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Fall bucket List
The Ultimate Fall Bucket List: 23 Things I’m Dying to Do This Season 666 1000 samantha

The Ultimate Fall Bucket List: 23 Things I’m Dying to Do This Season

I’m embracing fall with everything I’ve got this year, so I thought it would only be fitting to do a fall bucket list. I live for the holidays and October through January are my favorite months to relish in everything that makes my heart content.

Recently I was writing in The 52 Lists Project: A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration and it asked me to write down everything I love about fall. I wrote that I love feeling cozy inside and out, I embrace the idea of hygge, I love that Scorpio season is approaching, I love tradition, and I love that fall brings a season of wonder, change, comfort, and balance.

This fall in particular I am embracing my wanderlust by taking a trip to Asheville, North Carolina at the end of October that I’m SO excited for. I’ll definitely do some blog posts about that trip so stay tuned. But this season I’m also embracing the idea of growth and development not only internally but also within my creative projects (like the short film I’m making with my brother) and I’m championing the cliché idea that fall makes us want to try new things and be cozy while doing it.

So without further ado, here’s my fall bucket list AKA everything I’d love to do this season

  1. Bake a pie
  2. Play in the leaves
  3. Go apple picking
  4. Go through a corn maze
  5. Decorate Pumpkins
  6. Host a Friendsgiving
  7. Take a scenic fall foliage drive
  8. Go to a football game and tailgate
  9. Watch Hocus Pocus
  10. Make a homemade fall-inspired coffee drink
  11. Make a gratitude list
  12. Roast pumpkin seeds
  13. Carve Pumpkins
  14. Find a new flannel
  15. Have a fall photoshoot
  16. Go to a fall festival
  17. Find the perfect fall-inspired nail color
  18. Get a new notebook
  19. Snuggle by the fire
  20. DIY my Halloween costume
  21. Find the perfect fall sweater
  22. Read an inspiring book
  23. Create a new fall-inspired coffee mug design for my Etsy shop

If you’re in the Los Angeles area like I am, check out this list of must-do things during fall in LA.

What’s on your fall bucket list? Comment below and tell me, I’d love to hear from you!

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Emmys 2017: Championing Women, Powerful Messages, and Partnership 720 535 samantha

Emmys 2017: Championing Women, Powerful Messages, and Partnership

This past Sunday, I tuned into the 2017 Emmy Awards. My mom and I have a tradition of watching both the Emmys and the Oscars every year, we love it! Besides rooting for my favorite actors, actresses, and TV shows, I also tune in for inspiration. Inspiration not only because I am an actor and screenwriter myself, but because I love seeing what they say in their speeches and the encouraging words they might pass on to others.

This year the Emmys brought up a lot of important topics, including diversity and domestic violence, but this blog post is about one topic in particular. Some of the messages communicated through speeches at the Emmys touched on championing women and better roles for them in the film industry, as well as growing ideas and projects through friendship. These words were both impactful and meaningful and I’m hoping to shed some more light on them.

Using Their Platform

One of my favorite TV mini-series of the year, Big Little Lies, took home a few of the awards this year which I was so happy about! When Nicole Kidman gave her speech for Best Lead Actress she said, “…sometimes when you’re acting you get a chance to bring a bigger message.” Though she went on to talk about domestic violence because that’s what her character in Big Little Lies goes through, both Nicole and Reese Witherspoon did use their platforms to talk about something bigger than themselves. In Hollywood, I’ve always found it interesting when people get up on stage and talk about themselves for 5 minutes. Unless there’s an uplifting message or some advice hidden in there, I truly appreciate it when people take the time to talk about a message or movement bigger than themselves.

#CommunityOverCompetition

When Big Little Lies won, both Reese and Nicole took the mic, with Reese saying, “It’s been an incredible year for women, bringing women to the forefront of their own stories and making them the hero of their own story…” Nicole continued by saying, “This is a friendship that created opportunity, it created opportunities out of a frustration because we weren’t getting offered great roles…”

This is SO important. It’s exhausting to see women in television and film who have dull roles. I’m so thankful more and more stories are being made that make women the hero of their own stories, including Big Little Lies.

An important movement that’s close to my heart is the community over competition movement started by The Rising Tide Society. This incredible group of makers and creatives are there so artists and entrepreneurs don’t have to go at their dreams alone. I love that we see the community over competition message within bigger industries and talked about on larger platforms like at the Emmys. The women of Big Little Lies could’ve easily taken an attitude or stance that they were each other’s competition, but they actively chose not to. There are a lot of people no matter what industry you’re in who will try to put you down for making moves, being successful, or being extremely driven with what you want. This is not the idea of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” AT ALL. This movement is about lifting each other up, finding each other’s strengths, and banding together to create beautiful things.

