Mental Cleanse Challenge: Week 3

Another week has already come and gone! I feel that these challenges are coming and going so quickly and that February is flying by. It doesn’t help that this month has been very busy at work, which makes the days seem very short.

If this is your first post catching up on my 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge with Erin, stop and go back to the beginning. Read the first post in this challenge series about the collaboration for creating self-care challenges and a review of my first week of the Mental Cleanse Challenge!

Are you caught up to speed? Good, now we can move on to reviewing last week’s challenges and where I struggled!

Feb. 6: Try a new workout you’ve never done before.

I knew this would be challenging for me because I’ve done a lot of different workouts. But I decided to go out of my comfort zone and not cheat, so I tried a cardio ab workout I found online.

Feb. 7: Keep all three meals “phone free.” No social media scrolling!

This isn’t ever an issue for breakfast or dinner, but lunch at the office is filled with social media browsing. Instead, I got my coworkers on board to keep their phones away for lunch.

Feb. 8: Do a yoga for beginners workout to give your muscles TLC.

I needed this. I have been going hard on the leg and cardio workouts, so some yoga was exactly what I needed this day. I only did a 15-minute, but it’s better than nothing, right?!

Feb. 9: Make two of your three meals meatless. Need inspiration? Check Pinterest!

I typically don’t have an issue with this because I love to eat a lot of vegetables, fruit and salads to begin with. I had a huge salad for lunch and a veggie pasta for dinner.

Feb. 10: Meditate for 5 minutes and focus on your breath.

I was able to do in this in the office. I was feeling overwhelmed and took the opportunity to calm myself with breathing and relaxing for 10 minutes. Breathing works wonders for stress, friends.

Feb. 11: Take your workout outdoors even if it’s for 20 minutes! 

We were happy to see a little warm weather this day, so I took a walk outside for 15 minutes. It’s still winter here in PA, so we didn’t want to go overboard with the outdoors.

Feb. 12: Go vegan for a day!

What was I thinking with this challenge? Not having eggs, cheese or any other animal products was challenging, but achievable. I ate lentil soup, salad, fruit salad, and rice with veggies throughout the day.

How did you do with these challenges? Make sure to share your wins and losses from this week! Don’t be shy, it’s okay if you had a slip-up or two!


The Third Week of Challenges: Digital Cleanse

  • Feb. 13: Clean out your inbox and sort your emails into folders. Delete all spam.
  • Feb. 14: No social media before 11 a.m. Take the time to be productive!
  • Feb. 15: Unfollow people on social media who don’t inspire you.
  • Feb. 16: Organize your desktop accordingly into folders. Delete unnecessary items.
  • Feb. 17: Go through your phone and organize your apps into folders. Delete apps, old notes, contacts, etc.
  • Feb. 18: Have a phone-free night with family or loved ones!
  • Feb. 19: Unsubscribe from email marketing you’re not interested in keeping up with.

How have you been loving the challenges so far? What challenges were the easiest/most difficult for week two? What challenges for the third week are you most concerned about? Make sure to share in the comments below!

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5 Things to be Happy About | February 2017

And we’re back with the positive vibes and gratitude here on Blissfully Brunette. (Praise hands emoji)

But for real, I think we could all use a little positivity here in the world because the past two weeks on social media haven’t been pretty. So let’s change the energy out there, shall we?

If this is your first “Things to be Happy About” post—welcome! This is a post I write monthly to share and express gratitude about the month ahead. These posts are some of my favorite to write because it reminds me to enjoy and appreciate the little things in life we often forget. Make sure to leave a comment below sharing what you’re looking forward to now that it’s February!

1| Feeling Settled in the New Year

The first few weeks of January can feel a little overwhelming, especially if you’re focusing on all your goals, getting back to work, and coming back down from the “holiday high” that I experience every year. Basically, it takes me a solid week or two to admit that Christmas is over, and life will return to normal. In February, I am settled in my life, I have my routine down. etc.

2| Goals & Grind

I don’t know about you, but I am NOT the type of person who will wake up on January 1st and be ready to completely change my life for the new year. Definitely not a thing here in my world. Instead, I like to slowly incorporate positive changes, new habits, and work on my goals slowly. Now that we’re heading into February, I will be set to achieve all my #GirlBoss goals and work hard all month long.

3| Valentine’s Day

Plot twist! Josh and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. You can read all about it—you might get a kick out of my humorous take on it. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy this day. Instead, I’ll bake something with my friends, watch Netflix, and drink wine for the night. Or, I’ll bring in festive cookies for coworkers. Trust me, you still can appreciate this holiday without going all-out with the Pinterest DIY gifts.

