Featured

Beginner’s Guide to Running – from an Amateur

As someone who’s been running regularly for over a year (after a lifetime convincing herself she never could), here are 5 tips I’ve learned from my new favorite hobby.

The Back Story

Let’s rewind to a few years ago when 200 pound Bri was sick and tired of feeling so down about herself. One day she decided enough was enough; it was time to create the body she always wanted. It started simple; swapping fast food for balanced meals made at home, drinking 8 glasses of water a day, trading up processed sugars for fruit cups; you get the point.

One flip of the mental switch and the rewiring of my brain brought new responses to old temptations. After I started seeing results from my food choices, I decided to take the next step and get physical. Yoga, stretching, Youtube videos, I dove headfirst into the world of fitness and I haven’t looked back since.

Growing up I never thought I could be a runner. What I did know was that I didn’t look how I wanted, I couldn’t control my actions when I was angry, and I was angry quite often. In the summer of 2019, I was on track to my dream body but my self-esteem and emotions on the inside didn’t match the look I was approaching on the outside. After losing myself yet again in a boy that was supposed to save the little self-esteem I had remaining, I decided for once I didn’t want to let my anger end yet another failed relationship.

So I ran.

I ran to the memories of every moment I thought I would explode in anger. I ran for every time I cried about what I or someone else thought of my body. I ran from every self-harming habit that would pull me back toward the 200 pound, sad Bri. I ran until I couldn’t run anymore because the tears had completely blurred my vision. I’m not sure if it was the rush of endorphins or the fact that I proved myself wrong, but those were the happiest tears I’ve ever cried.

After spending months learning myself as a runner and answering the millions of “oh my God, you look so good! How did you do that?” questions, I decided to share the secret.

While I’m absolutely no expert on running, here’s what I’ve learned this past year as a runner:

  1. invest in a good pair of sneakers (here are my current favs!!)
  2. start small, think big
  3. drink water ALL THE TIME
  4. despite what your brain says when you’re struggling to breath; you CAN keep going
  5. stretch when you wake up, before you run, and before bed

This experience has taught me you can do anything you allow yourself to believe you can do. So what’s stopping you from creating your dream body?

Cheers to the strength of the human body,

xo Bri

p.s. Stay tuned for my favorite running playlist, coming soon!

Created with Canva

Raise Your Voice: BLACK LIVES MATTER

Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash

This morning I woke up and couldn’t help but shed a few tears. The happenings of the world today are…well I’m not quite sure how to put it. As someone who aspires to use my voice and platform to help others and spread positivity, I knew I had to write a post supporting Black Lives Matter. Although I’m unable to match donations made to help bail out protesters and support black-owned businesses, I know the ability to use my voice to help end racism is invaluable.

Some resources listed below can fall under multiple categories so I recommend checking out a few while you’re here!

Here I have compiled all the resources known to me on how we can help and support Black Lives Matter:

DONATE:

Color of Change

NAACP National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

The Equal Justice Initiative

Twitter thread by Matthe A. Cherry of bail funds across the country (this list is quite extensive, please do personal research before donating!)

EDUCATE:

Anti-racism Resources: Documents for white families compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020

The 1619 Project Times Magazine

1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

SIGN:

Justice for Big Floyd

Justice For Breonna Taylor

Text “Floyd” to 551-56. Color of Change will text you a link to sign their petition for justice for George Floyd, or sign the petition here. [Color of Change also has a petition for Breonna Taylor.]

Black Lives Matter’s website lists petitions to sign and includes postal codes for those that are foreign taking a stand.

If there are resources you’d like added to the list, please send me an email: brizurc@gmail.com. I’m overwhelmed by the number of resources at our fingertips, there are so many ways to help right now! Are you doing your part?

Silence is violence.

Cheers to standing up and standing together,

xxo Bri

p.s. this post will be updated as I find more credible sources to share.

If We Were Having Coffee…

If we were having coffee, I’d ask how your transition back into the real world is going. I’m struggling with social anxiety more than I expected but deep down miss life pre-pandemic. For now, I’ll just reflect on the days when this situation had only just begun.

View this post on Instagram

je ne sais pas

A post shared by BC (@bricuzisaidso) on

MY 100TH INSTA-POST!

If we were having coffee, we’d look at these dope [nsfw] art pics from Instagram. Of course, I’d ask your age before sharing the password but I’d hope it would help you see the human body is a piece of art.

If we were having coffee, I’d have to show you a picture of Milo’s new haircut. How cute! He looks like a little teddy bear whenever his hair is trimmed and I can’t get enough of it. Right before the warmer weather came to stay. we had a flowery photoshoot where Milo couldn’t get enough grass. I’m sure everyone visiting this post would agree; it would be nice to see a comment section full of puppy pictures…just saying.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask how much time you’re spending time on Pinterest right now. According to my iPhone, I spend roughly 3-4 hours a day scrolling through images and inspiration. If you’d like to partake in my new addiction, comment your favorite board. [Here’s mine this month!]

Here were my favorite reads for this month:

The Downside of Being a Creative by Mbali Mbalenhle

Self Disciple = Self Love | Personal Development by Alexa Ceza

Here are some of my {own} favorite posts from this month:

i (tried) baked ~chocolate chip vegan~ banana bread

Beginner’s Guide to Running – from an Amateur

cheers to new beginnings.

xxo Bri

p.s. Have you subscribed to my newsletter yet? (Don’t know how? Click here!)

how do you say… newsletter?

Here’s the sitch with my emailing list:

While MailChimp was easy to use and filled with so many ways to help bloggers, it just felt less personal than the overall connection I’d like to have with my brand. Instead of collecting your info via a small box to send out mass-produced emails, I’d rather send you a personal email once a month just letting you know what’s up and seeing what’s going on with you.

I want us to be pals.
Nasty Galaxy by Sophia Amoruso

“That could be a lot of work Bri.” Yeah, I’m intimidated that I could one day be emailing over 100 people to check in but if I only make one of them smile then I’ve done my job. Today, however, I am here with you. I appreciate you reading my blog and would love to get to know you!

If this sounds like the type of “newsletter” you’d like to subscribe to drop your email in the comments! Send me a message on Twitter or Instagram. Reach out in an email or try my Contact Me page! And if you truly are a good friend, you’ll let your pals know about this amazing opportunity as well!

(Do I smell a giveaway soon?)

Not only do I hope to share things I think will benefit you, Mental Health Awareness Week raised my awareness that not everyone feels like they have that person they could turn to. My inbox is open to it all; the tea, the emotional “everything’s going to shit” breaking point, the moments you want to celebrate but you aren’t ready to tell the world. I’m here for you.

In addition to all the fun and love coming at you via newsletter, subscribers are also gifted the passwords to XXO posts!

Thank you for your support, I hope I can show my readers as much love as they’ve shown me.

cheers to making new friends,

xxo Bri

p.s. Speaking of newsletters, here’s a link to sign up to my favorite first cup of coffee companion; Morning Brew. If you didn’t see my rant about it on Facebook yet, you need to.

Stay Qalm

During this crazy time in the world, it’s extremely important to make a point of checking in with your mental health and emotions regularly.

As Mental Health Awareness Week comes to an end, I’m acknowledging my unhealthy mental habits and swapping them for a better mindset. My weekly flow for the past 8 weeks consists of a two to three day stretch of productivity and happiness followed by two full days of sleeping, one day of a depression and then two more days of resetting to become my best self.

The other day, an old pal and I were checking in when I realized I seem to be handling this situation better on the outside than on the inside. I couldn’t help but laugh out when she stated, “you seem like you’re holding up pretty well! I see you being productive with your writing and hitting that yoga mat every day.” I broke down and opened up about how I truly felt during this time of solidarity.

The truth is, I’ve been way too hard on myself mentally during this time at home. I wanted to accomplish so many things but fell into a trap of emotional eating and sleeping my sorrows away. After weeks of disappointment, I decided to stop putting so much pressure on myself.

It’s time to look on the bright side.

Here are a few positive reminders for those of you struggling as well:

Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Set ONE goal to accomplish each day.
You are not alone.
Try something new.
Find inspiration from people going through things similar to you.
*This video not only helped me realize I’m not alone during this time, Tarek’s message also motivated and inspired me to do what I can today to get where I’d like to be tomorrow (or whenever we’re allowed out of the house again).
Reach out to someone (like me) when you’re struggling with feeling alone.
Take a break from technology and spend time with nature.
You don’t have to get it all done in one day.
Now is the perfect time to finish those things you said you would do when you had more time.
It’s okay to feel how you feel; your emotions do not define you.

Although it may be challenging, remember to look on the bright side. Times may be difficult now, but as my favorite saying goes; “You can’t have rainbows without rain“.

What message would you add to the list? Comment below!

cheers to staying qalm & keeping on,

xxo Bri

p.s. qalm = quarantine + calm

Take Me There

As an aspiring travel blogger, this quarantine has put a real damper on all the content I planned to make this year. Instead of being upset about it, I decided to use this time to to get excited and plan out my first dozen trips out of the country. All this time stuck at home has my mind wandering to all the places I’d like to see soon.

This list ranges from specific places to entire cities as some locations have multiple destinations to explore and is in no particular order.

Here’s my post-quarantine travel check list:

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Paris, France
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash

Je pratique mon français! Not only do I plan on eating my body weight in carbs during my first trip to France, I’m most excited to practice using the language I’ve been learning for almost a year now. Paris’ official website has allowed me to visit some places on my bucket list before even stepping onto an airplane.

Can you say, “il est temps d’aller à Paris“? (It’s time to go to Paris!)

Los Angeles, California
Nashville, Tennessee
Melbourne, Australia
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Puetro Rico, USA
Niagara Falls National Park, New York
Santorini, Greece
Photo by Charlie Marusiak on Unsplash

Every image of Santorini has whispered for me to sell all my belongings, buy a boat and run away to find romance.My desire to travel to Greece has only been heightened further by my love for The Sisterhood of the Traveling pants. Like most places I hope to go, I’m especially excited to eat in Santorini. (my mouth waters just htinking about it).

Four Corners Monuments, USA
Tuscany, Italy
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Denver, Colorado
Havana, Cuba
The Mosaic Tile House, Venice Beach CA
Chicago, Illinois
Hawaii, USA
New Orleans, Louisiana
Kuta & Denpasar, Bali
Taj Mahal Mausoleum, India
Salem, Massachusetts
Cairo, Egypt
Zion National Park, Utah

Thanks to Marley, I’ve been thinking about this trip for months. As someone who’s lived most of their life in Pennsylvania, I’m curious and excited to experience a hike without the trees.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
The Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand
Atlanta & Savannah, Georgia
Petra, Jordan
Jaipur, India

Thirty places by thirty-years old, I think I can do it! Where’s the first place you plan to go once the world opens up again?

cheers to new adventure,

xo Bri

p.s. Want to recieve my May newsletter? Comment one place on your travel bucket list!

All images are from Unsplash and Instagram & creators have been credited!

National Museum Day

As I spend another day finding beauty in everyday objects around the house, today’s national wacky holiday lets me reflect on the times I spent finding beauty in my favorite places. From the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh to the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, I was lucky enough to admire art in history before the world went into lockdown.

Did you know there are 35,000 museums in the United States?

While appreciated for providing artistic inspiration and protecting priceless artifacts, museums are also the best place to go when you’d like to learn something new. Today I would like to thank the men and women behind the exhibits. Thank you to the artists, historians, coordinators, carpenters, movers and every person behind the scenes of a museum exhibit that has led the world to be inspired, educated, and entertained. Thank you for protecting pieces of history that humanity may otherwise be lost and dull without. Thank you for cleverly arranging millions of views inside countless rooms and cleaning up after we’ve left everything but our imagination behind.

Happy National Museum Day!

It’s the little things.

The images in this post are from my solo trips to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

What is a museum about cows called?

A Moo-seum.

The Andy Warhol Museum

My favorite is The Andy Warhol Museum. Not only do I relate to Andy’s “nothing artistic I do is ever good enough” mindset despite dabbling with different mediums, I was blown away by all the things I actually didn’t know about him.

One small room filled with personal artifacts has stuck with me to this day. Not only did this room teach me about the lion Warhol performed taxidermy on (and the whole period of his life where he dabble in taxidermy), I also discovered the binders he compiled throughout his life filled with ideas, blueprints, clippings, pictures, etc that led to the creation of his masterpieces. This inspired me to go about my artistic development similarly with hopes that my binders are kept safe in my own museum one day.

All images can be found in my Portfolio.

cheers to finding inspiration wherever we may go,

xo Bri

Gap Year Lessons

This morning’s Morning Brew newsletter was dedicated to graduates of 2020 and it got me thinking about my educational background. My relationship with secondary education is as complicated as my last romantic encounter. From 2014 on, things went everywhere but as planned when it came to me attending (and graduating) college.

In simplest terms: I’m not a college student.

In all honesty; the only reason I attended college was that, as the youngest of 8 kids, I felt I had to. Watching my brothers go through the process, one by one, it seemed at the time like the thing to do. It’s universally acknowledged that human beings who graduate high school typically go on to continue their education at a secondary institution known as university, college, extended school if you will. Deep down I knew I was walking down someone else’s path but felt pressured by the unspoken dynamic of our family. I was raised knowing my parents worked so hard for me to have a better life than they did however society’s words got mixed up in the message and I was led to believe that committing myself to a four-year institution was what the right thing for me.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

After three attempts, I now understand that college (or at least Bloomsburg University) just wasn’t for me at the time. While I do plan on returning to finish up the last year of my degree, I know now that I will not be taking the traditional route as I had intended about 5 years ago.

Not going to school had me overcompensating for what I felt I was missing out on. While my old friends were heading back to classrooms as the summer ended, I headed toward the lessons life had intended for me to learn all along.

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned during my time as a student of life:

Everything happens for a reason.

This is one lesson you don’t need a foundation in education to learn. The universe has shown me this past year that It will continue to give me the same lesson over and over again until I learn from it. I stopped saying things like “why is this happening to me?” and started asking “what can I learn from this?” God speaks louder when we listen, what counterproductive or disruptive pattern is present in your day to day life?

Do what feels right for you.

The education system molded my mind to believe that in life there is always a right way and a wrong way to do everything from solving a math problem to writing poetry. As an artist, this thought had me ultimately feeling defeated on an everyday basis as I was constantly struggling to create things that were “right” or perfect according to everyone else’s standards. When I began creating things without the pressure of a grading system, it opened my mind up to a whole world of possibilities.

Your life is a direct reflection of how you spend your time.

If you are unhappy, it’s usually easy to pinpoint what’s wrong based on your daily actions. The more time you spend forming healthy habits and spreading positivity, the healthier and happier your life will be. Stuck in a constant state of downward glum? Look at the areas of your life you’d like to change, then plan accordingly. It’s true: we have the power to have absolutely anything we want in this life. Now you’ll need to ask yourself – how hard are you willing to work for it? That’s how hard the universe will be willing to go for you as well.

Photo by Foto T on Unsplash

Looking back, I’m insanely aware of the lessons I was supposed to take with me from BU. Not only did the classes I take teach me valid writing lessons I use to this day, it also forced me to continue my blog as an assignment for several classes, acknowledge that timeliness is something I will always have to work on, and introduced me to life long friends I will not soon be forgetting. While my college experience wasn’t everything the media had it cracked up to be, I’m grateful for my experience at Bloomsburg. It may not have been where I was supposed to be, but it was a fun stop along the way!

Cheers to life long learners on all walks of life,

xo Bri

Featured Image: Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

i (tried) baked ~chocolate chip vegan~ banana bread

Everyone’s to-do during quarantine has pretty much been the same; make Tik Toks, bake banana bread, binge Netflix, find a workout plan, you catch my drift. Today I decided to officially become a member of society and bake (for the first time) banana bread from scratch! While I’m checking things off my list of firsts, I’ll also actively celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day by adding dark chocolate chips to my bread recipe.

Two bloggers inspired my post today and I’d like to show my appreciation. I first saw Daisy Hudson’s vegan banana bread post and thought it would be a bit difficult to try but Lam and The Glam’s healthy breakfast post convinced me I had to try anyway. Additionally, I have to thank King Arthur Flower for teaching me how to DIY self-raising flour for this recipe.

The Recipe

Using multiple sources allowed me to play around with my ingredients and compare baking instructions. Until this experience, I never considered the importance of knowing the role of each ingredient in a recipe. I was also nervous my baking conversions were going to ruin the whole recipe. This is what I came up with:

Ingredients

1 cup rising flour*

3 brown bananas

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup sunflower oil

1 tsp honey

dark chocolate chips, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds

** 1 cup raising flour: 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 baking soda, 1/4 baking powder

Instructions

Waking up early, I decided to prepare this treat for my afternoon snack. Hudson’s Banana Bread instructions were super simple to follow and had me feeling like a contestant on a baking show. It’s as simple as 123; mash the bananas, mix in the ingredients, pour it into a bread dish & bake!

TIP: After all was said and done, I felt it was essential to note of how important it is to tap the air bubbles out of the mixture once it’s in the pan BEFORE you place it in the oven to cook! After much research, I realized how major of an impact this can have on your experience.

The Results

When my timer dinged and my house was filled with the sweet smell of banana bread, I ran to the kitchen to see my creation. I was severely disappointed.

While the edges of my bread were dark enough to pass for done, the middle was sunken and still a bit under-cooked. I wrapped the top in aluminum foil and placed it back in the over for a few more moments. This seemed to help it become more solid and over course – a little set back would not keep me from tasting my creation.

The “bread” was disgusting.

As you may have guessed by now; this post is more a plea for help rather than a tutorial on banana bread.

I have no idea what I did wrong.

Was it the flower or sugar? Can you use dark chocolate chips in banana bread? I laughed really hard because it was kind of funny but I’m a little disappointed it didn’t work out. In the end, my afternoon cup of coffee was joined by chocolate chip pancakes to celebrate national chocolate chip day a bit early.

In conclusion, I’ll most likely be trying this again and succeeding after my trial and error. While cleaning up, I realized there was a recipe for banana bread on the package of flour. Thanks for rubbing it in my face Pillsbury.

happy (almost) chocolate chip day,

xo Bri

Happy Limerick Day!

I’m not only a fan of poetry, but meaningless daily national holidays as well and what better a day than one that combines both! Today is National Limerick Day and for those of you that don’t know:

A limerick is a comical poem that follows the rhyme scheme aabba.

Limerick Day falls on poet Edward Lear’s birthday, May 12, as a way celebrate to his work and popularizing limerick style poetry. Humor and a good rhyme scheme are two of my favorite literary characteristic so I thought I’d try my hand at writing limerick poetry.

This limerick was simply constructed to make you chuckle today…

Here are a few funny stanzas I found while looking for inspiration:

There once was a girl named Lenore

And a bird, and a bust, and a door

And a guy with depression

And a whole lot of questions

And the bird always says “Nevermore.”

-The Poetry Collection

There was an Old Man in a tree,
Who was horribly bored by a bee.
When they said “Does it buzz?”
He replied “Yes, it does!
It’s a regular brute of a bee!”
—Edward Lear

A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly, “let us flee!”
“Let us fly!” said the flea.
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.
—Ogden Nash

There once was a man named O’Doul
Who found red spots dotting his tool.
His doctor (a cynic)
Ran him out of the clinic
Crying, “Wipe off that lipstick, you fool!”
—Anonymous

A man called Percival Lee
Got up one night for a pee.
When he got to the loo
It was quarter to two,
And when he got back it was three.
—Spike Milligan

Let’s appreciate some poetry today; comment an original or jot down your favorite well-known limerick!

Cheers to funny poetry,

xo Bri

p.s. If you recognize a poem and know the author, please let me know so I can give them credit! Poems not written by me were found via Pinterest and The Best Limericks of All Time by Michael R. Burch.