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Friday, March 30, 2018

What March Taught Me.

To speak up. I found myself in several situations this month where...let's call it, strong communication...was necessary. One example being that the place we booked through in Siesta Key bumped us from a really nice place to a really crappy one and tried to act like it was no problem. Two-years-ago-Chelsea would have immediately tried to convince everyone that it was fine, but this-year-Chelsea was real quick to get on the phone and demand an explanation and a solution. 

A little bit into my strong communication with Beachside Management (horrible experience, 10/10 DO NOT RECOMMEND) I caught my best friend watching me and her eyes were so wide it made me burst into laughter. When I got off the phone we agreed that if someone who knew me a few years ago had seen that encounter, they would have been shocked. Which leads me to...

That I'm actually really proud of who I am becoming. Two years ago I wouldn't even send food back at a restaurant if they got my order wrong. I hate confrontation that much. I have grown leaps and bounds in not only this area, but in so many other ways. I saw something on Pinterest this week that said, "I am fiercely protective of the woman I am becoming." I just love that so much. 

The only person who knows just how much work it's taken for you to become the person you are right now is the person you were last year, or two years ago, or five years ago. I hope you're making yourself proud. And if not, I hope you are fiercely protective of yourself as you work to be.

No one else is responsible for your happiness. It may make you feel happy when someone texts you first, or does something kind for you, or remembers a special day of yours. But your actual happiness? That one's on you, babe. Realizing that is truly empowering, because one, if gives people way less power over you than they should have, and two, it gives you something to work towards. I truly hope that you are surrounded by the very best friends and family who do make you happy, but even if you are, they still aren't responsible for making you happy. That's all you, and you should work towards that. 

That breaks are good, and you should not save them for special occasions. I went on vacation with six girls. We did lots of sightseeing and explored the town every night. It was a blast, but I definitely wouldn't classify it as restful. I came back so rejuvenated, though, because I got a five-day break. It was so healthy and so needed. And while week-long breaks in other cities are great, breaks shouldn't be pushed off until you have an occasion like that. Weekends, or days off, or even an hour stolen at night...USE THOSE. Take breaks. 

What did this month teach you?
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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Love You, 2018: Part Three

Part three of this year looked like. . .

Having lunch with friends on outside patios (If you're in Gainesville, this is Emilianos and it is delicious). . .

Meeting my sweet friend's baby. . . 

Lots of snuggles with this guy, who has suddenly forgotten how to sleep through the night (send help). . .

Lots of reflecting. My sweetest friend Kristen sent me this necklace, and it prompted a lot of thought about holding onto things I shouldn't be. . .

Went to Siesta Key with my best girls. . .

Tacos and margs with my blog friend Sam, who was just as amazing in person as she is on her blog. . .

Took advantage of the not-so-hot weather with some time fireside. . .

What did part three of 2018 look like for you?
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Monday, March 26, 2018

My Favorite Things I Discovered in March.

This bathing suit || It's so flattering. While I'm sure this looks amazing on curvy ladies, if you are one of my flat-chested friends riding the swimsuit struggle bus with me, this is for you. It's adorable, just the right amount of cheeky, and super flattering (and also looks real cute with high-waisted shorts!). As a bonus, I ran all over the beach in it and it stayed put, so it's Jack-at-the-beach-friendly. 

Olly Restful Sleep Gummies || I am awful at sleeping. Always have been. One of my few memories of kindergarten is wondering how everybody else could fall asleep on demand at naptime. 

I've tried everything - cutting down on caffeine and alcohol, eating earlier, eating later, no screentime after 9, lavender oil...I still suck at sleeping. I get amazing sleep when I take Z-quil, but it gives me about a two-hour sleep-hangover when I wake up, and that's just not feasible with an energetic two-year-old in the house. 

I tried melatonin years ago and had a horrible reaction (I hallucinated cats) but I'm desperate, so I tried again with these gummies. I've been taking them for two months now, but it took my body a bit to adjust (AKA stop having insane dreams). Now that I'm used to them though, I'm a huge fan. I fall asleep much faster, stay sleep much longer, and there's no icky feeling the next day, no matter how early I wake up. 

