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New year. Same me.

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This year I want to continue growing into the better and happier version of myself. 2019 will be a great year. I have decided that now. It will have its ups and downs just like every year does, but one thing I know I’ve learned from 2018 is that everything ALWAYS works out. Maybe not the way you want it to or as fast as you would like, but it does work out. 

How do I plan to grow into the better and happier me? Well, I’ll keep looking for ways to improve. Spiritually, mentally, physically. There’s always room for growth. Sometimes it’s just trying new things, going new places, learning something new by reading a book or picking up a new hobby, and taking risks.

Here is what I plan on doing in 2019:

I will start saving money better and doing more for others.

I will quit eating out as much and drinking so much soda.

I will learn how to start a mini garden at my apartment, a new language.

I will be more optimistic and patient during the hard times in my life.

I will improve on my yoga training and meditation.

New year, same me…just better. One that loves herself and wants to see herself grow, whatever that may take. I know this because I decided this, and you can too. Decide right now that this is going to be your year! Decide right now that no matter what happens, it will all work out for the best.

How are you going to make 2019 a great year for you? What are your goals and dreams for this year? How are you going to be a better version of yourself?

Loving Me

My inner critic is always hanging around. Some days she’s worse than others. As I was journaling the other day, I realized how bad she can be. She’s loud, negative, doubtful…the list can go on. Lately, she’s been comparing me to others.

I find myself scrolling through social media and looking at others, basically wishing I was as pretty as the girls you see or had their taste in fashion. I compare my instagram and my blog wishing it looked like theirs. My inner critic tells me I’m not pretty enough and I don’t try hard enough and I should just give up because no matter what I do, I won’t be good enough. No one looks at what I post and no one reads my blog. So why even bother?

I know! My inner critic is not nice. I would never let anyone talk to me that way or even let them talk to themselves like that. Why do I talk to myself so horribly? We all have an inner critic and he/she tells us different things. But we all have an inner best friend too. Maybe they are there or maybe we need to find them.

I recently listened to a podcast by Rachel Brathen and she talks about our inner critic and finding our inner best friend. It got me wondering where mine was. I didn’t think I really had one and if I did, she’s really quiet. Well, the last few weeks I’ve been working on finding her and making her speak up.

Whenever I start to to become critical of myself, I have to stop and remind myself of what my best friends would say to me or what I would say to one of my friends if I heard them say horrible things about themselves? I take a moment to find my inner best friend and she helps me repeat positive affirmations. I am enough. I am unique and beautiful in my own way. I am talented and special.

The more my inner best friend tells me that I’m enough and the more I hear myself say affirmations, the more I start to believe it. I feel like I can get though tough days and feeling down a lot better. The other day, I went to the lake and my friend, Rachel, took pictures of me. I was shocked. I was like “Wow! I really am beautiful!” I don’t think I’ve ever had that reaction to a picture of me. Yeah, I would look cute or good in the picture and a lot of the time I feel like I look like I was still in high school.

I feel like finding my inner best friend has helped me see my beauty and my self worth. She has helped me love myself and make me feel like I can accomplish anything. She encourages me to keep writing my blog and posting on social media because even though I don’t realize it, I am inspiring and helping others.

Taking Care of Myself

The last several months have had a bunch of up and down moments. Lately, it’s been a bunch of down moments. It feels like it’s one thing after another. One day I’m happy and doing good, then the next day I feel like my world is falling apart. It’s exhausting. I’m exhausted! I barely sleep and when I do sleep, I toss and turn all night, have bad dreams and wake up even more tired.

One day exhaustion hit me hard and I was feeling sick. My body had enough. It also finally hit me that I really don’t take care of myself as much as I should or think I do. I tend to take care of everyone and everything else and forget about myself. Sometimes, I just tell myself I’m fine, I’ll take care of myself later and keep going.

By not taking care of myself, I’m not loving myself either. I’m tired of struggling. I am going to make a change. I am going to do better. I am going to take care of myself and I am going to show myself love and this is how I’m doing that:

The first thing I’ve done so far has been inspired by a new friend and mentor of mine, Brooke. She has helped me so much in the past week and one of the things she challenged me to do is make a few lists. If you read my last blog post, you know how much I love lists. The first list was to write a list of 10-20 things that I DON’T like in my life right now and then make another list of the things that I DO want to see in my life.

I turned the things I do want to see into affirmations; I am loved. I am strong. I am fearless. I recorded me saying my list of affirmations so I can listen to it every morning when I wake up and every night before I go to bed. I may have recorded myself over a dozen of times because hearing my own voice being played back to me is SO WEIRD. The point of doing this is so I can hear these positive things and remind myself every day, twice a day of the things that I am and want to become until I believe it.

So, the second thing I have been doing is listening to uplifting and motivational podcasts every day. Usually, I listen to a podcasts series called “From the Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl” by Rachel Brathen. I relate to so much she has to say. I feel like the best time for me to listen to podcasts are in the morning when I’m getting ready or driving to work. When I start my day listening to something positive, I am more likely to carry that positivity throughout my day. I feel like my days are better after listening to my affirmations and an inspiring podcast.

The third and final thing that I want to share with you is listening to my body. I’ve been trying to pay attention to what I need mentally and physically. What is my body telling me? Does it need rest, exercise, healthier food, fresh air? Lately, mine has been begging me to stretch and do some yoga. The past few weeks my back muscles have pretty much hated me, so I booked a massage to help my back feel better and to help me relax. Another thing my body has been asking me is to drink more water. So, I downloaded the My Water app and have it set to remind me every 2 hours to drink a cup of water. My mind has been needing a break and time to meditate or journal is exactly what I need.

In just the past few days of doing these things, I’ve noticed a difference. I feel like I have more energy, more positive energy. I know as I continue to care for myself, I will love myself more and that positive energy will grow. As I listen to my mind and my body and not only show it love but tell myself I am loved, things will begin to change in my life. Not saying I’m still going to have moments where I’m down and struggling, but those moments might not come as often and when they do, I will probably be able to get through it a lot better and a lot easier than I have been.

Working On My Personal Happiness

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Most of you know that over the last few months I have been struggling since moving back to South Carolina. I’ve felt very lost and depressed, but over the past couple of weeks I have been feeling much better. I’m feeling stronger and happier and I’m okay with where I’m at right now.

I still get sad when I see pictures of my friends in Hawaii or something reminds me of my life there. But then I smile and tell myself, “How awesome is it, that I got to live my dream”. Not many people get to do that and I did. I should be thankful. And I am. The past few weeks I have been working on myself…taking care of myself and changing my mindset.

One of the things I’ve been doing to help is make different kinds of lists. Not your normal shopping or to do list, but a list of short term and long term goals, a list of dreams, things that make me happy, things I’m thankful for…those kinds of lists. They’re all positive things and keep me from looking back on the past or focusing on the negative.

I’ve noticed that when I talk or think about the things that make me happy, I feel happy too. I wanted to share with you my list of 5 things that make me happy.

5 things that makes me happy:

1Spending time with family and friends

2Going to the beach or being outdoors

3Packing up the car and going on road trips.

4Going to Barnes N’ Nobles to find a good book to read and a comfy chair to sit in for a few hours

5Eating fresh fruit 

Whenever you have the time make a list for yourself. Feel free to share it in the comments or keep it to yourself. If you want to, you can even challenge a friend to do it with you. Add more than 5 things to it if you wish, make other lists too, just don’t forget to look back on them to see how far you go and use them as a reminder of your goals and of your happiness.

Now Is The Time To Heal

Sunset photo taken by Caleb White

To be honest. I’ve had a hard time lately dealing with the the fact that I left Hawaii. I miss it. I miss the island life, the energy I felt there, the atmosphere and the gorgeous view. Everything about it was beautiful. I loved my life there. It may have been the happiest I have ever been. Although it was hard at times and I definitely struggled, it was where I wanted to be. I knew when I took the job in Hawaii, the chances were that I’d only be there for a year, but I fell in love with the island and my life there and wanted to stay longer.

After losing my job, I tried to make it work for as long as I could in Hawaii. I ended up living with my best friend on the island and had a good job. It looked pretty promising. But once again I felt like my life was falling apart. After a while, I had a strong impression that I needed to move home. I fought that feeling for a while. I refused to go back to South Carolina. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and friends here, but I just felt like I couldn’t be myself and live the life I wanted. On top of that it’s like my past relationships and the unhappiness I felt before haunts me. Finally, I grew tired of fighting and learned to accept that I was no longer supposed to be in Hawaii. So, I called my parents and told them that I knew what I needed to do…I’m coming home.

I actually felt homesick for Oahu and cried myself to sleep for nights. It’s been over a month now and I’m starting to be more okay with being back. Each day gets a little better. It’s hard to let go. It’s hard not to wish I was still in Hawaii. Leaving was definitely the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. Honestly, I think I rather have been dumped because leaving my life there was definitely more heartbreaking. I’ve felt very abandoned, confused and lost since moving home. I know I’m supposed to be here for some reason, but why? Why am I here? Why did I have to give up the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my life?

I don’t know the answer to those questions yet, but for the first time in a long time, I’m feeling very hopeful and optimistic. I know there is a plan for me. It may not be exactly what I had in mind or maybe it is. It’s hard to believe that good things can happen, but they will. I know they will. Only because I have been through this several times before. This is not the first time I’ve been broken hearted or felt like I hit rock bottom. Rock bottom is a good place to start rebuilding yourself.

I’ve learned that you can’t expect everything to change and get better over night. It takes time to heal. It takes time to put yourself and your life back together. Be patient with yourself. Don’t give up hope. Believe in yourself and in your dreams. God has a plan for you. Trust in that plan. I know if I didn’t listen to that prompting to return home, I would miss out on other opportunities for great things to happen. I know that even though leaving Hawaii was difficult, He has something great planned for me next. I’m excited to see what will happen next and I wish I could know now. But now is the time for me to heal and to work on myself to get where I need to be.

Home Again

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Since living in Hawaii the past year, I have found my go to places to eat. Teddy’s, Zippy’s, Anna Millers…places I’m going to miss dearly when I leave. But I do have to say I’m definitely looking forward to all of my old favorite places that I miss eating at since they aren’t in Hawaii. Firehouse subs, Olive Garden, Panera…oh my gosh you guys my mouth is watering and my stomach is rumbling just thinking about eating at these places again. I may go to sleep tonight and dream about olive gardens salads and breadsticks.

I’m looking forward to having all of my belongings again. My furniture, my pictures, movies and books, the rest of my clothes and shoes. I’ve done a good job living a whole year without those things, but let’s be real, I’ll be glad to have them back. On top of that I’ll have a car again and even though I have an AUX cord and can play music from my phone, I’m overjoyed to play my old mix CDs to bring back some good memories.

But yes…a car! I’m so happy I could cry. Taking the bus to work and home every day has been a pain. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed it at times. I enjoyed people watching and seeing the different kinds of people take the bus and some familiar faces, after a while, and wonder what their stories are. But at the same time its going to be so nice to be able to control when I leave and where I go. It’s hard relying on a bus or other people to get to work and to do other things on my days off. And also road trips…I miss road trips.

Most of all, it’ll be nice to see my family and friends again. To be able to spend holidays and celebrations with them. I miss going over to my parents house to hang out and try to sneak out with frozen pizzas. And of course I can’t wait to be able to snuggle my dog Buddy again and run around with him in my parents back yard.

A New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

I was just thinking about everything that’s happened between now and this time last year. It has been a crazy year!

It started off well. I spent New Years with a couple of the greatest friends ever and then just a short few weeks later, I found out I got a job in Hawaii. I was excited to move.

My time here started off better than could ever be imagined. Lately, it has gotten a little rocky and now a little better.

I’ve changed and grown up a lot. I’m the same and completely different at the same time. I’ve tried new things and seen things I’ve never experienced before. Things I didn’t like or was scared of, I now enjoy. (For instance, when my sister was here in November, I ordered shrimp at a restaurant. She looked at me and said, “Are you going to eat that?” She was shocked because I don’t like seafood.)

It’s been an amazing journey living here in Hawaii. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat and honestly, I wouldn’t do anything differently…well, except have a better contract with my original job. Other than that, I didn’t regret a single thing.

