Becoming Your Best Self, featuring Ray of Hope Counseling

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Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

– E.E. Cummings

 It’s important to remember, the things we do in this life don’t need validation from others. When you place your self esteem in the hands of other people, you will always find yourself questioning your worth. Healthy self esteem is an essential component to leading a healthy life. It’s important to know that you are enough. “Many people base their self-esteem on external factors, such as how much money they earn, how much they weigh and whether people like and appreciate them. If one of these external variables change, self-esteem can be broadly affected. For example, if your self-esteem is based on the fact that someone else loves you, then you risk feeling extremely vulnerable and worthless if that person’s love ends. By the same token, building self-esteem is not an easy task if you have been abused or have suffered years of personal or professional failure.”- Dr. Lynn Ponton, Building Self Esteem 

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So, how do you remain positive when society often pressures people to compare and compete? Know your worth. We live in a fast paced, digital/social media society that consistently places worth on outward things. But, what happens when you realize that your value isn’t determined by what you have or don’t have?  Value comes from knowing who you are as a person. Take the time to learn your likes and dislikes. Know your abilities and talents. Know what you will and won’t tolerate.Take the time to inventory the skills you’d like to become better at, but don’t look at growth as a shortcoming. The process of learning something new is beneficial and ultimately growth changes your perspective.

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Next, surround yourself with uplifting people who accept you right where you are in this life. You should be the best version of yourself when you’re around close friends and family and you shouldn’t have to downplay your personality, talents, likes or dislikes. It’s important to be cognizant of the fact that everyone is unique and capable. Open minded, kind souls often make the best friends because they encourage you and inspire you to be great. Everyone should be heard and feel appreciated. Life looks different when you have people in your corner. Your close circle of friends should be filled with people who are rooting for your rise.

Low self esteem often causes self doubt, anxiety and depression. Seeking the help of a Mental Health Professional may be beneficial in order to rebuild your self esteem and self worth. As a therapist, I believe it’s important to remain in a healthy state physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Seeking guidance from a therapist will not only help you navigate through tough times, but you will also gain a greater sense of who you are as a person.


If you’re in the Atlanta area and you’re seeking a compassionate group of therapists, be sure to check out Ray of Hope Counseling. Clinic Director, Lynn Thompson Umstead, LPC, NCC, CIRT, CAMS is the founder and clinical director of Ray of Hope Counseling Services, Inc. She is a trained mental health professional, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Psychology. In addition, she is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a certification as an Imago Relationship Therapist (CIRT). Lynn also holds a certification as an Anger Management Specialist (CAMS). She is registered by the state of GA as a Civil and Divorce Mediator. Lynn is a National Certified Counselor and is a member of the Licensed Professional Counselor’s Association of Georgia. She has had experience in a wide variety of settings when working with individuals, couples, and families. These settings include in-home therapy, in-patient and out-patient hospitalization programs, group homes, administration of psychological testing in private practice and in a hospital environment. Lynn is also Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) trained (for More Info Click here). EMDR is a powerful psychotherapy approach that helps relieve many types of psychological distress as well as treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Currently Lynn treats clients in a private practice setting, and supervises interns and therapist working toward full licensure. For more information about Ray of Hope Counseling, visit their websiteRay of Hope Counseling Services. Help is out there. Never be afraid to take step toward becoming your best self. 


Myro Collaboration


D9DDCA66-525B-4C82-8946-EEF3E31C8635.jpegI love sharing all things natural, so when I had a chance to collaborate with @itsmymyro I was so excited to try plant based deodorant. So, basically the entire system is $10.00. You select the color of your case and the scent of deodorant-That’s it. Replacements arrive every three months. You get to choose whether you want to change the scent or pause the shipment. I chose the scent “solar flare.” With no aluminum, parabens, phthalates or talc to mess with your day. Only clean ingredients, barley powder to keep you dry and essential oils that release scent over time, not all at once.

I love the fact that I’m wearing a natural product that smells good and it’s long lasting. I have been so cautious about products with toxic additives. Be sure to head on over to @itsmymyro for more details. Myro

Financial Stress

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Throughout life, my family has taught me the importance of investing in myself, my future and my finances. Budgeting comes second nature to me because it’s an important concept that I was taught at an early age. I believe it’s never too late to start gaining knowledge that’s needed to plan for later in your life. Financial stress could potentially happen to any of us, but it’s important to plan for potential setbacks.

So, how does a person try to avoid financial stress? First, have a plan. Whether your plan includes details for a month from now, 5 years or 10 years from now, map out a solid plan of life goals and the finances that will be needed in order to obtain those specific goals. Second, have an emergency fund in place should an unforseeable event happen that causes you to be out of work. Whether it be a layoff, sickness, family emergency or a life event-always do your best to have a plan in place should unexpected life events happen.

Financial stress often takes a physical toll on our bodies. Worry and stress cause migraines, depression and other chronic conditions that can be a detriment to your health. The American Psychological Association says, “Stress about money and finances appears to have a significant impact on many Americans’ lives. Some are putting their health-care needs on hold because of financial concerns. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans say that they have either considered skipping (9 percent) or skipped (12 percent) going to a doctor when they needed health care because of financial concerns. Stress about money also affects relationships: Almost a third of adults with partners (31 percent) report that money is a major source of conflict in their relationships.”

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Developing a lifestyle that incorporates less stress about your finances may be difficult at first, but it’s definitely beneficial to your overall health. For me, I’ve adopted the pay yourself rule. Every month, I have a set amount of money that goes toward recurring monthly expenses first, I then deposit a large percentage of my earnings into my savings account and the money I have left over, I deposit into an account that is specifically for entertainment. I’m a free spirit. I enjoy spontaneous trips. I love traveling and I enjoy getting away at a moments notice for a relaxing weekend trip. I fund my weekend trips by planning ahead. I believe it’s important to enjoy your life, but you also have to live responsibly.


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How do you differentiate between a want and a need? Having the necessary essentials in life is great. I believe anything over and above is a WANT not necessarily a NEED. A year ago, I purchased a new car, I’m in the process of starting another business and I’m also looking at relocating. Essentially, all of my financial goals have been geared toward a new step in my life.  As an entrepreneur, it’s important to me that I not only have a plan in place, but I also have several backup plans prepared to implement in the event my plans don’t work out the way I thought they would.

So, what are some ways to reduce the amount of money you spend on a daily basis? Think of the things you enjoy and make a chart of how much you’d be saving if you enjoyed those things a few times a week versus every day. For instance, if you’re a coffee drinker and you enjoy fancy coffee that costs $8.00 a day, make your own coffee at home a few days a week. If you eat out every day, pack a lunch a few days a week instead of eating at a restaurant. You would be surprised at the amount of money you will save just by making small changes to your daily habits.

So, what if you’re already in financial hardship and you need help right now?  Chapes-JPL has specific programs that may be of assistance to you. Chapes-JPL has one simple goal, to provide affordable asset loans on jewelry, gold, diamonds, watches, and other valuable assets, at a low rate and at fair value.They offer loans as low as $100 and as high as $5 Million at some of the best interest loan rates in the industry.Unlike typical pawn shops that lend at extremely high rates (and in public storefronts for the world to see), Chapes-JPL provides loans at low rate and in private financial offices. You can feel much more confident when you reach out to a business that’s committed to helping those in need. Connect with Chapes-JPL and their wonderful staff by visiting their website. Chapes-JPL


Article Feature: Burn Baby, Burn: HOT Cardio Tips for the New Year! By Julio A. Salado, NSCA-RCPT*D

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Warning: The following HOT cardio tips may result in a NEW leaner you.

Do you spend forty-five minutes on the treadmill three times a week or log 15,000 steps a day, and eat healthfully but see no progress toward your weight-loss goal? Or worse, have you gained weight while doing “all the right things”?

Before we go any further, it’s important to give yourself kudos for putting in the time to reach your fitness goals. You are light years ahead of those who are “thinking” about starting a body- sculpting program. It is important to stay active and educate yourself about how to be more efficient with your time.

Effort is important, but knowing where to channel your effort makes a big difference.

To that end, it is necessary to understand how to select cardio equipment with the appropriate intensity to overcome weight-loss plateaus.

My advice will help you channel your energy and understand how to select and set cardio equipment with the appropriate intensity for overcoming fat loss.

Let’s begin with a review of universal principles used by all weight-loss programs, which includes energy balance, energy expenditure, and caloric deficit.

