Be Awesome: Keep Working | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Be Awesome: Keep Working

There’s only one thing you can do to reach your goals, and that’s to keep working toward them. And don’t forget to be awesome.

Be Awesome: Keep Working | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s quitting. I’ve lost track of the of how many times I almost quit writing this silly little food blog. I’d put in a bunch of time and energy for a few weeks, then life would get stressful, and it was an easy thing to eliminate. “Nobody reads it anyway, so what’s the point,” I’d tell myself. I’d throw a little pity party in my mind and justify not putting in the effort.

I completely erased the possibility of making blogging a job. I sucked, so what was the point? No, I wouldn’t even let myself think about it. I should just learn to be satisfied with what I have. It’s not a terrible life. So what if I wasn’t completely in love with my job? Most people aren’t. I’m just being selfish wanting something that I will clearly never be able to achieve. Just quit.

But for some reason, I always came back. Sometimes I’d disappear for weeks, but I’d always find my way back somehow. Why? Why couldn’t I just make a clean break and walk away?

I think it’s because I still really wanted it. I still had a spark of belief that I could do what other people had done and support myself with a food blog. Look, I don’t need six figures. I just want to have some control over my life. I want to have my success measured by my own work, and not by the whims of a teenager. Mostly, I just really want to bake cookies in my yoga pants instead of going to the office.

But when I feel overwhelmed and discouraged, quitting is so easy. So tempting. Nobody else is depending on me. I can just walk away, and it won’t matter. It won’t matter to anyone but me. I’ll know that I failed at yet another thing. I gave up because I’m a loser.

One of the things I’ve been doing the past few months is really putting a lot of intentional effort into changing the way I talk to myself. I was extremely hard on myself, and maybe you are, too. How many times a day do we allow the voice in our head to criticize and belittle us? Probably too many to count. You would never, for a minute, considering talking that way to a friend, but when it’s just you alone in your head, you suddenly turn into a complete monster.

Despite all these good intentions, there are have been times in the past few weeks where, yet again, that voice in my head has told me to quit. I’m wasting my time. It will never work. I’m awful, and I should just give up now. Take a nap or watch a movie instead. I suck. Get used to it.

But this time, I’m not listening.

I’m trying to change a lot about myself and the way I approach my blog right now. I’m never going to turn it into a business if I just keep quitting. The only way to get ahead is to keep moving forward. Maybe it’s true that I’m just not good enough. That’s one version of the story I could tell myself. Or maybe I just need to work harder, get better, become so good they can’t ignore me.

I choose to keep working. To keep learning, to keep growing, to keep trying, right here in front of your eyes. And I sincerely hope that if there’s something you’ve been turning away from because it was easier not to try, that you give it one more go. Put your whole soul into it this time, and just see what happens. And then when it seems like it’s not going to work, just try a little harder this time.

Trust me. There are enough people in this world who want to tell us that we suck. We don’t need to do it to ourselves. So let me tell you right now that you are brilliant. You deserve to have your dreams come true. Whatever you do, don’t quit. Don’t let that negative voice boss you around. Get up in the morning, take a shower, put on your favorite shirt, remind yourself that you are awesome, and go out there and kick some ass, friends. It’s gonna be the best year yet. We’ll get there together.

Awesome in December | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Awesome in December

Awesome in December features my favorite things from the past month. Read on to find out what I loved, as well as your favorite recipes from December.

Awesome in December | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

December has been an absolute whirlwind. It’s only been the last day or two that I’ve actually been able to slow down. I set an intention to work hard, and I guess the universe heard me. I’ll be more careful with my words next time.

We did get to spend time with family over Christmas, which was lovely. I also got to eat some mac and cheese chicken and waffles from Buck’s Bar before seeing the new Star Wars film. Turns out the chicken was the highlight of the night. Have you seen Star Wars yet? What did you think?

The Golden Globe nominations have led me to some great viewing this month, though. I loved Unbelievable on Netflix. Well, maybe that’s not the right word for a show about a serial rapist, but I found it deeply compelling, well-acted, and important.

I also enjoyed Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. It was definitely not a typical Tarantino film, but I found myself engrossed nonetheless. Marriage Story on Netflix was also engrossing, if painful to watch. Divorce is painful. That’s all I’ll say about that just now. But Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver were both terrific.

Awesome Recipes

December is the biggest month for food bloggers, so they’re pulling out all the stops.

Have you seen these Giant Crinkled Chocolate Chip Cookies from The New York Times? Apparently you have to stop and bang them on the counter like three times? Is it worth it? Only one way to find out.

These Cinnamon Sugar Monkey Bread Muffins from Broma Bakery are a great idea. Ingenious for sharing.

In case you feel the need to eat something other than cookies, this Potato Sausage and Rosemary Galette from The Candid Appetite looks so delicious and elegant.

Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Three of your favorite recipes this month were Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels, White Cheddar Fondue, and Classic Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies. Sign me up.

January is a fresh start. Not only a new year, but a new decade. I hope it’s completely awesome.

Have an Awesome Christmas

Have an awesome Christmas

Hey, friends! I hope you’re having an absolutely beautiful day doing exactly what you want with people who make you laugh. You are all a gift to me. Thank you so much for reading my words and cooking the food I share.

I hope you have an opportunity today to find of moment of peace, light, and hope and truly look in awe at this amazing complex, terrifying and unbelievably beautiful universe we live in.

