Use Essential Oils this Christmas

I've been using essential oils for about a year now. I use them by diffusing oils into the air bringing the smells of nature into my home. I personally love them because they are so calming and grounding. ⁣⁣
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Ever since I've been using them, my home feels more and more like a retreat...except for all the toys everywhere haha. I love that they bring an aura to the home that you can only get when you're out in nature.⁣⁣
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Now with the Christmas season here, I love that we can use essential oils to make the home smell lovely, without using synthetic fragrances that are not derived from nature. Synthetic fragrances are known for contributing to more allergies, so it's always best to use high-quality essential oils. ⁣⁣
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This year I'll be using essential oils coming from pine trees to bring in that Christmas smell into our home.⁣

How to Simplify Your Life

We live in a very busy world. There’s a lot of noise and distractions pulling us in so many directions. All of these things are keeping us from being present for the people who need us most…not to mention it’s also causing us stress!

I love to learn and easily get caught up in the noise and business of life. It’s so much fun for me to learn, but it’s really hard for me to keep up with everyone’s suggestions. Not to mention, that I can’t apply them all and it’s too difficult for me to keep up!

I love to declutter but decluttering isn’t just about throwing things away in the home that you don’t need. It’s about simplifying who you’re listening to. How many podcasts do you listen to? How many YouTube videos do you watch? All of that noise is building up stress and it’s really important that you remove unnecessary noise from your life.

Once I started eliminating the unnecessary programs that I listen to, I'm able to listen to music. I am able to be more present for my daughters and husband. And this makes me happier and calmer.

What do you have to eliminate from your life to make it more simple?

I choose to be Happy

Did you know that happiness is a choice? One can choose to be happy or not. Happiness is an emotions that is a result of being content with the life you have. In other words, it's the result of being grateful. Happiness is a choice that we can take daily. When we start focusing on all the things we don't have, or we start comparing our success or lack there of with other people, our happiness levels drop. 

I know personally for me, when I start to compare myself to another successful blogger or beat myself up because I haven't met my goals yet, I lose focus of what's important. Ilose focus of what my purpose is. 

My purpose is to raise my daughter to be calm, be kind (to other and to themselves), and be confident. The purpose of my blog is to share tips on how to be more calm, kind and confident. So when I focus on all the beautiful blessings and people I have in my life, plus I focus on my purpose I become present and content. 

During times when I'm off or down, I always turn to my friends, family, and an amazing community of women that I am a part of. Having these support systems always helps me focus on what's important.


Who do you turn to, to help you focus on what's important when you're feeling down?

How to lose weight the healthy way

A number of years ago I learned about a woman who wanted to feel confident and beautiful. She went through a procedure to shrink her stomach and a couple of years later do the mommy makeover (tummy tuck and boob job). Sadly, five days after her second procedure she passed away from a blood clot.

While not all women who undergo the Mommy Makeovers have this fatal outcome, the risk still exists. The pressure of looking "perfect" so we can feel beautiful is so intense that many of us are willing taking shortcuts without taking the risks into consideration.

Healthy looks different on everybody. It even looks different during different stages of our lives. My healthy body now does not look the same or even weigh the same as my healthy body from 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. Our body's healthy weight changes over the years. With that change comes a different perspective on how we love our bodies. We cannot realistically expect our bodies to be the same throughout our lives because it does change through the years. I believe we must strive for better health and appreciation of our bodies and NOT try and look "perfect".

We must remember that our actions are also teaching our children what the standard of beauty is. We must first accept where we are in our health journey. If we feel the need to change it, we must do it in a healthy way. This means by eating healthy daily, exercising, practicing self-love and speaking kindly to ourselves.

Rather than feel that we must alter our bodies let's embrace a new kind of beauty standard. A natural beauty standard that is different for everyone. Remember, healthy looks different on everyone. This even changed me and made me realize the pressure that we put on ourselves to be a certain size quickly is ridiculous. Taking short-cuts isn't the answer. We must make positive changes while embracing our natural beauty and body shape.

