26 Ways To Enjoy Your 30's

Welcome to the 30's club! Or if you aren't here yet, congrats on getting a head start for that part of your life!
It can be fascinating (or surprising) to experience the 30's. Your health might change, but you'll hopefully feel settled and focused in your vision, personal and work life. When you need extra inspiration 

Explore

  • What types of skill(s) do you need for a job or position you want? Make it a reality!
  • We all know about how great worldwide travel is/would be, but have you explored all of your city/state/local area?
  • Get outside regularly
  • Cultivate a listening ear and the ability to ask good questions
  • In a world where the online space is very common, invite people into your home on a regular basis, do real life with real people
  • Mentor and be mentored

Hobbies

  • Pick up a hobby you enjoyed as a kid or teen
  • Learn something (or a few somethings) new and enjoy the messy process of learning.
  • Teach a hobby, take someone "under your wing" and watch them thrive!

Health

  • Study how the body works. Once you have a basic understanding of how the different parts work together, it's easier to make healthy choices.
  • Research vitamins: they aren't all made the same and don't all work the same for every person. We also don't get everything we need from food anymore, so supplements are helpful.
  • Make your own food & snacks: splurging is fun, but making your own is usually healthier, can be fun, and is generally budget-friendly
  • Hydrate: I like to add flavored hemp to water. Yum :)
  • Sleep: neat tip: the body processes thoughts, toxins, etc while you sleep. It's a really necessary "vitamin" in and of itself!
  • Exercise for your body type AND to support where your health is right now.
  • Have healthcare professionals that listen to you (chiropractors and functional medicine docs are a great place to start!)

Finances

  • Start a 'retirement' fund, even if you don't plan to retire!
  • Get a financial coach (mine costs $40 a year! I'm happy to share more info!)
  • Give regularly. Sometimes the smallest amounts make the biggest difference! It's a blessing to invest in someone's music lessons for 6 months, or a food delivery service, etc.

Ministry

(for my fellow believers)
  • Keep growing spiritually (your relationship with the Lord is the most important one you'll ever have)
  • Serve your church
  • Send encouraging cards letting people know where you see the Lord working in their lives

Income

I'd love to hear what has helped you in your "journey through the 30's", feel free to leave a comment or send me a note! (I'll write back!)

Savory Sweet Potato Salad

This easy-to-make savory sweet potato salad is always a crowd-pleaser whenever I add it to potlucks or serve it at home parties!

It's especially perfect for fall meals, such as Thanksgiving, when you want to do something different with sweet potatoes (especially in warm climates!), or for summer picnics to change up the usual white potato salad. Some of my family members can't eat white taters so this is also a great alternative for dietary needs.

The flavor is even better the next day, so feel free to make it ahead of time. I use turkey bacon but regular bacon will also taste fantastic. Because of the bacon, mayo, and orange juice, I don't add extra salt or seasonings, so adding a no-salt herb seasoning is up to you!

INGREDIENTS: (for 6-8 servings)
3-4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
Orange juice
5-6 strips of bacon, cooked, crumbled
2 green onions, chopped (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries
Mayonnaise 

Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the peeled sweet potatoes into medium-sized chunks. They will shrink when cooked so they don't have to be bite-size.
Place chunks in a baking dish, add orange juice to until the potatoes are half-way covered. The orange juice is an important step because it will keep the potatoes from turning a weird brown color (read: unappetizing...trust me, I've tried simply roasting them in olive oil!) and also adds a hint of citrus flavor.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. They will be mixed with mayo so you want them to hold their shape.

When the potatoes are cooled, add to a bowl with all the remaining ingredients and mix. 
Refrigerate overnight for the best flavor and serve chilled.

Enjoy! Let me know if you added other ingredients or simply if you liked it!

How To Make Your Home An Oasis

how to make your home oasis

The world is unfortunately full of chemicals, stress, germs, 
and other stuff that can wreak havoc on life if we aren’t prepared to face it. 
We grow accustomed to all of it a little at a time without understanding how much 
our bodies have to process in order to keep us alive. 
Really! We think we’re okay (didn’t keel over after that donut or Sonic slushie or spritz of perfume) 
but that’s only because any ‘junk’ was processed by our internal systems and gotten rid of 
as soon as possible, to prevent damage to organs. 
Eventually, however, with no change in what we put in and on our bodies, 
our natural systems will start to weaken, and that’s when sickness takes hold and is hard to shake off.

