Ways To Show Someone You Love Them

Ways to show someone you love them:

  •  Tell them that you love and appreciate all the things that they do.
  • Play their favorite music and dance with them.
  •  Cook or bake for them. Or WITH them! (Pancakes are hard and require minimal goofing around otherwise they will burn).
  • Go out driving with nowhere to go and talk about anything and everything.
  • Give lots of hugs and make it meaningful
  • Surprise them with special dates, gifts, or even a new song you’ve been wanting to show them!
  • Dress up in your best outfit and go out somewhere special with them. (There doesn’t even need to be an occasion)
  • Make up pretend holidays (It’s “Greatest Boyfriend Day” Oh, looks like that you! Let’s go get Ice cream to celebrate!)
  • Dance in the kitchen with them (fuzzy socks makes it even better)
  • Send them the funniest/ugliest selfie humanly possible.
  • Knit or sew them something warm for the winter.
  • Sing to them or with them. (Crank up the tunes and let it out!)
  • Send them snail mail.
  • Be loud and goofy with them.
  • Watch their favorite movie with them (even if it’s 3 hours long and has the worst storyline ever…)
    • Exchange your favorite songs and listen to them on repeat.
  • Take them to your favorite place
  • Plan a surprise date for them
  • Go to a drive-in movie and fill your car/truck up with pillows, blankets, and LOTS of snacks!
  • Call them to say that you miss them

But remind them every day that you love them.

Love, Belle.

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Chicago Tour 2017

Here is my Chicago Tour Video: https://youtu.be/qHs3__d4LK0

This was my last Choir Tour in high school and I couldn’t have asked for a better time. I was with some of my favorite people in the beautiful Windy City. Here are some of my highlights (for a quick look I bolded the main points):

March 2nd:

We started our morning off by singing to the elderly at St. Villa Senior Living. They were an extremely appreciative audience that had so many kind things to say about our tour group. After that, we drove to Curie Metropolitan High School and met up with America’s Got Talent semifinalists, “Musicality” and their Concert Choir. It was an extremely exciting experience to sing for them, and hearing them sing to us. Afterward, we spontaneously broke out into a rap battle and became really good friends through the music we shared. (Shoutout to Reggie and Anna). Later, we found ourselves singing underneath The Bean as it started to lightly snow. As the chill started to nip at our noses we walked down the street to go to the Art Institute of Chicago. It was so overwhelming but absolutely mesmerizing. My favorite part was going to ‘Modern Art’ where there was sensory art (like a giant matress that you could jump on while there was 70’s music playing. Or digging your feet into warm sand even though it’s 30 degrees outside.) Something special that happened later that evening was having supper at an authentic Mexican restaurant, “Ceasars”. Wow, it was incredible. (and I’m typically not a huge fan of Mexican food but this was a whole new experience.) I also got to sit with some lovely ladies (Summer, AJ, and Grace) who I couldn’t have imagined a better time with. After stuffing ourselves we got to have front row seats to Blue Man Group. I wish I had pictures of this but you’re not allowed to take pictures or videos (Which was actually really nice to disconnect and be in the present). I have seen Blue Man Group when I was younger and this was a totally different experience. Both experiences were thrilling, and I plan to go again in the future.

March 3rd:

Starting the day off, we traveled to Shed Aquarium. I was so lucky to have my mom on this trip so I spent most of my day with her! 🙂 She knows me so well and we took off to where the otters are because…otters. They are so adorable. After Shed, we drove to Navy Pier.  Unfortunately, we didn’t spend a lot of time at this destination, but I am determined to go back sometime when it’s warm! In the afternoon we went to Michigan Avenue for lots of shopping and seeking out some Garret Chicago popcorn mix. Mom and I, being chocoholics, spent a significant amount of time in Ghirardelli’s Chocolate shop. As the sun was starting to set we made our way up the Hancock building to the 360 Chicago Observatory. We watched Chicago’s city lights rise as the sun descend behind towering buildings in Chicago. It was an incredible trip, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the life I’m living and the people I am so blessed to have in it.

