Welcoming 2018!

Hello everyone!

It’s been awhile, but I’m back and ready to write! With the new year beginning a few weeks ago, I’ve decided to come up with some New Years resolutions. Every year I come up with at least one but it’s so hard for me to stick to it so this year, I figured if I write them in my blog where everyone can see, it’ll be easier for me to stick to it! So here we go…

1- Taking care of me (body, mind, soul, health, everything!)-

I’m about to get surgery on Friday, only a few weeks after the start of the new year and it’s not only bringing me down mentally, but physically as well. I started the year off eating healthy and meal prepping with my amazing boyfriend, but due to the surgery coming up and the pain I’m in, it was very hard to fully commit to it. I plan on getting back to this as soon as the surgery is over after I know that my body is healthy. This is going to be a huge life style change for me as I could be out of everything for over 6 weeks but I plan on keeping up with school work (yes, I did go back to school!!! I’ll fill you in on that soon), blogging, and spending some much needed time with family to help me through…

2- Saving-

I want to save more and feel comfortable, financially… (I know, I know… is anyone really “comfortable”?) After my surgery I may start a new savings plan with a reward system; anything helps and we need to make things like this fun!

3- Spend more quality time with my family-

Family has always been so important to me. 2017 was a crazy year for my family and it made me realize how much we need each other. A lot has changed, but the time we all spend together makes me happier than they will ever know.

4- Praying and my belief in God-

Over the past few months I’ve been finding myself praying more than I ever have. I want to make a conscious effort to continue that. I’m extremely thankful and grateful for everything that I have in this life.

Well, there ya have it… 4 New Years resolutions for Stephanie! How about you? Do you have any resolutions that you’re sticking to? Share them with me, I’d love to hear them especially if they’re similar to mine… we can chat about them! I’m looking forward to 2018 for many different reasons. New adventures, experiences, and lots of love and success. My heart is completely full and I am so happy with where I am in life right now.

That’s all for now… until next time,

Steph

My top 5 fashion/ beauty staples for FALL!

Oh, it’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! Yes, I am a Fall/ Halloween lover and I couldn’t be more excited that Fall has almost arrived. Here are my top 5 fashion/ beauty staples for the Fall to help you get into the Fall spirit!

1. Dark Lipsticks

I enjoy darker lipstick shades on the daily, but the fall is their favorite time to shine! I love everything from dark plum shades to mauve purples to deep browns and even sometimes, blacks. There’s something about how wearing a dark lipstick makes you feel. Not only do I personally feel like a badass, but I don’t have to do much more to my face after applying a dark lipstick. The point of a dark lipstick is for it to take over the look and to stand out. Pair a dark lip with some bold brows and a little mascara and you’re good to go this fall! Get spooky!

Some of my favorite dark lipstick shades this season:

⁃ Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in the shade “Potion” (VERY dark plum)

⁃ Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade “Lolita” (mauve rose)

2. Booties

When I think of fall, I think of booties. Booties are the perfect fashion staple that everyone needs in their fall wardrobe. With tons of different colors and finishes to choose from, it’s safe to say that you could have a pair of booties for every look, dressed up or down, this fall. My favorite booties are from Express. I got them last season and they have not let me down! They’re a dark red satin with a chunky heel and I absolutely love them! I can dress them up with some stockings and a cute black dress and I can dress them down with some jeans and a sweater. As stated in Elle magazine, “red is the color of Fall 2017” so I guess these babies are in and better than ever for their second fall season!

3. Scarves

Scarves are one of my favorite things about fall. I live in Upstate NY and when the fall weather finally arrives with its cool brisk air, a scarf is an absolute necessity not just for some added warmth, but for the fall fashion too of course! My favorite type of scarf is the infinity scarf. It’s simple and easy to throw on for an added pop of color and style. I try to keep my scarves a very neutral color so I can wear them with many different outfits. My 3 favorite scarf colors for the fall are olive green, gray, and black. These colors can be worn with so many other colors and patterns and work to pull an entire outfit together.

4. Blush

Fall in the Hudson Valley is something that everyone should experience once in their lifetime. The cool air, the colors, and the smells are like no other. When it comes to makeup, I like to keep it minimal. We already talked about the dark lips, but my other favorite staple is adding a pop of peachy or mauve blush to the cheeks. I love the pale look that the dark lip gives and adding a pop of blush gives the most perfect, just right, flushed look that balances perfectly with the dark lip.

5. Jeans

What would the fall be without jeans?! Jeans are probably the most popular fall wardrobe staple for men and woman, and rightfully so. Jean material against the colors of fall make for the most perfect picture. Yes, cut and ripped jeans are completely on trend for the Fall of 2017, so get on the waiting list and grab a pair to add to your fall wardrobe… asap!

My favorite jeans are from Express!

So here we have it, my top 5 fashion/ beauty staples for the Fall season. As I stated earlier, Fall is my absolute FAVORITE and here in Upstate NY it is still humid with a high of 80, so let’s hope that Mother Nature gets with it asap so I can really get into the fall spirit! I’m ready for campfires, hot cider, apple and pumpkin picking, falling leaves, the cool breeze, dark lipstick, and everything spooky! Stay tuned for some more Fall/ Halloween blogs in the coming weeks…

Stay spooky,

Stephanie

Update!

When I started blogging I felt completely lost. I felt confused and basically just depressed about a lot of things that were going on in my life. I started blogging and writing as a way to escape. I wrote about my problems and daily hardships that go along with being 20 something in this day and age, and I also wrote a few blogs on my past and I touched on some things that I’ve gone through in my life so far…

Since my last blog post a lot has happened. I went away to Florida for a month to spend some much needed alone time with my family. It was so nice to be able to relax, detox, and get myself in order again. I read books, I drank coffee in the mornings, I even went on a few runs and practiced some yoga. It was the perfect little escape that I truly needed and it came at the perfect time! While in Florida I unexpectedly started talking to someone. Right from the beginning, it felt right. Just from the first few weeks of texting and talking on the phone and really getting to know each other, I could tell that something really special was going to come about with this one, and boy was I right! I came back to New York from Florida in the beginning of August and can honestly say, I’ve never been happier.

“Everything happens for a reason” is a quote that I never could wrap my head around, until now. I went away to work on myself and I really took the time I needed to heal and benefit myself in ways I didn’t know possible and when I was least expecting it, someone more amazing then I could ever imagine walked into my life. Things truly fell into place for me in not only my love life, but all aspects of my life and I couldn’t be happier. My family absolutely loves my boyfriend, my relationship is going amazing, and I have the most amazing jobs. My work is really something that I take pride in and it is a very important part of who I am. I am now a nanny of 3 adorable little ones who I already love so much. It’s so nice to be able to spend my days with such caring, smart, and loving kids. I also work at a children’s gym called The Little Gym. It’s really cool that I’m able to go to work and essentially workout for a living. I’ve been eating better and obviously, working out more and I just feel great! Both jobs have been equally awesome and I’m so blessed to be able to say that I’m excited to go to work in the mornings!

If you’re feeling stuck in life, just hold tight. Things will always get better and life goes on. I feel so blessed to be able to wake up in the morning, happy and ready for what life has to throw at me. Keep your head up and always look at the brighter side of things…

Xoxo,

Stephanie

Lily and Laura

I love giving back in any way possible even if it means buying something for money to go back to a foundation/country/charity etc. I discovered this awesome brand called "Lily and Laura" while I was shopping a few days ago. Lily and Laura is a company that sells handmade glass bead bracelets that are hand created by woman in Nepal. The woman artists who make these bracelets get paid very well and because of that, are able to live good quality lives. More than 1/3 of Lily and Laura's total income goes back to Nepal!!! Did I mention how gorgeous the bracelets are?! They are guaranteed to fit over any wrist, the bright colors and designs are beautiful, and they make anklets as well! I will for sure be purchasing more Lily and Laura bracelets!

Check them out here… https://www.lilyandlaurabracelets.com/

Tough times and grateful hearts…

It's truly a blessing to have a loving family surrounding you, food on the table, and a house to call home and unfortunately, there are far too many people that aren't that lucky. I was always very fortunate. My brother and I went to Catholic school from K-8th grade, we were always able to take multiple vacations a year, my Mom always had a brand new car, I rode in a limo more times than a lot of people can say they have in a lifetime, and I just got to experience so much at such a young age. My family and I were truly blessed and always so grateful, but everything changed in the blink of an eye…

In 2010 my family and I lost our home to foreclosure right after our family business fell through. Thousands of other families throughout America were losing their homes and businesses as well as a result of the financial crisis in 2008. My parents did everything possible to try to save our business and our home but unfortunately, it was not enough. We lost not just a house but, our home. A place where countless memories were made. A place where we loved and celebrated each other and life. A place where we grew into the family we are today. 10 Christmases, 10 birthdays, 10 dance recitals, mine and my brothers' first days of school… all left behind. It was an extremely hard time for my family as a whole, but my parents took it the worst. It was the worst possible feeling seeing my Mom and Dad so upset. They felt defeated and like they let my brother and I down. I would lay in my bed at night and just stare at the ceiling and cry, not because we had to leave, but simply because of how much it hurt me to see them like that. I was just ending my first school year in a new school. I was in 10th grade and had no idea what was going to happen to my family and I always asked myself WHY? and how it would all work out. There were only about two houses available for rent in our town and we had to make one of them work because my parents didn't want to pull my brother and I from our school district and add even more pressure on us.  I thank God every day because about a week or so before we had to be out of the house we were fortunate enough to find a house for rent not far from the house we were leaving. I remember going to see the house for the first time and actually being excited for the new adventure we were about to partake on. I walked into what would be my room… it was eggshell white with two big windows overlooking the backyard and light brown hardwood floors. The sun was shining through the windows and it was warm and just felt like home. At that moment I knew that God had sent us there for a reason. Everything worked out and we were able to move in just in time. The packing was very emotional and the moving was very hard work. We had to leave a lot behind as we had to downsize, but we did it. I remember saying goodbye to my childhood bedroom. I was trying to stay strong for my family, but I went into my room for the last time, closed the door, and sat on the floor and just cried. I looked at the writing on the walls in my closet. I looked at every mark on every wall and every stain on the carpet and remembered how they got there. I remembered moving in and getting my walls painted dark purple. Letting go has never been easy for me but words cannot describe how hard this specific moment was.

My family and I lost a lot during this life changing process. It's safe to say that the people who truly care for you will stick with you throughout anything life throws at you. We not only lost things, but we lost friends as well which was very hard to handle. There's nothing more we could've done and we were one family out of thousands of others that this happened to. Throughout this process, we found out who our true friends are and we are now able to appreciate everything that we have a little more. We love harder and treat each day as a blessing. My parents are the two most selfless and caring people I know. They work extremely hard to provide for my brother and I and have given us both more than we could've ever wished for. Since we lost the house we've made it through another move and multiple other life threatening challenges. My parents are the backbone to this family and are true survivors. I love you, Mom and Dad. Thank you for making me who I am and showing me what it truly means to pick up and move forward with a heart full of love.

If you or someone you know has gone through something similar to this, please share your story. I am not sharing this to make people feel bad for me or my family, but to simply show that greater things can come from the worst of times. You are not alone.

Always grateful, always blessed…

Stephanie

My transition to eating Gluten Free: My favorite GF recipes and snacks

Happy Saturday friends! I thought Saturday would be a perfect day to share this long story of mine, so here we go…

I recently discovered that I should not be eating any gluten. It not only upsets my stomach, but it also causes rashes and eczema breakouts on my body. I’ve always had eczema. When I was younger it was all over my arms and would get worse in the heat. I remember going to the doctor countless amounts of times to get new creams and advice on what to do to help me to stop itching. My arms were torn up. I got made fun of in elementary school because I would never take my sweatshirt off even if it was 85 degrees out. I was so embarrassed by this rash on me. Around 6th grade, I finally decided to start wearing short sleeve shirts and then the comments started. “What is THAT?! Do you cut yourself???” I started to sleep with socks on my hands because I knew that in my sleep I scratched my arms the most. Eventually, around 10th grade, the eczema on my arms miraculously went away and all that was left was scars. My skin is extremely sensitive and I seem to always have some sort of eczema but nothing as bad as what I experienced during my childhood.

