Higher Vibrations

The spiritual masters and yogis out there will probably know exactly what I’m talking about from the title. For other readers, this may seem like a fancy, hippie-ish way to classify a topic that each of us encounters in our daily lives. Now, I am a very logical, factual-thinking type of person, but this concept, that was recently introduced to me in a book, fully resonated with me. It’s not the Denver culture rubbing off on me, but living in a new city for the last six months has helped open my eyes to different ways of thinking and living. This concept may or may not work for you, but I found it as an interesting way to view a topic that can help you take control of your life.

First off is the understanding that the world is made up of energy, and all energy vibrates at a certain frequency. The concept of “thought vibration” is determining whether the way you think is empowering or disempowering. “Essentially, thoughts that vibrate at a higher level are likely to be strong, positive and healthy thoughts, whereas thoughts that vibrate at a low level are liable to be negative, harmful and disempowering.”

The law of attraction then comes into play, meaning “like attracts like,” and that focusing on positive or negative thoughts can bring about positive or negative results. The argument is that what you think about most is what you manifest in your life.

change your thoughts

I’ve had some unfortunate things happen in my life lately, especially over the past month. It’s been a great example of the saying “when it rains, it pours,” and I’ve found it difficult to stay positive or to see happiness in my surroundings. This method is about turning your mindset around and believing, even when things are at their crappiest, that there is a bright shiny flipside within your reach. But, belief must be coupled with action, and this concept would suggest that I have to raise my frequency to match the vibration of the one I want to tune into.

We’ve all been around people who we would describe as giving off “good vibrations” (cue Marky Mark), and feeling drawn to them. In turn, we’ve also experienced the people who “give off bad vibes.” So, this concept isn’t as far from our regular lives as it may initially sound.

Raising your thoughts to a higher level of frequency is not an overnight change. Gradual improvement will lead to the point where higher vibrations become your natural state. Some actions to achieve this include becoming conscious of your thoughts and only letting the positive ones affect you, acknowledging and dismissing the negative. Good energy can also come from hanging out with people who vibrate highly, practicing random acts of kindness (who doesn’t feel better after that?), and being grateful.

While this might already sound like how you try to live your life today, everyone falls off track and into low frequency thought patterns – depression, sadness, anger – at times. This is another example of how much power your mind has over your life, and how you can change it, and therefore, change the world around you.

vibrate higher

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The Go-To Online Workout You Must Check Out

I’ve been on a bit of a personal hiatus lately, after the death of someone dear to me. I may address this subject later when the time seems right, but for now I’m trying to move back into normal life.

I was out of town for several days due to this situation, and missing my regular ass-kickings at the gym. Fitness is a very important part of my life, and I just about go crazy if I haven’t had a workout in a few days. I become convinced that I can feel the extra pounds around my waist and face, and miss the endorphin-inducing sweat that I’m used to.

When I’m on-the-go, I refer to my repertoire of online workouts to keep me moving. I am by no means a gym rat and need variety to keep me motivated, so my online exercise sources are a weekly complement to my classes at the gym. I want to share with you one of my favorite places to go to quickly pull up an exercise routine.

Tone It Up was created by two beautiful young women to inspire women everywhere to get moving and get results. Staring at their rockin’ bods during your workout video is motivation enough! On their website, they feature hundreds of before-and-after photos of amazing results from women using their workouts and healthy eating plans. Perhaps one of the transformations that caught my attention the most was of one of the creators herself. Here it is…and don’t attribute it to photoshop. You can witness her toned bod for yourself in her workout videos.

tone it up before after kat

I’ve tested out countless numbers of online workout videos in my years, and these girls nailed a few of the factors that make me come back for more.

  • Targeted workouts for specific parts of the body: the drop-down menu under “Fitness” allows you to choose from abs, arms, booty, legs, etc.
  • Light-hearted, fun workouts: these 2 ladies bring their cute personalities to the stage, making you want to be their best friend (who you secretly loathe for their body)
  • Recipe ideas
  • SHORT WORKOUTS: people, most of the workout videos are less than 15 minutes, but still get the work done! Combine a couple of videos to focus on different parts of your body, or do a short video in addition to a walk or run
  • Social media: their Instagram account is a fun mix of their daily lives and new, exciting exercise content on the site

Check them out at toneitup.com, and I guarantee you won’t regret it!

fitness

Use Statement Pieces to Add Style to Any Outfit

How many times have you stood in front of your closet, with a complete lack of enthusiasm, exhausted by the daunting thought of styling another outfit? I know I’ve been there plenty of times, groaning out loud “I have NO clothes,” with over 100 pieces staring back at me. Sometimes, all it takes is a little re-purposing and a few key pieces to add life back into your closet.

We’ve all seen a woman wearing simply jeans and a tee but managing to look impossibly chic. While fit is an important factor here, oftentimes, these ladies are using a statement piece to pull together their outfit. Statement pieces typically fall into the outerwear or accessory category and can range widely…a showy necklace, bright or patterned shoes, a luxe bag, a chic scarf, the list goes on.

The point is, that you can use one statement piece to pull together the most basic clothes into a stylish outfit. The statement piece is the cherry on top. Here are a few of my favorite examples.

THE STATEMENT NECKLACE

basics 3 basics 4

THE BLAZER

basics basics 5

THE STATEMENT SHOE

basics 2

basics 6

Notice how each of these outfits consists of basic pieces that every girl should have in her closet. Make sure you have a few expensive-looking statement pieces on hand, and next time you’re having a lazy day, try one of these quick combos, and you may just find a new avenue of opportunity in your wardrobe.

At-Home Solution to Add Volume to Your Lashes

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you know that I’m a huge advocate of cheap, at-home solutions to enhance the beauty features that we all want. LONG, FULL LASHES. Who would not want bigger eyelashes?! If you’ve ever applied fake lashes for a special occasion or when getting your makeup done as a bridesmaid, you know there’s some *magic* there. It’s surprising how much additional, longer lashes can change one’s appearance. In fact, I would argue that eyelashes are the single most impactful feature on a woman’s face. If you could only keep one product from your makeup bag, what would it be? For me, it’s hands-down mascara.

So when I heard about this simple little trick, using a product I had in my bathroom drawer, I had to know.

baby powderBaby powder.

“The science”: after one coat of mascara, the baby powder sticks to your lashes, plumping them up and adding volume. You then cover with one more coat of mascara.

While it really is that easy, there are some pointers to keep in mind, which I’ll cover below.

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Your $8 Ticket to Younger, Healthier Skin

As the song goes, beans have been called the magical fruit (“Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you…”), however, I’m going with grapes as the magical fruit. Grapes are a part of my every day — whether it’s my afternoon snack, my fermented evening drink, or slathering them all over my face before bed.

fermented grapes

No, I’m not actually suggesting that you soak your face in crushed grapes…rather grapeseed oil. Don’t stop reading if you’re an oily-skinned girl like me, because I promise this is not like the “oil” you are thinking. I first got the idea to use grapeseed oil as a moisturizer from the aesthetician who was giving me a facial about a year ago. She claimed it was the only moisturizer she used on her (flawless) face and had amazing benefits. She ranked high on the hippie-scale, incorporating as many natural products as possible into her daily life. I definitely wasn’t sold on the idea at first, but began thinking more about how much it did make sense to use something on my body that came naturally from the earth, rather than from a chemical lab. Plus, a big bottle at the natural products store was $8, so what was there to lose? A year later, I’m a firm believer in the stuff.

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How Would You Rate Yourself? Average or Beautiful?

coco chanel quote

What percentage of women do you think would classify themselves as beautiful? Would you be shocked to hear that it’s only 4%? Reading that statistic was heartbreaking for me. Sure, selfies and social media amplify the issue of self-esteem and opening yourself up to criticism, but perfection standards on women have been around for centuries. A woman is expected to be a perfect wife and mother, to keep a tidy home, all while looking like a polished Barbie doll.

Dove recently released a powerful and inspiring campaign (below), based on challenging women to see themselves as beautiful. Which door would you choose?

http://www.popsugar.com/beauty/Dove-Choose-Beautiful-Campaign-37231246?utm_source=beauty_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=beauty_newsletter_v4_04092015&em_recid=152522316&utm_content=placement_8_desc

A Place of Peace

I would call my memory of childhood a vague one. Unfortunately, most of my vivid memories are tarnished by a family situation, and somehow seemed to consume that allotted space in my brain and push out the happier, less important ones. As a result, I’ve found in my adult years that I have significantly fewer memories of childhood than my friends and family. I figured the most likely situation was just something specific to my brain, whatever that may be, until my younger brother (and only sibling) expressed the same discovery to me only about a year ago. He brought it up to me in casual conversation and said he feels like he “can’t remember anything compared to other people” and attributed it to the dark cloud that unfortunately shadowed many years of our young lives. I was surprised at how much I struggled to recall a childhood memory of a “happy place” or a place that I felt at peace when I sat to write this post. As I thumbed through the files of my mind, a memory popped out at me and I could recall the details so clearly. It was as if I was almost standing there again in that spot. I contemplated for awhile about why this memory had stuck with me, and I still don’t have an answer. Nothing significant happened in that place and time, but something significant must have taken place in my mind.

