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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posted by Al Bell December 8, 2018

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. Have a coffee/tea and read on as Lars and Michelle share their story.

Firstly, thanks to Al for asking us to ‘Tell our Story’ on this inspiring series. 

We are Michelle and Lars of lifejourney4two.com and are on an adventure of a lifetime.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is PastedGraphic-1.png

Our story? We met just over three years ago, both having been married before, and both surprised that we fell for each other so quickly.

Lars had been single longer than me, I was only a year out from my divorce, and I was much warier about rushing things. My heart was telling me one thing and my head another. Anyway, I finally told my head to hush, and just went the flow.   

We moved in together, and one afternoon we sat down to map out our hopes and dreams.

The majority of these were all the places we wanted to travel to in the future. Call it an epiphany moment, a stroke of madness or a bloody great decision, but we looked at each other – through those rose-tinted glasses – and said, “Why wait?”

My boys were starting to do their own thing, one already across the other side of the country working in radio and the other two both going to do university stints overseas. So, there were no ties to keep us in Perth, Western Australia. 

And that was it!

We saved like crazy for a year, gradually sold all our worldly possessions on Gumtree, ended our rental lease, resigned from our full-time jobs, (Lars worked in the off-shore safety arena and I was a teacher), and off we jolly well went!

We’ve now been on the road for over 18 months, and we’ve visited 29 countries. We spent a year in a camper van traveling through Europe, then bought a car and spent 4 months exploring the spectacular scenery in Norway. We are now house-sitting a Chateau in the quintessential French countryside.

Why did you start blogging?

Our blog organically came into being about six months after we had begun our trip and morphed into this all-encompassing “lifejourney” theme.

I was keeping a travel journal and then thought about writing it online, just for us, and then that kind of morphed into the blog idea.

At the same time, we were having a big problem with ‘gas’.  Well for starters, being in each other’s company 24 hours a day you have to get used to those types of problems – generally, a good sense of humor helps with that – but we had more pressing gas problems.

Driving a German motorhome through Europe, we found it very difficult finding places to top up our motorhome’s German gas bottle. We hadn’t been able to find any information on google. That was the first time, the idea that we had valuable information that others could use, came into our minds and we joked about setting up a blog. That initial thought, spark if you like, grew and we started to think seriously about the idea.    

We realized we had a lot to share and wanted our posts to inspire and help others on their ‘lifejourney’, both on their physical travels and their journey on this complicated, but joyous thing, we call ‘life’.   

Life itself can be a tough journey; by sharing our experiences and thoughts we hope that we can help others along in their journey. Additionally, we hope to inspire and motivate others to ‘satisfy their soul’. To do whatever it is that makes them content and to make sure they are doing things they sooner rather than later. Not just ‘one day’.   

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

We initially felt like we were swimming in treacle. ‘Set up a blog in 30 minutes’, all the articles promise, luring you in like it’s such a smooth ride. Well, let’s swap the words ‘30 minutes’ for ‘many months’ and you have a realistic timeframe. We weren’t expecting it to be such a huge learning curve, but it’s certainly fabulous exercise for the aging brain cells.

Mentally, I had a little bit of work to do on sharing my thoughts and ideas in our ‘Lifejourney’ section, but after I wrote a really personal piece about my childhood, I feel I have managed that hurdle and now just write from the heart.

As well as the time it took us to get a handle on just setting up our blog site and to learn what those ever-present SEO letters stood for, we also hadn’t factored in the importance of social media.

Social media takes a good chunk of time, particularly maintaining a presence and making sure that you engage meaningfully with both your followers and new potential followers.

We started out trying to write our blog posts together. However, we soon realized that was definitely not going to work for us! We have different writing styles and ideas, so now we are happy to edit and give constructive criticism on each other’s posts 😉   

Lars is much more focused on the photography side of things now and me more on the writing. We still have so much to learn and to improve on. We recently decided to get Photoshop and Lightroom, so again steep learning curves there.

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

Follow your passion and just do it. We would recommend taking the time to set up your blog carefully before you start. Have a few posts ready to go and start building a social media presence.

Starting a blog reminded me of having my first baby.

There are so many articles, people, books, blog post (blog posts hadn’t been invented when I had my children – or internet come to think of it, but that’s beside the point) out there telling you what you should and shouldn’t do that it can become overwhelming. They say, ‘Leave the baby to cry. No, pick the baby up, don’t leave him to cry’.

So many well-meaning people, but so many conflicting ideas. It’s the same with blogging. It’s a balance, between doing your research so that you are prepared and also listening to your own heart and making sure you are doing what you feel passionate about.

You are a unique individual. Trust your instincts, believe in yourself and go for it.

Don’t wait for that ‘One day’.

