Peace, love, and happiness… from your pet!

Iphone 019

I watched a YouTube video today about animals so feel compelled to write about them today.  Who doesn’t love a furry, four-legged creature?  I guess there are a few people out there, but not many.  I feel there is a lot to learn from animals.  I continue to learn daily from my pets, but here are a few lessons I have learned so far:

  1. Animals truly know how to love unconditionally.  Have you ever had a pet that you got mad at earlier in the day and then the moment you come home, he or she is at your feet or in your lap?  Yeah,  I could do better at this.  When I am mad, I can stay mad for awhile.  It’s not that my love goes away, but it doesn’t feel completely unconditional either.
  2. Animals are not on a schedule.  If an animal is tired, it sleeps.  If an animal is hungry, it eats.  If an animal wants to be pet, it jumps in your lap.  They are spontaneous creatures and live in the moment.  Oh, wouldn’t we be better off if we truly lived in the moment?
  3. Animals have fun.  Not that I know how a cat or dog is truly feeling at any moment, but by observing animal behavior it truly looks like they have a good time.  I mean, who else can stay entertained with a ball that jingles, a laser pen, ball of yarn, some shoes to chew, or a stick to play with?  Just like watching children play, this is a humbling reminder that little things all around can be entertaining.   Not just TVs, cell phones, and computers.
  4. Animals can kick ass when needed.  Even though we bring animals into our homes and call them our “pets”, they are still animals.  I love seeing the tigers at the zoo and thinking about how my little cat is related to this big, gigantic tiger.  Animals still know how to flight or fight when needed.  They can kick ass and this reminds me that I should probably take a self defense class sometime soon.  You never know if and when you will need to defend yourself, but you should be well prepared.
  5. Animals do not take part in the rat race.  Okay, this may be a stretch since animals do not have the same mental capabilities as humans do, but it can still count as a lesson.  Animals obviously do not spend hours upon hours slaving over work.  Animals do not purchase materialistic items or live beyond their means.  They make ends meet.  If you have an outdoor pet that you haven’t fed in a few hours, he or she will go find food if he or she is hungry.  Pets live simply.
  6. Animals offer peace.  Time and time again, I will be working my booty off and my cat jumps in my lap.  It makes me laugh because she jumps in my lap and then hops on my left shoulder every time (I guess it is “her” spot).  It also makes me take a moment and just relax.  I pet her fur and I listen to her purr.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It’s peaceful.

I truly do not understand how humans can abuse animals or neglect them.  It breaks my heart, but the reality is that it happens every day.  I just don’t get it.  Animals are full of love, happiness, and peace.  Something we can all strive for.  So to the people who choose to neglect or abuse any animal, I hope karma bites you…. HARD!

What is the greatest thing you have learned from an animal?

Fighting through Negativity

I have issues.  Don’t we all?

I cannot shake the comments my brothers have been making to me via text lately.  In fact, I am in tears right now just thinking about it.  But, one of my greatest outlets is to write.   And so here I go…

In an effort to avoid additional family drama, I will not divulge all the details here and instead stay general. Both of my brothers are adults. I try to be very empathizing towards him and am usually their cheerleader. This time, however, I am a cup of of anger with a squeeze of sad.

How do I release this anger and sadness?  How do I fight through this negativity? My first step is realizing a few things…

Siblings fight.  I know this will all boil over and we will be talking amicably again.  So why even worry?  After all, siblings fight and to a degree that is normal.  Sure, we are adults now.  And I would hope adults wouldn’t have to fight, but life isn’t always perfect.  That is for sure!

Negativity can be released.  Calming my storm can be difficult, but there are a few ways I cope.  My go-to’s are releasing energy through a good workout, spending time with a loved one (preferably one who is not involved in the storm), meditating or spending some quiet time relaxing, and writing.  Time heals wounds and time away from the problem can be a good thing.  I also love positive messages like the one below..

Iphone pic

Discomfort is the catalyst for change.  If I had a dollar for every time this was relevant, I would be rich.  It is obvious in my situation that change needs to happen.  Change is not always bad and, in fact, can be extremely positive.  In my family’s case, space and an individual quest for passion and purpose may be the change.  That is definitely not a negative change.

Letting go is key.  I still remember a movie I saw in Houston with girlfriends back in 2006.  Actually, I do not remember the movie itself, but I remember the one liner that was said over and over again in the movie.  I liked the one liner.. obviously more than I liked the movie.  It was, “Let go, let God.”  Letting go can be difficult, but it is essential.  My anger is holding me back.  My brother’s resentment is holding them back.  It is so vital to let go of negativity if one is ever to move forward in life.

What ways do you fight negativity?

Sunday Social (#3)

Every Sunday, I do a link up with A Complete Waste of Makeup called Sunday Social.  It’s super fun and gets us all SOCIAL!  Feel free to join in on the fun…

  1. What are your favorite holiday movies/ TV specials?  I am a sucker for Home Alone.  I have not watched it this year yet so will definitely be watching it soon.  I also like the ABC Family 25 days of Christmas.  They have a great lineup every year.  For some reason I think that I will like Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas because I used to love it as a kid, but I can’t get myself to watch it this year.  I am not into animation these days I guess.home alone
  2. Do you do any volunteering over the holidays and if so, what?  If not, what would you do?  I am a big fan of the giving trees.  I love buying gifts for a child in need. I usually participate in the toy drive for Children’s Medical Center as well.
  3. What is your favorite toy received as a child for the holidays?  A bead loom if you can believe it.  I really got into making beaded bracelets when I was about 10 years old.  My brothers called me “Sacagawea”… at times that nickname still comes out. bead loom
  4. What was your must have item in high school for the holidays?  Purple-tinted lipstick and  frosty green eye liner from Maybelline.  It sounds pretty bad, but at the time it seemed normal (err, somewhat normal).  I went through this odd makeup phase and had to have this tint of purple lipstick.  I also did not like wearing eye shadow so bought a thick eye liner to line the top of my eyes in place of eye shadow.  I had a frosty lime green color and the pink color below that I would use from time to time.  Eek!  So glad I am over that phase!MAYCL
  5. What do you do on Christmas Eve?  My family does all of the celebration time on Christmas Eve, while Matt’s family does celebration time on Christmas Day.  Thank goodness, because that makes the planning verrrrrry easy!  This year my mom and I talked about having a pajama party and watching old Christmas movies.  We give gifts on Christmas Eve as well and usually make some yummy, hot soups for dinner.  Love, love, love the holidays!!!!!

Fuel Up to Kick Butt!


The foods you choose to FUEL your workouts are SO important!  Did I stress that enough?!?!  I was reminded of this on one of my runs this week.

I am training for a half marathon in March.  I am running 3 times per week, because any more than that would bore me to tears and ruin the whole half marathon thing.  I am a woman of variety… it’s the spice to life!  And my workouts are no different.. I need to change things up regularly.

Anyway, my 5 mile run this week was on a work day.  I had a morning meeting so knew that I would have to wait until the lunch hour to do my run.  I am a HUGE FAN of morning runs because fueling up is a lot less tricky.  However, I refuse to wake up before 6:45am (I am NOT that girl that wakes up at 5am to workout… nor will I ever be).  So, I only do morning runs when I have the chance to go between 7 and 9 in the morning.  I was craving some Frosted Flakes that morning.  I know, I know… I am a dietitian so I shouldn’t eat crap- right?!?  WRONG! I was human before I became a dietitian and last time I checked I am still a human so “perfection” eating does NOT apply here.  I like my not-so-healthy food too, I just limit it.

Anyway, that 5 mile run was HELL!  I paid for it.  I even waited 2 hours after eating the cereal to go on the run, but I still felt coo-coo! And not coo-coo for cocoa puffs.  I felt coo-coo for that cucumber water you get at a spa, an IV drip from the doc, and a 5 hour nap.  Okay that is a dramatization, but I really did not feel great.  I kept getting heat come through my chest as I ran and I was counting down the miles until I was done.  When I set my mileage for the day, I have a hard time cutting it short.  It messes with my mind so I powered through it.

And so all that to say, I was reminded how important what you fuel your workouts with really is.  Here are a few of my simple tips:

  1. If you are working out first thing in the morning, have a small snack.  Think a handful of crackers, raisins, trail mix, or small piece of fruit.  You do not need much, but it’s best to have a good source of carbohydrate to keep your energy up so that you KICK BUTT during your workout!
  2. If you are working out in the middle of the day or at night, wait at least 2 hours after a meal.  Running on a full stomach can hinder your workout.
  3. The junk doesn’t cut it.  If you are okay with feeling crappy during a workout like I did, go ahead and eat junk.  If you want to feel great during your workout, choose wholesome foods or what I am naming as solo foods.  Solo foods are the 1-ingredient foods that taste great even by themselves… fruits, veggies, nuts.

Happy fueling to you, friend.

Delights of the Week (#2)

Every week I will share with you some of my delights of the week.  Please feel free to share yours in the comment section, on Facebook, or via your blog and post the link below.  I would love to hear from you!

Long phone calls with loved ones

I can’t believe I am saying this, because normally I HATE talking on the phone.  If I could shake the hand of the person who created text messages and emails, I so would.  I prefer this mode of communication and of course person-to-person over the phone any day.  However, I had two very long phone calls with important people this week and it was refreshing.  Sometimes all you need is a talk with someone you care about so deeply to get reminded of just how important relationships really are in this life.

Iphone 008

Planning a trip

This week Matt and I booked our flight and resort for St. Lucia.  We will be going at the end of January.  I think planning a trip is so exciting, not only for the end result of going on the trip, but also the anticipation it provides beforehand.  There are so many adventurous activities available and sightseeing that I am not 100% sure I will be able to fit it all in.  But, it will be a BLAST regardless.

st lucia

Work Christmas parties

I work for a great company in Dallas and our company’s Christmas party is SO FUN!  I don’t know why I get so excited about it every year, but I really do enjoy having lunch with my fellow co-workers, playing games, hearing our CEO speak and hand out raffle prizes, listening to Christmas tunes, and possibly getting a bonus.  I never “expect” a bonus, but when we get one (which is every year I have worked there so far) everyone is smiling ear to ear.  And who wouldn’t?!  We could all use some extra cash this time of year.


Bubble baths

Holiday season is fun, but it can also be full of to do’s.  I have to up the ante on stress reduction techniques this time of year.  My stress reduction of choice these days is taking a bubble bath.  It is so simple, does not require much time, and still allows me to be still and relax for a moment.  Heck, just talking about a bubble bath makes me want to take one.  Think I will make it a must-do before I go out on the town tonight!

Oh and I must say, I use Honest bubble bath… no weird chemicals and the bubbles created stick around a lot longer than other bubble bath products I have tried in the past.  Win-win!

honest bubble bath

My Guardian Angel


Death is never easy for loved ones.  Yes, everyone is bound to die.  And perhaps most people are not afraid of death itself, but are afraid of losing someone so dear and close.  I felt the pain of losing a loved one for the first time at the age of 11.  It was my Uncle Jim.  And he wasn’t just any uncle; he was a huge ball of energy that I called a friend.  I have always enjoyed writing and as a young child, I loved poems.  In fact, poetry was an outlet for me when I had emotions I didn’t know what to do with.

Today is not the anniversary of Jim’s death.  In fact, he died on Father’s Day in 1995.  It’s been a long while, but I still think of him daily.  And that is how beautiful and full of treasure life is.  Today doesn’t have to be an anniversary or a birthday- it’s a day.  That special person left a mark on me and my life so not a day goes by that I don’t smile at the sky or wave at a driver of a CFI truck (it’s what he drove).  Memories are a gift.  A delightful gift.

My poem is below. You will most likely catch a glimpse of a child in mourning (remember that it was written by an 11 year old).  After reading it again almost 20 years later I thought about revising it.  It is a grammar pet peeve of mine that I start writing to God and I end up writing to Uncle Jim.  But, after thinking about it I left it as is.  It’s raw and pure emotion, which is more beautiful than any grammar rule.  As a child, I felt compelled to reach out to God.  I felt compelled to talk to my Uncle Jim.  I felt compelled to heal however I could find healing.  If you are in mourning, that is my hope for you.  That you will find healing in whatever way works for you.  Don’t ever forget the memories because they keep us going.  They light up our life.  They offer solace when needed.

Here it goes:

My Guardian Angel

Sometimes I wonder why God

Took my uncle away from me,

I didn’t even get to say good-bye

Before he ran into that tree.

Sometimes I just imagine

The horror it must have been,

To see your life pass you by

In just one little spin.

Why, oh why God

Did you take him away from me?

Don’t you understand the pain I go through

Because of this tragedy?

Well I’ve come to realize

Why you took his life when I was only eleven,

It must have been so that he could be

My guardian angel up in heaven.

So now I must tell you thank you Lord,

For keeping him safe above,

Just please let him know that

He will always be the target of my love.

I will always cherish the memories,

We have shared together.

How we always stuck together

Like the birds of a feather.

And I know how much

You loved each of us,

How you treated us so kindly

With very little fuss.

I remember the relationship

That you and Nick had,

And I wanted you to know

That he thought of you as a second dad.

Brady was very young

When you passed away.

But I know he still has those wonderful memories

That will never fade away.

And Jim, I miss the wonderful times

We spent with each other.

And it broke my heart

When I heard the dreadful news from my mother.

We all three will never forget you

As we loved you in full.

And we are very thankful

To have you as our guardian angel.

-Brianna Peterson

Holiday Workout Playlist

I am all about the holiday music these days.  I do have to take it in strides though and mix in regular tunes too.

How about you?  Are you overboard Christmas tune lover, every so often Christmas tune listener, or just plain don’t like it?  It’s okay, we don’t judge here.

Well, whether you are a Christmas tune lover or an every so often Christmas tune listener, I have a list of Holiday tunes that are “pumped up” enough to serve as good workout songs too.  I have been mixing these into my running playlists for the past month and love the good mix!  Perhaps there is 1, 2, or more that will become a part of your workout playlist too.

Must say… I have a lot of N’Sync, Mariah Carey, and SheDaisy Christmas tunes on my personal playlist because I love the heck out of all of their Christmas tunes (and let’s be honest.. I grew up on their music), but I decided to branch out a bit for this Holiday Workout Playlist.  There are a few classics on there as well.  Enjoy!

Holiday Workout Playlist


Sunday Social (#2)

Every Sunday, I do a link up with A Complete Waste of Makeup called Sunday Social.  It’s super fun and gets us all SOCIAL!  Feel free to join in on the fun…

  1. What is the wallpaper on your cell phone?  My cat Cali.  She is a hyper cat and is always doing crazy things.  This month I caught her getting her head stuck in holiday wrapping paper.  It makes me laugh every time I see it…Cali crazy
  2. What do you keep beside your bed?  All I keep is a book or magazine.  Matt likes to go to sleep with the TV on and I do not like the TV on when trying to sleep so occupy my time with a book or magazine until he turns it off.
  3. What is your least favorite chore?  Sweeping. It makes the least amount of sense to me.  You sweep and then 10 minutes later the floor seems dirty again.  I remedied this with a Roomba.  BEST. INVESTMENT. EVER!Roomba
  4. If you could eliminate one thing from your daily routine, what would it be?  Watching the news in the morning.  I like getting the traffic and weather updates, but then some other news report will keep me watching it and I end up late to work.  Oops!
  5. What do you do to vent anger?  I talk it out or sweat it out.  Most of the time I have to remove myself from the situation and talk about it with a loved one or hit the pavement to clear my head.  I turn into a whole new person when I am angry- a person I don’t like much- so I try to avoid getting to that point if possible.
  6. What is your favorite holiday of the year and why?  I know everyone says Christmas so it is probably a given that I am going to say it too, but it really is my favorite.  I love the holiday season for so many reasons.  I delight in the joy it brings to so many people and the love that is in the air.  Even if one is not around family over the holiday season, the emphasis on charity and giving to others can light up that spark inside.  (Hope the cheesy Christmas pic below can bring you some laughter today…)christmas pic

Delights of the Week (#1)

Every week I will share with you some of my delights of the week.  Please feel free to share yours in the comment section, on Facebook, or via your blog and post the link below.  I would love to hear from you!

Hot cocoa on an ice day

I have not had hot cocoa in years so when we did not have power yesterday, Matt took me to his office.  We stopped by to get him coffee and I got hot cocoa.  Yum!  I may have to break out the hot cocoa a little more often.

Hot Cocoa

Justin Timberlake concert with friends

On Wednesday of this week, I went to the Justin Timberlake concert.  I would LOVE to learn some of his dance moves.  Spending time with friends AND getting to see a fun concert is priceless.  This is a cool pic my friend Heather took… it caught some background people in such a unique way.

JT concert1

Gift giving

Gift giving can be tough when it comes to figuring out what someone wants.  However, once that light bulb goes off in your head and you figure out a good gift for someone it becomes a joy.  I have 90% of my Christmas shopping done and I cannot wait to give the gifts away.


Funny Christmas vids

There are plenty holiday videos out there and I love seeing them.  My favorite late night host of the moment is Jimmy Fallon so I particularly loved this one.  Chris Kattan is even in it.. where is he these days? I miss him.  Funny dude!

Starting a new book

I keep hearing The Success Principles is a must-read when starting a new endeavor.  Figure I should give it a read so I will start today.  Can’t wait to dive in!

success principles

Letters to Grandma (#2)

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…. Jack Frost nipping at your nose.

Now that I have you singing and in the Christmas cheer, I am sharing my 2nd letter to grandma.  This one is all about the holiday I love so dear.  These will also make great cards for secret Santa gifts or coworker gifts.

Here are my “Christmas Gift” letters to grandma.  I will have to enclose 2 of them for her since one has a short amount of writing room.

gift letters

These are super easy to do too!  All I did was use plain white cardstock paper for the base cut into squares (these could also be cut into long rectangles or any “gift” like shape). I picked out cute scrapbook paper with Christmas flair, cut into the same shape as the white cardstock paper and glued it on.  Then I took red string and glued two pieces in the cross shape.  I made a bow separately with the red string and glued it right in the center.  The back is plain white with a cute holiday sticker on top (see below).

gift 2

These are symbolic in a way too, because writing to my grandma is a gift.  I consider it a gift to have such a great woman in my life!