Jun 4, 2014

Out with the Old, in with the New!

Hi there!  I've been absent from this space for awhile now because I've been busy creating a new space!  By the end of this week, Celebrate the Goodness, will no longer be around.  You can find me now at One Inspired Life.  I'd love to have you come read along!  I've also updated all of my social media accounts so if you follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram, you'll now see a new name!  I look forward to "seeing" you in my new space! 


Apr 28, 2014

Washington DC, in pictures...

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  I definitely kept busy on my end from volunteering to hosting a book club, doing yard work, running errands and doing some meal prep.  As much as I love low-key weekends, I never mind a productive one!

Tonight, I wanted to share with you, Nick and I's recent vacation pictures.  We had the opportunity to go to Washington, DC a few weeks ago with his mom and aunt.  Though we had some misfortunes with getting lost, having a tour get cancelled and not getting around to seeing everything we hoped, all in all, the trip was definitely worth it.

We went to DC on what we later learned to be the busiest season of the year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  The cherry blossoms were gorgeous, as you'll see below, but I didn't expect so many people to be there.  The city was packed.  Luckily, the weather treated us kindly, we even got sun burned!  I also had the opportunity to see one of my best friends that I hadn't seen in two years, so that was a blessing. 

Where We Stayed
We decided to stay in Arlington, VA, minutes outside of Washington, DC at the Crystal City Marriott.  The hotel was great and the location couldn't have been better.  Right beneath the hotel, you could access the Metro.  There were also some stores and restaurants within walking distance, which was nice.  The hotel itself was very clean, comfortable and had everything we needed.  I definitely would stay here again when visiting DC.
What We Ate
I somehow managed to not take any pictures of the food we ate!  I still wanted to share with you some of the restaurants we went to because the food was one of my favorite parts of the trip!  I highly recommend checking out any of these restaurants if you are in the area.
Nick got me hooked on Chevy's a few years ago when we went up North to visit his family.  We don't have one here in NC so any time we travel, we always keep our eyes peeled for one.  Sure enough, Arlington had a Chevy's!  We enjoyed our share of chips and salsa, margaritas and chimichangas.
Since we weren't staying far from Alexandria, VA we decided to venture there one night for dinner and dessert.  If you get the chance to go to Alexandria, go!  The town is full of shops, stores and cuteness.  We ate at Il Porto, which is an Italian place and it was amazing.  I had a seafood pasta, which was served with a salad.  Definitely worth the money!  Afterwards, we grabbed ice cream at Pops Old Fashioned Ice Cream, which was probably the best ice cream I've ever had.  They had tons of flavors to choose from.  The long line was definitely worth the wait.
On one of our last nights, we ventured to Chinatown in DC and ate at Tony Cheng's.  Nick and I split an appetizer and sesame chicken.  The portions were plentiful and the prices were reasonable.  We don't eat Chinese food a lot so, being able to go to Tony Cheng's was definitely a treat and I'd go back for sure!
Things We Rode
The Metro
Having access to the Metro, so close to our hotel, it only made sense to travel that way into the city.  The one time we did try and take our car in, it was a hassle trying to find affordable parking in a good location.  I highly recommend using the Metro in DC.  It was easy to navigate and there were always people around to ask questions if needed.

I had read some reviews about these tours and thought it would be a fun way to see the city and give our legs a break.  We decided to do their Monuments by Moonlight tour so that we could see the monuments at night.  I didn't realize that they would actually let you off to walk around at the monuments.  We had already been to some of them on the previous days, so we were bummed that we could have spent time doing other things had we known you would "hop off" at the monuments while on the night tour.  Unfortunately too, with it being the busiest time of the year, traffic was horrible that night so a lot of time was spent sitting in traffic.  Old Town did a good job though of making sure we saw everything promised, even if it meant taking awhile longer. 
Things We Saw
I decided to just do a couple of collages of some of the things we saw.  Enjoy!
Overall Thoughts
Nick and I will definitely be going back to DC sometime soon.  With it only being a 5 hour drive away and with the city having so much to do, how could we not?  We would love to be able to see some more of the museums and try getting a tour to the White House again.  Unfortunately, ours got cancelled, which definitely didn't make us happy campers, but there's always that risk. 
Next time, I would also plan out what things I wanted to see and when to see them.  Due to the crowds for the Cherry Blossom Festival, a lot of the free museums and tours required a ticket for a scheduled time.  I've heard that's normally not the case, but I'd definitely do a better job of researching that for next time.  We spent 4 days in the city this go round and while that seemed like a lot when we planned it, we could have easily spent a whole week there!  I'd love to for a longer amount of time next time.
Have you ever been to Washington, DC?  If so, what was your favorite part?

