An Easy Autumn Salad

An Easy Autumn Salad

Happy October! Though I’m still sweating through my sweaters and boots whilst pretending it’s a cool and crisp New England Autumn, it’s actually starting to feel a bit more like fall around the Bay Area this week. Pumpkins have made their way outside markets, fun-sized candy is starting to be present and staring me down at every group function I attend, Halloween costume ideas are beginning to swirl through my brain and Trader Joe’s officially has an entire aisle dedicated to pumpkin flavored everything. YES.

Now when you think about a fall meal, you may not think salad. But the advantage to a warm California Autumn is that there are still plenty of days that it feels far too hot to slurp sweet potato bisque just yet. A loaded salad is always my go-to healthy meal, but I can burn out on my summer recipes by August. However, I recently came up with this combo and I have to say – it’s good. Really good. It has a bit of a hodge podge ingredient list, but I think you’ll find that you can add or omit according to your taste buds.

{What You Need}

– Leafy Greens

– Brown Rice

– Chicken Apple Sausage (These gluten-free ones from Aidells are yummy, y’all)

– Butternut Squash (cubed)

– Bell Peppers

– Sliced Almonds

– Dried Cranberries

– Goat Cheese

– Pumpkin Pie Spice

– Cinnamon

– Olive Oil

– Balsamic Vinegar (I used a pomegranate-infused option)

– Dash of Oregano

– Salt & Pepper to taste

{What to Do}

First start with the butternut squash. Follow my easy peasy recipe here. While that’s baking, cook your rice. Then chop the bell peppers and sauté with some olive oil, salt, pepper and any other spices you may desire. Add in the chicken apple sausage and cook according to the packaging. For the dressing, I simply mixed olive oil and my pomegranate balsamic. To me, salad dressing ratios are a personal preference, so I do about 3/4 oil and 1/4 balsamic. Add in a dash of oregano, salt & pepper and whisk together. To arrange the salad, use the rice as your base and then layer the leafy greens, squash, sausage and bell peppers. Top with almonds, cranberries and goat cheese. When serving, dress the salads individually.

An Easy Autumn Salad

An Easy Autumn Salad

Simple as that. This one was boyfriend approved, so you know it can really fill you up! And like I said, you can give and take on that ingredient list. Either way, I think it’s a nice transitional dinner option for this time of year and helps to balance out those darn  mini Snickers and Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Enjoy!

xo,

ab

Hello again & hello fall.

Hello again & Hello fall.{Fall ‘apples’ from Pottery Barn}

Hello! Happy first day of fall and happy reuniting to me and this blog of mine. Where to even begin since that last heartfelt post I shared in the spring? I couldn’t approach or encompass every detail eloquently enough even if I tried, but here’s my best shot at a fairly quick yet informative and fun summary.

5 days after I wrote that post I celebrated my 26th birthday. It wasn’t a birthday I was necessarily thrilled to celebrate, especially with the excitement of my recent graduation overshadowing my new age. I was beginning to enter “AB panic mode” about what the summer was going to look like, how defeating the job search already felt and ultimately questioning whether or not the San Francisco Bay Area was a place I wanted to continue to live in. Big stuff, right? But goodness knows I love a good celebratory occasion, especially when I need to get my mind off of things. So somehow I found myself convinced by my dear friends to go camping for the weekend. Note: I’m not very good at camping, nor do I truly enjoy the activity. But I do however really love my friends (who happened to be celebrating birthdays around the same time) so I went to Target and loaded up on junk food, Wet Ones, and the mixings for margaritas for an army and put my best dirty camping foot forward.

Enter in: life game changer. It just so happened that one of those friends invited along a brother. A tall, handsome, sweet, fun and charming brother who happened to make me laugh more than I thought was possible even while not showering for an entire weekend. Butterflies flew, friends watched flirtation unfold, conversations to over-analyze the weekend with my girlfriends were had and two days later that handsome man named Sam directly inquired me for my telephone number.

