Golf – A Challenge Worth Taking

I have been on vacation in South Carolina this week.  The weather has been absolutely perfect and I love just relaxing on the beach.  My husband and son always golf, which is fine with me because then I don’t have to worry about them complaining about being bored on the beach.  This year, however, I felt like I wanted to give golf a try because I had a little FOMO (fear of missing out) going on.

My husband and son were taking a lesson so I asked my husband to sign me up too.  Why not??  As the day of the lesson came closer, I wanted to cancel it.  I thought my time would be better spent on the beach. Cancellation fees would probably apply so I bit the bullet and went to the lesson.  I am really glad that I did.  My instructor Ali was awesome; she was very supportive, down-to-Earth, and easy going.  She gave me a lot of great tips and I felt really good about myself when I left the lesson.  The Steve Dresser Golf Academy is one of the best in the Myrtle Beach area.  My husband and son also learned a lot in their advanced lessons and club fittings.

At home, I had been to the driving range a total of ONE time before my lesson.  I had taken other lessons years and years ago.  The thought of actually playing a round of golf scared me.  I didn’t think I had enough skill to get out there.  Well, I decided that there was no time like the present to give it a try.  I am in one of the most popular golf locations in the US and there are golfers of all levels getting out there every day.

 

There is a par 3 course, Tupelo Bay, which is not far from the condo we are staying in.  My husband said it was only 9 holes and I wouldn’t need to hit it very far, being that it was a par 3.  Again, I figured we’re here in one of the largest golf meccas so no time like the present to give it a try.  Since the par 3 was just “mini golf on steroids”, we decided to do the executive course, which was a par 3 and 4 course.  Nerves set in as we pulled up to the first hole, but when I saw others who hit the ball like me, I felt a lot better.  I didn’t do great, but I hit the ball and I have my first round 9 holes under my belt.  I, again, felt pretty good about myself walking off that course.

Golf is on the television all the time at my house.  I have been to PGA tournaments.  I hear my husband and son say how much you need to practice and how aggravating it can be.  So why do I want to get into this aggravating yet fulfilling hobby?  It is something we can do as a family and I can go out with friends who golf.  When I posted that I was taking a lesson on Facebook, a friend commented that she was in a beginner league at home and why don’t I join?  I told her ABSOLUTELY.  She said it was a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.  I may not improve my game, but fun and laughing are good for the soul.

So next step is getting some gear and just getting out there and doing it.  I am proud of myself because I am taking on a challenge of learning something completely new to me.  I have been writing a lot lately about my yoga journey and mindfulness, and this post may seem out of place.  However, I feel that taking on this challenge and being present in the moment of just concentrating on hitting the ball is just another way to be mindful.  Not letting every day worries and cares get in the way of my present purpose.

What is a challenge that you have taken on that has become a success for you??

5 Mantras I Have Learned from author Jen Sincero

I just finished reading YOU ARE A BAD ASS by Jen Sincero.  It’s subtitle is “How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life”.  I have read a lot about personal mantras and You Are a Bad Ass is a book in which I have found daily mantras in order to start doubting my greatness and start living an awesome life.

Mantra #1

“This is about believing, even when things are at their most uncertain or absolute crappiest, that there is a bright shiny flipside within your reach.”  (Sincero, 2013, p.34)

When we are in our darkest moments, it can be very hard to believe that we will ever drag ourselves out and be positive again.  Hence, my first mantra should  be…There is ALWAYS a shiny flipside.

Mantra #2

“It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains,…dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now.”  (Sincero, 2013, p.36)

I am so guilty of this, especially with the onslaught of posts on our Facebook feed each day.  I have unfollowed a lot of “friends” because they made me feel jealous or out of shape or wishing I had more money.  STOP!!!  Those people’s lives are not important and comparison to them is ridiculous.  I feel so much better now and I am working on being more present in what is what is happening to me right now.  “Comparison is the fastest way to take all the fun out of life.” (Sincero, 2013, p.61) is an especially relevant mantra.

Mantra #3

“Holding on to my bad feelings about this is doing nothing but harming me, and everyone else, preventing me from enjoying my life fully.  I am an awesome person. I choose to enjoy life.  I choose to let this go.”  (Sincero, 2013, p. 62)

Just like the song in Frozen…Let it go!!  Let it go!!! Festering on something that is happening just saps your energy, makes you grumpy and unhappy and, hence, makes those around you uncomfortable.  You ARE a good person and I AM a good person, therefore, a suitable mantra probably should be…Let it go and enjoy life!

