Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Life :: 2 Things I Wish I Knew at 22

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I was super honored when the talented Sarah Von Bargen of Yes and Yes asked me to participate in a blog crawl to help spread the word about The Post College Survival Kit. She asked me to share some advice that I would give my younger self, and to be honest, I thought I'd have a lot more to say. My 20s have been pretty rocky, but I don't think I would change anything. I wouldn't take back any of the mistakes I've made, because they've made me who I am, and I like me. I'm the type of person who needs to learn things the hard way, and even if I'd been given the following two pieces of advice, I probably wouldn't have listened.

But I hope you do, because they could save you money, time, and trouble. Unless you like getting into trouble, in which case, go do your thang. Here's me at 22 -- with family on my graduation day, and a few weeks later after getting my hair done. Blonde makes my nose look bigger, apparently. (No, that is not one my grand epiphanies, but I just noticed it and my mouth doesn't have much of a filter.) Moving on!

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1. It's okay if you don't know everything, but you should act on the things you do. There's so much pressure on young adults to graduate college, have it all figured out, and jump into a perfect life. No wonder we have such high expectations! Dream big, but go easy on yourself. It's good to plan for life, but life doesn't always go the way we plan. Therefore, it's totally fine if you're not sure about something. Sometimes it's good to just sit back and enjoy the ride. On the other hand, if something doesn't feel right, you totally have the power to change it. Don't let yourself get stuck with a job or boyfriend or city that isn't satisfying. This may all sound contradicting, but it's about balance. Do what you can with what you have, and go from there. Good things take time. Don't stress.

2. Stop feeling obligated, learn to say no, and live your own life. Growing up, I was always a people pleaser. I aimed to please my parents and teachers. When I got older, I switched my focus to making my friends and boyfriends happy. I hated the thought of hurting anyone's feelings and was constantly taking everyone (but me) into consideration. I totally forgot about my own needs while constantly striving to meet the needs of others. This caused me to be easily let down and taken advantage of. I wish I would've done more for myself but instead I allowed the fear of not being "nice" enough control me. But in 2011 I left my first full-time job, broke up with my long-term boyfriend and lost a bunch of friends. I was forced to become independent and take care of myself. I realized that I'd been missing out on so much self-love. The thing is, your friends, family, and significant other should want you to be happy, and therefore they should want you to think about yourself and do what's best for you. You don't need anyone's approval for anything. You're an adult now and it's about time you used that power!

Thanks for letting me share! You might also be interested in my pregnancy story, my business journey, or my e-book: 7 Steps to Living Loudly. Feel free to contact me about anything, anytime.

*Top photo provided by Sarah.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Look :: Maternity Photos / Griffith Park Romance

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Outfit details:
Sunglasses - Bonlook
Dress, flats - Target
Heart ring - gift from my sis
Silver bangles - gift from my mom
Gold bangles - InPink
Earrings, necklace, silver ring - Ann Taylor

We took 160 photos and this post started out with 20, so I'm pretty proud of myself for getting the set down to 7. Even though I loved them all, I didn't want to overwhelm you and it's also nice to put some aside specifically for our personal collection. Not everything needs to be shared on the internet.

However, I will tell you this: I felt less than good about myself that day. I wanted to get my hair and nails and eyebrows done, but it didn't happen. I also wanted to get a nicer dress, but this plain one was the only thing I could find that fit me. I was hot and swollen and cranky and, for once, didn't feel like being in front of the camera. Of course, we did the damn thing anyway, and I'm glad we did.

I'm not saying all this to complain, but rather, to let you in on what goes on behind-the-scenes sometimes. The internet is full of pretty pictures without stories, and sometimes it's comforting to know that the lives of others aren't as perfect as they seem. At the same time, I'm grateful for my life, and oh-so-happy that we got these shots. Brandon cares about pictures just as much as I care about cars (meaning, he doesn't give a shit) but he cares about me enough to do things like this.

What I'm trying to get at is, I didn't edit these at all. Not only is the golden light already beautiful, but I wanted to show you us in our natural state. I hope that, above all, the love we have for each other and our excitement for the coming months shines through.

*Photos by Michael Almeida on August 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Life :: A Few Announcements

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Hey, loves! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend. I wanted to pop in with a few announcements today before I take off into Babyland. I'm planning for my last post to be up this Wednesday but if you've been reading my pregnancy updates you'll know that we're expecting our little guy any day now, so who knows.

First off, I'm still accepting guest posts for both blogs, so if you'd like to submit one (or more!) please get them to me within the week. Photos need to be 624px wide and I normally like the html to already be set. Simply copy and paste into an email (mine is and you're good to go! If you have any questions about topics or other specifics, I'm all ears. Guest posting is a great way to promote yourself and network with other bloggers. You can see past guest posts here.

Speaking of networking, I put together my first-ever linkup on Friday and I'd love for you to participate! In my personal essay I ask, "How many times do you let someone hurt you before you bring it up? How many times do you bring it up before you let that person go? Is it possible to still love and forgive them, without having to stay friends?" Basically, I'm wondering -- how do you find a balance between being selfish and selfless? I'm really excited to read everyone's posts about friendship and love. Linkups are another way to connect with like-minded individuals. Some of my dearest friends were made through the blogosphere and one of my future goals is to cultivate more of a community on TLL.

This is also your last week to donate to my Indiegogo campaign. So far we've had 153 referrals and 676 visits! Thank you so much for helping me promote the Loudmouth movement!

And if you're wondering what's going to happen to my shop over the next few months, I've already cleared everything out except for my book, which will quietly get marked down while I'm on leave. The price will go back up to $20 once I return with a vengeance and the shop will be re-stocked as well. It's just not something that I can see myself keeping up with during this time.

Anytime you miss my online presence, feel free to peruse my list of greatest hits. I'll surely miss you all, and I plan to pop in at least once a week with an update! Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, too -- I finally have a new phone and tablet. Talk to you soon.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Links :: Favorite Posts / Weekly Roundup 15

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This is my last link roundup for 2014. Enjoy!

How to paint a French manicure with tape.

Three ways to wear a ponytail.

Five beauty products to use for the remainder of summer.

A candle made of unicorn puke? Of course I would want it.

Banana bread granola and a seeded banana loaf.

A new coffee shop I've got to explore.

The cutest DIY tea space.

A strawberry lemonade mocktail.

I love Julianna's coffee date series.

On the new and growing industry of apps.

You don't need a reason why you do what you want to do.

"Waiting, waiting, waiting. I could have been a professional wait-er. None of this is to say that I didn’t enjoy those seasons, or moments, or periods of my life. It’s just that it almost felt as though all of those stages had an expiration date, or a ticking clock attached to them. I know myself well enough to know that I don’t always do well with temporary. I’m a planner, a dreamer, a big picture thinker. Some say the grass is always greener on the other side, and for me, it was always greener in the next phase of life. I couldn’t wait for the next season, the next stage, the next wonderful part of my journey to begin. But here I am today, on my twenty-eighth birthday, and maybe for the first time in my whole life, I am waiting for nothing. I wouldn’t wish this day away for anything else in the world." More here.

How to stay out of debt, afford to travel, make money blogging, and file taxes.

On blogging to be terribly real.

I'm loving the Notes to my Younger Self blog crawl (my turn is coming soon)!

On blogging and not quitting (psst: it's really common to want to).

Are you applying this to all of your blog photos?

I liked crazy AshLee a little more when I found out that she has a blog.

"I follow people with seemingly perfect lives because I sickly enjoy it. I like to look at their edited lives and imagine how someday my edited life could be. I know some people get irritated with people who presumably present a better life than they might actually have in real life, but I can't help but admire it. Because as I've learned, it's hard work to fake a cool life, so hats off to those of you who have figured it out." More here.

On showing love before saying it.

The five people you should have in your support group.

Three ways to have a better attitude.

Change your what-ifs to I-woulds.

What do you do during your late nights?

"I am still valuable even when I don't earn money and I am still a feminist even when I value my relationship more than my career." More here.

Which type of sick patient are you? I act like #1 and #5, but I'm secretly #7 (sorry B).

I want our home to look like this. B says it's too neutral. (Again, sorries.)

Cute little gift card pockets. A DIY even I could do.

I hate to end on a low note, but it must be said that I didn't even know what was happening in Ferguson until I was linked to articles about it by two blogger friends of mine who, by the way, happen to be black. Why were my Twitter and Bloglovin' feeds filled Robin Williams quotes and ALS Ice Bucket challenges, but not this? As white people, are we afraid to speak up, or are we really that ignorant? Perhaps we just don't know what to say. It can't be because we don't care, because we do. I do...

*Photo found here.
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