Life on Life’s Terms

serenity

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and the wisdom to know the difference.

The serenity prayer has helped millions of recovering alcoholics to accept life on life’s terms, and cope with the everyday struggles that are sometimes out of our control. Whether you are an alcoholic or not, chances are that you could also benefit from the teachings of the 12 Step Program. I am lucky to say that I have never struggled with having a problem relating to alcohol, but I have a whole heart of compassion for the people who have. I honestly believe that the 12 step recovery process is a life changer for anyone (alcoholic or not) who commits to the principles and seeks to live a satisfying, honest, and accepting life.

Undoubtedly one of the most difficult things to accept in life is that there are many things that we have absolutely no control over. It is important to recognize those things, and learn to accept our powerlessness over them. We should expend our efforts and energy towards the things that are within our control, allowing us to reach a greater level of satisfaction, pride, and meaning once our influence has proved successful. Learning to live life on life’s terms means that you are willing to accept the ups and downs that the universe delivers, without putting up resistance or acting out as a means of coping.

I recently starting reading the NY Times Bestseller, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson, and despite what you may think from the title, it’s actually been a pretty eye-opening read. The premise of the book is that life sucks sometimes, but it’s better to just admit it, shrug your shoulders and get over it. Manson says that we should really stop kidding ourselves and acting as though nothing but positivity surrounds us. He says we should just honor the fact that the world is shitty, and then make the most of what’s left of it. In other words, accept life on life’s terms. It’s important to remain level-headed through all of life’s shitty, unfair moments, and continue to give fucks about only the things that truly matter. Be honest with whatever your situation, and be honest with yourself. Life gets better once you accept the things you cannot change.

xx allie

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You Look Tired Today

tired

You hit the snooze button for the third time this morning, and roll out of bed. You forgo your eye shadow for today,  scarf down your half toasted bagel, and run out the front door leaving your packed lunch behind absentmindedly. Despite the struggle being real this morning, you make it to work on time. As you are about to pat yourself on the back in your mind, your coworker leans over your desk and says, “You look tired today”.

If you’ve ever be told this line, then I feel your pain. WHAT? I am sorry to say that unfortunately this blog post is going to be somewhat of a rant. Personally, I feel that this comment is entirely inappropriate for a number of reasons. Let us count the ways.

  1. Excuse me, but did I ask you for your opinion on how I look today? Was your feedback welcomed in any way? If I didn’t ask, then maybe it’s because I don’t care to know. And who made you the expert on what I should look like, and whether I’m up to par with your expectations?
  2. I look tired, you say? Oh really? What gave it away today? Was it the bags under my eyes? My messy, half put together hair? My outfit choice? Am I pale? Do I look sick? Do I look like shit? Thank you for noticing. Something about me is not right, which is why I look tired today according to you. Well, out with it! What are you trying to tell me exactly?
  3. Okay, so I look tired. Is there something you want me to do about it? What’s the point of telling me this, other than to make me also FEEL like crap in addition to looking like it?
  4. How am I expected to respond? I immediately feel awful now that you think I look tired. Should I make up an excuse for a reason why? Should I agree that I put little effort into my appearance today? Should I go in the bathroom to reapply my makeup? What is the proper response? TELL ME.

Okay so basically, a word to the wise: DON’T ASK THIS QUESTION TO ANYONE. It’s just not nice, and doesn’t come across well. If you think a person looks tired, maybe just keep that thought to yourself. Save your personal feedback for positive affirmations and compliments. Build the world up, don’t knock it down. The world is tough enough without you telling people that they look tired. End rant.

xx allie

fabfitfun Summer Box Review

 

fabfitfun box

What’s up guys! A few days ago, I received my summer edition of the fabfitfun box. I gotta say, it did NOT disappoint. I’m really obsessed with these boxes, because I can’t get over what a great value they are. They come loaded with season-specific products that are name brand and high quality. Let’s review the contents of my box:

  • Michael Stars Ruana Scarf/Sarong: I knew that this was going to arrive in my box, since it was the spoiler product prior to its delivery. I wasn’t too excited for it initially, but after receiving it, I absolutely love it! It is super soft and thin, and I love the black & white color that I got. It looks trendy over a white blouse, or can be tied to your handbag or used as a scarf. It’s literally the perfect summer garment. Retails for $54.

ruana

  • BKR Little Water Bottle (glass): Since I workout often, I am constantly looking for a clean water bottle to take with me to the gym. This one is cute, girly, and convenient. Retails for $35.

