Finding Your Place of Rest

Finding Your Place of Rest

Hello! Got some Monday motivation comin’ at you on a Tuesday because after a Labor Day Weekend, Tuesdays are Mondays. Mr. M and I spent 18 hours in a car this weekend which meant we got in some major quality time. I only snapped once towards the end when I was tired, grumpy, and craving some flamin’ hot cheetos. It was great, though, because I got to listen to the entire album of Hamitlon, Wicked, and Something Rotten and he only complained once. . . about Hamilton because it’s 48,000 tracks long. We also got to ask each other some roadtrip questions and learned some new things about each other! My personal favorite question was “What song could you listen to on repeat for 8 hours straight?”

After spending an amazing weekend with Erica and her husband Jamie, exploring Philly and eating the best food, I’m gearing up for a full week. Even 3 day weekends still require some recovery time, so I’m pushing for a 4 day weekend. Who’s with me?

Finding Your Place of Rest

When I get really stressed out and overwhelmed, I find myself saying anytime I break down, “I’m just so tired. I’m so exhausted.”

It’s not exactly that I need a nap, but I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. What I need is rest.

Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m not the best at rest. I’m the type of person who struggles to relax when there are things that need to be done. Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sure this sounds a lot different from the girl who you grounded because I spent my time reading instead of doing my chores. Look! You raised me well!

The caveat to this “not being able to rest” thing is Netflix. I can Netflix binge surrounded by mountains of laundry, not because I’m resting but because I’m pacifying myself and avoiding my responsibilities.

The busier I get, the more I realize how vital rest is.

I’m entering into my busiest work season where I will be on the go and traveling quite a bit. At the end of October I usually crumble onto the couch in tears with a pint of ice cream. It’s during this season where I most need rest but I don’t always get the type of rest that I need. So I have to find rest on the go.

Resting on the go is a matter of finding the mental space to rest and reset. While  I would much rather have time to actually rest, we don’t always get what we want, so we have to work with what we got.

Finding Your Place of Rest

Surround Yourself with Encouragement

On my desk at work I have a sticky note that I put up 2 years ago. It’s a Scripture note that says “My Presence will go with you and I will give you REST.” (Exodus 33:14) It’s the perfect reminder that first of all, I am not alone. Secondly, I don’t have to strive by myself. When I find myself dependent and resting on God, I find that I can carry rest with  me throughout my day.

Finding  Your Place of Rest

Make the Most of Your Morning

Since I got back from our amazing mini vacation last month, I’ve made some lifestyle changes. I don’t wait until the last minute to get up anymore. On a good day, I wake up early, sit on the couch in my robe with my coffee and read my Bible and journal. On a late day, I wake up earlier than I used to and spend time getting ready for the day. I can’t believe it’s taken me 2 years in the working world to realize what a precious commodity slow mornings are.

Stay Blue

OK don’t actually stay blue in your mood, but surround yourself with blue things. As an adult, my favorite color has switched from purple to blue. I love the blue walls in our house, my blue planner, my blue pens – you get the picture. I found out a couple months ago that blue is a relaxing color. It all makes sense. I used to keep a picture of Santorini, Greece that I found on Pinterest as my desktop background in college because it was so soothing. Go figure, it’s blue.

Take Care of Your Body

When we hear “take care of your body,” we often think, “eat right and work out.” We need to do both, but we also need to take care of our skin. As soon as I got home last night, I loaded the bathtub with bubbles, lit my candle, carried with me a bowl of watermelon, and enjoyed a nice soak with my good friend, Jane the Virgin. (You guys, the screenwriting for this show. . . but that’s a tale for another day.) After my bubble bath, I lit candles in our bedroom, put on a face mask, and proceeded to put away laundry. Even though I was doing a chore, I felt completely relaxed because I had taken care of my body for the evening. New rule for myself? Once a week bubble bath and face mask.

Take a Nap

I am SO bad at this one. If I take a nap, it’s usually accidental and it’s because I am truly exhausted. But you should do as I say and not as I do. There are studies that show napping is actually pretty good for you, as long as you stay within the 30-40 minute range. When I was in college I would take deep naps and wake up with a nap hangover, proving myself to be completely unproductive and useless the rest of the day.

Do Something for YOU

We women are so bad at doing things for ourselves, especially those of us who are married and those of you who have kids. Our minds are constantly running with to-do lists and errands and everyone else’s problems. At the end of the day, we realize we haven’t taken one moment for ourselves.

Things to Do for YOU:

Work out
Read a book
Go on a walk
Journal
Take a bubble bath
Sign up for a Zumba class

Do whatever it is that makes YOU happy – even for just 20-30 minutes a day. When you find that you’ve taken time to be still and rest even when your life is running in circles around you, you will find that you are a lot happier and nicer of a person. I know that I am.

What are some things you like to do to find rest on the go?

 

3 Steps to Revamp Your About Me

3 Steps to Revamp Your About Me

At our staff retreat the other day, we played a game called Snowballs.

The objection of Snowballs is to figure out who wrote what. It’s like the Game of the Things, but more personal. Everyone writes down 1-3 things on separate pieces of paper and then crumples it up into a snowball. You then go around and guess who wrote what. Some things were obvious, and some obscure. The obscure ones are always my favorite because you are usually surprised and shocked about how much you don’t know about someone.

“About Me” sections are like Snowballs. Your “About Me” gives your reader a reason to continue to peruse your site after they make initial contact. It’s like an elongated Tinder profile. Your “About Me” gives your readers a first impression of who you are, and why you need to become best friends. And because I want to be best friends with everyone (my husband tells me this is impossible,) I finally took the plunge and updated my “About Me” section.

Updating your “About Me” can be a daunting task. On one hand, you want it to be authentic and show the real you. But you also want to be professional.

3 Steps to Revamp Your About MeAdd heading

Do Your Research

Before I updated my “About Me,” I looked at other blogs. I checked out bloggers who had the same niche and objective I had. I checked out bloggers who were killin’ it in the business and whose “About Me” sections meant business.

Tiffany from Endless Bliss has a killer about me section, but instead of saying “About Me,” her tab says “My Story.” The drop down menu then shows her 30×30 and where she’s published. Not only do you get to know about her through her 30×30, you get to know about her writing style and her work.

Summer from Coffee With Summer‘s “About Me” section draws you in because instead of saying “About Me,” it says “Start here!” Because let’s be real, as lifestyle bloggers, we do talk about ourselves a little. In a sense, our whole blog is an about me section. Summer tells her readers first what her blog is about, and then who she is.

In addition to reading bloggers’ “About Me” section, I also consulted Pinterest. Pinterest is my go-to resource for almost everything because it is essentially a wealth of knowledge from bloggers for bloggers.

I typed in “About Me” in the search bar then read and pinned what I found to be the most helpful guides. You can peruse those pins on my blogging board here:

 

 

Make Your Mission Statement

One of the many things my husband excels in is intentionality. He lives with intention, and every action step he takes is purposeful. Mr. M has a mission statement for his life, he had a purpose in dating, he knew what kind of woman he wanted to marry (somehow I made all the qualifications), and now we have a mission statement for our marriage.

I have not always been this type. I’m more the “Go with your Gut” kinda gal because I believe my conscience and gut know what to do. But sometimes your gut is wrong, which is why you need a mission statement. Yesterday I sat down and figured out my mission statement for my life – or purpose, if you will.

Once I knew my mission statement for my life, I knew in what direction I wanted Hugs & Lattes to go.

3 Steps to Revamp Your About Me

Hugs & Lattes’ Mission

My desire is to propel women into their identity by empowering them to be strong, and confident women. Hugs & Lattes is my way to reach beyond my small community.

As such, Hugs & Lattes is a lifestyle blog that seeks to empower women to become confident in their identity, their relationship with faith, and their relationship with others.

Knowing my mission statement allowed me to focus my writing. Thanks to my mission statement, I knew what I wanted to write about:

Faith and Relationships

When I knew what I wanted to write about, I was able to become more disciplined in my schedule. Readers may notice if they click on my page on a Monday, they will find a faith-related/inspirational post.

If you mosey on over to Hugs & Lattes on a Friday, you will mostly find posts on relationships. My original objective was to hone in on marriage and dating relationships, but I am finding the desire to expand into relationships with anybody. 

