Tell Your Story

Everyone has a story. Within each are identifiable life experiences connecting us all;Designed to teach encourage and inspire not only the individual but another too. What’s Your Story?

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Welcome to the “Tell Your Story” highlight reel.

If you haven’t guessed it as yet, everyone has a story. Within each is identifiable life experiences, anyone can glean from if open to receive.

This is a Highlight Reel of another’s life journey designed to inspire.

So, prepare your mind and enjoy a coffee/tea as this mother-daughter  Stephanie/Sydney of @smalltownliv share their story.

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Hey everyone! Small Town Living USA is a lifestyle blog started by Stephanie and Sydney, a mother and daughter duo. We blog about several things that we are passionate about. Recipes and restaurants are definitely at the top of our list, being the foodies that we are. We also enjoy blogging about small towns and small businesses.  Shopping local and supporting small businesses is extremely important to us! Travel, holidays, family and home décor are other things you will find us blogging about.

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Introductions: I am Stephanie, the Mom of this duo. Some of my hobbies are reading, journaling, planning with the Happy Planner, cooking, baking, traveling and spending time with my family. I love all things coffee and chocolate! They seriously should be a food group! My husband (Jim) and I have been married for 33 years. We have two children, Sydney and Mason. Jim and I have just started into the empty-nester phase of our lives. Definitely looking forward to being a grandma in the (hopefully near) future. 😊

Prior to blogging, I was a medical biller and coder in a busy pulmonology practice. I really enjoyed the challenge of getting medical claims paid and working with insurance companies. I gave up this position because I was needed to help with my father-in-law who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. I helped take care of him until he lost his battle this past June. I wouldn’t have traded this time with him for anything in the world! I learned a lot about life and what is truly important during this time.

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Introductions: I am Sydney, the daughter of this duo. I absolutely love Christmas!!! I am an absolute Christmas fanatic!!! I always have my tree up by November 1st (please don’t hate me!). I also love to bake, cook and travel. My husband (Austin) and I have been married for two years. We both are looking forward to children in the future (and it can’t come soon enough for my mom and my mother-in-law). Austin and I hope to be able to adopt a baby with down syndrome, as well. We both have a passion for children with down syndrome! 

Prior to blogging, I worked as a paraprofessional in a kindergarten class for a sweet little guy with Cerebral Palsy. I loved this position and had planned on staying in this field, but when my husband accepted a position that would take us back to Ohio we couldn’t turn down the opportunity. We were living in Florida and both wanted to get back home before we had children. We were so blessed to be able to get back home!

Why did you start blogging?

I (Stephanie) have always loved writing. Journaling is a huge passion of mine. There is something about an empty sheet of paper or a blank computer screen that just seems to speak to me. Sydney has loved photography for years. She really enjoys taking people pictures and capturing those special moments for them. We had been tossing around the idea of a blog for several years and the timing just seemed to fall into place for us. I do the majority of the writing and Sydney does the majority of the photography. 

Blogging is such a creative outlet for us, but also gives us a chance to share so much with the world! Whether a recipe or a place we have traveled to someone always seems to appreciate the story and the photography. Our favorites are when we get a message that something we have shared has really touched someone and made their day! Those are the best!

Sydney and I have always been very close. Blogging together gives us the opportunity to do what we both love and spend time together. What could be better? 😊

What hurdles (mental or physical) did you have to overcome to get your blog started and continue on today?

For me (Stephanie) that is easy, technology. I am a complete technological misfit! I have always been a paper and pencil kind of girl (remember, I am 53!!). Facebook was the only social media platform I used. Learning how Instagram and Twitter worked was a huge deal for me. But…I hung in there, asked a lot of questions and finally got them figured out. I laugh now at how easy they are, but what a huge obstacle I made them. 

For me (Sydney) it was learning how to design the blog and all the background work that goes into it. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes. SEO is still an ongoing lesson for me…

Patience is something we both have to work at if we are being honest! I (Stephanie) get impatient when there are computer glitches and Sydney can’t get them fixed quickly. Sydney gets impatient when I can’t grasp a technical concept. This definitely is a hurdle some days! 

