The Meaning Behind My Tattoo

If you follow me on Snapchat you probably noticed I got a new tattoo. This would be my second tattoo and I absolutely love it. It's so simple looking but has a lot of meaning to me.

The first reason I decided to get an arrow tattoo was as a reminder to myself that I get to choose which direction I go in my life. I need this reminder for a few reasons. 

I'm the type of person that wants to do what I should do. I'm always worried about what is expected of me, versus what I actually want for myself. When I look back on a lot of decisions I've made I'm not 100% sure who I made them for - me, or somebody else. I feel a lot of pressure coming from a lot of different places: society, family, friends, my own assumption. I've mentioned this in another post before as well. 

I need to remember that I have to live with the decisions I make and I need to do what makes me happy - period. 

This tattoo is a constant reminder that I need to rid my mind of all the clutter that's coming from other judgements or expectations about my life, and just do me

After I decided to get the arrow tattoo I decided to do a Google search for the meaning behind an arrow tattoo. That search led me to this....

This couldn't be any more perfect for me. In my life, I've had to overcome some obstacles. There have been times when I didn't think I had a future ahead of me, but I set my mind straight and like the quote says, I focused and kept aiming forward.

I truly believe that everyone needs to go through difficult times before they can feel real happiness. Nothing good comes easy. Even now there are things I want in my life that come at a cost. I can't complain about the hard times I have to go through because they will be worth it when it's all over. Take blogging for example. If I want to do this full time and hope to make this my career, I have to go through the difficulties first. I have to write posts, even when I don't want to, I have to sacrifice plans with my friends sometimes to catch a really helpful webinar, I have to lose some sleep over the wonders that are social media. This isn't going to be easy, nothing is.

This meaning also relates to my first tattoo ... but that story is for another day.

Do you have any tattoos? Tell me about them!

August Monthly Goals

I'm taking part in the Monthly Goals Linky Party

August is here! It's crazy to think that fall is just around the corner. To be honest, I'm ready for cooler temperatures.

Let's see how I did with my July Goals.

July Goals

  • Book an appointment for my next tattoo DONE! I got my tattoo on July 28th :) 
  • Get out of the house once a week to read/work on my blog - I was about to make it out twice this month and I got SO MUCH stuff  done, but I was unable to push myself out more than that. 
  • Make decor plans for one room in the house (the friend I have coming to visit will help with this) I finally picked paint colours for my bedroom and home office, YAY!
  • Go fishing Success
  • Go to the driving range - FAIL. The weather has been way too hot for me to willing stand in the heat. 

  • Take a minimum of 8,000 steps on weekdays and 10,000 steps on weekends I am very proud to say this was a success
  • Go to a fitness class - Nope. Just nope. 
  • Make a meal plan for the following week every Sunday - Also, nope.

Blog/Social Media
  • Get to 500 Instagram followers - I'm still learning a lot about getting engaged followers, and engaging with people I follow. 
  • Write 5 blog posts - I'm actually really disappointed I didn't make it to 5 posts this month. I was hit with a big case of writer's block.
  • Finish reading Building A Framework and create action plan for my business - I suck.

I didn't end up scheduling things like I said I would last month, so obviously, I wasn't successful with my goals. Lesson learned. I bought an adorable planner that I'm absolutely in love with!!! This will help with my scheduling.

August Goals

  • Get out of the house once a week to blog/read
  • Paint home office
  • Use my snazzy new planner

  • Go to one fitness class
  • No more pop (soda) - unless I'm at a restaurant, then I can have ONE glass
  • Only eat out twice a week (once for work lunch, once for dinner date)
  • Make a meal plan for each week

Blog/Social Media

I'm feeling a lot more positive about these goals this month. Last month was another 'blah' month for me and I'm finally starting to come out of my slump. Wish me luck!

What are your goals for this month?

Blogs I Love

I may not have been blogging long, but I've been reading other blogs for several years. I read a variety of different ones - health and fitness blogs, cooking blogs, DIY blogs, finance blogs, lifestyle blogs... I want to read all of themmm!! I'm constantly looking for new blogs to follow. Now that I've gotten into blogging myself, I have a new appreciation for these blogs and the people behind them.

It's time to share some blog love! Here are 5 blogs I love to follow....

1. From Roses

I have a serious crush on Rebecca's blog. I consider her more of a beauty blogger, but she writes about other things as well. She has a new post every day (damn, girl) and there's always something useful I can take away from each one. Some every-day-bloggers I've followed in the past wrote about really dry, boring content, just to say they wrote a post every day. That is NOT Rebecca. Some of my most recent favorite posts of hers are here, here, and here.

2. The Everygirl

The Everygirl's about page sums this blog up as ..."the ultimate online resource helping shape the creative, career-driven woman to experience her life better lived." I would agree with that description 100%. They cover so many different topics (career, wellness, culture, fashion & beauty to name a few), and their contributors have such different writing styles that every post keeps me interested. I religiously follow their Facebook and Pinterest accounts, so I don't miss anything!