Flash forward through summer to now. I took a nanny job with the darn cutest kids I know. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun.  As things unfolded with my personal relationship, the question of staying in the Bay Area turned a bit more ‘subject to change’. A dreamy vacation to Portland sealed the deal of seriousness and Sam felt a calling to move. That call turned into a work transfer request and before we knew it I was flying to Oregon once again to help him pack up his life. Crazy, we know. But doors that we could have never predicted to open have flown off the hinges and we’re both big believers that when life does that, you run with it.

So here I am! In the Bay Area for good (for now). An entire season has rapidly passed by and I’m just now finally catching up. Now don’t get me wrong, amidst the blessings there are trials. Because hey, that’s life. But as I finally sit here and recap life again (as this blog has propelled/forced me to do in the past) I’m acknowledging the fact that I am indeed incredibly blessed and excited to see what this next autumn season has in store. And as for the next updates, we’ll call it “TBD” for now. Because at the rate life has been going, who knows what all will continue to unfold!

//

So apart from my personal life, I thought I would share some photos of what my apartment is looking like this September. I adore the month of September. There’s something in the air (even through the California heat waves) that signals that fall is around the corner and it’s time for fresh life changes. I also cherish the feeling of anticipation for pumpkin home decor (I can’t fully bring myself to go full Pumpkinified until October) yet not having the self control to not head to Pottery Barn to grab a few new “touches” that bring my home that crisp, fresh and fall feel. This year (and every year in my opinion, really) PB hit those touches out of the park. Nothing feels more fresh than some (faux or real) apples on display and a new candle with a woodsy sent that just says “Hello, September”. I mixed these pieces with my traditional blue and white, pulled out some of my favorite fall entertaining books for the coffee table, put out some fresh flowers and I’m in business.

Hello again & hello fall.

Hello again & hello fall.

Hello again & hello fall.

{One of my absolute favorite entertaining books. It’s a classic!}

Hello again & hello fall.

{Don’t be too overly excited about my wedding coffee table book. I just love weddings in general, ok?! ;)}

Hello again & hello fall.

{This new candle and snuffer from Pottery Barn are so classically beautiful. The candle (found in store) also has the perfect woodsy fall scent without being too overpowering}

Hello again & hello fall.

Hello again & hello fall.

{This umbrella holder was a recent Home Goods score. I’m hoping it inspires actual rain in California. Fingers crossed.}

Hello again & hello fall.

Hello again & hello fall.

{My desk aka where I spend a bulk of my time these days. Nothing motivates me more than a new planner and it doesn’t hurt that this one from Kate Spade is cuter than cute}

So there’s a little tour of my space right (and life) right now. I’m no stranger to the joy that is fall (hello pumpkin everything), but it feels good to ease into it a bit this year. Don’t worry, I’ll be sharing the full fall flair soon enough. This I promise.

Reunited and it feels so good!

xo,

ab

The Next Chapter

Graduation

{Nothing says let’s celebrate like a sheet cake from Costco. Nothing.}

Well, it’s official. I graduated. I celebrated. I’m done. It’s crazy! For those who read S&SL and don’t know a bit about my academic journey and why this is such a big deal to me, let me fill you in on a recap. Fasten your seat belts on this blog post, it’s a long and heartfelt one.

My bumpy college journey began with a rejection letter in the spring of my senior year of high school. It was more devastating than most, seeing as how I had been led to believe I was attending with a scholarship in Vocal Performance, come to find out there had been terrible mis-communication between the music department and admissions. Therefore, I was rejected and left with only my back up school to attend. In my true obsessive fashion, I was intent on going away to college. So I failed to listen to any other options, forced myself to be happy with plan B and headed to a small private christian school in the Fall of 2006.

I experienced dorm life, cafeteria food and what it meant to separate lights from darks. I also experienced a lot of turmoil within the music department and it made me first question my vocal career in general. By the end of pushing through my first year, I was ready to say goodbye to the school. So many reasons factored into the decision, but I still don’t regret it.

