How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

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We all have goals, whether we know it or not. We have goals to change jobs or maintain the current one. We have goals to travel, to buy things that we need or get high grades in school.  The difference, however, is that top achievers are purposeful and focused on their goals while the rest are not. Studies have shown that setting clearly defined goals increases happiness in one’s life. Here are steps to set and achieve your goals:

  1. Look at it. Write down every goal, whether big or small and hang it in a place where you can constantly see it. This will help you visualize your goals as well as it creates a commitment on your part.
  2. Set a date. Set a timeline for when each goal needs to be accomplished.
  3. Break it up. Many people abandon their goals because they’re just too big. Break each goal to small manageable steps that will allow you to reach your goal. The 2 questions that should be asked during this step are “How will I achieve my goal?” and “What do I need to accomplish it?”.
  4. Reward system. Reward yourself every time you reach a goal. Yes, that includes small goals. It will give you motivation to continue working hard.  Don’t be discouraged by achieving small goals because they will eventually add up to big ones thus, it is equally important!
  5. Set up your environment. Surround yourself with the right people that align with your goals. This will grantee that you never lose sight of what you need to achieve.
  6. Periodically evaluate your goals. Take time to review your goals and evaluate your progress. This ensures that you are heading in the right direction; adjust the steps taken to reach your goals and so on. Remember to take your failures as lessons while planning your goals.

Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the process of achieving your goals. As humans, we often get so caught up with the end result that we fail to remember that the prize is in the process itself.

Happy Saturday! xoxo

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Tips To Improve Sleep

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When it comes to sleep, it is not just the quantity, but the quality of sleep that matters. How you feel when you are awake is greatly affected by how well you sleep.  Your bedtime habits, sleep schedule and life style choices can make a tremendous difference in the quality of sleep. The following tips will help improve your sleep so you can be emotionally balanced, mentally sharp and full of energy.

  1. Unplug from all electronics about an hour before bed. Make sure to switch your phone to silent so you do not wake up from late night calls or text messages.
  2. Stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule even during the weekends. This will set your body’s internal clock and improve the quality of your sleep. Start by setting a realistic bedtime that will work with your lifestyle.
  3. Take a warm bath before going to sleep. I found that this helps relax my muscles and rewind after a long day of school.
  4. Use a sleep mask to eliminate any lights. If you are easily awakened from light then this is the best solution to getting a good night’s sleep. I personally cannot go to sleep without a sleep mask.
  5. Wear very comfortable pajamas to bed. Avoid wearing jeans or anything that is too tight.
  6. Read a chapter or two from a book. I am currently reading Who Will Cry When You Die. It is the best book that I have read thus far! I will be honest though, I don’t read every night because on certain day, I would be extremely tired and fall asleep right away.
  7. Keep your room cool. The temperature of your bedroom also affects sleep, the majority of people sleep best in a slightly cool room which is around 65 Fahrenheit.
  8. Cut down on caffeine about 4 hours before going to sleep.
  9. Create a calm atmosphere with dim light and no noise. This will help encourage sleep.
  10. Do some light stretches before going to bed.
  11. Have a warm cut of chamomile tea before going to bed. Chamomile tea contains no caffeine so it will not interfere with your sleep cycle. According to researchers, drinking it is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative.

Do you have any other tips? xoxo

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How To Deal With Stress

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Stress is one of the very few certainties that touch every individual at some point of their life. It is inevitable, but how we choose to deal with it will make all the difference. There is no one way to deal with stress; you must experiment to find what works for you. Dealing with stress in a positive and healthy manner will add to your overall well-being. Here are a few quick tips to help you de-stress when you don’t have much time to devote for relaxing:

  1. Practice breathing exercise. It is so simple yet so undervalued. Taking five minutes to take deep breathes with your eyes closed will make all the difference. I promise you that.
  2. Light up scented candles. I love lighting candles especially when I’m studying really late at night. The aroma and the lights really put me in a calming mood.
  3. When sitting for longing hour studying or working, get up and take 5 minutes to stretch your body.
  4. Hang a positive quote where you can see it. Someone near to my heart once told me “Just remember that no matter how hard one minute may be or how long it may last. In the very end, it will only be one minute and not a second longer.” I immediately wrote it down and hanged it on top of my desk so I always remember that whatever stress I’m under, it will only be for a certain period of time.
  5. Watch a motivational video. There are some days when I feel so overwhelmed with stress that I don’t know what to do. I found that taking 5 minutes to watch a motivational video on youtube helps boost my confidence and remind me why I’m working so hard.
  6. Listen to relaxing music. I personally found that listening relaxing music while working on calculations or after a very long day helps me relax.
  7. Talk to a family member or a friend. It will help put things into perspective. They can give you tips on how to tackle your situation as well as remind you that you are capable of handling anything that comes your way.
  8. Remember why you are doing it. For example, instead of stressing over work and how much you need to get done. You can say “I am working to provide for my family and be the best role model for my kids so they can someday be successful individuals.”
  9. Change your perspective. Simply changing the way you look at a situation will immediately change how you feel about it. Just by saying “I can do this” or “Things will work out at the end” instead of “I’m so dumb” or “I can never get it done” will help you calm down and control stress.
  10. Enjoy a hot drink. I personally love drinking green tea with organic honey 🙂
  11. Finally, go for a walk for 10 minutes to get some fresh air will make you feel brand new.

I hope these tips help you as much as they help me. xoxo

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Dark Chocolate Banana Bites

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If you have a sweet tooth like I do then you know that it’s nearly impossible to give up on desserts. Eating healthy isn’t about depriving yourself, it’s about making smarter choice on what you eat. These dark chocolate banana bites are delicious, nutritious and healthy.

