Featured

What I learned from unplugging

Sometimes when we put too much pressure on ourselves, it can be overwhelming. This can also lead to exhaustion, stress, lack of motivation and decreased creativity. It’s frustrating because all you want to do is be productive. But, sometimes all you need is to take break from everything. Over the last couple months, I’ve been experiencing quite a few changes- although good changes, they’ve been a little overwhelming. While these changes were happening, I also felt like it was time to make some changes to my business plan. While it was an exciting thought, it made me even more overwhelmed. I felt like I always had to be “on” and I didn’t know exactly how to approach these changes that I wanted to make.

I spent some time completely away from posting on social media, revisiting my plan and trying new things. But, everything that I tried, I didn’t see the results I was hoping to see. This ultimately lead me to feeling even more overwhelmed and pretty discouraged. This feeling of being discouraged ultimately lead me to feel lack of motivation.

Sound familiar?

So, over the past couple months, I’ve been taking a step back from my own social media accounts- a little unplugging, if you will. I wasn’t expecting it to be as long as it ended up being, but I felt like it was the best thing for me and my business. I didn’t want to just post something on social media, acting like everything was completely fine and I was feeling like everything was “together”. These moments are definitely necessary because it always, always  means that an incredible breakthrough is about to happen. It’s very uncomfortable in the moment, but knowing there was something incredible on the other side is what kept me going.

Rather than stressing myself out about needing to constantly be making posts, I took a step back and began observing. Most people feel like they need to “unplug” from scrolling and seeing others posts, but that’s what I felt like I needed. I needed inspiration and I needed to see how others were handling themselves. Seems a bit odd, I know. Building your own business is absolutely incredible because you get to use all of your talents and expertise to build something amazing. But, it’s also challenging because how exactly are you supposed to do that? There were SO MANY things that I wanted to do with my business. I knew that my abilities and capabilities were much more than I knew what to do with at the moment. I was on the brink of something amazing, but I didn’t know how to get there!

I also had to understand that this is just a part of the journey.

By the time July came around, I was experiencing mixed emotions from being super proud of where I’ve come over the past year (which you can read about here) to feeling extreme overwhelm. So, I spent A LOT of time on YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and really paying attention to those email subscriptions I have. I observed how other online entrepreneurs handle themselves and their schedules. I absolutely admire those who are able to handle so many things on their plate and do so many amazing things with their business. I wanted to be that person so bad.

We put so much pressure on ourselves, which can actually be a good thing. But, without necessary precautions, it can lead to burnout. Which I started experiencing quite a bit in the first six months of business. There’s so much that I wanted to do and I wanted to be successful so badly I was willing to do anything to get there.

Unplugging from my own accounts for a few months helped me tremendously. I was able to completely focus on my client’s profiles and use the extra time to rest. Watching YouTube videos and reading other blog posts helped slowly make my vision more clear. I took notes and started thinking about how I could possibly make changes and incorporate the various tips into my own business. Doing this also made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this journey.

During this time, I also realized that I wanted and needed to make some (bigger) investments in my business to keep moving forward. I spent  A LOT of money on various services that would help me more efficiently show up and run my business.

Then, I started to come up with a game plan to implement those things that I wanted to accomplish in my business. Slowly, I started gaining that clarity that I was longing for. That sense of passion for what I was doing slowly started coming back. In just a couple weeks, I went from feeling completely overwhelmed and unsure if I had what it takes to run this business to gaining the most clarity I’ve experienced yet.

The main turning point?

After weeks of seeking inspiration, I decided to pick up my camera to gather content.

I started gathering more content for my business, as well as my clients. I felt the sense of passion rush right back to me. In gathering content, I started getting all kinds of ideas for my business, blog posts, videos, etc. I kept gathering content and kept a running list of these ideas.

The passion is back and I am working on even more incredible content than I was before. Slowly, I’m building this business that I never even thought to dream of.

All of this happened just because I decided to unplug for a while. Unplugging will look different for everyone. But, it’s necessary for everyone. For me, it took taking a step back and observing others around me. Letting myself feel the emotions as the came to the surface, especially the ones that were extremely overwhelming, and slowly starting to get myself back into the game.

During this time, I also noticed that a lot of other entrepreneurs talk about doing the same thing. Often we feel like we are the only ones going through specific hard times because it looks like everyone has it completely together. But, we all need it. Our brains need it. Our body needs it. Our business needs it.

I have a new approach to running this business now. I have a content calendar for blogs, videos and posts and I am ready to crush this journey!

Unplugging can be hard. It can be hard to get yourself to just stop for some time while you gain some clarity. With it can come with confusion, frustration in yourself for not being able to keep going. We’re all learning, we’re all growing. It doesn’t stop. But, unplugging when you need it just might be exactly what you need to keep moving forward.


I actually wrote this post a month prior and had it scheduled to be posted a month prior. It was a week before I was going on vacation and I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce some things and start my blogging schedule. The day before I planned to launch everything, I realized that I needed to take my unplugging even further. So, I decided to hold off until I got back from vacation. I needed the week to completely turn everything off before I got overwhelmed.

So, that’s exactly what I did. I decided to give myself an extra couple weeks to unplug [even more] and get everything planned out so I didn’t get overwhelmed. During my time away on vacation, I learned a lot about the importance of completely taking a break, which I will write a post about very soon!


Make sure you take the time off and unplug when you need to! Do you let yourself unplug and give yourself time away when you need to?

Featured

Six Month Business Recap : What I’ve Learned

It’s been SIX months since I launched my business! I feel like so much has happened and I’ve already learned so much along this journey so far. Starting your own business is hard work & comes with different struggles that you would never think of. So, I wanted to take the time to recap what I’ve learned so far and provide some advice to those who are beginning their journey, or thinking about starting their own business.

