Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Dare You To

            Didn't you love playing Truth or Dare as a kid? I know you did, even if it meant kissing that boy (dare) or telling your best friend that you kissed her boyfriend (truth). It was still exciting, and now you can look back and have yourself a laugh.

            Well, who cares that I’m 25? I want to play Truth or Dare, and I want to play it now with you! Don’t worry, I won't make you kiss anyone, unless you really want to, in which case go for it! And if they don't kiss you back you can tell them I dared you to. Blame it on me, it's fine.

             I just feel like there are some things people should do more often that they probably wouldn’t unless they were dared. So I'm gonna dare you to start. I guarantee you’ll feel better after you complete each one! I also promise to play fair. After each dare, I’ll tell you the truth about whether I have actually done this or not. We can keep this Truth or Dare version PG though. Not the way you used to play at parties when your thought your parents were sleeping. Ready?  
            Dare:   Pay for someone’s coffee. When you’re in line at Dunkins, Starbucks, McDonald’s, wherever, tell the cashier that you want to pay for the person-behind-you’s order, and with any luck, they won’t be ordering 6 different combo meals (that would suck and would be really expensive…generous, but expensive). They will be so thrilled to get a free treat. Remember, karma goes a long way and what goes around comes around! Start to pay it forward now! Imagine being the reason for someone’s smile. Think about it. 
            Truth:  I’ve never done this, but I really want to. Just last week, a random person paid for my drink at the bar, and it made my night. How nice of him. It got me thinking that I should do something like this someday. 

            Dare:   Join the gym. If you don’t regularly work out, get up off your bum and exercise! There are many gyms that allow you to have a free 14 day trial. Try it out for those 2 weeks, and I promise you won’t regret it. You will feel so much better about yourself, and those jeans you thought would never fit again might just zip right up on you. You’ll never get the bum you want by sitting on it!
            Truth:  I work out regularly, and it’s the best thing I ever started doing for myself. I honestly can’t imagine my life without habitually exercising. It’s become part of who I am. On the days I can’t make it to the gym, I just feel sluggish and out of sorts.
            Dare:   Do something you’d never normally do. Go hiking. Try skiing. Join a sports team. If someone asks you to go see a band you've never heard of, go. You could really enjoy hearing some new songs, and who knows? You might fall in love with the lead singer and live happily ever after.
            Truth:  I love any kind of concert. Ask me to go to one. I don’t care who’s playing, I’m there. Music makes me feel emotions I never knew I had. So, who are we seeing, and when?!
            Dare:   Spend a weekend at home with your pet. Animals get lonely, and they just want to be around you. They need love and reassurance just like you do.

           Truth:  I’ve done this many times, and the affection I get from my cat is just incredible. It makes me realize how much she misses me when I’m not around.

            Dare:   Spend a whole day with your parents. They love you and want to spend time with you. They really look forward to this. If your parents aren’t around, spend the day with your sister or brother. If your sister or brother aren't around, call an old friend. Call a new friend. Don't lose touch. 
            Truth:  I do this a lot, but I should try do to it more often.


            Dare:    Just be yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others. Try it for a day.

            Truth:    These are the words I try to live by. This is also why I suffered through the pain of getting "Love yourself first" tattooed my foot.

            Dare:   Try eating a vegetarian diet for two weeks. Just try it! You will feel so clean and light, and your moods will be steadier. You will have more energy, and your skin will improve. If you already have good skin, it will continue to stay that way if not get even better. If you try this, let me know how you feel after 2 weeks. I know you will report amazing results.
            Truth:  Come on. Is this even a question?

            Well, good luck, and have fun with these. Let me know after you’ve completed at least one! Then you can dare me to do something :)


Sunday, September 23, 2012

When you're afraid to eat...

       I don't know when it happened. Somewhere between me being 6 and becoming an adult, the world changed. Somehow, some way, children everywhere started to have allergies. Everyone you talk to tells you how they can't pack their kids an old fashioned PB & J sandwich for lunch because so many other kids are allergic to peanuts. Parents everywhere have begun worrying about feeding their children nuts or peanut butter. Children are ostracized because they have to sit at the "peanut butter/nut table" at school. How and when did this all happen? More so, why did this happen?

     When I was a little girl, my mother gave me a freshly picked peach. It was beautiful and plump and I was was so excited for this tasty treat.....until about 5 seconds after my first bite. In under a minute, my throat was closing, I was having trouble breathing, and I had hives everywhere. I was so itchy. I knew I didn't feel right, but I didn't even know I was supposed to be scared. I couldn't comprehend what was happening until I was sitting in the doctor's office being pumped up with Benadryl while seeing the fear in my mother's eyes. Apparently, my allergy to peaches decided to show it's lovely face that day, and it has stuck by my side ever since. After lots of tests, it was learned that I'm severely allergic to nuts. Not peanuts, but tree nuts. (Peanuts grow underground, so they are in the legume family like a bean or a pea) Because nuts are related to the pit and seeds in many fruits like that killer peach I ate that day, I've had to watch every single thing I put in my mouth at every meal thereafter.

     If you have food allergies, you know how annoying this can be. Of course you learn to embrace it because you have no other choice, but it sure can be a nuisance when you're at a party or a restaurant or when you first start dating someone and they make you fresh chocolate covered strawberries and you start to break out. (It was the thought that counted, Stephanos!) Or how about when you order oreo frozen yogurt and you pull an almond out of your mouth and the lady at the counter tells you, "oh, sorry, we use the same scoop on all of the flavors, even the ones with nuts" (If this happens to you, let me know. I work for lawyers, we can hook you up ;) ) Believe me, it's not fun, but you have to learn to adapt to it. It's a part of who you are after all, and you should love every single part of what makes you different. It's still irritating though when you eat healthy all week and really want that one cookie, until someone tells you there might be traces of walnuts in it. What a buzz kill.

     The worst feeling is being afraid to eat. It's terrifying to take a bite of something and worry that you might feel that feeling all over again. Even though you carry your EpiPen every where you go, it's still the scariest sensation in the world. Yes you learn to live with it, but I don't think the fear is something that will ever 100% go away. Personally, I know if I ate an almond and didn't have my EpiPen, I would go into anaphylactic shock. But what I have taught myself over the past 19 years is that I need to live with it. I need to learn exactly what I can and can't eat, and hey, if I can't have that cookie, it's one less fattening thing I'll be eating! You have to go to the allergist and figure out exactly what to stay away from and learn how to enjoy the foods you can eat. Take care of yourself, and see if the allergist can check to see if anything has changed. I need to do this soon. It's one of the ten little things I want to do before I turn 26Once you're educated, you'll feel a little better, but you will always be extra cautious. Keep yourself updated by regularly visting the FAAN website. Learn all about cross pollination

     If you're one of the lucky ones who don't have food allergies, good for you. You have no idea how fortunate you are. If your kids are allergy free too, count your blessings. I can only imagine how nerve-racking it was for my parents to let me have dinner over friends' houses. I go back to my previous question though, why are kids all of a sudden being born with these severe allergies? When I was little, I was one of the only ones. It was strange. I always knew I was different from the other kids. I hated having to explain why I couldn't have the same desserts or candy as everyone else. So, I leave you with one piece of advice. Don't ever make fun of the people who do have food allergies. You never know how they feel, and there's nothing worse than being afraid to eat.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

keep Falling In love…on a budget

             It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. Whether you’re a kid, teenager, or love someone. I don’t care if it’s your mother, brother, best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, whoever, there is someone out there that you love to have fun with. Now I also don’t care if you’re making six figures or living paycheck to paycheck. I know you’re probably on some type of budget, and that my friends, is why I’m here to help. I promise you can find many ways to have fun during this gorgeous Fall season with the person you love even when your pockets are sort of empty.

            Everyone’s been in this boat at least once or twice, and if you haven’t, well someday all your riches will be gone and you’ll have to figure out how to have fun by going for a walk or jumping in a pile of leaves. Ok, I’m kidding. Your riches probably won’t be gone, but you should still try to enjoy the little things in life.
            Keep reading, not because this is the best blog in the world, but because you want to discover some different fun activities to help keep you falling in love. I’ll help you get started. 

            1.         Go to the grocery store together. Don’t go crazy in the aisles. Have an idea already planned out for a nice warm meal to cook. Buy the ingredients, a small bottle of wine, and stop at Redbox on your way home. A lot of grocery stores have Redbox stations right inside or outside of the store. Who can say no to a movie that costs $1.00? (Actually I think it’s something like $1.28 now because of taxes, but that’s still less expensive than an On Demand movie!)  Making dinner together can be so much fun. You’ll tighten your bond while learning different cooking techniques from each other, and it’ll be exciting to make a dinner from start to finish! (Try to stick to lots of veggies and organic clean foods. You knew I was going to say this. Sometimes it gets expensive to buy and cook organic food, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lot cheaper than going to a restaurant and not knowing exactly what you’re eating!) When you’re done eating dinner, pop in the movie, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, and cuddle up on the couch with your cute little cat on your lap.....If you don’t have a cat that’s fine, it just made the mental image a little more perfect.

            2.         Plan to head to a nearby apple orchard or pumpkin patch. Lots of farms are busy this season with people picking apples and pumpkins to take home. Get dressed in a cute outfit with a stylish little jacket (This applies if you’re a girl. If you’re a guy, just put on a Patriots sweatshirt and some jeans and think about how pretty your girlfriend looks in her cute jacket and tall boots), and head out the door. Fill up a bag of apples, pick out the perfect pumpkin, have lots of laughs, take lots of pictures, and enjoy breathing in the beautiful autumn air. Smile at all the little kids picking out their pumpkins, and think about what type of delicious desserts you can make with your bag of apples! When you get back home, open up a cook book or look online, and start to bake! While your apple creation is baking, go online and print out a jack-o-lantern stencil, and carve something cool into your pumpkin! (try or  This whole day didn’t cost you much, and now you have a tasty treat and an adorable pumpkin for your front steps. Invite friends over that night for dessert, and offer them your freshly baked apple-whatever. Sorry, I’m allergic to apples so I won’t be able to eat it, but I’ll still come to hang out.


            3.         It’s Sunday morning, and all your friends are heading to the Patriots game. Tickets are expensive, you have to pay the rent, and your cell phone bill is already late. I get it. Don’t worry. Don’t let it get you down. Get out of bed, put your sneakers on, grab your favorite person by the hand, and go for a brisk walk. Find different trails, walk through new neighborhoods, and don’t stop holding hands. Work up an appetite. Talk about the scrumptious healthy snacks you are going to eat while you watch the game from the luxury of your own living room where you don’t have to pay $8.00 for one beer that you will probably spill half of by the time you get back to your seat. If you’re a girl and you don’t really care for football, suck it up. Your boyfriend/husband is probably bummed that he can’t get to a game this season, so just pretend you’re thrilled to sit there on the couch with him while he screams at every play. Don’t get annoyed that he’s using your laptop for his fantasy football even though you want to go on Facebook. Make a sacrifice. At the end of the game, he will think he’s so lucky that he has a girl who will sit there and drink beers and watch the game with him. They’re called brownie points, and you just earned them!

            4.         Act like a child and an adult at the same time. Go outside and do some yard work. Stop rolling your eyes at this one. It can be fun, plus it’s good exercise! Rake some leaves, break a sweat, then jump around in the big pile you just made! When the leaves get scattered everywhere, rake them back into a pile, and repeat until you’re tired. Take some good photos of you and your friends, family, girlfriend or dog all buried in the leaves. This is fun and absolutely free. Plus, think of the laughs you’ll have when you push your boyfriend into the pile of leaves he just spent a half hour raking. He might get annoyed, but remind him how lucky he is that he’s healthy enough to keep raking and how fortunate he is to have his own yard to rake.  He will come to his senses and then probably push you into the pile too.


            5.         Go to a corn maze or Halloween attraction. These usually aren’t extremely pricey, but if you really need to save, skip going out to eat first. Eat at home, and then go. Get lost in the corn maze. Get the sh*t scared out of you in a haunted house. Get chased by the creepy guy with the chainsaw and embarrass yourself when you scream at the top of your lungs. Then go home and talk about how much fun you had. It’s all about making memories.
            So, if you find yourself with little in your pockets this weekend, come back to this list, and I guarantee you will be glad you did. Refer back to my older post "Sometimes the simple times are the best times..." for a gentle reminder that sometimes it’s the little things in life that are worth so much.

            Do you have any ideas to add to this list? Please post them for viewers to read! We are still having trouble with the comments section, but keep trying!

