Encouraging Others

Encouragement.

For some reason in our society we have gotten away from encouraging others.  We judge others and sometimes are harsh to them without even realizing it.

I was listening to a podcast yesterday where she was talking about how people in your life should challenge you on decisions and try to make sure you are making the best decisions possible.  While I do believe you need people in your life to tell it like it is sometimes, I do believe we need encouragement more.

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It took awhile for me to pursue my dreams and leave my steady career that I had grown accustomed to.  I had people in my life supporting me and telling me to chase those dreams, and it still took me awhile to start on that journey.  I wonder what would have happened if I didn’t have anyone in my life who encouraged me to be the person I dreamed of being.  Instead it could have been easier for them to tell me that I wouldn’t make it, and I needed to stay with a steady job that I knew was the safe option.

It was definitely the option that was guaranteed to work since I was already in that position and creating a good life from that job.  Most people would have been happy in the career path that I went into, but there was something missing in it for me.  I just kept feeling like there was something else out there for me.

If I wouldn’t have had my support group in place when I got started on my journey of being an entrepreneur, I probably wouldn’t be in the place I am today.  I definitely did not pick the easy choice, but I picked the choice that makes me feel like I am doing what I was designed to do.  I still feel frustrated, beaten down, and even like I am failing sometimes.  The difference now is that I keep doing it because I love doing what I do.  The positives outweigh the negatives, and I love being able to create the life I have always wanted.

For you it might be something different that you need encouragement on, but every one of us needs it in some way!  Do you remember the last time you encouraged someone?  Do you remember the last time someone encouraged you?  If you don’t have anyone in your life that you feel encourages you to be the person you want to be then find some people that do!  Join communities of people that will be that support system for you.  Your local church, meetup.com, and joining a local gym could all provide opportunities to meet these people.  There are probably some great people who you work with that would be great friends if you just opened yourself up!

People want to be around people that inspire them and believe in them!  We need to start being positive towards those people in our lives that mean the most to us.  If you can’t remember the last time you encouraged a friend or family member, I challenge you to pick up the phone and either call or text some sort of encouragement to someone who you know needs it.

The other day I had a friend who felt bad about her success so far in life and was trying to justify why they were building a home with so much space.  I looked at her and said, “You have worked hard to get where you are in life today.  You don’t have to justify it to me!”

She had other family members around her that weren’t as happy for her and were jealous.  Instead of encouraging her and genuinely being happy for her, they were criticizing her need for space in the home, and making rude comments under their breath.  This is no way to treat people, and it has got to stop!

I am not perfect in encouraging others, but I am trying everyday to be better.

God has given us all a purpose and a plan in our life.  Everyone’s life looks different, but who are we to judge what someone else’s life should look like?  I don’t think if we see someone we love go down a bad path that we shouldn’t speak up and say something, but if we do and the behavior still does not change, then all we can do at that point is pray and encourage them.  People will respond better to love than someone trying to change them.

We are going to start a FREE private encouragement group on Facebook if you truly need some encouragement, but don’t get it from others in your life.  We all need it so we want to be able to provide that for you:)  Email us at livebreatheinspire@gmail.com or message us on our Facebook page to sign up!

Life is hard, but together we can do more:)

Rini~

Taking Care of You

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On an airplane before you even leave the tarmac, you are reminded of a very important concept. In case of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop, and you are instructed to put yours on first, before helping others. This is because if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you possibly take care of anyone else? Hello! This is your friendly stewardess reminding you to take care of yourself before you take care of anyone else.
This may seem incredibly selfish and against your instincts as a mother, friend, or human, but I assure you, it’s necessary. If you’re already taking care of número uno first and foremost, that is great! Maybe you will enjoy some of these ideas.
Like any good intervention, the first step is realization and acceptance. Are things that are less important coming before your health and wellness? Do you consistently put tasks for others before tasks for yourself? If you’re unsure, ask a spouse, parent, or friend. They generally will tell you like it is.
The first step to breaking the cycle is to start doing something for yourself. For me it was taking time for myself everyday and not feeling guilty about it. Ok, so maybe I took the time first and had to work on the whole guilty thing, but now I am so thankful I did. For you it may be starting to put your health before your kids wants. Or possibly taking fifteen minutes at the end of the day for a bubble bath. Whatever it is, make sure you remain consistent.
What can you do for yourself today that will make you a healthier, more well rounded individual?

How are you doing? #changelivestoday challenge!

live breathe inspire

Hi!

I wanted to check in to see how we were doing with the summer challenge!  I know it has made a difference my life greatly!  To see the impact it is creating is a wonderful feeling!

For those of you who are new to this summer challenge here is a recap:

It is so easy to stay in our bubble and not worry about other people’s situations, and it is sometimes easy to look down on them. I think we need to change our perspective a little bit by encouraging one another. What better day to start this challenge than on a Monday!

The challenge is every Monday to encourage someone who you think needs it. It can be a co-worker, friend, family member, kid, or even a stranger you meet in the street. Our world is hurting, and we need to take the time to make it a better place.

It will also help us to look outside of ourselves and focus on other peoples’ needs. I love the idea of “Monday Motivation” which is what inspired me to start this challenge. The encouragement could be a note, thoughtful words, a present, a listening ear, or even just a hug. If you become in tune with people, then you will start to think of ways that could brighten their day. If for some reason you cannot think of any way to encourage them on your own, then there is a world wide web that has ideas on almost everything!

We want you to share YOUR stories!  What has been happening in your life?

If you are new to this, then what are you planning to do for people the rest of the summer?  What a great way to #giveback!

~Rini and Jess

 

Ways to Stay Inspired!

Nothing is more exciting than starting a new adventure!  The thrill of something new is always so much fun, but then after a while, things start to fade.  This is why so many people fail at succeeding in the things in life that they really want.  One of my tricks to help me stay on track is staying inspired!

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There are so many ways to keep you inspired, but you have to actively be seeking it.  I not only surround myself with an inspiring area, but I also surround myself with inspirational people.  I will give you a few suggestions, but there is no limit to the amount of things we can do to stay inspired on a daily basis.

Stay Inspired By:

1.  Setting up a beautiful work area.  Whether you work at home or in an office, make sure that you create a space that inspires you.  You are likely to not only accomplish more but be more creative in an amazing space.  Make sure you keep things organized as well.  Check out Jess’s workspace, and my own!

2.  Keep inspirational quotes and bible verses around you.  These will help you stay on track, and remind you to seek God’s will first.  This can look different depending on how much space you have.  You can either get picture quotes/bible verses to put on your wall, graphic design quotes that you keep on your computer, or frame some quotes in picture frames to put around you.  I love having mine on my desktop, and I refer to them often!

3.  Keep the right company.  This might seem obvious, but you have to make sure you hang out around people that inspire you and lift you up.  You will not only be more productive and creative, but you will have more confidence with people supporting you and trying to help you.  Anything in life is possible!  Pick friends that will lift you up and challenge you to be a better person.  When you surround yourself with people who are inspiring they can raise you up to their level!

I hope these will not only help keep you inspired, but also help you achieve your dreams in life.  If anyone ever tells you that you cannot do something, know that they are completely wrong!  You can do whatever you set your mind to.  It might not work on the first try, and you have to work hard at it.  It will come though if you continue pursuing it and learning from your mistakes.

Please take at least one thing from this post and incorporate it into your life.  If you are doing all these things, but are still struggling with your creativity, then try changing your scenery.  Go for a beautiful walk/hike or plan a trip to the beach.  Getting outside of your comfort zone every once in a while, and changing scenery will help keep your creativity juices flowing!

What other things inspire you?

Rini~

 

Don’t Cook Everyday: Save Time, Money, and Eat Healthy

How I Don't Cook copy Isn’t this what we all want?  To not have to cook every single night, save money, and yet have these amazing meals to choose from?  I have a lot of people ask me how I have so much good food and don’t cook everyday.   The answer is simple.  I plan out several meal types in advance, buy in bulk, cook in bulk, and freeze.  In effort to save money and time do not conform to the traditional cook every night or every other night scheme. Instead, I find multiple recipes I can cook that use the same or similar ingredients and freeze individual portions.  This allows me to buy the ingredients in bulk (Thank you Costco!!) and save the difference.  I get fresh foods around two to three times a month (since I tend to eat more like a rabbit then a human at times) and we keep several healthy “junk foods” around in case we get a craving or simply can’t stand being healthy for one more second!  This process has allowed us to eat what we want, when we want, and still save money.

Save Money: I shop for 99% of all my groceries at Costco.  I like Sam’s Club as well, but it is much farther from my home.  Costco’s prices are always extremely reasonable.  For example; according to the USDA the average price per pound of red onions is $1.79.  At my local grocery store it is much more.  However, at Costco I can get an 8 lb bag of red onions for 7.99.  That’s just under one dollar per pound.  I have heard many critics questioning why someone would spend 8 dollars on 8 pounds of onions when they only need one for their recipe.  The answer is simple.  Buy everything else needed for your recipes in bulk and make enough of everything to use all the ingredients.  This allows you to take the savings on those onions, multiply that by all your other bulk purchases, then multiply it over the years.  The savings is substantial.  I don’t coupon, I don’t cook everyday, and I eat healthy.

Save Time:  I am a huge fan of not going to the grocery store every week.  I don’t have a lot of time and I am not going to waste it walking up and down isles each and every week.  I also don’t coupon.  I would rather spend my time making money than trying to save it.  My logic is that you can only save so much, but your earning potential is completely up to you.   Before I go to Costco, I write a list of what I need (because I will forget) and I only stray from that list if I see something super good.  So your going to the store less, buying fresh foods and produce every two weeks or so, what are you going to do with that extra time?  Not cook!  That’s right, I spent two days cooking back in October and my hubby is still eating the food in the freezer.  I try to choose delicious meals that are healthy, but he will also want to eat.  I mainly eat a lot of salads and rice dishes which take almost no time thanks to my rice cooker, so Tim is the main one eating these meals.  I partake occasionally as a break from my norm.  This idea would also be great if you have teenagers in the house who like quick meals and tend to eat on the unhealthy side because of it.

In October I made:

-Over 75 individual 6″ pizzas.  Types included cheese, pepperoni, veggie pesto, bbq chicken with fresh salsa, taco, broccoli alfredo,  and southwest.

-One pot roast with vegetables for my carnivorous hubby.

-Three lasagnas.

-Alfredo sauce for pasta.

– Over fifty quesadillas.  Types included veggie, chicken, rice and vegetable, and southwest ranch.

– 20 hamburger patties.

– A full pot of chicken chili.

-BBQ pulled chicken.

With some of the recipes I add all the ingredients then just let them cook, however, that is not the case with the pizzas and quesadillas.  With these, as I am done cooking them I wrap them up in individual sheets of tinfoil and put them into a plastic bin to put in our freezer.  I get the tin foil sheets from Costco, 500 come in a pack and I think it only costs 13 dollars.  I put anything liquid into glass pyrex containers.  You can get them from Walmart or Amazon who has a 18 piece set with great reviews where the lids snap into place.  You can find it here: New Snaplock Lid: Tempered Glasslock Storage Containers 18pc set~Microwave & Oven Safe.  I would choose something glass.  The more research they do, the more the scientific community is realizing plastic isn’t healthy when used for food storage.  Plus, when you use glass, you can take off the lid and pop it in the oven to cook, super simple.  Just set the timer and you don’t have to stand over the stove.  That is also why the tinfoil is handy.  We unwrap one side and create a small pocket then toss them in the oven.  No more cleaning pots, pans, or baking dishes.  Just the plate or bowl you use to actually eat.  It is also nice when you have people over unexpectedly.  Very simple and easy to cook something on the spot, just go to your freezer.

I use a permanent marker to write on the tin foil packs and washi tape to add the labels to the glassware.  Masking tape works well too. Make sure you date the containers.  I try to use up all of one type of food before I make more.  This may not be ideal for everyone so food rotation to ensure freshness is important.  We have a 22 cubic foot stand up freezer.  I like the standup because it utilizes more horizontal space and I can see where everything is in it.  I used a label maker, nice paper, tape, and small clips to make labels for where everything goes.  I can add another post about that later if anyone is interested :).  We purchased our freezer from Craig’s list for 200 dollars.  It has a few dents, but other than that it has saved us hundreds of dollars, not to mention the time.

What all this means is that every night for dinner, I can have a salad while my husband gets a home cooked meal that I didn’t have to cook.  It’s a beautiful thing really, saves me a lot of time and effort.  Not only by not cooking, but by not having to wash tons of dishes as well.

Eat Healthy:  I know the list I made earlier doesn’t seem healthy.  But I have altered many of the recipes to be healthier versions than what people typically think of.   For my husband the whole wheat homemade pizza’s are much healthier than anything store-bought or ordered in.  I add lots of vegetables to many of the recipes including the quesadillas and pizzas to make then better and tastier. Also, homemade foods contain a lot less preservatives and the chemical craziness that we see in the frozen food section!

This is just a quick overview of my food routine.  We cook in the oven because it is healthier than microwaves and we work hard so it’s nice not to have to worry about dinner each night.  You could also package up dinners for families based on the number of people you have. I would love to hear any tips or tricks you have to offer!

-Jessica

USDA National Average for Prices in 2014:  http://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/fvwretail.pdf

OMGosh Pasta Topper!

Pasta Topper

Oh My Goodness Pasta Topper!

Thank you beautiful Kate for opening up my eyes to the this wonderful combination of foods!

Time: 30 Min (Start to finish)

Ingredients: 1 Pepper, 1 Red Onion, 3 Cups of Cherry Tomatoes, 1 Clove of Fresh Garlic, Italian Spices, Salt & Pepper. Yummy!

To Do: Thinly cut the vegetables and place them in the pan.  Half the tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil.  Around 1/4 of a cup or less should do just fine.  Then add salt and pepper and italian seasonings.  I recommend the McCormick Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder.  Amaaaazing spices! You can click the link to get it dirt cheap from amazon.  It really makes the recipe go from whatever to wow!  Then finely chop the garlic clove and sprinkle it on top.  The key in this step is to not get any big chunks.  Cook at 400 degrees for around 20 min.

Before

 

After

Finally, you pour this pan all over pasta.  I love veggies! So I actually added this to two bowls of whole wheat pasta and it was perfect for me.  Enjoy!

Finished Product Finished Product 2

 

-Jessica