To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

High Five for Friday: July 21

JessComment

Let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • You guys... I DROVE DOWN THE SHORE (#Phillygrammar) ON SATURDAY!!! This meant driving a new, multiple highway route that is 90 minutes one way. And I survived!! The drive itself was actually pretty easy; I can get on a highway and go straight for 30 miles no prob haha. And it was so great to see and hear the ocean. I would walk about five steps and then stop to take a scenic picture, so it's a good thing I went by myself! I'd been wanting to do a day trip to the beach and blowing it off (๐Ÿ‘‹ anxiety), but when I finally got up the nerve to go at 4:30 in the afternoon, I capitalized on it, even though that made for a short trip. My dream is to one day just go and sit on the beach and read a magazine, and now the driving part of that is less daunting!
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  • Despite my love of self-help books, I haven't read any Marianne Williamson, but I was recently acquainted with this quote that so completely captures a lot of my fears and anxieties. I definitely hide and keep myself small to avoid seeing how much I could actually do in the world, beyond my bubble of control.
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  • I wasn't remotely interested in Game of Thrones coming back until Sunday afternoon and then it was like MUSTWATCH. Except that I apparently don't remember a darn thing from the previous seasons and I missed the "Previously on," and my (night's) watch buddy Pops has only seen about four other episodes in the entire series. So it was def the blind leading the blind.
At least I can identify these two people... and Luda.

At least I can identify these two people... and Luda.

  • The latest Weird-Ass Song of the Week is Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell," which I downloaded before driving back from the shore and have had on repeat basically ever since. Speaking of... does anyone remember the "Rebel L" spoof on Sesame Street? (If not, well, you're welcome.) "Rebel L" is definitely on a VHS tape somewhere in our house, probably mixed in with scenes from Patch and Kayla's wedding because it was the late '80s after all.
  • Lastly, a comical thing that happened. I've never gotten an iOS News alert in my life, but I think I accidentally opened the app this week, and so on Thursday, I got my first alert ever... and it was about OJ being paroled. And, as you might remember, I'm super fascinated by the OJ case and was all in for The People v. OJ Simpson. So, well-played, News app. Well-played. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
Don't mind all my Amazon pillow orders, I'm just 90. ๐Ÿ‘ต๐ŸปโœŒ๏ธย  ย  Hope you have a great weekend! xo

Don't mind all my Amazon pillow orders, I'm just 90. ๐Ÿ‘ต๐ŸปโœŒ๏ธ 

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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

2017 goals check-in

JessComment
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Now that we're more than halfway through the year (YIKES), it seems like a good time to revisit my 2017 goals! Or, more accurately, to remind myself what they are because I am really good at setting goals and then forgetting about them (or just blowing them off altogether). 

Goal 1: Work a more normal schedule

This is one that I've actually attempted but found to be disappointing. As appealing as a more normal (i.e. not 11-7) schedule sounds, it also means that I'm commuting at the same time as more people and end up sitting in traffic. I'd rather just stay later at work and breeze home than deal with that.

Goal 2: Stop living paycheck to paycheck

Weeellll... I did not forget about this goal, but it's probably been the hardest one for me. I actually started talking about it in therapy this week because my impulse spending has been way out of control lately. I pay my bills on time and I make a budget, but I end up ultimately blowing off said budget and YNAB. (I like YNAB in theory but can't seem to consistently use it.) I'm starting to realize that I am just not a future-oriented person (in more ways than one), so the idea of putting money aside for next month's bills is kind of unfathomable to me. I'm going to really have to work at it and be more disciplined.

Goal 3: Get new glasses

CHECK! I crossed this one off in early 2017 and can finally see again!

Goal 4: Switch to a fee-free bank

Well, no, but thanks to my tax return, I have enough money in my bank account to negate the fee. So I achieved this goal (for now at least), just without the method I had envisioned.

Goal 5: Have a $1,000 emergency fund

CHECK again thanks to my tax return! The hardest part will be maintaining it because having a safety net makes it easier to do stupid, impulsive things.

Goal 6: Take a vacation

No, but Pops and I are trying to figure something out before the end of the summer.

 

Phrase of the Year

I knew that "out of hiding" would give me a challenge, but it's been even harder than I anticipated, mainly because I thought making it an ongoing goal would push me to actually do it. But no. Doing new things makes me anxious, and being around (most) people makes me anxious, and those are real deterrents for trying to step out of your comfort zone! Feeling self-conscious is a huge obstacle for me too, especially out in public. I have a much easier time doing things with other people because they act sort of like an invisibility shield and also make me feel safer/less vulnerable. So I guess I've learned a lot from having this as a goal, even though the action part of it has been a bit of a fail. 

 

Year to Date Spending (from budget posts): $694

I don't know why, but I always feel like little bits of money being saved or spent don't add up. Of course, that's not true, and I don't "need" the majority of the things that I buy. I know that and yet... here we are. Plus, the above total does not include July, and I've completely lost my damn mind this month. In 2016, I spent $1,142 in my budget posts, and I don't want to exceed that this year... but there's still five months to go! Eep!

High Five for Friday: July 14

JessComment

It's the freakin' weekend!! So let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • On Sunday, I had brunch with a few grad school pals I hadn't seen in awhile, which was delightful! Then I spotted this flower mural on the walk back to my car and obviously had to take a picture! (Because I can't resist flowers in any form.)
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  • After brunch, it pretty much became self-care Sunday, during which I literally sat in my backyard journaling and reading magazines while listening to ocean sounds, haha! And then I put on Grey's and took a nap! ๐Ÿ‘Œ

 

  • No cats have been around lately, but we do have a (usually) friendly bunny who hangs around our yard. On this day, however, he was not interested in company! 
  • This week, I had the opportunity to help two friends with mental health-related issues, and being able to do so really warmed my heart and made me feel purposeful. It also ended up making me feel even more confident in my own treatment path to keep my suicidality in check. 
I saw this ridiculously beautiful sunset (and also a rainbow!) after leaving one friend, which seemed poetic.

