Practicing Bravery

This week I’ve been reminded that people’s outsides don’t always match their insides. We all face obstacles on a day-to-day basis, we all have our demons. Life can be tough and some days feel harder than others. You can have beautiful days where you want to freeze time and live in that moment forever. Then there are the days you can’t get out of bed because trying to tackle anything is too heavy to bear.

Asking for help has always been difficult for me. It’s hard to admit to yourself and others that you are struggling. It’s hard seeing the world move forward while you’re standing still-or even moving backwards. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that you can’t do this on your own.

This week has given me the courage to be brave. Not only to be brave enough to ask for help when I need it, but to also be brave enough to reach out to someone who might need help from me. Kindness is remembered and cherished. It’s important to remind each other that we are not alone in this thing called life.

My Moving Out Checklist

Surprise! I’m moving. If you follow me on Snapchat or Instagram, you probably already knew this. But I am down to the one week mark until I need to be out of my old home and into my new home. I currently live in the Arlington, VA/Washington, D.C. area which can be a tough area to find housing. It feels like this is the place to be! Let me know if you want a blog post on finding affordable housing in this area. If you’re like me and have a tighter budget, you’re a little limited here.

Anyways, I wanted to create for you guys a cute little moving out checklist for you to use in the future. I’ve moved about 6 times in my life so I like to think I have this checklist down to a science. Keep in mind this list is tailored toward people who rent and are moving by themselves or with roommates, not necessarily families.

Click here free a PDF to use during you’re next move! (Move-In Checklist coming at ya soon!)

Car Tips

To be honest, I’m not too excited about writing this post. THAT is how much I hate cars. But I feel this obligation to help out my fellow young car-buyers who have absolutely no clue when it comes to cars.

Cars are stressful. They’re expensive to buy, they’re expensive when they break down, the only time they aren’t expensive is when you’re reselling them….ugh I swear. What a pain. My car is truly a necessary evil in my life. But to make the experience a little easier, here are some tips for smooth sailing (in my opinion) with your new car.

Consider Gas Mileage

I current’y drive 100 miles per day between work and home, so my priority for a car was fairly good gas mileage. That Jeep may look awesome now, but filling your tank could be a bitch later. Speaking of gas tanks, the one thing I didn’t consider when looking for a car was the size of my tank. My current tank is actually smaller than my last car, and I’m finding myself filling up a lot more often. If you travel a lot for work or just in general, this may be something to keep in mind.

Buy New or CPO

The reason why I say this, is because when you buy a car used, you really have no way of knowing how the previous owner cared for the car. You have no idea why they are selling it, or if there is an issue that they aren’t disclosing. While I did not buy my car new, I bought it Certified Pre-Owned (CPO). This means that the car was taken in for maintenance and oil changes in the alotted time frame it needed to be. How do I know this? Because the owner brought the car to the dealership for maintenance and the dealership had the car history. Speaking of CPO, try finding a car that is less than 50,000 miles. This will give you a little time before you need to do some more pricey maintenacne on the car.

Pay Attention to the Warranty

This is more for if you are buying a used car. my warranty only lasted for 6,500 miles so I had to really pay attention during that time period to make sure nothing serious was wrong with the car. I regret not taking advantage because I ended up having to purchase a software update when I was 200 miles past the warranty. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it could’ve been free if I really paid attention.

Buy A Car that You Like

Some people settle because they feel like they have to. You don’t. I get a lot of shit for driving a BMW but what people don’t know is how good of a deal I got on the car. It’s all about preference when it comes down to it. I trust the BMW brand, I love the look of their cars, and I can afford to drive it. don’t be afraid to explore you’re options. I honesly didn’t think I could afford a BMW until my car magically fell into my lap one night (aka my mom is a baller and sent me the link the night before I bought it). But seriously, if you’re going to invest money into a car, you might as well enjoy the car you’re driving.

Morning Rituals are Underrated

As long as I can remember, I was organizing and making lists. From my to-do lists to my locker organization at school. No literally, I used to sketch locker designs before bed each night. I was obsessed.

Anyways. One thing I would write down since high school was my morning routine. I would time myself down to the minute and knew exactly how long it took me to get ready in the morning. Do I sound crazy yet? It’s funny because sometimes I’m just aggressively lazy.

It wasn’t until very recently that I realized how important a morning routine really was, and have since called it a morning ritual.

With my hectic schedule and a never ending to-do list, I need structure. During the day, my schedule is constantly changing. I could be sitting at my desk all day on Tuesday, then Wednesday I might be driving to antique shops looking for some new office furniture (no literally, this is what I do for work). Some days, I might have to drop everything I’m doing to meet a last minute deadline for a client. I’ve found that the best thing to keep me calm and centered on these hectic days is my morning ritual.