Ghee || I know I'm way behind on this, but I've never bought ghee before this month. I also know a lot of people use this for healthy fats, but I bought it because it doesn't burn as easily as butter. I've been sauteeing my veggies in this one from Trader Joe's and it is delicious! 

Acai bowls || I had my first acai bowl in North Carolina this summer and have been trying (and failing) to copy them ever since. But a Vale Food Co opened up by my house, and my life has been changed. I would eat one of these babies for every meal if I could. Have you ever had one? Better yet, can someone tell me how to make these at home?! 

What did you discover this month?

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Let Go.

I am learning to love the sound of my feet walking away from things that were not meant for me. 

Do you know what I was not meant for? A life of fear. A life full of what-ifs. A life of the comparison game. I was not meant for believing I'm not good enough. I was not meant to settle for less-than. And neither were you. Yet sometimes we find ourselves clinging to these things as if our life depends on it, as if we were made for them. As if they're an integral part of us that we have no say about.

Let Go. 

Of fear. 

Of unhealthy relationships. 

Of feelings of inadequacy. 

Of things you cannot change. 

Of the opinions of others. 

Of comparison. 

Of the need to be anything other than yourself. 

We all have our own list here. Some things are general, things none of us should cling to, and some are more specific, things that we've found ourselves bunk buddies with because of places our life has led us or circumstances we've had to walk through. But we all have things we need to let go of. 

So do it. Try it. Let go. Of anything and everything that does not assist you in living your best, most abundant life. Is it making your life better? Is it helping you make the world better? No? Let. It. Go.
Who knows what you might gain when you lose the things that were never meant for you.
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Friday, March 16, 2018

Things I Believe in This Week.

TJ Maxx. Please look at this GORGEOUS yellow dress that is now a part of my family. It was $13! You just can't beat the prices there! 

Girls Trips. I am having the best time with my best ladies. Good friends are hard to come by, and when they're spread out over different locations, it takes a little extra effort to keep up with everyone. But it's so worth it. I'm going to remember this week forever! 

Libraries. I currently have twenty-two books in my car. TWENTY. TWO. Do you know how much I paid for those books? Zero dollars, that's how much. How people do not share my love of this amazing thing is beyond me. 

Online friendships. Say what you will about the internet, it's brought me some of the best people. I'm in a group chat with Lindsay and Kerri right now about future projects that make my heart giddy. Kait let me vent an obscene amount this week. I'm meeting Sam on Friday (and am SO EXCITED!). The internet is full of weird stuff and bullies, sure, but it's also full of encouragement and strong women I'm lucky to call friends. 

What do you believe in this week?
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

HEY, you're gonna be okay!

Every now and then, we all need someone to pop in and remind us that we're gonna be okay. I'll be that person today. 

I was talking to a friend last week about some really dark stuff that was happening, and she said, "we're gonna be okay, simply because I don't see another option. That's the only option." And she's right. 

We're gonna be okay. That's the only option I accept. That we make it through the hard times and are okay. That we walk through darkness and are okay. That we trudge through bad news and heartbreak and shock and we are okay. 

You are going to be okay. If things are dark, just hold on. I promise, the light comes back eventually, and you will be okay. If you feel like the people who are supposed to love you aren't doing that, I'm sorry. That sucks beyond words. But hold on, because you are going to be okay. 

You woke up today, and that's a really great start. And maybe the sun is shining, and it feels amazing. Or maybe the weather is gloomy and it's the perfect cozy weather. Maybe you'll have a really great cup of coffee, or eat your favorite dinner. Whatever today has in store for you, there's something about it that can be considered okay. Good, even. 

I think sometimes we need to confront the shortness of life. To look it right in the face and remember that this is all painfully temporary. And I refuse to spend the short time we have here believing anything other than this: We're all gonna be okay.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

3 Things You Need to Know About || March 2018

ONE || Never FadeI first discovered Katelyn Tarver when her song Weekend Millionares came on an Apple Music radio station and I've been obsessed with her ever since. I'd been counting down the days until her new single released last Friday and it was well worth it. I know most people will probably associate this song with some sort of romantic partner, but the reason it makes me so emotional is that I think it paints a picture of true, pure, non-romantic love. The friend that refuses to leave when times get tough. 

TWO || This bralette. Guys, I have seen this all over the internet, all over Instagram, and all over real life. Every time I go to order one, my size is sold out. Every time I'm at Belk or Dillard's or Macy's, I check, and have never had any luck until this weekend. It 100% lives up to the hype. I can't wait to wear it all summer under everything I own. It's so comfortable and so cute that you don't mind if it shows. 

THREE || Siesta Key! By the time you read this, I'll be on my way to Siesta Key to celebrate my sweet friend's birthday! It's a trip that's been in the works since this summer, and I'm so excited it's finally here! Side note, if you've got any Siesta Key recommendations, holla atcha girl. 

Your turn! Tell me something I need to know about! 
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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Embrace the Glorious Mess That You Are.

Big Magic is one of my favorite books. There are very few books that I would consider "life-changing" in the literal sense, and this was one of them. I felt like Elizabeth Gilbert was talking directly to me the entire time, and the quote, "Embrace the glorious mess that you are" is one that will stay with me always. 

It's something I've been thinking a lot about lately. About how we spend so much time trying to fix our mess of a self. Trying to make our mess look better, more acceptable. Trying to defend our mess. 

Y'all, I am nothing but mess. 

I rarely ever do my hair. It's frizzy and tangled most of the time. I call it "beachy" and hope no one notices I haven't brushed it for like six weeks. 

I have crazy levels of anxiety over stupid things. If a friend doesn't reply to two of my texts in a row, I will spend the day having chest pain over what imaginary thing I must have done. 

I don't handle high levels of stress well. I get overwhelmed and sometimes end up just sitting on the couch trying to catch my breath instead of paying attention to everything around me that needs to get done. 

I could go on and on. My nails are never done for more than a few hours. I take forever to respond to texts and emails. I often cry over criticism. I struggle deeply (and often out loud) with questions about my faith. I am messy. 

This is where we often feel the imaginary cue to jump in a defend ourselves. "I'm anxious BUT I'm a really good listener. I'm messy BUT I'm a really hard worker." No! I have messy hair AND I'm a really great friend. I'm a good mom AND I have hella anxiety. It's all me. All different sections and parts that make up the glorious mess that I am. 

Is there room for improvement? Good grief, most days I think there is only room for improvement. We could always be better. But I think there is a big, huge, massive difference between striving for improvement and cutting away at parts of ourselves that have no business being shaved down to nothing. There's a difference between wanting to be the best version of yourself and feeling like you have to hide all the parts of yourself that aren't quite up to par yet. There's a giant leap between wanting to be better and benching yourself from things like chasing your dreams because you think you aren't good enough yet. 

So let's not. Really, let's just not. It's as simple as that. 

I'm a mess. You're a mess. But it's a glorious mess. It's a mess that is you. No one else is made up of your mess, and that's kind of beautiful when you think about it. So embrace it. Live it. Put it out there. You are gloriously messy, but you are you. 

What's a part of your mess you need to work on embracing? 

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Let's Be Mermaids.

If you've been around here any amount of time, you know I have a thing for mermaids. I mean, I'm a sucker for anything tropical that makes me feel like I'm on vacation, but mermaids have a special place in my heart (and my closet). 

A week from today, I'll be on vacation celebrating one of my best friends' birthdays! So naturally, I'm neeeeeding all of the mermaid things. 

Mermaid tail wine stopper. Now when you don't finish your wine, it can sit on your counter and look like a mermaid is swimming in it. How cute?!

Mermaid potion tumbler. For when you're on the beach, getting your mermaid on.

Mermaid pendant necklace. This is on sale for 2.99 so it's really a no-brainer. 

Mermaid earring set. Look at those starfish!


Meri Meri mermaid necklace. This might be my favorite thing on this list. She's so dang cute and I need her. 

Part mermaid necklace. The packaging makes this the cutest gift: "Captivating, mysterious, and magical, you are an eye-catching combination of enchantment and radiance..." I love that!

Real life mermaid tank. I'll wear this all summer, please and thank you. 

Mermaid tee. So simple and pretty! 
Mermaid vibes tank. Spiritual Gangster is my favorite, so this tank is the stuff dreams are made of. 

Part time mermaid. For those days you don't feel like putting total effort in, ya know? 

Mermaids + Mimosas tank. Also known as my new life motto. 

Beach, please sweatshirt. So perfect for Summer nights.

Eclectic mermaid tank. "She dreams of mermaids and motorcycles and meeting a man who can dance." Oddly specific, but I'm into it. 

Mermaid graphic tee. I love a good oversized tee. 

Mermaid sports bra. For getting your fitness on. 

Mermaid off duty swimsuit. For your days off. 

Seashell mermaid bikini. Basically you can be a real life Ariel. 

Off duty rainbow suit. What a beauty!

Honestly, it's gonna be a miracle if I don't buy all of these things by the end of the day. Happy Monday! 

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

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

1. Practice the one minute rule. My goal is to do this for all of March. The general gist of it is that if you come across something that needs to be done that takes less than a minute, you do it right then. 

2. Add a cup of green tea to your day. This is my favorite one. Lots of health benefits, but also it just tastes good! 

3. Eat a meal outside. 

4. Respond to all of your unanswered texts. If it's been too long or you're not gonna answer, delete them. Clutter isn't just messes around the house, it's things like too many unread emails or unanswered messages. 

5. Make a summer reading list. I put this on March's list so that you can go ahead and get on the waiting list for the popular reads at the library, and hopefully get your books in time for summer!

6. Next time your friends want to do something, plan a really fun night in. Order takeout and binge-watch something, cook dinner, drink wine by a fire...some of the best nights I've had with friends have been nights we stayed in. 

7. Make an effort to compliment people out loud. Like something someone wrote? Tell them! Think someone is doing a really good job? Say so!

8. Get some headbands. It's basically summer here, and I rarely do my hair in the summer. It's just too hot and it doesn't last. Headbands to the rescue. I just bought these (all under $4!): 

9. And a hat. See above. This is my favorite

10. Go to Sonic. Something about warm weather makes me neeeeed a cherry limeade. And an ocean water. 

11. Try a new brunch place. 

12. Listen to Kasey Musgrave's new album! The queen is back! 

13. Go to a farmer's market in your town. I went to one last Saturday and came away with all sorts of good stuff I never would have found at a brick and mortar store.

14. Go for a walk during the sunrise. This is becoming my favorite way to start the day. 

15. And for a walk during the sunset. The very best way to wind down after a long day. 

16. Plan a day trip somewhere. Can't afford a vacation right now? It's amazing how much adventure you can fit into a single day. 

17. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Funny story: 6 years ago I went to a birthday party that just happened to be on St. Patrick's Day, and it was tacos + margaritas. And it just somehow became my rule that celebrating St. Patrick's day means eating tacos. 

18. Get rid of any mugs you don't use. That way when you're checking out at Marshall's and see a mug you realllllly need, you can buy it. 

19. Check in on a friend you haven't heard from in awhile. 

20. Find a protein powder you actually enjoy. I like this one (with peanut butter!) and this one (with almond butter!). 

21. Take a hot bath. Relaxing for a hot second (ha) does wonders for your mental health. 

22. Go out of your way to be kind to someone. Being kind makes you feel good about yourself, period. And I know that shouldn't be your motivation for being kind, but hey, it's a nice side effect. 

23. Go on a photo-spot scavenger hunt of your city. Go find the colorful walls, the 'gram-worthy backgrounds, all the places begging to have their pictures taken!

24. Make a note (a literal one, if you have to!) of the moments you feel the happiest and the moments you feel least happy. What can you do about that? 

25. Make someone an Easter basket. 

26. Buy something fancy at the grocery store. I have no idea why I'll pay $20 for dinner out, but $10 seems expensive to me when I'm grocery shopping. Treat yo'self to something tasty. 

27. Clean out your bathroom cabinets. I did this last night, and two things happened: 1) I threw out stuff there was never a chance of me using again (like half-used pink hair dye, lotion that had turned yellow, etc.), and 2) I found stuff that I have been buying, not realizing I already had it. 

28. Dye Easter eggs. 

29. Make a pitcher of water + fruit at the beginning of the day. Fruity water is just easier to drink and gives me major vacation vibes. 

30. Make someone a playlist. Throw it back to highschool where the highest form of friendship was a burned CD.

31. Start planning a trip to the beach. No summer should end without seeing the ocean - start planning! 

How will you be spending your March?
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