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November 2017

Soaking Up Your Travel Experience: 5 Ways to Stay in the Moment
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Soaking Up Your Travel Experience: 5 Ways to Stay in the Moment

This past weekend I took a mini-vacation to Newport Beach (about an hour and a half from where I am in LA) and it was much, much needed. It was nice to be so close to home, yet far enough away to feel like I get to explore somewhere new.

Over Thanksgiving just a few days ago, my family and I were talking about how people don’t take the time to be fully present in the experiences they’re in. All too often we see the person in front of us at a concert who won’t put their phone down and just listen. Just take in the moment that they’re in. Taking this little “staycation” was a little reminder to soak up my experiences, even if I’m close to home.

Soaking up Your Travel Experience: 5 Ways to Stay in the Moment

It doesn’t have to be an international vacation to make you stop and notice how great life is. Soak up your friends, the laughter, the music, the sunshine, whatever it is just soak it up.

Here are 5 ways you can stay in the moment and take time to be grateful for this life we have.

  1. Plan ahead. I thought about this and it could go either way. Maybe staying spontaneous makes you feel more free, but my thought is that if you plan ahead you won’t have a need to be on your phone. Let’s face it, we use our phones for everything. We Yelp the best nearby restaurants, we Waze our routes, we Google what to do, etc. Planning ahead could keep your phone in your pocket a little longer.
  2. Put your phone away. You probably saw this one coming. I’m a fan of capturing the moment don’t get me wrong! But snap a picture at the beginning of dinner (or at the end) or get a quick photo of that beautiful sunset and then just take time to actually enjoy it. Just like the concert thing I mentioned above, we get so concerned with showing everyone that we’re watching an amazing sunset, before we know it the sun has set and we can’t recall any of the details.
  3. Inhale positivity, exhale negativity. Focus on the present instead of worrying about the future. Have you ever been somewhere trying to relax and you keep thinking about your to-do list? Or stressing over something that doesn’t matter? I do that a lot. When I’m trying to be in the moment, I have to just take a deep breathe and not care. If it won’t matter in the next 5 years, don’t spend 5 minutes of your life thinking about it.
  4. I know I said plan ahead…but to a certain extent. I’ve found one of the best ways to truly be in the moment and soak up my travel experience is to get lost with the people I’m with doing something really fun and having a great time. Just like when you get lost creating something you love, or how I get lost writing something I get into that flow state and lose track of time. You can still plan ahead what you’ll do but no one needs an itinerary.
  5. Be open to exploration. Not only within the environment you’re in depending where you’ve traveled to, but be open to discovering a side of yourself you didn’t know existed or to doing something you didn’t think you’d want to do. Don’t force anything, but if you have the urge to do zip-lining and it’s available, why not! There’s nothing that forces you into the moment than doing something that scares you just a little.
  6. Okay here’s a bonus one: stop and take it in. An exercise I’ve done for writing in the past is to take a walk up the street and write down every single sound you hear. What’s crazy is you don’t realize all the individual sounds until you list them. The birds chirping, your shoes on the pavement, the leaves in the trees, cars driving down the street, dogs barking in the distance, you get the idea! Try doing this mentally on your next trip. Just stop and list everything you see and hear. It might sound weird but this truly gets you in the moment and I guarantee you’ll be able to go back to that moment in your mind because you were so present and mindful.

What do you find are the best ways to stay present? Tell me in the comments below!

Reflecting on my birthday: 24 lessons in 24 years
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Reflecting on my 24th birthday: 24 lessons I’ve learned

I remember thinking on my 22nd birthday that I was finally getting older, “but imagine what 24 will feel like.” For some reason 24 sounds so much older! There’s a younger feeling about being 21, 22, or even 23. But despite all that I am EMBRACING 24 and I’m the kind of person that feels like everything gets better with age!

