• Advice

    5 Ways to Live a Happier Life

    Happy Thursday Friends!  There is no way to be happy every single day of your life.  Things go wrong, your run late, and sometimes your day is just “off”.  I wanted to share five ways I have found helpful to living a happier life.

    1. Do what you love.  By doing what you love, often, you can live a happier life.  There are hobbies or interests that we all love, and making time for them in our schedules will allow us to be happy.  It is so easy to get too busy with what life brings you, that you place hobbies and interests on the back burner.  Just make time to truly do what you love.  For those of you that do what you love every day, that is another gift in itself!
    2. Practice being thankful. Happiness can actually be found all around you, if you just take a minute to look.  Sometimes writing a list or picking out 3 things you  are thankful for each morning can jumpstart your day!  It is so easy to compare and think of what your life may lack in this world of comparison, but each person has so many unique talents, treasures and things to be truly thankful for. Appreciation is a great source of happiness.
    3. Smile. Yes, it is really that simple.  Start smiling more.  There is nothing that says happy more than a smile.
    4. Rid your life of the negative thoughts. In today’s world we are always comparing ourselves to others, and seeing our flaws.  But what we do not realize is the huge negative consequences this has for our life.  Each time you have a negative thought or feeling, try replacing it with a positive thought or word of affirmation.  You are enough, you are important, you are doing great etc. Also, surrounding yourself with friends and family that lift you up helps too.
    5. Be Youself. How easy is that?  It is easy to be unhappy when you are pretending to be someone else, or trying to live someone elses life.  Being Authentically and Unapologetically Yourself is pure happiness.  It comes easy, and the rewards to being yourself are never ending.

    I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week, and can practices some of this to start living a happier life.

    XO, 

    Kayla

  • Advice,  Lifestyle

    Just Another Manic Monday

    Is it Just Another Manic Monday? I used to be the Queen Bee of Manic Mondays, and let me tell you, those days are long gone.  I have finally decided to start being a planner… and for anyone else who knows me, I am the opposite of a planner naturally.  I am the type of person that can go with the flow, take random trips without a specific destination, and just fly by the seat of my pants.  My Fiance, however, is a planner.  He loves to have a very strict schedule, workout at the same time every day, plan his meals, and it allows him to structure his life. What I have come to realize, is that I can still have fun and make last minute plans while adding structure into my day to day life.

    It all starts with little things, like doing your laundry every Sunday, working out on a schedule, and using a calendar app to organize your meetings!  By adding structure, the first thing that I noticed is that I had a lot less anxiety and worry about upcoming events.  I felt more “in control” and it allowed me to feel like I had a game plan.  Mondays are just like jumping in the deep end of a swimming pool.  If you have a game plan with a little structure, you are jumping in with floaties on, ready for what is ahead.  If you just throw yourself into the Monday pool without any preparation, no game plan, no list of reminders, you will often times find yourself sinking to the bottom of the pool unable to stay afloat.

    Whether you have a corporate job, an internship, you are a full time student, stay at home mom, fitness instructor, self employed, and so on… planning can add a healthy balance to your life.  Mental Health is so important, yet it is usually placed behind our physical health.  Why would we do that?  By focusing on helping yourself stay organized, planning, and adding structure to your life, your mind will thank you.  Everyone has had an anxious moment, fear of missing a deadline or assignment, forgot to check something off the to-do list, was late to a meeting, and all of this could have been solved by gearing our minds with the proper plan.  This is not to say that you will never have a bad day and your life will be sunshine and rainbows, because plans do go wrong.  Bad days do happen.  By taking small steps in planning your individual tasks, those “bad” days will be few and far between.

    Tips that have helped me on a Manic Monday (Or Tuesday, Or Wednesday.. or ANY day!)

