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WHERE in the FRESH HECK have I BEEN?!

HEY HEY HEY PARTY PEOPLE!

It’s me, your fearless leader. It is now an entirely different year than it was since the last time we spoke. We have moved through three different Zodiac windows (it’s now the AGE OF AQUARIUS, for reference). In short, it’s been a long ass time, and I’m going to offer an explanation for that.

Blogtober was a lot of fun, but it was also a ton of pressure for me as a new blogger to try to figure out the entire world while embarking on this giant project while ALSO making my way through my very first full semester of my accelerated graduate program. I took on too much. I bit off more than I could chew. This will surprise literally no one.

And usually, it’s fine. I’m an ambitious person. I like being busy. I work full time, I go to grad school full time, and I’m still trying to cram time in for things like fitness and learning new languages and reading books. It’s just who I am. That being said, I started this blog to be a stress-free, creative outlet that I could use to just create and let loose. Blogtober turned this blog into the opposite of that; I was feeling pressured to just pump out content as fast as I could, regardless of whether I really wanted to write about it that day or whether I thought it was as great as it could be.

So I neeed a step back, and what I thought was going to be a teeny step became a BIG step. But honestly, now that I’m getting into the swing of things again, I really missed it. And so here I am.

I’m going to do a lot of revamping, redesigning, reorganizing. I’m going to start talking about things that bring me joy, and get some brighter colors up in here. (This will probably be pretttttyyy slow because I work like, nine hours a day and go to school three more, but it will HAPPEN).

If you’re still reading this, thank you for being patient with me, thank you for hanging on, and thank you for letting me fail and make mistakes and still come back to try again.

 

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, 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 18: My Spooky Apartment!

It’s the time of year for the best part of holidays…DECORATING! My roommate & I have a box of miscellaneous holiday decorations in the closet (I’ll admit Christmas is overflowing to other places) and I love getting to open it and see all the cool things I forgot we had. Of course, I always end up buying more every year, so God Bless Bobby because we’re going to have to have an entire room in our house for all my themed items (Love you babe).

I thought it would be fun to share some of the things that I use to decorate my apartment! I love seeing everyone else’s decorations, so I’m here to hop on the bandwagon!

First is my FAVORITE! I have basically the coolest relatives alive, so one of them sent me this HALLOWEEN SLOTH BLANKET (Shirley you are my HERO), and I literally carry this thing around my apartment with me. I use it at night, at my desk, on my couch, like EVERYWHERE. I’ll honestly keep using it after Halloween, but right now it makes me feel so festive.

SPOOKY BED

NEXT: Spooky candles, spooky Target pumpkins…I’ve definitely shown this before on here, but it’s still one of my favorite setups. And it has changed- my plant babies had to come inside because it’s cold! Also, that candle is called Crisp Fall Night, and it’s so wonderful that I’m burning it without Bobby even though it’s “our” candle. (Sorry not sorry).

SPOOKY NIGHTSTAND

So, most of this stuff is actually here year round, like the little hedgehogs/bat, the black statue, the letters (my roommate & my sorority), and the skeleton succulent, but honestly they fit in so well with all the holiday decor. The vase I threw together today by shoving the little pumpkin garland into a vase; it was too tangled to unknot and hang, so I figured this was a good repurpose. These are just a couple little fake leaf/acorn bundles from the dollar store, but they work great! And of course, the little baby pumpkins from Target.

SPOOKY TABLE

That’s just a little glimpse, mostly because I don’t have many “displays.” There’s little pumpkins here and there all around the apartment, but these are the main areas of focus!

How do you decorate your house? Send me pictures! Tell me! I’m always down to go bigger and better…!

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 10: Where Have I BEEN?! / Blogtober Reboot

Yo yo,

I’m back, okay, sorry about this whole thing. While I understand Blogtober is a post a day for the entire month of October, there were some minor complications that got me a good bit behind. Namely, I came down with an absurdly horrible sinus infection and did nothing but blow my nose and snuggle up with my fiance for about two or three days. I’m also currently booking my wedding venue, so it’s just been a wild ride.

Now that I’m a semi-functioning person again, I figured I should start getting my life in order. That meant picking this back up again. I thought about trying to backlog and fill in all the posts I missed, but then I thought that was a ridiculous idea, and if I did that I’d never catch up, so we’re just picking up right here, day 10, and moving forward from there. I’ll try to be more on my shit, no intense promises, but wow have I learned a lot about PREPPING BLOG POSTS.

Okay, there’s my update, sorry for being so short, but I will be back tomorrow with a REAL Blogtober post!

See ya soon!