New video – Self Esteem Affirmations!

Do you need to boost your self esteem? Wonder how to improve your feelings of self worth and raise your confidence? These affirmations will help fix your low self-esteem, recognize your value, and help you feel better about yourself. 🙂

NOTE: If you are experiencing depression, self hate, or considering suicide, please see a doctor for help. YOU ARE VALUABLE AND LOVABLE, no matter what your mind may tell you! ❤

 

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Saving Straws with Steel!

I was introduced to the idea of straw alternatives by a great post over on Helen’s Journey, and I made a mental note to buy some soon. I thought I would have to get them online, but during a shopping trip at a local retail store, I stumbled across a pack of stainless steel straws in the kitchen section! I grabbed them with a little cheer…luckily no one else was in that aisle to hear me make a fool of myself, lol.

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This pack contained four straws; two straight and two bent, in different sizes. It also supplied a cleaning tool and four colorful silicone tips, to make the straws more comfortable to drink out of.

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I tried one at dinner, and it works great!

I’m going to use these at home, and I also plan to take one with me when I go to a restaurant. It will save a straw each time, and might even be a fun conversation starter. 😉

If you’re interested in getting some of your own, there’s a nice set here on Amazon!

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New Video – Start a Small Business!

Have you ever dreamed of owning your own business, being your own boss, and providing customers with YOUR unique product or service? These affirmations will help you get there! This video is filled with positive affirmations that will give you the confidence to follow your dreams and start your own business. You will learn to step out of your comfort zone, believe in yourself and your abilities, and take positive steps toward your dream life! 🙂

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Small YouTuber Army, Unite!

On January 16th, YouTube sent out an email to lots of small channels, announcing some big changes to the monetization rules for the platform. Currently, you qualify for membership in the Youtube Partner Program as soon as you get 10,000 lifetime views on your  channel. On February 20th, 2018, the requirements will be upped to 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of total watch time over the last year. Ouch!

Needless to say, a lot of small ‘tubers are upset about the changes! Not only will small channels stop earning money from ad revenue, we will lose some useful features like end cards and custom thumbnails.

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It’s a sad situation, but so far the response has been pretty incredible! Small youtubers have banded together to support each other and do our best to get everyone to the new requirements. On Twitter, the tag #SmallYoutuberArmy is trending, and people are making threads where users can check out new channels and subscribe to other small creators. It’s great to see everyone coming together and helping each other!

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Whether you have your own channel on Youtube or not, let’s all do our best to support small ‘tubers by watching their videos, subscribing to their channels, and giving thumbs up on videos you like. 🙂 Check out hashtags like #smallyoutuberarmy and #smallyoutubercommunity to find cool new channels. The new requirements are a challenge, but every challenge is really an opportunity to stand up and succeed!

We can do this! 🙂

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Healthy snack reviews!

I love trying new things, including food. On a recent shopping trip I decided to hit the health food section of my local grocery and grab a few healthy items to test out! The products I selected were Siggi’s yogurt, Simple Truth almond milk, and Simple Truth seaweed snack.

Siggi’s Yogurt

I love yogurt, but I stopped eating it a few years back when I learned how much sugar it has. Many brands average 25g of sugar, which is as much as a candy bar! :O And when they do have lower sugar content, it’s because of artificial sweeteners, which are dangerous as well as tasting horrible.

Siggi’s advertises on the foil top that it has low sugar (11-13g), and the ingredient list had only cane sugar as a sweetener. It looked like a good choice, so I selected one in mixed berry flavor.

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The result? YUM! I love this yogurt! The texture is nice and thick, so a container full is substantial and filling (the label explains that, according to Icelandic tradition, most of the water is strained out).

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The taste is different from most yogurts; because they have so much sugar, most yogurts are super sweet and taste like candy. Siggi’s tastes more like traditional old-fashioned yogurt, with a tangy, more cultured flavor.

So if you prefer super-sweet yogurt, Siggi’s probably isn’t the brand for you. But if you’re looking for a healthier, less processed tasting yogurt, I highly recommend Siggi’s! I’ve already gone out and bought a few more flavors to try. 🙂 I love it!

Seaweed Snack

This was an impulse buy that I happened to grab as I was passing by. The package is extremely light, and almost feels like there’s nothing in it. Inside, I found a tray of seaweed slices.

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Each slice is super thin, like a piece of tissue paper!

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As for the taste, well, hmm. It basically tastes like fish. If I had taken a bite without knowing what I was eating, I would have guessed that I was eating fish flakes! I think I was expecting it to taste more plant-like, maybe like salty kale.

I can’t say I’ll be getting more of these snacks. In fact, I haven’t touched it since tasting the first one. It also doesn’t seem like it would be very filling, since the actual volume of seaweed is so low (I’m guessing if you compressed the entire package together, it would maybe be a spoonful of actual plant matter). It’s not for me, but I suppose if you’re a big fan of seafood it could work as a snack.

Almond Milk

I wanted to try some kind of plant milk after a post by Alys over at Alys Journals. I decided to start with the most well known one, almond milk. I like almonds, so it seemed like a safe choice. 🙂

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I was surprised to see that it looks very similar to actual milk! It’s a bit thinner than whole milk, but it’s about the consistency of skim, and the color is almost identical to cow’s milk.

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As for the flavor, it’s…pretty good! It does taste like almonds, but not as strongly as the actual nut. And the more I drink it, the more I like it, probably because I’m losing the expectation that it should taste exactly the same as animal milk. I don’t see it replacing real milk for me as a stand-alone drink or with chocolate, but I think I might start using it on cereal, in smoothies, or in recipes. And this has given me the confidence to try another type of plant milk next time. 🙂

The only drawback to the almond milk is the list of ingredients; it had quite a few gums and lecithins and other similar additives. I need to check other brands to see if maybe they do better in this category.

Overall, I enjoyed my health food experimentation! Siggi’s yogurt is on my permanent shopping list, and I’m going to continue to try different plant milks. I can’t wait to see what I’ll discover next. 🙂

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Ocean Clean Up!

Plastics have revolutionized modern life, and helped us in uncountable ways. Unfortunately, they also cause a lot of damage in the world. One of the big problems caused by plastic is the pollution of our oceans. Millions of tons of plastic garbage is floating in the sea, causing a lot of damage to wildlife when they get tangled or try to eat it. This problem has existed for decades, but it’s been reaching critical levels lately.

Fortunately, there are good people working to end this problem!

Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke has announced a plan to fund a 600 ft (182 m) long yacht dedicated to ocean research and health. The REV (Research Expedition Vessel) will have a trash collection system able to collect 5 tons of garbage a day! It will also have sensors for collecting data, two aerial drones, and and underwater vehicle for exploration and research.

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The vessel will be managed by World Wildlife Foundation Norway, and will be staffed with dozens of scientists. It’s in the planning stages and should be ready to sail in 2020. I can’t wait to see this cool ship in action. 🙂

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Another project dedicated to this problem is The Ocean Cleanup. Started in 2013 and headed by founder Boyan Slat, this organization has been testing methods of garbage collecting on the high seas. Thanks to investors who raised $21 million dollars, they plan to have a large-scale system in place sometime during 2018. They have the ambitious goal of clearing out half of the massive Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years, which is a HUGE undertaking but would kick butt if they could pull it off. 🙂

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You can stay up-to-date on their progress here!

And for an example of clean up on a smaller, more personal scale, there’s the inspiring story of Pukka Travel’s coastal cleanup day. This 2017 expedition featured four boats carrying 50 volunteers around a section of Norwegian coast, where they collected trash from the beaches and coastline. After only 3 hours, they had rid the ocean of 1400 kg (~3000 lbs) of garbage!

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Check out some gorgeous photos of this expedition here. This is a really cool idea, and I would love to be part of something like this. 🙂

The state of our precious oceans is worrying, but it’s so good to know that there are some people and organizations out there working on the problem. It seems that the solution will likely come from individuals instead of governments, so I hope that these efforts continue to grow. We CAN clean up our planet and make a difference!

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