15 Things That Emotionally Strong People Don’t Do

My future brother-in-law posted this “15 Things Emotionally Strong People Don’t Do” article on his Facebook page. I was intrigued by the title and after reading the article, I started reflecting on the 15 things emotionally strong people do. I came to realize that I am fairly emotionally strong, at least my thoughts and reflection. Here are the 15 items.

  1. They don’t beg for attention. – I don’t like being the center of attention and I’d much rather watch and observe others. I quit my job July 2013 (recently accepted a new job offer!), but I didn’t talk about it unless someone brought it up and asked me how things were going.
  2. They don’t allow others to bring them down.
    – I like to surround myself with positive and optimistic people. We’re all human and it’s challenging to be positive and optimistic all the the time but it’s easy to accept how you’re doing to react to situations. I don’t like being around negative people, so I don’t associate with negative people.
  3. They don’t hold grudges.
    – Again, we are human but what is the point to holding a grudge? Letting something fester inside of you and not doing something about it or talking through what happened. I used to hold grudges when I was younger but when you do that, other things build up inside and most of the time (with me, specifically), I would word vomit all these feelings, not just about what I was holding a grudge about, but other things as well. Holding grudges is not healthy and it doesn’t accomplish anything either. If people are willing to talk through issues and problems, that’s a good thing! Holding grudges can not only have a negative effect on you, but it can have a negative effect on others as well. Grudges get people nowhere.
  4. They never stop doing their own thing.
    – It’s good to have things you’re interested in, and also good to learn new things. I enjoy movies and theater and being active, and I try and make sure all three of those areas in my life continue to be a part of my life.
  5. They never stop believing in themselves. – This is a hard one for me, partly because sometimes I’m not confident in my skills or abilities. I know I can do whatever I put my mind to, but sometimes there are obstacles that come along and those obstacles are hard to get over. As long as I can continue and try to believe in myself, then I’ll eventually get to a point where I believe in myself all the time.
  6. They don’t act like bitches or assholes. – I never feel I’m entitled to anything and I try to treat everyone I encounter with respect. Again, I’m human, just like everyone else and sometimes during a certain situation it’s hard not to act a certain way, but I try and stay calm and collected. And most of the time, I don’t have a reason to act like a bitch or an asshole.
  7. They know better than to let just anyone into their lives. – I have a tendency to be quiet and observant around people I just meet. For me, it takes a while to warm up to people and reveal certain things about myself. I don’t have any deep dark secrets, but mutual understanding of trust and respect must be built before I let people into my life.
  8. They aren’t afraid to love.
    – When I was in college and in my early 20s, I always analyzed and dissected what was said and certain gestures by the opposite ex, trying to figure out what everything meant. It did get exhausting because I thought about it a lot. It wasn’t until I was comfortable in my own skin being single that I met and fell in love with someone that I deserve. As soon as I was confident in myself, everything just fell into place, and it was the first time I didn’t analyze everything.
  9. They don’t lie in bed dreading the day ahead of them. – I have made all the decisions in my life and sometimes I wish I could go back and change what I did but then I wouldn’t be who I am. Even when I was in a job that wasn’t right for me, I got up, put my big girl pants on and went on with my day. After I decided to quit, I didn’t lie in bed thinking about my decision over and over, I started plugging away to find a new job. Never once did I dread the decision I made. Life is meant to be lived, not spent be negative. If people want to change something in their life, then they need to take action and responsibility.
  10. They’re not afraid of slowing down.
    – I have a hard time not doing something but I feel like I am slowly getting better. My fiance and I don’t have to go to Target because we don’t have any plans. We can hang out at home and read or watch movies together. I’m learning that it’s OK have an afternoon of not doing anything.
  11. They don’t do things they don’t want want.
    – For the most, I’ve done things that I have wanted to do. Obviously there are things that I don’t like doing but are necessary, like cleaning the bathroom.
  12. They have no problem saying “no.”
    – I have to work on this.
  13. They don’t “forget” to give back. – I’ve found two organizations that I believe in and like volunteering for. I always donate clothing and make monetary contributions (when I am able to), to friends and family participating in charity events.
  14. They don’t feel like they need to fit in.
    – This is something that has to me later in life. As I’ve gotten older and matured, I’ve realized it’s not about the type of people you are friends with or hang out, but the actual people. If there is a shared interest, then that works. We put so many labels on groups of people, especially in school, that we forget what really matters – good-natured, respectful people. I’ve embraced my dorkiness and don’t hide that I love showtunes, indie films, and being goofy.
  15. They don’t forget happiness is a decision.
    – Overall, I’m a happy person. I make my own decisions and if I decide something that I think later on is dumb, I live it with and move on. There are so many things to be happy and grateful for and I think people need to realize that we control our own lives. If we aren’t happy for one reason or another, we can make a change, or a lot of little changes, or we can continue to to be unhappy. I prefer to be happy, it makes life so much better.

