A couple of weekends ago, I had a dainty little heart inscribed on my wrist. Such a simple gesture, but it means so much to me. It’s a reminder, a symbol of hope, my own little rebellion.
Loving myself is one of the hardest lessons for me to grasp through my therapy. It’s an ongoing process. I have times where I can be okay with who I am, how I look, what size I wear. Those times are much more frequent these days. I am able to hang out in the mental space of contentment, acceptance and gratefulness for the way I am made. Pure wonder at my good luck to live my amazing life. Other days, often on the days I feel stressed or inadequate in another avenue of life, I spiral into this terrible swirl of hating myself. I’m not moderate with it. I feel embarrassed to even walk around in public because of the way I look. I can’t look in the mirror. I want to stay in bed.
I’ve learned, though, that it’s all in my head, because I am always the same me whether I feel content with how I look or whether I feel ashamed. I don’t really change day to day or week to week. Recognizing that my brain has a pattern of turning on me, I’ve learned ways to short circuit it. I’ll notice a distressing thought pop up, I’ll recognize the way I’m feeling and then I’ll follow-up with a more moderate thought. I’ll keep going back to that moderate thought over and over until my brain breaks free of its pattern of beating me up. Often, that thought is simple: I love myself. I say it because I do love myself in so many ways. I love that I care so deeply for the people in my life. I love that I am thoughtful. I love that I am smart and kind and joyful and hardworking. I love that I keep reaching for the light and good in my life, even when things are really hard.
This simple little tattoo on my wrist is now my constant reminder to hinge my thoughts on love, both for myself and for others. It’s a nod to how far I’ve come on this journey to stronger mental health, a delightful pause to appreciate my growth and to set myself up for success as I continue to work toward being the person I want to be.
I’m totally into the trend of hanging baskets on the wall. As someone who loves collecting receptacles of all sorts, baskets play into my strengths. I’m always buying bowls, baskets, bottles and trays. It’s a compulsion of sorts. I never feel like I have enough beautiful holders of things, even all of the surfaces in my home are covered with them. Now, I’ve found a new use for my baskets: the walls.
I love the modern bohemian vibe that baskets on the walls can add to any space. They are so intricate and unique. They look gorgeous spaced out on the wall or all jumbled together. My mom and I are currently on a basket collecting spree for the new house. She texts me pictures all time from thrift stores with new baskets to add to the collection. It’s going to be sick when it finally comes together. Until then, I’ll keep my eyes occupied with these beautiful images of baskets from around the web.
Sources: 1, 2, 3
I am absolutely captivated by this house tour that Design Sponge shared this week. Why do I love it so much? Let me count the ways:
First, I am in love with any house that has multiple dogs. I am a dog lover through and through, so the photo of the owner curled up on the couch with his dogs melted my heart. It was such a sweet vignette. As I type this post, my two dogs are snuggled on the couch with me. There is no better feeling. I want five more dogs, but I don’t think Keith will let me.
Second, I adore this photo of a south-facing window full of plants. I aspire to this level of plantdom in my own home. It’s beautiful and serene and so organic. I am having to hold myself back from rushing out to buy more plants as we speak. I am of the mind that one can never have too many.
Third, there is so much romance to the lifestyle they are living with their urban farm and victorian home renovation. Surely, it is not as glamorous as it seems. The renovation they did was probably a nightmare and I’m sure they get tired of tending to the garden, but they make it seem so beautiful and so worthwhile. My mom, who has taken up gardening in her retirement, tells me that she has never felt as fulfilled as when she saw vegetables growing (and growing!) from a single seed she planted. This post made me question how I’m living my life a bit, leaving me wanting to slow down and savor everything more.
Fourth, one half of the couple is a partner in a flower business, Chicory Florals, and their work is stunning. How awesome would it be to spend your days arranging flowers to the delight of brides everywhere? I couldn’t imagine anything more worthwhile.
Finally, their design essence is so spot on for me. They did a wonderful job of highlighting the bones of their home, but making it feel modern, cozy and fresh. I love their use of color, especially on the walls. They have that ‘it’ factor that is so captivating.
As always, thanks to Design Sponge for sharing and Neal Santos and Andrew Olsen for inviting the internet into their personal space. It was such a delight.
I’m not sure what all to say about this perfume except that I absolutely love it and I feel like I need to share it with you all so that you have it in your life as well. I spritz it on every single day before I leave the house and I often receive compliments on it. It’s a lovely, light fragrance. I bought myself a bottle for my birthday last year and I actually just had to reorder today because my bottle is now bone dry.
Next time you venture into Sephora, be sure to give it and try and let me know what you think.
Do you have a scent you always wear? If so, do share!
One of the hardest things for me as I learn to eat intuitively is to stop at enough. It’s the simplest concept, really. You eat when you’re hungry and you stop when you’re full. Ideally, you eat before you get really hungry and you stop before you get really full. If you take action before you get to the ‘really’ stage, it’s easier to listen to your body and do what it wants.
