It is that time of the year: Christmas is in full swing! I don’t know about you but my Christmas shopping is complete (some even wrapped) and my Christmas list is ready. (Santa, I think I have been pretty good.) haha But seriously, I am that person that will think of random things I want throughout the year and add them to my a note in my phone. Things that I would never buy myself because I don’t really need them, or they are too pricey, or I just need ideas…you know the drill. This is the time when I can say, “yep, this is what I want.” And EVERY year for the past few years (probably five to be specific), I have had one thing on there that means more than the jewelry or clothes: my photo books from Artifact Uprising.
It is finally here! The first ever issue of The Graceful Guide! Y’all, this has been a dream of mine for a while. Over a year ago after I wrote The Graceful Guide to Alaska, I started dreaming about this project. I can remember completing that guide and thinking, “man this would be a cool idea for a fancy newsletter…” And so it began. I have dreamt up ideas of how it would work, how often I would create new issues, what they would include…you name it, I thought about it. But it was there that this idea came to a halt: in my thoughts. While I had these big dreams and big plans, I also had a voice in the back of my head telling me it was a dumb idea. That no one cared. No one would read it. I was not good at graphic design. I am not “big enough” for that yet. So per the usual…I let the voices win.
There is nothing I love more than when I am able to take time for myself. Whether I am able to clean my house, clean out my closet, take a nap, read a book…there are so many things I can do when I have time for ME. But I will say, my ultimate “me time” is when I can light all my candles, take a bath and pamper myself for a bit. I love trying different face masks, helping my skin recover from a long week. I was recently given the opportunity to try the new Olay Clay Stick Masks and y’all…they did not disappoint!
I have had to learn a lot about GRACE lately. Really, giving it to myself and not being so hard on everything I do. It has always been a struggle for me because I am an EXTREME perfectionist. I will say…this is one of my biggest flaws. Anyways, this nearly impossible standard I set for myself has been my biggest enemy because it controls so many areas of my life. I want to be the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect co-worker, the perfect friend. I say “yes” to WAY more than I can handle, and when I say “no” I feel absolutely defeated inside. The struggle is real y’all.
I have to say, I have a love-hate relationship with Halloween. Truth be told, I’ve always been a little “afraid” of the idea of it. I do not like haunted houses, or scary movies, or any of that non-sense. I am a scaredy-cat…I’ll admit it. BUT, what I do love about Halloween is dressing up. I LOVE when for just one night I can be something or someone else (for fun of course) and wander around asking for candy of all things. I have some of the best memories growing up from when my dad would take me trick-or-treating. My costume selection was all over the map also. I was Tinker Bell, the Pink Power Ranger, a black cat, and Darth Vader. All. Over. The. Map. But without a doubt every year, I had a blast.
If you follow me on social media then you know that I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Greece. If you have been following for a while, then you also know that the hubs and I actually went to Greece for the first time two years ago, and that this recent trip was our second go-round. Well, with that being said, I figured it was about time to give you all a little Graceful Guide for all things Greece...or at least how I know it.
If you all are like me then you are SO EXCITED for football to start back! Yep, true life. I am excited for football. I grew up watching football with both of my parents and have always loved sports. When I was deciding where I wanted to go to college, I can't lie, I chose to go to an SEC school because I knew the football would be fun. I just love it. Fall evenings, grilling out and watching the game...it makes for a great Saturday night in my household.
Whether you are in school, or running a business, staying organized is something that will help you function no matter what. So, how do you choose to stay organized? Do you like to write things down? Or are you someone who memorizes things well? For me, I am definitely a visual learner which means I am extremely visual when it comes to remembering things. This leads me to my planner. I was always so excited for the first day of school because that meant new school supplies...a.k.a, a new planner. This is how I function y'all. I need my space to write things down and remember! I go as far as to color code things (yes, I am that person), to help me classify on levels of importance. My tricks are insane but I have some how managed these last few years, so I am going to share some of my biggest tips with you!
I can remember the days of waking up at 7:50 am for my 8 am class. Yep, there were definitely times when I was that kid. I tried my best not to be because I like to feel like I am organized, but you know...sometimes a girl just wants to sleep. But, while there were a few times I slept in, I would say for the most part, I liked to get up, get ready, grab a coffee and slowly make my way to class. It was these days that became my favorite because they started off on the right foot. You know what I mean? So continuing the spirit of back to school this week, I thought I would round up some easy and casual looks that you can throw on for class. Whether you are a late sleeper, or an early riser, all of these looks can be quick and easy...and comfortable for class!
It is that time of year...school is back in session! I cannot believe the summer break has come to an end and that classes have begun. I mean, where did the time go? Well in the spirit of back to school this week, I've decided to bring you some content that will help prepare you for those days in the classroom. I will be bringing you different looks for class, ways to stay organized and even game day looks, but for now I want to start with the most important accessory for the school year: your back pack!
