Saturday, December 31, 2016

Lessons I Learned In 2016

Here we are again.  We all know my feelings on 2016 but even the worst of years bring lessons...usually the worst of years brings the biggest lessons.  So here are all the many important things I learned in 2016:

  • Expectations are the biggest double edged swords.  We are comforted in the belief that it is the truth, but it holds us back and keeps us from better possibilities
  • Don't place all of your happiness in other people.  The only person you can completely trust with that is yourself.  If you don't look out for you no one will.
  • Love doesn't always last, but if you keep your heart open you will always find someone to love again.  You can't find your soulmate with your heart locked away
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help.  We all understand what it means to fall on rough times.  Reach out to the people closest to you when you're in need.
  • Don't take the people in your life for granted.  Sometimes we are so worried about what goes on in our lives that we forget how much our presence means to our loved ones. 
  • Make everyday thanksgiving day.  Not the food (even though we can all agree there are few things better than mashed potatoes) but the way you think about the world.  Spend every day realizing just how many great things happen, so that when you're down on your luck you realize there is something to smile about. 
  • Sometimes you have to let people go.  We want to hold on because we think our love and attention can solve everything, but then we have nothing left for ourselves.  When someone leaves you drained after talking, or being with them, it's time to let go.
  • Learn to accept your flaws.  If you accept every part of yourself there will be nothing that can take you down.  You will be more invincible than Achilles.
  • Accept and acknowledge when you're wrong.  When you take a step down and let go of your pride, and stop pretending to be infallible that when people will be most comfortable to approach you.
  • Open up to people.  Share your soul with them.  If they are really meant to be in  your life they will stay and accept that part of you (even the terrible ugly parts).  The things that are really meant to happen, will.
Happy New Year friends and family.  2016 was incredibly challenging but I grew so much.  Cheers to 2017.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Dear 2016

Dear 2016,

Hey.....we need to talk.  I think we should break up.  You're worse than Kelly on Season 11 of Real Housewives of Orange County (and that's like...really really bad).
It's not like I wasn't hopeful at first.  When we got together in January I was really excited.  My previous relationship with 2015 had been pretty difficult and full of growing pains.  And just like Elizabeth Taylor (R.I.P.) I thought a new relationship would be just the answer.  I'll admit...getting into a relationship with you was a gamble considering you were an election year BUT you didn't have Ebola so that seemed like a great step in the right direction.  We started off strong with Beyonce and Peyton Manning's triumphant Super Bowl win.  And Leo FINALLY won an Oscar! were giving me so much joy.  I thought "finally...a relationship I can count on".

And then March came around...from there on were the worst.  You overwhelmed me with your need for attention.  Between the Rio Olympic games, Harambe (R.I.P.),   and the election, I was on media overload.  Then you try to scare me with the threat of Zika.  That was a low blow after you knew about 2015's stunt with Ebola (yeah....I've mentioned Ebola twice was real).  I honestly wanted to leave you then but then I would have missed out on a new season of "The Walking Dead" with you and....I mean you kind of even ruined that but we won't go there.  I just have never felt secure with you.

I'll never forgive you for taking Prince, Gene Wilder, Bowie, Alan Rickman, Gary Marshall, and Alan Thicke, among others.  And I didn't want to mention this but....the mannequin challenge?  Really?  What was that???

Then came Brexit and the trash fire that was the 2016 Presidential election.  Through all the immaturity and anger....I just really don't see myself with someone like that.  I just don't want to be with you anymore.  To be honest?  None of my friends or family really like you either.  You're just the worst to be around.  So I guess this is goodbye.  You can take you terrible political nightmare with you but please....don't take any more legends with you ok?


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Drug Store Make Up Recommendations

So my friend Jen requested this post and I'm actually really glad she did.  I never get to play with or talk about make up anymore.  My life revolves around IV's, catheters, surgery, and a plethora of human bodily fluids.
I am very glamorous.
So obviously I would be the person to come to for make up recommendations.  I actually made a Snapchat video about a month ago about this very thing that I will try to add to this post.
So pause Fuller House, grab some hot chocolate, and pretend I'm a famous beauty blogger about to unlock all my best secrets....

