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Friday, May 24, 2019

Be Your Own Dang Support System Today.

I love a good support system. Friends or family or anybody who believes in you and cheers you on, there's nothing like it. 


You HAVE to learn how to be a support for yourself. To be your own cheerleader. 

I'm learning this big time. I love writing about things I'm currently learning, because it's kind of like we're all in this together, you know? 

I'll say this: I have an incredible support system. Family that has my back no matter what and friendships people write books about and DANG I just love them. But if I'm not also supporting myself, then that doesn't really matter, does it? And if I'm my own support system, then outside support and cheerleaders are extra icing on the cake. And who doesn't love a little extra icing?

So far, here's what I'm learning about how to be my own supports system:

Talk about it. || Talk about what you need. What you're working on. What your dreams are. How you've succeeded. How you're trying. Talk about it often. Whether to others or just to yourself, keep it at the forefront.

Encourage yourself. || With your words, with your actions, with your thoughts. Every time you think you can't do it, remind yourself that you can. Every time you face something difficult, remind yourself of all the difficult things you've already survived. Turning to a friend for encouragement is a wonderful option. But being able to encourage yourself? That's the JAM. 

Speak highly of yourself. || How you talk about yourself matters. How your talk TO yourself matters. 

Show yourself love. || Knowing your partner's love language is awesome. Knowing how to show your friends love is great. But what's your love language? Gifts? Save money to buy yourself awesome things. Quality time? Turn your phone off and read a book. However you receive love the best, make sure you're showing yourself love in that way.

Fill your life with things that lift you up. || If your friend was having a bad day, would you send her funny memes? Look them up for yourself! If you were walking through Target and saw a book on a topic your best friend was really struggling with, wouldn't you buy it for her and slip it in the mail? Buy yourself that book, sis. 

Remove the things that bring you down. || Surrounding yourself with uplifting things isn't enough. No, if you're going all the way in on supporting yourself, then you've gotta get rid of the things that bring you down. The friend that's always dragging you down to their level of complaining about how miserable life is? It's time for some space. The people you follow on social media that give you anxiety? Unfollow button. Just because something isn't "bad" doesn't mean it's healthy for you, right now, at this time. 

I'm sure I'll learn a hundred and four new ways to do this. I'm sure I'll fail a lot, too. But I'm learning and trying, and you should too. You're amazing. I can tell you all day long you're amazing. Those closest to you can spend their whole lives talking about just how amazing you are. But when push comes to shove, you need to believe how amazing you are. 

But hey, in the meantime...I'm totally not going to stop talking about how amazing you are. 

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

What Are You Better at Now Than You Were Last Year?

I'm a big believer that we don't give ourselves enough credit. When we accomplish things, we tend to shrug it off by thinking we could have done more, or that we should have accomplished it sooner. When we grow and get better at things, we rarely every acknowledge it. And you know what? That's dumb. 

So I have a question for you: What are you better at now than you were last year? 

What's something you sucked at this time last year, but now you're okay at it? What's something you were pretty good at 365 days ago, but now you're killing the whole dang game with? 

Here's my list: 

Taking breaks. || This time last year, I viewed breaks as a luxury. Now, I view them as a necessity.  Enjoying life is important. The dishes will wait, I promise. It's better to have a messy room and a calm brain than the other way around. Taking a few minutes to go for a walk, or listen to a podcast, or sit down and read a book adds so much value and peace to a day. 

Saying no. || Even more importantly, saying no without letting guilt and anxiety over it ruin my week. I'm learning my limits, and really learning that saying yes to something just because I feel like I have to is unfair to both me and the person I'm saying yes to.

Being a mom. || I'm a better mom now than I was last year. It's way harder than it was last year, but also I've known Jack for a year longer! We're figuring it out! And also I've completely (like, completely) let go of the whole pinterest-perfect-mom dream and that's helped a ton. 

Worrying less about what other people think. || I honestly hope I get better at this every year, because it is so. dang. freeing. 

Taking things day by day. || At my core, I'm a planner. I love having a plan for everything. But I live a life that can rarely be planned more than a week or two out, if that. And this caused me so much frustration for a really long time. But I've gotten to a place where I take things one day at a time. Would I still love a longterm plan for literally everything? Absolutely. But I'm able to enjoy the present more than I was able to do last year.

Your turn! What are you better at now than you were this time last year?!
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Monday, May 20, 2019

Some Amazon Favorites as of Late!

Amazon prime has my heart. We all already knew this. But summer buys on Amazon have really just taken things to the next level. Here's a few recent favorites I can't stop (won't stop) wearing: 

This acrylic colorful bag. || I am OBSESSED with this. It's so fun and colorful and summer-y, aka all of the things I love in life. 

This straw bag || and since I happen to be just a little bit extra, also this tassel and pompom keychain I clipped onto it to make it more fun. 

These gold earrings. || Unique and geometric looking, they're five freaking dollars and I've already worn then like 10 times. HIGHLY recommend. 

These sunglasses. || I am a (cheap) sunglasses junkie, and I adore these. Cat-eye, tortoise, AND pink mirrored? Sign me up. 

What's the best thing you've ordered on Amazon lately?

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Books I've Read Recently (And Whether or Not You Should Read Them).

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

Plot: At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him -Via Goodreads

Favorite quote: "When you sit there and wish things had happened differently, you can't just wish away the bad stuff. You have to think about all the good stuff you might lose, too. Better just to stay in the now and focus on what you can do better in the future." 

My thoughts: I read this book in one day. I loved it, until I didn't. And I can't tell you why without spoiling the entire book. So, there's that. It was my first Taylor Jenkins Reid book and I'm so excited to read more of hers, I just didn't love ____ about this one (I refuse to be someone who spoils things). I will say this: It was a genius plot, great writing, and amazing characters. 

Should you read it? Probably? This is hard!!

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis 

Plot: “I believe we can change the world. But first, we’ve got to stop living in fear of being judged for who we are.”

Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough.

In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself." -Via Goodreads

Favorite quote: "If you aim at what you can hit, you'll likely get there every time: Never any higher, never any bigger, never any better. But if you aim far above your own head, even when you fail you'll fly so much higher than you can imagine." 

My thoughts: I read Girl, Wash Your Face at a pivotal time in my life, and it was full of EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Funny enough, Girl, Stop Apologizing turned out exactly the same. It came out during a terribly dark time and smacked me all up and down with exactly what I needed to hear. I'm very thankful for that. 

Note: I know Rachel Hollis can be a polarizing topic with people. I adore her, many people I respect don't. I'll say this (and only this, because there's no point in talking about it): I am of the belief that you don't have to agree with every single thing a person says and does to learn from them. I am also COMPLETELY against the whole "cancel" culture that seems to be thriving right now. If you don't like her, don't read her book. That's all! 

Should you read it? Yes! 

November 9th by Colleen Hoover 

Plot: "Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?" -via Goodreads 

Favorite quote: "A body is simply a package for the true gifts inside. And you are full of gifts. Selflessness, kindness, compassion. All the things that matter. Youth and beauty fade. Human decency doesn't."

My thoughts: The second this book ended, I was so sad, because I immediately missed it. I've been thinking about it ever since I closed it. It was beautiful and let me get completely lost in a story. I loved it! This was my first Colleen Hoover book and I immediately requested everything she's ever published the second this book was over. 

Should you read it? YES! 
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Monday, May 13, 2019

A Mid-May Coffee Date.

Good morning! It's early, Jack is still asleep, and I'm actually writing this while drinking my coffee, so it really is like a coffee date! 

If we were having coffee together (which might be a little awkward this morning, since I'm in bed in my pajamas, but that's neither here nor there), I'd tell you. . .

...That I'm on vacation starting TODAY! It has been a longgggg few months and this could not have come at a better time. I'm so excited to just sit on the beach and watch Jack have the time of his life digging holes in the sand. Oh, to be so easily entertained.

...That Jack had his first "performance" this weekend and I AM NOT OKAY. We were all in agreement that we thought he wouldn't even stand up there with the kids, BUT HE KILLED IT. My heart is forever melted. 

...That Target's current Sugarfix collection is speaking directly to my heart. I mean, LOOK AT IT. Do these earrings not scream that they were made for me?!
...That my best friend sent me a little Mother's Day gift and it meant the world to me. Just a "happy day, I'm thinking of you!" It took her about 30 seconds to type my address into Amazon, but it made my week a billion times brighter. It really reminded me of how easy it is to love on those closest to us. I want to do more of this. 

