Being Mindful

Most of us spend our entire lives living in the past or future.

We start thinking, “how could I have changed the scenario” instead of focusing on the present. We get lost thinking so many thoughts that we don’t concentrate on what’s happening NOW. And, I’m guilty of doing this because on my drive to work, all I can think about is how I think my day will pan out instead of focusing on the trees, plants, landmarks and the other cars surrounding me. I also get so lost into thinking what I need to do after work, what tasks I need to get done at work and what I’m having for dinner.

Here’s the thing: you can train your mind to start thinking in the moment. It won’t be easy because our mind often wanders., but it’s definitely feasible.

So, next time you’re eating, pay attention to the taste, how the texture feels, how it feels in your mouth and how much chewing it takes.

Next time you’re driving, pay attention to the cars, scenery and your overall surroundings.

Next time you’re washing your hands, pay attention to how your hands feel, the temperature of the water and how the soap feels in your hands.

Just learn how to be more mindful and stop trying to figure out what your next move is. We need to focus on our breathe and learn how to concentrate on what’s happening NOW.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Dear Future Daughter

Dear Future Daughter:

I'm writing to you before I find out if I can have children, before I'm engaged, and before I'm ready to have children. There's so much I want you to know about this world, your daddy and what kind of man we want you to be with. I could be jumping the gun a little bit here with your daddy, but he's told me asking my hand in marriage is just a few months away. And, I'm not planning or wishing for it to come true. Instead, I'm taking it day-by-day and enjoying my time with him.

I'm going to tell you something about your daddy. He's a special guy who will do anything and everything for his little girl. He'll always protect you and love you like he loves his mommy. Your daddy will take spending time with you very seriously because he'll love you to pieces and want to make memories.

Once the time comes, he'll teach you that there are good men in this world and will be honest with you about the men who just want to sleep with you. He'll want to know who is spending time with his little girl. And, I know for a fact if this man breaks your heart, your daddy will beat the crap out of him. He'll feel devastated to see his little girl hurting and so, he'll do everything in his power to cheer you up.

I know what kind of guy he is and what kind of father he'll be because we have a dog--whom you'll grow to love--who he plays, cuddles and takes on long walks. He cherishes the moments he spends with our pooch just like he'll do with you.

He was raised to be respectful and courteous to women and that's why I love him so much. He goes out of his way to do things for me and even puts me first. You will witness these acts of kindness by your daddy when you're old enough to understand. You will learn who a good man is by watching your daddy love and care for me when I'm in pain. You'll watch your daddy be my rock, my shoulder to cry on, my co-pilot and my partner for life.

Even though he's a rather anti-social person and avoids chaotic situations, he'll never pass up an opportunity to go somewhere with you or our family.

Society can be mean sometimes. I'm so sorry if you're bullied in school. Daddy and I will teach you how to be a strong woman who doesn't care what other people think of you. We'll teach you to have a thick skin and defend yourself when people are cruel and rude to you. You will le

How to Start Your Week on the Right Foot

Sunday nights.

They’re rough on all of us. The next day is Monday and so the circle of dread begins. I get it because I’m with you. The weekend is filled with laughter, fun & you can stay up late! But, on week days, you need to be responsible & go to bed at a reasonable hour in order to feel your best!

But, I’m here to tell you that Sunday night doesn’t have to be filled with dread. You can change your attitude and I’ll tell you how by focusing on the good things happening during the week.

1) Meal prep on Sunday. This will start your week on the right foot because you’re less likely to reach for processed foods. Bring foods you’ll look forward to eating!

2) Set your clothes out the night before. Want to catch some extra Zzz’s? Make sure you pick out your clothes the night before to avoid being late the next day & maybe you’ll get to sleep in for a few the next day.

3) Meditate on Monday morning. Before going to work on Monday morning, take 30 minutes out to meditate and cleanse your mind before heading into work.

4) Make plans after work. Get together with friends after work, so you have something to look forward to. Grab a coffee or a glass of wine & relax with your best gal pals.

5) Schedule a date night. Book a reservation at your favorite restaurant & surprise your significant other with a date night!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

So..... I'm Pregnant?

“I’m really late,” I told my husband, Brett while we were on a trip in Wilmington, NC.

I was supposed to get my period at the end of October and I kept waiting for it. The previous months it came around the end of the month and I felt as if it would come, so I was prepared, but it didn’t.

