Since March.

What’s up friends?  Whoa!  Where to begin, where to begin??  But really, where?

So, it’s been since the world changed in March that I’ve written anything here.  I had to reset my password just to get into my darn blog because I haven’t used this laptop since the end of March.  Ha!

Today I wanted to write a “catch up” post, a brain dump, tell a whole bunch of random stories and just get a little creative.  I know it sounds weird, but I have to have some kind of creative outlet, or I feel like I could scream at someone.  Also weird, I get most of my ideas and inspiration while I’m on the treadmill for an hour every day.  Unfortunately, as soon as my time on the treadmill is over, so is my “me” time.  Dinner, laundry, homework, vitamins (listen, there’s a lot these days), showers and wiping out lunchboxes, spraying backpacks and picking out outfits with matching masks (I never imagined this would be a thing) takes first priority.  Suddenly it’s 10 and I’m just sitting down for the evening.

So let us chat, shall we?  So how have the last 6 months been for everyone?  Let me share with you what a little of mine has felt like.

Currently, I’m sitting in my favorite place.  Our deck, watching the sun set.  I’ve finally had the time to embrace nature a bit more.  It sounds corny, but I love it.  I planted what I call a “city girl” garden, aka a raised garden that Brock built for me.  I also updated our deck since I spend so much time out there now.  New area rug, new umbrella, some cute lights…you get the picture.  Of course, spending so much time outside makes you realize what all needs to be done, since it had about 4 years of neglect due to travel baseball every spring and summer.   So we sanded and painted our fence, added new window screens, cleaned the gutters out and completely re-mulched our front flower beds after putting new edging down.  Now I would love some new furniture and to add on to our deck a bit.  The projects never end–haha.

I’m outside everyday.  I loved being outside before all this “shelter in place” stuff, whenever possible, but now I make an effort to be out every day; morning and night (even if it requires a sweatshirt).  My mom and I found an old bird feeder pole my grandpa made about 25 years ago and I hung bird houses and bird feeders up.  Every weekend I sit outside before the kids are up and just listen to the birds and drink my coffee.  Before COVID, my methods of relaxing were weekly therapy sessions between running a gazillion errands. working full time, trying to work Rodan & Fields part time, blogging part time and basically being a full time taxi to kids who need to get to a practice or game.  Now, it’s sitting on my deck or front porch, with a good book, alongside the occasional virtual therapy appointment.  I stopped selling Rodan & Fields, since I constantly felt like I was a pain in everyone’s behind.  I THOUGHT I would be blogging more, honestly.  Obviously that hasn’t happened, which surprises me a little.  I’m still working full time, just remotely, which has brought my anxiety level down to super low.  In fact, I actually find myself working more hours since I’m home.

Alright, so here are some random things I’ve learned in the past 6 months of weathering a global pandemic:

–Having a good view is a must for our next house.  I need at least a half an acre yard, where I cannot hear my neighbor’s phone conversations or listen to their yappy dogs bark at random objects all day long.  I need some mature trees and room to actually have some landscaping without things looking cluttered.

–I need to expand my “casual” wardrobe.  Even working from home, I get up every morning, put makeup on, put cute jewelry on and do something with my hair (by doing something with my hair, it basically means I brush it and put it up in a high pony or bun).  #zoommeetingready.  I found/still find myself running out of t-shirts and workout clothes.  I don’t own one single pair of sweatpants, and I probably won’t ever, but, I definitely needed some more casual shirt options.  So instead of buying a new purse or cute boots at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year, I was buying Madewell t-shirts.  Also, does anyone else feel like they just can’t pull off a “casual” look correctly?  I’m actually jealous of people that can throw t-shirts and shorts on and look “put together” still.  Same goes with workout clothes….I end up looking like I don’t belong haha.

–The concept of “if I ever worked from home everyday, I would eat so much healthier”, SOUNDS great, but doesn’t really end up happening all the time.  I’ve said for years if I were home working all day, I wouldn’t have an excuse to eat junk.  I’d be near a fridge and microwave and be able to really put something super healthy together for every meal.  Turns out, that’s only partially true in my case.  I eat a super healthy breakfast and I’ve been trying to eat around 10-1030 or so, to kinda sorta try intermittent fasting and give my body a chance to burn up a little from the previous day.  I also usually eat a salad or protein power bowl for lunch, and throw in a snack here and there that is either protein packed or low in sugar –like the sugar free Outshine bars (RUN to the store and grab them!!!) or cashews, almonds or a South Beach Diet chocolate shake.  It all falls downhill after dinner.  What I have for dinner is always healthy, BUT I’ve fallen into the 10 o’clock snack/binge trap.  Yup, it blows.  I usually grab popcorn or almonds or crackers and almond butter.  You better believe I’m eating more than one portion too.  Have I mentioned it sucks?  I have issues with food and honestly, until I get my late night snacking under control, I have no chance of losing weight.  And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

–Rachel Hollis ended up being a complete disappointment.  The girl I accredit to helping me figure out how to handle anxiety and panic attacks better, is also the girl that turned out to be someone I can no longer believe.  Thank goodness I NEVER followed her for relationship advice.  I can only imagine how mad those followers were.  Someone got, in the words of the Sowards elders, “too big for her britches”.

