2019

Wow, life’s been crazy since the last time I wrote here (over two months ago!) And there’s lots of changes happening in my life, too.

Changes to this online space

You’ve probably already noticed the major change in this online space, it looks way different than it did a couple of weeks ago! That’s because I’m shifting my focus and taking a step back from blogging, ads, paid and sponsored posts. Instead, this site will now primarily be my digital portfolio with a side of “personal” posts here and there (aka this blog). Since moving here to Oregon, I’ve really lost my spark for blogging and I’ve instead found new passions offline, which is a breath of fresh air.

I started a new job

A few days ago I joined the Bowtech team as their Marketing Programs Coordinator, and I’m pumped! I’ll basically be in charge of the marketing programs and events, manage their celebrities/ambassadors, and run their social media. I also get to attend their events (one of which I’m heading to in a couple of days!). I’ve been a huge fan of this brand for over a decade, their American-made, and they support everything I believe in — I’m so proud to be working my dream job for an incredible company!

I bought my first car

If you know me, you know how hard it is for me to spend money. I’m so cheap and I love saving my money that I work so hard for. But, since I know this is my home now, I knew it was time for me to buy my own car. After doing tons of research on things like safety, handling, cargo space and fuel efficiency, I landed on a Volkswagen Tiguan and I love it!

Celebrated my first holidays here in Oregon

Moving to Oregon just in time for the holidays wasn’t planned, but it was perfect! I got to celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in my new home here in Oregon and it was different, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I was with family, and it was great! We didn’t get snow on Christmas, but it’s been a pretty mild winter which I think is a blessing in disguise (I don’t think I’m ready for freezing weather quite yet!)

Rang in the New Year in San Francisco!

For the New Year, my boyfriend and his parents and I road tripped down to San Francisco to watch the Ducks Bowl Game (we won, of course). Then we rang in the New Year together and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge the next morning. It was by far the best New Year’s I’ve had yet!

Fell in love

Since being back here in Oregon and spending more and more time with Dave and his family, I’ve fallen more in love. We’ve known each other for 8 years, but only reconnected in the last 6 months. He’s the type of person who makes you want to be a better person and reminds me how important it is to live life in the moment and have fun — and I’m so thankful for that. He’s everything I needed, and I didn’t know it. He makes me laugh until I hurt, and he’s made me the happiest I’ve ever been. And in being with him, I’ve learned what a loving, trustworthy, honest and healthy relationship is supposed to be. We’re 8 years in the making, and I’m excited and hopeful to see where God leads us in this new year!

2019

Life Lately: Settling into My New Life in Oregon

I’ll start this off by giving you a short summary of the last few years: This time four years ago, I was living in China. Three years ago, I was living in a lonely apartment in DC and in a long distance relationship. Two years ago, I was a new Canadian resident, living in a big house on a lake. Last year, I left that relationship and put myself back together in Hawaii. This year, I’m settling into my new life in Oregon.

It feels strange piecing the last four years of my life into four short sentences, because there’s so much that fits into those four years — life lessons, memories, huge milestones, moments I’ll never forget, good and bad, love and loss, travel, experiences and so much more. It feels odd stumping it all down to a tiny paragraph, but I’m saving the good stuff for my book 😉

rainy day in knoxville tennessee

Where Am I Now?

When I left Hawaii, I didn’t have a plan. I just knew I’d be traveling for a while. Well, for nearly 5 months I’ve been living on the road, traveling from place to place, and living freely and simply. No life commitments, no material belongings, no end destination in mind. Just the open road.

A few weeks ago, I was on the east coast and then decided to head back to Oregon. It took about a week to drive from the east coast all the way back to the west coast, and I’ve been here in Oregon for about a week now.

Settling into Life in Oregon

Last week was full of interviews, work and house hunting. And I’m praying that some good opportunities show themselves to me in this upcoming week! I’ve had some amazing conversations and meetings with some incredible people, so I’m very hopeful.

This weekend was rainy (of course, it’s Oregon…) so it was full of football, stocking up on some warmer clothes, and seeing friends. After traveling so much in such a short amount of time, it was really nice to take it easy and relax.

