Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Body Image and Feeling Good

body image weight loss

This is a post that I’ve debated writing as it touches on some personal things and I generally try to keep a positive vibe going on this here blog. I heard a segment on the radio the other day talking about body image and how girls in Elementary school are already counting calories and thinking about their bodies in a negative way. I’ve seen first hand as the middle school girls I work with panic and worry about “getting fat” and awful it would be. As I try to be a good role model to them, I’m working on improving myself to a point where I can be a good role model of health as well. With that, this year I’m working on wellness and feeling good in my body. If weight is lost- ok. If weight is gained in this process- that’s ok too.

Let’s Start at the Beginning

Since I was little, I have always been a big girl. Through high school, I felt like I stood out and was so different because I didn’t fit into the norm there. When I moved to Georgia for college, my whole view changed. I realized that despite what my small-town Idaho beliefs may have been, people see outer beauty very differently! Who knew that not everyone saw tall and thin as the standard of beauty! This opened my eyes to a whole new world of support and a new sort of confidence. I began believing more in myself and my own beauty as my body image became more healthy

A few years ago, I had tonsil surgery that helped me keep from getting sick so much. It helped me feel physically well again. Going back into my last semester of college, doing my research for my senior seminar project, and the stress that I went through dealing with personal issues took a whole different toll on my body.

Moving into summer, despite working out daily and eating healthily, I was gaining the weight I was working on losing! Talk about frustration! Because of all that, my body image suffered and I felt like everything I wore looked bad. Which led to me thinking my whole life was bad. I know it seems like an overreaction but I just couldn’t see past what was going on with my body that I couldn’t control with diet and exercise. Going into the next years I’ve felt more stable and in control, so we’ll see what this new start in this new year has in store for me. I will continue to do my part in keeping healthy and am working on accepting my body the way that it is now.

My Body Has Done So Much for Me!

Knowing that I am SO much more than just my body helps because I can look past the parts that I see as imperfections and know that this body is what allows me to help people daily at work. This body has healed sick children and soothed panicking hearts. This body is the vessel through which I am able to do so much. These legs have walked along dirt roads in Uganda, the house of Gandhi in India, shopped along the Champs-Élysées in Paris, run through wheat fields and bursts of color, and walked through Castles and banana forests alike. This body is what allows me to teach and love on the sweet children I work with on a daily basis. My body has taken me to beautiful places and allowed my brain to learn from all sorts of people and allowed my heart to be filled with love.

My body is just that- the body which contains everything that I am as a person. And I am so much more. I love this body for everything that it is and everything that it lets me be. In seeing my body for what it can do, my body image has been skyrocketing and it makes me want to see everything else my body can do!

What are you most grateful for your body helping you do?

5 Thoughts of a Blogger on Hiatus

blog hiatus

Oh…hey there. This thing still works- what do you know? I’m so happy to be jumping right back into the blogging world! I took a bit of a hiatus, but after publishing Tuesday’s post, I feel like I’m back to normal!

All that said- here’s what’s been going through my head while I’ve been away.

ONE: I miss my blog friends. I’ve been lurking around, reading and keeping up from afar, but I miss the interaction and true community of it!

TWO: I should probably write a blog post. I mean, it’s been a while. Has it been too long? Has everyone forgotten about me? Will it still work? Do I even know how to write anymore? What did I write about before?

THREE: I should write about this [insert event-funny thing-concert-festival-etc. here]!! It would be such a great post! I can’t wait to share it!

FOUR: I HAVE SO MANY IDEAS! How in the world will I get them all written out?

FIVE: Yeah, I really need to get back into blogging. I miss it too much. I need to write. So here I am. Committed to popping up around here much more often. Taking it all back to basics. Writing about things I care about and things that make me laugh. Things that help us all live our best lives.

Let’s do this.

I’m so happy to be returning to this and back into all of your lives. TELL ME all the exciting things that have been happening in your lives while I’ve been gone! Leave a comment to let me know!

It’s good to be back.

To Chicago, With Love

chicago love

 

Today, I wanted to share a letter. A love letter. To the city of Chicago.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I’ve started using a new hashtag on photos that show my newfound love and adoration of the city I’m living in.

#ToChicagoWithLove

Oh Chicago,
We’ve had quite an up and down relationship, haven’t we? Our first few months together turned my world upside down, tore me apart, and threw me. But, my, how we’ve grown together. I’ve come to accept you as a part of me and come into my own, while also being a part of you. Throughout the first winter, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through a second. But, here we are having survived a second winter, and more in love than ever as we enjoy the brief, perfect summer.