–Julianne Hough got weird.  And, also disappointed me….not that she cares what I think or anything–haha.  Kinrgy went to her head apparently and the voodoo-like “healing and empowerment” took over.  She was one of my faves and always someone I looked up to in the entertainment industry.  She’s recently toned things down a bit, so I’m crossing my fingers she lands back on planet Earth soon.

–Sending the kids back to school in August was scary.  I’m sure you all can imagine it was scary enough to me, having contamination OCD, sending the kids back to their petri dish; I mean school, during a pandemic.  I felt this weird pressure like it was something I had to do or my kids would suffer.  It felt like peer pressure and I didn’t like it.  It definitely made me feel uncomfortable and emotional, but now being a month in, I’m glad we chose to send them back.  All things considered, they are LOVING this year so far and doing really well.

–Navigating sports during this time has been interesting.  Signing the COVID waiver for Brayden’s travel baseball team in mid-May when things were still pretty bad, was a little nerve wracking, but I had already made up my mind that if baseball were to continue, then Brayden was playing.  He had a new team with new friends and a great coach that was going to be exciting to watch.  Plus he needed his own outlet to relieve stress and get that handful of hours on a weekend to feel some normalcy.  Since baseball is very low contact, and played outside and during the summer, I figured there wouldn’t be a better sport to play during this trial and error kind of time than baseball.  Mason was getting ready to start his second year of t-ball before all this madness hit.  I honestly didn’t know, since it was a local rec league, if they would continue to play their season out or not.  They ended up playing, with a June start, and it ended up being very enjoyable with a lot fewer rain-outs considering they played a June-July season instead of April-May season.  Again, similar to Brayden’s situation, it gave Mason a few hours a week to be with friends and get that socialization he needed and wanted so badly.

–I’m a little jealous of all the people in the world that can dance and edit videos so well on Tik Tok.  I have an account and basically every time I log on, I get sucked in by Jason DeRulo, Derek Hough and Twitch.  The dancing…..I’m so jealous.  I tried to get Brayden to teach me a dance, but he told me I was lame and then I realized he isn’t the best at it either. haha!  Sometimes I laugh because I see these people basically doing glorified hand gestures, but then I see people like Gabby Douglass do these same dances while doing a handstand.  I mean, I’m here for it.

–I found my love of reading again.  I swear, I have not read this many books since elementary school when I was the “Book It” queen of Mrs. Terry’s class.  I’m a HUGE fan of reading books that are based in the summertime, usually on an island, the coast or in the Carolina’s.  I had already read every Nicholas Sparks book (they were all based out of NC), so I decided to start reading Elin Hilderbrand books.  I had previously read 2 of her books last year when we were in Florida and I really liked them.  Most of her books are set on Nantucket, which still gives me that summery/cottage-like type of vibe I love reading about so much.  Honestly, I think I’ve read 10 of her books since April, I’m not even kidding.  I’m so excited she has a new one coming out in a few weeks.  I mean, who have I become?  The girl that’s excited about a book dropping??  What?  It’s fine, I’m embracing it. 🙂

–Decorating is fantastic and I’m in love with it.  This is a good thing and a bad thing.  Mainly a bad thing for Brock because he can MAKE basically whatever I want when it comes to furniture or changing the look of an entire room with beams, shiplap and wainscoting.  A good thing because when I see changes happen, I am the happiest person on Earth.  There’s nothing like a good before and after!  I’m trying to turn our house into a cottage.  Yes, we live smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood, but the INSIDE can look the part, right?  If only I was given unlimited funds, I would have our entire house exactly like I wanted it, in less than a month.  How fun would that be?  To just go 100%, all in!?

