Category Archives: Personal

Albums of Our Lives

Think back to the last time you were happy. And I mean really happy, like cares-in-wind, so-perfect-you-could-stay-this-way-forever-happy, so content you can feel it from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Touch that moment with your mind, feel its edges, revel in the way it makes you breathe easier if only for a moment. Think about what made that moment so perfect.

Knee Deep, Zac Brown Band (Ft. Jimmy Buffett)

It was Summer 2014 and I was at a friends cabin in the Poconos. There were spiked Arnold palmers, a dock on the lake, beautiful sunny weather and two of my best friends. We listened to country music the whole weekend, spent our days down at the lake jumping into the water, floating around on inner tubes, talking about everything and nothing, eating sandwiches and getting sunburnt. It was my perfect break from the real world. I have never had so much fun or felt so comfortable in a bikini. There was so much laughter my abs hurt for days after and I swear my hair was two shades lighter from all the sun. Something about big, open fields, being real with my best friends and that cool blue water filled a part of me that had been dry and dusty for a long time. 

Hold on to your happiness. Feel the edges like the worn down cover of your favorite book; lean in and remember the way it smells in the summer when the wind blows the water off the lake after a storm; close your eyes and let the wind run its fingers through your hair again. Don’t you dare forget the way the earth feels between your toes or the way the full moon tilts its head at midnight. Breathe it in, breathe it out. Put it in your pocket and don’t forget.

I think a lot about that moment when I’m feeling stressed or melancholy. Just the idea that I was happy once gives me hope that I will be happy like that again. Sometimes I think moments like that are the reason I don’t just shrivel up and blow away–like maybe they are my never-ending well of goodness that I can draw on during times of drought. During times of despair. During times of monotony. Tick tock tick tock tick tock.

Hold on to your happiness, draw from that well.

Put the world away for a minute, and let the sunshine wash your blues away.

Knee Deep, Zac Brown Band (Ft. Jimmy Buffett)

Mini-list of Happiness

  1. Big sweatshirts
  2. Stylin bangs
  3. Peach whiskey
  4. Temperature above 35 degrees
  5. Spontaneous sleepovers
  6. Sun Daze by Florida Georgia Line
  7. Being productive
  8. Knitting
  9. Making a difference
  10. Deep breaths
  11. My betta fish
  12. Big Hugs
  13. Chopping vegetables
  14. Not wearing pants
  15. Naps

I Lived, OneRepublic

Hope that you fall in love
And it hurts so bad
The only way you can know
Is give it all you have

Hope when the crowd screams out
They’re screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs
You choose to stay

Hope when you take that jump
You don’t fear the fall
Hope when the water rises
You build a wall

And I hope that you don’t suffer
But take the pain
Hope when the moment comes
You’ll say…

I did it all
I owned every second
That this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

Hope that you spend your days
But they all add up
And when that sun goes down
Hope you raise your cup

I wish that I could witness
All your joy and all your pain
But until my moment comes
I’ll say…

I did it all
I owned every second
That this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

Body Love Pt. 1

I’m going to be that cliche blogger for a tiny second here and give you the definition of life-giving, only because I tried to articulate it and didn’t quite know how. Life-giving: imparting, or having the ability to impart, life or vitality; invigorating; vitalizing. 

Going into this whole love my body thing, I must admit I thought it would be easier than this. I’d just listen to a lot of Beyonce and compliment my body. But once you become more aware of your body it’s actually harder to be nice to it because you start to pick up on so many little things. Like, oh, I didn’t notice before but I have way too much fat under my chin, or, oh, I didn’t realize how much sugar I actually eat on a regular day.

And making decisions based on loving your body is easy when you’re having a good day and feel confident or you refuse to let things bother you, but on bad days? How do you love your body when you just, don’t? When it’s rainy out and you’re wearing an oversized sweater to hide the fact that you feel bloated and gross? I hate the way it sometimes looks like I have a double chin and that I gave up soda but I now drink way too much lemonade (there’s a lot of sugar in lemonade, btw, don’t ask how much, just don’t). You can’t just suddenly be like, yes, now I will stop that.

One of my dearest friends recently gave me an idea. We had this great discussion about making decisions and how to think critically about things that are important, and she asked me to think about what is life-giving. My brain got super excited and was just like, Yes. 

So I’ve taken to asking myself, Is it life-giving?

Does staring at my chin make me feel invigorated? NO. Does constantly analyzing my eating habits make a good platform for vitality? NO. I want to be happy, to be content with who I am and what I look like, not because I fit some norm, but because I can look at myself as a person and think I am enough. Whatever that entails at the moment.

I might think that my chin is fatty or that my hair is too frizzy, or whatever. But I want to do things that are life-giving. Today I got a haircut and some lady walked in and said, “Oh, I like her hair”. And she was talking about me.

Not every day is a Beyonce day, but even Beyonce has days that are hard. That are sad. That are rough. But one thing Beyonce and I have in common, besides our rockin’ bodies, is that we don’t let those days bring us down.

“I know I’m stronger in the songs than I really am. Sometimes I need to hear it myself. We all need to hear those empowering songs to remind us.” -Beyonce Knowles

An Open Letter to My Body

Good morning, I hope your day is going well. God, I never know how to start these things. My day was nice, I got to visit some friends and I showed my Granny how to use her ipad. And I went to the gym. Now I’m tired. Anyway.

