Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Making A Resolution That Suits You

With the best intentions and a sincere wish for a better future, many people make New Year's Resolutions to kick off the New Year. Many of us promise ourselves each year that will definitely will follow through, only to struggle and give up fairly early on in the game. If you are serious about resolutions, it is imperative that you set yourself up for success by making resolutions that are both achievable and worthy of excitement.

Tips for Choosing Achievable Resolutions

When selecting a resolution, there are some simple guidelines that will improve your chances for success. First and foremost it is crucial that you pick resolutions that you can get truly excited about day after day. Focusing on one very important resolution works better than making too many resolutions where you scatter your efforts too thin. Also, it is critical that you do not select competing resolutions that will conflict with each other. For example, if I chose to exercise daily and write a blog post a day I may not have time to do both EVERYDAY. In the long run I would probably not be able to give 100% for either resolution. Therefore, by selecting just one obtainable and realistic resolution, you will be apt to stick with it for 365 days.

The reason behind the resolution must be compelling enough to keep you motivated. The commitment required to follow through on a resolution is substantial, so the resolution should be inspired personally instead of a suggestion from others. For example, if your parents are pushing you to get a graduate degree, but it is their idea and not yours, the resolution is probably going to fail.

How to Keep the Resolution Alive

Once an important resolution has been selected, the success will depend upon a person's ability to stay motivated when the going gets tough. One suggestion for staying pumped up to stay the course is to create a plan for success. Writing down goals that lead to the resolution is one way to make a task manageable. For instance, if you want to lose 40 pounds, it is better to set a goal for 5 pounds at a time. This is a bite-sized goal that can be measured and obtained in a relatively short period of time. By tasting the sweetness of success quickly, it is easier to stay motivated for the other 35 pounds.

A great way to keep you motivated is to set up a rewards system. I saw this neat idea on Pinterest for people trying to loose weight, or just go to the gym on a regular basis. All you do is take an empty jar or can and each time you go to the gym you place a one dollar bill, (a quarter, nickel or dime would work also), in the jar. Set a goal of reaching a certain amount of money, lets say $20 or so, and then take the money out and buy yourself something special. Rewarding yourself for meeting smaller goals will lead to ultimate success.


Making and keeping resolutions can greatly improve your quality of life. Since resolutions are nothing more than life goals, this activity has the potential to drastically improve life. Setting goals is one of the ways that achievers manage life and continue growing.  There is no reason to wait until December 31st to make a resolution to improve your life, however it is a good place to start. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY Christmas Decorations: Elegance Without the Price Tag

For a couple of years now I have enjoyed decorating my own home for each season and holiday. However, decorations don’t always come cheap. So, instead of buying all of my decorations this year, I chose to put on my ‘creative cap’ and think of some ideas of how to spice up my home and give it that warm cozy feeling for the holidays without breaking my bank account!

Here are a few of the projects I did that will look spectacular in anyone’s home:

Centerpiece for the Dining Room Table

We all know the centerpiece of the dining room table will be looked at by all of our guests and who wouldn’t want that jaw dropping, stop in your tracks b-e-a-utiful piece? I DO! So I decided to keep is simple this year. Simple is elegant. Elegant is classy, and classy usually means money- but not this time! Here’s what you need:

·       A Clear plastic or glass vase,
·       ornaments (I like to use sparkly and shiny ornaments)
·       ribbon (to match the ornaments).

 All you do is fill the vase with the ornaments and glue the ribbon to the bottom of the vase about 2 inches from the bottom. I found that silver and gold ornaments with matching ribbon turns out the best and looks the most chic.


Spice up your end tables with a few candles. All you need is:

·       Various sized red candles (height and width is up to you)
·       Candy canes (unwrapped)
·       Hot Glue
·       Red Ribbon (optional)

These items can be bought at the dollar store costing less than $10 for this candle project. Start by breaking the candy canes into even sized pieces that will reach about ½ - ¾ of the way up the candle. You will need enough candy canes to go around each of the candles. Glue the candy canes vertically to the side of the candle until the candle is covered. The top portion of the candle should be the area left open. If you want to add a little something extra, tie a red ribbon around the candy canes.

*Candy Canes can also be glued to the sides or vases for decorating bouquets, like this one I found on Christy Stewart-Bright's  Pinterest! 

Flowers/ Plants

Instead of buying expensive potted plants that will only last a couple of weeks to a month, if you’re lucky, find fake plants and flowers and pot them yourself. This will allow you to reuse them year after year. You can also mix and match flowers each year to create a whole different look! Since I like the glitz and the glam, I chose to buy gold leaves to place in a glass vase and covered them with gold glitter. Plants and flowers bring that cozy, warm feeling into your home.  

