Sierra's View: May 2016

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

In Which Nature Heals // Utah Hiking

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CentrumFunFlavors #CollectiveBias

I reposted this post on my social media accounts the other day. I mentioned in my comments on this post about how May can be a difficult time for those who struggle with mental illness. I'm not entirely sure if it's because it's a change of season, there happens to be lots of rain and clouds in this month (seriously! It keeps raining here!) or if it's the fact that it is usually a very busy month with lots of stress with end of the year activities, etc. 

For me, it is imperative that I work out during this time of year. May is very stressful month in the life of a teacher. With end of the year testing, crazy behaviors of students, and end of the year activities, it is a time of constant go-go-go! As many of you know, I have been working out like crazy. I am trying everything in my power to staying healthy by going to the gym, lifting weights and doing cardio. My favorite thing to do for lower impact cardio is to go for hikes. 

Living in Utah means that I can drive up to the mountains in ten minutes and enjoy a beautiful hike with #saylorthepup and friends and family. I have read numerous studies about the positive impacts of hiking. For me, I try everything I can to have a relaxing time on the weekend. Like they say, there is no tired like end-of-year teacher tired (except maybe mom tired ha!).  Some people may not think of hiking as "relaxing", but I assure you, there is something about nature that heals your body physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Some of the most profound experiences that I have ever had have been while hiking and being out in nature. I have also noticed a huge impact on my attitude when I take care of myself. These include taking my vitamins (Raspberry Vitamints are the best!) and other supplements. 

My favorite thing to do to help "unwind" on the weekend is to grab my hiking backpack with all of the essentials and head up into the mountains. Here is a tutorial of what to put in your hiking backpack: 

Cool Mint Vitamints 
Tiger's Milk Protein Bars (Or any other protein bars!) 
Water! Lots and lots of water! 

1. Grab your water!!! (I am recently obsessed with SmartWater. It is a little bit of a problem.) 

 2. Next, add your Raspberry Vitamints! (These are seriously so good and I have noticed a difference for how I feel!). 

3. Combine them! 

4. Grab your tiger's milk protein bars (or other protein bars) and put them in your backpack. 

5. Add your sunglasses, sunscreen, and jacket. Boom! You have your hiking pack! 

 You can find these Centrum Vitamints near the pharmacy section in your local Walmart. 

Here is what I have noticed about nature. It's healing powers are truly incredible. 

-The beauty of the hikes. Right now, everything is so green and luscious (because of all that rain!). The mountains are full of rivers and trees. Simply just being in the mountains with fresh air makes a significant difference. 
-The exercise! Walking and moving and going up hills makes that sweat feel just a little bit better, ya know? 
-Hiking helps with anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. It helps clear the mind. 
-Hiking in nature has been proven to positively affect high blood pressure, muscle strength, sleep quality, weight, and cholesterol. 

Continuing the Utah Hiking series...I have posted this hike before, but this is Horsetail Falls. 

And, as always, it allows for a healthier lifestyle. You can enjoy staying healthy with simple solutions like Centrum Gummies and Vitamints. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

How We Wore It // Summer Skirt

Spring in Utah means sunshine and rain and a whole lot of temperamental weather happenings (Just watch, it will snow at least once more. It always does! Oh, temperamental, Utah!). My wardrobe feels like it is all over the place during Spring. One minute I am still wearing sweaters and the next I am in a sundress. Its okay, it's good to mix things up (I guess!).

For this fashion collaboration this month, we take a photo and put our own "twist" on it. Here is this month's photo from Elevate Everyday

Flowers! Skirts! Heels! It is funny because I am not a super feminine person. I spend 90% of my time in workout clothes. But I love to dress girly sometimes. I love flowers and polka dots and dresses and all things like that. I loved the idea of the skirt with the heels. I took this idea and ran with it. I added a light scarf because it is not QUITE summer yet! 

Did you see in my post on Monday that I have lost five inches and 20 lbs?! Yay!!! 

Go see how these other beautiful ladies styled it! 

Deidre at Deidre Emme

Emily at Emmy Jake
Brooke at Silver Lining
Justine at Little Dove
Kiana at Glitter & Donuts
Tayler at The Morrell Tale
Patricia at haifisch
Kelsi at Lovestrong
Emma at Ever Emma
Shelbie at R+S Brereton
Nellwyn at The Cardinal Press
Ruth at My Little Nest

See my other awesome (ha!) How We Wore It and Fashion Posts below:

Vest It Up (HWWI)

What is your favorite outfit and color to wear in the spring and summer?  

Monday, May 2, 2016

April Flew By!

Comin' in hot today because IT IS MAY. There are only a little less than four weeks of school left. Not that I'm counting or anything. One thing that I love (and kind of hate) about Utah is the change of seasons. The reason why I have this love-hate relationship with the four seasons that occur here is because my mood is very affected by the weather. When it is cold during the middle of winter, I feel it. When it is rainy and cloudy, even though my little Pacific Northwest heart kind loves it, it affects my energy level. With the change of seasons, I find that I have to mentally and emotionally recharge every time a season changes. With that being said, I love that we experience the colors in the fall, the snow in the winter, the rain in the spring and the hot summers. I love the change, even though it is hard for me. Any who, it has been raining a ton here! It makes everything so green and fresh. I love the feeling of Spring--the flowers blooming, the sun starting to come out, and the feeling of Summer around the corner. 

April was such a fun month. I traveled quite a bit, was very busy with working out and the school year is always insanely busy at this time with testing and end of the year shenanigans.

see more photos on Instagram

I have been killing myself at the gym (in a good way!). I should probably be eating better, but I am proud of the hard working that I am putting in. I am down 20 pounds--only 40 more to go! Ha. But even more than that, my waist is down five inches. I can tell the difference in the way my clothes fit. And even more important than all of that, I just FEEL better. I am happier and brighter and I have way more energy. Come join our gym parties! Ha. 

Teaching in May is challenging, for all teachers. The students don't want to be there, and frankly, most of the teachers don't either. It is a time of chaos and this is how I feel in my classroom. I showed this to my students in class and told them, "THIS IS HOW I FEEL. BE NICE." And they all didn't think it was very funny. We got this, fellow teachers. Hold on tight! 

We tried some amazing restaurants (with colorful, color-coordinated books! My OCD heart is happy!). throughout Utah. One of my favorite things to do in Spring and summer is to eat outside. It's the best feeling in the world! 

I have loved seeing so many friends! I love the people who are in my life, old and new friends. That is one thing that I love about where I live--I love all of the friends I have made throughout the past seven years. Girls nights are good for the soul. I am working on being kind and seeing the best in others. I tend to be kind of critical of others and I want to learn to just love others and try to understand where they are coming from. I'm turning over a new leaf, guys! Grateful for good, supportive, loving friends. 

I came across this quote and I just shook my head. Depression and anxiety, as many of you know, is something that I have struggled with since I was a teenager. This is a perfect explanation of it. Believe it or not, April and May are difficult months for those who struggle with Depression. Be sensitive to those around you. 

Spring means Flowers. Yay! 

We went to Bryce Canyon National Park  and Grand Staircase National Monument with my in-laws over Spring Break. It was so beautiful. Don't you love that photo of me smelling my armpits? Just checking to make sure, ya know? Also, my 17 year old brother in law bought these little dinosaurs at the dollar store and kept taking pictures of them throughout the canyon. Hilarious! 

When your brother in law snapchats you (@Sierrasview--come be my friend!) because he is sick of seeing snaps of our dog. Ha. I have become slightly obsessed with Snapchat. I used to think it was stupid. Now I love it. I'm a teenager. Also, I can't stop drinking SmartWater. I really should be sponsored by them (Smartwater, are you listening?) because I have a problem. ugh. 

I have to throw Saylor in there, guys :) Duh. Saylor loves T Money. Tried to have as many date nights with T. I think its safe to say that #saylorthepup loves him (All dogs do!). 

My siblings and I surprised my Dad in Disneyland for his 60th Birthday. It was so fun to spend time just as the Ainge clan. I love these crazy people. 

We read the novel "Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell for April Book Club. Seriously Book Club is so fun. We have a range of 5-10 people each time and it is something that I look forward to every month! Come join us! I read some other books in April! I always love a good day of reading. 

April was such a great month. What did you do?