I know we haven’t really been friends recently, In fact, I’d say we’ve been avoiding each other pretty well. I only look at you right after I get out of the shower, before I throw on a towel and shuffle the hell out, and you only look at me when I’m in the gym trying not to look at you reflected in the wall-to-wall mirrors.

Despite all this, I want to try and rebuild the bridges we burned so long ago, me rejecting your attempts to keep me healthy and you refusing to fit into my skinny jeans. Think of it as a clean slate, a new beginning, a blank space, if you will.

Now, don’t panic, I’m not talking about swearing off chocolate or ditching carbs or only eating cheese cubes.

What I propose might seem impossible, but it’s really very simple: I will love you better.

Dear body, I promise to love you better.

What does that look like? Hell if I know. Maybe that means in the split second I see you after a shower I will not grimace. Maybe that means going to the gym because it makes us both feel good. Maybe that means just eating the goddamn chocolate.

I want us to be friends again. Good friends, the kind that support each other with butt slaps and the kind that can get into a huge fight only to come back and hug later. I want to be hugging friends. I actually like hugs, I don’t know if you knew that about me.

I want to get to know you too. It’s been a while, what have you been up to? Still allergic to raw fruit? I know this great smoothie blend that I think you’d love, I promise. Maybe we could hang out sometime and I’ll make it for you. I hope that’s not weird.

Let me know what you think of all this, I know it’s a lot to take in. If you’re hurt that it took me so long to get here, I’m sorry. Love is never something that should be given in small servings.

Dear body, I promise to love you like too much whip cream on my pumpkin pie, like every kiss that made my foot pop, like every bad day made better with red wine. Dear body, I hope we can be friends again. I miss you.

With love,

Me

Yogurt Mask

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone! One thing I have recently discovered and am very thankful for is the yogurt face mask.

Now, I have very sensitive skin and not many things can go on my face. There have been many days where I’m a swollen, red mess thanks to allergies and the wrong moisturizer or cream. Even DIY face masks and other natural remedies only seem to make everything swell up. I learned the hard way not to put any raw fruit on my face (no banana and oats, no strawberries to exfoliate), and the aloe vera does not go near my lips ever.

I love natural solutions, though, so I’ve kept trying. Trust me, I can recognize that little tingle that tells me my face is about to explode in less than 5 seconds. And it has finally paid off.

Plain Yogurt. On your face. It’ll dry and you rinse it off. It’s that simple.

They say you can mix in a puree of fruit if you want, but I know my face so I left that out. And please, please, please, remember to get PLAIN yogurt. With as little sugar as possible=unsweetened. No yogurt with extra anything, no flavors, no processed anything, just plain. And try and get organic because that is better for your skin.

Benefits? Well we already know that yogurt is a great dish to help with the digestive system, it has calcium and healthy live bacteria. So if you buy a large container of plain yogurt you can eat some while you put it on your face! Here are a few benefits I experienced, plus extra ones I found when I looked up yogurt masks up online:

  • Fights and heals acne
    • Zinc found in yogurt helps regulate oil production in the sebaceous glands thereby preventing oily skin and frequent acne breakouts
    • It also calms the skin, reducing redness and swelling
  • Moisturizes
    • The anti-oxidants provided by calcium in yogurt help prevent and also heal dry scaly skin (works great with eczema)
    • One cup of yogurt contains 30.5% riboflavin which is a beneficial vitamin for skin that is glowing and hydrated
  • Tightens pores
    • Zinc in yogurt has been found to have mild anti-astringent properties that help tighten tissues
  • Reduces wrinkles
    • Lactic acid in yogurt is very beneficial in helping steer away wrinkles and reducing any already existing wrinkles

Other things you can do to help your face: drink lots of water, eat healthy foods (veggies) and exercise. With all the food we’ve eaten and will eat over the next few days, give your face a break with a yogurt mask–your body will thank you.

Celebrity Brunch

I’ve thought long and hard about the top 3 famous people I’d like to each brunch with, and I decided that they all must be alive, otherwise it would be me, Sylvia Plath, Harriet Tubman and Jane Austen. And I say brunch because let’s be real, brunch is the best meal of the day. Atmosphere would be low-key, and casual, maybe at a little cafe with funky artwork on the walls. I’m always up for funky. The very exclusive guest list would include:

  1.  Tom Hiddleston. How can you go from sexy, you-will-kneel, villain to adorable man who spends his free time working with UNICEF and supporting women everywhere? We would have so much to talk about, I’d have so many questions about what it’s like to volunteer in West Africa, what it’s like to wear historically accurate costumes while acting in Henry V and, of course, what it’s like to be a super villain.
  2. Nicole Perlman. First woman to write the script of a Marvel film, specifically, Guardians of the Galaxy. What is cooler than a woman who is passionate about aliens and science and gets to write about it? Nothing.
  3. Julie Andrews. I have so much respect for this woman. Not only was she made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth ll for her services to the performing arts, she also rose above rough circumstances to become the famous icon we know today, singing on Broadway and acting in everything from Mary Poppins to The Princess Diaries. If I could spend the rest of my life with her, I would.

Undoubtedly, my list will change, but for now, these are the famous people I’d give anything to have brunch with. I think the four of us would have so much to talk about, I’d be completely happy to sit with them all afternoon. What about you, who would you have at your table?