Why I Write.

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I write because I love to.

I write because it gives me confidence.

I write because I was painfully shy growing up and for a very long time it was the only way I felt like I could truly express myself.

I write because putting my thoughts into words helps me draw conclusions and find the answers i’ve been searching for high and low.

I choose to write for SO many reasons that it’s difficult to explain my passion in one simple blog post.

So,  I’ve decided to share some quotes with you all that help explain why it is so important to me to keep PrettyBritty alive and thriving 🙂

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Breathe In…Breathe Out…Let It G0.

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On Monday night, after a long day at work, I decided that the best way to deal with my stress and what I can only describe as “glum feelings” was to attend a yoga class. Fortunately for me Prema Power Yoga in Marblehead offers a 7pm hot power class, which gave me plenty of time to get home, change and grab a quick snack before heading off to the studio.

From the moment I walked in the door I knew that I made the right decision. The calming atmosphere, warm temperature and serene music instantly brought a smile to my face that stayed in place for the entire hour long class. The instructor actually even encouraged us to “smile through the poses” so I felt right at home 🙂

The class was challenging, sweaty, spiritual and calming all at the same time. I truly love the detoxifying power of hot yoga and could feel the negativity, as well as bad energy, dripping out of my body. My mind and body were both working hard for that hour!

Finally, while in shavasana at the end of the class, the instructor chose a reading that really inspired me entitled, “Autobiography In Five Short Chapters” by Portia Nelson, that I couldn’t wait to share.

It goes:

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

 Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

 Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

I encourage you all to take a minute to reflect on the above and try to find meaning in it for yourselves. Does it fit in your life story in any way? Can you relate to this evolution of thinking and can you apply it to a challenging aspect of your life? I know I can 😉

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Namaste.

Change is the One True Constant in Life… So, Why Not Embrace and Celebrate It?

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For the first time in a very very long time I am embracing change! Shocking, right?! But, over the past year a lot of amazing things have happened in my life, which subsequently forced me to reevaluate my natural hesitance towards change.

Since my last update I’ve landed my first real “big girl job” and I’m now working in the city! While commuting from home isn’t ideal I know it’s only temporary and I’m able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Only a few more months of saving and I will be able to make the big move! Another change that I am eagerly anticipating 🙂

In the spirit of rolling with the punches and embracing change I’ve decided that it is time to stop making the excuse of “being tired” or “overwhelmed” and refocus my energy on the things outside of work that make me smile, like writing and my blog. I hope to continue to use prettybritty as a platform to raise awareness about eating disorders/disordered eating, but I also want to use the site as an outlet for me to share what makes me happy and what I am passionate about at any given moment. From fashion, to health, to beauty my goal is to share all things positive, beautiful and enchanting.

So, thanks for sticking with me and lets continue to acknowledge that change is truly the only constant in life so why not make the most of it? Whether small or life altering let’s roll with it, adapt and be our best selves 🙂
Happy Monday everyone and always remember: Be Happy. Be Bright. Be You.

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Worst. Winter. Ever.

Well folks all I can do is apologize profusely and than beg for your forgiveness. I am SO sorry about my absence, but the winter blues really got to me 😦 Blizzard after blizzard, dreary day after dreary day, freezing temperature after freezing temperature…it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, literally! And, though we aren’t quite out of the woods yet, technically speaking it is spring so that means summer is not far off! I don’t know about you guys, but I think we deserve the most beautiful, warm, dry and SUNNY summer New England has ever seen, wishful thinking I know, but a girl can dream 😉

So, I bet many of you think that being housebound for the majority of the winter would be ideal for blogging and posting, but I actually found it to be quite the opposite. From the day I decided to start prettybritty I promised myself that I would NEVER write a post when I felt sad, unmotivated, depressed and especially if I was consumed by disordered eating thoughts. Unfortunately for me most days this winter I felt at least one of those emotions. The most I could do was share the occasional link on my Facebook page and even that was rare. I hate to make excuses and I am not trying to through myself a pity party, but I just want you all to know what was going on with me this winter (and I truly bet I’m not alone when I say that I felt blehh for most of the winter months). But, I am disappointed in myself for not turning to prettybritty more because I hoped to use my blog as an outlet where I could reframe negative thoughts and feelings, as well as share inspirational and informative articles, quotes, webpages, etc. That’s were I dropped the ball, but you know what… I’m back and determined to never ever let the winter blues take control of me again!

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One personal takeaway I have from (barely) surviving the worst winter ever is that weather truly affects my mood and motivation. I don’t know about you all but, all I wanted to do was stay in my pjs (and let’s be real when I say pjs it’s not a cute matching set I’m talking full on grey sweatsuedo) tucked under a blanket with at least two heating pads…I’m not exaggerating when I said this winter was a rough one for me haha. The only events that got me out of the house were spinning classes, the occasional coffee run (because the Keurig is only good so many times in a row…) and going to work. But, now that I know just how severe my seasonal affect is I will be better prepared if we ever have a winter like this again…praying to God that it never happens, but you never now 😦 If we are however cursed with another winter like this one I will make every possible effort to get out and be social. I’ve decided to look back on the past few months as a learning experience and hopefully grow from there. Long story short I need to get my butt out of the house, even if it’s cold, and socialize…no more isolating and making excuses because of the elements..It’s gonna be hard, but hopefully i’ll have a year to prepare for it 😉

So, folks since I’m back in business I thought I’d share with you a really awesome article I came across. It’s a few weeks old, but I’m super excited about the efforts American Eagle is making through their promotion of healthy/realistic body images. The National Eating Disorder Association recently honored American Eagle’s lingerie/intimates brand Aerie with the first-ever NEDA Inspires Seal of Approval, for their #AerieReal campaign. “Launched in 2014, American Eagle’s Aerie campaign promotes healthy body image by not digitally removing models’ blemishes, tattoos, cellulite or other features that are typically photoshopped on the website or in advertisements.” Basically NO photoshopping ever…hats off to you American Eagle 🙂 For further detail on the campaign as well as the award they received check out the People Magazine article, “American Eagle Wins Award for Realistic Underwear Ads.”

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Stay tuned ladies and gents for more updates because I’m back 🙂

Self Care Snow Day: A Date With My First True Love…Me ;)

a2a253168ec6a81b82620db0a8f3ce41So guys, in an attempt to fight the extreme sense of boredom that I knew was looming in my future, as well as be semi-productive, during the crazy snownado (shout out to Allie for that term) I decided to seize the day and make it my official “Self Care Snow Day.” It’s been awhile since I’ve focused on some self care and boy I had no idea just how much I was in need of some loving…

“Love yourself first” is a message that I bring up on the reg on the blog and that’s because it relates so strongly to my own insecurities. I honestly have to remind myself, probably every minute of everyday, that the most important  relationship I can have right now is the one with myself. I think it’s way too easy to become consumed by the thoughts and desire of having someone else love us, especially when we are SUPER single (and when I say super I mean it…). If I’m speaking candidly from my own experiences I think a lot of things failed, if not all, because I didn’t have enough respect, or more specifically love, for myself. So, guys we can only live and learn you know? And the main take away I have from past experiences is that I must spend more time focusing on, and taking care of #1…Me.

Therefore, I decided that today I would focus solely on self care and all things Britty. I mean when’s a better time to show yourself some love than when you are trapped indoors with no other responsibilities? So, here’s what I did to make my day all about me 🙂

  1. Sleep In-Last night in preparation for Juno I had the fabulous idea to wash all of my sheets and linens. There are few things better than climbing into a warm, clean and freshly made bed. I honestly dare you to name three things superior to it…but, anyways I slept cozily and snugly in my bed, but unfortunately not soundly (darn snowplows and wind) until I truly wanted to get up. Is it ok that I slept in until 11am? Hell yeah, today’s my “Self Care Snow Day.”ea746aa60c0d8d7699e169b22b3141dc
  2. Get My Sweat On-Knowing that I was going to be trapped in the house all day today I decided yesterday that I should get my sweat on at some point. Prior to Juno I planned to take a spin class at Burn, but obviously that wasn’t going to happen so it was up to me to get my endorphins flowing. I didn’t do anything crazy, but decided a weight/strength circuit was just what the doctor ordered.0ab5aec2536871c0ee57b3410b6691c9
  3. Shower time-After my workout I took the longest shower evah! It was amazing and I cherished every second of it. Once I finally emerged from my happy place (fun fact I truly believe a hot shower cures all) I climbed into some fresh and so clean, clean pajamas. I’m obsessed with comfy clothes and any day where I can wear them unapologetically is one that I consider a day of self care 🙂4dbbbc5acdc419267574ad364394b47e
  4. Boozy brunch– Once I was all comfy, cozy and clean in my rockin jammies I made my way down to the kitchen to enjoy a boozy brunch. I cooked my own meal, which is in and of its self a big challenge, and decided hey I may never again have an adult snow day where I have no responsibilities so why not enjoy a drink with brunch? All in all the drink was yummy, but the feeling of cooking my own brunch successfully surpassed that. Every meal is still tough and having done this meal well brought a smile to my face 🙂photo 1
  5. Snail Mail-So, I’m completely, fully, wholeheartedly OBSESSED with cards. I love sending, and of course receiving 😉 mail, and with a certain hallmark holiday just around the corner I thought it would be a great time to send out a few letters. Can’t share more because I don’t want to ruin any surprises! But if anyone ever wants to throw a card my way I won’t complain 🙂4661007820
  6. Pamper time– And yeah this happened…i’ve been dying to try an at home face mask, but haven’t had the time so thank you Juno for giving me that finally! Also thanks to Women’s Health Magazine, and my bff Pinterest, for helping me come across this easy to do: Aloe Vera and Avocado Face Mask. Definitely check it out you guys! It’s suppose to help combat dry skin and with this weather we need all the help we can get. My skin does feel better and I would try this again.photo 2photo 4
  7. The Post-it Always Sticks Twice-Did I then spend over an hour watching some of my favorite Sex And the City episodes…oh yes I did! Whenever you are feeling less than awesome about your love life (or lack there of haha) Sex And The City is there to raise your spirits. It could always be worse, but it WILL always get better and Sex And The City is there for all of our highs and lows. Carrie Bradshaw for President?c49f206225c375fa3549cf86f60e08e4
  8. Writing– I don’t want this to sound corny or lame, but writing on my blog is truly the most cathartic and effective form of self care for me. I love writing and need to make it part of my everyday schedule because it always brings a smile to me face 🙂 Planning out this post and finally putting it into words gave me a purpose. I can only hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. a0332f5fd3c6e4bf368e4ba86953248e
  9. TBD-Not really sure what the rest of the night holds, but if I could guess it would consist of me cozied in bed in my clean sheets with a book. I’m a total sucker for historical fiction (yes, i’m letting my geek flag fly by admitting that) and I just began “Day After Night” by best selling author Anita Diamant. I can’t wait to make a dent in it so i’m hoping my “Self Care Snow Day” concludes with me ferociously reading this page turner!

