February 20, 2015

Currently Loving

Hi guys!  This might be a long one so bare with me :)

Today, I thought I would share somethings I am currently loving.  We have been having a crazy time trying to get everything completed in the new house (thanks Dad) and moving things over (again, thanks Dad).  He's been doing a lot of stuff on his own as either my mom or I have William or aren't home.  It's been a crazy process but I really think the end is in sight.  Yay!  Onto the current loves...

  • The Martian by Andy Weir Okay, I cannot praise this book enough.  It is amazing.  It's witty.  It's nerve inducing.  It's just great.  If you haven't picked this up yet, do so RIGHT NOW!  Shout out to my friend Paul for getting this for me.  I seriously LOVE it.  Find it here.
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo This book shook up my heart.  I love the idea of only keeping things that "spark joy".  The whole premise is about getting rid of the junk in your life that doesn't serve a purpose anymore.  She explains how sometimes it's hard to throw things away because we will feel guilty about getting rid of it but that's exactly why you need to let it go.  I haven't taken on the task of "tidying" my stuff yet because it's strewn across two houses in boxes but I'm definitely planning on a day where I can put these steps into practice in my life.  Find it here.
Music          Have you ever listened to a song on repeat for days?  And yes, I mean days.  There were two songs so far this year that I have been listening to non stop on repeat. 
  •  First off Electric Love by BORNS.  Every time I hear this song it immediately puts me in an awesome mood.  I've listened to the rest of their EP as well but there is something about Electric Love that keeps me coming back for more.  Listen here.
  • Next is It's OK by Cee Lo Green.  I will admit that when Forget You came on the radio I never explored the album it was on.  Then about a week ago I though I should just check it out. I think Bright Lights Bigger City kind of just re-sparked my interest.  When I started listening to It's OK I have no idea what came over me, but I love jamming to it in the car.  You can listen here.
  • I have seen MANY great movies over the past few weeks but Gone Girl is standing out when I think of my current favorites.  I haven't read the book yet but I wanted to see Rosamund Pike's performance.  That movie took me on a ride that I was not expecting to go on.  I still find myself thinking about it and I saw it a few weeks ago.  I watched it by renting from the iTunes store.  
  • Scandal & How To Get Away With Murder have been BLOWING MY MIND.  I cannot get enough of these shows.  I am always so worked up after watching these back to back.  If you watch these, let's chat on Thursday while they air because it's so much fun.  I usually live tweet as well if I'm not too stunned to even come up with words.
  • Jeremy Jahns is my current favorite YouTuber.  I love his movie reviews so much.  I don't agree with every thing he says but he's usually a great judge of whether it is worth it to trek to the theater to see something.  You can find his channel here.
    (Side note:  Have you all heard about a ad-less YouTube subscription service and what are your thoughts?)
  • So I've been going sans make-up almost this entire year because of how cold it is.  I don't want to put anything on my face because it's been super sensitive this winter.  Lately though I've been mixing Roden & Fields Gentle Cleanser in with whatever other cleanser I'm using and it is AMAZING.  I've been finding some of the face washes I'm  using a little too harsh and as I couldn't really afford to pick up a new skin care line, I decided to figure something out with what I had.  And so far, I'm loving it.  Interested in Roden &Fields?  My cousin is a consultant and you can learn more here.
  • My grey sweatshirt from the men's section at Old Navy, hands down.  This thing is COMFY and COZY.  I would wear it daily if I could.  I almost do at least while lounging around the house.  I'm over wearing winter clothes though... Come on spring/summer!  Find it here.
  • I probably could have put this under movies but it's more of a William favorite.  My mom and I showed him Lion King and he loved it.  He loves the animals and the music. When I was younger I would watch it every single day.  If William decides to watch Lion King every day I'll be content with it.  Also - he's starting to like Miles from Tomorrowland more than Mickey Mouse Club House.
    *Does happy dance to the Miles from Tomorrowland theme song because it's actually awesome*
Okay friends.  We made it to the end.  I'd love to know what some of the things you've been loving are... Feel free to comment or just text me so we can chat about your current loves.  


