We have the opportunity on the daily to make a positive impact on the world around us.
Whether one goes through their day searching for good deeds to be done,
or simply takes advantage of random opportunities to spread love,
every action (or inaction) has a resounding impact.
The question is: Is your impact today going to be positive, negative, or indifferent?
I have been told that one person can't make a difference.
I affectionately call these people "dummies"...
Those who actively try to hold the rest of us down,
those who would rather watch you drown than help you soar, those who can't grasp the power of positivity to create change.
Whether it's a great recipe found, or an uplifting story to share, you can be sure to find it here.
Let's start a Positivity Revolution, and drown out the dumb!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Being Everything

Just a note: This gets a little ranty, and I don't care...Enjoy!

I am SO SICK of seeing all these articles about how this star-or-that lost their post-baby weight and "have their body back". Why do we as a society allow this lie to persist? Real women, living in the real world, with jobs and families and relationships; not to mention cooking, cleaning, raising your children and loving your S.O.; can't possibly live up to this standard.

It is just one of the many ways women are expected to be everything. Be successful, but not more so than your man. Be strong, but not bitchy. Be sensitive, but definitely don't cry (like, ever). Be happy and level-headed, cram some pills down your throat to keep an even keel. Be classy but also a freak. Be smart, but stay quiet. Let the boys be boys, and don't nag. Be independent, but not so much that you'll emasculate the men. Fight for your believes, but don't call yourself a Feminist. Smell dreamy, keep a smile on your face even when you're exhausted, exude love and patience and understanding, and put everyone else's needs ahead of your own. Be a caregiver first, even when your career is exploding, or all you want to do is take a GD nap. And the best, worst, expectation facing mothers everywhere: look the same post-pregnancy as you did pre-baby. Um, WTF?

There is this insane idea out there that because stars (who frankly, are paid to look good) can lose their baby weight crazy-fast, that regular women should be able to, as well. Google the term "celebrity baby weight loss", and there pops up article after article of celebrities who have lost 10 pounds in 10 days, 20 pounds in 3 weeks, 60 pounds in 5 months...What nutritionist in their right mind would advise losing more than 2 pounds per week as safe? That is 8 pounds per month, max. Even going to the grocery store is an assault on the self-esteem of real women. Literally every single magazine has on their cover some sort of blurb about losing weight. This has got to stop. Good for the celebrities who can quickly maintain their pre-baby bod so they can continue to book gigs and make money. But how about helping the rest of us out instead of making women feel like crap for having priorities other than our outside appearance?

I would lovelovelove to hear your stories and see your pictures of true beauty, post-baby. The only way we can combat this is to be the change we want to see.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I'm No Dummy

As a feminist (cue eye roll), I believe that anything a man can do, I should be able to do that as well. This argument easily goes to one extreme or the other, the most common example I've experienced is sports, namely football and basketball. I am not super athletic, and I won't lie and say that women's basketball is at all interesting to me. And I really don't appreciate Lingerie Football, it's insulting. But, if I wanted to play football or basketball, I should be able, no, encouraged to, and have the same opportunities and respect that a man would have. This amazing world of ours allows for so much success, yet there remains a drastic double standard between women and men.

It's the littlest things that bother me most. I was an avid hiker in Colorado, and since moving to Ohio, I've given up that pastime. One reason was that all of Ohio's state parks are about 90 minutes away, and the other was that I didn't have a hiking buddy. Anything can happen: twisted ankles, bear attacks, bad people who want to hurt you...so I didn't put myself in the situation. Everything you read says not to go alone, but I finally got pissed and figured, if guys do it without a second thought, so can I.

Even though a man could go hiking in the woods for hours without a second thought of what might happen to him, I'm not a dummy, and I understand that although I disagree with this double standard, I recognize the world we live in. Bad things do happen, and as much as I wish it weren't the case, it wouldn't behoove me to turn a blind eye and pretend nothing bad can happen to me. I believe people are inherently good, but that doesn't erase the few that are the opposite.

This is not to be misunderstood as blaming the victim, but you still have to be prepared so as not to put yourself in danger's way. So I researched the most-visited trails of Hocking Hills and mapped out where I wanted to go (mind you, I still got lost, but I had a general idea of where I needed to be). I visited Dick's Sporting Goods and picked up a rape whistle and Mace. I packed plenty of water and snacks in my super-cute Nike backpack, and I. Went. Hiking. This seems like such a small feat, but taking control to do something I used to love so much is so empowering. I got a couple funny looks from others who couldn't understand why I was hiking with a small canister of Mace death-gripped in my hand; but that was a small price to pay for a feeling of safety and control. I ended up hiking 3 trails for a total of 7.5 miles, and I can't wait to do it again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How to Eat Healthy Without Losing Your Mind

As much as I love myself, I do not love myself in a bikini, I never have. I think it's completely ludicrous that while guys get to wear baggy shorts and flaunt beer bellies all summer, girls only have the choice of tight, privates-on-display second-skin bathing suits. It's simply not fair.

