Take Care of Your Mental Health

The holidays can be tough sometimes. Everyone is trying to meet their end of year quota, fundraising goal, or sales amount. It's really dark outside. People are crazy on the roads and the aisles trying to get the best deal or last Easy Bake Oven--these are back! Did you know that? 

Anyway, sometimes the holidays can be tough, so it's important to take care of your mental health not just this month but every month. If you're stressed, worried and anxiety-filled it affects not only you, but your relationships as well. You can't lash out at your boss, so who do you lash out at? That's right, significant others, family and friends.

In this society that is totally and completely centered around work, we have to find a balance or we are all going to die really young from stress levels. So here are some ways to take care of your mental health.

-Change your perspective and remember your blessings. If someone asks, "is the glass full or empty?" Respond, "Who cares, it's clean water." Some places in this country and others still don't have clean water.

-Remember 3 positives outweigh a negative. If something terrible happens, think of three wonderful things going on in your life. For example, something goes wrong with an end of year goal...then remember Christmas is coming and you don't have to go to work for a few days, you filled up your car this morning so you don't have to stop for gas in traffic on the way home, and Netflix is now letting you download shows so you don't have to be online. We're programmed to see the negative, so we have to rewire our brains to see the positive!

-You are as happy as you choose to be! So choose to be happy! Leave the drama at work and enjoy the fact that you get a few hours at home with your people or your pets.

-Have a Fun-day! I like Friday Funday because it's an alliteration, but maybe Tuesdays are really hard for you and you need that to be your fun-day. Reward yourself for getting through that day. It can be as small as saving your favorite song on your playlist until you get in the car. Or always stopping by Wendy's for frosty on the way home. Whatever you need, make it a fun-day.

-Volunteer. I always feel better after giving back, so pick your favorite charity and do good in your community for a few hours.

-Remember you can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself. Eat. Sleep. Drink Diet Coke and watch Dancing With The Stars if you can't live without it. No, just me? You have to take care of your basic necessities before you can care for others.

-Unplug. For the love of God, we have to stop answering emails after work hours. Go home and shut down your phone. The day I realized emails were part of the reason I was so miserable and I stopped answering them after 5, my whole world changed. Spend time instead taking care of your relationships. Go see friends, eat dinner with your significant other, or call your mom.

-Have a hobby that makes you happy. Blogging makes me happy. I will never be a big blogger, but that's ok. I do it because I love it.

-Write down something you're grateful for every morning. Write down one thing every morning that you are grateful for. It can be something small like I found two matching socks this morning, or something big like, I'm grateful I have a job that makes me happy to go to work every day. I like cards so I can stick it in my purse or pocket and remind myself that that's what I'm grateful for today.

In fact, I love them so much I've made a Year of Gratitude gift! These are perfect stocking stuffers or just a prize to yourself to keep you thankful. They are business card sized so you can keep them in your wallet or a pretty card box. You can find the year of gratitude gift here. You can also do an instant download and print your own.

How do you take care of your mental health?


Wedding Planning Wednesday: Custom Painting

One of my favorite things at our wedding was this custom painting of Stephen, Molly, Mimo and me. We had it on our guest book table as people walked into the ceremony and then moved it over to the gift table in the reception. Besides our first dance (more on that later), this was the thing people talked about the most.

I had this painting made from BameeMotions on Etsy. Bamee is in Thailand so it does take a long time to get your painting back, but it is perfect when it gets here. So my only real advice is order early!

It's easy, you select the version of the painting you want, send pictures of yourself and your pets/accessories, describe what you want to wear and that's it! In a few weeks, you'll receive a sketch. It looks a little creepy with no color, but you are allowed to approve before she paints. After a few more weeks, you will receive your digital file to print if you wish, or you can wait until your original painting ships. We were up against the clock for the wedding so we opted for the digital file print.

We were able to print the painting very large as the image was high-res. Then we bought a lovely frame and proudly showcased it at the wedding. Now it's a lovely conversation piece in our apartment and makes me smile every time I walk in.

What are your favorite wedding "extras?" 


Post-Honeymoon Detox

Before the wedding, Stephen and I were extremely diligent about losing weight. We wanted to be the best versions of ourselves on the wedding day. Combined we lost 80 pounds--he lost 50, I lost 30. We felt amazing!

