Fourth Blogiversary: Bar Bonanza Giveaway!

Hellooooo, friends! As you can see from the title, April 14th marks a BIG anniversary for the little ‘ol blog! That’s right…..we’ve been going for FOUR YEARS strong!

I really can’t believe it. It’s hard to imagine I’ve been consistently writing and documenting my life for four whole years. Numerous trips, tons of holidays, countless product reviews, the challenges of school, kitchen triumphs and mishaps, and a whole lot of memorable moments!

It’s amazing the transformation this blog has made and I am really happy with how it’s grown and changed as I have. What started as a way to get introduced to new healthy living products, has truly become an outlet for my creativity, my self-expression, and a gateway to an incredible community of like-minded individuals.

This blog has been a source of pride for me. A source of confidence. And the constant feedback and interaction I get from you all is so appreciated. I’ve ‘met’ (online and IRL) so many amazing people who have really made an imprint on my heart and soul.

This blog has allowed me to grasp hold of how much potential humans have for kindness and compassion. While, it’s also brought plenty of heartache, judgement, and criticism, I’ve been able to take something away from every experience I’ve had with it. I’ve learned important lessons, been able to acknowledge my own indiscretions, and truly come into my own in my search for my voice.

A few things I’ve taken away from blogging for over 4 years…

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-You can’t please everyone. And at a certain point you have to stop trying.

-Don’t get caught up in the politics, the negativity, or the falsities. And if you find that you have, reflect on those decisions and move past them as soon as you can. Start fresh.

-Don’t be afraid to vulnerable and open. People are so receptive and encouraging…especially when they can relate.

-Take pride in what you write and write about things you’re truly passionate about.

-Speak your mind, but do so with respect and courtesy of others opinions.

-Learn to accept constructive criticism. But don’t subject yourself to outright cruelty.

-PicMonkey is a life-savor.

-Admit when you’re wrong.

-Coding, wordpress, and the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff is HARD. One of these days I am going to sit down and learn the ins and outs of computers.

-Give to back to the community what you take. Supporting other bloggers and readers is so important.

-You’re going to make mistakes. With your grammar, your writing, your over sharing, your under-sharing, and your self expression. But you’re only human and in this vulnerable place, you can only do your best to be authentic.

I’ve truly learned an immense amount. More than I can put into words. But one thing is for sure. After 4 years, I still look forward to every post I write, every comment I receive, and every interaction I have with all of you. And if that keeps holding true…than you can bet I’ll keep blogging for the long haul.

As a special thanks to all of you who have been supporting me since the beginning or have joined in along the way…I am holding one of my BIGGEST GIVEAWAYS EVER!

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Featuring my favorite thing……BARS!!! Specifically bars from FOUR of my favorite brands! How appropriate right!?

Up for grabs…

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larabarprize.jpgthunderbirdprizeSince there are SO many ways to enter and FIVE different winners….this giveaway will run all the way until next Saturday! That way you have plenty of time to enter and give yourself the best possible chance of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much to Larabar, FiberLove, Thunderbird Energetica, and Nakd for sponsoring my big anniversary giveaway!! Just a few examples of the some of the AMAZING companies and people who this blog has also allowed me to connect with!

Good luck to all who enter and here’s to another year of fun and blogging!

Kaila

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Todays’s Healthy Help: Helped a lady wrangle her dog who pulled it’s leash out of her hand!

Never too early to start Lending a {Healthy} Hand for this week’s round-up! Tell me what you’ve done to help someone else lately!

Lend a {Healthy} Hand #58: Easing my Mind

Week after week I am bombarded with love, support, and #healthyhelp from you all! Not only do you share with me things you’ve done for others, but you give #healthyhelp to me specifically in the form of encouragement, compliments, and advice. And I truly do appreciate it. So this week, I thought I’d offer up some of my own #healthyhelp for you all in return!

After yesterday’s post, it’s pretty clear that I have a hard time shutting off my brain and keeping it from constantly racing. It’s something that takes practice, but with a set of coping strategies and tips, it can be done. So today I want to share with you all some of my go to methods for easing my mind, calming myself, and getting through challenging bouts of anxiety. Hopefully they will help some of you when you’re going through a rough time as well. easingmymind.jpg

-Turn on a sound machine and focus in on the noise: my favorite to listen to is the ‘rain’ setting….it totally mellows me.

-Get outside and go for a walk: it’s amazing what a little fresh air and movement can do for your mind!

-Paint your nails: doing something with my hands that takes precision and focus completely distracts my mind and allows me to just zero in on the task at hand.

-Deep breathe and sigh: so underrated but inhaling loudly and exhaling powerfully really relieves some of that tension you may be feeling.

-Text a loved one: my go to person is my mom….she always has words of comfort and understanding to offer me.

-Get lost in the internet for a bit: yes, the internet can be a time suck, but it can also be a great momentary distraction and tool for relaxation if you use it in moderation to step away from your stressors.

-Write it out, say it out loud: sometimes just physically getting the thoughts out of your head and into the open can keep you from dwelling on them.

-Plugin a podcast or your favorite music: nothing like some noise going to straight to your brain to drown out your on thoughts.

-Scream therapy: (best done when no one else is home) literally scream at the top of your lungs, with no restrictions and no holding back….trust me, it feels damn good.

-Stretch it out: holding stretches that are a little uncomfortable gives me a physical sensation that gives my mind something to focus on other than it’s own thoughts….a little pain can be good sometimes!

-Refer to some of your favorite words of wisdom or mantras: being reminded of things that you know to be true about yourself and the world can be very centering and bring you back to state of calm and serenity.

-Read the Daily Positive or old emails from TUT: I subscribe to two email services that always bring a little positivity and light into my day. TUT gives you a daily dose of inspiration and encouragement, while the Daily Positive sends a new post everyday that gives you something to positive to think about the world, life, and society in general. Both are incredibly inspiring and thought provoking. They definitely can set your mind straight when you’re worrying about things that really don’t matter.

These are just a few of the tricks I use….do you have some of your own? And now for some #healthyhelp from the week!

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Joshua reaches out to people and offers them support, encouragement, and advice…Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 2.09.53 PM A Buffalo native, Patrick Kane and his team, volunteered at a children’s hospital… Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 2.58.23 PM Karen stopped on her run to give someone directions….Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 6.34.43 PM Adrienne took the time to teach some friends how to make kombucha…Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 12.23.46 PM Kathleen is raising money for rescue animals by running a marathon….Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 7.14.39 AM Megan is running her first marathon in honor of Ronald McDonald House charities….Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 7.14.54 AM Kelley saved a bird that was stuck in her gutter….Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 11.22.57 PM Michelle has been making donations around her community…Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 10.18.20 PM #HealthyHelp from around the world….

Providing a safe haven for street kids in Congo

Sun King wants to brighten life for rural poor

Karen Lange: volunteering ‘helped my soul and heart to heal’

Study: Donors Gave More Online Last Year Than Ever Before

Vets Build Touching Memorial After Fort Hood Attack

How Women Have Built Up Rwanda Since Genocide

Unsung Heroes Make Us Believe There’s Good In The World

Go out and do some good this weekend!

Kaila

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Todays’s Healthy Help: Dropped some food off to a neighbor who just had a baby!

Never too early to start Lending a {Healthy} Hand for next week’s round-up! Tell me what you’ve done to help someone else lately!