I wake up about 3 and a half hours before I need to be at work, and I go through this ritual. It includes working out, meditating, eating breakfast, getting ready for the day and even my drive to work. I can go into a little more detail with my ritual in another post, but today I want to focus on why a morning ritual is so important.

Doing the same thing every morning can seem boring and even tedious to some people, but the trick is scheduling in time for things that will get you off to the right start. When I wake up and do all the things that make me feel good, even if they seem daunting at 6AM, by the time I get to work I feel as if I’ve accomplished so much for the day already!

A morning ritual sets your day up for success. When you get up and do things that make you feel and look good, your attitude changes. You’re engaging with people because you put together a baller outfit. You keep your desk clean because you made your bed. You have salad and Kombucha for lunch because you had a smoothie and lemon water for breakfast. You kill it with new clients because you killed it in the gym. See the pattern here?

It’s the little things in life people. Don’t take your mornings for granted!

I would love to hear some of your favorite things to do in the morning, so leave a comment!

5 Reasons to Choose JMU

 

Hi friends, I’m feeling a little under the weather today but I was inspired to make a post reflecting on my college experience. Yesterday I took my little brother down to James Madison University (JMU) to tour. It brought back so many great memories that I wanted to share with all of you why I chose (and stayed) at JMU for college. Whether you have graduated like me or in high school looking at college, I hope you get something out of this post. So anyways, 5 reasons I chose JMU…

 

326293_2152278281294_376571798_o

 

1. The Atmosphere

Okay, so the first time I went to JMU it was unlike any other college experience I had. I just remember looking around and everyone looked so happy and excited to be there. I received so many smiles from strangers, and I remember our tour guide running into some friends while we were touring and they all were so engaging. JMU just seemed like it’s own community and I loved it. I’m not going to lie I didn’t really pay attention to all the technicalities (professor to student ratio, retention rate, etc..which are great btw..) I just wanted to go to a school that felt like I belonged there. After that day I pretty much made up my mind.

2. The Friendships

When you move in as a freshman at JMU, they have an orientation (like most other schools) for freshman. But JMU’s orientation was a little more serious. It lasted the entire week before classes started and there were more events to go to than you had time for. It was pretty cool because you really got to see how MUCH there was to do at this school. I made friends easily with a lot of people in my dorm that week, so I was able to start off the school year with some buddies. Once classes began I decided (my mom forced me actually) to sign up for sorority recruitment. You know how they say ‘mom knows best’? Well she does. My sorority was extremely welcoming for me and even now, 7 years later, my roommates are my sorority sisters. I know you hear about horror stories at some schools, but Greek Life at JMU is amazing, I highly recommend.

3. The food

So, I knew JMU was known for their food. But I didn’t really notice the quality of food right away. Here’s the thing. The food is comparable to what your parents would cook, or what you would eat at a restaurant. I didn’t realize that they meant the food was good compare to other schools. Until I visited my friend at Virginia Tech…what a mistake. Lol just kidding! Kind of..but seriously. The food at JMU compared to other schools: fantastic. So many on campus options (including Chick-fil-a, Auntie Anne’s, Dunkin, Quiznos, Starbucks, and pretty soon Qdoba) that you can use your meal plan to purchase. The dining halls are no joke either. If that’s not a win then I don’t know what is.

4. The Scenery

To follow up on the food, you do not have to worry about gaining the freshman 15. Maybe the freshman 5 or 10…but with all those dang hills on campus, everyday is leg day for Harrisonburg! The campus is spread out just enough that you can walk from one end to the other in about 30 to 45 minutes. That also means there are so many gorgeous places on campus. Some of my favorite places on campus are the quad’s beautiful blue stone buildings and East Campus by the big J. Maddy statue (GORGEOUS when the sun sets). Not even 30 minutes away are the mountains as well, and a million wineries so lots of pretty photo ops!

5. The Opportunities

Okay, maybe one of the more important reasons to go to JMU.. the opportunities are ENDLESS. Not only are there more clubs than you can count, the faculty works really hard to create connections for you out in the real world. I actually got an internship opportunity through a faculty member at the school. Experience is big for JMU whether it’s in through community, across the nation or abroad. I felt like I was constantly receiving information about internships, job opportunities, community service, etc. There were very few professors who weren’t passionate about creating connections and setting you up for success. You do have to put in work however, but JMU made it very easy to find resources.11209632_10204711041030691_2935724971741751756_n

 

 

 

 

Low Budget Travel Tips

IMG_3987

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I just recently returned from a trip to the west coast, Los Angeles and Las Vegas to be exact. It was a somewhat spontaneous trip and I didn’t think I would be able to afford it if I’m being honest. But I actually totally could afford it. I’ve been caught up in my head thinking I can’t do things that I want to do and that’s simply not true. But anyways, that’s a post for another day. Today I wanted to share with you some fun (and not-so-fun) trip details and tricks for traveling on a budget.

 

IMG_3854

 

Before The Trip, my girls and I decided to split the cost of two checked bags instead of three (one per person). I had to plan a little more than I usually do when I travel, aka NOT throw everything I own in a suitcase. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t challenging, but I actually ended up using even less than I brought! We also took the red eye coming back home. It was a little rough but our flight was dirt cheap! Also try to plan your trip so you are coming and leaving during the week. We flew out early on a Friday and flew back over the following Wednesday evening. Just be careful of the jet lag!

 

388C9356-F3B2-4A52-A8E6-991509577D3B

 

The flight… I woke up to 60 mph winds the morning of our flight…what?! I literally sat in bed for about 30 minutes hoping my flight wouldn’t get cancelled. Luckily I made it to the airport in one piece and our flight wasn’t in fact cancelled! But the turbulence on this flight..wow. Just wow. My friend described this flight as ‘a Final Destination scene’ to give you a better idea. No real advice for this one except to keep breathing.

 

IMG_4474

 

The hotel…. So to save money, we stayed with my friend’s grandmother who lives in LA. Honestly guys, if you’re traveling on a budget and know someone where you are going, ask if you can crash with them. This saved us from paying for four nights of hotels. We also got home cooked meals, who doesn’t love that?! If you’re going abroad, consider staying in a hostel, or airbnb.

 

246E0CC9-2523-4795-BD54-2284CE86370F

 

The car…. We did rent a car to drive to Vegas, but while we were in LA, we borrowed my someone’s car. If you have this ability, or are staying somewhere within walking distance to a lot of places, take that into consideration. If you do rent a car, check to see if your insurance will cover your rental. There is always an option to purchase insurance through the rental company, but if you can add it to your insurance temporarily, do that and save some money!

 

IMG_3972

 

The food… When traveling on a budget, don’t focus too much on eating or drinking. This trip, to save some money, I cut back on drinking to pretty much one day. When it came to the food, I searched the menu for cheaper options. Some could argue that part of traveling and culture is the food, and while I completely agree, I don’t think you need to spend big bucks either. Before you go on your trip, make a list of foods or restaurants that you NEED to try and budget for that. Splurge for a couple meals but keep the rest pretty simple. Also, don’t eat grocery store sushi or you may get food poisoning…..! Yes this happened to me and it was HORRIBLE.

Hopefully these tips are a little helpful for you! I will definitely be implementing them for my next budget friendly adventure!

 

VDay Vibes

 

Seeing as tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I feel it only fitting to write about where I’m at with all that stuff (you know, love and all.) Well, I’m honestly no where lol. But it’s okay, I kind of like it that way.

If anyone knows me personally, they know that my love life over the past few years has been a little rough. I’ve always struggled to balance my relationship with the rest of my life. What can I say, I’m a Pisces: a hopeless romantic who, at times, gets a little too lost in the daydream and struggles to see reality. Okay, it actually happens like all the time-I come up with some pretty amazing scenarios I have to say!

So when I find myself wrapped up in someone that asks a lot more than they should of me, I tend to give it all to them. I don’t like to say ‘no’ to people and when I like you, I REALLY don’t like to say ‘no’ to you. In my head I’m doing it for the sake of the love story and ‘he’s my soulmate blah blah blah’. Except when I take my rose-colored glasses off at the end of it, it’s suddenly super obvious I was sooo wrong lol like what have I been doing with this guy?

At the risk of sounding like a bitch: I’m also guilty of the game so if you play hard-to-get I’m gearing up and ready to go too. I’m here for it. And that’s usually where I like to stay, in the game, especially if you’re a beautiful man because it keeps my heart at a safe distance. No hard feelings just a lot of flirting and fun. Until someone crosses the line of wanting more….I’ve been on both sides and it never really works out after that.

If you can’t read through the lines I’ll spell it out for you: I haven’t quite figured out how to invest in men that I actually like. Vulnerability is tough and if you want quality relationships you have to learn to be vulnerable. So the love life is no where really at the moment. And I’m okay with that. One day I’ll get there and right now, I’m fine if that’s not today. Happy Vday Fam!

Love, Sioban