My posting schedule has been a little off this week (and will be next week, as well- given February kicks off next Friday!) The days leading up to and following my birthday are always a little crazy and hectic since I have such a big family and my friends are scattered around Massachusetts and New England. My time is always stretched a bit thin since people come and visit, I’m going out to meet friends for birthday-related fun- and also working full-time. It leaves little time for blogging this time of year!
Tonight is one of the last birthday celebrations planned for me as far as I know- and it involves eating lots of Chinese Food and cake with my mom, my older brothers, my sister-in-law and my niece! Then it’s nothing but sleep, catching up on e-mails, touching up my hair on Saturday- and heading to Salem on Sunday for my friend Phill’s annual ‘Royal Rumble’ party. Always such a good time.
The past few days have been a lot of fun- with the exception of a crazy snowstorm, single digit temperatures and a lot of rain. My actual birthday was a really relaxing affair- mainly because after I had left my office for the day- Troy treated me to dinner and a “Spa Night” at East Heaven in Northampton. I got to completely unwind during a soak in an outdoor hot tub (and despite the cold weather- it wasn’t bad at all) and an hour long massage. Absolute bliss!
He’s a gem.
My co-workers surprised me with a dozen of my favorite doughnuts, my best friend surprised me with a pink frosted cake (pictured above) and other friends loaded me up with carbs earlier this week during a surprise luncheon. If people thought the holidays were the time of year where everyone threw their diets out the window- they haven’t seen anything yet!
With January winding down next week (already?!)– I’m in the process of putting together my favorite things from this month to share next week, as well as writing up a summary of the beginning of the year for my “In a Nutshell” post that should be up next Thursday. I’ve also got a Super Bowl to prepare for following that absolutely INSANE Patriots/Chiefs game this past Sunday- so expect some fun, party-friendly recipes in the coming days.
I want to thank everyone again who texted, called, e-mailed, or dropped me a line on social media for my birthday! I know Tuesdays are pretty much the worst day of the week by default- but my birthday was still wonderful and I’m very appreciative of all the love and warm wishes!
I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful holiday and (hopefully) long weekend! I know I certainly did. The past few days have been filled with family, friends, and *so* much food. With all the turkey, vegetables, stuffing, rolls and pie I’ve been eating at all hours since Thursday afternoon- I’m going to be hitting the gym pretty hardcore over the next few weeks to work it all off again…
… Just to make room for all of that delicious Christmas food, of course!
But I digress- I had a lovely few days off and now it’s time to get back to work- both at my office and here on the blog.
Despite the urge to just wear sweatpants during Thanksgiving and the days that followed- I had to stay put together for various parties and outings in and around my hometown. That meant accessorizing and finding stylish (yet practical) shoes to wear out in the snow, too. When it comes to holiday-centric jewelry- I keep the glitz and the glimmer for New Year’s Eve festivities. While I definitely love all things sparkly- sometimes it’s nice to have something a bit more simple and natural to build my look around.
I’ve been wearing these lightweight, uniquely carved bamboo earrings from Green Tree Jewelry all throughout this past week/weekend- and the response I’ve gotten from my loved ones has been great! So much, in fact- that I plan on doing some of my holiday shopping through the company since they carry a variety of beautiful gifts that extend beyond jewelry.
Green Tree, based out of San Diego (my home away from home!) arose from the ashes- literally- following a wildfire that consumed the founders’ previous baseball bat engraving business in 2008. With eco-friendly laser cutters left unscathed in the aftermath, founders Lance Nybye Sr. and Jr. shifted their focus to designing and carving beautiful, intricate, fun and fashionable pieces from sustainable resources within the USA. Their artistry now extends across affordable necklaces, bracelets, ornaments, switch plates and so much more!
What I love most about these earrings, apart from the fact that they don’t feel heavy at all- is that the bamboo isn’t painted/stained or otherwise changed apart from it’s being carved. The natural, smooth wood finish makes each earring different and special in it’s own way.
The smaller pair I’ve been wearing, the Modern Leaf Bamboo Earrings, are my “daytime” pair. Jeans and sweaters? Leggings and long jackets while out and about grabbing lunch with friends, running errands, or digging out the ornaments to get the Christmas tree set up and decorated? These are my go-to accessory.
This pair is simple- yet still beautiful- and just goes so well with most of what I wear during the day.
And my “nighttime”, fancier occasion pair? That would be the larger, insanely cool Greek Bamboo Earrings– which are dramatic (like me!) and look amazing when I’m dressed to the nines and got a good smoky eye or red lip going on. I wore these to a performance I caught over the weekend and they were THE statement piece I needed to make a lasting impression.
Today is Cyber Monday, so if you’re looking for a beautiful gift that will be treasured by someone special in your life this holiday season and you want to support a great business- go give Green Tree Jewelry a browse.
ALSO! If you enter the code “GTJ10” at checkout, you’ll get 10% off your purchase- as well as free shipping!
Have fun getting some great deals today, everyone- and enjoy the start of your week! Let’s push through to Friday together!
If you’re wondering if I’m currently buried under feet of snow- the answer is yes. Yesterday’s “Bomb Cyclone” (another, unintentionally funnier way of describing a Nor’Easter or massive blizzard) started bright and early yesterday morning, just as I was headed to work- and powered on through the afternoon and last night. Shoveling proved to be a waste of time since driveways and sidewalks were covered again in less than an hour’s time. After about 3-4 passes up and down my walkway throughout the day- I finally gave up and saved the bulk of the cleanup for this morning.
My back, shoulders and arms are killing me right now- but I suppose it sort of makes up for not being able to get to the gym yesterday, right? It was sort of like an impromptu weightlifting and strength-training day- although it was very cold.
Speaking of which. With the New Year underway, many of us are pushing hard to keep up with our resolutions so we don’t throw in the towel by the end of the month- only to promise ourselves we’ll succeed next year by the time December 31st rolls back around again.
And there’s a good chance that one of the resolutions on many lists involves getting into better shape/losing weight/staying fit/living healthier. It’s a great goal to have- but it’s also one of the more challenging ones to keep up with. It’s easy to get discouraged, sidetracked, distracted- and it’s even easier not to get the momentum started because of procrastination/hesitation. “I’ll start tomorrow” turns into “I’ll start next week”, which turns into “I’ll start next month-” and before you know it- the whole year has gone by before you even realize it.
Believe me- I’ve been there. Multiple times. A lot of people have.
From everyone I’ve ever spoken to has reached a road block in terms of working out/getting fit- more often than not- their reason for it is one surprising thing: they’re afraid to go to the gym.
As someone who had to overcome that fear on my own- I get it. There is the fear of judgment. There’s the fear of not being able to keep up with others. There’s the fear of not using the equipment properly- or even the fear of overdoing it and getting injured. I think more than anything- there’s the fear of failure.
But 2018 is YOUR year- and I’m here to try to keep you motivated! Aaptiv, a fitness app– created this infographic to help those struggling with gym related anxiety overcome their fears. Check it out!
Above are some surprising statistics and some really sound and helpful advice from Aaptiv- and I’d also like to touch base on some of them.
You are worth taking that first step – First and foremost, it’s great that you want to get into better shape and be healthier- and you should be really proud of yourself for even considering making that commitment because it’s going to take time, dedication, and hard work. That being said- as daunting as going to the gym can be- try to remember that the payoff is worth powering through whatever initial discomfort you might feel once you’ve gotten started. You’re going to look better and feel better- and feeling better is what’s important.
Nobody at the gym is there to point at you or gawk at you – That self-conscious feeling gets the best of all of us- and although you might feel eyes on you in spin class or while you’re wiping down your equipment after you use it- try to think positively. Like Aaptiv said- everyone is there for the same reason- to get healthy. Just because someone might be looking at you doesn’t automatically mean they’re mocking you or judging you. They might just be watching your technique for when they use the equipment you’re on, or they might just like your outfit and are wondering where you got it- or they might think you look amazing and are appreciating the results of the work you’ve been putting in. Whatever the reason- own it and just focus on you- and nobody else.
Socializing helps squash any lingering feelings of awkwardness – One way I’ve opened up at the gym and have felt more comfortable is by talking about my goals with the people in my yoga or spin classes. It’s always nice to both give and receive feedback, and it makes going to the gym so much easier (and feel so much more welcoming!) when you know you have people you can smile at and say hello to. I’ve also found that some of the people in my classes offer great insight for at-home exercises/programs they participate in- or other classes that might be really fun to try and that I otherwise may never have heard of!
Don’t get discouraged and DON’T give up – It can be really disheartening to work out every day for a couple of weeks, get on the scale, and not see any immediate results. It might even make you want to just call it quits- but I’m telling you not to. I’m telling you to keep going. Nothing worth achieving ever came easy- so get back in there and keep working hard- because eventually you’re going to see and feel a difference!
Talk to a trainer and gauge what they recommend if you’re looking to change/add more to your routine, too! It never hurts to learn new techniques or different methods that can help you get closer to achieving your goals.
When all else fails, turn it up and tune it out – On the days where I’m struggling to stay motivated and/or can’t seem to concentrate- I make sure to get a thumping, pumping and upbeat playlist going through my earbuds. Not only does it drown out any noises I might not want to listen to while I’m working out- but it makes the time go by SO much quicker, too! Aaptiv has plenty of updated playlists- featuring some of today’s hottest and most popular artists/songs- to choose from!
And now, for a limited time for the New Year- you can get access to Aaptiv at a reduced price (because who wants to pay the full amount when the year has only just begun?) When downloading Aaptiv in your carrier’s app store- use the code GETFIT for a 20% discount off of a 30 day trial of an annual membership. Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean the giving has to stop, right? So why not give yourself the gift of a pocket-sized, portable personal trainer to help you get on- and stay on- track!
And if you’d like to share your own tips on how to overcome gym-midation (see what I did there?) or stories of your own triumphs- feel free to leave a comment!