Having a baby during a global pandemic sure changes a lot of things as many of you know. It changes relationships, how you thought your story might go as a mom, and who you become as a mother. I had a beautiful baby boy at the end of January 2021 and I never thought that part of my recovery physically would also be to recover my mind. My little guy spent a week in the NICU and I was desperate to feel “normal” and connected because my family could not possibly understand what it is like to be a mother in a pandemic AND have your baby not come home with you. I was the first of my major girlfriend group to get pregnant and have a baby and so they just didn’t understand how I was feeling. I really needed people in my life who understood where I was at in my journey and especially who understood the struggle of a NICU pandemic mom.
I kept telling myself I had all the support I needed though—I had my husband, my family and most importantly I thought: “I already have friends”. I realized over time that while these people were all great, they just didn’t get it! I saw something on Instagram about a mom friend app and I thought I’d give it a try. I mean what did I have to lose, right? I thought I’d just see who was on there and I was so glad I did. Being a mom that went through trauma it was so refreshing to have other women know and understand how hard pregnancy, labor, and NICU stays, and being a pandemic mom truly is. We started with virtual meetups and as things have slowly started reopening, I’ve been invited out in play dates. I’ve even met my two new mom besties, Jordan and Shayna. We are in contact daily and I just don’t think I could’ve made it through this experience without them. Ladies, if you’re hesitating, find yourself some other mom friends that get it and get you. It was a life changing thing for me!
If you’re still looking for your mom friends, I found my friends here:
By no means am I a pro mom… only been doing this gig for 8 weeks and it’s a lot! Shout out to my mom for being the best and teaching me how to be a great mom. I’m truly in awe of all mothers (but especially mine) after becoming a mom.
I have seen a lot of posts about needing inspiration on baby must haves which inspired me to come up with my own realistic list! A lot of other blogs have outdated must haves or I found the products/ needs were unrealistic. Let’s just get to it & not sugar coat it! So here are my top 10 baby items and top 5 postpartum items + the links that I cannot live without.
Baby Must Haves:
Baby Shusher This thing is amazing! It is a portable sound machine plus it saves your voice, back and lips from drying out shushing so close to baby’s ear. This provides a shushing noise and makes it sound like the womb for babies to calm down.
Hatch Sound Machine This has so many sounds and also a nightlight. When it’s too quiet baby can’t deep sleep so the white noise is perfect for baby plus you’ll sleep better! Which trust me, this a must when you have to get up every 2-3 hours not only to get better sleep but it also doubles as a light so you won’t have to turn every possible light on.
Bottle warmer – self explanatory; most babies like room temperature or warm milk (my baby does)
Dr browns bottles – helps with colic and from sucking too much air. I was recommended these from another mom, and honestly so didn’t like all the pieces and then discovered the hospital I was at used these. My little dude was hooked in the hospital and liked these the best! We also like these because they prevent gas and colic and in the middle of the night I’m thankful for a less fussy baby.
Diaper changing stations- save yourself and have a basket in all your places with diapers, burp cloth, wipes, etc. all in one place! I have a basket downstairs so I don’t have to go up every single time I change the baby.
Above contains affiliate links, which means if you use my code and make a purchase, I’ll be compensated at no additional cost to you. However, I only recommend products I love!
Bonus: check out my Etsy for presets to edit photos of your new babe like a pro! Use code: BABEFAVE for 20% off your order!
There’s so many great products out there to help support you and your baby; do your research but most importantly trust your gut! You know what to do mama! It’s incredible what our bodies go through but also what we have built literally inside us to be great moms and protect our little ones. There is no one like you for your baby!
You were hand crafted for us and have truly lived up to your name. Luca meaning bright light and Maverick meaning a big wave and independent. You are our beautiful light and big wave! We are so thankful for you. From the moment we knew we wanted a family we knew God had something special for us. When we saw “pregnant” and received that positive test we knew God blessed us greatly in becoming your parents. You were handmade for us… weaved together by God and our angels to create a perfect little bundle of joy. Our angel baby. From every moment and movement, we know you are ours and we are yours.
