Preparing to Come Home from Traveling

I get so excited when it’s time to travel and I build it up so much for myself that it can be really hard returning to reality. Haven’t we all be there though? As much as I love my travel routines and things that I do to prepare for a trip–I also have a routine for coming home. A day or two before I come home, there are some questions that I begin to ask myself to help prepare for “post trip letdown/depression” and getting back into my normal routine. There are also a few things that I like to do when re-packing and then as soon as I get home.

QUESTIONS I ASK MYSELF BEFORE RETURNING HOME

  1. What have I learned from this trip? I think it’s important to always be evaluating yourself for things that you can learn or that you have learned. I think that trips can also be more meaningful for you personally if you have this mind-set.
  2. What am I dreading the most about going home? Face your fears and stressors head on! Yes–there will be responsibilities waiting for you, yes–there will be laundry, yes– there will be work to return to, and yes to so many other things that you will have to resume. However, I think it’s important to work through these feelings and concerns so that you can prepare strategies for dealing with these issues.
  3. When can I next look forward to time off? Something I have learned about myself, over the years, is that my work and focus tend to be better when I know that I’m working towards something or some time off. I think that it’s healthy to regularly plan time off so that you don’t become overly attached to work and forget to take care of yourself. I have tried to plan time off every few months, or as the opportunity arises, and it’s a great motivator for helping me return to everyday life and stay motivated with my responsibilities.

THINGS I DO BEFORE AND WHEN I GET HOME

  1. Put dirty laundry in a drawstring bag or separate tote bag. I think that this routine helps so much when unpacking because all of my dirty clothes are in one place and I can easily start laundry when I get home.
  2. Put away suitcase as soon as possible. About a week before a trip, I’ll pull out my suitcase so that I have something to look at that lets me know time off is coming. However, I like to put my suitcase away soon after I get home so that I don’t keep looking at it and wishing I was still on vacation. I really like to do this routine, even if this means that I literally dump out my suitcase into a pile and put it away–it helps me so much.

I hope these tips have been helpful for you! Do you have any routines for coming home from traveling?

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Why I’m Excited About Spring

Who here is tired of the dark, gloomy, cold weather? I am for sure and I’m really looking forward to spring. Spring and fall are definitely my favorite seasons and I think that they bring such freshness, renewal, and life. Things start to bloom in the spring, marking the end of hibernation and taking refuge from the winter. It’s time to start living again.

Reasons why I’m excited about spring:

  1. Warmer weather and sunshine. I seriously can’t wait for the days to be longer, for the sun to come out, and for the weather to just be warmer and more enjoyable. I know that I don’t live in the coldest parts of the United States, but I’m just definitely over it this year, haha!
  2. That feeling in the air. You know that feeling of going outside, taking a deep breath, and thinking “spring is coming?” Yep, that’s the feeling that I want more of. That feeling is special to me because I feel like it’s instant encouragement of “things are about to get better.”
  3. More color. Spring is a time for color! I can’t wait to see flowers start to bloom and to start wearing colorful spring clothes.  I’m really into bright yellows right now and can’t wait to wear more of that.
  4. BABIES. There’s about to be a baby-boom in my family because two of my sisters, one of my cousins, and a few of my really dear friends are all about to have babies in the next few weeks and months. I can’t wait to meet and love these precious new lives!

Are you excited about spring?? What are you looking forward to the most?

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Happy 2nd Blogiversary: My Biggest Takeaways

HAPPY 2ND BLOGIVERSARY!

Today is a reason to celebrate! Two years ago, on this day, I started this blog and it’s been such a fun journey! I am so glad that I started this blog and for what it has become! To celebrate today, I’m going to share with you some of my biggest takeaways from this past year and some of my favorite posts that I wrote. I’m going to celebrate with cake today and I invite you to do the same!

Do what you love!

On days when blogging can seem overwhelming, remember why you wanted to start blogging and don’t get lost in the rest. Remember your passion. And have fun!

Pray for growth and opportunity!

I think that God has given me the desire to blog and so I’m praying that He will continue to use me in whatever way that looks like. It’s been amazing to be a part of some conversations that have been the result of blog posts and the people I’ve been able to reconnect with. I’ve also been given some amazing opportunities to write about and I’m praying that there will be more to come.

Quality over quantity!

I have learned that I would rather post higher quality content rather than sub-par content–just to post a certain number of posts. This year I want to work on producing higher and higher quality content.

There is no perfect way to blog!

Your blog is your blog! Don’t compare yourself to others and enjoy your own creative process. Easier said than done sometimes, but remember that you have a unique platform to express your heart.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to ask for help!

I have found that a lot of bloggers are so helpful when it comes to answering questions and giving advice. You will never learn new things if you don’t ask questions or seek out others to learn from.

Go to workshops and listen to podcasts!

What a fun way to learn! There are so many good podcasts out there that can help bloggers learn new information and tips. If you are a blogger or writer interested in going to a conference–I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you go to Declare 2018!


My top 7 from 2017:

  1. Awkward Much–this was a funny post to write! Here’s a little peek inside my everyday life and a little dose of transparency.
  2. Master Packing List for Carry-On Luggage–I have used this PDF so many times!
  3. Maine Travel Guide–this was a favorite because it meant I got to see my bestie!
  4. Living with Celiac Disease–a little bit of information about Celiac and what it’s like for those who live with it.
  5. Snapshots of 26–this was so fun to look back on my 26th year of life!
  6. Declare Conference Haul–this was also such a fun post because I got to talk about Declare!
  7. Ways to Style: Fall Outfits–I was really happy with how this post turned out because it was the first one shot on my Canon.

A HUGE thank you to my family, friends, and bogging buddies who have been with me every step of the way! Thank you for supporting me and encouraging me on the days when I didn’t feel like blogging was important. Thank you for always giving me inspiration and for asking me to write about things. Thank you for telling me to keep going. Y’all, it’s meant the world to me and I’m so excited for year 3 of Love from Amy! I love you all so much!

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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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Whole30 Must-Haves

Hi my friends! Happy hump day! The beginning of a new year always seems to bring around the “new year, new me” mindset and desire to become healthier than ever. Lots of people go on diets, hit the gym more, or determine to just make better choices. One thing I like to do a couple of times a year is Whole30. If you’re never heard about Whole30, I wrote a post about it last year that can be viewed here. I have, personally, seen amazing results from doing Whole30, I’ve felt better than I have in a long time, and it’s helped me to make better choices. If you are interested in doing Whole30, or you’re planning on doing Whole30, or you’re just curious to know what you can eat–I have some must-haves to share that I would recommend you keep in stock. This post is not sponsored by Trader Joe’s, by the way, but I just have a lot of things that I like to get there for Whole30.

RX BARS: These protein bars are great because they only contain a few ingredients! Make sure you read the labels though because I think a few are not Whole30 approved.

LARABAR: These have been a staple for me ever since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease years ago. Certain flavors are also not Whole30 approved so make sure you read labels.

SPARKLING WATER: I love drinking sparkling water or mineral water on Whole30 because it’s helps to satisfy the craving for something sweet. The flavors of sparkling water at Trader Joe’s are so good and they usually have seasonal flavors, as well. La Croix is also another thing that I like to have on hand during Whole30. But then again, would I really be a basic white girl if I didn’t love La Croix?

CHOMPS: I have not tried these yet but have heard they are really good if you need some protein. I have been doing the Daniel Fast with my church this month and haven’t been eating meat during the fast. I will give these a try though once that fast is over.

ALMONDS: Always, always, always have these on hand! Almonds are a good source of protein and healthy fat and nobody likes a hangry person.

DRIED FRUIT: Be careful to read labels and not get dried fruit that has sugar added. These “Just Mango Slices” at Trader Joe’s do not have any added sugar and it’s also another good snack to throw into a bag when you’re on-the-go.

CAULIFLOWER RICE: This is nice to buy because it’s been “pre-riced” and less of a mess. I will sometimes “rice” my own cauliflower but stuff just gets everywhere. This definitely doesn’t taste just like rice but it’s a great alternative during Whole30.

RICED BROCCOLI: This is another thing that has been good to have when you want to make a “pasta” dish, salad, or just to pan steam.

SWEET POTATO CHIPS: I bought these at Aldi and there are only two ingredients. These are great for when you have the munchies!

PLANTAIN CHIPS: These are also another thing that I love to have on hand for a snack, to dip in guac, salsa, or make “nachos.”

GHEE: This is an alternative to butter and it’s really yummy! It definitely has a more bold flavor than butter does but I really like it.

SEASONINGS: Trader Joe’s has really good seasonings that can help make more bland meals taste so much better. My favorites are seasoning salt and the everything bagel seasonings.

COCONUT MILK: A good alternative to dairy and can be used in SO many different dishes. Definitely taste test with coconut milk though because you don’t want to overpower your meal with coconut.

ALMOND BUTTER: So good! I eat almond butter with plantain chips, apples, bananas, in smoothes, etc.

GUACAMOLE: Always. Just. Always.

Have you ever done Whole30? What was your experience like and what kinds of things do you like to eat during Whole30?

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