4 Real Human Hurdles

As a Tai Chi instructor I know firsthand that mindset is everything. I enjoy taking the time with my students or clients to help them first feel comfortable and confident.

I want you to also feel comfortable and confident in your life.

That is why I wanted to begin the year with the 4 biggest, realest* hurdles that humans face. All my clients from Nutrition to Tai Chi deal with at least some of these issues.
*I know this is grammatically incorrect, however I assure you it is otherwise correct.

As an unofficial kick off to the series, we start with triggers. Triggers can be the underlying cause of low self esteem, procrastination, low motivation and poor boundaries. Triggers are sneaky because we can walk around with them, heart on our sleeve style, and not even know they exist. The easiest to ignore, triggers are the unassuming motivation behind some of our unsavory behaviors. If you have ever found yourself blue after too long on social media- triggered. If you have ever found yourself on the floor of the kitchen eating ice cream- triggered. If you ever found yourself on a binder- triggered. This video helps us get to know our triggers so it is much easier to spot telltale signs or behaviors. This allows us more self awareness leading to a quicker turn around to emotional equilibrium.

Confidence was chosen first because everything in the world requires some degree of it. You cannot reach your potential in any area of life if you do not have the faith in yourself. Our self esteem is the basis for our perception, belief system and mindset. It is pretty important stuff and thus chosen as the foundation for this pillar series of videos and freebies.

Next on the list we roll on to procrastination. Knowing how to troubleshoot our own self destructive or less beneficial habits is a key to the most actualized existence. In this video we will be looking not only at solutions, but at analyzing our tasks and attitudes to feel continuously efficient. When things run efficiently we feel more in control and less anxious. When we are the wrench causing the clog, it leads to negative self talk and potential procrastination. Knowing how to address our tendency to put things off as well as the distractions at play, will only serve to empower you to revitalize your approach.

Motivation is like fuel for our soul. It is the bootstrap from which we pull ourselves. Motivation is crucial to maintaining perseverance, work ethic, life values and beat the rut kind of living. The ability to self motivate separates those who succeed from those who flounder. It is harsh but oh so true. When it comes to strategizing your mojo, this video will help deliver all the answers to keep your groove rolling.

As we head into the month of love, Boundaries top the list between the relationship with ourselves and our relationships with others. We wrap up the series discussing the one thing that defines how we spend our time, who we spend it with and the environments we tolerate. I am so excited to talk about this personal favorite topic of mine. Boundaries serve as insurance or guardrails to protect us. The better our healthy boundaries, the better our relationships with ourselves and others.

Hope these topics help you flourish this year and reach your highest potential in the years to come!
Blessings to you!

See the Videos here!
Tackle Those Triggers
How to be a Confidence Connoisseur FREEBIE

Tackle Your Triggers + Grow!

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

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.


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: An Antique + Sucky Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been floating around under a various names and assumptions for almost two hundred years. Yet we still do not know enough about it.

A Short History

In the 19th century an illness with Chronic Fatigue-like symptoms was first noted. Later disputed and labeled as psychiatric issues (Spoiler Alert: This happened a lot, even still to this day). In 1950’s pathology findings it was concluded that the illness was caused by inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

Even still the 1960’s and 70’s saw plenty of blame placed on psychosis and depression. New light was finally shed when Hippocrates magazine referred to CF symptoms as “Raggedy Ann Syndrome” to note the exhaustion and muscle weakness. Research gained speed but still through the 90’s the findings in medical journals were refuted. Arguments ensued, journal essays were redacted and no one could agree on anything.

In 2006 the CDC recognized CFS as a serious illness and launched an awareness campaign in June of that year.

Some Quick Nitty Gritty

A virus is the probable cause but in my professional opinion, Mitochondrial Dysfunction is a huge problem caused by the virus. You do not have to know science, I will explain this part- the Mitochondria, in short, is super important for our bodies to make energy. Let me drop some Mitochondrial knowledge on you real quick. 🙂

The Mayo Clinic Explanation

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and that can’t be fully explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.

The Diagnosis

There are currently no tests for diagnosis. Without abnormalities in the blood results, doctors are often left either scratching their heads or even telling the patient that there is in fact nothing wrong. This makes a strain on the doctor lacking proper diagnosis or treatment. The patient has it even worse as they leave without answers and without hope.

***If you have recently been diagnosed with CFS you may be interested in this post.

Sweetzels Cookie Hack

Here is a recommended recipe from a Philadelphia native, found in the New York Times and listed as Swedish Ginger Cookies. A close runner up I was told. I was also informed that 2 batches were made. A thick and a thin. I was told the thin was better, for the record.


