Monday Mantra: meant to be

Good Morning!  I hope you had a fabulous Easter weekend, and enjoyed some time relaxing, hanging out with friends and family or getting things done (really whatever YOU wanted to do!!)  We had a double packed weekend celebrating my sweet’s birthday!!!  So much fun throwing some surprises his way and spending times with some of our favorite people!!  Now its back to the grind; starting a new week with fresh eyes and an open heart.  I hope YOU have a fabulous week!

“It might take a day, it might take a year,
but what’s meant to be will always find its way.”

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Happy Monday
~ Jillian

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Neti-licous

Oh spring; with your beautiful weather, your gorgeous blooming flowers and your pounds and pounds of pollen (she says thru sneezes and a stuffy nose)  UGH.  If you are anywhere near Georgia right now I suggest a mask because this pollen is out of control!!

Enter one of my favorite tricks o’ the trade…my Neti-pot!!  Don’t freak out…I promise the relief you feel and the peace of mind knowing that when used on a regular basis this thing can help you maintain your health is totally worth the slightly intimidating first “pour”.

neti

A neti pot is a simple tool used for nasal irrigation.  Basically its an easy way to keep your sinuses flushed out, clear and in tip top shape!!  It is VERY common in holistic health and slowly making its way into the main stream world.  The benefits include not only improved sinus symptoms and decreasing (or eliminating) the need for sinus medication but also keeping your sinuses in healthy shape to combat the nasty irritants like pollen, allergies and colds.

Easy Steps:

  1. Clean it!  Keep that neti pot clean and dry between uses!!
  2. Add the Salt! Dump in (1) packet of saline (be sure to use neti saline and NOT standard table salt.  Table salt has additives that can irritate the sinuses)
  3. Shake it up!  Fill with warm distilled (or at the least filtered) water and stir it up  (the water you use for this is SUPER important.  You are passing water thru very sensitive parts of your body that are close to your brain!!  Don’t use standard tap water that contains all sorts of yuck chemicals and amoebas!!)
  4. Assume the position!  This is the part that seems to trip some people up.  Bend over the sink and tilt your head so that your ear is facing the sink.  Keep your forehead slightly above your chin to allow the water to flow thru your sinuses (and not down your throat) Once you get the hang of it things work themselves out and you just know when its right.
  5. Time to Neti!  Once in the position, breathe thru your mouth, insert the spout of your neti pot into the upper nostril and tilt it up.  You will fill the solution enter your nose and flow out of the lower nostril.  If you feel the water going into your throat simply lower  your forehead slightly.  Use 1/2 of the solution on each side of your nostril.
  6. Drain it out!  Once you have emptied the pot on both sides of your nose, empty the excess water out of your sinuses by gently blowing out each side of your nose.  Follow up with gentle blows on a tissue and you are good to go!  Be sure to blow gently as you do not want the pressure in your sinuses or ears to get out of whack.
  7. Clean it again! 

breath

You will be amazed at the clarity you feel in your sinus cavities from doing this regularly!  It is absolutely a life saver when you are experiencing sinus trouble but even on a “good” day it opens you up and allows you to take in nice BIG healthy clean breaths!!  These days i’m rockin the squeeze bottle version of this handy tool but that is totally personal preference.  Try it out and get comfy with it.  Its a super inexpensive way to keep that shnooz of yours happy and keep your overall health in tip top shape!

Happy Breathing
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: make up your mind

Hiya monday…how the heck are you?!?!  I was a bit sneaky last week and snuck off on a little vacation to celebrate not one but TWO sweet couples!  It was totally a wedding-palozza and man am I TIRED!  Lots of miles logged, a ton of special moments and a week filled with laughter and joy!!  What a great reminder of the most important parts of life.  Love. Family. Joy.

“I have found that most people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be”
~ Abraham Lincoln

happyHave a Happy one!
~ Jillian

Food Factoid: Cucumbers

It’s been too long since we have talked about one of my favorite topics…FOOD!!! More specifically Food Factoids.  All things yummy and healthy combined into one sweet post!  The crazy thing is that so many of the foods we already know and love have hidden super-health packed benefits that you many never have realized.  So today…let’s celebrate the Cucumber…one of nature’s most delicious alkalizers!!

Cucumber on White

Cucumbers

The main benefit of the cucumber is its high alkalinity.  This property naturally balances your body’s PH to keep it at just the right sweet spot to keep you healthy!!  (healthy body PH is a 7.4).  So why is our body’s PH level so important??  Our bodies are constantly bombarded with outside things that try to throw it out of whack.  Things like pollutants and chemicals in the air, in our water and in our food sources.  With these pollutants in our bodies, our PH levels start to shift to acidity…and cancer thrives in acidic terrain.  One of the MOST important things you can do for your health is to eat lots of alkaline foods to help supply your body with the fuel it needs to fight off these nasty combatants.  Cucumbers are one of the MOST alkaline foods out there…so DIG in!!!

phscale

**It takes 32 cups of water to neutralize the acid from 1 diet coke!!  Ugh…think of how hard your body has to work just to neutralize itself from 1 little soft drink.  In the meantime its energy is taken away from focusing on all of the other Oh-so-important functions it has like digestion, blood circulation and oxygenation!! (just to name a few)

**Two cucumbers blended in water and drank first thing in the morning can sometimes stop yeast infections and UTI’s that thrive in acidic bodies.  So many of the symptoms and not so fun things we deal with in regards to our health can be improved or even cured by finding this important PH balance!

Cucumber flesh has a very high level of silica.  Silica is responsible for combating Osteoporosis!  People with any bone, joint & ligament issue should double up on cucumber because of its high silica content.  Cucumber helps create healthy  shiny skin because of its high silica.  Have you ever tried laying cucumber slices on your eye lids to help reduce puffy dark skin?  Think of the amazing results you will see when this super food is pumping thru your veins and healing your body from the inside out!!!

cuc

Just when you thought the cucumber couldn’t get any better…it’s high water content helps naturally hydrate the body preventing water retention AND it has natural sugar balancing properties that improve your body’s response to insulin.  It’s a “sleeper super food” that we usually take for granted!!  Be sure to seek out organic cucumbers or English cucumbers that are wrapped in plastic whenever possible to avoid the chemicals that are in the wax applied to the outside of most commercially produced cucumbers.  

An easy way to up the cucumber in your diet is to toss them into your daily smoothie (be sure to include all the “parts” of the cucumber…skin, flesh and seeds to get the maximum benefit!).  Or make a refreshing cucumber water on a hot summer day to cool you down!  I love them mixed with a spoonful of greek yogurt (shocker i know), a little garlic and tomatoes as a yummy side item.  Any way you do it, including cucumbers in your daily diet is a HUGE step to keeping your body healthy and happy!!

To your health and Happy Eating!
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: Happy & Grateful

I feel like I have been saying this a lot lately…but things have just been nuts!!  Busy busy days…so much to do and so little time to do it in.  With time flying by WAY faster then it should and this HSE girl about to get another year older…eeek; it makes me step back for a second and think about life.  Where I am today, where I’ve come from and the possibilities of where I might go next.  I am incredibly grateful for everything that has happened in my life to this point.  I’ve learned so much, have been blessed by so many wonderful people and have so much to  be thankful for.  That’s not to say that everything has been such an easy road, I’ve had my fair share of challenges in this lifetime so far, but I know that there is a greater plan for me.  The most important thing I can do is trust in that plan and keep on truckin’.

“It’s not that life has been easy, perfect or exactly as expected.
I just choose to be Happy & Grateful no matter how it all turns out.”

happy face

Choose Joy
~ Jillian

Pillow Party (& a special offer)

Who doesn’t love a fabulous pillow party (mind out of the gutters people) we are talking accent pillows!  Pillows that add a little extra design, pattern and fabulous-ness to your most comfy spaces!  We are so SO lucky to have the support of one of the COOLEST and unique pillow cover creators I know…Silkway.  The brains and creative talent behind this amazing Etsy shop, Jonali is truly an artist and just the sweetest!!  Here are just a few of the new and lovely things rolling out of her shop these days…

pillow 1

pillow 2

imbroidery pillow

pillow 6

pillow 3

pillow 4

pillow 9

pillow 8

pillow 10

pillow 7

Ahhh…Don’t you just want them ALL!  And this is just the tip of the iceberg!  Please stop by Silkway to check out all of her amazing designs!  I must admit I am starting to build up quite a collection of her beautiful work and I could not be more thrilled.  I predict that someday soon a little piece of Silkway will be in every room in my house!! (well maybe except for the bathrooms…unless Jonali can come up with some super creative way to get a little of her beautiful Ikat fabrics in there…and then i’m totally down)

AND as if this post couldn’t get any better…Jonali is offering a discount to Her Split Ends readers!!!  Her prices are amazing so this is just icing on that already delicious cake!!

