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Friday, March 29, 2019

My Favorite Things I Discovered in March.

These shoes from TargetMy friend Lindsay told me about these and I'm OBSESSED with them. Leopard tennis shoes...yes please. They're so cute with jeans and cutoffs, and I know I'll wear them all summer, too. They definitely run big. I usually wear a 9 1/2, I got a 9 and they were still a little big. Definitely size down if you get some. 

This hair mask. Lindsay also recommended this hair mask and it's SO good. It makes my hair so soft and shiny without weighing it down or making it oily. I've been using it once a week and loving it. 

My new bedding! Amazon came through with this duvet and I'm obsessed. 

Pillow spray. This isn't the exact one I got (found mine at TJ Maxx, of course), but it is that scent. I also got a eucalyptus one and I spray them both on my pillow before going to sleep. It's so relaxing and refreshing. 

Did you discover anything new and recommendation-worthy this month?! Happy Friday! Hope you have the best weekend ever! 

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

let's say thank you together.

Yesterday was a day. Some. Kinda. Day

I woke up this morning so ready for a fresh day, so ready to take on this day and make it so much better than yesterday was. The best way I know how to start that is with coffee (obviously) and gratitude. So I'm sitting in bed with my coffee, about to write my thankful list, and I thought, you know what? Let's do it together today. 

 Whether you had the best day or the worst day or some kind of day in between yesterday, taking some time to shift your perspective to one of gratitude can make today so much better, I promise. 

So today, I'm thankful for: 

1. A new planner. I got this planner in the mail on Monday and it was just the motivation I needed to get organized. 

2. Easy dinners. There are times and seasons where I love cooking and love looking up new recipes and spending lots of time in the kitchen. This is not one of those seasons. Give me all the burrito bowls and pasta and anything else that takes approximately 15 minutes to throw together. 

3. Stick on nails. I have these on right now and honestly they look so good that they make me feel like I have my life together. It's the little things, you know?

4. Ice roller. I woke up with a puffy face today and AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. I swear by this $10 little gem I got on Amazon. It feels amazing. 

5. My family, blood and not. I won the freakin' family lottery, let me tell you. But beyond that, the friends that have chosen to be my family? Gosh. Overwhelmed with gratitude for them. 

What are YOU thankful for today?
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Monday, March 25, 2019

What March Taught Me.

I usually feel like months fly by, but I feel like we hung out in March for a good long time. Anyone else?

March taught me a few things, like...

Focus on the good. || Are there some things that aren't going the best? Of course there are. Are there so many good things, too? Of course there are! I can focus on the good or the bad. Focusing on the bad is exhausting, it's draining, and-here's the most important part-it takes away from the good.  On the other hand, focusing on the good makes the bad seem smaller and less important. It opens your eyes to even more good stuff that's happening. 

I'm truly having to learn this day by day. The not-so-good stuff can be the loudest in the room and demand all the attention, but I'm working on not giving in to that. I'm not great at it yet, but I'm getting there. 

It's always better to go high. || People are going to be nasty sometimes. Behind your back, to your face, on the internet. It's life. And if you're anything like me, a fire will rage inside of you demanding to be let out in the way of immediate revenge. I'm a very calm person until you're nasty to someone I love. Then I turn into the main character from Gone Girl. Kidding (not really though). 

There were a lot of times this month where I wanted to open my mouth and let all my feelings fly. There were a lot of times where I wanted to do stuff worse than that. But after some good talks and (lots of) time with Jesus, I didn't. 

The short of it is, retaliating to people who stoop low enough to be mean to you in the first place is going to make you feel better for about five seconds, and then you've just thrown gasoline on a fire. 
So those strangers on the internet saying mean things about you? Ignore them. It'll make them crazy. 

It's important to feed your fire. || This summer, I read a few books and listened to some podcasts that set me on fire. Motivation was flowing strong. It was amazing. But life kept moving, things kept happening, and all of the sudden I was wondering what happened to all that fire inside of me. 

Then I realized, I hadn't been tending to it. I had jumped in all excited, and then got into a habit of go-go-go, which eventually will drain you. 

Keep reading the books. Keep listening to the podcasts. Keep taking time to dream and imagine and rest. Keep feeding the fire so it grows. 

Little joys and gratitude go the longest way. || A few little joys from this month: Throwback playlists, face masks, stick-on nails, hot tea, coconut-cocoa coffee. None of those things are extravagant, but focusing on them and gratitude can change your whole dang day. Try it. 

You never know when life is going to surprise you with good things. || Anyone else catch themselves waiting for the other shoe to drop? Going through life with a sense of caution, because something bad could be right around the corner? Well, it could. BUT. Something good could be right around the corner, too. And often is. This month was full of good things I didn't see coming - new friends, new ventures, exciting plans. Could something bad happen tomorrow? Sure it could. But if this month is any indication, something good I don't see coming could happen tomorrow, too. 