January 12, 2015

This is such a fun age

So I don't know how this time has gone by so quickly, but William is 14 months old.  He is hilarious, stubborn, and probably the cutest boy I've ever met.  He's walking and practically running every where.  He climbs on anything he can get on and climbs in any laundry basket he sees.  When he is in the mood he will chat up a storm with a bunch of babbling nonsense.  Oh how I wish I could decode his language.  William knows how to work all the angles to try and get his way.  When that boy hears no, you better run for the hills.  I have to try extremely hard not to laugh because it's such a fantastic mix of hilarious and frustrating.  I usually choose to focus on the hilarious part.  I love how he can have his quiet moments playing alone and also have these bursts of wanting to run around and climb all over me.  Currently his famous words are "hi baby" and "pup-pee".  It's very enunciated.   William loves eating and will try anything, that being said if he doesn't like it he will take it right back out of his mouth.  Sometimes even try to feed it to me.  He still hates getting his diaper changed and would rather run around nude than wear any item of clothing.  He pulls his socks off any chance he gets has now moved onto trying to pull of his shirts.  Annnddd, he's been successful.  The only movie I've been able to get him to sit down and watch for more than 5 minutes is Alvin and the Chipmunks which just so happened to be on TV.  (Thank you ABC Family and your family friendly Sunday programming!) When he is in the mood, William will give you the best hugs and cuddles imaginable.  It is amazing to have such a little boy fill my heart up with joy each and every day.  Not every minute is easy and not every minute is fun but that comes a long with parenthood.  The moments where he grabs my face and tries to give me a "kiss" will make up for every single time he throws a tantrum.  I cannot wait to watch him grow even more and I'm so excited to see what funny thing he does next.  I love you, William!

PS- I've been working on my capsule wardrobe for winter.  I promised myself I wouldn't buy anything for this season.  Today is day 1 and so far, I'm happy.  I'm excited to see how this all progresses!

January 8, 2015

The Blog I never knew I needed

I'm going to take a wild guess and say I'm not the only person who stares at her closet in frustration trying to figure out what to wear.  I have more than enough options all saying pick me but I cannot for the life of me choose.  So I decide to wear jeans and my favorite grey hoodie.  For work I just throw on my black dress pants or leggings and whatever sweater I see first.  I feel disheveled.  I feel like I have no sense of style.  I feel like it's pouring into other aspects of my life.  I've constantly said things like I need a fashion overhaul or I need to purge everything and start fresh.  As great as that would be, "what not to wear" is no longer given misguided fasionistas $5,000 to shop with.

(I certainly don't have the funds)

I recently stumpled upon a website called babble and starting looking through different articles that peeked my interest.  The site is essentially a ton of fantastic bloggers that post to the site about lifestyle, motherhood, and other topics.  Totally my type of site.  As I was browsing I found an interview with a blogger named Caroline.  The words that grabbed me were "clarity" and "creativity" in reference to her wardrobe.

SO.  I ventured over to her blog UnFancy and went through her posts in a style equivalent to binge watching your favorite show on Netflix.  Her approach to style is so unique and simple.  I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and how she says everyone's capsule can be adjusted for their lifestyle.

As we are now one week into 2015, I'm claiming this year as a selfish year.  I saw a quote about it on tumblr and it just stuck with me.  I want to define myself instead of spending my life running around aimlessly trying to chase a temporary thrill.  My resolutions are conducive to this and I'm excited for this year of discovery.

I had no idea how inspired I'd be stumbling across Caroline's blog, but I definitely think I know what I'm doing with my closet before I move out of the apartment.

2015 will be a selfish year. My time and focus will be invested on me. On improving myself. I want to become a better person physically and mentally. I want to let go of my fears and learn to love myself.

Sidenote:  The vegan diet is going well.  I'm excited to keep going and find new dishes that work with my lifestyle and preferences.  Currently, I'm loving the deconstructed burrito (rice, black beans, vegan cheese, lettuce, and salsa tossed into a bowl) and have eaten it at 4/5 of my last meals. 