Revlon Color Stay for Normal/Dry skin $10.99
I can't say enough good things about this foundation.  It goes on so well and stays on all day.  They also have every single shade.
Pricey comparison: NARS Sheer Glow $42

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner $7.99
I am obsessed with felt tip liquid eyeliner.  I think they are the absolute best and go on so smooth for that perfect cat eye.  Cat eye is kinda my thing's what I do.  This eyeliner is just as good as the expensive ones I've used and it seriously lasts forever.  I only buy like 2 a year and I use it every day.  At $7 each I would say that's a huge deal!
Pricey comparison: Lancome Artliner $30

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara $7.99
So everyone knows that I'm a huge mascara snob.  I am very picky and I don't devote myself to a mascara easily.  This is THE BEST.  I repeat THE BEST drugstore mascara you can own.  It fans lashes out so perfectly I want to kiss myself.
Pricey comparison: Too Faced Better Than Sex $24

Milani Baked Blush in "Luminoso" $8.99
I have a blush obsession.  Seriously.  I think I have like 15 different blushes.  I found this blush and fell in love.
Pricey comparison: NARS blush in Orgasm $36 (it's my one true love so please know I don't make this suggestion lightly)

And because I'm me....I have to include skin care.  I have found two wonderful skin care products both by Garnier that I'm obsessed with.

And that is that.  Jen...I hope it helps.  I'll stay on the look out and keep you updated.  And to everyone else....I know.  I'm like the plain oatmeal in the variety pack.  You can use all the fancy ones but'll have to use me.  On second thought....I could also use that line on my Tinder profile.
For my awkward video....{.here you go}

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dear Anxiety Attack

Dear anxiety attack,
in thirty minutes you will be over, but for right now you are the eye of my own storm; raging winds, hailstones the size of my self-confidence, these tiny things.  You are the deadly change in my climate.   You are a nuclear warhead in my chest and I am growing so tired of having to tear the mass casualties from my rib cage every day.
You are the constant shake of my hands.
You are a machine that no one ever has the skill to fix when you fall to pieces inside me.  A constant groaning and grinding of gears in my brain that can never seem to be adjusted.
You are worry lines in the smiles people you exhaust besides only me.  I am tired of going to bed wondering if I've lost another part of myself today.  Wondering if I lost another person you affected.  You moved into my body, not theirs.  You could at least only burn down my forest.
You are sinking into a bathtub filled with ice water.  I grow accustomed to numbness and the wonder if I will be able to keep my head above the surface.
Dear anxiety attack,
in twenty minutes you will be over, but for right now you are a cave.  No sunlight and no life thrive here, only the decay of things that actually make me feel okay.  You say I am not allowed to have freedom.
You are restrictions I put upon myself.  When you whisper that my heart is already so full of you there is no room for anything else inside my weary bones.
You are bumping into someone and wondering for the rest of the evening if I left a bruise.
You are being forced to fight a vicious war scene.  A war scene where you are usually finished with me in thirty minutes; twenty of actual panic, and ten of bonus panic for knowing I let this happen again.
Dear anxiety attack,
in ten minutes you will be over.  You are the violating feeling that I have been assaulted and harassed and beaten without the marks on my body.
You are not sorry for this.
You will never be sorry for this.
I don't think you ever knew how to be sorry.
It's been thirty minutes.  I'm fine.
Just burn this letter after you read it.
I'll write you a new one next time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I was 17 the first time I was sexually assaulted.  I didn't know that's what it was at the time.  I also didn't realize this would be the first time.  Of many.
I was working my first real job at a pizza place and was the only female employee.  We changed into our uniforms at work.  I frequently dealt with my shift manager "jokingly" offering to help me get dressed or joining me to change.  Brushing up against me because the space was just "so small".  He would call me Tootsie and mention better shifts if I wanted to kiss him.
He was in his 30's.
I was 17.

The first time I was catcalled I was 12.  I was walking home from school and a man driving in his car slowed down to tell me that my "legs look good in that little skirt you're wearing".  That I should be careful wearing that type of outfit around older boys.

While I was an executive at Macy's I had several male employees make vulgar or sexually driven comments to me.  Comments such as:
"You're prime meat for a man in his early 40's.  He'd be all over you"
"I bet you're the type of girl who would want big mirrors in the bedroom huh?"
"That shade of lipstick you're wearing is very sexy"
" You're a very attractive woman.  If I wasn't married I'd date you in a heartbeat"
I was an executive.  I was smart, young, driven.  I was successful and yet my worth was still boiled down by men to my appearance.

Lets not even get started at the things I've experienced with male patients at the hospital.
- telling me I look pretty good in my scrubs
- telling me to lean over a little further when I'm drawing their blood so they can see a little more
- a patient looking me dead in the eyes while he masturbates.  I was taking his blood pressure.

