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Are you finally looking to curb your spending habits and find ways to live more sustainably? If so, that’s commendable but it is of course easier said than done. When you’re in the habit of spending a little too much, curbing that habit can be difficult, and that’s why we’ve got 5 ways for you to change your habits and to shop differently (and even avoid shopping in some circumstances.) Sleep on Every Potential Purchase

Rushing into things inevitably leads to wasted money, and that’s exactly what you want to avoid when you’re aiming to shop less and spend less. If you sleep on every potential purchase, you’ll give yourself more time to think things through and decide whether or not that purchase would be a good one for you in the long-term.

Swap With Friends

You’ve probably got lots of old things that you bought once upon a time and then forgot about completely. Rather than letting those things go to waste, you should put them to use. There are plenty of ways for you to do that, and swapping them with friends is one idea worth embracing. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure after all.

Fix and Change Clothing Items, Rather Than Replacing Them

Clothing items get battered and bruised over time; that’s just the way it is. But if you replace every item of clothing that gets ripped or damaged, you’d end up spending far more on money than you really need to. Instead, you should fix up those clothes and make them new again. Stitch It hemming pants services can help you make adaptations to old clothes. And it’ll save you vast amounts in the long-term.

Choose Store Brands

If you’re the kind of person who still insists that the big brands truly offer the best, it’s time you at least gave the alternatives a fair chance. Considering how much you can save by buying store brands rather than big brands, you’ve got to give it a try. In the end, you will probably realize that those store brands are not all that much different to the big brands, except for the price.

List the Things You Want But Don’t Need

Next time you get an urge to buy something you really want but don’t really need, you should write it down on a piece of paper and then move on. You can then come back to the paper in a few weeks and look at what you’ve written in that time. Every now and again you can treat yourself to something on the list, but you’ll find you lose interest in most of those impulse desires before long.

Spending less doesn’t have to mean lowering the standard of your lifestyle or even making many sacrifices at all. The 5 ideas above will save you cash and make your life easier at the same time, so what’s not to like?


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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!

I’ve been considering writing this post for a while now, and I finally got a stretch of time where it is just me, my laptop, and a whole complicated mess of thoughts that I need to get out. As I’m writing, I’m already tearing up and sick to my stomach. I hope that this post helps whoever reads it, in some way.

I have lived an extremely privileged and blessed life, but I, like all humans, have experienced some heartbreak- breakups, disappointments, letdowns. I have never gone through the pain of losing a child and I can’t even imagine how that feels. But I can tell you that so far, losing my sister is the most gut-wrenching, permanent terrible pain I have ever felt. It stays with me every single day, but certain times it hurts more. Holidays are hard, birthdays are hard, and occasionally something extra hard comes along.

A few weeks ago, my hometown lost another bright, shining child and it stirred up a storm in me that had been relatively calm. I say child, but Carter was my age. He was smart, athletic, and loved by so many, as was evident at his service. I said this on Instagram, but I’m not going to pretend that we had stayed in touch or that we were ever very close to begin with, but we did grow up in the same little school in the same little community. For my birthday in 5th grade, he and one of our classmates choreographed a dance to the Thong Song as my present. (Weirdly enough, Sisqo re-released it the same week that Carter died, and the morning after his service, the original was on the radio.) His big sister was my best friend’s sister’s best friend, his little sister was always around for birthday parties of mutual friends. His mom basically took charge of Candace’s funeral. Our families were intertwined, as were many from St. John’s/ Olney.

My heart breaks for his whole family and everyone who loved him, but my thoughts have constantly been on his sisters. They now have the scars that will heal, but never go away. It’s like we’re part of a terrible club where nobody wants membership. Honestly, I wanted to write this post  to let people who aren’t part of the club to know how to treat us.

We’re fragile, sometimes, but not broken. Losing a sibling is a thing that happened to us, but not who we are. I actually had someone introduce me as, “the one who’s sister died” to her husband and I was floored and hurt.

