I got 5 on it #11

It's been a hot minute since I've posted much of anything.  I'm sure you've all been in the throws of complete disappointment but, have no fear, I'm back!  Here are 5 things that I'm loving right now...

1. Fun gift idea: A photo puzzle from Collage.com.  My mom sent me one as a gift last week and, knowing me and my obsession with puzzles, I thought this was SUCH a great idea!  It's a collage of various pictures, mostly of my dog Charlie and me, that's made into a 500 piece puzzle. 

What my finished puzzle looked like

What my finished puzzle looked like

500 piece puzzle

500 piece puzzle

2. The perfectly priced Summer bevvie: I mean, I just love Trader Joe's.  If you don't love Trader Joe's then you're either A. not smart B. an elitist or C. just plain naive for not knowing how great it is.  I found canned Italian sparkling wine by Simper Wines the other day at TJ's for, wait for it....$3.99!!  That's for a 4-pack, by the way.  And even better, they taste pretty damn delicious.  There's a sparkling rosé (mineral notes with red fruit flavors) and a sparkling white wine (hints of juicy honeydew and fresh-cut herbs).  You and your Summer BBQ guests won't be disappointed...and neither will your wallet : )

3. Guilt-free pizza options:  I LOVE pizza.  Like, it's my favorite food.  And while I'll always indulge every now and then on a delicious, fully fattening and greasy slice or two of Italian pie, I've really been trying to clean up my diet over the last 6 months.  So, I've been searching for alternatives that can give me the deliciousness of pizza without all the guilt. 

In comes Cali'flour Foods. I ordered their cauliflower pizza crust online after getting a recommendation for them from a friend.  Each package comes with 2 crusts, and shipping is free for orders over $50.  So of course I HAD to order 6 crusts (two of each of the 3 flavors offered) to get the deal.  I've been pleasantly surprised with this product and will definitely order from them again.  Hopefully they'll start selling them somewhere in Chicago soon!

I also found out the other day that Trader Joe's is now carrying a pre-made cauliflower pizza crust, which is VERY exciting.  I can't wait to try it! 

Honorable Mention: Real Good Pizza Company's parmesan chicken crust pizza. I can't completely recommend them because I haven't actually tried their product yet, but it's definitely on my short list, so wanted to let you guys know.  These come in personal or large sizes AND they just came out with a breakfast pizza option (egg crust)https://realgoodfoods.com/productpage/#breakfast-pizzas!  Can't wait to try them!

4. Myself!  It's probably not considered the most humble thing in the world to write about 5 things you love and make one of them you...but you know what?  I'm trying to make a point here and I'm also practicing to love myself on my own journey (it isn't always easy for me, either), so bear with me. 

Charlie and me in the midst of his favorite pasttime...fetch.

Charlie and me in the midst of his favorite pasttime...fetch.

I think it's cool to love yourself, and we should ALL be practicing this on a daily basis. I don't believe anyone on the planet is exempt from struggling with it. Our culture breeds us to strive for perfection and, as humans, that is truly an impossible thing to be. So, if you think about it, we are essentially living our lives trying to be something that we will never be capable of being.  Sounds pretty miserable, if you ask me. 

We tend to be so critical of who we are, what we look like, how much we weigh, what we own or don't own, how we interact...you name it, we've hated it at one point or another.  I can't tell you how many years I've spent wanting to be skinnier, shorter, smaller (there's a theme there, I know), more popular, less sensitive, less emotional, smarter, richer, quieter, more mysterious, etc.  You name it, I've wanted to change it somewhere along the line.  But you know what else I've always wanted to be?  Confident in who I am, just the way God made me.  There's nothing more confident than having a strong sense of self.  Of who you are and what you want from your life.  It's truly a beautiful thing.  Those days of hating my natural, innate tendencies, both physical and mental, are gone.  I refuse to fight with myself anymore.  And as soon as I decided that, things started to change. 

Don't get me wrong, I still struggle and practice and remind and rebuild toward my goal of self-love and total acceptance all the time, and some days are easier than others.  But it's the biggest priority in my life...to love me.  And until I made it that, I struggled.  So make it a thing.  Love who you are, too.  Let's start a revolution!

5. My mission.  #4 was a good segway...so here goes.

People have asked me many times what the mission or main content of my blog is.  I struggled with this question, for months, because it was just supposed to be for fun (and still is, btw), but I just hadn't really thought much about it.  As my audience started to grow, however, I realized, "hey, people are actually reading this shit?!" I began reaching a wider audience on Instagram and started to realize that I really wanted to make more of an impact than just writing about a product I found and liked, or a vacation I went on (not that those posts won't continue to happen).  It wasn't until recently that I figured out what I wanted that impact to be.  A light bulb literally went off in my head when I attended my friend Erin's workshop last month (if you don't follow her already or read her blog, you must!  www.erinsinsidejob.com and her insta handle is @erinsinsidejob).  What prompted this epiphany? She is authentic!  She puts it out there and is real and empowers others to realize that maybe, just maybe, they can do the same thing.  And it's a beautiful thing.  I realized at that very moment that I am that very much so that way.  Authentic.  And I want others to see that and realize that they can be their non-perfect selves, too!

I LOVE Brené Brown.  Click image for her website.  All of her books are amazing.  (photo cred)

I LOVE Brené Brown.  Click image for her website.  All of her books are amazing. (photo cred)

We all know the cliché sayings about being who you are.  That there is nothing more beautiful or powerful than being true to the person you are meant to be.  Well that's one thing I've always been pretty good at.  To the point that I've also wanted to change IT as well.  "Man, I wish I could learn to not say weird things."  Or, "I need to be less open about what I'm thinking in my head."  Or, "Why do you feel this way, Betsy?  Stop feeling this way and CERTAINLY don't share it with anyone else." 

But you know what? I'm good at being me.  I may not have always liked it, but I always have done it.  I speak my mind, I share my feelings, I love real hard, I say weird things sometimes...I am vulnerable with the world.  And I am unabashedly authentic AF.  So my mission is this.  To inspire authenticity in my readers.  It's okay to be you.  Imperfect, weird, maybe struggling at times, crazy happy, excited about life, open and honest, shy and mysterious...whatever 'YOU' is.  Be it.  Stretch marks and blemishes and big butts and mental illnesses and problems are EVERYWHERE. No one is exempt.  Embrace who you are and stop judging yourself. 

And I'm still going to post about products I love and my vacations.  Because I'm not into being serious and self-reflective ALL the time.  Okay?  Okay.

I like this website, too.  Click image for link to www.everydaypowerblog.com  (source)

I like this website, too.  Click image for link to www.everydaypowerblog.com (source)

Wayne Dyer is the man.  (source)

Wayne Dyer is the man. (source)