The last few months haven’t quite been what I imagined for myself. I didn’t think I would have to search for a new job and a place to live. I knew living here would be different and sometimes a struggle. But I didn’t think I would end up without a place to live, having my job terminated early and my transportation all in a day. To start anew has been super tough. All I do now is work now.  I don’t have any time to spend with friends or explore the island. It actually breaks my heart.

So, after weeks of fighting myself about whether or not I need to stay here or go home, I’ve realized that what I need to do might not be what I want to do. I realize my adventure here in Hawaii is over for now and that I need to return home in February. Who knows? I would love to return. I want to come back.

This has probably been the hardest and most heartbreaking decision I’ve ever had to make. I love Hawaii so much. But after a while, I’ve started to be okay with going home. I know it’ll just be a temporary thing until I’m on to my next adventure. I’ve been thinking about moving to Charleston eventually but who knows.

What I do know is that my resolution for 2018 is to live a Happy life no matter where I am or who I am with.

Thanksgiving in Hawaii

Happy thanksgiving everyone. In no way this time last year did I think I’d be living here in Hawaii. It was on my mind, but I didn’t think it was actually possible. I’m amaze myself everyday. When I first moved here, things were going perfect, then the last couple of months have been a bit rocky. It got to the point that I thought that I had to go home to South Carolina. Not that I wanted to go back, because more than anything I want to be here, but under the circumstances I thought I might not have a choice but to move. I lost my job, which kind of meant I lost everything that was helping be here. But things worked out and they’re still working out. Seriously you guys, if it weren’t for my friends, Mariah and Victoria, I’d probably be back in SC. They gave me a place to live and a job. I couldn’t be more blessed or thankful to have them in my life.

The last week, my sister has been in town. Unfortunately I only got three and a half days to actually spend with her. I’m kind of sad that she’s here and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her and miss thanksgiving. But being the new girl at my job, I wasn’t able to get any time off. But it is what it is. I’m just thankful that I even have this job to begin with. I’m thankful that my sister is here and for the time that I got to spend with her. I’m thankful that even though I have to work thanksgiving, I got to spend the first part of my day at the beach and snorkeling with my sister. We’ve been having a great time and I’m glad I got to work on my tan a little bit.

I’m very thankful that I live on this beautiful island and that things worked out for me to still be living here. I also very thankful for my parent for being supportive about me living here and being so helpful with things got hard. There’s so much that I’m thankful for this year, but if I wrote about every single thing, you’d be reading a book instead of a blog post.

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Live-in Nanny


Just a little over 9 months ago, I accepted a job in Hawaii as a live-in nanny. I’m from South Carolina. I lived with my sister and my parents lived pretty close by as well. My life wasn’t perfect. I struggled a lot, but I always had them there for support. But I gave everything up and I moved away for this job.

I took a huge risk accepting a job not only so far away from home, but off the mainland all together. It has always been my dream to live in Hawaii ever since I visited the big Island of Hawaii when I was 7 years old. I was excited more than anything and because I was so excited there were a few things I forgot to do when I accepted this job.

I wouldn’t say I messed up, but I wasn’t careful and well, I lost my job and I’m having to start all over. It hasn’t been easy at all. It’s been stressful because I basically have nothing and the only help I have here on the island is from my best friend that lives here. My parents are trying to help out the best the can, but it’s hard because they’re not even here.

This has all been a learning experience. Being a live-in nanny has had it’s ups and downs. I’ve had a place to stay, a car to drive and food to eat. All I had to do is wake up and I’m already at work. I could stay in my pajamas all day and not even have to put on a bra. But at the end of the day, I’m already home. I miss that feeling after a long day of wanting to go home and get away from work. I couldn’t do that. I just went to my room. The kids were always around. I missed having friends over and movie nights at the comfort of my own home. And no privacy. Ever. Would I be a live-in nanny again in the future? Maybe. If I was planning on moving somewhere completely different than Hawaii, yes. This job got me here and I don’t regret taking the job at all. But next time, I will be more careful.

If you ever plan on being a nanny, especially a live-in nanny far away from home, then please, please pleaseeee don’t make the same mistakes that I did. These are three things I wish I knew or had done before becoming a live-in nanny.

1. Have a good contract!

Seriously you guys! Have a contract and a good one! Don’t leave anything out! I did and that’s how I pretty much got blindsided. I did not put anything about taxes or what happens if my contract was to end sooner. Most jobs you get at least a two week notice…not me. I got a week notice. After that week was up, I had no job and no car. Luckily, my friend and I had already planned to move in together, I just ended up moving in sooner than planned.

I was supposed to work for this family for a year. I ended up working for them until the end of march because they wanted to put their children in daycare. Although, I understand why they made the decision, I wish I had a heads up that they were even considering that option and didn’t plan on spots opening up for the kids so soon and not wanting to lose those spots, I wish I had a heads up.

So, next time I plan on putting in the contract that if the parents are putting the children in daycare or if they plan on being a stay at home mom, that it needs to be brought up and discussed ahead of time. If they plan on ending the contract early, then I need a few weeks-month notice. Not only that, but also agree on some type of payment to buy me out of my contract so I’m left with nothing.

Also, have a tax plan with the family and put it in the contract! We discussed taxes and they were supposed to claim me and take taxes out of each payment. Then after a few months, they stopped and in the end I’m left having to claim my taxes, not even knowing how to do it. I could have ended up in a lot of trouble or just stuck because it would appear that I went then last 9 months without a job.

2. Taxes!

Like I shared above, have a tax plan! Call the state and federal tax companies and ask what you’re supposed to do to be claim your taxes as a nanny. Do it before you take the job…don’t wait! It becomes stressful to figure these things out at the last minute. So prepare yourself.

Care.com provides a safe and legal way for you to get paid and your taxes are included.

3. Be financially prepared!

I’m not going to lie, I wish I had saved more money than I had. I have bad spending habits. I should have and could have done a better job putting money in my savings for emergencies. I’d probably be less stressed out right now and wouldn’t be struggling as much. I’m thankful I found a new job as quick as I did, because I’m not as worried, but still. I wouldn’t be stressed or worried if I was more careful. You never know what could happen, so be prepared, especially financially in case you have to start all over like I did.

Carolina Home


Recently, I took a trip home to the Carolina states. It’s been 7 months since I’ve seen my family and friends. Boy, did I miss them or what?

I got really lucky and had 8 days to visit. Originally I was flying back for a weekend for my friends wedding and then the day after the wedding, I’d fly back to Hawaii. It was good to be back in South Carolina. I haven’t really been home sick but I did miss everyone back home.

It was a good trip, but it was also kind of stressful. My friend Hannah’s wedding was beautiful and perfect! I’m beyond grateful she asked me to be a bridesmaid and that I was able to fly back for her wedding. I got to see my parents new home and spend time running around outside with my dog. I’ve never seen Buddy look so happy. At our old home, we had a gated pool area for him to run around free, but it wasn’t much. We had 10 acres of woods but he liked to run off and so we always had to keep him leashed. Now he has lots of room to run around free and unleashed.

I really wanted to visit Charleston, SC while I was home. I know, why would I go to the beach when I live in Hawaii and I’m surrounded by beaches? Well, Charleston has always been my favorite place to visit. I would go there all the time during the summer and I just missed it. Some of the greatest memories of mine have been made there. But I wasn’t able to take a road trip there because Charleston had just been pretty damaged by the Hurricane.

I was in the Carolina’s for 8 days and I tried to see all of my family and friends. I had it all planned out. But right before my trip, all of the plans kept changing. I ended up not getting to see everyone like I wanted. It kind of bothered me. Especially, when I’m trying to fit every one in my schedule in a short amount of time and trying not to feel bad if I left someone out. It got to the point that I barely got to spend time with my family.

I already miss everyone so much, but I’m so glad to be back in Hawaii. If anything, while I was in South Carolina, I got homesick for Hawaii. The Carolinas will always be home, but I don’t feel like it’s where I belong. I know more than anything that I made the right decision to move to Hawaii. It’s going to suck seeing my family about 2 times a year, but I don’t regret moving to Hawaii at all.

I’ll be back in The Carolina’s sometime in March. If you didn’t get to see me on my last trip, hopefully I’ll see you next time. I might just end up having a big party so I can see everyone at once.