Wednesday, June 26, 2013

3 Childhood Lessons We Need as Adults

"Keep making that face and it will stay that way."
"You have to wait an hour to swim after you eat or you'll get cramps."
"Money doesn't grow on trees."

I'm sure you all heard these from your parents a time or two growing up. Yeah, some of them were obviously not true (I mean, I've never met anyone who made a funny face as a kid and it got stuck that way).

As hard as it is to admit, though, our parents were absolutely right on a few things. Now that we're grown up, it seems like a lot of us forget the more important lessons we've learned. Even in adulthood, I think we can use a few of these reminders from our parents:

1. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

This one is actually what inspired me to write this post. Recently I heard good friends of mine were talking trash about my relationship behind my back. There have been a few occasions lately where a blogger openly criticized another blogger on Twitter. As adults, we are quick to judge and criticize each other and bashing things we hate seems easier than finding something positive to say. With so much negativity, I can't help but wonder when we forgot to be nice or just be quiet.

Judging, criticizing others behind their back, calling people out on social all spreads so much negativity and hurts others. If you don't have anything nice to say, just keep it to yourself. Put your energy toward supporting others and spreading's much more rewarding.

2. Life isn't fair.

I can certainly remember my parents responding with this many times as a kid. As an adult, I've continued to be reminded over and over again that sometimes life just isn't fair. Just a few years ago, I was eating right and living a healthy lifestyle when a random throat infection threatened my life and left me with lots of issues and medical bills. This is far from fair. I still can't over how I was so healthy and took such good care of myself and something so bad could still happen to me. Do I sometimes wonder "Why me?" You bet. Do I ever feel sorry for myself? Of course.

It's easy to get down on ourselves as adults when bad things happen, when tragedy strikes, or even when things are happening for our peers, but not for us quite yet. Your friend met the love of her life and you can't even go on a decent date. Your college friends are landing their dream job and you haven't even figured out what you want to do yet. It's easy to wonder "why me?" and whine about it, but all you can do is work hard, do your best to get where you want to be and trust that things will happen when the time is right. 

3. You are the company you keep.

Back in high school when my parents were saying this to me, I strongly disagreed. But in high school, you think you have it all figured out and you're convinced that you aren't influenced by anyone. Looking back, yes, my parents were right.  Do any of you have a friend who is a major Debbie Downer? Have you ever had a friend who seemed to bring nothing but stress and drama to your life? Sometimes we don't realize it, but hanging around people like this can have an affect on our attitude and behavior.

I've found that as an adult, I need to pay attention to the types of people I spend my time with. It's important I invest my time and energy into healthy, positive friendships and people who have similar values, interests and goals as I do. Our relationships have a huge impact on us, so sometimes that means distancing ourselves from certain people who bring us down, increase our stress or affect our happiness.

I'm sure we can all agree being an adult isn't all it was cracked up to be. We don't have it all figured out like we thought we would. We even call our parents for advice and appreciate their input, which I'm sure totally makes up for all the times we rolled our eyes as they lectured us as teenagers.

I guess what I'm trying to say is it wouldn't hurt for us to keep these lessons in mind. They are just as necessary now as they were in our childhood.

Would you add any other lessons to my list?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekend recaps make Mondays a little more tolerable.

Happy Monday friends! I love weekend recaps because it makes me feel like the joy and fun from the weekend carry over through the day. Instead of being disappointed about it being Monday, I can relive the little moments that made up my weekend.

I always feel such a sense of relief every Friday evening when I get to Jonathan's. I spend every weekend there now and it just feels like home to me. Our rainy Friday night consisted of a dinner date at a cute restaurant down the street and a movie at home. We also filled out and hung this adorable D.I.Y menu board in the kitchen.

This is going to be a little tricky to stick with since I'm only at Jonathan's on the weekends and maybe one night during the week, but I'm pretty excited about it.

Unfortunately, Jonathan spent most of the day Saturday working, so I kept myself busy taking Blake for a long walk, going to the gym and running a few errands. We spent the evening drinking margaritas and relaxing on the front porch with Jonathan's family.

