Don't Forgot About Yourself!

I’ve been married for a little over 2 years now.

And, I’ve been with my husband a total of 5 YEARS. In 2013, we met, which was a few months after I graduated. At that time, I thought I was at the peak of my career and yearned to be a New York City girl reason being I had my 2nd internship at a magazine. I wanted to become a magazine writer and be engrossed in the magazine industry. Later on, I figured out that it was no longer something I was interested in due to the competitiveness.

I’d only see my now-husband a few times a week and weekends because of our schedules. We only lived 30 minutes away, but it felt like so much farther.

We had our alone time and I was still Hope and he was still Brett. We each had separate lives and we were two different people. I would focus on what I had to do and my goals and he did the same.

In 2014, I moved in with him and his parents. Then, in 2015, we moved to Tennessee. In 2016, we moved back to PA temporarily until 2017 when we moved in SC and have been here since.

But, sometimes I feel like I lost myself. I used to write in a journal almost every night, workout, and spend time by myself. I still workout, but don’t write as often as I used to. Part of it is because I don’t have as much time and my full-time job takes up most of my time, but still, I definitely don’t manage my time well enough.

So, if you’re engaged, in a relationship or married, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t forget about yourself. I know at times you should put your partner first sometimes, but always remember to take care of yourself too!

Here are few ideas for self-care:

1) Book a Massage.

2) Take a Bath.

3) Get your hair done.

4) Go to a yoga class.

5) Go for a walk alone.

6) Get your nails done.

7) Meditate.

8) Write.

9) Book a facial.

10) Go for a run.

Now, these are just suggestions above and they do not have to cost an arm and a leg. If you’re on a budget, I suggest getting a french manicure or even spending 30 minutes to pamper yourself. Bottom line is if YOU feel good, then everything around you will feel good and you’ll feel happier, more content and feel closer to your partner.

The Truth about Marriage

Last week, my husband and I got into a petty fight. Was it worth ruining my Saturday to fight about something so trivial? 

Nope.

But, it happened and it will probably happen again. That's marriage though. Day by day, you learn what triggers your significant other and if you push too many buttons, that's it! It will turn into a full-blown argument and sometimes your plans will get ruined. 

Honestly, what I've learned about marriage and relationships in general is they are give and take, they're about sacrifice and at the end of the day, if you truly love your partner, you'll take their bullshit for better or worse. 

I'm not a therapist and nor am I an expert when it comes to relationships, but I know enough to provide struggling couples with suggestions on how to make their marriage work. 

Firstly, you must compromise. Maybe there's something that he wants to do and you don't or vice-versa. You need to figure out the best decision for the two of you. Maybe if you do this then you have to do an activity that he likes in return. Here's the thing though: my husband is the type who will NEVER make me do something I don't want to do. He leaves it up to me. If I want to go with him, I can, if I don't, his feelings won't be hurt. If you're like my husband, then maybe deciding whether or not you'd like to go works for you and your partner. 

Communication is key. Are you terrible at communicating? Well, you'll learn real fast that you cannot be like that in a relationship. You will never get anywhere without talking about the issue at hand. If he hurts my feelings, I find myself always retorting with something even more insulting and regret it as soon as the words leave my mouth. Bottom line is....think before you speak.

Sharing the workload. One of you shouldn't have to do the laundry, dishes or clean all the time. Your partner should be pitching in because you both live there and it's unfair to make it one person's responsibility. 

Honestly, my husband is one of a kind. He's anti-social, yet knows when to be social. He keeps to himself and surrounds himself with just a few friends. He never makes me feel guilty for not wanting to do something. When I start my petty argument routine and try to push him to the limit, that's it. It's hard for us to go about our day and pretend like nothing happened. If I continue to push him over and over again by saying the same thing, his mood and my mood will both go sour. 

But, this is marriage. Or, at least this is my marriage.

It's not always rainbows and butterflies like social media paints it out to be. I won't disclose when I'm fighting or arguing with my husband simply because it's no one's business and I hate being negative, so I keep that information to myself. 

Marriage is hard though. Some days, It's so f***ing hard that I don't want to deal with keeping it afloat. But at the same time, I love my husband and believe him to be worth the pain and agony that goes along with marriage, and that brings me back. 

Some days, I'm selfish and bitchy and he's an asshole. Other days, I'm loving and cuddly and he comes home with flowers. Then, there are days where we both do not care. And, I'm not perfect whatsoever and nor is he. I am the dramatic one and we end up in dumb arguments that could have easily been prevented. But, we're all human and we're constantly learning. 

People say marriage shouldn't be hard if you found the right one, That's bullshit! There will be days you struggle to maintain your relationship and other days where you're smooth sailing. It's just about how badly you want your marriage to work. 

Want to chat about marriage? Send me an email: simplyrealhope@gmail.com!

Please Stop Saying Prince Charming Is Right Around The Corner

When I was single, I was so sick of people saying, “oh, it’s just not meant to be.”

I’d cringe every time I’d hear someone mumble those damn words.

I understand they were trying to make me feel better, but I just wanted to say shut the f**k up!

It never made me feel at ease. It just annoyed me and made me want to slap them.

It’s funny that I bring this up because I’ve caught myself saying this phrase to my single friends. But, sometimes, I just don’t know what to say. 

I mean, in my heart I know my girls will find the right guy, but I just don’t know when that will be.

Here’s the thing: when I met my husband, I wasn’t looking for a relationship. In fact, I didn’t want to have anything to do with men. I was so tired of dating guys, so I focused on my career instead. But, then, one day, Brett came along and the rest is history.

So, this is the advice I can give you: it will happen when you least expect it because well, life is so unpredictable and you cannot predict when the right guy will come along.

But, for those who are telling girls that prince charming is right around the corner, please stop unless you have like a crystal ball. If you can, in fact, see the future then I’ll allow you to say that phrase and tell me what's ahead because I'd sure as hell like to know!

There’s also one thing you must remember: even though you crave a guy to take care of you, there are pros to being single.

You get plenty alone time to focus on hobbies, writing, crafts and hanging with friends.  Also, you don’t have to worry about checking in with your guy or getting to know his friends. And, I'm sure there are other things but I'm just going to leave you with the two most important!

Just keep those pros in mind late at night when you want to cuddle with someone.

It’s natural to want to be with someone because we all want to be loved, but unfortunately the more you want something, it never really happens. It usually occurs when you don’t care or aren’t looking for a boyfriend.

And, that’s not bullshit, it really does normally happen like that.

I just want people to stop feeding you lines because they’d like to make you feel better because it doesn’t help or work!

Just tell me to focus on my own stuff and then at some point the guy I’m destined to be with will walk by.

5 Dairy-Free Brands You Need To Try

Since I'm lactose intolerant, I'm always looking for dairy-free meals, cheeses, coffee creamers and desserts. Recently, I came across someone asking for dairy-free foods and figured I'd suggest some brands I tend to buy at the store.

  • Natural Bliss Coffee creamer.

This brand has three different flavors: vanilla, sweet creme + caramel. The sweet creme is made from coconut milk while vanilla and caramel are derived from almond milk. I've tried all three flavors and have to say my favorite is vanilla. You can't go wrong with choosing any of the flavors.

  • So Delicious.

I love So Delicious! Even though it does tend to be a tad pricey, the cheese tastes amazing! If you're plant-based or lactose intolerant like me, in my opinion, this cheese tastes practically like cheese derived from milk. You're not missing anything! They offer mozzarella, cheddar + cheddar jack. Don't think they just have cheese! Some other products this brand possesses is ice cream, coconut milk, yogurt, coffee creamer, as well as other frozen desserts. 

  • Kite Hill.

Since I'm unable to eat ricotta cheese, I decided to look for a substitute. To my surprise, at Whole Foods I found Kite Hill's ricotta cheese so I could make Eggplant Manicotti. It consisted of almond milk, salt, enzyme, tartaric acid + cultures. If you can read all the ingredients in a product, then you know it's pretty natural. If you're unable to pronounce most of the ingredients in a product, that might not be something you want to put in your body.  And, the best thing about this brand is they don't just sell ricotta cheese, they also offer dairy-free yogurt, cream cheese + two types of ravioli!

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  • Daiya.

From cream cheeze, pizza, shredded cheese, cheezecake, cheezy mac, greek yogurt, dressing to sauce, Daiya has everything you could every want - and a tad more! According to their website, Daiya makes dairy-free eating a joy. From the ooey gooey goodness of a grilled cheese to the rich and creamy taste of fruit-kissed yogurt, all our products taste great. And that makes you feel great. With their variety of options, you can't go wrong with trying any of their products. 

  • Go Veggie.

Go Veggie offers dairy-free cheese, Parmesan + cream cheese. Their products are lactose and soy free as well as vegan. GO VEGGIE® provides a variety of products and flavors to satisfy every cheese-lover’s craving. With more calcium, equivalent protein, less fat and less calories compared to ordinary cheese – and free from cholesterol, lactose and gluten – you can now enjoy all of your stretchy, melty, cheesy foods without all the guilt, according to their website. Try one of their food items today.

 

Whether you're looking for cream cheese, dairy-free ice cream, yogurt, cheese or coffee creamers, any of these brands above will suffice. I've tried all of them and they all taste similiar. They all satifiy my craving for cheese. Even before I was lactose intolerant, I was never a fan of milk, so I really don't miss drinking cow's drink. I'd opt for almond, cashew or coconut milk any day! Let me know which brands are your favorites!

This is what you should do when you've been a bitch to your husband....

I've been sick for about two weeks now. 

When I came back from PA, a few weeks ago, I didn't expect to develop an upper respiratory infection. I've battling this sickness for the past almost three weeks and I must admit, I've been sort of a bitch to my husband. If that isn't honesty at its finest, I don't know what is!

And, you know you've been there before. More often than not, we take out our bad mood on our partner because it's easy. They're the one who lives with us and who is around when we get home after a bad day at work.

Do I intentionally act like this? Hell, no. I'd like to blame it on being sick, but it's also my attitude. Being sick has nothing to do with my husband, so feeling the need to take it out on him is quite immature. And, yet, I do. 

It's so hard to admit when we're wrong. It's so hard to just blurt out, "I'm sorry." As I look at my husband, the words want to jump out of my mouth, but I just can't say it. Do you ever feel that way? You feel like you should apologize, but something is holding you back. 

This is what you should do after you've been a bitch to your husband.

1) Make him his favorite meal or drink. Does he love hot chocolate? Maybe a huge hunk of meat? Whatever makes your hubby's mouth water, surprise him.

2) Write him a note. If you feel as if you've unable to express your feelings in words, instead write him a note describing how you feel. 

3) Give him a back massage. Has your man been feeling a bit stressed? If so, he'll definitely benefit from a back massage. Who knows, it could lead to something else...

4) Plan a day trip. You don't have to spend a ton of money, just a little to spend some one-on-one time with your man. Use this time to bond and get back to being your sweet self!

5) If you don't like any of these ideas, just apologize. If apologies are easy for you and you don't want to prolong your discussion, just say you're sorry. 

Welcome dolls!

Hello readers,

I just wanted to take a minute and introduce myself. I'm Hope Evans and I've always been passionate about writing since I was about 6 years old! I'd hide in my room for hours either working on my latest novel or writing in my diary (yes, I had one of those!) You'll either find me writing (DUH!), taking photos, reading magazines, exercising, playing with my dogs, or spending time with my husbands + friends.

I'm a quiet person, but once you get to know me, I'll open up to you. Though, most of my life has been spent being a chameleon due to the fact that I've been afraid to be my true self. Sad? Yes, very, but unfortunately, it's true. I'm trying to work on being a better version of myself. When it comes to talking, I'm the type who doesn't just say things, I want it to mean something. I don't want to chat about the weather because I don't know what to say, but instead of making something up, I opt not to talk. You'll know that once you get to know me in person.

At the end of the day, I'm a sweet, funny, quirky girl who likes to have fun. It takes time to break me out of my shell, but once I do, you'll find that I'm a bit crazy. Another one of my traits is smiling. More often than not, you'll find a smile on my face. I guess since my name is Hope, I feel as if I need to constantly be happy.

But, you know what? You don't always have to be happy. You don't always have to please everybody. I preach staying true to who you are, when I don't even do that. That is something I'm working on constantly and it's definitely going to take time to get to where I need to be. 

And, if you're reading this and going oh, wow, this girl sounds quite similar to me, feel free to reach out: simplyrealhope@gmail.com. I like to keep it real with my food + personality. 

So, I welcome you friends with open arms, mind and positive vibes. Let's chat!

Cheers to life, love + happiness.

Love,
There's Always Hope (Hope Evans)

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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?