It’s amazing to discover how intricately God designed our bodies to work!Just think, by reducing your exposure to toxins & chemicals in your home only, 
your body has a chance to recharge, strengthen your immune system 
(the only thing standing between you and sickness), 
and can take on all the ‘stuff’ out there without becoming as depleted! 
If we don’t take the time to take care of ourselves, we run the risk of not being able 
to recover (quickly or at all) from illness, which then impacts our ability to work, 
earn a living, and enjoy our families. The bottom line is, we can’t control what happens outside of our homes, 
but we CAN make our homes an oasis, a place to recharge, get healthy, and enjoy a more peaceful life!

Tips for Making Your Oasis


-Cleaning: toss ALL of your chemical cleaners! 
I use the Thieves plant-based cleaner from Young Living, 
and you can replace all those bottles you used to buy with just Thieves 
and a couple of household ingredients and still be able to have a sparkling-clean home! 
(Ask me how! It’s really easy!)
-Purifying the air:
Did you know that burning a candle for an hour is the same as smoking one cigarette?? 
We’ve been tricked into believing that candles, plugins, car air fresheners, and room sprays smell good, 
or even natural (‘springtime’, ‘fresh cotton’, ‘ocean breezes’, etc), when in reality, 
if we look at the ingredients, there’s nothing natural about them at all. 
In fact, most of the ingredients are poisonous to our bodies and can affect focus, 
lung capacity (wanna inhale candle wax vapor??), and brain function.
Instead of candles I now have an air purifier that comes in handy during allergy season 
and a fiddle fig tree in my room that provides oxygen. 
I also use a diffuser with essential oils, and can have confidence that my body is exposed to 
truly natural aromas which actually improve brain and cell function!
Young Living diffuser & oils - the purest on the planet. 
Pretty please don’t buy oils from a store or just any place online! 
You want to be able to know how the plants are taken care of (no pesticides!) and how the oils are produced. 
Young Living is the only company that is always forthright about its whole process!

-Berkey water filter:
My friend Lydia sums up all the benefits of purifying your home water system here.
-Healthy snacks: to reduce cravings and save your money, keep a stock of healthy snacking options on hand, 
and baggies/containers for on-the-go nibbling!
-Organizing: take one drawer or closet at a time and purge! It feels soooo good, 
and you’ll have the happy result of less clutter. 
Donate your items to a local thrift store or have a yard sale
-Mood music: play music throughout the day depending on your mood. 
Maybe something invigorating in the morning? Soothing at night?
-Quiet: taking time to do nothing but let your mind wander, maybe even outside or by an open window. 
We really don’t need to be entertained or occupied every minute! The brain is a busy organ and could use a break!
-Journaling: whether on paper, on a computer document, or in a voice recorder. 
Processing what you’re currently experiencing, whether happy or hard, allows your brain to ‘make more space’
-Hospitality: interacting with friends, making new friends is important, especially in this day and age of devices 
that tend to separate us from each other. Apps are designed to keep you immersed in them and it’s a constant fight 
for developers to make their app the one that holds your attention the longest, so enjoy time away from computers and phones…
...make real connections with real people!

And that, my friends, is the end of my soapbox…for today ;-) 
I truly care about my home and the people in it, and I know you feel the same about yours! 
I want you to have a joyful and rested life, and it’s completely possible!
love,
Allie


Serving in Suffering

Over the past couple of years, my health has presented some challenges and I'm currently still working through them. One of my dearest friends (who "adopted" me as a little sister) sent me these comforting truths as we chatted about our relative health issues, and now they are here for you to glean from as well!

There are at least three purposes that God accomplishes through our weakness:
1. God enables us to see His strength. 
We tend to rely on ourselves until we reach our limit. 
Then, we look to Him, which is where we ought to look.
2. God enables us to value others who also struggle.
Again, we tend to think about ourselves first. 
Our weaknesses sensitize us to the plight of others.
3. God gives us opportunities to minister.
We get to minister to one another because of our weaknesses. 
We'd have no needs if we had no weaknesses.

Your particular suffering brings you into deeper fellowship with the Father, 
enhances your ministry to others, and leads others to minister to you.
J. Chris Mills
----
P.S. I miss you a lot big brother, but rejoicing that you get to see Jesus face to face <3

God is Good All The Time

"Can we just end this year and get a do-over?"
“I’m so ready for this year to be over and start a new one!"

It's easy to start agreeing with statements like these, especially when looking over the events of the year and remembering the hard times, or experiencing hard times right now. It’s really easy to get swept into the sparkling freshness of 365 days of "no mistakes yet” (as Anne Shirley would say), and shrug off the previous year like you would peel a potato.

