Saturday, May 15, 2021

DIY: A Happy Place Equals a Happy Face!

Lately we have been using our homes on a more frequent basis. The pandemic has made all of us indirectly assess our living space. With increased use of the home over the past year, what is in your living space is more important than ever. Your surroundings can place you in a positive mood with the use of the right textures, lights, and colors. Is your living space warm, inviting, and/or functional for what needs to be achieved daily? Whatever your living space preference is, small changes may boost your mood.

Mood boosting is not a new concept. When it comes to your living space there are so many directions you can take, you may get lost in the process. Do you add plants, or do you use aromas? Do you add more decor, or use a new color scheme? There is not a right on wrong answer. Everyone has different items, colors, and scents which work for them. Although there is a baseline correlation with certain colors and scents, you surely will find what works for you. Patience is key.

As you can read, mood boosting within the home is not just achieved by esthetic changes. For this blog, we will focus on dรฉcor changes to make the living space happier and increase a positive mood. Let us get into our mood boosting mode! There are many areas of the house you can change to assist with a mood uplift. We are going to focus on a bedroom. For most people, the bedroom is the most intimate and comfortable space. In my opinion, the bedroom is one of the most versatile spaces you have and can be changed in a plethora of ways to your liking. If your mood changes, change it up๐Ÿ˜‰! For me, this is usually done seasonally. 



Well, let us discuss some of the room decor! We are going for a warm, comfortable, and cozy feeling. As we look at the picture, we can see a few things which were done to help us achieve our mood goal. Textures and earth tones were added to achieve a warm welcoming feeling. Texture was added with use of different pillow covers, pillows, and curtains. Earth tones are naturally warm in nature, so several different browns were used throughout the room. A hint a blue was splashed throughout the decor. Shades of blue are known to bring serenity and calmness. For me, this is one of the most comfortable and functional rooms in the house.

The pictures above are just an example on how to use decor to make your home a happy place and eventually bring a smile to your face. Let us discuss 5 options you can use to help achieve positivity in hour home. They are as follows:

  1. Decorate with Items which Bring You Happiness- We all are guilty of this one. How often do you go to the furniture store, buy an item, and get it home and you do not like it in your space? It is trendy, but it is not you. Try buying a few pieces you absolutely love when you see them. Work your dรฉcor around them.
  2. Stimulate Your Senses- Stimulating senses can increase a positive mood. This can be achieved through smell, sight, and feel. The stimulation need may differ for everyone. For me, I love texture which stimulates the sense of touch. In the pictures above, you can you see multiple textures used.
  3. Layer Lighting- Sandiego writes, “lighting has the power to transform a cold soulless space into a cozy and atmospheric room” (April 3rd, 2020). Multiple streams of lighting are recommended. Natural window light, overhead light, and a corner light. Do not be afraid to mix it up. Depending on your mood and your need may change what lighting source is used. We do this instinctively without thinking. When you wake up in the morning a bright overhead light is used to wake up my body to say, get moving. When needing to relax after a long day work a softer light is used.
  4. Pick a Color Scheme and Stick With It- Many would beg the differ, but there are multiple ways to pick a color scheme. A color scheme can be made around an object you love, or a special paint you found. You need a foundation to start from and stick with the color. You can always splash with another color to shake up a room.
  5. Let Go of Perfection- Do away with trying to have the perfect layout and love your home. You do not have to adopt a decorative trend if it does not work for your home happiness. Ask yourself a few questions. Does this look accomplish what I am trying to achieve? Is the room functional for me? Does this dรฉcor bring me happiness when I look at it? If your answer is yes, then you have achieved your happiness at home. If your answer is no or is not concrete maybe you need to reconsider your happy space.

There are many more things you can do to bring happiness to your home. But here are a few areas to get you started. Remember, your happy place may be different from the next person. A transformation does not have to happen overnight. Start slow and eventually you will have a place you love. As you can see in the picture, there was a change in the reading nook and a wooden desk was put in its place. However, you choose to shake it up, you are sure to turn your home into a happy place.

The 5 options to help you achieve positivity in your home are just a reference point and is not all-inclusive. How do you achieve a happy place? Please subscribe via e-mail on the right and leave a comment in the comment section below. As always, thanks for reading and subscribing๐Ÿ˜Š! *

 

APA References:

Sandiego, J. (April 3rd, 2020). Well-Being at Home: 10 Science-Backed Ways to Make You Happier at Home. Boreal Abode. Retrieved on 2021, May 12th from https://borealabode.com//happier-home


Saturday, May 8, 2021

LIFE: Is Happiness Really A Choice? -Mental Health Awareness

We are going to discuss mental health which is a sensitive topic to many. Since May is mental health awareness month, it is a great time for us to learn more on the topic. There are many subjects under the mental health umbrella that can be spoken about. The topic I want to speak about is happiness. There has always been a division on weather happiness is a true choice. Happiness may be a choice when there is no underlying disorder involved, but even then, it is sometimes difficult to stay on the sunny side. But what do you do when your usual vises for coping and staying in the sunshine do not work? Just being devil’s advocate here! If happiness is easy to obtain, why don’t more people attempt to acquire it? Add a mental health condition to the mix, happiness appears unobtainable.

To better understand if happiness is really a choice, we need to look at the definition of the two key words: Happiness and mental health condition. Merriam-Webster writes, a mental health condition (also known as a mental disorder) is marked primarily by sufficient disorganization of personality, mind, and emotions to seriously impair the normal psychological and often social functioning of the individual. Happiness has many variations to the definition because the state of happiness is personal to everyone. What that means is what makes you happy may not result in happiness for the next individual. The definition of happiness we will use is the positive balance of emotions. Remember, the positive balance of emotions can be imbalanced by a mental health condition.

www.thevermillion.com


Not being aware of mental health conditions may make us use our words ineffectively. Although these phrases are innocently used, they can be offensive to someone with a mental health condition. When individuals use these phrases, they believe they are giving individuals a confidence boost. The opposite is occurring with the phases listed below and may cause the individual to become more withdrawn and ashamed. Here are a few of the common phrases:

  1. Just snap out of it!
  2. Why are you so sad all the time?
  3. Try a little harder.
  4. You do not look sad or depressed.
  5. Just shake it off.
  6. "It's all in your head" Schimelpfening, N.
  7. "It's your fault" Schimelpfening, N.
  8.  "You're imagining things" Schimelpfening, N.

Surely, we all heard many of the phrases mentioned and can come up with many more. The negative impact these phrases have on a person with a mental condition can be detrimental and may make them reluctant to come forth for assistance. Honestly, these phrases have a negative connotation in general. We forget words are immensely powerful. The result we want to achieve, is for people who need mental health assistance (or anyone needing assistance) to feel free to reach out. Remember, the fear of being ostracized, looked at differently, or weak should not even be a forethought.

In one of my previous blog post, www.lovelifebutterflies.com.on Monday, October 19, 2020, I wrote about Life: Counseling and Support Groups in Minority Cultures. A discussion was made about the two different types of support systems and why they are beneficial. I would like to state, you do not need a mental health illness to seek support. Early assistance in any life stressors or change can be therapeutic and may assist with a positive balance of emotions. But for this blog I want to provide some free national resources for mental health condition assistance. A few resources are:

  1.  National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). www.nami.org. 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). www.samhsa.org. 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  3. Mental Health America. www.mhanational.org. 1-800-985-5990

Now that we have some resources, how do we go about making a conscious change and opening the door of communication? The only way this can be achieved is to continue to educate oneself about mental health and share your knowledge. Find out what resources are available for mental health in your area and provide when needed. Not everyone is comfortable with mental health conditions but being understanding and having patience is a start. Everyone must start somewhere๐Ÿ˜‰.

*As always, thanks for reading! You may subscribe via e-mail on the right, and share comments in the comment section below. I know mental health is a sensitive topic. You may share your comments anonymously๐Ÿ˜‰. We can start change together! Thanks in advance!*


APA References:

Schimelpfening, N (2020, August 7th). The Worst Things to Say to Someone Who Is Depressed. VeryWellMind. Retrieved on 2021, May 7th from https://www.verywellmind.com/worst-things-to-say-to-someone-who-is-depressed-1066982.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d). Mental Disorder. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved on 2021, May 8th from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mental%20disorder.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Life: Not Your Low Carb Dish๐Ÿ˜Š- Baked Honey Glazed Barbecue Chicken!

Everyone loves chicken in some form or fashion. Whether you like chicken baked, fried, or broiled, it is sure to show up on the dinner plate at least once a week. In our house we make some form of chicken at least twice a week. So, I like to shake up the chicken recipes every once and a while.

Although, I love to cook and try new foods, I like cooking meals which take no more than an hour to complete. For this blog, we are going to focus on preparing the chicken in this picture. Baked Honey Glazed Barbecue Chicken. I may mention a biscuit of 2๐Ÿ˜Š. I would like to state this is my personal spin on a Baked Honey BBQ Chicken recipe I found ( https://www.bigoven.com/recipe/oven-baked-honey-bbq-chicken/201984). Let us dive into the Baked Honey Glazed Barbecue Chicken recipe.


We are going to gather the items needed for this recipe. The items needed are:

  • 1 long baking pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 cooking baster
  • 1 cooking brush
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1 small jar of real honey
  • 1 bottle of smoked barbeque sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • ½ cup of minced garlic-optional

I would like to say, the first step should occur the night before, or the morning you plan on making the chicken dish. Take the chicken out of package and wash thoroughly. Then poke holes in the chicken using a fork. For this recipe, we are using chicken legs.  Next add a ½ a jar of real honey, a ½ bottle of smoked barbeque sauce and 1 tablespoon of black pepper in the large mixing bowl. Also, you may add the 1/2 cup of minced garlic at this time if you choose. Mix contents thoroughly.  You may need to heat the honey for 30 seconds to make it soft enough to seep into the chicken holes. Then, cover the bowl with the chicken content with clear wrap and place in the refrigerator. This will allow the seasoning and spices to soak into the chicken.

Second: It is the evening time and is now time to bake the chicken. Remove chicken with prepared mixture in bowl from refrigerator. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven is heating, use a ½ cup of olive oil to grease bottom of long baking pan. I found in doing this, the barbeque sauce and honey does not stick. Strategically place each piece of chicken in the long baking pan.

Third: This part is extremely important! Pour remaining mixture from bowl over chicken. This will allow chicken to cook in the mixture it marinated in. The chicken will remain moist while cooking. Place aluminum foil over top of pan and place in oven. The foil allows the mixture to cook throughout the chicken. Make sure the oven is on 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 1 hour.

Next: After 30 minutes, take the chicken out of the stove and baste with liquid from bottom of pan. Then brush on a layer of the smoked barbeque sauce using the remaining ½ bottle. Re-cover long baking pan with aluminum foil and place chicken back in oven.

Then: At about the 50-minute mark, remove pan from oven and brush chicken with a layer of honey from the remaining half bottle. You may need to preheat honey for 30 seconds to allow ease of brushing on substance. At this point, remove aluminum foil and allow the chicken to cook uncovered for 10 minutes. The chicken will crisp a little but still be moist.

Finally: Remove honey glazed barbecue chicken from oven. Allow chicken to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with sides of your choice. Serving size will depend on type of chicken used, and is per chicken package instructions.

Optional: So, as you can see the final picture is not a low carb picture. Dish can easily be transformed into a low carb dish. This can be done by removing the honey, using a low sugar barbeque sauce, and changing the dinner sides in the picture. Indirectly, this changes the chicken recipe, but it is an alternative๐Ÿ˜Š. Recipes are a baseline and a guide, so have fun with it! Bon appetite!

 

*What is your favorite chicken dish? How do you cook your chicken? Remember the Honey Glazed Barbeque Chicken recipe can be modified to your liking and diet needs. It takes about 15 minutes to prep and 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook from prep to completion. Please share, subscribe via e-mail on the right. Leave a comment in the comment section below. As always, thank you for reading and subscribing!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

BUTTERFLIES: Self-Care- Why the Negative Stigma?

There is nothing new about the concept of self-care. We all know it is needed in order for us to be productive. So why is there a negative stigma to the self-care concept? In many cultures, too much self-care is seen as lazy, or is something that needs to be earned. Self-care is often seen with the perception of needing to be offset by hard work and exhaustion. Why do we need to earn the right to conduct self-love, or self-care? I am challenging you to change your thought process on the self-care concept.

Let’s talk about the definition of self-care. There are many interpretations of this word. My perception of the self-care definition is: Self-care is seen as a preventative measure to help keep the mind, body and spirit in harmony to prevent illness, fatigue, and injury. Oxford Dictionary tells us that self-care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” As we can see there are a few variations of the definition of self-care, but the underlying concept is the same. For the simplicity of this blog we are going to use my interpretation of self-care. I am a true believer, self-care should be a preventative and ongoing concept and not used only during stressful events.

Growing up I can remember being rewarded for hard work. But indirectly, if I was not too productive or appeared to coast, there was not a reward. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing incorrect about rewarding yourself for hard work, but self-care should be done just because you are you๐Ÿ˜Š! Barton writes, “as much as we want to help other people, if we empty ourselves completely without recharging, we’ll have nothing to give them. Essentially, we need to take care of ourselves in order to properly care for and about the important people in our lives. So take that moment, or day, or as long as you need to recharge and get back on your feet.” Eventually, self-care will be part of your baseline regimen of care. It will become as natural as making sure you eat every day! 

As you get older, you realize self-care/self-love is a true necessity. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to complete self-care on a regular basis. I know for many people self-care is a new concept. So, start off small and set a time line of the frequency of completion. For example: My personal self-care goal changed from once every other month, to once monthly, to biweekly, and now weekly. The process took years to progress to this frequency and not have any underlying guilt (you are worthy!). Also, what you do for self-care can be different every time. Mix it up and make it fun๐Ÿ˜Š! Here are 10 examples of quick inexpensive self-care task you can complete to get you started. They are as follows:

  1. Take a walk- Free
  2. Play with your pet- Free
  3. Complete a home facial- May have items at home/free to low cost
  4. Paint your nails- Free to low cost
  5. Complete a task on your bucket list- May be a little more costly depending on bucket list 
  6. Get a massage- Low to moderate cost/ if you want free, have your significant other complete it for you๐Ÿ˜Š!
  7. Complete a DIY project- Low to moderate cost depending DIY list
  8. Do an in home wine tasting- Low to moderate
  9. Gardening- Free to low cost 
  10. Watch a movie/ TV series/Read a book- Free to low cost

These 10 self-care examples are just a start! No matter where you choose to start, you will be on your way to well appreciated self-care. Remember baby steps, and you do not have to be stressed out to initiate the process. Self-care should be preventative. You are well on your way in making this process apart of your regular routine. Remember, no one’s perfect, if you fall off just restart the process. Be kind to yourself. Your body will thank you๐Ÿ˜‰!

The self-care task listed above are meant to be a reference point only and are not all-inclusive. How do you complete your self-care and how often? Please subscribe via e-mail on the right, and leave a comment in the comment section below (Now, an anonymous comment option available for your privacy!). As always, thanks for reading and subscribing๐Ÿ˜Š!*

  

APA References:

Barton, L. (2016, March 17). Self-Stigma: The Undeserved Guilt of Self-Care, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, April 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2016/03/how-we-feel-self-stigma-when-practicing-self-care

Oxford Dictionary (2021). Self-care. Retrieved on 2021, April 28 from https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/self-care


Saturday, April 24, 2021

LOVE: Welcome Back to Holy Matrimony:-)!

 

There has been so many things racing through my head since I have last put my fingers to the keyboard. First, I want to give the almighty GOD credit for getting my new hubby and I through the wedding planning process and completing our nuptials. There are so many unforeseen tasks to complete, and we still are not done…. lol. But the crazy thing is this: I would not change the wedding or the planning experience for the world ๐Ÿ˜Š! That means a lot coming from this very type A personality…lol. For the record, I am Type C once all my task is done. I’m working on it.

Going through the wedding planning process in less than a year, all the Covid-19 changes, and completing physical therapy was nothing short of a challenge. Did I mention premarital counseling and few other Covid-19 related variables? But I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. Also, many life situations are tests. Tests are sometimes needed for you to see your strengths, and let you acknowledge other areas you need to work on (But that is for another blog๐Ÿ˜Š)!

For the purpose of this blog, I want to tell my perception of the wedding planning process and setting a date. Although men and women both complete the wedding planning process, I feel the perception and preparation is slightly unique for women. Not to take away from the male aspect, but I feel I can only write from my point of view on this topic. Also, for me being a bride was vastly different from the multiple maids of honor and bridesmaid experience I have completed.

In my blog, www.lovelifebutterflies.com.on October 25th, 2020, I write about LOVE: Setting a Wedding Date and the Planning Process. Looking back, I realize I frequently refer to the 8 tips written with some variations. Although the previous blog was already written, now I feel it is important to show if the tips work and be transparent in what REALLY is beneficial for use. Here is the REALITY of the 8 tips that help me get through setting a wedding date and the wedding process. They are as follows:

Wedding Day!

  1.   Enjoying the Engagement- My spouse and I made the engagement as enjoyable as possible. Dealing with Covid-19 during this time made enjoyment challenging. Both of us work in an industry that required exceptionally long work hours, and this did not include the change in processes occurring in everyday life. To assist with enjoying the engagement, we continued to have date night during the pandemic.
  2. The Research- Although background research was completed on the wedding and the planning process, I feel the best advise came from other individuals who had been through the wedding planning process. For me, this provided more comfort as I completed task. Also, having resource individuals let me know the variations and feelings I was experiencing were normal.
  3. Enjoying the Planning Process- I am trying to stay incredibly positive, but I did not enjoy the planning process at all…lol. For someone that is very concrete, there were many moving parts. Extra parts due to Covid-19. At least that is what was expressed from my resource individuals. Let us just say, too many for my type A personality. But guess what? God put in place people who thrive and relish in this area. Our nuptials were a success. I could not have done this process alone and am forever grateful for everyone who assisted๐Ÿ˜Š!
  4. Allowing Yourself Enough Time to Plan- As mentioned above, the planning time was cut short by many factors. After personally going through this experience, whatever time you think you need double it! Also, your original timeline, attempt to stick with it. In doing this the tweaking at the end will be minimal. To accomplish this area, many reinforcements were called upon.
  5. Choosing Your Wedding Party- So it is no secret that Covid-19 affected everyone in choosing a wedding party. Many original wedding participants lived in other states. A month before the union a few of the northern states became open for travel. Honestly, it was during this time that the whole picture of the wedding really started coming together. Instead of changing the wedding party, more people we loved could be present for our union. Also, individuals were able to contribute in-person on some level who may not been able to attend previously. So, although this was a big variable in our wedding party, it was a positive one๐Ÿ˜Š!Variables in the Planning 
  6. Process- All I can say is flexibility, flexibility, flexibility! So, I want to stress throughout this blog the variables mentioned were a little more than normal. The variables mentioned are from my personal experience with setting a date and the wedding planning process. These variables are not meant to be a deterrent, but a reference point only. Covid-19 caused normal life process to be altered. The wedding process was no exception.
  7. Setting a Date- I feel every area under setting a date, which needed considering was not applicable due to Covid-19 requirements (time of day, location, season, and holiday requirement). Honestly, the way weddings are being completed during Covid-19, you must be realistic on what you are requesting and your expectations. Our wedding was performed a day after my birthday, a weekend before Easter, in the evening, most of our guest came from out of state, and during Georgia’s time of crazy season change. Although this was not the initial plan, this is the date and time which worked for my spouse and me.
  8. Setting a Budget- Oddly, the area of setting a budget worked out but was still affected. I, who normally DIY everything was in physical therapy and working up until 1 week before the wedding. And although most women have a dream wedding in mind, I am NOT one of those women...lol. I knew what feeling I wanted to have, and I wanted to look beautiful. For me, that goal was achieved. So, the budget that was originally set was altered when reinforcements for certain task were outsourced. But it was doable. I just want to stress; I do not condone going into debt over a wedding. I will say this, get one idea and stick with it. Let it be your focal point and do not loose focus on what you are trying to achieve in the planning process. For me, my goal was achieved.

Every bride is unique but remember the ultimate end goal is for you to enjoy your wedding nuptials with your spouse and prepare for a long-lasting life together. Know you will be surrounded by family and friends who will love and cherish your union. Even if your wedding does not go smoothly, and usually it does not, you have now joined with the spouse of your dreams. As crazy as it sounds, I would not change my wedding planning experience and nuptials for the world. What I believe makes the difference is changing your expectations and realizing what is important. If you do this, you will enjoy the wedding experience even more! I know I did๐Ÿ˜Š!

*As always, thanks for reading! If you like this blog and want continuous updates, subscribe via e-mail on the right. Please share your wedding stories! I look forward to reading your wedding comments in the comment section below. Thanks in advance!*