August 17, 2017

What I Learned In Hawaii: Over One Year Later

I've put this off long enough. It's time to talk about last summer. 
I thought I would take this opportunity to share some key things that learned from living in Hawaii as well as some things I learned about the Lord and about myself. I also though I would share some "never before seen" pics as well. 

Alright, so, July 7th 2016 I hoped on a plane and flew from the lovey midwest to an island in the middle of the Pacific. You can read all about that in my previous posts:

And several more

I learned very quickly as my plane was taking off that fear masks itself in many different ways. I felt completely put together, exited, hopeful, positive...UNTIL I SAW THE ISLAND. I realized I was surrounded by nothing but ocean and so so far from home. I didn't know a single soul, I had never flown that far alone before, and yet I was going anyway; no turning around at that point. 
I learned I could do it. 

I learned how to sleep in a room without Air Conditioning.

I learned that if you're walking in God's will for your life than all things will work out for your good, every freakin' time. 

I learned I'm not the strongest swimmer and should be careful when swimming in hectic waves or waterfalls (another story for another time).

I learned that sunscreen, coconut oil, and aloe vera are your best friends. 

I learned to fall in love with island life (this was just a given honestly). 

I learned to stop and watch the sunset because it's always worth it, EVERY TIME.

I learned that if the Lord asks you to do something, even something you never thought you could do, you should do it. 

I learned that time goes by to fast and that I should never complain about the season that the Lord has me in (CAN I GET AN AMEN)

I learned that when you surround yourself with likeminded people, you are way more likely to flourish and live up to your full potential.

I learned that God is actually extremely and wonderfully kind. 

I learned that I'm pretty without makeup on. 

I learned that there is a difference between missing a place or a person -and- wanting to be in a place or with a person. 

I learned that I could pass as a native Hawaiian island child.

I learned that no matter how strong someone's opinion of you might be (both negative and positive) your identity comes from God, the one that created you. 

I learned that to feel outrageously loved, you must learn to outrageously love others. 

I learned that if you pray for the Lord to give you patience, He will put you in very difficult situations where you must exercise it. #becarefulwhenprayingdangerousprayers

I learned that you can become best friends with someone in two weeks.

I learned that I'm an ugly crier. 

I learned that Lychee, Okinawan, and Lilikoi are the best things since sliced bread. 

I learned that lava really is that hot.

I learned that the stars from the top of a volcano can bring you to tears. 
(have a look for yourself)
(yes, that's hot lava reflecting from the bottom right corner)

I could keep going for days. 
Ultimately, all this to say, if you have an opportunity to do something for the Lord that is completely insane, crazy expensive, scary as crap, and as uncharted as a pirate ship in the it. It will change your life forever. 

Fast forward a year and a few months (give or take), I still stare at these pictures in awe. I think to myself "I can't believe I lived there," "I can't believe that Jesus sent me there." 
I went there a nervous, immature 17 year old and left and confident, slightly less immature, 18 year old, daughter of Christ. 
I can't wait to go back. 

August 1, 2017

Time Management And Finding Balance

Oh this is a fun one. 
I figured that I would choose a topic very difficult for me and maybe stumble into some sort of "enlightenment"
Since moving out on my own I have learned very quickly that there aren't enough hours in the day. My "To Do" List has things on there from 3 weeks back that have yet to be done. Despite how late I stay up at night or how early I wake up in the morning, I just haven't mastered it yet. 
A handful of you are looking at me like "just wait till you're married with kids" or "try running a business all by yourself" or "have you ever tried working a full-time job while in full-time school?" and you probably have the right to, and you're probably much better with time management than I am. Either way, I hope this post inspires you to look at planning, balance, structure, and time differently. 

Here's my two cents:
I'm sure all of us can name at least one thing that we would rather do than go to work on a daily/weekly/monthly (however your work schedule lays out) basis. I'm sure on a day full of work, errands, meetings, group outings there's a few things in the back of your mind whispering "hey, you can tune me out but I'll still be here when you get home" "you still have to do this" "you still have to do that" etc.
I recently find myself laying in my bed at night, staring up at my dark ceiling, going through a mental check list. "I did that, I did this: I haven't done that yet, I need to do this soon; I should have done this three days ago....(You get the picture)." 

So far, the most helpful thing I have discovered is to take every day one step at a time. You only have today, you can't change anything you did yesterday and you aren't productive at all by pushing it to tomorrow. Of the 10 things you have on your list pick 3 that will get done today (I typically do this by order of aware though that for some things, say laundry, can only be put off for so long...if you catch my drift). 

Next I decide what things absolutely have to happen during my week. Work is an absolute, girl has to work to eat, but that coffee date could be moved to a different day or to next week so I'm not spreading myself to thin. Pick one day out of that week solely to feed your spirit, meaning pick a day to do just what you want. If you choose to deep clean your bathroom or go get your oil're doing it wrong. This is a day to pamper yourself, or to paint a picture, or to watch Netflix, you decide. Now if your schedule absolutely won't allow an entire day, than pick a day with a couple free hours, just make sure you're finding time for yourself. This is so healing I promise, you won't believe how much it helps. 

