Healthy Rewards

happy

Hello there! I hope you are doing well  and that you have some fun and relaxing items on your agenda for this weekend. My husband and I are going out on the town for a friend’s birthday party and then I’m sure the rest of it will be spent doing work around the yard and house, grocery shopping, school work and hanging out with our fur children 🙂

I’m sure that many of you may have heard of Gretchen Rubin. She is the author of the very popular and best-selling book entitled The Happiness Project. I read her book back in 2014 and I loved it! Throughout her book, she shares her scientific research on happiness and her experiments with incorporating ways to be happier into her lifestyle. What I liked most about it was that it didn’t feel too self-helpie (even though I enjoy some self-help books) and that she already was a happy person to begin with. Her main goal was just to find ways to be happier and enjoy life more which is something we could all benefit from. If you have any interest in learning about ways to increase happiness in your life, then I would definitely pick up her book or listen to her Happier podcasts.

happiness project
I was very excited when I learned about Gretchin’s Happier podcasts that she hosts with her sister, Elizabeth. I’ve been listening to her podcasts on YouTube<=== (quick access) during my morning commutes and they are very enlightening and entertaining.  Earlier this week, I listened to one of her podcasts about the strategy of rewards. It got me thinking about the ways I tend to reward myself for getting though a stressful work week and how those rewards can undermine my good healthy habits.

I have found that during busy, frustrating and hectic work weeks, I tend to reward myself with chocolate treats, visits to Starbucks and takeout food for dinner. Although takeout can be very convenient in an emergency, my priorities are to eat clean and avoid high sodium comfort food so rewarding myself with treats and takeout isn’t healthy and often continues into a normal week.

I need to start treating myself with healthy rewards like taking yoga, going to my favorite exercise class, visiting my parent’s pool, taking a warm soothing bath, getting a mani/pedi or a massage, or a new book. Rewards don’t have to be something that I have to eat. As long as I know I have something to look forward to either right after work or that weekend then I will save my money and time for the healthy reward 🙂

Healthy rewards don’t always have to be something that you buy also. Here are some other ways to treat yourself without spending money:

1) Go for a walk. Take your favorite tunes or your spouse, family member, friend or dog.

2)  Practice peaceful meditation and calm breathing.

3) Go to YouTube and find an exercise or yoga video.

4) Visit your local library and check out a book you’ve always wanted to read.

5) Give yourself a mani/pedi.

6) Listen to an awesome  podcast.

7) Write in your journal or blog.

8) Go for a bike ride.

9) Take a day off work for a wellness day.

10) Go for a drive or walk by the beach.

These are my suggestions. What are your healthy rewards?

be happy

Baxter & Guinness

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a fantastic week. I can’t believe its October!!!! Woo hooo!! Summer is slowly leaving sunny South Florida and I am starting to feel a hint of fall in the air 🙂

I hope you all had a great summer. Our summer was pretty low-key but wonderful. After our honeymoon in Ireland, Oscar and I took things easy and worked on projects around the house. We also took a small couples trip to Busch Gardens with our good friends Alicia and Dee, spent some weekends in Miami and enjoyed some BBQs and get togethers with family and friends. AND……………WE ADOPTED TWO PUPPIES!!
Meet Baxter and Guinness 🙂

Adoption #2

We adopted them from the Everglades Abandoned Dog Rescue in late July. Having two litter mates can be quite a handful at times but for the most part they are very well behaved and sweet tempered pups. Oscar and I are happy to open our hearts and our home to these adorable little guys.

Here’s the Story:
Oscar and I have been wanting to get a dog for a long time and now that we have a house with a fenced in yard (and a puppy park around the corner!!), we thought that now would be the best time to adopt one. We had done a lot of research over the past few years on different breeds and we decided that the best dog for us would be a schnauzer. Then one day to my surprise, Oscar told me that he found a schnauzer puppy ready for adoption and arranged for us to go to an adoption event down in Pompano Beach. I was very excited!! And of course, as soon as we met him (his name was Kingston at the time), we fell in love and knew he was our boy.

I mean come on…look at this face???

guinness adoption photo

guinness sad

Before we could take him home, we had to fill out an application and have our home inspected and approved. After that was over, a few days later we brought him home! I was so happy I cried.
Guinness First Day

Guinness took very well to us and his new surroundings and we were very impressed with him and his temperament. However, we noticed that he seemed a little sad. We figured that it was because he missed his litter mates. That’s when Oscar told me that when he went to pick up Guinness from his foster home, the VP of the adoption agency told him that they would waive the adoption fee if we took his brother (his name was Nassau). We remembered him from the adoption event but there was another family that was interested in him at the time so we didn’t get to spend much time with him. However, we told them we would see how things go with Guinness on the first week and let them know by the weekend.  And as the week went on, we fell in love with the idea of adopting Guinness’ brother so the two of them could be together and keep each other company. Sooooo we made room for one more!! And that is how we ended up with Guinness (shown as Kingston below) and Baxter (Nassau).

Kingston & Nassau

Oscar and I are both very happy with our decision.  Baxter & Guinness “our boys” are doing great. They are both happy and affectionate and I feel like WE are the lucky ones to have picked such great pooches to share our home with.

Sure they play fight and are a little rambunctious at times. And they fight over the same toy even though there are plenty others to choose from. Baxter is a little stubborn at times but he is also a lover. All he really wants is to cuddle and have his belly rubbed. It’s the cutest thing ever! Guinness is a cuddler too and a total Mama’s boy!!! They both fill our home and our days with so much happiness. Oscar and I are both training them at home and through the training school at PetSmart which the boys are taking to very well.

baxter grad Guinness grad

Well that’s what I’ve been up to this summer. Can’t wait to see what the fall season has in store. Thanks for reading my super long post. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be sure to keep you updated on our new puppy adventures.

GB Colage

Good Enough

Ugh….do you ever get the feeling you’re not good enough? That feeling creeps up on me sometimes. It will just come out of nowhere. Sometimes these little insecurities visit me at night right before I’m about to fall asleep. Thoughts will come drifting into my mind and I will find myself wondering….Am I a good friend? A good wife? Daughter? Or sister? Am I living my life up to its fullest potential? I go over the things I’ve said, need to say and things I wish I said in the past. The list in my mind goes on and on….

That’s when I know that it’s time to slow down and meditate. Life can be so busy and hectic. Sometimes I feel like I rush from one thing to the next and don’t take time to enjoy the present. I need to slow down a little and be more mindful.

I can’t let these thoughts get the better of me. I am enough. I do the best I can. I need to readjust my thinking and remind myself:

Organic vs. Conventional: Making the Switch

Hello and Happy Earth Day!!

Over the past few months, my husband and I have switched over to organic food. We started out gradually buying only organic produce, and then we switched to organic milk and eggs to organic meats and poultry.  I used to think that it would be too expensive for us but so far I’ve found that it’s actually quite affordable.  Most of the time we pay anywhere from .30 cents to a $2 more per item depending on where we shop which is Publix and local produce markets.

Although we do pay a little extra at the grocery store, I’m glad we made the change as the benefits far outweigh the costs. Not only does the food taste a hundred times better since there are no pesticides or GMOs but I feel  better like I have more pep in my step and less digestive issues. I realize however, that there’s a lot of debate on whether or not organic food is safer and more nutritious for you than conventionally grown food. So I just try to pay attention to my body and to other variables like what’s in season and the ripeness of the produce since that also influences nutritional value.  I guess it all depends on what you are most comfortable with.

I’ve been following a couple of informative blogs on healthy living called: Food Babe and Detoxinista. These are helpful websites when it comes to making healthy choices and eating organic.

Foodbabe.com is a guide you on how to live an organic lifestyle, make the right purchasing decisions at your local grocery store and how to travel and eat healthfully around the world.  Food babe also investigates and writes about the harmful ingredients found in processed foods and how to avoid them. You may recognize her name from some of the recent press that came out about Subway and Chick-fil-a  using harmful additives in their food.  Food babe was the one responsible for not only investigating and exposing this knowledge to the public but for getting them to stop! I don’t know about you all but I think that’s pretty darn cool.

Detoxinista is another blog with lots of good recipes and helpful tips on healthy living and nutrition. I highly recommend checking our her website. She is very knowledgeable and has lots of delicious recipes that are quick and easy to make and use simple, whole ingredients.

Are you trying to make a switch to eating organic? If so, I hope these blogs are helpful to you.

Have a great day and a healthy week!

~Mrs. Nice Girl

 

 

Monday Motivation

Good morning! I hope you all  had a great weekend and a Happy Easter!

Last night, my husband and I hosted Easter dinner at our house with both of our families. This was also our first dinner hosted as husband and wife 🙂

Instead of a traditional Easter ham, Oscar grilled an array of meats, sausages and chicken.  I prepared a chick pea salad to go on the side with a baguette and some delicious homemade coconut Easter Nests for dessert (something my brother and I used to enjoy when we were kids). It was a lot of fun. Thankfully our parents get along very well and enjoy each other’s company so dinners at our house are always an easy success.

IMG_20140421_033701 Unfortunately, I think I had a little too much fun because I woke up with a horrible stomach and head ache around 3am last night and had trouble going back to sleep 😦 I wanted to call in sick today but I can’t so I will have to trudge on with my day.  I am badly in need of some Monday Motivation. Here are a few inspirational quotes that got me through my morning and rest of the day. The last one is my favorite!!

Do you have any Monday motivation quotes that you go to for those rough mornings? If so, please share!

monday motivation

 

bey future monday fab"You're gonna be livin in a van...down by the river!" - chris farley, BEST COMEDIAN EVER!

Mrs. Nice Girl

Hey everybody!! Happy Easter!!

As some of you may know, I have been hard at work planning my wedding so I haven’t been able to post in a while but I am happy to announce that Oscar and I are married!! 988832_10152276761143614_3459022690612651413_nOn Sunday, April 6th we tied the knot at Benvenuto’s in Boynton Beach, FL. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day.  The weather was beautiful, the ceremony was lovely and the reception was lots of fun. Oscar and I couldn’t have been more pleased with everything. Our photographer, Manny Moya, was wonderful and took lots of great photos which I have posted for you below:

The Ceremony: ceremony 2 the ceremonyOur wedding party: wedding partywedding party 2 Me and my Dad: me and dad sepia Bride and Groom: bride and groom piano oscar and katie benvenutos oscar and katie the dip the cakeI hope you enjoyed the sneak peek of our wedding photos. I’ll try and post more pics of the reception as soon as I can. In the meantime, I hope you all have a beautiful day and a Happy Easter!! XOXOXO ~ Mrs. Nice

DIY Wedding Planning Binder

Hello and Happy Autumn!

Wow…I can tell from my last blog post that I haven’t written in a while.  I guess working full time and planning a wedding doesn’t leave you much free time to write. My honey and I confirmed a venue and picked a date which happens to be less than 5 months away! Ahhhh!! Five months comes up very soon and all I can think about is all the stuff we have to do.  There are some nights that I can’t even go to sleep because I can’t shut off my brain. Oh well….I guess there could be worse things to keep me up at night 😉 And the best part is that when I wake up….instead of feeling tired, I feel so darn happy!!

Wedding planning is super fun but it can be  very stressful. Especially when you go on pages like The Knot and Wedding Wire and they give you these endless To-Do lists and deadlines.  Although they are very helpful, I try not to pay too  much attention to them and follow my own agenda and timeline especially since we are not having a big wedding. Plus I used to be an event planner so I’m pretty organized and you don’t have to tell me twice to get something done! (My fiance on the other hand….that’s a whhoooole other story ;p)

Sometimes, I get overwhelmed when I see the list of things of things we have to-do in such a short time. But when that happens, I gently remind myself of my wedding mantra which is…”All I want to do is marry Oscar….no fuss!” There is no such thing as a perfect wedding or marriage even. All we need to do is make our decisions and go with it. It’s just one day (one beautiful day) but we do not want to go into a whole bunch of debt or stress over centerpieces and table settings. It’s about our marriage and celebrating with the people we love.

It also helps to write down all of my to-dos for the week and my deadlines for getting them done. It really helps keep me on track and get it out of my head.  I made an awesome binder for keeping all of my important information – brochures, agreements, receipts, to-do lists, important phone numbers and dates. I also keep an excel sheet to stay on budget and manage our guest list. I love being organized!!

Here is my cool DIY Wedding Binder for all my DIY brides out there!!

wedding collage notebook

Well that’s it for now. Gotta run. I need to get a goodnight’s sleep. Tomorrow is our tasting 🙂 Goodnight!