On and Off the Grid

Social media is everywhere, and has pretty much taken over our lives in my opinion. Ever since the World Wide Web was born, the internet has infiltrated into every home and business in the world—making it hard to live without.

I was first introduced to social media in middle school, when the big craze was Myspace…and I loved it! I got to choose my profile picture that I wanted all my friends to see—hundreds of mirror pics later of course—write my own ‘About Me’, choose a special song for my page, which always depended on what was going on in my life, and choose a Top 8 of my very closest friends. And if you got in a fight with your bff, you better believe being moved down a spot was no coincidence! Did I mention I spent way too many hours at night on Myspace looking at people’s pictures? Well you probably could have guessed that on your own.

Sounds a bit immature and childish right? But it was the site to be on and it was how you connected in middle school, for me, and I’m sure in high school for older kids. As I was graduating high school though, everyone started ditching their Myspace for a Facebook. We finally started getting in the big world of Facebook, which I was surprised to find had actually been around several years. At first, I thought Facebook was weird; it wasn’t cool and hip like Myspace. Of course my thoughts changed and I grew to love Facebook and find friends from the past I could connect with.

Basically Facebook has taken over everything, I don’t need to tell you that, but in some ways I feel like it took over my life a little bit. Your page became who you are and other people’s first impression of you. If you didn’t have good pictures, not many friends or uninteresting posts, you weren’t going to make a great first impression to the rest of the world. It also became a competition. Who has the best pictures? Who has the most likes and comments? Who seems like they’re having the most fun in life? These are things we shouldn’t take the time and energy comparing to others, but we do by human nature. That doesn’t make anyone who’s compared things a bad person, because I’ve done it with people I know and people I don’t, but I don’t like those people any less. I just realized it’s taking away the joy in life instead of enriching it, and that’s not how it should be.

I’m not trying to bash Facebook because I think it can be used for many great things as well. I love being able to connect with old friends and distant family members. Great causes can also be spread and supported through Facebook, as well as important news. Facebook is a useful tool for many businesses to create awareness and build an audience through. But so often, Facebook creates negative feelings of inadequacy and self-consciousness deep down that aren’t healthy.

My husband and I had a revelation over the weekend as we were talking about Facebook and Instagram (my other favorite social media platform). I could do a whole other post on Instagram, but I came to the same conclusions I did with Facebook—it just became a competition full of negative feelings. We realized how much time we spend on Facebook (him) and Instagram (me), and what we could be doing with all that time if we weren’t so enthralled with what other people were doing—like focus on each other. So we decided to take a social media hiatus indefinitely. Crazy right?! This meant uninstalling the apps on our phones, and for my husband, deactivating his Facebook account (we’ll see how long he lasts!). My account is still active because I manage social media for my company, which I love because it’s centered on getting our mission out to others, but I barely check my personal page anymore.

Who knows, maybe after a week we’ll realize we really do need social media in today’s society, or hopefully we’ll feel better without the constant distractions it brings to our lives. For me, it’s more of a personal trial to see if my attitude and outlook is better without comparing my life with other’s on social media. I think it can be a great tool and shouldn’t go away for good, but I have a feeling I’m not the only person who has felt like this before.

I’ll be sure to let you know how our social media break goes, and if you decide to join us then let me know and we can go off the grid together!

xox Aurelia

Our (almost) Paleo Journey

Where has the time gone?! I’m sorry for being so absent; life has been a whirlwind with traveling, my best friend’s wedding and trying to figure out the next step for Ross in his career. But in the midst of all that, we were also able to squeeze in a fun baseball game, courtesy of Deloitte! [On a side note, Ross has officially signed on to work for Deloitte & Touche starting next year. So proud of my hubby!]

Back to the game, the DiamondBacks were playing the LA Dodgers, which was a great game to watch, but we also enjoyed the company and let ourselves indulge a little bit in hotdogs and chips. But instead of eating any of the cookies or brownies they had displayed so nicely on the counter, we encouraged each other to stick to eating raw veggies…yum! So all of this to say we decided we really needed to ramp up our diet because we were just feeling blah, even though we were exercising regularly throughout the week.

After talking with one of Ross’s friends and co-workers, we decided to give the Paleo diet a try, or at least our version of it. We left the game and headed straight for Sprouts, (because it’s obviously the place to go if you want to go Paleo, right?), and filled our cart with veggies, fruit, meat, nuts and yams. We went home and cooked a delicious meal of chicken and vegetables, which later came back up and out of my body because I somehow got the stomach flu for the first time in my life.

So once I was able to eat real food again, not just Jell-O, Saltines, soup and Gatorade, we really dove into eating a more Paleo diet. Our daily meals consist of something like eggs and avocado for breakfast (goodbye cereal and oatmeal!), a salad with canned tuna or chicken and lots of veggies for lunch, and some sort of meat, veggies and potato for dinner. In between meals we’ll have snacks like an apple and peanut or almond butter, almonds, yogurt or veggies and hummus. Although the Paleo diet leaves out cheese and dairy in general, we still eat cheese and will sometimes have yogurt…just not as much as we used to.

Now the big question is: What does this really do for my body and health? We’ve noticed it helps us stay full longer between meals, and I also don’t get as many stomach aches as when I was eating much more gluten and dairy (a definite plus!). We also believe and feel it helps us concentrate better at work, and complete daily tasks more efficiently. Humans are meant to eat what comes out of the ground; not all the processed food in our society, which our bodies don’t know how to digest.

There is no way we have completely written off grains forever though. If we’re out with friends or family and can’t control what we eat, then that’s fine. And we’re of course going to want a sweet treat every now and then! It’s more about reducing the amount of gluten and processed foods we put into our bodies. This is just the start of a lifestyle change we’re doing together, and we’re really excited! If you follow the Paleo diet and have tips or recipes we can try, please let me know!!

And I promise to write again sooner rather than later :). I hope you all had a joyous Easter celebration!

xox Aurelia

Birthday Madness

If you know me at all, you’ll know that I LOVE celebrating birthdays, my own and others. Even though I have a tendency to keep quiet about my birthday, it’s my secret desire that I will walk into an unexpected surprise party—oops, guess that secret’s out!

So when my husband’s birthday was coming up, I was excited to do something special for him; take him out, make a card, buy something he really wanted, etc. But as life seems to go, his birthday fell on one of the busiest work weekends I’ve ever had, and only one of those things actually happened. Silly me for thinking that because his birthday was on a Saturday, we’d get to spend all day together doing whatever he wanted…it was pretty much the opposite. However, I still tried to make his birthday weekend as special as possible, with a few of his favorite things.

Bring on the birthday madness wife-style:

  • Dinner out Friday night took us to Red Robin, per my husband’s request (plus we had a gift card—thanks Mom!). Red Robin is one of his favorite places to get a burger and shake. Of course, I didn’t complain. 🙂
  • We love going to the movies, but just don’t go often. So when I heard Noah was coming out that night, I knew it would be a hit with my man! But going out to eat before seeing a movie always seems to turn into, scarfing your food down as fast as you can so you can get there in time to find a good seat. Lucky for us, I ordered our tickets online and unknowingly handpicked our seats, which meant no fighting over them. The best part was, we went to a theater with leather reclining seats—which was unquestionably the best part of the movie!
  • The Movie: my choice was successful! We both enjoyed Noah—all the Biblical aspects and not-so Biblical aspects. It was entertaining, eye-opening, jaw dropping, intense and at times funny. Overall, I would definitely recommend it to people. It inspired us to read the flood story together in the Bible, which was really great.
  • Saturday, I was busy with work in the morning and again at night, but I got to bring the birthday boy along with me for my work party. Suffice it to say, his actual birthday was kind of a bust in terms of celebrating, but we made the most of it!
  • And most importantly, I was still able to bake him yummy chocolate chip cookies on Sunday, which he was patiently waiting for. 🙂

Overall, the weekend was great between eating good food, relaxing at the movies, working a bit and celebrating my hubby! Life is a sweet, messy ride; however, I do hope that next year is a much calmer birthday celebration.

I hope you had a great weekend too!

xox Aurelia

We got a Puppy…Now What?


“Hi! I’m Lexi!”

Puppies lure people in with their cuteness—it’s a cold, hard fact. Many people I knew in college, like myself, always said, “I can’t wait to get a dog after I graduate!” They offer companion and love in abound, for the small price of time and work (usually a much larger price than you first think). This is especially true if you get a puppy, which is exactly what my husband and I did after just two months of being married.

Sounds crazy right? You might be asking yourself, “Why would they do that, don’t they know how much work a puppy is!?” Well, we asked ourselves the same question two days after getting our little pup. But she was soooo cute, we couldn’t resist! Does this sound familiar to anyone?…Anyone?

Our little girl, Lexi, whom we named after a character on Grey’s Anatomy (our guilty pleasure show), is a Chihuahua-Terrior mix. Sandy color with some dark gray hairs, a ‘dipped’ tail and smokey-colored ears she is the cutest little thing we’ve ever seen. And when I say little, I mean 2 pounds! We took her home and put her on the floor where she kind of just waddled around—did I mention she was only five weeks old?

Fast-forward through our first week of not knowing what to do with her during the day or the best place for her to sleep at night. It’s safe to say we didn’t get much Zzz’s those first few nights! We quickly got a handle on the best sleeping arrangement; she sleeps in a kennel in the room next to ours and hardly ever makes a peep at night. During the day, she’s all set up in a gated area in the kitchen with her bed, toys and food—life’s essentials, right?

Going on four weeks of having little Lexi, she has grown 1.3 pounds and uses her puppy pads to do her business 90 percent of the time. What more could we ask for?! We’re excited to have her be a part of our little family and can’t wait to see the kind of dog she grows up to be. You could say we’re proud puppy parents!


Let’s Back Up

Just about four months ago, my life was the craziest it’s probably ever been! I was getting ready to graduate college and I was planning a wedding to take place just three weeks after graduation. Don’t forget Christmas with the family and New Years in between all of this; I’m not quite sure how I managed it, but somehow it all happened with only a few minor injuries—kidding!

It’s safe to say that most people know planning a wedding takes a lot of time and energy, and once you start the planning process it’s pretty difficult to focus on anything else. I don’t think planning a wedding ever comes at a convenient time; either you’re in school, working or busy with some other life event. Planning my wedding during this time of my life was no little task. I was about to be launched into the real world where I had to find a real job, but I decided to take on the planning and conquer it myself— with the help of my fiancé and mother of course.

Now that I’ve been through planning a wedding, and experienced the stress and frustration first hand, I don’t envy anyone who’s recently gotten engaged for exactly this reason. Don’t get me wrong, I get extremely excited when a friend of mine or someone I know gets engaged, because it really is a special time and goes by so quickly! But you soon realize the time that goes into making all the little decisions you never would have thought of, and it’s not something you’d want to go through again—trust me.

All of that said, I think I learned some valuable lessons during the time I spent planning my wedding and finishing school. The first was to stop looking at all the wedding stuff on Pinterest because it just made me depressed about how my wedding was never going to look. Ridiculous right?! My wedding was perfect, beautiful and better than I could have ever imagined; why would I let Pinterest ruin that? (I should disclose that Pinterest did give me some good ideas. So don’t rule it out completely, just limit your pinning.) Another great lesson I learned was even though I was the bride-to-be, that didn’t mean I was the queen of the universe, and had to be showered with gifts and parties constantly. I think all the wedding TV shows and what society tells you about being a bride gets in your head, and you think if you don’t have that same experience then it’s not right.  And lastly, I learned to let people help me and delegate tasks. I was trying to control all the decisions at first—hard to believe, right?—but soon realized I couldn’t do it on my own and I had my fiancé, family and friends who were there to help me through it!

The day my wedding came was the best day for two reasons: One, I would soon be married to my best friend who I would get to spend every day with; and second, the planning would be over! After seven months of choosing colors, cakes flavors and card designs, I couldn’t wait for my wedding to be over—of course now I wish I could relive it because it was truly the best day of my life. Luckily there’s a honeymoon afterward to help you de-stress and relax, and give you time to spend alone with the person you just married. So for anyone who’s planning a wedding or recently engaged, remember to ask for help and don’t let society’s ideas of how a wedding should be ruin your special day!

Happy planning!

xox Aurelia

Venturing Out

Welcome to my blog!

Having a blog is something I’ve always wanted to do, but always seemed to talk myself out of because I didn’t know what I would write about, or if anyone would even read it. I finally mustered up the urge after being inspired to just dive into blogging, and figured if it flops, well then at least I tried!

What I came to realize is that I don’t have to blog about what other people blog about, or what I think others would want me to blog about. The only way my blog is going to be successful (somewhat) is if I blog about my passions, my life, my joys and my struggles. Having a blog is to share a story with others; they want to read about your story…not someone else’s.

I just graduated college in December 2013 (finally!) and got married all within a span of 3 weeks! If that doesn’t give me something to write about, then I don’t know what will. My life has been completely turned upside down, even though it still feels normal—like how it was always meant to be. My husband, Ross, and I decided to start our lives together in the land of the sun (or the heat)—Phoenix, Arizona. As I was trying to come up with an original name for my blog that wasn’t just going to be my name (which I definitely considered), I thought about my life here. As an individual, and now as a married couple, I’m working on planting myself and growing where I am. Abloom means blooming, flowering, growing; so I thought it was the perfect analogy to this new chapter of my life in Arizona.

Growing where you’re planted isn’t always the easiest thing to do, and I’m realizing it takes persistence and constant reminding. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, even though we seem to imagine it that way. I’m still not 100 percent sure what this blog is going to be about, so it’ll be just as much of a surprise for me as it will be for you! However, I hope you keep reading because I’m realizing life is an unpredictable journey and sharing it only makes it more enjoyable 🙂

Stay tuned for more!

xox Aurelia