February 18, 2016

I have been a blogger for about 5 years. I have had 2 blogs, at least 5 different blog designs, and I have made a lot of mistakes. Blogging started out for me as an outlet for me when I first got married. I enjoyed sharing recipes and little tid-bits of married life. After I got divorced, my blog was then altered and changed to fit my new single life. I decided to share my story in case there were others out there in my shoes. A 20-something divorcee is a lot more common a demographic than I'd like to admit. Suddenly, I had readers contacting me for help. They were asking me for advice, or asking if it ever gets better. I am here to say now, IT DOES GET BETTER! Not to sound cliche, but time has really helped me with everything. Now, I see blogging as a hobby, a creative outlet, and a cool way to make some side income. I love sharing stories, thoughts, feelings, and even my favorite shops on occasion. To me, this is a community. In order to build a community, I think there are some necessary steps to make sure that your blog is successful. It's been a while since I have had some goals related to blogging, but I thought I would share them with you today.

Post Consistently
Posting consistently was a struggle for me most days. I felt like I had very little to say, and since so much happened last year, it felt like more of a burden than a hobby. I decided to take a much needed break and focus more on my "real life" away from the computer screen. I tweeted less and less, my instagram was geared more toward my personal life, and forget pinning. I did none of the above very much at all. Now that things have gotten better and I am feeling stronger, my inspiration is starting to come back. Posting consistently increases readership and it drives those who really love to read your blog to come back. I have about 9 or 10 blogs I check on a daily basis to see if they have posted. I want the same for my readers.

Post Quality Content
Posting more consistently also drives me to post more quality content. I cannot tell you how many of my posts were bare bones and a lot of fluff. I am now looking at researching before I actually post, and I really want to include information that experts, or experienced people have studied. I do have a background in counseling, and I know about some things, but I certainly couldn't go and open my own practice. I don't have the background. It's important in some posts to include quality and researched material to give your post more credibility, as well as your blog.

Don't shy away from social media
Social media can become very tiresome, however, it's the majority of our communication as bloggers. It's important to not shy away from these tools. These outlets are ways for us to connect to our readers and to each other. By not participating on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or Periscope, we aren't being completely open about our lives. I do believe in preserving our privacy, buy our readers want to know us more. To them, we are someone who they can count on. Who they go to for a laugh, or an idea, or a dream. I do think it's good to limit yourself to 2 or 3 really good social media outlets. Don't try and put all of your energy into all forms of social media. The material will end up looking forced and it may not drive any more traffic to your site. 

Create posts that will go viral
The posts that do the best on my blog are about being single, living a good life, and lists posts. These posts spread like wildfire because I know they are relatable. I think creating 10 or so posts that can easily go viral can drive consistent traffic to your site. My post called, "Tips to Stay Married" has gotten over 10,000 views, 100s of repins on Pinterest, and has been shared on Facebook and other outlets. Being divorced has given some significant insight into what makes marriages work and for those that are still married, they find the information helpful. Again, this is a list post, includes an easily readable and shareable graphic, and is simple, with little to no fluff. That's what people are looking for!

Blog because you love it
I can tell when a blogger really doesn't love to blog, but does it for the income, or the prestige. I can tell when the posts are all fluff, or really don't include relatable content. These people are operating our of desperation, and not love. I love blogging. I love writing and always have. Yes, I have made mistakes and not every post is crazy traffic worthy, but I don't give up on it. If you blog because you really love it, and love what you can do for others through blogging, then keep it up! Eventually you will find success and you will find what you're looking for through your little part of the internet. Enjoy it! Do what you love!

If you found these goals and tips helpful, please feel free the pin the graphic below and SHARE!


Happy Thursday, xx!


February 17, 2016

I have been reading the book 7: an experimental mutiny against excess, and I must say that this has been an extremely convicting book to read. It was recommended by a co-worker friend of mine and then she so sweetly decided to purchase the book for me as a Christmas gift. I was so excited to read it because of all of the great stuff she said about it. I love books based on case studies and/or experiments. Being a counseling major in college, it made me feel kind of like I was back in school, and for that, I was actually excited.

