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Hey guys. I want to tell you about something, nothing earth-shattering, but it's been making a huge difference in my life lately.
Yup. That's it.
Can I tell you about when I finally realized how crucial this was? [Thanks in advance!]
I went to the Lightning in a Bottle music festival over Memorial Day weekend with Logan and with a bunch of friends. It ended up being an amazing and transformational experience, but things started off a little rough.
We arrived late Thursday night, there was no cell phone service, and as it turned out, the friend we were meeting up with had fallen asleep. After trudging around with our stuff without finding him, we ended up finding a random space to camp that seemed really far from everything. We opened our tent to find out that it was broken and totally unusable. Luckily, our friends were awesome and their tent was huge, so they said that we could crash with them.
We woke up, got rained on because we had decided NOT to put the rain cover on, and decided to go to our cars to charge our cell phones. We somehow timed this journey horribly. You took a shuttle back from the parking lot to the camping area, and we lined up to wait for the shuttle just as the last one was driving away before they took a long break for lunch. By the time we got back to our tent, our short 'trip to the car' had taken well over 3 hours.
A little shrine we found near some of the main stages.
I was frustrated and SO grumpy and felt like I was wasting my money and time. I ended up taking this out on Logan and we argued which just made me feel worse. The couple we were with was about 3 months into their relationship - deep in honeymoon stage. It was messing with my head to see them be cute and cuddly. They were happy and in love with each other and I felt like Logan and I were not happy and not acting very in love. I felt like I was the group's dead weight - the Negative Nancy in the corner who was dragging everyone down.
I'm not sure what it is about events and festivals that makes me like this - I think it's the cost of the ticket - but I put SO much pressure on myself to make everything perfect that I drive myself bonkers.
A cool crystal // Man of my dreams looking silly :}
Our friends ended up going out to check out some music and Logan stayed with me at camp while I was an emotional mess. I was angry at myself for arguing with Logan, and I was blaming myself for ruining not only my day but his day too. I was in this horrible negative spiral where I was upset about the circumstances and also upset about how I responded to them and then I just got more upset about being upset. Around and around and around. At one point I told Logan that I felt like a worthless pile of black sludge. He tried to help me but I was just overflowing with hate for myself, so he was having a hard time getting through to me.
I finally said to him desperately, "I don't know how to not be miserable."
He looked at me and said "why don't you just try." I thought he had misheard me, and also thought it was a ludicrous suggetion so I said "try what? Not being miserable?"
"Exactly," he said.
And I stopped right there. I realized that if I was going to get out of this negative trap, I needed to REVERSE my thinking.
Instead of thinking that we were wasting our festival money by spending time in camp and not seeing bands all day, I decided to be grateful that I could afford a ticket in the first place.
Instead of thinking that I wasn't doing all I could to make things awesome, I decided to be grateful that it was only Friday and I was off of work and had a 4-day weekend ahead of me.
Instead of feeling sorry for myself that our tent was broken, I decided to be grateful that our friends kick serious butt and let us camp with them.
Instead of feeling upset about things with Logan, I decided to be grateful that he was willing to stay with me for hours and get me sorted out.
I started crying again as these feelings of gratitude washed over me, and as I explained my feelings to Logan I realized one more thing that I needed to be grateful for: me. Just as I was. Imperfect, sometimes grumpy, sometimes a crying mess, but ME. I needed to be grateful for MYSELF as well.
[via the gorgeous Kaelah Bee]
[Cue more crying (of course) followed by hugs for days and jubillant dancing with friends.]
Happy again...even without makeup on!
You might be saying to yourself "Ok Elise, enough about your festivals, get on with it...WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR REAL LIFE?"
Choose gratitude! Choose to focus on the haves rather than the have nots. If feeling grateful isn't your default emotion, that's okay. That's normal! I think most people end up focusing on what they want or need rather than what they already have. Some of the richest people are the most unhappy because they are never satisfied, and that's a bummer of a negative cycle to be trapped in!
[again via Kaelah Bee]
So, your homework is this: for the next week, write out a gratitude list every morning before you leave the house. Take time to check in with yourself mentally, and focus on all the AWESOME that is taking over your life! Report back and let me know how it goes!
xx sending tons of love to all of you!
Today we have an interview with Karen, who is our Head of E-Commerce here at Blowfish Shoes. You guys will really like her, she is sweet and funny and often has good advice - see for yourself, below (my questions are in grey, and her answers are in red).
Where are you from?
LONDON!!!!!! The best city in the world! Haha. Well obviously I’m biased as I was born and bred there.... And we’re hosting the Olympics this year so it must be great ;) Be sure to watch! Anyway yes I’m born, bred and raised in London and my parents are from the Philippines. I’ve worked in the US for over 4 years. YIKES!
What do you do at Blowfish?
