NOVEMBER RECAP

Hey there my little snow bunnies. ♡ Wow, November has really flown by! In all honesty, I can easily say it was a very uneventful month, but I want to be sure to acknowledge and appreciate even the smallest of events each month.

DAD AND BROSKI CAME TO TOWN

  • Having half of my family living across the country is definitely hard, so I try to soak up as much quality time as possible with them when they are in town, whether it be staying in playing board games or going out and stuffing our faces with some tasty grub.

WHAT CAN I SAY? I’M A BASKETBALL GIRL

  • Love my school and love supporting my school, which means I love putting on my Hoosier gear and going to basketball games! Don’t get me wrong, football season is great and all (aka tailgating), but there’s just something about being able to keep track of the ball and know what’s going on in the game that makes basketball much more appealing to me HA.

THANKSGIVING FESTIVITIES

  • This Thanksgiving was much different from prior Thanksgivings in the fact that my loving mother invited anyone from our work who didn’t have a place to go on Thanksgiving over to our place to have a HUGE, extremely delicious meal!

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FRIENDS

  • Forever grateful for the people who choose to be in my life and I believe they always deserve recognition. Huge shoutout to Nathanial who has always made an effort to be in my life, even if it means asking his mother to drive him 2 hours to my house because his car is ass.

MY MANS

  • Jackson turned 21 this month! How exciting right?! So he took a whole day off work and we enjoyed each other’s company (just as we always do). Here’s a cute picture of when I forced him to do face masks with me!AB852B60-C1D7-44D6-8A14-DA4B5DD1323A

PUPPY LOVE

  • Hershey came into my life as a puppy a couple weeks before I moved to Bloomington and each time I see him, he’s doubled in size. I am sure to soak in all of his cuddles and puppy kisses when I get to see him!

I GOT A KITTY

  • Had to save the best for last. After looking for a sweet kitty to adopt all month and having a couple let downs, I got blessed with the sweetest, most loving kitty ever. I’d like you guys to meet Littlefoot, or littles or meow meow or cuteness or mamas or whiskers for short. She loves attention, back rubs, tummy rubs, treats and making love to my fuzzy bathrobe. I couldn’t of asked for a better kitty to call mine ♡

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Despite not having a very eventful month, I most definitely can say it was a good one! So much to be grateful for. That is one reason I genuinely enjoy doing Monthly Recap posts. Before starting this post, I questioned what I would talk about because much of this month seemed like a blur due to the stress of finals coming up, but after looking back at the pictures and trying to recollect, I was able to remember all of the good that came out of this month.

I encourage each and every one of you to do this as well at the end of each month. I am guilty of letting the negative aspects of life override all of the positive aspects and given how easy it is to do, I am sure many of ya’ll are guilty of it as well. Work with me in breaking this bad habit! Work with me in recognizing even the smallest aspects of life that give you joy.

Together, lets consistently strive to have the positive aspects of life towering high over the negative aspects.

 

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Finding Thanks in Everything…Even the Little Things

Hello my little pumpkins! For me, November is a month where I find it necessary to take a step back and be grateful for even the smallest of things we take for granted on a daily basis. It’s so easy to overlook being grateful for things that are so easily attainable in today’s world. I wanted to use this post not only to give thanks, but to spread awareness that much of what we are used to, much of what we take for granted, are things that are far from accessible in other countries, let alone for many families in this country.

So take a step back…

What are some of the basic necessities you have in your life that others mays struggle to obtain?

  • Food?
  • Water?
  • A home?
  • A loving family?
  • A good job?
  • An education?

The list could go on and on and of course answers will differ for each person, but one thing remains the same.

EACH AND EVERYONE OF US ARE BLESSED IN OUR OWN KIND OF WAY.

When I was in elementary school, my mother traveled to Tanzania, Africa for a 3 week mission trip. She came home with souvenirs, pictures and some amazing memories. I distinctly remember a picture of several children huddled up in a big circle with the biggest smiles on each and every one of their faces. My mom said something that resonated with me from that day on.

These children are living with close to nothing. They struggle to find food, some are lacking in education, and the ones lacking education live their days fulfilling hard labor chores necessary for them and their family to survive. Despite lacking what may seem like “necessities,” each and every day these children find a reason to smile. A reason to laugh. A reason to be grateful for this life they have been given.

We live in a world FILLED with instant gratification. So much to the point that without a sense of instant gratification, our patience wears thin. So let’s all take this day not only to be appreciative of all the little things we take for granted on a daily basis, but to take a step back and recognize the extent of how truly blessed we are in our lives – simply to be living.

I’d like for you to come up with a list of 10 things you are grateful for and after this day, continue to remind yourself of this list because despite Thanksgiving being over after today, we shall remain grateful for this life we have been given.

  1. My family
  2. My boyfriend
  3. My friends
  4. My apartment
  5. My education at IU
  6. Food on the table for every meal
  7. My ability to travel back and forth between Indiana and Arizona
  8. My puppers Hershey
  9. Music
  10. And even though they are under the category of family, I want to emphasize how appreciative I am for my parents. Their unconditional love is what has gotten me to where I am now and I will forever be grateful to have such incredible role models in my life

 

I hope you all have an amazing, mashed potato and turkey filled day. Know that I am so very grateful for each and every one of you as well. Happy Thanksgiving! ♡

 

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Whats the Key to Success? Learn to be a Quitter

Hi everyone! I stumbled across this post from BossBabe.com and oddly enough, it is exactly what I needed to hear. Don’t you love when you read something and you feel like it’s speaking exactly to you and your current situation? I wanted to share with all of you in hopes that maybe, it hits home for you just as it did for me!

“WINNERS NEVER QUIT AND QUITTERS NEVER WIN,” RIGHT?

If you grew up hearing this popular saying, you’re not alone. Maybe it was your soccer coach at your first big game, a parent helping you with homework, or a teacher helping you learn a new skill.

They all encouraged you never to quit, because quitting was equivalent to giving up and giving up meant you didn’t have enough confidence or drive to succeed.

And, to an extent, they’re right. Giving up isn’t good. But quitting, CAN be.

As we get older, it becomes harder to distinguish quitting from failure.

But go with me here…

Quitting is NOT failure.

Quitting is pivoting into something else.

IN LIFE, IN YOUR CAREER, IN A RELATIONSHIP, TRY TO THINK LESS ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE QUITTING FROM AND MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE QUITTING TOWARD.

UK survey found that 6 out of 10 people stay in relationships they don’t find fulfilling. 5 out of 10 people stay in jobs they’re unhappy with, according to a study completed by the Conference Board. Both surveys found that many people stayed in unhappy situations because they consider leaving to be a failure. What if what comes next is better than what’s you’ve left behind?

Are you quitting to move on to something better? Are you quitting to improve your personal or mental health? Are you quitting because the current situation no longer serves you?  Being afraid of quitting, could literally be blocking you from starting that new business, going back to school, moving to a new city or embarking on a new career journey. If you’re still unsure, run through this quick checklist below:

HERE’S 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU QUIT:

  1. Is my happiness more important than complacency?
  2. Could there be something better on the other side?
  3. Am I making a decision to stay out of fear?
  4. Am I ready to take the consequences?
  5. Do I believe in myself?

If you answered “yes” to most of these, its time to QUIT.

Knowing when to quit or leave something behind is a crucial step toward a brighter, happier, more fulfilled life. So I want you to embrace quitting. You never know what’s waiting for you on the other side.

 

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I Stopped Letting Nicotine Control My Life

For four years, I believed that I would never be able to put down my e-cig. For four years, I grew more and more accustomed to it always being around. The amount of times I SWORE I could never put the thing down are unimaginable and now, here I am one whole month clean of nicotine! HOW EXCITING!

