Uncategorized

Cleaning Out the Clutter

Spring is nearly upon us! It’s one of my favorite times of the year. Fresh starts are kinda my thing.

(What is absolutely not my thing? Actual cleaning of actual things. Gross.)

But: there’s so much to be said about cleaning up your mental space and making some fresh changes to your routine to help maintain your balance & clarity.

So let’s do this!

First things first. Social media can be kinda a drain. I mean, I get that it keeps some of us connected and aware of the mundane happenings in our tiny worlds. And that part is cute. But what’s not cute? Those people who your social media calls your “friends” really probably aren’t who is going to be next to you when the real *ish* goes down.

And you know this.

You know, or at the very least, suspect that very few of those hundreds or thousands of “friends” are even going to answer the phone when you call. They don’t even really know your phone number (you’re an unknown caller for heavens sake). You’ve never even actually talked to some (most) of these people with your actual voice on the phone. They wouldn’t even recognize your voice. (Can you imagine how awkward that would even be?! Insert face-to-palm emoji here.)

But they “like” and watch from the cheap seats every little thing you post. And in return, you “like” and watch from where you sit behind a screen size of your choosing.

And that’s where the unhealthy part comes in or in this case: the clutter.

So, let’s clean up that clutter in official Marie Kondo fashion!

Scroll down that list of peeps and if you feel anything other than butterflies and rainbows when you see that name and face in your feed, it’s time to unfriend, unfollow or block.

And really any of those options will do.

If you choose to only go the unfollow route, there’s no harm done. You certainly won’t be hurting your imaginary friend’s feelings because they won’t even know. You’re still (imaginary) friends with this person but in order to see what’s up with them, and allow them and their dirty feet in your head space, you have to consciously choose to look for them versus them coming right in unannounced and traipsing all about the living room spaces of your brain.

And believe it or not, not seeing the people who give you those feelings that are less than stellar for any particular reason helps in HUGE ways.

You’re not triggered. You’re not annoyed. You don’t feel left out from that party that you weren’t invited to. You won’t even be aware of what you’re not missing. No more #fomo. You don’t do the comparison thing where that grass always looks so damn pretty on the days that you feel like yours is lacking.

And just like that: Tah dahhhhh! It’s like magic. You took back some head space, friend.

And it feels SO GOOD.

More Spring un-cluttering tips coming soon! Stay tuned!

xoxo

#keepshining

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Believe me. I get it.

Because I’ve been there, I am here.


I’ve felt the crushing weight of Major Depressive Disorder & Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I’ve been in the dark and spent time hiding from my family, my friends and myself simply because I didn’t feel like I measured up. I kept my own personal and never ending tally of my wrongs and my mistakes and the would-haves and should-haves. I numbed my emotions and my pain and pasted on my fabulous fake smile. And, while I wasted valuable years, months, weeks, days and hours of my one and only precious life, the world went on without me.


Here’s the hardest to swallow truth of the matter friends: This world isn’t going to stop while you get your shit together.


Ouch…right? I know, I know. But hear me out.


There’s no pause button. We don’t get a time out while we reset what matters in…

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Spring 2019, Uncategorized

What I’m LOVING Spring 2019 Edition

Friends! In an effort to get us all Spring Ready and FABULOUS I reached out to my friend and fellow blogger extraordinaire, Jennifer McCune to have her share some of her most helpful tips for skin care. I’m so excited to share her recommendations and tools of the trade that she swears by. And, be sure to check out her blog, Mompreneur Next Door.

P.s the pictures above are Jennifer’s own from 2007 to 2015 and those results?! Wow!

Ah, spring! The time of year when we get outside more and show off our gorgeous skin! So of course it’s also the best time of year to think of how best to take care of our largest organ and feel confident with how we look.

Tip Number One – Brighten up that dull-looking winter skin by exfoliating a few times a week with a gentle exfoliant to remove that top layer of dead skin cells. Using a skin care routine that includes a gentle moisturizer, Vitamin C, Retinol and a sunscreen will help brighten up your skin and prevent future damage as well. Look for products that are meant to work together as well. If not, it’s like mixing together cinnamon and garlic. They’re both great alone but don’t work so well together.

