Why do I cringe when I see myself in a photo?

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend an amazing ambassador brunch for Mad About Style here in Winnipeg.

Tables/Chairs/Flatwear - CT Rentals | Macaroons - Jenna Rae Cakes | Menu - Robin Egg Blue Designs

Tables/Chairs/Flatwear - CT Rentals | Macaroons - Jenna Rae Cakes | Menu - Robin Egg Blue Designs

I’ve been shopping at Mad for years now, and the women that work there are so lovely, creative, and inspiring. The event was beautifully catered and decorated, there was an incredibly captivating speaker, and I can honestly say I had a really great time connecting with old friends and meeting new ones (that I had previously stalked on Instagram and felt like I already knew).

Of course at such a beautiful event you’re taking tons of photos, and I had been lucky enough that my insanely talented friend Bailey did my make up before the brunch. I felt good about my outfit, my make up, but when I got home I looked at a photo myself and another incredible blogger (@brainsandbronzed) from the day and I instantly was RIPPING myself apart.

Why do my thighs look like that?

I look so heavy.

Did I look like this all day? Did everyone think I looked this big?

All of my positive thoughts from the day were suddenly gone and I was too busy focusing on my appearance in this photo and what everyone else thought about how my body looked at the event.

I showed the photo to my boyfriend, who immediately tried to extinguish the negative self hate spiral I was heading down and reminded me that I’d said it was such an amazing day, and how could all of that be forgotten because of one photo I thought my hips looked big in.

I thought about the speaker at the event, Jessica Janzen (@jsjanzen) and what she had to say to the group at brunch earlier that day. She spoke a lot about her story, about her successes, her failures, and how at the end of the day both her successes and failures taught her things in order to be a better person, friend, business owner, mother, and wife. Her talk also included important messages like; Don’t let yourself be the reason you don’t succeed. Don’t take being able for granted. Don’t be too scared to let negative emotions or people go in order to take control of your own life.

The photo in question w/ the beautiful Cassidy from @brainsandbronzed

The photo in question w/ the beautiful Cassidy from @brainsandbronzed

Side note - if you aren’t familiar with Jessica and her story, please do yourself a favour and check her out. She really is an inspiration to us all, and I can confidently say she was the best speaker I’ve heard.

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I suddenly thought, Emma you’re being ridiculous. Why are you getting so anxious about a photo? So instead of focusing on the photo that I consider unflattering, I decided to focus on what Jessica said, and to focus on the fact that I had an amazing day surrounded by kick ass women, and that I felt really happy and #blessed to be invited to and included in this group of fantastic women.

Jessica said at the event, “there’s a reason you’re here at this brunch” and she was right.

I guess the moral of this story is that we aren’t always going to love the way we look. In person, in photos, we can’t always control these things. And that’s ok! What we can control is how we project ourselves to the world and to others, what direction we want our life to go in, and although it’s sometimes okay to have a bad day or a bad thought, don’t let those things be the reason you don’t succeed in your life or believe in yourself.

So today, I’m focusing on how inspired I felt after listening to Jessica speak, and how she reminded me that I don’t want to be part of the 92% of people who never go and get after their dreams and the things they want.

Again, a huge shout out to the Mad team for throwing such a fantastic event. Their spring collection is launching this week, and I was able to see a few of the pieces and it really looks like it will be another great collection.

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Grocery Shopping...for One.

I’ve been living alone now for over two years, and as much as I’ve loved it, it’s also been a learning experience.

Grocery shopping is something I’ve struggled with since the beginning. For some reason, I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I

A) Live alone

and

B) Don’t eat 500 tons of food a week

This has resulted in a lot of waste and frustration on my part. I think I was always so used to my family having such a stocked fridge (very thankful that I had this experience throughout my childhood, I know there are a lot of people out there who aren’t this lucky) and I kind of just took this mentality when I was out on my own.

After all this time I’ve finally kind of got it down. This year I’m really going to try and make a conscious effort to make more food at home (I really, really love sushi though so…) and make sure I’m keeping track of things I actually do eat, and things I don’t.

This is what my fridge looks like currently…yes that is a jade roller and eye masks in there.

This is what my fridge looks like currently…yes that is a jade roller and eye masks in there.

A few things that I’ve started reminding myself when it comes to getting groceries…

MAKE A DAMN LIST

Making a grocery list is 100% the most important thing to do before you head into the store. I’ll often think about what meals I want to make for the week, and then base my list around that. Of course, I have my basics that I always make sure I’m stocked up on (eggs, egg whites, Annie’s gluten free mac, spinach, almond milk, snacks or drinks my boyfriend likes etc.) but this way I have a guideline so I’m not going rogue in the cereal isle. Also researching what fruits and veggies are in season is a great way to base your meals around produce that may be a little bit less expensive.

Don’t Just Shop at One Store

Look, groceries are expensive. Over the last two years I’ve figured out the stores I like to shop at and the stores I don’t. I use the Flip app to both make my grocery list, and look at all of the flyers for the week. I primarily shop at Superstore and Walmart, TBH I buy mainly my meat and eggs at Walmart (because surprisingly their eggs have a nice orange yolk…) and their meat is priced really well.

Superstore I pretty much go to for everything else. This app is really helpful to price compare as you can also select items from the flyer to add directly to your grocery list page - handy!

Keep Your Fridge/Freezer/Cupboards Organized

Keeping your fridge, freezer, and cupboards organized makes it a lot easier to keep track of what exactly you have in there. I was the worst at buying the same thing over again because I didn’t realize I already had it hidden somewhere (mainly in my cupboards). Staying organized not only helps avoid any rotting food becoming liquid in your veggie bin.

Don’t be Afraid of the Freezer

For the longest time, I was so worried about buying frozen veggies. TBH I’m not exactly sure why. I think I thought that if I bought frozen veggies it was like i had failed my body or something and there was no way there were possibly as healthy. And partially, this may be true.

However since I do live alone, it isn’t always smart to buy ALL fresh veggies, and for sure not all fresh fruit. All of my smoothie fruit is frozen, and now I also do buy some frozen veggies as well (primarily broccoli or edamame beans). I keep my bread in the fridge because I don’t eat it every day, and any other bread products like english muffins that I may only have every once and awhile.

Transitioning into Fall

We're coming to the close of the last long weekend of the summer and suddenly it feels like it's already fall.

As much as I love the fall, this was a really great summer and I'm a little sad to see it go. We also barely get a fall season in Winnipeg, so I plan to milk this one for as much as I can. 

From September long weekend at Shoal Lake

From September long weekend at Shoal Lake

There are always a few thing's I like to do around this time of year to make the transition into fall a little easier (and less depressing), and no, I don't mean drinking Pumpkin Spice everything. (TBH I really do not like pumpkin spice lattes...)

The first thing I'll do is gut my closet. Move the summer stuff to the side, pull out the plaid shirts and knit sweaters, and get rid of anything I do not wear anymore.

I am the absolute worst for being like, "maybe I'll wear this shirt again in four years". If that thought goes through your mind, spoiler alert, you will not wear it again. It's time to part with the piece, and really it's taking up valuable closet space.

What I'll do is collect a bunch of the stuff that I've realized I no longer wear and I'll take it into a consignment store. The one in Winnipeg I usually go to is Plato's Closet over near Polo Park. They're really fast at going through your stuff and will pay you a really reasonable price for it! Whatever they decide they don't want I'll donate to my local church rummage sale. 

The other main thing I like to do around this time of year is pre make healthy soups and muffins to prepare for the chillier weather. As I've mentioned, I went a little off the wagon this summer with indulging. And that's okay! But although I'm not going back to school, I find it a lot easier to stick to a healthy food and workout routine when the colder months roll around. 

 Finally, moving into the fall routine I usually try to create a budget. Over the summer it's really easy to get carried away with going out for dinner and patio drinks with friends. I find it a lot easier to create a budget moving into fall to try and follow and get back on track moving into the colder months. One good way to stick to budget and try to save some moolah is by taking out cash and organizing it into envelopes and only allowing yourself that specific cash for what they're labeled for on the envelope - going out, groceries, bills, etc. Whatever you have left - you save! 

These are just some of my tips for moving into the fall season, have some of your own? Feel free to share them in the comment section below!

Surviving wedding season solo.

It's here...wedding season.

Honestly I love weddings, a lot. I just love, love.

Yes I'm cheesy AF.

BUT I DON'T CARE.

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I love weddings, and as much as I love wedding I love dressing up...and an open bar. (c'mon you were all thinking it too...)

But when wedding season comes and you get the invite with the dreaded +1 and you're sitting over here eating your second grilled cheese polishing off the box of wine wondering if it would be socially acceptable to bring your family dog things can look a little bleak.

And suddenly it seems like everyone has significant others and you're going to die under the pile of empty boxed wines and it will take weeks for anyone to find you...and so the spiral starts.

Fear not all you single ladies (or guys, that's cool too, on a side note if any guys are actually reading this blog that's sweet, write a comment I'm genuinely curious if guys read this) there are tons of options and things to look forward to at a wedding if you're flying solo.

 

1. As much as a date is super fun...so is going with your besties.

I don't know if anyone else is in this boat, but the majority of my girlfriends are a very "for the girls" bunch. When you see those dudes on snapchat chanting "Saturday's are for the boys" most of us are at home thinking "you poor poor SOB's, we don't give a crap if Saturday's are for the boys, the girls didn't wanna hangout with you anyways..."

Rent a hotel room with your other single besties attending the wedding, go there to pregame, post game, and spend the next morning reminiscing over room service and Caesars about the ridiculousness that occurred the night before. Because unless you have a boring group of friends I bet at least one insanely hilarious, dramatic, or outrageous thing happened at that wedding.

2. No shame in your food game

Okay so you know at weddings how you're in your dress and trying to look all skinny and cute and if you're with your date sometimes you get a bit wary of showing how many burger sliders you really can eat in one sitting?

NOT TODAY LADIES, NOT TODAY.

No need to worry about grossing our your date when you don't have one! And realistically, I personally think this is a good way to pick out which guys are the cool ones. The guys that are down with how much you love food, and they love food too are the kinda guys that you (okay or maybe just me) wanna date.  

 

3. Going to a wedding and embracing the fact that you're attending alone not only allows you to meet other people who are attending, but also gives you total freedom to be completely yourself and meet other awesome attendees. Use this as a time to network, make new friends, or even allow the opportunity to meet someone you may not have been able to otherwise. 

4. Finally, just have fun. Regardless you're there to celebrate love between two people you love (hopefully...unless you're a wedding crasher then you should probably just go wild)

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