Patience is a pretty powerful word, and it's not something I'm very good at, especially when it comes to...waiters getting my order wrong. JUST KIDDING (but really, the hanger is strong with this one). I would like to think that I'm able to breathe deeply and exude total zen-ness, but I'd be lying (exhibit A: I can't stand Yoga). In fact, I've noticed that my mid-twenties are shaping up to be a time of skepticism and slight bitterness - which is a good thing when you're trying to be funny. Although if I told the average acquaintance this, I'm not sure they would get it; I smile (sometimes too much), say "sorry" (WAY too much), go out of my way to make sure everyone feels comfortable, especially in awkward social situations that I've orchestrated. So from appearances sake, I'm more of a Hufflepuff*,but if I'm being honest with myself and everyone else, I'm a total Slytherin at heart (don't hate - Snape was too and HE TURNED OUT TO BE AWESOME). *Yes, my life is determined by Harry Potter parallels and my shrink is well-aware of this obsession.
I've actually been enjoying this slight raise in mid-twenties angst, because I feel like it gives me power to be a little more real with myself. I've spent a lot of time pushing away feelings of insecurity and pain in hopes that distracting myself with loud people and laughter would help (and don't get me wrong, it definitely does!). BUT in doing so, I've hidden an edge -- a little piece of myself saying "hey, be mad! Feel for at least a second." I'm not saying I now choose a life of dramatic stomping around whilst hexing my enemies under my breath, but instead I'm standing up for me and reminding myself that it's OK to be human, it's OK to feel broken sometimes, and when you feel this way - turn it into art because usually that morphs into pretty awesome stuff (some of which you will later either be blown away by or completely embarrassed by, which is humbling).
This edge that I am now embracing isn't a jaded version of myself - it's more of a "shut up and listen to your brain because you're probably right." It's a sassy voice telling me patience is probably what I should aim for, but if my gut is telling me otherwise, then speak out (note: this is not a Kendell Jenner-esq peace rally "speak out" because look where that got her). I'm going to show up to my own life with a hint of sarcasm and an ability to laugh and completely and utterly LOVE that about myself. I'm going to FEEL and to REFLECT and learn to know when I'm being to impatient with myself. And most importantly, I'm going to learn how to forgive myself. Because I'm kind of stuck with me forever, so might as well make it a happy marriage ;)
If I thought I'd neglected my blog last time I wrote something...I seriously underestimated myself. It is now my New Half-Year's Resolution (that can be a thing, right?) to commit a little more diligently to this thing. Why? a) it makes me happy, b) it's a creative outlet, c) because blog's are weird online diaries that no one wants to really read, so why not make another one that people may or may not want to read? Clearly all of these reasons are selfish. So are blogs. Deal with it.
I don't really know where to start other than....a lot of happened since I was last on here. Here are a few highlights amongst many:
a) I moved to DC (again)
b) I started a new job at my old company and I love it
c) I live in an old brick house with three cool chicks
d) Trump became president....................
e) I try to be healthy most of the time but occasionally ruin it with a bottle of wine or pizza
f) I started swimming again!
g) Dating sucks
h) The Bachelor was absolute garbage this season
I think that's a nice mix of good and bad things! Life is all about balance after all.
My brain is a little fried today so instead of writing some annoying millennial think-piece that probably should stay neatly locked up in my head, here's some photos I took of flowers and my cool friend Jess in Northern VA:
And although this is neither an inspiring post or one that evokes much creative emotion, it's my attempt to get back on the blog wagon, so to speak. So there! Talk to you soon --
Neglecting blogs is my strong suit apparently. A new skill I didn't know about #discoveryourselfdaily.
So much has changed in the last month that I feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland falling through the rabbit hole. But instead of focusing on the negatives, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on all the good stuff that's happened because YAY LIFE!
1.) I've lost 18 pounds since May. And I'm proud of myself for it! And I think I'll pick it back up once some things settle down and I have time to actually plan my meals. Aka right now, meals are looking a bit like "I'm ignoring the expiration date on every ingredient" and less "this is the healthiest shit I've ever made."
