To Sparkle Punch...

That is the question

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!)
 living the dream

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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High Five for Friday: March 9

JessComment

Firstly, blog friends, I'm SO sorry that I haven't been reading your blogs or responding to comments! As you'll see below, my weekend did not go according to plan, and I'm still behind. I love y’all and hope to get caught up soon! 😘

OKAY, let's see what put the sparkle into this past week:

 

  • Last Friday's Nor'easter did some serious damage to our neighborhood, so the number one thing bringing the sparkle is that our house escaped unscathed AND that I made it home from work safely after a three hour drive that also included a fender tapper when I slid into another car (luckily I was only going about 10 mph!). Trying to get to my house from the highway (like two miles) was like being in the War of the Worlds--ambulances and fire trucks zooming by, downed trees and wires everywhere, traffic lights out... I was ready to kiss the floor once I finally made it home!  
 casual uprooted foliage just hanging out 😬 

casual uprooted foliage just hanging out 😬 

  • Now let's take a moment to acknowledge that I drove in snow and high winds on Friday. ME! 😮 Some of you have been around long enough to remember when I was doing exposure therapy for driving and almost fainted driving on a sunny day right by my house! The fact that I was just like, "OK LET'S DO THIS" about driving 30 miles in a snowstorm is mind-blowing--it's like I'm a completely different person than I was in 2015! I feel stuck in many areas of my life, but driving is not one of them (...most of the time anyway). And when I had that little fender tapper, I didn't freak out and throw myself into oncoming traffic. Sure, I was rattled, but I was able to handle it with a shocking amount of composure. I didn't even cry! I don't feel capable of handling most things, but when the worst case scenario happens, I'm usually fine. (Kind of like that wonderful time I threw up on the el.) Who knew?

 

 

  • Our biggest problem due to the storm was a weekend-long power outage. UGH. Luckily, my friend/savior Kristin came to the rescue on Saturday with a hotel room that she had booked for her fam but then no longer needed when her power came back on. So Pops and I got to spend the night in the warmth and, to his great delight, watch the 11 o'clock news! 
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  • I feel so dumb talking about General Hospital every week, but for me, it's seriously become the equivalent of putting the crying baby in a car and driving her around. No really, I was randomly crying on Tuesday afternoon, and then GH came on at 3, and it calmed me right down! Port Charles coping with the aftermath of an earthquake was so unintentionally hilarious that it instantly made me feel better about my own life! At least I wasn't trapped in a freezer with my boyfriend or caught under a bookcase on my wedding day, only to be freed by my mortal enemy! 
 Always relevant. 

Always relevant. 

  • I saw this on Instagram and it made me laugh out loud:

Ok, before I go, I just need to commiserate with anyone else who loves Grey's--HOW are they getting rid of both Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw this season?! 😭😭I love them both so much! (I mean clearly, considering I name-dropped April in this space just last week!) And what will become of Japril?! (The end of this week's episode irritated me so much in that regard UGH.) Are they just never ever ever getting back together?! 😩

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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March 2018 Goals

JessComment
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I'm feeling super emotionally and energetically drained right now, but there are some adult-y things that I need to get done, and making them this month's goals seemed like the best way to potentially do them!

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1. Do taxes: Yawn.

2. Get car inspected: Mainly to avoid last year's problem of being wanted dead or alive. 😂

3. Plan yoga class: I have to teach my first full yoga class, to the whole YTT group, at the end of the month. EEP! So I need to actually start working on this instead of just obsessively worrying about it like I currently am. When I used to have to do presentations in school, I would write out a whole script and practice it repeatedly, and I think that having something to go back to and envision if my mind went blank really helped me not devolve into fight or flight mode. (I just really want to get through this class without another panic attack if at all possible!)

4: Creative writing: I've mentioned a few times that I have this story/collection of characters rolling around in my head, and I've noticed how much I genuinely feel excited when I get ideas for it. It gives me life! So I should probably stop ignoring it or dismissing it as dumb or unimportant. It makes me happy, and I guess that is important enough. 💖

 

Now February's goals weren't really goals so much as mantras to keep in mind during the emotional rollercoaster that was the last month. "I don't feel okay, but I am okay" was the one that I came back to the most, especially when I would start to feel scared completely out of the blue and didn’t know what to do with myself.

 

This month's Healing with the Angels card is CHILDREN 😮😬⁉️ But, as usual, it’s the perfect card for me right now. The description talked a lot about the Inner Child, which is definitely a key component of my healing work, because she is usually scared, and I'm very good at ignoring her. I bet the sudden, scared feelings that I've been having lately are related to her, if I would just listen to her...

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What are you working on this month? 

 

Linking up with Nicole at Feel Good, Dress Better!

High Five for Friday: March 2

JessComment

Well, that week flew by! Let's see what brought the sparkle:

  • Last weekend was an interesting one! I feel like I spent it on a spectrum from Drunk April Kepner to Super Emotional April Kepner, which is obviously aspirational. 

On Friday night, I went to this dance/movement night at the studio where I'm doing yoga teacher training, and I was shocked by how easily I was able to let loose! It was such a wild and freeing experience! I was full-on Drunk Kepner (just completely sober), with a touch of the African Anteater Dance for good measure!

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 Future head of neuro nbd

Future head of neuro nbd

Then on Saturday and Sunday, I had yoga teacher training, hence becoming Super Emotional Kepner. I really love being with my fellow YTT gals, but constantly doing something that I'm not "good" at (like, say, yoga), and having to teach and be seen, pushes alllll of my buttons. I wish we could just hang out without the yoga, haha! 

 THIS ALL JUST GOT REALLY REALLY REAL.

THIS ALL JUST GOT REALLY REALLY REAL.

  • I pulled this Goddess Card after the dance party: Isolt, goddess of undying love. I really hope that the healing I'm undergoing is swift and efficient! (Clearly, I need to heed the "be patient with yourself" note.)
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  • Well, I'm watching 1998 General Hospital againso I must be getting back to normal! The beginning of this scene (before Luke, aka Major Buzzkill, shows up) speaks to me so profoundly. When Liz goes back to the place she was attacked and then is upset about breaking down in front of Lucky because "I just wanted to be able to give you a good progress report," I am like, GIRL YES. STORY OF MY LIFE. The non-linear aspects of healing drive me nuts, and I always want to be able to tell people I'm doing better. (I'm clearly already really good at being patient with myself! 😂) Buuut that's just not how it works. And Lucky's response to Liz here is so great: "You don't have to do anything for me. I mean, if you stay just the way you are this very second, it'd be more than fine by me." 😭😭😭  I know it's just a dumb soap opera, but it makes me feel less alone in my own struggles (while also giving me all the feels!).

When he reaches for her hand in the beginning OMG ❤️

 

  • My low-grade Olympic fever continued last weekend when I heard that GERMANY'S men's hockey team beat Canada to make it to the gold medal game! My bffl had previously alerted me to the fact that several of our former faves from the Sharks were playing for or coaching Team Germany, so I was totally on board! I didn't get to see the game, and Germany ended up losing to Russia anyway, but I'm still pumped that they won silver! I love me a random underdog!

 

  • I had Gilmore Girls on this week, and you know I struggle with GG, but it was Dean's-profession-of-love episode, and I know that that one features "Oh My Love" by John Lennon. What an exquisitely beautiful song. And with Nicky Hopkins on electric piano! I love finding out who the unsung session musicians on classic rock songs are, and Nicky Hopkins is one of my faves because he's on a million famous songs ("She's a Rainbow," "Getting in Tune," "Angie"...), and his piano playing is just so tender and beautiful. 
  • And a bonus SIXTH THING because Mica tagged me when she found this precious fella, and I want to encourage everyone to alert me to the presence of cats in their lives! 😃
 I now call all grey tabbies "Dexter Purrington," thanks to  this guy !

I now call all grey tabbies "Dexter Purrington," thanks to this guy!

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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January-February 2018 Budget

JessComment

Well, I couldn't sit still long enough to write a budget post in January, so here we are with January and February together! 

Interestingly, when I was feeling like an emotional wreck, I had zero interest in shopping. That was an unexpected bank error in my favor! Only my regular anxiety can get channeled into finding the ripped jeans of my dreams and something to fix my dark circles, it seems. (Who knew that obsessing over my skin was a sign of mental health?!)

ANYWAY, here’s what I bought over the past two months:

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  1. Relaxed Textured V-Neck Sweater (Old Navy): on sale for $12
  2. Xhilaration Sleep Sweatshirt (Target): $17 - gift card = $0
  3. Zoe + Liv Galaxy Unicorn Tee (Target): $13
  4. Distressed Rockstar Jeans (Old Navy): $40 - gift card = $15
  5. Any Day Now Scoop T-Shirt (Target): $8

Not pictured:

  1. LC Lauren Conrad Filigree Midi Ring (Kohl's): $10 on sale for $4 - gift card = $0
  2. LC Lauren Conrad Birth Month Tasseled Slipknot Bracelet (Kohls): $18 on sale for $15 - gift card = $0
  3. Lavender Tee (Marshalls): $6
  4. Shine High Neck Tank Top (Old Navy): on sale for $4
  5. Moto Compression Leggings (Old Navy): $35 on sale for $17
  6. Mossimo V-Neck Long Sleeve Tee: $10 - gift card = $0
  7. Milky Jelly Cleanser and Boy Brow Duo (Glossier): $30

TOTAL: $105

 

Since I bought a million things, I'm not going to talk about all of them individually. But if I were to single out the one item that I think you need to run out and get immediately, it's the Xhilaration sleep hoodie. It’s ridiculously soft and cozy AND has sleeves long enough to cover your hands—a real perk when you have a constant case of ice hands! I basically just want all of my clothes to be as soft as humanly possible, so I've starting raiding the sleep sections of stores (especially Target) and asking myself things like, "Does this look too much like a robe to wear to work?" But with a sleep hoodie, that is not an issue! 🎉

I also love this tank top that I found on the sale rack at Old Navy. (Tragically, it appears to be out of stock now!) I'm always looking for things that talk about "sparkle" in this sense (not because of To Sparkle Punch or anything 😉), and "shine" was close enough for $4.

 “Shine wherever you go” ✨ 

“Shine wherever you go” ✨ 

After seeing the lovely Lisa rave about Old Navy's Rockstar jeans, I had to give them a whirl, and she is so right—they're awesome! Super stretchy and soft! I kind of hate myself for spending $40 on ripped jeans, but they were just the perfect pair for me, and I'd been searching for awhile. Not to mention that any time I wait for something to go on sale, I wind up spending the original price, if not more, to meet shipping minimums or on new, cute things in the store. #knowthyself 

The Any Day Now scoop tee might seem boring in the picture, but it has pink and purple streaks in it! I'm not a huge fan of navy, but pink and purple make everything better!

 

Did you get anything fun so far in 2018?!

High Five for Friday: February 23

JessComment

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

  • On Friday, I had to take my car for an oil change, which turned into 50 other things (💸💸💸), BUT they changed my windshield wiper blades, and now I don't have to hear an obnoxious scraping sound every time I use them!! (Almost worth all the money flying away tbh.)

 

  • When I started having that "I'm going to jump out of my skin" feeling a few weeks ago, my one therapist suggested going for walks. Initially, I would just walk, barely aware of the scenery or people around me. This past Saturday, though, I felt like a different person on my walk--or more like my usual self, I guess. Instead of a walk, it was more of a "stop and take pictures of the trees, and the beautiful sunlight, and the Valentine's decorations at the park." (No cats, sadly!) And I went swinging! No one was at the park, and I felt like swinging, so I just went for it! Swinging into the sunlight while listening to M83 was such a pure, freeing moment of joy. And a good reminder that I do have these moments of joy and lightheartedness--that my whole life isn't just dissociating and sobbing in the bathroom (even though it can feel that way). And that those "bad" moments are just moments too. Fleeting moments. 💖
  • I finally saw Lady Bird over the weekend! I think my expectations for it were way too high, but it was still really, really good. I related hard to that Catholic school life. (Kilt checks! "The Prayer of St. Francis"! Ditching your date at prom!) I'm also smitten with Timothee Chalamet (despite him being a complete tool in Lady Bird) because he seems like a total awkward geek IRL. And he wore a purple velvet suit to some award show, so he's clearly living his best life. #PurpleIsANeutral
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  • Speaking of purple, look at these gorgeous tulips at Whole Foods! I was totally willing to give them all a good home, haha.
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  • I haven’t been super into the Olympics (in years past, I was very excitedly watching Ukraine play France in hockey so, yeah, not on that level this time!), but the ladies’ figure skating sucked me in. For no reason at all (except maybe because I know that broken foot life?), I became very emphatically Team Medvedeva in the past 48 hours. I loved her free skate and was bummed that she didn’t win the gold. Anyone else watching?

 

Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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High Five for Friday: February 16

JessComment

Well, hello Friday! Let's see what put the sparkle into this week! 

  • I was psyched to be back at yoga teacher training last weekend!
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Buuut as we're getting closer to teaching an actual class, we've been practice teaching more and more. I know I signed up to learn how to teach, like duh, but doing so is WAY out of my comfort zone--and worrisome because I know that I tend to dissociate super easily when people are watching me do something. My brain and body just stop communicating. I'm there, but I'm not there. And if I can feel it happening, then the panic starts rising.

And that did indeed happen during a teaching exercise on Saturday. My brain went totally blank, I started getting increasingly panicked, and I ended up fleeing and sobbing in the bathroom. YAY. But I'm including this moment in H54F as a good thing because it revealed something important to me: that I spend so much of my life actively avoiding anxiety triggers so that I won't break down in front of people like this. I usually end up staying home in hiding because that feels like the only option I can handle without drowning in anxiety. But yoga teacher training is the opposite of that--I'm actually out there, in community, doing something. And when you actually do stuff, with other people, you're going to potentially feel things. I'm not gonna lie--the panic attack was terrible and really freaked me out (I haven't felt like that in a looong time), but it happened because I'm trying to LIVE. And that was a powerful realization.

 

  • When I was finally able to breathe again and come back into the room, I found that the other girls had waited for me to "OM" with them at the end of the exercise. I had felt awful for running out, so this sweet gesture almost got me crying again! (But in a good way this time!) I’m so very glad to be part of such a wonderful group. ❤️

 

  • To keep with that lovey dovey-ness, I hope y'all had a fantastic Valentine's Day! I love any excuse for pink, hearts, and sparkles, even though I didn't do anything especially festive, besides getting this awesome card from my dad (whose birthday is Valentine's Day!):
 “That scratch will heal” 😂😩😂 

“That scratch will heal” 😂😩😂 

  • After days of rain and fog, the sun came back this week, and I've been like a cat in a sunbeam! I've started going for a walk around my therapist's super-cute neighborhood after my appointments, and when I did this week (basking in the sun!), I spotted this guy! He wanted nothing to do with me, but I was thrilled nonetheless! (I saw him from across the street and was like, TARGET ACQUIRED! Commence kissy noises!)
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  • Lastly, I'd been intrigued by Flower cosmetics for awhile, but then somebody (I think Lavendaire?) posted Flower lipstick swatches in their IG Stories recently, and I was like "GIRL YES." The problem is that a.) it's only available at Walmart (which I never go to) and b.) when I attempted to go to the one near my house, I found that they don't actually carry Flower! Luckily, the Walmart near work does, so I made a little "Treat yo self" stop on my way to work on Thursday! They didn't have the full range of products that's available online, which was kind of disappointing buuut didn't stop me from getting three lipsticks!
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Hope you have a great weekend! xo

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