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January Check Up | How are we doing?

Hey friends!

How areeee you? We are a few weeks into the new year and I’m doing a little check in because, well, we’ve already been through a bit. Some of you are waiting to hear whether or not you’ll be going back into lockdown, some of you already are. Some of you, well I should say us (because I live here too) are in the US and chewing a fingernail or two as we approach inauguration day and some of us are dealing with the day to day stresses of being a human being. Period. Whatever you are dealing with, I want to encourage you and let you know that you are not dealing with it alone.

One thing I’ve learned this past year is that we RARELY struggle alone. We may isolate ourselves and feel as though we are alone, but in reality there is always someone out there who understands or can empathize with how you are feeling. I think that’s been the biggest blessing of choosing to be authentic with my feelings and vulnerable with my life. Where I felt I would be judged, laughed at or mocked I actually formed deep connections. I bonded with people who were either feeling the same as I was, who had overcome what I was going through or who were going through something completley different but related to me or felt comfortable chatting with me because they could relate to what I was sharing. It helped me to realize that EVERYONE struggles and that everyone can use a hand everyonce in a while. So, be encouraged, take some time to care for yourself whatever that looks like, and keep going. We’re rooting for you.

The past few weeks for me I’ve been at a pretty heightened stress level. I lost my debit card again (it has since been found, thank God), found myself pretty overwhelmed in the time department, my period started (shout out fo FLO Gummies tho because my symptoms have DRAMATICALLY decreased since taking them so, that’s a plus) and people were just getting on my nerves (not period related…I think). Initially I let it get to me, but eventually was able to catch myself and took some moments to breathe and really check in with how I was feeling. I got my feet done with some friends, deep cleaned my apartment, got back into a nighttime routine to calm my brain before sleep and took mental breaks when needed. I’m not 100% but I’m defnintly not dangling from an emotional cliff like I was before, so that for sure is a win.

I have some news.

I did something pretty big the other day. Feels impulsive for me only because the process is moving along very quickly, but in reality I’ve been talking about this for a long time. I just got a push that I needed the other day and here we are. I enrolled in an online certification program to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach. It is a total 12 month program that will certify me in Holistic Nutrition along with Health & Wellness Coaching. I’m both excited and nervous. Excited because I’ve always wanted to go back to school and now I’m doing it, nervous because it’s school. I plan on taking you guys along with me on this journey. Wellness is something that I talk about in this space, on instagram and on YouTube pretty regularly anyway, but now I’ll be learning about it while talking about it and I’m pretty excited to bring some expertise into all of those areas. If you’re interested, I encourage you to follow me on YouTube if you haven’t already to see a bit more of the day to day happenings of my life. I haven’t posted in a little bit (because busy, stress, mental everything) but I plan on documenting most if not all of this school journey there and would love to have you there with me 🙂

Alrighty, that’s it for me and my check in / life updates. I hope you have a great week and I hope you all feel loved!

Talk soon!

xx Nicole Eva

p.s. Heres a little photo dump of my past weeks for ya.

Instead of New Years Resolutions, let’s do this.

If you’ve been here a while you already know that I’m not super into New Years resolutions. We “set” them because everyone else does and then we don’t stick to them and then we end up significantly more discouraged than we needed to. Last year I talked about something I was doing instead of a resolutions list, it was a stop doing list and you can check that post out here. I was overall pretty successful. No one’s perfect and I’m definitely not the exception but I can say that I’m pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish this past year.

This new year, I’m in the same mindset, we’re still not making resolutions over here (again, not against them per say, I’m just not into it) but I wanted to give you some ideas of alternatives that you can use instead of creating a New Years resolutions list.

Create a Vision Board

As a visually motivated person and someone who loves to create things with my hands, vision boards are may jam. I’m yet to make one for this year just yet simply because of timing and schedules but its something I’m definitely looking forward to doing. This year I actually want to have a little vision board making party virtually with some friends if we can make that happen. Vision boards are great because they allow you to get creative with your depiction of your goals. I enjoy the process of cutting out words and images that inspire me from magazines or getting images from the internet, glueing them on paper or cardboard and making them look pretty with either paint or other things like ribbon or gems. Having a pretty reminder of what i’m aiming for in the year ahead encourages me to keep looking at it and keep my dreams and goals in the forefront of my mind. Plus, they’re pretty to put in a frame and save to look back on!

vision board collage design 2020 from the blog 5 habits for mental wellness
Vision Board I created for 2020

Create a Gratitude List

This is something I haven’t really done intentionally for the start of a new year, but more so sporadically in my journals over the years. I love the idea of creating a list of things that you are thankful for at the start of a brand new year. It almost symbolizes to me the things that you’re thankful to be bringing into the next year and entering into the new year with a grateful heart is the best possible mindset you could have for a brand new year.

Choose a word/theme

I do this. Last years theme was “Live Life Authentically”. The motivation behind that was that I wanted to get more comfortable being my authentic self in front of all of you, in front of the people in my day to day and in front of the people I’m close too. I’ve always been one to hide myself and I wanted to challenge myself to stop doing that. I’m happy to say I did. I talked about things I wouldn’t normally talk about, I showed myself in spaces where I would normally hide, I challenged myself to destroy the fluff narrative and talked about things that were real to me. It was not easy, but it happened. This year I’m not quite sure, but I think my word is going to be continue. That or run, but I’m going to let myself sit with it for a little longer. Having a word/theme for my year helps me to remember the direction I’m trying to move in. It helps me to look at where I am and evaluate the situation I’m in and the thing I’m doing and check to see if im on track to where I want to be. It basically holds me accountable, and we all about the accountability over here.

Create a 2021 Bucket List

These can be fun, but a note: make small goals that are attainable within the year and leave room for a shift in plan. I love bucket lists. They can motivate you out of your comfort zone and catapult you into a world of adventure that you (if you’re anything like me) may naturally avoid. I haven’t done this for 2021 yet, and I’m not quite sure that I will, but I actually like to do them for ages. For example I made a before 30 bucket list when I was 25 and I recently turned 29 and have one thing left on my list; learn to surf. Looks like I’m learning to surf this year lol. The lists help you to plan, and look forward to tomorrow, which can actually help you navigate your way out of some future funks.

If resolutions aren’t for you, or maybe you’re just looking for something new this year try out one of these options. They’re fun, different and can help keep you motivated or engaged on a different level throughout the year.

We’re excited about this new year of course, but while we settle in and get comfortable, remember to make space for you. Take time to breathe, and set some goals that will in effect help you to feel engaged with your world. It’s not about measuring your success or comparing your progress to others, but simply about keeping yourself aware about what you want for yourself out of this year. Let’s take it slow.

Welcome to 2021. Chat soon!

Xx Nicole Eva

clothes hanging in a wardrobe for post late 20s look book about fashion in your late 20s

Late 20’s Style Look Book

It’s December. It’s cold outside and we’re quarantined so there’s kind of a lot of sitting around happening lately. I mean stuffs getting done, but I don’t exactly look cute while doing it.

I was scrolling though my Pinterest fashion boards the other day and looked at my pinned clothing choices, then looked back at my current clothing choices. To be honest it made me laugh, ONLY because the difference was drastic. I can’t be the only woman with an ideal look, that looks…nothing like what they currently wear right? I mean, I’m not judging myself (although it may sound like it), currently i’m rocking a grey crewneck sweatshirt, thick grey mens sweat pants and sock slippers and ya girl is warm and happy.

BUT, if money was not something I needed to be thinking about, and I actually had places to go, here are some of the things I would love to wear. We’ll call this my ideal late 20s look book.

Around the house

My around the house look would consist of comfy fabrics that make me feel as though I’m wrapped in a blanket, but that also make me look and feel good. I love these neutral tones too. Also wide legged lounge wear for the win. They’re like sweats, but fancier.

Find these looks on Pinterest:

Out and About

These looks are about as me as it gets for every occasion. A little dressy, or a little dressed down. Even the head wrap, all things I’d definitely wear if they currently existed in my wardrobe.

Find these looks on Pinterest:

Special Occasions

I don’t really do fancy much at the moment, but when I do, I adore pairing anything I’m wearing with a blazer; crew neck sweatshirts to turtle necks. I think blazers would be my wardrobe staple simply because they’re cute, super versatile and can be fancy wear or dressed down. I have two currently and I don’t wear them nearly enough.

Find these looks on Pinterest:

Do you have a favorite fashion piece that you think just suits you? As I said earlier mine definitely would be blazers. Are you finding it hard to find motivation to wear anything besides your in house comfies do to lack of places to go? I am for sure. One thing I don’t miss is the “pressure” to purchase clothes though, because of that I am saving significantly more money. I’ll take that win!

