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WE BOUGHT A HOUSE + Tips for Buying a Home!

Posted in Lifestyle
on October 2, 2017

About three weeks after Josh proposed, we bought our DREAM HOUSE. It seems rather quick, and believe me when I say that people had a ton of questions. So I’m dishing out all the details on how we purchased our first home, and a few tips if you’re considering purchasing a home as well!

From April to July, Josh and I had been looking every single night on websites for houses. Mostly to get an idea, so that when the time did come to look for a home, we would know what we want. After Josh proposed, we thought it wouldn’t hurt to go see a few houses in person. We visited four houses with a real estate agent to get an idea of the neighborhood we may want to live in, and get an idea of a price range that would work for us.

I kept getting drawn back to a house that was newly on the market. It was a seven-minute commute for me to work and a 10-minute commute for Josh. It was in a central neighborhood that was close to everything we could ever need. Plus, the price was absolutely amazing and affordable for us. I instantly had a gut feeling that we needed to see the house as soon as possible. This happened on a Friday. It turns out that two days later, they were having their first open house. My heart told me to jump on it. I called my mom and dad, and told them that I had a really good feeling about a house, and I wanted them to come down and look at it with us that Sunday because my father is in construction, and would definitely be able to tell us what we needed to know about the roof, and other areas should there be any issues. Of course, they drove down, and we all went to the house.

When I first walked into the house, I didn’t even see the couple’s furniture. Instead, I imagined our furniture without even trying. Every room I walked in, I fell even more in love than the room before. I fell so in love with every aspect of the house, that I wouldn’t even have changed a paint color on the wall. It was the perfect size, and had everything we needed and more. The backyard deck and patio were beautiful, and the kitchen was recently updated. I was simply enamored.

If you thought those weren’t enough signs, there’s more. Josh and I are in love with dogs, and a huge reason for falling in love with the house is because it has a beautiful yard, but it didn’t have a fence. Josh asked if there was anything we should know about putting up a fence in that area since we are interested in getting a dog. The owners told us that the invisible fence was already installed in their yard for a dog. 

Although I held my composure, I nearly cried. It was the final piece we needed to hear before knowing this was absolutely meant to be. I was ready to jump immediately, but I knew Josh was going to feel overwhelmed since this was a huge decision to make. I pulled him aside, and we knew we were going to make an offer knowing that this house wouldn’t last long on the market. We didn’t sign anything, but we let them know we were already pre-approved for a home and that we would be good after talking with a lawyer about the contract they had. After going through the bank and getting everything processed, we set a closing date and plan to move in at the end of the month. Although this only took a week or so, we wanted to wait awhile before telling people because of how easily everything went for us. We simply couldn’t believe how everything fell into place without a problem, which only confirmed that this was meant to be.

After going through this experience, I think it’s important to share a few tips I’ve learned along the way:

1| Do your research.

Do your research on everything from what are your non-negotiable items for a home to what is the highest you can truly afford each month. Go to the bank first to get pre-approved for a house even if you think it’s unnecessary. I promise that seeing the full breakdown of taxes to closing costs to your monthly mortgage payment will really help you in the long run. Buying a house is probably the biggest investment you’ll make, and it’s important to know everything.

2| Trust your gut.

I promise that you will know when it’s the right house. You will have an instant gut feeling that won’t go away because you’re so certain about the house you’re looking to buy and make a home. I felt it. Josh felt it. My parents felt it. When all else fails, go with your gut and it will not fail you.

3| Plan accordingly.

I would love to say that you just buy a house and that’s all there is to it, but that’s not how it works. Although Josh and I had a very easy home-buying process, there were still documents to sign with the bank and a lot to review about our closing date, moving, what stays and what goes with the house, figuring out our lease for the townhouse. Everything is affected when you buy a home, so plan accordingly based on the time of year, what may affect your lease or the current home you live in, etc.

I hope you all enjoyed hearing this exciting news for us! It’s unbelievable to see my vision board come to life in a matter of a few months. I’ve crossed off the largest goal on the list, and it hasn’t been three months since putting it together. I can’t wait to begin this new journey with Josh as homeowners, and I can’t wait to see what other goals we achieve in the next few months!

Tell me, what tips do you have for someone buying their first home? Or tips for moving into your first house? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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How I’m Living Life Fearlessly

Posted in Lifestyle
on September 11, 2017

Back in August, I shared a post about doing things that scare you and why it’s so important for your personal growth. If you haven’t caught up on this post, I highly recommend reading it because it was difficult to share, and I am proud of that. I think it’s important to live life without fear because that’s when we accomplish all of our goals, and truly become the person we are meant to be. Fear holds us back, and I don’t want to let it stop me from the living the life I want to live.

Fast forward a month later, and I want to share some things I’ve done to overcome fear, and how I’m living life fearlessly by doing things that scare me. If you’re hoping to remove fear from your life, please keep reading for a little extra bliss to your Monday morning!

1| Spontaneity 

I’ve done some spontaneous things over the last month that I normally would never do. Something I struggle with regarding anxiety is planning ahead. Last-minute plans are a no-go for me because that means I’m stressing and overthinking all the things that could go wrong with making this last-minute plan. Instead, I decided to embrace the spontaneous adventure ahead of me and I ended up having the best time Every. Single. Time.

2| Networking

If you told me a year ago that I would feel comfortable going out to public, networking events in an area I wasn’t from and actually enjoying it, I would have laughed endlessly. I don’y do well with attending events like that by myself, but I’m learning more and more that I am able to go out and have a good time even in a professional setting. I refuse to let fear hold me back professionally.

3| Branching Out Creatively

The main reason for my post on doing things that scare you was related to creating video content because I feel very vulnerable on camera, and that’s a scary feeling. But, I’ve been working toward creating more video content and also working on other creative projects like writing a book. It took me about three years to not let fear take control of this dream I’ve had for as long as I can remember. I’m hoping this is something I can work on passionately should it manifest into something.

4| Chasing my Dreams

For example, making videos and writing a book. But there are other dreams on that list from my vision board series that I never dreamed would come to life so quickly, however one of them will be a huge announcement coming to the blog sometime in fall. I’m sure most of you can guess what it is based on some of my other comments on social media and on previous posts. The main takeaway is that I’m not allowing fear to ruin my dreams and plans I have for myself. End of story.

I hope this post inspires you to overcome your fears and make you think a little differently about fear and why it’s important to move past it. So tell me, what fear are you going to overcome this week or month? Make sure to share in the comments below!

Ki Signature

 

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How Minimalism Helps Me Achieve My Goals

Posted in Lifestyle
on August 23, 2017

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s impossible to achieve your goals with the help of minimalism. And, I completely get it because I was in your position a year ago. I never thought a particular lifestyle could help me achieve my goals.

But IT DID, which is why I’m so excited for today’s post because I want you to achieve your goals, and live a life of bliss. I want you to live your best, happiest life. And I know you have a ton of goals you want to accomplish. So, if you’re interested in hearing how a minimalist lifestyle can help you achieve your goals, then keep reading.

How minimalism helps me achieve my goals:

1| Fewer Distractions

You know the saying, “cluttered room, cluttered mind?” That couldn’t be more accurate. When you have a ton of stuff, you have a ton of stuff going on in your mind. Therefore, you are too focused on cleaning your room, reorganizing your closet for the tenth time this week, and worried about dusting, dishes and everything else. With minimalism, you remove those distractions from your mind, so you can focus on what you’re truly passionate about whether that’s writing a book, starting a blog, or advancing your career.

2| Less Stress

When you’re surrounded by stuff, it’s stressful. See point one for reference. But seriously, your mind not be able to accomplish everything on your to-do list because you’re so caught up in all the stress from all the stuff you have in your life. Too much stress means you’re probably exhausted and too mentally drained to even think about starting that book you’ve always wanted to write. Remove the clutter and the crap you don’t want or love. And you’ll find stress immediately sweep away from your mind. Now you have energy to focus and stay on top of the goals you have.

