Tag Archives: happiness

Asheville Adventure I

I spent the past weekend in a cabin just outside of Asheville, NC on a river with Jordan and a couple we are good friends with. The cabin was wonderful, perfectly located right on the French Broad River in the mountains. The weather was wonderful, Saturday it was about 65 and sunny — we spent the day with no agenda, sleeping in, making breakfast, throwing a frisbee on the lawn, trekking through the shrubs alongside the river, sipping “adult” beverages. We even tried to walk back with our feet in the water but it was just too cold — my feet instantly hurt from the chill! We played card games and scategories and had too much to drink, smoking hookah and sitting in the hot tub, talking, laughing, dancing.

Sunday we had to check out by 10am, and lucky for us it was day-light savings, so we savored that extra hour in bed and were able to leave by 9:30 and head to downtown Asheville. We ate breakfast at Tupelo Honey Cafe (the biscuits! and the goat cheese grits!) and wandered into the shops and boutiques until we eventually met up with other friends at Lexington Avenue Brewery for snacks and a beer. I dreaded the drive back to Charlotte — I adore Asheville and all her secrets I’ve yet to discover. The food, the vibe, the shopping — if the opportunity knocked tomorrow I’d pick up and move there without hesitation.

And lucky for me I’m returning next weekend! Way before the weekend cabin trip was planned, a girlfriend of mine (who is very near and dear to my heart, we worked together at Maxie B’s in Greensboro and she remains a super important person in my life) and I decided to spend the weekend together in Asheville. We are going to visit The Biltmore (Christmas decorations will be up!) and eat at Early Girl Eatery and walk the streets and visit the shops and enjoy each others company. I have another friend (with the same name!) who lives in Asheville and we are going to meet up with her as well.

I am looking forward to a weekend with just my friends, my girl friends. It will be so refreshing for my soul. I miss all of my friends as they all live in different cities. Emily and Kellie in Greensboro, Marianne in Brooklyn, Megan in Arlington… and I’m here in Charlotte. Separated by so much distance but still so close in my heart.

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Weekend Night-Cap & Lately From Instagram

This weekend was lovely.

We joined some of Jordan’s co-workers out on Friday night and very happily spent all Saturday in bed or laying on the couch. We watched plenty of tv, movies, and I even read a little Pride & Predjudice (working on those 30 books!) I almost forgot! I soaked in the tub for nearly an hour while reading — it. was. wonderful. Jordan even boiled a pot of water a couple of times to keep the water nice and hot. After being away from home two weekends in a row it was greatly needed. I woke up Sunday feeling super relaxed and energized.

Not that I ever want to get rid of Jordan, but he had plans to golf with his dad and brother Sunday morning and I was secretly excited. I cherish time I get to spend alone — as alone as I can get with Kobe. I took Kobe to the dog park for 2 hours (TWO HOURS!) and spend the rest of the morning cleaning the condo. I finished by noon and was able to meet a neighbor at The Corner Pub to watch some football and enjoy a cold beer or two (I drank SweetWater Blue Ale — a hint of blueberries, delicious!) After the Panthers game Jordan returned home and we wrapped up the evening together with some take-out Italian & the Giants game. Disappointing loss!

I absolutely did not want to leave for work this morning, it’s rainy and dreadful outside and Kobe was being extra cuddly and precious. It’s like he knows when it’s Monday and we have to return to work — he is ten times more kissy and cuddly in trying to convince us to stay!

Enjoy some photos from Instagram lately:

Avett Brothers

Preserves

My love

Sleeping/Sky

Playful/Sleeping

Silly, Dreamy, Lovey Stuff

“Sometimes at work I realize I’m day dreaming about you, and I then also realize I have this silly, dreamy smile on my face. I love you snake, I really do.”

Jordan and I’s relationship may not be made of the typical stuff fairy-tales are made of, but it’s real. Real life is not a fairy-tale, and sometimes I have to remind myself of that. I am blessed to have the true and honest relationship I do. Relationships aren’t easy, they take hard work and effort, lots of love and caring, communication, understanding, apologies, and forgiving. The bottom line is I have fun with him, and I smile and laugh with him, and we’re so silly together. That is what we are, silly & simple.

PS — It’s a silly story why we call each other “snake” … It all started with me calling “baaaybee” to him from the other room, and he’d always reply with “snaaaaaaake.” I had no idea what he was talking about until he played Frank Zappa’s “Baby Snake” for me; he thought the way I said “baby” sounded exactly like the “baby” in the song. That is something special that only we have together. And I love it. And I love him.