For an additional 10% discount on your order enter coupon code is: ILOVEJILLIAN (isn’t she just the cutest!!)

Happy Shopping!

~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: tomorrow is a new day

Although Monday’s can sometime be tough, they really are like a fresh start.  A new week, time to kick back into gear leaving behind anything that has weighed you down in days past.  Its a good lesson to take with you (even on other days of the week).  What’s behind us is exactly that…behind us.  No need to focus on what was or what could have been.  Look forward.  Forgive yourself and move on.  This time of year reminds us that there is new life, new beginnings possible each day all we have to do is nurture the possibility of growth and it will come.  Here’s to a new week.  Here’s to growth.  Here’s to a fresh start.

“Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
~ Emerson

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Namaste
~ Jillian

A piece of Peace: Heavy

There are days that you feel happy, light and free.  Other days seem to weigh you down.  It’s normal.  We all experience it.  And there is no fool-proof way to release yourself from sometimes falling into that heavy feeling.  But when you do find yourself sinking…remember that it’s important to let go.  It’s important to refocus and find balance.  Even if in the moment you can only find one tiny bit of positive…GRAB it…hold on to it and let the rest go.

A very wise man has told me many times in my life that I need to learn to let go.  That the only thing in my life I can control is how I react to my life.  What simple and pure advice that at times seems…IMPOSSIBLE!  The very act of letting go is one of the most difficult to accept.  But reminding ourselves that it can happen is how we can maintain balance and achieve true peace.

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go;
simply for the reason that they are Heavy”

heavy

Let go

Breath in – “let”

Breath out – “go”

Breath in – “let”

Breath out – “go”

Namaste
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: Ready

Hey Monday.  How the heck are you?!  I hope you and yours enjoyed a fabulous weekend.  Here in Georgia we had a cRaZy beautiful day yesterday!  Having warm temps and so much sun gave me a BAD case of spring fever!!  I’m ready for sunshine.  Ready for fresh air.  Ready to get outside again!!  It’s time to seize the day…stop hesitating and just go for it!!  Whatever you have had sitting on your mind lately, wondering if it’s the right time…close your eyes, take a deep breath and then open yourself up to change.  Let life show you the path to follow and then TAKE that first step!!

“If we wait until we are ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives”

Hour_Glass_by_Sagim(image source)

Choose Joy
~ Jillian

Black Eyed Pea Dip

Oh you are going to LOVE this one…prepare to resist the urge to run immediately to the grocery store to grab all the fixins’ and throw this super duper easy recipe together to enjoy!!  I actually stumbled on this one while on a hunt for a fun and easy dip for a small New year’s party.  Rumor has it that black eyed peas are good luck to eat on New Year’s so when i found this guy I knew i had a winner.  Well a double batch, 8 adults and 5 kids later and the bowl was EMPTY!  It is so delicious, a healthy snack and clearly a BIG hit with the masses!

blackeyed pea dip copy(Recipe & Image from the oh so lovely Gina at Skinny Taste!)

Black Eyed Pea Dip

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz canned black eye peas (I like to double the amount and use 2 cans)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • pinch crushed red pepper flake
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cooked corn (eye ball this one…and feel free to dump in more if you like!)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered (same goes for these…i LOVE em so i add more!)
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion (I go light on these to protect one’s breath at parties)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded & diced (optional – go light on this or replace with green chilies if you aren’t a fan of the heat)
  • 1 medium avocado, diced

Directions

  • Rinse and drain the black eyed peas.
  • In a large bowl combine garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, crushed pepper, and salt; Mix well.
  • Add black eyed peas, corn, tomato, red onion, jalapeños and cilantro; Mix well.
  • Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  • Add the avocado when ready to serve.

My favorite way to eat this is served with Sweet potato chips (try Garden of Eden brand) but its also great served with rice or quinoa as a main course!!  

Yumm-O
~ Jillian