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10 Things I’m looking forward to about being married

It’s crazy to me that in a few months I’ll be married. I’m not counting down the days until our wedding, I’m counting down the days until I wake up and I’m married because while the wedding sounds awesome (and I’m thinking/guessing/hoping/planning it will be), I’m mostly looking forward to a new chapter in life with Justen.

Here are 10 reasons why I’m so excited to be married to Justen, why I’m looking forward to the days (weeks, months and years) after the wedding way more than I’m looking forward to the wedding itself. Β πŸ™‚

Today Justen sent me money for the flight I booked him. and I appreciated that, since I had paid for it, but I really can’t wait to be financially one. No more “you pay for that, I’ll pay for this,” or having to PayPal each other money or remember whose turn it is to pay for something. Not only that, but we can be united in our financial goals. I’m so grateful that Justen buys into the whole financial freedom mindset, because I know that once we get married and our finances combine, we’re going to start tackling our debt and working our way to financial freedom. It’s going to be awesome.

We both live with our parents (rent is expensive, man!) and while we both love our parents (and each other’s parents!) sometimes we just want our own space to coexist. The afternoon before we took our engagement photos, we were alone at his house. Justen was getting ready and I was reading a book and I had this quick glimpse at what a Sunday afternoon could be like just the two of us AND I LOVED IT.

If I had a dollar for every time we’ve had to make quick stops at the grocery store because we needed to pick out dinner or pick up something for dinner or pick up something (etc) I’d have a lot of money. Buying groceries for one meal at a time (because we never really knew where we’d be for dinner) gets real expensive. In the spirit of Reason #1, I will be so glad to be able to go grocery shopping for the two of us and know what we have and what we need and not have to make daily trips to the grocery store.

Yo, Justen straight up hangs up his t-shirts. Like just regular t-shirts. I can’t wait to teach him about folding t-shirts to leave me more closet space. πŸ™‚

Because we both live with our parents, even having a night in means that one of us has to be out. The night is finished with one of us driving back home, and it never really feels like we’re just staying in. I’m looking forward to both of us relaxing in our pajamas, drinking wine and watching The Bachelorette. Not even going to edit that last sentence one tiny bit. Justen’s aware of what he’s in for.

We live like 30 minute away from each other. It’s not a huge deal, could be worse, but there’s a bit of logistics involved in spending a day together. Where are we going to end up, who is going to drive, what to do about food, etc… I’ll be glad to know that we will start and end our days at the same place, making carpooling and such so much easier.

Again, since we live with our parents, we have limited ‘stuff’ of our own. While we were registering, I was like… omg this stuff will be ours. Our own plates and silverware and towels and coffee pot and dish towels… and I got so excited. From that day forward all of those things will be ours.

It will cost us more money to live together, but we will save so much money in not having to figure out places to go/eat and things to do. When it’s raining we’re forced inside, and most often you have to pay to do things inside (unless it’s walking around the mall, which we often do and gets boring. Paying for housing is an expected and normal life expense, whereas going out to eat or dropping money on movies isn’t.

This is a weird one, but I’ve often felt like I don’t spend time with people who aren’t Justen because we don’t end up in the same place everything but I want to see him every day. By the time we’re both off work and get/make dinner, it’s like 7 pm and I don’t want Justen to have spent so much time driving to my side of the town and then having to go home. I think knowing that I’m guaranteed to end my day with him will give me space to make plans with other people instead of my daily plan being that I see Justen. This is hypothetical. Maybe I’ll be a person who gets married and turns into a hermit IDK.

For the past year or so, we’ve talked hypothetically about when we’re married. How we’d handle our money, how we’d handle dirty dishes, what goals we’d have for our finances and our family. and we’re creeping up on the day when those things aren’t hypothetical. How we handle our money becomes a daily reality. Our dirty dishes plan will be put into action. We’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work on our financial goals.

109 days until our first day married. Not that I’m counting or anything.

Also. I’ve never been married. and I’m sure there are a bunch of other things to look forward to regarding being married, but this is just what I’m looking forward to being different in 4 months. Feel free to share your own experience (or hopes/dreams) in this area. πŸ™‚

These pictures were by Sophia Rose Photography, who I am so excited to have photograph our wedding!

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6 tips to stop biting your nails

If there’s bad one habit I’ve carried with me for my whole life, it’s nail biting. It’s driven people mad, it’s made me really ashamed of my hands (and I was a piano player so that made me even ultra insecure), and I’ve even bled all over the piano because my nails were so short and I was playing so hard.