Alrighty friends, I’ll chat with you soon. Thanks for stopping by!

xx Nicole


A letter to myself on the first day of the last month of the year: 

As we know, this year has been something else. We’ve experienced, a lot. As I was reflecting on this year and my feelings about it, the following came about. It came about because I have frustrations, I have heartaches, I have doubts and they all come from the things experienced in this past year. So, I wrote this.  

You may be tempted to dismiss the small things. 

You may be tempted to dismiss the hard things. 

You may be tempted to dismiss the set backs.


Don’t sit in your discouragement. 

Don’t stop believing in your dreams. 

It may seem like your time is racing past you,

It may seem like you just can’t catch up.

It may seem like your unrealized goals of this year were failures.

Because you didn’t accomplish what you set out to,

But they weren’t. 

This year you learned, a lot.

This year you continued to dream. 

This year you learned to pay attention to your voice. 

You realized the value of connection.

You realized freedom in feeling your emotions.

You realized the power of rest and you realized the strength that lies in the quiet.

This year you got angry,

This year you cried, a lot. 

This year you sat in contemplative silence.

This year you struggled. 

But this year is almost over. 

And you’re strong. 

And you’re soft. 

And you’re bold. 

You found comfort in places that used to bring you discomfort. 

And this year you’re at peace. 

And that makes it worth it. 

It is not too late to grow. 

It is not too late to realize your dreams. 

It is not too late to be who you were created to be. 

As you move on from this year to the next, you may wonder if there is anything worthy of celebrating…now you know there is. 

So continue. 

Continue reaching.

Continue learning. 

Continue dreaming.

Because It’s not over yet. 

8 Air Bnb Locations I Would Visit Right Now

Every once in a while, at least once a year, I get this itch to travel. This year when the itch showed up it was met with an intensity like never before. Probably due to the fact that we cannot currently travel at the moment.

To scratch this itch (and sort of torture myself I guess) I decided to re-download my AirBnB app. If I couldn’t physically travel, I was going to dream of travel. Not only was I going to dream, but I was going to favorite these locations and make a plan to get to at least one of the locations on my list.

Before I started searching I decided right off of the bat that I didn’t want to look at the typical vacation destinations. If these were going to be dreamworthy they needed to be something different, something exciting. Something of fictional romance novels. You know, the ones that you read while snuggled up in more blankets than you need, with a cup of tea and the tv on that Yule log YouTube channel; Yes, those ones. They needed to meet a criteria: Cabin-esque, semi isolated, I’d even settle for the right bed and breakfast. It needed to have something exciting about it; the view, a sprialing staircase, a green house…something. It needed to be reasonably priced (we are not millionaires…yet). And it needed to be a reasonable distance away. I added this clause only because if I said I was searching the entire continent of North America then I’d be looking all month, so I limited it to New England. Here is what I found:

(I should probably state here that this is NOT an Ad for AirBnb…but like…AirBnb if you wanna sponsor me I wouldn’t be mad)

Modern Cabin Dream

This beautiful space confuses me in the best way. It gives off log cabin vibes while also giving me the edgy excitement of modern luxury with its black detailing and sharp edges. The big win for this space came when I discovered the bathroom featuring the bathtub of my dreams and the in ground pool that seems to bring you closer to nature rather than distract you from it. I cannot forget to mention the large glass windows that turn the surrounding woods into framed masterpieces as they are breathtaking. The designers of this space knew what they were doing for sure as shown by their attention to detail all throughout the home.

Picturesque Cottage

This little friend may seem like the “norm” as far as cottages go, but it took a total of two clicks to put this one on my list. From the fireplace to the open kitchen lit by large, high windows, to the view of the woods, I can already see myself curling up on the couch with a book or sitting in the sun room dissonnecting from the chaos of the world and just letting nature do what it does. This cottage reminds me of something you’d see in a christmas painting covered in snow, and I love that about it.

Mountainside getaway

When I think of a cabin in the woods style getaway, this is pretty much what pops into my head. The darkened wood exterior, the tall windows, spacious enough for people who don’t mind getting a little cozy (and by a little I mean very) and very much gives you that out in the middle of nowhere feeling that we introverts sometimes crave. I also love how the “bedroom” is up on a loft. It’s really simple, but lends itself to what it is; a beautiful space that places you right in the middle of nature. I’m already imagining sitting out in the evening on the back patio, watching the light fade away.

