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I Got a New Job!

August 7, 2017

Hey Guys! Happy Monday:)

How was your weekend?

Mine was pretty awesome what with getting a new job and all! It’s crazy how God works. Since graduating in May I challenged myself to stay in faith, and find the good in this unique season. You can read about all of that here.

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Time in NC Winding Down?

June 26, 2017

Hey Guys!

How was your weekend? Mine was very productive (read: not relaxing), but I’m not complaining. I’m actually really excited about the project that I was working on. More to come very soon, I promise. To make up for my working weekend, I’m treating myself to lunch today. I’ll be going to Dame’s Chicken and Waffles, which I love. I haven’t been in a while so it’s definitely time to remedy that. Especially considering that my time in North Carolina may be winding down.

My lease ends at the beginning of August so I’ll definitely be moving out of my apartment. However, whether I leave the city and/or state remains to be seen. I’ve been trying not to think about it too much though because thinking about that inevitably means thinking about moving (which is so stressful). After being in this apartment for three years, I’ve amassed a bunch of stuff – more furniture, clothes, and tons of school stuff (textbooks, papers, protocols, etc.). I told myself I’m not going to start worrying about all of that until July, which is this Saturday for those of you keeping track at home. Just a little bit longer in denial. Continue Reading


Post-Christmas, Pre-New Years Jitters

December 26, 2016

Hi Guys! Happy Monday:) I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone. I had such a great day. The weather was beautiful and I got to spend quality time with my family, eating good food, playing games, watching tv, and seeing the gorgeous Christmas lights that go up in my hometown each year. I wouldn’t change a thing. I went to bed all smiles but when I woke up this morning the fuzzy holiday feels had dissipated, and I realized that in just a few short days 2017 will be here.

While I’m excited, I’m also feeling pretty overwhelmed. There is so much that has to get done within the next six months. I have to complete my dissertation research, defend it, apply for jobs prayerfully finding the right one, and potentially prepare to move from a place that’s been home for the past two and a half years. I also want to make sure that I’m putting a lot of effort into this blog because I love blogging.

Now I’m not sure what your circumstances are, but if you’re at all like me, you may be wondering, How on Earth am I going to get all of this done?  This mountain before me just seems so insurmountable. In these moments of panic, I usually remember that this feeling isn’t a foreign one. There have been many times in my past where I’ve felt overwhelmed by my circumstances to the point where I just want to crawl under my covers and say wake me when it’s over. Each time though God has given me the strength I need to see the journey through to completion.

I’m counting on that this time around because I know that God is consistent. So while I may remark at the magnitude of the journey that lies ahead, I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other knowing that God will grant me the strength I need to see the finish line at my feet.


Creative Gifts for the “Creative” in Your Life

December 19, 2016

Hi Guys. Happy Mondayyyy! The extra y’s are intended to convey my excitement that Christmas is less than a week away. This little bit of time we have left is also stressing me out because I haven’t finished all of my Christmas shopping yet. How is it that every year I plan to have my shopping done well in advance of Christmas, but I always manage to cut it down to the wire?? The truth is that some of the people on my list, and likely yours, are much harder to shop for than others.

I’m convinced that the only thing harder than finding a good Christmas gift for a loved one, is finding a good Christmas gift for a loved one who’s a creative. There’s this added pressure to get them something, well, creative. Translation: a gift card just ain’t gonna cut it! To help y’all out (and myself, let’s be honest) I put together this gift-giving guide for that special creative in your life. Read on for some thoughtful and surprisingly budget-friendly gifts. Bonus: most of these items can be found on Amazon or picked up in stores, which means you can get them in time for Christmas day. Score!


Whether they’re a photographer, a style blogger, or a pastry chef, creatives care about producing nice images for their blogs, websites, and/or social media channels. In creating quality images, the backdrops are just as important as the actual items being photographed. Here are some multi-purpose backdrop options that any creative will be able to get good use of:

Marble Wallpaper

The secrets out! Did you really think everyone on Instagram had marble countertops?! Great for the ever popular flatlay or for food photography shots, this marble wallpaper can instantly elevate the look of anyone’s Instagram feed. I just ordered some myself!

