Overcoming Fear

My first ever panic attack wasn’t until I was 16 on the way home from voice lessons one night. I had exams coming up that week, a vocal recital at the end of the week, dealing with a tough relationship issue with a friend and a lot going on at Church. To say the least, I was overwhelmed. I got in my car to drive home after a not so great voice lesson, started crying which turned into sobbing and barely breathing and then the panic set in. If you’ve ever had a panic attack, I’m so sorry. It feels like you’re probably about to die, you can’t think straight and everything around you feels out of control.
I’ve been dealing with the constant battle of fear and anxiety ever since. To skip to the positive part here, I learned about five years ago the lesson of giving our cares to God.

Proverbs 12:25 says Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. This means that when we read the Bible, or hear the Word of God spoken to us, it directly affects our heart. In a supernatural way, it eases the burden we feel and allows us to take another look at what is really going on around us. It always blows my mind when I’m dealing with something and I sit down to read the Bible and the EXACT thing I’ve been feeling, the word is speaking to me about. It’s one of those small miracles that happen that often we just say is luck, or by chance but in reality it’s only God that knows what we need to hear or to see.

The word also tells us 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. What an amazing thought right? God cares so much for me that I can simply hand over my worry, fear, anxiety and doubt and tell Him to take care of it and He does. Now this doesn’t always mean He takes care of our problems or worries in OUR timing, but it does mean that He takes care of it. If it’s not supernaturally handled, he’s going to send you the resources you need to take care of it yourself. God has an endless supply of whatever it is you feel you need, and all He asks is that you ask Him it for.

This is proven in his word , Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. He WANTS to take care of you, much like parents desire to care for their children, or friends desire to take care of their closest friends. In this same way, God is telling us just to talk to Him about our fear, worries and everything in between.

This isn’t to say that we don’t ever have fear, or that bad things, or sad things won’t happen, it simply means that God is here for us when they do. When we experience life…God is there for whatever we need and the most beautiful part is that His word gives us the answer to every single fear, doubt or anxiety we could ever have.

Praying that this encourages you, even just slightly and that this week you’ll cast all your cares on the Lord.


Date Night (In) Ideas

Nick and I are both introverts. There I said it…we like being alone way more than we like being around people, we love our time with friends and family but we enjoy just hanging out at the house whenever we can. With our wedding being TOMORROW (woo hoo) I thought it would be a perfect time to give some ideas of fun things we like to do when we don’t feel like going out for our date night.

  1. Games on games on games
    This one is probably obvious but we like to play games. Both of us actually enjoy more “thought provoking” games. This sometimes leads to some competitive moments but for the most part it’s a fun way for us to spend a couple hours doing something other than scrolling our phones or watching TV and we get a lot of good laughs out of it.
  2. Reading a Book Together
    We recently finished our per-marital counseling (highly recommend) and we went through the SYMBIS Profile together. Many times when we didn’t feel like going out, we would read a chapter or two together and then go over the homework together. We had the chance to get to know each other more deeply and to actually spend time in conversation without distraction or too much noise around us.
  3. Make Dinner Together
    Some of my favorite moments over the last year with Nick have been when we cooked dinner together. It’s an activity that we both get to give ideas to, show off a little and have some fun. There’s something so relaxing about just being together in the kitchen pretending to be chef’s. We’ve had some of our most serious conversations and some of our silliest, laugh until you cry moments and each one is has a special place in my heart. Give this a little added bonus and even go grocery shopping together or plan the menu together, that way you’re both having equal parts in the entire process.
  4. Set up a snack charcuterie board and have a movie night
    The fun part here is the snacks! Nick and I are big foodies and love any type of activity where food is the main part. We have a coffee table that many times we’ve sat down in front of and vegged out with both of our favorite snacks and watched a movie that we both wanted to check out. We set it up, Instagram perfect, light the candles (oo romance) and eat to our hearts content and enjoy a movie we both love!

If you haven’t caught on to the main theme here it’s doing things that you BOTH love doing and get to spend some uninterrupted time together. Spending date night in is mostly about being intentional and doing activities that allow you to get closer to your partner and enjoy yourselves without other people being there to interrupt you.

Give some of these a try and enjoy yourselves! Next time I report back, I’ll be MARRIEEEEDDD! So maybe next date night blog will include some fun “married” date night activities!


Organization Hacks

One of the most notorious things that people always ask me or say to me is about my organization. No this is not going to be a post full of items you should order from the ever illusive Container Store, this is a post about just a few practical ways that I learned how to be organized.

Fun fact, I was diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school and to this day have not found a successful medication to aide my tendency to not focus well. Skip to the fun part, and in college I set out to figure out what would work best for ME in staying organized and helping me maintain a productive lifestyle. The following ways are just a few small steps I take to keep myself on track.

  1. Keep a detailed calendar
    It doesn’t really matter if you prefer an electronic copy or a physical copy (old school girl over this way, who loves an organized physical calendar), but keep it detailed. To be totally honest, I actually use both. I first write down the major events in my physical calendar and then reminders on my phone so that I can receive alerts when I need to get something down. I use colors to help color coordinate what type event it is or what it represents. This can be so much fun! Grab some cool pens, some stickers and make sure you have a really fun planner. Linked below are some cool options that I always enjoy.
  2. List everything
    Okay so there are the lists people and the non-lists people, but again it doesn’t matter if you keep it on your phone or in your planner or somewhere else, but lists have scientifically been proven to help us remember things. There is a connection in our brain in memory and writing. Aside from that cool fun fact, it makes it easier to remember what we need to do if we have it written down somewhere and it’s soooo satisfying to mark through or check something off. There is no better feeling than check marking something I’ve done (shameless truth, I sometimes write down things I’ve already completed just so I can mark them off).
  3. Get plenty of sleep
    This one may seem out of left field but just hear me out. One of the best ways for me to waste a day away is when I’m too tired to function and don’t feel like doing anything. I stay productive by keeping my energy up and staying well. This also includes working out, eating well and taking care of yourself in a general sense, but sleep is a cure for many aliments.
  4. Always ask for details
    One of the biggest lessons I have learned (the hard way), is to always get details on what people expect of you. We live in a world that is increasingly less capable of communication and we struggle at coming across confrontational. We allow ourselves to make assumptions in fear of looking incapable.The truth is it’s not confrontation to simply ask someone when something is due, for more information or how high of a priority something is. This also includes learning how to prioritize things for yourself. You’ve got to learn how YOU function and how you’ll be best able to prioritize things on your list, but having input from others is a pivotal step.
  5. Create a “home base” everywhere you spend time
    At home, it’s a credenza near my front door, at work it’s a bookshelf near my desk. Places that I tend to put things down or need to leave out to remind myself to grab them, I designate as home base. This way anything that I need to remember I have in one in place and I always know where things are or where I can put them to remind me to do something. We’re creatures of habit according to psychology, so putting things in one place consistently allows us keep tabs on things in our lives. Pinterest has some adorable ways to set up your different types of home base areas!

    These are just a few of the tips and tricks I have for keeping myself focused and capable of being known for my ability to organize and stay focused (even though you now know my secret). I would challenge you to try one or all of these if you don’t already do them and keep yourself on track for productivity!

List below your favorite ways to stay organized!


My favorite ways to Self Care.

Don’t we all enjoy a good day of self care and relaxation? Pampering ourselves has become one of the most profitable businesses in the country. Nail salons, dry bars, spas, vacations, an epidemic of Pinterest smoothies recipes and the list goes on. We crave all the ways to take care of ourselves but are we truly caring for ourselves or just taking Instagram worthy “Self Care Sunday” pictures? So let me tell you ways that I actually enjoy taking care of myself that also prove to be beneficial!

