25 Ways to Sparkle & Grow Strong by Spring

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I don't know about you, but I like to SPARKLE!
For as long as I can remember, I've been mindful of living life with the intention of sparkling.
I realize the concept of "living to SPARKLE" may sound superficial. But honestly. As crazy as it sounds. I believe with all my heart I was placed on this earth for the purpose of sparkling.
I know.
I know.
That's insane. Right?
But in my mind, it's one of the truest things I know.
In my mind, this is the gift God gave me to share.
When I speak of mindfully "living to sparkle" I'm not talking about rhinestone boots (although I did wear a pair of rhinestone boots in college) and fancy diamond earrings.
The kind of sparkle I'm referring to comes from deep within the soul. It's the kind of sparkle that fuels the world with warmth and love, kindness and joy.
It's powerful.
Believe me.
I know.
I've been witness to how one person's spark leads to another person's spark.
I've seen broken lives transformed through the power of one soul igniting the heart and soul of another out of darkness.
As I write I'm reminded of the song "Pass it On" from the 70's.
Every, single summer growing up I went to camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Each day was ended around the camp fire where we always sang a round or two of "Pass it On."
Still to this day, the words of that song ring true to my heart.
"It only takes a SPARK, to get a FIRE going.
And soon all those around, will warm up to it's glowing."
Many of the ways that I've always tried to live in order to sparkle may not be the same ways you do. Many of the ways I'll be sharing that help me to LIVE MY BEST LIFE, and sparkle from deep within, may again seem superficial to you. And that's okay.
Not everyone sees enjoying the sunshine, getting a pedicure and climbing mountains as a way towards sparkling bright in this life. I get it. I'm certain some of my ways to SPARKLE and grow STRONG will seem rather silly to others. And that's okay.
Here's what I know.
I feel compelled to share this intimate side of myself with you.
Mostly because it's where my heart is right now. Mostly because for countless reasons I feel like I've lost my sparkle. Every, single morning for the past several months I wake up promising myself I'll live according to all the ways that nourish my body and soul thus creating that SPARK & STRENGTH that has always been there.
As difficult as it is to admit; I feel wilted.
I feel depleted of the true me.
I feel desperate to ignite the dim flame that has always burned so bright.
As I sit here in the new home that I've put my heart into creating I am brought to tears as I type the raw emotions that have been sitting on my heart for so long.
One thing I've realized over the past year is that my strength and spark are not invincible.
If I let go. 
If I allow circumstances of life and stress to dominate my daily thoughts and actions, I WILL WILT.
This I know for certain.
You can imagine that I've been doing lots of soul searching here lately. I'm on a mission to de-clutter my thoughts and live with intention and mindfulness.
For awhile now there's been a little voice within, nudging me to end this blog.
When I'm way up close & personal with my inner feelings I often wonder if the energy I put into this blog lives true to God's will for my life.
Then I think of you.
I think of the sweet relationships that have been built through blogging.
I think of the weekly emails I receive thanking Blooming on Bainbridge for being a bright spot on a gloomy day. I think of the friends of this blog who approach me in the most unexpected places thanking me for the joy that Blooming on Bainbridge brings into their lives.
Thanking me for introducing them to the beauty of Bainbridge Island, WA.
Not too long ago I ran into someone who shared that she and her husband actually moved from the East Coast to Bainbridge Island after discovering Bainbridge on this blog.
These are the reasons I stay true to sharing my heart, my recipes and my life on Blooming on Bainbridge.
These are the reasons I KNOW 100% that Blooming on Bainbridge was unintentionally created for the sole reason of spreading cheer and joy to others near and far.
I say all of that to say this.
For the next 12 weeks the number one mission in my life is to ignite the SPARK back within my body and soul.
It won't be easy.
I know this because I've struggled for months behind the pages of this blog trying to muster up what it takes to recharge.
I can't ever remember feeling so bewildered.
For the life of me, I'm totally mystified that I've ended up this separated from the strong & sparkly self I've always been.
Have you ever been through a phase like this?
How does this happen?
One thing's for sure.
Bodies & souls must be intentionally nourished and fueled.
I hope I don't regret laying these raw emotions out for the world to read. I've thought long & hard about sharing this journey with you.
I know so many of you love this blog for the cookies & sprinkles & sweet foods that go viral on Pinterest. Believe me. I'm obsessed with iced cookies and sprinkles too.
But so much more than cookies and sprinkles, I'm obsessed with growing strong and sparkling.
I'm obsessed with LIVING MY BEST LIFE.
I'm obsessed with living intentional to what God expects of me.
Over the next 12 weeks I'll be sharing 25 ways to sparkle and grow strong physically, mentally and spiritually. I'll be reaching out to local resources (personal trainer & life-style coach & yoga) who are helping me to put the missing pieces back together. I'll be sharing healthy recipes that ignite a sparkle and tips to growing strong physically, mentally and spiritually.
Thanks for listening to my heart.
Thanks for being not just readers of this blog but friends who genuinely care.
Here's to growing STRONG & igniting a SPARK within our lives!
SHINE bright & SPARKLE big!
Love, Teresa

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  1. Aww....girl, you ALWAYS sparkle....even when you feel like you're not. It's just natural for you. ♥

    I think it's part of life, going through the highs and lows, but I know I feel stronger when I'm doing what in my heart I know to be right.

