Springing Foward

Last week spring showed up.

It was so refreshing that I caught myself smiling every time I went outside and found myself amongst the sunshine and flowers.

There’s something so magical about transition seasons.

It reminds me that life continues on.

We deal with the mundane and the ordinary every day.

Get caught up in routines and unnecessary details that tend to bog us down .

Then all of a sudden you look up and the trees are in bloom, and you stop short at its beauty.

Its nice to take a break and appreciate the wonders that are occurring around us all the time. Wandering through the woods is oddly calming.Its almost like time stands still… and peace abounds.It’s nice to stop and smell the roses. (or Bradford Pears-sidenote:Bradford Pears, while they look pretty do NOT smell pretty.)Either way, it’s important to slow down and connect with who you are.For me this can come in the form of nature walks…lake driving…and getting lost in a good book or movie.Another thing spring reminds me of is newness.

When the forest comes alive and the ground bursts with color, I become motivated to come out of “winternation” and go out, explore, and try new things.

I’ve been taking ballet classes for a little bit now and I’m in love with it! The first class was scary, not to mention difficult, but now I look forward to class every week-and my turnout is improving!

I’ve been trying and proceeding rather slowly with learning French, all while researching this trip to Europe…

and just last week I purchased my plane tickets for our Backpacking Europe Trip!

It’s incredibly scary and exciting, but that’s the point isn’t it?

Life begins when you step outside of your comfort zone.

Scorched Earth

Monday Musings:

Oftentimes it seems like you have to go through something to emerge a better person. There are so many “walk through the fire” analogies in literature and it is most likely because this holds true. What remains of our disaster is often the fuel needed to germinate our new way of looking at things.

It’s almost like we are so stubborn that we have to endure hard times to learn a lesson fully & appreciate our very existence in this world-its not ideal, but there you have it. The best people often have a murky past and it is because they have overcome so much that they became the person we know and admire.

Spent this Sunday roaming around the lake and thinking about all the times in my life I’ve gone through a traumatic change that made me the person I am today. Sure, those weren’t fun times, but when I think about the way they had impacted my personal growth and development as a person, I realize I would trade them for anything. Much like a Phoenix, we have to sometimes lose everything and rise from the ashes of our inferno before we can spread our wings.

It’s always easy to be overwhelmed in the situation and think you’ll never get out of it, but I always find that if I look back on my previous triumphs over hardships, I feel much more calm and prepared to handle anything that is thrown at me.

Keep that in mind for your current/future struggles. You are amazing. You are resilient. You have risen from the flames before, and you will do it again.

Lake Lover

I spent the morning at the doctors.

It was one of those super frustrating things where you wait for over an hour to finally see the doctor and they have a 5 minute discussion with you, and then send you on your way with more questions than when you came in.

I understand that doctors have to be super cautious, and warn you of every little thing that could go wrong, but sometimes their enigmatic demeanor  and cryptic diagnoses can leave me with more stress than if I had skipped the doctor in the first place.

That’s neither here nor there, my opinion of the medical model notwithstanding, I needed an escape. And instead of drowning my frustration in empty calories, I decided to take a drive around the lake and take a walk by the water.

I don’t know what it is about large bodies of water, but they’re just so soothing. Maybe it has to do with our spending 9 months in the comforting waters sloshing about in our mother’s womb, or the fact that I’m part mermaid, but I have always found solace in being near water.

So I did just that. I walked around the lake for a bit, taking in the sunshine and counting my blessings. And though life can sometimes throw you curveballs, it’s nice to take stock in what you already have in your life and put things into perspective.

Here’s to counting blessings and silver linings.

Happy Wednesday all.

It’s the little things. 

This weekend was glorious.

It marked the end of the stagnancy of winter and brought with it sunshine, and much needed warm weather.

I celebrated by not wearing 15 layers.

I also spent a good amount of time outside doing various things and driving around the lake with my windows down blaring music. It was a pretty simple weekend but it was absolutely perfect.


Lake Driving

Exploring new places with old friends.

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Westport Café & Bar

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Get out and enjoy the little things that come with the imminent arrival of spring!

Spotlight Feature: My Mom

Moms are kind of magical.

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They have this uncanny ability to be there for you at the most crucial times, offer the best advice (whether or not you choose to listen to it, is up to you), and they have this infuriating knack for always being right.

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My mom is all of these things and so much more. She is my champion, my number one fan and always supports me no matter what I endeavor to do. She brings so much joy into my life and lights up the world within which she operates. She is both my friend and my confidant, she keeps all my secrets and cheers me on. She has been here for me through many ups and downs and her strength never falters. She is a grand optimist and taught me to always look for the silver lining (sunshine) in the world.

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She has also known hardships. She has spent much of her adult life dealing with severe health issues and last year, had the added complication of battling TWO separate cancers on top of everything else. The hand she was dealt has not been easy. It’s hard to see someone you love so dearly, someone so completely selfless, deal with debilitating pain every minute of every day. Yet she soldiers on. Her smile never wavers, her head stays held high, she walks with confidence, and her chipper attitude is contagious- even on her worst days.