  1. Hydration
    Personally I use the fit bit app to monitor my water intake but there are so many ways to do so. If you’re the more creative type, try drawing some cute little water glasses on your planner or in a notebook and coloring it in when you’ve finished 8 glasses for the day. Statistics have shown that we need about half our body weight in oz’s (ex. if you weight 130 you need 65oz of water) for the day just to stay hydrated but more than that to actually do our bodies some good.
    What benefits do I get? My skin has flourished, I’ve lost weight, my hair is shining, I have less digestion issues. Staying hydrated makes a huge difference in how you’ll feel every day and one of the best ways to care for yourself.
  2. Staying well informed
    This one probably sounds a little strange but hear me out. There are millions of articles being shared all over Facebook, Yahoo News, WRAL and every other news outlet across our country at any given moment. My practice is to read what catches my eye, but then fact check it myself! I’ll quickly google what people are saying about a hot topic or article and always verify health related articles have been written by a reputable source. Keeping yourself up to date on news, health and wellness or even just the latest trends is a healthy way to not only keep your mind stimulated by learning new things, but also an awesome way to boost your confidence. It always feels horrible when everyone around you is discussing the latest current event and you know nothing of the subject…yuck…even just having a small part in the conversation or your own opinion on it, always feels great, which again is a great way to take care of yourself 🙂
  3. No Technology” Hours
    This one is probably a little less strange sounding, but still incredibly difficult for us to follow. To be honest I’m not so great at doing this either but I feel such a benefit when I actually do it. There’s not really a certain way or time but I try to put away the computer and phone when I get home. This allows me more time to get things done on my to-do list or spend more time with Nick. Even if it’s only an hour, I always feel better about what I was able to accomplish, even if that’s just sitting and reading a book or drinking some coffee and relaxing. Not having my phone or laptop in my face every second that I’m home allows my mind to clear and my eyes to relax too! I recommend starting with just 30 minutes. Set a timer on your phone and put it in another area of your house. When the timer goes off, you can get back on the phone or computer. Eventually, I promise you’ll find that you enjoy the time away from technology more and more.

Let’s just keep it simple this time around. Try these three (simple) steps and see how you feel!! Self care doesn’t always have to be about face masks and bubble baths, but practical things as well. I hope these little tips help you tremendously in feeling confident, healthy and happy!


January Products I’ve Loved

  1. Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer
    I started using Vital Proteins- Collagen Peptides about two months ago. Collagen improves skin, helps aid in joint pain, helps with potential bone loss, helps boost muscle gain, aids in gut related issues, hair and nail growth and so much more. The Collagen creamers come in a variety of flavors and can replace your usual creamer needs. I have loved the way this had made me feel. My morning coffee tastes delicious and I feel great afterwards. I’ve noticed a slight difference in how I feel when I’m stretching before or after a workout, and a huge difference in my skin, nails and hair. Vital Proteins has a huge line of health products and makes recommendations based on your needs. Their products are also available at a variety of retail locations so getting a hold of them is easy!
  2. None Like Him
    This book has changed my life. The church we’ve been attending started a sermon series that follows the chapters of this book, but I recommend that you buy this for yourself. At the heart it’s about all the different things we THINK about God, and an explanation of who He truly is. I’ve been a Christian my entire life and each chapter of this book reveals something new to me each time I read it. My perspective has changed on not only who God is, but who I am too. Even if you’re not a follower of Christ, this book will help explain some of the challenging questions that we all have about this all powerful being. Additional plus, each chapter isn’t very long, but exquisitely written, so it’s very enjoyable.
  3. Kiss Nails
    If you know me at all, you know I’ve got a secret (not so secret) obsession with having painted or done up nails. I’ve been that way since I was a child and started begging my mom to let me get “fake nails” in elementary school. There’s just something that boosts my self confidence when I know my nails look good. Insert, KISS Nails. Most packs come with glue AND sticky pads if you’re not into the gluing. I get about 5 or 6 wears out of each set, depending on how much glue I use and how rough I am on them, and at 8.99 or less a pack, that’s incredibly cheap in comparison to the 50 or more I would spend on anything at the nail salon.
  4. Hydro Boost Sheet Mask
    I am a sheet mask fanatic. I try to do one at least once a week for whatever I have going on with my skin that week. I’ve tried expensive masks, cheap masks, and everything in-between. These babies are my GO TO! They’re cheaper than your average sheet mask but just as luxurious as a high end facial mask. They leave you with a beautiful glow, and soft, hydrated skin. I use my jade roller right after to push in all that extra moister and I always wake up with beautiful skin. Definitely worth the stock up on this one.
  5. Chi Hair Curler
    This bad boy has changed my lifeeee. I promise you it has made the most annoying task of curling my hair an actual FUN process. You’ll probably want to watch one or two YouTube video’s before you get going but once you get the hang of how this works it’s all good from there. What use to take 30 minutes, not takes about 10 at the most and each curl comes out perfectly. I promise the money is well worth the outcome.

I hope that you’ll give some of these products a try and that you enjoy each one of them. I pray your year has been off to an incredible start and that we only get better and better from here.