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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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Friday, May 4, 2018

Q + A: Round One!


A few weeks ago, I posted a "let's get to know each other!" post with an open Q+A and also an anonymous form. NEVER AGAIN will I do anything anonymous on here! I got some good questions, but yo...people are MEAN when they can hide behind anonymity. Like, nasty mean. No thank you. 

I will (obviously) be ignoring most of the bullying comments I got. Here are a few of the questions I got to get things started! 

What kind of mascara do you use? I got this question so many times! I'm so excited because I have a really good answer! I use a combo that I discovered on accident (Thanks to my Sephora Play box!). I use It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara, which I find amazing when it comes to volume, but it's too clumpy to wear alone. So I do a layer of that, and while it's still wet, immediately go over it with a layer of Buxom Lash Mascara. I've tried a lot of mascaras, but those are my favorites! 

Why don't you post a lot of pictures of Jack? Actually, the question was phrased: "Are you just hoping people forget you're a mom? You never post pictures of your kid on Instagram." Which is actually not a question, but I'm gonna answer it anyway! I told you people are mean!

As far as Instagram goes, I'm still trying to figure out how much I want to share / not share of Jack. I share a fair amount of pictures of him on my blog for two reasons: 1) If you're following my blog, I feel like you're more invested than just following Instagram. Maybe that's stupid, but it takes more effort to read blog posts than it does to look at pictures! And 2) Here, I can share pictures of Jack and the stories behind them, which just feels more personal and special to me. 

I have friends who choose to share zero pictures of their child on social media, and friends who post daily about their children on social media. I have 100% respect for both of those choices and have never felt judgemental towards anyone about how much they choose to share about their child. I fall somewhere in-between. Sometimes it feels right to share pictures of him, and sometimes it feels weird. I just try to go with my gut. That's the best answer I can give you! 

What's your favorite part of living in Florida? Hands down, the weather. It's summer a lot of the time, and I'm all about summer. Being close to the beach doesn't hurt, either! 

How do you edit your pictures? Lightroom! But I'm not fancy, every single picture I post I use presets. 

What do you do for work (it seems like you work from home a lot?) I do work from home! When we moved to Gainesville, my job allowed me to continue working remotely, since most of my work was done from a computer anyway! I work in an assistant role for a church and also do their editing!

How did you decide to get a Shiba-Inu? I had never heard of a Shiba-Inu before we got Gatsby. I did no research on the breed or where I was getting him from. We stumbled upon a pet store, met Gatsby, and I fell in love with him immediately. (Chris also fell in love with him, it just took him a liiiiitle longer). In hindsight, this was not how buying a dog should have gone. I wouldn't buy from a pet store again, knowing what I now know about how they're run. I would also research a breed. But I was young and in love with this tiny little fox, and I have no regrets! 

I think that's enough for now! I've got enough to do a few more of these, so if you have any questions, let me know in the comments! Happy Friday! xo

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Some Funny Things as of Late.

I used to be really good at documenting the funny, sometimes bizarre things that tend to happen to me. My friends always make fun of the awkward situations (and people) I seem to attract. I thought it'd be fun to round some of those up. 


One:

I was meeting Sam for lunch a few weeks ago (when it was still a little chilly) and was waiting for her on the porch of a restaurant. I'd been there for a few minutes when an older man, maybe in his 60's, approached me to tell me he thought I should probably go inside. 

Me: I'm sorry? 

Him: You should go inside. I can tell you're cold. 

Me: I'm fine! 

Him: No, really. You're obviously cold. 

Me: ...

Him: I can tell your cold. Your nips are showing. They're cold, and they're showing. 

NOW. The above is obviously inappropriate no matter what, but I would like to state, for the record, that not only was I wearing a bra this day, I was wearing a hoodie. So no matter how cold I was, this man saw nothing. 

I could either go inside like he suggested (which, NOPE), or leave (which, nope) so I just sat there and looked at him and didn't say anything. He got in his car and left, and that was that. 

What is wrong with people? 

Side note: I texted my mom about this, and she texted back in all caps, MY NIPS, MY BUSINESS, which will now be my new life motto, thank you for understanding. 


Two:

I met a new friend at the neighborhood pool a few weeks ago, who was wearing big sunglasses. She took them off, introduced herself and her little boy to me and Jack, and we hit it off. I mentioned I'd love to get together soon and we went on our ways. 

Last week, I was at the pool, when she showed up in her big sunglasses. I wave and we strike up a conversation. I went to leave and said, "I'd love to have a coffee date with you and your sweet little boy (I couldn't remember his name) soon!" She sat straight up and said, "How did you know?" 

Me: What? 

Her: How did you know it was a boy? 

Me:...What? 

Her: Takes sunglasses off, is definitely not the same person I met a few weeks ago, does not even live in the neighborhood, and has just found out she's having a baby boy. 


Tell me something awkward that's happened to you lately! 
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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Books I Read in April & Whether or Not You Should Read Them.


A Separation by Katie Kitamura

Plot: "A young woman has agreed with her faithless husband: it's time for them to separate. For the moment it's a private matter, a secret between the two of them. As she begins her new life, she gets word that Christopher has gone missing in a remote region in the rugged south of Greece; she reluctantly agrees to go and search for him, still keeping their split to herself. In her heart, she's not even sure if she wants to find him. Adrift in the wild landscape, she traces the disintegration of their relationship, and discovers she understands less than she thought about the man she used to love.

