Showing posts with label happiness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label happiness. Show all posts

April 24, 2020

Things That Made Me Happy This Week #2

Hello? It's me! Remember when I blogged! Since people seem to be online more now that we are all self-isolating due to coronavirus I figured I'd write some more blog posts. I work in a hospital so I'm an essential employee, but find myself feeling like doing nothing but watching Netflix and surfing the web and Instagram. You can check out my happenings and eating habits via Instagram

To recap (since I've only posted in this series once before), instead of Five Friday Favorites I'm changing this series to "Things That Made Me Happy This Week" inspired by a segment on one of my favorite podcasts Pop Culture Happy Hour on NPR. So in these strange times, here is what is making me happy this week: 


1. High waist cotton bike shorts via Target

When I'm not in my scrubs lately I am living in 2 pairs of joggers, a tie dye long sleeve tee, and old race shirts. I just purchased these cotton high-waisted seamless bike shorts from Target online on a whim and LOVE them. They are a steal at $11.99 and are so comfortable. I am a size 6 and the S/M fits great. They aren't too short and would look great with a graphic tee and sneakers whenever I go out into the world next.  

2. Saje Peppermint Halo Roll-On

I received a mini Peppermint Halo roller in my goodie bag from the Seawheeze Half Marathon in 2016. I am obsessed with it for headache relief. Lately because of wearing masks all day and other PPE at work, I haven't been drinking enough water so I've been getting dehydration (and probably stress-related) headaches. It is made with essential oils including peppermint, rosemary, and lavender. This is minty and cooling. I roll it over my temples and forehead and find some instant relief and a little bit of zen.  

3. Parks and Recreation Cast to Reunite for Scripted Special in Aid of COVID-19

YASSSSSSS. I'm a big Parks and Rec fan (it's on Netflix, watch it if you haven't!) so this announcement is making me very happy. 

4. Future Nostalgia album by Dua Lipa

Ever since this album dropped, I have been listening to it on repeat. I listen to it when I'm running, cleaning, dancing in my apartment, when I'm in the shower or getting ready, and anytime else I want some fun dance music. It is fully a dance-pop, disco-pop album that is super cohesive. I love all the songs on it, and it is a catchy album I listen to from beginning to end. My favorite songs from the album this week are "Hallucinate" and "Levitating". We all need some fun dance music in our life right now. You can check it out here on Spotify.

What is making YOU happy this week? Any good Netflix or music recommendations for me? 

February 14, 2017

10 Ways to Show Yourself Self-Love

So today is Valentine's Day, and while many people are haters on the idea of the holiday with all its commercialization. I have always been a fan of the holiday as a day to tell the people you love how much you care about them, in case you haven't always been finding the time to do so lately.  That means my friends, my mom, my siblings, and my boyfriend. I am spending my Valentine's Day in school, doing homework, and maybe treating myself to a run and some dessert.  

It is also a nice reminder to practice self-love and show yourself that you care.  Here are 10 ideas of how to show yourself self-love today and any day!


1. Take a bubble bath. Maybe you're like me and have a few Lush bath bombs sitting in a drawer, waiting to be used so break them out and treat yourself to a bath and some quiet time. If you don't like baths, maybe it is as simple as taking a nice, long, and relaxing shower.  

2. Have a 30-second (or longer) dance party. Turn up your favorite song or put on a Spotify playlist playlist and sing or dance. Music has been shown to boost your mood and dancing makes me really happy. 

November 23, 2016

Things Runners are Thankful for

On a serious note, I'm beyond grateful each day for my health, my family, my ability to go to graduate school and work, as well as all of the opportunities and amazing things in my life. 

Despite currently not being able to run (#bootlife), I am also so thankful for the sport of running and all that it has given me. 

Remember to not only eat lots of delicious food today but also to appreciate what you have and donate to a good cause this holiday. I plan to donate to the LiveUp Programs and Planned Parenthood this holiday season and have already donated some coats, hats, and scarves to a local collection in Baltimore. 

On a funny note, here are some things that runners are grateful for: 


Things Runners are Thankful for 

1. BodyGlide because chafing is THE WORST. 

2 Cold beers after races because if you drink beer, a cold one after a race tastes amazing. 

3. Race volunteers These wonderful people who help out at races, work at water stations, and cheer for runners early in the morning are awesome.  

4. Public bathrooms I'm looking at you, Starbucks. 

5. Port-a-potties (that actually have toilet paper!) 

6. Free race photos because aren't race registrations pricey enough? 

7. Water fountains which are amazing during those hot & humid summer long runs. 

8.  Friends who will meet you for a 5 AM run and give you an extra push to get out of bed to get in some miles before the sun comes up. 

9. Carbohydrates  -a runner's favorite food group. 

10.  Foam Rollers because it hurts so good. 

11. New running shoes which always make me happy. 

12. Race discounts Because things are getting priceyyyy. 

13. Washing machines When your hamper is 90% workout gear. 

14. Well-marked race courses because no one likes running extra or getting lost during a race. 

15. Earth for offering so many beautiful places to see and run! 

Oh and pie. Pizza pies and sweet pies. 

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you a safe and happy holiday. 

What are you thankful for? What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving? 

January 7, 2016

2016 Goals: The Year to Be Bold

Here we go, another post about someone's goals for the new year and vague feelings about getting better, faster, stronger. How original. 


Real talk and thinking out loud, I think setting goals is a useful reflection activity. It's a way to think about improvements you'd like to make in yourself and keep yourself accountable for positive changes in your life. Past January when life gets in the way, things can get hard to keep. I know it's really easy to set goals that are way too high or unrealistic. Sometimes goals are set and shit happens, and therefore the goal is unattainable. 

Anyhow this year I plan to set some goals not resolutions and am keeping them fairly broad. I don't really want to hold myself to running X miles a week or hitting a PR in everything, or losing weight, or having 10 things I want to do every week because I know it won't happen.  So here are my goals for 2016-let's hope that I can check most of these off as completed in a year!

2016 Goals

2016 Goals: The Year to Be Bold

1. Journal everyday in my One Line a Day journal.  
I started this journal last year and majorly slacked. All I'm asking for is at least one line of journaling a day so I'm trying to stick with it this year because I think having a record of some private thoughts and a space for reflection is important. 

2. Stay in strong running shape year-round. 
 I always say this and then winter hits like it did this week and instead of running I just want to put on a million layers and cuddle under a blanket on the couch with Netflix. Here's to keeping my running fairly consistent throughout the year! 

3. Get back to lifting regularly
At first I had written at least 2x a week added to this goal, but specific goals seem really restrictive. Ugh I've been saying this but honestly since I stopped Crossfit because of money and haven't belonged to a gym it just doesn't happen. I'm not a lift at home kinda gal. I plan on joining a gym and actually making this happen because I miss my baby muscles and feeling strong.   

4. Work on being confident. 
Always a work in progress and as most everyone probably feels, how I feel about myself fluctuates day to day. Here's to taking chances, speaking up, loving my body, and believing in myself. My word or mantra for 2016 is "Be bold." Bold is a little different from confident in that it means not hesitating based on fear and being brave. I think I need to have confidence but also be bold in putting myself out there and taking chances without fear or doubt. 

5. Fuel my body. Eating pizza, french fries, and dessert is delicious and is something I will not give up because life is too short for steamed broccoli and boneless skinless chicken breast everyday.  However trying to get some more veggies in never hurt anyone. I need to work on having solid, satisfying meals, especially once school starts up again this semester and all I want and am surrounded by is junk. Fueling my body isn't just healthy, it leads to me feeling better and better workouts! 

6. Budget better. 
 I realize that as much as I don't want to be, I am actually a full blown adult. While I have most things under control, I really need to budget better. I need to actually have a solid savings account and not spend money on frivolous and unnecessary things (I'm looking at you Target and Whole Foods). That means buying things online and especially food shopping, thoughtfully. It also means looking at monthly spending and using my credit card less. It's easy to buy things, but I know I want to spend the little money I have after all of my bills (don't even talk to me about student loan debt I'm piling onto my undergraduate debt) on travelling and things that are actually important to me. 

7. Travel to at least two new places.
Because of my wanderlust, I probably don't really need to have this as a goal however I think having it in writing is a nice thing to hold myself to. I'd love to go out west again and explore a little more of the North by going to Vermont or Maine. 