Apr 16, 2014

You are Worth Fighting For....

Today's post is going to be short, but it's something that I can't not write about.  If you follow my Instagram account, you will have already seen me post something similar to this today.  I felt it needed to be posted on my blog as well. 

Many of you know that I've suffered from severe depression over the years.  For quite awhile, I've wanted to find a way to advocate for mental illness. I even got my certification to become a Peer Support Specialist in hopes of doing just that.  I've also shared on my blog before, on ways to deal with depression.

Today, I heard some news that stirred my heart.  It increased my desire to share with others the importance of getting help and that life is worth fighting for.  I found out about a young man that took his own life.  Though I never personally knew him, my heart aches for his wife and their families as they deal with their loss. 

I think when things like this happen, society is always quick to ask if there were any warning signs, was the individual getting help, was there a history of mental illness in the family, etc.  There's no way to ever truly know the reason someone decides to take his/her life, but I definitely think society as a whole, needs to be more educated.  Equally important, those who are suffering, need to know that there is no shame in getting help and that life is worth fighting for!

This evening, I came across The Semicolon Project and I wanted to share it with you, in case you or someone you love is struggling with depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, etc.  The Semicolon Project, is an effort to not only bring about awareness to fight against depression, self-harm and suicide, but it's also an effort to remind those who are struggling that they are the author of their life and they can choose to keep fighting.

"Today, on April 16th, everyone who self-harms, is suicidal, depressed, has anxiety, is unhappy, going through a broken heart, just lost a loved one, etc. draws a semicolon on their wrist.  A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to.  The author is you, and the sentence is your life. " ~The Semicolon Project

If you or someone you love is suffering, please know that help is available and that you are worth fighting for!  I've listed some resources below or feel free to email me at cthegoodness@gmail.com and I can help you locate resources in your area.

The National Institute of Mental Health

National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255


Hopeline:  Kristin Brooks Hope Center

Find a Therapist in Your Area

Depression Health Center

Please know that you are never alone and that your life is worth fighting for!

Apr 7, 2014

33 Things Bringing Me Goodness

Happy Monday evening, friends!  I hope you had a good weekend and a great start to the week.  In honor of turning a year older this past weekend, I wanted to use this as an opportunity for reflection.  I've realized that I don't spend enough time reflecting on what I'm grateful for.  Today, I'm sharing with you 33 things that are currently bringing goodness to my life.  These are in no particular order.

What's currently bringing goodness to your life?

Mar 20, 2014

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

In honor of today being International Day of Happiness, I wanted to share with you 5 things that are currently bringing me happiness!
Think Happy, Be Happy Book by Workman Publishing
Whenever I need a little pick me up, I can open to any page in this little book and it
brings a smile to my face.  The illustrations are beautiful and I love the quotes. 
I bought my copy at BJ's, but you can find it at Barnes and Nobles as well.
Prayerful Bloggers Group led by Aimee and Codi
You can read more about the group here and how to join.
It's been a great way to connect to other bloggers and also
pray for each other.  I always know that if I need prayer, I can count
on the women in this group to pray for me.  We also provide support to each other
through the Facebook page that's associated with the group.
 Oceans by Hillsong United
This song stops me in my tracks whenever I hear it.  It brings
me a sense of comfort and peace.  I just love the lyrics, especially this part: 
"Your grace abounds in deepest waters....Your sovereign hand....
Will be my guide...Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me...
You've never failed and You won't start now..."
 Gardening Season
My mom has agreed to help me build a garden this Spring!  It's
funny how much happiness this brings me because I
normally kill every plant I own.  I was not born with a 
green thumb, that's for sure.  The thought of having fresh veggies
and herbs makes me happy!  I'm sure there will be
some more posts coming when we do start the gardening process!
3 Year Anniversary
Nick and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary this month!
It's hard to believe three years ago, we were standing on a beach
in Punta Cana exchanging our vows.  I'm so grateful to have Nick
in my life and look forward to many more years to come!
On this International Day of Happiness, I leave you with this fun print!