I’m sure we’ve all had times in our lives when we felt a tickle of jealousy, fear, anger, sadness, etc. when someone in a similar industry as you has the success that you haven’t had yet (myself included). However, everyone is different and each individual has their own path. There is no one way to achieving your goals or dreams and just because someone similar to us is on that same path, doesn’t mean we can’t be both encouraging and supportive to them while chasing a similar dream too. I love that Reese and Nicole reiterated this same message at the Emmys.

How can you encourage or support a friend with a similar dream this week? How can you collaborate to create something amazing? Tell me in the comments by scrolling to the bottom!

6 Inspiring Podcasts Every Women Entrepreneur Needs to Listen To
6 Inspiring Podcasts Every Woman Entrepreneur Needs to Listen to 1024 768 samantha

6 Inspiring Podcasts Every Woman Entrepreneur Needs to Listen to

My obsession with podcasts really only started this past year, even though they’ve been around for a long time. It was always something that seemed like a lot of mental work, to have to sit and listen to a podcast (and I had never clicked the purple podcast icon on my phone before). But then I went down the rabbit hole and stumbled upon a few inspiring podcasts I couldn’t get enough of and soon my drives to auditions and time on the treadmill at the gym were filled with podcasts! I’m big on finding inspiration and motivation through other people’s stories and it’s a definite possibility you’ll be glued to your headphones after listening to some of my favorites. Below are 6 podcasts filled with uplifting, motivational, and touching messages from women entrepreneurs who truly inspire you to go after your dreams and goals!

The Laptop Lifestyle Podcast

This podcast is for “virtual entrepreneurs, millennials on the go, and adventure seekers with big dreams,” and I love Alexis! What’s awesome about her is it feels like she’s right there in the trenches with us navigating entrepreneurship (even though she’s doing big things too), and yet we’re gleaning SO much great information from all the creatives she interviews. Episode to tune into: Episode 33: Pursuing Faith and Authenticity in a Filtered World, with Lifestyle Blogger, Lauren Kay Sims


The Influencer Podcast 

Julie Solomon is THE GIRL to go to for all things blogging, PR, marketing, and pitching related and I’ve been following her for a long time. I recently did a mastermind with her and was amazed by her eye for improvements and sweet help! I was so excited when she launched her podcast and I’m addicted to it! The women she interviews give such sound advice for following the paths you know you’re truly meant to follow and not being afraid to start the business of your dreams. So many of the conversations she has had stuck with me and I hope you’ll give it a listen! Episode to tune into: Episode 16: From Assistant to a 500K Influence– The Evolution of Creative Dawn McCoy

The Goal Digger Podcast

I remember the day I tuned into her very first podcast! Thanks to recommendations from The Rising Tide Society Facebook group, it was such a cool feeling to think I was going along on her podcast journey with her! The podcast is a “live-workshop style business podcast for creative girl bosses, so you can train from the experts how to dig in, do the work, and tackle your biggest goals along the way.” Now, I listen to every podcast she puts out and I love the way she communicates her messages so clearly and in the most personable way. You’ll find yourself remembering her advice months later. Major inspiration for how to #hustlewithheart! Episode to tune into: Episode 57: How to Know and Attract Your Ideal Client

Make it Happen Podcast

The podcast for big-hearted creatives that you’ll fall in love with! I stumbled across this one day when I was looking for a podcast specifically on how to work through all the creative ideas I had that were overwhelming me. Jen Carrington is a UK based creative coach with some BIG takeaways about living a wholehearted creative life. She takes big ideas and breaks them down into simple and beautiful concepts that you walk away with ready to apply to your own life and creative projects. Plus who doesn’t love her accent?! Episode to tune into: S04 E03: CLARITY VS CERTAINTY 

Femtrepreneur:

They describe their podcast as perfect for online course creators, but I’ve found some super helpful information on here about blogging, content creation, and so much more! They are absolutely hilarious and have the funniest personalities which is great because there’s nothing worse than an interesting podcast topic ruined by a boring host haha. Also lots of amazing freebies! Episode to tune into: TFS 015: How to Balance Freelancing with Lauren Hooker


Off Camera with Sam Jones

You’re probably wondering why this podcast filled with actor interviews is on the list if you know anything celebrity photographer about Sam Jones, but I wanted to include this one for SO many reasons. There’s nothing more inspirational than listening to people tell their stories of how they made their dreams come true and that’s what every episode touches on. These people share their trials and tribulations, their accomplishments, touching moments, you name it. It’s inspiring to listen to because it serves as a great reminder that there is no one single path to get to where you want to be or what you want to create in this life. Go listen to it! Episode to tune into: Episode 2: John Krasinski

 

What’s your favorite podcast right now? Tell me in the comments below by scrolling to the bottom and dropping me a note, I’d love to hear from you!!