Sunday we headed to Daytona for the day to celebrate a few family birthdays. I actually didn't make it down to the beach, but it was such a great day.

I had a new lasagna recipe I wanted to try, so I spent the afternoon cooking, which I've really started to enjoy. After putting the lasagna in the oven, I took Jonathan up the street to pick up his truck from getting detailed. I beat him home by a few minutes and was trying to cut frozen garlic bread in half to put in the oven when my hand slipped and I sliced my thumb open with a butter knife. Seriously? I was alone for maybe 5 minutes and managed to hurt myself.

Two things: 1. Thank God a thousand times I was only using a butter knife, otherwise I might be without a finger right now and that just wouldn't be cute. 2. Jonathan is so calm and sweet in situations like this where I'm usually being a little  very over dramatic. He calmed me down and took me to the bathroom so he could bandage me up. Have I mentioned lately that I adore him?

Anyway, the good news is that I didn't contaminate any part of our dinner and it was absolutely delicious. We ate, took Blake for a short walk and spent the rest of the evening cuddling and watching T.V.

Days like yesterday leave me feeling extra grateful. I told Jonathan before we went to bed that this is exactly how I pictured my life to be like when I found the right person. He agreed. We lived happily ever after.

How was your weekend?

Linking up with Sami for Weekend Shenanigans  :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Tips for Staying on the "Wagon"

I'm pretty sure you all know this by now, but I am by no means a diet/fitness/health expert. My love of York Peppermint Patties, beer and baked good makes this pretty obvious. However, I do feel like I have found a few things that help me get back on track and stay motivated, so I figured I share them with you today.

1. Be realistic. I know myself. I know if I tell myself I am going to completely cut out carbs, I am setting myself up for failure. I also know that I'm not at a place where I'm up for sticking to a strict diet plan. If a diet plan isn't something you know you can manage on a day-to-day basis, you might be setting yourself up for failure. So what do I do? I set specific, realistic goals and simply try to cut back in general. You can still make progress without being on a strict diet plan if you focus on making changes you know you can follow through on.

2. Include others. Jonathan made a comment earlier this week about me having my scale out for the first time. I told him I'd finally weighed myself after avoiding it for a few months. You bet he followed that up by asking me what I weighed. We are generally really open with each other, but I hesitated sharing this with him at first. I know he'll love me no matter what, but something about telling him the number stressed me out because it isn't where I want to be right now. He left it along and after sleeping on it, I realized I was being silly. Somehow I've been lucky enough to find this wonderful man who loves me for everything I am. I want us to be able to tell each other everything, so I told him.

And you know what? It feels good. What did he say? He said, "Babe, that is a beautiful number. You didn't have to tell me, but I'm glad you did." If anything, filling him on my weight and my goals is only going to help keep me motivated. It's just like how writing out my goals and the change I want to make on this blog. Once it's out there, I feel more accountable and motivated to follow through.

Whether it is connecting with your girlfriends on My Fitness Pal, finding a gym buddy or sharing your goals with a friend who can help you stay motivated, including others in your journey can only help you stay on track.

3. Focus on small successes. As much as we wish it were this way, big change doesn't happen overnight. It might take time for the number on the scale to change or for your clothes to fit a little looser. It might take time for you to work your way back up to 3-4 mile runs. What you can do in the meantime is recognize the small accomplishments. Did you make it to the gym 3 times this week? Did you stay under your calorie count for the day? You make not see visible changes, but do you feel better? Recognizing (not celebrating by eating a bag of Doritos and devouring a gallon of cookie dough ice cream) small accomplishments like this will help you stay on track until you start to see the big changes.

4. Eat something every day you will look forward to. When your trying to watch your diet, the food your eating can get old really quick. For example, I believe I ate a salad for at least 5 meals this week. To avoid hanger (a lethal combination of hunger and anger, in case you've been living under a rock), I make sure to plan 1 snack a day I know I will really look forward to. This could be as boring as planning to have a banana with peanut butter as an afternoon snack or a few pretzels and hummus (assuming you have more self control than I do when hummus is involved) after dinner. This way you don't feel like you are completely restricting yourself and you don't fall off the wagon after 3 days. 