Blog URL        https://lifejourney4two.com

Twitter           https://twitter.com/lifejourney4two

Facebook       https://www.facebook.com/lifejourney4two/

Instagram     https://www.instagram.com/lifejourney4two

Pinterest       https://www.pinterest.ch/lifejourney4two

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The Resilient Woman Series

Courage Tenacity Persistence

Posted first by Al Bell November 25, 2018

Welcome back! I hope you find this site enlightening and refreshing as the title implies. If you are here, you’re in for a treat.

I would like to introduce you to the Resilient Woman series. The guests have been absolutely fabulous. To catch up on why the series was even started, click this.

This weeks guest can be described in a word…courageous! Although battling introvert tendencies and daring to speak openly concerning culture, this never stopped her from the goal of sharing and informing the World. Meet Anna, my friend.

TWH- Hi Anna! Hope all is well. Can you share a bit about yourself and your mission?

Hello, I’m Anna!  I’m from the Midwest, married, and a mom to 2 amazing children with the biggest hearts in the world. I’m also a true introvert, but learning to break that shell little by little, hence the very recent re-brand of the blog to what it is now. I share my journey of building this through my blog. 

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I write about Autism parenting, the good and the bad. I am Hmong, which is an ethnic group of SE Asia and I write about culture, the good and the bad. My blogs are personal views and may hit “touchy” subjects that the (Hmong) community doesn’t talk about. Each category or topic coincides with each other. Yes, in the beginning, I used an undercover name to protect the people I care about so I never had a profile attached to it. 

I just want to end this with a huge “Thank You” to Al for even considering me to do this, I’m truly grateful. It was totally unexpected! 

TWH– No problem whatsoever! Really appreciative of you willing to share your experience.

So Anna…

TWH-What is your definition of a strong woman?

A woman who can hold her ground, one who practices what she preaches, and comes back stronger every time she has reached failure. This woman is self-aware and has high emotional intelligence. She breaks the status-quo. 

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TWH-A Resilient Woman possesses these qualities. Explain. 

There so many, but here’s the top three on my list.

Self-Awareness – having high emotional intelligence; knowing what she needs, what she doesn’t, and when it’s time to ask for help

Respect – showing kindness, she knows her worth and the worth of others

Consistency – her words and action follows through

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

Not just a situation, but a whole movement. The Women’s Rights Movement from 1848 – 1920. It didn’t include just women in action, but men too, however, the common cause for this movement is extremely powerful to me. It took almost a century of protesting to get this ratified. Women being able to vote has only existed for 98 years. It seems like a big number, but it really hasn’t been that long.20180728_180923

TWH-What barriers if any may a Resilient Woman encounter?

The number one barrier every woman will face is herself. I still struggle with this daily. How do you talk to yourself when you’re under pressure? How do you feel in your own skin? Your mentality, being in the present and embracing what is in front of you matters on how you carry yourself to break patterns.

If you look at the way you encourage a friend through their hardships, that’s “exactly” how you should be encouraging yourself to reach your potential. Culture; the way you were raised, what you’re accustomed to, and your beliefs, are all factors to the barrier. Sometimes to get to the next level, you must experience things you’re uncomfortable with.

TWH-Is society recognizing the Resilient Women today and if so how?

Yes, in some areas they are, however, I still feel in certain areas that we have a long way to go especially amongst the Corporate world or any Leadership position. They want to embrace diversity, they advocate equality, yet they’re still reluctant to give Women that opportunity to lead. 

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

Everyone has a story to tell, but one that touches me the most are the women and girls who have been and are still going through a genocide of their people. 

It makes me think of my Mom during the Vietnam War. She had to flee from the only home she’s ever known with 2 children in her arms. That’s a whole story itself, but women who live through the horror, surviving war zone, and the strength to do whatever it takes to keep their Life.

TWH-Do you feel there are limits to being a strong woman?
Yes, absolutely there are limits. This goes together with having self-awareness. A woman should learn to be aware of her limits and not be afraid to fail or ask for help. It’s not about the number of times you fail, but how you accept the failure and get yourself to try again. 

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

I’d start off by listening. Everyone has a story to tell. What she’s going through at that moment, the journey on how she got here, and what keeps her moving forward.

I’d hope to bring value to her, find common ground, and offer words of encouragement to never stop fighting towards her passion. 

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My superpower is helping people in any way I possibly can. Always be yourself.

Well said, Anna. Thanks again for participating in this series. Your thoughts are certainly enlightening and your courage to speak out and inform can definitely be seen.

There you go, my friend. Words of encouragement spoken by another sincere example of courage, tenacity, and perseverance.

Anna is on a mission of which she shares on social media. You can connect with her through these platforms below.