Nowadays, with nicotine being so easily accessible (so much to the point that I have sat next to people in class puffing on a juul), quitting is a little more difficult than it is with cigarettes. The idea of the “hand to mouth” phenomenon switches from having to go outside every once in a while to fulfill the desire, to simply reaching in your pocket in any given situation and fulfilling the desire. And of course many are aware of the juul, but what many aren’t aware of is that a single juul pod is equivalent to AN ENTIRE PACK OF CIGARETTES! YUCK. So I wanted to write this post for anyone out there who, just like me, said “I could never put this thing down!”

Why did I decide to quit?

I had thought about quitting on several occasions but always ended up talking myself out of it for ridiculous reasons such as, “finals are coming up and I am gonna be really stressed out so I should probably wait till after finals.” These nonsense excuses persisted time after time. Roughly a month and a half ago, I got really sick to the point where even the smallest of hits off my e-cig resulted in me coughing my lungs out for the five minutes following. I had stopped bringing it with me to classes and without realizing it, started weaning myself off of both nicotine and the idea of hand to mouth. Wanting to quit was still in the back of my mind so I had brought it up to my boyfriend about how I still wanted to quit and without hesitation he asked me if I wanted him to hide my e-cig. I most definitely didn’t want him to hide it but I said yes and I’m so proud of myself for following through.

What has this past month been like?

The first week was easily the most difficult. If my boyfriend hadn’t hid my e-cig, I don’t think I would’ve successfully made it past that week, but I tried to keep myself busy to stop, or more so mask the cravings. I also took the time to look into some resources I could utilize to help make quitting a little bit easier. Indiana University has a wonderful smoking cessation program that involves a weekly meeting and plenty of resources to help ease the cravings such as nicotine patches and gum. The best part about this program is IT’S 100% FREE! The program has been so very helpful to me and if you are wanting to quit but can’t imagine doing it by yourself, I would most definitely recommend looking into some smoking cessation programs near you.

My challenge to you!

For four years, I relied on nicotine in almost every situation and laughed at anyone who even slightly insinuated that I should quit because I didn’t believe I was mentally strong enough. Now one month free of nicotine and I am so proud of the progress I’ve made. Each day truly does get easier and it helps when you are surrounded by people who want to help you to quit. So if you also have considered quitting smoking but can’t imagine your world without nicotine in it, I urge you to find someone who you trust to help keep you on track (and possibly hide anything you may use to satisfy your nicotine addiction) and look into any resources your town may have to help you quit.

It is not easy. It definitely took all the willpower I had but I knew that it was in my best interest. I went on for 16 years without nicotine in my life and I WILL get to a point where nicotine doesn’t even cross my mind, but for now I will stick to relying on the ones who have my best interest in mind and want nothing but to help me succeed in fighting this addiction.

I stopped letting nicotine control my life and you should too. (Wow I sound like a commercial)

I am MORE than happy to answer any questions that anyone may have regarding this topic. In fact, if you are considering taking that first step to quitting, PLEASE either comment on this post or go to the ‘Contact Me’ page and fill out the form! I would love to help anyone wanting to beat this horrible addiction!

and remember…

You ARE capable of putting it down ♡

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Social Media Experiment – SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T EVERYTHING

HI GUYS! So two weeks ago I decided I wanted to take a little social media break and observe how I felt throughout that time. I wanted to remind myself that social media is not the most important thing in my life and I wanted to take that chance to not only build friendships/relationships, but create them as well! Well here I am, two weeks later in good spirits, knowing that my social media break was most definitely needed. As I reflect, I wanted all of you to be aware of the benefits of taking a step back and recognizing the negative impact that social media has on our lives and our well-being.

What did I do best utilize my time?

  • I made DELICIOUS dinners with my Jackson.
  • I went on walks with Jackson and explored the town that we have lived in for several months now but still barely know (LOL).
  • I cleaned the apartment…a lot.
  • I was able to fully focus on my homework without worrying about what was new on my social media.
  • I did some fun DIY projects from Pinterest.
  • Jackson and I made new couple friends in our apartment complex!! (Our first couple friends! How exciting!)
  • I went tailgating with new friends and enjoyed the crisp fall air.
  • I tried to soak in every moment spent with Jackson and friends.

Why is a social media break important?