Well Scorpio season is among us! Scorpios are known to be the most “secretive” of the signs, and while I don’t like to spill my heart out completely on the internet I do love myself a good deep conversation (or in this case, blog post). I thought it would be fun to reflect on some simple lessons I’ve learned in my 24 years of life. Comment below and tell me if you can relate to any of these life lessons!

  1. Sometimes something we didn’t think we wanted turns out to be the greatest gift.Funny story to start this out: my brother was born premature and my parents spent weeks with him in the hospital. I was used to being the only child so when they finally brought him home I said, “I don’t like him. Can you take him back?” Well, flash forward 22 years and he’s pretty great if I do say so!
  2. Don’t be afraid to fail. In this interview, my good friend Lexy said she feels like failure doesn’t exist and rather everything is just a learning curve. I love that.
  3. Be kind, be mindful of what you say to others, be humble, be a nice person. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou. Sometimes I haven’t forgotten what hurtful things people have said to me. And I don’t doubt that I’ve said something that hurt someone. But if we can be more mindful of how we come off to people, of how our words or actions affect people, I think we should try our hardest. Being nice doesn’t make you naïve, fake, or a pushover, it just means you care how you make other people feel.
  4. It’s okay if you realize people don’t have a place in your life anymore. This has been a huge learning lesson for me over the years. I always felt a personal conflict with issues like this; wanting to be nice and not hurt anyone, yet also staying true to myself in knowing that someone doesn’t align with who I am as a person. Follow that inner voice. You might make mistakes, but everyday things will become more and more clear
  5. Take time to be interested in your Grandparents and spend time with them. They’re gone sooner than we think. My Grandma passed away a few months ago, and that marks the last living grandparent I had. I deeply cherished every one of my grandparents and I only wish I had more time to spend with my Mom’s parents who passed away when I was much younger. See you on the other side.
  6. Hustle with heart…but not always. Taking time to pause and reflect is often just as powerful as being busy.
  7. Follow your heart. I’ve always been a firm believer of this when navigating life, careers, love, friendships, you name it. Don’t let the pessimists get to you. Doing what’s right isn’t always easy and what’s easy isn’t always right but your heart will help you navigate that. I find that somewhere along the line your heart and your mind work together.
  8. Preserve your memories. Keep a journal, print out your photos and put them in an album, take video! I’ve learned too many times that technology is temporary and photos and videos get lost along the way. In a way, our own memory is temporary too. I recently realized that gone are the days when people walk around with the big hefty home video cameras and that makes me a little sad. No one is truly preserving the videos they take. I don’t know about you but I want to look back on my life when I’m 90.
  9. Be a rebel, take chances, create your own path. In 2012 I Facebook messaged Drake Doremus who directed one of my favorite all-time movies that made me want to be an actress and writer/director called Like Crazy. I asked him some advice and he gave me the most honest answers I will always remember. Here’s exactly what he said in response, caps and all. “WATCH A LOT OF MOVIES AND FOLLOW YOUR HEART. DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER AND DO WHATEVER YOU WANT ALWAYS. BE A REBEL.” Thanks for responding to a random stranger, Drake.
  10. Sometimes figuring out what you DON’T want to do can you lead you to clarity for your true purpose. During my first year of college I was still getting clear on what I really wanted to do in life. It was a time of change and growth and coming into who I was as a person. I still felt mildly embarrassed to admit that I wanted to act and I hid behind my love for writing. I ended up doing an internship at Warner Brothers for MadChance Productions and it was a great experience. It taught me so much and oddly enough I learned so much about what I definitely didn’t want to do. I did not want to be a producer’s assistant and sacrifice my soul. I did not want to be a script supervisor or editor or PA etc. the list goes on. However, one night when I got the chance to be a PA on set I learned that it would kill me if I didn’t take the chance to act. I remember looking at the actors while I was a PA and thinking, “I would give anything to trade places with you right now.” It hit me like a ton of bricks that it would be sad if I lived my whole life with that feeling and vowed not to do that.
  11. It’s okay to be both introverted and extroverted. I like to go out and have drinks with my friends and be social but I also really like being alone and making lists and reading a good book. Don’t feel like you have to fit a mold of anything or anyone, just be yourself.
  12. Be mindful of who and what you put your energy into. If it’s not being reciprocated or you feel like it adds negativity to your life, let it go.
  13. The sound of your dogs snoring will make everything fade to the background. Really, what’s better than coming home and snuggling up to my dogs and hearing them sleep so soundly. (cheesy, I know. But 100% the truth).
  14. Study your craft diligently, be driven, have laser focus. The people that do this, no matter what industry you’re in, are already a step ahead of those who put half effort into things.
  15. Social media is not real life. I’ll say it again…SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT REAL LIFE. (check out this video that explains this perfectly). Man, social media is such a love hate thing for me. I know we’ve all had our days when we wish we had what was on the other side of the screen. But remind yourself that 9/10 what’s on the other side of that screen looks a whole lot different in real life. I still believe that social media can be used for positive things, but I’ve learned to check myself in the comparison game online.
  16. Don’t be afraid to be ahead of the game. I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit about me (and I’m sure so many of you reading this do, too!) I started my Etsy shop back in 2013 and no one my age was really doing that. Not because they couldn’t but I just think no one my age really had an interest in doing that at the time. Part of me felt embarrassed to talk about the fact I had an Etsy shop at that time and I’ve learned it’s okay to stand out of the crowd. Be confident in your ventures.
  17. Just begin. The hardest part about doing the work is just sitting down and starting.
  18. Actions speak louder than words. Plain and simple.
  19. Anxiety can be paralyzing. I’ve struggled a lot with anxiety over the past couple years. I don’t have many answers here, but I’ve learned to breathe and look at the bigger picture.
  20. Deep conversations are the best way to connect with someone. I don’t know if I’ve learned this or if I was born this way but Lord knows I love to have deep conversations with people. Deep, meaning more than small talk. What makes you tick, what do you dream about, what do you think shaped you into who you are, etc. So if you’re ever having a day when you want to talk, head over to Instagram and you know where to find me!
  21. Speak with confidence about what you love. I wrote an entire blog post on this and it’s really a huge lessons I’ve learned over the years.
  22. Going out of your comfort zone helps you grow as a person. It can be as simple as going up to someone at an event and having a conversation, or joining a new community, or applying for a new job. That little pang of fear or sickness you feel when you’re doing something new…you’re growing! I wrote a blog post about how joining this network of women helped me out of my comfort zone and truly helped me grow as a person.
  23. True friendships are hard to come by. True friendships are a two way street, not one a one lane highway. They are empathetic, they care deeply about you just as you do for them, they never let anything get in the way, they love you for you. Remember, quality over quantity. I look at some of the friendships I’ve had for over 10 years and there’s nothing like a love for a person like that.
  24. You can’t control what will happen in your life. This is something I still struggle with all the time. I worry about the “what ifs” and it’s a constant reminder that I have to give up control and focus only on the factors I can control.
holiday gift guide made to create coffee mug
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Rising Tide Society Holiday Gift Guide: Handmade & Small Business

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know that I’ve been posting all about this amazing gift guide from the Rising Tide Society! If you haven’t heard of the Rising Tide Society before they’re an amazing community of small business owners, makers, artists, creators, entrepreneurs, DREAMERS of all kinds! It was started by the amazing photographer Natalie Franke and transformed into a place where people can go for support for their business, to learn more about navigating entrepreneurship and so much more. You can read more about RTS here.

This year they put out an amazing holiday gift guide (no fluff here it really is awesome) and I was lucky enough to have some of the products from my shop featured. I thought it would be super fun to show y’all some of my favorites! I am not joking when I say this guide takes the stress out of finding truly unique gifts for your friends and family! Take a look and browse some of my favorites below and be sure to comment and tell me what you love! P.S. Make sure you SUBSCRIBE to the newsletter when you click on the guide and you’ll get discount shops for SO many of the shops, it’s worth it!

Gifts For Coffee Lovers 

“Roasted” Themed Gift Box from Postcard Pantry                      Made to Create Coffee Mug (by yours truly!)

holiday gift guide made to create coffee mug

 

Hygge Knit Coffee Cup Sweater by Swell Knits.                        Coffee Mocha Handmade Natural Vegan Soap

coffee mug sweater holiday gift

 

coffee lover soap

Gifts For the Romantic 

You are Loved Pillow by Swell                                                            Isn’t She Lovely Fabric Sign by SweetGrass Paper Co.

 

You Will Forever Be My Always Postcard/Love Note (Me, again!).       Customized Gold Circle Necklace by StampedandFinch

stamped necklace holiday gift guide

It Is Well With My Soul Hand Painted Globe                                            Floral Initial Watercolor Ring Dish

holiday gift guide

holiday gift guide

Gifts For The Home

Custom Watercolor Map.                                                                              Mini Modern Succulent Planter Set 

custom watercolor map holiday gift guide

succulent set holiday gift guide

 

Springtime Bouquet Painting by Amanda Christine.                                        Home Sweet Home Laser Cut Sign
Painting Holiday Gift Guidehome decor holiday gift guide

So Many Books Bookends

Book Lover gift Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts For the Entrepreneur Woman

You Got This Notepad.                                                                           Double Sided LetterChalk Board
Gift Ideas for Entrepreneurletter board for artists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be With: Affirm Cards for Self Love                                                         Cultivate What Matters Intentional Goal Planner

Affirm Cards Gift Guide

holiday gift guide entrepreneur planner

Just Begin Canvas Pencil Pouch

canvas pencil pouch holiday gift guide

fallskincareroutine
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Fall Skincare Routine

Ever since I was little I had the skincare/makeup love gene. I’m the kind of person who absolutely has to take my makeup off before I go to bed and there’s nothing I hate more than dry skin. I love trying new products to see what work best (and also what’s not really makin’ the cut). So, I thought it would be fun to show you all my fall skincare routine and the products I’m currently loving! I could write a long post on my all-time favorites but I wanted to narrow it down and show you my fall favorites and my routine.

My Routine + Products

What I’m telling you is typically what I do in the morning or at night, so this doesn’t really include makeup, except for a tinted moisturizer.

fallskincareroutine

Morning Face Wash

In the morning, I usually wash my face or wipe it clean with the Kirkland Signature Daily Facial Towellettes. Facewash is the one thing not shown in the pictures because I took these photos while on my trip and I didn’t bring what I normally use. If I use a face wipe, I actually love the Costco ones. I’ve tried other brands like Neutrogena but most wipes make my skin too oily or they sting. Typically I use the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser because it’s great for sensitive skin and has hyaluronic acid in it. I also really like The Body Shop Vitamin C Daily Glow Facial Cleansing Polish Face Scrub. It makes my skin so bright and refreshed. I got it last year on sale during Black Friday and that was a great decision haha it lasted me SO long too!

Morning Moisturizer

My skin always feels so much dryer this time of year so moisturizer is essential. Next, I put moisturizer on and I’ve been loving this Better Skin Mirakle Cream I first tried this product when I went to BeautyCon earlier this year and loved it! I would not say that unless I meant it and let me tell you, this truly feels like butter slathered on your face. They were kind enough to send me these products because they know how much I love them! Go try them for yourself, you’ll see what I mean!

SPF for the day

Then, before applying makeup like concealer or foundation I make sure to get some SPF on. I think moisturizer and SPF is the secret to great skin. My friends make fun of me because I am the SPF freak always telling people to wear sunscreen but the sun is an invisible damager! You don’t see the negative effects sun damage has on skin until about 20 years later (or so I’ve read). Anyways, I’ve been loving a tinted SPF/Moisturizer lately and this Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is great! It’s definitely tinted and a little goes a long way but it’s a great base with the added plus of SPF. The Cotz Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40 I also tried at BeautyCon and I found my new favorite face sunscreen! Think of whipped butter, and that’s what feels like is going on your face. It blends into the skin great and it’s perfect for pre-makeup.

fallskincareroutine

Nighttime Routine

At the end of the day, I always take my makeup off and wash my face. I use the same wipes and/or face wash. At night time, I also like to do an occasional face mask or scrub. I really like Better Skin Lava Magik – Cleanser – Scrub – Mask, which you can use as a scrub or mask. Here’s my experience with it: I loved it as a scrub, I felt like I had baby soft skin afterward. As a mask, not so much. I have really sensitive skin and my face felt a burning sensation after keeping the mask on for just a few minutes. The lava mask is also red in nature, so it might look like it stains your skin momentarily even though it doesn’t. That was just my experience so I’m not sure how your skin will react but do love these products overall.

I love the PCA SKIN Après Peel Hydrating Balm for nighttime. I’ve been switching off between this and the Mirakle Cream but either are super moisturizing! In the photo, this moisturizer is in a little travel container, but it comes in a much larger one when you buy it. It also smells amazing!

Next, I do some spot treatment if I have any breakouts and here are my go-tos for that this fall season. Epiduo is amazing for drying out a zit when needed. I found out about this through my dermatologist and I’ve used it for a while now! Now, for my secret weapon. On my trip to Oahu this past summer, I came across this Hawaiian Healer Salve. The girl in the shop (my favorite local store in Kailua) said it was a miracle salve and she swears by it. She said it makes scars fade, breakouts vanish, etc. She raved about it! I thought I would give it a go, but wasn’t holding my breath. Oh my goodness you guys! It really is magical! I will put this on my breakouts and I wake up the next day and my skin looks almost perfect! It’s all natural and also doubles as a great chapstick. P.S. this would make the perfect stocking stuffer for a friend or loved one! Whether it’s your best girlfriend or even your brother, definitely get this salve!

That’s it for my fall skincare routine! If you’re interested in me going a bit further and showing you my go-to makeup products for fall be sure to comment and let me know below! Any other questions and feel free to reach out! What are your favorite skincare products right now?

nostalgia and wanderlust
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Nostalgia For The Familiar: An Unexpected Gift in the Midst of Wanderlust

The first thing that always hits me when I travel back to the south, where my Mom and her family is from, is how much I miss my grandparents. I spend weeks, sometimes even months, preparing for the trip so excited to explore new things and places I hadn’t been to in years past. I gear up knowing it will be a totally different experience now that I’m older each time. And yes it is different, because each time I have a deeper appreciation for my grandparents and family, for the time we did get to spend together when I was younger, and for the foundation they built our family on.

I always expect to miss them when I’m back in the south, especially in South Carolina, but I never realize how much until it smacks me in the face. I thought I was craving adventure and exploration of somewhere new, but when we arrive in their city, in their same home, I don’t realize how much nostalgia I feel for their familiar faces, their voices, their laughter until I’m standing in it.

This time in the midst of exploring a new city, Asheville, I stumbled upon something (or rather someone) so unexpected but so fitting. At the bed and breakfast we stayed at they had “social hour” every evening from 4-6. Usually a good group of visitors would come to mingle and talk with everyone. We ended up meeting this older adorable and super sweet couple from Florida. Their presence was magnetizing because of their love for travel and adventure and because of the visible love they had for each other. In SO many ways, they reminded me of my own grandparents. It’s funny how certain things or people fill the gaps you feel in life sometimes. Nothing will ever replace my own grandparents or their love, but having this couple who was so interested in my life and goals and unbelievably encouraging made me smile.

The takeaway is, it’s funny what we find when we think we’re out there searching for something different. I ended up finding a familiar feeling I missed in an entirely new place.

Thank you for that little surprising gift, world.

wanderlust postcard

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