MIND YOUR DAY // Organize for Surprise


You wake up all on your own without an alarm. You hear the sounds of the birds singing beautifully in the trees. You get ready, and have your coffee in the crisp morning air. Then you go wake the kids up without a fight and everyone gets where they need to go early, and the day goes according to schedule. But let’s be real, no real person has a morning like this. It probably goes a little more like this. The third alarm goes off, and you drag yourself to go wake the kids up. They want to get out of bed as much as you did. On a good morning you can grab coffee before you leave the house or on the way, and you might make it everywhere you need to go right on time.

Isn’t there an easier way to run your day?

There most definitely is!

The best days are those that are organized before they even begin. Take the time the evening before to schedule your day. Write out everything you can think of that needs to be done and then prioritize it. One of the easiest ways to prioritize is to color code your to do list. Anything that has to be done that day is highlighted one color, and anything that can wait till the next day is highlighted another color. Another useful way to make sure that your day stays organized is to block out time frames for different activities.  For instance, you can block out an hour for getting ready in the morning. Then another thirty minutes for getting the kids to school. Create some buffer time in your day to expect the unexpected. Things will always go differently than you plan for them to, but if you already expect that to happen it won’t ruin your day.

“Chaos thrives on the element of surprise, and you take control of your day when you plan for the chaos.”

Try it for one week. Commit to plan your day the night before for the next seven days and see if you feel more in control. We can’t promise that your days will be full of birds singing and helping you make dinner, but when you plan and organize your day you are the one in control.

It’s time for you to run your day not have your day run you.

Article written by Lifestyle Contributor Valerie Riley, Founder of Lifesquire Personal Assistants.

Model: Dr. Shanna Teel of Equilibrium Integrated Wellness

Photographed by: Editor Aimee Tietze Adams

WINTER READS // Transform


The cold Winter months breathe change into our existence whether we are ready for it or not. A season to mirror the reflection of transformation that occurs in nature surrounding us, we are able to discover the new paths that lie within our potential or outside on the horizon. These reads were selected to bring mindfulness into practice, as well as an intention toward purposeful self love which will lead to us living our best lives.

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Piero Ferrucci wrote the Bible of Kindness here with The Power of Kindness / The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life.

 With a foreward by The Dalai Lama himself, this book is one to be worn out and on hand for reference. Discussions of mindfulness, flexibility, respect, compassion and more, it brings attention to areas you may have sensed but never heard someone testify so eloquently leaving an imprint of authentic truthfulness in the human experience.

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Yes, Cameron Diaz wrote a book, well, she had some help in Sandra Bark, but The Body Book delivers holistic goodness rooted in self love.

Learning to authentically love ourselves is a process. Cameron shares the link between nutrition and movement, and finding the best way to shape a body we will love living in with a mindful approach to details.

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Julia Ross is a Mood Goddess with her resourceful book “The Mood Cure”.

Ross is a popular and compelling speaker who has made hundreds of presentations to introduce the public to the extraordinary benefits of nutrient therapy and biochemical rebalancing, with the specialized use of vitamins and supplemental amino acids. For those who suffer with a case of the blahs, to mood swings, to sleeplessness, addictions and  depression. Ross addresses the importance of knowing about “false emotions”. False emotions are essentially living blindly by your emotive response, when authentically there is a minor neurotransmitter issue that can be corrected often with over the counter supplements. Jim Carrey talks about his success with supplements in helping raise his serotonin, which essentially assists in working to where more melatonin is present, leading to more solid rest. Happy people are people who sleep. A little more about Julia Ross is below, as the Awards of her research and work is a testament to the positive intention behind her work.

“Julia Ross is a pioneer in the field of nutritional psychology and a specialist in the treatment of eating disorders and addictions. She has founded and directed six successful recovery programs since 1980 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of her favorite achievements include starting Northern California’s first treatment program for food addicts and the area’s first programs for drug-addicted adolescents and their families. Receiving a state award for her work with diabetes and addiction in California’s Native American tribal clinics is another of her most treasured achievements.”

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85 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List isn’t by accident and the movie starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern is now in theaters worldwide.

Cheryl Strayed recounts a memoir from the lowest point of her life (17 years prior) where she decided to take a solo trip hiking the Pacific Coast Trail following the recent death of her mother.

Smitten by her fearlessness and courage to bring the recollections to real story, it’s a must if you haven’t already. A stellar review and recap here by the New York Times. There is a mild backlash occurring within the Hiking Community in regards to Mrs. Strayed’s authenticity amongst her path, as she did not check in many main stations amongst the PCT, regardless of this new found criticism, her story is still worth telling.

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To transform within the Fall and Winter seasons offers a chance to surrender to the power of miracles. Showing up to serve and do the work, Marianne Williamson writes in her guiding tone of experience to awaken the possibilities that remain should we be open, willing and aware to live our gifts. She brings the practical approach to bringing love into your work and having faith God has your best interest at heart.

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I used to have a quote — ” I have never met an Amy I didn’t like”, and this book is next on my list. A super Creative, I am stoked to indulge in her mix of mantras, pseudo-essays and righteous blend of biographical context.

All book recommendations provided by EIC // Aimee Tietze Adams as Editor Picks.