It's around this time of year that I always start to panic. This forever-lasting winter has allowed me the luxury of oversized sweaters and unshaven legs, and there's always an excuse to head right home after work instead of to the gym (usually, it's my rumbling tummy). Pasta, pizza, dinner rolls, mashed potatoes and a whole lot of red wine got me through this dreary winter; and I nearly forgot that summer will follow, along with the necessary evil that is the bikini.

I've made slight adjustments that have not made a difference yet, but there's a great mantra that I repeat every time I feel frustrated: "This did not happen overnight, and neither will the change happen overnight." It helps to keep me patient, because really, I just want to continue to eat like I was eighteen years old...those were the days! I still treat myself to Jimmy John's after a great meeting (that will never stop, I'm completely obsessed with the Vito); but I also keep my fridge stocked with Lean Cuisine paninis and mini pizzas. I know these are high in carbs and sodium, but they are a step down from my 800-calorie (I add mayonnaise because I love it) JJ's fave. Instead of stopping at Starbucks every morning for a Bacon Gouda breakfast sandwich, I opted for the Special K breakfast sandwiches, saving me about 100 calories. They are not anywhere near as good, but they still have bacon, so I'm happy! I bought Pomegranate Arils to snack on instead of pretzels; and I keep Almond Milk in my fridge for my afternoon snack. I also keep my office stocked with Progresso chicken noodle soup (150-200 calories per can), and high-protein snack bars for when I'm on the run. With these small but delicious alterations, it's not been hard to make my day at work a little healthier.

It's dinnertime that gets me. I am a carb-whore, and could eat different variations of pasta (with bread, of course) every night. If it weren't for my boyfriend, I would probably do just that! Here are a couple of my recent dinners that are easy and utterly delicious, they make me forget that in a couple short months, I get to flaunt my body for a bunch of strangers at the pool (yuck):

Fiesta Chicken Breast with Avocado and Tomato Salsa
I loosely followed this recipe from Betty Crocker, and added cilantro, garlic salt, red cayenne pepper, crushed red chili flakes, and parsley to the marinade. I also chose to cook my chicken on a skillet, since it was only two thinly-sliced breasts. I used an entire avocado and one Roma tomato in my salsa, with about a Tablespoon of chopped garlic. So good!

Spaghetti Squash with Prosciutto and Tomatoes
Spaghetti Squash is something I tried only since moving to Ohio, and I LOVE it, especially when I get a hankering for pasta. Cooking spaghetti squash is fast and easy, and this article shows you different ways it can be done! While this is cooking, I'll toss cherry tomatoes, baby bella mushrooms, and prosciutto together in a small saucepan until the tomatoes start to burst. After shredding the squash, add Italian seasoning, garlic, and your toppings, along with a little shredded parmesan.

What are your favorite healthy recipes?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Now, Make it Pretty!

Note: After posting this, I bought a CumulusPRO Anti-Fatigue Mat, and the past couple days have been pure bliss for my feet and knees! This is supposed to be the tip-top of mats, and although it's a touch pricey, it has a ten-year warranty and is made from non-toxic materials. Now my standing creation is truly complete. :)

A while back, after I noticed that my 8-10 hour days of sitting on my tuckus were shaping a rather lovely but unwanted shovel-butt, I switched things up and started standing. I felt better after the initial novelty of being the only person in the office with a standing desk wore off; and the pain I felt previously in my hips vanished. The only thing that kept grating on my nerves was that my desk was so dang ugly with the computer stands I was using for my keyboard, and I had not taken the time to ensure my keyboard was ergonomically correct.

After weeks of silently wishing that my desk was more adorable, I went about Amazon to try to find a suitable alternative. A completely new desk was out, I didn't have the luxury of spending hundreds of dollars on a new setup, and to be quite honest, I didn't feel like moving the very heavy furniture out of my office. I found a couple pieces that served as adjustable laptop stands, but they were upwards of $300! No, thank you. I decided to utilize my crafty side to find a cheap alternative...

I visited my favorite craft store and picked up a large rectangle of styrofoam, rubber cement, a simple wooden lap desk ($8), some polka dot stationary paper (about 15 pieces totaling about $5), and a perfectly-sized small wooden stand ($11). I also grabbed some Mod Podge, but alas, it does not work well for me. Ever.

