Monday Morning Inspiration

When I posted some Monday morning inspiration awhile back, I didn’t realize it would become one of my most popular blog posts {not just on that day, but every day!}. Apparently people really need to be inspired after the weekend!

Hope this helps ūüôā

Source: via Cristina on Pinterest


jealousy: can the green-eyed monster be healthy?

I was browsing a women’s magazine as I worked out on the elliptical the other day and there was one section about jealousy that really hit home for me.

In general, I think we’re so easy to dismiss envy as a wholly negative emotion- a quick Google search shows pages of results on how to overcome jealousy.

First of all, we have to recognize that our culture encourages jealousy. The omnipresence of Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook make it nearly impossible to avoid posts from friends and strangers that may provoke envy.

But the article pointed out that instead of seeing jealousy as a negative thing, we should use it as a means to realize our own goals. Why are we feeling jealous?

As Robin says, it’s important to¬†figure out what your “hot button” issues are. What makes you envious and why? Maybe it’s supposedly perfect bodies. Or people who seem to love working out and never have an off day. Or someone who just had a perfect wedding.

For me, I’m usually jealous of people with thriving social lives, who always seem to be busy with fun, interesting, and unique activities and events. People who maintain a healthy balance of eating well and exercising, but also loving life. People who find the humor and intellect in everyday life. But you know what? I don’t think letting any of these things inspire me is a negative thing!

But¬†occasionally, I get jealous of the wrong things. People who don’t seem to have a care in the world and spend all their time having fun. People who have crazy amounts of disposable income. People with perfect bodies who spend hours every day working out. But is that actually how I want to be? Are these actually things I care about? Not really. So admittedly,¬†if what we envy is unattainable or won’t actually satisfy us,¬†we might want brush them off.

Otherwise, let that jealousy inspire you to figure out what you really want out of life. I want to live a fun, balanced life and be surrounded by friends. I want a healthy but non-obsessive life. I want to be constantly inspired, fun-loving, and enthusiastic. So thanks, social media, for reminding me of all that ūüôā

Here’s a relevant Carrots n Cake post: Jealousy vs Inspiration! Also check out 6 Ways to Let Jealousy Guide You.

What are your hot button issues? Where is the line between jealousy and inspiration for you? 

ask and you shall receive

When it comes to getting what you want, there seems to be two different schools of thought:


I am whole-heartedly in the “Ask and you shall receive” camp. Though I have no doubt I could come up with examples to the contrary if I was pressed, I find that most of my examples of success are direct results of proactively asking for something.

Somebody told me that people who ask for things are pushy and rude. Guy Whose Name I Can’t Remember- I disagree. I think people who ask for what they want (in a polite and respectful way, of course) are daring and deserving of positive outcomes.

I didn’t get an internship with The Washington Diplomat because I waited for them to approach me. When my sister wanted to volunteer with local non-profits, she didn’t wait for someone to start a volunteer group; she created Change the Triangle.

And I think this policy applies to everyday life as well. When I had a less-than-pleasant (that’s an understatement) experience with a vet, I asked for- and got- my money back. Let me tell you, they certainly weren’t sitting there waiting to deposit money into my bank account, but they did it because they knew it was the right thing.

If my order from Starbucks isn’t correct, I send it back. Not to be obnoxious, but because if I don’t vocalize my feelings, no one is waiting there to guess them.

Which leads me to a topic for another post- if you are willing to broadcast negative feedback, you should go out of your way to give positive feedback.

Do you have a good example of a time that you asked and received or had good things come to you because you waited?

top 10 lists: songs, recipes, & inspiration!

Here are some funny, intriguing, and creative top 10 lists to start your weekend off on a good note:

10 Words for Intriguing Concepts via Merriam Webster

10 Insights on Rethinking Work via

10 Things to Add to Your Bucket List via

The 10 Hottest Jewish Women Drake Can Take Home To His¬†Momma via {wish I was on that list, he’s my favorite rapper}

10 Young Entrepreneur Blogs you Should be Following

Top 10 Kugel Recipes

My 10 Favorite Songs of the Week


Since I’m on a throwback NOLA kick (here¬†and here), I thought I’d share a bit more.

