New Habits + Gradual Change

This time of year is always full of so much potential for so many people - resolutions, goals, reflecting on past achievements. I like change + even more so a challenge, so I was so tempted to set some crazy goal and try to get it done by the end of January. (Mind you, I didn't know what it was going to be because I never got that far.) I reread last-years blog post about how much I resent New Year's resolutions and decided to squash that whole idea. I've made good progress since last year and I don't think I need an unrealistic, crazy "challenge" for January to "kick me into gear" (another buzzword I've been hearing a lot lately; you're probably not being as lazy as you think you are, so chill and just make gradual changes!) A few days ago, I was looking through my bullet journal and stumbled across a half-finished page and immediately knew what today's post was going to be about. The page was titled "make it a habit" and I thought, especially being around resolution-time-of-year, this post seemed so fitting.

The Most Important Lessons I Learned in 2018

Happy (almost) 2019! It seems crazy to me that it's already almost January of the new year... I feel like just yesterday I was at the beach during the summer. If you've been following along since last year, you know I'm not the biggest fan of New Year's Resolutions. Only 8% of people stick to their fitness resolutions and I'm sure the numbers aren't much higher for anything else - I feel like it's almost a broken promise to yourself or to others that leads you to be even more discouraged. If you were to ask me, I'd say that every day when you wake up you need to decide what you want to change and what your priorities are and get whatever that is done, no matter how far into the year it is. That being said, I do always reflect on the past year and look back at all that I've learned after the Christmas festivities are over. I think it's safe to say that this year was full of lessons that were learned as a result of both positive and negative experiences, and I'm grateful for all of them. 

pure happiness with 3 of my favorite things - ice cream, my puppy, and my little sister

This year opened my eyes to how easily accessible joy is. I discovered that my morning coffee puts a smile on my face that lasts almost all day. I learned that plants make my heart happy. I learned that sunsets are the greatest work of art you'll ever see and that I can't help but feel thankful when I see them. I discovered that reading is the best therapy after a long day. I realized there is not much better than a big bowl of fruit to make your belly happy. I (even more so) uncovered my love for the sights and sounds of the early morning. I confirmed that running is my favorite way to make my brain, heart, and body content all at the same time. Joy, for me, has nothing to do with anything big. The keys to genuine happiness are spending time outside + with the ones you love, snuggling up in a blanket to read, drinking a fresh-fruit smoothie, and basking in the sun. I think I've become somewhat of a minimalist this year because I realized how little is truly needed in order to be happy.

Dreams don't work unless you do; it's as simple as that. This year tested me the most ever of just how hard I was willing to work for what I wanted. After working really dang hard, I can 100% say that if you put all your heart and soul and effort into something controllable, you won't be disappointed.

I'm not saying that you're better than anyone or that you deserve to be treated like royalty, but you do deserve respect. This year tested my self-respect and how long I would allow being treated in a way I didn't deserve. I think I let it go on too long, but I'm proud of myself for finally recognizing that I was mistreated and that I was worth more than that. You (and I) are worth more than being taken advantage of, made fun of, or ignored. If you're in a friendship or relationship or even just meet someone that treats you in any of those ways, it's important to let them know that you don't appreciate it. ADVOCATING FOR YOURSELF was one of the things that my mom stressed the most this year and I think it's finally drilled into my head.

 My first year in high school and everything is about looks - every girl wants to be the prettiest and the most well-liked by the guys. I get it, and I'm not going to judge - but honestly, it gets tiring that so much of life is focused on how pretty you are or how fit you are; that is CRAZZZYYY!!!!!!!!! NoBoDy cares if you are a supermodel if you are mean to people. NoBoDy cares if you workout seven days a week if you only care about yourself and never do anything to help others. So stop worrying if you're pretty enough or strong enough or skinny enough and focus on your health, happiness, and the well-being of those around you. Just have a pretty heart, people!!!! That's all you need!!!

I wrote this post explaining my feelings in detail, but in summary, your character does not have to be one-dimensional. I think when you really start to grow as an individual you realize that your personality becomes so complex and unique. Some things that you enjoy doing or ways you act may seem to contradict each other because it's not stereotypical, but stereotypes are overrated. Remember to never shrink yourself to fit in and that you are more vibrant than being able to be classified into a personality type.

I hope that 2018 was good to you, that you found joy in the little things, that you grew as an individual, that you were happy, that you didn't worry about what others thought of you, that you were thankful for what you have, that you worked hard to achieve something great, and that you did something to positively impact someone else's life. Wishing you SO MUCH joy in 2019! See you next year!

Stay on the sunny side,

Roundup of my Favorite Recipes

HIII!! I hope you enjoyed all the mashed potatoes, pies, and turkey on Thanksgiving and realized all there is to be thankful for! But nowwwww, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! 🎅🎄🤶 I've already watched 3 Hallmark movies, decorated my room, and had a candy cane - I don't mess around with the holiday season ;) I'm hoping to start posting Christmas content next week, but I'm still sorting through all my ideas! (This makes me SO excited, I love this time of year!!)