–I want to take this moment right now and thank the heavens above for Chase Stokes (John B!!!!) and the rest of the Outer Banks cast.  Also, the entire Sweet Magnolias cast.  These two shows are the only new shows I have been obsessed with and almost cried when they ended!  Fun fact, the producers of Outer Banks opted NOT to shoot on location in the Outer Banks, even though Wilmington (the film production capital of the East) was right down the coast, because they were pissed about a few political matters in NC.  All of season 1 was shot near Charleston, SC.  The cast just started shooting season 2 a week or so ago, and they are actually in NC this season. Other than Outer Banks and Sweet Magnolias, our tried and true Yellowstone was back after what seemed like 6 years.  Yellowstone is ah-mazing (everyone needs some John Dutton, aka Kevin Costner, in their lives..trust me on this) and it’s cruel that we have to wait until next June for season 3.  I typically don’t watch much TV on a regular basis, but those 3 shows and occasionally some Real Housewives of Beverly Hills were favorites this summer.

–I want a boat.  That-is-all.

We’ve definitely had to change up how we do things, but made the best of it.  Instead of a 40th birthday party in Chicago for Brock, we spent a day on the lake with close friends.  Instead of a family vacation in late May to my most favorite place on earth (NC), we…oh wait.  No, that still sucks no matter how you look at it.  We have celebrated birthday’s at home instead of at a venue, we’ve called in a lot of curbside instead of eating at restaurants and celebrated a lot of holidays without extended family.  And oh yea, my nephew Grayson was born March 1st and I’ve still yet to meet the cute little nugget.  This too shall pass.  It may not pass by December 31st, but it will pass.

If I could pass on some friendly advice from talking to and seeing people handle (or not handle) this troublesome time, I would say this:  Be kind.  Don’t complain.  Help when you can (safely).  Understand that things may not go as planned and be ok with it ahead of time.  Stop saying a real virus is a hoax when countless doctors and nurses witness what its done everyday.  While we’re at it, the Government is not trying to control anyone….they have access to anything they want from anyone at anytime already.  And while there are always politics involved at some level for everything in life, Coronavirus will not magically disappear on November 5th; sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

Let’s all do our part.  Protect our loved ones, do what we can to make the situation bearable and keep moving forward.  I’ll say it again for the people in the back….remember, this too shall pass.

I hope you all have enjoyed my random, brain dump of a post :).

Stay healthy and safe!

Xoxoxox

Mary

Bringing Myself Out of the Winter Slump

I’ve been in a slump, a funk. Not a sad slump, just a blah slump. Some of this, I think, is because I haven’t really seen my friends since New Year’s! Last year I made several plans with lots of friends and I honestly think that was such a mood booster!! Plus, here comes the broken record that is myself again, but flu season has been worse this year than last, and that’s something that obviously contributes to my daily stress and anxiety.

I don’t know, I just haven’t had any creative juices flowing lately. Can you relate? Too much on my plate everyday, but also not willing to shift things around to help clear ‘said plate’; because I don’t have anything meaty to talk about anyways? Make sense?

Even though I’m in a creative funk, and not as present on social media and this blog right now, I can assure you that I have been busy & giving 100% to therapy and other forms of mindfulness for overcoming my OCD. I have learned so many tools to use in everyday life and feel like occasionally, I should share the love with you all!

So, in the spirit of slumps, I wanted to share 4 tips for pushing forward EVEN THOUGH we may not feel as awesome as we would like or know that we can be.

1. See your friends. I have plans tomorrow night with one of my girlfriends I have known since 4th grade. It’s gonna be good for the soul. Text 5 friends today. See what they are doing. Do a little ‘friend fishing’, if you will. See if you can get something on the calendar!

2. Spend a little time working on artificially creating your own ‘sunshine’. Look up….and smile. Seriously. While you are looking up and smiling, (smiling like your life depended on it, ok…like you have a hanger in your mouth type of smile) I want you to think of a place or memory that makes you really happy, or one that always makes you feel relaxed. Spend about 15 minutes doing this. Then, write down the things that made you happy or feel relaxed and hang them on a mirror, in your office or on your fridge.

3. Try to move. Do you have kids; and do they enjoy dancing like no one is watching? Well, if you do….put those little performers and yourself to work showcasing some epic dance moves. Solo? Try to get OUTSIDE for a walk if the weather cooperates. Even just a few blocks. While walking, take several deep belly breaths, exhaling very slowly.

4. If you are strictly a spring and summer person like me, get a head start on it NOW! I’ve told my friends and family for the past two weekends I’m ‘willing spring into existance’. What I mean by this is that I’m trying to do things now that I would normally do in early spring. This helps me enjoy more outdoor time when the weather gets nicer. For example, this past weekend I cleaned my front porch off, washed down our front door, raked leaves and old moldy mulch out of our flower beds and deep cleaned my car. It felt so great to get these things done, and even greater knowing that when the weather breaks, we only have to add new mulch and add any additional decor we would like to our porch. 😍

I hope you enjoyed these suggestions and can weave them into your own schedules. This time of year is harder for me with gray skies, rain and snow. I’ve learned I kind of have to create my own kind of happy, so to speak. Oh and speaking of happy and all things sunshine, remember to take plenty of vitamin D3. 😉

Have a wonderful week and productive weekend ahead!!

