Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks and Giving

One of the things that I like most about Thanksgiving is the fact that most everyone stops to take a moment to express gratitude.

Time and energy aren't spent fixated on wishes, wants, needs or dreams, but rather focused on being happy with what is currently in our lives. Whether you are deeply thankful for friends, family, possessions, your career, good health, free will or the fact that the internet exists - it is one of the few times a year you express your love and happiness with all those shining things you have in your wonderful life.

Be thankful and be in the spirit of giving this holiday weekend and if you decide to hit the stores for bargains, please shop safely and do your best to spread joy, cheer (and glitter!) with each step you take.


Oh - and let's all say these things more often.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

TED Tuesday: How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over

Okay. Seriously - I know that you all can't always watch the entire TED video but I really want you to watch this one.

Last night I found it and started it - I was passively listening, scrolling instagram and starting to take down notes for you. A few minutes in, I couldn't ignore the passion and conviction in the voice of Mel Robbins and needed to start the video back at the beginning to give it the attention it deserved. It's worth your time.

Mel is a radio host, reality show host, relationship expert and a woman who boasts having the ability to help you get anything and anywhere you want. Would you believe that she can help you ?

Let's begin there ... What do you want?

Want a hot body, or double your income, retire 5 years earlier, take a year off and travel, settle down and start a family?

What is it that you're after? What's standing in your way?

We live in an age where everyone has access to  any information that they want to acquire - via books, blogs, videos - you have everything you need, so why don't you have what you want?

I think Mel has a point when she says that first thing you'll have to do before getting after your dreams is to drop this 4 letter F-Bomb from your vocabulary because it's cheap, dirty and it's ruining your life. 
You read that right - "Fine". It's a disgusting word that you need to stop using immediately.

Of course "fine" is the perfect word because it alleviates you of having to do anything to change your situation. But that's not going to get you to your goals, dreams and ambitions.

When you use the word "fine", you're not only using it to mask your emotions to others, you're using it to hide your feelings from yourself too. And the saddest part is that you believe it.

It's simple to get what you want, but not easy!

You need to stop hitting your snooze button; metaphorically and literally (#DirtyhairDontCare).

As Mel suggests, try these three things:
  • Force yourself out of your head - don't listen to that jerk in your head, you wouldn't be friends with someone who spoke to you that way.
  • Force yourself past your feelings - If you listen to how you feel, you will never get what you want.
  • Force yourself outside of your comfort zone - outside this bubble of yours is where you greet the challenge and the magic takes place. 
TEDx conferences are the best, thanks for watching!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Some Mondays Aren't That Bad

Hey, we're back again for another week already?

I suppose this Monday doesn't look SO bad with only three days in the office - we may as well say that it's hump day. Get excited!!

I'm looking forward to a wonderful week as I get to see my dear friend Amanda for dinner Tuesday night AND get to cat-sit Holly's brother for the entire week. 

Sigh - I do actually have to work (a little) on Thursday and Friday due to my involvement with our Canadian friends up north - you know, since they already had their Thanksgiving. I don't have to go all the way in to work so that's a plus, and maybe being at home with the golden retriever sisters and the smell of a paleo thanksgiving will make it seem like play. At least the wine and/or cider will make me feel that way.

The weekend was a blur and I don't even feel like I can give a decent recap.

Saturday's highlight was a kick-face 2lb paleo meatloaf that I'll be making weekly, no matter what time of year. This trial loaf was more about the taste than the presentation - but I promise you'll get the recipe + a photo and can see what I mean for yourself.

Ha, does 2 pounds of meatloaf sound like a lot for a single girl on Thanksgiving week? #Sorrynotsorry I'll have you know that it could already be gone by now but instead it's secure in tupperware to ensure  portioning and rationing through Wednesday! Eat more, build more.

On Sunday, mom and I got together for a 2 hour Paleo seminar with this guy and learned some great information about the science behind why Paleo + lifting heavy things is good for you  and how to let your body work with you, not against you!

Plug for my co-worker: If you are looking for a special gift for a friend and love Stella and Dot Jewelry, check out that link and get shopping!

Now get to work!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy to See You, Friday!

Cheers to the last blogging Friday in November!

(oops, did I just hurl us a week closer to Christmas? You bet I did!)

What's one thing that's been going extremely well for me lately in my new lifestyle?

Eating and exercise.

No more take-out Chinese, no more mac n' cheese, no more glass of milk to wash down a row of Oreo's.