Without a continuous caloric deficit from either food consumed or physical activity (or a combination of both) that measures below your personal total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), you will not lose weight.

Healthy weight loss may vary from half a pound to two-plus pounds per week. It will depend on your current weight, average caloric intake, and/or caloric expenditure from exercising prior to initiating a weight-loss program.

Body transformation results arise from your consistency and adhering to the guidelines of the diet that are designed for a caloric deficit and physical activities geared for specific energy expenditure.

Fine-tuning your cardio workout by choosing the most effective settings will fast-track your weight loss.

Most of the cardio equipment (treadmill, arc trainer, ellipticals, rowers, spin bikes) will measure your energy expenditure either in “METs” or “Watts.”

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METs (Metabolic Equivalent of Tasks) is simply a measurement of how many units of energy is required for the duration of the activity.

For example, walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes at 4 mph equals 5 METs, according to the 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities

Watts is a unit that measures the power you generate during an activity.

You can use either of these measurements for your cardio exercise.

Here are the steps to jumpstart your weight-loss goal using “The A.I.M. Method”!

What is The A.I.M. Method?

A program that teaches you about your innate potential and helps you optimize your results

  • Assess your goals and use science-based tools to personalize and create a realistic and measurable program.
  • Initiate the customized nutrition and exercise prescription with a purpose.
  • Motivation will be gained from learning how to overcome your own challenges and avoid common setbacks.

We first need to Assess your baseline of Watts or METS for your normal duration of cardio.

  • Write down how long you use a particular piece of equipment and your average Watts or METS.

The next step is to Initiate your cardio program!

Do the following for the next two weeks:

  • If you use METs, then increase your average by 1.5- 3 METS.
  • If you use Watts, then increase your average by 15-30 Watts.
  • You do not need to change the duration of your cardio routine.
  •  However, you should explore other cardio equipment that will result in the MOST METS or Watts used for the same duration. Usually this is equipment that utilizes both the upper and lower body.

Lastly is the Motivation to continue daily efforts conducive to your goal.

  • At the end of two weeks, compare the average to your baseline. Note your progress!
  • Decide whether to keep the new average or incrementally increase it for the next two weeks.

The A.I.M. Method is from my book, “BREAK OUT of Breaking Even”, 3-Step Method for PROVEN Long-Term Results.”

The A.I.M. Method is NOT a diet, nor is it a linear weight-loss process. Any setbacks will become learning experiences about how to overcome challenges whether you have sugar cravings, can’t find the time to work out, or feel unsure how to begin. Let The A.I.M. Method navigate you through your weight-loss journey and become the compass to help you reach your goal.

Most people can lose weight; however, keeping the weight off for the long term tends to be more difficult.

With “BREAK OUT of Breaking Even” you will no longer lose or gain weight without knowing why and learning how to overcome it!

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Julio Salado, a native of Boston, is the founder of (, a leading online resource for health and fitness. For more than a decade he has been helping individuals achieve their body sculpting and personal training goals. He was recently voted Boston’s #2 best personal trainer by Boston A-List. He is the author of Break out of Breaking Even!

Green Denistry Featuring Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS

5 Reasons Green Dentistry Is Gaining Popularity
For a growing number of patients, a trip to the dentist isn’t what it used to be – and that’s how they want it.
Rather than just a routine “drill-and-fill” for a cavity, they may receive a head massage,  meditative advice and diet suggestions that would seem more befitting a gastroenterologist. What they won’t receive are traditional amalgam fillings – about 50 percent of which are composed of mercury, which has been associated with numerous health issues and is considered an environmental hazard.

This emerging branch of dentistry – which dental professionals say is largely patient-driven – is called “holistic” or “holistic biological.” Holistic dentists believe that poor oral health leads to poor physical health. They perform traditional procedures but consider the whole body – diet, lifestyle, emotional health – when treating teeth. They also focus on using what they consider to be safer materials.


