My Top 10 Running Jams

Well, here are the results after week 1 of the 30 Day Ab Challenge that I started:

Again, please ignore the dirty mirror.

Again, please ignore the dirty mirror.

Not much of a difference, but it’s not until the 2nd or 3rd week you see results, right? And I can feel the results happening when I do the exercises, and that’s what’s important.

Anyways, I’ve mentioned before that I really love to run.  I’m not quite a 5k or marathon runner, but I try to run a minimum of a mile when I do run.  And while I’m running, I have to have some jammin’ beats to listen to.  These are my Top 10 jams to run to:

1) “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX. “You should want a bad bitch like this”. ‘Nuff said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-zpOMYRi0w

2) “N***** in Paris” by Kanye West & Jay-Z.  The beats get me every time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfM_wS7qYfY

3) “Sexy to Me” by JoJo.  “I don’t need nobody cuz I’m sexy to me”.  The grammar is a lil off but the message is spot on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmV1jst3Jz8

4) “Vegas Girl” by Conor Maynard. With his voice,  I’d be his Vegas girl in a minute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMTGcwZxdGg

5) “The Way You Love Me” by Keri Hilson ft. Rick Ross.  Her body in this video is BANGIN, which is appropriate since that what the song is about…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUAl1H9_-G0

6) “The Boys” by Nicki Minaj ft. Cassie. I pretty much love anything Nicki Minaj.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXFcr6oy5dk

7) “Do It Like a Dude” by Jessie J.  The song starts out with “Stomp, stomp, I’ve arrived” so it’s kinda hard to quit after that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOf3kYtwASo

8) “Toxic” by Britney Spears. Can’t have a running playlist without Brit on there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOZuxwVk7TU

9) “Talk That Talk” by Rihanna ft. Jay-Z.  Must also have some RiRi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8FarCnm1mE

10) “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyonce. Because duh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBmMU_iwe6U

These songs always pump me up for my run and help me enjoy it more.  I look forward to running because I love listening to these songs.  What songs get you pumped up for running/working out?

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I Abs-olutely Want a Bikini Body

So the other day (April 1st to be exact) I started an ab challenge because 1) it’s always bikini season here in Arizona (damn you desert climate!) and 2) I have no abs.

Proof. My abs are in there somewhere.

My abs are in there somewhere. And please ignore the dirty mirror. 

I got the ab challenge from Pinterest, the mecca of all things fitness related.  I’ll post weekly updates to see if there’s any improvement. This will also hold me accountable to actually DO the challenge because I have a tendency to quit these things half-way through.  This is something I am doing alongside running (my favorite form of exercise).

abchallenge

What fitness challenges have you accomplished? What’s your favorite form of exercise?

Unpretty

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and not liked what you saw? Have you ever had the thought “why am I so ugly”?

I have. 

For the past six months, I have not felt the greatest about myself. It’s part of the reason why I haven’t been blogging as frequently as I used to. I’ve just been feeling meh. The blog is “vibrant musings” not “meh musings“.

Me the past 6 months

Me the past 6 months

Anyway, even though I have a very loving boyfriend, great family and friends, and a not so bad life, I just couldn’t get over my funk. I just knew that I would feel better about myself if I thought that I looked better.

legallyblonde

She has a point.

So first off, I’ve started running again. It’s so empowering to know what my body is capable of. I’m not quite up to the running standard that I had going before I moved to Arizona, but I’m getting there.  This song helps.

But even with running and excercizing, I knew I wouldn’t feel 100% unless I did something about my hair. I have been tolerating my natural born, light brown, fine, thin hair for the last few months, but the time has come for me to get the hair style that I am truly meant to have.

So I have gone from this:

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To this:

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In my heart, I know I’m meant to be a red head. I know I’m meant to have short hair. I now feel like my true self. I still have some work to do on my body (mainly excersizing more and eating better), but with this new look I have a pep in my step and am more motivated to work on those things.

So if you have ever felt unpretty, or are feeling unpretty right now, you’re not alone. And I know that a million people could tell you you’re gorgeous and you still might not believe them. But you ARE beautiful. And if you need to cut your hair, tattoo your body, or do whatever to make yourself feel that way, then do it.

However you do you, it’s beautiful.

 

The Best NOT Shitty Books of 2013

What constitutes a NOT shitty” book, you might ask? Something that might make you feel like this:

emotionallycrippled

Or something like this.

The Best NOT Shitty Books of 2013:

“Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend” by Matthew Dicks

memoirsofanimaginaryfriend

A book that makes you wish you had never given up on your imaginary friend.

“Divergent” and “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth

divergent

Set in a dystopian Chicago, Beatrice Pryor must decide whether to lead a life she’s always known or a life of her own (Divergent). Once that choice is made, Beatrice must either learn to live with it or run from it (Insurgent).

“Caster Chronicles” series by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

beautifulpictures

When Ethan Wate meets Lena Duchannes, she shows him that his sleepy town of Gatlin, Georgia (and the world) is more than what it seems.

“Here Is Where: Discovering America’s Great Forgotten History” by Andrew Carroll

hereiswhere

A book of random historical trivia, which gives me the biggest nerdgasm ever. Reads more like a novel than non-fiction.

“The Giver” by Lois Lowry

giver

With pain comes the freedom of choice, so which would you choose?

“The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green

faultinourstars

A story about how love can show up in the least likely of places.

Sidenote #1: I left off “Allegiant” (the third book in the “Divergent” series) because, a la “Mockingjay”, I hated it. What is with the final book in  a series being so horrid? Do authors just give up by then? (see also: “Dead Ever After” , the final book in the Sookie Stackhouse series).

Sidenote #2: Most of these books are being turned into movies that come out this year (“Beautiful Creatures” came out in February of last year).  Let’s see if the movies do the books justice!

What good NOT shitty books did you read in 2013?

 

25 Things I Learned In 2013

And by “learned” I *probably* mean “realized”. Same difference, right?

1) I used to think I wasn’t much of a risk taker, but I think moving across the country kind of dispelled that.

2) While I miss my family and friends back in Missouri, I sure do not miss the weather. AZ is glorious! It was 70 degrees today! In December! (I know, I know, just wait for the summer. But I moved here in the summer and guess what…I was inside most of the time. God bless the AC.)

3) I moved too soon because apparently a Hurts Donut has moved into Springfield and all of their donuts look so damn delicious. (Thanks to my friends posting pics of the donuts on Instagram. Maybe you could send me one via mail?)

OM NOM NOM NOM

OM NOM NOM NOM

4) You would think that after working in a cupcake shop for almost 6 months I would be sick of sweets but nooooope. They’re just too yummy for their own good.

Exhibit A of yumminess.

Exhibit A of yumminess.

5) Books are my one true love.

booklover

6) I’m turning into a cat person. But I still love dogs!

How could you not turn into a cat person? Look at those faces!

How could you not turn into a cat person? Look at those faces!

7) After the boyfriend went back to Missouri for a month to work with his dad to help us out financially, I realized that I would rather be poor and together than financially stable and apart. (Although ideally I want to be financially stable AND together).

8) I can never tell if a SnapChat is meant for me personally or is part of a group SnapChat.

9) I don’t think I would like working in the library so much if I hadn’t started out in the Circulation department at The Library Center.

10) I think my work email might be the most professional thing about me.

work

11) Jack In the Box has the best iced coffees ever. I know it’s more than likely not real coffee, but if it’s wrong then I don’t want to be right.

12) Nothing brightens my day better than getting a letter from a friend. I hope to do more letter writing in 2014!

13) I’m 25 years old and I can’t save money for shit. That has got to change.

nomoney

14) If you decorate a room with white Christmas lights, it creates a nice ambiance. Seriously, try it.

15) Trying to put together a family tree is like trying to solve a ginormous puzzle. And I love puzzles! (And Ancestry.com!)

16) Pinterest is really inspiring, but also really intimidating.

17) Buzzfeed is my new go-to website (when I’m not on Pinterest).

18) Life can be difficult but how you react to the difficulties is what makes the difference.

alberteinstein

19) You still need a jacket in Arizona, because it can get down to like 40 degrees.

20) Heated seats are amazing (see #19).

21) Fuel points are the best. I saved 20 cents/gallon at the pump last time I got gas!

22) Being an adult is hard, but it’s *kind of* worth it because you can pretty much do whatever you want, like have a no-pants day everyday.

23) “The Mindy Project” is my show when “Girls” is in the off-season.

mindyproject

24) I have the best people in my life. Thank you to everyone who loves me and supports me in everything I do, and doesn’t question my sanity (at least not to my face…see #1).

25) 2013 was the year of change, but 2014 is going to be the year of awesome happenings!

Cheers to a bright and wonderful new year!

Adulting Is *Still* Hard

I’ve recently finished a book titled “Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps”, by Kelly Williams Brown. 

adulting

The book is based on her popular blog of the same name, and both are equally funny and alarmingly accurate.  While most of the steps are those “common sense but easier said than done” kind of steps, some were “now why I haven’t thought of that” kind of steps. I’ve compiled the steps that resonated with me the most:

Step 10: Be okay with being alone. (pg 11)

I have never lived alone, and I don’t think I could. I have too active an imagination (and an affinity for jumping to conclusions) for that. But I am ok with having my alone time. Alone time is like a deep cleanse for the soul.

Step 16: When something bad happens to you, do not rush immediately to figure out why it wasn’t your fault (pg 14)

When something bad happens, I just think “everything happens for a reason”.  But usually that reason is because I did something (or was being) stupid.

Step 122: Just accept that some people won’t like you, and never will (pg 79)

As an adult, it is getting easier for me to accept this, because quality is more important than quantity when it comes to friends and acquaintances.

Step 162: Do not hook up with anyone in your office, no matter how exciting the prospect (pg 101)

I did this against my better judgement, but you know…everything happens for a reason.

Step 198: Take a long, hard look at the things you don’t need to be spending money on (pg 117)

I usually can’t function without an iced coffee in the morning, but I’m also usually too lazy to make it myself. Guess that’s something I probably need to get over. I’m sure my wallet would appreciate it.

Step 300: Tell the people you love why you love them (pg 171)

To all my friends and family: “I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you”–Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Step 342: Don’t use your sexuality as a weapon (pg 193)

“Weapon” insinuates a negative connotation, and sex should never be a negative experience.

Step 355: Your significant other is not your best friend (pg 199)

I’ve had the same best friend since I was 18, and I’ve had 4 relationships since then too. Guess who’s been the constant in my life.

Step 379: Don’t expect “closure”, ever, on anything (pg 212)

Seeking closure usually comes when a relationship ends, because I can’t fathom why someone wouldn’t want want someone as awesome as myself in their life, but this is when Step 122 needs to come into play.

Step 380: Do not talk to someone who has broken up with you (pg 213)

I have been guilty of this in the past. Nothing good ever comes of it.

Step 398: Do not roll around on less than a quarter tank of gas (pg 224)

You know you’ve made it when you can fill your gas tank up all the way.

What steps are you taking to manage this “adulting” thing?

No Shame In the BJ Game

Cosmo recently tweeted an article stating that “Girls who say they love blowjobs are the absolute worst”. 

Excuse-Me-GIF

As a woman who does enjoy the act of oral sex (both giving and receiving), I kinda take offense to this.  Mainly with the statements “Acting like you enjoy copious bone in your mouth is somewhat akin to a humblebrag [...] The depressing truth is that statements like these are often a gambit for male attention, a way for a woman to prove that she’s somehow cooler, less prudish or more “into” sex than other women”.

ridiculous

I would have to disagree.  For me, admitting that I like oral sex is not a “gambit for male attention” or me trying to prove that I’m cooler than the woman next to me. It is me taking pride in my sexuality.  Better yet, it is me in control of my sexuality.  I take pride in knowing that I have the power to get a guy off with just my mouth.  By speaking out loud about it, I am trying to encourage other women to take pride (and control) in their sexuality.

womanroar

An interesting point made in the article states: “Female oral sex is the guy doing the girl a favor; male oral sex is expected as foreplay in many cases of casual dating. Basically demanded.”  1) If you’re with a guy (casual or serious) where they demand a blow job of you and you aren’t comfortable doing that, then you need to reevaluate that relationship.  2) The whole giving-receiving scenario is trite. Sex is about pleasure. If you’re doing something for someone in hopes that they will reciprocate, then there’s no pleasure in the act.  Especially if they don’t reciprocate.  3)  This is where communication is key.  It’s hard to communicate effectively with someone you’re just having casual sex with, but there should be a healthy level of comfort when you’re having sex; if you’re not comfortable voicing your wants (or don’t wants) with your partner then maybe you shouldn’t be with them.

justsaying

I’m disappointed that Cosmo, a magazine that is supposed to be a proponent of female sexuality, would choose to publish an article that shames women who enjoy the act of oral sex. Sex, of any form, should never be shameful.  If you enjoy blowjobs, great! And if you don’t enjoy blowjobs, great! You do you, and whoever else you want to…exactly how you want to.

winking

Happy sexin’.

 

 

 

 

Le Divorce

I am  a child of divorce.

My parents divorced when I was 3 years old.

My first memory is that of my older sister and I playing with her toy horses at the kitchen table while our dad was loading up his truck with boxes to move. Later, my dad would load up my older brother and I to move with him (my sister is from my dad’s first marriage, my brother and I from his second).  My dad, brother, and I would end up moving in with my future step-mom, while my mom would end up moving back to her hometown five hours away.

My dad married my step-mom when I was five years old. I think that might have been the best thing to ever happen to him (besides me, of course ;P).

My step-mom is not the wicked step-mom of fairytales.  Yes, she is a force to be reckoned with, but only when she needs to be. She has a good heart and a fierce love.  I have been blessed that she chose to bestow this fierce love upon myself and my brother. Yes, chose.  For she did not have to love us (although, how could she help it…we were quite adorable). She COULD have been the wicked stepmother of fairytales.  But she wasn’t and for that I am ever grateful.

I am also grateful that my parents did not stay together for the sake of my brother and I.  I am grateful that they were strong enough to know that enough was enough and that it would not be beneficial to them or to us for them to stay together.  Yes, it was hard when I was younger to understand why my parents chose not to live together anymore.  And while I never questioned that my parents loved me, I always questioned whether they still loved each other (which they assured me that they did, just in a different way).

