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Monday, June 17, 2019

A Different Kind of Pep Talk.

I write a lot of pep talks on here. Someone recently asked me if I could pick one thing for people to take away from my blog, what would it be. My answer was, "That I'm in their corner and I'm cheering them on." That's the reason I love writing mini pep talks in the form of blog post. 

Today's is a little different, though. 

While I won't publish this until next week, I'm writing this a few days after a heart-wrenching funeral.   

And the last few days, I've wondered - how do you go on after that? After you see something so devastating. After you see people you love broken, split right in two by tragedy. How do you get to a place where you see life as good when you just saw how fast it can be over? 

Hell if I know.

All I know is this: You can. And you have to. 

You can. Even when it really, really hurts. You are strong, even when it feels like you are two seconds away from breaking. You are able, even when you feel helpless. You are a warrior, even when you feel your absolute weakest. And most importantly: It's okay to believe these things even when you don't feel them. 

The phrase, life has ups and downs doesn't seem fitting enough. More like, life has magical mountaintops and valleys in the very pit of hell. And you don't have to understand them to keep going. You don't even have to have a positive outlook to keep going. There are some things a positive outlook just doesn't exist for. 

I don't think it's always about finding hope and joy and motivation. Those things are so wonderful, but you don't always have to find them. Sometimes, you just have to be willing to be open to looking for them. 

So if you're a little down lately, I want to say that I see you and I feel where you're at. If you're a lot down lately, I see you and I feel where you're at. If it feels like you're immersed in total darkness, like the lights are never, ever going to come back on...I see you and I feel where you're at.

It's okay to not be alight. It's okay to hurt. It's okay to not see a bright side anywhere in sight. Trust me, some things have no bright side. 

So our pep talk today isn't the happiest I've ever written. It's certainly not about being happy and getting up and doing all of the things. 

Today, it's just a little reminder that you're not alone. We all go through these seriously tough things. 
It's okay to be terrified of the dark and at the same time have no idea how you'll ever turn a light on. 

Today's pep talk is this: Sit in the dark for however long you need to. Just please, please don't lose sight that one day, the light will shine in again. 

It will. 

I love you.

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Friday, June 7, 2019

A Little Friday Coffee Date.

my new favorite top

Well, first of all, if we were having a real life coffee date right now, it would mean you were also on a plane to Texas. Which would be a little weird, but that's neither here nor there. Also, we would absolutely not be drinking airplane coffee. I had a bad experience when I was pregnant, and I can't even look at airplane coffee anymore without my stomach turning. If I want to drink coffee on the plane, I've got to get it from Starbucks before I board. Weird, the things that stick with you, isn't it? 

Anyway, I'd tell you all about my trip and how it's the brightest spot after a really sad couple of weeks. I'd tell you that I desperately want to fix everything for everyone I love. I want to take away every single bit of pain that a devastating loss caused. I can't. We know that. But I can say hey, let's go eat tacos in Texas together. So that's what we're doing. 

I'd tell you that I'm most excited for, in no particular order: Tacos (obvs), thrifting in a new state, and seeing one of my favorite bands live. The thought of dancing to some of my favorite songs in a BBQ venue in Texas with some of my favorite people could make me burst into tears of joy. 

I'd tell you that we left for the airport at 3:00 this morning, so I'm not even sure what I need right now...more coffee? A cheeseburger? A Tylenol PM? One of each? Help. 

I'd tell you all about The Red Closet Shop. My best friend discovered them a few weeks ago on instagram and my life will never be the same. Their clothes are SO stinking cute and fun and I will basically be head to toe Red Closet Shop for my entire trip. If you want to see the things I ordered, check out my "try on" highlight on instagram!

I'd tell you that I'm finally seeing an liiiiiittle bit of progress on a goal I've been working on seemingly forever: Caring less about what people think. Slowly but surely I'm getting better at worrying more about how I feel about me and less about what others might possibly be feeling about me. Baby steps, but it feels really freaking good. 

Your turn! What's going on with you? 

I hope you have the best weekend ever!

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

My Favorite Things I Discovered in May.

Brazilian crush body spray || This smells like PURE SUMMER and I can't get enough of it. If you've ever tried (and been obsessed with the smell of) the Sol De Janeiro bum bum cream, this is for you! 

Moon cheese || In an effort to eat less carbs during the week, I've tried to replace my desperate need for chips with things like cheese. But sometimes you just need something crunchy and salty, you know? These do the job.

Lavender body oil || I've been basically bathing myself in this before bed. The smell helps me fall asleep (no easy task, let me tell ya) and I wake up to the softest skin ever. 

This blow out cream || I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: I have used this to actually dry my hair approximately one time. The rest of the times, I've been putting it in my hair while it's still wet and just letting it dry. It's SO GOOD. Something about it fights the insane humidity that will be here from now until Christmas (thanks, Florida). It makes my hair not frizzy without weighing it down. And it also is a really good actual blow out cream, if you have your life together enough to blow dry your hair (aka, not me). 

Birthday cake almond butter || This tastes just like birthday cake, but it's almond butter. I've been adding it to my smoothies and it makes them taste like a cake batter milkshake. SO GOOD. 

What did you discover in May?
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Monday, June 3, 2019

Books I Read on Vacation (And Whether or Not You Should Read Them).

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Plot: "Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up
— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened." -via Goodreads

Favorite quote: “Every incident chips away at your limit. Every time you choose to stay, it makes the next time that much harder to leave. Eventually, you lose sight of your limit altogether, because you start to think, ‘I’ve lasted five years now. What’s five more?” 

My thoughts: I am officially a Colleen Hoover Stan. I cannot get over her writing, how raw and real and GOOD it is. This book was no exception. She wrote about hard, heartbreaking things that lots of women go through in such a realistic way. The story was incredible. I couldn't devour it fast enough.

Should you read it? Yes! Note: Contains scenes of abuse

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover 

Plot: "Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?" -via Goodreads

Favorite quote: “When you meet someone who is good for you, they won’t fill you with insecurities by focusing on your flaws. They’ll fill you with inspiration, because they’ll focus on all the best parts of you.” 

My thoughts: I could weep about this book forever (in the very best way). It was beautiful. BEAUTIFUL. I've never read a book that so perfectly captured a real life marriage with real life issues. 

Should you read it? YES. Absolutely yes.

The Suspect by Fiona Barton

Plot: "The police belonged to another world – the world they saw on the television or in the papers. Not theirs.

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years since he left home to go traveling. This time it’s personal.

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think . . ." -Via Goodreads

My thoughts: This was an okay mystery. Not the best, not the worst. A few twists. Just a good old fashioned whodunit, you know? I read it on the beach and it passed the time just fine. This is a standalone, but with characters from a series I've never read. I may have appreciated it more had I read the other books. 

Should you read it? Sure! It was interesting and I wanted to finish it, but it didn't blow me away.

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Plot: "THEN: She was fifteen, her mother's golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone. 

NOW: It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.

And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a cafĂ© and sweeps Laurel off her feet. 

Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. 

Poppy is precocious and pretty - and meeting her completely takes Laurel's breath away. 

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back. 

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? Who still has secrets to hide?" -Via Goodreads

Favorite quote: “When I read a book it feels like real life and when I put the book down it's like I go back into the dream.” 

My thoughts: I honestly need someone to read this just so I can talk to you about it. Like, what a crazy (and I really don't know if I mean good crazy or just crazy crazy) concept for a book. All of the things I want to say here are spoilers, so this is a hard one to talk about.

Should you read it? Yes. Then tell me so we can talk about it. 

What have you read lately?! Tell me so I can add it to my list! 
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Friday, May 24, 2019

Be Your Own Dang Support System Today.

I love a good support system. Friends or family or anybody who believes in you and cheers you on, there's nothing like it. 


You HAVE to learn how to be a support for yourself. To be your own cheerleader. 

I'm learning this big time. I love writing about things I'm currently learning, because it's kind of like we're all in this together, you know? 

I'll say this: I have an incredible support system. Family that has my back no matter what and friendships people write books about and DANG I just love them. But if I'm not also supporting myself, then that doesn't really matter, does it? And if I'm my own support system, then outside support and cheerleaders are extra icing on the cake. And who doesn't love a little extra icing?

So far, here's what I'm learning about how to be my own supports system:

Talk about it. || Talk about what you need. What you're working on. What your dreams are. How you've succeeded. How you're trying. Talk about it often. Whether to others or just to yourself, keep it at the forefront.

Encourage yourself. || With your words, with your actions, with your thoughts. Every time you think you can't do it, remind yourself that you can. Every time you face something difficult, remind yourself of all the difficult things you've already survived. Turning to a friend for encouragement is a wonderful option. But being able to encourage yourself? That's the JAM. 

Speak highly of yourself. || How you talk about yourself matters. How your talk TO yourself matters. 

Show yourself love. || Knowing your partner's love language is awesome. Knowing how to show your friends love is great. But what's your love language? Gifts? Save money to buy yourself awesome things. Quality time? Turn your phone off and read a book. However you receive love the best, make sure you're showing yourself love in that way.

Fill your life with things that lift you up. || If your friend was having a bad day, would you send her funny memes? Look them up for yourself! If you were walking through Target and saw a book on a topic your best friend was really struggling with, wouldn't you buy it for her and slip it in the mail? Buy yourself that book, sis. 

Remove the things that bring you down. || Surrounding yourself with uplifting things isn't enough. No, if you're going all the way in on supporting yourself, then you've gotta get rid of the things that bring you down. The friend that's always dragging you down to their level of complaining about how miserable life is? It's time for some space. The people you follow on social media that give you anxiety? Unfollow button. Just because something isn't "bad" doesn't mean it's healthy for you, right now, at this time. 

I'm sure I'll learn a hundred and four new ways to do this. I'm sure I'll fail a lot, too. But I'm learning and trying, and you should too. You're amazing. I can tell you all day long you're amazing. Those closest to you can spend their whole lives talking about just how amazing you are. But when push comes to shove, you need to believe how amazing you are. 

But hey, in the meantime...I'm totally not going to stop talking about how amazing you are. 

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

What Are You Better at Now Than You Were Last Year?

I'm a big believer that we don't give ourselves enough credit. When we accomplish things, we tend to shrug it off by thinking we could have done more, or that we should have accomplished it sooner. When we grow and get better at things, we rarely every acknowledge it. And you know what? That's dumb. 

So I have a question for you: What are you better at now than you were last year? 

What's something you sucked at this time last year, but now you're okay at it? What's something you were pretty good at 365 days ago, but now you're killing the whole dang game with? 

Here's my list: 

Taking breaks. || This time last year, I viewed breaks as a luxury. Now, I view them as a necessity.  Enjoying life is important. The dishes will wait, I promise. It's better to have a messy room and a calm brain than the other way around. Taking a few minutes to go for a walk, or listen to a podcast, or sit down and read a book adds so much value and peace to a day. 

Saying no. || Even more importantly, saying no without letting guilt and anxiety over it ruin my week. I'm learning my limits, and really learning that saying yes to something just because I feel like I have to is unfair to both me and the person I'm saying yes to.

Being a mom. || I'm a better mom now than I was last year. It's way harder than it was last year, but also I've known Jack for a year longer! We're figuring it out! And also I've completely (like, completely) let go of the whole pinterest-perfect-mom dream and that's helped a ton. 

Worrying less about what other people think. || I honestly hope I get better at this every year, because it is so. dang. freeing. 

Taking things day by day. || At my core, I'm a planner. I love having a plan for everything. But I live a life that can rarely be planned more than a week or two out, if that. And this caused me so much frustration for a really long time. But I've gotten to a place where I take things one day at a time. Would I still love a longterm plan for literally everything? Absolutely. But I'm able to enjoy the present more than I was able to do last year.

Your turn! What are you better at now than you were this time last year?!
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Monday, May 20, 2019

Some Amazon Favorites as of Late!

Amazon prime has my heart. We all already knew this. But summer buys on Amazon have really just taken things to the next level. Here's a few recent favorites I can't stop (won't stop) wearing: 

This acrylic colorful bag. || I am OBSESSED with this. It's so fun and colorful and summer-y, aka all of the things I love in life. 

This straw bag || and since I happen to be just a little bit extra, also this tassel and pompom keychain I clipped onto it to make it more fun. 

These gold earrings. || Unique and geometric looking, they're five freaking dollars and I've already worn then like 10 times. HIGHLY recommend. 

These sunglasses. || I am a (cheap) sunglasses junkie, and I adore these. Cat-eye, tortoise, AND pink mirrored? Sign me up. 

What's the best thing you've ordered on Amazon lately?

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