It was dusk as I stood at the end of the gravel road near my grandfather’s shed. The rest of the family was in the house just 100 feet from me, but I was completely alone in that space. Not lonely, just alone in the quiet. If you’ve ever spent time out in the vast country amongst fields and farms, you know the profound silence and stillness that you can experience. I saw nothing move around me and heard nothing in those few minutes of reflection. I remember staring up at the sky, and realizing it was vaster and wider out there than I had ever seen. The shade of blue immaculate and constant, until reaching the orange and pink clouds gathering over the setting sun in the west. The sun could no longer be seen from my viewpoint, but the radiating dark orange light signaled its departure. The day was closing in a beautiful and graceful manner, and I was just one little morsel standing there. The crisp cool air of the fall brought a sense of lightness to my being. I had no breakthrough revelation, just a deep experience of peace as I felt my existence in those few beautiful moments.

My mind nowadays is so busy and full of emotion, that I can’t imagine being able to experience such a feeling of peace and ease again. All of the clutter disappeared standing there on my grandparents’ drive and I felt complete comfort. No movement, no trouble, no hurry. I was free to just be.

I’m making a commitment to myself to have more moments like these. However I can find that peace, those times are so important to refocusing ourselves and appreciating the gift of life.

Nostalgia: Hair of the 90’s

The 90s were characterized by some awful (or awesome – however you look at it) trends that are humorous to look back on. Between JNCO jeans, bowl cuts, pant chains, and Doc Martens, I seriously question how some of these fashions became popular. I could go on and on about this fond era of my younger years, so I’ll focus my attention to one area…the hair.

Marie Claire posted this article with a compilation of some of the best celeb pics sporting the 90s hair trends. Let’s hope these ones don’t come back around, but in the meantime, I’ll be digging up my butterfly clips just in case.

A Necklace with a Purpose

As a kid, my hands were message boards. Every day I had some kind of reminder drawn onto the back of my hand, whether it was a school reminder, a personal motto that I was striving for, or a drawing that lifted my spirits. I temporarily inked my hands to bring my focus back to some idea throughout the busy day. Once I realized how juvenile this looked in college and how much it clashed with my new bracelet, I broke the habit. For many years now, I’ve kept reminders on post-it notes, a digital list, or as the wallpaper of my cell phone.

While I would not encourage someone to tattoo their grocery list on their bicep, many people use permanent ink as an eternal reminder of their personal mottos, lessons, or beliefs. Although I don’t have a tat myself, I believe in the importance of surrounding yourself with daily reminders of the person you want to be. We have the freedom to express ourselves individually through our fashion, our homes, and our other surroundings. Whether an object speaks to your heart in a deep and personal way or is simply a material item that you enjoy looking at, we paint the world closest to us in our own colors.

This necklace originated as a playful gift from my husband, who knows me all too well, but has a deeper importance to me. While “Like a Boss” is a light-hearted phrase, every time I clasp it around my neck, I’m reminded to be confident in myself and my abilities. I look in the mirror and remember the kind of person that I want to be and prepare myself to conquer my own little corner of the world. Since I’ve often battled with self-esteem and confidence, it’s a fun (and super cute) way to lift my spirits and make me smile.

Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that knock us back on track and re-focus us in the busy, stressful life that surrounds us.

Necklace from Etsy here.

What is Balayage? A Lesson in Highlights

Recently, I’ve been taking on the daunting task of switching over my closet to my spring and summer wardrobe. I’m about halfway through because you never know what the early spring weather is going to bring — today I’m working outside in shorts and flip-flops, and Thursday we are expecting snow! Mother Nature is so moody sometimes…

Beyond my clothes, I think of the change of seasons as a time for a beauty refresh. It’s time to bust out the shimmery eyeshadows and nude lipsticks that had to be separated from my pasty white skin all winter. This year I also decided to freshen up my look even further by changing my hair. I’ve never been a fan of doing anything drastic with my hair and prefer an overall-natural look. Luckily, the newest color trend in salon is balayage.

Balayage = hair painting

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Loving my new color!

Balayage is a hair technique where the highlights are hand-painted on by the stylist, sans foil. The stylist scatters the highlights throughout the hair, often focusing lightness around the face, to create a more natural look than the linear pattern followed in standard foil highlighting. Balayage also follows the ombre-like technique of beginning the highlight a few inches from the root, to again create a soft, sun-kissed look. This also means that there are no glaring dark roots and less upkeep!

Overall, it’s a great option for the beauty girl who wants to brighten up her look, while maintaining her natural “I woke up like this” style.