Sunday, September 29, 2013

Am I Too Old To...

...Feel like a kid in a candy shop having just gotten tickets to Justin Timberlake in February?!

...Watch ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars as a guilty pleasure?

...Still enjoy fruit snacks as an afternoon pick me up once in awhile?

It seems like I'm at that mid-twenties age where many friends, classmates and coworkers are starting to get married, have kids or at least begin the conversations about settling down. I've thought about it; compared my life to others'; thought about it some more, and sometimes it's hard not to wonder if I'm on the right track.

Should those things be my priority right now, too? Should I be watching the news instead of Pretty Little Liars and eating fruit instead of fruit snacks? And then I remember that I'm perfectly content just where I am. I'm not too old for these things as long as I enjoy them.

It's easy to forget that what's right for one person might not be right for you. You can't plan everything out and expect your life to take the same course as others' who, on the surface, seem to be at the same stage in life.

Living the life that is waiting for me, rather than the one I had planned out years ago is what I'm focusing on now. In turn, I'm able to be genuinely happy with my choices and genuinely happy for people who just might be on a different track than me. I'm not too old to accomplish the goals I've set or to get where I want to be (I'm also not too young...). I'm just taking a different path than anticipated - one that involves a few extra fruit snacks and throwback JT songs.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When Life Hands You Lemons...Drink Warm Lemon Water

Some of my coworkers recently turned me on to the advantages of starting out each morning with a glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice. I'm not going to didn't sound all that great to me but I decided that although it didn't quite have the same appeal as lemonade (or a cup of coffee in the morning), the health benefits made it worth a try. Why not, right?

After a minor fiasco transporting my lemon water to work - some of it splashed out of my travel cup, soaking a number of items in my purse, forcing me to finally clean it out (silver lining!) - I was ready to drink up. As expected, the taste was mediocre. I drank the water out of a straw so it went down quickly and easily and in hopes of preventing some of the harm that citric acid can do to your tooth enamel.

The primary reason I wanted to give lemon water a try is because I have heard that it helps your body naturally detoxify by boosting digestion and flushing toxins out of your system. Additionally, it helps regulate your body's metabolism. Lemons are high in pectin fiber - which I won't pretend to know anything about - and this helps to curb your appetite and aid weight loss. It doesn't hurt that it's supposed to boost your immune system and help clear up your skin, too! Basically lemons are a super fruit in my eyes now.

One thing I've noticed, is that it's also gotten me to drink more water (sans lemon) throughout the day. Even if that's the only thing I get out of drinking warm water with lemon in the morning I'll consider it a success!

Have you been thinking about trying this, too?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On a Lighter Note...

I love fall and I can't wait for the season to officially begin. Don't get me wrong, I'm sad to say goodbye to beach days and summer Fridays at work; but fall is the best. Boots, football, foliage, pumpkin beer, crisp air...need I say more?

With the beginning of each new season always comes the urge to replace my entire wardrobe, though, and sparks the feeling of "I don't have anything to wear! What did I even do at this time last season?!" I have to suppress the urge though and I've been eagerly going through my closet to find some of my forgotten articles of clothing that I'm most excited to break out from the depths of my dresser drawers.

My favorite looks always involve a great pair of jeans, comfy blouse or button down and some worn-in chestnut colored boots. You just can't go wrong with any of those articles of clothing. Luckily, working at a growing internet company I have no dress code and I can wear a variation of the outfits I love every day!

Here's a perfect outfit from Pinterest that involves some basic items that almost everyone has in their closet!

All I need now is for the leaves to start changing colors! Oh, and a pumpkin beer...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Appreciate What You Have

There will always be someone who has more than you and there will always be someone who has less than you. 

I was prompted to think about this today - September 11. A day the world will never forget. A day loved ones were lost and heroes emerged. I have so much to be grateful for and events, such as September 11, certainly help to put things in perspective. 

I can't even fathom how people dealt with the loss of family and friends through that tragedy. Having two parents who were diagnosed with cancer - one while I was in middle school and one right after I graduated college - makes me so incredibly thankful to have them in my life. I don't know what I'd do without my family. I know it might sound cliche but there are no words to describe how much they mean to me.

Health, a home, happiness, a great education, employment, friends to name a few more. I'm lucky.

So thank someone today. Tell someone how much they mean to you and put a smile on their face. Why wait until it could be too late? 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Treat Yourself

I am a very financially conscientious person. I do eat out. I do shop. I do go on vacations. But I know exactly how far my salary will (and will not) go. I try not to overspend on things that are not necessary and I am constantly reminding myself which purchases would be too frivolous. When I do go shopping or order food I tend to weigh the pros and cons thoroughly before making a seemingly small decision.

Having been in the working world for a few years now (yikes!) has shown me that it's okay to treat myself once in awhile, though. Whether it's buying a new top or spending a little too much at a nice restaurant, I try not to over-think it or chastise myself after the fact as long as I'm not making it a habit.

To alleviate some of the guilt I try to do some of the following when possible:

  • Buy a Groupon or LivingSocial Deal to subsidize the cost. This is a great way to save a few dollars AND try a new restaurant or fitness class. 
  • Check your email for promo codes - most stores will honor the email if you show it to them so you don't have to actually print it out. I was shopping at the Gap Outlet recently and not only did I get the outlet prices, I remembered a 40% off email in my inbox that the cashier was able to honor. I saved $85.53 - not quite Extreme Couponer status but still was a great feeling!                      
  • Find out what restaurants and bars have happy hours or specials nearby and take advantage! Although Massachusetts does not technically allow "happy hour" (lame, I know), there are many bars and restaurants that have weekly specials. To get started, check out Cactus Club for half-priced appetizers Monday - Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Who doesn't need an excuse to leave work a little early?! 

We all work hard and now is the time to treat ourselves before we have little ones running around and depending on us!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Be the Change You Wish to See in the World

...Or better yet, in your own life. Take action. Do something. Change things that you wish were different.

I promise I won't go all Gandhi on you.... BUT that one, simple statement is such a challenging imperative. I say imperative because it's necessary that we make changes - rather than just complain - if we want to live in a different world or picture our lives working out differently. It's easy to "talk the talk" but what matters is if you can "walk the walk." Realistically, a Facebook status or idle rant isn't going to change anything.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm guilty of it myself. I complain about certain obligations or responsibilities at work. I compare my life to others' lives and think everything must come easy to them. In reality, I (we) need to make things happen and be the change that we need in our own lives.

It's okay to start small. I've recently made a conscious effort to stop venting about things to my parents and I've noticed that not only am I sure they're happy not having certain things unburdened on them...I'm happier too.

As another example, I am getting my own blog off the ground rather than merely reading others' and thinking of the blog I have always considered starting. It's cathartic. I'm happy getting my thoughts out and having something that I need to hold my self accountable to. It's a change that I needed to make and something that I want to keep going.

I realize that this is easier said than done but I know that for me, it's time to practice what I'm trying to preach. Why not make some changes in my life to help me live the life I want to lead?