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  • Ruthmarie Tenorio

A Few of My Favorite Things | July '23

It's been nine months since my last post. After a series of unfortunate events, I feel ready to move on. In this post, I get personal and share what is helping me heal xoxo

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through a link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

In my best Obi-Wan voice "Well hello there"

It has been 9 months since my last post. I started this blog a year ago; excited, filled with ideas, ready to post consistently, and armed with a positive outlook. Today I logged back in and saw that I left behind twelve drafts, just sitting in the folder waiting to be finished. That's how ready I was. I don't like to delve much into my personal life on social media, but this blog is my personal space so I shall do with it as I please. Get ready because this is a long post or click here to jump to the list.

So what kept me away for so long? I promise this relates to "My Favorite Things". My life was interrupted by a series of unfortunate events starting with an unexpected divorce. My divorce. I won't go into detail about the divorce for it is not just my story to tell and there are parts of the story I still have no knowledge about, but the short of it is, without warning, my significant other made the decision to dissolve our marriage. Shortly after, both my parents underwent intensive surgery and I became a temporary caregiver to both. Days after the second surgery, my grandmother passed away. All of this took place between August 1st and mid-December. Needless to say, the holiday season was a very, very somber one for the whole family.

"All of this is enough to depress anyone" said my therapist, but I wasn't depressed. In her words, I was just "really fucking sad, and rightfully so". At 35 years old, this was familiar territory. I had been divorced once before, I have lost grandparents before, anyone who knows my family knows someone is always in need of surgery. But all of it happening at once? Ugh. The message was loud and clear: Now is not a time for what I want, it's about what I need.

I knew I needed to give myself time to process, heal, and cry. I dragged my ass to therapy and gave myself time to reflect. I needed to move my body to stay strong and mobile. I needed to eat right to keep my lupus in remission. Everything else had to wait.

Why am I sharing this? I share this because when it was all happening, I struggled to find people who had experienced a similar situation. I am beyond grateful for the support system I had while I lived in Miami, but once I moved up to Central Florida to help my parents, my support system was close to non-existent. It was difficult to find someone to connect with, someone who could give advice and empathize. I felt very much alone. The only thing I kept in mind was "This too shall pass".

Life is filled with good and bad moments and I was in a very, very, very bad one. I also believe in Newton's Third Law: for every action in nature, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I understand that it is in reference to force, but nature finds a way to create balance, the yin and yang if you will. The point is I know that for how shitty my situation was, I know an equally wonderful future was waiting for me.

So what does all that have to do with "My Favorite Things" you may ask? There is a saying many of us know "Misery loves company" and in moments like these many of us are compelled to find it, however, I also know that doing so doesn't help you pull yourself out of that misery, it only keeps you there. Knowing this, I turned to people who can help. Notice how I said people and not just one person. One person should not be given the entire task of helping you pull yourself out of the hole. It takes a village. This is why this post of "A few of my favorite things" includes people and professionals who helped me get to the place I am now: Healed but a bit sore.

As you read this, please don't feel pity for me, I am writing this because I am in a wonderful place right now. It took nine months, but as woo woo as this might sound, I feel reborn. I am mourning the person I was and could never be again, but like a snake shedding its skin, that person doesn't serve me anymore. I will miss her, I thank her for the life she lived and the memories she created, but I am also sorry for not giving her what she needed:

  • mental and emotional health

  • a strong and mobile body

  • financial literacy

  • adventure

  • sexual confidence (sorry family, you might want to skip this part)

  • boundaries

The list below is of things and services that helped me in my mission to care for myself and heal. If you find yourself in any or all situations, I hope this finds you and know that you don't have to do it alone.

Click on each link to learn more about each section and how it helped me


BetterHelp | quick and accessible therapy

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich:

Not sponsored and it is marketed as "affordable therapy" but I don't wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Therapy is covered by insurance, but it is difficult to get matched with a therapist who is a good fit by picking from a table of options on your insurance website. BetterHelp doesn't take insurance. It is set up almost like a dating app. You answer a bunch of questions about your needs, they ask what attributes you look for in a therapist, how you prefer to communicate, and when you would like to communicate. As a result, I was matched with someone who was a great fit. She is a millennial Latina who kept it real, knows that I like to be presented with facts, and casually cursed in conversation just like I do. I felt very comfortable with her and if she wasn't a good match, I could submit a request to change my therapist. No biggie. I was also able to speak to her within 48 hours. Very fast compared to standard therapy which could take weeks for your first appointment. Although BetterHelp is a bit costly, it was worth every penny because of the matching process.

People, myself included, joke about "why pay for therapy when I can just talk to my best friend". I learned the hard way, that although friends and family are willing to listen to you vent, there are a few things to keep in mind:

- People that love you will be affected by your sorrow. It hurts to see your loved ones in pain and unable to do anything about it other than offer comfort. When you are in constant sorrow, you are inadvertently asking them to sit with you in constant sorrow. Although it is nice to be comforted by a familiar, the goal is to process your grief and move on. A therapist is best skilled to assist you with that.

-Your loved ones will be inclined to give you advice based on their own experiences or what a therapist of theirs said. This form of "secondhand therapy" isn't as useful as we may think. Our experiences and our lives are so unique, what works for one person may not work for another.

My sessions helped me navigate through my emotions, my insane newly found insecurities, my detrimental coping mechanisms, and my newly developed anxiety attachment style.

"fucking pathetic" I said to myself when I realized just how insecure I had become. I was so frustrated and upset. All my life I carried myself with confidence and I was very sure of the life I wanted to live. I was not prepared to have all of that taken away from me. I started compensating by attaching myself to people and needing constant communication to feel secure, WHICH I NEVER NEEDED BEFORE. It was such a bizarre experience which I'm happy to say I have somewhat overcome.

There is nothing pathetic about feeling insecure and anxious. It is human. But if you are new to it like I was, it is important to recognize and admit when you need help to navigate such a large mental and emotional shift.

If you are looking for guidance, give therapy a try. You can always opt-out if it's not for you.

The Sacred Traveler Oracle Deck |encouraging messages for the road less traveled

In my journey to healing, I was looking for a daily affirmation deck to feed me bits of wisdom after every morning meditation session. I spent about a week looking at reviews of Oracle decks and affirmation cards. Some were a bit too "you can do anything!" and others were a bit too whimsical. I needed something a bit more grounded. I finally zeroed in on the Sacred Traveler Oracle Deck. It uses the analogy of traveling through an ancient land as traveling through life. Each card conveys traveling-themed words of wisdom. I pull one card each morning, set the card on my desk, and process the message throughout the day. It helps me feel grounded and focused as I go about my day.

Where to get it: The Traveler Oracle Deck

Beach Body | Coached by Caro Pozo

"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't." Elle Woods

There is truth to this quote from Legally Blonde. One of the first things my doctors told me when I was diagnosed with lupus is that I was predisposed to chronic anxiety, anxiety increases stress levels, and increased stress levels cause massive flare-ups.

Well, I've been in remission since 2019 and I needed to make sure I stayed there. Nothing like the threat of a flare-up to push you to get back in the gym. I couldn't afford a gym membership and I wasn't quite ready to "leave the house" so I turned to my friend Caro who is a BeachBody coach. You might recognize her from the FrightFemmes series. She's a badass fitness junkie who listens to your needs and holds you accountable to reach your goals, but what I like about Caro the most is that she is a true believer in listening to your body and giving it what it needs. If you need rest, give it rest. If you need to focus on nutrition, then focus on nutrition. She's not one to talk you into doing something that doesn't sit well with you.

I asked her to help me choose a workout that was soft on my joints and help me increase strength and mobility. I was about to care for two adults and needed to have the ability to lift them without injuring myself. She recommended Barre Blend and it was just what I needed. I love it so much I'm doing it a second time around. Each workout feels like a massage for my joints while burning my muscles lol

BeachBody is super affordable. Based on the plan, it is either $20 a month or $30 a month. As I am writing this, they are offering a 12-month plan for $15 a month.

Where to contact Caro: Beach Body Coach

Meadowsweet Money with Mimi Cirbusova | Gentle judgment-free financial guidance

Divorce is expensive. I don't think I have to explain why, however, I realized soon after how financially illiterate I was. I knew the basics: budgeting, savings, and retirement (sort of), but I had holes in my knowledge and investing was so foreign to me.

I turned to Mimi to work out my new financial plan. Make a new budget for a single woman in her 30s, adjust retirement savings, adjust savings, plan for fun, plan for a home, and she walked me through the basics of investing in stocks. So far I've had three sessions and I highly recommend her services. She keeps her sessions judgment-free and always makes planning for fun a priority.

I can't stress enough how important it is to reassess your finances post-divorce. It provides a sense of security and eliminates the fear of affording to live alone.

How to contact Mimi:

Buff Bunny | self-esteem boosting workout clothes

This favorite goes hand in hand with the BeachBody recommendation. Up until last year, my workout clothes were a mix of high school and college workout sets. I was due for an update and given I was feeling insecure at the time, I decided to treat myself.

I bought sets from DSG, Target, and Amazon. Buff Bunny blows them all out of the water. The fit is spectacular. The fabric is so soft. I love the high-waisted leggings and the sports bras are beautifully designed. I've bought a few more sets since then and I highly recommend giving them a try.

Where to get it:

Sicily Slip Dress Pattern | A classic cut that will never go out of fashion

Is it too soon to start dating again? Not according to my therapist. We don't have to reach perfection to start exploring new connections. With that said, I needed a new date dress ... or two.

Be it a brunch date with the girls or a dinner date with a gentleman, I wanted a simple dress that I could dress up or dress down.

The Sicily Slip Dress pattern is close to perfect. It is not form-fitting making it very comfortable to wear and I can eat without having to readjust. It is also very easy to make, so much so that I made a second one. If you are looking for a bias-cut dress, I highly recommend this pattern.

Where to get the Pattern:

Philosophy Perfumes | Pure Grace Nude Rose and Amazing Grace Magnolia

Talking about dating. Do you ever associate certain smells with certain people or memories? No? Just me? Well, with the recent divorce, I found myself avoiding some of my favorite perfumes.

Funny story: So I walked into a Sephora in search of a new perfume and was quickly overwhelmed by the selection. A lovely GenZ store associate asked if she could help and I said "Well it's hard to describe what I'm looking for. The best way I can describe it is a classic scent, something the older generation likes to wear" without missing a beat she said "OMG all the old ladies buy these!" and pointed at the Philosophy collection on the bottom shelf. I couldn't help but laugh. She hit it out of the park.

Just call me an elder millennial who skipped the midlife crisis and went straight into granny life. These scents are perfect. Philosophy's Amazing Grace Magnolia and Pure Grace Nude Rose

Where to get it: Magnolia & Rose

Dita Von Teese Lingerie | feeling sexy is feeling good

I don't know about you, but nothing feels more supportive than wearing the right bra. Yes, they are a nuisance to wear all day, but there is nothing like a bit of lace to help you feel sexy.

I reminded myself of that when I was feeling insecure and invested in a few sets for yours truly. Dita Von Teese Lingerie did not disappoint. All sets are well-made, elegant, and comfortable. Each collection has matching full-bottom panties *praise* Up until now I exclusively wore basic underwear because I couldn't be bothered with a thong. Her collections are perfect. I have zero notes.

Look out for their end-of-the-season sales. You can get sets for up to 80% off!

Where to get it:

Packing Cubes | a must for the traveling earth sign

Last but not least, I invested in travel gear. Now that I'm on my own, I can go where my heart (and my wallet) desires. I spent many years waiting for someone to travel with. I'm done waiting and booking trips when I can. So far I've managed to convince people to go with me. However, I plan to travel on my own if no one is available to join me. Life is too short to wait.

These packing cubes are first-class. I don't know why I never purchased them before. I'm never traveling without them ever again.

Where to get it: Amazon

YOU'VE REACHED THE END! I have not written this much since my thesis (circa 2014). If you've bothered to read this post in full, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you.

It's been quite the journey and I don't think a short blog post would give it justice. I am beyond excited to truly dedicate time to this site and I hope to keep the momentum going.

Thank you for sticking around XOXO, Ruthmarie




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1 Comment

Aug 02, 2023

Thank you for this. I’m going through the tail end of this right now and just turned 35 as well. Healed but sore is an excellent way to describe it. Sending you all my very best 🩷

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