I get asked about my dating life a lot.  When I say I'm not dating or am turned off by dating I get asked why.  I'll let everyone know right now why.  You meet a guy.  They're not like regular guys they always say.  They're good guys.  They are respectful.
And then after a couple dates you get texts like
"So do you shave your pussy?"
"Trust me, you'd want me to go down on you"
When you tell them you're not interested or you don't appreciate being talked to that way the response is
"I knew you were just a stuck up bitch"
"You're not that hot.  You should feel lucky I'd offer"
"Just another Mormon prude huh?  I thought you were chill"

I've told these stories before and have been told by men and women that I should be flattered.  Flattered.  Sexual comments and advances that are not reciprocated or asked for is assault.  There is nothing flattering about assault.  And what's even crazier to me is that instances like this are considered normal.  Even if the comments aren't necessarily vulgar or sexually driven it is still universally accepted that women exist for the pleasure of men.  That if we aren't grateful for their attention or their advances, we are just stuck up bitches.
These are just a few of my personal stories.  I have many more and I know many of my friends and families have them as well.  And these are just stories of sexual assault....not even rape.  More of my female friends have been raped than not.  I have struggled to express why I am so passionate about this topic.  Why I have been so vocal about my disgust with Donald Trump.  My absolute horror that anyone could still support him and respect him as a human being let alone as President of the United States.  The fact that Donald Trump would play off his vulgar and disgraceful remarks as "locker room talk" and that they are "just words" and people ACCEPT that is the PROBLEM.  When someone says it's normal and ok for a man to talk about a woman's body as something they  have a right to.....that is rape culture.   Rape culture is real.  If you need further proof...look at the hashtag #notokay on Twitter.  Millions of women have spoken out about their own sexual assaults.  Kelly Oxford, the woman who started the hashtag, said that if you saw these tweets as a ticker on a news station you would think there was a war on women.  Because there is.  It is not made up.  It is real.  It is a problem.  And it has to change.  Boys need to be taught women are to be respected.  Girls need to be taught that it is ok if you are not flattered by male advances.
This was not meant to be a political statement.  Obviously this has been a huge topic because of a political figure and his comments however it is much much bigger than that.  I encourage you to take these things into consideration. I would encourage you to speak out against sexual assault.  Read through the hashtag on Twitter, read my friend Shaina's brave and personal account.
Let's change this.  Let's start by not perpetuating this false belief that this is normal talk for men.  It is not.  It is not ok.  Women deserve better and deserve better than this reputation that they are all some testosterone crazed sex animals.
We are humans and we all deserve respect as such.
The end.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Making Weak Things Strong

I haven't updated my blog for a long time.  I think it's because I was feeling like my blog had taken such a serious turn.  I used to post funny fashion blogs, TV reviews...etc.  But I think once you feel comfortable enough to share who you are and be don't know how to do anything else.  Writing has always been an outlet for me.  I have an entire huge box of journals still packed away in a box in my parent's basement (NOT labeled journals so don't go looking for them Mom!)
I would write every single day.  Some are mundane...others are pages filled with injustices I felt I had experienced.  My preteen years were filled to the brim of injustices....obviously.  But writing helped me get all those feelings out.  So here I am again.  It kind of feels like visiting an old friend.  A friend who knows you completely and is willing to listen to everything you have to say without judgement.  So friend.....let's talk.
I feel like over the last couple of years I have completely transformed myself.  Physically, emotionally, spiritually.  I lost weight, I quit my job and started pursing nursing, I really rooted my testimony.  The last couple of months I have felt myself completely unravel.  There were a couple of experiences that started this feeling in motion.  It started to feel like a tiny ball of snow that started rolling down a hill and became a monstrous thing that I couldn't control.  Honesty?  Yes.  Let's go with honesty....
I lost control of my eating habits.  I felt myself gaining weight.  I could tell I was losing control of something I had been so proud of.   I didn't know how to get it back.
I shut myself out.  I stayed in my room for days alone.  I felt worthless.  I felt like there was no possible way anyone could love me or want to be around me.
I stopped reading my scriptures, saying my prayers, and going to church.
When I say I completely lost control....I meant it.
I have been, in a word, miserable.  But through the power of social media....I have been totally fine.  Bright, shiny, funny, full of life.  I've felt like I've been lying.  Almost like I had possessed the body of who I used to be so I was pretending to be that person but didn't actually know how.  All this was going on while I also watched friendships fall apart, came under a huge amount of financial stress, and had a couple of health issues.  Drowning.  Drowning is the only way I know how to describe it.
Tonight it all came to a head.   I knew I had to make a choice.  I knew I couldn't get anything back by continuing on the same road I had been on.  So I went back to the basics.  And I prayed.
Tonight was the first night I have understood the phrase "broken heart and a contrite spirit".  Every single part of my body inside and out have been hurting.  I apologized to my Heavenly Father for being so weak.  And the scripture came to mind...
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.  I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them"
Ether 12:27
We are here to be tried and tested.  We are here for a purpose.  We are here to become strong.  There is nothing wrong with weakness.  Weakness and emptiness allows us the opportunity to become strong.  To be filled with the spirit and love of the Lord.  I came across this picture and it has brought me so much peace
In every single dark moment...there is light.  The light that comes only from our Heavenly Father who knows us perfectly and loves us perfectly. 
I still don't know exactly how to get back to who I used to be....but maybe I'm not supposed to.  Maybe I'm supposed to just keep going and changing and become someone else totally new. 
Someone who is maybe just a little stronger. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