Be merry, friends. Lots of love to you.

Awesome at 40 | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Awesome at 40

It’s my 41st birthday, friends. I’ve been in my 40’s for a whole year now. Have I gained any wisdom? I don’t know, but I’ve certainly learned a few things. Turns out, being 40 is actually pretty awesome.

Awesome at 40 | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

For most of my 39th year, I fretted about turning 40. My mom died when she was only 48, so it felt entirely possible that the end of my life could be approaching. Having a 4 at the start of your age seemed so much older than a 3. People still accomplish things in their 30s. People in their 40s are supposed to be settled, stable, normal.

I didn’t really feel like any of those things. My job, while decent, was a dead end. I felt broke all the time. I worried that being 40 would change things. Turns out, like most things I worried about, it was no big deal.

On being 40

Considering the fact that when I was 30 I completely blew up my life, I guess I actually was pretty settled and stable at 40. I’m married to a man who absolutely treasures me. He’s someone I definitely wouldn’t want to live without. I have confidence in my relationship, and I know how special that is.

I know myself better than I ever have before. I’ve set boundaries around my life and my energy that serve me and allow me to sleep at night. And while I have yet to completely break the habit of stressing about money, I actually feel like we’ll be okay financially. That’s a big deal.

And now that I feel all stable and settled, I can finally start thinking about what makes me feel most fulfilled. I’ve developed a spiritual practice that was completely absent for most of my 30s. I’ve realized it’s actually fine to focus on myself. And guess what. I’m much happier.

Old Lady Advice

Most of my friends are much younger than me, and I find myself constantly giving them lots of unsolicited “old lady” advice. Here are a few things I wish I had known when I was younger.

  • It’s okay to say no, even at work. Protect your energy. Energy is everything.
  • If you’re not getting paid, don’t work late. Your energy and expertise have value, and you should be compensated for them.
  • Just go to dance class. You can probably still keep up with those college kids, and even if you can’t, who cares.
  • It will always feel awesome when someone says you look 27.
  • Wear sunscreen every damn day.
  • Getting carded at the bar eventually just becomes annoying.
  • If you want to change something in your life, just do it. You don’t need anyone’s permission.
  • With a few exceptions, you’re never too old to start something new.
  • Going to bed early with a stack of books is actually what all the cool kids are doing.
  • Napping is the new black.
  • Find the thing that makes you feel connected to the Universe. If that thing happens to be witchcraft, even cooler.
  • Consider an item’s value and cost, not just its price. Buy things you love that will last.
  • Don’t waste your time on people who don’t respect you. Be polite, but don’t be a pushover.
  • Always keep ice cream in your freezer.
  • Most of the things you are worrying about right now are no big deal. Let it go.
  • You’re going to make mistakes. Apologize, and most importantly, forgive yourself.
  • You don’t need to do anything to be enough. You are already enough.

Beyond 40

I’ve enjoyed being 40, and I’m excited to see what I can accomplish in the next 10 years. I know who I am and what I want, and I’m less and less hungry for approval with every passing year. Yeah, I have some wrinkles, and I can’t move as quickly as I used to. It’s worth it to know that I am worthy of love. It may have taken me longer than some other people to get where I’ve gotten in life, but what I’ve learned at 40 is that it takes as long as it takes.

It’s a kinder, gentler world at 40. I’m loving it, despite the previous fretting. Aging is a privilege denied to many. I plan to do my best to enjoy every day. I hope you do, too.

Brown Sugar Body Scrub | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Brown Sugar Body Scrub is a totally luxurious homemade gift. Plus, it’s made with things you probably already have in your kitchen. Mix up a big batch, and gift it to all your friends.

Brown Sugar Body Scrub | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Are you one of those people who already has all your Christmas shopping done? Do you already have all your gifts wrapped and neatly arranged under your tree? Yeah, I might hate you. Okay, I’m probably just jealous. I’m terrible at gift-giving. I have horrible anxiety about getting it wrong. I don’t want to spend money on something that’s just going to gather dust. That doesn’t work for anyone.

This is why I love the idea of giving consumable gifts. I like to give something that can be eaten, used, or experienced within a few weeks. Of course, you actually have to be organized enough to make homemade gifts for everyone. I’m a disaster, and nobody should invite me over for Christmas.

Brown Sugar Body Scrub | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I received this Brown Sugar Body Scrub as a gift from a friend who always remembers holidays and birthdays. The kind of friend you actually want to have around at Christmas. I knew after the first time I used it that I would have to share the recipe with you. It’s too good to keep it a secret.

First off, it smells like something you’d want to spread on your waffles at breakfast. It feels great on your skin, too. Just the right amount of exfoliation to make you feel like you’re getting clean without actually being painfully abrasive. Finally, it leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth and smelling great.

Also, it’s really easy to make with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Just mix up a big batch, split it up between some smaller cute jars, and gift it to everyone you know. Give some to your sister, mother, cousins, co-workers, coven mates, everyone. They’ll all feel beautiful. Plus, you’ll save a ton of money by making it yourself.

Brown Sugar Body Scrub | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Get this Christmas under control. Make some Brown Sugar Body Scrub for all the beautiful people in your life. Give it a try, friends. It’s gonna be awesome.

Be sure to follow How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day on Pinterest for lots of great food and lifestyle ideas.

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