Here is some background about me before I divulge the primary purpose behind the book. I grew up in a middle class family. There was a TV in every room, and we were always in separate rooms in the evenings watching our own shows. On occasion I would go downstairs and join my parents while we watched a TV show, but for the most part, I was on my own each night. I grew up in a small house that we lived in for 12 years, and my dad had a used ski boat that we would ride on during the summers. My dad was a handy man and my mom a receptionist. We didn't have everything we wanted, but I never went without. We always had food, electricity, water, and cable. We always had a shelter over our head, and I never worried about my basic needs being met. When I was a teenager, cell phones were just becoming more popular and landlines were becoming less and less common. Facebook hadn't been invented yet, but we had a desktop computer and dial-up internet. It was very rare that a TV wouldn't be on or the stereo blaring when I was a kid. My parents didn't have a lot of money, but we took yearly vacations to different places, and at one point, we were taking three vacations per year. I don't know any different. As I have gotten older, credit cards have become more common for me, and I have almost every gadget I could want. I have an iPhone, Macbook, TV, DVD player, and for the most part, I am content. I also have several pairs of boots, shoes, flats, and more clothes than I need, although I did purge a good bit after I moved. I am in no shortage of anything, but yet, for some reason I still desire more. I still want more even though all of my basic needs and bills are paid for. I have student loan debt (who doesn't) and a car note that I will pay off in a reasonable time.

So, when I decided to read the book, that I'll call for short, I was a little skeptical about Jen Hatmaker's intentions. This isn't her first book by the way, she has been around quite a while. I wasn't sure if I was going to be reading a book I could relate to, or if I was going to read the rantings of some weirdo who decided to "go off the grid". The book 7 isn't about going off of the grid, or preparing for a technological apocalypse, it's about reducing the 7 excesses in the author's life. She deems these as, "clothes, spending, waste, food, possessions, media, and stress". The significance of 7 goes beyond the 7 excessive items, it is also the number of items she limits herself to in each category. So, for one month Jen only consumes 7 foods. For one month Jen only wears 7 items of clothing. Currently, in a chapter 4 she is reducing media to complete radio silence except for texting for emergencies and using the internet for important things like work and life. So, you kind of get the picture.

I have not yet completed the book, but thus far, I am feeling very convicted in several areas of my life. I know I love to spend. I admit this and I think I am not the only raising their hand right now about having a spending issue. I spend when I am happy, sad, angry, lonely, etc. I also impulse buy WAY too often. I know this about myself, and while I have gone years rationalizing it, I no longer can. I see the significance in fasting certain things in my life, but I want to be called by the Lord to fast these things and not just throw myself into a fast without praying or seeking beforehand. Jen was strategic in her fasts, and she had a counsel of women who were there to support her and help clear the muddy waters. It's not always easy to completely turn your life upside down without any help with the navigation.

Overall, the book is hilarious, thought-provoking, and eye-opening.  To think she did this all in 7 months, it just blows my mind. Not only was she fasting certain things in her life, but her husband and kids were joining in too, which I love! I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to just lessen and reduce in their life. If you want to purchase the book, head on over to Amazon for a good price! Also, email me and let me know what you think if you decide to read!


Happy Reading, xx.


February 16, 2016

Southern Shops
I love living in the South and I love, love being from Georgia. Just the name, "Georgia", sounds southern. If you are not from the South, here are some things you need to know.

1. We love representing our states and our football teams.
2. We Monogram EVERYTHING and we aren't ashamed of it.
3. We still wear pearls on occasion and yes, we still have junior league lunches where pastels are required.
4. While we understand state pride may not be necessary, it's absolutely encouraged.
5. We tailgate better than anyone because sometimes we still use fine china.

There are more, but it would take all day. I have come across some amazing shops that sell state pride or southern pride wear that I think are adorable. If you want to check these out, feel free!!

Peach State Pride
This site is well-known in Georgia, but I only have one T-Shirt from them. I need more! Again, I love being a Georgia Peach!

Lauren James
Lauren James takes state pride to a whole new level. Yes, everything is preppy and absolutely adorable. She recently was released to offer college T-Shirts. Check them out!

Cotton 101 - For the Guys
T-Shirts, Hats, they have it all! If you are looking for something for your dad, brother, boyfriend, check this site out!

