Friday Favorites - Summatime Fine

New England weather literally catapulted itself from winter, to spring, to SUMMER (in all its' glory) in just three weeks. I feel like I have whiplash.

This week I was slacking on working out just because the weather was so wonderfully oppressive & I wanted to enjoy it all outside.

But 90 degrees ain't too cool to run in, ya know? 


Above photo is from last summer but it sets the right tone. 

Wednesday was my favorite day, with some time spent at a lake with my lovah followed by a cookout with my family on our brand spankin' new patio and patio furniture. We are living large. 

Now, without further ado, here are some of my favorite tidbits from this past week...


THIS SNACK.


Raspberries, when they are perfectly ripe, are one of the most delicious things my mouth has ever tasted.

Not to mention they are full of badass antioxidants like vitamin C, and gallic acid which fight things like heart disease & cancer.

Put them all in my mouth please.


THIS SONG. 

Look But Don't Touch by The Empire Cast

So sassy, this is literally the perfect Spinning song, running song, or getting sparkly and going out with your girlfriends song.

Girl power & confidence, two of my favorite things.


THIS DRANK.


I've been loving putting OJ with my alcoholic dranks since I realized tequila & OJ is the one thing I miraculously can't get hungover from.

OJ also seems to taste great with most things, so in a pinch I threw some Bacardi in my glass and kicked back for our family cookout on Wednesday. 

I don't drink a lot, but when I do, it's because I EARNED IT. 


THIS BEAUTY THING.



This is 10 times better than any high end mascara I've recently tried.

For once I get length, volume, AND definition. My eyelashes haven't looked like this in awhile. It's pretty great. 

I got the waterproof version 'cuz HELLO SUMMER and also because waterproof formulas usually hold a curl better & my straight lil lashes need all that help.


THIS SHOW. 


Oh em gee, The Bachelorette AKA my biggest guilty pleasure show ever IS BACK. 

I'm not going to do a full review, but I am not super impressed with the guys. 

Yet.

I sense her immediate chemistry with Jordan the same way I sensed Kaitlyn's immediate chemistry with Shawn. And look how that turned out. 

So I've got all my money on him. 

I can't wait to see how this villain story with Chad or Chase or whoever unfolds. 'Cuz villains gotta vill. You know what I mean. 

Or you don't because you're not a Bachelor watching floozy like me. 

- - - - -

That's the fun little things for the week! 

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND IS THIS WEEKEND. 

Does anyone have any fun plans? I'm going to the beach on Saturday & having a cookout later that night. The wonderful ease of summer is upon us. 

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend :) 

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Realness: What I've Learned From Therapy

No matter what anyone tells you, therapy is normal & healthy.

How can anyone be expected to carry all of their emotions, thoughts, & worries with them 24/7? 

It's impossible.

And if you're constantly unloading on your friends and family members, you can start to feel like a burden. Been there, done that. I'LL PASS.

I love my therapist. She's like my friend that my insurance pays to talk & listen to me, who is completely unbiased and provides the best insight. 

It doesn't hurt that she's about 65 years old, has been practicing for 40 years, and is basically a surrogate grandmother. 

She's taught me so much about myself & helped me grow into a MUCH stronger person than when I started therapy about two years ago. (my process of starting therapy is a blog post/novel in itself)



Here's what I've learned from going to therapy for two years now:

1. Finding the right therapist is like finding the right pair of shoes.
I was lucky on the first try in terms of "clicking" with my therapist. But if you don't feel like you can open up with them, or relate to them at all, they probably aren't right for you. It's okay to try again to find the perfect fit. 

2. They don't even really tell you what to do.
My therapist will give me suggestions, but never a biased opinion, or direct advice. They want you to come to your own conclusions, but will guide you there with questions. 

3. Sometimes having someone listen is all you need.
I am quite often a needy mess in my life and in relationships. I need the comfort of knowing that someone is there and cares about me. Watching my therapist nod with empathy as I vent is the best feeling, and sometimes all I really need. 

4. You have a big affect on them, believe it or not.
My therapist will tell me things throughout the week that reminded her of me, or bring me pamphlets for occupational therapy offices that I'm researching. It shows that she cares about me, and makes me feel like I'm more than "just another patient". When I get emotional, she gets emotional. I think that's the mark of a great therapist, one that makes you feel extremely cared about (of course without overstepping professional boundaries).

