Liebster Award

Liebster Award

Throughout the process of launching The Lovely Twist, I have been connected with so many encouraging, positive, and inspiring bloggers. I had no idea the blogging community was such a tight knit group. In this day and age it’s so refreshing to know there are communities who strive to encourage and uplift one another.

I am excited to announce that because of the amazing blogging community, I have been nominated for the Liebster Award. The Liebster award is an internet award given to bloggers by fellow bloggers. The award is great exposure for blogs with less than 200 followers.

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by fellow blogger, Blythe Morgan. I love the honestly Blythe brings to blogging. She shares her honest opinions and experiences, both good and bad. In this world of trying to impress and one-up the next person, it’s refreshing to see a blogger like Blythe just sharing the real. Plus, she has a background in web design and development, so her blog is like really pretty…really really pretty! 😉  You can check her out at www.blythemorgan.com .

Liebster, in German translates to, “sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome,” which are all words I can proudly use to describe my encounters with other bloggers. One blogger who embodies the word Liebster, is Taylor Ooley of The Rose Petal Blog. Taylor welcomed me to the blogging community early on and gave me some sweet encouraging words right before my blog launch. I have enjoyed keeping up with The Rose Petal Blog and all that Taylor has been sharing. On The Rose Petal Blog you’ll find helpful tips to stay on track, affordable fashion, and travel recaps. Taylor is honest, real, and hardworking, I love following along with her experiences. On top of blogging all things life, travel, and fashion, Taylor is a University of Georgia student…which is impressive in it’s self! I cannot imagine myself back in college finding the time to juggle both school and blogging while killing it at both. Kudos to you, Taylor! Check her out at www.therosepetalblog.com.

RULES: Official Rules of the Liebster Award

Liebster Award Questions from Blythe Morgan

1. What scares you the most? Why?

Oh, so many things. I used to be terrified of failure. Now, as my priorities change I worry not about disappointing those I love, but about those I love being put in harms way or hurting (mentally or physically). If I could put the ones I love in a safe bubble for life, I would! 

2. What did you start blogging?

I started blogging lifestyle content. I have so much I want to share and I’m enjoying putting together posts along with social media content to go with it. It’s all a learning process, but I’m loving it!

3. Who inspires you the most?

I have so many amazing people who have touched my life in some way or another, and they inspire me everyday. My fiancĂ© inspires me because he is so hardworking and always positive. My mom inspires me, because she is not giving up on her dreams. My dad inspires me, because he puts his family first and works so hard to provide (he always has!), he also is still always checking in on me (even though I’m an “adult”). My sister inspires me, because she marches to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t compromise who she is for anyone. My younger siblings inspire me, because it’s amazing to see them grow into their own and start to voice and form their own opinions. The list goes on and on. If you’re struggling to find inspiration, I suggest taking a look at what those around you are doing. Everyone is pushing on and conquering something throughout their day, big or small. 

4. Do you have a favorite teacher/professor? If so, why?

I’m going to give a two part answer here, so bare with me…

I’m a long ways out of school, but my 5th grade english teacher will always stick in my mind. She was encouraging and pushed me to write more. She saw something in me that I didn’t see. Elementary was also a hard time for me because my parents were going through a divorce, and it was a big transition period in the home as well as growing into a young woman. I remember always looking forward to her class, the writing prompts, and learning from her. 

In life, I’d say my favorite teacher would have to be my siblings. You don’t realize it at the time, but growing up with siblings can teach you a lot about yourself. I’ve learned patience, how to guide, how to be fair, how to be selfless in actions, when to hold your tongue, and when to speak up. My siblings have taught me that not everyone thinks the same way as you, and that’s what makes this world beautiful. I’ve taught myself to pause, and learn from them, appreciate them, and take pride in them.

5. What have you learned the most about blogging since you started?

I’ve learned so much since I’ve started blogging, and honestly, I learn something new every day. I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to not compare myself to other blogs. Everyone is at a different stage in this journey and I can’t compare my success to another’s. 

