Every day we wake up with a new day, a new to start over to write our own. Each day the sun rises and so do we. We wake up to an awesome day that awaits us. Each day we are blessed with a new seed to grow into a beautiful new tree.
We can have it all just with a new mindset. A new mindset that our “tree” has new leaves fresh and crisp ready for that new day. Our trees are all different in there own ways, constructed vein by vein in each leaf, branch by branch down to the trunk to support and hold up everything. Our tree is special. It’s leaves may shed, to leave us with something bare but that’s just it— they shed for something greater. Day by day we are graced with new. New ideas, new support, new growth. We may run into trouble or doubt but one thing remains: each new leaf to make our tree is beautiful. A tree doesn’t doubt how to grow it just does. Our path and growth is planned for us and we just need to do. Just do what’s best for us in order for us to grow. To grow into something magnificent and detailed in our own unique ways.
This isn’t my typical blog post but I felt inspired by J Lo’s new movie, Second Act and the words just flowed in because we all can have that chance to have a second act. We are not always in control but we can nourish our tree to grow and guide it into something amazing.
If you’re reading this, your tree is special too. You are detailed and wonderfully made. You are developing new beautiful leaves and strong branches to add in supporting the greatest thing: you. You’re tree shouldn’t doubt its ability to be something stronger, something outstanding. It just does. So tomorrow just be. Be you. Be your own kind of beautiful and let your tree stand tall.
At the beginning of this month, I decided to cleanse myself from social media. I’ll be honest I didn’t succeed however I looked at myself that week and realized a few things.
Tuesday was the first day of the cleanse. The continual question that kept repeating through my head, “why did I decide to do this again?” You know when you decide to not eat sugar or junk food and your like ooh if I just have a little bit I’ll be fine but then you instantly regret eating that bad food because you went back on what you promised? Yeah. Me too. In all honesty I stayed away from Facebook and Instagram which was easy.. it was sneaky little Snapchat that snuck up on me. I wanted to take that ridiculous selfie or post something like a trendy picture of what I was doing in that moment. I wanted to check it to see my notifications- who snapped me?! Guess what, I had no notifications and that little bit of sugar was just a waste.
Instead of wasting good time on social media I went to Barnes and Noble for something to redirect my time for me. As hard as it was, I found a book and two guided journals to redirect my thoughts. I had better conversations away from my phone and had more genuine conversations even if it was just a text to someone I hadn’t caught up with in a while.
While it was easy to say no to all of the social media, doing it was a lot harder. Again I didn’t get through the week but I realized what I wanted to cleanse myself from and it was not living my life for what is on social media. Not comparing my life to someone else’s. To have fun because life is short and not be bothered on did I get enough “likes” on what I documented as fun. I recently read an article about being addicted to people. I realized I was addicted to making myself happy with people who weren’t going to do that. I was the only person who could change how I look at life. One of my favorite parts to the article was, “There is a beauty, when you rise from the ashes of self-destruction. It’s only then you have the potential to be someone you never thought you could be.”
After that week I looked at myself differently and started valuing the little things that I forgot to value. I started looking at old pictures and reliving memories that I thought I could never look at ever again. I wouldn’t look at or appreciate the memories before, but now I’ve started too. I would see pictures in the house and think about the negatives about myself- I was destroying what I loved most about myself but not any more. I am so grateful for what I have. Life is too short to not live it and be thankful for what you’ve got; to enjoy the ride on life’s rollercoaster or merry-go-round rather than wanting to give up and get off.
This past Sunday I hosted Friendsgiving and I celebrated time with friends even though it was stressful to pull off. I thought about what I was thankful leading up to this event and even prior to Friendsgiving. I’m thankful for all of it. The highs. The lows. The blessings. The lessons. The setbacks. The comebacks. The love. The hate. Everything. Yesterday I celebrated more than Friendsgiving- I celebrated a crazy year coming to an end with a new me: one that is a stronger version of myself, an awesome guy by my side and awesome friends. Thankful doesn’t even cut it.
As I write this, sitting on my bathroom floor listening to Fantasy by MS MR I think about about all of the things I am thankful for. Think about what you are thankful for. Everything around you is a blessing. Family, friends, the green grass, the blue sky and the air we breath. Don’t get off life’s roller coaster or merry-go-round. Enjoy the ride.
Three words: it’s fall y’all.
It’s finally cooling down in Phoenix and if you live in Arizona and it is October, you know that means: PUMPKINS, CANDLES, FUZZY SOCKS AND WARM COFFEE.
I’m not even going to be salty about this double post in one day because I wanted to share my fall inspo ideas. A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling a little down and needed to bring some comfort into my house and make it a home. The Dollar Store opened its automatic doors and led me to a fall paradise of $1 finds. I felt like my mom and I were going a little crazy with all of the goodies, but when I checked out I had only had $20 worth of fall finds in my cart. I repeat: only $20!! Excited and high on deals as I was we rushed home to spread out our fab finds. We had previously bought everything to make wreaths so that is what I was set out to do. Little did I know when I got home I did not know that I had a lot more than just “little” things.
So, I did not drink warm coffee.. but I did add pumpkins, put on my fuzzy socks and lit a fall candle while watching Gossip Girl (P.S. I’ve seen this show like a thousand times and I still have a crush on Nate and Chuck and if I ever ran into them in real life I’d totally fan girl over them). It is crazy how going to the Dollar Store or moving things around can make a house feel more like home. That coffee table? Made from wood pallets I found with a white pumpkin candle and little glittery pumpkins added to it. The wreath on my front door? My mom and I had a wreath making party and all of the flowers on it are from no other than: THE DOLLAR STORE. Yep. You can thank me later, send me your fall decorations and crown me fall princess or just call me Joanna Gains because let’s be honest my house is straight out of a Fixer Upper episode and I ain’t even mad about it.
Head to the Dollar Store or Home Goods or wherever and put some fall decorations up (and light a fall candle too) because it will make you happy. Isn’t that all that counts anyways?
“Psychology says the person who tries to keep everyone else happy often ends up feeling the loneliest”. So remember darling, fall in love with yourself (and fall things) first. Comment with your fall decorations and other fall ideas!
“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile & who love you no matter what.”
So I’ve kinda been MIA because I have been editing multiple sessions of pictures including this family session last week and it was a success! I still have a lot of editing to do with the pictures… but I could not wait to share some of the pictures and the story behind some of them.
The people in these photos have been in my life for 20+ years. The first is a picture of two beautiful women I am so grateful to call family, to call an aunt and to call a sister. The second is the shoes of a strong woman and mom and her son that doesn’t go anywhere without those boots. The third is one of my favorites of my mom and her best friend (someone I am lucky to call my aunt) these two women I look up to in so many ways and look to both of them for strength and faith. The last is my soul sister and I (God made us and our mothers friends because they couldn’t handle us as sisters, even though we’ve always been a dynamic duo); she someone I admire and would not have been able to go through so many ups and downs without her by my side.
I could say so much about all the photos I took that day, but the only thing that is important is the people in theses photos. These people may not be my true blood related family, but rather my family bonded by love and there for each other when we truly needed it. Short, but sweet post and mostly appreciating the people that have a special place in my heart!
I am so happy I was able to capture that love on camera even if I twisted my knee and have to go to the doctor for it! Don’t underestimate your photographer either.
“Do things for yourself; in thirty years nobody is going to remember your choices except you.”
Over the last two weeks, I have really struggled with self-love and doing things for only me. It’s hard to put yourself first when you’re always putting others first when the truth is loving yourself should be the priority over all the other things. In the words of Sheryl Crow, “if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad”.. so do it.. make yourself happy.
Life is too short to not do what makes you happy. If anything I’ve learned over the last year that has been reiterated these past few weeks in finding myself, it is to do what is best for you and everything else will fall into place. If you don’t do what’s best for you first how can you do what is best for anyone else? From now on, I’m doing just that while blasting and singing “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow.
Things I’ve done (that you should try too) that’s made me the happiest I’ve been in a while:
- Had a dance party in my car on Friday to get out of my head. (If you were one of the chosen ones to see my Snapchats, consider yourself lucky).
- Had spontaneous nights with friends that included crying and laughing
- Ate ice cream for dinner
- Ate breakfast for lunch
- Bought myself new clothes because why not?!
- Dressed up for brunch in something I wouldn’t normally wear
- Had brunch with old friends
- Took selfies and posted them because again: Why. Not.
- Woke up and reminded myself that the life I live is beautiful.
- Appreciated myself and then the people around me (side note I really need to listen to my own advice).
On my bad days I remind myself of these things because it’s the wins that outway the losses.
Hello my roses,
I have been away for a little bit gathering my thoughts and taking a break from a little bit of everything. P.S. I also went on a much-needed vacation. Rather than stick to my 30 days of blogging challenge, which let’s be honest, I haven’t been very good at; but I am going to try from here on out to blog once a week. Not only to serve as a creative outlet, but I want to share my creativity and passions with my readers.
So without further ado… this weeks blog: why you need to take a vacation and get off the screen you live on.
Last weekend at this time, we were coming back from a bike ride from the beach (one of our 10+ mile bike rides). Sunday at the beach was a cloudy day but a great day, at that and I was exhausted. The previous days consisted of eating too much, laughing until I cried with family and soaking myself in aloe because of a bad sunburn. Monday was our last day and we again road bikes and ate way too much.
With spending so much time on a bike, you one: have to pay attention to where you are going especially when the Boardwalk is crazy busy and two: you have a lot of time to look at what’s around you and clear your head. While on vacation, I practiced just that. I wasn’t on my phone every second and I was forced to appreciate the scenery around me.
I mean how could you not appreciate the scenery with views like this?! I guess what I am saying is get off that screen and go make memories of watching the sunset until its dark, go on a walk until your feet feel like they are going to fall off, eat food with the people you love until your stomach almost bursts and thank God for the people around you because that is all that matters.
“life is a journey, so enjoy the ride” 🚲