Bucket List Part Three

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by Tristan Cablay

One of my very best friends had an assignment back in our undergrad studies, the professor had asked the class to write down 100 things that each individual wanted to accomplish, do, or have within the next twenty years. Funny enough, that stuck with me! Her list (which she kept and will comment on every now and again) inspired my “bucket list”.

Now, it is amazing how 100 things snowball off of one another. That volume seems so high when you first start to take on that endeavor. But, as you start jotting down and curating the things that you want in your life, you will be amazed how it’s the little things that really matter…and add up.

So it goes with my bucket list; it is the little things that matter! Of course I have some larger things I would like to do and see. But mostly, my bucket list is living a life that treasures those that I love and leaves the world a better place than it was before I left my mark on it.

My list is not 100 items long. Mine is by far the cliff notes to that assignment, however here are my favorite 10 in no particular order:

Laugh with my daughter on her wedding day. Kiss my son on his.

Watch my kids graduate college

Grow old and cranky with my husband.   Send a plate of food back (because I’m old and the toast wasn’t done right)

Be a beacon of light and faith when the world seems dark

Tour Europe

Cry with my Dad when I receive my doctorate

Give much more than I receive

(Finally) Finish the ongoing project of furnishing my home

Eat ice for breakfast and not feel bad AT ALL!

Simply, honestly, hopefully… Live each day with love

What is your most treasured item on your bucket list? In the comments section below, tell us what you must do with your life.



Bucket List Part 2

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A bucket list rebuttal

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View of San Francisco from the top of Twin Peaks, so incredible!

by Tori Carruth

If you read Erica’s post last week, you know that we’re doing a series right now on bucket lists! This was actually my idea (humble brag), but now that it’s come to fruition I couldn’t decide what I actually wanted to write about. Do you ever have so many thoughts and ideas you can’t decide on one because they’re all just kind of scrambled in your head? Same.

If you know me at all, or even if you don’t, you may know I’m a bit of a pessimist. Not that I’m a negative person, my disposition is usually quite sunny and I’ve been told my aura is bright yellow, but I’m still a bit of a “worst case scenario/glass half empty” kind of gal. With that being said, I decided to take this blog in a little bit of a different direction today. I’m not going to tell you what I want to do in the next 10 years.

I used to have a long list of places I wanted to go, eat, shop, and get the best Instagram picture, but I found that every time I wasn’t checking things off, I felt like I was failing at something. For example, in June I had the opportunity to go to San Francisco for work, and all I wanted to see was the Golden Gate Bridge. I had this idea in my head that I’d get the perfect picture with my hair blowing at the right angle and the sun setting, you get the point. I didn’t get to go to the bridge, and instead of being thankful for everything else I saw, I was just annoyed.

Fast forward: I went back to San Francisco this month, and just by chance had to cross the bridge. I didn’t get any pictures at all, but because I was actually enjoying the moment instead of worrying about crossing something off my list. It also made everything else I got to experience that much more special because I wasn’t constantly thinking about the next big thing I needed to do. Some of the spur of the moment places we went were 10x better than the original “list” I had in my head.

 

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Found some painted ladies and a cute guy, too! 😉

I appreciate what bucket lists are for. I’m all about writing down what you want out of life whether that’s to backpack around Europe or become the CEO of your company. However, it’s important to remember that every vacation doesn’t need an itinerary, every sight to see doesn’t need a picture that will get hundreds of likes, and you’re not a failure if you haven’t completed a list (or even started one).

xoxo

Tori

 

 

 



Bucket Lists Part 1

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by Erica Johnson

Last month we were given a great topic suggestion from a iGoPinkLife reader about ‘bucket lists’…do you have one? Should you have one? What’s the importance of one?

I’m excited to be the first contributor on this topic as I LOVE having a bucket list and I have for at least the last 5 years. Why might you ask? Dreams, goals, desires…and seeing them on a piece of paper just does something to your brain that makes you go, “what do I have to do to achieve that?”

For me, I have two lists: my personal bucket list and my professional bucket list. I was raised to always set your goals high and strive to achieve them…thus my professional bucket list is VERY long and detailed. As an entrepreneur at heart, I work…a LOT. My husband and I run multiple companies so if I’m not at the iGoPink offices, you’ll probably find me up at the crack of dawn working on one of our other companies, or wrapping up a design report after dinner at night. But we love it…we’re both very driven people and ‘work’ is enjoyment for us, as we love helping others!

