[image source: Sugar and Charm]
Small Pouch For Clutter Control – I am notorious for creating clutter. I’m not afraid to admit it, and being a blogger doesn’t really help. Because I know this about myself, I make strides to control it by always keeping a small pouch in my purse for clutter control. I usually keep my lip balm, pens, headphones, post-it’s and a pack of gum in there to keep all small items in one place. It also prevents me from having to rummage through my bag for anything that could be aimlessly rolling around at the bottom. This one, seen to the right, is super cute but, if you’re looking for something smaller, here is another good option that I actually either use for pens in my purse OR lipsticks & lip liners when I travel! I also have this sequined “stash” one that I love, as well!
My phone – Just like everyone else, I’m attached to my phone. I use it for work, for directions, to stay in touch with friends and you, to keep up with emails, to take photo’s, etc. So, I never leave home without it and, if I do … I feel weird. Please tell me I’m not the only one …
Headphones – I get distracted very easily. So, if I somehow get to an appointment early, am going to be walking around for awhile [ie: airports or walking to a destination] or plan on sitting in a coffee shop to get some work done … my productivity level is dependent on whether or not I have my headphones. With that said, I just always make sure to have them with me. They help me stay focused on what I need to focus on, minimize distractions and keep my attention streamlined. Last month, on Snapchat, I shared my review on wireless Bluetooth headphones from Sudio Sweden! I have loved using these headphones. They don’t take up a lot of space. They don’t get tangled because they’re not that long. They work well. The sound quality is as good, if not better, than any other headphones I’ve used. They’re easy to recharge. I also, personally, like that the ear buds are small. I don’t like the ones that wrap around my ear. Sudio is being very generous and offering you all 25% off these headphones with code SequinsAndThings!
Lip Balm or Lipstick – Unless I’m super stressed and am rushing around, I typically have something on my lips. As I’ve mentioned multiple times, my favorite lip balm is Jack Black’s Intense Therapy Lip Balm with SPF 25 and, if I’m honest, I have multiple tubes around my house so there’s almost always one in my purse. Thankfully. Other than that … if I’m going out, with a full face of makeup, I typically bring whatever lip liner and lipstick I’m wearing to reapply if needed!
My Planner – A lot of people say the less paper you have around, the better … but, the truth is, I’ll always feel a little more secure writing something down. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always liked keeping up with an agenda. Notes, appointments and to-do lists are all in one place and I can reference any of those things from previous week’s easily, and it’s the only thing that makes me feel organized. I almost always have my planner with me and, actually, recently put this cute one my Rifle Paper Co. into my shopping cart for 2017. I also bought this one a couple weeks ago, and am going to compare the contents of the two. You know how the inside of these planner’s is laid out is EVERYTHING and it’s good that they’re all different, because we’re all different. But, I’m going to analyze which one will work best for me and return the other. Here are some others that have caught my eye:
There are quite a few other things that I always have with me, like my wallet, keys, sunglasses etc. but wanted to share five things that weren’t super generic. Although, these might still be, but … it’s what’s always in my bag. I’m not going to make things up, ha! Some bags that have caught my eye are here:
I asked Ben to help me with this section because sometimes I think other people can highlight facts about you better than you can. So here we go …
I’m not a morning person. I have a love / hate relationship with mornings. I am SUCH a comfort lover. I love thick knit blankets, down comforters, my new feather mattress topper, cozy pajamas, the way cold sheets feel as you crawl into bed, etc. So, I detest mornings because it is SO hard for me to leave my favorite place of comfort … my bed. It takes me awhile, and I always have to set multiple alarms. I won’t disclose how many. However, when I DO get up fairly quickly and it’s around the goal time I set for myself to get up, I LOVE it. I love feeling like I have the WHOLE day ahead of me. It makes me feel super motivated. But, it generally takes me awhile to get there.
I have a crowd averting tendency. I’ll just say it … I like my space. Ben has learned both of these things about me very quickly. I’d rather take the longer way to get somewhere if there are less people. I don’t like when there are crowds of people in my travel photo’s of monuments. #diva … I know. ha, it’s pretty much inevitable that there will be people in them, but still we all have our things. I’d rather get up super early to get the shot. I think the underlying reason is that I just don’t like unorganized chaos. I associate it with there being no way out, and that’s what I feel like I’m stepping into with crowds. I typically don’t like markets in Europe for this reason, as well, unless it’s a flower market. Then, I’ll deal. It’s interesting, though, because I still would prefer living in a big city as opposed to a small one but I think it’s because, eventually, I’d learn the quickest route with the least amount of people 😉 New Yorkers, I’m sure you’re that way. You know the best way to get somewhere that the tourists would never think to take, you know?