There are so many things that you encounter when you are starting your own business, things that nobody teaches you and you have to figure out on your own. I definitely ran into some unexpected obstacles on this journey so far. I am well aware that I’m not done learning (never will be). It’s a process and you learn something new every single day.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE CONNECTIONS

There is great importance in making connections with those who are in your industry/making connections with like-minded people. For me, I don’t know anyone else who does what I do. So, the connections I’ve made in the online space has been extremely helpful and important for my continued success.

When I first started my business, I joined several Facebook Groups & started making connections with other female entrepreneurs through Instagram. Being able to connect with other, like-minded people who have been in your shoes before has been super helpful. It’s always reassuring to know that you’re not the only one experiencing great anxiety and frustration in your business, especially starting out.

I highly recommend looking up joining any Facebook groups and start making connections!

BEING OKAY WITH TAKING CHANCES

You can’t learn if you don’t make mistakes, right? Starting out, I had a world full of amazing opportunities waiting for me. I wanted to test the waters in every way possible and see where it would take me. Maybe I tried to take on too many things at the start, but I’m honestly very grateful that I did. I started blogging and a video series on my Facebook business page. I knew that I wanted to try something different and take chances and I knew I just had to do it in order to learn.

The series didn’t turn into what I expected it to be, but I think that the experience has opened the door and given me many more ideas of where I want to go next. You can’t expect the very first idea to be a game changer, but it can at least be a learning experience and guide you in the right direction. If anything, it’s given me even more confidence to continue trying new things and do it even better than before.

As an introvert that over-thinks and over-analyzes everything, this was a hard thing for me to do. But, I had to do it in order to continue moving forward in my business and give me more ideas.

ORGANIZATION & COMING UP WITH A SYSTEM

This seems like a very known thing, but I had no idea what I needed to do and what was the best system to put into place to make my day run smoothly. It was hard figuring out exactly what I needed to be doing. When you work in the corporate world, there’s already a system in place and you make changes when needed. Having to start from scratch, figuring out the best system for me, how to organize my time has been a challenging experience. It’s been an amazing experience to being fully in charge of my time, but that also comes with it’s own set of roadblocks that I was unprepared for.

What has helped me is taking on less clients to let me figure out a schedule and experiment with different things. There was so much I wanted to do and figure out that I needed some extra time to get it all figured out. I needed the opportunity to try things out, make mistakes and learn from them.

Over the last 6 months, I’ve been able to experiment with my system and my schedule, do some research and adjust where I thought was necessary. It’s been quite the journey so far, but I’m so happy and proud of the chances I’ve been able to take to continue learning and moving forward with my plan.

TRYING TO FORCE MYSELF TO BE CREATIVE RATHER THAN DOING WHAT COMES NATURALLY

As a Social Media Manager, I know the importance of planning content ahead of time. I’m good at planning content for my clients, but I’ve found this to be different for myself. I would try to plan out what blog posts I would write, what I wanted to post on Instagram, videos I wanted to make etc., all at the beginning of the month. It sounded like a great plan. I would write down what everything that I wanted to do at the beginning of the month, but I wouldn’t have anything to say about the topic when the time came and it didn’t come off as natural. There always seems to be another topic that came to mind that I ended up talking/writing about.

Having the set plan in place stalled my creativity and made the task more of a chore and frustration. What I’m learning to do now is carry around my planner and writing down topics that come to mind and jotting down notes in a word document, adding to it as ideas come. Doing this has let me exercise my creativity and speak from my heart, rather than forcing myself to be creative.

Planning ahead of time is always great, but I’ve learned that I need to make sure that I’m doing it right and not forcing myself to be creative about a topic when I’m not at the time.  

RECAP

Overall, these 6 months in my business has been the most incredible experience that I could ask for. I never saw myself starting my own business, so this has been quite the journey. But, sometimes you just have to follow the path and the signs as they come. I’ve learned so much, I’ve been challenged in many ways and I’ve put myself out there in ways that I didn’t even know were possible.

It’s been an amazing start to 2019 and I am so very excited to see what else is in store for the rest of the year! Just remember- take as many chances and go through all the open doors that come your way. They can be the most life changing and amazing experience. 💗

MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT FALL / FALL ACTIVITIES / FALL DECOR

For a lot of people, fall is the best time of the year. 🍂🎃 Anyone agree? While I am definitely a summer girl, I enjoy fall as well. Living in the midwest, we get to enjoy all 4 seasons, which I actually thoroughly enjoy! While I could go for shorter winters and less snow storms, I guess I appreciate that to. I would much rather be the heat of summer, sweating all day than have to deal with single digit temperatures and interacting with snow. Summer is still my absolute FAVORITE time of the year, but I do enjoy allll things fall! I do admit that by the end of August, I’m usually ready to move on from the heat of summer and enjoy all there is to enjoy about fall!

I do get to a point where I am a little bit excited to put away the bathings suits and bring out all the fall outfits, decor and fall activities. So, here are some of my favorite things about fall!

FOOTBALL

I grew up in a family that enjoyed watching Ohio State football every Saturday. I was also a cheerleader for football for almost 10 years, even cheering in college! Now, it’s something that absolutely LOVE! I can’t really put a finger on exactly why, maybe it’s just always been in my life. It’s always fun to watch and a good time while hanging out with friends. Just something about football season is so enjoyable. 

SWEATER WEATHER & FALL CLOTHES

After enjoying the heat of summer for a couple months, it does get a little bit annoying after a while. I would still choose to be sweating all day, rather than endure any kind of cold. BUT, there is something so nice about being able to wear comfy sweaters and walk around without being a little bit uncomfortable. 

Now, I wouldn’t call myself a “fashonista” to any stretch of the imagination, but I do enjoy fall attire. I’m typically lounging around in yoga pants and a sweatshirt, but there are some times when I decide to go into public in some cute fall attire!

FALL SCENTS

I am definitely one to live by seasonal scents. I have my scents organized by season and bring them out as the seasons change. Whatever is left at the end of each season, I will bring back out next year. I’ve been trying not to continue buying new scents until the ones I have are out. But, it’s definitely one of my “guilty pleasures”. Especially candles. Ask my mom and my boyfriend… I.LOVE.CANDLES. Anyway, fall scents are always fun and smell so good and so refreshing!

COLORFUL TREES

There’s something so beautiful about the few weeks of the year that the trees are the most beautiful shades and combinations of yellow, orange and red. 

FALL DECOR

I don’t really decorate during spring and summer, but I do enjoy some good fall and Christmas decor! I’m not one to be super glamorous or anything, but I do enjoy putting out some things to make the environment feel nice n’ cozy!

FALL ACTIVITIES

Who doesn’t love a good pumpkin patch and apple picking during fall?! The last couple years, my boyfriend and I have gone to Lynd Fruit Farm for our pumpkin & apple picking.

This was from last year!

Fall 2018

We went mid-October when it felt a little bit more like fall and the pumpkin selection was very slim!

This year!

FALL 2019

This year we decided to go a little bit earlier to be able take advantage of the vast varieties of pumpkins to choose from! It has also been very unseasonably warm this fall so far! It was around 85 degrees when we went, so it still felt like summer, but we were determined to get our fall vibe on!

We were able to get 4 pumpkins this year! Last year we only got 2 pumpkins, all normal orange pumpkins. We were even able to get our hands on a red & white pumpkin! 🎃🍂


What does one do with all those apples and pumpkin seeds?! Make goodies of course! 🥧

apple bread

apple sauce

apple pie

pumpkin seeds

As I’m publishing this post, it is going to be 90 degrees, so it doesn’t fully feel like fall yet. But, that doesn’t have to stop us from enjoying everything there is to enjoy about fall!

Like I already mentioned, I am very much a summer girl. But, there’s just something about fall and the holidays that I get so excited about. I’m ready for the temperatures to cool off a little bit and really enjoy sweater weather!

What’s your favorite part about fall?!

Advertisements

Tips For When You’re Not Feeling Motivated

Not feeling motivated is REAL and it is FRUSTRATING! Knowing you have a lot to do but just can’t seem to get yourself to get it done can be just incredibly frustrating. But, what I’m learning is there’s no such thing as feeling motivated all.the.time. Even though it’s frustrating, I’m starting to learn what I can do to help myself work through feeling unmotivated. 

Below I have listed a couple of things that I have found to be helpful during the times that I don’t feel motivated to get work done. These are just little things that work for me, and don’t necessarily mean they will be helpful for anyone else. But, they might be worth a try if you are struggling and don’t know what to do, like I feel sometimes.

The main thing to understand is that you have to know yourself and what works best for you. What works for me, might not work for you and vice versa. You might work well under pressure, but I tend to crumble under pressure. These items might not work for you based on your personality and what works best for you.


Not force myself to try to get something done.

Especially if I was planning on writing a blog post or create content, I can’t force myself to be creative. Trying to force myself just makes me even more frustrated and feeling burnt out. So, this might mean holding off on that task or taking a step back for a little bit. For some people, they strive on pressure, but for me, I don’t work well AT.ALL. So, I can’t put that kind of pressure on myself and force myself because it just doesn’t work for me.

Journal/write down what’s on my mind.

Sometimes I can’t get something done because I have a lot on my mind. Journaling about what’s going on in my mind helps me get it out and clear my mind. Doing this sometimes also helps me come up with ideas that maybe I want to blog about or topics that I want to research more. It’s important to listen to your mind and your body and to be able to give it what it needs at that time. There’s nothing wrong with taking the time to journal to help you get everything out. I notice this to be prevalent if I’m really stressed about something, if I got into an argument, received some bad news, or even if I just need figured out what is going on in my mind. You would be very surprised what kinds of things come to surface when you journal. Things that you would not even expect. But, it might be exactly what you need to give you that motivation that you need to keep going and get work done like you wanted to.  

Going on a walk or just getting outside.

Sometimes just leaving the environment and getting outside helps. Like I mentioned above, just sitting at my desk trying to force myself to be creative and get something done doesn’t help me. So, stepping away and getting some fresh air sometime helps to at least settle my mind down a little bit. 

Giving myself the day off.

Feeling unmotivated can sometimes be a sign that your body is telling you something. That you need to take a break and rest. I’m a very emotional person. So, when I receive unexpected sad news, it can hard to get myself to concentrate. During these times I know I just need to give myself- my mind and body an break. It can also mean that I’ve been overworking myself and my mind a little bit too much and I need to sleep. So, I’ll let myself sleep in or lay down for an afternoon nap. There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a personal/mental health day if you need to. I think that sometimes we think that we need to force ourselves to work during difficult times and try to work through these times when we really just need to take some time off. Listen to your mind & body and give yourself permission to take a day off if you need to. You might feel like you are going into the next day feeling more refreshed, relaxed and motivated than if you tried to force yourself to try to work.

Go to Pinterest & YouTube for inspiration.

I feel like I say this in every post, but it has helped me out so much. There’s been times when I spent an hour each day for a week or 2 watching YouTube videos of people who I look up to and get ideas and motivation from them. If I get a “light bulb” to go off in my head, I’ll write it down and what comes from it. Pinterest is also a good place to look because it is filled with people who have all kinds of ideas to try out! It’s helpful to learn from others who have done what you’re doing before and they might have ideas that you might not of thought about before. This doesn’t mean taking their ideas, but you never know what kind of “light bulb” moment you might have!

Brain dumping everything that I want to get done.

