We’re Having a Baby!!

Can you guys believe it?! It still feels so surreal to write those words and say them out loud. We’re so grateful to all of you for the outpouring of love and well wishes we received on our big announcement on social media a few weeks ago and we can already tell how loved baby C is going to be when he or she makes their arrival in the new year. Our EDD is January 2, 2020. We truly couldn’t be happier or more excited for this next chapter and to be able to share it with our families and our closest friends. It’s been a long time coming!

To follow up on our baby announcement, I wanted to share a special blog post with our favorite photos from our photo shoot we did in Lake Geneva at the end of June (I was 13 weeks then), our pregnancy journey, why we waited so long to start a family, and how we found out, as well as touch on the loss we suffered with our first pregnancy in 2018. I know there are so many couples out there who have suffered a miscarriage(s), have babies up in heaven and have struggled with or are currently struggling with infertility so please know that our hearts go out to all of you. Just remember, you’re not alone and the road to parenthood is a very personal one. I think we all need to remember to be a little more cognizant and mindful before asking that next couple when they’re going to have a baby because you never know what someone has or is going through. Every pregnancy journey is unique and every couple has their own story to share.

With that being said, sit back and grab a cup of coffee (or tea) as I share our story and I apologize in advance for this somewhat lengthy post ahead.

Why We Waited

John and I are going on 14 years together in December so you can imagine how many times we’ve been asked, “When are you having a baby??” just as often as we used to get asked, “When are you getting married?!” 🙂 To give you some insight as to why we waited so long to start a family, the next paragraph gives a brief history on our almost 14 year long relationship.

Firstly, John and I met in our early 20s. I was 21, still in college and John was just about to turn 24. We were both so young and social butterflies who were very much into Chicago’s nightlife. It was something we both enjoyed doing before we met and something we enjoyed doing as a couple. At the time, we both still lived at home (John got his own place a few years later and I moved in about two years after that) and there was still so much we both wanted to experience before we settled down and started a family. Neither of us ever felt rushed to get married or have kids since we were already in a committed relationship and none of our friends were in serious relationships at the time, let alone married (we were one of the first couples in our group of friends to get married). We enjoyed going out, traveling and being selfish so marriage and starting a family just wasn’t a priority, but it was definitely something we both wanted one day. After six years of dating, we got engaged on New Year’s Eve 2012 followed by a two year engagement before finally tying the knot in 2014. We just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in May (you can read all about our destination wedding here).

For the longest time, John and I were very content with it being just the two of us up until a few years ago. To be completely honest, his “biological clock” started ticking before mine, but he never really voiced it until I started entertaining the idea of having a baby. My parents got divorced when I was really young and due to circumstances and a messy divorce, my birth mom wasn’t in my life for 20 years which I believe has a lot to do with why “motherhood” just wasn’t something I had always longed for. I always knew that I wanted to have a partner in life and get married, but I just never really saw myself as a mom. As I got older though and my friends started having babies, I realized motherhood was something I truly did want, but we just kept pushing it off due to “bad timing.” However, the birth of my nephew two years ago officially sealed the deal for me. I never realized how much joy and happiness a new baby could bring into one’s home or how much love I could have for this innocent little human.

Our Pregnancy Journey

I had been on birth control since my early 20s and so when we decided it was “time,” we just assumed it would take us longer to get pregnant and for my hormones to regulate on their own after being on birth control for so long. I was 33 when I stopped taking birth control in August of 2017. Much to our surprise, we fell pregnant just a couple of short months later and found out we were first expecting in December of 2017. We were completely shocked, surprised, nervous, happy, in awe and speechless since we technically didn’t “plan” it or think it was going to happen so quickly. My cycle had always been regular and like clockwork so I just knew when I was late that month that I was probably pregnant. I bought a pregnancy test on my way home from work and didn’t even tell John until I saw two faint lines which meant a positive pregnancy test. I called for John to come upstairs to look at the test and tell me what he saw. He was so confused as to what was happening because he had no clue that I even took a test so once the initial shock wore off, we just looked at one another, smiled and squeezed each other tight before I sent him back out to pick up a few more pregnancy tests to really confirm that we were pregnant. They all came back positive. As unexpected as it was, it was one of the best surprises we could’ve received.