I saw this ridiculously beautiful sunset (and also a rainbow!) after leaving one friend, which seemed poetic.

  • And lastly, July 13 was my third blogiversary! Holy moly! I can never remember when I started this blog, so I never paid attention to the fact that it was the 13th. Thirteen is a strangely positive number for me. (Maybe because Pavel Datsyuk was a mainstay on my old fantasy hockey team? Lol) I often win at carnival games when I bet on 13, and 2013 was a year that dramatically changed my life (as it included inpatient, meeting B, starting the perfect job for an English major, moving into the city, meeting one of my current wonderful therapists...). AND something else I had forgotten (thank you, radio DJ, for reminding me!)  is that Live Aid happened on July 13, 1985! Forget April 25--July 13 is the perfect date! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’œ

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

High Five for Friday: July 7

JessComment

This lovely week featured dental work, a trip to the DMV, and a giant bug in our basement. (I'm not sure which of those scenarios is most terrifying...) So I definitely had to look below the surface for the sparkle, but it was there!

 

  • On Saturday, I went shopping for plants and promptly fell in love with all the dahlias!
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My goal was to buy a few flowers to plant, particularly a zinnia because they look like dahlias but allegedly attract less bugs, buuut that was a fail once I saw all of these guys! ๐Ÿ˜

 

  • So I ended up getting a zinnia and a dahlia, and Pops and I planted them on the Fourth of July. And I learned that I don't like gardening! Womp! (Although this really should not be a huge surprise given my feelings about dirt and bugs.) If I plant flowers again, perennials seem to be the way to go for maximum prettiness and one-time effort!
Hi friends! ๐Ÿ‘‹

Hi friends! ๐Ÿ‘‹

  • As if you couldn't tell, Pops and I had a low-key Fourth, complete with planting said flowers and watching the Storage Wars marathon! Just as our forefathers intended! ๐Ÿ˜‚ That show is so ridiculous. We especially love all the corny puns that are featured in the recap at the end.
#blessed

#blessed

  • In case there was any doubt that our neighborhood is full of free-range cats, I looked up from my meditation one evening and saw this fellow stroll on by!
Who the heck are you?!

Who the heck are you?!

  •  And lastly, here is a wacky gif that my bffl and I currently can't get enough of:
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We both had to work on Monday, so we said that everyone who had off was getting pinched by this guy... including Pops, who is retired! (Poor Pops.) 

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

July 2017 goals

JessComment
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How is it July already? Good. Lord. Here's what's on the white board for this month that I can't believe is already here:

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1. Remember how I mentioned in my June budget post that I tend to just avoid looking at my bank account so that I can keep spending irresponsibly? YEAH...

2. Trying to consciously do one thing that makes me happy each day was really helpful for my mood in June, so I want to try to keep that going.

3. I keep feeling the impulse to work on this one story of mine and always shoot it down. So I hope that this goal will allow my mind to be like "Oh, this is legit now. You may proceed." 

4. I've stuck with the Calm app more than any other meditation app or method I've tried, so let's see if I can keep that going too.

5. My screen time, especially on weekends, has gotten way out of hand. And there is no reason to be looking at stupid social media so much... although I do have a problem with wanting immediate answers to every question under the sun, and I don't see that changing! 

But actually...

But actually...

And let's see how my June goals went:

1. Put aside money for July bills: CHECK! Even with me being totally reckless with my spending! The fact that I used to pay my car insurance at the end of the month and am now with a company that charges at the beginning of the month definitely helped.

2. No online shopping: 3/4 CHECK! I did make one Amazon impulse purchase, so that was a fail, but going the rest of the month without succumbing to temptation is not bad at all. And I even talked myself out of a few online purchases by reminding myself of this goal!

3. One happy thing/day: CHECK? I definitely crushed this goal during the second-half of the month but can't remember how exactly it went at the beginning. I think well? (As a result, I've started jotting down my happy things on my bedroom calendar so that I can track them!)

4. Lavendaire's vision exercises: 3/4 CHECK (which is apparently now a thing) I did answer quite a few of these questions but had a bit of a breakdown during question 3 when I realized that I have a total negativity mind block that won't even let me consider my "dream life." We are working on this negativity in therapy now, but for that reason, I didn't go further with the questions. I did get some useful insights before hitting that wall, though.

 

Oh, I almost forgot about my phrase of the year ("out of hiding")! How promising! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I did get out of the house much more, even if it was just to our porch or backyard, so that's good! And I've spent the past two Fridays with a friend, which is unheard of for this homebody!

What are you working on this month?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: June 30

JessComment

Let's see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • First of all:

I found out Cinnamon's real name! And her home!

I accidentally stumbled upon Cinnamon, her owner, and Brindle Pinky (apparently Cinny's housemate!) on Tuesday night and couldn't resist the chance to finally get some answers! 

Cinnamon's real name is... Tina. TINA! I'm definitely going to try calling her that the next time she's snoozing at our house and see if that makes her love me. (For the record, she did come a-runnin' when she heard her owner's call!)