 

 

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What Being in A Sorority Taught Me About Comfort Zones
Sam Chat: What Joining a Sorority Taught Me About Comfort Zones 680 1024 samantha

Sam Chat: What Joining a Sorority Taught Me About Comfort Zones

As an Alumni helping out during recruitment at Pref night for my chapter, I was asked why I picked Alpha Phi. Trust me when I say in the least self-fulfilling way that I think my response could be helpful and relatable to anyone, no matter if you’re thinking about this blog post in terms of a sorority, job opportunity, or any new experience. I told the young freshman standing in front of me that I honestly chose Alpha Phi because when I was going through recruitment, I saw a part of myself in these girls that maybe I didn’t have the confidence to be yet, and that scared me. But I also knew that it scared me because I wanted it, because it felt right, and because I knew it was time to push myself out of my comfort zone. I will forever be grateful for that decision because it has made me grow as a person, as an entrepreneur, and as a creative. I recognize that many people have had different experiences with the Greek system, some good and some bad, but this is my experience and I’d love to share what I learned from it.

If you’re reading this as a girl who might go through recruitment but you don’t know if it’s right for you (yet wandering campus alone and having two close friends who you don’t see very often also doesn’t feel right) this is for you.

If you’re reading this because you would “never” join a sorority or risk being judged for it— I’d love for you to read this, so you have a chance to see the Greek system from the perspective of someone that once had the same outlook as you.

And If you’re reading this because you’ve stood in my shoes—this is also for you so we can celebrate this journey we’ve been through.

Backstory: If you only knew…

I was a transfer to California State University, Northridge and pretty comfortable with my life as it was. I was excited about starting in the screenwriting program and finally being at a University that felt right for my needs. Two years prior I had transferred from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo because they didn’t have a film program or the major of screenwriting that I knew I truly wanted but it felt right this time around at CSUN. I was happy to see my lifelong high school friends whenever I could, but most of them didn’t live so close to me anymore. My other best friend was my boyfriend of 6 years but going into my senior year of college, our breakup kind of rocked my world. There was nothing that could’ve prepared me for feeling so not “me.” Everything going into my senior year was different: From where I lived ( I moved into an apartment) to making new friends.

I had been around a few girls that joined sororities, but I was convinced for years that it wasn’t for me. I watched my roommate freshman year go through recruitment and even my mom was in a sorority for a short period of time, but I was the girl that would say, “You couldn’t pay me to be in a sorority.” To be honest, I 100% judged girls that were in sororities. Why would I “pay for friends?” Why would I get “hazed?” Why would I want to be a part of something so exclusive? Now I look back and think if you only knew. And that’s the thing, I just didn’t know. You don’t pay for friends, you definitely don’t get hazed, and it’s not something exclusive, rather it’s something so sacred between sisters once you’re in it.

I was caught between two opposing thoughts: half the people I knew would probably judge me for joining one and caution me about getting “hazed” and I’ll be left asking myself, “How will you get yourself out of this once you realize you’re with a bunch of girls who aren’t genuine and don’t fit your personality?” The other voice was telling me that there’s a reason why so many girls fall in love with the organization they pick. And after meeting a few girls who really didn’t seem to fit the stereotype, I decided to expand my horizon and give it a go.

What I wanted from this experience

By the time Pref night came for me (where you go to the houses of your top two preferences), I was completely invested in the recruitment process and also totally torn between two sororities. I never thought I would be there, but I had found two organizations that spoke to me. My perspective might be different now that I’ve been on the other side and involved in a sorority that I cherish so much, but at the time I started making a mental list of all the things I loved about each sorority, the girls in it, their philanthropies, you name it. And what it came down to, was that one sorority felt safe and the other felt like it would push me out of my comfort zone. What did I really want out of my experience? What did I want as a 21 year old who didn’t join a sorority until my senior year, the only year I would ever get to be in one? To grow as a person and make genuine connections with people. They always say to go in the directions of your dreams, but I also think sometimes you need to go in the directions of your fears. Your fears are a fear for a reason, because you know that growth will come, because you know you might be successful, because you know that whatever lies outside of that comfort zone is something magical. I knew that I saw myself in Alpha Phi, but it almost felt too good to be true. So instead of second guessing myself or wondering what if or playing it “safe,” I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did.

The amount of excitement mixed with anxiety I had on Bid Day was insane. I opened that envelope and saw “Alpha Phi” written down and I was excited but also some voice popped in my head that said, “Oh no, what did you just do?” It was that feeling of finally getting what you wanted but then that fear kicks in and you start paddling backwards. I felt a little bit like an outsider internally because most of the girls were head over heels excited and knew they wanted to join a sorority since high school. However, looking back I also know I wasn’t as alone as I thought I was. I’ve talked to a lot of girls that were excited but so overwhelmed. I was so anxious because I’ve never been more out of my comfort zone.

Being out of my comfort zone taught me…

I can say with confidence that joining a sorority taught me SO much about why it’s important to get outside your comfort zone. Looking back, it’s almost weird that the whole experience intimidated me at first. I can’t tell you how in love I am with the Greek system now and I know that Alpha Phi is a huge reason why I am the person I am (as is any sorority you join).

  • Getting outside of my comfort zone broadened my perspective. I get asked often if I was hazed or about other common misconceptions about being in a sorority and I would love nothing more than for people to see the positive impact the Greek system can have on a young person’s life. Being in a sorority opened me up to a whole other world at my university and oddly enough for a system that gets a bad rap for judging people, I think it helped me not to judge others as much and be open to experiences I may not know enough about. Being a part of an organization that has such an impactful foundation as well as morals and values that I feel so connected to is something I never would have gotten to experience without Alpha Phi. Being part of a sisterhood where all the girls cherish that as much as I do is something really special.
  • Getting outside of my comfort zone led me to my best friends and to form meaningful connections with people. Commuting from home to campus and back without meeting new people that often wasn’t the experience I knew I was meant to have in college and yet that’s how much of my freshman and sophomore years were spent. After joining a sorority, it might’ve felt overwhelming at the time to be in a house with 100 other girls, but it teaches you a lot about being open to new friendships, conversations, and connections. I can say with 1000% certainty that my experience would be so different without being in the Greek system. I wouldn’t have had people to say hi to or hangout with on campus, no sisters to study with in the library during finals, no connections to other people interested in the film and tv industry, and I wouldn’t have met my lifelong best friends.
  • Getting outside of my comfort zone prepared me for running my own business. So much of my senior year was spent running from class to a sorority event back to finishing a project, etc. The schedule got a little crazy and stressful but I loved every second of it. Turns out, that’s really similar to my life now as an actor/writer, blogger, and Etsy shop owner.

If any of you are faced with an amazing opportunity that excites you but ignites a little pang of fear in you, take that leap. In 10 years, you’ll be so glad you went out of your comfort zone. Tell me in the comments below what you’ve been wanting to do that’s out of your comfort zone! Scroll to the bottom!

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Morning Habits that Will Inspire You to Create
5 Morning Habits that Will Inspire You to Create 500 726 samantha

5 Morning Habits that Will Inspire You to Create

My morning routine is pretty simple and I’ll admit, you’re not going to see anything mind-blowing on this list that you probably haven’t heard of before. Simplicity is key for me, especially in my morning routine. I learned that the more intentional I was about my mornings and the more I stick to them this way, I was more inspired to write, brainstorm new ideas, and do what I love to do best: create. So here are 5 healthy morning habits I’ve gotten into a routine of doing that inspire me to create.

Create before you Consume

AKA don’t be on your phone first thing in the morning. I used to wake up and check my phone in bed while my eyes were barely open. Not only did that start to strain my eyes sometimes, but it would either get me stressed right away if I looked at how many emails I had or it was a big distraction because I would start scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, and let’s face it, there’s nothing that interesting on there so early in the morning. “Create before you Consume” was actually something I heard Julie Solomon say over a year ago when I tuned into one of her webinars. It really hit home for me because I realized, I know that my mind is more alert and fresh in the mornings. That’s when I do my best writing. But being able to create was being overshadowed by everything else I was consuming. It’s hard to come up with an original idea when you’re flooded by the ideas of everyone else. This is something I’ve really tried not to do and it’s worked so well this past year! For me creating before I consume means I don’t read other blogs, scroll on social media, read another screenplay, etc. before I write my own blog post, a page in my own screenplay, etc. the list goes on. I usually keep my phone on silent until I’ve finished writing and drinking my coffee.

Morning Pages

If you’re sick of me talking about my love for morning pages yet, you’re in for a treat haha. Morning Pages for me (3 handwritten pages of whatever comes to mind) makes me feel so grounded and ready to attack the day. It’s the ultimate dump and jump—dump out everything that might be weighing on you, stressing you out, or even positive things that might just be clogging up your brain and then jump into your day with a freer peace of mind. Sometimes I read a few pages of The Artists Way before writing these pages, which is where I heard about this in the first place! Doing my morning pages gets my creative juices flowing and sometimes I come up with my best ideas for my projects during these pages. So inspiring!

The routine of coffee or tea

For me, this is a part of my routine that I covet. I love my mornings so much. It’s “me” time and I love to sit and drink a few sips of my coffee with my dogs snuggled up near me and enjoy that time. Sometimes I think it’s less about actually needing that caffeine (although let’s be real I am a coffee fanatic) and more about the routine of enjoying my cup of brew. Having a part in my routine that I do without fail brings more intention and consciousness into my everyday life, and furthermore it inspires me to go create something I love.  You may not be a coffee or tea drinker and that’s fine, but find something that you will do every day and just sit there for a few minutes taking it all in. We won’t always have mornings to ourselves so I like to cherish that.

Get dressed before you create

Whether you work from home or you’re finding time for your morning routine before heading to work, I find that getting dressed makes you feel mentally prepared to get down to business. Of course, I still like to be comfortable and most days you’ll probably find me in workout clothes regardless if I’m working out, but staying in my pajamas until noon does not do me justice. Getting dressed inspires me to be conscious that it’s time to make those ideas a reality. 

