Tag Archives: LIGHTS

Five Friday Things

27 Mar

Things I Used To Hate But Now I Love

Sometimes, we convince ourselves we have ourselves all figured out. We like what we like, we don’t like what we don’t like, and that’s how it is. You can’t make me like mushrooms, and no, it isn’t because I haven’t had the right mushroom.

But there are exceptions. Maybe something you don’t like keeps popping up in your life and you think, “If I just keep trying this thing, I’ll stop hating it.” Over the last 5 or so years, I’ve been trying things I hate, just to see what would happen. It occurred to me in the bath today that there are actually several things that I used to hate, but now, I I’m into them. My theory worked!

1) Baths: I don’t like being in water. Bathing to me is like a get in-get out situation, I think mostly because I have to fix my hair and get ready all over again. And baths were always…not enjoyable. I felt like I was just sitting in a puddle of rapidly cooling water.

But people love baths. And in a bath, you get all these cool little accouterments, like bath bombs and melts and bubbles and beads and salts. I wanted to have that spa-like experience, and let me tell you, that’s tough to do in a 10 minute shower. So I broke down and bought some sweet bath bombs and other little goodies from Moon’s Harvest. The bath bombs are the size of softballs and turn your water into a magical fizzing pool of goodness. I can get down with a bath now, but now I’m obsessed with finding things to put in my bath, and I now require a huge soaking tub in my future dream house.

2) Broccoli and Cauliflower
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Growing up, we never had broccoli or cauliflower. Fresh or frozen, raw or steamed, it just never showed up on the table. I wasn’t use to the taste or texture, and I was just generally not a fan. I blame a lot of this on the boiled frozen or mushy, gloopy “cheese” covered versions I was given. It’s not appealing.

I didn’t like either of these veggies until probably two years ago, just because Brent likes them and I wanted to try new foods. I still am not a huge fan of them raw, but we probably have either of these guys at least once a week. I’ll make roasted broccoli with garlic and lemon with a sprinkling of parmesan, or a nice cauliflower puree or a “risotto” with cream and parmesan. Tonight I made a super tasty broccoli and cheddar soup with ham. I cannot get enough! The crazy cauliflower above is from our CSA last summer, and I hope I more this CSA season. I’m thinking this recipe is coming to our table soon…

3) Electropop

Maybe you don’t even know what electropop is. It sounds stupid. and I thought it was. It’s generally happy, upbeat music driven mostly by electronic instruments, like keyboards and synthesizers and drum tracks mixed on a computer program. It never seemed like “real” music to me, and the singing was sometimes a bit too saccharine sweet and just not serious enough. I used to make faces and request the song be changed.

Now, I kind of can’t get enough of it. I love strong female vocalists and imaginative instrumental tracks and hooks that are really hard to get out of your head. It’s an addiction. (Listen above)

4) WINE
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This picture is from my 21st birthday, drinking out of my personalized goblet from Jena, and in it was a super sweet, super fruity moscato that I just absolutely loved. It was the only wine I drank, and I definitely didn’t consider myself a wine drinker. Red wine was gross and made my tongue feel weird and it tasted like sour grapes.

I worked at a coffee shop/ wine bar, and I couldn’t give any customers any recommendations or help because I hadn’t had any of our selection. My only comment on my performance review was “Needs to drink more wine.” Well, if you insist…

So, I started going to the weekly wine tastings that were hosted at my work, just sipping and deciding whether I liked it or not. I started to discover that there actually were differences, and I had preferences. I started out loving Pinot Noirs, and slowly started to branch out. Now, you can pretty much give me any wine and I’ll find something I like about it. I love the flavors, I love the low-volume, low-sugar aspect of wine. It’s the perfect drink.

5) Exercise
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Okay, I know what you’re thinking…everyone hates exercising. It’s boring and sweaty and hard and gross. Yeah, it can be. I always thought so. Sometimes I still do. But when you sit inside staring at a screen all day, you start to get antsy.

If you’re like me, the antsy feeling turns to anxiety since you haven’t done any more than walk to the kitchen a few times. I joined a gym. I didn’t use it much for the first year, going in spurts but always finding excuses to skip working out. Then Julie made me go to yoga with her. Yoga…BORING. But then i thought “You’re already wearing yoga pants, Jenny…you might as well do some yoga in them.”

I found out that yoga is fun. Like, really fun, and challenging, and centering. (yeah, I said centering.) I also get to wear yoga pants with a purpose. The gym can be fun, too, because the gym has elliptical machines and cable (yay, tv I don’t have to feel guilty about watching!) And the gym gets me out of my house and out of my weird computer screen funk. Exercise also makes me feel strong and healthy, which is good on many levels.

So, I’ve flip flopped on some things in my short 25 years. Maybe I’ll start trying mushrooms more often. Or maybe not.

Is there anything you used to hate, but now you love?

Thoughts on Relationships for 20-somethings

11 Nov

Hey guys. Today, we’re taking a bit of a left turn from what’s usually on this blog…which is mostly food. We will return to your regularly scheduled programming soon, but I was inspired to get a little gushy and romantic on you today, mostly by this tumblr post by two great musicians who got married, and now they’re having a little baby. I went down the rabbit hole and found videos of them talking about their relationship and it made me happy and mushy.

I’m married. I realize that this is pretty anomalous today, since I’m young. Not as young as people think, (If I get carded at another rated R movie, I swear…)but I feel like I have a pretty good insight into relationships – what works and what doesn’t- for people in my generation. Friends and acquaintances often look to me for advice and reassurance with their boy (and girl) troubles. I have learned, after years of giving (mostly) unsolicited advice, that people are generally just going to do what they want to do. People do things because they feel that choice will make them successful and happy. Sometimes, this doesn’t work, and then they might listen to me.

Not to say I know everything, obviously, and while I can’t tell you what to do, I can tell you what’s important. This is fairly universal. Again, I have no degree or title that gives me supreme authority, but I really feel strongly about what I’m about to throw at you. These tips work for dating, long-term relationships, and even friendship.  So, here it goes:

4 Keys To A Successful Relationship ( according to Jenny, an old-lady married 23-year-old.)

1) Communication
No, I don’t mean you should constantly be talking, chatting, texting, skyping, etc. What I really mean is that you are totally honest and open with everything. Are you annoyed that your guy or girl is constantly late for your dates? You should probably say something. Otherwise, this tiny little problem is going to explode into a huge fight. You don’t have to be mean or biting, either. Just be honest. This approach basically works for everything. This approach is how my husband and I have never once ever had a fight. We tell the other what’s bothering us and how it makes us feel, and we move on. No fights, no yelling, and no passive-agressive actions. People are genearlly really wary about saying something that might hurt someone’s feelings, but don’t be afraid to speak up. This little hiccup is way worth avoiding a screaming match down the road.

This also goes for anything on your mind. Especially the important stuff. Are you nervous about talking to your partner about, say, marriage? Living together? Being exclusive? Are you afraid they’ll shut you down or make fun of you for your opinion? You need to be open to hearing them, too. Even if it’s something silly, open, honest, safe communication is key. Don’t be afraid to say what you feel. 

2) Respect
This might sound super cheesy and weird, but you cannot have a successful relationship if you do not respect your partner. What does respect look like to a peer? Basically, you don’t say anything you know will hurt them. You never try to intentionally hurt them or let them down. You’re supportive of their jobs, dreams, hobbies, and haircuts. You’re encouraging, but critical when it counts. Are they struggling at work? Lift them up with support, kind words, and even advice. Don’t bring them down and add on to their pile with your own issues with them. I’ve seen my friends hurt each other with the meanest, cruelest words and actions just to get the short-lived satisfaction in their partner’s reaction. I’ve never understood how you could say something mean to someone you care about, but…it happens. A lot. So, stop it. Be nice. I mean it! If this is happening in your current relationship, I urge you to take a step back and really look at why this might be happening. Are you just trying to get even or get revenge? Do you just want to be right? Do you have to get the last word in, even if it’s going to hurt your partner?

3) Compromise
Number 3 is really built on 1 and 2. Luckily, my husband and I are not stubborn. We don’t have to be right or get our way (although admittedly, I often do). We compromise. Again, this is a key way we’ve avoided fighting. It can be as simple as getting mushrooms on half the pizza (barf), or listening to his music choice first. It can get even stickier, especially when you’re just dating. Who’s paying for dinner? Did she pay for groceries last time, even though she was scraping the bottom of her budget? It’s tough. but remember, it’s not about what’s fair. If he can’t pick up the tab because he didn’t get enough shifts at work that week, pick it up for him. It’s not about keeping a tally. Don’t pick fights, and don’t fight for the sake of being right. I’m not saying give up your viewpoint or forgo your preferences but maybe just let it go this time. Let it go.

4) Self Worth
This one is really for those of you dating. This is the number one thing I’ve had to pound into my friends’ pretty little heads. All of you, no matter who you are, have worth. You are valuable. You need to know that you matter, what you want is important, and who you are is unique and incredible. The person you are with needs to see that. They need to see that in you is something of worth that demands respect. But first, you  need to see that, too. You’ll have a hard time being happy with anyone if you’re not happy with yourself. Yeah, I know, how many times have you heard that? But it’s true. If you’re letting someone bring you down and make you think you’re not worth it, then please get out of that relationship. If they’re telling you no one else will want you, and that they’re the only one willing to put up with you, they’re wrong.  Once you see that you’re worth the love and respect of others, you’ll never let anyone make you feel that way again. I’ve seen this with my own eyes, with one of my very best friends.

And you guys, this last piece of advice might fall on a lot of deaf ears, because I’ve had little success with this one, especially with my guy friends, but it goes right along with your self-worth and the worth of others. Don’t have sex until you know that person is worth what you’re giving them. Sex isn’t a given. It never should be. It should be an important part of a relationship that can handle the repercussions of everything that goes along with sex. Don’t roll your eyes, because you know it’s true. It is!

Alright. that was super long. If you got this far, I commend you. Here are the videos that inspired this post. The girl in the videos is a super talented solo electropop artist that goes by LIGHTS. She’s great. The guy, Beau, is in a band called blessthefall, a pretty hardcore band but worth checking out if you’re into it.