3| More Time

Want to know what takes up a ton of time? Cleaning and cooking and organizing. Want to know what helps cut down on cleaning and cooking and organizing? Minimalism! Less stuff in your home means less time spent cleaning that stuff in your house. Which means more time for the things you’re passionate about and things you want to achieve.

4| Intentional Living

For example, spending time more wisely. Now that you have all this wonderful time added to your day, you have time to live an intentional life because you’re not going to be bogged down by clutter, stress, debt and everything in between. You have room in your schedule and your life to live the way that will bring you absolute bliss. And if that’s not making you want to pursue minimalism, I don’t know what will! Unless money is your motivation…

5| More Money

Because you won’t be spending money on things you don’t need or love, you’ll have a lot more money saved. More money means more money to go toward your passion projects like publishing a book, taking courses to help your skills in social media or an dart class. More money will also help you down the road for retirement, so you’re not living paycheck to paycheck—you can finally spend money on necessities and fun things like traveling! Whatever your goals are, you might have to spend money in some way, and minimalism helps you save money so you can spend it where you truly want to spend.

So, what goals are you trying to accomplish? Do you think that minimalism can help you achieve your goals? Make sure to leave your comments share your stories below!

Ki Signature

 

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Why You NEED to do Things That Scare You

Posted in Lifestyle
on August 16, 2017

I did something that scared me the other day.

I’m sitting in my room and shaking a little more than I should as I’m trying to give myself a pep talk. “Kiara, the video will only last for 24 hours. It’s NOT  a big deal,” I kept trying to  convince myself. But it WAS a big deal and it truly felt like a big deal in the moment. When you have anxiety, your mind can play a lot of tricks on you and make you believe things that aren’t true. Your mind is clouded with negative thoughts and it prevents you from stepping outside of your comfort zone.

But I didn’t want my mind to control the things I want to do, so I made several videos on Instagram Stories, and I was proud of myself.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Kiara, you’re a blogger and you LOVE talking. How could you be afraid to make a video?”

Well, it had nothing to do with making the video at all or talking because you’re right…I could talk for hours about anything and everything. (Just ask ANYONE who knows me.) The truth is, I let fear hold me back from doing something I wanted to do. I realized that I didn’t want to live that way anymore. So, I took a deep breath and began recording and posting. The sky didn’t fall and there were no horrible comments made. It was refreshing. I did something despite feeling afraid.

Why you NEED to do things that scare you:

1| You may discover a new passion 

If you read the last post in my vision board series, I share a HUGE goal I hope to achieve in the next three years. For me, that’s sharing more video content and beginning a YouTube channel. TBH I’ve always been passionate about creating videos, but I’ve been TERRIFIED to even make one because I feared the negativity from it. But I’ve learned that you will never know if you don’t try. Making the Instagram Stories videos solidified that I want to make more videos whether it’s on Instagram, for my blog, or for YouTube.

2| You gain confidence

I can’t tell how good it felt to do something I was afraid to do. To put it simply, you gain confidence when you do things that scare you. At one point in time, you thought you couldn’t do something—and then you prove yourself wrong! Let’s just say it’s such a wonderful feeling, and it’s worth the few seconds of fear you may have in the beginning.

3| You grow & gain a new perspective

Think about how much fear actually controls us. It’s the reason we don’t do SO MANY THINGS in life. You’re afraid of skydiving because you’re afraid of heights, but the second you begin falling—those fears go away. The highest point of fear is the second before you jump from the plane. Think of all the things you can learn and experience from removing fear from your life. By removing fear, you will naturally grow as a person and gain new perspectives.

4| You feel BLISSFUL

Point blank, PERIOD. You feel unbelievably blissful when you overcome a fear regardless of what that fear is. If you’re afraid to begin writing a book, start doing it anyway! The more you practice and work at that passion, the more you can feel confident (see point 1) and eventually publish that book despite the fear. Once you get over that initial feeling of fear, you can do anything and everything you want to do.