water bottle

  • Ultra Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50: When I go outside to tan, I use tanning oil spray for my body (that is a 15 SPF). However, I know I’ve been needing a face sunscreen that is more protective and sensitive. I really like this lightweight blend, as it is not oily at all and mixes very well with my foundation. Retails for $24.
  • Cargo_HD Picture Perfect Highlighter in Bronze: This is a very subtle highlighter (less of a bronzer), that really just gives my face a nice glow. It kind of sets my makeup and leaves me looking awake and renewed. Retails for $30.

highlighter.jpg

  • Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate: I love eye creams and concentrates, because you can never start your anti-aging regime too early. It doesn’t just soak right in and dry up. It lasts for hours, leaving the skin around my eyes to feel soft, moisturized, and supple. Little bit goes a long way. Retails for $29.
  • Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk: I haven’t tried this out yet, but it looks like a higher quality dry shampoo, and it comes in a sizable bottle. It’s supposed to help you regain volume and texture, without leaving a white residue. Retails for $20.

dry shampoo.jpg

  • Ready, Set, Create Art Set: Honestly, I wasn’t too too stoked with this item. I’ll probably regift it, or give it to a child I know. There were some other item options that I would have preferred to receive here (too bad its random sometimes!). I really liked the Himalayan salt kit, and also the body massage oil. Retails for $22.
  • Kris Nations Mystic Gemstone Bar Necklace: Aside from the Michael Stars Ruana, this is my favorite thing in the box. I love handmade dainty, girly necklaces, but this one is special to me because I received the moonstone which is helpful for harnessing positive energy. Goes with literally any outfit. Retails for $58.

necklace

  • Collagen Peptide Stick Pack and 20% off Coupon: I’ve seen collagen inspired products before, but never in an ingestible powder. They aren’t kidding when they say that it’s odorless and tasteless. Initially, it seemed like a HECK of a lot of powder to put inside my coffee cup, but it dissolved right up and was indiscernible upon drinking. I felt good having it in the morning, as it was 9 extra grams of protein, and collagen is great for joints, bones, skin, hair, etc. I might just have to buy some more and use it on the daily.

Basically, this box was WELL worth the money I spent. It’s original price is $49.99, which is a steal…but if you use my code, you’ll get an additional $10 off your box…making it only $39.99!!! (which is less than the retail price of the Ruana itself!)

My code is: fffa2p6

GO GO GO GO GET YOURS NOW!

xx allie

Moments of Happy

simple pleasures

Happy Monday all!

A practice that I’d like to share with you is one that I think works therapeutically to help you be more mindful and considerate of all the good, simple pleasures that surround us.

It is a good idea to start a list of all the things that make you happy. Big, small, or barely there. Anything at all that gives you a feeling of happiness, peace, safety, etc. As I realize new things that make me happy, I add them to my list. I’ve been working on my list for several months now, and I am very proud of how accurately it defines the person that I am and the things that I love in life. These things provide meaning and value to my life. They are the little things that make life worth living for me. I have fully articulated the very things that make life beautiful to me.

I’ll share my list now (in no particular order):

  • Rainy days/falling asleep to the sound of rain
  • Spotting a full moon
  • Coffee in the morning
  • Dancing in a room of united ladies (zumba)
  • Falling leaves
  • Peanut butter & chocolate icecream
  • Hearing the words, “I love you”
  • Home cooked meals
  • Pay days: the benefit of my hard work
  • Sunday morning cuddles
  • Sitting in the passenger seat
  • Massages
  • Fresh manicures/pedicures
  • Face masks
  • Starbucks comfort drinks
  • Bubble baths
  • Chocolate candy dispensers
  • Continental breakfasts
  • Donuts/cinnamon rolls
  • Travel
  • Going on quiet walks
  • Seeing movies in theaters and getting popcorn
  • Writing poetry
  • Doing a makeover/new makeup
  • Colorful winter trees (orange, red, yellow)
  • Psychological thrillers
  • Surprises
  • A glass of moscato
  • New restaurants
  • Baking yummy treats w/ glass of milk
  • Peonies/roses
  • Frozen chocolate bananas
  • Bean n’ cheese burritos
  • Acai Bowls
  • Wildflowers
  • Sunbathing
  • Jacuzzi
  • Morning Hikes
  • Birds chirping after it rains
  • 90s music from  my childhood
  • The sound of my footsteps on pavement
  • The smell of a cigar
  • Spotting lizards
  • White peaches
  • Perfect temperature days
  • October afternoons
  • Genuine, heartfelt smiles
  • Studio Barre
  • Self-help books
  • My chilly down comforter when I’m hot
  • Tennis
  • Netflix series
  • The Bachelor/Bachelorette
  • Finding great sales
  • Chicken Noodle Pho
  • Good puns
  • Monthly mailed subscriptions

