Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The other side of fear


All of the problems we have or the seemingly insurmountable hurdles we face have one thing in common: fear. Sure, there are other factors at work, but the river that runs through them all is fear. 

There's fear of failure, of course, and fear of change. Failure and change are facts of life, so we all just need to get right with them. We'll all fail. We'll all make the wrong choice and have to deal with the consequences. We'll all go through changes. We will survive our failures and we will adapt to change.

The other big fear is one you can actually control - the almighty fear of what other people will think. This drives so much behavior and it's just crazy. I just want to tell you - you have to stop giving a shit what other people think about you, your decisions, your likes and dislikes. 

You can't be a selfish asshole trampling all over people, but you also can't exist to make others happy. You can't stay in or put up with situations or play roles that don't serve you and your purpose here. But I have to, you say. No, you don't. But we choose to stay where we're stuck and blame other factors or people because it's easier. Because we're afraid to be fierce with ourselves: to examine our lives and see the good and bad and the role we play in both. Because we're afraid to own our life and everything it entails. Because we're afraid of what lies on the other side of fear.

But if we can just get past that fear, we can live the life we really want. What lies on the other side of fear is freedom. Sweet, sweet freedom. Freedom to do what you want and pursue your purpose. Freedom to sit back, settle into and be truly comfortable in your own skin.

The key to your happiness is not in someone else's pocket. It's in your own. When you're on the other side of fear, you know that. You're not afraid to use that key to open all the doors. 
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We only get this one life, and as long as it's not harmful to others we should live the breadth and width of it, being ourselves and not giving a shit what anyone thinks about it.

Fear is an obstacle that stands in the way of progress. Move it out of the way and go forward with your eyes on the prize - the life you want to lead. Stronger and wiser within yourself. Be who you are. No fucks given.
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Monday, April 27, 2015

TWTW - the last one in April

Friday night I was worn out. Totally. So I came home, I did my weights, vacuumed, did some laundry, then started doing a bunch of other shit. I meant to be in bed at 8 and got 100 second winds. I hate that. Other than that it was a low key night. Oh, and I sent MFD to the store for five things. This is what came back. Life lessons, my friends. Life lessons.
Saturday was a slow start. After I got my exercise in, I tried on every dress and pair of shoes I own and began the twice yearly complete wardrobe purge and reorganization I go through. This is still in progress as of today (Monday). It's a pain in the ass.
When I got tired of that, I went to get a manicure (Zoya Odette) and pedicure (OPI Senorita Rosalita - I can never wear this polish without thinking of my wedding, it's what was on my toes that weekend), then came home and read some mags in the sun.
We had a delicious dinner at my parents' house including a strawberry trifle dessert I wanted to eat 50 helpings of and which MFD did eat 50 helpings of.
You do not know what your patience level is until you go sneaker shopping with MFD. While he browsed interminably I left You Are Beautiful stickers around Dick's Sporting Goods like a dork. I also laughed uncontrollably at this picture on Instagram. MFD was all that's not that funny. Come on! Yes it is.
Sunday was the March of Dimes March For Babies. Team Eva the Diva rocked it. It was awesome to see a thriving, happy Eva next to her storyboard and it was a really nice day for a long walk for a good cause.
The umbrella is up, the new spring mats are out at both doors (both from Target), and the flowers are from Wegman's.
Weekly food prep: zucchini pie and berries for breakfast, orange peppers, carrots, and almonds for snacks; orzo salad with EVOO, caesar chicken thawed from the freezer, spinach, grape tomatoes, red onion, capers for lunches; and dinners are salmon, roasted potatoes, baked chicken, rice, and steamed veggies. Still working on that freezer and pantry cleanout.
This weekend in mail: Penzey's spices and this awesome Darth Vader tank top. Darth Vader is my alter ego. Are we calling that spirit animal these days?
This weekend in pugs...I can't even with Geege's tongue. The cutest. And Gus and Mae are now co-sleepers.
Sunday evening consisted of changing sheets and sitting on my ass. I didn't even make dinner. I ate Wegman's wings and animal crackers. Whoops. I was in bed before 8 and asleep before 10. It takes me a while to get used to so much fresh air again after a long winter. It tires me out.

I totally screwed myself for tonight, I have too much to do now. On a Monday. Barf.

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Did you enter to win a $50 Target gift card Friday?

How was your weekend? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Friday, April 24, 2015

Being Ladies Who Lunch



One of my favorite things to be is a lady who lunches. Today another Philly-area blogger, Nicole from Nicole Marica, is joining me for a virtual lunch and we want to hear what you have to say. Please do butt in on the conversation with your opinions and answers by commenting below! And enter to win a $50 Target gift card while you're at it. What better way to spend a Friday?

If we were having lunch at my house, I'd probably serve us... 
Nicole: Realistically? You'd get boxed mac and cheese. Unless I had a heads up then I'd serve something based on your favorite foods or a theme. The way to a person's heart is their stomach!

Steph: It totally is. I think I'd serve spinach mac & cheese cups, a big ass salad, and ice cream sundaes. 

The most recent beauty aid I started using and can already recommend is...
Nicole: Yes to Tomatoes moisturizer. I love the way this stuff smells. I just started using it so I don't know how its going to fare acne clearing wise but it does moisturize very well!
Steph: I use Yes to Cucumbers moisturizer! For years moisturizer was my biggest cause of face rage. I could never find one that works. I've been using this one for over a year and it's great. So I guess I recommend that. Wouldn't it be great if absolutely everything came in trial size so you could test before you buy? I got some trial size Tarte stuff from the Sephora VIB Sale and I'm looking forward to testing it out. I'm not far along to recommend yet. 
However, I'm always in search of the perfect...
Nicole: Face wash that will get rid of all my pimples and even out my skin tone. 
Steph: Aren't we all! I've been using L'Oreal Million Lashes for a year and I think my eyelashes are tired of it. Can that happen? I'm looking for a cheap replacement. 

TV! Right now I'm loving...
Nicole: There are so many...Lip Sync Battle, Sherlock, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones. We'll be here all day if I keep going on. 
Steph: Breaking Bad is on my list. One day I'll get to it. I've not watched much TV recently except for Bloodline on Netflix. And Criminal Minds. I can't quit that even though it's way played out. 

If there was a TV show about my life, I think my role should be played by...
Nicole: I would like to say Emma Stone or Anna Kendrick but I'm pretty sure both girls are way funnier than me. Probably more like someone like Reese Witherspoon without the star power. Any idea who that might be? 
Steph: Hmm...I think Emma or Anna would be good as you! Hell maybe Reese herself is free. We can ask. I'm actually really bad at this question. Is it cheating if I say I want Shannon Doherty to play me as Brenda Walsh? Probably. I'm going to go with Tina Fey because, well, she's Tina Fey.

And my husband's would be...
Nicole: This is a really tough question. He'd have to be really kind, very likable, funny, handsome, and also play off exasperated husband well. Maybe someone like Ryan Reynolds? 
Steph: Ryan Reynolds sounds like a perfect fit. I'm going with Michael Rappaport. He's funny and weird just like MFD. Also I haven't seen him around lately so he's probably not too busy and maybe we could get him for a steal.

But never mind the TV...I'm reading...
Nicole: Right now I'm reading Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum. I only just started it so I'm holding out judgment but it does jump around a good bit and the beginning is slow. A few friends have raved about it though so I'm going to keep trudging through it. 
Steph: I'm still pissed that there's a book called Hausfrau that was not written by me. Rude! I hate when books are slow and I start to feel like I need to hang in there. That's one of the kisses of death for me. I'm reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, recommended by a few people on the Show Us Your Books linkups.

Something I always see people doing but have no desire to do is...
Nicole: Skydive. No thanks, I prefer not plummeting to my death. 
Steph: Hahaha. You sound like my Mom. Whenever it appears on one of my lists she's like please don't do that. Sorry Nicole and Mom. I'm doing it. I have no desire to ever climb mountains and see photos of myself hanging off the face of a rock cliff.
Via / Via 
But then I think I might like to try...
Nicole: I'm willing to try almost anything once, but if I had to narrow it down, I think hiking up some volcanoes in Hawaii, or diving down a waterfall (safely) would be fun to try.
Steph: Is it possible to dive down a waterfall safely? I'm being serious. That could be my thing for what skydiving is to you! Hiking up a volcano in Hawaii is a good one though. 

I love long vacations, but I'm a big fan of weekend trips too. Some things I have coming up are...
Nicole: I'm trying to convince my husband to do a quick weekend trip to Ohio, I think he's avoiding answering me since we just got back from a weekend trip to Chicago, haha. Also, for my 30th in September, I want to take a day trip to Baltimore. 
Steph: It's nice to live so close to so many things, isn't it? East Coast rules. I'm heading up to NYC for a quick in and out dinner and a show in May, so great to be able to do that. I'm going to go to my aunt's lake house Memorial Day weekend and I think the weekend after because MFD can't go Memorial Day. I also have two girls' weekends in July! 

My packing philosophy for weekend trips is...
Nicole: It starts out with pack smart and small but eventually I end up packing everything. The best laid plans....
Steph: I hear you. For me it depends. If I'm driving I have no problem throwing everything I own in my car and taking off la di dah as I please. When I'm flying, I'm more focused on wearing pants more than once and limiting shoes. 

