Meet Your Maker: Boost your Belly Confidence!

Meet Your MakerMeet Your Maker Laugh Till Your Stomach HurtsThere are so many reasons to LOVE your belly at any age. We are all hard on ourselves and need to remember self- kindness. Your belly is health and a great reminder to take care of myself with good sleep, exercise and nutrition... the more fat you carry the harder on your heart ~ Let's not be hard on ourselves! Sometimes I like to finish this sentence: I love my belly because...'s my core and energy! My belly feels best when ... ...working in my garden, or taking a Zumba class My fav healthy belly meal is... ...homegrown greens and tomatoes My fav belly outfit is... ...a Karina dress, of course! Here are some yoga poses to health strengthen your core.

Five Ways to Say Thank You to the Ocean: Including Buying an American Made Dress

The author in a Meghan by Karina Dresses in Oahu, Hawaii.LAURA PARKER ROERDANLaura Parker Roerden writes, consults, and speaks about kids’ connection to themselves, each other, and the earth. She directs Ocean Matters, a nonprofit that helps save threatened marine resources. She thinks today’s young people are reason to be hopeful about the environmental problems facing us. She lives on Jo-Erl Farm, a fifth generation family farm with her husband, three boys, and an assortment of fruit trees and farm animals. You can find her online at Salt from the Earth and on Twitter @LParkerRoerden. 
[caption id="attachment_12356" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Ocean Matters students immersed in the blue of the Pacific Ocean off of Hawaii—and feeling happy about it.[/caption] We hear so much discouraging news about the world’s oceans. We have fished 90% of the world’s largest fish stocks; bringing popular fish to the brink of collapse such as tuna and cod. There are patches of dead zones from factory farming run-off carried from rivers into our oceans. Critical ocean habit is being destroyed including the removal of mangroves (nurseries for fisheries) to the wholesale removal of all marine life through the trawling of the bottom. Warming waters threaten coral reefs and raise sea level. More than 5 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons are estimated to be floating in our oceans, breaking down into dangerous chemicals that are concentrating in the food chain—our food chain. And our oceans are acidifying, leading to interruption in reproductive cycles of shell forming organisms. But the ocean is resilient; there is fortunately much to be done to help her heal. Here are five things you can do to make a difference to the world’s oceans. strawchallenge
  1. Reduce, Recycle, Refuse and Rethink Plastics Use: Keeping plastics out of our oceans is a great first step and one that we can easily take on in our homes. Start by refusing to use single use plastics, such as plastic bags in grocery stores, water bottles, straws, plastic utensils. You can buy wonderful non-disposable versions of each of these to carry in your car or purse and make a big difference. Finally, pressure your local schools to reduce their plastic waste too: Take the Last Straw Challenge at Ocean Matters.
  2. Eat Sustainable Seafood Only: Download the sustainable seafood app from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website. Knowledge is power. Not only will you be making better choices when you shop or eat out, you’ll be pressuring suppliers to clean up their act on fishing practices. They won’t do buy it if they can’t sell it.
  3. Buy Organic Produce and Pastured Meat from Small Producers: The nitrogen run off (poop and fertilizers) that enter rivers and end up in the ocean are the main cause of dead zones in the oceans. Search out local options, like Jo-Erl Farm, from small producers who are employing organic practices.
  4. Vote for Representatives Who Include the Environment in their Platform: Furthermore, support the creation of Marine Protected Areas, which allow seed stock for fisheries to do their important work of replenishing the oceans.
  5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Have a free energy audit of your home; buy a hybrid car or EV; and buy locally made products whenever possible, such as American Made Dresses by Karina such as this sleeveless, maxi length Megan by Karina Dresses. You’ll reduce the carbon footprint of the products you’re buying, which will not have to be shipped from China or other far away ports.
[caption id="attachment_12432" align="aligncenter" width="500"]american made dress The author in a Megan by Karina Dresses in Oahu, Hawaii.[/caption] Visit us at Ocean Matters for details about joining our once-in-a-lifetime trip to Hawaii with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary and National Geographic underwater photographer Brian Skerry, June 23rd-July 1st, 2015. Because the ocean matters. dolphinexcursions

Seven Lessons From 40 Years of Life

you are here updaterosie1Author, Speaker, and Educator Rosie Molinary empowers women to embrace their authentic selves so they can live their passion and purpose and give their gifts to the world. She is the author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance and Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina. You can find her at RosieMolinary, on Twitter, and on Facebook.  One of her favorite winter pairings is the Penelope with boots, and she can't wait for 2015.
you are here update I recently enjoyed a birthday. Now, I am fully entrenched in my forties and, while I am not self-conscious about my age, I am seeing that I have a sense of urgency, a desire to get more and more real about what is true for me and living that way every single minute that I can. I am a firm believer that life keeps handing you the lesson that you need to learn until you learn it.  Fail to learn it the first time, and life/the universe/the God of your understanding turns the volume up just a bit making the next experience with the lesson a little harder to stomach so that you might learn it the next time.  Ignore the lesson again, and it gets even more uncomfortable.  Eventually, the situation is so unpalatable, that you HAVE to get it.  Learn the lesson earlier and life is a whole lot easier. Given that sense of urgency, I am capturing these hard-earned lessons of my first forty years so I might live them intentionally (and not have to relearn them) in my forties.
  1. What someone else thinks of me is none of my business. Trying to make someone else change her thinking about me is inviting misery for both of us.  What someone else thinks of me isn’t my problem or my business. I’d rather spend my time on the stuff I do have control over.
  2. Boundaries are a way to love ourselves and the people in our lives. For the longest time, I thought you just had to take what people gave you.  If they imposed upon you with their words or actions, well, you needed to be good, not make it awkward for anyone, and just let them.  Except then the people who cross boundaries get to rule the world. But too many people with too few boundaries have benefitted from a societal politeness, and you don’t have to be impolite to establish a boundary.  You just have to be real. Practice boundaries as a gift to yourself and others.
  3. Self-care is essential in order to be able to offer any care to others.  There was a time in my life where giving until I gave out was the only way that I knew to be in the world.  I thought it was generous.  But generosity and self-care have to co-exist.  Because you can give out, there can be no generosity without self-care, actually. Take care of you and you are sustained enough to take care of others.
  4. My soul is my gift to the world.  I have ample gray hair.   My forehead is rugged topography.  I’ve got rosacea and fierce allergies that make my face red and bumpy most of the time. My curls are unreliable—brilliant and fun sometimes, frizzy and erratic often.  And, yet, none of that matters.  My body is this incredible vehicle I have been given to experience this life and so I have an immense responsibility to take care of it because there is so much that I want to do, so many people I want to love, so many hearts I want to help heal.  But my body does not make up my worth.  My worth comes from my soul, from what I offer the world; my legacy will be in the way that I love and offer care and never, ever in the way I wear my hair (or that unintentional rhyme).  I want to be clear everyday about the fact that what I have to offer is how I make people feel and not how I look.
  5. Purpose calls. The world is full of so many needs and I don’t believe any one of us is here by accident.  We are each here on purpose—meant to offer a unique part of the solution to healing that this world needs.  When we can reconcile our relationships with ourselves and engage in what we are most meant to offer the world, the world is one step closer to healing.
  6. Do No Harm. It’s so easy to hurt people, but I don’t want to put that kind of energy out in the world.  As much as possible, I want to do no harm.
  7. The journey is the goal.   We get impatient about where we are going; we will days away in the hopes that what we are looking forward to will just arrive already.  How many times have I done that already?  If there was ever a continuing theme, it is this.  There is only so much time away and if I push for the events, I will miss the moments.  Life is composed of moments.  I want to notice every one of them.

Improving My Body Image | Accentuating the Positives With a V-Neck Dress

audrey sleeveless dressHeatherHeather Smith is the founder and blogger behind OurKidsMom. She lives in the Kansas City, MO metro area with her family and rescue pets Zoey (dog), Mocha and Jasper (cats).  A third grade teacher turned stay at home mom, she loves to travel, cook, craft and play with the newest techie gear. With children ranging from elementary to college age her life is never boring. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. She is loving the Audrey v-neck dress.
During my 44 years of life, I haven't had a day that body image hasn't been an issue for me. From a chubby but adorable child, then a chunky teenager to rather curvy pear shaped adult... I've had a mental fight on my hands always wanting to be "normal" and to fit in. I've dealt with comments from friends and family like, "You have such beautiful legs, if only you could lose a little weight." Heck, my grandpa even tried to bribe me to lose weight when I was a preteen by offering to pay me $1 a pound. I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to realize it, but just recently I have come to the revelation that you make your own happy in this life. What I mean is, I needed to learn to love and accept who I am and all that I am so that I could be happy in the skin I am in. Audrey v-neck dress I wanted this desperately, so I started loving myself from the inside out. I cleaned up my food, I decluttered my mind (blogging helps a person do that!) and I began to evaluate how I dressed myself. In the process I managed to drop 50 pounds. After all of these years fighting the scale, my positive mindset was winning. Audrey v-neck dress For years I have been just grabbing a t-shirt &/or sweatshirt and jeans. It was comfortable, it hid what I wanted to hide and I didn't stand out. I watched as my friends glowed in their Karina Dresses and wished I could feel as confident and pretty as they did. But I kept hiding in my comfort zone. Then one day I decided to try one on... and here is where the "a ha" moment came for me. As I shed off my jeans and t-shirt and slid into the beautiful Audrey dress, I began to feel pretty. My smile changed, my posture changed, and my mood changed... just from looking at my reflection in the mirror. Audrey v-neck dress The beautiful v-neck dress helped accentuate my positive attributes while drawing away from what I believe to be my negatives. Because the Audrey is a sleeveless dress and it is still deep in the heart of winter, I accessorized with a cute black sweater and black leggings. I'm not saying that is all it took to improve my body image, but it sure helped to fight those negative thoughts that float through my mind on a daily basis. I am now taking the time first thing each morning to shower, put on my makeup and curl my hair. These few steps right there improve my mindset immediately and start my day on the right foot. Sliding into my Karina Dress... adds a cherry on top.

Jenny Searches for Love: 5 Tips for Success

Jenny searches for love: 5 Tips for SuccesscinnyBased out of Minnesota and Canada, Cinny is the mommy to JR and Baby Pom. When not working or studying full time, she can be found working on Whirlwind of Surprises or cuddling with her hubby and playing with her dogs. She shines in the warm company of friends and family and  enjoys playing with her 3 little nephews. Say hi on FacebookPinterestGoogle+Instagram, or Twitter. Love at first sight? Grab this gorgeous Jenny dress.
  Well, I'll be. My husband has never been the most romantic of guys. Me on the other hand? I am a hopeless romantic. I'm the one in the relationship that's all about surprise gifts and hand-made gifts and things that come from the heart. Don't get me wrong, I'm very practical. However, what's life without a bit of romance and flair? [caption id="attachment_12456" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Jenny searches for love: 5 Tips for Success Wearing my Jenny dress in Navy and Maroon Paisley on a date with the hubby[/caption] In the over a decade that I've been with my husband, he just wasn't meant to be romantic. I can probably count on my one hand what he's done through all these years. He's never really fully managed to surprise me. Most of the time, he's so adorably clumsy that he slips up a little here and there, and I have my suspicions. Like a good wife though, I stay silent so that it remains a surprise. Well, he got me this time. The sweetest little surprise and perhaps the first real surprise ever that completely blew me away. I was so distracted by the adorable little note he left me, which was already out of his character, that despite sitting on his surprise present and feeling a sharp edge under me, I just waved it out of my mind. He actually got me jewelry. The hubby went out and spent time to choose something just for me and that just simply melted my heart. We all have ups and downs in our relationships but what makes it work? Here are my

5 Tips for Success:

1) Listen -That's a trait we all could get better at. We'd be so much happier if we just listened to one another and I mean truly listen. 2) Communication -Communication is just as important as listening. If we don't say it out loud, how can we assume that our partners just know? 3) Teamwork - Just like any team, a successful relationship requires more than 1 person's effort. 4) Laugh -We often do silly little things to make each other laugh. No, I'm not going to demonstrate. There's something about our intimate bond and trust in each other that allows us to act like goofballs around one another and no one else. 5) Little Things Count -A little good night kiss, a simple "I love you", a heartfelt thank you are all little things to keep the romance alive.

How do you keep the romance alive?

 Visit Whirlwind of Surprises for recipes, travel tips, fashion and more!