To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

High Five for Friday: June 15

JessComment

What a week this has been! It started with a total kitchen renovation (that's still in progress) and ended with the U2 concert! Only one of those things brought the sparkle (😂)... so let's see what else did!

 

  • At dance night on Friday, I felt a real passion for the healing qualities of yoga and movement. I was also thinking of ways I could harness that with my newfound ability to teach, and then I pulled this card. OKAY UNIVERSE HI! 😂👋🏻
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  • My new favorite show is Total Bellas on E! Does anyone else watch this?! I don't even know how this started (it’s not like I watch wrestling), although I did start following Nikki Bella on Instagram after she was on DWTS last fall. You guys, I am so sucked in. I am legitimately worried for Nikki and John's relationship, and I love Brie and Bryan. (I also really love that, on this show with two glamazons, Bryan’s just this crunchy granola dude who really loves his seed subscription box!)
  • Remember when I went on that retreat in January? Well, that’s where I met Garett (my first yoga student, you might recall!), and he has become a very dear friend in the last six months. Garett owns a cheese shop in Colorado and is donating a portion of the sales this weekend to the Suicide Prevention Hotline. Suicide has affected his life very differently than mine, but he was kind enough to include me in this initiative. Garett bravely shared about his experience with suicide on the store's Facebook page, so you can read more about it here. And if you're in the Littleton area, definitely stop by and support him! They also take orders over the phone. I did call the suicide hotline (or, rather, Kristin did, because she is a goddess) the night before I went inpatient back in 2013, so this initiative is near and dear to my heart. In light of the recent celebrity suicides, I’ve seen a lot of skepticism over the idea that suicide hotlines can actually help, but it really did help me. ❤️

 

  • U2! Pops and I had never seen them live before, so he was very gung-ho about seeing them on this tour. My interest in them has waned over the years, BUT I did used to love them—I even did my ninth grade research project on them in Mrs. Smith’s English class! 😂 The concert was sort of weird, not gonna lie. I mean, they sounded great, and I know they just did a whole Joshua Tree tour, but NO songs from that huge album?! Come on, throw us a bone here!
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  • Lastly, in honor of Father's Day, I give you this golf headline from April because I still can't believe that I not only know who these people are, but that I also have ~feelings~ about this outcome. (When will Rickie Fowler when a major championship?!) That's the dad effect right there! 😂
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo 

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High Five for Friday: June 8

JessComment

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

  • So when I did my yoga teacher training, I had no aspirations of actually teaching--I really just wanted to be in a community and also forced to do yoga more. So naturally, I now have a student! 😂😂 And I taught her for the first time on Saturday! I got to incorporate two of my loves, Victorian poetry and dance, into the class, and she seemed to like it, so I was basically doing cartwheels! haha

 

  • This has not been a bad anxiety week, hooray! On Tuesday, my therapist even said that I was the best she'd ever seen me, anxiety-wise! (I've been seeing her for almost three years, so WOW/YIKES!) In my June goals post, I talked about how my hormones seem to be affecting my anxiety, and I’m still a week out from ~that time of the month~, so this is very interesting. I did really feel quite good on Tuesday, like focused and together, rather than edgy and obsessive. So it is possible! I am capable of feeling that way! Good to know! 🎉😂
 This guy also brightened up my Tuesday!

This guy also brightened up my Tuesday!

  • You guys, I started reading last week. Like, an actual book. For FUN! 😮 I think being an English major twice over really killed my love of reading (because it became so much like work), so I'll take this sudden desire to read! A few years ago, I bought a bunch of my favorite random library books from like fifth and sixth grade from Amazon, and one of those '80s YA gems is what I suddenly wanted to read last week, go figure.

  • This week's Weird-Ass Song comes to you courtesy of Cher. That broad sure can rock an '80s power ballad. This is an excellent song for belting out in your car, in case you were wondering. And the video is basically Dirty Dancing with bigger hair, less clothing, and more candles. 💯 for sure.
  • Lastly, I have no idea why Jesse Williams (aka Jackson from Grey's Anatomy) is posting memes about rompers, but this made me laugh out loud while also being TOO REAL at the same time. 😬

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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May 2018 Budget

JessComment

Guys, hold onto your hats--I didn't buy ANYTHING in May! The three things I'm going to mention here were actually bought in April, but after my April budget post.

It seems like when my anxiety goes berserk, I can't handle shopping anymore. I can't focus on anything, so the idea of walking around looking at things, when I might burst into tears or start panicking, just seems like way too much to deal with. I would say that this is good for my bank account, buuut all of my money in May went toward extra therapy, yoga, and meditation! At least those are positive things to be spending my money on, I guess!

ANYWAY! Here are a few tops I picked up at Plato's Closet at the end of April (when I was really feeling the color green, apparently!):

 

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  1. Green Gap tee: $5
  2. Green tank: $7
  3. Blue Gap top: $7

TOTAL: $19

I've been really stressed about money lately, but I can live with spending only $19 on clothes/accessories/make-up/skin care in a month! I've been really into soft, slouchy shirts lately, and the Gap shirts definitely fit that criteria! And I've been looking for a dressy-ish tank or blouse to wear with skinny black pants because I literally have two tops like that, and I wear them to everything. I need to mix it up!

