Things I like this week (vol 17).

She kills me.

She kills me.

  1. A few weeks ago, Tahn and I met my friend and her two Labradors at the lagoon and let the dogs swim. Tahn found the only mud on the beach and decided to roll in it right before we left. She refused to go back into the lagoon afterwards, forcing me to take a very muddy dog home. I still have mud in my car. Let’s just say we haven’t been back to the lagoon since.
  2. I read The Glass Castle a few years ago and I can definitely say it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. When I saw this New York Times article about the author, I was so interested to learn about her and her mother today.
  3. I’ve found myself sitting at my computer most nights watching YouTube Beauty Vlogs. I also watch them with a gigantic bowl of homemade popcorn and it makes me so excited. I’ve found many new beauty products I want to try, and learned of some to stay away from. Part of me wants to get my own video camera and make my own YouTube Vlog channel. You down?
  4. A few weekends ago, I went to Arizona to watch my cousin marry the love of her life. I originally couldn’t make it for a few reasons, so getting to go was really exciting. Highlights of the trip? Dancing with Buddy, the only child (only two-and-half-year old child) on the dance floor. That kid has moves. It was one of my favorite memories of my life.
  5. Also at the wedding? My cousin, aka the little brother my sister and I never had but always wanted. He lived in CA last year and my sister and I got in the habit of seeing him almost every month. When he moved back east last fall, it was a sad day. It had been almost a year since my sister and I saw him so it was thethreebuddies reunited once again. The weekend was way too short and I keep trying to get him to move back to CA. One more thing I love about my cousin? He loves Tahn and made a point to tell many family members about how wonderful she is. Brownie points to anyone who loves my dog and gushes about her.
    This guy!

    I may or may not have screamed when I saw THIS GUY.

    Me, my mom, and my sister.

    Me, my mom, and my sister.

    Yes, I'm very pale & she's very tan. Yes, we have the same parents. Nope, I don't tan.

    Yes, I’m very pale & she’s very tan. Yes, we have the same parents. Nope, I don’t tan.

  6. I saw this video on NPR, and I have to say, the innocence and logic of this toddler was powerful and profound.
  7. Thanks to theSkimm, I found this little nugget of a video. At first I thought it was a SNL skit, but soon learned this lady is serious. I spent Thursday morning of last week watching it with my roommate and we couldn’t stop laughing. But, the woman is skinny as a rail, so the joke is on us, I guess.
  8. From all my beauty blogs and Vlogs I read, I learned about Maybelline Color Tattoos. They go on smooth, and stay all day without creasing. The good news is that I AM IN LOVE. The bad news is that I will be buying every. single. color. Goodbye, money.

Happy Thursday!! xxxxoo

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Things I like this week (vol 16).

Love San Diego. Best decision ever.

Love San Diego. Best decision ever.

  1. TheSkimm. I. AM. OBSESSED. It’s funny, informative, and my one of the best parts of my day. I wake up excited to read it and cry a little on Saturday and Sunday when they take the days off.
  2. Nicole’s post to Do Whatever You Fucking Want. Hell yeah.
  3. Maskcara’s makeup recommendations. I’ve been using L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara for months (I randomly chose it one day) and it’s the best mascara I’ve ever used. I started using her recommendation for a lip liner (yes, it’s sold as an eyeliner, but you use it as a lip liner). I’ve gotten many compliments every time I’ve used it. I’ve very fair so I have to be careful with it, but it’s fabulous.
  4. Noosa yogurt. When I started antibiotics to rid myself of my sinus infection, I ate yogurt everyday to make sure the good bacteria stayed alive and well. My roommate has been eating this brand for months, so I decided to try it. I love it. The downside? It’s pretty pricey. (My fav is the raspberry. Oh my YUM).
  5. Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin. It makes the most perfect bun that stays. I saw this product months ago and thought it was a big joke, but after seeing Maskcara use it successfully I decided to try it. (I found that inserting the spin pin horizontally works better for my hair. Also, like Maskcara, it works best on dirty hair).
  6. Hollywood Housewife’s very brave, honest and heartfelt post on anxiety. My favorite part: “(Anxiety is) like allergies. You can manage it, but it’s still something that is there. Okay, it’s not really much like allergies. But it’s something I have no control over. And like depression, or PPD, or any other number of mental health issues, severe anxiety is not something you can talk yourself out of. One can’t simply ‘calm down.’ Deep breaths are not the answer.” I wanted to stand up and cheer.
  7. I took Jessica’s recommendation and tried Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer. I love it. It really brightens my face, and covers dark circles.
  8. Jess Lively’s free May wallpaper. It’s brighten my desktop and makes me smile every time I see it.

Happy Tuesday! xxoo

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Thursday Thoughts: Quick Quote

“Whatever the present moment contains accept it as if you had chosen it.”

- Eckhart Tolle

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Thursday Thoughts: Ditch the Haters

Until recently, I’ve tolerated meanness. Unkind people. People who put others down.

More often than I’d like to admit, I’ve had people in my life that always seem to put me down.

The thing about these people? These haters? I’ve realized they do the same things over and over again. I’ve learned the warning signs. Red flags. Bad behaviors that haters tend to do, actions that are easy to minimize or excuse.

  • Haters consistently speak badly about others. They consistently judge, belittle, and put others down. They celebrate pain of people they do not like. A hard lesson that’s taken me years to learn: if they talk badly about others and revel in other’s pain, they’re doing it to you too. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but they will eventually talk badly about you. Guaranteed.

  • Haters tend to have little respect for your feelings, but demand respect for their feelings. If the hater is upset or having a problem, they expect you to give them your attention and sympathy. Only occasionally will they have time or interest in yours problems.

  • Haters often look for what others can do for them. If they’re needs aren’t met, they will punish you (with words, actions, etc) for not doing what they want. It’s not a good place to be. I always struggle with this because I feel like I am a bad person for not doing what they want. Here’s the thing about that: people who love you don’t make you feel bad for not doing what they want. They accept and love you for who you are, not who they want you to be.

  • Haters have a bad temper. Haters often blame their temper on alcohol, or those around them, and they snap quickly and take out their anger on everyone around them.

  • When you call Haters out for their behavior, they label you “sensitive”. When anyone calls you “sensitive” for expressing your feelings, it is a cowardly way for them to blame others for their bad behavior.

Previously, I was willing to forgive meanness and quick to minimize bad behaviors. I want to see the best in others, and I look for the good and to forget the bad.

But, here’s the thing: whenever I’ve been mistreated by a person and allowed them to stay in my life? They do it again. They mistreat me again. Always. I’ve made this mistake so many times it’s embarrassing. It’s the definition of insanity; doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.

I’m not doing the same thing anymore.

I’m following Nicole Antoinette’s advice to Change Your Story, Change Your Life. My Story was I saw the good in others often at the expense of myself.

change-story

A couple of Fridays ago, my friends and I were out and met a guy. This guy? Super cute. Tall. Successful. Friendly. Interesting. Blonde. (Side note: Blonde guys are totally my type, but I’ve yet to had a good experience dating one). All the things I’m looking for. Twenty minutes after we met, he insulted his friend’s girlfriend. The insult was out of nowhere, and really uncalled for. Unsurprisingly, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but proceeded with caution. A few hours and many drinks later he was insulting others again – this time he was insulting my friends.

In the context of the conversation, you could spin his insults as jokes, but in reality, he was unkind. Having difficulty letting go of my old ways, I gave him my number.

The next day when he texted and asked for a date, I decided to Change My Story, Change My Life: I told him no and I told him why.

Crazily enough, it was a great conversation. I told him I enjoyed meeting him, but I didn’t like the way he treated my friends.

He apologized and said he really didn’t mean his insults. He said that he is a really nice guy, but he “has an edge”.

And here’s the kicker, guys. Normally, I would forgive, move on, and cross my fingers it would never happen again.

But it’s time to Change My Story, Change My Life.

I don’t need anyone – man or woman – with “an edge” in my life.

How does this story end? I’ll never see him again.

I can’t help think about what Maya Angelou has famously said,

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

You know what? I believed him. The first time.

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Things I like this week (vol 15).

Follow me on Instagram: BrittanyandTahn

It’s been a rough week. Not only did our country experience some hefty tragedies, we remembered heartaches from the past. (Oklahoma City Bombing {18 years}, and Columbine {14 years}).

How about we focus on the good? On to things I like:

  1. Maskcara blog: I’ve never been into beauty blogs before, but I just discovered this blog and I love it! Cara’s the inspiration for my pretty iPhone apps. So Fancy! I can’t wait to try her 4 minute makeup.
  2. How not to say the wrong thing. (This has been all over the internet, and it’s a GREAT theory. I first learned of it from SP&A).
  3. BB Cream vs. Tinted Moisturizer: I recently started using BB cream and I have to say, I LOVE IT. I use Garnier Skin Renewal in Fair.
  4. Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches: If you haven’t watched this, it’s worth 3 minutes.
  5. Neon Heels.
  6. My friends! I’ve been a hot mess home sick with a cold/sinus infection and my friends have been there with medicine, food, and calls of support. LOVE THEM. (It wasn’t as bad as Strep 2011 was. New city, new friends, same support. How lucky can a girl be?)
  7. Tiny Houses. Obsessed. Question: where can I build one?

Happy Monday!

xxoo

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What I Eat

Roasted Broccoli. A favorite of mine.

Roasted Broccoli. A favorite of mine.

Since Operation Love Handle, I’ve been continuously asked: What do you eat?

That’s a great question. What do I eat?

Not meat, for starters. And, fish only when I eat out.

I’ve limited my dairy, too.

I know what you’re thinking: What’s left?

I know that’s what you’re thinking because I previously thought too. When you grow up on the Standard American Diet, you are use to meat being the star of the show. Meat is what dinner is cooked around. Heck, meat dictates your wine choice.

Two years ago I started reading vegetarian and vegan blogs and thought the women who wrote them were slightly extreme and little delusional. Although their food looked good, I didn’t believe it tasted good. However, I saw one commonality in these women: (besides having food blogs) they looked great. Sure, they exercised, but they glowed in their pictures. I couldn’t help to think their diet may have had something to do with it.

After a year of my new diet and exercising, I believe it’s true. I believe their diet (and mine) helps you to feel and look great.

I love what I eat. I don’t have cheat days or “bad foods”; I eat second and third helpings and have dessert twice a day. I am always full and feel energized and nourished.

My diet may look boring, but like any change, it just took some time to get used to. I started by changing my breakfast, then my dinner, then my lunches. It was slow and I waited to make another change when I was ready. I still have junk food from time to time but usually have a stomach ache or other poor physical reaction after eating junk that deters the next purchase of a bag of Oreos. (But not always. I bought Oreos last week). :)

So, all this talk about food. What do I eat?

Previous Diet:

Breakfast: Usually cereal. I enjoyed Special K with Berries, or Oatmeal Squares. I’d eat an entire bowl and be famished in an hour.

Snack: Always crackers. Always. Wheat Thins, or Pita crackers (from Trader Joe’s) usually with hummus or just plain. I’d eat about a 1/2 cup and be hungry again before lunch.

Lunch: A turkey/ham/salami sandwich, maybe some fruit, a cookie/dessert. Probably more crackers. Or, leftovers from a previous dinner. My lunch would hold me for a few hours.

Snack: Sometimes fruit. Usually crackers.

Dinner: Enchiladas, Pasta, Tacos, Mac & Cheese, Hamburgers, Tuna Melts, and Quesadillas.

Dessert: Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, Pies, or Ice Cream

Beverages: Wine, Beer, Gin & Tonics, Margaritas, Coffee, Water, Lemonade, Iced Tea, Mochas, and Frappacinos.

Current Diet:

Breakfast: Overnight Oatmeal (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Did I say how much I love this?) or 2 slices of Sprouted Multi Grain toast with natural peanut butter (now I make this at home!) and a drizzle of honey. I usually make one cup of Oatmeal. I know. One Cup Of Oatmeal. It’s a lot of Oatmeal. But, if I give myself enough time in the morning and I eat the entire cup and I’m full for hours and I feel fabulous.  Toast normally by itself isn’t as much of a powerhouse, but my bread has 5 grams of protein + 5-7 grams of protein from the natural peanut butter.

Snack: Fruit and/or almonds. Sometimes Banana Bread or Muffins.

Lunch: Leftovers from the dinner or Beans, Greens, and Grains. Definitely not the most exciting lunch, but the most filling. I have been eating this for over a year for lunch (not everyday but many days a week) and I have tons of energy and feel great when I eat it. Sometimes I’ll have Mediterranean Salad Shakers.

Snack: Almost never needed. More almonds/ or fruit
Dinner: Maple Baked Lentils With Sweet Potato, Quick and Easy Tomato Mushroom Pasta, Portobello and Poblano Fajitas, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Miso Sauce, Twenty Minute Four Bean Vegetarian Chilli, Vegetable Quinoa Salad with Miso Dressing, Macaroni & Peas, Balsamic Kale Salad with Apple and Pear, Tofu Dippers, Roasted Chickpea Tacos, Cranberry Orange Lentil Quinoa Loaf.

I’ll make one of the more complicated dinners one night a week, then usually just have Angela’s go to dinner or Emily’s.

I still regularly eat my go-to easy convenience meals – all of which lack nutrition – Nachos, Quesadillas, or Annie’s Mac & Cheese. I have revised how I eat these junk food dinners – I always pair them with a large helping of roasted vegetables, and make the Nachos and Quesadillas loaded with black beans and little cheese.

Dessert: Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, Pies. Not much has changed here. Sometimes I’ll try a vegan recipe, but usually stick to my old favorites.

Beverages: Wine, Beer, Gin & Tonics, Margaritas, Mineral Water, Water, Jasmine Green Tea, Herbal Tea, Iced Tea and occasionally coffee.

********************

I love my current diet. I am by no means a expert, but my diet works for me.  I love the way I look, but most importantly, the way I feel. I’ve never been this healthy, either. I’ve been careful to get the nutrients meat provides and maintaining a balanced diet. I’ve worked with my physician to ensure I am getting everything I need in my diet. It’s a diet I never thought I would have, but I now can’t imagine eating any other way.

What are some of your favorite (non-meat) health foods?

**Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist and have no medical training. I am sharing what has worked for me. Please consult a medical professional before making any changes to your diet. **

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Things I like this week (vol 14).

teaches-us-what-we-need-to-know-1

(Image via Rosie Molinary)

  1. This NY Times article has been posted many times, but is worth posting again. I’ll try anything where relaxation = more productivity
  2. I love baking soda as a cleaner. I use it all over my apartment. It’s safe, non toxic and cheap!
  3. This other NY Times article was written by a 17-year-old. (I wish I wrote like that when I was 17. Okay fine. I wish I write like that now!)
  4. Tips to bring relaxation into your life from Teacher Goes Back to School. (Again, the more relaxation, the better!)
  5. I’m all about changing the way I talk to myself. So, it feel like Nicole’s Change Your Story, Change Your Life was written just for me. (It was, wasn’t it?)

Happy Monday :)

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Self Shaming

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I know this may come as a shock to you, but I did not eradicate judgment from my life after I wrote my Non-Judging post.

I know.

In fact, after I decided to stopallthejudging, I found myself slightly more judgmental. Especially judgmental towards myself.

Confession: Not only do I judge myself, I shame myself.

I shame myself for not making good choices.

I shame myself for not walking Tahnee everyday.

I shame myself that Tahnee has gained weight in the last year (from not walking as much). DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself for spending too much money going out with friends.

I shame myself for being tired after a night of fun (going out with friends and spending money). DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself for not calling my grandma enough. (Sorry, Grandma).

I shame myself for making mistakes at work- even though I know better. DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself that there is always dog hair on my floor.

I shame myself that my room is never clean.

I shame myself for not flossing everyday.

I shame myself for eating out when I’m tired, stressed or anxious. DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself that I have made poor choices in the past which have led me to unpleasant things today. (i.e. previously spending beyond my means; I am now paying off debt).

This shaming slowly leads to self hatred. Not necessarily hatred of myself, but hatred of particular qualities, tendencies, or attributes I have or may not have.

Over the past few weeks, I have been a part of a “Mindfulness and Mediation” class. During this past week’s topic, “Easing Up On Yourself,” we dealt a lot about self shame. I can relate. The instructor said something that I found to be very powerful (especially for a seasoned Self Shamer), “Do not change [yourself] out of self hatred. Change [yourself] out of love.”

This statement resonated with me.

One of the largest changes in my life recently was my recent weight loss (and muscle gain). When I think back to my first post, Operation Love Handle, I think about why I decided to take that journey…

I started Operation Love Handle for three reasons:

  1. Change my life (be healthy to live a long, healthy life)
  2. Change my mind (still working on that…)
  3. Change my body (shed the weight I gained when I was unhappy; build muscle and become strong)

These reasons were not because I hated the way my body looked. The only thing I really didn’t like was that my arms were not toned. And the only reason it bothered me was because I couldn’t do a push-up.

I started Operation Love Handle out of love for myself rather than hatred. So this is what I am thinking: I need to de-shame my shaming thoughts. In the areas of my life I’d like to improve, I have to start loving the way they are before I can change them.

Instead of:

“I shame myself for making a mistake at work – even though I knew better. DOUBLE SHAME.”

How about:

I love my job and I work really hard everyday. I put my best foot forward although I am not always successful. I will have good days and bad days, but the bad days will help me become better at my job.

Or another,

Instead of:

“I shame myself for being tired after a night of fun (of going out with friends and spending money). DOUBLE SHAME.”

How about:

I am really, really, really grateful I have friends. I’m feeling stressed about money, so I will invite them over more to cut costs.

Some shames are much easier than others to re-frame. I honestly can’t re-frame all the shames from my list, but I promise to work on it. I’m hoping to see an improvement in my Self Shaming tendencies. I have a feeling it won’t happen overnight. :)

_____________________________________

Will you join me? What do you shame yourself for?

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28 things I learned in my 28th year

Today I am 28 years old. :) Here are 28 things I learned in this past year.

  1. I love going to plays. I saw two plays (Good People and The Brother’s Size) this year, and I was moved to tears by both. I can’t wait to see the next one!
  2. I enjoy TV shows that have one word titles; “Revenge”, “Deception”, “Nashville”, “Survivor”, “Scandal”, “Chicago Fire”… oh wait. Never mind.
  3. You can teach an old dog new tricks.

    Tahn at her first (second round) of Puppy Class

    Tahn, at her first (second  time around) Puppy Class

  4. I hate living in a messy bedroom and a messy house. (Also: I hate all the clutter and stuff I have. I am in the process of getting rid of many things. DVDs and old Coach purses, anyone?)
  5. I like driving with my windows down.
  6. I need to do yoga weekly. With or without a studio.
  7. I shouldn’t wait until I make more money to start saving money. I am learning to make better (small) financial choices daily.
  8. I did find an exercise that I love.
  9. Meditation only helps with stress if you practice it daily. Meditation doesn’t help when you’re remarkably stressed or upset.
  10. Being honest and telling the truth continues to be the best and most challenging decision I’ve ever made in my life.
  11. Eating well daily and consistently keeping active will help you lose (and keep off) weight.
  12. I like thriller novels. (Just like my grandma).
  13. Being single is really fantastic. I have embraced my singleness this year (after the dramatic failure of an attempted relationship) and I am much, much happier single.
  14. I was born a leader. And I become a better leader everyday.
  15. Making time for myself has a paramount affect on my happiness spectrum.
  16. I actually do like going out. As a self-proclaimed home-body, I have found friends whom like doing what I like to do – happy hours!  (and other things). I love it.photo(37)photo(36)photo(38)
  17. Acts of kindness from strangers are some of the best experiences you’ll ever have.
  18. While making friends can be challenging, once you find them, they bless your life in more ways then you could ever imagine.
  19. San Diego is one of the best places to live. (My sister was right).
  20. Doing the right thing and treating others with respect doesn’t guarantee that you won’t have conflict in your life. In fact, there is no protection at all. Sometimes, you do the right thing and get burned. Don’t be deferred. Do the right thing.
  21. Although I value the opinions of those who I care most about, their opinions are just that – opinions. I am the person who has to live with my daily choices and life. My opinion is the only one that matters.
  22. Having a nephew is great. Having a niece and a nephew is really fantastic.
  23. Tahn LOVES a routine.
  24. The difference a year makes. I am in such a better place then I was a year ago. And a year before that. Aging is awesome!
  25. I need to learn how to speak slower. For real.
  26. Non-judging is key to my happiness.
  27. Kitchen appliances, although they take up space, can be very useful for healthy cooking. (A food processor and blender are on the top of the list, not far down is a rice cooker). (Also: I am my father’s child).
  28. My mom and dad really, truly love me with all of their hearts. (It’s not that I didn’t know this, but this year I was overwhelmed by their love for me on many occasions. I went home a few weeks before Thanksgiving and the one thing I took away from that weekend was that my parents just love me. It is one of the best feelings in the world).
    photo(36)

    My mom and me.

    My dad and me. (Hey Dad, we need to take a more updated picture. This is from 2009).

    My dad and me. (Hey Dad, we need to take a more updated picture. This is from 2009).

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Things I Like This Week (vol 13).

heart-shaped-meadow

  1. Although I enjoy myself a glass of green juice and am a budding vegan, I’ve never been a die hard Kris Carr fan. But her post on her Celebrating a Decade of Thriving with Cancer really moved me.
  2. I’ve recently started reading some of Danielle La Porte’s writings and this one on being drama free.  And after months of all the drama, that is exactly what I needed.
  3. I’ve started liking Zen Habits less and less, but this recent advice to his kids was very beautiful.
  4. And lastly, from Rosie Molinary, Don’t Engage Crazy. (I am totally stealing this rule).

(Photo via Rosie Molinary)

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