This article really touched on areas that people should think about and reflect on.


Homemade grilled cheese sandwich

Like many areas of the country this past week, Clevelanders were dealing with extremely cold temperatures. By Tuesday, I was used to the cold and it wasn’t terrible walking from my house to the car and from the car to work. It just took a while for my car to warm up and my fingers got cold so quickly. Anyway, I was thinking about what to make for dinner last Monday and I decided I would make homemade grilled cheese sandwiches. We went to my sister’s house over the weekend and her husband made homemade bread but since they do not have a dutch oven, he found a different recipe. He made it while we were visiting and he brushed the top of the loaves with honey before baking. It made the house smell delicious! It was warm and soft and little bit sweet because of the honey.

The following morning I decided I was going to make bread again. Since I didn’t plan ahead to make the no-knead bread (and the fact that the house was cold and I was worried about the dough rising), I made the very simple bread we had the night before. The recipe calls for all-purpose, or AP as the fiance and I like to call it, but I used bread flour since I had it on hand. This bread recipe calls for kneading but only a short amount of time for the dough to rise, so I figured I’d give it a try. I only used 3 cups of flour and should have worked with the dough so it wasn’t so sticky, but it still turned out well. I never realized how simple and easy it is to make bread. I definitely want to do this on a more regular basis and I found some other bread recipes I want to try like honey oat bread and multigrain bread.

Grilled cheese Monday was cold, I had half a loaf of homemade bread on hand and delicious cheese in the fridge. I immediately thought grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup should be on the menu for dinner. When my mom makes grilled cheese, she butters both the inside and outside of the bread. Since I grew up with this method, that’s what I do. I have sprayed the outside of the bread with extra virgin OO but it’s winter and extremely cold, so I decided to butter both sides. I used smoked provolone, monterey jack cheese, and another kind that I can’t remember the name of(!). The three cheeses melted together beautifully and turned into a wonderful gooey mess. I used our grill pan and the bread was crisp with grill lines but soft on the inside. It was a beautiful and delicious sandwich. I did not make homemade tomato soup this time around but I think I will plan to next time.

Grilled cheese sandwiches remind me of my childhood and how simple and uncomplicated life was. It’s a nostalgic food and a sandwich that is customizable and inexpensive. Ooey gooey grilled cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese by Alton Brown

It’s been a snowy, cold winter so far in good’ol Cleveland! I headed to the grocery store after work to pick up a few items that I didn’t get the other day. I was planning to make grilled cheese sandwiches because I bought smoked parmesan cheese but as I was walking the aisles, I decided I’d make Alton Brown’s Baked Mac and Cheese. My fiance is a HUGE Alton Brown fan because he combines the science behind the food. We also saw and met Alton Brown at the Fabulous Food Show a few years ago. We refer to him as AB or strictly Alton. We recently saw his live show at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron and it was fantastic! I have not met many food personalities but Alton is one I recommend seeing live, if possible.

As I mentioned in the About Me section, we are more aware of where our food comes from and we hardly drink dairy milk, opting for almond milk instead. When I bake or cook, I use dairy milk but almost always try and buy milk made at Snowville Creamery. Yes, Snowville milk is more expensive than other dairy milk but it’s delicious, comes from a farm in Ohio (woot, woot, sort of local), the cows are grass feed and not treated with rBST, AKA artificial bovine growth hormones. When you pour Snowville milk, it’s not pure white like other milk. It’s delicious and yummy and I recommend trying it. Sidenote, if you haven’t seen the film Food, Inc., definitely see it! Our food system is completely broken (as are other areas but we won’t discuss those), and it’s scary and extremely eye-opening. After seeing the documentary, I decided I needed to be a more informed consumer and know what I’m putting into my body and also support local/Ohio farmers whenever possible.

