100 Actionable Ways To Say “I Love You”

 

H A P P Y   m o n d a y 

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, this post is all about love.  Love is the glue that holds our relationships together- it’s an action, an emotion, a behavior, a tangible feeling.  You have to give love to receive love.  For those of you who think Valentine’s Day is a day only for those who are in romantic relationships- reframe your perspective to include all of the people you love, and do something to demonstrate how grateful you are for them.  Love others, but most importantly love yourself.  These actions can be applied to your parents, your children, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, pets, friends, co-workers, and of course- you.  

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LOVE OTHERS

1 | Give a hug

2 | Give a kiss

3 | Say the words, “I love you”

4 | Write a simple note that will make the person smile

5 | Draw them a bath after a long day

6 | Give them a call to say hi

7 | Send them a card in the mail

8 | Surprise them with their favorite home cooked meal

9 | Do the dishes

10 | Compliment their best qualities

11 | Snuggle them

12 | Comfort them

13 | Remember special dates

14 | Ask them how their day went

15 | Ask them how you can help

16 | Help

17 | Buy them flowers for no reason

18 | Explore new places with them

19 | Make them feel safe

20 | Appreciate them

21 | Say thank you 

22 | Listen to them

23 | Try new things- new foods, new cultures, new places, new tv shows, new music

24 | Invest in their interests

25 | Forgive them for their mistakes

26 | Apologize for yours

27 | Solve problems together

28 | Ask them questions instead of assuming answers

29 | Give them the opportunity to take a break

30 | Encourage positive relationships outside of your own

31 | Let them cry

32 | Feed them

33 | Make them feel like the most important person in the world

34 | Know when to give them space

35 | Come to their defense when they are defenseless

36 | Show up for them

37 | Be their cheerleader

38 | Give them gentle, honest advice

39 | Bring them breakfast in bed

40 | Trust them

41 | Empower them to pursue their passions

42 | Take care of them when they’re sick

43 | Make them laugh

44 | Bake them cookies

45 | Bring them a warm towel after a shower

46 | Open the door for them

47 | Celebrate their differences

48 | Send them a “thinking of you” text

49 | Challenge them to be a better person

50 | Make their day a little easier- clean the snow off their car, make them a cup of coffee

LOVE YOURSELF

51 | Fuel your body with healthy foods

52 | Go for a mani/pedi

53 | Watch your favorite tv show

54 | Go to sleep early

55 | Do a weekly/bi weekly face mask

56 | Run a hot bubble bath

57 | Pour yourself a glass of wine and put your feet up

58 | Thank your body for all the daily miracles it performs

59 | Book yourself a vacation

60 | Read a book

61 | Take an extra few minutes in the shower

62 | Take a moment each day to think of 3 things you are thankful for

63 | Go for a walk

64 | Read a magazine

65 | Drink a hot cup of tea

66 | Listen to your favorite song

67 | Set goals for yourself

68 | Put in the work to achieve those goals

69 | Spend time with your friends

70 | Get a massage

71 | Explore new interests/hobbies

72 | Take a yoga class

73 | Go to the local coffee shop for your favorite beverage

74 | Dream big

75 | Go for a bike ride

76 | Tell yourself you are beautiful

77 | Tell yourself you can

78 | Tell yourself you will 

79 | Take time for yourself every day

80 | Buy yourself flowers

81 | Go for your annual well visits (gynecologist, dentist, dermatologist, etc.)

82 | Indulge in your favorite treat

83 | Say no

84 | Meditate

85 | Buy yourself something nice

86 | Learn something new

87 | Step out of your comfort zone

88 | Explore new places

89 | Forgive yourself

90 | Write in a journal

91 | Watch the sunrise

92 | Watch the sunset

93 | Give yourself permission to rest

94 | Rest

95 | Light a candle

96 | Laugh

97 | Turn your phone off for the day

98 | Get your sweat on

99 | Free yourself of guilt

100 | Shatter any expectations for perfection

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I hope you all have an abundantly happy and love-filled Valentine’s Day.  xx

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Change Your Life Through Perspective

Good morning & Happy Monday

Today’s post is one that I am so excited to share with all of you because of the potential it has to make an impact on the quality of your life.  Mental health necessitates maintenance, effort, and attention- just as does physical health.  Take the time to read this post, be intentional about your thoughts and perspectives, and shift the way in which you view the world.

