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HONEST PRIVACY POLICY
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This blog has become my journal...  

It’s become my safe space to share thoughts and much like Drake, (listen to Scorpion) writing has become my therapy. Sharing with you scares the shit out of me most of the time, but I always do it with a purpose behind it.  So, if there’s no purpose, why would I share?

Signing up to be an “honestly unfiltered” blogger, I knew I would have to give y’all a pretty in depth look into my life, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of it so far. However but it’s only fair I still have a choice about what, how much, and when I share. As much as I love everyone who follows along on this crazy ride I call my life, my goal is to only share when it’s something of substance(see above when I mentioned it the first time). This means that even if I’m posting about something a bit more fluffy, like an outfit or makeup/skin care, there will still be a message behind it. I am not here to get more followers. I’m not here for the likes. And I’m damn sure not here to sell you on some version of my life that’s only real on Instagram. Being a blogger, and a naturally dramatic person, there will be some extraness from time to time (insert posed outfit photo or 500th selfie to show off killer highlighter), but at the end of the day, the overall message will be real AF – that I can promise! 

In all the realness I plan on continuing to share with you all, there will be some things that are off limits. Please see my list below….

 

DATING:  You will hear me talk about dating until I’m blue in the face. I will give you past examples from my personal experiences as well as from those closest to me, but you will never hear me mention names (mainly because I don’t feel like getting sued for slander) and you will NEVER know WHO or IF I’m actually dating.  This comes along with my strong belief that social media, especially for someone that’s so active in the field, is one of the major factors in relationships failing. So, instead of fighting over who liked who’s picture on IG, it’s just best to keep that completely out of it.

 

FAMILY:  I love my family. They mean more to me than anything else in this world so yes, I will post about them and I will share funny stories about them, but no intimate details or specific stories will ever be shared. Y’all have enough of your own family drama to worry about!

 

FUTURE PLANS:  I’m all about the quiet hustle. I’d rather fly under the radar and hit you with the coolest post/ partnership ever than give you step-by-step updates on what I’m doing. Much like Beyonce, I also love the surprise factor ;) Not only that, but as someone with anxiety, thinking about the future makes me panic. ONE. DAY. AT. A. TIME. 

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These three things are the biggies, but you’ll notice I’ll be posting less and taking more days off as I go along. I have been scheduling out 90% of my content so most of the time I just open IG to check DMs now – it’s a beautiful thing and has taken a lot of the stress off! This all started for me when I noticed that some of the bigger bloggers apologize for being distant and feel the need to explain when they take days off.  That seems ludicrous to me and I can promise you I will NOT be sorry and I won’t feel the need to explain shit, even if I end up taking a whole month off.

 

Like I said in the beginning of this post, I’m not here to make blogging my only source of income and I really don’t care how many followers I have, so I know it’s a bit different for those who do make a living off of this, but I’m just here to share cool shit, help a few people out and vent about life.

Now that you have all that lovely info, please stop bugging me and asking if I’m dating -if I post about a guy in my story it’s most likely a client or my brother. Please stop asking about my family and please stop asking what I’ve been up to. Unless you’re one of the people in my “cool AF” category, I won’t tell you anything. #sorrynotsorry

 

Until next time, 

B

COMMITMENT
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I’m no expert on dating – ask literally ANYONE I’ve ever come in contact with, but I have noticed one common denominator between myself and everyone else out there searching for love (or whatever else they think they need) – the fear of commitment.

 

There are probably hundreds, but I’ve cut it down to two of the main issues:

1.)  Too Many Options

2.)  Unrealistic Expectations

 

Now, sit back and enjoy my rant (a.k.a me trying to make my case).

Commitment is a scary word. I can’t even commit to a sweater that I’ve had in my closet for a year let alone a person! I know that sounds dramatic, but we’ve all been there, so deal. It’s been proven that when you add the somewhat entitled feeling generation X and the “we won’t stop until we have everything we want in life” millennials to all the choices we have available at our fingertips on a daily basis, it equals complete and utter disaster. While this could be applied to nearly everything in modern society, we’re still here to focus on dating, so bear with me.

