06.26.2017

Weekend Recap || Palm Springs Getaway…. With A Toddler…..

Before TJ and I decided to become parents, we had a list of things we wanted to complete…. one of those being to travel. A lot. We knew that life would be different with a little one in tow, and that traveling would be a little more challenging. So, we did just that. We traveled to Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, within the States…. did short weekend trips away…. sometimes waking up and spontaneously deciding to hit the road. When we found out little miss would be arriving, we vowed to continue traveling, yet knew it would be very different…..

And while we’ve been on multiple trips with Harper since she arrived, this past weekend was a reminder that traveling with a toddler is not for the faint of heart. On Saturday evening, after little miss went to sleep, TJ and I laughed about how tired we were…. and the vacation we needed from this weekend. As I sit here, reflecting on the fun, yet exhausting, weekend, I thought I’d share a little humor that we incurred while away (well, humor now, slight anxiety in the moment….)…..

1. We initially intended to leave around 9:30 Friday morning. Yet, things came up, and we didn’t end up getting on the road until 10:50. My anxiety was pretty much through the roof the entire drive out there… not wanting her to fall asleep en route. That fatal mistake would mean a missed afternoon nap, and a disastrous evening. Instead of listening to some John Mayer radio, we had children’s music blaring, windows rolling up and down, and making silly noises to keep her awake. It was a success…..

2. Gone are the leisurely meals of the past. They now consist of a two person entertainment show personalized for little miss until the food arrives. I’m sure people look at our table like “What is going on??” Our nice waitress this morning told us that she remembers those days…. she now has a three year old who will “sit” through a meal. Alright, only a year and a half left!

3. Instead of a mid afternoon siesta poolside…. we crammed as much adult time into those 2.5 hours that she was napping. It’s like, “Ready, Set, Go….” and we’re constantly asking, “Wait, how much time do we have left??”

4. Oh, I’m surprised the car even moved from how much crap we packed (Captain, our labradoodle joined us too…). Poor TJ was dripping in sweat with how many trips he had to take to the car in the 110 degree weather.

In the end, I would do it all over again, in a heart beat. The memories made are invaluable…. and, hey, in the end, we’re able to find humor, and that’s all that matters. So, as we go into the week ahead, my intention is to find a little bit of humor whenever possible. Have a good one friends!
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**I’ll be posting my monthly Question + Answer series this Friday. Please feel free to comment or e-mail me any questions you may have!**

(Ready for the weekend… (Harper’s top))

(A little rosé to kick off the weekend!)

(My favorite body suit and cut-offs for a little Mexican food…)

(The prettiest bougainvillea all over La Quinta Resort + Spa)

(Pool bound with this little fish…. my cover-up, tote, sandals, Harper’s cover-up, hat)

(Little miss is such a little fish!… who, I feel the need to add, refuses to wear her little hat, or sunglasses, for sunshade…. her suit, flamingo float)

(The most delicious poolside lunch….)

(The best things about the resort are that the casitas surround your pool area…. so, when little miss naps, we are able to enjoy some adult time with a baby monitor…my suit)

(The progressive toddler meltdown….. My dress, Harper’s dress)

(Warm desert nights are my favorite)

(Happy hour libations)

(We enjoyed one last brunch at Resevoir…. highly recommend. Great food and ambiance, Harper’s Suit)
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Tone It Up had their 7 day slim down last week, and while I didn’t participate in the eating plan, I followed their workouts and really noticed a difference. It involved an increase in cardio, in conjunction with strength training…. I honestly felt stronger at the end of the week! A few favorites on the menu this week include these energy bites and breakfast salad.… and I’m thinking of trying my hand at some overnight oats.

I’m super excited to be heading to Vegas Thursday afternoon! TJ will be out there for work, and I’m joining him for the weekend (thanks to my sister and parents!). I bought this cute black and white suit, and this coverup for Friday… when we plan on doing nothing but relaxing by the pool. I’m bringing along this cute floral romper and this cold shoulder ruffle dress for our two evenings out. I also recently bought this open back romper and this black drawstring romper… both are super cute and comfortable…. just deciding which I’ll wear more. Regardless, they’re both great options for traveling…. and plan on pairing them with these embroidered slides (more neutral colors here).

A few other items that I’m currently eyeing include this adorable flutter sleeve tee (which I bought in grey when it was temporarily on sale…), colorful stripe tank, white tiered top, gingham tank (so cute with high waisted jeans or shorts), and this crochet tank (in blush). I also really like these military green cut-offs (which seem to have a longer inseam!) and this black lace up top (would love it with cut-offs and a block heel for a date night look!).

LOFT is also having 40% off of everything until Tuesday. That includes my favorite gingham off the shoulder top, embroidered off the shoulder top, gorgeous tiered white blouse, stripe tassel kimono (great lightweight layer), and I’m obsessed with these tie waist cargo pants…. such a great casual option that can easily be dressed up.

Annnnd, don’t forget that this is the last week for the Nordstrom Giveaway (the Anniversary Sale starts in July!)….

2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Now…it’s time for a fabulous giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
to give YOU a chance to win:
a $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Card, just in time for the Anniversary Sale!

Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
You’ll receive one entry per completion.
This giveaway is open internationally and runs until 7/3.
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

06.23.2017

Favorite Products June || Food, Beauty, Fashion

One of my favorite posts of the month… all my favorite products! There were a lot of new favorites this past month, and I hope you’ll love them just as much as I do. Would love to know if you end up trying any of them out and what your thoughts are!

Oh, and Happy Friday! We’re heading to Palm Springs this weekend for a little rest and relaxation, and I seriously can’t wait! I hope you all have a great one too!

**Apologies that the cardigan from yesterday’s post was linked incorrectly (and thank you to those who let me know!). It’s been corrected….

Vega Protein Powder: I was using the Vital Proteins Vanilla powder (not the flavorless kind) and it started to give me some stomach problems. So, I recently switched to this powder and I am obsessed. The taste is so good, it doesn’t bother my stomach, and I love tossing it in my new favorite smoothie. It’s a game changer for sure.

Wild Friends Almond Butter: Um, this stuff is delicious. It has the slightest roasted almond flavor and I seriously can’t get enough of it. I love putting it on my protein waffles, in my smoothies, or on a banana as an afternoon snack.