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|| Practice gratitude, everyday ||

I know I have said it before, but this is E V E R Y T H I N G.  There is always something to be thankful for- intact vision and access to the internet are two factors that facilitate your reading this post, both of which are not guaranteed in this world.  Take time every single day to reflect on the reasons you have to be grateful and I promise you, your life will change.  I just ordered The Five Minute Journal, which will force me to take 5 minutes every morning and night to record my reflections.  However, you do NOT need a journal like this to practice gratitude.  Take time on your morning commute or while you drink your first cup of coffee to be intentional about gratitude.  Challenge yourself to reframe your perspective on the aspects of your life that you may feel pretty shitty about- do you hate your job?  Learn to be thankful that you have a job and money to pay the bills.

|| Search for the lesson ||

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  After hearing this phrase throughout my life, the gravity of it’s meaning is finally settling in.  Not a single person in this world has a perfect life- negativity and misfortune are inevitable- but the way you choose to react to situations will impact the trajectory of your future.  We are all human- we make mistakes, we fail, the outcomes we expect don’t always pan out.  I challenge you to search for the lesson in those failures and frame your attitude to be thankful for your new knowledge.  This new knowledge will help you cultivate more meaningful relationships, the qualities to be a better employee, brother, mother, sister, girlfriend; and open the door for new opportunities.   Life is rich with lessons: Make light of the dark.

|| Limit negative self talk ||

Believe in yourself.  Even if you don’t, start to tell yourself that you do and eventually you will.  When you set goals for yourself, have every intention of achieving them and take action.  This is definitely one that I am working on- my goals are so big they scare me sometimes.  Once in a while, an unwelcome voice enters my mental dialogue.  It’s the voice that says “you can’t, you’re being unrealistic, there are a million other people in this world that want what you do, you don’t have the money, you don’t have the means, you aren’t smart enough,” etc.  I am learning to pay this voice no attention.  When you actively focus on your positive qualities and intentions, the empty space that could be occupied with self-deprecating thoughts will narrow in time.

|| Consider the situation of others || 

sonder
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

I LOVE this word and the gravity of its meaning.  Although it can be hard to wrap your head around, every single person in this world has their own story- their own set of struggles and misfortunes.  Everyone is brought up in different environments under different circumstances- some of us were raised by parents that love us.  Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky- they may have been exposed to trauma and abuse.  Some people do not have the means to feed themselves or their families.  Others are caring for a parent or spouse that is undergoing cancer treatments.  Unless you ask, you will likely not know what each person you interact with is going through.  Keep this in perspective and never lose sight of it, even when it’s not easy.  Next time you feel tempted to judge another for their actions, consider the situation they are in and send them light.

|| Stop comparing yourself to everyone else ||

This cuts down on that ugly, negative, energy-consuming, jealousy.  Unless you look to others purely as a source of inspiration, it is not healthy to compare yourself to anyone but the person you were yesterday.  If someone has something you want- a degree, a car, a slim figure, a salary, a family, a handbag, etc.- make an intentional choice to forego those feelings of jealousy, and channel your energy towards achieving a goal.  To compare yourself to the person that has something you want is not only unfair to you, but it consumes your thoughts with negativity and self-pity.  Compare yourself to the person you were yesterday, last month, last year, 5 years ago- what have you achieved?  What have you learned?  Use your accomplishments as fuel to continue achieving the goals you set for yourself.

