23 Things I’ve Learned in 23 Years

While you’re reading this, I’m off adventuring in Boston for the first time with Josh in celebration of our birthdays. Yesterday, I turned 23 (eek!) and I have to say that I’m happy with where I’m at with this age. Today, I want to share 23 things I’ve learned in 23 years with you. Make sure to share some important lessons you’ve learned over the years as well!

1| Do more of what makes you happy.

Why wait until you’re 30 to pursue your dream job? STOP WAITING. Go out and do all the things you want to do right now. I’ve realized that your passions are your calling and you should always pursue them. So go out and start doing what you love!

2| Love above all else.

Let’s be real, friends. Life is too darn short to waste it on hatred. Giving love even when you think that person may not deserve it is one of the strongest things you can do. When in doubt, let love win. Always choose love and always give love.

3| Don’t let social media fool you.

That girl took more than 40 selfies to get the right angle to post on Instagram. The lighting isn’t always perfect, and yes—everyone reuses their Starbucks cup for several Instagram photos because no one wants to spend $50 a week on coffee.

4| If you can’t get a miracle, be a miracle for someone else.

Simply remember the words.

5| Friday nights are different. And that’s okay.

Because there’s nothing better then spending a night in with good friends, some Disney songs and a lot of sushi. You don’t always need a night out to enjoy your time with people you care about.

6| Surround yourself with people who lift you up.

You deserve to be around people who love you and appreciate you. Don’t waste time on people who are negative and don’t bring anything positive to your life. You’re a product of your environment, so make sure you’re spending it with amazing people.

7| Savings are too important to ignore.

Girl, pay off your debt and start putting aside money every week and every month. You can’t pretend that savings aren’t important because they are. Set a budget, prioritize the necessities, and start saving money for your future house, travel, your business or anything else that is important to you.

8| Quality over quantity.

Now is the time to invest. Invest in one pair of high-quality shoes that you will love and use for the next 10 years. Invest in your skincare products, invest in good luggage, invest in a a good piece of jewelry you’ll wear every single day. But always remember quality over quantity.

9| You are enough.

You are enough. You are so enough it’s unbelievable how enough you are.

10| Take care of yourself.

Drink water. Get enough sleep. Keep your home clean. Make yourself healthy meals you truly enjoy. Make regular doctor’s appointments. Ask for help when you need it. Take time for yourself when you’re overwhelmed.

11| On that work/personal life “crisis.”

In the midst of what seems to be a disaster, ask yourself: will this matter in five years? The truth it, it might not even matter a year from now or a week from now. Take every “crisis” in stride and remember that this too, shall pass.

12| Minimalism matters.

Get rid of anything in your life that isn’t beautiful, useful or brings a sense of joy. You’ll be amazed what a difference this makes.

13| Forgive yourself & others.

Things happen and everyone makes mistakes. Forgive others if they have wronged you, but also remember to forgive yourself of your past mistakes, too.

14| Travel and explore.

The world is too large and beautiful to stay in one place. Spend money on adventures and traveling. Traveling is the only thing you can buy in life that will make you richer.

15| Spend time alone.

The most important relationship, and the relationship you’ll have for the longest is with yourself. Enjoy time alone and use it to learn and grow. Your future self will thank you.

16| Never stop learning.

You have a degree, but that doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Read as much as possible. Listen to podcasts. Watch documentaries. Listen when someone is speaking. Travel (See number 14). There are so many opportunities to learn in your lifetime.

17| Treat yourself.

Treat yourself to a hot bath with Lush products, or to a glass of wine, or your favorite dessert. Buy that Starbucks drink when you know you haven’t had it in months. You deserve it. Remember it’s the little things in life!

18| On working out.

Working out isn’t just about “looking” good. You should be spending time working out because it’s good for your mental, physical and emotional health. Work out because it’s a priority for your well-being. Find exercises you enjoy and do them regularly.

19| Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Don’t let that negative email from your boss or the evening traffic get to you. Life is too short to get worked up over things you can’t control. Remember this when something unexpected and frustrating comes along in your life.

20| It’s okay to not have it all figured out.

Of course, we want to be able to say we know exactly what we want and have our 5-year plan mapped out. This isn’t always realistic. It’s okay if you know where you want to be in 5 years. But if you don’t, that’s okay, too because plans change. It’s all about being able to roll with the punches.

21| Dress up. Show up. Never give up. 

If you’re having a rough day, dress up and spend a little extra time getting ready so you feel good. Put on an outfit you can rock all day. It will help with your productivity and happiness throughout even the most difficult Monday. I promise.

22| Learn when to say yes and no.

Say yes to adventures, new experiences and things that will bring you the most joy. Say no when you know you’re unable to fully commit to something and when you need a break. Learn when to say these two words, and you’ll always find balance in your life.

23| Be thankful.

Be thankful for every positive and negative experience in your life because it was either a blessing or a lesson. Regardless, it was able to help you grow! Express gratitude at every opportunity.

What are some life lessons you have learned over the years? Make sure to share them in the comments below!

 

 

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10 Things to Remove From Your Closet Right Now

BB8816_10 Items to Remove from Your Closet Right Now!2016 has been the year that I have removed anything and everything from my life. I don’t want to say that I have gone full-blown minimalist, but I have been actively trying to remove items from my life every single month. Since the beginning of the year, I have gotten rid of more than half of my closet. If you count clothing, jewelry, accessories, shoes, etc., I have easily donated more than 500 pieces altogether.

This is really says a lot about how badly I needed to make a change in my life; and I couldn’t be happier with the progress I have made this year. That’s why I’m sharing 10 things you can remove from your closet right now, so that you can add a little bliss back to your closet and life!

1| Anything That Doesn’t Bring You Joy

There are several things hanging in your closet right now that you don’t love. These are the first items you need to remove from your closet as soon as possible. Why waste space in your closet on items that you truly don’t love and enjoy wearing? Either donate these pieces to charity or give it to a friend who will use it.

2| Anything That Doesn’t Fit Your Body

I used to have a bag that was essentially for clothes that, “If I lost 15 more pounds this will *maybe* fit.” Yes, I’m serious. I was that convinced that I needed to keep those pieces of clothing because they might fit again some day. The reality is that my body when I was 15 years old is completely different than my body at 22 years old. And that’s okay! Donate or sell the items that don’t fit.

3| Anything That Doesn’t Fit Your Style

I’ve been changing my personal style more and more throughout 2016. I’ve been removing more trendy, bright-colored pieces and focusing more on purchasing neutral colors that can be paired with several outfits. If you’re in the process of changing your style, remove anything that doesn’t fit your current style or the style you hope to have.

4| Anything You Haven’t Worn in a Year

My tip for you is to place all your hangers on your closet rack facing backwards. Every time you wear an item from your closet, flip the hanger around the proper way to show that you’ve worn that item. When a year is up, anything you haven’t worn that year—toss it, donate it or sell it. If you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably won’t wear it again.

5| Anything That’s Damaged

I had a skirt hanging in my closet for well over a year that was ripped at the seam that I never fixed or replaced. It was actually so long that I wore it completely forgetting that it was damaged to begin with. If you know you’re not going to repair the item, you may as well toss it out because you won’t wear it unless it’s fixed.

6| Anything You Wouldn’t Repurchase

This is a question I have asked myself more and more that I’ve been going through my closet every few months. “Would I repurchase this item if I was out shopping today?” I can’t tell you how many dresses and shoes I have donated due to this question. Maybe two years ago, that romper was perfect for your lifestyle and now it’s not. That’s okay! As long as you’re being honest about your answers in the process.

7| Anything That Makes You Feel Bad About Your Appearance

You know the skirt that isn’t flattering or the top that makes you feel uncomfortable if you’re not sitting perfectly? Whatever the case may be, donate, sell or toss any item that doesn’t make you feel your very best when you wear it. It’s important to feel comfortable and confident in the clothes that you wear.

8| Anything You’re Keeping For Sentimental Reasons

I kept a Bridesmaid dress I wore for my sister’s wedding back in 2009. Yes, 2009. I knew very well that I was never going to wear this dress again, but yet I kept it because I felt bad about getting rid of it. “But it was my sister’s wedding!?” Let’s be honest, no one is going to have hard feelings because you donated a dress you wore seven years ago. When it doubt, donate it.

