Friday, May 17, 2019

Empower Yourself: Taking Control Of Your Life’s Direction

Empower wall decor
(Image Source)

Everyone goes through times in life where it can feel hard to keep in control. With bosses being as difficult as ever, businesses pushing you to cover bills, and all of the other little things which make life hard bearing down on you, it’s no wonder that it can feel chaotic sometimes. To give you the inspiration you need to overcome this, this article will be exploring some of the simplest ways to empower yourself and take control of your life’s direction.

The Challenges

There are a lot of challenges which can come with normal living, and facing them can leave people feeling very alone. Problems can be embarrassing, with most people working hard to cultivate the idea that they are a very responsible person, who doesn’t make mistakes in life. Of course, though, some issues will be accidental, and others won’t be down to you at all. The most crucial part of this is that you have a method to get out of it.

Assess: The first part of this involves a little bit of assessment. You need to evaluate your problems, searching for the root cause. If you’re struggling to cover bills, for example, it could be that you’re spending huge amounts of money on something else which you don’t need, and only need to cut back a little to turn the tide. Getting to the very start of the problem is always one of the best ways to start solving it.

Find Some Support: While the problems you face in life may leave you feeling alone, getting help us a lot easier than most people think. In the case of money, there are loads of charities and other organizations out there which can give you free financial advice. You never have to let a challenge hold you back, especially when you have so many people waiting to support you with it.

Your Dreams & Aspirations

For some people, the biggest problem they face will be achieving their dreams and aspirations. Taking control of this side of your life doesn’t have to be as hard as a lot of people think, though, and you have a surprising amount of power behind you already. There are plenty of guides around the web which can push you through to the career of your dreams, but very few offer advice to help you to achieve other fantasies.

Set Out Your Plan: Achieving any goal will be impossible without the right sort of plan to go with it, especially if you’ve been struggling to reach your destination for a long time. Your plan should include the steps you will need to take, the timeframe you’d like to do it in, and the investment you’re willing to make along the way. Having this in place will give you a solid idea of where you’re going, enabling you to take control like never before.

Create Contingencies: Unfortunately, plans don’t always work out, and a lot of people don’t manage to reach their main life goals. When you find yourself unable to achieve what you’d like to, it can be hard to find a new path to follow, and this makes it worth having a couple of backup plans, just in case you need to start working towards something else. These don’t need to be as detailed as the original and should relate to the work you’ve already been doing. For example, if you can’t study to become a doctor, you could consider the idea of becoming a nurse.

Work, Work, Work: While it might seem as though the most successful out there have something to hide, the true secret to making it in life is work. If you’re able to dedicate and throw yourself into your goals, it will be far easier to take control of life. In some situations, working hard can enable you to achieve goals which wouldn’t be possible through traditional methods, like running your own business.

Find Inspiration: When you’ve been working for months on end and your dreams still seem very distant, it can be easy to let yourself feel down. A little bit of inspiration is all you need to turn this around, though, with people like Cynthia Telles having incredible stories to share. Cynthia has spent much of her life working to help others, achieving academic and social feats which most people will only dream of, and she managed it all on her own. This shows that any goal is within your grasp.

Keeping An Open Mind

While it may sound like a simple idea, keeping an open mind can be a surprisingly powerful tool when you’re unsure of your life’s direction. It can be easy to feel stressed or worried when your life is changing, and most people will want to hold onto the things they know. Some changes aren’t negative, though, even when they feel like they’re making life harder. For example, finding yourself in a new job is often a challenge, and adapting to your new schedule can often feel bad, but the benefits of your new role will make it all worth it.

Of course, this goes further than having an open mind about your current situation, and it’s also worth taking the same approach with your future. With most people struggling to find the life they dream about, making small compromises is often the best way to get into something you’ll like. It might be said that you haven’t managed to achieve exactly what you wanted to, but it will be far better than getting nowhere with your aspirations.


Taking control of your life is something which most people want to achieve. There are loads of guides, blogs, and other resources around the web offering advice to help with this, but you can often succeed by following a few simple steps. Life is full of challenges, but this is what makes it interesting and keeps you growing as a person. If everything were easy, life would be quite boring, and everyone would have the best jobs around.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

How To Deal with Your Long Term Health Challenges

If you are dealing with a health issue that is limiting your ability to live the life you are used to for a long time, it might be time to change your lifestyle and make some smart adjustments. They will allow you to make the most out of every moment, and overcome your limitations and live your life to the fullest, despite your health condition. Below you will find a few tips on improving your everyday life.

A Healthy Living Environment 

Image via Flickr

One of the things you will have to pay attention to is your living space. If you have a compromised immune system, you will need to reduce the irritants and things that can cause flare-ups and inflammations. You should get an advanced air purifier to get rid of the pollen and toxic materials, as well as pollution in the air. Getting a Pest Control company to check your home for infestation and droppings that can cause allergies is also important.

Staying Active 

Image via Pixabay

No matter how limiting your illness is, you will need to make the most out of your life, and stay active as much as you can. If you cannot jog or do cardio, you might want to try Tai Chi or yoga. These two types of ancient forms of exercise will not only help you get better physically but also mentally strong. Restore your energy levels and make the most out of your rehabilitation project.

Having a Support Network

Once you realize that your life has changed forever, you might feel alone in the world and don’t feel like you want to connect with others, as they will not understand you. The good news is that you can find people online and on social media who are experiencing the same life challenges as you. Having a supportive network will help you focus on the positives and keep engaged with others.

Setting Goals

To keep on moving forward, despite your health challenges, you will need to work on setting smart goals in life. If you have something to look forward to every day, you will stay more positive and focused and can avoid overthinking things. Whether your goals are related to your recovery and rehabilitation, or your personal life, they will keep you going during the most challenging times.

Reducing the Risk of Complications

You will need to take care of your health more than ever if your body’s defense system is already compromised. This means that you will probably need to switch to organic produce, reduce your intake of processed food, and stay on track with your health. Learn about the most common complications related to your condition, and find a way to avoid them by changing your lifestyle.

To make the most out of your health, you will need to address the risks and the changes. Create personal challenges and goals, and stay focused on overcoming your limitations. This will help you stay positive every day and make the most out of the rest of your life.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Starry Night Jar lamp

                                   Disclosure:  This is a guest post by Brock Ingham.**

DIY Starry Night Jar
What makes you sleep better than a night under the stars? There is something about staring into the bright lights galaxies away which can wipe away the day’s troubles.
Unfortunately, unless you’re camping or are lucky enough to be sleeping under a skylight this calming experience is limited to only a few times a year at best. Luckily we’re going to show you how to bring the stars and moon into your room to enjoy every night.
This is a great craft you can do with your little ones at any age. Watch as their imagination lights up with the delight of something you have created together. And when they grow up and no longer need (or want) their starry night you will always have this memory you shared together.
Better yet, you can create this star jar with only a few dollars’ worth of supplies. So bust out your craft table and get ready to make something special tonight.
    Here is a list of what you will need:
    • Newspaper or paint proof sheet
    • 1 small can of dark blue spray paint
    • Star stickers of any color or shape to your preference
    • 1 Large mason jar
    • 1 LED candle (can be found for $1-$2)
    First prep the area you plan to work within. Keep in mind you are working with paint so the area should be free of animals which might get into the mess… Yikes! Or somewhere the craft can be left alone to dry.
    Wipe off the jar with a dry towel to make sure there is no dust or dirt that could cause the stickers to fall off. Start by placing the star stickers around the jar in a pattern you like. This is the part the kids tend to enjoy the most. Let them have fun with it even if the stars look a little wonky ☺ Follow behind making sure they are well stuck to the jar.
    Set the jar on the newspaper or painting area you prepped. We went with a dark navy blue paint for the full effect but you can use any dark color you would like. Give it a good spray making sure there is no running paint going under or around the stickers. Set aside to dry.
    Once the jar is FULLY DRY (the paint is no longer sticky to the touch) carefully begin to remove the stickers.
    Turn on and pop your light in the jar and turn off the lights.
    Viola! You have now made your very own starlight lamp.
    Now that you have an idea how it is made you can imagine what other stickers could be used to create this night light effect. If you’re like me you enjoy any toy or decoration that inspires creativity and learning. While they may not know it its little things like this that get your little ones excited about nature and the outdoors. And with one craft may come many more. If you’re looking for something to feed that creativity check out our Levitating Moon Lamp which is sure to raise some questions in your lovely home from the hearts and minds of any age. If you’re looking for something a little more subtle check out the original moon lamp.
    **Author Bio: Brock is the founder of Levitatingmoon.com. His store is dedicated to offering out of this world gifts for those of all ages. When he’s not looking for the next big gift you can find him tending to his vegetable garden under the sun. **




    Pursuits To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

    There are some common traits that all humans share, and activities they need in their life in order to feel thrived and happy. Work, believe it or not, is one of them -- under the right circumstances, which doesn’t always happen, work is a satisfying pursuit. As is creativity. While some people say that they’re not creative, this isn’t the case -- everyone is creative in one way or another! Now, it’s true that sometimes time isn’t on our side when it comes to getting a new hobby underway. It is, however, worth carving out the time to get something going. If you need some inspiration about what creative hobby to begin, take a read below, where we outline some common favorites.

    Source: Pexels.com

    Write it Out

    There’s much pleasure to be had in sitting down and writing. Whether it’s a story, non-fiction piece, poem, or anything else, you might just find that you’ve got a hidden talent once you’ve got a pen in your hand. You might not end up the bestseller list, but that’s not what you’re aiming for: the joy lies in the creation, not the success. If you’re looking for guidance, you can join a local writing group, or get involved with an online community. Expressing your thoughts and ideas on paper is an excellent way to spend an evening!

    Becoming a Star

    One of the best things about living in the modern world is that access to creativity is so much more open than in the past. If you wanted to make videos in the past, then, well, good luck -- you’d need to know people with cameras, specialized equipment, and so on. Now, anyone and everyone with a laptop, and especially a Mac, can get recording, and publish their videos once they’re finished. If you don’t know whether to begin, take a look at https://setapp.com/how-to/record-edit-share-videos-on-mac. You might make YouTube tutorials, reviews, animations, or anything else -- and who knows where it might lead to?

    Bringing Beauty

    We said earlier than humans have an inner drive to be creative, and they also have an inner desire to be outside. We belong to be in nature, not cooped up inside! Why not combine the creative and wild aspects of your being by getting into the garden, and creating something beautiful? There’s much pleasure to be had in designing your own backyard, one full of plants, trees, and water features.

    Building and Creating

    Using our hands to build was something we all used to do in the olden days. Not so much anymore! If you’re interested in getting crafty and creative, then take a look at building small objects with wood. It’s pretty cool to make even simple things like a bowl, especially if you make it a staple of your kitchenware afterward.

    Local Classes 

    Not yet inspired? Then take a look at any classes being offered in your local area. You’ll likely find there’s one for all kind of pursuits. You’ll meet people, and learn something new: nice!

    Tuesday, May 7, 2019

    Chonda Pierce Unashamed in Selected Theaters May 7th and May 9th @ 7PM

    Disclosure: I received this screener from Frontgate Media, free of charge, to facilitate my honest and unbiased review.  No other compensation has been received.

    This Mother’s Day week, May 7 & 9 at 7:00pm., you and your friends can enjoy a night of laughter and truth as only the top-selling female comedian, Chonda Pierce, can deliver.


    Chonda will make you laugh and think as she boldly proclaims the truth of the Gospel to a hurting world.  Chonda takes a journey into the hearts of the faithful as she engages some of the boldest believers in America. Mike Huckabee, Danny Gokey, the Benham Brothers, and others tell their stories of speaking truth to our culture…no matter the consequences. Don’t forget to bring your moms, grandmas and every mother in your church for a night to remember!

    Only Chonda can communicate deep and meaningful truth and make you laugh at the same time.  Chonda is unchained, unrestrained and UNASHAMED!

    My thoughts:

    I must admit that the first time I heard about Chonda Pierce was when I was offered the opportunity to view the screener and share with my readers.  If you have not heard about her, you have been missing something special.  I watched my screener one night after my husband had gone to bed.  I was sitting alone in our den with the laptop sitting on a pillow.  Right from the beginning, Chonda made me laugh.  I even caught myself responding to some of the things she said and laughed so loud one time that my hubby actually heard me, and asked if I was ok. 

    It was so nice to hear a comedian make jokes without any foul language, and most of these jokes were geared toward the women in the audience.  She talks about how at her age, her bladder has a mind of its' own, and about the horrible dating sites she has visited.  When she started talking about Plenty of Fish and a man sending her a photo of his fishing lure, I almost wet my pants!!  You have to hear the entire bit to get the full effect. 

    The best part of this to me was how she shared her testimony and the parts of the film where she is speaking with Mike Huckabee, Danny Gokey, the Benham Brothers and Michael Tait of the NewsBoys.  I learned their feelings about faith and how their faith has molded their lives.

    This is the ideal film to take your mom, grandma, sisters, and all your female friends to see.  It is entertaining and enlightening.  If you don't laugh while you listen to Chonda Pierce, you just don't get it!  Chonda is Unashamed, and so am I!  Yes, I am a Christian, and proud to proclaim that truth!

    Monday, April 15, 2019

    When Life Throws You A Curve Ball



    Life is full of surprises, and it has a funny way of springing things on you out of the blue. Good or bad, unexpected little surprises are all just part of the excitement of life. However, many of these things often have an impact financially, so whether it’s an unexpected pregnancy, a new job opportunity, the loss of your job, having an accident or getting sick, are you ready? Can you be prepared without turning into a paranoid wreck? And how can you stay positive while doing it?

    First of all, there are some instances where you could and should be prepared for something likely to happen. If you live somewhere where flooding, storms, earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes are common? If so, then you can plan for such a natural disaster. Have a look anywhere online, and if you search, you can find reports and evidence of the devastating effects these disasters can have. These disasters can also happen very suddenly with no warning signs meaning that having insurance in case of these events is a must. A decent emergency kit and five-day supply of food and water are also really recommended to have on hand in your home, car or office. An emergency kit doesn’t have to be anything large or elaborate, but being prepared in this way can make a difficult situation much easier to get through.

    The most important thing you can do for yourself in the event of an unexpected event is to have a substantial emergency fund that you can access should something happen. Your emergency fund should ideally cover 3-6 months of living expenses, but if you are a single-income family, you might want to consider building an emergency fund of up to a year, which can provide security for you and your family. If you lose your job and have a hard time finding another one, suffer an unexpected illness or have an accident which leads to a gap in your earnings, then you will need something to fall back on, a safety net to put you at ease whilst you try and deal with whatever else is going on. Luckily, in many cases, if you’ve had an accident, you could be entitled to compensation which can ease the loss in earnings. You can find out more about this from a personal injury lawyer as they can advise you of the process and how long it might take to see any compensation, that way you can factor it into your plan. 

    Having this emergency fund allows you more peace of mind while you are dealing with other issues such as a job loss, illness or anything that might affect your income but it is also vital that you have adequate life insurance for your family or your spouse if you are married, and especially if you have children. Depending on your circumstances of course, if your partner doesn’t work or doesn’t earn enough to support the family without you, they will also have to deal with the loss as well as other things, so will need time off work. You and they need to know that they are cared for and make the whole thing as smooth as possible.

    When the unexpected happens, it can be challenging to think clearly and not get caught up in the emotion surrounding the event. Make sure you take care of yourself as much as possible during these times and find ways to alleviate stress and calm yourself. Whether it’s taking long walks, drawing, or just spending time with family and friends, find the activities that will help you remain calm and centered so you can make the best decisions in difficult situations.
    Also, remember to ask for help. Your family and friends will want to help but might not always know what to do. If there’s something they can do for you, whether it’s cooking, childcare even just a chat - let them know what it is they can do to help you. Professionally and personally, who do you have in your life who will be willing and able to help you if you need them? Is there a good number of people you can count on? Have you helped people yourself in the past when they have needed it too? It doesn’t have to be financially, but do you know people who can give you coaching, or counseling? Every person you know will be able to offer you something, somehow; some people will be good at providing practical help like stopping by your home to home to help out, and others will have something different to offer. Having a support system can be invaluable in an emergency so make sure you have yours there and use them.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019

    6 Tips To Prep For Your Epic Easter + a GIVEAWAY #CatholicCentral #EasterTraditions

    Disclosure:  We received a picnic basket as a thank you for sharing our honest opinion.


