Summer Bucket List | ’17

Summer Bucket List | ’17

With summer literally heating up, there’s tons of activities out there to do. Plus, I just really love lists so I decided to do a summer bucket list! Is it going to be incredibly cheesy and lame? Probably but I’m just going to have fun with it. I love all the freedom summer brings so I’m going to try to enjoy it. Here’s what I want to do!

  • Finish my first semester of grad school: I put this in to make myself feel better that I can actually do something on this list.
  • Learn to finally swim: If you’ve known me forever then you know I always want to learn but never do.
  • Finish my second Disney Bucket List: This will come as a shock but I’m letting my pass expire this year so I have to do these things asap!
  • Do something extra fun on Fourth of July: I love fireworks and good food so I better have something good planned.
  • Explore locally: I always want to go somewhere else but I found a cool spot where I live so I definitely want to check that out more. 
  • More beach trips: I am Moana, the sea calls me. I need to go a lot more like I used to.
  • Stay active: I love going on walks so that’s the easiest way I can stay active so I should do that.
  • Visit the farmer’s market regularly: All to support and to buy myself some flowers.
  • Pay for the person behind me at a coffee shop: And just being more generous anyway because that’s cool regardless of the season.
  • Watch a sunset: Because what better way to end a summer night.

What is something you’re planning to do this summer?

The Rise to the Top

The Rise to the Top

Something my dad always told me is to work hard to make sure I was able to take care of myself. From working full-time, to blogging, freelance writing, and now going to grad school, I realized that I can slay my professional life. Writing is my passion and I will definitely rise to make my mark in my career. It’s not easy but it’s showing me how strong you have to be to make it all work. Here’s how I make it all happen.

#QueenOf

If you haven’t watched the first season of Queen of the South (which you should), Teresa Mendoza overcomes the lowest low and shows her rise to Queenpin. She not only shows that you can rise up from your circumstances, but in season two, she shows that sometimes your own instincts are the only way you can survive. It’s a challenge to stay on top, it’s up to you to fight for it.

How I #Slay

I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit hard trying to keep on top of my professional career. From networking to keeping your resume recent, there are plenty of times that I was close to giving up. Adding grad school to the mix was honestly a bit of a crazy choice to add to my plate, but it’s well worth it. I’ve gotten all A’s so far, which has been a very pleasant surprise since I’ve been out of school for a couple of years. I’m keeping up at work and even have an article getting printed for a freelance job. Sacrifice is so important. There’s tons of things I have to say no to and things I have to set aside to make things happen. If I want to rock a thing, it will be my career and I won’t stop until I accomplish all my dreams.

Teresa’s story in Queen of the South is a great example of fighting to rise to the top even when life deals you a bad hand. Whatever is your passion, you better know that you can become the queen of it, put your heart and work into it.

Watch the recap of season 1


Make sure to watch the second season of Queen of the South on June 8th 10/9c on USA Network.

So how do you rise up and slay in your life?

May in Review | ’17

May in Review | ’17

Post contains affiliate links.

Okay I’m going to say that thing: this year is going by so fast! It honestly didn’t hit me until I realized we’re entering June and we’re getting into the heat of summer. Not going to lie, I’m counting down for Christmas already. But before I get too ahead of myself, here’s my May recap!

Lifestyle

– I’m officially a Benefit brow type of girl. I talked about Ka-Brow before but I recently got their Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel and I’m so in love! I’ve been going a much more natural route with my makeup so this is perfect to give my brows some shape and color without looking too done up.

– My skin is going through a yet another change! It hasn’t been as dry lately, which is great, but now I’m looking for a primer that isn’t so hydrated. So please send over some ideas of products I can try!

A&E

– Can we talk about all the new music that is coming out?! From Paramore to Harry Styles, there’s so much! I’m personally really excited for Phoenix’s new album.

– I’m watching Hamilton again! I managed to get tickets to see it on their LA tour stop and I am so excited! Now that I know what to expect, I’m going to try to see it and focus on other things in the show.

Personal

– I started grad school! It’s honestly been quite the adjustment trying to figure out my time and where things fit, but so far it’s going good. Keep sending your prayers and some coffee before I crack.

– If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I got bangs! For some reason I always change my hair in May so I didn’t want to do anything drastic so that was a thing.

Around the Web

– I’ve been watching the porchdallas‘ messages online and they are so good! They don’t sugarcoat anything and are still very encouraging. I really love their relationship series so check that out because it was helpful even as a single gal.

– This isn’t a direct Instagram but I’ve been loving scrolling through florists accounts. I feel like I missed my calling to be a florist! It’s so theraputic and pretty to look at.


Catch up with the other months: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr

Let me know what’s new with you!

Let’s Talk: My Walk with God

Let’s Talk: My Walk with God

I’m going to share with you my testimony. This is 100% hard to write so I’m going to be doing it as a letter to my younger self. The first section is going to be a lot of backstory from my time growing up. The second will be what went on when I started going to church. The last section will be of God’s amazing redeeming power in my life. I hope you read on and can help you.

Dear Adriana,

As I’m thinking through everything, a lot of things began as misunderstandings. You were a really shy kid who was afraid to speak up about how you felt, so you bottled it up.

It rained the day of your birthday 5th. Don’t worry, mom and dad postponed it for another day. But you didn’t quite understand that. You put on your blue dress and waited but nobody came. It hurt. As a 5 year old you didn’t get that rain could stop people from coming. You took it to heart. You took it to mean that no one wanted to be with you on a day you thought was special. It sounds silly now, it’s just a birthday party. But you were 5 and that’s all you looked forward. You felt forgotten and that nobody cared. That’s unfortunately going to stay with you.

In second grade, it was a normal morning and you and mom were going to catch the school bus. Our neighbors and their kids were outside talking to my aunt, so naturally mom stopped and talked to them. Since it got late our neighbor volunteered to take me with their kids. Mom let you choose. You were painfully shy and quiet and at some point someone misunderstood and agreed to let you go in their car. But you didn’t want to. You always thought mornings were your thing with mom. We would hang out while everyone else would already be at work or school and it was just you two. You didn’t understand why she willingly agreed to let you go. You thought these mornings were special. In a big family there was never a quiet moment to bond and these mornings were it. Looking back she probably needed a break. The bus stop was pretty far and she was trying to find a job, but again, you were little and you didn’t see the bigger picture. It hurt you. You felt unwanted. 

So you just started crying. No one understood why and you were too embarrassed to say that you felt like mom didn’t care for your bonding mornings, so you made up a lie about your teacher being mean. (Side note: She was mean, but she wasn’t that mean.) It sounds so dumb but I really just wanted to spend time with mom and I had felt like I was loosing that. Ever since that day, you started panicking and crying whenever you went to school. You sincerely felt that you couldn’t leave mom or something bad was going to happen. You never told anyone. You kept your feelings bottled up because you were embarrassed so you kept blaming your mean teacher, who ended up getting in trouble. (Sorry Mrs. Franson)

But this small, and insignificant, event changed you. For some reason you felt mom was going to abandon you. She only worked one week and had to quit because you would spike a fever and get nose bleeds the second she left. One time you told her that you wanted to get sick so she could pay attention to you and everyone laughed it off as a joke. But you meant it. You wanted to feel like mom cared for you. 

Then at school your best friend moved away. You were way too quiet to make other friends and when you did, by the next year they got put in different classes and you didn’t get to talk to them. Since then you never felt like you had a true friend that you could confide in, and sadly to this day, you still don’t feel like you have someone to confide in. You would see all the other kids with their friends always hanging out and having sleepovers but you never had that. You had acquaintances, but never had a real friend. You were alone a lot and you tried to play it off when mom would ask. But it hurt and you were again, too embarrassed to say anything. 

In 5th grade, your self-esteem was a mess. You didn’t feel pretty as the other girls who were taller and had fancier clothes. You weren’t sporty or talented in any other way. You felt like you had nothing to offer. You were just an average kid. Then the guy you had a crush on strangely had a crush on you. For once you felt like you had something, but another girl came who was much more outgoing and talkative. First off, 5th grade is still young and you have no idea what love is. But it ended up hurting you. You didn’t feel worthy enough to get someone’s attention and that is going to stay with you for most of your teenage years. 

There were a lot of other things much smaller that just kept feeding into all these negative feelings. Like when you were the best writer in your class and your teacher told you she would pick someone else for a writing award because she didn’t think I would speak. That made you feel insecure. Writing is all you’ve ever felt good at and the thing you love. You never opened up with anyone about it. A lot of it was because of shame and embarrassment. Mom and dad did so much to give you a good life that you hated feeling like you weren’t the child that could make them proud and had issues. You internalized a lot of things. I’m sorry that I was to afraid and embarrassed to speak about my feelings to others, which led to rough patches.


And then we went to church

Mom and dad started going to a Christian church when you were in 7th grade. There wasn’t a big conversion moment, it just kind of happened and you went with it. You were already trying to get used to living in a new place so your expectations were low. But it was good. People were nice enough and I guess the change was good. You followed the rules, but you never truly embraced God in a deep way. You saw church for the social factor, so that is where things went wrong. You tried really hard to fit in. You changed yourself because you didn’t want to be left behind. It didn’t work. It was hard to keep friends in high school and then church friends and you never felt like you belonged to either group. 

