What Feeds Your Soul?

Many years ago a friend {who had the enviable energy of the Energizer Bunny} said to me, “energy breeds energy”. This little tidbit has stuck with me for over 20 years. Recently it has repeatedly popped into my head as I am finding things that feed my soul and feeling how that energy grows and grows based on the excitement and fire within me. It’s like this perpetual effect. It’s pretty amazing really.

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Today I had coffee with a friend. We met to talk about the 21-Day Fix as she is starting her first challenge on Monday. I have done two challenges in the past year with the same coach that she signed up with. I knew there were some things that I could tell her to make her start an easier one. This coffee date had nothing to do with me but I left feeling so rejuvenated. Now, let me just say that I always feel refreshed after hanging out with friends. Today was a little different. My friend told me how awesome I was and how much I helped her. She said that I could be a coach. What? Me? Why? By sharing what I know. How I cope. What motivates me. What brings me joy. By lifting her up and offering encouragement. I think we all can scoop up energy and little life lessons from others. As women, we definitely lean on each other for support. A lot.

So what advice did I give her? To take care of herself. Yes. Seems basic, right? But it’s so much harder than you’d think. We as grown-ups – as women – as moms – as wives – give and give and do and do and we aren’t overly good at saying no because oh the guilt. Guess what? If your tank is empty, what good can you do? You can’t continue to give without fuel in your own tank.

Last February I challenged myself to be active every day for the whole month. I named the challenge, “Fit in February”. This meant that I needed some kind of physical activity every single day. Some days I got a walk in, other days I did a workout video but I moved my body every.single.day. How did I feel at the end of the month? Recharged. It was so mentally empowering that I stuck to something but it was also so good for my emotional well-being. I’ve learned that moving my body is a must. I have stayed pretty on track with the exception of summer {which entailed so much running around and travel in general that I wasn’t stagnant by any means} but I picked it back up consistently in August and I feel good. Do I look like a super model? Nope. Do I feel good? Yep.

So what feeds my soul?

  • Moving my body. I love walking. I aim for 2-4 miles a day. I’ve also dabbled in yoga over the years. I have recently added that back into my schedule. I sweat like I never have before, I move my body and challenge myself. I leave a class feeling like I am a whole new person. In really sweaty clothes.
  • Date days with my husband. He is a firefighter so his schedule is a bit more open. Date days when we are both off of work are easier than night dates when the kids are home. Reconnecting is huge.
  • Family dinners, game night and vacations. I really enjoy my family and the times when all 4 of us can just be together are rare. Time is fleeting and I am very aware of how much longer I might have my boys at home for. I really try and take advantage of my time with them.
  • Time with friends. I really love girlfriend time. Dinners and coffee are the norm. We’ve laughed and cried together. The amount of support and girl power is priceless. I love my village.
  • Seeing my kids happy. I encourage happiness.
  • An organized home. Yes, really. Something about this really makes me happy and content.

Doing all of the above things fill my tank. Some days are busier than others and we live in a very over scheduled world but try. Try to carve out some time for you. Do some of the things that fill you up. You don’t have time for a 30-minute workout, do 10. Walk around the block. Tackle one thing on your to-do list. Meet up with a friend for coffee. Little things can be a game changer. Take care of yourself. See how you feel. I promise, feeding your own soul will breed energy which is what you need to take care of those around you in the best way possible.

Feed your soul and watch how it changes the ability of what you can give others.

20 Things and Challenges

Well hello and Happy New Year! New year, new goals – right? I know that for some people the fresh year means a clean slate. Time to start anew. Others are just looking to change their holiday habits {reintroducing exercise and sugar detox mostly}. Others aren’t looking for quick fixes but lifestyle overhauls. I think the key to success is baby steps but I also think that some challenges thrown in are fun.

 

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The Daily Quotes

I’m currently doing a couple of different challenges.

  • A 7 day healthy eating challenge with my sister in law. If you know how much sugar I’ve inhaled over the past month, then you know how much my body needs a reset. #imissmyicedcoffeewithvanilla #whatsthatgreenstuff
  • A 31 day challenge with Rachel Hollis over at The Chic Site. I signed up for this one a few days ago and I am getting daily email updates. It’s a lot of the basics – eat better, drink more water, move your body and I love that she added in journaling 10 things you are grateful for at the end of every the day.
  • A 31 day blog challenge. This just popped up on my Pinterest feed today so I am a day behind but you have to start somewhere, am I right? So each day has a topic. Follow along, it’ll be fun 🙂 Click here for the full 31 day list.

