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Friday, August 17, 2018

Love You, 2018: Part 6.

June (I know it's now August, don't @ me) looked a lot like. . .

Dinner dates and 

Bubble baths and 
bedhead in a tiny Tommy Bahama chair and 
Jack's first trip to Chuck-E-Cheese (depsite the face he's making, he LOVED it) where he rode this ride approximately 72 times giving us approximately 72 printed pictures of this face and 
A trip to our new movie theatre (EVERY SEAT IS A RECLINER) that has a full bar and dinner menu and

Got all fancy for a hospital dinner and 

Marveled at Florida's sunsets and  

Lots of pool days and 

Celebrated the new church building (my dad's a pastor, if you're new here!) (This is my mom... isn't she GORG?!) and

Jack tested out the new seats and

Realized someone stole my toddler and replaced him with a college student and

Attempted to take Jack to his first movie (FAILED) and 

Had lots of afternoons outside and
Celebrated Chris' birthday in Orlando and 
Played on the Curious George splash pad, living his very best life. 
What was your favorite part of June?
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

My Favorite Things About Being a Mom This Week.

He's learning to swim. This slays me with cuteness. He's learning to kick his feet, blow bubbles in the water, and push himself along the wall. Living in Florida, it's just so important for him to learn how to swim...but I had no idea it was going to be so dang cute to see.
He says, "love you, baby!"  A few weeks ago, he was shutting the door and called out, "Love you, baby!" before he shut it. Hilarious. I say that to him all the time, but he's started saying it to me out of the blue and it's precious. He'll also come into the room and say "Hi, baby!" and it cracks me up. Especially because he's very emphatic, so it sounds like, "Luh you, BAY - BEEEE."
He's becoming potty trained. In what will go down as maybe my greatest accomplishment to date (you think I'm kidding), Jack is almost all the way potty trained. PRAISE BE.
He calls out for things when he looks for them. He was looking for his phone (he has an old iPhone to watch movies and play games on, don't @ me) and he was going room to room calling out, "Jack's phone? Jack's phone?" 
He'll skip to the end of his favorite movie on his phone to hear the credit song and then "sing" (not a single word right) along with it while he falls asleep. 
He copies my workouts.  We got a Bowflex, so I've been working out in the garage. He'll follow me out there, watch me for a minute, then start copying whatever I'm doing. Honestly, he kills it at squats. So funny to watch. 
He wants to be Gatsby. He will circle Gatsby to see exactly how he's laying so that he can lay the same way beside him. Yesterday, he started "barking" at the vacuum. I cannot. 
Tell me one of your favorite things about a role you fill (Mom? Partner? Friend? Neighbor? Let's hear it!) this week. 
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Monday, August 13, 2018

What I Do When I'm Completely Overwhelmed by My To-Do List.

Alternate title: What I've been doing every day lately because my to-do list is trying to straight up murder me. 

Anyone else have those days (Weeks? Months?) where you want to be productive, you have every intention of being a champion and blasting your way through your list and getting ish done...only to end the day frazzled and overwhelmed? And somehow, even though you worked your butt off the whole day, a good 80% off your list wasn't even touched? 

This has been me the last few weeks. I've been so motivated and so excited to take my days on...and then every night, I'm so confused at how I got so little done that day. So I started doing this one little thing that has been a tremendous help. What is it? 

Simple: I write down every. single. thing. Everything on my list, everything I need to get done, everything I'm expecting myself to do that day. I mean everything. If I'm expecting myself to deep clean the kitchen, I don't just write down "clean kitchen." I write mop kitchen, clean kitchen baseboards, clean out the refrigerator. Every. Little. Thing. 

This is incredibly helpful for two reasons: First, it gets everything in the forefront of my mind and puts me in the headspace to get stuff done. But most importantly, it helps me be realistic. Looking at a page full of tasks and knowing how many hours I have to do them, logically I know they aren't all getting done. What may have seemed doable in my brain now is clearly impossible, because there are only 24 hours in a day. 

Having everything written down in front of me helps to quickly see and sort through what has to get done that day and what can wait until tomorrow, or the weekend. This may seem like a no-brainer, but before I wrote everything down, (you know, in the delusional times when I just knew I'd get it all done), I would just pick a random task to start with, spend two hours on it, only to realize it was the least of my priorities that day. Make sense? 