And because I cannot confine myself to a box completely, I left Wednesdays open for whatever it is on my heart I desire to write about. This gives me the freedom to just be me. If I want to write about coffee, I’ll write about coffee.

If you show up on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday and there are no posts to be found, then you can just assume I chose to snuggle with my husband instead of typing away one night.

3 Steps to Revamp Your About Me

Update Your Head Shots 

This one isn’t a have to, but it sure is fun. I took head shots when I first transitioned The Grand Adventures of Me over to Hugs & Lattes two summers ago. Well, in 2 years I chopped my hair off and gained 15 pounds of post-grad/marriage weight, so I knew it was time for some updated head shots.

I read somewhere that whenever you drastically change your hair, you should update your head shots. Unfortunately I took my head shots a month ago, before I drastically changed my hair. I am not retaking head shots. I’ll just grow my hair back out. Ha!

3 Steps to Revamp Your About Me

Bonus Step

Always be on the lookout for revisions.

My mission statement for Hugs & Lattes is only a working mission statement. It’s a working mission statement from 2 years ago. As you grow and as your blog goes, your mission may morph, and that’s okay.

What is important is that you stay true to you.

PHEW. OK now that you read all that. . . tell me – what do you think?

How often do you change your “About Me?”

What is your favorite part about your “About Me” section?

Adventures in July

Adventures in July

Remember when I told you that July was the first month Mr. M and I have spent in over a year not traveling anywhere?

Well, I lied.

Or I forgot, rather.

It wasn’t until I was looking over the month of July in my planner that I realized we drove to 3 states all in one weekend to celebrate love (a wedding) and family (a quick family getaway.)

To top that off, we had cousins come in town one weekend in July and we went to Asheville, NC for a day trip.

One day maybe we’ll spend an entire month located in one place. But this isn’t the day.

July felt like it was 10 miles long, so I’m quite excited to see August greeting us with cooler breezes and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and notebooks. The schools in the area all start back this week, so I have the itch to go out and buy a new pack of pens just to join in the fun.

A Wedding in the Storm

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To start off July, we ventured over to Gatlinburg and drove all around windy roads to the tippy top of a mountain for a gorgeous wedding with gorgeous views. It was my first outside wedding during a thunderstorm, but thankfully it didn’t rain too hard and the thunder only rumbled ominously from afar. But hey, at least they got gorgeous ceremony pictures because everyone says the gray skies are better for photos than the sunshine. I loved getting to wear this gorgeous Zimbabwean print skirt that my MIL gifted me for my birthday last year.

3 States, 1 Weekend

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After we went to Gatlinburg, we ventured up another windy mountain to stay in a hostel with both of our families. This was the first time Mr. M’s family and my family has spent an extensive amount of time together. My dad found a hostel on air bnb that fit both of our big families for a fun weekend. It was so cool to see our families come together and love on each other, laugh with each other, and get to know each other better. We spent one of the days in Abingdon, VA riding 17 (of the 34!) miles of the Creeper Trail – a gorgeous bike trail with tree canopies lining your way. We’re lazy, so we only did half the trail. But boy, was my booty hurting by the end of those 17 miles. It was so relaxing to let go and enjoy nature. Also, trying to take the above picture was a tidbit dangerous.

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

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Except we did go chasing waterfalls and it was a blast. Mr. M made us be adventurous one Monday evening – a Monday evening of all evenings! – and find a waterfall with friends. Thankfully, the waterfall required 0 hiking effort, so we quickly climbed down the trail and spent a frigid evening splashing and playing in the water.

Asheville

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When we had cousins come in town for a weekend of fun, we took them to my favorite fun place: Asheville. Here’s a picture of me standing next to a door. Because bloggers do weird ish.

We ate at a delicious creperie where I tried goat cheese, duck sausage crepe and I probably won’t try it again. We did our usual thing, eat, go to a bookstore, and get chocolate at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, where I tried a new fav – an affogato. Because what doesn’t say YAY like putting ice cream in your espresso shot.

July was a great month to rest, relax, and still go on a couple of adventures. Like always, this is the highlight reel. If you want to know what happened on the pages in between, I’ll tell you. But it wasn’t pretty. There was a lot of laundry, a lot of Netflix, and a few emotional breakdowns because that’s just how I roll.

Tell me, what was your favorite thing about July? 

Links You’ll Love

Links You'll Life

Somedays it’s hard to wake up and love who we are. Why is that? This Warrior Queen launched an e-course on self-love and now she’s selling an e-book!! Join her as we all embark on this self-love journey.

Did you know that you can do a lot of things in just 10 minutes (for instance, two 10 minute periods = one episode of The Office)? It Starts With Coffee brings us 25 Things You can Accomplish in just 10 minutes!

Kids say the darndest things, and these Thanksgiving posts are adorable!

Tomorrow I am roasting a turkey for the very first time. Pai & I are hosting Friendsgiving tomorrow and I’m excited/nervous and I really hope Pai gets the giblets out of the turkey’s. . . *ahem and not me. He says I have to do it too. But let’s face it. Who’s actually going to do it? (Pai. The answer is Pai.)

If you need me, I’ll be researching how to roast a turkey.

The Little Black Dress Playlist

Yesterday I was inspired by The Office to dance it out to some Chris Brown, so here are some (more) old school songs that made my little teenage heart wild with the dancing fever:

Run It – – Remember when Chris Brown was only 16 and already made an album and wasn’t that bleach haired guy who hit Rhianna?

Kiss Kiss – – Helluurrr C Brown and T Pain; I remember dancing to this at a birthday party when I was 15. Incidentally this guy tried to kiss me at this same party and I was totally eeked out.

Forever – – Remember that Youtube video where everyone danced down the aisle and the The Office did the same? I wonder if we can bring that back . . .

 

 

How Many is too Many #Hashtags?

How many is too many hashtags

I’ve become that instagrammer I hate.

The Grammer I loathed.

I’ve even shortened it to “grammer.” Like Andy Grammer. But I’m feelin really good right about now (see what I did there?)

I’ve jumped on the hashtag train. After reading so many “How to Grow Your Followers!” blogs, I’ve fallen into the trap of a lot of hashtags. I blame this Instagram challenge.

Actually I blame a lot of Instagram challenges.

Two springs ago I got the chance to hold The Blog Baton (does anyone hold this anymore?) and that was the day I started caring about my Instagram photos. I had to post around 6 photos that day, so I spent the day planning it out and I was so excited when the names turned into numbers. This was when it all went downhill.

I remember – I was so proud of this photo. In particular, my hair. I was training for a half and considering giving up shampoo for the No ‘Poo Diet and so this little baby became my best friend. Here we are, 2 years later and I still love dry shampoo more than real shampoo.

Hashtag

And then Helene in Between introduced the 30 Photos in Between Blog Challenge. I took it upon my blogging & Instagram yoke to find pretty colors for pretty prompts.

I think this was my best one for that challenge and I still LOVE how the colors pop.

Hashtag

The 30 Photos in Between Blog Challenge went so well that she launched the 31 Photos in Between Blog Challenge in July and once again, I kept a look out for something pretty.

Hashtag

Of course I was ALL over that basicness with The Daily Tay. I’m a little said I didn’t win, because basically I am basic. Daily.

Hashtag

So when Sarah from Plucky in Love and Mackensie from One to Nothin emailed us about the new Plucky to Nothing Instagram Challenge, I stepped up. Except this time, I added hashtags. So rather than finding the perfect photo for the perfect prompt, I tested out what everyone said: “HASHTAGS HASHTAGS HASHTAGS.” I became the Instagrammer I despised. But now I can’t reform. In just half a month, I have seen my Instagram following grow! I wouldn’t say “exponentially,” but I’m falling in love with hashtags because it’s a great way to engage with other Instagrammers (bloggers) with like-minded photos.

Hashtag

I used Venus Trapped in Mars’ post about which hashtags are the best hashtags, and the results have been golden.

Needless to say, I’m excited to participate in Helene in Between and The Daily Tay’s new Instagram challenge My Holiday Spark. Maybe we’ll find another picture like this this holiday season, eh? 😉

Hashtag

What is your take on hashtags? Tell me in the comments!!