Let us talk about it, but don’t force us. It took me a long time to be able to talk about my sister. I actually told a lot of my sorority sisters at first that I was an only child, with no further explanation but then felt so guilty about it after. Now, I have no problem talking about my sister. Even my best friend in the whole world has started asking me more questions about her. I love it. But it took me a long time to get there.

We need to cry sometimes. Little things, or big things, may sting in a way that not even we understand. Unfortunately, I’ve been to four funerals for “children” (anyone in my age group or younger) since college. Each one has been hard in different ways, each one has left cracks. So have weddings, or friends’ fights with their own siblings. It doesn’t matter if it’s logical, it’s still there.

We all handle it differently. I went to school literally the day after my sister died. Granted, I was fourteen so my classmates were also fourteen, but someone actually told me that I was lying about my sister’s death because how could I possibly be in school? I will never forget the slap in the face that was- was I a bad sister for not sitting at home and crying? Support us by letting us do what we need to do to support ourselves.

This might just be me, but I never know how to react when people tell me they’re sorry when they find out that my sister died. I usually pretend like I didn’t hear that because how do you answer? “It’s ok”? Because it’s not ok. If I’ve ever acted weird in a similar conversation, I apologize. I just don’t know what makes sense sometimes and I navigate it the best I can.

Think of it this way- if you have a bottle of perfume and lose the cap, there isn’t less perfume in the bottle and it doesn’t smell any less sweet, but the bottle looks different and it’s not quite as complete. It’s still functional, but different. Above all, remember that we’re still ourselves, just missing a piece that we had before.

The biggest takeaway should be this: we’re human, we hurt, and our feelings may not make sense to even us. Just stick with us while we try to figure it out.



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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!

Planning a party is rarely a simple matter of logistics. Yes, you have to get all the right people in the right place, at roughly the same time. You know you need to provide them with a few pieces of food to nibble on, as well as a selection of drinks. If you’re going to go big on the decor, then that’s something you need to get ticked off as well.

The above are the basics, however. There’s no doubt you can have a successful party if you just do these things, but you’re also going to run into more than a few problems along the way. The true skill of effective party planning is found in anticipating problems, so when they do arise, you already have a solution in place.

Gold CHEERS Party Cups

So what kind of issues should you anticipate when it comes to planning your next big event?

The Dreaded Drinks Dearth

Few things will kill an atmosphere more effectively than running out of drinks – particularly alcohol – way before the time you’d thought the party would run to. While it’s conceivably possible that you could buy too much alcohol in the planning of a party, most of the time, more is going to be better. Make life easier for yourself by ordering alcohol online so you don’t have to worry about dragging multiple bottles of clanking bags from your car, as well as giving you the chance to get a variety to suit every palette. If you’ve anything left over at the end of the night, you are well stocked for gifts the next time someone’s birthday rolls around.

The Music Maladies

Finding the right music for a party is never going to be easy. Music is one of those things that everyone has an opinion on, but it’s also entirely subjective. What someone considers to be a stone-cold classic, someone else will turn their nose up at.

Thankfully, the internet has got you covered. There are numerous lists available online of songs that everyone knows and loves. While there will always be a few outliers among your guests, for the most part, a playlist of the all-time favorites is going to get the best results.

The Awkward Arguments

Unless your life is like a TV show and everyone already knows one another, then chances are any party you throw is going to involve bringing together a lot of strangers. They’re not strangers to you, of course – but they are to one another. Forgetting this fact can lead to awkward moments, as a group of people suddenly realize they don’t know how to talk to one another.

Worse still is when two people meet for the first time and it’s immediately obvious that they don’t get on. It happens; it’s not fun for anyone involved. That’s where your hosting skills are going to have to be top-notch. At the first sign that anyone is rubbing someone else up the wrong way, you have to be on the ball enough to interject and separate them from one another. A simple: “could you give me a hand in the kitchen?” is usually enough to make the point, and keep tempers well under control!

