Winter Self-Care Ideas

Winter Self-Care Ideas

Winter Self-Care Ideas

Hello my friends, I hope you’re all doing well and finding joy in this New Year!

But we all know what month it is. January. *sigh*

January usually feels like the longest month in all of eternity. That one extra day in there really makes all the difference, right? Plenty of other months have 31 days, why don’t they seem to drag on as long as January always does? AND…it’s cold. I’m in Pennsylvania, and January/February (sometimes well into March or April) are the peak chilly months. By chilly I mean unbearably cold. Maybe I’m just a big baby, maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m already cold 24/7, maybe it’s because I love summer- who’s to say?

I don’t know about you, but for myself and many others, January brings the winter blues. Snow is beautiful, the changing seasons are always incredible to witness, but the frigid temps, the shorter days, and how early it gets dark can all bring on this wintery sadness. So how can we combat these feelings? With winter self-care, of course!

Honestly, winter self-care doesn’t have to be that different from your typically self-care routine that you have all year round! With some special attention, any self-care routine can be transformed into one that suits your wintery needs. Not sure where to start? I’ve put together some winter self-care ideas for you that cover a variety of different sectors of self-care, so hopefully there will be something you can take away from each and implement into your routine! Check it out!

Winter Self-Care: Personal Comfort

Personal comfort, to me, means feelings as comfortable as possible at all time. Full disclosure: I hate real pants. I think the idea of cute pants is great, but I like a comfy pant, a warm sweater, all the layers, etc. And, like I said, I am ALWAYS cold. I like to ensure my comfort when I’m trying to take care of myself and that also means keeping myself warm, warm, warm. Here are a few of my favorite must-haves you can get to make personal comfort part of your winter self-care routine:

Winter Self-Care Ideas
  • Fuzzy Jackets or Sherpas
    • I recently got the one in this picture for Christmas, it’s Koolaburra by Ugg, but you can literally find these babies ANYWHERE- T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, Walmart, Amazon, and Target are going to be the best places to get them for an affordable price!
  • Fuzzy Slippers
    • The same ones I’m wearing in this picture are from The Loft and I am IN LOVE with them. I want them in every color. You can find these and many more cute pairs from places like The Loft, Aerie, or Target.
  • A Cozy Bath Robe
    • We’ll get to baths in a moment but having a bath robe to slip on in the winter has been a lifesaver! I love being able to lock in the heat from a nice hot bath and feel all wrapped up and held for the rest of my evening. Sometimes, I’ll even just throw my robe on as a warm kind of sweater to wear with my PJ’s or comfy clothes all day long! I got mine from a T.J. Maxx, I would highly recommend looking there or a Marshall’s for a variety of robes- again for the best deal!
  • Fuzzy Sock
    • Duh.

Winter Self-Care: Skin/Body Care

It’s winter. We’re cold. Our skin is dry. HELP.

  • A GOOD Face Moisturizer
    • Having a good moisturizer in the winter months is essential! I know, especially in college, my little cheeks would get so dry being outside and walking from place to place. Even now, the air is just so dry and chilly that it’s so necessary to give our skin that drink its craving! I use Tula 24/7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream in the mornings and at night. I would also recommend LXMI Creme Du Nil, if you’re looking for something a little more “high end.” The two best drug store moisturizers I would recommend for the winter months (or any time) would be Cetaphil and CeraVe!
  • A Hydrating Face Mask
    • I love using an overnight hydrating mask when my skin feels especially dry and thirsty! There are TONS of these on the market, so find what works for you (the same goes for literally any suggestion I make, always do what works for you first) BUT I use Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask! (you can get this online, but I found a 2-Pack at my T.J. Maxx for a great price…so keep an eye out, always!)
  • Body Scrub
    • So, our skin is dry and dead, and we must do something about it, right? Yes. Find an awesome body scrub and get scrubbing! Pick your preference, salt or sugar, and make sure it isn’t too harsh to use on your entire body. Right now, I’m using the Aromatherapy Sleep Lavender + Vanilla sugar scrub from Bath & Body Works! I like to shower/bathe at night, so I like that the lavender smell sticks with me until I go to bed AND usually my sheets and I still smell like lavender in the morning!
  • Body Lotion
    • Well, you’ve scrubbed all the dead stuff off, so now you must LOCK IN the moisture with your best body lotion. I’ll be honest, because I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but I shave my legs WAY less in the winter. So, since my brain associates lotion with shaving and smooth legs, I often neglect to lotion my less-than-smooth legs in the winter months. I’m trying to be better about it, though! I either use the Water Hyaluronic Acid lotion from Bath & Body Works or Josie Maran body butters! LOVE a good body butter for the winter!
  • Take That Bath!
    • Fill up that tub with the hottest water you’ve got and RELAX! Use your favorite bubble bath, bath oils or bath salts, really set up the ambiance in your bathroom and just make yourself feel special for once! Don’t like baths? You can do the same things standing up in the shower! Very few things compare to a hot shower or bath in my mind. Relax and renew!

Winter Self-Care: In Your Space

The feeling of my personal space is an extremely important part of my own self-care routine. I’ve written before about how the space I’m living in becomes my little sacred place, so it’s really important to me that my space feels warm and welcoming. Here are a few things I make sure I incorporate into my space that make me feel good!

  • Candles
  • Essential oils & essential oil diffuser
  • Big blankets
  • Decorative and comfy pillows
  • Low lighting (I have twinkly lights hanging and usually only use those and my bedside lamp to light the space)
  • Warmth (you could always get a small space heater if you don’t have a thermostat in your space!)

Whatever conditions in which you feel the most comfortable and secure, find ways to create those in your space!

Winter Self-Care: Mind, Body, Spirit Care

Taking care of your mind, body, and spirit is such an important part of self-care (well 3 important parts, really). Whatever brings you peace in those 3 areas of your life: DO THOSE THINGS! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep moving your body
    • I know many people are ready to smash new year’s resolutions right now, but the winter and the cold often makes people less inclined to get physical. I encourage you to do something each day, or as often as you’d like, to get your blood flowing and body moving! You could do yoga, walk/run on the treadmill, go outside and walk/run, dance, stretch- literally anything that truly brings you joy and gets you moving. You’ll feel amazing after, I promise!
  • Drink lots of water
    • Pretty self-explanatory! Stay hydrated! I’m trying to get up and have a glass of water with lemon each morning!
  • Watch your favorite shows or movies
  • Listen to your favorite podcasts
  • Read books you love OR read new books
  • Journal/manifest
  • Hibernate aka rest when you need to!

That last one may be the most important thing to take from this whole post. Self-care also means listening to what your body is telling you, what it is asking you, listening, and taking necessary steps! At the start, self-care may simply be you starting to listen to your body and what it’s asking for before you even dive into doing all these things! If you are tired, REST. Taking care of yourself IS productive, because how else are you supposed to get anything else done if your mind/body/spirit is in tip-top condition? Whether you believe it or not, you deserve the best for yourself and you are capable of making that happen.

So, believe it!

Lots of love to you!

