My Social Anxiety

I’m not sure where to begin. I don’t think I suffer from Anxiety very often, which to me is a blessing, but I do empathize for those that do. With that said, I feel like I do have social anxiety sometimes and I genuinely think it comes from growing up around people who were negative to me, about me. And now that I’m 30 some of it still haunts me to this day.

When I was younger, I was shy, super quiet. I always stayed to myself and had a really hard time making friends. I only talked unless I was spoken to first. I felt like some people assumed I was a bitch just because I didn’t talk much. I felt irrelevant. I felt lonely a lot of the time. I was bullied about my weight all the time from kids at school and from my parents (I hate to bring them in this). Because of all the shit that I experienced I constantly worried about what people thought of me. I worried about my looks and about what clothes I wore. if some girls were laughing I thought it was about me. I was always worrying about if I was ever going to be good enough. I was repeatedly looking for approval. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and would just pick myself apart all because of what people said to me. People would like me more, if I was skinnier. Always thought I was going to grow old, alone with a million dogs. Constantly worrying about being judged. I feel like all that fueled my love for Makeup, which is kind of sad to say. But it hid the insecurities. I feel like all those anxieties are why I’m so hard on myself. Sometimes I get scared to meet new people just for the simple fact it makes me think of all the negative things from the past.

Junior year of high school through till graduation, I finally had a group of friends that I felt actually cared for me.  It was then that I realized that I was just as funny around them as I was at home. I could talk and laugh for hours with them. They always told me I had great style and would want me to help them shop. they always made me feel included and we always made excuses to hangout. They loved me for me. By the time I graduated high school I finally started to come out of my shell, little by little. When I met my husband everything changed. He is someone who hasn’t met a stranger. He will talk to anyone and he has this confidence about him that is contagious. He doesn’t let a whole lot of anything get to him. He’s a straight shooter, no bullshit kind of guy. He’s a bearded badass in his own right. Since we’ve been together I feel like he has helped me in more ways then I can count. His pep talks push me in a positive way because he just tells me that no matter what, I’m awesome and if people don’t agree then F#@& them. He makes me feel important and that I matter. He makes me feel good in my skin. When I am hard on myself, he tells me to stop being hard on myself lol. He’s taught me how to stand up for myself and not take shit. I was pretty confident before I met him because I was starting to finally get past things. But he has boosted my confidence even more. I feel like a badass in his eyes. Something that I would have never described myself as. He doesn’t see what the bullies saw in me and he tells me all the time that I’m beautiful and that I’m funny. He’s my ride or die. He has helped my confidence, self worth, self esteem more than he could ever know. Now I know it may all sound perfect. It’s not! I have my days/weeks where I let those mean things float around in my head over and over again. Like there still fresh as the day they were said. I feel like for me, even though I have let a lot of shit go. I just still let things get to me to easily sometimes. some days it’s hard to even get off the couch when I’m at my lowest. The words and how they made me feel still cling to me even now that I’m older. And sometimes I over think certain situations that happened years ago. My husband will sometimes joke and call them my Grand Canyon thoughts and it’s not to be mean. He just wants me to see that I have nothing to worry about. But I’m human and I believe that as long as I continue to surround myself with positive people who love me and pray to God. That my social anxieties wont overcome the best of me as often. And honestly having those things be a constant in my life have made me a little better.

I hope that some of you can relate. I feel like this blog was all over the place. Do you suffer from social anxiety like I do? What are some ways that you overcome your anxiety? Do you have a person in your life that helps you see yourself in a better light? Do you also think about things that happened many years ago? If so, leave a comment down below.

 

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A Letter To My Younger Self

I don’t know why but this has been an interestingly, challenging topic for me to write about, but here it goes….

Dear Ashley,

First and foremost. STOP being so damn hard on yourself! You’re not perfect. You’re going to fall down and make mistakes, but don’t get discouraged and give up. Life is a journey so be patient. You’re going to fall a lot lol

You have and forever will be worthy of love. You will be happy! All those nights you would pray to GOD for your soulmate, dreaming of the day. Because you thought that since you were fat you weren’t worthy. And that no guy would want to be with just a pretty face. Girl! You find someone who is absolutely perfect in every way for you. I swear the guy was literally put on this earth just for you. He will undoubtedly think you’re Beautiful in EVERY way. He will love you, for you! Literally ALL of you. Mom is right (eyeroll) when she says there is a lid to your pot. I know you don’t believe her now, but girl GOD delivered on time. Your weight doesn’t define you. You’re beautiful inside and out.

Hold your head up and stop being so quiet. Walk and talk with confidence. All the bullies were wrong.

Don’t worry so much about what people think. People are meaner in the real world. They really don’t care. You have nothing to prove to anyone. Listen to your parents! They aren’t perfect but they are right about most things. You’re going to experience some life changing scenarios and tears will be shed but you’re going to survive and you find that you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for.

Never settle for bad friends. Just because you would do anything and everything for them doesn’t necessarily mean they think or feel the same way about your friendship. Real friends are hard to come by so when they prove their loyalty keep them the closest. and learn to let go of the others. It’s going to hurt like hell but it will be ok.

Remember to breathe and live each day, one day at a time. Go on Adventures, live your life the way you want to live. Make as many memories as you can so you have stories to tell your kids when their older. Learn to love yourself more. You’re a badass! know that even though it’s gets tough. I promise you it’s all worth it.

Sincerely,

Me

My Summer Beauty Arsenal

 

What! I know I’m on a roll this week, but I’ve been inspired to write. Its been very therapeutic. Anyways, I hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday. I’m really sleepy but I really wanted to blog so here I am. I babysat my 2 1/2 year old nephew today at my sisters house which totally explains why I’m so tired but he’s awesome so I cant complain. While I was there I was nosing around her spare bathroom looking for something to apply to the ends of my hair. (I just applied color to my hair recently. Which I will talk more about later) ’cause they was looking a little thirsty. And of course knowing my sister I found something. I feel like I’m already getting off track, but I feel like this lead to the idea of me writing this blog. As I was saying my sister came home that afternoon and we always sit outside right before I leave so I can talk to her for a little bit before I head home. So I told her how I loved her hair elixir and I felt that it helped my dry ends drastically which lead to me telling her about some beauty products that I have been loving as of right now. She was like “why don’t you write a blog about said products?”. Boom! Here I am! Shout out to @pottymouthedmomma on IG! Hopefully at this point you’re still with me.

Who has boob sweat? I know there’s some of you who are already experiencing the sweltering heat of this hot ass summer. I know I am! Especially, since I’m someone who is more voluptuous  I sweat all the time.  So the first product I’m going to share with you is an absolute favorite as of right now. Its literally $3 at Walmart, and I carry it EVERYWHERE.

summers eve

Summer’s Eve is gynecologist-tested, hypoallergenic, neutralizes odor, absorbs moisture, Won’t disrupt natural pH, Talc-free! (Which is awesome) and used with clinically tested safe scents. When I get ready I spray under the girls, in my bikini area and between the legs where they like to rub and I stay dry all day. I used to wear deodorant, but it would cause me to break out so after trying this without a reaction I immediately went to using this product. The spray can is compact enough to throw in your purse or even a gym bag so you don’t have to worry about it taking up a lot of space.

 

The next product is another favorite. I love makeup! I can spend hours doing makeup. Its just something that brings be joy and I also think I’m pretty damn good at it. I usually use Estée Lauder double wear foundation, but at $42 a bottle it can get really expensive, really fast. L’Oréal recently came out with what I think is a dupe. L’Oréal Infallible Fresh Wear 24 hour Foundation. Whew, that’s a long ass name! Regardless this shit is awesome and it leaves my skin looking flawless. And the best part its only $14. Like I can buy 4 bottles and be set for the entire year. Also it has spf 25 sunscreen which is a bonus since I’m not getting any younger so I need to take better care of my skin.

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The next product is another ride or die and it’s the Neutrogena Make up removing wipes. This year they’ve come out with individually wrapped wipes. So they’re compact and great to throw in your purse or in your car. There’s nothing like freshening up the skin after sweating all day, on those no makeup days. Perfect for on the go and would be great to throw in a carry on while traveling.

