A Letter To Me

On the verge of my 26th birthday last year, I wrote ‘a letter to me’ and sent it back in time to the younger version of myself. I would say my former self, but if I’m being honest, I’m still that malt drinking, oversized t-shirt wearing, early to bed, and early to rise girl in a lot of ways. With turning 27 on its way next week, I thought it would be fun to make a spin-off of last year’s post and this time send it to the future version of myself.

So, to the future me, SURPRISE! You’re still perfectly imperfect. Once you start laughing, it’s hard to stop, you usually spill on yourself at least once a day, you don’t wash the sheets as often as you should, you’re embarrassed that your dogs aren’t better behaved, and you sweat more than the average person. And although it doesn’t always feel like it, those are good things, because they make you who you are.

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Take chances, even when they feel scary, because most likely, they always will. More often than not, those leap of faith moments are the most empowering. And if you fail (which at times, you will) keep going.

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Know and recognize the value in exploration, through travel, walks on the beach, conversation, reading, and writing. After all, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ernest Hemingway

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Believe in yourself, protect your marriage, invest in relationships, follow your intuition, express gratitude, and try not to spend too much time worrying about what other people think. Live, laugh, and love. You’ve got this.

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Reader Question(s) – What advice would you give to your younger and/or future self?!

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One Big Balancing Act

Last night, before drifting to sleep, I had the most overwhelming sense of gratitude. I was sandwiched between our dogs, and I think Dan was somewhere in the mix too, but who can really be sure. The comforter provided the perfect amount of warmth in response to the cool room and some syndicated TV show played in the background. Most likely, ‘King of Queens’ knowing us. And in that moment, I thought, this is what I live for. It probably wasn’t long after that that Nola stiff armed me in the side, Kiah jumped off the bed to go outside, Dan turned to ‘Cheaters’ and I became too hot with the blankets all around me, but it didn’t matter, because I had experienced my rarity of truly living in and appreciating the present moment.

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It is in the moments that I am fully present that I become aware of my all too often tendency to rush through life, to look at what is next, to cross one item off the to-do-list and quickly consider what else can be accomplished, without ever looking up from the list. And while productivity in and of itself is in no way bad, I know that it cannot be the sole driving force in my life.

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I guess my conclusion, if I really even have one, is that life is one big balancing act of aiming to achieve while also appreciating what is, at this very moment.

“How you climb up the mountain is just as important as how you get down the mountain. and so it is with life, which for many of us becomes one big gigantic test followed by one big gigantic lesson. In the end, it all comes down to one word. Grace. It’s how you accept winning and losing, good luck and bad luck, the darkness and the light.” – Philosophy ‘Amazing Grace’ eau de parfum spray.

Yeah, that’s right. I just quoted a perfume bottle.

Fill in the blank – Life is…..

And by, the way, it is my sister’s birthday today. And I dedicate this post to her, an amazing woman who somehow manages to gracefully balance it all.

Little Things to Love

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” – Oprah Winfrey

Sunday mornings may in fact be my favorite time to sit and write my ‘little things to love‘ posts. As I lounge on the couch in my robe, with Nola chewing on her bone, and Dan sitting next to me, I can’t help but feel grateful for the blessings in my life. 

I love Saturday afternoon frozen yogurt outings, the beginning of spring, Pinterest recipes, and chocolate chip pancakes.

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I love reading People magazine at the nail salon, watching Sports Center in the morning, seeing a forecast of 70s and sunny, and brunch with my friends and my mom.

ImageI love a new pair of jeans that fit just right, seeing the people I love happy, homemade hot cocoa, and an unexpected night out with friends.

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I love wedding planning, good workouts, ‘Bachelor‘ Mondays, and a beautiful view of downtown.

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Reader Question: What little things are you loving this week!?

Enjoy Life and Be Happy

Shortly after it was first released, I purchased a copy of the book, ‘The Happiness Project.’ Its title and premise absolutely captivated me. The book offers a look into the author, Gretchen Rubin’s, life and her journey in dedicating a year to her personal happiness project.

ImageI have forever been fascinated by the topic of happiness, so this book was for obvious reasons, right up my alley. Gretchen identifies the importance in defining concrete resolutions rather than general goals. Feeling especially inspired after recently re-reading the book, I decided to commit to my own specific goals.

Keep a Gratitude Journal. On less than perfect days, I think it is so important to still realize all the blessings in life. This will most likely be random and range anywhere from a thoughtful text from a friend to having a Dairy Queen Blizzard. I am all about the little things in life.

Talk to My Sister and Friends At Least Once a Week. My sister and I recently began face-timing. I know, we are so behind the trend.  It reminds me of the line in ‘Father of the Bride,’ “Welcome to the 90s, Mr. Banks.” That being said, seeing her and my nephews puts a smile on my face and makes the distance between us so much more tolerable.

Sign up for a 5k. I found a pet and owner fun run taking place over my birthday weekend next month and I am SO excited. I have yet to tell Nola that we will be registering her for a race, but I am counting on many kisses when I do.

Be Mindful in how I Spend my Money. I often find that I am unaware of my spending, $5 at Starbucks and $15 at Barnes & Noble can go quickly. While I have no intention to stop shopping entirely, I would like to be more mindful of how I spend my money and to make sure that my purchases are meaningful.

Reader Question: Do you have any goals that you are working towards?

Little Things to Love

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.”

I am always excited to write my ‘Little Things to Love‘ posts. They are an opportunity for me to express gratitude for the little things in my life that I might otherwise overlook, like the sun shining through the windows this morning, serving as a much better alarm than the iphone.

I love an hour plus phone call with my college roommate, finding ‘The Wedding Planner‘ on TV and remembering that movie is the reason that I favor brown m&ms, winning in tennis even on days that Dan only uses his left hand, and discovering this incredible yogurt at Whole Foods yesterday.

ImageI love days that require no makeup, ridiculous text messages from my friends, my mom’s positive attitude, reading other blogs, hearing the song ‘Chicken Fried‘ and relating to every word, and these dogs, who despite their incessant barking and rowdy behavior, make my life infinitely happier.

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Reader Question: What little things are you loving this week?