God gave us you when we needed you most and didn’t know it.
We love getting to know everything that makes you, you. You are strong willed already still growing every day. We love to see that strong personality come to life. As your mom, I will always protect you in every way and promise you the world.
I promise to teach you everything I know and even the things I do not yet know. Everyday I’m learning, and so are you! I cannot wait to learn alongside you.
I promise to love you everyday and make sure you see that love ooze from us.
I promise to show you God’s love.
I promise to let you be you and encourage you to be your own person.
I promise to be the best I can be and teach you to always do your best.
And if you ever wonder how much we love you… count all the waves in the sea.
We are so obsessed with you sweet boy! I am oozing with excitement to finally have you in my arms and get to know every facet that makes you, you. I pray you show us how to be better people and to love harder than we’ve ever loved before. We cannot wait to continue to show you the world! Continue to make waves, little dude.
Photography is changing more than ever and my life as a photographer now is very different than this time last year. Not only am I not booking sessions as regularly, our phones do just as good of a job as my professional camera.
I have been making presets for a while, but never shared them and I am ready to! At 1 am the other morning when I couldn’t sleep (thanks pregnancy) I thought why not do it now?! In addition to blogging I have opened an Etsy shop (link below) and started creating some preset packages so you can edit your photos just like me!
I’ll be honest, I am not a morning person. I have to convince myself to be a morning person because I could live in my bed all day. Every day that is not realistic, especially going into a new lifestyle of becoming a mom.
I’ll preface it with this: I don’t know it all, but these are my top 5 things that work for me, that may work for you too.
Appreciate the day when you first wake up. I start my day with feeling grateful, even if I have no idea what to be thankful for, and start my day with a positive mindset.
Try to stay off social media, email, etc. first thing in the morning (this is hard for me, and I’ll be honest, I struggle with this as my job is spent on social media.)
Treat yourself. Maybe that is making coffee for yourself, perhaps its Starbucks, whatever it is, treat yourself. For me, that is making coffee, or I’ll start the day with water/ electrolytes.
Plan out your day. This is my favorite thing to do is make a list, and to be able to accomplish everything on my list. I write everything down in a planner with my top 3 things to achieve to a few others that maybe aren’t as important, but I would still like to do. Planning out my day allows me to cross it off my list and keep track of everything in one place.
Read, meditate, listen to a podcast whatever. I spend at least 30 minutes to an hour doing something for me. Listening to podcasts is in my top “me-time moments” because I can still plan out my day, make my coffee and breakfast while listening to something that will kick start and add positivity to my day.
What does your morning look like? What are your “me-time moments”? I would encourage you to create your routine; these 5 things take me an hour to set the day’s tone!
As I’m listening to Mallory Ervin’s podcast Living Fully (take a listen if you like women who empower other women), I decided to re-open my blog and jump back in. Listening to this podcast today, something that has stuck with me is the topic of everything happening for a reason, that even when you feel like God is telling you “no” it may not be a firm no rather than a reevaluation of timing and I felt that (link to the episode here). Feeling all the feels and trying to “live fully”, I’m ready to come back to writing; it’s been over a year since I wrote anything.
About 8 months ago, I told my husband I didn’t want to do the job I was doing and wanted to work towards working in marketing and social media in addition to starting a family and becoming a mom. Scary as that was to say to him this stable job I had was not for me anymore, I did it. That was at the end of 2019, we made our goals for 2020 not sure where God would take us, but decided to let go. A few months and meltdowns later, we found out I was pregnant on Memorial Day weekend where we would normally grieve the loss of a loved on for an anniversary that was too difficult to swallow… How crazy does God work?!
