Sierra's View: February 2015

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Five Things I've Learned About Beauty.

I, like many women throughout this world, critique myself. A lot. I am considered my own "worst enemy" when it comes to, well, everything. I find that I am hard on myself when it comes to most aspects of my life: teaching, friendship, marriage, my body, my faith, and even blogging.  I am consistently asking myself, "Am I doing this well enough? Am I good enough?" I have talked a lot about body image on this blog. I have been through my own battle when it comes to weight. Dealing with the ups and down of depression, PCOS, and change have all affected it. Yet, throughout all of this, I have tried hard not to lose who I am. I think that so many people, specifically women, define their beauty by what they look like. After all, why wouldn't they? We live in a world that bombards us with the idea that beauty is all physical.

And, I partially agree with this.

Before you jump out of your seat and scream at me for being shallow and self absorbed and a diva and physically high maintenance, let me explain myself.

I think it is important to take care of yourself. Does this mean that I think you should kill yourself to be skinny and fit, with big boobs, and the perfect body? Does this mean that I think that that is ONLY thing that defines a person? Absolutely not. Does this mean that I think that you should take care of yourself so that you are happy and healthy and at peace? Absolutely!

Because of everything that I have experienced in my life, through all of the emotional, mental and physical turmoil, I have learned how important it is to learn how to take care of oneself--and that there are certain things that sometimes, we, as women, should do to make ourselves feel beautiful.

Two days ago, I had a mental and emotional breakdown. I was stressed, exhausted, and just plain drained. I decided to take a day and make sure to do all of the following things. I know when I am starting to spiral downward. I saw the signs and I knew I needed to slow down and take care of my head and heart.

So, without further ado, here are--
Five Things I've Learned About Beauty:

1. It is Imperative to Get Some Sleep!
I have talked about how I am involved this "Be Better" Movement to help my students in Kenya. This past week, the challenge is something that I not only LOVE, but I think is so incredibly important to our physical bodies and beauty: It is to get to bed early and get some sleep! There have been numerous amounts of research that have proven that our minds and bodies need at least 7-8 hours of sleep as adults. I just read an article the other day that says that women need 8-9 hours of sleep (interesting!). T Money always jokes that I am a different person when I get sleep! I am so much happier, positive, and energetic. One of my favorite things to do is cuddle up with my puppy and my husband, read our scriptures together and fall asleep early.  It's the best thing in the world! I feel beautiful when I have more energy and sleep gives me more energy. Therefore: sleep=energy=beauty!

Cuddles with Saylor Boo. Love that head tilt when I say her name.

2. It's Okay to Pamper Yourself.
I don't think that there is anything wrong with pampering yourself. Yesterday, I had my very first experience with an Air Brush Tan from my friend, Brittany. She works for the Mormon Bachelorette doing makeup and tanning. I was a little weary to do it because I am very fair skinned. I was worried that it wouldn't look natural, but it honestly looks so good. Brittany and I have known each other since we were pre-teens, but we got REALLY close because I forgot bottoms, but it honestly was hilarious and not bad at all. Brittany is really good at what she does and if any of you in the local Utah area are interested in getting a fantastic deal on spray tans, let me know and I can send you her way (or you can contact her on her instagram @britt_willison. Make sure to tell her that I sent you!!!
I also love to get a pedicure every once in awhile and do a little bit of shopping. I think that these things are important when it comes to beauty. It's important that every woman feels like a princess sometimes.

3. Walking Your Dog Soothes the Soul. 
Okay, I love my puppy, Saylor. (I think we all knew that). But, I swear, walking my dog, or just walking and getting out and moving seriously changes my energy level. There is something so therapeutic and energizing by just getting out and moving. I feel beautiful when I am walking and when I am outside. I feel in tune with the outside world and that gives my soul and body a sense of peace. Nature never judges me or my body.

4.  It's Okay to Feel Fat Sometimes.
Our bodies are not perfect. Some of us have internal problems, some of us have external problems. Each of us struggle with something physically. Feeling fat or not perfect is normal. Don't think that you are "less than" because you feel this way. Just remember the positive aspects of yourself and what you can do to fix those things that may need to be healthier.

