one year

For one whole year, I’ve been holding hands with Justen Martian. It’s crazy how it feels like it was both yesterday and a lifetime ago. It all happened so quickly – we never had a “DTR” or a conversation about what was going on. We got coffee and as we walked to dinner we held hands, and that was that.

Having been single for so long, I feel like I went into our relationship with so many words of advice or people’s stories in my head and I had to sort it all out on my own. These are the things I’ve learned in the past year with Justen:

  1. Not everyone fights.
    A few people had told us they were excited for us to have our first fight, but to this day we still haven’t had one. It’s not that we don’t disagree, but we’ve never let it escalate to a fight.
  2. Advice doesn’t apply to everyone.
    Every relationship is completely unique, and while people may have really great intentions for their advice, sometimes it’s not helpful because it doesn’t apply to your relationship. There is no right or wrong, it just is.
  3. Being completely open is awesome. 
    I’ve read about the anxiety of talking about finances with someone you’re dating, and I’ve heard about having to have “hard conversations.”  Initially I told Justen we should have a monthly dinner where we could address any and everything that was on our hearts, stuff that was maybe hard but never found the context of a conversation. We did that for three or so months and we realized that we had nothing left over to talk about that meal, because our relationship is a safe place to be open about whatever we’re feeling at any given moment. I’m so grateful for that.
  4. A sigh of relief is better than butterflies.
    Justen’s never given me a flurry of butterflies and made me feel giddy, but when he shows up at my house or I walk into a coffeeshop and see him sitting there, my whole being lets out a huge sigh of relief because I feel more complete when I’m with him. I’d rather have that than the flighty feeling of butterflies.

Here’s to another year of mochas, Disneyland, road trips, late night conversations, chips + salsa, Bachelor Mondays, and hugs. I’m a much better person because of everything that’s happened the past 365 days with Justen Martian by my side. I can’t wait to see what the next year (and beyond) holds for us. <3

On to year two. <3

January 18, 2017

Surviving Snow Days


There’s nothing I like about it. It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s inconvenient, it’s dangerous, and ugh. I ventured out to attempt to make a snowman, which is infinitely harder than anyone ever told me. But alas it was on my 101 in 1001 list, so I had to make one. Apparently this picture makes it look a lot bigger than it really is.

I’ve been snowed in for… I don’t even want to count the days. Here’s what I’ve been doing and how I’ve been surviving.

For the most part, I’ve been camped out on the couch, under a heated blanket, drinking coffee and watching The Office.

Justen got me the new Rachel Cruze book, Love Your Life Not Theirs for Christmas, so now that I’ve finished reading The Total Money Makeover, I’m on to this one. I’m alternating between that and Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. At the Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual Sale, I picked up these really cozy socks. They’re not my normal fuzzy cozy socks but oh my goodness they keep my toes warm! The cold is also waging war on my face and my hands, so I’m using my most favorite scented hand cream, the Victoria’s Secret Pink Warm & Cozy. It moisturizes my hands and makes me smell so… cozy. 😀

I’m dreaming of summer just like my favorite little snowman, Olaf. but until then, I’m dreaming of Valentine’s Day 🙂 Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I already have my eye on some ultra cute Valentine’s Day mugs at Target. I tend to go all out on February 15th stocking up on Target’s post-Valentine’s Day clearance.

Stay cozy, friends.


January 16, 2017

empties v 11 part 2

Lately my computer has been running real slow. Like Safari will crash after 10 minutes and I’ll want to slam my head against a wall and then I’ll walk back, shut my laptop, and walk away. Because I just cannot handle it.

In an attempt to clear off my computer, I’ve been deleting SO MANY PICTURES because I have 0 apps and apparently everyone insisting that I take pictures in RAW format instead of JPG is destroying the space on my hard drive and I SUCK at using my external hard drive.

That’s when I realized that sitting on my desktop were a series of Empties photos waiting to be put into a blog post because the last time I posted Empties I got overwhelmed and decided to do it in two parts. Eye roll.

So now you’re all forced to look at my garbage empty beauty products.

Whish Shave Cream in Pomegranate
DO. NOT. BUY. THIS. IT SMELLS LIKE BUTT. Notice that I didn’t even use it up because I HATED how it smelled.

Arabica Coffee Scrub
I wrote about this coffee scrub here, and I think that review is still accurate 😀

L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil Shampoo + Conditioner
The other day Susannah and I were talking about how thanks to blogging/social media influencing, we haven’t purchased shampoo or conditioner in like a year! It’s SO TRUE – right now I have two sets of shampoo/conditioner in my shower that I got for free. Anyway! I made a review about these products. Here’s the video. ;D

L’Oreal Mythic Oil shampoo
I received this shampoo around the same time as the Extraordinary Oil system and I definitely preferred the latter. I really just loved the warm scent of the Extraordinary system.

Whish Cleansing oil
Since I can’t find the Garnier cleansing oil I love SO MUCH in stores, I’ve been on the hunt for a comparable replacement. I was excited to try this one, which I received in a Birchbox, but I didn’t love it. I felt like the oil was too thick and it didn’t melt off my makeup that well. The hunt continues.

Bath + Body Works Freesia shower gel
A few months ago I walked into Bath + Body Works and they had ALL THESE THROWBACK SCENTS. I went crazy. I smelled all of them and remembered having this glitter anti bacterial hand gel of all the scents. When I’d used up about 75% of this I had a moment where I realized I never actually loved this smell. Nostalgic doesn’t always mean good.

EOS Shave Cream in Vanilla Bliss
IDK why I even bother trying out other shaving creams because I always end up coming back to this one.

REN Flash rinse 3 minute facial. 
I should probably have a facial so that any product that advertises its facial-like qualities will have a fair evaluator. That said.. no comment 😀

Kiss my Face Miss Treated Conditioner
Meh. I didn’t like the scent (I almost wrote flavor lol). I’m not a huge fan of mint, but if it must be a thing I only want it in my mouth, not necessarily in my hair.

Benefit The POREfessional
Yes yes yes! I bought this on a whim while waiting in line at Ulta and I am SO GLAD I DID. I wear this EVERY DAY, even without other makeup. It does a great job filling in your pores with a really matte finish – it is fantastic.

Shisheido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate
Aside from the fact that the packaging was ultra inconvenient (notice there’s still product in it!) I liked this… creamy gel?

Marcelle Mascara
I never knew that I’d be a person who had mascara preferences, because I never imagined I’d be a person who wears makeup consistently. But I really couldn’t stand this mascara. It was really clumpy, which was obvious just by looking at the wand when you pulled it out of the tube.

Bath & Body Works Carried Away lotion {22/50 smelly things used up}
Am I the only person who has some sort of scent bucket list? Maybe it’s because Bath & Body Works let’s you use all of the scents, but I’ve often found myself with a list of smells I wanted to one day own, and this was on the list. As usually happens, by the end of the bottle I’m completely over the scent. So there you have it.

Furterer Absolute Keratine Sublime Renewal Leave-In Cream
Oh my word, I LOVE this stuff. I got this in my Birchbox and then eventually got another sample in a free sample pack, and I was so glad! It’s a thicker cream, but it isn’t heavy or ultra greasy. I’m a huge huge huge fan of this stuff!

Harbor Avocado Micellar Water
I’m always looking for easy peasy ways to get rid of my makeup AND when I recently discovered my love of avocado, I couldn’t pass this up at TJ Maxx. It was pretty good for getting makeup off and didn’t leave a greasy residue. I’m glad I only paid $3.99 for it, though… because it was pretty average as far as Micellar water / makeup removers go.


There you have it. Things I threw away like two months ago and forgot to blog about. and a happy Friday to you too ;D

January 13, 2017

January || Currently

Happiest January. I think I like January because it means we still haven't had Valentine's Day OR summer this year, two things I look forward to whenever they're not on the horizon. I'm linking up with Anne and Jessica for the Currently Linkup. and I'm barely getting in the linkup by the skin of my teeth and holy crap what the heck does that saying even mean…?

gathering: a list of bloggers who do income reports for a project that Justen and I are excited to launch. If you know any bloggers who post income reports, PLEASE SEND THEM MY WAY!! 😀 

making: all the notes and updates in my Bullet Journal. i'm also making time to be really diligent about my blogging goals and my hopes of generating income from my hobbies. 

sipping: caramel iced coffee with cream. I know all of y'all might be like "that's not Whole 30" and for that I'll refer you to this instagram post I made. I've been cutting out gluten + having very minimal dairy, which are the two things I REALLY wanted to get under control with Whole 30, anyway. 

anyway back to this iced coffee. I've been at this Starbucks all day. I ordered a latte, then got a brewed coffee refill. I decided I'd prefer an iced coffee and went to order one. the barista counted it as a free refill, so all I've paid for all day was the initial latte. Seriously, if you're not utilizing your Starbucks gold card with free refills then you're doing it all wrong. 

following:  well I guess I'm just going to tell y'all my favorite people to follow. I ALWAYS go to Southern Curls and Pearls, because she is the cutest and how about she's also goals for everything. On Instagram I'm following Printable Happies, who I LOVE SO MUCH. She is so sweet and her stuff is SO CUTE. 

resolving: to focus on my goals this year. I want to read more books, lose the weight I worked so hard to lose, and be connected to my friends in a way that's been missing. I've been writing down my goals, breaking them into actionable steps and keeping track in my bullet journal


What are y'all currently up to?

January 10, 2017

Using a Bullet Journal to track your goals

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PilotYourLife #CollectiveBias

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for goals and tracking them often. Over the past few months I've been using a modified bullet journal to help me keep my goals close so that the minute I accomplish them I can cross something off. There's power in that, and it gives you an incentive to actually push through and do something. 

If you've never heard of Bullet Journaling, here's the overview. It's basically a minimalist way to track life, tasks, events, and so on. There is so much I love about the bullet journal, and I think the thing I love THE MOST is that it's so customizable. As it is, I carry a LOT of stuff with me, everywhere. Books, cables, external harddrive, computer, stickers, sometimes coffee.. I just have a LOT of stuff. In the past I've attempted to have a few different notebooks, some for "blogging," and some for "finances," and what I've found is that there are really only a few pages I ever use in said notebooks, and those are things that track any sort of goal or project I have.

There are as many ways to do bullet journals as there are people on this earth, so I just want to walk you through a few steps to setting up your own goal-oriented bullet journal.

Using a Bullet Journal to track your goals //

ONE // Gather your supplies

All you need: Notebook + Pen.

I chose a smaller than normal notebook, which some might find questionable. My journal isn't for detailed, elaborate entries or anything – it's for lists and charts. A lot of bullet journal fanatics like the dotted pages, but I like lined pages because it's one less thing to worry about. I'm all about making things as user friendly as possible. If I have to find a ruler every time I want to create a new list or add to my list, I will end up quitting. 

Using a Bullet Journal to track your goals //

For my pens, I chose Pilot G2 Premium Pens. I've always LOVED these pens because they have such a wide selection of colors and they write so smoothly. Actually, I'm not alone in this – G2 is the #1 selling gel ink brand in America. I went to Target to pick these pens up because well… duh, Target. But also, Target has its own line of G2 pens, the G2 Target Fashion Collection. They also have a club you can join, the G2 Overachievers Club, that sends you promotions, giveaways, Overachiever life hacks and more! When you text G2CLUB to 40679 they'll send you a coupon to welcome you to the club! They have a whole special display with their Overachiever packaging at Target. Here's what you're looking for:

Using a Bullet Journal to track your goals //

TWO // Identify what you want to track

This was pretty easy for me, because I am already tracking things in my life: finances, blog/social media stuff, to-do lists of many sorts, goal lists. 

THREE // Figure out ways to track those things. 

Since I am ALL ABOUT debt repayment, being mindful of my money, etc. it is essential that my bullet journal includes financial trackers. I have a page to record the final numbers of my monthly debt repayment recap, a place to track my credit score and net worth, and a page to help track my savings. I threw in a page called "Wish List," so I can have a place to keep track of things I'd like so I can save up for them and cross them off as I purchase them. 

Using a Bullet Journal to track your goals // Using a Bullet Journal to track your goals //

This year I'm back to tracking Monthly Goals, so I wrote out 6 pages worth of monthly goals and at the end, created a space for my new 101 in 1001 list to go, since 6 months from now is when I'll be starting a new list. Following the 101 in 1001 list is a Coffeeshop Bucket List, a list of Coffeeshops I've been to in 2017 and then a page for books I'd like to read and have read.

Using a Bullet Journal to track your goals // Using a Bullet Journal to track your goals //

Then, on to the big stuff. The blog stuff. A few months ago I numbered 1-31 on a piece of paper and figured out which of those days were M-W-F (my ideal posting days) and realized that when I laid it out like that, I found an "editorial calendar" that would work for me. Something in my brain went "AHA!" and began filling in blog posts to be written over the next month. I made these pages for the next 6 months, labeled with M-W-F for really quick, accessible lists of what and when I'm going to post. 

I included a social media tracker for keeping track of my overall reach on the social media I really care about growing. 

After the finance, goals and blogging sections comes one of my favorites: Habit Trackers!

I LOVE to-do lists. They are probably my favorite thing in the world because I love crossing things off. A habit tracker serves as a to-do list of sorts. It's a chart, where on the left you write the habits you want to track and then up top you write the dates. Every day you accomplish that task, you color in the square that lines up with the task and the date. You can track as many or as few habits as you want, and start to see patterns. I personally love this page more than any of the other pages, because it really helps direct my day-to-day.

The rest of the notebook is intentionally left blank for new habit trackers, new lists and goals and things to track. If you search Pinterest for "bullet journal ideas," YOU WILL BE OVERWHELMED. Like I said earlier, there are as many different ways to bullet journal as there are people on the earth. As you start to use and appreciate your little life tracker, you'll begin to see how useful it is to have so much important information with you at all times. 

Do bullet journals appeal to you? What would you track? and don't forget to join the G2 Overachievers Club


January 6, 2017