~ Ang

How To Create Your 2021 Vision Board

How To Create Your 2021 Vision Board

How To Create Your 2021 Vision Board

Happy Monday, Beauties!

We are officially halfway through December, which means only a few more weeks left of this crazy 2020! If you’re anything like me, while this year has taught me a lot and I am ultimately very grateful…I am also VERY ready to kiss the year goodbye! As my planner brain and I have started to look ahead a few weeks into the oncoming New Year, I have been brainstorming ways to set myself up for success in 2021. I will say, 2020 has given me the time and power to create better habits for myself such as manifesting, goal-setting, and creative planning, so I want to make sure that I carry those newly developed habits into 2021 and continue to cultivate them. Keeping this in mind, and also thinking of how I could tie this desire of my own into the blog and help my readers, I thought what better way to set ourselves up to achieve ALL of our damn goals and make those big dreams happen than creating VISION BOARDS!

I’ve created vision boards for myself in the past and while I totally get that visual art or art in general may not be everyone’s ~thing~, keep in mind that there are so many different ways to create a board that works for you! Personally, my past vision boards (one still hangs in my room today because I love it so much) have been comprised of a combination of photos and quotes I found online via Pinterest or Google and small, handwritten sentiments of my own. For example, after my first year of college (when I was manifesting being cast in shows at school and in summer work), I included little cut outs of my name from callback sheets and playbills from my first year as a reminder of what I was working towards! Any little thing like that, little things that will remind you of your goals and what you are working for are the perfect additions to what you compile!

Feeling stuck and not sure how to even begin compiling ideas for your vision board? Fear not! In my typical planner fashion, I’ve created a little step-by-step guide to help you gather your ideas and get started creating your board so you can create an amazing reminder of all you are, all you want to be, and all you deserve in 2021!

Part of my favorite vision board I’ve made that still hangs in my room!

Vision Board Planning

  • Sit down with your phone or a journal and write about what you want to let go of in the New Year
    • Writing down what you want to let go of will help you illuminate what you maybe DON’T want or need to include in your board and help you start to figure out what you want to welcome into your life in an attempt to avoid what is no longer serving you!
  • Now, write what you want to attract and welcome into your life in the New Year
    • Think about the type of energy you want to go into the year with and carry with you all 12 months! If it’s an energy you haven’t experienced personally yet, think about some events/people/things that have seemed to radiate that energy in your eyes. If it’s an energy that you HAVE experienced and want to sustain, sit with the thoughts and feelings that the event/experience brought you. Try to hold onto that.
  • Think about what you want to manifest, or put out into the universe that you’d like to have brought into your life, as well as your goals
    • What do you want? Nothing is too small! How can you realistically take steps forward to help you achieve what you want to achieve? What will you work in tandem with the universe to make happen in 2021?
  • Think about who or what inspires you (i.e. music, lyrics, poems, individuals, photographs, etc.)
    • This step is pretty self-explanatory. What inspires you? Who inspires you? Are there places you want to go, things you want to experience? This is also where you can start to figure out what artistic mediums you vibe with that you want to incorporate on your board.
  • Take to Pinterest! Create a Pinterest board for your vision board to help develop your board’s aesthetic
    • Make a board for your board! Having one place to compile all your ideas into will make the formation of your board much easier. Pin away! You obviously don’t have to include everything you add to your Pinterest board on the vision board you create but having lots of ideas is great! Pinterest will also show you similar pins to the ones you pin, so it makes finding what you might like a little easier! If you want to check out my Pinterest board for my vision boards, click here!
  • Gather inspo from other sources i.e., books, magazines, physical articles/supplies, etc.
    • Get together those other little nuggets of inspiration from any other resource that inspires you or holds deep meaning for you!
  • Get creative!
    • Now that you’ve got your pieces all togethers, you can start printing cutting out everything you’ve collected. And assembly is all up to you! You can assemble on a canvas, cork board, poster board, right on the wall, etc. I like to assemble it mine on the canvas or floor, take a picture of it, then start the REAL assembly of it on my chosen canvas!
  • Tip: Gather more resources than you think you will need, always better to have extra
  • Tip: Make sure you have the proper tools for assembly- if you’re going directly onto the wall, be sure whatever you’re hanging with won’t ruin or damage your walls

Now, all you have to do is bask in the beauty of your creation and hold onto your hopes, dreams, and inspiration no matter what the New Year brings your way. I know that’s SO much easier said than done, but once you’ve got your beautiful vision board reminder hanging where you can plainly see it, acknowledge it, and remember the intentions you set when you made it, you will hold all the power! Each month of the year will lead you to set new goals, will bring you joy, and may bring struggle to face- but it’s all part of life, baby! It’s how we carry ourselves through it that means the most. Gather your strength, gather your people, and hold on tight because 2021 is YOURS!

*insert pounding fist emoji*

I love you lots!

~Ang

10 Simple Gift Ideas for When You’re At a Loss

10 Simple Gift Ideas for When You’re At a Loss

10 Simple Gift Ideas for When You're At a Loss

Happy December, Babes!

Last month I highlighted a few ways to get your holiday gift list organized, so now we are ready for the next step. Shopping! You may have done some shopping during those Black Friday sales or you may just be getting started, to each their own! Regardless of when you start your shopping, you may have that someone on your list that you just…don’t know how to buy for! Whether it be a friend, a family member, a co-worker, some people just always seem to stump you! It may not even be that they are difficult to shop for, you just may not be able to come up with ideas off the top of your head which can leave you feeling lost when it comes to heading to the stores (or heading to your laptop in this year’s case).

I asked social media and did some thinking of my own, and I’ve come up with a list of some simple, easy-to-find and easy-to-give gifts for just about anyone in your life this holiday season!

Books

Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female  Friendship: Schaefer, Kayleen: 9781101986127: Amazon.com: Books
Untamed: Glennon Doyle, Glennon Doyle Melton: 9781984801258: Amazon.com:  Books

Something that a few people said they would want to receive as a gift was a book, specifically a book they have been wanting! If you know a bookworm, this is definitely the perfect gift! I know, from personal experience, for some reason I don’t always jump to buy a book for myself over something else I want…and I’m an avid reader! It’s always really thoughtful to be gifted a book I’ve talked about over and over to a friend. It could also be really personal to purchase a book for someone on a topic you know they are really interested, or something you know they are interested in learning more about! Even if you don’t know what book to buy someone, a gift card to a bookstore could be great. Even better if the bookstore is a small business!! Two books I personally would give as a gift ANY time are Untamed by Glennon Doyle and Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship by Kayleen Schaefer.

Framed Photos

Another personal gift for any friend or family member would be framed photos! Photos always act as a beautiful memento of a friendship, relationship, or memory of a loved one! Places like T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, and Target have really affordable frames, and it only costs a few cents to print photos from places like Walmart or CVS! If you’re looking for prints that are a little fancier, try a place online like Parabo Press where you can get square prints, wall art, photo books, gallery displays, calendars, and more! Click here to shop and use the code HGZPAW for $10 off your order!

