Monday, October 8, 2018

i'm not always busy, and that's okay.

This weekend, Ryan went golfing in a neighboring city with a few of his friends, so I was left alone with the pooches. I was a blob for most of the day on Saturday, with the promise of dinner + movie plans with girlfriends later in the evening. When those fell through last minute because my friend got super sick, I felt like I was at a bit of a loss. On top of that, a lot of my other friends were out of town, and I just didn't feel up for hopping county lines to visit my parents. So unexpectedly, it was just me, myself, and the dogs.

And normally, I'd be fine with that. But because I'd been straight blobbin' all day, having only left the apartment for a quick Target run (for movie theater candy + new coffee) and a mini gym sesh, I was feeling unreasonably bummed. And you know when you're just "in a mood?"

I. Was. In. It. 

At Target, I could feel myself shooting RBF glares left and right, my workout felt contrived, and even the smallest decisions felt life-altering and overwhelming (do I go to the mall? do I go to my friend's place 30 minutes away? do I continue to blob it up and feel sorry for myself?!?!?).

Because here's the thing: we live in a cute little (emphasis on little) apartment, complete with original hardwood flooring, two-toned gray walls, and white french doors with gold details and faux-crystal knobs. We have nine windows just in our bedroom, twinkly lights, and trinkets. It's charming and adorable, and for the most part, we love it.

But we rented it for the area, not necessarily for its functionality. And the downside of living in the middle of a hustle-bustle-something-always-going-on type of area is just that: something is always going on, someone is always going out, etc. AKA it's a big source of #FOMO (fear of missing out, in case you didn't know!), which is so dumb, and it's something I'm really trying to work on...because contrary to what your Instagram feed leads you to believe, it's okay to chill out by yourself on a Saturday night.

Long story longer, I snapped myself out of the funk by making it a real "treat yo'self" type of night. I ordered the yummiest sushi from Uber Eats (my personal code is "eats-samanthar538" if you want $5 off!), walked my happy butt to the grocery store to pick up a bottle of wine, and set myself up with Game of Thrones. By 7:30 p.m., all my twinkly lights were on, a candle was lit, and I was in cozy mode, and I didn't care about "missing out" on anything.




A lot of times, especially as a blogger, I feel this constant nagging to be productive - to establish new routines, to brain storm big ideas, to be busy. Sometimes, especially post-graduate school, I'm simply not busy, and sometimes, I don't feel like being intentional with my time...and I think that's okay. Those are the times when we discover our new favorite novel, or binge our new favorite show. I think we're all familiar with the glorification of "being busy" in this day and age, but that's another post for another day.

When was the last time you allowed yourself to do absolutely nothing productive? And then on top of that - to not feel guilty about it?



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Monday, October 1, 2018

currently | september 2018



We’ve already hopped right on out of September, and now we’re entering one of my favorite times of the year -  alllllll the holidays. In October, I’ll be celebrating 5 years with Ryan, starting my new job (hopefully...), and getting involved in Halloween shenanigans in some form of another.  I’m a day late and a dollar short, but here’s a little “current” update, since I’ve been a bit MIA around here:

Reading: Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan. This book has great reviews, but I'm struggling to get into it. I'm nearly halfway through, so I'm committing to sticking it out! 2018 has been the year of frivolous reads, so I'm trying to get back into mysteries and thrillers. Up next: Sharp Objects (so I can finally watch the show, of course).

Watching: I just finished The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime (just in time for it to win eight Emmys!), and GUYS. I HAVEN'T BEEN THIS OBSESSED WITH A SHOW IN SO LONG. Set in the 1950s, it follows Miriam "Midge" Maisel, a New York housewife who decides to become a standup comic after her husband leaves her. It's perfectly witty with fantastic characters and a unique storyline, and I am so ready for season two. We also just finished The Handmaid's Tale, and just...what the...can we not.

Buying: As of 8 a.m. this morning, I bought a package of La Bang body oil, as recommended by my favorite fitness YouTuber, Sarah's Day. I'm awful about moisturizing anything on my body besides my face, so I'm hoping a new oil will kick start the habit (her code LOVESARAH gives 15% off, just as a helpful heads up). Also recently bought (affiliate links to follow...):
- High-waisted jeggings in a darker denim wash and black (this link says black, but they appear to be khaki...weird). I've never bought a pair of high-waist pants in my life, and I'm actually pretty excited about these! Like many, I'm loving Target's Universal Thread brand, and both of these babies are on sale for just $15. I almost sized up, but I found that they stretched pretty well over my tummy. My "next size up" had more of a legging feel with some excessive material around my hip area, if that's helpful!
These earrings, but in a darker copper color that I can't seem to find online. They're my first "crawler" type of earrings, and I'm obsessed.
- This matte lip creme by Milan in the color Loved. Maybe slightly drying, but the color lasts a long time, and at $6-7 a pop, can you really go wrong? 

Getting ready for: My first job as a full-fledged speech-language pathologist! I was verbally offered a split elementary school position with the county this week, with a formal offer to follow later this week. I'm nervous to get started, but also super excited! I officially put in my two weeks with my serving job (on a pick-up only basis for the next month or two, "just in case"), and while I'll miss my coworkers, I am beyond ready for this change.

Saying: Yes to the dress! Contrary to popular belief, I actually had no idea what I wanted my wedding dress to look like, so dress shopping was a combination of exciting and only slightly overwhelming. It's another post for another day, but I had such an amazing experience with The Dressing Room in St. Petersburg and got a perfect dress "off the rack," aka 50% off. WHAT A LIFE.


September was a month full of family time, as my sister has been staying with my parents (she lives in Bulgaria) since September 11th. She's leaving today, but it's been a trip full of bargain hunting, dress shopping, wine drinking, and laughing.

Here's to October, as to inch closer and closer to the end of 2018!



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Thursday, September 6, 2018

on negative self-talk & reaching your goals.


I never thought I was a victim of "negative self-talk." That's not to say I don't have my own personal struggles; everyone does. But I didn't look at my list of "life goals" and think that I fell into the category of, "I suck at this, I'm not good enough, etc" because what's there to get down about? All of my goals were safe, attainable, manageable (get a job, buy a house, etc.).

Then I would read my friend's blog posts about writing down goals, reaching for the stars, going after what you want, etc. and I would think to myself, "well, that doesn't pertain to me. I don't have any big, unreachable dreams."

YIKES, I hate even typing that out...but hear me out.

Growing up, I wanted to be an actress. Actually, I just wanted to be Hilary Duff, but that's beside the point. I wanted to act. I took acting classes, signed up for drama every semester in high school, even begged my mom let me join one of those scammy "agencies." I looked up auditions for random stuff on craigslist, trying to work my way in.

My parents, however, are realists in the truest sense. They weren't about to up and move me to Los Angeles to pursue a far-out dream in my early teenage years (ahem, Taylor Swift's parents). I was constantly reminded that breaking into the acting world was beyond difficult, pretty much impossible. It wasn't that my parents were telling me, "you can't do it." But on the same hand, they weren't telling me that I was going to be the next Julia Roberts, so inevitably, we fought about the state of my stardom (or severe lack thereof). Long story short, they said finish college first and see what happens.

Based upon the sole fact that I've probably never mentioned acting on this blog, I think you'll find that I didn't pursue it. I'm not entirely sure what happened along the way. Maybe I got distracted by boyfriends and jobs. A part of me feels like, because it didn't fall into my lap, I let it fall to the wayside. It got too scary, or too difficult, or felt too far-fetched. And along the way, I became the kind of person who scoffed at my own dreams and said "right, good luck with that."

Again, YIKES. 

Acting is one thing. But what I haven't realized until very recently is that my scoffing takes on many forms in my daily life. A little voice in my head will tell me "oh no, we're not cut out for that," or "nope, can't handle it." My own personal brand of negative-self talk! I've told myself that I'm not cut out for the medical side of speech-language pathology, even though I successfully completed an internship at a hospital and maintained a complete caseload by myself. I've told myself that I could never sell art, or write a real book, or do anything outlandish when in truth, it's because I haven't actively tried for more than an hour, or a week. That is negative self-talk, if I've ever heard it. And I'll tell you what...

I'm over it.

Granted, I don't want this post to cast me in an entirely negative, lazy light. Let the record show that, for the last three years, my goal was to get into graduate school, graduate with a master's degree, and become a speech-language pathologist. All of which (da-da-da-daaaa) have been accomplished. But now I'm in the market for new dreams, and I'm in the process of figuring out what those are, whether they're easily attainable or totally outlandish. And once I figure that out, I want to start taking steps to really pursue them.

Because the truth is, the people who consistently pursue their seemingly "out-of-reach" dreams are a hell of a lot closer to reaching them than the people who sit around and wait for things to happen. In this day and age, we very often see someone's highlight reel with a less-well documented struggle. A thriving actor may have taken hundreds of minuscule roles before landing even a supporting role.  A watercolor print artist may have spent thousands of hours mixing colors and trying different techniques before something finally stuck and someone took notice. An author may write ten 500-page books before writing one that really "speaks" to the public.

My point (mostly to myself, but also to you): don't listen to the little voice inside your head telling you that you aren't cut out for something. You are literally the only thing stopping you. Scribble down your goals, think about what you need to get there, and just start. 






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Friday, August 31, 2018

looking back on summer 2018


These summer storms have been keeping me pensive lately. In some ways, I feel like summer is just beginning, but looking back, it's actually nuts that so much has happened over the past few months (both good and bad). Today, I'm only sharing the good.

My summer has consisted of...

Graduating with my master's. Obviously one of the biggest moments of my summer (and probably life). It's been a long three years back in school and working at a restaurant again, but this chapter of my life is finally coming to a close.



Getting engaged! It's been almost three months since Ryan proposed. Since then, we've been easing into the wedding planning, but we've still knocked a few things out! More on that to follow in a later post.





Taylor Swift's Reputation tour with my girlfriends. In case you missed it on Instagram, we all dressed up in a variation of matching "I Heart TS" shirts (like from the Look What You Made Me Do music video, of course!) with high waisted shorts (I got these from Amazon and they are strangely amazing) and danced the night away. Despite our great seats, I managed to leave my glasses at home, so I couldn't exactly see everything the way I would have liked to. I scrolled through Taylor Swift hashtags the next morning and actually felt FOMO about a concert I attended. Sigh.




Staycationing at the Sandpearl on Clearwater Beach with girlfriends (again). Following graduation, Ryan and I initially wanted to take a trip together to celebrate. However, it's been a stressful time at work for him, so I ended up doing a little "staycation" for one night at a beautiful resort on one of the local beaches. We brunched, we beached, we conquered.


Blogger/"influencer" events. While I hardly feel like a blogger anymore, I've managed to get myself invited to a few local events which always keeps my spirits high. I love connecting with other bloggers and influencers in the area, and most times we get to do some pretty cool stuff together. I got to make this future house/wedding sign at AR Workshop, and hopped around downtown St. Pete for an exclusive block party featuring some of the cutest spots in the area.





Lots of reading! Now that I'm done with school, I've had alllll the time to read. This month I finished up Little Fires Everywhere, To All the Boys I Loved Before (so I could watch the movie...duh), and Firefly Lane, and now I'm reading Vanishing Girls. Guys, I really tried to get into Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis but I just could not. I totally get the appeal, but it simply wasn't my cup of tea. I ended up returning it after getting about 50 pages in...and then I got a new pair of shoes instead. Ohhh, Target.

My birthday at the beach! I had my heart set on a beach party to ring in my 27th birthday this year, and it did not disappoint. Neither did this one piece from Aerie. Still obsessed!





What were some of your favorite moments this summer?




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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

a little update in my newest season of life



I'm not quite sure how we've gotten past the midway point of August without so much as a blog post about me graduating (though I'm sure you're over hearing about it via Instagram), but here we are. I am a fresh little graduated petunia, and I'm scared out of my mind. But we will save that for a later date, yeah?

August has actually thrown me for an emotional loop. About a week after graduation, my grandad passed away. He'd been battling cancer for a number of years - was in remission for awhile before it came back and metastasized - but he's been in a lot of pain for the past year, so while I'm heartbroken, I'm also a tad relieved. I'm fortunate enough to be able to say that this is my first time dealing with the loss of a loved one, and it's definitely been a process. I posted a little something about it on my Instagram story on Sunday, which felt weird. I felt like I needed to acknowledge it in some way, but for the most part, I've been trying to keep it all pretty personal. So this is me acknowledging it again - not to say, "hey, feel sorry for me!" but to say "hey, sometimes social media makes it seem like things are pretty and perfect and all is going well in the world, when really, I'm crashing in ways that I don't necessarily want to talk about...but this is proof that it is happening." Does that make sense?

Shout out to Ryan for being a damn trooper during all of this - from hand holding to laundry, making dinner, and being on pooch patrol. I will say that I really lucked out in the life partner category.

In other lighter news, it's certainly weird to know that I'm not going back to school this week for the first time in three years. In some ways, the last few years felt like the longest of my life, but for the most part, they flew by. I've been job hunting and trying to find the right "fit," but I've also been trying to relax and enjoy this little season of unemployment. I'm still serving tables until then, so in between shifts I've been going to the gym, reading books, and getting together with friends.

To cap off this mixed up post, I figured I'd drop a little "currently" closer to keep you up to date with the frivolous bits in my life:

Reading: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah and Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.
Watching: Not a whole lot, honestly. I need to find something to binge watch.
Buying: These, these (which I would check your local store for...I bought them for $6.88 before the coupon!), and these from Target because they have a 30% off flat sandals coupon on Cartwheel (until August 25!). I nevvver buy shoes, so getting all three of these for less than $40 was a real treat. Additionally, I bought an Enso ring for work/the gym because I am deathly afraid of ring avulsion. I went for the pyramid stackable in pink sand.
Establishing: a morning routine. Well, attempting to, anyway. More on that later.
Attending (?): Taylor Swift's Reputation tour! I went with a group of girlfriends last week and to no surprise, Taylor killed it. I left my glasses at home (womp womp), so aside from the giant screen, I couldn't see her very well, but I had such a blast.
Booking: wedding things! If you follow along on Instagram, you'll see that we signed a contract with a venue in downtown St. Pete, and we are so pumped! Now to book everything else...yikes.






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