Tuesday, April 25


When you can't control what's happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what's happening.  That's. where your power is.:

You only have control over three things in your life— the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take. — Jack Canfield:

When you see someone who needs power and control and will not stop until they get it, you are actually seeing someone who is deeply afraid of life. Fearful people can only have things their way.:

"Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't." - Steve Maraboli // #words #quote:

Quotes Of The Day - 14 Pics:

Fruits of Self-Control: Mastering of moods, watching your words, restraint of reactions, sticks to a schedule, manages money wisely, maintains good health. #FruitOfTheSpirit:

Pastor Steven Furtick quote from Crash the Chatterbox.:

100 Encouraging Bible Verses                                                                                                                                                                                 More:

I put my Faith in you., faith of jesus, trust on god, faith of a mustard seed verse,Famous Bible Verses, Encouragement Bible Verses, jesus christ bible verses , daily inspirational quotes with images,  bible verses for inspiration, Leadership Bible Verses,

Letting go of control: http://theblissfulmind.com/2016/11/03/letting-go-control/

I started to explore how control played out in my life in order to get clarification on what was holding me down. I asked myself where this need for control came from.
I narrowed it down to three things: my ego, perfectionism, and lack of trust.

My ego was telling me that things needed to go exactly as I wanted them to or else I was a failure, and it was telling me that people should do exactly what I wanted. Perfectionism was putting me into a place where I felt there was only one way to do things. Lack of trust reared its ugly head when I was afraid things would fall apart if I did not force them to be a certain way.

Part of the problem was that I wanted to make other people happy. I was forcing myself to do things because I wanted a specific reaction from people. I essentially wanted to be in control of their reactions. I forgot that focusing on myself doesn’t make me a selfish, unkind, or uncaring person, it just means I’m not forcing relationships or prioritizing other people above my own needs. I started to realize that it’s not my responsibility to take care of other people, nor should I be trying to change anyone.
So how can we let go of wanting to be in control? How can we stop focusing on the outcome we want and instead let things flow as they are supposed to?
By focusing on the things you can control. Remind yourself that you are in control of your own life, and believe that things will happen as they are intended to. Of course you can set goals and strive to get a particular outcome, but do not force something that doesn’t feel right. Realize that there needs to be space to flow.
In figuring out the role control plays in my life, I’ve come up with three tips that have helped me tame my inner control freak. Here they are:

1. Make a list of the things you can control.
Think about a time when you felt totally in control of your life. What was happening? What were you in control of? This is one exercise that really helped me realize that I do have power over many aspects of my life. Here’s what I came up with:
My health: I can eat more fruit and veggies, less cheese, and less bread. I can drink more water. I can choose how often I workout. I can choose how much I sleep (it’s hard, but it is ultimately a choice). I can choose my skincare routine.
My appearance: I control what I wear. I control the makeup I put on my face. I control the way I style my hair and the nail polish color I wear.
My mental stimulation: I can read a book when I want to. I can learn something new every day.
My productivity: I can decide if I want to snooze my alarm or not. I can decide when I take breaks from tasks. I can decide if I want to follow a routine or not.
My emotional well-being: I can choose what I focus my thoughts on. I can choose how often I meditate or practice mindfulness. I can choose to write when I feel upset and need to clear my head.
And most importantly, I can choose how I react to situations. This is probably the most powerful thing you can ever learn. The next tip explains how to do this.
2. Break the reaction pattern.
The way we react to situations ultimately leads to either harmful or beneficial consequences. When we are feeling like we don’t have control over something, we are likely to experience anxiety, mood swings, and frustration. All of this comes from the thoughts we have about the situation we’re in. In order to break the reaction pattern that often leads to harmful consequences, we can learn how to change our reaction patterns.
Typically a stressful reaction pattern looks like this:
Stressful trigger -> Stress reaction -> Negative thoughts -> Negative feelings -> Reactive harmful behavior -> Harmful consequences.
In order to break this reaction pattern, there are a few things we can do:
  • Be aware of the trigger.
  • Breathe when you feel your body start to tense.
  • Practice self-compassion when your thoughts begin to turn negative.
  • Recognize that your thoughts and feelings are nothing more than thoughts and feelings.
  • Avoid over identifying with your thoughts.
The next time you feel stressed out because of something you can’t control, try practicing the things above.
3. Write down or recite affirmations.
One powerful tool you can use to help you feel more in control is to write or recite affirmations. I find these are most powerful in the morning to get your day started on the right foot, but they can also be helpful if you’re in the midst of mini-breakdown. Here are some affirmation ideas:
  • I am 100% in control of my own life.
  • I go with the flow and accept what comes my way.
  • I focus my energy on what is most beneficial for me.
  • I am safe and secure in myself.
And there you have my tips for dealing with an inner control freak! Though I haven’t quite perfected the art of letting go, I know what I need to work on and how I can cope a little better. I’d love to hear from you about the role control plays in your life. 

Wednesday, April 19

Facing the Mountain

Image result for facing a mountain

Standing at the foot of a mountain is daunting. The incline is steep and treacherous, the rocks posing a possible threat to security and safety. The mass that is in front of me appears so ominous and dark; it feels so terrifying and discouraging- how will I ever overcome this mountain?

Yet looking behind me I see the long journey I have trekked to get to this point and although what lies ahead of me is scary, going back down the same worn and rugged path is depressing as well. I have two ways to go- I can either try to walk around the mountain or I can climb the mountain little by little. 