8. Set a running PR.  
My goal for qualifying for the Boston Marathon happened last year, but my time is just under the qualifying time so I know I won't get accepted this year. Getting a faster qualifying time is a goal, but I really don't want to put pressure on myself this year, especially because full-time school AND work really impacts my free-time and training. I am still figuring out racing plans and what I want to accomplish in 2016, but let's just say I'm shooting for a PR. Whether that's a half marathon, 5K, 10 miler, or marathon PR-I'm cool.

Here's to a 2016 filled with more adventure, love, and happiness!

Do you set a goal or resolutions? What is one of your goals? What would be your word of 2016? 

January 4, 2016

Year in Review 2015 Linkup

Quick plug: If you are looking for a fun virtual race to keep you motivated after January, check out the Nuun Year Dash through Fitfam-registration closes today!

I am a big fan of self-reflection and taking the time to process experiences and events. The end of a calendar year is always a great time to look back on accomplishments, fun, and challenges from the past 365 and also a time to make new goals.  I am linking up with Dani and Smitha for their Year in Review Linkup-go read some other peoples' reviews and get inspired to take on 2016!


2015 was a pretty good year of running. 
It included: 
4 5ks
7 Halfs
1 full
1 Boston Qualifying time
1 overnight relay

Overall 2015 was a pretty great year: 

-Was featured in Women's Running Magazine as the Blogger on the Run

November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Gratitude and We Finish Together Organization

A couple weeks ago I read this article on, and soon after it was quickly being shared by various members of November Project. Kim Stemple is a runner and member of November Project-DC. After reading the article for the first (and second) time I had tears in my eyes.  There had been an earlier article on Zelle  about Kim that I found through this article as well. 

She created the organization We Finish Together  in 2012 which donates finishers medals sent in by runners with handwritten personalized notes to people all across the country who need recognition such as sick children, veterans, and police officers. 

Kim is a competitive runner, special education teacher, and cross-country coach. In 2009 she got sick and doctors diagnosed her with a rare mitochondrial disease which causes progressive physical & mental deterioration. She was then diagnosed with more problems in the years following including lupus and lymphoma and has lived 2 years past expectancy for someone with her diagnosis. Despite currently being on weekly chemotherapy, 51 year old Kim has not stopped running or living her life. 

She founded We Finish Together in 2012 after a friend who ran a race that Kim was too sick to travel to gave her a medal. The positivity from the medal shared by herself and others inspired her to start this organization.  

She finished her 4th marathon in Boston 2014 and then moved to DC with her husband for further care. The article goes on to say "When Stemple told one of her doctors she was going to run the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon, he asked her what mile marker she wanted to die at. He believed her condition so fragile, she wouldn’t live through the race."{now as I try to type this blog post there goes the waterworks again!}

Kim ran the marathon in honor of her husband who is a former Marine and finished in 4:15 with a 2 minute PR.  {more tears}
She donated the medal to her husband and has continued living life and running. 

I unexpectedly met Kim after the Annapolis Running Classic this past weekend. A friend had said she had seen her running on the course, and we happened to bump into her and her husband in the post-race party tent. We went up to her and she pointed out all of our November Project grassroots gear and gave us all hugs after we took a bunch of photos together. 

After meeting her, the first line of the article "Kim Stemple didn't want this story to be about her" became apparently obvious. We all told her how inspiring she was and she shushed us and kept saying it wasn't about her. She said she wants to "create a spark".  It's all about her message and living life to the fullest.  She was so happy, funny, positive and full of life.  

Some of us NP-Baltimore ladies and Kim (blue singlet) after the Annapolis Running Classic 2015
Thanksgiving is always a time for gratitude. It's a time for reflection on family, health, love, and all the blessings in my life. In my day to day life I usually try my best to stay positive, be kind, and chase happiness. With all of the seriously effed up things going on in the world, when there is so much uncertainty and things can change in an instant, it is important to make each and every day count. It's cheesy, but it's true. 

At the post-race party Saturday, Kim said we are all going to die, it's a fact of life. I don't care what she says, but the way that she lives her life inspires me. I gathered a few medals to donate to We Finish Together (you can mail them in!) and have been taking the time to reflect on trying to make the most of my days and encourage you to do the same this Thanksgiving.

You can follow We Finish Together on Facebook,Instagram , or check out their website

I'm sure if she reads this she'll remind everyone that's it's not about her. I just want to spread her message and help create more sparks in people. Think about what positivity and love you can spread in this world. 


I'm so grateful for the opportunity to briefly meet Kim and be reminded that every one's days on this earth are numbered. Never lose sight of actually living in the here & now instead of taking things for granted and putting your life off. 

What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving? 

January 2, 2015

Goals for 2015 {and looking back at 2014 in photos}

I had goals for 2014, and didn't complete all of them. I find it not to be a failure, as it's always nice to strive for big goals, things change, and reflection & inspiration isn't wasted.  I did get to live more in the present, be bold, and travel more in 2014. I also definitely ate more greens and got a shiny new marathon PR in Chicago.  

2014 was a great year full of many wonderful memories. My first relay race, travelling literally across the country for Hood to Coast with Nuun, applying to graduate school, growing my blog, running the Chicago Marathon, taking a trip to Boston, seeing multiple friends get married, having the confidence to apply for opportunities (with most of them panning out!), and taking a little bit more charge in my own life. 

post-Hood to Coast party with Team Nuun Lemon-Lime

wedding fun
November Project Baltimore Positivity Award
NECDC Relay Fun with NP-Baltimore ladies

September 25, 2014

Body Love Tour Baltimore

It's only fitting that right before I sat down to start writing this post (part event recap/part thinking out loud) I saw the TUT daily inspiration that perfectly says everything I wanted this post to be about: 

You're beautiful enough, Lauren.

You're special enough.

You're sexy, playful, and fun enough.

You've worked enough.

You've cried enough.

You've been grateful, generous, and kind enough.

Okay, then?
    The Universe

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Body Love Tour event. I was surprised to find out the tour was making a stop in Baltimore for a night of yoga, inspiration, music and community with Promoting Natural Health and Lindsey Smith

I was really excited because a couple of my favorite bloggers Heather Waxman and Kasey of Powercakes were going to be there. (YAY!!!) I especially love following Kasey's blog and her whole journey and philosophy about healthy living is so inspiring to me.

The night of the event I showed up to a beautiful building albeit in a sketchier part of Baltimore for a smaller and more intimate evening than I had expected. I wasn't sure what to expect but right when I walked in I was greeted with hugs from both Heather and Kasey which had me blogger-starstruck. 


July 16, 2014

Little Things Thursday feat. Snowballs and Beyonce

Welcome to another It's the Little Things Thursday, which is the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. I think it's important to remember to take the time to stop and appreciate all those little things that make us smile. 

 I cannot believe how fast July is flying by! It's pretty much non-stop from now until the end of the summer, making it the perfect time to stop and reflect on all those small joys in my life. 

Remember that all those small moments of happiness add up,even though it's hard to see that when life gets stressful (i.e. me this week!). 

Here are some of the little things lately that have made me smile!

Taking iced coffee to work in my frog cup.  Yes it's mine. Yes I'm in my mid-twenties. 

June 30, 2014

Hi I'm Lauren. {thoughts after Fitbloggin'}

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you saw that I had a fabulous time at Fitbloggin' in Savannah this past weekend. After a delayed flight and long drive last night, I'm dragging a little this Monday morning. At the same time I am feeling very motivated and inspired by the weekend. 

I'll do a Fitbloggin' recap and photo dump later this week, but I today I'm sharing all the thoughts swirling in my head from the conference. I met so many awesome people and heard so many inspiring stories. I was given a lot  to think about and reflect upon. It's a weird world to be in. I have real life friends, blogger friends, and total strangers reading my blog. I love sharing snippets from my life and stories about my training and races with others. 

Even if you're a brand new or long-time reader I thought I'd reintroduce myself to you.

This is a snapshot into what's swirling in my brain now. It's not everything, but it's a little picture of who I am.  I typed, proofread, and hit publish so it's of the moment.

June 19, 2014

It's the Little Things Thursday

I've decided I'm starting a regular series called It's the Little Things Thursday.It will be a compiled reflection on the little joys I find in everyday life.  Sometimes it may only be a couple things, sometimes it may be a lot. I'm thinking it'll be an every other week thing, but we'll see :)

I find a big part of being happy is enjoying the everyday, not just the big occasions, vacations, or celebrations. 

I've noticed myself feeling anxious and discontent again lately so I've needed to remind myself the virtues of positivity and seeking happiness from within.  

Going to the gym, working, still working, cooking dinner, catching up on emails,running errands and doing chores. This is how most of our days are spent.

Sometimes those are not the most thrilling or fun ways to spend our time so I think stopping to enjoy and savor the small but maybe not so insignificant things in our days that make us smile is a good thing. 

After all, all the little things which make us happy add up!

"Enjoy the little things in life ..." - quote by Robert Brault

Here's some of the little things lately that have made me smile or brightened my day, even if just for a moment!

April 10, 2014

5 Things that Make Me Happy Lately (Thinking Out Loud Thursdays)

It seems right now the world can't escape Pharrell, his huge hat, and his hit single Happy. It's everywhere. and I love it.  I'm okay with a catchy song with a nice message on the airwaves among so many empty, dime-a-dozen pop songs (which can be fun, but still). Today I'm talking about being happy. Yes, clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.  Now I'm not saying I'm completely happy-I'll always be chasing that. Lately even amid the stress and negativity I've been focusing on the positive things,even if something isn't going my way.  I'm obsessed with my daily TUT emails (there will be more TUT-inspired posts on here) and this one from a week ago really sparked these feelings for me: 

Nothing is worth your unhappiness, Lauren; not because the awful and ugly don't happen, but because there's always more of the really good stuff. 


    The Universe

Nothing is worth my stress and unhappiness. Life is too short to not be happy and time does fly. It's like that motivation saying "a year from now, you'll wish you started today" or however it goes. Maybe it's just my birthday coming up far too fast that is causing me to be so reflective. Anyways counting all the good little things in my life makes the rest seem not so disastrous. Today I'm sharing some things that have me feeling positive.  This might become a regular little exercise of reflection for me! My random moments of happiness and tips for focusing on the present are also a great fit for Amanda's Thinking Out Loud linkup

5 Things that Make Me Happy Lately

1.  Taking time to cook leisurely. Last night I made some butternut squash veggie mac & cheese. I added some noodles, sauteed kale and mushrooms in with my cheese sauce. The recipe for my cheese is below if you are interested-it was tasty! You could make this completely dairy-free if you wanted-I added a little cheese from a local farm from my CSA. I just kind of winged it because I was in the mood for some comfort food and had some frozen butternut squash also from my CSA to use up. You could roast or boil and puree your own butternut squash to use.  

It was nice not just throwing something together because I was tired or eating something I meal prepped. Even though I made up this recipe on the fly, I  took my time to cooking it and even ate dinner without my phone next to me or the TV on. 

(serves 2-3)

August 22, 2013

Tara Stiles took the words right out of my blog post?

Well I had a blog post in the works for today about my life being chaotic right now, and my decision this week to put my foot down and take care of myself. I was sick with a lingering head cold and pushing myself, stressed out about finances and school, which was manifesting itself in acne and more tummy troubles, and using shopping and nut butter as my therapy. There is no stopping the nut butter addiction, I'm not that silly. Still, I've been eating a lot of bananas with nut butter.  I just finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin which also is probably contributing to my wake up call.  

I open my email inbox today and see my all of the thoughts I was feeling and trying to express in my blog post, nicely said by the lovely yoga guru Tara Stiles in the blog emails I get from her. She stole the words right out of my head and blog post! (Go to her site to sign up-she always has nice musings, contests, and recipes!) 

I'm trying to put myself and my happiness first in life. My time and money and most of all, energy is precious so I'm not wasting it or doing things I don't want to do that I don't have to.  Being healthy and happy and taking care of yourself not only helps you, but makes you a better person to be around.  In the email Tara says "We all have our stress. It's a part of life. It comes and goes and comes and goes again. The trick I've learned along the way is to deal with it when it comes so we aren't only happy and calm when it's on a gone cycle. "
This is true and usually it's a balancing for me, but lately it has seemed I can't get a a good grip on everything in my life. 