It’s hard to notice the negative effects that social media has on our lives when it is constantly available to us. So my goal in taking a social media break was to merely acknowledge, without judgement (using mindfulness), how much of my day is stolen from me because of social media. Rather than avoiding an awkward silence by shoving my face in my phone, in a sense, I was forced to make conversation, which my generation is not the greatest at. Face-to-face interaction is such an important part of our lives as social creatures and thats something we tend to forget because of social media.

My challenge to YOU

I challenge you to take the step not only in bettering your mental health and well-being, but to rediscover and reevaluate what truly matters in your life with the absence of social media, whether it be family, relationships, friendships, hobbies, school, etc. You may come to find, like I did, that we place such an emphasis on the importance of social media, but without it, life will still go on. I didn’t miss my social media like I thought I would, in fact, it was refreshing, like a weight lifted off of my shoulders.

So take that step! 

Do something GOOD for your mental health and your well-being.

PUT YOURSELF FIRST! YOU DESERVE IT!

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xo ツ

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Long Distance Sucks

Isn’t is crazy how quickly relationships can be built? Or even crazier, how quickly a relationship that used to be so strong, can diminish when distance separates the two? I’ve been lucky enough to stumble across a select few relationships/friendships in the past couple years that are worth fighting for when distance comes into play. I full-heartedly believe that a friendship is 50/50 and there truly is no point in fighting for a friendship if the other person is giving you any less than 50%. However, when it comes to long distance friendships, sometimes that isn’t always the case. Life gets in the way, it always does, and it tends to get in the way at different times for different people. Some people at my age are busy in college, others are busy working, and some are even beginning their little families. Despite the different stages all of us are in, sometimes life just takes over. And when in comes to having a long distance friendship, those days in the past where you felt nothing but stress and anxiety and you end up eating an entire tub of ice cream and bitching about life with your best friend turn into you coming home, getting done what needs to be done, and sleeping the stress away. Those long conversations on the phone that you had every day turn into once every week until slowly you start to realize its been over a month since you last talked on the phone. The conversations may dwindle down, but the love I have for the individual and the friendship we’ve built does not. “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.” We’ve all heard the saying, and yes, in some cases that is true but in others, distance makes you forget how grateful you are to have such amazing relationships/friendships in your life whether they are 5 miles away or 5,000. So I wanted to write this post as a daily reminder to myself that I have not only gained amazing friendships, but I have gained friendships that are worth fighting for 110%. If anyone reading this is struggling to keep a long distance friendship or relationship alive, take some time to reminisce. Remind yourself of all the amazing memories shared with that person. Randomly give them a call just to tell them you appreciate them. Send them a care package to let them know you are thinking about them. You WILL know when a relationship is worth fighting for, so in those rare occurrences when you find a keeper, cherish them and the relationship ya’ll have built because nowadays, it truly is hard to find the keepers.

xo ツ

Remembering Your Worth

IMG_7015September 23, 2018 marks a whole year of being in love with the most thoughtful human being. My heart is all mushy and love is most definitely in the air, but its not hard to think back to a time when I felt worthless and irrelevant to the world around me. Now I can’t go blame all of my issues on previous boyfriends, however I can say that getting treated poorly in a relationship tends to diminish the desire to love yourself. I went on for years hating myself and searching for the things I could change about myself in order to be loved by someone else. It took a full year of loneliness and contemplation to realize that I was never going to find what I was looking for until I learned to love everything about myself, the good and the not so good. Wow, that sounds so cliche but it couldn’t be any closer to the truth. I began to realize my worth in one of the most painful, mentally exhausting relationships. He belittled me, called me names, and made me feel foolish for wanting to get treated in a respectful, loving way. One day, he got so angry that he kicked me out of his apartment and told me I was dead to him. Hours later, he called me to say he overreacted and to come back over. Stupid me, I went back over to his apartment where he proceeded to yell at me and NOT apologize because “he had no reason to apologize, I was just being crazy”. Time after time I continued to forgive him and time after time he continued to show me the millions of reasons he didn’t deserve my forgiveness. My self-esteem was diminished and the love I had for myself was nearly nonexistent, so I turned to God. I listened to my favorite worship songs and I prayed that he would give me the knowledge to understand why I wasn’t good enough. And he did answer my prayers, but rather than helping me understand why I wasn’t good enough, he helped reveal to myself the many ways I am more than good enough. He gave me the knowledge to know what I deserve, whether it be in a relationship or in my everyday life. He gave me the strength to remove the negativity from my life and look solely at the positives. During this time of growth, finding myself, and learning to love myself, God placed a wonderful man into my life. A man who doesn’t try to diminish my self-worth but instead shows me reasons every day to treasure my self-worth. A man who, everyday shows me the true meaning of unconditional love. I love my boyfriend for a million different reasons, but everyday he teaches me how to love myself and thats a debt I will never be able to repay. So ladies, if you are in a toxic relationship and have been dragged down so far to the point of not knowing if you’ll be able to make it back to the surface, know that there is hope. Know that there is someone out there who will love you for you, imperfections and all. And lastly, know that you ARE beautiful, you ARE strong, and you ARE capable of living the life you deserve.

xo ツ

Treat yo’ self

IMG_6963.jpgI find it hard to take time out of my day, or even my week to relax and do something for myself. Whether it be 15 minutes to do a face mask and listen to some music or 45 minutes to take a bath, focus on my breathing, and enjoy the silence, nine times out of ten I prioritize school or work or other people before I prioritize me and my mental health. But that has come to an end because I deserve to treat myself to a little spa day now and then or watch a rom-com, cry a little, and eat my hormonal feelings away with a tub of sherbet ice cream. I deserve to take time to myself despite the long list of homework assignments, upcoming exams, and errands I have to do. It’s crazy how much stress affects our brain. Our bodies naturally choose either fight-or-flight in a stressful situation and when we experience so much stress for such prolonged periods of time, our bodies react with a rush of adrenaline, increased heart rate, and energy loss, thus resulting in decreased brain activity. Simply, our brains are not at their highest potential whilst experiencing stress. So my advice to you would be, if you are having a bad day, maybe having an exam coming up, or even getting pissed off at a homework problem you’ve been working on for what seems like an eternity, then stop, take a deep breath, run the bath, light a candle, turn on your favorite playlist and just enjoy doing nothing. You deserve it!

xo ツ

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Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

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Mid-August always seems to be the start of the most time-consuming yet enjoyable time of the year. Its that time of year where new beginnings are within our grasp and we are given the chance (as college students) to build a home away from home. We pack up our lives and are given the chance to start again in a sense. This year I have had the privilege of starting my junior year of college at Indiana University and lemme tell ya..it has been the most exhilarating, exhausting, fulfilling experience. With these chances for new beginnings comes classes all week and homework to fill up the little downtime we do have. With these chances for new beginnings comes a constant state of stress and exhaustion and AT LEAST one mental breakdown a week, if not more. The transition from a community college to a big university has been everything I could’ve hoped and more. I am so incredibly proud to call Bloomington and Indiana University my home, but I have certainly struggled to make ends meet since classes have started. On the second day of classes my professor told me to expect 2 hours of homework for every 1 credit hour you are taking. Well with the typical full-time student, 15 credit hours in class = 30 hours spent on homework EVERY WEEK!! And lemme tell ya, he wasn’t lying. After about a month of classes, I am starting to learn where my classes are and im not having to use a GPS while riding a bike (it was not a pretty sight HAHA), I’ve met some really great people who are just as motivated to learn and succeed as I am, and I can 100% say that I am finally settling in. One thing I always forget to remind myself of when classes first begin in August is that I will get used to it. I will get used to the running around, the stress, and the lack of downtime. So for anyone reading this, if you feel overwhelmed whether it be because of work or school or just life in general, continue to remind yourself that those feelings will fade, life will get easier, and you’ll be stronger because of it. Be grateful for the stressful downs in your life because those are what make you truly appreciative of the ups.

xo ツ