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Dealing with Long Term Grief and Coping with the Loss of a Loved One

Today’s blog post will be a personal one as today marks the 16th death anniversary of my grandma (or Ba as I called her). I knew I would always miss her, but dealing with long-term grief was not something I fully accounted for. 

I started this blog to post helpful tutorials, advice, and tips about everything self-fulfilling, creative and healthy. I think that while we should strive for a positive outlook, life is filled with ups and downs. Grief is a natural part of life and it should not be put into a corner. 

It is perfectly normal to grieve the loss of a loved one over time. There is no expiration on grief and it will come in waves. 

My Zaver Ba

My grandmother, Zaver Ba (the Gujarati word for grandmother) was my rock. She moved to the US from a small village in India a little before I was born and she lived with us in CT until she died. 

I don’t have enough words to say how grateful and lucky I am to have spent so much time with this kind, gentle, woman. She raised my sister and me while my parents worked long hours. She played every game we could think of and watched all of the 90s TV shows we us. Even though she barely understood English.

She only wanted to spend time with us. She held our hands for our hours when we were sick, yelled at anyone who mistreated us, and taught us about our Hindu culture and traditions. 

She was a strong and smart woman who learned to change with times.

Born in 1912 in pre-Independence India, she grew up in a poor household in Gujarat, India. She was orphaned at a young age, as well as married at 12 to a much older man. Due to the Spanish Influenza wiping out the population in India, my great-grandfather made the decision to marry his daughters off so that they would be provided for in the event of his death. 

My grandmother dealt with a lot in her early life. Though she never once complained about her life to me or others in her later years. She was happy with the way her life shaped out, her 7 children who settled in America with a growing brood of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

She had a simple mindset. Do good, think positive, and live by our Hindu Gods’ moral ethics. She was deeply devout and prayed for hours daily. You could always find her chanting Hindu hymns while she got her daily steps in or reading from the Bhagavad Gita. She found happiness in simplicity and it was so beautiful to see how content she was. 

A Loss I was Not Ready For

I was 18 when my grandmother passed away. It was my sophomore year of college and I’ll never forget that dreaded phone call from my dad. My grandmother was in excellent health at 90. She practiced yoga every morning up until a couple of days before she passed. She had been ready to go for some time, telling us she lived a great time and when time is time, she would embrace it. 

But, I was not ready. I was embarking on a new journey away from my home and I lost the person who raised me. It was a huge blow that took years to recover from. 

That is the thing about grief. It comes in waves and can hit you when you least expect it. Most days I am fine talking about my grandmother, telling strangers about the lovely memories we shared. 

But, then there are milestones that trigger an avalanche of feelings. Coping with the loss of a loved one as you move through life’s major events is difficult. I wanted to hug her when I graduated college, I wanted to call her when I moved across the country to LA, I wanted to see her smile when I told her I got my first job at a major movie studio. 

Every achievement and life event came with the realization that there was a person missing in my life. A hole that cannot be filled. 

I got married a couple of weeks ago and it really hit hard that my grandma was not at the ceremony. She would’ve been so ecstatic to see this day. She probably would’ve grabbed a duffle bag and started dancing with it like a drum. She was always the playful one. 

Dealing with Long-Term Grief 

There’s no easy answer to this question. For me, it’s about honoring my grandmother’s memory, living a life she would be proud of, and being happy. 

I know that is all she would have wanted for me. She would not want me to be sad about her loss. She would want me to build upon what she taught me, and to grow every day. 

I take comfort in knowing that she is still a huge part of my life, through my personality and actions. She instilled values in me that will never disappear. 

Everyone deals with grief differently and there is no right or wrong way to handle your feelings. My sister writes a birthday card to my grandmother every year and keeps her sweater as a security blanket. 

I keep a framed photo of my grandma and me from my childhood on my office desk as a daily reminder of an unconditional bond. 

Celebrating Your Loved One

Every year on my grandmother’s death anniversary, I wake up with heavy sadness. It takes me longer to get out of bed and to move through my day. 

The one constant that I have kept up with every year is to pay a tribute to her on social media. Every year I write a post with memories, stories and little tidbits. I love these posts as it lets me reflect back on things I may have forgotten. It also lets me celebrate the woman my grandma was. I love sharing about her, it’s one of the easiest things to do. 

Today, I shared some fun memories: 

  • Zaverba fueled my love for horror. I am obsessed with all things supernatural even though it scares the crap out of me. My grandmother started this fascination by telling me ghost stories when I was young. Some were tales that she heard from others and some were true stories. The one that sticks in my mind was the time she told me my grandfather seemed possessed by a ghost and started speaking in different voices. She promptly called the village priest to perform an exorcism.
  • Despite living in a foreign country where she barely knew the language, she was confident. However, there were times when she would get really scared. When I was a baby, the fire alarm went off (a sound she was unaware of and had no idea what to do). She grabbed me and ran down the street to an Indian neighbor’s house. We laugh about it now, but she must’ve been so terrified. And, this was before cell phones. 
  • My grandmother loved everyone and never saw any difference in people regarding race, class, gender. During Pre and Post Independence in India, Muslims were persecuted in Gujarat (this is a lot of Hindu/Muslim fighting that happens). My grandmother had Muslim friends she loved. She gave them Hindu clothing and hid them so they would not be harassed and killed. She is definitely someone to look up to. 

Moving Forward

As I get older, I’m more aware of the memories I will build without my grandmother. It’s been 16 years and there will be more years added to that number. I’ll always miss her and will probably deal with long-term grief my whole life. 

This is okay. 

I know that she would want me to live a happy and healthy life. And, I will keep doing that. 

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How to Make Personalized Vinyl Decals with Cricut

Have you seen those cute personalized vinyl decals and thought, “Hey, I want to try to make this at home?” 

Well, you can with this beginner-friendly DIY guide!

Personalizing items is so much fun! It’s probably one of my favorite DIY Cricut projects. In this free tutorial, you’ll learn how to make personalized vinyl decals with Cricut that you can use to decorate any item you want!

Why should you make personalized vinyl decals?