Vita Coco Coconut Water: I’m not a huge fan of coconut water solo, but I bought this brand to mix in my smoothies for the hydrating benefits and am kinda loving the taste it gives them…. for some reason it makes them feel more refreshing than almond milk (which is what I typically use).

Chosen Foods Avocado Oil:  I’ve been using this avocado oil spray non-stop. I spray it on salads and use it when I am sautéing or roasting sweet potatoes (spray on them instead of coat in olive oil). It imparts such a great, mild flavor.

Lentil Pasta: Another one of my favorites for the month. I never thought of lentils as pasta, but it’s seriously so good. We mix it in with our zucchini noodle nights for a little extra (I mix in about 1/2 a cup) and it takes the meal to a completely different level.

La Croix Sparkling Water: I know, what’s the difference between this stuff and any other kind of sparkling water, right? I swear, it’s super refreshing, and it’s flavored naturally (nothing artificial). I’m a huge fan of mixing it with cocktails (as seen in this post) and it comes in so many great flavors.

Coola Suncare BB + Cream: (c/o) I used to wear a tinted moisturizer all the time. Then I stopped (I don’t know why). I recently tried this one, and really like it. I’ve worn it under my regular foundation, solo with some bronzer and blush for a low key make-up day, and solo as my sunscreen under a hat. It leaves a glowing finish, which I tend to be a huge fan of.

Mineral LipLux: (c/o) There is nothing I hate more than chapped or sunburned lips. This stuff adds a hint of natural color, while both protecting and nourishing your lips…. along with being SPF30. I’ve been wearing it several times a week as a neutral lip color. I’m a fan of the Bonfire shade.

Mer-Sea & Co Hand + Foot Balm: I’m obsessed with how luxurious this product feels. I use it on my feet, after intense runs, and it makes them feel so smooth.

Huarache Sandals:  These are quite possibly the best $22 investment I’ve made all summer. They’re padded which makes them really comfortable. I’ve pretty much worn them everyday since I got them (so, the past 7 days). They come in three colors, and trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Eyelet Top: This top is the best for both a casual and dressed up look. It’s super versatile, and I love it front tucked into my favorite high waisted shorts. The little ruffles and eyelet detailing make it perfectly feminine for summer. It’s also currently on sale!

Distressed Tank: In a complete contrast to the last top mentioned, this one is distressed and oversized. Which I love. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the beach and pool with little miss, and have been front knotting it and tossing it on over my suit with a pair of shorts. It comes in three colors, and I wear a bralette underneath.

Flutter Skirt: I actually own this skirt in the white and hibiscus colors. It went on sale and I was able to get both for the price of one… all that aside, it’s such a fun skirt for summer. I wore the hibiscus color to a fun event down at the beach with these studded sandals and this tank front knotted. It’s incredibly comfortable, and makes you want to dance (seriously). I can easily dress it up or down with a flat sandal or block heel. I typically buy one to two skirts each summer, and I for sure found a fun keeper.

Outdoor Voices Blush Leggings: These are amazing. They hug in all the right places, and the color is my favorite. I wear them running, hiking, spinning, and when I do my Tone It Up workouts. To say I’m obsessed would be an understatement. I also purchased this sports bra with them and have been wearing it non-stop (with washes in between of course).

Bodysuit: I bought this for a girlfriend’s birthday, but ended up wearing a different outfit. So, I saved it for my sister’s bachelorette party. I only own two bodysuits, but after this one, think I need more. I’ve always been a fan of tucking in my shirt, and this just takes it to the next level. The ruffles make it feminine, and wearing it with high waisted shorts is super cute. For undergarments, I toss on these little petals.

Embroidered Off The Shoulder Top: This was an impulse buy when it was on temporary sale for $30… and I immediately wore it the next day. It’s off the shoulder, not the easiest with little miss, but manageable… and it was just too cute to pass up. The embroidery detail is subtle, and when paired with the stripe print it makes for the perfect summer top. I’m also a huge fan of this gingham off the shoulder top, which is currently $20!

Short Crescent Necklace: I was in Gorjana earlier this week, and picked up a few new accessories and this was one of them. The smaller crescent shape, and shorter necklace, make it a perfect layering piece. I’ve worn it everyday since and layer it with my favorite initial necklace……

Gold Lariat Necklace: annnnd, this is the other piece I snagged. It’s pretty much a three in one necklace. I have the option to wear it long, or cinch it up for a shorter look. The look that is my favorite though is wearing it backwards with the beads in front, sweeping just above the chest (I’ll style it soon, since I know I’m not explaining it well….). Bottom line, when you dress as basic as I do, simple gold accessories (I actually got this one in rose gold) help to make any outfit look pulled together.

Lace-up Sweatshirt: One of my favorite things is dinning al fresco during the summer months. Good conversation, a glass of rosé, and delicious food makes for the quintessential summer evening. Yet, I get chilly, so this lace up sweatshirt is such a great option to keep me warm. It’s slightly oversized, which equates to extreme comfort in my book. It will also (eventually) transition into the cooler months. I’m also slightly obsessed with this graphic sweatshirt…. I mean, I feel as if it is calling my name.

White Ruffle One Shoulder Top: This top comes in so many great color options, but of course, I chose the white. Another dress up or down option…. can be worn casually during the day, or dressed up for an evening out. The one shoulder option is a more functional option than the off the shoulder look, and this one is a fun option for summer!

06.21.2017

Wellness Wednesday || Watch Those Thoughts….6 To Catch Yourself Thinking

I’m a thinker. The kind that thinks through interactions, evaluates situations, and puts a lot of thought into everything I do. I’m also a daydreamer. With that though, comes a mind full of thoughts. When I was practicing therapy, I talked at length about cognitions with my clients. A lot. Along with other life situations, these cognitive distortions, as they are technically referred to, had a huge impact on the way they viewed themselves, others, and their life in general. They have that kind of impact on everyone once in a while. Bottom line, we can’t avoid thoughts, they’re always there.

