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April 12, 2019

Are You Playing Small?

image via barefoot blonde

There have been an awful lot of changes in my life lately. Some really exciting, some bitter sweet. The biggest personal change is that I’m leaving my job after 7 amazing years at a great company to take on a new adventure with a smaller beauty PR firm.

This is certainly one of the bigger life choices I have made in the past 10 years, on par with moving to a new city or ending/starting a relationship. At first I was intimidated by the thought of getting out of my cushy set up at my current gig, psyching myself out that it was “such a big deal.” After a couple weeks of introspection, I’ve realized that there are several things (some small, some huge) that I have been hesitant to move from as my status quo has become a part of my identity.

With this new job, I have chosen to go whole hog into my hopes + dreams for my life. Here are a couple areas where I am jumping out of a small, timid mindset and embracing a loud change:

My finances: Let’s start with a big one. It is safe to say that since the age of 18 I have been scared of money. I blew my savings in college, signed up for a credit card too young, and have adopted the thought that I am “just not good with cash.” I now refuse to let this be my story. Money, after all, is a form of energy that we have given power to in this world. Have you ever spent money like a rockstar on payday, but then somehow manage to live off $100 for 10 days before a check comes? It’s all about money mentality. There are big things I want to do with my life, including travel with my favorite people, get a puppy, and eventually own a home. Rather than shy away from my bank account, I want to find ways to make it healthy and happy. This blog is a part of that journey!

My closet: I have always been a bit of a clothes horse. My dad used to yell at me in my teen years that high school “was for learning, not a fashion show.” Well, I won Best Dressed my senior year, thank you very much!

Over the past 10 years, I’ve certainly been more conservative with my wardrobe. This is in part trying to find a more mature fashion sense, but also is certainly related to being scared of spending my money frivolously (see above). I’ve started referencing some new fashion blogs and makeup tutorials (Carrie Bradshaw Lied is my new obsession), and I am selling and donating old pieces that no longer suit the “new me” and need a new home. I am learning that I can express myself, be smart with money, and have fun while doing all of it!

My energy tank: I am now no longer sorry to admit when I am too tired, overwhelmed, emotional, etc. I have realized that this is a part of life. I’ve gotten much better at saying “no” and try not to take myself and any personal issues too seriously. If something is eating at me, I make sure I have time to get home early, meditate, and go to bed at a grandma-like hour.

My vision for the future: For years, I imagined myself as a stay-at-home mom cooped up in a big house with kids by 30. When it was clear this wasn’t going to happen, I have to admit I went through a bit of heartbreak. What I’ve learned (through some reflection, reading lots of woo-woo books, and experiencing some amazing moments + relationships) is that the Universe not only has something better planned, but if I let it, my future will go beyond my wildest dreams. The future is my biggest focus to not to play small, because I am confident in my heart that we are all meant for greatness.

Where are you trying to shake up your life, or do you have some things holding you back? Don’t be shy – let it out!

In Live. on
February 8, 2019

My “It’s Complicated” Relationship with Sugar

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WARNING: While I do share some links and facts in the following post, the below is a reflection of my personal relationship with sugar.

Some may consider me “blessed” because of the physical body I have been given. As a kid, my nickname was “Skinny Minnie” or “peanut” because I was always small and thin despite what I ingested. My stomach was as strong as steal. I could eat anything I wanted – bags of chips, oreos, meat, cheese, ice cream – and not gain a pound or feel (at least to my knowledge) the effects of the contents of my stomach.

In the past several years, my digestion has SEVERELY changed. I had horrible stomach pain to the point of nausea several years ago, which my doctors eventually chalked up to stressful marathon race training and emotional anxiety. Now that I’ve officially entered my thirties, I have several practices that keep the pain and reflux under control but I more acutely feel the difference and effects of what I put into my body.

My biggest issues as of late are my energy levels and (TMI ALERT) candida that come back a couple times a year. While my doctor had continuously told me it was because I was eating “too much of the good stuff,” I chose not to believe him. I ate healthy. Quinoa was in my pantry. Who was I to deny myself a cookie now and then?

A couple more serious health troubles came up this past month which made me take a more serious look at my diet. I listened to a podcast featuring Kelly Leveque (aka Be Well By Kelly), which got me thinking about my sugar intake. Kelly encourages her clients to focus on her “fab four” in the beginning of the day – protein, fiber, fat and greens – and try to avoid the sugar that is in most common breakfast items, like yogurt, orange juice or cereal. After being inspired to look deeper into some of my favorite foods, I shockingly realized exactly how much sugar I was taking in before I even got to the office – more than 37g (the recommended daily amount of sugar for a woman 25g). Add in my daily chocolate intake, my habitual kombucha and an after-dinner dessert, and I’m well over 50g for the day. As in TWICE the recommended amount for the average woman.