For both of us, it was pretty easy to know who was going to do what. Figuring this out was a much smaller hurdle. I (Stephanie) do the writing, set up the appointments at the small businesses to do interviews, do most of the face-to-face talking with people and post on our social media platforms. Sydney does the photography, editing, maintenance of our blog and computer troubleshooting. These decisions were definitely the easiest to make of all the things we had to figure out. 

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What advice would you share with someone who wants to start blogging?

Do a lot of research! Read a large variety of blogs! Sydney and I spent about 4 months doing major research. She researched the technical side while I researched the writing and content side of blogging. 

We also enrolled in a 30-day blogging course. That was so helpful! They had so many different sites for us to check out and answered questions for us we didn’t even know we had. 

Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Questions are how we learn. Make mistakes, if you aren’t making mistakes you are not growing and learning. 

Finally, make sure to have fun! That is what this is all about. If you are not enjoying it then it becomes just another thing you have to do. Blogging is about sharing what you love and are passionate about with the rest of the world

Sydney and I would like to thank Al Bell for allowing us this opportunity to share a little bit about ourselves with you! Hopefully, you learned a little bit more about us.

In short, we did ladies. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and much-continued success to you both.

To follow and stay up to date on what Stephanie and Sydney are doing connect with them through their website listed below.

Blog: https://www.smalltownlivingusa.com/

Twitter- @smalltownliv

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The Resilient Woman series

Courage Tenacity Perseverance

  

Hello, again friend! Welcome to the Resilient Woman series.

My next guest is no stranger to speaking in front of others. As a matter of fact, that was her profession on a daily basis. As fate would have it, she now channels her experience online while supporting her family.

Meet Deanna. Read on as she shares her work and family life experience. Hi D!

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Al I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to share and be a part of your series!

TWH– Your welcome and thanks for accepting.

So my name is Deanna. I’m a single mother of four wonderful kids. My youngest are twins. I’ve been on my own for a while now. Everything I do, I do for them. I hope they inherit my values, morals, and love for Jesus…and may they exceed all their own goals.

I have a degree in Business Finance. I also have extensive training in Human Behavior and Leadership. John C. Maxwell is one of my favorite people! I used to speak in classrooms and on stage. I have now transitioned that into my online coaching program at LuckyLoveLife.com. I’m a success and mindset coach. I help people turn a five-year plan into one.

My goal is to help transform one person, one family, at a time to get them financially free so they can live a life full of amazing miracles and choices!

An online business is simply another job if you don’t learn how to leverage it for your personal benefit.

TWH– Good point Deanna. Definitely, need to know how to use an online business to your benefit, not a detriment.

So,

TWH- What is your definition of a strong woman?

My definition of a strong woman is one who uses her moral compass and faith to guide her life in all facets. She isn’t swayed by hate, injustice, or drama. It’s not that she doesn’t care or have an opinion. She simply refuses to be “offended” by all the things or let the circumstances of the world steal her joy.

TWH- A resilient woman possesses these qualities. Explain.

A resilient woman can disagree without being hateful. She can trust God to take care of her when times are tough and thank him when times are good. She knows the difference between grace and mercy and shows both to others consistently. A resilient woman goes after her dreams and uses each day to pursue her best life. When she reaches those goals, she helps others reach theirs. Pay it forward so to speak.

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TWH- Could you name a few situations that highlight or showcase the Resilient Women in action?

I feel like any woman building a business to give herself and family a better life is an excellent example. It’s not easy. Believing in one’s self consistently. Doing what others tell you is a pipe dream. I applaud those who really take chances on their ideas and goals.

TWH- What barriers if any may the Resilient Women encounter?

I think media has really put an ugly image on what successful and resilient woman are. They paint the resilient woman as a victim or the successful woman as the rich b*tch. This does not have to be the case. You define you. Bouncing back from adversity can make you tougher but it doesn’t have to make you jaded. You choose. Becoming wealthy doesn’t have to make you greedy. You can choose generosity and love.

TWH- Is society recognizing the resilient women today and if so how?

Yes, society does recognize resilience and in my eyes, this has been a double-edged victory. Women like Oprah are so inspirational for those striving to make any kind of dream come true. So for the stage of education, career, and even sports, absolutely.

TWH- Who is your example of a strong woman? If more, its ok to share that too.

Jessica Alba is an awesome woman! Talk about resilient. When Hollywood basically asked her to be nothing but a pretty face, she simply walked away and started a multi-billion dollar company. A company that focuses on healthy products for families at that. What a rock star. And who can forget Helen Keller? That woman earned a degree despite multiple disabilities. Mother Teresa exemplified a life of selfless giving and love.

TWH- Do you feel there are limits to being a strong woman?

Yikes, that’s a loaded question but I believe in honesty. I think there should be limits to being strong. We should always be strong in faith, family, values, and the pursuit of our passions. But I’ve witnessed a change in culture where some women have pushed so hard for equality, that they’ve nearly killed chivalry. Can I open my own car door and walk myself to the front door? Heck ya, but if that guy wants a second date he’d better offer. Unfortunately, many don’t anymore for fear they’ll “offend” a strong woman. I think men and women are different in many ways and some of those ways should be celebrated, not crushed. I believe there is an appropriate place for softness.

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TWH- If you could help guide someone to being a strong woman how would you help them?

When I used to speak in classrooms, this is exactly what I was brought in for. I now teach some of those same principles in my coaching program. I help women overcome their self-limiting beliefs, uncover what it is they truly want (not what someone else convinced them they should want) and teach them financial success and business habits that can create freedom! In the age of the internet, this has become more accessible than ever.

I think the other way you can help women become strong is simply by setting a good example. Be honest. Be brave. Follow your values. Crush your goals. Rinse and Repeat.

WoW! Well said Deanna and great examples of success in the face of challenges. There you go, friend. Another example of taking life head-on with all it has to offer and pressing through.

To connect with Deanna and be apart of her success movement follow her on these social media platforms. She would love to have you be apart.

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/D_LuckyLoveLife/

Instagram: d_LuckyLoveLife

Pinterest: LuckyLoveLife

Tell Your Story

Everyone has a story. Within each are identifiable life experiences connecting us all;Designed to teach encourage and inspire not only the individual but another too. What’s Your Story?

Welcome to the “Tell Your Story” highlight reel.

If you haven’t guessed it as yet, everyone has a story. Within each is identifiable life experiences, anyone can glean from if open to receive.

This is a Highlight Reel of another’s life journey designed to inspire.

So, prepare your mind and enjoy a coffee/tea as Marc of @nimrod1979 shares his story.

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Hi! My name is Marc and I am the founder of the blog Marky Marc’s World. When I’m not blogging I like to watch sports, listen to music, create music playlists, play Xbox, PS4, and old school video games. I also like to shoot photography, travel to sporting events all over the country, and spend time with my wife Diane and my two cats Jack-Jack and Ginger.

Before I started blogging I worked at a major international tv network in the Washington, D.C. area. I worked on a lot of cool projects and somewhat climbed the corporate ladder before being offered a buyout package due to company restructuring. Since then I’ve been doing freelancing and contract work in the D.C. area while building up my blog and social media presence. I still work in the television field, but am hoping to move in another direction as time goes on. In addition to my television and blogging career, I also do some freelance writing on the side as well. This is something I hope to turn into more of a full-time job in the near future.

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Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging for a few different reasons. I wanted to give myself a platform to express myself. I’ve always had a desire to share my life and stories through my writing but didn’t really start working on it until the past few years. Once I left my job of ten years, I felt like it was time to put my money where my mouth is and start sharing my writing and story with the world. I also wanted to take more control of my life and career. I felt like blogging could be a way for me to do that. So far I feel like blogging has given way more back to me than I’ve given to it. I’ve learned so much about myself through the blogging community and work I do it is mind-boggling.

What hurdles (mental or physical) did you have to overcome to get your blog started and continue on today?

I think my biggest hurdle was just learning the ropes in the blogging world. It’s not something you can just dive right into and master. There are a lot of ways in which a blogger can obtain success. There are also a lot of quirks and curveballs along the way. I’ve found that you have to have a certain “fire in your belly” in order to truly take blogging seriously. It takes a lot more work than anybody could ever imagine. For me, the biggest challenge today is for me to make sure I stay on task, keep evolving, and challenge myself to be a better blogger.

What advice would you share with someone who wants to start blogging?

My advice is if you feel like blogging is in your heart and you’re ready to share your thoughts with the world, then don’t waste any time dwelling on it. Today is the best day to start your blogging journey. A lot of new bloggers question themselves, edit their work, and second guess a lot of things. The best thing to do is to put a game plan together, go for it, and know that you are going to learn, change, and evolve as you go through your journey and that’s ok!

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/nimrod1979

Pinterest;  www.pinterest.com/MarkyMarcsWorld

Blog: www.markymarcsworld.blog

Instagram: www.Instagram.com/nimrod79

 

Tell Your Story

Everyone has a story. Within each are identifiable life experiences connecting us all;Designed to teach encourage and inspire not only the individual but another too. What’s Your Story?

Welcome to the “Tell Your Story” highlight reel.

If you haven’t guessed it as yet, everyone has a story. Within each is identifiable life experiences, anyone can glean from if open to receive.

This is a Highlight Reel of another’s life journey designed to inspire.

So, prepare your mind and enjoy a coffee/tea as Kirsten of @f00dventuresRD shares her story.

First off, a big “thank you” to Al for asking me to be apart of his “Tell Your Story” highlight reel. I am honored that he chose to feature my story 🙂 

So a little about me. My name is Kirsten and I am a Registered Dietitian but I am also a huge foodie and a bit of a free spirit (if you didn’t already guess that from my picture lol). While on my journey towards becoming a dietitian, I knew I didn’t want to take the traditional career path which is clinical work. It just wasn’t for me. The problem was, I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a dietitian. I had hoped my dietetic internship would open some doors for me but all it did was confirm what I already knew- clinical work would slowly kill me inside. So I decided to take a little time for myself and teach myself how to cook.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is FullSizeRender-1024x1024.jpg honestly never set foot in the kitchen other than to make frozen meals and I figured as a dietitian it would be extremely helpful if I knew how to actually make healthy meals. Not just for my own benefit but also so I could better help potential patients/clients in the future. And that’s how I first got into blogging. 

I started my blog in April 2012 just talking about my kitchen failures. But eventually my kitchen failures evolved more into “experiments” and adventures in the kitchen as I learned how to cook and bake and that’s how my name came about food + adventures = “f00dventures”.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is D2AF38B7-5043-4324-9E19-55BA23AD60A6-e1544298051968-768x1024.jpg

 I have always been a very creative person and I love being able to take that creativity and use it to “healthify” food so I can show people that you don’t have to cut out all the foods you love to live a healthy lifestyle. I regularly eat desserts, mac, and cheese, pizza, etc either through making “healthified” versions or just enjoying the real thing in moderation. I started to share my experiments on Instagram and in 2013/2014 things really started to pick up for me as I got better at recipe development. I started entering food contests through Instagram and ended up winning a lot of them. Within a pretty short period, I had gone from 80 followers on Instagram to close to 20,000. And this is when my struggles with blogging and social media kicked in.

I gained so many followers so fast that I constantly felt pressure to keep the momentum going. I started to forget why I had started blogging in the first place and started posting things I thought my followers wanted to see rather than posting what made me happy. I started to get extremely burnt out and obsessed with stats to the point that I just couldn’t handle it anymore.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3DCA7F3F-F1AC-4B0A-8FD1-49823CB5FAAA-1024x768.jpgI got rid of all social media and stopped blogging for about a year. I got rid of not only my business Facebook and Instagram pages but also my personal ones because I  just couldn’t bear to face social media anymore.

Fast forward to 2017. It had been about a year since I had left social media and I finally started to feel strong enough mentally to make a comeback. I had a new approach this time; I was going to blog for me. I wasn’t going to let everyone else dictate what I posted about. Yes, as a dietitian, I wanted to help and inspire people but I also wanted to help myself keep my sanity. If people didn’t like it, too bad. And yes, I did lose a lot of followers. 4,000 and counting. But the great thing is that it doesn’t bother me anymore.

I still have people tell me how much I have helped them from sharing my struggles with disordered eating or inspired them to get back in the kitchen because of my fun, unique recipes. And that means way more to me than having a bunch of followers. So my biggest piece of advice? Don’t get caught up in numbers. Blog because it makes you happy. Blog about whatever you are passionate about. Your passion will shine through and that is what will draw people in.  But also remember to live your life. Don’t let your entire life revolve around blogging or social media. Don’t just let life pass you by. 

Thanks, Kirsten for sharing Your Story. Hopefully, your experience has encouraged others to go on.

You can connect with Kirsten on these social media platforms.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/f00dventures/

Instagram: https://Instagram.com/f00dventures/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/f00dventuresRD

Blog: https://f00dventures.wordpress.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/f00dventure0169/

Are you getting enough Rest?

Almost seen as a foreign word to many today, rest is kinda that long lost friend you haven’t seen in a while but looking to hook-up with.

Rest! 

Almost seen as a foreign word to many today, rest is kinda that long lost friend you haven’t seen in a while but looking to hook-up with. With busy schedules, many are hustling hours past the normal 9am to a 5pm job. In a lot of cases, both partners are working longer too, forcing even more of a strain on the family as a whole. This does not include the after-work activities which can stretch ones waking time well into the late night hours and affecting much-needed sleep.

Your amount of rest depends on a couple of factors. Your age and the amount of physical activity one engages in are two of the main factors. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommends teens get 9-10 hours of rest while only 7-8 hours for adults. 1.  If you engage in a strenuous physical activity with goals to build strength and/or muscle, rest is key in the bodies development.

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A Sleep poll was conducted and revealed close to 90 percent of adults admit that they feel very effective at accomplishing things when getting enough rest. When asking the same group about prioritizing sleep as compared to and ahead of fitness/exercise, work, and hobbies/interest only 10 percent admitted they do. So strange that the group who encourages fitness and exercise would not prioritize rest first, seeing that rest is a key component of the bodies growth and rehabilitation. My guess is that many get so caught up in a busy lifestyle that rest is more than likely not even given a second thought. 

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From time to time I have fallen into this vicious cycle of being loaded with plans that need to be executed throughout a day to day and week to week schedule. The catch is, I get so caught up in the hustle that I don’t recognize the need to get enough rest. You see the body is kinda like a machine that needs proper maintenance from time to time. When it does not get the attention it needs it will fail. 

For instance, if the oil is not maintained for the engine to run smoothly and it loses viscosity the time will come when it will overheat and engine fail will be the result. The same can happen when one does not get the proper sleep. Extreme exhaustion may result which can lead to non-productivity of any kind. This is not what we want with our bodies. 

So, to defend against not getting enough sleep I want to highlight these reminder benefits as to what happens when we do get enough rest.

Sleep provides:

  • Repair – the body during periods of rest repairs itself, meaning the bodies cells use this time to clean themselves up if damaged. 
  • Cleanse – The bodies cells use this time to pool and store waste for evacuation.
  • Clear thinking – When brain cells get a chance to revitalize and rest the result is clear cognitive thinking.
  • Productivity – when the bodies organs rest their overall rested state translates into fresh energy
  • Better Mood – non-rested states can lead to stress which can lead to unwanted mood swings and being temperamental. Never knew anyone to hate an upbeat attitude.
  • Quality time – When one is rested there is a better chance to get out and enjoy life’s activities. Especially when it comes to family functions. 
  • Muscle growth – the process of tearing down to build goes true when it comes to physical fitness workouts. Getting the proper rest encourages the development of muscles and the metabolism of fat.

So, if you are not getting the proper amount of sleep then I hope this post will at least encourage you to seriously adopt the mindset to do so now. 

Of course, this is not a complete list of benefits but at least a teezer. I hope you enjoyed the read. For more encouraging posts on life and fitness check out this post!

 

Credits:

  1. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-deprivation-and-deficiency

 

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/2018-sleep-in-america-poll-shows