To The Man Who Will Love Me Someday....

To the man who will love me someday,
I don't know who you are right now and that's ok.   I just wanted to give you some advice before you sign up for me.  We both know I'm pretty cool and that's probably why you like me.  However, there are some things you should know about me.  The times when I am a little less cool.
I will have rough days.  I don't know if you've ever lived with someone who suffers from anxiety.  I don't know if you've ever had to come home and comfort a person you love from an invisible monster that lives inside them.  If anxiety were a visible illness, you could see the scars from the battles I fight on a daily basis and the bruises from when my anxiety is beating me up inside.  You can't though.  You just have to trust I'm fighting every day to be the best version of myself for me and for you.
If I'm really honest with myself, I'm not even sure you exist.  I'm not sure there is such a person who would be willing to sign up for the mess I can be sometimes.  The thought of that type of relationship is exciting but also terrifying.  My fear is that everything that comes with the human being that is me is going to drive you away someday.  That even if I do ever meet you, that you won't stay around for very long.  I can't control it.  And that scares me too.  I understand most of the time it's the anxiety being fearful, telling me I'm not worthy of the love of someone.  I know anxiety is a liar.  I am worth being loved.  In fact, the blessing and curse of being able to feel things so incredibly deeply means that I will love you deeply.  My passion, compassion, and empathy will make me a great partner and great mom to the kids we may have someday.  I just need to be reminded of that on the days when I'm overcome by the anxiety.
I'm sorry that sometimes I will lack the ability to use my words.  I will wish I could explain to you why I'm feeling the way I'm feeling and what drives me into feeling that way.  Nine times out of 10 I can't pin down the reason.  Sometimes all I can do to help is share articles written by others who have gone through the same thing.
One last thing...I know this will affect you.  I know you'll want to help but you might not be able to.  I know it can be frustrating.  A lot of times my anxiety can come across as needy, pushy, obsessive.  Please take the extra time to understand why I'm acting that way and know me well enough to know I would never do any of that intentionally.  Many of the things I say and do should be attached with the hashtag "anxiety".  Laugh with me on the good days, let me cry on the bad ones.  I have other things about me that you'll also inevitably find annoying - the loud volume and voice I use to listen to rap music, my loud laugh ,the times I may take too much Benadryl and get a little weird...
as long as the anxiety doesn't make you run away, we can work through the rest of the things too.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Guy-free Week

