Life At Home · Self Love

Old Photographs of Grandma

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Yesterday was a blessing. I had the opportunity to go through old photographs that my grandmother had taken. She loved taking pictures, and always had a camera with her. I stumbled upon a book she had made me in high school. It had pictures of me from infancy to eighteen years old. I then came across pictures before my time. Pictures that seemed to go in a backward chronological order. I saw wedding pictures of my parents, aunts and uncles, most of which I had seen at one point or another. It slowly turned to pictures of my mother and her siblings growing up. Their graduations, high school dances and silly family dinners. It then transitioned to pictures of them as children; huddled in the car, wrestling in the living room, or playing outside. I stopped to look closely at a few, but for the most part just breezed through these like I was counting a deck of cards.

It was then that I reached pictures of my grandmother around my age. I came to a complete halt. I had never seen any of these photographs before. This woman who I had grown to know and love as my old grandmother, was suddenly shown to me in a completely new form. She was young and beautiful. She was silly and carefree. She was amazingly photogenic, especially for a time period that you did not have any idea what kind of quality photo you would get.

When I look at these pictures I think of how vastly different life is now. I have no idea what camera she used for these pictures, but I do know it wasn’t the iPhone 7. Our outfits tend to differ, and yet I am completely in love with her style. The hairstyles, the homes in the background all seem so old fashioned and almost foreign to me.

Although there is obviously a huge different between these photos and modern times, I did realize that maybe life hasn’t completely changed. My favorite part of this experience was getting to see my grandmother at the same exact point in her life as I currently am: a first time mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, and a daughter. She was married to my grandfather for over 50 years, but at this point had only been married for a handful of those years. She ended up being a mother of four, but at this point in her life only had one child. There were many pictures with her friends and sisters outside their home, or down by the lake. She looked so happy and so content with life.

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I can’t say I know how she felt at this point in time, but how she looks seems to be how I feel today. In love, content and just plain happy.

Sometimes seventy years can feel so different, and yet if you look at what is really important in life it can feel exactly the same.

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Life At Home · Self Love

New Year. New Goals. New Outlook.

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Ringing in the new year has always been a range of emotions for me. On one hand you are thrilled at the thought of a new time, a fresh start, and moments in the future to look forward to. On the other hand you are saying goodbye to a year that has again passed. A year of your life that is again gone to the hands of time. New Year’s Eve is the one holiday that you can grieve the loss of something while celebrating something new at the same time, and in all honesty I find that beautiful.

In the past I have attempted to come up with New Year resolutions, but ultimately they fail. Whether it’s the typical eating healthier, exercising, or spending more time for myself, those all end up happening less and less until they have diminished completely.

I realized the problem with these goals was that I was just making them up on the spot. They had no purpose or meaning. They were just a filler for when the question, “What is your New Year’s resolution?” popped up.

Instead I reflected on 2017. It was a great year. My husband and I are happier than ever, our baby grew so much while being happy and healthy, and I have gotten into better shape post pregnancy and am very satisfied with my body and mind. Although eating healthier and exercising never hurts, it just doesn’t fit with what I needed to improve on right now. After looking at 2017 I thought to myself, “What are some things that I need to improve on to make my life better in 2018?”

1. Don’t let the little things get you down.

One thing I am going to work on this year is not letting myself get worked up about minor things that have no major significance to me. Lately I have found myself upset over such small things that then put me in a foul mood, and I let it keep me in a foul mood. Even worse than that I have found sometimes I go into a situation already thinking the worst.

GOAL: Be more optimistic especially when entering a new day or a new situation. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

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2. Venture out.

I am a homebody at heart. My favorite place to be is sitting on my couch watching Netflix with my family (#dreamlife). We definitely ventured to new places in 2017, but in reality it wasn’t much. There are so many places where we live that we could explore and experience, especially with our daughter.

GOAL: Travel (even somewhat locally) to a new place each month, sometimes with our daughter, but sometimes just as husband and wife.

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3. Make a plan with money.

My husband and I (just kidding, it’s only my husband) are responsible about paying bills and keeping on top of our finances. Alternatively, my husband and I (just kidding, it’s only me) are not great about saving money either. We are by no means in any financial trouble, but I’ve realized that it’s good to be on the same page with our finances, and to work together on how we can save money.

GOAL: Sit down together to discuss where the money is going, and how we can start saving more (even if it’s only going to be a conversation about how much I have to STOP spending money on clothes).

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4. Do good things.

The week between Christmas and New Years I took my daughter grocery shopping. The store was crazy. It was so hard to move around with all the people in the aisles, the parking lot was a madhouse and by the end of the trip my daughter was so cranky and tired that all I wanted to do was just be home. After I loaded my groceries into the car, and was in the process of buckling a whiney baby into the carseat, a man approached my car and said, “Here Ma’am, let me take your cart back for you. You seem to have your hands full”. That simple gesture made me almost cry. After squeaking out a simple, “Thank you so much” the man replied, “Not a problem. I’m glad I could help. You have a beautiful daughter. Happy New Year!” That interaction turned one stressful moment into an entire great day.

As I drove home I thought to myself how lovely it was for him to do that, and how happy it made me feel to have such a genuine act of kindness.

GOAL: Be a good person. Do nice things for people. Say nice things to people. Compliment people. Make someones day. Help someone when they need it, or even when they don’t need it. Even if I can’t do it every single day, just do it as often as possible.

Happy New Year, my friends. Make 2018 the best year yet.

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Life At Home · Self Love

My Cozy Ten Minutes

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We all need it. Alone time, time to myself, me time, time to decompress; whatever you call it, every person should get a little of it each and every day.

That is easier said than done. With priorities and responsibilities pulling you left and right it can be so hard to find some time for yourself to wind down.

What is even harder for me is actually enjoying it. When finally getting the chance to sit down and relax, I found that I was not able to utilize the time wisely. I constantly felt like I should be completing something on my never ending to-do list, and as I sat there I would think, “this is a waste of time”.

Oh, how wrong I was.

When I wasn’t getting “me time” I was burnt out. I was irritable, and cranky. I still couldn’t get things accomplished because I was trying to multi-task and rush to finish something without thought. I was snapping at my family for things that were not a big deal.

I realized this was not okay, and I needed even just a simple ten minutes a day to wind down and just be alone. This was one of the best, and healthiest routines I’ve ever decided to do. I thought I’d share how I spend my “me time”, so maybe you can use it for “you time”.

Set the mood.

I’ve learned I need to not only be someplace I enjoy, but somewhere away from the rest of the world for just a moment. I personally like a calm, dark scene so I can light a candle and relax. I have found the perfect candle subscription box company to help set the perfect mood. Vellabox is a company that provides you with a hand-poured, artisan candle. With all the talk lately about how unhealthy candles can be, this company provides quality, toxin-free, lead-free healthy candles. In each cute box you get a candle and one surprise gift. My latest Vellabox provided me with not only an amazing scented candle, but a perfect tea bag that complimented it. On such a chilly, autumn night both items helped to make it comfy and cozy.

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Find the best time.

You need to find even a quick ten minutes that work for you. Some people enjoy their me time just sitting in a warm shower for an extra few minutes. Some use time in the car to sit quietly and decompress. My favorite time is toward the end of the night after I’ve put my daughter to sleep so I can relax and think about the day I’ve just had, and about my day tomorrow.

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Do something you enjoy.

For those ten minutes you should do something that makes you happy. Maybe it’s just watching one quick show on Netflix, eating a yummy snack, reading a book, drinking tea, a glass of wine (or both), or even just playing Candy Crush on your phone (do people still play that?) Personally I have realized I enjoy putting my phone away and doing something without a screen in front of me. I found I even just enjoy sitting there in silence to leave myself with my thoughts.

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No one can do it all, and you can’t forget to take care of yourself. Find your cozy ten minutes a day, and treat yourself to something wonderful that you enjoy. Still need some coziness to your “me time”? Don’t forget to check out Vellabox to help set the mood. You won’t be disappointed.

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Self Love

Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast cancer has been a huge part of my life. Not because I was diagnosed, but because my mother is a breast cancer survivor of twenty years. October is breast cancer awareness month so I thought it only fitting to share a few reminders about checking yourself for any signs and symptoms.

Here are some things you can do to prevent the risk of breast cancer:

  • Stay active
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat properly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Breastfeed if possible
  • Get to know your normal breasts so you know what something abnormal might feel like
  • Do a self-breast examination on yourself monthly- lean over, lay back and examine all parts of your breast
  • Talk to your doctor about what age you should start getting mammograms

For more information on breast cancer or taking preventative measures visit breastcancer.org.

Wear pink for breast cancer awareness
Self Love

When It Rains It Pours, So Find Your Green Umbrella

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(Outfit details: Sweater, White Tee, Black Jeans, Boots)

You know the phrase, and maybe you know the feeling. There are different times in our life or even in our day that it seems as though it is a full on downpour, and you are just trying to stay on top of the situation. Whether it be in your home life, your work life, or your social life unpredictable things happen that can throw you for a loop. You may lose your cool, you may lose your patience, and you may even lose your marbles.

That’s why it is important to find your green umbrella.

Your umbrella doesn’t actually have to be green, and I don’t actually mean an umbrella. What I mean is you need to have something there to help you stay dry in a rainstorm.

You need to have someone to talk to.

Someone that can be there to lend an ear when things just aren’t going your way. Maybe it’s a coworker, a spouse or loved one, or a therapist. There is no shame in allowing yourself to vent and let out your problems. It’s not safe to keep your emotions bubbled inside of you.

You need to have something you enjoy doing.

Maybe it’s exercising, sewing, reading, cooking, playing an instrument or maybe it’s just watching your favorite show on Netflix. When the going gets tough, relax and tell it you’ll be back to fight it another day.

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You need to stay healthy.

We’ve all had those days when it’s “the worst day ever”. The last thing you want to think about doing is cooking, eating right, or exercising, but you should try. Try to maintain a healthy diet, go for a walk, drink some water, and go to bed early. The healthier you treat your body, the better it will help you fight off whatever this downpour may be.

Maybe you need a friendly companion.

Having a pet can give you a feeling of purpose. They can be there for you whenever you need someone there. They are loyal and loving and just want to be your friend.

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Stay away from things or people that make it rain around you.

If there are certain people that seem to make your life miserable, stay away from them. I know sometimes you can’t. I know sometimes you work with them or you need to be in contact with them in some way, but make it quick and to the point. Go into a situation with high intentions and a smile on your face, and try to not let them break you down.

Sometimes this means staying off social media for a little while. Looking at other people smiling and loving their life can sometimes allow your mind to compare your life to someone else. This is never good. Remember that everyone has rainy days, most people just choose not to share those on social media.

 

If your rainy days seem to never go away there are things you can do!

  • Talk to your doctor. They are there to help and may give you some suggestions on ways to make you happier and healthier.
  • Talk to someone you know. Share what is going on in your life. If they are a true friend or loved one they will most definitely want to help.
  • Try these tips and if they don’t work, message me! I would love to talk to you about your life and how to make you happier.

If you ever need help, the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

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Make sure to find your green umbrella to get through tough times. Be nice and love each other. You might not even know that you are someone’s green umbrella.

xoxo

Britta

 

*This post contains affiliate links.

 

Self Love

Find These Friends.

There are always the friends you have that are true, honest to goodness people. And then there are the friends that you have in your life that you say to yourself, “Why am I friends with this person?”

Too many times we keep negative friends around, and that’s okay. Sometimes you just have things in common with those friends. Perhaps you stay friends to help that individual in some way. Maybe those people are the only ones around to socialize with, and it’s better than being alone. If you’re alright being friends with a few negative people that’s alright. More power to you.

Here’s the thing, you cannot be friends with only negative people. You have to have some friends in your life that are true, positive role models to be around. People that can bring you happiness, and don’t tear you down into this dark hole of gossip and bitterness. You need people that you can genuinely have a conversation with. People that you can laugh with just as easy as you can talk with.

Find these friends.

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(shop my sweater here and my jeans here)

People who genuinely listen to you.

Not just stare at you and let you speak, but actually listen to you. Friends who genuinely follow along with your story, have their eyes focused on you, ask follow up questions, aren’t just sitting there on their phone while you talk to them. People that don’t chime into other conversations while you’re in the middle of speaking. Friends who don’t somehow revert a situation back to them and their problems.

Friends who listen are friends who care.

People who remember your birthday.

Okay, I know not everyone is great with dates, but they should at least be able to remember the month. If they know the month you were born in they are a good friend.

People who ask you questions about your life.

You know someone is a true friend when they ask you questions about your life. Not even just, “So how’s work?”, but things like, “So whatever happened with that coworker who was three hours late to work that one day?”. Find the friends that remember your conversations and truly care about what is going on in your life.

People who are more positive than they are negative.

No one is perfect. No one can be a happy-go-lucky, positive person all the time. But it’s important to have friends that are frequently in good spirits, as opposed to always being “Debbie Downers”. Being around negative people can be a drain, and often puts others in a bad mood as well. Find friends who would rather talk about the accomplishments of people as opposed to gossiping about others.

People who you can be yourself around.

If you have to change who you are or hide how you feel when being around certain people, it’s not worth spending time with them. You shouldn’t have to change the way you talk, act, or feel when you’re around your friends. Find the friends that genuinely love your true self, your quirks and all the silly, awesome things about you.

People who you can respectfully disagree with.

True friends should allow you to express yourself, and won’t judge you. It’s okay to have disagreements, and it’s okay to voice opinions, but there needs to be a mutual respect for each other. Some people think that if you’re friends you should have the same opinions. Friends are not always going to agree on everything, and that’s okay. It’s important to understand that each person comes from a different place on a matter, and each individual should respect that.

People who you look forward to seeing.

If you’re getting in the car to meet a friend for dinner and you are dreading it, are they really a friend? Find the people that you enjoy spending your time with, you look forward to seeing and that you want to be around.

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It’s okay to have acquaintances and people in your life that don’t meet all these needs, but try to find the people that do. Find the good people in your life, be a good friend to them, and keep them there.

Self Love

Next Week Is My Baby’s First Birthday, So Today Let’s Celebrate Me

In one week my daughter will be one. We will get to celebrate her in one week, so today let’s celebrate my body. One year ago I loved my life, but I hated my body. I was so proud of what my body did (because holy moly giving birth is no joke), but I wanted my old body back. No one told me how much my body was going to change. Literally from my hair to my fat cankles I felt like a completely different human. Looking back to pictures of me a year ago when I felt like I was exploding with this baby inside me, and looking at myself today blows my mind.

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I decided it was time to get down to business and figure out this healthy lifestyle not only for myself, but for our whole family. I wanted to exercise more than I had, and I definitely wanted to eat healthier than I had. I couldn’t raise my daughter on pizza, tacos,  and cheeseburgers every week.

Now that I am treating my body so much better I am in the best shape of my life. It has been an incredible amount of hard work, exercise, and eating healthy, but I knew my body could handle it. I’m still heavier than I was, but I’m healthier and I’m so much happier, so let’s celebrate.

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Here’s to my arms. I pass that baby off and people can only hold her for a few minutes before saying, “Wow, she is heavy! My arms are already tired”. But I’ve got those mama arms, and can carry that baby all day long.

Here’s to my hair. The hair that used to be so straight, and now is wavy on the right side. Not on the left, only on the right, because both sides would be too easy. Now I have some new hair techniques I’ve picked up along the way this year so I don’t always look like a crazy person.

Here’s to my belly. The belly that cared for my baby before I even knew she existed. My belly that is not so tight anymore, and jiggles here and there. It’s back to it’s original size, but it’s not like it used to be, and that’s okay.

Here’s to my body temperature. I used to be cold all the time. Now, not so much. I guess it’s because the warmer I am the easier it is to keep my baby warm, so I’m fine with that.

Here’s to my legs. We’ve done a lot of squats lately, legs. Not by choice, but because that’s the level my child is at. Up, down, up, down is your entire day. Not only that, but we are constantly rocking that baby, dancing with the baby, and chasing her around the house. Proud of you, legs!

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I forget how incredible our bodies are to go through such extreme changes. LADIES, our bodies are by far the coolest things that walk this earth. The fact that we can grow a human, pop it out, and raise it to be as awesome as we are is the most amazing thing. Love your body, treat it right, but most of all be proud of all that it can do.