And that is the most blissful thing about doing something that scares you.

What is something YOU’RE afraid of but you WANT to do anyway? What fear have you conquered recently? Make sure to share your stories and thoughts in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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My Vision Board for the Next Three Years

Posted in Lifestyle
on July 31, 2017

HEY HEY HEY

So, hopefully you guys saw the tweet or Facebook post I shared last week that explained why this post didn’t go live on Monday. Long story short, I was in the middle of updating my blog design and working on some backend work for the blog when some of my drafted posts got deleted. Thankfully, only two were deleted and not a month’s worth of content, so I’m blessed that a ton of work wasn’t gone.

But, I had to rewrite this post and I’m currently in the middle of my busy season at work where I have FIVE events over the course of three consecutive weekends. I had to compromise and let this week’s post go and share it the following Monday (AKA today).

If you aren’t up to date on this series, make sure to read how to create a vision board that will ACTUALLY help you achieve your goals, and read how I began creating vision boards and my previous success using them.

Now that you’re caught up to speed on what happened last week, let’s get into the third and final post in my vision board series where I share my personal vision board for the next three years. I’ve never been very open about sharing my goals, especially on the Internet, so this is a HUGE step for me. We’re going to go through my board by “categories,” so it’s a little easier to follow and read.

Travel:

This category is very straight-forward because I want to travel. One of the biggest things I want to do is travel to England and Ireland with Josh among many other places in and out of the United States. I know that lavish traveling isn’t going to be an option, so I don’t plan to take month-long excursions in Europe. But I plan to be smart about planning and spending money on traveling. What’s one place you have traveled to recently that you have LOVED? Share your experiences in the comment below!

Career:

Focus on my career: I’m in full-time marketing, and I can honestly say that I’m truly passionate about what I do. I love my job, and I couldn’t ask for a better-fitting job to begin my marketing career. My goal is to really focus on learning, growing and developing my skills in the field over the next three years.

Volunteer: I know this doesn’t sound a career-based goal, but it is…so hear me out. There are many opportunities to volunteer your skills and talents for free to non-profit organizations. My goal is to dedicate some time outside of work to volunteer my marketing skills to an organization that can benefit from it. Now, I’m not promoting working for free, but I also believe in helping where you can, especially if it’s working toward a cause you’re passionate about.

YouTube: Because #Accountability is a real thing, I decided to share that my biggest goal for the next three years is to START MAKING VIDEOS. Keep in mind, this is something that I’ve wanted to do for YEARS, but I’ve been too terrified to do it because I feared the judgement that would come from it. Not anymore. I hope to start creating video content for the blog to grow and connect with an audience I’m not currently reaching.

Home & Life:

Engagement & Marriage: Y’all, I swear this wasn’t planned because I wasn’t planning to get engaged so quickly when I created this board. So, this is one plan in my vision board that’s already in the works! Sometime in 2018, I will marry the love of my life. P.S. do you have any wedding planning posts from your blog? Share your links in the comments!

Buy a House: Adulting is SO REAL, am I right? Although Josh and I love our townhouse, we can’t have pets here, and we are hurting without a dog in our lives, so we are beginning the process of house hunting. No, that’s not the only reason we are house hunting. We are doing it for many other reasons, but I will say owning a dog is a reason on our list. This is a huge goal I want to accomplish by 2020.

Minimalism & Simple Living: I began my minimalism and simple living journey over a year ago, and I love what it has done to my life. I want to continue the process of decluttering my life and focus on living a simple, intentional life. This is always a work in progress, so I’m hoping to continue this from now through 2020.

Own a Dog: Because TBH, I feel like my life is meaningless without a dog. No other comments needed.


So, now that you’ve read my short series on Vision Boards, tell me—what goals and dreams do you have for YOUR vision board? Are you ready to make your vision board to help you achieve your goals? Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Ki Signature

 

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