“But, you’ve been late before,” Brett said. “Yeah, but, not this late.” He smiled. He looked at me and just stared. We’d been trying since May or June, but it just wasn’t the right time. I kept telling myself it would happen, but maybe the timing just isn’t right. I mean, in August, I started a new career and will earn my certification in April. I took it as a sign that we weren’t ready.

But, I have to admit by the end of October, I was frustrated.

I began thinking, “maybe we can’t get pregnant” and then “what the hell is wrong with me?” If I hadn’t been late in October, I was going to start doing research and scheduling a doctor appointment to find out if I was able to get pregnant or not because it seemed like it was taking a long time.

I told my husband on November 3rd, 3 days before our anniversary. Why did I tell him? Because I was REALLY tired and in case I was pregnant, I didn’t want to push it too much. But, he was excited at the thought. I, on the other hand, was scared shitless.

The next day I took a pregnancy test.

I didn’t want to take it though. I was really, really nervous and my heart was beating a mile a minute. He kept asking if I took it or not and I was stalling.

But, then, around 5:30 on Nov 4th, I took it.

I waited 15 minutes before the test confirmed that I was in fact… PREGNANT.

Maybe it’s wrong, I thought to myself. Pregnancy tests aren’t always right.

I walked down the stairs and showed my husband. He looked at me and smiled.

What was the first thing I did?

Cry.

I cried because I live in South Carolina and my mom lives in Pennsylvania and she won’t be here during my first pregnancy. I cried because I didn’t know what I was doing and I was scared out of my mind. All this time I so badly wanted to get pregnant, but here I was terrified.

My husband hugged me tight because he saw I was getting emotional, which by the way NEVER happens. And, I HATE crying because I don’t like to display emotion. Does that make sense? Probably not.

Anyway, after crying for what felt like 10 minutes straight, I stopped.

I told myself I had to be a big girl and deal with the fact that my mom lives in PA. She is always a phone call away. And, there are plenty more people who have moved here while their parents live somewhere else, so I’m not the only one.

In the end, I’m happy, but I’m also pretty nervous.

I Finally Found My Happiness

I’ve always wanted to help people, but wasn’t sure in what compacity.

In college, I felt drawn to the magazine industry and yearned to live in NYC to become a magazine writer. I did intern for Good Housekeeping and Family Circle Magazine, but changed my mind due to the competitiveness.

Instead, I went straight into content writing then became a social media coordinator, and finally a community manager. But, there was always something missing.

When it came to my career, I never felt settled.

I always felt the sense that I was meant for something greater. I always felt like there was something else out there for me. I would suggest a new career every week, but never followed through because it wasn’t meant to be. That was until I moved to Greenville a year ago and came across holistic health coaching.

Something clicked in my mind. The excitement started creeping up and that’s when I knew I finally found it. I’ve spent most of my 20’s confused as to what career I wanted. I’d start a job, love it and then all of a sudden, something would happen. And, in my heart, I knew it was a sign. I kept on looking and wondering when it would finally hit me.

So, now, after years of exploring career options, I’m becoming a holistic health coach and my goal is to help people – whether it be men or women – become their best selves. I want to see the smile on their face when they finally find their happiness. The joy I’ll feel will be overwhelming and for the first time in my life, I know I’ll be making a difference.

Via Hannah Kerr’s Little Pink Book

Nothing Was Enough, Until This Happened....

I was a miserable kid.

My mom and aunt both told me that and also, I’ve seen it with my own eyes because I watch home movies and I see myself pouting. In one home video, while we were having a family party, I laid on the front lawn refusing to socialize. I often got into arguments with my aunt, who admitted years later that we never got along because I always acted like a bitch. And, I’m glad she was honest with me because looking back, I was.

To add to my unhappiness, which I don’t understand what stemmed from because I never had any tragic experiences or any negatives events happen as a child, I never felt like anything was enough. I had supportive parents, brothers who I got along with, a roof over my head, food on the table, my own room, etc. Point being I didn’t have parents who neglected me or went to a school full of bullies, so I figured it was time for me to dig deep into my past.

I started looking at the jobs I had and began to re-evaluate what happened at each job that made me dislike them. Honestly, it wasn’t really the job itself, but rather, the boss I had that made it miserable for me to drive to the office every day.