Finding the Good in Waiting

I’ll be honest: it hasn’t been the smoothest, easiest ride. I’ve been extremely overwhelmed and feeling quite directionless. Should I live here, in a bigger city? Or should I take this job? That job? And there’s also been a heck of a lot of this: “WHAT IF”

There’s also been a lot of waiting: Waiting to hear from a job, a house, people, if there’s a better opportunity, another sign, a better time. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

I know everything will figure itself out, and that everything will be fine — because it always is. But, it’s still hard to sit in the unknown.

Where Faith Comes In

That’s where an important part of my life comes in: my faith. I know He’s up there doing big things for me. He has a plan for my life, and He already knows how things will work out. I want everything figured out right now, but things might not be working in my time because it doesn’t align with His time — and I have to remember that His time is the right time.

I’m overwhelmed and feeling lost, but this is where the biggest part of being a Christian comes in. As Christ’s followers, we’re His sheep and He is our shepherd. We’re small, we don’t know the way, and we get lost from time to time. He is our shepherd, He knows the way, and He is the only one who can save us and guide us when we’re feeling lost.

We don’t know the way, and that’s why we have to be patient and do things in His time.

I tend to forget that, when I get wrapped up in me, me, me. But I’ve been spending more time sitting with my bible, and then I’m reminded of the bigger purpose, the greater goal: Living my life for Jesus, being patient, following Him, and just seeking joy.


Anyway, this was just a little heart update. Oregon is my new home. Things are happening for me in my life, slowly but surely. I’m practicing patience, obedience, and gratitude. And I’m seeking joy in my every day. As always: God’s got me!

How’s everything in your life? What are some big things happening for you? How can I pray for you and your heart? ❤️

Life Lately: Settling into My New Life in Oregon

Life Lately: Heart Update & Life on the Road

Although I’ve been posting lots of travel photos showing my life on the road, it’s been some time since my last “life lately.” In short: Life has been pretty grand lately. But, here’s what I’ve been up to, where my heart has been, and what’s next for me. 😊

washington campground

I went to Nashville for a quick one-day trip

On a Monday, I hopped on a plane at 5am. I spent the day in Nashville for a meeting, then boarded a plane back to Oregon. It was the quickest trip I’ve ever been on, but I also learned so much. In between the rushing around, I got to see Nashville in all its grit and glory and met some incredible people.

I’ve done over 250 bible studies.

When I was doing my bible study the other night, my app told me that I’ve completed over 250 programs! Since I’ve been traveling and in-between places, I don’t always get to attend a church service. So instead, I do my own daily bible studies on my own. And apparently, I’ve done a heck of a lot of them! Go me!

I got new freelance clients.

Aside from my day job, I do freelance writing on the side and I’m excited that I’ve got some new clients! They’re old clients that I had in the past, but I’m happy to be helping them out again 👍🏼

Also, I feel like this is a great segue: If you need freelance writing or anything, drop me a line!

I discovered a new favorite artist.

If you know me at all, you know how much I love ending my days with some good ‘ole worship/christian music. Recently, I started seeing this girl everywhere. Billboards. Celebrities Instagrams. Spotify ads. Before all that, I’d somehow never heard of Lauren Daigle. But once I gave her latest album a listen, I became a HUGE fan. Like, huge. I can’t stop listening. Her voice. Her lyrics. Everything is amazing.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/jasminekeclipse/playlist/5QC0YDvw2n6XnSZyw0ABF2

I’m heading back east on my Great American Road Trip.

I’ve been in Oregon for the last (almost) two months, and now I’m in the process of heading back east. As I write this, I’m currently on a lake in Idaho! Once I get further east, it’ll be late autumn/early winter, which beckons the question: Where to stop? When to stop? Where to plant my roots?

This trip has been the trip of a lifetime. I’ve seen things I never would have seen if I didn’t do this. I’ve met amazing people with amazing stories. I’ve spent so much time with myself and my mind, that I’ve really gotten to know myself and love myself so much better. I’ve improved my photography and writing skills. And most importantly: I’ve gotten the break from life that I so desperately wanted and needed.

That being said, I do miss the every day conveniences of “normal” life. I miss sleeping in a bed. I miss flushing a “real” toilet. I miss getting dressed and going to work (yeah, I said it). I miss forming relationships and going out with friends. I miss a home church. I miss buying white shoes and being able to keep them clean—it’s impossible on the road. I miss steady cell coverage and reliable Wi-Fi connection.

All in all, this road trip will be wrapping up soon. I just don’t know when or where or under what circumstances. But that’s all part of the adventure, right? 😉

Fall is here! (The best time of the year)

It’s getting colder and the world is exploding into orange, yellow and red color. Driving through forests and valleys blanketed in autumn colors makes my heart so warm and happy. Fall is my favorite time of year, and I’m so happy I’m able to experience it again this year!

Last year, I was in Hawaii for fall (boo hoo, I know other people would love to be in Hawaii instead of the cold, but not I!). Anyway, I’m happy to be back in a place where I can have all four seasons in the palm of my hand. This world is so beautiful and the changing seasons remind us that life is ever-changing and ever-fleeting!

Winter is also here?

While passing through South Dakota, it snowed. SNOWED in September. It was a pleasant surprise, but I definitely wasn’t prepared 😂

south dakota snow in september south dakota snow in september


What has your life been looking like lately? What are you most looking forward to this fall? (Is it snowing where you are?) 🍂

Life Lately: Heart Update & Life on the Road

26 trips around the sun | 26 Things I’ve learned (so far)

I woke up this morning and circled the sun for the 26th time. When I stop and really think about that, it’s hard to believe because I feel like I’ve been here for a lifetime longer and a lifetime shorter at the same time. And so much has happened in my life in the last year alone, that I feel as though I’ve aged at least 5 years. Aging is strange. While I feel like I’ve accomplished and overcome so much at my age, I also feel like I should have accomplished so much more. But alas, here are 26 things I have learned so far, anyway. ⚡️

1. Your feelings are valid. Regardless if others have it worse. Everyone struggles, but your doubts and fears deserve to be understood too.

2. You are never too young to fail because you are never too young to learn.

3. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, ask yourself: “What could I make out of this absence? What DO I have?” And be grateful for that.

4. Even in leaving, you have to take your time. Don’t rush just because you’re uncomfortable. Take your time to breathe the air then breathe it out. Go with your first instinct, but be gentle.

5. Love in different ways. You’ll receive it back in different ways too.

6. Accept things for what they ARE, not what you think they SHOULD be.

7. Hold onto your faith for the simple fact that it makes you feel good.

8. Where you’ve been and who you’ve been does NOT equate to where you’ll go and who you’ll become.

9. Don’t take life so seriously all the time, it’s really not that serious. Just be happy.

10. There is not a single human being you wouldn’t LOVE if you knew their story. Get to know people, put yourself in their shoes, have an open mind. Love their differences.

11. You cannot change someone into being someone they are not, simply because it is what YOU want for them. Everyone is their own person. Focus on yourself.

12. Love ends sometimes. What you thought would have been forever was squeezed into a smaller infinity than you are used to – it’s as simple as that.

13. With every heartache and struggle comes a very, very, very important lesson and opportunity for growth – never take this for granted.

14. A lot of people have come into your life and a lot of people have left, and that’s okay. A close friend once told me people come into your life for 3 reasons: for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

15. Let things come and let things go. Nothing is promised to you, so stop acting like you are entitled to things and stop getting so upset when things don’t go your way. Simply appreciate what you have while you have it, and once it’s gone, let it go.

16. When no one else is there, make sure you’re the first person you turn to when you need love, encouragement, and appreciation. You’ll always have yourself.

17. Some of the happiest moments of our lives are viewed in hindsight. Try to beat this by realizing a good moment while you’re IN it. Drop everything and fully embrace being happy. A smart writer once said: “A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted – mostly because I had assumed there would be a thousand more.” Don’t be like this guy.

18. What you’re struggling with right now is molding you into a new version of yourself, and without this hardship, you’d miss this growth!

19. Life is so, so, so short. Failure will happen to you. Struggles will arise. People will leave. You will question yourself, your abilities, your faith, your surroundings – and that’s okay, that’s normal, it happens.

20. Do not stop loving. Do not stop caring.

21. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Mostly, forgive yourself because oftentimes, you are in the wrong, but have too much pride to recognize it, accept it, and change it 🙂

22. The truth hurts, but get used to it (see: above)

23. Nothing will keep you from living your best life if you believe in yourself and your abilities.

24. A job does not equate to happiness or “having it all together.” You will not find comfort or JOY in a 9-5. There is no more stability in a cushy career than there is in loving the right person and creating a home. Everyone is on their own paths, and if yours looks different than the next person, there is nothing wrong with that.

25. It’s just after your darkest hour that the sun will begin to rise. Think back to every single time you were in your darkest hours, feeling lost and broken, but decided to keep holding onto that sliver of hope. What happened? The sun rose. every. single. time. And it will continue to rise, and so will you.

26. You are never stuck somewhere you don’t want to be.


I’m grateful for another chance, another year of life, more opportunities to grow and love and live. I hope these little lessons will help you, too! What are some life lessons you’ve come to learn and love? ❤️

26 trips around the sun | 26 Things I’ve learned (so far)

Life Lately: One month living on the road

Remember when I first announced I was leaving my island home in Hawaii?

Remember when I said my plan was to road trip across America?

Well, it’s officially been one month since I’ve been living on the road, without a “home” and going somewhere new every day. I’ve been posting little travel diaries of each place I’ve visited so far, but here’s how life has been in general 👍🏼


I’ve been writing every day

Since I’ve been on the road, I’ve had lots and lots of time to think, think, think. This has been great, but I’ll admit it gets overwhelming at times. I went through a spell where all I thought about was my previous relationship, the ending, the goods, the bad, the pain and all the joy. This is imperative for growth and healing, but boy, is it tough to work through all those feelings.

During times like these, I reach for my phone, scrap paper, notebook or computer and proceed to word vomit. I dump it all on paper, and oftentimes, it doesn’t even make sense, but it makes me feel lighter, happier, freer.

I love writing for myself. No one ever sees the words I write in my notebooks, but I like it that way for now. Maybe one day, I’ll make sense of these words and compile them into a book that’ll be on a shelf. But for now, I’m enjoying keeping these words to myself.

Speaking of books on a shelf… I need to get back to writing mine! I finally started writing my book months ago, but stopped when life got busy (likely story). But since I have all this free time, I want to take advantage of that and get this book done. My goal was to have it finished by the beginning of next year, so fingers crossed! Maybe I should follow my own tips… 😂

I’ve been studying the Bible

For about two years now, I’ve been steadily reading the Bible every day, doing bible studies and I’ve been really involved with the church. Right now since I’m on the road, being a part of a church is near impossible, so I’m relying heavily on my own Bible study time.

In this current season of life, I’ve been finding so much truth and conviction in the devotionals and scriptures I’ve been reading.

If you’re interested in a post about the studies I’m doing, let me know! ❤

Until then, check out How to Study the Bible On Your Own and my other posts on Faith!

I’ve been healthy-ish

Before I left Hawaii, I had a steady routine of eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, but since being on the road, keeping that same routine is hard. But I’ve been trying!

I still have my same oatmeal breakfast (with coconut granola, hemp, chia, flaxseed, almond milk and bananas), but other than that it’s hard to eat healthy during travel when i want to try every single local food there is 😬

If you have any tips on how to be healthy/active while traveling and living on the road, please leave them below!

I’ve been relearning myself

Over the years, I’ve forgotten who I am in someone else, in the standards of who I should be, and I’ve been overshadowed by my own insecurities and struggles.

Since being on this trip, I’m spending time relearning who I am, what I want and what’s important to me.

This is really hard work once you’ve spent so many years with another person, many years away from everything you once knew, and many years trying to live up to the standards of what a young 20-something should be.

But I’m doing it. ⚡

I’ve been in reflection

As I mentioned above, I’ve had lots of quiet time spent thinking, writing and reflecting.

Where do I want to be after this trip? What happens when all this ends? Where do I go? Who will I be? What do I want for my life? What does my future hold?

There are so many questions that lie in the unknown, but I’m thankful that I have an open road in front of me.

What’s next?

Right now, I’m writing this at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. In a few days, I’m heading up to Wyoming for a week and then I’ll make my way to Oregon. After that, I’m not sure – but I’m living for the adventure of it all.


How has your life been lately? How’s the summer treating you? ☀

Life Lately: One month living on the road

Road Trip Essentials | Bare necessities that make traveling simple!

*This post is sponsored by Clarisonic and HC Media. Read more about my disclaimer here.

If you don’t already know, I’m traveling to all the U.S. states! I’m currently on the road, and as I type this, I’m looking out at the Georgia forests and the sun setting over the lake. I’ve been on the road for about two weeks now, and I’ve come to realize that I’ve been using the same few things each and every day. I’ll call these my “Road Trip Essentials” although, this will probably change as I continue my travels. These are just the items that have made traveling simple so far!

1. Notebook

I can’t go a day without writing. I write everything down, from things I did that day, how I felt, things I struggled with and overcame, memories that flooded my brain, quotes and scriptures. You name it, I write it down and I keep to look back on later. I have a few notebooks that I’ve filled over the years and I’m so glad I kept them because they’re full of memories I want to remember forever. Especially while I’m on this adventure, keeping a notebook of places I see, people I meet and struggles I overcome will be great to look back on later.

2. A good book

So far this year I have read a few great books and I’m looking forward to having lots of downtime and quiet, peaceful places to dive deep into more. Also, if you have book recommendations for me, please leave them in the comments! I’m always looking for new ones! 😊

3. Camera

I love taking photos and while I’m on this trip, I know I’ll be seeing tons of incredible places, so a camera is necessary! I’ve been using my iPhone so far, but I really want to also try and distance myself from my phone – so I’ll also be using my camera!

4. Portable charger

When I’m not in the car, charging my equipment is interesting, so I always carry a portable charger with me to make sure I never run out of juice! I use one from Belkin and it gives me up to 3 full charges on a single use!

5. External hard-drive

I have tons of photos in raw format and lots of different edited formats, lots of articles, my manuscript for my book, etc. And I can’t imagine losing all of those things, so I keep everything backed up on my external hard-drive! Mine is from Lacie, and it’s top of the line (for my standards, anyway)

6. Carryall bag

With all this stuff (not including all my road trip snacks…) I have to have a way to carry it all! So I use this carry-all bag! I love it because it’s water-proof and has separate compartments for my laptop, chargers, passport, etc.

7. Cozy blanket

On the road, I’ll be taking naps at random places, going in and out of colder weather, and will want a feel of “home” so I’m also carrying a cozy blanket with me! I got this one from my dad, he had it from when he was in the army!

clarisonic mia

8. Clarisonic Mia

Last, and probably most important, is my Clarisonic Mia! When I was getting ready to begin my life on the road, I knew I couldn’t bring 10 different skincare routines with me. So that’s why my Clarisonic Mia is so awesome! For a complete sonic cleanse, all I need are 3 things!

  1. Clarisonic Mia 1 Device
  2. Pore & Blemish Gel Cleanser
  3. Acne Brush Head

So far, I’ve been using this for 2 weeks, and I’ve experienced incredible results! It’s so simple to use, it’s portable to use on the road, and it actually works.

The best part? I’ve teamed up with Clarisonic to give you 15% OFF! If you’re interested in kicking acne and adult acne in the butt, seriously give this a shot. My skin was never awful, but this just made it that. much. better.

(Use code: HERCAMPUS between June 1-July 15 for 15% OFF all products here!)

Road Trip Essentials | Bare necessities that make traveling simple!

Life Lately: Two more weeks left in Hawaii

The title of this post makes me cringe. If you read my last life update, I had two MONTHS left in Hawaii. Time is really escaping me! It’s hilarious too, because I had this entire elaborate plan of posts to write, but I have no time to write them. I’ve been so, so busy lately. Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Packing, packing, and more packing. The last few weeks have been full of running to Home Depot to buy more boxes, paper cuts, lots of dust and heavy lifting, garage sales, and rediscovering old photos, trinkets and memories. The movers came and took everything, and next week all the furniture will be gone. I purchased my one-way plane ticket. Now it’s REAL! Any guesses where my destination will be? 👀

I started writing again! (Not on this typewriter, because inefficient and I gave it away to a kid at the garage sale, but you get the point). I finally started writing my book way, way back in January (oh, God), but it got put on pause because of travel and starting a new job.

In the shower the other day, where most of my life-changing thoughts happen, I wrote an entire scene in my head. I hopped out of the shower and brought it to life on my computer. Slowly but surely, it’s coming along and it feels great!

Any other writers out there? Please tell me I’m not alone with my shower thinking! 🙄

In between everything else, I’ve been trying to find time each day to slow down, let my brain turn to mush and watch a show (I’m really into Parks & Rec and Twin Peaks right now!), read a book (currently reading The Child by Fiona Barton!), or go for a walk around the neighborhood.

Mother’s Day was beautiful. I felt so lucky to spend it with my mom for the first time in 3 years! (I can’t believe I was away that long… sorry mom!) We took her out to brunch at restaurant that overlooks the entire island, and I think she felt really special, which was the point ❤

Since it was Mother’s Day, I also spent some time walking down memory lane and found these photos. This was the last photo I took with my stepmother before she lost her battle to cancer. She was a very special person to me, and I feel grateful for the 10 years she was in my life. And this little angel was her therapy pup, his name is Chemo! 😊

The weather here has been pretty strange, and I can’t help but think it’s because the island doesn’t want me to leave (I sound like LOST. Remember that show?!) In all seriousness, the Hawaiian culture is very in tune with nature and spirituality – so it’s hard not to think this way. When I was vacationing here back in August/September last year, we went up to the summit of the mountain to watch the sunrise the day before we left to go back to Canada. And it poured, we were covered in clouds, and we didn’t have a sunrise. Never in the 20 years that I’ve lived here, has that ever happened. I took it as a sign that I shouldn’t leave. Now that I’m about to leave for good this time, it’s been cloudy, gloomy, rainy for months. Call me crazy…

Although it’s been pretty stormy and gloomy lately, sometimes the sun peeks through the clouds and lights up the sky with orange and yellow hues. And that’s like life, really. It can be bleak, dismal and dark. Sometimes it feels as though you’re under constant cloud-cover. But then there are moments when the entire world explodes with color, the clouds open up, the air stills, the birds sing in unison, and all feels right.

Amidst all the craziness that IS life, I live for moments like these. I hope you find some beauty and some calm this week.


 

 

*Some links may be affiliate links because these 4 cups of coffee a day won’t pay for themselves! 

Life Lately: Two more weeks left in Hawaii

7 Ways I Use Sunday to Rejuvenate for the Week

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more of a stronger love for the weekend. Not because I can veg out on my Netflix shows (which I also do), or take full advantage of cheat days (I also proudly partake in those), but because the weekend is a time for me to do a hard reset after a long week.

Saturdays are usually the day I actually go out and do things – whether it be shopping, seeing friends or family, going for a hike or a swim. Since I work from home, I rarely ever leave the house. So I leave Saturdays for outings.

That leaves Sunday for my day of rest and relaxation and vegging out and just relishing in doing absolutely nothing. Here are seven things I (try to) do every Sunday to set myself up for a great week ahead.


1. Sleep in

I wake up for work at 3:10am every morning, so when I have the chance to sleep in (even if it’s just until 6am) I take it! The weekend is my time to catch up on sleep and I take full advantage of it.

2. Start with yoga, stretches, or meditation

Something I’ve been doing since I came back from my recent trips, is yoga and meditations. I’ve found that they’re really helpful when I start to feel overwhelmed or tense, and they’re easy to do throughout the day!

Here are the apps I love:

Breathe

Headspace

Calm

Down Dog

3. Make a good breakfast

It’s hard to eat healthily all the time, but I’ve found that even if I just eat ONE healthy meal a day, I feel accomplished and better about myself. So that’s exactly what I do!

I’ve been eating a variation of the same breakfast for the last 3 months and I. Am. Obsessed.

I’ll either eat oatmeal or yogurt (almond or cashew yogurt, because I don’t eat dairy!), but I load it up with all kinds of healthy toppings!

If you want the recipe, it’s here. You’re welcome 😉

4. Soak up the sunshine

Another thing I have to do during the weekend is get outside and soak up all the sunshine I can. I’m indoors all week long, and I live in Hawaii… I mean, c’mon.

Whether it be simply lying outside, going out on the boat, going for a hike, swimming, or even – dare I say it – doing yard work. Whatever it is, I need to get outside during the weekends.

5. My Jesus time

I (try to) open up my bible every day, but honestly sometimes life gets too busy, I’m too exhausted, whatever the excuse is. I don’t always get to it. So I make it a strong point to carve out time on the weekend to do my bible study.

My favorite thing is taking my bible outside and studying in the sunshine – it’s magical.

Would you like me to do a post on bible studies, how I do them, etc.? Let me know!

6. Take a screen break

I work on computers all day, every day. So when it comes time for the weekend, I try to stay off screens as much as I possibly can to give my eyes and brain a break.

Instead, I try to read, play games, cook, clean, get outside. Anything to stimulate my mind without a screen/light. And you should too! It’s not healthy to be staring at a screen all the time (I tell you as you read this on a screen haha, but you get the point)

7. Call it an early night

During the week, I head to bed around 7pm, but on Sunday I make it an even earlier night so that I can fit in a solid night routine. I take a long, hot bath, do a face mask, paint my nails, write.

I make sure to take the time to do things for me, before starting a week that’s dedicated to work and early mornings.

This is my perfect, ideal Sunday. What does yours look like? ☀

7 Ways I Use Sunday to Rejuvenate for the Week

Life Lately: Two more months left in Hawaii!

Life has been pretty busy and fast-paced lately, but it’s good. So, so good.

If you read my last post, I’ve been here in Hawaii for 6 months now, which I still can’t grasp. Time FLIES. And it hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

Here’s what life has been looking like lately.

I had the flu and it rained for about two solid weeks, so I was cooped up inside for a while. The last few days have been gorgeous, and I finally got out, laid in the sun and remembered just how beautiful this world is.

My work schedule is pretty crazy, so I barely get out and explore Hawaii these days. But since I only have two months left here, I want to prioritize exploring because I know I’m going to miss this island so much once I board that plane.

This past weekend was full of self-care and relaxation, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I started (and finished) Big Little Lies and Santa Clarita Diet, and both series were amazing! I slowed down after a busy week with work, took bubble baths, started a new yoga flow and bought some new books.

Here are some of my favorite books, but do you want me to share the books I’m currently reading? 

Also, since I finished both shows… I need new show/movie recommendations!

I just want to talk about my work for a second. I wake up at 3am because I work east coast hours, I typically work 10 hour days and work often runs into my weekend. I juggle tons of different tasks, I’m always on the phone, in meetings or putting fires out. But I love what I do. I actually find myself going to sleep excited to wake up in the morning to start another day of work, because I’m that passionate about our mission and I love my team. For the first time in my career, I feel like I truly belong somewhere and like I’m needed.

It’s sunflower time on Maui! There is a huge field in the middle of the island dedicated to harvesting sunflower oil for alternative fuel, and the flowers have started blooming again. It’s such a beautiful thing to see. It makes me so happy when I drive by it!

This huge map is taped up on the wall, and every morning when I walk by it I get more and more excited for my grand adventure. The goal is to leave the islands in June, which gives me two months to plan and pack. I will be writing a completely separate post on this adventure, because it’s that huge.

But in the meantime, what are some of your favorite places in America? 🙂

Life Lately: Two more months left in Hawaii!

My path to happiness | International Day of Happiness

Today is International Day of Happiness, so naturally I’m writing about nothing other than my path to happiness. (Groundbreaking, I know)

To say the last few months have been some of the longest, heart-wrenching, soul-breaking, anxiety-ridden months of my life, would be an understatement. However, they have also been some of the most influential, eye-opening, gratifying and life-changing months of my life – and I’m grateful for that.

In September, I made the heart-breaking decision to leave the life I’d built for myself. I left a near 3-year relationship, a house, a cat, a career, a second family. For the simple reason of: I was unhappy.

I was unhappy with myself, and since happiness blooms from within, I knew I couldn’t fully give myself to anyone or anything else if I wasn’t fully loving myself, first. So I decided to leave everything I knew, to come back to a place that was familiar so I could find myself again, fall in love with myself, recognize myself in the mirror, and ultimately put myself back together.

Half a year has passed, and I have happiness, contentment and passion flowing through my veins.


6+ months ago

In short, I was a wreck.

I was unhappy with the person I was. I didn’t like seeing myself in the mirror. I didn’t like how I felt in my skin – not only because I didn’t like my appearance, but because I didn’t like how I felt on the inside. Everything was blue and it was an actual struggle to be happy each day.

I had to put a real effort into being happy, and I never had to do that before. I was confused because for others, happiness came so naturally, it was the “default emotion” but for me, it was an effort to feel it.

I was upset. I was angry. I was sad. I was stressed. I was anxious every second of every day. I felt lost and alone, though I was surrounded by people who loved me. I put others before myself, and not once did I think that I should be taking care of me. I thrived off others being happy, and I completely disregarded my own well-being. I didn’t value myself at all.

I was a wreck, and when I finally woke up and realized that, I knew I had to change my surroundings and my situation in order to get myself back.

So that’s exactly what I did, as seemingly impossible as it was.


Today

I’m still a work-in-progress, but I’m so much happier and healthier – and I’m very, very, proud of myself for doing this for myself.

I wake up early in the morning and see the sky change colors with the sunrise, this quiet time helps set the tone for the day and keeps me grounded with appreciation.

I prioritize my health, eat healthy, take vitamins and drink lots of water. These are all things I let slip over the years, but now I realize that mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand and we should be taking care of both.

I have pushed my well-being to the forefront and I now do simple meditations and have my prayer time every day. My daily check-ins with my brain, feelings and faith keep me calm.

I make it a point to exercise each day – whether it be yoga, walking, or actually breaking a sweat – I make sure I get those endorphins pumping through my body. This makes me happier, and seeing these little changes in my body and energy make me feel accomplished.

I talk it out. I’ve made it a serious point to talk about what I’m feeling instead of bottling them up inside. Writing it out is one thing, but actually talking with someone and voicing your feelings or concerns and getting an outsider’s point of view can make all the difference. (*Talk with someone, get the help you need, confide in people you trust, don’t be ashamed of how you feel, talking it out makes all the difference in the world)

I’ve been carving out time to write. My writing is part of me, and when I don’t take the time to write – whether it be personal, prose, on this site, or for my book – I’ve noticed that I’m unhappy. So I’ve been writing, writing, writing. And soon, I’ll be able to share it all.

I have a newfound love and appreciation for myself. I’ve realized the strength I have and since I’ve lived through the most hurtful 6 months of my life so far, I now know I’m capable of anything. The last few months have taught me that I can be comfortable and happy with being alone, it isn’t scary, and it surely isn’t impossible. I see my reflection and I not only recognize the person in the mirror, but I love the person in the mirror – and that is an incredible feeling.


On that note, I want to leave you with a quote I found this week. It came at the perfect time and took the words right out of my mouth.

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome” – Anne Bradstreet

Just remember that flowers don’t bloom year-round, and neither do we – and that’s okay. Periods of regrowth and rebuilding are beautiful, too.

My path to happiness | International Day of Happiness