5. The right therapist will make you feel like your problems are important, not silly or stupid.
It goes without saying that your therapist should approach each of your problems with their full attention and concern. They aren't judgmental and they take you seriously. 

6. You don't only talk about the bad stuff.
Therapy isn't a riddle to solve. It's a relationship with someone who can help you better understand your actions and habits. But there isn't some equation you follow with what you talk about. If you feel like telling your therapist about all the good things in your life, go right ahead! 

7. Your therapist should have a sense of humor.
My therapist has the face of Mrs. Claus and the mouth of a sailor. I think it's because she models her behavior after her patients. Since I swear up a storm when I get worked up, so does she. But she has a great sense of humor, and makes our sessions very comfortable for me to vent about anything (& I mean ANYTHING). 

8. Saying something out loud makes it less overwhelming. 
Sometimes keeping something up in my head for a long time will feed it to become a monstrous big deal. Saying something out loud, to someone who has literally heard it all, tames that beast. Your therapist will help you break it down into smaller parts so that it's easier to manage and to think about. 

There's your dose of realness for the week! 

If you're looking a badass therapist, narrow your options down using Psychology Today. You can filter it by location, gender, insurance taken, specialty... pretty much anything. 

Some people are nervous about going to therapy, or talking about going, because of this weird mental health stigma that somehow still exists.

HELLO PEOPLE, IT'S 2016. 

I will tell you this. Therapy just makes me feel better. 

I've never regretted a therapy session. 



5 No-Brainer Ways To Have a Prettier & Happier Week

Another Monday, another fresh start.

Last week was pretty weird. If you read my Friday Favorites, you definitely know I was feeling a little bit off.

It's fine to have an off day (or week). It's all about how you recover from it.

This past weekend, Lucas and I went to New York City, baby!

Stay tuned for some better pictures from his fancy pants camera and a recap of our mini trip. For now, here is a basic iPhone photo of my attempt at modeling on our bougie chaise lounge overlooking some NY buildings.


Now, onto our regularly scheduled programming.

Here are 7 absolutely no-brainer ways to make this week prettier and happier. 

Two things we could all use more of, am I right? & I'm even going to schedule it for you. Or more like myself. These are my personal plans, but feel free to follow my lead ;)



Monday >>> Have an important talk.

If you are in a relationship, have roommates, whatever the case may be, this is what you should do on Monday. Talk about all the important stuff, and get it all out in the open.

Financial stuff. When bills are due. Any kinds of conflict. When work meetings are. The plans for the week. Some dinner ideas. What everyone's plans are for the weekend, & scheduling in some fun.

Getting this convo over with at the beginning of the week (and laying it ALL OUT IN THE OPEN) opens up the rest of the week for just a good 'ol time.


Tuesday >>> Indulge in a favorite show.

On Tuesday I will be glued to my TV screen watching the season premiere of The Bachelorette with my girl Jojo!

I miss it every Monday night because I teach dance classes Mondays, & after I get home from teaching I pass the f out.

Schedule a fav TV show to auto-record & thank yourself later.


Wednesday >>> Hang some art.

Idk about you, but I am not about to spend $25 on something that I can print FO' FREE in my living room.

I love art, but I'm simply not at a point in my life where I can roll out the piggy bank for it. I'm sorry.

That's why I'm all about free stuff on the internet.

Like these cute, FREE typography printables.

I especially love the "Whatever is lovely" one.

Super easy peasy, print out something beautiful, frame it or not, put it somewhere you'll see it every day. Bring some extra prettiness to your life, why not?


Thursday >>> Find a new playlist. Bump it with the top down. 

Being a Spin instructor is hard, man.

You're always on the hunt for amazing, motivating, heart-pumping JAMS.

& I'm sure everyone else out there likes good music. That's why, if you aren't using Spotify yet, I just don't understand what you're thinking!

Spotify has a gazillion playlists and music stations already created just for you.

For every mood, atmosphere, & type of workout you can think of!

Some of my absolute favorites are under the Workout category & are called Cardio!, Workout Remix, & Hiit Hop. Just to name a few. There are gazillions.

You don't just have to work out to these. 'Cuz they are the perfect songs to put you in an awesome mood & get you psyched for your day.


Friday >>> Buy yourself some greenery.

Flowers, succulents, little hanging vines.

I want them all. But I never buy them.

I justify not needing a bamboo stalk from Shop Rite because I have a black thumb. I'll definitely kill it within hours.

I want you (& myself, included) to treat yourself to some beautiful plant(s) that will bring life to your space.

