Rose: A Hometown Weekend

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to my hometown for a family baby shower. I spent two nights at my mom’s house, which was quite a nice little respite. This time together was much needed; I hadn’t seen my mom in two months! I set up my air mattress in her spare room — super cozy — and we spent the weekend catching up on life. It was wonderful.

On Saturday we drove to Pittsburgh for the baby shower of my cousin’s wife Jackie. I’ve gotten quite close with Jackie since she met Danny. She’s been in several of my fitness accountability groups and has been a great support system offline, too. Turns out her shower was only a block away from where I used to live in Pittsburgh. Mom and I posed for a shot after she opened her gifts:

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The baby shower theme was centered around children’s books. The food was created to match, and the only game played involved balloons. In each balloon was a slip of paper. Some had the names of children’s books. Others had a standard “Thank You.” Both my mom and I’s balloons had the books, so I came away with this GREAT gift basket of nail accessories. I needed this!

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On Sunday, I headed up the road to visit my father, his wife and my other side of the family. I packed a lot into one day: lunch with my dad and stepmom, cards with my grandfather and even a quick visit to see my childhood best friend, Becky. I also saw my stepgrandmother on the way out of town. Talk about power visits!

Maybe it was the cool crispness of the air, or the fact that I saw so many people in a short span of time … but it was one of those weekends I just wanted to bottle up and save. So glad I was able to travel back for the weekend … more visits to come!

Jenna: Here’s to the positive

As Rose mentioned, we kicked off our Wellness Challenges this month. We are currently in the midst of the second one. It has allowed me to focus my energy on myself, what is important to me, and how the world around me can affect my mood.

This morning, other than a few happy Florida State Football fans, my Facebook newsfeed was full of negativity. From news outlets to my own friends. The words “hate” “annoyed” and “miserable” were used. I immediately got a pit in my stomach, and felt my entire mood change. It’s surprising to me how people let things that are completely out of their control consume them, and to the point that they feel Facebook is the proper place to share them. I would also like to mention that most of the topics were written about things not affecting them, and were muddled with opinions that were not based on fact.

I was so distressed by this that I immediately popped over here to write.

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I have realized through these challenges that negativity becomes a habit. Just like spending money, grabbing coffee every morning, and exercising each day. We are creatures of habit, and when it comes to negative dwelling we must break the cycle. This is something I struggle with, but I have gotten to a point where I know how to shut it down. And shut it down we must!

Here’s to walking barefoot. To make-up free days. To saying I Love You. To sweating, to messy hair, to taking deep breaths, to salty lips, to summer sunburns, to sandy feet, to iced coffee on hot days, to hot coffee on chilly mornings, to sunsets, to holding hands, to singing loudly, to good books, to friends that tell you the truth no matter what.

Here’s to puppies, to garden fresh veggies, to the full moon, to going on vacation, to being home, to yoga, to long hugs, to too much jewelry, to laughing until your face hurts.

Here’s to silence. To first kisses. To sighing. To feeling supporting.  To supporting those you care about.
“Here’s to life and death and the moments in between that make it all worthwhile.”

Here’s to the positive. Find it. Embrace it. Live it.

Rose: The Positive Path

Last month, we debuted our wellness challenge. I’m running the second group currently, and today we are working on bringing positivity into our lives. Every Wednesday we focus on one positive item. This can be as simple as, “I’m going to hold the door for someone,” or “I’m going to reconnect with an old friend.” Whatever brings you joy, that’s what we’re doing.

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But you know, it’s not always easy to follow the positive path. I’ve had my fair share of downward spirals. Nights tossing and turning, fearing potential outcomes. You know the feelings that creep in. They are the thoughts that say: you aren’t good enough. The voice in your head asking you: what have you even accomplished in this life? Sometimes, for me, they can become suffocating.

Taking the positive path is very much an active choice. And you need to be a motivated participant in that walk. For some, the word “positive” is even off-putting. It doesn’t mean that you have to slap a smile on your face and fake it. All it means is that for one day, or one moment, you’re choosing to silence those little thoughts in your head. You’re taking a stand. You’re saying, “I am good enough today” or “These feelings won’t matter tomorrow.” After all, feelings are often just feelings.

