Saturday, May 20, 2017

5 Snacks for the Transition into Healthy Eating

I'm not a healthy eater. I like my sugar and I like my butter. However, recently I've been exercising a bit more and it's been making me think, maybe I should start eating better? I started exercising more often in order to start leading a healthier lifestyle and I've definitely seen some progress. But the thing is, there's so much more to healthy living than just doing some exercise every now and then. Although I want to start eating better, it's not easy to just transition from normal eating habits into full-on heath mode. Because of that, I've been trying to look for some foods that I can incorporate into my normal diet in order to help myself transition into healthier eating. Here are a few that I've found. 


Granola Bars

By this, I don't just mean the simple, sugary granola bars, I mean trying out the healthier granola bars, the ones with more fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates. Clif Bars are a great transition into healthier granola bars, they're tasty and have a lot of different flavors, including some super unique ones, that will definitely pique your interest. I've also been trying out Luna Bars, I like the Lemon Zest flavor, it smells just like a lemon bar. Trying out these healthier granola bar options is a great choice for trying to move towards the health-food section and beginning to eat more complex carbohydrates and fiber.


Yogurt and Granola/Flax seed

Add some fiber into your diet by eating granola and flax seed with yogurt. The granola adds some nice texture and crunch to the yogurt and honestly I think that it makes it taste better, plus you can reap the benefits of the granola and flax seed while enhancing the taste of the yogurt. Granola can be quite sugary, so instead of eating plain granola, eating it with yogurt cuts back on the amount. I personally don't like the taste of Greek yogurt, but if you want to make this snack even better for you, use some Greek yogurt to get that protein in.

Whole Grain Breads

I usually eat all-white breads with refined grains, but eating complex carbohydrates is much better for you, they provide long-term energy, dietary fiber, anti-oxidants and other health benefits. Since whole grain bread isn't necessarily my cup of tea, I've been working my way towards eating more of these by eating them occasionally, not every day, but still trying to get used to incorporating them into my everyday diet. My favorite whole grain choice is whole grain bagels, that way I can slather on the same amount of cream cheese that I usually add so that it's not too different from my normal diet, making it a lot more comfortable and easy to work my way into more complex grains. Plus, I love bagels.

Smoothies

This is a great way to get a plethora of vitamins from fruit and vegetables. I know that some people that are really interested in healthy living really amp up their smoothies, with kale, protein powder, and whatnot, but I usually go for a simpler smoothie. I always make strawberry banana smoothies, it's a classic combination and it never fails to taste delicious. If you want to add more to your smoothies, you can also add spinach and other greens and it'll still taste the same, you won't even taste the spinach. I've tried it before and although the color is not as appetizing, it still tastes just as delicious, while offering more vitamins.

Cereal with Whole Grain & Low Sugar

I love sugary cereals that we all ate during our childhoods, but they're definitely not the healthiest cereals out there and there a ton of healthier options that will give you a similar cereal taste that you already know and love, but will take you down a healthier path, with whole grains and lower amounts of sugar. Most of these healthier cereals are slightly more expensive, but that's because they're made of better quality ingredients, ingredients that are better for you to eat.

What are some healthy foods you like?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tips to Deal with Greasy Hair

Let's be real, no one likes having greasy hair. Although I know that it's not healthy to wash your hair as often as I do, I don't feel like I can just wash my hair less because it becomes so greasy that sometimes I just can't stand it. However, I've recently been getting better about taking care of my hair so that I can comfortably go without washing my hair for 2-3 days. I'm working on extending that time, but it's a process that takes some time to get used to. In the meantime, while I'm trying to stretch the days go by without washing my hair, I've been trying to still maintain some semblance of clean hair, which brings me to these tips, some things that I've noticed have been helpful to me in dealing with oily hair. 


Apply dry shampoo at night. 

This is probably the most obvious tip for dealing with greasy hair, except the thing is, dry shampoo is not most effective when you apply it on already greasy hair. I've found that it does almost nothing whenever I apply it on my hair that is already greasy. It's best to apply it at night while your hair is still generally clean and has not built up much grease yet. After applying it, while you're asleep, the dry shampoo can not only disperse throughout your hair, getting rid of those white spots, but it also absorbs the grease as it builds up so that when you wake up, your hair is still nice and fresh. 

Use corn starch. 

