March Favorites

When trying to compile a list of my favorite things from this past month, I tried creating some semblance of order, some pattern, or even some categories, but was forced to conclude that I’ve been obsessed with way too many different things this month, and we’re just going to have to roll with it.

The first thing I’ve been crazy about is Starbucks’ iced matcha latte with coconut milk. It’s my own personal belief that if springtime had a taste, it would be this beverage. I mean, just look at it:

It even looks like spring! I know there’s sugar in it, but it’s not my favorite because it’s 100% good for you, okay? I’m hoping I still get some of the matcha benefits from it, but if not, it’s still tasty enough to enjoy.

My second favorite is the NYX Duo Chromatic Lip Gloss in the shade Booming. I put just a smidge on top of any given lipstick and it transforms it into a fun, metallic, brand new look. I get so many compliments wearing it!

Also in the realm of beauty products is the Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo. I buy the purple one that builds volume and it REALLY DOES. It revives my day two (or three) hair the perfect amount, soaking up the oil while giving it just the right amount of “va-voom” to make it fresh again.

The next thing is the Tone It Up Studio Tone It Up app! I’ve loved the TIU brand for ages; Karena and Katrina are amazing, and this app is a lifesaver. I’ll do a full review another time, but if you are insanely busy like I am and need an alternative to making it to the gym every day, this app will save your life!

Also on the same page is this workout outfit from Fabletics. It’s not new; I’ve had it for a couple months. I’m just currently obsessed with it! I always get so many comments about it, and it’s so comfortable! It keeps everything in place firmly while still giving me tons of mobility in my workouts.

Those are my March favorites, but I’m already thinking about April! If you want to purchase the gloss or the dry shampoo, I linked them in the post, so go ahead and give them a try! They’re amazing and you definitely won’t regret it!

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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 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!

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 Day 6: Q: Is blogging a stressor or a stress relief?

Hello again,

Lately this question has been running around in my mind about whether blogging is more stressful than it is helpful. I mean, think about it. It’s a time committment, it takes a lot of creativity and practice, it’s definitely an act of effort.

So then why do it? If you’re already stressed and busy, why keep something else on the plate? That’s time you could be sleeping, or working on another project (like the forgotten novel in my harddrive…), or doing any number of things. So why blogging?

After thinking, I realized that my blog is truly a stress relief for me. Yes, it takes time, but it allows me to have this window of time where I am doing something I still deem productive, but I’m not stressed about (as opposed to doing homework). It’s just for fun. There’s no stakes. This isn’t my livelihood. It’s just something that lets me take a breather and share some funny stories with the world. And by world, I mean my Grandma, who is the MVP and reads literally every single one of these and comments because she’s the most wonderful woman in the world and I’m so blessed to have her (HI GRANDMA I LOVE YOU!!).

This is all stuff I enjoy. I love exploring different ideas about happiness and self love and the psychology of humans. I love the fall. I love beauty and lifestyle content. I love connecting with people and making new friends, and truly I have met some wonderful people through the short time I’ve been blogging. It’s just FUN.

It also helps you to learn how to make mistakes. If I miss a post, I learn not to beat myself up over it. I just write it the next day, and keep going. If my content isn’t perfect, I have to remind myself that perfection isn’t an attainable standard and whatever I can do is ENOUGH.

This sounds so bizarre, but it’s really therapeutic in a way! So if you’re considering starting a blog, you should! I think you’ll be surprised at what it can do for you. And of course if you need any support just let me know! I’d love to chat!

Blogtober Day 5: FALL CLEANING CHECKLIST

Hey hey hey!

Now that fall is officially underway, I’m getting the itch to start doing some fall cleaning. To me, this is almost more exciting than spring cleaning. Fall cleaning means getting your house nice and cozy and ready for the chilly weather. Just thinking about colder weather and falling leaves makes me want to gut my entire house and polish the woodwork.