Wood Wallpaper

Marble backdrops are great but it’s nice to switch things up. Using a wooded backdrop can help add some rustic charm and earthiness to a photo. These backdrops are also quite popular among food bloggers and chefs.

Brand colors

If you have time for a little DIY project then head to your local Home Depot and pick up a couple pieces of pre-cut plywood. Take these pieces of plywood and paint them in their brand colors. You can get a 2×2 ft piece of plywood from Home Depot for under 6 dollars, and you can go to the paint section and get a sample size of paint to use to paint it for about 3 bucks.

Promoting & Networking

Branded Clothing

Creatives are hustlers and they always have to be thinking about promoting their business or brand. With that being said, what’s better than having them be their own walking billboard. Buy a sweatshirt and have their logo or name printed on it.

Brand/Blog Business Cards

These would come in handy during meetups, conferences, or as they’re starting to work with new clients.

Branded writing & computer accessories

Again when they’re out at a coffee shop, library, or the park, branded accessories can do the talking for them. You can get them branded stickers that they can place on notebooks and folders. You can also get branded pens, laptop cases, and mouse pads.


Since creatives tend to work from home it can be difficult for them to ever officially go “off the clock.” To help them make the most of their off time consider gifting them any one of these items (or all three depending on how generous you’re feeling:)

Mindfulness Book & Coloring Pencils

You’ve probably seen or heard of these “adult coloring books” before. Owning a couple myself I can say that they’re awesome. It’s a great opportunity to take your mind off of whatever it is that you may be obsessing over and transport yourself back to a simpler time when your greatest concern was coloring within the lines.

Lavender-scented neck wrap

This is a great option for people who tend to carry stress or tension in their necks. Since creatives may spend a lot of time sitting at a desk on their computers, this lavender-scented neck wrap may be just the thing they need to relieve any tension. Bonus since its heated, it’s also great for these winter months to keep them nice and cozy.

100% Silk Sleep Mask

Sometimes portrayed as night owls, even creatives need a good night’s sleep. Much cheaper than blackout curtains, these masks can completely block out sunlight so they don’t prematurely awaken from their slumber.

There you have it! I’m sure the creative in your life will really appreciate any of these gifts because it tells them that you care about helping them build their brand, and making sure that they take care of self while doing it.

Hope you all have a great week!


More Friends are Better

December 5, 2016

Hi Guys! Happy Monday:) It’s December 5th which means that there are only three more Mondays remaining in 2016. It’s around this time of the year that we tend to start reflecting on the past year, while setting goals for the upcoming one. In the spirit of the season, I thought it’d be nice to share something that’s pretty much a mainstay on my list of personal goals each year: working to establish more meaningful friendships.

More Friends are Better

While I am a proud introvert, I am not a loner. I really enjoy spending time with other people it’s just that I prefer the group size and setting to be intimate, and after a while I’m going to need to go home for a nap lol. In reflecting on how well I’m living my life, I definitely factor in the friendships that I’ve been able to cultivate.

Friends are so important to me. They help to make my life experiences more meaningful and memorable. They celebrate my wins, they laugh with me, they’d cry with me if I weren’t a robot as my sister tells it, and they are some of my biggest cheerleaders. I’m so grateful for the friendships that I have, which is why I work hard to maintain them. In saying this, I still actively work toward developing more friendships. Why, you ask? This is where I’m going to say something that probably goes against what you’ve heard in the past. More friends are better. Rock with me for a bit on this one.

A lot of people say that it’s not about having a bunch of friends, it’s about having quality friends.  Personally, I think it should be about both. None of us want to have flaky, manipulative, or backstabbing friends so I think we can all agree that quality is important, but here’s why quantity is important too. We tend to have a lot of different interests. When we have a lot of different interests and only a few friends, we can subconsciously put more pressure on those few friends to help us live out all of our different interests.

