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I know I can’t be the only one who has spent the majority of my life in horrible fear of vulnerability.

It’s scary.

Opening ourselves up and exposing who we really are feels like a sure-fire way to get hurt. When we’re living underneath a facade, being judged, unaccepted or unloved doesn’t have quite the same effect…because the person being hurt isn’t really us.  So we live a life of “pain-prevention” , build up walls around our hearts and minds and allow very few [if any] people to ever get a peak inside.

Because what lies behind those walls is vulnerability.

But that’s not all that we’re hiding. Without the ability to feel pain, we also numb ourselves of the ability to feel joy and happiness. We seclude ourselves into a safe-haven of comfort and certainty and refuse to open up…refuse to truly feel. The confident, care-free and comfortable soul we had and shared as children becomes hard, reclusive and defensive. Because it’s easier. There is no uncertainty. There is no unbearable hurt…but there is also no unbelievable joy.

So, today I challenge you to slowly start breaking down your walls. It’s a process that surely won’t happen overnight…or even in a matter of days, weeks or years. Actually, we will probably never rid ourselves of them completely and that’s okay. Just break off a chip. Smile at a stranger. Hug your parents. Tell your friends you appreciate them. Allow yourself to love and be loved.

If nothing else, challenge yourself to stop watching your life from the sidelines and jump in to feel it. Even if only for a moment. That moment will lead to two and three and days and weeks. So, take a breathe, count to three and give yourself permission to break free.

I’ll be right there with you.

Here’s to breaking down the walls…


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So, I did something over the weekend that 98% of the people in my life have said was “unpractical”…

I got a puppy. 

IMG_7099Meet Bentley. He’s a 10-week old, 2.75lb ball of joy and sweetness.

I found out about him on Friday, decided within an hour that I would adopt him and brought him home Sunday morning. I’ve had him now for 24 brief hours and he has already stolen my heart.

When I say that this is something I’ve been wanting for a looong time, I’m not exaggerating. I’ve literally been praying, hoping, wishing and begging for a puppy to call my own since I lost my last baby, Clifford, over 3-years ago. There’s just something about having a dog that makes me feel “whole” and, even though the timing may seem impractical, I think it was absolutely perfect.

IMG_7110Over the past few months, I’ve alluded to the fact that my mental health is struggling. It’s something I’ve dealt with for the majority of my life; however, in the last 6-months it has worsened for reasons I can’t really seem to identify. My stress and anxiety has increased and “sad” days are happening much more frequently. It’s hard. Anyone who has battled anxiety and depression understands that sometimes it just feels out of control…no matter how hard you try to fix it.

Last Monday, I decided to sit down and make a list of all the things that bring me joy. This is something I’ve done before but not for some time, and not since I moved out of LA. I quickly realized that animals trumped nearly everything else. I thought it was very interesting and decided I would finally adopt the puppy I’ve been dreaming about if and when the opportunity came and it felt right. Little did I know that moment would come in a matter of days. :)

FullSizeRender (2)While it may appear that I adopted Bentley for selfish reasons, it’s actually quite the opposite. I adopted him as a reminder to be selfless. He’s a place for me to pour all of my love and a reminder that life doesn’t have to be so complicated. All of my stresses suddenly seem manageable because I’m focused on loving and caring for him. No matter what happens, I will make sure he is fed, walked, healthy and happy…and that gives me a purpose outside of my own mind.

In the past 24-hours, I have smiled and laughed more than I have in months and I have Bentley to thank for that. He and Lionel are my everything and I feel so blessed to be in a position where I’m able to open up my heart and home to two precious little fur babies.

IMG_7153For anyone struggling mentally or emotionally, animals. Love them. Care for them. Pour yourself into them. The love, loyalty and light you receive in return is unlike anything else in the world.

Here’s to puppy love…


Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmysue

Okay, you people that manage to blog when life gets super unbelievably crazy, I SALUTE YOU.