December 30, 2014

2015 Resolutions

Some people don't like resolutions and that's okay.  Some people thrive with written down goals which is also okay.  If resolutions aren't for you - you can skip this post!  :)  

Last year I made 7 resolutions for 2014.  I accomplished 4/7 goals I wrote down for myself and I am actually quite proud of that.  There were a few circumstances that I let get the better of me which is why I didn't accomplish all 7.  That is no excuse, trust me, but I've done a lot of soul searching over the past few weeks to try and ground myself again.  This year I come to you with my goals and a sense of purpose.

1.  My sense of purpose is ever evolving.  I have never been good at picking something and sticking to it.  My family knows this better than I know myself.  I start and stop things constantly.  This year, I'm not going to get caught up in trying to define my sense of purpose.  I had many friends try and help me discover what my purpose was and during those conversations, I never really felt like I got to the bottom of it.  The conversation just stopped when I said, "William is my purpose."  He absolutely fills my heart and makes me want to be a better person, but I'm not just going to live as a reflection of my son.  I want him to be a reflection of a strong-willed, happy, and confident parent.  So resolution number 1 is... Keep digging.  Keep dreaming.  Allow  circumstances to let me evolve.  Refuse to settle for a person who treats me poorly.  Be an incredibly flawed role-model for my sweet son.

2.  I'm in the process of transitioning to a plant-based vegan diet.  (GASP IN HORROR FRIENDS)  How could you give up meat?  Protein is ESSENTIAL!  Trust me when I say, I've been doing research on this for a few months now.  I've decided that this is something I want to do.  I can fuel my body nutritiously and do it without causing harm to other creatures.  I promise you now that I will never try and force you into a vegan diet but I do request that you try not to bully me back into eating meat.  I am an adult, I think I can make this choice for myself.  :)

3.  I usually make some mention to this every year, but I'm going to bring it up again.  I want to work on saving money.  I want to take a trip with my mom to Ireland eventually and I want to be able to pay for it (or at least some).  This past year has been full of financial ups and downs for me.  I know it won't happen over night, but I want to build a security blanket as well as have money for fun.  I have not nailed out the full details of how I'm going to do this, but I'm still working on it.

4.  Live in the moment.  This sounds cheesy... I know.  I want to try and focus more time into living for the now and eliminate stressing about the past  and the future (to an extent).  I remember multiple times this year sitting on my bed sobbing and thinking, "how will I ever make it through this week, month, year".  Guess what!  I made it.  I need to learn to take a breath and enjoy my life.

So there you have it, friends!  2015 Resolutions.  I realize these are a bit broad and I've already implemented certain aspects but I feel really good about them.  Here's to a wonderful New Year!

December 23, 2014

14 Things from 2014

Here a compilation of some memorable moments for me in 2014.

14. I had three jobs this year.  I spent a couple months working at Mamzelle hair salon.  I spent 6 months at TBI Mortgage and rounding out this year at Oak Mortgage.  It's been a whirlwind for me professionally this year, but I'm so grateful.

13. I moved into my first apartment and got to see first hand what it's like to be an adult.  It's not easy.  It's not fun.  Stay in the nest little birds, as long as possible.

12. Planned and cancelled a wedding.

11. I got to go to my college's homecoming football game with friends, SC.  I had so much fun tailgating as a non band person. (Shout out to the Abarbanell's!!)

10. I did CrossFit for awhile.  I had to stop due to my financial issues, but it was well worth it while it lasted. I learned a lot about myself which helped me make some extremely tough decisions.  I'm so grateful for that experience.

9. I withdrew from Graduate school to focus on my son.  It wasn't an easy choice, but I know in my bones that it was the right one.  It just wasn't the right time for me to be in school.  One day, I will shoot for a masters but for right now, I'm content and happy.

8. I went through huge ups and downs emotionally.  Some of it may have been a product of over zealous  hormones from the after pregnancy stage, but I had some extremely dark days and I'm happy to say I'm finally starting to come out of it.