The lessons my daughters are teaching me

Lessons from my daughters

I have two beautiful daughter ages 3 and 1. I'm so thankful for having them in my life. I'm a stay-at-home mom with a blog and small business. I love hearing their voices and laughter every day. Even their crying can be cute...at times. 

Having my daughters changed the world for me. I see the world differently and of course, I'm doing my best to guide them through it. This blog is in part for them, so that I may learn and teach them how to be calm (being present, simplifying their lives, and treasuring themselves), how to be kind to themselves (eating healthy, exercising, getting the right amounts of sleep, and how to be confident (learning how to quiet the mean girl, stop comparing, and having strength and dignity). These lesson are lesson I talk about and also lesson that I want them to learn and apply in their lives. 

My girls are teaching me to stay calm, to not take life so seriously, to be present, to be confident, and to enjoy every single moment of the day. I am thankful for my girls and all the lessons that they are teaching me. I'm thankful for the toys in their room because it means they enjoy their home and the blessing they have. 

What lessons are you trying to teach your children? What lessons are they teaching you?

How I lost weight the healthy way

A number of years ago, I was watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians and remember the episode where Kourtney had just given birth to her first born Mason and was asked by a magazine to post her post-baby body. She had 6 months to do it.

The magazine wanted to encourage and motivate women that they too could lose weight fast and get back to their original size. Kourtney workout for hours and did not eat healthy in the process. The result was that she ended being taken to the ER because she passed out from over pushing her body. She of course learned her lesson and with her second child decided to lose weight the healthy way.

I remember watching this episode and really being impacted by it because I honestly felt bad for her. I didn’t have children at the time but I felt the pressure that she had put on herself, as well as society, and the magazine. I remember thinking I would never pressure myself to lose weight quickly because I didn’t want to end up in the ER like her.

Now after I gave birth to my first daughter, I was able to lose the weight quickly. I used to be a size 2/4 and after I gave birth I was a well established size 4. However, after giving birth to my second baby, I did not go back to my size and I also did not lose the weight as quickly as the first time.

Nevertheless, I continued to be consistent in eating healthy and exercising. I did change my exercise regiment, which was whatever I felt like doing to actually following a program that gave me results. I’m currently on week 6 in an 8 week program and I’m seeing and feeling the difference. It’s amazing how your body can improve when you’re making the effort to workout. With eating healthy daily and finding a workout program that works for you, you too can lose your pregnancy weight.

I have to conclude by saying that losing weight after giving birth is not a race. It’s a process that is different for all of us. And the results of us eating healthy, exercising, and even the number of children we’ve given birth to will impact our results, which is part of the experience.

Let me know in the comments below if you need extra encouragement and guidance losing weight after giving birth.

How to drink 70-75oz water a day

How to drink 70-75oz of water a day

I personally drink 75oz of water a day. How do I do that? I use three water bottles to keep me in control. I used to not know how much water to drink a day and was always lost. But whenI switched over to drinking 75oz of water using three water bottles everything changed.

I now drink the right amounts of water my body needs. I’m not second guessing myself to see if I indeed did drink the water because I have a system. This system is easy to follow. Anyone can do it.

Drinking water is so good to keep your skin supple and youthful. Not to mention that it is so good for your entire body!

Water is the most important nutrient of you need to consume and having a system makes it so much easier.

Tell me, do you drink enough water daily?

Begin Your Day with a Devotional

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Today's one minute tip is to being your day with a devotional. I personally have started each day with a devotional on and off for the past couple of months. Starting each day with a devotional has helped me be so excited for the day. ⁣⁣
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When I started the morning in a rush or I'm just off, it messes with my entire day. I'm not as happy, I'm more irritable and not pleasant to be around. ⁣⁣
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But starting the day with a devotional is such a great way to embrace the good in our lives. ⁣⁣
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Now that I've incorporated this small step into my morning, I'm a lot more calm, present and happier. It literally only takes like 10 minutes to do and you can read your devotional during breakfast. It's a great way to show your children how to begin their morning on the right foot. ⁣⁣
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What morning practice do you have that makes your day happier?

How my body changed after giving birth

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I am a mother to two beautiful young girls ages 3 and 1. After giving birth to my first daughter, my hips did not go down back to their original size. I honestly believed that that was a wide as they were going to get and I was happy because I liked having wider hips. Although I was still thin, I was happy of my new body. After I gave birth to my second daughter, my body changed once again. I have a larger chest size and my hips got a little wider (not complaining). 

It's been really fascinating to see my body change naturally. I still eat healthy and exercise daily and have a more womanly body. And I like that! Of course I have to go shopping for new clothes, which can be expensive but totally fun. 

I'm sharing this with you because there is so much external pressure to go back to your original size after giving birth. And I'm here to tell you that if your body goes back to its original size naturally because you are living a healthy lifestyle, then great! It's in your genes to back to that size. But if you're like me, whose body changed as a result of giving birth and you're living a healthy life too, then wonderful! Not all of us are meant to stay at the same size and shouldn't feel the pressure to do so. 

Tell me, how has your body changed after having children?

I am enough!

I am enough

It is so important to tell yourself that you are enough at this moment. Not tomorrow, not when you get that pay raise, but now at this moment in time. When I get hard on myself for not accomplishing what I believe I should have accomplished by now, I'm not giving myself credit for all the wonderful things I already do in the moment. I'm not giving myself credit for how far I've come and all the new and wonderful information I've learned and have yet to share. 

Telling myself that I AM ENOUGH is an affirmation that helps me when I'm getting hard on myself to remain present and be happy for what I have. And I'm sharing it with you because I want you to tell yourself that you're enough during difficult times. Such affirmations help me stay confident and steady in the moment. 

What is an affirmation that you tell yourself, when you're being hard on yourself?

"YOU NEED TO JUMP!"

You Need to Jump!

In 2010, I got me second knee surgery on my right knee. It was reconstructive surgery. I was born with extra long ligaments that did not function well, thus, my knee would dislocate even while walking. It was very painful. Fortunately, since 2013, I have not had a knee dislocation (my left knee dislocated...that's a story for another day). I am naturally thin and never thought I needed to workout until my surgeon told me, that if I didn't got to the gym, I would have knee replacement. He didn't want that for me, especially since I wasn't even 30!. 

Despite the reconstructive knee surgery, doing plyometrics, isn't easy for me and it does hurt. So I do the modifications for certain exercises. Today, I was doing week 5 of LIIFT 4 and just doing lunges. I did not add the jump to the lunges because it does hurt and I don't want to and don't need to deal with that pain. What's funny is that my 3 year old daughter was like, "You need to jump!" I totally love her passion for watching me workout correctly. However, I explained to her that it hurts when Mami jumps. 

What I love about working out at home is that I don't have to deal with an adult telling me to jump if I can't. I don't have to tell them my whole sob story about how I had two knee surgeries and can't...and then have them tell me that it's all in my mind (I've had people tell me that). I can workout at home, do the modifications and see actual change in my body. I'm getting stronger, I have more energy, and I'm happy with myself. You don't have to do to the hard workouts if your body doesn't feel good doing it. 

Working out at home helps me teach my girls the importance of self-care. I can do the modifications without anyone judging me, and my body is getting stronger. This is the best way to get strong at home. 

I workout in my PJs

I don’t like to like to change into workout clothes everyday. I honestly like to wear dresses or more jeans in the winter. The great thing about working out at home is that no one (except you), has to see what kind of clothes I workout in. ⁣

I mean on a heavy workout day, I do change into workout clothes but on light and recovery days, I just use my day PJs and call it good! I love this because it saves me time and effort! ⁣Plus because I’m at home, no one sees what I’m doing!

I can’t emphasize how awesome it is for me to be able to workout at home while my girls are napping. It’s such a blessing! 

How to make a healthy breakfast

An easy, fast and nutritious way to start the day is with a green smoothie. Green smoothies are a blend of leafy greens and fruit that are designed to give you more fiber, vitamins and minerals in a delicious concoction. The fruit are sweet and full of fiber, which helps to remove toxins from your body and help your skin glow (Snyder, 2013). Green smoothies contain up to four servings of greens and three servings of fruit, which according to Dr. Michael Greger (2015), is more than the daily recommendation.