Did you get anything fun last month?

June 2018 goals

JessComment
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Let's see what's on the white board this month!

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1. Try three more new things: GUYS. I thought for sure this would be the hardest goal last month, and I CRUSHED IT! So I decided to give it another whirl this month.

2. Get my hormones tested: I'm really starting to think that my hormones are affecting my anxiety. I've been noticing that my anxiety and obsessive thoughts get worse closer to my period. So while I'm never thrilled for blood work, I'm really curious if it could give me some insight and possibly a path toward relief.

3. Stick to budget for real this time: You'll see below why this one got off track, but I want to give it another try in June.

4. Keep up with meditation: I inadvertently joined a meditation class in May! (I was supposed to teach a yoga class that no one showed up for, and the meditation class was conveniently happening right after, so, hey!) I have a lot (A LOT) of resistance to breathing and sitting still and, well, not distracting, but I do want to give this meditation thing a shot.

5. Secret goal step #1: OooOOoo so mysterious! haha Nah, I'm just not ready to get into this one on here yet. But I think including it will help to keep me accountable (...maybe).

 

And how did May's goals go?

Do three new things (or, at a minimum, three things I don't regularly do): Well, let’s see... I taught a yoga class, drove to two new places, got energy healing, met with a potential private yoga client, went to three new yoga classes, and started going to the aforementioned meditation class. This is huge for me!! 🙌🏻

Get up early to start my day with a Kalyn Nicholson YouTube video: This goal was going along fine until major anxiety derailed a solid week, and I've had a hard time getting up early again when sleep is an alternative, haha.

Make budget and stick to it // pay off credit card: I did pay off my credit card and was doing fine with sticking to my budget until the anxiety storm hit. Then came extra therapy sessions and doctor's appointments and supplements, and I couldn't get myself to do things like, say, getting out of bed, let alone balancing my checkbook. So the budget went off-track. I'm just glad it was due to regular therapy and not retail therapy for a change! 

Self-freaking-care: Hmm... I did make self-care a priority when I was forced to (during the anxiety storm). The next step, I guess, is integrating these things into my life when I'm only feeling low-grade anxiety. 

Taking alone time for myself at home: This did happen sometimes, hooray! 🎉

 

Well, as usual, this month's tarot card was spot-on. Although when I pulled it, I was rather concerned by the number of fiery sticks!

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Holding my ground? Courage and persistence? Fear about not being able to win everybody over? ✔️✔️✔️ 

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What are you working on this month? How do you manage intense anxiety?

Linking up with Nicole at Feel Good, Dress Better!

High Five for Friday: June 1

JessComment

Well, this week just flew by! What even happened?! Let's find out what brought the sparkle!

  • On Monday, I went over to a friend’s house, which worked out well because I woke up super anxious, but he also has anxiety, so he was fine with it. It was possibly the most patriotic Memorial Day I’ve ever had, because he had on World War II in Colour on Netflix! Chatting against the backdrop of the war in the Pacific was an unexpected way to spend the day! 😂 I also got to check out the pretty flowers in his neighborhood, which you know I was all about! 😍
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  • This has been the song of the week, thanks to my friend Kristin getting on a CSN kick. The first time I heard “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” I’m pretty sure I was riding in the car with Pops in seventh grade, and it blew my mind. Those harmonies are just unreal. 
  • Speaking of music, Pops went to the Bowie exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum on Wednesday (so jealous!) and brought me back this Low magnet! (Which is sort of hilarious because he’s generally 🙄 about Low, but I love “Be My Wife” and “A New Career in a New Town”!) David Bowie was actually my first concert, on what turned out to be his last tour. 💔 I was a junior in high school, and I got to see David Bowie. What a lucky duck. 
  • Yesterday marked TWO YEARS with my lil babydoll car!! WOW. And to think, I had just started exposure therapy for driving when I first joined the H54F link-up back in 2015! Crazy. Being able to drive all over the place with (some) ease may not seem like a big deal, but it is freaking miraculous for me! 🎉

 

  • Lastly, trying to keep Pops apprised of the NBA players the Kardashians are dating is a full-time job. At least this time, he already knows who Ben Simmons is!
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...unlike when I broke the news that Khloe was having a baby with Tristan Thompson! 😂 

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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: May 25

JessComment

YOU GUYS! The sparkle is back! I’m finally feeling better after a week-long bout of super-intense anxiety! 🎉 Here’s what else was sparkling this week:

 

  • Firstly, a friend posted this, and it was definitely something I needed to hear. ❤️
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  • Because my anxiety was still going berserk last Friday, I signed up for a yoga class with the teacher who teaches the Sunday class that I usually go to. And I ended up being the only one there! So I got to chat with her for awhile about my anxiety (she could relate), and she geared her whole class around that, which was so nice and definitely helped calm me down, at least for a little bit.