Rustic Modern Marvel

Okay. So this listing I kid you not gave me goosebumps. I’m dramatic about two things in life food, and home design, and WOW this listing has me near speechless. From the blackened wood, modern A-frame design, to the pine tree filled wood that surrounds it, this is the place of your adulthood fairy tales. The beauty of this space alone would make you put your phone away (except to take a few insta worthy shots of course) and simply take it all in. One thing I really like about this listing is the fact that it looks like it could be beautiful at any time of year. One of the photos in this sequence shows it covered in snow, and honestly the thought of getting caught up in a new england snow storm in this place seems like it would be kind of a dream.

Large Chic Cottage

This listing is a little different simply because it has more of the shabby chic style than any of the others I’ve previously listed. I fell in love with this space nonetheless because of the beautiful attention grabbing details within. From the first photo alone you can see a set of sliding barn doors. Where they go I have no idea, but I love that they are there. The large open windows that bring the outside right into the kitchen and sitting space are incredible. I really love the idea of being in the kitchen, making a pot of tea and being able to watch the rain or snow fall from the cozy insides of my place. Plus, I don’t think I’d ever be able to leave that hammock chair.

Secluded Mountain-Side Lodge

This beauty has two gems within that placed it on my list of places I’m dreaming of visiting. The first thing is the fact that according to the description, it is 5 minutes away from Mt. Washington. Imagine waking up and deciding to take a sunrise walk around Mt. Washington today. Maybe for the locals that’s not really that big of a deal, but for me, that screams adventure. I love how nestled in the trees this cabin is AND it comes with a hot tub…so yea. I’m sold.

Hillside Chalet

This cute space features a chic cabin feel while being a little more posh than your average log laiden structure. I love the way it’s designed and the way it’s tucked just out of the way without leaving you totally swallowed by the woods. The stately wooden beams in contrast with the beautiful white walls and wood floors gives off a quaint kind of beauty that honestly, I’m a pretty large fan of. The Mountain views are glorious and that alone would put it on my list, it’s just an added bonus that the space itself is so incredibly beautiful.

Picture Perfect A-Frame

This little beauty is the Pièce de résistance. I named her (yes her) Picture Perfect A-Frame because that’s all I want to do when I see this space, take pictures. The exterior is obviously unique, the little porch is so cute, and the inside gives me story book vibes. I absolutley adore this one. Surrounded by trees, I can just hear the sounds of wildlife in the early morning already. It would make the cutest little romantic escape or a cozy getaway with a couple of friends.

I told you in the beginning this was going to torture me didn’t I? Well, I was correct. The dreaming is paying off though and I may have convinced the hubs to consider a stay in one of these beauties for our first anniversary (fingers crossed).

As you can tell there’s a slight theme to the areas I’ve chosen, that’s because I’ve recently found myself kind of obsessed with being in the mountains. Kev and I took a trip to do maternity photos for a friend a year ago. That shoot led us to the mountains of New Hampshire and we’ve been obsessed and have been dying to get back to the mountains ever since. Any of these locations listed above would be a dream to stay at and I can’t wait until the world opens back up and we’re safe to travel and have adventures again.

Before I go, I’ve got two questions for you (and of course I’ll answer them too):

  1. Where is the furthest you’ve traveled from where you live? I live in Rhode Island, USA and the furthest I’ve been (so far) is Germany.
  2. If money wasn’t a concern, where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world? If I could go ANYWHERE I’d say maybe Italy for the beautiful architecture, food and culture or Iceland for the views.

Okay my friends, thanks so much for stopping by! Wishing you safety and pleasant dreaming as we finish up 2020!

xx Nicole

the joy of missing out Beating FOMO or the fear of missing out blog post by Nicole Eva

The Tea On: FOMO

FOMO or the fear of missing out, has been defined as (according to google) “Social anxiety that comes from believing that others may be having fun without you.”

I agree with that definition, but I also believe FOMO can be about a little more than simply thinking that others are out enjoying their lives without you present. Over the last few months I think many of us have been experiencing a bit of FOMO anxiety related less to our friends but more to the state of our world.

