How Does Your Garden Grow?

Happy Monday! This Motivation Monday is dedicated to anyone who feels like they are falling behind, can’t keep up, or feels like they are struggling while everyone else is all sunshine and roses. I am here to tell you, the grass isn’t always greener — often it’s not.

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It’s really easy to feel like you have to work twice as hard as others for the same results. It can also be easy to feel like your accomplishments are celebrated with a whisper while other’s are trumpeted with resounding excitement. I think everyone wants love, support, and achievement in their lives and I think it takes a lot of hard work to earn those things. So, if you don’t have those and are giving it your all, while others have it made in the shade with half of the effort, just know their grass isn’t necessarily greener. It could be fake.

It’s really easy to be the center of attention, can-do-no-wrong champ when you put 100% of your effort into maintaining that. At the end of they day, it’s exhausting and it isn’t real. The real grass…it’s imperfect, patchy, maybe it looks like it’s been tilled, but guess what? That’s your investment and that’s where you’ll see the most flowers grow. Flowers are better than boring patches of grass anyways.

Happy Monday! xox

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Hustle Hard, Girls.

Start the grind, it’s Monday y’all and I. am. excited! This week, I am signing a contract for a really amazing new position. It’s a HUGE step up in every way possible; compensation, work-life balance, benefits, opportunities, everything. It’s been a really long process; multiple interviews, a 15 page marketing plan, presentation, group interviews, the list goes on.

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And…I’m batting 100–I’ve still never gone in for an interview and not received an offer for the position. So, keep at it…whatever you’re working on and you’ll get there, just hustle hard and run wild with success. Happy Monday. ❤

Take it, Use it, Rise Above it!

I know it’s a little late for some motivation for this Monday, but here’s something for the rest of the week.

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I nailed a very important appointment I had today, spent time with my husband, and worked out while doing errands (yes, I made a hair appointment while on my elliptical). I feel great and ready to tackle the entire week and while I hope you do as well, I know that Mondays can be tough.

Of course, there are always reasons to feel down, questions the caliber of person you are, and where you are going, especially when people (including yourself) plant those seeds. Use it as motivation, prove them wrong, and get. it. done! xo

Sugar & Spice & Jedi Freaking Knights

I haven’t had time to post this week because I have a million things going on at work, BUT one of the things we have going on is this huge Comicon-style event (which I am really excited about). With all of the stormtroopers, wookiees, and trekkies walking around, helping us do promotion, my inner sci-fi nerd is geeking out!

Needless to say, when I was a little girl I always wanted to be one of the following over a princess, mermaid, fairy (okay, I kind of wanted to be a fairy or a lost boy—who doesn’t want to fly???) or damsel in distress any day:

  • Wednesday Addams
  • A Jedi Knight
  • The Karate Kid
  • Mia Hamm

The list goes on…so needless so say, I am loving this:

ALL GIRLS ARE

Here’s to all of the little girls and young women who choose to be the hero ❤

Mixtape Monday! Home Sweet Home.

Fall is my favorite season, but there’s something really special about the Spring. Seeing little sprouts in the ground, all the kids playing outside, and preparing my house for warmer seasons makes me so happy.

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Our home. It’s a work in progress.

This past weekend was all about spring cleaning, especially our yard. It was a resolution of mine to put a ton of effort into our home this year in order to get our house just how we want it—the yard, the rooms, everything. I spend a lot of time wishing there were more minutes in the day to work on all of the projects we have in our house. My friends keep telling me there will always be projects and not to rush, but I can’t help it—I want them done, like yesterday.

