Miss You, G.

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Nearly nine months ago on Christmas Eve, my grandmother passed away, just a few days shy of her 95th birthday. If you have been a long-time reader, you know how much of a superwoman she was.

I remember her giving all the kids piggy back rides around the house, whipping up our favorite meals without complaining, and teaching us how to add and subtract using chopsticks. My childhood was so loving because of my grandmother, who made sure I woke up in time to catch the school bus every morning and who was the one to tuck me in at night. She chased monsters out of my room, cleaned the wounds when I fell, and bent over backwards to make everyone’s lives as easy as possible.

She was the glue that kept the family together and the foundation upon which we built this amazing life in the United States. Without her sacrifices, this life that my family and I live right now would not be possible. My parents would not have been able to work three jobs, take care of two kids, afford a house and save up to send the kids to college. She was truly an amazing woman, and I admire her for her strength and dedication to always do what needed to be done for the sake of our family.

Even though so much time has gone by, I still feel like the hardest part about her passing was that I never told her thank you enough, and I never told her I love you enough. I grew up and got wrapped up in my own world, and I didn’t have the clarity of mind to realize that my time with her would end so quickly. All those times that I could have spent with her but didn’t will always be my biggest regret.

So for anyone who needs a reminder to always be present with the people you love, this is your reminder. You don’t have to be sappy to tell someone you love them. Just be there, in the moment, without any distractions. It could mean the world to them.

Me + G - Highschool

CHHS Homecoming 2011

G, I love you, and I miss you dearly.

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DIY Plant Stand Makeover

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Since last year, I have accumulated 14 plant babies. It all started with my HORT 2000 class at UGA taught by the sweet David Berle in Spring 2016. Mid way through the semester, one of our assignments was to identify, repot and maintain an indoor plant until the end of the semester. I got a banana croton, which I did not know until Lowe’s replied to my tweet (thanks for saving my grade, Lowe’s).

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Back & Better

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Oh, how good it feels to be back! Since August, I’ve had a lot of changes in my life – both good and bad. I’ll have to catch you up soon with a series of new blog posts. But until then…

Check out the resolutions I made for myself in the new year. Please hold me accountable! Usually I go with something simple like “be a better person” or “work out more.” This year, I took a different approach that is a bit better suited for my mindset.

I like to compartmentalize my life just to stay organized, so I figured that compartmentalizing my resolutions would be more beneficial to me. Check out how I broke it down below.

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Thank You, Athens

The summer before college, I kept hearing one thing: the next four years will be the best years of your life.

Now that I have graduated, I beg to differ. These past four years have been the most formative years of my life, but the years to come? Those are going to be the best.

Today, I stand as the person I always wanted to be – happy, strong and fearless. And I move forward with confidence in myself and my decisions as a daughter, sister and friend.

I say that confidently because in retrospect, I could not be the person I am today without having learned what I learned in college. I learned to love. I learned to be grateful. Most importantly, I learned to live in the moment.

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Monday Mornings

This is me on Monday mornings. No makeup. Messy hair. Eating cereal out of a Tupperware container. This is the epitome of a Monday morning.

As I get dressed for class and eventually put on some eyeliner and concealer, all I can think about is how I would have NEVER posted a picture sans makeup like this a few years ago.

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4 Things You Should Know About Taking Charge of Your Dental Health

Hello & good morning! I’m so happy to be 100% again. I’ve been recovering for the past few days from a wisdom tooth extraction and a root canal retreatment, so I’ve been a little out of it.

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Since this whole dental stuff is fresh on my mind, I figured there’s no better time than now to talk about some important things – real life things – that might help you as you attempt this thing called adulthood.

Scary right?

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Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

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“I laughed more. I was bolder. I was brazen. I spoke my mind and spoke it loud.”

Scandal. Grey’s Anatomy. How to Get Away with Murder. She writes for these shows that make us fall in love, laugh until tears roll down our cheeks, and shake with anticipation. She’s Shonda Rhimes. And who would have thought that she’s just like us?

I just finished reading Shonda Rhimes’ book Year of Yes, and I feel… human. In a way, that’s what this book was all about – being human and being you.

In this book, she documents her journey of pushing and challenging herself to become a better person, a happier person. Shonda is nothing short of honest in her book, especially about her weaknesses and her shortcomings. Shy. Avoidant. Quiet. It was these things that led her to her year of yes- a year where she broke through her shell, took advantage of amazing opportunities, and began living.

This book is something to admire because it shows us that just “having it all” means nothing, and it’s what you do with it that means everything. Someone could give you the world, but what good is having it if you don’t explore it.

She encourages her readers to step out of their comfort zones and embrace  challenges, and most importantly, she urges them to hold themselves accountable for their own happiness. At no point in the book does she blame anyone else for her own unhappiness, and that’s something wonderfully refreshing.

Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

new-years-resolutions-calendarEvery new year, we make resolutions, but how long do we actually stick with them? They tend to fall pretty low on our to-do lists after awhile, so here are a few ways to keep our new year’s resolutions a priority.

