In Bloom: A Reflection on a Season of Growth

Hello my precious little corner of the intranet, I’ve missed you so much! I’ve returned from [yet another] much needed hiatus. No matter how much content I have planned or ideas I put to paper, every year I find that I need a bit of a break from the world of blogging and social media.

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Blogging has always been a creative outlet for me and a huge passion, but in the last few months, I lost the drive and passion I had for it. It honestly started to feel like a second job, and that was NEVER my intention. I found myself questioning my writing, and consistently worrying about what my people thought and if I was being judged (ridiculous I know). More often than not, we as humans have a tendency to allow fear to control us. It’s so easy to fall into the comparison game with other bloggers, especially since we only use social media as a highlight reel, as opposed to us showing what’s really going on in our lives. Truth be told, everyone has highs and lows, and sometimes the lows outweigh the highs. As Epictetus reminds us, it’s all in the way that we handle what life throws at us that makes all the difference.

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters”

– Epictetus

This year has been a whirlwind of activity so far with an abundance of change that has affected me exponentially. It’s only proper that I take advantage of the season and use the metaphor of spring to reflect on these last few months. You see, I used to loathe change; the very thought of it would make my stomach turn and my anxiety skyrocket. However, in the last few years, I’ve learned to embrace it: without change, we would never learn and grow into the people we are meant to be.

A quick recap on the last couple months

It’s been a minute since I’ve had a chance to sit down and really hash out what has been going on. Life has been moving so quickly lately that I feel as though I really haven’t had a second to catch my breath. There are a number of things that have taken place this year that are not so great, but I’m not going to focus on that right now. I have two HUGE changes in my life that I could not be more elated about that I’m so excited to share with you guys:

I got a promotion! Nearly three years into my first post-grad job, I got my first promotion to Brand & Events Coordinator. This came a couple weeks before our biggest show of the year, which was a bit daunting, but long story short, we rocked it and I’m incredibly proud of myself! I’ve been working a lot more lately because of the promotion, but I feel as though it’s instilled a new sense of confidence in me professionally. I have so many ideas and tactics that I can’t wait to share in the work place!

I’m no longer in a long distance relationship! My boyfriend is officially home for good after four long years and my heart is so full. It’s a bit of an adjustment (in the best way) figuring out how to actually date again, but in the last month, I’d say that we’ve adjusted quite nicely. We’ve both grown so much these last four years both as individuals and in our relationship so I’m excited to see where this next chapter of our relationship takes us.

Lessons Learned

The biggest takeaway from this is to give myself a break every now and then // On my recent work trip to Chicago for our biggest trade show of the year, my sinuses got the best of me and I was SO SICK come day two of the show. Five days later, I was getting ready to hop on a plane to come back home and it was not letting up whatsoever, and it didn’t help that I dove right back into work a brief 24 hours after touching down. My body was in desperate need of some R&R. That long weekend, I allowed myself to have a couple lazy days to sleep and recuperate. Let me tell you, that was the BEST decision I had made in a long time. The following Tuesday, I was feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and so much better!

Prioritize your time // With my new promotion, I’ve taken on many new responsibilities, and I noticed pretty early on that if I don’t prioritize my time wisely, NOTHING goes as planned and you’ll be asking for extensions on your deadlines. This also goes for life outside of work; I was making time for friends, family, Ryan, working out and staying on top of the few tv shows I have in my rotation, but I was going without making time for my blog and other projects that fuel my fire.

Unplug // There’s a reason why every single mental health article tells you to unplug every now and then, it WORKS! I have a difficult time turning my brain off in order to sleep — especially with so much going on lately. I’ve discovered that unplugging for at least an hour before bed helps me sleep soundly.

What and whom to give my energy to // This has been a long time coming. I’ve found that I get so wrapped up in certain aspects in life that don’t matter and aren’t worth my time nor energy. I recently read the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson and — let me tell you — this book has totally changed my perspective on so many facets of life. One of my biggest takeaways from the book was choosing my battles and stripping away all of the bs to live my best, most unapologetic life. Manson presents a hilariously vulgar tough love approach to creating self-awareness and learning about what matters most in life. This book has been sitting on my “to-read” shelf for years, and now I wish I would have had the opportunity to read it at a younger age. I highly recommend this book to everyone! 

-K.

Week In Review, Vol. IV

Week In Review, Vol. IV

Hey hey hey! It’s been a minute since my last update, and life has been crazy lately so it’s time for a quick review of what’s been happening on my side of town. Since my quick trip to Vegas last month, I’ve been on hiatus with blogging since life happens; however, this is all starting to turn around this week. Life is slowing down a bit, the holiday season is upon us, and I could not be more thrilled! I love the holidays. Yes, I’m 100% that person that starts drinking peppermint mochas and listening to Christmas music right after Halloween NO SHAME! I digress, let’s dive into the recap, shall we?

