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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Coffee Talk.

If we were meeting for coffee outside, I might try to convince you to get this green drink instead. It's delicious and refreshing and for a coffee addict lover like me to go to Starbucks and get something other than coffee, you know it's good. 

And if we were having coffee here, we'd most definitely be outside. Because Florida got it's warmth back and I'm super happy about it. 

I'd tell you that my friend Erica had me over on her blog answering some questions. A lot of people email me asking me the question she asked about finding time to blog, and then when I email them back, never respond. I assume it's because I didn't have the kind of answer they were hoping for, since my answer is basically something along the lines of just do it. So I'd ask for your answer: How do you make time for things that aren't your full-time job, but are still important to you? 

Speaking of making time for things and saving time, I'd tell you that these have been a lifesaver over the last few weeks. Just toss one of those and some meat and veggies in the crockpot and wham bam, dinner is ready 6 hours later.   

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that the last week has been a huge wake-up call for me in terms of what's most important in life. Last week, I was watching the Bachelor finale with two friends and Chris. We were sitting on the floor eating Chuy's takeout while Jack was running around the room making us all laugh. And I thought, this. This is an important thing.  Sure, I had to wake up the next day and work. I still had uncomfortable emails to respond to. Disappointing news to deal with. But on the heels of a night where I really enjoyed what was truly important, the other, not-so-fun things didn't feel like as big of a deal anymore. I'd ask you if you were giving the most important things in your life a high enough priority, or if that's something you were working on, too. 

Your turn! What's going on with you?

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

On Good Days & Bad Days.

Dear You, 

You will have good days. Days that make you happy to be alive. Days that make you thankful that you are the one living your life. Days where you notice how good even the little things are--the way the sun is shining, the way your favorite song makes you feel, the way your heart beats in your chest after a workout. 

You will have bad days. Days where it feels hard to just be alive. Days that you wish you could have been dealt a different hand in life. Days where you notice how bad even the little things are--the way the check engine light only comes on when you're already upset, the way you can't sleep through the night anymore, the way that absolutely nothing is going the way it is supposed to go. 

Life is made up of both of these days. I wish that I could say there was always a balance, but there's not. Some seasons are made up of mostly good days, but some are made up of mostly bad days, with no breaks in between. No matter how many good days you've had, the bad ones still suck. The fact that you've had good days doesn't make the bad days hurt less. But the good news is that when the good days show up, they show up with all their good day magic, no matter how many bad days you've had. 

On the good days: Live them to the fullest. Celebrate every tiny, warm, perfect, delicious detail. Don't waste a single minute of them looking ahead to what might happen in the future or thinking about bad things that have already happened. Just live the good days, in the moment, as they come. Let them remind you how good life can be.

On the bad days: Remember that you'll be okay. If history is any indication, you have a pretty good track record of making it through these. It's okay that the smallest things upset you. It's okay that you feel convinced that the whole world is against you today. If you can find nothing else good, remember that having a bad day means you are still alive, and that's something. Let the bad day just be a bad day, ask for help if you need it, and go to bed with the hope that tomorrow will be a good day. 

You will have good days and bad days. You will make it through both. Both will shape the wonderful, magical person you are. And both are a reminder of the incredible, phenomenal gift: You are alive. 

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Monday, March 20, 2017

My Favorite Things I Discovered in 2016.

Yogi Teas. I've been singing the praises of the honey lavender stress relief tea, but that's just one of many Yogi teas I discovered last year. They have a tea for everything. Some of my other favorites are vanilla-spice perfect energy and the pomegranate green tea. Bonus: All of the tags on the tea bags have little sayings like fortune cookies. 

Mrs. Meyer's Baking Soda Scrub. I discovered this when we were moving out of our apartment and were trying to make sure we left everything super clean (AKA, we wanted our security deposit back).  To be completely honest, I'd never really deep cleaned anything before without my mom telling me exactly how, so I kind of just went down the cleaning aisle at Target and threw one of everything into my cart. This stuff is some sort of black magic. Our sink, our shower, our oven...this took care of all of them. I'm telling you. Black magic. 

Bubba Tumbler. This was maybe my best purchase of 2016. That's saying a lot, because I bought a bunch of stuff last year (hello, new baby and new house). I am constantly raving about how I find drinking more water to be literally life-changing. It probably annoys everyone I know, but whatever. 

As everyone knows, the best way to make yourself drink more water is to 1) Have a cute cup, and 2) Have a straw. This has both, and the straw is silicone, which I'd never seen before. It's so easy to carry around, fits in cup holders, and keeps your drink cold. It's awesome. 

It's 35 ounces, which means just filling it up twice gets you past your recommended 8 glasses a day mark. I easily fill it up 5 times a day. I will probably buy these as gifts for the rest of the year, if that gives you any idea as to how obsessed I am with mine. 

Essie Gel Couture Polish. I am a nail polish hoarder. Until I moved in May, I still had nail polishes that I had bought while in college. Let me just explain to you how much I love this polish: I threw away all of my other nail polishes. I can get ten days of wear with this one. It's worth it.