Tip Number Two – Don’t forget those eyes! As we age, our eyes appear smaller so not only do you want to start using a good eye cream at a young age, but you also want something to enhance your lashes. Falsies can be very damaging and costly long-term, so a good serum is the easiest, healthiest and most cost-effective option.


Tip Number Three – Wear a daily sunscreen to prevent further sun damage. If you want to get a fresh-looking natural glow, try a sunless tanner and don’t forget your vitamin D.

All of these tips along with wearing a hat, drinking lots of water, and sleeping 7+ hours a night will keep you aging gracefully and feeling and looking fantastic! Remember that the best wrinkle is the one you never get!

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Tips to Manage Anxiety

I know when we’re in our heads and it feels like we’re stuck that it’s hard to focus and hit the “reset button”. Here’s a few tips I’ve found that have been helpful for me and I hope they will be for you too.

– First things first: breathe. I mean it. Sit down and take 10 minutes and truly focus on your breath and slow it down. Breathe in for a 7 second count and out for a 10 second count and slow your mind and take back your control. Sometimes this little exercise alone helps me the most.

– Stop and take a few minutes to really BE exactly where you are. And I mean that literally. Take time to ground yourself; become aware of your surroundings. What do you see, feel and hear? Are your feet touching the floor & are your hands in a relaxed position versus being tense. Rest your head and neck and BREATHE. Close your eyes and concentrate on just BEING.

– Aromatherapy is a huge help. And there’s so many options now from so many essential oils companies & people. They even have concoctions that are specifically designed for calming anxiety and helping to de-stress. And, they make them in little travel sized roll on bottles and you can take them anywhere. But again, with the aromatherapy: you’re breathing. One of my favorites is Serenity Now by Frankie & Myrrh. https://frankiewholesale.com/best-sellers/

What works for you and your anxiety or stress-y moments? I’d love to hear your go-to coping strategies so please share.

Much love, friends!

#keepshining

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Trusting your Journey

Now this is the hard part and the piece that I struggle the most with. Patience is not my strong point; especially when I’m trying to find my way forward and it feels like the universe is conspiring against me.

Case in point: 3 weeks ago I had a TIA or a “mini-stroke”. I’m hella lucky to be here and recovering and doing as well as I am, however, these last 3 weeks have tested me in ways I could never even imagine.

On the evening of February 13, I was wrapping up an evening shift at my brand new-to-me job (only 37 days in) at an inpatient crisis stabilization program for folks with mental illness and substance use disorders. This was a HUGE career change for me as I had been working for the past 20 years in the geriatric field of social work.

To say that I was absolutely LOVING my new job and my new role would be an understatement. (Insert hearts and butterflies. I’m so serious.) These were MY people, y’all. I felt like I belonged there and had some serious hope to share after lots of twists and turns in my own life.

I felt like I had found my calling and felt like I was doing some good in the world; even in a very small way —- and I was learning SO MUCH.

But: my health and the universe had other ideas.

I’m 41 years old and aside from a several years long battle with systemic lupus, I’m generally a healthy (ish) person. To clarify, I certainly never in a million years expected to be in an ambulance and unable to speak and having issues with left sided weakness at this point in my life. I also wasn’t expecting to be in the ER unable to make my wishes known and having my family asked about my advanced directives.

Ummmm……yikes?

So, to find out shortly thereafter that my driving privileges were temporarily in question due to my loss of consciousness was another ugly surprise that I was not at all prepared for. My (brand new) employer wasn’t prepared for that particular plot twist either and it was decided that I couldn’t “effectively meet the duties required of my position” because driving is an essential function in my role.

At first, I was accepting of this. I kinda had to be. I couldn’t argue the point very well —- quite literally, because my speech was still somewhat slurred and delayed and I really needed to focus on getting well again before attempting to go back out and into the world. I also had to focus on being well and safe for my other full time job: being a mom for my kids.