If I was President, I'd immediately...
Nicole: Hire some really intelligent, experienced people to fix our health care, student loans, the budget, the war, and everything else. No one person can do everything!
Steph: Just co-sign my name to your answer, okay? Oh but first I think I'd institute a better vacation policy and maternity policies so we can really BE a nation that believes in family-first and not just say we are. I'll wait for all the free-enterprise capitalism rules down with government people to come and tell me why I can't do these things. Sue me! This is pretend. I'm making my first move for the people.

Not like we have to pay you to have lunch with us, but a $50 Target gift card is up for grabs. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Currently - April


Taking...A lot of walks at lunch (see photo above and typically eleventy billion photos on Instagram). 'Tis the season - it's finally pretty warm, no coats are needed, and the bastard humidity hasn't hit yet. Last week I walked over to the library to pick up books only to find out it was closed. If it would've been 30 degrees and overcast, I would've been pissed. Since it was 70 and sunny, I was just happy to be out walking.

Freaking out...because I did something totally out of character this week. We saw a Living Social deal to South Africa on Tuesday and booked it on Wednesday for travel in January. A few days in Cape Town and then a few days a game reserve in Limpopo Province to see the big animals. I am the person who researches to death and plots vacations three years out. This wasn't even on the radar. The deal was good and MFD has been talking about going to Africa for 20 years. He said just do it, and I had heart palpitations all day yesterday, I'm not even kidding, but I just did it. Spontaneous feels like a straight jacket to me. It's much more suitable on my husband. When the price is right and the stars align, sometimes you have to YOLO.

Drinking...one zillion iced coffees a day. Okay two, at least, in my DD refillable cup. And even if I get three? It's like three cents more than one large iced. Ridiculous. My DD people are like family. We see each other twice a day.

Wishing...Yard Crashers would come crash my yard. Should I spend a lot of time hanging out in home improvement stores to increase my chances of this happening?

Keeping a list...of all the pricey leather things I want. I already sent MFD a text telling him to bring extra cash to London next year for the little case of gorgeous on the bottom left. Even though I really want it now. I'm Veruca Salt.

Wearing...Too many clothes. Exercising a lot is great, right? And great for increasing your laundry.

Hating...that my work shoes are starting to stink. It's sweaty, smelly feet season. "Hurrah," said no one ever.

Reading...Books and ignoring magazines. My magazine stack is towering.

Not regretting...Cutting cable. This Sunday marks 30 days since we ditched Comcast and I haven't missed it once. 

Watching...Bloodline. What a weird and intriguing show. I like the cast a lot. Welcome back, Coach Taylor. I've missed you on TV.
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Loving...that my Sam's Club card is now on my phone. Yay technology.

Appreciating...an impromptu visit from Lori this past weekend.

Trying...something new in the Men Can't Ever Find Anything game. Last weekend, whenever MFD asked me where something was, I simply didn't answer him. And what do you know? He looked where it's stored and he found it.

Counting down...0 days until my haircut and color thank you tiny baby wash that gray right outta my hair Jesus. I've had grays since before I turned 22. Last week, just over a month into turning 38, I discovered my first gray hair at my temples. That was a blow, I won't lie. Anyway, the fabulous Kristi at Sensational Scissors will fix this tonight. Three days until the March of Dimes March for Babies with Team Eva the Diva. Click here if you'd like to donate.

Laughing at...Blame my Veruca Salt reference above. I feel a Willy Wonka blog post coming on.

Now you - lay some of your currently items on me.

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Linking up with Kristin and Joey for Stuff & Things











Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The things I keep

As you know if you are a regular reader, I'm big on purging and organizing, I often walk around the house giving possessions the side eye. Do we need you? Do we use you? Do we love you?

The other night as I was dusting the dining room, my eyes fell to a set of dishes in the china cabinet. I'm so used to them being there I don't give them a second thought. My Grandmom bought them for me a ways back in her retirement community's shop. She told me she thought of me when she saw them. I don't need them, use them, or love them. But I've kept them without once thinking about getting rid of them.

Why? I'm certainly not trying to summon her back from the dead and being ever the practical person, she would absolutely tell me to get rid of them. They weren't even hers, so they don't hold sentimental value for me. But I don't get rid of them. Just like I don't get rid of the afghans I don't use that my Mom Mom crocheted that sit in the basement in a picnic basket.

I often tell other people to get rid of things that don't serve them but I rarely mention that I keep some things that serve no purpose and that I don't love. I have an under the bed box that holds paper memories in the spare room and we have these things around the house that remind us of people who are no longer with us. I consider the sentimental stuff we own manageable. Everything has a spot and most of it is on display. It's not overtaking our home, stealing our air, or making us hoarders. I'm good with it. I just want to put it out there that I have this stuff too. Not everything has fallen victim to purging!

Might I someday get rid of this stuff? Sure. But that day is not today. 

What do you keep?

p.s. Every day is Earth Day, friends! Some things we do at our house to be more eco-minded: http://www.lifeaccordingtosteph.com/2012/04/green-machine.html 


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 Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday
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