2.) I got some awesome postcards and letters from some awesome people. Thank you to Jessica, Kristina, and Polly for sending me so much love from Montana, NEW ZEALAND, and NYC. You ladies are the best. Also, thanks to Polly, I've officially found my spirit animal(person) in the form of writer Jessi Klein. She's the head writer for Amy Shumer's show and MAN is she hilarious. Polly sent me her book called "You'll Grow Out Of It." Go find it and read it and laugh until your sides hurt. An excerpt from an early chapter about her sister's wedding in Disney Land where she finds herself dancing with a paid-for wedding-entertainment dressed-up Dale the Chipmunk:
"Hours go by and I'm completely wasted but totally happy. We're entwined on the dance floor, the envy of all the other interspecies couples in the room. I have my head on his shoulder, "Lady in Red" is playing, and I decide there will never be a more perfect moment to make my move. I squeeze his paw, look up at him, and whisper as seductively as one can after two vodka tonics and four glasses of (Disney) Chardonnay, "Hey--do you want to come back to my room?" Dale steps back. He looks at me solemnly--or maybe happily, its hard to tell--and chirps, "Chchchchch!" That's it. It's clear to me that if he were to attempt to consummate our passion, he would be fired, and possibly killed. We part ways and I go back to my room alone. I am sad that my soul mate and I met at the wrong time, doomed by the rules of a Draconian kingdom, until it occurs to me a week later that the person in the costume was not necessarily, and most likely wasn't, a man."
3,) I ate REALLY GOOD food at Gravy in downtown Raleigh. Twice. Maybe three times. No shame.
4.) I got to hang out with my cousin sweet Josey for a night when she was in town!
5) THE OLYMPICS ARE HAPPENING!!!!!! My favorite American athlete: Bob Costas. It takes guts to come back after a serious injury (see: Bob Costas pink eye 2014 winter olympics) #truepatriot
6.) I found an Anthropologie dress at a thrift shop and there's ELEPHANTS ON IT. Double win!
7.) I've discovered some new favorite wines that you should probably go buy if you like fermented grape juice as much as I do:
So there you have it -- some little moments of joy (and if you drink all three wines, you'll be VERY joyful -- please don't attempt).
Let me start off by saying that this has been a month where I have discovered my ability to both multitask at great lengths and succeed, followed by periods of complete chaos where nothing really goes as planned. Exhibit A: The other day I opened the door, ready for a new day, lunch packed (pat my adult self on back) and water bottle in hand (hydration!), locked the door, tripped over my own feet, dropped both lunch and water bottle and yelled a decently loud profanity (sorry mom), and noticed the mailman was standing right behind me waiting for me to get out of the way. And what did he say? Simply, "I can tell you're trying today. That's what counts." Thanks kind stranger who saw RIGHT through me.
ANYWAY, this month has been somewhat of a transformative one, and I feel pretty damn good about it, too. After a period of stupid anxiety (I call it stupid because that's what it is. It's uninvited and still shows up and I can't stand it), stomach aches, and being tired all the time, I realized I should probably do something quite drastic because HEY, I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain (Ironically, I've since lost weight so that term is useless). So what did I do? I went on a diet, and I LOVE it. I feel happier, more energized, AND DON'T ROLL YOUR EYES BECAUSE I KNOW YOU MIGHT BE! I went on a diet to give myself some control and fuel for change and to REALLY listen to what my body is trying to tell me.
