Tag Archives: Life

My Visit to Weddington Way

When Ashley asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding this up coming year, I was elated. I couldn’t think of anything that I wanted to do more at that point. It’s obviously no secret that we love weddings here at Yow Yow! so this should be no surprise. My appointment at Weddington Way was a brief one because I already knew the dress that Ashley had picked out for us. However, this was a first time for me! I wanted to take my time a little bit so naturally, I had to try on three other gowns in three different colors just for… research?

The dress that I’m wearing above isn’t the one that I’m wearing for Ashley’s wedding, but I have been loving this burgundy color lately and when the woman helping me pick out all these dresses saw this one, she knew I would like it. She wasn’t wrong. You can’t see it, but the back detailing is spectacular with little ruched flowers right above the waist.

Half the women in my life have expressed displeasure in bridesmaid dresses while the other half love them. I took mine to get tailored the other day and even though it wasn’t a wedding gown, I still felt like a mini princess. It’s a beautiful gown and I can’t wait to stand next to Ashley on her big day. Weddington Way is a brand out of San Francisco now under the Gap Inc. umbrella and located within Banana Republic. Here are a few of my favorite gowns from them in case any of you are looking for some inspiration!

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How to Start 2018

Declaring your New Year’s resolutions to the world (or even just this small group of subscribers) is not something I look forward to every year. I realize this is something that I could stop doing. I continue to write about them or talk about them out loud to others because it’s the best way I know to try and hold myself accountable. What good is it to say you have New Year’s resolutions and then never look at them again until the end of the year?

I’m not going to write them in the same format that I have for the last couple of years – example here – but I did reference these before I wrote this post and found it to be quite funny. Trying to get to 1,000 followers on Instagram is so embarrassing! *face palm*

If I’ve learned anything from being in the working world, it’s that every goal that you make for yourself needs to be SMART.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely (a year in this case)

My previous resolutions didn’t follow this path and in reviewing my past ones, I maybe have had too many. In my last post about resolutions written very recently, I had mentioned that I had two in mind that I had been thinking of since before New Year’s. These two are my priorities and while they do follow the “SMART” path, I’m not going to outline all of the details out for you just for the sake of having some privacy. In 2018, I want to focus on this broader theme of wellness – more specifically around health, mental, and financial.

  • Health – For most of my life, I’ve gotten by without having to pay much attention to this and have been alright. Even though some may say that I still have time to figure this out, in my head I feel like it’s catching up to me! I want to make sure that my body feels like it is being taken care of and for me that means regularly exercising, getting enough sleep, eating healthily, and drinking enough water. Today, I had the opportunity to pick up some of my favorite things from fast food restaurants while I was at home and I had to exercise complete willpower to not do that. The thing is…I wasn’t hungry at all. I didn’t need it and I just made myself believe that I did because it was convenient for me. More often times than not, you don’t need the food, you’re just dehydrated and having a glass of water instead will actually satisfy you more than you realize. I’m not ready to sign up for a regular gym membership either, but what I can do and have been doing is making sure I go to bed at a reasonable time, waking up early and starting my exercise routines before getting ready for the day and heading into work. Gym memberships can be pricey. Watching YouTube videos and downloading apps to your phone that provide exercises to you are free.
  • Mental – I sort of hate that this is a topic that people avoid talking about. It makes me appreciate even more that I have a group of friends that are actually very comfortable talking about how they attend therapy and other resources they may turn to when things get tough. I know I used to say that your 20’s can be challenging, but life in general, is challenging for any age. 2017 really tested my abilities to push through some obstacles. I’m not saying that 2018 won’t be difficult, but I hope that whatever life throws my way, that I’m able to handle it in a better manner than I have before. I want to continue doing things that make me happy. A previous resolution I had was to “say yes to everything!” This year, I actually want to start saying “no” to more things. Saying yes to everything is not always beneficial to you. Sometimes you say yes because you don’t want to disappoint anyone, but that in turn is a sacrifice to your own happiness. Additionally, I want to be able to take compliments better. Something that I’ve noticed about myself in the last year is that whenever someone gives a compliment, I’m quick to turn it down because for some reason, I feel uncomfortable or that I need to give rationale or reasons for it. Less is more in this scenario and instead I’d like to practice taking the less self-deprecating route.
  • Financial – Saving it for last because it’s my least favorite thing to write about! It isn’t cheap living in San Francisco and this year when I moved homes and switched jobs, it threw my budgeting all out of whack. I’d like to get myself back on track again by getting my finances in order. This year, I want to pay off the debt on something that I’ve been harboring for some time. I’d also like to straighten out my 401K and investments while learning more about the different shortcuts I can take to save money. I recently started listening to Suchin Pak’s podcast “Open Account” in which she interviews different individuals on their experiences with money and how to be inspired with it and think creatively. I’m just starting out, but I think even if i could make this into a regular routine of listening to this podcast, that I’d be able to take away some useful tips.