You can use these name decals to personalize coffee mugs, wine glasses, and much more! They are great for jazzing up drinkware in your home. This past new year’s I made my own 2021 champagne flutes and didn’t have to buy them!

They’re also great for bachelorette and wedding DIY projects. Creating custom gifts is so easy. 

Personally, I also sell these on my Etsy store and I have sold many of these worldwide. 

What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!

How to Make Personalized Vinyl Decals With Cricut

Supplies List: 


There are many types of vinyl out there and what you use will change based on your project. I use Oracle 651 for my permanent vinyl projects and Oracle 631 for temporary vinyl. These types of vinyl work with hard surfaces such as glass. 

Oracle 651 brand is great to work with and it can be used outside as well. For this tutorial, I used Oracle 651 in gold

Note: Oracle 651 is not an iron-on vinyl. This won’t work with T-shirts and fabric. 

Transfer Tape

Transfer tape is used to remove your personalized vinyl decal from its carrier paper to help you transfer it to your project surface. 


Cricut Mat


A weeder is used to help you remove the excess bits from the carrier paper. 


When you first start out with creating your personalized vinyl decals in Cricut, you want to stick to clear legible fonts and larger sizes. As you get more comfortable, you can move to a cursive font. This is because smaller fonts and scripts are delicate and harder to weed. It requires more expertise and patience. 


Open a new project in Design Space:

how to make personalized vinyl decals in circut design space

Click the text box from the left-hand panel:

how to add text in cricut design space

Write your desired name. For this tutorial, I’m using my name (Bindi). 

how to make personalized vinyl decals in cricut design space

Change font in the top panel. For beginners, first, start with an easy thick font.  Once you get comfortable with the process, you can experiment with other fonts. I chose Arial and Bold for style. 

how to change font in circut design space

Next, we will change our size. 3 inches width is the smallest size you should go with as a beginner. Note that if your name is long, it will appear smaller as it will have less height than a shorter name. Here are some examples of how names change based on character length. It’s important to take this into account when you are determining the width size. 

how to change text width in cricut design space

Here is the name Alexandra with a width of 3 inches. You can see it’s a much smaller font to make it fit. 

cricut design space, longer character names have shorter height compared to shorter character names

Once you have your text the size and font you want,  set the color to match your vinyl.  I changed mine to gold. 

how to change color in cricut design space

Select Make it in the right corner.  

how to make personalized vinyl decals with cricut

On the next page choose the size of your vinyl.  Mine is 12 x 12. Move to next page.  

how to make personalized vinyl decals in cricut design space

Change the dial on your Cricut to Vinyl. 

Load your mat and hit the flashing C to cut your project. 

Once Cricut finishes. Cut the name from the sheet of vinyl and start weeding. 

How to Weed a Vinyl Decal:

Using your weeder, carefully lift the edges of the vinyl up. Use the weeder to help peel away the excess material. 


Sometimes, you may see some cutting problems with Cricut depending on the type of vinyl you use.  

I have had issues with Paper Studio and Glitter vinyl not cutting through because they are thicker.  In these instances, you will need to experiment.

You can increase the cut pressure by selecting custom on your dial and browse materials.

how to change material settings in cricut

Play around with the settings and add multi-cut if needed.  

how to change material settings in cricut

I’ve also found success with the Iron-On setting.  

When you are ready to apply to a surface, apply transfer tape to the decal. 

Vinyl Application Instructions:

  1. Clean the application surface area with alcohol or soap & water. Dry thoroughly.
  2. Using a squeegee or credit card, press firmly on the back of decal to ensure that the decal sticks to the application transfer paper (clear tape).
  3. Peel the paper backing away from the decal very slowly. If the decal is still on the carrier paper, using credit card again to firmly rub until decal lifts on to transfer paper completely. Go slow and press firmly from all directions. 
  4. Apply decal to cleaned and dry area, pressing firmly using squeegee or credit card to adhere decal to application surface. Be sure to go slowly to avoid any bubbles. It’s best to start pressing from the center outward.

Vinyl Decal Aftercare and How to Seal Your Vinyl Decal: 

Please note that your item after the vinyl application is NOT microwave or dishwasher safe. You can handwash your items for maximum longevity. 

If you would like your vinyl decal surfaces to be microwave and dishwasher safe, there are some things you can do to seal the vinyl.

  • Epoxy Resin:
    • This is one of the more popular methods to seal vinyl. Vinyl stays put and resin keeps the decal’s vibrant colors. 
    • The downside is that epoxy resin is toxic and very tough to handle. Using this method requires a lot of preparation and time. Follow proper instructions and make sure to use gloves and a ventilating respirator mask to avoid breathing fumes. 
    • This tutorial is a great resource if you’re looking to use this method. 
  • Mod Podge:  
    • Mod Podge is dishwasher and microwave safe is used to paint over your decal surface. 
    • This sealant is water-based so it is non-toxic.
  • Spray Sealant: 
    • A spray sealant helps with building an even coating on your surface. You’ll need a liquid polyurethane spray. 
    • Use in a well-ventilated area and wear proper masks. 
    • This is a good sealant spray. 
  • Crystalac Brite Tone
    • This is a great epoxy alternative as it’s non-toxic. 
    • It goes on in thin layers so it can take time to build-up to the thickness you like. 

Hope you enjoyed this step-by-step guide to make personalized vinyl decals with Cricut. How did your decals turn out? Comment below or tag your photos on Instagram – @By.Bindi. I would love to see your creations. 




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New Blog Traffic Analysis: 1 Month Review (Jan 2021- Feb 2021)

new blog traffic analysis

It’s been a month since I started this blog. I’d wanted to create a blog for years but was never consistent with it. I had so many ideas, but no follow-through. Flash forward to 2021: now I’m 1 month into this blog. With 30 days behind me, I wanted to take the time to write up some new blog traffic analysis

Why I started this Blog

As cliche as it is, in the new year I wanted to give something a shot. So, I looked to blogging. This time I went in more equipped with a theme for the blog as well as research on how to succeed. My goal for this blog is to provide free resources for people to help them in their everyday life and to monetize it so that I can have more passive income. 

new blog traffic analysis

After working in a corporate job for 6 years, I realized that I don’t want to be chained to a desk. I’m too creative to live the same day twice. I want the flexibility to live life on my terms. Also thinking about the future, my husband and I want to start a family. It would be great to build an income online where I can work from home. I also want to supplement my Etsy store. 

