10 Ingredients You Should Avoid in Your Personal Care Products

10 Ingredients You Should Avoid in Your Personal Care Products

10 Ingredients You Should Avoid in Your Personal Care Products

Hi Friend!

So I’m not sure if you’re aware of the fact that in the United States personal care products are not really all that regulated. In fact only 31 ingredients have been deemed harmful and banned from our products. However, there are so many more ingredients out there that are actually also known to be harmful and should not be in our personal car products.

These harmful ingredients include:

  1. Frangrance/parfum: Fragrance can cause skin and respiratory irritation, allergies, migraines, may be carcinogen, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruptor, and may lead to birth defects

  2. Parebens (methyparaben, proplypareben, ethylpareben, butylpareben): Parebens are linked with endocrine disruptors, potential carcinogens, developmental toxicity, reproductive toxicity immune toxicity.

  3. Phenoxyethanol: this ingredient may cause neurotoxins, skin irritation, possible contamination with carcinogenic 1.4 dioxane

  4. PEG (PEG-7, PEG-20, PEG-8, PEG-9): Possible contamination with 1.4 dioxane and ethylene oxide - both known carcinogens

  5. Polysorbates (polysorbate-20, polysorbate-40, polysorbate-60): possible contamination with 1.4 dioxane and ethylene oxide, which are both known carcinogens

  6. Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP, DMP): endocrine disruption, may cause birth defects

  7. Active Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly (Aluminum Compounds): Neurotoxicity, potential carcinogen, endocrine disruptor, organ bioaccumulation, skin irritation, found in antiperspirants

  8. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA): Potential carcinogen, endocrine disruption, may cause kidney and thyroid problems.

  9. DEA, MEA, TEA, ETA (Ethanolamines): May cause allergies, skin toxicity, and endocrine disruption

  10. Formaldehyd Releasers (DMDM hydatoin, Diazolidiny urea, imadazolidnyl urea, quaternium-15, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropanes-1,3 diol, bronopol, toslymide): Potential carcinogen, neurotoxicity, developmental toxicity, asthma.

All of these ingredients are being absorbed into your body and causing health issues that are easily fixed by removing toxic ingredients. When you eliminate just these 10 harmful ingredients from your personal care products, you’re going to see how your health begins to improve.

If you want to clean up your skincare routine, you can always contact me and shop at www.Beautycounter.com/mirleygraf.

Beautycounter works to create the safest and most effective skincare products out there so that you can have healthy skin. If you want to learn more, go to www.beautycounter.com/mirleygraf or email me at healthysimplicitymama@gmail.com and we can discuss which products work best for you.

Let me know in the comments below how you plan to improve your health.

5 Questions to ask yourself before making a purchase

Do you make impulsive purchases?

Do you make impulsive purchases?

As part of our minimalist journey, my husband and I have decided to ask ourselves important and reflection questions before making a purchase.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love to declutter, but the clutter always seems to build up because we purchase items that we don’t need but have been lured to purchase. Minimalism is a great way to create boundaries around your purchases. It forces you to really think about the item you’re buying so that you have more money to do more enjoyable things.

Below are the 7 questions to ask yourself before making any purchase.

Shop like a minimalist

Shop like a minimalist

  1. Do I already have it or something like it? When one’s house has a lot of clutter and may be disorganized, it is really easy to go and buy something that you already have because you can’t find it. Once you’ve decluttered and organized your home, do an inventory of what you have before making any further purchases.

  2. Do I really need it? If you don’t have the item that you want to purchase, then ask yourself if you really need. In other words, does the item you want to purchase serve a bigger purpose or is it just immediate satisfaction?

  3. Will I use it often? This is a great question to ask yourself. As I decluttered I realized that I had purchased items that I only used once. Although I thought I would use it more than once, the item ended up just sitting in a cabinet. If you can find an alternative to the item you want to purchase, then that is the better than purchasing something you’ll only use once.

  4. Where will I store it? Sometimes there is no room for the items we want. If that is the case, then go back to question number two and ask yourself if you really need it.

  5. Does it serve a purpose? Items need to serve a specific purpose otherwise it’s just clutter and money wasted. For examples, when purchasing toys for your children, ask yourself if this toy will teach your child a skill. Not all toys need to teach skills but they do need to be the majority of the toys.

I hope these questions help you keep the clutter at a minimum. Remember the less you have, the more you enjoy life. You spend less time cleaning and picking up after others.

Let me know how these questions helped you look at future purchases.

Watch the video below where I talk more on the subject.

What is Healthy Simplicity all about?

Do want to learn how to simplify healthy living?

Do want to learn how to simplify healthy living?

Recently I changed my blog name to healthy simplicity because I believe there is more to health and wellness than nutrition and fitness. I believe it’s more than clean beauty. I believe health and wellness also incorporate living a simple/minimalist life. I believe it’s learning to live with contentment.

Learning to live minimally and with contentment will help you reduce stress and anxiety and build your confidence. Below are 5 lifestyle habits I believe we need to change in order to reduce stress, be kind to ourselves and others and be healthy.

Simplify Your Home
  1. Simplifying our home so we can stop picking up after our family and start living peacefully and being present.

  2. Removing toxins from our home and life so we can live with optimal health and wellness

  3. Taking care of our bodies so we can be there for our loved ones.

  4. Pursuing peace over perfection, embracing grace over guilt, and cultivating our confidence.

  5. Being women of strength and dignity who laugh without fear, and speak words of wisdom and kindness.

I believe that these five principles will help you be more present and have a more joyful life.

I believe that health begins in the home. We may have a decent “healthy” routine with exercise and nutrition but if our home is out of order, it affects us with stress.

When we strive for a perfect healthy routine, it affects our stress.

When we gossip, lie or hurt ourselves, we become insecure, and not women of strength and dignity.

Simplicity is healthy and in all areas in our life, we must strive for simplicity in order to achieve better health and wellness.

