Things I Am Thankful for

I’m going to take a serious moment on the blog today. Much of my writing and my life is usually me joking around, throwing out sarcastic comments, and bemoaning my first world problems. But Thanksgiving is a holiday that I take very seriously. I know that in my day-to-day life I struggle to take time to be grateful for the people and things I have in my life. I would never describe myself as “mindful.” So I take Thanksgiving as a very serious day for me to spend at least one day out of the year truly reflecting on all that I have to be thankful for.

Living in Philadelphia, in the city with the highest poverty rate per capita of any large city in the US, I’m faced with homelessness, poverty, hunger, and anger everyday. Most days I shrink away from thinking of these topics because it makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know what it’s like to not have access to healthy food everyday. I don’t know what it’s like to bounce around from house to shelter. I don’t know what it’s like to be part of a system that routinely disservices me because of my class, race, or zipcode. I don’t know what it’s like to not have the safety net of parents who have money to bail me out, were I ever to need it. And it’s scary for me to really accept that those are issues that people I see every day are living through.

Things I am thankful for…

1. My luck of the draw

I’m thankful that I was born into a loving, suburban, middle class family. This is something I never earned or had to work for, and I believe it is those things, things that came to us by sheer luck, that we need to be most thankful for.

2. My Family

I have two parents who love my sisters and me unconditionally (and yes, we have all tested their love for us at one time or another). I have two really smart parents who have a strong marriage and raised us to be smart, headstrong, high achieving women.

3. My Boyfriend

I don’t mean to sound cliche with this one, but Nick, is truly my best friend and the best guy I have ever met. He challenges me to think broader and be more mindful (always working on that one). He is the kind of guy that as I look at him from across the room while he’s talking with friends, my heart beats a little faster at the thought that of all the people in the world, he chose me to spend his time with.

4. My Friends

I am lucky to have somehow been able to surround myself with a group of smart, witty, caring, empathetic, and mature people. I have friends whom I can both look up to and share advice with. I have also been able to connect with some many great (mostly women) bloggers and TIU ladies through social media. I count you all as my friends (I’m in introvert, online friends count) and I love how we can inspire, lift each other up, and make each other laugh.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and spend it with the people you love and who love you even more. Happy Thanksgiving!

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My Top 6 Holiday Survival Tips

I have returned! After a super nasty cold knocked me out from the exercise game for 1 week, this morning I woke up and worked out. My magnificent return to the world of the fit was the 20 minute kettlebell routine from Tone It Up.

Doesn’t it always feel awesome when you come back from a workout hiatus and instantly you feel like your blog life is back on track? I know, me too.

I don’t know about the forecast in other places, but Philly is looking like it is going to have a miserable and cold holiday season which means my body will feel inclined to sleep for 10 hours at a time, pack on about 10lbs, and not waste any of my energy on working out. But I’m trying to combat that this season!

I’ve been putting together a holiday survival game plan in my head for a few weeks now and I wanted to share it with you all. Maybe sharing some of this will keep me accountable, or maybe we can all laugh about my good intentions once we hit the new year.

They both sound like good options

1. Make a plan- even if it goes out the window

You know me, I am ALL ABOUT planning and then sometimes following through. I like to sit up on Sunday night and plan what workouts I will be doing in the AM or PM. This helps me know what days I will have to wake up early or pump myself up to workout after work.

2. Plan to Want Warm Foods

Guys, this is a really upsetting gif :(

Go ahead, make a salad for lunch, but chances are, if it’s snowy and cold, by lunchtime, I’m not gonna want just a cold salad. In the winter I try to have one warm element to all of my meals. That way I don’t ditch the cold, healthy stuff and just get lamb rice instead (which has been known to happen…)

3. Find Small Ways to Exercise

Now more than ever is the time to live by “5 minutes of exercise is better than none.” I am all for doing a quick 20 squats in the bathroom, or 10 push-ups here and there. Granted, I try to actually set aside some time to get a good workout in, but only good can come from a couple extra squats secretly done throughout the day!

5. Don’t Go Starving and Slow Down

We’ve all been there. You get so FREAKING HANGRY that you will inhale anything and everything in your path. My eyes are like 10x the size of my stomach so my main goal for tomorrow is to eat a good breakfast and slooooooooow down when I eat.

6. Eat the Things that Are Worth It

This is perhaps one of the biggest things I struggle with. The holidays are all about sharing good food with friends and family so it’s fine to indulge (I don’t have a problem with indulging at all) but focus on indulging in things that you wouldn’t normally eat. So sure, I could fill up on the same potato chips, spinach dip, and store-bought cakes that I always eat at people’s houses, or I can hold out for some yummy home baked goodies and my boyfriend’s grandma’s pineapple stuffing. Those are worth the extra calories, not semi-stale store-bought cookies.

What are some of your holiday survival tips?

4 Things about ME because Duh

I don’t know if you’ve seen the 4 Fun Facts blog post going around the internet, but it’s one that I actually enjoy reading, so I wanted to do my own 4 Fun Facts and share it with you.

4 Fun Facts

Four names that people call me other than my real name:

  • Sarbear
  • Sreyes
  • Skings
  • Sar

Four jobs I’ve had:

  • Bar Mitzvah dancer
  • Desk Assistant at my college
  • Capogiro Barista
  • Content Manager (my current job)

Four movies you’ve watched more than once:

  • State Fair- a musical about the State Fair and pickles
  • Garden State- Natalie Portman before her bitchy resting face
  • Simply Irresistible- Sarah Michelle Gellar is a chef! A magical chef!
  • Donnie Darko- Frank the Bunny + Wormholes + Cellar Door = Time Travel? Alternate universes?

Four books I’d recommend:

  • How to Be Happy, Dammit- The Cynic’s Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment – Karen Salmansohn
    • “Happiness is not about what happens to you, but how you choose to respond to what happens. That’s why it’s called Happiness and not Happeness.”
  • The Harry Potter Series – J.K Rowling
    • “The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”
  • The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
    • “In the end we had the pieces of the puzzle, but no matter how we put them together, gaps remained, oddly shaped emptinesses mapped by what surrounded them, like countries we couldn’t name.”
  • The Autobiography of Red- Anne Carson
    • “They were two superior eels / at the bottom of the tank and they recognized each other like italics.”

Four places I’ve lived:

  • Akron, Ohio
  • Newtown, Pennsylvania
  • Ewing, New Jersey
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Four Places you have visited:

  • Rome & Sorrento, Italy

Chillin by the fountain like Friends in Rome

Striking fierce poses checking into our hotel in Sorrento

  • London, England

Burger King crowns at Buckingham Palace

  • Barcelona, Spain

The aquarium in Barcelona. Spoiler Alert: It’s a terrible aquarium

Fun side note, we went to a night club in Barcelona and there was a Lady Gaga impersonator there on the stage and he/she threw RAW MEAT into the crowd. This is the moment I discovered what it was.

  • Ontario, Canada

Four places I’d rather be right now:

  • On the beach
  • At a fitness class
  • Getting a massage
  • Shopping

Four things I don’t eat:

  • Beets- they taste like dirt to me
  • Papaya- I’m one of those people where it tastes like vomit to me
  • Figs- once again, dirt
  • Soda- the fizz has always made my mouth hurt, plus I hate the taste

Four of my favorite foods:

  • Lobster
  • Salmon
  • Euro Tart (Original Flavor) frozen yogurt w/ fruit and sprinkles
  • Birthday Cake

Four TV shows I watch:

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Red Band Society
  • Criminal Minds
  • The Walking Dead- every time I watch it I get zombie nightmares though :-/

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

  • Going to Dallas for Christmas
  • Achieving my fitness goals
  • My best friend getting married
  • The unknown

Four things I’m always saying:

  • “Yeah… no” (does anyone else do this? They agree with the person with ‘yeah’ and then immediately follow it with ‘no, I get what your saying…’)
  • “I get that” (as in, ‘I understand what you mean’)
  • “Never buy kiwis in a shoe store” (my favorite life advice, meaning don’t go searching for advice on something from someone who doesn’t have what you need advice about. Like don’t get relationship advice from a single person)
  • “Dude”

Four people I tag to answer these questions: