Let’s Talk Depression

As you’re reading this I’m flyin over your head on the way to San Diego for the week for a professional conference. I’m big enough to admit that I’m a coward and posted this as I jetted outta town so I wouldn’t haveta face anyone IRL who happened to read it.

This wasn’t an easy post to write. And actually, it jumped back and forth from my drafts to the trash for a good long while. Full disclosure I just might delete it as soon as I touch down in San Diego. Talk about being vulnerable, just write about your deepest feelings and then post it on the internet. Today, that topic is Depression and I’ll be your guide.

If you’re not ready for a deep dive into seriousness, which I know is pretty rare around here, then feel free to click on over to my Popular page to get some good laughs. No judgment. If you choose to stick around then please just keep an open mind (aka free and clear of judgement)

depression talk

Now I’m not talking about really, really sad. I’ve been really, really sad. I know how to deal with really, really sad. I actually used to think that’s all depression was, was really, really sad. It’s not. It may be one of those, you-don’t-understand-until-you-experience-it things. So I hope to God you never understand it. Maybe depression is the wrong word, idk. If there’s a step in between really, really, sad and depression then I guess that’s where I am.

I can relate this feeling to a number of things to make it better understandable, but it’s mainly like this giant weighted and thick blanket that weighs everything down. Sometimes I feel like I might be able to sink right into the ground. Just lay down and I can feel my body being absorbed into the earth I feel so heavy. Other times I feel like I might just float away. Like my mind goes absolutely blank and all activity ceases to be. Talking about feelings is hard….

But it’s also like the Harry Potter Invisibility cloak in that you might never know I’m wearing it. (and yes, HP fans, I realize that’s not how the invisibility cloak works, so just go with me) I can be just as bubbly and smiley as normal on the outside, but the inside feels like a dark and foggy thundercloud just took up residence on my soul, and when I’m alone I just can’t smile and play along because the truth is I’m tired…

I can’t tell you what exactly brought it on. Well that’s kinda a lie, because I have a pretty good idea what brought it on, I’m just not quite ready to put that out into the atmosphere just yet. I’m also not comparing my experience with any one else’s. I’m fortunate enough not to have a constant presence looming over me and it’s only been in the past month or so with some big life things hitting all at once.

So I’m gonna sign off now, but before I do, I wanna just say that if there’s anyone else out there struggling through a rough time or keeping their depression a secret you can talk to me. Send me an email or DM me on Twitter. You’re not alone and there’s nothing wrong with you for having those feelings. We can help each other through the healing process.

So let’s talk….and please be kind….

Sig

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Also I forgot my laptop in KY so this’ll be the last post until I get back, for sanity purposes.

Butternut Squash Baked Fries + Little Friday

Look-y here another recipe 😀 lol Thank to everyone for such positive encouragement on publishing my vulnerable post. It’s not so much the blogland reaction I worry about but the one from IRL peeps as more and more continue to check this site out. Buuuuut y’all have given me the courage to complete it and I’ll probably post it while I’m out of town next week (I’m brave) haha.

So, I told y’all I was experimenting with butternut squash recently and this was the first recipe I tried with it because who doesn’t like french fries? These are 10x BETTER then McDonald’s though and you won’t have any of the residual guilt after you eat them so win-win-win.

Butternut Squash Baked Fries

Butternut Squash Baked Fries

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into fry shape
  • salt
  • non-stick spray

Seriously those are the only things you need……can “cooking” get any easier? If it can, you can trust that I’ll find out how because ain’t nobody got time to be in the kitchen for hours.

Let’s get down to business. Pre-heat your oven to 425 F or if you’re simple like me, just use a toaster oven. (there’s really nothing those things can’t handle in small quantities). Once you’ve peeled and cut your squash to desired size, spread out on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

Butternut Squash Baked Fries

Let them sit for about 5 minutes, then pat dry with another paper towel. Spread out on a pan you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray and sprinkle more salt if you so choose. Bake for 20 minutes, flip and bake another 15-20 minutes or until down.

Keep in mind, these won’t be crispy like deep fried fries but they do get a  nice crisper skin on the outside then raw squash. Also I suppose you could add more then just salt if you’re fancy but the natural flavor of the squash plus some salt is all I need for a yummy snack or side dish.