Watch the video below where I talk more on the subject.

5 Steps to Simplify Your Kitchen

Do you want to simplify your kitchen?

Do you want to simplify your kitchen?

The kitchen is typically one of the busiest places in our homes. It’s a place for food and conversation. It’s requires room to make a mess and then clean it up. The kitchen is place that may collect a lot of unnecessary trinkets like magnets, toy cars, plants, and so much more.

When you think about your kitchen, what is the clutter that comes up to mind? Is it all of the shiny gadgets? Or is it all of the duplicates of kitchen supplies you have? Has your cookbook collection grown even though you only use maybe one or two of them?

Before you declutter you kitchen, set some goals. Ask yourself, what is the purpose of the kitchen? Do you want to make health, simple meals? Do want it to be simple to clean? Do you want it to be a place of camaraderie between your family and friends?

Follow the next steps to help you simplify your kitchen:

  1. Relocate Items: Do you have items in your kitchen that don’t belong? Like books, toys, notebooks, etc. These items are taking up room when they either belong in the trash or in another part of the house.

  2. Remove Duplicates: Many of us have duplicates due to people giving us multiple items, or us buying an item we thought was lost. When you are decluterring duplicates, be sure and ask your self, do I need it? if you hardly every use to a tool or never use it, it’s probably not necessary to keep.

  3. Clear Counters: If you can’t see your counters, it may be because you have too many items on it. If you have smaller counter space, it may be even harder to keep them clear. I know, I live in an apartment with a very tiny kitchen. Remove appliances like the toaster, cutting board, coffee maker and such. Although, it may be easier to leave such items on the counters, the purpose of clearing out the counters is deeper than cleanliness, it’s about removing the stress.

  4. Remove Appliances: Do you have appliances that you’re not using? We really don’t need all of the latest gadgets. We don’t need an electric can opener, we can use a manual one. A manual one takes up less room too. Go through your appliances and see if there is simpler way to get what you want. You may also want to invest in a blender that can be used for multiple reasons like making soups, smoothies, dips and more!

  5. Give every item a proper home: All items should have a place. Designate a drawer for your utensils and placemats. Use the cupboards for plates, pots, pans and containers.

Once you have a simple, organized kitchen, you’ll see how much easier it is to go and cook delicious meals for yourself and your family.

Watch the video below where I talk more on the subject.

5 Reasons Why Portion Control Works

Do you over eat on certain foods?

Do you over eat on certain foods?

About four years ago I learned about the portion control containers. These containers were meant to show me how much food from each food group I was eating. They helped me see which food category I lacked in and which food category I was overeating.

What I learned was that as a vegetarian I was eating too many carbohydrates and not enough protein; this includes plant protein. These rainbow-colored containers help you add more flavor to your food without adding calories.

Below are 5 reasons why portion control works for everyone.

Autumn Calabrese Quote
  1. You may be eating too many healthy foods. Have you ever thought that it was wrong to eat too many healthy foods? Well, it turns out that too much of anything isn’t good for you; this includes water. When you eat too many healthy foods of a particular category, your body doesn't respond well. It craves nutrients from other foods, and your body ends up being out of balance.

  2. You may not be eating enough. I was astonished at the fact that although I was eating a lot, I actually wasn't eating enough. I needed to eat more veggies and plant protein to keep my active body awake. Although I was eating healthy, the food containers helped me visually see how much more food I needed to be eating.

  3. You may be overeating your favorite foods. Of course, we all have our favorite foods, but if we only at pasta, fries, or cheesecake, our bodies would be lacking in essential nutrients that other foods have to offer. We would not be performing at our highest potential because our body would be lacking in nutrients.

  4. Eating unbalanced leads to lethargy, brain fog, and much more. When we don't eat foods that nourish our bodies, our bodies begin to react in various ways. For some, it may be acne, eczema, and skin irritations. For others, it may be weight gain, brain fog, and lethargy. Just because one may be eating a bag of chips of day and not gaining any additional weight doesn't mean the chemically processed food isn't doing any harm. Trust me I know this one from experience.

  5. You feel full and nourished. When you eat healthily, you have more energy. You're not always hungry...which leads to eating foods that are not good for you. They are just filling in for a craving because you're not eating enough or you're not eating the right types of foods.

All in all, when you use these fantastic rainbow containers, you're able to see how to put together a healthy meal that is meant to nourish you.

Are you interested in learning more about these rainbow food containers? Watch the video below for more information.

7 Ingredients You Should Avoid in Your Processed Foods

Do you know what’s in your processed foods?

Do you know what’s in your processed foods?

Many of the foods we eat are processed. However, the issue isn’t if whether we eat processed foods or not; the issue is if we eat chemically processed foods. You see some foods that are processed contain ingredients that are not food. This non-food ingredients are toxic to our bodies and over time show how harmful they are.

In today’s blog I’m going to list seven ingredients that are added to our foods that do more harm than good over time.

  1. Synthetic Pesticides: Farmers use pesticides to kill insects that feed off the crop. There are organic/safer pesticides and synthetic pesticides. We want to stay away from synthetic pesticides as much as possible. Synthetic pesticides have been linked to thyroid disruption, which can lead to weight gain. You can also purchase foods without pesticides at your local farmer’s market. They’re cheaper than organic foods because they don’t have the organic label.

  2. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and Artificial Sweeteners (i.e., aspartame, saccharin, etc.): HFCS is found in many food ingredients, including bread, crackers, soda, and so much more. HFCS makes you fat, and makes your insulin level spike. Artificial sweeteners are also bad for weight, and are known for slowing down your metabolism and craving even more sweets. Look for ingredients that have real sugar over artificial sweeteners and HFCS.

  3. Trans Fats: Trans fats are found in most processed foods, and have been linked to heart disease and heart attacks. Instead, make sure the product contains real food oils like olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil. Never purchase any food with cottonseed oil. Cotton is not food.