That first winter I was cold, unsure of myself, my teaching, and what meaning it all had. I didn’t know if I liked you, Chicago, and I wasn’t quite sure that I liked myself. Then spring arrived. It came in and warmed everything up, renewing and breathing new life into the earth and trees around me. My eyes opened up as I learned about everything you had to offer me. I explored and adventured and discovered so much to love in this city. I let go of unneeded loads, taking so much off of my shoulders that I felt I was being renewed as well. I realized that being alone doesn’t need to mean being lonely, and that time alone can be oh so sweet.

I now love and treasure the precious little alone time I have- I’ve found that I’m quite good company on my own (and with my cat). I’ve moved 3 times since moving here to Chicago, and have finally found a place that I call and consider to be truly a home. My little apartment with its mis-matched furniture and plants has become a gathering place for friends and meals as well as a hideaway when the only voices I want to hear are those on Law and Order: SVU coming from Netflix on my laptop.

brunch chicago

Birthday brunching with the sweet friends this city has brought me.

A year ago, I never knew that it was possible to be this happy or confident. Now, I am so grateful that we’ve been through everything we have- it’s made me a better woman, a stronger woman, and more myself than I’ve ever been. I’ve completely fallen in love with this life that I’m living here and the people I surround myself with.

I don’t yet know if this is a forever thing, sweet Chicago. But I do know that this love has taken a hold on me and has changed me for the better. For that, I am thankful.

To Chicago With Love,
Always,

Top 10 Search Terms That Brought You Here

favorite search terms

How did you find my blog? No, really, I’m curious! I’ve made so many good friends and connections through blogging- it still blows my mind. And most of these good friends I came upon by chance or through other blogs and we just hit it off, it’s amazing. Now some of the people below may not have quite found what they were looking for here, but they made me laugh all the same, so we could probably be friends.

Looking at these search terms are endlessly entertaining to me. These are my absolute favorites from the past few months. They’re great. Really. Look. (My thoughts in italics)

“It’s hard to be me in my position”  (I mean, really though)

“Shemar Moore’s daughter” (I’d rather be his wife, but ya know, to each their own)

“I am willing to work hard” (That’s great! Let’s chat about it)

“I’m really strong biceps” (Pretty sure I’ve never written about this)

“large picture of extrovert” (hmmm…)

“small town girl” (living in a lonely world?)

“creeper van” (most likely coming from my post about Criminal Minds)

“cats and destiny” (this is one of my favorite favorites!)

“I don’t understand fashion” (true)

“have i told you how beautiful you are today” (no, but it’s always good to hear!)


 

Google is a strange, funny little world, isn’t it? Every time I check these stats I end up laughing and trying to figure out how these relate to anything I’ve written. It’s a fun game.

So, how did you find my blog? A random Google search? My mom? (Hi Mom!) Let me know!

For bloggers- what are some of your favorite search terms that have lead to your blog?

5 Fashion Trends I Don’t Understand

Let’s have a little fun today, shall we? After all, it’s FRIDAY!

Now, I don’t claim to be a fashion blogger. There are some incredible blogs out there for that, this just isn’t one of them. However, I am a 20-something woman with opinions on fashion! Now and again, however, there are some things I really don’t understand. Maybe someone can help me out here. Then again, a couple of these I don’t think I want to understand.

Sneaker wedges

sneaker wedge

 

Image via

I actually saw a girl wearing these downtown the other day. WHY? Just why are we blending athletic shoes with wedges? In what world is it a good idea to play a sport or work out in that high of shoes? What am I missing here?

Swimwear Trends

Ok, I’m not going to include a picture of this one because… I just don’t want to look at it. And I don’t want to force you to either. Feel free to google if you really feel like it. But are we really getting to the point where this is necessary? I’m all about owning and rocking whatever you feel comfortable in, but this one I just don’t understand. WHY?

Man Buns

man bun

Image via

I KNOW, I KNOW. I may be the one woman on Earth who doesn’t like them. I don’t get it!

Midi Dresses

midi dress

Image via

I feel like I have yet to see one that is flattering on anyone. I really wanted to like these because, how fun! A comfortable length and I can still show off my cute sandals! Maybe this is just me, but I feel like they hit at a place just perfect… for making legs look shorter and fatter than they are.

All White Errthang

white on white

Image via

Ok, well, this one I understand, but I’m really totally jealous of. How are you not afraid of sitting somewhere dirty? How do you not spill on yourself? How are you walking through the city and keeping clothes white? How? Fill me in!

Linking up with Karli for a little 5 on Friday action today!

