December 31, 2016

This time last year I was doing the very same thing I am right now. I have my hair up, my PJ’s on, and I am reflecting about this past year. This whirlwind of a year. Seriously, how did the year go by so quickly?

I keep thinking of the year 2015, and like always, I compare this year to years passed. The year 2015 had SEVERAL challenges. I have to say, next to 2013 (the year I got divorced), it was my hardest year yet. So much sorrow, so much loss, so much gone that once was. This year, I did lose 2 grandparents. This year, I did have my times of deep sorrow and sadness. When one year ends, you don’t forget the events that have happened. This year, I felt like I was reset. I thought to myself, “Okay, 2015 was bad. Let’s make 2016 better!” I was intentional in the beginning. I had some goal sheets to help me get organized. I purchased a planner that was sure to change my life for the better. I had three devotional books that I swore I would read daily. I promised myself I’d start going back to church regularly, eat healthier, lose weight, meet new people, maybe even fall in love. I had so many good intentions, but intentions they were. Eventually, the goal sheets became overwhelming, the planner became daunting, the devotional books were being read weekly, if I was lucky, and I had actually gained more weight this year.

So much intention, with little to show for it. Honestly, this year was amazing in that I turned the big 3-0 and celebrated it with people I love! I actually turned 30 and didn’t have a complete mental breakdown, although I did shed a few tears at dinner. I was given so much by so many people when I didn’t deserve it. I saw my niece and nephew grow this year. One started pre-K and the other started to walk, then run, then babble and talk. I became closer to my family in ways I didn’t think were possible. I saw my sister raise two of her children on her own while my brother-in-law was deployed. I saw people have babies, announce pregnancies, engagements, and get married. I saw some lose parents and grandparents and aunts and brothers. I have witnessed so much heartache and so, so much joy.

This year, I don’t want to fill out goal sheets, or planners, or swear I will do this or that daily. I don’t want to plan my life away, because really, when have my plans ever gone as well, planned? No, this year isn’t about being “intentional” because intentions don’t necessarily bring forth action. Intentions are the choices you hope to make. Intentions mean well, but rarely do they constitute results. For the year 2017, I want to live in action. I want to do, rather than talk. I want to have done something, rather than say that I will do it. I am not saying that goals, or planners are bad. I am the QUEEN of planners, but if all you do is plan, and don’t act, next year will look the same as this year.

I am asking God for guidance for this upcoming year. What will I do? Where will I go? What will this time next year look like when I act rather than intend to do something?

I hope this encourages you to do the same. I hope you ACT in 2017!


December 9, 2016

Being single during the holidays has it's advantages and disadvantages. Not having to wrack my brain to figure out what my boyfriend wants for Christmas, advantage. Not getting a gift from said boyfriend, disadvantage. Obviously, I am always the "giver" in the relationship. Ha!

To handle all of those moments that would typically bring me sadness can be difficult, but I have some remedies for the loneliness that may be experienced during the holidays.

If you are newly single, divorced, widowed, or have been single for years, all of these will apply!
1. Surround yourself with loved ones.
That isn't exclusive to just family members. If you have a particularly small family, which I do, then co-workers, friends, or members of you small group can be included in the holiday festivities. Have a friends Christmas gathering complete with holiday music, Christmas cocktails, treats, and a hot chocolate bar. Grab some of your small group members and go look at Christmas lights. Invite a few of your co-workers out for a drink or special dinner somewhere cozy. You don't have to be alone even if you feel like hiding away, or if being single is bringing you down. Get out there and take in all of what Christmas has to offer!

2. Remember the reason for the season.
I am a Christian, first and foremost, so the Christmas season for me is all about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. When I think about the humble way my Savior came to this earth, and the amazing story of his birth, I just can’t help but feel emotional. Even in the most impossible circumstances there can still be incredible joy! Even if you don’t believe, I think family, friends, and togetherness are very important as well.

3. Rest, relax, reflect. 
Christmas is near the end of the year and I always take some time to reflect on the year. This year so much has happened. I feel as though there were some wonderful times, and some times that were challenging. I feel as though every year I have come to accept my singleness and each year a new triumph gives me hope for the upcoming year.
4. Be grateful. 
I know that so much can change in a split second. I am so grateful for my health, my family, and the amazing friends I have come to appreciate more and more. I never want to take any part of my life for granted, even when I am single and in this season of waiting.