  4. Artificial and Natural Flavors: Artificial flavors can contain petroleum ingredients. Natural flavors are a bit of a mystery because they can be some chemicals like excitotoxins, which can lead to strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, migraines, fatigue, depression, obesity, and Parkinson’s disease.

  5. Food Dyes: Food dyes are typically artificial, and are also made up of petroleum ingredients. Some even have insect parts! Food dyes may contribute to hyperactivity in children, skin issues, asthma, and allergies. The worst ingredients are yellow #5, tartrazine (E102), yellow #6 (E110), citrus red #2 (E121), blue #2 (E132), red #3 (E127), red #40 (E129), caramel coloring, and blue #1 (E133). Again, look for real food ingredients.

  6. Dough Conditioners: Dough conditioners have been used by bakers for years because it makes the bread fluffy and appetizing. Unfortunately, these conditioners may contain human hair, duck feathers, and even yoga mat chemicals. Avoid bread that uses these ingredients: amino acid L-cysteine, azodicarbonamide or DATEM, potassium bromate, diglycerides, and monoglycerides. Instead, purchase bread-like products like Food for Life’s Ezekiel bread or Canyon Bakehouse’s gluten-free bread.

  7. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG): MSG is a flavor enhancer. This ingredient may cause headaches, migraines, vomiting, asthma, heart arrhythmias, depression, skin rashes, itching, nausea, and at times, even seizures. This ingredient is found in some processed foods like chips, frozen dinners, salad dressings, canned foods, and more. This ingredient is labeled in many different ways, including the following names:

     

    ·      Glutamic acid

    ·      Glutamate

    ·      Monopotassium glutamate

    ·      Calcium glutamate

    ·      Magnesium glutamate

    ·      Natrium glutamate

    ·      Anything “hydrolyzed”

    ·      Any “hydrolyzed protein”

    ·      Calcium caseinate

    ·      Protese

    ·      Sodium caseinate

    ·      Yeast extract

    ·      Torula yeast

    ·      Yeast food

    ·      Yeast nutrient

    ·      Autolyzed yeast

    ·      Gelatin

    ·      Vetsin

    ·      Ajinomoto

    ·      Umami

Knowing what’s in your food will help you make better healthy decisions that will improve your overall wellness.



7 Foods to Boost Your Healthy Glow

Do you want glowing skin from the inside out?

Do you want glowing skin from the inside out?

Nutrition is key to our health including energy, strength, and skin health. When you improve the way you eat, you can see a wonderful change to how you feel and how your skin looks and feels. In this blog post, you're going to learn about twelve foods that will improve health, skin, and hair. There will be two colors from the rainbow so keep a look out for that.

Cherries: Cherries are a great way to cleanse the liver. They promote healthy hemoglobin and are also considered to be anti-cancerous. Eat cherries as a snack or add them to a smoothie.

Papaya: Papaya is a tropical fruit that is high in enzymes and vitamins A and C. Papayas help nourish and support healthy eyes and skin. Remove the seeds from a papaya and add berries to the middle, drizzle it with honey for a delicious breakfast. You can also cut up a papaya into cubes, drizzle with honey for a delicious snack.

Kimberly Snyder Quote

Mango: Mangoes are delicious tropical fruit. However, in a perfect climate, they can grow in the coastal mountains of California. Mangoes help with reducing stress. They are also a great fruit to eat before going to bed in order to get a restful night.

Spinach: Spinach is rich in vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A a powerful anti-aging vitamin. Vitamin A helps prevent wrinkles. Spinach also includes manganese, calcium, magnesium, zinc, folate, and selenium.

Berries: Berries of all colors are full antioxidants, which help fight free radicals. Berries also have traces of Omegas 3, 6, and 9, which help nourish skin cells.

Eggplant: Eggplants contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6, red-blue flavonoid plant pigment called anthocyanin. Eating eggplants are known to help with reducing blood pressure, anemia, diabetes, and improving heart health.

Potatoes: Potatoes are a wonderful vegetable that has been given a bad rap for a long time. Potatoes themselves are healthy but when they are fried toxic oil, then they become unhealthy. The skin of the potato is the most nutrient dense part. The skin is full of amino acids, proteins, and phytochemicals. Potatoes are rich in vitamin B6 and lysine, which is a powerful weapon against cancer.

I'm only mentioning seven foods for this blog. The fact is that there are hundreds if not thousands of foods out there that come from the earth that are meant to nourish you and bring you health and beauty. Incorporate foods of different colors in your meal and see how your energy, health, skin, and hair improve.

Watch the video below where I talk more on the subject.

7 Tips to Age Gracefully

Do you want to learn how to age gracefully?

Do you want to learn how to age gracefully?

As we all know, aging is a part of life. How we age is in part up to us. Of course, there is genetics that we have to consider. However, genetics isn't everything. How we live our lives will help shape how we age. Like whether or not we smoke, drink, exercise, or take daily walks. All of our lifestyle habits will impact how we age, not just our genetics.

Below are seven habits that you can incorporate into your life that will help you age gracefully.

Diana von Furstenberg quote
  1. Eat Whole Foods: Forget diets! Diets don't work! Eat real foods like rice, apples, eggplant, etc. and make nutritious meals out of it. Eat foods that will do good for your body and health and enjoy mealtime.

  2. Exercise: Find a workout program that you like and do it. Exercising keeps your body youthful and vigorous. It keeps you looking radiant and helps you maintain a healthy and feminine physique. As we age, it is essential that we continue to work out so that our muscles don't atrophy because that makes us weaker.

  3. Drink 70-75 oz of water: Water is an essential nutrient. It helps flush out toxins, lubricate our joints and keep our skin plump. When we don't drink the adequate amounts of water our skin dries up, it's harder to have bowel, and that keeps toxins in our body.