9| Anything That Isn’t Useful

Have you ever kept a box or bag of items that simply don’t serve a purpose in your daily life? For example, I had a pair of heels that simply weren’t useful for pairing with outfits or fitting to my personal style. Yet I kept them because there wasn’t anything wrong with them. If it’s not useful for your style and life, get rid of it.

10| Anything Not Worth Keeping

After you cycle through all of the questions above, ask yourself, “Is this worth keeping?” Meaning: is it in your best interest to keep this item. If not, consider selling or donating it to someone who will find it worthy of keeping in their closet. Don’t feel guilty if you’re getting rid of pieces for this reason. At least you’re being honest with yourself about what you want in your closet.

What would you add to this list? What have you removed from your closet recently? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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Don’t Lose Yourself For Love

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You know those friends who you haven’t heard from in months because they have become too involved with someone they’re dating? You know the type. Their Instagram feed solely consists of photos of them and their significant other. They can never hangout because they have plans (again) for a dinner date with that person, etc.

It can be frustrating to have someone in your life who acts that way, which is why I made sure that my relationship with Josh would never turn into that type of relationship.

I never want to lose myself for love. And you shouldn’t want to lose yourself either. I understand that you have to spend time with your significant other, and make sure your relationship is growing, evolving and improving every single day. Here are a things that you should never lose sight of regardless of the person you’re seeing.

1| Time with friends and family

Please don’t stop seeing your friends and family just because you have began dating someone new. If that person truly cares about you, they will always want you to spend time with your friends and family. If you’re scheduling time to spend with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you can schedule time to see your friends and family as well. Family should always comes first, and friends should always remain an important component in your life.

2| Your passions and hobbies

Why would you want to abruptly stop reading, writing, working out, or any other activity you’re passionate about? You would be surprised how many people will stop pursuing their passions because of the person they’re seeing. Never quit something unless it doesn’t make you happy. This is similar to the friends and family scenario—your partner should want you to pursue your passions because you love them! Focus on what you love and the people you love in your life. Your relationship should fit into the life you already have.

3| Time for yourself

Time for yourself is always important whether you’re in a relationship or not. But it can be easy to become dependent on a person always being around to the point where you don’t know how to be alone, or how to do anything on your own without feeling overwhelmed. Remember, you are a whole person. You’re not a half a person in love with another half of a person. You need to be able to do things alone and be comfortable with that fact.

It’s important to allow your relationship to flourish whether you’ve been together for three months or three years. However, you should never allow your relationship to control how you live your life, or how it affects other areas of your life. Don’t stop living a life you love only because of the person you’re dating. You shouldn’t stop being the person you once were simply because you’re dating someone.

 

Have you ever lost yourself for love, or have had a friend who lost themselves for love? What did you learn from it? Make sure to leave a comment below!

 

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10 Tasks to Simplify Your Life

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1| Manage your email

There was a dark time in my life where my email inbox was somewhere in the 1,000s, and I knew I had to take care of it as soon as possible. I took 30 minutes to mass delete and unsubscribe from emails to remove the clutter to my inboxes. I know it doesn’t seem like a big task, but it will make a huge difference when you’re not receiving unwanted emails every day.

2| Delete old contacts from your phone

I’m going to be completely honest when I say I had cellphone numbers from people from middle school. The worst part is that I haven’t talked to them since then. I don’t know how my phone became a mass holder for people who I haven’t talked to in almost 10 years. Needless to say, it was time to clear out my phone of all the unnecessary contacts.

3| Plan your meals for the week

No, I don’t do this every single week because I’m human and sometimes I eat 90-minute rice for dinner. It happens. But I will tell you that I have gotten so much better with planning my lunches and dinners for the week. When I do have time to do this, my week is so much better because I can plan ahead and spend less time thinking about what to make, buying ingredients during the week, etc.

4| Write your to-do list before bed

My work to-do list is done the day before before 5 p.m. My personal to-do list is done before I go to bed Sometimes, I think of last-minute work things, or other small tasks and errands I need to do after work. This helps me sleep easily at night, and I wake up knowing what my day will look like. There’s nothing keep me up at night wondering if I forgot about something, so I’m ready to take on a new day.

5| Keep a donate bag in your home

I started doing this before I moved out because I found that there were so many days where I would get in a “mood” to clean and get rid of things. That way, you have a bag/box already started, so you’ll feel more inclined to keep adding to it throughout the season. In the last five months, I’ve easily donated 10 garbage bags of clothes, books, bags, jewelry, shoes, etc. I find that this always keeps me thinking about removing unnecessary items I don’t love, and it helps me to stay productive with decluttering.

6| Make a routine and stick to it

My routine is simple and straightforward. But there’s nothing worse that taking more than an hour to get ready in the morning because you don’t know how to manage and prioritize your time throughout the day. See where you can cut time from your routine to make your day flow better. It will allow you to have a better, productive day, and you will simplify your daily routine in the process.

7| Rethink how you organize

If your organization is all over the place, you might want to reconsider your methods for organizing your finances, medical information, insurance, etc. Whether you choose a filing cabinet, file folders, or a portable organizer—choose one method, and keep everything in one space for important documents. When you have a mishap of papers everywhere, that’s when things get lost, and you get stressed.

8| Shop intentionally

This can mean anything from clothes shopping, beauty shopping or home shopping. Regardless, ask yourself if it’s something you know you will use. If yes, how often will you use it? Is it worth purchasing; or are you just buying it because it’s on sale or it’s trending on Pinterest? Why do you want to buy it? Ask yourself these questions to learn more about your shopping habits and what prompt you to shop. This will help you down the road to only buy what you need.

9| Make time for yourself

I know you’re asking, “how does this relate to the other suggestions?” Doing the things you truly enjoy is essential for simplifying your life because you don’t wan tot spend your days doing things that don’t bring you joy. My tip: make a list of things you love, and a list of things you actually do every day. If you don’t have any items on there from the “things you love” list, you need to adjust your life by removing the unnecessary things that don’t bring your joy.

10| Eliminate instead of organize

The world of Pinterest does not help my cause on this one. There are so many tutorials and inspiration for organizing just about every area of your home. But if you have so much to organize, you might need to rethink how much stuff you have or need. Instead, take time to go through each room and see what you truly need and what you don’t need. Then, you can organize what you decide to keep.

What tips would you add to this list? Make sure to leave a comment below!

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The One Morning Habit I Stopped Doing & Why

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I’m sure you all have been guilty of it. You’re not quite ready to get out of bed to begin the day, so you decide to let yourself wake up a little easier by scrolling through Instagram or catching up on your friend’s Snapchat stories.

20 minutes go by and now you’re running late, which puts you in a bad mood and you have officially ruined your morning before you get out of bed.

This is one of several reasons why I stopped checking social media in the morning.

I found that I wasn’t in a good mood and less productive throughout the day because I began the day admiring someone’s trip to Costa Rica. I didn’t want to get out of bed once I began scouring social media because my personal motivation quickly dwindled. Not to mention, I was more interested in checking everyone’s lives rather than beginning my day. To put it simply: beginning the day with a social media session meant that I wasn’t going to get anything done in the first hour of my day and it meant that I was going to be behind.

So why don’t we just stop going on our phones? Of course this is easier said than done because who doesn’t want to pin recipes and blogging advice at 7 a.m.? Personally, I realized that when I check Twitter and Pinterest before I begin the morning, I feel like I’m behind and feel negatively about the day ahead because it’s beginning the day on a stressful note.

Instead, I have successfully woken up every morning for the past few months without feeling any urge to check social media on my phone.

So what happened when I quit this horrible morning habit?

1| I’m ready to have a productive day

When I used to check social media in the morning, it would make me feel lazy, unproductive and lose my motivation all together. I was essentially setting myself up for failure before I left my house for work. When I removed social media from my morning, I got up in a good mood and ready to begin my lengthy to-do list.

2| I have more time for myself in the morning

I used to spend an extra 15 or more minutes in bed just scrolling on Instagram and Facebook. That put me behind with my routine every morning. This meant I was stressed out, rushing my morning and skipping out on my favorite time of day. Now, I take my time, and make time for breakfast and coffee at home before I leave for work.

3| I enjoy my mornings more

Now that I have more time for myself in the morning, I find that I love my morning routine. It’s a wonderful to enjoy the quiet mornings. It’s those quiet moments I enjoy to myself before heading to work to begin a long day of projects, emails, phone calls and event planning. It’s nice to give myself that time to prepare before work.

I hope this post will make you consider removing social media from your morning routine! Make sure to leave a comment below saying why you do/don’t go on social media in the morning!

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