My number

How do you put an amazing vacation into words? I’ve been racking my brain around this idea for the last week and I simply can’t. There aren’t enough words in my vocabulary, the dictionary, or let alone time to describe the amazing trip Mr. P and I had. However, I will do my best and try because its so much fun reliving the experience. I still can’t believe I was in England and Italy!!

If you didn’t know, the sole purpose for the trip back overseas was for my Father-in-Law’s (FIL) wedding, however because we have a ton of family and close friends in England, we spent 5 glorious days there. It was absolutely perfect. It was great to spend time with my FIL, his new wife, and her family. It was amazing to spend the other half with my “mum”, my “nan” and my sister. It was great to see cousins, uncles, and new family members I’ve never met before.

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Excuse the blurriness! It was taken at the London Underground Piccadilly Station!

But how do you convey the happiness in all of that? How do you share those experiences with close family, friends, and complete strangers? Well, you can’t. I will, however, do my best over the next few weeks as I share where we went, what we did, and what we learned, but for now I will share this one thing. The trip refilled my spirit with love, joy, and enthusiasm. It also transformed my self-confidence. I have more than I ever thought was possible and I’m doing my very best to hold onto it with a full grip. Especially since my 30th birthday approaches (16 days away to be exact) and certain questions start to gravitate towards your frontal lobe.

Now, if you know me, I’ve been excited to turn 30, and to be in my thirties, since I was 22. Crazy, I know, but I think it has to do with the fact that your several years away from College, more than half of your life away from High School, you’ve established your likes, dislikes, wants, desires, and making your dreams a reality. The thing I was looking forward to the most when I turned 30…not to look like I was 16. Now, now, don’t go get your knickers in a twist; let me explain. There’s something that comes with aging and that would be the word respect. Respect that you “get it”. You understand that bills come, you understand that accidents happen. That its okay to say “no” even if it sometimes hurts. By the time you’re thirty, you’ve earned the right of turmoil! The turmoil of possibly buying your own house, car, or maybe even both. At age 16, you don’t have that. The same rules apply if you look like you’re 16; people assume you “don’t get it”. So, for me, its been an upwards battle since I “get it” yet, don’t “look it”. I’ve always had to prove and explain it.

Now, this past New Year I decided to change that. There’s nothing I could change in terms of looking older (okay maybe dress the part and wear a little more make-up), but the true value was to project as much self-confidence as possible with the hope of changing a few minds. Maybe even my own. I’ve worked my butt off since New Years Day by thinking strength, living strength, and exercising strength. For example, I tried to run at least 2 days a week (it would of been more but I hate treadmills and winter), attend body-weight and kickboxing classes and challenges, and revisiting my yoga practice. I’ve watched my meal portions and quality of the food I’ve been digesting because I wanted to fuel my body! Now, does this sound like a weight plan? Well, it wasn’t. I had absolutely no interest in what the scale said or what jean size I could wear. I made a commitment to myself that I WOULDN’T focus on those two things, but only my strength. Inside and out.

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I don’t want to waste any more of my time trying to be that certain size or that certain weight. To be honest, its exhausting and time consuming. I’m exhausted being angry at myself for not being that number. Who was I trying to satisfy? My dogs? “Because their so judgmental,” said sarcastically. Myself? Most likely. Only because I was brainwashed into thinking I was only worth something if I was that number. I would like to thank the media and several doctors for this brainwash. Media, well there isn’t enough time to explain why and doctors because a BMI doesn’t take into every account of your precious body and yet doctors still rely on this stupid system. Regardless, it still goes on and on and on. Its a constant battle, but I’m trying to change that. Trying to show you that you are more than your weight and your jean size! So, STOP TALKING ABOUT IT!! It was amazing to me how many times I heard these conversations when I was on vacation…in other countries…and in other languages. Woman, we really need to get a grip here. So, to add to my brainwash list, I will add the female gender as well. We all do it {guilty!} but does that make it okay? Shouldn’t we talk about our accomplishments, our fears, our dreams and not our weight?

So, I’ve changed my focus (at least I’m constantly working on it) and have been focused on a new number since the new year. That number? Thirty. 30!!!