20 things about me:

  1. My full name is Gabrielle Erin, I went by Erin up until I was 15 years old. I changed towns and schools so I figured I would just make the switch. I was always correcting Gabriel {the boy version} to Gabrielle and then asking teachers to call me Erin. Of course it was immediately shortened to Gabby.
  2. I am the mom to two boys – ages 11 and almost 14.
  3. I love Instagram {click to follow me}. It’s my favorite form of social media.
  4. I love home decor.
  5. I work part time for a tax office that also does financial planning.
  6. HGTV is on in my house a lot. Fixer Upper is my favorite.
  7. My husband is a firefighter.
  8. I am super emotional.
  9. Sometimes I wish I was less emotional. It’s draining.
  10. I am taking a class on anxiety and depression this month because of my intense emotions.
  11. I think taking care of yourself is HUGE.
  12. I love walking and I try my best to get out for 2-4 miles a day. I love my FitBit and aim for 10k steps a day.
  13. I always walk with my pit bull rescue, Ollie.
  14. I couldn’t survive every day life without my village of girlfriends. They are instrumental in my sanity. Seriously.
  15. I am a big sister to two sisters and one brother.
  16. I have 2 adorable nephews and a set of twin nieces on the way. I love being an auntie.
  17. My house is home base for the holidays. I love it.
  18. I love organizing. It makes me feel so accomplished.
  19. Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places and it’s only 1.5 hours from my house.
  20. Fall is my favorite season {if you already know me, then you are well aware of this}.

Thank you for stopping by! I wish you a goal kicking 2017.

Ramblings

Turning 40 was kinda big for me. Now I am 42 but seriously – 40 was pivotal. In a weird kinda way. I’ve always joked that if I live till I’m 80 and die in my sleep, then I have lived a good life. BUT then 40 became that 1/2 to 80 mark and it felt like I didn’t have enough time. Silly right? Because there are no guarantees and anything could happen to any of us at anytime and we really don’t get the final say so in when, where and how we leave this world. Still. It kinda felt like this change took over me. All of a sudden, life became more fragile. I have always been a bit of an old soul and felt that I could relate to people of all ages. I had this realization that no matter our age, we are still who we are.

Losing friends around my age to sudden heart attacks and seeing my dad pass away – these things changed me. Losing a parent is a deep, deep loss. All morning I have had a song in my head that my dad loved. It’s kinda strange. I heard it last week on the radio but I woke up with it on repeat in my head. What does that mean? Does it mean anything? I am not a religious girl but I’d like to believe that my dad is somewhere good surrounded by his loved ones. I’d like to think that he shows up in my life in silly ways such as music or the random squirrel appearances {my dad had a thing about feeding squirrels so now when I see them, I think of him}.

Sometimes life just feels heavy. The world feels heavy. Human kindness is sometimes lacking. But sometimes, it’s beautiful. Sometimes the news shares stories that literally crush me. Awful, violent stories of people hurting people. The stories of children being harmed completely crush my soul. Some of these things are just beyond comprehension. Why? How can people be so hateful and mean? It’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s so easy to feel consumed by these stories and find fear in them happening to those you love the most. Having conversations with my kids about kidnappers and what to do should someone ever try and grab them. These are the conversations that break my heart. But it’s a part of our big scary world.

And the hate – don’t even get me started on that one. We are in an election year and boy are the haters out there. I have a rule, I don’t talk politics or religion with people Those conversations often get heated and ugly. I am not gonna change your mind and you aren’t gonna change mine. It’s a scary time though. I do feel that we need someone with kindness and compassion to rule this country – and maybe some humor. I think I’ll vote for Jimmy Fallon. Isn’t that an option? 😉 Kidding {sorta}.

As my grandpa would say, “Always keep your guard up”. He always said it as he waved both his arms in the air, I can still visualize it. I miss that man. See? Loss. It’s a tough one. Here come those tears that show up almost daily. The “I miss you” tears. They come and go at the most random times. They might show up for a second when I hear a certain song and then they are gone. I have pretty much resigned myself to wearing waterproof mascara. I have always been a crier. I wear my emotions – good, bad and ugly. So with that being said, I am not an Eeyore. I laugh. A lot. Life is full of good. It really is. I just feel every.single.emotion very deeply. If you know me then you are very aware of this. I cry, I laugh, I use sarcasm and cuss words to express myself. Sometimes I just have to have an emotional outburst {not in public – usually on the phone with a friend – thank you Stacie and Lisa}, to clear my mental space of whatever is consuming it. It’s like an emotional purge.

So my brain is often on emotional overload and I am always talking myself off the ledge. What I mean by this is that I am always trying to push away the worrying of the ‘what if’s’ in life. I am really an optimistic, glass half full kind of girl but people – there are clowns terrorizing our world! They are threatening schools and making children afraid. These are the issues that we could use a lot less of. Seriously, clowns. This has been a big topic with schools even sending home emails to parents about it. Sigh. Can’t we all just be nice and get along and not scare the crap out of people? I guess diversity is what makes the world go round but at this moment, I am burned out on the negative diversity. How about you?

I know that I haven’t been here in awhile and I always vow to write more. This post is obviously a bit raw and real but I just kinda needed to put it out there. Don’t worry, I will be back to decor and recipes soon enough! Thanks for listening.

Happy New Year

Hi friends,

Once again I have gone rogue. I miss writing. So often I find myself journaling in my head about the things I’d like to write about here on the blog. Then time gets away from me — again.

I hope you all had a great holiday season and are kicking off the new year in whatever way makes you happy {resolutions, clean slate, fresh start or just treating it as another month, another day, another year}. This was the first year in I don’t know how long that I was in bed well before midnight. I am night owl almost always {and a ‘sleep in’ kinda girl when I can to make up for it}. The night before New Years Eve was a late one for us due to my husband’s work Christmas party. I couldn’t hang for two nights in a row. Yawn. We did manage to have a nice dinner with friends. It was some much needed catch up time with some of my favorite people. It was really a perfect way to end 2014.

I kicked off 2015 with a Starbucks and an almost 5 mile walk with a friend. Perfect. We finished it with a little dinner at B.J.’s {Pizookie anyone?}.

So I don’t really like to make resolutions but I  do like to set some goals – in hopes of achieving them – for the New Year. I really use the new year as my start because October – December are pretty busy months around here. I host several things including a Favorite Things Party, an annual craft event and our annual adults only Christmas Party. That with house guests sprinkled in through-out and we are busy. A good busy. A busy that I really enjoy and I am always sad to see it end.

That being said, I am also looking forward to making more memories in 2015. One of which is becoming an auntie again in just a little over a month. I can hardly wait to meet my new little nephew. My sister in law is one of my favorite people and I loved having her here over the holidays. Her, my brother and my cute – almost 3 year old nephew – stayed with me so our nights were spent on the couch  with me feeling her baby belly movements. One of my favorite things. I am pretty sure this kids gonna be a boxer.

Some of my goals for the New Year ….

eat better — I am not a diet kind of girl. I end up more hungry and less happy. Plus life is for living. So that being said, I’d like to do little tweaks and less calories but still allow myself some of my favorite things like my Starbucks iced coffee with whole milk. It’s my ‘thing’. I also don’t want to have what I eat become my main topic in life. I have so many other things I’d rather talk about.

exercise more — my two favorite things are walking and yoga. I am so out of shape. It’s up to me to take care of myself. So the plan is to walk and do more yoga. Ideally I’d like to do yoga 2-3 times a week and walk 3-4. I am trying to be practical about what I will actually do. If I do more then I get a sticker or a high five. Just saying.

be more productive — this is basically my way of saying that I need to stop wasting time on mindless things. I waste too much time on Pinterest. It’s not something I will quit but I think I need to set computer limits. It’s easy to waste away hours when I really could be doing something that is good for me, like going on a walk or taking a yoga class. Or blogging. The whole point of this blog was to make a job of it. I.HAVE.FAILED. So far.

blog more — I have so many things to share and say. This blog is my voice. And I like to talk. A lot.

see more — I love seeing new places. We have a lot of cool places within hours of where we live. Plus I just finished reading Wild so I am feeling like I should do more 🙂 Although hiking the Pacific Coast Trail is not on my list of 2015 goals. I’d love to hike more and seriously, we are smack dab in the middle of San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. The options are endless.

be present — need I say more? Whatever I am doing, I need to be fully committed to that moment.

play more games — we tend to do this during the holidays but we should be taking the time more often then that. We have a blast. Even if my husband it highly competitive and loud and we all have to ask him to take it down a notch. Ha ha.

garden better — we have a great spot for a garden. We tend to plant things only in the summer but I am not great at tending to it. Summer gets busy but really, this shouldn’t take a lot of time once it’s planted for us to harvest the goodness. Right?

budget better — we are wrapping up some debt in 2015 so 2016 will really be a fresh start for us. I’d like to save more and spend less. With that comes better planning for things like groceries, etc. Those last minute trips to the store add up at the end of a month.

delegate — I think in general my kids could do more. Sometimes it’s easier to just do it myself but they are capable of stepping it up. Same for the hubs. He is a rockstar but there are a few things that he could take on that would help me out.

As always I hope to do everything with kindness and gratitude. In a crazy world {that seems to be getting crazier} it is so important to treat others well. I also feel grateful daily for all the things I have been blessed with. So take a moment to smile at a stranger, to say thank you, to count your blessings.

Also, I wanted to share this list I found on Pinterest. I just love it.

 

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Happy New Year friends. I look forward to seeing more of you in 2015.

2013 – Healthier Me?

So it has begun – a New Year. A fresh start. Well it seems that so many of us have New Year resolutions. I’d like to not burden myself with such a heavy load as a “Resolution” cause then I just feel like crap if I let myself down. Right? Who’s with me? Fist bump. Come on, you know you wanna!

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This is how I am feeling. Like there is a constant noise in my head pulling me in several directions.  I feel like I need to slow it down. Not try and do so much but one of my biggest obstacles is taking care of me. What I mean is diet and exercise. I have many friends that are so disciplined about these aspects of life and then there are so many like me. Always struggling. Food is SO DAMN GOOD. If I try and become obsessive about my diet, it will backfire in a hot second leaving me feeling even yuckier. So the best way for me to go about heating healthier? Not think of it as a diet but a series of healthy life changes. Will I quit my iced coffees with milk and vanilla? Nope, no way. That would just make me so sad. Can I lay off the pastries and bread? Yes, doable! Can I stop the holiday baking frenzy and thus stop eating my way through the holidays? YES! Reason #1 why I am happy December is behind me. Honestly, I don’t have a weakness for much but those White Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies? So help me if I find one of those laying around.

I have been feeling ‘pudgy’ lately. I know I have packed on some pounds over the years. Back in 2006, after a year of nursing I was sitting at a fabulous weight and feeling great. Yep – nursing, chasing a toddler and hauling around a baby were the best diet and fitness routine ever. But I stopped nursing and the weight slowly came back. And then some. I don’t feel obese but I don’t feel healthy. I watched a video of my baby’s 1st  birthday last week and I was reminded of just how much my body has changed. I was not the mom who held on to the baby weight. It fell off. Seriously. When I saw the video, I very much wanted to be back at my after baby weight. Talk about motivation.

I had to laugh as this has been on my mind and then yesterday I got the latest issue of Us Weekly and the cover was talking about Kourtney Kardashian’s amazing 40 pound weight loss. Oh yes, tell me all about celebrities who drop the weight. When they have nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers and various cash incentives at their disposal. I have myself. My own want to be healthy has to surpass my lack of will power. OK — so here I am, sharing my innermost thoughts with all of you. No fads, no unrealistic goals. Just the need to be healthier. I’ll be 40 in 2014. Wouldn’t it be nice to be super healthy as I cross into a new decade of my life?

A friend is trying to get a group of us to do a 1/2 Marathon in October. My husband laughed. That kinda irritated me but he’s right. I hate running {and I try to NOT say the word hate}. I’m more motivated by my girlfriends then I am by training for a marathon. BUT I can try right? I’m thinking of my friend James that is active and ran a 1/2 Marathon and said he’d never need to do that again. That might be me. I’m the girl who flunked PE as a freshman in high-school cause I wouldn’t dress down for the mile. Yep, that was me. So embarrassing to admit. OK, so goal #1 – find a 5K, sign up and train.

Now onto the other part of getting fit. I really enjoy what I get from yoga both mentally and physically however, the studios I love are HOT and the heat and the flow together often times makes me super nauseous. I have tried different methods to alleviate this {going 1st thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, a light stomach, etc} nothing really squashes the nausea. So I think because I do love the feeling I get from yoga, that I should try different styles of yoga. So goal #2 is to try various workout program. Yoga, Pilates and whatever other things come my way.

So here we go 2013 — let’s do great things together!!!