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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Get To Know Me

Hi everyone! I am so excited to be writing my first blog post. Starting a blog has been a dream of mine for quite some time. I have always enjoyed sharing candid moments of my life, photos, organizational tips, product and travel recommendations, you name it- what better platform to share all of this than a blog? For my first post, I am sharing some of my favorite places, cocktails, and sources of inspiration to give you a better idea of who I am and what my blogging journey might look like. Welcome! xx

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Favorite vacation spot// Charleston, SC

The pastel colored homes, perfectly manicured window boxes, food scene, shopping, history, and coastal vibe put this town at the top of my list for favorite vacation spots.  I took my first trip in April 2017 and I will be back next month for a bachelorette party! I plan to do a blog post in the future sharing my favorite spots to eat, drink, and shop- so stay tuned.

Favorite city// New York, NY

This was an easy one.  Since I was a little girl, New York has sparked a fire in my heart.  I love the diverse culture, endless streets of restaurants and shopping, charming storefronts and cafes, and breathtaking skyline views.  My boyfriend and I plan to move to Manhattan as soon as I finish up school in May 2018 and I couldn’t be more excited!

Favorite cocktail// All of them

Love me a good cocktail- I can’t pick just one!  When I’m gearing up for a night of drinking with friends- vodka soda with extra lime.  In the summer- a refreshing mojito.   With tacos- Patron margarita. I love anything with citrus and fresh herbs.

Favorite wine// Pinot Noir

Always.  I do love a glass of Chardonnay in the Summer though.

Favorite caffeinated beverage// Cappuccino

The espresso kick, velvety foam, instagrammable aesthetic- need I say more?  I’m on a cappuccino-fueled mission to visit all of the cutest coffee shops.

Favorite nail polish// Essie Gel Couture

Right now I am LOVING Essie’s line of long wear polishes.  You can almost guarantee that I will be wearing a neutral light pink or red.  My two favorites from this line are called Fairy Tailor and Beauty Marked.

Favorite look// Simple

        To describe my sense of style in three words- simple, neutral, and comfortable. There’s nothing you can’t accomplish in a flattering pair of jeans, flowy top or cozy sweater, and a neutral shoe. I believe in investing in the quality closet staple pieces.   For these staple items I shop at Madewell, J. Crew, and Banana Republic. Fun fact: I own more navy and white striped pieces than one person should in a lifetime.

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I hope this post gave you a bit more insight on what I am all about! Here are some photos from my Charleston trip back in April.  Counting down the days until I go back in September!

          


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