By following the ideas above, your party planning will go up another gear – and you’ll all have a lot more fun as a result.


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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!

Maintaining a healthy, loving relationship – living your life for you and someone you love, rather than just yourself – obviously takes a lot of work. One of the many things that can make them more difficult than they have to be is worrying obsessively about things that you shouldn’t. Obviously, staying in a relationship that isn’t right for you is one of the worst things you can do to yourself, but if you’re imagining issues that aren’t there, you could wind up throwing away the best thing that ever happened to you. Here, we’ll address some of the common, and usually unnecessary, worries that could ruin a wonderful relationship.

LOVE balloons

They’re Too Good For You

When you fall in love with someone, and they reciprocate the feeling, everything can feel very surreal. Your special someone’s so beautiful, smart, funny, and just generally amazing. Of all the people they could have had, you might feel flabbergasted by the fact that they chose little old you. This common relationship worry all comes down to self-esteem. If you feel you’re not good enough for your partner, try to find out what’s dragging you down. Do you think you’re too uneducated? Too shy? Too fat or thin? Whatever your fears about not being good enough for your partner are rooted in, you just need to get over the fact that you are good enough. They chose you, and everything that makes you the person you are makes them happy enough to stick around. Make a point to start loving yourself as much as they do, and soon enough, this niggling worry will melt away.

Their Friends and Family Don’t Like You

Again, this usually comes down to a lack of self-esteem, and convincing yourself of feelings that aren’t there. Seen as you’re reading this, you’re probably not a horrible person, and have no real reason for anyone not to like you. If your partner’s parents seem to be a little cagey whenever you come over for dinner, just bear in mind that maternal and paternal instincts are among the strongest in nature. Your partner may be an adult, but to their parents, they’ll always be that little boy they raised from infancy. Their child getting hurt is going to be up there with some of their worst fears, especially if they’ve had messy, painful breakups in the past. It’s also important to remember that differences in people’s personalities can be strenuous on the warm, open feeling you’d hope to get from a romantic partner’s friends and family. Think introverts and extroverts, intellectuals and non-intellectuals. If you’re different from the other important people in your partner’s life, then once again, get over it! If everyone got on perfectly, the world would be an insufferably boring place.

He’s Taking Too Long to Propose

If you’ve been with your partner continuously for four or five years, then understandably you might be waiting for him to take a knee and reach into a pocket. If he seems to be taking his time, you may be scared to bring it up directly, and ruin the magic when he does pop the question. A fear of commitment is more common in men than it is women, but him taking his time certainly doesn’t mean that he’s never going to propose. A beautiful betrothal ring isn’t cheap, and he may be in a tricky spot with his finances, or working on a long-term savings plan. Your relationship might be so strong, and have been going on for so long, that he might feel that there’s no need to propose and make it official. If he comes from a broken family, there may be a chance that he’s afraid of starting one, and putting a child through the messy divorce that he went through. If it’s really important to you that you sanctify your relationship, and he’s really taking too long, then you may have no choice other than to bring it up directly. Still, it’s important to remember that there are a range of reasons why a man will put off proposing, and hitting your five-year anniversary without a ring on your finger isn’t the end of the world!

The Fire’s Gone Out

Once again, this could be an issue that’s rooted in low self-esteem. More often than not though, it’s simply a reaction to the usual trend of you and your partner becoming less sexually active and passionate as the years go by. You may not be as crazy for each other as you remember being, but bear in mind that this happens to almost every couple. When you’re young, and just getting to know each other, the relationship is going to be far more centered on your physical attraction to one another, rather than a genuine, deeply-rooted love for the other person. There are any number of ways you can try to spice things up in the bedroom, and this can be great for a couple. However, the fire seeming to go out is really no cause for alarm. If you seem to want more of your partner than they want of you, talk to them about it, and try to meet somewhere in the middle.