If we look back, however, was last year really any different from any other year? Has any year been overflowing only with delightful things for 365 days? Or 52 weeks spent in complete darkness with no light whatsoever?
Maybe some of you will answer yes to one or both suggestions, but I’ll hazard a guess that for the most part, happiness & sorrow have come and gone much like the up-and-down motion of the ocean waves. We probably forget that shadows are as necessary as light is to the formation of our souls as those who follow Christ.

A TAPESTRY
Might I encourage you to remember that the great Weaver is making something beautiful with all the colors and shades of the rainbow?
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”
-Corrie ten Boom

Truly though…why do we think any previous year was so hard and that next year will be so much better? I get it, we look forward to fresh starts and would rather not dwell on mistakes or hardships, but might we be more careful with how we think of these things? We aren’t given a guarantee of a better year, only plenty of grace to follow in the steps of the Master…Jesus, who suffered the full wrath of God on our behalf. These events and happenings that shake us to the core are what He uses to make us humble, ironclad saints who trust Him fully for the praise of His glorious grace!

A BETTER YEAR
Perhaps we should stop in the middle of that expectant thought of a ‘better year' and instead ponder all those hard days and give thanks again to the Lord for showing us His power in working out all the situations, bringing healing after pain, and sustaining with His strength through all the waiting.
Instead of wishing the year to be over, let’s look back and delight in His abundance of love and grace and in His glory through our weakness. Let’s anticipate seeing more of Him in the upcoming days, weeks, and months. Let’s expect to see more hardships, more joy, more pain, more provision.

This isn’t permission to get as miserable as possible, but simply to take each moment as it is given, trusting that we will, as Richard of Chichester said:
"Day by day, dear Lord,
three things I pray:
to see Thee more clearly,
to love Thee more dearly,
to follow Thee more nearly."

May that be our prayer for this year, this week, today, and every span of time to follow. May we be eager servants, ready to serve in any capacity regardless of size or importance, excited to see the hand of the Lord in every part of our lives.

...all the time, God is good.



FREE Social Media Calendar

FREE Social Media Calendar
Do you ever wonder what on earth to post on social media? 
"They" say: be consistent, but you don't know where to start...?
"They" say: be yourself, but that feels soooo awkward sometimes!

Guess what? "They" are right on!! It's okay if you don't know how to do it all, I'm here to help!

I've struggled with showing up and figuring out what to share. Having a plan has helped me make progress in both areas and there is a month's worth of posts in a handy calendar for you at the end of this post! 

Also included with the calendar is a PDF with why I chose the various prompts. Knowing the reason behind a plan gives me so much more scope for creativity and imagination, and I hope it does the same for you! 
The prompts are meant to spark your own ideas while also giving you something to fall back on when needed.

In future posts, we'll be chatting about more ways to find the inspiration that resonates with you, your brand, and the ways you want to serve the people around you, so get ready for some fun! (And some real talk)

Here's a freebie for you!
Click the link to download the calendar to your computer or save it to your phone or tablet:

Living in a new season

Living in a new season
First off, Hi! I'm Allison, the face & heart behind Allie Dean, the place where you can find encouragement for your business, wellness tips for your life, and a friend who's here to listen.

Blogging is one of my favorite things because it's a quiet spot in the midst of a busy online world. You get to enjoy posts that you can find easily, free downloads as I roll them out, and the freedom to connect with me personally, if you'd like!

So, welcome here, friend!

I picked Allie Dean as a photography business name a couple years ago, using my nickname and my grandfather's middle name as inspiration. He enjoyed photography, developing film in the darkroom, entering contests, and traveling the world with his camera. In later years he had to stop due to partial blindness, and I picked it up and have carried it on. We never got to shoot together, but I think he'd be impressed with the digital age and would have dived right into using all the things!

Photography is a side gig for me now, (along with teaching piano and petsitting), and I'm in the middle of a different season of branching out with my brand to include business mentorship and wellness! (so-so-excited!!) 

On a more personal level, I'm also navigating life having experienced 2 deaths of family members in the last year. It's not always easy to "get up and go", sadness is still lingering in between the joys, and I'm learning how to be present for the wonderful people in my life and how to take care of my heart & mind.

More and more, I am grateful for the Lord's constant love, the ways He directs my steps, and His presence which is with me always. There is no comfort like His, no treasure like His Word, and that He has taken me for His own is a wondrous thing. Even in sadness, I'm grateful. And someday I'll get to see Him as well as my loved ones again :)

Thanks for joining me in this space, do come back and visit often!
-Allie


P.S. Speaking of freebies, check out the next post for a free social media calendar, and take the guesswork out of posting!