Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reminding you...

A reminder that you don't need to be perfect all the time. Be yourself and make mistakes. Everything will work out.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Find Your Joy: Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

It is that time of year again. The holidays. Thanksgiving is now over and Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc. are quickly approaching (I celebrate Christmas so I will mostly talk about that, but this can apply to all holidays!) Remember when you were a magical this time of year was? I remember waking up every day in December, wishing with all my heart that it was Christmas already. I knew that it wasn't, but I secretly hoped I would wake up magically on December 25th with the Christmas tree full of presents and snow falling silently outside. The holidays were so much fun, so exciting, and full of so much love.

Now the older we get, we run around with lists of presents to buy, errands to run, parties to host, cookies to bake, and the list goes on and on. We forget the joy and magic of the season and are stressed out by all those little things that must get done. There have been years when I get in a bad mood and become a Scrooge, just hope for the season to be over quickly, and scoff at all things festive.

So this year, please join me in finding the joy again. With Christmas a month away, use these tips to have a (almost) stress-free season and enjoy December!

1. First of all, take care of yourself! This time of year is also when people get sick more often. We spend more time indoors, get far too stressed out, and this puts a real damper on your immune system. Get plenty of sleep, take your vitamins, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and make time for yourself.

2. Make a to-do list. You'll get frazzled and stressed out simply trying to remember all the things you have to do or trying to get them done in one day. Make a list of all the things you need to get accomplished and set "due dates" for each one. Then you can determine which tasks need to get done first and get things done right.

3. Set aside time for joyful activities with your friends and family. Don't just get together at holiday parties or for holiday dinner. Walk around the nearest downtown to see the lights, go for a carriage ride, make some dates for hot chocolate and a holiday movie, etc. Remember the joy of being a kid excited for Christmas!

What are your tips for a fun and stress-free holiday season?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Muppets are a Hit!

I mentioned not too long ago that I was so excited to see The Muppets back in theaters! I remember as a kid, waiting up for The Muppet Show, anxiously awaiting my favorite characters and the catchy tunes. Add one of my favorite actors, Jason Segel to the mix and I was just like a kid again.

My boyfriend graciously agreed (well lost a bet and had to take me, but I think he would anyway... hehe...) to take me to see the movie even though it is not his favorite type of movie to see.

I definitely loved it! Between the song and dance numbers, the silly jokes (some more for the adult crowd), the celebrities, all of the muppets, and my nostalgia... it was a perfect mix of funny and sweet.

My only complaint was it didn't feature much of my two favorite Muppets, Rizzo and Pepe! Even if you've never seen The Muppets in a televsion show or movie, I think you'd still be caught up in the happiness of it all.

Because after all... The Muppets bring the third best thing in life: laughter. :)

What do you think? Will you see it? I am hoping to go buy The Muppet Show on DVD now!

Mahna Mahna ;)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your holiday and don't eat TOO much! ;) Tell me, what are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 21, 2011

More of my Favorite (Lush) Things!

If you're no stranger to me or my blog, you will know how much I am obsessed with Lush products recently. I love that most of their products are totally natural and fun and love to try new products! Here are some of the ones I've tried lately:

Angels on Bare Skin:

This is a cleanser that is very different from anything I've tried to wash my face. It has become one of my favorite Lush products! All you do is pick out a piece and roll it up in your hand (you don't need much). Then get it really wet and rub it out in your hands and then all over your face. My face has been really clear and super soft since I've been using it.

Tea Tree Water Toner:

I usually use this after I wash my face and before I moisturize. It feels really refreshing and I think this would be amazing in the summer to fresh up your skin! I'm not sure how well it really works, but it feels nice and I haven't' really had any acne.

Skin Drink Moisturizer:

My skin gets really, really dry in the winter so I thought I would try their most heavy duty moisturizer. Right now I usually only use it at night because it appears a little greasy when you put it on, but it has really worked for me so far! My skin hasn't been dry yet, but really soft and nice.

Each Peach (Two's A Pair) Massage Bar:

Now the name is misleading, I almost didn't smell it because I don't like the smell of peaches but it has an amazing citrusy smell! I am in love with how this smells. All you do is warm it up in your hands and rub it on your body for a nice lotion. It doesn't feel as moisturizing as other lotions, but the smells really stays on.

Snow Globe Soap (Christmas special):

This smells amazing - very citrusy much like the massage bar above! I love using this in the morning to wake up in the shower. Their soap is great, lasts long, smells great. I am just sad they don't sell this year round!

