Happy Holidays!

img_9099Christmas was a few days ago and New Year’s Eve is in another 3 days. It’s that weird time of the year where there are just so many holidays and festivities happening and it’s rather overwhelming. I realized that, over the course of a week, I was going to be traveling between cities like an absurd amount. It’s exhausting and I am going to need some well-deserved down time after all the holidays are over.

Let me update you on Christmas really quick though since I honestly don’t have a lot of time to blog today. (I’m leaving work early so I can head to my best friend’s wedding that I’m in.) I went home last Saturday and stayed with family until the day after Christmas. I spent so much time with family and it was absolutely fantastic. It’s weird to think that if my plans to move away proceed as planned, the holidays will really be the only times I get to see my family. Now, I’m just two and a half hours away and can go home on any weekend, but once I move, it’s major holidays only. Weird thought. Oh well though, it’s still a long way away. We’ll see what happens.

Anyways, for Christmas, my favorite gift was my Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones and they are THE BEST. They mute the ENTIRE world and holy moly they are a dream. I was literally counting down the days until I could start using them. Also, I killed it in my gift-giving this year. Just a side note.

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So this weekend I’m going to my best friend’s wedding, then I’ll be spending the new year in Austin. So much traveling. So exhausting. It’s fun and cool though, yeah. I’m not entirely sure if this blog has a purpose other than random ramblings. I promised myself I would blog at least once a week from now on though so this is what I’ve got this week.

OOH! Fun information, I am refreshing myself on how to code with HTML and CSS. I learned while I was in college but have pretty much forgotten since then. Once I finish my refresher courses, I’m going to take the dive and try to learn JavaScript. I really want to make sure that I am the best version of myself when I start job hunting in a new state. So yeah, that’s cool and fun and I really like learning new things.

xx – A

Things I Love Friday!

Hey friends! I’m back from a week-long little hiatus from blogging. Is it bad to say I just wasn’t feelin it?? Cause I wasn’t.

But IT’S FRIDAY! Y’all know what that means?! (It’s in the blog title–you should be able to figure this one out hehe.)
Things I Love Friday!

Alrighty, without further ado, lesss get this going. 🙂


The main thing I’m loving this Friday is that I’m traveling! I’m meeting my mom and aunt in Richmond, Virginia for a little weekend getaway. Which is dope. I’m very excited. I love to travel and I love flying in planes, so this will be great! I’ve never been to Virginia before, and I know Richmond isn’t like a HUGE deal, but it will be cool to go somewhere new for the weekend.

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Okay second thing I’m loving is colored hair. Ya girl went ahead and re-colored her hair since the pink from a few weeks ago didn’t hold very well. (I loved it so so much though, more than my current color honestly.)
I threw in some purple into my hair on Wednesday night, but y’all, it was too purple for the first 5 washes. I literally washed it 6 times after dying it, trying to get it to tone down a bit. It finally got to the color I wanted after washing it again last night.


Next up–I love summer. I love the heat and I love the sunshine and I love how optimistic everyone is during the summer. It’s always such a bright and hopeful time (compared to winter) and I never want it to end. I know it’s barely started, but I just wanna live somewhere the sun shines and it’s warm outside 365 days a year. That would make me happy. I don’t think I’ve ever actually looked forward to winter. Like ever.


Ipsy pouches!
Oh my goodness I love Ipsy pouches so much. I love getting new makeup and products to try each month, and I honestly wish I could do it more than once a month. (I would end up with a HUGE surplus of products if I did that, though.)
But this month’s puch was pretty cool–not my favorite, but pretty cool nonetheless. Along with the pouch, I got a brown eyeliner, an anti-oil mattifying stick, a light face scrub, a moisturizing balm, and a new makeup brush. The only thing I did not need was the makeup brush…I have like 30 makeup brushes already and I have my settings to where I shouldn’t receive any more. But alas, here one is.


Hmm…I’m running out of things to love…or at least, things to write about. What else have I been lovin’ this week?? It’s been kind of a rough week, so I don’t really have a lot.

Another thing I’m loving this Friday is: paydays!
Today is payday, and honestly if that’s not something to love, I don’t know what is! Fairly simple, yet totally 100% justified.