I traced the shape of the wooden stand (this is for my mouse pad), on the back of one piece of paper, and then cut this out and glued to the top and sides of the stand:
Next comes making the keyboard piece beautiful. I wanted this to be uneven polka dots, so I glued my pieces to the front first, then folded around back and covered the empty parts with black construction paper. The bottom doesn't need to look pretty, thank goodness!
The next day at the office, I went in extra-early so as not to be disturbed, and positioned the heavy-duty Styrofoam in front of my monitors. This would serve as my keyboard stand, and it was the perfect ergonomically-correct height.

At home that night, I used my other pieces of polka-dot paper to cover the Styrofoam, using my hot glue gun. Since it had the same pattern, the lines of the different pieces are not discernible. At first, I accented with oversized silver thumbtacks, but they kept popping out, so I just glued my paper to the Styrofoam, and called it done. One thing to note, this was a VERY MESSY project, Styrofoam got into everything! But at least it's pretty. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Dirty Girl

Who is a fan of cleaning? Anyone out there?.....No one? I'm not surprised. I've got no issue messing up the house, but cleaning it up is another story altogether. All I can really say is, Boo.

Sometimes, the house gets a bit on the deeesgusting side, and I'm forced to spend my evening or weekend in meth-head cleaning mode before I can relax. You know that old commercial where the girl is scrubbing her bathroom floor furiously with a toothbrush? That's me, sans the drugs. When the cleaning bug hits me, I don't go half-assed. It also doubles as a workout, since our condo is three stories!

My project last week was our microfiber couch. It was a lovely tan color when I moved in, and has since turned a bit darker tan amidst semi-frequent wine spillage and what Matt says is all my hair product on the top cushions (whatever, haha). I wanted to prove him wrong that we can have a new-looking couch instead of spending money on a new set (because I'm unnecessarily competitive), so I went to Pinterest to find my weapons.

I followed this blog entry for directions, and went at it! This turned into a rather extensive project, as I first Fabreezed each cushion to make them smell so-fresh-and-so-clean. Then I had to basically drench each cushion in alcohol, rub it into each cushion, front and back, with a sponge (I used tan because I couldn't find white sponges). Then, I drank wine (far away from the couch cushions, mind you) while the alcohol evaporated completely. Lastly, I used a white bristled brush to softly buff each cushion to fluffiness. The end result was not perfection, but it looks a heck of a lot better than before, and it cost me about $9 in supplies:

Friday, March 6, 2015

Eye of the Tiger

The word of the day is: Fear.

I am a worrywart, everyone knows it. I've only recently decided to take this negative part of my being and use it for good; so instead of worrying, I try to address the fear and find a solution. The alternative is me laying in bed in the fetal position; or staring, paralyzed, at my mounting inbox; or zoning out in front of the TV for hours; or melting down in the shower...none of these sound amazing. My mind races from the moment my eyes open at 5am (who needs coffee when you have worry?). I even get to take Melatonin to sleep most nights, because my overactive brain won't shut down when it's supposed to.

This morning was one of those crazy days, when I heard my obnoxious alarm and BOOM I'm up. I was in the process of willing myself back to an uneasy slumber when I realized the thing that was keeping me from taking on the day was Fear. Fear is a powerful enemy; one who can make all your worst feelings about yourself rise to the forefront of your consciousness. "What happens if...What if they don't...What if they do"... A thousand questions raced through my mind. In an effort to not drive myself crazy and also calm my racing heart, I changed those "What if" questions to "How do I" questions. "How do I take on extra responsibility at work if someone quits?...What action can I take if my client doesn't call me back?...How can I prepare myself for the reaction of my peers to this-or-that?" By taking the power away from "they" and situations I can't possibly predict or control; I took these worrisome questions and thought about how I could respond and prepare. The only thing I have power over is me; and I'm taking the power away from Fear.

As you begin your day, think on the things you most fearful of; and instead of asking "What if I fail?" ask yourself, "How can I best succeed?"

Sunday, March 1, 2015


I saw this clip a few weeks ago, and have been thinking on it ever since. The curator of the article says: "This completely went over my head as a kid. I'm so glad it did." This rings true to me as well, but what were the long-term effects of this propaganda? Might there be a correlation that none of us realized; that these villains were depicted in a "gay" way so regularly in our youth, that it helped to create a stigma around being gay, even from a very young age when there weren't religious or moral reasons to tie those feelings to? Have we been brainwashed in the most innocent of fashions: these cartoon movies?

This guy is hilarious, give this clip a good watch and let me know what you think!