 

 

  • All of that happened on Tuesday after I found out that I have my first cavity in 15 years! Wah! But I was determined not to wallow and went on a cat-and-flower recon walk after getting home from the dentist. There was a time not that long ago when I wallowed over EVERYTHING because everything felt like the end of the world. But it's not, thank goodness. And there's always plants and cats (or whatever YOU like lol) around to help you through it. โค๏ธ

 

 

  • Ok, let's backtrack now. On Saturday morning, I did my daily Calm meditation (!!) outside and then decided that I wanted go check out this pretty plant around the corner that I'd noticed the night before. So I just went! In my pajamas! (Which included the neon pink shorts at the bottom of this post, no less!) And I saw the pretty flowers and the world didn't end! I talk myself out of even the littlest things so easily, so this was ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ.
Phlox, said pretty flower!ย 

Phlox, said pretty flower!ย 

  • Speaking of flowers, our Rose of Sharon is starting to bloom! But note the location of the bloom. Yeah, the bush is right by our driveway, so I inevitably knock off a few side blooms every time I park. Smart plant.
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  • I was practically dozing off on my drive to Reading on Sunday, so I wanted to stop at Starbucks before driving home. I also ideally wanted to stop at Target for some drugstore-type things I had run out of. But I don't know where anything is in Reading (besides the Sheetz, natch #notDelco). Much to my delight, I discovered that there was a Target WITH A STARBUCKS ten minutes away! AND they had these sandals in my size (which I hadn't been able to find anywhere near me). Total win.

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

June 2017 budget

JessComment

In February, I had the realization that I often shop to keep myself stuck, as not having money is a legitimate excuse not to do things. 

I had hoped that revelation would inspire me to get my spending under control, but this month, much like Marshall/Beercules:

Yep. 

It always starts out so well: I make a budget, and I "give every dollar a job" in YNAB like I'm supposed to, but I don't take that budget or those jobs seriously. I just can't seem to stop myself from spending "extra" money, even if I've earmarked it for something else important (like next month's bills). I also just won't check my bank account for days at a time, so that I can go on being irresponsible. COME ON GIRL.

While the damage is actually not as bad as I'd anticipated, the above mindset worries me.

ANYWAY, here's what I got in June: 

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  1. Bandolino Collindy flat (Marshalls): $22 on sale (It seems that they retail around $50, so ๐Ÿ™Œ.)
  2. Tony Moly Gold Black Sugar Scrub Mask (Ulta): $10 on sale for $9
  3. Well Worn Babe Pullover (Target): $6
  4. Mad Love Keava Sandal (Target)--and currently on sale!: $23
  5. Lanolips 101 Ointment Balm in strawberry (Ulta): $14 on sale for $12

 

Not pictured:

  1. Always Keep Fighting "Love Yourself First" tee: $30 including shipping 
  2. Striped Aerie tee (Plato's Closet):  $5
  3. Purple Silence + Noise tee (Plato's Closet): $6

 

TOTAL: $113 - $20 that I got back for returning the Glossier Priming Moisturizer, my least favorite part of the Phase 1 Kit I bought last month

REVISED TOTAL: $93

(I'm only changing the total so that I have an accurate number when I add up my spending at the end of the year, and I don't want to go back and change the May post.)

 

I'd been looking for new black flats (because my go-to ones are from 2008 nbd), and this was a whole saga because I have really narrow feet and often walk out of flats. So the elastic ankle straps on the Collindy flat are ๐Ÿ‘Œ. Bonus that I get to look like a ballerina, which is pretty much always my goal. 

The Keava sandal is not nearly as cute, but it's basically a walking boot in sandal form, what with the tighten-able straps and the rocker sole. The Birkenstock look may be trendy these days, but I definitely bought these to serve an orthopedic function. I'm officially 80 years old.

In that same vein, I got the Babe shirt solely to rock the Miss Arlene Francis and Miss Kitty Carlisle fashion vibe from What's My Line?  

Did anyone else watch these old reruns on Game Show Network as a kid?!

Did anyone else watch these old reruns on Game Show Network as a kid?!

Lanolips is something that I'd always coveted but had never been able to find in the States. So naturally I pounced when I saw it at Ulta!

And finally, the Always Keep Fighting shirt. I feel like a huge poser getting a Supernatural shirt (given that I doubt I've watched a full season of it), but finding out about Jared Padalecki's experiences with suicide and depression, and how much he and the cast have done to normalize mental health issues are truly what keeps me interested in the show. 

#infinitejorts

#infinitejorts

How do you avoid blowing off your budget? Any suggestions? ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

High Five for Friday: June 23

JessComment

Oh, what a week it's been! Let's see what brought the sparkle:

  • Last Friday, I didn't feel like going straight home after work, so I found the Home Goods near work and hung out there! (I never go to Home Goods, so I don't know what got into me!) I somehow did not buy unicorn + donut wrapping paper but could not resist this little box with what is clearly my spirit animal on it:
Pink and purple! Sparkles! Unicorn! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

Pink and purple! Sparkles! Unicorn! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

I also bought this sparkly amethyst-y rock from the sale rack because I'd been wanting something like it for awhile! (Also, purple sparkles. Need I say more?)

Casual Thursday sparkles ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ’œโœจ

A post shared by Jess (@jessie_face4) on

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  • Father's Day was super chill and included watching the US Open (๐Ÿ˜ด) and getting ice cream from Pops' fave place. I have to say, Pops is truly the best. When I was a kid, he totally embraced the both-mom-and-dad role that opens up following a divorce (as I lived with him most of the time) and is just the kindest, most optimistic person there is. I can very easily be a Negative Nelly, so I really hope to be more like him one day. 
Rocking a fine sun hat, like a true fashion blogger in the making ๐Ÿ˜‚ย 

Rocking a fine sun hat, like a true fashion blogger in the making ๐Ÿ˜‚ 

  • On Monday, I had a great textversation with one of my dear grad school friends, which was much appreciated after a real Come to Jesus therapy session earlier in the day. Ashley's positivity and commiseration were just what I needed. ๐Ÿ’– 

 

  • And lastly, a Weird-Ass Movie of the Week! St. Elmo's Fire was randomly on on Saturday, and it's so dumb but somehow way more engaging than I remember. And this line will never get old (as I've texted it to my poor friend Kristin almost every day since): 
Chris Traeger would never approve of this behavior!

