Packing for 4 Days in a Personal Item!

Hi there! I hope you’re having a great week so far. I’m planning a visit to NC to visit my sister & I’m so excited! (I think when this post is published, I’ll already be there!) I can’t wait to see her new house, cuddle with my pup nephew, & have some sister time!

I’m flying on Frontier, which means I didn’t want to pay extra for a carry-on & will be packing in a personal item ONLY. This is the longest trip I’ve done this for (usually I only visit NC for 1-2 days!) so this might be challenging but I’m up for it! I’m leaving Friday & getting back Tuesday.

An easy, breezy dress like this one is perfect for trips like this!

I’m someone who really enjoys planning a trip! I love gathering things I need & the excitement of packing my bag. While I’m no professional, I like to think I’ve found some good tips that help make things easier in my travels. Keep reading for my packing process!

1. Make a list of outfits! I plan out the outfits I want to wear each day that I’ll be at my destination, along with which shoes & accessories I want to pair with each one. Here’s what my list looks like so far for this trip!

Friday-pink t-shirt dress, white sneakers, denim jacket

Saturday-maxi skirt, white wrap top, white sneakers

Sunday-red & pink dress, sandals

Monday-chambray wrap dress, white sneakers

Tuesday-maxi skirt, graphic t-shirt

2. I go through my list & try on the outfits, making sure that everything fits & goes together.

3. Next, I write out the makeup, toiletries, & any other miscellaneous things I need to remember. I keep my makeup & hair products pretty simple to save space in my bag. If I forget anything or need anything, I can either borrow something from my sis or pop into Target! Here’s the makeup I’m bringing.

Makeup:

Mini glow screen

Rare foundation

Rare concealer

Rare blush

Ilia eyeshadow

Eyeliner (liquid & gel)

Mascara

2 lipstick options

These are my must-have every day products!

I use packing cubes to keep everything organized & to squeeze as much as I can into the small space.

& that’s pretty much it! It’s my last day of my trip right now & I’ve used almost everything that I packed. I’m having the best time here & I’ll be sad to go home BUT I can’t wait to see my little family when I get back. I’ve missed them!

Have a great week,

Danielle

Summer Insecurities

Bottom line: it’s a whole lot harder to feel good about your body if you don’t feel good on the inside.

Hi there!

“Love yourself!” “Love your flaws!” “Your body is beautiful!” How often are we told these things? I’ve said them in previous posts, I’m sure.

What we don’t hear as frequently though, is what to do if you DON’T feel this way. I know that so many of us are experiencing mixed feelings about our bodies; I know that because so many of you have shared that with me & I feel the SAME!

Sure, some days I’m dancing around in my bathing suit, feeling grateful for all that my body does for me. Some days I’m wearing a pretty dress & feeling beautiful. But there are plenty of other days. There are days when I catch a glimpse of my reflection & think, I look 8 months pregnant. There are days when I go to the beach with a friend & revert back to the comparison game. There are days where I want to hide my body. If you’re reading this, maybe you have had similar days.

Bottom line: it’s harder to feel good about yourself on the outside if you don’t feel good on the inside. This is a recent revelation for me; I’ve noticed on days when my anxiety is high, I have trouble accepting my body. These things go hand in hand. It’s not as easy as simply throwing on the bikini, there is self-reflection & inner WORK to do first. How do I do this? I go to therapy, I write down my anxious or negative thoughts, I identify WHY I’m feeling different emotions. I surround myself with people who remind me of the best things about myself! Over time, I find accepting my body to be easier. The bad days don’t spiral into bad weeks or months, & I feel good about that.

We’re seeing posts about how every body is a bikini body; how you should feel good about your body no matter what. I love this messaging, but I know it’s not always completely realistic. My hope for you this summer is to have days where you’re having too much fun with people you love to even think about your insecurities!

Love,

Danielle

Goals to Set for Yourself That Don’t Include “Lose X Amount of Pounds”

Disclaimer: If you are struggling with disordered thoughts/eating, please see a licensed professional for help.

On my worst body image days, my mind goes right back to its default “I need to lose weight” mindset. Big events, summertime, comparing my body to others, clothes shopping, all of these things can really trigger this mindset for me.

I’m trying to choose compassion when it comes to my body & goals. It’s easy for me to be compassionate toward others, & a little harder to choose it toward myself!

I’ve found it helpful recently to set small goals for myself that are not weight-loss oriented. It’s a nice reminder to myself that health does not equal weight loss; health is doing things to make your mind & body feel good. Here are a few goals I’m setting for myself!

  • Eat colorful foods! I want to eat more fruits & vegetables-it always makes me feel better.
  • Take at least one virtual dance class per week! Dance brings me so much joy & the endorphins don’t suck, either!
  • Manage my time better-Teaching, grad school, upcoming certification tests, I have a lot going on. I’ve been feeling stressed & unorganized lately, so I want to take steps toward managing my time better.
  • Wear clothes that I love-no more trying to squeeze myself into my pre-quarantine jeans. I only want to wear clothes that make me feel amazing!
  • Eat breakfast-I want to continue eating breakfast every morning; it’s an easy way to nourish my body & kick off my day in a positive way.

It can be so easy to feel the burden of your past (or present!) disordered eating or thoughts. Society puts such an emphasis on how to “get a summer body”, “ways to lose weight for the wedding”, or “drop 3 sizes, fast!” Here’s a reminder for you, that you are amazing exactly the way you are, that there are a million things more interesting about you than what your body looks like, & that you are worthy of making fun, beautiful memories RIGHT now. Not when you lose X amount of lbs. Right now!

Love you guys!

Danielle

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

It’s Not Always Rainbows & Butterflies

I wish I could tell you that the journey to body confidence is all rainbows & butterflies. I’m the first person to say that it’s hard! Some days, your favorite jeans aren’t fitting how they used to. Or you get out of the shower & don’t like the way your stomach looks; maybe your thighs are rubbing together more. It doesn’t seem to matter your body type or age, we ALL have days when our bodies feel as though they are betraying us. Let’s shout it from the rooftops: IT SUCKS!

I’ve been having some really negative thoughts about my body lately. As much as I’ve made progress in the way I view my body, sometimes my my brain automatically goes to “You only have a few months left to lose weight for your friend’s wedding”, or “You gained weight & now you have to size up, great”, or “You can’t post that, look at your double chin!” (Some more recent examples, unfortunately).

Does having to size up in my clothes make me less valuable of a person? Will being my current weight for my friend’s wedding in January make the day any less special? The answer is no! How my body looks or how much I weigh should literally be the LAST thing on my mind on a day as special as my best friend’s wedding.

Maybe part of the beauty of striving toward body confidence is meeting yourself where you’re at; whatever stage of life or imperfection you’ve noticed. This truly is a lifelong journey; I wish, for your sake & mine, that there was a magic answer. That I could wave a wand & love everything about my body every single day. Unfortunately, not going to happen. Sometimes I can focus on the things my body can do, I can make myself feel better by throwing on a pretty dress or going for a walk. Other days, I strongly consider restrictive eating & exercising as a punishment for the weight I’ve gained.

I never, ever want to give the impression that it is an easy task to love & accept our bodies. At least, for me it isn’t, & I know that’s the case for so many of my friends & family. The beautiful women in my life, who are so perfect in my eyes, have days where they feel blah too, only able to focus on the things they dislike about themselves.

I’ve said it a million times before, but sometimes we just need to be reminded. You are worth so much more than the size you wear or what you weigh. Make beautiful, wonderful memories with people you love. That’s all that matters at the end of the day! I’ve been hateful & mean toward my body the last few weeks; the same one that let me dance with my sister via Zoom for hours after we got the election results. The same body that carries me through every stage of life, both good & bad. Today, I ate a healthy, filling breakfast. Then, I took my puppy for long, peaceful walk. I’m taking steps toward loving my body more.

Cheers to being more loving & kind to our bodies,

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