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Friday, September 21, 2018

Amazon: What I Ordered vs. What I Got.

Amazon has always been a favorite of mine, but having a toddler has taken my love affair to a whole new level. When it comes to deciding whether to try things on while my two-year-old escapes under the dressing room door or have things delivered to my house in two days and try them on in my own room, the answer is clear. 

Like most things in life, you win some, you lose some. Let's take a look. PS: These are affiliate links, which means if you click them I will make approximately four cents. 


Lemon two-piece skirt set. O B S E S S E D. I've worn this so many times already and am already thinking about how I can wear it year-round (with booties and a jean jacket, thank you very much). It's so comfy, so stretchy, and so flattering. It's easily worn as a crop OR with no stomach me some versatility. And lemon is such a happy print! I got a small. It's super stretchy, so if you're unsure about what size to order, I'd size down!

Rainbow striped dress. I love this dress. This dress is my life now. Thank you, that is all, goodbye. In all seriousness, I'm such a fan of this dress. It reminds of something Free People would beachy and airy and so comfortable. I love the bright stripes, and it's super's a perfect beach or pool coverup, would look adorable with booties and a jacket, and is so dang cute with sneakers. I got a medium. It's baggy, but I wanted a smidge more length in the front, so I sized up.

Cat-eye heart sunglasses. Not much to say about these beauties other than if you've seen me out and about in the last month, I was probably wearing them. They're so much fun and make me feel way cooler than I actually am. 


Sometimes, the losers are so bad that pictures are not even a possibility. This is one of those times. 

Striped two-piece set. I ordered a small, but the top was giant. GIANT. It was adorable, but it was so big that there was no making it work. Back it went.  

Two-piece cactus set. I ordered a small and could not even get the shorts past my knees, so there's that.  

What's your most recent Amazon win (or fail)? 
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

It's All Messy. It's All Perfect.

One of my best friends, Kristen, is an EXTREMELY talented photographer. So when she suggested a shoot with me and my little bub and a piano in the middle of a field, I was so down. I bought outfits (complete with suspenders and a hat for Jack, because, duh), did my hair and makeup, and I was READY. 

You know who wasn't ready? Jack. He was NOT having it. That picture up there? That's him screaming and sobbing like someone was trying to murder him instead of take his pictures. 

The hat I bought him? He wore it for exactly O N E picture. And he looks super thrilled about it, see: 

It was hot and muggy and buggy. My beach waves I spent forever putting in my hair vanished pretty dang fast. And then, just a few minutes after Jack finally warmed up to the whole idea (if you could call it that), he LEPT off of the piano, onto my face, wiping what was left of my makeup off onto his white shirt, causing this situation: 

It was messy. So dang messy. And these pictures? 

They're perfect. So dang perfect.

They're beatiful, of course, because we had a talented photographer. But they're perfect because they capture me and Jack as we are, right now in life. He is messy and needy and a toddler and clingy and hilarious and full of so much love. Me, my hair is messy and my makeup is sometimes there, sometimes not. I'm stressed and tired and need a minute and my heart is EXPLODING on the daily with how much I love this little guy. 

I will treasure these forever. I will frame them and print them and look back on them and love them forever. Because they're us: My little best bud and me. My wild child. My tiny little love. Us. 

If you have a babe of your own, please get your pictures taken. If I wasn't so lucky to have Kristen, I probably wouldn't have ever thought to do this. I feel like mom + son pictures aren't really a thing, you know? Mom + daughter pictures, maybe. Family pictures, for sure. But I never would have thought this was something I should spend money on. But these are priceless.  

Get behind the camera. Don't wait for a special occasion. Get someone to snap some memories, right now, just as things are. This stage, whatever stage it is, however messy it is, deserves to be captured.

It's all messy. It's all perfect.

And, if you're in Jacksonville (or Florida, or anywhere - my girl travels!), get behind Kristen's camera. You can check her business out at K. White Photography
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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Celebrate Your Success.