I spent a lot of time thinking about exactly why I feel this way and I realized that it is because my parents lost my childhood home. It was truly a magical place to live; hyacinths hugging the wrap around porch in the Spring, pocket walls with vintage glass, 125-year-old hardwood floors, the perfect Christmas tree window. No matter how messy life was at the time, the one consistent was my cozy, magical home. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a place that I knew I was going to spend more than a few years in since I was 19. My husband is really the only constant “home” I’ve had in the last 8 years and yes, home can be places or people, after all. ❤

Now, I am exceedingly proud to be a home owner. As a millennial, statistics show that I am technically supposed to be a renter forever. I mean, I know people who have their parents covering some of their rent or their parents helped them generously with a down payment or partial payment on their house. My husband and I bought our house, we saved to cover a heaping chunk that went into our down payment and we are responsible for *every. single. cent.* of our mortgage. We even moved all by ourselves (big mistake, actually, next time we are hiring movers). A lot of my peers can’t say the same thing, I mean, look at my parents! However, while I am proud that we accomplished this huge thing, we have awhile until this place feels like it’s ours.

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Click to play.

In the meantime, while I chronicle our projects on Moxie and Spark, you can enjoy this Mix Tape Monday with my favorite songs about home.

  • Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros – “Home”
  • Mr. Twin Sister – “I Want a House”
  • Ben Gibbard – “You Remind Me of Home”
  • Bright Eyes – “First Day of My Life”
  • Death Cab For Cutie – “You are a Tourist”
  • Something Corporate – “Konstantine”
  • Feist – “Musaboom”

Click here to play on Spotify.

 

 

 

The Best Way To De-Stress!

May every joy be yoursthis Holiday SeasonHere’s the thing, even on a bad day I can handle a lot, I think we all can. However, the past few weeks have really challenged my emotional resolve and stress levels. I had a major fundraising event, I worked at least 10-12 hour days for a week and a half–solid, my husband went to the doctor for some pretty scary stuff (hopefully he’s fine) and my father, who I am pretty much estranged from (for good reason), sent my sister a letter explaining he was going to cut ties from all of my sisters and I and he was making grave threats about taking his own life.

Now, having a toxic parent is a challenge and having a toxic parent with a personality and mental disorder is even more of a challenge. Even more challenging beyond that is having people in your life who throw around terms like, “sociopath”, “crazy”, and “narcissist” as pejoratives, when most people have no idea what experiencing someone like that is really like. I speak candidly about this because I feel like there is a lot of ignorance, sometimes cruel, purposeful ignorance, that surrounds mental health issues, which is weird because so many people deal with them.

Needless to say, I’ve been stressed beyond belief and one of the things that helps me manage is yoga and meditation. In fact, as soon as it’s a little bit nicer out I plan on creating an outdoor yoga space in my back yard. There’s something about deep breathing, exercise, and listening to your body that completely melts stress—so if you’re feeling stressed out, I highly suggest one of these 3 sequences to help:

1) Breathing and Meditation: I fully believe in the benefits on mindful thinking and meditation. I even have a relaxation/breathing app on my phone. I’ve even taken 5 minutes at my work desk to go through this routine and it always helps when I need to de-stress. If you have a stressful job, this is a must if you have an office door you can close and spend 5 minutes by yourself.download

2) These yoga poses help alleviate stress and are actually good for beginners. You don’t even necessarily have to have a mat for these—and if you don’t have a yoga block, you can always use a hard pillow or a puppy dog (jk—don’t use a puppy dog). 🙂

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3) I can’t recommend this video enough, I love this sequence—especially before bed. I don’t know about you, but when I am stressed out, I can’t sleep. My Fitbit says I do 4 hours of sleep at best when I am really stressed. Instead of going to bed with a million racing thoughts and a heartbeat that is jumping out of my chest, I am relaxed, stretched out, and ready for sleep after this sequence.

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What about you, what are your favorite yoga poses?

Gift Giving & Get Wells: For Friends Going Through Chemo

I love gift giving. Well, scratch that…I love being thoughtful and making people happy—it’s really not about the gift at all. That being said, I hope no one ever has to give a gift like this, ever.

If you told me that by the time I was 30 I would know 3 people (who are younger than me) who were diagnosed with breast cancer, I would tell you that you were crazy. I guess I’m the crazy one

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Turns out I wasn’t crazy about this, it’s too sweet. Fever Tree is much better!