And yet.. I always acquired lots of nail polish. I’d paint my toe nails, but I always felt incomplete because I was too insecure to pain my finger nails.

Then in my senior year of high school I read an article (probably in like seventeen magazine) which mentioned that manicures were good for people trying to bite their nails because they’d go to bite them and be reminded of the work that went into taking care of them. IDK, but I started thinking beyond nails dipped in hot sauce and nasty flavored polishes to help me curb my nail biting habit.

I still struggle with nail biting, but here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me slow down my nail biting habit.


I’m going to have to agree with 16-years-ago seventeen magazine. When I finally overcame the guilt of having chewed down nails and went to get a manicure, I was absolutely amazed. It wasn’t just about painting my nails, but it was about taking care of all areas of my nails (the beds, the skin around it, the hands) and even when my nails were short I was able to be excited about them being well… um… manicured.

Keep in mind that if your nails are so short that you’re bleeding or it’s painful to the touch, a manicure is not for you just yet.


Yo, keep a nail file with you AT ALL TIMES, especially if you’re starting to get some traction with avoiding the nail biting. All it takes is having your nail snag on something and feeling tempted to stick that nail in your mouth and rip it off. I cannot tell you how many times my efforts to grow my nails out have been thwarted by things like sweaters and pop cans.

Julep Polish in (top to bottom) Β 1. Queen Anne 2. Cassidy 3. Randi 4. Vivien 5. Jessica
(sign up for a subscription and get your first box free here)


Keeping your nails painted is a great way to avoid nail biting, especially if you go with bold, bright colors. As you bring your fingers to your mouth, the color is almost a warning that what you’re about to do might have some consequences – you’ll suddenly be forced to connect the idea of chipped, broken, messed up nails with the desire to bite your nails. I’ve found that keeping my nails painted is a really great way to avoid biting them. In fact, sometimes if I notice my nails are getting exceptionally long I will literally go “I NEED TO PAINT MY NAILS RIGHT NOW” because the longer my nails are, the more tempted I am to tear them to shreds. Why that is, I’m not sure.

I’m like a nail polish hoarder, so on my 101 list I made the goal of getting rid of all but 5 nail polishes and using them until they’re empty. When I came to Nashville, I only brought a few of them and I’ve been considering keeping these 5. I used to have a Julep subscription, and then I realized that I would literally never go through all of the nail polish I got at the rate I was acquiring them (I kept forgetting to skip the month!) and so I cancelled my subscription. But the polishes dry really fast and they have a huge plethora of colors.

Lollia Handcreme (my FAVORITE – wish is my fave scent) / VS Pink Warm & Cozy Hand Sanitizer


IDK if you’ve licked a pile of lotion or hand sanitizer lately, but they are 1. foul and 2. really bad for you. It’s kind of like dipping your fingertips in hot sauce but it also has a benefit – keeping your hands moisturized helps prevent hangnails, keep your hands soft and often give you a fun little scent. Β I’ve also found that when my hands are moisturized, I have no real desire to bite my nails. Like fresh out of the shower? Nail biting isn’t as fun or rewarding.

The hand sanitizer, though. If I’m desperate to not bite my nails (think hangnail and I don’t have a nail file) I will put hand sanitizer on. It is the biggest nail biting aversion I have at my disposal.

tips to help you stop biting your nails //

PBJ Smoothie lip gloss / Root Pretty Pretty Balm in Ballet {10% off your first $25+ purchase if you shop with my link}


Wearing colored lipstick or lip gloss helps because it creates a mess when you bite your nails. Seriously, I dare you to try and bite your nails without touching your lips. and then I dare you to put lipstick on and try to bite your nails without getting lipstick on your hands. There’s something about additional consequences beyond fingers hurting and short ugly nails that makes you stop and think twice.

I always try to keep mints on hand so I can pop them in my mouth as a deterrent. Nail biting is considered an oral compulsive habit, so giving your mouth something else to do (like mints or gum) helps, too.

tips to help you stop biting your nails //

Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies on Amazon


I converted to these gummy biotin vitamins after seeing Caitlin switch from Olly over to these Β (her arguments are solid – cheaper and more servings) and regardless of if it actually helps me grow my hair and nails longer and stronger, I feel like it does and sometimes it’s mind over matter. When I take vitamins to help my nails grow, I feel like I have to help my body out by biting them less. Probably all in my head, like most things are πŸ˜‰

My nails are definitely not long and beautiful, but if you’d seen where they were at when I was 15 and where they’re at now they look like they belong to a completely different person. I’m a big fan of taking whatever little tiny wins I can get, so these are all of the ways I have little victories over my nail biting habit.

Drop me a comment if you’ve got some tips and tricks I’ve never heard or if you have experience as a chronic nail biter!

ps painting my nails was totally on my list of goals for this month and that’s what sparked this blog post πŸ™‚


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July Goals

What the actual heck, July.

Time to set some goals for this month.
This past month has zoomed by, maybe because I’m in Nashville, but I cannot believe June is already over. Don’t I say that every freaking month? I think I do. Anyway.

When I wrote my June goals I was sitting at a Starbucks with no real idea of what the rhythm of my time in Nashville would look like. I think I did alright, given that. Also thanks to all of you who didn’t mention that #3 and #10 are the same one (and to the one of you who did lol)

  1. Post 7 blog posts (5/7 – so close!Β 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  2. Visit 2 coffee shops
    I visited Ugly Mugs, but aside from that I haven’t stepped foot into a non-Starbucks coffee shop, which is unfortunate because I’m in freaking NASHVILLE. Ugh.
  3. Visit a new state We went to Florida!
  4. Read a book of the Bible I was so busy reading Harry Potter πŸ™
  5. Finish Harry Potter + the Order of PhoenixΒ I actually finished that AND The Half-Blood Prince!
  6. Start the 5000 Survey (more on that on Friday!) Started it here
  7. Paint my nails
  8. Send 5 letters I only sent 2! Yikes! Can everyone re-send me their addresses so I can send them notes? Thanks.
  9. Hit $1950 in total Poshmark salesΒ I actually ended the month at $2,229! What!
  10. Visit a new state

So I completed 60% of my list. We’re doing okay. We’ve got this. Let’s just move on over to July, shall we?!


  1. Finish the Harry Potter series
    Y’all, I’m like 300 pages away. The great news is that I’ll get to re-read it again for my Β new 101 list!
  2. Post 5 blog posts
    Wish me luck, haha.
  3. Read a book of the Bible
    Once I finish HP, I’ll have no excuses.
  4. Send 5 letters
    Send me your address!
  5. Visit a church in Tennessee
  6. Visit 2 coffee shops
    Justen will be visiting at the end of the month, so that will help.
  7. Hit $3,000 in Poshmark sales
    I’ve had to make some adjustments in my closet to accommodate being in Nashville, so this is a stretch.
  8. Get a manicure
  9. Buy 3 things for the wedding
    We have a list of things we need to buy, and I just need to start slowly buying them.
  10. Make macarons

aaaaaand she’s off.


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Tips for starting a 101 in 1001 days list.

I have seriously been so excited to start my new 101 in 1001 list. I’ve been doing them for SIX years, and while I’ve never finished all 101 things (I actually finished less during round 2 than I did during round 1), I have fallen in love with having a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. This 101 things to do in 1001 days thing is actually called the Day Zero Project, and here’s the nitty gritty as written on their site, Day Zero

The Challenge:Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

It’s a great way to have some sort of filter through which to live your life, plan your days and spare time, and learn what is really important to you. And it’s 100% yours.

Ever since I posted my newest 101 in 1001 list, I’ve had a LOT of people reach out to me and tell me they want to start a 101 in 1001 list, and I wanted to help walk you through that!

You’ll first need a list. Here’s what I’ve learned about making a list:

101 is a crap ton of things to do. Coming up with the list of 101 things to do might actually be harder than doing the things, so be forewarned. Write down any and all ideas that come to you, and let yourself get caught up in a brain storm for these ideas.

Brainstorm in categories. What were my financial, health, relational, and personal goals? I spent a lot of time looking at other people’s 101 in 1001 lists for ideas that aligned with those goals I had. Keep in mind that this isn’t a bucket list. This isn’t a list of everything you’ve ever wanted to do in your life, and it’s not a list of things you’ve never done. It’s simply a list of things you’d like to do within 3 years. They don’t even have to be monumental or have any real reason, they just have to be something you decide on doing.

Do a little research on the cost of things. On my last list I wrote that I wanted to stay at Treehouse Point and ride in a hot air balloon. Both were very expensive things I ended up not being able to afford, and I would have definitely written something else in their place had I known.

It’s okay to keep some goals secret. I have secret social media goals I want to accomplish and I don’t publish those publicly. I track and monitor my progress in my bullet journal, but I don’t post updates about it. You could do this for money, weight or other personal goals.

This isn’t a bucket list. We’re not brainstorming all the things you’d like to do before you die, this is just a list of 101 things you’d like to accomplish in the next 2.75 years. It’s more than a to do less and less than a bucket list. Is there a closet you’ve been avoiding purging? Crafts you’ve been meaning to make? Places you’ve wanted to go, shows you’ve wanted to watch, things you’ve wanted to do… but never made it a priority? Put them on this list.

It doesn’t have to be glamorous. Renewing my passport, bowl over 100, finish listening to every song in my iTunes… none of those are glamorous, but they’re things I probably wouldn’t prioritize doing if it wasn’t for a public list I got to cross them off of.

Your 101 in 1001 is personal. You can look at a zillion other 101 in 1001 lists and still come up short of 101 things because stuff other people want to do just doesn’t interest you. Maybe you don’t want to run a marathon, see sights overseas, pay off your house, try eating a squid, give up coffee, etc. That’s fine. Make your list about you and your life.

Take things you like to do and be intentional about doing it more often. I’ve always had a goal to try different coffee shops, and I always finish this. I love finding new coffee shops, but if left to my own devices I’ll just earn free gift cards to Starbucks and go there. Having a list of different coffee shops I’ve gone to encourages me to do something I love to do anyway. My last list said to try 35 shops and this time I’m trying 50, because once I hit my goal I fell back into the Starbucks habit (and true story, I’m sitting at Starbucks right now).

After you have your list, I recommend making it public. Not only is it good accountability, it also gives you the opportunity to keep track and share your success! Plus you might encourage someone else to start one, too! It’s really fun to be able to look at the things other people are wanting to accomplish and seeing if you could help them at all.

A 101 List is a brilliant way to push yourself a little out of your day-to-day life and choose to live intentionally. Thanks to my last 101 list (which I didn’t even finish!) I was able to do things I wouldn’t have made time to do otherwise – like walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, celebrating random holidays, and touching an elephant!

Have I convinced you yet?! Let me know if you have or are interested in starting a 101 in 1001 list. Drop me a line below and/or link me to yours! Also shoot me any questions you might have and I’d love to help!

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Sea to Shining Sea

A few weeks ago Ernie asked me if I’d want to drive to Florida with him. He had a gig and the 9 hour drive and quick turn around would be a lot to do on his own. It took me like half a nanosecond to say yes, so on Saturday we woke up literally before the butt crack of dawn and hit the road.

As we were driving, I commented on the sun rising and I suddenly realized that I would be seeing the sun rise and set on my first day, which was on my 101 in 1001! How. brilliant. I ended up crossing off quite a few things from my 101.. keep reading πŸ™‚

We drove through Georgia, stopping to get some peach cobbler.

We listened, of course, to Bruno Mars most of the way. Naturally, right?! and then we finally hit Florida and made our way to The Club Continental, where Ernie’s gig was. It was so beautiful and despite the bugs and humidity, I probably could have spent a long time looking at how beautiful the place was. I walked around a little bit and took some pictures before getting tired of the bugs and the way the air fogged up my camera.

Ernie’s show was right on the water, and as I watched the sun set, I realized I’d driven all the way from Washington to Florida over the past 3 weeks. Literally sea to shining sea, just like America the Beautiful. I saw it all.

Beautiful, spacious skies? Check!
Amber waves of grain? Check!
Purple mountain’s majesty? Check!
Fruited plains? Check!
Sea to shining sea? Check!

Oh snap!

The evening was pretty fun except for that moment when Ernie started singing “Pony” and I straight up walked out, haha.


I did a little reading and retired to bed early because I’d been so. exhausted. This wasn’t the worst view to wake up to:

“Stand in the Atlantic Ocean” has been on my 101 in 1001 days lists since 2011. There’s no way I was going to be in Florida and not make a case for me standing in the ocean. We didn’t have much time, but I told Ernie that I literally just needed to stand in the Atlantic Ocean, snap a picture and then we could go. So he dropped me off, I walked across a beach like I’ve only seen in a movie (the whitest sand I’ve ever seen and colorful umbrellas and sea shells all over), took my sandals off, let the ocean wash over my feet, took some pictures as proof and ran back to the car.

On our way back we saw signs for the original Chick-fil-A which you know I was all over, and only like 30 seconds later did I have the sobering realization that it was a Sunday and therefore I would not be able to indulge in a chicken sandwich from the first ever Chick-fil-A. But you’d better know that didn’t stop me from still seeing it. What the heck, first Chipotle and now Chick-fil-A? ALL. THE. EYE. ROLL.

Things from my 101 I crossed off on this trip:

  • Visit a new state
  • Watch the sun rise + set in the same day
  • Stand in the Atlantic Ocean

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