Me and my guy after the wedding festivities in the Flamingo Garden

Vegas Recap: In early October, Ryan and I took a brief trip to Las Vegas for his friend’s wedding. When I say brief, I mean VERY brief…  like less than 48 hours brief. Anywho, despite it being super quick we had so much fun! Honestly, I never had a desire to go to Vegas, but we had so much fun in such a short amount of time that we cannot wait to return next year for my best friend’s bachelorette party. We stayed at the Flamingo, which is also where we spent most of our time in the casino, but  I was bummed that we didn’t get to see much of the strip on foot, though I did get to visit the Venetian while I waited for Ry to arrive, which was super cool and slightly trippy. Once he arrived, we all headed to Fremont Street (aka Old Las Vegas) for the evening. Since it was a Sunday night there was not a ton going on, but we enjoyed two of the outdoor concerts taking place. Our last adventure of the trip was ziplining from the roof of the Rio Hotel 500 feet above Vegas. If you know me, you know that I HATE heights! It ended up being an extraordinary experience, but one that I’m fine only doing once. If you have any recommendations of things we should see or do on our next trip to Vegas, leave a comment below!

Quick Reads:

What I’m Reading: A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

What I’m Watching: Manifest

What I’m Listening To:

Baby // Clean Bandit, Marina & the Diamonds, and Luis Fonsi

Without Me // Halsey

Speechless // Dan + Shay

Burning Man // Dierks Bentley & Brothers Osborne

Lover, Leaver // Greta Van Fleet

Higher // Social House

Mona Lisa // Lil Wayne & Kendrick Lamar

Close to Me // Ellie Goulding,   

Recent Purchases:

  • I just ordered these adorable leopard print flats from James Ascher and I’m hoping to get in a few wears with them before the snow falls!
  • Also ordered from James Ascher is the navy and orange Window Pane Open Front Shawl Jacket. The link was removed from the website, but you can see it in my Instagram fashion highlight!
  • I also recently purchased these Ellie Chelsea boots from Target for only $30 to replace my favorite Ralph Lauren booties (RIP) and I’m obsessed. I try to not spend a ton of money on boots for the mere fact that Michigan winters can be pretty gnarly and the sidewalk salt can destroy boots.
  • Finally, I purchased a Quip toothbrush. I’ve had my eye on it for a while, and have heard nothing but good things about the brand so I’m excited to see if it makes a difference. What really drew me to it was the price; it’s super affordable compared to other electric toothbrushes.

Latest Fashion Picks:

  • It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of layering, and this tweed coat from J. Crew would be the perfect top layer as the cold weather rolls in. Plus, tweed is always in style.
  • Believe it or not, my mom actually just picked up a pair of these Faux-Suede Stevie Pants from Old Navy and I want them in every color. Not only are they comfy, but they can be dressed up or down for most occasions.

Looking Ahead: In October, I fell off the workout wagon, so I’ve gotten back on the workout grind with some at home Pilates exercises. That being said, I plan on putting together a health/fitness post about the plan I’m sticking to for the next year, that will most likely come out in early January in lieu of my 2019 goals post. I also am excited to have the next week off of work for the Thanksgiving holiday, which will give me plenty of time to crank out some fun content I have for the blog through the end of the year! 

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

-K.

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Big Announcement

I have been teasing you all about a big announcement for a few months now, and it’s finally time for me to tell you all the big news… 

SURPRISE! I REBRANDED!! 

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The new logo

I know what you guys are thinking… “okay, Kourtney, but didn’t you just rebrand a few years ago?” The answer is yes, yes I did; however, one thing I love about blogging is that blogs aren’t meant to remain stagnant – a blog grows and changes with its author. When I previously rebranded, I was fresh out of college, and didn’t really have a good grasp on what a brand consisted of. Since one of my responsibilities at work is managing our brand and taking a few classes, I now have a better understanding of what brand management entails. 

I’ve always thought of this blog as an extension of myself and my creative outlet. Truth be told, I’ve been feeling as though my blog has been missing something, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. This in turn made me feel as though I wasn’t being 100% true to myself and that was being reflected in my blog. I cannot stress enough how much I adore solely writing about topics that I’m passionate about, and being able to connect with my readers on a personal level. That being said, I felt as though a change needed to be made and, thus, a new brand was born!

I’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to Katelyn at Driftwood and Daisies for taking on this project with me, and sharing her AMAZING design work!

Stay tuned for a new look coming soon!

-K.

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Cheers to 5 Years: 5 Lessons Learned from 5 Years of Blogging

Cheers to 5 Years: 5 Lessons Learned from 5 Years of Blogging

I’m finally back from my two month hiatus! Truth is, it was much-needed for me to take a step back and focus on my full-time job and my mental and physical health, which I will be addressing in an upcoming post. Today I am celebrating something near and dear to my heart: this blog!

5 years ago yesterday, I started on a journey to enhance my writing skills on an outlet that I never knew would become such a passion of mine.  From the very beginning, I knew that this isn’t something I wanted to do for money or likes, but I wanted to do it because it was something that I genuinely enjoyed, and I desperately needed a creative outlet. I always thought, “if one person can read this, and take something away from it that makes them feel as though they’ve connected on some level with me, then I’m doing something right.” One of the beautiful things about blogging is that it’s a way of telling your story without any guidelines or having to stick to anyone else’s voice. The fact that I’ve always been able to be 100% authentic is what truly drives me to continue to blog.