Okay, the last thing I’m loving this particular Friday is weekends spent at home. I was home this past weekend for Mother’s Day, and it was one of the most fun weekends I’ve had in a long time. Sure, there were some ups and downs, but overall, it was great. I got to spend a good amount of time with both family and friends, and it was much needed. Friday was a family day, Saturday was a friend day, and Sunday (Mother’s Day) was a primarily family day, with a little bit of friends sprinkled in. It was really nice.
I also spent roughly 6 hours in my pool on Sunday and I absolutely loved it. (I didn’t even get a sunburn either!!) I played good, old fashioned pool games with everyone and we messed around and had a great time. I absolutely loved it.
I also gave my mom a heart attack jumping from our pergola into the pool. (In my defense, it’s so fun!!) Scroll down for the vid! 🙂


So that’s what I’m lovin’ this Friday! Hope y’all have a great weekend! Find something you love and hold onto it. 🙂

xx – A

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Dear Momma,

You rock. You’re one the most amazing people I have ever seen in my life. You’re more amazing than literally everyone; more than Queen Elizabeth, more than Ellen, more than Joanna Gaines, more than Prince, more than the Pope–well…maybe not more than the Pope. (I don’t think Jesus would like me saying that??) You get the point, though.
I can’t even begin to thank you for everything you’ve done for me throughout my amazing 22 years of life, but shoot, I’m going to try.

I strongly believe in the concept that not a single person out there can love you as much as your mother does. The kind of love that moms are capable of is beyond explanation and comprehension, and mom, I know that you love me more than I could even imagine. You don’t even have to say it for me to know it. (Although you do frequently–I’m just saying, I’d know regardless.)

Lately, I’ve been thinking more about how frickin’ much I appreciate you, mom. It’s insane how much I do. I know it might not seem like it sometimes, and I know I definitely didn’t show it when I was younger, but you need to know that I do. Nomatterwhat. I get snippy with you sometimes, I forget to call you back, I call you too many times while you’re in meetings, I use your credit card without asking (hehe, sorry!), I forget to say “thank you”, I do so many things that irritate you or otherwise make me seem ungrateful, but you still love me. And I love you. So much.

You’ve put everything you have into raising me, and I owe you so much for all I’ve achieved and everything I’ll ever achieve. I am the person that I am because of you. Don’t get me wrong though, dad was the best dad ever, but this is a Mother’s Day blog, so it’s all about you.

Mom,
Thank you for everything you do and have ever done for me.
Thank you for taking me to countless tennis tournaments.
Thank you for staying up late to help me with the many projects I put off until the last minute back in grade school.
Thank you for helping to pay my college tuition.
Thank you for buying me my car that I still love oh-so-much.
Thank you for always making sure I have money for food, groceries, gas, clothing, activities, and other necessities throughout my life.
Thank you for giving me a great place to live when I moved back home.
Thank you for financially supporting my Starbucks addiction (with only minimal complaints).
Thank you for not thinking I was insane each time I decided to dye my hair a different color and for going with me to the salon to make the change. (Or buying the dye when I decided to do it at home.)
Thank you for talking to me on the phone all the time because I want someone to talk to, even though you’re super busy.
Thank you for being the primary supplier of furniture in my apartment.
Thank you for giving me the tools I need to succeed (in cooking, in tennis, in fashion, in life).
Thank you for being one of my best friends.
Thank you for being the best role model a daughter could ever ask for. For being strong, empowered, smart, and insanely driven. You inspire me every single day.
Thank you for supporting me in every way possible, for motivating me, for advising me, for loving me unconditionally.
Thank you for teaching me to always try and see the bright side of every situation.
Thank you for showing me how to be compassionate.
Thank you for picking me up when I fall down and for holding me when I cry.
Thank you for showing me that even when life has completely steamrolled over you, that you can still get back up and keep going, even if doing so requires a little help.
Thank you for being my crutch when I could not bear to walk on my own.
Thank you for showing me that anything is possible, even if everyone doubts you and the odds are completely against you.
Thank you for being unapologetically you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will never be able to say it enough.

I love you always forever. So frickin’ much.
xoxo – Anna


Now, I know it’s Mother’s Day, so my mom isn’t the only one being appreciated globally. I want to show some love for the other mothers out there and the things they have done for their kiddos. Everyone appreciates you lovely ladies as well, and you should know it. A mother’s love is unmatched; I’m pretty sure that’s basically a scientific fact (Source: me.science.com). Their ability to give and give and give without a second thought astounds me.

I struggled so much with what to ask people so that I could shift the focus from my mom, to other moms. I wanted it to be something that would provoke a heartfelt response but not give me a bunch of similar responses. Took me 2 weeks to figure it out, but I think I came up with something that’s just right.

What is one thing that your mom does that never fails to make you smile?