And this sparks another topic I'd like to sidetrack you with: why is it so hard for women to be supportive of other women doing something good for themselves? Don't get me wrong, I do have some great support from a group of lovely people and I am so thankful for that. BUT--there are some who react surprisingly negative to the news that you're adding more veggies to your life and taking alcohol out of the equation for a bit to focus on your well being both mentally and physically. I've heard things like "Umm... why?" and "that's crazy" and "things like that don't work." First of all, I would like to say this: would you ever say that to a drug addict who was seriously trying their best to change their lifestyle? I know that sounds a little extreme but with the amount of obesity, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and tons of other problems stemming from how we choose to eat and exercise in America....is it really that different? I've mulled over this topic with a couple of people and from what I can understand, it comes down to two things: insecurity and guilt. If you can't be proud of someone for trying hard to change a part of their life that wish was better, fake it. Just do it. It's respectful and the right thing to do, even if you don't believe they won't succeed. Because you know who else has huge doubts they will succeed? The person who just told you. The reason I say "guilt" is because of this observation: you go out to dinner, slightly embarrassed by the picky requests you might have to make to the waitstaff to ensure you stick to your diet, and your friend has no problem waving around whatever "good" food their eating right in your face -- and then constantly reminding you that you aren't eating it. That's just rude. Would you wave a PB&J in the face of someone who had a peanut allergy? Again, be respectful and instead try to simply UNDERSTAND where that person is coming from. A personal choice is just that, and nothing more. I'm not asking you to get involved in my diet---but if you actually want to, then I'll gush about it and we can be diet friends. Ok, there's my rant for the evening. We should be thankful we have enough food in this country to warrant diets. Summary: be nice.
On to something more fun: with this new diet comes new territory on what is considered "fun" for a 25-year-old.
Scene: Sunday 12:00pm. It is still the weekend and you haven't gone dancing or bar hopping because that's not really cohesive with your diet and you're sitting their on your couch, dutifully drinking your water, but at this point all you really want is a fucking mimosa or 3 and a giant stack of pancakes (breathe in....breathe out....). So what's fun to do on a Sunday afternoon with no food, no booze, and no sugar? Answer:
Dress up like a Kardashian and go to $1,000,000 open house listings to distract yourself. And enjoy every minute of it.
Yes, this is what I did. A friend and I got dressed up, went to the fanciest neighborhood in town and successfully toured three behemoths of houses. We were at first pretty apprehensive about it. We both agreed a mimosa would have done us good in this situation, but trudged on with what we set out to do: pretend to be impossibly rich 25-year-olds looking for mansions and acting like we flew in to town on our private jets just for this afternoon. It really works if you get into character. Each realtor took us very seriously (maybe....until the end -- I'll tell you in a minute), following us around as we pointed out ridiculous things: "The crown molding seems inauthentic.," "My wardrobe would never fit in this closet," "Where is the outdoor entertainment space?". Yes, we were pretty terrible. But we got free koozies and mints out of it! And we got to snoop in some pretty insanely decorated places. That being said, our cover was most definitely blown when we found this massive 200 sq. foot bathroom that had been lovingly decorated by a 97 year old woman:
Ok here's some serious business we need to address: millennials and our love for wine. Wine is making a comeback as the go-to drink and it's COOL that our generation is into it. Why it's so cool:
a) it's chemistry
b) it's an ancient practice
c) it's delicious
After sampling the vast amount of Italian wine Tuscany had to offer in college, and then taking a science course in wine making (that's right, that counted as my lab science), I was mesmerized by the history and craft of this magical stuff. Don't get me wrong -- I'm by no means a wine expert (yet?), because as soon as I THINK I know something, BAM -- another tidbit of wine truth sneaks up and surprises me.
First of all, if you don't think you're a "wine person", you probably should try more wine because I'm telling you, there's something out there for everyone. How to get started? Go to a local wine store during their tasting hours and just try everything they have open. They will most likely offer you 3 to 5 types of wine and pour you a 1oz taste. Take your time, and be honest. There are a lot of "wine buzzwords" out there that we think we should use (oaky, dry, fruit-forward, etc.), and it's TOTALLY acceptable to say something like "this wine tastes kinda like Starburst," because when it comes to wine, there are very few 'right' answers -- what you like it what you like, and being as honest as possible will help the wine store clerk find out what you may and may not like.
A myth about wine:
Good wine is expensive: This is half-true. MOST expensive wine is pretty damn good, but there are so many more hidden gems out there that are incredibly delicious and are at a level as high or higher than the pricey, popular brands. I've found that California wine is almost always overpriced because of the pedigree, but that's also because it costs more to make a wine in CA than say, Argentina. In fact, some wine makers own wineries in different parts of the world, make the same sort of wine, and price it differently because of the overhead costs they need to cover in that region. Also, many up and coming wine growing regions mimic popular, well-established regions because their climate and soil are similar. So try a wine from somewhere you wouldn't necessarily go to right away and test it out!
A fight for Rosé:
Ladies, a dry Rosé is not the same thing as a White Zinfandel. Yes, they are both pink. Since White Zinfandel was most likely your first wine experience in college, you MAY have been completely turned off by how sweet it was. However, I've got good news! That pink wine section in the fancy wine store is probably devoid of any sugary wines. My manager at the wine store just told me how Rosé originally began, and it's actually not as far off from red wine as you might think. It actually began as the excess juice winemakers would filter off of a red wine. If the winemaker wanted to make a deeper, more concentrated red wine, they would syphon off some of the juice after a few hours to a full day and save that, bottle it, and call it Rosé. So really, it's the little sister of red wine! In the end, it comes out as a refreshing spring or summertime wine, often floral or full of berry flavors and watermelon. But not sweet! Nice, right? Also, these wines can be inexpensive and you can get a really really delicious bottle for under $20 (Sidenote: if you don't like Riesling because of how sweet it is, ask for a dry Riesling and get all the same delicious flavors minus the sweet sugar kick).
Below are some of my new-found favorites for this season. Check them out and try and find them at your local wine store! Happy sipping!
SPRING IS HERE IN NC! And really it's more like summer (80 degrees?!), but I'm SO happy warm weather is back nonetheless. Some new things have been developing lately in my teeny Raleigh bungalow and I thought I'd share!
+ Michael and I have started the Couch to 5k torture method which is becoming (SLOWLY) less torturous and more fun. I'm excited to be a person who maybe MAYBE enjoys running one day. Although I sprained my ankle on day 2, we're still going strong! I no longer resent those fabulous, tan, muscly people in neon shorts who run by the brewery. Instead, I AM one of those people (except I'm not tan and muscly and I run TO the brewery, not by it) Baby steps. Or leaps in this instance.
+ I am crafting up a storm and completely loving it. Besides painting lovely old dog portraits, I've been journalling more and recently started making my own greeting cards -- because it's FUN and FREE (the two best words, especially combined). I'm also making little logos for my friends with blogs, and so far I'm having a ton of fun with it! Trying to beef up my graphic design portfilio....
+ I GOT A JOB! A part time job, but a job nonetheless! I'm VERY excited by it and I can't wait to start. It's at a wine store and I'll be helping out the store with wine-y duties, as well as help them build their brand with new print and web graphics along with their social media sites. Cool! I'm excited to try all of their amazing wine too of course ;)
+ Maybe not totally interesting to anyone else BUT I've started a new skincare routine and am loving it. That's actually huge for me to say, seeing as I've struggled with very sensitive, break-out prone skin since I was 9. I kept hearing about these magical oil face treatments people are raving about lately so after a few days of research, I bit the bullet and clicked "purchase" online (the scariest and most exhilaratingly basic thing in the 21st century). I bought two oils -- a cleansing oil (Origins "Clean Energy" cleansing oil) and a moisturizing oil (Fresh Seaberry moisturizing oil). The cleansing oil smells like summer and takes off ALL my makeup which is pretty darn amazing. The moisturizing oil is a lovely layer to add after that. I use both before bed and nothing else all day. So far, I think this is the happiest I've been with my skin in a long, long time. Completely recommend it for anyone like me who's wanting to find something as close to magic in a skincare bottle as possible.
It has begun...I am fulfilling my mom's life-long dream (for me) of painted pet portraits. And it's actually fun! I've almost completed one of tiny dog Jellybean, and I'm about to start on two other elderly pups. I carved out a little studio space in the guest room, so if you're planning to crash here, it might get a little paint-fumey. But that's fun, right?
I'm also attempting to keep up with my artist journal, which has been super therapeutic. I feel like everyone should have one, even if you don't consider yourself creatively inclined, I think it's a good practice. I like journaling when I have a trashy show on in the background...which maybe explains my crazy use of color and weird patterns. Thanks, Jersey Shore!