So, I set about on a journey to see if I can make some money blogging and how long it would take. 

I want to document my blogging journey for myself as well as others to show realistic new blog traffic analytics. 

New Blog Traffic Analysis: Month 1

I started this blog in January 2021 with my first blog post on Jan 9 (How to Make Reusable Crochet Face Scrubbies in 10 minutes).

As someone who loves arts and crafts and living a healthy, non-toxic lifestyle I decided to focus my blog around the theme of mind, body, and soul. I want to provide creative tutorials, positive guidance for self-improvement, and healthy DIY recipes. 

Everything I read said to narrow down a niche. But, I just can’t limit myself to one thing. Thinking long term, I am genuinely interested in bettering myself on all three fronts so I’m going to make that my theme and write around that. 

This may turn out to be too big of a playing field, but time will tell. 

How to Start a Blog Research

I was/am relatively new to the blogging game so I decided to read as much as I can. I devoured articles on the following topics: 

I dove right in and set up an Amazon Affiliate account, even though I had zero page views. I also submitted for Google AdSense but was rejected. After more research, it looks like Google Adsense prefers websites that are over 3 months old and have proven traffic. 

Looks like I jumped the gun there. For any new bloggers out there, I suggest doing research on Google Adsense eligibility before submitting. There are a lot of good resources out there, such as this one.

new blog traffic analysis

I quickly learned that blogging is a long-term project. To see traffic and ad revenue, you need at least 50-70 posts. So, I set about writing daily. 

Month 1 Review: 

I wrote 7 blog posts my first month. I didn’t hit my goal of writing a post every day, but I also got married, so I’m giving myself some slack there! 

These 7 posts break down as follows: 

January 9 2021: How to Make Reusable Crochet Face Scrubbies

January 15, 2021: Using Non-Toxic Remedies for Cold Sores

January 25, 2021: Top 10 Self-Care Ideas for a Happier Life

January 26, 2021: How to Make Confetti Hearts with Cricut

January 28, 2021: Cook and Workout: 5 Minute Veggie Quesadilla Workout (With Recipe)

January 31, 2021: 50 Journal Prompts for Success

February 4, 2021: 5 DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes with Essential Oils

There was one week where I wrote 4 blog posts. That momentum felt great, but it was hard to keep it going when I spent 2 weeks of the month traveling for my wedding. I found that writing every day is a tough goal and I want to now aim for 3-4 posts a week. 

The hard part about blogging is staying consistent and the #1 reason why new blogs fail is giving up. I want to make sure I maintain consistency without burning out. 

new blog traffic analysis

Month 1 New Blog Traffic Analysis

Now for the nitty-gritty numbers. They are pretty dismal as I am just gearing up. I’m only using Pinterest to market my posts. I may add a Twitter to supplement the marketing down the road. 

Here is the overview from Jan 9 – Feb 9. 

New blog traffic analysis

As you can see, the spikes correlate to consistent blogging. The week where I posted 4 blog posts was my most viewed week. This is good to know for the future. 

Here is a summary of page views by the article: 

New blog traffic analysis

Here is a summary of page views for the month: 

New blog traffic analysis

A total of 28 users visited my blog with 270 monthly views. This roughly breaks down to 9 visits per day. I have a long way to go to reach my goal of 100 views per day. 

Page Views and Blog Post Word Counts

In my blog research, I came across a lot of advice suggesting to write 1,500 to 2,000 words for blog posts. Longer blog posts have a better chance of appearing higher in Google searches because the posts are better optimized. I did aim for higher word counts, but I was not able to hit a 2k word post this month. 

Here are the word counts for my 7 blog posts for January 2021: 

How to Make Reusable Crochet Face Scrubbies(643 words)

Using Non-Toxic Remedies for Cold Sores (420 words)

Top 10 Self-Care Ideas for a Happier Life  (1126 words)

How to Make Confetti Hearts with Cricut (486 words)

Cook and Workout: 5 Minute Veggie Quesadilla Workout (With Recipe) (1032 words)

50 Journal Prompts for Success (541 words)

5 DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes with Essential Oils (1385 words)

I had 3 articles over 1k words and 4 that were under. My highest views article was 5 DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes with Essential Oils at 36 page views. This was also the article with the most words.

Looks like high wordcount blog posts do result in more page views. 

Blog Revenue and Monthly Cost Breakdown: 

new blog traffic analysis

In month 1 of my blog, I made $0 in revenue. This is okay as I wasn’t expecting to make anything the first month since I need to build the foundation. Right now I’m aiming for some revenue within 3-6 months. As long as I hit the target, I’ll be on track!

Here are my costs to run the blog: 

Total: $44.94

What’s next for this blog?

Based on month 1 new blog traffic analysis, I have learned some things that I want to implement for month 2. 

Month 2 Goals: 

  • Post 3-4 times a week
  • Have minimum 11 posts for the month
  • Stay consistent with marketing on Pinterest
  • Write at least one 2k word blog post

I’m excited to see what month 2 has in store for me! Have any tips or guidance for a new blogger? Comment below!





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11 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off: A Newbie’s Guide to Weightloss Concepts

11 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off, A Newbie's Guide to Weightloss Concepts

Before my 30s, I never gained weight. I could eat anything and everything. And I did. It didn’t matter that my cholesterol climbed because I maintained weight. I never had to search “how to lose weight and keep it off.”

Then my 30s hit, and my metabolism disappeared. I quickly put on 20+ pounds in a matter of two months.

My diet was atrocious. Bags of chips and dip daily, cakes, cookies, fast food, and coke. You name it; I ate it. I also was sedentary, and I knew nothing about nutrition or working out. I had a gym membership that I used maybe once a year. I was a vegetarian who rarely ate fruits and vegetables, and I drank two glasses of water a day.

how to lose weight and keep it off

Suffering from health issues and general overall crappiness, I embarked on a journey to change my lifestyle and learned quite a bit along the way.

