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7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

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1. HopdoddyMy roommate and I enjoyed a three-day weekend, as our district gives us the holiday for MLK Day. A local burger joint in Austin typically has a line wrapped around the building to get in, so you wanna bet we took advantage of the opportunity to stand in a shorter line for a late lunch/early dinner. We indulged in their famous margaritas, burgers, and truffle fries. I felt only a little guilty, but this served as my one meal for the day — and a mighty fine one it was.

2. Fire Under My Butt. This week, I am newly inspired to write more and submit my writing without that fear of rejection that has held me back for all too long. With the support from the right people around me, and finally feeling confident enough that I can survive rejection, I am ready to take the risks in my life that can’t ever possibly feel like I end up on the losing end, no matter what happens as a result.

3. Date Night.  Thursday was just one of those days that started out wrong and just didn’t ever turn around, with little thing after little thing letting me down. I asked the guy I’m dating if I could see him that night because his presence makes me forget about all of my worries. Not only did he follow through and take me out to dinner, he impressed me with his depth of understanding, empathy, and support. We ate some really good Tex-Mex, laughed a lot, and listened to a pretty bad-ass mariachi band. When my mind freed a bit from my bad day, I finally allowed myself to share a bit. I struggle, because of a trauma from my past, when it comes to asking for what I need or sharing anything other than a good mood. However, he let me know that not only is it important for me to do that, he needs me to do that, even when it’s scary. Just when I worried I may have said too much, he thanked me for great conversation. And my bad day — completely forgotten.

4. When Vulnerability Feels Good.  On Saturday, I opened up about so much that often scares me, and instead of feeling that miserable vulnerability hangover, it felt warm. When I’m open with him, I feel accepted. Instead of it scaring him away, he expresses liking me even more. This of course, is very personal, but I wanted to share just a bit of that because it was truly the highlight of my week. I am going to sound like such a dork saying this, but I have to pinch myself to realize I really am dating such a handsome, fun, kind, and supportive man. And it feels pretty darn amazing for him to think the same about me. Of course, this is about three months new — though even if it doesn’t work out long-term, I’m enjoying every second of it, especially now that I am finally allowing myself to. It’s allowing me to realize what I can have and truly deserve.

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5. Relay for Life Kickoff.  A big group of friends from work (just a few of us, above) and I went to a Relay for Life Kickoff at a local brewery Saturday night. The ticket price went toward cancer research, and we got to enjoy all the food and beer we wanted while listening to the live bands in really good company.

6. Old Friends + New Friends.  After the kickoff, my roommate and I were still itching to continue the party. We met up with the guy I’m dating and his friends, as they were out with a buddy who was in town for the weekend. I can’t express enough how happy it made me to see my friend and his friends merge so well, especially as in the past, unfortunately not everyone I’ve dated has been so open to getting to know my friends for some reason. My roommate is one of my favorite people, and of course it means the world to me that the important people in my life care about her too and treat her well. When my friends and family are happy, I’m at my happiest.

7. Football Sunday.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I truly enjoyed a lazy Sunday watching the first championship football game with my guy, and then the second one with my roommate. Am I becoming a football watcher? Eegats!

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


6 Comments

7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. It’s LoveMy job, silly. I had a moment at work this week where I sat back and realized, “Hey, I’m good at this. I love this. I’m exactly where I need to be.” And that’s always a good feeling. Yes, I do realize that might sound a bit cocky, but when you have job as big as molding minds (yep, making it worse) where it’s easy to go home feeling defeated, you embrace these moments. Plus, I got to enjoy a three-day weekend — which is why I’m just NOW writing this post. Ha! I enjoyed it a little too much. Oops.

2. It’s Official. I received confirmation for my Europe trip this summer! It’s done. Nailed down. And I’m stoked. In June, I’ll be traveling to London, Paris, and various cities in Switzerland and Germany. I’d better start practicing my fake accents.

3. Patios in Winter.  One of the many bonuses of living in Texas is that the winters are short. As soon as I wish for boots and scarf weather, I’m almost immediately praying the cold away. Friday after work, my friends and I enjoyed some much-needed sun and sips at a patio-friendly bar.

I had to take a picture of the .2 seconds I was in the lead.