This week I got the privilege to makeover the lovely Sara for a date night, and I'm super proud of this look! I'm not sure what I would call it, but it's pretty cool that the light brown shadow I put on her eyes gave off this hazy purple color since her eyes are SO BLUE. I also used my new cream contour pallet I got on Amazon for a grand total of 7 dollars, and that's quickly becoming my new favorite magic trick.
If you're like me and 1) are on a budget and 2) still want to buy makeup, then you have found heaven in the form of eyeshadow palettes from Sleek Makeup! After hearing about these shadows from youtube beauty gurus at Pixiwoo a few years ago, they still remain a trusty go-to when it comes to getting some great colors for a low price. Sleek offers an array of different palettes, all for under 15 buckaroos. I've bought them both on Sleek's website and Amazon, and the ones on Amazon seem to ship a little faster (depending on where they are coming from) since it's a UK-based line. If you're unsure of which palettes to get, start with Au Naturel (pictured above); you get both matte and shimmery shadows in a nude palette. Dare I say it, I think this palette is a good contender with the verrrrry popular Urban Decay NAKED line, especially since it's 1/4 of the price. Only downfall: the palettes themselves are a little flimsy after a while, but you might be less clumsy than I am when it comes to makeup storage.
Buongiorno! After a ridiculously raucous rainstorm last night, I awoke to a BEAUTIFUL spring-like day here in NC. I opened the windows and BAM, was immediately flooded with Guilford nostalgia -- anytime the weather gets a little warmer and the birds come out, my mind drifts back to the Guilford lake, the sun, the trees, the birds... the distant sounds of drunk college students (just kidding, sort of). I think most of all, I just miss that feeling of belonging to a beautiful campus, surrounded by people and art and beauty. I think then, lying by the lake soaking in sun rays, I wasn't aware of much beyond the next week. Or maybe I was, but I blocked it from my mind. I feel so thankful and lucky that I had an incredible college experience, and realize now that it was and always will be a big beautiful part of my life.
Then after this nostalgia attack, I was hungry. Duh. I guess today is one of my more adult days because I ATE TOFU FOR BREAKFAST. I could have REALLY blown everyone out of the water if I'd added some spinach....baby steps. I'll just say it: I'm bad at breakfast, and I wish I wasn't. I LOVE breakfast food, but when I wake up in the morning, I'm so blinded by my hunger that I reach for anything that is already made OR I'll drink coffee until I forget that I was hungry and then have another problem of caffeine-induced cleaning where I don't stop until the house SPARKLES. (I just re-read that last line and realized I sound crazy.) BUT since the trend now is to be mindful, I slowed down and created the most delicious smoothie I've ever made (I haven't made many). Recipe above. Will repeat until ingredients run out.
Asheville is a magical place. My brother Davis just moved there and I'm so proud of him for taking on a new adventure, especially in a city that's just so COOL (seriously, why is everyone so cool there?). Although it was a short, VERY COLD trip, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated by that lovely mountain air.
Favorite parts of the trip:
Getting to celebrate TWO birthdays
Seeing friends (and running into some unexpectedly)
Trying some great food and some great beer
Walking around Asheville exploring the little hippie shops
One place you must must must see when you go there: The FUNKATORIUM, Wicked Weed's sour beer brewery. Even if you think you don't like sour beer, you should probably go. Then try the Cherry Go Lightly. Smile.
We also stopped into Mayfel's for some cajun-inspired brunch (yum!), and White Duck Taco which is probably the hippest taco place you'll set foot inside. Try their Gyro-style taco....my favorite. We checked out the West Asheville bar scene and I was pleasantly surprised by the old-school vintage charm that each bar seemed to possess. The Admiral (fancy restaurant by day, swing dance club by night), was a blast for dancing, DeSoto Lounge was great for arcade games and chill vibes, and Double Crown was probably the most authentically retro place I've ever stepped foot in: wood paneling, vinyl seats, and black-and-white floors practically untouched since....I don't know when?
I can't wait to go back.
Side note: my first Ipsy bag arrived and it's as girly and adorable as I thought it'd be. For $10, I got a little makeup zip bag, some blush, face primer, face wash, nail polish, and loose eye pigment---most of which were made by brands I hadn't heard of. Pretty excited to try them out!