Let’s use an analogy here just because I love them. Having only a few friends is like being the boss of a company with only a few employees. Between these few employees they now have to juggle being your tech support, HR, accountants, communications specialists, secretary, web designer, and whatever else you need, which means you’re likely asking people to serve in roles that they weren’t cut out for. So don’t be upset with Mary Sue because she can’t figure out why the company website is freezing; she went to school for journalism!

The idea is that as you hire more employees (or gain more friends) the pressures placed on these individuals are spread out because they’re not expected to wear so many different hats. Your foodie friend that loves to try different restaurants with you for Sunday brunch may not be the person to call for a Saturday morning hike.

More Friends are Better

Now sometimes there are those magical people who share all of your interests, but these folks are few and far between. That means you’ll likely have to work to establish relationships with different people who can allow you to express your different interests. For example, I have a group of friends who are PhD students/graduates of my program. We meet up throughout the year to check in with one another, unwind, and uplift. We actually just met up yesterday for brunch. It’s been incredible having these ladies to talk to because they know what I’m working toward, and they understand the work it takes to get there.

More Friends are Better

These ladies are fabulous, but I’m more than just a student. I’m also a fitness enthusiast, a blogger, a baker, a lipstick lover, and a break dancer (I’m only partially kidding about this last one). If I want to talk about creative projects that I’d like to do for the blog or collaborate with a fellow blogger, I can’t necessarily go to them for that. Which means that I have to work to find other people who blog, who I can talk to about these things.

A few weeks ago I went to a blogger meet up in Raleigh and met some great ladies. We sat and talked for a couple hours about blogging, the highs and lows of it all, and strategies we use to get it all done. It was such a great conversation that I honestly wouldn’t have been able to have otherwise. I needed to make “blogger friends” who could appreciate what it’s like working to put out quality blog content in order to have that type of conversation.

More Friends are Better

It can be stifling when you feel like you don’t have people to talk to who can give you an outlet to express all of your different interests. This is why as many interests as I have, I will work to develop as many circles of friends who allow me to discuss and express these interests. So yes, quantity matters. But don’t forget about quality. And the next time someone tells me, “It’s all about quality,” I’ll politely say, “I beg to differ,” and maybe direct them to this post.

Let me know if you’d like for me to do a follow up about ways to go about making these new friends as an adult. #TeamYesNewFriends Lol


My Weekday Morning Routine

October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween Guys! Before I start this post I’ve got an exciting update to share. I successfully defended my dissertation proposal this past Friday! Now I am officially #ABD (all but dissertation). Put plainly, the only thing standing in between me and my PhD is completing and defending the research I’ve proposed.

Now that I’ve successfully scaled that wall I thought it’d be nice to give you all a better look at what my days, particularly my mornings, look like. I am a creature of habit. I live off of having a routine. I find comfort in them, and they bring a sense of familiarity to what can be pretty unpredictable and chaotic days.

Healthy Morning Routine

Having a morning routine allows me to start off the day on my terms. I am in control. I find that to be such an empowering way to start off my day. Read on to see what my morning routine looks like!

Wake Up: 7:15am

I get up at 7:15 during the weekdays. I use the bathroom, brush my teeth, and change in to my workout clothes. This all takes me somewhere between 10-15 minutes depending on how fast I move.

Workout: 7:30am

Cathe Friedrich Turbo Barre

As you all know I work out from home. The beauty of that is I can be working out within 15 minutes from the time I wake up. I usually decide on what workout I want to do the night before. I like to give myself a couple of options just in case I wake up and I’m not in the mood for a particular workout or my body doesn’t feel up for it. My workouts typically last somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half.

Shower: 8:45/8:50am

Healthy Morning Routine

After my workout I start boiling water for my tea and then I turn on the shower. My showers typically last between 10-15 minutes. They get longer as the temperatures drop. I usually spend the extra time trying to convince myself to get out (which is so hard to do because it feels so warm and cozy)! Once I’m out I go ahead and get dressed for my day.