I’m the Head of Ecommerce, some might say Director, but I’m not so much a fan of titles so lets go with “Head of..” I run the website with an awesome team, and help oversee marketing and PR strategies too. I wear a few hats!
How did you get started at Blowfish?
My English accent got me the job. Just kidding! Where to start.. I worked at Office Shoes in London in their Head Office, if you don’t know about them they are a footwear retailer and sell some cool shoes of their own including brands like Blowfish! I was at university and worked at Office Shoes in their retail stores. I graduated and had that whole “UH OH, NOW WHAT SHALL I DO WITH LIFE!!” freak out. My manager at the time told me to apply for their HQ and get my foot in the door so I did and got a job. A year or two later I saw lots of my friends start travelling and doing fun things whilst I myself had chosen a different sensible route and had leaped straight into a job/career. I got the travelling bug and wondered if there was a way that I could travel/experience a new country or environment and at the same time further my career that I had started building. My awesome mentor/director/boss at the time helped me apply for brands around the world, and after a few calls, emails, meetings, Blowfish and I met, hit it off and I moved to America to work at Blowfish. (I’m excluding some stressful details like interviews, paperwork, visa’s etc) but that’s how I ended up here. The moral of my story is if you want something bad enough, work hard enough and you might just get it. I’ve been at Blowfish for almost 5 years and worked in a bunch of areas allowing me to learn a lot about the industry and business. The brand and I have grown up together that’s for sure. :)
Did you always want to work in the footwear industry?
You know, from the age of 16 onwards I had always worked in retail stores and they happened to all be footwear/sneaker stores. So maybe I was just drawn to footwear. I did not think it would become a career. I was going to be a teacher or go to law school or even work at a bank! Those were random options I was toying with. The more I learnt about footwear though the more I grew to appreciate everything about shoes and so it’s safe to say whilst maybe I didn’t always want to work in the footwear industry, I am glad now that I do :)
What do you like best about your job?
Getting to see shoes, colours and materials early, and also trying on lots of shoes! My phone constantly rings from family and friends wanting shoes too which I’m totally cool with – that’s another perk! I’m about to sound super corny but one of the reasons I like my job is I love the team I work with (you know who you are!). They are smart, good people and we work awesome together. Oh and again super corny but I love it when I randomly help out customers and they are pleased with their purchases. I’m obviously a customer myself and I really appreciate great product and service so like hearing when we do too.
Which do you prefer, heels or flats?
Because I grew up in a bustling city I would say flats because then I could run around and cause havoc easily! However since moving to America and not having to walk around as much (LA is a drive about town kinda place) I’ve been wearing heels lots more. I’m a tiny 5”1 so heels help me see above peoples heads! (sometimes.)
What are your favorite things to do in LA?
I have three, one is going to the beach. Again because I didn’t grow up with a beach culture around me, it’s a total privilege of living in Socal. Even if it’s not laying out in the sun with friends, I run by the beach in the evenings and it totally clears my head – I love that. Second is eating out! LA has some great restaurants, bars, I’m on yelp and I like reading up on new places as well as the old tried and true. It’s an expensive thing to like doing, but every now and then it’s nice to splurge. Lastly – hiking! It’s good for you, free and the views of the ocean / LA are great.
Currently obsessed with Frank Ocean, The xx and Atmosphere. I have always loved Slum Village, Nujabes, Phoenix, Amy Winehouse, John Legend and The Roots. I’m an old school hip hop, rap, rnb girl at heart but I love listening to everything and anything!
What is your dream job (besides your current one of course!)?
I would LOVE to be a theatre stage manager, that’s my dream. I’ve always loved theatre and the live production it entails, nothing filmed over and over or crazy edited over a year - just live acting and performing. I’m a huge fan of live music, theatre, anything live really even sports! Being a stylist would be cool too!
Do you guys have any questions for Karen? Send them our way and we'll get her to answer them!
Alright. Maybe not ALL time. But these two recipes have been on heavy rotation in my house as of late. I'm a sucker for all things sweet, and these cookie and brownie recipes pretty much entail everything I love about the world of baked goods.
Dude. Don't even think about knocking the whole flourless and/or zucchini thing until you try these. They are easily one of the greatest brownies I've ever baked myself, AND they're kinda sorta good for you. These come from Delighted Momma, and you can see the recipe here. Basically, the key ingredients are almond butter, honey, and chocolate chips. TRY THEM. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised.
Definitely my favorite cookie of all time. They're buttery with the perfect amount of white chocolate goodness, and the best part, they are soooo soft. Like heaven. All up in it. This recipe comes from Jamie Cooks It Up, and you can see the entire recipe here. I have no shame in admitting that I believe heaven consists of a neverending pile of these cookies. Try them. NOW!
What are your favorite cookie and/or brownie recipes? Let's hear it and indulge ourselves!