It is hard. Really hard. But I’m trying. I’m beginning to see how much using an editorial calendar helps me stay on track. So I’ve got a new planner in hand and some serious motivation. Let’s do this.


In the past 24-hours, I’ve thought long and hard about WHY I started this blog almost 3-years ago.

I truly believe that bliss looks different for everyone and that it is within reach for all of us. I’ve gone through my fair share of hardships and struggles in my short 23-years and, while I wouldn’t wish those things on anyone, I know I’m not alone. You aren’t either. Life is really hard sometimes and feelings of exhaustion, defeat and depression can hit us hard, take us down and keep us there easier than we’d like to believe. Humans are fragile by nature, so how we handle pain and adversity is what defines us. We either let it break us, weaken us or strengthen us…and if my words and past experiences can help one person become a little bit stronger, it was all worth it.

At it’s core, that’s what buildmybliss.com is all about. I’ll continue to share the same variety of content that I always have, but I want the underlying theme to always come back to one thing…

You can do this.

Whatever you’re facing…no matter how lost or hopeless you feel, you can [and will] get through it. There is more strength within you than you can even imagine– it’s a matter of learning how to utilize it. Your strength is your power, your kindness is your gift and your happiness is your bliss.

I also want everyone to know that I’m always an email or text away. If you’re struggling, need a friend or just need to vent for a few minutes, I’m here. I’m far from perfect and I’m still learning myself, but finding a person who understands your struggle can be one of the biggest building blocks to freedom and success. Email me anytime, 24/7 at dryden.emily(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Here’s to bliss…


Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmysue

By now, I’m sure that many of you have seen (or at least heard about) the controversial video that was posted by YouTube “comedian” Nicole Arbour last week.

The rant-style video entitled “Dear Fat People” has caused quite the uproar and [allegedly] also led YouTube to temporarily suspend her account (read about the other speculations here). Whether or not YouTube actually did step in, the harmful nature of the video speaks for itself…

8bbf40d95d926740861f3ca3f553b0feI’m not going to get into the technical inaccuracies of the video. We all know that there are a variety of health issues that can cause a person to gain weight quickly and unexpectedly and that a person’s health isn’t necessarily defined by their jean size. Every person has a past that has led them to where they are today and it is ignorant to assume that every overweight person excessively eats McDonalds and Krispy Kreme Donuts every chance they get. That’s just not how it works.

But like I said, that’s not what I’m here to talk about…

What I want to talk about is WHY this type of thing would ever be considered “funny”.

In a world where children, teens, young adults and grown men and women are constantly falling victim to depression, self-harm and suicide due to prejudices and bullying, why would anyone think it’s okay to then shine a judgmental spotlight on the overweight population? Who does it benefit? No one. Cyber-bulling is still cyber-bullying whether it’s coming from an anonymous instagram account or a very popular YouTube star. It’s painful, hurtful and dangerous, no matter who the source is.

As someone who has dealt with body-image issues my whole life, I can say that hearing overweight OR underweight people shamed for their bodies makes me sick. It’s hard enough to love ourselves in this overly-critical world and and I can’t believe than anyone (let alone a female) would come along and choose to make it even harder.


We should be loving, supporting and encouraging one another through the good times and the bad. We should encourage those around us, no matter what size or shape they are, to nourish their bodies and find a weight that makes them happy and healthy.

We should live to inspire others through positivity, not criticism. 

Here’s to never-shaming, ever-loving…


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I rarely post reviews on Build Your Bliss. I do sometimes like to mention products and companies that I support but I never, ever want this blog to feel like a giant advertisement.

That being said, sometimes a company (or person) comes along that changes your life and you becomes so passionate about it that you have to share.

That’s how I feel about 3S Fitness.


3S Fitness is an online training + nutrition program owned and operated by Abby Esbenshade, who I fell in love with when I started following her on Instagram and YouTube a few months ago. She’s motivating, relatable, knowledgeable and…um, gorgeous!


3S Fitness –> Strength, Sweat and Soul

After tossing around the idea of joining 3S Fitness for a month or two, I finally bit the bullet and did it during August and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Being a part of this family has made me feel more “at home” than I have in…as long as I can remember.

Joining the 3S Fit Family is so much more than just receiving a cookie-cutter workout regime and meal-plan from some “fit chick” on Instagram (which a lot of training programs are these days!). Upon signing up, not only do you receive a exercise plan tailored to your goals, schedule, lifestyle and gym accessibility, Abby also creates a detailed meal-plan (with goal macros listed!) and is reachable 24/7 via text, email or the unbelievable Trainerize app which she uses to track all of your progress.

Now, that’s amazing as it is, but the best part of the entire thing? By joining, you get a true fitness family. You’re immediately invited into her closed 3S Fitness Facebook group, given an Accountability Buddy and welcomed into a family of women who are there to inspire you, motivate you and share with you in the struggles and triumphs of leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

In not-so-many words, 3S Fitness is just absolutely unbelievable.

IMG_6576Yes, I work in a gym. Yes, I know a lot about fitness. And yes, I’m studying to get my NASM Certification. But that doesn’t mean I don’t lack motivation sometimes and don’t need to be held accountable for my nutrition choices. Plus, I frequently need a kick in the rear to push myself and change up my workout routine. That’s what 3S Fitness is for me- imagine what it can be for you.

Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, tone up, maintain or just simply feel better, Abby will put together an unbelievable program for you. The way I see it, 3S is fitness, diet and lifestyle guidance all wrapped up in a beautiful, encouraging package and tied together with the support of some of the most inspiring women I’ve ever encountered in my life.

ef310f37f43bd8d8a7df1972b6884ff1Please feel free to comment below or email me with any questions you may have about the program. And when you do sign up, let me know! I would love to see some of your beautiful faces there.

For 10% off of your first month with 3S Fitness, use code EMILYFIT at checkout!

Here’s to finding a true [fitness] family…


Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmysue

**Disclaimer: I purchased and have paid in-full for my training with 3S Fitness and I was not compensated for this post. I am a brand ambassador; however, I am not employed by 3S Fitness and my opinions are based solely on my personal experience with the company. 

Well, I haven’t posted much about food on here in…years?

I’ve talked a few times about my journey towards having a balanced relationship with food but I’ve rarely shown the foods I’m actually eating. There are two reasons for that. Reason #1: I’m horrible at remembering to take pictures of my food– when I’m hungry, I wanna eat. Reason #2: It can be a breeding ground for comparison. All of our bodies, genetics, metabolisms and activity levels are different which means that a healthy and nourishing diet for one person, may not be for the next.

That being said, I will never, ever post a “Full Day of Eating” on Build Your Bliss. I did in the past (back in 2013, I believe) which were the days of living on the same rabbit’s diet day-in and day-out and wondering why I was always tired and grumpy. I assure you, I eat plenty now and my diet varies quite a bit from day to day. My meals are simple because I rarely ever get to eat at home #fulltimejobprobz and, when it comes to meal-prepping, I’m lazy. Plus, I like simpler foods. I’ve always been that way. Do I generally try to make healthy choices? Of course! 90% of the time, I opt for foods that I know will leave me feeling good and, the other 10%, I say to-hell-with-it and enjoy whatever I might be craving. Of course, some weeks that percentage gets a little skewed. This past week, for example, my sister and I have ordered pizza 3 (yes, THREE) times…oops. Emotionally, it has been an exhausting few weeks and that’s just how things played out. And you know what? I enjoyed every freakin’ bite. For me, that’s balance. You have to find what works for you.

Alright, enough chit-chat.

Here are a few random meals and snacks that I managed to snap over the past week or so. Some greens, some caffeine and some ice-cream ;)


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What does a “balanced diet” look like for you?

Here’s to eating foods we actually enjoy…


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