Before technology, when it came to dating, there wasn’t much of a choice. You went out to meet people, you were forced to socialize, your friends set you up a blind dates or you just died alone (Just kidding. that’s a bit extreme, but you get my point) – your options were limited.

Fast forward 60 some years, and your options are infinite!  Do you want to meet someone online? Great- you’ve got SO. MANY. OPTIONS.

 

BUMBLE:  For girls who want to feel like they have the power and the slightly more classy version of Tinder so you’re not ashamed to tell people you met on there.

TINDER: For those who want a booty call but are too ashamed to admit it and then sometimes, maybe accidentally end up in relationships.

HINGE:  For those who want to low key tell people they did “meet through a friend”.

PLENTY OF FISH or CHRISTIAN MINGLE: For those who want to use the phrase “Jesus willed our relationship into existance” in their wedding vows

MATCH: For those who are finally getting a little more serious about dating but still aren’t sure if they want a relationship so they just message back and forth until eventually one person drops off the map.

E-HARMONY: For those who have finally decided it’s crunch time and they better grow up and find themselves a boo while they still have their strapping good looks and no gray hair.

 

With those lovely choices out of the way, the only other choice you have is (gasp) meeting someone in person! This method is slowly becoming extinct and usually isn’t the first (or third) choice among singles. It’s only sought out when all choices above have been exhausted. Meeting someone out in the wild (a.k.a at a bar, coffee shop or other public place) is almost as rare as one of the Kardasian sisters admitting they’ve had plastic surgery, but it happens. Why is this the least effective method you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Approaching people you don’t know in public is scary as fuck. You can’t hide behind your screen typing pre-mediated text messages and you don’t have a quick snap shot of their life at your disposal. You have to rely on your gut, your conversational skills (if you have any left after chatting through technology for years), and your first impression. If you say something stupid you can’t hit the delete button and get a redo and you most definitely cannot ask them how tall they are (that one’s for you ladies). In order to find out if you’re even compatible, you’ll have to engage in conversation OR exchange numbers and go on a date.  Yikes, who has time for that?? The answer should be everyone.

SHOULD being emphasized; I realize my expectations are a bit high – especially if I can’t even make time to take my own damn advice. As a young professional who’s continuously on the grind, going out to socialize after a 12-14 hour day is the last thing I want to do. I’d rather be at home in sweatpants eating Halo Top because at least I know ice cream will never break my heart #sorrynotsorry.  Again, you can roll your eyes at my naturally dramatic personality, but I’ve heard this same excuse from many friends and acquaintances (minus the ice cream part) for years. What started out as an excuse to protect our hearts and isolate ourselves has turned into our biggest downfall. We’ve let the choices we make for the hustle become more important than those we make for ourselves. And no, this is not my campaign to make you start dating again. (I’ve been single for over a year, haven’t been on a date in over 7 months and have no plans for changing that status any time soon) I’m just trying to get those commitment wheels turning. 

 

That brings us to point #2 – our unrealistic and somewhat shallow expectations.

 

When you’re young, you make a list that’s a mile long and contains the craziest shit. Example -mine used to go a little something like this;

  • Over 6 feet
  • Dark hair
  • Six pack
  • Tattoos
  • Perfect teeth
  • Great job
  • Basically a male model

**Expectation level: Way over the top and never going to happen.

 

As you get older, the list changes and becomes A LOT shorter. Now, my list consists of:

  • Is kind and respects me
  • Makes me laugh
  • Likes my family
  • Likes cats
  • Has similar life goals and morals  
  • Has a job
  • Texts back

**Expectation level: Still shooting for the stars but a lot more realistic.

 

My list has definitely taken a hit and changed for the better, but not everyone makes those tweaks and allows him or herself to evolve. I’ve learned that if you spend your time looking for the perfect person you’ll be alone forever. Think about it, you’re not even perfect so why would you set the bar so high for another person?? What if they did the same for you? That would make for one horrible society (or at least a worst one that what we’ve got now)….

I strongly believe in never settling in life, but there is a happy medium with compromise – on the small things that is. I probably sound like your mother right now, but never compromise on your values, morals or mutual respect, but the little things like height, physical appearance, economic status, etc. can all be compromised if the (listed above) values are all the same. I can speak first hand when I say there’s nothing sexier than a guy who’s respectful, nice and can make me laugh – funny how that works isn’t it? When we stop focusing on the highlight reel of someone’s life and actually get to know them, oh, how our pickiness changes.

When was the last time you looked at your list? When’s the last time you thought about your values and self-respect? Since I’m already in lecture mode, do us all a favor, go back, and reassess – then you complete step one of overcoming your commitment fear. Ding ding!

I understand that writing this article isn’t about to be game changing, or that any of you will actually listen to me, but hopefully it’s at least eye opening for those of you out and about in the dating game. Commitment can be our friend if you just take it out of the friend zone first ;)

 

Xx B

MY PATH TO SELF CONFIDENCE & ACCEPTANCE

Most of my life has been a constant battle with low self esteem. I've always been outgoing, strong and sassy, but underneath all of that, I have quietly struggled to accept myself for who I am in  entirety. 

 

When I was 14, after being teased for being overweight, the struggle began. I now know that EVERYONE goes through an awkward chubby phase before they start to grow, but back then, my world was shattered the first time someone called me fat. With the thought the teasing would stop if I slimmed down, I stopped eating. I would hide food, tell people I wasn't hungry, and eat just enough not to pass out. I kept this up for the better part of a year before my family finally realized part of what was going on. My mom called me out on my decreased appetite and would ask me daily what I ate,  but I still don't know if she ever realized how bad it actually was. It took a full 6 months (thankfully it was only that long) to get back on a regular eating schedule and get back to normal. Though my eating disorder was under control, I then found multiple other insecurities that possessed my every thought. 

By the time I hit freshman year of high school, I had developed horrible acne. I remember looking in the mirror each morning and bursting into tears wondering how I could even show my face at school. The overwhelming insecure feeling was only intensified once I got my braces on. I had officially entered my "awkward"  period and I felt alone and downright ugly. The road of self hate I was leading myself down caused me to wake up three hours before school and obsess over making my hair, makeup and outfit "perfect" with the hope that if someone was looking at my cool shoes, they wouldn't notice my skin or mouth full of metal. 

Unfortunately, a group of older boys had already chosen me as a victim for the year so I was fucked no matter what I did. I became the biggest target for all their jokes and pranks. Lunch, the only time I would see them other than passing in the hall, became more of a nightmare than a fun time spent with friends. They would pass my table making snide comments, calling me names and throwing their trash at me or setting it on my seat as soon as I got up. When it first started, I would laugh - what else was I supposed to do? As the teasing continued, it got harder to hide the pain.

I skipped cheer practice multiple times pretending I was "sick" and came home crying almost every day. Though, I finally had the courage to stand up to them later that year, It's obvious I've never forgotten how they made me feel or what an impact that negative energy had on the way I've thought about myself all of these years. 

Once my braces were off and my acne had cleared up (thanks to $1,000's of dollars my parents spent on dermatologist visits - thanks mom) by senior year of high school, I looked a lot less awkward. Though I had grown out of my ugly duckling stage,  the drive to be "perfect" still remained very present in my life. The struggle with self-confidence continued and (if you can believe it) worsened in my early 20's when I started my blog. I followed hundreds of bloggers, copied their style and thought that if people liked them and their style, that must be what I needed to do to fit in as well.  I opened my first credit card (which I still regret to this day) and began my transformation into a blogger. 