Here are 11 ways to lose weight and keep it off

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!

1.) Find your BMR

Basal metabolic rate or BMR is the number of calories your body burns in a day to keep it alive. It would be the bare minimum you would need if you did nothing but sit all day. There are many free BMR calculators available online.

BMR is an important number to consider in weight loss as many people overestimate what they burn in a day, which leads to overeating and weight gain.

how to lose weight and keep it off, invest in a fitness tracker

It doesn’t matter which one you get, but it helps track how many calories you burn in a day. This number will be different than your BMR as it will consider daily activities. If you are sedentary (desk job), then your calorie burn will be lower vs. an active person, such as a waitress.

For a week, wear the tracker and go about your day as usual. At the end of the week, note how many calories you burn in a day. Let’s say, for example, you end up with an average of 2000 calories.

Eating anything more than 2000 calories in a day will lead to weight gain.

I use a Fitbit to track my activity levels. I’ve had it for 2 years now and I absolutely love it. You can track your calories, food intake, compete with friends and family through walking challenges and track your sleep and heart levels. It’s a pretty great tool for fitness and health maintenance. 

how to lose weight and keep it off, calorie deficit

A caloriedeficit is the only way to lose weight. You don’t need fancy diets or pills to lose weight. Pretty much every fad diet works because it’s putting you in a deficit. Paleo, keto, whole 30, intermittent fasting, all work through a deficit.

It’s a simple equation. If you consume more than you burn, you will gain weight. If you eat less than you burn, you will lose weight.

It is important to note that a calorie deficit is controlled starvation to achieve a specific weight goal.

How does calorie deficit work?

It takes 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound per week. To lose that in a week, you would need a deficit of 500 calories a day.

For our example, a person that burns 2000 calories a day will need to eat 1500 calories a day to lose a pound weekly.

Slashing calories is one way to lose weight. Adding a fitness regimen can increase caloric burn during and post-workout. This expends how much you burn in a day, thus making it easier to stay in a deficit.

For example, if you walk for 30 minutes and burn about 150 calories, you’ve increased your daily burn to 2150. Subtract 500, and now you can eat 1650 calories and still lose a pound weekly.

When starting any fitness regimen, it’s essential to start slow and be consistent. You might not see changes right away, but you definitely will if you keep at it.

I started my journey by walking 30 minutes daily. From there, I switched to 30 minutes of cardio three times a week, then five days a week, and now I work out six days a week with a combination of weight training, walking, and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

how to lose weight and keep it off

Fitness should not feel like punishment. For you to stay consistent, you have to like it. Find something that interests you. It could be group classes, dancing, weight training, or cardio. If you get bored, change a bit up. Don’t do something because you feel like you have to.

Also, permitting you are able, continue to challenge your body as your fitness levels increase. Doing 30 minutes of cardio at the same speed for six months won’t have the same effect as adding resistance or increasing speed.The body adapts to stimuli meaning it gets more efficient the more you do it. You will, in turn, burn less than you think.

There are many resources online if you need ideas for workouts. Free workouts are all over YouTube and Instagram. Follow personal trainers. If you have the money, invest in a gym membership and or trainer. Sometimes having somebody watch over you and push you out of your comfort zone is something you might need.

how to lose weight and keep it off, get a calorie tracking app

It’s effortless to overeat calories. One tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories. A tablespoon of peanut butter has approx 90 calories. A whole avocado is a whopping 300+ calories. Yes, all of these are healthy, but eating too much of any will lead to weight gain.

Using a fitness tracking app takes the guesswork out of it. It can be annoying to track your food, but it gets more comfortable with time, and it’ll become a habit.

Apps such as Myfitnesspal can even be linked to fitness trackers such as Fitbitor Apple Watch. Calorie tracking apps also can show you breakdowns of what nutrients you are getting. This can help you become more attuned to your diet and reveal any deficiencies.

On a calorie deficit, you can pretty much eat anything and lose weight if you consume less than you burn. Yes, that means you can eat 1–2 bags of chips a day and lose 1 pound a week.

That doesn’t mean you should eat anything and everything.

Junk food is high in calories and low in nutrients, thus less satisfying and will lead to overeating. We all know eating chips is like eating air.

One way to stay satiated is by eating a high protein and high fiber diet. Protein and fiber will keep you fuller longer, and both are low-calorie. Meaning you can eat more and stay within your calorie budget.

how to lose weight and keep it off, eat fiber

The average person needs a minimum of 25 g fiber per day, and most are getting far less. Some high fiber foods are lentils, legumes, broccoli, and oats. When building your plate, try to add a fruit or vegetable and a healthy protein source. For fats, only focus on the healthiest ones over saturated and trans fats.

Water is also underrated. Most of us are walking around severely dehydrated, and often hunger is mistaken for dehydration. Drinking a glass of water before and after a meal keeps not only keeps your body working as it should, it also helps you stay fuller longer, which is essential when you’re trying to stay in a deficit.

how to lose weight and keep it off, drink water

Water is always a better choice than sugary drinks such as coke and even juices. A lot of those drinks have empty calories, meaning you are adding calories to your daily budget, and you’ll be left hungry. If you currently drink a lot of soda in a day, try swapping it out for water. You will experience overall clarity, fewer sugar spikes and lose weight.

how to lose weight and keep it off, one step at a time

Too often, people want to lose weight in an unreasonable timeframe. If it took me two months to gain 20 pounds, there’s no way I’m losing it in a week.

In actuality, it took me nearly six months to lose it, and I’ve kept it off for a year. The tortoise was definitely onto something.

Of course, I wanted to lose it fast. My jeans didn’t fit, and I wanted to change that now. But, I knew quickly wouldn’t be sustainable in the long run.

Instead, I focused on really paying attention to how I was fueling my body as I maintained a steady pound loss weekly. It wasn’t always easy. Some weeks I hit my goal whereas others, I stayed stagnant. But, I didn’t quit. It’s important to note that weight loss is not a downward linear path. There will be ups and downs, but over time it will be downwards if you’re consistent.

I read and researched whatever I could about healthy foods. I started to incorporate different recipes into my diet, focusing on nutrient-dense foods. Every week during a grocery shopping trip, I bought at least three mixed vegetables. I searched recipes specifically for these items to keep them interesting.

how to lose weight and keep it off, eat healthy

Along with nutrition, I learned about different exercises and ways to target the whole body. There’s a misconception that you can spot reduce by training a particular body part. Fatloss happens all over your body, and there’s no way to tell where it will come off. Therefore, doing crunches won’t make you lose your belly fat, nor will lunges make your thighs slimmer.

However, those exercises combined with others over time will gradually help with weight loss, which in turn will slim you everywhere.

The other benefit with slow and steady is that it will lead to sustainable habits. It takes time to create a schedule and lifestyle you can stick to.If you do something for over three months versus two weeks, it most likely will become second nature. This will lead to maintaining weight instead of gaining it back.

The number 1 way to stick to healthy eating is to enjoy what you eat. Healthy eating does not need to be boring. Usually, people hear a healthy lifestyle and think a few sticks of celery and carrots.

If you like pasta, you can still eat pasta. Carbs will not make you fat. Overeating more calories of pasta than you burn in a day will make you gain weight.

how to lose weight and keep it off, eat your favorite foods in a healthy way

Find better alternatives to traditional pasta. For example, regular pasta doesn’t offer much in terms of protein or fiber. But, lentil pastas are rich in both. I like the Banza brand that are made out of chickpeas. There are even versions for mac and cheese that are very good. And, an added bonus of extra protein!

If you like ice cream, try a frozen banana mixed with Greek yogurt and berries. Regular chocolate can be replaced with dark chocolate, and peanut butter can be substituted for oil-free PB powder.

Finding creative ways to eat what you like can be fun and satisfying. You’ll stick to your goals and still feed your cravings. We live in a significant era where Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook offer many recipe options.

Stick to wholesome foods that have ingredients you can pronounce. There are way too many additives and chemicals in our diet. Natural foods are better for overall health and weight loss.

Packaged foods tend to be lower in nutrition, which could lead to overeating as your body won’t be satiated.

When it’s possible, try to find simpler foods. For example, sprouted wheat bread in lieu of enriched white bread. Or better yet, shop at farmer’s markets to get freshly baked breads. And, you’ll also support small businesses, which is a win-win.

Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too. In moderation. When I was actively trying to lose weight, I never restricted any food group. I also enjoyed eating out sporadically. This is because heavy restrictions can’t be sustained over time and will lead to binge eating.

How to lose weight and keep it off, enjoy your cheat meals in moderation

Healthy eating can be sustained with an 80/20 rule. Follow healthy habits 80% of the time, and 20% of the time, enjoy what you want to. This could mean eating a piece of chocolate with dinner or Taco Bell for lunch one day.

I found that with time, I naturally stopped craving sugar and salty foods. I still eat cookies and chips now and then, but nowhere near the outrageous amounts I previously scarfed down.

Adding treats and cheat meals to your week also keeps your metabolism in check. As mentioned before, a calorie deficit is controlled by starvation. Your body will start holding onto calories to protect itself, and you might stall your progress. Adding more calories here and there can help the process along.

Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, is notorious for posting his cheat meals on Instagram.  He happily enjoys his cookies and pizza once in a while, and still maintains his gains.

At the end of the day, none of this is punishment. If you add negative feelings to food groups, it’ll affect your relationship with food. Focusing on healthy eating is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle. Also, enjoying a treat or high-calorie meal here and there won’t screw up your hard work. Don’t beat yourself up if you overeat one day. The next day is a new day to start over.

how to lose weight and keep it off, ditch the scale and take measurements

The scale is not everything. It is a data point when you are trying to lose weight, but we are often emotionally tied to it. If the number goes up, our mood changes. If it goes down, we’re happy. This can fuel disordered eating as well as depression. You are so much more than a number on a scale, and a healthy weight looks different on everyone.

There are so many reasons why the scale goes up and down — water retention, hormones, overeating sodium, and much more. Progress photos taken once a week or month can keep you stay focused on the gains you make. As with measurements as well. These are tangible ways to see that the time and investment you put in for your body are working.

Losing weight is a process, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Whether you want to lose 20, 50, or 100 pounds, start with small steps that work within your schedule. A 10-minute walk one week or hummus and veggies instead of a cookie. As you become more comfortable, you can do more.

People generally quit because they attempt too much too quickly and then get frustrated when results don’t happen overnight, or they get burnt out.

Small, consistent steps will lead to continued progress. Trust the process and know that you can achieve your goals.

Hope these 11 ways to lose weight and keep it off help you on your weight-loss journey!

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17 Inspirational Self-Love Quotes to Improve Mental Clarity and Confidence

Inspirational Self-Love Quotes

February is the month of love. While we categorize couple’s in love and basking in Galentine’s love, we also need to make time for self-love. Making yourself a priority will help you be the best version of yourself, leading to a happier and healthier life experience.

I’ve gathered these 17 inspirational self-love quotes to help improve mental clarity whenever you need a little pick me up. 

Inspirational Self-Love Quotes

How Can Self-Love Quotes Inspire You? 

Practicing self-love improves your self-esteem and mental clarity. Often, we are our own worst critics. The toxic things we say in our minds about ourselves, we never would dare utter to another person. 

You work hard and spend time thinking about everyone around you. It’s important to take time out of your day to celebrate yourself and your accomplishments. 

Quotes are great reminders to be kinder to ourselves. Ways to use self-love quotes: 

  • Pin them to your phone for easy access. You’ll be able to look at them on the go whenever you need a little self-love reminder. 
  • Print them out or write them down on a sticky pad. Place the quotes around your home where you will come across them: bathroom mirror, fridge, and nightstand. 
  • Share your favorite ones with friends and spread self-love. 
  • Create a collage of quotes and make a piece of wall art. 

Inspirational Self-Love Quotes

17 Inspirational Self-Love Quotes to Improve Mental Clarity and Confidence:

1.) “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ” Eleanor Roosevelt

Inspirational Self Love Quote, No one can make you feel inferior without your consent Eleanor Roosevelt

We can’t control what others around us say to us or about us. However, we have the ultimate control over our reaction. We can choose to respect ourselves and know our worth. Your self-confidence comes from within and isn’t tied to others. You have every right to be yourself, unapologetically. 