Chris Traeger would never approve of this behavior!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

High Five for Friday: June 16

JessComment

I definitely lost my mind this week, and yet, it contributed to the sparkle!

  • Despite my love of flowers, I am not an outdoorsy person. My fear of bugs and ability to sunburn in two seconds really puts a damper on outdoor time usually. But for some reason, I really wanted to hang out in our backyard on Saturday. And I wanted to meditate! WUT. Totally lost it. And it was delightful.
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I just took my yoga mat outside, found a shady spot, and listened to the Calm app. Afterward, I worked on Lavendaire's questions about finding your life's purpose (one of my June goals). It was an unexpectedly great afternoon! 

 

  • Speaking of the Calm app, the following quote from it really stuck with me, as someone whose anxiety is perpetually at war with the present moment. 
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  • I also made it back to the 7 AM hatha class this week! Yay! Maybe the meditation/insanity helped! ๐Ÿ˜‚

 

  • In addition to not being an outdoorsy person, I'm also not a theater person. Like, I wouldn't know who Patti LuPone is if not for Will and Grace. But when Pitch Perfect was on last week and Pops happened to mention that my boy Benji (aka Ben Platt) was up for a Tony ("How do you know that?!" "Oh, it was in the USA Today!" #duh), I was like WE HAVE TO WATCH! So obviously I was psyched that he won! And his speech was so great!

"The things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful." PREACH ๐Ÿ™Œโค๏ธ

 

  • Lastly, this week's Weird-Ass Song of the Week is a Bee Gees' song I'd somehow never heard before! When I was at the Rite-Aid on Tuesday afternoon getting Peanut M&Ms (as one does), "Lonely Days" happened to be playing, and I was like WHAT IS THIS CATCHY SONG?! I promptly went back to my desk and googled it. And it has been stuck in my head ever since. And the video is morose '70s perfection. You're welcome.

Oh, and in case you missed it, I'm celebrating one year with my lil' babydoll car! โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿš—

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

One year!

JessComment
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May 31st was my one-year car-iversary!! Which is still slightly hard to believe given my previous fear of driving! (You can read about how I did exposure therapy for that here.)

I thought it might be fun to look at year one (and my history with driving overall) by the numbers, so here they are!

1: Number of tries it took me to get my license (...after many driving lessons)

19: Age at which I got my license

29: Age at which I bought my car

23: Age at which I first drove by myself

3: Months of exposure therapy

10: Months between ending exposure and buying a car (๐Ÿ˜ฎ totally did not anticipate that when I started exposure!)

Hop in, Calico Pinky!

Hop in, Calico Pinky!

28.8: Miles to work every day

21: Number of highway miles to work

5:50: Time I used to get up in the morning for my public transportation commute ๐Ÿ˜ด

8:15: Time I usually get up now

2:10: Typical length of my commute via public transportation

:40: Typical length of my commute via car

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1: Number of passengers I've had that are not related to me (shout-out to Kate Reynolds!)

66: Miles one way on my longest drive to date

14,976: Total miles driven in year 1 (+ two weeks)

1: Number of times I popped the hood instead of the gas tank ๐Ÿ˜‚

1: Legitimate near-accidents (a number my scared-of-driving-self thought would be much higher!)

12: Months as a car owner ๐ŸŽ‚

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Even though I wasn't driving before 2015, I had always thought that I would drive eventually--just some time in the very distant future. So when I got the keychain above as a present at Ring Mass in high school, I put it away because it was so pretty that I only wanted to use it on my future car keys. Fast-forward to me finding it a few weeks ago and honoring my 17-year-old self's wishes by adding it to my car keys. โค๏ธ Those "someday" dreams can definitely come true.

High Five for Friday: June 9

JessComment

Happy Friday! Let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • The therapy garden was bringing its A game on Tuesday, brightening up an otherwise dreary day! 
๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ย 

๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ย 

  • Look who came back to visit this week!! Cinnamon! Eeeee! I accidentally tapped the window while taking pics of her and got this face in response: 
CAN U NOT? Maybe she knew that a poodle had practically followed me home earlier that day (to which I thought CAN U NOT?). ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

CAN U NOT? Maybe she knew that a poodle had practically followed me home earlier that day (to which I thought CAN U NOT?). ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

  • I've started drawing Healing with the Angels oracle cards every few nights before bed. It's every few nights (rather than every night) because I usually need more time contemplate them, as they've been insanely accurate. Like this one from Wednesday, for instance:
PLANTS AND ANIMALS YOU SAY??? Don't mind if I do!

PLANTS AND ANIMALS YOU SAY??? Don't mind if I do!

  • In honor of the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's being released, the local classic rock station played the entire Beatles catalog from A-Z over the weekend. My bffl and I LOVED the Beatles in college, so I do know the entire catalog, which made this very exciting indeed! I haven't heard some of those deep cuts ("Martha My Dear"! "I'm So Tired"! "You Never Give Me Your Money"!), in awhile, and they definitely livened up my drive to Reading on Sunday! It's funny how all the words come right back to you!