Sweet September

Hold on, we’re already halfway through September?! I cannot believe yet another month has come, and is about to go. It will be a new year and a new age before I know it (my birthday is shortly after the new year)! I’m actually looking forward to 25, although the pressure is on to complete my 30 Before 30 list; so far I have 15 things and I’m struggling to come up with another 15. I just want to make sure I put things on the list that are plausible and that I do indeed want to do, and aren’t lame (or something like that.) Such a dilemma…

This past weekend I went home to surprise my Mom for her 60th birthday! And surprised she was! My little sister Kimberly goes to school at Longwood University in Farmville, Va — which is pretty much smack dab in the middle between Charlotte and northern Virginia where my parents live (just outside of DC) — so I picked her up and we made it home around 11pm Friday night. My sweet mama wasn’t feeling well all week so she went to bed pretty early so when Kimberly and I got home, we tip-toed up the stairs, into her room, and whispered “Happy Birthday!” She woke up right away but in a daze exclaimed, “Oh! Am I dreaming? Are my girls really here?!” It was the sweetest thing ever. We had a lovely weekend spending time together, my older sister Kristin (who lives 10 minutes away) even stayed over Saturday night and we all woke up Sunday to a breakfast of homemade waffles made by my Dad, just like when everyone lived at home. It was too short of a visit, but it was wonderful to be home and surprise her. Sixty only comes but once!

September is shaping up to be a wonderful month, this Friday I’ll be on my way to Atlanta, Georgia to see The Avett Brothers and I’m so very excited! (And I also get to cross off something from my 30 Before 30 list! I’ve driven through Georgia before but never actually been, so that will cross off 1 of 5 new states to visit!)

I’m such a lucky girl.

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

Guillaume Apollinaire

I thought this was a perfect reminder, especially due to my last post.

Healthy Happy Habits

My last post was rather depressing, but something on my mind none-the-less. As noted, I have struggled with my apperance, more so my perception of my appearance, for a very long time. As sad as it is to admit, I’ve found journals from elementary school with statements such as “I’m fat” and “I’m ugly” in them. How absolutely rotten to know that a little girl (a little me) feels that way about herself. It has driven me to become passionate about making sure all little girls are told they’re beautiful and it’s also driven me to study nutrition and dietetics. I really hope that when I finish my degree I can work with young girls and boys and teach them the importance of having a healthy relationship with food and exercise.

Sparked by my recent bout of negativity towards myself, I’ve realized that while I’ve been eating okay, I certainly haven’t been eating great — and that is a huge part of what makes me feel good about myself. Because I haven’t been in school for nearly 2 years working towards my degree, it’s safe to say I’ve slacked a little on my own personal nutrition habits. I go through periods of serious health followed by serious slacking. I want my serious health to stick for good this time.

I recently started making smoothies for my boyfriend and I to enjoy for breakfast every morning. I typically mix strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and bananas with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, vanilla greek yogurt, protein powder, and spinach — really delicious. This morning I tried mangos, pineapples, and bananas with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, vanilla greek yogurt, protein powder, and kale — equally delicious (and more summery!). I’m going to keep playing with smootie concoctions and add more vegetables to them so they include even more nutrients. Jordan is even going to buy me a fancy new blender this weekend with his monthly bonus check.

Another big thing I always slack on? Water consumption. I absolutely hate unfiltered water (I’m such a snob, I know!) but it’s what I grew up with and I just can’t do it any other way. At work the water is awful, I was making it tolerable with lemons but even that required about half a lemon each glass. I keep meaning to purchase this Mio water enhancer, I think it would really help. I recently started making caffiene-free iced-tea in large batches so that I have something available quickly. My mom makes a great iced green-tea with fresh ginger that I’m going to try making on my own this weekend. It’s so refreshing in the hot Summer months and fresh ginger has great antioxident powers along with the green tea.

A few other feel-good habits I’m going to work on sticking to along with breakfast smoothies & water consumption:

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How Do I Ever Feel Beautiful Again?

Every thing is beautiful, but beauty isn't everything.

Have you ever wondered why you haven’t done something you want to? Big or small, there’s something you want to do, or something you want, and you know very well what needs to happen in order to achieve your wants… yet you don’t do it. You pine for what you want, you are sad really, yet there you sit. You don’t do what is required of you. I’m sure, like me, you don’t wonder why it hasn’t happened yet — you know very well why — because you haven’t done a damn thing to acheive it. And still. You do nothing, you just dream.