2.) “Be your own reason to smile”

inspirational self love quote, be your own reason to smile

Often, we bend over backward to make others happy and attach our own happiness to those around us. Find your purpose and reason to smile. It can be as simple as a chocolate cake or a stroll through a park. When you are content with yourself, you will be able to radiate these positive vibes into other aspects of your life. 

3.) “To love oneself, is the beginning of a lifelong romance” Oscar Wilde

Inspirational Self Love Quote, To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance Oscar Wilde

When was the last time you took yourself on a “me” date and enjoyed your own company? If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we have to rely on ourselves. We are more than enough to entertain ourselves. When we give ourselves permission to have fun alone, we strip away all of the societal barriers. There is no judgment. 

4.) “You, yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha

inspirational self love quotes, you yourself as much as anyone else in the universe deserve your love and affection, Buddha

Give yourself the abundant love you shower onto others around you. Show yourself kindness when you are struggling and champion your achievements when you succeed. Daily affirmations of self-love will build you up and give you a foundation when you are tackling tough times. 

5.) “Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” Maya Angelou

inspirational self love quotes, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, Maya Angelous

Forgive what happened in the past. The most you can do is learn from your mistakes and move on from them. Give yourself room for growth. It’s okay to make mistakes. We are human after all and no one is perfect. When you continue to beat yourself up, you will only live in pain. 

6.) “Beauty begins the moment you decided to be yourself.” Coco Chanel

You never need to fill anyone’s expectations. Be yourself and you will shine. Only we determine what we are worth and when you believe you are beautiful and extraordinary, no one can take that away from you. 

7.) “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” Theodore Roosevelt

TheTheodore Roosevelt Self Love Quote

Rather than coming up with all the ways you will fail, come up with all the ways you will succeed. The only one holding yourself back is you and when you let yourself believe in your skills, the sky is the limit. You can and will achieve your dreams and no one will stand in your way. 

8.) “Low self-esteem is like driving through life with the hand brake on.” Maxwell Maltz

When you don’t believe in yourself and think you aren’t good enough, you go through life with a fog. You miss out on all the things that could bring you joy and happiness. By simply letting yourself be yourself and asserting you are enough, you allow yourself to move forward in life. The boundaries and barriers that hold you back will disappear and you will be freer. 

9.) “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you” Rupi Kaur

Set the bar high for yourself and treat it as the gold standard. You are worth respect and proper love. When you elevate your worth, you automatically shun those who could hurt you. If others around you don’t treat you the way you need to be treated, cut them out. You will attract good loving people when you take care of yourself. 

10.) “I am more than my scars.”

We tend to quantify our self-worth with our failures and successes. We are much more than that. The pain and hurt of your life are only a part of who you are. There is much more to you as a person. Explore what makes you, you, and celebrate who you are. Everyone has flaws and that is what makes us unique. 

11.) “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” Mark Twain

This quote applies to both personal relationships and friendships. If you find yourself going above and beyond for people who only come to you when they’re in trouble, rethink the relationship. There are plenty of people out there who will appreciate you. Grow and nurture these relationships. You should never be just an option to someone. 

12.) “The more you love yourself, the less nonsense you’ll tolerate.”

When you know your worth, you are less likely be pushed around. Take the time to appreciate you are and don’t settle for anything else than what you deserve. 

13.) “Happiness is an inside job.”

Don’t ever attach your happiness to someone else. Many times you hear someone say I’ll be happy when I am in a relationship, have money, have XYZ. While these things are important, they do not equate to true happiness. True happiness comes when you let yourself be who you are and accept that you are amazing with or without material things. 

14.) “My imperfections make me unique and special.”

We are all flawed humans. No one is perfect. It’s our unique qualities that make us stand out in the crowd. Own who you are. There is no such thing as normal and that is completely okay. 

15.) “To love who you are, accept your experiences.”

The good, the bad, and the ugly made you who you are today. Your experiences, good or bad shape you. Accept them, acknowledge them, and know that they made you into an incredible person. 

16.) “The greatest lesson in life is that you are responsible for your life.” – Oprah Winfrey

While we cannot control what life throws our way, we do control our responses and actions in life. We choose how to react. When we take control of our lives regardless of what comes our way, we become stronger. You have the power to take on anything. 

17.) “You alone are enough, you have nothing to prove to anyone.” – Maya Angelou

Live life on your terms and be confident in yourself. You are completely fine the way you are. You don’t need to change to fit someone else’s mold. 

These 17 inspirational self-love quotes are here to help improve your mental clarity when you feel low. They will comfort you and show you that you are a strong and capable person. When you believe in your light, others can’t help but see how great you are.

And, if they can’t, then they don’t deserve your light!


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Easy Beginner’s Crochet Washcloth Pattern: Featuring Single Crochet Stitch

Handmade washcloths are the perfect project for beginner crocheters. They don’t take up too much time, can be completed with one type of stitch and they are forgiving if you make mistakes! This easy beginner’s crochet washcloth pattern features the single crochet stitch and looks elegant. 

This free crochet pattern comes together quickly and has a lovely texture that is great for washing dishes or exfoliating your face. With 100% cotton yarn it is completely eco-friendly and gentle enough to use on the skin. 

What Makes a Beginner’s Crochet Pattern Easy? 

Crochet patterns that feature medium worsted yarn and minimum stitches are great for beginner crocheters. Medium-weight yarn is easy to work with because it isn’t too thin. The other great thing about this pattern is that it uses just one stitch!

All you need to know is the single crochet stitch. I love using the single crochet stitch as it’s easy, comes together fast and the end result looks so sophisticated. This beginner-friendly crochet pattern is a square washcloth which also makes it easy to work with. 

These washcloths can also be used as dishcloths and are made of 100% cotton yarn. Cotton is absorbent, a key element needed when making projects that will consistently get wet. 

How to Use Your Finished Crochet Washcloths

These washcloths work up pretty fast, I finished one in under 2 hours. You can use them for yourself or gift them to friends and family in spa gift sets. They are completely eco-friendly and plant-based. 

