MUST HAVE MAY FAVORITES

Oh, May! The month where flowers bloom, school comes to an end, and allergies creep there way into the lives of victims. It’s a crazy time of the year. This May, I wrapped up my second year of college at East Tennessee State University making the Dean’s List!! This was one of my goals for this year and I am so happy that I made it. This semester was a struggle and a half with just life issues that the universe threw my way, so I’m pretty darn proud of myself for managing to stay consistent in going to class and staying on top of all my assignments. Speaking of being proud, I am also very proud of my little sister for graduating high school (which technically was June 1 but I’ll count it in my May lookback). It’s crazy to think that my own graduation was two years ago when it just feels like yesterday! I’m super pros of the person I’ve gotten to watch my sister become and know she’s going to do great things in this world. Now, onto my favorites.

Glossier You – this perfume became an instant favorite and I can’t go a day without spraying it on. It’s a scent that is meant to mesh with your natural smell and enhance it, so no two people have the exact same smell. For that reason, it is hard to describe but trust me when I say it is incredible. It stays on all day and isn’t one of those overpowering scents that are going to give you and everyone around you a headache. It’s just the best & I HIGHLY recommend. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it since I started wearing it.

Pura Vida Bracelets – I’ve been a fan of Pura Vida Bracelets for years, but every time summer rolls around I seem to be reaching for them all the time. They are the perfect summer accessory because they’re lightweight, easy to pack when you’re going on vacation, can get wet, and add a pop of color and fun to every outfit. Their new summer collection is also absolutely adorable. They also help support local artisans in Costa Rica and they offer a large number of charity bracelets for a range of different causes and organizations! Cute bracelets that are working to better the word, what could be better? I actually recently joined their rep program, so if you want to check them out and get 20% off your order use code BAILEYDEVORE20.

Chaco “Juniper” Sandals – Here comes an unpopular opinion coming from an (almost) 20-year-old college student….I’ve never been that big of a fan of Chacos. This comes with a good reason though. I find the regular, rubber Chacos to be pretty uncomfortable. My arch in my foot is pretty small, so the intense arch support that rubber Chacos provide is too much for my feet. However, I do think they are super cute. I had been looking at the leather Chacos online after seeing a friend wear them, so when I found some on sale at a discount shoe store in Asheville I fell in love. They are SO COMFORTABLE on my feet as the arch support isn’t hard like the rubber Chacos. They fit like a dream and I have been wearing them non-stop since I got them. They are also a lot dressier than the rubber Chaco sandals and easy to dress up or down.

Warm Luxe Cashmere by Yankee Candle – Honestly, the best thing I have ever smelled. I am obsessed with this candle. So far, I’ve burned through two medium and one small classic jars of this scent. I find it very relaxing & soothing. I love lighting it at night and it’s just the most comforting scent. It has notes of rich vanilla and warm cashmere that make it smell like a dream. Every time I’m in the Yankee Candle store with someone I make them smell it immediately. So, so good.

Looking ahead, I can already assume what some of my June favorites might entail. I’m going to Pennsylvania this month to see family & Harry Styles, my golden birthday is the 20th when I’ll be turning 20, and this month just opens up to the possibility of many new adventures. Here’s to June bringing in summer days, long nights, and many memories. I can’t wait to see what this summer holds! What are you looking forward to this summer?

xx,

Bails

 

 

 

 

 

PRO & CON LIST ABOUT MY LIFE RIGHT NOW

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I love making lists. Lists make things organized, easy to read, and fun! While I was thinking of a different way to write about everything going on in my life right now, I thought why not make a list? It’s good to remember what you’re thankful for & acknowledge what you’re struggling with every now & then. So, here are 3 of my pros & cons that are going on in my life right now.

PROS (things I’m super thankful for that make me smile extra big):

MY JOB – I just love my job. The work that I’m doing pairs perfectly with what I’m learning in classes so I’m getting “real world experience” that I also find extremely enjoyable. Plus, the people that I work for are just the best. They’re some of the funniest & most talented people I know. I’m so thankful for how they continue to pour knowledge into me, lift me up, & bless my life.