Why do we hold ourselves back? Is it fear of failure? It’s only impossible if you think it is. Is it a combination of lack of self-control and total laziness? You just can’t get yourself to do what is required, regardless of knowing it will lead to the results you want. Could it possibly be it’s not something we truly want, we don’t realize what we’re longing for is something different than what we percieve that we want.

When I look in the mirror, as I have plenty of times in the past, I am not satisfied. There was a time in my life where I spent 3 hours at the gym every day. I was toned, tan even. I felt so good about myself. Yet here I am, 5 years later, and a few sizes larger (which is very easy to do when you were a 0 before). I am by no means large, but I’m not what I used to be. And I know very well what needs to be done, even if not in the extreme manner it was before. It’s not just eating healthy or less, it’s about working out — something I just can’t seem to get myself to consistantly do. Why? Perhaps it’s because I don’t necessarily want to be skinny — I just want to accept my body how it is. I want to love myself for who I am, how I look on the outside. It has been driven into my being that I must be thin to be happy, to like how I look, so I long to be thin and fit when in reality, I don’t have to be thin and fit to LOVE myself, I have to accept who I am at any size. How do I go about changing that?

Growing up I was a “twig.” I had long, lanky legs (but not as long and lanky as my older sister) and until some time in middle school, maybe early high school, I was tall for my age (you know, until I stopped growing). When I hit puberty I filled out quickly. I had hips and a chest — in middle school terms, I was FAT. I was not like the rest of the popular girls, thin, with no shape. I felt terrible. And it only got worse as I got older. People were mean, and as it goes — I became mean to myself. I developed an eating disorder, had absolutely no self esteem, and I thought nothing could ever help me, I was an ugly duckling. Believe it or not, I had a boyfriend who told me I was beautiful every day — but I didn’t see it. I never did. All of high school I binged and purged, I restricted, I fasted, I nearly failed classes due to concentrating so much on gaining what I always wanted — to be skinny and pretty. After high school is when it got serious, I joined a gym. It took quite some time for me to get comfortable with going, I always felt so silly so I’d make my good (male) friend go with me. He played football in high school and was in pretty good shape so I looked to him for advice, to tell me what I needed to do in order to see results. Soon after I was going to the gym every day, whether or not he came with me. I made sure I burned at least 300 calories in 30 minutes on the eliptical before beginning my weight routine (competitive with myself, I slowly but surely began trying to beat my previous record, 300, 310, 330, continuing how many calories I burned per 30 minutes until I was close to 450.) I then visited every machine for every part of my body — the slightly OCD me couldn’t work out one area every day, everything had to be equal, everything had to be worked out. I had never felt better about myself! I did it! I’d see people from high school and they were in utter shock. I gained a sort of confidence from this, I did well in community college and ultimately decided to transfer to a four year university. It was then that I didn’t go to the gym all the time again. I put on a tiny bit of weight, and slowly, 3.5 years later, I’m pretty much back where I was in high school (although this time, I’m not fat, I look like the rest of the women my age.) And yet I still strugle with what looks back at me in the mirror.

How do I change this? Is it wrong to need something to keep the confidence? What’s so wrong with needing to work out, to keep yourself in good shape, in order to have confidence. But why can’t I just have that confidence without working out? Without being a certain size? Part of me thinks it’s perfectly fine to to feel good about yourself when you’re working out, being active, and eating healthy. But part of me also realizes I shouldn’t have to do those things to feel that way — it should just help. It should just be an addition to already feeling good about what I see in the mirror. I hear that I’m beautiful, and sometimes I think I know that I’m beautiful, regardless of being able to see it myself, or believe it myself. If enough people have told me I am, it must be true right? Why do I then only feel beautiful when I’m a size 0, with long hair, a tan, and good clothing? And how come I can’t movitave myself to workout? To do what is required of me to feel the confidence I so desire? Is it subconcious rebellion? A deeper side of me resisting, telling me NO, you don’t need that. Or is it weakness, something in me telling me even if I tried, I’d fail? Even though I did it once, I’ll never do it again? Has utter laziness taken over me? Who cares? Why work out when you can sit on the couch and eat these cookies? Because while I want to be skinny, I also want to eat whatever the hell I want. How do you change a life long way of thinking? I don’t remember a time when I didn’t think I needed to be skinny to be pretty and happy.

It’s crazy how I am a victim to society telling me what I need to feel beautiful — especially because I see so much beauty in every one else, in every thing else. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be: I see beauty in others, in every thing in the world, in exchange for seeing the beauty in me. I guess in a way I wouldn’t change that.