. It took time to find my alone time when I am constantly surrounded by others, but it’s possible to achieve the feeling even when you aren’t physically alone. Sometimes I want the alone time in my room and other days I just want to spend the day doing the things I love alone. It really makes me feel strong and independent.

8. Get Lost In A Book

Reading isn’t everyone’s favorite thing (including mine) but it is an outlet for discovery, freedom, knowledge, and fun. The possibilities within a book are endless and there is sometime out there for everyone to enjoy. Reading grants each of the chance to expose ourselves to whole new worlds and ideas. It shouldn’t be something millennials like myself should ignore and look over. It is truly more satisfying than watching endless hours of Netflix. (In my opinion of course)

What I did for myself: I actually picked up a book for the first time in years and began to read for fun. To be honest I never read things for school that I am supposed too, so to read by choice was a huge stepping stone in my self growth journey. Since picking up that book at the start of this summer, I’ve read three more. What I’ve learned is that reading is so much more rewarding when you choose things that interest you. (I guess that’s why reading hit series and best-selling novels never worked out for me because I enjoy nonfiction more!)

 

9. De-clutter Your Assets

You don’t need that. It’s not necessary. Today our worlds are filled with so many products and promotions that make it so easy to stock up on things not needed. In order to be happy, you don’t need so many physical things. Go through your belongings; there are so many things each of us have that clutter our lives. Donate it, sell it, recycle it. There are many possibilities when it comes to clearing out your closest.

What I did for myself: To be completely honest, I am an organized hoarder. I keep everything. Now that I am preparing to move, I feel overwhelmed by the number of things I have. As I start to box of my memories from the past, I’m learning that I have so much more than I need. Getting rid of things that I’ve been holding on too “just in case” makes me feel so much lighter. I don’t need my second grade cursive handwriting book, or every participation trophy, or even all the pairs of leggings. Why have all the stuff sit around? Someone else can find use for it, or it can be recycled to something new. Clearing things from my room has been a challenge, but I’m realizing I don’t need all that crap in my life. I can hold onto to those things in my heart and mind. The empty space feels nice too.

10. Appreciate And Thank Your Tribe

 Not everyone who comes into your life will hold a special meaning. But when you come across someone who supports your goals and guides you in the right direction, hold onto them. Appreciate their generosity, kindness, and love. It’s so rare to find people who genuinely care about you. You’ll know you’ve found a good friend when you find one, and you’ll realize that it’s about the quality of people you have in your life not the quantity. Don’t ever forgot to thank the ones who are on your mind at the end of each day. Everyone deserves recognition for what they do.

What I did for myself: I am so blessed to have such a strong and loving family who I can count on for everything and anything. They are the rocks that keep me grounded. I am lucky that found my own good vibe tribe who I adore more than anything. (You know who you are) These people constantly remind me of my worth. I am always thanking them for their friendship and loving every moment we spend together. My tribe are the people I can go weeks without seeing but can call in pinch when I need support and guidance. These people lift me up, and I know I do the same for them.

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What I did for myself may be so different from what you need to do for yourself. Change doesn’t happen overnight. If you put the time and effort into taking care of yourself, you will see a positive change. 

-Kasey Elizabeth

**all photos from my Pinterest Board Inspiration**
Health & Fitness, My Life

The Universe Has My Back!

Where do I begin?! My body is fueled with a whole new energy, my soul is on fire and filled with passion and possibility, and my mind has endless thoughts of love and gratitude.

I truly feel like I am carrying myself in a whole new light, feeling a way I have never felt before. I am growing every day and becoming a stronger, happier, smarter, and caring young woman. WHICH IS CRAZY TO BELIEVE!! Whether you know me well or not, my mindset and outlook on life has changed drastically in the past few years.

Life has thrown various obstacles in my direction and I used to feel defeated, angry, and annoyed. I always used to ask myself, “Why is this happening to me?”, “What did I do to deserve this?”, “When will I catch a break?”.  Little did I know that a shift in my perception and outlook on my situations and surroundings can transform the way I look at all aspects in my life, good and bad.

Though I am early on my journey, working towards a bigger goal and something greater than myself, I am experiencing a time of change. I have started to read more, explore new ideas, and just open my heart to all the great resources around me. I have begun to collaborate with others, share my interests, and express my thoughts.

A powerful and inspiring book, The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein really sparked the light inside me.  This book unlocks a whole new world of thought. Whether you consider yourself a spiritual person or not, the tools in this book (when you surrender yourself to the possibilities and commit to the experience) unlock treasures of the mind, body and soul. A book filled with advice, meditations, and prayers that remind each of us that we are loved and we are worthy of success.

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I have read this book back to front twice in the past month; taking notes on things that speak to me and practicing the mindful exercises.  I do not want to spoil the reading experience for anyone. But, I do want to share my biggest take-a-ways from the incredible and inspiring words written by Gabrielle Bernstein.

“I take responsibility for the world I create by making love a habit and I nurture the connections on a daily basis.”

This quote written in the first couple pages of the book really hit me hard. Through working with ivivva by lululemon, I have been taught to practice personal responsibility to lead myself and others in a more valuable way.

Personal responsibility has been a leadership practice I have grown strong in. To open a book f(or like the first time in years) and have it talk about personal responsibility for every thought, word, and action in our lives had me hooked. Gabby introduces the simple, but challenging concept of leaning towards love in every aspect of life. It is her way of saying, “everything after “I am”, creates.”

“This is my mission: to guide you to choose love no matter what so you can turn all obstacles into opportunities for spiritual growth.”

Choosing to love in every situation in life is a difficult, but possible thing to do. Gabrielle makes such a great point saying that each of us need to let go of all outcomes. When we focus on the outcomes and what “should” happen, we get caught up in a mentality that is controlling and manipulative.

This spoke to me because I am such a huge planner. I like to schedule my days, even to the hour sometimes. By focusing so much on what I “should” do, I lose all opportunities to live and enjoy the moment I am in. The mission stated above really reminds to be open-minded throughout my day and to not get so caught up in the outcomes. I can only control the here and now.

Committing to your faith statement followed by the mantra, “I trust in my connection to the universe and I have faith I’m being guided.”

There is a chapter in this book where Gabrielle invites the reader to create a faith statement. She challenges us to write whatever comes to our mind at first and not to over think it.  A faith statement is a simple statement of your beliefs. You recite your faith statement to yourself in your moments of fear, doubt, and uncertainty. It guides you back to living through love.

My faith statement:

“I believe in all possibilities through love. When my mind, body, and soul are connected to the universe anything is possible. I live in the moment, seek positivity, and explore freely. I am in charge of who I am and what I want out of life. I live in love, through love, and as love. I believe in myself and I know that I am enough.”

“We are made to feel “less than” without this or that possession. We use judgement to avoid the feeling of our own inadequacy, insecurities, and lack of self-worth. It can feel easier to make fun of someone for a perceived weakness than to look at own sense of lack.”

When judgement is discussed throughout the book I found myself tense. I struggle with judgement of others and myself. Today, we are surrounded by the values of status, look, and material wealth. We all fall trap to pointing out what separates us from one another.

I found myself returning the sections on judgement repeatedly, and reflecting on the choices I have made. Judgement creates a lot of problems for myself. It limits me, fills me with fear, and crumbles my confidence.

The key to overcoming judgement is shifting your perception to compassion and understanding. Compassion and understanding unify, connect, and make us feel whole. It is all about connecting to our oneness. Oneness leaves us with no feelings of better than or less than; it is our true nature. It aligns us back to living through love and trusting in the universal energy that lays deep inside us.

“We should be grateful for all situations that make us uncomfortable, because without them we would not know there is something unhealed in us.”

Gabrielle words in this section raised goosebumps all throughout my body. My senses were tingling as she discussed her feelings of trying to battle between her ego and humility. Through discomfort, we are lead back to the truth. We have two paths to choose in all situations; follow the ego or follow humility.

When we surrender ourselves to the path of humility, we fall into the hands of the universe. It allows us to embrace our inner power and the great magnitude inside us that allows us to live truthfully.  It brings us back to the purpose of life; be love and spread love.


The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein is a book I recommend to everyone to read no matter what point of your life you are in. We all have mental blockage that prevents us from being the best version of us.

We all have fallen trapped to living in fear over love. This book works with you to shift your thoughts, words, and actions to a more joyful life experience. When you surrounded yourself to the love deep inside you and all around you, life offers you so much more. I have seen a total shift in myself and I believe that every one is capable of achieving the same feeling.

Give this book a read and I promise you, you’ll see that the universe does have your back. Thanks Gabby for helping me become a #spiritjunkie

Gabrielle Bernstein Instagram

Gabrielle Bernstein Website

Health & Fitness

Breakfast Sandwiches Are My Favorite!

If you are anything like me, you spend your days constantly are on the go-go-go. I am the type of person who wakes up ten minutes before I need to leave for work and throws myself together as quickly as possible then runs out the door.

Busy bee’s like me often stop at drive through places like Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, and McDonald’s for breakfast sandwiches they eat on the go. BREAKFAST IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY. What one decides to eat at the start of the day reflects the type of day they may have and the attitude they carry.

Meaning… if you put “bad” in, you get bad out. For example, if you go the Dunkin Donuts and order a bacon egg and cheese on a bagel with a side a hash browns, you are fueling your body with grease, preservatives, and saturated fat. This can result in a feeling of heaviness along with decrease energy levels, which won’t help you get through the workday.

I was inspired to create my own type of breakfast sandwich that is filled with whole and filling foods that will fuel my body in the proper way and help me get through the day. It is SO SIMPLE to make, and it will save you time and money because you won’t have to make a trip to the drive thru in the morning.

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This sandwich is vegetarian friendly, dairy free, nut free, and gluten free! It is jam packed with flavors and can easily be made in bulk.  I prepared enough for the entire week stored in the freezer for quick reheating so I can grab it and run out the door.

What’s nice about this breakfast sandwich is that the ingredients can easily be substituted and adapted to create your own that you will love and enjoy. I am going to share with you what I used, but feel free to explore the possibilities in your kitchen.

 


First things first, get out all the ingredients you’ll need. I used:

  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Orange peppers
  • Soy cheese
  • Vegan cheese
  • Gluten free bread
  • Eggs

Using various vegetables is important to me. I am constantly finding new ways to sneak veggies into meals I already love without making them bland and boring. This sandwich is heavily vegetable based. Eating vegetables for breakfast is a smart thing to do because they are filled with various vitamins and minerals essential for brain activity. Therefore, one’s concentration and awareness will increase. Perfect way to put good in so you get good out!

 

Now that your ingredients are out, there are a few things you need to do before you start preparing your sandwiches.

  • Find a baking dish or muffin tins you want to use. (I got creative and use dough rings as my mold because they were a similar size to the gluten free bread I was using)
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • Get out proper materials for vegetable cutting along with a bowl to crack your eggs into

 

 The fun can begin since you finished your prepping! Follow these simple steps to create your own filling and healthy breakfast sandwich.

 

Step 1: Cut and chop all your veggies into small pieces. Depending on how many sandwiches you make, the number of veggies needed differs. I simply eye balled it. I used a handheld chopper which made it quick and easy!

Step 2: Fill your molds completely with the veggies! DON’T pack them in tightly, you want some air left in your molds. If you cut too many veggies like me, just freeze the left overs for next time!

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Step 3: Crack your eggs into a bowl and whisk them around. (I used five eggs for a total of six sandwiches)

Step 4: SLOWLY pour eggs into veggie molds. It takes a few seconds for the veggies to absorb the eggs and if you pour too quickly it will overflow. (I learned this the hard way!)

Step 5: Sprinkle some vegan and soy cheese on top. Taste like cheese but it’s non dairy!

Step 6: Place in the oven and set timer for 12 minutes! Depending on oven, times may vary! Make sure you watch them, once the cheese has melted you can remove from oven.

Step 7: Let the egg and veggie molds cool and settle.

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Step 8: Prepare your bread of choice! I used gluten free whole grain bread and decided to not toast it, but toasting it is totally an option

Step 9: Put your sandwiches together then wrap in freezer protected storage. You can freeze them for up to a week!

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Step 10: When you are ready to eat unwrap and reheat sandwich in microwave for about a minute! I topped mine with avocado. (:

 



This creation of mine was influenced by the thousands of Pinterest ideas, along with my love for egg sandwiches. Meal prepping is a new concept for me and I am learning that the possibilities are endless.

It is so important to eat a proper breakfast and I wasn’t doing that on my busy days. By taking the time on Sunday afternoons to prepare myself meals that will get me through the week has taken so much stress off my shoulders. I only have to clean up my mess once a week, I am saving myself money, and I am providing my body with proper nutrients!!!! Talk about living the dream!

I hope this gives you inspiration to try my recipe and make it your own! Enjoy.

-Kasey Elizabeth

 

Health & Fitness

An inside look at my eating habits

People often ask me questions about my diet and the things I eat. The questions arise due to my various allergies and sensitivities. Many people are just curious how I maintain my habits as a super busy college student.

First things first, I do not do any extreme diet plans or health fads, BUT by default I must avoid various foods because my body has reactions to them. Here is a little inside scoop on my allergies and common foods I eat.

When I was in third grade, I developed anaphylactic allergies to tree nuts and shelled fish. As a result, I carry an EpiPen with me because if I ingest these foods my face will swell, I’ll break out in hives, and my throat closes. NOT FUN AT ALL. I avoid these foods always.

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When I was a sophomore in high school, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune disorder where the body rejects gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, malt, and (some) oats. My body’s cells were attacking each other causing awful and painful skin rashes, hair loss, weight loss, and digestion problems.

At first not eating breads, pastas, and various carbs was hard, but gluten free options are becoming more assessable in grocery stores and restaurants. I must be cautious about cross contamination because it can make me sick.

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In the past couple months or so, I have been working on limiting my dairy intake. I found myself consuming more dairy daily than recommended and it often left me bloated with stomach pains and bathroom issues.

Since then I have been working towards completely cutting dairy out of my diet starting with replacing milk with almond milk (almonds aren’t tree nuts so I can eat them) and cheese with soy or vegan cheese. I also regret every time I eat ice cream so I started to substitute with coconut ice cream and it’s so yummy!

Some other conscious choices I make include not drinking any soda and limiting sugary juices. I consume alcohol very rarely. I drink coffee maybe once a week. I try to not eat a lot before bed.




It drives me a bit bonkers when people say things like “I wish I had your allergies, it’s like a forced healthy diet!” or “how do you stay so skinny!” and “do you even eat?”

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Truth be told, just because I have various allergies and sensitives doesn’t make me automatically “healthy”. Gluten free substitutes often have higher calories and fat than its regular counterpart.

YES, I DO EAT AND IT’S OFTEN. My favorites included: Lucky Charms, sugary candy, fruit snacks, Italian ice, French fries, Frappuccino’s, various Frito-Lay chips, tater-tots, tacos, fried rice, and sushi. The difference is I eat these things in moderation. (most of the time!)

In all reality, I just try to eat a simple balanced diet that we all learned about in elementary school. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, then protein and grains, along with fats, oils, etc.

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I do not count calories. I eat breakfast every day. I drink tons of water and kombucha. I take a women’s multivitamin.  I eat when I am hungry, no starving myself here!

I really don’t have any secrets. I am just conscious about what I eat. Whether I am preparing food at home or going out, I take the time to make choices that will make my body feel good. It isn’t always easy, but taking the first step and creating a plan will help.

I do indulge in my favorite unhealthy foods, but I do my best to balance my diet with nutritious and filling foods.

(images found on google)


 

Coming Soon! Simple and quick meal prep for busy bees like me!

My Life

Take A Deep Breath

Lately, I have been all over the place. In my thoughts, my actions, my goals, and just overall my daily living. My mind has been shooting in every direction and at the speed of light. Life has been full of so many twists and turns that it’s been hard to keep up.

Right now, I feel like I have strayed away from my intended path, but I am realizing that’s okay. At one point or another, each of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the responsibilities and opportunities life brings to us. Sometimes it becomes stressful, overwhelming, and just straight up confusing.

I have been doing so many different things recently. Life is changing and transitioning for me. I feel like there are parts of my life that I need to move on from but can’t. I feel like there are things I should dig deeper into but don’t. I honestly feel like a mess. I need to stop aiming for perfection and just start living with an open mind.

I am writing to clear my thoughts, center my mind, and ground my soul to the universe. I need to rally off words in my head, document them, and commit to changing my perspective.

 It is time to just take a deep breath, stop stressing, and remind myself that everything will fall into its correct place. 

There is no need to break a sweat over the small stuff. There is always going to be hardships and obstacles to overcome, but If I just carry myself each day with a positive attitude and continue to do what I love, I can conquer the world.

Take a deep breath. Everything doesn’t need to be figured out right here, right now. Stop getting so caught up in things that don’t matter. Embrace each moment, be present mentally, physically, and emotionally. It is OKAY to not quite know what is going to happen next. Don’t let the fear drag you down, use the unknown possibilities to fuel your personal greatness.

I don’t know about you, but for me that expressing my racing thoughts helps calm my mind and body. It is nice to have something to look back on, to re-read when needed, and to have a reminder that everything will be okay.

I recommend to anyone out there that feels overwhelmed, confused, stress, or overall uncertainty to just start writing. Put the thoughts down and keep going until they stop. Take a deep breath. It will help you see the world around you a little clearer.

 

-Kasey Elizabeth-