Yoga with Adriene. I've never really been a yoga person. I've been to a few classes and done a few at-home videos, but it was never something I just really loved. After I had Jack, I tried yoga as a way to ease my body back into being active (because, ya know, growing an actual human for 40 weeks really does a number on you). I discovered this youtube channel and loved it. 

Over the fall, I started doing one of her videos every day, and (warning, I'm about to sound like a giant, crunchy hippie here) it did wonders for my stress levels. It's also the first workout I've ever done where I could really see myself getting stronger day-to-day.  If you think you're not a yoga person, try these videos. There are hundreds to choose from and something for every skill level.

LulaRoe Leggings. Before pregnancy, I was not a leggings person. I just wasn't. But then I discovered maternity leggings and proceeded to wear them for 9 months. And then as long as I could get away with them after Jack was born, too. Then I realized I should probably buy normal leggings, since I wasn't pregnant anymore. I started seeing Lularoe pop up on social media and loved all the different patterns (I'm a bright colors & pattern junkie). 

Embarrassing story: I had never purchased any LulaRoe, but when I moved to Gainesville, I didn't know anyone here. I joined a local facebook group and a girl who was also a part of the medical community posted about selling LulaRoe. So naturally I literally bought a pair of leggings so I could pick them up and meet her and we could become friends. Spoiler alert: It didn't work. BUT it did leave me wanting more of these leggings. So when I saw my sweet friend Janelle opened her own LulaRoe shop, I was so excited. She was made for this-she takes such joy in putting together outfits and helping people find something they feel wonderful in. 

I'm not lying when I tell you I wear these leggings at least once a week. They got crazy popular for a reason. It weirds me out that people call them "butter leggings" because that's such a weird image, but honestly, I get why they do. They're so soft. 

I told Janelle I was going to be blogging about this today and she offered to give away a pair of leggings (because she is the sweetest). I'm gonna jump in with her and give away a pair. Enter here:

Okay, your turn. What kind of things did you discover last year?

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Year on the Other Side of Match Day.

Tomorrow, medical students and their families all across America will find out where they will spend the next 3-7 years of their lives....all at the same time. (If that sounds like an insane way for that to happen, it's because it is. You can read about the actual Match Day here). A year ago, we were waiting for the same thing. 

I blogged a lot about Match Day because it was such a huge event in our lives, and I was surprised by how much everyone could relate. People waiting for an envelope to tell them their future is a pretty specific group, but people who are confused about their future and frustrated by things out of their control is not. In that way, even though all of our stories may be different, we can all help each other and learn from each other, and I think that's pretty cool. 

If I could go back a year and give myself a pep-talk before Match Day, this is what I'd say: 

1. However you are feeling right now, it is okay. For a few days last year, I fell into the trap of feeling like because I was anxious about the future, I wasn't being a supportive wife to Chris. That's crap. There is no right or wrong way to feel about these kinds of things. So the days I was excited about a new adventure, that was okay. The days I was scared and anxious about moving, that was okay too. 

2. No matter what happens, you will still be the same person. I wish I could go back and tell myself: You will wake up tomorrow and still be all of the things that you love. And you will wake up a year from now and still be a writer and a mom and a wife. Circumstances change a lot of things, but not the most important things. 

3. You are more adaptable than you think. Me a year ago was very resistant to change. This is funny coming from someone that had a baby last year, but hey, just being honest. It's almost comical to look back and see how worried I was about the change Match Day would bring, because really, that was the least of ways I've had to adapt in the last 365 days. But I've done it! And while the term, I welcomed change is a bit of a stretch, I've gone along with it. And handled it all without falling apart. And--dare I say--even enjoyed some of it. 

4. Celebrate the journey. Sometimes we get so caught up in how far there is to go and how many obstacles that are along the way that we forget to celebrate how far we've come. Every step of the journey deserves to be celebrated, especially when you've worked hard to get where you're at.

Ironically, these are all reminders I can still use today. So I thought I'd share them, because maybe you could use them too. Whether you have a big, looming decision like Match, or you're just confused or going through a difficult time, remember that it's okay to feel however you're feeling, that you are and will continue to be the same person, that you are more adaptable than you believe, and that you deserve to celebrate how far you've come. 

And if you're participating in the Match tomorrow, as a medical student or a medical student's partner, my heart is with you. You've got this. 
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Spring Clean Your Life.

My friend Lindsay blogged a few weeks ago about spring cleaning your life, and I was inspired by her post and wanted to add my own!  

First, I just want to say that this is the first year of my life that I've ever been not-miserable when thinking about actual cleaning. It's because of the cleaning products that keep talking about. I swear I don't secretly own stock in this company, I just really freaking love them and think that maybe if you hate cleaning as much as I do, you also need to fall in love with them. This week I'm going to rave about the glass cleaner, because it somehow works better than Windex without making me feel like I'm suffocating when I smell it, and the daily shower cleaner (you just spray it right on, no need to scrub) that smells like eucalyptus and mint, aka MY SHOWER SMELLS LIKE A SPA.

But anyway. On to spring cleaning your life. 

Unsubscribe from email lists you've somehow ended up on. This was on Lindsay's list, but I'm putting it here too. You really don't need to be notified every time every place you've ever shopped at has a sale, I promise. 