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Be thankful for the big things and the small things.  Take time every day to remind yourself of these blessings.  Allow yourself to be human and make mistakes but learn from those mistakes and use those lessons as motivation to achieve.  Consider the factors that influence others’ behavior.  Love yourself and be patient with yourself.  Set goals and achieve them.  Then set more goals.  Be intentional and present.  Always be the best version of you. Cheers to being positive and living your best life! xx 

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5 Simple Ways To Be More Productive In 2018

 || HAPPY FRIDAY ||

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your friends and families.  This will be my last blog post for 2017 and I am focusing on setting positive intentions for the new year.  Take some time to reflect on the past twelve months and give yourself credit for your accomplishments.  Also- use whatever lessons you have learned to fuel growth and positive change in 2018.

We all have the same number of hours within a day, but where we differ is how we choose to spend those hours.  How many of us come home from work and park it on the couch to binge watch a Netflix series with a glass of wine and a bowl of popcorn (obviously channeling our inner Olivia Pope)?  I am definitely guilty of this on occasion, and don’t get me wrong- those days can be so valuable for our mental health- but it’s important to evaluate whether your day-to-day actions align with your goals and intentions.  The following tips are some of my tried and true methods for getting more value out of each day.

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1 | Set measurable goals with a time frame

In order to assess whether or not your actions align with the goals or intentions you set for yourself, you need to begin by creating them.   The easiest way to hold yourself accountable for these goals is to write them down- so grab a pen and paper (or open a word document on your computer).  I like to start with my larger goals to frame a general picture of the year ahead, then work my way down and fill in smaller objectives to help me achieve the bigger goals.  For example, if your big goal is to purchase a house in 2018, begin by assessing whether or not it is a realistic goal.  If it is, then you can begin writing smaller objectives to help you achieve this- such as, saving x amount of dollars per paycheck to contribute towards a down payment, identifying the town you want to purchase the home in, getting prequalified for a mortgage, etc.  The biggest kicker, set specific time frames to achieve each goal and objective- my best advice is to actually look at a calendar and set dates.  The more specific you make your goals, the more likely you are to accomplish them.

2 | Prioritize what is most important to you and build routines to support them

I would be willing to bet that most of my readers are in different stages of their life, so it is important to internalize this piece of advice and make it specific to you.  Begin by asking yourself, what is important to me? Do you want to spend more time with your child or children?  Do you want to pay off your student debt?  Do you want to lose weight?  Do you want to be more present when spending time with the people you love?  Now, assess what daily actions would support these priorities.  If your priority is to lose weight, begin by thinking about what behaviors would help you achieve this goal, and incorporate them into your daily routines.   For example, drink a bottle of water every morning when you wake up to get your metabolism and digestive system moving.  As this becomes embedded into your morning routine, incorporate a new action into one of your routines- when you get home from work, immediately change into exercise clothes so you are more likely to go to the gym then park it on the couch.  Gradually embedding these small actions into routine is a very effective way to make lasting changes in your life.

3 | Make lists

One important aspect of being productive is juggling different roles and the responsibilities associated with them- sometimes the amount of “to-do’s” can be overwhelming.  My simplest piece of advice is to write them down as they pop into your head.  I like to use the notes app on my iPhone to quickly get my thoughts down as they emerge (which always seems to be around bedtime).  It’s such a simple way to ensure you don’t forget to complete something important, and boy does it feel good to check each one off as you complete it.

4 | “Tidy” everyday at the end of the day

Taking time each day to ensure everything is in it’s place saves you a whole lot of time doing massive cleaning binges when the little messes add up to big messes.  Before I go to bed every night, I make sure dirty clothes are in the hamper, bags from the weekend are put away, new purchases are hung up and receipts are in their home, towels are hung back up after a shower, etc.  Although I am only responsible for my bedroom and bathroom at my parents house right now, any time I babysit I ensure the dishes are put away or in the dishwasher, and the toys that the kids played with are back where they belong.  There is something to be said for tidiness- I fully understand not everyone has the time or energy to do a full clean of their house at the end of the night, but when you take time to make sure everything is put away, your life feels less cluttered and you have a better handle on home management.

