How To: Get out of a rut

I know I’m not the only one who feels stuck sometimes: like I’m not moving forward, stagnant… some days I just wake up feeling gross, fat, alone, etc etc like every other human being. The point is not that we all feel this way occasionally (although it’s true and doesn’t mean you have low self-esteem because you don’t always wake up like this), but that it’s possible to change your attitude and feel better.

The following is a list of things that make me feel better and ready to face the day. Any combination of these (or none of them) may work for you. Here we go:

  1. Get out of bed as soon as you wake up. I have a tendency to want to stay in bed all morning. Sometimes it’s fine. Sometimes it makes me feel gross. Get up as soon as you wake up, then make the bed immediately. This will make you feel better.
  2. Shower and shave. There’s something so calming about cleanliness. Shaving always makes me feel so clean!
  3. Go somewhere. Going out with friends is a way for me to feel a part of society and not alone. You never want to go, because it’s easier to stay at home and wallow, but make yourself and you won’t (probably) regret it!
  4. Go somewhere alone. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house. I recommend taking a book to a cafe.
  5. Get a good workout. Just one good workout will improve your spirits. I mean a good one, though–where you push yourself and really try!
  6. Try a new routine. Mix it up! Try a different perfume/lotion/shampoo. Don’t just do things you always do in a different order (although that would help too), try something new. Add a jog to your morning routine. Buy new foods. Eat something different for breakfast! On that note:
  7. Cook a meal. Even if it’s just for you, there’s something so rewarding about creating a beautiful and delicious meal from a few ingredients.
  8. Take a chance. Doesn’t matter what it is. Do something not just new, but that you would never do normally. Ask a guy on a date instead of waiting to be asked. Wear that dress you never thought you could pull off. Be daring, darling.
  9. Put the phone down. Take just an afternoon/evening to turn off your phone and enjoy no electronics. Really try to connect to the people around you.
  10. Smile. Find something to laugh about. Don’t have anything? Fake it. You’ll feel it soon enough.

My favorite quote when I’m feeling a bit depressed is something I saw on a tweet from Lea Michele. Her boyfriend died recently, so I found the advice especially meaningful:

Fullscreen capture 12282013 52917 PM.bmpThis is one of my favorite quotes. It hit me so hard, I wrote it on my mirror! There are a million things you can do to shake the bad feelings away. Find your own way of doing things and make yourself happy! ❤

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Vegan for Two Weeks

One of my best friends was vegan for a while (now she’s 100% pescatarian for over a year) and said as a vegan, she’s never felt better. I already don’t eat a lot of red meat, but I’m in love with chicken and eggs and sushi. The thought of giving those up is anxiety-inducing.

Honestly, I just want to see if I can do this and stick it out for two weeks, then record my progress and feelings.

Two Week Vegan Challenge

So the plan is to eat healthy, vegan foods and still go about my daily activities. I want to see how this affects me. I want to keep track of my progress here. I’ll be posting the difference between my starting and ending weight, as well as my waist/hip measurements, and how I feel as far as energy and self-perception.

I’m not confident enough to post any actual numbers, but I’ll let you know my progress!

The Food

All my recipes are taken from PETA’s 2-week vegan meal plan. Politics aside, they know veganism like no one else. I decided to do this at 10:30 pm on a Monday, so my week starts on Tuesday (11/12/13) to Tuesday (11/26/13), two days before Thanksgiving.

The Feelings

I’m going to post every day in some fashion (vlog or traditional) to describe the meals I had, their recipes, and how I feel.

The Goals

I want to see if I can stick it out for two weeks, and if I can maintain my day-to-day routines with sufficient energy on a vegan diet.

The Research

I started with PETA’s guide to becoming vegan/vegetarian. I skipped all the celebrity propaganda, and pretty much only read pages 4-6, 14-22, because this post isn’t about addressing that part of veganism.

Vegans don’t eat any product that comes from an animal: meat, fish/shellfish, dairy products, eggs, or honey.

I need to check labels for common nonvegan ingredients, such as: casein, carmine/carminic acid, beeswax, gelatin, lactose (but lactic acid is mostly always vegan), lanolin, vitamin D3 (D2 is okay, though), and whey.

Vegan-approved proteins

  • whole grains
  • oatmeal
  • beans
  • peanut butter
  • brown rice
  • peas
  • lentils
  • tofu
  • soy milk
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • faux meats (this makes me nervous)

vegan-approved dairy alternatives (calcium)

  • broccoli
  • beans
  • “many leafy green vegetables”
  • almonds
  • soy milk
  • tofu
  • calcium-fortified orange juice

Other Stuff

“A majority of the foods you already eat are vegan, including many cookies, chips, breads, crackers, pastries, cereals, soups, and candies.” (p. 15)

Oh, good.

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How To Clean Your Room

If you’re anything like me, you have a very difficult time cleaning my room. I get distracted by things I find that I haven’t seen in a while, I get lazy, I get overwhelmed–and so my room usually stays in a state between messy or almost clean.

Saturday, I decided to change this and I now have the Ultimate List on How To Clean Your Room (click it to download the checklist).

Before you even start, have the mindset “I’m not going to be lazy.” Also, go ahead and assume you WILL NOT SIT DOWN. Sitting down is like an arrow to the heart of your motivation. And open your curtains already. It’s dark in here and we do better in well-lit environments.

  1. Minimize the things that distract you. I shut down my laptop, but it in the back with the chords and put it in my closet. I dock my phone and play music. You know what things distract you, or tempt you to “ohh, I just am going to do this and I’ll start cleaning my room in a minute.” Then an hour goes by and you’ve lost all desire to clean your room–so it just weighs on your mind and you trip on things…YOU GET MY POINT.
  2. Get a trash bag and put it on your door handle. Get your laundry basket and put it somewhere close. The trashcan in my room is maybe a foot high, so it’s not going to hold very much trash. Save yourself some time and get a trash bag. If your laundry basket is in your closet, do yourself a favor and put it close to where you’re going to be working. Otherwise, you have to gather clothes and travel, instead of being able to pick things up one by one and throw them in the basket immediately.
  3. Get rid of things that don’t belong. Anything that doesn’t belong in your room is the easiest to identify and move. Examples would be dishes, things you’ve borrowed from a friend, or anything that’s made its way to your room that doesn’t have a place there.
  4. Handle your linens. The best way to feel like you’ve made some progress is to make your bed. I only have one set of sheets (who only has one set, I mean really), so I take them off and immediately take them and my pillowcases and put them in the washing machine. I put different pillow cases on my pillows, then fold all the extra blankets that ended up on the floor and put them away, or just on my bed until I finish making it.
  5. Sort the clothes. If you’re like me, there is just a ton of who knows what on your floor. It can get overwhelming. It’s easiest when you can focus on one thing at a time. Dirty clothes = in hamper; clean clothes = on (what should be) your bare or made bed. If you don’t know, it’s dirty. Do us a favor and do go around sniffing your clothes to see which pile you should throw them into.
  6. Leave the clothes alone for now and pick up everything else on your floor. Trash goes in your handy trash bag on the door handle. Put the other things back in their place, or at least near it. For example, I had a bunch of nail polish bottles on my floor. They belong on my vanity, which is completely disorganized, so I put them near my vanity to clean later.
  7. Don’t get distracted! You’ll probably see papers from old assignments, old journals, photos or books you had forgotten all about and desperately want to look through. If you see an empty picture frame and say, “oh, I know just the photo to put in there,” then go look through your photos, pick the right one, print it and put it in the frame–you’ve just wasted a lot of time and probably lost all your motivation to finish cleaning. At least, that’s what happens to me. Put things you want to look at later where they go. If you forget after you’re finished cleaning, you’ll eventually remember and know exactly where to find said thing. If you don’t remember, it must not have been that important–and you probably should have thrown it away!
  8. By now, your floor should be empty of any clothes, shoes, books, trash, etc. Pick up any bobby pins that might have fallen, or big things that might get stuck in a vacuum. Also, this is the time to make sure you’ve cleaned under your bed.
  9. After you finish wondering how all those things got under your bed, change your linens from washer to dryer, and throw all the clothes in your hamper into the washing machine.
  10. Vacuum! Now your room should look pretty darn close to clean, except for certain places that may need organization, like your counter or bookshelves. Oh, and the massive pile of clean clothes on your bed.
  11. Get some hangers ready and start hanging the ones that need to be hung, and folding the rest. Once you get a big enough pile of each, start putting them away. If you run out of hangers, get creative and put more than one piece of clothing per hanger. I usually put at least two skirts per hanger.
  12. Put away the clothes where they go and go switch your laundry.
  13. Make your bed with your freshly cleaned sheets, etc. or fold them and put them away.
  14. Organize spaces you left messy until your laundry is done.
  15. Repeat steps 11-14 until your laundry is finished and your room is organized!

Look at you! What a clean room you have! Now you can add those photos to those picture frames and waste more time on Facebook, all with the accompanying feeling of accomplishment and calmness that comes with a clean room.

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Monday With Maria: How To Shop at a Thrift Store

There is nothing better than a sale. Am I right?! There is nothing like getting an amazing piece of fashion. What makes it even sweeter getting it at an amazing price. Some of the best priced items are at local thrift stores!

I know what you’re thinking, “Ew, I don’t want to wear people’s old clothes.” But trust me,  you can find some amazing things! Today I will show you some of my thrift store finds and how to shop at a thrift store.

This is me and my friend, Kristina (On left). The black blouse I got is from Goodwill and it was only $4.99! The red accent belt I got was only $1.99! They were in such amazing shape. I paired them with a gold and pearl necklace (forever21), jeans (forever21), and gold sandals (local boutique).

This is one of my personal favorite bloggers and YouTube Beauty Gurus, DulceCandy87. She gives her tips on how to shop at thrift stores.

Here’s a list of the top things you need to remember:  How To Shop at a Thrift Store:

1. Give yourself enough time to be able to look through the store

2. Pace yourself, there are a lot of gross, old things, but there are a lot of nice things too!

3. You should probably leave bras, underwear and socks where they are 😉

4. Don’t only look in your size. Look in all sizes, and both sexes. You can easily add a belt to something that may be a couple of sizes too big.

5. Even if you don’t take home something amazing, make sure to go back! They get new things all the time.

Next Monday I will show you guys how to decorate a custom wine glass. Perfect for New Years Eve!

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