 

  • And lastly, I was waaay too excited to get 100% on this quiz. I'm basically a doctor, you guys. (I feel like I should get extra points for acing it while sitting in the Starbucks drive-thru line haha!)
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Hope you have a wonderful weekend! xo

June goals

JessComment
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Only four goals on the white board this month because I inadvertently accomplished goal #5 yesterday! ๐Ÿ’ช

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1. I'm realizing that I am not a very future-oriented person. Like, I have a bunch of big bills that are due in the beginning of the month, which means that I tend to have more "extra" money left over in the second half of the month when there are less bills. In theory, I could put some of that "extra" money aside for the beginning of the next month so that I'm not broke then, BUT I NEVER DO. AND I'M ALWAYS SHOCKED TO FIND THAT I HAVE NO MONEY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH. Like, come on, girl. In trying to fix my budgeting issues (one of last month's goals), I realized that I've pretty much just been using YNAB as an online version of how I budget in my planner... which is literally paycheck to paycheck. Hmm. So I want to do something toward breaking that pattern, hence putting aside some of this "extra" money (most likely into an account that I don't use regularly so I can't touch it) to use for those beginning-of-the-month bills.

2. In the name of curtailing impulse buys, I want to try a No Online Shop June. I seem to be much more disciplined when I'm physically in a store these days, whereas online, all bets are off. (And that really got me in trouble at the end of April when I ran amok on Glossier and Sephora's sites.) 

3. Ever since Timmi suggested that I try to incorporate something that makes me happy into my days, I've really been trying to do that, instead of just sleepwalking through routine, as I am apt to do. It seems to be making my days a bit brighter and also forces me to live in the moment more, instead of being five steps ahead because I "know" what's going to happen anyway.

4. Remember when I said that I'm not very future-oriented? Well, I recently started watching Lavendaire's YouTube videos again and doing a few of her worksheets to try to figure out what I want to do with my life/what I want my life to look like. She has a few other vision exercises that seem helpful, if only I would make time for them (hence this goal!).

Now let's see how May's goals went:

1. Use my energy as a guide: Hmm, sort of? I got a little better about not putting myself in the cage of "You must do this," which just stresses me out. The "Do things that make you happy" idea helped with this goal too.

2. Revamp budgeting: Half-Check, thanks to doing it entirely in the last few days haha! I haven't exactly "revamped" my budgeting, but I have noticed some flaws that I was oblivious to before and came up with some goals for this month that may help.

3. AM routine: No. Just no. But I've been feeling better in the mornings regardless, so hey, something is working!

4. Yoga: I only went to one or two classes last month, but that does count as "yoga," so I guess I can cross this goal off! I did legitimately miss a few classes due to illness and appointments, but I also just haven't been wanting to go lately. It's one of those things that I know will benefit me, but I just can't motivate myself to do it.

5. Shoulder exercises: Ehh Half-Check? I did the exercises a few times, but I also started using my trigger point massage balls again, which should help with these shoulder issues too.

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What are you working on this month?

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: June 2

JessComment

Well, I haven't known what day of the week it was all week, so thank god for this post--maybe I'll actually remember that today is Friday! ANYWAY, let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • I wanted to return the Urban Decay Naked Concealer and Subversion Eyelash Primer I'd ordered, as I mentioned here, so I decided to do something a little different last Friday morning and start my day at Sephora! Playing with make-up was a much more fun start to the workday than usual! (I'm trying to get more creative with my work days instead of just sleepwalking through routine all the time!)
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  • Saturday was the Hall and Oates show, and it was SO GOOD. I mean, they started with freaking "Family Man" (whaaat)! And Daryl Hall dropping references to Amoroso's rolls meant that the evening could be none more Philly haha! I was also reunited for my dear friend Sara (...smile?) for the occasion, which was just delightful!

๐ŸŽถShe's gonnnnnne๐ŸŽถ ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ#hallandoates

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  • But remember how I was excited that it was an afternoon concert? Yeahhh, about that... Turns out, it was a festival-type day, and Hall and Oates were the headliner, so they didn't go on until 9 PM. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Luckily, we discovered this the day before and planned accordingly (rolling in just in time for Tears for Fears' set!), but I was super freaked out about the nighttime aspect. Like, convincing myself that it's safe enough to go out during the day is a struggle, which makes going out at night (in the CITY!) extra challenging! So being able to feel scared but still go through with my plans was ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰.

 

  • Wednesday marked one year with my car! HOLY MOSES! I can't believe how fast the time went! I was so uneasy about committing to a car a year ago, and now, it's hard to envision life without one. And this time two years ago, driving by myself was the big accomplishment. Time sure flies! 
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  • Lastly, on the Dr. Dolittle front... When I got home from Hall and Oates and went to go into our house, I was startled by a jingling bell and somebody with white paws leaping from our porch into a bush! UM, OKAY. I know that Calico Pinky wears a bell, so I was very excited about this development (she wants to live with meeee! ๐Ÿ’–). But then, when I was coming in the next night, I heard the jingling bell AGAIN! It was too dark for me to see anyone, but luckily, Pops was still in the car with the headlights on, and he ID'd CINNAMON as the perp! Of course! She's a nut and also seemingly hates humans! So I have no cat that wants to live with me and clearly not much excitement in my life. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

May 2017 budget

JessComment

Sometimes, my anxiety gets channeled into a shopping quest, and this month, it clearly went into make-up and skincare!

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  1. Sephora Collection Total Perfection Sponge: $12 - 10% off Beauty Insider sale = $11 (whoop de doo! lol)
  2. Glossier Phase 1 Set (includes Balm Dot Com, Milky Jelly Cleanser, and Priming Moisturizer): $45
  3. Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation: $28
  4. First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer (Sephora): $28
  5. Travel-size Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (Sephora): $13

Not pictured:

  1. LipSense Glossy Gloss: $24
  2. LipSense Lip Gloss in Icicle: $24
  3. Grey's Anatomy sweatshirt (Etsy): $43 (includes shipping, which was more than I'd anticipated!)

TOTAL: $216

WOW. That's the most money I've spent in one month in a looong time. Since December 2015, in fact! Yikes. I do have some ideas for reining in my spending in June, which I'll elaborate on in my next goals post.)