  4. Use Safer Skincare: What you put on your skin is just as important as what you eat. What we put on our skin can irritate our skin, cause rashes, give us headaches, and itchiness. I've had to deal with a lot of less than adequate skin care. Some skincare works but is not good for my health, and other skincare is good for my health but doesn't work. Make sure the skin care you're using. The European Union has banned more than 1,500 harmful ingredients in skin care products, while here in the U.S. we only ban 30. When selecting a product, do your research and find out if the company is doing its best to create safer skin care products for you.

  5. Lower Stress: Stress is something that is so common that we almost see it as normal. However, normal doesn't mean healthy. If you are dealing with a lot of stress, take a step back and ask yourself why you're dealing with so much pressure. Are you doing too much? Are your kids throwing crazy tantrums every 5 minutes? Whatever the case may be, take a step back and see if you need to remove activities from your schedule, see if you may need some training on how to deal with stressful moments. We can improve how we deal with these situations. Also, add some essential oils to your day to help you breathe better during these tense moments.

  6. Sleep: Sleep is very crucial and yet I've heard people say something to the effect that sleep is a waste of time. Rest is a necessity so that our bodies can replenish your body. Sleeping does help in reducing stress, so it's important sleep at least 7.5-8 hours at night.

  7. Practice Gratitude: When we are grateful for what we have, we tend to smile more. When we smile, our mood improves. Smiling helps release cortisol and endorphins, which helps reduce blood pressure, increase endurance, reduce pain and stress and helps strengthen our immune system. Practicing gratitude helps increase our happiness, which in turn improves our health.

Aging is a part of life, and there is nothing we can do about it. However, how we view aging is our choice. How we decide to live our lives is our choice. What's great about getting older is that "beauty" is less of an issue but who you are as a person becomes more important and valuable.

Watch the video below to learn more.

Why I Wrote Meal Makeover Boot Camp

Why I wrote Meal Makeover Boot Camp

Why I wrote Meal Makeover Boot Camp

I started writing Meal Makeover Boot Camp in October of 2017. I honestly, just started writing. I didn’t know how but I knew this would end up being a book. I had a lot to share. There is so much confusion about what to eat and how much to eat.

These questions were not a topic just two generations ago. I mean, my grandmothers never worried about portion sizes, their micros or macros. They never spoke those words. They just knew that food had to be real, natural, and tasty.

Mirley Guerra Graf Quote

My goal in writing this book was to go back to basics and learn how to eat for nutrition and pleasure. Food is meant to nourish you and enjoyed.

However, putting together a proper meal was always kind of a challenge for me. I knew how to eat a decent dinner, but breakfast and lunch lacked nutrition. So I started to research and read many books on the food.

I learned how to drink green smoothies for breakfast. It was totally weird at first, but once I got the hang of it, I never looked back. Next, I learned how to put together a nutritious lunch. My lunches always lacked nutrition. They were weak. I mean, I didn't get any energy out of them.

As I learned and put in practice everything I was learning, I realized that my energy levels were improving, my skin was brighter, and I just wanted to share everything I learned! As I put together this book, I realized that no book was like mine. Everyone talked about numbers and fancy terms, but no one simplified breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No one simplified these meals. So I did.

I hope that when you read this book, you will learn how to put together a proper meal that will nourish your body and make you smile.

5 Ways to Age Confidently

5 Ways to Age Confidently

5 Ways to Age Confidently

We live in a day and age where beauty is celebrated. We don’t look at the wisdom of people but how youthful they look when they are in fact older.

I know I’m guilty of this too. I like to look youthful and I’m always trying on skincare to see if it makes me look 10 years younger. Skincare is definitely a vice of mine.

Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” I honestly love this verse because it reminds us of what beauty is. In our modern day society we confuse beauty with kindness, beauty with strength, beauty with knowledge and wisdom. However, outer beauty doesn't last. It is our character that defines our natural beauty. It is how we treat others that defines our natural beauty. It is our wisdom that defines our natural beauty.

February is my birthday month and I’ve been talking about aging. Aging is something that no one escapes. Our birthday’s are a reason to celebrate and give thanks for all of our blessings. We can either age with happily or age grumpily. How we view aging is a choice.

Today I want to talk about five ways to age confidently. These tips will help bring more joy into your life and to the lives of others.

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  1. Be Open to Learn: No one knows everything. There is always something to learn. And if we’re open, we can continue to learn new valuable things every day. I do want to clarify that learning doesn’t mean accepting or applying. It just means to learn and have a better understanding of a concept that you may not be familiar with.

  2. Live on Purpose: When you know your purpose, you can create a fulfilled life. To live on purpose means work around your fear and work on your confidence to do what you’re meant to do, well.

  3. Live in the Present: Living in the present can take some practice. Living in the present requires you to focus on what’s in front of you. Not on what happened in the past or worry about the future.

  4. Grace Not Perfection: No matter how much we work on ourselves, we are always going to make mistakes. It’s part of the human experience. When we do mess up, we need to learn to forgive ourselves. Especially if we’re working on acquiring new skills that will make us better human beings. We have to be patient and kind with ourselves during this time.

  5. Give Thanks: When you give thanks for your blessings you live a happier more fulfilled life. There is something about giving thanks that your perspective on life improves. Make it a habit to give thanks daily and see how your attitude improves.

Living in the present can be a challenge for me sometimes because I worry about the future. I worry about if I'll be able to teach my girls good values. And if they'll even apply the good values I teach them. However, I am practicing on staying present and giving thanks for what I have. I'm also learning about how to bond with my girls so that when they have uncomfortable questions they can come to me with them. I learning how to speak to them so they feel comfortable talking to me.

I know I'm going to make mistakes along the way, but I also know that I am open to learning and adjusting my methods and correcting my mistakes. I am learning to give myself grace when I fall short of my own expectations of myself. I know my purpose is to teach my daughters and women around the world to achieve a higher level of personal wellness, laugh without fear, live with strength and dignity, and speak words of wisdom and kindness.

