Category Archives: Fun Things

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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Filed under Beauty, Blogging, Food!, Fun Things, Love, Money, Things I like, Things I've learned

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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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 12).

I home sick with a stupid cold this week, but I did find a few things I like, for your viewing pleasure.

  1.  These tacos. I made them Friday night (pre-cold) and I am still enjoying them (during cold).
  2. This video from Smacksy. So cute.
  3. This Super Bowl commercial. I’m sure you’re not surprised. Can I have a horse? How about that cute cowboy? That’s the kind of  man with a white truck that I need to meet…
  4. This post. I think every woman needs to believe Elizabeth’s truth.
  5. And, finally, this post.

Happy Monday

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2012 in review

WordPress.com made a review of my blog in 2012 – I’m looking forward to the new year and many, many more posts!

Happy New Year! See you in 2013.

___________________________

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Learning to Find Time

Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been losing my time. My self.

At the start of my First Summer in San Diego, I had two goals:

1. Have fun.

2. Make money.

And I did. Lots. Of both. I took a second job at my beloved Bar Method Studio, and jumped from weekend to weekend – working, entertaining (beloved) visitors,

attending very wonderful friends’ weddings,

attending AWESOME sporting events,

and meeting real life race horses up close and personal.

My summer? It was fantastic. My only regret? Not learning to surf.

But here’s the thing: from working two jobs, never having a day off, and continuous fun, I somehow lost a sense of me. I lost the time I used to spent doing things I liked – things I needed – to be a happy person.

I stopped writing. And blogging.

I got involved in a messy, toxic relationship – one I’m still dealing with the residual pain and nonsense.

I stopped walking Tahn. This summer? From my busy lifestyle, and my very physical full-time job, and the Bar Method, I got in the best shape of my life. My dog? Gained weight. Gained 12 pounds.

I lost time for myself.

It wasn’t until the excitement of the Summer passed, and leaving my second job did I realize how unhappy I was.

It wasn’t until I took my days off – to cook, to clean, to read, to walk Tahn, to sleep, did I realize how unbalanced my life had become.

It wasn’t until recently – almost 3 months after the CrazyFunSummer did I have the urge to write – to blog.

I’ve been reading a few books – books on how to simplify your life, your thoughts, your self. Recently, I read this from one of my absolute favs, Anne Lamott.

I hope you click over and read the fantastic article. But, if not, here is a quote, summing up what I’ve been working towards/thinking about/ attempting lately:

“I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day”. – Anne Lamott in Sunset Magazine

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The Socialpunk Trilogy

A little while ago I was contacted by Monica Leonelle, blogger and author of The Socialpunk Trilogy. She asked me to write a review on her new book, Socialpunk.

Since I love to read, I was happy to participate. The book is not my usual genre; it’s a bit fantasy and set in the future. I was pretty skeptical I’d like it, but I decided to read it anyways.

My thoughts:

I really, really liked it. Socialpunk grabbed me right away and I read it in a few hours. It has everything in a a book I love: romance, action and suspense. Although it is set in the future, (in a world we do not live) Monica does an excellent job making you feel like you’re right along with the characters, describing their environment really well. I would say this a mix of Twilight and A Girl With a Dragon Tattoo. It has the romance and fantasy of Twilight, with the suspense of A Girl with A Dragon Tattoo (and without the super intense stuff).

My only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough! She leaves you on the edge of your seat. I’m definitely going to be reading the next book in the trilogy (Socialmob), which comes out in July 2012.

My Interview with Monica:

BrittanyandTahn: What motivated you to start writing?