A story of intimacy and infidelity, A Separation is about the gulf that divides us from the lives of others and the narratives we create for ourselves. As the narrator reflects upon her love for a man who may never have been what he appeared, Kitamura propels us into the experience of a woman on the brink of catastrophe. A Separation
 is a riveting stylistic masterpiece of absence and presence that will leave the reader astonished, and transfixed." -via Goodreads


Favorite quote: "In the end, what is a relationship but two people, and between two people there will always be room for surprises and misapprehensions, things that cannot be explained. Perhaps another way of putting it is that between two people, there will always be room for failures of imagination."

My thoughts: I do not understand why this book got such awards. I. Hated. It. I didn't love the writing style, but I can see how some people would (not much punctuation, no quotation marks so it's hard to know when something is a thought and when it's said out loud). My problem was that this was, essentially, a plotless book. Truly. Nothing happens. It's bizarre that's it's touted as some big mystery, because it's not.

Should you read it? No. Hard pass. 

Liar by K. L. Slater

Plot: How far would you go to protect your family? 

Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children alone, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. Life isn’t easy, but Judi’s family means everything to her and together, they manage. 

Then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t sure … there’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up. 

Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children. 

The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences. -via Goodreads

Favorite quote: “There’s a point at which you may might realize the journey isn’t really for you any more. But every time you get a chance to change paths, you just stay put because it’s easier. You end up trudging along the same old way and watching as life happens to other people as you pass by. Then one day you just stop looking around you.” 

My thoughts: My friend Kait recommended this one, and based on her review, I knew I was going to love it. It did NOT disappoint. It was twisty and layered and kept me guessing the whole time. The characters were so well written and I loved their point of views. Everything I want to say about the book, I can't say without spoiling it. So just read it. 

Should you read it? YES. 

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Plot: Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. 
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When the Richardsons' friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia's. 
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak. -via Goodreads
Favorite quote: “Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground, and start over. After the burning the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.” 

My thoughts: When I was about 1/3 of the way through this book, a friend asked me if I was enjoying it. My answer was that while I loved it so far, I still had no idea what it was actually about. 

That's what made this book so good. It's about the characters, not about any one event. There is a plot and a big event, but by the time you get there, you're so invested in the characters and their own explorations that the twists are just background noise, if that makes sense. She writes the most amazing characters, and I was sad when this book was over because I wanted to know even more about them. 

Should you read it? Yes! 

What have you read lately? And should I read it?
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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

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


1. Get outside! Celebrate the (hopefully?) warm weather and start spending more time outside!  

2. Text a friend and let them know you're praying for them. If you're not a praying person, then that you're thinking of them. A quick text can go a long way. 

3. Find some healthy snacks that you like. For me, the summer means constant snacking. Road trips, beach days, pool days, cookouts...snacks, snacks, snacks. I'm always gonna love some pizza and junk food, but it's nice to have a few healthy snacks (that I enjoy) thrown into the rotation. 

4. Deep clean your house. This isn't fun, but you'll feel so much better when it's done. Promise. 

5. Do something creative. Paint, or write a poem, or make a craft. Something that gets your creative mind working!

6. Take a reading break. Outside in the sun, preferably! 

7. Make a running to-do list. Things that you know you need to get to, but aren't super pressing this very day. Having this list helps me not be stressed when random things I need to eventually do pop into my brain - I just add them to the list!  

8. Go to a yard sale. People have yard sales when they have too much stuff, which means sometimes, you can find really amazing things for really amazing prices, simply because they wanna get rid of them!

9. Back up your phone pictures. Most people don't think about doing this until it's too late!

10. Get a hammock. There's nothing like swinging in a hammock while the sun goes down during the summer. 

11. Buy a baseball cap. They're really cute, they keep the sun out of your face, and you don't have to do your hair. Win, win, win.

12. Branch out and find your favorite summer drink. Last summer was the summer I fell in love with LaCroix. This year it's Fiesty Cherry Diet Coke. 

13. Get some cheap sunglasses. You're (probably) going to lose them or break them anyway. 

14. Look up outdoor concerts near you. 

15. Learn how to use a grill. If you already know how to, then try some new recipes on that baby!

16. Throw out old bathing suits that you know you're not going to wear this summer.

17. Go out for breakfast. The more hole-in-the-wall the place, the better.

18. Bake a cake. I can't remember the last time I baked a cake! 

19. Hang up some string lights. An instant whimsical, good mood.

20. Look up happy hours around you. I was great at this in Orlando, but I need to do this here! Lots of places have a big happy hour menu, and who doesn't love a bunch of appetizers for dinner?

21. Use your crockpot more. I know crockpot meals are often thought of as a fall and winter thing, but there's something so nice about not having to cook dinner during the summer...just throw some ingredients in and be done with it!

22. Write down or print off some quotes that inspire you. Put them around your house for mini boosts of inspiration throughout your day.

23. Buy all of the fruit! Summer fruit is the best fruit.

24. Spend a day on the water. By a pool, on a boat, at the beach...any water! 

25. Make an effort to slow down every day. A sunset walk or a bubble bath or a chapter of a good book...just take some deep breaths and enjoy your life at a slower pace for a small fraction of your day.

26. Get this after sun lotion. If you're going to be in the sun at all this summer, you need it. I actually use it every day, whether I'm in the sun or not, because it just smells like vacation and that makes me happy. 

27. Sit outside and just look at the stars. If you live in the city, you might have to drive a bit for this one, but it's worth it. Nothing centers me quite like that. 

28. Make homemade ice cream. A summer staple! 

29. Have a movie night. You know, for those movies that you say you're going to go see in theatres, but never quite make it there. 

30. Next time you have to run errands, grab your favorite coffee beforehand. Makes grocery shopping a little better. 

31. Get a disposable camera and get it developed at the end of summer. No worrying about if you got a good picture or how you should filter it, just snap and be surpised later! 

How will you be spending this month?
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