It's a bit more unconventional, but I think that corn starch is the best way to deal with greasy hair, at least for me. I put some corn starch in a small tupperware in my bathroom and I use it every other day. Corn starch can be substituted for dry shampoo and you can just put it on like any powder dry shampoo. Since it's light colored and I have dark hair, I always apply the corn starch to my roots at night, before my hair has built up much grease. In the morning, when I wake up, my hair is still fresh, almost like first-day hair. If there are still white spots, I simply add a bit of water to my roots to get rid of it. However, I've heard of people using cocoa powder as dry shampoo with darker hair colors, so you can try mixing corn starch and cocoa powder if you please. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

5 Things Inspirational Quotes Don't Tell You

I love inspirational quotes. You might see them hanging around on my Twitter or my Pinterest and that's because I love that they promote positivity and a growth-mindset. It's really hard to stay positive all the time and sometimes you just need reminders. However, there are also times that the inspirational quotes aren't enough for me, that things just seem so bad. Those are the times that I contemplate mentioning them, but at the same time, I don't want to promote a negative mindset for someone else. I know that a lot of people don't like inspirational quotes, saying that they're cheesy and superficial. And I get that, because yes, sometimes they can be so positive that they gloss over the bad and just straight to the good. So here are some things that the inspirational quotes don't tell you, mostly about getting through the rough times and how you can actually do that. 



One // Mistakes won't always be easy to fix.


What the quotes say: Learn from your mistakes, it's about how you correct your mistakes, mistakes are happy little accidents...

Mistakes are absolutely inevitable and inspirational quotes recognize that. However, all of them focus on life after the mistake. The thing is, you will make mistakes and I bet you it'll be a mess. Yeah, things will get better, but in the moment, things might seem grim, like there's just a huge mess that you don't even know how to tackle. It's like those scenarios when you ask someone to maybe spray out some whipped cream or squeeze out a tube of toothpaste and then ask them to make it go back to the way that it was before, knowing full well that it is impossible. The thing about mistakes is that although you know that things will get better, living in them and struggling to fix what seems like an unfixable mess will not be easy. And that's normal. Life is hard. But sometimes you just have to tackle things one by one. 


Two // It's okay to not be positive all the time.



What the quotes say: Believe you can and you're halfway there. - T. Roosevelt

I think that one of the reasons why people don't like inspirational quotes is that they aren't always something instantly attainable. Yes, it is true that if you keep a positive mindset, you can grow and improve much more. However, it's not always easy to be positive like that. I think it's okay to have off days, to not be like the inspirational quotes, always seeing a good side of things. It's natural to be sad sometimes, to lose hope. However, what the quotes do help with is not staying with that negative mentality. While it's okay to not be positive all the time, its not healthy to be negative all the time. Rough times are natural, but you can't let your whole life be a rough time. 


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Lace Halter Dress

Warm weather is finally among us! Things have been heating up, so the summer fashion is emerging. I love halter top styles, but they just don't look good when you cover them up with sweaters. With warmer weather arriving, I'm ready to pull out the halter top styles, starting with this lace halter dress, which I definitely have heart-eyes for. 



I've always been attracted to halter styles and as a recently, midi skirts (see the style spotlight that I did on them!) and dresses have been catching my eye. This dress from Loft has the best of both worlds. This is the kind of dress that I would see on Instagram or in a magazine and swoon over, but I would be hesitant to buy one. For example, in the past, I was worried about how midi dresses and skirts would look on me, thinking that they would make me look too short, as I'm naturally not that tall. However, I feel good in this dress. It may have been something out of my comfort zone in the past, but I'm in love with the midi length of this dress. In addition, the lace pattern is so nice! It's a bit more modern than the traditional lace and has a more unique color. Although I would have liked to see this dress in a light pink or purple, I think that this color is a bit more different. 



Since the dress is a midi dress, it calls for some stylish shoes. Midi-length dresses and skirts are fantastic if you're planning on wearing shoes that may have more embellishment or wrap around the ankle a little bit higher. I'm wearing these black faux-suede sandals with an ankle cuff. They are heeled sandals, but only about one and a half inches, so they're still great for daily wear, especially because it is a block heel. I always look for a sandal that can be worn on a casual day or on a dressy occasion and I think that these sandals from DSW do just that. Each shoe also has a fringe tassel on the back, attached to the zipper, which I think adds a nice little something extra. 