There’s been times when I am feeling like I have so much to do but just don’t know where to start. So, I’ll sit down and brain dump everything that I feel like I need to get done. There’s been times when I do this and realize that I’ve been overwhelmed for no reason. From there I’ll try to break down the tasks and come up with a reasonable plan for getting them done. This often mean breaking it down into work, getting a little bit done at a time. When I’m feeling unmotivated, I try to start with the “easy” tasks because that sometimes leads to getting more ideas and leads me to getting even more work done than I originally anticipated. If I try to start with harder, more time consuming tasks, I know that I just won’t get anything done. But, if I start small, I often find myself getting more and more motivated and gaining more and more ideas. 


It’s a process for sure and not feeling motivated is very frustrating to deal with, especially when you feel like you have so much to do and just want to be productive. For me, I’ve learned that I’ll get an idea and have all of this motivation, work myself to exhaustion then feel burnt out for a couple days. Then I have to figure out how to get motivated again. I’ve done this many times because I feel like I need to take advantage of all the motivation that I have. But, that’s just not a feasible way to go about it. We all need breaks and we need to make sure that we are being cautious of our brain power, our bodies and step away and take breaks!

What I Learned About Adjusting To Change

If you are anything like me, change- whether it’s exciting or not- comes with an adjustment period. I’m very routine-oriented. I rely very heavily on my daily routines & when it’s disrupted in some way, I feel kind of all off-centered. Even if I’m doing the same routine in a different place, the feeling is different and it comes with a new experience that I have to adjust to. Even if it’s something exciting, that I’ve been waiting so long for and overly excited about. For me, all changes come with some form of a transition period.


My daily routine has been disrupted many times over the last couple years and I haven’t been handling it very well, to be honest. Some have been good changes, others not so much. Even with those good changes, it came with an adjustment period that I wasn’t expecting.

But, change is good. While it can be frustrating, it is good. It means growth is happening. Change also means that I’m getting out of the comfort zone. Which, I don’t like. But, the whole theme of 2019 for me has been getting out of my comfort zone and challenging myself.

The most prevalent adjustment has been the change in my daily schedule. In the last couple years, I’ve had to adjust from a full-time job, part-time job + school, 3 different jobs and working from home while starting my own business. So, you can tell my schedule has completely changed many times. 

Then I had to experienced change again when I moved out of my parent’s house for the first time in 2.5 years into my beautiful apartment. I literally moved just 3 miles away, and it was something that I had been waiting for for so long. Even though I work my butt off to get there and was excited to move out, I immediately started feeling off. I felt an odd feeling in my stomach, like something was wrong. I couldn’t focus and everything just seemed off. Even though I was doing the exact same thing, just in a different place. It really didn’t make much sense to me.

During this transition into my apartment, it was almost like everything seemed to be changing and shifting. Like, a new chapter opening and I felt like I needed to make changes to just about everything. I was starting to feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the stress that comes with starting my own business and figuring things out, as well as adjusting to my new environment. All of which are good things, but for some reason, I just had such a hard time getting my schedule figured out.

Before I moved out, I felt like I had myself on a pretty consistent schedule. I was getting comfortable and felt like I was starting to get things figured out. Moving out made me second guess everything I was doing in my business. I was getting a feeling like I needed to make some changes. But, I didn’t know how or where to start.

I’m still learning every single day how to adjust better and to be accepting of this change in my life. It’s inevitable and necessary for growth. But, slowly but surely, I’m starting to get closer to fully adjusting to this change and figuring out my new schedule.

So, what have I done to help myself adjust to change?

First, I had to learn to be nice to myself and try not to get frustrated when I didn’t have the answers right away. 

Change for me is frustrating. Like I’ve already mentioned, when my routine is disrupted and things start to not work like they used to, it’s frustrating. But, I have come to learn to be nicer to myself and to try not to get overwhelmed. With everything, I’ve noticed that it all starts with being nicer to myself. I have to be able to allow myself to go through the adjustment period. At the end of the day, it ultimately means that growth is happening and something bigger and better is on the other side. If I fall into the trap of beating myself up, I just won’t end up getting anywhere. Everything is a learning experience.

I started testing out different things in my schedule to see what works best.

Since I’m changing, and my schedule is changing, things are going to look a little bit differently. The flexibility in my schedule is nice and it can be hard to figure out when it’s best for me to work on different tasks. This included what days/time of days works best for doing different tasks and even chores. 

A big example of this was when I would do what used to be my “weekend chores”. I noticed that I was wanting to use my weekends mostly for relaxing, rather than prepping. I used to use my Sunday’s to do alllll of the chores. Grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, prepping, etc. But, I started to notice that I was just getting exhausted and felt tired going into the next week. So, I started testing doing certain chores Thursday & Friday so I didn’t have to do it all over the weekend. It’s actually working! 

I went back to my parent’s house when I needed/wanted to.

I had a hard time figuring out if this was a necessary thing to do at first. I was used to living with my parents for so long and actually missed being around them when I moved out. When I first moved out, I didn’t know what to do. So, I started going back home pretty much everyday since I only moved 3 miles down the street. This was also when the weather was getting nice and both my cat and I wanted to be outside. 

Going back to this normalcy helped me tremendously. I had such a hard time adjusting to being in my apartment all the time and couldn’t get any work done. Some might think that’s pretty sad, but it’s just how I am I guess. I’m very much a homebody as well and need to be close to my family at all times. The first week I was going home in the morning and that has changed to the afternoon. Over the summer, I wanted to be able to spend the afternoon outside and sometimes by the pool because my parents have a pool. So, going back to my parent’s house in the morning changed to working at my apartment in the morning and spending the afternoon at my parents house. Now, I don’t necessarily feel like I need to go back to my parent’s house in the afternoon’s. But, it has been a nice option to be able to work there if I want to.

I did research into what other people were doing.

I’m a big advocate for doing this kind of research. This helped me to see that I wasn’t the only one struggling in this way and also to see exactly what others were doing. It can be difficult to figure it out on your own, so it can be helpful to get some ideas from others who have done it themselves. I typically went to Pinterest & YouTube!

Started trying not to be as rigid with my schedule.

This is hard for me since I am very routine-oriented. But, as I am learning, change is inevitable. After going through all this change the last couple years, I have learned that I need to be more open to letting it happening. To be able to change my mindset and perception to be able to let change in. Not to mention the unexpected occurrences that can happen. If  I don’t have time to get something done on a certain day, I have to be able to let myself move that task around without letting it completely overwhelm me. It’s just a part of the journey!


Still, change will always come with some resistance. I think that’s normal and there will always be an adjustment period. With all the changes that have come my way, I have ultimately been able to learn, grow and be better prepared to adjust in the future. I am still learning about my schedule and what works for me, but that will come with time. 

For now, I’m starting to let myself enjoy where I am in life right now. We are all learning everyday. I hope this post helped someone who is struggling with some kind of adjustment to change. It can be hard, but it is possible! 💗

Florida Vacation 2019 / Full Itinerary & What I Learned

I recently talked about the importance of unplugging and the incredible impact it had on me. While taking some time off from my own social media accounts helped, I definitely needed to take it another step further. We already planned on going on vacation, but it ended up being exactly what I needed. To take a whole week away from everything and just enjoy myself. Get away from everything and let my mind calm down. We both work very hard and definitely enjoyed this MUCH needed vacation!


I took lots of footage of our vacation and everything that we did during our time in Florida. I put together a highlight video that you can watch at the end of this video. Below you will find a more in-depth explanation of everything that we did and where we went, just in case anyone is curious or would find it helpful!


My parents have a house in Punta Gorda, Florida. So, we were lucky enough to be able to use that as accommodation, as well as use their car for transportation. We were lucky because we were able to use that money we saved on accommodation & transportation on other activities during our trip.

Their location requires quite the drive to a beach, but they are very close to many different areas. So, we were able to go to 3 different beaches during our week-long stay! We also learned that August is right in the middle of their rainy season and is not the best time to vacation down there. It ended up raining everyday..while it was sunny and nice in Ohio. Oh well, lesson learned!

Day 1: Friday, August 9

Columbus, Ohio –> Punta Gorda, Florida

We had a later flight in the afternoon, so we didn’t get in until the evening. Since we were staying at my parent’s house, we needed to unpack and go grocery shopping. By the time all of the errands were done, it was evening and we were exhausted. So we just stayed in and rested up for the adventures to come!

I usually don’t get alcohol on the plane, but felt it was necessary to celebrate with some wine!

Day 2: Saturday, August 10

This was our first full day and we wanted to spend the day at the pool in their neighborhood! The day started out nice, but by afternoon, it started raining. Major bummer. We stayed for a while, but decided to go back home and get ready for the evening.

It did end up clearing up by evening. We went to Fisherman’s Village in Downtown Punta Gorda. One of our favorite restaurants in Punta Gorda is Hurricane Charley’s. This restaurant was actually named after Hurricane Charley that wiped out most of the city about 15 years ago. We love this place because they have great outdoor seating right along the port, not to mention excellent peel n’ eat shrimp!

We wanted to go to this other place called TT’s Tiki Bar, but they were having electrical problems and weren’t able to go. This place is quite literally a tiki hut bar along the port and has a really great view of the sunset! Maybe we’ll get to go next year!

Day 3: Sunday, August 11

We FINALLY had a nice day and were able to check out one of the beaches! We knew we wanted to go to Manasota Key (Englewood) and Michael figured out there was a nature hike just down the street from it.

So, on our way to the beach we decided to check out this nature hike. It was VERY pretty, but quickly realized that the path was actually flooded.

We almost turned back but both of us wanted to see where the path would lead us. So, we decided to take on all of the mosquitos and power through. At the end of the swampy path, was a dock where you can take kayaks and canoes, not to mention a very pretty view!

(It wasn’t until I got home to Ohio when it was brought to my attention that there might’ve been alligator(s) around! It did not even occur to me…) While it was very pretty, we probably won’t take that risk again!

After our swampy nature hike adventure, we went on our way to our first beach of the trip- Manasota Key! To me, there’s nothing more relaxing than laying on the beach, listening to the waves. Especially after being very busy and thinking “I made it!”. Definitely a great feeling!

In the evening we went to a rooftop bar called Perch 360 . Beautiful views and we got to watch a beautiful sunset!

Day 4: Monday, August 12

We originally planned to just have a pool day on this day, but we decided to go to Siesta Key when we realized that it was only an hour away. We figured we might as well check it out and make a whole day out of it! Unfortunately, it rained when we got there, but there was a couple hours when it wasn’t raining. It remained overcast pretty much the entire time we were there, but we made the most of it. There was a storm coming, so everyone ended up leaving the beach a little early.

While we were there, we thought we would walk around for a little bit before heading back home. 

Michael had been to Siesta Key before and knew of a great ice cream shop to go to called Big Olaf Creamery. Whenever I’m on vacation, I always want coconut-flavored ice cream! ( We also checked out some shops before heading home.

In the evening, we went to Peace River Beer Company. I thought this bar was cool because the bar itself has items inside the bar. It was filled with sand and shells with various other items like phones, fishing hooks, bottle openers, Florida license plate, plastic utensils, etc etc.

Day 5: Tuesday, August 13

We took a mini trip to Fort Myers last year and ended up really enjoying it! We drive up early, spend the day at the beach, check into our hotel, and even spend the next day before heading home. Last year we just went to the main beach, but we talked to a couple the night before at the brewery that recommended this other beach called Lover’s Key. 

Lover’s Key was a very nice beach! It was secluded and very quiet. It was a bit of a walk to the beach from the parking lot, but it was so worth it. Plus, there was beautiful scenery on the walk to the beach.