However, we were ready to eat on our honeymoon and eat we did! We were at an all-inclusive resort with three gourmet meals a day and had 24-hour free room service. We came back with about 5-10 extra pounds between us. But we didn't quit there! We had missed all of our favorite foods so much that we went on a little binge. We're talking queso and margaritas three times in one week... One day we even had Raging Burrito for lunch and then ordered a pizza that night. It was madness. I was starting to notice the pockets of fat I had worked so hard to lose slowly creeping back. Then it was Thanksgiving and the Gilmore Girls revival, so we all know how that goes.

Finally, I woke up Monday and realized I was very quickly headed in the wrong direction and just how much this month has set me back. It's amazing what you can do to yourself in just a month. So now that my binge of all my favorite foods is over, I am coming up with a new plan. I don't want to completely deprive myself of the good foods like I was before the wedding, but I have to eat them in moderation. Before I can do that though, I need to detox! I'm getting slow and sluggish again after consuming so many calories and want to kick my weight loss into high gear.

So today, I'm sharing my favorite detox-ish! These are my tips for cleansing that sluggish feeling that makes you want to crawl under the covers and never come out. It is also great for getting rid of a week's worth of queso that has now mixed with your blood stream--probably causing the sluggish feeling. I should probably mention this is not doctor approved or recommended because I am just a girl with a blog, but it makes me feel better when all I want is a nap!

Tip 1: Drink all the lemon and cucumber water you can consume. I love infused water, so I usually use a infuser water bottle or pitcher. This usually contains the seeds and extra floating pieces of fruit. Combine with regular water so you don't get sick of it and drink at least 64 oz of water a day.

Tip 2: Stick to raw veggies. Cooking usually requires some kind of oil or seasoning, so just eat em raw!

Tip 3: Do not drink Diet Coke. I consume Diet Coke like it is water, but it is not lol. Water is water and drink a lot of it. At LEAST 8 glasses a day.

Tip 4: Don't eat after 6. If I'm being totally honest, this is how I lost the majority of the weight before the wedding. I eat dinner super early right when I get home from work and don't eat again. If you're going to eat fruits (I do because I hate veggies) be sure to definitely be done with them before 6.

Tip 5: No carbs. Sometimes when you love something, you have to set it free.

Tip 6: Remember Halo Top is not a substitute for meals. If I'm being honest again, this is also how I lost a lot of the last-minute pre-wedding weight but I wouldn't recommend it. It's delicious, but not necessarily nutritious.

Tip 7: Proteins are good for you. I don't like to eat meat. I'm not a vegetarian or anything, but meat isn't my favorite thing to eat or cook. I'm big on boiled eggs. I also really love seafood, and have a killer salmon recipe that doesn't make me feel full.

Tip 8: Eat breakfast. Your metabolism starts when you eat, and it doesn't have to be big. Grapefruits are good. You also need to eat lunch and dinner and probably a small healthy snack.

Tip 9: Sleep! You're tired and sluggish anyway from the extra weight. Sleep as many hours as you possibly can at night. It's cold and your bed is warm so give it a full 10 hours if you can.

Tip 10: Really, stick to fruits, veggies, water and proteins. Eventually you can start adding some of your favorite things back in, but take it easy. I usually give myself a few weeks of the healthy stuff before I get into full Halo Top mode with the occasional queso.

What do you do to make yourself feel better after a food binge?


Wedding Planning Wednesday: How to Ask Your Bridal Party

The one thing I didn't want to do when I came back from my blogging break was to bombard everyone with wedding posts. I've talked about my wedding so much on this blog, then took a break to have my wedding, so the last thing I wanted to do was come back and this blog become all about my wedding. However, it happened and it was amazing, so OF COURSE, I want to talk about it. 

With that being said, I'm bringing back Wedding Planning Wednesdays. There were so many things I didn't talk about before the wedding because I didn't want to give anything away to my guests who were actually attending. I have tons of planning knowledge and fun ideas to share with those who might be planning a wedding one day. So I'm bringing it back. It will give me an outlet to talk about the wedding, but only once a week! It's really win-win. Bonus: we just got a sneak peek of our photos so I finally have something to work with. I'm dying for the rest.

So let's rewind back the the beginning of planning to when we asked our bridal party to be in our wedding. 