    • The night before, plan out your to-do list and make sure you are prepared.
      • For me, this means packing a gym bag, work clothes, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and my school essentials.
    • Make sure you have taken a look at your Calendar.
      • For me, this means making sure I am ready for that 8 am sales meeting, and study session at the Library after work.
    • Make sure you have gas in your car.
      • Ok, really though, I used to be SO bad about this.  I always make sure I have half a tank or more in case of emergencies.  Plus, running late on a Monday to only find out your are on Empty is never fun.
    • When you bring food, drink or anything into your car, make sure you toss the trash the same day.  This will prevent clutter in your car, so things do not get out of hand.
      • I used to leave coffee cups in my car cup holders, just toss it when you are done!
    • FOOD
      • Make sure you have healthy snacks, just in case you are stuck somewhere unexpected.  Prevents *HANGRY attitudes.
    • Water is just as important as food.  Drink water often.

    Happy Monday to you!  I hope you take charge of your week!

  • Advice

    Let’s Talk Confidence

    If you follow me on Instagram, you may have see my recent poll called “What do you struggle most with?”.  A large number of you voted for confidence as opposed to happiness, so let’s talk confidence!

    There are so many topics that you can dive into when it comes to discussing confidence. When picking the following areas, I connected them with my personal experiences and feelings in hopes that you may be able to relate to one or two.

    Confidence Starts when Comparison Stops

    One of the biggest and most influential things to your self confidence is comparison. Comparison is a little voice in your head that see’s the best in everyone else and the worst in yourself.  Comparison is like a tick, and if you allow it to consume your thoughts and actions it will suck all the life out of your confidence.   Being a girl, I can be the first to admit that it is the easiest thing to compare myself to other girls.  We see photos on social media, or even people at their best and think “If only my body looked like that”, “If only I had longer hair”, “If only I went to the gym 7 days a week like her”, “If only I had a dream career like that”… and the comparison goes on and on.  The problem with this is the following:

    1. When you compare you lose sight of your own worth.
    2. When you compare you neglect to realize that we are all created different for a reason, how boring would it be to all be exactly the same inside and out?
    3. When you compare, it starts to consume your thoughts and you will fixate on the wrong priorities in life.
    4. When you compare, you can’t appreciate your own accomplishments.
    5. When you compare, you become insecure in yourself.

    How can you overcome comparison?  By choosing to become aware of who you are, what success you have, what your strengths are, what you do best and letting that provide joy and meaning to your life.  You define you, not anyone else.  With that said, step one would be to start catching yourself in the act.  The next time you are comparing yourself, stop, and evaluate.  Acknowledge what may have triggered this comparison in the first place. Was it jealousy or insecurity?  Learn to appreciate what another has, even if it is different from your own.  Sounds silly, but let me give you a real life example of what I mean.

    So a girl walks into a room that you have never met, you immediately notice that she is pretty, has perfect hair, is skinny, and her makeup is on point.  If your mind tells you to immediately tear her down, this is a sign that we are insecure in ourselves and must point out her “freckles” to make ourselves feel better about our own looks. What should realistically happen is you either compliment her or just let her be.  I have been there and torn another person down in order to make myself feel better and trust me, you gain nothing.  It makes you bitter and “ugly” on the inside, plus why can’t we all appreciate the beauty in others?

    To tie it all together, just make it a golden rule not to compare yourself to anyone, for any reason.

    Confidence Comes From Within

    It is true, confidence really does come from within.  Some people will urge you to “fake it til you make it” which is all good, but it is not a permanent solution.  You must truly believe in yourself on the inside and the outside in order to be confident.   Personally, I have struggled with external confidence, and I am sure that I am not the only one.  I would find myself comparing my appearance to friends, celebrities and even random people, then thinking to myself how I should look more like them and less like how God made me.  Naturally I have insanely curly hair, I am talking Shirley Temple Curls you guys!  I know, I know, I have been told all my life that “people pay good money to have their hair curled”.  Well that is great for THEM, but I have always wanted stick straight hair.  I am sure I have even prayed for straight hair at some point, because I was so unhappy with what I was given.  Shame on me for not being grateful that I even had hair.  The point I am trying to make is everyone has something about them that they do not like or are insecure about. Maybe it is your crazy curly hair, your height, weight, eye color, nose, etc.  Whatever your insecurity is, take it head on and embrace it.  Embrace the fact that no one is perfect and you have to learn that you really can’t change everything in life to fit a perfect image that you have let the world tell you, you need to look like.  It is so funny to me, because without reality tv, without makeup, without social media, we would all suffer a whole lot less with insecurity.  Especially those that are materialistic and external.

