Staying Productive

Lifestyle

With everything going on in the world right now, it is easy to fall into the hole of panic. As my college classes have been transitioned to online, I have stressed about how the rest of the semester will go. It will definitely be different, but I know that our teachers are doing everything they can to make this transition easy for us and them as well. To those of you who are parents, I know this is a hard and stressful time for you. I am praying for you, as you work extra hard to do everything you can to help your little ones during this time. This is a chaotic time for our country, but it is important that we focus on the things we can control, instead of worrying about the things that we can not.

Since I have a lot more time to be at home, I decided I was going to make the most out of it. I want to be as productive as possible during this time. Staying productive is a great way for us to take our minds off of everything else going on around us. With this being said, we should still be cautious and take measures to keep ourselves healthy, but worrying ourselves to death over matters we can’t control is not going to do us any good.

I want to share some tips on how you can stay productive and make the most out of this time! I have tried all of these so far, and this day has already been one of the most productive days I have had in a long time.

Tip # 1: Wake Up Early

Now, I know this can be extremely hard for us night owls (trust me I feel your pain), but it is so beneficial. Even though I did not have a set time to start my classes this morning, I woke up at 8:30 and got my day started. I showered, had my breakfast and coffee and got right to work. Staring the day early allows you to get things done earlier in the day, so you have more time in the evening for other things you like to do.

Tip # 2: Get Some Housework Done

Since I will be home the majority of the day now, I figured it would be the perfect time to get caught up on laundry, cleaning, and organizing. For me, I hate doing it all at one time so I found a schedule that works perfect for me.  (They have tons on Pinterest) It allows me to get a little done day by day, which is perfect since I still have school work to do in the morning. This is also a huge way for me to destress and declutter. The cleaning/laundry schedule I use is below:

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Check out my Pinterest board for more cleaning/organization inspo!

 

Tip # 3: Do Something For You

Wether it be once a day or once a week, I encourage you to take a little time out of your day to do something that you enjoy and that allows you to destress. It can be anything from reading to journaling to praying or exercising. Whatever it may be, make time for it and use that time to take a break from everything else that is going on.

I know that this is a scary time, but is important that we still stay productive and do the best we can with the situation at hand. Find a productive routine that works best for you and stick to it! I am praying for our country, as well as all of you. Please remember to stay safe and wash your hands! 

 

-Taylor J

Adventures in Snowshoe

Lifestyle

This past weekend my boyfriend and I decided to take a trip to Snowshoe, West Virginia. We were both craving a little adventure, so we headed 5 hours to the snowy mountains and had the best time. If you are looking for a great place to go skiing/snowboarding or just a quiet place to get away I would definitely recommend going. I want to share with you some of our favorite places and things to do while we were there!

The first evening we were there, we headed up to Snowshoe Village to hang out and find a place for dinner. Not only was the village itself beautiful, but the walk to the village was absolutely stunning. We had to park a little ways away since we weren’t staying at any of the resorts, but the walk through the snowy paths and forests looked like something straight out of a movie. The village definitely had me feeling like I was part of a Hallmark movie. Our first stop was Starbucks to get some hot tea, because we were both freezing. After looking through the dinner options we chose a place called “Old Spruce Cafe & Tavern“. 10/10 recommend checking this place out! The food, drinks, and staff were wonderful!

 

The next day we went snowboarding. Let me tell ya, if you’ve never been, I would highly recommend lessons before!  We decided to teach ourselves and let’s just say we wound up a little more bruised and sore then we probably would’ve been had we had lessons! We also decided to snowboard at Silver Creek, which is a part of snowshoe, but had wider slopes and is less crowded since it was our first time. Despite the minor injuries we still had a blast. After a long day on the slopes we ate at “The Pizza Slice” and it definitely hit the spot. It was our favorite food place!