Like I said, I'm not expert, but these are a few things that help me. Now tell me, what are your tips for staying on track?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

If you change nothing, nothing will change.

Every now and then, I like to have a little check in with myself to refocus and evaluate my attitude and behavior.

Yesterday I found myself being grumpy for absolutely no reason. When I think about it, it probably had something to do with little things beyond my control that have been bothering me lately. I think it's just part of being female, honestly. I have intentions of being a positive person and usually I'm really good about sticking to that, but we all have days where we let things get to us a little more than usual. These days have been common for me lately and yesterday was just one of those for me. I realized how ridiculous this was and quickly snapped out of it, went home and cleaned the house, gave Blake a bath and took a few minutes before bed to think about some changes I need to make.

I don't necessarily mean big changes, although there are a few of those I'm waiting on/working toward. I'm talking about the small things I can change to stay focused and optimistic in the meantime.

I don't like to make any outrageous, possibly unrealistic statements like "No more beer" (I mean come on, let's not get crazy), I ended up going with things I need to stop doing completely, things I need to do more of and things I need to cut back on. This list is what I ended up with:
fast food
letting others' judgements and negativity get me down
Red Bull
comparing myself to others
taking myself too seriously

dance parties
meal planning
random acts of kindness
happy tears

over thinking 

Life is so good and I'll be the first to tell you how thankful and blessed I am. That doesn't mean I don't let life get to me sometimes. One thing I try to keep in mind is to always ask myself what I am doing to change/help/fix the situation. If I'm not doing anything to solve it or make the best of it, I honestly can't be that upset about it. I think this list will help and serve as a good reminder of what I need to focus on. 

I'm sure you all have days like this. What do you do to snap out of it? 

P.S. I'm giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card on Denim & Daydreams. Check out my 1st guest post ever and enter to win. :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lessons My Dad Taught Me

With Father's Day just a few days away, it only makes sense I share some of the important lessons this wonderful man has taught me. I could go on and on, but here are the top 6. Enjoy!

Nothing good happens after midnight. I heard this phrase countless times throughout high school and although I never would've admitted that he was right at the time, my dad was absolutely right. After midnight is typically when you start making bad decisions, having more drinks than you should have and doing things you didn't plan on doing. You win on this one, dad. You win.

You are the company you keep. My dad has always had a strong opinion of our friendships. Anytime we got into trouble, while he made sure we took responsibility for getting ourselves into that situation, he would always make sure we considered what kind of influence our friends had on us. As I got older, I started to understand this point of view a little more and it's something I remind myself of to this day. Recently, I've needed to take a step back and evaluate some of my friendships and the impact they were having on my life. Even in this situation, I go back to high school when I would hear my dad lecturing me about my friendships and the impact these people had on me. He was absolutely right.

"Excuses are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink." I'll be the first to admit there is probably a more eloquent way to put this, but I've heard my dad say this countless times. He is the reason why I try to own up to my faults and mistakes rather than placing blame on things out of my control. He is the reason why I don't have patience for people who makes excuses all the time.

Don't sugarcoat anything. If people don't like what you have to say, that is their problem, not yours. We tease my dad a lot because he has the gift of "telling it like it is." He doesn't mean to be harsh, but he is honest, up front and isn't afraid of saying things people don't want to hear. He always says he "doesn't sugarcoat anything" and has taught me to speak my mind, to stand up for myself and to share my opinion, no matter how unpopular it might be. 

Family comes first. I've mentioned before that it's my father's lifelong dream to build a family compound for all of us and our future families to live on. I know this sounds silly, but that is my dad. He would give anything to have us all together all the time. We are all close and I consider my siblings my very best friends. He taught us to stick together, to be there for each other and to appreciate each other. We have him to thank for teaching us that family is most important.