    Insecurity can exist on the inside

    So maybe you are one of the few that are completely satisfied with how they look. Or perhaps you have over come the obstacles of vain insecurities on self image, but you still feel insecure about things internally.  There are a few reasons that you may feel insecure on the inside:

    1)You feel like you do not measure up.

    2) You feel like you do not have many true friends or a good circle to rely on.

    3) You may not be as in tune with you Faith as you once were

    4) Maybe life has been overwhelming lately and thrown curve balls that have just made you lose purpose for your life.

    I have been there, and I do not want anyone to feel bad for me or take pity on me because I am truly blessed and have nothing to complain about.  I am telling you a little story so you can relate to struggles in small and big things.

    So I graduated High School in 2013 and immediately went to college to pursue my Associates Degree.  During this time I was working full time and taking four classes a semester.  This was all new to me and I was ready to take on the world (so I thought).  One semester in, I realized that being an adult also came with an immense amount of responsibility.  Thankfully I lived at home with my parents and did not have the stress of rent/heavy bills.  I was suddenly struck with the reality of real time management, I truly think this is when I had my first experience with Anxiety!  I could not just wake up whenever I wanted, have complete financial freedom, and being an adult was not the glamorous life I had dreamed of.  Fast forward 4 years, and I am about to graduate with my Bachelors Degree (go me!!) and the thing I have struggled most with through the years is comparison.  I would constantly see old friends that had graduated High School with me already getting their degrees last Summer.  I would think “what am I doing wrong, they must be smarter than me and have everything prioritized right in life”.  I was wrong, sure I dropped from 4 classes a semester to three while still maintaining a full time job, but the people that I was comparing my education level of success to were no where near where I was in life.  We all came from different situations, some of them never worked a day in their lives, some of them came into college as a sophomore due to credits, and almost all of them were in a different program of study.  The point is, what does it really matter if you graduate a year after someone else?  You have a completely different plan for your life than they do, and everyone has a different way to achieve their goals in life.  Instead of being grateful of my situation that I was able to attend a University, I was worried about keeping up with my peers and what others had thought of me.  I was letting them control my confidence and how I measured my own success.

    By strengthening my Faith, having  a great support system during this time (Shoutout to my Fiance and close friends), and focusing on appreciation of my life I have truly conquered internal confidence, and you can too!

    Physical Confidence

    My whole life I have never struggled with being over weight, but let me tell you right now that it has nothing to do with how confident you are in your image.  I may have been thin, but nothing has brought me more physical confidence than having a workout regime that is specific to my goals.  It is so important to workout for YOURSELF and to feel good.  Whether you workout at home, run outside, join a gym or take a fitness class, do something to better yourself and maintain your overall health.  Without overwhelming you with a ton of health benefits that working out has to offer, I will stay on track with Confidence.  When you are consistent, eating right and setting personal goals for your body you will start to notice how confidence slowly peaks in your mind.  You start to like the results you see, such as muscle definition, maybe you are becoming stronger (strength training) or more flexible (yoga/pilates), whatever motivates you… there lies your confidence.  My recommendation to you would be to set realistic goals and achieve them at your own pace.  You should only compare yourself to YOU anyways!

    Last but not least, Social Media can play a huge role in your confidence.  I think it is important to not fixate on the images we see on our screens and focus on what really matters.  I cannot even begin to imagine how many photoshopped highlight reels young women are looking at today.  Something to keep in mind, is that social media is truly a highlight reel of the “best pieces of life”.  It is not reality, but it is a create place to come together and share photos and creations!

    On that note, I wish you all a wonderful rest of the week!

    Dress: (Similar) HERE & HERE

    Shoes: HERE

  • Advice,  Lifestyle

    Tips for your Monday-Friday Grind

    Do you ever feel like it is the end of the weekend and you have the upcoming week ahead, filled with so many new goals to eat better, be more productive or overcome a new obstacle?  I sure do.  I often times tell myself Sunday night, that I am going to meal prep, workout each morning, keep up with my responsibilities (like a clean car and room) and then somehow our perfect plan is thrown off track by one event.  When this happens it is so important to know two things, 1) That life will never be “perfect” so we should not expect our plans to always go as we desire and 2)Use the following tips to help you stay on the Monday-Friday Grind.

    So let’s jump right in, to Tip #1:

    Write things down. I cannot emphasize this enough, for years I have been going through life with a full time school and work load just basing my responsibilities on memory or the infamous “I’ll do that (enter tedious task here) in a minute.   Well… that minute will pass, or the phone will ring and that to-do item will suddenly slip through the cracks.  So write things down, not some things, write EVERYTHING down.  It becomes a habit, and will improve your productivity as well as relieve stress.  Nothing feels better than checking something off your list and feeling like you have accomplished something for the day.

    Tip #2

    Be Prepared. This is another good one.  Whatever days works best for you, (for me it is Sunday Evening) I take five minutes and simply plan ahead for my week.  I look at what appointments, classes, workouts, birthday parties, family dinners and so on, that I might have going on for the week and make sure that I am truly planning ahead for what the week has to bring.  I want to make sure that I am giving myself enough time to finish my assignments at work and school, fitting in a little “me” time at the gym, having a little fun with friends and loved ones all while making sure my life has a healthy balance.  Bonus Tip *If you always give yourself more than enough time for everything you have scheduled, when unforeseen events pop up, you can remain as calm/cool as a cucumber, because you got this! 

    Tip #3

    Drink Water. I will be the first person to say I do not enjoy water, and you are not going to see me walking around with a gallon jug all day.  However, when you get up in the morning grab yourself a cup of water and just drink it.  This will form a healthy habit and get you started on the right foot for your day.  Drinking water is great for working out, to keep you hydrated, or maybe you are feeling worn down halfway through your day.  Replacing soda’s or other beverages with a glass of water can truly give your body what it needs and keep you strong throughout the day.  Something that my mom has always told me was “If you are drinking water only when your dying of thirst you are keeping your body in a constant state of dehydration”.  Some things that have helped me add more water into my regimen are 1) Keeping a bottle/glass of water near me at all times and taking sips of it frequently, 2) adding lemon juice to my water to add some flavor, 3) When ordering from a restaurant, always take them up on a water before your meal.

    Tip #4

    Journal, Write in a devotional or take time to reflect.  (Better yet, do all 3) When life is a constant stream of go-go-go it is nice to take time to write down your thoughts, reflect on your day or even dive into a daily devotional.  Whether you have time to do this in the morning, or keep it on your night stand for after your day is done, it is truly refreshing.  Sometimes we need a little spark of positivity to brighten up our day and see our situation in a new light.  Other times, reflecting and journaling can spark new goals or creative ventures in your life.

    Tip #5

    The One Minute Rule, this is something that I actually read in a blog post by the gorgeous Olivia Rink she wrote about how you do not put anything off for “later” that you could do in a minute or less.  This is a really awesome tool to use, because it makes sure those little to-do’s do not start to pile up.  Defeat procrastination by using the one minute rule on a daily basis.

    By using these tips, you will be able to stay on your grind all week long.  Just like so many of you, my life is overbooked, and there is never enough time in the day to get everything done.  Adulting is not always easy!

    Wishing everyone a blessed week.

    Cute Journals and My Favorite Devotionals

  • Advice,  Fashion,  Lifestyle

    10 ways to Shop on a Budget

    Welcome back to the Blog!  Today I am sharing 10 Ways to Shop on a Budget for clothes, groceries, furniture and more.  You can apply the following tips to any form of shopping! (I made it into a cute graphic for you all)

    Let me know which one of these tips works for you!

     

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