In comes school number two. Junior college in the Central Coast of California for a year, to push through an absurd amount of units to get me into one of the top state schools in California. It was a weird time. I learned a lot. I was finally in a town I loved, but I had crazy random roommates. I lacked a community and was forced to do almost everything independently. And I missed home. A lot.

Fall of 2008, I had finally made it. A fresh transfer student with an “in” with the music department. I rushed a sorority (finally!) I fell in love with performing and music again. I was living the dream. Fast forward to 2009. Classes became more challenging and the pressure began to rise in terms of a career in music. I was told I needed to give up my social life, my church life, my horse, etc. in order to “make it” as a performer. Barely passing music theory classes turned into failing music theory classes and I became an emotional mess. As dark as that time was, I had the support of an army. I had met 4 best girlfriends that stuck with me through thick and thin. Though 4 hours away, my family picked up every single tearful phone call. I can’t thank them all enough for it.

That summer, my musical academic journey finally came to a halt. I had failed one too many classes (devastating in itself for this perfectionist) and had hit my rock bottom. My faith was floundering, but I was still making it to church here and there. Though The Lord was feeling more distant than ever, one Sunday sermon woke me up. The funny thing? I can’t even remember what the pastor preached on. But I do know it was about trials and turmoil. He asked those in needed of prayer to stand at the end. Seeing as this was usually far outside my comfort zone, my mind said stay put. However, in that exact moment I felt the strangest push out of control of my own body, which popped me right out of my seat. A close friend and others whom I didn’t even know laid hands on me as I cried like a baby. That afternoon, I called my mom and decided it was time to drop out of school.

The next year and a half is a blur. A bad dream, really. I lost it. I lost myself. I wanted nothing to do with the girl I was. I had found my identity in performing since I was a little girl and all of a sudden it was gone. So I tried everything I could to “change” myself. I dyed my hair. I got a tattoo. I worked as a Barista with no direction and focused on things that weren’t of genuine importance in this life. I gained a lot of weight. 60+ pounds, to be honest. No, I didn’t go off and do crazy drugs. No, I most certainly did not date gross guys. And yes, many of the things I did are totally “normal” in terms of self-discovery. However, it was a really dark time for me personally. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t who I was.

That journey continued after one Europe trip with my best friends and an aimless decision of moving somewhere that didn’t pan out to directly back with my parents. I still really had no direction. Going back to school was still on the table, but not to my liking. Deep down, I hated coming back to my home town with no degree in hand. I was ashamed. I couldn’t get over my self-pity in the journey I had just come through. So, I decided to once again try to turn from the girl I was born and raised. Though I still had the love and support of my friends and family, I wasn’t quite done figuring out that identity that was lost. It was the beginning a new journey, but ultimately a final chapter to a seemingly never-ending story.

I worked in upscale retail. And not necessarily your flashy, glamorous retailer. It had (has) a very specific style and scene. It was a “perfect” opportunity to re-invent myself. To become “me” or who I thought I should be. Simultaneously, I went back to school to finish up in Communications. I was less than thrilled, but my loving and supportive parents never gave up on it. Praise God for them. I dove head first into my “new life”. I started losing the weight. I was promoted to management. I made new friends. I moved out of my parents and into my very own apartment. My entire style and wardrobe changed and was I was “really hip”. I even bought hipster glasses (yikes). I figured out how to hide a lot of my guilt, shame and past from the years prior with my new scene. I thought I was pretty successful at it, too. But something was still missing.

And this is where is all comes full circle, friends. A year and a half ago, I quit that job. I dove into school full-time. I took on  nanny jobs and became a certified group fitness instructor. Hey, I even started enjoying school and started this blog! But most importantly, I started going back to church. God never gave up on me through this journey. He knew every minute detail of what all had happened through this nutty college journey and He was the one who knew me for me. No performance, brunette hair or hipster glasses changed his view of me and he loved me through every step of the way. As I began to finally realize that, things fell into place. I lost those 60 pounds, became comfortable in my own skin, became at peace with my past and finished school strong. And it is only by His endless love and grace that it all happened.