We found out two weeks before Christmas so we decided to surprise our families on Christmas day with our big news. Both of our families had been begging us to give them grandkids for some time so we knew Christmas would be the perfect time to share the news with everyone. We wrapped up a pregnancy test for my parents and then we placed another test inside a baby stocking engraved with the initial “C” for John’s parents to open. It was such a special day and one we’ll always remember.

Our 2018 Miscarriage

Unfortunately, our joy was short lived because we miscarried at the end of January when I was nine weeks along. We found out at our nine week ultrasound that our baby had stopped developing a couple of weeks earlier, but my body hadn’t recognized the loss just yet. A few weeks prior at our six week ultrasound, we were told there was a good chance the baby would not survive because of its lower than normal heart rate of 92 BPM. A normal fetal heart rate at six weeks is between 120-160 BPM, increasing to around 170 BPM at its peak around ten weeks and then decreasing again to a steady rate between 110-160 BMP through the third trimester. Even though we were made aware of our impending miscarriage, we tried to stay hopeful and prayed for a miracle as we waited to see what would happen.

After learning that the baby had stopped developing at our nine week appointment, we were given the option of waiting for my body to miscarry naturally or having a D&C (dilation and curettage) procedure to remove the tissue from my uterus, but we decided to wait it out and let nature take its course. As if I couldn’t have wished or yelled it out any louder for this nightmare to finally be over, I started to miscarry later that evening. Ultimately, my miscarriage lasted a couple of weeks. Physically, it wasn’t painful and I’d say it was comparable to a two week long menstrual cycle; however, I ended up having an incomplete miscarriage which resulted in me having the D&C after all to expel the remaining tissue just a couple days shy of my 34th birthday in February. It was a long, drawn-out, and very sad process that lasted about four weeks from start to finish.

After our loss, we were both extremely heartbroken. Going from pure joy to heartache in a matter of weeks was a lot to take in and we just never imagined we’d go through something like that. I found comfort and peace having my friends and family there for us and hearing other couples’ stories about their own miscarriages (1 in 4 women suffer a miscarriage). I hope that in speaking out and sharing our story, we can break the stigma of miscarriage which is very often a silent and lonely grief. You’re not alone and there is nothing to be ashamed of. The single most common reason for an early miscarriage is due to a chromosomal abnormality and nature’s way of freeing your body of something that is incapable of survival or leading a normal life. You’ll never forget what you’ve gone through or the thought of “what could’ve been,” but I am here to tell you, it does get easier and there is always a rainbow at the end of the tunnel.

At the end of the day, we knew we were ready to start a family and it was something we really wanted. I believe that going through a loss like that has only made us stronger as a couple, more appreciative and extremely grateful for this new life growing inside of me.

Our Pregnancy Journey Continued

After our miscarriage I was told I shouldn’t have any problems getting pregnant again and to try as soon as we were ready, but we decided it would be best to not rush anything and when it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen.

I noticed a few months later that my cycles seemed to be getting shorter and lighter, but I didn’t think much of it. When fall came around, I was starting to get a little concerned as to why I wasn’t pregnant yet. In December 2018, I made an appointment with my OB to get some blood work done since at that point it had been a year since our first pregnancy. I had some basic blood work done including Cycle Day Three which measures various hormone levels that help determine if you’re ovulating as well as your ovarian reserve (egg supply). Everything came back normal except for my TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) levels which came back abnormally low, indicating I had too much thyroid hormone or hyperthyroidism. My OB didn’t seem too concerned about me not conceiving yet, but told me to get in touch with my primary care physician to get my thyroid looked at which she thought could’ve been contributing to us not conceiving and my lighter periods.