Ingredients:                                                                                        *Serving: 3 pieces

  • 2 bananas
  • ¼ cup of almond butter
  • 1 large bar of 70% organic dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup of crushed almonds

Direction:

  1. Cut the bananas to ½ inch slices.
  2. Place a little bit of almond butter on a slice of banana then place another slice on top to make a sandwich.
  3. Place them in the freezer for an hour.
  4. Heats the dark chocolate in the microwave until it completely melts then dip the frozen bananas until it is completely covered with chocolate.
  5. Top it with crushed almonds then place it in the freezer for a few hours until its completely frozen.

Get creative with this recipe; you can use peanut butter instead of almond butter. You can use crushed hazelnuts or shredded coconut instead of almonds. This is one of my favorite desserts to eat when I’m craving something sweet. I hope you enjoy it as much as do!

Bon apatite! xoxo

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Tips to Treat Acne

I have gotten multiple requests to write about tips for treating acne so here it is just as promised. I know it’s a little late but better late than never 🙂

Mild to moderate acne:

  1. Contrary to what people think, gentle washing is essential for those with acne. Using a milder cleanser such as Cetaphil which is my personal favorite or an acne cleanser such as Sébium Gel moussant twice a day with cool or warm water helps reduce acne. Use your hands, a cleansing brush or a baby washcloth. After you’re done, pat (don’t rub) your skin dry.
  2. Exfoliating is also important for healthy skin because it removes the dead skin cells and debris which can clog pores causing more acne. After washing your face with a mild cleanser, exfoliate with a face facial scrub once a week.
  3. All sunscreens, lotions and cosmetics should be oil-free to avoid further clogging of pores! Look for product labels that say noncomedogenic, this means that it will not cause clogging of the pores.
  4. Avoid picking and squeezing the spots resulting in further inflammation and scarring.
  5. The most common topical product used is benzoyl peroxide such as Benzac AC® . Benzoyl peroxide unclogs skin pores as well as help stop bacteria from growing preventing acne pimples and cystic lesions to form. Strengths range from 2.5% to 10%, the most common strength used is 5%. It is used twice a day. It is important to know that Benzac causes dry skin so you must constantly moisture your skin.
  6. Using a purifying pore-tightening lotion such as Vinchy Normaderm lotion assainissante astringente reduces blemishes, breakouts and the production of sebum leaving facial pores unblocked and visibly tighter.

Severe acne:

It is best to make an appointment with a dermatologist when dealing with severe acne. The doctor may prescribe:

  • Spironolactone
  • Topical or oral antibiotics
  • Birth control pills
  • An isotretinoin
  • A prescription-strength retinoid
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)

I didn’t go into details because it requires a doctor’s prescription. What will be will prescribed to you will depend on patient preference, clinical evidence and the experience of the medical skincare provider. Keep in mind that these treatments have many side effects. I advise that you educate yourself on the mechanism of action of treatment that was prescribed, how to take it, what are the expected side effects, what to do to reduce these side effects and make sure to visit the doctor regularly.

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Note: These are the products that I have mentioned.

I hope that these tips help you! xoxo

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Mini Caprese Bites

Salam Lovelies!

I want to share with you an appetizer that is perfect when entertaining a large number of people. It is fresh, clean annddd takes no time at all to make! It is also great to make at any occasion. Be creative with this recipe and make it your own.You can use mint instead of basil, use yellow tomatoes instead of red or even change the mozzarella to cheddar cheese. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can make a variety of different combinations to please everyone’s tastebuds 😀

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Ingredients:

Serving: 15 (2 per person)

  • 30 cherry tomatoes
  • 30 mozzarella balls, patted dry with a paper towel
  • 30 Basil leaves
  • Pepper and Salt
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 skewers

Directions:

  1. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.
  2. Slide a piece of mozzarella onto the toothpick. Fold a basil leaf in half and slide it up next to the mozzarella. Then slide a tomato onto the bottom of the skewer, cut side down. You may need to move the mozzarella and basil down to touch the tomato. Make sure that the flat side of the tomato is right at the end of the toothpick so it would be able to up straight.
  3. Transfer the finished skewers onto the serving plate.
  4. For the dip, place the balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl, mix together and place it onto the serving plate.

P.S. I apologize for not blogging sooner, I was sick for about 2 week. Feeling so much better now 🙂Ohh and helloooo spring break!!

Happy eating! xoxo

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

Hola chicas!

I’m really excited to share this recipe today. its super easy, super delicious and super healthy! Not to mention that it only takes 5 minutes to make. Can’t get any better than that 🙂 You can make the ice cream ahead of time, place it in the freezer and serve it when you have friends coming over for a visit. This ice cream is so good that your friends will never be able to tell the difference.

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Ingredients:

Servings: 2

  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of coco powder
  • Organic honey (optional)
  • Strawberries, chopped
  • Blue berries
  • Handful of almonds, crushed

Instructions:

  1. Cut the bananas into slices and place them in the freezer over night.
  2. Place the frozen bananas and the coco powder in the food processor until it forms a creamy consistency. You can add as much or as little honey depending on how sweet you like your ice cream to be.
  3. Transfer the ice cream into a serving bowl, add the strawberries, blue berries and almonds.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can make it your own. You can add strawberries instead of coco powder for strawberry ice cream. You can also add mint and coco nibs for mint and chocolate chip ice cream. The flavors are endless!

Hope you enjoy it! xoxo

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