Until next time,
 Holly :o)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ten little things I want to do before I turn 26

           It was Saturday morning, and Stephanos was golfing. I had a headache, but I chose to get up early and begin the day anyway. For those who know how fanatical I am about cleaning, it won’t surprise you that I absolutely could not leave my house on Saturday to do anything without cleaning. Now I’m not talking about simply tidying, because I habitually tidy the house every night before bed. (I mean, who wants to wake up to clutter? Not this girl. I want to wake up to fluffed pillows on the couch, a sparkly kitchen, nothing in the sink, etc. .....Totally normal, no?) So, like any ordinary neat freak, I popped some Excedrin and started scrubbing away. But, I couldn’t stop at the kitchen. Next was the living room, the downstairs bathroom, the upstairs bathroom, our bedroom, the spare room, and so it went until I thought I was completely satisfied. Notice I didn’t say I was satisfied. This is because as I was racing up and down the stairs, I kept thinking of all the things I could do to straighten out the house even more. Once I started devising plans to organize the house, I started thinking of everything else I could do to improve my life.
               I decided to make a mental list, and now I’m writing it down here so I don’t forget. You might think I’m nuts, but I’m only giving myself a few months to do this… I work better with deadlines. Since I’m turning 26 in only five shorts months and will be preoccupied with worries of gray hair, my slowing metabolism, and starting anti-aging remedies, I might not have time or even forget to accomplish all these goals. So, if you come to my house and see that I haven’t completed a mission, feel free to smack me and tell me that I NEED TO ORGANIZE MY MAKE-UP CLOSET! Thanks.
               1.            Get rid of all the clothes I haven’t worn in six months. If they are hanging out in my closet or drawers for that long and I’m not excited to see them, I probably just don’t love them anymore. I can’t help it. My fashion relationships change quickly. Sometimes I use an outfit for just one occasion, and then I lose interest. I’m a girl, what can I say? I need to be constantly excited!
               2.            Re-arrange my shoe closet. I need to stop putting heels with boots and flip flops on top of sneakers. I must stop kicking off my shoes and just placing them anywhere in the closet. It doesn’t give each pair its own chance to shine.
               3.            Start a yoga class. This is something I’ve wanted to do forever but just haven’t found the time for. Now I want to make the time. Do you know of any awesome yoga studios from the Chelmsford, MA to Nashua, NH area that I would love? Do you take yoga and want to tell me about your experiences? Cool. Comment or e-mail me!
               4.            Start to vlog. I see people vlogging all the time, and I think it’s really cool! I just don’t want to waste my time talking into the webcam by myself if people aren’t going to watch…. You’ll watch my vlogs, right??
               5.            Go to the allergist. I have always been awfully allergic to so many foods, and although I embrace them all, sometimes cooking and going out to eat can be difficult. I’d really love to see if any of my allergies have changed or even vanished. They say that can happen. I think I’m just too scared. I’ve got to get over this fear.
               6.            Spend more time with my extended family. I want to see my aunts, uncles, and cousins more often. Maybe I will host a gathering at my house and have everyone come over and drink wine and tell the same story about how when I was born I didn’t have a middle name yet. Then they will talk about how grown up I am and how they are so proud of me. It will be great.
               7.            Write a full song. I used to do this all the time, and sadly I have slipped away from it. I love writing, and since my sister’s in the biz, I actually have a chance of my songs being heard. If you have any song ideas, send them to me! I’ll give you a tiny piece of the cut when it becomes a #1 single. Actually, no I won’t. Who am I kidding? But send me your ideas anyway!
               8.            Clean out my makeup closet. I have SO much makeup, more than any girl should have. I really only wear a select few cosmetic items each day, so what am I doing with the rest? They’re just sitting there wishing to be being used, and now I feel bad. I should just toss the stuff I don’t wear. It would save me so much room and so much aggravation when I go to get something off a shelf.
               9.            Stop sweating the small things. This is something that might take longer than five months, but I have to start now. I need to stop worrying about everyone else’s problems. I also need to stop screaming the F word when I spill water or Nala scratches me. More peace and tranquility is highly welcomed into my life. I think that yoga class will help.
               10.         Get a kitten. Nala needs a friend. Stephanos, are you so excited about this one? I put it last since it’s my best idea yet! :)
               Do you have any short or long term goals you are starting? Tell me all about them! Maybe I can help you! Can you help me? I would love for you to share any tips or strategies you have to help me check anything off my above-mentioned list! Any ideas would be lovely!

P.S. A lot of people have been telling me that they have left comments on this blog and they aren't showing up. Please don't think I'm just not publishing them! I am working with Blogger to try to get to the bottom of this and get it all straigthened out. Your comments mean a lot to me, so please keep trying to post them! Hopefully this situation gets taken care of ASAP!!