Donate clothes that no longer fit you. I've got two not great things going for me here: One, I was crazy tiny for most of my life. Two, I am a clothes hoarder. My parents taught me to take good care of my clothes, and I did. And I just added my own advice to the end of that: "And keep them forever!" So now I've got tons of (very tiny) clothes in my closet that will probably (definitely) never ever fit me again. 

If you're like me, then when you're getting dressed and you see a really cute dress, only to realize it's approximately 84 sizes too small, you don't feel too great about yourself. So donate them. Help someone else by simultaneously helping yourself not have a breakdown every time you get dressed. 

Delete old phone numbers. Jack got a hold of my unlocked phone the other day and decided to make some phone calls of his own. That was all it took for me to start deleting old numbers. If it takes me more than 10 seconds to explain to you who I am, I probably shouldn't have your number. 

Delete old emails and texts. On the same topic, if you don't talk to someone anymore, you shouldn't feel the need to save their texts. If you no longer work for a company, you don't need to save those emails.  

Clean up your spending and make it more about happiness. This year, when it comes to spending money outside of necessities (like rent and diapers), I've worked really hard to 1) Save money for our upcoming vacation, and 2) Spend money only on things that really make us happy. So we're not just going to mindlessly eat out because I'm tired and don't feel like cooking, we're going to eat out because Mexican food sounds great and we want to go to our favorite little place together. I'm not going to buy a new dress just because it's pretty and I can afford it, I'm going to buy a new dress that I know I'll wear all year and that will make me happy whenever I wear it. 

At the end of the day, we all only have so much money. Even if you've got lots of it, at some point, it runs out. So work on consciously deciding where to spend it, and spend it on things that are going to bring you happiness. 

Clear some room for taking breaks. Yesterday was a very heavy day for reasons that aren't mine to tell. I usually wake up, write some blogs, and work out. It's a routine that's been good for me, but yesterday, I just needed a break. So I took one-no writing, no working out, no planning. I just sat in bed and drank my coffee, and it was exactly what I needed. 

I want to start doing that on a normal basis, not just when I have a hard day. Taking a break is so good. Slowing down is good. Not jumping right into your to-do list at 100 mph every single day is good. So clear up some room for taking those breaks. 

How will you spring clean your life this month?

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Your Life is Worth Celebrating.

We're vacation planning right now and it is so much fun. I'm so excited. Everything seems so much more on vacation: More relaxing, more fun, worth spending more money on. More. 

Last week, my friend Helene said, "When I travel I tend to notice things more." I've been thinking about that a lot and how true that is. We tend to notice so much more beauty on vacation. We find beauty in things that we may not notice in our day-to-day lives. We wouldn't dream of missing the sunset when we're on vacation. We take 8,329 pictures of that sunset, even though we have one in our own backyard every single night that we rarely even think about. 

On vacation, we (or at least I do) spend a lot of time planning where we'll be eating, looking up cute and delicious places. We try new types of wine. We really take everything in. We carry a spirit of celebration around with us, whether we're eating breakfast or sitting by the pool or looking at ancient monuments. 

Traveling is amazing, and for me, will always make things seem more special. It will always be easier to be more relaxed or more adventurous when I'm on vacation. But I also don't want to fall into the pattern of only celebrating life during those times. 

I don't want to not watch the sunset just because it's a Monday and I've had a lot of work. I don't want to not try new things just because it's a normal week. I don't want to settle for boring food instead of researching cute and delicious dinner places, just like I do on vacation. 

Real life has more responsibilities than time off does, I know that. But I also know that I could be way better at celebrating real life more. I slow down and drink my coffee in the morning. I could try a new bottle of wine. I could take a walk. I could eat sushi just because it's Tuesday and wear bright, fun clothes because I have to wear something, you know? I could add little celebratory moments in. And so could you. 

Because your life is worth celebrating. So celebrate it. Watch the sunset and listen to good music and open your windows and drink your coffee and slow down and notice and savor and celebrate

Happy Monday, friends. Let's celebrate it. 
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Friday, March 10, 2017

3 Things You Need to Know About.

Happy Friday! I spent the majority of yesterday thinking it was Friday, so I'm extra happy to see today. I plan on spending the majority of the weekend by the pool, or at the beach (or maybe both!), and also vacation planning. I asked for suggestions on instagram and got some good ones, so I've been researching beaches and condos and it's making me so excited. Who else loves the planning part of vacation?!

Now, on to three things you need to know about:

NBC has a This is Us playlist that they update every week. One of the ways this show reminds me of Parenthood (besides all of the ways) is the music. Their music choices are just so good. To be fair, if you actually watch This is Us, these songs will probably make you cry, but hey-they're really good songs. 

This face mask. And also this one. I've been using these both for about a week now and can actually tell a difference in my skin, which is great. 

Yoga for Anxiety. If you've had one of those weeks, take 15 minutes this weekend and go through this video. Sometimes you don't realize how tense you are until you take a break and stretch it out, and sometimes you don't realize how much you need to just sit and breathe until you do it.  

However you're spending this weekend, I hope it's a good one!

Now, tell me something I need to know about! 
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