So tell me, what are your favorite Lush products if you've tried any? Do you want to try any of these?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Yoga Journey Continues….And Heats Up

Last time, I shared with you my new yoga journey and how I am trying to make yoga a habit in my life. Last week I hit a bit of a speed bump and didn’t go for a week. My friend Lauren, who I have been going with, started a new job, so we could no longer go during the day and had to reschedule when we go. It started to seem like a bit of a hassle. But finally this week, we scheduled a time to go and stuck with it. Unfortunately, all the night classes at the studio we’ve been going to are either Intermediate or Advanced. Yikes.

We headed to the studio at 7 p.m., feeling as if it were much later (thanks Daylight Savings!) and were nervous about our first Intermediate class. At times, I struggle with Beginner still! How was I supposed to handle a harder class? We now know the teacher decently well and she assured us that it was harder, but if we were struggling we could go into child’s pose.

Little did we know, they turn up the heat a little more in harder classes along with more movements and harder poses. In the first 20 minutes, I was already dripping with sweat and slipping and sliding all over my mat during Downward Dog. My head was buzzing with annoying thoughts designed to disrupt my yoga flow:

“I don’t think I’ve sweat this much EVER!”

“I’m supposed to do THAT?”

“It smells like my boyfriend’s dirty hockey gear in here… yuck. And I’m supposed to breathe deeply in and out?”

At times, when moving from the floor to sitting or standing, I got really dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out and almost left the room, but I am glad I stuck it out.

Even with all the distractions in my head, I went with the flow and enjoyed most of the class. I realize that my favorite parts of yoga are when you are given a set of movements and poses and are able to do them on your own flow. I can challenge myself as little or as much as I want, I can go as slow or a bit faster if I desire and everyone is at their own pace and not paying attention to anyone else. I definitely felt like I got a better workout and even though I couldn’t do some of the poses very well, if at all, I tried and focused more on the ones I could do well.

For now, I think I will stick to the Beginner classes for the most part. When I feel the need for a really good workout or get to the point where I need more of a challenge…back to sweating I go! On another note, I got another Groupon for a new studio…If I use all the classes it will only be $1 per class! Awesome! I got one of my other friends to buy it too, so I have another yoga buddy.

If anyone is interested in starting up yoga, try our 21 Day Yoga Challenge. It is a great start that you can do at home for free!

Until next time,

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Monday, November 14, 2011

I am not a girl that can ever be defined...

Today I am just sharing one of my favorite songs right now! Enjoy! I might take a little break from blogging, but keep looking out for new posts soon. xoxo

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Muppets are Back!

Today I am bringing you a sneak peak of the new "The Muppets" movie! I am so excited to see this! I used to wait all week to watch "The Muppets Show" and I can't wait for the new one to come out. Anyone else with me?

P.S. Happy 11/11/11! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My New Yoga Journey

I’ve been interested in yoga for a while. You can read on and on about the benefits: increased flexibility and strength, better balance, a calm mind, less anxiety and worry, and much more. I always found it interesting that a workout could seemingly be so good for you in both body and mind. Being someone who suffers from anxiety and worry, I thought yoga had to be worth a try. I started going a few years ago and never really stuck with it. There are always a million reasons to stop doing something and I found if I couldn’t get any friends to go with me, I simply found reasons to stop going. Always in the back of my mind, I felt guilty that I had paid for classes and never used them, so I would go to the occasional class. 

A few months ago, I was finally motivated to go. I enlisted a few friends to go with me at least once a week so I could finish up my paid classes at my local yoga studio. Not long after, a fantastic Living Social deal dropped into my inbox. 10 yoga classes for $20! Looking at prices of local studios, this was an amazing deal. The yoga studio wasn’t one I’d ever heard of, but it was only about 20 minutes away from my house. One of my friends, coincidentally also named Lauren, wanted to join me and was just as excited about the deal.

Now about halfway through my 10 classes, I find myself getting hooked. At times, waking up at 8 am so I can eat and get ready before heading to a 10 am yoga class just makes me sleepy and dread going. Once I am there, it isn’t always easy either. I can’t even count how many times I’m standing there in a pose I deemed impossible before she finished explaining it, swearing in my head words I’d never say out loud, just wishing we could move on. As I stand in the warrior pose, my bent leg shaking like I’m having some sort of seizure, sometimes I feel like I don’t belong here.

But that is the best part of yoga: knowing you will always belong no matter what. You do what you can. It is a practice where you push yourself, yet you may rest if you’re not able to do something just yet, and you can even close your eyes if you feel that you are comparing yourself to the seasoned yogi next to you. In yoga, there is room for improvement always. No one is perfect at it. At times I feel silly and punish myself. Why aren’t you more flexible? Why are you sweating in this beginner class? Why, why, why! I have to force myself to stop asking “why” and just enjoy my practice. Who cares if I can’t do certain yoga poses perfectly yet? At least I am there, trying and learning and doing something positive for myself. Just getting myself to go to yoga is already a win in my book.

