Simple Ways to Support Each Other Throughout the Workweek.

At the top of each workweek, we have the best intentions to be organized, responsible, and productive human beings. We do our best to fend off piles of dirty dishes, dust bunnies, thoughts of skipping that workout, and the large wave of exhaustion that comes with working a full-time job. Here’s a snapshot of my week:

  • Work – 40+ hours 
  • Podcast/Blog tasks  – 3-5 hours
  • Realty school – 10+ hours 
  • Work out at least 3-4 days

If you’re anything like me – and you’re a crazy person – you enjoy being creative and thrive having multiple projects to work on. I love the feeling of being creative and putting out content I’m proud of, but come on, I know you can tell my posts have slowed down this past year.

It can be tough to manage passions and life schedules, especially if you throw kids or pets into the mix, so how do we thrive without driving ourselves crazy? Well, all we can  do is our best, and having a little help never hurts. 

If  you’re currently living with your partner or have roommates with similar schedules as you, it’s not a bad idea to sit down and figure out how you can help each other have the most successful week. If you’ve got the game mastered and slay life week to week, this post  probably isn’t for you, and as Queen Gia Gunn would say: “YAAAS, bitch, werk.” You did that. Here are some simple ways my husband and I plan to support each other throughout the workweek:

CHORE-LOADING. Maybe one of you is having a much busier week than the other, and the impending doom and feeling of giving up is tapping you on the shoulder. The person with the lighter load can easily take on a couple extra chores and errands. Not only does this relieve your partner of the added stress they put on themselves, it adds to the bond and promotes deeper connection and love. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re being thought of and supported?! Taking care of the person you love and the household you share is sexy, and most of the time, doesn’t take much.

CHECK-INS. We talk about this all the time here on Gays in the Life. Ask your partner how they’re doing. Go beyond the typical work-bitch-session and get into how they’re doing and how their week is going. If one of you is having a down week, this is a great idea to help break the ice and  let the other know you’re here for them and that they have support. It’s amazing what this does. It’s very easy to get stuck in your head and go inward. On the brighter side of the check-in spectrum, ask how their personal project or goals are developing. It’s so nice to talk about passion projects or other interests. Keep things light and keep work at work. Connect!

ACTIVITY DATES. Schedule at least a couple workouts, walks, or quick home improvement projects to do as unit; a team. My husband and I go on evening walks on a nearby trail. Outside of walking on the trails of  Eagle Creek, we try to attend two workout classes together each week. Working out is proven to improve mental health and is a good way to bond with your partner and to have shared goals. Another fun and easy way to keep the pressure of the workweek and household responsibilities at a low level, is to work on quick  home improvement projects together. Take an evening to put some music on and organize that garage together. Pour some wine and finally hang up that artwork that’s been collecting dust over the months. Get crazy and reorganize your living space. Keeping environments clean, fresh, and feeling like it’s yours does wonders for the mood. 

Give these few tidbits a go, and please feel free to share your  experience in the comments. Find me @gaysinthelife on Instagram and Twitter to continue the conversation there.  

Have a good week! J,

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My Tattoo Story

Tattoo story time! I realized I’ve never shared my ink all in one place, so here goes!

Tattoo #5: The Dark Mark. Slytherin here. Stay off my bad side 

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Tattoo #4: A portrait piece of a grizzly bear; my spirit animal. He represents strength, confidence, and bravery.

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Tattoo #3: The tribal Alaskan salmon. This one I got after I graduated from IU. It represents persistence, instinct, and determination. My closest friends know that story.

 

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Tattoo #2: a trumpet with lyrics from “bittersweet symphony;” my theme song. I played trumpet middle school through college, so that makes sense. I got this one on my 24th bday.

 

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Tattoo #1: I got this one with a friend summer of 2008 in Bloomington. I’m a Scorpio. A double Scorpio, actually. It was an easy first tat.

 

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I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska so I like my ink to reflect that. I love fun “just because” tats, but I prefer mine to have a direct connection to me. What to get next? Hmmm…

What’s Making Me Happy This Week?

Good morning, friends!

I’m writing this just before 8:30 am Eastern time, so excuse the exclamation. You’re probably thinking “turn down, dude, it’s way too early for that.” Forgive me, I’m just trying to will some energy into this post and today’s intentions.

In honor of one of my favorite NPR podcasts, Pop Culture Happy Hour, I wanted to start sharing what’s making me happy on a weekly basis. The daily grind can be extremely draining and make it hard to strive for excellence, so it’s important to focus on the little things; the simple bits of joy that keep anxiety and stress at bay.

It’s been a trying winter season and the seasonal depression that came along with it has been real. With that being said, what’s making me happy this week is being able to refocus. With the arrival of warmer, get-outside-and-take-the-dog-for-longer-walks weather, has come a much needed boost of energy. For the past few weeks I’ve been meeting workout goals and getting back to feeling good; inside and out.

Something I’ve discovered about myself is that I need alignment in my life. If I’m eating healthy, staying physically active, and taking moments to enjoy happiness, I feel so much better than I do while I’m getting caught up in what task I may or may not have time to get to today.

This isn’t to say I’m not getting work done and having a ball. Think of it as a daily refresh and remember: how you organize your life influences the kind of energy you keep around.

What’s making you happy this week? Let me know in the comments wherever you’re reading this.

 

J.

Some of My Daily Tools

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Just a few items that helped me start my day today. After a shower and quick cold-water rinse of the face, I dug into some of my fave daily tools:

– Now Solutions apricot oil for a flawless glow. Yes gentlemen… you too can glow. Skincare is essential.

– Murray’s pomade (mixed with coconut oil) to lay down the frizz.  My hair is crazy, crazy I tell you! Even at this short length. A good brush comes in handy for my hair type.

– Wilma Schumann collagen eye patches (before apricot oil is applied)

– Bath and Body works Bourbon Shea Butter Body Cream. Don’t sleep on these body creams, gentlemen.

– Burberry London cologne, because, duh. Burberry is my favorite!

– A good trimmer to touch up the beard and hairline in between haircuts

Let’s Take it Outside

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Going on a walk is one of the best things you can do for yourself.  You can clear your mind, get some easy, low-impact exercise, and enjoy some fresh air. If you were a fly on the wall in  our household, you’d notice that we’re very scheduled and don’t take much time for ourselves outside of the living room. This has improved with time. I tend to play with my schedule a ton, and most of the time it’s to my detriment. I do my best to fit in any tasks I have to complete, worry way too much about when I will hit the gym, and never end up getting through all I want to accomplish. Today I’m focused on being active. Screw everything else for a moment. Today, I will go on a walk, get some fresh air, and get to what I can when I can.

That Holiday Feeling…

Now that we have another Thanksgiving behind us, it is high time for Christmas decorations around the (loft) condo. I’d been scanning Pinterest for a few weeks now – mostly checking out DIY wreath posts – and finally stumbled upon an idea for our front door.

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GORGeous, right?! I was out Christmas shopping when I decided to grab all the materials I needed for the project I’d been craving to execute. When it comes to inexpensive DIY craft materials, Walmart is a source I frequent. Nine times out of ten, I can find everything I need for less than six dollars an item.

The original frame I grabbed from Walmart died when I decided it was a good idea to try forcing the glued glass off the frame with the palm of my hand. The glass came out, but the frame broke. I can easily fix it with the Gorilla glue we have in the garage, but I wanted the project completed today – and repair was not on the agenda. The frame I used in the end came from Target; $19.99. I’ll repurpose the broken frame for another project.

Each ornament costs less than two dollars, the floral pieces were three dollars or less, and my hot glue gun was six bucks. Not bad for a last minute burst of inspiration on what could have been an expensive DIY craft. Just think, if you were to go into Home Goods – love that store, no shade, promise – they would try to charge you at least fifty bucks for a frame or wreath like this. I cut all the floral bundles myself, played with placement of material around the frame before deciding on a look, and finally set everything into place with hot glue.  I couldn’t stop at just my holiday frame extravaganza for the front door – I had to frame it with some candy cane ribbon feels.

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There’s nothing like the warm vibes of the holiday season. Everything seems more cheerful and light. We can all use a little bit of that feeling right now. I wasn’t able to decorate last year because we were in the middle of an emergency remodel when the holiday season arrived. I’m making up for lost time this go ’round.

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I had an extra ornament and some scraps from the frame project, so I started scouting places to put my lonely holiday florals around the loft. The concept of hard and soft in decor has always drawn me in. The strength of the stag and the delicacy of the flowers with their bold softness, compliment each other very well on our fireplace. Good pop-of-color moments get me every time.

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I had some more materials to use, so I put the rest around some candles on the entertainment center – cute.

Does anyone else think Christmas lights around the house set the perfect mood? I like turning off all the lights, except the Christmas lights and candles, and curling up under a blanket. Whiskey or red wine on the coffee table, music playing softly in the background, GQ magazine or a book in hand. I try to do this on a regular basis, but the added warmth of the holiday season puts it over the top. You should try it.

We do have our tree up, but I’m saving that picture for a later post. If you follow us on Snapchat (being_mrj), you probably got a peek there.

Remember to enjoy all the positive people and things around you this holiday season. Soak in that energy.

Be zen and happy holidays,

J.

Savory, Sweet Truth

CHAI TEA MUFFINS WITH CINNAMON GLAZE” by You Thyme, fellow WordPress blogger, spoke to me as a person that doesn’t follow the standard American diet. You Thyme talks about feeling shame for indulging in foods that aren’t actually terrible for you and the struggle of adjusting to a paleo lifestyle. 

S and I have been low-carbers for coming up on three years and we have both had tempting moments and slip-ups here and there. It’s completely normal and human. When you restrict yourself so greatly, to the point you can’t stop at the tiniest taste of whatver… You’re already too far down a tough path. 

We enjoy beers when we’re with our brew buddies, which isn’t often, and who can’t resist a bomb margarita in the summer?! We never feel like we’re on a diet and beer has really been the only thing we miss. We LOVE a good brew. I appreciated You Thyme’s honesty in this post and I’m excited to try the recipe! 

You can be healthy AND enjoy life. 

Hold The Treats

Victory comes in the form of turning down all the tempting, delicious, carb-filled treats that my mother-in-law will present when S and I visit home.  We had to put our foot down, and really prove to ourselves that we could stay true our health and fitness goals. S and I try not to worry our friends with our low-carb lifestyle, but a voice popped into my head before we hit the road down South. It was the voice of one of my best friends, ST, in Minnesota. “I don’t think it’s too much to ask someone to respect your diet and lifestyle…” Never wanting to come off as a snooty, delightfully rude individual, I would always eat what was presented, and never put in any special requests for any meal.

What ST said during our visit in Minnesota turned into a gospel, of sorts, just hours before leaving the low-carb sanctuary we call home. The few days we spent visiting the parents went surprisingly well, and it was easy – easier than expected, anyway, when saying no to a mom – to not eat any sprinkled, cream-filled, frosted item.  In the past, we would visit home, and assume we’d be eating terribly. It felt good to put an end to an assumption like that, because we now feel like we have full control over how we eat when we aren’t at home. Dealing with naysayers can be enough when it comes to our low-carb, keto lifestyle, but it’s a small price to pay for how great we feel sticking to our regular routine. The downside of it all will affect S’s mother the most… She’s a mom! She will always think we aren’t eating enough.