5. Confidence In Yourself When You are Working Out will Go a Long Ways.
I am sitting here on my couch after a very long week and day. I am exhausted. I don't want to get up and go to the gym, but I'm going to. I already put my workout clothes on and I am ready to go. I REALLY don't want to go,  but I am reminding myself of this post. I try my hardest to not compare myself to others at the gym or to get down on myself. I am beautiful and I know that, no matter if I'm not as skinny or as buff as the other woman there. Beauty is confidence.

I have learned that beauty, essentially, is taking care of your body and having confidence in who you are inside and out. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What to Tell Yourself When You Don't Want to Exercise

Do you struggle with getting motivated to exercise? I can definitely relate. The motivation to exercise doesn't always come naturally to me despite the fact that I really enjoy it. That's why today I am teaming up with Sierra from Sierra's View to bring you six things to tell yourself when you don't want to exercise.

Sierra's tips: 

1. This Will Help My Emotional and Mental Health.
Anxiety, depression, and stress is exceptionally common these days. It seems as though everyone I know is dealing with many emotional and mental health problems (including myself!). And if they don't, they are stressed out of their minds. I love that exercise helps me physically, but I love what it does for my brain even more. I love my perspective afterwards--my mind seems to be more clear, calm and happy. 

2. I Will Feel Better About Myself. 
Each of us is beautiful in our own way…no matter what size you are. However, I have never felt worse about myself once I have exercised. I always seems to feel more beautiful after I exercise. 

3. I Will Have More Energy. 
More than anything in the world, exercise makes me have energy. I know that when I am exhausted, exercising is the LAST thing that I want to do. However, I find that afterwards, or even the next day, I have the energy to socialize and move and work harder at my job.

Cassie's tips:

1. I Will Feel Empowered. 
Nothing empowers me more then reaching my goals. I feel strong, confident, and brave when I take the time to invest in my health through exercise.  

2. I Will Be Motivated to Make Other Healthy Decisions.
I don't know about you, but when I exercise I am far more compelled to make other healthy decisions throughout the day. Exercise has this way of jump starting my day.

3. Starting Tomorrow Won't Get Me Closer to Where I Want to Be Today. 
Sometimes I have to remind myself to stop making excuses. I frequently have to tell myself that starting today is better then starting tomorrow, especially if I really want to take my health and fitness seriously. You cannot expect to make gains today (or feel better about yourself, have more energy, and be empowered) if you wait to until tomorrow to start. Plus, tomorrow will be easier if you start today.

What might you add to this list?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Real Girl Talk with Sierra's View & Helene In Between// Giveaway!

Questions you wanted to ask but never had the nerve to…on life, blogging, and other things. 

You ready for this?! Here we go… 

Sierra's Answers/ Helene's Questions:

1. Your Weirdest Habit. 
My weirdest habit is this: when I go to bed at night, I have to have my arm on my husband. I have to like place my arm on his back--it's some sort of comfort thing. It's so weird…and it drives my husband nuts!!! 

2. When You Knew You Wanted to Marry Your Husband. 
We met when I was 19 almost 20 years old. I was young, and our relationship did not start off super serious. I was not planning on marrying my husband. We dated for a very long time before we got married. But, I knew I was going to marry T Money (that's what I call him) the night before he left for Mexico. I didn't want to say goodbye and I kept hugging him. It was the first time I told him I loved him. I knew at that moment that I could see myself with him forever. 

3. The first thing you'd do if you won the lottery? 
Easy. Travel the world. Go to Croatia, Greece, Thailand and SO many other places. I am so obsessed with vacations and traveling and other cultures. This would be the first thing I would do. Hands down. 

4. The best thing about blogging? 
Friends!!! I have made so many kind, funny, and creative women through blogging. I am grateful for their examples and friendships. My parents think it's really weird that I could make friends over the internet, but you know when you read someone's blog and you feel like you really connect with them? I love that. I love connecting with people who write and think like me! I have loved all of the friends I have met through blogging. 

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? 
I wish I wasn't so sensitive and emotional. Yes, being emotional and sensitive is a gift in some ways, because I understand where people are coming from. With that being said, sometimes I just wish I didn't have to feel things so deeply and be so emotional! Ugh! Haha.

Helene's Answers/ Sierra's Questions:

1. We always talk about the wonderful aspects of blogging (because there are a lot), but I have to know, what is the hardest aspect about blogging? 
The pressure. I feel pressure to be a certain way sometimes on my blog. And the same goes with Instagram. I feel pressure for everything to look right. Not perfect, but come off the right way. I wish I could get over it. 

2. What is the weakest reason for why you didn't like a guy? ( For example: You didn't like him because his nose hairs were too long). 
If someone isn't going to dance, I'm out. Dancing is the best expression of joy, so if you can't express joy, how can I be with you? Answer: I can't. No seriously, this is non negotioable. I remember one time, I was at at a party in high school, and I saw a cute guy. There was a great song on and people were dancing. He looked at them and said: they look like idiots. And I knew we weren't meant to be.

3. What is your favorite characteristic about yourself? (personality or physically? Or both!) 
As cliche as this may sound, I really don't like answering this. But I'll go with my free spirit. I will try new things, go new places, and try to be myself as much as I can along the way. I think that's a fairly good quality.

4. Do you like children? Do you want children? How many? What would you name them? 
Yes. No - I have what I like to call, a baby cold. I'm just not sure if it's in the cards for me. But I do love the name Henry and Ella.

5. If you had your own country, what would be some of the rules? 
There would be a ball once a month where my favorite DJ would come and everyone would have to dress up and dance. I think everyone would be a lot nicer because of it.

We are also giving away 40 dollars to Target! Enter in the rafflecopter below!

Sunday, February 1, 2015


I recently stated in a post this past week that my goal for this year is to be happy. When it comes to happiness, I have found that there are certain activities and things that make me feel and be better, in general. I want to share with you five ways that I have found that make me feel, do, and be better recently.

1. Participate in the 52 Weekly Be Better Movement Challenge. 

Here's how it works: Every week, I receive 52 weekly Be Better Challenges. Each wellness challenge will aim to improve my physical and mental health. Each week a dollar will be donated to Kenya Keys for every completed challenge. An example of a challenge would be to make healthy smoothies, say hi to random strangers, etc. If you complete it and post it, money is sent to a student's education in Kenya. Now, many of you know that I lived and taught in Kenya, so it has a special place in my heart. Both of these programs are seriously so awesome! I love that is challenging me to be a better person while helping those amazing students in Africa. If you want more info on this, please let me know! 

2. Be Kinder. 
I'm sort a sarcastic, emotional person. Shocking, I know. But something that I've been working on is being kinder to the people around me. Instead of looking at the negatives regarding a situation or a person, I really am trying to see the positive and just being a nicer person. This is a little thing, but it's amazing how much I can already see a difference in how I interact with people. 
3. Meditate more. 
I have to admit, I'm not stalwartly at saying my prayers. This is something that I have a hard time doing consistently. I pray a lot, but not consistently, if this makes sense. I have found that when I pray, and when I pray out loud, I can feel myself calming down and more at peace, especially in stressful, emotional times. No matter what religion you are, or if you don't have a religion, praying and meditating to a higher power will get you through so much, you can't even imagine. 
4. Get Moving. 
Go for a 30 minute walk with your puppy, go to the gym, go to that yoga or cycling class, go on a hike…whatever it is, I ALWAYS feel better after I get moving. And it doesn't have to be big. I have found that just stepping outside (when it's nice weather, that is) instantly makes my head clearer and my thoughts happier. 
5. Compliment Yourself. 
Why are we so hard on ourselves? As human beings, I have found, that we are our worst critics. We are constantly looking at the negative aspects of ourselves, whether physically, emotionally, or mentally. This needs to stop. Be nice to yourself! For every mean thing you say to yourself or about yourself, say five things that you like about yourself. 
What would you add to this list?
What do you do to "be better?"
Have a BETTER week :)