“Bring my cat into my room with her
She puts Bandit on me in the mornings”
-Erika

“When she talks to my dogs in a different voice
Well it’s always in a different voice
But you know what I mean”
-Kurtis

“I have hard mornings.
Especially on Monday’s. For some reason, especially in the mornings, I have a hard time being happy and remembering why I’m doing what I’m doing or why I am where I am.
But every single morning without fail my mom sends me those gifs you can send through iMessage. One is always inspirational and the other is funny.
It know it seems insignificant, but I really look forward to those every single morning. And somehow someway she always times it so that I get them right as I’m standing, waiting for the long (dreaded) subway ride before work. It reminds me that no matter what type of day I’m about to have, she believes in me enough to know I can get through anything., Most days it makes me believe too.
Now they’re so important to me I feel like my days would be off without them.”
-Mariela

“Any time she tells me how much she loves me.”
-Marshall

“When she calls just to ask how my day went. In my profession, I hear kids say they never talk to their mom or don’t have a great relationship with them which makes my heart hurt. My mom has inspired me in so many ways and I don’t know where I would be without her. The fact that she takes the time out of her busy life to check on me and listen to me vent or ramble, means the world to me.”
-Lauren

“She always sends me texts before exams to wish me luck 🙂 ”
-Tessa

“I f**king love my mom and everything she does but her laugh is contagious”
-Eric

“Anytime I go home, she always makes the grocery list around me and has all of my favorite things/makes my favorite meals”
-Ashlee

“Since I was little all the way till now. If I happen to lay on the couch or fall asleep. She will bring a blanket and put it on me and kiss my head.”
-Thomas

Shoutout to all the little things that moms do that just brighten their kids’ days. They might not think of it as a big deal, but to others, it means the world.


Lastly, y’all know how much I love poetry, so I can’t resist including some. The fact that my favorite poet has a poem written for moms makes it all the more perfect. Enjoy.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

xx – A


P.S. I wanna thank my best friend up in the Big Apple for helping me with this blog–it wouldn’t have been nearly this great were you not a part of the production process. Thank you, Mars! 🙂


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Words of Wisdom

Who needs advice on how to handle post-graduate life?
Or just life in general? I know I do.

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Since graduating, my life has consisted of a series of drastic changes. Some of which, I elected to take on myself, some were thrust upon me, and others knocked me off my feet entirely. But here I am, still living. I decided I wanted to ask people a question regarding advice they might give to their younger selves. I came up with two options–one based around what advice they would give to themselves after graduating college, and one regarding advice they’d give to their younger self in general. Even now, as I ask people and compile quotes, the nature of my blog post changes slightly, and I can’t help but smile to myself because that embodies the exact nature of this post–change.

One of two questions will be sent to a variety of people. Hopefully someone reading this will find wisdom and solace in the words my friends and family provide (or even just smile at some of the goofier things said.)
Fair warning though, I ended up with more quotes than I intended, so you’re in for a world of advice. It’s a good read though, so I strongly urge you to read it all.

Enjoy.


If you could go back in time to when you had just graduated college and give yourself advice, what would you say?

“Enjoy life and know that what’s meant to be, will happen.” -Mariela, 22

“Live hard and travel.” -Robin, 26

“Don’t be afraid to do things on your own–get out and explore what life can be.” -Ashlee, 22

“There’s nothing wrong with not having a dream job. If at the end of the day you’re happy and your bills are paid, then what you do isn’t as important.” -Scott, 25

“Cheap beer is never the answer.” -Jake, 25

I’d probably tell myself to pay more attention to other people. Be genuinely interested in what’s going on in their life and how they’re doing so I could help them or just know what to say to them when they needed it.” –Evan, 25

Don’t be so defensive and fix your victim complex, the world is not out to get you. It’s your life, so live it your way to the best of YOUR ability. Play a song that’s in your heart, keep dreaming, but most importantly live long and prosper.” -Nicholas, 27 (Some content omitted for length purposes.)

“I would tell myself to be true to myself and not let a failed relationship alter my course. My first boyfriend dumped me when I was 22 and I had a hard time getting over it. Looking back, that breakup was a good thing because I wasn’t ready to be attached.” -Theresa, 55

“Not to take the first job thrown at you.” -Ryan, 24

“I would probably tell myself to be more patient about making job decisions and to put myself out there more. Don’t settle.” -Lauren, 23

Chill the eff out. Enjoy your time, and nothing lasts forever. It will probably be a few years before you figure out what you’ll end up doing. Career wise. You will most likely stumble across it by accident. But even if you found it today, you wouldn’t be ready for it. So…enjoy the ride. That applies to in work and outside.” -Evan, 38


If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would you say?

“There’s no hurry. Enjoy the journey. And, stay in school! Know yourself before you become a couple…” -Janet, 51

Not to bet money yesterday.” -Eric (currently visiting Las Vegas), 21

Be confident in everything you do and in every decision you make.” -Wilson, 21

Your life is short and precious. It is not to be cluttered with frivolous bullshit. Focus on things that TRULY bring you joy. Wasted time holds the heaviest guilt. If you can’t get into that book, put it down and start a new one. If an acquaintance leaves you feeling drained and ugly, limit your contact. If a hobby starts to feel like a chore, don’t do it anymore. If you don’t feel like going out, stay your ass at home. If your job treats you like a bad boyfriend, DUMP IT.
However, as particular as you must be with your time, make sure that every single person you encounter can say that they’ve experienced pure, unconditional love and acceptance. If you love without expectation, you will never be hurt or disappointed.
Live wholly and apologetically as yourself. You do you, boo boo! Don’t listen to society. Do not for a second conform. Your mind is beautiful and different so embrace it.
Above all else baby girl, focus on your value, not your success.” -Lisa, 25 (Some content omitted for length purposes.)

Work hard and find goals to work towards. Stay motivated.” -Kurtis, 21

Don’t care so much, and those boys are seriously not worth your time, FYI.” -Krysten, 23

Never settle. Be more confident in yourself. NEVER ignore red flags. Trust your gut. Travel more. Save money, you never know what surprises life will throw you. Realize sooner that you are a badass woman and can handle anything life hands you!” -Ally, 30

“Never let others belittle you.” -Molly, 16

“I wish I wasn’t afraid to make my own decisions on things. I let my husband make decisions whether I agreed or not. This was hard to admit, but it was a mistake on my part.” -Ellie, 78

“Don’t be insecure, everybody has doubts.
Enjoy even the poor times of your life. Those are great memories you will enjoy remembering.
Participate in every 401k plan you can.
Don’t ring up debt. Money is more fun if you spend it as you earn it instead of before you earn it.” -Sharon, 52

“Go to bed earlier.” -August, 57

Don’t look at others and think they have the perfect life. Everyone faces their own challenges. They only show the good things to the rest of the world (on social media). People don’t always share their struggles. (Aka, the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.) -Trisha, 47

“Don’t be scared to do new things. I get anxious of the unknown and wish I enjoyed myself more.” -Chase, 28

Spend more time appreciating what you have instead of wishing you had more. And look for your purpose in your current situation instead of a way out of it. It’s usually easier going through it than it is getting out of it.” -Mike, 43.

“1. Don’t pay so much attention to what other people are doing and focus on yourself.
2. Don’t miss out on experiences that could be fun because you’re scared.
3. On that note, learn how to say no.
4. Take time to figure out what you love.
5. Learn to take care of yourself.
6. That boy? The one that doesn’t call back and only texts you late at night? He’s not worth any of it. Know your own worth well enough to say no.
7. Talk to your family. 
8. You’ll meet some of the best people in the world during this time: wonderful amazing loving people that will become your best friends.
9. On that note, you’ll meet some pretty awful people too. Keep your head up, and if someone is toxic, cut them out.
10. Relationships are hard. Sometimes things don’t work out for whatever reason and you’re stuck picking up the pieces alone. Remember that healing isn’t a linear process and these things take time. Don’t harden your heart just because you feel sad.
You’re only 22, you don’t have to have it all figured out now.”
-Tessa, 22 (Some content omitted for length purposes.)

“Watch the people you keep around because they’re the ones you’re giving the ability to do you wrong.” -August, 19

“Follow your dreams and don’t worry about making other people happy. Do your own thing.” -Erika, 23


Initially, I was going to omit the advice I would give to myself, but a friend suggested I include it. So, here we go.

What would I say if I could go back and tell my younger self something? Where do I even begin? 

Life is shitty sometimes, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Instead of dwelling on everything that’s going wrong, focus instead on the blessings in your life. Find things that bring you joy, no matter how small they might be, and DO those things. Do them always. In this long and complicated life we live, there are few things that matter more than the simple pleasures. 

Find people that you love and who love you back and never let them go. Ever. Having people in your life who truly care about you is such an amazing feeling and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. When they need you, be there for them and they will be there for you in return when you need them. If you ever fall down and become broken, these people will be your crutch until you learn to walk on your own again.

Maintain the realization that people who mean a lot to you are worth you swallowing your pride sometimes.  Think to yourself: Is this little argument worth this friendship? Usually the answer is no. Apologize even if you’re not wrong–the relief that accompanies the end of a conflict is well worth it. Recognize that most people are worth more than your need to be right, but also be mindful of the ones that aren’t. 

Work your ass off. No one gets anywhere without true effort on their part. If you want to achieve your dreams of living in big cities and traveling the world, you’re going to have to put in 110%. But, it’ll all be worth it when you look back and see how far you’ve come. Make your parents proud. Make your friends proud. Most importantly though, make yourself proud of who you’ve become.

And lastly, love yourself, damnit. Always take care of you.” -Anna, 22

xx – A

 

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