I've been thinking a lot about my downfalls lately.

They are something that we all have, and while they are typically discussed in a negative connotation, I can't help but think that they ultimately play a positive role in our lives. There is a crazy amount of human beings on this planet we call home, and not a single one of us are perfect. Am I the only person who finds that fact refreshing?

We all have our strengths, and we all have our weaknesses. If we all had the same balance of those two things, the world would be a pretty unbalanced place, right? Think about it...we need pessimists in order to have optimists. We need outgoing people in order to have introverts. We need logical people in order to have daydreamers.

If we were all somehow all of these things wrapped up into one package, we would have no need for other human beings. We would have no one to lift us up, and we would not be able to lift others up in their times of need. There would be no need for friendships. No need for family. No need for relationships.

Today, I admit that...

I'm extremely forgetful.

I have social anxiety.

I take things too personally.

I have to fight away a lot of negativity in order to be a positive person.

And...I'm okay with those things. Sure, they're annoying. Sure, I strive to correct the issues every day. However, I'm not going to stress my downfalls. Because I have some pretty amazing people in my life to balance me out and bring me back down to earth, and I will always be there when they need someone to do the same.


Thoughts on Cold Weather

Today is the second day in a row that I have worn a scarf.

You're probably thinking...so what? And you're right, it isn't really a big deal considering fall is slowly turning into winter. However, I feel like it is not typically this cold here in Florida during this time of the year. Sure, I'm in north Florida...but still. Fellow north Floridians, correct me if I'm wrong...but isn't it normally January before the first (and sometimes only) freeze of the season comes around? It was in the 20's last night, and the high for the past two days hasn't reached above 50 degrees.

I think I hate it and love it at the same time.

I love cozy clothing, but I hate having to wear layers.

I hate that moment when you have to pull yourself out of the warmth of your bed, but I love the energy that a blast of cool air to the face can give you.

 I love wearing boots, but I hate having to find two matching socks.

I hate all of the static electricity in the air, but I love the break from the oh-so-lovely Florida humidity.

It's a catch-22. The more I think about it though, the more I realize that even the parts of winter I'm not so fond of are pretty fascinating. A change in the air (literally), is sometimes exactly what we are in need of.

What are your thoughts on cold weather?


The One

I've been doing a lot of thinking about "the one."

And no, not "the one" in the romantic sense. That's a concept that I stopped giving thought to a long time ago.

I've been thinking about "the one" from a writer's standpoint. Or, I guess I should say, from a novelist's standpoint. What do I mean exactly?

Well, take a second to think about a few scenarios. When J.K. Rowling was writing the first Harry Potter book, do you think she knew deep down that it was going to be "the one?" When Nicholas Sparks sat down to write his first great love story, did he know that it would be "the one" to shape his career? Did. S.E. Hinton have a certain feeling about The Outsiders? When every great writer has sat down, or sits down, to shape a new idea, do they get a feeling in the pit of their stomach that convinces them that they are working on the book that will change them as a novelist and a person?

I have enjoyed writing since I learned how to hold a pencil. My brain has thought up countless ideas for stories over the years, and I couldn't remember all of them if I tried. Is this a good thing? Of course. However, it has also proven to be a bit of a negative thing over the years. I am famous for sitting down to write a few chapters of a new book, and then I will stop writing because I get distracted by a new idea that seems way better.


That is the number of partially written novels that reside on my flash drive. I don't really like admitting that, but I also enjoy thinking about going back and finishing them when the time is right. Apart from my being easily distracted, I think a big reason that I haven't finished one yet is simply because they haven't felt right. The ideas are good, but the timing is off.

Number four though...is different. Number four has been in the works for a few months now. And you know what? I think it's "the one." Actually, I know it's the one. I feel in my heart that I will complete this novel with just as much ferocity as I started it with. The last sentence I type will give me just as much pleasure as the first did. Because this story...it just feels right. The emotions that are required to make it work are exactly the ones that I have available to pour into it. It just makes sense.

I think you know that you've found "the one" when you can't stop thinking about the storyline. You stay up too late thinking about what you're going to add the next day, and you wake up early because you can't wait to start on it. The characters stop being characters, and they become a part of your every day life. All you can focus on is perfecting their personalities, and making sure that everything is flowing the way you envision it to. When you're working on "the one," the process becomes more than just writing...it becomes your life.

Here's to finding "the one."


If I'm Being Perfectly Honest...

-I really just don't feel like blogging right now. But...at the same time I do. Does that make sense?

-I'm kind of addicted to the show Parenthood. It tugs at my hear strings so much.

-I stay emotionally/mentally exhausted 90% of the time, and it's getting really old. It's also getting in the way of everything I want to accomplish.

-I can hardly wait for the upcoming four-day Thanksgiving weekend. I don't know if I'm going to make it to then. (Okay, so that's dramatic...but we all need to be a little dramatic sometimes.)

-I ate a warm Krispy Kreme donut earlier and I don't feel a bit guilty.

-I've been doing so much better financially over the past year, but the amount of credit card and student loan debt I still have to my name makes me panic if I think about it too much.

-I was in a really good mood all day because I liked my outfit and had a good hair day. Does that make me vain?