They Love Their Friends and Family More Than They Love You

Sometimes, this worry comes up far too early in the relationship. This is the point where it’s actually true, and there’s nothing wrong with it. If your boyfriend of six months seems to connect better with a friend that he’s known from childhood, and this fact bothers you, then you might be expecting too much of him. The same thing goes for their family. However, if you’re several years in, and your partner seems to prefer spending time with their friends, family, or even their colleagues than with you, it’s important to get to the root of this. If they’re particularly extroverted, they might feel they need to spend time with a variety of different people. Introverts, on the other hand, might need their alone time. If you can’t think your way out of this worry, then talk about it.


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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!

Summer is almost upon us – the temperature’s soaring which means that we’re all thinking one thing: how do we escape our everyday lives and get out into the sun? Daydreaming about going on vacation is something that pretty much all of us have in common – and in this increasingly busy world it can be hard to find time to plan it out properly. But if you have vacation days and a little cash to spend, get online immediately to book the perfect relaxing vacation away from absolutely everything. Here are some of my tips for vacations you could take this summer…

Sunrise at the Beach

A Local Weekend

First of all, if you don’t have huge amounts of funds or vacation days, then why not try a local long weekend? A lot of us end up missing out on our local vicinity and everything that’s going on there because we’re constantly looking to other places for more exotic ideas and trips – but let’s face it, anywhere that you haven’t been before is an adventure, and finding a beautiful place on your own doorstep will fill you with happiness. You could enlist your partner, a friend or a family member to go with you – or you could just go along by yourself! Sling a couple of days’ worth of clothes in the back of your car and drive to the nearest tourist location that you’ve never been to. It could be Atlantic City, it could be Virginia Beach, it could be the lakes up in New Hampshire – no matter where you go, make sure that you have a list of things to do each day to make the most of your short vacation.

Personalized Leather Passport Cover

A Cruise

Is there anything that’s more relaxing than spending a week sailing the high seas? (Actually, that makes it sound a bit like you’ll be a pirate for a week, which doesn’t sound very relaxing at all – all that climbing the rigging and and sword fighting and avoiding the first mate’s pet parrot…) A cruise is the best way to relax and get to see the world – and even better, you won’t have to plan it all out yourself like you would if you went on a road trip or on a backpacking adventure. Check out these cruise questions and answers if you aren’t really sure where to begin – there’s a huge variety of cruises that you could go on, from the clear blue seas of the Caribbean to the Yangtze River! You’ll also get the best in fine dining in the evenings on board the ship too – what could be better?

Welcome to our Beach House

A House By The Ocean

If you really want to chill out, then it’s time for you to rent a house by the ocean. Nothing more, nothing less. Go somewhere with great restaurants that won’t make you dress up too much when you go to them in the evenings. Take your dog, take your favorite person – or go alone with nothing more than your laptop to start writing the next great novel, or your kindle to finally get through that stack of mysteries that you always wanted to read. Spending some time somewhere quiet and beautiful is a great way to get your psychological health back into gear, which will help you get through the colder winter months excellently.

Monogrammed Beach Bag

A Trip With Friends

What could be better than going away with your friends? It’s one of the best possible ways to vacation – just make sure that you’ve agreed on budgets and where you all want to go and what you want to do before you go away, because let’s face it: nothing ruins a good vacation like bickering. Go somewhere where you can all enjoy eating out together in the evenings, drinking cocktails and going dancing – and take the time out to reconnect with each other. Friendships are harder to maintain when you’re an adult and school and college are over, but going away together is the best possible way to rekindle that spark.


Blue Hour in the Amalfi Coast

A Romantic City Break

Finally, why not be a tourist for a week and go to a city for a romantic break with your partner? NYC is beautiful over the summer, if incredibly hot – or you could go to Europe to take in the south of France or the Amalfi Coast for glorious sights and beaches in Italy, along with all the incredible pasta and pizza that you can force into your mouth. Going away with your partner will strengthen your relationship even more, and give you beautiful memories to share.

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!