GOOD HEALTH – *Knock on wood* I HAVEN’T BEEN SICK SINCE NEW YEARS! This is a huge pro considering my health track record from last year. Two solid months with no significant illness is really good for me. Hopefully, this is a good sign for the rest of the year!

SCHOOL – I’m really proud of myself for staying on top of things this semester. I have been working really hard to keep school my first priority (sometimes I let work get in the way because I think I’m ready to be a full-blown businesswoman adult) & I haven’t slipped up so far. My dedication is being reflected in my grades which makes me super happy.

CONS (things I’m struggling with & trusting that God is working on something through):

I MISS TWO OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE – this has probably been the biggest struggles recently. My Dory (we call each other Squishy & Dory from Finding Nemo) has been off in Australia kicking butt & taking names. I’m super proud of everything that she’s doing & know she’s having a great experience, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss being able to see, call, & text her. I am, however thankful for Snapchat keeping our convos (although brief) alive. I can’t wait to reunite in May & go on many Summer adventures. Preston is also still living in Montana and although we text every single day, I cannot wait for him to move back to Tennessee. It’s really hard when you can’t see some of your favorite people in person. I just really wish they were both here. I know through this God is testing my patience in the waiting  & strength.

FINALS ARE IN ONE MONTH – Where has time gone? It just hit me how close finals are & I don’t think I’m ready for them to be so soon. They come at the end of every semester, but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to how fast each semester goes by. Godspeed & go Bucs to all my fellow ETSU students in this one month we have left.

MY DOG ISN’T DOING TOO WELL – It’s a hard reality I have had to try & grasp. My dog is dying. He’s 14 years old so this shouldn’t be unexpected. Nevertheless, it absolutely breaks my heart. He’s started not being able to stand and just falls randomly & cries. I know once he’s gone he’ll be with his dad (my uncle Bobby) in heaven but it’s still hard to grasp he’ll be gone. Especially with my best friends not being around I’m beginning to sink into a feeling of loneliness knowing my Buddy will likely be gone soon too.

What are some things your thankful for or could use some prayer about right now?

xx,

Bails

 

 

 

ULTRASOUNDS, LONG-DISTANCE, & FLORIDA (LIFE UPDATE)

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Well hey there, long time no type….yeah I guess that sounds okay. HELLO! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve sat down and fully processed what’s been going on in my life recently and the best way I know how to do that is via blogging, so here I am. What’re the haps? I’m giving you the 411. Warning: this is going to be pretty random as my brain is tired & sometimes it’s just a good thing to not edit out your weirdness! Plus my internal dialogue is extra loud today and if I don’t let it out who knows what I may blurt out in person. No one wants that.

ORLANDO – Currently, I am sitting in a hotel room in Orlando, FL after just taking a Philosophy test that I was completely unprepared for but I did well so no worries. No, this is not a Spring Break Trip, Spring Break is actually next week but my professors kindly let me skip classes this week in order to attend the Exponential church planting conference. It’s been an amazing experience so far. I am learning a lot, questioning my life choices (in a good thinking about the future way) and getting to know people better which is my all-time favorite activity.  Plus, Florida holds a near and dear spot in my heart (particularly Universal Studios & Disney) so I am very happy to be here.

ULTRASOUND – Two weeks ago today I did something that was rather scary and finally went in for the ultrasound that I rescheduled from October (oops). My OBGYN had said she was 99.9% sure I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and after struggles with different medications and just wanting to know I had an ultrasound to get a clear picture. First of all, no one told me how much ultrasounds suck. They look all fun and dandy in movies with the gel and just rubbing your stomach, but it is a lie! You have to have a full bladder for the procedure. That means I had to drink 32 fl oz of water and not pee an hour before my appointment. Then, the tech proceeds to push down on your bladder repeatedly in order to take images of the ovaries and what-not to the point where I was concerned I was going to pee on the exam table. It was not enjoyable, but it needed to be done.

