Starting Fresh in September

Last week I wrote about how September is my favorite month and holds so much meaning for me. This month signifies a new start, the beginning of a new birth year for me, and reflection over the last year. September is about starting fresh.

Today I’m going to encourage you in some ways that you can also have a fresh start this month. What do you love most about this month??

Personal Health

Start a new workout plan. Be better at healthy meal planning and prepping. Go to bed earlier. Drink more water.

Relationships with Family and Friends

Put the phone down more. Be intentional about spending time with others. Have people over and look for ways to gather others. Send more texts or messages to friends and family to let them know you’re thinking of them. Look for ways to serve those you love.

Work Life

Get to work early. Focus on work tasks and really give it your all. Facilitate a positive work culture and environment. Clean and organize your work space.

Spiritual Health

Make a point to spend time with God each day. Spend your commute in prayer and as you go about the day. Be open for opportunities to share the love and compassion of Christ. Begin a new Bible study plan.

Home

Bring out the fall candles and decorations. Make a point to keep the house clean and cozy. Put away your summer clothes and bring out all the fall wear. Declutter. Finish a project you’ve already started.

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Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins |GF, Paleo, DF

 

This past weekend I posted on my Instagram that cooking has become my favorite thing to do in my new house. I find cooking to be a great stress reliever, it’s relaxing, and it inspires me to create new things. I’ve been trying to eat as clean as possible in the last few months and have found a couple of easy and healthy recipes that I make all the time. In particular, I have been making these Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins and they only consist of 4 ingredients! If that’s not easy then I don’t know what is. These recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and Paleo friendly. 

All you need for these muffins are:

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 1 cup of blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat a muffin pan with coconut oil.

 

46d8d9e9-21ee-4e69-8db4-4d792621477dBegin by peeling the 4 bananas and hand-mashing them or whisking them in an electric mixer. I love my Kitchenaid so much and get so excited when I get to use it. Break down the bananas until the consistency is smooth.

9e01c47a-ba09-444b-8daf-69ae3c6a780cNext, add the eggs and almond flour to the bananas and blend together again until the mixture is smooth. I have been making my own almond flour lately and will probably write a blog post about that soon!

 

Pour batter into the muffin pan. I like to pour my blended mixture into a Pyrex measuring cup so that the batter goes into the muffin pan evenly.

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Next, add the blueberries on top of the batter. I found that it’s easier to add the blueberries in at the end, so that they don’t sink down to the bottom if blended with the batter, and the distribution is more even.

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Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes and then let cool. Enjoy!!

 

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Preparing to Come Home from Traveling

I get so excited when it’s time to travel and I build it up so much for myself that it can be really hard returning to reality. Haven’t we all be there though? As much as I love my travel routines and things that I do to prepare for a trip–I also have a routine for coming home. A day or two before I come home, there are some questions that I begin to ask myself to help prepare for “post trip letdown/depression” and getting back into my normal routine. There are also a few things that I like to do when re-packing and then as soon as I get home.

QUESTIONS I ASK MYSELF BEFORE RETURNING HOME

  1. What have I learned from this trip? I think it’s important to always be evaluating yourself for things that you can learn or that you have learned. I think that trips can also be more meaningful for you personally if you have this mind-set.
  2. What am I dreading the most about going home? Face your fears and stressors head on! Yes–there will be responsibilities waiting for you, yes–there will be laundry, yes– there will be work to return to, and yes to so many other things that you will have to resume. However, I think it’s important to work through these feelings and concerns so that you can prepare strategies for dealing with these issues.
  3. When can I next look forward to time off? Something I have learned about myself, over the years, is that my work and focus tend to be better when I know that I’m working towards something or some time off. I think that it’s healthy to regularly plan time off so that you don’t become overly attached to work and forget to take care of yourself. I have tried to plan time off every few months, or as the opportunity arises, and it’s a great motivator for helping me return to everyday life and stay motivated with my responsibilities.

THINGS I DO BEFORE AND WHEN I GET HOME

  1. Put dirty laundry in a drawstring bag or separate tote bag. I think that this routine helps so much when unpacking because all of my dirty clothes are in one place and I can easily start laundry when I get home.
  2. Put away suitcase as soon as possible. About a week before a trip, I’ll pull out my suitcase so that I have something to look at that lets me know time off is coming. However, I like to put my suitcase away soon after I get home so that I don’t keep looking at it and wishing I was still on vacation. I really like to do this routine, even if this means that I literally dump out my suitcase into a pile and put it away–it helps me so much.

I hope these tips have been helpful for you! Do you have any routines for coming home from traveling?

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February Bless Box

February’s Bless Box was all about self-care, self-love, and all things rosy feeling. I love that the boxes each month revolve around a specific theme and that there is usually always something new to try out in each box. If you want to see what came in the February Bless Box, keep on reading! I hope you are able to treat yourself with some self-care tonight!

Ella + Mila 7-Free Nail Polish in the shade Berry Much In Love |      Retail $12.00


I like that this brand’s formula does not have the majority of harmful chemicals that most other brands do. I am finding out more and more that a great form of self-care is to keep your body as clean as possible when is comes to the things you put in and on your body. This shade is so pretty for the spring!

Maybelline Python Metalic Lip Kit | Retail $9.99


This lip kit is definitely something different from what I normally use but I think it looks fun! The kit comes with a cream lipstick shade (on the left) and then a metallic powder that you finish the look with (on the right). This would be really fun to use if you have a special night out!

True Citrus Raspberry Lemonade | Retail $9.99

HUM Nutrition Green Superfood Powder | Retail $5.00


I have tried both of these before and they are so good! I like taking the lemonade packets with me on the go and I think they are a lot healthier for you than other drink mixes. The  superfood powder is really good in smoothies and I’m excited to try this new flavor!

NuFACE Prep-N-Glow Cloths | Retail $2.00

Pur-Lisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Eye Adore Serum | Retail $33.00


Both of these skincare items look like they would be great for traveling! The facial cloth can fit right into my purse or travel bag and will help to eliminate having to carry around some other products. I love getting eye cream samples too because they are usually just enough for one trip and they are so compact. I’m looking forward to trying these out!

Clarins Instant Light Comfort Lip Oil in Candy | Retail $10.40

Maybelline City Mini Eyeshadow Palette | Retail $9.99


This lip oil is so nice! I’ve been testing it out for the last few days and it has really helped to hydrate my chapped lips and also give a subtle hint of color. Clarins is such a luxurious brand and it’s fun to be able to try this product. These eyeshadow palettes are also so creamy, blendable, and compact. Bless Box sent all of the newest shades in a previous box, which was awesome, so I know that this will be a great gift to someone else.

Pura Vida Bracelet | Retail $5.00

Melinda Maria Amari Mini Necklace | Retail $48.00


I love simple but unique jewelry and I was really excited to receive some new items! Pure Vida bracelets are so affordable, colorful, and come in so many styles. And how cute is this gold necklace?? I know that I’m going to get a lot of use out of this necklace.

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My January & February Favorites

January was just so busy that I didn’t get a chance to post my favorites for that month. Ahh! Instead, I’m going to combine my January favorites with my February favorites and double up on the fun! Yay for you, haha! I really like doing posts like this because they’ve helped me get into the habit of intentionally looking for things to enjoy and be grateful for. Do you have anything in particular that you’ve been enjoying this month?

 

Vital Proteins Collagen Powder


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I have heard a lot of things about collagen protein and how it’s good for your hair, skin, nails. I was so excited when this came in a Bless Box! Collagen protein is also a good alternative for dairy/whey-free protein. I tried mixing this with only water but wasn’t really a fan of how that tasted. However, I did mix this in with smoothies and it was much better. I did see an improvement with hair my hair, skin, and nails felt after using this!

‘Tis The Season Candle from Bath & Body Works


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As you can see, I’ve burned this candle a lot lately! This candle is the perfect scent for transitioning out of the holidays because it smells fresh, spicy, and fruity all at the same time.

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack


I wasn’t planning on seeing this movie because it didn’t really interest me from the trailer and I didn’t want to see it just because everyone else was. However, I did go see it with my mom and youngest sister because they really wanted to see it, and you guys–it’s totally worth all the hype! I have been listening to the soundtrack so much in the last two months and you can listen to it too on Spotify. This cast is so musically talented and the songs are super catchy. I think that this movie could easily be a classic for years to come.

Eye Cream & Hand Cream


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I have been using this eye cream the last two months (I received it in a subscription box but can’t remember which one it was, oops!) and it’s been great for the mornings when my eyes feel dark and puffy. The applicator is a flat metal tip and so it’s already cooling to the skin when you use it. I have also been using my trusty L’Occitane hand cream because it’s been so cold and my hands have been so dry. I really like the citrus scent of this hand cream and also that it’s now made in a gel format and absorbs quicker.

L’Oreal Paris Purify & Unclog Pure-Sugar Scrub


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This face scrub has been fun to use because it’s like scrubbing a kiwi on your face, haha! I needed something gentle to help exfoliate dry skin and this has been a great product. It almost starts to self-heat once you begin using it. I have heard good things, also, about these new L’Oreal face scrubs/masks and I’m impressed with how affordable they are.

Wen Winter Cranberry Mind Replenishing Treatment Mist


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I talked about this treatment mist in a Bless Box post and I’ve still been enjoying it! This mist is so cooling and refreshing on the skin. I have noticed that my skin looks much more hydrated after using this. Plus, the scent is also really nice!

Oversized Oblong Scarf & Loft Click Bracelet


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I love canary yellow. A lot. Aside from my typical black, white, navy, and grey–this is my spirit color. I found this scarf at Target for $5 and knew it was a good investment purchase. This scarf is so soft and I have just enjoyed wearing it. I’m going to Maine in a few weeks and this will definitely be coming with me. Another thing I have been wearing a lot is this marble click bracelet from Loft. I tried to find a similar one to it to link and just wasn’t able to find one, sorry! One of my sisters gifted this to me a few years ago for my birthday and it’s been a great staple piece of jewelry for me because of the gold, grey, and white.

 

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