Love You Forever, So Cal

Friday, December 08, 2017

Our (normally) perfect little Southern California bubble is quite literally burning to the ground around us. We don't have blizzards, we generally stay away from heavy rains, we don't usually fluctuate in temperature from extreme heat to freezing cold and we're used to a nice calm breeze. But every year around this time we get a visit from the Santa Ana winds. 

These are usually warm winds (although this year is a bit different) that can get up to 80mph in some areas. Mix heavy winds with the fact that we pretty much haven't had rain since last year at this time, plus we're surrounded by mountains with heavy vegetation, and it means bad news for us. 

Currently, we're surrounded on multiple sides by about 5 wildfires. These fires quite literally sparked overnight and the largest fire burning up to 95,000 acres so far is just a mountains distance away and that is scary. 

The other fires are the same, we are generally a mountains distance apart (and in reality that's a pretty good distance to be, don't get me wrong) but we're getting some of the leftover smoke and ash from the surrounding areas. 

The firefighters in our state are working tirelessly. They haven't caught a break in days, and the possibility of containment is hindered every time the winds pick back up or change direction. Each morning that we've woken up since Sunday has shown news of a new fire in a new location, and less resources to fight them, and that is scary. 

However, when watching the news I'm reminded that it could be worse. In no way (so far) has my life, or the lives of my family been directly affected by the fires. I have had the means to help donate to those who watched on the news as their homes went up in flames. People with babies, just like mine, searching for anyone to lend them the things that I've got plenty of, like diapers and formula. 
There are presents already wrapped and nestled under our Christmas tree, something that others may have had, but have now lost. 

It's scary to be so near something that you have absolutely no control over, but it is also so important to take a look at the people you've got next to you and to remember that that's what's important. A lot of people are facing tough times right now, but we will come together and we will support those in need. Natural disasters are truly a reminder of the strength of people, and the fact that despite all the bad going on in the world, we are human beings at our core and we will help one another, because if we were in their shoes we would hope that they would do the same for us. 

If you're in the surrounding areas please look for ways you may be able to help, no matter how small. If you're not, please keep us in your thoughts. Fires are completely unpredictable and all we can hope for is that the men and women fighting to keep us safe will have the means to do so. 

The Art of Staying Motivated About Blogging (Even When it Seems Like No One Else is)

Thursday, December 07, 2017

I've popped in and out of the blogging world for the past five years or so, and in that time I've seen a ton of changes taking place.

When Daniel and I first got married and I moved to another state, I started a blog as a means of getting my thoughts out there as I embarked on my new journey as a young military wife. There were TONS of people consistently blogging back then. 

I could count on all of my favorite bloggers to show up day after day with important posts, or just a post to catch up on their daily lives, and everything in between. Bloggers became friends and created lasting relationships. Blogging was fun. But I got caught up in my own life, moving from state to state with Daniel and between roaming the country and switching universities every semester or so, I eventually deleted my blog (and regret this, mostly). Eventually we became more settled and flash back to two plus years ago when I decided to regroup and get back in the blogging game. 

Imagine my surprise when I rejoined and the blog world was totally and completely different. I was lucky to see a post every other week on the blogs that I used to read every day. I saw a lot of posts about people getting burned out with the same old thing, or getting frustrated about the amount of sponsorship posts and lack of "genuine" material. There were still a few of my favorites hanging around, but as the years have passed, slowly but surely many of them have made the decision to shut down for good as well. This year in particular has been hard for a lot of people, myself included. I've found it difficult to balance the art of sharing too much about my current thoughts of the state of the world (and possibly offending someone) and not sharing enough, and coming off as less than sympathetic. It's a very fine line. 

There are still so many truly great, motivated and passionate bloggers out there today. There are people who show up everyday and make it a point to keep things the way they used to be, but they are further and far between. 

I think that in order to stay motivated about blogging (because it is really such an amazing community) we must continue to show up for ourselves first. Write because you enjoy writing, or because you've found that its been profitable for you in the past, or because you've met some really great people along the way. Write just for the love of writing and stay motivated because your words have the power to reach others and because they mean something. 

The blogging community is much different than it was, but it doesn't have to be. It's still possible to make connections and create lasting relationships. It's still possible to write about things that are important or things that are fun, or things that mean something. Stay motivated because at one point or another you were passionate about your online space, for whatever reason that was for you, and maybe you just need to find your way back. I'm thankful for the community of people who continue to show up and catch up. I'm grateful for people like you, who may be reading this post right now.

I love the blogging community and I'm hoping to make steps in the future to continue it forward, so thanks for coming along with me. 

A Christmas Link-Up

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

It has been WAY too long since I've participated in a link-up. I always forget how fun these are and such an easy way to connect with others about the same topics. What better link-up to participate in than one themed around Christmas? Seriously, this whole month is just the best ever. I hope you'll link-up here too with The Blended Blog!

1) Real tree every single year! This year we considered a fake tree because someone told me about trees that COMBUST out of NOWHERE and I got nervous but Daniel still made me get one. 

2) What are those cookies with the Hershey's kisses in the middle of them? I love those. 

3) Travel on Christmas Eve, home on Christmas morning. 

4) Colored lights outside, clear on our Christmas tree. 

5) This is the Kensington's first Christmas so we've considered sending out cards for the first time but every time I go to check out I stop myself because they just cost so much. I'm still going back and forth. 

6) I honestly don't think I have a favorite. I usually get some really great Christmas presents (9 Christmases out of 10 my mom and I buy each other at least ONE of the same exact gift, so I usually have an idea of what I'm getting). 

7) It's a gift I'm giving this year so I can't spill the beans just yet. Let's just say I have dubbed myself the queen of gift giving people I seriously know my people and what they're going to like and I found something perfect for everyone. 

8) Stockings. Usually filled with candy and the random gift that I couldn't figure out how to wrap. 

9) This year I desperately wanted the matching family jams from Hearth & Hand at Target but I didn't get to them early enough online. I didn't find any others that I love but I usually end up getting a pair of Victoria's Secret flannel pjs from someone in my life on Christmas morning. 

10) Does Maria Carey's All I Want For Christmas is You count as a Christmas carol? No? Too bad. That's my fave. 

