Month: June 2015

Coming out of the fog

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Anthony had heart surgery about 8 months ago. Once he could sit up on his own and work again, I thought it was all over, and things would go back to normal. But I started experiencing things I never have before – lack of motivation. Not enjoying my job like I usually do. Feeling like an exposed nerve, where the smallest thing could turn my day into a struggle.

My sister suggested I see a therapist. The therapist said that I was depressed. I had only experienced these symptoms one other time in my life, and it didn’t feel as set in and gripping – it was a little scary to admit this was happening, when the worst was over. Anthony was fine. So what was the problem?

Apparently the experience was way more traumatizing than anyone really acknowledged. There were moments before and after the surgery that I only realized were traumatizing and intense once I looked back on them months later. Anthony’s face right before they wheeled him into surgery. Seeing him warm and well afterward and feeling the biggest relief I’ve ever felt in my life. Feeling it all spill out when I broke down in the bathroom after it was all over.

I kept saying to my therapist that I didn’t understand why this was an issue now, when it was over and done with. She would just say, “You were afraid that the person closest to you was going to die.” She had to say that about 3 times in various sessions until that really sunk in – I had powered through it with an optimistic attitude while it was happening, and every time she said it now I couldn’t help but start to cry. It’s even hard for me to say those words now – to admit that that was a possibility.

Once I realized that it was okay to be depressed about something that happened months ago, it was easier. I knew that things were not normal right now – I gave myself a break for not grocery shopping or getting random errands done. But I kept working out, knowing that would help with my mood swings that felt out of my control.

And 8 months after the surgery, and after 5 months of therapy, I feel like I am finally coming out of a fog. It feels like getting better after the flu – you feel your energy come back and you finally want to do things like get dressed and be social and outgoing.

I finally feel like myself again – my default setting is happy and satisfied. I feel present and capable of handling my emotions and relationships, even more than I did before the surgery. Obviously Anthony and I have gotten so much closer through all of this, and it’s so nice to have felt secure in our relationship the entire time I was feeling that way. I feel like my relationship and I came out stronger on the other end. Isn’t that how it always goes?

I find myself actually talking to people at work rather than completely avoiding all unnecessary contact. I felt so insecure about making new friends and putting myself out there, and I wasn’t used to that voice in my head saying I was fat, annoying, desperate… I finally feel my confident, “I don’t give a f@#k” self coming back to the forefront.

I feel like I have turned a corner, and I feel the tide shifting once again. I just had my one year anniversary of working in my current position, Anthony is close to graduating, and we are starting to see a lot of potential new friends around us.

Goodbye fog – hello sun.

 

 

 

Easy Enchiladas

 

My sister swears it’s not hard to cook.

I’m not sure I believe her.

It’s not that I think it’ll be hard, really, I just don’t enjoy cooking. Or grocery shopping. I am famous for eating microwaved quesadillas for every dinner at home – I just want to eat, I don’t care enough to make something.

But my sister has been so helpful in giving me recipes when I entertain the idea of cooking at home for once and not heading back to Jersey Mike’s for dinner. She actually shares my disdain for cooking, but has come around by necessity – she is, after all, a mom of two hungry babies.

Here is one of her recipes that only requires a Stephanie-level of expertise to pull off:

 

Mary’s Enchiladas

1lb ground turkey (or anything or nothing)

1 can sweet corn

1 can refried beans

Small can sliced olives

Taco sized flour tortillas

Lots of grated cheese

Small 10 oz can of red enchilada sauce

Pour sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish and brown turkey. Add taco/burrito seasoning to turkey if desired. Mix turkey, beans, and corn together. Lay out as many tortillas as you can squeeze in there (4?6?8? I was able to fit 7) and coat them in the sauce. I find stacking them taco style is helpful while I coat each one. Then spoon in filling (about two big scoops with a tablespoon each) add grated cheese on top of the filling (I used tongs to take the cheese out of the bag without getting it dirty) and roll loosely, turning them seam side down. Don’t try to fold the ends.

Put grated cheese on top and olives over that. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 15-20 min or until heated through. I sometimes broil for a few minutes if the cheese on top isn’t melted or I just want to crisp them a bit on top.

Delicious and easy!

 

Thanks sister!

 

What’s your favorite easy dinner solution?

 

 

Leopard Nails for Dummies

0001-22639390  Don’t let this picture fool you – I do not have a lot of patience for DIY manicures. I have many memories of painting my nails with Emily and her being appalled at my lack of tidiness and my impatience. “STEPHANIE! You paint your nails like a child! It’s all over your cuticles!”

Dear Emily: I still don’t care.

Emily has patience and her nails ALWAYS look beautiful. She has the perfect 50’s-housewife-type nails that make you wanna die. If you want to have nails like hers, and do it with zero chemicals, check out this post. She even exfoliates and moisturizes. Homegirl is on another level.

I bite my nails (which my friend once told me was the equivalent to licking a toilet seat) and I haven’t painted my nails in months because I was way too lazy. But it was a Friday night, Anthony had to work, and I had an unusual amount of energy. Just add Ariana Grande and beer and you’ve got an insane Stephanie on a mission to do an intense nail project.

I did this leopard thing once before, a long time ago:

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I pinned it to my “Outfit Archive” board (otherwise known as “Stephanie Tilting Her Head and Staring at Her Phone in Her Work Bathroom Board”) to remind myself that it actually happened, and that it was easy! I was really into painting my nails for a while though (check out my board for some other nail ideas from that time), so I hoped that I still had it in me to pull it off.

However, I firmly believe that there is nothing you can’t accomplish when “Domino” by Jessie J is playing, a beer is nearby, and you’re in a hyper mood with no plans for the night.

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I’m so sorry, but I don’t know what the name of this OPI color is. I think I stole it from a friend. But here is something similar.

The good thing about a beige color like this is that it is basically the exact color of my skin. Which means I get to skip the step where I use a q-tip with nail polish remover to clean up my cuticles after hastily slathering the polish all over my hand.

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You’ll need a beige color, a clear coat, and black nail polish. I got my black polish at Payless. It happens to have a pointy and super thin brush for this sort of thing (much like this one), but you would also do fine (it might even be easier) with a toothpick.

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Start with chewed, dry nails, and push your cuticles back with your finger. Don’t bother filing them because we have a lot of work ahead of us.

IMG_6207 I had to do 3 coats, since my base polish was pretty opaque. I didn’t want it to look like spots on my bare nail – I wanted some shine underneath.

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Once your base coat is dry, don’t be scared and grab your black polish. I swear this isn’t as hard as it looks.

The good thing about doing leopard print is it’s supposed to look blobby and squiggly, so you don’t have to worry about it looking super neat. I like to make a series of slightly open circles:

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Before you know it, you’ve got the whole nail.

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Try varying the size and direction a little bit, and don’t be afraid to just leave a dot or a line if you run out of space.

When you start having to use your left hand it gets a little intense. But if you make a mistake, just go with it. Don’t obsess over tiny smudges or a line that didn’t go the way you wanted it to. Remember that it will look like leopard print in general, and that no one will stare at your thumb nail in a well-lit room from an inch away. Unless they’re super into it. In which case, swat them away and send them this post so they can continue to think your manicure is flawless.

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It took me an hour from start to finish. Like I said, I had a lot of energy and no plans. But I loved the result!

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Don’t forget to glob on a clear top coat so it doesn’t chip 3 seconds after you finish. But wait until it’s actually dry!! Unless you’re like me (remember, not a lot of patience, especially when my playlist runs out of Ariana Grande songs and oh ya I’ve been doing this for an hour) and you do this:

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…but yunno what? It kind of looks more like fur that way.

If painting your nails leopard print free-hand teaches you anything, it will be to roll with the punches.

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Into it!

 

What’s your favorite nail ‘do?

 

 

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