I was either micromanaged or treated like I was dumb. Just when I’d think I was getting somewhere with either my job or my freelancing, something would happen and bring me back down. I was very easily upset and the downward spiral would start where I was too hard on myself. I would begin to ridicule my body, want to leave a job and so on and so forth.

I never felt like I could find a job that I genuinely enjoyed. And, I think that was a sign that all the jobs I had were just a stepping stone, not what I would be doing for the rest of my life.

So, I spent years focusing on what I didn’t have instead of what I do have.

I focused on all the negative things happening in my life and often felt compelled to say, “poor me.” Guess what though? My life was NOT bad enough to say, “poor me” because I was never homeless, I always had food to eat, I always had money coming in, I’ve always had a supportive family and then, in 2013, I met my now-husband, who loves me for who I am, so how dare I say “POOR ME?!” How dare I lump myself into that category and feel “sorry” for myself.

I wasted all this time complaining when I could have been using that energy to focus on more important things. I should have spent that time figuring out why I felt like nothing was ever enough and truly searching for my happiness.

Happiness does NOT come from money or fame or being thin. It comes from appreciating what you have and focusing on what you do have.

Know when my perception changed? On Thursday night I watched a lecture from Geneen Roth, who said she had all the money in the world, and yet, she still complained. She wanted more and never felt like it was enough until she lost all her savings and something inside of her changed. It clicked.

I sat in front of my computer in awe.

Damn, I said to myself. That’s me. My husband said to me the other day, “is there ever a day where you don’t complain about something?” Ouch. It’s true though.

Geneen experienced the same thing with her husband, who asked her if she was feeling okay after not complaining for a few days straight. So, that was my turning point.

So, when YOU feel like nothing is enough, this is what you can do:

1) Write down everything you DO have. Make a list of what you feel grateful for. Review the list daily and remind yourself not to focus on the negative.

2) Go for a walk. Use this time to reflect and ask yourself why you’re feeling this way.

3) Read a book. There are so many books out there such as Geneen Roth’s “Lost and Found: One Woman's Story of Losing Her Money and Finding Her Life.”

Here's Why You Need to Take Risks......

“Dude, we moved here on the skin of our teeth,” I heard my husband say to his brother-in-law yesterday on the phone.

Oh, right. I almost forgot.

For those of you who are skeptical about taking risks and scared shitless to jump, I say go for it! Honestly, you’ll learn so much about yourself in the process that it will be worth it.

Let me take you back to January 2017 (where I did just that!)

We just got married two months prior to that and we were living with his folks in a 2-bedroom apartment. In March, our lease was up and we had two options: 1) move to Delaware with his parents in their new house, 2) come up with a plan to somehow move away (again). We both struggled with this and went back and forth as to where we should go. At the time, he was going to school in North Carolina to pursue a career as a home inspector. He would make trips every other week back and forth. I was working part-time and he was on unemployment, so we didn’t have tons of money coming in. So, traveling back and forth was draining our bank account and him. He would come home after his trip absolutely exhausted. He would left PA on Wednesday afternoon, stay at a hotel Wednesday and Thursday night, and then leave after his class on Friday evening. Keep in mind the drive was 10 hours and I felt bad for my poor husband who was doing his damnest to pursue a new career. And, I commend him for his dedication.

It was getting closer and closer to the time we had to make a decision.

This was when we decided to move to Greenville because he was offered a home inspection job in Asheville once he was done his schooling. Not to mention, his trips would only be 3 hours instead of 10!

In the back of my mind, I was afraid that the same thing that happened in Tennessee would haunt us again in South Carolina, but was willing to take the risk. And, when I say we took a risk, I meant it.

When we moved here, he used an offer letter the company he was supposed to work for and I used the offer letter from my remote position. We both did not have jobs so, we were left using our savings and then gradually, I saw an even bigger dip in our bank account.

Luckily, it only took me a month to find a full-time job.

Fast forward to now, we’re living in a house. But, moral of this story is don’t let fear hold you back. Though, it’s scary, you never know what door it could open for you. You never know what could come out of it.

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FU, stomach

FU, stomach.

That’s why I say almost on a daily basis to my stomach whenever I feel nauseous or feel like I need to eat before I pass out. You see, I’ve had a sensitive stomach for years. That means, if I eat certain foods that will make me want to sit in the bathroom all day or don’t eat a certain amount of food per day, I’m screwed. In order to get my stomach working properly, there are specific things I need to do.