Mar 15, 2014

March: National Craft Month

Happy weekend to you!  If you didn't know, the month of March is National Craft Month.  If you've been around my blog for any amount of time, you know that I'm a big fan of arts and crafts.  Today, I wanted to share with you ten different DIY craft ideas that I'm currently swooning over for Spring!  I'll definitely share pictures of the ones I decide to create over this next month!  Enjoy!

Spring Egg Frame
Multi-Colored Beaded Necklace
Spring Home Décor Sign
Mixed Media Butterfly Art
Spring Pom Pom Garland
Apothecary Jars
Spring Paper Wreath
Spring Abstract Art
Floral Tin Can Lantern
Washi Tape Bird
I hope these pins have encouraged you to get your craft on this month!  If you are looking for more inspiration, you can check out my Arts and Crafts Board on Pinterest.  Please share a link in the comments to any craft projects you create this month.  I'd love to take a look!  Happy Crafting!

Feb 26, 2014

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2014

I can't believe this weekend it'll be March.  I will say that I'm excited for warmer temperatures and Spring will be here before you know it!  Before we get to March though, there's still something special left in February.  For those of you have been reading my blog for some time now, you know that eating disorder recovery and awareness is near and dear to my heart.  If you’ve been on social media at all this week, you may have noticed that it’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week! 

What is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week?  Well, it’s a week that’s dedicated to promoting public and media attention to the seriousness of eating disorders.  This week is also about improving education about the biological underpinnings, environmental triggers,  and warning signs of eating disorders, as well as, how to help those struggling. (Source)
Each year, the National Eating Disorders Association, comes up with a theme for the week and this year the theme is “I Had No Idea.”  The theme was chosen to stress the need to address eating disorder misconceptions and highlight available resources for treatment and support. This week is dedicated to talking about the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape eating disorders. (Source)

During this week, NEDA encourages you to participate by doing just one thing!  Why?  Well, your participation will 1) raise awareness that eating disorders are serious illnesses, not lifestyle choices; 2) provide accurate information to medical, educational and/or business communities, and 3) direct people to potentially life-saving information and resources about eating disorders. (Source)
Today, I’m going to share with you 10 ways that you can do just one thing to participate in NEDA Awareness Week 2014!
1.       We are all on social media these days and it’s a perfect platform and easy way to participate.  This week, you can join NEDA’s campaign by tweeting a fact about eating disorders, posting one of the many NEDAwareness Week articles, sharing NEDAwareness Week videos and infographics, posting the NEDA Helpline or by sharing a link to NEDA’s online eating disorder screening.  I’ve provided a few of these things for you at the bottom of this post!

2.       Download and print a free copy of NEDA’s Educator Toolkit, Parent Toolkit and Coach &Athletic Trainer Toolkit to give to your local schools.

3.       Complete this quiz, about common myths surrounding eating disorders and the Eating Disorder Centerof Denver will make a donation in your name!  While you are at it, share the quiz on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

4.       Download a free poster and place it in your community to bring about awareness.  Free posters can be found here:  http://nedawareness.org/promote

5.       Share the NEDA Awareness Logo via social media so that others know about this week!  You can find the logo here: http://nedawareness.org/promote

6.       Attend a local event in your area this week that supports eating disorder awareness.  Need to know where events are happening this week?  Navigate here for a list:  http://nedawareness.org/events

7.       Be a part of the "CaptureHope" movement on Instagram to spread the message that recovery is real!  Post messages on Instagram this week that inspire hope for you and use the hashtag #CaptureHope

8.       If you are on your own journey to recovery or you are supporting a loved one who is, create a video this week to help everyone get in the know!  You can see examples here:  http://nedawareness.org/i-had-no-idea

9.       Host a scale smashing event, which is a great way to bring people together to talk about eating disorders and body image issues.  Find out how to host a scale smashing event here:  http://nedawareness.org/host-a-scale-smashing

10.   Donate directly to the NEDA Organization. 
As promised, here are some links to ways you can participate this week via social media.
·         Infographics can be found here:  http://nedawareness.org/infographics

·         Articles can be found here:  http://nedawareness.org/nedawareness-articles

·         General facts can be found here:  http://nedawareness.org/about-eating-disorders

·         NEDA’s helpline is 1-800-931-2237 or you can chat online by going here:  http://nedawareness.org/helpline

·         Want to take a screening?  You can find that here:  https://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening/NEDA

·         Videos can be found here:  http://nedawareness.org/i-had-no-idea
Stay tuned for another post this week where I'll share my own journey to recovery!


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