 

Instinct Fashion Show

A huge thank you to everyone who came to the show!
If you missed it here are some photos from the event:

This last weekend I had the privilege to model in Instinct’s Fashion Show! Instead of modeling for the incredible Marina Qualey (find her on marinaqualey.com) I modeled for a very talented designer and UMN track runner, Sarah Klecker. Her sportswear line was named “Spark” which was inspired by the women and coaches that she has worked with over the years. Being an avid athlete, I have always wanted to model athletic wear. When I got a message from Sarah offering me to model for her first athletic line, I was thrilled. I couldn’t have imagined a better experience with any other group of girls. The talent behind the designers and the models are incredible. If you ever find yourself talking to one, you will learn so much about their experiences and hidden talents.

Love, Belle.

 

Ways To Reduce Stress:

In honor of finals week.

Stress. Amazing how a small, simple word can hold so many emotions for many different people. Stress can stop us from enjoying the things we love, so it is important to change up your daily habits or treat yourself occasionally to create a clear conscience for yourself. With that said, here are some of my favorite stress relievers:

  • Find support from your loved ones
  • Don’t look at it all at once.
    – Just take things one piece at a time. (Make sure you put some breaks in there too)
  •  Take a walk
    – Walks are extremely good for your mental health. It helps boost creativity and mental sharpness, increases your mood, lowers risk for Alzheimer’s, and helps you get a better night’s sleep!
  • Create a schedule/invest in a planner
  • Take a power nap
  • Hugs! Seriously hugs are magic.
    – Hugs release endorphins (a happy hormone) which can help your health in SO many ways.
  • Take a shower or bath
  • Cry (It’s ok! Let it all out!)
  • Set down the phone and close the laptop
  • Music
    – Music is amazing because it can connect many groups of people. Music brings back vivid memories and emotions, so if you’re stressed I recommend putting on some tunes.
  • Be creative (write, paint, draw, cook etc)
  • Do yoga/meditate/stretch/workout
  • Prepare the night before
    – This week is finals week for my school, so make sure you have everything you need packed, charged, and laid out.
  • Take a day to glam it up and dress your best.
    – Go out for coffee with a friend or a date and just try to take some time to enjoy who you’re with, where you are, and who you are.
  • It’s ok to say “no”
  • Avoid negative people
  • Jot down 3 things you are grateful for
  • Do a random act of kindness for someone
  • Believe in yourself
    – Visualize yourself doing well and you will do well
  • Go outside
    – Even if it’s only for a few minutes
  • Create goals
    – They could be daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly!
  • Decide what matters and what doesn’t
  • Gracefully walk away from drama
  • Take a half hour to quick clear up and clean out your space
  • Focus on the positive
  • Enjoy the little things
  • Write lists 🙂

Hope this helps! Remember to take things one day at a time.

Love, Belle

Life Update: One Year After My Back Surgery

“Grow through what you go through”

As many of you know, I had a back surgery on my L-5 S1 after herniating a disk in my spine last year. This caused sciatica which is a fancy word for numbness and pain down the side of the leg. This is a typical thing that happens to 60-80 year olds as their bodies get older. (If this doesn’t make me any more of a teenage granny than knitting and baking then I don’t know what does) My doctor said it was most likely caused by repetition of playing hockey for so many years or increasing my weights for weight training too fast. Ultimately after getting the surgery, I was told that hockey was no longer an option for me. This put me in a downward spiral for a bit. On the outside, I tried to remain my usual happy-go-lucky self, but on the inside, it was difficult to let go of something I have loved and lived for so long. It hurt to say goodbye to something so quickly without being able to prepare myself for it. There were many questions of “Who am I?” Thankfully I had so many wonderful people who helped me remember who I was whenever I doubted myself. They encouraged me to follow my dreams and aspirations, and that is exactly what I did and am still doing today. I decided with the amount of time I would have been playing hockey, I should work towards trying new things, meeting new people, and bettering myself in new ways. I realized that there is so much this world has to offer, and if one door closes you can open up a new one. With a positive mindset and ambition to explore new things, nothing can get in my way. So to the people who ask how I am, I am doing better than ever. My pain is hardly noticeable as long as I’m active and make smart decisions when working out. I learned so many things about myself and just life in general last year. I learned that good or bad we can always take away a new lesson from our triumphs and failures. Last year was definitely a ride, but it has helped me become the person I am today. I am very thankful for the many people who helped me through such a difficult time, and I am more than excited for what the New Year brings.

