about me

27May

A little bit of that night…

I always knew it would come to head. Kinda like that guy you dated in high school who was fine with “above the belt”, but ultimately wanted your mouth on his dick. The fear stuck by me, not as much in the months leading up to this night, but definitely in previous nights. He had a loud mouth and insecurities out the wazoo. He had treated my best friend poorly on many occasions. Strangely enough, that was at a time when I stood up for him.

The actual event that night meant nothing to me, as most do. Keep in mind that I love country music. Give me a story arranged in notes, a voice so deep you think they are channeling the bottom of the ocean, a song about life, love and heartache. That is what I listen to when I am alone and no one else can skip to the next song. That night I wish I had skipped to the next song.

I grew up with my mom in a small town. Saturday mornings in the Spring I woke up to her cleaning, windows open, the scent of Pledge in the air and Randy Travis filling the the house. Nowadays, I travel back to bonfire weddings, karaoke during Christmas and flannel for days. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. All of it. However, I always wanted more. I wanted to learn more. I wanted the experience. This is why I embrace any musical opportunity that comes my way.

My musical knowledge is limited. I played the clarinet when I was younger, when it was kind of the cool thing to do. I can sing a bit, meaning I can sing country and was in choir for four years a very, very long time ago. I only know I can sing because a small amount of people have witnessed me truly going for it, including my mom, soon to be ex-husband and a handful of family and friends.

Only recently I decided to embrace country music in its truest form. By that I mean a little Willy, Hank, Randy and Jones. Vinyl gives it the old school feeling and their voices take me back home. That being said, I love being introduced to new music. And ultimately, that is why I was at Mr. Smalls on August 20.

Board games and country music. That could sum up my family gatherings in a nutshell. A very large nutshell because, trust me, there is so much more to that story. This information is only relevant because my night began with a board game and ended with me storming out of a show I didn’t really care about. The night of the show started with drinks at the house that now belongs to Dave and luckily included my gorgeous friend Kristen. Kristen, a girl who gives honesty a face, was there last week when I was attempting to pack up my house. Ironically she pointed out the game DICEcapades. That was the start of the end.

How many of you have two friends who have just split up? This can be as simple as a friendship, as complicated as a relationship or as messy as a divorce. It all sucks. There are two sides to every story and there are still two sides floating around about the night I speak of. But ultimately, there is one. There is one story that is real.

I can be a gossip. Can meaning was and gossip meaning I know everything. Everything about my friends. Look back to paragraph one, the “he” I referred to is the same one I am referring to now. He was one of my best friends. He was also a friend of Dave’s and dated the girl I cared most about. You know, the one he treated like shit?

The night we went out involved new friends, old friends and a shitshow looming in the dark. It involved beer, music, lies and, ultimately, the truth. It involved him and his new girl. This girl, the one that sped out of my house months before because she couldn’t handle the pictures of his ex (my best friend) sitting around my house, started the drama. Oh, the drama. Still to this day people question the things that come out of my mouth, but luckily they don’t question Kristen, the girl I was with that night.

It’s funny to me now that the band playing included another relationship “he” almost ruined. Call me a gossip, but come on dude, keep your mouth shut. It’s also funny to me now that the only reason I came out of the bathroom was to defend his ex, my best friend. And ultimately, this led to a lot of screaming, crying and, in the end, my divorce.

Relationships are a funny thing. Recently I was watching a show and the girl, who, like me, fucked her husband over. She kept the secret inside of her. If you know me or knew me, you know I did this. I have wounds inside and out showing my pain. I have shed tears and fell to pieces over the situation with my husband and that night. The tears belong to me and the anger belongs to Dave. Do you understand?

Like I said, people talk to me a lot. I know a lot things. Things I keep hidden. Things I supported. Things I didn’t like. The night I refer to is the night when a friend of mine, a friend of Dave’s and a guy that dated my best friend, “ruined my marriage”.

I know it is all my fault. Trust me. Should I have done the things I did? No. Did Dave deserve to know? Yes. Did that guy, the one that was more involved than I care to admit, have any right? No. And neither did his girlfriend who is 25 and has no clue what the future holds.

So here I sit, awake into the morning once again. My mind tends to go and go and go. It’s at these times that I wonder, does his? Does the guy who made it his argument sleep at night? Does he remember what he said in the moments leading up to the pain that is everlasting? I doubt it. But that is only because I have witnessed for so long the lack of emotion in his eyes.