I MISS MY BEST FRIENDS – Remeber when I wrote a post in January about maintaining intentional friendships? Well, it’s really hard to do that when one of your best friends is across the country in Montana and another is across the globe in Australia. I’m really proud of Sarah for chasing her dreams & having the adventure of a lifetime across the world, but I do miss having my bestie gal close by. The other person I’m closest to (outside of family) is Preston who currently lives across the country in Montana. We have known each other since middle school, but in August of 2016, we reconnected and don’t go a single day without texting each other. As much as I love our daily conversations, it is really hard with him being so far away. Consider me old fashioned but I value face-to-face connections and time spent. He & his family are actually in the process of moving back to Johnson City, which I am THRILLED about, but are having trouble getting their house sold. With both of my closest friends being not nearby & not seeing my CC gals much anymore there’s been a growing hole in my heart. I know they’ll be back soon but I need help in trusting in God during the waiting.

GRADUATION?! – Um, yeah I made a graduation plan the other day. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read an email from my advisor saying it was time to do that. We talked about all the classes I need to take, when to take which classes, and talked about a possible internship opportunity in Washington D.C. It all made me feel really excited to join the “real-world” but also get smacked in the face with the nostalgia of where the time has gone. I’m still trying to decide what I’m going to do post-graduation but I have until December 2019 to figure that one out.

There’s a mini life update for you. It’s very random but I’m tired and needed to get some things off my head. I hope you all are doing well & remember how loved you are.

xx,

Bailey

IN-CAR TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Here’s a fun fact: I’ve never been on a plane. In my nineteen (& a half) years of life, I’ve never stepped foot on an airplane. Everywhere I’ve gone has been a car journey. Even our yearly trips to Pennsylvania were ten-hour car journeys. Just remembering any trip I’ve taken I can feel the cramped legs that come with folding and sitting on them for hours on end.

Throughout the years I have learned what some essential items are to make long car trips more bearable. I thought it would be fun to share and good for me to write out as I am preparing to go on a trip to Orlando in about a week. I’m going to a conference called Exponential that I am super pumped about, but it also means a long journey in a church van with around 20 other people. I’ve got to make sure I’m well prepared because I haven’t done a trip like this with that many people since I was in the 8th grade.

So, here are some of my in-car travel essentials:

  • A small bag or backpack – This may seem a bit self-explanatory, but when you’re traveling with a lot of people you are likely to make several stops and will need to take your stuff with you. Because I’ll be in a van with several other people, I’ll need a bag that will fit down by my feet and hold anything I might need/want for the drive.
  • Tissues, cough drops, and aspirin – There’s nothing worse than feeling sick or being in pain and being confined in a small space for several hours. Better safe than sorry.
  • Headphones – This one is always a key item for me when traveling. Particularly for this trip, everyone might not want to listen to the same music and there are likely to be down periods of quietness where headphones will come in handy.
  • Chapstick – Nobody likes dry lips.
  • GUM – as you can tell, this one is very important. I’m almost always chewing gum and traveling is not excluded from that. My ears often pop and clog during long car journeys so gum is highly essential. Plus, the fact that there’s a lot of people in this van sharing the same air means nobody wants to be smelling bad breath.
  • A good book – For those downtime moments when you start to get bored a good book will come in handy! Pretty much the only time I read is when traveling because I find it to be a perfect time. I can usually finish an entire book in one car journey.
  • Snacks & water – It’s never fun being stuck in a car for a long journey without any food or water. Especially when traveling with a lot of people with a time frame, you may not be able to stop when you get hungry so it’s good to be prepared.
  • The Netflix app – Before setting off on your journey, make sure to download some of your favorite shows or movies on to your phone. If your attention span is short like mine, you’ll need multiple things to do in the car to keep from death by boredom.
  • A portable phone charger – It’s important to keep your phone charged up when you’re going to be in a car for a long time. When you finally get to your destination chances are you are going to need to look something up on your phone or use it to start taking vacation pictures.
  • A blanket or jacket – Taking naps in the car can be extremely uncomfortable, but one thing that can make it better is a blanket. Plus, it may get cold in the car so a jacket or blanket will keep you warm without burning up everyone else in the car with turning up the heat.
  • Sunglasses – Gotta protect those retinas from burning!