6. What are some of your favorite shows/movies?

I love watching movies, so that’s impossible for me to answer. My favorite shows currently, are This Is Us, Grey’s Anatomy (yes, I still watch), and Real Housewives of [insert city]…sorry it’s a guilty pleasure I’m not willing to give up!

7. What is the best book you have ever read?

I need to get back into reading more, I used to be quite the bookworm. I love Jodi Picoult books for a good, moving novel. Emily Giffin is one of my favorites for non-fiction, and Elin Hildebrand’s books are always easy, enjoyable reads. The last book I could not out down, wasThe Magnolia Story, By Chip and Joanna Gaines, from Fixer Upper. They are #goals.

8. How do you like to spend your Friday night?

Usually, my fiancĂ© and I like to relax on Friday’s. Lately we’ve been making veggie pizzas and enjoying a beer or two while hanging out on the couch (riveting stuff I know). Sometimes, if our week has been a little more hectic, we’ll go out for a chill dinner or take a walk around our neighborhood to unwind. 

9. What make a “good night” Good?

I would say my best, “good nights” are credited towards the people I spend them with. Good company can make anything 100x better…bad company can make anything 100x worse. Never take for granted those who make put the “good” in your “good nights!”

10. What is your biggest goal in life?

I have trouble answering questions like these. I think my goals change as my priorities do. Right now, my biggest goal is to lead a happy, healthy, lifestyle and try to stay positive through any hardships. Does this answer count?

11. What is the #1 thing on your bucket list?

Ah, the bucket list! I have trouble ranking things on my bucket list. I’ve always wanted to travel in Europe…that’s a must that I will make happen.

My Nominations

Taylor Ooley (www.therosepetalblog.com)
Megan and Anzette (www.ginsengandtonic.com)
Brittany Toms (www.arrowandcompany.com)
Shana Smith (https://shanasmith.blogspot.com/?m=1)
Mara Jacob (www.itsamaramoment.com)
Haley Willis  (https://thehaleymorganblog.wordpress.com)
Heather Parham(https://newyorkrootstosouthernboots.com)
Meghan Goetz (www.twineandbraids.com)
Abbie Schulz (http://dolledupinthekitchen.com)
Emily Vanderwalde of Vino in The Village (https://fordleestyle.com)
Kasia (https://ampersandblog.net)

Questions for Nominees

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What was your biggest struggle when you first started blogging?
3. Where do you look for inspiration?
4. What are your hobbies?
5. The end of the year is upon us. Did you make any resolutions for 2017? Have you stuck to them?
6. What is the the last book you read? Tell us about it. 
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
8. How would you spend your “perfect day?”
9. How do you stay motivated to meet your goals?
10.Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
11. What is your favorite trend right now? Can be a fashion, home, lifestyle, or music trend!

Thank you for taking the time to read, and learn more about me. I cannot wait to hear the other nominee’s answers!

 

 

 

 

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Kick the Sunday Scaries Goodbye…5 Ways to Reset and Recharge For a Fresh, Productive Week

Do you dread Sundays because it means the end of the weekend? Do you find your self increasingly depressed as you watch the last hours of “freedom” tick away?

News flash! (and also stop being so melodramatic)… Sundays are a fresh slate where you can prep and reset your entire week. I like to look at Sundays as my “mini New Year’s Eve.” You know the exciting feeling you get at the start of a New Year, where the year to come is a blank canvas waiting for you to fill it with memories, goals & resolutions? Guess, what
YOU CAN FEEL THIS WAY EVERY WEEK!

Here are 5 ways I prep and reset for the week to come:

  1. Meal Plan
  2. Set weekly goals and day plans
  3. Healthy Dinner
  4. Walk it Out
  5. Me time – Journal, Read, Relax

Meal Plan:

It’s no secret the energy you need to conquer your day starts with what you’re cooking in the kitchen. Every weekend, I like to sit down and plan out our meals for the coming week. I use the term “meal plan” vs “meal prep,” because I am not prepping materials for our meals, I’m literally laying out a plan for each dinner, and the ingredients we need to make it. From this plan, I am able to map out my grocery list and prepare for a week of delicious meals!

