Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mustard Seed Reads: "To You; Love God"

I absolutely love "To You; Love, God". Not only is the cover and layout simple and beautiful, the message is heartfelt and clear. This book provides a daily inspirational paragraph to set the tone for your day (and I find it's best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea). The best part is that it's set out by date but not by year so you can come back year after year to view and re-read the messages.

There are sections for each month such as "Do" and "Love" that neatly package the messages in accordance with the monthly theme. If you feel you need motivational calls to action, hop to a section that is more active. If you need some comfort and kindness, find a section that matches.

This book can be shared with anyone, regardless of age, and would make a great book to read out loud to little ones at the start or end of a day. It's a great gift, again, really for anyone, and will surely be appreciated by all. I would absolutely buy this as a gift for friends or family. In a world that seems overwhelmed with chaos, pain, confusion, and frustration, being able to give someone a bit of peace and love and kindness is a true blessing.

Check out  To You; Love, God: A Year of Daily Guidance and Inspiration Straight from the Source and let me know how you like it!

**I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I never post anything other than what I honestly believe. Thanks for your support of this content so I can continue to provide you with exciting new books to read!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Time to Rise & Shine

Morning is my absolute favorite time of day. While I don't do it often, I love waking up early and using the time to refresh, check in on how I'm feeling and where I'm at, and set the standards for the day to come.

Morning routines are a quick and easy way to set the tone for your day, and make very big life changes with small steps. My morning routine starts with a 20-minute meditation. Well, no, back it up. My morning routine starts with feeling some puppy eyes staring at me waiting for me to wake up. Henry is the first one up and he can hardly contain himself with enthusiasm for the day. As soon as he sees my eyes open, he rolls onto his back to get his morning belly rub and we play a few rounds of "catch mommy's hand", which is a fan favorite around here. After Hen and I have our time together, Layla slowly makes her way from sleeping to sitting up to flopping over to me where she keeps her eyes shut and a big smile on her face while I scratch her ears until she falls back asleep.

As I write this, I realize even my dogs have a morning routine! Even more motivation for you to set one up.

Up next comes teeth brushing, my meditation, morning prayers and reading a chapter in my current 40-day devotional and by then the dogs have run downstairs to pee on their pee-pads and start eating breakfast, and have run back up to see what the heck is taking me so long.

This is when I first check my phone, and at the most I'll look at instagram. That's it. No email, no facebook, no internet, nothing else. Waking up without your technology in your face is crucial to the start of your day. You know what is usually in my emails? People needing things. If I haven't taken care of myself yet, how can I start to give to others? If you hop right on facebook then the very first thing you're doing is seeing what other people are up to (hello comparison), reading upsetting news going on in the world, or taking in other people's frustrations (don't act like you don't have friends who use facebook as their platform to complain about every traffic jam, burnt bagel, and bad dream). We don't need that first thing in the morning - or really, ever, so go on ahead and delete those constant complainers.

Next up is brewing a cup of tea or hitting the button on my bff Mr. Keurig for some delicious coffee, finding some breakfast, and playing fetch for a few minutes with Hen, who by now is basically leaping around, pushing his toys toward me. If I've got the time, this is also when I stretch.

This point is where my days veer off. I might throw on workout clothes and take the dogs out, I might hop right in the shower to get to auditions or callbacks, or I might be getting on skype and start coaching clients (which, yes, I often do with that tea or coffee in my hand, pjs still on). However, the beauty of my morning routine means even though every single day is different, with so many uncertainties, I've created stability and structure for myself before I jump into anything else. If you have a ton of structure and a day job you go to daily, you can create a morning routine to fulfill your other wants outside of your job. Maybe this is when you journal, paint, or write that best selling novel. Maybe it's when you get to the gym. Need more ideas? Here's a list of suggestions for you on how to rock out your morning routine:
  • pray
  • journal
  • meditate
  • stretch
  • make tea or coffee
  • cook a real breakfast that takes longer than grabbing a protein bar or donut
  • spend time with your partner, kids, parents, pets, or whoever else makes you smile
  • read a newspaper, magazine, book, or daily inspiration/devotional
  • take a long shower
  • go for a run, do a dvd/youtube workout, or hit the gym early
  • write a blog post
  • pursue your creative passions or dreams
  • write out three goals for the day
  • make a clear intention statement for your day
What does your morning look like? I'd love to hear your routines either here in the comments or over on instagram. Remember: YOU are in charge of your day. Not your facebook friends, family, co-workers, weather, or whatever else we can choose to blame. Shape your day how you want it, and start with the morning :)

love, mustard seed co