Since we are finally in December, I thought it would only be fitting if I shared a feminine, holiday outfit that is trendy and casual – it’s also completely affordable! I found this top at TJMaxx and it was under $20 (similar top here, here, and here). The color is stunning and such a classic Christmas green. I love that it is off-the-shoulder, cause y’all know North Carolina doesn’t get chilly until February so it’s super breathable. The chenille material is definitely a trend for the holidays, so I’ve linked several other great sweaters below. I purchased these jeans from Nordstrom after trying them on and falling in l-o-v-e. The fit is fantastic. I normally struggle finding jeans that will fit my waist AND thighs but the slightest stretch in these jeans make them fit amazing! The price isn’t bad at all either. Y’all already know I love these booties. They go with so much and one of the main reasons I love them is for the “clicking” sound they make when I walk. I know that’s a pitiful reason to love a shoe, but I think it makes them sound sophisticated haha. As many of my readers know, my mother has been battling breast cancer. She had surgery last week and is recovering so well from it! She still needs help doing small tasks, but she is in very little pain which is a huge blessing. Your continued prayers are definitely appreciated! Have a fantastic week, friends!
I’ve been sad before. I know, it’s probably a huge surprise. I’m normally super outgoing, happy, and quirky, but I have definitely struggled with feeling alone. Not lonely – alone. I know I refer to my college years a lot, but I seriously learned so much about myself during my time at university. When I was away at school I dealt with hardcore depression, anxiety, and an undiagnosed eating issue. I hated school. I’ve briefly mentioned this before, but I never wanted to go to college – I had my sights set on a dance career. I was super sick and in a Crohn’s disease flare – exactly what I needed when I was trying to have a good college experience. I was in an unhealthy relationship. I was homesick. I never saw my friends. I was on a steroid medication along with a handful of other pills that made my face swell, gave me horrible acne, terrible mood swings, and caused me to gain around 30 pounds. I was terrified to meet new people because of how quickly and drastically my body changed. I secluded myself in my tiny apartment room where I would skip meals upon meals to try to keep the inevitable pounds off my body. I felt like my life had turned against me. I genuinely saw a black hole swallowing my future. God forgot me.
I have only told a few people this story – it’s tough and dark so if you have a tender heart beware.
I distinctly remember sitting in my room one night my freshman year after I had an awful day. I felt disgusting. I looked disgusting. I had hit rock bottom. I did not want to do it anymore. I wanted out. I felt completely alone. Why in the world would God let my life suck that bad? I had lived a perfect life. I had followed every guideline He made for me, yet all my friends who “messed up” were living footloose and fancy free. I told no one about how intensely sad I was. My doctors would ask me if I was depressed and I would laugh it off and say “of course not”. I was too proud to admit that I was broken. Oh, how I wish I would have told someone. I wish, I wish, I wish I would have swallowed my pride. That night I poured a bottle of pills on my desk and stared at those tiny circles for about an hour. I wanted so badly to take them all, for something terrible happen to me, and for the intense sadness I was feeling to end. Those pills had ruined my life and they were going to be my ticket out.
I thought of everything I would miss.
I thought of my parents. My selfless Mama and Daddy.
I thought of my Granny who everyday prayed for my complete healing and was my heart and soul.
I thought of my brother, sister-in-law, and my sweet nephew, James, who I would never see grow up and learn new things.
I thought of the family I would never have.
I thought of the experiences I would never have.
I thought of dance.
I thought of death.
Then, I thought of life.
I put those satan candies back in the bottle and put them away. I’m not going to tell you that I felt the presence of the Lord wash over me and bring me happiness, but I will say I know He was in my room with me that night. He didn’t forget about me. He slowly pushed me in directions that would ultimately bring me peace and happiness. They were tough directions, but I’m so happy with the paths I was sent down. I argued with myself because I didn’t fit in the same box as everyone else and saw my life as a failure. Guys, Jesus didn’t fit in the same box as everyone else and He is the savior of the world! Let that sink in. Don’t base your happiness on the world’s standards of happiness, because you won’t be happy. Fight for your life. It is beyond worth it!
Again, my heart is content and whole. I still feel sad sometimes, but who doesn’t? I’ve learned to cling to God’s promises and not to the world’s frailty and it has made the BIGGEST difference. If you’re fighting sadness, please, please, please tell someone! I promise it gets better!
Motivation can be easy to have when you first begin a task, but it can also be easy to lose when you’re far into it. I remember being a kid and getting so excited for back to school season. My favorite item to purchase was a planner – if that doesn’t say something about my personality, then I don’t know what will. I don’t like making quick decisions and I certainly don’t love the unknown. Planners are great because it’s easy to set goals and visually see when you achieve them – it’s kind of like a mini celebration when you can cross something off your to-do list! However, if you’re like me and you set TONS of goals, you can quickly become overwhelmed and start losing motivation to achieve them. Here’s 5 ways to kick that lackadaisical spirit out of your system:
1. Set smaller, daily goals. Those huge goals stare your down and you can lose sight of the smaller things that need to be completed before you move on to the bigger things. Plus, more things to check off your list, I promise you’ll feel like a winner!
