Monthly Roundup: March Favorites

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My birthday month is almost over, but what a great month it was! The weather (slowly) got warmer and spring is definitely in the air. I got my nails done for my birthday and it made me so ready for shorts, flip flops, dresses, and all things spring fashion.

I’m also ending the month by heading to Florida for a few days with my mom and cousins. By the time you read this, I’ll be en route to the Sunshine State. I can’t wait to relax during the quick getaway before the craziness of April.

{ONE} Speaking at a Social Media Conference

This month I had the opportunity to speak at a social media conference. I wrote all about it in a recent blog post so you can read that for more information. The conference was a definite highlight of the month!

{TWO} Daylight Savings

It’s a bit weird that daylight savings is a monthly favorite, but I am loving the fact that we have more sunlight in the evenings. During the winter, I struggled with staying productive after work because it was just so cold and dark. Now I’m getting home when it’s still light outside and it makes the evenings so much better. It’s just another reminder that summer is coming.

{THREE} Rita’s Water Ice

Not gonna lie, a mango gelati from Rita’s Water Ice is one of my favorite summertime treats. There’s a Rita’s close to our house (a blessing and a curse) so Luke and I enjoyed our first Rita’s of the season one night this month on our porch. It made me so excited for summer and spending more time outside. I captured the photo above when I noticed our dog Thalia living her best life that night, too.

{FOUR} I Turned 26

I turned 26 this month and felt the love from friends and family. My mom and I had a girls day that included coffee, getting our nails done, lunch at Panera, and shopping. It’s turned into a tradition of sorts and I love that. Luke and I also went out to dinner and it was delicious. If you haven’t already read it, I wrote a post about 25 things I learned from Year 25. You can check it out here. 

{FIVE} Becoming Mrs. Lewis

I like to include at least one book in my monthly roundup because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to read at least 35 books this year. (Check out the progress here.) I read 4 books in March, which isn’t terrible considering how busy this month ended up being! One of them was Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a non-fiction about C.S. Lewis’ wife. I love the Chronicles of Narnia series and the rest of C.S. Lewis’ work, but I didn’t know anything about his wife until this book. It was dry at times, but overall really interesting and definitely a recommended read if you are a C.S. Lewis fan.

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Presenting at a Social Media Conference

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Last week I had the incredible opportunity to be part of a local social media conference as a speaker (!!!).

I was blown away and humbled for the chance. Speaking at a social media conference has been a goal of mine for a few years now, and to say that I did it thrills me. I’ve attended multiple social media conferences since college as I yearn to learn more and more about the ever-changing digital space. As an attendee, I always hoped that one day I’d be on the stage presenting to a group of people…and now I can say that I have!

Leading up to the conference, I was anxious, excited, and definitely felt a bit out of my comfort zone. I have presented in front of groups and college classes before, but never to a group of businessmen and women who took time out of their days to attend a conference. When I heard the conference was sold out, it definitely increased the anticipation as the conference slowly crept closer and closer.

The day, from beginning to end, was amazing. I had the privilege of meeting several other presenters and we were all excited to get the day started. Over 400 people attended the conference and they came with questions and open minds.

I don’t talk too much about my career on this blog, so you may not know that I work full-time in digital and social media marketing. I love talking about all things social, whether it’s discussing Instagram strategies to grow a business, learning more about the *dreaded* Facebook algorithm, or brainstorming ways to further strengthen a brand’s online community. Whatever it is, I want in on the conversation and I love when others are excited to talk about it, too.

If you’re wondering, I presented in two sessions. In the first session, I joined another presenter for “Ask Me Anything,” where people could ask us anything for an hour. My second session was all about paid social media opportunities for your business. Sounds fancy, but basically it was all about how to create awesome, thumb-stopping ads across social platforms.

Simply put: A brand wants you to stop scrolling when its ad appears on your newsfeed and there is a plethora of ways on how to make that happen. My presentation walked through some of those opportunities and concluded with an engaging Q+A.

To be honest, I could go on and on, but to sum it all up, I’m truly thankful for the experience. Now it’s time to officially check it off the 101 in 1,001 list!

My First Month of Bullet Journaling

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One of my goals for 2019 was to start bullet journaling. I received a bullet journal and supplies for Christmas so come January 1, I was more than ready to get going.

I knew going into it that I was not your typical artsy person. I can’t doodle to save my life and staring at a book filled with blank pages was a bit intimidating at first. Thankfully, Pinterest is a thing and I quickly got inspired when I found a bunch of minimalist spreads that I could easily replicate.

Before creating my first monthly spread, I knew I wanted to create a few yearly spreads at the front of the bullet journal: Year At A Glance, Future Log, Movies to See in 2019, 2019 Bookshelf, and Blog Post Ideas…just to name a few. These are yearly spreads because they’re not tied down to a specific month so I can easily update them whenever I want.

When it came to setting up my January spreads, I kept it simple. I didn’t go *too* crazy since I wanted to focus on the actual habit/act of bullet journaling. By creating just a few spreads, I was able to see what I did and didn’t like so I could adjust accordingly for February. Here is the recap.

Things I Liked.

Habit Tracker. One of the things that attracted me to bullet journaling was the Habit Tracker. If you know me, this doesn’t surprise you. I’m obsessed with list, habits, and tracking literally anything I can. My January Habit Tracker was the first spread I created for the month and it ended up being one of my favorite spreads (shocker, I know).

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Netflix Tracker. I try not to watch tons of shows on my own, but Luke got me into Chuck and we’re both hooked. To be honest, I realized AFTER I designed the header for this spread that Chuck is actually on Amazon Prime 😐 …but I kept it anyways. Shh…don’t tell 😉

Highlight Of The Day. Another spread I loved was Highlight Of The Day, a one-page spread where at the end of the day, I wrote a quick sentence about the best thing that day. Some days were pretty nonchalant, but it was a fun challenge to find the little joy in each day.

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Things I’m Changing.

Weekly To-Do Lists. Ironically, the one thing I’m changing for February is how I did my weekly to-do lists. I still have my Bloom Planners’ Vision Planner and I track a lot of my daily to-dos in there. Halfway through January, I tried creating a weekly to-do list in my bullet journal but I wasn’t a fan of how it turned out. I think switching from a horizontal layout to a vertical one will do the trick.

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More spreads. Now that I’ve mastered a few of the spreads, I’m adding a few more in February. I like the idea of a “Monthly Goals” spread and a “When Did I Last___” spread to keep track of when I last did something (like get my car’s oil changed, clean out the fridge, etc).

Here’s to Month 2 of Bullet Journaling!

Little Joys Around the Web 💻

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Isn’t it awesome that we have the power to search and learn something new with just a few taps on our phones? It can be overwhelming knowing so much information exists online so you may not know where to start looking.

I have a few go-to websites and blogs that I check daily and to help us get through the week, I wanted to share a few articles and posts that especially jumped out at me. It’s a mix of fun, informational, and inspirational so I hope you enjoy!

My First Official 5K

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Well, I did it!

I ran my first official 5K.

For all you avid runners out there, this is not an impressive feat. A 5K is probably a warm up for most, but for me, it was a goal I’ve wanted to achieve for a while now.

At the beginning of last year (2017), I added “Run an official 5K” to my 101 in 1,001 list and I finally completed it this week.

I “trained” for the 5K the past couple of weeks (AKA I ran 1-2x a week) so going into the race, I knew I could physically complete it.

In my June Monthly Roundup post, I mentioned my 5K goals were to a) run it within 30 minutes and b) run without stopping. I was a few minutes short of completing my time goal, but I didn’t stop!

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the run to affect me mentally, but it did. It was my first official race so trying to find my pace and personal rhythm was challenging with other people running near me. I was able to focus on the goal, but I usually can tune out when running and that didn’t happen this time.

A few running favorites that I have to have in order to run: my Nike sneakers, my favorite running leggings, gum, and water before and after the run.

Fun fact: I don’t typically listen to music while I run! I find it distracting (but maybe I just haven’t found the right mix of songs yet).

What are your running must-haves? Do you have any favorite running songs? Let me know in a comment below!

10 Ways To Be A Girl Boss (Without Owning Your Own Business)

Girl boss.

You’ve probably heard this term thrown around on Instagram or in the home decor and office aisles of Marshall’s and Target. It’s everywhere – on notebooks, T-shirts, plaques, Pinterest, Twitter, Mashable, and phone cases…just to name a few.

You have heard stories of strong, determined women approaching challenges with vigor and motivation to prove others wrong.

The term is greatly valued these days, especially as “The Year of the Girl” unfolds and more and more stories of women CEOs and entrepreneurs rise to the level of books, TV stations, and news articles.

If you’re anything like me, “Girl Boss” motivates you, and scares you a bit.

I love the rise of productive, inspiring women doing great things for others and their communities. I love listening to podcasts like How I Built This and reading books like Yes, Please, Bossypants, and The Year of Yes… but I don’t own my own business. I’m not my own CEO. So there is this (slight) disconnect I feel from this “Girl Boss” trend and it got me thinking.

How can I embrace this Girl Boss mentality in my every-day life? Check out my Top 10 ways below.


{ONE} Listen to yourself talk.

It may sound self-absorbed, but listening to yourself talk helps you learn your struggles. What are your filler words? Do you up-talk? Once you can pinpoint these, practice speaking with confidence and authority.

{TWO} Non-verbals are everything.

Communication is 10% what you say and 90% what you don’t say. The way you sit or stand, what you do with your hands, and what facial expressions you give help communicate your message nine times more than the words you choose. Be aware of your non-verbal communication, even when sitting at your desk.

{THREE} Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

I received this advice from my mentor years ago. Dressing for the job you want embodies confidence, a goal-oriented mindset, and a push towards the future. It not only makes you look professional, but it also shows that you care and do what it takes to succeed.

{FOUR} Make time for yourself first (even if it means waking up a bit earlier).

I listen to a lot of podcasts, watch videos, and read books all about productivity. One of the trends I’ve realized is that people wake up early. I’m not a self-proclaimed early bird, but this year I’ve begun waking up 1-2 hours earlier than I did in 2017 and the results are incredible. Girl bosses wake up early and they make time for themselves (and their passions) first. Wake up and write that blog post, send that email, read that book. Whatever you do, make time for yourself first so you can continue that energy and passion throughout the rest of your day.

{FIVE} Live life goal-oriented.

Girl bosses do not live life without a plan. They do not go through each day wondering what their goal is or what to-do to check off next. Live your life with purpose, with goals, with aspirations. Strive for something. That alone separates you from the crowd. Many will blend in and do the bare minimum. Go above and beyond, no matter how small.

{SIX} Don’t come with a problem without a solution.

THIS. One of my most memorable and incredible professors taught me this and it is one of the most life-changing lessons I took away from her classes. A Girl Boss does not come with problems for others to solve; she solves the problems. She comes with unique, thought-out solutions. She sees an issue and approaches it head on with determination to make it better.

{SEVEN} Respond quickly – don’t waste someone’s time.

Email, a phone call, a tweet, a letter. Whatever it is, respond quickly to it. Be respectful and be efficient. Procrastination results in missed connections and opportunities and a poor reputation.

{EIGHT} Help others in their journey, too.

Girl Bosses help each other out. They do not stab each other in the back or do things in a twisted, catty way. Help others in their journey, too. We need to stick together, not drive each other a part.

{NINE} Find your cheerleaders. 

Find those who can mentor you, cheer you on, encourage you, and help you grow. The world has plenty of critics; finding haters will be easy. When you find those who want the best for you, never let them go. No one gets to where they are today all by themselves.

{TEN} Go for it.

“{Girl Boss means to me} Always pitching your idea, even if it’s crazy, too big, or it’s never been done before!” – @NatalieHines1


Did I miss one? Share what Girl Boss means to you in a comment below! 

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The Year of 3 Words: A Mid-Year Update

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At the beginning of 2018, I declared this year a year of three words.

You may (or may not) be wondering how 2018 is shaping up to my three-word description. I decided to ease your minds and give you a mid-year update. It is June, after all, and the year is halfway over (whoa, that’s weird). It’s time for a little checkin.

Change. 

Change is inevitable and my Type A self can’t cope with it sometimes, but this year there has been good change, bad change, and uncomfortable change.

Changes in habits: less coffee, more water, more reading & audiobooks, less TV, less clutter, more budgeting, more time with people I love.

Changes in life: Updates at work, new house, new professional accomplishments, new friends, new perspectives.

Not to mention many changes that have pushed me outside of my comfort zone.

Needless to say, change happens pretty much every day and I’m learning how to embrace it and trust God every step of the way.

Do.

I’ve written about wedding planning multiple times this year so you know how the “Road to I Do” is generally going, but just in case I haven’t made it clear, this is the biggest “Do” of the year and I am pumped.

At the beginning of the year, a few other “do” items included: complete my social marketing certification, buy a house, read at least 25 books, and write more letters.

So far, I have completed my certification, we found a house, I have read many books, and love writing letters when I can. I’ve also traveled to places like New York and Boston, worked on a few incredible projects, and have begun training for my first official 5K (a big deal for a non-runner like myself!).

“Do” encompasses so many things, so it has been interesting to see how 2018 has unfolded this way. It’s not always about checking things off. Sometimes a “do” is a mindset, just like my third word of 2018 is.

Joy. 

This is one thing that is not a “check off the list,” so to speak.

Joy is a choice and something that takes focus and practice in order to make it a constant part of your life. I have a post-it note on my mirror that says “Joy is a choice,” and this year, in the good and the bad, I try to focus on that mindset.

An easy way to do this is instead of saying, “I have to…” replace it with “I get to…”  A mindset makes all the difference.

So that’s a bit of a recap as the year keeps flying by! What about you? How are your three words going for 2018? This week I challenge you to revisit your goals and be motivated to keep going!