That about wraps it up for my in-car essentials. The most important thing to remember when traveling a long distance by car is to just keep a good attitude. Don’t be that person going “are we there yet?” every five minutes, and just enjoy the journey!

xx,

Bailey

GETTING IN THE GROOVE

How is it already February? I’m pretty sure I blinked once and January disappeared without a trace. It was a month full of craziness though and, to be honest, I’m glad it’s gone. So, what happened in January? Let’s start with a little look back at the month.

I started my fourth semester of college (my half-way point) and let’s just say it wasn’t the easiest of transitions. I recently decided on a new minor in business management, although I’m not betting a whole lot of money that this one will stick quite yet, and that means I’m delving into a world of completely uncharted territory for me: THE BUSINESS WORLD. My major in Advertising & Public Relations happens to be in the College of Arts & Sciences, so now I’m branching out a little bit for my minor into a whole new college. I was a little anxious about it! I mean, it’s business doesn’t everyone act super professional and wear suits to class every day? At least that’s what I thought. The Media & Communications program is where my heart is & it was scary to dive away from it even if it is just for my minor.

Classes have been going well, though! After not having a math class in over a year, I was a bit worried about taking accounting (it’s known to be a toughy) but I seem to have gotten my math groove back and am doing really well. My Writing for Public Relations and Science & the Modern World classes are online but I am actually learning a lot from them. My Writing for PR professor is the best and is constantly reassuring my writing. Writing is one of my passions but something I am always self-conscious of so it’s nice to have a professor boost you up. Public Relations Publications is definitely helping fuel my creative energy. Organizational Behavior & Management is a nice refresher of things that generally come as common sense. I’m feeling optimistic about this semester and it is definitely keeping me on my toes.

The start of the year also meant the start of a new job…well more like a new job title. Charming Charlie of Johnson City was closed a week before Christmas with no looking back. Luckily for me, First Christian Church – Johnson City offered me a permanent position transitioning from Communications Intern to Communications Assistant. With this new role came more hours, more responsibilities, and more growth. I get to put into action the things that I am learning in the classroom which means I’m getting real-life experience, and not to mention a great portfolio boost.

My main focus for January was finding a good balance. I had to learn how to balance all of the new classes I’m taking this semester, then combine that with my work schedule, and it took a couple of weeks. I struggle with anxiety and worry a lot this month, and there’s been a lot going on that has just kept my mind racing. There’s a lot going on, already, in February. Here is a list of some things I’m really excited about & some I’m quite nervous about:

  • My first accounting test is on 2/12
  • I’m having an ultrasound on 2/13  to check my Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Happy early Valentine’s Day to me)
  • As cheesy as it is I have a cute, pink outfit planned for Valentine’s Day
  • I’ve got an appointment made with my advisor to make a GRADUATION PLAN
  • I’m going to Orlando, FL at the end of the month to a conference called Exponential & I could not be more excited

Now that we are in the second month of 2018 and I’ve gotten into a groove, I have chosen a word to represent my goal for this year to be CREATE. I often suppress my creative side out of fear of not being good enough, but I have come to realize that I cannot let that stop me. Creativity has so much potential and power for good. I also want to help create joy, happiness, and good vibes in the lives of others. Something I never want anyone to forget is that we were created to do great things and therefore are always working towards creating great things.

I hope you all are off to a good start to 2018! If you had to pick one word to represent your goal/mission for 2018 what would it be? Let me know in the comments, let’s have a chat!

xx,

Bailey

INTENTIONAL FRIENDSHIPS

This week has been one filled with warm(er) weather and a lot of time spent catching up with some of my closest friends. Now, I am an extroverted person who has a lot of friends. One of the reasons to explain this is that my number one strength, as stated by the Clifton Strengths Finder Assessment, is developer. Being a developer means, “You see potential in others. Very often, in fact, potential is all you see. In your view no individual is fully formed. On the contrary, each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. And you are drawn toward people for this very reason.” (Strength Finders 2.0 from Gallup, pp 89). Needless to say, there are not many people that I meet and do not like because I see the potential for everyone to grow and change.