Just look at all of the yummy things I've been eating thanks to meal prep and planning ahead. 

Of course I'm saying this publicly right before Thanksgiving weekend where indulgence is a must, but this year I'm thankful that mom is even more paleo than I am and there will be meats and veggies a'plenty!

{Plus All of the Water!!!!!}

Tis' the season to start thinking about gifts for loved ones, things to pamper myself with and ways to make better in the world.

While we ponder on that, you can check out these links!

  • 31 GIFs That Will Make You Laugh Every Time (especially #8)

  • When I reach a goal  of mine in the upcoming month(s) I'm treating myself to this

  • Ahh love this - crazy dinosaur antics while the kids sleep

  • Next time brother is in town we are doing this

  • Do you follow a female d-bag on instagram

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hurts So Good

Will you promise to not make fun of me for not wanting to move today after a beating from Brooke's Workout Wednesday circuit yesterday?

She shares a workout every Wednesday (clever alliteration, Brooke!) and this is the first one I've gone all out with and actually made a point to follow her sage advice. Did you know she is studying to be a Personal Trainer? Yeah - you should listen to her.

However, I did a few variations as she suggested:

10 Push Ups = 10 Squats holding two 5lb dumbells in front of me

15 Kettlebell Swings = I don't have a kettlebell so I used those same 5lb dumbells!

20 Alternating Reverse Lunges = I read this wrong and actually did 30, plus after each lunge I brought that back foot up to a front knee raise (for balance) followed by a shoulder press with 5lb dumbells in each hand.

This was after my favorite 20 minute treadmill workout, so I was happy to get both cardio and strength in yesterday.

This morning, however I was sore. I got out of bed and immediately grabbed my trusty foam roller and went to town.

If you don't have one already, I recommend investing in a Foam Roller and checking out some YouTube videos for what the heck you should do with it.

This short 4 minute video of a Foam Rolling Routine should really take 15-20 minutes - all of which I allotted for myself this morning.

Thanks as always for the workout, Brooke! #HurtsSoGood #HappySweating

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What You Should Know About a Scorpio

Hello to all of my Scorpio (and non-Scorpio) friends out there!

If you were born between October 23rd and November 22nd, stand up and be proud to be a poised and ambitious creature by day, then a mysterious and intuitive creature by night. 

If you weren't, I'll take a guess that you know a powerfully charismatic Scorpio and you don't know exactly how to treat them.

Thankfully there are several resources out there on the internet about us bat-shit crazy passionate human beings, so I thought I'd help to consolidate a list for you here today.

First off, let's get the facts straight.

Positive Traits:

  • Determined

  • Fearless

  • Self Assured

  • Appealing

  • Magnetic

  • Poised

  • Loyal

  • Ambitious

  • Intuitive

  • Strength of purpose

Negative Traits:

  • Jealous

  • Secretive

  • Possessive

  • Crafty - good or bad?

  • Resentful

  • Controlling

  • okay, so there were more but I'm leaving you to go research on your own.

I've always been proud to be a Scorpio and embrace the qualities that are so spot on that I can't even deny the worst of the negatives.

We are a strong and we know it - but there are a few ways to treat us to make sure you're on our good side.
Here are my favorites from the link: How to Treat a Scorpio

#2 Scorpios like to hear you talk about yourself rather than talking about themselves.

#5 What Scorpios appreciate is when you treat them with respect, give them 100% and they will give it back

#6 Don't get a Scorpio mad at you - period.

#8 Scorpios are sexy and they know it.

#14 Scorpios love to compete and win!

#17 Scorpios want you to love them, trust them, compliment them, show you care about them, be selfless and make them feel special.

So - go out there and show all your beloved Scorpio friends how much you care!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TED Tuesday: Why We Love

Today we are going to let Helen Fisher talk to us about love.

I almost feel like this topic is on my blog a little too soon, but I'm happy to share it with you today.

You may have noticed the recent change in my life, blog headers and the absence of any mention of the man I used to call 'my wonderful boyfriend'. It's true, we are no longer together.

It's also true that my priorities were very wrong the past year with non-stop devotion to work, compulsive running and an enthusiastic  dive into the blogging world. It's true that we fell out of what I thought was love and it's true that I was often misleading to you here in this space with how happy we were together. It's true that I've hurt a wonderful man and true that hindsight really is 20/20.

Our separation in the short term has hurt through many of my actions and some of his words - but in the long term I hope that both of us can strive to find a romantic love, like the one that Helen speaks to in today's 23 minute video.

Let's take the focus away from me now and switch the lens to our video today - talking about the 'simplicity' of Romantic love.

Throughout this life you will find one person (and maybe many people) who captivate you, mesmerize you and turn your world upside down. All of your focus and all of your thoughts are fixated on this person. Not only is this person perfect in your eyes, but no matter their visible faults and undeniable baggage you are able to look beyond the bad and fixate on the qualities which you adore, admire and hope to have in a lifetime partnership. 

Helen reminds us that romantic love is an intense craving. Much more than a sexual attraction, you emotionally and willfully give your everything to another. You share secrets, you motivate, you support. Even more innocently you want this person to call you on the phone, to invite you out to dinner, tell you how much they care about you.

If you have found romantic love, you've unlocked a powerful human emotion that has been a part of our lives since the start of human existence.

If you haven't found it - don't be ashamed to want it in this meaningful and important lifetime of yours.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Year 26 - Let's Go

What a birthday weekend it was. I am always so surprised and feel so warm and fuzzy inside with all of the birthday love that I get from family, friends and even old college course group-mates that you never thought you'd hear from again.

Before I go on about my weekend.... Happy Birthday to my mom!!! Another year older and definitely another year wiser.

Now to the weekend - all kinds of low key adventures made my time over the past three days well-spent.

Of course a birthday wouldn't have been a birthday without a cool morning run - and happily with few distractions I did one of my quicker runs than I've done in a while. Dropping my goal to only 50 miles has proved to give me fresher legs each time I hit the pavement and a brighter outlook for 5 miles rather than 10-15!

What other things made up my birthday weekend? Let me share!

Saucebox Happy Hour with a fun group of fellow Portland ladies: LauraAshley BrookeJane and Rachel.

Coming home to an amazing surprise CLEAN job (THANKS MOM!) including new bedding.

A 90 minute massage with one of Portland's finest (Book today!)

Great dinner and time with parents at one of our SE favorites - Hopworks

Getting to see what all the hype is about Uptown Market with Brooke and Brad

Awesomely stayed in bed till 1:30pm on Sunday (missed spin class and early run plans - oh well!)

Went to Costco to get THIS GUY (strapped in for safety) You can get one too for under $30 while supplies last!

Week's Meat and vegetable prep, with an amazing taco salad for dinner

And... went to bed at a decent time Sunday night to get myself in the right mindset for another long week ahead.

I can't thank you enough for all of the birthday love and I'm hoping this year will be as good as everyone wishes it'll go!

Friday, November 15, 2013

It Happened at Midnight

No Judgement allowed, but do you want to know what I did with my Thursday night?

First I went to Costco, where I almost got a pair of Red Hunters for $75 but wanted the gloss finish and they didn't have it in my size. Then I saw the oversized 37" tall stuffed panda's and wanted one SO badly because I'm a little needy for cuddles lately - but didn't want to get him wet in the rain. I left Costco with 2 pantry boxes of gum because I'm a gum fiend - then spent an hour and a half in traffic back across town. #FirstWorldProblems

Yes, I do plan to get that Panda soon

After what seemed like so much running around I got home and napped with the light on and my shoes still on - even though I had a big night of a workout, laundry and silly TV on the agenda.

When I woke up around 8:30 I was still not productive like I'd planned to be, and instead got stuck on my laptop checking out Buzzfeed, reading blogs and microwaving my dinner. Before I knew it - it was 11:50pm and I had a this unstoppable craving for some peppermint ice cream. I wouldn't have driven to get the magical flavor but since my 24-hour grocery store is only 2 blocks away I literally had no excuse. When I got home, peppermint and I had a date. All in all, a good night.

Cool story, Jessi.

Here's something for everyone!

ALSO - Snapchat is fun.  Brooke and Brad know my antics and you can see them too: JumpingJE

Have a great weekend and Happy Birthday to me!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How Have We Not Mentioned my Birthday?

Well this is embarrassing.

I'm not sure how this slipped through the cracks oh yeah, probably the month-long blogging hiatus but Saturday is the day to celebrate my 26th year on this earth! 

You would think that since it's a Saturday birthday for a city girl that I'd have plans to be wined and dined, hit the town in my dancing shoes and come home so late that I'd be greeting the sunrise as I fumbled my way through my front door.