I had to take a picture of the .2 seconds I was in the lead.

4. Rock & Bowl.  In a couple of weeks, my work is holding a late holiday party at a bowling alley, so I thought I’d brush up on my bowling skills… or lack there-of. I asked the guy I’m dating to go with me along with two friends from work, and we had a blast… laughing at how terrible I was. Typically, I’m competitive and a really bad sport, but I decided not to go that route this time around and went for style points instead. I think I might have won. Ha! Dancing down the lane and shaking my tail-feathers seemed more my forte.

5. Brunch.  The only way to recover after a night of spontaneous partying is to continue the party. Bloody Marys (seriously, how does one pluralize that?) and coffee revived my life-force.

6. Two-Steppin’.  The guy I’m dating invited me out Saturday night, where we two-stepped the night away, and then later in the night boogied down to some Al Green. Boogied. down. I love that most of the time when we are together we are dancing. I’m a dork, and you bet I had a legit conversation with him about how happy I am that he is a fun guy. When life can be stressful, it’s nice to have a partner who you know will make you feel light and good.

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7. Champs.  After getting some fun news this weekend, I decided that on a three-day weekend, I needed to take advantage and celebrate with a bottle of champagne. My roommate and I went to dinner at La Condesa and then met up with the guy I’m dating and a friend of hers to pop a bottle. It felt good to be celebrated and share with people who make me happy. Happiness is NOT overrated.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


4 Comments

7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. Back to WorkIt would be a lie to say I wasn’t dreading the return to reality this past week and going back to work after a long winter vacation. However, I’m always surprised at how happy I am to once again interact with my amazing coworkers and see my students’ sweet faces again.

In the fitness challenge group, we share sweaty selfies of ourselves to hold each other accountable. This is me on the floor, unable to get up. Ha!

In the fitness challenge group, we share sweaty selfies of ourselves to hold each other accountable. This is me on the floor, unable to get up. Ha!

2. 21DFX. Just in time, I started another challenge group this week with my Beachbody crew. After indulging a little too much over the holidays, it feels that much better to return to a healthy body. Each time I face the same challenges in getting back in the swing of things, but it’s a great reminder to never lose myself and my quest for living a happier, healthier life by getting too far away from the long-term goal of having my best body yet.

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3. Just Another Casual Thursday.  One of my best friends in Austin and I got together Thursday night for what she deemed, tongue in cheek, as just another casual Thursday. With wine flights and a gorgeous pizza on the table, we caught up with each other’s lives and had a great time.

4. Friday Return.  In my last post, I talked about how good it felt that someone made real time for me before going out of town, and again it felt great once again to get real time as soon as he returned.

5. Dinner Party.  The guy I’m dating invited me to his friends’ football watching and dinner party on Saturday. I’m not the world’s biggest football fan, in fact, I may not even be able to call myself a fan at all, but it’s a social thing, and I’m never unhappy watching it with fun human beings. One of the perks of dating a great guy, is that most of the time they have other great people surrounding them, and this one is no exception. He has a solid group of friends, and I had a great time hanging out with the women while the men watched the game. I truly enjoyed talking to them and helping them prepare an Italian dinner and desserts.

6. Hair.  I’m the world’s most indecisive at choosing a hairstyle and sticking with it. My locks have been a light golden brown/blonde for a long time — probably the longest I’ve kept a hairstyle in a long time because my hair stylist nailed the beautiful color. I decided to back to my roots for the winter, and almost immediately missed that golden color she worked so hard to create (she’s an artist!). Luckily, she knows me better than I often know myself and kept the darkness minimal and almost the opposite of permanent because she knew I’d want to go back sooner than later. Little did she expect, it was my next visit to the salon. Ha! Oops. Oh well, I love it. I also got a surprise visit from my twin sister while I was at the salon, which completely made my day.

7. Movie Night.  My roommate and I saw the movie Sisters Sunday evening. Not only was it good to spend time with the roommie (you’d be surprised at how NOT often we see each other), we laughed a good laugh as well.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


6 Comments

7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. Home Sweet HomeAfter spending a few nights away from home for the holiday, I was happy to return to my own place with my own bed and my own things. Despite loving the time spent with my family, sometimes it’s those little things that make life so good. This past Monday, I had a very minor surgery. My doc said I had a crazy pain tolerance (my sis says I’m now primed for a future home birth — ha!), but the meds made me feel less than mighty. I recovered by lounging around my apartment listening to my new Sam Cooke album I had purchased with a Christmas gift-card from one of my students and watched a marathon of HBO’s Girls. Aaaaah, recovery isn’t so bad.

2. Ladies Who Lunch. Despite still feeling puny the next day, it was nice to get out of the house for a bit, even if just for an hour, and meet a girlfriend downtown for lunch. It was a nice change of pace from lounging around in PJs for the last several days. Sometimes when I’m off work and on vacation, I need a good reason to wear anything other than lounge or athletic wear. Real pants felt good. The company felt good, too, of course.

3. College Town.  By Wednesday, I was feeling almost like myself again, so I was happy to get an invitation to go out. We drove out to a nearby college town that was nearly a ghost town with the students away for the holiday. It was a half-way point to meet their friends who were here from out of town, and I was happy to go along for the ride. We ate good food at a so-so restaurant and then partied like we were making up for the college kids being out of town. Again, the change of pace felt good, until the morning after… They just don’t make livers like they use to!

4. NYE.  NYE was the perfect pace for me this year. It’s typically one of my least favorite holidays, as it almost never lives up to the expectations I once had of it. Driving scares me on this night (besides the drunkards, considering my family once ended up in an icy ditch one year, saying Happy New Year in a tilted Greyhound, it’s a wonder! — but that’s another story), and the pains of not getting a New Year’s kiss, no matter how cliché, is never-the-less a major bummer. Luckily, this NYE was exactly what I had hoped it would be. It was low-key but good. A guy I’m dating invited me to a small dinner party with his endearing friends, and the host, who is a chef, made us this incredible meal. We sat around watching “Drunk History,” and like the true thirty-somethings we are, we discovered the New Year only just after midnight. Whoops. Anticlimactic much? Whatever, we’ve done this before, and we just enjoyed each other in the present moment rather than a cheesy countdown watching the ball drop. I’d take that any year. My date and I finished the night listening to Sinatra and drinking his favorite whiskey, and no one had to worry about missing out on a New Year’s kiss. So far, I’m pretty okay with 2016.

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5. New Year, New Me.  I spent the first day of 2016 mostly by myself, which is actually exactly how I wanted to spend it. In this new year, I am comfortable in my own skin, and because of that, I enjoy the presence of my own company. My hope is that, instead of that sounding strange or vain, that it comes across rather as (as much as I shy from this buzzy word), self-assured. I made myself a full-blown semi-traditional meal (all for myself), complete with black-eyed peas, collard greens, candied onions, garlic, bacon, feta, and a poached egg over brown rice. I can’t lie, it was super delicious, and I’m not even a fan of black-eyed peas. I enjoyed it while thumbing through the 2016 edition of the Austin Bucketlist and dreamed/manifested a  really f*cking good year. It’ll happen, alone, coupled up, doesn’t matter — I’m in charge, and it feels amazing.

6. Game Night.  A friend invited me and a great group of people over for a night of Cards Against Humanity Saturday night. We drank warm (spiked!) apple cider, gorged on pizza, and enjoyed each other’s company on one of the last remaining days of the winter break. It was a rainy, cold night, so we sat around their large patio table covered in blankets, but the warm drinks and laughter kept us feeling pretty darn cozy.

7. “The Way Every Sunday Should Be Spent.”  I’ll make an attempt at being really open here, without revealing anything uncomfortable — which is sometimes a delicate balance, though leaving this out would risk dishonesty. Sometimes signals are annoyingly vague, and sometimes they are pretty darn clear. When faced with juxtaposed actions from different people (past vs. present), sometimes it is only the new contrasted action that clears up the old. I’ve learned that words are much more hollow and that action is akin to EVERYTHING. Allowing someone to tell you who they are and what they want is so 2015; let them show you. Something a little less vague — when someone truly wants to communicate or see me, no matter how busy, they will make time — they will find it. And even though he was busy and soon leaving to go out of town, someone made real time for me, and we spent the day (as we both claimed) “the way every Sunday should be spent.” I may be a slow learner, but knowing what feels right and good is the best crash course.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren