Monday Motivation: Transitioning Back to Reality

It’s Monday! This is likely one of the most difficult Mondays of the year, as we get over the long Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend. Our bellies full and our wallets empty, it’s time to get back to work, and back to the daily grind.

drink coffee

Image via Pinterest

I personally have thrown routine out the window lately, and after a long-weekend vacation in Montreal followed by the long holiday weekend, I am ready to reintroduce things like the gym, smoothies, and a normal sleep schedule back into my life.

Here are some links from around the web that are helping motivate me – from jumping back on the treadmill to getting the ball rolling on my holiday shopping:

healthy oatmeal smoothie

Image via marthastewart.com

  • I had this healthy smoothie for breakfast this morning. Did you know that yogurt plus oatmeal equals a complete protein? Mine was a little too thick, but still oh so good.
  • Looking for creative ways to finish up those turkey day leftovers? The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond has you covered with some inspiring leftover turkey recipes 
  • Self magazine always has my back when I’m feeling less than motivated at the gym. I think they read my mind when they pinned these 10 boredom-busting treadmill workouts on Pinterest yesterday
skinny cranberry bliss bars

Image via skinnytaste.com

  • And JUST in time for the holidays, Gina Homolka of skinnytaste.com has a recipe for Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars that I must try. These were my favorite holiday treat back when I worked at Starbucks, many eons ago

In conclusion, this Cyber Monday I am keeping the coffee flowing, and I have my gym bag packed and ready for tonight. I am motivated! How about you?

Monday Motivation: Bikini-Ready in Two Weeks?

Late Friday boyfriend and I decided we’re going to run away to Florida for Memorial Day weekend. I was so excited that I went straight from work to find a sexy little something to wear on the beach. I found a bikini I like, but still feel like I’m about a month away from how I want to look in it – I tend to embrace the “winter layer,” and let’s face it, the weather’s been acting more wintery than we’d like for Spring this season…

Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can

via Pinterest

So, I’ve been searching for extra ways to get my booty into gear, and make the most of the next two weeks. Here’s what I’ve got:

And of course I’ll be hitting the gym a bit extra – hopefully starting the Summer schedule and sticking to it!

What do you do to keep on track during beach season? 

Relating to HBO’s ‘GIRLS’

I have to admit, last night I found my first relatable moment on the HBO series GIRLS. I watch every week in near-complete denial that this show is the supposed “voice” of my generation, but this week they finally hit close to home.

Image courtesy of HBO

Image courtesy of HBO

The episode flashes back and forth between Marni and Hannah, who are both obviously feeling lost and unhappy in their current situations. Marni has just found out that the man she thought was her boyfriend is not as interested in a relationship, and Hannah is feeling lonely while also struggling with her writing, which still hasn’t made her a penny of income.

Near the end of the episode, they call each other for comfort (both near tears), but both act as if everything is alright – nothing could be better. This scene is the part that hit home.

Why do we do this (or am I the only one who has)? What changes in our mid-twenties that makes us shameful over our dissatisfaction with life? Are we so afraid of letting even our best friends know that we may have made a wrong decision, or that we’re not living the picture-perfect New York City (or whatever city) life we had imagined?

This doesn’t relate to me at this very moment – I’m actually quite secure and happy these days – but there have been moments in the past three years where I wished for a friend to talk to, but couldn’t bear the thought of actually disclosing my unhappiness. It all makes loneliness seem very self-inflicted. And, when I do finally swallow my pride enough to have a real conversation with someone who cares, I feel so much better. The right friend can not only comfort but also empower you.

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Monday Motivation: Work Your Ass Off

29203097553767892_bZtmD9Qs_c

Today’s blog post is for the workers and creators. Those who realize that what they want will most likely not come handed to them on a silver platter without consequence. Opportunity is so beautiful, and is often easily taken for granted.

P1010788

On my trip to Berlin, I was especially inspired by the street art and the story behind the alternative culture and its resistance to gentrification. We visited Tacheles, a building that has played many roles in Berlin’s history: first as a department store in the Jewish Quarter before WWII, being used as a Nazi prison for part of the war and later becoming a mecca (and squat) for artists from all over the world.

This article, written around the closing of Tacheles, describes the culture better than I could.Tacheles closed on September 4, 2012. Tacheles Metallwerkstatt, a sculpture park behind the actual building, is still open and run by the artist association ArtProTacheles.

P1010797P1010798You don’t have to visit Tacheles to see art in Berlin – the streets are covered with inspiration from famous street artists, if you know where to look. And in every single post-up or tile you see, you can feel the passion behind the artist who put it there.

I came home from Berlin inspired to put the same passion into my every day. I’m lucky to work in a field that I love, and I want to make every moment count both at work and in my personal life.

Commence photo drop. The quality isn’t top notch on all of the photos, but I hope you enjoy:

P1010566P1010784

P1010812

P1010816 P1010825 P1010826 P1010835 P1010838P1010831P1010837P1010844P1010847P1010854P1010858P1010866P1010867P1010868P1010870P1010875P1010879P1010881P1010882P1010885P1010886P1010892P1010905

Monday Motivation and My Favorite San Diego Photos

motivation

Happy Monday morning! I saw the above quote on Pinterest this morning, and thought it was more than appropriate in my quest to teach myself photography. I had a passion for the art in high school, but was easily frustrated and gave up too soon. I’m ecstatic to be picking up the hobby again, and to share my journey of learning with you.

I promised in my last post to share my favorite shots from my recent trip to San Diego. These will of course exclude the shots of food, since they’re all in that Foodie Friday post. I consider myself a complete amateur, so bear with me! This will be fun to look back on in a few months, or at least I hope it will. I love how little everyday things are so different on the West coast from the East. I was completely fascinated by the gardens in my sister’s neighborhood, so brace yourself for a lot of flowers and weird plants, and of course a few fun vacation shots. I hope you enjoy!

P1000220Old Town during the holidays at night

P1000224

More Old Town

P1000236A shelf in a shop in Old Town

P1000266My beautiful sister

P1000304My sister’s awesome fiance

P1000291Their adorable pup, Onyx

P1000324A ferry docked on Coronado Island, with a view of downtown San Diego in the background

P1000350Birds of Paradise

P1000367Part of a garden in my sister’s neighborhood

P1000373Does anyone know what kind of flower this is?

P1000384Or what this is?

P1000386A family photo taken while walking Onyx

P1000395Magnolias are gorgeous even after their petals have fallen

P1000409My favorite photo from the trip – this shot made the cost of my new camera worth it to me.

P1000416Onyx making friends – this is Smiles

P1000442And this is my new duck friend – notice he is staring right at me

P1000443Duck hanging out in Balboa Park

P1000449Performer in Balboa Park

P1000464I love parrots. This Macaw was gorgeous (Balboa Park)

P1000487My sister and I by the Dr. Suess Christmas tree

P1000513Poor quality, but these poodles are wearing sunglasses and visors!

P1000558Coronado Island

P1000555

Sand dunes on Coronado Island

P1000594

Sand dunes on Coronado Island

P1000600My sister and I

P1000603…being silly

P1000606

…more silly

P1000607

❤ sisters

Feel free to critique! It was an amazing trip, and I hope that I captured some of the special moments. I used to feel that if I was taking photos I wasn’t experiencing real moments, but I this this trip has taught me otherwise. In a few short weeks I will be snapping away in Zurich and Berlin. I can’t wait!

Monday Motivation: Butternut Squash

I’ve had a butternut squash sitting around my apartment for so long that I’m thinking of charging it rent. I’m sure I will wind up whipping up my standard butternut squash and kale salad, but I wanted to find some motivation to try something different. This is what I came up with:

butternut squash mac and cheese 
fries
pizza
risotto
soup
twice-baked
  [All images courtesy of pinterest]