Twitter – Anna MV @anunusualpath

Instagram – www.Instagram.com/anunusualpath

Pinterest- https://www.pinterest.com/AnUnusualPath/

Blog/website – https://anunusualpath.com

Pics: Courtesy of Anna

Gratitude-Giving Thanks

So, it is good during this time of year to take into account a few tips that remind us that life happens to us all and not be discouraged but be thankful. 

posted first by Al Bell November 21, 2018

Well, we made it to that time of year where we are just around the corner from Christmas.

Yes, it’s Thanksgiving time 2018! It is a time to stop and recognize where you are in respect to health and wellness and all that life on earth encompasses.

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This might involve family, friends, your health, your current means of sustenance, or any relationship. Whatever the case, this is a good time to put things in perspective and just give thanks.

Sure, this time can also bring about those hurtful and tragic memories. In these cases, one must find it within themselves to latch onto that which brings comfort and solace.

So, it is good during this time of year to take into account a few tips that remind us that life happens to us all and not be discouraged but be thankful.

Remember:

  • Although things may be tough for now, remember there is always someone else dealing with a tougher circumstance.

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  • One’s thinking/thought will determine outcomes. One’s thinking can be likened to a rudder on a ship that guides it.
  • Lifes circumstances are designed for one to gain some type of experience. Learn it and move on just as one successfully endures schooling.
  • Tough situations are temporal not to last forever. If it were not, there would be no success stories from successful people we know.
  • One has not experienced a challenge alone. At some point, someone else encountered the same challenge.

Definitely not a complete list, so if there are any helps I missed please feel free to leave in the comments.

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Have you connected with me on IG or Twitter? If not, I’d love to connect with you. On both platforms, you will have access to daily inspirational quotes designed to give you that mental charge to get you through.

Credits: Pixabay Images

 

 

 

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 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

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

 

 

The Resilient Woman Series

Courage Tenacity Perseverance

Hi! So glad you stopped by. If you’re here then you are in for a treat!

The Resilient Woman series has been a joy and encouragement. Each interviewee has been fabulous. Their authentic interviews are uplifting and motivating, instilling in the reader a variety of emotions from empathy to self-awareness to empowerment. If you have not read as yet, I encourage you to do so.

This weeks guest is Alanna Paige! She is a determined mother who promotes the vegan lifestyle. Although tough at times persuading the young ones to this lifestyle she continues on, being an example. She enjoys cooking and finds it therapeutic. I personally see this when I visit her Instagram page. One thought…mouth-watering.

Being an introvert, She also loves meeting and chilling with others who’ve adopted the vegan lifestyle.

So Paige, thanks again for being apart of the Resilient Woman series. My first question…

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TWH-What is your definition of a Resilient Woman?

A strong woman is someone who can take care of herself despite how others feel. She’s able to put herself first because she knows she isn’t good to anyone if she isn’t taking care of herself.  She has to be kind and patient. She has grace and knows when to walk away from a situation. 

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

Myself! I was going through a rough divorce and my ex-was just so cruel. I was a stay at home mother so it was very hard for me to wrap my head around being the sole provider for my son. I snapped out of it and went to school to become a nurse assistant. I worked during the day while my son was at school, I took classes online and just did what I had to do. IMG_9891

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

I think one of the main things women deal with is stereotypes.  Assuming that we can or can’t do something because we are women.  I used to hate when people would assume I can’t accomplish something because I had children.  No! Its possible to have kids and still be successful.  Its hard, but it is very possible.  Another issue I have is when people assume you aren’t being a good mother because you also have a career. I’m not going to even begin to comment on that.

TWH-Is society recognizing the Resilient Women today and if so how?

In my opinion, not enough.  I feel at the end of the day we still have to fight for too many things.  We aren’t respected enough.

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

Phylicia Rashad is amazing in every single way!

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

No. There is never a limit and because of that, we are strong women.

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

I would have them focus on themselves. It’s so important to make sure that you’re being taken care of. We all fall victim to putting others before ourselves. We can’t do that anymore. We put our children before ourselves, our spouses before ourselves, It is never-ending.  I would help them grow and become the best version of themselves. Once they are able to do that; they will be invincible.

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Well said, Paige! I understand about having to deal with stereotypes and being pre-evaluated based on a situation. Wonderful testament! Thank you again for sharing your thoughts!

There you go, folks! Here we have another example of courage, tenacity, and perseverance in the face of life’s challenges. my hope is that you have been encouraged to press on.

Paige is active on social media outlets. You can find her on…

Twitter- @paigethevegan

Instagram-www.Instagram.com/paigethevegan/

Pinterest-www.Pinterest.com/paigethevegan/

Blog/website- www.paigethevegan.com 

The Resilient Woman Series

Courage Tenacity Perseverence

 

Hello friends! How are you? Guess what? The year is three-quarters of the way thru and we are fastly approaching the end. Time certainly flies when you’re having fun! Well, I hope things are moving in the direction you desire.