11) Every year since I was little my dad would buy us scratch off lottery tickets and put them in our stockings. He used to tell us that anything over $50 dollars had to be split with the family (and that always seemed like SO much money) haha the same rules still apply today and it's still just as fun. 

12) Usually I buy presents all month long but I'm proud to say that this year I finished absolutely all of my shopping before December even began. I know, I'm as shocked as you are. 

13) Elf!

14) Peppermint Mocha, hands down. 

15) This will be our first year with a kid at Christmas, although she'll only be 8 months old. We will definitely be putting out milk and cookies because, yum. 

25 Days of Christmas Movie Recommendations

Monday, December 04, 2017

In October, Daniel and I watched a Halloween (or Fall related) movie almost every single night. We turned "13 nights of Halloween" into 31 nights and it was so fun finding scary movies, not so scary movies, and everything in between to watch every night. We love the Christmas season just as much as the Fall, so we thought it would be fun to do the same thing for the month of December. Here's our Christmas movie calendar. 

DECEMBER 1: The Holiday 

DECEMBER 2: The Family Man 

DECEMBER 3: White Christmas 

DECEMBER 4: This Christmas

DECEMBER 5: The Santa Claus 2

DECEMBER 6: A Christmas Carol 

DECEMBER 7: Bad Santa 

DECEMBER 8: Scrooged 

DECEMBER 9: Nightmare Before Christmas 

DECEMBER 10: Love Actually 

DECEMBER 11: Frosty & Rudolph 

DECEMBER 12: A Charlie Brown Christmas 

DECEMBER 13: The Polar Express 

DECEMBER 14: Jack Frost 

DECEMBER 15: Four Christmases 

DECEMBER 16: Miracle on 34th Street

DECEMBER 17: It's a Wonderful Life 

DECEMBER 18: Jingle All the Way 

DECEMBER 19: How the Grinch Stole Christmas 

DECEMBER 20: Home Alone 1

DECEMBER 21: Home Alone 2 

DECEMBER 22: A Christmas Story 

DECEMBER 23: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 


DECEMBER 25: The Santa Claus 

What are your favorite Christmas movies? Are there any on this list that you haven't seen? 

More or Less December

Friday, December 01, 2017

More...Christmas trees, Less...pumpkins and orange leaves.

More...peppermint hot cocoa, Less...peppermint hot coffee. I'm making the worlds tiniest effort to drink a little bit less coffee.

More...change, Less... staying in a place I'm not happy to be in. crawling, Less...being able to look away from the baby for even a mili-second.

More...researching our trip to Argentina (we leave February 1st!) Less...thinking that February will never arrive, time is flying by way too fast! photos, of the baby on her own. She's going to look back at her pictures and think no one else was with her ever!

More...Home alone, Elf, and Nightmare Before Christmas.

More...turning up the heater and snuggling under blankets.

More...adorable baby hats that make Kensington look like she's off to trek through the snow when really it's just 68 degrees outside and we're freezing.

Less...90 degree days. I feel like I say this one in every month and somehow they keep sneaking in, but I'm hoping December means the end!

Less...procrastinating on finding the perfect gifts for friends and family.

Less...putting off goals that I made at the end of last year. You've got one more month to get those moving!

What are you hoping for more or less of this month? 

Kensington Grace 30 Week Update

Thursday, November 30, 2017

I love the holidays you guys, but I hate how when time is already speeding by at a million miles per minute, the holidays manage to turn that into a million miles per second. I don't know why I'm still surprised when we hit each month milestone in her life, but I'm afraid to blink these days because I just know that one day I will, and she'll be a teenager. 

At 30 weeks, Kensington is absolutely perfect in every way. She sits up all the time, and is really only content to lay down when we change her diaper. She eats all the food and pretends to chew on something to let us know when she's hungry. She only cries when she's overly tired, and still falls asleep best to Whitney Houston's I wanna dance with somebody song, still something I'll never understand. Kenzie loves her stuffed animals - specifically pooh bear and any of the other hundred acre wood friends, real animals (she yelled at a dog in my office yesterday because it didn't pay immediate attention to her like she's used to from my mom's dog), christmas ornaments, splashing in the bathtub, watching football, and being read to. 

She sleeps through the night, going down at around 8:00-8:30 and waking up between 5:00-6:00. She doesn't enjoy day time naps which makes it difficult to get anything done in the 30-40 minute catnaps that she will take. Kensington giggles when you kiss her belly and is ticklish in her ribs and gives the biggest, wettest kisses in the world. She is fiery, and feisty and also the sweetest, most cuddly baby all wrapped into one. 

I am so excited for her first Christmas and have already purchased more gifts than any one 7 month old could ever need. I hate how quickly she's growing up already but absolutely love each new stage that we enter with her. She is truly beyond anything I could have ever imagined her to be and we love her more every day, even when that doesn't seem possible. 

At 30 weeks out, she makes me feel like my heart just may burst watching her become her own little person. She is more than we could have ever hoped or dreamed of. 

We love you to the moon and back, sweet girl. 

What I've Been Reading Lately & What I Want to Read Next

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I've had some slow book months the past couple of months seven months or so since the baby was born. It's not that there haven't been plenty of books I've wanted to read, I just haven't had the time, aka I've chosen an extra half an hour or so of sleep each day instead of taking the time to catch up on my reading list. 

I've recently given in to using Audible to listen to a few books on my way to and from work. It's taken a bit of adjustment on my part because I usually can't stand to have someone else read to me (unless it's my mom) and I've tried plenty of audiobooks in the past that I've had to turn it off because they just weren't reading it right. Clearly I have high maintenance reading standards but when you don't have time to read to yourself, sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do. So here we are after my last reading haul back in April (depressing) with a new list of what I've been reading lately. 

Plot: "On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic costal villages of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister...

The next morning, three women in and around London -- Fatima, Thea and Isabel -- receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, "I need you." 

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. They myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other -- ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school's eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate's father). 