We stayed at Edison Beach House for one night, which I highly recommend! We had a partial beach view room and it was beautiful! It’s a little pricey, but worth it, especially for only staying there for one night. 

For dinner, we went to PierSide Grill. Which in my opinion, is the best restaurant to go to in Fort Myers because it’s pretty much right on the beach! 

We were going to watch the sunset on the pier, but we took too long at dinner- oops! We did walk on the pier, even though it was too late for the sunset!

Day 6: Wednesday, August 14

We were both tired and decided to take it easy this day. We originally planned to spend another day at the beach, but it was a rainy, gloomy day. We just ate breakfast at a place called Reese’s Restaurant, walked on the beach (got rained on a little bit) and went home.

Day 7: Thursday, August 15

Michael found this really cool cruise at Fisherman’s Village. Since Punta Gorda is close to Port Charlotte, they have various cruises/harbor tours that go around the port and even to the islands off of the Gulf.

The one we took was called Cayo Costa. The cruise took us out to Cayo Costa State Park. This cruise took us 2 hours out to an island, we spent the afternoon there, then road 2 hours back to Fisherman’s Village. During this cruise, we were able to see lots of dolphins! Very cool!

The beach was almost a mile from where the dock was, so we had to take a shuttle to and from the beach. It was a small little island, but definitely very cool!

Very pretty beach! It was just about the perfect way to wrap up the trip. We were there for about 2-2.5 hours before we had to head back to catch the boat. It ended up being perfect timing because there was a big, dark rain cloud coming for the island.

For our last night, we went back to Fisherman’s Village and ate dinner on the water at Village Fish Market. It was raining, of course, but we were still able to sit outside. We had to get one more order of peel n’ eat shrimp.

Day 8: Friday, August 16

We were going to try to do some more exploring since our flight wasn’t until later in the afternoon, but it was raining. Of course.

So, we went to breakfast at John Ski’s House of Breakfast and waiting at home until it was time to head to the airport. We left rainy Florida and arrived back in sunny Ohio!


I also invite you to watch my vacation highlight video! ⬇️


WHAT I LEARNED

This vacation was very necessary for the both of us! In starting my own business, I’ve had a hard time with figuring out how to completely “unplug” from everything, from reality and really enjoy myself. 

I learned the importance of giving myself the ability to take a vacation. It’s necessary. We all need a break sometimes! Especially with owning my own business and being my own boss, it can hard to let myself take a break. I feel like I always need to be “on” and always need to be working. Every minute can be filled by doing something else. Working ahead, something. 

But, that’s just not realistic. It’s exhausting. Letting myself completely take a break from reality was very freeing! I came back feeling so much more refreshed than when I was “unplugging” here at home. 

I’ve decided that I am going to continue giving myself vacations and small breaks throughout the year to keep my brain power. It’s important and necessary! It’s definitely been quite the journey and learning experience. I’m learning and growing every single day and I hope that sharing my experiences might help you out as well. Sometimes it’s nice to see that you aren’t the only one struggling.

Remember to allow yourself breaks when you need it! Listen to your body and your mind. Slow down when you need to and enjoy yourself!

The Importance of Self-Care

September is Self-Care Awareness Month! I had “Self-Care” on my list of blog topics that I wanted to talk about. When I saw that September was Self-Care Awareness month, I figured this would be the perfect time to have this chat about the importance of self-care. 

We all know that self-care is important, but how many people really take the time to focus on themselves? Self-care looks different for everybody because we are all different and need different things. 

Self-care doesn’t always have to be face masks and bubble baths if that’s not for you!

I truly have a passion for living a healthy balanced lifestyle and getting the most out of life. We all get caught up in day-to-day tasks and activities that sometimes we forget one important thing: self-care & making ourselves a priority. 

We all have non-negotiables that need to be present in our daily routine because when they aren’t present, things seem to get out of control. By “non-negotiable”, I mean, that one thing that you need present for your sanity. For me, my non-negotiable is working out, especially first thing in the morning. Once I figured this out and got myself on a consistent routine, this has been the ultimate game-changer for me.


A couple years ago, I was experiencing various stressors in my life. Things seemed all out of control and I couldn’t figure out how to get myself back on track. I was stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, unsure and pretty unhappy with just about everything. I had started seeing my healthy habits disappearing. I was unmotivated to go to the gym, got lazy when it came to washing my face at night, I mean I did not want to do any of my healthy habits throughout the day. Which was weird because I’ve always been one to always have healthy habits in place. 

It wasn’t until I started going to the gym first thing in the morning that things started falling into place. Things started making more sense to me. The days that I don’t go to the gym or get some kind of exercise in, I feel all anxious and flustered all day. That’s when I realized that working out was my non-negotiable self-care ritual. 

Over the last year that I’ve been regularly on a workout schedule, I have slowly been able to implement other self-care habits into my day and see which ones work best for me. Since I’ve been experiencing many changes in my life recently, I’ve had a hard time with getting myself on a solid self-care routine. But, I am learning first-hand the importance of incorporating some self-care into your day and figuring out which ones are necessary for you. 

Along this journey so far, I’ve learned how hard it can be to let go of stressors in our daily life. Not be focusing on all the things that we don’t have and that we wish we had. For me, I noticed myself neglecting self-care when I was overwhelmed by stress and how unhappy I was. Which in turn lead me to feeling even more stressed and unhappy because I wasn’t taking care of myself. 

Sound familiar to anyone?

What I also had to learn is that I needed to choose myself and start making myself and my self-care a priority if I wanted all the stress to go away and to feel happy, I had to come first. It’s extremely hard to do when you are so far deep in the mental funk. What I learned is that making even the smallest changes goes a long way. 

What I also learned is that I would tell myself that I’m going to do all of the self-care things right away, all at once. Well, probably not surprising at all, it didn’t work. Which was very frustrating because its SELF-CARE, it should be making me happy, right?!

