May Challenge Part. 1

May Challenge Part. 1

Day 1: What are you most grateful for today?

I thought about this question all day today. I realized I didn’t know what to be grateful for… Maybe because I have so much to be grateful for, including being alive and healthy. Also because I felt that was too common and understandable. I thought maybe some people in my life or the ability and freedom to spend my own money. I wasn’t sure. After a long day, I realized that today I am most grateful for is the opportunities I have to make the best of being alive and healthy. With this, I can make my own money, make decisions for myself, and take my own risks. With these abilities comes a lot of responsibility and challenges, but overall these things have built me to be who I am. I work hard for what I have, but I am only able to do this due to opportunities I have taken to be where I am. I love where I am and that I am able to rely on people around me for help along with relying on myself for what I need. I am extremely grateful for the people who have supported me and helped me get to where I am now. I think in the long run, the challenges in my life at this moment will continue to shape who I am and maybe even present new opportunities to take on and grow from.

Day 2: Favorite memory of the past year.

My favorite memory of the past year was in September. My older brother proposed to his girlfriend! When they told us right after it was a moment of sheer excitement for everyone. They are so perfect and I realized how real everything was at that moment. He was no longer a big kid, he was getting married! My whole life he was a little older than me and messing around. I realized that part of our life was long gone. I also was so happy for both of them and to be able to be there for him was amazing. Not to mention, my mom and I knew he was going to so we were biting our tongues for months!

Day 3: Outfit that makes you feel confident.

This is honestly a tough one. There are a bunch, but here is my go to…

This is honestly from a while ago, but I love this dress. It is simple and very easy to add on to. It has a cute back too!

Ophelia dress in midnight navy from Lilly Pulitzer

Day 4: In my cup.

Honestly… I had mikes hard last night. That is an uncommon occurrence, but never regret it. More often, I will have Sam Adams Porch Rocker or white wine. If its not after 5, you will find water or green tea.

Day 5: Your best accomplishment.

It is hard to categorize accomplishments under “best” since most are succeeding then what makes it the best. Most proud of? Or most impressive?

After a lot of thought on this one, I decided that this post and the reason for this challenge is about being grateful and reflecting on myself. I decided that in my eyes, my best accomplishment is not something I have completed or achieved. It is how I got to where I am with my anxiety. My anxiety has caused many problems academically, socially, and mentally. Over time, before I was reassured that the racing in my mind all the time was not always normal, I thought something was wrong with me. I had no idea what, maybe I was slow or just shy. Over time I taught myself how to study, test, and learn in a whole different way than how my teachers and professors were teaching me. It took a lot longer and a lot more effort than what it looked like other students were putting into their work. Socially, I thought I was just scared and overthought everything due to that. I also did not know this wasn’t normal to be petrified of daily interactions that come naturally to other people. Mentally all of this made me think I was less than others and I was terrified of being seen as weak. Over time I learned how to put on a brave face, come off strong and independent, but mostly I showed everyone I was not less than anyone else. I worked extra hard to make sure I knew myself that I was okay. Learning about my anxiety, how to cope with it, being mindful of it, and working with it to understand it made me feel so much more confident in my ability to do things. I knew it wasn’t completely normal. I realized there was something different that I had to work with in my life. Now I am so much more aware of myself, my thoughts, and my feelings.

My Month of May Challenge

My Month of May Challenge

I have brainstormed and created a challenge for myself. Often people do 30 day picture or prompt challenges, but I have combined these for one great challenge. Unlike some of these challenges, I don’t want to post it all on instagram (which I hardly use to post pictures at this point in my life..) but I figured I would share it here. I will add to it (hopefully) everyday, but the goal I think is to reconnect with myself and what is important to me at this point. It will also challenge me to reflect everyday and create a routine to be more grateful and aware of the life I live.

Gratitude is an amazing thing. An increase in gratitude can decrease anxiety and depression while increasing self-acceptance, energy, forgiveness, and happiness.

I will share with you now the first few days of the challenge that I will start tomorrow, May 1st.

  1. What are you most grateful for today?
  2. Your favorite memory of the past year.
  3. Outfit that makes you feel confident.
  4. In my cup.
  5. Your best accomplishment.
  6. A funny story that makes you laugh every time.
  7. Favorite things to do to treat yourself.

I Tried The Keto Diet And Here Is What Is Happening…

I Tried The Keto Diet And Here Is What Is Happening…

My mom got me to try the keto diet with her. The keto diet is when you do not eat carbs. When your body gets into ketosis, it starts to burn fat if it does not have enough carbs to burn for energy.

My mom started and got excited about something new to try. She went grocery shopping and everything. She told me she would do everything if I just went along with it. Not only did she forget to put snacks for work in my bag like she said she would, but I got grumpy day one from being so hungry and not understanding what I could eat. Mostly nuts for me while I was at work that day.

It did not hit me until after dinner on day two that I was not cut out for this. I was still so hungry. I cheated a little and had some non fat frozen yogurt. The hardest part of it all has been no beer. This is my favorite time of the year, when summer beers come out. Here I am trying to be healthier and I’m just being teased.

After a few days of working a lot and not being able to eat whatever is around to hold me over until dinner, I found myself tired and irritable. I sound like a toddler. Then last night I went and had dinner with my mom (so I wouldn’t give in to my chipotle craving), and dinner was good, but I could have had 3 more portions. Needless to say if you are active and young… keto may not be for you.

I have enjoyed that there is still a lot you can eat, but the apparent outcomes have worried me. Muscle soreness, exhaustion, headaches, and more… I am too young and busy to be dealing with that… Peak season at work is about to hit (in a matter of days) and that is not a time to be tired and getting headaches.

Overall, I think I will submit to my chipotle cravings today and wait a few months to try again. I definitely have been more aware of the carbs I normally would have had, but I think there can be a healthy combination that way my body wont go completely into ketosis. I am also not trying to lose weight or change myself. It was a good try though and I support anyone and everyone who can follow these rules for dieting, it takes determination!

If you want to try – let me know your tips and tricks!

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101#what-it-is

For Me. For You. For Us.

For Me. For You. For Us.

I wonder what it is like to feel like all those amazing looking people on Pinterest. They always seem to be so happy and perfect. I know that everyone has their own problems, but what would it feel like to be that girl in that picture, in that moment? To have the most perfect skin, body, outfit (prom dress, etc.), hair, and what seems to be as if they have everything put together perfectly. I feel bad for making assumptions about whoever they are, but there is a small chance that they truly are perfectly happy.

That is what I want to feel. It is absolutely insane that people cannot feel that way. To not be happy with what you have or how you look. The whole love your body movement right now makes me feel even worse about my insecurities. What is even worse, I had convinced myself that I would change these aspects of my body to make me happier.

Why on earth would that be the answer. Why should happiness be based off the way you feel when you look in the mirror? Instead, when looking in the mirror we should be grateful to even be able to do this. We were given a chance to live.

when life gives you lemons right…?

So why should people be able to dictate how you feel and the choices you make? Why is there a norm, or a standard to follow? I want to be able to be comfortable with the choices and decisions I have made for myself and not feel like I should have gone with what everyone else was doing. I want to make the most of where I am in my life and where I am going. Why should anyone feel differently.

You are the most important person in your life. Make that person happy.

If you don’t like what you are doing, stop and think about why you are doing it and if you should really be there. If you do not want to be in school, or at a job that does not make you happy every day, then DON’T. Odds are you will make the right decisions in the end. It will not be easy, but if you were happy you would feel that things in your life are 10x better than they were. I regret none of the choices I have made about my life changes, but I feel like I cannot be happy about them if other people are constantly telling me to do what they think I should be doing, or what other people do. I try not to listen to these people, but it leaves me wondering what it would be like if these standards/expectations did not exist.

Taking the time to stop and smell the roses will make you appreciate what IS not what COULD BE or SHOULD BE. Enjoy the little things…

Simply because all you can do is your best.

Don’t forget to admire the beauty in every day.
I Tried To Drink Green Tea For Health Benefits

I Tried To Drink Green Tea For Health Benefits

Here Is How It Went…

It Did Not Go Well

I stopped drinking coffee in October and I am very proud of myself for this, but the only way I stopped was to replace it with green tea (sweetened of course). I love it and would have it almost every day. Until today…

Today I decided to try to be healthier (less sugars) and obviously green tea is amazing for boosting your metabolism, so I gave it a shot. I picked up an unsweetened green tea from Starbucks on my way to work and I was not satisfied. Also, people at work kept joking that it looked like pee.

Call me unhealthy or whatever you want, but I have a sweet tooth, so forcing myself to drink this green tea straight was difficult. I tried ripping the bandaid off and drinking it fast, but that was a terrible idea. Nasty. I figured I would get used to it if I continued to drink it, but it was gross to the very end.

Guess how long it took me to finish it… 4 hours. YUP.

Guess what I had for dinner… a BBQ cheese burger… NO regrets.

Was this successful? No, but I felt better about eating dinner!

I have no self control when it comes to creating healthy eating habits and most of me wouldn’t think twice about that. Right now I work too much to have a strict gym schedule so I figured I would try some other ways to get whatever help I can. Will I go back to unsweetened green tea? No. Will I stop trying? No.

Here is what I am going to do… Slowly add less and less sugar, hopefully I will train myself to eventually like it. In the meantime, I guess I’ll have to just give up my love of unhealthy food for a while. I’ll let you know how it goes, but if you have any reasonable suggestions – definitely let me know!

“But You’re Not Country.”

“But You’re Not Country.”

I may not be “country,” but that definitely doesn’t mean I cannot appreciate country music. Just as every other type of music or form of art and expression, it takes a creative mind and hard work. That should be appreciated.

Not only can one appreciate music, but there are some dang good country artists and country songs. You don’t have to listen to some back country banjo jam, but turing your nose up on the rest of the genre is unfair.

I am on a country female artist kick. This has been a change in my normal country music playlists, but here are some new ones that are for sure to make you smile 🙂

  • The Champion – Carrie Underwood
  • Well Behaved Women – Madeline McDonald
  • Women – Florida Georgia Line feat. Jason Derulo
  • Sue Me – Sabrina Carpenter
  • GIRL – Maren Morris
  • High Horse – Kacey Musgraves
  • Butterflies – Kacey Musgraves
  • One More Shot – Kaylee Bell

Those are just SOME of the ones that have caught my attention recently and made me appreciate music again. There are a few that I can’t get over right now, these are them:

  • Rockin’ All Night Long – Adam Hambrick
  • My Wave -Keith Urban
  • Laid Back – Dallas Davidson

I could list some amazing songs in this post, but I am not going to do that. It would never end. I am going to say this, there is a lot more to country songs than “country.” People like this music because it is RELATABLE! Even if you have never been back roading, I am sure you can relate to “Last Time For Everything” by Brad Paisley. Country music taps into emotion behind actions and experiences, it brings out the important times in life, and often it will make you think about your own life.

I am not asking you to like it, but I am someone who believes in giving credit where credit is due. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

*if you want to hear some more quality songs follow my Spotify country playlist*


I am too young for this…

I am too young for this…

Seriously concerned about this… I am only 22.

So basically over the past couple weeks I have noticed some things that I (probably) have been experiencing for a while, but am just now realizing that they are (probably) not normal. I like to think I am healthy and active, but I am starting to think twice recently.

The first thing I noticed was that if I sit criss crossed (usually while writing in my bullet journal, or drafting a blog post) for longer than 5-10 minutes, it is impossible to get up quickly. My legs are so stiff and to move them is incredibly painful! This is new, really new. Unfortunately, I guess I am realizing I should start stretching more! Maybe drinking more water will help. I woke up the other morning stiff as a board. My back was in so much pain. Since when does this happen to a healthy 22 year old? Not sure, but I feel like a 75 year old man with arthritis. Sorry to all 75 year old men with arthritis. My heart goes out to you.

I always used to make fun of our college alumni who would come back for alumni weekends or to visit, and they could not keep up at the bar. They used to be the ones who set the pace! Especially when they’re sipping their expensive craft beer and chardonnay… Come on, live a little guys! The ones that do join in on the drinking games and whatnot usually are the ones you will not see the next day. This brings me to the second thing I noticed. Hangovers really are a bitch. Now don’t get me wrong this is always true, but now… Its a whole other level of tired, groggy, and dizzy. I do not understand how I used to be able to bounce back and make it to my 8 am chem lab the next morning. Anyway, yeah, I am so sorry to everyone I made fun of for this.

Last thing, I was looking at my bank statement from the past month (yikes) and noticed where my money goes. Car payments, rent, groceries (not even good ones), and health insurance… I guess this time comes for everyone, but I didn’t think it would hit all at once *internal sobs* so when people tell you to not grow up, listen to them. Take advantage and live every moment of being 17 or 20, its not all about that milestone birthday, because with those come great responsibility. Responsibility isn’t a bad thing until you wake up one day and realize you are paying for your own life and you also have to make a living (don’t forget about a retirement plan!). Not easy. Especially while in college or right out of college. I definitely need to crack down on my chipotle habits and follow my “budget.” The word “budget” makes me nervous. I don’t even know how to make a valid budget that will work or that I can even manage to follow. LOL and don’t get me started on taxes. I can teach you about derivatives and integrals or chemical reactions, but I don’t even know where to start with “filing taxes.” I can type over 50 words a minute and explain ocean acidification, but please don’t ask me to tell you what an I9 is or how to fill out your W4.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory” -Dr. Seuss

How to Start and Maintain a Bullet Journal

How to Start and Maintain a Bullet Journal

Especially if you are NOT artistic…

At All…

Really, not artistic even in the slightest

Get ready for some fun and some really laughable moments! You probably are going to think that your pages will look Pinterest worthy, and if you’re anything like me… they won’t. At all. So in this post I am going to tell you (and show you) how to stick with it! I have and I truly think it has made a difference in my self esteem and being aware of things that are bothering me that I may not have noticed. It also has taught me to see things differently and in a more positive way! I love that!

For starters, you will need to either log into amazon or pop into staples. For this to truly be rewarding I suggest staples (or wherever you get your art supplies). Go browse around and find some fun deals and tools that will motivate you! Here is the list of things I got and knew I needed:

  • Journal – specifically one that would fit in my bag! Also if you are doing more drawing than writing DO NOT get ruled lines or blank. I suggest the dotted ones unless you want some graph paper. Also make sure it will hold up in your bag! Hard cover is always great! Moleskine has a hidden folder in the back and has worked great for me!
  • Washi tape!! – this is the best way to jazz up your bullet journal and add some color, but also to make it easier to find pages. I also tape some polaroids in mine when needed. Its great stuff and comes in all different colors and patterns! Who doesn’t love that?!
  • Sticky tabs – so you can divide months, weeks, days, years, or mark special pages you want to go back to. Whatever your heart desires. Yes these can be cute (mine are polka dots) and removable!
  • Highlighters – grab your fav assorted color highlighters!
  • Pens – colorful assorted pens please! Maybe one or two normal ones
  • Pencil – one pencil (I’m sure you have one around the house somewhere, just make sure theres a good eraser – you’re going to need it)
  • Markers – HIGHLY recommend Tombow dual tip (truly amazing and totally will step up your game)
  • Whiteout tape – for those pesky mistakes (I use it all the time) so do not pass up on this, you will want it
  • Index cards – this seems dumb, but I use them for bookmarks, rulers, and a pop of color! They also make great to do lists on your book mark
  • Binder clips – attach, bind, divide, etc.
  • Scissors – yes throw some of those in for trimming whatever you want to add in (pictures, clips)

Excessive. I know. Now how to get started… Either go at it and just start to get a feel for whatever you want to add and what you need in there. OR get some motivation from Pinterest. There are great examples of how other people set theirs up and how amazing it looks! Mine, not so much, but this helped me find the things I did want to put in there. Spending page, hydration tracker, sleep tracker, morning and night routine, songs I love, Netflix list, what makes me happy, things I want to try, and my goals for the month! There is so much more to add and it is so fun to find the right fit!

Make time every day to sit down with your bullet journal. 5-10 minutes minimum. It will end up being a lot longer than this if you take it seriously. If you make it part of your routine, it will feel natural and easier to commit to. It is your place to create something meaningful to YOU! I was worried about writing things down that were emotional or anything I didn’t want people to see, but I knew that people didn’t have to see those pages if I didn’t want them to, and it is also a great way to write down what is bothering you or something you need to get off your chest. Then its there to either move on from or go back to at an appropriate time when you’re ready.

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Pastel and polka dot monthly tabs 🙂

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My to do list makes me smile and is hard to miss (even when thrown in my bag)

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New month, new pages! Basic here, but it gets the job done (and pink is my favorite color)

I like to number my pages to see how far I get in a month, or even a week.

A variety of colors and patterns, but also positive pages and even quotes will make a difference in your outlook. I am constantly thinking of new ways to make something basic or easy. Positive and motivating quotes are not just helpful, but as you are flipping through on another day and you come to one that may have pushed you out of your comfort zone or calmed you down during a hard time, this is a good reminder of the ups and downs. It truly does get better. If you had asked me about two months ago if things would get better I would have laughed in your face. I was going through a lot (which I still am), but putting energy into something that was all mine and that I created, made me see the good and bad. Soon enough 95% of my pages turned positive, instead of dwelling in the past. My outlook has evolved into something that has made me stronger, and to look for the good in every moment, not just getting caught up in the anger or hurt.

This is your life, do what YOU want. Live how YOU want to live. Do NOT let people dictate your future for you. Definitely do NOT get caught up in the past, you’re not going backwards. Time is constantly moving forward and it is YOUR turn to run with it (so long as you stop every once in a while to feel the sun on your cheeks and toes in the sand) 🙂

don’t stand in the current, ride the wave

Sunshine and Pink

Sunshine and Pink

A LP Lifestyle

There is a lot more to the Lilly Pulitzer brand than bright colors and dresses. The woman who started the line, Lilly obviously, was truly unique. She was determined on living HER life and how SHE wanted it. There is a lot to learn from her and how she acted. Yes, her company has grown into something amazing. For me, I see the amazement in Lilly’s free spirit and desire to be different!

You Gotta Regatta - Lilly Pulitzer Print

After wearing these clothes for so long I like to think I can say I understand her. She lived in a different time, where everything was changing and she made a statement. Her clothes are different, yet practical for everyday life. That is truly what the lifestyle is that Lilly believed in – hard work and having some fun! It is truly amazing how her ideas have grown into something beautiful!

New England… This is where I TRY to channel my inner Lilly diva. The weather makes it truly difficult, but the one quote I keep going back to is…

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With this mentality, anything can happen. It’s as if theres a fresh new beginning that comes with built up excitement about your favorite time of year and it all gets better from here!