Atmospheric, twisty and with just the right amount of chill that will keep you wrong-footed -- which has now become Ruth Ware's signature style -- The Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller. - via goodreads

My Thoughts: I originally picked this book up after reading (and loving) both of Ruth Ware's last two books. Unfortunately, I have to say that this story did not hold my attention nearly as well as the other two. In fact, I found myself having to force my way through a lot of parts. I didn't feel particularly connected to any of the characters aside from the fact that the main character was a new mom, and I felt like there was a lot of story line followed by a rushed ending. It could have been that I attempted to start this book in the hospital while I was having the baby, and finished it a few weeks after she was born and just wasn't in the right frame of mind to be reading anything. If you're a fan of Ruth Ware then I'd say you should still give it a try and let me know what you think. 

Plot: "Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there's a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett's son, Davis. 

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening of her own thoughts. 

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, share's Aza's story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of  lifelong friendship. - via goodreads

My Thoughts: This was the first book I attempted to listen to through Audible and it was a great first choice. I've loved every John Green book that ever I've read in the past, and Turtles All The Way Down was no exception. He has a very special way of making you connect to a character whom you may have never connected to under any other circumstances. He writes in a way that makes you feel things about the story line and the people in it. I absolutely recommend this book to any John Green fans and anyone who may want to become one. 

Plot: "When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...

But that woman's husband died last week. And Jean doesn't have to be her anymore. 

There's a lot Jean hasn't said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment. 

Now there's no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage. 

The truth -- thats all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything. - via goodreads

My Thoughts: Okay you guys. I have been reading this book for a MONTH straight (my digital library loan is about to be up) and I cannot get through it. The more that I read it the more annoyed I become by the characters. I like how the author separated the chapters, each coming from different perspectives of those in the story, but there is so much wrong with the story line itself, and I find myself getting irritated at multiple characters. 

SPOILERS AHEAD - Jean, the main character and wife of Glen (accused of kidnap and murder of a little girl) wants a child so badly that she overlooks the fact that her husband most likely definitely kidnapped and killed a little girl (because he has a child pornography addiction) and even blames herself for him doing so. She is an emotionally damaged character with little to no self-esteem and after her husband dies in an accident, she looks to people in the press to tell her what to do to move forward with her life. WHAT. The first half or more of the story is spent in trying to describe the case itself, and considering I'm in the second half but still have no idea whether or not she WAS actually in on the kidnapping of the little girl or not, I'm equally frustrated and not willing to give this book up at the same time. 

So if you spent time reading my rant about this last one then you'll be sorry to find out that I honestly cant recommend (or not) this book. It's just more than I could handle all at once and I'm determined to finish it and find out if the ending was worth all the hassle or not. But I'm guessing not. 

Books on my 'want to read' list: 

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman - This is the next book I chose to listen to on Audible because although I never read her first book, Practical Magic, I saw the Sandra Bullock movie and still watch it every year around Halloween time because it's so good. 

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero - I've never seen a bad review about this book so it must be good, right? It's definitely on my to be read list. 

Saying No for a Stress-Free Holiday

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I've always been a people pleaser, I hate when anyone is upset and I'm the first to try to find a way to fix whatever the problem may be. However, after having a baby this year, I've had to adjust the amount of time I'm willing to spend pleasing others, and the time I need to spend taking care of myself and my family. 

I've been reminded of this a lot already as the holiday season is upon us. Our family is relatively spread out through different parts of southern California, the furthest person being two-ish hours away depending on the traffic. In the past we've always made it a point to go see everyone. We've spent a majority of our Christmas weekend driving around SoCal to visit loved ones for a few hours at a time, and in the until now it's worked for us. 

But this year is different. This year we have a seven-month-old who needs to nap every three hours and who hates being in the car longer than 15 minutes because she loves to play. 

This year I've already had to say no to multiple Christmas parties and family events, and I found myself feeling guilty over it. I've had family members say things like, "I won't make you feel guilty, but I'm sick to my stomach that you won't be able to join us" aka making me feel more guilty than EVER and I've been stressing myself out trying to make adjustments in my schedule to see if it is at all possible for us to fit everyone in. And guess what, it's not possible. And I don't think I want it to be. 

This is Kenzie's first Christmas. Her first most magical time of the year and I want us to enjoy it. I want time with just the three of us in our little apartment on Christmas morning and I don't want to be stuck in the car with a possibly grumpy babe just so we can get to a holiday party that I'll miss a quarter of because I'll be trying to put her down for a nap. 

I want to stay in my Christmas PJ's and drink Christmas coffee and watch Christmas movies while I open her presents for her and watch her stare at, and try to pull down, all the ornaments off the Christmas tree. I want us to enjoy ourselves and in this situation that's going to require some guilt-free no's on my part. And that's alright, in fact, it's good. When I look back on our Christmas down the road I won't feel guilty for the time we spent enjoying ourselves. I won't be upset by the fact that we weren't stressed and although I may feel pangs of guilt at having to choose one family member over another I won't feel guilty that we chose to make ourselves a priority over anyone else. 

So if you're already feeling a little bit of that holiday guilt, take a step back and remind yourself that you have as much right to enjoy the time as everyone else in whatever capacity that may mean for you. Don't be afraid to say no if it means that you'll be able to look back on the time knowing that you fully enjoyed yourself because the holidays are supposed to be fun, so let's keep them that way! 

Give Thanks

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Tis' the season to be thankful for all the things, duh. I could take the time to list out all the usual things I'm thankful for (Daniel, Kensington, my parents, my job...etc.) But I've done that in about seventeen-thousand different ways on different list posts throughout the year, so I thought I'd take a minute to shout out to the lesser acknowledged, but still wonderful, things that need some thanks this year.

This year I'm thankful for...

+ The people who bring their dogs in to be adjusted by the chiropractor at work. You read that right. Our office adjusts people and their dogs is they so please. We have some of THE cutest four-legged patients and all of our moods are instantly boosted when there's a dog around.

+ The crockpot. Aka the magical thing that somehow transforms random ingredients into the worlds best meals.

+ My hydroflask. I don't know why, but I am 1000% more likely to stay hydrated if I'm drinking from something that's cute/functional and even though the hydroflask is a little pricier,  it was a good investment.

+ Starbucks employees who work anytime on or around the holidays. Those guys deserve a medal.

+ The people they hire to record audible books. I would NEVER want to hear my voice recorded on anything, let alone for 10 hours so someone can listen to it later on their way to work. But I'm happy other people are willing to do it.

