7 Happy Days – Just What I Need

Oh man. I’ve been in a bit of a funk this past week, and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. I can’t tell if I’m being overly sensitive or if some of my friends are distancing themselves from me & I don’t want them to feel like I’m attacking them about it, by bringing it up, but it’s really been eating at me. Among other things. That’s all a story for another day, though. Maybe. Sigh…

Anyway, I started the 100HappyDays challenge a week ago, and it’s actually been helping my perspective stay on the right side of that drop-off into depression-land. Essentially, if I get home from work & don’t have any ideas for a post for that day, then I know I need to take some time and DO something that makes me happy. I don’t need to just sit around & wait for good things to happen. I can make good things happen for myself.

SO, I thought it would be good for me to reflect on my first week of the challenge, in order to gain a little perspective today, which has been a teensy bit rougher than previous days.

Day 1 – Rereading favorite passages from Queen of Shadows while drinking my new Aelin Ashryver Galathynius blend of tea from Adagio. Cozy & happy.

Day 2 – SPIDER GWEN HOODIE! I’ve been waiting for this thing since February & it finally arrived. I may have worn it for like 4 days in a row & the only reason the streak ended was because I was wearing it when Hubby & I watched the series finale of Friends and, well, there’s mascara all over it that I have to scrub out, now.

Day 3 – Kate Spade mug! Kate Spade + Coffee + Watercolor + Books… yeah, I don’t know how this wouldn’t make me happy.

Day 4 – I decided that since I wasn’t ready to move on from Queen of Shadows yet that I would re-read Heir of Fire AND Queen of Shadows before diving into my October TBR. I’m just not ready to spend a year waiting for the next installment of this series. It’s quickly weaseling its way into my top favorite series slot (*gasp* even higher than Harry Potter?!…perhaps)

Day 5 – A side of me that rarely pops up on the blog, the sportsfan side. I really only care about one team & they are killing it this season (so far). We’ve been getting kind of a bad rap for the past few seasons, so it’s nice to be back on an upswing.

Day 6 – Working on collecting this entire set of classics with edgy, modern covers. Drac & Frank look so great together. I can’t wait to complete my set! Also included are: Wuthering Heights, Hamlet, Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, and The Fall of the House of Usher.

Day 7 – Yesterday was rough. Not as rough as today has been, but rough enough that I recognized my need for a break. So, I headed off to the Library right after work and spent 4 hours reading Heir of Fire on their living roof. If I had to pick one place in the world that is my oasis, it’s that. I only just discovered it a few months ago & I’m obsessed. Yesterday’s weather was perfect for outdoor reading, too, which made it so much more perfect. I was in a great mood by the time I came home (right after sunset).

If you want to follow along with me for the rest of this challenge, you can follow me on Twitter or Tumblr. Also, check out posts from the entire SqugSquad by searching the tag #HappySqugs.

Until Next Time ❤

Christa

Holy Birthday.

I had the best birthday last week, you guys. [Caution: Random blabbering ahead.]

Thursday was a non-stop kinda day. I got to work around 7:00 & had a huge meeting across town until noon. That wasn’t an ideal way to start my birthday, BUT it did include a free catered fajita buffet, so it definitely wasn’t a bad thing. Plus then I got to call it a day after lunch, which was perfect.

I went home & got changed into my midnight movie uniform (Marvel tank top, duh) before heading out to meet up with some friends who were sweet enough to invite me to their lunch date. I was super stuffed from the catered lunch, but figured the last thing I should be doing on my birthday was just sitting on my couch waiting for the action to start. SO, I ordered a gigantic margarita & had a great time talking Star Wars & Avengers while they had lunch.

Before the party could really get going, hubby & I had to take kiddo to her Kindergarten open house (moment of silence, please, cuz my baby starts kindergarten in the fall T_T). We had no idea what to expect, but it was mostly an informational thing where the faculty described to us the daily routine of the kindergarten class. I was utterly shocked at the level of autonomy they expect out of kindergarteners. Maybe I’m underestimating my kid, but I am super nervous to have her be responsible for getting herself on the right bus & off at the right stop or serving herself lunch from the buffet line. Eek. Oh well. We’ve got all summer to work on it, right? Plus, look at that  face. She’s gonna be just fine.

We had about 15 minutes to get home, get kiddo changed for  dance, send her off with my mom, and get ourselves out of the house to meet our friends at the bar for our Avengers Pre-Game/ my pseudo-birthday party. It was close, but we managed. 🙂

From there, it was all about the good times. No responsibilities, celebrating great friends, and getting completely pumped for the movie by indulging in very heated debates about comics & superheroes. Not that that’s new for us, by any means. Have you checked out SWATH yet? That is kind of our default setting.  #shameless plug #sorrynotsorry

We had probably 25 people at the bar with us, which made us the really loud, obnoxious table in the place (again, not a novel situation…that’s pretty typical). AND here’s where I lend a huge shout-out to Raven for slaving away over cherry tomatoes to make me my favorite BLT bites. Holy lordy those are amazing.  And she made enough for EVERYONE. Even the waitress got her hands on a couple.