Monica Leonelle: I was inspired by the city of Chicago, by social media issues in our current world, and by the cyberpunk genre. The book is a bit like the Terminator series and I reference that a couple times just for fun. James Cameron is basically my favorite director ever, and he really inspires me with his world-building and storytelling skills.
BandT: Who is your favorite character in Socialpunk?
ML: I would have to say Ima, as she’s the main character and the book is told entirely from her point of view. What I love about her is how much she changes from the beginning of the book to the end. She feels very guilty and is constantly struggling with right vs. wrong. She’s probably one of my favorite characters out of all the ones I’ve written.
BandT: What is one book everyone should read?
ML: When I was a kid I loved this book called The Girl With the Silver Eyes. Here is the exact cover of the book I had: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Silver-Eyes-Apple-Paperbacks/dp/0590442481. It’s one of my absolute favorite YA novels, and, surprise! Maggie Stiefvater loves that book too. This was the first novel that made me want to write fantasy and science fiction.

If you’re interested in learning more about the book, visit http://socialpunktrilogy.com

Monica Leonelle is a well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire (http://proseonfire.com) and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit (http://proseonfire.com/free-writer-toolkit).

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Things I like this week (vol. 11)

1. As you know, I love Taylor Swift. So clearly, I would love her video she made with her cat, Meredith a few weeks ago for the ACMs. (And I don’t even like cats very much!) (And, she won…)

2. I love this article about the slow book movement. It sparked my interest, and now I am reading Jane Eyre.

3. I thought this was super funny, especially if you’ve had a rough day.

4. This performance is glorious. Makes me jealous for the 1,542 time that I can’t sing.

5. I could have totally written this letter to my boyfriend, Ryan Gosling.

Happy Monday.

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Back to the Bar

I failed the Physical Education (PE) exit exam in my sophomore year of high school.

The PE exit exam was given to all sophomores – it tested your ability to do push-ups, sit-ups,  your mile time, and other basic measures of physical fitness. If you passed the exit exam, then you didn’t have to take PE your junior or senior year.

The instructor stopped me while I was doing the sit-up portion and told me I wasn’t doing them correctly. And that was it, I failed. I was among a handful of students that didn’t pass the exam out of the 300+ students in my graduating class.

I was fifteen, and my dad picked me up from school that day. I  held the tears in all day long. As soon as I got in the car, I burst out crying. I was so hysterical with shame; my poor dad thought one of my friends died.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t physically fit; I was in great shape. I ran cross-country in high school, and although I was the slowest person on my team, I was faster than most of the other students in my PE class. I’ve always had super strong legs; I could run for miles and miles in high school (before I got a knee injury that has prevented me from running ever since).

However, I’ve never had a strong core or strong arms. Never. It hadn’t really bothered me until that day in high school that my very weak core prevented me from passing the exit exam.

Honestly, I had always had difficultly with sit-ups and push-ups, and I kinda, sorta cheated whenever we did them in PE. It was my fault, really.

I’ve never been what you would call an athlete. Although I swam for my local swim team in elementary school, played soccer for a few years in elementary and middle school, and ran cross-country in high school, I was never the best. In every sport I played, I was the one of the weakest players on the team. Sure, I always had plenty of team spirit and met some amazing friends from the sports, but I never enjoyed the actual sport at all. I didn’t enjoy the sports because no matter how much I tried, as much and I practiced, I wasn’t ever very good.

I was good at something though. Really good. The best in my class.

That something? Ballet.

My mom put me in ballet as a little girl and I fell in love. I loved everything about the class; the stretching, the bar exercises, and the dance routines. In elementary school, I was dedicated to ballet, and was promoted to the “pre-pointe” class before all of my peers; I was the youngest in the class by at least one year.

In our performances, I was usually given a solo or duet; I just loved performing. And even more, I loved the music. Ballet taught me such an appreciation for classical music; an appreciation that turned to love.

A recital in which I had a duet. I'm the girl in the light pink skirt on the left, I had a duet with the other girl in the light pink skirt. (Whose name is coincidentally is also Brittany).

I’m not sure how old I was, maybe nine. I came home from ballet one day and told my mom I wanted to quit. The other girls in my “pre-pointe” class were mean to me and it made me hate going. I don’t really remember what exactly happened, but it was my first (of many) exposures to cliques, and being the rookie, I wasn’t in the clique.

So I quit. I quit ballet and continued (unsuccessfully) with sports. I had never really looked back.

Until recently.  After years of being incredibly unhappy with sports, I decided to go back to my first love.

Well, sort of.

In my quest for Operation Love Handle last fall, I started regular attending my gym’s spin classes. I started noticing results and I was pretty pleased.

But then it occurred to me; I still wasn’t really building core or arm strength. Sure, spinning does help with core and arm strength, but that’s not what you’re targeting.

I decided to look at other options. I had heard buzz on Twitter about something called The Bar Method. I wasn’t really sure what that meant; all I knew was it was an intense workout that used ballet bars.

Wait. Ballet bars? Sign me up.

I tentatively took my first class in November; and frankly, it kicked my ass. I already knew that all of the arm and core exercises would be difficult, but I didn’t realize that the leg exercises would be so hard.

My “super strong legs” failed me. I could barely get through the quad exercises. I actually thought my legs would fold under me. Quads are only maybe 3-5 minutes of a Bar Method class, but it feels like 30 minutes. (And still does).

After my introductory period ended, I waited to return until after the holidays and the “New Year’s Resolution rush”. I started regularly taking classes in the end of January and have been taking them regularly ever since.

In just over two months, I’ve noticed results. I don’t know if I’ve lost weight, but I do know that I can comfortably fit into pants that I had to stop wearing over a year ago.

The arm and core exercises are very challenging, but I’ve noticed progress (as small as it may be). I’m confident that I will be able to do at least 10 real push-ups by the end of the year.

Surprisingly enough, the quad exercises still are the most difficult exercises for me. I discovered it may correlate to my knee injury, but really I think that the exercises are so targeted and my muscles haven’t ever had that type of targeted training before. My goal is to “stay in the muscle” (a Bar Method term) for the entire exercise; it’s a challenge that I’m trying to achieve.

And while there’s technically no dancing or “ballet” really, it does feel like I’m taking a dance class; there’s great music, technique and skill. I just love it.

And, the studio I go really feels like a community; the instructors are knowledgeable, friendly, and know every client’s name. Seriously. You tell them your name once and they know it. It’s unreal.

Maybe one day (after I continue to get in better shape) I will try ballet (or some version of dance) again.

But for now, I’m very pleased with The Bar Method, my studio, and most of all, my progress.

And the little dancer in me is very pleased. 🙂

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28 in year 28

Recently, I turned 27. I had one of the best birthdays I’ve had in my twenties. In San Diego, I had a dinner with close friends – a night of laughing, listening and unconditional love. Last weekend, I traveled to the Bay Area and had an incredible family dinner and birthday cake made my brother and S2. My family came together over this superb meal, and I felt completely loved.

As my brother and S2 remind me every year, I am 27 years-old, starting my 28th year of life. (Right?! Just when you become okay with your age, you gain another year!)

Inspired by many fellow blogger’s life lists, and particularly Drea’s 30 by 30, and Tami’s 43 by 43 here are 28 things I want to do in my 28th year.

  1. Learn how to surf.
  2. Read 28 books.
  3. Save 10% of my monthly paycheck.
  4. Do 10 real push-ups.
  5. Listen to live music at least once a month.
  6. Start a garden in my backyard.
  7. Take Tahn to the beach twice a month (except when it’s closed for the summer).
  8. Create scrapbooks of all the cards from my grandma.
  9. Find a yoga studio in the San Diego area that teaches Yin Yoga; attend class twice a month.
  10. Go to a roller derby match.
  11. Visit 3 museums in San Diego.
  12. Enter two writing contests.
  13. Write a letter a week.
  14. Hold a plank for 60 seconds.
  15. Walk Tahn 5 days a week.
  16. Become CPR certified.
  17. Hike once a month.
  18. Bake an Angel Food Cake from scratch.
  19. Help my mom learn to use her iPod.
  20. Clear out all the boxes of stuff from my dad’s house.
  21. Play in the beach with Buddy.
  22. Learn to French Braid my hair.
  23. Find a volunteer job that I really love.
  24. Host a brunch.
  25. Join a wine club.
  26. Start collecting wall art.
  27. Watch a foreign film.
  28. Stop using paper towels.

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