My Favorite Growth Focus Devotions

You know you are supposed to surround yourself with people who lift you up. Sometimes you need to surround yourself with books that lift you up. Here is a brief list of my top picks!

Ancient Rhythms Variety

Classical Living a perfect companion for living by the seasons. Based in Roman tradition and mythology there are celebrations for most days of the year. These little celebrations are ideal to break up monotony and banish ruts. Broken down into months this book has been a fun go to for years.

Non Devotion but Small Daily Reading

Adults of Emotionally Immature Parents This topic may be difficult but I add this to the list because it isn’t a “sit down and read all at once” kind of book. Just a bit of reading each day, skimming even, can help you feel validated in your struggles. Realizations were quite common for me in reading this book and I found it helpful. One of those “you didn’t imagine this” kind of things. Like I said, validating.

Oldie but Goodie

Believing In Myself by Earnie Larsen. This is of the self esteem genre and it is simple, quick and often incredibly relevant. I have had this book for over fifteen years! This mini book has graced my bookshelf for over fifteen years, longer than any other book on the list. Scoff if you must but healing after an abusive ex is Top Priority. This little gem offers a variety of insights for boosting confidence and self assuredness.

The Loving Christian Variety

Jesus Calling Morning + Night by Sara Young My absolute favorite of the Christian variety, I have loved this book for almost three years now. There are several in the series but I love that this particular book offers a devotion for morning and night. <

Badass Affirmations- Wit + Wisdom of Wild Women

I love this one! It is so much fun and such a great gift idea. Any lady or lover of ladies can appreciate!

Triggers + Growth

Triggers + Signs of Healing You Might Be Missing


Personal growth, self improvement does not magically cure triggers. Growth does not mean a lack of a trigger. However, it can be a lessening of emotional reaction to the trigger. Don’t miss these two signs of growth + healing.

If you are upset that you are being triggered still, then you are missing out on your growth because you are focusing on the wrong thing!

Let’s take a peek at this nifty timeline.

Our first stop on this timeline is the moment we are triggered emotionally.

Emotional Equilibrium is the moment in which our emotions calm and we become “okay”.

This timeframe is called our Turn Around Time.

As healing occurs one can look for improvement in a shorter “turn around time”. This means simply that you are able to level out or calm down in a shorter amount of time. As the process of acceptance or growth continues the Turn Around Time becomes shorter and shorter.

Let’s look for growth in one more place!

Once again, as you continue on your journey of reclaiming your emotional self, let this little graph empower you. As time goes on the LEVEL in which one reacts to a trigger does decrease in severity. So if you are being triggered but you aren’t experiencing such a strong surge of emotion then you should certainly be proud of yourself. Definitely do not overlook this clear sign of healing.

As time goes on you can continually spot the decrease of these two growth points; your turn around time and reaction severity. Remember that this is your story so make it a good comeback story! Be proud of who you are and what you have endured!

How Gratitude Changed My Christmas

Thanksgiving first then Merriment and Joy

It occurred to me recently that Thanksgiving comes before Christmas and no matter how hard our society tries to erase that day and turn November into an entire shopping month, the order still stands. First comes Thanksgiving and gratitude. These focuses and intentions set a much better tone for a season full of joy. I mean, am I right? It is not easy to have a joyful heart when you can’t see the good or the blessings that surround you. It is the act of being grateful that leads to a joyful and lighthearted spirit.

I have been feeling extra grateful lately. I have so many beautiful projects coming together, my businesses are growing; I have been feeling very content. An emotion I never thought I could experience, honestly. Since the move things haven’t quite come together in the house yet. I still have my days of overwhelm and it has been MONTHS. I am so blessed to have this cottage, yard and studio. I didn’t feel the need to get a bunch of presents. With healthy friends, family and pets I couldn’t ask for more. That is why this year I had a crazy request for my man.

Only one gift please.

This year was crazy and a nice, simple Christmas was all I really wanted. So with gratitude we focused on other aspects of the holidays together. We baked, cooked, watched every Christmas movie, mailed the cards out on time and truly relaxed. I was not sad at all on the day of Christmas. I happily opened the one present I asked for.

I only mention the One Giftsmas Christmas to hopefully inspire you to do your holiday just as you wish. Sometimes our focus can be material but remembering to infuse your winter season with gratitude will only increase joy and merriment all year long.

5 Basic Rights for Renters

In short here are 5 things you can do to best protect yourself as a renter.

  1. Understanding your state’s laws regarding no break leases is the first place to begin. In many states they are illegal. However, not in Georgia.
  2. When repairs have not been made it is absolutely in your right to report it to your city inspector. They will schedule a time to look at the issue and follow up with your landlord or property management company. It can be extremely reassuring to not even worry about contacting your landlord.
  3. Another option for renters whose landlords are not keeping their end of the bargain is to put your rent money in escrow with your county’s Magistrate Court. The money will be released once the repairs have been made. Not paying your rent is not an option. It leaves you open to legal issues. Be sure to put the rent money into escrow.
  4. Knowing even the basics of your state’s laws will help you better protect yourself. Some states work really hard to protect the renters. Some states do not. You do not have to know every single law. Generally an overview can be quite informative.
  5. It seems like a DUH, Grace. But really, keep an accurate record of all rent transactions, lease renewals, inspections, ect. Keep them for the length of time in the house or apartment. Do not throw these out because you have been living somewhere for x amount of years.

Georgia’s Landlord-Tenant Handbook PDF

Hope you find this helpful! -Gracie D

Why All The Things

Hey there!

A couple years ago when every single thing fell apart, like many others, I decided to truly carpe diem and do exactly what I want. Videography and documentaries have been such a love of mine from childhood. I have long adored nonfiction and now I am taking the camera in my hands and filming to my heart’s desire. A childhood dream come true.

Of course there is always a bit more to the story.

How I am Breaking Out of the Box

More than one business coach could not comprehend how I would make this work. I decided that a hobby should not be subjected to “the fastest possible route to money”. So here I am breaking out of the business box. A no niche show just for the damn fun of it. 😀

All the Things is about wellness, Middle Class American issues, landscaping adventures, power tools, fashion, beauty, mindset- all things solutions. All the Things is anything and everything but never boring. Creative nonfiction has always been my specialty when writing so I am challenging myself to shift over to more visual storytelling.

Each episode evolves as I learn more about visual and sound effects. The episodes become a living breathing item as the story comes to life and I can’t get enough. I actually hate being on camera and this is a great exercise to help me get over that. Looking forward to bringing you all kinds of solutions, tips and hacks as I shift away from the pen and expose decades of articles through the lens of a camera. Hope you enjoy!

All The Things

The 2 Best Products for Your Gut Happiness

When your gut is good your teeth are whiter, your eyes are brighter, your skin glows… There is so much more to gut health than gas, bloating and BM’s, okay? That is just one side of the ever-important, overly discussed gut health story.

Your belly’s bliss should be top priority. This does not mean giving up your favorite naughty love foods, however, this should mean implementing two incredible power tools of gut health supplements. I have personally taken a probiotic for years. Sometimes it would be paired with upper or lower GI spray, or caprylic acid capsule. Eventually I found the peas + carrots combo; the one -two punch of bacterial balancers.

If you already have a probiotic that you love then simply disregard this product. If you have been searching for you soulmate supplement then consider this 450 billion cfu capsule from Naturewise. The cfu count of the probiotic is a strong indicator of how potent your supplement is. This number is important because if it is too low then you are basically wasting your money. I have a STRONG need for gut bacteria stabilization since I have several autoimmune diseases. The 1 million cfu options are not going to help create any real change. Another number to note are the strains included. The Time Release Probiotic contains 30 strains. I have tested many supplement brands and for the past 3 years this is the one I have used. Luckily they are also very affordable, making it an attainable addition to your diet or regimen.

You can get this amazing probiotic HERE!

The next product is certainly the best teammate a probiotic ever had. Enzymes. They do things alone, but when combined and proportioned perfectly they help your belly feel at peace within just a couple weeks. Taken with each meal these petite pills aid in digestion by simply making it easier. Metagenics as a brand has never disappointed me and this supplement is no different. Featuring over ten enzymes and medium-chain triglycerides, broad spectrum digestive support is the name of this game. I seriously cannot recommend this product enough. I found both of these supplements on amazon and have not seen them anywhere else.

You can get the SpectraZyme Complete HERE!

I know it has been said over and over but your gut affects everything in your body. Your inflammation, mood, ability to absorb nutrients all depend on the right amount of GOOD gut bacteria. Please strongly consider these if you have been struggling with any issues of chronic inflammation.

Was this useful for you? Let me know in the comments!

Glow Up With Me

This is exactly the kind of thing that would have caused Old Me to roll my eyes. Glow Up. However after a deep dive into the realm of amnesia, memory loss and brain injury, I now see things a bit differently. This story will unveil the answers to questions such as

“Really? What is it? Why bother?”

Really? YES, REALLY! It is more than a trending cliché expression.

What is it? In short; a substantial life change that results in incredible personal or professional growth. Once you love and honor yourself, others can see it. You feel better and that means you look better too. It is hard to look fly when you feel fried. It can be hard to see your potential when your past may be cloaked with trauma and anguish.

TO GLOW UP IS TO MOVE BEYOND. IT REQUIRES DEDICATION AND SELF DEVOTION.

Maybe you had a wonderful childhood, perfect adolescence, flawless adulthood. If so, this is not for you. If you have been abused by anyone ever, friend, family or even a boss, (more on that specifically) it can really leave a damper on how you view yourself, talk to yourself, and how you perceive yourself. This is an inaccurate view that is unhealthy to indulge. It can harm your personal relationships, your professional opportunities and so much more. It can impact your self esteem and even cause your body to develop autoimmune diseases.

Trauma and stress lead to disease; plain and simple. Untreated psychological and emotional pain will not go unnoticed in the body. Don’t be afraid to expect more from you or your existence. Self improvement is never a regret.

How do you just turn a brand new, self loving leaf? This is where it gets interesting. It looks different for everyone. Here are a few options for you to utilize.

Growth-focused devotions. I have long been a lover of devotion books of all kinds. They pick me up and offer clarity at my lowest and most confused times. I have always used them so that is always my personal first stop on the train to Glow Up Town. If you do not get down that way then look for quotes about boundaries, self esteem or confidence. Save your favorites for a handy go to.

Love yourself with time. This is perfect because it is basically free. This time you devote to yourself can be for your forgotten hobby, learning something new, pampering yourself with a bath or home spa treatment, meditation, stretching or even a NAP. Yes, a nap absolutely counts if that is what you need. We are too driven by lists and societal pressures. Also please do not feel pressure to become perfect overnight. Another aspect of time equaling self love is the knowledge that glowing up takes time.

Own your time and guard it carefully. The very powerful practice of not giving your time away to those or the things that don’t deserve it. Your thoughts also fall under this category. Stressing the hours away is a form of repetitive thoughts is also putting energy where it doesn’t belong. I call these hamster wheel thoughts. These can be very loud if you are worried about money, your job, your family. Try taking this time to manifest the solution. Manifesting is a better use of time than worrying. Worrying rarely produces a solution.

Work out + align your values. This really helps when assessing and establishing boundaries. Keep a firm grip of what you value most and if something doesn’t align, then PLEASE toss it the hell out. Having a deep understanding of what really matters to you helps keep you on your ideal path. Some call this the path to your higher self but let’s just say your ideal path.

A note about self devotion-
This is not super common expression therefore let me elaborate. Self devotion is an absolute commitment to honoring yourself to the best of your abilities. It is deeper than self love. You are devoted to honoring yourself. This seems to be skipped over in conversations of massive self reflection and transformation. I don’t think you can glow up, transform or heal without a certain degree of self devotion. Contemplate what those words mean to you. If you are comfortable I would love for you to share in the comments!

Now is time for the story…

I underwent a four hour dental procedure in November of 2020. I was unable to form new memories well past March of 2021. I had 1 memory for January and 1 memory for February. Other than that I have no real idea what was going on. My photographs from that time do not jog because there is no memory. I forgot people, experiences, motivations. In March I though it was over and I was “done” with amnesia. I really don’t have any memories for several more months. I remember July 2021 and after. This obviously caused problems with my businesses but most importantly, I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I liked or what I valued. I had ideas of my values but nothing struck a chord. Nothing made me feel passion or joy. I was a shell.

COVID helped a lot of people realize what was important and who were the real friends. Amnesia was what showed me. People did not listen or care when I shared what I was going through. I decided if you couldn’t be there for me when I was going through something so bad as all out memory loss then I had no place for you in my future. That was when I really began to glow. Seriously. I had so many toxic and pointless relationships in my life that it was easy to let go of dismissive people. It was a literal pleasure. I did not cry over these people either. The new Grace was very “their loss” and moved on. This was a brand new occurrence for me. I had spent years of my life sacrificing myself to people who could care less. Was it my Southern hospitality upbringing or was I just so used to abuse? Either way, I washed my hands of expectations and pressures. I could write an entire book and how to reclaim yourself from assholes. After all, I have a lifetime of experience. I previously had no clue that I was living my life that way; not at all looking after number one. So I decided to undergo a last name change as many people do who have experienced a certain kind of trauma. I got a dash of my dream wardrobe that I may have always wanted. Who knows. I knew I had never worn ruffles a day in my life but suddenly I was down. Ruffles, bows, pink and lace. A total 180 from the business blazers and oxford loafers I had been sporting for years.

If you are still reading this, good for you! Let me share that your glow up may look completely different than you anticipated. Be sure to roll with it and not put yourself in the box of “who you were before”.

I knew people may be curious about why I changed or maybe they didn’t even notice…. either way ya know what I say? Who cares?

This next part may be seemingly insignificant but I promise, it isn’t. My instagram. In fact all my social media handles don’t feel right anymore. My personal instagram is filled with photos I don’t remember. I feel like it isn’t me and I just want to erase it. Delete it. Move on. I know this is an extreme thought for such an important and long term social account. I decided to just bleh it. I opened a different page that more aligns with my journey. I needed a new page for my new self. That was actually scary for me. I have waivered with commitment but I have decided to proceed. I like to take lots of time to contemplate and envision possibilities. I say with 100% conviction that I am ready to share my journey. If you want the up to date and current view of my existence then @glowupwithgracie is your destination.

So let’s recap my advances.

  1. crappy people out
  2. look like you feel (wardrobe)
  3. new last name
  4. new instagram

Thanks for reading.

Signs Your Blood Sugar May Be High

The holidays are especially laden with sweet treats.

Signs Your Blood Glucose Levels May Be High.

  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent Urination
  • Headaches
  • Blurred Vision
  • Brain fog/confusion
  • Nausea
  • Recurrent infections (such as yeast infections, are common)
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Loss of appetite
  • Adopt low inflammation eating habits

Of course these symptoms also cross over with nutrient deficiencies and symptoms of chronic illness but if you experience an onset of these symptoms, it could still be triggered by increased blood sugar.

What You Can Do Now

I don’t like to pose a problem without some solution. Here are a few things that you can do now to get your blood sugar back down.

  • Stop with the sweets for a moment
  • Increase water intake
  • Supplement with minerals to replenish the system
  • Limit the amount of fruit you eat for a couple weeks
  • No juice
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Balance your diet with the Glycemic Index Chart
  • Go gentle on the simple carbs

You do not have to take on all of these. This is just a list of your options if you choose to take action. Reducing sugar intake is always a fabulous idea. If the symptoms persist, it may be time to talk to a healthcare provider. It may be a good idea to discuss a CBC panel with your doctor.

Glycemic Index Chart

If you have been wanting to reduce your blood sugar levels then this is your list! Screenshot it hun, and reference all the time. It will become second nature in just weeks. TIP: Always ingest some form of protein to help balance out sugar snacks.

A SIMPLE PLAN:

WEEK 1: Only eat below 80
WEEK 2: Only eat MEDIUM Column
WEEK 3: Only eat below 60
WEEK 4: Only eat Low Column
WEEK 5: Congratulate yourself DARLING! You just lowered your blood sugar in 4 WEEKS!!! YAYYY!!!

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: What you need to know post diagnosis

Heavy muscles, sore bones and exhaustion and weakness that just won’t quit- yes, My Friend, you may have CFS.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a phenomenon that plagues millions of Americans. Seemingly possible to diagnose and with little offered in the way of treatment, it can be challenging to adapt to constant exhaustion. Being newly diagnosed can be depressing and lonely. Here are three ways to make the transition a teeny bit easier.

Top 3 Things To Do Now

  1. You now have to be extra aware of how you feel physically. Check in with yourself and be ready to tweak routines and habits that require too much energy. Tweaking your schedule to allot for your pain or fatigue will be the first and one of the most important aspects of your new reality. Do not wait until you have overdone it before implementing these changes. It will take time to assess what work best for you.
  2. Pain relief is major when it comes to CFS. Look for natural solutions. Pain is a constant of this disease and taking a liver or organ-destroying pain reliever everyday is simply not a good idea. Reserve Tylenol or Advil for super doooooper bad days. I recommend a CBD oil and topical or oral Arnica.
  3. Join groups on Facebook. There are so many groups for Autoimmune Disease, Chronic Illness and CFS. It may seem like you are not interested BUT having a community is very important. You have people to ask questions, vent to and also support. By joining a group you will feel less alone on this journey.

For more information on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome visit this post.