Now the kicker. I’ve been aware of this sugar intake for some time, and I still cannot seem to avoid the sugar. I get a craving in the afternoon, and I reach for the office Reese’s. I need a little pick me up, and I inhale the ice cream my sister brought to the apartment. There are studies to suggest that sugar is more addicting than cocaine, and I would be the first to raise my hand and call it an addiction. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but even as I’m trying to get on the “right path” the sugary snacks call me back for more.  Sad for me, it seems like going cold turkey is not going to be an option.

I’m determined to give the cut-out of sugar a try. I have a good feeling once I get the sugar intake under control I will feel much more energetic, and ready to get into a creative and restorative space – not to mention the health benefits of eating more protein and fat vs. added sugar. If you have any tips or resources, please share them! I will be sure to give updates along the way as well.

~

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In Live. on
January 21, 2018

My Dream Morning Routine

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Confession: I am intimidated by morning routines and morning rituals. As much as I would love to have a set practice every morning to get my day started on the right foot, it has been really hard for me to find one. Usually my morning goes something like this:

Set alarm for 7:15, snooze until 7:45, use the bathroom (bodily functions, brush teeth, tongue scrape, sometimes dry brush), shower, coconut oil + morning skincare regimen, decide on what to get dressed, realize I’m late and rush through a quick breakfast, out the door by 8:30/8:45am.

It’s stressful, and it sets the tone for a rushed morning. By the time I get to work, I am usually dying for a pick-me-up, in desperate need of alone time and a little cranky.

I am currently working on manifesting my ideal morning routine, and I thought writing it out for the world to see may help. While I would love to say that I’d like to workout every morning, make myself a cup of tea and light incense, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Instead, I’d like to list what is most important to me, and what would make me really happy to get done before my day begins:

Wake up with the sun at 6:15/6:30am

Make my bed

Use the bathroom

Make hot water with lemon

Light stretches – maybe a quick yoga flow if my body is called to it

Gratitude pages and journaling

Meditation

Shower + begin getting ready for work

I am already working on adjusting my night routine, which I can share later. I am realizing that it is true what they say – everyone has time for meditation if you don’t want to feel like crap. I have been resistant to a daily meditation practice (who has the time, is it really necessary??), but I’ve found I feel so much more balanced mentally and physically if I meditate at least once a day.

I hope that by sharing my dream routine with you I will make it come true! How do you start your mornings right?

~

In Live. on
September 17, 2017

The Importance of a Vision Board

In grade school I loved making collages. I used to cover my planner with magazine cut-outs of things I loved at the moment, like ballerinas, VW Bugs and Justin Timberlake. I never really lost the habit, using the walls of my first cubicles as an “inspiration board” type space for pretty pictures and artwork.

It was only recently that I started taking vision boards seriously. Last year, my masseuse encouraged me to make one before December 21, so my “wishes” could be brought into the new year with the light as the days got longer. I put one together, using pictures of women in wheel pose and apartments from a wonderful interior designer I followed on Instagram to inspire me to stick to yoga and create the  beautiful home I’ve always wanted. Fast forward five months – I was doing more yoga than every before and sticking the wheel, and had just moved into the apartment of my dreams.

The power behind a vision board is that it helps you see and manifest what you are trying to create in your life. I have gotten into the habit of creating at least one a year, and I think it is an incredible tool for anybody to use. A couple of guidelines if you’ve never tried a vision board before:

Vision boards are great for all parts of your life. Make sure to add tangible goals to the board as well as personal wishes and dreams. Be open to success in all areas of your life, even in places where you have found challenges before. Vision boards are a great way to start changing your perspective.

There are no rules. You can use magazine cut outs, printed pictures from Pinterest, written quotes in Sharpie, drawings or sketches.

Except one. I personally encourage everyone to print or physically create a vision board, rather than use Tumblr or a Pinterest page. While these are helpful, having a poster or print-out in your living space or work area that you see everyday is much more powerful than a web page you only visit when you remember.

Get into the scary stuff. The things you think will NEVER happen? Put them on the board. Trust me, when you’re looking at pictures of a bigger bank account, perfect partner or a happy home each morning, it will all start to seem a bit more attainable.

Put it somewhere high-traffic. I used to hide my vision boards in my bedroom closet or in a corner of my office. Now I put it on my fridge. I’m not ashamed of what I want in my life, so why shouldn’t my wishes and desires be front and center? Try putting your board behind your computer monitor so you look at it ALL day, or near the coffee maker.

If it doesn’t appear, there is a reason. I have learned that if I ask for something that does not serve me, I will not get it. Sometimes there are things on my vision board that will not come to fruition, but I always realize after the fact that it did not manifest because there was a bigger plan. Sometimes you need to get a “no” to realize what your true and honest path is.

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