Happy Holidays

I never cease to me amazed by how quickly things can change and how fast time flies. It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in 2014, but in just a few short weeks we’ll be celebrating a brand new year—celebrating 365 days of new possibilities and resolutions.

It also seems change is the only thing that remains constant in my life these days. If you looked up the definition of change in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure you would see this past year of my life.

It’s been a while since my last post – October 8th to be exact. It would only be a few weeks from that day that I would accept a new job and decide to move to Charlotte, NC. In less than a month from the time I accepted, I not only had a new job, but a new job in an industry I have zero experience in. On top of that, I got a new apartment and roommate, and was given the opportunity to experience a brand new city

For those who’ve followed along with me on my journey up to this point, you know I’ve longed for a change of this kind for some time now. I was beginning to think it would never come. It was only fitting and ironic that this long awaited change came all at once. Most days I look around me and find it hard to believe I’m finally where I want to be… for now (wink).

But I’d be lying if I didn’t also admit that while this change is an answer to my prayers, it’s still pretty scary.

This move happened so quickly. I’ve barely had time to slow down and soak it all in. It still doesn’t feel real. It sort of feels like I’m just here on vacation or something.  But I’ve had a few moments when I look around and think, “this is really happening!”

The night my roommate and I put up our first tree was one of those moments. I’m not one to go super crazy over Christmas. I believe in the meaning behind the holiday, I like Christmas music in small doses, and think all the lights are beautiful, but I typically despise all the work that goes into it. I’m no Grinch or anything, I just don’t really enjoy it. Especially not the cleaning up and breaking down part.

But this time was different. It was different because this was my first tree in my first real, grown up place.


The entire time I was decorating I couldn’t help but think about all those who helped me make it to that point – to that very moment in my life. My parents, my friends, extended family, and family friends. So many people have stepped in and helped me follow my dreams. I wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for several key people. As stressed as I still feel with this transition, this particular holiday season has made me more thankful than I think I’ve ever been. I knew as I was hanging my cheap plastic ornaments and trying to cover up all the holes in our old inherited family tree, I had to do something for those who made such an impact on my life this past year.

That’s where Treat.com came in to save the day once again! I knew that if I wanted to make a card special enough to send to those closest to me, this was the only place to go.

treat post

Some of you may remember the last card I sent using Treat. This go ’round, in true Treat fashion, I found a card that was perfect once again. I love that Treat lets you customize every aspect of your card and they even provide an option to mail your cards for you. I know this is such a relief during the holiday season, especially if you’re trying to complete all your holiday shopping AND moving cities.

As crazy as this year has been, I can’t be anything but thankful. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons. I’ve cried many tears, but I finally learned to let those tears be my teacher rather than sucking it up and pushing my feelings aside. I had many moments of fear, but I’ve also been very brave and took a lot of risks.

It’s been a beautiful year and one that wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing people in my life.

Whatever you’re doing for the holidays, friends, I hope you will take some time to reflect and be thankful. Happy holidays!

Sparkling Pumpkin Cider Beertails

It’s finally fall, friends and I am in love. The cool weather made its way to the mountains this past weekend and I’ve had the ultimate pleasure of unpacking all my fall clothing. It’s so fun to go through it all and find pieces you forgot you ever had. It’s sort of like getting a brand new wardrobe without spending a penny!

Along with my love of fall clothing is my love of fall foods! Pumpkin being a top ingredient in many items. I found a really fun sparkling pumpkin cider beertail recipe that my sister and I tried during our last girl’s night, and it turned out really great! It’s definitely a keeper so I thought I’d share.


Ingredients (makes one full, standard-size pitcher; roughly 8 glasses)

6 bottles of Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

1 bottle of sparkling cider (it doesn’t matter what brand, just make sure it’s sparkling cider and not sparkling grape juice!)

Cinnamon sticks (enough for each glass to have 2 sticks)

8 lemon wedges

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar


1. In a standard-sized pitcher, mix the beer and cider together and refrigerate until ready to pour

2. Mix the cinnamon and sugar into a bowl that is big enough to fit the rim of the glass into

3. Take a lemon wedge and rub on the rim of each glass (you want the rim to be sticky and wet enough to hold the cinnamon-sugar mixture)

4. Place the rim of each glass into the bowl of cinnamon-sugar and twist so the mix creates a thin coat on the rim (think margarita salt)

5. Place two cinnamon sticks into each glass

6. Pour the beer and cider mixture into each glass

7. Place a lemon wedge on the rim of each cocktail

8. Optional – finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top for garnish


What are your favorite fall cocktails?

My Manifesto

I started my manifesto adventure a few weeks ago – nine days of questions that helped me discover more about who I am and what I love. I’m very excited to share this with you. Maybe even more excited that I actually have my own manifesto (wink). Before I share, here’s the definition of manifesto in case some of you were wondering.

Manifesto – a published public declaration of intensions, motives, or views.

Without further ado, my manifesto…

You were created to live freely – like there’s no tomorrow.

You are brave. You are fearless. You are strong. You are free. You are alive.

Dance more. Sing more. Love more. Hug more. Smile more.

Buy yourself flowers. Go on an adventure. Get lost in conversation. Celebrate your accomplishments – big and small. Read. Write. Play. Taste every bite. Always be proud to wear red lipstick.

Help others. Embrace being a woman. Laugh until you cry. Create. Build. Love your insecurities. Maintain focus, determination, an adventurous spirit, your smarts, and good hair.

Let go of expectations.

Accept and be who you are, not who you think you should be. Find your comfort, excitement, happiness, and relaxation in family, road trips, being outdoors, and old photos – not in things that numb or cause more pain.

Feel what you feel. Let your tears be your teacher. Don’t suck it up, let it out. Enjoy the process. Stop waiting for permission. Ask for what you need. Show gratitude always – even for the messy parts of life.

Encourage others. Be vulnerable. Be positive. Go after what you want.

You are brave. You are fearless. You are strong. You are free. You are alive.

Fully invest in each and every moment. Life is waiting… Jump in.

Live Freely Manifesto

You can download this custom print here – Live Freely Manifesto.

Thanks for going on this journey with me!


Manifesto Adventure // Day Seven & Eight

Day Eight: Desires

f335508adc029503de96459cb8a050a5“Desire is a teacher: When we immerse ourselves in it without guilt, shame, or clinging, it can show us something special about our own minds that allows us to embrace life fully.”

Uncovering // Crafting My Manifesto:

>>> We uncovered how you desire to FEEL in your life on Day 5. Now, what do those feelings look, sound, taste, touch, and smell like in your life? How do they play out as if you were watching yourself in a movie living your desires?

Ask for and say what I need rather than holding it in, go for a walk or grab coffee with a friend, surround myself with people who make me laugh, take time out of my day just for me, be spontaneous, say something I’ve been meaning to say for a long time, praise myself for my accomplishments – big and small, let go of my anger toward those who’ve hurt me in the past, read, meditate, go on an adventure with no set agenda…


Day Nine: Abundance


“By practicing gratitude, we are shining one of the most powerful lights on truth and debunking the scarcity lies that pop into our head. We are actively choosing joy, choosing love, choosing to live in abundance. There is enough. We are enough. We are loved. We are safe. Freedom is found in the ability to choose.”

Uncovering // Crafting My Manifesto:

>>> When things start to go really good in your life, what is your typical course of action? More importantly, what is your DESIRED course of action?

Smile… a lot, feel warm inside, celebrate with a fancy dinner, laugh… a lot, encourage others, open up to people much easier, think positively…

>>> Fill-in-the-blank: I’m grateful for <insert what you’re grateful for> because <insert how & why it benefits your life and increases your happiness/joy/abundance>.

I’m grateful for the very confusing parts of life because I am learning more about who I am each an every day. And that’s worth the struggle.


That’s it, friends. That’s the last set of questions for this process. Now… now I craft my manifesto. In order to ensure I give myself time to really sit down and think this out, I’m giving myself until next week to post what I come up with. I’ve truly learned a lot about myself by answering all of these simple questions. I encourage you to start from the beginning and complete this process for yourself. If not to craft your very own manifesto, to simply learn more about what makes you YOU.


Check out Day Seven here!



Manifesto Adventure // Day Seven

Day Seven: Play


“A woman in her play state is an unmistakable magnetic force. The more you allow yourself to play, the better it gets.”

– Tonya Leigh, tonyaleigh.com

Uncovering // Crafting My Manifesto:

>>> What were your favorite ways to play as a kid? As a teenager? 

Being outside, pretending anything and everything, slumber parties, having my makeup and hair done for school dances, going away to summer camp, watching movies, playing board games, swimming, dancing, tea parties, pitching a tent in the back yard, swinging, singing really loud…

>>> What times in your life do you feel you’ve been at your very truest you? What types of play occurred before/during/after?

Weekend getaways with my best friends, singing at the top of my lungs in the car or shower, dancing like a mad woman, deep conversations, getting mail from friends, going out for a fancy cocktail on a Monday night, dressing up…


You can check out day six here!