The Beauty of Today

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This morning I woke up early, before my alarm went off. I always love when I wake up at 5am, as it’s the best feeling knowing that I still have an hour and a half more to sleep. Today is also the best day of the week—it’s Friday…and for the next two days I don’t have any responsibility. I am trying to appreciate my free weekends right now, before I am occupied with papers and homework once I start grad school in August. The sun is out and about today, even along the coast, meaning it’s going to be a great weekend for tanning/hiking.

As I drove to work, I came across zero accidents. Phew. I checked my snack drawer as always, and noticed that someone had left a “Take 5” candy bar inside. I’m not sure who put it there, but I am absolutely grateful for their generous gesture. I always try my best not to purchase candy bars at the store (despite my contact desire to), but since this one randomly appeared in my vicinity…I am stoked. Thank you Universe.

Quick aside: I came across the most adorable succulent garden last night at Trader Joe’s, and simply cannot get my mind off of it. I will be going back this weekend to purchase those potted plants for my room. I love to add life to my living space. They literally look like this and they’re only $6.99 apiece:

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I am leaving work early today to go make a business relationship, and try samples of nuts and dried fruit (strange I know). Things like this make me grateful for the job. (Also so stoked for my solo business trip to Bend, Oregon next month! Woo!).

Tonight is a fun event, as Ally and I are headed to an LA Rooftop movie w/ wine and popcorn included. We are definitely going to get trendy and dolled up, as we rarely have a reason to go downtown on a Friday night. More to come on this..

Today I am full of energy and liveliness as it’s a beautiful day to be alive, and I am SO stoked for all that is to come. I am ready for the next chapter that the Universe delivers. I am ready for new adventures and learning experiences. Bring it!

xx allie

Creating a Cozy Room

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After graduating from UCSB a few years back, I moved back in with my mom to save money while working. Expecting it to be a relatively short transition period between my school apartment accommodation and getting my own place, I did little to decorate my room or “make it my own” so to speak. I took little pride in my room, and never felt good spending extended periods of time in it.

A few months back, I was accepted into a 2-year Master’s program that ultimately led me to decide to live at home for a little longer to avoid losing money over paying rent expenses. While it was tough to make this decision at the time, looking back I am really relieved that I did.

That being said, I felt compelled to transform my room into a cozy and inviting space for me to relax or study in. Although it’s not completely done yet, I already feel SO much better about my room and how far it’s come along. I now take pride in my room, keep it spotless and clean, and look forward to getting home to it at the end of every work day. It’s my cozy comfort lounge.

Here’s what I did:

Paint Color: Alright this was somewhat of a difficult choice. I knew I wanted something calming and warm. So for me it was between a very light yellow, coral, or mint. I decided to go with coral, as I feel this color is girly and happy. Side note: be careful when choosing your color from a swatch! The color always looks a few shades darker on your wall once it’s done. Also, you should definitely watch some painting tutorials on YouTube if you’ve never painted a room on your own before. There are tips and techniques for making your walls smooth and even. My life would have been 1000x easier if I had done this before myself.

Pillows: Essential. An assortment of pillows with different patterns and materials makes for the cozy illusion that you want. How can a bed truly be comfortable without pillows? Not only do they add to the coziness factor, but they also add toroom11 the deco. Use them as an accent or statement to give your room more pizazz and character.  You’ll also need a soft throw or blanket to lay across the foot of the bed: it’s an optional piece of extra coziness. I purchased mine at Ross.

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Rug: Specifically if you have wood floors, you will definitely be needing a rug. The rug should tie in with the other decorations around the room, but is mainly there to keep your feet warm as you move about. You’ll never want to leave your bed if you’re anticipating a freezing cold floor! Worry no more. I bought mine at Home Goods for $30.

Lamp: Lighting/Fixtures are important. There are literally thousands of styles of lamps. They can be modern, vintage, sleek, unique, and everything in between. The style of lighting you choose can really make or break your room and its theme. For my room, I chose a Himalayan salt crystal lamp. These have a ton of added health benefits, but also emit a dim pink hue that is not too distracting or obnoxious. I liked it because it adds to the calm, peaceful setting that I was going for with my ambiance. I got mine from Home Goods for only $15.