    Looking forward to following along with you. Now, go sparkle in the darling house! Open up those Dutch doors and let the neighbors hear some singing!!!


    1. Bridget!
      You are truer than true and I love you for that!
      So many things I could say but for now I'm sending you a great big KISS and lots of love for always bringing out the SPARK in my soul.
      Totally & utterly grateful for all that we share!
      "Let it BE!"
      "Whisper words of wisdom."
      "Let it be."

  2. Thank you for being you....take care xoxo

  3. I hope that you find your sparkle and the right way for you Teresa. Your readers will be here, whatever you are doing and however you need to do it. Take care of yourself and I hope that you are all shiny very soon. xx

    1. Thank you Amy!
      I just love the friends of this blog!
      We're all in this life together!

  4. Hi girlie- Boy was I happy when I popped over to Blooming.. and saw this new post! Yes- I am one of those folks that loves your sweet sparkle***** You have always had a sweet spot in my heart! But with that said I so understand your place right now. I know that sometimes for me when I feel dull, worn and just out of sorts that it is the time to dig deep and spend lots of time with God. We meet Him in many places- The Word, Prayer, Nature, Friends, Cooking, Music, Puppies:))) I will be on this journey with you and will be praying and cheering you on my dear friend. My heart is so grateful for your friendship and this blog that you share with so many. Blessed is how I feel ! I am turning 50 in March and have set some goals for myself to reach by then. I would love to catch up and visit sometime. Love you XX00

    1. Well I hope one of those goals you set for your AWESOME self is to fly your FIT booty out here to the Northwest to celebrate and hike some mountains together!
      Joined at the heart 4ever Sarah!
      You know I love you!

  5. You don't know me, but I am one who comes just to read your 'sparkle'! You are so right, that sparkle is a gift from God for your life, to share with others. You are also right that it is confusing and bewildering when that gift seems dim sometimes, and you wonder where it went. I know so many will read this, as I am, and nod their heads as they recognize the symptoms in their own lives. God is re-charging you, and allowing you this time to see that your tank had been depleted. He is going to fill it all up again, and the sparkle will be brighter than ever. You keep trusting, and I will be waiting to see the new things He has for you!


    1. Sonja.
      How am I deserving of such inspirational words?
      Thank you for the passion & love that SHINES so bright within each word that you've written. Thinking that God will ignite the SPARK that I am seeking brighter than ever lifts me up to all kind of highs.
      You are a gift.
      Thank you for the encouragement.
      Love from Bainbridge Island!

  6. Listen to me girlfriend! GO FOR IT! The Bible talks about our light, our love, in your case/ translation SPARKLE. What you are doing is scriptural!!! Go for it. Dig deep and draw close to God. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you. So go for it lady. Seek him and He will show you what to do. He will rejuvenate you and SHINE through you. You will sparkle. Those who look upon the Lord are radiant and their faces are never covered with shame! I am so proud of you! I know we have never met, but I am your Sis in Christ and I am encouraging you to embrace this time. Much love to you sweet Teresa!
    Teacher to the Core

    1. I'm SPARKLING just reading your words!!!!!!
      Thank you for sharing the bright light inside your spirit!
      It is lighting my world up!
      Much love to you too Katie!
      Thanks for the love & support sweet girl!

  7. Hi Teresa! I was THRILLED to see a new post show up here!! I have been watching your journey from the sidelines...cheering you on through FB and Instagram...you know how much your SPARKLY SELF just cheers me up each and every single day!! If I'm having a sad moment, all I have to do is come over here and see that SMILE of yours and your sweet pups!! Please know that I will always be your cheerleader...you go GIRL!! SO happy for you that you guys are now in your dream home...it is in a word...awesome!! ALL kinds of awesome goodness!! mwah! Jeanne

    1. Jeanne I adore you.
      Totally have goose bumps tingling all over my body as I read your sweet, encouraging words. It's friends like you that make Blooming on Bainbridge such a bright space for us all to enjoy. I too love you & your adorable fur-babies.
      Thank you for what you've written.
      I'll be SMILING all day!
      Sending you many hugs & lots of LOVE!

  8. Oh sweet Teresa, thank you so much for your post. The timing is perfect. I needed to read that right now.

    1. SHINE bright my friend!
      Let's make this the year to GROW & SPARKLE together!

  9. Teresa, So many time I have read your wonderful sparkly blog and your words were exactly what I needed to read, especially today. Thanks for being you… you do inspire! Jane C.

    1. Thank you for this!
      I feel the exact same way about the readers of this blog.
      YOU inspire me!
      It's such a gift to share life with all of you.

  10. Love your posts! Thanks for sharing!

  11. You are absolutely beautiful for sharing this. Thank you for your honesty. I'm believing that God will lead you to the place where you will regain that peace and joy that comes out through your sparkle. So grateful that he is always with us leading the way! Have a wonderful day!!