I’ll be perfectly honest & admit that I may have been having a little bit TOO good of a time before the movie.  I’m not sure how many drinks I had, but I’m certain my adult beverage-to-water ratio was NOT proportionate. And then we made our way to the movie theater, which sells alcohol. I always thought they only had beer, but I discovered last week that they also have margaritas! And they’re surprisingly good – as in, surprisingly strong.  After a couple of those, I was feeling REALLY good & officially uncontrollably excited for the movie (have I mentioned that I was REALLY excited to see the movie?). In case you were wondering, we were also the really loud, obnoxious group in the movie theater. BUT we respect the movie, so we calmed down after the previews. We’re not THAT obnoxious. We literally took up 1.5 rows of the theater. It was kind of epic. Our largest movie premier turnout ever (we do this for almost every late-night release).

I’m gonna skip over my thoughts on the movie – partially because this post is long enough already and partially because I might have taken a tiny nap towards the end & don’t feel I should form opinions without re-watching it. We’re going again next weekend 🙂

After the movie, we stood in front of the theater having a lively debate about different aspects of the film before a small group of us headed back to the bar for a nightcap. That’s when this gem happened. Because one of my friends had a freaking Zelda hat in her car. And then I was deemed unworthy of it when I didn’t know what the emblem was called (it wasn’t a tri-force, it was a tri-force surrounded by some stuff & I still don’t know what it’s called). But at least I got one good birthday selfie.

Seems like a good note to end my recap on. Sorry for the random tangents & stuff, but I’m still floating after such a great day.  27 is going to be a good year. I’m gonna take it by storm.

Until Next Time ❤

 

All-Access Pass

Hey! So I’ve had this little space for a minute or two (2 months-ish), and although this is probably the 5th time I’ve attempted to start blogging, it is the ONLY time I have actually made it longer than one month! To me, that’s an accomplishment worth celebrating. Even if I haven’t been very consistent – you know what? We can’t expect miracles here, people.

I can’t even express how fulfilling this experience is, so far. I am bursting with creativity & plans/ideas for future posts. You might wonder why this attempt stuck when the others never did. Well, it’s embarrassingly simple: I tried in the past to start blogs that mimicked the ones I love to read – DIY, Interior Decorating, Style, Beauty, & Trends. Those blogs are all great and I love absorbing that content from other sources, but it’s just not something that I excel at creating. You know what I do excel at? GUSHING. Finding something I love & telling the world about it.  Geeking out with like-minded people about superheroes & books & Buffy. That’s why this is different. I have found my people – and I love you.

So, since I’m still new to this world, I thought it’d be fun to do a get-to-know me questionnaire and maybe spark some fun conversations if you find we have something in common. So, ready?

#OGF ALL-ACCESS

BASICS:

What is your Name? Christa

Do you have any nicknames? Christa Mae

How old are you? 27

Where do you live? Iowa

What does your URL mean? That I obsess over everything

What’s your sexual orientation? Heterosexual

In a relationship? Married

Children? One and only one. 🙂

What is your astrological sign? Taurus

What time is it? 12:30 PM – Lunchtime!

 What is your heritage? Not entirely sure – there’s some Irish & Norwegian in there, though

What’s your favorite color? Blush

BOOKS/ MOVIES/ MUSIC:

What are 6 of the songs you listen to most? Right now it’s: Pumps by Amy Winehouse, The Big Bang by Katy Tiz, Move by Little Mix, Natalie by Bruno Mars, Zombie by the Cranberries, and Wasted by Tiesto

What’s the last song you listened to? Nobody Love by Tori Kelly

What is your favorite band/ musician? I LOVE Sara Bareilles and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals. The Beatles are always in that mix, too.

Most attractive singer of your opposite gender? Justin Timberlake, hands down.

 What’s a song that always makes you happy when you hear it? Move by Little Mix

Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 23, give me line 17. “I…don’t…want…him..t-t-to come!” Dudley yelled (HP/Sorcerer’s Stone)

 What was the last book you read? The last book I finished was To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I’m kind of in a slump right now 😦

Give me your top 5 favorite blogs.  Super Space Chick, HONY, The Alison Show, Vintage Revivals, The Book Nosher

What was the last film you saw? Bring It On. Yeah, that’s right. And it felt so good.

An actor/actress you’ve seen in more than 8 movies? Name the movies. Paul Rudd (<3): Clueless, Wet Hot American Summer, 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You Man, Admission, Wanderlust…is that 8? Yeah. God, I love Paul Rudd.

A film you could watch on repeat for the rest of your life? There are a couple, but I’m gonna go with Pitch Perfect here.

A film you wish had a sequel? Fanboys! (you hear me, Kyle Newman?)

What’s your favorite movie director? Joss Whedon

A movie that holds a special place in your heart? The Mummy.  Idk what it is, but I have watched this movie SO many damn times in my life. It’s like it’s always been there. Same with Singin’ in the Rain ❤

Mainstream movies or indie movies? BOTH! Never make me choose!

A film with an amazing soundtrack? Guardians of the Galaxy (duh), 50 Shades of Grey (haven’t seen it, but the ST is amazing), and Spiderman 2 (one of my favorite ST’s of all time, believe it or not)

Most anticipated film of 2015? Holy crap, how can you ask this of me? Well, Age of Ultron is way up there, as are Pitch Perfect 2 and Force Awakens. But there’s also Ant-Man, Jurassic World, and Jem and the Holograms… this year is a good one for movies!!

PERSONALITY:

If you could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be? Probs Joss Whedon.

What do you think about most? What I should be doing instead of whatever I’m currently doing.

Do you have any strange phobias? Idk that it’s strange, but I’m growing increasingly more arachnaphobic as I get older. Like, a spider was crawling up my curtain across my living room last night & I got so worked up I cried. Yes, that happened.

If you are outside, what are you most likely doing? Sitting in the sun or else trying to get inside as quickly as possible 😛

Do you believe in karma? To some extent.

Who is your celebrity crush? Uh. I have a number of them. Right now I’m gonna go with Carlos Valdes (Cisco on The Flash)

How do you vent your anger? Usually by writing or having a girls’ wine night.

Do you have a collection of anything? My makeup collection is pretty substantial. My comic book collection will soon surpass it, though.

Do you prefer talking on the phone or video chatting online? I honestly prefer instant messaging. I’m a much more eloquent writer than verbal communicator.

Are you happy with the person you’ve become? For the first time in a long time, I can honestly answer this question with a YES.

What’s a sound you hate; sound you love? I hate the sound of sneakers squeaking on a gymnasium floor. I love the sound of my daughter giggling.

Do you believe in ghosts? How about aliens? Skeptical but open-minded on both.

Stick your right arm out; what do you touch first? Do the same with your left arm. Right: Monster Energy Drink, Left: iPhone

Choose: East Coast or West Coast? EAST.

Do you believe in luck? Absolutely. So much of life comes right down to luck & timing.

Do you have any obsessions right now? Ha. Too many to list. Tumblr is an uber obsession right now. It’s kind of out of control. Also, my hair 🙂

Do you believe in magic? Certain types of magic, absolutely.

Do you tend to hold grudges against people who have done you wrong? Only if the wrongdoer shows no remorse & is an asshole. Otherwise, I’m an incredibly forgiving person.

Do you save money or spend it? Spend it. And then feel guilty for weeks.

Can you touch your nose with your tongue? Nope, but I can touch the bottom of my chin. Lol.

Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you? Some sticky notes. And the lining on my purse.

Are you wearing socks right now? This is a silly question. I almost never wear socks.

What is your secret weapon to get someone to like you? Don’t try too hard? Lol. Just be a nice person. It’s pretty basic.

Where is your best friend? I would assume at work right now. Across town from me.

What is a saying you say a lot? Either “I mean…” or “That’s a thing”

What is your current desktop picture? Rotating folder of DesignLoveFest’s “Dress Your Tech” wallpapers

You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go? Italy. Is there another option?

If the whole world were listening to you right now, what would you say? You are not alone.

 EXPERIENCES:

 How many tattoos do you have? Six (heart on left foot, spade on right foot, ankh on hip, “Beautiful Disaster” ambigram on wrist, Sally Stitches on shoulder, Storm Trooper on back ribcage)
 
What is the single best decision you have made in your life so far? Starting this blog.
 
Where were you yesterday? At work, then work, then home eating pizza & watching Netflix
 
What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had? When I was 4, I shattered my radius & ulna and was in a cast for something like 9 months.
 
Ever had a rumor spread about you? The only ones that I know about are: 1) In HS, there was a rumor that I was sleeping with a teacher (hilarious because I was a virgin then) and 2) A very bitter person tried to start a rumor that my husband is not the father of our daughter. Luckily he trusts me.
 
What’s the last thing you purchased? My Darth Vader #megettingdarker T-Shirt in Florida ❤ (see below)
 
Do you drive? If so, have you ever crashed?  Ugh. yes I drive & I have been in too many accidents. 2 within the last 12 months – I swear to you, they were in NO way my fault. People are just stupid.
 