For each season, I like to make a cleaning checklist of various tasks I want to get done for the start of the season. If anyone out there is a psychopath like I am and wants to use this checklist for their own house, feel free to do so!

fall cleaning.jpgORGANIZATION/DECLUTTERING:

~ Go through summer and fall wardrobes. Get rid of any items you didn’t wear over the summer, and any you know you won’t wear going into fall.
~ Do the same thing with your shoes
~ Declutter and organize the desktop and desk drawers. Throw out old bills (already paid), old receipts, anything you not longer need. Anything you do need, file.
~ Do a good, thorough room organization. Dresser drawers, side tables, bins of clothing and odds and ends. You’d be surprised how badly you need it.
~ Go through your refrigerator and be sure you don’t have any bad leftovers, expired food, etc.
~ Go through your bathroom and get rid of any products you no longer use or that have expired.
~ Look in each room carefully. Is there a storage crisis you’re having? Identify key problems. Maybe your jewelry never stays organized, or your t-shirt drawer gets messed up, or you can’t keep a neat pantry. Identify the problem, and find a solution to fix it.

CLEANING:

~ Sweep and mop (or vacuum) all your floors.
~ Wipe down the windows and windowsills. It might be the last time you think about it until it gets warmer.
~ Wipe down all the radiators to get rid of the dust in preparation to start using them.
~ Wash all your sheets and put fresh ones on the beds.
~ Wash all blankets or pillows or anything that doesn’t get a lot of love if it happens to need it.
~ Do a solid scrub down of both the kitchen and the bathroom.
~ Scrub down surfaces so everything looks nice and shiny and clean.

MISC:

~ Clean out your email inboxes and delete any old emails you don’t need. Respond to and file the rest.
~ Do a solid sort-through of everything on your phone. Delete anything taking up storage you don’t need, or transfer it to a google drive.
~ Take a mental assesment. What in your life is causing you stress or anxiety? Certain people? An aspect of work? Lack of time management? Identify the problem, and come up with a solution, whether it be making time for meditation every day, investing in a planner, or seeking professional help of a counselor.
~ Take stock of anything you might need personally. As well as equipping your home, it’s about equipping yourself! Maybe your workout routine needs some love. Maybe you desperately need a new hairdryer and you’ve been putting it off. Maybe that DIY project has been sitting in the corner for months. Wrap some things up and find NEW BEGINNINGS!
~ Take the house plants inside for the season and find them a new home.

That’s the essence of what I have. Of course, I always end up adding some weird obscure things at the last minute, like organizing the bookshelf, or categorizing the pantry, but that’s the skeleton outline of my list.

What’s on yours?! Honestly, I’m so open to suggestion. I love this kind of stuff. HA! Until tomorrow!

Blogtober Day 3: October 3rd Celebration

What is the significance, you ask, of October 3rd? Well, there’s a lot of things, and I’ll tell you all of them right now.

Firstly, it is two years from the day that my first ever college theater show opened (you know, the same one I met my fiance doing). It is also two years from my WEDDING DAY. Yeah, I’m still really excited, as you can tell.

It is also National Mean Girls Day!! Mean Girls was one of my favorite movies as a teenager, and to this day my cousin (one of my best friends) and I still wear pink and wish each other a Happy October 3rd every single year. Because this October 3rd falls on a Wednesday, it’s especially important that we celebrate. This is just a goofy little post, but I’m having fun, so bear with me. And now, some ideas for how to celebrate October 3rd.

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1. Wear pink.

This one seems pretty obvious, but WEAR SOME PINK! It can be any pink, from a cardigan to Damian’s bright pink polo, but wearing pink will definitely get you in the right mood.

2. Watch Mean Girls.

Duh! Again, an obvious choice, but it’s just the perfect day for it! It’ll give you nostalgia like you won’t believe- trust me.

3. Eat cheese fries.

Come on, you’ve got to remember this classic line: “Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries.” Straight from the lips of the Queen Bee herself, Regina George. So today, you should totally get yourself some cheese fries, and eat them while wearing pink, and watching Mean Girls. It’s the ultimate trio.

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4. Sing your own rendition of “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera, or learn the choreography to “Jingle Bell Rock”. 

It’s one of the most iconic scenes in the movie, so it makes sense you would want to do one of these two things before the day ends. Maybe do both. I would learn the choreography, but I already know the entire thing, and I’m not ashamed to admit that.

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So there we have it. Clearly, October 3rd is a very special day to me for a multitude of reasons, but even if this wasn’t my wedding date, I’d still be celebrating Mean Girls Day. If anyone sees Tina Fey and wants to direct her to this post, that would be great. I think we’d be great friends.