5 | Designate one day/week to “reset”

Pick one day each week in which you set aside time to get things done- run errands, do homework, grade papers, grocery shop, treatment plan, etc.  Whatever it is you choose to do on this day will be unique to you, and will likely fluctuate depending on the plans for that week or time of year.  The point to highlight is that you schedule this time for yourself.  When you don’t leave yourself enough time to recharge and take care of business, you end up feeling overwhelmed, burnt-out, and sleep deprived because you are playing a constant game of catch-up.   Historically, Sunday has been my “reset” day- during the academic portion of grad school I would map out what assignments I had to do on each day of that week.  Now that I am in fieldwork, I use Sunday’s to treatment plan, do laundry, grocery shop, and prep my meals for the work week.  This time has been so valuable in maintaining my sanity during a busy time in my life, and helps me refocus my mindset.

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I hope these tips are helpful to you in setting intentions for 2018.  Cheers to a happy and healthy new year! xx

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Do For You

G O O D   M O R N I N G  &  h a p p y   m o n d a y

This week’s post is covering the importance of doing for you.  So often, our actions are dictated by a deadline, a job, a role- parent, partner, student, employee, etc.  But it is so important to take time to do the things you enjoy.  It’s like a little reset button each time we do something to take care of ourselves- we have more energy and patience to take on the tasks and roles that serve those around us.

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So, in the spirit of “do for you,” my mom and I took advantage of my day off last week and had ourselves a nice girls day.  I was off from work because NJ schools were closed for the NJEA convention, and my mom took a half day.  I met her at work so she could show me the beautiful Lawrenceville School campus, then we drove to Princeton for a delicious lunch at Mistral. Everything about our experience at this restaurant was perfect.  We sat in the main dining area, in which the main focal point is a bar with stools that sits directly open to the kitchen.  We sat at a cozy table near the window for a view of the whole restaurant.  The waitstaff was exceptional and attentive without being overbearing, and provided us with some great recommendations.

The lunch menu is a mix of unique small shareable plates and main course items.  Mistral sources their ingredients from local farms, bakeries, and butchers.  They have an impressive list of craft cocktails, wines, and spirits.  We started our lunch with a cocktail: I got the Element and my mom got the The Vuvuzela- both delicious, unique, and refreshing.  We shared the Burrata small plate as an appetizer- the cheese was perfectly creamy, topped with chives and red pepper flakes, over a bed of arugula and peperonata.  Served on the side was a roasted black-garlic crostini topped with fresh grated parmesan.  It was delicious and the perfect size to share!

For entrees, I ordered the chicken casesar salad and my mom had the smoked tuna melt.  Both were to die for.  The tuna was perfectly smoky, pairing well with the cheddar, apple, and walnut flavors.  The caesar dressing with cured egg yolk was creamy and salty- just the way it’s supposed to be.  The chicken on my salad was grilled to perfection.  We drank wine with our lunch entrees then moved on to dessert.  We ordered the Frozen Bee Hive which was not only delicious, but a true work of art.  A thick layer cookie crust topped with frozen honey, lavender, and lemon curd (consistency of ice-cream).  This was held together with a toasted marshmallow in the shape of a beehive- so cute!

