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?

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.

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.

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.

Be Brave With Your Life

As I’m driving one day through Oahu, I look at the beautiful sunset behind the mountains and I can’t help but to smile and laugh a little. I became overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I took a huge risk and moved here. I began to think about what my life would have been like if I was still living in South Carolina. I’m almost positive that it would have been the same as it was when I left. I’m sure I would have found a new job and a new car, but I’d be still living with my sister wondering if there was some grand adventure out there for me. Waiting around for something truely amazing and exciting to happen to me. The thing is…Sometimes those amazing and exciting things aren’t just going to happen…sometimes we have to make them happen. We have to take risks. I took a big risk moving to Hawaii. (I moved here with nothing but faith, four suitcases, and $30 in my bank account.) I believe that I’m here for a reason, but I also believe I’m here because of my own agency. I could have chosen to stay in South Carolina. It would have been the easy thing to do. It wouldn’t have been a bad choice, but I knew that other than my friends and family, there was nothing for me anymore in South Carolina. I needed something different in my life.

So many incredible things have happened to me since I’ve moved here. I’ve been able to see good things happen in my life and be able to recognize how blessed I am. I have strengthened my relationship with God. I have a deeper love and appreciation for others and for different cultures. I’ve learned so much about myself and have opened up a lot. A lot of my likes and dislikes have changed. My desire to learn and travel has gotten stronger. I’m not normally this brave…in fact I never thought of myself as brave, but through this I’ve learned how to be happy and overcome my fears and anxiety.

I think that taking risks is good for the soul. Life is a learning experience. It’s amazing to think about how we can live whatever life we want to live. We can do whatever we want if we put our minds to it. It’s up to us. Have a little faith and follow your dreams. Make goals and do it! Go apply for that dream job. Move to a new city. Ask that person that you’ve had a big crush on a date. Take a chance. You never know what will happen. Maybe it’ll be everything you’ve dreamed of. The outcomes are endless and can be really great. And if it doesn’t go so well, try again or find a new dream and try that one out. We are in control of our happiness and our futures. Follow your heart.

“If there’s even a slight chance at getting something that will make you happy, risk it. Life’s too short and happiness is too rare.” 

-A. R. Lucas

Life Has A Funny Way Of Working Out


“Life has a funny way of working out just when you start to believe nothing ever will.”

But really though. I have always had a hard time seeing the good things happening in my life. It just felt like one thing after another was constantly going wrong and just when something good was finally happening, everything would fall apart again. I would see these amazing things happening to my friends and I was always wondering why good things weren’t happening to me.

I have a lot to be thankful for, but I couldn’t understand why I just felt stuck, like my life wasn’t moving forward and I couldn’t figure out how to get my life going. I always felt like I was stuck in this deep, dark hole and I couldn’t get out. I know a couple of times, it felt like I hit rock bottom in my life. It was the same pattern for 6 years. It was hard. I can’t recall how many times I sat with my parents, broken hearted and angry and I would cry so hard that I would hyperventilate. My life wasn’t supposed to be like this. I was so mad at everything, especially God. Why did my life have to be this way?

It took a long time to figure it out, but I realized that I needed to make a change. It was up to me to get out of this dark place in my life and stop waiting around for something to happen. I was going to make it happen. I was going to be happy again. I was going to live this amazing and exciting life that I thought I was always going to live. I needed to set goals for myself, get out of my comfort zone, focus on working on myself physically, spiritually and mentally, and become the kind of person I wanted to be. It wasn’t easy, it was incredibly challenging, but I’ve learned a lot in the past year or so, especially about myself. I have been able to see my life finally go somewhere. At first, I didn’t have a job, but that was okay because I got to attended my church’s girls camp over the summer as a leader for the first time. Soon after, I was able to find amazing jobs with a couple of families who I ended up becoming amazing friends with. Even though my car of over 6 years died, I got brand new jobs and I was able to move out and live with my sister in her new house and soon after that, bought a new car. Everything was working out, even when sometimes it wasn’t. And then next thing I knew, my new, but used car died, I lost one of my jobs because their job would help cover for child care if the child was in daycare, I was going to lose hours at my other job and I couldn’t find a full or part time job anywhere. What the heck? It was all happening at the same time! I started to become frustrated and impatient, but then I decided that I needed to handle things differently, just like I had done previously. I did not give up, I did not let these losses get to me. I was going to have faith and trust that God has a plan for me and that something better was in store for me.

And now I’m here, living in Hawaii. I knew at a young age that this is where I would end up one day, but at the same time I never believed I would actually end up here. But I did it. It’s been 2 months and I have never been happier in my entire life. I have an amazing job, I’ve made some amazing friends. For the first time in a long time, I enjoy going to church and activities and I notice a huge change in my week and my attitude if I don’t get to attend. I’m learning so much and trying new things all the time. Everyday is an adventure to me and I’m constantly seeing my life being blessed. My life still isn’t perfect and I mess up a lot, I still have pretty hard days here and there, but I handle the hard times much differently now. They’re more bareable because I have nothing but faith and trust in my Heavenly Father. Now, more than ever, I know everything happens for a reason. I didn’t need my car or a job in South Carolina because I needed to be here. I don’t know why, but I’m excited to find out.