Now, I am a little past the 3-weeks point of my recovery and I’m doing so well and I’m so happy and so lucky and I’m excited about what’s next.

But.

Wait for it.

I don’t know what’s next.

I don’t have that brand new-to-me job anymore because I didn’t know when or even IF I’d be better. And if I were better, we didn’t really know what “better” would look like now for me and if it meant I could REALLY go back to being me and doing what I want to do.

And that my friends, is hella scary.

And that’s what brings me to the part about trusting my journey. That’s what’s hard for me right now. That’s what causes me to lose sleep at night and wonder what the next day has in store for me.

Regardless of what I may or may not do moving forward, personally and professionally, what matters to me in this life is the difference that I can make in the world one person at a time.

And to do that, I have to trust my journey.

And so do you.

I know it’s hard but we have to.

Always,

Xoxo

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There will be bad days.

There really will. Those don’t end just because we’ve taken the leap to “get our shit together”. And guess what? That’s ok.

My bad days are not so pretty. They’re not glitter and sunshine filled. Not even a little bit. I will spend the day in my pajamas, hair in a messy bun and completely stuck in my head. And my head, in case you were wondering, can be a super dark and lonely place.

Those of us who grew up in less than idyllic family environments, with abuses, trauma or neglect, literally experience a different kind of brain development. Growing up as a child and living in the constant state of fight, flight or freeze changes our chemical makeup while our brains and bodies are still developing. (True story, y’all – and if you’d like to read further on this particular subject or you’re feeling extra nerdy, I highly recommend the book The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD.)

What that means to me, personally, is that I am hyper-sensitive to everything. Every. Little. Thing. People could look across the room crosseyed and not even have the first thought about little ole me and I will immediately think and know with every ounce of my being that they hate me and I’ve done something offensive – like breathe.

I’m not even kidding. My brain and my chemistry are jacked up. I have to constantly talk myself down and out of my head and try to rationalize with my book-brain (that knows very well that my thoughts and emotions aren’t logical) in order to recognize that everything isn’t about me and everything also isn’t bad or horrible. People in my life aren’t going to abandon me. I’m not a horrible person. People aren’t judging me. People don’t hate me. People don’t look at me and know that I’m fundamentally somehow broken as a person or lacking.

And this is the exhausting part. I overthink and hyper-analyze and second guess every interaction that I have with anyone – no matter how small – because ultimately, the me that was raised by people who didn’t know how to love me, is still here. And I’ve had to make it my job to show that girl the unconditional love that she was denied. There’s not enough bandaids in the world to cover and heal that kind of hurt, friends. You just have to love yourself through it and make the best of what’s left of your life and your world and move past the things that tried to break you.

You’re still here for a reason. And so am I. And on our bad days, we can rest in that knowledge until we make it to a better day.

Much love,

Always. xoxo

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What I’m LOVING this Wednesday

What I’m LOVING this Wednesday!

Winter skin is tough! This Agave Nectar Ageless Body Oil is my new FAV for right out of the shower head to toe softness and the smell is gorgeous, too y’all. Yay! https://www.amazon.com/FarmHouse-Fresh-Agave-Nectar-Body/dp/B005HWY9CQ/ref=asc_df_B005HWY9CQ/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4584345016123547&psc=1

I adore candles. If ever you visit my home (come on over!) there are always, always, always candles lit all over. Snarky Lights on Etsy has this completely adorable AND sarcastic candle for those days that you need a good laugh with your candle light glow. “Your crazy is showing….” is my new favorite. https://www.snarkylights.com/listing/189374752/snarky-lights-your-crazy-is-showingyou

Hello, Rachel Hollis? I love you! Her new book came out this week and it’s pretty much available everywhere and I KNOW this is another must-read. *If you haven’t read Girl, Wash Your Face because you’ve been on another planet or something: Go. Now. Get it. I mean it. https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Stop-Apologizing-Shame-Free-Embracing/dp/1400209609

I’m a non-recovering makeup and beauty-a-holic. Not sorry. But I’m super excited to see the classic Caboodles back out in all the colors we remember from our teenage years. Love. They are everywhere, y’all.