I am definitely scared that I will fail; that I won't be able to make it up the mountain- that it will kill me trying. The mountain seems so big to tackle, what if I can't make it? The journey will be long and potentially emotionally and physically exhausting. Another fear that grips me is the fear of the top. Getting to the top of the mountain is an exhilarating moment; it's a moment where you can see the accumulation of your dedication and hard work pay off for the epiphany and glory of defeating the beast of a mountain. Yet, what fear that holds me captive is what is on the other side of the mountain? What if I get to the top of this mountain only to find that the mountain just continues, or worse, there is a bigger mountain ahead? The fear of the unknown is sometimes scarier than the fear of the known. 

I've made the decision to climb the mountain, no matter how small the steps may be. As I climb this gigantic black mass in my life, I need to take each step as a victory and a step in the direction towards the top. When I get to the top, I'll deal with the top and what I may see; it may be another scary mountain of darkness or it may be the prettiest sunrise I've ever encountered. Only God knows. 

Image result for top of the mountain

Monday, April 17

Gluten Free Guide to Eat: Charleston

This past week dad turned the big 5-0! It also happened to fall on  Easter weekend this year, so the whole family converged upon Charleston to have a long weekend together. I have been to Charleston before but the rest of the family experienced this sweet Southern town for the first time. I love Charleston for it's culture, it's history but most importantly...it's food! If you're a foodie you have to make Charleston a top destination. Even if you're cursed with a lovely gluten intolerance like me, you'll find some amazing options for you as well!

Here is a list of some gluten-free or gluten-free places to stop in Charleston

Fleet Landing
186 Concord St. Charleston, SC 29401
What to get: seafood with a view
Menu  - they have a specific "gluten free" menu in house, just ask!
If you're here in the spring, bring a jacket and sit outside on one of the only waterfront restaurants in Charleston. Their menu is predominately seafood but they do have a chicken, pasta and red meat option for those who aren't sea-dwellers. 

Another Broken Egg Cafe
99 Market Street #4, Charleston, SC 29401
What to get: gluten free pancake
Menu - they have 'gluten free' items on the menu
Another Broken Egg is a chain in the South, great traditional Southern breakfast staples. I've found that each one is a tad different with their gf options, so just ask; some have gluten free bread and others don't. However the pancake was as big as the plate- literally HUGE! I couldn't finish the whole thing, so you may want to split it.

185 E Bay St. Charleston, SC 29401
What to get: shrimp and grits -- some of the BEST I've ever had
Menu - they have a physical gluten free menu and went above and beyond to make sure my meal was safe,  the chef even came out to my table! A++
Literally can NOT recommend this place enough. The atmosphere is charming and elegant with Southern touches. The food was phenomenal and the staff was outstanding. Pricey but worth a splurge if you're looking for an amazing evening out in Charleston. 

Five Loaves Cafe
Multiple locations
Bakery Downtown: 43 Cannon Street, Charleston, SC 29403
Cafe: 1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd #100, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
What to get: 1/2 a gluten free sandwich and 1/2 a fabulous salad and save room for their yummy desserts- get the blondie if they have it that day
Menu- They have daily specials + normal menu items. Salads, sandwiches (with gluten free bread options) 
We drove to the Mt. Pleasant location (just a short 5-10 minute drive from downtown) and it was an absolutely adorable location. The cafe is so funky and zen complete with outdoor seating. Even my non-gluten free people found things they enjoyed as they have 'normal' bread options as well. I love that you can do 1/2 and 1/2 with gluten free bread, salads, soup etc. so you can try a little bit of both.

Nothing Bundt Cake
1145 Johnnie Dodds Blvd #105 Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 
What to get: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Bundt 
Menu- only one option, but that's better than none right?!
Nothing Bundt Cake is a national chain I discovered about a year ago and they only have one gluten free option at the moment (chocolate chip bundt) but it is d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! Seriously, you wouldn't know it's gluten free in my opinion (or maybe I just don't remember what gluten stuff tastes like anymore). It's right next to Five Loaves Cafe so it's worth it to bop in and grab one for later!

Hominy Grill
207 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, SC 29403
What to get: the "vegetable" plate with gluten-friendly choices (which a.k.a are so not 'healthy' veggies but so good) 
MenuThey had a specific GF menu so ask for that when you sit down
We walked from downtown which was about a mile walk (you can walk it but warning, you may  walk through some not-so-great parts of town). Get there for a cocktail outside on the patio while you wait for your table to be ready. It's a perfect spring evening spot. Inside is rustic, Southern and country. I love it!

Palmetto Cafe (Brunch)
Inside the Belmond Hotel - 205 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401 
What to get: We did Sunday  brunch which had plenty of gf options for morning including mimosa's! 
Menu - Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch only

I've been eyeing this place for a while to try, and Easter brunch seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it. I'm glad we did. Brunch was a tad pricey but the atmosphere is breath-taking, the food was delicious and the staff was friendly and attentive. I'd recommend a nice dress attire: men in slacks and button up, women in something other than workout clothes or jeans. Not required, but recommended! 

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You could spend months and months here and not try every amazing restaurant they have on King Street and East Bay Street (and everywhere else in between) but I hope this helps give you a little insight to some great finds! You can be gluten free and not have to sacrifice flavor or options!