I seem to be fond of getting way, way too hungry. For someone who loves food as much as I do, it’s weird to me that I wait until I’m shaky hungry before I figure out what to feed myself. That starving stage makes me feel a bit food-panicky and my brain shifts into survival mode. When I finally get to food, I feel scared to stop eating. It takes a tremendous amount of willpower to listen to my body when it’s had plenty of food if I’ve waited too long to eat.
It helps to stop at enough when I don’t get too hungry before I eat. I don’t have the panicked feeling and I can tune in a bit more to how I’m feeling. I know there’s a precise moment where I’ve gone from ‘this food is fantastic’ to ‘wow, I think I’ve eaten enough for now’. My body will tell me every single time. The problem is that I often willfully ignore my body. I keep going. I eat the other half of the sandwich. I get the second bowl of soup. I practically lick the plate clean. I end up feeling really full and my brain starts to dull a bit. I feel uncomfortable in my pants.
It’s something I’m still working on. I know I’ll never be perfect at stopping at enough, but I hope to be better about it. As I head into this new work week, my goal is to tune in a bit more to my body’s cues. I hope to eat before I get really hungry so that it’s easier for me to stop when I’m full. It’s good for me to work on this. Practicing new skills is the only way to make progress toward the relationship I want to have with food and with my body.
What are you working on with your intuitive eating practice?
image via makelight.com.
I recently tried to do the ombre trend with my hair, which I typically keep highlighted blonde. It was a process. Initially, we had to actually dye my roots brown and darken my whole head. For subsequent appointments, my roots would continue to grow out and we would pepper in more blonde closer to my ends.
It was definitely easier to take care of, but I never loved it. For one thing, I realized that I actually do have lots of grey hairs, which is something I wouldn’t have known if my hair had stayed blonde. That was a weird feeling. I keep telling myself that I want to age with grace and thankfulness, but when I saw all these grey hairs on my head, it was a bit sobering to confirm that, yep, I am definitely aging faster than I’d like to be aging. I also didn’t like the fact that I would pay a bunch of money, sit in a styling chair for hours and still walk out of the salon with roots. That didn’t feel right. I guess I’m old school like that.
Last Friday, I decided to take steps back to full blonde. Goodbye ombre. My stylist gave me babylights and, I think I breathed out a sigh of relief when my hair looked normal to me again. I’ve felt like a million bucks this week at work with my new/old hair back. People have even noticed and commented that they like my hair lighter.
Some trends are fun to play with, to shrug into for a bit and try on for size. But, it doesn’t necessarily make you boring if you want to return to the familiar. At least that’s what I’m learning.
Image via Pinterest. Not my actual hair
I’m feeling a bit – old – these days. You see, I only learned about Nike Huaruche’s through Keith’s son’s Christmas list. He asked for them in black on black. As I shopped around online for the best deal for him, I kept wanting to nab a pair for myself. They’re just so cute! They look incredibly comfortable and I just love their old school vibe.
I keep debating whether or not he will be mortified if he shows up for Christmas and I have a pair on myself. I’m pretty sure he would be and, for some reason, that makes me feel old. Not quite old enough that I won’t follow-through and buy myself a pair, but I’ve decided to wait until the new year to pull the trigger so that he has his moment to shine with his new shoes.
Of course, I’m also smitten with the Fenty – Puma X Rihanna Creepers with the suede top and tan sole. I can’t link to them because they are still out of stock, but I do love them and will buy myself a pair as soon as I find them. They also feel retro, reminding me of the platform sneakers I wore when I was in eighth grade or so, but so much cooler. Side note: why is everything Rihanna does pure gold? How can that much cool be wrapped up in one person?
Lastly, I will always love my shell-toe Adidas. I need a new pair of these bad boys as the pair I currently have is totally worn out and greasy.
I’m happy the fashion world is finally embracing the sneaker for the ladies. Even though I love a good heel, it boggles my mind that we have so willingly accepted a beauty standard that basically handicaps us. It is the best feeling of the world to kick around in sneakers that are so comfortable. I hope this trend never goes out of style.
I love December so much. The excitement over the holidays is palpable, the weather is lovely here in California and – bonus – it’s also my birthday month. There’s so much to look forward to that I want to capture the excitement with a bit of a bucket list:
- Finally properly shopping for our new home
- Celebrating my birthday with a quiet dinner and a not-so-quiet night on the town
- Holiday Harry party at work
- Heading home to Arizona to spend the holidays with my mom and sister
- Surprising the kids with a pit stop at Universal Studios on our holiday road trip
- Jax finally finishing his puppy shots and getting to start properly socializing
- Getting Christmas presents for the people I love (and inevitably treating myself as well)
What are you looking forward to for the holidays this year?
Image via pink peonies. -> click through for an amazing home with holiday decor.
As a person solidly on my way to corporate middle management, I feel like I have learned a few career lessons the hard way that I’d love to share with you all. Through lots of trial and error, I’ve developed a bit of an ethos for how I approach my work. I’m still learning every day, but I’d love to share the lessons I’ve already internalized in the hope that they’ll help you take a bit of a leap on your own career journey.