Then, actually take care of it, LOL.

I never have fresh plants in my room & I've always wanted to. They bring a space to life, pump out that extra oxygen, and the color green is supposed to inspire creativity and calmness.

& they're pretty. Enough said.


--

I hope you have some neat plans to make your week prettier & happier.

Just always remember that we become what we surround ourselves with, so plan accordingly. Sparkles, champagne, plant life, happy people, & good music are all very welcome.

& HAPPY MONDAY.





Friday Favorites - Are the planets still in retrograde?

Good morning and HAPPY FRIDAY.

The beginning of this week felt totally normal you guys. The end of this week, starting with Wednesday, felt... off.

For starters, everyone I know has been extremely irritable this week, myself included. I'm getting in wild arguments with people and there's just been a general feeling of unrest.... not cool.

Also, everyone I've talked to agrees that Wednesday felt like a Monday and yesterday felt like a Friday. Which was obviously upsetting.

So yeah.

I don't know what's going on with the planets, but homegirl would appreciate if they'd calm down up there!

Here's what I've been loving on this week, despite the cosmic mess.


THIS BEAUTY THING: 



Bareminerals Lipgloss in Trailblazer

I got this as a Sephora points perk after finally parting with some of my 1,000+ points.

It is FABULOUS.

Never tried any Bareminerals lip glosses before this, and I don't even really like lip products...

But it's not to sticky, the perfect minty tingling sensation, and makes your lips look bronze-y and goddess-y and ALIVE. 


THIS TV SHOW: 


The Family on ABC. 

Y'ALL. 

This TV show aired it's first season finale last Sunday but I finally got around to watching it on Wednesday and yo.

It's wild. It's unpredictable. It's addicting.

Have you seen it? 

I can't believe.... well, I don't want to spoil anything for you.

But this isn't like any crime/kidnapping/investigative plot line I've ever seen or heard before. 

& I used to be obsessed with Criminal Minds and murder mystery shows, so I've seen my fair share. 

Find it somewhere, watch it, report back so we can develop some crazy theories together.


THIS SONG:

Too Good by Drake ft. Rihanna 

Another solid jam.

I kinda think this will be a "Song of The Summer".

It reminds me of all those other songs, like Work by Rihanna, One Dance by Drake, & In Common by Alicia Keys. Like they're all chill af, but still somehow jams.

I'm into it.


THIS PLACE: 



Elizabeth Park in Hartford, CT

Winding paths, garden, terraces, and green things galore.

It was really nice out on Wednesday afternoon, so Lucas and I visited this park (one of the first places we ever hung out/went on a date) & wandered around enjoying the beautiful day.




& that's all folks! 

We actually have a busy weekend planned out. 

There's a graduation dinner in NYC tomorrow, followed by dranks dranks dranks. 

And if this week was as long for you as for me, well, you deserve a drank too. 

Then on Sunday we're roaming around the city, maybe visiting the Museum of Sex, seeing a show, going to lunch, or going on some boat tour of Manhattan. I've seen some cray cray Groupon deals. 

Peace out cub scouts, and TGIF. 





Your Starter Kit to Radiant, Hydrated Skin
(when you're a dry betch)

Do you know what's not cute?

Your skin visibly peeling off in large, flaky chunks, leaving angry, red dry spots behind.

This was my reality in middle school and high school. I was the driest bitch in class.

I think the cause of most of my skin problems (and girl, I HAD A LOT) was my diet and the fact that I was likely dehydrated for.... several years.

I was an ignorant little high schooler and water just wasn't important to me. NOW, it's like give me water or give me death. I am lost without a water bottle in every single space I occupy.

So that's the obvious NUMBER 1 tip here: If you aren't drinking water and eating a diet rich in healthy foods, green things, etc. then DUH - of course your skin sucks.

This is your STARTER KIT to radiant, hydrated skin, after the fact.



Being a dry bitch most of my life made me paranoid to find my skin in that state again.

So I will SLATHER my face with hydration, any season, any day.

Dead of winter, SLATHER IT ON.

Middle of summer in the scorching sun, SLATHER IT ON.

What am I slathering on do you ask? Well......

1. 
COCONUT OIL. 

I realize this is the most basic thing to say... ever.

Bitches and their coconut oil roll deep. This is not new news.

But if you aren't using coconut oil for literally everything at this point,
I just don't understand your life.

Hair falling out of my head? Coconut oil hair treatment!

Dry, cracked feet? Coconut oil!