If you're like me and your to-do list seems to be drowning you every day, give this a try this week. Take a few minutes when you wake up, get a cup of coffee, and write it all down. Then be realistic and move the not-as-important-things to a different day. Set yourself up for success by starting with a list that is actually doable instead of a list that you would have to be able to freeze time to even have a chance at completing. But also, let me know if you figure out that whole freezing time thing. 

What are some things you do to deal with overwhelming to-do lists?
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Friday, August 10, 2018

Five Specific Ways "Girl, Wash Your Face" Has Changed My Life.

A few weeks ago, one of my best friends texted me and told me I MUST read the book she'd just finished. It wasn't at the top of my to-read list, but I gave it a go anyway, because that's what bff's do, you know? So truly, that book changed my life. It was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time, and I'll honestly be grateful for the impact it had on me for the rest of my life. 

I could rave about it for hours (and if you know me in real life, I probably have), but here are five specific ways Girl, Wash Your Face really changed my life. 

It introduced me to Rachel Hollis. || For some crazy reason, I had no idea who she was until Girl, Wash Your Face (Don't worry, I've gone back and stalked the crap out of her to make up for lost time). I'm just going to say this: It is incredibly exciting and motivating to see someone become wildly successful who started right where you are. She had a blog. A blog. She worked her way up. HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT?! It was so cool to read about her journey and honestly made me feel like there's no limit to what any of us can do. 

It completely recentered me. || I'll say this in a less hippie way: It completely reminded me of what I want to be at the center of my life. And then encouraged me to act like it. Like, if my ultimate goal is to move to Italy, I should be saving my money for Italy taking a class on Italian, not going shopping for bathing suits every payday and taking a class on jewelry making. A weird example, but does that make sense?

It reminded me of a simple and stunning truth: Someone else's opinion of you is none of your business. || You know those nuggets of truth that are really common sense, and you should know them, but when you hear them said, it just guts you with how profound it is? That's how this was. 

I have come an incredibly far way in how much I worry what others think of me. It used to truly be paralyzing to me. I've made really good strides, but hearing this made me realize how many things I do or don't do out of fear of what people will think of me. And you know what? Life is too short for that crap. 

It forced me to ask myself: Why isn't ____ happening? || I'll be blunt: It forced me to be brutally honest with myself in a really good way. Because, a good portion of the time, the answer to "Why haven't my dreams come true yet?" is "Well, because of you." Just some hypotheticals: Why haven't I published a book yet? Because you haven't written it. Why can't I get in good shape? Because you don't work out. Why am I not getting the yeses I want in life? Because you're too scared to ask the dang questions. See where I'm going with this? 

This book was a giant pep-talk, sure. But it was also someone calling me on my crap, and ooooh, I needed that. We all do!

It reignited my belief in myself. || I listened to the book on Audible and finished it a few weeks ago at the pool. I was sitting there, with my sunglasses on and headphones in, sobbing as I finished the last chapter. I felt so seen and encouraged and like there was someone on my side cheering for me to get up and get. it. done. And believing in yourself? Goodness, that's powerful. 

Have you read it yet?! What did you think?

PS: If you want to listen to it and have never used Audible before, let me know and I can send you the book for free! 

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Yesterday Sucked & That's Okay.

I've talked a lot about inspiration lately and how motivated I am to make my dreams happen. Yesterday I was pumped to start the week. Mondays are a fresh start and I was excited. I was ready to plan and dream and succeed and get all the things done. 

And then...I just had a crappy day. Nothing huge happened, just a bunch of little irritating things. My motivation to get alllll of the things done quickly faded and it felt like I was trying to swim through peanut butter to get anything done (You know what I mean? Like you're moving so slow and everything is so hard and there's no reason for it?). 

I guess what I'm saying is Mondays are great to start fresh and plan out your week and make a plan to totally kill it in every area...but hey, Tuesdays are pretty good for that, too. Wednesdays also work. It's not a day of the week, or a date on the calendar, it's you

I guess what I'm also saying is as much as I want this to be a little hub of inspiration, I also want it to be a place of honesty and authenticness. So for every ten posts I write about how you can do it (which you CAN) and how I believe in you (which I DO) and how I'm feeling so inspired to take on my dreams (which I AM), it's only fair to include the ones saying, "hey, I tried, I had a weird day, I'm not feeling motivated, ugh." Because that's life. And because I know you have those days too. So why not talk about them? 