    Easter is right around the corner, and if your family is anything like mine, you have lots of traditions.  One of the things I always looked forward to as a kid was going with Grandma to get the goodies to put our Easter baskets together.  My brother and I would get to pick out the types of candy we wanted and it was so much fun.  We never knew everything that would be included, because Grandma would put it together for us and give it to us on Easter.  Since I was never a big chocolate eater, I usually got a jump rope, paddleball, or bottle of bubbles, instead of the big chocolate bunny.  We never believed in the Easter Bunny, we understood that Easter was all about the Resurrection of Christ.

    We did have an Easter egg hunt with my cousins, after the huge meal we would have.  Since Easter is about renewal and resurrection, our family would have our yearly family reunion on Easter Sunday.  Our routine was going to church, eat with the family, and then the kids would have the egg hunt and play while the adults would sit and catch up on family news and gossip.  Those memories are still fresh in my mind, all these years later.




    Things are a little different now that I am a mom.  Most of our family has scattered to other states and the grandmas, great-aunts and older family members have passed.  We still view Easter as our time of renewal.  We attend church and have a family dinner.  Kids get Easter baskets, new outfits, and we have made it a tradition to get photos with the Easter Bunny, even though the kids do not believe in him. 

    Easter Traditions:

    Here are 6 tips to prep for your EPIC EASTER!

     photo Easter-_DL_zps2ivif4ms.png

    What did you think?  Did any of the tips stand out to you?


    This was provided courtesy of Catholic Central!   For more on Catholic Central, visit them at: http://www.catholiccentral.com and check out their YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2kkKDrNirE5VR9JoWbDyiA

     About CATHOLIC CENTRAL: You have questions about the Catholic faith and what it means to be Catholic. We have answers. Using a team of witty writers, appealing hosts, and even some learned theologians, we’ve created shareable, snackable videos that teach the timeless truths and deep history of the Church with humor and heart. Produced in the Family Theater Productions studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, CATHOLIC CENTRAL entertains, enlightens and inspires.

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                                   Giveaway Time!!

    We are giving away a beautiful picnic basket to one of the wonderful Shelly's Bits and Pieces readers!  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below and this picnic basket could be yours!




    Monday, April 8, 2019

    THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS Film Review & Giveaway #PilgrimsProgressL3 #spon

    Disclosure:



    Easter is will be here in under two weeks, and I have an idea for a wonderful way to spend the weekend with your family.  Why not go see an animated Christian film?  The Pilgrims Progress will be in theaters on 2 days only! April 18 & 20, Easter weekend! And I am giving away tickets (fandango e-codes).
    Thursday, April 18, 7:00p
    Saturday, April 20, 12:55p

    TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW!   Click here for more information or to purchase!

    Based on John Bunyan’s epic masterpiece, THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS is one of the most popular books of all time, and one of the most important stories of our faith! Second to the Bible in total copies and translations, the story was written by John Bunyan a pastor, imprisoned for sharing his faith. This powerful allegory helps families understand the spiritual journey is the most important journey in life, as well as the importance of sticking to the path, even when the journey gets difficult.

    When I was a child, I watched my grandma read The Pilgrim's Progress, and when I got old enough to read it, I had times when I struggled with the allegory.  It is not a book for some light reading!  I was about 10 or so before I really understood it.  The book is a classic and I truly feel that every Christian should at least be familiar with it.


    This film helps to introduce The Pilgrim's Progress to an entirely new generation of people.  If you have read the book, it refreshes the meaning behind it, and if it is new to you, you will go away with a better meaning about what a Christian life entails.  It reminds you that you should persevere and not give up, it reminds you to think for yourself and don't just follow others and what they tell you, and to continue to walk in the LIGHT, even though the road gets hard to navigate.  God never leaves you, even during your darkest hours.

    Parts of this movie might frighten younger children or even older kids who scare easily.  There are a few moments that I noticed the 7-year-old turn away from the movie.  She didn't like the "flying, scary mean guy", and she was promptly told by the 8-year-old that he was like the devil and that you are not supposed to like him.


    Want a chance to win tickets to go see The Pilgrim's Progress and win a Storybook too?  Simply enter on the rafflecopter form below!