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So far today has been beyond amazing. Learning how to love yourself through methods of self care is crucial in strengthening your soul and I encourage all of us to make the effort to take those days to reconnect with yourself. Stay safe during the rest of your storm guys and thanks for checking in 🙂

Awareness: Disordered Eating Does Not Discriminate

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Hey all, Happy Monday and hope everyone is tucked away at home now during the big storm!

I’ve been dying to fill you guys in on an amazing day I had last week. This past Tuesday I spent the school day at my old stomping grounds, Marblehead Veterans Middle School, raising awareness about disordered eating and many of the issues surrounding body image. Neither are easy topics to discuss, but both need to be brought up and honestly the earlier the better! My main goals as a speaker were to emphasize the fact that disordered eating does not discriminate and is also a complex disease. I really wanted the students to see that disordered eating has WAY more to do with a mindset, as well as behaviors, than purely food and weight.

I’m not going to lie, but prior to walking into the building I was a nervous wreck! I spent at least a week preparing for the big day and strolled in with a solid plan, and filled with anticipation, but for reals… middle schoolers intimidate me! I mean that without a doubt stems from the fact that I was SO unhappy with myself during that time of my life…However, I pushed my insecurities aside and stepped up to the plate because I knew that my presentation was not only a crucial step in the right direction for my own recovery, but was also going to be an eye opening learning experience for the students.

So, I want to share with all of you the outline of my presentation and encourage you all to get in touch with me if you have any further questions! Here it goes:

I began my presentation by introducing myself and explaining to the students why I was “qualified” to discuss the topic of disordered eating and more specifically how the disease has affected me. It was probably the most personal/candid part of the talk and I felt extremely vulnerable sharing my story, especially because I had to tell the kids that I am still in recovery and not yet fully recovered. When discussing my own experience with disordered eating I made sure not to bring up numbers (i.e. weights, sizes, and calories) as well as specific behaviors. I spoke more about the emotional and physical tolls that the disease took on my life as well as what I am doing now, and have done in the past to combat it. I emphasized the fact that I’m not an expert, but I’ve lived the eating disorder reality for a long time and would pretty much do anything to make sure no one else had to go through that hell, so that’s way I was there to talk to them. It was my job to raise awareness and get the conversation going about a pretty taboo topic.

From there we moved on to talking about disordered eating facts and also dispelled myths about the disease. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the students knew a lot about disordered eating. The health/wellness curriculum at MVMS is awesome and the teachers have done an exceptional job with these 8th graders! As my references for the facts, myths, and all the more educational parts of disordered eating that I spoke about I used NEDA’s website, as well as my training to become a volunteer speaker for NEDA Awareness week. If you want to learn more you should definitely check out this site: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn

Then we addressed body ideals/media influence, which was the most interactive section of the talk. I wanted to emphasize the fact that in our media obsessed culture it’s almost impossible to escape the messages about what our body “should” look like based off of unrealistic body ideals that the media have created. The images that are being pushed at us are unattainable because they are photoshopped! In order to really drive this point home I actually brought in some images that on one side had the unedited picture and on the other side had the photoshopped version. The kids really were shocked by how drastically different the photoshopped images were from the real ones and I truly believe that they will think twice whenever they see an image of what society is defining (on that day) as “beauty.” I couldn’t help, but tell all of them that beauty can’t be defined because it is personal, and comes from the inside… I ended that little rant by telling all of them that they were beautiful because it’s true 🙂

I concluded my presentation by sharing with the kids how they can get help for themselves and/or how they can help someone who they love. I encouraged anyone who thought that they might be struggling with some form of disordered eating to take this online screening test that the National Eating Disorder Association offers. When it came to explaining how to help a loved one I shared with them some Dos and Don’ts.

DO:

  • Learn as much as  you can about EDs.
  • Be honest, be vocal about your concerns.
  • Be caring, but firm.
  • Compliment your loved one’s inner qualities.
  • Be a good role model, practice what you preach.
  • Tell a trusted adult.

DON’T:

  • Place shame, blame or guilt.
  • Make rules or promises that you cannot or will not uphold.
  • Give simple solutions.
  • Ignore or avoid the situation until its severe or life threatening.

 

Speaking at MVMS was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. The faculty and the students were welcoming, warm and engaged throughout my entire talk and I’d love to be asked back next year 🙂 What I hope the students, as well as all of you, have learned is that disordered eating is a disease than can affect anyone, but it doesn’t have to define you and by talking about it we clear up some of the stigmas and myths that are tied to the disease.

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Why Everyday Should Be ‘Love Your Body Day’

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Well ladies and gentleman I totally flaked and didn’t realize that yesterday was the official “Love Your Body Day.” My initial reaction to my brain flub was one of disappointment in myself because I missed the opportunity to raise awareness about such an important day. However, in an attempt to find the good in every situation, as well as be kinder to myself, I came up with a thought. The more I lulled over my mistake I came to realize that it’s actually kind of ridiculous that we have to set a specific date to remind people to love their body. In fact everyday should be “Love Your Body Day!” Also, no one is perfect, therefore, it is totally ok that I am a day off 😉 So, even though I missed the official “Love Your Body Day,” which by the way I think is a friggen FABULOUS campaign, I can’t let that stop me from spreading the word about the Love Your Body Campaign.

The Love Your Body Campaign was initiated by the NOW Foundation (National Organization For Women), in response to the unrealistic beauty standards that the media (and beauty industry) have placed on women. NOW strongly suggests that “the beauty template women are expected to follow is extremely narrow, unrealistic and frequently hazardous to their health.” And as someone who has personally dealt with disordered eating, and been in a treatment facility for the disease, I can attest to just how damaging this “beauty template” can be to how women, and even men, see themselves or even weigh their self worth.

The media, we must remember, is portraying unattainable images of beauty that are heavily photoshopped and altered. We shouldn’t be striving to look like these “fake” constructed images, but should be focused on bettering ourselves, finding a purpose and encouraging all women to feel empowered. So, I hope that every one of you out there will live everyday like it’s “Love Your Body Day” and challenge the media’s message to women that the value of their self worth is based on their willingness, as well as efforts, to “embody” current beauty standards.

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To learn more about how you can better your perception of beauty head on over to The National Organization For Women Foundation.

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Things I’m Loving Thursday

  • “All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor: I encourage every women out there to listen to this top song and take in the message from Meghan Trainor. She is a beautiful and inspirational young lady. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for her and the strides that she will hopefully make in an industry that promotes unrealistic/unhealthy body images.

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  • LF Style Closet – The amazing personal stylist, Lindsey Foley, recently started LF Stlye Closet via Facebook. This group, which is basically a virtual consignment shop allows individuals to buy and sell high end clothes, shoes, bags etc. It’s such a great way to get rid of those lightly worn pieces you no longer need and also helps you find great items at discounted prices. Such a fantastic idea!

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  • Dainty Gold Necklaces – I know, I know, i’ve said it over 100 times, but I am a sucker for jewelry and dainty gold necklaces are probably my all time most loved pieces. I’ve always been a gold girl 🙂 I think it works best with my coloring and it also doesn’t tarnish! Here are a few of my favorites necklaces that I wear all the time:

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 The monogrammed necklace was a gift from my lovely mom and the elephant is from dogeared

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Tiffany rose gold diamond and anchor necklace by Isabel Harvey 

 

  • #icebucketchallenge #strikeoutals #teamfratetrain – For those of you who don’t know what the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS is, you’ve honestly probably been living under a rock haha :), but in all seriousness this is a fantastic cause. It’s truly amazing how the challenge has spread like wildfire. Everyone from athletes, entertainers and your parents are participating in it and showing their support. Pete and Julie Frates you guys are so inspirational and all that you’ve done to raise awareness is beyond words. For all of you guys who want to do something more than pour ice on yourself donate to the “Pete Frates #3 Fund.”

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