reflecting back on 2017

In all honesty, 2017 was one of my hardest years. I say that not for you to feel sorry or to put a damper on the new year, but rather to share some huge insights I’ve learned along the way. Whether it was healing from broken relationships, waiting on the right job (the long process of applying and interviewing over and over), losing my dog, or just wrestling with my purpose and next steps, I can say that all of it has been a humbling experience and that I’m learning to trust the process, persevere, and remain grateful.

Through all the challenges, I feel like I am only growing into a stronger woman and building character for who I am becoming (cheesy, but true). Life is throwing curveballs that are testing my values and maturing my faith. I’m realizing that as painful as hardship can be, there is always a silver lining. It enables you to grow, appreciate, and flourish more than you could’ve ever imagined.

So, here’s to taking it one day at a time, not taking life too seriously, and being our best selves in 2018. Here are 7 takeaways from 2017 that I will carry forward with me into the new year:

  1. Lean on your friends for support. That’s what your friends are there for! You’re not alone in the challenges you face, so don’t be afraid to reach out. Sometimes it becomes easy to shut people out in hard times, but it’s so important to stay connected because we can’t do life on our own.
  2. Give yourself time to be alone. Lean on your friends, but don’t distract yourself so much with people that you avoid having quality time alone. Being alone to reflect is so important to building self-awareness, understanding personal obstacles, and meditating on your own priorities.
  3. Be patient with yourself. We’re all our own worst critic because we often put incredibly high standards on ourselves. Whether it’s grades, promotions, unfinished projects, bad habits, or unattained goals, we naturally put pressure on ourselves. Learn to be patient with yourself in your progress, and give yourself the time you need to heal, process, or steadily work towards achieving your goals.
  4. Journaling does wonders. I understand that not everyone naturally loves journaling like I do, but it has brought me through some of my hardest times. I love that through journaling you discover thoughts, motives, desires, changes, and personal growth. It gives me the ability to look back on where I was and where I am now. Even if you don’t normally journal, it might be worth a try!
  5. Forgiveness and love will always win. Grudges, bitterness, and hate will always leave a burden on your heart that holds you back from experiencing full joy. It’s not always easy to forgive, but it brings healing and softens your heart. Love will always win.
  6. Invest in your emotional well-being first. Prioritize your mental, spiritual, and emotional health first so that you are able to pour out love, compassion, and grace to those around you.
  7. Don’t give up in the wait. You’re close to a breakthrough. Waiting is hard. Waiting takes so much patience that I oftentimes don’t have. But in seasons of waiting, don’t give up. I know that sounds cliche, but it is so true. As long as you are active and not stagnant, you are closer to your breakthrough than you think.

2017 wasn’t all hard. It was also full of adventure, travel, laughter, love, new experiences, and memories I’ll never forget. Each year, I always make it a priority to visit at least one new country and one new city. Gratefully, I had the opportunity to travel New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Israel, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles this year. Investing in travel always leaves you richer than you came. Here’s a look back on travel in 2017…

New Zealand

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Puerto Rico:

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Israel:

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Salt Lake City

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Los Angeles

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I hope this post encourages you that it’s all a learning process and that you’re not alone.

I wish everyone a happy new year in 2018! I’m excited for all of the new adventures and experiences in store!

There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind. – C.S. Lewis

xoxo,

Angela

fall feels: 8 must-dos

My favorite season! While I do love summer (and miss those long, sunny days), fall always has its own way of bringing warmth. Subtle and bold colors emerge and reveal beauty beyond words. As leaves fall, autumn lets the past go and embraces a new season of life…shedding its nature (no pun intended) from winter, spring, and summer – seasons past.

So to celebrate my favorite season, here’s 8 must-dos for all the fall feels:

  • Go on a photo adventure to capture all of the fall colors!

Fall leaves

Or even when all of the leaves have already fallen…

Fall

Fall

  • Sip on a pumpkin spice latte. 
Pumpkin Spice Latte
publik coffee’s version of PSL (Gryffindor)
  • Make a visit to the pumpkin patch and corn maze. 
pumpkin pickin’ at Everitt Farms

Pumpkin patch

night corn maze at Denver Botanic Garden at Chatfield
spooky

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  • Hike in the mountains – nothing quite like a fall hike. 
alderfer three sisters park

  • Dress up on Halloween because it’s too fun not to. 