Morning Habits that Inspire You to Create, Made to Create Coffee Mug

“Made to Create” coffee mug by Samantha Skelton. Click to buy. Photo by Hannah Robinson Designs

Start Creating

Aren’t we talking about things to do in the morning that inspire you to create? Yes, but it’s sort of like that saying, “to begin, begin.” Like I said before, I do my best work in the morning. It’s when my brain is most alert and I show up and do the work in the mornings more so than any other time in the day. Sometimes just starting in on a project can lead to more ideas, momentum, or creative clarity. There is no better time to start than “now” because tomorrow will lead to never.

What habits do you do that inspire you to create? Share your inspiration below by scrolling to the bottom to leave a comment!

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Sam Chat: What Hawaii Taught Me About Being Present
Sam Chat: What Hawaii Taught Me About Being Present (Beyond Putting Your Cell Phone Down) 681 1024 samantha

Sam Chat: What Hawaii Taught Me About Being Present (Beyond Putting Your Cell Phone Down)

You know that feeling when you’ve been traveling all day and you finally get to where you’re going? When you finally see that beautiful water and put your feet in the sand that feels like butter and then…everyone takes out their phone. I’m 100% guilty of it too. This past trip I went on with my family though, I took a step back and realized just what Hawaii taught me about being present. But this isn’t just your typical post about turning your phone off. There were a  lot of takeaways about being present that I didn’t think about before.

#picoritdidnthappen

Being away from the stresses of daily life, it was a little bit easier to breathe it all in. It was nice to pause and not have to worry about anything really. It also made it easier to step back and think about things. We are so used to taking out our phones and documenting every second in our day to day lives. This was no exception, especially in a gorgeous place like Hawaii. The thing is, I don’t think most of us in the millennial generation are taking photos necessarily for the memories. Sure, it’s nice to have them and show a few friends. But for the most part, we take photos because we’re thinking ahead about what we want to post on social media. That’s kind of sad. We take a beautiful hike where the view is just breathtaking, but we don’t stop to think about the moment. Or the history behind the environment. Or how we’ll never be in this same place with family again. All we do is scramble to take a few boomerangs, and then re-take some photos with a different pose, and then we leave. #picoritdidnthappen is the double-edged sword millennials have with wanting to show the world what we’re up to and yet when we’re always thinking ahead, we’re NEVER in the present.

Millennials and Being Present

Something that made me realize this pattern us millennials have is in part thanks to my parents. They aren’t thinking ahead about what photo to post on social media. (Mom if you’re reading this, super proud of you learning Instagram though). They take pictures because they really want to look back and remember and cherish everything. That’s kind of the ultimate goal, right?

As I would do my morning pages every day, I was writing about trying to be more present and then I would write down everything that was worrying me, or looming above my head, or stressing me out. I thought, well this is good because I write it all down and let it all go. And then it hit me. Again…worrying about the future isn’t really being present! Worrying about things I can’t control won’t do me any good. And so being present extends so much farther than putting your phone down and smiling at the beautiful view in front of you. It’s also about learning that the NOW, the present day or moment, is the only one that matters.

Being Present in the “Now”

We hear about needing to be “present” all the time, but it’s actually a hard concept. Can you sit there for 1 minute and think about nothing but the present moment? It’s almost impossible. Our minds venture to something in the past or present. But I started to think that if we can focus on being present just a tiny bit more, we might have a happier and more peaceful state of mind, and furthermore, we can show our spark to the world when we’re in those present and open moments. More than anything, I was reminded that it’s important to be present in life so that you can be real with yourself and your dreams. Tune into your most authentic self and share your spark with the world! Go after what you really want and don’t be afraid to share your most natural, REAL, uninhibited, un-retouched, beautiful spark of self to the world!

What are a few ways you can practice being present in your daily routine? I know for me that’s taking time in the morning for me, to write and just simply be without my phone which I love doing. It’s freeing. And to also stop worrying about the future, it ain’t up to me! Scroll to the bottom to comment below!

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Your Life is Your Art: Living with Intention
Your Life is Your Art 1024 1024 samantha

Your Life is Your Art

The millennial generation travels more and seems to have a yearning to “experience” things more than any previous generation. Do we like to capture the things we “experience” on social media? Of course. But our generation holds onto the idea that when we’re at the end of our life we want to look back and say, “Wow! Look at all places I went, the people I met, the things I created, the legacy I left, and the experiences I went through!” Maybe we have major FOMO (fear of missing out) or fear of the, “I wish I had…” at the end of our life or maybe…we treat our life like art. Every experience we have is like another brush of paint on the canvas. And if you’re not already thinking of your life as art, maybe it’s time to so that you can start living with intention and purpose.

It’s Time to Make Time

I’ll be honest, I don’t wake up every single day and think to myself, “what can I do today to add to my art or my story.” But with every year that I get older or every trip that opens my eyes somehow and every experience I have that moves me— I do stop to think: I will never get this moment back, so let’s make the most of it. I welcome those simple reminders every now and then to treat my life like art. The truth is we go on with our lives in our daily routine and forget to appreciate our art. Time moves so fast and I’d love nothing more than frequent reminders to worry less, slow down, move out of my comfort zone, and MAKE TIME! Make time to create, make time for the people you love, make time to travel and experience things that you’ve only read about thus far. I’m someone that needs constant reminders of the bigger picture, especially when something is weighing me down or has me stressed out. In the end will it really matter? Is it really worth forsaking peace of mind? The answer is almost always “never.” Life is too short.

Peaks and Valleys

Life is made up of the good and the bad, the chaotic and the calm, the peaks and the valleys. Life isn’t always perfect and if we’re treating our life as art, it’s not going to be a perfect masterpiece in the way we think it might be. But it will be perfect in its unique way. Thinking of our lives as art doesn’t mean we won’t encounter difficult times, but it’s those hard times that make our life and who we are as individuals so “us.”

We only get one canvas, one life, and we can do whatever we want with it. If there’s something we’ve been wanting to go after, a dream we’ve been wanting to reach, somewhere we’ve been yearning to see…let’s vow to make time for it. The hard part is being intentional about our lives. We have to be intentional about being present, about being positive, about making time.  Get rid of the negatives in your life, whatever that may look like to you. Whether that’s a negative person or a project you just dread, if you can, let it go.

What Will You Create?

Your life is your art! What will you create with it? Tell me all the things you’ve been wanting to do or make time for below. Saying them out loud is like a verbal pact to get ‘em done! For me, I know I want to make time to create the films I’ve been wanting to make for so long, to travel to parts of the south with my Mom that we’ve been talking about for years, and stop coloring my canvas with shades of worry and anxiety. Your turn.

P.S. link to the “Her Life is Her Art” Coffee Mug

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Authenticity at BeautyCon
The Beauty in Authenticity: Notes from BeautyCon 1000 667 samantha

The Beauty in Authenticity: Notes from BeautyCon

Celebrating the Uninhibited You:

I recently went to my first-ever BeautyCon in LA and wasn’t surprised to see that many of the brands there had a message to send. A powerful one. One that coincided with what BeautyCon is all about. The crazy thing is just one month ago I wasn’t even sure what BeautyCon’s message truly was. Turns out, authenticity at BeautyCon is huge.

When I found out a friend got us passes to BeautyCon I was ecstatic! Something you may not know about me is how much I actually love makeup and skin care. When I was little I would watch how my mom took care of her skin and was always so curious to see all the different products she would use. As I got older it grew into curiosity about what I like and started experimenting with different kinds of makeup. To this day, we are still obsessed with Bobbi Brown, not much has changed from 10 years ago (except that we are also obsessed with Beauty Blenders now). But because I’m sure you know by now I’m not a beauty blogger per-say, I have more to share here today than my favorite products.

authenticity at beautycon

 

Beauty in the Wild

I hopped on the internet to find out about BeautyCon before going and what I discovered was more than their line-up of guest speakers. Moj Mahdara, CEO of BeautyCon, wanted to create an environment where digital content creators had a platform to express their individuality—especially in a world where the influence on young people is so important in today’s world. Her diverse background fueled the drive to continue to create diversity in the beauty and digital world. In an interview with Forbes Elyssa Starkman, Head of Content at BeautyCon, said “At Beautycon we believe it’s more important to have the space to do-you, to interpret those how-tos however you want.”

When I entered the convention center at BeautyCon, I was greeted with a visual fusion of the beauty and digital worlds that reflected exactly what I had read before going. Their Beauty in the Wild poster stood loud and proud:

“Beauty in the Wild is a call to celebrate the uninhibited you—to feel free and bold in expressing all the different elements of your individuality. At this year’s BeautyCon festival in Los Angeles, we invite you to join our community of rule breakers, risk takers, and innovators to be untamed, fierce, and fearless. It’s an exploration into the power of beauty through self- expression.”

The How-You Voice vs. How-To

More than anything, BeautyCon celebrates being your most authentic self in whatever way that looks like. How you define beauty for yourself, and how you choose to utilize makeup and skincare is your own individual expression of power and creativity. I didn’t see many booths talking about the latest “trends,” rather I saw brands showing young people, “here’s what we have to offer and we’d love to see how you make it your own.” BeautyCon makes a conscious move into the “how-you” voice and away from the “how-to.” They want you to celebrate the uninhibited you and come together to celebrate the diverse interpretations of beauty. Authenticity at BeautyCon is huge.

I left that day feeling like there was such a force behind the message that there’s so much beauty in being true to who you are and being your most authentic self. As I walked around the convention, I felt confident in my own skin and had a feeling that most people there did too because of the encouraging environment to just “do you.”

Authenticity at BeautyCon

Authenticity in Social Media

BeautyCon’s message of being authentic speaks volumes not only in the beauty world, but in the digital world as well. So much of what BeautyCon is about is fusing the glam world with the online space. I hear this all the time as a blogger to be your most authentic self, but it’s so true and it’s something I hope we can all do and find genuine ways to express that. In this social media world, it can get confusing and hard to not be influenced by other people or content. Something I always tell myself is that if I can’t tell my closest friends a room full of people that I truly like something or I’m advocating for something than I’m not being my authentic self. There are so many ways to look at it, but this was a way to dip our toes into the conversation of authenticity.

authenticity at beautycon

Express Yo’ Self

Anyone else have that song pop into their head and want to break out in a little dance when they read that? Haha. But really, today I’d like to carry on their message of being your uninhibited self, of being true to who you are, and I challenge everyone (including myself, because we’re all in this together) to find ways to genuinely express who you are. Say it loud and proud!

Tell me a few ways below that you stay true to who you are! Maybe even let me know what beauty means to you! Scroll to the bottom to leave a comment!

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showing up for your dreams
Showing Up For Your Dreams 689 1024 samantha

Showing Up For Your Dreams

I’m no expert on turning your dreams into a reality, but I am a girl who has big, big dreams and no plans of stopping anytime soon. I feel compelled to share some motivational thoughts on showing up for your dreams. I’m young, I have a lot of life left to live, but I’m showing up for my dreams and I want you to join me!

I came across something the other day that went something like this: If you don’t work hard towards making your dreams a reality, they become exactly that…a dream.

Maybe It’s The Fear Talking

Have you ever had that experience where there’s something you really want to do or accomplish, but you’re kind of blocked from just starting in on it? I know I have! Maybe it’s the fear talking, maybe it’s the idea that your dream is so big, how could you ever reach it? And you keep putting it off because there’s no time or you just need to finish this one thing before you start in on moving towards your dream. But then weeks turn to months and months turn to years. Before you know it, that thing you were so passionate about is still a dream and you’re not closer to it than you were before.

It’s not enough to just be passionate about something. It’s not enough to list all the reasons why you can’t take that leap because there will never be a 100% perfect time in your life. You have to show up for your dreams so that they will become a reality or they will stay exactly that…a dream.

Showing Up For Your Dreams Is No Walk in the Park

I get it though, it’s no walk in the park to show up for your dreams. It takes time out of your day, away from your family or friends, commitment, perseverance, and an unshakeable faith. There have been plenty of times where I questioned my path. To be honest, I’ve always had this unwavering faith and laser focus that I will achieve my dreams. Once I was able to say with confidence that I wanted to act and be a screenwriter (and now a blogger) I’ve never looked back. But that doesn’t mean that there are times when it’s still a challenge to show up for my dreams. Like I said, it’s not easy.

It’s not easy to learn about the world of blogging. And in my opinion if you want to do something greater with your blog than make it an online diary, you have to work at it. Learn the blogging world inside and out and show up consistently on the platform. The same goes for the other things I’m passionate about. It’s not always easy to sit down and force myself to write just a few pages in my script. Or make a commitment (financially and otherwise) to sign up for a new acting class, etc., the list goes on and on. But I know that the same goes for you. I know you’re sitting there feeling all the same things I’m feeling.

It is necessary to show up for your dreams, work hard towards them with the mindset that there will be no “backup plan,” and make forward moving steps towards what you really want to do in life.

6 Ways to Show Up For Your Dreams

1. Take one actionable step each week. I know it sounds so simple, but there are a lot of times when we don’t even do this “simple thing.” It’s Monday and we tell ourselves we’ll do something to move in the direction of our dreams and before we know it, it’s Sunday again. Send out your resume, sign up for a class, quit the job you hate, send one email, read a book on the topic you want to be an expert on, better your craft. Just. Do. Something. Anything. Because don’t forget, the “I will next weeks” turn into years. Don’t let that happen to you (or me).

2. Practice self-compassion. So, this might contradict the first step, but don’t be so hard on yourself when you fall off the wagon. Yes, try to take one small step each week but if you have a bad week and don’t do anything, don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t let one bad week derail your entire journey, just pick up where you left off but with more focus and perseverance to stay on that path.

3. Own who you are and what you want. Showing up for your dreams means owning what you love, what you’re passionate about, and what you want to do in life. Read my post on Speaking Confidently About What You Do for more on this. It’s so important, and one of my most-read blog posts to date.

4. Continue to learn and work on your craft. I think one way to stand out from the crowd is to know your craft, your business, or your industry inside and out. Whatever you dreams are, do everything you can to educate yourself and learn as much as you can about it. I love learning and I’ll never stop reading, exploring, and trying new things. Sign up for a class, read a book, take an online course, watch videos, there are endless possibilities! But don’t put it off because learning also takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

5. Prioritize your dreams. One of the hardest things is making time for those tiny actionable steps that will lead to something greater. But if that means doing a 30 minute task instead of watching your favorite Netflix show, waking up earlier, not going out during the week, whatever it is just prioritize your dreams.

From my Etsy shop: Celebrate Every Tiny Victory Postcard

Bonus: Have someone to encourage you and your dreams. Being an entrepreneur, a creative, or really anyone with a DREAM can be lonely and tough to navigate. Having someone there to listen to your bad days and encourage you when you have those tiny victories really makes a world of difference.

Let’s make a mental pact together to take an actionable step towards our dreams this week. If you want, leave a comment below and tell me what yours is I would love to hear it! Scroll to the bottom to comment!

Knowing Your Self-Worth and When to Walk Away
Sam Chat: Knowing Your Self-Worth and When to Walk Away 681 1024 samantha

Sam Chat: Knowing Your Self-Worth and When to Walk Away

After feeling the pressure to get a job right after I graduated college, I learned an unexpected but important lesson in the “real world”: know your self-worth and stand firmly by it.

A Short-Lived Rest Period

I’ve always been a busy-bee. I’m the kind of person that goes a little stir crazy when I don’t have something to work on after a while. Right after I graduated I didn’t worry about too much. I wasn’t sending my resume out to anyone just yet, I wasn’t stressing over post-grad life, and I stumbled across Kathryn Schwarzenegger’s book “I Just Graduated … Now What?: Honest Answers from Those Who Have Been There.” It was a nice reminder that other college graduates are taking that time period to explore what path is right for them. And another reminder that, “Hellooo no one else has it figured out at 22. So, relax Sam.”

That lasted about one week. I knew I wanted to pursue acting and screenwriting, and even the idea of starting this blog was in the back of my mind, but I suddenly felt the pressure of needing to get a job ASAP. The more people asked, “So, what are your plans now?” or “So, what do you plan to do with your degree?” I felt it piling on.  I felt like if I wasn’t doing something, I was just wasting my time.

Job Hunting

So, I quickly jumped onto the computer and started submitting my resume to everything I was remotely interested in. Any kind of writing job you could think of, I applied to it. Eventually, I landed a writing job that was mainly remote with an in-person check-in once a week or every other week. I thought that sounded great! It was a nice part-time job to start with that would still allow me to pursue my other creative endeavors.

One of my first assignments was to do product descriptions. Simple enough, right? They wanted you to make each one similar yet different, not too long yet not too short, and don’t use the same three words in a row so there would no confusion with plagiarism. Needless to say, I was calling my advisor saying that the amount of product descriptions they wanted me to do by the end of the week (we’re talking in the hundreds) it seemed nearly impossible. This was far from the part-time work-from-home job I was described upon getting hired. It took up enough time to be a full-time job. They told me I was doing it wrong and spending too much time on each description. After a few pointers and tricks of the trade I felt like maybe I had a handle on this.

Cut to a few months later: I was drowning. By this time, I was not only getting calls at abnormal working hours to do something that wasn’t related to the job I was hired to do, like Photoshopping photos, I was running multiple social media accounts, and still doing writing assignments. Well…it all came tumbling down with one writing assignment. When I was told to go in and take over for another writer and do descriptions exactly how she did them, I did as I was told. 700 product descriptions later, the company says the descriptions for each product are too short and it’s my job (and on my dime) to go back and fix it. Even though they are just as long as the first writer’s descriptions, they don’t care. When I say that I don’t have time to do that by the deadline and it was their fault for not clarifying the first writer did them wrong, they tell me I have to complete the job or I won’t get paid for any of it.

Manipulation At Its Finest

Did I mention the writers here get paid by the hour? And by the hour I mean by how long THEY think it should take for you to finish a project? Yes, something that wasn’t told to me during the beginning of starting this job. When I tried to communicate the frustration, they basically told me in so many words that I was dispensable as a writer. I wasn’t going to get paid if I didn’t do as they say, and would only get paid probably half of the hours that it took me to actually complete the job.  At this point, it felt like manipulation at its finest.

Recognizing My Self-Worth

That’s when I knew. I am worth more than this. I knew that my skills were an asset, whether that company realized it or not. And I knew that on some level, I was being bullied into getting paid way less than what I deserved to get. Any company, person, or project that doesn’t see what you bring to the table and who more or less thinks of you as dispensable, is not worth your time or energy. Know your self-worth and stand firmly by it. 

The Inner Fear Voice

Sometimes walking away can make you feel like you accomplished nothing; I know I felt that way. But what you accomplished on one path is not a measure of your self-worth. Walking away doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you stronger for recognizing your own personal value. And in a different light, you might actually have accomplished a better sense of self-worth in the process. Quiet that inner voice that tells you you’re a failure if you walk away. That inner voice is just fear talking.

Don’t Settle for Quantity over Quality

I knew in the end that it wasn’t worth drowning in a job I hated and who didn’t value me just because I allowed myself to feel pressure to get a job. In turn, I didn’t want to work for a company who took on a quantity over quality attitude and didn’t create a supportive and encouraging work environment. Any single person or company who is manipulative like that doesn’t deserve to be in your life, work-wise or personal. Always remember that you are unique in your own way and if you work hard, you are not dispensable.

Have you ever gone through something similar? Let me know in a comment below by scrolling to the bottom!

 

 

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