I now understand that for them to have stayed together, in a love they no longer felt for each other, would have been pure misery.  For if they had stayed together for the sake of my brother and I, we would have been witness to this misery and might not know what a healthy, functioning relationship is.

Instead, they made the hard, brave decision to divorce, and for that I am forever thankful. Because of their decision, I know what a lasting love looks like (today my dad and step-mom are celebrating their TWENTIETH anniversary!); I have an amazing grandmother in my step-mom’s mom, who is probably the best person I know; I have a little brother who is no longer that little! (He’s 15 and at least a good 6-8 inches taller than me).

So thank you, mom and dad, for NOT sacraficing yourselves for my brother and I.

And congratulations to my dad and step-mom for twenty years of an inspiring love.

love-is-cute-when-it-s-new-but-it-s-most-beautiful-when-it-lasts-quotes

The Ten Phases of a Twenty-Something’s Moodiness

Hey guys.

So it’s been a while since I’ve written on here. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been too busy living a fabulous life out here in the AZ, but that’s not true.

The reality: I’ve been in a perpetual bad mood. And when I’m in a bad mood, I don’t like to talk to anyone. If someone tries to talk to me while I’m in a bad mood, I usually give them one of these:

So how could I be in a perpetual bad mood when it’s nothing but sunshine and 80 degree weather out here?

deathglare

Phase One. It starts with me creeping on my facebook friends and seeing what everybody is up to. And props to them because everyone seems to really have their shit together. People are getting engaged (seriously, it’s like every week), getting married, buying houses, having babies, having awesome careers, going to grad school, etc.

bridesmaids-movie-quotes-55

Phase Two. Realize that I am no where NEAR ready/capable enough to get engaged, have a baby, own a house, etc.  Wonder at how I am losing a race I didn’t even know I entered. 

mess

Phase Three. Be annoyed with life because I am constantly poor because I don’t make enough at my minimum wage job to pay the bills and buy food and/or gas.

leslieknope

Phase Four. Be annoyed that I am stuck at this minimum wage job because I need the money…and because I haven’t heard back from the place that I actually want to work at (I’ve applied for 11 different positions).

funny-poorly-written-resume

Phase Five.  Be grateful that I have a job in this economy. Be annoyed that I have to be grateful. Feel bad for being annoyed at having to feel grateful.

sadie-sorry-not-sorry-awkward

Phase Six. Have a minor meltdown because I have no idea what I am doing with my life.

roblowe

Phase Seven. Solicit advice from best friend, who says to stop comparing my life to others and just live it. She’s so wise.

livin

Phase Eight. Feel slightly better. Try to remember that money can’t buy happiness (although it can buy me food, which makes me happy).

bacon

Phase Nine. Still feel annoyed (and hungry), and feel annoyed at the fact that I am still feeling annoyed.

Me, to myself.

Me, to myself.

Phase Ten. Get some really good news that makes all the annoyance go away…except for my annoyance with the public’s obsession with Miley Cyrus. There’s a government shutdown, and people are still talking about her. In fact, I bet that’s the real reason the government shut down…

….Congress is debating whether “to twerk or not to twerk”.

twerkit

 

Here’s What

Three things I’m obsessed with this week:

1) The Mindy Project

Created by Mindy Kaling (who you may recognize from “The Office”), this show focuses on Dr. Mindy Lahiri as she works, lives and loves in New York City.  And it is fucking hilarious. I got caught up on the first season this past weekend and am so ready for the second one.

Reasons why I love this show:

                                                     It knows I’m still growing as a person

the-mindy-project-be  

                                                      It knows my secret talent

mindy-2b

 

                                                           It knows why I don’t like work and why I sometimes don’t like going out

danny

 

                                                      It knows my priorities

hotmess

 

So if you haven’t already, check out “The Mindy Project”.  And if you like your comedy in book form, check out her memoir:

kaling_211

I literally LOL’d

 

2) Ella Henderson

I discovered Ella Henderson via Buzzfeed.  She was a contestant on UK X-Factor last year. She didn’t win, but you can clearly see she didn’t need to. Anyone who can take cheesy songs and turn them into something meaningful clearly has talent. Oh, AND SHE’S ONLY 17.

“Believe” by Cher

“You’re the One That I Want” from the musical “Grease”

Totes buying her album when it comes out. 

3) Bookmans

Bookmans is a used bookstore here in Phoenix.  But it doesn’t just have books; it has magazines, cds, dvds, video games, etc. It’s as if all of the “used whatever” places got together and just formed one huge store. 

It’s awesome. 

So that’s what I’m obsessed with this week. Let me know what you’re obsessed with in the comments below. I’ll probably become obsessed with you.