LVII: Practice Makes Imperfect...?

I AM NOT PERFECT, BUT I AM LEARNING.

I learn a lot from the people who I allow into my life.  Whether it be a good experience or a bad experience, I learn a lot.

So, this post is about a couple of the things that I have learned this year that I truly appreciate having had the opportunity to learn. 

THERE IS GOOD OUT THERE. 

So, I have an old co-worker, Josh, and I used to always walk by his office, bug him with dumb questions about his life and law, and pretty much just be annoying to him. 

Oddly enough, he took to my annoying ways and has become a good friend and person in my life.  

The part that shocks me the most is that he didn’t have to do this. But, I am glad that he did.

I have another friend, Ken, who I met when I first decided to apply to law school. He was this bright, beautiful souled person that constantly made me laugh and is geniunely caring. 

He listens, he cares and he gives the advice that no one else will. He’s REAL! Simply put. 

Having met people like the two just mentioned still shocks me. There  are  good people out there, and I know I shouldn’t be this shocked, but I am!  

These two give me hope. And I’m grateful to have that glimmer of hope that reminds me not to give up on people. 

SOME FRIENDS ARE REAL. 

Alicia is this fun-sized, adorably sweet, giving, caring, nurturing, dog-loving woman who I am blessed enough to call a friend. 

Over the years, we have refined our relationship and she’s shown me time and time again what it means to be a friend and what it means to have a friend. 

I’m often shocked by who she is and how she is, and it’s great. I aspire to be as good a friend as she is. 

Another great is Faith. I mean, have you ever met someone who was just like you but cooler? That’s Faith and I! 

He is this very quiet, but very outspoken, cool-dressing trendsetter who makes me laugh and hates juice! The joy that I feel just seeing him is insane. He is someone who I vibe with anywhere and anytime. I mean, I took him on his first trip to IKEA! We are forever bonded and he is forever a great friend.

YOU CANNOT CONTROL EVERYTHING. 

My biggest problem (apart from communication) is that I try to have control over every situation. 

I try to prevent situations from causing me pain by micro-managing them. I try to shape situations by grabbing them by the reins and controlling the direction of them.  

BUT, my friendship with Andre has taught me that you cannot control everything and you cannot control anyone. 

I often fear just letting situations play out because I believe that they will always end in the worst ways. Again, the realist in me forces me to follow the patterns of my life, like, it’s all that makes sense to me. If things have gone one way in the past, then they will go that way in the future. 

What an unhealthy way of thinking right? I KNOW! I’m learning, guys!  

This lesson is a tough one for me because it’s something like a two-fer! With learning that I cannot attempt to control, I also have to learn how to STOP TRYING TO CONTROL.

I have started this horrible habit out of complete fear from my past experiences. But now, after learning that I can lose people over this, I just want to forever rid myself of this need to control things.

I am no perfect person, perfect friend, perfect lover, or perfect example. But, I am practicing… I am practicing different ways to be a great friend. I am practicing ways to let go of my need to control. I am practicing seeing the good in all people.

I know that I will never perfect this, but I do plan on working on it.

So, in me, watch practice make imperfect.

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LVI: November Goals

I finally have time to sit down and set out my goals for the month, so why not set out my November Goals?

These will be simple goals for my blog, for my life, for my family/relationships, and for my fitness! I’ll try and keep it short by making one goal per topic, that way it’s more realistic and actually doable, because, why make unobtainable goals, right?! Here we go:

FOR MY BLOG:

My November goal for my blog is to get out and take more photographs for my posts.

I’ve been blessed with a bit more free time, but haven’t used it much to enhance my peace of mind. Photography, eating and working out are the things that make me happiest (when I am not around other people), so, in my solitude, I want to get out and get some great shots. 

 I believe that photographs bring life to my posts and they make it much easier to notify my followers on Socials about my new blog posts.

FOR MY LIFE: 

This November, I’d just like to see myself happier. I want to find that I am studying more, cooking more, reading more, writing more, and, smiling a lot more.

I want more life, but, more than that, I want more happy life.  

But, I want to take it day-by-day. Some days just staying home and watching that same old movies over and over in sweats with wine makes me happy. And some days, all I want to do is go out and mingle a bit.

Basically, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be happy. I force happiness, I push for happiness in crappy situations, and I settle for happiness-lite when I simply don’t have to!

The trend this November is ME — I am working on my happiness, my fitness, my studies, my reading, my writing, my time.  

FOR MY RELATIONSHIPS

The biggest thing that I am going to work on, from this point forward, and in all relationships is communication.

The odd thing about me is that, before I will talk it out, I always prefer to just walk it out. Meaning, I’d rather just walk away completely than do the work to stay (usually out of fear).

I’d usually rather just try to fix my feelings myself when they are hurt, or try to deal with whatever caused the quarrel in the first place rather than attempt to talk to the person.

The problem is that I do not find it odd when I prefer not to communicate, but the reality is that there are actually people out there who are adult enough to come to you and talk to you about a misunderstanding. So, one should also be open to that.

FOR MY FITNESS: 

I usually don’t make fitness goals just because I hate putting pressure on something that I do for pleasure, but, for the purposes of this post:

My November goal for my fitness is to run more! Believe it or not, I am still working off all of the weight that I gained while being cuddled up this summer. BUT, the summer love is gone and so must go the summer love handles!

A little summer weight is no match, however, for a good old cardio regime, so let’s set a goal of 28 miles for the month of November. This will include cycling, running, walking, hiking, and anything physical except driving (😂, I would try it).

I’ll be honest, I’m only about 6 miles in so far, but will take a ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture to see if any progress happens on these beautiful 22 miles that will be completed by the end of November.

So, my November goals are set!

READY, SET, ACCOMPLISH!

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LV: A Post For 30-Year-Old Bree...

Since I’ve been working on getting back into my routine lifestyle, I’ve found that I’m more inclined to make a daily ‘To Do’ list. There’s always something so refreshing about scratching things off of that list, so, I’m making one for 30-year-old me! This is basically the list of things that Bree had better do at age 30 because she didn’t do it in her twenties.

Check it out! ⬇⬇⬇

1. BUY THE HOUSE 

I have wanted to buy a house for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to be the one who hosted the holiday dinners and have family stay over while we all laugh and cram on the couch to watch sports (or the Nanny).

I want to decorate when the holidays roll around. I want to create open spaces where the light shines in creating the perfect reading nook. I just want to have the space to create the feel that I will wake up to each day. I see how excited I get when I change the rug and throw pillows in my living room so when I think of all that I can do with an actual home that’s mine, the joy overflows!

Now, maybe it’s just being in California that makes it seem as though buying a house is impossible on your own (and also while pursuing higher education), but from what I’ve heard, it kind of is impossible. Too much debt, you know, from the education that they tell you is worth it. Too many penalties for not being married, you know, in the world that wants everyone to exercise independence. And, you don’t make enough, you know, in the world that does not want to pay you when the work is worth it.

So many things stand in my way of buying a house, and have since college. But, for 30 year-old Bree, nothing is standing in her way. She’s gettin’ it!

2. TAKE THE TRIP

My bucket list is full of all of the beautiful places that I’ve been wanting to visit since college when I started it. My hesitation to travel usually comes in, however, when I lack a travel buddy that I can actually have fun with while we travel.

I’ve only been able to travel with one person that I thoroughly enjoyed throughout the whole trip. In my eyes, that person was my perfect travel partner, and this is all that I wait for to book trips! But, 30 year-old Bree won’t need a travel partner! The trips that I book will be just for me and not rely on who I travel with.

So, it’s time to knock a ton of these places off:

La Muerlla Roja, Spain

Michigan Shores

Philadelphia

Hawaii

Italy

Promise, Texas

Yosemite

Aruba

Tahiti

& more, I’m coming for ya! 

3. MAKE THE MOVE

I’ve been wanting to move to a different state for as long as I can remember.

To have traveled to so many great places and seen the different types of people in those places only makes that urge stronger.

I know that, by 30, I will be an attorney and will have taken the California Bar so my options regarding moving and working will be limited. But, I also know that this is not where I see myself making a life, or settling down.

I’ve stayed in this state at the request of others, but found that doing for others brings temporary joy… It’s fleeting. No one will make me happy but me, so if moving would make me happy (difficult as a change this big will be), I owe it to myself to make the move.

I don’t like being stagnant, and it seems like a lot of the people that I’ve let control my impulse to move just want me to be stagnant. I will not find happiness that way, and after this horrible year, I need to chase my own happiness. I have to come first and I’m not waiting until I’m 30 to do so. The saving starts as soon as possible, because I am moving on…

4. AS FOR LOVE…

You love too hard, and men your age aren’t ready (true for my 20’s and my 30’s I’m sure).

Enjoy your thirties. Travel. Take advantage of family time. Start that business. Build that new life in that new location! Decorate your beautiful house.

Love can wait another decade.

[Although I have recently found that I am ready to open my heart up to love... But, along with this, I’ve found that I also have a world of work to do on myself before being ready for the man that I deserve.]

 5. DON’T CHANGE for, or because of, ANYONE!

I’ve mentioned it before: when I was younger, I didn’t feel free to be me, to say what I wanted, to do what I wanted (within reason), and to be who I wanted to be.

When I finally broke free from that, I began to stand, fully, in who I am. Yes, I am flawed. Yes, I have a mean streak. Yes, I am impatient and the list goes on! But, there is so much about me that makes me unique. I refuse to lose those things. I am tired of seeing all of these cookie-cutter people trying to be whatever version of “perfect” that they see on TV or social media.

I like me the way that I am (even with all of the growing that I still have to do) and the right people will as well. They’ll respect me. They’ll be there for me. They’ll love me, and I them.

Don’t change for anyone, Bree. You’ve done enough bending and breaking for people who don’t even go the distance in your life and always prove to have been a big waste of time. Leave those fruitless situations alone, move past the pain, and don’t lose your light because of them.

The only change you make should be to make yourself better, and not for any other reason.


30 year-old Bree, you’ll be just fine. This life has thrown a multitude of happiness and a plethora of sadness at you. You’re ready for what’s to come. Just be sure to always GO FOR IT.

Also, remember, pain is always temporary, but regret is forever. 😉

LIV: Why Am I So Afraid Of My Favorite Season (The Holiday Season)?

I love the holidays so much.

But, I have such a fear of spending the holidays alone. I can’t tell you why I have this fear since every year (especially while in a relationship), I end up on my couch, drinking wine and watching Eloise At The Plaza or Les Miserables completely alone.

The hopeless romantic in me starts picturing it differently every year starting before Halloween, and here’s what the hopelessly romantic Bree creates:


Given that I normally travel during the holidays, I picture myself and my spouse in a different city where there’s a brisk chill and lots of layers.

We run out into the rain, or snow, to stock up on movie snacks, hot cocoa/tea and movies that can be enjoyed together in our matching PJs.

Of course the hotel that we’re staying at has an amazing view of some of the most beautiful Christmas lights you’ll ever see, so we have the curtains drawn on the big beautiful windows.

We cozy up on the couch nearest the window in our PJs and house shoes, cups in hand and just look gratefully into each others eyes. Happy to spend such an important day with each other… Feeling like, even if it isn’t so, we are everything that we need…

That night is full of laughs, warmth, cuddles, food and love… That’s what I imagine for the holidays.


But, let’s do an expectations vs. reality deal here! My expectation looks GREAT for the older, more settled in version of Bree (after elevating my circle, settling comfortably into a job that I love, and a bit of solo travel)!

My reality each year usually isn’t anything like this however. Even when I was in a relationship during the holiday season, my significant other was either overseas in the military (good excuse) or, for other exes, somewhere being selfish and cheating (not gonna lie). This could have easily created another reason why I fear my favorite season altogether (you know, it being a constant reminder of my life’s patterns...), but I digress…

Luckily for me, I usually get the chance to celebrate early with my family alongside my 4 brothers and sisters! Do you know how many cuddles you can get when you have that many siblings! 

So I may not have experienced my perfect ‘The Holiday’ Holiday, but I usually have a great one anyway, so bring on my favorite time of year!

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LIII: Colourpop No Filter Foundation Stix

I struggle with foundations. I struggle to find the perfect shade for my warm dark skin. I struggle to find the perfect formula for my combination (oily and dry) skin.

Colourpop recently released foundation sticks which are the perfect medium between a liquid foundation and a pressed powder. It’s literally a cream foundation in stick form, for those who do not yet use them.

I’m fond of foundation sticks and I normally use either Smashbox or Anastasia Beverly Hills. I am, however, very open to new brands that can better service my color-matching needs.

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The Question Is, Do They Meet My Color-Matching Needs?

Nope!

I have, once again, been let down by the make-up industry and their “many foundation color options”. Again, the amount of brands that brag about all of the colors and shades of foundation that they have compared to the number of African-American women like me who struggle to find a color that doesn’t make us look crazy… 🙄

Maybe my skin tone is not one that comes with a perfect match foundation. I mean, honestly, my skin doesn’t need foundation anyway. I have beautiful skin! But, I do want the option to wear it, so help me out brands! Help me out.

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Left: Deep Dark 197 W

Right: Deep Dark 213 N

Excuse my nails and grubby fingers, nobody’s perfect. 😹

 
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Look at this deception!

It looks like these would be perfect right? One for an all-over foundation and the other for a cool soft contour.

BUT, the color of the inside of our forearm is NOT the color of your face. Of course it won’t work!

Now, this isn’t a complete Hateogram to the whole Colourpop No Filter Foundation Stix line (because Colourpop is over there working pure magic with their products), it’s just me acknowledging and slightly complaining about the fact that, if and when I want to wear make-up, I’ll still be grabbing and blending two foundations to get that base going!

And let’s not even get into bronzers! 🙄