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Beyond my professional bucket list, I’m a believer in work hard, play hard. My ‘fun’ bucket list is simply that, FUN. I’m an ‘experiences’ person over a ‘things’ person. My #1 experience…travel. Since I can remember, I have LOVED to travel…I’d rather travel and experience new cities/cultures than any thing else. I can truly say that I’ve learned so much throughout my travels; met so many amazing people and today believe I’m a better/more well rounded person from those lessons.

In the past few years, I’ve marked some big bucket list items off my list…my top two would be going to Sydney, Australia (which is now my favorite city in the world and had truly been a lifelong dream of mine), and also getting to ride in a hot air balloon…the peacefulness in the air is indescribable as you watch the sun rise and overlook the beauty of nature. But that doesn’t mean that my bucket list doesn’t continue to grow just because I mark things off. There are a lot of other places I want to travel, and things I want to learn—i.e. would love to know how to take some great photography and also learn to play the piano, both of those remain on my fun bucket list!

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So what is your bucket list? If you haven’t started one, it’s NEVER too late…nor is it ever too EARLY! Set goals. Dream of those goals…sometimes they take years and years to achieve, but it’s a goal to strive after. You’ll be amazed at how having a simple Word document on your computer with your bucket list or a post it note that you keep hidden with a few desires can make such an impact in your life and your dreams ahead! Do one today, you won’t be disappointed!

 



Stress Relief Tactics

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10 Ways to De-Stress

by Tristan Cablay

 

Are you stressed out? Your body can tell! Stress is unhealthy. Like a double burger with fries and a milkshake, it packs on “emotional pounds” faster than a late night stop to the local fast food restaurant!   So, we have compiled several easy ways to de-stress…

Breathe! Deep breathing provides the body with extra oxygen. It slows the heart rate down and it allows you to STOP and take a moment.

Laugh! Laughter is truly the best medicine! Connect with someone you love, watch a funny movie, Google funny animals.   Create time for fun!

Write! Scribble out your thoughts. Note your stressors and make a conscious effort to also log ways that you can solve that problem or reframe the issue.

Go outside! Change your surroundings and step outside. Take a moment to change your environment. Sometimes this simple act brings everything into new light.

Drink tea! Amino acids in many green teas have calming agents. They lower anxiety levels. Grab a nice glass of tea and feel the stress melt away.

Try calming scents! Scents like lavender, vanilla, pumpkin, peppermint, and eucalyptus have been linked to creating feelings of serenity.

Slow your mind! Focus on a calm thought, maybe a happy place or memory. Close your eyes and count. Try to slow your mind from frantic paces.

Exercise! Endorphins surge during any exercise, light and moderate to a hardcore marathon, any amount of physical effort helps release ‘happy hormones”.

Eat Chocolate! Grab a small piece of dark chocolate. A moderate amount of dark chocolate has been proven to lower levels of the stress hormones, cortisol and catecholamine’s.

Get Colorful! Colors can evoke feelings! Green is soothing. Blue is peaceful. Purple shades are calming.   Try bringing some peaceful colors into your surroundings.

Try to add one or two of these tactics a day into your routine to chill out and de-stress!



Quotable and Notable

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Quotable & Notable: Change the Station of your Life
By Erica Johnson

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Now that we’ve been blogging on our new iGoPinkLife platform for two months, something you’ve all probably learned about me from my blogs is that I’m a very positive person and LOVE inspirational messages. Morning quotes (which is why we do a #motivationalmorning quote every day on our iGoPink Facebook page) have always played a very important role in my life.

So much of what we turn on via our morning news stations or read on the front page of a news website or magazine is negative. Imagine if we had a “Positive News” station that reported the things going right in our world…not the negative. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be naïve and not know what is going on with major world issues, but reinforcing the positive things vs. negative things is what I choose to live my day to day life on.

Thanks to my husband, he really started me on this trend…you will rarely find our TV on in our house, and when it is, it’s to learn how to cook something new on the Food Network or a home remodeling idea on HGTV. We fill our time with positive things. His belief is our time is so limited, why not focus on what is good, not what is bad.

Quotable & Notable, today’s blog post, is all about challenging you to do that also. Have you ever tried to ‘rid’ of the negative ‘news’ in your life? This could be via TV or the online daily sources your reading/following or even partaking in office gossip/chatter…and fill that time with positive things? Motivational stories, quotes, inspiration, devotions…if you’ve never tried that, I challenge you to one week of it. We can ALL do something different for one week.

So this week, I hope you’ll jump on the positive channel challenge. Look to change the way you listen and speak for one week. It’s hard at first…trust me, I know! You’ll catch yourself getting caught up in the ‘drama’ vs. finding positive things to focus on. But you WILL be amazed at how you’ll feel when you start focusing on the good and not the bad.

Here’s to a fabulous, positive week ahead!!



The Other Me

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by Emilie Harris, guest blogger

Last year I read a book called The Other Wes Moore. The book is an autobiography written by a Rhodes Scholar who was reading the paper one day and stumbled across his name. The article he was reading was written about a man serving a life sentence for murder who happened to also be named Wes Moore. The more Wes read about the other Wes Moore, the more he wondered why his life had taken such a different turn. How had he become successful and the other Wes Moore had been reduced to a single jail cell? The book is fascinating and I highly recommend it – learn more about it here.

The book resonated with me mostly because I have the same name as a lot of people – Emilie. And as I read it I began to wonder about all the people I could have turned out to be. Mostly, I can tell you. I can tell you that growing up I wanted to be a heartless businesswoman in the middle of a Los Angeles high-rise. In high school the only thing I wanted worse than to get out of Waco, Texas was to disappear completely. In college I wanted to be the President of my sorority – the girl with all the answers.

Before he died, John Lennon told a story about himself as a child. It goes like this: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

In the end, my other Wes Moore story isn’t about a stranger at all. It’s about me. I have been hundreds of different people over the course of these 22 years and I’m sure I’ll be hundreds of other ones over the course of the next, and there’s a great deal of power in that. I like to think with each new person I get better. I learn from my mistakes. I learn from the people I love, and I work towards a final product by practicing mercy and understanding and most of all, joy.

I guess what I’m saying is this: if someone read about my life in a newspaper and tried to compare it to theirs, I doubt they’d feel particularly moved. The things I’m most proud of, the things I would want a newspaper to write about me, aren’t the cold hard facts. The facts are I work in a cubicle from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. I run during the week and eat salads more than I eat hamburgers, even though I wish it was the opposite. I do the dishes and watch television just like everyone else.

What a newspaper can’t write about me is how deeply I feel every sunrise and sunset. How it makes me smile to watch my boyfriend with his nephew. The way I feel when my mom tells me the name of every flower in her yard. The intense gratitude I feel when I come home every night to my best friend who wants to hear about every detail of my day. What makes up a person? Why does it matter? I think it’s because it’s like John Lennon said… Your occupation, your name, your hometown, those facts and figures are simple logistics. I’m not sure anybody would want to be the other Emilie Harris, but this ordinary life feels pretty astounding to me most days, and I don’t think I’d want to swap it… even with a Rhodes Scholar.

Emilie Harris is a past high school nerd, present Brand Development Manager for The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau and lifetime pursuer of an unstoppable positive attitude and the perfect fountain Diet Coke.



Heart Half-Empty or Half-Full?

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How to keep your heart half-full

by Tristan Cablay

I continue to pour myself into the things I love: being a mom and a partner in my marriage, being successful at a career that I adore, and making a positive difference in people’s lives! Are all of these things easy? Some more so than others, but they all need a considerable amount of effort and work, so I continue to try everyday. I pour a bit of myself into each capacity that I love. What’s amazing is that my cup never runs empty.

Half empty? Certainly.
Half full? Most of the time.
Dry? Never!

If you love the things in your life that you spend your time and effort on, go ahead, pour yourself into them. Give of yourself, nurture that relationship or capacity and put in extra effort! Sometimes, you may not be at your best, but you pick yourself up and try again. Some days it is easy. Some days it is hard.

What has been the most amazing experience for me is that when I am at the lowest point and I think the cup will never reach full again, some thing unexpected always happens; someone pours into my cup. That is the beauty of giving of yourself, when you least expect it others give support to you.

So today, I encourage you to fill someone else’s cup; to pour yourself with extra intention into someone else’s cup- children, partner, work, really anyone you come across. Look at your glass half full and with the mindset of making everything you touch overflow!



Break-Up Survival Guide

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“We are never, ever, ever getting back together”

Breakups are THE WORST. We’ve all been there. There’s no right or wrong way to get over a break up, but the good news is the feeling doesn’t last forever. Here’s a few ways I’ve learned to get out of that funk.

 

Step 1: Cry it out

Cry to your mom, your roommate, your little brother even. Cry in the bathtub, cry in your bed, cry to your favorite sad songs. Basically, channel all that emotion into tears and get it all out of your system. Everyone feels better after a good cry.

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Step 2: Treat yourself

I am a firm believer that a manicure and a shopping trip can fix almost anything. Go to Target! Something in those magical aisles is sure to boost your mood. Go to the mall and aimlessly wonder. Buy something for yourself that you normally wouldn’t, because you deserve it.

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Step 3: Become empowered

Listen to Beyoncé. Put on your brightest lipstick and your favorite heels and strut around because you are a strong, independent woman! You are done moping and feeling bad for yourself! You are YOU and nobody can compare. Ex-boyfriend who?

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Step 4: Do something for others

It’s so easy to become consumed with sadness when you feel like your world is falling apart, but it helps me to remember all of the things I am happy about and thankful for. Instead of focusing on your own problem, help someone else in need. Send a positive note to someone who may need it. Volunteer somewhere. Donate to a good cause. Send your mom a “just because” text. When you put positive energy out there, it comes right back to you!

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Whether you’re ending a relationship or just got dumped (been there, girl, been there), take some time for you and then overcome.

XO,

Tori Carruth

 



Turn Passion Into Action

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by Tristan Cablay

The word advocacy is frequently tossed around. I’m sure you have heard the sentence “I am an advocate of XYZ” or “Be your own advocate”. I myself have often used both of those sentences, but what does being an advocate really mean? I wanted to get to the bottom of it, so I started where most of my research starts… in a Google search bar.   The results were simple. Actually, they were much less complex than I thought they would be.

Advocacy means taking action in support of something.

My mind frames this as passion. Being passionate enough to move. Anyone can be in support of something, however, if you are passionate enough to take action, to actually do something, you are an advocate.

Here is your call to action: Be a voice, be a social influencer, learn, then learn some more. Take action to make someone’s life better. Act to make your life better.

Find your passion.

Make a difference.

Take action.

Be an advocate.

I would love for you to join the Breast Cancer Charities of America’s efforts toward breast cancer awareness. I have found my passion in iGoPink. Have you found yours?

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Women To Admire

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By Tori Carruth

Let’s talk about being women. I’ve been inspired lately by powerful women around me, and wanted to share some lessons I’ve learned to kick start this week!

 

  1. I got an email recently from a woman who is admired and respected, and she signed her email “XO”. This really struck a chord in me. As a woman, I always feel the need to be overly nice, more enthusiastic than I feel, yet still professional. That’s a lot of adjectives to live up to. When drafting an email, especially when new to the working world, I am so careful when choosing my words. “Does this make me sound like I’m trying too hard? Is this intimidating? Does that sound too dumb? Should I put a period or an exclamation mark? Is “sincerely” too formal? Is “thanks!” over the top?” This woman didn’t question herself. She sent an email, to a large group of professionals, and signed it “XO”. She didn’t care which adjective she was being too much or not enough of.

 

  1. How many times a day do you start your sentence with “Sorry” when you aren’t actually apologizing for something? We often say “sorry” when what we mean is “thank you”. Checkout this great comic by Yao Xiao who really nails this. Instead of blaming yourself, you’re showing gratitude. Amy Poehler said it best in her book Yes Please, “It takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for. It takes years to find your voice and seize your real estate.” Another great representation of this is a commercial Pantene put out, urging women to “be strong and shine” rather than sorry. Check it out here. Unless someone truly deserves to hear “I’m sorry”, you don’t owe the world an apology for being.

 

  1. Finally, here are some of my favorite quotes from women who rock.

 

Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions. No one wants to go to a doctor who says, “I’m going to be your surgeon? I’m here to talk to you about your procedure? I was first in my class at Johns Hopkins, so?” Make statements, with your actions and your voice.—Tina Fey

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. — Gloria Steinem

Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. —Helen Keller

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. —Margaret Mead

That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me ― Amy Poehler, Yes Please

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. — Anais Nin

A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts. —Nancy Rathburn

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. —Nora Ephron

 

I hope you have a great week! Show kindness, and kick butt.

XO,

Tori