Welcome back to the site and I hope you are prepared to be uplifted. If you are already, that’s great! Be prepared to be encouraged even more.

Continuing on with the series “The Resilient Woman” this weeks guest is as I describe a “Get It Done” example. Her name by definition means “friend”. If you follow her in the social media arena you see quite quickly that she has plenty of ideas, is quite personal and engages everyone. If you want an example of setting goals and pursuing them then one only needs to connect with Ruth.

Welcome, Ruth! Glad you could be apart of the series. Could you tell us a bit about why you started blogging?

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Hi, I’m Ruth and I originally started my blog as a place to write about my journey with mental health after being diagnosed with anxiety and depression. It has since blossomed into a place where I try and help others and make them feel good, as well as sharing some blogging tips along the way. So, my tagline has become “your personal cheerleader, on a one-woman mission to make your life brighter and your blog better” and I love what my blog represents now.

That is awesome! You and your blog certainly stand out as being an exciting place.

With regards to the Resilient Woman series…

TWH- What is your definition of a (strong) Resilient Woman?

A strong woman to me is someone who keeps on trying, even when she’s failed before, or feels like everything is against her. Sometimes, a strong woman is the woman who gets out of bed, even though she’s exhausted and her limbs feel heavy. Other times, she’s the one who walks along the street, full of confidence with her head held high. A strong woman has so many different meanings, each worth as much as the other.

TWH- A Resilient Woman possesses these qualities. Explain.

  1. Determination – you must have some degree of determination to keep going!
  2. Hope – I think resilience comes from a place of hope; of believing things will get better.
  3. Courage – Nobody likes failure so to put yourself out there and risk facing that, again and again, takes a whole lot of bravery in my opinion!

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

The first one I have to mention is single mothers. I think these are a magnificent example of the lengths some women will go to provide for their children and ensure they know they are loved. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to raise a family by yourself and I have the utmost respect for women who are in this situation.

The other one I’m going to choose is female entrepreneurs. Although some progress has been made, I think it’s still difficult for women to become successful business women and I love it when a new one emerges! I know there must have been so many times when it felt as though they weren’t getting anywhere and they probably felt like giving up so I can’t help but feel delighted when they achieve their goals.

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

The thing about a resilient woman is they encounter plenty of barriers, they just don’t necessarily get stuck behind them. So, maybe there is self-doubt in there, or other people telling them they can’t do it, but they keep pushing forward.

TWH- Is society recognizing the Resilient Women today and if so how?

I’d say yes! There is definitely some way to go with it, but I feel like strong women in society are much more celebrated now. One of my favorite examples is Michelle Obama. I feel as though she didn’t hang back in the shadows of Barack Obama and his glory, but stood beside him, and people loved her for that.

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

I have two, and I’m proud to say they are the women in my family. The first is my mum who, no matter what life has brought her way, has managed to keep a smile on her face and the sun in her heart. She always manages to find the bright side. Life has knocked her down, but never out. I have admired her for this throughout my life and will continue to do so for as long as I live.

The second is my older sister. She is independent and fierce. I have always been the one who was quick to get into relationships and find comfort in that, whereas she is happy to do her own things. Both have worked for us in their own ways, but I really look up to her and feel incredibly proud of her.

TWH- Do you feel there are limits to being a Resilient Woman?

Everybody has their limits, and I don’t think strong women are an exception to that, but I feel they may hide them better. I believe a certain amount of pressure comes from it. You feel like you have to live up to it and set an example, so you are constantly pushing yourself. Every now and then, it’s good to slow down, take a day in your pajamas and eat some ice cream.

TWH- If you could help guide someone to being a Resilient Woman how would you help them?

I’d tell them to believe in themselves. This is a skill I am still learning with the help of a counselor, but I am seeing there is such a power to it. I’d like to put it to you in reverse: consider how much energy you use in making yourself feel bad, and filling yourself with doubt. Think of how completely hopeless it makes you feel. Now, imagine using the same power to celebrate yourself, and all that you are. Incredible things would be possible. It all starts with one sentence: “I am worth more than this.”

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WOW! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and participating in the Resilient Woman series. Your words are definitely encouraging.

So, there you have it, friends. If you want a friend for life, Ruth is your connection. If you have not already, Ruth would love to have apart of her crew and be that personal cheerleader.

Connect with her below through these social media platforms.

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ruthinrevolt
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ruthinrevolt

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ruthinrevolt
Blog/website: https://www.ruthinrevolt.com