Why not talk about them and say, "My plan to kill it on Monday didn't work, so Tuesday will have to do." Why not be honest and admit, "My to-do list about murdered me yesterday, but I'm up and ready for round two." 

Yesterday sucked for me. It just did. No long story, no big point, it just sucked. And you know what? That's okay. Because I woke up again today, thank goodness, so I get a re-do. I'm chugging coffee (BLACK COFFEE (with cinnamon, I'm not a monster) for the fourth week in a I KNOW I can do anything) and I've got my to-do list and I am ready to make this re-do count for me. 

You woke up today too, so you also get a re-do. Let's make it count, okay? 

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Friday, August 3, 2018

I Think You Can, I Think You Can, I Think You Can.

I'm in a group chat with my three best friends. It's full of memes, embarrassing stories, and venting sessions. But, when you need it to be, it's the best pep talk ever. 

My friend Kayla started a fitness motivation group where a group of Instagram friends hold each other accountable to their goals-fitness and otherwise. It's inspiring and convicting and has been so good for me. 

I just finished Girl, Wash Your Face and am truly overflowing with inspiration from it. It has kept me awake at night in the best way possible. It has pushed me and fueled me and made me write things down and dream out loud and believe in myself.

All of those things together have cumulated in me feeling like I can do anything. They've got me feeling so inspired and my cup is overflowing with belief in myself and my dreams. I've been waking up in the morning with my brain resembling The Little Engine That Could, saying over and over, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. 

Maybe your cup isn't feeling too full right now. Maybe you don't have an awesome group chat that talks you up when you need it. Maybe you're not riding the high of some "you can do it!" book. Maybe the thought of saying (and believing) "I think I can" seems false and overwhelming. 

That's okay. 

I think you can.  

Everyone deserves a support system. Everyone deserves cheerleaders in their life when things get hard and they get tired. Everyone deserves someone who will make you believe in yourself, no matter what. 

And if you can't find that anywhere in your life right now...not in a book or a podcast or a group or a friend or a therapist's office or within yourself...if that voice is missing from your life, let me just be a stand-in today, okay? 

I truly, truly think you can. 

That business you want to launch? I think you can. The amount of money you're trying to save to allow you to be a stay-at-home parent? I think you can. The book you're trying to write? I think you can. The benchmark you're trying to reach with your business this year? I think you can. That vacation home you want to buy so you can fulfill your dream of retiring by the beach? I think you can. 

I think you can do it because I think I can do it. I don't say that lightly, I don't gloss over it like a pretty and pink inspiring quote on Pinterest that I love in the moment and then never read again. I really, honestly, in the depths of my soul believe we can do it. I believe if we truly try, really give it our all, we can do it. And if we're not gonna try, what the heck are we doing here? 

I hope you have the best support system in the whole world. I hope you're surrounded by encouragers who are constantly reminding you that you can do these things. But I also know there's a good chance that that's not the case. 

So hey, let me be a loud, honest voice in your ear today: You can do it. 

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Spending August: A To-Do List For Adventuring Through Your Month.

HAPPY AUGUST!! Are you wishing fall here or wishing for more summer?? I've always been one to wish it was fall as soon as August came, but being in Florida, summer is here for a bit longer. I'm going to enjoy every bit of that!