Sisterhood | noun | (1) a community or society of sisters; especially: a society of women in a religious order; (2) the solidarity of women based on shared conditions, experiences, or concerns.
Yep, I would say those words make sense. But now I want to tell you less about how they make sense via the dictionary, and more about how they make sense in my life. Growing up, I honestly was never really concerned about a "sorority." Tennis was my life. That was my group. Those were my sisters. So I never truly understood the hype to be honest.
As I am sure you can tell by now, I love creativity. The uniqueness of design and color and patterns; art that can tell a story at one glance. It amazes me. And the coolest part about creatives is that they can come in many forms. I, am a blogger. I choose to put my creative efforts towards fashion and travel and helping you guys style looks. Some people choose photography. They can pick up a camera and capture an image that will take your breath away. Then there are the painters. With the simple stroke of a brush, a canvas comes to life and we are swept into a scene unlike any other. Now the other creatives that amaze me are the designers. Clothing designers, home designers, jewelry designers. They see an image in their mind and make it a reality for us to enjoy. That is pretty spectacular.
A few weeks ago, you probably saw on social media, that Darian and I ventured west for a bit. We flew into Las Vegas then drove up through parts of Arizona and Utah, making a pit stop in a small town called Moab. Now, you may be familiar with this little town due to its popular hiking trails and national parks. I, on the other hand, was slightly new to this area and was not really sure what to expect upon my arrival.
There are times when my mind is seriously blown at the creative things in this world. I mean, think about it. People had to take the time to invent something in order for us to use it. Their mind drafted up an image of a space or an object that, at the time, probably sounded crazy to everyone else around them because no one had ever SEEN it. Isn't it crazy how much we truly depend on our sight? Without being able to see, feel or touch something we panic at the thought of taking the leap. But the reality is, without that leap and without that faith, no one will be able to experience our thoughts for themselves.
I think most of you know this about me, but I am blind as a bat. Seriously, CANNOT see. Unfortunately, I started to realize this on the tennis court when that little yellow ball would be pretty fuzzy on the other side of the net...and I do not mean physically. Once I started losing matches due to my inability to see, I finally admitted defeat and went to the eye doctor. Now, I was about 12 years old when all of this went down (5th grade?), so you can imagine, I was TRAUMATIZED at the thought of getting glasses. I had just started at a new school, I was about to get braces, I mean...pretty much my world was ending. SO, with that being said, I opted for contacts. And from that point on, I very rarely wore my glasses in public. In fact, most people didn't even know my eyes were bad. Until lately.
So lets talk about that comfort zone for a second. You know, that area that you tend to hang in until you are pretty much drug out into that awkward space...yeah that one. We all love our comfort zone. I mean, why leave it? Why take ourselves out of something we are used to and put ourselves into a situation that makes our hands start to sweat? I will go ahead and answer these questions from my perspective...I probably wouldn't leave. I am guilty. I am guilty of pitching my tent in my comfort zone. And y'all...it is a comfortable tent.
GIRL BOSS. We have all heard the term. Some might be annoyed by it, some probably have a coffee mug or two with these words in bold letters. It is definitely a common thing in today's society. But how do you truly define the term? Is it simply for those who are literal bosses? Women who run their own companies and manage a staff of people who work FOR them? Or do you apply the term to your best friend who you pretty much think is just the coolest person on the planet? Well, I think it can go either way. Let me talk to my girl bosses out there for a minute (yep, that means you).
It is official guys...summer is here! It has been SO hot (almost unbearable) here in Louisiana but I am actually okay with it! You know, summertime means a lot of things for me that I love...1) my birthday, 2) pool time and 3) VACATION! How can I complain?? No but seriously, there are just some things I love to do in the summer so I figured I would round up some of my favs and share them here!
So let's talk about why I really went to California. Yes to se my girls. Yes to see cool places and take cool pics. Yes to the blog thing. BUT, the trip originally came to be when we were discussing the Hillsong Colour Conference. Four those of you who are not familiar, Hillsong is a church in Australia that has probably one of the most well-known worship teams with some of the most well-known worship songs in their repertoire. I grew up in my church at home listening to, and singing their music because it wasn't just church music...it was worship, which I love. Anyways, back to my story. This conference, put on my Bobbie Houston (one of the head pastors of Hillsong Church), was two days dedicated to women who love Jesus. And y'all, when I tell you this place was full of these women, it was so full. Women from all over. Different races, different backgrounds, different stories. But we were all there for the same thing. To share in our love for Jesus. To worship. To repent. To grow. And it was unlike any other.
I am sure you have probably been able to tell, but I have a lot of weddings happening in my life right now. One in particular is for my main girl, Darian. As you see EVERY DAY when I post on social media or the blog, Darian does a lot for me. A LOT. Words cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for her, which brings me to this season in her life...it is my turn to do something for her. With that being said, I am showering her with wedding fun, from bridal showers to bachelorette parties, and have been thankful for Basic Invite and their beautiful invitations!