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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Love You, 2018: Part 5

According to my phone's camera roll, part five of 2018 looked a lot like... naps on the boat.

...trips to Cedar Key.

...walks around the neighborhood with Jack actually walking instead of riding in his stroller.

...lots of outside time (before the 8,432 days of rain came).

...dinners at Lucky's, where Jack wanted to sit at every table except his own.

...belated birthday celebrations with my best friends.

...going to Grill's for lunches where you can eat in your bathing suit (the best kind of lunches).

...celebrating Mother's Day with this little ham.

...celebrating my best friend for passing her teaching exam.

...getting tacos with my two bffs. Side note: Jack literally lept out of my arms when he spotted that brownie on the counter.

...silly baby selfies.

...Jack playing with his new bff, Nora.

...discovering a new acai bowl place.

...eating giant watermelons.

...Gatsby being ridiculous. 

What did this month look like for you?
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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What May Taught Me.

To focus on the things that are in my control. I'm pretty sure this has been on a "what I learned this month" list before, so obviously I still have more to learn about it. But I thought a lot about it this month. I'm the kind of person who can drive myself crazy thinking about all the things I have absolutely no control over. And how stupid is that? What a way to waste a day, right? I'm working on focusing on all the things I can control, and trying to just roll with the punches for the rest. 

To be the best version of myself. I wrote about it here. I'm working on changing my perspective to focus on this, and it's been really amazing. 

That I crave experiences. This is how I like to spend my money. I want vacations and trips and memories. I want to go to dinner not because I don't want to cook (I mean, I probably don't want to cook), but because I want the experiences of sitting on a patio and laughing and talking over food. It doesn't bother me to drop a lot of money on vacation and have to pinch pennies for the rest of the month, because I want to make long-lasting memories of sitting on the beach and eating nachos while my babe laughs and plays football. 

That as much as I love a good to-do list, I don't need to live and die by them. I had a lot of things to do on Thursday, but the sun came out for the first time in what felt like forever. So I took Jack to the pool, and we stayed there until the rain came back. This meant the dishes didn't get done. I didn't catch up on laundry. Emails went unresponded to. And you know what? It was every bit worth it. If I had judged the day by how many things I marked off my to-do list, it would've looked like a failure. But in reality, it was anything but. 

What did this month teach you?
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Monday, May 28, 2018

My Favorite Things I Discovered in May.

This flamingo water bottle. It was $3 in the Target dollar spot! I can't find it online to link to it, but it's still at Target. 

Macadamia nut milk. I fully credit this (and also my stubborness) for being able to quit sugary creamer so fast. 

Lucky's. I discovered Lucky's Market this month and hello, heaven. HOW have I lived in Gainesville for two entire years and never ventured into this magical place?! There aren't a ton of things I refer to as life-changing, but Lucky's is one of them. 

Chocolate coconut coffee. Discovered at Lucky's. 1) It's delicious. 2) I told you Lucky's was life-changing. 

This bralette. I actually bought this two months ago and it fell out of the bag and has been under my seat since, only to be discovered a few weeks ago. But it's so cute! It's so comfy, lined enough that you can wear it as an actual bra without giving somebody a show, but cute enough (and covers enough) that it can peek through without looking sleazy. 10/10. (I got the peach beach floral pattern). 

Magnesium. I wrote that I'd been taking melatonin and a lot of you guys told me how bad that was for me. Some of you recommended magnesium instead. I bought some and it's been doing the trick! Plus, no insane dreams or nightmares, which is a big win. I will say it takes longer to work, so I try to drink it about 45 minutes before I go to bed. 

What fun things have you discovered this month?

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Friday, May 25, 2018

The Best Version of Yourself.

This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately. I touched on it a little bit here, and have been mulling it over all week. 

There's an overwhelming amount of things I think we could all agree we should strive for: Being healthy, being a good friend, being a good employee, being a good parent. 

There are things that we could probably all agree that are good to strive for: Keeping your house clean, eating things that are good for you, responding to emails on time. 

I'll tell you this for sure: There's no feasible way to do everything (or to even try to do everything) that everyone thinks is good for you to do. 

But there's one thing we can all do, and it's a really good place to start:

You can strive to be the best version of yourself. 

The best thing you can be is the best version of yourself. Not the best version of someone else. Not a compilation of traits you admire from people you look up to. But the best version of you. 

I don't know why this has been such a lightbulb moment kinda thing for me, but it really has been.

