Whether he’s manning the grill or tossing horseshoes with buddies, these Commando sunglasses are up for anything this 4th of July. The polarized lenses are made with triacetate cellulose to provide clarity and 100% UV protection, so no matter how sunny the day is, these shades keep him looking cool.
Stripes on the 4th are a given, so why not mix things up with this dip-dye tank? This tank features a soft cotton jersey blend for a relaxed fit that keep him looking and feeling chill and laidback. Pair with medium wash denim for classic American style.
These nautical jogger shorts are sure to be on heavy rotation this summer. They feature an elasticized waistband for ultimate comfort between devouring hot dogs and hamburgers and playing a round of croquet. Soft, lightweight double-weave twill keeps him cool on even the hottest of summer days.
Beat the heat of summer with a build-your-own ice cream sundae party or whip up a batch of Pinterest-worthy popsicles that look as incredible as they taste. Ice cream creations and playful popsicles provide a fun way to cool off while enjoying special moments with the kids.
These treats aren’t just for kids, though. Adults enjoy the unique popsicle flavors and building sundaes with their favorite ice cream toppings as much as kids do.
Make Everyday a Sundae
Set up a sundae bar that lets everyone at your next gathering choose favorite toppings for a chilly themed party that pleases both kids and adults.
Pick serving bowls and utensils that match your party’s theme colors, or consider offering guests edible waffle bowls to reduce waste and cut cleanup time after the party.
Stick with one or two basic ice cream flavors to keep things simple for a younger crowd, like vanilla, chocolate, or Neapolitan.
Or, break out some exotic ice cream flavors to mix things up.
Then, get fancy with the sundae toppings.
Encourage guests to put a layer of toppings, like chocolate sauce, under the ice cream for a stunning visual effect.
Then, suggest topping it off with flavored toppings like strawberry, pineapple, and Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
Add some decorative sprinkles, chopped nuts, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries to the toppings lineup.
Homemade Ice Pops Recipes and Tips
Ice pops provide another fun way to cool off on hot days, and you can make them as simple or fancy as you like.
Start by choosing an ice pop maker. These come in different shapes and sizes to accommodate your needs.
Stick with a smaller mold if you’re making popsicles for younger children or dieters, or use a larger one for people with bigger appetites.
Plain juice ice-sicles: This works with any juice your family enjoys. Fill the ice pop maker with clear or brightly colored juice. Then put the popsicles in the freezer overnight or until frozen. Juice and fruit popsicles: Drop a few small berries or slices of strawberry and pineapple cubes in the empty popsicle maker. Fill the slots with white grape or another clear juice and freeze. Sweet almond milk and fruit: Put some small berries or colorful fruit slices in the slots in the mold, then fill the slots with sweet almond milk, insert the toppers, and freeze for a fruity, creamy and very pretty ice pop. Candy and juice popsicles: Drop a few small pieces of candy, like gummy bears or Swedish fish in your ice pop mold. Fill it with clear juice or lemonade and freeze it overnight.
The keys to knowing how to make ice pops are so simple – they’re knowing what your family likes and making sure there’s a flat spot in your freezer to place the ice pop maker.
Then, just unleash your creativity and have fun putting together a variety of ice pop flavors.
I’ve been looking for easy ways to increase fiber and protein in my diet, and I LOVE having a granola bar for breakfast every day, but I’m not wild about the cost of buying pre-baked ones – so I started experimenting with making my own recipe.
Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars
These crunchy Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars are a little labor-intensive to make, but my family really loved them! They have the sweetness of a cookie and the healthful goodness of a high-quality protein and fiber bar without the high cost of store-bought protein and fiber bars.
One great thing about this recipe is – it’s so easy to change and adapt to meet your family’s preferences. So, if you’re feeling like munching on some sweet and nutritious treats, gather up your ingredients and kitchen products for baking, and let’s get started!
Ingredients for Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars
7 cups rolled oats (This is basically an entire 18-ounce container of oats)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla
2-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Cooking oil spray
Steps for Making Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars
Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Spread the mix on a large 18×13-inch baking sheet. (If you don’t have a large baking sheet, divide the ingredients in half and spread them out on a smaller baking sheet, but consider reducing the oven temperature by 25-degrees because it will be spread out thinner.)
Stir the ingredients on the baking sheet every ten minutes for a total of 20-25 minutes.
Pull the baking sheet (or sheets) out of the oven and turn the temperature down to 300-degrees.
Pour the baked oats, nuts and chia seed mix back into the large mixing bowl. (This step was, for me, kind of awkward because it was hard to hold the big baking sheet steady enough to pour the food into the baking dish.)
Put a saucepan on the stovetop and pour the honey and brown sugar in it.
Set the burner to the medium heat setting and start stirring.
Keep stirring for 5 minutes to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved in the honey.
Quickly pour the vanilla and cinnamon into the sweet mix and stir thoroughly.
Pour the sweet mix over the oat mix and stir until the oats, nuts, and chia seeds are coated with the sweet honey mix.
Lightly coat the baking sheet with cooking oil spray.
Press the granola mix into the baking sheet as tightly as you can.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. (When this gets to about 25 minutes it’s a good idea to check it every few minutes because once the honey and brown sugar mix start baking, they scorch easily and your granola bars can end up with a burnt flavor.
Let this cool for 10-minutes, then cut into the desired portions.
Be sure to cut them before they’ve been out of the oven for 15-minutes, though, because they’re super tough to cut if they cool longer than 15 minutes.
Portions: I cut them into 18 bars because this is what I have for breakfast and I want it to be comfortably filling – but you could go much smaller or bigger depending on your needs. If I were making them for snacking purposes, I would cut them much smaller than I do when making them for a meal replacement.
These high-protein, high-fiber Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars can be stored covered for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. (I put them in snack bags for convenience.)
Sometimes, life is just brutal, and you need to get away from your troubles to relax and regroup. It’s just a fact of life that things go wrong, people you trust let you down, and awful things happen that can’t be fixed – and that’s when you NEED to do something good for yourself.
It Only Hurts You to Stay Mad When Someone Lets You Down
When someone lets you down, and you’re upset, the one who benefits from you letting it go – is you.
I hope you’ll excuse me using my own experience for this, but I recently had an experience where someone I trusted (a close relative) let me down – completely.
I wanted to just forgive it and not talk about it anymore, but the other person wouldn’t let it go – kept saying she had to make it right – but followed that seemingly noble sentiment with the information that there is no way to make it right.
She suggested a way to make it right – would it have? NO! But, I said, okay, let’s do that – just to have it over with. She decided she couldn’t DO that. Okay. So, quit talking about it. I’m busy and have no more time for this.
She created endless drama and stress over the course of the past three days, to the point I can’t sleep and am getting behind on my work.
I went, over the course of three days, from wanting to never talk about what she had done again and wanting to just let it go, to being utterly and completely, furious and wanting her to make it right.
This person went from apologizing over and over to trying to blame me, remember, I was the one who was betrayed, for something she did. (Typical narcissistic behavior.)
So, basically, I was starting to feel sick from internalizing the rage she was pushing on me, and I decided the conversation was over. I wrote my feelings on a sheet of paper and burned it in effigy.
It may sound silly, but I felt like the weight was lifted off my shoulders by simply letting go, and there’s actual science behind the risk of holding it in when something upsets you.
Some Things You Can Do to Get Over Feeling Hurt
Everyone deals with things differently, so browse through these ideas of ways to do something for yourself to see if you can find something that would help you let go of that ‘let down’ feeling so you can feel better.
After all, if someone lets you down, it isn’t your fault, it’s theirs. You shouldn’t suffer. They deserve to own it.
Write it out: If, like me, putting your thoughts and feelings on paper lets you release them, consider writing a letter to the offending person. You don’t have to send it. In fact, if someone hurt you, they don’t deserve to know how you really feel. That’s why I choose to burn my ‘release letters’ – I can literally watch the smoke carry my pain and anger away. I mean, I’m still kind of peeved right now, but I’m not angry like I was, and that’s better for my health.
Consider a getaway: Go somewhere like a health retreat Gold Coast for a vacation or go somewhere close for a soothing spa day.
Exercise: Choose your favorite kind of workout, from an intense boxing session to a gentle walk around the neighborhood.
Go inside yourself: Meditate or pray in a quiet spot.
Read something inspiring: Pick up a book on a topic that inspires you, or visit websites that cover topics that make you feel better about life.
When someone lets you down and they won’t ‘let it go’ – know that it’s about them and their baggage, and not about you. If you’re the victim in a situation, don’t let the other person push their guilt off onto you.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is walk away, to the extent you can, and do something positive for yourself.
Feeling Lost? Browse through these quotes (from wiser people than I am) on ways to change your life to get some potentially revitalizing ideas.
Ways to Change Your Life if You’re Feeling Lost
Shift your focus to something other than your problems.
“Love people who hate you. Pray for people who have wronged you. It won’t just change their life… it’ll change your life.” – Mandy Hale
Change what you can in a positive manner, even if it’s just something small.
“Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to massive alterations of your end result.” – Kevin Michel
Let it start with the way you think, all change begins inside of our minds.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einstein
Know there are things in life that you can’t change, accept those things and focus your energies on the things you can influence.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu
Realize we aren’t meant to understand everything, and that’s okay!
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large – I contain multitudes.” – Walt Whitman
Allow yourself to be open to new ideas, you can’t achieve change in life by holding onto the things that have already failed to provide positive results.
“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” – Frederich Nietzsche
Learn all you can, read, take classes, search the internet for information, talk to people, take notes, because learning is the foundation upon which you can build a brighter, stronger future.
“Change is the end result of all true learning.” – Leo F Buscaglia
Thanks for reading! I really enjoyed putting this post together, especially since I was feeling a little lost today myself, and I hope you enjoyed these short quotes about ways to change your life when you’re feeling lost.
No matter how much good you do for others, or how much progress you make in life regarding things you perceive as your own weaknesses, toxic people know how to swoop in like vultures and wreck it for you – but there are some things you can do to keep your cool and stay on your own path.
The Backstory Behind this Post About Maintaining Motivation and Not Letting Toxic People Get to You
I want to share the story of a recent trip I made to the local Goodwill store as an example of what I mean.
A random encounter with a totally toxic crone is the inspiration for these tips;
(I know, I shouldn’t call her a crone, but she wasn’t Cinderella, and if the shoe fits…)
First, I have been exercising daily for 63 days now. I alternate resistance training with cardio, and I’m doing it for my health, and I have been looking for something to work my glutes and thighs, but I’m a budget shopper so I was at Goodwill.
My entire goal in exercising is to get stronger and be able to enjoy some active things, like hiking and riding a bicycle this summer – if I lose any weight – that will just be a happy bonus.
Whether I lose weight or not is completely irrelevant to me – I just want to be able to enjoy life and do active things without getting out of breath and wondering if my heart is going to give out.
Sure, if I do lose some weight, I’ll be happy about it, but it’s not my goal.
So, anyway, I found an exercise step at Goodwill for $4.50, and I thought, “Hey, that would be a great addition to my exercise gear!” and I stuck it in my cart.
This short, chubby, older woman came up, looked in my cart, and asked what it was.
(What kind of idiot snoops through stranger’s carts at Goodwill anyway? That’s not normal!)
I explained it’s a step to use for exercising at home.
(Exercising… NOT losing weight – there’s a difference! Diffferent goals, different motivation.)
She replied that she had tried many times to lose weight, and her daughter had lost 80 pounds a few years ago, and they both gained it all back – and she went on to say that NO ONE EVER loses weight and keeps it off.
(Bold statement to assign her own failure and her daughter’s failure to every living person on the whole planet given there are 7.5 billion people living here, but… okay…)
Finally, before she left, she looked me up and down to assure herself that I was, in fact, fat, then she wished me luck… and told me not to feel bad when it doesn’t work.
(At no point in the conversation had I said a SINGLE WORD about weight loss – that was this random stranger’s BAGGAGE, not mine.)
I smiled and nodded, all the while imagining myself smacking her with said exercise step – I didn’t though – I prayed for her black, ugly soul to gain some insight, for her to evolve into a decent human being that doesn’t need to crush others for no reason, for her daughter to escape her insanity, and for the toxic woman’s rotund, stubby body to gain at least 80 more pounds.
(I know, not the world’s nicest prayer, but I truly meant the nice parts, and at least I didn’t hit her with an exercise step…)
The encounter got me thinking about how many toxic people we come into contact with, and how deeply they can affect us when the only thing they are really doing is trying to reduce the pain and disappointment they feel in regards to their own pathetic lives.
If my only goal in exercising had been weight loss, though, this encounter might have sent me home crying with a chocolate cake and left me giving up my efforts permanently.
The toxic woman would have likely defeated me if she had managed to correctly guess my goal in exercising, so I guess I was lucky that her baggage about not losing weight was different than my own.
Ways to Keep Toxic People From Wrecking Your Motivation
I’ve already hinted at the first two ways I want to suggest for preserving your own resolve in the face of abuse toxic people.
Pray for them, or send out good vibes if you’re not a praying person. Put your own anger aside long enough to truly wish the other person well. You can do that by praying for them or by simply sending some good vibes their way. It doesn’t matter if that person knows you wish them well, in fact, I think it’s better for YOU if they don’t. It’s for your sake. It helps you let it go of the hurt, offended feelings so you can move on.
Don’t own someone else’s emotional baggage. Realize that no matter how wrong they are, they just reflecting their own pain onto your situation. It has NOTHING to do with you. Sure, it’s still aggravating, but don’t pick up someone else’s baggage, let them carry their own burden.
Trust your own goals and motivation. Focus on your goals, and your reasons. If you don’t have a strong goal or a strong reason, think of one. Life is an ongoing process, and if you let one toxic person wreck your path, then they’ve won. You deserve to forge your own way, for your own reasons.
Vent and let off steam if you have to. Find a way to get it off your chest and just let it go. I’ll admit, that’s what I’m doing with this blog post, and if blogging about it would help you, feel free to snatch the idea.
Use what you’re feeling to help someone else. Nothing refocuses you quicker than reaching out a hand to help someone else. Use your words to share how it felt, teach your kids to eat healthier, or do whatever you feel right about to help someone else live a better, healthier, more positive life.
I wanted to turn what I was feeling after this encounter around and turn it into something positive that would have a chance of helping someone else. So, I tried to put a little humor in it.
Thanks for reading, and while I hope you don’t ever encounter anyone toxic who makes you feel small and worthless like that toxic, nasty woman tried to make me feel, if you do, keep these things in mind and give them a try.
Life can be so challenging and complicated, and it’s easy to put your own needs last when things get overwhelming. It’s okay to treat yourself better, though, because just like a little kindness goes a long way when dealing with difficult people, a little kindness goes a long way in restoring your spirits when thigns have been rough.
Bring on the Self-Care: Doing something positive for yourself, even something small, can help you feel better about life. Just taking the time to paint your nails or soak away sore muscles in a bubble bath can help rejuvenate your spirits sometimes.
Read Something Inspirational: Positive books and websites that share positivity tips offer an easy source of motivation when you need a little boost. (That’s actually why this website exists, so be sure to bookmark it or sign up for email updates to save you even more time.
Make Time to Do Something You Truly Enjoy: When you’re busy, it’s so easy to push aside the things that feel less important, but you shouldn’t. Even if you can only spare ten or fifteen minutes a day on something you enjoy, it gives you a psychological boost that helps carry you through the day.
(I’m actually really bad about following my own advice on this one. I love sewing, and when I’m busy with work, I don’t make time to sew. But I should, because it re-energizes me and makes me happy. So, I’ll be working on taking my own advice.)
Why Self-Compassion Is So Important
It’s easy to be compassionate toward others, easier than it is to treat yourself with compassion and take what you need once in a while, but self-compassion is pretty important in this life, too.
“However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. While there is life, there is hope.” – Stephen Hawking
While not exactly about treating yourself well, that quote from Stephen Hawking speaks to why it’s so important to practice a little self-compassion.
When you’re good to yourself, it’s easier to be good to others. It inspires positive feelings that ripple outward and put positive energy in the world. It boosts your confidence. It builds hope – not just your own sense of hope, but it also builds a sense of hope in those who interact with you.
Trolls, Dream Stealers and Frienemies – How to Identify & Deal With Toxic People
By Kimberly Englot
You don’t have to go very far to find negativity. Just watch the news, listen to the radio, even on the internet and in social media, it can feel like where ever people gather, complaining, whining and negativity will follow.
Keep your attitude positive, and you’ll find more things to be positive about. Life will get better, you’ll feel happier. The secret is surrounding yourself with good people, and avoiding the rest. Avoid these 3 people if possible:
Troll. Trolls are funny creatures. They lie waiting for someone to say something and then BOOM they will swoop in and burst the bubble.
A troll is someone who comes in and says something destructive to you or about you, with no purpose other than to cause a reaction. You probably don’t even know this person. This happens a lot online. Through email, Facebook, Twitter and on blog, people are able to say things they wouldn’t dare do face-to-face.
· When a troll comes into your life, delete the message instantly (if possible).
· Do not reply to it.
· Do not try to soothe the person.
· All they are looking for is attention, so by not giving it to them you win and they will disappear. (If they don’t you have a completely different kind of toxic person – a stalker, and you should notify authorities and report the person).
Dream-Stealer. This person likes to be realistic. You have some exciting news, or a great idea, or a big dream and all they want to do is make you see all the possible chances for failure. They say things to make you doubt yourself. They also love to be right and will do what they can to make sure that they’re right and you’re wrong. They also enjoy being able to say, “I told you so.”
· Simplest way to deal with a Dream-Stealer is to protect your good news.
· If you have something to share, got a great idea, or have an opportunity coming up do not tell this person first. Tell others first. This protects yours positive energy.
Frienemy. This someone who is a Friend and an Enemy. I encourage you to look at this kind of friend…is someone who treats you this badly really a friend? How do you know you have one?
· You dread calling them if you have good news.
· You always feel worse after spending time with them.
