Don’t Let Others Dim Your Light

I’m sending you love on this gloomy Monday. I hope your week is as wonderful as you are!

Happy (ish?) Monday!

We have NO control over other people; what they say, what they do, how they interpret things you say or do. We can only control our own reactions. That’s easier said than done, but I try to choose grace. Grace for myself & others, in every situation.

People can really suck, sometimes. It’s hard & it’s upsetting, especially for my fellow empaths. It’s difficult not to take on that negative energy; difficult to let it go.

Not everyone leads with kindness, not everyone is mindful of the feelings of others. That says everything about them & nothing about you. Don’t let others get you down, don’t let them dim that beautiful light of yours. Keep shining, beauty!

Love,

Danielle

Happy One Year Anniversary to My Blog!

Thanks for being here! Your support means the world to me. I’m inspired by you & thankful for you every day!

43 blog posts. 2,456 views. Several brand collaborations, & countless inspiring conversations.

I’m so lucky! I wanted to start this blog for years before I finally did it. The idea that I could share my love for fashion & beauty while empowering other women to love themselves seemed too good to be true. Here we are, one year after I posted my first blog post.

If something feels scary but you feel called to do it, you should do it! Don’t let your own doubts hold yourself back. I’ll never regret creating this blog, but I may have regretted it if I never took that first step & just STARTED.

This blog has given me so much. It’s given me inspiration, creativity, & a built-in way for me to process my emotions & experiences, good & bad.

When you’re in my little corner of the internet, I hope you feel encouraged to love yourself as you are. I hope you feel empowered to do anything you want to do. I hope you feel inspired to always be kind & know that to be vulnerable is to be brave. I’m so thankful to you for being here!

Love,

Danielle

Self-Care Ideas!

When life gets a little hectic, self-care is often the first thing to go out the window. Self-care is something that looks different for everyone! If you haven’t quite nailed down what self-care is to you, or if you want some new ideas, this post is for you!

-Seek mental health help! Therapy isn’t just for when something is wrong; if you have the financial means to do so, checking in with a counselor can be so helpful.

-Go for a walk! I’ve been taking walks with my boyfriend & puppy after work every day, & they’re particularly helpful when I’m feeling stressed.

-Practice gratitude! I’m a broken record with this one but gratitude changes your mindset & your mindset is EVERYTHING. Think of things you feel grateful for, in the car, in bed when you wake up, as you’re cooking dinner, wherever!

-Declutter! I’m not the most organized person & sometimes the idea of cleaning can make me want to stab my eyes out. BUT even I can admit, I feel a little better when I take a few minutes & declutter something or just tidy up. It’s annoying, but true.

-Listen to some calming music & take some deep breaths. I’ve been loving the Boyce Avenue acoustic playlist; I put that on & take a few minutes to just breathe & stretch.

-Cook an easy, nutrient-rich meal. There’s something about cooking for myself that makes me feel relaxed & like I’m really taking care of myself. I have a few healthy (ish!), quick recipes coming in a blog post soon.

Take care of yourself!

Love,

Danielle

2021 Intentions

I couldn’t be more thankful for these guys!

When we went back to school in the fall, I started setting weekly intentions for myself. This felt like a good way to be gentle with myself & not to feel too much pressure while teaching. It felt comforting & productive while not overwhelming. I really recommend setting weekly intentions, particularly if you’re struggling.

Each week, I would write in my agenda my intentions for the week; what I hoped to achieve & how I hoped I could leave those I interacted with feeling. Instead of the typical New Years resolutions, I thought I would set some intentions for the new year.

  • Appreciating the little things. 2020 taught me to slow down & enjoy the things I have.
  • Making time for hobbies. I love to be creative & life doesn’t always allow for much time to do that. I’m hoping to set aside more time this year to explore things that make me feel creative.
  • Being more intentional with my spending. I want to cook at home more often, order takeout less, & buy clothes that I truly love & will want to wear frequently.

I have a lot of goals I’m working toward (academic, profession, & personal!) but these three intentions are what is resonating with me currently. I like that if I make these three simple things a priority, my year is already off to a good start!

This is also only the second year that I’m not setting a weight-related goal at the beginning of the year, I think it’s important to acknowledge that. I spent my whole life telling myself that I would lose weight in the new year, that this would somehow make my life more fulfilling. Time & time again, life has proven to me that I do not need to lose weight to have value. I can be happy right now, as I am.

2021 is here; things aren’t magically better or less stressful. Life is challenging & messy & overwhelming at times. I’ve been feeling immense gratitude; for the health & happiness of my loved ones, for John, for our life together. I’m so lucky & even on my most difficult days, that doesn’t change.

I hope that you’re doing well! If you’re struggling, I’m thinking of you & sending light your way.

Happy 2021!

Danielle

I’m Proud of Myself

This was a difficult year! There is so much to be proud of.

Acknowledging my accomplishments isn’t something that comes easily to me. I’m not sure if it’s something women are conditioned (thanks, patriarchy!) or if it’s something else, but I rarely discuss my accomplishments or things I’m proud of myself for. I wanted to write this post, because there is a lot to be proud of this year. I hope it inspires you to take a moment & to reflect on what you feel most proud of this year.

I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of myself for teaching in the midst of a pandemic. For showing up daily & trying to be the best teacher I can be for my kiddos, even when it’s hard. I’m proud of myself for sticking it out through grad school; through late nights of writing papers & discussion posts, on nights I feel like giving up. (Also for getting an A in my most recent course!) I’m proud of myself for adapting & finding ways to cope with an anxiety disorder that has really been amplified in this pandemic.

I’m proud of myself for how I treat people; I’m mindful of how I make other people feel (although maybe a little too much so sometimes!) & I try my best to make others feel valued. I’m proud that I enjoy learning new things & challenging myself. I’m proud that I lift other people up instead of tearing them down. I’m proud that during a difficult year, I found strength I didn’t know I had.

As we wrap up 2020, there is so much to be proud of. I’m proud of you, for getting through a tough year; for reflecting on priorities & making hard choices, for making sacrifices & showing up. Maybe you suffered a loss, whether that’s a loved one, a job, big plans. There is so much to be proud of yourself for!

Walking into 2021 feeling grateful.

What are you most proud of yourself for?

Thank you so much for being here; for supporting my blog. You inspire me & I couldn’t be more grateful. Have a happy new year!

Love,

Danielle

My Current Favorite Ways to Unwind During Stressful Times

Theo & Phoebe hope you have a beautiful, restful holiday season!

Even in 2020, the holiday season can definitely add some stress. Making COVID-safe plans, online shopping for the perfect gift, work stress. It’s a lot! I’ve been feeling especially stressed due to grad school assignments. It’s important to find ways to unwind & relax. Here’s some of my favorite ways to unwind!

  • Go for a walk: lately, especially after a particularly stressful work day, I’ve been putting sneakers on & going for a walk around the lake near my apartment. The fresh air & sunshine does wonders!
  • Have a dance party: Whether John & I put on early 2000’s throwbacks while we’re making dinner or I’m performing my one woman show of Hamilton for myself in my car, I can feel the tension leaving my body when I’m dancing.
  • Write down a to-do list: To-do lists save lives! Maybe that’s dramatic BUT they definitely help with my anxiety & it always feels good to check off.
  • My personal favorite: spiked hot chocolate & Christmas movies! It’s hard to feel stressed when you’re that cozy!
Not the prettiest picture, but try adding coconut rum to your hot chocolate! I make mine with almond milk + add marshmallow fluff on top, so good!

I’m wishing you a happy, healthy, RELAXING holiday season!

Danielle

Making The Most Of The Holidays This Year

I’ll most likely be living in comfy clothes this holiday season! Sweatshirts, baking cookies, pet snuggles. So cozy!

The holiday season is different this year. There’s no getting around it; maybe you’re doing a socially distant Thanksgiving, or you’re celebrating Christmas just with your household. Maybe you’re used to cooking for an army of people, or you usually travel this time of year. The holiday season IS different this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be great!

The holidays are typically a time for celebration & togetherness; those things might look different right now. You need to make decisions for yourself & your family, to stay safe & healthy.

I wanted to write this because I’ve spoken with several people who are feeling bummed this season. We miss our family & friends who we usually celebrate with, we miss traveling or other experiences & traditions. These feelings are VALID. All we can do is make the best of it, so I wanted to share a few ideas of how you can do just that!

-Make new traditions! Have a ginger bread house making competition, bake a new cookie recipe while listening to Christmas music, go for a walk to get fresh air & see Christmas lights. Do little things that help keep that holiday magic alive!

-Focus on gratitude. There is so much to be grateful for; the health of my loved ones & myself are at the top of my list this year for sure! We might be missing some traditions this year, but if everyone is healthy & doing well, that makes me so happy.

-Connect with loved ones, virtually! Host a Zoom happy hour where you make festive holiday drinks, FaceTime your family & eat dinner together, watch your favorite Christmas movies. Just because things are different, doesn’t mean we can’t all enjoy this season!

I’m sending you a giant virtual hug & hopefully some holiday cheer!

Danielle

Stepping Outside of my Comfort Zone

Wear the clothes you want to wear!

I kid you not, one of my favorite outfits in 4th grade was a white skirt with black & white polka dot leggings underneath. In 5th grade, I wore a hot pink blazer with a pink & orange floral top under it. Bright colors, sequins, bold patterns, I would wear it all. I never had an issue wearing exactly what I wanted to wear, no matter how daring or out there it was.

Then, society began to tell me to wear what was “flattering”. I was told to wear dark colors, they were far more slimming. I was told to not wear stripes, they would make me look wide. Don’t wear anything form-fitting, don’t wear anything sparkly. There were so many rules & suddenly, I was only focused on making myself look smaller. On wearing what would “flatter” my body.

I’m starting to see trying new trends that I love as a form of self-care. It’s so easy to get into a rut & only wear what we are used to, what makes us feel the most comfortable, what makes us look the smallest. It’s fun & feels like a way to celebrate my body, to try out a new trend like this utility style jumpsuit. I’ve seen jumpsuits like this on women with smaller bodies, but have been a little afraid to try it out for myself.

I found this jumpsuit on Thred Up, but it’s originally from Old Navy. I’ve seen some similar styles at Target & Madewell too, if you’re looking for a jumpsuit like this. It’s comfortable, HAS POCKETS, & feels just outside of my comfort zone; enough that it feels fresh & fun to style. It’s no polka dotted legging, but it’s a tiny step toward that bold, confident self from 4th grade; before society taught me that taking up less space meant that I was worth more.

Comfy + has pockets= always a winner in my book!

Wear what you love, regardless of whether society deems it “flattering”. Regardless of if a magazine told you you’re an “apple” or a “pear”. Maybe I’ll do a blog post soon about categorizing women’s bodies into types of fruit, because I think it’s kinda bullshit. Wear what you love, because your body deserves to be celebrated.

You only get one life, don’t spend it in clothes that don’t feel like YOU.

Danielle

My Experience with COVID

This past Wednesday, the thing I’ve had nightmares about for months happened. It had been the cause of many sleepless nights & many anxiety attacks. I received a positive COVID-19 test result. My hope is that sharing my experience might help someone!

First of all, I want to say that I’m thankful. While I do have asthma & have struggled at times with my coughing & breathing, I’m thankful that my symptoms have been fairly manageable & as mild as I could ask for. This virus has impacted so many people. It has taken lives & loved ones. It has caused so much pain & suffering, all around the world. For me to be able to work from home, to be able to call my parents & sister, to be feeling a little better each day, I just feel so, so thankful.

My immediate reaction after receiving my results was to call my sister & cry; I was terrified & particularly worried that I had accidentally spread it to my parents. My dad is older, so we have been extremely careful since March to protect him from getting the virus. I’ve felt more relief each day, since I haven’t seen my parents in a little while & they haven’t shown any symptoms. I wore a mask and stayed over 6 feet away from them when I saw them, but that was definitely my #1 fear when getting that test result.

I left work early last Wednesday; I felt feverish & was getting out of breath just walking around my classroom. I went to an urgent care facility the following day & had a rapid results test done; it came back as negative. My symptoms worsened over the next few days. I developed a severe, deep chest cough & was getting winded just from walking from the bedroom to the living room. I was told it was bronchitis & was given a steroid & antibiotics to treat that. My cough got worse & worse. I lost my sense of taste & smell completely a few days after that, & had trouble breathing especially at nighttime.

I had another test done, this one at CVS where I swabbed my own nose for it (the test is uncomfortable but I wouldn’t say it’s painful, hope that’s reassuring for you!) This is the test that came back positive.

As of today, I have had symptoms for 11 days. I’ve seen a huge improvement in how I’m feeling the last two days! I did take a sick day off of teaching from home on Friday, which I think is exactly what my body needed. I needed to give my body some time to rest & start to heal.

There’s a lot of emotions that come along with this; gratitude for sure, like I mentioned! There’s also frustration, because I have been so cautious since March. But, you can be exposed to the virus anywhere, whether it’s at work or wherever. It’s feeling unsafe in your own body. It’s a lot.

If you get a negative result but are still having symptoms (especially with a rapid result test!) please consider getting another test. Apparently it’s not that uncommon to get a false negative, which I was unaware of!

Take this virus seriously, please. Take precautions to keep you & your loved ones safe. I wouldn’t wish this virus on anyone.

This is a long post, apparently I have a lot to say! I did want to include a few things that have been helpful with managing my symptoms.

  • Thankfully I have an inhaler for my asthma, which has been so helpful!
  • Vick’s vapor rub-I put this on my chest & back & then take a super hot shower.
  • Mucinex, DayQuil, NyQuil
  • REST!!!
Puppy snuggles help, too! Theo has been the sweetest boy taking care of his momma. 💕

If this is something you are dealing with, I’m so sorry. I’m sending you healing & love! I’m also going to link the CDC’s website here, as it’s a good resource for information.

Lastly, thank you to my family & friends who have been checking in with me every day since I found out. I’m a lucky girl!

Danielle

Someday…

I could wear a bikini, if only I’d lose 25 lbs. I could start a blog, once I learned everything there is to know about blogging. I could go on a fun weekend trip, if I worked out five days a week for a month. I’d bargain with myself. I was limiting myself, depriving myself. I was waiting for certain things to happen to start LIVING.

We only have so much time. To do things we’re passionate about, to wear clothes we love, to explore & challenge ourselves. I think it’s wonderful to set goals for ourselves, to strive toward something. But I don’t think we need to put our lives on hold in the meantime. Sometimes we put things off due to fear, self doubt, comparing ourselves to others.

Doubting ourselves takes up an awful lot of time; too much time wasted that could be spent on things we actually want. Instead of waiting for someday, let’s live today.

What’s something you would love to do if your own thoughts didn’t hold you back?

Danielle