The most unexciting purchase is the Glossy Gloss, which I had run out of. I don't think I've ever used a whole tube of lip gloss in my life, so my love affair with LipSense is real. โค๏ธ  And I picked up the clear shade Icicle to layer with the two nude colors I have (First Love and Bombshell) and make them even more nude! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I never thought I would feel so passionate about a make-up sponge, but I am completely in love with the Sephora sponge! I've never tried a Beauty Blender, but reviewers on sephora.com said that the Sephora sponge is similar and a cheaper alternative. (As freewheeling as I was with money this month, I'm still not prepared to spend $20 on a sponge!) The Sephora sponge is really soft and has worked great with every product I've tried it with so far. 

As for the Glossier set, I was intrigued when Fran raved about the Milky Jelly Cleanser and Balm Dot Com, and those are my faves from the set! (Also, I'm pretty sure everything in the set is full-size, which was a pleasant surprise.) The cleanser is sort of thick and feels really nice on the skin. I've been using it both in the morning and at night, and it hasn't bothered my skin at all! The Balm Dot Com is thick too and kind of melts into your lips, so it stays on for a long time--which is perfect for me since I tend to bite my lips if my lip products wear off. I've only tried the primer a few times and am meh about it.

I just bought the Sephora foundation, First Aid primer/moisturizer, and Nars concealer last Friday, so I haven't had much time to try them out, but I really like them so far! I forgot that Sephora has all of those fancy tools to analyze your skin tone and match products to it, and I think they really helped. (Who knew that I have a pink undertone?) Anyway, I was blown away by the foundation the first time I used it--I kept staring at myself in the mirror in shock that my skin looked that good! Now, I had actually ordered the Urban Decay Naked Concealer and Subversion Eyelash Primer from Sephora online (along with the sponge), but I wound up returning both of them in favor of the Sephora Foundation, Nars concealer (a better match for my skin tone), First Aid primer/moisturizer. (Despite my initial love affair with the Subversion Eyelash Primer, it got gloopy really fast, womp.)

And if you've been to this blog before, then you know that I love Grey's! This is a purchase I'd been contemplating for awhile (seriously almost a year!), and because I lost my mind this month, I went for it. ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ’ธ  I explained a little more about why I was drawn to it here.

In the poorhouse. That's where they might end up.

In the poorhouse. That's where they might end up.

What did you get this month? 

Linking up with Fran's Budgeting Bloggers!

High Five for Friday: May 26

JessComment

Let's see what put the sparkle into this week:

  • The Iris Patrol struck again, spotting three new color variations, hooray!
Um, this one was in our backyard, and I had no idea until Pops alerted me to it. I only live here.ย 

Um, this one was in our backyard, and I had no idea until Pops alerted me to it. I only live here. 

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  • I'm so totally psyched that Rashad and Emma won Dancing with the Stars!! I always like it when someone with no dance experience wins AND when an unlikely pro wins. (Especially Emma because I โค๏ธ  her. And Sasha too.) So, dream scenario! ๐Ÿ‘Œ 
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  • On the Dr. Dolittle front: We occasionally see a chipmunk darting adorably around our back stoop, so imagine my surprise (and utter delight!) to find THREE CHIPMUNKS there on Wednesday!! So unbelievably cute! 
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CHIPMUNK KISSES ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜ #yourewelcome #canteven

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I also got to see my gal Calico Pinky! Unfortunately, we were reunited at prime dog-walking time in our hood, and whenever she would see a dog, she would slink away and then come back to me once said dog was gone. SHE'S CLEARLY A GENIUS. #ProudNon-CatParent Otherwise, she just loafed on the sidewalk with me for awhile, which is dream scenario number two!

#loafonfleek

#loafonfleek

  • Ok, so I feel like a huge(-er than usual?) nerd for now owning Grey's-related clothing (which arrived this week!), but I just love those characters so much and can always count on Grey's to be calming background noise. So a cozy sweatshirt felt like the clothing representation of a comforting show, you know? And a rainy Thursday was the perfect day to wear it! 
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  • Lastly, it's apparently time for me to circle back to watching some Supernatural (as happens periodically)... And with that comes Supernatural cons (which I mostly prefer, as I have no interest in the supernatural!). Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are so wacky and hilarious when rambling about everything under the sun.... and busting out their fave dance moves nbd. 

I feel like these faces pretty much sum up every con video.

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Hope you have a great holiday weekend! xo

High Five for Friday: May 19

JessComment

Let's see what put the sparkle into this week of summer weather!

  • On Monday, I came home to a lovely surprise package from Timmi! And it included TRIFORCE SOCKS. How amazing. Just looking at them makes the Zelda overworld theme pop into my head!
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  • Coincidentally, I had been feeling pretty meh on Monday and had had a great text-versation with Timmi, who urged me to do more of what makes me happy in my free time. So on Tuesday morning, when I happened to stop for coffee in a neighborhood full of gorgeous flowers, I took full advantage! A warm sunny (post-therapy) morning, caffeine, and flowers?! Who could ask for anything more?! I was practically skipping! I got into work later than I'd wanted to, but I tried to remind myself that it was worth it to do something that put some sparkle into my day. (Also, I don't have set hours, so it's not like anyone cared what time I showed up at the office!)
This is totally what you picture when you think of Philly, right?ย 

This is totally what you picture when you think of Philly, right?ย 

The iris patrol strikes again!ย 

The iris patrol strikes again

So many pretty pansies!ย 

So many pretty pansies!ย 

  • Energized after prancing through the flowers, I finally decided to go to the Hall and Oates show in Philly next weekend. (I had been wrestling with this decision for at least a month. Crowds! Driving! PARKING! Oh my!) But I'm definitely going now! And I even found a friend to go with me!! And she is equally excited that the show is in the afternoon because we are two grandmas in a pod (or a retirement home)!

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  • You know how sometimes there's just one dumb show or movie that you really want to watch, but it's somehow not on On Demand, Netflix, OR Amazon Instant Video? And then it miraculously happens to come on TV exactly when you want to watch it? Oh right, that never happens... except that it totally DID happen last Saturday with She's Out of My League, and I was WAY too excited about it, haha!
The "Branson Bound!" shirts will never not crack me up.ย 

The "Branson Bound!" shirts will never not crack me up. 

  • Finally, "Guac and Grey's" has become a Thursday night tradition in our house, so it definitely had to continue for last night's finale! 
Guac, frenzied Mer, and Alex's 15 second cameo--what's not to love?ย 

Guac, frenzied Mer, and Alex's 15 second cameo--what's not to love? 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! xo

High Five for Friday: May 12

JessComment

What a wing-ding wippie this week has been! Let's see what brought the sparkle:

  • One of my oldest friends (since first grade at least!) turned 30 last Saturday, so a bunch of us got together at our grade school's annual carnival to celebrate! While it was weird to be back (and to see people DRINKING in the gym and to buy a funnel cake from our former principal), it was great to see everyone!
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  • I just happened to catch Beth Behrs promoting her new self-help/cookbook The Total ME-Tox on Kelly and Ryan last week and was shocked when she, stunning Hollywood starlet, started talking about her once very unhealthy and childlike diet. I too have the diet of a five year old, so I was intrigued. People like Pops (a known health nut) are always urging me to eat better, but I just can't seem to do it. It sort of feels like they're so far ahead of me on a path that I can't possibly get on from where I am. So the fact that Beth was once where I am now gave me hope, like, maybe a healthier, more adult diet is attainable, even for me. She also mentioned that changing her diet helped her anxiety, which I could definitely use! I had been looking for a lighthearted read anyway, so I promptly bought her book (thank you, leftover gift card from Christmas!), and I'm really enjoying her chill, funny, self-deprecating approach to healthy living--it's very encouraging and low-pressure.
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  • In fact, I made the pesto from the cookbook last weekend, and it's SO GOOD. I've eaten it with veggies, pasta, chips, pretzels... can't get enough. Any time I make something involving the food processor that doesn't turn out disgusting (like most of my attempts at smoothies, wahhh), I feel so fancy and accomplished!

 

  • The one office I sometimes go to for therapy has a lovely garden, and it seems like something new and beautiful is in bloom every time I go there. Like this bunch of irises! (I had actually wanted to go flower creeping in my 'hood last weekend, specifically for irises, but didn't because the weather wasn't great... so I was doubly excited that the therapy garden came through for me!)
๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ˜ย 

๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ˜ย 

  • And an obvious highlight of my week was a reunion with my fuzzy bffl! I just love her so much, and she isn't even my cat! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ฉ (So imagine how much I would smother a cat of my very own!)

Hope you have a great weekend! (Especially if you're recovering from last night's insane pre-finale Grey's, like I am!) xo

High Five for Friday: May 5

JessComment

A prelude to the sparkle: Yesterday morning, I got walloped with anxiety at work. Not because of anything actually happening at work, but because the thought of having to be there for eight hours practically had me hyperventilating. (This has happened to me, periodically, at every job I've ever had, unfortunately.) I managed to journal about it, and then, before I knew it, an hour had passed. And then, soon enough, I had survived the day. In the words of Walt Disney and Meet the Robinsons: Keep moving forward. The anxiety will pass, just don't give up. (This is a lesson I relearn on a daily basis!)

Now, let's see what put the sparkle into my week!

  • As I mentioned in my Goals post, I went ICE SKATING last Friday night! By my damn self! Truly a momentous occasion! ๐ŸŽ‰ For some reason, when I was at work on Friday, I felt like going ice skating, and because my therapist is urging me to pay attention to the things that give me energy, I didn't just push that impulse away as I normally would. I already knew of a few rinks near work, thanks to Pops' hockey coaching days, and one was having public skating on Friday night, so I went! And I was the oldest person there by about 15 years! (I was basically a chaperone like Miss Cuthbert in A League of Their Own--minus being called "a gorgeous stack of pancakes.") But I persevered and actually did pretty well! I didn't fall once, and the things I learned in my childhood ice skating lessons came right back to me! 
One bad-ass girl was skating backwards like a champ and playing on her phone, whereas I had to come to a complete stop near the boards to take this picture. ๐Ÿ˜‚

One bad-ass girl was skating backwards like a champ and playing on her phone, whereas I had to come to a complete stop near the boards to take this picture. ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • This cranky gal graced us with her presence once again! 
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And on Wednesday, I followed up actual therapy with some cat therapy courtesy of Calico Pinky! She sat with me sunbathing for awhile, and I was obviously in heaven!! 

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  • We also had a new and exotic visitor to our backyard this week: 
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A TOAD. My response to Pops when he sent this picture was just "WUT" about five times. We live in a very suburban area, so HOW IS A TOAD IN OUR BACKYARD?!? Sadly, I never got to see him, as he had moved on by the time I got home from work, but what a weird development! 

 

  • After reading Fran's rave review of it, I added Urban Decay's Subversion eyelash primer to my Beauty Insider sale order from Sephora last week. I was half doing it just to get free shipping, convinced that it would do nothing for me and I would return it, but damn if my eyelashes don't look crazy long and full!!
Ok, firstly excuse this face: ๐Ÿ˜ ย But seriously. That's a layer of Subversion + freaking Cover Girl mascara. And no eyelash curling because that whole idea scares me. Like WHOA.ย 

Ok, firstly excuse this face: ๐Ÿ˜  But seriously. That's a layer of Subversion + freaking Cover Girl mascara. And no eyelash curling because that whole idea scares me. Like WHOA. 

  • And finally, instead of a Weird-Ass Song of the Week, here's a Weird-Ass Dance of the Week! Actually, David and Lindsay's "sci-fi salsa" is probably my favorite dance of this DWTS season so far! 

Also, this may be my new favorite song! So catchy! 

Well, that's a wrap! Hope you have a great weekend! xo

May 2017 goals

JessComment
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So fun fact: I think my depression came back a bit in April.  ๐Ÿ‘Ž  But my recent therapy sessions have been really deeply helpful in addressing the negative self-talk that just crushes me and makes me want to hide from life--stuff that would make anyone depressed!

So with that in mind, here's what's on the white board for May: 

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1. Use my energy as a guide: I want to act more in response to my energy levels than my fears and feelings of obligation this month. When nearly everything is a "should," you're basically always forcing yourself to do things, and that isn't very fun. So I'm trying to change my perspective. Instead of forcing myself to be productive (which makes me want to rebel and be totally UNproductive), I'm going to try to notice what gives me energy and take cues from that. I've tried it a little bit already, and re-orienting myself from "Ugh I have to do this thing" to "I am choosing to do this thing" has been really helpful in alleviating anxious feelings of trapped-ness. And I don't have to plan five steps ahead if I know that I can just tune into my energy level at any time and see which available option I feel most excited about. 

2. Revamp budgeting: Another fun fact: I made a real budgeting boo-boo last month. I'm still not entirely sure how it happened, because I even double-checked my account and confirmed that I had available spending money before buying approx one million things online, but in the end, I did not have as much fun money as I thought I did. Eek. In addition to that budgeting blunder, I tend to go through a deprivation-binge kind of spending cycle each month. I don't have much disposable income at the beginning of the month, so I don't really spend any money for fun, and then I go overboard in the second half of the month. So I want to see if I can find a different approach to spending that helps me to avoid that tendency.

3. AM routine: I've started implementing a few small mindful gestures into my morning, and I want to keep it up. Just a few gentle stretches, setting an intention, and drawing one of Doreen Virtue's online cards. I am not a morning person, and this has been helping to keep me from being Major Buzzkill all day, and it's also a small enough change that I haven't immediately rebelled against it.

4. Yoga: Keep going to classes. 

5. Shoulder exercises: My posture is pretty terrible, especially re: my shoulders, and I tend to have a lot of shoulder and neck pain. Well, now that I've been doing yoga again, I can see just how frozen my shoulders are. Like, when we're instructed to stretch out long on the mat, I can't even do goal post arms. Yikes. So I want to try to loosen up my shoulders some this month!

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And how did my April goals go?

1. Be curious about how things like sleep, diet, caffeine, exercise, water intake, etc. make me feel: Hmm... Honestly, I kind of forgot this was a goal! I mostly noticed how transitioning off of one medication made me feel exhausted. And I occasionally noticed that my questionable carb-centric eating habits made me feel sluggish or gross. 

2. Keep going to yoga: CHECK! The morning hatha class continues to be my favorite, despite forcing me to get up at 6 AM. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

3. Try chanting as a way to practice my breathing: Nope. Any sort of designated breathing practice makes me reallllly not want to do it.

4. Pay attention to when I order stuff from Amazon: Check! As I said before, I tend to have less disposable income at the beginning of the month, and sure enough, I didn't order anything from Amazon until 4/15. I didn't think I went too crazy with my Amazon buys, but apparently, I spent over $100 on there last month (mostly due to one bigger-ticket item, but still). Hmm. It's also interesting that I largely avoided Amazon until I had money to spend. And that that first Amazon purchase on 4/15 was totally fueled by anxiety and wanting to shop it away.

5. Go out on the weekend: LOL I forgot this was a goal! Well, I went out to a scary shopping center! AND last Friday, I went ice skating! By myself! At night! At a place I hadn't been to in ages! Totally a HUGE accomplishment! (And really fun too!) This goal also ties in with my Word of the Year "Out of Hiding." (I did go out during the workday to Nordstrom Rack and to get a massage, but there was still a lot of hiding in April.)

Linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl!

High Five for Friday: April 28

JessComment

Happy Friday! We made it! Here's what put the sparkle into my week: 

  • If you had any doubts about my childhood BSC obsession after last week's H54F post, behold: 
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Ok, ok, I did initially get one wrong because they repeated Kristy before cycling to Mallory. UGH MALLORY, STILL RUINING EVERYTHING.  

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  • Spring is hurrr! Hooray! My neighbor totally busted me taking this picture of his gorgeous tree whoops. #worthit 
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  • I may get into this more in a future post, but I have not been feeling great emotionally lately. Just really anxious and generally unhappy. Bleh. So on Tuesday, after a great therapy session in the morning, I booked myself a massage! It gave me a delicious break from the workday and was just what I needed. And then I pulled the following cards while sipping on tea post-massage: 
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I'm always blown away when I pick cards like these, as they always seem to be perfectly-suited to whatever is going on for me that day. 

 

  • In other self-care news, I went back to restorative yoga on Thursday night! I just felt like I needed alllll the calming influences this week. โค๏ธ

 

  • And finally, in this week's installment of Weird-Ass Song of the Week, the song that I've had on repeat in my car: Joe Cocker's version of "With a Little Help from My Friends." I hadn't listened to it in ages, but Pops was on a Joe kick last weekend ("Delta Lady" greeted me when I came downstairs on Saturday morning--welcome to our house), and then he started trying to figure out "With a Little Help from My Friends" on guitar. (Sidenote: how did I not know that Jimmy Page plays guitar on that?! I feel like a total fraud of a Zeppelin fan!) It's so so good... and not just because I loved The Wonder Years as a kid!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo