Hello 2018!

Happy New Years, y’all!

I have always had a love/hate relationship with starting a new year, but I’m particularly excited for the changes to come in 2018.

One of the first things I do as the new year approaches, is reflect on the year before. I write down everything I learned, and then recognize everything I accomplished. 2017 was a really big year for me (graduated from college, traveled to NYC and Ireland, got engaged, started a job, bought a car, etc.), and with that came some really big revelations:

  1. I am not in control of the course of my life. I can live my best life and make wise decisions, but there the universe holds a plan that is way bigger than that. For more on this, read Persistence > Planning.
  2. I have to embrace my creative side without caring what others may think.
  3. Enjoy every moment. I was bad about rushing through phases of my life this year because so much happened.
  4. Prioritizing is your best friend.
  5. The past is the past for a reason, try not to dwell.

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My top Instagram posts from 2017

So carrying these revelations into 2018, I’ve created some broad goals for myself. Around September, I started setting more specific goals each month because its easier to track than “new years resolutions.” BUT here are a few things I hope I can challenge myself to do in 2018!

  1. Keep myself more organized.
  2. Be consistent with my current fitness routine throughout the whole year, including post-wedding.
  3. Budget for big purchases and continue working towards my goal of saving 1 year’s worth of income.
  4. Prioritize healthy head space – whether that means more yoga, meditation, journaling or quiet time.
  5. Be more content with where I am in life – don’t rush things.
  6. Read more books.
  7. Continue blogging consistently for the full year.

I’m so so grateful for this new platform I have to talk about the challenges and celebrations this year brings. I’m excited for the content I have planned for this year!

What are your goals for the new year? Do you set resolutions? -xoxo

My Anxiety Story {#FridayFeels}

Happy Friday y’all!

I’m feeling particularly happy this Friday because it’s my last day of work before the holidays and I am ready to take some time off!

Today’s #fridayfeels post is about my struggles with anxiety, which I feel like is really relevant this time of year. For some reason the holidays always brings this general feeling of anxiety for me. Anxiety mixed with joy is how I like to describe it. There is a dread that I carry with me because there is so much to get done all leading up to one day.

Anxiety is something I have struggled with my whole life. Some of the earliest memories of my childhood are me talking to a therapist about my anxiety, and her showing me coping mechanisms (she was great btw).

And for me, it’s always been the littlest things that set it off. I think as I have gotten older this has improved, but I occasionally still find myself struggling to be flexible. But what’s important is that I’m learning how to control it when I feel it coming on. So here are some of the ways I’ve learned to manage my anxiety.

  1. The thing that has helped me the most is self-care. It’s challenging for me, because I tend to guilt myself about self-care, like I feel like I don’t deserve it. But it truly is so important for my daily function! If you want to read more about this, I have a post dedicated to self-care. I know that you all find it important to because this is one of my most read posts! Don’t feel guilty for needing to meditate, or do yoga or journal if it puts you in the right headspace.
  2. Something else that has helped me a lot is working out. This is another time for my head to completely clear, and I always feel so much happier afterwards. Once you find the motivation to go once, its easier to find the motivation to go again and again and again.
  3. The ability to say no is so important. My most recent example is just a couple weeks ago I was planning on taking a weekend to visit my college town and see friends. The week leading up to those days had been very emotionally taxing and stressful, and I knew I just needed some time to be still. While I would have still loved to see my friends, I knew what I needed in that moment and controlled the situation.
  4. At the same time, I have to keep myself busy. If I don’t keep myself moderately busy then I’ve found my anxiety stems from FOMO. I know social media plays a large role in this as well.
  5. Finally, know it’s okay to get help if you need it. I’m at a point where I can manage it mostly on my own now, but I didn’t use to be! I am always willing to share my story on how anxiety therapy helped me, feel free to ask.

Basically what all this boils down to is, you have to be in tune with what your mind and body needs. Keeping a clear head and a happy body has helped me with my anxiety so much. Even things as picky as my diet can affect my mood/anxiety (let me know if you want to see a full post on this).

If you’re struggling with anxiety, know you aren’t alone and it’s okay to be selfish! Ask for help and take care of yourself. I hope you guys enjoyed this #fridayfeels series. If you want to see more posts related to self-care let me know -xoxo

Gift Guide: For Him

I feel like I’ve mastered the art of shopping for the guys in my life. FINALLY.

I’ve come to share my secrets with you all. There has to be something on this list the man in your life will enjoy! Just click on the image to shop!

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What are you getting the men in your life for Christmas this year? Let me know, I’m always looking for ideas! -xoxo

Gift Wrapping Tips and Tricks

I was talking about the five love languages the other night with my parents.

They were talking about how they think it’s silly some people coordinate and assign their gift wraps during Christmas. I explained to them that, because my love language is gifts, that is so not silly and definitely something I will be doing when I have my own family!

I love giving them, receving them, making them look pretty.

My girlfriends joke because even though we all say every year we aren’t getting each other anything, I always end up giving something small. 🙂 I can’t help it!

If you’re like me and “gifting” is for sure your love language, then this post is for you! Links to everything will be at the bottom of the post.

I decided to coordinate my paper this year because Target had so many cute ones to choose from. I ended up going with these three because I liked the color scheme:

 

My mom’s birthday is in December so I wanted to make sure I had some that wasn’t too “christmasy” for her. (It’s a point to separate December birthdays from Christmas in my house!)

And I try to make the rest as easy as possible. I found sticker tags from the dollar section, as well as a bulk bag of bows in silver, gold and white. Eventually I might get into tying my own bows and tags, but for now I’m busy enough!

I won’t have very many gifts in bags this year, but I had to pick up these black and gold ones with marble tissue paper. I shouldn’t even need to explain why.

 

I didn’t go so far as to coordinate my gift wrap with our tree, but I would never say never when Ben and I have our own tree haha!

My dad was actually the one who taught me how to wrap, so I thought I’d share some of his tips for those who are scared of wrapping!

  1. Make sure the paper fits tight across the package, and crease the paper around the edges of the package.
  2. If you aren’t good with scissors, fold the scraggly edges under before taping!
  3. When folding the triangle portions for the sides, always fold the top point inwards twice before taping or trim when necessary.
  4. Always use a good qualiy paper that cuts easily.

Let me know if gifting is your love language too! Where do you guys like to buy wrapping supplies? Target was my gem this year, but I always love hearing about other places!

-xoxo

Links:

Tree Paper

Blush Paper

Star Paper

Black Bag

Penguin Bag

Marble Tissue Paper

 

November Favorites

This month felt slower than October. I did my best to practice gratitude and live in the moment. I also got really ahead on my Christmas shopping thanks to my holiday budgeting skills! It’s nice to be so ahead for once.

AND I walked away from November with what I now consider some HOLY GRAIL items that I’m really excited to share with you!

  1. L’Oreal Lash Primer: I cannot say enough about this product. If you follow me on Instagram (which if you don’t, you should) then you know I have raved about this on my story. I didn’t realize how much longer and thicker it made my lashes until I stopped using it. I put one coat of this on, let it sit a minute, then apply the mascara I mentioned in my favorites last month! LIFE. CHANGING. It’s on sale for $5 at Target rn, you can’t beat it.
  2. Buxom Lip Cream: Another product you’ve seen me rave about on Instagram. I grabbed this because Sephora had them on major clearance and now I’m regretting not buying more! They are super pigmented, hydrating and seriously plump your lips. I have the color “hot toddy” which they recently discountinued, but I love “pink champagne”!
  3. Madewell Destructured Jeans: It’s no secret I already love Madewell jeans. They are the only kind of jeans I own and the quality of them is amazing. My only issue was: distressed jeans are “the thing” right now, and Madewell just wasn’t into that. Until now! And I snagged them for 25% off on Black Friday. This pair also comes with the new “magic pockets” which hold you in even more!
  4. THIS PAIR of OTK boots: I have always had a love-hate relationship with OTK boots. I absolutely hate boots that don’t have zippers all the way up because I hate stuffing  my jeans into them, and they slide down. I have finally found the perfect pair of OTK boots with zippers all the way up, so they will hold their shape and my jeans! Plus the zippers are on the outside, which makes for a cute detail.
  5. Grace VanderWaal album: Don’t knock it till you try it. I was skeptical at first too because she’s a talent show kid, but her newest album is AMAZING. Her sound is so unique. Seriously the perfect music to chill out to this time of year.
  6. Clean Juice: And my newest obsession (pictured.) I thought I had found it at Nekter, until I came across Clean Juice. And tried The Chocolate One. And now my Friends and smoothie obsessions rejoice. Find a location near you at the link.

It’s a short list this month, but ALL of these products have been on repeat all month long. What did you love this month? Let me know, I love trying new products! -xoxo