Admiring Someone Else’s Beauty Without Questioning Your Own

Hello beautiful ladies,

I stumbled upon the photo below last month and it resonated so much with my spirit.

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With advertisements and social media at its height, we are surrounded by so many different kinds of beauty. However, for someone who battles with self-esteem and self-love, the abundance of visuals may be difficult to deal with when it comes to our perception of self.

I’d like to be honest with you all and open my heart to let you know that I am one of them. Throughout the years I’ve lived in this world so far, I’ve witnessed the ever-changing societal definition of beauty: long hair, long legs, supermodel skinny, thick, fat ass, big boobs, perfect nose, bronze skin and soooo much more.

Though most of my life, I was regarded and see myself as beautiful, It would be a lie to say that I didn’t compare myself to society’s current definition one way or another. Remember the time when corsets and waist training came back to pop culture because of the Kardashians? Well, even I thought of getting one. Thankfully, I was able to gather power in me to focus instead in working with and appreciating what I have than what I don’t have.

Back in 2011, after being severely depressed, I made a life-changing decision to take care of myself. I started working out and slowly ate more of the better things for me. I quit soda and eventually said goodbye, completely, to McDonald’s. The more I took conscious action in caring for myself, the more I learned to appreciate the things I used to despise about me: my height, my nose, and even my (mostly) reserved behavior.

Since then, my greatest inspiration has been Zuzka Light. 13565982_10154465153764750_146750796_n.png She portrays her beauty so humbly that it speaks for itself. Even more beautiful is that she uses it to help others (like me) appreciate what they have. I look at her and see how happy she is taking care of what she’s got, and I am motivated to do the same for myself.

I have also come to realize that when we see the beauty in ourselves, we learn to appreciate the beauty in others without envy or comparison but just love.

What do you love about yourself most? And who’s beauty do you find most inspiring? Let’s talk it up in the comments 🙂

Xoxo,

Katrina Jean Carter

 

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Declutter your life by doing nothing

(Photo NOT ours)

Declutter your life by doing nothing

You don’t have to be busy. You don’t have to always be doing something and certainly you don’t have to do or experience everything to “live a full life”. Often times, doing so much hinders us from actually living the life we deeply desire.

In our modern society, “busy” has been glorified. It’s often confused with being productive and gives others the impression that you have a lot going on with your life. Goal driven, it surely is a great skill to have. Anyway, now-a-days, we’re always looking for new ways to improve. Gadgets upgrade in a blink of an eye and self-help makes you a tad interesting. But that’s not always the case, is it?

The majority of us continually  feed our minds:  unending scrolling of images on our phones with fingers running like treadmill on our screen, work hours taking up most of a regular day, and saying “yes” to almost every “adventure” and responsibility only to compromise rest, stillness, and moments of “doing nothing”.

What good is it when time is consumed by “doing nothing”?

It gives you time to pause. Time to rest your body. Time to think better thoughts. It allows you time for the things that truly matter.

When you pause, you become more aware of your surroundings. When you become aware of your surroundings, you gain clarity of the direction your life is going and the opportunity to decide carefully on better actions or maneuvers.

When you rest your body, you develop the ability to listen to its needs. To rejuvenate each cell and actually have energy to enjoy your activities.

When you’re well rested, you are able to think better thoughts which in turn simply transforms you into a better person.

You don’t have to be busy. You don’t have to always be doing something to feel as though you’re progressing in life. Sometimes, the most profound growth happens when we choose to just be still.

-Paje Refuerzo Calimlim

 

Money Saving Tips on Groceries

Hi, everyone. It’s Kat here. My sister and I were pretty blessed to never have to worry about food and shelter until we hit our 20’s. However, one thing that stuck by me through years of growing up was my mom reminding me to “spend my money wisely” whenever I get some. Not once did she tell me to do this or that; she just trusted me to think and act wisely when it comes to spending. I believe I did well throughout my teenage years and a couple of years into my 20’s (I am 24 now). I remember being able to shop every week (or at least every other week) for new clothing and never skimped on buying food. I didn’t have money issues even when I bought my first car and was paying on it monthly including the fees needed to maintain it (gas, insurance, oil change, etc.) But then, adulthood hits. I moved out of my parent’s home and started my own journey.

I’ve heard about the “college student diet” where you just eat a lot of Ramen noodles and thank God I never had to go through it– but, I do remember a period of time where my fridge was filled with dollar store stuff and refined food because it was the only thing I could afford…or so I thought. I was not liking it as I’ve eaten clean before but it was a compromise I was willing to make considering we only had one income coming in the household. Until one day, my hormones were just messed up. I was spotting for almost the whole month and that’s when my husband and I decided to clean up our act and prioritize the importance of feeding your body good food. I worked on a budget and there was a lot of trial and error but now I am happy I’ve got this grocery thing packed down. 🙂

So how can you save money on groceries while still eating good, nutritious food? Here are 7 tips that have been tested and proven by yours truly:

  1. List out the things you NEED (home staples) – Things that you know you use regularly! These things include: toilet paper, home-cleaning supplies, and foods that you know you consume a lot (i.e: rice, fruits, certain veggies, milk, etc.)
  2. Plan out the meals you would like to prepare for the month – this takes some patience and a lot of thinking but it is super worth it! A few days before the month ends, I sit myself down and plan out what I want to cook everyday for the whole month. It’s definitely easier when you follow a meal plan that doesn’t require you cooking different things everyday but since I am a housewife right now, I have a lot of time in my hands and I am taking this opportunity to widen my range of cooking. Not to mention, I LOOOVE feeding my husband good food and a variety of it 😉
  3. Check your local 99 cents store first! – You will be amazed at what you can find at the dollar store! Go with your list and check out each aisle. Personally, I grab some of the staples I have here like toilet paper, hand soap, body soap (I found this natural vegetable soap there–amazing!), tooth paste, beans, and the list go on.
  4. Make use of rewards/discount cards – Now I’m sure not every grocery store has a rewards card but check your store if they do because it is definitely worth it. I shop at Ralph’s and you can get a rewards card for free which saves me a lot of money right away since most of their items have “member” prices (lower than the regular price). You may think at first that saving a few cents won’t matter but once everything is rang through, those cents are added up to dollars! I save AT LEAST 20 dollars every time I do my bi-weekly shopping.
  5. Make use of coupons – This is a gem that I truly love. Crazy how I only started this when the year began; but, since I started doing this, I never looked back! I thought I was already winning by using the rewards card. I won even more by making use of the coupons! Ralphs have digital coupons online that I can easily download to my rewards card and my favorite coupon is the one that takes $5-$10 dollars off your bill (depending on your total amount) . My heart smiles each time I see the savings lol
  6. Watch out and take advantage of the sale – Guys, with the above tips mentioned, I already thought I was really winning. Until I noticed some items are even cheaper on special days aka sale days! I used to spend about $75-$100 on chicken alone each month but once I found out they go on sale–I schedule my grocery day to coordinate with it! This month alone, I spent $45 on chicken for the WHOLE month. And trust me, we eat a LOT of chicken in this household.
  7. Buy in bulk when you can – you won’t just save money when you do this tip. You will also save time! Not to mention, save more on those hefty taxes (hoorah for living in LA).  I don’t know about you, but there’s something that irks me whenever I go to the store on a regular to purchase the same thing over and over again. I think of the effort and the tax I pay on it vs the time and money saved when I buy items I know I use a lot in bulk.

Eating healthy and staying on the budget is possible! 🙂 If you guys have any other ways to save money, please feel free to share! I’d love to add some to my list!

Also, for more fitness related posts, easy home-made recipes and much more, visit my own site: KatrinaJeanCarter.wordpress.com

Thank you!

Note: Featured image is from: http://www.healthy-organics.com.au