Candles: Not everyone is a fan of candles, but I happen to love them. They come in any scent and color, and never fail to relax me in the evening when I light them as I read. A nice scent is vital in a room, as it truly adds to the aura it presents. Pro Tip: Go for the Soy Wax Candles, as their smoke isn’t harmful for you to breathe.

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Living Plants: Living plants are always a nice touch. For my room, I chose a baby orchid plant that I’ve put on my bedside table. It’s totally thriving right now, and makes my room seem alive! Watering the plant and keeping it healthy also makes me feel like a proud plant parent. Hehe.

Reading Corner:  I am obsessed with reading good books. For me, a good book is one on self-help practices, relationships, communication, psychology, the brain, or mental health disorders. [Duh—I’m getting my Masters in Counseling Psych].  So personally, a nice space to read is vital. I had a vacant corner of my room that I decided to devote to this cause. I went to Target and was able to get a very soft seat ($70), which I’ve draped with a fuzzy throw ($30) and the latest edition of Psychology Today. Overhead is a 36” white feathered dream catcher that I purchased on Amazon for $15. Arguably my favorite section of my room.

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Wall Deco: Take your time with this one. It is important to find a painting/picture/canvas that you truly truly love. After all, it is the centerpiece of the entire room. It took me a few months to find something I loved, but I finally found this colorful elephant from Cost Plus World Market, that I just had to have. It was $100, which was a little more than I was willing to spend. I left the store without it, but the next day, I looked online and found the same canvas from Burlington Coat Factory for under $50. I bought it immediately. It currently resides over my bed and I absolutely LOVE how much brilliance it’s added to my room.

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While my room is still in the process of its transformation, I am TOTALLY excited about the progress I’ve made so far. I still need to purchase a flat screen TV for the wall across from my bed, a mirror to hang on the wall above my dresser, a floor plant for an empty corner of my room, and some mini lights to hang over my bed or window (have decided which yet). I feel confident that by my room’s conclusion, it will be the cozy and relaxing space that I desire and look forward to.

xx allie

Being Real

the velveteen rabbit

As I was reading my book the other night (“Daring Greatly” by author/researcher Brene Brown), I came across a quote that I absolutely loved:

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

*Excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Although it has been quite a long time since I’ve read the story of The Velveteen Rabbit, this passage truly touched me. Growing up and even today, I’ve always had stuffed animals (even a blankey). I remember when I was little my mom would always say, “Allie, what are you going to do when you go to college? Bring your blankey with you?”. Well…that’s exactly what I did. I brought him along for the 4 year ride.

To me, this passage hits home. I have given my stuffed animals and blankey so much love and affection over the years, that they are worn, tattered, ripped, etc. One of their noses has fallen off, and of course I’ve taken the liberty to superglue it back on. Fact is, I’ll never give them up for as long as I live. And you can bet that no matter what, there will always be an animal of some sort in my bed that I sleep with.

But what makes this passage even more profound to me, is the fact that it also alludes to humans in love. Sometimes, it hurts to be loved. We are worn, tattered, and scarred from the love we’ve received, and in the end, it only makes us more real. It only makes us more beautiful. Not everybody can accept being loved. They are fragile and meek, and would prefer to be left unscathed. They may not look damaged or worn, but that is because they are not real. They have not gone through the one human experience that sets the real apart from the unreal. They are afraid to be vulnerable. They are afraid to be tossed around from the tempestuous emotion that is love. The incredibly sought after, yet infinitely feared emotion. They are not willing to be tattered from the wounds of love, and they’ll never understand the beauty inherent in feeling this sense of “realness”.