Mantra #4

“Do not fall prey to the false belief that by forgiving someone you’re letting them off the hook.  Because when you forgive someone you let yourself off the hook.”  (Sincero, 2013, p.123)

I know that this is absolutely true and it is the best thing that I can do for myself.  Holding on to negative energy can make you sick, stressed out, unhappy, lethargic…in addition to other ailments.  As I am typing this, I just had a huge A-HA moment.  It says to forgive, but it doesn’t say you have to forget about what happened.  This is definitely something that I struggle with. I know that the resentment I feel isn’t good for my soul.  Consequently, I can forgive, but I will not forget.  As a result, a fitting mantra is…Let yourself off the hook.

Mantra #5

“Set honest goals that are just outside your comfort zone and build from there.”  (Sincero, 2013, p.238)  I LOVE this.  Don’t make these HUGE, hard to attain goals.  Move forward in small increments and you will reach those goals and feel a sense of success.  Finally, a mantra for this quote should be…Go just outside your comfort zone.

In conclusion, no compensation or products have been exchanged for this post.  I enjoyed this book and wanted to share it with others since it was helpful to me.  What books are you reading that have given you an A-HA moment?  I’d love to hear from you.

Here is author Jen Sincero letting it go and enjoying life:)

My Yoga Journey

I have wanted start a yoga journey for quite awhile.  I took some yoga classes years ago and never went back to it due to, now realizing in hindsight, I wasn’t quite ready for the full journey.  It will be good for my body and soul, therefore, I have decided to dip my toe into the yoga pool. I cannot remember many of the poses so I feel that I am a beginning beginner.

One of the reasons that I haven’t been to a yoga class in forever is because I will feel embarrassment.  What if EVERYONE in the class knows all the poses hence I am the only one who doesn’t know them?  When I give it a second thought, however, I know that most yogis want to spread their love and knowledge of yoga so I shouldn’t be embarrassed.  If any group can be understanding of a beginner, it would be this group.

When I look for local classes, I have seen some beginning beginner classes, but they don’t fit into my schedule.  I want to start this journey NOW so I decided to do some research and take the first step.  Much needed information and supplies are a click or stretch away.  As a result of said research, I discovered some wonderful realities.

EVERY JOURNEY STARTS WITH THE FIRST STEP.

What do I need to start this wonderful journey?

Versatile clothes?  Yes!

Informational books?  Yes!

For the mind:  True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment

For the body:  Mindfulness Yoga

Especially relevant…helpful videos?  Yes!

Do Yoga With Me

My Yoga Journey Click To Tweet

Okay…no more excuses and full speed ahead.

Finally, I would love to know any resources that you cannot live without in regards to yoga.  Please tell me about any music you listen to,  essential oils you use, videos you follow…I want to hear about all your yoga non-negotiables.  A yoga journey update will be forthcoming.  Namaste.

OOTD: Affordable Fitness Style

I LOVE new workout clothes.  There is so much fun fitness style out there now and I get motivated to do my workouts when I have a new fitness OOTD.  Many brands of workout clothes are quite expensive and not worth their price.  There are also brands that are cheap, and there is a reason why they cheap…they just don’t last.  I have found some quality workout clothes that look great and don’t break the bank.

SNEAKERS

My absolute favorite brand of sneakers is Asics.  They fit my foot the best and are great quality.  There are so many great styles and colors to choose from.  Almost all of my sneakers have come from the Asics website.  They have an unbelievable clearance section with a great range of sizes.  I wear an 11 or 11-1/2 women’s sneaker and they always have my size in stock. Most noteworthy, free shipping and returns.

LEGGINGS/TIGHTS and SPORTS BRAS

Athleta is my absolute favorite place to get leggings.  The quality is fabulous.  There is a huge selection of prints, colors, thicknesses, lengths and sizes.  I have an Athleta store near me and they always have items on their clearance rack.  If you have a GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic or Athleta charge card, you can earn reward points for purchases.  The reward points accumulate into $5 credits that you can use at any of that family of stores.  If you find something on the clearance rack AND, in addition, use the credits you earn, you can get quite a deal.  I recently found the cutest sports bra on the sale rack, too.  The website also has a sale section, but sometimes there isn’t a huge selection of sizes.  You can also find plus and petite sizes on the website.