TOP 5 LESSONS LEARNED IN 5 YEARS OF BLOGGING:

  1. There will be times when you need to take a step back from blogging, and that’s okay. Life can be really freaking hard sometimes and you owe it to yourself to keep your health in check. 
  2. Your writing, style and interests will evolve and change as you grow and learn. Let it happen.
  3. Quit comparing yourself to others; you don’t have to “keep up with the Joneses” to be a good blogger.
  4. Stay true to yourself — don’t try to be someone you’re not.
  5. People will be judgmental and have some not-so-nice things to say when you put yourself out there. Don’t let these people stop you from sharing your story and chasing your dreams.

BONUS LESSON

Always have kickass support system behind you. Unfortunately, your blog will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are always those family members and friends that will be there to support your every blog and Instagram post regardless of how avant garde it can be. Make sure you keep these people in your circle forever.

Thank you so much for sharing in this journey with me these last five years, and for the steadfast support. I have some of the best followers ever!

Cheers to many more years!

– K

Top 5 E-Newsletters to Kick-Start Your Morning

Top 5 E-Newsletters to Kick-Start Your Morning

Looking to stay more informed with what’s going on in the world? You’ve come to the right place! Beginning in high school, my teachers preached the importance of staying on top of current events. Throughout college, I went about my days with a lack of television which was my primary source for news growing up as I did not read the newspaper. I had several news apps on my phone and newspapers were always available on campus, but I never really took the time – or had the time – to read the articles.

It wasn’t until my senior year of college that I discovered the beauty of e-Newsletters. I could digest the top news stories from around the world in 5 minutes and under. They provided me enough information to develop my own opinion on world affairs, and hold an intelligent conversation. Thus began my love for these quick, information-packed news sources.

The Skimm //  Top world news stories, current events, and the latest products and reads curated by two former producers and delivered to your inbox every weekday with no bias, no jargon, and much needed humor. Join the Skimm Life here!

The Newsette // Delivered to the inbox of career-focused women every weekday, the newsletter covers several topics including current events, wellness, beauty, fashion, and more. Sign up for  The Newsette here!

New York Times: What We’re Reading // Delivered twice a week to your inbox with articles from around  selected by NY Times reporters and editors. Sign up for NY Times: What We’re Reading here.

Career Contessa // This career site was built exclusively for women seeking empowerment and looking to cultivate successful careers. Their newsletter includes free downloads, workplace adivce articles, job openings across the USA, and more. Subscribe here!

WhoWhatWear // Daily fashion news delivered straight to your inbox including trends, celebrity style, street wear, and more! Fellow fashionistas can sign up here.

What are some of your favorite e-Newsletters?

-K.

New Year, New Goals // 2018

New Year, New Goals // 2018

Happy New Year!

Every year I share my goals for the year with my readers as a means of holding myself accountable (see last year’s goals here).  At least once a month, I take a look back at the post to remind myself of my priorities and altar my strategy to reach my goals, if need be.

As you continue reading, you might notice that a lot of the goals are the same as last year’s. Why, you ask? The answer is quite simple – last year I failed to hold myself accountable or give myself the ability to measure my goals. Reflection on the pure laziness I exhibited last year lit a fire in me to be so much better than I was last year. So, here are my measurable, attainable goals for 2018:

  1. Work towards my goal of being fluent in another language by utilizing Duolingo at least 3 times a week – I used this app before my trip to Italy and it helped immensely. This time around, I will be using it to freshen up on my French!
  2. Explore a new place once a month – either local or out of town
  3. Be mindful of what I’m putting into my body, and log it daily
  4. Go AT LEAST an hour without technology a day
  5. Continue my education either through grad school or online courses
  6. Workout at least 5 times a week – I just started the Body Love app by Anna Victoria and, surprisingly, I actually love it! I’ve mentioned before that I loathe working out, but this time around, I’m actually looking forward to my workout for the day which is a HUGE improvement. I will be giving updates throughout my new fitness journey on my social media channels which are linked in the sidebar if you do not follow me already!

What are your goals for 2018? If we have similar goals, what are you doing to reach them?

-K.

Gratitude

With the advent of Thanksgiving upon us, it’s necessary to take the time away from our busy schedules and reflect on all of the blessings we’ve received throughout the year.

All too often, we get caught up in the craziness of our day to day lives, and don’t take the time to appreciate and thank God for everything both big and small in our lives. I challenge you to take your blessings and use them to give to others during this season of giving. Whether it’s simply paying forward a previous favor someone did for you, or paying for the person behind you in line at Starbucks.

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving.” – Betsy Farrell

I am truly grateful, thankful, and blessed for an incredible year thus far. I have so many things to be thankful for, including the opportunity to travel to another country for the first time, my family is going to be together for the holidays, and my Airman is FINALLY coming back to the states in just a few more days!

What are you most grateful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

-K.