I asked my girls with these super adorable cards. You can purchase them based on hair color (although almost all of my bridesmaids were blonde. #Blonderage!) then you print them out at home, write your message inside, and mail to your pals. I added a little glitter on the robes because I LOVE glitter. I even wrote a disclaimer on the envelope that said, "Be careful, you KNOW there is glitter in here!"

I added these super cute knot bracelets and wrote on the inside, "Please stand by my side and help me tie the knot! Love, Hel." Thank goodness they all said yes, because look at these babes!

Stephen was a little more cruel to his groomsmen. Did you go to college when "icing" was a thing? Well, we did. You basically trick someone into grabbing a Smirnoff Ice. Once they realize they have accepted it, they have to get on one knee and chug the whole thing. So Stephen mailed his groomsmen these...

For some reason, they all said yes too and sent a video lol, except for my brother who was at basic training at the time. We figured an icing wasn't worth the amount of push ups he would have to do. 

Our friends are incredible and truly made our day one we would never forget.

How did you ask your bridal party?? 


How to Prepare for the Gilmore Girls Revival

12 days, you guys. 12!!!

We have 12 days to fully prepare ourselves for the greatest television event of our time. I'm, of course. talking about the Gilmore Girls Reunion. Technically it will air on Netflix and not television, but it is still the biggest event happening this year. I say that in a year where I got married...

When I had the revelation that I only had 12 days to properly prepare for this auspicious event in history, I began to panic. There are so many preparations to properly celebrate the reunion of Lorelai, Rory, Luke, Emily, Lane, Kirk, Patty, Babette, Taylor, Paris, Doyle, Jess, Dean, Logan, The Life and Death Brigade and yes, even that stupid April.

I have plans to camp out with my mom for the day and watch all four episodes in one sitting. However, the pre-work to this day is key. We have to honor our girls in true Gilmore Fashion. So here you go, my complete list of how I am preparing for the Gilmore Girl's reunion.

1. Catch up on all pop trivia - You know even though the Gilmores haven't been on tv since 2007, they still are up to date on all pop trivia knowledge, metaphors, and references and will wittily work them into all conversations. I need to keep up so I'm binge reading People magazine.

2. Cleanse - I need to prepare my stomach for the amount of junk food I will consume. There are several ways we can honor the Gilmores with our diet. We could sample a little bit of every cuisine, we could have themed food for each season (I think Santa burgers may be on the menu), we could have a man named Al make us anything in the world except pancakes. I haven't decided what the plan is, but either way, I need to prepare my stomach.

3. Plan a menu. Since I clearly haven't done it, I need to plan our menu. I think pizza, pop tarts, and french fries are a staple. Might need to throw in candy, popcorn and mac and cheese. Maybe gin martinis and club soda?? I don't know, the sky is the limit.

3. Buy Tequila. It may not be necessary, but if Lorelai and Christopher have one of their infamous tequila nights, I will need one too just to get through it.

4. Buy your winter gear. You know the whole winter episode we will wait for Lorelai to get her snow. We might need to bring out our hats and scarves in support.

5. Find a Yale t-shirt. Because Yale is a magical place. A magical, magical place.

6. Purchase a Bop-It. All social tensions can be cured with Bop-It.

7. Binge. Watch all the best episodes up until the revival. If you can take off work and not sleep, then watch all of them in the next twelve days. If not, watch a few highlights, basically, any wedding episode--Lane and Zack, Sookie and Jackson, Emily and Richard vow renewal, the Renaissance wedding, Honor's wedding are all good. I also recommend the pilot, the dance off, Donna Reed, The Dragonfly Inn opening, Luke and Lorelai's first date, the first day of Yale, spring break, Life and Death Brigade, Rory's 21st birthday, the last two episodes of season 7. There are just so many good ones.

8. Stock up on coffee. I don't drink coffee, but for the Gilmores I can drink it for one day.

9. Spend time with your mom. I plan on binging the revival with my mom, but if you are far away at least give her a call.

10. Buy tissues. I plan to laugh so hard I cry and tear up at the sad moments, so I feel that tissues are necessary.

If you don't have a Netflix account, now would be the time to get one. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is on Netflix November 25. 12 days to be exact.

How are you preparing for this monumental event?