This post has been a long time coming.  Mostly because nursing school sucks the life out of you and when you have free time (which you get maybe 25 minutes of every 2 weeks) all you want to do is sleep.  That being said....I have something important that I want to talk about.  Guys, boys, dudes, bros, men, males.  
All of the above.  More specifically, women's relationships with them.
Being 29 and and unmarried and being surrounded by women who are close to my same age and also unmarried, dating is a huge topic of discussion.  Dates we're going on, guys we want to date, past relationships, possible future relationships, etc.  It dominates conversations.  I don't think there's anything wrong with talking about dating.  It's fun and trust me...we've had more than a few laughs at some unfortunate situations we've been put in as well as some of the unfortunate men we've invited into our lives.  A few weeks ago I was feeling very introspective.  I get that way sometimes when I'm feeling particularly anxious.  I kind of take inventory of what is going on and what could be contributing to some of the anxiety.  I realized that I put a lot of pressure on myself to be dating.  To be honest I am not really dating at all.  I like to say it's because I'm so busy and focused on school work but full disclosure, I am also not being asked on dates.  I don't say that to make myself seem sad or pitiful.  I really am ok because I am incredibly focused on school and work and I have a great group of close friends who I completely adore.  But sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly vulnerable, I start to blame myself for not being asked on dates.  And it's always the same reason: I'm just not enough.  Enough being whatever I'm feeling insecure about that day: pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough, entertaining enough, fun enough, mature enough, adventurous get the picture.
So I thought to can I take some pressure off and let some of this go?  So I initiated "guy free week".  Guy free week had a few rules- the first rule of guy free week is you don't talk about guy free week (ha ha I'm hilarious).
The real rules of guy free week included:
- No talking about dating
- You could text guys but you could not hang out with them
- No talking about guys or venting about anything frustrating they were doing or not doing
For a week.  Sounds easy right? We are all strong independent women.  We have hopes and dreams and aspirations.  Career goals.  Big personalities.  We had other things to talk about! was easier for some than for others (I won't name names...) and there's nothing wrong with that... but the results for me were incredible.  I was way more focused and driven than I've been in a long time.  I felt less stressed.  I felt physically lighter and like I was enjoying every day of my life more.  Now I can't really say that having guy free week was the only reason.  Maybe I was getting more sleep or maybe I was just feeling more confident- but I do know that I realized that I was being much more affected by the dating obsession than I thought I was.  Which lead me to do some thinking....
We as women have been ingrained with the idea that we live for the attention of men, from a very early age.  So many of the movies I grew up watching centered around the plot line that a woman had to change herself in order to catch that special guys eye.  Magazine covers STILL entice with promises of giving you "13 Amazing Tips to Make Him Want You".  They usually involve flirting demurely, how to dress to slim your body, and wear enough make up to be alluring but not too obvious (guys don't like a lot of make up you know).  I've heard things from people around me: don't cut your hair because guys like long hair, guys like a good butt so make sure to do your squats, wearing high heels will make you more feminine and attractive to men.  Be spontaneous - guys want a girl who will go on adventures with them, but also show that you're reliable because men want a steady woman at home to raise the children.  Be funny, but don't act like the center of attention because men don't want to be with a show off.  Eat hamburgers and pizza because guys like a girl who can eat, but not too much because then you'll seem like a slob.  I know this may seem dramatic to some but it's the reality of the world we live in.  Yes, it's getting better.  Women are being more empowered to be who they are and to not live for the attention of men, but sometimes I feel like it's still this looming expectation (especially in the place I live...). 
I just hope that every woman in my life will understand their real worth.  That they will understand that the attention of men is not defining.  Yes, it's nice.  Don't get me wrong, there is something really nice about having that guy in your life that is different than your other relationships.  But I hope that none of the people I love ever feel like if they don't have that - they are lacking something, or that they need it to function. Find out who you are without it.  Explore by yourself, go on trips, discover a new hobby or talent. Do you!
 I am so proud of the strong women in my life and for the support I've received from others.  My mom (God bless that woman) even said to me the other day "I'm glad you aren't dating.  You are doing more with your life and have more to focus on right now.  I want all your focus to be on school" and my heart burst with gratitude.  My parents have never put pressure on me to date.  For a long time I thought that my parents also didn't think I was pretty enough to be dating (I know guys....I'm  in therapy for a reason)  but hearing them tell me that I am more than dating was relieving.  Dating is fun.  I love dating!  I just don't ever want dating or not dating to define me.  And I hope it won't define any other woman either.  
Also I highly suggest guy free week.  You might be surprised by the results.  
However if this guy ever shows up......

immediately end guy free week.  That is a command.  

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Resolutions

Here we are again.  As we've done in years previous....let's do a quick recap of the last couple of years resolutions....

I started off strong in 2014

And last year was pretty good...and I feel good about how much I accomplished in 2015.

So here's the reveal of my 2016 resolutions (because I know you've been dying to know).

Last year I learned a lot about myself and I grew a lot.  In 2016 the focus is going to be enjoying things more.  Last year all the changes and hard times were really stressful and I think I forgot to enjoy the beauty of life.  So that's what I plan to do more in 2016.  Keep working on myself and enjoy it!
Happy New Year everyone!!!

P.S. A resolution of mine is always to get through the entire movie "The Dark Crystal" which I've never done because it scares me.  I tried this year.  I got 15 minutes in.  There's always 2017.
Also you can check out previous New Year resolutions HERE
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