4| A Short Month

There’s something about knowing the month being short makes me feel blissful. February in the northeast means a not-so-fun time with the weather and the mass amount of snow. But, I look forward to this month because the month will fly by and we will be a month closer to spring, which brings me to my last one…

5| Preparing For Spring

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Spring is very underrated; and it’s a season I secretly look forward to. After the holiday season, I immediately think about my excitement for spring, and think about slightly warmer weather even though winter can last through March here in PA/NY. I begin “spring cleaning” and decluttering so I can get a jump start before the season arrives.

What are you happy about now that it’s February? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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10 Things to be Happy About: December Edition

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I cannot believe that it’s the last edition of “10 Things to be Happy About” for 2016. I’m happy to say that I was able to express gratitude all-year long with these posts as a simple way of sharing what I’m looking forward to each month. I think these posts were helpful for people because they put everything into perspective. It’s all about the little things that we need to appreciate in life. Hopefully, you were given a little bit of bliss, and were reminded of simple things to be happy about as the year passed by.

1| Cooking and Baking

I am no Martha Stewart by any means, but let me tell you that I still enjoy cooking and baking for the holidays. There are so many special dishes and treats that I’m used to having around this time of year, and now that I don’t live at home, I have to learn how to make them myself! Needless to say I’ll be spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

2| Time with Family and Friends

I’m all about family and friends. I’m happy to say I have two of my best friends coming into town before the holidays to finish up some last-minute Christmas shopping and to spend a little extra time with them before things got very busy for the holiday season.

3| Wrapping Gifts

Call me crazy, but I think wrapping gifts is arguably more fun that going out to shopping to find and buy the gifts. I make hot chocolate, blast Michael Buble’s Christmas album, and spend the afternoon wrapping gifts and organizing them for my trip home. Let me know if you hate wrapping, or if it’s something you look forward to during the holidays?!

4| Christmas Music

The best part about December is that there are radio stations that play Christmas music 24/7, which is why I’m in full holiday mode. You better believe that the only thing I’m playing in my car all month long will be the Christmas station. I only have one month of non-stop Christmas music, so let me enjoy it!

5| Winter Fashion

Layers, layers and all the warm and cozy accessories essentially sum up what the winter months mean for my taste in style and fashion. I’m essentially living in sweaters, blanket scarves, leggings, and boots. Although I don’t love the below-freezing temperature, and the horrible roads—I do love winter fashion.

6| Hallmark Holiday Movies

Aside from Christmas music playing non-stop in my car, Hallmark Holiday movies are playing non-stop in my home. I love the cheesy, romance movies that are playing all-month long on Hallmark. Yes, I know they’re very lame and predictable, but it’s all part of what I love most during this time of year!

7| Giving Back

One of the best parts of the this month is the idea of giving back and spreading a little extra kindness and bliss for everyone in your life. Whether you’re giving back to your in-laws or a stranger you’ve never met; be sure to think about how you can spread a little holiday cheer this month as a way to give back.

8| Traditions

Every family has their own set of traditions that are special within that family. This year, with it being my first holiday living with Josh, I want to make sure we begin creating some traditions of our own. That way, we can keep traditions from our families and also create our own that are special for us.

9| Christmas Cookies

I don’t know what I love more: baking and decorating each individual Christmas cookie, or eating them for a few weeks. I could live without cheesecakes and pies during this month because all I’m looking forward to specifically are the traditional Christmas cookies!

10| Prepare for a New Year

There’s nothing better than reflecting on the past year, and preparing for the new year ahead. This year, I’m hoping to a little extra time to sit down and really think about what I want to achieve for 2017. 2016 has been wonderful, and I’m hoping to take this bliss and bring into the new year.

What are you looking forward to now that it’s December? What are some holiday traditions your family has? Make sure to share in the comments below!

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A Month of Gratitude & Kindness

November is finally here, and while I can’t quite wrap my mind around that fact—I’m definitely looking forward to this month. This month especially, I’m going to plan something a little different as a challenge for the month. I want to try and practice gratitude, kindness and giving every day throughout the month of November.

You all know how important expressing gratitude and giving back are to me whether it’s through my “10 Things to be Happy About” posts every month, or if I’m sharing the love in the blogging community each month. These little acts of kindness and giving can make a person’s day, so why not try and extend those actions for an entire month? How do I plan to do that? It will involve a ton of journaling, giving back and other little kindness challenges throughout the month.