I hope one day to have even half of the optimism and joy for life she has.

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(Birthday lunch on The Plaza)

This past week we had the immense pleasure of bringing in her birthday with her. This was a milestone birthday, and a day we didn’t know if we would see this time last year when she was receiving her cancer diagnosis.

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(mushroom lasagna with truffle oil at my new favorite restaurant Gram & Dun)

This year has been full of ups and downs and has shown me just how precious time with your loved ones-especially your mom- actually is.

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(there was a suprise mini-snow storm, it didn’t photograph well, but we enjoyed it immensely! it seems like it always snows on her bday-just more of her “momma magic” I guess…she then proceeded to have an impromptu photo shoot with me after lunch-always the encourager that one)

Yesterday she had her one year scans to detect if the cancer she so recently beat is still eradicated from her body; it was a day of fear, but also a day to remind us of her strength and eternal optimism. So I encourage you today to take stock of the blessings you currently have. Look at the loved ones in your life who are your support system. Appreciate every second you have with them as life can be hard and cruel sometimes. Remember to look for the sunshine and know the value of the things that truly matter in life. Keep the sunshine in your eyes.

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Update: as if she could be anymore wonderful, I got home tonight to find this waiting for me from, you guessed it…



My mom! 

Seriously love this lady more than words could ever convey.

Your Best Self

Today I want to talk about being the best possible version of yourself.

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In this technologically driven society we live in, it’s easy to be over exposed to those with so called “perfect lives”. We see the constant updates on social media, hear about the exciting things others are up to, and in turn, we naturally compare our own lives to theirs. Obviously we are going to fall short when we know the raw details (including the ups and downs) of our own lives and are only exposed to the edited and abbreviated version of others. When we make any comparison of our own lives to others, whether it be an upward or downward comparison, we are cheating ourselves and those we look at with judgmental eyes by only looking at what is presented to us instead of the whole story.

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 *I think there’s an important distinction to be made between comparing yourself with others and trying to be more like them (which is often depressing as you are denying your true self), and holding someone in high esteem as a role model of sorts-the trick is to be aware of how you are viewing the person. Are you trying to mimic them and live like they do? Are you bitter or envious of them? Or are you merely inspired by them and seek to better your life by taking cues from them?

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Once you become aware of this tendency you realize how destructive it can be-I was having this conversation with a good friend the other day, (lets call her J) and she pointed out that you just gotta live YOUR life. It sounds so simple, but I’ve used it as my mantra for the past week and it has made the biggest difference.

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Every time I felt the slightest twinge of envy or jealousy creep up, I would repeat that mantra back and I instantly became intent on bettering myself as opposed to focusing on what I didn’t have.

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Which brings me to being the best possible version of yourself.

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I think its easy to become complacent in our daily lives-we get busy, we have routines, we make unhealthy easy choices, instead of difficult ones that mean a better future for us and our loved ones. We lose sight of childhood dreams and sometimes put ourselves second to the point of losing our identity. We get so caught up in the nuisances of life, that we lose sight of the big picture.

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Being your best self, to me, means constantly challenging yourself, never stop learning, always look for the bright side of things (the sunshine), never taking yourself too seriously, and always maintain the mindset that you can never be done with the project that is you.

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Which is why I am making this the year that I scare myself silly. I’m going to backpack Europe. I’m going to strike up conversations with strangers. I’m going to work on nurturing relationships I currently have and challenge my loved ones to be their best self. I’m going to explore places in my home city that I’ve always wanted to, but have been too afraid to go alone. I’m going to turn off my phone and get lost somewhere. I’m going to try and teach myself French in 3 months. I’m going to go to live shows and poetry readings, and get back to the theatre. I’m going to a ballet class tonight because I used to dance as girl and miss it so! (pics to follow, as I’m sure they’ll be hilarious)

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The point is this-never stop trying. Always challenge yourself. Look at your life with fresh eyes and realize that we only get one shot to be great.

 Live YOUR life- and make it your best one.

Update: went to that ballet class and had SUCH an amazing time!!! Chase your dreams people!

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Planning the Trip

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I’ve been planning this trip for a while as a graduation present to myself, and it seems like it’s finally coming to fruition!

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It’s been incredibly exciting outlining the trip and putting together an itinerary, but also extremely headache inducing!

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(Current mood)

Either way this trip is finally happening!
My sister and I will be backing through Europe for 2-3 weeks in June, starting in London and making our way though France and down Italy! I think the hardest part is going to be narrowing down the list of places to see as I feel it could be endless!

I’d love to hear any travel advice you guys have as this will be out first trip overseas!

Also thanks to The Savvy Backpacker for your awesome website that makes planning so easy, and to my friend Megan for the awesome travel journal!