I bought just about anything and everything I liked worn by my favorite Instagram influencers. Which, at the time included, 5 inch heels, big poofy skirts, bold florals, pearl necklaces, hot pink lipstick and basically anything else that had me looking like a Stepford Wife on a daily basis.  

During the day, I was the lady I thought everyone wanted me to be, but as soon as I got home, the sweat pants would go on and the trap music would blast. I'd go back and forth between my real self and the person I thought people wanted me to be and it soon became more of an identity crisis rather than a lifestyle. I knew something had to change. 

If you've followed the blog for a while, you know that what finally sparked that change was the sudden death of my dad back in 2015. After such a shocking event, I realized that everyone's  days were limited and never promised. There was no time to be anything but happy and within two weeks of his passing, I chopped off all my hair, got rid of everything in my closet, threw away my scale and began down the road to become 100% myself for the first time in my life.  

Over the past few years, it may have not been easy, but practicing and preaching self love, dedication to your passion and confidence to my friends, family and of course my readers, has made me the happiest I've ever been. I live each day with one phrase in mind, "Be Happy & Live with Purpose" - hence this very post! 

I went WAY out of my comfort zone and decided to show you all of ME.  I'm in the worst shape I've ever been in (thanks to starting my company this past year, I've gained AT LEAST 10 pounds) and I've never shown this much skin before, BUT I wanted to show you all that in spite of that, I've still learned to love the skin I'm in. I went back and forth for months whether or not I wanted to create this post, but I needed to do it for myself to show that though it's taken me years and lots of blood, sweat and tears, that I've finally learned what self love is about. It's not about striving to be perfect all the time but rather finding perfection in your imperfections. These are all my imperfections I've learned to embrace and love! 

 

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I've always hated my nose. It was too big for my face and when I'm not positioned on the "good" side of my face, theres a slight bump that stands out. Now that my dad is gone, my nose is one of my favorite features because it's just like his. I no longer look at it with hate, but with appreciation that I've been blessed to look just like my dad.  

 

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Thunder thighs. The term I've heard over and over again throughout my life. The term repeated by asshole kids in middle school, high school and some even in college. The term I used to think about while I tried on 100's of pairs of jeans with no success because nothing fit. And now the term that I've began to think of as empowering... 

 

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They say scars tell the stories of your life and this one has one hell of a significance. This is the scar that marks my first insecurity as a child. This used to be a huge, dark, birth mark. Growing up, my mom used to tell me that's where "God kissed me" but as soon as I started school, I quickly learned that what I thought was a kiss from God also resembled what kids called a hickey. I couldn't even wear my hair up without getting pointed at, or asked a million questions. As soon as I turned 13, I got it removed, but still look at what's left behind as a reminder of how blessed I was to have such supportive parents. 

 

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AH, my stomach, my biggest insecurity since - FOREVER. As a woman, I understand that we naturally have more fat in that area (I'm still trying to figure out if it's a blessing or a curse) but it's always been a spot on my body I've been most self-conscious about. I don't have a flat stomach, I don't have a skinny waist and honestly, I'm ok with that. I've started eating healthier, and hitting the gym at least 4 times a week for general health reasons, but if someone can't love me like this, they don't deserve me any other way - flat stomach or not! 

In conclusion, I'm glad I have the platform to share my story, and hopefully inspire others to love themselves no matter what! It doesn't matter what size you are. It doesn't matter how many imperfections you have. The only thing that matters is your happiness in life and that starts with YOU! 

- X B 

SELF CARE SUNDAY NECESSITIES WITH: ERICA HORNTHAL
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There is often a misconception that self-care is a luxury or even selfish. This next sentence is important so please put down any distractions, silence your phone, and pay attention. 

 

Self-care is necessary. 

 

Self-care means making your physical, emotional, and spiritual health a priority. The best part is that by engaging in healthy self-care, you are more available to the people in your life. In today’s world where we are on 24/7, always accessible, and sacrificing our presence to make others feel like they are with us on the journey, it is vital that we take time to unplug, unwind, and recharge. Not sure what that looks like or where to begin? I’ve got you covered. 

