Hello Mama!!

Well friends, it has been a while since I have posted! I apologize for being MIA for so long! It has been a crazy couple of months recently!

Christmas day, my husband and I found out that I am pregnant! It was a total surprise! We were not planning it, but are so happy to be expecting! If I’m honest, my husband has been ready for kids A LOT longer than I have! The thought of having my own kids has scared the shit out of me for a long time! I teach Human Development and am a counselor, I have seen the many, many things that can happen when a couple has kids too early, or for the wrong reasons, etc. PLUS I just realize how big of a life change the whole thing is and again, if I’m honest, I wasn’t ready to not be selfish!

 

Adulting is hard without kids! The thought of adding a baby to the mix terrified me, but I knew that I wanted to be a Mom eventually so, I didn’t rule them out completely! And really, is anyone ever REALLY ready for the big jump into adulthood?? (DON’T ANSWER THAT!)

So anyway I’m so incredibly happy to share my good news with you all now! I’m almost 13 weeks pregnant, so I’m still early in my pregnancy. I’m almost into the second trimester, which I’m so happy about! I have been nothing but TIRED the whole first trimester, but also happy to say, no morning sickness or any kind of sickness except for some pretty brutal headaches here and there.

My wonderful family and friends have been so supportive and helpful though throughout all of this so I am SO thankful to have them all in my life! I definitely couldn’t do it without them!

Which brings me to my next topic of conversation, the Hello Mama Box!
This awesome company sent me a free Hello Mama Box in exchange for my review about it! First of all, I LOVED IT!! The company’s motto is, “You can not pour from an empty vessel. We take care of Mama so she take care of everyone else!” Which I of course immediately loved, because I COMPLETELY agree, it is one of the things that I try and teach my clients, whether they are Mom’s or not!

A little more info about the company…

Hello Mama Box, was created as a labor of Love to allow Family & Friends to support “Mama Moments” that promote self- care through the use of organic & natural non-toxic products. We seek to transform society’s view of self- care for Mamas while creating a safe place to explore maternal wellness!
The box that I received was curated for me, since I am pregnant! It included: stickers for every 2 weeks of pregnancy starting with week 8 for documenting the progress of my growing belly, (I’ll post pics of that later!) Preggie Pops – for morning sickness, Bath Bombs (for 2nd trimester), Tummy Butter- which has to be my favorite thing in the box (it smells SO GOOD!), some nail polish and 2 quotes for encouragement/motivation, and finally an eye cover for beauty sleep!
I can’t wait to use the Bath Bombs SOON because they smell absolutely amazing! And like I said the Tummy Butter is my FAVORITE thing that came in the box, I’ve been using it daily to help avoid stretch marks (fingers crossed)!
I found out about Hello Mama Box from an online friend, Ashley Dunham from Bossfidence, who suggested I check them out and see what they were all about! So I did! I followed them on Instagram, and was loving everything that I saw, so I contacted them to see about it and now here we are! I’m hoping my Hubby will ok, a monthly subscription to the box in the very near future!! Because if not, I might cry! I love it!!
If you aren’t already following them on Instagram, GO DO IT NOW! And if you are a Momma or a Momma to be, they have options for both for monthly boxes to help you get your self care routine up to par! Because we all know that self care is INCREDIBLY important but it becomes even more important as a Mom because you now have other live humans depending on you! And you need to be at your best! And there is only ONE way to do that! TAKE CARE OF YOUR DAMN SELF!!
So make sure you go check them out!! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask me! If I don’t know the answer, I can find it out for you!

Self Care Sunday

20 Things To Give Yourself Permission for:

1.) Rest
2.) To laugh
3.) To play
4.) Make mistakes
5.) To say “no”  to demands on my time that are simply draining
6.) To say “yes” to what I want
7.) To fulfill my childhood/lifelong dreams
8.) To ask for what I want
9.) To be who I am
10.) To try again
11.) To have fun
12.) To design my own life
13.) To ignore the haters
14.) To stay focused on what’s important to me
15.) To be whatever body shape I want to be
16.) To be imperfect
17.) To ASK FOR HELP
18.) To stop caring what others think of me
19.) To write a shitty first draft
20.) To create

Wednesday Wisdom

Happy Hump day my lovely Lionesses!!

Welcome to the first edition of The Smart Lioness’ Wednesday Wisdom!! You can look forward to posts about the latest Psychological Research I’ve been reading, but in a way that’s super easy to digest and apply to your life!!

Today I’m going to be talking about some of the latest research on SEX! Yup! You read that right! Sex!! Sexuality is such an important topic of discussion today because there is SO much of it in the media and in our society as a whole. We have all heard the phrase, “sex sells” right? Sex DOES sell but we are selling more than we are educating and accepting the facts of sexuality today, especially, as it relates to women!

The University of Oxford did a study on sex and found that sex more often could actually “make you smarter.” This particular study, found that people who have sex MOST OFTEN scored higher on a test of cognitive abilities than the less sexually active group in the study. The people in this study also had “better verbal fluency” — meaning they were able to “name the most words or animals that started with the letter ‘F’ in one minute.” These research participants also did better on visual tests as well.

Over half of the participants (37) said that they have sex weekly, 26 of them reported having sex monthly, and 10 of the participants said that they never have sex.

The researchers of the study were unable to explain WHY these participants were performing better on these tests. “Maybe hormones like dopamine or oxytocin that are released during sex have something to do with it”, was one possibility that was mentioned. In addition, sex more often correlates to a more active life overall, which is connected to better brain functioning.”

However, there were some things to point out about the validity of this study. The study was small with only 73 individuals who participated. So, we can’t say that the study was big enough and included a sample that was representative of the population at large.

Which means we can’t DEFINITELY say that “sex once a week makes you smarter, but it doesn’t hurt!” And at the very least, more frequent sex can give you and your significant other more time to connect, and at the most it might just boost your brain power!” 

 

Source: “Science Just Gave Us Another Reason to Have More Sex,” Kasandra Brabaw; Refinery29

What Do You Mean.. “Unapologetically Me?”

“Unapologetically Me”

What does it mean to be “unapologetically me?” That’s the question, I have had on my mind lately, the “way of living” I’m trying to describe to you, and myself. I know it when I see it! That’s for sure! When you think of people who are unapologetically themselves, who do you think of?

First person that comes to my mind is, Wendy Williams! I just love that woman! She is just completely herself, or she’s a damn good actress because she seems genuine AF to me!

Another badass lady that comes to my mind is Lucille Ball! Hell! One of my favorite quotes is from Lucy herself, “Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.” And clearly, Lucille Ball had shit figured out! Now more than ever, is it important to remember this quote! So many people lose themselves in their partner, in their work, or into their problems, because we all, at least at some point in our lives, fail to follow this BASIC, BUT KEY RULE, of living a fulfilling and happy life!!

WHY? Why, Do we do this to ourselves?
  1. We think it’s our religious or Christian duty.

We think it’s our religious duty to “put others first, before ourselves,” or “make sacrifices.”  But God did not mean for us to do so at our expenses.  Become “one flesh” does not mean that you lose yourself in your husband, it means you make a life together, and you share an intimacy & bond that entwines your souls together, so you don’t have to lose yourself.  Your relationship is intimate not only sexually, but more importantly, emotionally.

2. We have damaged boundaries, or a lack of boundaries all together.

Our boundaries are our property lines, and what separates us, and what keeps us protected from other people. If you don’t have boundaries, it’s like being in a dark, dangerous alley at night and not expecting something bad to happen. Our boundaries keep us from being emotionally hurt or abused. Our boundaries are those lines that we lay down with everyone in our life, the people that love us and respect our boundaries have no problem dealing with this, however the people in your life that have boundary issues, will not handle it so smoothly.

3. We don’t value ourself, or know our own worth.

If you are the same woman that doesn’t take care of herself, because “she’s trying to be a good Christian,” did you forget that being a Christian means you are a child of God, born in his image. There’s worth in simply being that, girl! OPEN YOUR EYES! God made you to be some thing completely and totally unique, but you can’t see it because you’re too busy counting the wrinkles that keep popping up, or too busy pretending you are happy and fulfilled to realize you have totally lost your worth, your respect for yourself.

 

If you are guilty of one or all three of the above reasons I listed, PLEASE consider signing up for my NEW Program beginning October 1st. It is an 8 week interactive program that not only teaches you how to make a lifestyle change but helps provides everything you need to commit to living a life that’s yours!!

Do you feel like you base your happiness and worth on what other people think of you? 

Do you put everyone else’s feelings as priorities, but not your own? 

Is heartbreak becoming way too familiar to you? 

Are you experiencing more stress/anxiety & fear than you are health & happiness?

Well then, my Lovely Lioness, it’s time to make a change!! The first step starts with investing in yourself!!

 

  • 8 Lioness Lessons over the course of 8 weeks (Weekly Live videos)

– 8 Yoga Classes with Laura Lee Stjernstrom

– 6 Color Me Quickers – Adults That Love Coloring Adult Coloring Sheets


– Budgeting PDFs From Bossfidence


– 2 Workouts with Saje Cox Loftin from #SajeCoxFitness Sisters


+Plus: Gratitude Journal PDF, Self Love Journal Page, Goal Setting PDF, Self Assessments AND MORE SURPRISES ARE IN THE WORKS!!! 

+AND — I’m like having your very own Tinkerbell/Fairy Godmother/Cheerleader all in one!! 😉 You Message me & almost always get an IMMEDIATE answer!

Pay once for the Full 8 week program- $150 & SAVE $50
OR -The First 4 weeks for $100 —Pay another $100 later for second half.

When we invest money in ourselves and in our own personal development & growth, we tend to invest more emotionally as well. When you spend money on something, aren’t you going to try and get your money’s worth?? WELL you SHOULD! A Smart Lioness ALWAYS DOES!

Click here to sign up for “Unapologetically Me” Full 8 Weeks

Click here to sign up for “Unapologetically Me” Mini – 4 Weeks

Or Click here to message me on Facebook if you have questions!

 

Self Concept, Self Esteem, Self Worth..?

 

The various terms used to describe how we see ourselves can get confusing. So I thought I would define each of them for you so that you know and understand the differences between them.

Our “Self Concept” is our view of our personality traits, how we look, our values, and goals. Our self concept is constantly changing, because we are constantly receiving new information.

Self Esteem is how much you value yourself. So many different things can effect your self esteem, but one that is most common is by comparing ourselves to other people and how others respond to us. When we compare ourselves to other people and find that we are lacking something, it negatively effects your self esteem. YOU are doing the damage to yourself! When other people respond to us positively, we are more likely to develop positive self esteem.

Self Worth is defined as the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person. Meaning that all of the unique qualities that make you who you are contribute to your self worth. Self worth can also be damaged by comparing ourselves to other people. Because, we are so unique, which is why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to anyone else but who we were yesterday. Because there is NO ONE who can compare!

If you would like to take a survey to measure your self esteem click here.Self Esteem Scale

We have GOT TO start loving ourselves for who we are ladies!! If you struggle with low self esteem or self worth please consider trying my August Challenge or my W.O.R.T.H. program!!

P.S. You can click on the picture at the top of this post and download it to use for an iphone wallpaper!

 

 

FREE 5 Day Series – BESTIES

BESTIES – FREE 5 Day Series on Friendship

I have a FREE 5 Day Series Going on Currently in my Free Facebook Group, The Smart Lioness Pride. The Series is called BESTIES & is covering How to Improve the Quality of  Your Friendships & How to Be a Better Friend!!

Day 1 – Characteristics of Healthy Friends

Day 2 – 10 Tips to Being a Better Friend

Day 3 – Friends & Setting Boundaries

Day 4 – Healthy Conflict Resolution in Friendships

Day 5 – 5  Tips to Strengthen Your Friendships

Just join my FREE group and get access to all 5 videos! (When all five are posted, we’re only on Day 3 now) I’m having a Giveaway as well to grow my group and reach my goal of 400 members! Join and be entered to win prizes from Pippin’ Gifts on Etsy, Color Me Quick.net ; Bossfidence.com; & more!

You are not going to want to miss out on this!! ALL FOR FREE!!

Click here to join my Facebook group: The Smart Lioness Pride

Click here to Like my FB page: The Smart Lioness  & Get Signed up for my August Self Esteem Challenge!!