I know that these sound like great big themes to tackle in 2018 – almost too big. But the best part about these is that I’m going to remember them. It’s something that will impact me on a daily basis and it’s something that I can actively make moves towards regularly. How do all of you think about these themes? What are your resolutions? If you want to get in on the conversation, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Overcoming My Travel Anxiety

I know I’m supposed to be the girl that loves airports, but I’ve also been known to have my fair share of panic attacks while also at the airport. Traveling used to be a breeze, until… it wasn’t. Fall 2016 was the first time that I was traveling back and forth for three months pretty much non-stop. I’m not sure how people do it because though the idea of traveling seems easy, it can really wear you down. It’s also not the place you want to be when you don’t have your shit together.

The stage in the airport that stresses me out the most: going through security.

I know I look cool, calm, and collected, but in my head, I’m constantly questioning how many buckets I’m going to need for myself, how early I need to take off my shoes, wondering if my cardigan “actually” needs to be taken off, and if the person in front of me would stop putting their fingers in front of my buckets so that I don’t accidentally smash them. Because I’m going through security with all of these questions in my head, I often leave the area feeling more flustered than necessary. This has resulted in me leaving behind my actual luggage on the belt. Twice.

It has led me to frantically retrace all of my steps and one time I accidentally mistook another person’s luggage as my own while waiting at a restaurant before realizing it wasn’t mine and being “THAT” person. That was my breaking point and that was the moment I realized that something needed to change. Since I’m headed into a big traveling period for myself for the next three months, I thought it might be fitting to share that story and share my tips for those that might feel the same way as I do.

  1. List it Out – If you’re nervous that you forgot to pack something, write a list of everything you need and where you’re packing it. Will it be in your luggage? Your personal item? Or on you? I know this sounds a bit extreme, but for note takers, this can be really helpful. I am constantly writing notes in my phone so the night before, I write down what I’m likely to forget and haven’t packed already so that before I’m taking off I can double check / triple check that list before I leave.
  2. Stay hydrated – A lot of my friends like to have a water bottle along with them for the flight. Having water can calm your nerves and it’s also just good to have since flying can be quite draining. If you have a reusable water bottle, take it with you, but to avoid some anxiety, arrive to the airport with it empty. If you don’t have one that’s reusable, remind yourself to buy one right after you get out of security.
  3. Get pre-check – Worried about getting to the airport on time? Hate waiting in lines? Every friend that I have that has ever had pre-check has never had a bad thing to say about it. I don’t even have it, but know that this would probably ease a lot of my own anxieties if I had it! Getting pre-check costs $122. 25, but you’ll have a 5-year membership. There’s a whole process involved with it, but it’s honestly something that I’ve been considering for a couple of years now too.
  4. Take care of yourself – Give your body what it needs. If you’re worried about getting hungry on the plane or don’t want to purchase a snack or meal from the plane, get something in your stomach beforehand. Get to the airport a little bit early so that you can collect your thoughts and sit down at a restaurant if that’s what does it for you. Plenty of people also pick up items on the go. For myself, no matter what – without fail, I always need to grab a latte of some kind before I get on a flight. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, it’s the part of my routine that stays consistent and eases my nerves.
  5. Get your playlist ready – I must have close to 30 playlists on my Spotify, but only my favorites ones get downloaded on my phone – the one that has the most recent songs that I’m listening to and the three playlists that never let me down – “Best of 2017,” “90’s R&B Hip Hop,” and “Whole albums that I don’t hate.” I get stressed out when I’m listening to a playlist that I don’t love and have to constantly swipe away to get to a song that I actually do like. When you’ve found the playlist for your flight, download it onto your phone so that you don’t run into data issues and zone out.

Airport experiences can be a hit or miss. More often than not, you don’t want to end up with a bad experience if you can control it. Hopefully my tips are as helpful as they have been for me.

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The Beauty Products We Couldn’t Live Without in 2017

2017 felt like the year that I was not only collecting products, but educating myself on them more than average. I was constantly talking with my friends about what they were using and getting feedback via Instagram and Instagram Stories on what was working and what wasn’t. In 2018, my hope is that I do the opposite. I learn to live with less! How can I become more creative and resourceful with what I already have to avoid spending more money – another New Year’s resolution that we’ll get to soon. One thing that I learned about myself this year is that I no longer need to have a facial once a season. I used to convince myself that this was what I needed because seasons in the Bay Area were so harsh on my skin and so different that I needed to restart and refresh my routine with a facial. Turns out, I was lying to myself and didn’t need it and making excuses. You can create your own facials at home and you can moisturize and exfoliate your skin without breaking the bank. My favorite products in 2017 did JUST that. They looked like they could’ve been more high-end, but were actually affordable and did the job and more.

Glossier Boy Brow – $16

2017 was the year that I discovered that I could do something with my eyebrows! I don’t know what took us so long, but just like everyone says, Boy Brow really is a game changer. A few swipes of these across my brows keeps everything together and more importantly, natural looking. I also learned how to fill in my own eyebrows this year as well, but it’s not something that I feel like I can pull off as an everyday look rather than more of a day to night. Boy Brow gives me that everyday feel, but also cuts down on my getting ready time. For $16, you’ll be happy with this purchase, I promise.

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Resolution Talk

You guys, we made it to the end of the week!

It was a short week because I only had to work three days, but it honestly felt a little bit like a marathon. The start of the year isn’t always a smooth transition for me. It’s almost like there’s some sort of pressure to figure how you want your entire year to look before you even know what’s going to happen. It’s stressful! Aside from the slow start to getting back into my work grind though, I will say that the anxiety of making resolutions this year never came. I’m not sure how that happened. Maybe it was because I had a hunch of what a couple of my resolutions would be before New Year’s hit. I’m actually convinced though that it’s because it’s a conversation that happens more in my late 20’s than ever before.

In the last week, I’ve had a handful of friends and co-workers discuss with me their resolutions. Hearing their ideas has helped me become even more thoughtful with mine. The night of New Year’s Eve though, my friends had made dinner before our celebration and we all went around the table and shared our favorite highlight from the last year and a resolution that we had for ourselves in 2018.

I’m not finished with my list quite yet, but I will tell you that I will try harder this year than the last to keep them. Every year, I tell myself there are things that I want to do better. I want to be better and make myself better, but if there’s something that I learned in 2017, it’s that I’m already fine the way that I am. I know some won’t agree with me, but 2017 was good to me. It was challenging; it pushed me and it wasn’t always easy, but it had a lot of rewards. I was the happiest I’ve ever been just being on my own. And if there’s something that I want to continue in 2018, it’s that I practice caring for myself and self-love because you can never have too much of that.

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Favorites of 2017

For once, I’m feeling very on top of my end-of-the-year round up posts. Normally, you would see some of these after the new year, but I guess you can thank the Seattle snow for keeping us indoors these last few days and unlimited downtime. Of course, I’m not mad at it because during the rest of the year, we never get this time to sit down and just write.

Favorite Style Icon: Margot Robbie

Is anyone as excited as I am to see I, Tonya?! I still remember watching the teaser trailer like it was yesterday and while I don’t see movies in theaters often, I’m willing to break my rule for this one. Margot Robbie has been on my list of style icons to watch for some time, but it was this year that I started to notice that outfit after outfit, she was consistently nailing it. Whether it’s getting glammed up for the red carpet or dressing down, Margot’s accessories and beauty look are always a perfect match. With the upcoming award season, we can’t wait to see what she does next.

Runner Up: Gal Gadot

Favorite Getaway: Pescadero / Half Moon Bay

It may have only been a day trip for me, but it was definitely one of my most unforgettable memories from the year. After leaving my job and not having too much time in between to start my new one, it didn’t make sense to come back home or plan an extravagant getaway. The good thing about California though is that there are no shortage of destinations to venture out to even in one day. I picked what I thought to be very quaint and cute, but maybe not a huge tourist attraction, found a friend that was in the same boat as I was and we took off! It was a random weekday and so quiet out on the road, but exactly what we needed. It was so fun to just go to the beach and explore this land that no one was at. It was the most calm and serene that I had felt in the last few months and I knew after that day that we had made a good decision about the trip.

Runner Up: Disneyland

Favorite artist of the year: SZA

Wow, was this a tough decision to make. If I could have had two tied for first place, it would have been SZA and Khalid! But I had to make a choice and the reason why I picked SZA was because I felt her music was so much more relatable to what I was going through this year. 2017 was entirely a year for me and focused on me and listening to her in a weird way made me feel like I could do anything. I owned my mistakes, my flaws, made decisions on a whim, drove away from my comfort zone and never looked back. She’s amazing.

Runner Up: Khalid

Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Siesta Key

You know a show is special when you and your coworker make a whole Instagram Live dedicated to it. Siesta Key was the standout reality series of the year for me. The commercials and trailers penned it as your next generation Laguna Beach, but it is so much more than that. I could talk about this show for hours, but instead of doing that I will just say that the show returns to MTV on January 15th so you should use your time now to get caught up on season 1.

Runner Up: Riverdale

Favorite item purchased this year:

If I could have a wardrobe that only came from Aritzia, I would never be unhappy. I wasn’t expecting to find this dress when I stepped into the store that day. In fact, I was on the hunt for a Teddy Jacket over at Uniqlo and when I didn’t find it, I stopped into Aritzia for lightening round shopping fest. This dress was one of the first pieces that caught my eye and right away I knew I had to try it on. I didn’t even have an event to wear it to if I had bought it (luckily that came later!) but I knew I had to have it. It fit me in all of the right places and was so elegant and beautiful. The great thing about a classic LBD is that there is always going to be an occasion to wear it to. I look forward to keeping this in my closet forever ever.

Runner Up: Gap Denim Jacket

Favorite albums (in no particular order):

  1. Kehlani – SweetSexySavage
  2. Khalid – American Teen
  3. Dua Lipa – Self Titled
  4. SZA – Ctrl
  5. Calvin Harris – Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1
  6. Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me
  7. ODESZA – A Moment Apart
  8. Kelela – Take Me Apart
  9. Shawn Mendes – Illuminate
  10. H.E.R. – Self Titled

Favorite Online Past Time: Twitter

When I hate you, but I actually love you. I hate that it was the political turmoil that brought me even closer to Twitter in the last year, but it’s completely true. It’s a large source for my news, but it’s also one of the platforms that can make me laugh consistently. Who knew 180 characters could do that for you… or … however, many characters they allow now? I wish I could say that I was refined and listened to podcasts on my commute, but no, I’m the girl in the backseat of my Uber and Lyft furiously scrolling through my feed to see how much I can get through before I’m dropped off at my local Starbucks.

Runner Up: HQ, Instagram, what else?

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Our Favorite Looks of 2017

Duster – Azalea / Tee – Abercrombie & Fitch / Pants – Uniqlo / Boots – J. Crew

Sure, these are my 12 favorites look of the year, but they also overlap with 12 of my favorite backdrops from the year! If you’re someone who documents your OOTD’s, then you know that these two things kind of go hand in hand. This year, I experienced a major shift in my outfits and that is mostly due to a location change. Living in South Bay was a dream, but it meant that I was living in this sort of alternate reality where it was summertime every single day. The last four years of that are something that I would never give back, but now that I’m living in San Francisco, I’m glad that I get to dress for true weather. It reminds me of my days in Seattle.

In 2017, I embraced a very casual look and I pushed the boundaries of day to night wear. I showed love to some of my favorite accessories (bandana, baseball cap, choker) and revived some old favorites (Keds!) We didn’t find ourselves immersed in any crazy trends… but I did find some pieces worn by other people on Instagram that I went out and bought myself! It’s not really the same thing, you guys. It’s almost… worse.

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Disneyland Bachelorette

Earlier this summer, we celebrated our favorite girl – Jennie – getting married! However, before we watched her walk down the aisle, we threw her her last single girl’s party at Disneyland! Wow – I hadn’t been there in years, but it really still is as magical as everyone says it is. It’s kind of of those places too where you don’t realize how into it you’re going to be until you actually get there. Even being at Downtown Disney the night before and getting excited for the next day alone prompted me to buy these Minnie Mouse ears and even though they cost $$$ I know I’ll have them forever and that I bought them for Little J.

Our entire day at the park lasted from the time that it opened and stretched until it closed. We may have had a drinking/bachelorette party game break in between, but you could pretty much say that we were all Disney all the time. I’m glad that I was in a group with such pros because with them, waiting in line was minimal and they had all of the tips and tricks up their sleeve. I don’t ever want to have a Disney experience that doesn’t involve them because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t survive on my own.

And what would a trip be without some true learning moments? How do parents do it? I barely survived the day as a mid 20’s person, but I can’t imagine what I put my parents through between feeling motion sickness, being hungry, and tired amongst all the complaints I probably had as a kid. And all they wanted to do was to show me the best experience of my life! Thank you parents for all that you do. I’m terrified to take my future kids to Disneyland before they’re like 8.

I love bachelorette parties, but more importantly, I just love my girlfriends. I can barely remember a time this year where I laughed as much as I did on this trip.

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Yow Yow’s Top 10 Posts of 2017

It isn’t hard to push out a post when I need to. They can range from anything to a YouTube video to a song on Spotify or a quote against a printed background in an interesting typeface on Pinterest. While I like to think that varying lengths of posts make Yow Yow! really interesting, it’s those essays that I spend the most time on that I’m proud of. 2017 was a year of changes not only for me personally, but for Yow Yow! There was a lot happening in the world that I wanted to share an opinion about and I’ll admit, I don’t always get it right. I’ve received some criticism over the last year for some of the pieces that I’ve written, which challenged me, but I also received positive feedback as well. Overall, it felt like a step in the right direction. As much as I love writing about food, music, and fashion, I can’t let Yow Yow! only be about that. And the reason why is just because that’s not what I’m only all about. Thank you all for letting me stretch my creativity with this and for continuing to stick with us.

  1. The Moment I Found Out I Wasn’t White
  2. Color Factory in SF
  3. The Ladies of The Bachelor – Bridal Photoshoot 
  4. The Panic At Westfield Mall
  5. I’m Moving…Again!
  6. SPIN Comes to Downtown Seattle
  7. Beauty for Breakfast pt. 31
  8. That Next Chapter
  9. Clinique Vs. Crayola Chubby Sticks
  10. So You Want To Leave Your Job
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COUNT EM’ 1, 2… 60? 2017

This is always one of my favorite year-end round up lists to write! Throughout the years, I’ve had so many different platforms that I’ve used to listen to music. It started when I was young just listening to the radio with my tape ready to record a track – making mix tapes the old school way. From there, Kevin and I graduated to downloading songs off the internet (c’mon everyone did it!) then to iTunes, websites like SoundCloud, and then Spotify. How I lived a life without Spotify previously is beyond me. Last year, I relied heavily on the playlist that they had curated for me highlighting my top 100 tracks based on plays from the last year. I listened to mine for 2017 as well and while I think that it is mostly correct, I’m so OCD that I need to cross check it with my own list to make sure that it is 100% accurate. 2017 was such a great year for music and I can’t wait to share with you my favorites below! (As usual, these are in no particular order)

1. Khalid – Shot Down
2. Fifth Harmony – Down
3. Demi Lovato  – Sorry Not Sorry
4. Charles Bradley – Victim of Love
5. Campfire OK ft. Melodie Knight – Wooden Queen
6. Cashmere Cat ft. Camila Cabello – Love Incredible
7. Dua Lipa ft. Miguel  – Lost In Your Light
8. Calvin Harris, Young Thug, Pharrell, Ariana Grande – Heatstroke
9. ODESZA ft. Leon Bridges – Across the Room
10. Flume ft. Kučka – Hyperreal

11. SZA – The Weekend
12. Snakehips, Anne-Marie, Joey Bada$$ – Either Way
13. Kehlani  – Keep On
14. LÉON – For You
15. Drake – Madiba Riddim
16. Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still
17. Father John Misty  – Real Love Baby
18. Major Lazer, Travis Scott, Camila Cabello – Know No Better
19. Syd – Insecurities
20. Kacy Hill – Like A Woman

21. Shawn Mendes – There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back
22. Trey Songz – Playboy
23. Audien, MAX  – One More Weekend
24. Rationale – Deliverance
25. Sampha – (No One Knows Me) Like the Piano
26. TRACE – Honey
27. Wild Front  – Rico
28. H.E.R. – Every Kind of Way
29. Gallant, Andra Day – In the Room: Cruisin’
30. Big Sean, Chance the Rapper – Living Single

31. Michael Kiwanuka – Cold Little Heart
32. Maxwell – Lake By the Ocean
33. Lipstick Gypsy  – The Cure
34. BAYNK ft. NIKA – What You Need
35. Ella Mai – Naked
36. Olmos – Hold Me
37. 6LACK, Jhene Aiko  – First Fuck
38. PREP – Who’s Got You Singing Again
39. JMR – Bad For Good
40. Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE

41. Fleet Foxes – If You Need To, Keep Time On Me
42. Sinead Harnett – Unconditional
43. Fyfe, Kimbra  – Belong
44. B. Lewis – Strange Things
45. Sabrina Claudio – Unravel Me
46. Childish Gambino – Redbone
47. Tyler, The Creator  – 911 / Mr. Lonely
48. The Dip – Sure Don’t Miss You
49. Kaskade – Nobody Like You
50. SZA – Quicksand

51. Aly & AJ – I Know
52. Demi Lovato – Ruin the Friendship
53. Ty Dolla $ign  – Famous
54. Majid Jordan, PARTYNEXTDOOR – One I Want
55. Dan Croll  – Tokyo (Fractures Remix)
56. French Montana – Unforgettable
57. Daniel Caesar ft. Kali Uchis  – Get You
58. Kehlani – Honey
59. Taylor Swift, Future, Ed Sheeran – End Game
60. Miguel – Banana Clip

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Blog Roundup

  • Meghan Markle: I’m More Than An ‘Other’This isn’t a new post, but this was my first time reading this. With the announcement of the royal engagement, this is a reminder of just why we love her so much. 
  • On Blonde Girls in Cheongsams [Racked]
  • 5 Lessons from Jimmy Iovine [GOOD]

  • Alexa Chung answers questions while eating spicy vegan nuggets.
  • Airlines hate your smart luggage [Gizmodo]
  • Silicon Valley is sneaking models into their holiday parties [Bloomberg] This is absolute trash and disgusting. I hate hearing about this stuff. 
  • Google is rolling out a new feature that allows celebrities to answer the most asked questions about themselves – selfie style [Engadget]
  • YouTube will launch a paid music streaming service next year [Hypebeast]
  • Apple reportedly purchasing Shazam for $401 million [Hypebeast]
  • Hangover cures from your favorite food pros [Coveteur]
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An Afternoon with Orange Theory

I didn’t manage to get a decent photo of my Orange Theory gym last week when I was in class; only many many videos that I could save and watch for later. I mentioned back in 2016 that I had wanted to work on my health and get in better shape. I wasn’t always consistent and earlier this year I definitely went off the rails and abandoned my workouts and exercising regimen altogether. It wasn’t a good feeling and even worse, I started to feel unhappy in my life about it. My daily struggle and reality is that I’m not going to be able to make time for this every day, but if I don’t do it daily, can I do a little bit instead? Can I make up for it in another way whether that’s drinking more water, cutting out sweets and unhealthy snacks, or eating better at work or during my own meals? The answer to all of the above is yes!

My work was celebrating a “Wellness Week” last week and as a part of this they were offering up the opportunity to go to Orange Theory. I didn’t know too much about it other than the fact that two of my team members loved it and did it regularly. Since I’d only ever done Soul Cycle, I wondered if it would be like that. Some said it was a less “culty” Crossfit. Sounded appealing enough to me – sign me up!

It had been awhile since I had done anything this strenuous and I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even read up on Orange Theory (very unlike me!) How did I prepare? No sugary Chestnut Praline latte at Starbucks that day – only making sure that I had breakfast and lunch and at least a bottle of water before I went off to class. I stood in a room with 11 of my coworkers – all of us extremely nervous since I think the majority of us had never taken a class before. Before we went in, we strapped a monitor to our chests (touching our skin, near our heart and underneath our sports bra – if you were a female) Then there’s me, “Oh, I’m not wearing a sports bra – just a regular one!” It all worked out. I do this all the time, clearly.

The class was supposed to be an hour, but it felt so much longer than that. I don’t know exactly how long we did everything at each interval, but I know the first half of it was just running. During the run, based on your comfort level, you would adjust things like speed and incline to give you a challenge. Surprisingly enough, this was the part that I enjoyed the most! Elementary, middle school, high school – I never liked running, but when you’re on a treadmill and you make that choice for yourself along with a pretty good playlist, it feels like you can do anything.

After the run, we switched to the rowing machine and went back and forth between this and the weight station. This was the most challenging for me because the movement between was inconsistent. Even though I personally felt energized by the run, my body was tired. My limbs weren’t working the way I thought they would after this. At one point, one of our exercises in the weight station involved holding a weight above our stomach and moving our legs up and down while lying on the ground. Almost immediately, I felt my legs seize up. This was something that I did all of the time at home in my routines, but now my legs had completely locked up. I think at one point, I looked at my next exercise and the time left on the clock and just decided to lay back on the ground. I was done and that was okay.

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So here are my final thoughts:

  • I’ll give any class a shot. There are so many different ones out there and I knew immediately that Soul Cycle wasn’t for me, but Orange Theory was actually much more enjoyable! I would definitely do it again especially if it was a benefit offered by my company. ;)
  • Working out with your coworkers isn’t weird. It might even almost be better than being in a room full of strangers because…solidarity!
  • For two days after Orange Theory, my body was extremely bloated. It was like my body went through a bit of a shock because I hadn’t done something that intense in quite some time and it was storing water for days. Next time, I’ll likely prepare my body for something like that by being more active in the days leading up to the big workout.
  • Even though you’re able to see everyone’s numbers and what your peers are doing, it doesn’t matter. Everyone is different and you can’t really compare yourself to anyone else in that room. It’s not even a competition.
  • The best part about this was that I didn’t realize how strong I was. Using an 8-pound weight wasn’t easy for me and it was the lightest one on the scale of all the weights, but it was more than I thought I could do in the first place. I completely surprised even myself doing the workout and I think walking away with that feeling was the best part of my week. I didn’t know I could run that long and not hate it. I had never used a rowing machine. Everything was a challenge, but it made me want to be better.
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Wedding Mondays

Usually when I’m writing these posts, I’m multitasking. I’m watching the wedding video, I’m writing about it and I’m watching my television all at the same time. It takes a very special wedding video though for me to stop everything and give it my full attention. When it comes to Yow Yow! or any other platforms that I use, I don’t like to brag about my friends. They know how much I love them, but the only time I’ll truly do this is for Wedding Mondays.

Earlier this year, we celebrated Jennie and Zac’s wedding back in Washington and that evening was so wonderful that I wish I could go back. The day went by so fast, but I really enjoyed reliving that experience through this video. The entire day was something out of a fairytale, but more importantly, I loved our Princess Jennie getting everything she wanted that day! In some future posts you’ll find out why we call her that!

If this isn’t your first time here, then you may have heard me toss Jennie’s name around a few times. More often times than not, she’ll ping me on Mondays asking me if another Wedding Mondays post is coming her way. Well, this time it’s hers! Her and I share a love for wedding videos and actually spent a fair amount of time discussing hers and dissecting others (in a good way of course) Jennie and Zac are two of my favorite people to visit in Seattle and even though I’m seeing them when I’m returning to my hometown, they never miss a moment to play host whether that’s treating me out to dinner, sharing dessert with me at their home or letting me watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette on television with them. These two are just the sweetest and everyone loves being around them. I am so excited for them to share their life together.

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Grateful

It’s the eve of Thanksgiving and I’ve been thinking about this post for the last week. I’m just going to be very honest about this. There was a time, before we even got into 2017, where I had a sinking feeling that this was going to be my worst year yet. It sounds dramatic even just writing that last sentence, but I felt like I was heading into a year of unknown. For someone who has typically planned out life every step of the way without too much surprise, this was an adjustment for me.

I quit my job. I had to learn to interview again after 3.5 years of not interviewing. I got a new job. I moved cities, but luckily only an hour north.

It was a lot of change for one year, but not anything that I regret. I am very thankful for a lot of things this year – all of which are very personal to me.

  • for a job that feels like a community on its own and that stimulates me
  • for co-workers that feel like friends
  • for my health and caring about my wellness and bringing exercising back into my life again
  • for supportive friends and family who stuck by me through these life changes

I didn’t know if we could get here – to this place. Today. But if I’m truly reflecting back on this, I wouldn’t say that this is the happiest I’ve ever been, but it’s definitely the most comfortable. I feel stable and stability to me is sometimes…everything. I’ve had to learn how to do a lot of things on my own this year. I’ve overcome some challenges that I had a second chance at. I’ve made mistakes that I’ve had to just own up to and be accountable for.

I’m grateful that another year that I was dreading actually turned out to be a pretty great one in the end. That’s supposed to sound more happy than not, but Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

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