When you're not trying to be authentically, fully yourself, you're way more susceptible to not feeling enough, because your focus is going to fall on others and the ways you admire them, but aren't like them. Comparison is a lot less of a weapon when you're working to be the best you. 

This is something new I'm trying, so I don't really have any advice to write out in bullet points here. But we can try it together, yeah?

What does the best version of me look like physically? Mentally? Spiritually? The happiest me? The most alive me? 

If we could be the best ourselves have to offer in these areas, or even in one of these areas, I think we'd be in a much better place, don't you? 

You are a really, really amazing person. Cheers to being the best version of that person. 

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Just a Reminder That You Are Alive.

Someone said this to me a few days ago, and it really shifted my perspective. So I wanted to pay it forward and pass it along to you too, just in case you're like me and need someone to hit you with some truth every now and then. 

If you are reading this, you are alive. You are living and breathing. You are still here, on this earth, living out a life. 

Chances are, it is not a perfect life. Chances are, it probably isn't even close to perfect. You probably don't have a career that fulfills you daily, or a picture-perfect relationship. You probably have had more trials and issues that you ever would have chosen for yourself. 


You are alive. 

When something happens often, we tend to start to take it for granted. Since every day we wake up is a day we're alive, it's easy to stop recognizing it as an incredible thing. It's easy to stop thinking about what a marvelous chance each day is. It's simple to just fall into monotony, day in and day out. 


You are alive. 

I'm saying this to myself just as much as I'm saying it to you: Please, please, please view this as the precious gift that it is. Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Stop worrying about things that won't matter a month from now. You are too precious to waste your time like that. 

You are alive. 

What a gift that is. 
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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Things I Believe in This Week.

That willpower + stubbornness are a pretty powerful combo. || We're now TWO (and a half!) WEEKS into the whole no sugary creamer situation. This might seem like a small accomplishment to you, but I assure you, it is not. I also assure you it has been accomplished sheerly out of stubbornness to prove to myself that I could do it. Because it feels really good to put your mind to something and decide to stick to it, and then actually stick to it. 

Breaks. || Coffee breaks, book breaks, walk-around the block breaks, sit and stare at the ceiling breaks. When you're busy, taking a few minutes and some deep breaths can make all the difference. 

Supporting the heck out of the people in your life. || My dad called me last week to tell me that he liked a blog post of mine. One of my friends texted me this week saying she was proud of me. One of my best friends is sad about going back to work after her maternity leave, so I sent her flowers. All the simplest actions, all mean so much. Life is hard, but feeling supported by the people in your life makes it so much better. It doesn't have to be big gestures or take a lot of time. Just be supportive!

Summer. || No matter how old I get, summer always feels like a bit of a break from real life. Adventure and pool days and fresh watermelon, does it get any better? While Florida may be in the middle of a rainy week (OVER IT), I'm still feeling the excitement and overall happiness that summer brings every year. I love it so much. 

What do you believe in this week?
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Coming in Live: Thoughts on Being a Mom.

I love a good live blog. I woke up way too early today and Jack is still sleeping peacefully sprawled all over my personal space, snoozing away next to me, so it seems like a perfect morning to type one out. 

I was sitting in the bathroom the other day while Jack splashed around, laughing. He's at an age where he's big enough to want to give himself a bath, but not big enough to be left alone in the tub. It's easier for me, it's harder for me. He loves baths, so I spend a lot of time sitting on the bathroom floor, watching him be amused and enamored by shampoo bubbles in a way that only a two-year-old can. 

Anyway, I'm sitting on the floor when I have this thought-becoming a parent is one of the few things in life that takes one single moment and instantly changes all of the rest of your moments, forever. 

I became a mom and, suddenly, every single moment after that was filled with Jack. My Tuesday nights are filled with the same things-workouts, group texts, cooking dinner-but they're also filled with sitting on the bathroom floor, making sure he's safe in the bathtub. Even when I'm not with him, he's still changed my moments-I'm in charge of leaving him with someone responsible, of checking in, of eventually going back to get him. 

It's exhausting. 

And fun. 

And joyful.
And terrifying. 

And hilarious. 

And exhausting. 

Someone asked me the other day, "Do you enjoy being a mom?" And I found it hard to answer. Not because I didn't know the answer, but because it has never occurred to me as a question. It felt like someone asking me, "Do you enjoy being female?" Or, "Do you enjoy having been born in America?" Things that just are. I just am. 

