The night before life goes on…

There are ups, there are downs…but life continues like a roller coaster, a thrill, a scare, a great adventure. The more we ride along, the more we learn to enjoy, let loose and raise our hands in the air without a care. Nothing will ever go as we expected. Sometimes, just sometimes, it might go a little better. And those sometimes are as sweet as biting into a fresh summer strawberry.

Life. Breathe in, breathe out. Smile and go to work. Get home and enjoy the company of loved ones. Life is beautiful, life is sweet. Life is continuous…until it isn’t. But until that end, life goes on. We have to grab hold of our lives and love all the flaws that come with it.

This is how define life.

Some may say that I see life through rose colored glasses, that I’m a hopeless romantic and find beauty and meaning in everything.  And I do. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. When one thing knocks me down, I don’t cry about it. Instead, I see it as a sign that something better will come along. And usually it does.

Recently, I’ve graduated from college. I now hold a Bachelors of Science degree. Do I feel any smarter than a week ago? Probably. I had along side me, my boyfriend of now almost five years. When we moved in together to share an apartment after three years of dating, I thought that life didn’t get better than that. I had the love of my life, a bright future ahead of me, and my own space. But now that graduation is over, I’ve written a book, and I’m weeks away from moving into a bigger loft apartment with my love, I know that life just keeps getting better if you let it.

Boxes upon boxes lay sprawled out in my small downtown apartment, blocks away from the University. It’s the night before life goes on. Remember how I said life continues and how life has ups and downs? Well, tomorrow my boyfriend and I go back to our hometown and start work. We both must wait two weeks before our new apartment is ready for us. This is the point in time where I’m down near the bottom of that roller coaster, waiting and waiting to see the top. I want to be at the top and see that sweet summer horizon.

Until then, for two weeks, I stay with my Dad. Ironically, my second book is all about the summer my main character, Emma, spends with her Dad. Coincidence? Maybe. Life is full of surprises. And..there’s so much to be grateful for. The night before life goes on, I ponder on this poem I wrote years ago and found just today while rummaging through my old boxes…ironically it’s titled “Life.”

Someday. This day. Our day.

Life

Someday my heart won’t be beating anymore.

Someday I won’t have the courage to scream.

Someday I will grow old, as all of these people do.

Someday my life will be gone.

Someday we can all look on.

It is some day that makes us grateful for this day.

This day we shall never look back and regret.

This day we should carry on.

This day we should follow our hearts.

This day we should follow and lead and grow.

This day is our day.

Our day is our life.

Here, I stand. I’ve reached the break in the woods and see the other forests, the other challenges I can journey to and try. Life is continuous. Life must be carried on. What I’ve learned thus far is that life is the following, leading, and the growth in all of us. Whether we are following our loved ones, or just following our hearts. We all have a steady beating we call life. It’s the beating in our hearts. The night before life goes on, I remember this. I remember those four years of college, and all the wonderful memories. I carry on, following, leading, and most importantly, growing, because life is continuous. Life is a roller coaster, and I’m enjoying the ride.

Women: Be your own kind of beautiful

Nowadays, the pressures young women feel to be “someone” and figure out who they are can be overwhelming. Women feel pressures to be a perfect soccer mom, or a perfect wife or girlfriend. We’re really just looking for acceptance in everything we do and everywhere we go. Think about it, the first thing we do in a conversation is discover similarities with someone. We love having things in common with others, especially other women. Women relate to other women for so many reasons, and we love to talk.. So, why do some women feel the pressures of their society? Maybe it’s acceptance. Maybe we should just accept ourselves already and be our own kind of beautiful.

I’m talking to the women who try to be perfect and don’t even realize it, me included. Nearly no one today wants to be perfect, unless you’re Kim Kardashian, but even she accepts herself for who she is. It can be exhausting to excel in perfection. So why do we do it? Is it because we want people to think positively about us? Or is it that we don’t hear enough positive comments that we thrive to be perfect, or do we just want to please everyone? What is it? I think it has to do with acceptance, and not just others’ acceptance either, because most of us accept everyone for who they are. Those who try to be perfect haven’t fully accepted themselves the way they are, flaws and all. This is why they continue the attempt of being perfect and/or improving when they don’t need to.

Why attempt to look for something that is already there? We were born beautiful and unique, every single one of us. We all have flaws, curves, and tempers, but together, it creates us, a vintage kind of beautiful. The thing that we need to discover in ourselves is what we like and who we are, not how others will perceive us. By doing so we will accept ourselves. It may seem selfish, but it’s not. When we learn what we love, such as loving kindness because we love seeing smiles on friends and family, we end up learning about each other, too.

We all need to stop mastering the art of perfection in everything, and start learning our flaws and imperfections. They make us who we are-our own kind of beautiful. Embrace these flaws and learn to love who you are. Whether that’s someone who hates to cook and clean or whatever one might dislike or not be so good at. It’s a flaw you should embrace. Accept yourself because others already have-and even if they haven’t, your own acceptance for yourself is more powerful than what anyone else has to think of you. Be your own kind of beautiful.

My Secret SOPHi Nail Polish


Have you ever wanted to paint your nails but you were stuck inside and didn’t want to make the whole house smell like a harsh chemical? I think we’ve all been there.

I used to avoid painting my nails because of this. However, since I’ve discovered SOPHi nail polish from the amazing Kris Carr website, I now am not hesitant to paint my nails inside my home. This is because SOPHi has no toxic smell whatsoever.

It’s even free of toxins and comes in some pretty summer colors. SOPHi is also a vegan nail polish being cruelty-free and made in the U.S.A. It does not contain phthalates, BPA, or ethyl acetate and no nasty formaldehyde.

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I could tell right away that it was different than other nail polishes because it was like painting (feeling more water-based) instead of applying a chemical substance. It does chip off after a day or two, but I easily apply right over to touch up. I really love this nail polish and have even started gifting it to friends and family because of its unique feature of no smell.

Now you all know my secret healthy nail polish. Go ahead and get started on your healthy beauty living as well! I get mine from Amazon (another reason to love Amazon Prime for free 1-day shipping) Enjoy!

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When you love what you have….

for blog postWhen you love what you have, you have everything you need. I hold strongly to these words that are written on a sign over my bed as a daily reminder. Being grateful means by definition to warmly or deeply appreciate the kindness or benefit being received. It’s not only being thankful as the dictionary states, but being grateful also is pleasing to the mind. It’s something you can take in with all the senses. It’s completely refreshing and one of my constant reminders when things get tough. Not to worry. We always have each other.

Life has hit me friends. The real world that is. And every time I feel like giving up, I turn to this quote. I physically turn to those I’m grateful for and the simple sight of my loved ones refreshes every doubt or trouble I have.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the life of always wanting “more.” Maybe it’s not things or money, maybe it’s experiences we want. Or maybe it’s more from life itself, like that boyfriend of nine years who hasn’t proposed yet. Wait, maybe that’s just me. Anyways. It’s really easy to always want more. Currently, my boyfriend and I are in the process of buying a home and as easy as it is to get caught up in all the excitement, I instead slow down. I mean, yes, I do want a house for our little family, but I also love what we have right now too. But, in the midst of all this waiting and back and forth with realtors and loan officers and paperwork and saving, I keep to this quote that hangs above my headboard.

When you love what you have…then you have everything you need.

So, even if this house doesn’t go through for some reason or another, hey, it happens, life will still be just as good because I already love what I have. Maybe it’s the “millennial” talking in me, the voice inside that all too many like to criticize. Yeah, maybe my boyfriend and I have been together for nine years and haven’t got married and had a dozen babies. Yeah, maybe we are buying a house for our cat. But, at least we are happy with what we have. I mean, why wouldn’t we be? We have each other and that’s all we need.

So wherever you are at with your life, just remember to be grateful for what you already have. Keep striving to be and do better, but always remember to slow down and truly realize what you already have is beautiful.

P.S. We got the house!

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One Raindrop

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Inside one raindrop the world changes.

Beginning as droplets on chipped windowsills

bringing their forgiveness, happiness, or sadness.

Not because the translucent angel tears

seep emotions out with the rain,

but because it is the rain.

Sunny days are beautiful, but the rain…

the rain reveals true feelings

while rainbows are proof of promise.

Such a beautiful thing in this world is

raindrops on soft and fragrant flower petals

the kind that only bloom for a week or two all year.

It’s a dream.

A dream that replays like a favorite black and white movie.

Maybe it’s a memory? And finally waking up is inevitable

while the sun of a new day beams down its glory.

It’s that one little raindrop filled with life…

that just disappears.

It evaporates into the air

or soaks its way into the stem of that flower.

Here it will forever live on and come back in memory.

Only on another rainy day

will I see that one raindrop,

and be chasing the lilac dream.

Happiness Blooms From Within

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Last night, before the sun went down, I watched as six robins flew freely about, singing and flocking their feathers in stray water puddles. I always love to experience the sight of robins after winter. There’s something magical about a change of the season. Spring is nearly here, and soon a mamma robin will be nesting right under my balcony from the same nest left year after year.

Today is my day off, and as I wait to see those robins again, I sip my coffee slower, not gulping it down to the last drop and jumping for the second cup. It wasn’t too long ago that I had stopped drinking coffee all together (a whole twelve days). Now I limit myself two to four ounces daily. It’s just enough to satisfy my craving, but not so much as to cause acid reflux or anxiety. It kinda sucks to get older and have to deal with acid reflux. After the new year something clicked in me and I decided to start making changes. A ton of changes. Call it my new years resolutions times two!

For awhile now I’ve been a mostly all organic grocery consumer, and very particular about what goes in my household as far as toxins go. But I guess this new year has challenged me more so. It became so that I was changing everything. I mean EVERYTHING! I got rid of our microwave and bought a new toaster oven. It’s actually amazing! I used my 40% off at Kohls to purchase a KitchenAid brand. I got rid of the last of our aluminum pots and pans and bought a really nice pair of All-Clad D5 Set of 2 French Skillets 9 Inch & 11 Inch which I bought at Williams-Sonoma, but amazon has them on sale often as well. Now my kitchen is stocked with Le Creuset and All-Clad cookware, and I completely love it! If you want to know more about this cookware checkout “A lesson on cookware” to see why I love these brands.

My changes didn’t stop there…

After my mom went through breast cancer treatment, I learned about wire-free bras so of course I changed out all my bras, too. Even all my candles are now only beeswax, though I’m craving to get some really good smelling soy candles. I found myself doing so much research about what’s healthy and what’s not. It was almost overwhelming. Henry said it’s just a phase I was going through after seeing my mom go through what she had and I believe that. It was hard, and maybe this is a way I cope. But, of course, my changes didn’t stop there…

I decided to make a dreadful doctor appointment to remove a mole on my back. No one wants to do this, ever. But it was here when I realized something. Right here, when I was cooking my oatmeal on the stove instead of the microwave, having Henry change my bandage on my back from where the mole was, and trying hard to overcome the sluggish feeling I was having after quitting coffee. I had realized that it was too much and I was frustrated because I couldn’t recognize my lifestyle anymore. I was trying hard, yet again, to be and do everything perfect. And that is a scary thing.

A huge part of me is glad that I made those changes though, because I learned a lot. I learned that I can overcome it. I learned that I can set limits on my coffee consumption. I learned that it’s okay to not be perfect. I learned that it’s a good thing to do things we are afraid to do, like make those doctor appointments and just go through with it. Because now I can be excited for our vacation to Florida and Door County to wear any bikini I want and not have to hide the mole on my back. Now, I can cook real food and reheat it without a microwave.

My decision to embrace these changes led me to a little spring inspiration. I took a shopping trip to the Jo-Ann store and picked up a copy of The Magnolia Journal (the only magazine where I’ve actually read all of it). I went with Henry’s mom and found a magnificent spider plant. My favorite houseplant for many reasons-one being a great air purifier. But while I was shopping I found a beautiful quote, “Happiness blooms from within.” Yes, it sure does. Happiness can be found by changing things in life, sure. But, don’t change too much, because we are who we are. Try changing things that would make your life better. And just remember, not all change is bad. Sometimes that change can bring new happiness into your life.