This past January I started noticing these tiny little bumps under my nose. It started as a cluster of 2 little bumps and rapidly turned into probably 12-15. I changed my skin care routine multiple times thinking that it was because of something that I was using on my face. I got a second opinion and narrowed it down as being a reaction to something I was eating… it was not from anything that I was using on my face. At this point, I had started a food log and would try to keep an eye on the rash as best as I could to see if it would change depending on different foods I had eaten. The rash wasn’t getting better, it was getting worse. The only thing that I could narrow down was gluten because it is in SO many things that we eat every day. I spoke to my Mom, who is a nurse, and to my doctor and BINGO… gluten allergy!

It’s been about a month now and the rash has cleared up tremendously. The transition hasn’t really been as hard as I expected it to be. When you first hear “gluten free” your mind kind of freaks out, but it has not been bad at all. In fact, I’ve never felt better! With help and advice from my friend who is gluten and dairy free, I was all set. I have always had pretty good eating habits thanks to my Mom but of course, the one thing I was worried about during this transition was pasta… I could live with out bread, to be honest, but not pasta. Pasta has always been my bad habit. You can do so much to a pasta dish and it’s quick and easy! I have tried many different brands of gluten free pasta and have found only one that I really love! Other than gluten free pasta, I eat a TON of fruits and veggies, salads with grilled chicken or fish on top, and popcorn or corn chips sometimes for snacks. As long as I can still eat pasta and my most favorite meal of all time, tacos, I’m alright! Eating out can sometimes be a challenge but many restaurants these days have gluten free options. If the restaurant I’m at doesn’t have any gluten free options I tend to stick with a salad. I’ve been looking up gluten free recipes and trying them one by one. I have a few favorites that have been excellent that I’ll share with you a long with my go to snacks because let’s face it, we’re all “snackers” at heart…

*** Most of these recipes are from http://skinnytaste.com … Skinnytaste is an amazing website! My family has been using this website for years. My Mom and Grandparents are on Weight Watchers and Skinnytaste is super convenient because all of the recipes are WW approved and even have the number of WW points on the recipe.  Skinnytaste has options for everyone! They have a “special diets” tab where you will find recipes and options for, GF, paleo diet, slow cooker meals, low carb, vegetarian, and many more!

Before I get into my favorite recipes and snack ideas, here’s my favorite gluten free pasta that I was talking about… https://www.barilla.com/en-us/product-results/pasta/range/gluten-free/?sort=alpha

My favorite GF recipes:

http://www.skinnytaste.com/taco-stuffed-zucchini-boats/

http://www.skinnytaste.com/gluten-free-dairy-free-blueberry-oatmeal-muffins/

http://www.skinnytaste.com/asian-peanut-noodles-with-chicken/

http://www.skinnytaste.com/roasted-cauliflower-rice-with-garlic-and-lemon/

http://www.skinnytaste.com/shrimp-scampi-tacos-with-caesar-salad-slaw/

 

My favorite GF snacks:

-Cold cuts wrapped around a pickle

-Boom Chicka Pop popcorn – THE BEST! https://boomchickapop.com/

-Corn tortilla chips with homemade salsa

-Fruit salad

-Carrots or celery with hummus- My FAVORITE hummus (If you like a kick of heat and sweetness, you’ll love this!) https://www.cedarsfoods.com/pineapple-jalapeno-hommus

– And we can’t forget about pretzels… http://www.snydersofhanover.com/products/gluten-free-pretzels.html These are THE BEST! Even if I wasn’t eating gluten free I would choose these over regular pretzels.

Obviously, these are just MY favorites (and the list is growing)… There are so many other recipes and other snack ideas out there that are just as good. Check out Skinnytaste! You will not be disappointed! Thanks for reading… enjoy your Saturday!

xoxo,

Stephanie

Hmm… Poetry?!

Hello hello again and welcome back!

A few days ago I came across a poem. It was a poem one of my followers had written and it was REALLY good! I was actually shocked. It was so beautiful. Me being me, of course, I got the idea in my head that I needed to take a shot at it too because, why not?!

I was sitting at the beach the other day staring into the water and started to really think about how the ocean makes me feel. I got in touch with my emotions and wrote every detail down, and what do ya know?! I ended up writing my first poem! I am pretty pleased with it. I've debated sharing it at all because there are always going to be negative comments and people trying to bring you down, but I am deciding now that I really don't care what anyone thinks. As Manny would say, "If you don't like it don't f*cking watch it!" Same applies here if you don't like it don't continue reading… There is no RIGHT way to write a poem.

Here's my first take on poetry…

Crashing waves: 

The ocean is deep

It sometimes makes me feel weak

When I stand with my feet in the sand

I could sink

Let it all flow away

In the ocean waves

That ease my pain and make me crave

What I can not see

But I know that I need to stand and be brave

For there are so many waves left to take

I breathe in the ocean

And feel whole again

With the sun in my face

Ready to conquer what comes next

In this crazy game,

we call life

Don't be afraid to try new things and put your creative self out into the world! You never know who you could inspire…

 

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Betrayed…

Ya know, it's really a hard subject to touch on, but let's be real… being betrayed by someone you thought was true to you is the most hurtful thing ever! Am I right or… am I right??? I was betrayed. The person doesn't even know that I know what I do… crazy right?! I know something that has broken my heart and made me feel almost every emotion and the person that caused this is just going on with life as if nothing happened. I felt helpless, angry, and honestly, very confused. It just felt like someone that I truly cared for literally stabbed me in the back. Have you experienced something like this? If so, I'm sure you've asked yourself, "what am I supposed to do?" I've contemplated my reactions multiple times. The answer is nothing. Don't think about it, don't act on it. Going any further will make you more of an emotional mess and let's be real (again)… is this person really worth your tears?! The answer is HELL NO! If they're hiding something from you that you had to find out from someone else then why would you even want them in your life? You don't. It's hard to cut ties and move on, especially if there is a lot of history involved, but you don't need the confusion and bad vibes in your life. Take a deep breath and let it go…

Take a yoga class (healing benefits), write about it, create a song inspired by hard times, take a drive, or even take a hike. Whatever it is, just keep your mind off of the negative because it will only drag you down.

After being through this multiple times I didn't listen to any of my own advice until this very last time. I'm at a point in my life where I can choose which route to take. Should I dwell on this and make my life miserable over something or someone I can't change? Or should I stand up, wipe my tears, and forget about it and MOVE ON? A year ago I would've chosen #1 but I'm happy to tell you that today, I choose #2. There's no point worrying about something you can't change. This person hurt me…1,2,3 strikes you're out! Buh-bye!

Until next time,

Stephanie

Hello world!

Welcome, welcome! My name is Stephanie Denny and this is a blog about my life. I’m 22 years old and I have SO much to say! I feel like my life is a constant roller coaster of highs and lows. I’m sometimes so lost that it feels like there is no way out and at other times, I feel as if I’m on top of the world. I struggle with what career path I will choose, what I look like from other peoples’ perspectives, making my family and friends proud,  my weight and body image, listening to my heart, and much much more on a daily basis. Sure, I’m 22 and I should be out enjoying myself with friends, getting drunk, and dancing the night away (which I do) but after those nights I seem to feel more confused and more off balance than before. We are in the hardest and most complicated stages of our lives. We have choices laid out in front of us every day. Should I take the dream job or travel? Should I pursue what I love or go to school and get a degree because it seems like the right thing to do? Should I stay home or move away? I’ve been realizing lately that there is no right way. No one can tell you how to live your life and no one can tell you what path to take. I’m trying this new thing… I’m going to do whatever the hell makes ME happy. It’s a work in progress, well, I’m a work in progress, but happiness is key and I’m learning this every day. So… If you’re 22 or 20 something and can relate to any of this confusion, stay tuned because this is for you!

Check out “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero to gain a “no fucks given” look on the life you’re creating. https://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Badass-Doubting-Greatness-ebook/dp/B00B3M3VWS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1501090654&sr=1-1&keywords=you+are+a+badass

xoxo,

Stephanie