This isn’t something I plan to promote excessively, but I do challenge you all to try and think a little more about expressing gratitude and giving more as we approach the holiday season. It’s always good to challenge yourself to be a little more kind, giving and thankful. Trust me, you will feel good about doing any of these tasks throughout the month.

Below are my personal challenges to complete throughout the month of November.

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If you do try any of these challenges, or create your own kindness and gratitude challenge for the month, make sure to reach out on Twitter (@BlissBrunette). I would love to know what challenges you’re doing throughout the month! I hope everyone can find some time to express gratitude and share a little kindness with the world in their own way this month. Trust me, the world could use that positive, happy energy!

How do you plan to give back this month? Have you ever completed a gratitude or kindness challenge before? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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12 Things to do for a Better Day

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If you have been struggling with getting through the day because of stress, or you have been feeling overwhelmed with life altogether, keep on reading. I’m sharing 12 things you can do every day for a better, more blissful day.

1| Be prepared

Your outfit is set out, along with your meals for the day, and your bag is packed by the door ready to go. The more you prepare the night before, the less you’ll stress in the morning while you’re getting ready. Take a little time to make your lunch and get your breakfast planned, and pick your outfit. You’ll thank me for this one in the long run.

2| Make your bed

There are two types of people: people who make their beds and unhappy people. I’m serious when I say that there’s nothing better than getting into a fresh bed after a long day. Take two minutes to make your bed in the morning. It brings your entire room together and keeps the space looking clean.

3| Drink water immediately

I keep a water bottle next to my bed so that the first thing I do is drink water. Even if you’re not a morning person, water will hydrate you and get your body and mind moving more quickly with little effort. You’ll feel yourself wake up naturally and you’ll feel a little happier before the day begins.

4| Enjoy your breakfast/coffee at home

Don’t skip breakfast. Allow yourself enough time to have coffee and something for breakfast, and have it at home. Don’t pick up breakfast sandwiches and coffee from Dunkin Donuts. You’re spending unnecessary money, and having breakfast sandwiches or bagels everyday isn’t good for your body altogether.

5| Tackle your biggest task first

Skip the email check and morning chit-chat with people in the office. Instead, focus on the big project, report or event you have to work on, and get that done. Then, you have the entire day ahead of you to work on all your other tasks, and the end of your work day will be smooth sailing.

6| Don’t buy your lunch

Another way people spend unnecessary money is by buying lunch every day. Let’s do some math. If you spend an average of $10 a day on lunch and multiply that by 260 (5 days a week for 52 weeks a year) that’s $2,600 you’re spending. You’ll save money, calories and time if you bring your lunch instead.

7| Detach yourself from work after 5 p.m.

This can be tough for some people, especially if you work in a field where people think you should be on the clock 24/7. Don’t read your emails, and don’t answer work calls or texts after 5 p.m. You deserve time for yourself. No, you’re not being selfish if you don’t respond to your boss because you weren’t created to work 24 hours a day. It can wait until tomorrow.

8| Get your 20-30 minutes in

Set aside time when you get a little active whether it’s yoga, walking, running, or Pilates. What’s great about this is that you can do so many activities that are fun and don’t feel like you’re working out. Find out what workouts are best for you, and incorporate them into your everyday routine. You’ll relieve stress and clear your head from the day.

9| Clean as you go

Instead of letting dishes pile up in the sink, wash them as you go throughout the day. When you take something out, put it back. You’ll be surprised how this little task can affect the entire cleanliness of your home. Then you don’t set an hour a day just for cleaning up because you’ve been working at it throughout the day.

10| Do a little self care every day

Keep a journal, take up a new hobby, put on a face masks and drink some wine. Whatever is it, make sure you’re giving yourself a little treat and time to unwind after a long day. You deserve to have time for self care in your daily routine even if it’s only for 30 minutes a day.

11| Write your to-do list for the next day

Take five minutes every night to plan out your day for the next day. Make sure to account for any meetings, appointments, plans with friends and family, etc. Outline what your day will look like, so you don’t stress about anything at night. You’ll feel relieved you did this small, but essential step for a blissful day.

12| Don’t get sucked into social media all night

When I sit and scroll on social media late at night, I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Instead, I stop checking my phone after a certain time, and I prep my mind to go in sleep mode. It has done wonders for my sleep schedule, and it ends my day on a good note because let’s be honest, sleep is too important to overlook in your routine.

What tips would you add to this list? What tip do you need to work on? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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