What’s on your list…?

xx allie

 

 

 

 

Coko Loco

Spoon in brown powder

Alright guys—I’ve got a good one for you today…

If you know me at all, then you know I’m a raging chocoholic. I freaking LOVE chocolate more than life itself. As a child, I loved Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory…because edible teacups and chocolate rivers..hello?! My favorite book was Hansel & Gretel because of the delicious edible house the wicked old lady lived in (who cares about the children being eaten?). Basically, I’m a sugar fiend. I would bathe in chocolate if I could.

But as much as I love chocolate….would I snort it?!

HECK NO.

I was listening to the radio this morning, and couldn’t help but be appalled when I heard about the latest fad. A new product called coko loco has just hit supermarkets in America. What is this product? A cocoa powder made to be snorted! Apparently, snorting cocoa is the new way to get a caffeine high/energy boost in place of drinking coffee. What in the world? Don’t believe me?? Check out this article.

So apparently this all began in Europe and slowly made its way to the states. While I am a huge endorser of anything chocolate, I do not agree with this product. It is not yet FDA approved, as not enough studies have been conducted to tell whether it will cause long-term health repercussions. Definitely a cause for concern.

Apart from the health implications, however, are the societal ones. If snorting chocolate begins to be the norm, then what next? Are we going to start to see snortable candy? Are we going to have to get used to our coworkers snorting chocolate in the morning at their desks, and children snorting candy at lunch in elementary schools? How will we know if these powders are not laced with drugs like cocaine? This is the beginning of a very dangerous future and I already don’t like it.

Snorting is not a normal way to ingest things. Up until now, we’ve really only known drugs to be snorted. It is terrifying to imagine that the act of snorting may very well become mainstream and common among everyday products. Ughhhhh…say it ain’t so. Call me old fashion, but I am beginning to fear the future and the world that I will have to raise children in. Artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and snortable chocolate? SEND HELP.

xx allie

milk and honey

milk and honey 2

Recently I have been seeing a lot of buzz about a #1 New York Times Bestseller called, “milk and honey” by Rupi Kaur. It is a collection of poetry and prose discussing the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. I decided to make a special trip to Barnes and Noble to purchase this book (which lucky for me, happened to be 20% off—yay!).

Seeing as I was able to finish the book in about an hour’s worth of time, I’d like to be able to say that it was an easy read. But truth be told, I’d be lying if I said it was easy to read. This book was dark. It was hard to read at times. It discusses in great detail some of the most bitter moments in life. It’s like a punch to the stomach, of every awful feeling you’ve ever felt condensed into one small novel. But it doesn’t just leave you to feel like you’ve gotten the wind knocked out of you. Kaur finds the sweetness in even the most bitter of moments, reminding anyone who is willing to read that there is sweetness everywhere you look if you are open to seeing it.

Aside from the main idea of the book, there were a few noteworthy aspects that I’d like to touch on. First, it was a little difficult to read in the beginning, as Kaur does not follow the rules of the English language in her writing. For instance, she refrains from using capital letters entirely. This was odd and off-putting at first. It makes you feel a subtle sense of chaos, and disorder. This was not an accident. I believe she wants the reader to feel this way. Perhaps she is delicately reminding the reader that chaos exists inherently, and that everything that is, is not without a sense of disorder at its roots. The words make a more pronounced impact when they are written in this style. The use of lowercase words is also ironic as she is making impactful, colossal arguments with only the use of the most subtle letters. The words she strings together are impossible to forget, as they haunt you in the most familiar places in your heart….and it doesn’t take much–only the mention of these feelings that we work so hard to suppress, and fail to ever articulate.

Another point to mention is her excessive use of periods, when we would typically expect commas. She doesn’t appear to use commas at all, and prefers to indicate pauses through the use of periods instead. I am still not entirely sure what her intention is…but I would expect it to imply the harsh nature of life, and its unwillingness to slow down. Perhaps she is conveying the concreteness of reality. This is just a speculation.

As I read through the book, I found myself dog-earring every other page. Almost every point she made resonated with me, and verbalized an emotion that I’ve never dared to enunciate before on my own. She is brave enough to say the things that we fear to admit to ourselves. She is brave enough to go one step further. There are over 20 different passages that I absolutely LOVE. But one that I’d like to regurgitate today is as follows:

i am a museum full of art

but you had your eyes shut

YESSSS. This passage is money. It’s such a simple line, but oh is it significant. After a breakup, I used to always wonder why I wasn’t good enough. What was it about me that didn’t suffice? Why was I tossed away, without so much as a second glance? My older sister has always helped me to understand by telling me, “You can be the juiciest, most ripe, sweet, and delicious peach in the entire world…but there is still going to be somebody that doesn’t like peaches”. You can have it all, and still not be what someone is looking for. You can be the perfect match for someone, but not necessarily for everyone.

This passage by Kaur felt similar to me, as not everyone is open to the beauty in others. Not everyone is ready to accept what you have to offer. Not everyone is brave enough to risk being vulnerable. It could be the timing, it could be their past, it could be their incapability to feel deeply. But whatever it is, it is not a deficit in you as a person. You are a museum of art. You are beautiful in all of your perfections and flaws. You are a masterpiece. But, that doesn’t mean that everyone will acknowledge you as such. Beauty is only open for those willing to look. Absolutely mind blowing. Remember this passage, as it will provide you with a sense of power when you are feeling worthless, ignored, or taken for granted.

I have been wanting to discuss milk and honey since I read it two nights ago, as it goes where not many have dared to go before. It is eye opening, yet beautiful. If you’re looking for a new read, I highly suggest this one. But be ready for a serious reality check.

Happy hump day all, make it a good one.

xx allie

Pro Lexapro

lexa

About a year ago, I remember searching the internet left and right for individuals’ personal accounts on their experience with taking Lexapro. I remember feeling like no amount of information was enough to tell me with absolute certainty whether I should start to take this antidepressant or not. While some people rate it with 5 stars, others give it a 1. I knew that I wasn’t happy. I knew that I experienced what appeared to be an abnormal amount of anxiety. I knew that day-to-day life shouldn’t be as difficult as it was. But who was to say whether Lexapro would help, or alternatively make things worse? Apparently, it was a risk that I was willing to take at the time.

Today, I wonder where I’d be without my daily dose of Lexapro. Would I still be crying every day on my drive to work? Would I still be angry, and lash out at people who said the wrong thing, and got on my nerves? Would I still feel hopeless, and wonder whether I would ever be able to find positivity again in my life? I may never know. But one thing I do know for sure is that my 5mg dose of this antidepressant has completely changed my life.

While I’m not usually an advocate of medication, I am an advocate of taking medication when you truly need it, and have no other options that you feel will suffice. I am writing this post on my experience with Lexapro because there are so many people that suffer with depression, but refuse to try taking medication for fear of a dependency on it, or the negative stigma that is unfortunately associated with these types of mental health pills. I remember having the same fears. I remember wanting to feel better ASAP so that I could stop taking them immediately and resume with my medication-free, ‘normal’ life. However, today I feel 100% stable and happy, and I can’t imagine ever getting back off. Life is different now. Life is better. I can breathe again, and not be bogged down by the occasional sadness and disappointments that are an inherent part of being human.

Lexapro has changed my outlook on everything. I am positive. I am optimistic. I see the good in even the bad situations. I am finally who I was meant to be. I am reaching my potential. It is amazing how effortless life begins to be, when you get rid of the constant cloud that is burdening and weighing you down in everything you do. I feel like I am finally on the same playing field as those around me. I feel that my emotions are not as charged, or volatile.

If you ever got to know me in real life, you would never guess that I’m on Lexapro. You would never guess that I was once depressed. I am normal on medication, and a little less normal not on medication. I have learned to accept that I am better with the help of this pill, and that therefore I need it. I am learning to accept that I have depression, and that my brain chemicals may very well be naturally ‘off’. That’s okay. I am happy to be who I am, as I feel that I can appreciate a happy life so much more now that I’ve experienced the darkness.

I often write about my experience with Lexapro, as I still have trouble believing that such a little dose of this pill can have such an incredible, long-lasting effect on my life. I feel grateful every day that I have given it a chance to help me.

If you think you may be struggling with depression, it might be worth it to visit your health professional. Changing your life is a function of your willingness to take control of your life, rather than letting it take control of you.

xx allie

P.S. –Please remember that this is my personal experience on Lexapro. Lexapro may not work for everyone, and may not be right for you. Consult with your physician before attempting to take any antidepressant for the first time. Often medication is recommended with therapy. I have been seeing a therapist regularly, which helps in tandem with the medication.  Please do your research before deciding to make any significant changes to your life, in this respect.