BLOGTOBER, Uncategorized

Blogtober Day 31: HAPPY HALLOWEEN

IT’S HERE IT HAPPENED!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I was going to write this yesterday, but then I realized that the festivities hadn’t actually occurred, and thus I would have nothing to talk about, so here we are.

Guys, I love Halloween. The entire day just seems super spooky no matter what you’re doing. Like, I was driving down the Merritt Parkway and all the yellow leaves were just giving me major fall/Halloween vibes. Anyway.

Yesterday was sort of a miscellaneous day until the night; I read a spooky book with a fall candle. I went to the bank and the grocery store. I did some laundry. And THEN it was HALLOWEEN TIME.

My roommate and I, and one of our friends, and one of her friends from work all went out together (actually to the bar where I work) for some pretzels and beer, and obviously we were super extra the entire time (See below).

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This costume was SO easy but one of my favorites! I’d bought this body suit ages ago and never worn it, so tonight was the night! My twin (sorority) gave me the velvet skirt when she was cleaning out her closet, so the only things I bought were the spider web tights and super extra hat. And honestly, when you’re a little drunk, the netting on the hat is the most fun thing to play with.

All in all, it was a super successful Halloween. We had a ton of fun, ate some good things, and I read a couple super spooky books (definitely read Disney’s Hocus Pocus, thanks Mom!!!!). And I’m definitely breaking this Halloween costume back out for our Halloween event at work on Saturday, and also probably next year TBH.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween! Now that Blogtober has officially ended (thanks for following!) I’m going back to a regular posting schedule, probably Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun. Could change, but that’s what I’m aiming for right now.

Catch ya later my spooky friends!

BLOGTOBER, Self Care Sunday, Soul Food, Uncategorized

Day 28: Self Care Sunday: Walks in Nature

Ahhh we’re so nearing the end! I’m trying to make it with a strong finish, and there’s definitely a lot I’ve learned about doing Blogtober, but ANYWAY. Today’s Self Care Sunday I actually got the idea for earlier this week. I had woken up and was supposed to go to the gym for a really intense workout, but what I wanted more than anything was a nice, slow, meditative walk in nature. So after arguing with myself for 45 minutes, I decided that going to the gym wouldn’t actually be that productive because A) I would hate myself the entire time, and B) I would be so miserable being there that the workout would probably suck. So in the interest of #SelfCare, I put on my sneakers and set out on a walk down to the riverside.

Something about being out in nature just resets me, and I think this is a pretty universal feeling. The air is clear, the weather is soothing, and something about all the trees really just helps you get in touch with yourself. At least that’s how I feel. So I downloaded a podcast from Kalyn Nicholson, put on a jacket and my sneakers, and went for a walk. I spent a lot of the walk practiciing mindfulness; trying to be cognizant of the way the leaves looked, of how the air felt, of the scent in the air. I found a flower randomly going out of the pavement, and then had a rush of gratitude; if I hadn’t been watching where  I was going, I would’ve missed it entirely.

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Literally just growing right out of the sidewalk!   

I live right near the Naugatuck River, and there’s this beautiful little river walk I love to run on, and that was where I decided to go take my walk. So I walked down there, saw the sun, smelled the river, and honestly just felt so at peace with the world. It sounds so “hippie-dippy”, but some time in nature is sometimes really just what you need. As much as we all think of meditating as sitting criss-cross on the floor, sometimes it’s just as helpful to walk through nature and be mindful of your surroundings. That was what I focused on Sunday, and as much as I was obsessed with getting home and getting a bunch of tasks finished, I tried to push all that away in favor of just being mindful and enjoying what I was doing in that moment.

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Casual morning. I am so grateful to live near something so beautiful.

In the end, I ended up walking 3 miles, which although took me about an hour at a much slower pace than I would’ve normally run, was super cathartic and wonderful. I returned home at peace, feeling at one with the world, and ready to take on the day. Sometimes, we need to just forgive ourselves, take it easy, and do what’s best for our minds versus what we believe is the ultimate end-all-be-all. I’m still learning how to accept that, but it’s something I’m really trying hard to believe in.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this Self Care Sunday, and here’s to making a strong finish with the rest of Blogtober!

BLOGTOBER, Uncategorized

Blogtober Day 23: Hello Gourd-geous

I am literally obsessed with pumpkins. That sounds like the most ridiculous statement in the world, but bear with me. They’re so cute and orange and round. Pumpkin patches are incredibly aesthetically pleasing. Pumpkin carving is a FUN holiday activity. You can actually EAT things made of pumpkin and they are DELICIOUS. What reason is there to not carve pumpkins?

So, I am enthusiastically encouraging everyone to get to a pumpkin patch as soon as possible (like, yesterday), and pick yourself some pumpkins. Yes, you can get them at a grocery store for cheaper, but the experience of going to a pumpkin patch is SO much more enticing!

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Okay, I mean come ON, this was a man made pumpkin patch and it was still the greatest thing I’d ever seen!

Pumpkin picking is an EXCELLENT date, and honestly one of the most fun ones I’ve done! Bobby and I went to this fall festival on Staten Island (where he lives) and spent a crazy long amount of time looking for the absolute perfect pumpkin (plot twist: we left with three). It was just so much fun to be laughing and looking for these pumpkins and knowing that once we got them home, there was even MORE fun in carving them!

 

We got some pumpkins, we got them home, and after I forced Bobby to watch Hocus Pocus for the first time (he was indifferent to the film, which I find unbelievable), we set out to carving these bad boys. We lit a fall candle, turned on a horror movie (Freddy vs. Jason), and bonded over the careful art of carving a jack o lantern.

Even though he’d only done it once before, he was way better at it than I was, but like, whatever, I’m barely even bitter about it. We also opted out of buying the guides at the store, but they look really fun, so I’d be interested in trying one of them someday! You can get them at Target for only five or so dollars, and they look really cool! This is how our free handed pumpkins turned out.

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There’s a little guy next to those two we didn’t carve…he’s just sitting on my desk as I write. He was too teeny!

Anyway, this was an A+ fall experience, and whether you’re doing it alone, with your family, or with a significant other, I would definitely recommend it all! It gets you really in the spooky mood!

BLOGTOBER, Soul Food, Uncategorized

Blogtober Day 19: The Little Things

Happy Blogtober Day 19! We’re definitely getting up there; I can’t believe October is almost OVER! I’m a little sad, but I also love the holidays, so I’m not reaaaally super mad.

Anyway, this is going to be kind of a short little baby post, but I really was just FEELING it, you know? I’ve been really appreciating fall lately and I really just wanted to sit and make a list of all the little things I’ve seen lately that have just made me really grateful for being alive.

When I started thinking about that, I started thinking about how cliche it sounds, but how important it is. Whenever I get too stressed, Bobby tells me to just BREATHE. Stay in the moment, recognize where you are and what you’re doing, and be mindful. It’s great advice, and we should all take it more often. When I take the time to appreciate the little things around me, it makes me an all around more mindful, happy person.

We have such a tendency to get caught up in whatever is going on- work stressors, relationshps, filling our already cluttered schedules with emails and phone calls and coffee dates where we anxiously check the clock the whole time to makes sure we’re not late for our next appointment…we never actually get to ENJOY anything.

So, this week I’ve been making a special effort to really notice and appreciate all of the teeny little things the universe has to offer. Sort of like the world is saying, “Hey, look. It’ll be okay.” Here’s a few examples of things I’ve stopped to notice and appreciate over the past week:

  • a perfectly shaded,  bright red, yellow, and green leaf just laying in the grocery store parking lot. Literally looked like someone had pulled it off the shelf at Michael’s. It was PERFECT.
  • the shade of blue the sky turns right around 9 am when I leave the gym
  • the Glade “Cozy Autumn Cuddle” candle. I buy one (two) every single year and burn through them.
  •  that really nice in-between weather where the air is crisp and chilly, but the sun is shining down, so the entire outdoor climate is just in perfect equilibrium
  • the moment when you first wake up in the morning before you open your eyes where there’s just total peace as you float between asleep and awake
  • a really good, long, belly laugh with your best friends. The kind where you laugh until you can’t breathe and you’re crying and your stomach hurts.
  • the colors of the trees driving down the Merritt Parkway (Connecticut is BEAUTIFUL in the fall. New England does not play.)

I guarantee there will be more, but these are just a few things that make me really happy when I see them and just kind of give me a really good feeling about being alive.

Share with me some of the fun little things that bring you joy in your life! I’d love to hear them!

BLOGTOBER, Uncategorized

Blogtober Day 17: Fall Date Ideas!

It’s me, I’m back, and I know what day it is now! AND all my finals are done, so hello I am a real person once more.

And today, we’re going to talk about one of my FAVORITE things…FALL ACTIVITIES! More specifically, fun fall date ideas. Some of these I’ve done already, some I haven’t, and some come from the fall bucket list, but all of them sound like a grand time to me.

1. PUMPKIN PICKING/JACK O’LANTERN CARVING

Okay, this one was Bobby’s (my fiance) idea, I’ll give it to him, and I’m so excited to do it this weekend. Go on out to a pumpkin patch and find a perfect pumpkin together. Take a lot of really cute cliche fall pictures with that pumpkin. (Fun fact: we took our first ever engagement photos with my mom’s cellphone in a pumpkin patch!) Then take the pumpkin home, cover your kitchen table in newspaper, and CARVE IT UP! I’m not nearly as good at pumpkin carving as I wish I was, but I’m good at the fun part where you scoop the guts out of the pumpkin! ALSO, save the seeds and bake them! They’re SO tasty and good for you!

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Even if you’re not taking cheesy engagement pics, GO GET A PUMPKIN!! 

2. PILLOW FORT GAME NIGHT/SPOOKY MOVIE MARATHON

Grab a bunch of pillows and blankets, a few chairs, and set up a pillow fort in the living room. Put on your favorite spooky movies, light some fall candles, and even bring in a board game or two. Try to put your phones away for most of this, and just enjoy feeling together! This one reminds me of being a kid, especially when you leave the cellphone and social media out of it. Just unplug for a little while!

3.  GO TO A HAUNTED-SOMETHING!

Be it a haunted house, a haunted corn maze or hayride, or even one of the spooky haunted amusement park events, get on out there! Even if you’re the kind of person who will fall right on their butt when someone jumps out at you (re: me, this Sunday), it’s still so much fun to get scared! Plus, you can push your significant other in front of you when the zombies get too close! (Not that I would ever…..)

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Didn’t take any pictures of anything haunted while I was here because I was too busy running away from a clown (true story), so here’s an ad I found on Google LOL! 

4. TRY A NEW FALL RECIPE OR A CRAFT PROJECT (OR BOTH)

Pinterest is your friend here, y’all. I love finding fun recipes! You could bake some cookies, throw a new chili in the crockpot, or just find a new way to roast some vegetables. You can enjoy cooking it together, and then eating it together, too. Bonus points if it’s good for you (or just tastes delicious). While it’s cooking, hop BACK on Pinterest and find a fun craft project! I have one I’m dying to try. Make a whole day of it, and go to the craft store for supplies together, hit the grocery store for ingredients, and then you two can snuggle up with some Mod Podge and acrylic paint while your whole house starts to smell like whatever divine thing you have in the oven…you see my vision here?

5. GO FOR A FALL HIKE

It’s simple, free, and gets you moving! Hikes are BEAUTIFUL in the fall, with all the leaves on the ground and the trees. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting too hot in the crisp, cool air! Go to one of your favorite spots, or pick a new one! And don’t forget to take more cliche photos.

 

Those are just some of my fall date ideas (and you bet I will be doing all, if not most of them). I hope you try some out and enjoy! Let me know if you do, and let me know some of your favorite fall date ideas! I might have to give them a try!

BLOGTOBER, Self Care Sunday, Uncategorized

Day 14: Self Care Sunday: What to do when you just can’t shake it

Once again, I have to apologize for disappearing briefly. Y’all, I’ve been a straight up MESS, with this insane sinus infection, and grad school finals (I’m in a really intense program where classes are only 8 weeks) and work and literally just attempting to function. Which brings me to today’s (late) post…

What do you do when you just can’t shake it? You know what I’m talking about. You get in that mood where everything is wrong. You’re stressed out. You’re busy. You start neglecting things like sleep, and proper nutrition, and working out, and you just can’t lose the funk, no matter how many self help books you read. Guess what? It’s okay.

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TIP: sometimes looking at cute lil animals cheers me up in the moment!

Of course, I’d like to say that if you are in such a state that you literally cannot function (as in get out of bed, shower, leave the house, go to work, complete basic tasks, etc.) on any level, you may actually be dealing with a clinical mental illness such as depression, and you should seek professional help immediately.