7 Things You Never Have to Justify to Anyone

7 things you never have to justify

Especially for women, it seems everyone always has an opinion about our lives. From our money to our bodies to our feelings, the general community seems to think we own them an explanation of our actions and decisions. The thing is, these decisions and actions are ours and ours alone, and we just don’t have to justify them.

We don’t owe anyone an explanation.

1. Your definition of success/ your career choice. It’s yours, not theirs. Just because success to some means a corner office and a downtown high rise apartment doesn’t mean you can’t be just as successful in your one bedroom apartment doing a job you love.

2. Not looking perfect every day. No need to apologize for not having on makeup or not getting dressed to the nines all the time (or any of the time, for that matter). Sometimes makeup and real outfits just aren’t going to happen. It’s ok.

3. Your relationship status. Single and lovin’ it? Yay! Single and minglin’? Yay! In a relationship and so in love? Yay!

4. Crying. You know what? Your emotions are valid. You’re not crazy for crying; you’re not over-emotional. It happens, we’re human.

5. How much you are eating. You’re hungry? Great, eat something. Feel like a burger? Great, eat it, even if the girl next to you is ordering a salad. Feel like a salad? Awesome. Eat it, even if the girl next to you is chowing on some wings. As long as you’re not hurting yourself, you’re good!

6. On that note- your weight. I’m all about the body positivity around here. Skinny, fat, in between, whatever. Own it. Work it. You’re awesome.

7. Being a basic ….. you know the rest. I could write a whole post solely on why this whole hating on women for liking the same things as other women is dumb. Especially because many of the things that are considered “basic” are things that make us feel good- like Starbucks, manicures, and leggings and oversized sweaters.

What other things can you think of that we just don’t need to justify to anyone anymore?

Taking Stock | Currently

taking stock currently

Just popping in before the weekend to check in with myself, and you, by taking stock of what’s going on right now. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these.

Currently:

Making : craft preparations for next week. My classroom is about to have lots of pots of gold hanging in it!
Cooking : Nothing, I’m about to hop in my car and head to Kentucky for the weekend!
Drinking : Hot tea & honey. My throat is still a bit sore from being sick.
Reading: The Reason I Jump. Excellent book, especially for those of us who care for and love children with autism.
Wanting: to be able to breathe regularly through my nose again!
Looking: Forward to more spring weather! It’s finally bearable to be outside and my soul is so happy for it.
Wishing: For these next few weeks to FLY. I can’t wait for spring break and seeing my family!
Enjoying: Sweet moments with my kids. They may drive me wild some days but they are the brightest lights in this world, and I try to consciously be appreciative of the time I have with them.
Waiting: For the dryer to finish so I can pack up those clothes and take some with me for the weekend!
Wondering: What kind of fun Laura and I will find this weekend!
Loving: Everything having to do with #fireworkpeople. I am so lucky to have found this incredible community of women. 
Hoping: For a smooth day for my co-teacher. I hate missing work and leaving her alone in the classroom! She is more than capable, I just know it’s not the best feeling.
Needing: To do my taxes. Oops.
Smelling: The new air freshener I put in my room the other day. Fresh linen smells just make my day!
Wearing: Yoga pants and a sweatshirt, I should probably change…
Following: Along with currently events thanks to the Skimm
Noticing: How much better my mood is in general when the sun is shining. Ahhhhh.
Thinking: About my weekend to-do list before the weekend has even started… Oh boy.
Bookmarking: Lots of blog posts on Bloglovin’ that I haven’t had time to read but I want to go back to!
Giggling: Over texts and puppy pictures from the family. The best.
Feeling: Pretty darn good about life.

It’s Cold Around Here, #FrostyVoxBox Review

frosty review

This winter has been so cold. #NewsFlash However, the Frosty Vox Box has helped make things a little cozier and more comfortable around here.

I received a variety of products to review in this box, including: Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover, Rimmel Scanaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner, NYC New York Color Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum, Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea, Boots No7 Protect & Perfect ADVANCED #getadvanced, McCormick Gourmet All Natural Thyme, Fruit Vines Bites Strawberry, and the EcoTools Sleek + Shine hair brush. Woo!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember me using a lot of these things while traveling home for the holidays. The eyeliner, lip color, and hair brush all went to good use the day of my flight. They had me travel ready in no time! I used the Serum the night before and my skin felt fresh and ready in the morning!

IMG_20141220_114650

 

Now, I’m not beauty blogger (though I wish I had half their skills!) but this eyeliner is EVERYTHING. Since trying it here I’ve used it just about every day and plan on buying the same brand again soon. I’m in love. It glides on smoothly and stays right where it should. I haven’t had any problems with smearing or fading since using it! I can make the lines as thin or thick as I want. I love that it’s so versatile. I can wear it to work and then make it much more bold when going out with friends!

