Wear the D@mn Shorts

This is a tale of self-confidence…

Last weekend we’d planned to spend some time with friends lakeside. The Friday before the trip I started brainstorming outfit ideas. I was thinking my cute swimsuit paired with my cut off high-waisted shorts.

‘But your thighs are so flabby and chunky. That’ll look terrible- all that cellulite and the scars. You should pick a different pair of shorts,’ I thought to myself.

Let’s pause my story and insert that I try very, very hard to encourage others to treat themselves kindly. It makes me mad when my mom nitpicks about herself or when my 10 year old cousin complains about her “fat” or when my friends are getting down on themselves.

“You aren’t fat, you have fat. Everyone does. It’s why you’re alive.”

“Don’t you dare talk badly about your arms/leg/tummy! That’s how you lift groceries or get from A to B or nourish your body!”

“You look great today! And who’s so important that you’d take their opinion over mine?!” 😉

Those are a few of my go-tos when it comes to encouragement.

But for whatever reason, that Friday afternoon I was hating my husky, pale, chicken-pox-scarred thighs. I’d like to say it was a fleeting thought, this discouraging self-talk, but it browbeat me into 30 minutes of outfit changes.

It’s funny… The internet is notorious for highlighting people’s “perfect lives.” That said, some of the most body-positive, encouraging, beautiful-inside-and-out people push their perfectly imperfect & totally embracing messages via social media (looking at you Lindsay, Aubrey, Chelsea, Dana, Christina). And I’m am 100% on board with that.

And yet I fall victim to my “zitty face” or “flabby tummy” or “chunky thighs.”

I’m usually extremely comfortable in my skin. My body is relatively healthy. I was given working limbs and organs. I am able to care for myself and others. Overall, I got very lucky with the skin I’m in. But we all have moments of weakness.

Fortunately, our moments of weakness happen at different times. When I’m feeling poorly, someone else is sending out positive vibes meant for me. So when you’re feeling badly, just know that someone is sending out those positive vibes for you, too. (Might I suggest any and all of those ladies up there! ☝️ )

I don’t think anyone is always positive and encouraging, but someone somewhere is always sending out some good vibes. So go seek it- it’s 100% meant for you. Someone loves you. They love your wide hips or your small shoulders or your pointed ears. Whatever features make you cringe in the mirror, I guarantee someone thinks nothing of it and loves you completely. And you should, too.

What I’m trying to say is: wear the damn cutoff shorts, my friends. ☀️

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Sweating in Style

A few weeks ago I admitted that K and I were doing this weird thing where we workout. Oddly enough, we’re still doing it. (I’m honestly shocked. I’ve lost 0 lbs so the motivation is nonexistent… but I’m still plugging away.)

Since we’ve been at it for roughly four weeks I am obviously an expert and fanatic. To put it in perspective, I can officially run (walk-jog) a 20-minute-mile. Hold your applause. (I’m being 100% sarcastic. Except for the 20-minute-mile. That’s real.)

Anyway… I’m a big fan of finding cute racerbacks and workout clothes to lounge around and clean workout in. Recently I won a FB contest at my local yoga studio and snagged this awesome top, so obviously I’m now searching the internet for more cool gear.

(I also bought this t-shirt a few weeks ago and I LOVE IT.)

T O P S

If I’m going to be sweating and huffing and puffing then I’m going to wear whatever my childish heart desires. This obviously includes Harry Potter, Disney, and animal tops.

human | human | human | etsy | etsy | etsy | nascar | passivejuicemotel
human | human | human | etsy | etsy | etsy | nascar | passivejuicemotel

P A N T S

Right now I have three pairs of athletic shorts and one pair of athletic leggings. When I keep up with laundry, this is plenty. When I don’t, I end up in smelly shorts.  The Carrie Underwood leggings are a little above my price range (the first pair), but I’ve had my eye on those double-layer Target shorts for a while now…

workout_pants
dicks | old navy | target | target

O T H E R + S T U F F

In addition to apparel I’ve found there is way more fitness yoga stuff to lust over. I already have a mat but I love this elephant one… a girl can dream. I’m also in need of a mat bag because mine broke and I think these wraps look super comfy and great for hot yoga!

gaiman | amazon | amazon
gaiam | amazon | amazon

I’m a spoiled girl and I don’t need any of this… but I have a feeling I will definitely own those shorts and quite a few of those tank tops soon… (And for the record, none of these links are affiliated.)

See anything you like? Where do you buy your fitness apparel and accessories?

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Mash-Up Monday

Today I have a smorgasbord of thoughts so I’m simply titling this post “Mash-Up Monday.”

(First things first, I had to look up the origin of “smorgasbord” because it’s such a funny word. Turns out it’s a Scandinavian word that means a buffet-style meal with a variety of hot and cold foods. And it looks like this: Smörgåsbord)

Moving on…

Last Wednesday night I went to see Zootopia with my mom at the local theater. (Our theater is small & it only has two screens, but tickets cost $3.50 on hump day and we got popcorn, two drinks, and candy for $7. Hells yes.) Listen, I know that this movie has excellent reviews (98% on rotten tomatoes) and no one has said anything bad about it but… …I loved it! It was cute, it was funny, it made a wonderful point about acceptance and following your dreams, and the main character was a female who DIDN’T fall in love at the end or “succeed” by winning the guy. Our future children will undoubtedly love cartoons as much as I do, but I hope Judy Hopps is one of their role models ❤︎

Hold on, I need to keep talking about Zootopia.
This movie comes at just the right time. Like most Disney movies, the film sets out to teach a few lessons but these lessons are SO timely: We mustn’t fear others simply based on their labels. Ruling with fear is not the answer. If we revert back to our past prejudices then we are bound to fail and fall. While we all have our limitations, we have the ability to try to do anything we set our minds to. Some people are happy to be carrot farmers out in the country and some people are happy fighting crime in the big city. It’s important to forgive.

I thought this city would be a perfect place where everyone got along and anyone could be anything. Turns out, life’s a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means, hey, glass half full, we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what kind of person you are, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you. -Judy Hopps

Seriously, though. Go see the movie. And show your kids, grandkids, cousins, and nieces & nephews.

Alright. I feel like I can move on now.

Last week I was miserable thanks to my sensitive sinuses. K tried to convince me that I was sick, but my body didn’t ache and I didn’t have a fever and he wasn’t showing any symptoms (K can catch a cold over the phone- his immune system is sub-par). By Thursday things were on the mend and I was so thankful. I felt the tickle in my throat on Sunday and I had my sinuses in tip-top shape by Friday night. I don’t know if that’s an admirable time frame or not, but here’s what I did to combat my sniffles- just in case you need a remedy:

sinus_allergy_remedy
med | meds | rub | vitamins | tea | humidifier

I also drank lots of water, took hot showers, and got plenty of sleep. A long time ago a friend of mine told me that she never sniffs all that gunk back into her sinues/nose- she always blows her nose, even if she’s constantly do it. I think that makes a huge difference. Also, my nose started to get raw and peel so I put antibiotic cream (Neosporin) on it each night. LIFESAVER, guys. (And yes, we really do have a frog humidifier because we adult awesomely.)

Speaking of sniffles… (warning: this is going to get gross-ish) … I looked up the significance of clear mucus verses discolored mucus on the internet. I found this chart from The Cleveland Clinic and it proved to be quite helpful with my self-diagnosis:

cleveland_clinic_mucus_chart
(source)

For the most part, my nose juices were clear, but every time they were a little off-color I thought to myself, ‘Heck yes, white blood cells! You fight that infection!’ I’m a weirdo.

. . .

I don’t like to announce our trips on the internet before they happen, but right now I’m currently on my way home from a NASCAR race in Bristol, TN. I left town on Saturday. K left town on Wednesday to attend the world drumline championships in Dayton, Ohio and he got home yesterday. So I haven’t see my guy in 5 days (and I haven’t seen my dogs in two days!). I can’t wait to be home!

I told you today was going to be random 🙂 I definitely delivered.

Have you seen Zootopia?? What did you think?

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My Number 1 has Type 1

Guys… I’m so excited to write this post today. I’d like to introduce you to my best friend Erica. She’s made a few appearances in baby related posts (like the baby shower post & Elliot Rose’s birth) but today is all about her!

Erica

When I first met Erica I was am 100% convinced she hated me. But that’s a story for a rainy day. In the Summer of 2009 Erica  and I started down the long, easy road of best-friendship. Between Bollywood dance parties and dinosaur rehearsals and pre-wedding pep talks and matching cat shirts, there’s no one more qualified to be one of my best friends.

Just before Erica and I discovered one another’s awesomeness, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, known as juvenile diabetes. I wasn’t close with Erica during her diagnosis, but I know that it was a total shock to her system. T1 diabetes is not associated with weight or exercise, but Erica has always been fit and healthy so, regardless, it was tough news to take in.

Let me pause and tell you about Erica. She is a physical therapist assistant and a wedding planner. She can ride a motorcycle and she’s gone skydiving. In high school Erica traveled the country in a bus and performed in stadiums all over the US. She’s a mentally, physically, and emotionally tough lady. She’s a mom, a firefighter’s wife, and a damn good best friend.

Erica 4
Don’t even get me started on her sense of humor. Do you get their Halloween costume? HAHA! #milkman

If anyone can handle the challenges and emotions that come with diabetes, it’s Erica. But I really wish my friend didn’t have to handle it. I wish she didn’t have to monitor her sugar levels while planning for and carrying Elliot. I wish she didn’t need to sew a pocket into the lining of her wedding dress to hold her medical equipment. I wish she didn’t have to prick her finger in the middle of sophisticated (adult) drink night. I wish there was a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Our weddings!
Our weddings!

On Saturday, September 19th K and I are joining Erica and her friends & family to walk for a cure with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. If you feel so inclined, you can donate to the cause HERE.

Erica is very active in every role she fills, but her diagnosis has since lit a new fire inside her. She is dedicated to her own health as well as supporting the health of other men and women going through life with juvenile diabetes. She is open about her struggles and triumphs with T1D and she is passionate about helping others live an active, healthy, adventurous life. Erica isn’t defined or limited by diabetes; she’s motivated and driven by it- driven to help others, stay fit, and find a cure.

Erica 1

Thanks for reading, everyone. Please educate yourself on T1D and say a little prayer for those wishing, hoping, and walking for a cure. Type 1 diabetes can affect anyone. Once again, if you’d like to donate to the JDRF you can do that HERE.

-Louise

JDRF One Walk

My Friend Aubrey

I openly admit that I love food and I hate working out. I don’t even necessarily like good food- just any food. I’m a horrible inspiration to others and my “Work Out” board on Pinterest is collecting cobwebs.

My friend Aubrey is 210% the exact opposite. First of all, that girl can cook. It is her passion and, lucky for her, she’s incredible at it. She once made a cheese and cracker tray that had me in tears because it was so fantastic. She also has a job working in a fancy-schmancy kitchen so if you’re ever in Cleveland you should swing by Rockefeller’s and taste the heaven that comes from her kitchen.

Deep fried beer cheese polenta bites made by Aubrey.
Deep fried beer cheese polenta bites made by Aubrey.

Another fun fact about Aubrey is that she is incredibly beautiful. Her skin is flawless and her hair looks amazing, even when she doesn’t wash it. (I usually only compliment her unknowingly on these days.) I have known Aubrey since 5th grade. My first impression was, ‘Who is this girl and why is she so opinionated and loud?‘ Haha!

Our friend Kayla, Aubrey, and me
Our friend Kayla, Aubrey, and me

So why does Aubrey get her own blog post? Well, my friend has always struggled with her weight and I’ve watched her gain and lose throughout the years. She has always had an incredibly bright smile but it shines even brighter right now because Aubrey has lost 100 lbs. and is pursuing her dreams and living a positive, proactive life.

100pounds

Aubrey took matters into her own hands and started losing weight by eating right and exercising. She had gastric bypass surgery in the fall and has continued to discipline herself and meet her goals. She is the happiest I have ever seen her and it’s because she has a girlfriend that loves her, family that love her, friends that love her, and, most importantly, she loves herself.

Aubrey’s girlfriend, Alyssa, has also lost a lot of weight. They seriously live in a house of inspiration and awesomeness.

I have watched Aubrey triumph, fail, struggle, laugh, cry, and change over the last 13 years (13 years?! What?) We have butted heads and yelled at each other and shared secrets and she stood beside me in my wedding. I have watched her go from hating cats to loving cats, singing opera to cooking professionally, dating men to finding the love of her life in Alyssa, and being a kid to being a teen to being an adult. She is one of the strongest people I know- the future holds nothing but success and happiness for her because she has taken her life into her own hands and makes it into what she wants. I am so honored and blessed to call her my friend.

Aubrey

Love you, Aubz. I’m so proud of you and happy to be a part of your life!

-Louise