Meh… not really.

When we set unrealistic goals for ourselves, it can be frustrating and overwhelming because it’s not likely to be possible to achieve those things. Then, we get hard on ourselves when we don’t do the things we told ourselves that we would do. The things that we told ourselves to do became less of a self-care item and more of a chore. The last thing self-care should be is a chore.

Side note: why does self-care have to be so dang complicated?!

Instead of telling yourself,“I’m going to get to the gym 5 days this week, do face masks every day and meditate for 30 minutes twice a day” maybe make the goal to get outside for a 10-15 minute walk a couple days a week, do a face mask once a week and journal a couple times a week. If that. 

But, it’s important to do things that you love and make you feel good. 

Some ideas for self-care:

Take a bubble bath 

This is one of my favorite things and used to be something I did every Sunday night. Dimming the lights or just letting candles provide the light and putting on relaxing music. The apartment I just recently moved into doesn’t have a bath tub, which I’m really sad about but I try to take a long hot shower with lavendar essential oils. Not the same, but you have to work with what ya got!

Face scrubs & face masks. 

This is one thing that I have been really bad about but I love doing. I was getting lazy with even washing my face. But, there’s something relaxing and refreshing about giving your face (& body!) some extra TLC, especially right before bed!

Journaling.

Journaling can be one of the most therapeutic activities! I have recently re-incorporated journaling back into my morning and night routine and I have seen tremendous results. Journaling allows you to get all of your stressors and anything bothering you out of your subconscious mind so it’s not stuck there. Our natural tendency is to suppress hard or stressful things, but the subconscious doesn’t forget that it’s there. So, journaling is a great technique to use to talk about what’s going on in your life. Some questions to answer: What’s going well? What’s stressing you out? What’s holding you back? What are you feeling? What would make the day great? How did the day go? What went well? What could be improved?

I personally don’t like journal prompts, but I know some people find them very helpful. I find that just free writing and letting my mind guide the writing helps me a lot more. I try to write a full page in the morning and just brain dump everything that’s on my mind.

Meditation.

I have a love/hate relationship with meditation, but there are SO many benefits from it! Meditation is difficult at first, at least it is for me. It’s difficult to turn off your thoughts for some time. But, if that’s an issue for you, then maybe this is something that you need to help you quiet your mind. I’ve found adding in mediation into my morning and night routine has been very helpful in decreasing my stress and anxiety.

Tip: Start with 2-3 minutes once a day. If you try to start longer and more often, you might find that you get frustrated and end up not seeing mediation to be helpful for you. 

Affirmations. 

Have you noticed that you have very negative self-talk? Like “I’m so stupid”, “I’m a failure.”, “Why can’t I do anything right?” I noticed that too for a while. How we talk about ourselves and how we think about ourselves correlates with how we feel and how we show up for ourselves. If you keep telling yourself “I’m a failure” all the time, you can’t expect yourself to feel all that great about yourself. If you go into a situation thinking “I’m a failure”, you’re going to treat yourself and the situation like you’re a failure. 

It’s all about perception. Instead of constantly telling yourself “I’m a failure”,try saying “I am strong & capable of success”, “I am powerful”, “I will be successful”. Repeat affirmations everyday, write them on sticky notes, give yourself reminders. Trust me, it works wonders! Positive self-talk is incredibly important!

Take a break.

It is very easy to get caught up in daily tasks and being busy that we forget to slow down throughout the day. I find it helpful to take small breaks throughout the day to give my mind a rest. Take this time to do something that you enjoy and find refreshing and helpful. Maybe you take a break to read, journal, watch tv, get outside, etc. Especially if it’s a nice day, I’ve been trying to take 10 minutes to walk around outside to get some fresh air. 

Exercise.

As we all know, there are SO many positive benefits to exercise. There are of course physical benefits to working out, but more importantly, mental benefits as well. Try to make it a priority to get out and go on a walk/run, get to the gym a couple times a week, go on a bike ride, take a class, anything! Get your body moving!

Read.

Reading is a great way to calm your mind and relax. I’m not much of a reader, but when I do, I like to right before I go to bed. It makes me tired and calms my mind. Maybe reading can be a perfect addition to your night time routine!

Do something you love.

This seems like an obvious, but sometimes when we are too stressed, we neglect the things we love. Life gets in the way and you just forget about that hobby that makes you so happy. This can be anything. Maybe it drawing, painting, coloring, ceramics, building things, etc. 

Get outside.

Sometimes simply just being outside and getting fresh air can be incredibly refreshing. If you are someone that tends to stay inside in your office all day, maybe getting outside for even just a 10-15 minute break might be helpful and refreshing!

Get a Massage .

Massages can be a bit pricey, so this might be a every-once-in-a-while splurge on your self-care. But, if it’s in your budget, don’t be afraid to take it the extra mile and treat yo self- you deserve it!

Treat Yourself to a Mani/pedi

Similar to getting a massage, don’t be afraid to treat yo self! I very rarely go to a salon to get my nails done. But, sometimes it’s nice to splurge a little bit and get a little pampered!

Go to Therapy.

As someone with a psychology background, I whole-heartedly believe in the benefits of talk therapy. Of course, this is something that not everyone has access to. Even just talking about what’s going on to family/friends if you are feeling stressed out. I find talk therapy to be helpful because it gets everything off of your chest so you’re not keeping everything bottled up inside. This can bring up lots of emotions, which can be hard and uncomfortable to deal with in the moment. But, the end result makes you feel so much more relieved to have all of the extra weight off of your shoulders! 

Make plans with a friend.

Again, being overly busy can make it hard to make friendships a priority. But, it always feels good to catch up with a friend that you haven’t seen in a while. I encourage you to contact a couple friends you haven’t seen in a while and make plans throughout the month or in the near future! 