//

So here I am. Done. Can it be? Can this life chapter finally be at a close? Yes, yes it can. I had to privilege of celebrating this life milestone last weekend with close family and friends whom have seen me through either the journey and its entirety or crucial bits and pieces. As I sit here and write this (mostly for my own personal reflection), I can’t help but tear up while thinking of those whom have prayed for me and had the patience to see me through all of these bumpy twists and turns. My family, those same 4 best friends and new ones to boot! I give all the glory to my Father for blessing me with such incredible people in my life.

So, it’s time for that question: What’s next? You would think after 7+ years of me trying to control my life I’d be more comfortable with saying “only God knows”. But the sad reality is that I have no clue and it completely terrifies me. I have learned so much about myself over these years, but I know there is still a lot more to discover. It’s time to learn about independence through putting on my big girl pants and allowing the Lord to lead the way. And I am ready for it. He hasn’t failed me in the past and I know he never will in the future.

And with that, I wanted to let y’all know what my direction with this blog is. It’s been my academic baby. A business endeavor of sorts. But after taking the last few weeks off with blogging, I’m realizing that what I cherish it most for is a place for me to share bits about my life, not force certain marketing tactics. A place to be creative and still tune my social media skill set for other business endeavors. And with that, I’m saying that I will continue this blog, but mostly for fun.

Blogging is a lot of work. It’s why it’s a full-time job for many! And with this next stage of life, I’ve prayed about turning it into a career. But alas, I just haven’t had that peace about going full-time. I think God has a little bit more up his sleeve for me and I’m doing my best to let Him show me what that is. You’ll still see posts very similar in content, but most likely less frequently. As I’m still working and working on finding a job, my mental capacity is near capped-off right now. And you know what, I think that’s ok.

I’m so thankful to anyone and everyone who has read and enjoyed the site over this past year! Seriously, if you even read the above post you’re considered an all-star in my book. I’m overjoyed you have taken an interest in this blog of mine and I will continue doing what I’m doing so that (hopefully) you may still enjoy.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via this site (questions, comments, blog content requests, etc.). It has been an absolute joy to receive the feedback I have from readers. Keep it coming!

I look forward to sharing with y’all what’s next in my world and blogging about it here and there. And on a silly note, you can always follow me on Instagram to see what I’m up to as well!

It is with so much heartfelt love that I say a big THANK YOU for reading! Until next post… :)

xo,

ab

Beat the Heat Essentials

Beat the Heat Essentials

It’s here, it’s here! Warm weather at last! The weather in California this past week has been toasty and I can’t get enough of it. My car has been saying we’ve been hitting 95 degrees! In May! Although this heat will most likely be gone next week, I’m soaking up this summer preview as much as possible.

Now let’s get real, warm weather has its drawbacks. First comes to mind: sweat. Then dehydration. And don’t even get me started with keeping my hair and makeup looking fresh. That’s another blog post entirely. But I will say that there are a handful of tricks to beat that heat! Here are my top 5 tips on how I make 90 degree+ days a breeze:

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! This feels like an obvious tip, but how much of us actually bump up water consumption on a hot day? Even if we do, it’s most likely still not enough. I am a huge fan of the straw tumblers. There’s something about sipping through a straw that makes me drink triple the amount I usually would. I’ll fill up a tumbler with iced green tea or water with lemon (and sometimes a dash of sweet tea or lemonade to sweeten it up because I just can’t help myself) and continue to refill throughout the day. You’ll be amazed at how much more you drink with a straw! Seriously. And this monogrammed option is obviously right up my alley.

2. Work those workout clothes. I realize I’m a lucky lady right now with the fact that my jobs don’t require a dress code above running shorts (sorry about that). But I will say that even when I have spent my full workdays in street or professional dress, I reach for workout clothes the second I’m not on the clock. Running shorts are my go-to. These seersucker version? I’m in lust! I want every color and although they are currently sold out, I’m patiently waiting for them to return so I can add them to my workout wardrobe. Why not make workout wear cute, right?