16Apr

A little bit of divorce talk…

April always seems to sneak up on me. Living where I do, you never know what winter will bring. At times, the entire city seems stunted by the cold. There are nights when even the warmest blankets can’t take away the chill. The ice has been known to ruin many occasions and the cold weather turns people into hermits.

I have always been partial to springtime. The entire world comes out of its shell and sighs with relief. The trees begin to bloom. The grass shows its pretty shades of green. The wind becomes warmer carrying aromas of flowers, rainy nights and cookouts with the promise of longer days. The sights and smells can brighten the darkest thoughts. The sunshine begins to thaw our cold souls. The rain washes away the salt and grime left behind from the winter. And we all smile a little bit more.

In our life, we go through so many seasons. And I don’t mean the ones in nature. Childhood is the start of it all and everyone’s is different. Maybe you have two parents in your life, maybe one, sometimes none. You might have siblings or maybe not. There is school and learning and hopefully happiness that will lead you into the next stage. Being a teenager is tough. It was difficult for me and even harder for those going through it now. You learn so much. You develop as a person and then, all of a sudden, you find yourself in your 20’s. There is college or maybe a job to pay the bills. Whatever decision you make, it’s scary. Your friends change. Your living arrangements change. You may fall in love. You will probably fall out. You begin to find yourself and question every single detail in life. These are the seasons of life. And they just keep going. Mine have brought me to my 30’s. And, let me tell you, it’s not any easier.

If you have been following my blog, you know I am going through a divorce. All of my seasons brought me to this point and, little did I know, prepared me for this struggle. My tears remind me of the tears from my first love. The pain reminds me of my mother consoling me and also teaching me her strength. The loneliness reminds me of moving away from home. And the sadness reminds me of the happiness to come.

I seem to go back and forth between wanting to bloom and wanting to crawl back into my shell. All of the emotions and changes, both in life and nature, made me start thinking.

We all accept the changes the Earth presents us. Sometimes we bitch and moan about driving in snow, cleaning up leaves, mowing the lawn, etc. But we do it. So why, when someone we love presents us with change, do we fight it?

I know that I have presented those in my life with a burden they didn’t choose. I live with this pain daily. I know that many question my mistakes, actions and, for some reason, the way I’m moving forward. And for those that do, I politely ask, what did I ever do to you? And I, in typical Melissa style, present you with a not so polite fuck you.

I also bestow upon you a list of what not to say to someone going through a divorce. I offer this list as a learning experience. I offer it as a reminder of common courtesy. I offer it as a mental note of the times you fucked up and I didn’t judge. And I offer it as an answer to anyone who wants to question my life going forward.

Do not say how much their situation is hurting you.

Like I said before, I know the pain I’ve caused others. That being said, why remind me? If you are talking to me about this awful situation, be my friend or get the fuck out of my way. The last time I checked, my marriage certificate included two names and I’m guessing you weren’t one of them. I also don’t remember you being there during the tears, the fights or the loneliness. Oh, but shit, you are hurting because of my divorce? Grow some balls because that’s what I’ve had to do.

Do not compare a divorce to a breakup.

I have been in long relationships. I know the pain. I have stood by my friends in their times of heartache. I will NEVER take that away from anyone. Pain is awful and everyone’s story is different. Unless I am forgetting how it works, you didn’t have to go to a lawyer to break up with your ex. You didn’t have to split property with this person. You aren’t worried about finances, alimony or marital assets. I’ve been through breakups. I am not saying they didn’t hurt. The permanence of forever exists in marriage, as it does with divorce.

Do not bring judgment.

I won’t go into this too much but please remember what you have done. Remember your faults and your flaws. None of us are perfect. None of us are supposed to be. This world is full of hurt. All we can do is look forward and try to better ourselves. And along with that, the lives of others.

Do not say nothing.

The beginning of the end was awful in so many ways. I am lucky to have a lot of support. I am also lucky to have a lot of friends with big mouths. The most awkward situations I was in were the ones where people tried to pretend nothing was happening. You certainly don’t need to broadcast it, but pull the person aside and let them know you still love them. Trust me. I have left many parties, occasions, etc., because the silence made me feel uncomfortable. And hell, if you don’t have the words, a nice hug will do.

All of that being said, I have put my foot in my mouth many, many times. Everything we say can be fixed. Every hurtful moment we cause can be mended. This list is solely based on personal experience. If you have something to add or would just like to talk, please comment below.

20Jun

A little bit of baby talk…

I need to get something off my chest. I have been married for eight years, together for 12. I am a 35-year-old woman with a husband, a dog, a cat and a tortoise. No children. This is nobody’s business.

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Since the day Dave and I stepped off the plane returning from our honeymoon, I have been asked about kids. That was in 2008. That is eight years of the same question regarding my uterus.

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I don’t know why people think it is an ok question to ask repeatedly. I have friends who can’t have children. I have friends who have lost children. What if this was the case with me? Do you want me to say that to you when you ask this question? Honestly, I want to know. I want to know if you want to feel as uncomfortable as you are making me.

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Luckily, for me, this not the case. I am 35 and honestly just got to know myself. I feel as though I just learned how to take care of myself. So maybe right now, I don’t feel 100 percent ready to take care of a child. 

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People who know me know I love kids, so this is not a shot at people with kids or kids in general. I have nothing but respect for parents. I watch some of my best friends work full time and raise children. It blows my mind.

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Yes, Dave will be an amazing dad. Yes, I will be a great mom. This will all happen when we and my body are ready. Until then, we will continue to focus on our marriage, our friends, our family and our adorable animals. And I hope you will do the same. 

16Jun

A little bit of shine…

There are fireflies out tonight and it reminds me of home. I remember my mom taking me to catch them and being afraid. There are fireflies out tonight and it reminds me all things beautiful could have a dark side. There are fireflies out tonight and I can’t think of a better use for my mason jars…

When I was in eleventh grade I submitted a story to Glamour magazine. Us girls, we started reading those magazines when we were so young. First Teen Bop, then Seventeen, even Delia’s messed with us. The glamorization of life so early on can really mess with a girl. Not that it isn’t 100 times worse now, but man do I remember.

The article I submitted to Glamour was for a contest. A life changing story, they said. Something that affected you on a personal level. I remember reading the winning story and thinking, wow, everything isn’t so bad. But it was.

I think that on some level we can all relate to the feeling of self hate, loneliness, rejection. I mean we are all human, right? When I submitted the story, I was sure I would “win”. I was sure my story was different enough. Maybe one person wanted to hear it. Because at the time, it was all I needed. At the time, I just wanted someone to relate to me.

The story was about my anorexia and bulimia. I struggled severely for a couple years in high school and “moderately” for the rest of my life. It was not something my family or friends understood or could deal with. It was just (and has been) this thing that lives in my head.

When I submitted the story, I wanted to be heard. Not by the world, but by one person. If one person could relate and tell me it would be ok, maybe I would be ok.

But the truth is. And this is something I have learned in the last however many years since I was starving myself daily, only I can do that. Since then I have struggled with a lot mental things. A lot of issues with my body and and my mind. And in the end, it all comes back to me.

I have been a size 0 and a size 12 and the only thing I have found to make me happy is …well … me.

I have been told on numerous occasions that I, not unlike the fireflies, have a glow. I have been told I have a contagious energy and eyes that can draw someone in. Awesome, right? But until I see that (and until you see that in you), it will all stand still.

If you look around, you can see a firefly in the daytime, but after the dark is when they really shine. Did you know they can synchronize with others and glow together

I remember writing the story and thinking if I get this out, I will feel better and someone else will feel better. And I couldn’t help but think of it tonight when I saw the fireflies. I kinda love that they only come out when it’s warm (I mean who can blame them?). And I kinda like to picture them at a luau, wearing colorful skirts and dancing.

Regardless, they shine. In a world of dark, they shine … because they can. And, I guess what I’m trying to say is … so can you.

15Jun

A little bit of my mind…

I have been staring at my computer screen for awhile now. I can talk. A lot. But putting into words what I feel after this weekend’s tragedy isn’t going too well. Like all of you, my heart is sad and scared for the world we live in. This weekend was a bit of a whirlwind, so I spent the other morning cramming in a lot of information. The outpouring of love and support is amazing. The stories of the heroes are incredible.  

It’s been a struggle coming up with something to write about this week. My mind is kind of all over the place today and I feel like I need to type something, so here you go.

Welcome to my mind…

I sold some wine glasses last week. I haven’t been pushing my crafts too much recently, so when a sale comes my way, I am pretty happy. I did a redo of the ones I made for PERSAD CENTER’s Art for Change event. Can I just say that most of the time I feel like I am a complete shit show? So, when I finally finish making something and it is safely tucked away in its packaging and on its way to a customer, I feel pretty freaking amazing.

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This time was a different story. I hand delivered the glasses because I was headed to a friend’s pool that day, which is right down the road. Upon delivery, I get out of my car and start up their walkway. My swimsuit bottoms fall down. I am covered with a sundress, but at this moment, I panic. I can’t tie them without exposing my lady bits, so I pull them completely off and tuck them in my pocket. I am in a residential neighborhood, and I see the neighbor staring at me. Like what kind of goods is this girl delivering? I am friends with the daughter of the woman who purchased the glasses, and her adorable husband decided to show me some of their artwork. It’s like he knew (Sorry, Marsha! hahaha). Anyway, they loved the glasses and I will be shopping for a new swimsuit.

In other big news, I switched from an iPhone to an Android. This was a BIG deal for me. I do all my work on a Mac. Have for years. I use my iPad daily and still remember getting my first iPhone. The short and sweet of it? I am a closet nerd. I spent an entire morning researching this switch and walked into the Verizon store with sweaty palms. I explained myself to the guy who said, with such sincerity, I get it. Somehow I walked out of there with a Galaxy S7 Edge, an Ellipsis 8 tablet and a new found love for Aaron the Verizon guy.

I also spent a lot of last weekend in a swimming pool. Jealous? The weather was gorgeous. There was plenty of booze. But the weird part? I can’t swim. Go ahead, get the look of shock over with and erase the thought of “fixing” me from your mind. I can move around just fine in water, but I can’t go under. And can I just say? None of you (Well besides you, Alex.) are doing laps in the pool during a party. I believe you were all standing right next to me drinking your beers. Regardless of that, I took lessons two years ago. I made it through three of the four and gave up. First of all, I hate deep water. Second of all, swimming is a lot of work. You learned when you were five and had all the energy. I was 33 and it was not easy. And third of all, it was me and a bunch of little kids. No thank you.

And just one more thing before I shut up. F*ck yeah, Pens! Also, main image is available for purchase here.

9Jun

A little bit of friendship…

Yesterday was National Best Friends Day. How do I know? My best friend sent me a snapchat from Denver. She lives 20 hours away from me. How do I remember? Because during the drive across country, I said if we ever had a really bad day, we could technically meet halfway in 10 hours. That’s something, right?

I am 35 and the amount of people I keep close to me can fill a room. I am lucky, I know. When I moved to Pittsburgh 15 years ago (oh my goodness!), I knew maybe five people. It was actually terrifying.

Girlfriends are the best, right? Mine are some gems. I love when you know a girl so well that you can read her mind before she speaks. And you can judge her before she judges you. It becomes this vicious cycle of being a complete bitch, but knowing they are just the same and knowing that it doesn’t matter. That connection will not fade.

And don’t get me wrong, I love my guys too. Those nights when girlfriend A and girlfriend B are fighting and girlfriend C is fighting with her boyfriend because he doesn’t want to spend time with girlfriend D and her husband. OH MY GOSH. These are the nights you want dudes around. Just sit me at a table with a beer in my hand and let them drone on about baseball or video games or whatever manly TV show they’re into at the moment.

Anyway, back to my best friend. She has been gone for three months now (insert eye roll) and it certainly doesn’t get any easier. But the thing about best friends is they don’t just leave. And it’s not like we didn’t text every detail of every day to each other before, but now it just feels so special. It’s like you’re over there and I am here and we are still ok.

You know those nights when you’ve had way too much wine and you just sit and talk and talk and talk and talk. It’s like the world stops and you just get to have the warm and fuzzies for a few hours. Those are my kind of nights and my kind of girls. I am super lucky to have some extremely amazing and talented women in my life. And I am extra lucky that they put up with me.

I found a family here, and for that, well, there are no words.

Pictured item is now available (and customizable) at Bows and Branches.

8Jun

A little bit of self reflect…

To tell me that I am stuck in my own head is a thing of the past, present and, I assume, future. I feel like growing up I was always that way. Let it be for lack of close siblings and a lot of time by myself. Or maybe it was because I grew up with one parent and had something missing. But it is me. I think too much. I think about everyone else way too much and how they impact me. How life impacts them and, in turn, impacts me. And I know I am not alone in feeling this way, so here is a blog post.

For those who have experienced depression, anxiety, OCD, self harm, anorexia, etc., etc. etc., you get it. You understand what it’s like to be so consumed with your own thoughts that you cannot function. You also understand what it’s like to ruin things because you think too much or care too much or worry too much. And I get it. So much.

To be told to get out of my own head is a common thing I hear. Whether it’s online or in my research or in person. I’ve heard it and today I started to question it. Maybe it was because my yoga instructor started the class with the exact same line. Concentrate on your breathing, she said, get out of your head. And again I was reminded of what I was doing wrong. If you’ve lived with anxiety or any of the things above and beyond, you have tried to relieve some of your own misery through some sort of outside remedy.

I have had friends tell me recently how proud they are that I took time for myself. That they are inspired by what I did. That’s a lot to take in because sometimes I was just trying to survive. This post is probably the most honest one I’ve done and, once again, it’s therapy for me. Read it. Don’t read it. It’s for me, not you.

I have been really getting into yoga and, once again, started thinking about how to get out of my head. So, like most days, I go to the Internet for help. I wanted more ideas. More ways to “fix” me. It was pretty monotonous, so I decided to post about this instead. Here, I will provide five things that are my go to for stress, anxiety, anything of the above.

  • Yoga – I cannot begin to describe what this exercise has done for me, mentally and, just recently, physically. I feel like I have never trusted my body or mind. Being next to one of my best friends feeling the sturdiness and solidarity of the practice has been life changing.
  • Being outside – I remember as a child making forts, clubhouses, whatever you want to call them, in the woods. Have you ever taken a day and spent it under the trees? Look at them. All they want to do is take care of us. Mentally? It’s soothing. Physically? Moving around on the trails has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.
  • Art – It’s been more than two years now since I realized I have something in me that needs to be expressed. It started small and never grew to anything huge. But, it grew. And with it, so did I. I am not afraid to show what I make because it makes me happy. And I don’t care who you are, making something with your own hands is so rewarding. Pick up a coloring book, a paint brush or a cookbook.
  • Cooking – If you know me, you know I NEVER cooked. One of my favorite things to do now is blast music in the kitchen and go to town. If you can close your eyes for two minutes and think of the rhythm of chopping any vegetable, you get it. Taking all the small ingredients and creating something to give to people I care for is incredible.
  • Wine – I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t include this. I am a total wino. And the best part? So are some of my best girlfriends. For now the two things go hand in hand. The conversations. The relaxation. And the love.

If you’re like me and need to be reminded to get out of your head on a daily basis, I hope this helps. If it doesn’t fix anything, just know you’re not alone and honestly, I’d love to know what works for you.

18Apr

A little bit of mental health…

This morning I came across two different articles talking about social media and depression. The first one was a study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The study outlines the correlation between social media use and depression in people ages 19 to 32. Minutes later, I saw another article pop up in my Twitter feed.  This one talks about how people with mental health issues can benefit from social media. Kinda crazy, right?

I mean, I understand both sides. Social media provides a place for us to share our lives, stories, pictures, etc. The problem with this is that everything is usually filtered through rose colored glasses. Believe me, I know. I love social media. I love sharing. I love reading people’s posts. For me, I don’t have the jealousy bone, which plagues many people on social media. But I did use it to tap out of my life for a bit.

The past year or so, I have suffered from a lot of different issues. I am not here to broadcast all the nitty gritty, but I’m sure you can image. If you look through my social media posts, you can’t see any of this. But I do. I see it in my eyes. I see it in my lack of enthusiasm. It’s there, but it’s covered with a filter.

Social media, although amazing, gives everyone a platform to be a one upper. This can really mess with your head. Like why is his life so cool? She’s always so happy. And so on and so on. I can’t imagine growing up with Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. When I was a teenager, we were just beginning to explore chat rooms and talking on AIM and ICQ. The online competition wasn’t there and the bullying wasn’t anything like it is today. It was more like HOLY CRAP I CAN CHAT WITH MY FRIENDS assuming you didn’t get a phone call, which kicked you off the Internet. I feel old just writing this crap

Unfortunately, Internet trolls and insecurities are a hard thing to tackle. So, like a lot of situations, I think it’s important to focus on the positive. Social media provides us with an opportunity to connect with people we probably would never have met. In situations where a person is suffering from anything, whether it’s depression, anxiety, loneliness, WHATEVER messed up thing our brain is telling us that day, this can be life changing.

A lot of people don’t understand mental illness and I get it. It can be a scary thing to watch someone you love go through. Like just feel better, right? I mean that’s just it. The stigma surrounding mental illness is part of the problem. People deal with sadness and loneliness and on top of that they are looked down upon or isolated even more because people just don’t understand. I have been reading so much over the past year about depression and anxiety, eating disorders and how people cope. And, the amazing thing was, it wasn’t hard to find. There are blogs and forums, support groups and people standing beside complete strangers. And, it is really f*cking beautiful.

May is Mental Health Month, and I hope that you will take the time to learn a little more, reach out to someone you know is struggling. Or maybe even get some help for yourself.

12Apr

A little bit of time…

Everyday at the sound of our alarm clocks, much like the horses at the Kentucky Derby (although probably a bit slower), we are off. We all have our routines. Shower, coffee, drive to work, get through work, drive home, dinner, TV, bed or something like that. We all rush through the day, sometimes on autopilot.

I have been lucky enough to have some down time over the past year. Fifty percent of my work week is done at home. Its been a weird transition. I had to reset my routine, and I had to make sure I stuck with it. Not always the easiest thing to do. I try not to watch television during the day and if I can avoid doing things like laundry and cleaning (because OCD) AND shut off my damn phone for a bit, I have time. REAL time.

Time is a weird thing because we all want it, but once we get it, we are kinda like what are we supposed to do with this. And for someone that suffers from anxiety and has spent most of her life in constant motion, it was hell. I had to learn to live with myself and actually enjoy it. I basically had to ask myself, what do I even like to do? Hence all the crafts, cooking and, well, this blog. I figure if I can be proud of one thing I do a day, that’s pretty good.

A lot of my friends are very active in Pittsburgh, whether its through networking or volunteering. They are constantly on the move. Kinda works out for me because I can jump on the bandwagon whenever I feel like it, which isn’t often, but who’s counting. (Clearly not them because they continue to invite me. Thank you!!!)

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Recently I was asked to make a basket (hand-painted wineglasses and wine) for an upcoming event held by PERSAD CENTER, a human service organization whose mission is to improve the well-being of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning) communities, and the HIV/AIDS communities. A friend of mine has been involved for years and, honestly, I am super excited. Art for Change, held May 2 at the Wyndham Grand Downtown Pittsburgh, features verbal and silent auctions. The art at this thing is incredible and (because my friends are the best) I AM PART OF IT! If you love art and want to be involved in this fabulous evening, tickets are on sale now and they are looking for volunteers

IMG_8152Giving to this organization and others is really a great feeling, which is kinda my focus right now. Plus, who doesn’t love free advertising!? I could probably write a book based on lazy marketing. But enough of this laziness. Go do your thing. And take some time to stop and smell the roses or the tulips or whatever isn’t still frozen in this city.

2Apr

A little bit of yoga…

For nearly two years, I have suffered from back pain. We will call it that. If I try to explain what is really going on with my body, you would be like what the hell is wrong with this girl. I’m pretty positive it was from sitting at a desk for years, stress and not taking care of myself. You know, all the stuff they warn you about.

The pain is pretty constant and I have tried many treatments. I did the whole physical therapy thing, which didn’t seem to even touch it. I am pretty much best friends with my chiropractor, although I’m not sure I’m his favorite patient. I had acupuncture done. It actually did seem to make a difference, but for some reason, I never went back. I’ve been tested for arthritis and had an MRI. Luckily, I’m healthy, but that doesn’t solve my problem. 

I started doing PiYo at the beginning of the year, which I highly recommend. For anyone that thinks yoga is boring but wants similar benefits, this might be for you. I bought a trigger point massage tool and a foam rollerThese are both amazing. I have tried so many different vitamins and minerals. Anything someone suggests, I buy it.

The thing that seems to help me the most is stretching, so I started doing yoga. Today I got to experience hot yoga for the first time and I LOVED it. If you haven’t tried it, basically they jack the temperature of the room up to, I don’t know, maybe 80 degrees. It really loosens your muscles and helps you move easier. You know what else it does? It makes you sweat. A lot. I went with a friend, and she swears we were under a heat vent. Some of the girls looked like they worked up a nice warm glow. My entire body was soaked. Maybe it wasn’t sweat and actually wine.

The place went went is called Amazing Yoga. They are based in Pittsburgh and have locations in Shadyside, Lawrenceville, Wexford and the South Side. I was a little nervous being that it was not only my first hot yoga, but my first yoga class ever. The atmosphere and the instructor were very welcoming. She told us to leave our egos at the door. There were no grunting men or guys hitting on me. Gosh, I am so over the gym. And, BONUS, newbies get two weeks unlimited for $25, so I will definitely be going back. However this time, I am going to avoid the hour and a half class and maybe ease myself in a bit.

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