Go Shopping.

OK retail therapy is not for me. Shopping tends to stress me out more than it makes me feel refreshed. Although, there is something to say about buying yourself a new outfit to wear that you feel real good in! 

Take yourself to see a movie.

Again, movies aren’t really my thing. While I enjoy them, I don’t ever think to do this. But, if you are someone that really enjoys movies, then this is a great one for you! Take yourself to see that movie that you’ve been wanting to see! Or spend a Friday/Saturday night in for a movie night (this is what I would be more likely to do!). Make yourself a bowl of popcorn, grab a glass of wine and a comfy blanket and you are good to go! Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?! 


The list is endless! It’s important to do what makes you feel happy and refreshed. Whatever you need! I encourage you and challenge you to pick a couple things to do every day this month for self-care. They say it takes three weeks  to form a habit! So, by the end of the month you might have developed a self-care routine habit that you will carry with you even after September ends!

So, what self-care activities are you committing to trying this month?!

My Fitness Journey | Choosing Yourself First

“You haven’t been yourself in about 2-3 years” is what my mom said to me a year ago. We were having a conversation about possible depression and seeing my doctor to get on an antidepressant. I didn’t have health insurance at the time, so we were trying to figure out how I was going to pay for the doctor visit, as well as the medication. I was a mess, my mental health was a mess.

I had just started a job that I thought was my “big break” I was looking for to get my career off the ground. I was trying to convince myself that I enjoyed this job, but I really didn’t. I hated it and wasn’t good at it, at all. I would pack a gym bag to go to the gym right after work, but would talk myself out of actually going because I was “too tired”. I really felt like I wasn’t in control of anything. Although, I tried. I would go home after work and try to figure out how to be better at this job. When I was with my boyfriend, I was thinking of this job, I would get to the office early to try to prepare better for the day. I really wanted to make this work and was willing to do anything to make it happen. The stress of my career was literally taking control of everything.

On Friday July 6, 2018, I walked into work and was immediately brought into an office and was fired at 6:45am. I was half relieved because the job was horrible, but half confused because I had no idea what I was going to do next. How was I supposed to expect an employer to hire me when I had 3 jobs in 6 months & fired from the last one after 5 weeks?

That same day just happened to be the Annual Memorial Golf Scramble I volunteer at yearly. I looked at the pictures we took and immediately realized that I needed to start taking care of myself better. I really didn’t “look” that bad, but I could tell how unhappy I was and crumbling under my own pressure to pull myself together & failing at every attempt. I was exhausted and putting on a smile to try to convince myself & others that I was completely fine. I wasn’t taking care of myself AT. ALL. I was lost & didn’t know what to do, or which way to go.


On Monday, July 9, 2018, I woke up without a job to go to for the first time in YEARS. It was a feeling that I was unsure to do with because I was exhausted, tired of trying to prove myself & my abilities to Corporate America. I knew I had a lot of potential, but was running out of ideas and options. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go next, but I knew I had to keep going in the only way I knew how- start taking care of myself and my mental health.

So, I went to the gym.

In making the decision to take actionable steps to take care of myself first, I have:
– learned how to love myself again
– worked out on a consistent schedule
– gained a healthy relationship with food
– started my own business
– started waking up with purpose every day
– moved out of my parents house (finally!)
– connected with amazing people
– become, really really happy
*I also no longer felt like I needed to be on an antidepressant.

NOW WHAT?

So, I woke up that day, exactly one year ago, and drug myself to the gym, with a commitment to myself. A commitment to turn this negative thing into a life changing experience, and that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t have a plan for my career, or anything for that matter. But, I knew that if I wanted anything to come together, I had to take control of the one thing I had complete control over: myself.

This moment was the first time since college that the chaos in my mind completely stopped. After everything, I had no desire to look for a job. It sounds weird, I had lost my trust in corporate jobs. I was frustrated at the fact that I had to prove myself to a company, leave a paycheck & benefits, for them to let me go whenever it was convenient for them.

I was lucky enough to still be living with my parents, so I had the security and stability to be able to take the time to figure things out. My dad had an (unpaid) opportunity for me at his startup business. I decided to give it a try, there was nothing I had to lose really. This was the time where I really had to understand that I had to take on every single opportunity that came my way. I really didn’t care what it was, I just had to take advantage of everything.

The crazy thing is, the moment I stopped actively looking for opportunities, is the exact time when opportunities started coming to me. I had gotten myself on a exercise routine, making better food choices, taking care of myself and that’s when things started falling into place. I would not change a single part of my journey because every experience had lead me to where I am today. Those experiences will still continue to evolve, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED

We are taught to work hard and keep working towards your goals, right? That’s exactly what I tried to do and I ended up running myself into the ground. It’s not my fault- I was just doing what I thought I needed to do. I was working hard towards a goal that wasn’t meant for me. I’m not the only one who has done this, right?

But, these moments are meant to happen and are necessary for success and growth. The best thing I did in my time of confusion, was to start taking care of myself. If you have chaos in your mind like I did, things will start coming together when you calm your mind. It sounds cliché, but it’s so true!

Take every situation, good or bad, as an opportunity to keep growing and getting better. I had always heard that those “bad” moments are a sign that an incredible breakthrough is about to happen. I wish there was a magic piece of advice that I could give. It’s hard and uncomfortable, but I promise something amazing is about to happen! I had absolutely no idea that getting fired would lead me to starting my own business and working from home. But, I’m so happy that it did.

The best thing you can do in a time of chaos and confusion is start taking actionable steps towards taking care of yourself. I had no idea that stepping into the gym one year ago would be the start of the most amazing journey. I had no idea all of these amazing possibilities that are waiting for me and I know there’s so much more to come. 💗🙏🏼 I’m truly living my life- not just going through the motions of the day and hating everything & everybody.