Everyday Inspirations

 
 

~ a better you ~


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Guest Blogger: Elaine Pace
Having traveled to more than 35 countries, Elaine finds the textures, tastes, and traditions of different cultures inspiring whether she is at home or abroad.  Elaine lives part-time in Mexico, working with a toxin-free, organic, accredited healing retreat, and part-time in the Wasatch Mountain foothills where a giraffe watches over the Pace family garden. Learn more about Elaine and Sanoviv Medical Institute at www.sanoviv.com, www.twitter.com/sanoviv, www.twitter.com/elainepace, and www.facebook.com/sanoviv .

Reduce Stress
Your face is the first place someone’s eyes rest when they meet you.  It is the mirror of your internal experiences--housing your smile, tears, and the words you use to communicate with others.

Your face is also a primary resting place for stress.  To keep your smile genuine and your brow unfurrowed, try this easy exercise. 

Rest all four of your fingertips on your cheekbones, feeling the beautiful structure of your face.  Press in--hard. S-L-O-W-L-Y drag your fingers toward your scalp, up over your ears, and come to rest at the spot in your upper neck where your spine meets your skull.Keep up the pressure, and bring your hands down the side of your neck, over your shoulders, and brush that stress off your pecs and into the universe.  You do not need to carry it around with you. 

Try this movement three times, inhaling deeply as you move your hands, exhaling completely as you brush off the tension.  Inhale peace.  Exhale stress.  And when you’re done, close your eyes, tilt your head up, and envision that light at the end of the tunnel.  It IS there, and you will reach it. 
 

~ home ~


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I love decorating my home with unique pieces of art that reflect who I am. This picture of a statue at sunset in Puerta Vallarta makes me happy. Its colors transport me back to that beautiful Mexican city and all the adventures I had there. Best of all? That photo was taken by one of my best friends--fellow Everyday Inspirations blogger, Angie Fairbanks.

One of my top decorating tips is to incorporate pieces made by people you love. Trust me, they mean much more because they carry so many memories and feelings.
 

~ fashion ~


If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
{angie}
I shot a wedding this last weekend and I loved the bridesmaids gifts--these big, sparkly flower rings the bride found at Bebe. I have a weakness for statement-making jewelry like this. These looked great dressed up for the wedding, but will also look fabulous dressed down with jeans and a t-shirt. I found this similar one at Bebe and I am in love. I'm definitely feeling like I need some big bling like this for EI's upcoming Vegas trip. Stay tuned.  
 

~ how to ~


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Happy days are here to stay: your best friends will put the smile back on your face.
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Anger: it's part of being human. Though we'd like each day to go by smooth and conflict-free, we know that reality is going to throw some bumps our way. The important thing about anger is learning to control it. Here are a few simple tips to let out the steam:

  • Count to 10. The old standby still does the trick. Simply counting to 10 (in your head or out loud) can help alleviate frustration by making you concentrate on something else.
  • Leave the room. Physically removing yourself from a stressful environment can do wonders when you're upset. It can also help stop you from saying or doing something you know you'll regret.
  • Call a friend. Hey, that's what your best pal is there for. Grab the phone, write an email, or send a text to someone you can trust. This isn't a time for gossip--that will probably only make you feel worse, even if it actually does feel good at the time. A third party can help you sort out your frustration and validate your feelings.
  • Distract yourself. Sometimes things we can't control anger us. While worrying is an automatic response, it only makes you feel more helpless. Talk yourself out of the anger with a "Stop!" command in your head. Then think of something that makes you happy--an upcoming vacation, your dog, a family outing. It's amazing how remembering the good can make the bad seem irrelevant.
 
Knight Family Honey Butter
{angie}
Today I went to the Downtown Farmer's Market in Salt Lake City. I love attending for the culture, cute puppies, live music, fresh fruits and veggies from local farms, and the beautiful handmade arts and crafts. For me it is so important to support locals and the community in which I live, so the Farmer's Market is perfect. One of my favorite locals to support is Knight Family Honey. Their honey butter is to die for creamy and delicious made from AA grade butter and honey from hives in different areas of Utah. It's one of those indulgent foods that is worth every bite. I am eating it right now on fresh cinnamon raisin bread I also bought at the market. This is one of those times I am going to be rude as I will make you jealous and I just rub it in your face because wow this is incredible. It seriously melts in your mouth. Lucky for you, you don't have to miss out. If you are a local, visit their booth on the northwest side of the market, and if not, visit the products page of their website and order it direct. I promise it will inspire you too.
 

~ our world ~


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The smell of salty air. Sand between your toes. Pine trees dotting the hills behind you. The Oregon coast offers its own unique kind of beach charm. Sure, you'll hear about fog and cold wind that can sneak up on you, but I personally found July to be the perfect month to enjoy sun, gorgeous waves, and kites as far as the eye can see.

When we weren't playing at the beach, we amused ourselves at local hangouts, including an incredible antiques mall, breweries, seafood restaurants, and (my cousin's favorite) the nearby Pig 'N Pancake.

Huh. Notice how three out of four locations I listed were food joints. Coincidence? I think not.

If you ever find yourself along this scenic coast, make sure to stop in towns such as Newport (home of Rogue), Depoe Bay, Lincoln City, and Pacific City. I know you'll fall in love.
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~ food ~


Leftover BBQ Chicken Salad
{angie}
It happens almost every time we grill--we have bigger eyes than tummies and we have too much delicious food. Such a tragedy right? Put your leftovers to good use with this salad. Feel free to substitute based on what you made for dinner. This is from our leftovers of barbecue chicken, grilled corn on the cob and garlic bread. This recipe is easy, fast and perfect for when you want some variety from the night before.

Leftover BBQ Salad

Ingredients
Salad
Add based on leftovers, taste and serving size
Lettuce
Barbecue chicken
Corn, cut off the cob
Green onions, sliced
Tomatoes, sliced
Monterey jack cheese, grated
Garlic bread, cubed

Dressing
1 part barbecue sauce (love Sweet Baby Rays)
1 part ranch dressing
1 tbl. Worcestershire sauce

Directions
Add lettuce followed by the remaining salad ingredients and toss in large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk dressing ingredients until blended and serve.
 

~ a better you ~


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A very small sampling of some of my extended family members, with whom I spent a week on the Oregon coast.
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Ah, vacation! That blessed time where you get to leave behind the same old routine, job, house, food.

I love that vacations also offer a chance to improve relationships. I know couples who take vacations to spice things up, best friends who travel as a yearly tradition, and families that get away to improve their bond. Vacations are an almost magical way to discover new aspects of yourself (and to allow others to discover you as well). You're more likely to relax and open up--and so will your travel mates. I love learning new things about the people I love when we're away from home. It reminds me of how much I adore them and how lucky I am to have them in my life.

Best of all, you don't need to go far away to strengthen your bond. Taking a day trip to a nearby place will also make a difference. How do you and your loved ones get away from it all?
 

~ home ~


Breakfast in bed
{angie}
My husband just had his birthday so to celebrate I surprised him with breakfast in bed. Sunday morning at home feels extra special when food is delivered to you while your head is on a pillow. Plus it was a great excuse to use our "You Are Special Today" plate and the cute seashell tray I served it on. It was as easy as frying up some eggs and bacon, washing some fresh fruit and picking a flower from the yard. I was going to make breakfast anyway, but such a simple gesture keeps your love alive and makes home that special place your want it to be. 
 

~ fashion ~


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While browsing the adorable boutiques in downtown Portland, I came across this happy little flower clip. The best part? It was cheap! (Aren't you so sick of finding accessories that are grossly overpriced, especially when you know you could make the same thing yourself?)

The flower was obviously made to be a hair piece (a nice break from those temple-squeezing headbands) but I love that it can also be clipped onto a top or a necklace. The best things in life are so simple!