In the interim, quarantine had started and everything seemed so out of place. My job that I was so hesitant to leave and timing did not feel right I questioned everything. I wondered if the goals I made in 2019 was really where I was supposed to be; then a door opened for me to leave for a brand new opportunity without looking back… again how crazy does everything happen for a reason?
Currently, I am doing what I love working in marketing & social media and becoming a mom. God was looking out for us, and gifted us as parents to a beautiful baby boy.
Writing this, it sounds like everything fell into place like magic, but it was not all magic. Two major life changes hit me at once and it is scary. Sometimes God or the universe (whatever you believe) puts things into motion and you do have to take a leap of faith. Sometimes you don’t, but know it will all align the way it should. Start manifesting your own life I promise it is worth it. Long life update, but everything does happen for a reason, be joyful in hope, patient in pain and faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12).
I truly believe that it is all going to align up for you. It may not feel that way now, but it will. Whether that is your dream career, your relationship, etc. Keep pushing and keep manifesting your goals;you got this.
I have been waiting to re-brand my blog and this topic of personal branding has been on my heart and mind… more like tugging on my heart and mind. Notice anything different? Yeah, welcome to THE Modern Rose… in like the only one out there. This is my personal brand. This is me.
We all have this concept of wanting to represent ourselves in a positive way– a beacon of light, if you will. But have you thought about that representation as a brand for you personally? Everywhere you go someone is recognizing that “thing” because of the brand attached to it. That brand could be you, but you playin’…
A lot of content bloggers and podcasts talk about this concept, but its not discussed enough. This should be shouted from the rooftops because its BIG. Personal branding is just as important as the brand you obsess over or the brand you work for, except it’s all about you. Back to basics: what is a branding? In the overall sense, it is what people describe a product or a associate a product with. How do you do that with yourself? Great question. Think about your personal brand (or how you represent yourself) as “what are people going to say about me?” Your brand is what you put out to get back in. Its your ideas, content, personality, style, your engagement level… it’s your story. Your brand is more than just what you say about yourself or that 60 second “elevator pitch” you have mocked up in your mind. Your brand is literally an invisible label that not seen, but heard and felt. It makes an impact. So how are you going to create your own personal brand??
Top 5 things that come to my mind when I think about my personal brand:
show your personality
tell your story
Being consistent is more than just creating everything to be streamlined and similar its not going back on your word, be precise and clear but make an impact with every word that comes out of your mouth evenly. Show that you are dependable for the people that buy into your personal brand. Be bold. Like really… BE BOLD. Say what’s on your mind and mean it, but be professional with your confidence. No one likes arrogance. Be present and consistent. Stop worrying about the things you cannot control like the past and future and engage with in front of you now. What you put out into the universe will come back to you– people will want to hear what you have to say, only if you are genuinely present with what they are saying. You have got to be present and comfortable with that. With being present, be you! Stop being what you think people want out of you and just do you. Lastly, tell your own story and own it. Success can be taken away from us at a moments notice, but own your story and success as if it wasn’t. Your story and successes need to be recognized every day. So OWN IT. Your story of you is what gives you credibility and creates the cherry on top of your personal brand… & you’ve got to work for it every day.
No idea or brand was created over night and your personal brand won’t be refined over night either. Think about how you want to represent yourself. That next job, creating your resume, those are all ingredients to a beautiful recipe that people will remember.
Every day we wake up with a new day, a new to start over to write our own. Each day the sun rises and so do we. We wake up to an awesome day that awaits us. Each day we are blessed with a new seed to grow into a beautiful new tree.
We can have it all just with a new mindset. A new mindset that our “tree” has new leaves fresh and crisp ready for that new day. Our trees are all different in there own ways, constructed vein by vein in each leaf, branch by branch down to the trunk to support and hold up everything. Our tree is special. It’s leaves may shed, to leave us with something bare but that’s just it— they shed for something greater. Day by day we are graced with new. New ideas, new support, new growth. We may run into trouble or doubt but one thing remains: each new leaf to make our tree is beautiful. A tree doesn’t doubt how to grow it just does. Our path and growth is planned for us and we just need to do. Just do what’s best for us in order for us to grow. To grow into something magnificent and detailed in our own unique ways.
