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!

28 Things About Me

In the spirit of still celebrating my birthday month, today I’m sharing with you 28 random facts about me. I wrote one of these posts 3 years ago (I can’t believe it) and it’s funny to look back on those facts as well, haha! If you want to read that post, I’ve linked it here. If you are new to this blog, I hope you enjoy reading these things and getting to know me a little better.

  1. I love making lists.
  2. I cannot braid my own hair anymore–it’s too short and I don’t remember how to do it for myself. I can braid other people’s hair–just not mine.
  3. On my days off you can find me wearing ripped jeans and a black hoodie.
  4. Cooking and experimenting with food has become such a hobby of mine.
  5. I am a huge advocate for the importance of self-care, rest, and taking care of your body, mind, and soul.
  6. I have a never-ending stack of books always waiting to be read.
  7. I recently started taking boxing classes with some of my friends and I love that it makes me feel so tough.
  8. I’m trying to stop saying the words “anxious, scared, fearful, afraid, etc.” so much. I realized the other day that I had been doing that a lot and I don’t like that.
  9. My closet is pretty much black, grey, navy, and stripes.
  10. I cut my hair super short this year and I think this look is sticking for a while.
  11. I learned how to make my own almond milk this year and it’s pretty yummy.
  12. Family and my community of friends are essential in my life–I couldn’t do life without them.
  13. I think that fall mornings are just wonderful.
  14. I cry every time I watch Little Women and/or Anne of Green Gables. Every. Single. Time.
  15. I collect candles–there’s always an occasion for one.
  16. I could eat breakfast food for any/all meals of the day.
  17. I am so excited to do some traveling next month.
  18. This year I rediscovered my love of camping.
  19. Sour Patch anythings are my favorite kind of candy.
  20. Boy Meets World is my favorite show to watch if I need something to binge-watch.
  21. I believe that ice cream should NEVER be made in savory flavors. I saw a carrot and tumeric flavor the other day and, I’m sorry but, that’s just wrong.
  22. I sleep with about 6 pillows every night.
  23. I believe in speaking life into one another, and I’m trying to do that more for myself also.
  24. My cup of coffee is a highlight of my mornings.
  25. I am always planning a next vacation.
  26. When I was younger I had a yoyo named “Jimmy” and I would drag Jimmy around like a dog.
  27. I am slightly considering getting a dog next year.
  28. I am eating waffles for dinner (Can you tell that I’ve run out of facts this evening, haha!).

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Looking Back on My 27th Year

Ahhh! Another birth year is almost over! This is the year that it’s really hit me that I’m now in my late 20s. Yikes. This past year has been a really great one–full of love and exciting things and I think that will continue in the next year. There were definitely some low times this past year but God is faithful and He never left. Growing older is a funny thing to me in the sense that it’s exciting to see where you’re heading, while also being bittersweet that some things will never be the same again. But that is life–and life is precious.

I think this is the year that I fully felt like I knew myself and grasped who I am. I am confident of who I am in the Lord and who I am to those who mean the most to me. I know my priorities and what things I value the most. This is the year that I stopped apologizing for wearing so much black–it’s just my style and I’m going to embrace it. This is the year that I truly saw my life circumstances as gifts and found so much freedom in realizing that.

Some other major high moments this past year were:
-traveling to Chicago to spend time with family
-finding out my best friend was going to be a mama
-traveled to California with my cousin for a true girls weekend
-traveled to Maine for my annual “bestie time”
-seeing my best friend’s baby through an ultrasound
-became an aunt for the 5th time
-BOUGHT A HOUSE
-became an aunt for the 6th time
-went camping with friends in Palo Duro Canyon
-moved in my new house
-bestie became a mom
-found out I’m going to be an aunt for the 7th time
-and lots of house design/projects/etc

I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring and what 28 will be like. Thanks for following me in this journey 🙂

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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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Planning for the Week Ahead | Including PDF

Last Monday I shared a blog post with tips for staying organized during the work week. One of the tips I shared was to have a day set aside to plan out your week. Something that really helps me, on the days that I plan, is to make lists. I’ll make lists of things to do, errands to run, things I need to get at the store, important events during that week, lists of lists I need to make (haha, just kidding), etc. In this blog post, I’ve created a PDF for you to print and share, if making lists is also helpful for you.

Because life can get busy and hectic, I also think that it’s super easy to overlook the small and/or exciting things about life. On this list worksheet, I also included a space for you to write down things that you will be looking forward to that week. I think having this mindset can also prevent burnout because you’re not just focused on the things that might make you feel overwhelmed or stressed out.

I hope you have a wonderful and productive week and that this tool has been helpful for you!

 

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**Planning My Week PDF**

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