Southern Fried Chicks
Monograms, T-Shirts, koozies, the whole nine yards.

Simply Southern
T-Sbirts and pull-overs are all the rage on this site, but you can find just about anything you want to represent the South. And you're doing it in the cutest of ways!

Happy Shopping, xx!


February 15, 2016

So, I have really wanted to get back into a fitness routine, but I am honestly stuck. Here is my timeline of how fitness goals and I work.

1. Yay! I want to work out! I am going to get so toned and hot before Summer!
2. I am going to eat better and really make some abs in the kitchen, as they say...
3. Wait! What do I do to work out? Can I just walk for 30 minutes a day?
4. What is HIIT? What is Crossfit? It looks like a place with modern torture devices.
5. I think I'll just walk on the treadmill. That's good.
6. Oh, walking does nothing? Oh okay.
7. Can I weight lift and lose weight? That sounds contradictory.

So, you see where I am coming from. What are your exercise tips? What kind of exercises are actually fun and make an impact?



February 14, 2016

So, Valentine's Day is coming around and your index finger is tired from swiping right and left trying to quickly find a guy to take up your Valentine's Day...or night.

If that hasn't worked out for ya, which hello, every guy is probably radio silent so they don't have to get a gift, then here are some ideas for your Valentine's Day that will not make you want to dive into a pint of ice-cream and binge watch romantic comedies.

1. Go out with your girlfriends and look like a million bucks. It may be no secret that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Get your friends together and go out for a night on the town. Go ahead and get out that dress you've been saving and those sexy heels and go paint the town red. Literally.

2. Stay in and enjoy a delicious dinner, wine, and dessert. Treating yourself can be just that. Have a  night of luxury at home. Cook a good meal, get a good bottle of wine, and enjoy the quiet. Even splurge and take a bubble bath. You don't need a man to do it for you!

3. Do something for others. Sometimes treating others can make you feel good, even if it isn't your boyfriend. Volunteer, make gifts and give them to your loved ones, or just do something that you know will impact others in a positive way. Love isn't exclusive to relationships. You can show love to whomever is in need.

4. Tackle a project and finish it. I love being productive, especially on cheesy hallmark card holidays. I think marking something off of your list makes you feel good about yourself and helps you to worry less about the fact that you're single. Do that DIY project you've been wanting to do, or maybe it's something involving work, or a new recipe you've been wanting to try. Either way, go for it! There's no better time!

5. Just go ahead and eat all the ice-cream and watch all the romantic comedies you want. So, I know I said that this wouldn't be a good idea, but of course it is. Duh! The Notebook, You've Got Mail, 27 Dresses, watch them all. Just pick ones that don't make you want to drown your sorrows and cry into your ice-cream tub. Don't watch Titanic.

Well, I hope these ideas suffice, but if not, do whatever it is you want! Valentine's Day isn't everything, and someday it may just be another day because your significant other treats you like a queen everyday of the year.


Happy Do What You Want Day, xx!


February 13, 2016

Since I have watched "Making a Murderer" on Netflix, I have absolutely become addicted to crime shows and now a podcast, "Serial". "Serial" has actually been around a year or two, but I just hopped on the band wagon and I am absolutely addicted to it! I feel like a detective trying to crack an impossible case.

It got me thinking a lot about the justice system. Growing up, I equated justice with truth. I figured people lied at first about committing a crime, but eventually fessed up and told the truth about what they did, why they did it, and how they did it. What have I learned since watching all of these shows and listening to podcasts? Everybody lies. People do it unintentionally, people do it to protect themselves or someone else, whatever the reason, it happens. It happens a lot.

Even under oath, even after placing their hand on a Holy Bible, and saying "I promise to tell the whole truth...", they still lie. How frustrating! How do lawyers do it? How do they defend someone whose guilty? The truth is, no one is trying to get to the root of the truth, they just want to make the strongest case and persuade the jury.

I know this I understand that this is just how the justice system works. I just don't like it. I love the truth and I hate liars. I hate violence, stealing, drug dealing/selling, etc. But all-in-all, it's happening everyday.

I imagine myself in the shoes of every person involved. I empathize very heavily with the story and I get completely caught up. Do you do this? Am I the only one watching every crime show on TV?