Per request, today I've rounded up all of my favorite foods from my insta stories - breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, smoothies, you name it! Everyone I talk to always seems so interested in more fitness and nutrition posts here, so here I am, sharing all these yummy "recipes" in an attempt to inspire you to spice up your meals and eat nourishing, fulfilling food! 

Why I Love my Essential Oil Diffuser

My grandmother has always been really into natural remedies +  everything health-related and I think the older I get the more I become interested in those things as well. It's almost fascinating to me that so much of what is beneficial or necessary to our bodies come from plants and animals around us - starting with food and going to essential oils.

For Christmas last year, I bought my grandmother a mini essential oil diffuser, and she loved it! I decided to get one for myself and haven't regretted it for a second. (This is the link to it - it was only around $15 and has been going strong every night for almost a year.) I keep it by my bedside on an automated timer and when I go to bed I watch it switch colors - it's pretty neat! I find it so relaxing to watch and listen to the water before I hit the hay for the night. As much as it's so fun to watch, one of the best things about having a diffuser is all the health benefits. Every oil put into it has its own superpower and just by breathing it in, you're getting those benefits. Decongestion, soothed headaches, improved sleep, and reduced anxiety are just a few of the many things essential oils do for us! I love almost all the smells of the oils, so I don't just diffuse them because it feels like something I have to do to be "healthy" or because I know it has lots of pros. I chose to purchase my diffuser because I enjoy the smell + sight and the health benefits are an extra bonus!

Finding your Artsy Side

Throughout these past few months with field hockey, I've taken a step back from being fully committed to involving myself with other bloggers and companies, posting consistently, and writing with full passion. My mind always seems to be elsewhere when I'm writing, like how I should be studying for that upcoming test, how I need to be practicing field hockey, or that I could be out playing with my siblings, so posts always get put on the back burner while everything else gets done. I think that with all the stress of school and playing, the thing I really needed during the season was to be able to sit down and write everything down here, but I always just chugged through (#studentathletegrind) and here we are. I'm one of those people that thrives when I'm busy and I can't just sit around and do nothing, so this fall - my first year of high school and playing a high school sport - has been great. I've learned that sometimes you've just gotta prioritize because you won't always to be able to get everything you want to get done finished. I quickly said goodbye to being able to get all my homework for the week done on Monday night and have learned that I'll go insane if I try to pull off getting all of an assignment done on Friday night so I have the rest of the weekend free.

Staying Healthy this Year

It's that time of year... head colds and stomach bugs and feeling under-the-weather. I'm sure it's the same for you, but I don't have any time to be sick. I can't miss school, can't miss field hockey, and need all my energy all the time. Last week, I felt like I was the only person that wasn't infected by the pesky cold that seems to take everybody down. My team had it, my family had it, and it seemed like everyone in my classes were getting up to get a tissue. Being sick weighs you down so much and I feel like I can never find any motivation because all I want to do is sleep. I'm going to do all I can this year to keep all the germs, viruses, and colds away.

Quotes + Lessons I'm Taking with me to High School

Inspiration for posts is running low - maybe because I've been really focused on field hockey, maybe because I was enjoying the last few days of summer with my family before school started, but whatever it is, it's been putting blogging on the back burner. I'm not going to apologize because I don't think there's anything wrong with changing up your priorities so that a hobby isn't in the top 3, and hey, I didn't go anywhere permanently. Field hockey is going well, school is really busy - and a lot of work -but good, and I'm slowly but surely getting into the swing of things being able to manage both and have free time for things like blogging (although free time still isn't necessarily abundant). Alright, enough with the belly-aching, let's get to the positive stuff!! 

We'll take it back to a little bit before the start of school ←←

I knew high school was going to be something different - a little more exciting, a little more freedom, a little more work, and full of so many things that were unknown. I didn't know if my friends would change, teachers would be nice, or what team I would be on for field hockey. I didn't even know where any of my classes were, what time I had to be on the bus for an away game, or if I could use my phone or not. But I did know a lot of things; a lot of things I had been taught - whether it be by my parents, older - and even younger - siblings, other family members, teachers, coaches, and family friends. I knew that every day, you wake up, give thanks for what you have, and make your day the best one possible. I knew that even when things don't go your way you've just gotta roll with it. I knew that you won't always be the best athlete, the smartest, or the most popular, but you must always be the kindest. I knew that you can't make everyone happy and that's okay. I knew that with hard work, an open mind, and kindness, you can do almost anything you set your mind to. And I think that what I was taught is 100x more important than knowing how to open a locker or what to pack for a pre-practice snack (apples, nuts, and kind bars are good options, though). High school is going well so far, and I give credits to music, these quotes ↓, my field hockey team, and my awesome family for that! You all rock!