Tips to Finding Happiness

Hi y’all,

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know I constantly have an ARF (Angry Resting Face). It’s also no secret that upper elementary, middle, and high school were not great times for me. I went to college where hardly anyone from my hometown went to school (and like 5 people including myself from my own high school). I did this on purpose.

I know that I’m very fortunate to have two loving and supportive parents, a pretty good family, a great job, and so much more.

All of that doesn’t guarantee a person happiness, though. Something I’ve noticed about myself in quarantine is that I actually feel happiness. I know this past school year I’ve felt more continuously happy.

Tips to finding happiness

I do not believe there is a 100% foolproof method to become happy. Everyone has their own chemical (aka hormonal) makeup, thus one formula is impossible. However, these are the things that I’ve found that help me find and stay happy.

  1. Be passionate about what you do on a daily basis. If you don’t like your jobs or your hobby is causing you stress-figure out what is stressful about it, and change it. This year, I got to spend the year teaching Language Arts and Social Studies, two things I’m passionate about. I also started blogging more, and was accepted and started my grad program. Yes, do I do a lot of things that take up time. The key is these things bring me happiness.
  2. Surround yourself with people who love you for you. I don’t play the game of being a fake friend. If I’m in your life it is because I genuinely care about you. I will never be the person who has 50 friends and I’m okay with that because the people I am friends with I dedicate so much more to.
  3. Set attainable goals. For a while, I was setting goals that while attainable, I was not really in control of them. Did I want to be accepted to grad school? Yes. However, I can put the best application before the committee and might not have gotten in. I had no control over what the committee was looking for. What if they had too many applicants for that semester? I’m focused on the goals I control.Tips to finding happiness (1)
  4. Self-care. This one is probably the hardest for me because I do so much all the time. However, by giving myself even 5 minutes a day, I noticed a huge change. I will listen to podcasts in the afternoon coming home from school, I found cycle classes to be enjoyable and started going to them regularly.
  5. Being authentic. I did a whole post about how influencers seem to be upping their unauthentic game. Everything I’ve been doing, whether it is school related, blog related, friendship related, or something else I am being 100% me. Have I also been authentic? Yes. Am I doing more unapologetically now? Yes.



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A Month of Spending | Quarantine

Hi y’all,

I’m sure like everyone else, my town has been relatively shut down for the past months (since March 13th).

I thought it would be fun and interesting to see what I spend in a month when I really wasn’t going anywhere. I pulled up all of my credit card statements (I don’t use cash ever) and took a look. Keep in mind I’m a teacher and in grad school, so my priority is saving money right now.

A Month of Spending in Quarentine

I’m going to try and organize this by date and since I’m doing a month, I figured I’d do it April 18-May 18th.

4/26-Kendra Scott     $82.55 (this is one of their sterling silver bracelets. On sale)

4/28 Hulu + Disney+ $12.99

4/29-Raising Cane’s $9.22 (lunch)

4/29 Loft  $91.24 (clothes)

5/10- Timberlake Pharmacy $5.84 (milkshake)

5/12-Apple $3.99 (book)

5/12- UVA $2400.00 (Summer Semester)

5/15 Lilly Pulitzer $192.07 (this was the date it was posted)

5/15 Erin McDermott Jewelry 44.76

Grand total: $2797.90 (without UVA tuition payment- $442.66)

Obviously, I’m not really driving anywhere so I didn’t have to buy gas this past month. I normally buy gas every week when teaching. Also, I only pay for 3 semesters a year at UVA so I actually break it down and put $800 toward school every month, so I did not really take $2400 out of one monthly paycheck. My UVA semester doesn’t even start until June 8th, but payment was due by the 18th so I made sure it was in early.

I’ve been working recently on saving money, so I wanted to share with you what this looked like.

Do y’all find yourselves saving more since Quarantine/Social Distancing started?



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Weekly Catch Up 5.16

Hi y’all,

I was thinking of ways that I could create a series and make sure y’all got to see some everyday life. This led me to the Weekly Catch Up. It’s essentially a coffee date, but I don’t drink coffee so I wanted it to be a little more realistic to my authentic life.

love and joy

This week I created my last assignments of the 2019-2020 school year! Wooo. I’m definitely going to miss this group of kids, but I still have them next week for two more read alouds and their virtual promotion ceremony. I’ll also get to see some when do belonging pick up (hopefully in June but could be later in the summer!). I also got to chat with one of my former teachers about something for the next school year. When I was in 6th grade we did Writing Workshop and I want to implement it in my classroom next year during our Writing block. Obviously, we don’t quite know what next year will look like yet (if it will be virtual or not) but I want to be prepared no matter what it will look like. Once I get the hang of Writing Workshop, I will definitely do an update post and let y’all know how it’s going.


I filmed a video going up on Tuesday! Y’all I can’t tell you how much I dislike my internet. It took 22 hours to upload the video and it’s only 12 minutes long. I guess most YouTubers have fiber internet where it’s super fast or live in major cities where they have max speed internet. Mine is horrible though.

I wrote out some blog posts:

Mother’s Day

Blogging Accounts You Need to Have

How Influencing Needs to Change

101 in 1001 List

and I also planned my June blog posts. As of right now, all I can say is June is going to have a lot of content going live!

I also went on more walks and started the process of cleaning my room. This has been super nice!

I also started the alumnae association for my sorority in my area. I’m so excited and I was elected as the President! I know it will be a lot of work, but this is something I’m so passionate about because sisterhood is not four years, but for life!

What have y’all be up to? Let’s chat!



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101 in 1001


Hi y’all,

I’ve done a few 101 in 1001 posts, and while I’ve accomplished a lot of things on them, I’ve never finished one. My goal for this one is to finish one, or at least be 90% done. This would mean accomplishing at least 91 items.

I’m starting this list on May 15, 2020 and 1001 days is February 10, 2023.

If you haven’t heard of one of these lists before, McKenzie Horan from design darling created this a while back. Here’s her latest list.

I like to break mine up into different categories just to keep it a little more organized.

Career/Grad School

  1. Graduate with my M. Ed in Reading from UVA.
  2. Walk the Lawn at UVA.
  3. Take and pass the RVE for Reading Specialists.
  4. Maintain straight A’s in Grad School.
  5. Apply for recertification for my teaching license.
  6. Keep a recommendation list of books for my classroom.
  7. School email to inbox 0.
  8. Fill out the FAFSA for Grad School.
  9. Create writing plans for 2020-2021 school year.
  10. Organize my classroom.
  11. Implement a lesson I normally wouldn’t.


  1. Create a list of 101 things.
  2. Get a puppy.
  3. Have a puppy play date.
  4. Train my puppy to sit.
  5. Train my puppy to stay.
  6. Train my puppy to shake.
  7. Buy a house.
  8. Buy a queen size bed.
  9. Buy a sofa.
  10. Save a specific amount of money for my house.
  11. Save $30,000.
  12. Save $35,000.
  13. Save $40,000.
  14. Save $45,000.
  15. Save $50,000.
  16. Save $55,000.
  17. Save $60,000.
  18. Read 53 books in a year.
  19. Take a vacation.
  20. Travel somewhere I’ve never been before.
  21. Visit London.
  22. Visit Harry Potter Studios near London.
  23. Visit Scotland.
  24. Complete a Beachbody program.
  25. Organize tax paperwork monthly.
  26. Clean out my closet.
  27. Try paddle boarding.
  28. Get my tshirt quilt made/make it myself.
  29. Keep to my monthly budget for three months.
  30. Reach inbox 0 (personal email).
  31. Unplug from technology for 24 hours.
  32. Go to ADPi Grand Convention.
  33. Visit my friend in Florida.
  34. Visit my friend in North Carolina.
  35. Visit my friend in Northern Virginia.
  36. Go to Polo.
  37. Watch a full baseball game.
  38. Watch a full hockey game.
  39. Go to a UVA Field Hockey game.
  40. Go to a UVA Lacrosse game.
  41. Take a day for myself.
  42. Go apple picking.
  43. Go kayaking with a friend.
  44. Buy myself flowers.
  45. Visit the beach.
  46. Have a Harry Potter movie marathon weekend.
  47. Workout with a friend.
  48. Go a month without shopping.
  49. Read 53 books in a year.
  50. Clean my room.
  51. Help create a solid Alumnae Association for my sorority in my hometown.
  52. Serve on the board of my Alumnae Association.
  53. Buy a new car.
  54. Brunch with friends.
  55. Cook dinner.
  56. Drink 60 oz. of water every day for a week.
  57. Log my volunteer hours for my sorority as an alumnae.
  58. Donate unused items from bathroom cleanout to the Shelter for Help in Emergency.
  59. Cleanout my bathroom.
  60. Deep clean my car.
  61. Take spin class at least once a week for a month.
  62. Go for a hike.
  63. Read every day for a month.
  64. Buy a new phone.
  65. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails.
  66. Read a book club book.
  67. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions.


  1. Make money blogging.
  2. Grow my Instagram following to a certain number of followers.
  3. Post YouTube videos twice a month.
  4. Reach a specific number of views in a month on my blog.
  5. Learn how to do graphic design.
  6. Blog 5 days a week for a month.
  7. Consistently post on Instagram for 30 days.
  8. Create a new blog series.
  9. Take a marketing class on skillshare.
  10. Publish a post about Charlottesville from a local’s perspective of places for visitors to check out.
  11. Publish a YouTube video about grad school at UVA.
  12. Do a post about what I spend in a month.
  13. Earn 50 YouTube subscribers.
  14. Earn 100 YouTube subscribers.
  15. Create a Thankful List post.
  16. Create a Favorite Products post.
  17. Write a post about my religious beliefs.
  18. Do a post/video on my “teacher makeup”.
  19. Do a post on Greek Life from the alumnae perspective.
  20. See my blog grow analytically.
  21. Reach my blog view goals for 3 months.
  22. Reach my blog view goals for 6 months.
  23. Create a media kit.



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Influencing Needs to Change

Hi y’all,

I have had something weighing on my heart lately, especially with COVID-19 going on and so many people affected financially.

I’ve noticed a trend, especially recently amongst influencers/bloggers. The trend I’ve been seeing is influencers, no matter the medium in which they connect with others, are taking every sponsorship and partnership that is coming their way.

Let's Change Influencing (1).png

I know that they probably receive hundreds, if not thousands, of offers they refuse every month. However, when someone reads multiple blogs by different people, and they are all promoting the same exact product, and using almost the same exact words, it seems…fake.

Last week, I was watching Youtube, and a video popped up. It was about a woman who had previously worked with a company…the one time she gave suggestions on how to better their product they dropped her. This is ridiculous. Every company should be able to handle criticism because it will come! It does not matter how perfect the company is, there will be mistakes and people will find something to nitpick at. Every item cannot be perfect or something every single person will love. This is okay. What is not okay, is pretending that it is.

I have worked in retail for at least 5 years, and never once did I have an entire store of perfectly fitting items. There was always something that could have been better, and I make sure to give suggestions based on fit to customers.

Have you noticed that when products are sent to influencers, you will typically see the same product over and over again, even if they offer different things? It’s because those are the best fitting items. I have no problem with this, but influencers really need to try a sample of every product, not just a select few items that the brand already knows will do well.

To me, the worst part of all of this is that these people constantly say “I don’t promote anything I don’t personally love”. Okay, I get that you try (or at least hope that you try) all products you promote on your blog, Instagram, YouTube channel, etc. However, if you only mention the product or brand one or two times, that makes it look really suspicious that you are only there to promote the brand.

If you didn’t know, since J.Crew filed for bankruptcy protection, they have cancelled their influencer program. This means that any products from J.Crew that an influcer shares, they are not receiving any compensation for. There have already been influencers who have said they will no longer share J.Crew product for the sole fact that they are not going to make money or receive any other compensation (most likely product).