I am obsessed with washcloths and have many in various sizes. There’s something so special about handmade washcloths. The first one I ever made, my husband was shocked that it didn’t come from a store. Great compliment!

You are welcome to sell any finished products. I would appreciate pattern credit if you do so. You cannot sell this pattern as your own. 

Easy Beginner’s Crochet Washcloth Pattern: Featuring Single Crochet Stitch


1 skein 100% Medium Worsted Cotton Yarn (I used I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby in Dove)

I9 Crochet Hook

Stitch Markers

Needles to weave ends



Single Crochet (SC):

Insert hook into stitch, yarn over, and pull through stitch (2 loops on hook). Yarn over and pull through both loops. 

Here’s a video tutorial on how to crochet the single crochet stitch. 

Finished Dimensions: 

12 in x 12 in


  • The pattern is written in US terms. 
  • Chain 1 at the start of a row does not count as a stitch. It is there for structural purposes. Always place your stitch in the first stitch. 
  • This crochet washcloth pattern will end up being 12 in 12 in. If you would like a smaller or larger size, add or decrease the number of chains in your foundation. Just make sure to use an even number of chains. 
  • Guage is not important for this pattern. You can use a ruler to check your dimensions as you work if you need to. 


Foundation: Tie a slip knot and chain 41. 

Crocheting for Beginner's, How to Make a Slip Knot

Row 1: 1 Single Crochet (sc) in 2nd chain from hook. Repeat 39 more times (40 stitches)

Crocheting for Beginner's, How to Make a Slip KnotCrocheting for Beginner's, How to Make a Slip Knot

Row 2: Chain 1 and sc into the first stitch. Place a stitch marker if needed. Repeat 39 times (40 stitches)

Crocheting for Beginner's, How to Make a Slip Knot

Row 3 – 50: Repeat Row 2 instructions. 

Fasten off and weave in ends.

To weave in ends: 

Thread your end yarn through a needle. 

Insert the needle through 6-8 stitches. Pull through. 

Skip the first strand of the stitch and insert the needle in the opposite direction through 6-8 stitches. Pull through. 

Cut the yarn. 

There you have it, an easy beginner’s crochet washcloth pattern that will leave you with a super cute washcloth! For care instructions follow the notes that come with the yarn. 

Did you make this pattern? Tag me and show me your creations. I’d love to see them! Instagram: @By.Bindi

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A Beginner’s Guide to Crocheting: How to Make a Slip Knot

Crocheting for Beginner's, How to Make a Slip Knot

Did you start crocheting recently? Have you come across a slip knot in a crochet pattern? If so, you might be wondering how to make a slip knot. In this beginner’s crochet tutorial with easy-to-follow pictures, you’ll learn everything you need to start your project.  

If you’re someone who needs a visual, there’s also a video to follow along with as well!

A slip knot is a fundamental element when starting any crochet project and it’s very easy to master for beginners.

What is a Slip Knot?

A slip knot is used to create the first chain of your project. 

When my mom taught me to crochet almost 20 years ago, she did not teach me the slip knot. I would just tie a loop and cast it on the hook.  Needless to say, this left my early projects looking pretty uneven. 

You live and learn, right?

Why use a Slip Knot in Your Crochet Projects?

Slip knots make it easy to adjust the knot to the hook.  You call pull and tighten without the worry of the knot tightening completely. This helps keep your starting chains even. 

A slip knot also sets a good rhythm for your crochet project. The first building block that will lead to a great finished piece!

A Beginner’s Guide to Crocheting: How to Make a Slip Knot:

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!


Crochet Hook



For this tutorial, I used an I9 crochet hook and medium worsted acrylic yarn.  When you are a beginner crocheter, it’s easier to work with yarn that is cheaper and a little thicker. It’s more forgiving.

If you don’t have a crochet kit, this is the one I use.  It has many hooks in various sizes and comes with a cute pouch. I love it because it has everything I need ready to go and keeps me organized. 


Leave 6-8 inches of yarn tail and make a loop around your finger with the yarn. 

How to Make a slip knot pretzel method

Take your yarn tail and throw it across the loop on your finger.

how to make a crochet slip knot for beginners

From behind, bring the yarn tail to the right side. You will form a pretzel. 

Insert crochet hook through the yarn in the middle of the pretzel and pull up. 

Tighten as needed. 

Congratulations! You’ve completed a crochet slip knot.  

I hope you found this beginner’s guide to crocheting helpful. Now that you know how to make a slip knot,  you’re on your way to making all the crochet pieces!

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5 DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes with Essential Oils

5 DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes with Essential Oils

5 DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes With Essential Oils

DIY natural lip scrubs are the best.  They exfoliate well, leaving your lips silky soft, and smooth.  And, they are completely non-toxic!

Kissable lips, yes please!

About 5 years ago I started to replace my beauty products with homemade non-toxic versions. I was using too many products that were chemical-laden and became concerned about using better products for my body.

I especially love making lip scrubs at home. As someone who constantly picks at my lips (horrible habit!), they are always chapped and rough. These recipes have saved me many times. 

It’s so easy to make the change to non-toxic living and your body will thank you!

Our body is the only place we get to live in and it’s important we take care and nourish it properly. 

Why Make Natural Lip Scrubs at Home?

Lip scrubs from the store have all sorts of unnatural chemicals that aren’t good for your body.  Store-bought lip scrubs with questionable ingredients are particularly alarming due to the proximity of placing scrubs near the mouth that can be ingested.

Even though the FDA okays these products, it’s better when you know exactly what’s in your scrubs. When making lip scrubs at home, stick with edible ingredients. 

5 DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes

Another benefit to homemade lip scrubs is that they are cost-effective.  DIY Natural lip scrubs require minimal ingredients so your initial investment will go a long way.  

Benefits of Using Essential Oils in DIY Natural Lip Scrubs

Essential oils are plant-based ingredients making them great non-toxic alternatives in DIY recipes. Plants have offered humans remedies for centuries. Our ancestors mixed concoctions together at home and we can benefit from their knowledge. 