Although initially the idea of meal planning may sound time consuming and daunting, it is SO WORTH IT. Planning out your weekly menu will ultimately save you time and allow for a productive evening vs the alternative of feeling rushed to figure out a dinner plan. With a planned dinner to look forward to each day, the trips to the Drive-Thru window or local burger joint are less likely, and my waistline is thanking me.

To get started, I like to flip through my cookbooks and either pick new recipies, or brainstorm a way to improvise and make a recipe my own. Here are some of my favorite cookbooks for easy, healthy meals.

Skinny Taste: Fast and Slow

Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes
Skinny Taste is one of my trusty go-tos. This summer, I cut meat out of my diet, and this book as plenty of plant based recipes as well as recipes with meat that are easy to tweak into a meat free option. There has not been a single recipe from Skinny Taste that hasn’t been a hit in our kitchen.

Cravings

Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat
Cravings is another favorite one, because I am obsessed with anything Chrissy Teigen does, and two, she has such a fun take on some traditional favorites as well as unique recipes if you find yourself in a food rut. The Sweet Potato Gnocchi is to DIE for (adding this to my meal plan as we speak).

Cooking Light: The New Way to Cook Light


Cooking Light The New Way to Cook Light: Fresh Food & Bold Flavors for Today’s Home Cook
Cooking Light’s “The New Way to Cook Light” is the holy grail of healthy, delicious recipes. There are plenty of plant based options in this book as well. In the fall and winter months, I like to make a homemade soup every Sunday for dinner, this cookbook has a separate soup section chalk full of unique and tasty ideas.

Once I have my week of dinners planned out, I make a list of ingredients we need from the store. I like to write my grocery lists by section. For example, at our grocery, produce is the first section when you walk in. So, I list all of my produce needs first, followed by pantry items and so on. This way, we’re not aimlessly walking around the store trying to find the oregano.

Another tip that has saved me time (and money), when selecting menu items, I like to look at the ingredients needed and pick meals where I can use the same produce. This way, if i need half of a bell pepper in one recipe, and tomorrow’s meal calls for half of a bell pepper, the precious peppers don’t go to waste (say that 5x fast), AND I’m saving money in the end by not having to buy 100 different ingredients that may go to waste.

Set weekly goals and Daily Plans

Sunday evening, I like to sit down and make goals for the week as well as list any appointments I have for the week ahead. I tend to make 3 main goals, one for each priority in my life (love, self, work). Goals can be as simple as, dusting the living room, as complex as tackling a major work assignment, or as mushy-gushy as thinking of a simple way to make your S/O feel appreciated. I find if I write it out, I’m more likely to hold myself accountable.

I’ve been using the Day Designer from Blue Sky to plan out my days.

Day Designer for Blue Sky 2017-2018 Academic Year Daily & Monthly Planner, Twin-Wire Bound, 5″ x 8″, Navy Stripe

This is a great planner, broken down into monthly views, weekly views, and day by day view. The day by day pages, have a daily schedule where you can list goals or appointments by hour. The hourly schedule has helped me stay on track…and let’s be real there’s something so gratifying about crossing items off your list.

This planner also has a space for “gratitude” on each day. Often times we get so wrapped up in all of our to-dos that we loose sight of the simple things to be thankful for. I like to fill out the gratitude box as a nice reminder throughout my day to take time and be thankful. Today, I’m thankful for my fiancĂ© and how hard he works to make our home perfect.

Healthy Dinner

Let’s be real here, weekends tend to become a time where we forget about nutrition. When the clock strikes Friday night it’s almost like those cheese fries are calorie free (we wish!). What is it about a weekend night that makes eating a whole pizza seem ok? I tend to over indulge a little bit on the weekends, whether it be eating some junk food I typically steer clear of during the week, or having an extra cocktail (or 2…). Just because I veer from my meal plan during the weekend, doesn’t mean I’ve failed or should continue those habits onto the week. This is why I like to make our Sunday dinner a healthier option.

Usually, Sunday dinners are a big salad full of chopped veggies and leafy greens. In the winter months, I like to switch it up and make a low-sodium home made soup, or loaded veggie wrap. Like I said before, Sunday should be your day to reset, and recharge for the week to come. Start that rest in kitchen!