This isn’t my typical blog post but I felt inspired by J Lo’s new movie, Second Act and the words just flowed in because we all can have that chance to have a second act. We are not always in control but we can nourish our tree to grow and guide it into something amazing.
If you’re reading this, your tree is special too. You are detailed and wonderfully made. You are developing new beautiful leaves and strong branches to add in supporting the greatest thing: you. You’re tree shouldn’t doubt its ability to be something stronger, something outstanding. It just does. So tomorrow just be. Be you. Be your own kind of beautiful and let your tree stand tall.
I have taken a much-needed break from writing this year. I went back and counted, and I only published a piece 3 times! Say what?? I know, I know, who am I? My 2017 was filled with things that needed to be written, that were required to be published. This year, I was busy, and I honestly felt I had nothing to say, but I am ready for a change.
Prepared to give everyone another look into my garden because there is a lot of new flowers filled with thoughts, new ideas, and new passions.
These last 60 days of 2018, have taught me more about what I want and what I need more than the whole year did. In 2018, I still experienced loss, pain and more negatives than I cared to enjoy. This next year, I am ready to be grateful. To be grateful for the positive energies. To be grateful for me.
So, are you ready for this? This is the 24 things the last 60 days of 2018 taught me (yes, I was inspired by “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande for this, but I don’t care).
Love yourself through the pain.
Try not to look at the negative factors surrounding your life. There is beauty in the positives, you just need to see that and not the negativity.
Look outside. Like really look. Appreciate the fresh, crisp air for a few moments because this life is a gift.
Be patient. Your time will come, and it will be awesome.
Don’t always believe all the “fluff” people tell you. If they aren’t genuine or entirely there for you, they aren’t worth your time and for you to hear the things that aren’t truly meaningful.
Compliment someone daily. That real and brief moment can mean everything to that person.
Smile, it looks good on you.
When you’re down, give yourself a pep talk and shake it off. You are better than that and have greatness ahead of you.
You are amazing and do not forget that.
If you are not happy about something, speak up. You will be better off speaking what is on your mind than keeping that in.
Surround yourself with people that mean something to you and give you the love you deserve back. Anyone else that doesn’t isn’t worth being a part of your life.
Do something for yourself at least once a month.
Remember, fear is made up in your own mind put your faith somewhere else.
Stop apologizing for being yourself or saying no to something that isn’t for you.
What others think of you isn’t really your business don’t put your worry on that– it isn’t worth the anxiety.
Meditate daily and stop thinking… even if it is for 5 minutes.
Just because you plan, doesn’t mean that is how it will turn out and that is okay.
Do your best and be okay with your best.
Eat the dessert. Life is too short to not enjoy the cake.
Listen to the rain and be grateful for the water to wash away your cares and worries. It gives us a new beginning, and there is beauty after the storm.
You can buy an outfit for every occasion. Reward yourself, you deserve it.
Sing at the top of your lungs and dance it out… this is a healthier way to clear your head.
Love yourself in the bliss, not just the pain.
Trust your heart.
Thank you for enjoying the new flowers of ideas and thoughts in my garden for 2019. I cannot wait to show you what my garden has to offer in this new year, and I hope all of your gardens bloom with beauty too.
It has been since April since I last wrote! It feels weird, but I have been taking this time to focus on me (and let’s face it– school has taken up most of my time). I try to squeeze in as much as I can at once with everything: family, friends and my own time. I was itching to write something and wanted it to be a fun post because I realized a lot of my blog posts are pretty serious whether I mean to write them that way or not. Sorry, not sorry.