Look. you got a bit clingy and desperate in your teenage years. I’m not going to lie, but I honestly cringe that you were this way. You thought it would keep people but it ended up pushing them away. You didn’t want to be alone but you were looking for love and attention in all the wrong places. You tried so hard to look like you had it all together, but you didn’t. That’s when you started getting defensive about everything. You took everything as an attack and you further retreated into yourself and not letting anyone in.

Since you really didn’t have a relationship with God, you blamed Him for a lot. Why couldn’t He make life better? Why couldn’t He change things if He cared?

Then college came and you had your plans but there was still confusion and dread in your life. But one day you went to a church service. You weren’t expecting much but for the first time you truly felt God’s presence and you fully committed to Him. For the first time, things made sense. This is when you were at your best. You loved God fiercely and you would speak strongly about the word. You were unashamed about your faith and wanted God to use you.

But you didn’t deal with your underlying issues. You switched your focus to people because you wanted to belong. But you hated to admit that you wanted to belong so you acted like you were above it all. Again, your self-confidence was low so you latched on to people who weren’t good but at least gave you attention. You settled for really bad relationships because you thought you couldn’t do better. You let people treat you bad and be mean to you because you’d rather have that than feel alone. You went from such a high to probably hitting the lowest point in your life. You were depressed and you couldn’t even come to God because you felt ashamed.

You lost yourself. You said no to a lot of things you wanted because people wanted you to do what they wanted to. Like the fact that you wanted to be more school spirit and participate more, volunteer more, be silly, or explore more but you were always shamed and had to turn down things you were interested in. You did a lot of things to keep people happy. Sometimes as far as calling off of work to hang out so you didn’t feel left out and keep people from forgetting you. Then a very bad situation happened at church (my old one). It was horrible but a blessing in disguise. It shook up everything and gave me an out. Although it didn’t solve everything, it was a point that you just stopped caring about what people were projecting on you. Still, you acted out a lot more on emotion instead of rationally. But small steps.

You spent the years after that just stalling. You didn’t want to commit to anything or anyone. With college ending, you were filled with regrets of what you missed out on. Those feelings were mixed with an uncertain future. You always had a plan but not this time. Everything felt suspended. You still didn’t know how to deal but you felt like change was going to happen. 


So where are we now

It honestly wasn’t until this past year or so that you were too exhausted and genuinely came back to God and just gave it all go. Every negative thought, situation, struggle, you just through it at the feet of Jesus and just let it happen. You hit a wall so you asked God to just do His will. It may have wrecked your plans and things changed, but although it was hard, You know that God’s plans will always lead you to something better. So instead of fighting it, you’re just resting in His peace.

At 24, life is not at all where we expected it to be. Sometimes it sucks, but it’s okay. God closed a lot of doors and you’re just waiting to see what He does next. This past year you are realizing that you’d rather be the person God wants you to be. You’ve seen changes in yourself and you’re doing new things you’ve never thought you’d do. You still hate feeling vulnerable and opening up to others is still something that is hard to do. I don’t know what your next step is and we’re going to have to keep working at it. But God’s not done with you yet.

Just love God. He’s all you need and everything will flow from Him.

How I Stay Active

How I Stay Active

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of prAna. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

When I was in college I was super active. I had a job that required me to be moving a lot and of course, I was always out and about with my friends. I wouldn’t say I was super active like going to the gym type, but I was definitely moving a lot more than I do now. Lately, especially with summer coming up, I’m making it a point to actually get up and at least get 10,000 steps in.

How I Stay Active How I Stay Active

During the week I have really early mornings and don’t get home until really late, which adds to the challenge of staying active. So during my lunch I take a very long walk to keep myself moving throughout the day. Thankfully I live near a small mountain that is an easily three mile hike and near a river trail. 

Since I’m still trying to get into the habit of being more active, finding good work out clothes is a challenge. I thankfully got to try some items from prAna and I’m in love! I’ve mentioned this before but I’m a very chill dress so I love clothes that are really comfy and that’s what prAna is. Only using organic cotton, each item is soft and comfortable to move in, plus it helps that they are about the way they source the cotton! I love a company that really cares about doing things the right way. What I love especially from the pants is that they felt durable and not cheap whatsoever so that was a huge plus! I hate when pants feel too thin and like they can tear up easily. The shirt has a built in sports bra so you don’t have to have tons of layers and it feels lightweight and it actually fit perfectly, which is something I was skeptical about. I’m definitely a new fan of prAna!

How I Stay ActiveHow I Stay Active

Check out prAna and their commitment to organic cotton below!

As I’m getting older I am seeing the benefit of staying active. It’s crazy how I’m noticing I don’t bounce back as easily as I used to, which is hard to embrace but even more of a reason to be active. Even if it’s something as simple as taking a short walk, something is better than nothing!


What are some ways you stay active?

Don’t forget to check out prAna and use the code “WAGLNAC” to get some discounts!