+The Food Network. Because it always makes me hungry and always makes me believe that I might be a better chef than I probably am. When I watch it I say a lot of, "oh, I could do that". 

+ Full belly baby giggles. This is a new thing that Kenz has been doing when we kiss her belly or tickle her lately and it is the worlds best sound. 

+ Peppermint flavored coffee. The donut shop released this for the holidays and I think i'll probably need to buy all the boxes because it is SO good and I don't know what i'll do without it when they take it away. 

Happy Turkey Day, friends! I hope your day is filled with all the food and family and friends. 

My Thoughts on Returning to Work Post-Baby

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

I've always considered myself a bit of a worker bee. I've been working since I was 15, not because I necessarily had to (although eventually I did) but because I wanted to. I enjoy staying busy. I pride myself on being able to "do it all" so they say.

So when I found out I was pregnant, there was no question in my mind about whether or not I would return to work after having the baby. It seemed like the natural option for me. 

I truly enjoy where I work. Currently I am a receptionist at a busy chiropractors office. I have a connection with our patients, and when they feel better after coming to us in pain, it makes me feel good. I also knew that my mom would be more than willing to watch Kenzie for me in the afternoons when I returned to work. 

I'm only there part-time, so it couldn't be that difficult, right?


Returning to work has honestly been one of the hardest things I've had to do since having the baby. This idea I had in my head about spending my maternity leave at home and then skipping happily back into my office like nothing was different was totally off. When my six week marker hit during my leave I extended it to eight and when that ran out I considered extending it again to twelve, but knew I'd have to bite the bullet sometime. Financially, even the small amount of income that I bring in from my work is helpful to us, so I know that I need to work, but the more personality that Kenzie develops, the harder it is for me to leave her during the day (I know these are my attachment issues and not hers, but tell me someone else feels this way too!) 

I've considered looking for work online, something legitimate that I can do from home. But those kinds of jobs are hard to come by and so far I haven't had any luck - asking for a friend who knows about any legitimate work-from-home positions! 

I'm in awe of the women who can do it all. The ones who can work, and the ones who can stay home, and the ones who find time to do everything in between. 

Whatever choice you've made that works for you, you're doing great. I'm not sure that I'm doing whats right for me in this exact moment but I also know that it can be changed if it starts weighing too heavily on me. I've got options, this is something I've always believed in, and so do you. 

I know I'm not the first mom to have these feelings (how could I possibly be?) and I hope that by sharing them with you, you'll share with me too and we can talk together and remind each other that hard decisions will come up, but you just have to do what feels right for yourself, and for your family. 

I just want to end this post by saying that I am so grateful for the ability to work at all. I'm thankful for the opportunity to have a secure job, and I don't want to come across as someone who doesn't appreciate everything that I've got. I know that I'm lucky to be able to help contribute to my little family and the things that we have. 

I know that I'll continue to do whats right by us, regardless of what they may mean for my little family. 

Have you ever been in this position? How did you handle it? 

Weekend Highs and Lows

Monday, November 06, 2017

Do you ever just sit back and consider the parts of your day, or week, or month that were the best times or the worst times for you? I love my weekends, as I'm sure you do too but sometimes I find myself being upset over the silliest things that happen during them (when usually about 10 times more totally great stuff happened that I should be celebrating).

Sometimes listing the highs and lows really helps to put into perspective the things that we're focused on so we can change our attitude about them. And if that doesn't work, sometimes it's just nice to know that you've got your own little space on the internet where you can go to complain about them ;) 


High // I made this chocolate chip banana bread on Saturday and holy moly it was the BEST bread I have ever made. I've been wanting to make some for awhile, and I had some bananas in the freezer so I just went for it. This recipe was easy and delicious and I'm probably only going to make it like this for the rest of forever. 

Low // DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME (although technically I didn't really feel the effects until about 4am Sunday, but we'll count this as a low for Saturday). That is all. 

High // Hearth & Hand released at Target and unless you've been living under some kind of rock, I'm sure you've heard about it in all of it's beautiful farmhouse glory. We picked up a few things, a new doormat, a candle, a coffee cup and I couldn't help but snag some Christmas decorations when I was there as well. My favorite item that we splurged on was definitely the Letters to Santa bin. Isn't that the cutest thing you've ever seen? 

Low // I dropped (and shattered into a gazillion little glass pieces) my new Champagne Toast candle from Bath and Body Works. I had just finished doing the dishes and my hands were extra slippery when I tried to light it and our wood floors were very unforgiving. Sad day. 

How was your weekend? Feel free to share some highs and lows with me! 

More or Less November

Thursday, November 02, 2017

More... Fall everything, Less... 90 degree days. We went from 97 to 68 in four days. Part of me thinks it's a trick but I'm hoping it's here to stay. 

More... cozy sweaters, Less... t-shirt dresses. 

More... soups, Less... pizza (jk still going to eat all the pizza on the side with my soups).

More... peppermint mocha, Less... PSL. Fun fact about me, as much as I love a good pumpkin spice, the peppermint mocha is hands down my favorite drink of the year and I will be drinking it from now until they take it away from me. 

More... countdown to 25 days of Christmas, Less... 13 nights of Halloween. 

More... audio books, Less... hard copy books. This one makes me a little sad because I love sitting down to read a book I just do not have the time. I'm still learning to love audio books just in general (I have a heard time having someone read to me) but I'm giving it a chance so I don't miss out on all the great books. 

More... giving thanks aka gratitude. 

More... Thanksgiving aka all the food. 

More... Christmas shopping. 

More... best time of the year. 

Less... regular coffee creamer. I've switched to this almond milk caramel creamer and it's pretty delicious. 

Less... Halloween decorations. 

Less... putting off goals that I set at the beginning of last year. 

What are you hoping for more or less of this month? 

The ABC Game

Monday, October 30, 2017

*This photo is totally unrelated to this post but how cute is our girl dressed up like Tigger for a Halloween party we went to this weekend? I honestly couldn't love her anymore than I already do.

Let's get back to today.

Some days the blog post ideas are flowing, and some days they aren't. Today happens to be one of the latter and so I bring you, the ABC game. It's a post I saw floating around way back when in the blog world and saved it in an old draft file to bring out on a rainy day (literally, it is raining this morning). I always love reading "about me" posts, and I hope this will help you learn a thing or two about me, and that maybe choose to play along as well. 