Green smoothies are fast to make in the morning. It is important to alternate the greens and veggies so that each time you make one, you're getting a new delicious flavor and beautiful nutrients entering your body. This simple habit in the morning will help you lose weight, improve your health, get glowing skin, prevent disease, nourish your family, get fit, and feel happier.

Green smoothies give you more energy because you're getting the sugars from the fruit fast into your system giving you a fast pick me up. The leafy greens and fiber help flush out toxins, your skin clears up. It's a great way to combat acne from the inside out. Green smoothies help you focus more due to the high fiber in greens. They help strengthen your immune system and go to the restroom more regularly. This may seem odd to read, but having regular bowel movements is a sign of great health. Finally, green smoothies help you lose weight in a safe and healthy way (Hansard & Sellner, 2015).

There are a couple of options when drinking your green smoothie. Some people only drink a green smoothie in the morning and are satisfied. Others need to eat a small meal along with the green smoothie in order to feel more satisfied.

It is up to you on how you decided to create your meal. Remember to listen to you body and adjust accordingly.

Option 1: Drink a green smoothie alone or complete your breakfast with an entree of your choice. Only add an entree if the green smoothie alone doesn't fill you up.

Option 2: If the green smoothie fills you up, then consider drinking only the green smoothie for breakfast and having oatmeal or a coconut yogurt parfait as a mid-morning snack.

Over time you're going to see how your body craves a green smoothie and this habit will be engrained in you. You won't have to sit and think about what to eat and you will feel more full and satisfied as well.

To get more information, download my FREE eBook and start improving your meals today!

A Cup of Gratitude

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Giving daily thanks has been a game changer for me. It helps me see the beauty in everyday life. I focus on what I have and not what I do not have. This has helped me be happier, and more present. When we're are not present, we tend to focus on the things we want, the things we believe will make us happy. We have so much to be thankful for, that when we don't look at the good, we can never change the bad.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I think its because of all the good food, time for family and friends and a time a joy. Focusing on the good and the blessings you have in life will help you see the world differently. You will be happier and you will learn to be present. The worries tend to fade away with practice. 

Take some time to think about what you're thankful for and make it a habit to give thanks for at least three things every single day. You will see how your life will improve. 

So, I want to share with you what I'm thankful for:

1. A loving husband. 

2. My two beautiful daughters. 

3. My parents, siblings and amazing friends.

4. Getting the opportunity to live in Virginia and meet some of the most amazing people. 

Now it's your turn, what are you thankful for?

5 Benefits of Working Out from Home

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I enjoy working out at home. I don't have to get my girls ready and interrupt their nap time for me to get a quality workout in. If they wake up early, they can join me too! Working out at home is so great because I honestly have a coach at home motivating me to do more reps and challenging me every week! I can now workout at home without feeling like I didn't do enough for myself. It's truly a blessing to have this option. Not to mention that NO MORE DVDs! Now we just stream it ONLINE! I love this part because it's less clutter! 

But there are more benefits to working out from home than what I just mentioned:

  1. Save Time: You no longer have to rush to the gym or deal with traffic or parking. You can build your own gym at home and do a quality exercise there!

  2. Save Money: Getting a gym membership is expensive! We save a lot of money from just staying home. I personally now pay $99 a year to stream workout programs. This is an amazing deal because every single program is amazing and effective!

  3. No Excuses: Now there are no excuses as to why you can’t workout at home. You’re not dealing with traffic, and you’re saving money, it’s an investment into your health, and you’re setting up the schedule as to when you’re going to workout!

  4. Privacy: I really hated going to the gym. I also hated getting dressed up for the gym. I now workout at home without thinking that people are watching me. I workout in my PJs sometimes, and I am more focused because I’m not worried about what other people may think!

  5. Family Bonding: My girls love to watch me workout. So I purchased them crochet weights and they “workout” with me! It’s a great bonding time as well as a great way to model for them healthy living.

Now, I schedule my workouts in the afternoon during nap time whether or not my girls have are still sleeping are have woken up. Everyday at 3:00pm is my workout time. I play LIIFT4 and do a 30-40 minute workout. That's all I have time for and that workout is doing miracles for me! 

I know stress

I remember a long time ago when I didn’t stress about anything. Everyday was an adventure and everyday was a reason to be thankful. When I started getting into my 20s things started to change; I started started to stress. I don’t know why but I did. Things that were out of my control were giving me anxiety. It was as if my eyes had opened to a world of worry.

I had to learn how to keep my anxiety under control because it was exhausting.

How did I do that? I went to therapy, I read self-help books, I exercised, I ate healthy, I learned to live in the present moment. I must admit that I’m not perfect, but I have tools that help me get through moments of stress that are either self-inflicted or just stress of due to overwhelm…which is why I’m big on simplifying your life.

We are now entering the holiday season and stress comes with the holidays. Learning how to cope with stress is helping me be a better mother, a better wife, and a better person all together. I have to make time for myself, and time to reflect on how I can deal with the current stressful situation better.

It’s an ongoing journey but it gets easier when you know the tools. You learn to enjoy life more, and isn’t that a wonderful thing! How will learning how to cope with stress help you? Take the challenge and apply it to your life. It will help under stressful moments.

CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK:


If you do stress, I want you to learn how to manage it. Read a self-help book on managing stress, listen to a wonderful podcast that speaks to your very issue. Read affirmations to yourself like:

  • I’m not responsible for anyone else’s mood and behavior.

  • I demonstrate self-respect by saying not to toxic behavior, words, and thoughts.

  • I cannot make anyone else happing inside.

  • I am not God and will stop trying to act like I am. I do not have that power.

  • I am present.

Just reading off affirmations like this one, will help you live in the moment and let everything else be.

There is Beauty in Simplicity

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Have you ever been to a spa and felt relaxed and alive. There is something about going to a well put together spa that has the right colors, furniture, smell and aura. It makes you feel like you’re walking in the clouds.

The reason why these spas have such an inviting aura is because they are simple. Their colors are light and airy. They don’t have a lot of furniture but just enough. Their furniture is of high quality but it’s not overpowering.

Having a home that has that aura may be challenging but doable. I personally try and keep that fresh aura in my home by not having too many things. It is challenging when you have kids, but I’m working on teaching my girls that their playroom is where their toys go. It is messy…but there is something sweet about it too, in my opinion.

WEEKLY CHALLENGE

That said, I want to challenge you this week to go through different rooms of your home and get rid of anything that is in the way. Anything that you have too many of, or just something that bugs you every time you see it. Go through your closet and get rid of any clothes that don’t fit you anymore and replace it with clothes that do fit you.

When you purge your home from unnecessary items, you will feel calm, present and happier.

Let me know how your purge goes!

7 Natural Beauty Daily Habits Check List

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Your natural beauty is something that radiates when you smile, talk and and show that you care. It’s more than just your physical appearance. It’s an energy of self-confidence that everyone wants. It’s being genuine, which most people respect.

To achieve your full sense of natural beauty, you must apply certain habits in your life. Keep in mind that there are times when you will not be a good on these habits, but we’ll address that as well.

  1. Give Thanks: Life is so much better when you focus on the good. You see all your blessing and can’t help but smile. Even when things are low, one must always give thanks even for the little things that make us smile.

  2. Eat Whole Foods: When we eat whole foods, we are stronger and healthier. This gives us energy to accomplish the things we need to do and be there for our family and friends.

  3. Drink 70-75 oz of Water: Drinking water is a must. It is the most important nutrient in our body and for our body. When we drink water, we are able to flush out toxins. And our skin looks more supple when we do so.

  4. Listen to Your Body: You body gives you many signals. It tells you when you’re hungry and when you’re full. Respect those signals and your body will perform better and give you better health.

  5. Exercise 30 minutes: Everyday, you should move for about 30 minutes. Exercise helps flush out toxins, while helping build strength and energy. Find a workout program that you like and complete it.

  6. Use Safer Skincare: What we put on our body is just as important as what we put in our body. Any personal care product that contains harmful ingredients is not worth investing. Go to https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ and see what ingredients are in your products and if it’s worth investing in.

  7. Give Yourself Grace: Everyday is a new day to improve ourselves and make a change. I really like the line Scarlet O’Hara says in Gone with the Wind, “I can’t think about that today, I’ll think about it tomorrow.” Sometimes we just need to let the mistake go and we can correct it when we are in a better zone. Things happen and everyday is a new day to do better.

I hope you enjoyed these tips! If you want to keep these tips near you, you can download them by clicking on the button below!

I hate going to the gym

Exercise Affirmation

I know, I know…I’m a health coach and fitness coach and I should be more excited about going to the gym…but I’m not. The fact is, is that it’s just such a drag to have to get dressed, then get my girls ready, walk to the gym (I live really close to it) and workout. Going to the gym may interfere with their nap schedule and going to child care isn’t going to guarantee that they’re going to get in their nap.

Not to mention that I live on the 2nd floor, by the stairs not the elevator, and have to plan ahead for a possible fit on my way to a gym class. 

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When I’m at the gym, I’m not always sure what I’m doing. I mean, I have purchased some programs that allow me to workout in the gym and sometimes I go a class. But every now and then then I have to deal with waiting for people to finish using up the equipment, which can lead to time waisted and that’s is just a huge pet-peeve of mine.

However, I have found a solution to my problem. I workout at home! I love to workout at home because I can do when my girls nap. I have all the weights I need and the workout videos include a warm-up and cool down, which is essential to all workouts! Plus I can do a workout challenge and see the progress I make each time I do the workout.

So, if you also struggle to go to the gym but want to workout with guided videos that include a nutrition plan, comment below and let’s schedule a time to chat! I want to discuss with you all of the amazing options to help you get back on track of your fitness and health.

5 Ways to Save on Groceries

5 ways to save on groceries

Groceries are expensive. Even when you're eliminating fancy foods, it can still be pretty expensive. The fact of the matter is that we need to eat, so grocery shopping is not an option. And if we're looking for optimal health, food can be a little bit more pricey.

However, we can still save on groceries by implementing 5 habits. These habits will not only save you money, but reduce stress, which is always a plus.

  1. Use Cash: Budget out how much money you're going to spend on groceries per month and place that money in an envelope and paper clip how much you'll need per week. . This is a trick that is taught by Dave Ramsey and is perfect for grocery shopping.

  2. Look for sales: This trick I learned from Ruth Soupkup, author of Living Well Spending Less (2014), where she suggests to look out for grocery store sales. This is perfect if you're not into couponing. What's interesting about sales is that if you pay attention closely, you will see that each grocery store has a sale on different produce or meats per week. So you can avoid store hopping.

  3. Clip Coupons: Couponing helps you save lots of money when you make it a habit and become an expert at it. I'm not saying to become a contestant at TLCs Extreme Couponing show but that there are tricks to this game that can help you save lots of money. You can visit websites like www.coupons.com or collect the weekly circulars and cut out from there. If you spend about 30 minutes a week looking for great deals, you can save up to $40 a week!

  4. Avoid purchasing fancy ingredients: Unless you're going use exotic foods regularly, avoid purchasing them. Those foods are expensive and not always necessary for a healthy life. Also, if you find a recipe that has an ingredient that you know you're only going to use once, substitute it for another ingredient. This will keep your grocery shopping simple, which means more money in your pocket.

  5. Meal Plan & Make a List: I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to meal plan and make a list. You will save so much and money when you do so. Keep in mind that you can also have someone else do the shopping for you, if you’re too tempted to shop more than you intended too.

Try out these tips and let me know which tip has worked for you!

Resources:

  1. Ramsey, Dave, and Sharon Ramsey. Financial Peace Revisited. Viking, 2003.

  2. Soupkup, Ruth. Living Well, Spending Less A Dvd Study; 12 Secrets of the Good Life. Zondervan, 2016.