3. Smoothie time. Y’all know I love a good smoothie. With my busy days, I often replace a meal with a hearty one. Warm weather makes this even more acceptable to me! There’s no better way to pack in some serious nutrients and drink something cool and refreshing for a ‘meal’. I’m constantly scouring Pinterest for new recipes. Go pin some for yourself!

4. Baseball caps forever & always. Sweaty, dirty hair? Can’t even imagine busting out your blow dryer? Trying to cover up that pretty little face from those UV rays? It’s not a problem. A baseball cap solves all, ladies. Going back to the idea that it may not be socially presentable to wear one to work, you can always throw it on as you’re headed out to do errands in the heat, working out and simply laying out by that pool.

5. Sweat-proof yourself. Let’s get personal here. Newsflash: my thighs touch. Yeah, I said it. And when it’s hot and I’m running or walking around in shorts all day, I experience the joyous dilemma of chafing. Oh please, don’t act like you don’t either. Skinny or curvy, it happens to the best of us. Get over it. I discovered Bodyglide when I started training for triathlons. It’s an anti-chafing balm that you simply rub on like you would deodorant to areas that you may be prone to chafe. Top athletes (male & female) use this stuff. It’s a miracle worker. You’re welcome.

And for my sweaty face? I wipe it off throughout the day to keep dirt and oil from sitting on my skin and to stay refreshed. These Say Yes to Cucumbers face wipes smell great and give you a fresh tingle when you wipe off that grime.

There you have it! My no-shame tips. Some are certainly more glamorous than others (monogrammed water tumbler vs. anti-chafe balm) but hey, that’s how I roll.

Hope these help you soak up that heat and prep you for the summer ahead!

xo,

ab

SLO Marathon Recap

SLO Marathon 2014

Well hello, hello! It feels so good to finally be writing this post. I thought this post-grad life of mine was going to result in all this “free time”. Clearly, I was delusional. This whole “job searching” thing is a lot of work. Who knew? More on that later.

Today I’m excited to be able to share what I’ve been up to as of late, specifically this past weekend! As y’all have been reading over the past 2 months, I was chosen to be a Social Media Ambassador for the SLO Marathon. Pretty neat, right? Prior to the race, it was an absolute privilege to blog about some of my top training tips and encourage you to jump on the marathon/half-marathon bandwagon.

Race day finally came this past Sunday and it was a thrill to finally show off that hard work and put my mental & physical strength to the test. And boy, was it tested. That course was no joke. Hill after hill after hill. I’m sure with that statement you simply can’t wait to sign up for next year’s race, no? Well here are a few brief points about why you absolutely should!

– San Luis Obispo is breathtakingly beautiful. Seriously. Running 13.1 miles through that gorgeous countryside was nothing short of a spectacular view. If you’re going to run that far, it might as well be in one of the most aesthetically pleasing places in California, right?

– San Luis Obispo is the perfect weekend getaway. Yes, SLO is home to many college students, but if you’re looking for a quaint and cozy small town feel with an amazing restaurants, great little shopping spots, and 15 mins away from either wine tasting in the country or laying out on the beach, you must visit. If you’re from out-of-town, SLO is truly the perfect spot to race and make a trip out of it!

– Small town, big race. This race may be fairly new to the SLO scene, but it’s growing like wildfire! The Race Expo (huge tent with tons of vendors of race friendly food and merchandise) this year was spectacular. The event really pulled so many great resources from the Central Coast in order to provide the absolute best in health & wellness promotion. And the free samples did not disappoint! (Most important part, no doubt.)

– Challenge yourself. As is often the case with endurance sports, the community behind the event is overwhelmingly supportive. I found that this was above and beyond the case with the SLO Marathon. Everyone from the volunteers handing you your race packet pickup to those handing you water and cheering you on out on the course were utterly supportive and encouraging. Let’s face it, there are some crazy talented athletes that raced this past weekend. We’re talking Boston Marathon qualifying times. But ultimately, this race is about challenging everyone’s inner-athelte and achieving goals you may never thought were possible.