By sticking to a simple color scheme through out the main rooms of your home, like red, gold and silver, or gold, black, green and white, you will maintain a sense of consistency and create a feeling of cohesiveness when guests are visiting. There are always great sales on décor after the holidays, so if you plan ahead for next season… you will be sure to get the best deal!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fashion Forward For the Holiday Season Ahead

Parties are common for the holiday season. They are a great way for people to get together with friends, family members and coworkers to socialize and have a good time. Everybody wants to look good at her Christmas parties, Hanukah parties and New Year’s parties. Keeping yourself in the latest fashion trends can be quite expensive, though. However, with a bit of innovation and creative thinking, there are plenty of ways to ensure that you look good for the holiday season without the hefty price tag. There are three main articles of clothing that you should definitely have in your closet: a black dress, a blazer and a white blouse.
Sashay Around Dress
Simple Black Dress
A Little Black Dress
As cliché as this may sound, having a “go to black dress” that you are comfortable in no matter what, is the key to your holiday party fashion. Of course you aren’t going to wear exactly the same thing to every event, but a black dress can be accessorized so easily that no one will even know it’s the same dress. Add stockings, a sweater, a scarf or a belt to change the look of the dress. Wear it with different shoes and jewelry and no one will even notice you already wore it!

The next essential item this season is a blazer. Blazers may scream “business” to you, but they are the latest fashion trend and can also be used for just about any occasion. You can throw it on with a pair of skinny jeans, white tank and pumps for classy relaxed look, or wear a colorful red dress with the blazer underneath for a fun, trendy holiday look. There are many ways to wear a blazer and they can be as inexpensive or expensive as you would like.

plain white blouse
Classic Blouse 
White Blouse
Just like the other two items, a white blouse is easily paired with just about anything to create whatever look you are going for. Wear a colorful pair of jeans- green or red for the holidays- with your white blouse for a fun night out with your girl friends. Pair it with black dress pants for a business look, or a pair of dark jeans for a more casual dinner party with family and friends.

Bangles, bangles, bangles!!!!
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The most important thing to remember is to accessorize. There is no need to go out and buy brand new expensive jewelry or scarfs, simply use what you already have or shop at thrift stores for inexpensive items. Wearing mixed bangles on the wrist is a hot holiday trend and is a simple way to jazz up any look. Big bling earrings are sure to make your outfit a hit, and a large ring will definitely turn heads. Use accessories to your advantage and create a new outfit with the same pieces of clothing. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Healthy Eating During the Holidays, Wait What?!

Did you think the holiday’s were a time to “let loose,” …literally? Well, you are not alone. Many Americans are under the impression that their diet, or healthy eating regime doesn’t count during the holidays. However, if this is the case, you WILL be counting the pounds that are packed on instead of ‘counting’ your diet as existent.

So, just how are you supposed to eat healthy during the holiday’s you ask? Well its simple really, as long as you know what you are doing. With these simple tips, you will be sure to fend off those urges to indulge in the calorie loaded foods that come out this time of year.

Eat Before You Party.
Who said having a snack before leaving for the party/dinner was a bad thing? In this case it is definitely not bad and it is actually encouraged. As long as you are snacking on healthy foods such as nuts, fruit or veggies you should eat a little something before you leave the house so you aren’t starving when you arrive at the party. This will cause you to not have those cravings as much because you will have a little something in your stomach already.  

 Keep the Focus off the Food.
When going to a holiday party or dinner do not pay most of your attention to what is being served. Instead, focus on who is at the party. Keep conversations engaging and entertaining with your family and friends. This is a great way to distract your brain, (and stomach) from the wonderful appetizers that may be set out.

One Doesn’t Mean More.
Just because you limit yourself to one round through the buffet line (which you should do), doesn’t mean to scoop a larger portion of each dish that you normally would. Be mindful of the calories in each item and serve yourself accordingly. Your brain will tempt you to take more food that you actually NEED, so be aware of how much is actually going on your plate.
*Tip- try not to allow your food to touch, even if you don’t mind it when they do. This will create smaller portion sizes! (don’t “stack” or “tower” your food either!)

Elastic is NOT an Option.
Yes, we all know that little trick of wearing pants and skirts with elastic waist lines, or wearing baggy shirts and dresses so you don’t feel as full when you are eating. By NOT doing this, you will fell yourself getting full, and actually worry about it. This will help you to not over eat.

It is not a Race.
When there is food in front of me, I eat it, all of it. Especially when others are still eating as well. Try to pave yourself while you eat. By not finishing first you won’t have the temptation to go up for seconds just because others are still eating. You will also allow yourself to feel the fullness setting in, instead of it attacking you so suddenly you didn’t even know you were eating.

One last tip, Chew Gum.
After you have completed your meal, grab a piece of gum. This will also eliminate the desire to continue to eat. It also makes you breathe smell nice!

Now you have the tips and tricks to continue your healthy eating plan for the remainder of the year. Don’t let a couple dinner party splurges ruin your year of training and ecerciese