From the moment Jack was born, I became his mom. I just am his mom, always. No matter where I am or what I'm doing. 

I get a lot of comments about how it's cool that I don't let being a mom be the only part of my identity. That I do things other than only "mom things." And while that's true (and I think so important), in everything I do, I'm his mom. 

I just am. 

I think a big perception of becoming a parent is that suddenly, you are just a parent. Your identity becomes singular and the list of things you can't do anymore becomes long. But that's not true. You are everything that you were, everything you want to be and a parent. 

My identity didn't shrink to just one thing, it expanded in everything I already was by double. 

I think that's pretty cool. 
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Monday, May 21, 2018

Rainy Day Coffee Date.

Happy Monday! We're having the dreariest, rainiest weather over here (anyone else?) and it seems like the perfect day to curl up with a cup of coffee and catch up. 

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you. . .

. . .that I legitimately have bad luck. I just do. I got a brand new phone in February and bought Apple care. I cracked my screen a few weeks ago, so decided to go get it repaired on Friday. When I came back to pick up my phone, everyone was really weird to me and then said, "uhhh let me just get a manager." 

The manager informed me that they'd broken my phone while trying to fix the screen. Like, the whole phone. "So we're giving you a new phone! Here ya go!" Which, in theory, is nice...but I didn't need a new phone! Mine was perfect other than the cracked screen! 

I got in my car and realized my phone won't connect to anything...can't make a call, send a text, nothing. So I go back into the store, and they tell me, "Oh that's a provider issue, go to the Sprint store." 

Which is, of course, words that everyone wants to hear on their day off. 

Long story short, these people got rid of my phone without turning it off, so my new phone wouldn't connect to my number, and it was the BIGGEST PAIN. Next time I'm just keeping the cracked screen. 

...that I'm on a tea kick. I go through phases with tea. I'll buy all of the tea and drink several cups a day, then I'll go months without drinking any. But I'm in a big tea phase right now, specifically, this tea. It tastes like Christmas dessert and is the coziest drink. 

...that it feels like it's been raining for 87 days and nights and I am ready for the sun to come back. Rain is just part of summers in Florida, but it usually is about 20 minutes in the afternoon, not the whole dang day. I miss my pool days! 

....that I've got vacation coming up. We're going back to the place we went last year and I CANNOT WAIT.  I think Jack will love it even more this year. Counting down to nachos by the pool and splashing around with my little bub!

Your turn! What's going on with you? 

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Friday, May 18, 2018

The Good Old Days.

When I walked out of my last final of college, I sobbed the whole way back to my dorm. It was a creative writing class, taught by a man I had grown to deeply love and admire. As I realized that would be my last day with him, that no one was going to be there to talk about my writing, to teach me how to write, to force me to write, my heart hurt. 

Pulling away from graduation, I couldn't stop crying because for a year, I had eaten dinner with my best friend every single night. For a year, she'd been a few steps away. We'd gotten ready together and drank coffee together and lived daily life together for a year, and that was over. 

In hindsight, college was the best. Being forced to read poetry and write stories and study authors, I miss that. I fiercely miss the community, the friendship, my best friend living with me. Those were the good old days. 

When we lived in Orlando, I had more fun than I've maybe ever had in my life. There were rooftop pools and Sunday brunches. Bars and restaurants in walking distance. A group of close-knit friends. We had family dinners, danced on rooftops, drank champagne on Fridays at the pool. When I think about that time and those people, I miss it and them so much my stomach hurts. Those were the good old days. 

Right now, as I'm typing this on my phone, I'm sitting outside watching Jack laugh and splash around in our backyard. He keeps looking over at me smiling. We shared a popsicle earlier. It's a simple and beautiful and sticky and perfect day. I know that these are the good old days. 

I also know they won't last forever. I know one day I'll look back and miss them so much. 

But here's the thing...I've had so many good old days. So many good seasons have come on gone. Started and finished. Because the thing about the good days is that you don't get to have them all at once. 

When we moved from Tennesse, it broke my heart. But had we never moved, I never would have fallen in love with Florida (CAN YOU IMAGINE?!). If high school days had lasted forever, I never would have met my best friends, or fallen in love with writing the way I did in college. Had that season never ended, I wouldn't have had the dancing on rooftops in Orlando nights. 

Friendships. Travels. Marriage. Jack. Melbourne. Orlando. Gainesville. People. Places. Experiences. 

So many good old days. 