Butternut Squash Baked Fries

I have no kids, so I’d be interested to see how they go over wit a younger crowd. Of course I don’t recommend telling them it’s a squash if you have a picky eater on your hands. But what do I know about parenting.

Who else is a fan of butternut squash? I need more recipes so share away!!

I’m also co-hosting Little Friday with Ashley today so be sure to link-up, hop around, and make some new friends!

Ash (Follow Here!) // Ashley (Follow Here!) //  Kels (Follow Here!)
Rules are there are no rules!
 
Please link-up to whatever you like! 
 
All that we ask is, if you wish, please follow us via the links above and that you link back to this blog – so that other’s can join in and mingle! 
 
Happy Little Friday Everyone!
 
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Sig

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Some Much Needed Confessions of Late

It’s been a hot minute or two since I’ve confessed anything. It’s gonna be even weirder now that I know entirely way too many people IRL that read this. Why try and pretend I’m not as strange as I know I am, so let’s go ahead and make things awkward for work/class/life.

Mindy Kaling gives some great advice

 

>> I’ve had zero motivation to get any writing done lately, which explains all the recipe posts. I guess I figure if I distract y’all with food you won’t notice the lack of substance.

>> Speaking of substance, can school be over already? I gotta keep tellin myself grad school was a good idea….It’ll be worth it once I get that degree in the Spring but until then I don’t wanna write any papers (see above), study for any tests, research for any projects, or read any chapters for discussion…..In case anyone is considering grad school, that last sentence pretty much sums up the experience.

>> I’ve got a really vulnerable post sitting in my drafts but I have yet to get the stones to hit publish. It would certainly make up for the distinct lack of substance I’ve been worried about, but dang-it, it’s SCARY!

>> This time next week I’ll be in California and I am beyond excited but also a tiny bit nervous. Not for the conference itself but for the opportunities and networking with some pretty big names that I hope to do.

Dear hiring managers I will soon meet,  

     Please love me and hire me and pay me lots of money….and maybe include some benefits.

Sincerely, Kels

>> My Monday’s now start at 5am, which means I’m up at 3:45…that’s am. No longer can anyone complain to me about their Monday’s because clearlyI have one two billion-upped you.

>> I’m making a short video for one of my classes and it involves me doing both voiceover and being in front of the camera…..awkward….like really….this video will be on YouTube and don’t you worry your little booty I’ll be posting it for my humiliation and your entertainment on here as well.

Whew, I’m done. Now tell me some of your confessions?

And don’t forget to linkup!

Ash (Follow Here!) // Ashley (Follow Here!) //  Kels (Follow Here!)
Rules are there are no rules!
 
Please link-up to whatever you like! 
 
All that we ask is, if you wish, please follow us via the links above and that you link back to this blog – so that other’s can join in and mingle! 
 
Happy Little Friday Everyone!
 
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Sig

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Linkin up with Hump Day and Confessions

Cakemix Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies

I don’t normally post recipes on a Monday, but when I do…….Most Interesting Man in the World reference there……anyway, no recipes, Monday (especially one where I have to be to work at 5am), you get the jist, but I’m too excited to share this recipe with everyone to wait until Wednesday. I told y’all Kristy and I were getting together to “Study” which really stands for “bake lots of treats and fill our mouth holes while we chat.”

Also as an update, only one gentleman noticed his personal shout-out, though I admitingly  told him to look so it doesn’t really count does it? I actually told another of them too, but he ignored me so his pumpkin cinnamon roll has been revoked.

Speaking of Pumpkin. Fall. Scarves. Boots. and Cookies. Let’s get to the good stuff.

Cakemix Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal cookies

This cookie is beyond easy. 5 ingredients easy actually. I’m sure by now most everyone knows the spice cake + pumpkin + chocolate chips = cookie recipe and this is isn’t a whole lot different. It simply adds butter, eggs, oatmeal, and a whole lot of yumminess.

I adapted a recipe for plain oatmeal cookies and switched out the yellow cake mix for the spice cake mix. I also added some pumpkin spice for extra pumpkin-y flavor.

Cakemix Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies

Cakemix Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1 spice cake mix
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 eggs
  • pumpkin spice (I didn’t measure this just sprinkled some in)
  • Chocolate chips

Melt butter either in the microwave or on the stove. Put all dry ingredients in a bowl, then once melted pour butter over the top. Add eggs and beat until just combined. Add as many chocolate chips as your little heart desires then spoon onto a baking sheet (I used parchment, they can be a bit sticky) and bake 10 min at 350 or until edges are brown.