I don’t sleep on a pillow. I, literally, cannot fall asleep on a pillow. I have to be laying on my stomach on the edge of the bed with my face on the mattress. [Not face down. I hope no one sleeps like that.] When I wake up, I typically roll over on to a pillow and snuggle with Fish but, at night, I can’t fall asleep that way.
I express myself better in written word as opposed to spoken word. When having very serious discussions with people, especially people who don’t know me very well, I get extremely nervous because I don’t feel I am very skilled at taking the thoughts in my head and verbalizing them appropriately. [The better I know you and vice versa, the less nervous I am.] I believe words carry so much weight. You can’t take them back once they’ve been heard and, because of that, I tend to want to be very careful when I speak on behalf of myself in certain situations. So, for whatever reason, I need the time to spill out all my thoughts on paper or on a screen, allowing for edits and additions, making sure it’s exactly what I mean. Whenever I’m at a conference and there is someone who is speaking without notes, or clearly speaking off the top of their head, envy tends to surface a little. I wish I could eloquently express myself that way but, God’s always really sweet by quickly reminding me that He has gifted and wired me this way purposefully, and that reminder always brings me comfort.
I’m extremely independent. I’ve never been one of those girls who asks one of my friends to go to the bathroom with me, or to go to Target to return something with me so I don’t have to go alone. In college, I was never afraid to take a night off from going out. I was always okay with spending the night at home with a book or a movie after cooking myself dinner. I don’t know why but I’ve never wanted to have to depend on someone else to be okay, to be happy, to be pay my bills, etc. However, I think it’s good to allow yourself to depend on people. I think it’s something I need to find a good balance of. I learned that a little bit when I was with Ben in Mexico. I’m so used to carrying my own luggage through a crowded airport because I do it all the time but, I’m learning that it doesn’t mean you’re weak if you want help or you want company. [I don’t think people who always opt for help are weak, by the way! That’s not what I’m saying.] I’m also learning that there are people out there that want to be in your presence and they want you to be present. I’m so used to and okay with being in my own world that I sometimes need a reality check when someone who cares about me is like ‘Hey …. can we PLEASE get together for dinner next week? I miss you.’ or ‘Hey, let’s not have our phones out at dinner.’ [Did I mention I’m also a homebody? I’m sure you can imagine that that plus the independence part can EASILY lead to isolation if I’m not careful. Thankfully, I live with a very social individual who knows me well and is like … “I’m going to push you into a crowd this weekend, prepare yourself mentally.” Hahah]
A cute phone case – Our phone cases are an accessory, let’s be honest. We like for them to be seasonally appropriate, amiright?!? The great thing is it’s a cheap little seasonal update. I’m obsessed with mine, and it was only $35. Another great thing is … there are so many cute options out there right now! Here are a few of my faves:
A lightweight bralette – A record breaking heatwave is currently sweeping the country, and I hope I’m not the only girl that has experienced heat like that that wants to feel a little fresher walking from my car to the grocery store door. For me, the answer is a lightweight bralette. You can get cute lace ones at Target for between $10-15, and I recently stocked up on a couple of these to wear under loose tops and dresses at $18 a piece. I love them. They’re cheaper than normal bra’s so you will be doing a lot less laundry by wearing these than the others. Free People has a TON of great options, but HERE is a great knock off of Free People that I actually have a couple of. They’re not bad, just a little thinner than the Free People ones. Here are a few options available for you to peruse and decide which might be best for you:
Anti-humidity hair spray – If you’re going on any kind of tropical vacation this summer, you’re going to need THIS $39 bottle of greatness! I promise, you will be so happy that you’ll be able to style your hair as you normally would.
Cute jewelry – Summer is always the best time for jewelry. It’s all so fun and colorful! There are TONS of great options out there right now being that it’s peak season! I just got these cute earrings and can’t wait to style them! Here are some others that are under $50 that you NEED to snag:
Straw hats – I talked about accidental sun exposure the other day in my skincare routine post. It happens whether we realize it or not and it is so bad for our skin. It’s really, really important to not only wear SPF but keep our most delicate skin out of the sunlight to prevent early signs of aging. Here are a bunch of cute hats to consider buying to bring with you on vacation and / or to the beach or pool this weekend:
Start your day right. I know that God loves us because He gave us coffee. I can’t deny how helpful a good cup of coffee can be for a busy or long day ahead. Driving down the street to Starbucks with Fish and ordering my Venti Iced Coffee with extra 2% milk and no sweetener [then coming back to spend some time with my devotionals before the TODAY SHOW starts] is how I, personally, LOVE to start my mornings. You may prefer a hot cup of tea and toast or you may prefer a protein shake after a mile beach run. Whatever way suits you best, make sure you do that first thing so you feel like you’ve started the day off right.
Write out your to-do list, be realistic and show yourself grace. I can be very scatterbrained so having a list constantly staring me in the face to remind me what I need to be doing is completely necessary for me. As a creative, I would prefer to not have one. I like being aimless and allowing myself to do things as I please but, the reality is, this blog is a business so I need structure in my life to get some very necessary evils done [like accounting, negotiating contracts, emails, etc.]. With all that said, I make writing this out a priority because I know what will happen if I don’t. I won’t get things that NEED to get done, done. I struggle with balancing the creative side and the business side to what I do. It’s hard to put a creative task in a time bubble [i.e. putting blog posts together, writing, etc. – hence why this post is so late going up!] but writing out a to-do list at least helps me prioritize tasks, and start working from there. It’s important to be realistic, although I also have a hard time with this. I want to create and share, create and share, and sometimes when you’re not realistic, like I am most days, you can get discouraged and disappointed if you don’t get things done when you wanted to. So, it’s also important to show yourself grace. If you don’t, you will lose your motivation SO FAST. Just do the best that you can and don’t take a shortcut just to get something done. Show yourself grace but also take the time needed to do a good job. Got all that? 😉
Take breaks. During the work day, it is so helpful to schedule breaks for yourself. If I’m not careful … I can get so focused on getting my entire to do list done that, before I know it, I’ve pushed myself hard for eight hours with four more ahead. Breaks are the only way I can stay motivated over long amounts of time. If you push yourself without allowing yourself to do something else, you will eventually get completely burned out. I’ve certainly learned this the hard way, and I think it’s common among bloggers. Social media never stops so it’s hard for us to set up boundaries and know when to turn work off. Most people, clock in at work and then clock out when they leave … and they leave work there. For us, our job is sharing our lives with you and it can be hard to turn that off sometimes and just BE in the moment without worrying about making it something you share. I’ve gotten burned out to the point that I needed to take days off of social media and the blog because I had pushed myself too far. I just hit a wall and didn’t feel like doing anything and, the worst part was … I was being hard on myself for it. I couldn’t even see what the problem was … that I wasn’t letting myself be interested in other things, other people, etc. You can’t let yourself get so consumed in anything too much. It doesn’t lead to anything good. Balance and breaks are necessary.
Get dressed in the morning AND put makeup on. Oh my gosh … y’all. Working from home can be SO NICE but it is a struggle to figure out how to do it well. My bed is SO tempting sometimes – I told y’all earlier what a comfortable haven it is to me. So, one of the things I do to keep myself motivated is getting fully ready, like I was going to an office or out to dinner with a friend, everyday. Okay … I won’t lie. Y’all see me on Snapchat without makeup on all the time. I don’t put makeup on everyday. I think it’s a bit of a waste but I will say I DO feel more motivated to get stuff done when I am fully dressed. And, if I have makeup on, I feel less motivated to get in bed or take a nap because I don’t want to get it on my white sheets 😉
Love what you do. I know this isn’t something you can really control. I know not everyone LOVES their job but, y’all … if I’m honest, it IS one of the things that motivates me. I freaking LOVE running this blog. I love sharing myself with you all. Sharing has always been something I love to do. If I’m down or excited about something, I cannot keep it to myself. It’s so hard for me, so the fact that sharing my life, style, experience, home, travels, etc with you is, seriously, so fun and a dream come true for me. I will never not be thankful for it and, I know my love for it is what gets me up everyday to continue sharing all of those things with you. It IS my motivation underneath it all.
The photos under this category were taken from THIS post where I answered 8 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Blogging.
He pursued me. Let’s be honest. If you’ve been single for any length of time in the past 5 years, you know how frustrating the dating scene can be these days. Every guy, it seems, with the exception of a few, avoid commitment like the plague. Gray area’s are the new ‘it’ thing. It’s not all the guys’ fault, either. I think girls have made it too easy for guys to get what theyinstinctually want, so they’ve been conditioned to not try and to refrain from pursuing the heart of the woman they’re interested in. For me, personally, that’s not okay and, frankly, it’s so annoying to the point that my tolerance level for it is at zero. When a woman is fearlessly pursued by a man, it makes her feel valued, special, safe and secure. Don’t we all want that, deep down? I know I do. So, for years, I’ve been waiting for a man who pursues me and respectfully makes an effort to get to know me as a person. Ben did that. One of the first things that attracted me to him was when he said something like “Well, despite geographical differences, you seem interesting, we should keep in touch.” That meant that effort [i.e. work, which is an extremely necessary part of relationships] would have to be put in to anything that would eventually come out of that continued communication. Whether or not he would back it up was to be seen at that point but, him saying that was what sparked my interest initially. Over time, he made a consistent effort to reach out, ask good questions, make me laugh, offer advice and encouragement, and made it genuinely clear that he enjoyed the person that I am. Eventually, I would have a text from him every morning when I’d wake up. Then, we started Skyping before he went to bed at night. I noticed that he would always make a point to send me a text to let me know he was thinking about me at least once when he is out on a Friday or Saturday, never wanting me to worry about wandering eyes. Now, he calls me at least once during the work day, typically on his lunch, we’ll Skype every night and we text throughout the day. It’s incredible to me that I could feel this pursued by someone who lives almost 5,000 miles away from me.
He wants to be in “the know” and always follows up. For someone who is extremely independent, you would think this would annoy me. Ben always asks how my day is going, what the plan is, who it is that I’m with, and he is notorious for remembering what I’ve said and following up on things, making sure I’m okay, etc. Since we live so far away from each other, it’s really the only way to feel like you’re not so far away. He doesn’t know what life is like for me here, so I have to paint that picture for him so he asks questions. I like that because, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t think to mention some of the things that I do when he asks. He also doesn’t know my people because, again … he’s in London. So, I’m constantly describing my people and their spouses or pet’s to him so he feels like he knows who I’m talking about when I reference them even thought he hasn’t met them. I find it extremely endearing and a testament to how much he cares about me.
He’s looking for a compliment, not someone to complete his life. I’ve used my time as a single woman to really get to know myself. I took the time to be okay with being alone, okay with being single, okay with how long it may take to find someone who is equally as okay with who they are, as well. I’ve always believed that the healthiest relationships are between two individuals who see their spouse or significant other as their compliment, but aren’t entirely dependent on them to complete their life or who allow their happiness to be dependent on them. No one is perfect and there are people out there who make us, as two, way better than one. As I got to know Ben, it was clear to me that he saw it the same way I did. [And that he was one of those people whose personalities complimented mine. In areas where I’m weak, he’s strong, and vice versa.] He has tons of interests that occupy his time, lots of friends that he makes an effort to keep in touch with, loves to travel, is really, really close to his family and knows what he is looking for but isn’t necessarily desperate to find it. We both have this believe that the right one will come along at the right time, and that was really attractive to me knowing that we both have that in common.
His dry, witty sense of humor. There’s not too much to say about this other than Ben makes me laugh and how is that NOT attractive? I would consider him pretty charming, which scared me at first … due to some past experiences I’ve had with men who are considered charming … but, over time, my number 1 reason up there eased those fears and it helped me enjoy his humor more and more because I knew it was genuine.
He is kind, sincere, sweet, thoughtful, loves to travel and makes his intentions very clear. I really couldn’t sum up the last one to any one thing in particular. There are so many things about him that made me swoon [I mean, hello …. his accent!] and continue to. He really is the sweetest person and I love his love for travel because, ever since my London / Paris trip in January, I’ve been wanting to explore more and more places. I also love that I don’t have any questions about him. I feel perfectly secure in our relationship and where it’s going. There’s something extra sweet about that, to feel that way with someone you are so excited about.
Alright, that does it for this edition of the Friday Five! Hope y’all liked it! I need to get y’alls category suggestions on Wednesday from now, hah! Sorry it took so long to get it up for you guys! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure to check back her throughout the weekend! You’ll be seeing a lot of new posts come up! Lots of content to share with you guys! Thanks for stopping by today, y’all! xo.