-I'm currently having extreme writer's block when it comes to my novel. I can't seem to get past this particular part. It's frustrating.

-Going to sleep each night has been my favorite part of life lately.

-When fall rolls around, I always spend quite a bit of time wishing that I lived somewhere that actually had "real" fall weather. Then...I remember that I was born, raised, and still live in Florida, and I would never survive anywhere that was consistently colder than 40 degrees.

-I may be perfectly content with never wearing a necklace other than this one for the rest of my life. When I saw it on Fifth and Mae's Instagram, I new I had to have it!


My Personal Library

Today, I felt like taking some time to share something that is very important to me. What would that something be?

My books, of course.

When I tell people that my books are very high on the list of my prized possessions, I'm not exaggerating. I love them. I care about their well being. I love looking at my bookshelf and seeing them. I enjoy watching the collection grow, and I hope to one day have not just one shelf, but an entire room dedicated to books.

So, excuse me while I turn into a complete nerd, and show my bookshelf some love. Let's take it shelf by shelf, shall we?

(A * next to the title means it's one of my absolute favorites.)

Shelf 1

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
*Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer

*Meg Cabot collection:
Teen Idol by (Yes, I have two of these somehow)
Ready or Not
Avalon High
How to Be Popular
Pants on Fire
Princess in Pink
Princess in Training
Princess in Waiting
Big Boned
Size 12 is Not Fat
Size 14 is Not Fat Either
Sweet Sixteen Princess
The Princess Present
Princess in the Spotlight
Princess in Love
The Princess Diaries
All-American Girl

Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison
*The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
Silver Girl by Erin Hilderbrand

Shelf Two

*The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
*Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
*A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
*Edgar Allan Poe Complete Tales and Poems

Shelf Three

Bridget Jone's Diary by Helen Fielding
A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer
*Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Forever by Judy Blume
Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Getting Over It by Anna Maxted
*Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Summer Island by Kristin Hannah
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz
Revelations by Melissa de la Cruz
The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery
*The Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The My Side of the Mountain trilogy by Jean Craighead George
*The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Shelf Four

Wish You Well by David Baldacci
Belle by Beverly Jenkins
*The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
True Believer by Nicholas Sparks
*The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Lereaux
*The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
That Was Then, This is Now by S.E. Hinton
The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks
Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul (This is nerdy...don't judge me.)
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: On Love and Friendship
*Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Gold-Bug and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe
Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank
Mary Higgins Clark collection

Shelf Five

This shelf is also known as the "textbook graveyard." Some of them I kept because I really liked, but others I still have because I couldn't get rid of them, ha ha.

What's in your personal library?


3 Beginner Steps to Loving Yourself

A couple of weeks ago, I very hesitantly published this post.

It isn't always easy to put difficult stuff like that out there...even when you're a blogger who shares a good portion of your life publicly. At the same time though, there is something very therapeutic about opening up about tough things And, at this point, I'm really glad I did it. Over the past couple of weeks, it has held me accountable to myself...it has served as a reminder that I am on a journey to loving myself as a person.

In all honesty, not a lot has changed for me in that aspect so far. However, I have definitely been more in tune to the way that I treat and talk to myself. I have been very conscious of the negativity that I direct towards myself, and I have been more likely to apologize and reverse my actions as a results. I have also been thinking a lot about specific ways to work on this on a daily basis, which is what has led me to create...

3 Beginner Steps to Loving Yourself
1. Nix the negative self-talk.
The way that you talk to yourself is a reflection of what you believe to be true about yourself. It all begins with the way that you feel about the person you are looking at in the mirror. While your physical appearance is definitely not the most important thing about you, the fact of the matter is...you can't love yourself as a whole if you hate the way you look. So, instead of telling yourself that you look horrible because you decided not to do your hair or makeup that day, tell yourself that you are beautiful no matter how much time you put into your appearance. Learn to love the you that you see without mascara or the "right" outfit. Accept your "flaws." They are what make you unique. They should be celebrated.
2. Do plenty of things that make you smile and laugh.
We have all heard the phrase, "happy girls are the prettiest." When you stop to think about it, the root of that quote is true. People who are happy with their lives are the most intriguing. Enjoying your life begins with being happy with yourself. Being happy with yourself begins with doing things that make you happy. Take time out of every day to enjoy yourself. Allow yourself to laugh. Don't take yourself too seriously. Enjoy your life. Take advantage of all of the happy that is around you.
3. Surround yourself with things that are good for you.
Life is too short to envelop yourself in people and circumstances that impact you in a negative way. When you are a person who puts yourself down the majority of the time, what good is it doing you to hang around people who also enjoy beating you down? You deserve to have friends and family who encourage you and push you towards your dreams. When you are down in a hole, don't you want the comfort of knowing that everyone you are close to is doing their best to help lift you out? Wouldn't you rather spend your time partaking in activities that are going to make you feel good and fulfilled, instead of empty and broken? I know that I would. It's often difficult to distinguish between positive and negative...but it is possible.
What are some things that you do to build yourself up each day? How do you work to love yourself?
P.S. I hope everyone had a great Halloween! I dressed up as Clark Kent. Who did you pretend to be for a day?

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