1. Get a resolution buddy.

The best way to keep a resolution is to have someone hold you accountable for it. Find a partner in crime – someone who will ask you if you’ve met your goal, be a helping hand when if you fall and push you to do your best every day.

2. Write it in your planner.

Like I always say: if it’s not written down, it’s not getting done. Keep your resolution a priority by making it a part of your to-do list every day. If you’re as type A as I am, it’ll be hard to see one to-do list item unchecked. By doing this, you can bring it into your routine, and soon you won’t even have to think about doing it.

3. Monitor your progress.

Stay motivated by keeping track of your results. Whatever your resolution may be, be conscious of the progress you make, no matter how little, because even a small amount means you’re one step closer to reaching your goal. Try keeping a mental chart or write it down in a notebook. Whatever you do, give yourself credit for every step forward.

New Year’s Resolutions for Every Type of Person

Having trouble coming up with a New Year’s resolution? Look no further than this post because here are some potential resolution ideas to help you meet a 2016 goal!

For the Budgeting Bosses

  1. Start coupon clipping – Save money by browsing through sites like Coupons.com, Groupon and RetailMeNot.com. Many grocery stores have online coupons like Kroger, Target, Publix and Walmart. Sometimes going to brand websites can also result in coupon discoveries. In addition, don’t forget to regularly go through coupons in the mail. Keep your coupons organized digitally through apps like SnipSnap Coupon App and the various other coupon/discount apps. And if you’re into online shopping, definitely sign up for ebates.com where you can earn money back from your purchases through this site. Be sure to let them know I referred you here!
  2. Sell your old stuff – Take your old clothes to Plato’s Closet. Auction it off on eBay or Amazon. Give your friends a heads up on Facebook. Go to local stores that sell used goods like MovieStop or GameStop. Not everything you have can be sold, but if it’s in good condition, it’s definitely worth a shot!
  3. Try a money challenge – There are endless challenges to help you save money (52-week challenge, no spend challenge, 10% challenge). If following a plan isn’t for you, try creating your own plan where you put aside a set amount of money that is suitable for you.

For the Fitness Fiend

  1. Workout with a fitness app – Smartphones are a wonderful thing, especially when it comes to your health. Download apps like Couch to 5k or 7 Minute Workout to help you make some progress in your fitness.
  2. Enroll in a workout class – Sometimes having an instructor can push you even further in your workout, and sometimes working out with a group can make you enjoy it more. Don’t shy away from classes! Even if you’re a beginner, you can learn a lot from those who have been at it for a while.
  3. Try a different style of workout – Maybe you’ve been slacking on your workouts because it’s getting stale. Spice it up by trying different types of exercises like yoga, pilates, swimming, kick boxing, barre, cycling, etc.

For the DIY Diva

  1. Sell your crafts – If you’re really good at something, odds are that someone out there is willing to pay money for it. Create your own Etsy shop and give people the chance to see the amazing things you make. You can also think local and see if there are any upcoming events where you can be a vendor.
  2. Challenge yourself – So you’ve become an expert in crocheting? Try expanding your skill set to knitting and sewing. Or take a leap and try woodworking. Who knows – if you’re really good with your hands, who is to say you won’t succeed in other arenas of crafting?
  3. DIY to change the world – Lend a helping hand to those who need it by offering your products to those who need it. Try making quilts for wounded veterans by working with American Hero Quilts. Or knit hats for children in Russia. There are a ton of ways to put your hobbies to work!

For the Food Fanatic

  1. Do a tour of seven cities – Or three. Or twelve. The number is really up to you. But travel to different cities, small or big, and try some of the restaurants recommended by locals. You never know what delicious meals you might find!
  2. Start cooking with exotic foods – Be an adventurer and start exploring international grocery stores like H-Mart and Assi. You’ll find lots of unique foods that you can experiment with and use to add a little spice to your dishes.
  3. Create homemade recipes – It’s so easy to hit the stores and pick up chicken stock or a jar of pasta sauce. Start this year off with original, homemade recipes that can make you a legend in the kitchen. Plus, you’ll be able to control exactly what goes into your food, so you might find yourself with healthier options for lunch and dinner!

For the Wanderlust Wanderer

  1. Move somewhere where you have no connections – Be bold. Be brave. Moving somewhere where you have no connections is daunting, but it’s worth it if you want to truly understand what it means to be on your own.
  2. Organize a roadtrip – So you don’t want to make a permanent commitment to a new city? Well, plan a road trip and stop by all the cities you’ve ever wanted to visit. Maybe you’ll fall in love with a city.  And don’t forget to pick a few road trip buddies to tag along to make the long rides more entertaining.
  3. Travel more – Whether it’s to a different part of town, a city, state or country, just go. Traveling doesn’t mean that you need to pack your bags and buy a plane ticket. Any adventure is a good adventure, so pick a destination and go!