TGIF: Princess Belle for the Win

TGIF, indeed! Though it doesn’t quite feel like a Friday to me. I’m planning to work most of the weekend and get ahead on some things while my husband goes to Vegas with his buddies…actually, maybe I should re-think this? Well, I guess somebody’s gotta make money in case he goes and loses it all 🙂

Although I’ll be working, I still plan to sneak in some time for hiking, coloring and wine drinking. Maybe I’ll even take Yoshi to the Olive Mill Garlic Fest, where she won’t be able to have any fun because dogs aren’t supposed to have garlic. But hey, she’s a great wingman for trying to make new friends. Who wouldn’t come say hi to this friendly face?

Yoshi on Naturally Ever After
“Please be friends with my mom…and give me some toys.”

Let’s get in the weekend-ish mood with a little TGIF reflection! If you haven’t been here before, here’s how TGIF posts work:

  • T – Truth: Tell me something you learned about yourself this week.
  • G – Growth: Describe one way in which you grew this week, whether it’s in the direction of a goal or something unexpected.
  • I – Inspiration: List one thing that inspired you this week.
  • F – Fun: Talk about what you did to have FUN this week!

I’ll start us off, then please share your own TGIF in the comments!


When in doubt, I can always turn to Princess Belle.

If you know me outside of this blog (or maybe a few posts have cued you into this fun fact), you know that I’m a huge fan of Disney Princesses, particularly of Princess Belle (Beauty and the Beast for those of you who are seriously out of the loop). Recently I’ve come to realize that Princess Belle isn’t just a fangirl thing – she is actually someone who keeps me incredibly grounded.

That might sound ridiculous, but hear me out.

How Princess Belle serves as my inner mentor
I even looked to Belle as a troubled college girl 🙂

Y’all know that I’ve been working on improving my confidence for some time, and I’ve learned that accepting your true, authentic self is key to expressing it confidently. Well, Belle helps me stay true to my authentic self because I resonate with her.

She’s always trollying around the village with her nose in a book while the rest of the townies are getting drunk and whining. As someone who has been caught reading a book in a bar, I can respect that Princess Belle stays true to her own desires while they may not be the norm. Even though she is made fun of, she is accepting and kind towards everyone.

That is how I aim to treat people as well. Thus, I look to Belle as a sort of inner mentor. I even play the Belle introduction song from Beauty and the Beast (Emma Watson version, obviously) every morning after Kyle leaves for work to get in a fun state of mind. I don’t know how willingly I should tell people that, but I’m not ashamed. #vulnerability

Belle reminds me to be authentic, to be more of who I am and to have fun. This week, calling on Belle even won me a prize and helped me towards a bigger goal, which leads me to…


Alright, how did Princess Belle help me grow towards my goals? It happened when I attended my first Toastmaster’s meeting earlier this week. Toastmasters!!

I had been thinking about joining the personal development program for some time, but the idea of it has always terrified me. It still does.

Toastmasters is an international organization with individual chapters that help people develop communication and speaking skills. Finally attending one of these meetings was another step toward a goal I have to speak to women on the topics of body image and eating disorder recovery.

Being that it was my first meeting, I didn’t think I’d actually have to speak. But holy cow, the San Tan Toastmasters group made me feel so comfortable and welcomed that it only felt natural to use my voice.

Part of the meeting is that everyone gives a 1-2 minute impromptu speech on a topic that is announced just minutes before – “Table Topics,” it’s called. The topic was superheroes – why a certain superhero was the best over others. The Table Topics master told me I could participate if I wanted to, promising that I wouldn’t run out of the room crying. I asked him, how can you guarantee that?!

Afraid for my life, I thought – what would Belle do?

Suddenly, I had my speech. Obviously, the yellow-dressed Disney princess is the best superhero of all time.

And the super-nice people of San Tan Toastmasters must like Belle too, because they voted me the Table Topics winner! Whether they were just being nice or not, I am keeping this little ribbon forever!


Enough about Belle for now, because something aside from her natural generosity and awesomeness has been inspiring me throughout the week. A few days ago I read this wonderful post by Davida of The Healthy Maven, titled Why I Won’t Be Losing Weight for My Wedding. Since most girls are likely searching the web for “How to Lose Weight for the Wedding,” Davida’s headline definitely stands out.

Her story and message are spot on with what we’re all about here at Naturally Ever After. She wants to enjoy the moment as she is, completely comfortable and accepting of her body. She doesn’t want to deprive herself of bridal goodness or waste her energy worrying about her weight. As you probably know, there are plenty of other things to think about when planning a wedding.

I know it’s hard not to think about your body weight for your wedding, when all eyes are going to be on you and you’ll look back at the pictures for the rest of your life. But Davida’s article reminds you to focus on your well-being. Being a bride is stressful – eat to take care of yourself rather than to change yourself.

If you or anyone you know is in wedding-planning mode, read this article.


From a trip home to a full week of meetups, I had all kinds of fun this past week! And I really noticed a difference in my stress levels over the past few days. Whether it was from having a little quality family time or getting out and doing different things during the week, I am feeling super chill in the midst of an endless to-do list.

Quality time with the bro

At night, I usually do more work after dinner, but this week I was busy with some social things I found on Meetup, like a book club and a happy hour, and they were so fun!

The 2 sisters I gained when I became a Barichello 🙂 Hard to believe Maddie was 10 when I started dating Kyle, now she’s off to homecoming…with a boy!

I’m typically an introvert and I tried to talk myself out of going to each one of these. But I’m so glad I didn’t listen to Mrs. Blah (that’s Kyle’s nickname for me when I’m not being my Princess-Belle self). It has been good for me to get out there and socialize after a day spent at home behind the computer. As a result, I am feeling more balanced and less overwhelmed!

Your Turn

Now you go! Share your TGIF reflection by leaving a comment here or over on the Naturally Ever After Facebook Page.

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