Thanksgiving Traditions

It’s that time of year! Thanksgiving time. I’m gearing up to head back to my parents’ house tomorrow night for 5 days of pure bliss. But in order to get there I need to drive through some of the craziest weather. Yesterday it was 72, tomorrow we could see up to 6 inches of snow! I could go on a rant here about global warming and the environment but I won’t. I’m leaving work at noon, running aka taking the metro back to my house, picking up my cat, and driving to my parents’. What should only take me 2.5 hours will almost certainly take me at least 4. I’m hoping to get home in time to have a belated birthday dinner with my family.

But all of this is really building up to the big day. Turkey day. It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year, second only to Christmas. The funny thing is my family really doesn’t have any set Thanksgiving day traditions. My grandma alternates every spending Thanksgiving on the East Coast with my family or spending it in Chicago with my aunts and uncles. On the years she’s here we might host Thanksgiving at my parents’, other times we head to my aunt and uncles’ house. A few years we went to a family friends place where they hosted a HUGE Thanksgiving dinner of at least 70 people. Another year we went to my best friend’s home. Every year our plans are different.

We jump from people to people, home to home every year. But I don’t feel like I’m missing out on any time honored traditions. It’s fun to do something new every Thanksgiving. We get to see new people, eat different dishes, enjoy other families’ traditions.

I guess the one tradition my family keeps is being surrounded by love. No matter where we enjoy the holiday we are always accompanied by the amazing people in our lives we are lucky enough to call our friends. On Thanksgiving the most important thing is not the food, drinks or football, but the people we spend the day with. The company we keep. The conversations we have. I could not be more thankful for all the special people I have in my life. And I am truly lucky to get to spend a fabulous holiday with even a select few of them.

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25 Years Old

Hey guess what? I am 25! My birthday was last week and I am officially a quarter of a century old. Time seems to be seriously flying by. It feels like only a couple weeks ago that I turned 24. But then again so much has changed in a year. I quit my first “big girl” job. I started a new job. I moved to a new city. Moved into a house with strangers. I’m moving again in just a few weeks. Things are so different than they were a year ago, but they feel good.

I thought 25 would feel old. When I was little 25 seemed so mature. 25 was when you got married and started a family. 25 was when you had your own place or even bought a house. 25 was an adult. A grown up.

But now I am 25 and it doesn’t seem that old. I feel like a mixture between youthful and mature. I’m not as naive or crazy as I was at 21. But I’m also not mature enough to start a family. I have a better sense of who I am but there are still aspects of myself that I am exploring and coming to terms with. I have goals for my career but I still have a lot of work to reach them.

All in all though, being 25 has been pretty good so far. I have a wonderful support system of friends  and family. I’m in a city I love. I have a boyfriend who brings me more happiness than I ever thought possible. And a kitty who makes me smile everyday. I think 25 is off to a pretty damn good start!

Who Do You Want To Be

I’m a big believer of goals and lists (which is why I love my 101 list so much!). I constantly have a to do list going. I always make New Year’s resolutions. I love the feeling of crossing something off my 101 list. Hitting milestones is fun and rewarding.

The idea of a bucket list intrigues me, although I have never actually created one. But typically budget lists seem to have events included. Backpack across Europe. Start my own business. Raise kids. Adopt a puppy. These are all wonderful goals and will certainly be rewarding, I am contemplating a different kind of bucket list.

A bucket list of the type of person you want to be. Less of a checklist of events and more of a yardstick for growth. What qualities do I want to see in myself as I get older? What characteristics to I want to embody? How do I make sure I fulfill these goals?

Here are some ideas of who I want to be:

  • compassionate
  • selfless
  • caring
  • confident
  • open minded
  • loving (of both myself and others)
  • environmentally conscious
  • healthy
  • creative
  • ambitious
  • content

Can I successfully embody all of these ideas? Certainly I don’t think I can be all of these things, all together, all the time. I will never be perfect. But striving to reach these goals helps to put things into perspective. Are the actions I am taking helping me reach these goals? Am I being stagnant or am I growing toward becoming a caring, confident, open minded, etc. person? What changes do I need to make in order to become more content? How do I need to alter my thought process in order to be more ambitious? What research do I need to do in order to be more environmentally conscious.

I hope by creating this type of list I am motivated to continue to grow. This is not the type of list where I will cross things off over time (I am creative check!) but instead a list I will continue to keep in the back of my mind to have something to strive for.

What characteristics do you hope to embody in your life? Do think keeping a mental or physical list of these qualities is helpful? Let me know!

Currently…

TGIF! Honestly, I can’t believe it’s already the middle of November. Next week is my 25th birthday! After that is Thanksgiving and then next thing you know it’s December and the Christmas season is in full swing. Where does the time go?

I hope you all have wonderful plans for this weekend. I will be making the trip up to my boyfriend’s place to spend the weekend with him. Hopefully I can convince him to go see Interstellar (I somehow just found out about this movie and I’m dying to see it). We also have plans to make a hearty crockpot meal and maybe do some organizing around his house (I seriously love organizing).

Wreath Doorsource

Here is my “currently” list. I am…

watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. A couple weeks ago Netflix added the entire series of Gilmore Girls and it was like Christmas came early! I loved Gilmore Girls when it was on originally and it’s been so fun rewatching the entire series. I’m on season 2 right now when Jess first appears (Rory & Jess 4eva <3).

drinking chamomile tea. I just went to Whole Foods a few days ago and picked up some chamomile tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of water at work, but at night I want something with a bit more flavor. I’ve been trying to cut back on juices and soda so tea is the perfect solution! Plus the chamomile is very soothing before bed.

listening to Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red. The Christmas season has already started in my mind so I’m listening to Christmas music! Kelly Clarkson’s album is an absolute favorite of mine. She released it last year and it quickly shot up to the top of my list. Underneath the Tree could quite possibly be my favorite Christmas song of all time (shh…don’t tell Mariah Carey).

eating greek yogurt with pecans. I usually have yogurt at least once a day. It’s an easy lunch or snack so I find myself bringing some to work nearly everyday. Eating yogurt everyday though can become a bit blah, so I’ve started adding pecans for an extra crunch and texture. Seriously changed my yogurt game, so good!

lusting after this adorable print and this sweet treat!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

How Not to Be a Crazy Girlfriend

Last night I was talking on the phone with one of my best friends in the entire world. She was telling me about a recent issue she was having with her boyfriend. She explained the issue to me and said she talked to her boyfriend about the problem. She mentioned that when she spoke with her boyfriend about this problem she qualified her issues by saying things like “I don’t want to seem overbearing” or “I’m not sure if I’m off base.” My friend was concerned that maybe she was overreacting. That she was seeming too clingy. That see was acting like the crazy girlfriend.

As soon as she admitted those fears to me, I knew the feeling all too well. I had immediate flashbacks to arguments and discussions with my boyfriend early in our relationship. I would tend to qualify my feelings with the same sentiments. “I don’t know if I should be mad about this.” “I don’t want to control you.” “I don’t want to blow this out of proportion.” I was very concerned about being the crazy girlfriend. Whenever I had an issue in my relationship or with my boyfriend I seconded guessed myself, I questioned my own sanity.

Because no one wants to be that crazy girlfriend. We all know who she is. The girlfriend that keeps tabs on her man at all times. Who doesn’t allow him a boys night out. Who climbs all over him and sits in his lap. Who texts him nonstop. Who calls 7 times in a row. Who questions him about every girl he ever speaks to. Who needs constant reassurance her guy is hers and only hers. Who starts a fight about everything. You know, the girl who is loathed and made fun of by all men and scorned by women for giving us all a bad name.

The fear of being the crazy girlfriend is inside all of us I think. So in order to avoid being crazy we qualify our feelings. We question our emotions. We allow problems to go on too long because we are scared bringing them up will make us insane.