As far as places to stay, we chose to stay in an Airbnb, because it was cheaper than staying at the resort. However, the village had many beautiful places to stay and we definitely plan on checking them out next time we are there! If you do chose Airbnb when you go, I recommend staying at Overlook Village. The little cabins were beautiful and so clean! The host was also extremely nice and helpful. Our place was only a couple minutes drive up to Snowshoe. You can book online or on the Airbnb app.

 

Overall, we had the absolute best time and would recommend it to anyone. These were just a couple of our favorite spots! We had no cell service the whole time we were there, so it was really nice to be able to just focus on each other and disconnect from everything else. I am so thankful for my sweet boyfriend, who is always down for an adventure. This was our first one of 2020 and I can’t wait for many more to come!

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-Taylor J

 

Welcoming 2020

Lifestyle

I honestly can’t believe that in a few short days we will be welcoming not only a new year, but a whole new decade.  2019 was one for the books. I’m not gonna lie it really had me in the first half and I began to think I’d never make it through, but things quickly turned around and it turned into my favorite year yet.

This year has taught me so much about life, people, and myself. I learned that life isn’t always going to go your way and that’s okay. One of the hardest things I had to learn how to do is to let go and let God. I have to accept the fact that His plans for my life are way greater than any plans I could make for myself. Getting to experience His blessings and some of His plans for my life this year has been nothing short of amazing.

The lessons that I have learned this year have made me so strong, and while they were painful, I am so thankful. I learned that people aren’t always who you think they are in the beginning. People can put on a mask, but once their real colors start to show that is when you have to be careful and sadly I failed to do so. I cared too much and gave too much time and energy when I shouldn’t have. I got my heart shattered and was left so broken. While at first I thought it was the worst thing that could’ve happened I quickly learned that it was the best. I did not need anyone in my life that was going to leave me feeling any less than loved and worthy everyday.

I felt what I needed to feel, I picked myself up and I was determined to be the strongest and happiest version of myself that I could be. I learned to love myself more and more each day. I knew I was a little broken, but I accepted that and let it make me stronger. For the first time I was living life for myself and not for someone else. I went out, I had fun, and I did things that made me smile from ear to ear. I finally felt free and happiness was written all over my face. Little did I know that God had something big planned for me this year…

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In August I met the love of my life. Out of all the blessings I received this year he is truly my biggest one. I thank God every single day for sending him to me at the perfect time in my life. He made everything I have ever been through feel worth it. All the pain, tears, and heartache were all worth it and I would go through it all a million times if I knew he would always be the end result. Not only did I gain one of the sweetest humans in my life, but I gained a second family as well. His family never fails to make me feel welcome and they love me like their own.

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I am so excited to welcome 2020 with open arms. I get to take on a whole new decade with someone who loves me for everything that I am and who is my absolute best friend. I get to learn more about myself, experience new things with my family, and will be closer to graduating college. There is so many exciting things in the decade to come and I can’t wait to see what God has planned. Let’s make this the best decade yet.

Goodbye 2019… thank you for the memories, lessons learned, and blessings you have given me.

-Taylor J

5 Books That Have Changed My Life

Lifestyle

Guest writer Aaliyah from https://aaliyahinspired.com/

It’s nearing the end of 2019 and I feel that, personally this year, I’ve experienced the most growth than ever before. I would have to give all of the self-growth credit to the books that have changed my life within these last 12 months. Although I’ve read over 20 books this year, I narrowed down my list to the top five books that have influenced me the most this year and I hope that you will have the chance to close out the year with one of them!

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

This was the first book I had read at the start of 2019 and it was the catalyst that I needed to gear up for all the new goals I had planned for. Charles Duhigg digs deep into the psychological barriers that we have when trying to change or create new habits and offers practical strategies to combat the “habit loop” we’re all victim to.