A - Age: I turned 25 this month on Friday the 13th. 

B - Biggest fear: Something happening to Kensington, spiders/all things slithery, and getting stuck on an amusement park ride.

C - Current time: 7:40am aka almost time for the little babe's second (or third?) nap of the morning. 

D - Drink you last had: Hot tea because holy moly it is our first cold morning after being in the high 90's last week and I am freezing. 

E - Everyday starts with: Being woken up by a sweet talking babe on the baby monitor and sneaking in quietly for big smiles when she sees that I've come to get her up. 

F - Favorite song: I wish I had an answer for this right now but the ONLY thing my baby wants to listen to is "Wanna Dance with Somebody" by Whitney Houston on repeat. Why in gods name I have no idea, but it's her fave. 

G - Ghosts, are they real?: I don't see why not. Daniel is convinced that the baby sees things we cant because she is always talking to spots on the wall and ceilings where there isn't any stuff. 

H - Hometown: I was born in Columbus, Ohio but we moved around a whole bunch and somehow ended up here in Los Angeles where we've decided to stay. 

I - In love with: My little family, 13 nights of halloween on ABC family (freeform?), Fall scented pumpkins and the fact that it's actually going to feel like Fall all week long.

J - Jealous of: Anyone who gets to sleep until 8am.

K - Killed someone?: What even is this question. 

L - Last time you cried?: When I updated my Iphone and the photos app sent me this "memories" video with the worlds saddest song and the sweetest baby pictures. 

M - Middle name: Marie 

N - Number of siblings: One little sister, Ryan. She's 20, almost 21 and kind of a badass. 

O - One wish: That babies could understand that when you're trying to put them to sleep it's for good reasons, not bad lol. 

P - Person you last called: Daniels grandmother to let her know we were on our way to her house. 

Q - Question you're always asked lately: Either, "how old are you?" when someone sees me with a baby. Or, "are you getting any sleep" also when someone sees me with a baby. 

R - Reason to smile: Rainy days, baby smiles, Halloween week, sweet family costumes, I could go on and on. 

S - Song last sang: "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine" to the baby when I was putting her down for sleep. 

T - Time you woke up: 4am, but then straight back to bed. 

U - Underwear color: None. It's the morning and I'm still in my jams from bedtime so...

V - Vacation destination: Last year Daniel and I got tickets to CBS Let's Make a Deal. Do you know it? The show with Wayne Brady as the host? Anyway, we won a vacation package and we are currently counting down the months until February when we'll be off for a 10 day (baby free) trip to Argentina. I am 98 percent excited and 2 percent already crying because how will I leave my littlest love for that many days? 

W - Worst habit: Eating like absolute garbage. And not regretting it, ever. 

X - Xray's you've had: teeth, and neck. I think that's all. 

Y - Your favorite food: Sushi, chipotle, carbs (pasta, bread), halloween candy, just give me all the food. 

Z - Zodiac sign: Libra. The balance scale, the peace maker, the mediator.

Play along so I can learn a little more about you! Happy Monday before Halloween, friends. 

Let's Have Coffee

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

If we were having coffee...

...I'd be drinking it iced. You might ask yourself why someone would be drinking iced coffee in the middle of Fall and I'd tell you that for the last three days (and for the next two) it's been in the high 90's here in Los Angeles. What the eff. So it looks like it's all iced everything for me. 

...I'd ask you if you're dressing up for Halloween. This is Kenzie's first Halloween so of course we couldn't help but pick out family costumes. We're going to a Halloween party on Saturday and a street fair on the night of and even though she probably won't remember it, I'll never forget it. 

...I'd tell you that my 6 month old has decided to boycott all daytime naps. And it has been the biggest struggle for us both. I thought that when I introduced food it would fill her belly enough to keep her down for longer naps. Instead, I'm pretty sure she's decided that she's hungry all the time and would rather eat than sleep. Kid after my own heart. 

...I'd tell you that I've already watched Hocus Pocus four times since October started. What's you're favorite Halloween movie? 

...I'd ask you if you think I should leave my hair brown, or go back to blonde. I have a hair appointment in a few weeks and I just don't know what to do. Take a look back through my instagram at when my hair was blonde and help me decide! 

...I'd tell you that this new blogger template I installed yesterday only cost $4.00. And I absolutely love it. If you're looking for a little blog refresh, you should definitely hit Etsy. There are tons of great options. 

...I'd show you my new favorite nail polish palette. And tell you that it's on sale right now. Four polishes for $20? That's a steal. 

You know the drill, grab your coffee and fill me in on you! 

Swaddles & Sleep Sacks: What Worked for Us Up to Six Months

Monday, October 23, 2017

Since we brought Kensington home from the hospital we have been using different means of swaddles and sleep sacks to keep her comfy and cozy throughout the night. 

They have seemed to work well for us, as she has been sleeping almost through the night since right around 6 weeks or so. At almost 6 months we still use "sleep aids" aka our magic sleep suit (please keep the judgments to a minimum) because they work for us and add an extra level of warmth for her during the night time as we begin to approach the colder nights. 

It feels like we have tried just about every swaddle and sleep sack out there and some have worked better than others for us so I thought I'd share a few here with you. 

When Kenz was really small, we used blanket swaddles for nap times only. I was pretty terrible about correctly swaddling using just the blanket, but Daniel was a professional. He could have that blanket wrapped up tight and snug in about 30 seconds. I got better as time went on, and we used them for roughly the first couple of months or so during naps before she realized she could wiggle her little arms out and became an escape artist. 

Our favorite blanket swaddles were these Copper Pearl Knit Swaddles and these KB Cute Swaddle Blankets. Both blankets are so soft, and easy to use when you know how to swaddle correctly. I loved them both but prefer the Copper Pearl because they are slightly bigger and we still use them as regular blankets in the car seat or stroller today. Both companies have the cutest designs! It was so hard to choose which ones to get. 