2 sticks soft unsalted butter
1.5 c sugar
3 tbsp Molasses
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk
3 1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cloves
*all spices are ground*


1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar and molasses until mixture is light and smooth. Add egg and milk, blending well. In a separate bowl mix together the soda, salt, spices and flour. With mixer on low speed gradually beat the flour mixture INTO the butter mixture. Beat just till combined. Remove and knead with your hands, divide into 2 pieces. Wrap both in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour or up to 2 days.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degress. Line 4 cookie sheets with parchment or foil. Remove dough from fridge one package at a time. Let it soften just a bit if it is not malleable.

3. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough 1/8 to 1/4 inches thick. Dip cookie cutters into flour and make the shapes. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 9 – 11 minutes until set. Remove sheets from oven and let stand for one minute. Transfer cookies to cooling racks. Let cool completely before storing or stuffing your face.

4. Store cookies in single layers, separated by sheets of wax paper. Store at room temperature in metal tins or heavy duty foil for up to a week. But we both know they will not last that long.


A Secret of Pennsylvania

How does one truly define the essence of Autumn? In America, it can pretty much be summed up in two words:


This phenomenon hits people in more ways than a latte. It transcends a coffee flavor and far beyond candles and breads. So what does this have in relation to Pennsylvania? Well, if you have not been paying much attention, Pennsylvania is the home to numerous amounts of incredible snack foods. The best pretzels, Snyders; the best chips, Herrs or Utz, depending who you ask (Utz Crab Chips are the best); the classic chocolate company, Hershey; just for a few choice examples. Honestly Pennsylvania is Snack Country.

No snack food will ever turn me into a monster roaming the house looking for food except cookies. I had been on the wagon for months. As long as I don’t imbibe with cookies I remain on good standing, guilt free sugar intake.

Then family came to town. Fresh out of the car from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, arrives my man’s mother and pops. I hear her repeatedly bring up these cookies she brought for him. I continued to ignore the situation. I was not falling of the wagon. I heard about the cookies, knew they were open somewhere in the house and I remained steadfast. Until the metaphorical wagon hit a pothole, and I went tumbling off. Back off gingersnaps, you are no….


Heavily spiced, and dense wafers with Blackstrap Molasses. I will never be the same.

The origin of Pumpkin Spice craze starts with Pennsylvania. I had no idea these cookies were a thing. Many of us are ignorant to anything outside of Ginger Snaps. Well let me tell you, we have been missing out!

Are you an Ivin’s or a Sweetzles family? This answer matters greatly, apparently as it has been relayed to me. They only grace the shelves of groceries for two months; October and November. Then as quickly as the leaves fall, the cookies disappear along with the red and yellows of the trees. They are a PS commodity.

There are only three cookies of this particular genre. The others that I have googled have been thin and wafer-esque. This also applies to the Williams Sonoma Moravian Spice Cookie. The one exception is Stauffers Original Pumpkin Spice Snaps, which I now have to try. Whatever I ingested can only be described as an Autumn Shortbread cookie. It is dense enough to actually fill you up. Luckily this helps balance the gorge worthy flavor profile. I suppose one could say it is in the “Moravian Cookie” family but much more hefty than the traditional. Naturally this means it is best paired with coffee, tea or more traditionally, apple cider.

Now back to the Rivalry

See the source image
See the source image

Ivin’s is the OG. It came first and without me having tried them I do not get to have an opinion. I do not believe it is in my best interest to have anymore of these cookies. But what I do know is that Acme Supermarkets bought Ivin’s and contracted Sweetzles to produce them. Don’t worry, they kept the recipes separate. I suppose this is so the people in Pennsylvania can still argue over which is better.

All I know is that shortly after the family left, a shipment of Sweetzles came to the house that I may or may not have instigated the purchase of. It only seemed fair since we had not partaken in Girl Scout Cookies for a couple years- ok maybe it was just 2020 but still.

Also, if you have ever found yourself pondering the intricacies of Autumnal spices you may want to read the Spice Showdown.

“Sweetzels® is a household name in Philadelphia. Mention warm apple cider, a glowing fire, or pumpkin picking on the farm, and you’ll have any East Coast native craving a box of our original Spiced Wafers. Family owned and operated Sweetzels has been baking and packaging all of our products in the United States for over 100 years.” Sweetzels is based in Flourtown. Yes, Flourtown, PA. Is that not over the top cute? I mean, COME ON!

Ginger Snap VS Spiced Wafer

As I mentioned earlier, the spiced wafer has a much more dramatic flavor profile. This sets the stage for ginger snaps to suddenly become lack luster. Poor guys. I implore you to treat yourself to the epitome of the Autumn essence and have a delivery sent to your house too. Maybe not six boxes but no less than 2! One bite and instant visions of large, colorful Maple leaves, carved pumpkins and quaint Northeastern towns will flood the mind. Enjoy!

PS- Here is a recipe for a Sweetzels hack. I have yet to try it but I have it on very good authority that it is legit. DIY Spiced Wafers

Happy Fall!