Loyalty. My father is a die hard Boston sports fan. If you know anything about the history of the Boston Red Sox, you know being a fan requires loyalty. As a teenager, my dad sold hot dogs at Gate A of Fenway Park. Why? Just so he could see the games. He could go on and on about the many heartbreaking moments he's endured as a Red Sox fan, but it never fails. After a loss or a not-so-great season, he never misses the next game. I know he will be so proud of me for writing about sports on this super girly, rainbows and sunshine blog of mine, but the truth is, his loyalty goes so far beyond sports. He passed that trait along to me and my siblings, too. Thanks to him we know how to stand by our teams, our family, our friends and our significant others no matter what happens.

I'm 27-years-old and I still call my dad regularly asking for advice. I also don't see this stopping anytime soon and I'm perfectly happy with that. Whether it's roommate issues, career questions, car problems or me needing him to help with something at my house, I can always count on his sound advice, his support and his love.

Thanks, Dad for shaping me into the person I've become. Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Our Weekend at the Beach

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We had a great time on our trip to Clearwater Beach.

We hit the road early Friday evening and made it to our hotel on Clearwater Beach around 9 p.m. We checked in and got settled in our room and minutes later, complimentary champagne and chocolate covered strawberries were delivered to our room. We spent the rest of the night checking out the hotel pool, chatting on our balcony and enjoying every minute of our alone time. I also drank every last drop of our bottle of champagne that night. Sorry I'm not sorry.

beach bound!
that's one happy guy
After sitting down to a complimentary breakfast on Saturday morning, we spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon by the pool. I wasn't expecting perfect weather and it started out pretty cloudy, but we loved every minute and it didn't even take long for the sun to come shining through. It was absolutely beautiful out. We enjoyed a few drinks, I read and relaxed, we even made friends and had a water gun fight with a group of kids.

our spot for lots of fruity drinks, relaxing and water gun fights
not a bad view!

After the most glorious afternoon nap, we headed down the boardwalk for dinner. This is about the same time it started to storm, so we had a rainy and cold walk back to the hotel. With the stormy weather and whatnot, all we really wanted to do was cuddle in bed and relax. So that is exactly how we spent the rest of the night.

After spending the morning relaxing by the pool on Sunday, we headed back to Orlando fairly early to beat the bad weather and have time to unpack and relax before starting the week. Plus, Jonathan's niece was born on Thursday, so we wanted to stop by and visit her when we got home.

We spent the evening cuddling, drinking a few beers and getting through season 3 of How I Met Your Mother. I couldn't ask for a more perfect way to end such a romantic, fun and relaxing weekend away.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with Sami for Weekend Shenanigans!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Counting my rainbows, not my thunderstorms

It's been raining nonstop for the last few days in Orlando and it doesn't look like it'll be ending anytime soon. I'm staying at Jonathan's for the rest of the week which has meant about an hour commute to and from work. It's also looking like our weekend at Clearwater Beach is going to be pretty rainy. This is all okay. It's okay because as always, I'm trying to focus on the good. Sometimes choosing joy is easier said than done, but it's so worth the effort.

Today I want to share a list of things I'm feeling thankful for right now.
Thankful for my health. I'm still in the process of trying to pay the massive amount of medical bills I've racked up over the last few years. Trying to pay these off is causing me a great deal of stress and sometimes I feel like there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel. In the midst of this, I am thankful that I am healthy now and at least I'm not adding to the bills at this point.

Thankful for Jonathan. Today is his 25th birthday. This man is my love, my sunshine, my dream come true. I'm so thankful for his love and support, his patience and humor, his positivity and his faith. I thank God we found each other and get to experience this amazing love every day.

Thankful for supportive friends and family. My family, my best friend Taryn, Jonathan...these are people who I know have my best interest in mind. They are the people who are always supporting me, cheering me on and lifting me up when I need it. 

Thankful for moments like this: Sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up and realize I'm not close enough to Jonathan so I turn over, snuggle up next to him and wrap my arm around him. Then he grabs my hand and pulls me closer to him and I lay there in the middle of the night, half awake, grinning from ear to ear, thanking God and drifting happily back to sleep.

Thankful for Sara Bareilles' latest song, Brave.

Thankful for our trip to the beach this weekend. Yes, I envisioned sunbathing by the pool enjoying an array of fruity beverages, but if we don't end up doing that, I'll be just as happy. The point of this trip is to get away just the two of us and relax for a few days. We could be stuck in the hotel the whole time and I know I'd still enjoy every minute of it. I am, however, still hopeful that maybe the weather will clear up by then. A girl can dream, right? :)

Thankful for so many new followers around here. Whether you've ended up here because of a giveaway, a linkup, my button on another blog or you just so happened to stumble upon my little place on the Internet, I'm so glad you're here and I hope you all enjoy reading along.

There you have it. I could've easily written a post about everything that isn't going well this week, but I feel so much better after focusing in on the good stuff.

What are you feeling thankful for this week?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ultimate Fan Giveaway

Happy Wednesday! I hope you're ready for this...

It's pretty huge. 

(that's what she said)

Okay, here goes. 

Who would like $215 to spend on tickets to see your favorite team play or your favorite band perform live?

Oh, you?

Well, today is your lucky day. I teamed up with Sarah and a bunch of other wonderful ladies to bring you the $215 Ultimate Fan Stub Hub Giveaway! No, this is not a joke. Sounds pretty awesome, huh?

Good luck! I hope you find some great blogs to follow in the process!

Rules: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only Winner will be notified via email (after verification, no cheating) and will have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize. Otherwise, the prize will be given to the next in line. Check all terms and conditions below. Now go enter. WHOO! *Insert pumped up Jock Jamz song here*

Monday, June 3, 2013

Our 1st Rodeo

Howdy and happy June!

Our weekend was full of fun with family and friends. We kicked off the weekend by taking Jonathan's Nana out to dinner for her birthday. We went to Rocco's Tacos, a place I've been wanting to check out for months now. They prepare the guacamole tableside and have over 200 types of tequila. We weren't getting too crazy, but I did try one of their margaritas and it was so delicious! We had a blast celebrating and chatting with Jonathan's Nana and I can't wait to go back again.

Jonathan had to work Saturday, so I woke up and dragged my butt to the gym. I finally got a membership near Jonathan's so I no longer have an excuse for not working out on the weekends. By the time I ran a few errands and worked out, Jonathan was home and we relaxed for a bit before heading out to the rodeo with some friends.

This was the first rodeo either of us had ever been to and we had a blast! I honestly didn't even know what a rodeo entailed so I must've asked Jonathan and the boys at least 100 questions before we even got there. Jonathan and I even looked up redneck slang words before we left the house so we could really get the full experience.

Let me tell you...the rodeo is quite a show and that's not even counting all of the great people watching to be had. For $15 per person, we watched 3 hours of bullriding, barrel racing, steer wrestling and team roping...all things I knew nothing about before Saturday.

My favorite cowboy at the rodeo, obviously :) 

 This might have been the most entertaining part of the show. They call all kids between the ages of 6-12 and have them chase around a couple of calves and the first kid to touch a calf wins. Seeing a bunch of little kids chasing around a few animals was highly entertaining. Or maybe it was the fact that I was a few Bud Lights in at this point that made it so entertaining? Either way, I loved this.

Luckily we didn't see any of these guys get trampled after being thrown off the bull. Coming from someone who has ridden a few mechanical bulls in my time, I don't know how these guys stay on for even a second, nevermind 8 seconds. Those bulls are totally out of control!

All in all, my first rodeo experience was a blast! I now have a much better understanding of all those country songs about rodeos and cowboys. It was fun to do something different and hang out with Jonathan's friends for the night!

After making a big Sunday breakfast with Jonathan, we met up with his sister and her husband for an afternoon walk and some Italian ice. We ended the weekend by going to a surprise birthday party for Jonathan's friend and had a great time catching up with everybody. 

I'm back at work and even though I hate seeing the weekend end, we're just a few days away from our beach getaway this weekend and I can't wait! Jonathan's birthday is also on Thursday and we are expecting his niece to be born any day now. It's going to be another great week!

Hope you all had a happy weekend! 

Linking up with Sami for Weekend Shenanigans.