Xoxo

Mary

Friday Five!

Happy Friday, loves!!

Today I’m sharing my five favorite apps I can’t be without!

1. Instagram

I mean…did it happen if you didn’t document it on the ‘gram? I’ve always been more of an IG girl than FB. Sorry FB, but all the forwarded jokes and messages are just clutter to me. I use FB to connect and stay in touch with friends and family, of course, but I prefer the look and ease of Instagram. Plus, pictures. Lots of pictures.

2. Target Cartwheel

Do you guys have this downloaded? I’m assuming all of my readers are Target shoppers, since we are friends, right? I’ve had this app since it first became available. Now they also have Target Circle, which is connected to your Target account just like Cartwheel! All I know is when I check out via store or online checkout, I ALWAYS have a credit to apply to my total, along with my Cartwheel offers. Target just keeps getting better!

3. MyFitnessPal

I’m a tad obsessed with numbers. I mean, just a tad. By a tad, I mean a lot! I wear a FitBit 24-7. (Santa, please bring me an Apple Watch for Christmas so I can jump into the 21st century with the rest of the world, mmmmk). My FitBit is connected to MyFitnessPal, so all my workouts and steps transfer over from FitBit to MFP so I can see how many calories I can consume without turning into a double wide. I log all my calories. I know some people feel negatively about logging calories but it helps me see what I’m working with. MFP keeps me enlightened on what my macros are all day long so I know when to add more protein or cut back on fats. It’s very helpful!

4. Calm

How many of you struggle with just finding 5 minutes in the day to take a freaking breath? Last summer I downloaded this app to help with my anxiety. Little did I know that I would be unlocking this GINORMOUS portable resource of so much goodness! I actually love it so much that I pay the 60.00 per year for the full version. Don’t worry though, the free version has access to a ton of meditations, breathing exercises, music and even sleep stories. My anxiety was so major that I wanted the in depth meditation series’s. Now that my anxiety is semi under control, I use this app on road trips when get anxious or if I ever feel a feeling of panic start to come on. It’s pretty amazing!

5. Chick Fil-A One App/Starbucks

Like how I combined these two? I cheated since I technically have 6 apps here, but these are the two restaurant apps that I feel offer the best rewards and give back the most to their customers! Also, these are really the only places I go if I’m eating out haha. My favorite days are when I can get a free coffee and free medium fruit salad at Starbucks and Chick Fil-A, respectively. 😊. These apps are definitely worth the download!! You may actually be losing money if you don’t have them.

Alright guys! That’s all I have for today!!! What are your favorite apps and should I download them??

Have a great weekend!!!!

Xoxox

Mary

Currently…..

currently nov 2014

When your brain can’t think of anything clever to write about, you can always whip out the ol’ trusty “currently” post, as seen below.

+Listening To:  Taylor Swift–1989 #cantstopwontstop #sorrynotsorry #noreally

+Eating:  Taco Bell chicken protein power bowl with no rice.  Get.In.My.Belly!

+Enjoying:  My Young Living Essential Oils.  They really have helped with things like cuts, scrapes, KIDDO SLEEP, snoring and even stress.  Diffusing thieves oil makes our house smell great too.  Winner Winner!

+Working On:  our Thanksgiving menu.  We’re hosting this year.

+Buying:  The question should be what am I not buying?  Christmas shopping has consumed me.

+Cooking:  For real, normally this wouldn’t even be something I would write about.  For a while now, I’ve been a devoted fan of DashingDish.com.  It’s become my go-to when I have a few spare minutes to make dinner.  My favorite dinner recipe is the deep dish cheeseburger pie.  Sweet mother its good!

+Wishing:  The weather was nicer.  In typical Indiana fashion, it cannot make its mind up.  3 days ago it was 65 degrees, now it’s 34 degrees.  Whatevs. Indiana—Whatevs.

+Excited For:  Short term22 Jump Street comes out next Tuesday (Holla!) Long term–Watching everyone open Christmas presents, ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas shows and my mom’s famous Christmas sugar cookies.

+LovingAKA—telling you that you NEED this:  My Thirty One Medium Utility Tote.  This month ONLY they are $7!  Seven dollars, 7 doll-hairs, 7 smack-a-roonies.  Check them out here!

+Setting Goals For: Myself to re-start my Yogalosophy DVD again.  It will be a fight.  Ugh.  In case you were wondering though, it does work!  You can find more detail about Yogalosophy here.

%d bloggers like this: