My Life

Workin’ on my Photography Skills!

My life has been beyond busy lately. My days are constantly filled with a full-time school schedule and two jobs; yet I am still making time for my passions and fun! 

A few weeks ago, I explored the West Loop, in Chicago with a few of my friends to work on my photography skills. My focus was capturing exciting and effective photos. 

All these photos are taken on my Canon Rebel T6 and edited in generic apple iPhoto Macbook application. (still saving up my money to purchase a professional photo editing system) I find it really important to showcase my skills, whether they are perfect or not. It helps hold myself accountable to constantly work harder as well as it provides an outlet to showcase my growth over time. 

Enjoy my photos and reach out if you’d like to help me work on my skills by doing a shoot of you or one of your events!

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Click Me to view the Full Gallery!

My Life

I am a #bossbabe

Recently, I attended a really cool #bossbabe event that left me feeling empowered, strong, and worthy of greatness.

If you are wondering what exactly a #bossbabe is….. get your head in the game! It’s just the new age term given to the “go getter” type of woman (like myself). Another term commonly used is passionista. (good old Urban Dictionary gives fantastic definitions)

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Soo, a #bossbabe event is when a group of like-minded women come together to learn from one another and find new ways to get inspired. It is quite emotional and thrilling experience that gives you a natural high! I always leave #bossbabe events feeling like a total BAD ASS.

The event I attended was Dare To Be Fearless by Fit Fearless Happy. It was a one day event in Chicago that featured #bossbabe speakers who took control of their lives and transformed them into something bigger and better. The day focused in on four topics that are beneficial for every woman: healthy lifestyle, personal development, business skills, and mindfulness.

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The woman who put this event together, was also a #bossbabe; Melissa Kolb. Her goal was to unite the community of #bossbabes together and get us all in the same room discussing topics we love. Shout out to you Melissa!

Dare To Be Fearless was an amazing day where I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. Each speaker opened up and shared their stories. All of their’s were so different, yet had a similar theme of overcoming some form of a struggle. It reminded me that we all experience pain and suffering, but how we chose to overcome it is our personal responsibility.

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Each speaker brought different concepts and ideas to the table. The lessons and messages were all so strong and moving. If you could picture a kid walking into a candy store for the first time, that was me taking notes as I was listening and internalizing what they had to say.

Now, I don’t want to “spoil” all the greatness these speakers have to offer. (just in case you want to experience them yourself) BUT….  I DO want to share with my biggest take always from each of them. I want to introduce them to YOU and inspire YOU to consider learning from each of these amazing women the things they offer.




Rosie Guagliardo

Her presentation focused on “achieving results with ease and joy.”  When you focus on your desires, the REAL you starts to show up. Often people strive for perfection instead of progress. Which results in a feeling that life is just happening to you instead of through you.

It all starts with our choices. Choices are made based off beliefs. Beliefs are thoughts we hear repeatedly (that we then internalize). Our thoughts create our desires. To make better choices, we need to increase our awareness of what we really want not what we “should” or “have to”. Awareness increased through observing, understanding, and accepting our desires.

Rosie’s lead us through a simple three stop process that teaches us to make choices create positive and happy results for our lives. It is all about shifting your perspective on the situations that appear our lives.

  1.  Notice It.
  2.  Name It.
  3.  Reframe it. 

Rosie is a life and career coach. If you want to learn more from her and all her great steps to living a happier life, check out Inner Brilliance Coaching.

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Kelly Uchima

Kelly’s presentation stood out to me because I could directly relate to my own life and my personal struggles. She is only 24 years old (only a few years older than me) and she is standing up and speaking out about breaking the stigma on mental health. (something I am also oh so very passionate about). Her main points jabbed me in gut and had me saying, “AMEN SISTA” in my head. Some of her one liners that stuck with me include:

  • Self-love is unconditional
  • Sexy means confidence
  • Embrace your light. Embrace Your Darkness.
  • Vulnerability helps you become comfortable with love

Kelly inspires me because she is publicly documenting her recovery with mental health issues. She is breaking the barriers, opening the doors, and making sure it is being talked about. On top of that she has a bad ass bracelet collection with Peas & Love. Check on Kelly on Instagram and see what I am talking about.

Kelley Porter-Turner

Kelley Porter Turner is the definition of a bad b*tch. Her fiery passion and insane confidence grabbed the attention of the room faster than anything I’ve EVER seen before. She really is powerful soul that grabs at your heart. When you hear her personal story of pain, you are left speechless because you wouldn’t believe a powerful woman like her as experienced such awful things.

BUT her whole message is about finding our purpose through our pain. She teaches through the metaphysical aspect which leaves you deep in thought. It really pulled me out of my comfort zone and opened up a whole new world of thinking about my environment. She really emphasized recapitulation.  We have two choices on how to internalize and learn from situations in life. You can either choose the path of pain or power.

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Kelley is a personal development and transformation coach who has written five books that share her story and inspire you to think different about handling situations in life. Consider Kelley and her work and I promise you, you’ll change your perspective. She is Coach Kelley on every social media.

Laura Folkes

Laura Folkes is a certified holistic health coach and her presentation was all about finding a proper balance in life. She told her story about struggling with diet, exercise, and weight since the age of 12. CRAZZY!! She tried everything in the book and nothing seemed to work for. Through her experience, she became inspired to help others with their diet and nutrition goals.

Laura led the group through a very hands-on activity that organized the essentials to success in personal health into five categories: Sleep, social life, career, eating habits, and exercise. She helped me realize that starting with small changes makes a difference. She challenged each of us to walk away with a small goal to guide us in making a change in our lifestyle choices.

The category I set my goal in was sleep. I am the type of person who either sleeps for days on end with 50 million naps or I am the type of person who doesn’t sleep at all. The goal I set for myself was to regulate my sleep schedule by going to bed around the same time each night and waking up around the same time each morning. I am committing myself to improve my sleep schedule in order to make my days more productive.

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Staci Boyer

Staci is the real deal. She is cut-throat and powerful. Her high energy was contagious. She has an insane amount of experience in the health and wellness industry, as well as experience in the Navy. Her presentation was called, “It’s time to show up for you!” She led the group through a process of self-discovery and realizing each of us have a great worth. She shared with us her very own inspiring quotes and asked us questions that got each of us thinking about ourselves and our own personal journeys.

She helped each of us realize the amazing qualities we all have that make us special. I want to share with you a few of the questions she asked as well as my own answers! Some of them were hard for me to answer but they really helped me think more positively about myself.

  • What about me is beautiful?
    • My big heart! I truly am an emotional young woman. I feel all my emotions so deeply and express them actively. My heart is constantly filled with love for everything around me.
  • One word that describes your version of excellence
    • Happiness! At the end of the day, nothing really matters if you aren’t happy with your life. I believe that I am at my best self when I am happiest
  • What makes you fierce?
    • My fiery honest responses to everything! I have no filter and I embrace it. You want the truth, I am the girl who will give it you.

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If you are still following, great! I know it is A TON of information to take in at once.

But trust me, the quality of these woman’s stories, their experience, and their advice will help transform your thoughts on yourself and the world around you. LET IT SINK IN. Explore their words deeper and let them create something for yourself. Follow these woman on social media and hear what they have to say. Sometimes you just need someone else to wake you up and push you in the right direction.



Thank you Dare To Be Fearless for giving me such a fun-filled experience with my friends to learn and grow from these women! I had such a wonderful time and I can’t wait for the next event!

Dare To Be Fearless Recap Video

 

My Life

Call Me A Goal Crusher

F**K YEAH. I AM KILLIN IT.  In all honesty, I am going to “toot my own horn” here quick.  I haven’t posted in awhile because I’ve been busy GOAL CRUSHING! 

In the past couple weeks, my life has done a 180° in all the right ways and it feels amazing to see dreams come to life and goals accomplished.  I AM PROUD OF MYSELF for all that I have done to get where I am; right here, right now. About a year ago, I was at a moment in my life where I knew change was coming and I was preparing myself for it. I set some concrete goals with by when dates and finally everything I saw for my future is coming to life. It is so exciting!

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Photo by my wonderful roommate Erin McTauge

↓THE GOALS I SET TO ACHIEVE BY FALL 2017↓

♥ Transfer colleges & declare my major 
♥ Work for a lululemon in the city 
♥ Save enough money to rent an apartment 

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It’s safe to say that these goals are CRUSHED. Over the past year, I really have dug deep into want I want to do with my life and what I should study in school to support that. Now that I have started the Integrated Marketing Communications program at Roosevelt University, I know that I am in the right place and taking the courses that will set me up for success.  

With the closing of ivivva by lululemon (check out previous post for details), I felt beyond supported with chasing my goal of wanting to work for a lululemon location in downtown Chicago. lululemon (and ivivva) is the company that introduced me to goal setting and the people I’ve met through working there have become some of best influences in my life. When I moved, I knew I wanted to stay connected to that environment.  

I also worked countless hours babysitting, waitressing, and working in retail to save my money to pay for rent all by myself. It sometimes got stressful and overwhelming, but I knew it would all pay off. I would spend my days after school and free time on the weekends bouncing between jobs. 

So here I am, happy as can be living in one of the greatest cities the world has to offer. I committed myself to working towards this and now that I am here, I am ready for a whole new adventure. I know with new goals comes new challenges, but I am ready to divide and conquer them. I can’t wait to share what I am working towards next!  

To my family and friends, THANK YOU. I wouldn’t have gotten where I am today without all the love and support.

 

Just a little preview of my life and experiences in Chicago so far!

** Header photo taken by Patricia Przydzial **
My Life

#JOBLOVE, I thank you.

For the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure to work for a company that inspires people to work towards the very best version of themselves.  A dozen of times, on various social media outlets, I have posted about my passion, excitement, and gratitude for #joblove.

ivivva, a brand inspired by active girls and created by lululemon is the heart of my #joblove. A retail company that not only provides young girls with clothing and gear to support them on their daily and active endeavors; but also, is a community of self-love, empowerment, and inspiration.

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My job has been filled with endless fun and learning experiences. I’ve helped bring yoga into schools, lead dreams and goals sessions for teams, clubs, and studios, I’ve planned themed store events and contests, and encouraged girls to express and love themselves. I also took part in their social media posting on Instagram and Facebook!

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I’ve brought the spirit of ivivva to new places by traveling all over the Chicago suburban area. I have helped create relationships and friendships with businesses, gyms, and studios whose missions aligns with our own.  I’ve shown up and supported girls as they crushed their goals and reached new heights. I feel honor to have represented such an amazing brand on various occasions.

Now that ivivva is evolving into an online based brand and community, I realize that this company has done just as much great things for me as I have done for the girls who came through the store.

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Through working with ivivva, I’ve transformed tremendously within myself. This company has taught me how to set a vision for my life, create goals (AND CRUSH THEM), and how to make myself a better leader in all aspects of my life.

The tools that ivivva has provided for me go over and beyond anything I could of ever imagined when I first got hired. Because of ivivva by lululemon, I am no longer and insecure, self-conscious, and a negative person. With the love and support from all team members who have come through, I have grown and learned how to be confident, loving, and full of love and possibility.

So here I am sitting in my bed reflecting on the past two years at ivivva by lululemon. It gets me quite emotional. #joblove has changed my life forever. I walked in not knowing anything about retail or the lululemon culture, I was full of nervousness and anxiety (which I expressed a lot), and I was scared to use my voice and express my talents and skills.  To look back on the “just out of high school” girl and then young woman I am now send chills through my body. I’ve accomplished so many great things! I wouldn’t be who I am without my learning experiences at ivivva.

#joblove has given me lifelong friends who provide love and support endlessly. Thanks to ivivva, I have met likeminded young women who guide me to greatness. They listen, they support, they truly care. Each of them bring something different into my life and it just works. We balance each other out, remind one another of our worth, and we just have so much damn fun together. I didn’t know what a rewarding friendship was until I spent endless hours working, laughing, and learning with empowering woman.

So, thank you #joblove for the experience of a lifetime. Thank you for the constant push to grow. Thank you getting me out of my comfort zone. Thank you for the workout and networking adventures. Thank you for the lessons learned. Thank you for giving me my best friends. The future of ivivva remains strong because of #joblove.



Ivivva by lululemon has officially closed its doors this weekend. (DON’T FORGET WE ARE STILL ONLINE) I am proud to say that my journey with company is not over yet as I transfer to a lululemon store. I am so ready for a whole new journey and can’t wait to share it with you!

shop ivivva // shop lululemon

 

My Life

10 Things I’ve Changed to Improve my Happiness

Happiness is created from your own thoughts, words, and actions. It does not mean everything in life is perfect, it means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections. It is more than just a state of mind; it is a choice you make.

This year I have been focusing on my personal growth. I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and exposing myself to the endless opportunities life has to offer. Lately, I’ve been feeling AMAZING and I am loving every second of it. I feel so strong and filled with positive energy. I wanted to share 10 things I’ve done that have improved my self-worth and increased my own happiness in hopes it will inspire you to explore yourself and find more joy in your life. Enjoy!



1. Forgive & Let Go

We have all been hurt before in one way or another. Shit does in fact hit the fan for each of us every now and then; but don’t get stuck hanging there. Learn from the past, but also leave it there. It does not define the person you chose to be today. Let go of all that doesn’t suit you and forgive those who have damaged you. There is no reason to hold onto to something that is gone. Life only moves in one direction. (which is forward)

What I did for myself: It meant letting go of the person who I think people perceive me as. (sounds confusing) I get so caught up in the negative aspects on my journey of life. I think of that time I made that one bad choice or the embarrassing mistake. I used to worry about those single incidents and the impressions they left on those around me. But in all reality, you can never let one day or choice define who you are. you can’t control (or know) what other people are thinking, saying, or doing. I decided to let go of all the judgements I was creating of myself and others. There is no point to get caught up in what other people think of me, it serves zero purpose in defining who I am.

2. Stop Limiting Yourself

Stop living in fear and saying, “I can’t”. Easier said than done, but remember that life has SOOO much to offer. How are you ever going to experience it all if you don’t step out of your comfort zone or take the chance on something different? The possibilities are endless! Create your own path and don’t follow the crowd. If there is something you are passionate about, you have every right to go for it.

What I did for myself: “I can’t” was always my go to statement whenever my comfort level was challenged. I used to think that I wasn’t capable of achieving anything great, but I was very wrong. It all starts with clearing the mental block that holds you back. One day, when you choose to say “I can”, the barrier breaks down and doors begin to open. The feeling of trying something is so much more rewarding than refusing to step outside the box. I am constantly working towards changing the limitations I mentally create for myself. I can do whatever my heart desires if I work hard.

 

3. Sing & Dance It Out

Music heals the soul, gives the body a tingle sensation, and increases joy in many people. But why are people so shy and timid when it comes to feeling the beat in every day settings? It doesn’t matter if you can’t carry a tune or dance like a professional; music is meant to run through the body so just let it.

What I did for myself: I know I suck at singing, and I know I get the words wrong. I know my dance moves are not up to par, but I don’t ever let that stop me from surrendering myself to the music. I used to get embarrassed and not sing in front of people. I used to get secondhand embarrassment for those types of people who just break out in dance in public. But now I am one of those people and let me tell you it feels amazing to just vibe out to your favorite jam whenever the hell you want too. Let it happen people, I know we all want to live our lives like a musical.

4. Create A Mantra

Mantras are an amazing tool for reminding yourself that you are capable of anything. Creating a statement to mentally refer back too in times of doubt, stress, fear, and anger does in fact make a difference in the way you think during those weak moments. It’s not selfish to remind yourself that you are an amazing person who deserves nothing but love and happiness.

What I did for myself: I freaking love my mantra. I tell myself it all the time, even when I am feeling like a bad ass. My mantra is, “I AM ENOUGH”. This statement ignites a fire in my soul and makes me feel worthy of all the great things life has to offer. It’s my “go to” reminder that mentally eliminates the pressure I put on myself. My mantra reminds me that I don’t always need to do more in order to be happy.

 

5. Get A Little Sweaty

Release what ever is holding you back not only mentally but physically. The human body works best  when you take care of all aspects of it. (mind, body, soul). Surrender your emotions to whatever activity you enjoy. Let the toxins physically sweat out, let fresh oxygen flow through the body, and push yourself a little further. The after benefits of “getting sweaty” leaves you feeling refreshed!

What I did for myself: I make time to get “sweaty” weekly because I know I am an emotional person and sometimes it’s a lot easier to work through whatever is going through my head in the physical form then to just sit around and let it gather up mentally. I love the natural high I receive from an intense circuit, hot yoga, and even a neighborhood jog. Something about just creating a space to work hard and take care of my physical body makes me feel like a warrior. I feel like physical activity helps me strengthen my mental health.

6. Eat The Right Foods

Like I’ve said in previous posts, what you put into your body reflects what comes out. It is crucial to fuel your body with Whole Foods like fruits and veggies! It’s really important to limit your sugar and artificial food fillers intake. Now a days, there are endless resources to find foods that are better for your body. I’ve learned that small changes make a huge difference and that everything is okay in moderation. Eating right shouldn’t be stressful because it is a lot easier than you think. You just need to put the time in at first and the body adjusts so quickly! You don’t realize how shitty some foods make you feel until you cut them out and start feeling better.

What I did for myself: I recently have been limiting my processed food intake. (I’ve even been eating less lucky charms!) I also have elimited dairy from my diet, which has made a huge difference! I bloat less, have more energy, and just feel lighter. I also try to only eat out once a week. This way I am forced to prepare meals and take them on the go. My next step is to create more vegan friendly meals to increase my vegetable intake in yummy and creative ways.

 

7. Spend Time Alone

You can still be a “people” person and spend time alone. Spending time alone is actually a very relaxing activity that makes you a stronger person. Spending time alone doesn’t mean sitting in silence staring at the wall. It can be driving with the music off, reading a book in the corner of the coffee shop, folding your laundry with your bedroom door closed. Alone time is when you create a space to get lost in thought, where you let yourself become creative. Taking the time for sit in quietness all alone is very powerful. It can be difficult sometimes, but once you let go of wanting to control the situation you find peace and quite very easily.

What I did for myself: When I spend time with myself, the craziness in my thoughts calm down because I block everyone else out and just focus in on me. It’s not a selfish thing to do, but it is so important for my sanity. My favorite alone time is when I am in my room with my essential oil diffuser on and the lights dim. Another way I enjoy my alone time is when I’m out in public alone. I can almost do everything and anything by myself; I love going shopping alone, to the pool alone, and even to the local Starbucks alone. It took time to find my alone time when I am constantly surrounded by others, but it’s possible to achieve the feeling even when you aren’t physically alone. Sometimes I want the alone time in my room and other days I just want to spend the day doing the things I love alone. It really makes me feel strong and independent.

8. Get Lost In A Book

Reading isn’t everyone’s favorite thing (including mine) but it is an outlet for discovery, freedom, knowledge, and fun. The possibilities within a book are endless and there is sometime out there for everyone to enjoy. Reading grants each of the chance to expose ourselves to whole new worlds and ideas. It shouldn’t be something millennials like myself should ignore and look over. It is truly more satisfying than watching endless hours of Netflix. (In my opinion of course)

What I did for myself: I actually picked up a book for the first time in years and began to read for fun. To be honest I never read things for school that I am supposed too, so to read by choice was a huge stepping stone in my self growth journey. Since picking up that book at the start of this summer, I’ve read three more. What I’ve learned is that reading is so much more rewarding when you choose things that interest you. (I guess that’s why reading hit series and best-selling novels never worked out for me because I enjoy nonfiction more!)

 

9. De-clutter Your Assets

You don’t need that. It’s not necessary. Today our worlds are filled with so many products and promotions that make it so easy to stock up on things not needed. In order to be happy, you don’t need so many physical things. Go through your belongings; there are so many things each of us have that clutter our lives. Donate it, sell it, recycle it. There are many possibilities when it comes to clearing out your closest.

What I did for myself: To be completely honest, I am an organized hoarder. I keep everything. Now that I am preparing to move, I feel overwhelmed by the number of things I have. As I start to box of my memories from the past, I’m learning that I have so much more than I need. Getting rid of things that I’ve been holding on too “just in case” makes me feel so much lighter. I don’t need my second grade cursive handwriting book, or every participation trophy, or even all the pairs of leggings. Why have all the stuff sit around? Someone else can find use for it, or it can be recycled to something new. Clearing things from my room has been a challenge, but I’m realizing I don’t need all that crap in my life. I can hold onto to those things in my heart and mind. The empty space feels nice too.

10. Appreciate And Thank Your Tribe

 Not everyone who comes into your life will hold a special meaning. But when you come across someone who supports your goals and guides you in the right direction, hold onto them. Appreciate their generosity, kindness, and love. It’s so rare to find people who genuinely care about you. You’ll know you’ve found a good friend when you find one, and you’ll realize that it’s about the quality of people you have in your life not the quantity. Don’t ever forgot to thank the ones who are on your mind at the end of each day. Everyone deserves recognition for what they do.

What I did for myself: I am so blessed to have such a strong and loving family who I can count on for everything and anything. They are the rocks that keep me grounded. I am lucky that found my own good vibe tribe who I adore more than anything. (You know who you are) These people constantly remind me of my worth. I am always thanking them for their friendship and loving every moment we spend together. My tribe are the people I can go weeks without seeing but can call in pinch when I need support and guidance. These people lift me up, and I know I do the same for them.

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What I did for myself may be so different from what you need to do for yourself. Change doesn’t happen overnight. If you put the time and effort into taking care of yourself, you will see a positive change. 

-Kasey Elizabeth

**all photos from my Pinterest Board Inspiration**