I’ve never had any thyroid issues in the past nor has anyone in my family. Ironically, within a week or so of getting my blood work done, I started to feel unwell and feel pain in my throat and have swelling around my neck. I scheduled an appointment with my primary care physician who sent me in for an ultrasound to look at my thyroid gland which showed severe inflammation. We had some blood work done to determine if I had a thyroid autoimmune disease which thankfully I did not, but it turned out that I had developed acute thyroiditis which is an attack or injury to your thyroid gland possibly caused by a viral or upper respiratory infection. Unfortunately, due to how severe my thyroid gland was infected, I ultimately developed long-term hypothyroidism which is a condition where your thyroid no longer produces enough thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and you need to take medication to help regulate it. Your thyroid gland plays a major role in how your body functions, including your metabolism, energy levels, mood and fertility.

Since “it will happen when it happens” was taking longer than expected and we were starting to get anxious about starting a family sooner than later, I decided to try an ovulation test with my next cycle to help determine my most fertile days. Ladies, if you’re trying to get pregnant, I highly recommend Clearblue Digital Ovulation Tests (the brand I used) because you’d be surprised at how short of a window you have to actually get pregnant and how off you might be on your ovulation days. I had been keeping track of my cycles for a year with my Iphone App, FLO, but the ovulation tests were more accurate. One month I ovulated just a couple of days after my cycle began and the following month I ovulated almost two weeks later. After getting my thyroid regulated and using ovulation tests for three months, we conceived again naturally. If you’re trying to conceive and want another option, I know a few women who have used the Ava Women bracelet which is a fertility tracker you wear at night that keeps track of your cycles. It’s more expensive, but it seems to be pretty popular and has helped many couples conceive.

How I Found Out

I briefly mentioned above that due to parents complicated divorce, my mother and I weren’t in contact for about 20 years. After my mother and I reconnected in 2009, I had gone back to visit her in Serbia a few times, but she had never come to the states. My mother was granted a Visitor visa last summer so I had suggested that she visit us in spring or summer of this year and ultimately we decided on mid-April so we can celebrate Serbian Orthodox Easter together. Serbian Easter is our holiest holiday and my mother is a big believer in the Orthodox Faith so I just thought it would be a special time for her to visit. She stayed with us from April 14 through April 29, and lo and behold, we learned that we were expecting during her first visit! How amazing is that?!

This photo was taken on 4/20/19, a week before I found out I was pregnant (three generations in this photo and we didn’t even know it). I love how there’s a rainbow over us which I believe signifies our rainbow baby.

I mentioned above that my cycles have always been on track and like clockwork which would typically last about 25 days. The week that my period was due in April, I just had this gut feeling, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. There had been a few instances in previous months when I was hopeful that I could be pregnant after being a couple of days late, but then my period would come. Womp, womp.

By day 26 of my cycle, I still hadn’t seen any spotting which is usually a clear indicator for me that my period is coming. I didn’t want to get my hopes up so I was being patient and not trying to think about it. Day 27 came around and I was starting to feel more hopeful. By day 28, I should’ve definitely started spotting and so I thought to myself that if by Thursday (day 29) I don’t see anything, I could very well be pregnant. Thursday came around and still nothing. I took my mother to the Sky Deck in the city and to show her where I worked, but I was totally out of it all day and in my own little world. We went out to dinner that night and I said to myself, if the next morning I didn’t see any spotting, I would take a test. Friday came and there was still no spotting (five days after my missed period). It’s always best to wait at least five days to a week after your missed period for the most accurate results.

At that point, I allowed myself to get excited and found one unused pregnancy test in our linen closet. My mother and I were the only ones home that day so I decided to take the test while my mother was downstairs drinking her coffee. When it was time to look at the test, there was a very noticeable plus sign which meant I was pregnant! I was ecstatic and on cloud nine as I carried my positive pregnancy test downstairs with this big goofy grin on my face as I handed it to my mother and said, “Surprise!’ She took the test out of my hand as she just looked back at me and started crying. She said she just had this feeling I could be pregnant and was so unbelievably happy for us. I’m so thankful to have been able to share this once in a lifetime moment with her.

How I Surprised John

My mother was scheduled to leave the day after Easter and I was thinking to surprise John on our 5th wedding anniversary that Wednesday, but my mother insisted I surprise him while she was still in town to be able share the moment with him too. I’m so glad I told him when I did. All day Friday I was keeping this little (big) secret from John and on Saturday my mother and I went out to find leftover Easter decor so we can put together a little basket for John. I found some paper confetti eggs and wrote, “We’re EGG-specting Jan. 2020!” on the eggs with the pregnancy test hidden in the basket.

On Easter Sunday my mother and I had plans to go to church so we told John we would have coffee and breakfast with him before we left and that’s when I surprised him with the big news. I excused myself and said I was going to bring down the Easter basket I had for our nephew and told him I had one for him as well. I handed John his basket and sat back down as he just stared inside not really comprehending what he was looking at as I just sat there with the biggest grin on my face waiting for him to say something. When he finally read the words out loud and realized what was happening, we all got pretty emotional as my mother congratulated both of us on our exciting news. It was seriously the best surprise and I’m pretty certain that Easter Sunday will always be just a little extra special going forward.

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The Ultimate Getaway: A Weekend of Rest & Relaxation at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

Hey, guys! Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend and are enjoying your summer so far. Our weekend was well spent with a few parties, including my father-in-law’s 70th birthday bash and quality time with family and good friends.

Just before the holiday, John and I went up to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for a three day weekend getaway for a mix of fun and some much needed R&R. This was my third time going up to Lake Geneva and my second time staying at the award winning AAA Four Diamond luxury resort, Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. The first time I stayed at Grand Geneva Resort and Spa was for a friend’s bachelorette party a few years back which made my decision to stay at this resort again an easy one.

For two of my three trips to Lake Geneva, I chose Grand Geneva Resort & Spa because of its location, amenities and exceptional reviews. The resort is situated on 1,300 acres in the woodlands of Lake Geneva with 355 guest rooms and suites including their newly added luxury villas. They have two outdoor and indoor swimming pools, two beautiful 18-hole golf courses (rated one of the best in the Midwest), five restaurants, the WELL Spa & Salon, a fitness center and a ski & snowboarding hill, in addition to being a popular venue for weddings and/or group events year-round. Grand Geneva Resort & Spa is the ideal location for families, couples or a group of friends looking to sneak away for a day trip or for an entire weekend. The resort is conveniently located 3 miles from downtown Geneva, 90 minutes from Chicago and 60 minutes from Milwaukee or Madison, WI.

Grand Geneva Resort & Spa offers a weekly calendar filled with experiences and seasonal group activities for all ages, including a big fireworks show on July 3 that is considered the best in state and a small fireworks show every Sunday night from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

[Photo Credit: instagram.com/grand_geneva]

Some additional activities and amenities the hotel offers include:

  • Horseback riding
  • Hiking
  • Bike rentals
  • Scooter rentals & tours
  • Volleyball
  • Golf
  • Skiing/Snowboarding
  • Wine tastings
  • Fitness classes
  • Weekly classes
  • Spa
  • Kids programs
[Photo Credit: instagram.com/grand_geneva]

Grand Geneva Resort & Spa has five restaurants & bars plus five cafes & lounges including:

  • Geneva Chophouse -Upscale steak house; reservations are recommended and is also open for Sunday brunch.
  • RistorantĂ© Brissago -Contemporary Italian cuisine.
  • Grand Cafe -Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfast buffet has really tasty cinnamon rolls and is only $19/pp before 9am or $22 after 9am.
  • Links Bar & Grill -Casual atmosphere and is open for breakfast, lunch or dinner with an outdoor patio and stunning views of The Brute golf course and the resort’s private lake.
  • Leinenkugel’s Mountain Top Lodge -Open in the winter.
  • Lobby Lounge -Offers live entertainment and a great place to mingle with friends and have a cocktail before dinner.
  • Grand Central -Coffee shop with freshly-baked pastries, salads, sandwiches and smoothies as well as a small range of toiletries.
  • Evolve -Indoor lounge offering beer, wine and cocktails.
  • Embers Terrace -An outdoor patio with a fire pit ideal for before or after dinner cocktails located outside the Geneva Chophouse.)
  • Cool Water Pool Bar -Outdoor pool bar.

I can’t say enough great things about Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, the exceptional service we received during our stay or recommend a better family-friendly resort in Lake Geneva for your perfect summer getaway. Grand Geneva Resort & Spa is offering my readers a 20% off discount on lodging that is valid now and all through September 30, 2019 via this link here or with code: STILETTOS on their website.

A big thank you to Grand Geneva Resort & Spa for hosting us during our stay.

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5 Ways to Celebrate Your Wedding Anniversary

Happy Friday! Today is a special day because John and I are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary! Time sure does fly when you’re having fun. To commemorate 5 years of wedded bliss, I’m sharing 5 ways to celebrate your wedding anniversary!

1. Watch your wedding video and look through your wedding album. Each year on our wedding anniversary we watch our wedding video and reminisce about our wedding week in Mexico. Being able to relive those happy memories and feelings together is a simple way to ignite your love for one another and is a tradition you can share with your kids one day. You can read all about our destination wedding here and watch our video below.

2. Spend the day together and seek new experiences and activities. Try a cooking or painting class, go to a wine tasting or host one at your house, go to a baseball game, a concert or see a comedy show. Another alternative is to pick a sport that one of you loves like horseback riding, golf or baseball and spend the day on a golf course or at the batting cages. One year I surprised John with a private helicopter tour over Chicago on NYE which happened to be our dating anniversary and it was a memorable experience for the both of us. For our second wedding anniversary we treated ourselves to a Spa Day followed by dinner afterward. To keep it exciting, you can alternate who picks the activity each year and this is a fun way to cross things off your bucket list.

3. Take an anniversary trip. John and I have taken many trips together over the years and we both agree that sharing experiences and creating new memories outweigh traditional gifts. Instead of spending money on things, we “gift” each other trips whenever we can for our anniversary or birthdays. For our 1st wedding anniversary we spent a long weekend in San Francisco with a day trip to Napa Valley and last year we traveled to Italy for two weeks (read all about it here). This year we are going to Naples, FL over Memorial Day Weekend. Saving for an anniversary trip each year or every few years for those milestone anniversaries is a great way to start incorporating more travel into your life.

4. If a getaway or vacation isn’t in your budget, opt for a “staycation” in your own city. Go sightseeing during the day, visit a museum, do some shopping and then rent a hotel room for the night. You can order room service and binge watch your favorite movies in your hotel room and the hotel staff is always happy and willing to accommodate any special requests. Just inform them upon your arrival that it’s your anniversary and have a bottle of champagne and strawberries sent up to your room for that extra romantic touch.

5. Organize an anniversary photo shoot together. Hire a professional photographer, get your makeup done and get some professional photos taken for the fun of it. John and I didn’t get an engagement session in before our wedding, but we did a winter photo shoot the following year when we traveled to Park City which happened to be the town our wedding photographer is from. It was a unique experience and we were able to use those photos for our holiday cards later that year.

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35 Years Young and 35 Life Lessons I’d Tell My Younger Self

OUTFIT DETAILS

Jumpsuit: Express | Heels: Sam Edelman | Bracelet: Express [similar] | Earrings: Express

And just like that…I’m thirty-five (going on five because I couldn’t pass up the obligatory birthday/balloons photo op.) and officially in my mid-thirties! Yikes. Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?! In all honesty though, birthdays and turning another year older do not scare me. As the saying goes, “Do not regret getting older. It is a privilege denied to many.” I have so much to be thankful and grateful for and each year only gets better so cheers to another year older, wiser and happier!