· You have been friends for a long time, but aren’t sure why you have kept in touch.
· You become someone you don’t like when you’re with them. (whiny, complainy, negative).
· If you have a frienemy….talk to them about it if you want to remain friends (they may not be aware of it)
· If you don’t want to remain friends just stop spending so much time with them. If avoiding them bothers you, tell them outright that you are in different places in life and have nothing in common any more.
Toxic people have a way of draining the life energy from you, leaving you negative, numb and unsure of how to deal with them.
These kinds of toxic people can be really hard to deal with alone. If you are currently dealing with a “Troll,” “Dream-Stealer” or “Frienemy you’ll want to join me for the Happiness & Harmony Makeover, where I’m covering in detail exactly what to look out for AND how to deal with these kinds of negative people in your life.
About the Author: Kimberley Englot teaches success-driven women how to create the life vision they crave, have the courage to pursue it and live it from a purely authentic place so they can enjoy all the happiness, freedom and success they deserve.
Kimberly is the founder of the Center of Authentic Self Development. Learn more about her programs and gain access to FREE coaching, inspiration & advice at: http://www.kimberlyenglot.com
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Everyone has stressful days, and I wanted to share these four calming quotes for anyone who is feeling a bit on edge. I hope you enjoy them and find some inspiration in them.
Having a Stressful Day? Check Out These 4 Calming Quotes
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” – Charles Spurgeon
I tend to be a “worrier” so I found this first quote from Charles Spurgeon to be a calming reminder that worrying isn’t going to fix anything, and all it does is cause more stress.
“Getting stress out of your life takes more than prayer alone. You must take action to make changes and stop doing whatever is causing the stress. You can learn to calm down in the way you handle things.” – Joyce Meyer
If all you do is worry (I’ve done this many times) and not take action, the worry isn’t going to go away and will most likely even get more intense. Sometimes, we have to just make the best decision we can based on the information we have, and take action.
“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson
Another one about taking action – from one of the founding fathers of the United States. This one is a little more intense, because it speaks to the way people will accept a bad situation that’s controlling their lives instead of fighting – or taking action – to get free of the unwanted situation.
“I don’t think you should always stay calm in a tense situation, because you might not ever confront the problem. Maybe it’s better to actually let yourself be tense – and find a solution.” -Yoko Ono
I surprised myself when I picked this Yoko Ono quote, because I guess I don’t “identify” with her at all. But, I felt her quote was the perfect one to close this post with because it blends the earlier quotes into one simple theme.
Here’s the theme” Stop worrying and take (smart) action instead.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the founders of the mid-19th century transcendental movement, known for his profound and inspiring way of thinking, his eloquent speeches and his stirring writing style. These three profound Emerson quotes are always true, even though the language in them is a bit dated.
Emerson on the Law of Nature
“The law of nature is, do the thing, and you shall have the Power; but they who do not do the thing have not the Power.”
While Emerson used the word Power in this quote, note that he capitalized it because it meant more than the type of power we typically think of when hearing the word. The Power is the Result of your efforts.
This quote invites you to take the action in life that is going to give you the results you want. And, it also kind of warns you that if you choose not to act, you most likely won’t get what you want.
Emerson on Love
“Love and you shall be loved. All love is mathematically just, as much as two sides of an algebraic equation.”
The catch that goes with this quote is – we often try to ‘command’ love. For example – someone may think or say, “I love him, but he doesn’t love me back, so this quote isn’t true.”
The thing is, you can’t command love and you can’t or shouldn’t try to impose your will on someone else. The love you give might not come back to you from the person you give it to.
That doesn’t mean the equation is untrue, it means love comes to each of us in its own way and in its own time. And, the term love in the quote doesn’t necessarily mean romantic love, it may mean friendship.
It may be the love of a pet or someone ill who you are caring for, or someone who cares for you when you get sick or infirmed. It’s just so much bigger than the love you find in a single relationship, and it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about love as only being romantic in nature.
Emerson on Pride and Weakness
“As no man had ever a point of pride that was not injurious to him, so no man had ever a defect that was not somewhere made useful to him. Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults. Our strength grows out of our weakness.”
I picked this Emerson quote to add here because vanity, pride, and boastfulness are such a waste of time and energy and they only bring down the ones who tap into them. People who are amazing don’t need to tell you that they are amazing – because you already KNOW.
Plus, some of the most amazing, talented people you could ever hope to encounter, developed that amazingness and their skills – in whatever field – through pain and weakness that was out of their control.
Ralph Waldo Emerson passed away in 1882, so the grammatical styles have changed even though his messages hold true today and always.