I’ve gone through college twice.. over exaggerating? Tiny bit. I completed my bachelor’s degree in 2016 and I am currently wrapping up my master’s degree (just a little under 6 more months but who’s counting, right?). Since I am almost done with my master’s I thought it would be fun to share what this experience of gaining two degrees has taught me thus far that I have helped me through life in general (with or without a degree). Here goes nothing.
You are greater than you think you are. Stop doubting whatever it is, because what you have is great
Only you can define you.
Be yourself because everyone else is pretty weird (am, I right?)
The risk, the tears, the difficulties you may go through are all worth the triumphs
You literally got this. Like you can do anything you set your mind to and then some.
You are destined for bigger things… things bigger than you and you will accomplish them
It is okay to break down and say, I can’t (spoiler alert: YOU CAN!)
Change your mindset. It is really amazing when you start off with a positive attitude or change your “have-to’s” to “get-to’s”.
You will be okay. I have literally felt the lowest I thought I could be, but in the end I was okay. Whatever it is that is difficult (from small to big), eventually, you will be okay.
Be excited about your next chapter because it’s big.
I miss you; so many people miss you and your infectious smile. We miss your laugh and the light that you brought to any room even when you did not know it. The thing I miss most is the way you had with people to encourage them and what they love to do. You helped others to turn their passions into more than just projects.
Angel in heaven, your presence was out of this world.
There are so many things I would love to tell you about and wish you were here to see, but I realized you have the best seat in the house: heaven. I know I cannot physically have those conversations with you like our conversations about art and spirituality, but you still hear me– you listen to the ones that you are no longer with.
April 6th, 2018. One of the best days of my healing after losing you. The coolest thing? I photographed the whole event to preserve these happy moments forever and look how happy people are; in honor of you.
One of the things I love most about my job is showing people the way they do not see themselves. The way they should see themselves. Angel in heaven, you had that gift too; but with your words, your smile, your laugh.
Thank you for that. Thank you for the kind words and lasting conversations that will forever play on repeat over and over.
2017 was a rough year to sum it up into a sentence. With any roller coaster ride of a year you have ups and downs and lessons that were learned. Over these 365 days these are the 23 things I have learned and the things I will carry with me into the new year.
Stop pretending to be someone you are not or someone that someone else makes you out to be. You don’t have to impress anyone, but you. If someone’s expectations are different, let them be different. Be you — through and through.
Keep your feet grounded. Not literally, but hold onto the concept that the ground is a support for the times that are shakey.
Breathe. Go outside, take a walk and breathe. Appreciate the blue sky and the air around you.
Remind yourself that life is beautiful even in what seems like a disaster.
Be a genuine human.
Tell the people you love you love them and mean it.
Do something that scares you.
Push through the pain; in the end the pain will fade, you will heal and be okay.
Day dream and set goals for those dreams.
Hold on to hope. You might not feel like it is there, but it is. Trust me.
Dance in the street with strangers or friends because life is short.
Be the light in the darkest places.
Do one thing a day that makes you happy.
It’s not your responsibility to fix anyone.
Try your best. Always.
Remember tomorrow is always a new start and a fresh new day.
Learn something new.
You are alright. (In the words of my bestie, “you got this”. And P.S. you do.)
Life is hard, but you are stronger than the hard times.
Turn your music up and blast your speakers. Let the music take over and be free.
You are an awesome human (who cares if your weird or what other people think).
Meditate daily. Even if it is for five minutes. Take a minute for yourself.
Let it go. Whatever it is, let it go and let God.
None of that “new year, new me” stuff. We are still the same people we might just have new scars or beauty marks in this new year, but we have a fresh start for new memories (good or bad) and those memories are what you make it. Cheers to a new year!
At the beginning of this month, I decided to cleanse myself from social media. I’ll be honest I didn’t succeed however I looked at myself that week and realized a few things.
Tuesday was the first day of the cleanse. The continual question that kept repeating through my head, “why did I decide to do this again?” You know when you decide to not eat sugar or junk food and your like ooh if I just have a little bit I’ll be fine but then you instantly regret eating that bad food because you went back on what you promised? Yeah. Me too. In all honesty I stayed away from Facebook and Instagram which was easy.. it was sneaky little Snapchat that snuck up on me. I wanted to take that ridiculous selfie or post something like a trendy picture of what I was doing in that moment. I wanted to check it to see my notifications- who snapped me?! Guess what, I had no notifications and that little bit of sugar was just a waste.
Instead of wasting good time on social media I went to Barnes and Noble for something to redirect my time for me. As hard as it was, I found a book and two guided journals to redirect my thoughts. I had better conversations away from my phone and had more genuine conversations even if it was just a text to someone I hadn’t caught up with in a while.
While it was easy to say no to all of the social media, doing it was a lot harder. Again I didn’t get through the week but I realized what I wanted to cleanse myself from and it was not living my life for what is on social media. Not comparing my life to someone else’s. To have fun because life is short and not be bothered on did I get enough “likes” on what I documented as fun. I recently read an article about being addicted to people. I realized I was addicted to making myself happy with people who weren’t going to do that. I was the only person who could change how I look at life. One of my favorite parts to the article was, “There is a beauty, when you rise from the ashes of self-destruction. It’s only then you have the potential to be someone you never thought you could be.”
After that week I looked at myself differently and started valuing the little things that I forgot to value. I started looking at old pictures and reliving memories that I thought I could never look at ever again. I wouldn’t look at or appreciate the memories before, but now I’ve started too. I would see pictures in the house and think about the negatives about myself- I was destroying what I loved most about myself but not any more. I am so grateful for what I have. Life is too short to not live it and be thankful for what you’ve got; to enjoy the ride on life’s rollercoaster or merry-go-round rather than wanting to give up and get off.
This past Sunday I hosted Friendsgiving and I celebrated time with friends even though it was stressful to pull off. I thought about what I was thankful leading up to this event and even prior to Friendsgiving. I’m thankful for all of it. The highs. The lows. The blessings. The lessons. The setbacks. The comebacks. The love. The hate. Everything. Yesterday I celebrated more than Friendsgiving- I celebrated a crazy year coming to an end with a new me: one that is a stronger version of myself, an awesome guy by my side and awesome friends. Thankful doesn’t even cut it.
As I write this, sitting on my bathroom floor listening to Fantasy by MS MR I think about about all of the things I am thankful for. Think about what you are thankful for. Everything around you is a blessing. Family, friends, the green grass, the blue sky and the air we breath. Don’t get off life’s roller coaster or merry-go-round. Enjoy the ride.
It’s finally cooling down in Phoenix and if you live in Arizona and it is October, you know that means: PUMPKINS, CANDLES, FUZZY SOCKS AND WARM COFFEE.
I’m not even going to be salty about this double post in one day because I wanted to share my fall inspo ideas. A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling a little down and needed to bring some comfort into my house and make it a home. The Dollar Store opened its automatic doors and led me to a fall paradise of $1 finds. I felt like my mom and I were going a little crazy with all of the goodies, but when I checked out I had only had $20 worth of fall finds in my cart. I repeat: only $20!! Excited and high on deals as I was we rushed home to spread out our fab finds. We had previously bought everything to make wreaths so that is what I was set out to do. Little did I know when I got home I did not know that I had a lot more than just “little” things.
So, I did not drink warm coffee.. but I did add pumpkins, put on my fuzzy socks and lit a fall candle while watching Gossip Girl (P.S. I’ve seen this show like a thousand times and I still have a crush on Nate and Chuck and if I ever ran into them in real life I’d totally fan girl over them). It is crazy how going to the Dollar Store or moving things around can make a house feel more like home. That coffee table? Made from wood pallets I found with a white pumpkin candle and little glittery pumpkins added to it. The wreath on my front door? My mom and I had a wreath making party and all of the flowers on it are from no other than: THE DOLLAR STORE. Yep. You can thank me later, send me your fall decorations and crown me fall princess or just call me Joanna Gains because let’s be honest my house is straight out of a Fixer Upper episode and I ain’t even mad about it.
Head to the Dollar Store or Home Goods or wherever and put some fall decorations up (and light a fall candle too) because it will make you happy. Isn’t that all that counts anyways?
“Psychology says the person who tries to keep everyone else happy often ends up feeling the loneliest”. So remember darling, fall in love with yourself (and fall things) first. Comment with your fall decorations and other fall ideas!
“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile & who love you no matter what.”
So I’ve kinda been MIA because I have been editing multiple sessions of pictures including this family session last week and it was a success! I still have a lot of editing to do with the pictures… but I could not wait to share some of the pictures and the story behind some of them.
The people in these photos have been in my life for 20+ years. The first is a picture of two beautiful women I am so grateful to call family, to call an aunt and to call a sister. The second is the shoes of a strong woman and mom and her son that doesn’t go anywhere without those boots. The third is one of my favorites of my mom and her best friend (someone I am lucky to call my aunt) these two women I look up to in so many ways and look to both of them for strength and faith. The last is my soul sister and I (God made us and our mothers friends because they couldn’t handle us as sisters, even though we’ve always been a dynamic duo); she someone I admire and would not have been able to go through so many ups and downs without her by my side.
I could say so much about all the photos I took that day, but the only thing that is important is the people in theses photos. These people may not be my true blood related family, but rather my family bonded by love and there for each other when we truly needed it. Short, but sweet post and mostly appreciating the people that have a special place in my heart!
I am so happy I was able to capture that love on camera even if I twisted my knee and have to go to the doctor for it! Don’t underestimate your photographer either.
“Do things for yourself; in thirty years nobody is going to remember your choices except you.”
Over the last two weeks, I have really struggled with self-love and doing things for only me. It’s hard to put yourself first when you’re always putting others first when the truth is loving yourself should be the priority over all the other things. In the words of Sheryl Crow, “if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad”.. so do it.. make yourself happy.
Life is too short to not do what makes you happy. If anything I’ve learned over the last year that has been reiterated these past few weeks in finding myself, it is to do what is best for you and everything else will fall into place. If you don’t do what’s best for you first how can you do what is best for anyone else? From now on, I’m doing just that while blasting and singing “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow.
Things I’ve done (that you should try too) that’s made me the happiest I’ve been in a while:
Had a dance party in my car on Friday to get out of my head. (If you were one of the chosen ones to see my Snapchats, consider yourself lucky).
Had spontaneous nights with friends that included crying and laughing
Ate ice cream for dinner
Ate breakfast for lunch
Bought myself new clothes because why not?!
Dressed up for brunch in something I wouldn’t normally wear
Had brunch with old friends
Took selfies and posted them because again: Why. Not.
Woke up and reminded myself that the life I live is beautiful.
Appreciated myself and then the people around me (side note I really need to listen to my own advice).
On my bad days I remind myself of these things because it’s the wins that outway the losses.
I have been away for a little bit gathering my thoughts and taking a break from a little bit of everything. P.S. I also went on a much-needed vacation. Rather than stick to my 30 days of blogging challenge, which let’s be honest, I haven’t been very good at; but I am going to try from here on out to blog once a week. Not only to serve as a creative outlet, but I want to share my creativity and passions with my readers.
So without further ado… this weeks blog: why you need to take a vacation and get off the screen you live on.
Last weekend at this time, we were coming back from a bike ride from the beach (one of our 10+ mile bike rides). Sunday at the beach was a cloudy day but a great day, at that and I was exhausted. The previous days consisted of eating too much, laughing until I cried with family and soaking myself in aloe because of a bad sunburn. Monday was our last day and we again road bikes and ate way too much.
With spending so much time on a bike, you one: have to pay attention to where you are going especially when the Boardwalk is crazy busy and two: you have a lot of time to look at what’s around you and clear your head. While on vacation, I practiced just that. I wasn’t on my phone every second and I was forced to appreciate the scenery around me.
I mean how could you not appreciate the scenery with views like this?! I guess what I am saying is get off that screen and go make memories of watching the sunset until its dark, go on a walk until your feet feel like they are going to fall off, eat food with the people you love until your stomach almost bursts and thank God for the people around you because that is all that matters.
I have to be honest, I am not doing so well with this whole 30 consecutive days of blogging, but I am doing my best! I will get through 30 posts, until then I’m still on day 6.
I have been a little busy and that is why I have not blogged. The last few weeks I have been trying to get a passport, working, finalizing everything to start my masters and trying to do things that make me happy and allow me to relax! Grief has a sneaky way of creeping up on you to create anxiety, feeling sad and everything in between so you have to find things that work for you to not push away the grief but ways to manage and heal through it and that’s exactly what I do when I bake and take photos. Side note, I got my passport so I can go abroad! I will be here waiting for it to come in the mail in the meantime because the passport agent would not accept my Prime Membership 2 day shipping so I will have to be patient for a few weeks! I love food and I love capturing food with my camera, I think I love food photography a little more than taking portraits of people. While I’d love to just hop on a plane and try a bunch of different foods and take pictures of the excellent food, that is not going to happen tomorrow so, for now, I’ll take pictures of the things I bake.
I love baking but more importantly, I LOVE baking and eating cupcakes. Rather than sit at home just watching Bachelor in Paradise (BIP) all night or falling asleep at 7 PM, I baked in between Carly and Evan’s wedding and the actual BIP episodes. Tonight, I made a gluten-free vanilla cupcake with chocolate buttercream. Baking gluten-free is difficult to get that same taste as non-gluten free things because it is missing that key ingredient of the protein: gluten. Although, I live that GF lifestyle, I do splurge and eat some non-gluten free things every once in a while (a girl’s gotta eat, okay?). These cupcakes tonight though, were on point with taste and how they looked! (I wish I could eat cupcakes all day and not be at risk for diabetes or other health issues, I guess I can dream, right?) But it also helps when you have a great camera! I recently got a new Canon camera and honestly, my new baby does a great job at capturing everything especially these little beauties.
I use a Canon EOS Rebel T6 for all of my work and I literally took these pictures, connected to wi-fi and downloaded these pictures to upload them to my Instagram and blog! How cool is that?! Enjoy swooning over these pictures!
Valuing myself and looking at what I love about myself makes my day that much better. Sometimes after a long and rough day, you have to do or think about the things that make you happy. You also have to love yourself.
I feel really bad I didn’t stick with my challenge and blog yesterday. So today is like 2 posts in one!
First, in my last post, I said Sunday I would not complain and took that challenge! Honestly, when I thought about the day, I did not complain. Having that in the back of my head and to wake up feeling refreshed as well as positive really made a difference in my day.
Now for today’s answer to what is my guilty pleasure? Hair and makeup videos. Yes, hair and makeup videos are one of my favorite things to watch. You know those videos on Facebook that pop up and are like a minute long and show all of these hair transformations with cuts and colors and have really good dance music? No? OMG just watch this video. (To be honest, I just got distracted watching this and had to refocus). Anyways, I LOVE these videos and if it involves makeup, I’m right there too! For some reason (maybe it’s my love for beauty products) watching these videos just makes me zone out and stop thinking about everything else. Sometimes I even watch them when I’m trying to relax or go to sleep. It is so memorizing what some people can do to not only their hair but also makeup.
I know this was a short post, but I honestly think this is pretty self-explanatory and you should just watch the videos LOL (Plus it’s my day off and I honestly tried to talk myself out of doing this… but I promise I won’t tomorrow!)