5. Light all of the candles. 
I know that candles for a lot of people represents romance, but don’t be afraid to set up your own special, cozy, holiday atmosphere. You can still enjoy scented candles, a glass of wine, and the twinkly lights all on your own. You can’t imagine how amazing it will make you feel!
6. When asked about your relationship status: Be patient, be kind, be as honest as you want to be. 
I know family members are curious. Now that you’ve been single for a few years, they may expect you to have someone, or they may bring up your ex not knowing that they’re your ex...I know, it can be frustrating. Just be patient. They usually mean well. Be kind even though you may feel sad or angry. And, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. You have the ability to set your own boundaries. If you don’t want to talk about it, politely say that, and remember do it with LOVE!

Other posts about Singleness on Melissa Faye Blog:


December 6, 2016

This is how I look when I am anxious.
I have written a few posts about my anxiety on the blog, and I feel as though it's time for a little update. If you have experienced feelings of anxiety or depression, trust me, you are not alone. I have been dealing with anxiety since I was a child. I remember feeling uneasy and fearful and not really understanding what it was. I couldn't quite pin-point it, but I felt as though something was wrong. Truth be known, I have now gotten to the root of the issue, so to be honest, something was wrong. That's a whole other post though...

Now that I have been seeing a counselor for nearly a year, and have been prescribed anti-anxiety medication, I feel as though my anxiety has become very manageable. I used to fight my anxiety with all I had, but I knew once I stopped fighting against it, and started to flow with it things would get easier. I was so angry. I was so frustrated that I couldn't go with the flow. It's similar to skidding in a car on an icy road. When you steer into the skid, then you can get out of the skid easier (and alive). It's the same way with anxiety. When you don't fight it, recognize it, and use your "tool kit", the anxiety or panic attack will surpass faster.

Tool Kit Includes:
1. Deep breathing exercises.
2. Focusing on the present things around me.
3. A hot, relaxing bath.
4. Talking about my feelings with family or friends.
5. Reading Scripture, worship music, prayer
6. Doing something active or something I enjoy.
7. Journaling.

All of these things can help ease and even eliminate my anxiety.

Last week, my anxiety hit pretty hard. I had a very full week (at a conference) and had to travel an hour and forty minutes one way and back each day. That made for hours in the car, in Atlanta traffic, with very little relaxation or downtime. I knew one thing - I was physically exhausted. When mental or physical exhaustion hits, my anxiety gets to be at an all-time high. I knew that I needed to focus on the tasks at hand, not get overwhelmed, and get through as best as I could until Friday. Luckily, I had plenty of downtime this weekend, so I am feeling much more at ease. To relax I typically hang around the apartment, take baths, do face masks, take naps, and watch Netflix or movies. I was also with my roommate all weekend and we got to eat out a couple of times and run errands. If I were completely alone all weekend, I would not have felt as recharged. I felt alone at the conference all week, so recharging during the weekend for me was having time to be social and connect.  If I feel as though I have had very little alone time during the week, I tend to hide away for a little while to recharge. It depends on my circumstances.

Managing anxiety is all about balance, and it can be pretty hard! I think for me, keeping a lighter schedule, having time to myself and with others, and doing things I enjoy helps manage it much better.

If you feel as though your anxiety is creeping in or increasing, take a moment to reflect on your schedule. Have you been working longer hours? Have you been rushed for time? Have you been more tired lately? Have you been by yourself too much or too little? All of these things can attribute to how you feel.

Feel free to share with me your tips for managing anxiety, or if you have any questions, let me know. You can also send me an email to


December 5, 2016

The holidays are upon us and I can feel the anticipation in the air. I am feeling very much in the Christmas spirit, so it's been constant Christmas music & movies. This will pretty much be my diet until December 25 (and heck maybe a day or two after) 🎄.

I wanted to catch up with you guys and let you know what's been going on. Share with me any of the below!

Thankful For: Christmas time! The songs, the activities, the food, everything! I am so ready for Christmas break (hello, two weeks off). Also, I can't wait to use this wrapping paper again! 

Thinking About: Around this time I always think about the loved ones that are no longer with us. You just never know when it will be someone's last Christmas. I always think fondly of the memories of them, and I don't know, the love you have for them, missing them, it never goes away. I get a little sad, but I always remember the good times. It's bittersweet. 

Feeling: Christmasy (is that a word?), excited, and just a little burned out, if I am being honest here. Around the end of the year is also the end of the Fall semester, and the Fall is always way more hectic than Spring. I just really feel excited about getting an extended time off to actually decompress without counting down the hours for when I will return.

Listening To: Christmas music, duh! I think I should call this post, "Christmas Talk". I have all of the holiday and Christmas classics on my Spotify account. My favorite albums are always Classic Christmas, Pentatonix, Glee, and Michael Buble.

Eating: White fudge covered Oreos. They are only out for a limited time, so I try and take advantage. I have also been having WAY too many Starbucks holiday drinks.

Reading: I haven't been reading as much lately. I think I am in a book reading rut.

Loving: I am loving the Hallmark Channel right now. Basically, I get to watch non-stop romantic Christmas comedies. The cheesy music, the semi-good actors (and some good actors, too), the happy endings. Give me all of it. And cue the tears...I am also loving the YouTube channels of Zoella (and More Zoella). I am not sure if I am super late to the party (I probably am), but I love her videos. Her crew and dog look to be so much fun!

More Coffee Talk Posts on Melissa Faye Blog:


December 2, 2016

Woo! Thank the Lord it is finally FRIDAY!

Have you recovered from Thanksgiving yet? I haven’t! I have been on the road all week for a conference, so I am ready for this weekend to stay put and relax! I decided to decorate my little 3 ft. tree the other night, and I have to say, I love it! What do you think?

Here are my links & loves for this week:

ONE. You can now watch Netflix Offline!
Great! Now I can watch Netflix while I am driving...I mean working...I mean, never?

TWO. The trailer for The Shack is now available!
I read this book years ago and pretty much bawled the entire time I read it. It is a controversial book in that the depictions of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are not as we would assume they would be. However, for me, the depictions matched the characters of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit perfectly. I felt the characters (as they are in real life) through this book and it was life-changing!

THREE. I finally was able to purchase my first pair of Hunter Boots (RED) for $112.50 at on Black Friday. I am so excited to get them!

FOUR. I have always been a fan of Dolly Parton, but her generous offer to support families affected by the wildfires in Tennessee takes the cake! She is going to give families $1,000 a month

FIVE. Warby Parker has new eyeglasses and they are amazing! 
SIX. This precious video 😍.

Have a great weekend, xx!


I have been to many a conference in my career. I have had to go to several annually and they vary in distance all across the state. Conferences are beneficial in that they have cover important aspects of your job, and they condense a lot of good information into a relatively short amount of time. Conferences vary from 2 days to 5 days or more. Travel may involve driving to a nearby location, or it may require that you hop on a plane. Whatever the circumstance, here are some helpful tips in navigating your conference.

1. Travel as light as possible.
Dress may vary from conference to conference. Your conference may require business professional dress while others only require business casual or casual. If you have to pack your pantsuits, use a nifty Wallybag from J.C. Penney to make sure your dresses and suits stay wrinkle free. This is a sure fire way to make sure that you only have to check one bag. If you are driving to your conference destination, this can be a useful bag for making sure you don’t take up too much space, especially if you’re car-pooling. For toiletries, purchase travel size for easy packing and for making sure you following TSA guidelines. If you need to bring multiple pairs of shoes, invest in some shoe bags from Bed, Bath & Beyond to keep your shoes clean and to reduce the spreading of germs in your bag.

2. Be sure to bring a laptop or tablet for taking easy notes, or for downloading presentations. 
Some presenters will send the conference organization their PowerPoint slide presentations ahead of time, so you can easily follow along. I like to take notes on the presentation slides themselves, so I am always bringing my MacBook Air whenever I attend a conference. If you are like to take handwritten notes, be sure to pack a notepad and extra pens. Some conferences will provide these for you, but I like to bring my own just in case. If you are looking for some pretty notepads, get these from Target!

3. Bring a refillable bottle and snacks. 
If you do have a ways to travel, or if you tend to get low blood sugar (like me), keeping some snacks handy can help to reduce hunger and increase focus. Also, some conference venues have food courts, but the food can be astronomically expensive. A small bag of trail mix was nearly $5 at my last conference. Bring multiple snacks and refillable water bottle. Chances are a water fountain or water cooler will be nearby.

4. Wear layers.
It could be Summer or Winter, but I have found that most conference arenas or halls are ice cold. I always pack a light sweater, or blanket scarf for those cold rooms. You can also bring along a cardigan, or vest if you are looking for something to easily remove.

5. Network!
One of the positive aspects of going to conferences is the opportunity to network. Striking up a conversation at the coffee bar line could even lead to a future contact. Be sure to pack plenty of business cards, or something that can be used for people to get in touch with you. You never know when you may need help on a project, answer on an issue, or heck, even a future job opportunity!

6. Relax & Enjoy.
Unless your conference is incredibly fast-paced, there should be room left for leisure and relaxation. If you are in a new city, don’t feel guilty for setting aside a few hours to explore. Head to a popular restaurant (not a chain restaurant), a neighborhood pub, or even a museum in the area. If you are staying in a hotel, ask the front desk or concierge on dinner ideas or ideas for fun. I am sure there is something for you to do to unwind while you are away from the office for a few days.

Are there any tips that you would include as well? Tell me below!