Let's Change Influencing.png

I get that these people are trying to make an income, and these sponsorships and partnerships are the best way to make money. However, is it worth it to promote a brand or product that is not the best, simply because they’re paying you?

Yes, influencers legally have to disclose if they are being compensated with product or money. They also have to say if it is their honest opinion. If every single product that is promoted is “the best thing ever”, at some point readers/viewers are going to stop believing that influencer.

Like any blogger, I have dreams of brands I would love to work with. If I start working with every single brand just to build myself up, I know I’ll feel like a sell-out. I know I cannot control what other people do, but I am making a promise to y’all, that I will never take a sponsorship or partnership just to make some money. Everything you will find here is going to be authentic.

There are also influencers that are doing group giveaways. I know that these influencers could probably not afford (at least not feasibly) to give away a Peloton-or 8 of them in a week unless they did it with a group of people. However, this is still “buying” likes, followers, etc. Loop giveaways and these group giveaways are essentially the same thing. I know so many people who just unfollow everyone when the giveaway is over because they weren’t interested in following the people in the first place. This is still “buying followers”, and to me, is unethical. It’s also not beneficial to grow your following for a week or so, and then lose all those people just because of a giveaway. I’m not even sure I would feel differently about this if those followers stayed even after the giveaway ended.

Now, you can probably tell that most of my concerns with influencers are based on followers and authenticity. That’s true and that leads me to my last points. Be authentically you.

I feel like so many of these influencers are just playing with trends, instead of being themselves. I see so many posts on Instagram and on blogs where they are overly promoting some new trend, and then they quickly move onto the next one. This is not worth it! I want to know who you are as a person and see the same things that are consistent. I understand that people change and find new interests, but I do not understand picking one trend after another to “commit to” just to make some money or gain popularity.

The last thing that really bothers me is how perfect these influencers feel they need to be. It is rare to find someone who is willing to be on camera without makeup, real wake ups, etc. I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t sleep in a face full of makeup or look perfect every second of the day. I understand they are only sharing a snippet of their day; however, influencers can show us reality. I definitely would only think more of the influencer if they showed us who their authentic self.

On the flip side, these influencers get comments from internet trolls and people can be really rude when they show their authentic self. We have to stop allowing this behavior, if you’re one of those people that leaves rude messages to people, act as if the influencer will see it. Would you still post it? No? Then don’t send it. These influencers could (and probably would) be more authentic if people let them be who they are without criticizing their every move.

Let's Change Influencing (2)

To the influencers that have stayed true to themselves and their brand, thank you! You are the influencers that people will continue to connect with and continue to follow. You are truly appreciated. You are rare, and a true inspiration to others around you.

Am I saying that influencers cannot provide promotional links and things like that? Abolsutely not! They are a huge asset for businesses. I’m just asking they actually use and care about the products they are mentioning and promoting to the public. Don’t just promote something for the sake of a paycheck. Don’t do giveaways to gain fake followers. Promote a product because you love it, not because you’re paid for it. Be authentically you. Also, please keep doing giveaways! People love them (me too!) but don’t do them for the sake of fake followers.



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Influencing Needs to Change appeared first on


Shop Local: Cheatham Snail Mail

Hi y’all,

Today is another Shop Local post! Snail Mail is a family owned card business in Rockville, Va. The owner, Carrie, and I actually go all the way back to high school. We played field hockey for our respective high schools, and played together in a summer league the summer before senior year.

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 4.57.54 PM
Shop Local with Snail Mail!

Carrie ended up going to Randolph Macon College to play, and ended up meeting her husband!

They currently live in a beautiful 1940s home that they’re restoring with their pups and chickens.

Carrie is super passionate about serving others, and she incorporates this into her business. Every quarter, she picks a non-profit that supports immigrants for a percentage of her sales to benefit.

You can find her cards in several businesses throughout Virginia, including in Richmond and Orange.

All of her cards are hand-drawn and painted. They’re absolutely gorgeous! During the holidays this past year, she introduced handcrafted ornaments. You can order a custom family portrait, too!

Beautiful Cards

Cards start at about $6, but you can currently get a set of 6 for $30 (aka one free card) with the code BUY6 when you check out.

Carrie is the artist behind every single piece and these cards and other artisan products are a great way to continue communicating and helping others!

Her website is



If you have a small business you would like to share with me, let me know by leaving a comment below!



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This post is not sponsored in any way, I simply want to share small, locally owned businesses and the good they are doing in the world during this time.

Fitness, lifestyle

Top Tips to Handle Anxiety During Social Distancing

Hi y’all,

Happy Wednesday! We’re halfway through another week.

Staying inside or away from other people is often not easy. Humans are meant to be social, even if you’re an introvert (like me!). This might mean that right now you have more anxiety than you normally would.


  1. Read a book-take some time and slip away into another world. You can check out this post for some suggestions on inexpensive/free books!


  1. Go for a walk/run. Even though some trails, school tracks, and gyms are closed, you can still go for a walk or run around the neighborhood, city streets, etc.


  1. Even if you just have some cans of beans, do some simple weight lifting moves-squats, lunges, bicep curls, etc. Any form of exercise naturally gives you endorphins and endorphins are the hormone/chemical in your body that leads to natural happiness.


  1. Take some time and journal about what is making you anxious. It can really help to write it down because you might just go “wow, this is nothing”.


  1. Watch an uplifting youtuber or tv show. I’ve been loving Gretchen Geraghy and Gracie O’Connor. I have also kept the Harry Potter movies going constantly. Yes, Harry Potter can be very dark/dramatic, but it overall has very positive themes.


  1. Draw/Color. Google color pages, print it off, and color! Coloring is proven to reduce anxiety and stress. There are even apps for it on your phone.


  1. Plant a garden. If you can order plants via the phone and do a safe pick up, take the time to plant a garden! Not only will it help you in the moment, but will last for months to come as the plants bring happiness and fulfillment as they grow! My succulent terrarium has now been successfully alive for 4 weeks and they bring me so much happiness. While 4 weeks might not seem like a lot, I don’t have a green thumb and this is actually really impressive for me.


  1. Organize! Especially with COVID-19 going on, a lot of things are out of our individual control. Take control of what you can, and organize where you live! You can find some tips here.


  1. Cook or bake. Find a new recipe and try it out! You’ll find that your concentrating more on what you’re making compared to what makes you feel anxious.


  1. Talk to a friend. Pick up the phone, set up a Zoom call, etc. and make a human connection with a friend. As a teacher, I have read aloud twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday), but I then have additional meetings scattered throughout the week. Those interactions help so much! I also make sure to text my two best friends at least once a day. Even if they don’t reply that day (which happens a lot-they’re both super busy working in the healthcare industry right now), it still makes me feel better.


  1. “Window” shop online. Take a break and browse your favorite retailers’ websites. You don’t have to buy anything (if it’s tempting, put it in your cart, close out the browser-if you’re still thinking about it/it’s still available the next time you visit the site, buy it then). FYI, some retailers are not updating or releasing new items right now because of restrictions on shipping.


  1. Start a new hobby! Wanted to start a blog? Wanted to start writing a book? Youtube channel? Now is a great time to get started! I have a trial to skillshare, so I’m going to take some classes there before my Summer Term for grad school starts. Skillshare is a website where you can take different classes on different skills-like Search Engine Optimization, video editing, photo editing, etc. There are even classes on embroidery! This blog post is not sponsored, I just wanted to share about Skillshare in case you wanted to learn a new skill with a 2 month free trial!


  1. Have a movie marathon. Pick your favorite series of movies (like Harry Potter) and spend some time just watching them all!


  1. Do yoga. There are a ton of great yoga options on Youtube and a lot of local studios are offering virtual classes. You can also try meditating. There are a ton of great meditation apps.


  1. Spend time outside. Put on some sunscreen (no joke, I’ve already had my first sunburn of the year) and spend some time outside. You can workout outside, read your book outside, or just sit outside and enjoy nature.


There are also some great tele-therapy services going on right now, many of which accept insurance!

I do want to check in with y’all! How are y’all doing?



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