** Side note: C9 leggings/tights from Target were voted #1 by Good Housekeeping for durability, quality and fit.

SPORTS BRAS

If you want a no-nonsense, supportive, long-lasting sports bra, you should go to Old Navy.   In addition, I love that they have removable padding….key feature.  They have gotten cuter styles recently, but a lot of the cuter styles have low support.  I have had some of these bras for several years and they have held up very well.  I have no complaints whatsoever.  Furthermore, you can also use those reward credits for these purchases.

TANKS

I recently went shopping at the GAP and I love the GapFit section.  The fabric that the tanks are made of is so soft and hangs well on the body…not too clingy, not too loose.  LOVE them.  Again, hit that clearance rack and got some tanks for a STEAL.  I will definitely be visiting that clearance rack when I need, or WANT, some new tanks.  Reward credits can be use here too.

Most of all, I hope you found some useful finds in this post.  I am so happy to share fabulous finds with others and  I’d love to hear about your go-to workout wear brands…brick and mortar locations OR online merchandisers.

Finally, here is an Athleta link for $20 off $100 if you want to receive an even bigger discount.  ***affiliate link***

Healthy Living: Grove Collaborative

There are so many chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis…chemicals that we don’t even know and, therefore, don’t know how they are affecting us.  I have been trying to change my cleaning products in order to lessen the chemical load on my family.  Many times, these products are more expensive, but I have found a place to buy them and actually save money.  I’d like to introduce Grove Collaborative.

I have fallen in love with the Mrs. Meyers products.  I use the honeysuckle cleaner in my bathroom and it smells wonderful for several days.  It smells clean, not like chemicals.  I use the honeysuckle and lemon verbena scents and love both of them.  I have used the surface cleaner, dish soap and powder cleanser and have also ordered the tub and tile cleaner and toilet cleaner; can’t wait to try them out.

Grove Collaborative is a website that has all natural cleaners and personal hygiene products.  You can join and get free VIP shipping AND the products are cheaper than buying them in the store.  I haven’t been able to find some of the products in my food store or big box store so this is a great one stop shop to get all the products I need.  You can also set up a recurring subscription so the products are sent to you monthly, bimonthly, etc.  The customer service has been great too.

Use this link to get a $10 credit and start your Grove Collaborative journey today.  Anyone who is a member of the collaborative gets their own link in order to spread the word about the service and then they can get their own $10 credit if anyone signs up.  I have ordered from this site for several months and have had a great experience so I wanted to share with others.

Gym Shaming…Got It All Wrong

I’ve been away for a while, but I’ve done a lot of soul-searching and thinking and I feel like I have more to share so here I am.  Quite a while ago, I wrote a post about gym shaming and said that I felt not quite supported at a workout studio where I had a membership.  I haven’t gone there in over a year, but recently returned and feel really great about it.

First of all, I had taken 99 classes at this studio and at class 100, you get a special reward.  I got several emails reminding me that I only needed that one class to reach the 100 milestone.  They also offered me a free class to get to 100 along with several other enticements.  At the time, I wasn’t ready to go back so I didn’t take them up on their offer.

Fast forward to 10 months after the last class I took, I got another email from the new manager of the studio.  She was very upbeat and really wanted to help me reach the 100 milestone, I decided that it was time to go back and reach that goal.  During the time I was away from that studio, I found that when I took other classes at other studios or gyms, I always used the strategies I learned at that studio.  I also realized that they had a much more personalized approach because if you were doing a move incorrectly or were using the wrong form, they would help you with your form or help you modify if you couldn’t do a particular move.  Instructors at other studios and gyms didn’t always do that.  I also felt that I had much better form when doing the other classes because of methods I was taught at that studio.

I went back for my 100th class several weeks ago and I was welcomed back with open arms.  Instructors that were there when I last took classes were still there and they were happy to see me.  I told them that it was almost a year since I was there and they couldn’t believe it.  My husband bought me a gift card for the studio for Valentine’s Day and when he was buying it, another instructor asked where I had been and told him to say hello to me.  It made me feel so happy and supported.  I think that it was a great decision to return both for my body health and mental health.

I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I left and returned.  I didn’t realize how supported I actually was until I went elsewhere and didn’t get any type of feedback.  I also realized that my workout is MY workout and as long as I am feeling good about what I am doing, it doesn’t matter what others think.  Seeking outside approval gives others all the power and then you become dependent on outside sources for validation.  Your self-worth is all up to you and you need to embrace what you are doing, live in the moment and be grateful for all you can do.

Be Grateful

I started a gratitude journal in August 2015 right about the time I started blogging.  I read about gratitude journaling on, of course, a blog and I loved the essence of it.  That particular blogger, and I am sorry that I don’t remember who it is because it was one the very first blogs I ever read, stated that she wrote “My reality is within my control” on the top of each entry.  (If anyone knows who this is I would love to give them a shout out here so let me know in the comments…thanks!!)  I have done an entry every day since August 12, 2015 and I can’t settle down to sleep without writing my entry.

grateful

Every night before bed, I get out my journal and write the date and the heading “My reality is within my control”.  I then list 5 things that I am grateful for from that day.  Sometimes they are big, beautiful, awesome events and sometimes it is the simplest of simple everyday occurrences.  As it says above, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for!!

gratitude-journal-1

Since I have been working in my journal for over a year now, it is beginning to get full.  I was at Target today and I found a great new journal in the Dollar Spot.  It was $3 and a perfect size.  It will be a beautiful continuation of the positive energy from my first journal.

I have to admit that I LOVE new journals and notebooks.  Sometimes I buy them and I don’t even need them:)  This one, however, already has a job and will be used to its fullest.  Other places to get journals are Etsy, Amazon, TJ Maxx, stationery/paper stores, etc.  I loved the look and price of this journal…you can’t beat $3.  (I am not getting any type of compensation for listing any of these retail sources.  I just want to share a great deal that I found:)

Do you write in any type of journal??

Being a Spectator is Hard Work

Labor Day Weekend usually doesn’t = a huge workout weekend.  It’s usually a time of bbqs, last lazy days of summer and relaxation.  However, I did find a way to get some exercise in…I went to a golf tournament.  Wait a minute…golf…exercise…yesssss!!!!  I wasn’t even playing the game, I was a spectator.

Jordan spieth

I know that many people may think of golf as a sport that isn’t exactly a workout.  I know that the golfers use carts and they swing the club at a little ball.  Many golfers do have a pretty extensive strength training routine because it does take upper body strength and a strong core to get the distance that they need to do well.

Dustin johnson

As for spectators, I will tell you that I got quite a lot of exercise yesterday following my and my son’s favorite golfers around the course.  The grand total of steps (including walking from the car to the shuttle bus, the shuttle bus to the course, around the course and back) was 16,000 steps or roughly 7 miles….whew!!!

Jason day

I was so exhausted when I got home, that I think I went to bed at 8:00pm and didn’t wake up until 7:00am.  It didn’t help that my son would say I want to go to hole ___ which was back the way we already walked and I would say why didn’t you say something when we were all the way back there??  Argggg…teenagers!!!!

Phil mickelson

I didn’t mind walking the distance to see my favorite, Phil Mickelson.  Unfortunately, he didn’t make the cut, but he is always smiling and he interacts well with his fans.  I know that a lot of people think that golf may be boring, but I love to watch it and discuss it with my son.

Justin rose

We also got to see a gold medal winning Olympic athlete, who also always has a smile on his face and interacts well with his fans.  To say that golf isn’t a work out is probably voiced by people who don’t watch it or play it. I am glad that my son is involved in this sport because it teaches dedication, patience, hard work and manners.   And if you want to get some exercise, be sure to attend a PGA tournament if they have one near you…my legs are still tired.

What is your favorite spectator sport?

 

The Easy Way to Earn FREE Gift Cards and Products

Yes…you can earn free gift cards and not pay one penny.  Sounds too good to be true, but it is absolutely true.  If you are willing to download 2 free apps and snap some pictures, you’re on you way to earning free gift cards.