After we moved on from the swaddle blankets (and when we still wanted some type of swaddle she could sleep in for night time) we decided to try the SwaddleMe Original Swaddles. These swaddles instantly became my favorite ones for a few reasons. One, they're the cheapest. A pack of three costs as much as one of the swaddle blankets. Two, they're the easiest to use because they have velcro. You don't have to do any type of origami style swaddling, you just put your baby in there and match the velcro and even on a wiggly baby it stays nice and snug. Three, we used these mostly during the Summer months and they kept the baby cool throughout the night. We had some trouble with eczema on her cheeks when she was very because she always slept so hot, but these swaddles were the perfect combination of keeping her warm and cool at the same time. 

I did purchase these swaddles from Fawn and Sage before she was born because I thought they were just about the most beautiful things in the world, and they are. But she was so tiny when she was first born that her little face kept getting covered up by the cocoon type swaddle, and by the time she was big enough for it she realized she could wiggle her little arms right out. They are definitely the prettiest swaddles we purchased, but they didn't work quite as well for us as I wish they would have. 

Eventually she grew too long for her SwaddleMe swaddles, and I thought about giving up on the sleep aids all together because she is such a good sleeper as is during the night. However, it's nap times that seem to be our problem. This girl would skip her naps all day long if we let her. But as we've realized (although she still hasn't) that doesn't do any good for any of us. 

Now that she can flip herself over, we've moved onto something that doesn't keep her arms to her side. We're currently using the Merlins Magic Sleepsuit and some days I think there may be actual magic in it. She can start fussing and when I put her in the sleep suit she calms down immediately. It is weighted enough that it keeps her from rolling over, but it's also made with a breathable material so I don't worry at all about her overheating. 

She's pretty close to growing out of the sleep suit and I haven't decided if we're going to try any others (I'm thinking probably not) but these have all worked pretty well for us over the last 6 months or so. If you're on the fence about any of these or have any questions, let me know!

Did you use any swaddles or sleep sacks? Which were your favorites? 

My 3 Favorite Fall Lip Products

Thursday, October 19, 2017

In the Summer you will never catch me wearing lipstick. It's always too hot and I don't want anything on my face that will more than likely melt off, and my skin tone isn't really suited to the pretty bright pinks and oranges that you often find become the popular trends during the Summer months.

As soon as the Fall hits however, I am the first person to run out and buy new lip products (in generally the same rose colored shades) until I find the one that will become my staple for the rest of the season. This year, I did buy a couple of my own options and then for my birthday I was gifted some as well so now I have so many amazing lip products that I've been switching back and forth between over the last couple of weeks and I just had to share them with you!

Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Rich Nude // I was linked to this lip product from another blogger I follow and I purchased it online on a whim. I am so glad that I did. This stuff glides on and lasts more than a few hours (with eating and drinking like normal) and that's about all I could ask for. I loved the rich nude color option but they have a bunch more. If you're looking for something easy and quick to swipe on on the run than this is a great product.

Chanel Rouge Coco in Mademoiselle // This is the lipstick I got as a birthday gift (my sister is the only person I can trust 100% to buy me any makeup products and I know they'll be amazing) and it is so nice. It is ultra-hydrating and feels like a lipstick/chapstick combo. My lips are always drying out so it is perfect for someone like me especially as we get into the colder months. It is a little bit more on the expensive side but such a good product if you're looking to treat yo self ;)

Tarte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit // I have always loved Tarte products for all of my makeup. They have a BB creme that is to die for and this lip paint is no exception. It glides on smoothly and then dries in a matte finish. This stays on the longest out of all three products and is also the cheapest of the three at only $20! It is totally a steal or would make a great gift for the lipstick obsessed person in your life.

What lip products do you love in the Fall? Link your favorites below!

Spread a Little Happiness

Friday, October 13, 2017

I take a lot of pictures of baby Kenzie, and more often than not, about 80% of the pictures that I take end up on some form of social media or another. It makes me happy. I love looking through my Instagram and blog posts at a collection of some of her most special moments.

I'm sure not everyone has interest in seeing only pictures of my baby for the rest of forever (hey, I posted an obligatory pumpkin picture from the farmers market the other day without the baby in it) but I also know that it makes some people's day to see our sweet girls chubby cheeks as they're scrolling through their social medias. I get a handful of messages from people every single time I post a photo of her with some kind of happy face or "awhhh" and I get it, because it's the same reaction I have every time someone else posts a photo of their own sweet babes as well.

Posting baby photos is one of the easiest ways that I know to spread a little joy around to others, but there are about a billion other super easy ways out there.

Here's a few you could try...

Don't have a (human) baby? Share some photos of your fur babies! There are few things I love as much as seeing pictures of cute kids, but seeing pictures of cute animals is definitely one of them.

Send some happy mail. When was the last time you hand wrote a letter to someone you care about? It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, but a little note or small gift can go a long way in making someone's day, or week, or year. You just never know.

Recommend your favorite book to someone. I love when I recommend something to someone and it impacts them in some way. When I read a great book I want everyone else to read it as well and (hopefully) they'll love it as much as I do.

Leave a comment on someones work. I love getting comments on my Instagram or blog or anywhere! Even if it's just someone popping in to say hello, it kind of validates for me that there are actual people out there and that they're reading my words. Give someone else that same great feeling.

*Speaking of, head on over to Erica's blog tomorrow where I'll be featured in her Saturday Sit-down series. Feel free to say hello!

Pay for someones coffee. Bonus points if it's a mom with a small child in tow ;) Every couple of months I try to pay it forward by buying coffee for the person behind me at Starbucks. It's such an easy and fulfilling way to spread a little happiness.

Call your mom. Just to remind her that you're thankful for her and thinking about everything she's done for you.

If someone loves something you have (and it isn't your most special possession) give it to them. Daniels grandmother will literally give you the shirt off your back if you tell her that you like it. She once emptied out her purse in front of me to give it to me. I couldn't believe it. Stuff is just stuff and if my stuff can make someone as happy as it makes me, or more so, than that's a pretty awesome.

Volunteer or donate. At the end of every season I always go through my stuff to make a keep, throw away, and donate pile. It doesn't take me long and most of my stuff is in good condition, just not getting as much use as it could be, so we take it to goodwill for donation. It's not something that takes a lot of time, or inconveniences us in any way, and it's kind of fun to think that you could be giving someone their future favorite outfit.

Send flowers. I LOVE getting fresh flowers. I don't care if they're from my mom, or my husband, or my grandma. If someone send me flowers it literally can make my whole day. If you can't send someone flowers, head to Trader Joe's and pick some up (for cheap!) and hand deliver them to someone you know. I can guarantee they will be so surprised and thankful for a friend like you.

Spreading happiness is so easy, especially when you've got it flowing in your own life. It's so important to pass it along to others. What are some easy ways you help spread happiness?

Sorry, I'm too Busy.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"Sorry, I'm too busy." How often do you say this in some form or another? I've become more aware recently that in today's world we are so quick to glorify being busy. If you're one of those people who is just insanely busy doing all of the things you absolutely love in life, than I'm not talking about you, keep doing your thing. I'm talking about the people like many of the patients that come into the doctors office that I work in. The ones that when I go to reschedule them usually offer up some kind of, "ugh, my week is just so packed" like they're complaining, but also like they're showing some sort of badge of honor by being so busy that they cant possibly fit in time to take care of themselves.

People are busy with work, and with school, with side hustles and with relationships kept together by the thin string that is technology. In our house we are so guilty of doing exactly what I'm talking about. Just yesterday someone asked me if I would be attending an event that another family member was hosting, not a party or anything, but just a walk to support a good cause. And when I told Daniel about it (before I even told him the date) he said, "were probably too busy to fit that in" and that's exactly what I was thinking before he beat me to it.

The truth is though, we're not too busy. Do I have things that take up my time? Absolutely. I have a baby who needs constant attention, I have a job, I have a husband and I have my family. I take photographs in my spare time and I try to keep my apartment clean, I also read and I write. But aside from spending time with the people that I love, the rest of this list is so fluid. They're so much less important in the grand scheme of things and rather than glorifying the fact that I'm so busy with this and that, I feel the need now more than ever to prioritize and make time for the things that actually matter.

I just started the book Present Over Perfect and although I don't consider myself a religious person (and she writes from her perspective of someone who sought God) it's been eye opening for me so far.

I don't want to be the kind of person who when invited somewhere, automatically announces that I'm too busy like it's something to be proud of. When I look back later at my life I want it to be filled with memories of making the most out of my time by spending it with the people I love the most, doing the things that I love the most. I want to be completely present for the things that may not seem important in the moment, but actually may be some of the most important of all.

Simplify your life, stop glorifying being busy and stop making excuses for the time when you don't have anything planned. Soak up all the special moments and be present for those times that will mean the most to you when you think back on your life one day.

I Confess Sesh

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I confess that...

++ It's been entirely too long since I've written one of these posts. Sometimes it's therapeutic to just get all the random thoughts out there, and this type of post is always an easy and fun way to do it.

*kid having the most miserable time at the pumpkin patch*

++ I haven't done any kind of weekly photo update on the baby because picmonkey changed their settings and it's now required that you pay to have access to the photo collage option and I don't want to.

++ I haven't read a whole book straight through since before Kenz was born.

++ I just bought Present Over Perfect and I'm hoping that reading it will get me back into wanting to read just because.

++ I always want to try new recipes, but I get bored halfway through cooking them if there are too many steps. This happened to me over the weekend when I decided to make butternut squash soup. Even though it turned out great, I probably wouldn't make it again.

++ I just spent entirely too much money on a couple of Madewell shirts, but one of my favorite bloggers always looks SO good in them and she has me sold.

++ I never imagined really being married and having a baby by my 25th birthday, but here we (almost) are.

++ Some days I want to put three times the amount of work into my blog and some days I want to say goodbye to it forever.

++ I've started some very early Christmas shopping (mostly by accident) and I'm so excited for the holiday season to get here.

++ I went to the grocery store this weekend completely on my own and it felt like a mini-getaway #newmomproblems.

++ I want to do a family costume for Daniel, Kenzie and I for Halloween this year but I cannot decide on one. Any ideas?

++ I go back and forth every day between wanting to keep my dark hair and wanting to go back to blonde. I'll probably never settle on one over the other.

++ We're in my favorite month of the year for all kinds of reasons, but since it doesn't seem to want to drop below 90 here in LA I am having the hardest time celebrating the beginning of Fall.

++ I am totally content with where I am in my season of life right now and I wouldn't change it for the world.

25 Hopes for my 25th Year

Monday, October 09, 2017

You know how everyone says you can't share your birthday wishes when you blow out the candles on your cake? Well, I'm turning 25 at the end of this week and instead of sharing my wishes with you all I've decided to share my hopes. Becomes obviously in this instance we can all agree that there's a big enough difference between hopes and wishes and that they'll all still come true even if I tell you guys, right? ;)

1// I hope that for just a teeny tiny second time would slow down so I don't feel like bawling my eyes out every time I think about how fast it's all going.

2// I hope that I'll say yes more often than no to experiencing new things.

3// I hope that I'll continue to get to know myself a little better.

4// I hope I'll know when to walk away from something or someone who isn't good for me.

5// I hope I'll find more time to practice new skills, and that I'll be noticeably better at them when I look back next year.

6// I hope I'll start to collect pieces for a more "grown-up" wardrobe (ha ha, not likely).

7// I hope that I'll make more of an effort to be present in special moments as they're happening.

8// I hope that I'll learn the difference between thing things I want and the things I need.

9// I hope to simplify my space.

10// I hope that I'll always make an effort to make sure my people know I'm there for them and thinking about them.

11// I hope that I'll stay the kind of person who always chooses dessert over dinner. Or who chooses both.

12// I hope that the world will become a better place.

13// I hope that I'll remember that making the world a better place starts with me.

14// I hope to strive for grace not perfection.

15// I hope to continue writing and growing my blog.

16// I hope to grow my cooking skills.

17// I hope to read my way through more of the books on my must-read list than I've had time for lately.

18// I hope that Target stops coming out with all the new stuff that I NEED ;) **see hope #8

19// I hope that I'll continue to make friends in person and through the blog world.

20// I hope I'll continue to be the kind of mother I've always imagined I would be.

21// I hope that I'll find some more outdoor activities that I enjoy doing so I can get outside a little more.

22// I hope that we'll be able to take Kenz on her first tip to Disneyland.

23// I hope to find small but impactful ways to help others.

24// I hope to learn plenty of new things.

25// I hope to make this my best year yet. 

Things You Should Always Make Time For

Friday, October 06, 2017

Taking a trip to the library. There are a few things that can instantly put me in a good mood and one of those things is taking a trip to the library. I love the quiet, I love the book smell (anyone else?) and I love finding a book that can take me to anywhere I want to be.

Spending some time alone. I am one of those people who likes being alone in my house, but not out in public. I want to be one of those people is content to going to see a movie on her own, or to eat lunch out by herself but now that I've got a little one i'll probably have a life long partner for stuff like that ;) However you like to spend a little you time, you should absolutely make time for it. Alone time always helps me to reset and makes me that much more grateful for the time I spend with others.

Spending time without technology. When was the last time you went a full day without checking your email, or watching tv or sending a text message? Sometimes I find Daniel and I lying next to each other at the end of the day with both of our phone out when we could be talking to each other. Start small if you have time, try taking an hour to yourself without checking your phone. Add a little more time each day until you can go a full day without it.

Cleaning up your space. I'm the first to admit it, I don't love cleaning. I do however, love the feeling of a clean space. During the week when we are especially busy I try to clean up at least one thing each morning that way even if I get nothing else done the rest of the day I still feel like I accomplished something.

Trying new things. Count me in for trying all of the new foods, music, movies, etc. I am the first person to say yes to trying new things. I don't have a lot of fear when it comes to experiencing something at least once (I've even been skydiving and although I wouldn't do it again, I'm glad to say that I gave it a try). You may find your new favorite thing and that is so important.

Listening to others. True life: My husband and I do not agree on a lot of things going on in our world today. We see things from completely different perspectives and we have to try that much harder to make it a point to listen to one another as opposed to just fighting over our opinions. We learn a lot about each other when we make the conscious decision to listen first and that is so important for our relationship.

What do you make time for?

It's Okay to be Scared, It's Not Okay to Stop Living.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Like everyone else, I woke up Monday morning to the news of the horrific act that had occurred at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. This tragic event quite literally hit me closer to home because we are roughly a four hour drive away from the city and I watched as friend after friend used the "check-in" option on Facebook to let loved ones know that they were safe throughout the morning.

It is the scariest thing, especially as a new parent, to know that there are things happening like this in our country every day. Things that I have no power over, and things that I know I absolutely cannot control. Of course I know that there are things that I can try to do (and believe me, I'm trying) to prevent events like this from taking place in the future. But I can't guarantee that any of my family is safe when we leave the house and that has to be the worst feeling in the world.

When I was younger my parents took me to do everything. We went to movies and concerts, festivals and amusement parks, and we did so without fear that someone may have such issue with their world that they might choose to take it out on innocent people who are trying to live their best lives.

Now, as I raise my own tiny human, I am caught between wanting to shelter her from all of the bad things about life and wanting her to experience all of the very best things. I understand of course that I can't protect her from everything. I can't be with her 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and there will most likely be times that she may be hurt when I'm not around. And I guess as a mom it's just something you choose to accept because the times that you are together are so worth that small fear of being apart.

I think one of the best things we can do after a situation like Route 91 is to try that much harder to live a meaningful life.

Despite the fear, despite the uncertainty, it is so important to live a life that later we can look back on and be proud of. One where we chose to take the chances, decide to search out experiences, one where we truly live. Many people lost their lives because of one persons incredibly selfish act, and I think that to honor those people we must live every day to the absolute fullest.

So today, make the most of the time you have with your people. Love every single one of them with all of your heart. It's okay to be scared, but it's not okay to stop living, so live your best life today.

More or Less October

Friday, September 29, 2017

More... twenty-five, Less... twenty-four (welcome to my birthday month, friends!)

More... thrillers, Less... beach reads.

More... pumpkins, Less... sunflowers.

More... sweatshirts, Less... crop tops.

More... PS(chai tea)L, Less... regular chai tea (if you haven't tried one of the pumpkin spice chai's yet, you need to run as fast as you can to Starbucks to get one because they are SO good).

More... Halloween movies, Less... binge watching (haha yeah, right).

More... setting goals for the end of the year.

More... sharing my favorite season with Kensington.

More... farmers market and pumpkin patch trips.

Less... hot days spent inside with the air conditioning on.

Less... waiting for things to happen.

Less... letting time pass me by.

What are you hoping for more or less of this month? 

Make Time for Your People

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I've never considered myself the most social person, much more comfortable in my own home, I was  usually the girl who chose a night in instead of time out with my friends. That's one of the reasons I've come to love the blogging world as much as I have. In person I am an introvert through and through, but I've got online friends across the country that I've connected with in ways that I've never connected with others.

The crazy thing about it is that these relationships, which are so important and special, are also so easy to maintain in today's day and age. It takes me all of two minutes to pop over to a friends blog, catch up on their life real quick and leave a little note behind. Something that reminds them that they too have these relationships, that someone is there.

I started thinking the other day about how easy it is for me to do the same things for the people who are close to me (in distance and in heart). Ever since Kensington was born, I've had friends reach out from all over. Whether we've spoken recently or not, I've had people who just wanted to check in, or meet for coffee, or stop by to see the baby. When I spend time with my close friends we never truly do anything grand, we just sit in each others space as a reminder that we're here for one another. We catch up, and we enjoy each others time and it's easy and it's more than I could ever ask for. I know that because I'm willing to put in some effort towards the relationships in my life I will always have someone there should I ever need it. I've got more than my handful of people that I could call on to help me, or to just be there for me and I want to make it more of a point to nurture those relationships that I do have. There's no excuse to let them fall to the wayside out of laziness or simply because I don't always have enough hours in the day.

As we quickly approach my favorite time of the year, the time when I'm reminded on a daily basis of how thankful I am for everything and everyone in my life, I'm making more of an effort to step out of my comfort zone ever so slightly to make more time for the people who mean the most to me. Maybe this means going to a party that I'd normally skip, maybe its spending a few extra hours on a date night with my husband instead of rushing home to the baby, or maybe it's just texting a friend I haven't checked in with recently to tell her she's on my mind.

These are the important things. The people we choose to surround ourselves with, they matter the most. So grow your relationships, nurture your tribe and never decide that it's too late to take the extra minute to reach out to the ones you care about.

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