Firstly, if I eat a meal with a lot of grains, I’ll feel full, but at the same time, I’ll still be hungry. Let me specify that the days I eat a bowl of quinoa + veggies and I’m at work, it just sort of sits at the bottom of my stomach making me want more foods. But, I’m not really hungry. It’s annoying. The only way I can cure my stomach is if I walk. My office isn’t very big, so that’s sort of an issue. However, if I eat that same meal at home and get adequate amount of exercise, I’m fine. Ugh.

Also, let’s say I eat an apple at 3 and don’t eat dinner until 7:00, my stomach will HATE me. Reason being my stomach does not like apples. It will indicate that it will be bothering me the rest of the evening whether I like it or not. Hate you, tummy. I’ve been living with this for a while and wanted to disclose this information because I told you I would be transparent, real and genuine when it comes to discussing my life. If you’re living with a sensitive stomach, I’m here to tell you I’m here for you.

All those times you had to head to the bathroom in a social situation, I get it. How about the times you feel as if you need to pass gas, but your co-worker is in your office talking about something you don’t care about. How about not wanting to complain when you’re starving, but the food won’t be ready for another hour and there are NO snacks around. What about when you thought you brought an extra granola bar, when in fact it’s nowhere in sight. Or, how about when you do make it to the bathroom and three of your co-workers are gabbing about their husbands and you really have to go #2? They stand in front of the mirror giggling, meanwhile it’s just about ready to plop. TMI? Yeah, it’s embarrassing, but it’s reality for us. This is something we need to live with on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis and it’s time to talk about it.

It’s time to stop hiding and finally come forward. It happens to the best of us. And, I can help you - you can trust me when I say I know how you feel. I understand 100% and if you need an ear, please send me an email: adashofhopee@gmail.com.

We Bought Our First House? WTF?

In 2013, Brett, my husband and I met on Okcupid. Was I expecting to meet a guy online? Hell no, but it happened and we fell in love. People tend to say they love our story. It is pretty unique.

At the time, we did not have stability, which I yearned for it so badly. After almost getting our own apartment together, we had to be adults and accept the fact that we were not making enough money to support ourselves. A few months later, we made the move to Tennessee.

Ahhh..

We were finally out on our own. Reality struck quick when I realized I no longer had my parents right around the corner.  I was crushed, but happy. That happiness only lasted a year because Brett lost his job. 

I watched his brother and sister-in-law purchase their first house. I was crushed, jealous , but happy for them. I was down in the dumps most of the time because I was comparing myself to his siblings. I know I shouldn't have been, but I couldn't help myself. 

A few months before losing his job, he asked for my hand in marriage on our 2-year anniversary. The next few months were spent in Pennsylvania back with his folks in their house and then sharing an apartment. My freedom was gone.

We then watched his parents purchase a brand new house. Again, I was jealous and stuck on the sidelines wondering when we would get the opportunity to buy a house or heck, live in an apartment with just the two of us.

I was sad, and most of the time dwelled on the negative. I spent my engagement working as a barista at a local community college hoping we'd get our own space again.

In March 2017, it happened. 

We moved to Greenville and had our own apartment once again. This time, I was fine with the distance. Was I sick of apartments? Yes, of course, but we had no choice. We took a risk moving here without concrete jobs. I only had a remote position while he had a possible job on the table. 

The apartment ended up being disappointing and we moved to another one down the road.  

Our lease is up in January and I originally said that I was done with apartments and was hoping our next step was a house. I mean, we are 30 and 29 years old and we have yet to find financial stability - until now. 

It's happening.

It's all happening so fast. Did I think it was going to be so soon? Nope, but I'm ready. Thinking back to 5 years ago to now is an incredible transformation. We've learned so much about life, each other, and have done so as a team. We've gone through these hard times together and came out stronger and smarter. 

Life is hard. I mean, sometimes it's down right cruel, but it's knowing how to weather to ups and downs with your significant other that counts. 

Did I think we were ever going to buy a house? Um...... I figured SOMEDAY, but not now. Am I proud? Of course. I'm proud of myself and my husband for having patience. Boy did I have patience though! Watching his family get everything I wanted so badly was a hard pill to swallow. Having to smile, grin and jump or joy while feeling dead inside was a struggle, but I had to do it. I had to wait for our opportunity.

