Image Slider


A Little Life Update

| On
Saturday, February 06, 2016
Well hey y'all! I'm alive!

I know I made a lot of plans for this blog at the beginning of the year as far as series and link-ups and posts to come. But as I'm sure you know, not all plans end up coming about.

The last few weeks have been insanely tough on me. I deeply underestimated the difficulties of my classes this semester and have basically been having 70 to 80 hour weeks if you include my classes, studying and working two jobs.

I can't do it all. 

That's been a hard lesson for me to learn. I've always believed that if you work hard, things will always, always work out. But in all honesty, there's just not enough time to make that happen. I've had to reprioritize and regroup. I'm trying to pull myself together and set myself up for success in the future.

Don't worry - I'm not quitting the blog. I'm just letting you know that things are going to be quieter around here! My goal is to post at least once a week here, but to make sure to be reading and commenting on other blogs as well.

But let me update you on a few bits of my life in the meantime. :)

1. My hedgehog Flora has been doing so well. I love her so much, I just have to mention her! I've always loved animals but at the same time, I think people who call their pets their children are a little weird. But no, I get it with Flora. She's basically my child. I miss her when I'm not at home and I always want to talk about her and the cool thing she's doing these days. So...to anyone who's had to hear a little too much about her I'M SORRY I JUST LOVE HER. And she's cuter than you.

2. I've been trying to work on my cooking skills lately. I've mastered a lot of the basics, but my problem is that I want to try new recipes, but I don't want to buy a lot of ingredients that will go mostly unused and sit around in my pantry. Do you have any favorite recipes? Feel free to share any Pinterest boards in the comments so I can follow!

3. Because I've been SO busy and stressed with classwork this semester, I'm trying to be really intentional with how I spend my 'rewind time'. I'm hoping to do some more reading in the upcoming weeks. Have you read any good books lately? Give me recommendations!

I'll be (hopefully!) back with some more posts. Thanks for reading! :)

Health Goals / #BeBold2016 Link-Up

| On
Friday, January 22, 2016
Be Bold in 2016 – a Blogging Linkup

Hi guys! Sorry I've been so absent lately! It's really turning out to be quite a busy, frantic semester already and I'm a little bit overwhelmed with all my schoolwork. I knew my classes would be harder than ever but two in particular are really kicking my booty. I'm hoping to still post regularly this semester, but in all honesty, blogging is priority number #37 after work and classes and friends and family.

In other news before we get onto the fun stuff, I've finally gotten a pet hedgehog, which I've been wanting to do for months now. Her name is Flora and she is the sweetest little nugget in the world. I'm sure you'll be seeing more of her around here! Also, just because I'm silly, she already has her own instagram, @florathehedgehog.


Isn't she cute? Anyways, on to the link-up for this week. Just a reminder! This link-up is hosted by me (duh), GinaCatherineChristina and Kate. We would love if you'd head over and visit all the blogs--say hi! I know I've discovered a couple new blogs this week that I'll definitely be reading for awhile...maybe you will too! Let's review what the #BeBold2016 link-up is all about!

What are we writing about?


In the past weeks, we all wrote our own posts about our word or focus for the year and shared them here on your hosts' blogs. Then, we applied our focus to setting blogging goals. This week, we'll be applying the focus to our health goals. And then finally, next week on January 29th, we're chatting about personal goals. By that time, I guarantee you'll be super ready to put those goals into action for February and the rest of this year!

What do I do?


If you are a blogger, you can write your own post responding to the prompt for each week. Starting the Friday of each week, you can add your own post in the link up (the third one is below!). If you are not a blogger, we'd still love to hear from you! Leave your responses down in the comments.

No matter if you're a blogger or not, we'd love for you to take some time and check out some of the other awesome bloggers joining in this project (especially the hosts!). Leave a comment, send a tweet (use #BeBold2016!), or just take some time to check out some new blogs. You might find a new favorite!