I live in America which means as you may know we just had an election, and if you’ve been paying attention then you know how that went…annnd how it’s currently going (deepest of sighs).During the time period leading up to the election results everyone…EVERYONE was on their phone, watching the news, looking at news articles, doing whatever they could to stay up to date so that when a result was called they would be the first to know. I would argue that that could also be a form of FOMO. Let’s toss out another example.

COVID. The world has been battling with COVID for a long time. Too long honestly but here we are. At this moment we’re currently watching the world trying to figure out what’s going to happen next. Is it back on the rise? Are we going to be entering a second lockdown? There are a lot of questions and we want to know the answers to those questions now. So we’re on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram looking for answers, contributing to discussions. Trying to figure out what’s going on and what tomorrow may look like. Not doing that, not giving yourself access to that information might for some cause some form of anxiety. Couldn’t we maybe also classify that as some type of FOMO? Fear of missing out on information? Fear of missing out on an important announcement? I think so.

So, how do we beat it? Yes, it’s important to be informed. Yes it’s important to stay connected especially when things are a little out of whack. But, there is a point when your brain can become overstimulated with too much information too often.

So, what do we do? We take a break. Here are 3 ways to help you take that break:

Log off

Give yourself sometime away from social media and news resources. I’ve recently started a habit that I actually got from a blogger (I don’t remember the post but I’ll do some digging and link it here if I find it). At a certain time of the day I’ll place my phone on the charger and stay away from it for anywhere upwards of an hour, but an hour is the minimum. I’m trying to do this daily. The first 15 minutes are always the most difficult, but by the hour is over, I’m usually not even interested in my phone anymore and my brain is calmer.

Set Boundaries

This one can be a little more difficult to manage because it involves other people and sometimes people are difficult. Setting boundaries on what information people can and cannot share with you and when is important to maintaining that mentally healthy space especially when in the process of fighting FOMO. During the election for example, while we were waiting for results, I told a few of my friends that I did not want to hear the play by play. It was causing me too much stress and I was already putting in the work of disconnecting from it on social media so I didn’t want it thrust upon me elsewhere. Obviously, not everyone will comply but for the most part it was very effective.

Validate Yourself

This internal work might not seem as important, but it’s actually quite necessary. It’s not uncommon while trying to get comfortable disconnecting that you will get into your own head and question if this is even necessary. You may tell yourself that it’s really not that big of a deal or even that you can handle the news/social media/conversation for a little while. And you may be able too, but you also may not. Only you truly know this, but if you decide that no, you cannot and that you are to remain disconnected encourage yourself. Remind yourself why you’re taking the baby steps to give yourself a mental break. Remind yourself of how the overstimulation makes you feel and remind yourself of how you want to feel instead. Encourage yourself throughout the process. It actually helps.

Those three ways to help you to take that break and beat FOMO anxiety have been things that have helped me immensely, and I hope it helps you too!

the joy of missing out Beating FOMO or the fear of missing out blog post by Nicole Eva

I’ve recently started rereading a book that I highly recommend you read if you struggle with FOMO. This book it called The Joy Of Missing Out by Tonya Dalton. I’ve mentioned this book before when I first started reading it but now that I’m starting to read it again I’m realizing new things. If you’re interested in this book check out my affiliate link: . The holidays are around the corner so if you’re looking to save your money (which I mean, we should be always), pop it in your amazon wish list and send it off to family as a little *hint hint* as something you’re looking for for the holidays. I’ve gotten a lot out of it and I feel you will too!

Alrightie friends! That’s all for today!

Talk soon

xx Nicole Eva

planner on table opened up to November 2020 plan with me blog by Nicole Eva

So Long, October.

October’s end is quickly approaching and just like that it’s about to be the second to last month of 2020. Wow. I’m not usually taken by surprise when the end of the year approaches because, well, you expect it. There’s just been so much packed into the past 9 months that I feel like the last thing I’ve had the emotional capacity to think about was the end of the year. But, as we know, it comes whether you’re watching for it or not.

October for me was a good month. This month makes 3 months married and I can finally say that I feel married. There are still some parts that feel brand new but for most of it I feel like we have adjusted pretty well to living together and sharing the same space. I think one of the most difficult adjustments so far has been simply figuring out how our normal individual schedules fit together. Between work, rest, sleep schedules, gym routines, creative work and recreation our schedules and ways of doing each of those things were individual. Now they’re individually together; I love it, it’s just been an adjustment for sure. The point being I don’t feel like we’re doing as much adjusting anymore, and that is nice.

This month also lent itself to a few adventures. I discovered a new tea shop with a friend. This has been nice since my favorite tea shop has recently become less visitable (a word?) to me since COVID which has been sad. This little shop is adorable and I love that it’s a Tea House as opposed to coffee shop because that means they take pride in tea specifically and won’t be serving me a tea bag and hot water when I order my tea like what happens at coffee shops (I don’t drink coffee FYI, that’s why this matters). I shot a friends wedding this month and I got to shoot it alongside my hubs so that was an adventure and a lovley event to be a part of. I also upgraded my camera for the first time since I started photography. Those are the few adventures from October that I can remember, but all things considered it was a pretty calm, nice month. I have no complaints.

Yesterday I started planning for November. By planning I mean I cracked open the November page in my cute little Libby Vanderploeg planner and got to work filling in dates, planning content and planning schedules for things I want to make sure I get done next month. I always find that I am more able to actually enjoy the holiday season when I plan ahead for it. I want to enjoy it this year. We DESERVE to enjoy it this year. Whatever it looks like. Therefore, my plan is to get ahead of it all so when the time comes I can sit back and just watch it all.

I posted a video of my little planning sesh on YouTube. It’s a very simple, aesthetic, chill vibes type of video where I literally set myself up with a cup of tea and write in my planner to some LoFi beats. If that’s something you think you’d be into check out the video below, I’d honestly love that!

I’m hopeful that this next month will be kind to us and will lend itself to good things for all of us. I really am!

What are you looking forward to the most this November? What are you nervous about? What brought you the most joy this past month? I’d love to hear your stories!

Until next time,

Stay safe friends

xx Nicole

p.s. I’d love to hang with you guys on instagram or twitter or both! I’m like…kind of funny…sometimes.

Loving Lately | My Top 5 Kitchen Must Haves for 2020

Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links! Regardless of affiliation the products I am discussing are products that I use and love and would recommend either way

Autumn is here! This means the end of the year is right around the corner and I think I share everyones sentiments when I say I am excited for the end of 2020.

One of my favorite things about this season so far has been getting my home all decked out for the holidays. This is the first holiday season that I will actually be able to decorate a home that is mine and I am excited to turn the space into a totally aesthetic and cozy dwelling filled with vanilla pumpkin scented candles, christmas wreaths, and comfy blankets to watch all of the cheesy holiday things with.

Speaking of home decor and all of those fun things, I’ve created a list of some of my current favorite things in my home. Most of these items have been gifted to us from friends and family as wedding gifts from our registry. Each item is something we knew we needed and would love once we had them in our home, and we were right. Recently on my instagram I posted a photo of a shelf in my kitchen and asked if anyone was interested in knowing where I got my things from. I was surprised to hear a resounding yes from so many people. I decided then that I would create a list to share with you all!

Kev and I have been here for a little while and we have had a ton of fun shopping for our home (maybe more me than him, but I’m gonna stick with “we”). Our home is still developing, so I don’t want to show everything just yet, but I’m excited to share one space of our home so far, our kitchen.

Each listing is going to be paired with a link to the item on Amazon so that you can check them out at your leisure!

Money Tip: My favorite shopping method to ensure I don’t go too crazy spending money I haven’t budgeted for is to save the items in my cart for later so I don’t lose them when I’m ready to purchase.

My Top 5 Kitchen Must-Haves for 2020

Spice Rack

This spice rack is going to lead the list as its one of my absolute favorite items! It comes already stocked with 18 spice jars and it compliments my home beautifully with its finished light wood coloring. My all-time FAVORITE thing about it tho is the fact that it comes with 5 years worth of free spice refills…that alone was the reason I wanted it over other racks I saw. At first, I thought it was too good to be true, but the reviews on Amazon were enough to convince me to go for it. I’m glad I did. Check it out here!

Bakeware Set

This bakeware set brings me so much joy! And to be completely honest, I had ZERO interest in baking anything until this set was in my home. Now it’s not uncommon to find me scrolling through recipes on Pinterest in bed before I go to sleep to find any excuse to make something yummy in these dishes. They are dishwasher safe (even though I prefer to wash them by hand…just in case) and they look and act like cast-iron even though they are not (and they’re not the price of cast-iron either, which is nice). They come in plenty of different colors too! I was tempted to go with the vintage blue or yellow ones but went with black (shocker). You can find these here!

Glass Storage Jars

These were on my want list forEVER. These for me were required to achieve my “Pantry Goals”. I will admit that when I first placed these on my list they were purely for aesthetics. BUT now that they’re here I actually use them and often. I love being able to see my food on display. It motivates me to cook and also motivates me to keep things neat, which in my opinion is a win-win. Check them out here to get some for your home!

Kitchen Utensil Set

I LOVE these. Why? Because they’re cute first of all. Second, they don’t scratch my pans, they’re easy to use and clean. I placed a bit of twine in the hole on the back of them so that I could hang them for easy storage as opposed to shoving them into a drawer. It’s a nice solution when you are, like me, limited in kitchen storage space. Check them out here.

Bamboo Dish Rack

The last item I’m going to list for you in this post (we’ll have more posts like this in the future) is my dish rack. I love this thing for many reasons but this reason puts it up and over any other I’ve seen- It collapses. I love this feature because when I’m finished with it, I can put it away. When I was looking for a dish rack I saw many that were built to stay next to your sink. Although convenient, I didn’t want to take up my limited counter space with a rack that stayed next to the sink. This one does its job while also looking nice in the process. Check it out here.

Those 5 items are the things I’m loving lately in my home. They not only make me happy, but they help to make my life a bit easier in the process. I hope that as you browse you find something you love!

Thanks for hanging out and we’ll chat soon!

xx Nicole

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List of the affiliate links I listed in my post including some other items I didn’t talk about in my post but also love below:

self care when you just don't care - self care for depression mental wellness

Self Care for When you Just Don’t Care

There are times when life is rainbows and sunshine. Times when breathing is easy and laughter is plentiful

But then there are times when sometimes getting out of bed and choosing to engage with the day feels like climbing the highest mountain and the simple act of faking a smile robs you of every bit of your energy.

These days it’s just as important, if not more so important to care for yourself.

Self-care has been illustrated as sitting in a tub filled to the brim with bubbles with lit candles, sipping wine, and reading a book before bed. I mean there’s nothing inherently wrong about indulging in self-care in this way. It will definitely leave you feeling pampered, but I believe that fixating on only that physical side of self-care inadvertently cheapens the goal of self-care. And on those days when it’s hard to even convince yourself to eat and take a shower…a bubble bath and candles just aren’t going to cut it.

So. When you don’t feel like it, when you can’t be bothered to care, when simply getting out of bed is hard, how do you do it?

Well, to start, I’m no therapist. I don’t know what will work for you…but I can tell you what works for me and hope that maybe you’ll find one thing that helps you feel a little more you today.

Nourish Yourself.

You’ve heard the word “hangry” before right? Well, believe it or not, that word isn’t just a made-up word and there is quite a bit of science backing the way our glucose levels affect our moods. Not feeding your body enough of the right things can have a large effect on how you feel, which can affect how you act on how you feel. For me, if I’m already in a deep funk and I haven’t eaten in a while, I don’t want to eat. That’s the nature of it. But without proper nourishment, I’m more likely to fixate on my mood, more likely to get set off or even triggered by something that wouldn’t normally affect me. If I’m already low, that can be pretty harmful. I’ve learned that if I’m already feeling low, I need to help my body help itself by eating something instead of sabotaging myself when I’m already not doing too hot. Sometimes a hot meal is all it takes for me to start taking steps towards coping with whatever I’m feeling correctly. You have to go into chef mode either, something simple can do the trick. I usually go for a small bowl of oatmeal to start. It’s nutritious and requires minimal effort.

Connect Yourself.

When I’m battling a feeling of extreme lowness I feel alone. It doesn’t matter if I am physically alone or not, I feel like I am alone. The only way for me to not feel that way is to intentionally connect with someone and let them know how I am feeling. I’m not usually very detailed, it usually ends up being a simple “today is hard” or “I’m having a low day”. The reason for it is not to garner pity from anyone, but so that I know someone knows that I’m struggling. I feel seen.

Move Yourself.

If I’m being honest I hate this one and it makes me cranky to even think about. What I want to do on days like these is stay in bed and sleep the month away. But in all honesty, I’ve never felt better after doing that. Never. So what actually helps is when I get up, shower, brush my teeth, and change my environment. This can be something as simple as moving from the bedroom to the living room or walking around my building. Sometimes I’ll go to the gym and walk on the treadmill just to move and be elsewhere. If the weather is nice, take a walk at the park or on your street. Movement plus the fresh air and an increased heart rate can be a perfect combination to release the needed endorphins for your body to start feeling okay…you might even start to feel good again.

As I said earlier, I’m no therapist. These are simply things that I’ve found that help me to feel more like myself and more equipped to handle myself when these hard days come. If you find yourself experiencing days like these often and you find that they interfere with your day to day I recommend locating a therapist. I did it at one point in my life and it was a great experience. If you’d like, you can read about it here.

Remember, self-care in its purest form is simply listening to yourself to figure out what your needs are and how to best address them. When you take time to care for yourself you are giving yourself permission to make yourself a priority at that moment. So do that; give yourself permission. It’s important.

Be Safe Friends

xx Nicole

Perfectionism, Grace and Enjoying the Process

Hey! Before we start did you know that I am also on YouTube?

Every-once in a while, a post from this page is featured and discussed in detail on my channel! Along with featuring blog posts you can find other thoughts, vlogs featuring my pretty average life and discussions on mental wellness and personal development. I enjoy doing it and would love to see some of you there too!

This week I featured this post on my channel! You can find it here or watch it below!

I struggle with perfectionism in my marriage.

Well, actually that’s a partial truth. I do struggle with perfectionism in my marriage, but not just there. I struggle with perfectionism everywhere, I always have. I thought, however, that I had overcome it. That I had finally reached contentment with being imperfect and had fully embraced my flaws in all of their glory. I thought that until…well until I got married.

How did I figure that one out? Lately, I’ve found myself frustrated. It took me a little while to figure out the source of my frustration but once I figured it out it made sense.

I’ve been doing this thing since I was a teenager and honestly probably earlier. I strive to be the absolute best at everything. When I fail, inevitably, I take it hard and become pretty verbally degrading to myself. I’ve made steps towards releasing myself from my impossible expectations, but what I didn’t predict was that instead of me holding myself to an unreasonably high standard, I would project my expectations of myself as expectations others had on me. Translation; I would assume that someone else expected me to be a certain way and as a result, I would try to conform to whatever the assumed expectations of me were.

Enter this past week with me feeling worn out and exhausted and like I was a total failure at being the superwoman & wife that I felt I was expected to be when in reality…the only one who expected that from me…was me.
I expected me to keep my home spotless at all times without needing help to maintain it. I expected me to keep up with cooking nutritious and elaborate dinners every evening. I expected me to keep every mental note of what needed to be purchased when and what we were running out of in the home. And I expected me to be able to do all of these things while maintaining my work schedule, sleep schedule gym schedule, social life, and creative projects.
It’s not possible.
So I “failed”. I failed and became tired and frustrated and moody and irritable. It’s funny just how quickly something can become a burden when you put it up on a pedestal like that. And that includes yourself. That’s exactly what happened to me. Cooking, something that I take joy in, became a burden. Cleaning, something that usually calms me and improves my mood, became a burden. All of these things that really don’t bother me when I’m in a mentally healthy space become the sources of my frustration. Even myself, simply existing and dealing with the everyday nuances of life became a frustration. All because I believed I needed to uphold an expectation of perfection that in reality…was never placed upon me.

The moral of this story? You’re not that special.
Just kidding; kind of.
Really though, what I learned from this and will continue to learn because I guarantee I’ll need another lesson of this in the near future is this: allow yourself to simply be human. I have to remind myself constantly that I’m a human who needs rest. I’m a human who needs help. I’m a human who wasn’t designed to do it all and I really shouldn’t spend all of my valuable energy trying to do just that. Striving for perfect at the cost of your joy, your peace, and your relationships is prideful. It’s discontentment. It stems from places of envy, insecurity, and from focusing way to much on yourself.

I wasn’t designed to be perfect (because what even is that first of all), but I was designed to simply live, and to live means to learn, and mess up and explore and to feel things. To reject the entire process is to miss out on life’s lessons and blessings. I am not above needing grace from others or needing grace from myself and I need to give more of it. I think we all could use a bit more grace.
I wish I could say this will be the last time I lecture myself on getting rid of my perfectionist tendencies, but it won’t be. That’s a part of the process and that too is a part of living. I’m going to do my best to enjoy it, all of it.