I know this isn’t the longest arsenal list, but as of right now that’s all I’ve tried as of recent. These are really great products and I definitely hope to add more as summer goes by. I look forward to writing more blogs in the coming weeks. I hope you all are having a wonderful Wednesday. We’ve officially hit the hump and are on our way to the weekend. Peace out and I will see you on my next blog.

Sincerely,

Ashley

 

Our Girl

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Photo by Karol D on Pexels.com

Hey y’all! Its been a long and tiring Monday, but I wanted to blog some more and I thought it would be cool to tell you guys about our new addition to the family. Back in March my Husband and I adopted a new puppy! Her name is Bailey Sue Givens a boxer mix  and she is a little over 6 months old now. She has brought so much joy to our lives especially mine. I feel like since she has been home she’s brought me out of a slight depression. I’m currently going through a weight loss journey and here lately it has been a struggle, but she has kept me super active because all I can think about is making sure she’s getting her exercise and that she’s good. So in return momma is getting off her ASS.

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She was only 2 and a half months old when we brought her home and in this picture she’s experiencing her first trip to PetSmart. She’s our girl now so she needed to have the best.

 

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Now bailey is much bigger and takes up half the couch and drools ALOT. She also enjoys cuddles and sneaking kisses when your not looking. She knows how to give a high five so she’s definitely cool and just the absolute sweetest! Oh my gosh! Her joules are so freakin cute which doesn’t help with the drooling, but who cares.  She also loves to ride in her daddies truck. She definitely is a truck dog. She plants herself right between us and watches the road every single time. She also loves going swimming in creek beds, and camping. And her favorite things to do are chase butterflies and bumblebees any chance she gets. She’s fearless! One thing I find disturbing is the fact that she murdered my tomato plant. Like completely destroyed the entire plant before it could even grow anything. Totally going to have to rethink my garden situation, but that’s really the only complaint lol

 

I hear it all the time that just because you have a dog doesn’t mean you’re a parent, well I would have to disagree. I mean have you tried to potty train a dog? I feel like you could get a 2 or 3 year old to use the potty faster. I mean at least the little human understands English most of the time. Also when a dog is teething they like to wait for when your not looking and naw on your coffee table. I haven’t heard about any children doing such a thing. So I feel like there are some major similarities and I feel I’m completely justified in having the title DOG MOM. I’m so excited to see her grow which I’m hoping she stops here pretty soon or I don’t know what I’m going to do. She eats like a horse!

 

I’m excited to see what the future brings and telling you all about Bailey I hope you found something interesting about our story. We love her so much. I highly recommend that you adopt if you decide to add to your family. There’s nothing like it.  I hope you all have a wonderful Monday evening. I will see you on my next blog.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

Ashley

Friends

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Hello everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. I haven’t written in a while so my husband suggested that I write to ya’ll about something that has been weighing heavy on my mind. I really do need to get back into writing again. I forgot how therapeutic it can be. Anyways, I don’t know if its because my 30th birthday is coming up or what. The thought of my twenties being almost over has been kind of depressing for me. Especially since the friends that I had in my early twenties aren’t really in my life that much anymore. They’re out living their lives and I’m truly happy about that, because HEY, we finally made it.  But it doesn’t make it any easier.

Ever since I was a little girl I have always had a hard time making friends. In elementary school I was bullied and maybe had one or two friends but nothing that would last for years. Middle school I had one best friend and I thought we were going to be friends forever. We were inseparable, even had a special note system in school so we could talk to each other between classes. Had slumber parties and talked about boys and everything two girls in middle school would talk about. But then as we went into high school. She went one way and I had no choice but to go the other way. I literally was HEARTBROKEN. I seriously grieved. I blamed myself for the longest because I thought that there was something wrong with me. It would suck to see her in the hallways and she wouldn’t even acknowledge me. We changed so much that I never noticed. I still don’t really know to this day but, going through a major breakup I built some really tough walls. I was determined to never  let that happen to me again.

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I was a band geek in high school and while I was in band I met a lot of people. But even being surrounded by those people it was lonely sometimes. I was never asked to go hangout after school. I literally went home and stayed in my room practicing for hours in the mirror with makeup because it made me feel confident about happy and not so alone. I don’t know if it was because I was quiet and people thought I was a bitch. But really I was just shy. I was an over weight girl but I didn’t think that mattered. I was always the person that if you came to me and struck a conversation I would talk all day, and to this day I’m still that person. Towards the end of my junior year I became friends with a group of girls from my band class. I finally found some friends who were awesome.  We even went to our senior prom together as each others dates. These were the girls that I felt I would get to grow old with. The ones that you see on TV who go to college, get married and have kids who are each others best friends. Like I was apart of a friendship like The Golden Girls, or the ladies in The Sex In The City. And for a while it did feel like that and then LIFE happened.

Reality of it all. We got through the college years. Thank God because I think we all hated college. We all finally found our person and got married. And kids are still in the future. We experienced so much stuff together and made so many wonderful memories and had so much FUN. However, now we’ve all grown apart or have made more time for our families that we don’t make time for each other. Which is completely fine, but its so hard.  So I feel like I’m going through another stage of my life where maybe I need to find new friends to make new memories with and its hard because I have serious trust issues. I have always wanted a friend who would be my ride or die. Someone who would have my back no matter what especially, when I’m not around to defend myself. Someone who actually gives a shit. I know I’m not perfect. I have made some mistakes and I sometimes wonder if that’s why I don’t have the close connections anymore. I’m the worst about not picking my phone up and calling or texting. But even when I make an effort it never seems to matter. I’m always a person that says what they mean and means what they say and I’m loyal as a damn dog. I would drop everything if it meant helping someone. But that’s not always been the case for me.  Wanting to have someone who I can talk to and confide in and vise versa would be nice. If I picked up the phone and called would they answer? I truly believe that everyone needs a best friend, or more than one. Having someone who you know that if you needed to talk about anything would be there to listen. Who would give advice or give you a shoulder to cry on. Someone to go to lunch with. I feel like I’m rambling. And I’m not really sure I even know what I’m trying to say anymore. Even after writing all this negative stuff I still want to be positive and optimistic because,  I know that even though I’m feeling this way it will pass and that one day things will change. This is only a storm and the sun will eventually come out shining. I’m hoping that someone out there can at least relate a little to what I wrote about and how I’m feeling. I feel a lot better and I’m glad that my husband got me to do this.  With everything off my chest I will close this by saying goodnight and I will see you all on my next blog.

Sincerely,

Ashley

 

 

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Home cooking in the Givens’ Kitchen

Hello everyone! I haven’t written in a minute and I feel like I always say that in every blog post lol. Here lately I don’t know if it’s because of the weather but, we have been getting a lot of rain in good ol’ North Georgia. It seems to put me in some type of mood. Totally ready for spring and warmer weather activities. With all that said. I was inspired to write this blog about a recipe that I recently tried out that was absolutely delicious. It just seems like we were in a food rut where I was cooking the same things every week. And my husband and I were in the mood for a good soup. The other night I was lying in bed watching YouTube, when a Gordon Ramsey video popped up for seven of his favorite winter recipes. The first was a recipe for a tomato soup. It looked so good and I asked my husband if he would try it. Mind you we do not eat tomatoes in this house. I don’t know why we never grew up liking them. For us it’s a texture thing. I felt like it was fate that I would fall in love with a man who despised the same fruit/veggie as I do lol. Anyways, He told me he loves tomato soup so instead of opening a can of Campbell’s soup I accepted the challenge to try Gordon Ramsey’s recipe. First thing I realized was there isn’t an exact recipe and I can’t necessarily follow his video because he didn’t have the measurements converted to American. But I think I have it close enough because this soup was AMAZING. And it went perfectly with mozzarella grilled cheese sandwiches. Below I’m going to share my Gordon Ramsey inspired tomato soup recipe. Get your pen and paper, laptop, phone whatever ready because you are going to want to try this.

** Tip: You will want to use a large skillet or large pot that is also oven safe. It makes the process easier.

 

Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup

 

2 Large Red Onions

8 Fresh Tomatoes

2 Tbs of Fresh Garlic

¼ Tsp of Cayenne Pepper

1 Tsp of Salt

1 Tsp of Pepper

2 Tbs of Olive Oil

1 Tbs of Sugar

2  Tbs of Balsamic Vinegar

4 Cups of Chicken Broth

1 Cup of Heavy Cream

¼ Cup of Parmesan

 

Step 1:

Add sliced onions and halved tomatoes (face down) to a large hot skillet with olive oil. Add Garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Once everything is good and hot add skillet and all to the oven preheated at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

 

Step 2:

Remove from the oven and put back on the stove on medium heat and mash the roasted tomatoes with a spoon. Blend everything together with an emersion blender, blender, or food processor. Either of them will do perfect. You want to make sure everything is smooth.

 

Step 3:

Lastly, add chicken broth, cream, and parmesan. Let it simmer until thick and creamy. Serve with grilled Cheese.

 

We absolutely loved this recipe and I will definitely make it again. I felt that it was pretty simple and great for those cold rainy nights. If you do try this recipe I hope you like it as much as we do. I plan to do blogs more like these in the future. I do a lot of cooking at home to make sure that we are getting a more balanced and healthy diet. I feel like this recipe is on the healthier side for sure, but you could substitute the sugar for splenda and go light on the cream and chicken broth. Anyways, I feel like I was rambling on there for a second lol. I hope you all have a wonderful evening and I will see you all on my next blog.

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Camp Kitchen 101

Hey guys I hope y’all are having a wonderful day. Right now it’s an absolute beautiful day outside, but unfortunately its still bone chilling cold. So ready for Spring! Being that it’s so beautiful outside, its inspired me to write this blog about something that I’ve become super passionate about. I love to go camping! I know to some that’s probably crazy, but I love it because it’s a way to get away and recharge. I can literally think and breathe better when I have had a weekend in the woods. It relieves stress and is so calming. Honestly having no internet is refreshing too because I don’t feel obligated to pick my phone up every five seconds. I feel like now days we spend too much time on our phones and not enough time with our spouses or family. Really they should be getting our undivided attention. I sometimes feel like I was born in the wrong era. Thinking back to when my parents were young. They would drive around when they would get bored. I sometimes think that I could seriously live in a tiny home in the middle of the woods and live off the land. It’s breathtaking to be submersed in nature to witness first hand some of Gods greatest work. Now with all of that said I thought I could write about something that everyone needs in there camping gear, a camp kitchen. I got this idea off of Pinterest and a lot of the items that I purchased were all from the Dollar Tree. Below I will include some photos and list, but I do plan to write another blog including more my personal camp kitchen. Like I said it’s been super cold so once warm weather gets here I will be excited to show you what ours includes.

 

First you’re going to need a large to extra large tote. It’s going to make it easier to store away and it will be easier to load into your vehicle when you plan your camping trip. It helps with keeping animals out and also helps you stay more organized. (Organization is very important! You want everything to be easily accessible so you’re not stressing out trying to locate everything.)

Now that you have your tote you get to fill it up. I’m going to list a checklist below. You are welcome to add or remove any items. I will make suggestions along the way because I don’t necessarily think you have to buy everything.

Cooking/Eating Supplies

  • Knives for prep
  • Can opener
  • Mixing/Serving spoons
  • Spatula
  • Metal tongs (Long)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups
  • Cutting board
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Spices (Store them in tin foil or weekly pill container)
  • Gallon and sandwich sized Ziplock bags
  • Cooking Oil (Store in an old water bottle)
  • Foil
  • Pot holders
  • Frying pan
  • Dutch oven *optional
  • Trash bags
  • Plastic cups (solo cups)
  • Matches/lighter
  • Camp stove
  • Plates (paper plates are awesome)
  • Table Cloth
  • Roasting Sticks
  • Eating utensils (see picture)
  • Napkins (Roll of paper towels)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Clorox wipes

This is what we use because you can simply wash and go. Super easy!

You will also need fire starting supplies and all your going to need is a Ziplock bag full of dryer lent, matches, old toilet paper rolls, newspaper and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Really anything you think would be helpful in starting a fire especially in the event you don’t have liquid fire starter. All of the listed items will burn quickly when flame is introduced.

 

I’m sure I have more in my camp kitchen, but until I can get mine out and look through everything the stuff listed above will definitely get you started. I hope this helped you all and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask me. I really enjoyed writing this blog and I hope you enjoy reading it. I definitely can’t wait to write more of my adventures. The warm weather can’t get here quick enough. See you all on my next blog!