My health + wellness goals for 2016:

It's really easy, when considering goals and health together, to immediately think about exercise routines + weight loss. And that kind of thing will make an appearance to some extent, but health is so much more than that. Real, holistic wellness comes from the mind and the body both being at their best + I want to reflect that in my goals.

MENTAL HEALTH GOALS:

/ Choose to speak positively about myself. Whether it's my body or my productivity or my performance in something, it's so easy for me to get swept up in a quicksand of self-destruction and unkind talk to myself. 

/ Continue to be a voice for mental health concerns on my campus.

/ Try to do one activity every day that relaxes me and makes me feel happy. Lately, this has been spending time with Flora! But it also can be coloring or reading or going for a walk.

/ A few other private goals. :)

PHYSICAL HEALTH GOALS:

/ Start logging my workouts on Fitocracy again. Fitocracy is a fitness app on my phone that lets you record your workouts and "level up" so to speak. It's helpful for me to remember what weights I used to lift + what weights I lift now.

/ Make a plan before I get to the gym. Lately, my problem has been that I get to the gym without a clear plan + then I just sort of amble around and do random things. I never feel like I get a great workout or like I use my time efficiently, except when I have a plan ready before I walk in the doors.

/ Incorporate fitness into my daily routine, outside of "workouts". Whenever I need to take a break from studying, a couple tuck jumps or a set of push-ups is great to rejuvenate + wake up my brain before getting back to work.

/ Take one group fitness class a week. I teach group fitness, but somehow I rarely make it to other instructors' classes anymore. I love group fitness and I want to support my coworkers.

/ Go dairy-free for a certain period of time. I absolutely love pretty much any dairy products. I love milk and cheese and creamy things and ice cream. Calcium is good and all, but I think the amount of dairy I eat may not be making me feel the greatest. I've also heard anecdotal evidence that limiting dairy can help clear up skin. I want to do a little more research on this before I do a dairy fast, but I'm curious if it would help me feel my best!

/ Eat a vegetable at lunch and dinner every day. I know, I know. I should be better about this.

Now it's your turn!









2016 Blog Goals / #BeBold2016 Link-Up

| On
Friday, January 15, 2016
Be Bold in 2016 – a Blogging Linkup

Hey y'all! Welcome back to the second installment of our #BeBold2016 link-up! I have loooooved reading through all of your posts that you shared in the link-up last week + I'm so happy that so many of you wanted to join in! I especially enjoyed reading the posts written by Chelsea @ Heartnatured, Cait @ Cait's Cozy Corner and by Becky @ Eliorah.

Just a reminder! This link-up is hosting by me (duh), Gina, Catherine, Christina and Kate. We would love if you'd head over and visit all the blogs--say hi! I know I've discovered a couple new blogs this week that I'll definitely be reading for awhile...maybe you will too! Let's review what the #BeBold2016 link-up is all about!

What are we writing about?


Last week, we all wrote our own posts about our word or focus for the year and shared them here on your hosts' blogs. This week, we're going to be applying our focus to setting blogging goals. Next week, January 22nd, we'll be applying the focus to our health goals. And then finally, on January 29th, we're chatting about personal goals. By that time, I guarantee you'll be super ready to put those goals into action for February and the rest of this year!

What do I do?


If you are a blogger, you can write your own post responding to the prompt for each week. Starting the Friday of each week, you can add your own post in the link up (the second one is below!). If you are not a blogger, we'd still love to hear from you! Leave your responses down in the comments.

No matter if you're a blogger or not, we'd love for you to take some time and check out some of the other awesome bloggers joining in this project (especially the hosts!). Leave a comment, send a tweet (use #BeBold2016!), or just take some time to check out some new blogs. You might find a new favorite!

My blogging goals for 2016:


In case you missed last week's installment of #BeBold2016, my word of the year that I've chosen is "mindful". I know that word has a lot of associations and connotations that come along with it, so I would love if you'd go read that post to see what I really mean by being "mindful."

One part of mindfulness + this practice of being aware relates to the process of learning to recognize how things affect the way I feel. Obviously, we can't avoid all pain and negativity in our lives, but if something trifling is causing significant negative emotions...why would you keep it in your life? 

So tying that back into blogging, I'm connecting the idea of "blog goals" + my word "mindful" to make what I'm calling an "ungoal". And what I mean by that is...I don't want to make blogging goals. 

Blogging is just a hobby for me. I don't make any money from my blog right now. I don't get anything tangible out of it. And I enjoy it, at least 80% of the time. But y'all fellow bloggers are gonna give me an amen on this: blogging can suck your energy + free time down to nothing because it's a hobby that keeps asking for more of you.

In blog circles, it isn't enough just to write a couple of posts a week. We're told (by each other!) that we'll never "succeed" as bloggers, whatever that means, if we don't focus on SEO and coding and responding to every comment and all. Some people really enjoy all those details. I really don't.

Maybe that means that I "shouldn't" be a blogger. Maybe that means I'll never be "successful" as a blogger. But that's not my goal. I blog because it makes me feel heard and it makes me feel useful and because I've met so many lovely people because of it. I think that's worth it to me.

If I had to make some concrete goals to go along with this, I would delete my Twitter + Instagram pages. Social media doesn't fill me up; it empties me out. I want to stopping reading the blogs I feel like I should enjoy or the blogs I read out of bitterness or jealousy that they somehow are "beating" me. I want to feel a little freer.

My blogging ungoal for this year is to allow blogging to be whatever feels best. To stay away from those posts that tell me all of the things I'm doing wrong. To comment on other blogs because I care about having a conversation, not because I think it'll bring in new traffic. As it relates to blogging, I will do whatever continues to bring me joy and satisfaction and cheer + skip out on the bits that bore me and make me feel less-than. That's my goal.

Now it's your turn!


Your blogging goals might be (and probably are) totally different than mine. That's totally cool, dude! I wanna read them anyways. Add your link to the widget below + I'll be reading! 





3 Habits That Make Me Less Stressed

| On
Monday, January 11, 2016


Let me just come right out and say that I know that being a college student isn't the most stressful thing in the world, by far. I'm not the president or dependent on a paycheck or trying to support a family. But...sometimes it feels crazy stressful. 

I bet all of you know what I'm talking about, whether you're in a career or you're a mom or a student like me. Life doesn't really spare anyone from stress. Really though, I've come to believe that some stress is a good thing. Stress makes me work hard + it pushed me to stay on top of things. But...stress can also be rough on our mental health when we have more than we can manage. 

I use these three habits to help manage my stress levels.

Every day (or most days, at least), there are a couple different things that I do that help me keep that stress + anxiety in check so that I can control it instead of allowing it to control me. 

The first thing that I do is that I clean my room every night. (Mom, if you're reading this, be proud.) I don't make things perfect; sometimes I leave things out on my desk or floor. But I at least try to do the basics. I'll pick up any clothes from the bathroom floor and tidy up my desk and floor for five or ten minutes. I've found that cleaning a little bit each night keeps things from getting totally out of control. Plus, if I don't clean my room at night, I actually get a little bit stressed out when I wake up in the morning and look around me room. Physical clutter can definitely feel like mental clutter. 

Secondly, I'm totally shameless about telling people 'no'. Whether it's someone asking to go out or someone asking for a favor, I really try to focus on my priorities + cut out the things that just...aren't. There's a great book called The Best Yes that talks a lot about this idea. The author, Lysa TerKeurst, teaches that we only have so much time + attention to give out. Eventually, our reserves will run out if we don't prioritize what we spend them on. My favorite idea from the book is that if we say yes to everything that comes our way, we won't be able to say yes to some really great opportunities that come later, aka the best yes. 

And lastly, I try to make sure that every single day, I do something that makes me happy. It's as simply as that. Sometimes I get lazy + other than studying or working, all I do is watch Netflix. But as much as I like Netflix, it doesn't fill up my happiness tank. That requires a little more intention. Usually, I try to read a book or journal or find some new music or cook something new every day. 

How do you control your stress levels?