Now Walk it out…

It may seem silly, but I make sure to take a nice walk every Sunday. This can be in the morning with my pup, or in the evening with my better half (usually headed towards our local ice cream shop). Walking has been known to improve your mood, help with circulation, and regular walking can help you maintain a healthy weight. Not to mention, as we head into fall there’s not much better than enjoying all of the changing leaves and fall air.

Sunday walks are also a good time to clear your head and get ready to conquer the week ahead. For me, it’s a special time to connect with my fiancĂ© and talk about what we have coming up, or laugh about something that happened this weekend. Plus, after my double scoop of ice cream, the walk home is a nice way to burn off the extra calories ;).

Me time

As my Sunday winds down, I like to take a little bit of time for me, myself, and I. I usually take a nice hot shower, give myself a mini facial, and make sure all of my “to-do’s” are set for the week. This is my time to indulge in a guilty pleasure (yes, I’m talking Real Housewives of ” insert city here”), journal, or read. This year, I’ve been filling out “The 52 Lists Project.”

The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration

If you haven’t noticed already, I’m a little Type A, and a little obsessed with making lists. Alas, this guided journal has become a dear friend of mine. This guided journal has a weekly list prompt. Sometimes, the prompts seem silly, like “list some female celebrities you admire.” But when you step back and journal or reflect on why you might admire these women, you’ll start to see the qualities in them you may be aspiring towards, or appreciate those traits in yourself. It doesn’t take long to complete a weekly prompt, and it’s a nice way to have some quiet time to yourself. Some weeks, the lists are a little more complex, asking you to list ways you want to challenge yourself this week, or ways you can inspire others. Oftentimes, my weekly goals come as an after effect of filling out my journal prompt.

If you follow these 5 tips, or a “Sunday Reset” routine of your own, I would love to hear! I don’t know about you, but I am ready to conquer the week head, LIKE. A. BOSS. (mic-drop).

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What Led Me To This Lovely Twist

What Led Me To This Lovely Twist

I’ve always journaled, I have always enjoyed writing. In the moments, I was hurting or times I was so happy I wanted to get it all out, I’ve found myself scribbling down my thoughts. There’s something freeing about writing it all down, whatever “it” may be at the moment. I have entertained the idea of a blog for quite some time but thought “who would read that
” “what would I even write about
”

Recently, I was looking through one of my journals from my younger years
I came across a few pages I wrote when I was a green 14 years old trying to “figure out life” (ha-ha, if I only knew then
) I wrote about not being sure what I wanted to study in college or do with my life. I kept talking about how I want to help people. I didn’t know how but I wanted to make a difference in someone’s life, I wanted to spread good.

Now, enter my love for writing with my creative “bug.” I’ve always thought myself to be creative. Not just in the traditional arts and crafts way one may think. I find myself creative in the sense of solving problems. I enjoy coming up with unique gift ideas, finding ways to save money, thinking of a way to compromise in relationships, experimenting with new recipes, or finding way to do things more efficiently. Whenever I try a new concoction in the kitchen, or surprise my fiancĂ© with a cute gift…I find myself thinking “I wonder if other people would be interested in this idea?”

Next, combine the joy I feel from writing with the pull I have for sharing my creativity, add a little push sprinkled with loving encouragement from my fiancĂ© and sister, and here I am at the start of my blogging “journey.” I hope you’ll come alongside me as I begin this new adventure. I am so excited for the potential and to see where this may lead. I plan to share my recent experiences, favorite recipes, fashion finds, and much more. I would love to hear any (constructive) feedback you may have as well as ideas of what you would like to see.

Now, I don’t expect this little blog to solve the world’s problems. I don’t expect to fight social injustices, end world hunger, stop addiction, or cure cancer. BUT
if something I share here can help someone who is fighting for those who are underrepresented feel encouraged, if a tip or recipe I share makes a busy single mom’s night easier, if a struggle I open up about gives someone who is also struggling the strength to conquer, if an outfit I post can give a girl the confidence she needs to face something tough, if down the road this puts me in contact with someone who can help me make a tactful impact on those less fortunate, then I feel I am one step closer to achieving my 14- year old self’s inner calling to spread good.