Purchase Here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Habit-What-Life-Business/dp/081298160X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1574871386&sr=8-1

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Will Smith once said in an interview that this book changed his life so I knew I had to read it. This is a beautiful story about a young boy Santiago who’s in search for his Personal Legend (in other words, purpose) in life. He encounters a wise old Alchemist who gives him guidance to discover the secrets of this world and wisdom on how to uncover his purpose. If Will Smith recommends it, then you know it’s worth the read!

Purchase Here: https://www.amazon.com/Alchemist-Paulo-Coelho/dp/0062315005/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=The+Alchemist&qid=1574871484&sr=8-1

The More of Less by Joshua Becker

Living with less is a concept that is gaining more and more attention in this generation and I am all for it. Instead of being in a vicious loop of consumption and overaccumulation, Joshua Becker puts his foot down and says our happiness doesn’t lie in the things that we fill our lives with instead it comes from the experiences we have and create. I loved this book so much that I read it TWICE this year.

Purchase Here: https://www.amazon.com/More-Less-Finding-Under-Everything-ebook/dp/B015BCX0X0/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=The+more+of+less+by+Joshua+becker&qid=1574871633&sr=8-1

The 5 A.M. Club by Robin Sharma

I remember all the previous attempts I made trying to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning, but for some reason the habit never stuck. I never knew the secret ingredient to how all the successful billionaires and professional athletes of the world achieved this feat until I picked up The 5 a.m. club. Intertwined in a fictional story of two characters trying change the course of their lives, Robin Sharma introduces formulas, guides, and solutions that can be implemented in your life to ingrain this habit. I’ve been apart of the 5 A.M. Club for five months now and we’re recruiting new members!

Purchase Here: https://www.amazon.com/AM-Club-Morning-Elevate-Life/dp/1443460710/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1574871800&sr=8-1

Best Self by Mike Bayer

I love the idea of everyone reaching their fullest potential and being the best version of themselves and I believe that this book does a great job of bringing that out of the reader. I worked every exercise in this book and the results are astonishing. Mike Bayer is a life coach who’s seen it all when it comes to people’s limiting beliefs, addictions, and struggles. He, himself, struggled with drug addiction years prior to writing this book. This is a great book to fine tune the beautiful person you’re already into the best version of yourself.

Purchase Here: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Self-You-Only-Better/dp/0062911732/ref=sr_1_1?crid=25BR4KAUY47M6&keywords=best+self+mike+bayer&qid=1574871872&sprefix=best+self+mike+%2Caps%2C187&sr=8-1

Those are the top five books that have taken my year from 0 to 100 real quick and I hope that at least one book on this list makes it into your hands and changes your life forever.

5 Ways To Give Back During The Holidays

Lifestyle

With the holiday season quickly approaching, I wanted to talk about some ways you can give back during this time! The holidays can get so busy between buying gifts, cooking, family, and planning that we often forget how hard this season is for so many people, not only all over the world, but in our hometowns as well. There are many different ways to give back but these are a few simple ones:

1.) Donate to a food bank.

Many churches, schools, and stores will have food banks around this time of year. This is where you purchase certain food items that will be donated to a family in need. If there are not any places doing a food bank in your area you can even start one of your own!

2.) Participate in/host a toy drive.

Toy Drives during Christmas are great to be a part of. You can purchase toys or even donate toys to the drive. The kids are truly so thankful for any contribution and it helps make their Christmas special.

3.) Donate items to a local homeless shelter and/or animal shelter.

This is the time of year where temperatures drop and many people and animals are in need of clothes/blankets to keep them warm. You can donate things like jackets, scarves, gloves, and socks to the homeless shelter and things such as blankets to the animal shelter.

4.) Volunteer (churches, shelters, nursing homes, etc.)

Since this time of the year is extremely busy it is great to offer your help wherever it may be needed!

5.) Spend quality time with loved ones.

This one is simple, but it’s so important. You can give back to your loved ones by simply giving them your time and attention.

I encourage you to at least give back in one or more of these ways over the holiday season. Giving back will not only make someone else’s day, but its a feeling you will never forget as well.

-Taylor Johns