“It’s the opposite of common dental culture, which is simply ‘drill and fill,’ ” says Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS (, author of Age With Style: Your Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living. “Holistic dentistry is looking at and addressing the underlying causes for gum disease and cavities; for example, is it your diet, hormonal changes, or acid reflux?
“For many years in the dental profession, it was assumed that your oral health had only a tangential effect on your overall health. We now know better.”
Dr. Patel provides five reasons holistic dentistry is trending up as a treatment approach by patients:
  • Focus on the whole body and root cause. Holistic dentistry looks beyond symptoms to find root causes for dental issues while expanding methods of preventive care. “It’s a deeper look at a patient that offers them numerous benefits when considering diet and lifestyle and how it all connects with oral health,” Dr. Patel says.
  • Minimally-invasive treatments. “The focus is on helping patients avoid unnecessary, painful and drawn-out procedures that can hurt overall well-being,” Dr. Patel says. “That doesn’t mean sacrificing high-tech treatments for disease. Laser treatments for gum disease and cleaning are one example of minimally-invasive. The latter does a great job of destroying bacteria that are the biggest danger to your oral health. Air abrasion and ozone therapy are effective other effective minimally-invasive procedures.
  • Biocompatible and non-toxic materials. Holistic dentists will remove amalgam (mercury) fillings and favor dental appliances made from more natural substances. “A traditional approach to dentistry often uses mercury fillings or crowns and other harmful materials when treating dental issues,” Dr. Patel says. “Research has shown all kinds of health problems related to mercury, from thyroid issues to Alzheimer’s. Holistic dentistry will use non-toxic resins and materials fully compatible with the body.”
  • Alternatives to root canals. Dr. Patel says holistic dentists are more likely to look at alternatives, such as herbs, laser therapy, or extractions. A key reason: “Research shows unless root canals are completely sterilized and cleaned of all bacteria, the bacteria can get in the bloodstream can cause chronic health complications,” Dr. Patel says.
  • Balances cosmetics and function. “Missing, damaged, or crooked teeth can make you feel self-conscious and affect your quality of life,” Dr. Patel notes. “Holistic care takes a balanced approach to both form and function when developing a dental care plan. For example, if you’re worried about stained teeth, they’ll guide you first to healthy foods that alleviate the problem.”
“Holistic dentistry is committed to making sure you’re comfortable, making your teeth last a lifetime, and using the most natural materials available,” Dr. Patel says.
About Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS
Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS ( operates a practice called Green Dentistry in San Francisco and is the author of Age With Style: Your Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living. A graduate of the University of California’s School of Dentistry, she is a leader in the movement to bring environmental sanity and well-being into the dental world. Dr. Patel focuses on helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health.

Saranghae Skincare Love Story



Love the Skin You’re In

Let’s face it, friends. Skin is a topic that always seems to come up at various stages in our lives. And, although many of us have had ups and downs with our skin, it’s so important to love who you are. You were uniquely made and created to be exactly who you are. When I think of self love, I think of taking care of yourself after a busy week. Or maybe taking time to spend some time relaxing and doing the things you love. It’s so important to lead a balanced life that includes hard work AND relaxation. Is this easier said that done? Sometimes, but when you learn to set aside time for yourself, your body will thank you.


So, let’s talk skin. I grew up competing in beauty pageants, so skin became important to me early on. In my teen years and into my early twenties, I started to have trouble with cystic acne. You know, the acne that is super noticeable… I would try products televised on tv and they’d work a little while, but I would always stop seeing results after a few months. I finally decided that I would go to see a Dermatologist. After seeing a Dermatologist, it was recommended that I start a series of Glycolic Treatments. After I started Glycolic Treatments, my skin started to respond in such a huge way. For the first time, my skin actually began healing. It was such a great feeling to see my skin improving. Since my 20’s, I’ve been someone who hasn’t had many issues with my skin breakout wise, but I have developed sensitive skin. Which is the reason I spend so much time researching products before I ever use them on my skin.


As a blogger, I have an awesome opportunity to try many different skincare brands and if they’re not legit-I don’t share them with my readers. I believe in authenticity and integrity within my brand. Every brand that I choose to share has changed my skin in a great way, and that’s why I love Saranghae Skincare. Saranghae knows skincare and their brand is authentic, top notch and cutting edge. The first couple of times using Saranghae, I noticed my skin was dewy and glowing. I believe you can truly tell the difference when you’re applying quality products with nourishing ingredients on your skin. I’m always cautious of new brands because of skin sensitivity, but after using Saranghae, I had no skin sensitivity. Yes, you read that correctly. No sensitivity at all. 