 

  • On Saturday, I again woke up feeling super anxious, so I went to another yoga class, and during the class, I briefly lost it. Like all of the feelings I'd been trying to avoid just crashed down on me and left me panicked. AH. But I made it through! After class, I didn't want to go straight home, and I also didn't feel up to painting my toes for a wedding I was going to that night (I was in a sorry state!), so I got a pedicure! And ended up having to walk 0.4 miles in those foam flip flop thingies like a rube (as you may have seen on my Insta Stories)! But that made me laugh, which was a welcome occurrence--as was just sitting around reading People magazine while someone else did the thing I couldn't get my act together to do!

 

  • On Saturday night, I got to watch my dear friend Sara get married! And see a few of my old work friends, which was a delight! (I went stag and legitimately could have known no one, so I almost did cartwheels when I saw their names on the seating chart!) Sara had just met her now HUSBAND around the time that I first met her (at our old job), so I feel like I've seen all the stages of their relationship. But most importantly, they had a freaking DONUT WEDDING CAKE, which, besides being amazing, should make it easy to see #whywerefriends haha! 
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  • Lastly, it seems to follow that the more wigged out I am, the more 1998-99 Lucky and Liz I'm watching—so you know I was tuning into them last week, haha! They're just so darn adorable. This scene is super sweet but also made me chuckle because what song would be better for a morose soap opera montage in 1998 than "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls? (I've actually always liked the Goo Goo Dolls, so this also sent me down a rabbit hole with them!)

And while we're on the topic of irises, look at this beauty I found after therapy on Monday! I've never seen this color scheme before! #PurpleIsANeutral

 Private Iris is watching you 🕵🏻‍♀️

Private Iris is watching you 🕵🏻‍♀️

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: May 18

JessComment

TGIF indeed because my anxiety has been bananas (B-A-N-A-N-A-S) this week. I’ve just had this overwhelming feeling of fear and dread. YAY. I keep trying to remind myself that this will pass, and I will feel better again. 🤞🏻 So since that did not bring the sparkle this week, let’s see what did! 

 

  • I lit this candle from the lovely Bri for the first time because it was definitely the vibe I needed to create! 
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  • My friend/personal anxiety savior Kristin graciously took me in when the only thing that would calm me down was chatting about nothing and running errands! And walking from room to room listening to "laurel" and "yanny." (Pops cannot fathom that anyone can hear anything but "laurel." "Come on, that's 'laurel,' babe!”)

 

 

  • My friend Garett was in town this week, and it was great to see him! (Bonus that he became my first post-YTT yoga student after I ended up subbing a class on Tuesday!) He’s such a positive, adventurous spirit and is so encouraging—he's one of those friends that makes you feel like you can do anything, you know? A real gem.

 

 

  • Friday was dance night with my dear Maggie and the other ladies, which was wonderful and a much-needed outlet. Then on Saturday morning, I ended up in a yoga class with one of the other YTT gals, and we chatted for awhile afterwards. It was so nice to get a taste of being back in that awesome community! (She and the teacher also helped me get into a few supported inversions after class, which was hilarious. I was basically like "Hmm, yeah ok, put me down now please!" 😂)

 

 

  • Lastly, in trying to make my room into more of a sanctuary, I really wanted to add some cute battery-powered lights. Well don’t you know at Mother’s Day dinner last weekend, my mom whips out a few small gifts for me, including A STRAND OF ADORABLE BATTERY-POWERED LIGHTS! I had not told her about this quest of mine, and she apparently found them months ago. (In the $1 Spot it seems! How?! I never saw them!) Magic from the universe! 🤗
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Hope you have a great weekend! Blog friends, here's hoping I catch up on comments this weekend! (I love them all, I've just been super behind!) xo

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High Five for Friday: May 11

JessComment

Let's see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • On Saturday night, I finally emptied my gratitude jar! I had added to it all through 2017, but I was being such a negative Nelly at the start of 2018 that I didn’t want anything to do with it. So I just kept adding to it until it was basically overflowing! Emptying it really gave me a glimpse into who and what truly have a positive impact in my life. ❤️
 $1 Spot ftw!

$1 Spot ftw!

  • On Sunday, I got to see my cousin star as Ariel in her ballet school’s production of The Little Mermaid, which was obviously adorable!

 

  • I happened to get $5 in Extra Bucks at CVS (!! when does that ever happen?!), so I treated myself to a new lip gloss. I’d never bought anything by Make Up Academy before, but this one had good reviews and wasn’t sparkly. I was looking for more of a pink shade (than my usual nude), so I went with “Rose.”
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Despite how bold it is in the tube, it’s very wearable, as evidenced by this lovely in-car selfie!

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  • One of the new things I’m working on this month is a vision board! I’ve made ones on Pinterest before, but I’m hardly ever on Pinterest, which makes it too easy to ignore them. I usually roll my eyes so hard at vision boards, so this is a big step for me, you guys! I recently watch a video about how to make one that I really liked (naturally posted by Kalyn, that goddess), and I’ve assembled my supplies over the past week! Now it’s time to put it all together!
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  • Lastly, I only cried once during this week's Grey's, and it ended up being way less tragic than I'd feared, THANK GOD! 

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xoxo

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May 2018 goals

JessComment
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The start of April was a bit of a disaster, so I never got a goals post up. Probably for the best considering my emotional state at the beginning of the month! (Remember my three therapy sessions in three days? Yeahhh...) But it's May now, and I'm not an emotional wreck, so let's see what's on the white board!

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Do three new things (or, at a minimum, three things I don't regularly do): My world has become so small, you guys. All I really do is go to work and therapy. I don't think I've talked about it on here before, but I've been wondering if I have a touch of agoraphobia because the fear that something bad will happen often keeps me from leaving the house to do anything optional. (So things like work and therapy are okay.) A few months ago, my therapist was pushing this idea of expanding my world, and I was not into it at all, but now I see and feel that I really need to do it. AND THE UNIVERSE IS TELLING ME THIS TOO SEE BELOW.

Get up early to start my day with a Kalyn Nicholson YouTube video: I don't know what it is right now (because I've watched a few of her vids in the past), but I am just super connecting to Kalyn's vibe and message, and I'm getting lots of energy from it. She's so inspiring and makes me want to tap into my creative side that I so easily squelch. She talks about a lot of things that I want to get back into (like the law of attraction and just generally making positive choices).

Make budget and stick to it // pay off credit card: As I said in my April budget post, April was a bit of a doozy financially. The payment schedule at work changed, and I was scrambling just to pay my bills. Now that the dust has settled, I need to pay off my credit card and make a realistic budget for May that I feel like I can stick to--because if the budget is way too tight, I tend to not even try, as the whole thing feels like a lost cause from the start, you know? 

Self-freaking-care: Eating. Sleeping. Basic things. I definitely didn't make the healthiest choices in April--I skipped meals, and I let myself get to the point of exhaustion because I felt "lazy" taking a nap (even though anxiety has been waking me up way before my alarm). I just need to take better care of myself, period.

Taking alone time for myself at home: I tend to struggle with just doing my own thing if other people are around. And I live with my dad, who is retired and thus often around! I've slowly been making my room into more of a happy place/sanctuary and spending time in there when no one is home, so hopefully, that comfortability carries over. I am an introvert, so I really do need to be able to break away from other people and recharge sometimes.

 

So I happened to pull a tarot card a few weeks ago that was so super relevant to my life right now that I'm going to use it as my card of the month (instead of pulling a Healing with the Angels card).

I pulled this handsome fella, reversed:

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My tarot knowledge is pretty limited, so I usually marvel over the OOTC (outfit of the card) and then google the card's message. Here is the reversed Two of Wands' message:

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SO. WILDLY. ACCURATE. I actually pulled the card before coming up with the goal to do more new things, but I've been having that "stuck" feeling for awhile. So I was basically like, "OK UNIVERSE! I'M GETTING THE MESSAGE!"

What do you hope to do in May? Any tips for combating fears of leaving the house? 😬

 

Linking up with Nicole at Feel Good, Dress Better!

High Five for Friday: May 4

JessComment

Let’s see what put the sparkle into this week!

  • Pudge and I had a glorious weekend together! It was SO NICE just to have my own space and be able to do my own thing! (I wonder if Pops felt the same way LOL!) I explored Maggie’s hood, delved further into my Artist of Life workbook, caught up with the Kardashians, planned a yoga class, worked on blog stuff, and napped! What a time!

 

  • Pudge is such a sweetheart. She just snuggles right up to you, demands pets, and purrs like crazy. The last cat I watched was a kitten who really liked biting my hair and running around at 4 AM—so this was a nice change of pace! Pudge and I did so many exciting things together, like watching General Hospital and napping! 
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  • In my shopping journey over the weekend, I made a few very exciting purchases, like picking up neroli oil at Whole Foods, and finding this cute journal AND BALLER PILL ORGANIZER at Marshalls! The pill organizer I had before was always opening and spilling in my bag, so I was legitimately pumped to find this one. (As you could probably tell from my Insta Stories, haha!)
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living the dream

  • I've been listening to '90s video game music at work lately, and I delved into some Link to the Past this week. Hearing this tune really took me back! If you have any good '90s video game suggestions, let me know, because I'm always looking for more jams!
  • Lastly, Timmi sent me this. 💯💯 Oh JSTOR. Never change, except to become JORTS. 🙏🏻
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Oh and is anyone else watching Grey’s/in a glass case of emotion over the preview for next week?!? DON’T DO THIS TO ME, SHONDA!

 Preach, girl.

Preach, girl.

Hope you have a great weekend! xoxo

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April 2018 Budget

JessComment

Whoa nelly, this was really a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants month financially! Which meant that I couldn't spend much money shopping, so that worked out in my favor, I guess!

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  1. Baebody Eye Gel (Amazon): $24
  2. Black Cat Print Blanket Scarf (Claire's): $20 on sale for $8
  3. American Eagle Soft and Sexy Tank (T.J. Maxx): $6

TOTAL: $38

Yes, I'm over 30, and yes, I bought a clothing item for myself from Claire's. Let it be known that I am fully aware of that! FULLY. AWARE. I actually walked away from the scarf initially, but my willpower apparently expires in 48 hours. I mean, it's a cat print scarf, people! I really appreciate how the pattern mostly looks geometric, if you don't know that it's cats. (I swear!) It's usually a balmy 76 degrees in our office, and I've been wearing my cat scarf with no shame.

I used up the Senegence Dark Circle Eye Treatment that Becky had sent me back in November, so I needed a replacement, ideally something that would get me free shipping on Amazon because I was also ordering something else at the time! The Baebody gel had four stars and over 12000 reviews, so I was like, worth a shot! I don't know how I feel about it so far. I like that it has a pump, and it smells nice, but it's very sticky, and I'm not sure that it's doing anything. (It has only been three weeks though.) We'll see. If anyone has any dark circle creams/treatments they swear by, let me know. I want to splurge on one someday!

Lastly, who am I to resist a soft purple tank for $5?! When I was at TJ Maxx, I had two other purple things to try on with this tank, and I realized that maybe I need to go the Mica route and rename this blog "Away from the Purple." Nah, I could never quit it! 😂💜

What did you guys buy this month?

High Five for Friday: April 27

JessComment

Let’s see what put the sparkle into this week!

  • On Friday morning, I had to clear out of the house early (or hear about driveway estimates PASS), so I stopped at Walmart on my way to work and checked out their make-up section again. I really like the Flower Petal Pout lipstick I got last time, so I picked up another, this time in the matte shade Autumn Rose. I think it's really pretty while also being appropriately subtle for me, haha!
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I also picked up a Hard Candy lip gloss and their Sheer Envy Under Eye Fix, which I'm enjoying. It's not a full-on concealer, but I haven't been wearing much in the way of make-up lately, so it's been good at toning down my dark circles some, while not taking forever to slather on or looking crazy considering I'm only wearing mascara. Bonus that it feels really cool when you first put it on!

 

  • I spent most of Saturday cleaning my room, which was way way overdue. It's so nice to have everything organized and free of dust bunnies now! And I found a home for my letter board!
  • Later that day, I made a new cat friend: Brindle Pinky! When I see a cat in the great outdoors, I usually just sit down at a distance and see how they're feeling about me being there. I'm a scared indoor cat myself, so I never want to spook them. Brindle Pinky had never ever come up to me before, so I had very low expectations: so imagine my surprise when she came a-running and a-meowing! Being deemed safe really warmed my heart. 
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  • On the topic of cats, since Wednesday, I've been staying with this darling gal, PUDGE! (She's my friend Maggie's cat.) Pudge is super affectionate and has a bum back leg, so she basically waddles around and then rams herself into me so that I'll pet her. I'M DYING. 😭💖
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When I first got to Maggie's, I didn't expect anyone to be home, but her roommate Karuna was there, and boy was I thrilled to see her! It’s like when you're in college, and you're dreading going to the cafeteria alone, but then you find out that one of your friends got out of class early! Having dinner and chatting with Karuna was a real unexpected treat.

 

  • And finally, here's this week's Weird Ass Song of the Week, in honor of the guy who wrote the songs for Schoolhouse Rock. (He passed away this week.) Honestly, I don't know “Three Is a Magic Number” from my childhood, but rather, because it's what the band would play at the beginning of one of the Supernatural con panels featuring three of the actors--that's where I first heard it like a year ago! It's so cute and catchy that I couldn't resist!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: April 20

JessComment

Let’s see what brought the sparkle this week!

  • I finally put together the $1 Spot letter board I bought months ago! (Thank you Lisa for reminding me about this!) The quote is from one of my favorite poems: "In Memoriam" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I like to use it to remind me of the presence of a higher power. 
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  • Friday was another night of dancing, so I stayed over in Reading and went to a yoga class Saturday morning. One of my YTT friends also came to the class, and not only was it lovely to see her, but she brought me a crazy-delicious cookie! I think I'd like yoga classes better if they were always followed by cookies tbh, haha. Another perk of Saturday was the GORGEOUS weather! Sunny and 80! It was a beautiful day to catch up with a few of my Nova friends in Philly in the afternoon.
  ~casual penitentiary shots~ 

 ~casual penitentiary shots~ 

  • On Sunday, I woke up totally anxious. Like, sweating and full-on panicked. How do you just wake up in that state?! Was I having a nightmare? I don't even know. I hadn't been planning on going to yoga (even though I usually do on Sundays), but once I woke up feeling like that, I was like, "NOPE you need yoga, sister!" and signed myself up. The class was taught by a different teacher than usual, and she had us do tree pose in a circle, pressing into each other's hands for balance. I've talked before about how I'm not a huggy/touchy person, so I was not thrilled with this idea. But it turned out to be really cool to use other people for support in that way, and I definitely needed to feel more supported/grounded amid my anxiety. The class also ended with a like 10 minute savasana, which is always fine by me! 😂

 

  • I found a new phone case at Five Below, and I’m in love with the tranquil colors, marble-y look, and geometric gold accents... and the price tag. 👌🏻
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  • Lastly, I’ve started getting up a little earlier in the morning to either get small things done (which makes me feel more accomplished for the whole day) or to watch an energizing YouTube video or two. I’m really feeling Kalyn Nicholson right now--I just love her vibe and attitude!
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: April 13

JessComment

Whoa, what a week! Complete with three therapy sessions in three days! (A sign you’re doing super well! 🙌🏻) I'm feeling better now, though, so let's see what brought the sparkle:

  • Yo girl is a yoga teacher training graduate! I still can barely believe it. This thing that I decided to do somewhat on a whim has impacted my life so profoundly. I really needed this community over the past eight months.

The graduation ceremony on Sunday was so cute! Unicorn straws and flowers! Dancing! I was in heaven! 

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You could invite guests to the ceremony, but since I was staying over (and the studio isn't exactly close to my house), I decided not to. But one of the YTT girls apparently mentioned this to her girlfriend, and her girlfriend declared herself my person for the day and made me a sign and gift! And I had never even met her before! I was seriously blown away by her kindness. It made the day even sweeter! ❤️

 

  • On Saturday, I happened to be driving back from Target as the sun was settling, and it was just mind-blowingly gorgeous. I couldn't resist--I had to pull over and take some pictures. (This week’s post really captures life with me in a nutshell--stopping to photo document everything and playing the same song 70 times in a row. But we’ll get to that....) Just hanging out in this random park watching the sunset was glorious.
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  • I'm starting to find flowers on my post-therapy walk, hooray! I especially loved these tulips that were sitting outside the door to a church.
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  • Our Weird Ass Song of the Week is Ron Swanson and Tammy II's song: "Dancing on the Ceiling." It's sooo bad and so mood-brightening on repeat 70 times in a row, I swear. 😂

The video doesn't disappoint either!

 

  • Lastly, I’m just gonna leave this here (even though Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez is missing 😩).
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I loved The Sandlot so much when I was a kid. It was the rare movie that could trump my Babysitters' Club movies when I stayed at my mom's! But 25 YEARS?!? My god.

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: April 6

JessComment

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

  • V for Villanova, V for victory! As you may recall from 2016, I went to grad school at Villanova, so I'm very proud that they won the NCAA Championship this week! Also, I've been in the Connelly Center (where they kept showing the student celebrations on TV during the game), so I felt v cool. (Annd now I really want the M&M cookies I used to get from there on Chicken Finger Monday!) 
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  • Friday night was another night of wild dancing! And afterwards, I got to dance with the facilitator's adorable three year old daughter! She ran right up to me to dance, and my heart basically melted. It was interesting to see how easy it was to be nice to this little girl when I have no patience for my inner child!

 

  • I think I've talked about this before, but I love the movie She's Out of My League. It's so stupid but makes me laugh so much. It’s one of those movies that I’ll totally forget about but then get a craving to watch, and last Saturday was one of those days. And it was On Demand! When does that ever happen?!
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  • On Saturday, Pops was out all day, so I was living it up! Ulta, Target, taxes, and She's Out of My League--woo! I had also given a friend the advice of taking a walk as a way to calm down and help manage big emotions... and as is the case with most advice, I soon realized that I needed to take my own advice! So I went for a walk at magic hour! It was really more of a "stop and take pictures" than a walk, but what else is new?
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  • I hope y’all had a wonderful Easter (or Sunday, if Easter’s not your thing)! Because I dressed up for Mass, obviously OOTD pics needed to happen! I enlisted Pops to be my photographer, but when you have a dad behind the camera, instead of a tripod, you get teased and end up with pictures like this:
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Honestly, this might be my favorite picture of me ever. It so perfectly captures the zaniness that I'm usually trying to keep under wraps! 😂

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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March 2018 Budget

JessComment

I actually didn't buy much in March, hooray! I didn't really feel the urge to shop to make myself feel better, which is a wonderful change. (Especially because I'm off that medication that has the convenient side effect of curbing my shopping impulse for me!) The fact that March just flew by and left no time for shopping probably helped too.

ANYWAY, here's what I got:

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  1. Aurora Bar Ring (GLDN): $46
  2. Beaded Amethyst Choker (Francesca's): $18
  3. Deva Curl Light Defining Gel (Sephora): $23

TOTAL: $87

The Aurora Bar ring is my Rebirthday ring! I totally fell in love with the style a few months ago after seeing it in an Instagram ad. It's just so dainty and perfect! 

Fun fact: I have this awesome amethyst heart necklace that I love, but I can't wear it all the time, like, say, during yoga because it smacks me in the face. Good times! So I immediately loved the dainty, choker-like nature of this amethyst necklace. Plus purple. 🙌🏻💜

And the Deva Curl gel was just a boring repurchase. Yawn. 😴

 

Did you buy anything fun this month?

High Five for Friday: March 30

JessComment

Happy Friday! Let's see what brought the sparkle:

  • YOU GUYS, I taught my yoga class last weekend, and it went SO UNBELIEVABLY WELL!!!! I felt like this confident and composed side of me just took over and kept my anxiety at bay. It was wild! My class focused on self-care and self-love, with a special emphasis on those dark and twisty parts of ourselves that are hard to love. Since the class came so soon after my Rebirthday, I brought in party hats for everyone (I wore my flower crown!) and talked about how inpatient was the first time I admitted to myself and others how much I was struggling—and how accepting those dark parts of myself helped me to stay alive and grow. And tying in with the love theme, I had everyone read a line from my girl Elizabeth Barrett Browning's gorgeous "Sonnet 43"—or "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." (She and Robert are my Victorian OTP for sure.) The class itself was gentle, incorporated free dance, and emphasized everything as optional because those are the classes that I respond to the best. To be able to foster that experience for people I adore was pure magic. ❤️
  • Then on Sunday, when one of our other lovely ladies taught her class, it was snowing, "Into the Mystic" was playing, and I just felt like, Is this real life?! We were basically doing yoga inside a snow globe! We graduate next weekend (!!), and as much as I still struggle with the yoga of it all, I so appreciate having had this outlet to safely feel and connect.
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  • Interestingly, I've noticed that when I'm staying over at YTT, I usually want to watch Haven, this weird Sci-Fi show that my bffl and I started watching because one of the actors used to be in a Canadian hockey soap opera that we loved (#trueconfessions). I wonder if I'm drawn to it at YTT because that experience is helping me to thaw emotionally. Let me explain: Nathan, one of the main characters in Haven, is "troubled" and can't feel anything—EXCEPT for the touch of his cop partner, Audrey (naturally). This just gives me all the feels because I'm not a very touchy/huggy person, but other touchy/huggy people can bring it out in me, which makes me wonder if my own ability to be affectionate is starting to thaw a little bit. 😘 ANYWAY, Nathan happily realizing that he can feel Audrey's touch always makes me smile because I’ve had that startling feeling of connection before. (Also, my bffl and I exchanged a lot of freaking-out texts when we first saw this scene lol.)
  • This week's Weird Ass Song of the Week is "We've Got Tonight" by Bob Seger. I don't even know why I looked it up recently, but I saw on Wiki that Liev Schreiber apparently karaokes it in an episode of Ray Donovan (which I don't watch nbd), and I was like, "Ross the Boss singing 'We've Got Tonight'?! Oh, I am down for that!" And since watching that scene, the song has pretty much been on repeat. 
  • And lastly, one of my awesome friends alerted me to my future mode of transportation: CAT-DRAWN CHARIOT. You must be a goddess if you can get cats to cooperate enough to pull your chariot!
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 Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: March 23

JessComment

Wow, what a week! Let's see what brought the sparkle:

 

  • I am so unbelievably touched by all the sweet texts, comments, Facebook likes, etc. in my response to my Fifth Rebirthday post. I know that I have a tendency to hide, and your lovely messages reminded me that it is safe to come out because I am surrounded by wonderfully supportive people in my life. 💖💖

 

  • I bought myself a Rebirthday present (that's allowed, right?): this dainty little ring from GLDN. Isn't it beautiful?! One of the therapists on the January retreat had suggested that I get a transitional object to remind me that I'm really a strong and capable adult and not a scared nine-year-old kid anymore, so I went with this. (Also, rings are my fave. See below.) Because deciding to go inpatient feels like the most adult thing I've ever done, the ring has that date engraved on it: 3.20.13.
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  •  Friday was another night of dancing and embracing my tendency to dance like drunk April Kepner while completely sober! (Just call me Dr. Party!) Bonus that it was also my dear friend Maggie's 30th birthday, so we got to celebrate her beautiful self in addition to dancing the night away! (She asked me how I celebrated my 30th, and I was like, "Oh, I split town!" 😂😂)

 

  • Pops had been insisting that we take a Sunday morning trip into Philly for months now, and the jig was up this past Sunday. I'm not exactly sure what the purpose of this trip was, but once we ended up in South Philly, I made him stop at Occasionette because "If I have to go on this tour, can't I at least get a souvenir?!" Occasionette is the cutest little gift shop down the street from my old apartment, and I never go there now because the thought of parking in South Philly is a real NOPE situation. So I made Pops do it--perfect solution! The shop was even cuter than I remembered! I was also sure to stop by Wake Up Yoga, which is where my yoga journey began back in July 2013! And for something exciting to Pops, we walked around checking out all the mid-century flourishes that are still in East Passyunk.
  • Pops told me that I could pick out a little gift at Occasionette, and I couldn't decide between a ring and a ring bowl, so he let me get both! The bowl is so pretty! They had a bunch of different marbled colors, but obviously, I had to go with purple. And the ring! I'm a sucker for a geometric ring (or any ring really).
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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Rebirthday #5

JessComment
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FIVE YEARS. Wow. What a surprise, indeed. 

I could have died five years ago. Sorry to get all “seven strangers picked to live in a house” real right out of the gate, but it’s the truth. My thoughts had gotten so dark that they almost turned out my light for good. But I didn't let them. And today is the day of the year that I get to celebrate that for the huge freaking victory it is. I don't know if there is an accomplishment that I'm prouder of, honestly.

It's shocking that I can talk about all of this so openly now because I was terrified to admit how I really felt for a long time--eleven years, to be exact. Eleven years of hiding the impulses that scared me but felt like they would scare other people even more. Eleven years of feeling so deeply alone, even while I was with other people. I didn't intend to share my feelings on March 19, 2013, either, but I was so desperately in need of help that I just blurted it all out to my unsuspecting friend Kristin. She took me to the hospital the next day and has become one of my closest friends. (And we originally met through blogging! So if that doesn't speak to the power of blogging friendships, I don't know what does!) I talk to her (or at least bombard her with Pusheen stickers in fb messenger) every day. The whole wild ride ultimately made our friendship stronger. Certainly, this is just one person's experience, but I share it to show that it is possible to let people in to the dark and twisty parts of yourself, and not have them run away in horror. I have to remind myself of that on a regular basis, but I do know, deep down, that it's true.