But those who are real don’t mind that it hurts. We are eager to be tattered and worn. We are eager to be shabby.

xx allie

The Light Between the Cracks

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“There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

-Leonard Cohen

 

One of my favorite courses that I took while attending UCSB was “The Dark Side of Relational Communication”. Not because I am a dark, sadistic person (because I’m not), but because the main premise of the class was that even the worst aspects of our relationships, and the sometimes harsh ways that they end, have a silver lining.

You cannot begin to appreciate the light without darkness. I have been struggling with a very difficult life transition lately. But despite my less than enthusiastic mood and notes of negativity, my support system is rockin’ it. I couldn’t be more grateful for a fantastic group of friends (who are basically family), and family (who are also friends) who have taken it upon themselves to rush in and comfort.  Despite the changes that occur in life, my support system has always been a constant. They are there through the best of times, and the worst of times. They are there to rise up my spirits, and remind me of my worth. They are truly the real MVPs, as they never let me down in my time of need.

I am able to be real with every single one of these people, and they are able to be real with me. They are the foundation on which I stand. They talk to me about the finer things in life, the things that are not always easy to discuss. They question my intentions, my values, and my aspirations, and challenge me to do what’s best. They are what make my life beautiful. They are what make my life deep.  Because that is what life is all about: human connection and belonging. I feel 100% connected by their presence and company in my life. I feel strengthened by their very existence to me. I am incredibly lucky, as not everybody gets the chance to meet life-changing people like these. They truly add to my life, and inspire me to always be my best self.

It takes a loss sometimes to be reminded of all that I have not lost, and never will. The people that see the light in me, will want to remain in my life. They will feel enriched in my presence, as I do in theirs. They will feel inspired by me to be a better version of themselves. To me, a thriving relationship is one in which both parties feel the value of their counterpart, and acknowledge it to them. There is a give-and-take exchange, where both parties feel balanced from the equal reciprocity among them. There are equal parts gratefulness. Equal parts love. Equal parts understanding. And equal parts patience.

There is not always agreement, but there is acceptance for the other side. There is respect, in spite of controversy. Not everybody is willing to make the sacrifices that must be made to cradle a relationship and solidify a bond. Not everybody is willing to endure the darkness, to appreciate the light. I am beginning to see the beauty of the cracks. I am beginning to value the presence of the dark.

xx allie

QUEEN

“Be careful how you play your cards when you have a queen in your hand”

queen of hearts

I know that what I want in life is not impossible. I see it every day. I see men posting appreciation photos of their girlfriend with the caption, “luckiest man in the world”. I see engagements occur every couple of months, when the man knows with 100% certainty he never wants anybody else. I see young married couples holding their children’s’ hands as they walk to the park. But in waiting for my happy ending, I am beginning to lose some hope.

I found a guy that I really fell in love with. I don’t fall often, but when I do, I fall hard. While I feel lucky to be able to love so strongly, it’s hard to fall without inevitably feeling some pain. I let myself be vulnerable with him. But trust me, it wasn’t easy. I remember crying as I looked at him, so overcome with gratitude and joy that it was almost sad. It almost didn’t feel meant for me. The feeling that I had wasn’t “luck”. Because luck is too stupid. Luck is too dumb. It was much more than luck. I felt more than lucky. It felt like being handed a million bucks, and when asked what you owe in return, the person says, “Just accept it”. While it seems like an easy enough request, it wasn’t. I struggled with accepting it. It felt so good, it almost hurt. It felt so right, it didn’t feel right. You spend so much time hoping that life gives you everything you’ve always wanted one day. But do you ever wonder what it feels like when that day actually comes? It’s the scariest thing you’ll ever come to know. You panic. You cry. You shake…for fear of losing it all unexpectedly. Or even expectedly. Anticipating the loss is almost worse. You want to feel relieved that you can finally revel in having what you’ve always wanted. But you simply can’t. It feels too good to be true. It feels like a sick joke from the universe that you hope never reaches the punch line. Because this punch line would hurt.