Dry scalp? Coconut oil!

Chapped lips? Coconut oil!

Yeast infection? Coconut oil....

K, I've never tried that last one but my crazy friend Melissa has and she says it works sooo...



2. 
SLEEPING MASKS.

The Sephora sleeping masks are cheat as shit.

They come in little pods that are 1-2 uses (1 if you SLATHER IT ON like me)

& treat a variety of facial woes.

The Lotus one in particular is GREAT for dry skin.

I used this in the winter time and woke up to sheer radiance.

And my face felt like a baby's butt.

Best feeling ever. 


3. 
TINTED MOISTURIZER. 

I honestly can't remember the last time I used real foundation.

ANY foundation I have tried sticks to my dry flakes.

Tinted moisturizer is bae.

But even some of those accentuate my dryness !!

Laura Mercia makes a great one, it glides on like waterrrrr.

I've heard BareMinerals Skin Rescue is also great.

Gotta try that lil baby out.



4. 
MILKY SERUM. 

The NUDE Milk Serum is of course sold out on Sephora.

I shit you not, this one product completely changed my skin.

Even texture, redness reduced, dryness almost completely eliminated.

With a few pumps, your life could be forever changed.

Yeah it's a little expensive for the amount you get,
& I've gone through like 4 in 7 months....

but is it worth it?

7,000% yes. 



5. 
SHIMMER, BABY. 

& you will be the most radiant bitch of all. 









Realness: Everyone's Graduating & I Feel Old

So I shouldn't feel old because I'm only 23 years old.

And being a December babe, I'm very young for my graduating classes.

I didn't turn 21 until after winter break of my senior year of college. It was a huge pain in the ass.

But scrolling though Instagram (which... does anyone at all enjoy the new icon? *cricket sounds) or perusing my Snapchat stories is just completely inundating me with images of young & naive lil seniors with DIY caps & lil smiles on their faces that say "I'm acting happy but really I'm like WTF do I do now???"

I'm sure some of them aren't like this and have jobs post-college lined up.

But the vast majority, I'm also sure, don't.

I feel old. And it's very upsetting.



Because I'm watching a group of people graduate who were sophomores when I was a senior. The little kiddos who were freshmen when I was a senior are now seniors.

An entire generation of college students is almost complete !!!???

The group of Dance majors that I spent hours in sweaty rehearsals, rolling on the floor, and rubbing my body against for several years was very close. We all know each other very well.

Once the senior class of next year graduates in Spring 2017, there will be no one left there who knows my name.

WHAT. HOW.

Will I be remembered, for the impact I left on the Dance program?

Will the professors ever talk about me, fondly recalling a particular piece of choreography that I created in my time in the program, as eager freshmen jot down notes and inspiration?

It's a terrifying thing, to be phased out and forgotten.

We all strive to leave our mark.

Because if no one remembers us, then what was the point of being there???

To to make our own memories, and to grow as our own person. 

To build relationships that you can fall back on in shitty times.

To connect with professors and professionals who you can email four years down the road for a reference and ask how their kids are doing.

I'm sorry, I'm feeling scattered and nostalgic from all these graduation images and also because I woke up at 4 in the morning and went to sleep at 11:30 because GAME NIGHT GOT INTENSE.

I guess the point of this is, that yes, we will all be forgotten in places where we were incredibly important.

And we HAVE to accept that. The things which once defined us, will no longer define us.

It's up to you how you are defined.

I was once a broke college student with a full heart, majoring in Dance and Psychology, extremely naive, and drunk 2-3 days a week.

I am now a member services rep at a gym, a dance teacher, a Spin instructor, a little more jaded, still pretty terrible with money, and someone who recently discovered that tequila is the only alcohol that won't make me puke.

I will one day be a successful occupational therapist/Spinning instructor/fitness coach living in a beautiful but humble home with an immaculately stocked fridge, a perfect dog, a calendar full of social events, and a consistent habit of drinking mimosas for Sunday brunch.

It's all about perspective.

Because two years ago, the first option was all I cared about. Best option hands down.

Now, I'm dragging myself inch by inch to the third choice.

So yes, maybe I am old. College grads, beware.

Time flies, and this feeling is comin' for ya.

HAPPY MONDAY.

Friday Favorites - I'm Back Bitches

This week FLEW by.

And I'm a-okay with that.

Time is slipping through our fingers and going by faster than ever for me these days, but the weekends are those rare occasions where I feel like I can take a deep breath and let it allll sink in.

So I'm ecstatic to say HAPPY FREAKIN' FRIDAY.



This week was great for me, I hope you too! The sun was out, and I felt sunshine on my skin for the first time in 2 WEEKS, GUYS. TWO WEEKS.

To say I was lacking in the D (vitamin D that is, hehe) is a huge understatement.

I dragged myself out of a major funk this week & I'm super proud of myself.

That's why I feel like it's 100% appropriate for me to say I'm back bitches. 

I was not myself the past two weeks. Between being sick 2 weeks ago and recovering last week, I was feeling lazy, unmotivated, lethargic, even depressed.

But something snapped back "on" inside me this week and it's been full steam ahead every day. Hell yah!

Here's what I've been loving on this week.

THIS SNACK: 


My boyfriend's mom hoards up on this yogurt and he steals it for me. Mwahaha.

This is skyr, which is ACTUALLY an Icelandic cheese made from skim milk. 

Weird, I know. But it actually has the same properties as Greek yogurt, with plenty of protein & calcium. 

The great thing about skyr though is that it's even THICKER than Greek yogurt, and sweeter (with less grams of sugar than most brands of Greek yogurt... how is this possible?? Witchcraft). Which I love and appreciate, thanks Siggi's. You're a real pal. 


THIS WORKOUT PLAN: 

(source)

I have started training for a 10K. 

This is a huge deal for me. I literally never passed the mile run during fitness testing all through elementary, middle, high school. NEVER. 

I had asthma and was a chubby, unathletic little kid. 

I honestly can't tell you the first time I successfully ran a mile without stopping. But it was... recent. 

I've been using the Nike+ Running App, which one of my friends recommended me. & I have it set so that I get "coaching" every minute of my run. Literally.

I find that sooo helpful. Because I'm needy & need to know how far I've gone/how much longer I have to go as often as possible. 

I've been using this training schedule because it's cute & not overwhelming. & I ran (consistently!!!) the longest I've ever gone yesterday at 3.56 miles. 

HOLLA ATCHA GIRL. 

Again, this is a big deal for lil 'ol me. Remember - asthma all throughout public schooling. It used to take me 20 minutes to complete a damn mile. 

One thing to add - I cannot run on a treadmill. It's abysmal. It's boring. It hurts my shins. It's the road or nothin' baby. 


THESE SONGS: 


In Common by Alicia Keys. 

Guys, this is a jam.

It's kinda got that feel of Work by Rihanna and One Dance by Drake. I don't know why but they all sound somewhat similar to me. 

Love the line, "If you can love somebody like me, you must be messed up too."

UGH, YES GIRL. 



CAN'T STOP THE FEELING by Justin Timberlake. 

JT is back with another jam. 

If this isn't the happiest damn song to blast on a sunny day, well I just don't know what is. 

Summer music is the best, now excuse me while I snap my fingers while doing a two-step away from the haters. 


THIS HABIT: 

May we all one day be as majestic as this woman drinking bottled water. 

When I was sick, I really let myself go.

Downnnnnnnnnnnn the tubes. 

I was 7,000% dehydrated at all times. 

I didn't have the energy to lift my head, much less sip and drink water. 

It was literally pathetic. 

Now that I'm better, I'm trying to make it a solid point to put the RIGHT things in my body.

The other day I got this adorable polka dot cup with a straw from Target in the dollar spot, aka the most dangerous place for wallets of twenty-something females on Earth. 

Like, OMG everything is a dollar! It's magical! It's wonderful! But suddenly you have 50 things in your hands and with tax, you can say adios to a day's worth of pay. 

Beware the dollar spot.

But anyways, this cup is so cute, that it's motivated me to drink water ALL THROUGHOUT THE DAY. 

Usually I'm good about drinking water while I'm at work. It helps me pass the time. But now it's like I need to have this cup with me at all times. Phone, wallet, dollar spot cup. Check, check, check. Ready to go. 


That's all for this Friday. 

Tomorrow is my longest run of the week for my 10K training (& also my longest run EVER IN MY LIFE) so wish me luck! 

Other than that, I might go out for some dranks + dancing tomorrow night, I'm going to try and post some clothing items to Poshmark since I haven't begun working on that goal yet, maybe go to to the movies or go out to brekky, & just relax and rejuvenate.

I actually have so many plans coming up for the weekends, so this one should be savored.

Hope you had a full & uplifting week and have a gorgeous weekend! :)