 

Embrace a change in scenery. 

It is important to change up your routine in order hold onto what works and get rid of what doesn't. Book a trip, plan a staycation or just get some time away from the daily responsibilities of life. Once you limit the distractions and connect to your environment, you can truly be present to your needs, wants, and desires. 

 

Invest in yourself. 

Focus on your needs. It's not selfish; it's necessary. Change up your look, treat yourself to a spa service or spend quality time with people who make you feel like the best version of yourself. See your health as a long-term investment that you want to see thrive. Consider what environmental factors will contribute to your growth and support; social networks, living quarters, occupation, etc. 

 

Engage in mindful movement. 

There are many ways to use our bodies to embrace self-care. As a dance/movement therapist I encourage my clients to try these if they are feeling stuck or do not know where to begin. 

Breathe: Our bodies do it involuntarily, but to take full advantage of the benefits of breathing, we must be aware and mindful. Practice deep breathing by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. This will slow down the heart rate, relax the nervous system and connect you to yourself when things begin to feel out of control. 

Stretch: Start by simply reaching your body up or out while breathing in. Stretching through every inch of your body allows for better circulation, more control of our bodies which correlates to our thoughts, and a connection to the present moment. This can be done before you even get out of bed in the morning. 

Listen to Your Body: Take body breaks throughout the day to reduce tension and stress. Think head, shoulders, knees and toes. Move out the tension. 

 

It is important to remember that self-care is a practice. It is not about perfecting or achieving, it is about engaging, embracing, and listening to what you need. Be there for yourself and you will see the benefits.

 

By: Erica Hornthal - Founder of Chicago Dance Therapy

MAMA KNOWS BEST: RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS
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Several years ago I was a social misfit, a wallflower some may say (just ask my daughter). The mere thought of being in a crowd of people I didn't know, would make my heart beat out of my chest. My palms would sweat, and I would feel anxious. I didn't know what to say, what to do, or if people would accept, or receive me well.

One day, I decided to take a leap of faith and conquer my fear head on. I decided to say hi, good morning, or smile, and have eye contact with, everyone I passed. The response from people was incredible! At work, I sat in the lunchroom at a different table every day and spoke to people I didn't know. One girl said, "I always thought you were a stuck up bitch, but you are actually really nice." Point taken, my shyness was perceived as me being a bitch,and unapproachable, because I didn't get to know people, and I realized how important it was to them, especially since I was in a supervisory position.  

I continued to practice, and everywhere I went I would talk to people, to force myself to get out of my comfort level and to see what reaction I would get. I would say the things that were in my head at the moment. "What a beautiful dress." Your child is so cute." I love your hair!" If my grey came in that color, I would never dye my hair, you are so lucky!" People's faces lit up like Christmas trees. Somehow I had 360'd people's day, with the smallest gesture. I didn't live in their shoes, I didn't know what they were going through at the time. Were they going through a rough patch, depressed, struggling? Although I did not know, I felt I changed their outlook on the day because a random stranger noticed them and shared words of kindness. 

We live in a fast paced busy world. Take the time to do something for someone else, and your heart will soar! Do random acts of kindness for others, expecting NOTHING in return, and you will be filled with joy. You and the receiver will both reap the benefits. Say a kind word. Donate things you don't need. (Both of my children donated their first cars. It's  a great tax write off) Bring your pet to a senior center. Help someone in need that is going through a hardship. Be a listening ear to someone who is lonely. Offer your expertise or services to someone free of charge. Pay for a veteran's meal without them knowing who paid for it. (My father does this)

Pay it forward people, and when someone says to you, "What can I do for you in return? You were so kind to me." Tell them to do one random act of kindness for someone without expecting anything in return. Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone did so?

- Mama Hinrichs