This should have been the red flag. The sweetness never should have also felt bitter. Looking back, perhaps this sick joke was intuition. Nothing more. I was the only one feeling overcome. I was the only one feeling this obscene amount of gratefulness for what the world had offered me…my so called million bucks. I was the only one struggling to accept this love. Why? Why? Why? I asked myself a million times. Did he not love me as much? Was I not as special to him, as he was to me? Was I a dime a dozen? Had he had greater loves before me? Was I a let-down? Did I not match up to his self-made construct of a future wife? Did he always know it wouldn’t be me?

Or maybe he just didn’t know a good thing when he had it. 

I’m not sure why things changed so unexpectedly, but I have to believe that it’s for my highest good. I guess the universe can take the reins on this one.

Despite it all, I know that my time will come. In my own mind, I am a queen. I will always be deserving. I will always be special, and valuable. I will always be enough. And one day, my king will appreciate his hand, and never let it go.

xx allie

The Courage to be Vulnerable

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Nobody is perfect. We can’t pretend that we are. Everybody has something in their past that is painful to think about, no matter how long ago it occurred. Becoming self-aware, and facing the difficulties of our past is often not the first thing on our agenda. In fact, many people spend their entire lives in denial or avoidance of their deep-seated trauma. They unknowingly let it affect their patterns of behavior, coping mechanisms, communication style, and relationships. They are held hostage by their ignored inner conflict, and are inhibited from operating as their best self.

To me, this is the biggest shame of all. A hesitancy to want to look within is the greatest self-sabotage a person could inflict upon themselves. They are hindering their own self-growth, and are therefore not making the most of their human experience and emotional capability.

So why would a person refuse to look within? The vulnerability. It is scary to look within. It is scary to uncover the dark truths of our past, that we have worked so hard to suppress. Why should we dive headfirst into our painful memories, if we have the option to avoid them? Why shouldn’t we just bury those thoughts into a dark corner of our mind, that we never revisit again? Because, try as we might, they will continue to affect us as long as we choose not to face them.

Therapy is a practice that is accepted by some, and refused by all others. While many people have come to believe that it is vital to their mental wellbeing, others believe it is a stark sign of weakness. No matter what state they are in, their sense of pride convinces them that they are not a candidate for therapy and would never benefit from sharing their emotions with a stranger. I am here to dismantle the latter notion.

Since nobody is perfect, then we can all agree that there is always something that a person could learn to do better. There is always room for improvement. If you know you could improve at something, then wouldn’t you want to? If you could strive to be a better you, then what’s stopping you? If you are in agreement with this, then already everyone is a candidate for therapy.

Why would you want to talk to a stranger, when you don’t even feel comfortable talking to a loved one or friend? This stranger is not just someone you’ve picked off the street. They are a professional, who has been trained to guide you through your subconscious and help you to face the daunting and crippling ghosts of your past and present. They have your best interest in mind, and will do anything they can to help you on your journey of becoming your best “you”. They will provide a safe space for you to speak and think without restraints. They will push you to be vulnerable, but hold your hand along the way (so to speak). They are always on your team.

In psychology, there is something called “the stranger on the train phenomenon”. This is the idea that sometimes a stranger can be our most trustworthy confidant. It is called the “stranger on the train phenomenon”, because people who meet on a train can often talk for hours getting to know each other quite well and sharing some very personal secrets, simply because they know that they will likely never see the person again. To me, this is kind of like a therapist. While of course you will likely see them again, they are not at liberty to discuss anything that you tell them with anyone else (much like the benefit of never seeing a person again). Your therapist can be your stranger on a train.

While many people believe that therapy is for the weak, I would have to disagree. Therapy is for the courageous. Therapy is for those people who have the strength to look within, even if it means being uncomfortable and facing your biggest fears. Therapy is for those who are ready to be a better version of themselves. Therapy is for the humble–the people who know that they are not without flaws, and are willing to work to be better. I admire the people who go out of their way to do something courageous and difficult for the better. For the better of their relationships. For the better of their self-concept. For the better of their future.

xx allie

 

“13 Reasons Why” Review (Mild Spoiler Alert)

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I honestly don’t even know how to begin this post. This series had a lot of shock-value, but the strange thing is, it was wildly realistic. The series starts off with a recording of a young high school girl, Hannah Baker, explaining that by the time anyone hears the recording, she will have already killed herself. She then proceeds to explain how she’s recorded 13 different tapes, outlining the 13 reasons that led up to, and caused her suicide. She has requested that 13 people (all who contributed to her suicide in some way) listen to the tapes and pass them along to the next one on the list after finishing.

If you aren’t a fan of dark shows, then you probably won’t like this one. However, I couldn’t help but be drawn in as I witnessed a likeable and charismatic young girl suffer from the constant bashing and bullying of nearly everyone around her. And while she isn’t always the target of the antagonists, she unfortunately must bear witness to some of the awful things that occur behind the scenes of the high school setting.

She quickly learns that her peers only care to look out for themselves, and will easily throw her under the bus to avoid criticism or confrontation from others. She learns that making friends is not an easy task, and that even the people she considers friends at one point or another, make poor decisions and betray her in the end. She is objectified by the students, and has to endure unwanted attention towards her body, and inappropriate ass-slaps by boys in public settings. She has loving parents, but they are constantly swept up in their business, getting by from paycheck to paycheck and in turn paying little attention to their daughter, who is clearly not okay.

The romance in the story is sweet and promising, but unfortunately Hannah pushes away even the boy she secretly loves due to her fear of being used and hurt yet again. She loses trust for everyone around her, and ultimately feels alone and empty. She makes efforts to participate in school activities, like the “Dollar Valentine” or the poetry club, but even those backfire and she’s left in despair. Hannah stands up for herself in many occasions, and faces the criticism head-on, but towards the end she loses the battle and ceases to care about anything. After trying so desperately to get through the drama that has become her life, she comes to believe that the world would be better off without her in it. She cries for help, and even visits the school counselor as a last ditch attempt to save her life, only to be disappointed one final time by his lack of support and professionalism.

Hannah Baker, although not a real student in the real world, has a story that is shared by many. Many students feel afraid to go to school because of the extreme peer pressure and disparagement that exists. And while students should be supporting one another and lifting each other’s spirits, it is exactly the opposite in too many cases. Although one bad-mannered comment may not mean much to the person who says it, it could potentially be the comment that causes someone to pull the trigger. We can’t pretend that we understand what others might be going through. Everybody has their own story, their own past, or their own family issues. There is more to life than meets the eye, and kindness and compassion can mean all of the difference to someone who is struggling with the will to stay alive. This show truly mastered the dangers of teenage life, and the everyday challenges that so many kids must face. While it is a difficult show to watch, the message is quite profound. The show encourages parents and schools to pay better attention to those children who may be struggling. It encourages children to be kinder to one another, and more accepting. It is a devastating portrayal of the sorrows of life growing up, but the sad part is that it’s hardly an exaggeration.

The show concludes with a lot of questions unanswered, making me squirm with anticipation for the second season. Although the ending is sad, as you are made aware from the very beginning, there is still hope for justice to Hannah’s family and a sense of humanity for those people who come forward to make things right for all of those involved. Nothing but amazing things to say about this show and its impact on me, and hopefully on others. Take a chance & give it a watch. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

xx allie

Update: 10 Months on Lexapro

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It’s been 10 months that I’ve been on Lexapro now, and let me tell ya, time flies when you’re happy.

Lexapro has undoubtedly changed my life. On only 5 mg, I am a different person. I am finally me. The effects of lexapro were, and continue to be, astounding for me. I see the world through rose colored glasses, and glean positivity from most all scenarios. Things that would normally bother me, still do, but I no longer ruminate on them and allow them to ruin my day. Small problems stay just that…small. Things no longer escalate into catastrophic emotional turmoil or a downward spiral with no end. Responsibilities no longer feel  daunting, overwhelming, or impossible. I welcome my responsibilities more readily, and do not feel angry or resentful to have them. I am more confident, as my self-esteem has greatly increased. Make no mistake…it is not inflated, but it is finally normal and exists! My irritability and anger has subsided, making my interactions with others much more pleasant than before. I am no longer guilty for carrying so much negativity around everywhere I went.

Lexapro is like a magic wand. It’s science, but it feels like magic. I didn’t doubt it’s ability to help me get through my depression, but I never imagined how drastically different I would feel in my day-to-day life. A good day before Lexapro, is a mediocre day on Lexapro. The bad is never as bad as the good is good. I still get sad. I still cry. I still care about all of the same things I used to. But now, things don’t seem as drastic. If something upsetting happens, it’s not the end of the world. I am more equipped to handle disappointment. I am more motivated to finish tasks I’m not excited to begin.

The positive effects of Lexapro last over time. I have been on 5mg from the very beginning, and have never felt a reason to increase my dose. My body does not get used to it, and then need more to get the same effects. The right dose is the right dose, period. (Or at least in my own experience).

Lasting side effects:

When you’re depressed, you often lose your appetite. Food isn’t appetizing, and it doesn’t taste nearly as satisfying either. As the lexapro kicks in and diminishes the depression, your appetite comes back. Food becomes enjoyable again. To me, this was a good thing. I had lost about 20 pounds while depressed (mostly because I was eating 1/3 to 1/2 of my normal portions). In the last 10 months, I’ve gained about 10 pounds back. I feel that I am at my healthy weight now. Do I think the Lexapro caused me to gain weight? No. I think getting my appetite back caused me eat regularly again. My body restored healthy weight back to my body. I’ve also been more motivated to work out lately, meaning muscle weight is most likely included. Lexapro didn’t cause me to gain weight. Lexapro restored my appetite.

Sleep: I have not had one night of bad sleep since I’ve started taking lexapro.  Sleep was never an issue for me even before taking the Lexapro, but it’s drastically improved nonetheless. I sleep very soundly throughout the night, and hardly ever stir. I struggled with crazy bad dreams up until lately, but they’ve slowly settled down and become less frequent. Night sweats were also relatively frequent after starting the Lexapro, but those too have become less frequent with time.

That’s about it. Lexapro has provided me with so many amazing benefits, and next to no long-term side effects. If you are struggling with depression, and have been thinking about trying an antidepressant, I would highly recommend trying Lexapro. One of the best parts about this pill is that it’s also an anti-anxiety pill. My anxiety has decreased substantially, and no longer gets in the way of my life. I am now living without any unnecessary or crippling constraints. Lexapro has given me the freedom to live my life happily.

xx allie

 

Sunday Brunch…Why You Should.

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Ahhh Sunday. The first day of a new week. What better way to start off a week than to BRUNCH?

Here’s Why:

 Sleeping In

It’s Sunday…and if you’re like most, then you don’t have work today. It’s a relaxed day, where you have little to no responsibility. Take this opportunity to sleep in and catch up on the much needed zzzz’s that you’ve been missing throughout the week. The best part about Sunday brunch is that you don’t have to even set your alarm! Sleep in until noon if you wish, brunch usually lasts until at least 2pm anyways!

Different Menu

If you’ve ever brunched before, then you’ve probably noticed that brunch menus are usually separate from the typical breakfast menu. Specials, specials, specials galore! If you’re feeling something sweet, then go for the sugary plates: waffles, pancakes, French toast, etc. If you’d prefer to just skip the breakfast grub, then go straight for the burger! Basically, there’s something for everyone. Not to mention mimosas. Don’t mind if you do.

Value Meal

Alright let’s get real. We all know that brunch plates cost slightly more than the average breakfast plate. But have you ever stopped to consider why? At second glance, brunches are actually Value Meals disguised as trendy, high-end plates. You have now saved yourself from having to go out and buy your breakfast AND your lunch. Brunch covers you for two meals. Who doesn’t love a shortcut?

Cuteness

Most breakfast places are truly adorable. Many of them offer outdoor seating on cutely decorated patios. It’s extremely relaxing to sip on your coffee or latte outside underneath the sun and beside blooming flowers. This experience gives rise to the lyrics, “easy like a Sunday morning”.