I also threw the fruit vines in my carry-on. They made the perfect snack on my layover! Instead of having to buy expensive and not-so-tasty airplane or airport food, I was able to just grab these babies and wait until I got home!

IMG_20141220_203804

 

To top it all off, I was also given tea by celestial seasonings. My favorite tea is their honey vanilla chamomile, so of course I had to do a little taste test to see which one I liked best! I liked the minty-ness of the candy cane tea but I have to say- I think I’ll stick with my favorite! The taste wasn’t great in my opinion, but others may like it!

And there we have it! The good, the bad, and the delicious!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are 100% mine!

You are beautiful, I believe it.

 

you are beautiful

Can we be real for a minute here? Of course. I’ve been working on being more transparent around here, and I think today is the perfect day to step a little outside my comfort zone and do just that. When Lauren announced this link up, I just about cried. It touched me because that day I was in a difficult place, and there have been days since that have been just as hard. When Lauren announced this link up, she wrote “i challenge you to stop the voice in your head that tells you are worth nothing, that tells you you are fat, that tells you you are stupid or whatever it says, and tell it to shut the *&#$ up.” So I’m taking up that challenge today. I hope that you will too.

If you’ve been reading around here for a while, you know that after a long relationship, I went through a break up a few months ago. It wasn’t pretty. It went back and forth for a while, but ultimately ended with me in a dark place, and him him continuing with his life as if I were never there. Talk about ouch. Now that I’ve had time to step away from it and do life on my own for a while, I feel like I’m in a better place, but there are still days when I’m back there. Hurt, low, and feeling anything but beautiful or wanted.

Today, I’m going to challenge that.

Today, I’m working on believing I am beautiful. I am worth loving and capable of being loved.
I am worthy. I am smart, and kind, and caring, and try my best to pour out love on everyone I come in contact with. I am hard working and have accomplished so much- my traveling, my education, the relationships I have formed. I am proud of myself for who I have become.

That right there is enough to make me beautiful.

And my body? That one is harder. However, I know that this body is worthy and lovable as well. Because this body has done so much for me. These legs have run 5ks, walked dirt roads to help a baby be born in Uganda, walked across graduation stages, and they carry me to do the work I love every day. This stomach processes the food that gives me energy to survive, to be excited and love on my kids everyday, and keeps me going. These arms have hugged and held loved ones, puppies, and new babies. They have lifted the elderly in need of assistance, my friends, and boxes to move myself across the country multiple times. This face (acne and pores and all) smiles and speaks and sings to my kids each day, shows them my feelings, and helps them learn skills they will need all their lives. And the booty? Well, I just like the way it looks, haha. Too much? (Sorry mom)

Writing about these things and thinking about my body in this way feels oh-so-good. My body is so good to me and so beautiful.

Today I challenge you to look at your body and your whole self in this way. Not only is it good to realize how beautiful you truly are, but it’s good for your whole self to feel better about your body and beauty. 

You really are beautiful. You are so worthy of everything. You are such a great addition to this world and such a bright light to so many people. I believe that. I hope you do too.

Linking up with Lauren in the name of love.

Lot 48

Oh, hey there! | Weekly goals

weekly wishes

***tap, tap*** Hello? Does this thing still work? Yes? Ok then.

This is me acknowledging that I’ve been absent from this space for a while, and trying to do better. It’s been a whirlwind few weeks around here, and some time away from blogging has been quite needed. However, I feel like I’m ready to come back. Kind of. Maybe. We’ll see. Let’s just say I HOPE to be back to blogging regularly but I can’t really promise anything. But today is a snow day for me so I’ve got extra time and motivation to do some writing.

I wanted to make sure I popped in today to set some goals for this week and get myself back to business! I know I thrive off having this structure and these goals out to reference every day!

|ONE| Blog twice this week. May not seem like much, but it’s more than I have been! Time to get back to it.

|TWO| Catch up on emails. I am admittedly the actual worst at answering emails and getting back to people. Not because I don’t want to, but emails somehow just fall to the end of my list. Even important ones! I’m working on getting better at this and hopefully this week I can catch up!

|THREE| Make something creative this week. Anything. I just know I need some color and some calm in my life and that’s a good way for me to get it.

I’m going to leave it at that for this week! Short and sweet and doable!

What are your goals for this week? Are you super sad about the Seahawks losing last night? Me too. Are you happy because you’re a Patriots fan? Well, I guess we can still be friends. But maybe not until tomorrow when I’ll have had a chance to get over it.