I just went to grab some bubble tea and chat with one of my friends who has breast cancer. She’s in amazing spirits and keeps close tabs of her journey on Facebook, so I know how she’s doing even though I don’t see her everyday (we used to work together). I snagged some ginger sodas at a local store and immediately thought of my friend and her severe nausea. She was very appreciative for the soda and we got to chatting about how she was feeling. I immediately thought of a couple of nice things that could be made into a gift basket to help with the things she was dealing with. Anything to brighten someone’s day, right?

 

So again, I hope you never, ever have to put something like this together, but if you do…here are some suggestions:

For Your Freinds Going Through Chemo

Ginger Lollipops – This is a great gift that naturally helps alleviate nausea. Quite a few of my friends who have been through chemo say hard candy is a gem. Bonus: these are organic and if you over-purchase they are always handy for a pregnant friend or anyone in your house with a tummy ache. Caramelized Ginger Lollipops via PopOrganic.

Aloe Infused Socks – Hospitals can be drafty and when you are receiving chemo you want to be comfy! Additionally, many rounds of chemo can dry your skin out. Dry, cracking feet sound painful to me—so why not skip it! Winter Aloe Infused socks from Bath and Bodyworks.

Games For Two – Hopefully, whether it’s you, a family member, or a friend, someone is there to hang out during chemo. It’s a long process and passing the time with fun things is better than sitting there. Again, depending on the medications applied in addition to chemo (steroids and allergy meds to name a few), games might be out and restful quiet moments might be in, but it really just depends on the person. Also, who doesn’t love Uno!? Find Uno and more two-person games on Amazon.

Lotion – It’s winter and that means dry skin as it is, but chemo adds to this. When I was at lunch the other day my friend’s hands were so dry and she was wanting some lotion stat! I really recommend Philosophy’s Amazing Grace because it’s mildly fragrant without being overwhelming, strong scents are no good for anyone with a weak stomach. Also, I just love Philosophy’s skin care products. I highly recommend them! Find anything Philosophy at your local Sephora or sephora.com.

Aloe – After a coworker of mine went through chemo and radiation, she told me that her skin actually burned. I usually have lotion with aloe at work, but didn’t this particular time. Needless to say, this is always a good option to throw in there. Try to purchase 100% aloe vera and while you’re out snag some aloe juice. It’s delicious and wonderful for you! You can purchase aloe at any local hodgepodge store. 

Last, but not least and most importantly…

Yourself! – Think about how you would feel if you were faced with a scary diagnosis. Now magnify it by 100, because you really have no idea unless you’ve been through it. I, for one, would totally loose my sh*t. I would need my friends and family to be there to be positive and occupy my time with really happy things, because thinking about the alternative isn’t an option. Don’t be afraid, offer to go to chemo, play games, compliment your friend on the perfect shape of her bald, beautiful head.

Most importantly, don’t make it about yourself and don’t let it scare you away. People feel awkward about emotions and need to talk things out. Understandable, but don’t talk to your friend about how you need to do a better job remembering your monthly breast exam, about how you need to make a gyno appointment immediately, or tell them about the one time you found what you thought was a lump, but it tuned out to be nothing. That is making their diagnosis about YOU…and let’s face it, we live in a world where we’re all a little too focused on ourselves anyways. I know a few people like this, entirely focused on how things effect them and just generally self-important and really good at making everything about them. It’s all I can do to grin and bare being around them without wanting to scream, so imagine how someone who is battling cancer feels! 

So, turn on the cheesiest music you can find and moonwalk past your friend’s office, start a countdown to their last chemo appointment, hide Hershey kisses in their office/room, anything to make someone’s day a little brighter—and yes, I have done all of these things listed above. Worth the embarrassment of everyone in my office seeing my horrible dance moves? Totally. ❤

Also, if your friend is facing a difficult diagnosis, it is always a great idea to learn more about it. This by no means makes you an expert and you should not be giving advice, but just understanding what someone is up against, no matter how scary, is always a good idea!