3. Melyssa Griffin

Melyssa is a blogging Godsend. She is one of the few bloggers that I follow that genuinely wants to help other people succeed with blogging. All her posts are super detailed and helpful, and she frequently holds free webinars that actually teach you something - unlike those bloggers that hold free webinars that are full of obvious information and a terrible sales pitch at the end. Of course, Melyssa provides paid courses, but because she provides so much of her knowledge for free, I trust that her paid stuff would be worth the dime! She has a great free training series here and another helpful free course here.

4. Coffee with Summer

I just recently started following Summer's blog and I'm so glad I did. What I love most about her blog is how real it is. She is a very authentic blogger and I admire that. I think I particularly fell in love with her blog when I read this post. She also writes really fun and easy to read posts about beauty, fashion, her wedding, and blogging tips. It really is such a good mix. I'm also really jealous of her photography skills....and her hair. Okay, maybe I have a little girl crush!

5. Just a Girl and Her Blog 

This is one of the first blogs I was serious about reading. I really enjoy Abby's style of blogging and I think it's great when husband and wife work together on their blog. Just a Girl and her Blog is full of organizational and home decor posts but also shares posts about blogging success tips and tricks. Abby and Donnie share their income on their blog every month, breaking down revenue streams and expenses. These posts also include things they've learned that month and action plans for the current month. I'm one of those bloggers that enjoy when others post their blog traffic and income reports. It's nice to get a sneak peek into the business of blogging. 

Do you have a favorite blog to read? Post a link in the comments.
If you have a blog of your own, post that link too!

My Current Obsessions 01

This post contains affiliate links

This is my first round-up of things I've been obsessed with lately. They'll be a variety of different things - from health/beauty products, tv shows, smartphone apps, and more. 

I've been trying to budget more lately since I bought a house in December. Most of my favorites for this month are either free or very inexpensive (yay!).

1. Ponds Cold Cream

I heard about this cold cream from Kate from The Small Things Blog and I knew I had to try it. I love how this cleanser can remove ALL my makeup - even my stubborn waterproof mascara. Up until now, I haven't been able to find a face cleanser that has been able to do that. I've had to use a cleanser AND eye makeup remover. I don't have to tell you how annoying it is to have to use two separate products when one product should be able to do the job. This product is now part of my daily face washing routine. It took awhile to get used to how this cleanser makes my face feel after I use it. It can feel slimy if I use too much, but I've since been able to determine the perfect amount to use for my face.

2. Relax Melodies App 

A free version of this app is available for both IOS and Android. This app allows you to select white noise, melodies, customizable mixes to help you relax and fall asleep. I've been playing a customized mix every night while drifting off to sleep and it's really been allowing me to clear my brain and fall asleep faster. There are some premium features that are available with the paid version, but I don't find them necessary for me. One of my favorite things about this app is the variety of sounds. You can play a crackling fire, a rushing brook, or a soft lullaby. You can set a timer as well, so it's not playing the sounds all night long - just long enough to help you fall asleep.

3. Pure Anada Flat Top Foundation Brush

I bought this brush on a whim. I was buying other essentials from and just needed to spend a bit more to get free shipping (yes, I'm one of THOSE people), so I looked for a new foundation brush to replace the one I had. I read a review that this brush was very good for the price ($16), so I thought I'd go for it. I'm so glad I did! This brush works SO WELL. Pure Anada products are environmentally friendly, which is also a plus. You can apply either powder or liquid foundation with this brush flawlessly. The size is really great too - it easily fits in my small gym makeup bag. I'm going to be buying more from Pure Anada, that's for sure!

4. Infuser Water Bottle 

If you follow me on Instagram (if you're not, do it now *wink*) then you've probably seen me post a picture or two featuring my infuser water bottle. I absolutely love this thing! I got mine as a gift from a friend, but I found a similar one here and a really neat glass one here. Infuser bottles are great when you're trying to drink more water. I mostly add lemons in my infuser, but you can add anything - strawberries, cucumbers, oranges, lime ... and the list goes on! I know a few people that can't stand the taste of plain water and I always recommend they get an infuser bottle. It's SO IMPORTANT to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially in the heat of the summer, and these bottles are so easy to take with you everywhere you go. 

5. Spotify

This past month I've been listening to music more than usual - mostly to help me overcome my anxiety. When it comes to music, I like all different genre's and I love discovering new artists I wouldn't normally listen to. The easiest way for me to do this is with Spotify. If you haven't heard of Spotify before (where have you been?!) it's a digital music service that gives you access to millions of songs. You can make your own playlists, or follow playlists made by others, or you can be more adventurous and choose a song you like and let Spotify play similar songs that you might fall in love with too. You can play music on your smartphone or on your desktop. They have a premium subscription that allows you to play your songs offline, removes ads, play any song on demand, and listen to the highest audio quality. 

What are you currently obsessed with?

July Monthly Goals

Am I the only one that didn't even notice that it was July yet? Where did June run off to? 

I'm taking part in the Monthly Goals Linky Party 

Let's see how my June goals went

June Goals

  • Get out of the house once a week to go read/work on blog - No such luck on this one. My anxiety had been particularly bad this month, but now I have a better handle on it and I'm feeling good!
  • Make some kind of process in my office - that room is really a disaster  Some kind of progress is any kind of progress, right?

  • Go to the gym on the weekends - To be honest, I'm not surprised this didn't happen.
  • Remember to take my damn multivitamin. I always forget, and I need to take it with food or it makes me nauseous - This is a half win I suppose. I took it about half the time.

Blog/Social Media  
  • Write 2 posts a week - No such luck here. This month was another rough one at work, and once I get home, the last thing I want to do is more "work". This needs to change. It's time to hustle!
  • Finish reading Building a Framework - I'm soooooo close! 
  • Have 500 Instagram followers - this may not sound like a lot, but it's a lot to me! - I knew this one was going to be a bit challenging for me. I'm not the best at taking photos, but I've definitely come a long way and learned some things. 

Looking at how many goals I didn't achieve this month, I feel like a huge failure! That means it's time for me to kick July's ass! I have a friend visiting from out of town next week, so the first week of July should be jammed packed and will hopefully set me up for a great month to follow. What I've realized about my failed goal attempts is that I need to schedule more. Not scheduling things, actually writing them down or putting them in my digital calendar, isn't helping me to achieve these goals!

July Goals

  • Book an appointment for my next tattoo 
  • Get out of the house once a week to read/work on my blog 
  • Make decor plans for one room in the house (the friend I have coming to visit will help with this)
  • Go fishing
  • Go to the driving range

  • Take a minimum of 8,000 steps on weekdays and 10,000 steps on weekends 
  • Go to a fitness class 
  • Make a meal plan for the following week every Sunday

Blog/Social Media

I'm ready to crush these goals!
What are your goals for July?

Take a look at my other monthly goals here 

Coping with Anxiety

I started to experience anxiety about 13 years ago. In the beginning, it was a rollercoaster trying to figure out how to deal with it - some days it still is. It took me awhile to understand that anxiety was something I was going to have to deal with for the rest of my life, so I had better come up with ways to cope.

*Please remember, I am not a doctor. Anything I recommend in this post is just a personal recommendation and something that has worked for me. If you are experiencing anxiety you should speak to your physician*

Write in a Journal

Writing helps clear my mind. If I have a lot of stress going on in my life, I like to take some time to write and let all those feelings/worries out onto the page. If you don't like to write, maybe you like to draw or colour instead. Do whatever helps your mind relax and process any stress or anxiety in your life.

Listen to Music

I'm currently obsessed with listening to Spotify. It has every kind of playlist you could ever need. If I'm having a panic attack music really helps me calm down and focus my attention on something else. Picking out a few of your favourite mood-boosting tunes can really make a difference when you're starting to feel anxious. 

Watch What You Eat/Drink

Keeping a healthy diet will make your body feel better, which in turn, will make your mind feel better. Also, try to limit caffeine and alcohol if you can. For me, caffeine makes my anxiety a lot worse, so I try and not over do it. I still love a grande cafe misto with nonfat milk and 3 pumps of vanilla every once in a while, but when I do enjoy some caffeine I make sure to just have one a day. 

Get Moving

Exercising has such positive effect on our mood! If you're feeling extra anxious, try getting out for a walk, or even do some yoga at home. Exercise should really be incorporated into your everyday routine (easier said than done), because it burns away stress hormones that cause anxiety, and releases endorphin's in your brain - making you feel happier.

Take Mindful Breaths

 This is probably the best piece of advice when you're experiencing an anxiety attack. For me, the first sign of a panic attack is my breathing. I start to feel like I just can't catch my breath, or I'm not getting enough oxygen in my lungs. Taking a minute to concentrate and visualize the air going in and out of my lungs, while taking deep breaths, really helps. You can even put your hands on your chest and feel it rise and fall with your breaths. Another trick I do is to breath in through my nose, hold it for 3 seconds, and then slowly breathe out through my mouth. It almost immediately calms me down and helps me relax.

Don't Fight It

This took me a long time to master. I spent so much time trying to run away from my anxiety and would fear participating in things because I didn't want to have a panic attack. That was such a waste of time! Do a little research on anxiety, and figure out what your triggers are. Once you understand what your anxiety is, it won't seem like such a monster anymore, and when you're feeling it, don't fight it ... just go through the process.

Consider Medication

If you're anxiety is negatively impacting your life and keeping you from enjoying the things you used to love, it might be time to consider medication. I wouldn't recommend this being the first step to dealing with anxiety, but there's nothing wrong with taking medication to help ease the effects of anxiety. I know some people, myself included, who think taking medication means you failed or are giving up. This is not true at all. You wouldn't question someone taking medication for arthritis or back pain, so why is anxiety any different?

I hope these tips help! What are your go to ways of dealing with anxiety?