So, over the years I have gathered up a lot of friends. I love getting to know people and be alongside them in their life journey. The only downside to this is sometimes I’m not always able to keep up with everybody. As life goes on, people get busy, people go other directions from one another, and it is just plain hard to get together. It is the sad truth of life that sometimes people just grow apart from one another. The good part is if it is a true friendship you will always find your way back to one another like no time has passed at all.

This is why I am starting to focus more on being intentional with the friendships that I have. I have recently reconnected with one of my closest friends that I had lost touch with for awhile, and let me tell you, it has been the best! Every time we get together we non-stop talk for hours and I am reminded every time that God puts specific people in our lives to be friends forever.

As much as I love making new friends, I also need to remember to invest in those that are already in my life. I want to be intentional with checking in on people, inviting them out to lunch, sending a postcard or text of encouragement, and investing well in the friends that I have.

I know God has given me the gift of being a developer in order to help as many people that I can, but I also need to focus on the people that are already in my life. I am sure I will continue meeting me people and developing new friendships this year, but I will also be more intentional in developing the relationships I already have. “These signs of growth in others are your fuel. They bring you strength and satisfaction. Over time many will seek you out for help and encouragement because on some level they know that your helpfulness is both genuine and fulfilling to you.” It is my hope that people see is in me, that I genuinely try to help every person I can and see potential in each and every human being.

Thank you to my friends past, present, and future. You all have played a huge role in my life and I want each of you to know how much potential for greatness lives inside of you. I will always be here for everyone.

xx,

Bailey

 

NEW YEAR, NEW DREAMS

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I may be a few days late to the party, but Happy New Year! I managed to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve and in a somewhat delirious state cheered and drank sparkling cider before drifting to sleep with hopes of a great 2018. Now, I’m not usually one who makes new year’s resolutions as it seems like they have become just a trend that everyone jokes about never completing. This year though, I am determined to make it a great year and believe that having specific goals in mind will help me do that. Here they are, my 2018 resolutions.

1. Read More. I can probably count how many books I’ve read (that weren’t school assignments) over the last 5 years and wouldn’t run out of fingers on my hands. My typical reading time only stems from when I travel and I will devour an entire book in one car journey. I want to devote more time this year to sit down in a cozy spot with a good book!

2. Say goodbye to 25 more pounds. Over the course of 2017, I was able to lose 20 pounds by being more conscious of what I eat and making it a goal to hit 10,000 steps every day. I am pretty proud of myself, but in no way am I done. If I was able to drop 20 with steps and not eating fried food, then imagine what could happen if I implemented a serious workout routine. After being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome this year I knew it would be harder to lose the weight in my stomach, but I am up for the challenge and now need to be even more watchful over my health.

3. Blog as much as possible. My goal for this year when it comes to blogging is to write at least one post a week. I need to stop overthinking every post I write and gain more confidence in my ability to come up with content.

4. Dream bigger. Something I really want to work on this year is building up my confidence. I have dealt with quite a few setbacks and challenges in 2016, but I don’t want to let those moments define me. I have big plans for the future and often have some really cool ideas but let my worries get in the way of them. This year I am not going to let my fear control my dreams.

5. Make Dean’s List. This one may be more for my mom than me, but I want to focus harder on my studies this year than I ever have before. I am super excited to start delving into higher level major classes and figure out what it truly is that I want to minor in. Goodbye general education classes and hello information that will actually be useful for my future career.

I am really optimistic for 2018. This feeling of calm has fallen over me every time I begin to think about everything this year has in store, and it doesn’t just apply to me. I’m confident that this is going to be a great year for many people. So here’s to 2018 and everything to come!

x,

Bailey