So, who would I recommend these products to? Anyone who is willing to make an investment on their skin. We spend money hundreds of dollars on makeup, but often times we skimp on facial products. If you’re willing to make an investment on your skin and take the time to care for your skin, I guarantee the results will be worthwhile. I encourage you to embark on a journey that includes loving yourself from the inside out and loving the beautiful skin you’re in. There’s only one you. Be sure to check out Saranghea on all social channels. You won’t regret purchasing their products! If you do purchase their products and you aren’t satisfied, Saranghae offers a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee. 


DADFFBE5-57AD-4F26-8A59-155789293F99.jpegFor more information please visit: Saranghae

Burst Oral Care Collaboration


Hey Friends!

I’ve been collaborating with @toothbrushlife and @burstoralcare the past three weeks, so I’m giving you my honest opinion tonight. I’ve been searching for a sonic toothbrush that provides great results and I’m so happy with this one. My teeth feel so smooth after using this brush. I love the fact that this toothbrush has 3 different modes. My teeth actually feel super clean like they do whenever I leave the Dentist’s office after a cleaning. To give you a little bit of background, I wore braces for several years in high school and college. I’ve always had very white teeth, but after wearing braces I noticed the color of my teeth changed a little bit. So, after that, I began using items that would give me a vibrant smile. I’ve switched back and forth between a manual toothbrush and the results aren’t the same. Its a new year and if you’re someone that would like to try an awesome toothbrush head on over to @toothbrushlife. Y’all want to join me? Head on over this link to purchase your own. There’s even a 40 percent off coupon! Head over to and use the code: FFERVX to receive a 40 percent discount. I’ll add a swipe up link in my stories for those that are interested. Happy Sunday!



The beautiful souls in your life that care enough to check on you… Keep them around. It’s a hot chocolate, cozy Sherpa blanket kind of night. First football then Hallmark Christmas movies… My heart is so full! ♥️ Did you know you DON’T need the app to shop my looks? I’ll be posting sale round ups in my IG stories, IG, Facebook and my blog.

You can shop my outfits 2 ways:

1️⃣ Click this link:


2️⃣ Download the FREE @LiketoKnowit app at the iTunes Store, search for SavedclassyandChic and follow me. #liketkit #LTKbeauty #LTKitbag #LTKshoecrush #LTKsalealert #LTKstyletip #LTKunder50 #LTKunder100

Black Friday Deals

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Hey Loves!

I hope you’re doing well! There are tons of great deals going on right now and I’m rounding up my favorites to share with you. I’ll be listing the store and the discounts in this blog post. I’ll also be updating the lists all weekend. Be sure to check out all of my social media pages for more deals! Happy Thanksgiving!

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H&M Sale-30 Percent Off Sitewide

Nordstrom-Nordstrom has a lot of cute items on sale right now. Most of these items will sell out quickly.

Nordstrom Sale

Gap Sale

50 percent off right now. Be sure to add the code, TREAT for an extra 10 percent off!

Loft Sale

50 percent off your purchase with the code: THANKS


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Many great deals on household items and electronics are listed on the Walmart site right now.

J Crew Factory

The entire store is up to 80 percent off! Many great deals on the site right

J Crew Factory Sale

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The Limited

60 Percent OFF sitewide.

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My Amazon Influencer Page


As many of you may know, I’m an Amazon Influencer and I’ve created Gift Lists on my landing site to help you find the perfect gifts for the special people in your life. I update this list often. So, be sure to check back. I earn commissions  off each sale, so if you love my style or the items I choose, please use my links. Thanks so much!

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New York and Company

The entire store is up to 75 percent off!

New York and Company Black Friday Sale

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Old Navy Black Friday Sale

50 percent off your entire purchase.

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Redefining Travel with PurseN


Hi Loves! 😊  I absolutely love collaborating with @pursen and today I’m going to be sharing one of the ways they are redefining traveling. I love travel accessories that are cute AND functional. @pursen definitely sets the bar high because all of their accessories are fantastic! I’ll be sharing some of the goodies they sent me over the next week. First up is this leopard print jewelry case… I mean… No words! ♥️ I love, love, love it-Absolute fabulousness! Cute, compact and super easy to keep all of your jewelry in one place. @pursen was so generous to give me a discount code for all of my followers. It’s gift giving season and why not purchase a gift that is functional and beautiful. Be sure to use my link for 20 percent off!’ll be sharing more from @pursen next week! Happy Thursday, loves!