What’s your biggest “what if”? What if I had followed through & gone off to art school?
 
What does your latest text message from someone else say? “How About Now?”

 

Ha. some of those were pretty random & required some serious thought. If there’s anything else you want to know about me, don’t hesitate to ask! If any of my answers struck a chord with you, let me know so we can talk about it – I’m feeling chatty 🙂

 

Until next time ❤

 

Photo Apr 17, 9 55 06 AM

#AlwaysKeepFighting

On the heels of yesterday’s post, my #AlwaysKeepFighting sweatshirt showed up today and it could not be more perfect.  This campaign means so much to me. My first experience losing someone to depression came at an absurdly young age – 11 – and ever since then, I have been an advocate for those living under the weight of depression and anxiety. Even as I have begun to struggle with the same ailments, I have only once ever considered giving up and I am proud to say I sought the help I needed in that time. Because now I can hopefully help others. I love the work Jared Padalecki is doing to raise awareness for TWLOHA and I cannot wait to wear the shit out of this shirt and tell people my story when they ask about it. ❤

  

[PSA] The Mental Illness Monster

I’ve been missing. Not only missing, but also missing out. I haven’t been around, but I’m not going to apologize for it because the only person it’s been hurting is myself. And instead of apologizing to myself, I’m going to do something about it.

We need to talk. About anxiety. About that monster that’s been sneaking up on me in this time of so much potential & dragging me backwards like I’m nothing more than a rag doll.  Anxiety isn’t rare. Mental illness isn’t rare. I am not ashamed to admit that I suffer from anxiety & depression because I could easily list at least 20 people in my life who suffer the same ailments or worse. I have way too much experience watching people suffer in silence to think this is something I can beat alone. So I want to talk about it. I’ve wanted to talk about it for a while, but never really knew how. I guess I’m just going to do my best.

I have a lot going for me right now.  I know this. I have a wonderful family, a home, a job, incredible friends, and opportunities & creativity in quantities I didn’t know were possible – and definitely never imagined for myself. By all accounts, I should be on top of the world right now; kicking ass & taking names. Instead, I’m sort of cowering, feeling defeated – and I don’t even know by what.

Anxiety doesn’t give you reasons, it just gives you feelings. Feelings like the world is closing in on you & you’re letting everyone around you down on a regular basis. Feelings of deep & painful insecurity even when, from the outside, everything seems to be pointing up and everyone in your life is nothing but encouraging. Feelings like you’ll never be able to claw your way to a place full of stability, confidence, and grace.

In the end, though, feelings aren’t reality.  It can feel like your friends are shutting you out when they’re really trying to reel you back from the other side of your wall. It can FEEL like the world is crushing you when it’s giving you every chance to succeed. It can feel like you’re never going to get your life together when, in reality, it’s not even in shambles to begin with.

Anxiety is a bitch. She’ll tear you down faster than Regina George, and you’ll never see it coming. She did it to me. I don’t even know when it started, but I’ve been spiraling down for a while now. I finally reached a point a couple weeks ago where I really felt like I might need to get some professional help. Maybe I still need that, but I’m definitely much better after that initial breakdown.

Medication, therapy, meditation, self-medication – these are all valid ways to address anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating drug or alcohol abuse to curb anxiety attacks. Actually, my preferred self-medication is people. I when I start feeling myself slip, I intentionally surround myself with people I love and who make me happy just with their presence. Anybody I can talk to – even if it’s not about my anxiety directly – genuinely saves my life at times like these. This may not be an effective treatment for most people, but the thing about mental illness is that it affects each person differently and individual therapies have to be explored on a case-by-case basis. I’ve been dealing with these “episodes” since I was in high school. I know what works for me, and I cling to my loved ones with a death grip, just trying to pull myself out of it.

SO, that’s what I’m doing lately. Surrounding myself with people who can make me laugh and see the good in the world. And day by day, I’m getting better. Being more productive. Being more proud of myself and my life. It’s always going to be a struggle and the tiniest, most seemingly insignificant things always have the potential to send me down this path all over again. But I refuse to let it define or control my life. I have an unlimited supply of untapped potential. I am endlessly optimistic. I am a fighter.

Tomorrow is going to be a wonderful day. And if it’s not, there’s always the next day.

If you suffer from depression or anxiety and are ashamed or afraid to talk about it, I encourage you to find someone you trust with your life. Don’t isolate yourself. It really is your life at stake, and so much more.

Love you all!

Until Next Time ❤


PS – I have a whole backlog of posts I’ve wanted to write over the last week & just couldn’t bring myself to do it, so hopefully I can get myself back on track and get all these thoughts out of my head!