That might sound fun for some of you wild and still ready to party people out there - the honest truth is that my introverted self is looking forward to something a little calmer.

  • Work Lunch Here

  • Blate Here (blog date)

  • Running

  • 90 minute massage

  • Closet cleaning (to make room for new things, duh!)

  • Birthday weekend family time

Exciting weekend + other non-birthday related activities that won't leave me exhausted for Monday will help to carry on my happy, relaxed and productive lifestyle I've been living.

Just as proof that I'm not the party animal I once was, one of the amazing adult birthday presents I'm so excited about from mom and dad is a windshield replacement! My poor car has had a huge gash on her pretty face since the summer.

And hey, if you want to get me a present I won't stop you!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Morning Latte

So let me tell you a story about this morning.

I left the house later than usual. Why?

  • I hit the snooze several times

  • I did a mini 15 minute wake-up workout

  • I took the time to actually do my hair

  • I steamed my shirt to reduce the wrinkles

  • I cleaned out my handsome betta's bowl

  • I emptied the dishwasher... no wait - I didn't do that yet.

Because I left a bit later, traffic was more congested than usual - even with all of the sneaky shortcuts I have to get through town in a traffic jam.

This situation would have put old me (circa 4 months ago) into a fit of panic.

"I'm late! I'm going to be so behind! I have a mountain of work at my desk! It's going to be such a stressful day!"

Today, however - I handled it the same way that I've been handling it the past 5 weeks - by stopping in to Peet's coffee shop for an almond milk latte.

Doesn't this just make me more late? Yes it does. But to me the "late" doesn't apply anymore like it used to.

The latte is a symbol of freedom, a sign of a relaxed attitude, a person who can stroll in to the office with her hands cradled around a warm latte and say "Hello! Good morning! Happy Hump Day!".

That mountain of work I used to stress about is still there, but the way I have learned to approach it is so much more productive and present.

This latte isn't just a latte - it's just one of the many signs of a new and improved version of me.

Monday, November 11, 2013

TED Tuesday: Mindful of the Moment

Ready for a good TED Talk?

First, do me a favor and think very hard of the last time you did simply n o t h i n g. No phone, no laptop, no worrying, no planning, no chores - nothing. 

Can you think of a time? It's pretty hard for me as well and even thinking about thinking nothing seems like it would be difficult.

My brain and probably yours too is always turned on. Unfortunately we have done ourselves a huge disservice by not allowing rest for our minds every once in a while. We have somehow convinced ourselves that no brain 'down-time' is okay and just a part of the world that we live in. That instead of mental health we should focus our attention on physical health, appearance and social lives. Mental health is just as critical as food, water, air, love and self worth.

The present moment is so valuable and yet so underrated. Sadly, what we miss out on when we are not mindful of the moment is life itself. We ignore the here and now and are distracted by the clouds and veils of stress, responsibility, emotions and simple anxiety. 

In the quiet moments that I've experienced over the past month I've learned how critical it is to let your mind sit in the back seat and to allow your senses to take over. Seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting, smelling - you can be so present when you abandon worries and fears - do yourself a favor and allow the human experience take over, if only for just 10 minutes a day. 

[ted id=1640]

Redefining Priorities

Hello and Happy Monday, friends and family!

Also hello to all of Brooke's friends that are checking in because she put me on blast today!

Thank you for understanding my temporary pause from blogging as I've experienced some big changes in my world over the past month. Like any change, it takes time to understand yourself and who you are, but most importantly the changes I've experienced have been a catalyst to help me realize the important things that truly matter. Things like love, friendships, trust, mental health, balance.

I am happy, healthy and enjoying some well-deserved time to focus on myself. The me that was writing before was burning the candle at both ends, working too hard and placing too much pressure on workouts, blogging and being everyone's everything.

The new me that's writing today comes in to work 2 hours later (and I'm still the 3rd person in the building), stops and gets a coffee before coming in to work, only has a running goal of 50 miles a month (half!), is doing strength training, is drinking ALL THE WATER, and only has that little twitchy eye once in a blue moon. This girl also took an entire week of work off in October. This girl feels balanced.

Speaking of balance, this weekend was a perfect example of what is important to me. Coffee dates, girl chats and much overdue real-talk with some of my closest ladies who probably have felt neglected the past year as my life has gotten career-crazy.

Sit back, smell the fresh roast and thank you for sticking around and supporting me.