Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Importance of Girlfriends.

Before one of my friends got married this past weekend, she threw a pajama + champagne party in the bridal suite of her hotel. About 12 of us showed up in matching pajamas with a bottle of our favorite bubbly in hand and walked into a gorgeous room filled with flowers, mini cupcakes, an assortment of popcorn, and seemingly endless palettes of high end makeup. We poured ourselves a glass of champagne, toasted to the bride-to-be...and then had the time of our lives. 

We blasted Ying Yang Twins and Taylor Swift and danced the night away, all from the comfort of our stretchy pants. We ordered from Uber Eats and gabbed about life, followed by some more dancing and more champagne. Next thing we knew, the clock struck 1 a.m. and we'd hardly even noticed. We were having that much fun.

I got to thinking how easy it is for us to forget to schedule that kind of time with our girlfriends. I have my live-in boyfriend, my friends have their husbands or significant others, we all have our separate lives and different groups of friends. We just get so busy with school, work, and obligations that we want to spend most of our extra time with our S.O.'s and that's totally okay (preaching to the choir over here!).

Having said that, I challenge you to make the time. Send your men out for a night on the town and have a slumber party with a group of your girlfriends, or even just one. You don't necessarily need a fancy hotel suite and 17 different kinds of snacks. Maybe a cheap bottle of Barefoot and Club crackers with cheese is your style, or hot chocolate with break'n'bake cookies. Turn on your favorite throwback music, light candles, take some funny pictures, do each other's makeup and talk about life and love and all the things. Don't get me wrong, boyfriends and husbands and the like are great and all...but I truly value each and every one of my girlfriends and spending quality time with them is the best.

What's your favorite way to hang with your girlfriends?


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tea Talk, Volume 5.

I've actually been drinking more coffee than tea as of late, and enduring the breakouts that come with it. Alas, sometimes productivity has to come before perfect skin, and it's a risk that I'm (occasionally) willing to take. I digress...

- Any time I'm gabbing with a friend over a beverage (whether it be tea, coffee, or a margarita), their first question is how's school going? And I'd say that, similar to last semester, the stress comes in waves. Some weeks I'm coasting with no "hard" deadlines, no exams, no difficult treatment plans to write. Other weeks I'm working at my job on top of struggling to find an evidence based practice approach to treat a client, studying for midterms, and trying to keep up with watching online lectures before class. It's tough, and sometimes I feel like I still "don't belong," but I'm really loving everything I'm learning. I'm getting closer to finding my "niche" (I think), but I still have so much to figure out!

- I got my hair colored for the first time since JUNE. Can I just say that I'm loving this whole balayage trend? Going eight months without a real need to color my hair has me in full on heart eye emoji mode. My natural dark blonde color was feeling just a tad too dark, so I saved up a bit of cash and splurged on self care. No shame in that game, friends.

- I've been making a very conscious effort this week to cut the crap & start eating better/working out regularly again. Too often do I allow myself to think that three Dove chocolates here, a brownie there, a 24 oz. margarita, etc. doesn't add up. News alert: it definitely does! This past Sunday, Ryan and I did a little "meal prepping" for the week and I made these egg muffins for breakfast (I swapped spinach for the kale!). I've been reheating two of these babies + grapefruit each morning and I'm loving how simple it's been to eat healthily in the AM. Paired with this homemade Greek yogurt chicken salad for lunch, and I'd say I'm on the right track(ish) so far.

- We're going to our first wedding of the year this weekend! In 2015, it felt like we were going to a wedding every other month (in October of that year, we were both a part of the "wedding party" in two different weddings!). In 2016, we only went to one back in March. I'm so excited to finally see my old friend and coworker Jennifer marry her man this weekend! I can't wait to throw on a fancy dress, get my makeup done with a friend, and drink some champs.

What would you tell me over a hot cup of tea this morning?


Friday, February 17, 2017

On Mean People.

Mean People suck.

Am I right?   Let’s get real - we all have our moments of weakness. We have our bad days, days where we let our mouths get ahead of our mental filters. But I’m not talking about normal, mistake-making humans like me and you.   I’m talking about the people who are simply mean to their core; the people who don’t feel fulfilled unless they’re bringing someone else down, unless they’re making someone feel less than. The kind of people who have “never made a mistake in their lives,” who think compassion is for the weak. The kind of people who think smiling takes too much effort. I don’t come across these kinds of people often, but I’ve certainly come across them lately…and I’ll be honest, it hurts. Especially as a server in a restaurant, especially when it’s so apparent that I’m being judged for working in a service position, when I’m judged even harder for making a mistake. “I’m less than, I don’t have anything going for me, I have a lot to learn.” That’s what Mean People want me to think, that’s what Mean People intend for me to feel with every jab or complaint. But such is life. Sometimes negativity is impossible to avoid, and sometimes it’s impossible to ignore. It’s times like these that I remind myself of all the good things I have going on in my life – I think about graduating with a Master’s degree next year, about my handsome boyfriend and precious pooches waiting for me at home, about my family and my beautiful friends. Maybe Mean People don’t have those things. And I guess if I didn’t have those things, I’d be pretty mean, too. Or maybe Mean People don’t have those things because they are Mean People. Life’s mysteries, right?

I’ll close out my rage-induced rant post with a quick note to the bitch(es) I’ve served this week: Always remember that life isn’t about what happens to you – it’s about how you react to what happens. And how you react to an honest mistake made by a perfect stranger says a hell of a lot more about you than it ever could about me.

And finally: just be nice, guys. It costs literally $0.00 to be a decent human being.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love Doesn't Always Look Like...

Love doesn’t always look like flowers “just because.”
Sometimes, love looks more like coming home after a long day to a clean apartment, complete with vacuumed floors and an emptied dishwasher.
Love doesn’t always sound like 10,000 “you’re beautifuls.”
Sometimes, love sounds more like, “What do you want to order for takeout tonight? On me.”
Love doesn’t always look like fiery 50 Shades make out sessions & Victoria’s Secret lingerie.
Sometimes, love looks more like forehead kisses in 20-year-old t-shirts and unwashed hair.
Love doesn’t always sound like the right thing at the right time.
Sometimes, love sounds more like a heartfelt apology after an argument.
Love doesn’t always feel like butterflies and stomach drops.
Sometimes, love feels more like a safe space, a warm heart, a place to call home.
Love doesn’t always look like a boyfriend or a girlfriend or any kind of relationship at all.
Sometimes, love looks more like a happy dance from your furry companion when you come home from work.
Love doesn’t always feel like it comes easily.
But when it’s right, it almost always does.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends! Have a heart shaped cookie, pop open a bottle of bubbly with your girlfriends, snag a steak dinner with your S/O, give your family a quick phone call, watch a rom-com with your sweet pooch. Celebrate love in all its forms.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Looking Back | When It's Okay to Say No.

I've had a Tumblr account since 2009 (what! crazy it's been so long). While I basically just repost pretty pictures over there now, it used to be my creative outlet for personal blogging before I made this little space. I've also been flipping through my old journals lately. You know, taking strolls down memory lane and all that. I thought I'd start a little mini series over here called "Looking Back," featuring an excerpt from my old journal, blog, etc. 

This little tidbit is from the latter half of 2013. I hadn't met Ryan just yet. I was recently single and getting back into the dating game, starting up serving at a new restaurant while in the process of interviewing for my first "big girl job," and adjusting to moving back in with my parents...AKA I was dealing with my entire life changing at the mere age of 22:

"I think one of the most prevalent lessons I’ve learned in the last few months is that it’s okay to say no.
It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to say you’re not interested. It’s okay to say when something doesn’t serve your best interest. It’s okay to say no when you’re uncomfortable with something, some place, or someone.
I find that I put so much pressure on myself to get out of my comfort zone, to get to know new people, to make different decisions…and don’t get me wrong, I enjoy doing all of those things most of the time. But sometimes I’d rather watch Gossip Girl, in bed, by myself, than go make nice with people I’ve known a couple months. Sometimes I’d rather have one drink and call it a night than try to drink everybody under the table. Sometimes I just want to take a moment, an hour, a night just to sit around and be sad or bummed out or whatever I wanna be and I don’t owe an explanation to anybody. 
It’s okay to say “no, I don’t want to be your friend.” It’s okay to say “no, I really have zero interest in even having the first cup of coffee with you.” It’s okay to say “no, you actually don’t get to talk to me like I’m a scathing idiot because I made one stupid mistake.” Whatever the case, whatever the issue, I’m finally figuring out that I don’t need to please everyone all the time. It’s kind of liberating."

Looking back, I think I was feeling a little feisty here. Feisty, fierce, and obviously unamused with somebody. Sounds about right. When is a time you think it's okay to just say "no"?


Friday, February 3, 2017

This Month, I'd Like To... | February.

February snuck up on me. No, like really snuck up on me. Like I didn't even realize Tuesday was January 31st and Wednesday morning I looked at my phone calendar and saw "Feb 1" unapologetically glaring right at me.

What? When? It was just New Years Eve. I just started my second semester of graduate school.

Truthfully, I don't have a whole lot going on right now. I feel like I should be stressed out about school, considering the semester is well under way for most everyone else in my program...but it isn't for me, so I'm not. I'm still only working twice a week (broke AF forever!), and with all this extra time, I'm trying to stay on top of my extra readings and lectures so I can at least feel semi-prepared as I begin to work with preschoolers (ah!).

I don't have any real "goals" for this month, but I do have a few things on my 'to work on' list:

This month, I'd like to start writing again. Not just blog writing, but real writing. I came across a few blurbs and stories I wrote awhile back - some that I wrote in high school, some I wrote just after graduating college...and they were actually halfway decent. I'd like to get back into that again this month, just for fun, for a creative outlet. I've also had my 52 Lists Project on my desk for a couple weeks now, waiting patiently to be filled in. And my personal journal that I've been keeping tucked away in a drawer.
This month, I'd like to keep up a workout routine & eat healthily throughout the majority of the week.."Summer bodies are made in the winter" isn't quite relevant when it's almost always warm in Florida. Having said that, I'd like to workout 5 days a week every week and see how I look & feel at the end of the month. And I'm all about "treat yo'self" when it comes to eating junk food, but this month, I'd like to be reminded that treating yourself every day doesn't count as "treat yo'self." It simply turns into a regular [bad] diet.
This month, I'd like to drink a little less coffee. For those of you who know me (or that've been reading awhile), you know that cocoa beans and I don't necessarily get along. AKA when I have too much coffee or chocolate over any give period of time, I break out. I thought I'd finally beat the system as I drank coffee every day during last semester's finals week without a breakout in sight - maybe if I never give myself a break from coffee, I'll never have a zit again! Wrong. I've been breaking out quite a bit as of late, so I'd like to pump the brakes on the coffee unless it's a really early morning before a really long day.

What would you like to do this month?

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