Here are the 10 career commandments that I live by:
- Be Kind – this is so incredibly important to me. I don’t want to sacrifice my humanity for the sake of money and, if you think about it, people who view the workplace as a big competition where they have to undercut others in pursuit of titles and dollars have decided that the humanity element isn’t very important to them. That life isn’t for me. I’d rather sacrifice promotions and money to hold onto my belief that people deserve to be treated with kindness and humanity. I approach all of my work with a kindness-first perspective and I hope the people I work with notice. If not, at least I know that my ideals are still in tact.
- Don’t be Scared of Tough Conversations – if you grew up in a household where conflict is a dirty word, this one isn’t easy, but it’s so worth it. I’ve learned to be unafraid to have tough conversations with people I work with, whether it’s a request to rework a proposal, or to directly address someone who has given tough feedback about me to my manager. You have to be willing to address things head on or they are just going to fester. A bonus for this one is if you generally treat people with kindness, these tough conversations are a bit easier.
- Do your Shit – have the reputation as someone who does the things they say they’ll do. It’s so obvious, but just doing this one thing will make you better than most of the people you’ll work with by default. I think people have good intentions, but they often overpromise and underdeliver. Try to do the opposite.
- Admit when you mess up…right away – We’ve all had that moment where we realize we missed a big deadline or forgot to call someone we promised to. It happens. Acknowledge it right away to the person counting on you. Do not try to cover it up, do not hope they won’t notice. Just be frank and let them know you made a mistake. We’re all human and it happens and it will be okay as long as you take responsibility.
- Take Feedback with a Grain of Salt – man, people love to give feedback, especially in the corporate workplace. You have informal feedback, formal feedback, annual performance assessments. They’re all designed to tell you what you’re doing wrong and what you need to work on to do better. My problem with this sometimes is that it is so focused on the negative. You can spend all your time correcting the things that are hard for you, or you can lean into the things that light you up and do those really well. I choose the latter, so when feedback comes in for me about a personality trait that is just part of me and hard for me to change, I try to disregard it. Otherwise, I’ll fixate on changing something that’s almost impossible and will feel bad about myself. The caveat here is that sometimes we’re blind to things that we can easily improve or that are really irritating to others. If you get feedback about something like that, do your best to correct it and then move forward. Don’t let the feedback debilitate you.
- Say What you Want – a few months ago, I got really upset that someone got promoted ahead of me. Yes, it’s petty, but it happens. I realized, though, that I had not actually let my manager, director and HR rep know that I was keenly interested in a promotion and working toward that. The moment I asked, it happened soon after. It’s the old saying, closed mouths don’t get fed. Say what you want, whether it’s a person reporting to you, a new assignment, a promotion. Be willing to put in the work, but people can’t read your mind. You have to be a bit of a squeaky wheel sometimes and make sure that people are on the same page as your hopes and dreams.
- Do What Interests you as much as Possible – this is so obvious, but do everything in your power to be the best at the things you’re most interested in. I’ll give you an example for the field I’m in – brand management. It involves both consumer marketing and general business management. I don’t really love the business management side, so I don’t take on projects related to that side of the business if I can avoid it. My goal is to be totally competent, but not awesome at it. Why? Because I want to spend as much of my time on the side of the business that I love. I do the extra work and really pay attention to the details of the consumer side of the business so that I am known for my skills in consumer marketing. It leads to cooler projects and new assignments related to my interests and helps me avoid an assignment where I feel dead inside because I do not enjoy the subject matter.
- Speak up when you’re Overwhelmed – it can be scary to raise your hand and say you have too much on your plate. There’s always that fear lurking that they’ll realize that you aren’t cut out for the job or that you’re not dependable, but it just doesn’t happen like that. If you don’t speak up when you’re overwhelmed, you’ll end up with high blood pressure (been there) or scary, stress-filled dreams (been there, too) or you’ll make a major mistake because you can’t keep up with everything (yep, been there, too). For every business, we make puts and calls all the time about what’s most important to get done. Sometimes you have to sit down with your manager and recalibrate what’s possible and important for you to achieve.
- Keep Records – it’s tough to pause amidst the busy to keep records, but I never regret it. I try to write myself a note about projects I finish, or great feedback I receive or a committee I join in real time. It helps when it comes time to write my PA and I’m sitting in front of the computer like a dummy with absolutely no recollection of what happened over the past twelve months.
- Find your System – there are so, so many ways to work, all kinds of organizing systems and tips and tricks out there. Whether you’re digitally integrated with Outlook or prefer an analog system for to dos, find and commit to your system. If you haven’t found your system yet, sign up for every class you can and read every self-help book on personal organization until you find something that works for you. Then, do it. All the time. It will give you such a calm mind. It might seem like more work to write things down, but it’s worth it. Eventually, it will feel like second nature and you won’t be able to imagine your life without it.
Image via google.
I just have to say that I recently found my favorite dress on Asos. I love the photo above, but you really need to click through to the site to see it in all its glory. It’s just a simple black button-up dress, but it works for so many reasons. The drapey pockets add a fun element of personality, the neckline is comfortable, easy and has a bit of edge, it’s loose, so there’s no worry of gapes between buttons. Basically, it’s professional enough to wear to work, but comfortable enough that it doesn’t feel like work clothes.
I’m a major fan, and at just $49, it feels too good not to share.