I'm going to repost her 5 Simple Steps to Take Care of Yourself Now, along with a few of my own steps that I am personally going to take in the next week or so. I've bolded and highlighted some major points that I like from the list!  If you want to see Tara Stile's full blog post, click here!
"5 Simple Steps to Take Care of Yourself Now by Tara Stiles

1. Get enough sleep. Wind down your night by putting your phone and computer away. Don't fall asleep checking instagram. (I'm guilty so I'm just saying) Sleep is essential to your health. Get enough. Start tonight. Here is a routine to wind down your night. 

2. Prepare more meals for yourself. If you cook, you are going to pay attention to what you are eating. Get interested in the kitchen. Start preparing your meals. Some of my favorite super simple heathy meals are here.  

3. Spend your time wisely. Your time is more valuable than your money. Think about it. It's true. Spend your time with people that make you feel good. Align yourself with work that fuels your creativity. If you have a job that stresses you out, find ways to not let it consume and squash you.

4. Don't postpone your happiness. Your life is happening right now. Watch out for thoughts like, I'll be happy when this happens, or I'll be happy when this isn't happening any more. Make changes now that help you feel better so you can take care of your self.

5. And don't forget You are Perfect! There is nothing to fix. Cultivate and work toward things that inspire you and make habits of things that nurture you. Your health and your life isn't a goal, it's an ongoing experience that is happening right now. Enjoy!"

So I've mentioned frequently lately that I need to work on getting more sleep. I'm working on it. I've also mentioned that putting the phone, computer, etc. away helps because those bright lights from electronics disrupts melatonin production and keeps you awake longer! I've been pretty good at meal planning, packing lunches, and preparing lots of my own food so that doesn't really apply to me.   You are an awesome person, but everybody has areas they can improve upon. 

This whole blog post I had planned for today was focused around NOT postponing your happiness. We get so caught up in the day-to-day activities that time just passes, and then we realize we aren't having all that much fun.  Everyday, the good and the bad, is life. Don't say you'll be happy when you get through this busy stretch, when this major work project is over, when you lose 10 pounds. BE HAPPY RIGHT NOW! You don't know what tomorrow brings so live life the fullest, carpe diem, and all that jazz. 

5 Things I am doing this week to make myself happier

  1. Painting my nails/toenails. I put this off and now my fingernails are chipped and toe nail polish has been on for a while so I'm going to have a glass of red wine this weekend and take the time to paint my nails. This seems like a silly thing to schedule but remember to pamper yourself, people. 
  2. Taking a bath. Okay so this has two benefits. One, it is relaxing and two, my legs have been really sore. I saw that Carlyn from Just Keep Sweating  had instagrammed earlier this week that she was taking an epsom salt bath for her sore body. I just can't manage an ice bath right now, so a warm, scented, salt bath sounds wonderful right now. 
  3. Getting some frozen yogurt. It's been a while since I've gone to a frozen yogurt shop, and I'm craving a delicious frozen treat with fresh fruit and chocolate chunks on top. Yum. 
  4. Setting up a financial plan.  I have a lot of expenses right now, with more on the way, so I need to actually use the account I set up and budget my money. I'm going to set aside some money from each paycheck to put into a savings account, along with a set amount of money set aside to spend on unnecessary spending since that is kind of on the fritz.  Lastly, I'm going to start a jar of loose change and extra dollar bills as a "happiness fund".  Once it's pretty full, I'll get it counted and spend it on something that will make me happy. 
  5. I could teach you how to speak my language, Rosetta Stone. Okay so not really the Drake lyric reference but actually getting back in speaking French again. I minored in French in college (would've double majored if I had planned it out better) and haven't spoken it since graduating. It's a skill I'd like to maintain and improve so I'm going to look into dusting off some language books or finding an online program on the cheap to get back at it.  I can allot 30 minutes a day that would be spent surfing the internet (using that phrase makes me feel old) to studying some French.  

If you didn't read all this and are just scrolling here's the recap:

Life's too short to be anything but happy, and the time is now. 

I'll update you on my progress of course. 

What are some things that make you happy that you could work on doing?