Personalized Stationery

I love this idea, definitely because I’m a paper/notebook/stationary nerd! I have lots of friends who are small business owners and having personalized note cards is something so thoughtful and useful if they are sending out thank you cards or little personalized notes! Having personalized notepads and desk calendars is also something that can be useful for any college student or at-home worker! If you’re looking for some really gorgeous, personalized planners, notepads, notecards and more- Ivory Paper Co. is your spot! They’ve got it all and it is SO stunning and durable! Plus, they’re a small business! WooHoo! Click here to shop the Ivory Paper Co. Website!

Blue Light Glasses

Claire Blue Light Glasses in Tortoise- Tortoise 4
These are from Francesca’s!

Here we are, December 2020, and we are ALL sitting on our computers STILL. My blue light glasses have been such a saving grace ever since I started the blog, since I spend a decent amount of time on the computer these days! If you know someone who is taking classes online or working from home, chances are good they could use a pair of blue light glasses, too! I have two pair, one from Amazon and another from Francesca’s!

Pajamas

Pajamas may seem like a simple gift, but if you’ve got someone in your life who just likes to snuggle up and stay warm during the chilly winter months, cozy pajamas are essential! Old Navy has the cutest holiday pajama sets, and you could even spice them up with a robe, cute slippers, and socks from just about anywhere! To be honest, I have a lot of pajama sets from Walmart that I absolutely love- plus they are really affordable! Maybe you even do a cute little pajama exchange with your peeps and have a holiday movie and wine night over Zoom! It could be a great way to make the most out of the situation!

Earrings/Jewelry

Just about any jewelry makes for a great gift, but earrings seem to be big this year! Personally, I have really gotten into the big earrings trend because of having to wear a mask! We can’t utilize lipstick as much as a form of self-expression when we are out, so earrings are the way to go! Polymer clay and resin earrings are big right now!! If you’re looking for some awesome small business accounts to check out, check out: @somewanderearrings and @earringsbyvic. Instagram is the perfect place to look for small businesses to support! You can definitely fall down the rabbit hole and search until you find what you’re looking for!

Sashka Co. Bracelets in 2020 | Bracelets handmade beaded, Glass beaded  bracelets, Handmade bracelets

Additionally, one of my favorite jewelry brands to gift during the holidays is Sashka Co.! These bracelets are the perfect, affordable gift for the jewelry lover in your life! Each glass bead bracelet is handmade, and the company’s mission is to provide sustainable jobs for women in Nepal! Click HERE to check out these gorgeous bracelets!

A Self-Care Beauty Bundle

For the purpose of this gift idea, I’m referring to self-care in the form of baths, relaxations, and “treating oneself.” Lots of people on social media said they’d like to receive things like face masks, hair masks, chapsticks, etc. It could be super cute to gather up those items and maybe a few others like bath bombs, bath salts, a loofah, nail polishes, fuzzy socks, and anything else you can think of, gathering them up, and creating a self-care beauty bundle! You could include wine, candy, and other snacks to amp it up a bit, too!

Gel Mani Set Up

When you hear “gel manicure” you may automatically think of the $25-30 dollar service you get at a salon but buying the tools to start doing your own gel mani at home is actually rather affordable! I’m going to put a link HERE to one of my previous posts “How To Get Your Best At-Home Gel Mani.” In it, I highlight all the tools and products a person may need to get started, links and all! Even just getting someone the UV lamp and base/topcoats will help kickstart their at-home mani process immensely!

Reusable Coffee Cups/Water Bottles

From Annie and Lulu’s!

I will admit, I also have a slight obsession with cups and water bottles LOL. I also love mugs, but since I tend to be going, going, going I am always seeking out new reusable travel cups and water bottles! If you have people in your life who love all things cold (even in the winter months) you could get them a nice stainless-steel water bottle or travel mug! Again, T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s always have affordable, versatile options! If your peeps are hot beverage people too, or they don’t really have a preference, reusable plastic cups are a perfect gift! Check out PeachesbyPaige and ShopAnnieandLulu on Etsy for adorable, affordable reusable cups (and more!).

Coffee Gift Cards (or any gift cards, really)

People may say that gift cards are impersonal, but I would argue that gift cards for just about anything make THE perfect gift. It’s giving the gift of choice! Let’s be real. We all love and appreciate receiving Dunkin’ and Starbucks cards. We just do! It’s really nice, especially around the holidays, to have the bill for our caffeine addictions paid for! It’s ALSO really nice to walk into Target or T.J. Maxx and know that part of all the unnecessary things we put into our cart will be covered, thanks to a friend or family member! If you’re feeling COMPLETELY stuck and just don’t know what to get a person: GET. THE. GIFT CARD. No offense to the candles out there, I love a good candle, but I would much rather pick out something I’ve had my eye on with a gift card than receive my 900th holiday candle (hence why candles were not on my list!).

I hope this helps you CRUSH your holiday shopping this season! Please stay safe if you’re going out shopping at all! Wear your mask and abide by any and all restrictions stores may have! Make smart choices and order online as much as you can. Just about all these gift suggestions can be purchased online, so please be smart! Your friends and family will thank you! HAPPY DECEMBER!

~ Ang

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

Hi, friends!

We are officially at the mid-way point of November! Whether you started embracing the Christmas spirit before Halloween, once Halloween ended, or you’re waiting until after Thanksgiving, one thing is for sure: now is the time to start figuring out your Christmas gift list! Even if you’re a last-minute shopper, now is the perfect time to start thinking of who you need to buy for and brainstorming some gift ideas!

I LOVE gift giving and surprising friends and loved ones with gifts tailored just for them and planning out my list helps me get squared away before the crazy shopping ensues! If you’re not a planner by nature, don’t despair! I’m here to share a few tips and tricks with you to help you kickstart the organization of your gift list to make your holiday shopping painless!

List your people

The first step in organizing your holiday gift list is writing out who you need to buy for! Start by just writing out all the people you can think of that you typically buy for in a season- family, friends, co-workers, significant others, etc. I like to separate my list into categories, so feel free to make your own categories as such if you like to see them separated! And remember, you can always add people to your list or downsize. This is just a preliminary list, no need to be locked into it!

Talk to your friends about gifting

This step is important in your gifting process, especially for younger people i.e. college students, recent grads, etc. I can tell you firsthand that gifting as a young adult is hard! I always feel like I want to shower my friends and family with the best of the best, but my wallet says otherwise! Because you and your friends will more than likely be floating in that boat together, ASK your friends and loved ones 1. If you will be exchanging gifts this year and 2. If so, should we set a spending budget. This is something that I adopted with many of my friends in college that we are still practicing now! Being up front and asking if they would still like to exchange gifts for the holiday opens up a conversation, and setting a spending limit ensures that one person is not spending a ton of money while the other stays within THEIR budget. Make sense? Exchanging gifts or exchanging extravagant gifts DOES NOT define your friendship or relationship. The holidays can be tough, so it is important to work within YOUR means!

Consider your funds, create an overall budget, and individual spending budgets

This step branches off the previous one just a bit! As I said, for most young people, spending around the holidays can be nerve wracking! The best way to combat this feeling to the best of your ability is to consider your funds and your budget before you jump into shopping. Once you’re out and about in stores, it can be easy to veer off course and spend more than you bargained for, which ultimately will just leave you a stressed out place once the shopping is over. We want to avoid that! While we LOVE our friends and loved ones, you don’t want to shell out every penny you’ve got on presents when chances are good you will have expenses to cover! Start by:

  • Talking to with your people and setting your spending limits with one another
  • If you don’t have that discussion with your peeps, try to assign spending budgets for each person on your gift list. Like I said, I know you might want to give your loved ones the world, but we must be realistic with our funds- especially this season!
  • Tally up the maximum amounts you’ve assigned to each person to figure out your maximum budget for your holiday spending. This will be a great framework to start your shopping with! Do keep in mind that you’ve calculated your MAXIMUM budget. Those are the walls in which you should aim to stay, and there is nothing wrong with coming out underbudget! Leave yourself a little bit of wiggle room though, as we all know that one extra person always seems to slip our minds in the craziness of the season!

Do your research, get ideas together!

Now that your gift list is a bit more solid, the fun can begin! Take a look at your list and start brainstorming some gift ideas for your people! Something else you can do that I have done in the past is ask your people to list maybe 5 things they want or need this season. If you’re feeling completely stuck, this will help provide a little insight into how they are thinking! Don’t be afraid to ask if there is anything they want or anything they need. This will help you formulate ideas that are a bit more personal and tailored to the person you’re shopping for!

Google, Instagram, and Pinterest are your friends! SO many bloggers and influencers put together gift idea lists and posts- the resources are endless! Chances are good that if you search it, you’ll find a resource on it! *Don’t forget to keep your receipts and get gift receipts if you can!*

Gather up your gift bags/wrappings so you can clearly separate your gifts and see what you’ve got

As you’re shopping, if you’re interested, gather up your gift bags/boxes/tags too! Sometimes, the wrapping can be TOTALLY part of the present! I love to put gifts in those cute decorative boxes from T.J. Maxx or Michael’s, then they can repurpose them for whatever they’d like later on! Having your wrappings early will also help you separate your gifts so you can clearly see who you already bought for, what you’ve gotten them, and if you are missing anything! Dedicate one box/bag/space in your closet for your present area so that everything can stay in one place and your gifts aren’t all over the place! When the time comes to pull out your goodies, you’ll be so relieved to have it organized and separated all in one place.


If you’re still looking for some overall organizational help for this month and heading into December, my November & December 2-Pack Bullet Journal Templates are available for purchase on my homepage! If you’re looking to purchase a template for ONLY December, click HERE! (P.S. the templates make the perfect, downloadable holiday gift!)

How to Organize Your Holiday Gift List

I know, all my “Christmas after Thanksgiving” peeps are probably going to cringe at me saying ALL of this, but now you are ready to kick start your holiday shopping! Most of these steps can be completed in the coming weeks, your preliminary work can all happen BEFORE Thanksgiving so the minute you finish your Thanksgiving dinner, you can head out to the store and make holiday shopping your you-know-what!

Next week, we’ve got our November Passions Piece Feature, then our Monthly Minute at the end of the month, then get yourself ready for some more organizational, holiday content!

Lots of love! xo

~ Ang

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

During the Thanksgiving Season and Beyond

Hey Hey!

November is well under way, and I don’t know about you, but the month of November always fills me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. We’ve got Thanksgiving, which is a great excuse to think about all the things in our lives we have to be grateful for, but why not practice gratitude all November long? Why not all year long?

Developing a gratitude practice is not always the easiest thing, and it can feel especially daunting in the times of 2020, where so much has gone wrong for so many. Despite the many, many mishaps of 2020, I think now more than ever it is important to take stock of what we have to be grateful for and hold onto that with all out might! Here are a few ways to begin developing your gratitude practice this month so you can carry it with you out of 2020 and into the new year!

Make a list of all the people, things, experiences, etc. that you’re grateful for, every day

I think this is probably the easiest way to start a daily gratitude practice! Without any prompts to follow, you can simply just write out all the things you know you are grateful for. Sit with your thoughts and think of every little thing you can think of! It doesn’t matter when you do it, you can do it any time you have a moment to pause in the day (and if you’re having trouble finding a moment to breathe, this could be the perfect excuse to make one for yourself). First thing in the morning, before bed, during your lunch break- literally any time! If you don’t have a journal or paper handy, your phone will be your savior. Maybe make a note in your phone dedicated to your daily gratitude list!

Get yourself a gratitude journal!

As we know, I’m a journal freak, and having a gratitude journal was how I started developing my gratitude practice! I do my practice before bed, and my journal prompts for every day are “Today I am grateful for___,” “Tomorrow I will remember___,” and a word for the day! It’s that easy! I know there are lots of gratitude journals on the market, some more affordable than others, but you do NOT have to break the bank on a journal! You have my prompts, so you could copy those into your own journal daily or look up a few prompts online and copy those into your own journal! If you have a bullet journal, a gratitude page would also be an awesome thing to add into your daily, weekly, or monthly layout!

Check out this resource for 50 awesome daily gratitude journal prompts to get your journey started! And HERE is a 3-pack of guided journals for gratitude, fitness, and reflection!

Find quiet time to sit with your gratitude

If journaling isn’t your jam, you can still have a daily gratitude practice! Truth be told, I don’t write in my gratitude journal every single day. Sometimes I’m away and I’ll forget to take it along, or I slide into bed, turn the lights off, get snuggled up, and realize I didn’t journal. It happens! But when things like that DO happen, I simply sit in my gratitude. For me, sitting with my gratitude often looks like praying, or simply talking things out with the universe. Over time, you will come to learn what “sitting with your gratitude” looks like for you. Maybe it’s praying, or just replaying your day over in your head and pinpointing the things you were grateful for or the happiest moments of the day. Simply taking the time for yourself to revel in your gratitude will make all the difference!

Move your body

If you are able to, moving your body (to me) is one of the greatest gratitude practices you can adopt! Think about it. If you are capable of waking up each morning and getting your body moving, you have SO MUCH to be grateful for. I think of Amanda Kloots and how she documented her journey while her husband, Nick, was in the hospital with COVID. Exercise was one of her ways of coping, and while she could have sat in her grief and sadness, she was up and moving her body most days to honor those who could not. So, not only is the capability to move your body something to add to your gratitude list, but it’s also something we can do to honor those who may not be so lucky.

If you’re looking to start small, incorporating a daily yoga/meditation practice into your daily routine can help you cultivate your gratitude mindset immensely! Perhaps sitting with your thoughts of gratitude becomes your meditation, which fuels your yoga practice! It’s all connected, my friends!

Actively let your people know you’re grateful for them

This one is something small, but I think it’s extremely important, especially as this crazy year we’ve all had starts wrapping up. Personally, I found that throughout the early months of quarantine that were filled with a lot of disappointment, I came to discover who my “people” really are. They were the friends and family members that were constantly there to be my shoulders to cry on (literally and figuratively) and my rocks in tough times. The people I could count on to answer my calls so I could just talk things out like I need to do, and the people who talked me down when I found myself spiraling. And in the moments where I felt secure enough to hold my head high and keep pressing on, I came to understand that that wouldn’t have been possible without my people. I hope you have your own “people,” and if you do, I encourage you to take the time out of your day, week, month to thank them for being your support system. That little acknowledgment goes a long, long way. Add your people to your gratitude list, show up for them as much as you are able to, and let them know you appreciate them!

And there you have it, friends! 5 ways to get your gratitude on! If you have a gratitude practice that you love, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments! I hope that adding these little actions into your daily routine allows you to relish in your gratitude, recognize the good in your life, and practice more love- towards yourself and others!

As always, I am eternally grateful for each and every one of you reading this post today, supporting me on this journey!

Lots of love

~Ang

My Beauty Must-Haves

My Beauty Must-Haves

My Beauty Must-Haves

Happy November!

Let’s start the month off with some beauty, shall we?! I’ll be completely honest: my beauty routine really is not very impressive or extensive. I have found that I have a good handful of staples in my routine that get the job done for me, as quick and easily as possible! Because I spent so many years of my life loading up on the makeup because of my involvement in theatre and dance, I found that I wanted my day-to-day routine to be simple! If you’re interested in checking out my FULL skincare routine, click here to check out my blog post, “Skin Care is Self Care.”

I also wanted to start the month off with this post because I figure the holidays are coming up, and if you’re interesting in trying out any of the products I share here, it might be a good time to ask Santa to add it to your list *wink wink.* I am not currently affiliated with any of the brands or products I’ve included here, I’m just sharing products that I genuinely use that I LOVE! Let’s dive in!

Face

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Tula Glow & Get It Cooling and Brightening Eye Balm
    • I literally just wrote about this product in my last post, I just can’t get enough of it. AND I’ve written about it before! Tula has a whole line of eye balms, so there are several to choose from based on your own needs! I have been using the original (blue) balm for about a year now and I recently got the Rose Glow & Get It balm (pink). The rose one has a warmer tone, so it blends in with my skin a little better! They do the same job, it’s really just a matter of preference. Either way, I highly recommend!
  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Plumping Waterproof Mascara
    • My #1 staple in my makeup routine is always mascara! Typically, my go to makeup only consists of concealer, maybe some eyeshadow, and mascara! This is mostly because I value my sleep too much to wake up any earlier to do my makeup (lol). I’ve tried SO many different mascaras in the past and recently I discovered that this one works best for me! I love that it’s waterproof and it really does plump up my lashes! I curl my lashes, slap this stuff on, and I’m set! You can find this at any drug store, too! Very affordable.
  • Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow
    • I’m obsessed with liquid eyeshadows. I’m a quick and easy makeup kind of gal, and they just go on so effortlessly! They also act as a perfect eyeshadow base when you’re creating a more intricate eyeshadow look! I use this one in the color “Kitten,” and I got it from my T.J. Maxx!

Lips

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Burt’s Bees Chapstick
    • Obviously, you can grab these at any drug store or grocery store for that matter! My go-to flavors are vanilla bean and vanilla maple (that one is seasonal)!
  • Co. Bigelow My Favorite Night Balm 8-Hour Overnight Recovery
    • This is my favorite nighttime lip balm! It’s from Bath & Body Works! It comes in a little blue tube and tastes amazing!
  • IT Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Lip Balm
    • Even before masks became a thing and lipstick was a thing of the past, I was never much of a lipstick wearer. With that being said, you know, you DO need a little color on your lips sometimes, so you don’t look like a corpse! This lip balm is one of those that goes on clear and then blends with the shade of your lips! It also comes in different shades!

Body

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Pacifica Coconut & Charcoal Underarm Detox Scrub
    • Brief tangent: I have eczema under my armpits, have for years. Initially, I sought out this product because I had read that it would help with eczema. I still have the eczema, so there’s that, BUT I still really love this product! It’s a really nice gentle scrub, and I love it because it scrubs away all your leftover deodorant! Sometimes just washing your underarms just isn’t enough to get rid of it all, but this makes me feel super fresh and clean!
  • Lush Scrubee Body Butter
    • I looooove this little bee! Honestly, I don’t use this product in every shower or all year round; I save it for the colder months when my skin REALLY needs some good nourishment. It leaves my skin feeling SO soft and smooth, and it has little scrubee beads in it to get rid of the dead skin while it nourishes! Plus, it smells amazing!

Hair

My Beauty Must-Haves
  • TIGI Bed Head Masterpiece Shine Hairspray
    • This has been my go-to hairspray for YEARS. It’s lightweight enough that it doesn’t make my hair feel gross, but it makes my curls hold super well (and I have pin-straight hair that doesn’t like to stay curled). ALSO, it smells exactly like pineapple. And I love pineapple.
  • CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protecting Spray
    • Having a great heat protectant is essential if you put any heat on your hair AT ALL. I don’t usually blow dry my hair and I don’t usually straighten my hair either. Because I don’t put a ton of heat on my hair besides when I curl it, I try to be very careful when I do use heat, so I always make sure to protect my hair! This spray had amazing reviews, which is why I got it when I was curling my hair a lot for shows, and it has definitely lived up to the hype!
  • Drybar Triple Sec 3-in-1 Finishing Spray
    • So, like I said, I have pin-straight hair. And while I’ve started to notice some changes in my hair recently, my hair generally doesn’t have a lot of volume either. I got this 3-in-1 spray in a gift set last Christmas, and it has been one of my favorite products to use when I curl my hair. It “Textuizes. Amplifies. and Refreshes.” It helps add some really awesome volume to my hair and absorbs excess oils! This also smells AMAZING.
My Beauty Must-Haves
  • Drybar The Wrap Party Curling and Styling Wand
    • The main event of gift set I just mentioned was this curling wand! I had been using the same curling wand since high school before I got this one, and it really upped my hair game. The wand is tapered so that it’s thicker on the top and slimmer on the bottom (usually wands are the opposite way). It creates a much looser, beachier wave rather than those ringlet wand curls I know you were also rocking in high school!

If YOU use any of these products and love them, let me know by commenting on this post! And if there are any products here you want to try out, now is the perfect time to add them to your holiday gift list (I can’t believe we are already talking about the holidays)!

Also, you better have voted. If not, you better be voting tomorrow! Santa WILL NOT add these products to your stocking if he finds out you didn’t vote.

Have a happy Monday, and beautiful start to your November!

~ Ang

5 Ways To Find Balance in Your Work Life

5 Ways To Find Balance in Your Work Life

5 Ways To Find Balance In Your Work Life

Work is Important, But So Are You

Happy October, everyone!

It feels like it was March five seconds ago, where in the world did the time go? A month into fall, I know many of us have transitioned from summer mode to work mode (maybe you’re still dreading it or maybe you’re loving it!). As a recent college graduate, I know I’m not alone when I say that the transition from college to “adult” life has been quite interesting. As a theatre major, I always had this “plan” as to what my early post-grad days would look like. Obviously, I was probably going to have a side hustle (or two, or three) to supplement some income, but I would largely be focused on auditioning and hopefully have consistent work in the world of theatre.

Welp. As we all know, we make plans and the universe laughs.