Something I really struggle with is keeping myself from dreaming of being somewhere else; learning to love where I'm at. It's so easy to slip into ruts when you are constantly wishing you were traveling all over the world instead of working in a coffee shop, or dreaming of being a full-time freelance artist instead of working a 9-5 office job. If you're passionate and dedicated your dreams will become a reality in due time, but in the meantime you can't hate on where you are now, otherwise you just end up down in the dumps and stuck; not moving forward, not moving back. Keep reminding yourself that this time is just a stepping block on your journey towards your goals. 

Ultimately there are practicals like turning off your phone until you accomplish what you need to do, or learning how to say "no" when people ask you to do something when you know you can't etc. but all of those are up to you and how you decide to distribute your time. I just know that recently I have begun to see that big kids have way more responsibility therefore, we have to be better with how we manage our time.
Lastly, this morning me and the boy went for coffee and shot some pictures in my girly Conrado dress so I thought I would share.
Continuing my series of shedding light on small businesses and sustainable fashion, this is Conrado.
Founded by the beautiful designer Angela Sison; she works on crafting all of the patterns and chooses to use deadstock fabrics that she collects during her travels which makes her styles special, unique, and one of a kind. Conrado pieces are produced in the Philippines in her mother's small family-run factory. Angela also travels regularly to work closely with seamstresses and pattern makers to ensure perfect fit and quality! 

I'm wearing her beautiful Carmela Apron Dress

This dress makes be want to have a dusky beach picnic in the sand and the low open back is my absolute favorite.  

I chose to style it with denim just because today was a bit breezy and I wasn't prepared to combat a gust of wind *wink* so I played it safe just incase she decided to fly up. 

Again, totally recommend checking out their online shop and encourage you all to do your research pertaining what brands you're supporting and where your money is going. 

We'll talk soon
All my love

July 25, 2017

Let's talk about Hari Mari

I really don't want to be that downer that opens up with "SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER" but.... I hate to break it to you...SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER!
Back to school stuff is out in stores already and I already went to my college orientation for the fall semester. I'm not going to lie to you though, I prefer sweaters over swimsuits so I'm a bit excited for my first fall in North Carolina. I want to chat a bit about my favorite summer goods before the summer is out, so with that
Let's talk about Hari Mari!


I spent the weekend with Austin and his family at their family beach house in Surfside Beach, SC. 
I only brought my two pairs of Hari Mari flops...what does that tell you about my flip flop obsession?
Here's my bullet point rant:
  • They're comfortable
  • They're colorful
  • They're Boat-Safe 
  • They don't leave marks
  • They don't make me trip (it really is a miracle) 
  • Their name means Of The Sun, Of The Sea
  • They use sustainably-grown textiles and renewable materials
  • They will take your used flops (of any brand) for repurposing and recycling and in return give you 15% off your next Hari Mari pair
  • They donate a percentage of sales to support kids fighting cancer and call it "Flops Fighting Cancer" (HOW GREAT IS THAT?!)

This is definitely a brand you'll want to get behind and support. 
And look how freakin' stylish they are

And they've got gear too! Including shirts, tanks, hats, and other cool stuff!
Won't take my word for it? Here's their website Hari Mari so you can see for yourself!

...sorry I'm yelling, I'm just excited
I got some sun this weekend as well if you couldn't tell

I love having this opportunity to shed some light on companies and brands that are pursuing eco fashion, sustainability, quality over quantity, and the greater good. Thanks for sticking with me and I hope you go and snag yourself a pair of Hari Mari flops before the cold front comes in. 
Talk soon buddies

Here's Austin taking a night dip at the pool 

July 11, 2017

Styling A Lounge Dress 3 Different Ways

Comfort is a priority when it comes to my wardrobe. Now, the five-inch stilettos in my closet are an exception (they're just so cute ya'll).
I've make it a point to always share with you the treasures I stumble upon in the fashion and beauty world and this T-shirt midi is one of them. Let me introduce you to Dwell And Slumber.
These girls have successfully designed and produced the perfect lounge dress. This dress comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns (seasonal and classic alike) and can be worn at a variety of different events, occasions, and locations. 
This is no normal t-shirt dress ladies; this dress is a staple. It works for the busy career woman with loads of info meetings and conference calls to attend to, it works for the stay-at-home mommy chasing a toddler with one on the way (it's bump friendly as well nursing friendly), and it works for the lazy college student who just doesn't want to put on pants that day (I.e. me). 
If that doesn't convince you that you need this dress in your closet, then take a look at three different ways I styled my olive classic caftan

1: The Denim Tuck
Here's me channeling my inner "Free People Model Off Duty" 


2. The Belt Knot 
(Snake Skin flats making their forever comeback) 


3. The "Outside In" Tie

These are just a few ways I have styled my Dwell And Slumber dress in the past. I hope you find them inspiring and that they spark your creativity when it comes to styling basic pieces in your wardrobe!
Talk Soon

P.S. Leave a comment below if you would like to see a little tutorial on the "Outside In" Tie above.

Also, Mama is in town and snuck into our shoot so here's a couple of us:

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