SLO Marathon 2014

SLO Marathon 2014

And that’s why you should race next year.

If you’re feeling inspired, why not sign up now? Pre-registration for 2015 is up and those prices are hot, hot, hot!

I had an absolute blast being an Ambassador and racing this past weekend. Thank you SO much SLO Marathon for including me in such a fantastic event! My heart is full and my legs are too! (With strong muscles, obviously).

#raceSLO

xo,

ab

Weekly Workout Playlist #8

Weekly Workout Playlist #8

Hey all! Sorry this playlist didn’t make it out on Monday as per usual. Time has been slipping away from me as of late.

Lots of old school tracks this week which were a hit in my fitness classes yesterday.

Enjoy!

xo

ab

A Simple Easter Table

A Simple Easter Table

The celebration of Easter brings me all kinds of feelings of joy. For the obvious main reason, of course. But I also can’t get enough of little girls in their new Easter dresses, fresh florals, and the notion of gathering together for a big meal with friends & family.

As we all know, I love a good themed holiday. But you may be surprised to find that I’m not entirely in love with traditional Easter decor. I can appreciate pastels and bunnies, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t really choose it for myself. I also like to set up home decor and tables for longer than just the holiday itself, so I tend to burn out on anything too dedicated to one concept. So when I decided to do a blog post on an Easter table, I opted to go with traditional blues, white and a pop of yellow.

In order to stick to budget, I picked a few key items for the table and nothing more. I found the table runner & napkins at Home Goods for a total less than $15. As for the yellow ribbon, I had it in my cupboard, saved from a package given to me (I do this often!) The natural faux eggs? Pottery Barn clearance for $7.99. Tulips picked up at Trader Joe’s and I was cooking with gas!

A Simple Easter Table

A Simple Easter Table

A Simple Easter Table

A Simple Easter Table

A Simple Easter Table

Sometimes the best tables are the simplest of tables. For a holiday as meaningful as Easter, I always find it much more important to focus on the true meaning of the celebration and the food and company around you.

If you’re hosting or helping to host an Easter gathering this weekend, don’t stress! Utilize what you can, do a little prep work prior and then sit back and enjoy.

John 3:16

xo,

ab

Beauty on a Budget: Drugstore Finds

Beauty on a Budget

Goodness knows I love a good drugstore haul. In fact, I know I’ve blogged about it in the past. Maybe its the instant gratification that comes with something as simple as purchasing a new shaving cream. Perhaps it’s my tendency to be a “product junkie”. And then I always do love a good deal…

Whatever my reasoning, I will say that over the years I have time after time gone back these inexpensive and classic products. Coming from the girl who has spent way too much money on department store and salon beauty products in the past, I can honestly say that these 8 items are hands down just as good if not better than the expensive stuff. Let’s get real with ourselves – yes, there’s something about pretty packaging. I get it. But there’s more to be said about the fact that you can pick up all of the items listed here for as much as even one item at the Nordies beauty counter. And with that, I felt compelled to share them today.

1. Suave Dry ShampooFor a product whose job is to literally cover up dirty hair, I find it absurd to spend the big bucks. I go through dry shampoo like crazy and this cheapie from Suave smells great and gets the job done.

2. Pantene Overnight Miracle. Hairdressers will shun me for this and you know what? Sorry, not sorry. My hair loves Pantene. The shampoo, conditioner, styling products…. I’m a big fan these days. I’ve done my fair share of research and can’t come up with any scientific evidence saying I’m wrong in this, so if you have it, send it my way. Until then, I will continue to use this overnight treatment that doesn’t rub off on my pillow and makes my hair silky smooth by the morning. For under 10 bucks.

3. Goody Shower Caps. Call me a grandma, but I love shower caps. Going back to my admitting that I use dry shampoo a lot, this means I don’t wash my hair often. 3 times a week on average, to be exact. But don’t worry, I still shower (sometimes). Shower caps keep my hair from getting wet while rinsing off. They’re a must for me.

4. Dove Beauty Bar. Clean, classic, great for sensitive skin. It’s the simplicity of a good old bar of soap without being over drying.

5. Neutrogena Make Up Removing Wipes. I’ve tried all different kinds of make-up removing wipes, but come back to these because I like the scent and I think they do the best job at genuinely removing product. I also like the plastic case you can purchase to hold them because I feel that it keeps them from drying out.

6. Eucerin Intensive Repair Hand CremeMy hands are always dry. I slather this stuff on throughout the day and it really keeps them moisturized, even after a hand wash. It’s unscented which won’t compete your perfume and it won’t make your hands greasy. Seriously, this stuff is always in my bag.

7. Barbasol Shaving Cream. It’s so classic, even the packaging hasn’t changed over the years. It smells amazing, foams like nothing else and is so cheap. Just beware when you’re storing it in the shower because without proper ventilation, the bottom of the can will rust!

8. Blistex Lip Medex. Another classic whose packaging hasn’t changed. The menthol makes this balm extra minty fresh and it really stays put on those lips. I put it on every night before bed.

And there you have it. A look into my drugstore cart. I’m always on the hunt for any new key items so if you have any favorites, comment and let me know! I do believe there’s merit to high-end quality products. But sometimes, beauty ain’t cheap. In my opinion, it’s best to be on budget for most and save pennies for the department store for the things you simply can’t live without.

Happy (drugstore) hauling!

xo,

ab

Weekly Workout Playlist #7

Weekly Workout Playlist #7

It’s Monday! It’s a new week! It’s time to push past the barriers that are bringing us down and just sweat it out! I especially need this encouragement today.

Wishing everyone a productive Monday and happy week of working out!

xo,

ab

Graduation Shots & A Catch Up

jesskrueger.com

Hi all! Well, as you saw… I took a week off from blogging. Unplanned, but needed. I realized that after my trip, I still felt anxious and was having a really difficult time adjusting back to real life. I constantly felt pressured that I needed to be doing something and with the realization that I no longer had school deadlines, I concluded that I was putting unneccesary stress on myself. So, for a week I decided to really do nothing but think, reflect and start planning for the future (exhausting in itself, I must say).

So where has this week gotten me? Deep into thought about the next steps. I didn’t anticipate this transition period to be so overwhelming, but I’ve most certainly proven myself wrong. I am extremely thankful to continue with my current jobs and location through this summer. But after that? It’s a cluster of thoughts and big dreams.

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of spending some time with a dear friend and amazing photographer, Jess. As she shot these pics for my personal graduation announcements and for professional use, I had the opportunity to unload some of those big thoughts and dreams on her. Bless her heart. At the end of the session, we gave each other a big hug and she looked at me and said, “I am really excited for the unlimited possibilities that lay before you! Just remember, you will only regret the things in life that you don’t do.” Her words nearly bring me to tears just typing them! I love her advice and I most definitely plan on taking it to heart.

jesskrueger.com

jesskrueger.com

jesskrueger.com

jesskrueger.com

So a BIG thank you to my dear friend! How lucky am I to have such beautiful and talented people in my life? If you’re in need of any professional photos for weddings, engagements, personal, etc. check out Jess Krueger Photography. I truly can’t say enough good things about this woman.

I will keep y’all posted about how these big thoughts & dreams all pan out. But for now, I look forward to continuing to blog and working on things I love and am passionate about. Thank you to EVERYONE reading this right now, encouraging me to pursue my passions and keep on keeping’ on. Your words mean so much.

Wishing everyone a beautiful spring weekend and I’ll be back to regular posts next week!

xo,

ab

Facebook    Twitter    Pinterest     Instagram    Bloglovin    Email

Copyright © 2013 Sweat & The Sweet Life || Website Design by Designed By Kaye