February 12, 2016

Dating apps are all the rage these days. If you aren't using a dating app, or online dating, how are you even meeting people? Okay, I know that you can still meet people organically, but dating apps are just too fun to miss out on. They are hilarious, interesting, and honestly, they give some comedic relief about being single. I am one to take life way too seriously sometimes (Thanks, Dad), but I also appreciate a good laugh once in a while, especially when it comes to the dating arena.

Dating apps are convenient, low-risk, and can really help you figure out what you want and what you absolutely DON'T want.  Here are the most popular dating apps available on iTunes!

Here are the advantages of dating apps: 

You get to decide who you are going to be. You can be the absolute best version of yourself. 

You find out what you like and don't like. You can really narrow down your hobbies. 

You can take about 100,000 men/women with you wherever you go. 

You are welcome to judge and be judged. There is no sugar coating it. 

You can differentiate the scumbags from the nice guys. Typically, the nice guys vanish in a poof after a few days of conversation, but hey, at least you tried. 

You can swipe left or right when you're bored and still be "productive". 

You can change your profile, your likes and dislikes as your life changes. 

You can delete the damn thing whenever you want. 

If you are single, under the age of 40, and aren't online dating or using dating apps. I encourage you to do so. Will you find the man of your dreams? Probably not. But, you could find a friend, open a door to new friends, or find out that you aren't exactly where you want to be in life, or who you want to be, and start making yourself better. I am not saying you will find prince charming, but I am saying you will be inspired to be better. I think people who online date are either completely full of crap, or completely honest. I have found very few that are in between. I am getting pretty good at detecting full of crap guys. Those are usually the ones who invite you over after talking for 7 minutes, or offer to give you a body massage after 2 days of talking to them...Yes, that has happened to me. More than once.

For more information regarding online dating sites, and which ones will work best for you, head over to

I don't know how God will bring the right man into my life. I am not sure that He ever will, and that is okay. I want to keep myself open to possibilities, and open to who I can be.

What do you think of dating apps or online dating? Pro or anti?

Happy Friday, xx.


February 9, 2016


Loving my Home Chef meals that are delivered to my door every Wednesday. It's about $60 a week, which is way less than what I would spend going out, and it's very good quality food. I am not a picky eater, but I get bored really easily. This way I can cook my own food, know what's in it, and better control my portions since each meal is portioned for 2. I eat my half then save the other for the next night. The nights I don't cook I spend in the gym for at least 30 minutes. WIN WIN, people! If you are interested in trying this home food delivery service, click here.
Spinach Stuffed Chicken with Zucchini and Squash Ribbons
Sirloin with roasted potatoes, carrots, and red peppers
Creamy Risotto with brussels, pecans, and goat cheese
Loving my "Toilet" sign (classy, right?) from Magnolia Market. I hung it on the outside of bathroom and keep the door shut so I can look at it. Not a total necessity in life, but who doesn't love Magnolia Market?!
Using the crap out of my Powersheets and Simplified Planner. Each 1st of the month I sit down and have a mini board meeting with myself. I go over my goals, budget, calendar, appointments, and plan out my month. I cannot tell you how much stress this relieves!
Using my Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation. It is amazing for my oily skin. I still need to powder throughout the day, but my skin doesn't drink it like other foundations. It stays put!
Enjoying a beer or glass of wine once in a while. I also love staring at fresh flowers. It just brightens up the apartment. I really have been trying to watch less TV at night, maybe watching one episode, but then I read or do something else until bedtime. I have also been incorporating working out 2-3 days a week, and hopefully can build up to more as time goes on. I am just walking about a mile to a mile and a half, but I hope to do more as my stamina builds up! It's exciting and it's good that I am doing more than I was, which was nothing...
Sweet time laughing my #freshfriends. That's what we call ourselves, and it would take too long to explain it, so I will just leave you with the picture below. This pretty much sums us up. We had a little Super Bowl party on Sunday night, and it was a blast to spend time together. Love my babes!

Happy Tuesday, xx.

200 POSTS!

February 4, 2016

 Hey-oh! Today marks my 200th post! I am going to treat this day like a birthday so...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, little bloggie blog!  