For me, all these annoying thoughts, in some way or another, make me feel a certain way about myself…  as if I’m a failure… make me feel different ways about others….. as if they are intending to be mean and malicious ( swear I’m not a paranoid person….)…. and others prevent me from acting…. as if I can really see into the future and predict that negative event…… which is why I always try to catch them, acknowledge them, challenge them, and move on. Of course, I’m simplifying the entire process…. it takes work…. and sometimes I just have to accept the thought, but not let it hold me back. Yet, the point of today’s post is to share some of those dangerous thought patterns…. what they look like…. and how I, personally, deal with them to decrease anxiety, worry, and sadness.

**I feel the need to note here that I am not acting in any professional capacity… or recommending any course of treatment…. this is simply how I deal, and if it helps you too, that’s great! 

1. Overgeneralization: I’m guilty of this one. It’s pretty much when you take a single negative situation and apply it to everything…. or snow-ball it, as if there is no end to the negative cycle. For me, so much of my job is social media based, and overgeneralization happens all the time here. If something doesn’t perform for a few days, I start to worry, start to generalize this snapshot in time, and fail to see it as a temporary situation. I combat this one by reminding myself that sometimes there are lulls in life…. that life can’t always be one big success train (although, I wouldn’t mind if it was….). It’s funny, I once heard the saying, at church, “This too shall pass….” and was reminded that it refers to the good, and the bad. It’s the motto I try to use when I start to overgeneralize.

2. Discounting The Positives: While I don’t consider myself a perfectionist (you should see my tuberware cabinet…. open at your own risk…) I do give it my all in areas I choose to focus my attention…. relationships, collaborations, motherhood, and fitness…. so much so, that when I experience a set back, I tend to automatically discount all of the successes I have had, as if it doesn’t matter (which, it does). When I catch myself in this loop, I try to write down all the positives I have experienced in that specific area. This often helps me to see the reality of the situation and to shift my focus.

3. Personalization: I’m sensitive, so this one hits home all the time. When I find myself in a situation where someone was rude or offensive, I tend to first go to “what did I do to create that type of response.” Which only leads makes me feel bad about myself. I typically challenge this one by discussing the situation with a few trusted individuals, who I know will give me an unbiased perspective. A note on this one, I always think it’s a good idea to reflect on my own actions, and to not automatically blame others. Self awareness is key… personalization goes beyond this though. It’s as if you feel the need to take responsibility for anything bad that happens. No bueno. Not fun. I realize that I can’t prevent bad things from happening, but what I can control is how I respond and interact with others. Beyond that, I can’t worry about it.

4. Magnification: In simple terms, blowing things out of proportion…. or, finding more significance in a situation than it warrants. Guilty of this one too….. which usually happens when I personalize (the one above). Taking a step back and re-evaluating the situation typically helps me bring things back to reality…. or at least to a middle point.

5. Should’ing Thoughts: These babies are those rules you give yourself about how the world should be and how people should act and how you should be. Whenever I find myself “should’ing” it’s pretty bad…. I’m usually let down, or feel as if I’ve failed in some way because I haven’t met a “should” standard. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to have values and standards… to not settle… but it’s when they are rigid that they become a problem. Example? When I look back on a long day with little miss, sometimes I find myself thinking, “Tomorrow I’ll try better, I should always be patient with her….” which leads to guilt… which leads to a whole other onslaught of entirely untrue thoughts. It’s not possible to be patient all the time…. getting a little frustrated is okay…. I haven’t broken a core parenting value of mine… and I certainly haven’t scarred my daughter for life. I always find “should’ing” thoughts lead to guilt…. and the best way to combat them is to ask myself “Is it really possible for that to happen all the time??” and “Is that really a fair expectation to have?”

6. Fortune Telling: If I could read the future, I’d have several houses spread across the world…. and wouldn’t live in our little condo. Seriously. Probably the one thought that holds me back from doing “things” is this one. The one where I give myself the ability to see the future. I remember when I was taking my licensing exam and saying, “I know I am going to fail, so many people fail, it’s going to happen.” Which only magnified an already anxious situation. For this one, I like to look at the facts. I can only deal with what I have in front of me. I know I prepared. I studied hard. I have relaxation tools I can draw from. Usually when I bring myself back to the present, and the facts, I can work through this one pretty quickly.
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(Outfit Details || Hoodie, also here (size up for looser fit) | Shorts (I sized up) | Tank | Sunglasses | Tumbler (I use it daily))

06.19.2017

Weekend Recap || Fathers + Daughters || $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Certificate Giveaway

(The prettiest peonies to start the weekend)

After what felt like a particularly long week, I went into the weekend excited for the festivities it held: my mom’s birthday and Father’s Day. We started Friday evening in typical fashion…. a bottle of wine, some take-out, and good tunes… accompanied by good conversation and reconnecting from the crazy week. Saturday morning brought a good workout and some delicious avocado toast. Then, the celebrations started…..

We spent most of the weekend poolside at my parent’s house celebrating with family. Sunday morning we made the dads a delicious brunch and moved to the pool again. It was a pretty relaxing day (well, real relaxation began around 1:30pm when Harper went down for a nap) spent splashing (or napping). As I watched TJ and my dad play with Harper, I was reminded of a quote I saw, years before, on a Father’s Day card I had purchased for my dad. It read:

“No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” 

I felt immediately blessed by the two most significant men in my life: TJ and my dad. Both, the embodiment of this quote…. and, while I watched Harper smile, and heard her laughter, I couldn’t help but feel blessed that she, too, would be the recipient of their love, guidance, and presence over her lifetime. I hope you all had a great weekend celebrating your father, father-figure, and/or baby-daddy! Here’s to a good week ahead friends!

Be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of the post!! It’s a good one!!

(Post Saturday morning workout avocado toast. Seriously, my fav.)

(Dressed in her best for Nana’s birthday lunch. Harper’s Dress)

(A little bubbly on ice to celebrate the festive weekend)

(Pool day with this little lady. My cover-up, bathing suit, Harper’s romper)

(Celebrating the dads, by the pool, with a little bbq and sun.)
_________

I veered off of the Tone It Up workout schedule this weekend and ended up doing a their Beach Babe (5) HIIT workout, a run, and another Beach Babe (2) HIIT workout. Both are great options that get your booty moving. I’m going to try my hand at a little meal prep this coming week ahead and made some of these egg muffins, along with grilled chicken and turkey burgers. If I have time tonight, I’m going to whip up my favorite chia seed pudding. Ever since little miss moved to one nap, I’ve needed to be a little more prepared in the meal department.