Espresso beverages went well with dessert and we moved on to shopping! There was a farmer’s market right next door that was wrapping up so we checked out a few tents and walked around the adorable streets of Princeton.  It was so nice to spend the day with my mom doing the things we both love.  I would love to hear what you guys do when you “do for you.”    I hope you all have a beautiful week and that you make time to do something nice for yourself.  xx

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Preparing for Change

Happy Monday!  Today is a big day for me- day one of my first level II fieldwork at a special services school district.  For the next three months, I will have the opportunity to apply everything I learned about occupational therapy with a pediatric population.  After that- another three months working at a residential neurorehab facility.  I am craving a routine after a routine-less summer and am experiencing a mix of emotions, but I am excited to begin this last chapter on the path to adulthood 😉

Change is something I try to embrace but I will admit- it’s hard for me.  The anxiety leading up to the change is what does me in- but then I always find a happy, new normal.  Within the last year, I’ve experienced a lot of change- my best friend moved across the country, my family moved from the home we built in Hunterdon County, NJ to a house in New Hope, PA; I finished the academic portion of graduate school, and I no longer work as an instructor at JW Tumbles- a job I held and loved for over seven years.  Moving boxes, hugs, a few shed tears, demolition, paint, and sawdust (my family is remodeling our new house)- I am finally starting to settle into a new routine and see beauty in the change.

One of the more adaptive ways I manage stress and anxiety is to organize.  I’m not sure if its a type-A thing or a me thing but having a clean and organized physical space helps me emulate that same mental state.  It’s almost like nesting- except without the baby.  So this past week, to prepare for a big change and quiet the anxious mental chatter, I organized my closet.  For this week’s post, I am sharing some of my tried and true tips to help organize and maintain a clean closet.

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| Use the same hangers |

This makes a surprisingly big difference in the appearance of your closet as it reduces visual clutter and increases uniformity.  I like these black, velvet, non-slip hangers for pants, shirts and dresses; and these wooden hangers with clips for skirts, shorts, and strapless dresses.  I tagged both items from Walmart but they can also be purchased at any Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or Home Goods.

| Organize clothing by length |

This will not only help you find specific items you are looking for when getting dressed each morning, but it can also help you visualize what you have enough of/ what you need to stock up on.  For example, I have all of my shirts hung on the top rack of my closet organized in the following categories- long sleeve, short sleeve, and sleeveless.  I have more than enough long sleeve shirts, but very few short sleeves so next time I go shopping, I have a better idea of what I need.  My dresses are organized by length and sleeve- all of my short dresses are hung in order from long sleeve to sleeveless.  I do the same for my maxi dresses, then I hang all of my strapless dresses together.    It sounds excessive but all it requires is a few minutes of rearranging hangers- super simple.

| Organize clothing by color |

Within each section based on length, each item is organized in rainbow order.  I start with black, then brown, then gray/ivory/white (darkest to lightest), then continue with the colors of the rainbow.  If you do anything to organize your closet, I would suggest putting the time in to do this.  I never have to search for anything in my closet because I always know exactly where it is based on the color of the item I’m looking for.  For my jeans, I continue with the ombre theme- darkest to lightest.  My dark wash jeans are hung to the left, then medium wash, then light wash, then white.  I have some patterned work pants and khakis/chinos that I hang to the left of all of my jeans.

| Organize shoes by type |

One of the perks of moving into the new house was a major closet upgrade- I am able to organize each type of shoe on a different shelf.  I like these stackable, white shoes shelves from Target.  Here are the categories that work best for me: sneakers, boots, flat closed-toed shoes, flat sandals, and heels.  If you don’t have enough room in your closet, you can still throw the shoes in labeled tubs to stay organized.  Within each shoe type, I also organize them by color because I have the space and I am slightly insane 😉 but this is definitely not necessary.

| Keep your closet current | 

If you haven’t worn it in a year, ask yourself why and initiate the appropriate next step.  About four times a year, at the start of each season- I like to go through my closet and do a quick assessment.  If something is dirty and the dry cleaner can’t save it, if it has holes, if you would be embarrassed to give it away- toss it.  Some bins accept clothing to be scrapped and recycled so search for something like that in your town.  For the items that are in good condition- you can either choose to donate them or sell them.