In the Name of Brunch

Brunch is becoming such a ‘thing’ that you can’t go to any department store without finding “brunch” themed apparel. You might think, ‘I’ll barely ever wear a brunch shirt, since I only have the opportunity to wear it once per week’. On the contrary my dear, a better way to think of it is, ‘I’ll wear it at least once a week! Totally worth it.’ Purchase baseball caps, tank tops, backpacks, etc. Brunch seems like reason enough to dress up to me!

Catch Up

I said “catch up” not “ketchup”! Use brunch as the perfect opportunity to catch up with a friend or family member. Have a birthday to celebrate? Mother’s day? Take them to Brunch! Ain’t nobody gonna be disappointed about that.

Brunch is my motivation to get through the work week. Always remember…work hard, brunch harder. 

xx allie

Adulting 101: Tips n’ Tricks to Being a Kick-Ass Adult

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    Get Enough Sleep: So you used to go to bed at 2am? Those days are over! Now more than ever your body needs the proper amount of sleep, so that you can function at the optimum level each day. If you wake up early to get to work on time, then consider making a bedtime for yourself around 10:30 or 11 pm. The next day your head will be clear, and your focus will be sharp.

  2. Read: You’re not in school anymore, and no one’s forcing you. However, finding a good book and reading it over the course of time is more rewarding than you might realize. Finishing a few books a month helps to improve your vocabulary, and gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Reading is good for a happy soul.
  3. COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE: You never used to need coffee, but now it is essential. Waking up at 6:30am might never be easy, but it’s definitely easier with the help of some java. Enough said.
  4. Self-Care Routines: There are a number of things that you should get in the habit of doing as you get older.
  • For one, it’s important to take supplements. Some people take a multivitamin, while others take select vitamins for specific purposes. I’ve recently begun to take biotin gummies, which are meant to improve the health of hair, skin, and nails. Other people take fish oil pills, Vitamin C, etc.
  • Get in the habit of flossing! If you don’t already…it’s not too late! Flossing REALLY helps to prevent cavities and decay, and also preserve the health of your gums. It feels good to give your mouth an in-depth cleaning every night before bed.
  • Skin Care: My absolute FAVE. I have so many masks, lotions, exfoliates, hydrators, creams, etc. I look forward to giving my skin the attention it deserves every morning and night. There is NOTHING better than taking off your makeup at the end of the day, and allowing your pores to breathe once again. Seriously…if you don’t take off your makeup before bed, then you have NO RIGHT to complain about breakouts. I can’t stress enough just how important your skin routine is. Prevent aging, blemishes, redness, and more with a relaxing and refreshing wash.
  1. Purchase a Planner (and then actually use it!): I would be a mess without my daily planner. I keep track of appointments, friend get-togethers, workout days, etc. with my nifty little book. Some people choose to schedule events in their phone, but I just love handwriting my schedule. Do whatever works for you…but make sure to stay organized and on track!
  2. Fitness: Let’s face it—you are busy as can be. But it’s SUPER important to make time for a workout a few days per week. It’s too easy to cut out your gym time as soon as life gets hectic. However, the gym can be a great stress reliever. It helps you to clear your mind, and break a sweat! Staying active is important, even if it simply means going for a 20-30 minute walk. Go hiking, play tennis, swim…but whatever you do, try to have fun!
  3. Maintain Important Relationships: Now that you likely don’t run into people you care about on an everyday basis, it is important to maintain regular contact with your close friends and family members. Plan a time for a phone call with out-of-reach friends, or schedule a lunch date with someone close by. Whatever you do, try not to lose touch with the ones that matter. It takes effort!
  4. Start a Savings: If you receive a paycheck regularly, allocate a portion of it to your savings each pay period. Building wealth at an early age will help you to achieve your financial goals in a timely manner.

These 8 life hacks have been vital for me in succeeding as a busy adult. While they work for me, they might not necessarily work for you. Figure out what it is that will spur your day-to-day success and happiness. Then go for it.

xx allie