It’s summer, baby! It hasn’t fully hit me yet but I think I officially feel the tension starting to leave my jaw. I’ve been studying for a teacher certification test (I passed!!) & working on my grad school coursework. So while “summer break” is relative, I feel thankful to have some free time to unwind! I’m planning on relaxing at my parents’ pool & the beach, going for long walks with Theo, & organizing our apartment.
Here are some more goals I’m hoping to accomplish over the next two (ish!) months!
Plan for the upcoming school year!
Work ahead in my coursework.
Work on Theo’s reactivity training.
Go through my closet & curate my wardrobe so that I (hopefully!) love all my clothes.
While these goals are all important to me, my priority will be unwinding & finding time to do things that bring me joy. As we head into the weekend, I hope you find time to relax & unwind. You can’t pour from an empty cup!
I’ve always been a night owl. I love staying up late & sleeping in, & it’s been my default my whole life. My grandpa always used to tell me that my ideal work day would be between noon-8 pm; he was totally right!
I teach 2nd grade, which isn’t exactly conducive to sleeping in or staying up late. Add on my grad school coursework, & I was always TIRED. I would take naps for hours after work, wake up, & do my school work, staying up until 1 or 2 am. I slowly realized that staying up late was not sustainable.
So I started going to bed earlier. & it was magical. My mom has been trying to tell me that for years (sorry, Mom!) & I was so set in my night owl ways, I just didn’t want to hear it. I thought I would be missing out on something if I went to bed early (I have no idea what, I’ve just always felt that way haha.) & then I’d drag my miserable, exhausted body to work, after sleeping until the last possible second. Here are some tips for becoming a (albeit reluctant!) morning person:
Make gradual changes! You’re probably not going to become a morning person overnight. BUT you can choose to go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Notice how much better you feel in the morning, & start there.
Create a morning routine you actually look forward to! It might include sipping a cup of coffee on your porch, playing with your dog, eating your favorite breakfast, or going for a run. Whatever can bring you even the tiniest bit of joy in the morning, do it!
I love naps. LOVE them. But, I had to cut them out (most days, anyway!) Instead of my usual post-work nap, we’ve been taking Theo for a long walk. This gives me enough energy to power through making dinner, doing homework, & whatever else I have to do after work.
I hope these tips help inspire you to become a morning person! If you’re just starting this journey like me, comment any tips you have!
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.
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.
Yesterday & today, my stomach has been in knots. I’ve been holding back tears. I feel sad. I feel angry. I feel frustrated. I feel overwhelmed.
I wanted to sit down & share these feelings because I haven’t been allowing myself to feel these things. I’ve been pushing them away, because I have it better than so many others & it could be so much worse. I’m guessing some of you may have been pushing some feelings down, too.
I talk a lot about validating my own feelings & the feelings of others, but I haven’t been practicing what I preach lately. I’ve bottled up my feelings because I felt like I didn’t have the right to feel that way. I’m supposed to feel thankful & positive, right? It’s okay if that’s not how I felt yesterday, or how I’m feeling today. Because it’s not. So this is me, giving myself permission to feel sad, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed. I give myself permission to feel however I’m feeling, & you should too!
If you had to postpone your wedding & feel devastated, your feelings are valid. If you had to cancel a trip you’ve been dreaming about & feel angry, your feelings are valid. If you might be facing unemployment & you’re scared, your feelings are valid. If you’re frustrated at the thought of your whole life being disrupted, your feelings are valid. Yes, there are many people right now who are struggling to meet their basic needs & to survive. There are people who are facing unimaginable challenges, & my heart & thoughts are with them. If we are privileged enough to meet our needs, I think we should come together to help them in any way that we can. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t space for how I feel too. There is space for your struggles & feelings as well.
Once we give ourselves the permission & space to feel however we’re feeling, it’s easier to let the light in. We can sort through each feeling, sit with it awhile, & then find a way to overcome it. That’s what I’m choosing to do. I chose to sit with those anxious thoughts & overwhelming feelings yesterday, & then I threw on a bright floral dress & walked my dog in the sunshine to lift my spirits. It feels empowering to take care of myself right now. That is how I will overcome this heavy weight in my chest. That is how I will get through every day during this weird, scary time. That is how I will let the light in.
These are strange times & they can feel really dark, really heavy. Be extra gentle with yourself right now & give yourself time to process. Don’t forget to let that light in.
I told myself to try to play it cool but I’m FREAKING out because I had the pleasure of interviewing Carmindy! She’s been one of my favorite makeup artists for as long as I can remember. I have vivid memories of watching the show “What Not To Wear” for hours & hours, & hearing her makeup tips was my favorite part. She launched her makeup line, Carmindy Beauty, in 2019 with QVC & has continued to inspire women around the world to enhance their natural beauty.
Carmindy inspires me because she empowers women to feel their most confident! She has a less is more approach to makeup, & helps women enhance their natural beauty with high quality beauty products she creates with busy, powerful women in mind. During this interview, we chatted about what inspires her, getting through difficult times, & her morning routine. Keep reading to be as inspired by Carmindy as I am!
1. What is the one beauty product that makes you feel most confident, especially if you’re having a bad day?
My CARMINDY BEAUTY Foundation @qvc it’s everything!!!! You can use it thin as a tint or like medium coverage depending on the type of skin day you are having.
2. Who or what inspired your “less is more” approach when it comes to makeup?
My momma Julie Bowyer who was a watercolorist when I was growing up. Sheer washes of pigment on a canvas inspired me to try it with makeup and it always looked timeless and beautiful.
3. How do you empower yourself when going through difficult times?
Staying positive, lots of humor, hanging with happy, empowered friends and using creative visualization to manifest what’s next. Also let things go. Holding on to negativity serves nobody!
4. What does your typical morning routine look like?
I always wake up with my Insight Timer app music playing. Then I put on a 5 minute guided meditation from the same app. Next, I make myself herbal tea or coffee (if I’m still tired), eat a healthy breakfast and read the news in the Need2Know app as it gives me the musts without going into the hellish news on tv. I don’t have a tv. Then I go to Rumble Training (clearly not now since everything is shut down). After that it’s work work work.
Carmindy is every bit as kind & magical as I imagined she’d be. This was the coolest experience & I’m so honored that she was willing to be interviewed for this blog! Let’s talk about her makeup products: I’m the BIGGEST fan of her 5 Minute Face Kit; it’s been featured on this blog a bunch of times already, but only because I use it every. single. day! It comes with the:
Carmindy mentioned that her foundation is a product she counts on to amp up her confidence. I haven’t tried it yet (placing an order to try it ASAP; might try her whole Carmindizing Skin System!) but I know that it will be incredible. I can’t wait to try out her other products!
I want to say a HUGE thank you to Carmindy. She is so inspiring & creates beautiful products that I love. I highly recommend her 5 Minute Face kit, & I’ll definitely report back with a review of any other products I try. Please support her makeup line & let me know how much you love the products, too! I’ve linked her beauty website in case you’re interested in getting to know Carmindy more (she also just launched a new online show, In(Her) Beauty, make sure to watch!) , her products on QVC (they’re on sale + she launches a new lipgloss trio TODAY!) & her Instagram.