Motivation Monday: Back to Basics

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a Motivation Monday post, and that was because, quite frankly, I’ve been feeling anything but motivated. Despite knowing better, I’ve been indulging in far too much junk food and skipping the gym (sometimes due to legitimate reasons, sometimes for reasons that I convinced myself were legit but were in fact just excuses). And here’s the thing about not working out: it makes me feel much more sluggish and tired, and then I have an even harder time getting myself to the gym. The lesson here? Even if you don’t feel like working out – do it anyway. Just suck it up and go do your workout. You’ll feel great if you do. If you skip it, you’ll feel worse, and you’ll be even more likely to skip the next one, too.

Workout Regret

 

 

I think the main issue that contributed to my falling off the healthy-habits wagon was being stressed out at work. When I’m stressed, I crave junk food and soothing cocktails. But if I give in and have that cheeseburger and fries, or that martini, the last thing I’m going to want to follow it up with is a good sweat session at the gym. I’ve read that exercise actually helps lower stress and improve mood, so a post-work trip to the gym is far better for soothing my soul after a hard day than eating crap could ever be. And let’s be honest: if I work out to deal with stress, I’ll look a lot better in a bathing suit in Hawaii next January than I would if I quieted my anxieties with pizza and chocolate.

I packed myself a healthy lunch and a bag with a change of clothes for Zumba after work. I picked up the latest issue of Shape Magazine (the very fabulous Jillian Michaels, who just happens to be one of my fitness heroes, is on the cover!) to read in the morning as a way to start off my day with a healthy mindset.

All this to say, I am renewing my resolve to lead a healthy lifestyle and I’m getting back on track. I’m excited to feel and look much better!

 

Seeing Red

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been sporting pretty much the same look: long, blunt-cut blonde hair. Then lately, I just hit a wall with my hair. Maybe it was because I’ve just turned 29 and was ready to start off a new year of my life with a change, or maybe I was just bored, but I decided I needed a hair makeover.

The last time I got my hair cut, I discovered Savvy Hair Studio in Marysville and fell in love with them. At the time I was just in for a trim, but was super impressed by how nice and knowledgeable all the stylists were, how relaxing the vibe was in the salon, and how pretty my hair turned out. Plus, the salon’s owner also owns Vinaccio Coffee in the same lot, and salon patrons are treated to free coffee while they receive their services, and a gift card for half the amount they spend on their salon visit. What’s not to love?

I made a hair appointment for last Sunday, scheduling myself for a cut. I thought it might be nice to get some layering in the front of my hair, especially since my long hair was heavy for summer. I had also been playing with the idea of going back to red hair, but hadn’t made any concrete decisions. Then, as I drove to the salon, I decided I wanted to go for it. Luckily, my stylist Nicole had time, and she expertly colored, cut, and styled my hair into what I thought was perfection!

New Hair 2

 

I feel amazing with my new hair! After having a bleachy blonde color for so long, the darker red feels a bit drastic, but not overwhelming. I love how the color matches my skin tone (I’m so pale and freckly, red hair looks very natural!), and I think the red brings out the greener tones in my hazel eyes.

Although most of the makeup colors I wear will work well with either red or blonde hair, I had seen some pictures of actress Lauren Ambrose wearing a peachy-colored lipstick that looked great with her red hair, so I decided to give that color a try. I picked up a Revlon Super Lustrous in Smoked Peach ($6.39 on drugstore.com), and paired it with just a hint of lip gloss. I kept my usual eyeshadow routine (I like a matte brown shadow and brown eyeliner), and I think the look turned out great!

I feel absolutely beautiful with my new look and I definitely feel more confident with it! It’s amazing how much a little thing like a new hairstyle can make me feel so fabulous! For all my Washington friends, if you want to refresh your look or get a whole new style, I definitely urge you to check out Savvy Hair Studio. They will make sure you leave happy and feeling like a million dollars!

My 29th

Yesterday was my 29th birthday. Hard to believe that I’m beginning the last year of the second decade of my life, that the much-hyped “30” is looming only 364 days ahead of me.

There are a couple cool things about my birthday. The first is that the date I was born, 7/14/84, is comprised all of numbers that are divisible by 7. Not surprisingly, 7 has always been my lucky number. The other really neat thing about my birthday, and the thing that is most special to me, is that I get to share my birthday with my wonderful Dad. I love that we get to share our birthday and have some awesome memories of growing up and spending the day together. My mom always took special care to make sure that we were each spoiled on our birthdays – when I was little, she even made two different birthday cakes! In fact, one of the things that made me saddest when I contemplated a move out of state was the possibility that I wouldn’t get to spend birthdays with Dad anymore. Happily, this birthday was my fourth since I’ve been away, and even if we haven’t been together on the exact date, my parents and I have gotten to see each other every year since I left.

This year, Mom and Dad flew up for a long weekend of some Seattle sun and fun a few days before mine and Dad’s birthday. We had a really nice time, enjoying breakfast together at Lowell’s at Pike Place Market, taking an Argosy Cruise through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (if you’ve never done this, I highly recommend it! So much fun and so informative!), and enjoying the sights on Whidbey Island, including a trip to Fort Casey and Deception Pass. In between exploring expeditions, we ate way too much, visiting some of our favorite Northwest restaurants like Anthony’s and Ray’s Boathouse, in addition to enjoying some backyard grilling and Paul’s very famous steaks. I think summertime is the best time of year for people to visit the Northwest. It’s so beautiful, they can’t help but fall in love!

Family on Argosy

 

At the Argosy Cruise

Another great thing about the Northwest is that I live much closer to my cousins, who live only a few hours away near Vancouver. We were able to get together last weekend for a birthday lunch and pedicures, and had a great time. I’ve really connected with my cousins since moving to Washington, and they’re now among the most special people in my life. My cousin Caitlyn couldn’t make it to lunch, but she sent me a beautiful card and the most adorable drawing of a cat, which is now in my cubicle at work where I can see it every day and smile.

 

Pedicures                          Pretty Toes

Yesterday was my actual birthday. I knew the moment I woke up what I wanted to do first: I called Dad, and we swapped stories of plans for the day and talked for awhile. I was a little sad that I wasn’t going to be there for the birthday party he was having with the rest of my family that day (Mom made her famous potato salad AND an ice cream cake! I confess, I almost hopped a plane to California!).

Paul made sure I had a spectacular day. We went to Blazing Onion for lunch, as my main requirement was that I wanted to eat somewhere that had a patio so we could sit in the sun while we ate. After lunch, we spent a leisurely afternoon in the backyard, soaking up the sun. In the evening, Paul took me out for a nice dinner at Arnie’s, a seafood restaurant in Edmonds. I honestly don’t think I could ever get tired of seafood! Paul and I had never been to Arnie’s, and after our dinner there I would definitely go back. The food was delicious and the service was very attentive. We finished off the evening with chocolate mint cupcakes that Paul brought home from Simply Sweet Cupcakes, my very favorite  cupcake bakery in Washington.

Today, I came into work to find adorable desk decorations arranged for me by my boss. Since my coworker and friend Bob also shares my birthday, he had decorations of his own waiting for him. We got to work, and mid-morning I received a call from the front desk that there was something waiting for me. My wonderful friend Kate sent me a bouquet of flowers for my birthday! She knows how much I like receiving flowers and she’s out of town for work, so she made sure I still had something special (hurry back anyways, Kate. It’s lonely without you!).

Over the last week, I’ve also received birthday presents and cards, sweet text messages, and thoughtful Facebook posts, wishing me a happy birthday. For everyone who thought of me, thank you so much. You have no idea how much your love means to me and how happy it has made me feel!

Thank you to all my wonderful family and friends for making my birthday so special; for all the thoughtful gifts, for the time spent together, for the lovely birthday wishes!