...That yesterday was my fourth Mother's Day, and while it's just a day on the calendar, it always makes me stop and think about what a privilege it is to have Jack. I will forever be thankful that life didn't go according to my plan. To get to help him become the best human he can be will forever be the greatest honor of my whole life. 

...That entirely too many (is there such a thing, though?) of my library holds came through all at once, just in time for vacation. So if you need me, me and my 87 books will be laying on a beach. 

Your turn! What's going on with you?! 

Have the BEST week ever! 
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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

just write: standing tall.

stand tall
you've so much to be proud of
stand tall 
and bold and brave and mighty and proud.
don't hide your scars (please don't hide)
but wear them proudly
as you stand tall, tall, taller still
reaching for who you were always meant to be, 
climbing steps that wouldn't be possible without those scars. 
stand tall. proud. bold. brave. 
full of scars. 
full of worth. 

there is something to be said 
for getting back up 
over and over and over again. 
there is something to be said 
for standing tall again 
no matter how many times you've fallen. 
there is something to be said 
for looking forward
when every voice is yelling to look back. 
there is something to be said 
for you. 
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Monday, May 6, 2019

If I Could Tell You Anything Today. . .

You are so much more beautiful than you see yourself as. || I don't care if you think you're drop dead gorgeous, you're still more beautiful than that. And not just on the outside. Your inner beauty is so much stronger than you realize. Your kindness speaks volumes. That gentleness with yourself you've been working on, it's beautiful. Inside and out, you are far more gorgeous than the flaws you probably tend to get stuck on. 

Your strength is an incredible thing, and it's worth being proud of. || Don't shrink away from it. It's worth talking about, it's worth bragging about. You're amazing. In good times and bad, you've made it! You handle more than you thought you were capable of. Don't ever minimize how big of an accomplishment that is. 

You deserve to dream. || You aren't selfish for wanting more. You're not selfish for wanting to chase those dreams. 

Your mistakes do not define you. || Every. Single. Person. makes mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes are super public, and sometimes they live in the solitary of our own lives. But we all make them. You aren't your mistakes. You're a person who has made mistakes, just like the rest of us. 

It's okay to let go of the things that are no longer serving you. || Even if at one point you thought they would be your entire life. Even if at one point, they were your entire life. If that diet you raved about forever is no longer healthy for you, find a new one. If your friendships are no longer enriching to you, it's okay to distance yourself and let them go. If the hobby you loved no longer brings you joy, it's okay to move on. You're allowed to change, and you do not have to drag all of your old selves with you into each new season. 

Have the best Monday, friends. Cheers to a fresh week! 
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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

My Favorite Things I Discovered in April.

Thrive Cosmetics || I'm on a mission to try all of the clean makeup (mostly because as of last year, I can't wear normal makeup without my face breaking out immediately). When I saw this article on Buzzfeed that claimed it made your skin look like you had an instagram filter on, I knew Thrive would be my next purchase. I got the buildable blur and setting powder set. I'm a fan! 

Billie razors || Lindsay posted about trying all the trendy razors a few months back, and these emerged the victor. Let me say this, I have insanely sensitive skin when it comes to shaving. I almost always have razor burn. It's a struggle. And these are the best razors I've ever used. Plus, they're cheaper than the ones I was using before! 

Cremo shaving cream || I posted about this on my stories and summed it up this way: This shaving cream is so good that it made me excited about a shaving cream, which is saying a lot. It's thick and creamy without being sticky. Also, it smells like a tropical vacation, so that's a win. 

These Korean sheet masks || I'm trying to think of a way to explain what these do to my face and I'm coming up short. They're insanely hydrating, make me look like I actually got a good night's sleep the night before, smooth everything out, and don't break me out (that alone is a tall order). Basically, they're magic. AND they're on amazon, so they arrive in 48 hours. Magic, I tell you. Pro tip: Keep them in the fridge to make them even better. 

Stars Above pajamas. || Target's newest pajama line is made up of, hands down, the most comfortable, coziest pajamas I've ever worn. So. Freakin'. Soft. I consider myself a pajama connoisseur (what does it say about me that I'm proud of that?) and this check all the boxes. I love them. 

What did you discover in April?
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