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Monday, October 15, 2018

Give The Good Some Airtime.


I'd venture to say last week was a heavy week for almost everyone. The damage this hurricane has caused is truly awful. The political climate is  r o u g h. Just lots of heavy, hard things. 

I posted on instagram a little while ago about giving the good airtime. The general gist being that if you're going to call out the bad, call out the good, too. 

I used to think that focusing on little happy things when big bad things were happening meant you were being insensitive, or naive. Now, I think it means you're trying your best to survive the hard things. 

You know how when you spend time with a friend who is negative, you leave and just feel exhausted? Like when someone only says the bad things out loud over and over, it's so draining? I think we (unintentionally) create that environment for ourselves sometimes. 

We do a realllllly good job of giving the bad airtime. We complain (out loud) about things as simple as getting caught by red lights, our alarm not going off, the grocery store being out of something we needed. We say things like I'm so tired and longest day ever over and over. And you know, that's fine! That's life. But if we're gonna give the small, not so great things so much airtime, we owe the small good things the same. 

So, in the spirit of giving the good some airtime: 

It was 53 degrees when I woke up on Saturday. MAGICAL.

Fall TV is back on. Has anyone watched Manifest?! It's so good! 

I have some really, really good friends. A close friend of mine texted me on Thursday that she was having a bad day and just wanted to come over and sit in my backyard. So we did, and it was the best afternoon. And it reminded me of how much of a blessing it is to have people in my life that I can just sit outside with and talk about life and it fill me up so much.

It's pumpkin patch season.  AKA I'm in tears over how much I love Jack because he is SO DANG CUTE and something about kids around pumpkins just melts me. 

I'm in the middle of a hilarious good book. Like, I want to skip all my responsibilities today and just read it. That's how you know it's a good one. 

Your turn! Tell me one good thing (or seven good things or every good thing - just give them some airtime!)
 
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Thursday, October 11, 2018

10 Under $10: Earrings You (Maybe, Might) Need.


I mentioned yesterday that I can finally wear earrings again. AKA, Jack no longer sees something shiny in my ear and has the instinct to rip it out and play with it (Or maybe he does and he's just grown fond enough of me that he doesn't wanna also rip my earlobes off? The world will never know!).

I was meeting my friend at the mall a few weeks ago and got there before her, so I decided to take a quick stroll through Forever 21 while I waited. Turns out, they're totally killing the earring game. Which is nice, considering their clothes seem to get tinier and weirder by the day (do not you dare suggest I'm just getting old, no thank you).

Anyway, me and my earlobes' newfound freedom went a little crazy and bought way too many pairs, and I have zero regrets. I wore them all of vacation-even with bathing suits-and they're my new favorite thing. Don't feel like getting ready but still wanna look cute? Throw your hair in a bun and put some fun earrings on. Congratulations, you're done!

Here are 10 (okay fine, 12) pairs all way under $10 that you totally (maybe) need.



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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Date.


Good morning! I'm back after a (much needed) week by the beach. When I hear people say they don't like the beach, I truly don't understand. Nothing makes me feel happier, more refreshed, and more at peace than a day by the ocean. 

One of my favorite things about blogging is that I can sit down and write a bunch of random things I want to share (but that have nothing to do with each other) and call it a coffee date. So let's get to it!

Anyway, back just in time for a hurricane to come barreling through. We should be totally fine here, but we've been under a state of emergency for two days, which is confusing. My best friend is a teacher and they've canceled school for the week, which is so weird when it's not even raining.  If you're in the path of the storm, know you're in my prayers.

Speaking of pumpkin spice coffee, I've made it through September and the first week and a half of October without touching pumpkin spice creamer. I knew this would be the real test on if I could stick with my non-sugar filled coffee, and hey, I'm passing!

Today's my mom's birthday, so yesterday I spent the day teaching Jack to tell her happy birthday. He woke up this morning, popped out of bed, and yelled HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GAGA! Like he knew it was today. So precious.

On the subject of Jack, we are f i n a l l y  at a place where I can wear earrings and he will not try to rip them out of my ears because he thinks they're pretty. Naturally, I celebrated this by buying ELEVEN pairs of obnoxious earrings last weekend. I know my priorities, okay? 

I currently have approximately 92 fiction books checked out from the library, but I need recommendations for non-fiction books to download on audible. I love listening to a book while I commute or do things around the house, but I can't listen to fiction books (and, you know, I've got 92 of those already). Have you read any good non-fiction lately? You know I love a good self-help book, so if you've got any recommendations, send them my way. 

Your turn - what's going on with you? Wishing you lots of coffee and no bad weather today, wherever you are. Have a beautiful Wednesday! xo


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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

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


At the start of this month, I finally paid off my EIGHTY dollars in library fees due to Jack "reading" (ripping) some books of mine. With my card back in action, I went through the library and tossed book after book into my bag. No method, no books I was looking for...if it looked interesting, into the bag it went. Which means the books I read this month were sheer "you look nice!" picks. 

Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley

Plot: The once-close Sunday sisters have not done a bang-up job of keeping in touch. Cassie is consumed with trying to make her life work as a Manhattan wife and mom to twin toddlers, while her bighearted sister, Sid, lives an expat's life of leisure in far-off Singapore. So Sid, who shuns social media, challenges Cassie to reconnect through old-fashioned letters.

Soon, the letters become a kind of mutual confessional that have real and soul-satisfying effects. They just might have the power to help Cassie save her marriage, and give Sid the strength to get her life back on track.

But first, one of Cassie's infamous lapses in judgment comes back to bite her, and all of the letters wind up in the one place you'd never, ever want to see them: the Internet . . .


My thoughts: I thought this book was adorable. It was lighthearted and snarky, but still covered some serious things that I really loved seeing in a book (like a stay-at-home mom who wasn't in love with being a stay-at-home mom, unconventional family bonds, and forgiving those closest to you). After a month of self-help books, this was a light, refreshing read!

Should you read it? I'd recommend it as a beach read! 

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

Plot: "Lisa is living a lie and everyone is about to find out.

Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job and her best friend Marilyn.
But when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him, too. Maybe she’s ready now. Maybe she can trust again. Maybe it's time to let her terrifying secret past go.
But when her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see, Lisa's world explodes.
As she finds everything she has built threatened, and not knowing who she can trust, it's up to Lisa to face her past in order to save what she holds dear.
But someone has been pulling all their strings. And that someone is determined that both Lisa and Ava must suffer.
Because long ago Lisa broke a promise. And some promises aren't meant to be broken."

My thoughts: WHAT. A. RIDE. There's really no talking about this without spoiling it, but I did not see the twist(s) coming. Better yet, I thought I had guessed the twists, and was completely wrong. I love when that happens. *TRIGGER WARNING: Lots of rough content covered. I would definitely look it up first to see if you should read it.

Should you read it? SO MANY TRIGGER WARNINGS, but if you're okay with that, then yes. 

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Plot: "Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

    Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. 
    Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. 
    Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
    Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
    And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
 
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? 
 
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them."

My thoughts: Amazon described this as "Pretty Little Liars meets Breakfast Club" and that's 100% accurate. I loved it and didn't want to put it down, and even though I guessed the ending, it was still a good read. I'm a sucker for young adult books and murder mysteries, what can I say?

Should you read it? Yes! 

What books have you read lately? Do I need to add them to my list?

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Spending October: A To-Do List For Adventuring Through The Month.

HAPPY OCTOBER! The last three months of the year are my favorite...it's the moooooosssssttt wonderful time of the yearrrrrrrr...and it's here! Yay! Here's some ideas for how to spend these magical 31 days.


1. Make a decision to finish the last 90 days of 2018 strong. Because ready or not, here we are.

2. Make a fall "must-do" lists. Listen. The last three months of the year? They fly. So write down the things you really want to do and make them a priority, or they might not (probably will not) happen.

3. If you haven't yet, get some fall candles. It doesn't have to be pumpkin or apple, just anything that makes you feel cozy when you light it. 

4. Get your kid and / or pet a Halloween costume. Animal costumes will never not be funny to me. Jack and Gatsby both got dressed up in their costumes for months after Halloween was over. 

5. Go to Trader Joe's and check out their vast selection of fall stuff. If you don't live near one, it's worth a road trip. They really shine this time of year. So. Much. Pumpkin. 

6. Take your TJ finds on a picnic. Whenever it's cool enough to sit outside for five minutes without sweating (so, not here yet), I immediately think of picnics. There's something so nice about eating outside, no TV or distractions.

7. Make an "Autumn in New York" Station. I recommend this every year because it is just the best. Instant fall mood. 

8. Have friends over for a fire. Make s'mores. It's fall's version of a cookout. 

9. Go to a fair. Nothing says October like cotton candy and corn dogs. 

10. Go to a pumpkin patch. Take all the pictures. 

11. Sneak your pet into a pumpkin patch and take all the pictures. (Preferably in their costume).

12. Make caramel apples. PS: Does anyone know why this got labeled a fall thing? They're delicious!

13. Read a thriller. I read one every October...any recommendations for this month's choice?

14. Carve pumpkins. But don't leave them on the porch in the Florida heat, because they will rot and stain your concrete. Not that I know this, or anything.

15. Bake your favorite fall treats. 

16. Make a list of people you'll be buying Christmas gifts for. Trust me, it's gonna sneak up on you. Put a list in your phone so when you see gifts or have ideas, you can write them down.

17. Take advantage of cooler nights (whenever they come) and open your windows. It's just refreshing and let fresh air in your house. 

18. Get some mums for your front door. They're less than $10 at Home Depot and they brighten up any area.

19. Try a new soup recipe. I could eat soup for every meal any time, but fall makes me want soup allll the time. 

20. Rent a carpet cleaner. This might not seem like an exciting thing, but it totally is (or maybe I'm just getting old). We got a carpet cleaner on super clearance a few months ago, and it is amazing how much cleaner my house feels when I use it. Trust me. Try it.

21. Go to Goodwill. I am constantly amazed by the nice things I find there.

22. Get a coffee frother. I've been using this one and it makes coffee so much better.

23. Go through your summer clothes and sell or donate ones you don't wear. It's freeing to have your closet limited to-wait for it-clothes you actually wear.

24. Have a scary movie night. If you're like me and cannot do scary movies, have a thriller movie night. 

25. Spend more time outside. Going for walks, sitting and drinking coffee, whatever you like. Get more fresh air this month.

26. Get yourself a floppy hat. Or a beanie, or a scarf, or something that feels "fall-ish" and makes you happy when you wear it. 

27. Try this almond toffee coffee. If you need a break from all the pumpkin flavors, this one is delicious.  

28. Take some freakin' breaks. Seriously, we're heading into the busiest and most stressful (if you let it be) season of the year. Take care of yourself.

29. While you're taking a break, watch the sunrise or sunset. Don't forget how beautiful the world we live in is. 

30. Stock up for trick-or-treaters. And yourself, let's be real.

31. Celebrate Halloween! Please send pictures of your pets and kids in their costumes, thank you very much. 

How will you be spending October?
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Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Last 90 Days Challenge.


GUYS. October is almost here. The kickoff of the best three months of the year! Annnnd the kickoff of The Last 90 Days challenge! Ever heard of it?

My Rachel Hollis obsession runs deep, so when I heard about The Last 90 Days challenge, I knew it was something I wanted to participate in. You can read more about it here, but here's a snippet:

"What if you committed to living your last 90 days of this year as hard as you are committing to living the first 30 days of the new year? What if instead of a downhill slide into 2019, you are ramping up!"

Okay, YES. I am so guilty of treating the last little bit of 2018 like a downhill slide because, "it's the holidays" and also because the promise of January and fresh starts are hovering near. I eat like crap, I slack on my workouts and general self-care because of all the busyness of the end of the year, and I'm definitely not the best version of myself. 

Why? Why do I treat the last three months of the year - my self-proclaimed best three months of the year - like they don't really matter? That's so silly! But it must be something we all do, because let's be honest, when's the last time you heard someone say, "Alright, Thanksgiving is right around the corner - time to get in shape, ladies!" No! We save the best versions of ourselves for new years and summers. This is dumb. 

Not this year. I'm not doing it. Do I love the promise and motivation a fresh year brings? You bet. But you know what else I love? Feeling good today. Making progress today. Tomorrow's not promised, but today seems to be here, doesn't it? 

In a nutshell, the challenge is about doing 5 things. They are:

1) Get up an hour earlier than you normally do and use that time for YOURSELF || My sleep schedule is so sporadic (because 1) Toddler, and 2) Insomnia) so I'm gonna take this one and change it to wake up by ___ every day (which will not be hard) AND SERIOUSLY COMMIT TO USING THAT TIME FOR MYSELF (which will be hard). 

Normally, my morning turns into a rushed, jumbled few hours and all of the sudden it's 11:00 and I'm already exhausted. The next three months, I'm going to take the first hour I'm awake and use it for myself...drink coffee, read a book, read my Bible, meditate, breathe...no rushing. 

2) Workout for at least thirty minutes || While this seemed overwhelming to me at first, I'm going to do it. On the days I don't feel up to getting a full-on workout in, I'm going to go for a 30-minute walk. Getting outside and getting fresh air? It does wonders for my body and brain. 

3) Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day || I already drink more than this on a daily basis, so I'm good here. But if you don't, GET ON IT. Staying hydrated is life changing, who knew?

4) Give up one food category you know you shouldn't be eating || I'm still trying to decide what to do for this one! Any suggestions? 

5) Write down ten things you're grateful for every single day || I've been doing this for the last month or so and it's seriously incredible...but I've gotten so bad about remembering. The days I do it, it shifts my attitude and mindset almost instantly. I'm looking forward to how 90 days of it will change me! 

So! What do you think? Sound like something that would benefit you? Let me know if you do it so we can cheer each other on! And, even if this doesn't sound like something you're into, I really encourage you to make a conscious effort to live the last 90 days of 2018 well. Take care of yourself, take care of your health, be a really good version of yourself. The holidays are truly the best time, but they'll be better if you're also the best, yeah? 

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

What September Taught Me.


To go to the freaking doctor when I don't feel good. || I had some weird pain last week that I thought could possibly be an ear infection or jaw issue (but was probably totally nothing), and it kept getting worse. Because I am stubborn and have a high pain tolerance I assume that if I ignore something/press through something long enough, it will go away. The throbbing happening on the entire right side of my face right now would suggest that is FALSE. Note to self: Go to the doctor sooner next time. 

That saying your goals out loud to someone is a really powerful thing. || Writing them down and thinking about them in the privacy of your own brain is good. It's a good first step. But saying them out loud? To your friends and your family and whoever will listen? Goodness gracious, it's next level. It gives those closest to you permission to join that part of your life, and that's pretty cool.

To not be so stuck that I won't try new things. || I completely overhauled my daily / weekly routine two weeks ago, and you know what? I LOVE IT. It created so much more room for productivity and removed a lot of the overwhelm I was feeling. It was a good reminder to not get so stuck on things that are good that I won't try things that might be great. 

With everything new, to take the good and leave the rest. || A few months ago, I started following this nutritionist on Instagram. She shared a lot of health tips that were super helpful to me, shared recipes I tried and loved, and really helped me view getting healthy in a new way. Well, last week she busts out with all protein, except for plants, is horrible for you. And not just like, hey, watch how much you eat! But, all of it is awful and it will probably kill you. Meat? It's the devil. Eggs? They will literally murder you. 

It was a bummer because I'm not personally vegan, and my first instinct was to just stop listening to her completely...but that's dumb, because I've gotten so many good things from her! The reality is, I'm probably not going to agree 100% with everything new I come across in life...but that doesn't mean I should just discount all of it. Take the good, leave the rest. 

What did this month teach you?




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Monday, September 24, 2018

My Favorite Things I Discovered in September.


This fuzzy cozy cardigan. Give me something cute and comfortable, and I'm a happy camper. This fits the bill. It's so cute, but also feels like you're casually wearing a robe in public. WIN-WIN-WIN.

Witch hazel spray. My friend has been using witch hazel toner for a few months now and can't stop raving about it. When I went to pick up a bottle of my own, I noticed there was a spray version. I got the lavender and it is so refreshing! Such a pick-me-up, especially since we're still in the middle of 90 degree days over here. 

Freezer sleeping mask. You know I've been raving about my freezer eye mask for months, but guys, I have taken it next. freaking. level. It's a sleep mask and a freezer mask. Block all the light out, sleep better, and get rid of headaches and puffy eyes. A M A Z I N G.

Coffee protein shakes. I was watching someone's instagram story and saw that they were making a blended coffee with protein powder and I thought that was GENIUS. I tried it and holy crap, I'm obsessed. I use this powder which has no added sugar (PRAISE), is high protein, and has a bunch of greens added. So I'm basically drinking a frappuccino, but with no sugar and kale and brocolli, AND it fills me up. This is insane and also the best. 