Here are my top favorite 20 posts of all time. If you want to check them out, feel free!

1. Tips to Stay Married
2. Seven Southern Sayings You've Never Uttered
3. Single Girl Budget
4. 7 Mistakes Single Girls Make
5. Getting the Most Out of Premarital Counseling
6. Casual Dating & Me
7. How to Be a Good Roommate
8. Just for Now
9. Organization: Tips & Tricks
10. Pawpaw
11. How to Start Fresh After a Move
12. Decorate Without Damage
13. Tips for Organizing Your Blog Life
14. Dealing With a Big Life Change
15. Growing Your Blog
16. Things I've Learned from Divorce
17. Dating in Adulthood
18. I'm Going to be Thirty
19. Letter to my Single Self
20. Getting My Life Back

Thank you to those who read, read consistently, and take your time out to comment!

Happy Thursday, xx. 


February 3, 2016

I have been making my way through the Jesus Calling devotional, which I love. I am trying to be more consistent with reading it and the scriptures along with it, but it's a work in progress. It's shameful to say, but I have not been a huge Bible reader in the last few years. I chock it up to being in a Christian college and constantly memorizing, reading, studying, and writing scripture. After so long, I just felt burnt out. How horrible, right?

Recently, I have come to realize just how important consistent Bible reading and studying is. I get my share at church, but it's also important to nourish my soul with the scriptures on a daily basis. I really get caught up in life, make excuses, but I feel as though every time I open the Bible or my Jesus Calling devotional, the Lord speaks so loudly, it's almost comical (in a joyful way). I have mentioned it before, but I struggle and have struggled with anxiety for quite some time. I always keep my focus on the things going on around me, the future, what I don't have, and freaking out about when the things I want to happen will. It gives me this heaviness and it's hard to snap out of sometimes. When I read the Bible, I feel rested and refreshed. I remember that the things my eyes see will pass away, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Everyday, I am reminded that each day the Lord gives me is a gift. I must cherish and treat it as such. The moment my eyes tear away from Jesus, the more overwhelmed and anxious I become. I have learned to accept and appreciate my anxiety. I know that sounds weird, but I think its my body's way of telling me that I am out of balance, and that my eyes need to be fixed on Jesus.

As I rode with my roommate to work today, in a terrible thunderstorm, I remembered to be at peace because Jesus is always with me. I smiled to myself because once again, the devotional this morning was absolutely written for ME! It just feels so wonderful to see and feel God's presence again. I am reminded of how much he loves me, and yet I still can't fathom the depth of it.

I hope you find little reminders of the Lord's peace today. I pray your heart be focused on the eternal things unseen, rather than the chaos that may surround you.

Happy Wednesday, xx.


February 1, 2016

The month of January went by extremely fast! I have to say that I am not too happy about that. See, I turn 30 this year, so the slower time goes the less I freak out. Does anyone else feel this way about turning 30, or did you when you turned 30? Ugh. I am terrified!

Since February is the month of love - I am going to center my goals around relationships and making those better!

January Goals:
Eat only Jenny Craig food
Work out (cardio/strength train) for at least 30 min. 4-5 days per week.
Volunteer in my city.
Host at least one get together, or dinner for another person or group.
Save $100 this month.
Reduce coffee
Completely abstain from drinking diet soda.

De-clutter and finalize dining room.
No social media on weekends and no social media after 8 p.m. on weeknights.

So, I didn't do great, but again, GRACE. I think I bit off more than I can chew. I tend to do that sometimes, which leads me to be in this vicious cycle of setting unrealistic expectations, then being hard on myself for not meeting them. I am changing that this month. I have less goals, more reachable goals, and I am going to give myself some grace when it comes to these goals. Progress, not perfection.

February Goals:
Try HomeChef (food delivery service similar to Blue Apron and Hello Fresh) for one month.
Work out at least 2 days per week (30-35 min.)
Reduce social media/TV watching after 9 p.m. and read before bed.
Unplug one weekend this month.
Finish my Budget for this month in my workbook.
Tithe consistently. #Godfirst

I am so excited for this month, but sad that this year is already going by so quickly! Next month I hope to take a trip with friends to Nashville and then my 30th birthday is coming up in June! AH! Time, slow down!