Halloweekend

Vampire and Kitten
ms. fang and her kitten, moon
Vampire | Halloween 2017
behind the evil vampire is a giggly girl
  • Watch at least one scary movie with your friends, no matter how much you loathe it. Hyunah and I decided to watch It, inspired by Stephen King’s novel. My palms were sweaty, and my heart was racing the entire time (I hate clowns that much more).
  • Take time for self-care, and slow things down. 

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brunch goals: latte, eggs benedict with smoked salmon, potatoes, and blueberry panckaes

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  • Most importantly, cherish your friends, family, and loved ones in every single moment you share. Show compassion, gratitude, and love relentlessly, holding back nothing. Extend strangers and acquaintances kindness and empathy. Live more selflessly, serving others, because that is when you will find joy.

Feel free to also check out these other fall posts from years past:

-Angela

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

spring is in the air

Spring is in the air!

Seasons are changing. I’m a believer that as seasons change, we also evolve. We immerse ourselves in new experiences and things. We adapt to our environments. We bring out new parts of ourselves. Change is good. Change enables growth. Change enables challenge. Change enables self-awareness. Change enables reflection. Change enables you to flourish. And spring is all about new beginnings…

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To get excited about spring, these are some things I want to do!

  • Picnics in the park: can’t go wrong with a meat and cheese board, fruits, bread, chilled wine, and sunnies.
  • Travel: cue travel season – yes, travel is a year round activity, but what’s better than traveling in the spring when the weather warms up and the days grow longer (not to mention that it’s #bloomin this time of year)? Traveling in the spring is also great because you just beat the summer crowds and can usually find better deals on flights. Whether it’s a trip near or far, it’s time to seek out new adventures!
  • Climbing: I want to move the indoor climbing to the outdoors! I’ve only climbed outdoors twice, and it’s definitely an adrenaline filled experience (it’ll also help me work on conquering my slight fear of heights and falling).
  • Hiking: winter hasn’t kept me from hiking, but it’ll definitely be more fun hiking without slipping on ice and in the warmth. I also have an ambitious goal to climb 5 new fourteeners this year!
  • Weekends at the farmer’s market: weekend farmer’s markets are truly special. I have special memories visiting the farmer’s market with my one of my best friends back when I lived in Salt Lake City. Limeade, flowers, fresh produce, local crafts and jewelry…nothing quite like it.
  • Make flower bouquets: a girl’s best friend – tulips, sunflowers, peonies, baby breath, daisies, and snapdragons to name just a few…this is the time to #treatyoself.
  • Read outside: I want to try and read more, and what’s better than reading outside where there’s natural lighting and fresh air?
  • Eat lots of ice cream 
    • Sample a flight of flavors at High Point Creamery (yet to try this place)
    • Sweet Action Ice Cream has some of the best and unique variety of homemade flavors that constantly change.
    • Little Man Ice Cream also has ever-changing unique and traditional flavors served in their classic waffle cone.
  • Patio bars and coffee shops: a nice cocktail or cold beer on a deck is perfect for enjoying the blossoming flowers and trees. And I love coffee shops anytime of the year – summer, fall, winter, and spring! Now I’ll just be switching it up with some iced coffee and cold brews to stay refreshed.

– Angela

 

fall playlist

Welcoming my favorite season with a fall playlist. These tunes make me feel fall in all its glory. Do enjoy (available on Spotify: falling for fall).

1. Wait for Me // Motopony

2. Long Vows // Band of Horses

3. Angela // The Lumineers

4. Rising Water // James Vincent McMorrow

5. Lately // POLIÇA

6. Hummed Low // Odessa

7. You & I // Local Natives

8. Oliver James // Fleet Foxes

9. I Feel It All // Feist

10. O I Long to Feel Your Arms Around Me // Father John Misty

11. Postcards from Italy // Beirut

12. I Need My Girl // The National

13. Song For You // Alexi Murdoch

14. Youth // Glass Animals

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fall in SLC

There is so much that has not been posted on the blog since graduating – my trip across europe, new york, memories made with friends – but what’s a better way to start blogging again than with some pictures from fall adventures in this new city and new season of life as a full-time, working adult taking on the ‘real world’.

with good reason, fall is my favorite season.