Girl, Don’t Quit

(You can also click on the graphic above to download for your iphone wallpaper)

Don’t Quit

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill
When the funds are low & the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit—
Rest if you must, but don’t quit.

 

 

Life is strange with its twists & turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up through the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.

 

 

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a fair and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

 

 

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, —
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.”

 

Author Unknown
Source: www.thesilverpen.com

Want your own copy of this poem? I thought you might say that :)Click here to download your own PDF version Don’t Quit

What motivates you to eat?

Psychological motivations play an important role in both healthy & disordered eaters. 

An eating disorder usually stems from consciously & consistently acting on coping, compliance, & pleasure motivations. Even those people who diet can see their eating as motivated by feelings of depression, or feelings of personal inadequacies or use eating as a way to comfort themselves.

We cope with our feelings and emotions in various ways and eating is one of the most popular. Eating to deal with our emotions although a popular method is not a healthy method. So the first step to changing your methods of coping is to identify what the problems are, or identify your motivations to eat currently. If you are in my July Challenge group, I will be posting the worksheet for this blog post in the group. If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email at thesmartlioness@gmail.com

You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat & Periscope

Do I have a Toxic Partner?

Toxic Relationships, Am I In One?

Do you question if your significant other is good for you? Ever feel that you are in a relationship that is out of control? Find yourself making excuses for your significant other?

 Here are 4 signs your relationship is TOXIC!

1.) Short Lived Highs

Sometimes it feels like you’re on a roller coaster of emotion– excitement, intrigue, then insecurity & anxiety.

You live for the highs, but mostly you’re experiencing lows, but you keep all hope alive because of your glimmering expectations for what COULD happen.  Add in the unpredictability of intense emotions and it adds to what keeps a person stuck in this relationship.

 

 

2.) When you’re apart you feel anxious.

When you’re together its all consuming, intoxicating, and you desire nothing but that other person. But you feel crushing anxiety when every event is over. This in turn leaves YOU feeling insecure. You’re so invested in a person who never gives you definite dates or follows through with plans for the next date.

This all causes you to doubt yourself, in turn causing you to second guess every decision you try to make from your appearance, to your personality, to your behaviors. You of course question the status and secure-ness of your relationship. And we all know that being insecure with your relationship causes you to be jealous of every person your partner comes into contact with.

The important thing here, to acknowledge is that you are never truly at peace. Your never fully able to feel at ease and secure in your relationship and with your partner.

3) When you confront your partner, he/she flips it on you & makes it your fault.

Every now and then when you finally work up the courage to confront your toxic partner, they end up making you think you did something wrong and bring up everything you have done wrong. And by the end of it, you feel like you’ve actually done something wrong!! Your partner turning the situation around on you like this is their way of never taking responsibility for their actions and behaviors and how they affect you.

 

4.) You are Consumed with this relationship.

This person and this relationship is  all you can seem to think about. You do everything you can think of to attract your partner’s attention to you, from how you look, to what you wear, anything to keep your partner desiring you. If you aren’t with the toxic partner you are lonely and worry will you ever get what you need from them. You are filled with self doubt and have few other deep relationships because you are pushing people out of your life so as not to let them detect your toxic relationship. You might be scared that your friends and/or family will tell you to end the relationship so you avoid all contact and socializing with them.

YOU MUST BECOME AWARE NOW THAT YOU ARE BEING TAKEN OVER BY THIS RELATIONSHIP! IT IS STEALING YOUR IDENTITY!

If your relationship is toxic and you are in denial or trying to make excuses for you or your partner, it will only make your situation worse. Its impossible to grow and to become healthier in a toxic situation. Your ability for happiness and fulfillment and your ability to reach your full potential will never be a possibility until you can acknowledge your truth and start taking steps to change it.

Source: PsyPost.org

If this is you, and this sounds like your life, I’ve been there, this was my life. Let me help you take back control of your identity, and your ability to be happy again.

If you are in danger please find a safe place and call the Domestic Violence Hotline for help.

Click the “Join the Pride” tab at the top of the page and join my July Self Care Challenge for $14.99 or check out my Facebook page for other options with more custom and individualized plan. You have the resource to change right in front  of you, just make the choice to do it!