Don’t Worry, I’m Alive.


So obviously I’m not the most consistent human being. I’m not consistent with my chores or with my clean eating or with my morning routine. I’m DEFINITELY not consistent with my writing.

But I must tell you that while you haven’t seen anything on this blog for six full months there has been plenty of writing and creating going on behind the scenes…not consistently, but plenty none the less. The Beauty and the Bleep podcast has been launched, the Beauty and the Bleep Blog has been launched, and there are few more projects waiting in the wings around the Lucas household to be debuted sometime…soon-ish?

The Beauty and The Bleep Blog – that’s now the home of my soapbox. It’s the place where one of my favorite people in the whole world, Ashley (aka Beauty), and I (aka The Bleep – duh) get to discuss the topics that are important to us.

That leaves this happy little place here free for me to share the small things. The day to day. And since there has been no sharing of the day-to-day for at least six months, I felt as though the internet deserved an update. Because obviously you’ve all just been sitting there, on the edge of your seats, waiting for this moment. Trust me. This is gonna be good.

Just kidding. Sorry in advance. I’m lame.

I have done these update posts twice before and they are some of my favorites. I scrolled though my phone, pulled up the photos from the previous months, and used them to paint a picture of what had been going on in my life while tumbleweeds blew and dust bunnies grew around my blog.

I went to do the same thing today but found that there really is no story to tell. My camera roll over the past six months consists of almost nothing but a blind kitten, a brindle dog, and dinners at foraged. Oh, and the holidays, which were the most uneventful I can ever remember. My house was decorated and gifts were purchased and wrapped before the end of November. No frantic freak outs or mid-winter meltdowns. Booooring. (Actually, really exciting, but doesn’t make for any interesting blog fodder.)

So, uh, want to see some food and some pets?

Now that I think about it, there is really is a story to tell about foraged (i.e. our favorite restaurant in the world), but that would make this post too long. You’ll have to read about it in the next installment of What Has Mel Been Up To Lately. For now though, just a little bit of food porn to brighten your day.


And obviously if you live in Baltimore and haven’t visited this place, you need to get your ass there. Actually if you live anywhere in Maryland, DC or PA and haven’t visited this place, you need to get your ass there. It will be worth the trip. I promise.

And now, pets.


Blind kitten turned cat. Big brindle dog. Lots of cuddles. Lots of laughs.

So that’s it. Food and furry friends. It might seem pretty boring to you guys, but I really fucking love this life.


Get Your Om On!

It’s no secret that I’m pretty addicted to meditating. Actually, I guess I’m more addicted to it’s benefits. And I’m so excited about those benefits, that I want everyone in my world to meditate, too.

However, there are some common roadblocks that seem to keep people from actually starting a meditation practice.

  1. It sounds a little bit silly. (This is probably why I kept my love of mediating to myself for so many years.)
  2. Just like anything else worth doing, it ain’t easy.
  3. It can be difficult to even know where to start.

And here are my suggestions to help move past these road blocks:

  1. Get over it. The benefits are so great that it’s totally worth other people thinking you’re a crunchy, granola, hippie weirdo. Whatever.
  2. Just begin and keep practicing. It won’t get easier until you actually start dong it on a regular basis. But once you get going, it’s pretty easy to pick up steam.
  3. Read below for three tips to help you get started.

Continue reading

My Little Cup

I have a cup. A little one. It overflows easily.

You know that feeling when you reach your breaking point? Like one more thing, no matter how small – could be a dish left in the sink, one more annoying phone call at work, or maybe just your spouse looking at you sideways – it’s going to send you into meltdown mode? That’s what happens when my cup overflows.

Usually, I can handle what is thrown my way, but every time anything comes at me, good or bad, it goes my cup. Eventually the cup reaches max capacity and it doesn’t matter what comes next, the cup is going to overflow and I’ll lose my shit.

One time, I lost my shit over the movie Happy Feet. I don’t even remember what the deal was, but something at the beginning of the movie just set me off. I mean, it probably would have gotten to me no matter what, that poor, sad, little animated penguin! But that day, my cup was just too full. I couldn’t watch something sad. I literally didn’t have the capacity for it. I burst into tears and refused to watch the rest of the movie. I made Tyler turn it off completely. (Probably made him watch Steel Magnolias or something, because if I’m going to dissolve into a puddle of tears it might as well be over something that’s actually sad, not a tap-dancing penguin.)

If my cup is too full, not only do I lose my mind at the littlest of “bad” things, like Happy Feet, but I am not really able to notice the good things. There’s no room for them. Not a great place to be, if you ask me.

When my cup is empty, I can take the yucky parts of life in stride, but more importantly I can actually enjoy the awesome parts! A funny joke, a conversation with my nephew on the phone, a kiss from Tyler when I get home. All of those things are so much more enjoyable when I have room in my cup.

If my cup is full I have so much less control over my life and my choices. Because instead of focusing on what I actually want to put into it, I have to focus on just trying to keep everything that’s already in there from splashing over the sides.

When my cup is empty I have the ability to slow down and make those choices, to figure out what I actually want to put into my cup.

Mediting helps me empty my cup.

Meditating helps me enjoy the good, manage the bad, and make intentional choices intended to help me reach my goals.

It also keeps me from bawling over animated animals, so there’s that, too.

This Post Brought To You By: Wellbutrin

So I’ve mentioned my seasonal affective disorder before, and that this is the time of year that it rears its VERY ugly head. Yuck.

A little over two years ago I started working with a psychiatrist. She diagnosed me with depression, not JUST the seasonal kind, but the all-the-time kind which just happens to get a lot worse between October and December, plus generalized anxiety disorder. Also yuck.

And to think I only went to her because I wanted to discuss going back on Adderall for my ADD. We had a bit of a chicken vs. egg argument. My theory was that if I could just focus and get my shit together I’d be less depressed. Hers was that if I were less depressed I’d be able to focus and get my shit together. She won. Continue reading

The Perfection Problem

Good is the enemy of great, they say. And I agree with them.

As soon as The Wedding was over I felt this incredible sense of freedom. I was free to sit on my ass and not do a damn thing. I was free to not be “great” for just a little while. And I totally relished it. I promised not to give myself a hard time about it…because that wedding was freaking stressful. I knew I needed the break, and I knew if I didn’t give myself shit for taking one, I’d intuitively know when the right time to un-break was.

That time was about three or four weeks ago. That’s when I started to feel it building – the frustration with the laziness, apathy, and blah-ness I’d allwed myself since The Wedding. I needed to start being a productive member of my own life again. But instead of acting on that need, I froze. I wanted to be great, but I felt like I had so much to do that I was only going to be “good” at all of it.

So I didn’t do anything.

Fast forward a few more weeks and I kind of felt like crap. I wasn’t relishing the lack of adulting anymore, I was chastising myself for it. But. I. Couldn’t. Move. Forward.

Stuck. I was just stuck.

The chores at home piled up. Literally. Piles of laundry to be done, mountains of weeds in the yard to be pulled, growing tumbleweeds of animal fur rolling through my house. I was eating terribly, like really really badly. I wanted to take action, but still I sat.

Good is the enemy of great. If I couldn’t clean the whole house from top to bottom in that moment, why would I bother vacuuming the dust bunnies? If I wasn’t going to eat perfectly for the rest of my life why not just go to Burger King or Chik-fil-a (or both) today? If the blog post wasn’t going to be the most profound thing I’d ever created, why bother writing it at all?

And then…the “DUH!” moment happened.

I have been grocery shopping and meal planning as I always have – very clean. But then I’ve been trading the healthy meals we’ve diligently prepared for the drive through or the junk food someone else brings to the office.

This weekend Tyler asked me to pick up ingredients to make grilled cheese, and it was at a that moment that a light bulb went on in my head. He-llooooo! The grocery store has options other than the perfectly Paleo items I’ve been purchasing every week and not eating. Why not buy the box of mac and cheese that I really want, eat it with my broccoli, and call it a day? I know how to eat clean. I’ll get back to it when I’m ready. But in the meantime, cooking something is much closer to cooking healthy than the drive through is.

And then it clicked! In assuming perfection is the only way to go, I am hindering my progress. I mean, my pants don’t fit and my to-do list is about a mile long. Had I allowed for less than perfection three weeks ago, I wouldn’t be buried under a mountain of grown-up crap to get done and I might not mind being in a bathing suit at the moment. OR maybe my pants still wouldn’t fit, but at least they’d be clean and put away.

Furthermore, there’s a difference between the big picture and the tasks that help me create it.

The big picture, the end goal, that should always be GREAT. Striving for anything less seems pretty pointless. But somehow I have to get it through my thick skull that being “good” at the little tasks actually IS great. Being good at those tasks means those tasks are getting done, and that means I’m headed in the direction I want go.

So I’ve given myself permission to do small, good things. I’ve given myself permission to focus on progress instead of perfection. Which is awesome because progress is what matters most to me.

And it’s also awesome because I’m really excited for some old school, blue box, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese!

The Blinkin Blog

I hesitate even writing this post because I really think it makes me sound like a crazy cat lady. But of course, I kind of am, so I might as well accept it. 

Two weeks after our wedding this little lady found her way to me. I convinced Tyler to let her stay with us for one night, just until I could get her to the animal shelter. Now, Continue reading

Wed More Date Less

Our Vows Are My Normal

I’ve discussed our wedding vows and why I loved them. But I’ve not talked about why it was important to me that they weren’t your typical vows. Aside from the fact that I think typical wedding vows just don’t suit Tyler and me, there’s also the fact that I’ve said those “normal” vows before. And that didn’t work out too well, now did it?  Continue reading

We Are Weird. So Were Our Wedding Vows.

So I’ve mentioned that the wedding was really super amazingly awesome. All of it. But if I had to pick a favorite part it would be the ceremony. It was so totally “Melissa and Tyler” from start to finish. I have some favorites within my favorite, though. And one of them is our vows. Non-traditional, obviously. But absolutely perfect to us. Continue reading