We're next. 

This is it. Is it our final house? Nope. My plan is to be here for a few years then jump ship more toward family. Why? I think we're a tad too far from our family and I want my children to grow up knowing their aunts, uncle and grandparents.

But, we made it.

It certainly has not been easy, but it was definitely worth the wait!

What To Do If You’re Unhappy With Your Life

It’s Sunday night and knowing you have work the next day makes you feel sick.

Well, that’s a red flag in itself.

It might be time to make a career or job change. If you’re unhappy with your job situation, here are a few things you can do.

  1. Jot down things you’re good at. Are you an expert at writing, editing or social media? If so, have you thought about opening up a business? If you have the funds, it’s seriously something to consider.

  2. Changing your mindset. Sometimes just changing your mindset and thinking more positively can equal happiness.

  3. Make a list of what makes you happy. What brings you joy? What do you love? Concentrate on the things that elicit happiness.

  4. Hang out with positive people. Instead of getting together with people who bring you down, make a date to hang with those who make you feel motivated.

  5. Talk to a therapist. If your unhappiness is bringing you down and you’ve vented to friends, significant other and family and still don’t feel at ease, maybe talking to a therapist is the trick. It might make you feel better and help you figure out how to achieve happiness!

Wanna chat? I'm here: hopeandlove89@gmail.com!

This is How I Feel About Traveling Alone....

I sat in a restaurant at the bar waiting for my iced vanilla latte with almond milk and my breakfast bowl.  I was alone. And, I started to feel a sense of extreme loneliness.

I came to Oklahoma City for a work conference and it was no big deal when my president booked the hotel and flight until I got to the restaurant. I've ever gone out to eat by myself and so, I didn't know what to do. I seemed to be the only one who was by themself and I felt like the bartender was judging me. 

Do I pretend like I'm looking at something on my phone? Do I talk to the bartender, who seemed as if he didn't want to converse? No one was sitting near me, so there was no one to chat with. So, I sat there taking a few Instagram videos looking forward to getting back to the hotel where I wouldn't feel judged. It was pretty apparent that I already - mind you it's been 7 hours - missed my husband. Pathetic, much? Yeah, but I just felt so lonely. 

I've never traveled somewhere solely by myself. Sure - I've gone to PA and traveled by plane, but my brother and girlfriend picked me up at the airport and I was seeing family. I've also gone to Canada by myself, but again, I was meeting someone at the airport. This was THE first time I've been alone. I mean, tonight we're networking and registering for the conference, but leading up to that, I've just felt sad. 

I never focus on the fact that I'll be alone and I'm glad I don't, but it always surprises me whenever I feel this way. You SHOULD be alone sometimes and re-group because we all need time apart from our significant other. We need that time in order to truly appreciate them. I just feel like this day has been going on forever! I had a layover, which felt even longer and so, now I'm a tad confused as to what day it is! 

But, sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes you need to feel uncomfortable because you learn more about yourself. So what if I miss my husband, that doesn't mean I won't mingle or network with my colleagues. That doesn't mean I'm not happy to be here. That doesn't mean that I'm not excited to learn.  It just means I prefer to travel with someone else, no big deal. I would say the common person likes to be with other people. 

How do YOU feel about traveling alone?  Leave your comments below.

Melancholy; a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause

On a Friday evening, I started feeling sad. If you asked me, "what's wrong?" I would probably shrug and the tears might form in my eyes. 

You ever have those days where you can't explain why your throat feels like it's clenching? If you're not an emotional person - like myself - it's even harder to comprehend. I guess it's normal to have those days though. I suppose everyone goes through melancholy.

It's how you handle it that counts the most. It's distracting yourself and finding ways to bring up your mood. Though, sometimes, nothing seems to work and you can just end up basking in your sadness without a solution. 

When you feel this way, here are a few things to do.

1) Go for a run. Clear your head with music that makes you happy. 

2) Call a friend. Your bestie knows you better than anyone else, so she will definitely be able to cheer you up in a jiffy!

3) Write. Put your feelings into words and try t o make sense of how you're feeling.

4) Go out for coffee with a friend. Discussing your feelings and thoughts might be exactly what you need.

5) Put on some tunes and dance. Music is rather smoothing and sometimes cures a bad mood. 

Lastly, if you ever need to talk, be sure to reach out. I'm here for you: simplyrealhope@gmail.com.

I Lost Another Friend?

Another one bites the dust.

I keep losing friends like Sally keeps losing weight, inch by inch and slowly, but surely my list has grown smaller. Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but its seems I lost another friend.

This one was someone who I grew up with. She was one of my first friends. She was my next door neighbor whom I grew up with, played barbies with and celebrated birthdays with every year. This was the same one I shed tears when she let me know she was moving away when we were children.

About 20 years later, my mom reconnected with her while in a bookstore and knew she looked familiar. They immediately began talking and before I knew it, her and I were chatting through skype, text and facebook messanger since I lived in Tennesssee.

When my husband lost his job and I had to come back to PA, the bond between her and I grew and I even asked her to be one of my bridesmaids. I was so proud for her to stand by my side on one of the best days of my life.

A few months later, I broke the news that I was moving to South Carolina. In my gut, I knew our friendship wouldn’t be the same, but putting forth effort and making time to chat could work as long as it was reciprocated on both ends.

Fast forward to 6 months of living in the good Ol’ South. I hadn’t heard from her; not even a “hey, how are you? Hey, how was the move?” Sure, I get she’s busy, but as am I. And, my best friend, who lives in Portland makes time for me and in return, I do the same.

When I messaged her on her birthday and let her know how hurt I was that she hadn’t spoken with me, she brushed it off. She acted as if it wasn’t a big deal, when I’ve always been the one who put forth more effort to maintain our friendship. She didn’t even find it necessary to let me know she broke up with her boyfriend of 2 years. This was the same guy she talked about over and over again; this was the same guy I met and really liked.

I couldn’t stop the tearing from forming in my eyes as I accepted the fact that she simply doesn’t care. This is the third time it’s happened to me. You’d think I’d be used to it, but how do you get used to people using and abusing you?

It Hurts When They Leave....

They left at 4:00am this morning.

I opened my eyes after I heard my husband get up to say goodbye. A few minutes later, I listened as the front door opened and closed.

They were gone.

They had to make their way back home to Delaware to get back to their routine and we had to do the same. When I woke up and got ready for work, that feeling overcame by whole body. If you have family that lives in another state, you know the feeling of loneliness when they leave. It's a sinking feeling of emptiness. You've spent four consecutive days with these people only for them to leave. You're left wondering when the next time you see them will be. 

But, if you're the one who moved, it's inevitable. You're the one who made the choice to leave the area, so you need to deal with the sadness when they depart.  Tears don't stream down your face, but their presence is definitely missed.

You feel yourself getting excited days before they arrive because you never have guests. You plan, organize and rearrange your schedule for them. You feel happy to see familiar faces and get to spend time creating memories. One day they won't be here and so, you find yourself cherishing every single moment of each day. 

Even though you have to alter your routine for a few days, it's worth it. You feel happy in their presence and miss them because you don't get to see them that often.

We lived with my husband's folks the year before we got married. We had to move back into their house and then shared an apartment with them. It was rough on both parties, but we made the best of it. We tried our best to stay out of each other's hair.

Then, a year later, my husband and I moved our belongings to Greenville, SC. It was the second time we lived far from family, so this time, I didn't get emotional at the drop of a hat. I was happy to get my freedom back and have my own place again.

People often ask me if I miss my family. Those people don't understand because they have their family front and center and can hop in the car to see them whenever they want. Sometimes you have to go where the jobs are.

Did I choose to be THIS far from family? Did I see myself being 600 miles away from my family? No, but I wasn't able to find a job in PA. So, we had to make the choice to move. I do love Greenville, but I don't see myself living here forever. We both took a chance and moved here hoping things would pan out. Unlike Tennessee, this time it worked out for the best. 

So, on the days when I miss my family so much it hurts, I distract myself by focusing on something else. Working out, reading my magazines, writing, talking to a friend, drinking a good cup of coffee. I do anything to stop myself from burying myself. And, this is why I don't like visiting family or having family visit us because of how I feel when they leave.

For those of you who have had to relocate to another state away from family, I get it. I'm here for you. Need to chat? Email me: simplyrealhope@gmail.com

Surprising my mom for Mother's Day + her birthday

A few months ago, I saw a photo of my mother and I standing  in front of her van and I began to tear up. Now, again, I'm not an emotional person, but of course I miss my family. So.... I decided to fly home for my mom's birthday and mother's day.

The only ones who knew were my brothers and their significant others. My dad nor anyone else knew I was coming.

My younger brother + his girlfriend picked me up at the Trenton airport this past Friday and the plan was to get dinner at their place and then head over to my parents house. When the time came, I was quite nervous because I hate surprises. I asked my brother's gf to get it on film and you can watch it for yourself below. 

My mother, on the other hand, is an emotional person, so naturally when she saw me, she cried. My dad told me he had a feeling I was coming home, but they both just shrugged it off.

I was really looking forward to meeting their dog, Fido, who ran up to me as soon as he saw me. 

We spent the weekend catching up, eating dinner together, playing video games, shopping + getting our nails done.  

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It was nice to spend time with my family. But, the north is just too darn expensive and there's not much to do. Also, we wanted to take a risk and move somewhere new. That sort of experience tests your relationship. It makes your relationship stronger and you tend to lean on your partner a bit more.

I got cozy with my parents dog because I missed my two doggies. We cuddled + spent plenty of time together.

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Yesterday, was Mother's Day and my family came over to celebrate. We made eggplant parm + played a game. Honestly, we could have done more activities, but it's not always about doing ACTIVITIES, sometimes just being together is much more enjoyable. 

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The worst part about visiting is leaving. I always end up feeling empty and sad because not knowing the next time I'll see my family upsets me, but I chose this, so I need to be able to handle it.  It hurts though because I don't get to see them every day, but at the same time, I love Greenville and I love all the possibilities it has to offer.. So, even though I get rather sad when I leave my family, I'm happy to come back.

Until next time, PA. 

Don't Punish Yourself For Not Working Out

I tend to workout at least 6 days a week. I usually give myself one rest day to relax and drink some wine, but that's at the end of the week, not at the beginning.

A few hours ago, my husband and I decided to go to this dinner with the doctor event at this Japanese restaurant in town and so, I knew I wouldn't get the chance to workout. And, I accepted it.

Well, it turned out we ran late, so we couldn't go.

While my body was telling me, "okay, now you'll have time to go workout," my mind was telling me to chill, drink some wine and have a slice of cake. It was telling me I deserve it because I survived yet another Monday. Then, I thought, "yeah, why not?" I'll just have to workout every day for the next few days and that's okay. It's alright to treat yourself.

I tend to stick to a schedule during the week and stay away from eating after dinner. I usually allow myself to do that on weekends, but rarely do it during the week. But, today. I'm thinking maybe my body needs it. I just paid off my student loans, so it's like a gift to myself. I should be proud of myself and my accomplishments.

I've always had body issues, but I don't know why. I'm a thin girl with a nice figure, yet I've ALWAYS torn myself to shreds thinking I was fat. It seems I'm a rather mean girl on the inside. My mother has always wondered why I didn't have confidence in my appearance. And, I've wondered the same.

But, not today.

Today I decided to eat cake and drink wine.

How Not To Be An A$$****

"Why do you have to eat so much food?" I asked my husband last night. He shot me a look and said, "because I'm hungry. I haven't really eaten much today."

And, he wasn't lying. From what I know, all he had was a bowl of cereal and a protein shake. That's not a lot of calorie intake and so, he must be starving. If I had that, I would be straight up HANGRY!

Sometimes I can be an a******.

When it comes to food, I'm rather obsessive. I feel rather compelled to control how he eats. He does have a binge eating disorder and so, he sometimes eats when he's not hungry and I'm not going down the road with him. Therefore, I tell him to eat when he's hungry and to stop overeating. But, honestly, it seems like I'm just downright nagging him and being a control freak.

Here's some advice:

Don't follow my lead and try to control your husband's eating habits. I believe there's an underlying issue and I'm determined to get to the root of it.

As a person, there are always aspects of ourselves we need to work on. We can grow and learn every day as human beings and show more kindness to our significant others. In order to have a happy and successful marriage, you MUST shut your mouth sometimes. Let him splurge a bit.

Does he ever say anything about my food intake? Heck no. Does he can? Not in the slightest, but I care about his and I need to stop being such an a**.

Leave your thoughts below.  Do YOU have any nagging qualities that drives your husband wild?