  12. I hope you can find your "sparkle" soon (because you are amazing)! I will enjoy learning from what you share while on your journey. Your personality and upbeat way of life, comes through so wonderfully through your blog. I enjoy it immensely and wish you the very best!

  13. You are always a bright spot in my day! I know exactly what you mean though about going through the ups and downs, highs and lows, twists and turns. I think that is just nature and makes us appreciate the ups even more than if we were always sparkly. Does that even make sense? It does in my brain, but you know how that goes!

    Can't wait to follow along with you. The thing that helps me the most is a good brisk walk, a cup of hot tea (don't tell my coffee!), etc. This time of year, I especially need more fresh and bright things happening around me.

    Love to you!!!

  14. Gosh! Don't throw in the towel!! I don't know you and you certainly don't know me but I send a big warm hug to that little girl inside you and a thank you to the woman you are, for your openness about your feelings. You are obviously very unselfish. You give, give, give of yourself a lot. That's not easy.
    I pray that His peace surrounds you and warms your heart right now to overflowing. Don't doubt yourself, kid. The devil is a liar--don't ever forget that. You are appreciated and loved by many. You're inspiring!
    I am looking forward to reading the 25 Ways to Sparkle and Grow Strong!!!

  15. Oh my goodness, you can't end your blog!!!! Because of you, my mom, sister and I came to visit Bainbridge Island for a girls getaway in October. We fell in love!!!!!!! I'll be praying for you and hope that you get your sparkle back!!!! HUGS!!!! Oh, you made me fall in love with Wheaten Terriers too!!!!!!!

  16. Wow. Thanks for this honest blog post. I feel the same way. I love my kids, I love my husband and I give everything I've got to make sure that they feel loved & taken care of, but I can't remember the last time I cared enough to take care of myself. I lost my sparkle so long ago I'm not sure I can get it back. I am anxious to hear about your journey over the next 12 weeks & perhaps it will be what I need to begin a journey of my own.

  17. Sweet girl, I'll be reading and watching CLOSELY because I too have become disconnected from my sparkle and, like you, I am desperate to reclaim it. I support you, I cheer you and I hope by the end of this journey we'll be sparkling together.

    Love you!


  18. Dear Sweet Teresa, I always look forward to reading your blog and taking in all the wonderful things you so unselfishly share with us. You have inspired me in so many ways and I would be just heartbroken if you stopped. I know you have been so busy making your new house a home. I am sure it is beautiful and reflects your love and passions throughout. You are probably worn out from all the things you've been doing to make your home a "special" place for you and your family. I am sure that you were smiling and laughing during this whole process and made everyone around you feel like they were the most important person or puppy in your life. You have such a wonderful way of making even the most trying circumstances seem not quite so bad. You my dear friend are one of a kind! You are a beautiful reflection of our dear Lord and his gracious love and kindness. Do whatever it takes to recharge yourself and know without a doubt prayers are lifting you up. Take care of yourself and you will see what we have always seen...a beautiful inspiring woman. You are a caring,devoted and creative person with wonderful gifts to share with the world. MUCH love to you!

  19. Wow, yours is the third blog I've read this evening where someone is in a bit if a "funk." Could it be the weather? Could it be our age? Could it be that we've cared for others for so long, we don't know how to care for ourselves. I can hardly wait for Lent. It is when I unplug from social media and reconnect to God through rest and study. Last year, I studied the book, A Clearing Season...highly recommend it. Best wishes with whatever you do. Thanks for keeping it real.

  20. I still remember when you began blogging and all your visits to my Sea Cottage. I loved reading about your hikes and heart the most and loved seeing your side of the sea...our beloved Pacific Coast. I have missed that part of you. But how you are feeling is so real and so normal in this social media life. I have almost stopped blogging too. I took almost a year off and that helped renew my spirit within so I could give again. Because blogging is a giving. I also deactivated my FB at that time and it released a heaviness off of me. I do not have instagram or pinterest or twitter either. I think it is just too much I found tgat blogging and etsy are enough for me to enjoy managing. It is what works cor me. Two years ago is when the Lord lead me to dwell beside His still waters to restore my soul. I thought it was for a season but now I have learned it is for life. I am remaining beside those quiet waters, allowing my soul to be rooted and grounded so I can cultivate peace. He will lead you exactly where you are to be to find your sparkle within again. Do not regret sharing this part of yourself...it is your truth. It is who you truly are. xxo Kerrie

  21. I am so with you on this. I went through a terrible deceit and break up in 2013. I'm tired of being so sad about it. I've lost my spark and don't trust my judgement of people- men! I'm ready to find my sparkle again. Reconnect with myself who I know is fabulous and oh so deserving of great love. I will join you in this journey! XOXO Annie in Arizona

  22. Teresa -
    Thank you for your honesty and bravery in putting this out in the world. I love reading your blog --- and I find your thoughts about your sparkle even more compelling than the sprinkles and cookies. Thank you.