I am a feeler, and sometimes I really struggle with my own emotions. While I wouldn’t trade this version of myself, I often have to analyze my own feelings — otherwise, they might take over. It’s amazing what can happen when you just take a pause in the middle of a tizzy. When you actively tell yourself, “This is a feeling. It is going to pass. Just wait it out for another 90 seconds.” Chances are, you’ll start feeling a lot less overwhelmed.

I would encourage everyone to try this practice today. When you feel your blood starting to boil, or your hands starting to shake, just pause. Don’t say a word. Swallow whatever it is you’re feeling for 90 seconds. Take deep breaths. See how you feel after that momentary quiet.

I’m pretty sure you’ll feel a world of difference.

Jenna: Shake it off

I think the crazy moons we have been experiencing are screwin’ with me and lots of people around me.

Things have just been extra off balance. I know I’m not the only one. Almost everyone I have encountered this week have had an issue, crisis, mini-breakdown, something extra thrown at them, health problems….you name it. It is just crazy.

As I have written about before, I tend to “feel” the emotions and weight of others around me. I have DEFINITELY been feeling it this week. We have a pretty big meeting approaching this week here at work, so that has added to the weight.

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As much as I hate to admit this, I really like Taylor Swift’s new song “Shake it off” and I played it earlier at work today while I put on my headphones and just zoned out. It picked up my mood for sure. Sure, its a super silly pop song but I have tried to think “shake it off” every time I have felt negativity taking over today.

When some people here were on my last nerve, I tried to remember that a source of their stress will soon be over.

When I started to get upset because my brother hasn’t responded to my text from 3 days ago, I tried to remember that he has a lot going on, is a silly boy, and will eventually get back to me.

When I needed a literal pick me up, I headed to the gym on my lunch break instead of going out and grabbing a piece of pizza.

When I started worrying about a few of my friends that are going through a lot right now, I just breathed and took a minute to send them extra good vibes.

Cheers to my attempt at shaking it off! Who’s with me?

Rose: Bathroom Makeover

Thanks to some birthday donations and a little bit of creative energy, I’ve totally redesigned my bathroom. The color scheme? Teal, gray and yellow. Neutral meets a burst of color.

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I forgot to snap the ‘before’ photos so, for now, just imagine a drab space without much pep. I did what I could to make the space tie together. But I didn’t quite have the resources to give it a unique look.

I got inspired after finding the bath curtain through an Etsy shop called Swirled Peas. They had this same design in various colors, and this one spoke to me. Once I had the bath curtain down, the rest was pretty easy. I was home sick one day, so I spent some time creating a Pinterest board. Then I went to work at purchasing the items and creating a cohesive look.

One of my most favorite items was this custom-painted shelf. The artist matched this shade to the shower curtain, and he did a remarkable job. He was great work with as well. Here’s his shop.

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The shelf arrangement and items have since changed, but you get the idea. I’m working hard at filling the spaces with antique gems and am collecting them slowly through antique shops. Check out the bottle in the middle there. It’s old-timey coconut milk shampoo! I’ve also been able to acquire shaving ointment that has turpentine in it.

Above the toilet is a small display which I’ve posted about before. These are part of the series of distressed mason jars I made. I was able to purchase the Hot Baths sign as well as the vintage purse clock through Etsy. The only disappointment: the watch seriously smells like cigarette smoke. It’s since aired out, and I’ve moved it up to the shelf. It’s a wind-up … so I am constantly working hard for it to tell time.

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I got this delightful card from a good friend for my birthday. I paired it with an on-sale frame from Pier 1 Imports. In case you can’t read it: “old enough to know better … too young to give a rat’s ass.” It’s absolutely perfect for the corner of the sink.

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You can’t overhaul your bathroom without getting new towels! I was happy to snag these reasonably priced gray towels through an Amazon gift card. The yellow towels are from target. And the gray bathmat is also a Target find. It feels so nice to have fresh, new towels.

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And there you have it! Who knew a practical space could have such style. I’m super glad I’ve invested the time, energy and money into this apartment bathroom. … more photos to come, too, as I’ve already add a few more antique items to the mix!

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It came out just how I wanted.