7.  I binge watched a few TV series on netflix for example ---

  • House of cards
  • Parks n Rec
  • Dexter
  • Orange is the new black
  • Parenthood
6. I also FINALLY jumped on The Hunger Games bandwagon.  I can't even tell you how many tears I cried over Peeta Mellark.  I felt personally betrayed by Suzanne Collins after reading Mockingjay.  (SPOILER-->  He doesn't even die and I still sobbed like a little baby)

5.  Spent another year battling with body image issues and eating.  I'm determined to take this on to the max in 2015.  We are all human and I don't expect to be perfect but I plan on working on finding what exactly works best with me.  I appreciate every single person who has supported me on this journey.

4.   I took a lot of time to really learn about myself and what I want out of life.  It's been good for me.  I spent so much time of my life trying to please others and this year I made a conscience effort to put myself before others (not William but you can catch my drift)

3. My parents put my childhood home on the market and bought a new home. SO EXCITING AND SCARY!

2. I began to make ammends and reached out to old friends that I had lost touch with.  It's been so amazing to not have any of the past weigh down on me anymore.  I love all my friends so much, old, new, and renewed.  :)

1.  Every single moment with William was the best moment of my life.

Here's to a happy Christmas and a happy new year!  <3

December 9, 2014

Shake it off

Okay friends... Time to get personal.

As per usual, it's been awhile since my last post.  Since that post, I've been spending a lot of time trying to figure myself out.  It's not easy because I am so emotionally driven which is usually hard to decipher.  Over the past few weeks there have been some huge changes in my life and huge changes are still coming.  The biggest lesson I'm learning is that I don't need someone to put me back together every time I fall apart.  I am not saying that the support of friends isn't absolutely welcomed because trust me, those of you who have been constantly checking on me will never know how much it means to me because there is no way I can put it into words.  What am I saying is that, I can pick myself up out of bed and get myself out the door because I have to.  I have a life to live and a son to mother.  I don't have the time to sit in wallow although it is nice to leave a little time for that sometimes.  ;)

Now, I do feel like it'd be immature to completely explain the extensive details of the changes in my personal life but I do want to touch on a few things.  And, I want to add that this relationship wasn't exclusively ended by one person.  It's been a few weeks in the making of a break up and the straw finally snapped.

Breaking up with someone is not easy.  It is not as simple as just not talking to them anymore, especially when there is a child involved.  But the hardest thing of all is facebook.  The absolute dread of changing the relationship status from "engaged" to "single".  The sea of questions that could follow, the large amount of messages and texts by intrigued friends... I might be over reacting a little, but during the heat of it all, I deactivated my account and I think that has actually made this easier.  Without the temptation to look at someone's page or feel like a post needs to be censored so that the family isn't hurt - is just too much for someone like me who spends hours over analyzing and creating unrealistic scenarios.

Canceling a wedding is easy.  The part that isn't easy is having to tell people (extended family) that you are no longer getting married.  I did my best to tell people but eventually I just shut down.  I just didn't speak about it and decided that they will figure it out when they don't receive an invitation.  William shares a last name with his dad so when at the pharmacy and they call me Mrs. Douglass it just sends this stab of ice through my heart.

The reason that we ended the engagement/relationship is valid and that should be enough for people.  For those that don't actually know the details, I have no time or no patience to hear the reasons why we should stay together.  Absolutely zero.  So please don't even try because I will most likely get an attitude with you.

Overall, I'm grateful for the relationship that I had because it gave me the most amazing gift I could ever receive, William.  Part of the whole self discovery thing is to not hold to hate for anyone and forgive.  I absolutely forgive, but that in no way means I want what we had back.

I spent so many times justifying our relationship by saying, "it's not that simple to just leave someone".  I've heard people say this over and over again about their significant other and it's not easy.  It's a huge decisions to drop all the time you've spent investing in another person.  But you know what, it does get easier.  I promise you it gets easier.  This amazing thing happens when it starts to get easier, you start caring about yourself.  I've finally started caring about ME more than someone else.  (Excluding William because he always comes first)

Yes, I said I starting caring about "ME" more.  I refuse to believe that self-care is selfish.  Or if it is, so what?  I've been ignoring my needs and letting myself get to a point where I was depressed and hating life.  How would William view what a relationship was supposed to be like if I stayed in one where I was so unhappy?  What kind of example would that set for William watching his parents disrespect each other constantly?  I rather my son watch his mother grow up loving herself and making sure that she's taking care of herself not only physically but mentally too.

An unhealthy relationship should not be a punishment for two people who have a child together.

I'm learning to leave toxic relationships behind.  I refuse to be in a relationship where I feel disrespected or where I can't respect the other person.  It's a dangerous path that only leads to pain and heartbreak.  Yesterday was the first day in a LONG time where I just laughed for no reason and I was happy.  I don't know what is was exactly but I felt better than I have in a long time and I refuse to go back to how I felt before.  I've spent so long in that dark hole and I feel like I'm truly climbing out now.

October 7, 2014

Update: Darkness & Light

This post is a long time in the making, clearly.


Bear with me here because it might start to sound a little corny...

Lately, there's been some sort of darkness that has over powered the light.  
(HP friends, can you feel me?) 

This is so simple, yet so unbelievable frustrating.  

I found myself feeling really low, like really low.  I felt like I looked gross, felt fat, and ugly.  I felt like I was overwhelmed and that I was a subpar mother.  Over the course of the last 11 months I had gotten really good and putting those feelings aside and realizing that I'm pretty awesome and have done a lot of great things... but over this past month not so much.  Like I said above, there was this overpowering darkness that I could not navigate out of.  I'm not going to say that I was depressed because I know that's actually something very serious and I'm not going to casually toss that word out to describe how I feel. 

Another way to put it was that I was stuck in the bottom of this huge hole and I couldn't figure out how I would ever get out.  And every time I tried, it just felt deeper and darker.  Not a good way to be.  It ends in most nights crying.  

How am I supposed to get out of a hole that gets deeper every time I try to climb?
Well, I think I figured a strategy out.  

Today, I received a text from a mentor and friend, "can I call you tonight for about 20 mins?".  Almost reluctantly I said yes, of course.  We decided on a time which of course was slightly delayed by a tantrum that William was throwing.  
But I digress.    

I talked with my friend for that 20 minutes and she reminded me that all I had to do was ask.  Ask for some advice, ask for guidance, and ask for mentorship.  And that's when it dawned on me, I have people in my life that care for me and will put a ladder in the hole I've dug myself into and help me climb out.  Sometimes you need someone to just shock your system by being kind and reassuring.
 I'm forever grateful for that phone call I received tonight.

One of things she asked me to do was write down the things that are making me unhappy, stressed, and sad.  I'm not going to do that exactly on this blog because some of them are personal and I'm not in a place where I want to share everything about my feelings on the internet.  Although, I am sharing a pretty big part right now ;)

I'm going to talk about one in particular though.  Just about 6 months ago now I got a job at a mortgage company.  Now, it's not glamorous but it's job and (most days) I enjoy what I have to do.  The one issue is, it's not is creative.  
In reality though, when it comes to mortgages how creative can you get?  
My personality craves creativity and I haven't been allowing myself an outlet for it, anywhere. I'm a left brain working in a right brained position.  I'll survive the job, trust me, but I need to give myself an outlet.

I wrote an entire post about how much I love make up and in the past three weeks, I've probably done my make up twice - so no creativity in that regard.  My wardrobe has consisted of black, greys, and muted tones.  Nothing overly colorful or playing up my personality.  Which isn't a huge deal but I'm just pointing out another aspect in which I've put no effort into being creative or expressive.

(cube farm life tho, am i right?)

I'm going to challenge myself to allow time for some creativity.  It could be playing saxophone, taking time to do a craft or DIY project, giving myself extra time to play with make up, or write a blog (or even something else!).  Why not?  It's just supposed to be a release for me and my eyes.  If I decide to share it, then I'll share it and hope others can enjoy it for what it is.  

I'm taking this baby step as a journey to a happier woman over all.  
I've got some work to do as I did dig my self pretty deep into a very, very dark hole.  
But with help of my family and friends I know I'll get out one step at a time.  :)


I wanted to add this side note:  To anyone that suffers from depression and has had thoughts of harming your self please call this number: