Pictures this,  you're on your phone scrolling through the feed of some social network. All you see are pictures of amazing people doing amazing things. Your first reaction may be happiness but after seeing 10 or 20 of these you start wondering why you're life isn't like that. Slowly you start to develop a weird feeling in your gut. That feeling is most likely jealousy.

This happens to each and every one of us and it is absolutely normal... and healthy. However, what's not healthy is when you think negatively of that person or feel they don't deserve what they have. We don't know someone's struggles and what they have to face each and every day. So before you start to judge them always try your best to keep that in mind. Here are some ways to ensure you stay positive and avoid letting jealousy turn you into a negative Nancy :)

Hidden Insecurities - usually when we become jealous of someone it's because we want what they have. That may be their good looks, vibrant personality, great job, etc. Maybe you're jealous of that super fit girl because you really want to get in shape. Maybe you're jealous of that beautiful girl and thinks she wears too much makeup because you secretly wish you looked like her. Whatever it may be you just have to know that when you feel jealousy you should take a long hard look at yourself and honestly find out why you feel that way.

Use it as inspiration -  rather than moping around feeling negatively towards a person you should use their success as inspiration to work on your own goals. Seeing someone prosper should not be the source of your unhappiness. In fact you should remind yourself to feel happy for that person thereby freeing yourself of any destructive emotions that would hinder you from reaching your own goals.

Don't be so hard on yourself - you have to understand that everyone gets jealous at some point in their life. When you find yourself becoming jealous of someone try your best to remember that it's a normal human emotion and that you have full control over how you choose to react. I would suggest that you remain grateful for what you have, change what you aren't happy with and be happy for what others accomplished.

Each morning I make a point of taking a few minutes to reflect on all the things for which I'm grateful. I am thankful for what I have so far and that motivates me to reach my future goals. So the next time you feel jealousy rearing it's green little face be sure to remember that it's normal to feel that way. All you have to do is be sure to avoid any feelings of negativity and instead try to refocus that energy on being happy for that person and motivating yourself.

Love,
Ruseberry


Why It's Normal To Get Jealous

by on Friday, November 27, 2015
Pictures this,  you're on your phone scrolling through the feed of some social network. All you see are pictures of amazing people...

I want to start off by saying that I'm not a professional runner. I'm not a certified fitness trainer and I'm not particularly super fit :) But, I am runner. I love running and I've been running for as long as I can remember. So with that little intro let's get to some tips and tricks on how to become comfortable and even good at running.

Running Shoes - Yes running shoes can be expensive and it's really hard to spend that much money on a pair of shoes that really doesn't look good with anything other than running clothes. But if you aren't willing to invest in a solid pair of shoes I would suggest you try a different exercise method. Running can be very hard on your knees, ankles and back. If your shoes aren't a good fit, worn out, or not meant for running you can risk some serious injury. If you're tight on cash keep an eye out for sales. Sports Authority usually has great in-store sales and you can get Aasics (my favorite running shoe brand) for as low as $35. Be sure to get your running shoes 1/2 a size larger than your regular size. So for example, I wear a size seven in heels ad flats. For my running shoes I go for a 7.5 and I wont go lower or higher than that. If you do, you will risk getting blisters and other injuries.

Running Clothes - You don't have a spend a fortune on running gear but you do need clothes that wont chafe and allows you to breath. I prefer to wear capri spandex as I have zero thigh gap lol. Be sure to invest in a good sports bra as well. Get a band width or two smaller than your actual bra. You really want a sports bra that holds you in. A little trick I do: When you're in the changing room jump up and down, jump down into burpees and then up into high knees. If the bra holds you in then it's a keeper :).

In terms of running socks I would stay away from traditional bobby socks and even ankle socks that aren't meant for running. You will risk chafed ankles and blisters if you don't wear the correct socks.

Stretch - stretching is almost more important that the actual running itself. Stretching your calves, quads, hips and hamstrings is a sure fire way to prevent injuries. The most common running injuries are shin splints, pulled hamstrings and muscle strain. Keep your muscles flexible and they will be less prone to injury. I highly suggest yoga. If you can't get to a class, just watch a video on YouTube from any popular yogi of your choice :)

Start Slow - Have you ever heard someone say to walk before you run? Well there's a lot of truth in that. You really want to get your body used to that motion. I would start by walking for 2 or 3 days, slowly increasing your mileage each day. Then I would start picking up my pace a bit to a fast walk. Then from there transition into an easy jog and when you're comfortable with that you can feel free to start running.

Cross Train - Getting to be a good runner means you have to cross train. You need to work on your legs, arms and abs. With a strong core section and lower back and hips you prevent back injuries by maintaining a proper running form (head level, shoulders relaxed, back straight, landing between your tip toes and center of foot rather than heel, steady breathing). Strong arms help carry you the extra distance and help with balance and form control. Legs are your biggest assets when it comes to running. Be sure to do lunges, squats and other various explosive leg exercises to keep them strong.

Build Up Endurance - Whenever I get back into my running routine I start small and build my way up. I'll literally go to the gym, run for 10 minutes, stretch and then leave. Each day i'll add 3-5 more minutes, continue to stretch and slowly start adding in free weights and body weight training. The important thing is to be patient with your body. Trying to do too much too soon is just asking for an injury.

Diet - by diet I don't mean you need to restrict your meals and start calorie counting. I mean you need to be careful what you eat as it can potentially cause cramps during your run and lower your performance. Be sure to hydrate all day before and after your run. 30 minutes before your run eat something light such as a banana or apple. After your workout feel free to have some lean meat and veggies, peanut butter, or more fruit.

Happy running guys. Remember it's a process but you'll be so proud of yourself and you'll love how you look and feel! It might seem hard at first but most of it is mental (i.e you're really not tired but your mind is telling you to stop lol). After you run continuously for 10-14 days you'll start getting the hang of it and start to see changes in your body. :)

Love,
Ruseberry


Beginners Guide To Running

by on Friday, November 13, 2015
I want to start off by saying that I'm not a professional runner. I'm not a certified fitness trainer and I'm not particularl...

So I started this Challenge on a Saturday and the goal was for this to last a full 7 days until anything else was purchased. 99% of my purchases were made at Sprouts Farmer's Market and a few things were picked up at Safeway. Everything came to a total of $35 for the entire week. I decided to get to work as soon as I got home and started to prepare my meals. I started with my pot of rice and my whole chicken. I made about a pound and a half of rice that I knew would last me through a lot of meals. I seasoned my chicken and popped it in the oven to roast. While all of this was going on I started to prepare my other meals. As soon as one was finished and cooled down enough I put them into my large tupperware containers and in the fridge or freezer until they were needed.

Things went pretty smoothly and there were only a few times I had to really control myself when I wanted to get seconds. Towards the end of the week I was really tempted to give up as I began having  cravings. But I kept telling myself why this was important and that I needed to do this right or not at all.

Girl by Thursday night the food was looking scarce! I was like omg... how is this going to work. But I gave myself a reality check and reminded myself that if there are people out there feeding their families on this then I sure as hell can feed two people with this.

I'm making this post for a two person household as most households consist of more than one person. I did my shopping for the week Saturday morning.

Ok so let's get to it.

Shopping list:
- rice (1)
- oatmeal (1)
- meat on sale* (1)
- ground meat on sale (1)
- bell peppers (4)
- onion (1 pack or just 2 single onions)
- eggs (12)
- can diced tomatoes (1)
- garlic (3)
- pasta (2 packs)
- tomato sauce/soup (2)
- canned beans (2)
- frozen mixed veggies (1)
- avocado (on sale 2/$1)

* I suggest a whole chicken as it's very versatile and probably your cheapest option.

Things you should already have (and if you don't you can get at the dollar tree):
-sugar
-black pepper
-salt
-cooking oil
-soy sauce
-spices


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Meals:

We're not big on breakfast. I'll mostly have some oatmeal in the morning with a little cinnamon or just some hot tea. But we don't usually eat until noon and then again around 8 or 9 after we've gotten home, gone to the gym or training and started to prepare our actual dinner.


Ground meat chili

1 pack ground meat
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp ketchup
1.5 tbsp cooking oil
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup frozen mixed veggies

Directions:
cut up onion, bell peppers and garlic.
put oil in pan and heat on medium. add onions, bell peppers and garlic and stir fry until onions are a little slightly see-through. add ground meat and break up and cook until well done. Add spices, frozen veggies and ketchup. mix together and let it cook a little longer on medium to low heat. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Pasta with ground meat

1 pack pasta
1/2 cup tomato sauce/soup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp ketchup
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 onion
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/4 cup of ground chili

Directions:
bring one pot of water to a boil. add salt and a little oil. Add in pasta and let cook until almost ready. in a pan add oil and let it warm up on medium heat. then add chopped veggies (onions, bell peppers, garlic). cook until onions are slightly translucent. add in your tomato sauce/soup and ketchup. add in meat chili. then add your spices and mix all together. let it cook for about 1 minute on low to medium heat. lastly, add your pasta and mix all together. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Roasted chicken

1 whole chicken
1 tbsp cooking oil
1tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1.5 tsp thyme

Directions:
measure out spices and oil. add to chicken and be sure to rub all over and under the skin. preheat your over to 350 degrees and set your timer to cook for 1-1.5 hours. place chicken in oven safe pan and let cook. when it's finished let it sit for a good 15 minutes. be sure to conserve the breasts and thighs as you'll need this for future meals. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Rice (depends on how much you want - I made a lot and had a really big pot)

1 1/2 lbs rice
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
1tsp pepper

Directions:
Bring your water to a rolling boil. add salt, pepper and thyme. slowly add in your rice and stir for the first 2 minutes to make sure nothing sticks. Let rice boil for another 10 minutes. the water level should start to recede. when water level is level with top of rice, cover pot and put heat on lowest level. after 2 minutes turn off the heat but keep the lid on the pot (DO NOT REMOVE THE LID! STEAM IS NEEDED TO COOK THE RICE). after about 15 minutes you can remove the lid, fluff the rice and serve. If rice is not fully cooked, take out what you need, add a few teaspoons of water and microwave for 1.5 minutes.

Vegan chili

1 can black or red bean
1 can tomatos
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1.5 tsp thyme
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 onion

Directions:
add oil to your pan and heat on medium. add in your chopped onions, bell peppers and garlic. stir fry until onions are slightly translucent. add in your canned tomatoes and the juice as well. stir together and simmer a bit. add in beans (you can rinse of the liquid as that makes you a bit gassy lol). stir and simmer again. add in spices and ketchup and simmer for 10 minutes. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Chicken fried rice

1.5 - 2 cups cold rice
1/2 cup frozen veggie
1 chicken breast
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 egg (optional)

Directions:
scoop out about 1-2 cups of cold, cooked rice. put oil in your pan and let it heat up on medium. add garlic, onion (optional) and frozen veggies to pan. You can also add your egg at this point and scramble (optional). stir fry for about 3 minutes or until egg is fully scrambled. add in your rice and mix together. now add your spices, and soy sauce. turn up the heat to medium high and stir for about 5-6 minutes. add in your chicken and stir. let is cook a bit on low heat for about 4 minutes. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Chicken chili

1 can red or black beans
1 chicken breast
1/4 bell pepper
1/2 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup tomato sauce/soup
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup mixed veggies

Directions:
add oil to pan and heat on medium. add chopped bell peppers, onion and garlic to pan. stir-fry until onions are slightly translucent. add tomato sauce/soup and mix other. add spices and ketchup and let everything simmer for about 2 minutes. add you beans (you can wash off the liquid that comes in the can if you want). now add your shredded chicken and mixed veggies. let cook for another 10 minutes. taste and adjust spices as needed.

Chicken pasta

1/2 cup shredded Chicken (or what ever is left)
1/2 cup tomato soup/sauce
1 pack pasta
1/4 bell pepper
1/2 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/4 cup mixed veggies

Directions:
bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. add a dash of salt and a bit of oil. place pasta in and bring to a boil until pasta is nearly cooked (al dente). turn off heat and drain water. in pan add oil and heat on medium heat. add chopped onions, garlic and bell peppers. cook until onions are almost translucent. add tomato sauce/soup. add spices and stir together. let that simmer for about 4 minutes. now add your shredded chicken and veggies and mix in. add your pasta and gently fold over into the sauce making sure to mix all the vegetables in as well.

Oatmeal

oatmeal
water
cinnamon
1 tsp sugar (optional)

Directions:
take about 1/4 dried oatmeal and add hot water. stir well and let sit for about 10 minutes. stir again and add some cinnamon and sugar. enjoy!

Egg sandwiches

egg
1 tsp cooking oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 slices of bread

Directions:
place oil in a pan and heat on medium. crack one or two eggs on the side of pan or with a utensil. be careful not to let any pieces of shell fall into pan. pour egg into pan and let cook for 2 minutes. sprinkle with dash of salt and pepper. carefully flip egg over and apply same amount of seasoning.
you can toast your bread if you'd like but you don't have to.

Veggie soup

If you find that you have run out by Saturday just make some veggie soup with whatever you have left. You also can fry up some more rice and have that with beans. If you have any eggs left, stir fry that in for some extra protein as well.

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I wanted to do this challenge because I thought it was so important to bring awareness to the fact that there are people living and feeding their families on even less that this. I wanted to show others that they could prepare healthy and filling meals for their families on just a few ingredients. Hopefully this will help someone out there who is struggling with this. My advice is to always appreciate what you have and never take anything for granted. I urge you to try this challenge as it will help you to really appreciate every meal and will keep you mindful of how much food you waste on a daily basis.

Love,
Ruseberry
Tom is the super cool one on the right :)
Ric, Vincent, me, Tom at the Bronx Zoo in New York. Photo taken by Jessica.










About 11 years ago my family was hit really, really hard. My older brother Tom was driving home from church when he was cut off at a stop light and fatally shot, point blank, in the head. He was only 24 years old. At the time he had just graduated from college with his bachelor's degree in Computer Science and was thinking about getting his masters as well as applying for job positions. Tom's future was bright and full of potential. Out of all my mother's children he was probably the one who appreciated life the most. He always tried to put a smile on our faces and he loved to dance, sing, and play sports. Now that I think of it, I really don't know what he didn't/couldn't do :)

When I think of him it always brings a smile to my face but for some reason I always cry on his birthday. I don't know if it's because I wish he was here to celebrate it but just like clock work the tears never fail to happen.

For some reason Tom and I were always bickering lol. We were like two little old ladies. I was this little 3 foot kid arguing with this 6 foot guy over who should wash the dishes (always had a stubborn streak about me). But he never stayed mad at me. The next second he was wrestling me, or lifting me up in the air. Just usually something that I felt would give my little heart an attack lol. I know he loved us a lot and it felt like everyday he reminded us. One thing that was really interesting was the number of pictures he took. I had never seen someone who loved the camera so much! lol Every minute it was hey take a picture of me lol. Now that I look back at it I feel like he was creating little memories for us.

Tom was a devoted christian. I don't mean the manic bible beating ones. I mean the new-age cool ones who believed in god and REALLY loved their neighbors as themselves. He was fearless. Always heading into any difficult situation with the most optimism you could ever find in someone. He and I would always take little walks (in whichever city we were living in at the time) and he would give me advice on every and anything.  He would tell me to not be so shy or doubt myself so much in life. He was always there for things like that.

Tom and Ric grew up together in Jamaica with mama and the family until they were in their early 20s. They went to school there and Ric was always looking out for Tom. He always looked out for all of us actually. When we were born (Vincent and myself) we each kind of clung to one of them. I went with Ric and Vincent went with Tom. They were our heroes man. Vincent was like Tom's carbon copy lol. Always so excited to see him. Tom loved that kid so much and people were always amazed by how much they looked alike. I don't think anyone ever understood Vincent as much as Tom did. One of the things we all did together was watch Dragon Ball Z. We would get home before Ric and Tom since they were in college so we would tape each episode. When they got home we would all watch it together. Best times ever!

Tom and Vincent (mama in the background)


I remember watching Tom with his his friends. He was just a star, Man, the room would just about light up when he was there. Everyone had a smile on their face and the air was filled with laughter. It was such a weightless feeling to be around him. And he made it so easy to get along with him. He was a guys, guy and ladies man at the same time. I don't know how he did it!

I remember the night we got the news. My twin brother and I were in Ric and Tom's room sleeping. We had fallen asleep watching cartoons. A strange sound woke me up. I got out of bed and opened the door. Sitting at the dining room table with two officers trying helplessly to console her was my mother. I had never seen her cry before. The strange sound I heard was my mother sobbing into her hands. She looked up and noticed me, called for Ric and I was ushered back into the room. Ric woke up my brother and then sat on the bed and told us the horrible news.

At the time we were too young to understand and I think Ric knew that. He brought us to the hospital but he wouldn't let us go in to see Tom. He had sustained so much damage and Ric didn't want us to see him like that. The following days were very fuzzy and a little hard to remember. Ric took us for a walk one day to show us where Tom had been shot. It wasn't more than 6 blocks away from home... He was almost home you guys.

They never found the killer of my brother and it took a long time for my family to recover from this blow. We were all affected in our own way and it's something we live with each day. I know Tom is resting peacefully. And I know he's up there with God having a great time in heaven. I always wonder  what it would have been like if he was still here. Would things have turned out differently? Why do we have to experience such painful loses in life? Is it to give us the gift to help others?

I know Tom lived for a reason and I know he was taken so young for a reason. I'm just so grateful for the time we got to spend with him while he was here. I really believe Tom was an angel on Earth.

There were two funerals for Tom. One in New York and the other in Jamaica where he was finally laid to rest.

Today, October 1 2015, Tommi-lee Wray would have been 35 years old.

I love and miss you so much Tom. Rest in peace ok :)

Tom, Mom, and Ric at Tom's Graduation


Love,
Ruseberry

P.S. Everyone spelled his name: Tommy Lee Wray and he never even fussed about it. What a guy! :)

For My Brother Tom

by on Thursday, October 01, 2015
Tom is the super cool one on the right :) Ric, Vincent, me, Tom at the Bronx Zoo in New York. Photo taken by Jessica. About 1...

I'm not going to sit here and pretend I don't do this. We literally can't help ourselves but what you need to watch out for is the negative effect this has on your self esteem. On a daily basis we are bombarded with images of exactly what we don't look like. And our daughters, sisters, cousins and friends are going to grow up with the same problem. So it's basically a never ending cycle?

Well hopefully I can be one of the few voices that stands up and says hey! You don't have to let them do that to you. You can love yourself just the way you are and the sky will literally not explode ;)

Here are some ways to help you stop negatively comparing yourself to others:

Appreciate what you have - really take the time to think about all the great things you have going for you. You obviously have access to technology if you are reading this so you are better off than about 80% of women in the world. So that in itself is something to be happy about. But let's talk about more girl stuff. So what you're not a size 2 or that cute guy doesn't like you. Are you super smart? Do you have a great personality? Are you a darn good person? Then what's the problem? Stop worrying about what you don't have and work on what you already have and what you can fix.

Be happy she is beautiful or successful - yes she is drop dead gorgeous and ridiculously successful. Instead of being unhappy about this, use this as inspiration to work hard to take care of yourself and your success. Other women are not a threat. I repeat: they are not a threat. So next time the green monster sneaks up on you, change your mindset and realize that you are wasting time being jealous and unhappy when you have so much towards which you could be working.

Fake it until you make it - you have been brainwashed into thinking this is the normal reaction to someone being "better" off than you when it's really not. It's going to take time to learn to love yourself enough that you can rejoice in the success of others. Just start right now and each time you find yourself grovelling in self hate just snap out of it and change your mindset. Soon it will just be natural.

Stop dreaming and start doing - sometimes this comparison comes from others doing exactly what we wish we could have the confidence to do. Let me tell you something very important; if you want to do something you better start now because you will wake up one day with regrets that could have been avoided. Even if you fail you can at least say you gave it a shot and a damn good one at that!
Also on a side note; my great-grandmother once told me to never wish for what someone else has as you never know how they got it and what they are doing to keep it...

Just a few last words guys. Just remember that I will never be as pretty as you and you will never be as pretty as me., We are our own pretty and that's how it should be - if that makes sense :)

Love,
Ruseberry

Do you struggle with self esteem? What are some ways you have learned to stop painting yourself in a negative light?