We ended up booking a last minute trip to Palm Springs for this coming weekend, and I can’t wait. It’s going to be a scorcher. I’ll be living in lightweight pieces, for sure. I found so many cute swimsuit options too…. all at such great prices. I’m loving this floral cut-out suit, white lace-up suit, black and white cut-out one shoulder suit, and this floral bardot suit (so adorable). This little stripe bow front trapeze dress is coming with me too! I also found this adorable floral dress, at such an excellent price point. So cute for some desert margaritas…. I also love this basic black romper (paired with a cute straw hat and slides), and this white romper is on my wish-list… thinking it would be perfect for a couple days that TJ and I will be getting alone in Vegas at the end of June. I’m also obsessed with this yellow and white polka dot number… it’s adorable… especially with a neutral sandal…. oh, and this stripe peplum tank…. loving.

I bought my mom these shorts for her birthday this past weekend (along with this pretty eyelet flutter sleeve top) and am thinking about getting myself a pair in the black and white print… I think they would pair perfectly with a little white tank or this cute white button up eyelet tank (which is on sale). I’m also loving this mauve short sleeved oversized sweater… perfect to pair with denim shorts and a straw hat and sandals (which are so so so comfortable) for everyday living.

A few other everyday basics that I am currently loving included this open back romper (perfect with kicks or a pair of comfortable slides for daytime), basic tee with blouson sleeves (such a great twist on an everyday staple), stripe ruffle swing top, ginghman tank (would look so cute with high waisted shorts), and this bell sleeve denim jacket… so perfect for summer nights! This stripe bow back tank is adorable too.

2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Now…it’s time for a fabulous giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
to give YOU a chance to win:
a $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Card, just in time for the Anniversary Sale!

Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
You’ll receive one entry per completion.
This giveaway is open internationally and runs until 7/3.
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

06.16.2017

17 Month Motherhood Update

If that photo above doesn’t sum up our past month, I don’t know what will. Little miss is full of energy and always on the move. I remarked yesterday, when we were at the beach, that she was the stillest she’d been in a while…. when she was pouring sand into her little pail. That lasted an entire 10 minutes…. I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. Joking aside, I can honestly say with each month that passes, I am constantly amazed at her development, and the changes that can happen in a mere 30 days….

So, instead of me rambling on anymore than I need to, I’ll just get right into our 17 month update….

 (Bathing Suit)

Favorite Part: Hands down it has to be her developing personality and watching her cultivate her own interests. I remember being at the doctor’s office for her check-up, and being asked if she can stack blocks. I was slightly caught off guard. I actually didn’t now if she could stack blocks, and then immediately felt like a negligent mother…. I thought to myself  “She needs to start playing with blocks.” When I took a step back though, I realized that her interests were far beyond block stacking. She loves interacting with people… participating in everyday life…. which, to me, is much more important than her ability to stack blocks she won’t care about in 2 weeks (by the way, she can….). Watching her develop these preferences, and watching her become a unique individual, has been one of the biggest joys for me.

Most Challenging Part: I am always slow to warm when it comes to change. Given that, my biggest challenge this past month was getting used to the new sleeping schedule with one nap. I always used the morning nap as an opportunity to get ready for the day ahead, and with her running around, getting ready turned out to be slightly more challenging than I anticipated. I found myself getting frustrated more easily, which led to some major mom guilt. I ended up figuring out a way to manage it all, which I’ll share later in the post…. but, it just took me some adjusting and getting used to.

Oh, and let’s be honest here, toddler tantrums aren’t easy…. they’re draining and exhausting. So those make my list. Hands down.

(Tunic, Shorts, Tote, Hat, Harper’s Romper via Rags to Raches, Hat)

Funniest Moment: Oddly enough, when she tests my limits, I have a really hard time not laughing. Example? We were out at lunch today, and she was playing with my wallet and started to put the contents in her mouth. I gave her a positive statement to let her know what my expectation of her was (which she fully understands)… which was to not put the items in her mouth….. she looked right at me, put it in her mouth, and started smiling. My mom and I both had to look away from laughter. Her little firecracker personality, while exhausting at times, provides me with so much humor.

Her Favorite Things: As I mentioned above, she loves personal interactions. When we go anywhere that requires I pay, she insists on handing over my debit card, receiving it back, putting it in my wallet, and then accepting the receipt. She’s obsessed with cleaning up after dinner (not sure how long that will last….). Each night TJ stands in the kitchen and I stay at the dinner table. I had her an item and she excitedly takes it over to TJ. Putting things in the trash is her jam…. as is emptying out the cupboards and putting everything back. We don’t really watch much TV but “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” (which is a great educational show for social/emotional development) and “Goldie + Bear” are her two favorites… mainly because of the opening songs.

Eating: This past month it seemed her appetite decreased. Don’t get me wrong, she still eats, but not as much as she used to. At first I was a little concerned, and then figured that there is likely something going on in the growth cycle where she doesn’t need as much. I was asked a few times what I feed her. She pretty much eats whatever we are eating. For breakfast, she loves these waffles (which literally take 5 minutes to make, and I add 1/4 cup oat flour and take out most of the protein powder), as well as eggs, turkey bacon (I make sure it’s nitrate free and organic), raspberries, blueberries, pancakes, and toast with almond butter. For lunch, we have a few options. If we’re out and about where I am running errands it’s typically an almond butter and banana sandwich, string cheese, and some cantaloupe (which I have pre-chopped in a snack container). When we’re at home, she loves these veggie bites (or the veggie burger) with avocado and broccoli, or I’ll make her a grilled cheese sandwich with a side of fruit and avocado…. or lentils, quinoa, green beans, and cottage cheese…. or grilled chicken (if we’ve made it from the evening before) with some cheese and fruit, or some turkey slices with peas and pasta, and sometimes a quesadilla with black beans and bell peppers… and for dinner she eats what we have…. salmon, shrimp, chicken, asparagus, bell peppers, mushrooms, she’s warming up to sautéed spinach, sweet potatoes… we all eat together, so I don’t have to make several different meals, which I think makes the process much easier. I shared her favorite snacks in this post.

She’s still working on eating with utensils, but she loves drinking out of a regular cup…. with supervision of course… or it goes everywhere!

Sleeping: Well, we finally dropped the morning nap. I had a lot of suggestions as to how to go about it, yet I ultimately chose to go cold turkey. One day, I just decided to head out and power through the nap-time. Every child is different of course, so that worked for us. It’s definitely been a transition though, more for me (as said above). I always said that I couldn’t wait until she was down to one nap because then we could head out in the early morning…. yet, I ended up falling into a great routine with two naps, that made it a little more difficult….

All that being said, this past week I finally felt a little better about it all. I think I was feeling overwhelmed. Now the morning routine goes something like this:

5:30am: I wake up and complete my workout…. make breakfast… answer e-mails…. then take a shower and get as ready as possible before she wakes up. Before I would do a lot more blog stuff in the morning hours….
7:30-8:15am: Another shift in our schedule is that I don’t keep her to a firm wake-up time. Knowing that she will be up for a longer stretch of time, I let her wake up naturally. The longest she has gone is until 8:30 (and it was on the weekend!!…. that was glorious!). After she wakes up I make her breakfast, which takes about 20-25 minutes… and then we head out for a quick little morning walk…..
9:00-9:40ish: I pack things up for the day, or finish getting ready and she free plays. I have butcher paper with crayons, play-doh (which she isn’t too sure about yet), lots of books, a play cellphone, musical instruments, and a few balls…. she is usually in the bathroom with me though, trying to comb our dog’s hair (since she sees me doing that) or getting into my shoes…. whatever she chooses, it’s imaginative, and I’m okay with it. If I’m in a really tight situation, I will turn the TV on… which keeps her occupied for 10 minutes. Am I a bad mom? No. Did it take me a while to come to terms with that? Yes (still working on it….). In the words of my mom, grandmother, and Aunt “You all turned out ok…. and so did we.”
9:45: We head out for the day. This week we had story-time + songs on Monday, Tuesday was a day at Balboa Island, and yesterday we went to the mall and rode the carousel (5 times….)…. I’m in the process of coming up with some fun toddler activities, so when I have a list I’ll be sure to share them.  I’d also love your ideas as well!! 
Noon: Lunch
12:30-1:30pm: Playtime… we’re usually outside, playing in the water…. or she’s digging for rocks and filling up her sand pail…. or we’re inside having a dance party to this kid’s music record (I listened to it when I was  young… it’s super cute).
1:30pm-3:30/45: Nap (yessssss!!)

We eat dinner around 6, she starts her evening routine around 6:45, and is in bed by 7:15 every night.

Cutest Thing: Hands down the voluntary hugs she now freely gives. This started about a week ago. When we’re sitting at the dinner table, she just loves leaning over and giving TJ and me a full on hug…. and yesterday when I had my back to her while I was making breakfast, she wrapped her arms around my waist and hugged me…. and then again on the carousel today. She’s just a little love bug…… which makes all those limit testing moments and tantrums much more bearable.

Reality: While I feel that I have a lot of positives in this month’s motherhood update, the reality is that at the end of the day, I’m exhausted…. TJ is too… and there are moments where I wouldn’t mind pulling my hair out…. yet, it’s all those positive times that make it so much better! Motherhood isn’t easy…. no matter if you’re a work at home mom, stay at home mom, or working mom…. each has their own struggle, their own guilt that they deal with. While one of the other situations might seem ideal… I think it’s always important to remember that each brings it’s own personal struggle.

Marriage: TJ and I still have regular check-ins regarding how full our buckets feel. I’ve found it to be so imperative to a healthy family environment. When we’re firing on all cylinders, so is the entire family. We’re planning an upcoming weekend away… and have continued with our spin and breakfast dates…. which is always one of our favorite ways to reconnect. Our old sitter ended up moving, so we’re currently in the process of interviewing a few more. I am excited to celebrate the father that TJ is this coming Sunday with a little homemade brunch, and some rest and relaxation by the pool.

Favorite Products: We’ve been spending so much time outside as of late, that I’ve found a few outdoor products that I am loving. I recently tested out Coola baby sunscreen and it’s amazing. Smells heavenly, and it doesn’t make her look like Casper The Friendly ghost like so many others do. It also washes off easily in the bath. The face stick makes application on the face a breeze.

These swim diapers are so much better than having her wear regular ones in the pool. So much more comfortable for her, since they don’t absorb as much water and aren’t as thick.

As far as toys go, I’ve been providing her with crayons, butcher paper, sidewalk chalk (she’s obsessed…. walks around making small markings everywhereshopping cart), magnetic letters (closely monitor this one), bubbles, and a (I’ll place items around the house, and she goes and puts them in her cart….). I also recently ordered her a play pic-nic set… so we will see how that goes.

Oh, and I was at Gap Kids today… and everything was 40% off so I snagged this adorable cover-up, embroidered dress, and tiered tank.

I am also loving Robeez shoes for little miss (a pair featured below). They are super comfortable for her and she has no problem running around in them! She owns this pair and this espadrille pair.

(Tank, Sandals, Harper’s Outfit (sold out), Harper’s Shoes)

06.14.2017

Wellness Wednesday || 16 Healthy On The Go Snacks…. Annnnd, A Vitamix x Petunia Pickle Bottom Giveaway!

When Harper was little, staying inside was easy. We’d have story time, a little tummy time, a few songs, a couple of naps…. a thing of the past now that we have a full blown toddler on our hands. Now, I’m lucky to sit down for more than five minutes between the hours of 7:30am-1:30 (when that blessed nap arrives!!). With the beautiful weather that summer is bringing us, and little miss’ never ending abundance of energy, we’ve been planning lots of outside time with trips to the park, beach, and pool. With that comes a big appetite, and the need to plan ahead… from packing up our bags, to preparing all the food.

Given all of this, I was so excited to try out Petunia Pickle Bottom’s new Intermix Collection and Vitamix’s new A2500 Blender. I’ve been huge fans of both for years, and if they could make my life a little easier, I was open to any and all help. The new Vitamix blender allows me to create Harper’s favorite smoothie and acai bowl in multiple batch sizes, in a single round, which allows me a few options: store, serve, or take the blends to go. Its smart technology automatically adjusts to the container size I’ve selected and stops the blender when complete (read: I can walk away and finish something else…. multitasking at its finest!). I’ve essentially been able to create a week’s worth of smoothies and bowls for Harper that I can grab and go when we’re ready! For chic and practical storage, Petunia Pickle Bottom’s new collection is a create-your-own modular system of lightweight, easy to clean (yes please and amen!) bags and pods to help keep me organized and prepared. There are two smaller bags, the cool pixel bag (which is insulated allowing me to store temperature sensitive food) and the midi pixel which stores smaller bites…. I use both regularly and swear by them. I can’t stand being unorganized, and this system helps me prevent that…..

Of course, I have several tried and true snacks I add to these bags that I thought I would share with you today (some require a little beginning of the week meal-prep, some don’t)… just in case you’re looking for some healthy, on-the-go, snack ideas to prevent the hunger meltdown… from both toddler and momma…

Sliced Veggies (bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, zuchinni) with hummus or guac. I devour this and Harper does pretty well with the raw veggies… she mainly licks the guac and hummus off of them and takes small bites here and there….
Chocolate Banana Super Food Smoothie
Protein Waffles Topped With Almond Butter (new favorite almond butter)… I take these for Harper to nibble on all the time
Dairy Free Chia Seed Pudding
Acai Bowl
Dried Cranberries
Dried Mango Slices

Late July Peanut Butter Crackers
Turkey Slices
String Cheese
Ella’s Kitchen Nibbly Fingers 
R(x) Bars (chocoloate + blueberry flavors)
100 Calorie Perfect Bars (almond flavor is excellent too)
Fruit Slices: blueberries, raspberries, banana slices, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple
Siggi’s Yogurt (for Haper) Kite Hill (for me)
Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies 

Now for some fun! One reader will have the opportunity to win 1 Vitamix A25000 and The Petunia Pickle Intermix Collection (what you see featured here today!). Just be sure to follow @itsybitsyindulgences, @petuniapicklebottom, and @vitamix over on instagram. I’ll be sharing a photo later today with all the official requirements! Keep your eyes open!! 
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(Outfit Details || Leggings (wearing S) | Tank | Bralette | Harper’s Romper | Harper’s Shoes)


In collaboration with Petunia Pickle Bottom + Vitamix 

06.12.2017

Weekend Recap || “My Person”

(So much fun celebrating this lady…..)

When I was five, I found out I was going to become a big sister. I desperately wanted a little brother (I seriously have no clue why I was so dead set on this….) that when I found out I was having a little sister, I buried my head in the couch cushions and cried. Of course, that’s a story we’ve told many times over the the years with great fondness…. and despite my initial disappointment in having a sister, I can honestly say that I couldn’t imagine my life without her…..

I once saw a quote that read, “Because I have a sister, I will always have a friend.” For me, those words couldn’t be more true. Throughout the years, when I’ve felt most alone, upset, or anxious, I always knew that I had my sister… and, so, when it came time to planning her bridal shower, I wanted to give her a day that was meant to celebrate the beautiful woman she has become and the wonderful friend she is to me. We spent the afternoon with her closest friends, and family friends, showering her with love and sending her off into this new life stage of marriage…..

And while I know not everyone has a sister, and that a brother and sister relationship can be just as close, I simply hope that everyone can find that type of relationship in their life. The kind where you know that no matter what happens, that person is there for you. I guess you could call them “your person.” Sometimes we have multiple “persons”…. a “squad” you could call it. So, as we go into this week ahead, I feel incredibly blessed by the “persons” who surround me… and set my intention to let them all know how much I cherish their place in my life! I hope you’ll do the same! Have a great week friends! xx

(My mom assembled all of the flower arrangements in these gold vases… and the place-settings were adorned with these placemats and woven fans. My mom and I did the ombré napkins for my baby shower, and my mom wrote “aloha” on the fans with puff paint. All the pineapples were spray painted gold. We rented the glasses, and tossed these adorable pineapple swizzle sticks in them for an extra tropical touch. I opted for a lace table cloth to give it a little bit of a vintage feel.)

(We did a dessert bar, as opposed to a cake, and served shortbread cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, and vanilla + lemon filled macaroons. I loved the pineapple plates and palm tree napkins.)

(Ending the weekend with a little family run to breakfast for some avocado toast… and chocolate milk for little miss… my tee, capris)
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We got creative this weekend working out with Harper… and used a lot of the tips we talked about in this post.  We have this ground turkey recipe on the menu this week, along with this shrimp stir fry recipe. I’m also planning on making this beauty smoothie a few times this week for my afternoon snack. On Friday, I switched my cardio up a bit and did this stair-master workout…. buns were on fire! I’m also considering trying the Tone It Up 7 Day slim down…. not sure yet… have any of you done it before?? I’m curious how their meal plan is!

Lots of great basics finds this weekend that I had to share with you! This stripe french terry ruffle sleeve tee is absolutely adorable (I bought it in the pink color), knot front sweater (so many cute color options, loving the blush and oatmeal), and this simple knot front jersey tank (again, so many colors to choose from). I also love this slit sleeve cotton tee and camo hoodie…. perfect with cut-offs and kicks for a busy day. I recently purchased this lace up sweatshirt… it’s seriously so soft.

I recently invested in some new workout pieces and am obsessed with these blush and oatmeal high waisted leggings (size up, they run tight….), this oatmeal sports bra (seriously so comfortable), mesh cold shoulder pullover (perfect for post-spin brunch), vintage zip-up hoodie, and this side slit tank. I’m also considering these neutral cross trainers or these pink tubular kicks (since I love my grey pair so much).

These blush slide sandals juuuuust arrived, and they’re so comfortable… and the blush is so pretty. They’re currently being price matched. I also think these slip-on huarache sandals are such a cute steal. The price is amazing!

J. Crew and LOFT also have some of the cutest items lately. J. Crew is offering 25% off this adorable ruffle wrap skirt (I am debating between the white and hibiscus), tie shoulder ruffle top with eyelet trim, flutter sleeve tee (in blush… but so many pretty options), and this cute graphic tee. LOFT has the cutest one shoulder top, color blocked maxi skirt, and floral mxi dress (love that it comes in a petite option).

For little miss, I found the cutest little stripe romper,  embroidered smocked tank, floral print romper, adorable blue and white tiered skirt, floral off the shoulder top, floral maxi dress, and this embroidered flutter sleeve dress.

06.09.2017

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Over the course of my career as a Marriage and Family therapist, I saw first hand how important the role of a father is in a family system. I grew up in a home with a strong fatherly presence, and it saddened me when I would speak with clients whose relationships were completely different… from absent fathers to abusive ones… it ultimately made me appreciate my relationship with my dad even more (I think at some level I always took my relationship with my parents for granted… until I grew up and had to become an adult on my own….). Knowing the significance of the role, it was always important to me to find a husband who would be just as present, both physically and emotionally, as my own dad was….

When TJ and I became serious, and talked about marriage and someday a family, there was never a doubt in my mind that he would be a wonderful father. From his silly disposition with younger kiddos (always seems to be able to make them laugh) to his unnatural ability to tolerate the repetitiveness that children love, I knew he’d be a natural. When we found out we were having a daughter, he quickly read through “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” to ensure he would be a fully present dad to Harper. She absolutely loves him, and it melts my heart to see their relationship together…. just as it does to see my dad become a grand-daddy….

Both of these men have a tremendous role in my life, and in Harper’s…. a gift, of course, is not what they expect…. but it’s just a small way that I get to show them my appreciation for all they do for me, Harper, and our family! So, if you have a father, father-figure, and/or a baby-daddy in your life… I’ve rounded up some great gift ideas that they’re sure to love!

Grooming: If you’re guy is into taking care of his skin just as much as you are, then you have to try out the Clarisonic Cleansing System (c/o) for men. It’s designed specifically for men to help them get a closer shave, healthier looking skin, and a cleaner beard (or five o’clock shadow….). It has two different settings and can be customized for each guy. TJ loves his… as well as this eye de-puffer (pretty much obsessed), and this facial moisturizer (both my dad and TJ love this one). When traveling, I this dopp kit is an excellent option… it’s a clean look, with the perfect amount of compartments to keep everything organized.

Tech Lover: If you have a technology obsessed man on your hands, TJ loves these ear buds (blares his rap….), and we love using our BOSE speaker on the weekends. I also think this iPad mini cover is super sleek… and how cool is this handsfree camera??… pretty much the perfect way to ensure the entire family gets in a photo!

Grill Master: Both TJ and my dad love to bbq…. and have a libation while doing so. I love these personalized beer glasses, and both love their sphere ice cube maker (perfect ice cube for those gimlets). As far as actual grilling goes, these individualized meat thermometers are a great option, and this s’mores grilling basket is probably one of the best inventions ever (we do s’mores on the bbq all the time!).

Workout Fanatic: We’re a pretty active family, so it’s always a safe bet that something related to it will be a well received gift. I’m considering buying TJ another pair of his favorite shorts, and this tank for our hikes and spin classes. This is also an excellent half zip for post workout brunch, and TJ loves all classic Adidas so I think this hat would be perfect.

The Stylish Guy: Both TJ and my dad have quite the shoe collection… so I’ve always known that a good pair of shoes would be a great gift. TJ loves these everyday Nike kicks (he owns the grey color seen above), and he wears these sunnies daily. I also bought him this bracelet for our anniversary and he wears it daily.

Other Fun Ideas: Some things I have done in the past include purchasing tickets to a sports game (baseball game or future football game…) or an airline gift certificate for my dad (since he loves going to Hawaii)…. or, this year, a cute little picture framed of TJ with Harper and Harper with my Dad…. or a round of golf…. there are always ways to get creative for those you love!

06.05.2017

Weekend Recap || All About Balance

(Sunny skies all weekend long)

I’ve always heard the quote “A Sunday well spent brings a week of content…” and had mixed feelings about its meaning. Does a Sunday well spent mean running errands, meal prepping, cleaning, and doing laundry? Or, does it mean fully embracing and enjoying the day off…. doing whatever your heart desires?? Each situation offers a different type of contentment…. The former goes into the work week feeling accomplished and prepared for the days ahead… though, maybe a little short changed that one weekend day was spent running around?? The latter leaves your heart and mind feeling full… but likely a little frazzled as the work week starts…..

Over the past few weekends, I’ve found myself balancing out the two different meanings. A quick trip to the grocery store on Sunday, followed by a lazy day at the pool with the family. Sure, I start the week with a longer to-do list…. but I’d never trade in the memories of that Sunday “well spent.” It’s taken me a while to find that Sunday balance…. I used to see Sunday as another work day… almost dreading it. Since embracing this more balanced approach, I’ve come to relax a bit more, and feel more content as the week begins.

All that to say, we all have to find our own balance in life…. in all aspects. So, as we go into this week ahead, I’m going into it with the intention of just that. Finding balance where I tend to lean to an extreme. Would love to know where you’re going to try to find balance this week too!

Have a good one friends! xx

(Post Soul Cycle breakfast date)

(My fav way to start the mornings….)

(Saturday night bubbly)

(Poolside all weekend long…. Tunic, shorts, tote, sandals, Harper’s sandals, hat, romper)
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In wellness news, I’m starting to think about meal prepping on Sundays. I used to do it a while ago, but felt as if I waisted a lot of food, so I stopped. Yet, I’m trying to fine tune how I go about it and started by making a few chicken breasts, roasted sweet potatoes, and spiralized some zucchini for the week ahead. Ever since little miss dropped to one nap, I feel as if making anything decent is more difficult. Hoping this helps. I’m working on re-vamping my grocery list, but you can see my old one here.

I found a few of my favorite items on sale over the weekend and wanted to share them with you. The summer knit I wear all the time is about 50% off (and available in all sizes), new favorite one shoulder black top (which I’m saving for a sushi date night this coming Friday evening…), super soft ruffle chambray tank (an extra 40% off!),and this peplum olive green top (extra 40% off) last featured here.

Basics. My favorite. I snagged this pretty little white ruffle top over the weekend and can’t wait to pair it with my favorite cut-offs. I’m also loving this stripe cami, chambray tie waist top, and this grey cold shoulder ruffle sweatshirt (lightweight material…. super comfy). I’m also loving these white perforated kicks, grey cross training kicks, and these amazing woven white flat mules (#obsessed). Also, if you’re looking for a pair of white slides for summer (highly recommended) I love this double strap slide as well as these white slide sandals.

My sister’s bridal shower is this coming weekend and I’ve narrowed down my dress options to this gorgeous embroidered maxi (in the taupe and blush color), paisley maxi dress (love the color), and this crochet maxi. I’m wanting to pair whatever dress I get with these amazing fringe sandals, but I’m also looking at these, more budget friendly, slides.

 I’ve also been on the hunt for a great budget friendly one-piece swim suit… and in the search came across this adorable ruffled, deep back, option (in black and peach), striped off the shoulder suit, and this ruffle one shoulder suit.

06.01.2017

Wellness Series || 7 Ways To Deal With The Lows In Life

I wanted to start this post with “Sh** happens….” then I thought it was too forward… then I realized, that’s life. Stuff happens. We’re let down, we have setbacks…. failures even, timing of situations doesn’t workout, tragedy occurs, our minds drift to negative spaces, and so much more can, and does, go wrong. In my 20’s I had a hard time with all of that. As I was working to establish my career, lasting friendships, romantic relationships, and a strong sense of self, all of the above happened. I experienced significant loss in my life…. through death and the ending of relationships. I was rejected from jobs. I had professional failures too. I’d spend days dwelling on the negative, feeling sorry for myself, obsessing over things I said, and going over countless ways I coulda, shoulda, and woulda handled a situation… or ways I would have liked someone else to act differently. Yet, as I moved through my 20’s, and well into my 30’s, I began to feel more settled. I started to worry less, and came to take the good that life gave right along with the bad that was dealt. I’d always heard people say the 30’s are the best years… I never knew why… and then, when I stopped to reflect on where I was, realized they were. Life doesn’t get any easier (trust me)…. I think I just matured.  I came to look at situations differently, different values took priority, and I used the techniques I always knew would help me get through the anxious and sad times in my life…. I felt more confident using them… and simply, I grew more confident in who I am as a person.

 I used to be a Marriage and Family therapist, and so much of what I did on a daily basis was dedicated to listening and helping empower people to manage their lives in a more functional manner. I never sought to solve their problems (that was their job), but instead, looked to give them the tools they needed to be successful in life. They were the same tools that I had begun to use regularly. Escaping uncomfortable situations, never experiencing sad days and weeks, and avoiding anxiety just isn’t possible. At some level, these uncomfortable situations serve a functional role in our lives. What I realized was that it’s how we deal with them that matters the most. And, since crap happens to all of us, I felt like sharing some of the tricks I use to help me get through those less than perfect moments in life……..

1. Will This Matter…..???: Let’s be honest here, most of the crap I worry about will never have a lasting impact on my life…. yet, so often, I waste my time with it, inappropriately evaluating it’s importance. So, I routinely ask myself, “Will this matter in a week, a month, or a year?” It puts things into perspective pretty quickly. It also helps me prioritize where to direct my time and efforts. If something is going to ultimately matter in a year from now, then it likely requires more of my time than something that I won’t give two thoughts about in a mere 7 days. The number of likes I get on an instagram photo will not matter in a year from now…. but, a health concern will. Prioritize.

2. Plan Something Fun: I’ve always believed that the best way out of a lull in life is to schedule something to look forward to. I used to recommend it to clients all the time. It’s one of the quickest ways to help me deal with blah life situations. A quick weekend getaway is usually my favorite… not always financially possible, so a few other go-to’s include a favorite workout class, time to read my favorite book or Netflix series (current favorite is 13 Reasons Why…. and, yes, I schedule that stuff….), a long walk (or cocktails) with a girlfriend, a family hike on the weekend, or an at home date night. Scheduling in “fun” is a sure way to provide a little break from a negative life rut.

3. Phone (or text) A Friend: I think it’s so easy to isolate when difficult times arrive. Yet, the very act of isolating can often perpetuate the situation. I always find that chatting with TJ, calling a friend, texting my mom, sister, or dad is typically a good way to shift the tide in a different direction. It might not make the feeling go away, but it’s a good feeling when you feel supported and heard.

4. Evaluate My Evaluation: For both times of worry and sadness, I’ve found that taking a look at how I view the situation helps me gain perspective. Am I magnifying the negative? Minimizing the positive? Or, am I reading another person’s mind… thinking I know what they thought of our conversation/interaction? Am I creating a catastrophe, where it’s really only a minor blip (you know the saying, “Creating a mountain our of a mole hill…”). I’d say 90% of the time I can identify that I’m doing one of those four things, which helps me do the opposite. Notice something positive, acknowledge that I have no clue what the other person is thinking and that I’m putting my personal thoughts/opinions on them, and quickly look at a situation for what it is (just because Harper didn’t sleep through her afternoon nap doesn’t mean that we’re going through a huge sleep regression).

5. Take Charge Where I Can: I find I often feel worse when I feel as if there is nothing I can do about a situation. There are always variables outside of my control, so being able to identify those is a good starting place (can’t change those, why waste precious energy on it….). After doing so, I’m able to make a list of the ways I can actually illicit some sort of change. What I’ve come to realize is that I can always control myself, and make good decisions. Whether that’s how I respond to someone, how I treat my body, or how I take care of myself mentally. Ways I typically choose to take control are by eating healthy, working out, putting effort into relationships that are healthy and reciprocal, apologizing when I’ve hurt someone…. the act of doing something to better a situation often helps me feel less helpless (which is never a good feeling). Also, recognizing that some variables are outside of my control helps me minimize the amount of responsibility I feel in certain situations (I’ve come to realize that I tend to overemphasize my level of responsibility in any given situation).

6. Faith: I personally don’t believe in chance, and everyone has their own faith and spiritual journey. I use mine, and always encouraged my client’s to do the same. I turn to faith for answers that I can’t explain, for guidance during the difficult times, and for hope…. no matter what one’s faith, there are typically guiding principles that direct in difficult times…. which can be a great source of comfort.

7. Accepting: Sometimes this is just the best answer. By accepting I am simply acknowledging that sometimes life sucks and that there is an ebb and flow to circumstances. Without the downs, the highs wouldn’t seem as special and everything in between wouldn’t feel “normal.” Acknowledging that this is just “a temporary spot” helps everything feel less overwhelming…. and often, in the moment of acceptance, things can turn around. I can start to see more clearly and use the strategies mentioned above.
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(Outfit Details|| Tank | Leggings | Sweatshirt | Shoes | Sunglasses)