Sometime I think about how I will respond if someone asks me the craziest or most spontaneous thing I’ve done. I didn’t used to think much of the fact that I packed up and moved to New Orleans for 6 weeks with no car and knowing only one person…I guess because I’ve always felt like I could do anything with enough willpower. Thinking back on it now, I see it for the courageous act that it was.

Here’s an excerpt from an email I dug up from two summers ago:

I celebrated the 4th of July in DC, made a pit stop at home in North Carolina, then flew down to¬†New¬†Orleans¬†(NOLA) with my friend Dominique. I’ve been here 4 weeks so far and it’s been insane! I’m working with Habitat for Humanity with my site leader from Alternative Spring Break, so I’m building houses 5 days a week. I wake up at 6am and sometimes go to bed at 8pm because I’m so tired haha. It’s incredibly rewarding though– and not just my crazy tan and jacked muscles ūüôā It’s really neat to see that I’m making a tangible difference. Meeting homeowners is especially cool because they are so appreciative. And I got to see the house I worked on over spring break, where a family now lives!

In my off time, I’ve been exploring the city (coffee and French doughnuts at the famous Cafe du Monde, frolicking in the French Quarter, riding the St. Charles Streetcar, etc) and hanging out with my roommates. I found a house on Craigslist with 6 strangers, so there’s an uncanny resemblance to the Real World (how fitting, given our MTV theme!). Everyone always jokes about where our confessional should be. I’ve made lots of trips to Bourbon Street, so in answer to your question, yes, I have lots of Mardi Gras beads…but no, I did not obtain them through questionable methods ūüôā

In celebration of daring actions, I thought I would leave you with these inspirational tidbits. Ryan, if you’re reading this, these are straight from Pinterest ūüôā

do something nice day

I heard on the radio this morning that today is Do Something Nice Day. While I always try to be nice (as I hope you do!), it’s nice¬†to have a reminder every once in awhile to step outside of ourselves and make a conscious effort to improve someone else’s day.

Some ideas I have (some of which I found here):

  • Pay for the person behind me in line at the coffee shop
  • Bring baked goods in for the construction workers downstairs
  • Treat our coworkers to Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
  • Offer a few free hours of babysitting
  • Tell a friend how they’ve inspired me

The last point brings me to an email I received recently from a friend.

“one of the speakers [at an event] said something that reminded me of you:
someone asked him how they could inspire others, and the speaker said
that to inspire others, you must allow others to inspire you. that
reminded me of your blog post “entrenched in the field.” you were
saying that that you are inspired by [your friends]¬†but i don’t know if you realize that you are one of the people who
inspire me the most, not only because you are going out there and
actively making your goals a reality, but also just because of your
attitude and how you look at the world.”

That one paragraph from one of my best friends meant more to me than any write up in any newspaper. There may or may not have been tears. So I encourage you to do something kind today- tell someone how they inspire you!

monday morning inspiration

Read these words on Live Creating Yourself

Sip this fair trade K-cup

Sniff this fall-filled scent

Listen to this rediscovered band

Try this crisp weather soup

Embrace these cozy scarves

…And don’t forget your amazing weekend

my shabbox

In October, I am hosting a Shabbat dinner, courtesy of Taglit Birthright, the organization that sent me and my sister to Israel FOR FREE. I even get my own Shabbox to use during throughout the dinner! I was browsing the internet for inspiration, so I decided to share it here.

My future Shabbox. The name cracks me up every time!

Image credit:

"Challah" back. #JewJokes

The Western Wall, where we spent our last Shabbat

And you KNOW this will be playing.

And if you have no idea what to do for a Shabbat dinner (ahem, not me, of course):

Going to Shabbat Dinner for Dummies

Judaism 101: Shabbat

How to Host a Trendy Shabbat Dinner

 (since obviously being trendy is very important on this special night)