Shop the Look

Dress: Loft // Sunglasses: Similar // Shoes: DSW


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Is It Worth Sacrificing Creativity To Become Successful?

I've been thinking about it a lot recently and it has dawned on me that although I strive to be creative and think outside of the box for my post content, I don't always reap the benefits for this creative thinking. If you didn't know, one of my "New Year's Resolutions" of 2016 (I know, AGES ago, right?) was to create more creative content on my blog. And I did that and I am so proud of myself for doing that, because I feel like my blog has become more unique. I try to make my ideas stand out from the sea of other content creators out there. However, I haven't exactly been any more "successful" with these posts. On the other hand of the spectrum, I see people that have skyrocketed in terms of their readership that create the same content that is echoed throughout the web. It really hurts me that other people out there are creating simplistic content, that is just like all the other content out there on the web, and they still are successful, far more successful than someone who is more creative than them. I see this everywhere. I'll see the same post or the same YouTube video a thousand times, echoed by different creators. But if they're all creating the same content, are they really "creators?" 

Is it Worth Sacrificing Creativity to Become Successful?

I just want to be honest, it's hard to be creative. When there are billions of people in the world, it's so difficult to try and create something absolutely different and absolutely unique that no one has come up with. Although this is an instance of creativity, it's not very likely that your idea will be 100% original. So yes, I do expect that a lot of people might have a similar idea, but come on, how many people need to do a "Morning routine" until we realize that it's really all the same?

In this day and age of the internet, there's a ton of access to online publications, sources, images, information. In addition, there are a lot of publishers out there. All of a sudden, it's not just the newspaper and magazines out there creating content, there's a rise of news outlets in addition to individual voices online. However, there's a lot more that goes into making content popular. It's not just sending out the newspaper and people read it when they get it, it's about SEO and click-bait and high resolution visuals. All of a sudden, it's not solely about the content anymore, but it's also about the methods and the tactics of spreading media. Titles are exaggerated: "You won't believe this!" or "Shocking secrets exposed!" It's all about getting that click. So when online content is now so heavily reliant on being attention-grabbing to increasingly extreme extents, sometimes the things that become popular are not necessarily creative, but tactful.

Yes, creativity is still part of the process, but I've realized that as of recently, having compelling, provocative, thoughtful content is not always what sells. I think that the hard truth about the online world is that sometimes it's not about how talented you are in your field and how insightful you are, sometimes it's just about the skill of getting the click. I've seen fantastic content that is incredibly eye-opening, yet it still gets fewer clicks than "Taylor's Swift's Darkest Secret Revealed", which might just give away some pointless information, like "Taylor Swift doesn't like pizza" or something along those lines. Sometimes it seems like content quality is lacking and even so, thoughtless and unnecessary content still seems to spread like wildfire. So why is that? Why is it that now content quality doesn't matter as much?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

How to Find Motivation When You Don't Want to Do Anything

A couple days ago, I was sitting at the kitchen table thinking about everything and absolutely nothing at the same time. I was thinking about how I had a million things to do, but I didn't want to do any of it. Now, that's something that's not new. I get that feeling all the time. But this time, it was a little bit different. Over the days prior to this realization, I knew that something just wasn't quite right. For some reason, all of the things that I usually do to make me happy, just didn't make me feel good anymore. I felt hopelessly unmotivated to do anything, not even to indulge in the things that I once loved. So what was wrong with me? It felt like I was losing myself, like I was walking around empty. So how could I re-discover that motivation that I once had?


It's so difficult to stay motivated. Most of the time when I'm unmotivated, I come home, sit in my bed, and watch Netflix for hours. And that was what I had been doing for the past few days. However, in my opinion, there are two kinds of a lack of motivation: the need to procrastinate and the loss of passion. The need to procrastinate is the every day lack of motivation, where you might have a huge paper due the next day, but you're doing everything and anything in order to avoid working on it because you just can't seem to motivate yourself to get going. Loss of passion comes in waves, much less often than the need to procrastinate. The loss of passion describes those periods where you just can't find the motivation to indulge in things that you're usually interested about, you just can't find the passion to get going and take action.

So let's tackle these forms of motivation separately, since I believe that they are very different and also have different solutions.