But guess what? Acknowledging your emotions and discussing them in a calm way is not being crazy. It’s called being a human with emotions. It’s called being an adult who can discuss those emotions in a healthy way.

Here is a list of things that can be considered crazy:

  • Locking a guy in a house and never letting him leave
  • Kidnapping a guy for talking to another girl
  • Breaking a guy’s legs so he can’t run away
  • Handcuffing yourself to a guy so you can never be separated

Here is a list of things that are decidedly not crazy:

  • Acknowledging your feelings and emotions
  • Expressing your feelings and emotions to your partner
  • Asking for a mature discussion about problems and issues you are having within your relationship
  • Wanting recognition and understanding of your emotions from your partner
  • Looking for compromise about issues and problems from your partner

Relationships are a two way street. You should be able to freely discuss your feelings with your partner without being labeled as a crazy person. You should not feel ashamed of your emotions. Emotions are a normal part of human existence. Accept them. Love them. And discuss them with your significant other. I promise you, you will not be crazy if you do.

Skincare Routine

I have recently gotten into a consistent skincare routine. I am very guilty of being sporadic with my skincare in the past. There have been an innumerable amount of nights I have gone to bed without washing my face. For a long time I rarely, if ever, used moisturizer. I had no idea what toner was (I’m still not really 100% sure). Bottom line: I was not very nice to my skin.

That has all changed now! I’m a whole new woman when it comes to skincare. The trick was 1) get to the point where I actually cared and 2) find a simple routine that didn’t feel overwhelming. I think I’ve found the perfect routine for me that makes my skin look great and makes me feel beautiful!

1. I always start my routine off with rinsing my face with warm water. In fact, in the mornings that’s all I do. I no longer wash my face in the mornings since at most you should be washing your face just twice a day. I give my skin a break in the morning from soap and scrubs by keeping it simple with warm water.

2. At night I remove my makeup with these Say Yes to Cucumber face wipes. They’re perfect for removing makeup and grime quickly and easily.

3. About 3 to 4 times a week I use Lush’s Ocean Salt scrub on my face. It makes my skin feel incredibly smooth and fresh and buffs away any dead skin. This scrub is also great for your hands and feet. Seriously, they make everything feel so soft!

4. For my nighttime moisturizer I use Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic. I found out about this product from Unfancy and it is so amazing! It feels a little heavy and dewy when you put it on which is why I only use it at night, but it seriously works some magic in those 8 hours. I wake up every morning with my skin feeling fresh. I’m sure it will be my secret weapon this winter when my skin really dries out.

5. In the mornings after I rinse with warm water, I dry off and apply a bit of rosewater as toner (again at the advice from Caroline from Unfancy). Rosewater is supposed to even out your skin tone and give it a bit of radiance. I’m not sure if it actually does that, but the smells is heavenly and it certainly acts as a fresh start to my day so I’m all for it!

6. The final, and most important, step in my routine is sunscreen. I am very pale and I burn so easily. My freckles really pop out in the summer and skin cancer runs in my family. For all those reasons wearing sunscreen year round is super important to me. I like this Neutrogena kind since it doesn’t feel oily or heavy.

What’s your skincare routine like? Have any miracle products you want to recommend?

Awaken the Mind

I was doing my usual browsing of the internet last night and I came across this video of Russell Brand.

I admit I am not a Russell Brand fan. I don’t know him for much other than his crazy hair and that he used to be married to Katy Perry. But this video…oh my gosh! The man spouts a mountain of knowledge. I am not a religious person and I am not very spiritual either, but a lot of what Russell mentions in this video strikes a chord with me. How our time is fleeting. How our interactions matter. How love is the most important thing.

I am now officially obsessed with reading more about Russell and his beliefs. I am completely intrigued and my mind has been running all day with thoughts about the Universe and humans’ (and more specifically my) role within that Universe.

Watch Russell’s video above and tell me what you think!