May 27, 2015

My Top 3 Daily Devotionals

I was hoping to share my top three devotionals with you guys sooner, but I am so happy to finally get this posted. I have a couple of go to devotionals.  I feel like we all need to be uplifted in the word of God on a daily and that perfect devotional can do just that..

Over the last few years, as I learn more about the word of God and allow myself to crave more, I have realized that not everything I read speaks to me the same way it might speak to someone else. I started a book club with a few women and we would gather once or twice a month and discuss our read. I  remember our very first book was The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer. It really changed my life, and allowed me to view myself in a different way. I then received her devotional a couple of years later and I still to this day open it up from time to time. I call it my confident boost devotional.

Another devotional that has been amazing for me is Devotions for the God Girl by Hayley DiMarco.  It is the perfect devotional to reflect on your relationship with God and focusing on where he is taking you. 
Are you are Dreamer, Are you a Doer? Then this last devotional is a must have. My sweet friends Kelly Rucker & Jenn Sprinkle, have the perfect Devotional for that woman that's a  Dreamer & Doer.  31 Days of Prayer For The Dreamer + The Doer is definitely a must read. This book is currently the devotional that I carry with me..

We have to dig into the word more!!! What are some of your favorite devotionals?

You can purchase each of these books on Amazon.

What are some of your favorite devotionals?

May 26, 2015

3 Trends with M/I HOMES

Building with M/I Homes in the Austin area last summer with my husband was such a fun experience. I fell in love with all the upgrades that came with the home, the floor plans, and all the available options to choose from.  Three Trends with MI/Homes that had me at first glance were the Open Kitchen plans, Large windows, and Tray Ceilings.  I have  to admit these three added trends, make for the perfect home.

Open Kitchens
Who doesn't want an open kitchen for easy entertaining with family and friends?  Having a space that is functional and open for guest to congregate, allows for a nice flow when entertaining a crowd,  is always at the top of the list.  Being able to set the flow from kitchen to living room, to back porch,  when inviting guest over to watch a football game, or for a Holiday dinner, makes for easy entertaining.
Large Windows
Large windows in  your living room definitely give a light and airy feel. Letting in all that natural light on a daily, can set the mood for the day. I love having the light flow into my home. When letting that natural light  into your space through large windows, you can easily get the feeling of bringing the outdoors in. That's exactly what it feels like in my home(photo below of my living room).
Tray Ceilings

Tray ceilings are always a  nice accent to a master bedroom.  A tray ceiling adds height and architectural interest to a room, and makes for the perfect place to add a creative color accent and lighting in your space. The one in this MI/Home model in Sweetwater is perfectly styled with beautiful lighting.

God visit M/I Homes and take a peek at some of their beautiful floors plans and don't forget to check out their blog. HERE
What are a view home trends that you are loving right now?

May 25, 2015

Monday Motiivation: Good

May 21, 2015

She Health:: 4 Easy Ways to Get Better Sleep

Hi. It’s Dr.Blessing and today I want to give you 4 Easy Ways to Get Better Sleep.

We all know that sleep is important for good health, increased productivity, better mood and increased energy.

But did you know that there are 5 stages of sleep? Each stage lasts about 90 minutes and we cycle through these stages at least 5 times throughout the night if we get adequate sleep (7.5 – 8 hours).

If you don’t go through all stages of sleep (takes approximately 8 hours) you will wake up fatigued and exhausted instead of feeling refreshed when you get up in the morning. Did you know that deep sleep helps regulate your appetite hormones? Getting a full night’s sleep suppresses ghrenlin, the appetite hormone and stimulates the release of leptin, the satiety/fullness hormone.
Did you know that caffeinated drinks like coffee and medications that contain caffeine can stimulate parts of the brain and decrease your ability to sleep? 

Back to the Basics

REM and Non- REM sleep

The first four stages of sleep make up Non- REM sleep and the last and most restorative stage of sleep is REM sleep.

5 Stages of Sleep

Stage 1 Very light sleep (transition into sleep)
Muscle activity decreases; muscle twitching
Make up 5% of sleep

Stage 2 Light sleep
Breathing and heart rate slow down
Body temperature decreases
45-55% of our time asleep in the light stage of sleep.

Stage 3 Deep sleep
Deep sleep begins
Slow delta brain waves
Growth hormone is secreted and body repairs start
12- 15% of sleep is spent in this stage of sleep

Stage 4 Very deep sleep
Rhythmic breathing
Limited muscle activity
Body temperature and blood pressure decrease

Stage 5 Restorative Sleep, REM sleep
Dreaming occurs
Brain waves speed up
Brain is awake
Arm and leg muscles temporarily paralyzed
Increase in heart rate
Breathing is rapid and shallow

Here are some tips to help you get better, more refreshing sleep.

1.     Avoid caffeine and caffeinated products before bed

This includes coffee, energy drinks, and some medications.  Caffeine triggers the release of cortisol; this is our stress hormone.  Our stress hormone prepares our body for fight or flight and keeps you alert.

2.    Avoid that nightcap

Did you know that alcohol triggers cortisol release in the body?  Even though alcohol may help you feel relaxed; studies have shown that alcohol interferes with REM sleep.

REM sleep occurs in the fifth stage of sleep and is the most restorative stage of sleep. And as we get older, this stage is a little bit shorter.

In order to get the best sleep and wake up refreshed in the morning; you don't want to do anything that will interfere with the amount of restorative sleep that you get.

When sleep is disrupted, you wake up groggy, angry; you’re forgetful and less productive.

3.    Don’t take your electronics to bed with you

Our society is very technologically advanced, and we have so many gadgets like the Kindle and our iPhone, and this has allowed us to bring our work literally into our bedroom. So people are doing work (like sending and checking emails) in their beds instead of sleeping.

Getting enough sleep helps prevent weight gain, decreases your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol.

So keep your electronics in another room. If you're going to do work, do it in a room that’s not your bedroom, and stop at least hour to two hours before bed.

You will know how much time you need to wind down so make sure you fit that into your sleep routine.

4.    Keep your bedroom dark.

Before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, people went to bed as soon as it was dark outside. We know that is not the case now; we have lights 24/7. Our bodies don’t know the difference between day or night; especially when we are constantly surrounded by artificial lighting

Anytime a light is on, the light goes through the eyes and hits the pineal gland telling it to stop secreting melatonin and to start secreting cortisol.  When we are exposed to light the body thinks it’s daytime, even if it’s not. When it’s dark, the body stops secreting cortisol and starts secreting melatonin because it thinks its night and it prepares you for bed. There is a fragile balance between melatonin, the relaxation hormone and cortisol, the hormone that stimulates alertness.

I hope you enjoyed 4 Easy Ways to Get Better Sleep.  Working out early in the morning helps me get better sleep. What are some things you do to get better sleep?

May 20, 2015

Coffee & Words:: Stillness

I have been replaying the song I will Follow by Chris Tomlin in my head for the last couple of days. It's so nice to be reminded of God's presence surrounding you through praise and worship and I have to admit it is so refreshing.

Lately I have been in a state of stillness, just waiting patiently for God to give me direction in certain areas of my life(which can be so difficult at times), allowing  my mind to be free from clutter and even separating myself from my normal routine of things, so that I can truly focus on  where he is taking me. In the stillness of things I have really tried to focus on what really makes me happy as a woman of God, as a mom, and as a wife.  In this season of my life God has allowed me to really concentrate on taking care of myself, which is very important in order to do what he is asking you to do.

I am a better person when I am surrounded with things that are structured and orderly in my home, in my relationships and also in my business, I realize when I have balance and structure, my relationship with God is that much stronger. When I take the time for him on a daily, I am at peace, when my thoughts are on him and in the word, I can focus on the path ahead.  To be completely honest some days that stillness comes with a pile of dull thoughts and uncomfortable moments, because of not being in control.

So the words to the song Where you Go, I'll Go, When you Stay I'll Stay; are truly where I find myself right now, in this season of my life.

Let the stillness come and allow God to speak to you!

"The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent." Exodus 14:14

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