I picked up a half gallon of Snowville whole milk (all things in moderation) and the other items I needed to get. I was surprised when I walked in the door and saw my fiance and some beautiful roses sitting on the table! He was sent home early from work and this meant we could eat dinner slightly earlier, rather than the typical 8:30/8:45 time. I got to grating the cheese, dicing the onion, and getting the other ingredients ready. I have a tendency to be pretty messy in the kitchen and it drives my fiance crazy! I’m starting to master the art of cleaning as I go and the more I cook, but there’s just something about a messy kitchen. It actually looks like you did something.

My favorite part AB Mac and Cheeseof this recipe is making the roux and watching the milk thicken up to make the cheese sauce. As I was constantly stirring the milk, it was hard to notice it thickening up, but once it was more than 5 minutes, I noticed a difference. This is definitely a go to recipe, and recommend trying it! As a side dish, I made a spinach salad with sliced cucumbers, grape tomatoes and a hard boiled egg. My fiance opted for salt and pepper on his salad, no dressing, and I opted for the same, plus some EVOO. It was amazing and made me realize I don’t need salad dressing, and if I do, I should make it myself.



Homemade no-knead bread courtesy of the Beekman Boys

I had been wanting to make homemade bread for a few months; this tends to be a theme with me, wanting to try something for a while and after thinking about doing it, I break down and actually do it. I don’t have a bread maker and I am not a fan of kneading and wanted to make bread. I came across Josh’s “Even Lazier Than No-Knead” Bread from the Beekman Boys and decided to make it.

The ingredients

  • 3 cups AP (all-purpose) or bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water

I opted to use bread flour and ended up using a tad more water than 1 1/2 cups. Sadly, I did not take any pictures of process but took a few of the finished product. I was amazed at seeing how the dough bubbled during the process and knew I was on track to making my first successful loaf of homemade bread. For step 10, I used a tad too much flour and cornmeal and know not to use as much the second time. The bottom of the bread had too much flour once it was done baking.

The house smelled amazing and the finished product was delicious! If you want to try making homemade bread and have never done so before, I highly recommend trying Josh’s “Even Lazier Than No-Knead” Bread. I sliced a piece and dipped it in extra-virgin olive oil as a snack.

Here are a few shots of my finished product. There are two more bread recipes I found that I want to try. One is a whole grain no-knead bread and the other one is life-changing loaf bread. After I shared my bread photos on Facebook, I had quite a few people ask for the recipe and even try it. For a loaf of bread like this, or fresh bread from a bakery, a must-have in the kitchen is a bread knife. If I used a bread knife, the loaf wouldn’t have squished down from using a regular kitchen knife.

Homemade bread IMG_1509

Girlfriend get-together

In 2013, my friends and I tried to get-together once a month for a girls night in (GNI). It was more sporadic and than I think we wanted it to be and we are attempting to get together once a month in 2014. We had a first GNI in December and ate food, wrapped Christmas gifts, and talked about goals we had for 2014. We had our second GNI last Saturday and I hosted. I made veggie chili courtesy of Daphne Oz from The Chew (another show I am obsessed with).

What I liked best about the chili:

  • It was easy
  • Inexpensive
  • Versatile
  • Most importantly, delicious! It has some kick to it (thank you adobe chilis and lots of chili powder) but it’s not too hot, especially if you add cornbread to the bowl.

After eating good food and having good conversation, it was time to make our own lip balm. Making my own lip balm was something I have been wanting to do for a while but didn’t want to do it by myself in case there were issues. We divided up the supplies and made our very own lip balm. We used the Martha Stewart recipe and our adventure in DIY lip balm started!

Ingredients and thoughts

  • We used four ingredients – beeswax pellets, almond oil, shea butter and essential oils – much fewer ingredients then other lip balms on the shelves of drug stores.
  • It took about 10 minutes for the first three ingredients to melt together.
  • After transferring the liquid to a container with a pour spout, we added the essential oils and poured into our .
  • We let the liquid solidify and we were done!
  • I’m planning to get a bowl, measuring cup and whisk just for making the lip balm since it was a PIA to clean everything.

We also made our own skin brightening toner.  I had made my own a few months ago and like the fact that there is no alcohol in toner and it lasts a LONG time! I love the smell definitely recommend trying to make it.

My friend Julie told us about how she started using extra-virgin olive oil once a week on her face. I researched the Olive Oil Method and tried it. Using a pea size amount of olive oil, I massaged it into my skin. I wet a washcloth with hot water and placed the washcloth on my face. I did this three times and after getting the cloth wet with hot water, I dabbed my face. My skin felt smooth and the following morning, noticed my pores were smaller and my forehead was not as red. Sidenote – my T-Zone tends to be red and blotchy, especially after I wash.

I’m looking forward to our monthly GNI’s and living a more healthy and natural life.

Next up – DIY lotion and a craft project!

Let’s try this whole blogging thing again

After wanting to start a blog for a while, I finally did and then what happened? I never updated it in a timely manner! There’s still some time left in 2013 that I can commit to keeping this blog updated.

My sister got me thinking last night after she mentioned she wanted to start a blog. Blogging is like anything, you need to keep at it to make a habit out of it, like exercise and healthy eating. So here is round two of me trying to blog and blog on a more consistent basis. I won’t bore anyone with the details about what’s been going on the past few months but give a brief update.

The fiance and I have started to eat a more vegetarian diet and GMO-free foods. I think my digestive system is thanking me for that change. It’s not that we ate unhealthy, we’re just choosing to know what’s in the food we consume and where our food comes from. I’m more of a label reader now but not the nutrition labels, the ingredients on the labels. I go by that if you can’t pronounce the ingredients listed and there are more than five, don’t buy it! We also are buying NON GMO foods like EnviroKidz Organic cereal (big hit with the fiance), Nature’s Path instant oatmeal and granola bars, and Blue Diamond Nut Thins crackers, to name a few. In addition to buying GMO-free foods, I’m starting to cook and bake more.

On the job front, I’m in search of a new position. I recently resigned from a job I had with not a solid back up plan. Personally, it was what I had to do as it was not a good fit for me. I’m thankful I have such a supportive fiance, family and friends because without them, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did and take a risk. In addition to the supporting family and friends, my former boss was fully supportive as well. Let’s see what the future brings and hope that I won’t be out of work too long.

A long overdue life update

So one of my goals for 2013 was to blog and blog consistently…which has not go so well! Baby steps, right?

In the fast few weeks, some exciting things have been taking place.

  1. My friends surprised me with an Amazing Race to 30 birthday scavenger hunt! It started off with the first clue that I was given before we ran 861075_10151356563829713_1506333193_oa 5K. Then I had to figure out where we were going for lunch – Melt Bar and Grilled. After having lunch with an awesome group of friends, the boyfriend and I were directed to get for dinner at a local natural and organic food store, Nature’s Bin. While en route to the Bin (as us locals like to call it), we both got the following text message from multiple people: “DETOUR: Go to the house that Ralphie built. Be careful you don’t shoot your eye out or you’ll be a pink nightmare!”Obviously this was meant for us to go to the Christmas Story House. This leads be to number two.
  2. While at the Christmas story house, the boyfriend proposed! It was a complete surprise and there were definitely tears. He got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. And of course I said yes!
  3. After the busy, exciting and emotional morning and afternoon, we headed to the Bin, bought food for dinner, napped and ate. We were thinking of maybe seeing a movie but my sneaky and extremely clever fiance had something else planned. After receiving a text from my sister-in-law asking for us to meet up for drinks. We had not told any family members and being the eager beaver that I am, was anxious about seeing my parents and telling them the news. My sister-in-law convinced us to meet up with her for drinks and low and behold, my friends and family members were there and surprised me for my 30th birthday! Even though it was a week early, it was hands down the best birthday I’ve had to date.

Hopefully it will only be a couple days between posts and I can get into a regular posting groove. Here’s to planning a wedding!