With consistency and patience, these tips will help improve your confidence and attitude towards aging. Aging is a part of life that no one can escape. As we age, we should grow in our wisdom, kindness and learn to laugh without worry. Our birthday is something that we should celebrate and give thanks for.

Watch the video below on the subject.

What tips do you plan to apply in your life to age confidently?

7 Lessons I Learned from my Grandmothers

What lessons have you learned from your grandmothers?

What lessons have you learned from your grandmothers?

All of us will leave a legacy that will depend on the choices we make. I believe the most important impact is the impact that we leave to our children and descendants. I believe that being successful in life isn’t in the amount of money that I make but in the positive impact I make on my children and descendants.

Growing up I saw very little of my grandmothers. Both lived in South America, and we lived in California. I saw my maternal grandmother Esther 6 times in my life. I saw my paternal grandmother Eloisa a lot more because she was able to visit more often.

2012-07-29 10.19.24.jpg

Although I didn’t grow up with my grandmothers close by, I still learned a lot from them. They were both strong women who were kind and aged gracefully. They taught me a lot about living life beautifully.

Below are 7 lessons I learned from my grandmothers.

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  1. Integrity: Integrity is being honest and having strong moral values. Both of my grandmothers were women of strong moral values. They didn’t allow social trends to influence their beliefs of what is right and wrong.

  2. Kindness: My grandmothers were kind women. My grandmother Esther was big on winning people over with kindness. Everyone that knew her only spoke about how kind and generous she was. My grandmother Eloisa was also loving and fun to be around.

  3. Be Classy: My grandmother Esther was a very classy woman. Her style was timeless. Sure some people would say that she was old fashioned, but that’s what made her chic. She wasn’t interested in social trends. She always looked good no matter where she went.

  4. Strength: My grandmothers were strong women. My grandmother Eloisa knew how to set boundaries. Setting boundaries are good so that people do not take advantage of your generosity and kindness.

  5. Dignity: Dignity is the state of being worthy of honor and respect. Being worthy of honor means to be worthy of respect. One has dignity from being kind to others, not gossiping and spreading lies. Both of my grandmothers were women of dignity — women who spoke the truth and were emotionally intelligent.

  6. Age Gracefully: My grandmothers were not interested in Botox, plastic surgery, make-up or even dying their hair. I know this is a personal choice, but I loved seeing them age beautifully. They weren’t afraid of aging. They embraced their age with their classy style, kindness, strength, integrity, and dignity. They aged gracefully.

  7. Trust in God: My grandmothers were both devout Christians. One year, my dad asked his mom what advise did she have for us who were staying on this earth? My grandmother Eloisa said, “Trust in God and be kind to one another.” This recording of her voice giving us that simple advise has stayed within me.

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Here are some honorable mentions of the lesson I learned from my grandmothers:

  • Home cooking is the best.

  • You may grow old, but your spirit should always be young.

  • Give thanks for every day.

  • Be happy with your blessings.

  • Be present and enjoy life.

  • Wear a dress. Be classy.

  • It’s okay to cry.

Neither of my grandmothers was a college graduate. And yet they had such wisdom. Although you may have never heard of them, they left a legacy with their children and their grandchildren of integrity, kindness, dignity, and trusting in God. That legacy is the most important legacy you can leave.

What about you?

What lesson did you learn from your grandparents? How did their legacy influence your life? How do you want to be remembered?

xo, Mirley

How to Create a Mindset for Success

Do you know  how to Create a Mindset for Success?

Do you know how to Create a Mindset for Success?

Hi Friend!

Creating a positive mindset takes practice. For some of us it comes more naturally. For others, it’s harder to see the good. Sometimes it seems easier to complain about things rather than give thanks.

This doesn’t mean we should not vent. I’m all about venting…with the right people and with the idea that you’re open for solutions. It’s healthy to vent. But it’s not healthy to be constantly complaining.

However, I do believe that we can change our attitude by changing some of our habits.

  1. Create a Morning Ritual: Create a morning ritual that includes putting you in a good mood. This means, avoiding looking at social media, exercising, praying, reading a good book. Whatever it takes for you to wake up happy.

  2. Write down your goals daily based on your priorities: It’s good practice to write down your goals daily in the past tense. When you write down your goals daily you’re able to see if those goals are really what you want. You mind also starts shifting to make sure you’re taking the steps needed to make that goal into a reality.

  3. Write down affirmations: Write down affirmations that help put your mind into a positive state.

  4. Give Thanks: Look around you and give thanks for what you have. Write down three things you’re grateful for. When you make this a habit, your mind starts focusing on the blessings in your life.

  5. Focus on the good: We do have the ability to control our thoughts. We do this by focusing on the blessing we have in our lives, on our goals and purpose.

One of the projects that has been on the back of my mind is to create a planner/journal. I created a sample PDF for a bigger project that I have in mind for the future. My planner includes a place to write down an inspirational quote, your three priorities and what task you need to do to complete them a scheduler, a place to doodle and take notes, and a place to give thanks. 

I absolutely love this planner and can't wait to get it into print. You can download a sample today by going to the link below and downloading it. I hope this planner helps you as it is helping me.

When you apply these five steps into your life, you’re creating a mind for success. This mindset will help you stay on path to achieve your goals no matter how long they take.

Live Beautifully,

Mirley

P.S. Watch the video below where I discuss the subject more.

7 Steps to Setting Meaningful Goals

Learn how to create meaningful goals

Learn how to create meaningful goals

Have you ever created a SMART goal? I have. I really hate them. I don't get them. Supposedly they are supposed to be simple, but I find myself just unmotivated when I hear SMART goals. Maybe it's that they're too rigid and uninspiring.

Below are seven ways that write goals that in my opinion are more inspiring and achievable.

1. Choose a focus word for the year.

Every year make a point of choosing a focus word. This word will inspire you to take action on your goals. You can write this word big on a post-it note where you can see it all the time. Another option is to get your focus word on a piece of jewelry that you can wear and always be reminded of your goals for that year.

2. Visualize your life after completing the goal.

What will your life look like once you achieved your goal? Will you have more freedom, will you have more energy to be with your family, what will life be like? When you see yourself in a different light, you suddenly become more motivated to work for your goals and take the correct steps to achieve them.

3. Write down your values.

Joe vitale quote

What are your values? Values are beliefs that do not change over time. (Although, they might change if you've adopted a new set of beliefs.) They are the foundation for why you do the things that you do. These values are a part of your identity. It's always good to have your values displayed in your home somewhere.

4. Write down your priorities.

What are your priorities? Priorities are those things or people that are the most important to you at the moment. Your priorities do change over time with the different seasons in your life.

5. Write down every dream small or big that's in your heart.

What are your dreams? Write them all down. These dreams could be like your bucket list. However, the point of writing them down is to make them into a reality. What are you going to do to make these dreams come true?

6. Write down how you'll feel if you let your fears get in the way of your dreams.

How will you feel if you never achieve these dreams? Will you be full of regret? Will you be full of bitterness when you see someone else make their dreams come true? It's never good to let your fears get in the way of your dreams. Take the steps you need to take to make them into a reality.

7. Write down your goals as if you've already achieved them.

Write your goals in the present tense. For example, "I am an author," "I am a business owner." These statements will help clarify your dreams and see if this is something you really want to achieve now, later or never.

When you apply this goal setting strategy, you'll see how much easier it is to make your dreams into goals, and your goals into a reality.

Watch the video below where I discuss more on the subject.

5 Ways to Create Space in Your Life

Do you need more space to play in your life?

Do you need more space to play in your life?

Hi Friend!

This week I worked on creating space in my life by eliminating activities that are not fulfilling me. There are still activities that I'm on the fence about but I will figure them out in time. I'm creating space in my life because I want to spend quality time with my daughters. It's true that I'm a stay at home mom, but there is always something to do around the house. I feel bad because the whole point of me staying at home was to spend quality time with my girls and yet I'm preoccupied with other things.

So this year, I'm making a point of spending time to play with them, learning with them, as well as working out at home and drinking a superfoods drink every day. You see, if I don't take care of myself, I won't have the energy or strength I need to take care of my girls and family. Spending time with my girls is a lot of fun and it's those moments that help us bond and grow together. It's not just about me being at home.

This week I want to share with you five ways to create space in your life. When you create space in your life, you're able to relax more and spend time with those that you love.

We live in a hectic world, and it's up to us to make our lives more busy or calmer. We can add more activities to our lives that will make us busier, or we can remove things from our schedule and have time to spend with our family and friends.

However, if your goal is to be calmer this year and to spend more quality time with your family, then please read the following ways to do so.

1. Remove Activities from Your Schedule

We can overload ourselves with activities and projects to do. We can be more involved with extracurricular classes or committees. However, all this does is make us more stressed and tired. There is only so much time in the day to do all the things we want to do, and we can't do it all. The best way to solve this problem is to see what activities fulfill you. Which ones add to your life and which ones you dread. Those that you dread, you want to remove from your schedule and make space for something that you do love to do.

2. Remove Apps from your Phone

Our phones contain a lot of space that we can fill with unnecessary apps that don't fulfill us and instead take up room. Remove all of those apps that don't serve you and leave the ones that do.

3. Remove Contacts from your Phone

Remove contacts that you don't talk to anymore. Those contacts take up space in your phone and your mind. It's time to remove them and make room for those people that we want to create better relationships with.

4. Remove Podcasts from your phone

Delete podcasts that don't serve you. There are so many amazing podcasts out there, but we don't have the bandwidth to absorb all of the excellent information out there. Decide to have no more than five podcasts to listen to and no more. I know how hard this can be, but it's worth removing the number of podcasts we hear to so that we can listen to more music or the conversations of our loved ones.

5. Close Social Media Accounts

This one may be hard to do but, it may also be necessary. Close social media accounts that don't serve you. You know, the ones that you stress about opening up because you're afraid of what you're going to see. Those accounts need to be closed because they are bringing you more anxiety than not. Remove people that you're following that bring you stress. You don't need that kind of energy in your life.

These are the five items to remove from your life to make your life more fulfilled and joyful. Let me know what things will be removed from your life so that you have more time for your loved ones.

Watch the video below, where I explain more.

5 Phases of Decluttering

How to declutter in 5 easy steps

How to declutter in 5 easy steps

The day after Christmas up to New Year's Eve and Spring break, I love to declutter. It's one of my most favorite things I love to do! The reason is that I believe and feel that when I decluttering, I'm like starting all over. I have a chance to make new and better decisions. Once I'm finished decluttering, it's like my mind is clear and now I can sit down and make new goals and rituals. It's seriously really cool and fun.

Decluttering is no easy task, and I'm sure many would not find it as exciting as I do. There's a lot of emotion that can go into decluttering. Not everyone is as into getting rid of things. For that reason, I want to discuss the three phases of decluttering.

PHASE 1: The Decluttering Mindset

decluttering affirmation

To get into the right mindset we want to start with not comparing what we have with what others have. It doesn't matter if someone has more than I do. The point of getting rid of unnecessary things is to create a calm environment. We don't need to justify why we're getting rid of certain items and we shouldn't pressure someone to get rid of their things (this is something I need to work on).

PHASE 2: Look at the Costs of Clutter

When you have too much stuff you would be surprised as to how it affects your emotions. Here are just five of the costs of clutter...but there are a lot more.

  • Clutter causes frustration.

  • Clutter causes embarrassment.

  • Clutter makes you waste time looking for things.

  • Clutter makes it harder to keep a clean home.

  • Clutter can be dangerous! Just think about tripping over things on the floor or things spilling out of your cabinets.

PHASE 2: Look at the Benefits of Decluttering

On the other hand, there are so many benefits of having less stuff. I'm going to list just five of those things, but there are a lot more.

  • Decluttering makes more space to be enjoyed.