I've mentioned my group text before, and how it is the stuff bff dreams are made of. Daily memes, outfit pictures, medical questions we're too afraid to google for ourselves. But one theme that runs so deep is that we celebrate each other, big things and small things. 

Yesterday, one of my friends (she's in the coastguard) won a pretty big award. She shared it in the group text and we went into celebration mode. You are amazing! So proud of you! Where is the ceremony? Oh, we're buying tickets! It was fun and exciting and full of building a friend up and celebrating her for an achievement. 

And today, it's made me think: Why don't we do that for ourselves?

I don't say this to brag, I say this because #reallife, and I'm betting it's your real life too: I do a lot. Like, a lot a lot. On a normal day, by the time I go to bed every night, I have: raised an actual human, worked a full time job, tried to put my house in some kind of order, cooked dinner, and a bunch of little other things, like wrote blogs or mailed out poshmark packages or tried to write a few pages or worked out. 

And do you know what my thought is when my head hits the pillow, nine out of ten times? 

I think of all the things I didn't do. 

WHY? Why do we do that? 

We are strong and amazing and capable of so freaking much. We DO so freaking much. But instead of celebrating ourselves, we think of all the ways we've failed, all the ways we could have been better, all the things we didn't get done.

Can you imagine, if my friend had texted her excited news to the group, and we had responded, "oh, that's nice. How much longer until you win ____ award?" Or, "good job, but I noticed how messy your house was. Get it together." Or, "it doesn't really seem like that big of a deal to me, get over it." WHAT?! We would never!

...But don't we do that to ourselves? 

Celebrate your successes, please. The big ones, duh. But also the small ones. Celebrating the small successes can honestly be the best motivation you need to keep going, to one day get to the big successes. 

If you're writing a book, don't wait until the whole dang thing has been written to celebrate your hard work. Celebrate every chapter you finish! If you're working on a huge project, don't beat yourself up for every day you've yet to finish it, celebrate how much work you got done that day. If your kid still isn't sleeping through the night and you think you might be losing your mind, don't wait until you're both well-rested and in great moods to congratulate yourself on being a good parent, celebrate the fact they said please and thank you, or shared without being asked. 

You're wonderful. Celebrate it. 

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Monday, September 17, 2018

You Know I Love A Good Live Blog.

When I first started blogging, it was like a year before I even knew you could schedule blogs ahead of time. So if there was a blog posted, it was written that day. And while my neverending desire to get my life organized loves being able to schedule things head of time, I do love writing + posting in the moment when it can happen. It feels more like we're all hanging out, you know? 

This morning, I'm drinking vanilla maple coffee (still going strong with the black coffee!) with cinnamon and it might be my favorite non-pumpkin coffee to date. I got it on a whim at TJ Maxx and I'm definitely going back to stock up before it's all gone. 

Speaking of coffee, I've got a new favorite thing: Blended coffee protein shakes. A cup of your favorite coffee + a scoop of your favorite protein powder + ice. Blend that baby up and it tastes like a frappucino, except it's actually healthy. Over the weekend I blended pumpkin spice coffee with vanilla protein powder and it was so delicious. 

How was your weekend? On Friday, my friend Sam took off work (bless a job that offers mental health days as well as sick days) and we had a girls day. We both got our hair cut (it was the first time I've had mine cut since a year ago when it was accidentally chopped to my chin, but that's a story for another day). When you've got a good cut, everything else feels more put together, am I right? I just got a trim and some fresh layers, but I feel like a new woman who could take on the WORLD. 

Speaking of taking on the world, I'm trying something new in terms of to-do lists this week. Instead of working on all the things every day, I'm going to dedicate a day a week to an area of my to-do list. So on one day, go super hard on blogging, another day, get my house together, another day, write my butt off. I'll report back, but I'm hopeful that I'll be more productive this way. We shall see!

I hope you have the best, most productive, most enjoyable week. Starting today, make yourself proud of how you spend this week!

 PS: If you're in the path of this awful storm, know you're in my thoughts and I'm praying for you. 

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

On Big Dreams + Small Dreams + In-Between Dreams + YOUR Dreams.

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We live in an age of following your dreams. Self-help books, podcasts and blog posts about chasing after what you want are not in short supply. 

Personally, I love it. I love the era we're in of you can do anything and no dream too big and look how far she came and look how much she accomplished. I think it's so great. 

I also think that for some of us, it can be a little overwhelming. It can cause bouts of comparison. It can cause self-doubt. It can cause us to start looking at what we want out of our own life and holding it up next to a stranger and what they want out of their life. It can make us start to think things like that's too much or that's so small and stupid or I'll never actually get this done or this doesn't really matter.

But it does. 

Let's say someone has a dream of having this really awesome t-shirt company with inspirational tees. It's their dream to sell tons and tons of shirts to inspire tons and tons of people. That's awesome. What a good dream! Now, let's say you have a dream of having this really awesome t-shirt company with inspirational tees. It's your dream to sell tons and tons of shirts to make tons and tons of money so you can buy all the things and go on all the trips. That's awesome. What a good dream!

If your dream is joining an MLM and selling makeup or smoothies or shampoo? Chase it! I'm in your corner.

If your dream is writing and publishing a best-selling book? Chase it! I'm in your corner. 

If your dream is to go back to school and change careers completely? Chase it! I'm in your corner. 

If your dream is to have the magical homelife you've always wanted, with a beautiful house and happy babies and a heart that explodes with happiness every night because you love your home so much? Chase it! I'm in your corner. 

Sell and write and make and do and change and speak and act and hustle and be and chase. 

Whatever you want, chase it. Whatever your heart desires out of this one life we get, chase after that. 

Don't ask if it's too big. Don't ask if it's too small. It's yours. It matters because it's yours. 

Now, one more thing on this subject. Let's say you don't understand someone else's dream. Or you don't agree with it, or you think it's too small, or you think it's stupid, or you think it's so much better than yours, or you just don't like it. You get to say one thing about this. Are you ready? Repeat after me: Good for them, not for me. 

You don't understand why someone would want to stay at home and raise babies with their life? Good for her, not for me. 

You don't understand why someone would want to join an MLM and sell health products? Good for him, not for me. 

You don't understand why someone would get up before the sun every day so they could hustle for a dream that's still far out of reach? Good for them, not for me. 

You don't understand why someone would spend their weekends taking pictures for their Instagram so they can get a bigger following? Good for them, not for me. 

Good for them. Good for them. Good for them. Not for me, but good for them. 

And hey, it doesn't matter what they're doing've got that own dream of yours to chase. 

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Monday, September 10, 2018

A Little September Coffee Date

Happy Monday! I woke up today feeling super motivated to get things done and make some progress on some goals I've been working on. What about you? Feeling inspired to do all the things, or feeling sluggish and already irritated at Monday? Either way, chug yourself some coffee and make it work! And while you're chugging that coffee, let's have a quick little coffee date and catch up. 

Speaking of coffee, I raided my TJ Maxx last week and found the most delicious coffees. Pumpkin spice (of course), pumpkin pie (somehow different than pumpkin spice), vanilla nut creme, and Vermont maple. My house smells like fall every time I make a pot of coffee and I love it so much. Fall flavors are just my favorite things. So much cozy in a cup!

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you how much I'm enjoying the RISE podcast. I love when people in prominent positions are interviewed and asked to give actionable advice that can really help everyone listening. Rachel Hollis interviews all sorts of big shots, but she breaks it down where you really feel like you're getting a one-on-one coaching session with them. The last one I listened to, she interviewed her literary agent. It was so good!

I'd also ask if you've heard of The Last 90 Days Challenge. It starts in October and is about ending the year strong. You commit to doing a couple of specific things to better yourself over the last 90 days of the year. I love the idea of that, because I feel like so many of us (me included) use the promise of an upcoming new year to let the end of the year kind of crumble goal-wise. I love the holidays so much, but I think I'd love them more if I went into them focused, healthy, and strong. 

I'd tell you how much I love this time of year. It's summer AND it's fall. It's pumpkin spice AND pool days. It's just this perfect slice of the year where my two favorite seasons combine, and it makes me so happy. 

Your turn! What's going on with you? Have the BEST day! 
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Friday, September 7, 2018

Sometimes You're The Dog, Sometimes You're The Tree.

"Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes the tree." That's Cam Eubanks' instagram bio and I laugh every time I see it, and every time I read it, it reminds me of parenthood. 

Let me paint you a picture of my Saturday. 

On my way to meet my friend Sam at the mall, Jack passed our hard. This was perfect, because he slept in his stroller all through our shopping. When we were done and he was still sleeping, I decided to get a little greedy and extend the trip to TJ Maxx. 

I was fighting the leftovers of a migraine, so I swung through the drive-thru on my way and ordered an extra-large diet coke. I was at TJ Maxx before I realized my giant, oversized cup did not come with a straw, so after a few messy tries of sipping out of the side of the monster cup, I left in in the car. Now, I'm gonna stop past me right here and tell her that she should have accepted this bad omen and driven her still-sleeping kid straight home where she has plenty of straws.

Instead, I went into TJ Maxx, where Jack woke up almost instantly. After a few minutes of a fussy toddler, I think he might be telling me he has to go to the bathroom. The joys of potty training, you know?

I'm trying to fit the stroller through the bathroom door when he runs ahead and locks himself in a stall. Okay, not ideal, but at least he's taking initiative! Positivity! I try to unlock the door from the outside, no luck. I knock on the door and ask him to unlock it and am met with an emphatic, "nope!" Luckily, no one else was in there, so I decided to wait a minute and let him do his thing. 

After a minute or two, I knocked on the door again. This time I was met with silence, which everyone knows is way worse than a "nope!" Okay, time to escalate this. 

As someone who frequently locks myself out of dressing rooms, I'm no stranger to this move. I mean, it's not usually on a sticky public bathroom floor, but I just won't think about that. I lay on the floor and slide under the door...except I don't. Instead, I get stuck. I don't fit under this door. From this angle, though, I can see Jack.

This child is butt naked. Just standing there, chillin' with the toilet, sans clothes.

Now, there are not many times I wonder what my life would look without a kid. But I'd be lying to you if I said that the thought didn't cross my mind, while laying on a dirty bathroom floor, stuck under a stall, staring at a naked toddler: I wonder what all the non-moms are doing this fine Saturday?

Of course, my thought was interrupted by someone coming in to use the bathroom. I tried to gracefully remove myself from my stuck position, but I'm sure it looked more like a wild animal scurrying away from something. I tried to explain what was going on, but she didn't care, and just waved me off while going into the stall next to Jack. 

I'm standing outside Jack's stall, trying to figure out my next move, when she screams.


Turns out, while I was too big to climb under the stall, Jack was not. But instead of climbing out to me, he climbed into a strangers stall. 

Me: I'm so sorry!
Her: He's naked!
Me: He's potty training!
Her: He's naked!
Me: He's naked. 

The screaming sent Jack right back into his stall, and I had to shamefully avoid eye contact while the woman came out glaring at me. A few minutes later, I thought to use my keys to try to pop the lock open, and it worked like a charm. 

I have never fled a TJ Maxx so fast in my life. But, in my hustle to get the heck outta there, I pulled onto the highway before I realized Jack was holding my keys. "Hey, Mama!"

He threw them to me and they landed in the giant, uncovered cup of diet coke, which then went all over my car, my clothes, my face, and in my eyes. Happy Saturday to me.

What can I say? Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the tree. 
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