2. Only take on tasks that are working towards your goals. I’m such a “yes” girl. It’s actually one of my biggest faults. I always feel like saying “no” means I’m letting someone down, which is a huge fear of mine. I’ve learned to say “no” when I know something is going to cause unwanted distractions or stress. The key is saying “no” with grace. Don’t burn bridges when you decline opportunities.
3. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. For me, sleep is my reset button. I’ve had a bad day? Sleep. I don’t feel great? Sleep. I feel chunky? Sleep. I’m hungry? Sleep. I’m full? Sleep. 🙂 My Granny always told me the cure for anything was a hot shower and good sleep. I believe it. I gain perspective after I’ve rested and it’s easier for me to see the big picture. Plus, when you have energy, you have motivation!
4. Believe in yourself. I know that’s cliché, but the key is actually believing in your goals. There are a few things I’ve started losing passion about over the last few years. I started second guessing my intelligence, worth, and abilities. Boy, do I have news for you – in the most humble way – I can do anything. It’s all a matter of believing in yourself. You were created to do the extraordinary not settle for the ordinary. Your worth is invaluable and believing you can do something half the battle. God says so.
5. Surround yourself with motivated people. No one will dampen your motivated heart faster than little Miss Debbie Downer. She loves to throw past failures in your face, remind you of everything you haven’t done, and tell you of all the things you can’t do. Debbie Downer is trash and you shouldn’t listen to her. Realistically, Miss Downer has a some heart issues when it comes to cheering on her friends. You have to separate her harsh words and the reality of the situation. You can do anything, my friend.
This sweater has been on repeat for me. I may or may not have worn it 3 days in a row. Whoops. It’s such a great material and the neckline is so darling. It’s long enough to cover your rump, but short enough to wear it tucked into jeans. I styled it with simple black jeans and my favorite pumps. You can shop these items as well as similar items below. Happy Monday!
Happy Monday y’all! Yes, I did just say “happy” because it’s October and it’s officially my birthday month – so I’m pretty excited. I’ll be 24 and I plan on making the most of my 24th year by traveling, taking risks, and moving – you read that right! Anyway, I wanted to share a few things I wish I would have learned before I turn 24. Because, shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’ right?
1. Just because you’ve learned to eat alone doesn’t mean you should. I became über independent in college. It brought out an intense introverted quality in me and I started to really enjoy doing life alone. I would go shopping alone, workout alone, and eat alone. I stopped meeting new people and even ignored some of my best friends for the sake of “alone time”. You need people in your life. Sure, eating alone every once in a while does allow you to be introspective, but it also cripples some pretty great relationships.
2. Just because Sally bought a Louis Vuitton and a 4Runner doesn’t mean you need to. Two of my dream purchases right there y’all! But, I’ve spent way to much energy being low-key jealous of people who have those two things that I’ve contemplated buying them just to satisfy that craving – how dumb? I’m very passionate about living within your means. I was willing to go well outside of mine just to have something that I don’t need right now and that isn’t currently practical for me. I refuse to put myself in debt for selfish reasons. Thank God I haven’t acted on those selfish ambitions before now!
3. People aren’t as bad as they seem. I have placed so much judgment on people because I thought they think differently than me, only to find out we share more in common than I thought. Those very people are some of my best friends. I wish it didn’t take me 24 years to figure that out.
4. Be unapologetically proud of who you are. God has called us all to a life of greatness. He created you with uniqueness and grace. When someone makes fun of the obnoxious gold shoes you love – WEAR THEM ANYWAY. If someone prefers your hair straight when its naturally curly – YOU BETTA ROCK THOSE CURLS. If someone disses your laugh – LAUGH LOUDER. I’ve learned that the insecurities of others raise their ugly heads at people who are happy. Don’t let someone’s weakness steal your joy.
5. Jesus will be there always – but don’t use His grace as an excuse to sin. I wish I never had to say I’ve been there, but I have. I won’t go into harsh details, but I completely put my faith out the window several years ago out of bitterness and anger, knowing that if I ever wanted God to “rescue me” He would. While He did rescue me, I took advantage of the grace He freely gives.
On to the outfit deets!
This has been one of my tried and true Fall outfits for the past few years. It’s simple, easy to create, and comfortable. I love the neutral colors that blend so perfectly with each other – I’m a sucker for hunter green! I’ve also gotten some questions about my phone case. It’s from the dollar section at Target and I got it last year. I’ll share some similar cases that I really love!
I’ve had the craziest, busiest, most exciting week so far. Twelve hour days, adorable ballerinas, and sore muscles, but I wouldn’t ask for anything better. Another exciting thing is this adorable outfit. The peplum tee trend has been in full force for me lately. It’s cool, comfortable, and flattering. I found this one on sale at TJMaxx for less than $10 – so I bought 3 colors; this red, a blue, and a black one…*whoops*. I’ll share several similar items from this outfit below. I’m so grateful that you stopped buy and took the time to read my post!
Top: TJMaxx (similar here, here, here, and here) | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Lucky Brand | Necklace: Amazon (similar here) | Sunnies: Rue 21 (similar here) | Watch: Kate Spade (similar here) | Chain Bracelet: JCrew | Rope Bracelet: similar here | Ring: TJMaxx (similar here) | Earrings: Belk (similar here)