The funk I’m talking about here is when you’re just feeling kind of “meh” about everything and can’t seem to get yourself on a roll again. Sometimes, the first step is just acknowledging these feelings are here and this is happening. Okay, yeah, maybe I am stressed. I haven’t been sleeping. I haven’t been eating well. I haven’t been taking care of myself. What can I do about it?

Start with just the basics. Look at your week right now. Is there anything you can step back from just for the moment? Cancel a weekly coffee date? Ask your friend at work to pick up your shift? Set aside a chunk of time for just YOU. Then, start restructuring things so that you can manage to squeeze in enough sleep. This is so important. Even if it means not making your 4:30 am workout, or closing down netflix early. Sleep is vital.

Yes, I know there are still other things going on in your life, but if you’re overwhelmed, trying to fix everything at once won’t work. Pick certain things. First, start getting enough sleep. Then, focus on feeding yourself more fruits and veggies. Then, start finding time to add a workout in.

I also like to try to put in little acts of self care throughout my day to try to get myself more excited and feeling better. Using a nice body scrub in the shower, putting on my really soft PJ’s at night, snuggling up with my favorite blanket and some tea, lighting candles. Just something that makes me feel special.

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Tea? Fuzzy socks? Sounds good.

And remember, everything comes to an end. You will not feel like this forever. It sucks right now, but it will come to an end. Put your health first. There is nothing heroic or poetic about being miserable and about to burn out. I’ve found that to be such an overwhelming idea within our culture, that we fight to see who is neglecting themselves more. That’s a post for a different time though.

Sleep. Nutrition. Exercise. Self Care. Be gentle with yourself. Again, if you cannot function, if you are in more than just a “meh-feeling-funk,” you may be dealing with a clinical mental illness. Please seek professional help immediately to determine what is going on.

Thanks for reading guys! I promise, I’ll try to be more on top of things.  I only have one final left & then my new round of classes starts,  so hopefully I’ll be less insane. I’m also trying to input some of these tips in my own life LOL! We’ll see what happens!

 

 

BLOGTOBER, Uncategorized

Blogtober Day 11: Not So Scary Halloween Flicks

It’s fall, it’s fall, it’s fall, it’s FALL. Even if it’s 75 degrees, it’s FALL.

As many of you have probably been able to tell, I’m a little obsessed. I’m also the kind of person who loves feeling spooky, but not TERRIFIED. In a world of “love it or hate it” Halloween people, what do you do when you fall in the middle? Well, that’s why I’m here.

1. Halloweentown/Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge/Halloweentown High/Return to Halloweentown

Of course I had to list all four! You can’t just watch one and ignore the others! All of the Halloweentown movies are stellar and give you the sort of Halloween vibes you liked as a kid (and that I still like now). Fun, festive, with just the right hint of spook to send little shivers down your spine, but not actually scare you. Real talk, though: why did they think we wouldn’t notice they replaced Marnie?!

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2. Hocus Pocus

Again, I feel like this is a very obvious choice, but it’s one of my all time favorites. I’m defintely going to watch this one this year with my Hocus Pocus coffee mug and some tea. It’s definitely spooky, it’s hilarious, and it’s been a classic of mine for many years.

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3. The Conjuring

There are about two horror movies I can really stand, and The Conjuring is one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I still hide my head in my blanket and make my fiance stand outside the bathroom door if I have to go in case there’s a demon, but something about being all snuggled up and terrified really just gets me ready for fall.

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4. The Shining

Aaaand this is the other horror movie I can reasonably stand. Again, it’s terrifying, but it’s also just so incredibly well done that I can’t help but enjoy it. The acting is brilliant, the concept, the effects,  I’m really a big fan! Even if you don’t like super scary movies, this one is a cinematic work of art, and a total must see.

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5. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

MY FAVORITE!!! I love this movie so much; I honestly don’t feel like it’s Halloween unless I watch this at least once. It’s just SO CUTE! And it gives me so many nostalgic feels. I like to watch this one ON Halloween, or at least the day before. It’s just so fitting.

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So there we are! Just a few of my favorite Halloween movies. And by a few, I mean eight (don’t forget Halloweentown has four in the series!). And I could honestly go on and on…don’t even get me STARTED on the Disney Channel original Twitches. And also the Halloween episodes of The Office. There’s just SO MANY!

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