Non Toxic DIY Lip Scrub Recipe with Essential Oils

Nature gives us so much that can be incorporated into our skincare regimen. 

Essential oils also have multiple benefits so you can experiment and tailor a recipe to meet your exact needs. Do you want radiant lips and tackle anti-aging? Use Frankincense essential oil. Do you want to brighten your lips and make a vibrant smelling scrub? Use lemon essential oil! 

Essential Oil Safety

When you make your own natural lip scrubs with essential oils,  it’s important to note the safety elements.  Essential oils are highly potent and a little goes a long way. 

In this case, too much of a good thing is not better! Always do a patch test to check for any reactions. Experiment to find what works for your skin.  

Research proper dilution ratios. When you use a product often, you’ll want to scale back on how much essential oil you put in your products. Using carrier oils such as coconut oil will help dilute the oils for safe usage. 

Listen to your body. There are many recipes floating around the internet and what works for one person may not work exactly the same for you. Recipes are customizable and use this fact to create something that is safe for your body. 

If you find any discomfort at all, wash off with water and lower the dilution ratio. 

Which Essential Oils Brands Should You Use for DIY Recipes? 

Not all essential oils are created equal. It’s important you do the research on brands and sourcing so you know that you are using pure, undiluted essential oils in your DIY recipes. 

Things to look for when buying essential oils: 

  • They are sourced where the plant is grown
  • They are 100% pure with no fillers or additives

DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes with Essential Oils

Reputable Companies: 

  • Young Living Essential Oils (This is the brand I use)*
    • Young living has a seed to seal guarantee and they source their oils from all over the world where the plants are grown in their natural habitat. 
    • Amazing blends are exclusive to this company. 
    • Higher price point due to the company being MLM. 
  • Revive
    • Affordable price point
    • Scents try to mimic Young Living, but sometimes they are “off”. 
    • Oils are 100% pure without additives. 
  • Plant Therapy
    • Affordable price point
    • Sells oils in larger size bottles which is great for commonly used oils such as Lemon. 
    • Products are free from GMOS and they use third-party testing to give consumers in-depth reporting on what is exactly in their oils. 
*If you would like to purchase Young Living oils, you can use my member number: 24512468.

Cheaper is not better. I have tried many, many brands over the years. Cheaper brands can pass when you’re using them strictly for aromatherapy purposes. If you are putting oils on your body, you want to make sure they are pure. 

After all, there’s no point in making a natural lip scrub at home if your key ingredient is tainted with fillers!

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!

Here are 5 DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes with Essential Oils

Chapped Lip Scrub Recipe

This recipe is perfect for the wintertime when our puckers get dry and cracked.  No one likes that feeling! Try this recipe out and follow with some coconut oil to seal moisture in.

Lavender is a great all-purpose healing oil. It not only helps to reduce dryness, but it can repair the damage that comes from having chapped lips. 

Diy non toxic lip scrub recipe with Lavender essential oil


1 tbsp organic cane sugar

1/2 tbsp organic honey

1 tsp coconut oil

1 drop Lavender essential oil

Lip scrub container

How to make: In a small mixing bowl, mix ingredients together. Transfer to lip scrub container. Store in a dark and cool place. 

Silky Soft Lip Scrub Recipe

Sweet almond oil in this recipe helps alleviate the built-up dead skin cells on your lips and keeps them moisturized for all-around softness that lasts. 


1 tbsp organic cane sugar

1/2 tbsp organic honey

1 tsp sweet almond oil

1 drop carrot seed oil

Lip scrub container

How to make: In a small mixing bowl, mix ingredients together. Transfer to lip scrub container. Store in a dark and cool place. 

Glow Lip Scrub Recipe

Daily wear and tear plus environmental effects can dull our lips. UV and sun damage darken our lips over time. If you’re looking to get that radiant glow back on your lips,  this lip scrub recipe is perfect for you.  

Lemon essential oil is a key brightening ingredient, while Geranium adds a lovely floral scent. 

diy recipe for glow lip scrub


1 tbsp organic cane sugar

1/2 tbsp organic honey

1 tsp coconut oil

1 drop Lemon essential oil

1 drop Geranium essential oil

Lip scrub container

How to make: In a small mixing bowl, mix ingredients together. Transfer to lip scrub container. Store in a dark and cool place. 

Anti Aging Lip Scrub Recipe 

Do you have wrinkles you want to combat on your lips? This lip scrub is great for tightening our delicate skin. 

Olive oil is rich in omega fatty acids that are great for anti-aging. Frankincense is good at softening wrinkles over time. 


1 tbsp organic cane sugar

1/2 tbsp organic honey

1 tsp olive oil

1 drop Frankincense essential oil

1 drop Lavender essential oil

Lip scrub container

How to make: In a small mixing bowl, mix ingredients together. Transfer to lip scrub container. Store in a dark and cool place. 

Ultra Hydrating Lip Scrub

Winter not only chaps our lips, but it also sucks the moisture out. This leaves our lips in an uncomfortable condition.  Try this hydrating lip scrub recipe to lock moisture in and bring the suppleness back to your lips.  

Avocado oil hydrates and moisturizes your lips without leaving a heavy oily residue.

DIY hydrating lip scrub recipe with Avocado OIl 


1 tbsp organic cane sugar

1/2 tbsp organic honey

1 tsp avocado oil

1 drop Lavender essential oil

1 drop Geranium essential oil

Lip scrub container

How to make: In a small mixing bowl, mix ingredients together. Transfer to lip scrub container. Store in a dark and cool place. 

How to Use your DIY Natural Lip Scrubs at Home: 

These DIY natural lip scrub recipes work up fast and will save you money over time.  Use the scrubs once a week for best results.

You want to use a gentle circular motion as the skin on your lips is thin. Exfoliate lightly to avoid any injuries. 

Since you will be using fresh ingredients, make smaller batches for the best shelf life.  

These scrubs also make cute gifts.  Add them to a homemade spa gift set for a perfect perfect gift.  Thoughtful, non-toxic, and useful!

Did you make this recipe? Comment below and what you think. Tag us on social media with your photos – @by.bindi.  I’d love to see them.