Happy Blogiversary: My Thoughts on Year Three

Today is the 3rd anniversary of starting this blog! Woohoo! Yippee!

The last year was an interesting one for my writing and personal life, but I learned a lot of things along the way. If you are in the blogging and writing world, I wanted to share with you my takeaways and thoughts from year three.

Sometimes blogging is not the main priority. Sometimes you need a break for your own mental health or tend to things that are more important. There were a few months that I just needed to stop writing and focus on work, family, and rest and that’s ok. Sometimes you need to take a break to find your vision again and gain inspiration. I think that earlier last year I lost my vision and didn’t even know how to move forward. I found my purpose and vision for blogging again at the end of the year, but I’m so glad that I let myself take that break.

You need to take care of yourself. You cannot serve your audience, your friends, or your family if you are exhausted, weary, or just faking it until you make it. You can’t preach what you can’t practice!

Your blog is YOURS. Take the pressure off and don’t compare your work to someone else’s. You get create your own vision, mission, and have creative freedom! You may not have a huge amount of followers, blog views, Instagram likes, etc…but that’s ok!

Unless blogging is your full-time job, don’t treat it like that. You do not have to keep to a strict posting schedule. Earlier last year I told myself that I would post three times a week for the whole year. However, that happened for about a week and then burnout ensued. Since then I have learned how much I can handle so that I can also thrive in my full-time job.

My Favorite Blog Posts from 2018:

26 Hours in LA & San Fran–It should not come as a surprise that one of my favorite blog posts was related to traveling. This trip was so memorable and great to see different parts of California.

A Weekend in Napa & Sonoma–This post was part 2 of my California trip!

My Home Interiors Inspiration–This was such a fun post to write during the process of purchasing my house!

28 Things About Me–I think it’s fun to learn random facts about people and I hope it’s the same for you!

Welcome to My House: The Living Room–I loved this post about mt living room interior design! I can’t wait to post more house reveal posts soon!

I can’t wait to write more this year and also learn a lot! Thanks for still supporting me on this journey!

My January & February Favorites

January was just so busy that I didn’t get a chance to post my favorites for that month. Ahh! Instead, I’m going to combine my January favorites with my February favorites and double up on the fun! Yay for you, haha! I really like doing posts like this because they’ve helped me get into the habit of intentionally looking for things to enjoy and be grateful for. Do you have anything in particular that you’ve been enjoying this month?

 

Vital Proteins Collagen Powder


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I have heard a lot of things about collagen protein and how it’s good for your hair, skin, nails. I was so excited when this came in a Bless Box! Collagen protein is also a good alternative for dairy/whey-free protein. I tried mixing this with only water but wasn’t really a fan of how that tasted. However, I did mix this in with smoothies and it was much better. I did see an improvement with hair my hair, skin, and nails felt after using this!

‘Tis The Season Candle from Bath & Body Works


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As you can see, I’ve burned this candle a lot lately! This candle is the perfect scent for transitioning out of the holidays because it smells fresh, spicy, and fruity all at the same time.

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack


I wasn’t planning on seeing this movie because it didn’t really interest me from the trailer and I didn’t want to see it just because everyone else was. However, I did go see it with my mom and youngest sister because they really wanted to see it, and you guys–it’s totally worth all the hype! I have been listening to the soundtrack so much in the last two months and you can listen to it too on Spotify. This cast is so musically talented and the songs are super catchy. I think that this movie could easily be a classic for years to come.

Eye Cream & Hand Cream


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I have been using this eye cream the last two months (I received it in a subscription box but can’t remember which one it was, oops!) and it’s been great for the mornings when my eyes feel dark and puffy. The applicator is a flat metal tip and so it’s already cooling to the skin when you use it. I have also been using my trusty L’Occitane hand cream because it’s been so cold and my hands have been so dry. I really like the citrus scent of this hand cream and also that it’s now made in a gel format and absorbs quicker.

L’Oreal Paris Purify & Unclog Pure-Sugar Scrub


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This face scrub has been fun to use because it’s like scrubbing a kiwi on your face, haha! I needed something gentle to help exfoliate dry skin and this has been a great product. It almost starts to self-heat once you begin using it. I have heard good things, also, about these new L’Oreal face scrubs/masks and I’m impressed with how affordable they are.

Wen Winter Cranberry Mind Replenishing Treatment Mist


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I talked about this treatment mist in a Bless Box post and I’ve still been enjoying it! This mist is so cooling and refreshing on the skin. I have noticed that my skin looks much more hydrated after using this. Plus, the scent is also really nice!

Oversized Oblong Scarf & Loft Click Bracelet


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I love canary yellow. A lot. Aside from my typical black, white, navy, and grey–this is my spirit color. I found this scarf at Target for $5 and knew it was a good investment purchase. This scarf is so soft and I have just enjoyed wearing it. I’m going to Maine in a few weeks and this will definitely be coming with me. Another thing I have been wearing a lot is this marble click bracelet from Loft. I tried to find a similar one to it to link and just wasn’t able to find one, sorry! One of my sisters gifted this to me a few years ago for my birthday and it’s been a great staple piece of jewelry for me because of the gold, grey, and white.

 

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January Bless Box Reveal

It’s time for another Bless Box un-boxing! I’ve written several times about how much I love Bless Box and how exciting it is to get a treat in the mail each month. I have loved being able to try out new things and maybe even things I wouldn’t typically buy for myself. Here is what came in the January Bless Box!

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Wen Winter Cranberry Mint Treatment Oil: Retail $36.00

Wen Winter Cranberry Mint Replenishing Treatment Mist: Retail $20.00


These smell so good and are so cooling on the skin. I’ve already been trying these out and have really been enjoying them. The mist even came with a travel-sized bottle and it’s already in my purse for on-the-go. The treatment oil is good for the skin and hair and the mist can be used on the face, hair, and skin.

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Juice Beauty Photo-Pigment Precision Eye Pencil: Retail $20.00


I like that this eye pencil is more of a grey shade and not black. I don’t wear eyeliner very often but when I do, it can sometimes look a little too harsh on me–so I’m looking forward to testing this out. Plus, I’m sure you know by now how much I love grey!

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Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream: Retail $7.00

Amika Triple Rx Shampoo: Retail $10.00


I will take all the moisturizer I can get this winter! My hands have been so dry lately and I’ve been trying to apply hand cream as often as I can. As far as the shampoo, I have never used this before because it contains wheat–but I’m sure it’s great because I really like other Amika products.

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Ashley Shelley 2018 Monthly Notebook Planner: Retail $18.00


A cute planner is always a good thing to have on hand for staying organized and on track.

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Ahmad Tea Fruit & Herb Tea Sampler: Retail $4.50

Beanitos Original Black Bean Chips: Retail $2.00


Tea and snacks? Yes please!

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Bless Box Resolution & Affirmation Cards: Retail $7.00


These little cards are perfect for putting on mirrors and bulletin boards for a little pep in your day.

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My Travel Routine: Things I Do Before a Trip

Tomorrow is a travel day and it’s going to be an early one! I feel like breaks always seem to come when you’re starting to feel a little burned out–so I’m thankful for a little bit of time away to recharge and refocus. I thought I would share with you a few things that I like to do to prepare for travel and then what I do that morning.

Have car serviced the week before a trip

If I am driving somewhere, I will usually take my car in to get the oil changed and just have routine maintenance to make sure I don’t have any breakdowns. When I was growing up, there were a few times that my family was unlucky with cars and road trips and I think those experiences have been ingrained into my memory. However, if I am flying somewhere–I will probably just make sure that my car has been vacuumed out and that it’s clean inside.

Set 10 alarms

Ok maybe not 10 but I probably do set 5-6 alarms to help me wake up on time. I prefer to travel super early in the morning, that way you get to your destination earlier and have more time to explore. A big thank you to my dad, also, who is willing to take me to the airport when I book flights for 4am, haha! But seriously, set several alarms if you have a super early flight.

Leave a clean space

Before I leave on a trip, I have to make sure that my living space is clean, my bed is made, and that all of my laundry has been done. This helps me to feel less chaotic about leaving and it makes coming home less stressful, knowing that I don’t have to worry about a mess.

Lay out everything you need for travel day

I will leave out a pile of clothes that I’m going to wear, anything I need to use in the morning and then pack, and then unplug everything that’s been charging. I also really like to do this because I know where everything is and I’m not running around in a mad dash–especially if I oversleep through the first 4 alarms.

Get to the airport early

I’m really glad that I live close to an airport and that it doesn’t take too long to get there. I still like to get to the airport earlier than needed so that I can take my time and find where I’m supposed to be. I also like to get a cup of coffee at the airport because it’s a little ritual I have to help start vacation.

Do you have any trip or travel day rituals?

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Photo by Ross Parmly on Unsplash

 

January Birchbox

Good evening my friends! I hope you have had a good day and that you’re settling in for the night. I’m back with another Birchbox reveal post to show you what came in this month’s box and some things that you could receive if you’re wanting to give Birchbox a try.

If I’m being honest, I almost didn’t post this today because in the scope of things and life–sometimes blog posts seem to be the least important/meaningful things and there are so many things that are just way more important. But (as my sweet little sister reminded me–love you Abs) one of the purposes of this blog is to be a little bit of an escape from whatever is going on in life, to provide some encouragement, life, and joy–so I’m going to keep writing blog posts.

Here is what’s inside my January Birchbox:

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Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo/Conditioner

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Oribe products are super expensive but they smell so good! I’m always excited when those samples are included. These are also a great travel size and might be coming with me on a trip later this week.

Laura Geller Fortifying Lashes Primer

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I like that this is a black primer–instead of the white formula that others are. I’m interested to see what this is like to wear by itself and then with mascara.

Clark’s Botanicals Age Defying Radiance Cream 

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This is another super expensive product if you buy it full-sized. I’ll make sure to use this one sparingly. The consistency of this cream looks like it will add a nice glow under makeup or just by itself.

Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Radiance Primer

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I have used this twice already and it was really hydrating to use under makeup–which is great for the winter. I also noticed a luminous finish and it helped to keep my foundation on for much longer.

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