  • Decluttering makes cleaning your home easier and faster.

  • Decluttering your home and making space is safer.

  • Decluttering saves you money when you see what you already have and what you doing need to purchase.

  • Decluttering teaches your children good habits.

PHASE 4: Decluttering Process

First, schedule a day, weekend or week to declutter. I told you I declutter the week between Christmas and New Year's and again during Spring Break. Depending on how often you need to declutter, I don't always declutter my entire home, but sometimes it's necessary.

Begin with a room that is really bothering you. I started this year with my girl's playroom. They just had too many things and I needed to make room for the new toys. Once I finished with the playroom, I moved on to the kitchen, then our closet, and then the office.

PHASE 5: What to do with everything

Once you've finished your decluttering project, figure out what to do with all of your things. I personally donate it most of it and sell my books, CDs, and DVDs to a company called sellyourbooks.com They make it really easy to remove your clutter and make a little bit of money in the process. You can also give some items to your friends, nieces, nephews or whoever you want to give your items to.

Anyway, I hope you've learned a thing or two on decluttering. Have a home with space reduces so much anxiety and stress that you will enjoy decluttering from here on out. I mean I even declutter when I'm stressed because it helps relieve it.

Watch the video below to get more insight.

Let me know if you plan to declutter this week!

How to Live Simply & Happy

Do you want to live simply and happy?

Do you want to live simply and happy?

I have a tendency to get easily overwhelmed. I don't know what it is, but when I start to do too much or I find that I have a lot to do with very little time, I begin to stress out. I really don't like that feeling. The stress builds up and then I become anxious and then I become short and unpleasant with my family. I really hate the feeling. I feel like I'm not the nicest person to be around when I'm stressed out due to the overwhelm. 

The way I work with this is that I reduce what I have in my home and on my schedule. I don't participate in a lot of activities and I also make a point of not being in charge of too many things because I become stressed and I don't perform my duties well. Reducing both the amount of things I have in my home and the amount of activities I or my children participate in, is key to me being calm, present, and happy. I simplify my life, so that I may be happy and pleasant to be around. 

The tagline of Natural Beauty Method is Live Simply & Happy because this is the life that I want all women, including myself and my daughters, to have. Living a simple and happy life makes the world so much more beautiful and enjoyable. The question is how to live such a life. I come up with three pillars to living a simple and happy life.

Pillar #1: Embrace Calm

When you embrace calm, you are able to live presently. This includes decluttering and removing all things that are not necessary to have in order to create space. When you create space, you can breathe easier. Removing all activities from your schedule that doesn't fulfill you. Practicing gratitude on a daily basis and remembering that life is about Grace Not Perfection.

Pillar #2: Practice Self-Care

Self-care is so much more than me time. It's eating well, making time to exercise, sleeping and using safer beauty products. When you put in place all of these habits, your hormones become balanced, you become less stressed, which in turn makes you happier.

Pillar #3: Live Confidently

Use daily affirmations to help change your mindset to a positive one. Stop comparing yourself with others but instead celebrate their success. Learn to speak kindly to yourself and stop the self-abuse of speaking so harshly to yourself.

When you put all of these practices into play, you're going to see how calm and satisfying your life will be. Life has tough moments, but it's up to us to make it beautiful.

Watch the short 10 minute video below where I explain even more.

What are you doing to simplify your life so that you can be happier? Let me know in the comments below!

Live Simply & Happy,

Mirley

3 Ways to Increase Your Happiness

3 Ways to Increase Your Happiness

3 Ways to Increase Your Happiness

Hi Friend!

I just wanted to tell you that happiness is a choice. However, it is true that there are moments in our lives when it is difficult to be happy. That said, there are ways to boost your happiness even during difficult times.

  1. Make Peace With Your Past

Many of us have made decisions in our past that we're not pleased with. Some of the best ways to combat those feelings are to look at what you learned from the experience. What did you learn about yourself, what are your strengths and weaknesses? What brings you joy and sadness?

2. Practice Daily Gratitude

Giving thanks daily is a wonderful way to boost your happiness. It forces you to focus on the good you have in life. It forces you to stay present and enjoy life more. Even when you look at those points in life that were not so happy, make a point of seeing what good came out of those moments. Giving thanks for your days will brighten up your life.

3. Don't Compare Yourself With Others

Comparison is a big issue in our society mainly due to social media. Rather than comparing yourself with others, try and celebrate their accomplishments. If someone's post is continuously bothering you, you may want to either mute them or just unfollow them. It's not worth ruining your day over.

Audrey Hepburn "Happy Girls are the prettiest."

One of my favorite classic icons is Audrey Hepburn. I love her timeless style and her kind heart. She loved to eat pasta and was very humble. I named my first born after her.

“Happy girls are the prettiest,” is one of my all-time favorite Audrey Hepburn quotes. It says so much. If we smile and are truly happy, somehow we are just more attractive and confident in ourselves. 

Copy of Affirmations & Quotes (1).png

Live Happy Challenge

Choose one of the topics to focus on and change. If you need to make peace with your past, in a notebook write down what you learned from it. If you need to be more thankful, in a journal write down 3 things you're grateful for. If you need to stop comparing yourself with others, learn to celebrate others successes or just unfollow those people that make you miserable.

Watch the video below where I explain more on the subject.

Live Simply & Happy,

Mirley

How to Simplify Your Life

How to Simplify Your Life

How to Simplify Your Life

Hi Friend!

We live in a very busy world. There’s a lot of noise and distractions pulling us in so many directions. All of these things are keeping us from being present for the people who need us most…not to mention it’s also causing us stress!

I love to learn and easily get caught up in the noise and business of life. It’s so much fun for me to learn, but it’s really hard for me to keep up with everyone’s suggestions. Not to mention, that I can’t apply them all and it’s too difficult for me to keep up!