One of the reasons I love yoga is that it is a workout, but it is also a way to relax. I love hearing the poems or saying that teachers often talk about during class. One of my favorites is one I heard last week:

Be mindful of your thoughts because they become your words. Be mindful of your words because they become your actions. Be mindful of your actions because they become your character. Be mindful of your character because that becomes your destiny.

This quote really resonated with me. Would I have ever heard it if I hadn’t gone to that yoga class? Perhaps yes, perhaps no.

Yoga is teaching me to be strong and not give up. There are times when I give up when a yoga pose hurts too much, but each time I do it, I know it will get easier. One day, if I keep at it, I will do the poses I now deem impossible with ease. Getting there takes time and effort, but I think it will be worth it.

Until next time…Namaste,


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Monday, November 7, 2011

Make Time for Friendships

Recently, I had a friend ignore me for months because she "needed a break from friendships" because of her busy schedule and life. I completely understand how busy people can be and how friendships can take a beating because you simply don't have time. But I personally think that you have to take the time to maintain friendships, no matter what. Friendship is one of the best things about life, so why take it for granted?

1. Schedule friend time like you schedule your appointments. Even at your busiest, when you see something in your schedule or calendar, you know it has to be done. Sometimes, you may not feel like hanging out with friends when there are a million things to be done, but once you're there and having fun, you'll realize how much you needed that time to recharge.

2. Don't make blowing off someone a habit. Most people are pretty understanding if someone has to cancel a friend date because of work, illness, or an emergency. But if you make a habit of cancelling plans and blowing people off... unfortunately, you're sure to be friendless in no time.

3. Take the time to do nice things for your friends, even if they live far away and you don't see them often. Make sure you talk on the phone, Skype, send notes on Facebook, pay for lunch every once in a while... the little things that mean a lot in friendships.

4. Be available. Often times, you really need your friends when something happens. Be available via phone, text, whatever and drop everything if a friend really needs you.

5. Reevaluate friendships and realize everyone makes mistakes. You will get busy and put off calling that friend and your friends may do the same with you. Small problems can always get worked out. But big problems, like when you feel like your friend doesn't care about you anymore and they won't talk about it, it may be time to let go of that friendship. Trust your gut.

What are your tips for maintaining healthy friendships?

Friday, November 4, 2011

How to Deal with Difficult People

I've found in my 22 years, that even if you're the nicest person in the world, you won't get along with everyone. Conflicts arise and people are stubborn. Sometimes arguments happen where both people think they're right and the other person is wrong and no one ever wins. I've had to deal with people who won't see my point of view and just ignore me when the friendship gets tough.

So how do you deal with these difficult people?

1. When I find myself getting in an argument with someone, I try to slow down and see things from their point of view. Even if I don't agree with the point of view, I can usually somewhat understand where they are coming from.

2. Be nice. When someone is rude to you, simply be nice back to them. This is definitely easier said than done. When a friend or even a stranger spouts a rude comment back at you, your first reaction is to react and be rude right back. Next time you find yourself in this situation, try something like: "I'm sorry you feel that way" or "What can I do to help?". Basically try to say something that won't make a bad situation worse.

3. Know when to give up. Sometimes you can be as nice as you can be, try to understand their point of view, offer solutions or explanations and the person is just going to be plain mean or stubborn. At this point, it may be time to walk away from the person. Sometimes it happens at work and you can't stop talking to the person forever, but you can excuse yourself to take a breather and get away from a bad situation at the time.

How do you deal with difficult people at work or just simply in life?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Style Outside The Box: Amazing New Shopping Experience

I love hearing stories of people my age, especially women, going out of the box and on their own and trying to make it for themselves. Especially in a creative setting! Recently I found out about Style Outside the Box, started by Penn State grad Laura Adamson, a website that allows you to buy clothes, home goods, accessories, and much more from first exclusive independent designers! How cool is that?

Style Outside The Box is a new shopping website that unites independent designers around the blog who are chosen through a juried selection process, and shoppers who desire unique and one-off creations that offer quality, value, and exceptional style.  

They have unique pieces for everyone: women, men, children, and babies! A perfect place to find gifts for just about everyone that you can guarantee they won't get from anyone else. Good timing with the holidays right around the corner...

They graciously offered my readers a coupon code to use for 15% off your order! Just put "lauren2011" (without quotes) in the area for coupon codes when checking out. 

Read more about the start of Style Outside the Box and check out the cool and fun things they sell! Let me know what you find on there! Here are some of the things I am drooling over: