Happy Thursday, guys! It’s almost the end of opening week at the university, and while it’s been incredibly hectic, it’s so nice to see familiar faces back and meet new students who have joined us on campus. Without further ado, here’s this week’s Thankful Thursday.
Mochi—I was elated to spy this sweet treat on campus at Sushi with Gusto now. I paid an embarrassing amount of money for it, and I made quite the scene of excitement in front of the sushi chef. He seemed to understand how happy I was since it’s so hard to find. In general, I pick it up at international groceries on trips, but occasionally, I’ll order it online. I don’t know if it being located so close to me in our building is great for every day, but it will be a nice treat to have once in a while. I’ll have to try to resist those little pillowy sugar clouds.
If you’ll remember in a prior post, I recently bemoaned the fact that I hadn’t had a facial in years. My last and only facial occurred ages ago as part of a birthday gift of a complete spa package. It came following an hour of massage. I must admit after an hour of relaxation, I was half asleep and didn’t care what anyone was doing to my face. It was a wonderful day, but I don’t feel like I truly appreciated the full facial experience of a consultation with an esthetician.
As an unashamed Real Housewives junkie (Atlanta and Beverly Hills), I always stare in awe at the TV after they come out of their facials with the the most perfect youthful and glowing skin. Friends, I’ve finally experienced what I refer to as Real Housewives Flawless Face®!
For the complete facial experience, I recently stopped in at my local Massage Envy. Like my massage experience, it was incredibly relaxing and had many long term benefits. The receptionist greeted me with hot tea again, and I got to hang out in the Tranquility Room being tranquil until it was time. Massage Envy has this hospitality thing down to an art, and it’s my favorite place to unwind for a couple of hours on a weekend. Continue reading Great Skin
I used to be quite the perfume collector. I love scents, and my tastes vary with my mood. Some summer days, I’m feeling a marine fragrance a little more, but most days, I prefer something spicy and oriental. I used to have a carnival glass tray on my dresser filled with different bottles. While I have slowed my purchases over the last several years, I do still love to find a new scent that excites me.
Throughout my searches, I often encountered praises of L’Artisan Parfumeur, but I struggled to find a place in the United States to order samples of their fragrances. I was thrilled to finally find Luckyscent, an online store and shop out of Los Angeles that specializes in offering the “unique, rare, and exceptional.” Fortunately, they sell samples! Continue reading Novel Perfumes
In the middle of the madness of the week, let me take the time to do a Thankful Thursday! I always hope you all enjoy reading my posts, but this post is essential for me, too. It’s an attitude adjustment in my week.
Pretty plates—I love when my meal looks appealing on a plate (pictured above). I think a big part of enjoying healthy eating is presentation! While at times I don’t have the time for it, other days it seems to come together naturally. I thought my dinner the other night was colorful, and it made Kelly stop and sniff around curiously when he passed. I’d say that’s a success!
New friendship opportunities—At times, it can seem challenging to make new friends when you’re an adult. People have established friendships, and the day to day routine of life can make it harder to connect. I can also be a little shy and introverted, as I’ve struggled with social anxiety for years, so I’m often hesitant to reach out. There are many times, I connect with someone online, and I think, what an interesting person! I bet I could learn a lot from them if we met, and I would love to hear more about their life. Fortunately, for my curious but timid heart, I have come in contact with friends online that have reached out to meet me! I always feel so grateful and excited when this happens because it means a lot to me, and I find it to be pretty courageous. Some of the men and women I have met and connect with most in life have come from online friendships that evolved into real world connections. This week a new friend reached out to me, and I’m very excited to meet up soon!
In the past, whenever, I would “try” to eat healthy and add exercise to my life, I would always find excuses: I wasn’t a member of a gym, cooking everything took up too much time, and in general, I was too busy. “Too busy” is a funny thing. I always seemed to find time to binge on Netflix. I found time to lie on the couch and mindlessly scroll through Facebook. I truly found time to do a lot of nothing! When I chose to make positive choices for my long term life, it was amazing how much time I suddenly found!
Now, I am a member of a gym, however, the first place I started working out was my neighborhood “track”. The track I’m referring to is literally a circle drive in my neighborhood. I have lost count of how many times around this small circle it takes to make a mile. I had never really tried jogging so I wasn’t comfortable being with a lot of other people in the beginning as I worked on improving, but I faced the reality that change only happens when you refuse to allow yourself to make excuses. Little did I know, that the tree coverage in my neighborhood was perfect at providing cooler spots of shade when I was sweating buckets in the summer heat. At first, I could only walk a mile, but you know what, I concentrated on just doing the best mile I could. Before I knew it, my time had improved and I could do more.
I think we can be so hard on ourselves and expect so much from ourselves, so fast, when we start a new lifestyle. Instead, I chose each day to focus on giving my all to whatever I was doing. It’s okay that you can’t run when you start! It’s okay that by the end of your first time jogging, your jog is more of a brisk walk. Ask yourself, “Am I giving this my all?” If you can answer in the affirmative, feel good about that and acknowledge what a strong body you have! Sometimes, just forcing yourself to “dress out” and following through at the gym, is a huge accomplishment deserving of recognition.