Shopkick_logo

Shopkick – This app is awesome and I have already earned 2 Starbucks gift cards and a TJ Maxx gift card.  Simply download the app, set up your account and you are good to go.  Whenever you go shopping, open the Shopkick app and it will tell you what stores offer “kicks”.

kicks

Some offer kicks(points) for just walking in the door.  Some offer additional kicks for scanning, not buying, products.  It reminds me of Pokemon Go for adults:)  You can also add in credit and debit cards and when you use them in the store, you get credit for your purchases.  Yet another way to get kicks is to take a picture of your receipt when you buy certain items that are highlighted in the app.  It could not be easier.

shopkick

You can choose from many different gift cards including Starbucks, TJ Maxx, American Eagle, Walmart, Target, Old Navy, Macys, Nike and the list goes on and on.  You can also donate your kicks to many charities.  Give it a try…you will not be disappointed.

receipthog

Receipt Hog – Receipt Hog is a receipt snapping (taking pictures) app.  You download the app and set up your account.  For this app, you snap pictures of all your receipts from department stores, convenience stores, gas stations, food stores, etc.  Depending upon the type of receipt you snap, you can earn coins or slots.  Coins are what you accumulate in order to earn gift cards.  Slots are pulls on a virtual slot machine within the app.  You can earn more coins when you “pull” the slot machine arm.  With each receipt, you also earn entries in monthly sweepstakes which can earn you even more coins.

receipthogiphonepic

There are also monthly challenges which earn you more pulls for the slot machine.  Everything is geared to earn you more coins, which earn you an Amazon or Paypal gift card.  You can connect your email and Amazon account in order to earn more coins.  Sometimes you are given surveys to complete for even more coins.  It doesn’t cost a penny and you can earn free gift cards…to me it’s a win-win to download this app.

CFSP

Cumberland Farms SmartPay – This is also a win-win app.  If you live in an area that has Cumberland Farm gas stations, this is the app for you.  You download this app and set up an account.  You then connect a debit or credit card to the app.  When you get gas at their gas station, you use the app to pay for the gas and you get a 10 cent discount per gallon.  It is really a money saver because CF usually has low gas prices anyway and then you save 10 cents on top of that price.

smartpay_slidermobileupdatedapp

You also earn free drinks and snacks as you fill up your tank.  I have earned free soft drinks, energy drinks, protein bars, various snacks…and they have renovated most CF stores so they are very enjoyable to visit and they have a great selection of snacks, drinks and meals.

*I do not receive any type of compensation from these apps.  I just wanted to share apps that have been helpful to me.*

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What are your favorite reward-earning apps?

3 Refreshing Facial Sprays That You Will Love

I saw a review of one facial spray last year and it sounded so awesome, I had to try it.  I loved it, especially in the heat of the summer.  As the year went by, I forgot about it until I went on vacation several weeks ago.  We were in South Carolina with temps in the 90s…I think it was the week that everywhere in the US had 90+ degree temps.  I brought that facial spray with me and it was a Godsend.  I used it everyday and my husband and son even used it after they played golf all day.  They loved it too.  I decided that I would buy some other facial sprays to do a comparison and it was a great investment.

NU SKIN
NaPCA
Moisture
Mist

Nu Skin NaPCA Moisture Mist – This is the first facial spray that I purchased.  I got it on Amazon.  It is very refreshing on a hot day.  It is cool and feels wonderful.  The bottle is a regular pump sprayer.  I would definitely recommend this product.

LaRoche-Posay
Thermal
Spring Water

LaRoche-Posay Thermal Spring Water – I purchased this one at Target (no compensation for purchasing product) and I also love this one.  It is similar to the NuSkin except it has a continuous spray which is nice when you want to cover a larger area.  It is also cool and refreshing.  Feels wonderful on a hot day.  I throw it in my bag for after barre workouts and after spinning.

Boots
Botanics
Rosewater
Toning Spritz
100% Organic

Boots Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz – I also bought this one at Target (no compensation).  This one is different right off the bat.  It has a subtle rose scent and I would say this is more for your skin care regimen because it is a toner not just a spring water spritz.  It is also refreshing, but I use it in the morning and before bed after I cleanse my face.  It’s nice and light for the summer.

3 Refreshing Facial Sprays that you will LOVE Click To Tweet

What do you do for skin refreshment on a hot day?

*affiliate links are included in this post*