Love, Belle

Healthy Habits to Start After Holiday Hoedown:

First note: Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. One without the other won’t do much for your body. It is important to find the right balance in your day to eat the right foods that nurture your body and to exercise (even a little workout is better than no workout!) Also, remember that you are human and that treating yourself on occasion is not something to beat yourself up about. You know yourself and your body better than anyone else.

  • Drink more water:

A great motivator to drink more water is to get a nice water bottle that you can take with you to work, school, or the gym! Another tip is that if you find your water boring, put in some fruits and herbs! My favorite combo is strawberry and mint!

  • Find a workout buddy:

Find someone that shares your fitness goals to help motivate each other to hit the gym. Most gyms offer a variety of classes, so call up your workout buddy and ask them if they are interested in going to the gym with you! If you don’t have a workout buddy, I recommend putting together a workout playlist to keep yourself motivated. Note: if your workout buddy doesn’t want/can’t go to the gym, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either!

  • Eat 4-5 smaller meals a day:

Eating smaller meals is not only great for weight loss (if you eat the right foods), it is also great for your metabolism, stops hunger that potentially causes an unhealthy binge, and helps control your blood sugar. Another tip is to use smaller plates. This tricks your mind into thinking you are eating larger portions than you actually are!

  • Change up your routine:

This was one of my resolutions for the new year. If you do the same workout day after day, it is no longer beneficial for your body. Actually, it’s BAD for your body! If you overuse your muscles by using them every day doing the same routine you can rip, tear, or herniate something! (Which happened to me at age 16. That’s a whole other story I’ll get to in other posts) By switching up your routine, it gives your joints, muscles, and tendons a chance to recover.

  • Quit skipping breakfast:

You know the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Start your morning off with some water to start up your metabolism and make yourself a balanced breakfast. One of my favorites is scrambled eggs with chopped asparagus, ham (or Canadian bacon) on top of some coconut oil toast, and some fruit on the side. If you are REALLY running late, quick grab a Luna bar or try to pop in a piece of toast with some peanut butter and grab a banana.

These are only a few simple tips to start with. I’m sure I will have many other posts much like this one, but for now just practice balancing out your day, one day at a time. Try not to look at all the things you need/want to do all at once because that will only stress you out and you’ll lose your balance. Otherwise, you’ve got this!

2017 New Year’s Resolutions

  • Say “Thank you” instead of “Sorry” (so instead of “Sorry for being late” say, “Thank you for being so patient and waiting for me! 😊”
  • Stop DREAMING and start DOING
  •  Always keep a smile on my face especially when I don’t want to
  • Find lessons in failure
  • Put down the phone and spend the time you’d be on it enjoying people’s company, or work toward your goals
  •  Do fun things during the week, not just the weekend
  •  Try to wake up earlier and set goals for the day
  •  Give more compliments to those around you
  •  Create healthier habits (Drink more water, eat less labeled food, cook more nutritious meals, cut out processed sugar!)
  •  Learn to take walks when you’re stressed (take a walk with someone?)
  •  Change up the workout routine (doing the same things over and over become less beneficial to your body and your health)
  •  Learn to relax (No electronics)
  •  Always try new things (Sports, activities, foods etc)
  •  Try to blog once a week
  •  Do something the scares you
  •  Graduate high school and start college (insert internal freak-out)
  •  Visit family more often
  •  Ask someone for life advice
  •  Travel places (go on a road trip with your best friend this summer)
  •  Make plans with people (No more “let’s hang out” and then be to shy to actually ask them to hang out)
  •  Get a new job
  •  Meet new best friends in college
  •  Read more books (any recommendations?)
  •  Become a better speller and actually know where to put commas
  •  Write more handwritten letters and make more phone calls
  •  Don’t worry about what others think
  •  Gain more patience
  •  Be the change you want to see in the world. Your actions and choices can make a difference to the people around you. (They might even follow your example)
  •  Learn to live in the moment

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 😊