A good water bottle is an essential part of maintaining hydration.

There are so many different types out there, and I can honestly say that I have used a fair amount of them.

As far as I’m concerned, getting a great water bottle is a good investment.

In this post, I’m going to cover my top 5 favorite water bottles out of all of the ones I have ever tried.

Pro tip: most lids to water bottles are not dishwasher friendly.

This is due to the fact that the plastic ring that creates a seal can melt off.

When this happens the liquid leaks from the container.

The water bottle from this lunch box set.

This was the closest kit I could find to the one I got my water bottle from.

Believe me, I spent a lot of time looking for the one I have.

Mine is chevron, but this is the exact same type of water bottle.

The water bottle like this one is currently sitting on my night stand which is why it’s first on the list.

The Arbonne Water Bottle

This is another one I use a lot.

I have dropped it so many times, and it’s still good.

What’s nice about this one is that it has the ounces written on the side so you can track your water intake.

This is important because it helps determine how much water you need.

It’s also the perfect size for the Arbonne Essentials Body Cleanse.

Unfortunately it appears to be out of stock, but the Phytosport bottle is a good substitute.

Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle

This one is great because there is a filter inside the bottle itself.

That’s fantastic because you can get filtered water anywhere.

One problem is tracking when you need to replace the filter as there is no indicator for when it needs to be replaced.

The second is that the filter can become water logged, and so it makes it difficult to drink sometimes.

There are ways to fix it.

Check out this video for tips to help with this problem.

Blender/Shaker Cups

These are great for several reasons.

First, it’s a quick and easy way to take a shake with you on the go.

When you finish your shake, rinse the bottle and fill it with water.

Or simply just use it for water.

Contigo AUTOSPOUT Straw Ashland Water Bottle

This one is great because it comes with a straw.

One of the nice things also is that some versions of this protect the spout when closed so the straw is not exposed.

I love these, but I also went through a lot of them.

That’s partially because in college and in my first couple of years teaching I was REALLY rough with these.

The bottle itself is tough.

The lid is tough.

The straw in the lid though is the problem.

Once you put a hole in that it’s basically done for.

I personally thought they were worth repurchasing because they are convenient and again the ounces are written on the side.

I hope this was helpful to you on your journey of staying hydrated.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

It’s 11:30 at night, and the bedroom door starts to creak open.

I had been meaning to contact maintenance to get that bedroom door fixed for weeks now.

This night is the nail in the coffin for getting that maintenance request.

The significance of this is that our wonderful cat is not supposed to come into the master bedroom.

However, I think he figured out that he can push it open.

We have a king size bed, so once he gets in it’s hard to shoo him out.

Here’s where I messed up and why you should listen to your parents about running in the house.

Instead of rolling over the bed like a normal person, I decided to go around it.

The series of unfortunate events that follow confirm this parental directive.

I turned the corner, and changed directions with the swiftness of a soccer player.

My momentum was moving forward, and I was going to make it, but…

My second or third step my feet slipped out from under me while my body was hurtling forward.

The next thing I knew I contacted the night stand face first, more specifically mouth first.

I didn’t black out, but I rolled back onto the side of the bed like a boxer who takes a hit leans back against the ring.

I was holding my mouth, the pain not hitting yet, but still wondering if this was going to be the equivalent of being punched in the mouth by Mike Tyson.

I actually cracked the night stand on impact.

As someone who did Shaolin Kung fu for 3 years, and MMA for 6 months, the first thing I do is check to see if any teeth fell out or got chipped.

No chipped teeth, they were all attached as far as I knew.

I may have actually pushed them farther back in than knocking them out.

I was still reeling when I removed my hand.

I was bleeding.

The image in my head was still that one scene from Rocky.

It was me against the night stand and the night stand won.

I was able to get gauze and an ice pack for it, knowing that the dentist doesn’t open until 8, and the medical facility in town does not do emergency mouth injuries.

I had to wait until Chris got off in the morning and go to Mercy Hospital, an hour and fifteen minutes out of town.

Before this though, I made a terrible mistake later on that night.

I took the gauze out and looked at the monstrosity that the night stand mercilessly inflicted on me.

It was a grizzly sight, one I will not share pictures of here, but it looked worse than it felt.

I never said I was good at either of those martial arts I mentioned. I just got good at taking hits.

When we finally made it to the hospital, I thought it was funny that I was being seen for a mouth injury, which was covered by a mask.

When the intake nurse took a look at it I think she felt a little sorry for me, especially when I cracked that joke about Rocky, but could hardly laugh.

I was more or less there to make sure that
two of my teeth wouldn’t fall out because that much gum had been scraped off of them.

Also, I wanted to make sure I didn’t fracture my skull.

Neither of those things was the case, which medically proved what my parents always told me…

I’m hard headed.

Originally, I wasn’t going to take the pain meds, and obviously I wasn’t going to be forced to take them or prescribed them, but I could see this look in the nurse’s eye.

The kind of look that says, “Don’t be a hero, Billy. Don’t be a hero.”

I’m really glad I wasn’t the hero, Billy, because as the day wore on it was like my body was registering more and more what happened.

There are several morals to this story:

  1. Don’t run in the house.
  2. Submit maintenance requests ASAP.
  3. If you think of getting a CT Scan like you’re in Star Trek it’s not so bad.
  4. Don’t fight your night stand, it will win.

I hope this was helpful, informative, and entertaining.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

Over complication and over thinking is like an art form for me.

I have over complicated things since the day I was born.

That’s not an exaggeration.

I tried to come into the world upside down.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I’m an entrepreneur in information overload and analysis paralysis.

In this day and age there is so much advice, so many methods, and a coach on every corner.

It can be maddening starting out.

Don’t get me wrong, mentorship and coaching are great…

If you don’t have shiny object syndrome.

Analysis paralysis is real, people.

So what do you do to combat that?

Trust yourself.

Allow yourself to mess up, get rejected, fall on your face.

There are people out there who want to help you not struggle because they’ve done it already,

And that’s fine.

But don’t let someone offering training wheels overshadow your ability to ride, fall, scrape your knee, and get back up again until you can fly.

The number one thing I’m good at is over complication and over analysis, but I think I’m going to find a new thing.

And whatever that is, it’s going to be a good one with all the scars from falling on my face trying to do it.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

It’s the end of the day, and I’m exhausted.

There is nothing I want to do more than to put on my comfy pants, sit in my comfy chair and decompress.

What do I do to decompress?

Watch other people losing their minds to cook things in 45 minutes or less.

That’s right. I decompress watching cooking competitions.

Who is the king of bringing us the best of the best in cooking competitions?

Food Network.

I could binge watch Cutthroat Kitchen, Chopped, Iron Chef America, Beat Bobby Flay and other until Hulu gets judge-y and asks me, “Are you still there?”

Yes, Hulu I’m still here trying to watch Alton Brown kill someone’s spirit by making them cook with golf clubs on Cutthroat Kitchen. Geez.

On occasion, I have some of these shows playing in the background while I’m cooking dinner.

Food Network has done more for me than providing quality entertainment.

Food Network has also been a great help to me with recipes.

Aside from watching the judges crush people’s spirits, I occasionally like to look for recipes from the judges on the Food Network website.

I don’t talk a lot about cooking because I don’t cook as much as I used to.

My default setting is spaghetti in meat sauce.

I will never forget that flank steak I made using a recipe from Guy Fieri though. Heaven.

Back to the competition shows, I’m usually not a back seat chef (because I’m not a chef), but…

When competitors try making certain foods with certain judges on the panel, it’s like they are actively trying to get cut from the competition.

Do not try to make a mole in 30 minutes with Aarón Sánchez on the panel.

The same with a risotto with Scott Conant is on the panel.

Those things do not cook well in under 30 minutes, just don’t do it.

They do it every time, but few do it successfully.

I give those chefs a sigh of relief and applause.

It’s usually at the detriment of something else on the plate though.

Aside from covering my face when a bright-eyes chef says, “I’m going to make risotto in 30 minutes…”

I watch carefully to learn from the chefs too.

There are certain knife skills I’ve picked up watching the chefs, from chopping vegetables to getting proper cuts on meat.

The themed episodes with butchers are my favorite ones.

No, I do not chop my food as fast as they do or as clean.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people can cut up food without chopping off a finger.

Anyway, I love cooking competitions and I’m glad Food Network keeps bringing them to us.

Just thought I’d share.

Until next time.

Classically,

Angela

Have you ever tried to start doing something new, but find yourself in a cycle of excitement and then disappointment?

If you ever feel you lack self-discipline, hold on for this series on self-discipline.

Today I’m going to cover the meaning of self-discipline.

Let me first define self-discipline by explaining what self-discipline is not.

  • It’s not punitive.

When we think of the word discipline, more often than not it has a negative connotation.

Sometimes we feel like in order to be disciplined we have to punish ourselves or make ourselves suffer in some way.

This brings me to my next point.

  • Self-discipline is not linked to your morality (or it shouldn’t be).

If you mess up and fall of the wagon you are not a bad person.

This type of thinking is actually self-sabotaging.

Whether or not you choose to eat celery doesn’t determine the type of person you are.

The amount of time you spend in the gym versus sitting on the couch is not directly linked to whether or not you are a good or bad person.

  • Self-discipline is not shaming.

This is related to the morality point because those negative thoughts you have come from a place of shame.

While negative reinforcement can work, it will only work for a short period of time.

  • It’s not just sheer will power alone.

If you hate what you are trying to be disciplined about, when the going gets tough that’s when it stops.

If you are trying to do something out of self-loathing or because you want to be like someone else, that won’t work long term either.

One of our main motivations in life is to avoid pain.

So cultivating self-discipline cannot come from a place of punishment, self-hate, shame, envy or will power.

So what IS self-discipline?

Well, I am going to start with definitions from a couple of dictionaries.

I like using official text in my analyses so bear with me here.

The Mariam-Webster dictionary defines self-discipline as correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement.

The Oxford Dictionary states that self-discipline is the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.

In order to accomplish either definition of self-discipline effectively is to start from a place of self-acceptance.

Self-acceptance isn’t just accepting the sunny side of yourself, but the dark side of the moon as well.

Then a continuation from a place of self-awareness.

What do you really want?

If it’s not running, forcing yourself to be a runner isn’t going to work long term.

Especially if you don’t just dislike running, but you hate it.

It’s okay, I’ve been there. I wanted to run a marathon at one point, but I came to the realization that I can’t stand running.

I found that I don’t really care to understand pace and all of the things that go into running effectively and with intention.

When I let go of running and just started dancing (setting up the PS4 camera again), I had more fun.

The one thing I consistently did growing up was play Dance Dance Revolution with my friends or doing a belly dancing class.

Because I am aware of this, I found a sustainable way for me to do cardio and enjoy doing cardio.

For some people it’s the opposite.

The point is you have to know where you stand with what you are trying to accomplish.

I am aware that I am a dancer, not a runner and I accept that.

If the weakness you want to improve requires an action you love doing you’ll stick to it a lot better.

There is a lot more I want to cover on this topic, so catch my next point on why self-discipline is important.

Until next time.

Classically,
Angela

When I read this, I paused to think about the meaning behind it.

When put in this way, it hit me different.

Kind of like a revelation that was presented to me in that moment.

It never occurred to me that when I get tired of something I’m passionate about that I might be blah somewhere else.

It’s strange because when I think about people being hurtful there is a need that’s not being met somewhere else.

Why should boredom be any different when the thing I’m bored with is something that I’m passion about?

If I am bored, a need isn’t being met somewhere.

Don’t get me wrong, I am an advocate for embracing boredom.

In this day and age we are so plugged in and going so fast, we forgot how to be bored and unfortunately, our children haven’t had the opportunity to sit in boredom to begin with.

It’s kind of like smartphones.

I know I lived a pretty decent life before the iPhone, so why can I not imagine life without it now?

It’s an interesting concept.

The spaces I have found that are the best places to be bored are in down time.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to let yourself be bored, especially in down time.

It requires your mind and your imagination to get to work to keep you entertained.

The spaces that you don’t want boredom to set in is in your passions, like the quote states.

That’s not to say that your passion will be easy everyday or that it will be the most interesting thing in the world everyday, but you don’t want that fire to go out.

You also don’t want to be so inundated with your passion that you don’t make time for anything else. That burns the candle faster.

The point is that I’m order to keep going with fire takes self-awareness.

Creating that space to be self-aware can come from meditation and journaling.

That isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but those are the ones that I know of fairly well.

So today, take a moment to think about where you are in each area of your life, and find maybe where the fire is starting to go out.

A better description might be where the thread is starting to unravel, but either way, reflect and identify it.

Be come self-aware and honor yourself in that area so that way you can honor what you love by creating interest in that area. That loose threat.

Until next time.

Classically,
Angela

In doing thought work around finding my life’s one true purpose or guiding principle, I actually combined a couple of things.

First I did an exercise by Warren Buffet which included writing out 25 career goals, doing some soul searching to pick the top 5 most important, and finally erasing the other 20 because they took away focus from the 5.

The next step I did was Angela Duckworth’s addition to Warren Buffet’s exercise, which was to what extent do these things have in common.

They each were interconnected with each other, and all roads I believe led back to leadership and advocacy for me, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

I’m here to talk about one specific goal: being the best at playing violin/viola.

I dug a little deeper, asking myself “why?” on repeat like a toddler.

Why do I want to be the best violinist/violist?

So I can teach it better, be sought out for gigs, and so people would take me more seriously.

“So people would take me more seriously.”

This one stung, so I asked myself “Why is that important to me?”

“Because I want to erase my sins of the past. So I can stop being that example of what not to do when professors and conductors talk about me, so I can stop blaming others for my choices, so that I can feel like I belong.”

Ouch. I had to start addressing these things like I’m my own therapist.

It led down the rabbit hole farther until I came to the following conclusion.

I place value on being the best at violin so as to erase all doubt of my ability, and the metric I measure it by is being so good it erases my mistakes and atones for hurting other people and myself with past behavior.

But it goes deeper.

My worthiness to play my instrument is based on how others perceive me. My self-worth is deeply rooted into what people think of my playing ability, especially those who have seen me at my worst.

The result of getting to this realization was that feeling of every lesson I walked into unprepared, every performance that I half assed practiced for, every glare I got from a conductor or my peers in college, every time I became more and more afraid to open my case and thus because more and more afraid of playing in front of people.

That tension in my neck, that lump in my throat, that tightness in my chest, clenching of the jaw, and a dread that goes deep down into my stomach hit me like a bus.

That desire to want to curl up and disappear.

I shed no tears, but I got a little misty.

I immediately remembered my embodied resources and breathing techniques to create space in my body and realize this is a survival response to all that grief and shame I held onto all this time in my body.

I didn’t think that my experience growing up learning to play my instrument would trigger a full on trauma response, but it did.

It’s a whole new world when you become aware of what you did and who you had to be to survive it.

As much as it sucked to go this deep, face that demon, and feel those feelings, it oddly felt freeing.

And it also will give me the opportunity to heal, and play, and get better for myself.

To let go and finally be intrinsically motivated to love my music, and my instrument. (Hopefully)

I hope that writing about this experience is helpful to you with something you are passionate about, but you basically got wrecked by your lates teens early 20’s or even if you are going through it now.

Definitely share it with someone you know who may be going through the same thing.

Until next time.

Classically yours,

Angela

In this Facebook Live, I cover what I have been learning and kind of talking about with consistency in my last two blog posts.

I did this because I know that sometimes people like to consume content in video format.

Personally, I like to engage in both, it really depends on the day.

I hope that you enjoy this video as much as I actually enjoyed making it, and I’ll see you next time.

Classically,

Angela

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