Team fall or team summer, here are some suggestions on how you should spend your brand new month: 
  • Text your friends and ask how they are. I had a pretty awful day yesterday. As I'm writing this, my best friend (who was there for said day) texted me and asked how I was doing. That makes me feel so freaking loved and seen. Do that for your people! 
  • Go to the beach. Seriously, just go. You've been saying you will. Summer is winding down, it's happening. Rent a cheap air bnb, leave after work on Friday, and go sit your butt in the sand. You'll feel better.
  • Rent a carpet cleaner. This may not sound fun, but there it is AMAZING how much cleaner and more peaceful your house feels with clean carpets. We recently bought this one and I'm obsessed with it. 
  • Get your eyebrows tinted. If you fill in your eyebrows, do this. I got mine done (it's only $8!) and haven't touched an eyebrow pencil all week!
  • Enjoy an afternoon iced coffee. My favorite: Coffee, ice, coconut milk (the good, thick kind from a can), and cinnamon. Easy peasy. 
  • Make grilled pizzas. Food photographer I am not, but look how delicious this looks:
  • Watch a comedy. There's a bunch of good comedies on Netflix right now!
  • Raid the back to school supplies. No other time of the year will you have such an extensive selection of pens at your disposal. 
  • Get a new planner. On that note: Does anyone have suggestions for planners that have a whole page per day? I can't with these planners that give you like two inches to write out your whole day!
  • For a week, replace a meal or snack with a smoothie. Not a diet smoothie, a good for you smoothie. Packed with fruits and veggies and lots of goooood calories. I HIGHLY recommend blender bombs. They're changing my life over here. 
  • Send a thank you card. Target dollar spot always has the cutest thank you cards. Who doesn't love getting a pretty card in the mail?
  • Get an ice roller. Seriously the most refreshing thing to have in the morning! 
  • Write down three things you'd like to accomplish before the year is over. Put them somewhere you will see them every day. You have five months, you can do this!
  • Go to the fanciest grocery store in your town. Even just to browse!
  • Read (or listen to!) Girl, Wash Your Face. I know I sound like a broken record about this book. But it's truly changed my life, and I want everyone to hear about it!
How will you be spending your August?
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Monday, July 30, 2018

Books I Read in July (And Whether or Not You Should Read Them)

The High Season by Judy Blundell

Plot: "The Hamptons hath no fury like a woman scorned. 

No matter what the world throws her way, at least Ruthie Beamish has the house. Lovingly renovated, located by the sea in a quiet Long Island village, the house is her nest egg - the retirement account shared with her ex-husband, Mike, and the college fund for their teenage daughter, Jem. The catch? To afford the house, Ruthie must let it go during the best part of the year.
It's Memorial Day weekend, and Ruthie has packed up their belongings for what Jem calls "the summer bummer": the family's annual exodus to make way for renters. This year, the Hamptons set has arrived. The widow of a blue-chip artist, Adeline Clay is elegant, connected, and accompanied by a "gorgeous satellite" stepson. But soon Adeline demonstrates an uncanny ability to help herself to Ruthie's life - her house, her friends, even her husband (okay, ex-husband, but still). And after her job as the director of a local museum is threatened, Ruthie finally decides to fight back.
Meanwhile, away from the watchful eyes of her parents, Jem is tasting independence at her first summer job but soon finds herself growing up too fast. One of Ruthie's employees, a master of self-invention named Doe, infiltrates the inner circle of an eccentric billionaire and his wayward daughter. With a coterie of social climbers and Ruthie's old flame thrown into the mix, the entire town finds itself on the verge of tumultuous change. By the end of one unhinged, unforgettable summer, nothing will be the same.
In a novel packed with indelible characters, crackling wit, and upstairs/downstairs drama, Judy Blundell emerges as a voice for all seasons - a wry and original storyteller who knows how the most disruptive events in our lives can twist endings into new beginnings."

Favorite quote: “Maybe all relationships, friendship, partner, parent and child, were held together by the things you did not say as much as the things you did. The unsaid was the keystone in the arch. Once you kicked it free, you had nothing that held you up.”

My thoughts: I liked the writing. I liked the characters. I liked the plotlines. But there was WAAAAAY too much happening. Way too many characters and side plots. Because there was so much happening it felt like we only get a small taste of every little thing, and then oh, the book is over. So no real closure on anything, you know?

Should you read it? Meh.

You Are a Bad** at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero

Plot: "You Are a Bada** at Making Money will launch you past the fears and stumbling blocks that have kept financial success beyond your reach. Drawing on her own transformation—over just a few years—from a woman living in a converted garage with tumbleweeds blowing through her bank account to a woman who travels the world in style, Jen Sincero channels the inimitable sass and practicality that made You Are a Bada** an indomitable bestseller. She combines hilarious personal essays with bite-size, aha concepts that unlock earning potential and get real results."

Favorite quote: “You can have excuses or you can have success; you can't have both.”

My thoughts: I loved her first book, so of course I was excited to read this one. No surprise, I loved it. She really dives into changing your mindset, and I liked that. Like, why are we embarrassed to talk about money? We shouldn't be! Why are we embarrassed to want more money, like it's a bad thing? We shouldn't be! It's a quick read and the audible version is only 7 hours long. It's a great book to listen to on your commute.

Should you read it? Yes! 

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing The Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis

Plot:"Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don't have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: That's a lie.

As the founder of the lifestyle website and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the 20 lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we've told ourselves so often we don't even hear them anymore.
With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.
With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle - and how to give yourself grace without giving up."

Favorite quote: “Your dream is worth fighting for, and while you’re not in control of what life throws at you, you are in control of the fight.” 

My thoughts: If you follow me on here or on instagram, you've seen me raving about this book. My feelings about it are too much to fit in a post shared with other books, so I've got a full post dedicated to why you should read it coming up soon. In the meantime, I'll say this: I can, without a hint of exaggeration, say this book changed my life. It was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. I want everyone in my life to read it. 

Should you read it? YES. NOW. IMMEDIATELY. 

What did you read this month?

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Friday, July 27, 2018

What July Taught Me.

To slow the heck down || More specifically, that it's possible to slow down even when life is hectic. I tend to equate "slowing down" with "doing nothing" and I'm learning that doesn't have to be the case. Even on the busiest of days, doing simple things like taking care of my face can slow things down. 

For me, slowing down is more about attitude than it is about action. I can still have a day of working hard and tackling my to-do list without having an anxious and urgent attitude about it. Does that make sense?

To remember to dream big ||  I mentioned last month that I’ve started making a little money on Poshmark. I’ve also been making money from my blog (praise!). I’ve got this list on my phone of things I need money for, and every time I make a sale on Poshmark, or when my Amazon affiliate payments come in, I subtract that amount from the list. Right now, it’s mostly boring things: Credit card payments, library fines (oops). And a few fun things, too: Swim lessons for Jack, new, prettier bedding.

I’m reading Girl, Wash Your Face (CANNOT RECOMMEND IT ENOUGH) and - I say this without a hint of exaggeration - it’s changing my life by the chapter. Truly. But one of the ways it’s wrecked my mindset this month is the reminder to dream big. To write down the big things you want so you remember why you’re working so hard. 

Do I want new bedding? Yes! Would paying my credit cards down to zero be amazing? Heck yeah. Are they my biggest, wildest dreams? No. They’re not. 

So this month was a reminder to dream big and out loud and in color. To write them down, to put them where I can see them, to work hard with those dreams in mind. Tell me - what are your dreams? The big ones? The scary ones? The ones that might seem silly to someone else, but are important to you. Hear me: They’re important. They’re reachable. Get at it! 

What did this month teach you?

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

An Ode to Friendships.

To the friends you thought would be in your life forever, but aren't. These suck, I know they do. I had the honor of graduating with one of the closest friends I'd ever had in my life. I'd met her because of a group project and become so close with her, that I asked her to be in my wedding mere months after meeting her (side note: I have zero regrets about that). It's been years since we've spoken. Does that make me sad? Of course. Do I wish she was still in my life and that Jack knew her? Duh. But when I look back on the years she was in my, what a gift she was. I can truly attribute lots of things about myself today to the fact that I met her, and she changed my life. Not everything is meant to be forever, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't a giant gift.

To the friends that are there for you, even as you grow apart. These are solid gold. Friendships that have fizzled a bit due to time and distance and growing apart, but would pick up the phone no matter what time you called. Who would hop on a plane for you, no matter how long it's been since you last talked. These are rare and special. 

To the long-distance friends. Lucky for us, we live in a time where it's incredibly easy to stay in touch, no matter where you're both located. FaceTime dates, funny memes sent, snail mail cards from the dollar spot...these friendships are special because they take effort. You spend your time and energy on these friends, because they're worth it. 

To the friendships that ended poorly. Over something stupid, or maybe not. Maybe it was your fault, maybe theirs. Either way, what a bummer, right? But I bet it taught you something about yourself, even if it was hard to learn. And learning about yourself? Always a gift. 

To the online friends. Oh, what a tribe. I wouldn't have a blog if it weren't for this group! And let me tell you, they are real friends. When I met Sam for tacos for the first time, it didn't carry the awkwardness of meeting someone for the first time, it felt like, "Oh my gosh, I've missed you!" When I FaceTimed with Lindsay and Kerri for the first time, it didn't feel weird, it felt like "we have SO much to catch up on!" The first time I vented to, got real and raw and a little scream-y...I didn't get a response from a stranger, I got soothing words from a dear friend. 

Does the internet complicate things? Yes. Does it have a lot of evil in it? Sure does. Does it cause harm? You betcha. But it is also good. It provides a platform to share, a place to meet and grow community, and place to say "no way, you too?!" I was having a horrid parenting day one time when Michelle messaged me about how freaking hard it was to parent toddlers. The relief I felt in that moment, simply hearing "me too!" was a gift. Internet friends? Yeah, those are a gift. 

To the _____ friends. You know, the "we're friends because we have _____ in common" friends. Mom friends, work friends, neighbor friends, the "we definitely wouldn't be friends if it weren't for _____" friends. Maybe they make drop-off and pick-up at your kid's school easier. Maybe they make the work day not seem so bad. Whatever it is, it's worth being thankful for.

To the friendships you didn't see coming. I think these are the friends that get sent to you because you need them the most. The most precious friendships in my life are the ones I didn't see coming, and couldn't have searched out on my own if I tried. Random roommates, neighbors, family members of friends. Like Jesus Himself looked down and thought, "Hang on, girl, I know who you need" and sent them right to me. I could cry over these (I do cry over these, haha). The biggest, biggest gift. 

Cheers to friendships! Life would be a heck of a lot harder without them.

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Monday, July 23, 2018

My Favorite Things I've Discovered in July.

My July discoveries were majorly cheap (or even FREE) and majorly about daily pampering. There two things don't tend to go hand in hand (Am I the only one who sometimes reads a blog post of how to treat yourself and ends up feeling like I need roughly $200 of products?) so I am thrilled. Let's get to it. 

PS: These are affiliate links. I'll make (literally) a few pennies if you click on them. Carry on!

1) This gel eye mask. My favorite thing this month (and honestly, maybe the entire year or like, MY WHOLE LIFE) was $7.99. Please do yourself a favor and buy it. You can make it warm or cold, and it's magical. I keep it in my freezer and use it every day, but especially when I have a headache. Puffy eyes, headache, feel tired, feel just blah? This works some magic. You need it. I loved it so much I immediately bought my mom and best friend one. Everybody in my life will be getting these as gifts. I love them that much. 

2) Lymphatic drainage massage. My new favorite way to treat myself FOR FREE.  I was listening to The Morning Toast (my favorite podcast!) And Lauren from The Skinny Confidential was on as a guest. She talked about this and a few google searches later, I was hooked. I've been doing this every day for a few weeks, and it works. My face is less puffy when I do it, I look more awake, and honestly, my skin just looks better. There are tons of tutorials on youtube, but I like this one, this one, and this one. 

3) Microneedling. Lindsay did a post on this awhile back, and it intrigued me, but also scared me. But having ventured into the world of facial massage and feeling like where has this been all my life?! I wondered if microneedling was something like that. Plus, Lindsay could tell me to rub diet coke on my face before bed every night and I'd probably do it. She's trustworthy like that. I've only been doing this for about a week and a half, but honestly, aside from travel breakouts (ugh, airplanes) my skin has been looking pretty amazing. I'm excited to see what longterm results I see from doing it! 

4) Ice roller. While yes, this technically helps with inflammation and overall puffiness, it also just feels REALLY freaking good. Like, amazing. It lives in my freezer and I use it every single morning. It's supposed to tighten pores and wrinkles, de-puff your face and eyes, increase blood flow, and a bunch of other good stuff. And while I totally believe it does those things, it also wakes me up and makes me feel really refreshed, so it's a winner. 

5) Sheet masks. ONE DOLLAR for a pampering sesh. Seriously? If you've got Amazon Prime, here's a 16 pack for $9. I don't know why I've never used sheet masks before now, but I'm obsessed. 

6) Under-eye masks.  At $3.41 for TWO packs of 15, add this to your cart for the next time you buy anything on Amazon (it's an add-on item). Puffy under-eye? Be gone. Dark circles? Bye, girl. I love me some collagen, so slap these on your eye wrinkles and let that goodness sink in. PRO-TIP: Put them in the fridge before you use them. Heavenly. 

Have you used any of these things? Tell me your favorite thing you've discovered this month! 

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Favorite Things About Being a Mom This Week.

The last few times I've mentioned Jack, it's been in reference to his stomach virus week. In keeping with the focusing on the good (even though it's all good when it comes to him), I wanted to talk about the happier parts. My favorite things about being a mom right now. 

He currently waves goodbye to literally everyone and screams BYEEEE whether they acknowledge him or not. We were at a rest stop the other day and he waved and said bye to every single car that drove by. 

Chris opened the door the other day, and Jack walked up to him and say, "Hello, Chris!" and just walked away. I guess he's just heard other people say Chris? Either way, it was so funny in the moment. He seemed so grown up, it killed me. 

He's talking a ton. I may have no idea what he's saying, but he certainly does. He'll say a bunch of jibberish and then pause and wait for you to say something back, and then nod like he agrees. I swoon. 

When we were in Colorado last year, my mom made up a song about Colorado that they sing together. He'll randomly bust out with "Whoa whoa whoa, Colorado." The other day he was in the kitchen, crying and saying "Colorado" and pointing at the counter, where there was a bowl of avocados. I can't blame him, they're big words and sound similar. So now he asks for "Colorados" when he's hungry. RIP my heart. 

I've been doing lots of yoga, and anytime I get my mat out, he runs to the closet and rolls a second mat out next to me. He mimics all the poses (and is actually pretty dang good). 

Tell me your favorite thing about a role you play right now: Best friend, mom, neighbor, dog mom, co-worker, sister? Let's hear it. 
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Monday, July 16, 2018

Coming in Live on a Monday.

Gooood morning + happy Monday!

I had every intention of scheduling blogs to go live during my trip to D.C., but Jack was sick all week. I don't know if you've ever been around a toddler with a stomach virus, but it's very, very time consuming (and also very messy, but we don't have to talk about that). Anyway, life happens. Here we are. 

I'm feeling really good today. I mean, I'm so tired, and my to-do list is approximately a mile long, and good GRACIOUS how is there so much laundry?! But I'm also feeling like, "Hey, it's a Monday! A fresh start and a new week and lots of potential!" Maybe it's the coffee I'm chugging, but I'm rolling with it. 

One thing I noticed on my trip was that I was excited about everything. And while you might think, okay, duh, everyone's excited on vacation, I mean I was excited about everything. I'd wake up in the morning (I'm cursed and cannot sleep in, even on vacation) and drink my coffee on the couch and think about the day and it would feel so exciting. Deciding what we were going to eat for breakfast felt exciting. We bought $1 face masks from Forever 21 and it felt exciting. We sat on a bench in a park and drank diet cokes and it felt like the best day ever. We felt so lucky to be there. Because we were!

I really want more of that in my normal life. And while yes, vacation is always going to feel more exciting than waking up on a Monday morning and working and doing laundry, I can at least try to take some of that excitement and bring it with me into my daily life. I mean, you never know what a day is going to hold, but I can almost promise you'll enjoy that day more if you feel lucky to be living it. 

So that's my goal this week. It's a Monday, so it's a perfect time to roll out something new. This week, my something new will be trying to be excited about everything, even the mundane things. Trying to have the attitude that, "of course this is going to be a good day!" An attitude of feeling lucky to be alive and living this life. Because I really, really am. 

Who wants to join me?
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Monday, July 9, 2018

Keep Doing What You Love.

A few months ago (I believe Steph shared it) I read a blog post that said, "The majority of people will not work a job that sets their soul on fire, and that is okay." At first, it made me really sad. Then, it was kind of a relief. 

We tend to act as if our jobs are the most important part of life. Maybe not consciously, but with our actions. Example: Maybe you love painting. You're an amazing (or just okay) painter. It makes you happy like nothing else. It soothes you. It makes you come alive. But. You can't get a job as a painter. So you stop painting. 

WHAT?! No!

I have been incredibly blessed with my job, and I love it for many, many reasons. However, my job is not writing. And that's okay.

It's okay that writing doesn't pay my bills. It's okay that my job doesn't solely consist of doing the thing that sets my soul on fire more than anything else. What would not be okay would be stopping doing that one thing just because it doesn't pay my bills. Because my soul deserves to be excited and alive and on fire. So does yours. 

Tomorrow, my best friend and I are headed to D.C. for a concert. I love trips. I love going new places, seeing new things, eating at new places. I love concerts. I love dancing and singing outside. 

Is dancing and singing at a concert going to pay my bills? Nope. Quite the opposite, actually. But is it going to fill me up with happiness? You bet. 

In a world getting increasingly darker, do the things you love. Do them often. You are hopefully pouring your cup out to make the world a better place in whatever way you can, so do the things you love and fill that cup back up. 

I love watching the sunset, going swimming, eating dinner on patios outside. I love blogging, painting my nails fun colors, going thrifting. I love beach days, listening to the music with the windows down, candles that smell like summer. 

Are any of those things going to fix the world? No. 

Are they important? Yes. 

Do what you love, friends. It's important.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Coffee Date: Rainy Summer Days Edition.

If we were having coffee...

...I'd tell you that Jack & I had a photo session with my sweet friend Kristen. I was so excited about it and for her to capture Jack at the stage he's at now, but we got there and he was NOT having it. He wouldn't smile, laugh, talk, dance, nothing. It was so unlike him and I was so bummed! BUT, she sent me over the pictures, and holy moly, I don't know how she did it, but she got some beautiful ones. I mean, LOOK at that. I'm in love. 

...I'd tell you that this summer has been full of rainy days (mostly rainy afternoons). And while I hate getting rained out of a pool day, I love how green and vibrant everything is. I also love the smell of summer rainstorms. Something about it just makes me happy. 

...I'd tell you I'm becoming more and more obsessed with Poshmark. It's really so much fun!! A hobby that pays me to thrift? Sign me up. You can see my closet here. 

...I'd tell you that next week, Sam and I are taking our annual summer bff trip. This year, we're going to D.C. to see Taylor Swift. I could cry, I'm so excited. Two bucket list things! Tell me your must-do thing in D.C. 

...I'd tell you I'm feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude lately. Things have not necessarily been very gratitude-inducing (it's been the week of the stomach virus), but I'm feeling it nonetheless. I attribute it to keeping my perspective in check, like I blogged about earlier this week. It's wonderful to feel like this. 

Your turn! Tell me what's going on with you!

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

On Falling in Love With Your Life.

As I'm writing this, Jack has his first ever stomach virus. It's awful and seriously so, so sad. It's been a rough 24 hours (I'll spare you details, but I've gone through three bottles of carpet cleaner). 

But the weekend before he got sick was so much fun. We took Jack to Universal, ate the best food, watched him splash around the Curious George park. I mean, look at this picture. Pure joy. 

The day before Jack got sick, I had the best day with my best friend. We laid by the pool, went to Goodwill, ate Taco Bell (let me live). It was great. 

And today I'm cleaning up puke. 

In short, it's been the best week and the worst week. 

But that's life, you know? Ups and downs. Good and bad. 

If you were to give me a snapshot of life right now, it may look something like this: 

Chels, you're riddled with anxiety, have entirely too much on your plate, spend most of your time with a two-year-old that you are often completely clueless about, haven't accomplished a lot of your goals, overdrew your bank account last week, and girl, your face is breaking out like whoa. 

Well doesn't that make me want to run for the hills? 

It may also look something like this: 

Chels, you're fighting anxiety like a freakin' champ. You have such good friends, near and far. You are proud of yourself. You're steadily working on your goals every day. You live in the sunshine state, you have pool days often. Your days are filled with the sweetest, tiny human, good books, work that pays for a wonderful home, and lots of laughter. 

Okay, now that I can get on board with. 

Both of those are true. Both of those are facts. But one sure looks better than the other, doesn't it? 

It's all about perspective, friends. 

Want to fall in love with your life? Check your perspective. 

For me, the last two years have been full of the very best moments and the very most gut-wrenching things. When I look back at the terrible stuff, there is not one single thing in the whole bunch I could've changed. Every one of them was out of my control.

My perspective is always in my control. Yours is always in your control. 

So try it. It's free. It takes very little effort. And it could be life-changing. What do you have to lose? 

I know you're overwhelmed. I know you're tired. I know things aren't panning out the way you had hoped. And sure, you can focus on that. You can replay your bad luck on a loop in your mind. You can fill your days with looking at all the ways life has been unfair to you. All the ways you're not good enough. The places you've really dropped the ball. 


You can look at the greatness around you. You can replay that wonderful weekend with friends on a loop, because wow, aren't you lucky to have them? You can focus on how amazing you are, how strong you are, how hard you're trying. How it's pretty amazing that you've made it this far. How lovely it is to live in a world with good books and chocolate and sunshine and your favorite song. 

Both are true. Both are facts. 

But one sure sounds a lot better than the other, doesn't it?

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