These hair ties. I feel like I'm probably the last person on the planet to try these, but I LOVE THEM. I don't know what kinda black magic they use, but they don't pull my hair, and they don't leave creases. I had to use a normal hair tie the other day and was like, what is this crap?! So you could say I'm converted.

What did you discover this month?!
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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. 

WINNERS:


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 showing...love 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 make...so beachy and airy and so comfortable. I love the bright stripes, and it's super versitle...it'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. 

LOSERS:

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 anyway...you'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.

"HE'S NAKED." 

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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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Spending September: A To-Do List For Adventuring Through The Month.

things to do in September

Happy September! September is this perfect little slice of the year where it's still summer, but fall starts creeping in on a daily basis. Pumpkin spice coffee in the morning, sunny pool days in the afternoon. Cutoffs and flipflops, but cozy cardigans on top. I love this part of the year. 

We've got 25 of these glorious days left. Here are some ways I think you should use them:

1. Write out some mantras and manifestations for the month. What do you want out of this month? Write it down and say it out loud!

2. Have a cookout while the weather is still summer weather.

3. And then have a picnic when it starts to cool down. 

4. Write down things you see that you'd like as a gift. 

5. Make a playlist that instantly gets you out of a funk. Also, tell me a few songs that are on that playlist, because I'm currently building one of my own and I need more songs! 

6. Get yourself a pumpkin spice coffee. 'Tis the season. Pro tip: If you don't like PSL's because you think they're too sweet, order yours with half the syrup and an extra shot of espresso. 

7. Get this coffee frother. It's under $7 and will make your fall coffees so much better! 

8. Write down 10 (little) things your thankful for every day. I've started doing this and both 1) harder than you'd think, and 2) a GREAT perspective shifter. 

9. Get a fall-colored cardigan. I do this every year, because every year fall clothes hit the stores and I want them ALLLL. Since that's not an option, I get a fall colored cardigan/jacket/scarf/something of the sort that can go with things I already own. This year, I got this cozy cardigan in the gold color (it's the prettiest, bright mustard color and I love it!)

10. Go for a relaxing walk. Not a burn calories walk, not a talk on the phone walk, just a walk to breathe some fresh air and clear your mind. 

11. DIY a pumpkin spice latte. Save lots of money and possibly find your new favorite drink! 

12. Get some new candles. I hit up the Bath & Body Works sale and my house smells so good! Fresh candles just make everything feel cleaner and cozier.

13. Set a health-related goal. What can you do this month to better your health? Drink more water? Go on a certain amount of walks? Go to bed earlier to get more sleep? Set a goal and do it, then see how much better you feel at the end of the month.

14. Wear something you like, but think you can't pull off. Bright lipstick or a jumpsuit or your hair a certain way. I bet you look great. 

15. Next time you have a success, big or small, make an effort to celebrate it. With a fun dinner, or ice cream, or a full-on party if you want. Congratulate yourself on your successes the same way you would a friend. 

16. Start paying close attention to the things you say "yes" to. Wouldn't it be awesome to head into 2019 feeling confident about knowing when to say yes and when to say no?

17. Next time you have dinner with someone, leave your phone in the car (or in the other room) so you have to actually pay attention to each other. One of my best friends told me that her and her husband do this when they have date night, and their conversations are so much better for it!

18. Clean out your closet. For real this time. Throw things away, sell them, donate them, whatever. If you don't wear it, get it out of there. You'll feel so much better!

19. Watch the sunrise. At least one time this month!

20. Next time you get the urge to go shopping, hit up a thrift store first. Unique finds and less money - it's a win-win!

21. Try to recreate your favorite dinner out. Cocktails, appetizers, desserts, the works! 

22. Make a fall bucket list. The rest of the year flies by, you know this. Write some must-do's down so they take priority on those precious free weekends. 

23. Rewatch a movie you loved but only saw once. There's something about rewatching favorites that is an instant mood-booster. 

24. Try your hardest to have one day this month where you have no plans. If you can't swing a whole day, start with an afternoon. Giving your brain time to take a break is so important! 

25. Get a Zak Tumbler next time you're at Target. Someone stole my Yeti last month (SO SAD) and while this is no Yeti, it does keep your drinks hot or cold for a very long time! Plus, $9.99 for the 30 oz one is a great deal!

How will you be spending your September?

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