Breakfast 9:15am

Healthy Breakfast

I try to switch things up with my breakfast, especially during the weekends when I have a little more time, but my standby is Kashi cereal with a granola bar from Trader Joe’s and some type of green or ginger tea. I go this route because it packs a big fiber punch. I find breakfast to be the best time to get a head start on my fiber requirements for the day because there are a lot of high fiber breakfast options. The cereal has about 13 grams of fiber per serving and the granola bar has 9 grams. That means by 10 am I’ve had 22 grams of fiber, which is nearly my daily requirement. Hard to beat.

I make it a point to eat my breakfast with no distractions. I sit down at my dining table with the television off and my phone on the kitchen counter out of arms reach. This gives me a chance to enjoy my breakfast and be mindful. My mindfulness professor would be so proud. I don’t do this for my other meals but one is better than none! Breakfast time is usually 20-25 minutes.

Emails and Writing/Reading: 9:45am

After I’ve had my breakfast and washed the dishes, it’s time to deal with emails. I go through my emails, send out any important ones, and respond to those as needed. Once I’ve caught up with emails I’ll ease into the day’s work by reading a paper on my saved list. I try to read earlier in the day as I’ve learned that I absorb new material best in the morning. If there are no papers that I need to read I’ll work on a section of my proposal. Even though I’ve successfully defended my proposal it is still very much a work in progress. My proposal will eventually become my dissertation so it will continue to transform until I’ve completed the research. I’ll read and/or write for a couple of hours before taking a break right around noon.

So that’s what my mornings look like. I wanted to share this with you all to hopefully encourage those of you who may be in grad school right now to work on creating a routine if you don’t already have one in place. Having this routine was a critical part of my success in passing my comprehensive exams and defending my dissertation proposal. Even on the day of my exams and my defense I largely stuck to this routine (although my wake up time was much earlier).

Your routine doesn’t have to look anything like mine, but it’s important to carve out time for things that are important to you. It’s your way of claiming ownership of your day. Particularly as graduate students, so much of our days can feel like they aren’t ours. We have research obligations, TA duties, special research lectures to attend, or we get roped into reviewing submissions for some conference. By being intentional and deciding that you will make time for things that serve you well, you are claiming ownership of your day. It can also serve to ground you because you have something consistent that you can rely on. I’ll tell you from personal experience when I was studying for comps over the summer that this was reassuring.

In saying all of this, I want to be of more help to those of you who are getting ready to go through that same rite of passage. Over the past few months, I’ve been working on a project that I think will be helpful for those of you who are starting to think about qualifying exam preparations.

This project came about after reflecting on my own comps experience. Earlier this year as I was thinking about comps and my proposal defense, I remember trying to find information on how to effectively prepare for it all. It seemed like such a massive undertaking and I knew that I needed a plan. I looked for books, did some searches online, and talked to quite a few students, but all of that left me with very little practical information on what I should do. Certainly nothing comprehensive (no pun intended). By compiling the information that I did learn and good ol’ trial and error, I developed a system that worked well for me. It helped me study and write effectively without feeling so overwhelmed. I want to share that system from start to finish with you to help make this a much less daunting experience. More to come soon!

For those of you who are headed out tonight, be safe and don’t take candy from strangers. Unless it’s gummy bears – they are delicious:)


Work Wear Inspiration

April 24, 2014
Hi Guys! Today I’m bringing you some more of my favorite work looks. I’m hoping to show you that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get quality work pieces. My work wear items came from all over (thrift stores, TJ Maxx, Target, The Limited, etc) and I got very good deals on them. The key is to wait for sales and add pieces gradually so way your wallet isn’t taking a big hit all at once.
My “Casual Friday” look. Both the sweater and the pants came from Forever 21.

Hope you’re having a great week so far!