Cakemix Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are so fluffy and delicious and amazingly easy. You really have no excuse not to make them for yourself. Or others, if you’re into that sort of thing….I did send some to JB so my best friend duties are done for the season.

So who’s making these cookies now?

Also who wants to give me a ride to the airport next week? The search begins lol

Sig

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Linkin up with Meatless Monday’s

Friday Favorites + a Special Hello

Happy Friday Friends!

Another week gone and some of my sanity with it. This semester has been wicked busy already so I can’t wait until exams and projects deadlines start arriving. Today we’re throwin it back to a little Friday Five. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done one of these but just know I’ve got some great recipe and story posts comin your way so don’t abandon me yet.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

1 >>

I’ve never been good at keepin The Blonder Side a secret from IRL ppl, much to my detriment sometimes. SO I wanted to give a special hello to unsuspecting occasional readers Mark and Michael. Both classmates, and both not ones I’d ever assume took a peek after I told them about this here website.

So to Mark, my buddy and unwilling early morning spin partner, not quite sure how I roped you into that one, but thank you. And to Michael, as much as you protest my friendship advances I think I’m finally wearing you down…you’re welcome. Oh and I can’t forget Chris. Keep reading excerpts out loud from The Blonder Side whenever I’m around because it’s not weird or awkward at all. A pumpkin cinnamon roll to the fella who notices this post. (not even kidding)

2 >>

We all know I gave up running for a bit forever, but y’all It’s SO HAAARD! If you don’t run I sound crazy, but if you do then you know what I mean. It seems like everyone and their grandma now wants to run a fun race with me or start training together and I’m all like “Where was this a year ago??” But alas, my Ortho Doc would be proud of the refusal skills I’ve attained 😦

3 >>

Speaking of Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (see bullet point #1), it’s one of the recipes comin your way. Kristy and I have a study session this weekend which actually stands for “Make-treats-and-talk-for-hours-while-we-stuff-our-faces.” The acronym gets a little lost in translation, but just trust me that’s what “study” actually stands for.

Also comin up are coconut oil cookies (b/c different), pumpkin cookies (b/c Fall), and banana cinnamon swirl bread (b/c I’m fancy). Oh and Snickerdoodles (b/c why not!) I’ve got a pumpkin version I wanna try next  hashtag white girl status. Here’s a sneak peek

RecipePeek

4 >>

I bought a butternut squash for the first time ever after seeing a friend eat it for lunch one day. Call me naive or behind the times but I can’t believe it took me this long to try out some different winter squashes. I ended up pinning about a billion butternut squash recipes (follow me!) so it’ll be on the menu for the next couple of weeks. Most recently I made a butternut squash pasta and some baked fries because I like to live life on the edge. Fried = better then sweet potato fries but rival-ring with zucchini fries.  A must try for sure!

5 >>

I got really excited to see I’d hit 400 followers on Twitter! But apparently the Twitter crowd can be pretty fickle or perhaps just in the business of denyin my little heart this one joy because not 24hrs later I was down to this…..

TwitterFollowers

If you look it’s only 3 tweets later so now I’m wondering if I tweeted something so awesome they just couldn’t handle it…get on my level! 😉

I guess one day I might be able to move past this rude slight, but until then you can find me not too worried about it when the 399 that remain are much cooler. (note: if you are that one. I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills….too far? haha)

Now tell me about your fun weekend plans? I get to work so I need to live vicariously through y’all!

Sig

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Linkin up with the DC Gang, Little Friday, and Friday Favorites

Snail Mail is the New Email with Cardstore

Ok so maybe it’s not quite the new email, but CardStore sure does make it a whole lot more fun to send someone a card. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like getting mail? I may be an old soul but I know I’m not alone in this. My girl Ursula even makes her own cards to send, but I’m not quite on her level yet which is where Cardstore steps in.

Cardstore

Anyway the kind people at CardStore contacted me about taking a look at their website in return for a promo code for a free card. Um yes please. It was perfect timing too because there were several people I wanted to send things to for some pretty big milestones.

Cardstore2

It should come as no surprise that I chose the World’s Most Adorable Human at the recipient though. It was her Half Birthday yesterday (Happy 6 months!) and while she may not be old enough to appreciate such a beautifully and artistically crafted card (I’m kinda full of myself sometimes) I assume her parents are. Plus you can’t really go wrong with putting that face on a card.

Before we get into details I wanted to show you how many options are on this website. For photo cards alone there are over 300!!! Below is just two obvs…

Cardstore

I clicked through to several of them because I’m super indecisive. Of course I went straight to the Birthday category but they have options for pretty much anything from anniversary, to holiday, to just because. It’s like going to Hallmark but much cheaper and much more convenient. Not to mention customized with your own photos. (sorry to put you out of business Hallmark)

JB sent me a photo of the World’s Most Adorable Human the other day and I played around with my VSCOcam editor app (if you don’t have it, you’re not a true iphone blogger…I kid) until I got it just perfect. Her face is seriously hauntingly beautiful in this shot. Then I uploaded it into all my favorite card choices.

Cardstore

The site is so easy to navigate and comes with tons of options to make it yours. For example, it took my a hot minute to figure out you could customize the inside, but once I figured out this little “options” tab rolled down I added a photo to the inside as well. Y’all. They even have an option to set people’s birthday’s in your account and they remind you when it’s coming up….Best. Website. Ever.

Huge shout-out and thank you to the fine people at CardStore for letting me create this beautiful card!! You can learn more about them at their:

 Website // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest

Now I wanna know what y’all think, did I make the right card choice? And would you ever use a service like this?

Sig

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Yoga, Puppies, & California Trips

I would start this post out with an apology that I’ve let the Blonder Side become a ghost town this past week, but that’d be a lie. #sorrynotsorry applies ten-fold in this instance. (Also all my co-workers now know about this here blog and one was even reading lines out loud the other day at work…..Awkward. But Hulloo fellow Wellness Guides if you somehow managed to find your way back)

Now, y’all know a bit about my housing drama, but the whole enchilada is a whole post in and of itself. But because I want you to be waiting in suspense, the tagline goes a little like this. Craigslist…it’s not just for killers…..(dramatic right?)

Anyway, because I’ve fallen off the blogger wagon so to speak, I thought I’d do the standard life in pictures update to catch every one up on my saga. (because I know you’ve been eagerly awaiting my return 😉 ) If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (p.s. do it now!!) you’ve seen I’m not completely among the social media dead, just close.

Without further ado. MIMM.

I started school and have yet to find my motivation to actually do any of the homework….grad school problems. I’ve taken up yoga and cycling in loo of writing papers. It’s a rough life….

yoga studio

Possibly the coolest yoga studio in town.

Also I aged 40 decades overnight and learned how to knit. So far I can do boot cuffs, headband/ear warmers, and I’m working on an infinity scarf right now. And to further destroy any street cred I may have held at one time, I just joined a knitting group…..insert joke here.

puppy and knitting

I have a new Bae, you can see him in the above picture but we pretty much do everything together. I should mention he’s not even my dog, but my roommates….kinda makes for an awkward dinner conversation….

Puppy and Bachelor in Paradise

We even watch sappy love shows together, what a gentleman

Oh and I found a Weirwood tree in Lexington, KY. Who knew this was the North? (a prize to the first person to get that reference….it can be a real prize if you need incentive to participate. And by real I mean a virtual high five kind of real)

weirwood tree

But seriously where did Summer go? I’m already wearing light jackets in KY, but my heart is all sunshine and triple digits so there’s clearly a disconnect with Mother Nature.

Lastly I switched over to AdProval for my Sponsorship options so be sure to take a look. I should mention that I’ve only ever had good things said about me since I started offering sponsorships. That may be becuase I only know nice people though. They tend to keep things pretty upbeat…(Ahem, Tori 🙂 )

Big announcement:

I got an internship to a professional conference in San Diego in 3 weeks so anyone in that area hit me up! I have almost 8hrs of free time on Thursday the 2nd before I catch my red-eye back home. It’d be nice to fill that up with friend time instead of airport sitting time. Though I’m wondering if I can take knitting needles on the plane? My American guess would be hell’s to the no but anyone know? (yesmy dating life has seriously taken a plunge in case you were wondering…)

I’m also over at Anne’s today, being featured so click on over!

What have I missed in Blogland this past week? Tell me something goin on in your life lately?

Sig

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Linkin up with MIMM, & Weekending