Use your judgement for the items you choose to sell- for example, I sell my designer purses, shoes, or brand-name exercise clothes and jeans because I know they are in good condition and I can get some money for them.  I use an app called Mercari to post these items for sale.  I have had a lot of luck selling Lululemon clothes, Michael Kors handbags, jewelry, designer watches, and Ugg boots.  It is simple and user friendly- you choose who pays for shipping, list your items at the price you wish to sell them, print a prepaid shipping label, and drop it off at your nearest FedEx or post office.  I have friends who have also had luck listing items for sale on sites like Poshmark and Ebay.  In addition to listing items online, I have had some luck selling clothing and shoes at Plato’s Closet.  Search for a location near you, bring the items you want to sell, and they will offer you money for a certain number of items that fit their current inventory needs.  You can choose what to do with the clothing they do not accept.  This is the super easy way to sell the items you no longer want because it all happens in an hour or two- you don’t have to go through the hassle of taking photos, listing each individual item, and waiting for a buyer to purchase.

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Here are some photos of my own closet:

Below is a picture of my (much smaller) closet from our old house to show you that these tips apply to closets of all shapes and sizes!

I hope this post gives you inspiration to organize your own closet and serves as a resource to you in the process.  Here’s to hoping I don’t do anything too embarrassing on my first day of fieldwork 😉 I hope you all have a wonderful week- happy organizing!  If you get a chance to utilize any of these tips- I would love for you to share! xx

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Secrets to Happiness

Hi guys!  It’s Monday again- day one of the work week and we’re already counting down the days until the weekend.  I am guilty of succumbing to the occasional case of the Monday blues- who isn’t?    However, I like the idea of beginning each week with something fresh and positive to set the tone for the week ahead.  This is one of the reasons I chose to update the blog with a weekly post, every Monday.  Those of you who know me might better understand the meaning behind the name of my blog, Through Rose-Colored Glasses.  I see the best in people, view the glass half full, and tend to have a positive perspective on life in general.  I’m here today to share some of my own tips for maintaining a rose-tinted perspective, even during tougher times.

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| Practice gratitude |

This is a biggie.  In my opinion, the happiest people are those who are genuinely grateful.  Take time every day to remind yourself of the things that are going well.  The big things and the seemingly insignificant things- they all matter.  Did you have a delicious cup of coffee this morning?  That’s a reason to take a moment to be thankful.  It’s easy to get caught up in the daily noise of life, but this shift in attitude can make a world of difference for your mood.  If you can’t think of anything to be thankful for in the present moment, put on a song that brings you back to a fun moment in your life or take a look at some photos from a fabulous vacation with your girlfriends- I find that I am most thankful reflecting on nostalgic moments.  Everyone in my life knows how much I love to take pictures- I treasure their way of reminding me how good I have it.

| A clutter-free space= a clutter-free mind |

I truly believe this.  When your environment is cluttered and disorganized, so is your mind.  When I am stressed, I organize.  My friends and family know this- during the week leading up to the start of a new school year, my Mom used to find me knee deep in the contents of my closet because naturally, it was time to reorganize.  It’s an adaptive way to deal with stress, although I understand not everyone is as crazy as me 🙂 My advice is to focus on one small space at a time to tackle (i.e. kitchen junk drawer)- toss what needs to be tossed, donate the items with a little life still left in them, and find a home for the items you choose to keep.  During this process, keep in mind that stuff doesn’t make you happy- experiences and fulfilling relationships do. I plan to do an organization series as this is a passion of mine so stay tuned for more tips!

| Make time for you |

Everyone needs a break to focus on you and only you.  This one doesn’t need much explaining but everyone needs a reminder to be selfish once in a while- especially those of you who fulfill the caretaker role.  Some of my go-to’s: Go for a walk, sip on a cappuccino at a cute coffee shop, get a mani-pedi when it’s in the budget, take a bubble bath, or arrange some fresh flowers in a pretty vase for my bedroom.  Identify what helps you unwind and indulge a little!

| Reflect and prioritize |

Mental chatter- that persistent and perpetual stream of consciousness reminding you of the things you need to get done, the friends you forgot to call back, the appointments you have to make. It keeps you up at night and adds stress to your busy day.  First-listen.  Then- write. it. down. I am a to-do list connoisseur and if you’re not already, I hope to convert you.  As a visual learner, writing things down helps my brain make sense of all that chatter, and helps me prioritize each task.  Nothing is more satisfying than checking each item off your list.  To-do lists got me through the didactic portion of grad school, developed my time-management skills, and contribute to my happiness, one check at a time.

| Surround yourself with love |

Spend time with the people the support you, cheer you on, and lift your spirits.  A strong support system is so important.  Reflect on how the people in your life make you feel- appreciate those who love and support you and reevaluate relationships with people who bring you down.

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I’m so thankful for those of you who the take time to read my posts- your support means the world! Here are some photos of the things, places, and people in my life that make me happy.

A delicious cappuccino | Scout’s Coffee Bar + Mercantile

Fresh cut flowers | Even better- hydrangeas

A Jersey Shore sunrise | Cape May, NJ

The Orchid House | Duke Farms

Mark | My boyfriend and best friend

More flowers | Mark’s Mom’s garden

Black raspberry ice cream | Moo Hope Ice Cream 

The change of seasons | Leonard J. Buck Garden

Iced coffee with a view | The Stone Bean

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I would love to hear from you- what are your favorite things to do to unwind?  Happy Monday and cheers to a great week ahead! xx

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Making Lemonade

Happy Monday my friends!  I think it’s important to start each week on a positive note- so for this week’s post I am sharing how I made lemonade out of life’s lemons (and some photos of the precious Jersey Shore town, Ocean Grove)

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Lemons

As many of you know, I am approaching my final step of graduate school to become an occupational therapist.  Before I can sit for my board exam and get my license to practice, I have to complete six months of full time fieldwork.  FYI- fieldwork is just another word for a fellowship, rotation, clinical, or residency. My first choice (and many of my classmates) was to begin fieldwork back in June- immediately following the academic portion of school. Unfortunately, many of us were not secured placements for our preferred timeframe due to circumstances out of our (and our fieldwork coordinator’s) control, so fieldwork will start for us at the end of September.  Following the initial disappointment, I am thankful to have had time off this summer to relax and go on vacation.

I can’t deny though, these past few weeks have been encumbered with anxiety about my approaching start date and concerns that I am forgetting all that I’ve learned these past two years.

Lemonade

After a stressful couple of weeks, pep talks from my friends and family, and a completely reorganized bathroom and jewelry drawer (I organize when I am stressed), I thought about what I can and can’t change, then made the conscious decision to shift my perspective and enjoy the rest of my summer.  So this week, I drove back and forth to Ocean Grove, NJ to spend two gorgeous days on the beach, solo. It was so refreshing and just what I needed to get my groove back. The beach is my happy place- I listened to a few podcasts, read a book, swam in the ocean, and admired all that Ocean Grove, NJ has to offer.

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What to check out on your next trip to Ocean Grove:

| Tent City |

These porch-clad, awning-adorned, canvas tents in the center of town are home to some lucky summer renters.  There’s a hefty waiting list to snag one of these precious pieces of real-estate.  Each one tells its own little story- make sure to check out the gorgeous window boxes, striped awnings, and pastel colored porch decor.

| Ocean Pathway |

Take a stroll down either side of this pair of parallel one-way streets to the beach.  Both are lined with gorgeous victorian homes, perfectly manicured lawns, and charming B&Bs.  

 | Burbelmaiers |

Stop here for a delicious lunch and a view of all the action.  They are known for their savory mini-pies.

| Nagel’s |

Treat yourself to an ice-cream cone and walk along the Main Avenue to get your shopping fix! 

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Here are some of my photos of this sweet little town:

I hope you all have been able to enjoy your summer so far.  I would love to hear your best lemonade recipes to make good use of life’s lemons 😉 Here’s to a productive and positive week ahead. Cheers! xx

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