Tag Archives: love

SarahOhm.com February Blogger Book Club Link Up!

It’s hard to believe it’s already the end of February. I can’t say I’m upset though. It’s been a long month. It feels like we’ve been suffering through the longest winter ever. I guess in a way we have since we’ve gotten a year’s worth of snow IN A MONTH!

Moving on.

I mentioned SarahOhm.com’s Blogger Book Club a few weeks back in a post (and how I forgot about January), and it’s that time of the month where we review our books and do our link up! I’m so excited.

February Book Club Pick


February’s theme

A Love Story

What I Read

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

Synopsis (from GoodReads)

Four brides. One Dress.

A tale of faith, redemption, and timeless love.

Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift . . . and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can’t she find the perfect dress…or feel certain she should marry Tim?

Then Charlotte discovers a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new-shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been “redeemed.”

Charlotte’s search for the gown’s history-and its new bride-begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress. Emily from 1912. Mary Grace from 1939. Hillary from 1968. Each with her own story of promise, pain, and destiny. And each with something unique to share. For woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte’s heritage, the power of courage and faith, and the timeless beauty of finding true love.

Why I chose this book

I won’t lie. I had this on Nook already. I bought it for 1.99 months ago, and it just sat there. So when I saw the theme was a love story, I figured, why not? I was drawn to this book because of the pretty wedding dress on the cover, and the title. I mean, I’m getting married and anything wedding-related these days perks my interest.

My thoughts

I enjoyed it. It held my interest. Again, probably more so because of the wedding theme then anything else. But I also grew to love the main character, Charlotte. She seemed like someone I could grab coffee with and talk about life. She’s fashionable. She could help me find my own wedding dress. And I liked the other little stories woven throughout the book, specifically the significance of the wedding dress. I mean, the book is about the dress, but you come to learn it’s so much more than the dress. It’s a both romantic and historic. That’s all I’m going to say because it’s one of those books that it would be easy to give quite a bit away.

It had gotten really mixed reviews. People were sounding off saying it had too many religious undertones, or the book was pushing religion too much.

Now, I’m not a religious person. But I did not find this book to push too much religion. Yes, the characters were religious, but they weren’t going to church every 5 minutes and something about Him was not mentioned every other word. So in my book (no pun intended), this didn’t push religion. It just had religious characters.

Would I recommend this? Sure. Would it be at the top of my list of books to recommend? No. It was…good. It didn’t blow me away. But it wasn’t horrible. Mediocre I guess would be the right word.

3 out of 5 stars. A take it or leave it kind of book.

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Stay tuned for next month’s book club pick, and make sure to check out all of my fellow book club member’s picks too!


 

I Celebrate Valentine’s Day Every Day

First, thank you to everyone who chimned in on my blogging thoughts yesterday! It really meant a lot!

Valentine’s Day is almost here. That special Hallmark holiday that comes once a year where people give gifts and cards to their loved ones to show their love. It seems like each year it becomes more about what to buy than how to celebrate.

I’m seeing a lot more articles written to help with what to buy and what to do for Valentine’s Day, such as 6 Valentine’s Day Dos and Don’ts, The Ultimate Guide to Buying Valentine’s Day Flowers and What Women Really Want for Valentines’ Day.

But not many articles on how to celebrate your love.

I remember when Valentine’s Day was such a huge deal to me. Back when we were in elementary school and we passed out those adorable paper valentines in a box. We made special envelopes to leave taped to our desks, and our teachers made sure we gave a valentine to everyone in class so no one felt left out.

After elementary school, middle school and high school were just confusing.

Did I want a Valentine? Didn’t I? What if I have one? What happens then? What if I don’t have one, but someone gives me something, and I don’t want to be their Valentine? What if I don’t get anything?

Yes. Confusing is the best way to describe those years.

I worked at a gift shop throughout high school and college. And during that time, I witnessed so many people running in the night before Valentine’s Day to buy cards, presents, candy… whatever they could find. That’s when I realized that this holiday was becoming less about celebrating your love, and more about buying your significant other something to physically show them your love, with a material object.

Why I Celebrate Valentines Day

I’m engaged. I have a Valentine for the rest of my life. And I’m madly in love with him.

But I don’t need a holiday to celebrate our love. We celebrate it every day.

Sure, I love flowers. I love jewelry. But do I expect it on Valentines Day? Absolutely not.

All I need on Valentine’s Day is a simple text telling me he loves me while we are both at work, followed by a cozy dinner in and watching our favorite movies. Just like any other night.

In my world, love is much larger than a single day. Love isn’t in the material objects you receive. Love isn’t in the cards, the chocolates or the teddy bears.

Love is in that look between you and your partner when you’re together. Love are those words you never have to utter because your partner knows exactly what you’re thinking. Love is enjoying every moment together, no matter how large or small.

Love is enjoying your normal routine, whether you exercise together, go out to dinner often, or just enjoy sitting on the couch and watching your favorite movies over and over.

Love is so much more than a single holiday.

Which is why I celebrate Valentine’s Day every day.

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

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#MicroblogMonday #1 – Less Violence. More Love.

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


When I decided that I truly missed blogging, I began looking for new things to bring to the blog. Things that would allow me to write, and just be creative. Different things than ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ and talking about my day. And on a day when I was trying to determine what I wanted to start doing with this blog, a photo client’s most recent blog post popped up. I saw #MicroblogMonday as the title, read her post and then promptly read the description of what it is.

I knew this was exactly what I needed for this blog.

Microblog Monday #1Gratisography

It’s a mere 4 days until Christmas. I’ve yet to begin my shopping, and at this rate, it will probably mean gift cards for all. My mind has been too occupied. Too many things are bouncing around up there. I haven’t been able to concentrate on the holiday ahead of me. But each time I think “I really need to get some shopping done,” I remind myself that this holiday is not all about giving and receiving gifts.

It’s about spending time with the ones you love. And I’m very blessed to have a wonderful family who I adore.

What I really want for the holidays this year? To stop seeing all of the violence and hatred when I turn on the news in the morning. Between the terrorism and the attacks on those who protect us, the missing children and the massacre at a Pakistan school, even a cyberattack on Sony Pictures; a place that creates for our entertainment, I just want to see a world that can just get along. And I know we are in age where that won’t happen.

But the top stories each and every day are horrific, depressing and far from uplifting. Let’s change all of that this holiday. Let’s fill our world with happiness, joy and peace. While we may hope that one day that violence will end, right now we need to focus on the love that surrounds us all. Especially this time of year.

Less violence. More love.

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What I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self: Tips for Happiness, Overcoming Anxiety, and Tackling Life Head-On

Life goes by in an instant. One day, you’re 18 and off to your freshman year of college, and the next you’re nearing 30.

Recently, I’ve found myself looking back at my life so far. Nostalgic? Perhaps. But I’ve been thinking more about what I’ve learned so far in my short life, more than I have been reminiscing.

And as I thought about what I’ve learned, it made me think about the things I wish I could tell my younger self; the lessons I’ve learned, how to handle the bumps in the road and to remember that even those dark moments, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If I could go back in time, these are the things I would tell myself.

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Kick your worries to the curb. Worrying is normal. Letting your worries overcome your day is not. Some worries are worth fretting over. While others, like saying ‘no’ to someone isn’t worth it. Worrying takes up too much energy.

Don’t be afraid to try new things.  You may have a fear of what others think of you, but don’t let it hold you back from trying something you’ve always wanted to. Letting what others think of you get in the way of life will only cause missed opportunities and regret.

You will suffer from debilitating anxiety and depression. And you will get through it. Anxiety and depression run in your family. You’re bound to face it at some point. It just so happens that it will be your first semester of college and your first time living away from home. A very common time. You will battle with it all through college. Panic attacks and debilitating depression will become a normal part of your day. But in the end, you will get through it. You will learn how to cope. You will learn how to fight back. And in the end, you will want to help others simply by telling your story and letting others know they are not alone.

Exercise is necessary.  Just because you rode horses and practically lived at a barn, does not mean you will stay skinny and in shape forever. Learn to enjoy going to the gym, going for runs, and being outside. Because once you have a full-time job, finding time to exercise will become an excuse. And you will end up having at least 10 excuses every day for not going to the gym. If only you developed a routine in college, you’d be less likely now to fight the idea of working out.

Ask questions of family members before it’s too late. Your family members hold the key to your history. Learn everything you can before it’s too late. Find out more about your great grandparents. Ask your grandparents about their families. Listen intently. Your grandparents love to tell stories from their younger years.

You will know when you fall in love (and it will happen when you’re 22). It’s life-consuming, mind-altering and the best feeling in the entire world. When movies describe finding your soul mate, they most definitely got it right.

Friendships come and go. Some friendships will fade away on there own as you grow up and grow apart. Some will disintegrate before your eyes and there is nothing you can do. Others will end abruptly and painfully for various reasons. Others will grow stronger than ever, and you realize that they are some of the best people you know. Some will be new; that will develop over college and your career. And you can’t imagine life without them now.

Life will challenge you. As cliche as it sounds, life will throw you curveballs. And you will have times where you question how you are going to overcome them. But you will, and you will come out stronger than before. Life isn’t supposed to be easy. Without challenges, we as people aren’t able to grow and change. Take those challenges head-on and know that you will rise above.

Your best laid plans will change. At 16, you had a plan. You were going to graduate high school. Go to college. Become a teacher. And teach 2nd grade. Suddenly, as a freshman in college, you discover you would rather be writing, change your major, and focus on Journalism. As graduation nears, it hits you that print journalism is disappearing. You flounder. Take a few odd jobs, and end up at a company that changes your direction. You start a Master’s program in Marketing, and focus on a new career path. You end up in financial marketing for 2 years before landing a career that you are both passionate about and enjoy.

Sometimes those initial plans are meant to be disrupted. Because without the disruption, you may not end up where you are supposed to be.

You are responsible for your own happiness. The actions of others can make you happy, but they are not responsible for your happiness. Find ways to enjoy life. Find your passions. And do them everyday. Life is too short to not be happy.

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Why Horseback Riders Make Everything Better

Hello, all! My name is Susie, and I wax poetic about life, running, food, cooking, and how to live one’s life beyond expectations over at Suzlyfe.com. I am quite excited to be guest posting for Eryn today and especially to discuss a few of our favorite subjects, namely, horses, riding, life, and being freaking boss at all of it.

I rode and competed in hunter/jumpers and equitation from the age of 5 until 24. Riding, simply put, was my life. Looking back, there is nothing beyond sleeping and going to school that occupied more of my time–I rode just about every day of the week, multiple horses a day, and horse-showed on the weekends. The last 30 minutes of my time at school were dedicated to counting the minutes until it was time to rush to the car and get on the road, and I  can say that I can change clothes while driving. But that is neither here nor there.

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Riding was expensive, could be disappointing, infuriating, and even painful. It took me away from social engagements, put thousands of miles on my car, and seemed boorish to my peers. But everything that riding “took,” it gave back to me. All the heartache rendered from fallen dreams or the loss of a close equine friend, I got back in love, companionship, and the best of life’s lessons. Though I have not ridden in nearly 2 years, I take the education that I received in the barn, in the saddle, and in the paddock with me, and I have found that it has numerous applications to my life, and also to my pursuits in fitness.

Why Horseback Riders Make Better Everything:

We like to be on top. Riders are in the practice of pursuing perfection, but also knowing that there is no such thing–the hardest and best life lesson the equestrian must learn is that you are not perfect, though you may have the ride of your life. Sometimes, you can do everything to a t, and have it just not be your day; sometimes, you can do everything wrong, and it somehow just works.

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We know how to be early risers. No, this does not mean we are morning people. Also, we are the best road trip companions ever because we know all the good exits and we always have snacks.

Riding involves a variable and testy animal that may or may not want to cooperate. Like point number one, some times, your stomach just wants to buck and carry on, even when your legs are in perfect form.

Injuries suck. It is best to be preventative and aggressive in one’s therapy than to push one’s luck and end up in the stall for months on end. Soft tissue injuries really blow. But injections, alternative therapies, accupuncture, and massage can be very helpful.

Proper footwear, use of compression, and well-fitting equipment can take a so-so worker to a graceful athlete. And some are more naturally inclined towards to grace than others.

The early bird may have to feed, muck, and clean up, but they also get first use of the ring, the fences, and all the best brushes.

Carrots, apples, oats, sugar, and molasses are delicious.  And proper diet is key.

Cross training is indispensable, makes you a better athlete, hones your fitness, and prevents injury.

Waking up at 4 in the morning for a workout is made infinitely sweeter when it means being greeted by a friend. Speaking English at said hour is neither necessary nor encouraged.

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A good canter in an open field is terrestrial flying. But control is necessary.

Everyone needs a proper warm up and cool down, as well as a thorough grooming and washing. And equipment should be cleaned and well cared for.

Riding and running are both mental exercises in determination. Hold a sitting trot for extended periods of time, or post without stirrups. You’ll understand.

Sometimes the smallest muscle movements, and control over the smallest movements and weight shifts, are more effective than anything else in achieving desired results. Sometimes, you need a good thump for encouragement.

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Everyone needs a day off and a sense of a training plan.

Oh, I could go on and on, but I will leave you there, except for one last thought:

Riding, like running, fitness, teaches you to respect the beauty of life, of morning rides, of the crunch of feet on a path with no other sound. These pursuits teach us rhythm, sweat, dirt, polish, and panache. And though we may learn everything we possibly can about them, we will never master them. But we can keep trying 😀

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How have your pursuits prepared you for life and your other passions? What has left the greatest impression on you, that you still carry with you today?

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Growing Up Alex: Final Words

I can’t believe this is the final post in the “Growing Up Alex” series. I’m not going to say much, as I want this final post to be all about her, but I just want to thank everyone who has read, commented, liked, shared and been a part of this series. I am honored that this blog was able to be the venue for Alex to tell her story and oh-so-proud of her doing so. She’s an amazing, remarkable, beautiful, incredible, strong and inspiring person and I am lucky to be able to call her my friend.

So thank you Alex for telling your story and continuing to inspire us all. We are so proud of you. XO

On to the final post.

My Advice

THROW AWAY THE SCALE.

That is essential. Have your nutritionist or doctor weigh you blindly if you relapse. The number on the scale does you no good if you are trying to recover from an eating disorder. As an alternative, listen to how your body feels (do you have energy or are you lethargic? Are  you dizzy or do you feel clearheaded? Are you motivated or do you just want to hide away?).

A huge thing for me is just  allowing my clothes to let me know how I am doing. Yes, they may feel tighter if you have just taken them out of the wash…but they will stretch back to normal as the day progresses. I knew I was relapsing last year when my clothes that once fit were hanging off of me. This was a sign for me to take action. In the 2 times that I have made it in to recovery, my clothing never got to tight.

Your body, shockingly, will not magically gain weight just because you are not stepping on a scale every day. Do not let the numbers control you. Cut counting calories as best you can. This is very difficult to do but it does get easier over time and with practice. Base your daily intake on exchanges/food groups, not calories. Do not label ANY foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Food is fuel, and your body doesn’t know the difference [it just may know that some foods contain more nutrients when compared to others] between a muffin or multigrain toast. It just knows ‘energy’. Just keep things in moderation and be sure to have all of the food groups.

Eat breakfast! Yum!!! Do not read fitness magazines as they will tell you that you need to be consuming less than you actually do and, chances are, they will make you feel like you are lazy if you are not working out 2 hours a day, doing all of the latest exercise fads. The best alternative to these magazines is to find a nutritionist you feel comfortable with. They will reality check your distorted beliefs, they will help you structure a healthy meal plan and workout regimen, and if you need to be weighed, they are the best person to do it. Surround yourself with empathic, supportive people.

Repeat after me: Do the best you can with what you have. Progress, not perfection. You can start over at any time. Know in your mind what signs of relapse are for you and tell someone you trust [family member, friend, therapist, doctor, nutritionist, coworker) if you notice any of these signs. Do not be afraid to ask for help. You are not a failure if you relapse and you DO deserve help in regaining your recovery. If you feel faint, dizzy, hungry, etc…eat a snack. It isn’t weak of you to need food, perhaps you exerted more energy than you realized during the day. Some days we eat more than we do on other days and that is okay. Our bodies are very good at balancing out.

I had a lot of support over the years in my recovery and I want to thank these people who have supported me endlessly and have helped to me to recover.

First, my therapist and Dietician in NY who convinced me to finally pursue treatment: Hilary Brodski and Judi Zwang.

My amazing therapist from Montecatini who taught me how to challenge my distorted beliefs and not to worry about other people’s ‘stuff’, Nancy Staycer.

The best therapist I have ever had, who was there for me at the beginning of my recovery: Seanna.

One of the most amazing RD’s I have ever worked with and whom I would recommend to anyone, Shelley Woolsey.

My case manager at CEDC, even though she probably got sick of me after the 3rd time, Whitney Moore.

Some of the kick ass RC’s from California and CEDC. The amazingly strong women I met along the way, whom I will not name, so as to protect your privacy, but you know who you are…my first ever roommate whom loves cats just as much as I, the ‘condo clique’ and ‘Mitzi’, my bestfriend/soul sista, the kickass woman who knows how awesome our ‘mutual friend’ is, she who hails from No’Ho, the girls who shared an odd love of Matty in the Morning with me, the girls who participated in.

And I couldn’t ask for more supportive friends or family: My maid of honor Erin who was beyond supportive throughout this whole experience. Yili, who had only known me for a few months when I learned I was going to treatment and basically took me under her friendship wing full force. All of my amazing and wonderful friends who wrote and visited and haven’t run away (yet, ha!).

The supportive head of my graduate program, Dr Shtayermann.

Mom, Dad, Wendy and Randy for being my mom’s backbone, G&G, my aunts and uncle, the cousins [I left out an important part of my life because it is not my story to tell, but my youngest cousin passed away in 2007 and I think of him daily. I brought his picture to my room in residential], the recovery warriors of the blogosphere (haha!) and my wonderful fiance Steve and his dear son.

Oh, and my cats. They were, and are, the best therapy.

And Demi Lovato, whose music I embarrassingly loved before she came out and told her story. She was in treatment at the same time I was and while many think it may be PR for her, I think it  is wonderful that she is giving a voice to the evils and dangers of this disorder and that she is acting as a healthy and positive role model for young women. It doesn’t hurt that I still embarrassingly love her music.

Stay Strong 😉Photo on 2014-01-09 at 01.34 #2