HOW TO GET MOTIVATED WHEN PROCRASTINATING


one // remind yourself why this task is important

Sometimes getting motivated just takes remembering why you're even doing whatever task it is. With so much happening in life, especially if this is a task that you have been working on for a very long time, it can end up feeling like a chore after a while. Remind yourself why you're even bothering to do this. Whether it's something that you're passionate about that you're just procrastinating or it's something like a paper, you have to remember what you're working towards. Maybe you're working towards finishing a huge project or maybe you're working towards getting an A on that research paper. Regardless of what the task is, there's a reason why you're doing it and sometimes you just need to remind yourself that.

two // visualize what will happen if  you don't finish this task

This one is kind of similar to the last tip, but I feel that this way is a bit more of a stress-inducer in order to get the motivation, rather than something more positive. For me, sometimes I just need a little scare, a little stress that motivates me to get up and start going. I know that they usually tell you to "think happy and positive thoughts", but you don't really need to envision the good things that will happen to you, but you need to envision the consequences, the bad things that might happen if you keep on procrastinating. Let's say you have an exam coming up. If you keep procrastinating studying, you can visualize a poor grade. By visualizing a poor consequence that you don't want to see, it will get your stress going so that you'll feel more inclined to finish the task and make the image of the negative consequence disappear.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

How to Fit More Sleep into Your Schedule

I love sleep. Everyone loves sleep. But sometime's it's just so hard to make time for it. We lead busy lives, always trying to make the most of each day, whether it means staying up all night to finish a paper or trying to arrange your schedule to fit in some time with friends or even trying to make best use of your time by doing something that makes you happy. As we struggle to try and fit everything in our lives into this constraining 24 hours, often, one of the first things to go is sleep. They always say that you can't have it all, but you can at least try, starting with sleep. I know lots of people that stay up for long periods of time and complain about not getting enough sleep, but I personally get eight hours in every night. Because I believe that sleep is important and I make sure to make time for it. Here are my tips for how you can manage to get to bed earlier and catch a little more rest. 

How to Make More Time for Sleep - Sunny Rebecca

Set a bedtime. 

This is essentially the most useful way that you can fit more sleep into your schedule, but it's also the one that people are most reluctant to do. You're not a kid anymore, I get it, you've grown out of bedtimes, but that doesn't mean that they still can't benefit you. I mentioned this on my post about how to minimize stress, because getting more sleep is not only good for the soul, but also for your body. Setting a bedtime is like setting a deadline. This is the time that I need to be in bed, which means that this is the time that everything needs to be done. Just like the way you would make sure to get a paper done in time for the due date, setting a bedtime allows you to have a designated time to get everything done by. Not only does it encourage you to be more productive, but by setting a bedtime, preferably the same time every day, you also create routine, allowing your body to get more used to the same sleeping time every day. This will make it easier for you to fall asleep at night and it will also make it easier for you to wake up in the morning, so you'll feel nice and refreshed. If you can't bring yourself to set a bedtime for yourself (although I highly suggest it) I have some other quick fixes that will help you make more time that you can use for sleep, don't you worry!

Make to-do lists.

For all you type-A people, I'm sure that you already do this, but if you're looking to save time, make a to-do list. If you're really in a time crunch, make a detailed one, with time frames to do everything you need to do. Recently, I've been trying to maximize my time and productivity, so I created a tentative schedule/to-do list for the day. I got everything done and got to sleep right on time. Your to-do list will encourage you to get things done quicker (because there's nothing like checking off a box on a to do list - so satisfying!) and be more productive, allowing you to finish everything earlier, then for you to go to sleep earlier. If you're doing a time-based list, you can put your designated bedtime in, which will remind you to keep on track and adhere to the given times of the schedule. I suggest a schedule if you're really running low on time and have a super packed schedule, but for a normal day, a to-do list will be more than enough.

Braid your hair after taking a shower.

This tip is very specific to people that take night showers. I always air dry my hair, but this tip could still work for people that blow dry their hair. If you take a shower at night, there are some times that you just really want to get to bed, but your hair is wet and you have to deal with blow drying it or air drying, which could cost your precious time. I like to braid my wet hair after I take a shower so that I can immediately go to sleep with them in, saving me time at night and allowing me to get to bed earlier. In addition, you can get more time to sleep in the morning, since when you wake up, your hair will be styled in neat waves, so you can cut down on hair styling time, which is especially useful for people who have high-maintenance hair routines.