Early post-grad life in the world of the pandemic completely flipped my script. Instead of executing the plan I had laid out for four years, I’m now at home, working three jobs just to try and save, save, save so that when theatre comes back, I can hit the pavement.

In addition to my retail job, I recently started a remote marketing position and I’m nannying/tutoring. To say that working these jobs was a bit of a balancing act at the start would be an understatement, also because I am trying to do theatre/teach yoga here and there where I can. Since I know I’m not alone on this front, and the struggle to find balance between work and life is REAL, here are a few tips for learning how to find what works while still working your tush off!

Tip #1: Look Ahead, Lay It Out

I feel like I am always saying this, but it pays to be a planner! When I lay everything out clearly in front of me in terms of my work schedule/personal schedule, I always feel a bit more secure. You could do this weekly, monthly, or for both (I like to do both). Having a planner or a desk calendar of some sort will make this much easier for you. Usually on Saturday’s or Sunday’s I like to sit down with my planner, go through every day of the upcoming week, and write down all my obligations/activities. I’ll go over my work schedule, any work projects I have to complete and their due dates, my scheduled blog content, and any other personal things I’ve got planned for the week. For me, being able to see every day clearly laid out helps give me a clear sense of what’s in store!

Tip #2: Take Breaks

Whether you’re working a remote job, nannying, or working in the office 9-5, breaks are SO important. I’m mostly telling you this as a reminder for myself as well because I am sometimes just the worst with making time for breaks. I’ll work until I’m done, but then feel so drained from not allowing myself the proper time to breathe in a workday. In my yoga teacher training, I watched a lecture about yoga in the corporate world, and I believe our instructor said that about every 30 minutes, you should move your body if you’re tied to a desk all day! Taking a break should really be fueled by what your mind and body are craving. Even if you only get a five-minute pause, use it to stretch, grab some water, grab a snack, call your mom, or just sit still and breathe!

Tip #3: Have a Stopping Time/ Take the Weekend

Having an end to your workday is essential if you are working from home these days. Again, I am really saying this as a reminder to myself as well. It is so easy to get caught up in your work and work waaaay beyond 5 or 6 at night- trust me, I get it. But having a time to end your workday allows you to take some time to decompress before you start the process all over again the next day! AND, if you’re able to, take the weekend! I understand that overwhelming urge to work to completion, even if that means working on the weekends, but try to leave work alone after your end time on Friday!

Tip #4: Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

This one has less to do with work and more to do with aspects of your life in addition to work. Our society has groomed us to be “yes” people, and sometimes this mentality is super detrimental to our sanity. I know personally, I have a hard time saying no. It’s hard to say no to that extra shift (or maybe not? lol), to planning that party, to that trip that you thought you’d be able to make it on. If the thought of saying no and not taking on any more in your life makes your insides feel glowy: SAY NO! Your work is extremely important, but your down time should be treated with the same amount of love and respect! Don’t run yourself dry; if you do, you will be doing yourself and everyone around you a major disservice.

Tip #5: Ask For Help/ Ask For A Day

BUT if you do happen to bite off more than you can chew, and you’ve planned your way into a hole: ASK FOR HELP! Call a friend, your mom, your aunt, literally anyone you know and trust, and just ask for help! Trust me, we ALL have been there, so any normal human being who cares about you should want to help you out in any little way they can if you come to them and are overwhelmed. Another great way to try and avoid taking on too much or burning yourself out is to ask for the day when you need it. For example, in my retail job, I asked my boss to try and give me one day a week off in between the start of my work week there and the days I tutor. I knew that if I spread myself too thin and tried to overlap in my jobs, I would be mentally drained. I was nervous to ask, but I am sure glad I did because my boss was SO understanding. I know that everyone’s work situation/boss is different, and this may not be possible for you, but if you have the days to take, TAKE THEM WHEN YOU NEED TO FOR YOUR OWN SANITY!

If any of you work-from-home babes or busy beauties have other tips you’d like to share with the BTF community for maintaining your sanity in a busy work life, comment below and let us know! And remember, first and foremost, your occupations do not define you! If you aren’t where you want to be right now, just remember your dreams and your passions will find you when you least expect it. There is a plan, you are living through part of that plan. Take comfort in knowing this is one steppingstone on the way to your destiny!

Talk soon!

~ Ang xoxo

How To Get Your Best At-Home Gel Mani

How To Get Your Best At-Home Gel Mani

How To Get Your Best At-Home Gel Mani

Same Gorgeous Nails at a Fraction of the Cost!

Hi friends!

Recently, I shared a poll on Instagram asking if anyone would be interested in learning how to get a beautiful gel mani while saving some money in the long run, and the response was an overwhelming YES! So, today I am going to share with you how I do my gel manicures at home, how I came to find this alternative, and the equipment I use!

First, a little bit about how I got to this point! I actually didn’t find this alternative on my own, and I owe it to my best friend, Kailey (hi, Kails), who showed me how she did her own gel nails, and the rest was history for me! I have always LOVED painting my nails. It used to be my Sunday night routine in high school, I would find some new design to paint on my nails or follow some new trend, and then I would be set for the week. The following Sunday, I’d start all over again. You name it, I had probably tried it on my nails. I used to do water marble nails (a mess, I might add), I had these stencil/stamp things, I would try to draw designs- it was a whole phase! It was really a stress reliever for me too, which is why I kept up with it as often as I did.

Of course, as I got older and started going to proms and formals, it was the “social norm” to go and get your nails done. I never had acrylics, I was too afraid they would ruin my natural nails, so I always stuck with gel manicures. And to be honest, I was rarely ever happy with them. Not to anyone else’s fault, but when the nails weren’t turning out the way I had envisioned, I was too afraid to speak up and ask for them to be fixed/changed. But I always felt like I still HAD to go get my nails done for big events like that rather than do them on my own because I had to stay on top of the trends/be in line with what every other high school girl was doing…

Then I got to college and carving out time to do my own nails was not as easy as it had once been, and I found myself finding a free hour I had on a weekend, getting my girl friends together, and going to get our nails done. At that point, I had found a place I loved to get them done, I thought they looked nicer, and they lasted longer which meant I wouldn’t have to find another free hour in my life for at least a few weeks! But my wallet was hurting. The salon I loved did a great job, but they were a little pricier than salons at home had been. Yet, I still found myself spending money I didn’t really have on trips to get my nails done.

So, last summer I decided to start my research and invest in the tools to do my gel nails myself! First, I had bought a mini gel “lamp” that was on the clearance rack at Francesca’s for $5. I was so excited. It was such a flop! I wish I still had it so I could include a picture of me trying use it, it was hilarious. It just wasn’t quality, the lamp didn’t cure the polish well at all, and most of the time, the time I spent trying to do my nails just ended up being time wasted. I also bought a starter kit that came with a mini bonder, gel base coat, gel top coat, and a polish. Up until last month, I was using the base and top coats from that kit, so a little goes a long way!

I started purchasing other gel polishes, but really what I needed was a quality lamp that I didn’t have to try and squeeze my hands and feet into to be able to use it. Once I got the one that currently use, I never looked back! I think the last time I went and got a gel mani in a salon was last September, so it’s been almost a year since I cut those salon expenses out of my spending. I will say, making the switch and rounding up all the products that you need to start doing your nails at home is a little bit of an investment. But when you compare, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in how much you’ll save! Let me tell you about some the products you’ll want to invest in if you’re interested in diy gel manis!

UV/LED Gel Lamp

A quality gel lamp is really the most important piece of the puzzle! You’re going to want to get a lamp that is a bit larger, big enough that you can put your whole hand in (or toes if you’re doing a pedicure). You’ll also want to make sure that the lamp you get has bulbs around the entire inside, rather than just on the top. This will ensure that every part of the nail is getting hit by blue light and all polish on the nail is being cured. That little one I mentioned I had only had light hitting the nail from the top, and the sides of the polish would often not cure and would wipe right off when I went over them with the acetone when I had finished the paint job! Pictured above is the lamp that I bought, and it’s only $19.99 on Amazon! You can find LOTS of other affordable options on Amazon. Click here to check mine out!

Gel Base/Top Coats and Gel Polish

Obviously, you’re going to need some polish to do your own gel manicure, but regular polish won’t do. You’ll need to get special gel polish that will cure (dry) under a UV/LED lamp, just like in the salon. Typically, you’ll know the difference between regular nail polish and gel polish because gel polish will not come in a clear or see-through bottle. The bottle will wither be black or white, and you’ll have to open up the bottle in order to take a look at the actual color. To start, you’ll need a gel base/top coat! There are two different type of top coat: wipe off and non-wipe off. I’ve used both, but personally, I like the non-wipe off better! With wipe off, even after you cure the top coat, there will still be a bit of a film and you’ll have to wipe the nails off with acetone as your final step. I haven’t seen much of a difference in the two type, wipe off is just an extra step. I’m currently using base and top coats from the brand Beetles, which you can find here on Amazon! Only $7.99 for two big bottles (and they WILL last a long time)!

As far as polishes go, you can find lots of different brands in lots of different places! The top places I would recommend looking for gel polish would be Amazon, Sally Beauty Supply, Ulta, and honestly, scour your local T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s! I have found lots of random gel polishes in the last two, it’s usually hit or miss. The majority of the gels that I currently have are from Amazon, and they are the brand Gellen. What I love about this brand is that the gels come in packs of 6 smaller bottles, so you’re really getting the best bang for your buck. The 6 packs range in price from $15.99-17.99, or they have larger packs of 16 colors for $29.99. There are so many different color sets on Amazon, (Amazon has been the only place I’ve been able to find the brand) so there is something for everyone! I’ll link a set here!

Other Manicure Equipment

  • Nail files
  • Cuticle clippers
  • Nail clippers
  • Buff brush (if you’d like)
  • Wooden nail sticks

All of the above are just your manicure basics and can be found at your local drug store, or even cheap in a T.J. Maxx/Marshall’s. Those wooden nail sticks will be great because one end can be used to push back cuticles, and the other end is helpful in doing designs if you are into that. Trust me, you CAN give yourself a manicure at home!

How To

  • Soak your nails in some warm water to soften up your cuticles
  • Push your cuticles back
  • Clip cuticles
  • Clip nails (if necessary)
  • File nails
  • Apply base coat, cure under lamp for 60 seconds
  • Apply 1st coat of gel polish, cure under lamp for 30-60 seconds
  • Apply 2nd coat of gel polish, cure under lamp for 30-60 seconds
  • Apply top coat, cure under lamp for 90 seconds
  • *If using a wipe off top coat, dab acetone on a cotton ball and wipe the nails clean
  • BOOM. You did it.

It is THAT simple!!!

Let’s do the math. Say you go to get your nails done in a salon once a month, that’s about $30 dollars you’d shell out a month, so $360 a year. If you purchase a lamp, base/top coat, and one 6 pack of polishes, it comes to about $45. You spend $45 dollars one time. That’s like ONE pedicure! I mean come on; you CANNOT beat that!

Some other tips/ things you should know:

  • When you are getting ready to paint, make sure your nails are clean and dry! I’ve had better luck with the length of time the polish stays on that way!
  • It’s better to keep your nails on the shorter/medium length side. Here’s why (and it’s pretty silly): scratching. Weird, right? If you’re anything like me, you scratch a little itch with your pointer finger, and doing this over time with longer nails always leads to my polish peeling sooner than I’d like.
  • The odds are good it may not last as long as your typical salon manicure, just to be honest! But sometimes it’s just a game of chance; sometimes my nails have lasted 2-3 weeks and sometimes they start peeling and chipping in a few days. But I think you always run that risk with gel!
  • Unlike salon gel, these gels I’ve suggested you use tend to peel right off in one piece with no problem! Sometimes salon gel starts to peel, but then won’t be ready in some spots, so when you peel it up it almost takes a layer of your nail with it. That has not happened to me at all! Your nails will be a little dry, so I would suggest letting them breathe a little bit between paintings (or don’t a keep them painted, whatever makes you feel fab).
  • Do your own gel pedicure while you’re at it!

There you have it, my tips and tricks for your diy gel mani! It’s such an easy and affordable change to make in your self-care routine for the long run! PLUS you can save your other friends and family some money too, or convince them to make the switch themselves! If you have any other questions or want to talk more mani/pedi’s, feel free to message me any time! AND if you start doing your own nails at home, I’d love to see how they turn out!

Stay well!

~ Ang

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College

Little Lessons to Keep In Mind Whether You’re Going Back In Person or Not!

Hey, babes!

All my college homies, this one is for you!!!

Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on college and the experiences that have shaped me into the person I am becoming, it got me thinking about how different some of my college experiences were compared to what I thought they would be. It happens with any new and exciting event in our lives- we construct our ideal version in our heads and then reality swoops in and puts us back in check.

Truthfully, so much of what I had told myself would happen in college didn’t happen. Things I was told to expect didn’t always happen according to “plan.” But sometimes they did! There were also SO many times where the unexpected happened! For better or worse, I think everything in my journey happened when and how it needed to happen. I learned every lesson just how I was supposed to in my four-year journey.

5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before College
My first first day of college (left) vs. my last first day of college (right)

But were there other things that happened in my college experience I wish someone had warned me about? ABSOLUTELY! Did I go through experiences that I wish I could have been even the slightest bit more prepared for? FOR SURE! Looking back, were there lessons and principles I wish I would’ve kept in mind more as I navigated my way through classes, relationships, and my field of study? YOU BETCHA! So, I want to share with you 5 little nuggets of advice you can hold onto as you venture into college, continue your education, or just as you need them in life!

  1. Being a Planner is NOT all bad!– When I got to college, I was NOT the “planner” that I am now. I knew I would have the drive to get organized, but I really didn’t know where to start. Owning a planner certainly was a massive step in the right direction. I used a color coding system to keep my classes and assignments on track! Knowing that my own organization was one part of my life I could control during the huge adjustment made me feel more at ease. When I would get the syllabus, I would immediately write down due dates in my planner from the course calendar, so I was always able to be one step ahead, and never have anything sneak up on me! Finding the best way for you to organize your school work will take a little bit of weight off of your shoulders, and YOU DO have control over that! If you’re looking for a great planner with enough space to keep all of your obligations on track check out the Planit Planner here! (use code ANGELAL10 for 10% off!)
  2. Try to see the light at the end of the tunnel!– I know that sometimes, no matter how much you plan, everything happening at a given time during college can be extremely stressful. It always seems to work out that all of your major tests, projects, and auditions fall in the same week. A cruel joke, right? And when you’re right in the thick of it, it can be extremely difficult to fathom how you will ever get through it. I encourage you to always try to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Try to tap into your breath as best as you can to center yourself. It is so much easier said than done (trust me, I spent four years rarely trying to see how things would be on the other side), but I promise you when those crazy, busy times have ended, you’ll sit back and wonder “why was I causing myself so much stress?” Everything will work out, I promise!
  3. Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary stress!– While college is largely about furthering your education, another huge aspect is your social life! Making new friends, meeting new people, and trying new things are what the college experience is all about. To be completely candid- you will most likely experience some drama in your four years, whether it has to do with friendships, relationships, work, etc. My best advice to you is to distance yourself from any unnecessarily dramatic situation as soon as you possibly can. If there are people that you become friends with or you start dating that quickly prove themselves to be toxic individuals, cut them out. The people that you meet in college and let become a large part of your life should not cost you your sanity! This also goes for any obligations you take on. Try not to bite off more than you can chew! If you say yes to something but find that it is causing you more stress than joy, be completely honest with yourself and the other individuals involved, and savor your sanity.
  4. You will lose friends, and that’s ok.– Friendships is an amazingly weird thing. As we grow, our friendships either grow with us, or they don’t- and THAT IS OK! It doesn’t make you a bad person or make others bad people. Going into college, if you lose touch with some of the people you went to high school with that is completely normal. You may be on totally different schedules or across the world from one another, plus you are both adapting to this new way of life! If the friendships are worth it to both of you, you will keep in touch. Even once you get to college, your friendships will shift! You may be closer to one person one year and closer to another the next. Your relationships will either grow with you or you may grow out of them, but either way YOU are GROWING!
  5. Give yourself some grace.- One important thing to remember in college is that change is inevitable. And sometimes change can be messy. In times that are tough, I want you to remember not to be so hard on yourself. There will be times when you cannot do it all, you cannot commit to every event or every hang out because you need to take time for you, and that is ok. It is also important to remember you cannot please everyone, nor is it your responsibility to. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and they might not be yours! So, be unapologetically yourself and grant yourself some grace, baby!

I know that college may look a little different for some this year, but I think that some of these little reminders are things you can carry with you all the time- whether you’re in a college setting or not! Your experience is what you make it, so always remember that something amazing can come out of something unexpected or different. You’re going to crush this academic year, I’m rooting for you!

Best of luck!

~ Ang

Goal-Getter

Goal-Getter

Goal Getter
How To Set Attainable Monthly Goals

How To Set Attainable Monthly Goals

Hi, sweet friends!

With the start of a new month quickly approaching, I wanted to take some time to talk about monthly goal setting!

Monthly goal setting is something that I only started doing at the end of May (for June), but I have found that it is something that keeps me on track and serves as a constant reminder of the things I am working towards!

I should clarify- when I say “goals,” I’m talking goals on a smaller scale. We all have our larger goals that we would like to accomplish in our life, even in the next five or so years: write a book, travel, start a business, book a Broadway show…

The list of larger than life goals can be endless and should be individual to you and your aspirations! But the goals that I set for myself every month are goals that I know I would like to accomplish in the here and now rather than in my future. These goals are comprised of things I know I would like to accomplish for myself on a daily or weekly basis during the month, or things that I know I can realistically complete in a 30-day time frame.

Many of my goals really serve as reminders for me! My list is generally comprised of actions that I want to take throughout the month to better myself in a variety of ways and help myself achieve mental, emotional, and physical peace. When I complete something that is on my list of goals, I feel a sense of peace and fulfillment that propels me forward and onto my next task!

Let me share with you a few things that were on my list of July Goals so you may better understand what I mean (these are quoted from my writing):

  • Do yoga every day BUT be gentle with myself, and take a day off if need be
  • Read 1-2 books this month
  • Start listening to podcasts at least one day a week
  • Continue waking up by 9 AM
  • Continue my money spreadsheet and spend less than June
  • Choose 2 days a week to limit social media usage to avoid burnout

So, how can YOU set up a list of goals for your month that will help you achieve peace in your everyday life?

  • Assess your values! This doesn’t mean you have to dig down deep, it really just means asking yourself what matters most to you, for yourself. Do you value your quiet time, taking care of yourself, taking care of others, education, working hard, etc.? The list goes on and on. Figure out what values need to become priorities first and foremost.
  • Figure out what you need mentally, emotionally, and physically! This is so important, and there is no right or wrong answer. Start by pausing and considering what may have caused you more mental dis-ease than you would have liked to experience this month. What can you limit/increase exposure to in your life that would create more mental ease in your life? Repeat this evaluation in terms of your emotional and physical states!
  • Ask yourself what you feel you are lacking in your life. Since graduating, I have felt the lack of education and learning in my life, so I wanted to keep reading and learning through listening to more podcasts! You may not have the time to incorporate the things you are lacking into your life every single day, but adding them to your list of goals for the month creates a space for them that you may not have even had at all!
  • By the same token, what feels excessive or unnecessary in your life that you may want to cut back on? I felt overwhelmed by social media, so I added cutting back a few days to my list of goals! This list is not just about adding things into your life, it can also be about what you’d like to get rid of to create a healthier space for yourself!
  • Ask yourself if there are goals in your work or personal endeavors/projects that you would like to accomplish. I have a separate section of my list of goals that focuses on my monthly goals for the blog! Again, these are not the goals that I would like to achieve with the blog long-term, they are simply the tasks that I know I can accomplish in a month if I set my mind to it and work hard.

At the bottom of my list for July, I wrote this:

“Be gentle with yourself and these goals. You will not reach them all at once. If you don’t reach them this month you are not a failure. Love yourself!”

Goal Getter
How To Set Attainable Monthly Goals

I love my past self for this reminder. I couldn’t put it into better, simpler terms if I tried! Be gentle with yourself and these goals. As you can see, I set out to do yoga every day, but what I had learned from the previous month is that that goal was great to have, but sometimes I just didn’t want to do it because my body was telling me not to. But I wasn’t gentle with myself, and I did it anyway. These goals are not set in stone, nothing bad will happen to you if you don’t do what you thought you’d have the space and time for!

You will not reach them all at once. You just won’t! You’ve got to give yourself some grace. Just as you will not write the novel you aspire to write in a day/week/month, and just like you will not have 500 new subscribers/customers overnight, you will not be able to check off every goal every day. But it’s ok. If you don’t reach them all this month you are not a failure!

Love yourself. That one speaks for itself.

If YOU make a monthly goal list for yourself for August, I’d love for you to share it with me via social media @ang_larose1 on Instagram, @BTFblog on Twitter or via email!

I love you, I can’t wait to see you all crush your goals!

xoxo

~ Angela