Emily Ley Quote

Emily Ley Quote

The fact is that possessions may actually control you more than you think. Of course we want to enjoy what we have. Possessions don’t have eternal value so it’s healthy to give items we’re not using away or just throw them away. I personally love to give things away or just throw them away. If I believe someone can get more use out of the item, then I give it to them, if not, then I just toss it.

How do I solve the problem of too much? I declutter! However, decluttering isn’t just about throwing things away in the home that you don’t need. It’s about simplifying who you’re listening to. How many podcasts do you listen to? How many YouTube videos do you watch? All of that noise is building up stress and it’s really important that you remove unnecessary noise from your life.

Once I started eliminating the unnecessary programs that I listen to, I'm able to listen to music. I am able to be more present for my daughters and husband. And this makes me happier and calmer.

What does clutter do to you?

John Maeda Quote

John Maeda Quote

  • Stresses you out

  • Keeps you tired

  • Confuses you as to where to begin

  • Overwhelms you

  • Blocks your ability to move forward

  • Limits God from showing the way

What should I get rid of?

  • Workout videos you don't use

  • Workout equipment

  • Cancel your gym membership and use the workout videos

  • Fitness magazines

  • Recipe books

Take the Clutter Test

  • Does it fit who I am?

  • Do I get excited when I look at it?

  • Do I love it?

  • Is it useful?

  • Is it necessary?

What do I do with my old stuff?

  • Donate it

  • Sell it online (There are many sites like Amazon, Ebay, Criag's List and more)

  • Save it and use it!

What does decluttering do for me?

  • Makes me feel light

  • Allows me to breathe

  • Allows me to make clear decisions

  • Forces me to get back on track

I hope this helps you. Let me know of all the things you got rid of.

Watch the video below where I explain more on the subject.

What do you have to eliminate from your life to make it more simple? Let me know in the comments below.

Live Simply & Happy,

Mirley

The safe way to lose weight

The safe way to lose weight

The safe way to lose weight

A number of years ago I learned about a woman who wanted to feel confident and beautiful. She went through a procedure to shrink her stomach and a couple of years later do the mommy makeover (tummy tuck and boob job). Sadly, five days after her second procedure she passed away from a blood clot.

While not all women who undergo the Mommy Makeovers have this fatal outcome, the risk still exists. The pressure of looking "perfect" so we can feel beautiful is so intense that many of us are willing taking shortcuts without taking the risks into consideration.

Healthy looks different on everybody. It even looks different during different stages of our lives. My healthy body now does not look the same or even weigh the same as my healthy body from 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. Our body's healthy weight changes over the years. With that change comes a different perspective on how we love our bodies. We cannot realistically expect our bodies to be the same throughout our lives because it does change through the years. I believe we must strive for better health and appreciation of our bodies and NOT try and look "perfect".

We must remember that our actions are also teaching our children what the standard of beauty is. We must first accept where we are in our health journey. If we feel the need to change it, we must do it in a healthy way. This means by eating healthy daily, exercising, practicing self-love and speaking kindly to ourselves.

Rather than feel that we must alter our bodies let's embrace a new kind of beauty standard. A natural beauty standard that is different for everyone. Remember, healthy looks different on everyone. This even changed me and made me realize the pressure that we put on ourselves to be a certain size quickly is ridiculous. Taking short-cuts isn't the answer. We must make positive changes while embracing our natural beauty and body shape.

How my body change after giving birth

How my body changed after giving birth

How my body changed after giving birth

I am a mother to two beautiful young girls ages 3 and 1. After giving birth to my first daughter, my hips did not go down back to their original size. I honestly believed that that was as wide as they were going to get and I was happy because I liked having wider hips. Although I was still thin, I was happy of my new body. After I gave birth to my second daughter, my body changed once again. I have a larger chest size and my hips got a little wider (not complaining). 

My hips got wider

It's been really fascinating to see my body change naturally. I still eat healthy and exercise daily and now have a more womanly body. I like that! Of course I have to go shopping for new clothes, which can be expensive but totally fun. 

I'm sharing this with you because there is so much external pressure to go back to your original size after giving birth. And I'm here to tell you that if your body goes back to its original size naturally because you are living a healthy lifestyle, then great! It's in your genes to back to that size. But if you're like me, whose body changed as a result of giving birth and you're living a healthy life too, then wonderful! Not all of us are meant to stay at the same size and shouldn't feel the pressure to do so. 

A number of years ago, I was watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians and remember the episode where Kourtney had just given birth to her first born Mason and was asked by a magazine to post her post-baby body. She had 6 months to do it.

The magazine wanted to encourage and motivate women that they too could lose weight fast and get back to their original size. Kourtney workout for hours and did not eat healthy in the process. The result was that she ended being taken to the ER because she passed out from over pushing her body. She of course learned her lesson and with her second child decided to lose weight the healthy way.

I remember watching this episode and really being impacted by it because I honestly felt bad for her. I didn’t have children at the time but I felt the pressure that she had put on herself, as well as society, and the magazine. I remember thinking I would never pressure myself to lose weight quickly because I didn’t want to end up in the ER like her.

Krystal Marks Quote

Now after I gave birth to my first daughter, I was able to lose the weight quickly. I used to be a size 2/4 and after I gave birth I was a well established size 4. However, after giving birth to my second baby, I did not go back to my size and I also did not lose the weight as quickly as the first time.

Nevertheless, I continued to be consistent in eating healthy and exercising. I did change my exercise regiment, which was whatever I felt like doing to actually following a program that gave me results. I’m currently on week 6 in an 8 week program and I’m seeing and feeling the difference. It’s amazing how your body can improve when you’re making the effort to workout. With eating healthy daily and finding a workout program that works for you, you too can lose your pregnancy weight.

I have to conclude by saying that losing weight after giving birth is not a race. It’s a process that is different for all of us. And the results of us eating healthy, exercising, and even the number of children we’ve given birth to will impact our results, which is part of the experience.

Let me know in the comments below if you need extra encouragement and guidance losing weight after giving birth.