In honor of my 35th birthday, I wanted to share 35 life lessons and/or life quotes (in no particular order) that I would tell my younger self that I’ve learned over the years and some that I practice today which have helped me have a more positive outlook on life and be happier in general. What are some of your favorite life quotes and/or life lessons you’ve learned over the years?

  1. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea..and that’s OK. Invest your time and energy into the people who invest in you.
  2. While you have to plan for the future, you should live for today. Take that trip you’ve always wanted to take. Splurge on that handbag you’ve had your eye on for a while. Call in sick and spend your day in bed watching your favorite shows. Leave work early and meet your friends for happy hour or make it home in time for dinner with your family.
  3. Make sure to save for a rainy day because you never know what can happen. Believe it or not, I’m still learning how to save and need to keep working at it because I know how important it is to save. Nothing in life is guaranteed. That job you have now may not be there tomorrow and your family may not be able bail you out. So while it’s important to live for today, be smart about it.
  4. Life really is short. At any moment, our life can be taken from us so cherish those moments you have with the people you care most about. Remind those you care about how much you love them and hug them just a little tighter.
  5. Your high school years are not the best years of your life. I promise.
  6. Don’t focus so much on “being popular” and getting people to like you. Get them to respect you.
  7. Don’t chase those boys/girls (or anyone for that matter) in high school and in your early 20s. Focus on YOU! You have so much to learn about yourself from the time you’re 16 to 25 and so forth. You’ll continue to grow and evolve and what you think you want in your 20s might not be the same as what you want in your 30s.
  8. “Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn.”
  9. Not everyone you talk to or hang out with is going to be your best friend or has your best interest at heart. That too is OK. It takes time to develop trust and meaningful relationships so save your secrets for the select few.
  10. Collect memories, not things. The memories you make always outweigh the benefits and shelf life of that new accessory or gadget collecting dust.
  11. Don’t give up on your dreams and do what you’re most passionate about, but be realistic. If you’ve never played basketball a day in your life and can’t dribble a basketball, you’re probably not going to make it to the NBA. I know. Bummer. Just like my 5’6 average frame will probably never get me that Victoria’s Secret modeling contract, but who’s to say I can’t/won’t attend the show as a guest one day?
  12. Take risks and don’t be afraid of the unknown. It will all work out even if it takes you longer to get there. And if it doesn’t, you can always start over. If you’ve always wanted to live abroad and you have nothing major tying you down, go do it! You can always come back. If you’ve always wanted to open up your own bakery, bake away and offer to cater your friend’s next party! One of my biggest regrets is changing my major in college from broadcast journalism to marketing communications because I thought it would be “easier” or “safe” in the event I wouldn’t make it as a journalist. I gave up because of fear of the unknown. Here I am, years later, finally following my passion of writing even if it’s just as a hobby, but at least I’m doing what it is I’ve always enjoyed doing, in one way or another.
  13. Don’t pick a job or career based solely on the bottom line and what will give you short term results. You may have to work harder, work longer hours and make less in the beginning working a job you actually enjoy or you just might end up working a dead-end job with no potential to grow wishing you were doing something else.
  14. Don’t wish. Do. If you’re not happy with your current situation, whether it be financial, your career, your relationship, etc., you need to take control of your circumstances and change what you want to change. You can come up with any excuse in the book as to why you can’t do something or don’t want to, but in the end, it really is up to you.
  15. Spend time with your family. Call your parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt, cousin, etc. as often as you can. Take time out of your schedule and visit them. Your family loves you unconditionally and you don’t want to have any regrets. They won’t always be there (see #4).
  16. Show up. If a close friend or a relative invites you to something, it means a lot to them for you to be there so make the effort. This is something I always pride myself in doing and I know it’s never gone unnoticed.
  17. Be punctual and respect people’s time. This is something I’ve struggled with forever!!! I’m usually always running 5-10 min. late and while my friends and family have accepted it for the most part, everyone’s time is valuable so do your best to be there..on time!
  18. Develop deep and meaningful relationships, not surface ones. While it’s fun to have people to go out and party with, it’s more important to know you can count on said people to pick you up if you’re stranded, hold your hair back when you’re sick, are loyal and are there for you in a time of need (see #1 and #9).
  19. Be the kind of friend you’re looking for. If you’re a good friend to others, you’ll almost always get the same in return. However if you feel it’s always one sided, then it might be time to re-evaluate that relationship.
  20. Maintain the friendships you have when you’re in different stages in life. One friend might be having babies, one friend might busy growing her/his career, one may be traveling the world, but a simple text, phone call or email reaching out to them to check in every once in a while goes a long way and will help keep that line of communication open for a lasting friendship. “Everyone has a friend during each stage of life. But if you’re lucky, you’ll have the same friend in all stages of life.” (So lucky to have a few of these gems.)
  21. No one is ever “too busy.” You make time for those you want to make time for and/or things you want to do. Of course life happens and you may not be able to talk as much as you used to, but don’t forget the people who were there for you and made time for you when you needed it. People will come and go and that’s alright. Those who make the effort to stay in your life are worth keeping around.
  22. Don’t be self serving or only do things for others with the expectation of wanting something in return. People will see right though you and you’ll be awfully disappointed.
  23. Do something kind on a random day for a complete stranger. Help that elderly couple cross the street. Buy that homeless person you see often a meal. Volunteer your time. Whether it’s an hour a week, an hour a month or a couple times a year, help someone in need just because.
  24. Smile and say: “Hello!” to the complete stranger who catches your eye. You never know who you might meet or if they’re you’re soul mate.
  25. Don’t hold a grudge. I know for me at least, it takes more effort staying angry and holding onto resentment than forgiving someone. You free yourself by being able to move on and accepting that apology you may never receive. As that famous song goes, “Let it Go!!”
  26. Forgive and forget. When someone apologizes and you’ve addressed the issue already whether it be with a spouse, a relative or a friend, you owe it to the both of you to not bring it up again and not hold their past transgressions from 5 year ago against them. We all make mistakes.
  27. Having “better” clothes or making more money than someone doesn’t make you better than them. Neither does your job title. Sowwy. Most people don’t care and people who matter, won’t remember where you purchased your blouse from or the company you worked for. You should strive to be remembered for the kind of person you are. Stay humble.
  28. “People will forget what you’ve said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” This one hits home. Good or bad, I can definitely say I’ve had situations where I still remember how someone has made me feel.
  29. Go to the movies, see a play, watch a musical or go to a concert in your free time.
  30. Travel alone at least once. It really is liberating.
  31. The world doesn’t owe you anything and neither do the people in it.
  32. Don’t cheat your way through life. It’s so much more rewarding knowing you accomplished something on your own through hard work and determination over being handed something.
  33. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Don’t compare your life to anyone else’s. Work at your own pace and you’ll get there when you get there.
  34. Success has a different meaning to everyone. Don’t measure someone else’s success based on what it means to you.
  35. Follow your heart and trust that your gut is always right!

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[Photography credit]: Gaby Abboud of Gabmaster Photography

Hair & Makeup: Daniela Kosta

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Valentine’s Day Giveaway

OUTFIT DETAILS

Jumpsuit: Nordstrom | Ankle Strap Sandals: Sam Edelman | Cuff: Express | Earrings: Express

And the winner is……Kristi Schuster!!! Kristi, I hope you’re as excited to receive your 50 ROSES for Valentine’s Day as I am to gift them to you! I’m so grateful to all of you for following along, always engaging with me and for your thoughtful comments and messages. It really does mean a lot! Kristi, I hope you love your flowers and cheers to you, girl!! xx

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[Photography credit]: Gaby Abboud of Gabmaster Photography

Hair & Makeup: Daniela Kosta


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