If you know someone who is struggling with suicidal depression, I can say from my own experience that it was extremely heartening to know that my friends still supported me despite my dark thoughts. It must be scary, and possibly confusing, to hear that a friend or loved one is suicidal. But if you love the person, reassure them of that. This site has some great suggestions for things to text someone with depression. You can also just sit with them while they call the suicide hotline--that's where Kristin and I started. And you can go with them to the ER as a possible next step. We went to the ER at a hospital that she knew had a well-respected inpatient program in case I ended up staying. Which was my choice, by the way--the doctors didn't feel like I was enough of a risk that they had to keep me. My psychiatrist at the time told the ER doctor to just increase the dose of my antidepressant. But I knew that that would only make me feel the numb kind of "better" that eventually cycles back to suicidality. Over those eleven years, the periods of suicidal depression seemed to be coming closer and closer together, so I knew it would come back, and I wanted my life to be more than that.

So I said yes to inpatient, which is probably the most responsible, adult decision I've ever made. 

It's hard to imagine that good things will happen to you when you're trapped in the darkness of suicidal depression. But once I started taking my life back, a cascade of good things followed, and quickly too! Sure, we're not together anymore, but I met B a mere 50ish days after inpatient! DAYS! And in my depression, I thought for sure that I was unloveable! It's so wild to think that, at any moment, you could be meeting the people who will become very significant in your life, or you could be doing something that ends up being hugely impactful in the long run.

Let's recap some of the unexpected, wild, and wonderful things that happened after inpatient: 

April 2013: I start consistently going to therapy for the first time in my life.

May 2013: I start group therapy and meet B. 

June 2013: I move to Philly with Deena. 

July 2013: I go to my first ever yoga class, which is a total trainwreck BUT is where I hear about an upcoming retreat for women with trauma, which I attend--and that’s how I meet one of my current therapists! (She’s the one who does the retreats and the yoga teaching training.) 

July 2014: To Sparkle Punch is born! 

April 2015: I start exposure therapy for my driving phobia.

May 2016: I buy my own car. 

None of these things would have happened without that first step of seeking help.

Now, that's not to say that the past five years have been all rainbows and sunshine. B and I broke up. My uncle died of lung cancer and my cousin of a drug overdose. I moved back home. I had to find a new Philly therapist when my original one left her practice. The important thing, though, is that I don't turn to suicide on the non-sunny days anymore. I see my suicidal thoughts as being in remission--I'm not experiencing them now because I'm taking care of my mental health by going to therapy, journaling, doing yoga, etc. It's an ongoing process, and I still struggle in a great many ways. I mean, hello, two months ago, I couldn't eat, sleep, or sit still because I was practically vibrating with anxiety! I have a hard time leaving the house (aside from going to work or therapy). I struggle to see a future for myself, which I think is a known side effect of PTSD. But I'm working on those things. I haven't given up yet. And today, that matters more than anything. 💜

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High Five for Friday: March 16

JessComment

Let’s see what put the sparkle into this week, shall we?

 

  • I finally started to get some ideas for the yoga class that I have to teach next Saturday, hooray! This all happened after the alarm clock in my room at YTT randomly went off at 5 AM, and I sprang out of bed and literally yanked it out of the wall. After all that excitement, I had a hard time getting back to sleep, but I started getting ideas for my class, so it all worked out.🙌🏻

 

  • Look at these lovely things that two of the ladies gifted me with last weekend!
 She made this mala necklace herself! Like WUT. 😍

She made this mala necklace herself! Like WUT. 😍

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And I’ve taken this stone into work with me, where I've been using it kind of like a worry stone! (Obviously I made a beeline for the purpley one! 💜)
 

  • I was pretty wigged out after Sunday's YTT, so I ended up just laying on my mat in the yoga studio for awhile, alternately looking out the skylights and texting Timmi, who reassured me that I am not alone and sent me cat pictures because she is a beautiful angel from heaven. I also got to chat with one of the lovely ladies from YTT for awhile too! Talking to both of them really helped. (Talking to people--what a concept! #introvertprobs)

 

  • On Tuesday, I had a doctor's appointment in Center City and then decided to go to the Whole Foods on South St. for my adrenal supplement (#yolo). On my walk there, I stumbled upon a few cherry blossoms!! It was a bitterly cold day, so the reminder that spring (and FLOWERS!!!) are coming was much appreciated. (Sidenote: Why isn't "Flowers are coming" the Stark house motto? Like, I could get into that WAY more.)

✨🌸🌺Spring is coming🌺🌸✨ #flowertherapy #flowercreeping #flowers

A post shared by Jess (@jessie_face4) on

  • Lastly, two things I saw on Instagram this week that really resonated with me:
 From  @its_jmacch , who is a beacon of positivity!

From @its_jmacch, who is a beacon of positivity!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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