Thirty to me showcases confidence, strength, a personal history, and self-reliance. I’ve focused on that number and that number alone! Gone are the days of being focused of what I weight and more about the number of burpees I can do, number of push-ups and squats I can do, or how far I can run. Because over 15 years ago, I couldn’t do any of it because of my arthritis. I didn’t and definitely don’t want my thirties to be about my weight, size, or comparison. Good Riddance!

Still with me? Good! Because I’m coming back full circle to my vacation!! :) At my FIL wedding, I felt AMAZING. Never in my life have I’ve been told that I looked gorgeous as much as that day. Not because I was a certain size or a certain weight, but because I radiated self-confidence.

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I felt like a WOMAN. Not a young woman.  Not a young woman trying to act older, a 16 year-old teenager, or asked whether I was looking forward to college. I felt and looked 30! A thirty year-old woman! All because I was self-confident. I AM SELF-CONFIDENT. I am THIRTY! Well…almost.

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Guest Post – Nine Ways to Display Your Favorite Family Photos from Shutterfly

 

guestbloggerI’ve returned back from England and Italy and will be back with you shortly! In the meantime, here’s an article written by Heather Hewitt who is a writer for Shutterfly! I love the article she wrote called “Nine Ways to Display Your Favorite Family Photos.” If you are like me, I’m always looking for ways to showcase my photos when decorating and I can’t wait to print mine from my vacation. Pour a glass of wine and enjoy!

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Nine Ways to Display Your Favorite Family Photos

Photos are a wonderful way to relive your memories. Most of us take pictures throughout the year, but often times those photos end up staying on our phones or cameras, or uploaded to albums on our social media sites. While that’s all well and good, it’s also nice to have physical prints of your favorite memories. Printing and framing your favorite family photos are a great option, but what if you want some fresh ideas for displaying them? Here are nine great ways to show off your photos around your home and elsewhere.

  1. Photo books. Instead of sticking the photos in a box that gets pushed under the bed or set in the attic, why not create a fun photo book each year? Compile all of your favorite photos from big events throughout the year and then keep the most current book on your coffee table for guests to thumb through. You can keep the rest on any easily accessible bookshelf.
  2. Curved glass prints. Create a collage of your favorite memories and place the finished product on a side table or your desk at work. Shutterfly Curved Glass Prints
  3. Mugs. Whether you use a travel mug when you head out to work or drink your daily cup of Joe at home, decorate your drinkware with your favorite family photos.
  4. Ornaments. Create a new one for every year, and put it up on the Christmas tree as a family. It will be fun to pull out the ever-growing box of ornaments and reminisce every year.
  5. Home décor. Who says you have to decorate with simple patterns and colors? Personalize your home accessories with pillows, blankets, and other décor featuring photos of you and yours.
  6. Canvas and acrylic prints. Looking for a way for your photos to pop? Try creating canvas or acrylic prints. Your home can look like an art gallery, with your precious family as the featured attraction. Shutterfly Acrylic Prints - Family
  7. Wall decals. A fun way to decorate – especially in your kids’ room or playroom – is to design your own wall decals using your favorite family photos.
  8. iPhone or iPad cases. Splash your family’s photos all over your phone or tablet case and take them with you wherever you go!
  9. Table runners and placemats. You can really get creative with this one, designing table runners and placemats for every season. Ask the kids to help you pick their favorites and assist with the basic colors and design.

Use any of these ideas or come up with your own ways to display the best family photos you’ve got. Regardless of what you choose, spend time choosing the perfect photos that will help you reminisce in years to come.

Author Bio: Heather Hewitt is a seasoned writer and guest author who enjoys connecting people with thoughtful products, services and ideas as they relate to crafting, photography, gift giving and personal expression.

arrow Thanks Health for the great post! Some who are close to me know that I have one of my wedding photos as my iPhone case. I actually bought it over a year ago from Shutterfly and added it as an extra when I completed my Wedding Photo Book. To this day, I still get compliments on it. Bonus – my iPhone is still intact, the protection is great, and I can still hold my iPhone in one of my small hands. I’m thinking of updating it with one of my recent photos from Italy!!

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