Now! This month, I wanted to do something new. I love these posts, and I love hearing what every month taught you, too. So I'm gonna put this template in my stories on instagram. Tell me what March taught you! 

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Fill That Cup!

The biggest thing I have been learning (so far!) in 2019 is about filling my cup. There are things in life that fill your cup and there are things that don't. There are people who fill your cup and there are people who don't. When you put it that way, it should be easy, right? But alas, this is the real world, where we have very real obligations and responsibilities. 

We can't just Marie Kondo away our jobs and responsibilities and mortgages (this doesn't bring me joy, BYE), so it's super important to be intentional about filling your cup. 

A list of things that have filled my cup lately: 

The library 

New bedding 

Time in the sunshine

Spending time with friends



Brainstorming fun projects 



Face masks 


Beach days

Are all of these things paying my bills? No. Are they all technically productive? Nope. Are they making me a happier version of myself? YES. And that's just so important. 

I might know next to nothing about your life, but I bet if I guessed that a good portion of it was full of doing things for other people and responsibilities that were draining, I'd be right. So take things into your own hands. Don't wait for someone else to fill your cup. 

Your cup is gonna run low sometimes. That's life. Pay attention to what makes you happy, what brings you peace, what leaves you feeling refreshed. Then do those things, because you care about yourself. 

You deserve a full cup. It's as simple as that. 

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Coffee Date: Four Cups In.

I would just like you to know that, in the spirit of authenticity, I just poured myself my fourth cup of coffee while writing this. So we really are having a coffee date. 

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

...I got new bedding and it has changed my LIFEEE. Maybe a little dramatic, but it's so cozy and comfortable and makes me happy whenever I look at it, which feels life changing. I got this duvet on Amazon (which totally looks like something you'd buy at Anthropology, except it was only $70 instead of $700) and then found sheets and pillows at Home Goods. I'm obsessed. 

...I'm falling more and more in love with Poshmark. I'm having so much fun thrifting and hunting for the things I think will sell best, and I'm SUPER having fun making extra money (I mean, not real fun, more like adult fun, AKA I'm paying off my credit card. FUN!)

...The warm weather is back and it is glorious. A little sunshine on my skin does wonders for my mood. 
...Last week on Instagram, I asked for people to tell me the best book they've read recently. I added all the suggestions to my library wish list, no questions asked. So I currently have a bag full of books I know nothing about and I'm so dang excited to dig in. 

...I had the slowest Sunday morning and it was so refreshing. I did a hair mask, a face mask, a foot mask (mask QUEEN over here) and drank coffee and watched a church service online in my pajamas. Taking a morning to slow down, not rush around, and just do things for myself made me feel so full, and I'm definitely going to try to do more of that. 

Wishing you a Wednesday full of strong coffee and lots of joy. xoxo
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Monday, March 11, 2019

The Middle of The Storm.

I've been thinking / reading / listening to a lot about storms lately. How they shape us, how they strengthen us. How they spit us out on the other side as warriors capable of way more than we thought we were. I love when people share their stories about their own life storms, about how what tried to destroy them failed, about all the good things that came from it. 

But here's the thing about storms. 

They hurt. 

Like, a lot. 

So I just want to say, if you're in the middle of your storm...if you haven't come out victorious, haven't had the epic rising-from-the-ashes moment yet, if you're still in the middle of the part that hurts...I see you, and I'm sorry. 

Yes, believe you're gonna make it. I know you're gonna make it. But I also know that right now, it hurts like hell. It's dark and uncomfortable and unfair and seeming never, ever ending. It's okay to acknowledge that. It's good to acknowledge that. 

So hey. If this Monday finds you in a storm of your own, I'm sorry. Storms suck. I've had a few of my own recently, and I can join you in saying, they SUCK. 

You're totally gonna make it. You're already way stronger than you know. The stories you're reading and hearing about people making it to the other side, that's gonna be you. 

But MAN, it sucks along the way. And it's okay to feel that way. 

Sending you all the love and solidarity today. xoxo

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Friday, March 8, 2019

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

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen 

Plot: Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking… and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

Favorite quote: “Every lifetime contains pivot points—sometimes flukes of destiny, sometimes seemingly preordained—that shape and eventually cement one’s path. These moments, as unique to each individual as strands of DNA, can at their best cause the sensation of a catapult into the shimmer of stars. At the opposite extreme, they can feel like a descent into quicksand.” 

My thoughts: OH MY GOSH THIS WAS SO GOOD. It's the same people who wrote The Wife Between Us, and I'm going to say I liked this one even better! It was twisty and unique and truly left me guessing until the end. Five stars!

Should you read it? YESSSSSS!

All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor

Plot: "Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . ."

My thoughts: I started this, got bored, and put it down like four times. But once I got more than a few pages into it, I finished it all in the same day. 
It's highly unbelievable for a YA book (which I don't mind, I know I'm reading fiction). It's also a super unique way to write a novel...Four girls are being interviewed for a podcast, and the story is told in their alternate perspectives via the interviews. You're also reading chapters of a book within a book, and you know something bad has happened because of this book, so it's a fun way of trying to solve the mystery. I enjoyed it, it just took me a few tries to get into. 

Should you read it? I think so!

It's Not Supposed to be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa Terkeurst
Plot: What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful? 

Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.

Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she's also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In It's Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor, helps us to:

* Stop being pulled into the anxiety of disappointment by discovering how to better process unmet expectations and other painful situations.
* Train ourselves to recognize the three strategies of the enemy so we can stand strong and persevere through unsettling relationships and uncertain outcomes.
* Discover the secret of being steadfast and not panicking when God actually does give us more than we can handle.

Favorite quote: “Sometimes to get your life back, you have to face the death of what you thought your life would look like.” 

My thoughts: Good grief, I cannot imagine having the strength to not only publicly walk through what she had to walk through, but to write a whole book about it, putting herself on display for everyone to read and judge. BUT I AM SO GLAD SHE DID. 
I read this book at exactly the right time, and I listened to it on Audible, where she narrates it. I often felt like I was sitting with a friend who was just telling me her story, saying "hey, if I can do it, you can do it!" It was so beautiful. 

Should you read it? If you like hearing people's stories of rising up from the ashes, or if you're going through something hard yourself, yes.

What have you been reading?
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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Good Morning, I've Got Some Thoughts.

Good morning! I've got some thoughts that have been swirling around since yesterday. I started to talk about them on insta stories, but it got way too long. So instead I've brought them here, where I can angrily passionately bang them out on a keyboard, which is my natural habitat anyway. 

This is what I've been thinking about: There are a lot of things we should do that are hard. We should eat healthy and exercise, but that can be hard (because we live in a world where pizza and Netflix are a thing). We should always keep our word, but that can be hard because things come up and life gets in the way. We should be nice to everyone, but that can be hard because sometimes people are idiots. 

Not being mean? THAT'S NOT HARD. 

I've seen a lot of mean things this week. Personal things from people I know, but I've also seen a lot of people sharing / reposting / retweeting mean things. I get that it feels easier, and less mean, maybe, to share something you didn't actually say yourself, but man, I don't like what that says about us. 

Two things. 

One: I don't care if you didn't write it, if you share an article full of making fun of someone and being mean about someone, YOU ARE BEING MEAN. If you forward an email or text full of meanness, even meanness you didn't originally write, YOU ARE BEING MEAN. 

Two: It's not freakin' hard to not be mean. Don't share the mean thing on facebook. Don't retweet the mean tweet about the person you've never even met. Don't forward mean things to other people. That's. Not. Hard. 

If you don't like someone, don't hang out with them! Don't agree with someone's theology? Don't buy their books! Don't like a certain blogger? Don't follow them! But being mean just for the sake of doing it? Gross. Don't do that. 

Life is entirely too short to be mean. It doesn't bring you anything good. It doesn't bring the world anything good. 

Don't be mean. It's easy! The end. 

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Monday, March 4, 2019

What February Taught Me.

That it's up to me to fill my cup. || I feel like we have the tendency to run around doing everything for everyone, pouring ourselves out at our jobs, for our friends, for our family, and then wonder why we feel empty. Well, boo, it's because you are. February really showed me how important it is to focus on filling my cup. It makes all the difference in the world. 

I also learned some very specific things that fill my cup. || Being in the sunshine, spending time with friends, reading, waking up to a clean house. I drove to Jacksonville twice last month just to spend the day eating tacos and laughing with one of my best friends because I knew I was running on empty and I knew that would do the trick. Learn what fills your cup and do not apologize for taking the time to do it. 

That taking a break and reading a book is sometimes just as productive as a day full of errands || Sometimes I feel pressure (literally just from myself) to run around and get all the things done on my day off. Two weeks ago, though, I spent my Friday laying by the pool and read an entire book. SO WORTH IT. I felt like I'd been at a spa and slept for seven days. 

That there is nothing, nothing that you cannot overcome. || I've been pretty open about how the last few months have been full of some rough stuff for my family, and there were several days in February that I caught myself thinking, "Holy crap, I'm making it?? We're actually all making it?!" 

I wish I could sit down with you and pour my heart out about this for hours over coffee, but in short, let me just say this: There is NOTHING you cannot overcome. You are stronger than you could possibly imagine, and big or small, you will get through what life throws at you. 

What did February teach you?

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