Stop beating yourself up along the way. Stop staring at yourself with disgust. Stop judging yourself by harsher standards than you would others. As you begin giving it your all and improving your life, I would also encourage you to stop making excuses. Life changes that stick are made by making the conscious little decisions every single day to do what you need to do.
What a wonderfully slow and relaxing weekend it’s been! This is just what I needed before the storm that is late August and early September in higher education. It can be incredibly rewarding working at a university, but there are certain times of the year when it feels like you’re in survival mode. One of those times would have to be from the beginning of fall semester until Labor Day. “Just keep swimming” is my fall semester mantra. Ha! As we approach those busier times of year, it’s important that I take those rare moments of free time to fully unwind.
On Friday night, Kelly and I had a date night. Because we both work at the university, it’s definitely hard to connect with one another at the end of summer. His busy times start a little earlier than mine since he works in Residence Life. During the past few weeks, he has worked longer hours and weekends, and I’m often on my own. He was able to break away Friday night, and we took advantage of it and had a dinner date at our neighborhood coffee shop, The Edge. I think The Edge has some of the best coffee in town, but I really love their salads. I am all about a “big salad”, and for me, it’s hard to find a really decent one in Jonesboro. Don’t sell me a dinky little handful of lettuce and call it a salad! So far my favorite salad in town is The Edge’s Mediterranean with the Raspberry Vinaigrette. They put a massive scoop of hummus on it, sprouts, and I swear there is some sort of artisanal lettuce involved. I don’t know what they do to their crop, but it’s some good lettuce. We took our time and had a long meal and good conversation. Then, it was back to the house to catch up on the DVR queue. You can tell you’re both introverts when a night in with the cats is the best date night you can imagine!
Some mornings I’m a smoothie for breakfast girl, but there are many days that I need something more to tide me over until my lunch break. Lately, my favorite go-to breakfast is oatmeal. I’ll spare you from listing the many health benefits that I’m sure you’ve heard for years on how healthy oatmeal is, but personally, my favorite thing about morning oats is how creative you can be with them. Seriously, you can throw anything in oatmeal, and it seems to turn out great. It’s a forgiving base, and I’m no chef, so I appreciate forgiving! I do like instant oats, but a new favorite of mine–the internet famous, Overnight Oats. I use Olena’s recipe with honey instead of maple syrup. Mainly, because I didn’t have any syrup on hand the first time I made them, and I have yet to get around to buying a bottle. My recent favorite additions to oats are walnuts, hemp seeds, cinnamon, and throw in whatever random fruit is on your counter. There you have a filling breakfast that will keep that mid-morning grouchfest at bay when you curse yourself for not securing the lifestyle of a stay at home cat mom. Someday, folks! Someday.
I’ll admit that I can often be a glass half empty sort of lady. That’s my default setting. Someone described me as “peppy” recently, and I had to turn around and see if they were referring to some other Sarah standing behind me. Truth be told, from childhood to present, I tend to have a personality very similar to that of Daria Morgendorffer (see below for the photographic evidence I’ve included). I’m the first in a meeting to roll my eyes when anyone suggests “icebreakers” to “get to know one another better”, and most cards with sappy messages make my skin crawl.
As I get older, however, I find cynicism to be lazy and boring. It’s draining on others when you’re always predicting the storm. For someone truly so happy with life, I notice myself complaining way more than I should. How do you change a personality that has been that of a grouchy 80 year old woman since birth, I’ve wondered? Well, Rome definitely wasn’t built in a day, but I’m getting there, friends!
I find gratitude helps me so much. I had a friend that once asked me how I was so happy (Jaw, meet floor.), and the answer for me is always the beauty in the details. Little moments of content are what make up a life when time moves so fast with age. The simple pleasures are so easy to find when you take a moment! For me that looks like a “Good Things List”. What is on your Good Things List so far for this week?
Jogging one lap and walking two laps for a total of four miles last night! That may not seem like much for some but for a novice exerciser, it feels pretty special. The last mile the “jogging” was pretty slow going, but I did it. There’s nothing like that sense of accomplishment when your brain is telling you no but your body pushes through.
Recent gifts of Spearmint and Lemon Balm from a friend
I had my first facial in years yesterday, and I can’t wait to report on it here soon!
I have my first sprout crop, you guys! Months ago I brought a sprouting lid, but it took Kelly finding a wide mouth mason jar at the thrift for me to finally test it out. Voila! It looks like a weird mass of weeds, but I promise you, there’s nutritional goodness in there. I love sprouts in salads and on sandwiches, but I find them to be pretty pricey when you buy them. It’s so easy, I might pick up a few more sprouting jars and have a window sill sprout farm going soon!