Sometimes you know when a season is over, and sometimes you don't. Sometimes you get the finality of walking out of a place for the very last time, and sometimes you look up from life and realize it's been months since you spoke to that person, or years since you've been to that place. 

I guess what I'm saying is this: There is good in every season, and every season ends. With enough time and hindsight, every season becomes the good old days. 

So live in your moment. Live lightly. Don't cling so dearly to what you're enjoying that you might miss the next wave of goodness. 

Reflect on the life you've lived so far with fondness and thankfulness, but don't idolize it. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, and all that. Enjoy the present, but don't cling too tightly to it. Look forward to the future, but don't count down to it so much you miss the life around you. Live your moments. Cherish them. After all, these are the good old days. 

They all are. 
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Thursday, May 17, 2018

You Know You Best.

We live in a digital age that is overflowing with advice and information. Some of it great, some of it pretty good, some of it terrible, nearly all of it contradicting. 

You should unplug and rest at night, because self-care. But you should also hustle late into the night, because big dreams. 

You should travel anywhere you want to go, because experiences. But you should also save all of your money, because responsibility. 

You should workout super hard every day, because health. But you should also not push yourself too hard, also because health. 

You will see constant recommendations everywhere (even here!) and most of them are truly well-meaning. Everyone is sharing what has worked for them. And, when something works for you, you tend to want to shout it from the rooftops so it can work for everyone else, too!

Honestly, I think it's kind of amazing. I can type a few words in on my phone and within minutes have lots of suggestions on how to potty train my kid, or what to eat for clearer skin, or how to deal with friendship problems, or how to set boundaries in life. 

But all of it can be just a little overwhelming. 

So just a little reminder that you know you best. You know what's best to take to heart and what's best to read and file under "good for them, not for me." You know the difference between "that will be healthy for me to try" and "I want to do this so I'll be like her." You know the difference between "this will enrich my life" and "this will make my life look more like his life." 

Filter all the opinions and advice and suggestions - even the good stuff - through the filter of, "what's best for me?" 

A silly example: I'm allergic to pineapple. I didn't develop an allergy until I was 22, so I know exactly what I'm missing. When I look up wellness and healthy eating and building your immune system, pineapple comes up a lot. A lot of people I admire and respect and maybe even want to be like recommend pineapple. But I know if I eat pineapple, I'll die (not really, but I'll be miserable and look terrible and feel awful). So when I see people recommending pineapple, I just think, ugh you're so lucky "that's great for you, but I need to pass on that."

Do that. Figure out your pineapple. Maybe traveling stresses you out and you hate it. Maybe spending too much time alone in the name of self-care depresses you. Maybe working out daily is not good for your body. The people suggesting these things don't know you, but you know you the very best. 

Do what's best for you. 
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

3 Things You Need to Know About.

Macadamia nut milk. || If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me crying about mention that I went cold turkey off of my copious amounts of coffee creamer I drink every day. I love me some coffee creamer, but I drink a ton of coffee, so I was consuming waaaaay too much sugar first thing in the morning. 

I got this (at Wal-Mart, of all places), and it has made my life so much better. It's like almond milk, but creamier and sweeter (still no sugar!) and pretty much just magical? You need to know about it.
Pirate Play Center. || It's only May, but this is already the best $35 I will spend all summer long. Jack loves it. It's adorable. It's a pool, a slide, and a sprinkler. We've been playing in it every afternoon and I'll never forget his sweet little laughs from how happy this makes him. 

Walmart grocery delivery. || Okay, I was very skeptical about this. But guys, I GROCERY SHOPPED WITHOUT HAVING THE GET OUT OF MY CAR. You make your list and pay online, then check in when you leave your house. There's a designated spot for you to park in, and someone comes and loads your car for you.  I've never loved grocery shopping at Walmart, but this surprised me in the best way. I'll be doing this a lot more from now on. If you want to try it, click that link and you get $10 off your order!

Your turn! Tell me something I need to know about.
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Monday, May 14, 2018

Some Simple Ways to Just Be Happy Today.

In the monotony of daily life, chasing after happiness can seem like an endless, really big project. And sometimes, it is. But sometimes it's simpler and more easily attained than we make it out to be. Sometimes no big changes need to be made, no big trips need to be taken. Sometimes you're just a few minutes away from happy. 

Some simple ways to find your happiness today. . .

Go for ice cream. There's a reason everyone loves going for ice cream when they're a kid...because it's a happy thing! No reason that should stop just because you're an adult now. 

Watch the sunset. Getting outside in any way helps put me in a good mood, but being outside and watching the sky wind down for the night in the most beautiful way, it's hard to not feel happy. 

Make your favorite kind of cup of coffee. Iced coffee or a cappuccino or a shot of espresso...make your favorite and then take a few minutes to just enjoy it. 

Watch your favorite movie. It's your favorite for a reason! 

Take a bubble bath. It's my personal belief that bubble baths can right most wrongs in life. 

Cook your favorite dinner. 

Or, order your favorite dinner instead. 

Go for a drive and listen to the music that makes you happy. Bonus points if you hit up Sonic while you're out.

Look through the pictures on your phone. I take so many pictures of Jack and Gatsby just on a whim or during a funny moment and then forget about them. Looking back at them always puts me in a good mood.

Plan a vacation. Even if it's not one you can take this year (or even next year), there's something inherently happy about vacation planning. Dream a little, look up the places you've always wanted to go, and start planning!

What are some easy ways you add happiness to your day?

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Friday, May 11, 2018

What I Really Want For Mother's Day. Alternatively Titled: I Have a Two-Year-Old.

Last year, I wrote this post about what I wanted for Mother's Day. Included, but not limited to: All of the sleep, a Frankenstein body situation (with my pre-baby body, my post-baby hips, and my newborn-days boobs), length-changing hair, and a new magical substance that both kept me awake but chilled me the heck out. Spoiler alert, I never got these things and they're all still on my list.

I thought it'd be fun to revisit this a year later, now that Jack is a year older, and see what I have to add to this list. 

A translator. I was just talking to Michelle this week saying I had some questions for Jesus, starting with WHY do toddlers have all the feelings and emotions before they can talk and tell you what they need? A translator would be able to tell me that even though he's screaming at me and pointing at his milk in the kitchen, his "words" are telling me that he wants me to go get his toy that is too far under his bed for him to reach. Silly me. 

All of the energy. All. Of. It. This is different than all of the coffee, because the amount of energy needed to even sort of keep up with a two-year-old is something that not even my beloved coffee can touch. 

Magical carpets that deep clean themselves every night when I go to sleep. It feels like I am scrubbing my carpet every day for some reason or another, and it definitely feels like that scrubbing only touches the surface. I'm legitimately scared about what might be under there at this point. 

A clone of myself. Second Chelsea, if you will. When we go to the pool, she can watch Jack while I read a book. When Jack is so clingy that even throwing a load of towels in the washer is a mission, she can take care of the laundry while I hold him. When he takes a nap, I can take a bath while she cooks dinner. 

An unlimited skincare budget. Things that are bad for your skin include: Smoking, drinking, junk food, and, worst of all, living with a two-year-old. 

A chef. Also probably going to need them to be a mythical creature, because I need them to cook a dinner every night that somehow is toddler-friendly but also packed with nutrients for Jack but also healthy for me but also filling enough that I won't be grazing in my pantry at 11:00 that night. So, definitely a mythical creature. A magic chef. 

Happy Mother's Day. Don't forget to remind the mom's in your life that they're superheroes. And if you know any magic chef's, send them my way. 

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Some Love Letters.

Dear Fiesty Cherry Diet Coke, I love you. How many is too many? Don't answer this. 

Dear summer weather, I love you. Sunshine and summertime forever, thank you and amen. 

Dear FaceTime, I love you. Thank you for making it so easy to keep in touch with family and friends, and also for saving me trips to the emergency room when Jack hurts himself by facetiming dr. dad instead. 

Dear farmer who sets up shop at my neighborhood entrance, I love you. Thank you for feeding my watermelon obsession. 

Dear macadamia nut milk, I love you. You have made my cold-turkey break from sugar-filled creamer much more bearable.

Dear lime coolada after sun lotion, I love you. Not only do you make my tan last longer, you make me smell like vacation all the time, and vacation smells like pure happiness. 

Dear post-nap toddler snuggles, I love you. Those sleepy-smiled, messy hair, sweetest little cuddles are the highlight of my days right now. 

Dear Yogi Teas, I love you. Your flavors are my favorite, and your hippie fortune cookie sayings on the tags always make me smile. 

What are you writing love letters to this week?
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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

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

This pool float towel. This is adorable and I need it and you probably also need it.

These pineapple sunglasses. I may be allergic to pineapple (SO SAD), but will that stop me from wearing them on my face? That's a negative.

This off-duty mermaid koozie. At under four dollars, you can buy one for yourself and your mermaid bestie and still come in at under $10.

These unicorn drink floats. Holding your drink in the pool is so overrated.

And also these mermaid drink floats.

This white nail polish. It's white nail polish season! This is my favorite one.

This chapstick. The most tropical flavors to protect your lips from the sun (key lime is my favorite).

The best after-sun lotion in the whole world. It smells like vacation and dreams come true.

This retro water bottle. How cute is this?! It belongs on the beach with me.

These tassel earrings. I haven't been able to wear dangling earrings for approximately two years now (because I have a toddler and I value my earlobes), but these are so pretty!

Happy Wednesday! Treat yo'self!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Get Outside!

I wrote a post about stress + anxiety (two very unwelcome roommates of mine) a few weeks ago and mentioned how going on walks and runs really helped me manage stress. The more time I spend outside, in any capacity, the better I feel. 

A few days ago, I blacked out at Target I got a little excited for summer while I was at Target and ended up bringing home this pool/water slide/sprinkler combo (side note, it's only $35 at Target, I just can't find the link for it). It had been one of the most stressful days I'd had in awhile (which is why I ended up at Target...retail therapy, you know?), but when I got home, I blew that baby up and sat outside while Jack splashed his little heart out. 

And I felt so. much. better. Being outside, breathing the fresh air, watching the sky turn pretty colors. The stress of the day just melting away, because it's hard to be stressed in a situation like that. 
So this is me reminding you to get outside. 

Go for a walk. For your whole lunch hour, or just around your block. 

Take your shoes off. Feel the grass or the sand or the dirt under your feet, for just a second. 

Sit outside and watch the sunset. Really watch it. Press pause on everything else and really notice how beautiful the colors the sky turns every night are. 

Go dip your feet in a pool, or a lake, or the ocean. There's just something about being near a body of water that wakes you up. 

Just step outside and look at the stars. On your front porch, on your balcony, in your driveway. You don't have to go far. Take some deep breaths of fresh air. Remember how wonderful it is to be alive and how beautiful this place we live is. 

It's way too beautiful to stay cooped up all day. Don't go from home to work to home to bed without stepping out to enjoy some fresh air.

Get outside. Soak it up. I promise, You're gonna feel good. 

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Best Weekend With My Best Girls.

For my birthday this year, I got a folder from my best friends with a note inside that said, "pack your bags!" They had planned a weekend away to celebrate, and when I say they planned it, they planned. They called my mom and made arrangements for Jack (sweetest ever) and planned out everything over two days so I wouldn't have to do anything other than show up (aka my dream weekend). 

shorts // top // shell yeah shoes

We spent the day shopping in Jacksonville, eating cupcakes at Sweet by Holly, and basically just dancing our way through every mall and outlet and Starbucks we could find (I told you, my favorite things).

I don't care how old you are, listening to music and getting ready with your friends is the best. Having an excuse to get dressed up and take way too many pictures is just fun, and everyone should do it every now and then. 

We ended up at my new favorite place (in the world, maybe?), River + Post. They had the most beautiful rooftop with the perfect view to watch the sun go down (translation: take too many Instagram pictures) before going downstairs to eat dinner.

DINNER. Oh my gosh. I have not stopped thinking about this food. I had shrimp and grits with gouda grits and I am not joking when I say I strongly considered ordering a second plate just because I was sad mine was gone. It was that good. 

After dinner, we headed to a speakeasy, and while I took no pictures there, it was one of the coolest places I've ever been. It was a post office on the outside and once you went in, it felt like walking into a movie. Everything was very prohibition themed, and it was so much fun. I was made for the twenties!

It wouldn't be a weekend of my favorite things if we didn't end up at the beach! It was the most beautiful day. There was a restaurant (The Lemon Drop) right on the beach, and we ate too much and drank too many of these colorful things and got too much sun and it was just perfect. 

It was seriously the best 48 hours. They really did cram all of my favorite things into two days, and it made me feel so special that they knew just what I'd want to do. I'm so thankful for my friends who love me so well. 

I'll remember the weekend forever, but more importantly than remembering the dinner (seriously - I'm gonna remember those grits until the day I meet Jesus) or remembering our beach day, I'll remember how special they made me feel. They're both in crazy busy seasons of life, but they took the time to plan this and then carved out time to spend with me. I'm so grateful and it makes me want to be a better friend. 

Cheers to friendships. One of the best gifts this life has to offer. 

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