Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Thumbs Up Tuesday #2

I'm not really sure what prompted me to start these "Thumbs Up Tuesdays" but I'm starting to realize this is a great way of looking back on your week (or month or just a day, etc.) and being grateful for the good in your life. At first I thought this would just be a fun thing to do and a great way to get to know other bloggers and network, but now I'm realizing how much potential it really has. Of course, the things that get "thumbs up" can be small & simple, even rather silly at times, but I think that's the first step in enjoying the little things. In such a crushing world with so many obstacles to face, it's so important to focus on the good things that are happening in your life, or the things that you really appreciate. Make a habit out of doing this and you'll find your outlook on life will be a lot brighter.

Thumbs up to...

...going on a nature walk. I'm so, so grateful that the trees are finally in bloom. I feel like it happened so quickly, but I'm not complaining at all. I love the summertime and I love nature. I love going on walks in the wood and just being able to think to myself and find peace and quiet amongst the nature surrounding me.

...thrift shopping. This was a Mother's Day activity (although we do it pretty much all the time) but that's one of the things I really love doing with my mom. It's kind of just become our thing. I'm also excited about this particular trip because I found an awesome oversized lifeguard tank that I plan on wearing pretty much the entire summer.

...letting my imagination run wild. This is usually a very bad thing for me because I have the wildest, most detailed, "most unlikely to happen" imagination. I'm day dreaming at least 50% of the time. I have realized that I need to be in the present more and not let my imagination lead to disappointments. However, I haven't felt this giddy new beginning stuff in awhile and my soul really thrives on this kind of thing.

...all the ideas I have formulating. I may not complete any of them or ever get started on half, but the fact that I am starting to be creative again and really THINK about things I want to do is such a relief for me. As you may or may not know the past couple of months were slightly rough on me, especially creatively speaking, so now that I have my creative outlet back I am starting to feel more like myself these days. Plus it gives me projects to look forward to.

...still having dreams to pursue. I may have had quite a few tumbles and there are still plenty of obstacles in my way, but I haven't given up on my dreams these past couple of years which I think is pretty awesome. I'm glad that they're stilling floating around in my head, that I'm still trying to plan for my future involving my dream, that I haven't lost sight of what I truly want. For awhile there I thought I had lost it, but it was never really lost. I just had to regroup.

One thing I realized in the process of writing these "thumbs up's" is that I always put restrictions on myself and what I want to be doing with my life because I feel I simply don't have the time. We hear it all the time, "there just aren't enough hours in the day." But I look around and I see plenty of successful people who put their heart and soul into things, even while still working a full-time job and MORE, and they manage to create beautiful things (whether it's a book, a business, a blog, etc.) I absolutely need to make an effort to stop using time as an excuse for why I am not doing what I love, what I want to be doing. If I keep saying I don't have the time, I will never reach my goals and dreams. And I think that happens to so many people. You may even be one of them. So if right now the only thing stopping you from doing something you know will bring you fulfillment and joy is the issue of "time" toss that excuse out the door. You have the time, you just have to make it work.

Now, may I present to you the first ever...

Thumbs Up Tuesday Link Up!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

5 Ways to Feel Better

Life seem boring lately? Feeling like you're in a rut? Depressed or sad? Itching for a change? Just being a lazy bum? Well friends, let me tell you, I've been all of those things in just one day. Thus, it's easy to say that I've become a bit of an expert on knowing certain things you can do to instantly feel better (even if it's only a little bit, just enough to get you to start crawling out of that hole). It's not to say that I do these things all the time, because to be honest, I rarely do them (ha). When I DO follow through with these actions, though, I always feel better. So get off your butt and start taking action!

[image source: weheartit]
  1. Re-arrange your room. I like to re-arrange my room a couple times a year or so whenever I feel like I need a change. In a way, it's kind of like taking a change in scenery without having to actually move or travel or any of that other expensive stuff. Simply switching your furniture around can give you that fresh perspective you need. This also helps in forcing yourself to clean your room and getting rid of junk you forgot you had, which leads me to my next point...
  2. Clean. Like I mean really, really deep clean. Waking up in a clean, tidy environment is THE way to start off your day. If any room in your house is a disaster, tackle it with ALL THE CLEANING SUPPLIES! Does it look like you live in your car? FIX THAT! I guarantee as soon as you're done, no matter how difficult and exhausting it may have been, you won't regret it. You'll feel refreshed. Being in an organized and clutter-free zone will also help de-clutter your mind a bit. Who couldn't use some of that?
  3. Do something nice for a stranger. This can be done anonymously if you want. You can pay for someone's coffee, put in more coins in their parking meter, write a bunch of positive letters and mail them out to random addresses, leave a small care package for your mail person, etc. The list is endless! Doing something that has the potential of making someone's day (and restoring their faith in humanity) is one of the best feelings out there. 
  4. Make a long-term plan. If you're anything like me, you need to know what's on the agenda for the rest of your life (stressful, much?) Of course we have no idea where we'll be a year from now, let alone tomorrow. Life throws curveballs all the time and I'm convinced it's the universe's favorite game to play. Regardless, thinking about your long-term plan, goals and dreams can be so helpful. It may help ease your anxiety about the future, it may help set you on the right path or it can simply help you narrow down your ideas for your future. It doesn't have to be a long-term plan. In fact, I suggest you start off small, because like I said before - life throws us curveballs. Try writing out a 6 month plan that can involve a multitude of things, such as your career plans, health goals, living situation, improving your life, etc. 
  5. Take a deep breath. Okay, this may seem so simple and cliche that it's just too good to be true, but it really can make a difference. Just close your eyes and take a deep breath (or 5 or 10) and just focus on your breaths. Then go through each of the problems you are facing and realize that everything has a solution, one way or another. Things have a way of working themselves out. Nothing is ever presented to us that we are not strong enough to overcome.


These are some things I personally do to pep myself up, so may or may not work for you. Everyone is different and you just need to find what works best for you!

  • Listen to music. I try to make a good playlist while I'm in a cheerful mood, so that way I always have it ready to go. Sometimes listening and singing along to your favorite songs is a great way to get out of your head for awhile.
  • Go outside. I really love nature. I love being in the woods, I love the way the wind blows in the trees, I love laying out when the sun is shining. The key here is to go somewhere that is peaceful enough and noise-free, so that all you really hear are the sounds of wildlife and nature itself (not cars buzzing around and people chit-chatting!)
  • Road trip alone. By "road trip" I mean short rides somewhere. If I'm not stuck in traffic, I genuinely enjoy driving long distances. One time I drove an hour to the beach by myself and was only there for a couple hours before I drove back home. It was very therapeutic though and it's a great time to just let yourself be alone with your thoughts.

What are some things you do to make yourself feel better?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Thumbs Up Tuesday #1

I'm so excited to introduce a new series to my blog: THUMBS UP TUESDAY! It's similar to "Five Friday" or "Friday Faves" but obviously it will take place every Tuesday and it's also a lot more open as to what you can talk about/list/etc. Although it's meant to list things that you're loving lately, occasionally I might factor in some "thumbs down" items ;)

The next great news? I'm going to make this a weekly link-up! This first post is meant to be as an introduction and also to help spread the word to other bloggers. If you partake in "Thumbs Up Tuesday" then you can link-up here on my blog every Tuesday with your post! Not only is it a great opportunity to beat writer's block (if you have it!) but all link-ups are great ways of getting your blog exposed and also finding new blogs to follow. Stay tuned for next week's link-up! I will also be posting an image you can use later on this week.

Thumbs up to...

...driving under the full moon as you head back home. I've always loved when the night sky is illuminated by the moon. It gives everything such an enchanted and mystical look. What can I say? I really enjoy the simple things :)

...parents who are willing to help you out. As much as we argue, I'm very grateful for the parents I got stuck with (hahaha). They are supportive of me and always have been. I like to be as independent as possible, but whenever I do need help and ask for it, they always come through for me.

...finally being able to sleep with the window open. This is one of my FAVORITE things about late Spring and Summer. Even in the Summer, I try not to use my A.C. I love going to sleep with a warm breeze coming in through my window and that lovely warm air smell. Plus, hearing all the crickets (and other creatures I certainly would not want anywhere near me) at night is such a soothing sound for me.

...Skype dates with long-distance friends. Okay so technically I haven't gotten to do this yet (but I will tonight!) but I'm so thankful we have video chatting. Of course it's not the same as being in person, but it certainly helps when your friends have moved almost half way across the country! It's also awesome because I don't have to go out and can just stay at home in my pajamas. Ha!

...finding a drugstore hair dye that actually works. My hair is naturally dark brown, but I've been dying it a light medium brown for a couple years now. I have to go to the hair salon so often and it gets to be pretty pricey, but I sacrificed the money because every time I've tried to go lighter with store bought hair dye in the past it's been a complete disaster. My mom came across a new dye that's meant for dark brown hair so I just went for it! Really scared of the outcome, but my roots were covered and the rest of my hair became a gorgeous color. Not too shabby for $11!

What's something you want to give a thumps up to from this past week?

P.S. Let me know if you'll be partaking in Thumbs Up Tuesday! I look forward to reading your posts :)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Inspiration Monday: Today is a New Day

Often times we find ourselves making mistakes that we immediately regret (or eventually will) and it's hard to get past that moment. You may find yourself embarrassed, angry, disappointed, sad, confused, etc.; the list goes on. The thing is, everyone makes mistakes and the sooner you accept that you are not perfect, the sooner you will be able to pick yourself up again.

It's for your own benefit if you develop a mentality in which each day is a fresh start, a new beginning. Surely you've heard this before and you've probably tested it out yourself a couple times, but has it ever really stuck? It's difficult to keep a positive mindset on a daily basis, but if you manage to start off your day on a bright note, it can certainly make all the difference.

I was inspired to write this post because it was something that occurred to me this morning as I was leaving my house to head to work. I made a mistake last night, a mistake that is frequently made, despite my efforts to change time and again. So, I had two options. I could either spend the day angry and disappointed, amongst other bad emotions, or I could look at the beautiful day ahead of me and accept that it was a new day and I could start over, leaving those negative thoughts behind.

Some mistakes cannot be fixed or made better, but when we're lucky enough to have the opportunity to change our ways and make sure those mistakes do not happen again, you have to strive for that. Do not dwell on the past. Think of today, and every day, as a new chapter in your book.

"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today."
-Will Rogers